A crack in the crystal

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Warnings/notes: Othello/Mitsume, snippet.

Disclaimer: I don't own The Demon Ororon.

written at 7th June 2005, by Misura, for a request made by Danica in the livejournal-community ficondemand (on occasion of the Junetide).

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Othello watches the wine (red, so red, almost like blood) swirl around in his glass (of a crystal that looks so very fragile and vulnerable, but actually can withstand almost everything) and ponders Mitsume. It's a little strange, he thinks, to find himself so occupied with someone.

He's taken on other young men, of course, to train them and either make them a part of his staff, or to send them off into the world, more likely to survive the cold and cruelty there than before. None of them have ever thrown his gifts back into his face, refusing to be taught.

Perhaps it's that then; the simple fascination one might have for something new and different. To be certain, it cannot be anything involving more emotions, involving more passion than that for a challenge and a distraction. Othello no longer allows himself to experience such passions, knowing too well that they make him vulnerable, leaving him open for a world of hurt that he's been through once already.

So.

Mitsume.

In an abstract way, the bounty-hunter represents an interesting puzzle to solve; on some moments, he wants to die (or at least, he can't find anything worth living for), but Othello wants to make him wish to remain alive, to give him something to live for. On other moments, Othello desires the opposite, wishes for Mitsume to die, and in those seconds, minutes, hours, Mitsume somehow stubbornly clings to his life. It shouldn't add up, and yet it does, somehow.

Othello enjoys the intellectual exercise of attempting to predict Mitsume's actions, or so he tells himself. Most people, including that upstart son of his, he finds to act by a certain pattern, making them easy to beat in a swordfight. Mitsume, of course, is hardly a match for him either, but that's more a matter of Mitsume simply being a lousy swordsman -at least compared to Othello.

With a bit -or a lot- of training, Mitsume might become a person worth dueling, a person worth fighting. (A person worth marrying, perhaps? Is that what he's looking for: a second Futaba, to love and lose? Now -that- would be a foolish desire to chase, knowing what he knows, and having seen what he has seen.)

Sighing softly, Othello empties his glass, barely blinking as a breathless guard comes running in to report that, by unknown means, that young man whom the General has offered the hospitality of his tent has slipped out of the camp again. He's almost smiling as he puts down the glass on a nearby table and strolls out, making a light-hearted joke about young men who refuse to stay where they ought to stay to which the guard replies with a nervous chuckle.

As a soft breeze passes through the tent-opening, brushing past the glass for mere seconds, a small crack in the crystal widens, bit by bit.

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When Othello returns to his tent, all he finds are shards.

He assures himself that it's a good omen that he hasn't cut himself on them; the blood on his hands and clothes all belongs to someone else. Somehow though, he can't quite convince himself.

OWARI