Killing Me Softly

Inspiration for this installment goes to Matthew Stover, Susan Kay, and Jessica L. Farley. Also, I am changing narratives for each of the chapters. I'm doing this for a certain purpose, you know. But I don't want to give away all my secrets. :-)

Disclaimer: I do not own dotHack or any of their characters.

Synopsis: Second part of a three part series dealing with BlackRose, Kite and their feelings for each other. Rated for slight language, mild themes and slightly sadistic undertones. I shall forever hate that blasted leaf. Forever.

Dedication: BlackRose/Kite fans, and anyone who has fallen in love and felt pain.

I would like to use a quote from Susan Kay's Phantom (read it!) What Christine is talking about is a tale from the Rubaiyat about the love between a Nightingale and a Rose. I find it fitting for Kite's character in this segment.

"Chained by fate and shackled by pride, he starved in silent pain;

and because I lacked the courage of a rose, I could not set him free."—Christine Daaé

What is love? Attachment; devotion; admiration. Pity; friendship; desire. A sense of fulfillment. All of them. Sometimes our feelings are too deep that we don't understand them, or, worse, are scared of them until it is too late.

Piros once asked me what I thought love was. Mistral also told me that it was important to fall in love. I know that love is important. Some of the greatest things happen because of love, but so do some of the worst.

BlackRose, I want to love you. Ever since you jumped in front of me at Mac Anu, I wanted to love you. I want to give you as much of myself as I can and then some. I want to trail my fingers along the nape of your neck and bury myself in your hair as I listen to your voice. I want to wrap my arms around you and feel security, protection, belonging, love…And yet…

I just can't do it.

I have the right to love and feel loved, right? As much as I would like these questions to float around in my head, I already know the answer like the back of my hand.

I am afraid.

I am so very afraid.

I am scared that if I give you my heart, you'll take that Heavy Blade I kipped from our last excursion and dice my heart into little pieces, like the remnants of a shattered mirror. I am afraid that if I take your innocence, it will turn into guilt and consume me and overwhelm me and take away all those precious feelings. I fear that if I show you laughter and happiness you will repay me with tears and sadness. I am afraid that if I let you inside, you will break me and not hang around to pick up the pieces.

So I do it. I close the door to love. I bolt the door to you.

I am afraid of rejection, yes. I am afraid of heartbreak, yes. Now I find myself watching you when I don't mean to. I'm thinking about you when I don't want to. In some ways you make me feel weak, like I am being caught up in the whirlwind of Aura and the bracelet, yet at the same time, you make me feel stronger, like I can destroy all foes and wake everyone up from their comas. I am afraid to lose you. The danger that surrounds us is like an impenetrable fog that completely obscures you from my sight—and heart. I think the worst part is knowing that you feel the same, BlackRose. It is hard to control the feelings of the heart and we have to do our best to guard against it, regardless of the cost. Still…Some sacrifices are harder than others.

I had a dream, BlackRose. A dream about us. We were in Carmina Gadelica. Those benches across from the Grunty farm. You remember? It was when Carmina was still beautiful, untouched by the virus. I admit it was kind of funny at first. Mistral was galloping around, pretending she was an Iron Grunty, Balmung was clucking like a chicken and was trying to fury peck at Gardenia who was wielding an over-sized oar, and Elk was feeding Mia some White Cherries and Helba was actually wearing some clothes. It still gives me the willies. I'm sure you'd enjoy hearing about it if not just to laugh at Balmung.

BlackRose, you were leaning on the ledge when I spotted you. The bracelet was like a magnet and it hurled me into a near collision with your Heavy Blade. You stared at me in surprise and then you started to laugh uncontrollably. I had never seen you like this before. I couldn't tell if you were ecstatic or insane, which is a horrible comparison, but that's what I was thinking. Just when I was going to edge away from you, you reached out to me and pat my head. I smiled at first but then I got to thinking: what if…what if you just thought of my like you thought of your brother? That's when I started to cry. I know that's a foolish thing to do but I couldn't help it. I didn't want you to think of me like that. So I told you I loved you. At first you just stared at me like you were seeing Kazu attacked again. I told you that I didn't want you to think of me like I was Kazu. You asked me how I knew, and I said that I remembered that when Lios tricked us and told us to blame the hackers for everything wrong in the World, you said you'd do anything if it'd bring Kazu back. You smiled then, like you were pleased that I even listened to you in the first place. A strange thing happened then. Your lips started moving, but I couldn't hear anything. I started whacking my earflaps and then I gave up and chucked my hat off but by then you were already done talking. You turned away and I reached for your hand and you faced me again and told me I was clamming up again. I chuckled and then you smileyed me and I poked fun at you for doing that. Then you took your blade and started waving it around your head and then you pouted and marched away like you always do when you're mad. I started after you but I realized I couldn't move. You were moving so fast and were getting so distant. I could almost feel you slipping through my fingers.

All of a sudden I was in a green field and was floating in the air. In the grass I saw a boy who looked eerily like Elk and a girl who I originally thought was you. I called to you but then the boy said: Mimiru…is that really you? Are you really here? Am I really here? There's no terminal in front of me…I feel…pain…No…Leave me alone… Admittedly, I was confused. It made no sense whatsoever. Then the nightmare began. The boy turned to me and I felt this incredible darkness and the bracelet lurched again. When I opened my eyes, I was in a bubble that looked like a giant barbell. I was hovering in front of Mimiru. She called at the boy and poised her sword, and I thought I glimpsed crystals on her face. I looked around for the boy and I saw him staggering against a pool of black waves and there were arms engulfing him with claws like daggers. All of a sudden I was flying towards Mimiru, attacking her. There was a flash of light and I heard the most horrible screams, like the entire population was screaming. I scrunched my eyes shut against all this pain and billions of voices screaming in my head and then it suddenly stopped to one—yours, BlackRose. My eyes shot open and what I saw made my heart stop. My arm was through your heart. It was like Suvi Lei was cast on me. I couldn't feel anything, I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe. Then we were in a place I had never seen before. It was breath-taking with nature blossoming all around. I was leaning against a tree and you were lying in my arms, your head against my chest. I could hear you breathe, feel your body heave with each breath. You murmured my name and cuddled closer to me and as I was reaching toward your head…The alarm went off.

It scared me, BlackRose. It made me wonder what was happening to me, to you, to everything. Could the bracelet be affecting me in a surreal way? Could it be showing me the future? I remember what Aura said about the bracelet bending to the whim of the user. Might I really wish for destruction? A part of me says never, but in a way, I do want destruction. The destruction of those ridiculous rules that prevent the coma victims from getting the proper help. The end of pain. Then I realized that if everything would be destroyed, there would be no reason for happiness. You couldn't really be grateful for what you have because everyone has it. It is cruel, but it is the truth, at least that's what I think. If there was no death, would life still have meaning? If there was no pain, would there be no joy? If there was no hate, would there be no love?

I hear the computer bleep. It is Mistral. She says it's urgent, and it has to do with you. At first I am scared, but then I stop and realize that it is you and that no matter what happens, you are you and I am me. I don't know the answers. I want to help Orca and Kazu and all the other coma victims. I want to help Aura. I don't know how I can do it. All I can do is keep going forward. And I'll do it with you, BlackRose. Kite and BlackRose. Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground.

This is Kite. An unlikely hero chosen by a vagrant AI. Chosen to wield a power unlike that has ever been known. Able to bring about birth or destruction at a whim. After struggling with inner turmoil, Kite realizes what he has to do and who he has to do it with. Kite does not think that anything can shatter between him and BlackRose. Now on the way to the raging BlackRose will Kite find a new beginning, or the beginning of the end?