Night keeps

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Warnings/notes: Othello/Mitsume, drabble-ish shortie, weird, ooc/AU?.

Disclaimer: I don't own The Demon Ororon. 'Night keeps all your heart' is a line in the song 'Only Time' by Enya.

written at 4th december 2004, by Misura, for a request made by Danica (Rondaview) in the livejournal-community ficondemand. This ficlet was beta-ed for canonical errors by Roku-chan.

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There's a single candle left burning, a single, flickering light to keep the dark of the night at bay and to preserve the illusion that there can never be a complete victory of Night over Day, of Despair over Hope.

Mitsume stares at it until his eyes tear up, unable to bear the brightness. Or perhaps they're simply tired, exhausted of always looking and studying, taking in information that leads to plans and plots for an escape that can lead to no other result than renewed capture and pain.

He wonders if that's possible, if a part of him can already have surrendered and admitted defeat, while the rest of him remains defiant. If his body would betray him like that.

It is, all in all, not a train of thought that leads to any great insights, to any things that have not crossed his mind at least a dozen times these past days, weeks, months. This past eternity.

Still, it distracts him a few seconds, allows him to sink away in the grey mists that neither hold his memories, the faces of a past he longs for but does not expect to see again unchanged, nor his expectations, the places beyond the horizon of which he doesn't know if he'll ever reach them or if they'll hold disappointment or the fulfillment of the dreams he can recall having dreamt.

These nights, he doesn't dream anymore.

Sleep already is a rare gift, a respite to be cherished, in spite of his determination to see it as a right rather than a sign of his captor's good mood.

Mitsume sighs as his environment becomes clear again, the tent around him, the table on which the candle is placed standing out as seeming to belong more in some luxurious villa or castle. The sounds from outside come through muffled, vague.

If he were to concentrate hard enough, perhaps he might be able to catch a few snatches of conversations, of ordinary soldiers talking of ordinary affairs, ordinary problems. He is tempted for a while, hesitates a moment before he lifts his head again, turning back to the light.

His head hurts as his eyes focus again on the flame that burns with a calm steadiness that comforts him somehow, or would have comforted him, had he had need of such.

The pain is easy to ignore next to that in his wrists and ankles, though it is sharper and clearer. It's an ache he inflicts upon himself. He knows he can avert his gaze, close his eyes and feel the pain fading away.

That measure of control, however small, makes a world of difference.

Mitsume breathes out, slightly alarmed to see the candle flickering, as if the air of his lungs somehow poses a threat to its strength. Then, as a voice wishes him a good night, he realizes it's not his doing.

Othello steps inside, casually allowing a cold night-breeze to enter the tent. Mitsume manages not to shiver at its touch, not to give any sign of discomfort.

The candle is less fortunate though, or less resistant.

As Othello sits down, making himself comfortable in a chair that's as out of place as the table, Mitsume notices there's no light left in the darkness.

Not even a spark.

OWARI