This is a first for me. I'm not really one to write deep dark stuff, but this fic just sort of wrote itself. It's a continuation fic of the Gothic Anime 'Comedy' which is a ten minute long short film. It's very pretty and hillariously funny if you keep an open mind. The ending is more than a little creepy but I didn't really have much choice. It just sort of ended up that way.
I do not own Kigeki. That means Comedy.
Love to Everfire who first introduced me to is. I hope you enjoy this fic.
Ever since the day he had vanished into the fog of the moorlands he has not been far from my thoughts. The Black Swordsman with his starlit sword and his obsession with the written word. I was only a child then. Not even five years old and still, he entranced me. I never once feard him though his threats were searingly serious and real. If ever I told a living soul of him or his smile he would kill me. No. Not kill me. Devour me. Body and soul. And if ever I did tell a living soul, gladly would I go to meet him for I had vowed to keep my silence even unto the moment of my death.
Keep my silence I did. For ten long years I spoke not a word of him. The villegers spoke fearfully of the devil himself coming and ridding us of the English plague. Others said that God himself had shown mercy by sparing us and quoted the bible reverently with their "Thus sayeth the Lord"s. But I knew it was neither god nor satan that had delivered us from death. No divine creature or being who answered the prayers and desperate wishes of the people. Just a lone swordsman dressed in black and a little girl chasing after him with a book clutched in her arms. That soft-spoken swordsman with a whisper-soft voice and a poison-sweet smile.
For five years I immersed myself in study, obsessed by him. What did he read? I never knew and hadn't the learning to know which book it was that I had given to him. I only know it was the correct book for if it hadn't then no one would still be living and the villege would have been so many piles of ash. I wanted to know what it was he read. I wanted, not in so many words and not so certain of it, to get inside his head. I wanted to know him. To understand just what type of person he was to slay so many and leave only the armor behind.
I will admit to going slightly mad in my studies, devouring each tome as he would devour me if ever I told a living soul what it was that drove me to my words. I took over from the villege elder as villege book keeper and tended the pages as a mother tended her babes. By the time I was fifteen I was known as the villege reclouse and predicted to die an old maid with only my books and cat to keep my company. I wasn't surprised to hear rumors that I was a witch. My cat may not be black, but I guess a medium grey was close enough for the villege gossips. Since the only sin I was commiting was living I was left well enough alone.
It was the eve of my fifteenth birthday that the dreams began. Dreams of him. The Black Swordsman. He rode upon glistening fields of green, a darker shadow in the nights horizon, his sword gleaming like a star to shame the rest. Blood flowed from the hoofprints of his black horse, who I knew to be very sweet tempered, and a wide trail of red was all that marked his passing.
He fought in battles unending against foes many. And each battlefeild his passed he seemed to slow. No longer did his sword gleam as brightly. No longer did his horse run as swift.
The dreams repeated nightly until I knew every scene by heart. Until I had memorized each blade of grass his gelding trampled. Until I knew that I loved him. Even though he was just a dream.
Each day I lived exactly the same. When the sun touched the horizon and brought with her the dawn I would get up, dress, eat and go about my daily business. I spoke only when spoken too, finding nothing in common with those around me. Why speak when there is nothing to say? I would clean my little house from top to bottom, tend to my books, keep the villege records, go to the market if my larders found need of it, eat, undress, sleep with the sun touched the horizon and brought with her the night. In my dreams I watched him, my silent Black Swordsman. I watched him and loved him from afar. And, like all those who are in love, I worried for him. Was he safe? Of course he was safe, the man could take care of himself, I had seen that with my own two eyes. Was he happy? Since I could not see his face I could not tell and even if I could his face was like that of a bust. Emotionless and still. Was he getting enough to eat? He was rail thin as it was and impossible to tell. Even after slaying all those soldiers he had remained as thin as a snake, if he had done to those soldiers what I believe he had done. Was he getting enough sleep? That one I could answer with full confidence. If he was it wasn't enough or doing him no good. Something lacked in him. Each night he seemed just a little more fatigued. A little less alert.
For five years my days repeated themselves with only my infrequent trips to market to alert me of the passage of time.
On the eve of my twentieth birthday I did not dream of him at all. Only a river or red and his sword lying abandoned in the grass, it's starlit sheen completely dimmed. 'Ah-ha!' I thought, 'A change!' Without a word to a single soul I packed my things, my books and my cat, put them into the hand drawn cart that sat behind my house, and left the villege. I dissappeared into the fog, just as he had done all those years ago. My mind and heart carried me down the road and I did not stop for rest until I had reached the castle. The place they called Demon's Keep. But I knew it belonged to no demon. No ghosts haunted its crumbling halls, no boggle shifted it's rotting curtains and tapestries. Just a man dressed in black. Now a woman dressed in white.
I settled in quite completely. I found the library in a abismal state and set it upon myself to fix the Swordsman's negligence. If he loved these books so much why did he not take better care of them? The rooms in which he had resided in had not changed since I had last seen them. They had only become dustier.
In those first few weeks in which I made my home there in the castle are as a dream to me. A cleaned and scrubbed and washed and oiled and repaired. I made several trips back to the villege for supplies. One of my main purchases was a bag of seed and a spade. Slowly I made the cold stone walls my home and in one of the courtyards which walls had fallen into the lake I grew my garden. Not just the food in which I would be made self-sufficient on, but flowers as well. I knew, deep in my heart, that the Black Swordsman would come back one day. When he did I wanted to show him that... I don't even know what it was I was going to show him. Only that I would show him. I would make this castle a home for him as well and he would no longer need to travel the lands and kill to survive.
A year passed. The first winter was difficult, with little to do besides clean and sew and read. My cat was my only company, but that had been so for so long that it no longer mattered.
On the eve of my twenty-fifth birthday my Black Swordsman returned to me. Sitting on the disintigrating stone steps at the edge of the lake, the oak tree at my back and my cat in my lap. The sun was settling into late afternoon so I did not see him. He was soundless in his steps and it was only when his shadow fell upon my book that I looked up.
He looked... very much the same as when he left. Pale of features with dark eyes and hair, dressed completely in black. His starlit sword was missing and I knew that he had left it behind in the final battle. He swayed for a moment, dropping the reins of his hours before dropping to his knees in a near faint.
I did was any god fearing person would have done. I took him inside and lay him in the same bed he had placed me on my first stay in this place that was now my home. I nursed him back to health, never closing my eyes for sleep, half afraid that I would wake up and he would have been some sort of dream. I must have succombed at last for when I opened my eyes again I was the one in bed and he was sitting before the fire, nose in a book idly petting my cat which sat contentedly in his black clad lap. I simply stared at him, drinking in his features. He was the same. Exactly the same. The only thing to change was this indescribably sense of... something. I could not describe what it was even if I wanted to. It was as if a hunger that had been there all his life was satieated. As if he could not take much more before he burst at the seams. I myself was nearly unrecognizable from the girl I had at one time been. I had grown from a knobby kneed girl to a woman who was both long of limb and fair of head. I was smart too.
Since the moment the dreams had begun I knew he would come back to me. To this place. And with the knowledge I also knew it would be I who would welcome him home. Knowing that I knew as well what the first words he would speak to me would be.
It was because I knew him so well that I was able to decipher every descernable meaning from that whisper soft voice and translate it into the real question he wanted to ask.
'Why are you here'
'Why did you help me'
'Why are you not afraid of me'
'Why do you love me'
Ever since the dreams began I knew the question and from the moment I knew the question I spent those ten years thinking up an answer. One that would answer all of his questions without a shadow of a doubt. Just as softly I answered him.
'Because I can.'
The days passed into a week and we both became stronger. I returned to my work cleaning the castle and tending the garden and reading the books. He didn't do all that much. He read and tended his horse and spoiled my cat to the point where the ungrateful animal no longer deigned to sit upon my lap, but his. A month passed and he dissappeared for almost a full week. I would have been afraid that he had left me if not for the fact that he left his horse behind. He returned and things stayed the same for another month. Then he dissappeared again for another week and when he returned he carried with him a sack of provisions far finer than the ones I had been feeding him. It was only later that I discovered that he had been hired as a bodyguard for a local lord. Once a month the lord would go on a trip to his brother's house and would require and escort. The job paid very well for the Lord was very rich and had a vast library. That was not so surprising knowing the Black Swordsman as well as I did, but what did surprise me was that the Lord gave him things as well as books. Food and supplies.
We spoke little if at all. But what words did pass between us ment much to me. The next time he went out I jokingly told him that if he saw a suitable dress if he would bring it back for me since the one I was wearing was now out of style. He had only blinked at me for a moment before turning and walking away as I went back to washing the breakfast dishes. I should have known he would take me seriously for when he returned he brought with him a gown fit for any princess and as white as the new-fallen snow. I was half afraid to put it on for fear that it would get dirty, but put it on I did, not wanting to insult such a gift.
When I came out to show him how well the dress fit, for indeed it was as if the gown had been made just for me, he looked me up and down for a moment until my cheeks flamed with embarresment and held out his hand to me, leading me to the main hallway where a full length mirror covered in burlap stood. With a flick of his long fingered hands the cloth came away and we stared at our reflections. The couple that stared back at us were exact opposites. He was tall and dark. She was small and light. But the way he stood beside her and a little behind made her fit into his shadow completely, the way a thundercloud covered the sun. The dark man in the mirror smiled and I answered it with one of my own, turning slightly to look upon the upturned lips of my Black Swordsman with my very own eyes. He met my gaze and, leaning down from his great height, laid a soft kiss upon my lips. The only reason I did not faint from shock was that I was afraid that when I woke up it would have been a dream. I whispered the only question I could think of to say.
And it was because he knew me as well, if better, than I knew him he was able to decipher the true meaning behind my question and translate it into the real question I wanted to ask.
'Why are you here'
'Why did you help me'
'Why are you not afraid of me'
'Why do you love me'
I should have known what his answer would be. Since the dreams began. Since the first moment that I knew that I loved him in a way that no normal person could possibly describe I knew what his answer would be. His smile never wavered as he leaned close again, his answer brushing his lips against mine, whisper-soft and poison-sweet.
'Because I can'
When the Black Swordsman did not come to escort him to his brother's house the rick Lord sent his men to look for him. Because he was an intelligent man he had long ago figured out that his bodyguard lived somewhere in the Black Forrest. When his men returned and told him of a castle falling into decay with a beautiful garden within it's walls he immediately set out for the Demon's Castle. He entered alone and soon found the rooms where the Black Swordsman resided, greeted by a grey cat which twined abohis feet welcomingly. A beautiful white dress, fit for any princess, was draped over the chair before the empty fireplace, a book sitting in the seat. There he found the black clad man curled up in his bed. He had been dead for only a few days. In his arms, cradled as tenderly and safe as any babe, was a blood streaked skull with a few long strands of blond hair tangled in his slender fingers.