They Tell Me I'm Not Alone
By Riyu Lunin
(Apologies at the end.)
Chapter 4: Mismatched
I remembered vaguely how it felt to be warm, happy... and at peace with myself. Even in such a hazy state, I felt something akin to wonderful. Finally, it felt like the weight was removed from my shoulders and I could breathe easily again. And that was when I knew something wasn't right. Nothing ever works that way.
Twisting long, slender fingers in the sheets around him, Ryou began to realize that there was something desperately wrong here. His long, flowing white hair was limp with sweat, clinging to his flushed face as he continued the blind exploration with his fingers. The pillows that cradled his neck felt cool and unfamiliar, ranging from suede to satin. He writhed in deep, sleepy happiness as he buried himself farther in the crisp sheets, finding it rather hard to come to any conclusion. All he knew at the moment was that it felt good, and that he never wanted to have to move again.
I never could've imagined the horror of what happened to me.
"Ryou?" A pitying voice murmured.
He recognized that voice, or at least he thought he did. It tried again, calling his name in a cautious tone. Ryou wrinkled his nose in confusion, listening to that deep, caring voice hit such a sad note. Opening his eyes to see who it was, he was met with a most horrifying sight.
Nothingness. Desolate, frightening nothingness.
It took him a moment to realize what this meant. He couldn't see! Panicking, he bolted upright, hands clenched in the sheets. No, that couldn't be right! Of all things, he had to be completely defenseless without sight?! A hand rested on his shoulder, and he scrambled away, falling onto the floor with a thud and lying there in a scared type of confusion.
I felt alone. Frightened. Lost. Helpless. I thought of little else except how to get away.
"Ryou, stop!" The voice began more stern, losing its caring pitch. This is all that Ryou expected. Once they got angry, he got hurt. When a pair of hands cupped his face, he whimpered and backed away at a furious speed, eventually slamming into a corner. He had nowhere else to go. Hugging his knees tightly to his chest, he turned into the corner, closing his eyes. Tears leaked out and trailed down his face, despite their being shut.
"P-Please..." he whispered. "I'm sorry f-for whatever I did. Just please..."
He shuddered violently as a pair of arms locked around him from behind, gently pulling him away from the wall. Lacking the necessary strength, emotional and physical, to fight back, he begged quietly to be let go. Small, insignificant nothings about being sorry and scared.
"Shh..." Those long arms refused to let him go, the same voice whispering comfort that Ryou refused to hear. "You expect the worst, when that which you cannot see is the one who vowed to protect you. I thought you trusted me?"
Ryou's body suddenly relaxed, disbelief and new relief plastered on his face. He knew who it was. Seto. He had been fighting against Seto this whole time. The one and only person left that was allowed to have his trust. The one and only person who held him like this and made it feel right. The one person whose heart beat beneath Ryou's ear at that very second.
He loved Seto. He needed Seto. (A/R: Go ahead, start assuming things. I'd like to take a second to allow you to throw tomatoes at me for doing this. -is pelted by hundreds of rotten, gross tomatoes- Ok, now... let's continue.)
I realized then that I needed him to help me forget. Because it hurt.
"Why... can't I see anything?"
The silence was tangible then. Finally, after sighing deeply and resting his head on Ryou's own, Seto answered: "Temporary blindness. It should be fixed within a day or so."
"Why?" Ryou asked. Seto seemed a little bit pleased that he was taking it so well, loosening his grip slightly.
"Well, you took a pretty nasty blow to the head, kid. They needed to salvage your sight, thus, the surgery did this." Yeah, something like that, he noted. He had stormed into the office, waved a rather large wad of money in front of the doctor, and told him to get his ass in gear or he would put several bullets in his skull. Then again, Ryou didn't need to know that.
He also didn't need to know what had happened to his eyes as a result, and what it did to Seto.
"What's going to happen now?"
Ryou jumped as he felt the warmth of breathing near his ear, but he was still held tight. "It all depends on what you want. What do you want, Ryou?"
"... Sleep," he murmured.
Seto chuckled. "You've been asleep for a good portion of the day. You're positive?"
"A good portion of the day?"
"Indeed. Well, you were awake before. Don't you remember?"
Ryou's pink, full lips turned down in something between a frown and a pout. "Not particularly."
"Well," Seto began, blue eyes contrite as he stared at the relaxed figure in his arms, "it's not a problem, really. Are you sure you want to go back to sleep?"
He smiled softly. "As you wish, my beloved vegetable(1)."
Ryou returned the smile. With this, Seto scooped him up into his arms, peeled back the already mussed covers, and deposited him in bed. Walking away, the fragile bundle beneath the blankets made a soft sound of protest.
"Please don't go..."
"My apologies, but I have no choice," he replied sadly. "Forgive me?" Ryou nodded into the pillow. Returning to the side of the bed, Seto smoothed back his silky bangs and planted a kiss on his forehead.
And like a child, Ryou was asleep.
I didn't want him to go. I didn't think I could handle being alone in the dark again. Yet, you find the strangest comfort in the dark when you know someone is watching over you. Pain seems utterly impossible when all you can imagine are his arms wrapped around you. And your beloved pink necklace that is missing.
Seto was stretched out on a black loveseat, legs crossed at the ankles, peeling away at the cover of a cheap paperback novel. He looked up at the man who addressed him lazily, still picking at the paper that refused to tear away. "So?" he repeated.
"Did you tell him yet?"
The other looked smug. "God... I wonder why."
Seto regarded him with a tired expression. The paperback entitled The Mammoth Book of Vampires was nearly devoid of it's cover, a white expanse where it had been removed, still attached by a corner. "I don't want to do this," he murmured.
"Well, you better make up your mind about telling Ryou whether lover boy is dead or ali-ve," he chirped, singing the last word in a shrill, off key tone.
"I just can't," he snarled, throwing the book across the room. It sailed over the other's head.
He just grinned, propping his feet up on the table. "He was missing something, was he not? I couldn't help but notice the lack of a piece of jewelry around his neck as he slept. It is strange, isn't it?"
Seto scowled, voice deeply lined with annoyance and spite. "What are you getting at?"
"I just think you are going a bit far in taking it from him. Does it hurt that much?"
"Oh... is it because you love him?"
"... Now would be a great time for the two of you to shut the hell up." Seto picked up another novel and threw it angrily. It smacked against one cream-colored wall, hitting it with a dull thud and falling to the wooden floor.
"Got it, boss."
With the two leaving the room, Seto was alone again, in some sort of emotional distress that he really loathed. He made a noise of frustration in the back of his throat, leaning back and folding his arms across his chest. This just couldn't get any more complicated. There was no way. He look dully at the stack of old books piled high on the glass coffee table, seriously considering whether to play a little target practice to calm his unbelievably frayed nerves, or maybe try to read.
He decided on the latter. And opening The Eyes of the Dragon to a random page, he began to read. Though, skimming down the page, his eyes were grave. "'Oh, I would!" Thomas said eagerly. "I would! So will you stay? Please? If you go, I really will kill myself!-'" He flipped the page and scanned it, looking rather distressed. "'I'm going to die," he said, putting the glass aside. "I won't have to kill myself. My heart will just burst from fear.-'"
Seto slammed the book shut. Maybe reading wasn't the best thing right now. Really, really not the best thing right now. He wondered why he had a pile of books there in the first place.
"Oh, if only you knew of the trouble you've caused..."
Then, a peculiar thing happened. His cellphone began to ring.
What seemed like days, but could've been hours, later, Ryou woke up. But this time, the warmth was sweltering, uncomfortable heat that made him sweat and breathe heavily through his mouth from his spot buried under several blankets. He shifted uncomfortably and tried in vain to squirm and shove his way out of the artificial cocoon, but failed miserably. Moaning sleepily, he began to roll over, and did so quite a few times. Then he fell off the bed. The
blankets lay about his sprawled body, having come loose when he fell. Not the most graceful of landings, he thought wearily, but good enough.
His stomach growled noticeably and he cursed it. Nothing like waking up to hunger pains.
"You're impossible, you fucking whore! Get out of my house now!"
"I'm impossible?! Where did you get that great sense of humor, Seto? I know that stupid little wench is here! He's all you could talk about for weeks!"
Ryou blinked curiously, craning his neck to face the direction in which it had come from. Who would be yelling? His nose wrinkled in confusion, he carefully crawled towards the noise, found it to be behind the door, and pressed his ear against it.
A woman. "Well, where is he? Where's the little bitch?!"
And Seto. "I told you to get the fuck out my house. Don't think for a second I'll hesitate to throw you down the stairs and kick your ass out, because, I assure you, I'll be glad to."
The thumping of footsteps stopped. Heart beating strangely hard, Ryou backed away from the door, sitting there, staring into the same empty nothingness. The woman arguing with Seto seemed extremely upset. Hell, she seemed ready to explode at any moment. What he couldn't understand was why. Eyes opened clearly, he found it extremely frustrating now that he couldn't see anything.
There were a series of slams as, Ryou figured, she was throwing open doors, shouting obscenities as she went. Mind racked with thoughts and possibilities, he came to the most frightening of conclusions, one he truly didn't want to believe. He had come between Seto and his lover. He had caused problems for them. And most of all, Seto was paying for it. Feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness wash over him, he sat there in silence, wiping at his eyes with the sleeves that were so long they covered his hands. And he cried. Dry, soft sobs that made him laugh so hard he choked. Everything was his fault.
"Well here we are, Seto. The last door. I wonder what could be behind it? Want to take a guess?!"
"Don't open it..."
She stomped her heeled foot. "And why not?!"
"Because you won't like what you see."
"I can imagine why! Hiding him away like this! What were you thinking?"
That was the last straw. She growled in unbridled anger, twisted the knob, and threw the last door open so hard that the handle might've punctured the wall. She wasn't completely ready for what she saw.
"... I told you that you wouldn't like it," Seto sighed drearily, running a hand through his hair.
Her eyes were so wide they should've rolled right out of the sockets. What she saw could only be described as... as...
"M'sorry, Seto..." Ryou whispered between airy sobs.
Gorgeous. He wore a large, black, gossamer thin shirt that hung off one shoulder, the sleeves falling far past his hands, damp with tears. Face flushed and trailed with such tears, he radiated a sadness that innocence should never have to know. His alabaster skin made him look as though he had been created by a god, the chisel never slipping, and leaving it clear and beautiful as snow. In a word, he was beautiful. The most captivating, unnerving feature though...
"Are you happy now?" Seto snapped, pushing past her. He strode over and bent down, collecting the boy into his arms once again, telling him sweetly that it was alright. That things were going to be fine.
The last thing that shocked her were the boy's eyes. There were no words to describe... none. So lost and distant looking, she thought she was going to be sick. She ran from the house that day, hand clasped over her mouth. Heels clicking furiously on the paved driveway, she practically jumped into her car. Twisting the key, she put it in drive and screeched away, wasting no time.
"I'm really, really, really, really sorry," he sniffled. Before he could whisper another apology, a pair of fingers pressed against his lips, stopping him.
"It wasn't your fault in the first place. So chill out, ok? I think I liked you better as a vegetable than a crying mess," he chuckled, taking one of Ryou's hands, still hidden beneath the sleeves, and placing a kiss upon the knuckles. He then moved the hand to wipe away the lingering tears carefully. "You really should try to stop crying so much." Seeing Ryou looked rather depressed at this remark, he smiled. "Because it hurts to see you so sad."
"I wrecked everything between you and your l-lover, didn't I? How can you still be so casual?"
And Seto laughed. Hard.
"My lover? Ryou, I'd rather be impaled and burned alive. That woman is my brother's boss. My partner in crime. She wasn't looking for you; she was looking for him."
Said woman was nearly five miles away at that point, speeding and weaving past cars at a Godforsaken speed. She had to get away. Those eyes.
The eyes that stared at nothing. The mismatched colors that worked so beautifully together.
Pale blue and sparkling emerald.
A/R: Ha... ha... I apologize? No review replies. I really just wanted to get something out and apologize. This is one of those chapters that has to be there, and I'm really mad at myself for making it take two months. Horrible, right? Yeah, be mad. Scream, shout, yell, hurt me. I won't blame you. I just need to build up to where all this stuff comes together and forms the whole plot thing.
And I actually think you'll really hate me for what I did to Bakura. Or what I'm going to do, anyways. He doesn't show up for a great number of chapters though! ... I think.
And yeah. I haven't died, though I'm sure a good portion of you want me to. Looking back on how I've written this whole thing, I hate it. A lot. I'm going to put out something new, while still adding to this. Eventually. Anyways, yeah. Flame me for being a complete dork. I really don't mind. Bye for now!
(1) Could be referred to as a person that sleeps in a coma-like state. Thus, yeah.