Fate: Look. Formatting. Be happy.

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[truth]

He's home.

I can feel it. Feel him using my body. Feel the awful caustic darkness eating through the semblance of me, feel the truth seeping through the cracked, flaking mask.

With every added surge of power to the dark network he taps into, his abilities grow. To speak, to possess, to obtain, to manipulate...to duplicate.

He just slammed the door.

So human I want to cry. So monstrous I want to die. So insane I want to laugh.

Insane. So overused, so general.

Insane. I could be insane. I have a madman in my head. He does things with my body, does his crazy acts with my face, does everything behind the facade of me.

I could be insane.

And he's storming around downstairs, just like normal. Stomp stomp stomp stomp CRASH.

I'm waiting for it.

Waiting.

I don't hear him move.

I don't hear the monster under my bed. I can't feel my inner demon lurking in my darkest thoughts.

You'd think I'd crave this radio silence. This unexpected suspended agony-bliss of ohgodwhereishe? Terrified that he might not be there. Terrified that he might be there. You'd think I'd welcome it.

When you have this kind of life, any silence scares you deeper than anything you've ever felt. Because silence means you are alone. And I have never been alone since I went insane.

I must be insane.

I'm waiting. Waiting for hell to drop on my head and my skin to singe with fire and malice and then soothe back to pale with cool dark evil. Acid and mercury.

He is mercury. Malleable, fickle, flying on swift wings, burning and cold, bringing death and destruction and bliss with the flick of his wrist.

Melts below room temperature.

I've forgotten the boiling point.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

He hasn't boiled yet.

I might almost investigate, if I were the sort who had a demon who I loved. If I were the sort who fell in a silly mortal passion with the undead and endless darkness. Mei, shadows, shades, darkness, yami, black, ebony and rue, obsidian monsters and deep, deep horror. If I loved the darkness, lusted after it like a fool, I would go and look downstairs.

I don't feel him move.

I don't feel the muscles and skin in me. I don't feel him like a phantom limb. I don't feel the strange painful pleasure when he does something camouflaged in my hide.

I wonder what it would be like to touch him.

I don't feel him move.

"Yadonushi."

I can hear his voice, soft and liquid. My shadow speaks, illuminated and ringed by bright halogen and incandescence.

"Yadonushi..."

If velvet-voiced demons could feel pain, they would speak thus.

If.

Not only if. I will not allow myself that thought.

Only if...

"Yado...?"

Nothing.

Nothing.

I feel phantom movement on my cheekbones, strange whispers down my skin. Nothing like movement, but like being touched. Like being windblown. Like rain and tears.

If I fell in a wild temporary short-life calf-love with the beckoning darkness, I would investigate.

If I was what made the darkness, I would already be halfway down the hall.

Time. So limiting.

"You..."

No movement. Nothing but soft ghosts on my bones, nothing but phantom sorrow that neither of us can rightfully claim.

"You...?"

He calls me something other than 'yadonushi'. I don't understand.

The slow painful understanding hits me and I stop. No motion in my skin, none in his. Nothing but the ghosts on my face.

He is slumped against the door, slack-limbed and paler than death, with shining wetness under his shadowed eyes. Paler than a nocturnal thief dead for thousands of years. Decomposing before my eyes.

"What's happening to me?" Velvet in the air again.

"I don't know." Take a step back, then another. "I don't understand what you mean."

"Yadonushi." Bitter this time. "Run away, will you? Can't you stand to see yourself like this? Do you want me to die so much?"

"I don't think you're dying." Involuntary and soft. Do I believe it? Possibly. I have no way of knowing. If I don't know myself that well, then what good am I to anyone, anyway?

One hand moves. I feel it before I see it; maybe I'm not seeing it at all. "Come over here."

Another step backwards, then stop. "Wh – "

"Come over here."

Step forward. Breathe. Move.

Breathe.

Breatheyankohmigod!

I am reminded, as I stare at the ceiling, why I do not trust my yami near me. He is ever so inclined to do things such as this.

He moves, crawling over me and staring down at my face. Saline drips onto my cheekbones, icyhot and painful. "What is this?"

"You're crying." Wonder in my statement, not an answer.

I'm not sure what he's talking about. I know what he means. So backward.

"Idiot. Of course I am. Do you know what it is? Tell me." He knows the answer, and he knows I know, and he's waiting for it to occur in my mind. He knows I know. I don't understand.

I know.

"What did he say?" What is it every time that never happened before? There is the answer. In the what-has-not-been-but-is.

Small wonder that I am confused.

"Heh." Soft, soft laughter, decomposing into something like hysteria. "Wh-what did he say?" He's trembling now, shaking so badly I can see it and feel it, a nervous wreck inside my own skin. Shivering convulsively and painfully even.

If I ask all the right questions, maybe it will go away.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

And what do I want gone, anyway? This painful strange wondrous not-me inside my body, or the anguish licking at the back of my mind? I don't know. Maybe I'll find out one day.

"What did he say?" It worked once. Maybe it will work again.

His head rolls back and he's smiling, smiling and shaking and almost-but-not laughing. "Told me to go to hell, with the rest of my damned kind."

"Rest of who?" Asking the obvious went a ways already.

"Of us." Smile and keep smiling. Maybe it will reach the eyes if you try hard enough. "All of us who died and won't stay dead. All of us who died and screamed for gold. All of us who bathed in blood and washed away into the Nile."

He's shaking still, shaking so badly I don't know why he hasn't collapsed yet. Perhaps it's the thought of touching me that keeps him where he is.

I wonder what it would be like...

"He wants us both dead, you know."

Blink. Blink. Confusion.

"He wants me dead because I defied him and I'm still around, pulling it off even after I've died and died and died and died. And he wants you to die because you let me do it. And you'll never stop, yadonushi. Not even if you wanted to."

"If I wanted you gone, I could do it." Whisper. Breathe. "I could."

"But you've never tried, have you?" Still smiling, still trembling. "And you'll never try. Ya-do-nu-shi." Dragging the word out, lingering lazily over the fact that I am property. I do not have a will, I do not have a mind. I am a shell.

A shell that...wonders.

"And if I become something more than a parasitic host?" Might as well ask before he finds out without words.

"And how, pray tell, would that happen?" Anger now, anger and fear and desperation. "When have you ever had a backbone? When have you ever done anything but lie there and let me do what I would with your body and your soul and your mind and your friends? You fight, you struggle, but you always take the easy way out. The truth of the matter is that I'm not the one who thinks you're the yadonushi, the host." He's staring down at me, still shuddering. "It's you."

I wonder...

I reach up, making him jerk back slightly. Both of us freeze. I can touch his face now.

I wonder...

And do.

"I'm not a host anymore." Strange, strange sensation, like fingers and breath and looking and why doesn't he blink?

"No." Soft. Tired. Collapse. Half sprawled on the floor, half on me, breathing in shaky, exhausted gasps. "No..."

"Yami." Strange, strange word. Never used before on my own personal demon. The darkness, my shadow, my shades and memories. Ghosts and death in a duplicate body, rusting through the skin.

I can see through his hair, feel the strange there-not-there sensation of touching and being touched all at once. Can hear him speak in my mind and in my ear at the same time. "You're coming to hell with me." "I know."
Close my eyes.

Wait.

Insane...I could be insane...

[will you teach me how to fly you see i'm scared to die]

Fluffy: Apologies for the formatting. And the general...strangeness. Been a while since we did a one-shot, especially such a random spontaneous one. Now be a luv and review.