Meh. Me no likey.

--

"Lika. Are you awake?"

Shiro's throat rumbled with his words, and his breath tickled her skin. She lay motionless, hearing a soft sigh.

"I wish I could talk to you when you're awake." A pause, a deep breath. "Lika, I think I've fallen in love with you." Silence, then a self-mocking chuckle. "I'm an idiot." He nuzzled her neck, kissing her gently, then closed his eyes to await sleep. He never saw her open eyes, staring at the ceiling.

I'm the idiot. Here he is, pouring out his heart to me and all I can do is pretend not to hear. Oh crap, what if he tells me this when he knows I'm awake? How do I tell him that I don't give a damn? Hang on, if I don't give a damn, it should be easy to tell him, right? Then why does my chest feel so funny when I think of him dying, like he did that time with the angels? I can feel his heartbeat against my breast. It's calming, almost. His breath tickles, though. Like his tail, wrapped around my waist. Holding me, even while he's asleep. I wonder if he'd hold me if he knew what kind of person I really was. No. He'd look at me like all the rest, like a wounded puppy or...or like my Dad looks at my Mom. Like it doesn't matter, and he never really cared anyway. What would be worse? The wounded puppy, 'cause then I'd feel guilty for hurting him. Guilty? Since when have I felt guilty? Why the hell is everything so mixed up in my head? Thump. Thump. Thump. That's his heartbeat again. Steady, reassuring. Oh, this is ridiculous.

Lika glanced at Shiro, shifting her arm from around him, and slipped out of bed. She tugged a dressing gown around herself, instantly missing the warmth of his skin. Then she crept into the bathroom, pulling the cord for the mirror light. Squinting against the brightness, she shut the door softly behind her and turned back to look at her reflection.

God, I look like hell. What does he see in me?

He sees the one thing he can't have, of course.

Is that all?

Of course it is, there's nothing about me to love. I'm just a chunk of ice.

She felt her blood boil as she gazed at herself, looking so impassive. Except now, her reflection's lip was curled into a sneer. Is there even anything soft or warm about me?

Of course not!

Well, there is one thing. Chiaki.

Yeah, the little angel.

Turning on my best friend too, what kind of monster am I?

Worse than the monster I share my bed with.

The monster whose heart I'm going to crush.

Tears welled up in her eyes, tears of pain. She looked down at her hand, at the scissors she was holding against her wrist and at the blood that was pouring out of her.

Oh god.

--

"Hey Lika. Oi, you awake?"

Lika's eyes opened a slit, to see Ororon staring down at her.

"Ow. Where am I?"

"On the couch. What are you doing out here?"

Lika sat up, struggling to make sense of last night. Her back ached and her head was pounding.

"Oh, I couldn't sleep," she mumbled, then realised Ororon was wearing a coat. "You going out?"

"Yeah, Chiaki left early."

She averted her gaze until he left, then yawned and stretched, her spine cracking. The sleeve of the dressing gown snagged on her wrist, and she brought it within her gaze, confused.

Oh, that's right, I cut myself. Geez, that's deep.

Then how did I end up out here?

I remember, I ran cold water on it, then came out here, pressed kitchen towels on it until...

Glancing down, she saw a bloody kitchen towel on the floor.

Until I sat down on the sofa and passed out.

Lika stood, feeling rather faint, and stumbled over to the kitchen, where she made herself a strong coffee. She drained it almost in one gulp, then made herself another and started on breakfast. Just as she beat the eggs for her omelette, Shiro walked in looking dishevelled and cute in the way only a cat-demon can. It was all she could do to act normal.

"Ooh, something delicious in the kitchen," he grinned, walking over and stealing a gulp of her coffee. She swung her hand back to smack him upside the head, but he grabbed her wrist.

"Hey, what's that?"

His eyes were instantly dark with concern. She hastily pulled her wrist free and hid it behind her back. "Nothing."

"It's not nothing."

"I cut myself accidentally, that's all."

"Why is it so deep?" he pressed.

"Why do you ask dumb questions?" she growled, and he reached behind her and took her hand, turning it to see the savage cut.

"You did this to yourself on purpose. Why?"

His eyes, so wide and honest, searched hers.

"Because I deserve it. Because I'm so bitter and twisted."

"What you've been through is enough to make anyone bitter."

"Chiaki's been through worse, and look at her! She's still helping people! She's still smiling!" She tried to yank her hand back again, but he held firm, thumb stroking her palm.

"Why do you care, anyway?" She watched the shutters come down behind his eyes, and felt a stab of satisfaction. "You shouldn't care. I don't care about you." She'd hurt him. She knew that. Maybe now he'd see, before it was too late.

"I don't believe that you don't care at all."

"You know what? I didn't fall asleep until early this morning."

There was a pause, during which he tried to make sense of this. Then, a look of dawning realisation came over him, and his eyes filled with a kind of hopelessness.

"Yes, last night, I lay there and listened to you pour your heart out to me, what you couldn't even say while I was awake. And what did I do? I just pretended I hadn't heard."

"Why?" The question hit her like a sledgehammer, and she shrugged, looking down at her feet.

"Don't shrug at me like some petulant child, tell me why you were hiding from what I said."

"I don't know," she mumbled.

"Look at me." He tilted her chin until she had to look at him. "Why?"

"I don't know!" She cried, jerking her head free, "I just couldn't. I felt like, if I moved, then I'd lose something. Something inside me would break." His arms were around her now, though she hardly noticed, as she carried on in a whisper, "In that moment, I felt like I was the person you thought I was, the person you thought you...and if I moved, if you knew I was awake, I'd be me again, and you wouldn't..." Despite herself, a sob escaped her lips. She beat a fist against his chest, though not as hard as he knew she could. "Damn you, why do you have to make me feel so...helpless!"

Shiro held her at arm's length, looking at her as if for the first time. He reached up and wiped away the rogue tears on her cheeks, then smiled at her.

"You thought that I'd feel differently if I remembered who you were when you're awake, right?"

She nodded, and he laughed a little.

"And you're awake now, right?"

Another nod. This time, she glanced up at him curiously, and he kissed her.

--

Me especially no likey the end, it got rather OOC and stuff. I'll go cry in the corner now.