Disclaimer: Characters don't belong to me. Just using them for my own, demented torture. La.

Rating: I'm giving this one PG, since it's kinda angsty and whatnot, and was brought on by a fight with my parents.

Oh yeah. Teen angst in a barrel for ya.

. . . anyway. What I'm writing about isn't nearly as petty, so don't worry. =D

Author's Notes: As I said, I'm writing this in something of a 'heat-of-the- moment' style, trying to capture emotion when it's all fresh and dandy. Hopefully, it works. ^^:

This is just stuff about Kuno and Kodachi. God I love writing those two. XD There's just so much stuff that can be explored. . . it's a psychologist's dream, I tells you.

Well, in any case, please enjoy.



Paper Thin

~*~

I cannot help but wonder if he has the ability to cry the way that I do when I am alone in this behemoth of a mansion. Dry, cracked sobs echo throughout my room, down the hallway, heard only by the ever-present silence that hangs heavy in this structure, like a rain cloud. It is a fitting analogy.

Tears track down my soft, vulnerable face, my brown eyes becoming red and puffy as I curl up into the pathetic, shaking ball of witless helplessness that I become when the emotions overcome me, simply and completely. Sometimes, it can happen at the most unexpected of times; I will be practicing my latest gymnastics routine in the sanctity of our vast, personal gym, perfecting whatever it is that I am doing at the present time. Flipping, jumping, flying in the air like the wingless bird I am.

No one can touch me.

I transcend the placidity and trite squabbling that plague normal, human existence as I turn my focus on only myself, my body and muscles burning to become more than my mortal form will allow. I stretch upwards, constantly pulling myself in different directions, attempting to fill the room despite physical limitations.

It starts around this time; I get over the first wave of sheer intoxication of being able to "fly", as I do exactly this, from bar to bar, and ring to ring. Everything slowly begins to concentrate inwards instead of trying to expand to the furthermost corners of the room that I have confined myself to for the time being. Thoughts trickle through my mind like a small and dying stream, fighting valiantly through the rocks of cynicism and complete delusion to carve its way permanently into my psyche. The cold, unforgiving words and realizations fill my whole being, the small brook widening into a gaping chasm of white-water currents.

I fall, and no longer am I flying. The water flow overcomes me, consumes me, pulling me down from the yawning, blue sky that I was so close to touching. Rain clouds, having soaked up water from the raging flashflood in my mind, destroy whatever glimpse of sky that I might have been able to steal.

It begins to rain, and I am chained powerlessly to the floor that had first acted as my take-off area into the air, into freedom.

Crying. Here I cry, weeping profusely, my once-strong body shivering from a cold draft that only exists in my twisted, pathetic world. My leotard, clinging to my body tightly, does nothing to stop the intense chill that sweeps my body; I hug myself, ashen arms trying to hold on to a ship that was about to burst at the seams.

I keep crying. What is there to cry about? What isn't there to cry about, I reason successfully. I cannot even control the great, so-labeled Black Rose from withering and dying in the greenhouse she built for her very self. During this time, I manage to pick myself off the floor, my entire body shaking when I walk unsteadily out of the practice gym, down the long, dark hallway, winding my way to where my room is. My legs wobble like jelly, and I cannot help but wonder how they ever granted me the ability to fly, if not just for a few seconds. Such sweet bliss was what I had to stick to when the flood arrived, as it always did.

Yet the rock face of this freedom was temporary; always was it slippery, and my weakened hands could never, ever grasp onto it when I needed it the most.

I continue down the walkway, leaning weakly against the walls of this place. They are made of the traditional rice paper that was used in the olden days; shakily, I place my pale hand against it. It is so unbelievably thin; and yet, when I push on them, I fear so badly that I will break them . . .

It is hard to believe that these paper thin walls are what separate the rooms. What separate the giant, impossibly huge seas that divide our house, engulfing the both of us.

Before I know it, my body has taken me to my own small place of solitude in the world; I shut the door behind me, sinking down on the ground as I continue to raggedly sob. The stormy ocean of thoughts whirl through my brain, consuming and suffocating it entirely - I want so badly to swim out, but I am trapped of my own accord, and there is nothing I can do.

He called me 'twisted sister' again today. I always hate it when he does; he used to always refer to me as 'dear sister', or if he was feeling nice, things temporarily reverted back to the way they always were, and let his affectionate nickname for me, 'Kocchi', slip. How wonderful it felt to be called such a name again, it reminds me of when we were young, and so very innocent.

I wonder if such reminiscing is a good thing. He never likes to talk about when we were kids. I cannot for the life of me understand why. Perhaps it has something to do with his deep resentment for our father.

Father. . . I wish so much that you would visit us again. When I cry like this, I feel so alone; I wish that you were here to dry my tears, to hug me and tell me that it is all going to be alright, like when I was but a child.

It is another one of my many dreams, part of a vast library contained within my desperately vivid imagination. When I really was but a child, my tears and cries often went unanswered by him. I can understand why, though. I was not deserving of his affections when I was very young, because of they way I acted - so brash, so very unladylike. I would always fight with Tat. . . with him . . . whenever I wished my aggression to be gone. Sometimes he would fight back with me, but most of the time he seemed so tired and worn. He always had bruises on him; when I asked Father, he told me that he was being a bad child and getting into many fights at school. I always thought he got along well with his schoolmates in elementary school; but I was so young at the time, there was no way I could have known as much about it as Father.

And then when I was done play-fighting with him, Father would take him away somewhere in the mansion, and I would not see him for the rest of the day. Before he went off with him though, he would scold me for not acting like a woman was supposed to.

Dignified. Quiet.

Beautiful.

I used to get so dirty when I played with him, and drops of mud did stain my pretty, little dress. Father always reprimanded me for this; he would say that it made me look ugly, and I knew that he was right. I was not beautiful, nor was I dignified or quiet.

Yet, if I was quiet, he would never pay attention to me. I would wonder where Mother would go as well, where she hid in the deep recesses of the family mansion. I wanted to go find her - when I did, she always so sad, though. She would smile at me, but it was not a smile. It was a fa├žade, and even at such an age, I could tell.

I wipe my eyes with the back of by bare hand, unable to stop my memories from flowing through my veins with the current of the flood. I walk unsteadily to my soft bed, falling back on the pillows, staring upwards as memories flitted by, grainy and surely changed by time and certain perspectives. But did I care? No. They were mine, and mine alone.

My eyes close, and I can see her sad smile. Did I hear crying somewhere off in the distance? Maybe I did. It sounded familiar, but was it anyone that I knew? Had to be. But Father was training him, and Father always told me how much he enjoyed their kendo sessions together, that he was getting stronger. Mother looked so sad whenever Father went off with him. Did she not like him learning kendo, just like Father? How silly of me, of course she would want her son to be strong, just like her husband.

Father comes back. There is red all over his kendo uniform, and I do not know why. I begin to say something to him, my mouth opening; he brushes by me, obviously not even realizing I was in the same room as him. But Father, I just joined my school's gymnastics club, and I really like it! Nothing. I am doing very well in school, especially in Japanese - sensei says I am the best reader in the class! Nothing. Father. . . Daddy. . . where are you going. . .? Please talk to me!

No. There was nothing that he said to me, making his way down the hall he came from, looking determined. The crying, which had quieted down, becomes louder once more.

I see Mother flinch.

Mother, why is Father not speaking to me? Have I done something wrong? She, too, is silent for a moment. I wait for an answer, impatient. She looks at me, with something tremendous and deep in her lovely blue eyes that he. . . that Ta. . . that. . . that Tatchi inherited.

Who is it that keeps crying. . .? It is choked and even worse, now. . .

Mother hugs me tightly to her, and I can do nothing but hug back, confused at her silence.

Softly, she says she loves me. It is so quiet that it is barely audible, but it does reach my young ears, and the words wrap around my heart.

This is when I begin to wonder if something is wrong. And I know it is my fault, somehow.

The paper thin walls of our large house allows the crying and screaming and pleading to reach the two of us; I ask Mother who it is that is crying so badly, and what could make them feel so sad.

She says nothing. I seriously begin to feel pangs of anxiety and panic at this time; my voice becomes higher pitched and I feel as if I am on the verge of tears as I tug on my mother's beautiful, silk kimono, demanding to know what is wrong. When she finally answers, her voice is choked and shaky, yet I fail to notice.

Nothing, she tells me. Nothing is wrong, and it is time for me to go to bed.

This answer satisfies me for the next few years.

The weeping would continue for nearly an hour afterward, and I found myself only capable of lying in bed and listening to the horrible sound of the child crying. There are short moments when I think I can recognize the voice, but I push the thought out of my head as soon as it is introduced.

Shortly thereafter, something potentially worse comes about; my parents fight, and the yelling begins. Mother's voice, soft yet determined. Father's voice, loud and commanding. Sometimes Mother is crying, sometimes she is not, and Father always seems the same. If he has had too much to drink, the only difference in his tone is that his words are a little slurred, but that is it.

Sometimes he hits her, sometimes he does not. Usually Mother cries when he hits her. When I ask Father about this, about what I hear when I am supposed to be in the embrace of dreams, he tells me that he was doing his duty as a loving husband, and reprimanding her for being too passive. For being too weak and idiotic and ugly.

I never, ever thought Mother was ugly. I always thought she looked like an angel.

But Father knows more about everything than I do, and as such, he is right. I wonder if he sometimes feels the same way about me - am I too ugly when I dirty myself as I do? Am I too weak and idiotic, like Mother, to whom I resemble so closely?

This is the only explanation I can think of, and I try to change myself throughout the years. Slowly and surely, my interest in "fighting" with Tatchi grows dimmer, and I turn my attention to the kitchen. Father always said that a true woman was at her best in the kitchen, so I strove for culinary excellence. I cooked for Father, and he began to address me in ways that he never had before; he would actually talk to me, and compliment me when I did such domestic things.

My heart soared when he did. Soon, I was cleaning house with Mother in my spare time, and while Father still seemed cold to her, he was being so kind to me. Tatchi, on the other hand, berated me for doing what I was doing.

He always hated it when I had Father's full attention, and now that I had it, he was becoming angrier. I told him that it was because he had a son that was always getting into fights - his body would be covered with bruises and cuts when I saw him, so I told him as much.

He looked at me once, something overtaking his features that I could not describe, and he quickly turned away from me, walking away, mumbling something under his breath that I could not make out. Things have not been the same since.

I thought nothing of it, really. What was there to think about? Tatchi was outright disrespecting Father, when he should have been the good, obedient son that Father had always wanted; I never had to wonder why Father and Tatchi never got along, and I still do not wonder now. There is no point.

And so, I was good for Father, somewhat in the place of Tatchi. Father always wanted a strong, male heir to carry on the family name, so I imagine what a disappointment to him I was, even at infancy. I try to make up for it by being what he wants me to be for him; by being domestic, by becoming the perfect homemaker and bride-to-be. Honestly, what good would I be to him if I did not marry? Such a burden I would become.

He wants me to be beautiful. In turn, I want to be beautiful.

So I latched onto the first boy that had even gave me a second glance, who had cared enough to save me from falling from the roof of that Tendo place. Ranma Saotome - strong, handsome, kind, and completely devoid of any sort of affection for me. What a catch.

For my part, I am confused as to why my darling Ranma continuously ignores all that I try to do for him; when I know that he shall be gracing me with his presence, I make myself look as nice as I possibly can. I bring him gifts and flowers; most importantly, I cook for him, and I show him what a lovely wife I could be, if only he would spend more time with me. I will never disobey him; I will not be like Mother and make him mad when he wants to hit me for something that I have done wrong. I will let him do as he pleases with me, because he would be my husband, and it is my duty to follow his wishes. It is a heavy ache in my chest, when I think that he is rejecting all that I am offering him.

Does he think me to be ugly? To be completely undesirable? So much so that he would rather live with Akane, a girl who constantly abuses him, shouts such insults, and is violent about all she does? How does Ranma darling survive in such an environment?

He must think that I am ugly. Did Father think I was ugly as well? He left Tatchi and I alone when I was but thirteen, without word or warning; I remember feeling so horridly empty inside as I waited by my bedroom window, looking eagerly out onto the street, searching for the familiar form of my tall, strong father as he returned to the house. I would have gone rushing down to greet him, and I would have been the best daughter I could ever hope to be.

He, too, must have thought me unsightly. He would not have left like he did if he thought me to be pretty. Perhaps I can fix this. . .?

Sniffling still, I pick myself up off my down-filled bed, my bare feet padding softly across the carpet of my room, over to my large vanity. In neat piles atop the polished hardwood are various cases of make-up and related products.

I look in the mirror, immediately noting the horrid, red puffiness my eyes were surrounded by, due to my incessant crying. I berate myself mentally as my barely-steady hand glides across the surface of the dresser, reaching into one case, pulling out a small tube; removing the lid, I twist it up from the bottom. Brilliant, lustrous red made itself apparent, twirling slowly at the command of my fingers, almost like a ballerina. Little girls always wanted to be ballerinas. They were so pretty and graceful.

I am a ballerina of sorts. My gymnastics, though dabbling in the martial arts, carries with it a certain finesse and style that could only be attributed to the influence of dance, and all that came with it. Father thought ballerinas were pretty, too.

Touching the red cylinder of chemical products and fish scales to my lips, it moves smoothly across, painting over dull, fleshy pink with vibrant, sensuous red, transforming my puckered lips from something dull and dirty to something bright and beautiful.

Automatically, my hands move smoothly across the dresser before me, collecting the various materials that I would need from the make-up bags and cases. I smooth on the foundation, the liquid cool against my heated skin. It covers the imperfections of my face, disguising the blotchy, reddened skin, beginning to present a visage of normalcy. Next I apply the eye-shadow, darkening the lids of my eyes with a purple so dark it is nearly black; mascara accompanies it, creating the illusion of dramatic, emotional eyes. I lightly blush my cheeks with rouge, blending it in with some of the foundation, creating a striking, yet muted look.

My eyes trail up my body in the reflection of the mirror, resting on my face. My skin looks like that of a porcelain doll - delicate, fragile, and most decidedly feminine.

Am I beautiful?

I do not know.

My fingers touch lightly against the glass, over the reflection of my made- up face; it is cool, smooth, and astonishingly hard. I trace the outline of my ashen face with my fingertip.

Father came back and he was happy to see me. Father left again without a word. Why did I scare him away again? Do I remain so unbearable unattractive that I not only repulse the one that I love, but Father as well?

Perhaps that is why Tatchi calls me Twisted Sister; because I am, indeed, a twisted, hideous thing to look at.

I trace on the glassy surface of the mirror the teardrop that runs down my waxen skin, washing away the clutter and perfection of the make-up that I had applied to prevent my ugliness from showing through. The mascara runs down my face, and yet I do not utter a sound.

What I feel does not need words to be soaked through the paper thin walls of this mansion.



=*=*=*=

I cannot help but wonder if she has the ability to cry the way that I do when I am alone in this behemoth of a mansion. Through the front door I enter, my trademarked bokken in one hand, an almost completely destroyed bouquet of once beautiful red roses in the other. I trudge through the foyer of the house, throwing my geta sandals off my feet; they clank and echo across the hard wood of the floor, skidding off into some unknown corner. I will find them again when I need them.

Mechanically I move through the long and thin hallways of this place, not noticing or caring that rose petals were floating down to the ground, the actual flowers clutched in my hand long since broken and dead. Tears already track down my stony face as I ascend the staircase before me, my feet carrying me to my room. I quietly open the sliding door to it, closing it equally as softly behind me. In the end, it does not even matter.

My bokken and the dead roses clatter to the floor, finding my hands to be suddenly very weak and slack. Against the door I slump, my shoulders shaking as my breath hitches. I slide down it, the rough wood cutting into my skin, even through the material of my yukata.

I sob openly. Were the bastard who dared to call himself my father here, he would be adding to the already impressive number of scars my body bears.

Why do I cry like this, when I am all alone, knowing that nobody is around to listen or judge or care or empathize? Is it because there is not a living soul within earshot, or because I wish there was somebody who could hear me?

It does not matter right now. Nothing really does. My anger, frustration, and pain are purged from my body with hot, wet tears that stream down my cheeks; I bury my head in my arms, curling up into as tiny a ball my relatively large form will allow, rocking back and forth against the wall.

I can feel the black void of emptiness spread within me as I weep like this. It is always there with me, and it will always be there with me - it has been my one true companion since I could remember, and will be my only friend when I die. I know this, as a fact, to be true.

My tear-swollen eyes peek through my fingers at the roses splayed on the ground, their stems cracked, their beautiful, crimson petals crushed and destroyed. I had gone over to the Tendo house earlier that evening, feeling more lonely than usual. I simply needed to see somebody - anybody - that would talk to me, that I would have a chance to converse with. Lately I have been feeling so overwhelmingly alone that it has, admittedly, scared me.

I really did not think things would go so badly. I had brought over a bouquet of roses for both Akane Tendo and The Pigtailed Girl; to what I thought would be chalked up to luck, both of them were there. When Akane had answered the door, she immediately looked annoyed. I went on to say something that I cannot even remember now, which had managed to peeve her even further; soon afterwards, my pigtailed goddess was their, radiant in her anger as she always was.

I offered her the bouquet of flowers. She destroyed them.

I do not know why, but I almost lost it right then and there. Why would she destroy the flowers that I brought for her? Why would she kill them - simply because it was I who had given them to her? If they were from anyone else's hands but mine, would she have accepted them with a smile?

I reach out with trembling fingers, catching in them one of the few roses that managed to survive. Gently, I cradle it to my chest, as if it were the most precious and fragile thing in the world; my tears drip onto its silky, red petals, making it shimmer with my sadness.

This elicits from me a louder, even more choked sob. I bite my lip hard to quell it, but too late. I force myself to be silent despite this, feeling as if my own body has betrayed itself now.

With my eyes squeezed shut, my ears strain of their own accord as I hear something in the distance, perhaps in another part of this very mansion. It. . . almost sounds like someone else crying. . .

No, I remind myself, hiding my head in the confines of my hands once more, the rose abruptly dropping to the ground. No.

I know that she does not have the ability to cry the way that I do when I am alone in this behemoth of a mansion. Only silence and emptiness can hear me as my choked voice passes easily through the paper thin walls that separate myself from the rest of the world.

For when these paper thin walls surround me. . . surround us. . .

We are alone.



~*~*~*~*~*~*

. . . whee. Finished in two days, la. =D Hope you enjoyed it, please remember to r/r! ^^