Cataracta's Notes: Okay, this was written on a complete whim (and partly to listening to Boys Like Girl's 'Learning to Fall'). I'm not quite sure if I like it or not, but let me know what you think!

Learning to Fall

"Because Ryuhou is beginning to see that maybe our greatest weaknesses can be our greatest strengths, too. Ryuhou X Mimori"

When Ryuhou sees her, she is crying, the tears running down her cheeks like their own little rivers. She is on her knees and sobbing, her arms clutched around her small frame as if to protect herself. Her body is convulsing, shaking horribly as she gasps for breath. It is at once horrifying and strangely captivating, and Ryuhou can do nothing but watch.

He stares as her emotions overwhelm the professional he has come to respect, and suddenly he is seeing the woman – the human – he has tried so hard to ignore. He stares as the walls she has tried so hard to erect and protect crumble in front of his eyes, as this frail, yet so strong woman comes apart at the seams. He stares as he sees something he has come to loathe; he sees vulnerability.

And he knows that he should turn and leave, should leave her to pull herself together, but he can't make his legs obey his head. He is getting the strangest feeling in his chest, something that is telling him to protect, to comfort. It's very confusing, he thinks, and very unusual, but without his permission his legs are carrying him forward.

He stops a few feet away, an awkward feeling beginning to creep over his senses. Ryuhou isn't sure what to do, and that is unnerving because he always knows what to do. He is reaching out before he realizes it, and he stops his wayward hand before it has the chance to come into contract with her. The pause is only momentary, and suddenly he is kneeling at her side, and his hand comes to rest on her shaking back.

She is startled, but the tears will not stop. Staring up at him with wide, bright eyes she tries to gain control of her emotions. But suddenly Ryuhou doesn't want her to, doesn't want her to push everything inside of her. He knows how it feels, he thinks – he knows – and he knows that it doesn't work. So without stopping to think, he reaches for her and pulls her into his arms.

For a moment she is tense with shock, and then the sobs are coming harder than ever before. He holds her as she shakes, as she cries into his shoulder, and he tightens his grip as if to protect her from her demons. Before he realizes it, he is whispering into her ear. It is nonsense, things that he makes no sense of, so neither can she. But somehow he knows that it doesn't matter.

So when Mimori pulls away, though only slightly, he doesn't speak, but stares into her tear-bright eyes. With gentle, careful fingers he wipes away the tearstains on her cheeks. He is surprised by his own boldness, by his own caring, but he pushes away the doubts and pulls Mimori back to his chest, cradling her. She trembles as though she is about to begin again, but slowly, slowly, she relaxes into his hold.

And as he holds her, Ryuhou thinks that maybe there is something more than just revenge, than just strength and power. He thinks that maybe there is more to the Lost Ground than just criminals, that there is more to Mimori than just naïve innocence, and perhaps, most importantly, more to himself than just hatred and vengeance.

Ryuhou thinks that maybe there is more to everything than just nothing.