Title: Better than a gift given

Author: Haze

Disclaimer: I don't own Vision of Escaflowne so please don't sue me. I'm merely borrowing the characters for entertainment.

Summary: He was a creature of the dark, living forever through the lives he ended. His gift and curse was what would doom him for an eternity of solitary existence. But when he passed through time accepting his fate, it was always her, the girl with the most brilliant emerald eyes that haunted him.

Prologue:

It was too long time ago, when I stopped walking among the living. Too long ago, when I knew how it was to be customary or at least knew how it was to simply live. I can hardly remember all the things I did to pass time apart from being the creature of the night that I was, that I always will be.

I never did fear the dark. It was in me long before I had been given this gift… this curse. It lulled me into it, promising of sweet freedom from mortal coils. It was tempting amidst the turmoil that was my self. Very tempting indeed. I was foolish, reckless, and naïve. I did not realize what I was relinquishing as I delve more and more into the darkness within my self.

Of noble birth I was heir to vast lands and riches, betrothed to a lady of my same society. I had responsibilities as the only son and firm discipline had been enforced on me from the day I had been able to walk. My parents had been austere especially with the matter regarding my marriage.

Although my life had been that of luxurious living, it had been painfully restricting. I could not make my own choices… I could not breathe on my own. Every move, every thought, every emotion was tied down to the words of my parents.

The marriage was advantageous to both families and presumably for me and my lady. At that time, marriage by love was rare and even as I so desperately wanted to be one of those rare ones, I could not disobey. Neither could the lady I had married. She had cried and pleaded, true, however she resigned to her fate and allowed herself to be torn away from the one she had loved. I pitied her then, even more than I had pitied myself. She had more to lose than I.

But it came to pass, the marriage that would forever tie two choice-depraved people. I was nineteen then, she fourteen. Perhaps my parents were frightened that I would run away thus the rushed marriage.

During the first months of marriage, I would watch my lady from the shadows, when she knew not of my presence. She was beautiful, small, and fragile. I knew she would break, from the inside if not from the outside. And soon I was seeing her staring more and more into the flickering flame of the candles in the candelabras. Then one night, she drew a dagger.

I was painfully curious not to stop her. She gazed at the dagger and then her wrist before looking back at the flames and staring intently into it. Then, she slashed her wrist slowly, deeply. The crimson fluid held my attention in morbid fascination for a long while before I realized what had transpired. And I ran to her still form on the cold stone flooring.

After that night, I had her closely watched whenever I was away. I did not love her, no I could not. She had given her heart to someone else. I had only her shell, her body. But I understood her dilemma well enough. She wanted to die, end her misery and sufferings. She was fascinated by Death.

But I could not simply let her die. No. She was my responsibility. For the duration of two years, I foiled her attempts of self-demise and kept it hidden to the rest of the world. It was during one of the winter days when something else occurred.

I came back from a travel to find her handmaids in a fit of agitation just outside our bedchamber. And I knew then that she was at her attempts once again. I knew she wished I had come later for I always do most of the foiling of her attempts. I had dared not raise a hand on her, but I knew she feared me.

After my commands for her to open the door where left unheeded, I had the footmen destroy the door. Then I was taken by the arctic atmosphere than was our room. I narrowed my eyes on the wide open windows and then to her. With sure strides, I reached the windows and shut them with a bang, drawing the heavy velvet curtains shut. I eyed the fireplace and headed to it and made fire. Not withstanding my rising temper, I went to her closet and seized the garments I could grasp and dumped them into the fire.

For what seemed like a long time, I stared at the fire as it began to grow, heating the immense room painfully slow. But my control could only be so good and my patience could not wait for the room to heat up. I strode towards the bed and stopped a few steps away, eyes narrowing at the young lady seated there with dainty feet touching the plush carpet and her eyes staring straight in front to the now curtained window.

I stood in her line of vision but she seemed as if she was staring through me. She was ignoring me and I was ready to flare up and hurt her as well as I could. I was getting tired of her games of death. I treaded towards her with a few long strides and stared down at her. Her head tilted to meet my angry expression, her own face devoid of any emotion.

"Is this another one of your innovative ways of dying?" I had inquired harshly.

She merely looked at me and perhaps saw the rage blazing in my eyes, waiting to be unleashed on her.

"What is going on in that head of yours?" I had continued then in the same harsh tone of earlier. "Why do you do all of this?"

I could not take the urge of holding back and so my hands found their way to her arms. "You are---" I stopped and looked closer at her bluish lips before staring at my hands on her arms. One hand moved from her arm to her neck and with a change of tone from harsh to quiet I said, "You're very cold."

She just stared at me and soon, her eyes betrayed the emotions she felt; sadness and fear.

"Why?" I had asked in a less harsh tone. "You're not the only one in this. I am tied down, too."

I saw that she wanted to tell me everything but knew she could not tell what she herself could not comprehend. I kneeled before her on one knee and looked at her, determined to know what I had been wondering of for a time. "Do you hate me?"

She shook her head. She did not hate me, although I knew she wished in her heart that she could just do that. I simply held her all night, watching her as she slept. She was as tired of this as I was. And her heart had been making her suffer greatly of its loss of her loved one.

Soon it had been morning and I did not notice I had been for some time stroking her hair. Although people would assume that I took care of her because of the arrangement, it was not my only reason for doing so but rather because I felt compelled to do so. For whatever reasons, I could not fathom. But I wished most to understand her rather than venture for my reasons of taking care of her by sheer instincts. She was more complex than a strategy for war, more complex than anything I had encountered.

Her stirring broke my dazed stroking. She opened her eyes sleepily and looked at me.

"Good morning," I whispered, still stroking her hair.

She sighed and looked at me with eyes filling up with guilt by each second. She was feeling guilty for having to have me find her attempting to die once again. And for a long time, it was just like that between us. Then unlike she had ever done before, she snuggled nearer to me.

At first I was uncertain but I did not want to keep the question buried. I drew her even closer. "Is that supposed to be an apology?"

She nodded, causing her head to bump my chin.

I did not say anything for a time for I seriously contemplated on her action. "Then, would you promise me never to attempt dying again?"

She nodded and once more her head bumped on my chin a couple of times. But it didn't matter for a smile curved my lips. She made no attempt to move away from me. And since then I had been listening to her quiet breathing before she said something that had changed everything between us.

"Would you it be alright if we learn to love each other?"

I drew away slightly and stared at her emerald eyes that held such of my fascination that I could not look away. I merely nodded and she smiled, although shyly. And from then, everything went on smoothly between us. However, misfortune struck three years thereafter.

She was murdered in cold blood. I was devastated, having fallen for her during the course of the past years. I searched vainly to bring the culprit to his grave for more than a year. And during the time that passed, I was more and more eaten by my rage and guilt at not having been there to stop it from coming to pass. I did not even realize my thirst for vengeance was so great that I have not noticed how I destroyed myself.

I was withdrawn from society, keeping to myself to brood and brood about something that was out of my reach… my vengeance. My properties I had no care of and I have defied my parents' coaxing for me to let it all be. Everything I had managed to make of my life with her fell by and by. But I had not cared then. I blamed every single thing of my hardship to the murderer of my lady.

She was the only one who had truly loved me. Not even my parents had loved me as she had and I was damned by her brutal death. I delved deeper and deeper into despair and darkness. During one of my hopeless time, I had gotten myself once again into a drunken stupor although much worse than the usual.

When I had awoken, it was the beginning of a greater darkness that would follow my days. I had been tied on a bed and beside me sat a blonde beauty, blue eyes shinning with excitement.

"You're finally awake!" She exclaimed.

"Where am I?!" I demanded. "Why am I bound?! Release me this instant!"

"Oh hush! You are in my room, now be quiet."

"Who are you?!"

She smiled and bent down so close to my ear. I could remember shivering involuntarily as her cold breath caressed my ear. "I am Millerna and I will be your companion for years to come."

I turned my head towards her and looked at her intently, wondering what she had meant. She smiled, seemingly reading my thoughts.

"You are alone, are you not?"

I nodded absently then, drawn to her eyes as if it was beckoning me, hypnotizing me to agree with any thing she would say.

"Then I will be here for you," she had said so softly. "I have watched you very closely for a long time. And it came to, you are perfect. Too perfect to whither away and become nothing. It will be such a loss."

Absently, I had felt her cool hand caress my face in fleeting touches. I shuddered against her cool skin. It made her laugh.

"Yes. You are perfect. I want you to be mine. And I always get what I want. Always."

It was strange then, how her blue eyes turned darker by the moment as she whispered words to me, telling me how beautiful I was to be a mortal, how perfect I was to be hers, how fitted I am to be one of the powerful. I didn't understand then what she was and what she was offering me, but I could not help but fall deeper and deeper into emptiness as if she had pulled every feeling from me.

I was just staring into her eyes, pulled by it deeper and deeper into the darkness that had come to grown from inside me. At that moment, I had not cared what she was saying or what she was doing to me. I was just empty. I was numb. And I could not comprehend why.

For a fleeting moment, I felt a jolt of pain and a pulling of my life at my neck before everything began to fade. Darkness embraced me then and since I opened my eyes after many hours later, I was never allowed to leave Darkness ever again.

~tbc (if you like)~

Author's Note: How was it? Pathetic or what? Should I continue or just forget about this? Please tell me what you think. Oh and Millerna? Sorry, can't think of anyone who'd fit the place. By the way, another thanks to those who read and review my other D/H fics 'Intruder Alert 1 & 2' and my V/H fic 'Standing at the Edge of the Earth'. Thank you for the support. It meant so much to me ^^,