Noir fanfiction by LeeT911
The Japanese girl watches with trepidation as the fork moves towards red lips.
Saturday is the day she makes dinner. She doesn't know quite when they came to that arrangement. It just happened, like a lot of the other things around their shared home. It seemed the natural thing to do, kind of like taking turns doing the laundry, making the bed, or washing the dishes.
Those aren't the sorts of things they talk about though. They're far too domestic, far too close to the questions they both have but never voice. Questions like why they still live together, or share the same the bed, even though they really don't have to anymore. Instead, their conversations always stray to safer topics. They talk about the weather, the food, or last night's movie, or which new boutique is opening down on the boulevard.
She hates it sometimes, because she thinks she's missing something, but she can't be sure. Empty words can't fill the void inside her, yet the void is all she's ever known. Still, she clings to the simple pleasures, the kind words, the occasional smile.
"This is good. When did you learn to make this?"
Chicken strips and mushrooms on a bed of wild rice. Twilight rays dancing through crystal goblets and the colour of wine. She cherishes the inconsequential moments because sometimes she feels she doesn't need anything besides the warm compliments, the glint of blue eyes, and the feather light touches across her bare arm.
"I saw it on a television program last week."
"Oh." And they eat.
Dinners are quiet, but not sullen. They're also more than purely functional, because it's not just about fuelling their bodies. She feels like they're sharing something, over the table, something important, unspoken. But silence is something she's had for so long that she's not sure she knows anything else.
So they eat, and watch each other, even though they've shared so many dinners that there are no more surprises. Mireille eats by partitioning her meal into servings of things she likes and things she doesn't, then trying -- unsuccessfully sometimes -- to save the best for last. Kirika eats methodically, mechanically mixing bits of everything on her plate and enjoying the interplay of flavours. She's also always the first to finish of course. She has a system, simple and efficient.
Dinner completed, they clear the table together, taking the empty plates and wineglasses to the kitchen. Without a word, Mireille busies herself with the dishes while Kirika sets out the tea service. Their evening ritual is mundane, dull even, but the familiarity gives them both a sense of peace.
With the kettle on the stove, Kirika wanders back out into the apartment, towards the large window where two potted plants sit. One is vibrant and blooming while Mireille's is sickly and yellow. It's an unofficial game they've been playing for some time now, running out to buy two identical plants and seeing whose lasts longer. A gentle hand brushes out the leaves while another reaches for the watering can. A short sprinkling of water and she's moving her plant to another window, one where it will be in the morning light tomorrow. Mireille lost interest about two weeks ago. The Japanese girl smiles inwardly to herself as the whistling of the kettle calls her back to her brewing.
She helps Mireille dry the dishes as the tea leaves soak. Today is a silent day, where they work without talking, the only sounds those of running water and dishrags squeaking over plates. But even when they do speak, it's rarely about anything important. "I like this shirt." "You need a haircut." "We're out of milk."
By the time the dishes are put away, the tea is ready.
They sit by the television, mugs in hand, impassive as the day's global events play across the screen. Bombings in the middle east, assassination in South America, all accompanied by the solemn voice of a well-groomed reporter. The scenes are of murder, chaos, and destruction. Kirika watches without seeing, and when Mireille speaks, it is of flowers.
"You're plant seems to be doing much better than mine."
Copper eyes flick to the window, and then to the blonde, where the faintest smile dances across a knowing gaze. When she looks back to the screen, the channel has been changed to something blissfully fake. They're watching an old action movie, with heroes and villains who both hold their weapons like toys that fire endless rounds.
Yet, despite all the inaccuracies, they both settle into their seats, and Mireille manages to chuckle at a joke. They're silent for the rest of the night, even when the movie turns sombre and the hero is forced to kill his mentor. Kirika stiffens at the shot, but her breathing remains shallow, and she studiously avoids the questing blue eyes.
Eventually, the scene ends, and the movie continues. And for the two of them, it's as if nothing happened, because this is just another one of those things they never talk about. They don't talk about the day she knelt crying in a graveyard, the day she wrote her letter, or the day she took the lives of the only family she had ever known. They don't talk about blood and violence and death anymore. Instead, they sip hot drinks and watch television with the stars shining beyond the apartment windows.
The movie ends a few hours later, and they retire to their room. In her nightwear, the Japanese girl watches with intent as her companion brushes out long blonde locks. The quiet simple motions are the same every night, the repetitive strokes up and down, the clatter of the hairbrush as it's replaced on the dresser, the click of the light switch as the apartment becomes bathed in moonlight.
The bed is soft and the sheets are cool against her skin. Another body joins her, sliding over until blonde hairs are tickling her chin. Gently, a hand finds its way to her waist, and warm lips brush over her mouth.
They're friends, and maybe a little more, but they don't talk about that either. It's easier just to take happiness wherever one can find it and not think about that too much.
"Pleasant dreams." And they hold each other in the dark.
Words are meaningless.