Disclaimer: No ownage here.

Author's Note: This one was inspired by the 3 episode OVA Le Portrait de Petite Cossette (which is amazing, by the way, and if you like goth/horror/romances even the SMALLEST bit, you MUST see it. XD).

Please enjoy, and happy New Year!

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Doll

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It was a beautiful little doll; that, no one could deny. And it looked simply lovely in the store's humble window display, her lacquered porcelain body shining in the sunlight. So beautiful. . . almost entrancing. Shoppers and pedestrians alike were prone to stop and stare into the doll's sapphire eyes, admire the curves of her small body and the beauty of the velvet gown she wore. Golden hair, like fine silk; rosy cheeks that seemed alive. A little red mouth, unexpressive—almost frowning; pouting.

Hello. . . ?

It was a beautiful little doll; a cherished little doll. She was his pride and joy. He spent many hours caring for her: keeping dust off of her fragile limbs, fixing her dress, and combing her tresses. Customers teased him for liking her more than any real person; he beamed and laughed, lifting one of the doll's small hands to wave goodbye as they left, grinning.

Can you hear me?

After all, they were only joking.

You can, can't you?

The toy became something of a symbol shortly after her sudden arrival in the little shop; whenever one spoke of the store, they always mentioned the beautiful doll sitting in the window. It was much more useful than a sign or name, as it took only a single look to engrave her image forever in a person's brain. "Such a gorgeous trinket!" Oh yes. "So lifelike, so pretty." So very, very life-like; so very, very pretty. "Can you believe it showed up in a box with no return address or postage?" None? "Funny how the mail works these days, isn't it?" Very funny, indeed.

I can see it in your eyes.

An urban legend was born.

Oh, don't leave—!

With fame came a following. Men, woman, and children came from blocks around for a glimpse of this doll, this Venus of toys. So many that the little display case was always covered with squashed faces, and the doll could no longer see the sun.

I need you here. . .

Her owner became nervous; he did not like so many loiterers around his treasure. Consequently, the times he spent caring for her became longer, more frequent—a mere excuse to touch her; to flaunt his authority and privileges as her keeper. The little doll. . . his little doll. No one elses. No one's.

I need you so much.

More pilgrims came, wanting to be astounded by the doll's beauty. And they were; astounded beyond all belief. Yet no one came into the shop. No one came out of the shop. Two worlds were born without realization—the world of the viewers and the world of the viewed. The doll's master remained with her behind the glass; he didn't want to leave her, even for a night. What if she was stolen while he was gone? What if she fell from her stand? What if, what if, what if. . .

Stay with me.

There was nothing to do in the store anymore; too many spectators crowded the door. . . all he had to occupy his time was the doll—brush her long locks, straighten her lacy outfit, move her petite arms. They were so pale, so glossy, so cold. . . Her entire hand was as big as his thumb.

Pray with me.

. . . He was tired. . .

Suffer with me.

Days came and went without end; he did not eat or sleep. Those who gazed through the display window no longer seemed to notice him—all eyes were on his doll. He felt anger well within him; jealousy, too. How dare they stare at her? She was his! All his. . . His clammy arms wrapped around her, hiding her, dulling orbs gazing into her own.

After all, why should I have to be alone?

So beautiful. . .

Why should I have to be alone!

He closed his eyes.

I who am so perfect. . . so lovely. . .

The sun rose early; people gathered soon after. But no longer did the masses bother to purchase items from any store on the strip; instead they chose to spend hours gazing at the doll's enchanting face.

Ha.

However. . . for some reason, today was slightly different. Why? The one or two that noticed the change paused momentarily—frowning. There was something missing behind the glass. What was it? Another toy, perhaps? A picture? An employee. . . ? Had an employee ever worked in that store? No one could remember. Nor did anyone really care.

Don't even try to fight anymore, love.

After all, nothing could be more important than the doll before them. . . so perfect, so lovely. . .

You can never escape me.

. . . so beautiful with her red lips pulled into a sweet smile.

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