Author's Note: Done for my dearest Ravenel, good friend and better adversary.

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Shadow's Edge

-Shirou Tora Byakko

 "I'll tell you why I'm still around. Because without me you have no reason. No point of existence. I define you and every notion that you have. Darkness defines your so-called light and purity… Or have you already realized that's why you want me here?"

Moan, gasp, whimper, breathe, sigh, skin brushing against skin, lips pressing against any part of him that they could reach, hands clutched tightly on his shoulders, finger nails digging into the skin of his back …

Outside the sun began to rise over the horizon, golden rays flickering like a starting bonfire's embers.

A deep breath, a shiver, she bit her lower lip to keep herself from calling out his name. A grin escaped his face as he moved down, kissing her, his lips claiming hers, claiming her body as his property. There was no freedom, no escape, only the violent swirl of emotion that built up between the two of them.

There was no hate.

Then again, there was no love either.

The only thing that existed between them was power. She could feel it move underneath his skin, surging in his blood even as he continued to thrust inside of her. The next time she called out his name, she hated herself the moment it escaped her lips. He, for his part, grinned quietly at her, saying nothing more.

The moment he felt her grip grow tighter, the look on his face melted into an inward grin, allowing her the release that she said she would never demand from him earlier. He watched her shiver as her lips parted, just as she moaned once more, just as he came to his own climax.

When it was all over he did not pull her to his side. Instead he leaned back and sighed to himself, his fingers dangerously close to her body. He didn't reach out for her, didn't show a reaction when she turned away and tried to close her eyes.

He did not sleep.

Instead he continued to lie down on the bed, eyes staring at the ceiling as the girl beside him breathed rhythmically, sighing every once in a while.

He merely licked his lips once and smiled.

The next morning when she woke up, he was not lying next to her. The only traces of him being there the night before were the crumpled sheets and the pillow that held an indentation of his head. Pulling the covers over her, she glanced out the window, seeing the winter frost cover the glass. He had the decency to keep the heater on but she still found herself shivering…

What he had said to her the evening prior was true.

"You hate me now, true. But you shall hate me more in the morning."

"Jeanne."

When she raised her head to meet his gaze, she was not surprised to see him fully clothed, his eyes a peculiar shade of dark beryl flickering in the orange hue of the fluorescent lights. "You're leaving, I'm taking." She said. She lifted her head upward regally, trying to seem nonchalant about the entire matter.

It caused him to smirk, his face acquiring a debonair grin as he took a few steps forward, his hand resting on the bed post.

"Wipe off that patronizing look off your face, Jeanne dearest. It's unbecoming."

The retort had her grip the sheets momentarily, a sweep of rage rushing through her for a split second. Looking up at him with a smile that was all at once, innocent and vindictive, she nodded. "So eager to get back to your, oh what should I call it? More 'perverse inanities'?"

"But I thought that sleeping with you was as perverse as they come." Came the almost instant backfire. He had said it with an air of mild disinterest, as if he had merely made a comment about the weather or a car that had passed by. It was a comment that obviously caught her by surprise, allowing him a few moments more of savoring the untimely victory in their ongoing verbal slaughter.

"May God smite you." She hissed, with a tad too much emotion to be dismissed as one off-hand remark to another.

He bowed slightly as the smile never left his face. "Hopefully before I get to you too much."

"I hate you." Said she, snapping immediately at his bait.


This time he didn't grin the way he did, looking at her instead with a simple kind of fascination, so simple that even she could not read what the look in his eyes meant.

 "See me care." He replied with a careless shrug, once he finally took note of her observations. The look on his face annoyed her so,  the smug twinkle in his eye so like his brother's only darker… Making it unearthly disturbing.

When she looked up again, she saw him sit next to her, his eyes searching hers for… An answer?

"I hate you." She said again, this time with much more conviction, "I hate what you are."

She heard him laugh. The sound unconsciously enough to make her draw the covers around her. He pressed his lips to her ear and whispered softly, his free hand caressing the side of her face as if she were fragile porcelain.

"Are you sure you hate me for what I am?" She saw the light behind him, saw the room that was designed in early Victorian Renaissance, she saw the glass windows drawn behind heavy French curtains and shivered. For all these things she saw but could not pay attention to. All he heard was his voice, his voice echoing in her mind, scalding into her memory.

"Are you so sure, Jeanne, that you don't hate me because you know where I've brought you? When you, you whom have always been such the purist went along knowing fully well what I was doing?" There was no hint of malice in his voice, no ferocity nor anger, there were just words, words stated so calmly and matter-of-factly that they almost felt like pin pricks. "You refer to me as a pawn in a game that your God plays, but trust me, there's more to that. Do you wish to have a definition of where you are, dearest? I'll tell you. You're teetering so dangerously close between light and darkness that it frightens you."

She didn't remember whom it was that kissed the other first, only that his lips had pressed against hers for a time that she could only calculate as being between a split second and eternity. His fingers brushed against her bare shoulder unconscientiously, tracing an outline of her form as they finally came to rest about her forearm.

 "If you find it such a hassle to free yourself of the entanglement of sheets, then sleep in." Came his voice afterwards, so soft and kind that she was so unsure of who she was speaking with. "You may check out at two."

She nodded calmly as she waved him off, feeling as if the conversation prior were a mere set-back. "My, how considerate of you." Was her only mock acknowledgement of his actions.

Moments after he had left, she situated herself by the windowsill, watching silently as she saw him reach the street curb. He, for his part, looked up at her with a smile, his gaze never breaking away from hers until a gust of winter wind carrying snowflakes obscured him from view.

Only then did she draw the curtains over the windows and return to the bed.

"I don't need you. I don't need what you are…Goddamn you to hell, Hao Asakura…"

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End.