First Xeno fic, written after watching the ending of episode II.

As I'm sure you've guessed I don't own Xenosaga or any of its characters.

Always A Part

The room was silent, dark shadows slinking across the space and covering the redheaded boy as he slept, oblivious to the one in white who observed him from a short distance. It was a tiny amount of space. One that with just a stretch of his arm would disappear, allowing him to touch, run his fingers through his hair or feel the smooth pale texture of his face. Almost too much. He kept his itching fingers in check, inhaling an unnecessary deep breath and taking a safe step back to control his urges.

Tentatively he stretched out with their link, the soft voice in his head calling out to Rubedo as he had so often in the past. Nothing. A pang of searing pain cut through him as it occurred to him that their link truly was severed. True, he had tried it before with no result, but being this close, so near, he had been hoping for something, a flicker, a twitch. Anything.

Yet Rubedo remained oblivious to his presence, chest rising and falling methodically, his arms and legs wrapped and tangled around the sheets that covered him, for even in his sleep he had that same spirit, kicking and turning as if he was fighting for his very life. His face however was the opposite, a picture of pure innocence and serenity, completely unlike the awake Rubedo, or at least the one that lingered in what remained of Albedo's memories.

Rubedo had always been a deep sleeper, so much so that it had always taken at least five attempts of poking and prodding before he woke. The opposite of Nigredo who would be up and alert at a slight twitch of his covers. Ignoring the impulse that still lingered in the back of his mind, he moved back towards the bed and perched himself on the space that remained between the end of the mattress and Rubedo's body. His eyes slid to his companion's face, knowing that he wouldn't even have felt the slight indent, but feeling the need to check all the same.

It had been a long time since he had sat on his other's bed and simply watched, forgoing the drowning need to sleep to spend one single moment filled without bickering, training and everybody else getting in the way. He had liked the peaceful look that covered Rubedo's face, childish and innocent and all his. Nobody else got to share this part of him and that had suited Albedo just fine.

Everyone else was aware of the Rubedo that was cocky, self-assured and always in control. He had hated the way that everybody flocked around him, smothering him and suffocating him with their false affection.

He had tried to fit in, for a moment he almost had, but he had been unable to control his feelings towards the rest of them. Her. At the beginning he hadn't meant to upset him, he had wanted to protect him, always, to keep him away from their harming words and gazes.

Yet Rubedo never saw it that way, he would look at him with that face, the one filled with loathing and contempt, lips pulled back to reveal teeth and eyes sparking with anger. He had hated that look, despised it, it had made something within him snap, made his blood boil and erupt inside. Couldn't he see that it was all for him? That every time he lashed out it was to protect him.

In the end it had worked out perfectly, it became a game, knowing just where to pick, how hard to prod to receive a reaction, just like when he slept. He knew his weak spots, just how long it would take before he would crack. There would be a moment. Rubedo would get mad, his face reddening and voice rising, attention fixed sorely on him, eyes piercing as everybody else was forgotten, fading to the background as Albedo filled Rubedo's head. Images and sounds. He would shake with anger and Albedo would smirk, because it would take him hours to calm down, minutes ticking by until he could relax once again and think of anybody else.

A shift of movement brought him back into the present, Rubedo's arm pulling out of the covers and dropping down near his hand. He felt the puff of air that brushed his skin with the change of position. He could feel the heat coming off of his hand, making his head feel light with the knowledge of how easy it would be to slide his own into the slackened grip.

He missed his touch, whether it was a playful shove, or sharp crack to the chin. There was something powerful in it, making him feel complete and whole. He glanced past the curling fingers, lifting his own hand and letting it fall onto Rubedo's chest, and he knew the exact spot where it lay, thumping, beating, and pumping life through his body.

His worthless breath hitched, stuck in his throat as he felt it beat, intoxicating as the memory of his own flooded through him, the memory of feeling this same heart beat strongly in his chest. It was a rhythm that he needed far more than his own. He settled into the beat, feeling it move things inside him, parts of him that no longer worked.

Rubedo heaved a long sigh, his lip curling slightly to form a half-real smile. Albedo knew he would wake soon if he kept the contact between them, but his hand remained where it was, greedily taking in the part of Rubedo he no longer had. The redhead shifted, the skin of his face tightening and lips parting to release a nonsensical mumble.

It really wouldn't be long now. Reluctantly he removed his handfrom Rubedo's chest, the air striking out with an icy chill to wrap around his now empty fingers.

Rubedo jolted awake, his eyes studying the deep gloom of his room, thick shadows gathering to pull his belongings into syrupy darkness. He shook his head, the distinct feeling that somebody had been with him and woken him up making him now feel foolish. He turned in his bed and thumped the pillow into shape, legs curling into a comfortable position and hand moving to rest on his chest where his other heartbeat had once rested.


Let me just say that this is based on the theory and my belief that Albedo is the White Testament, so he is - sort of - still alive. Let me know what you think.