Note: I don't know why I suddenly had to write this, but the prompt comes from an LJ community I belong to. The prompt was "Never be afraid to touch someone." And the music that immediately came to mind right afterward was the wistfully beautiful "Magdalena no Yogen" from CHRNO CRUSADE. It is a scene I wish I could render in art, but unfortunately, my artistic talents are not quite up to this particular challenge.


I Cannot Hold Thee Close Enough

It was just before sunrise, in those darkest moments just before the dawn, when everything was still and cold and peaceful. The last of the stars still twinkled overhead, and it was as though the world were still clinging to restful sleep.

Abel Nightroad sat in the midst of the Vatican gardens, beside a marble fountain endlessly splashed water in clear, sparkling streams. The last vestiges of the night breeze teased their way through the sculpted hedges, rustling them until they resembled dark green waves, like a sea at night.

He loved moments like these, treasured them amidst the chaos and bustle of his everyday life. But in all his life, he'd never found someone he felt comfortable sharing these moments with. None of them could understand what the emergence of dawn meant to him, and so, he remained alone.

Or so he thought.

But a moment later, he heard quiet footsteps approaching, and he turned to see a figure step out from one of the passageways between the hedges.

Johanna.

She wore her black priest's cloak to ward off the chill, and the wind played with the hem of her cloak and her long chestnut hair that fell loosely around her shoulders.

He looked at her in confusion, momentarily wondering why she was there, but a slow smile touched her mouth, and she moved forward to sit quietly beside him.

For a long moment, he stared down at her, but she did not look at him. Instead, her eyes were on the sky above, watching the stars slowly fade away one by one as the first blush of dawn began to colour the sky. She never spoke, and even her breathing seemed still as she gazed at the sky, her lips parted as though drinking in the sight above her.

Abel gazed down at her, and then, giving in to an impulse even he didn't understand, he reached out and slipped one arm around her waist. She glanced at him, startled, and he suddenly realized that she had avoided touching him, uncertain how he would have responded. But in the chilly predawn air, as she instinctively curled up against him, the warmth of her against his body felt... good.

She lifted her eyes to his, and he smiled down at her in reassurance, and hesitantly, then with growing confidence, she smiled back. Then she rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes with a sigh so faint that he thought it might have been the wind.

Just then, the first rays of sunlight sparkled over the horizon, and their faint warmth touched his face and hers. And as Abel's arm tightened around her, he offered up a quiet prayer of thanks that there was someone who understood.