The pressure of the many pressed keys vibrated the shiny strings under the sounding board. The music produced riddled the many halls of the abandoned building. The moon showed its white face brightly through the windows, allowing him to play without any other light. His fingers flowed over the keys as if that was where they were meant to be their whole life. The building echoed the melodious nocturne off the walls and back to his ears. His stoic face defied what his hands continued to play. His expression and his music were complete oxymorons.
Finally he sighed, his fingers pulling away from the black and ivory keys reluctantly, glancing around with stoic violet eyes. He could hear nothing in that empty building. It was just him and his piano in this abyssal hall. Until his sensitive ears caught the sound of that still small voice of the only human contact he had here. It was that girl again.
She was wearing her auburn hair down and the white dress he had grown accustomed to since he had literally kidnapped her. She had felt the need to escape or end her life when she had woken up in his residence. After a while, she had become accustomed to being there and was beginning to wonder if Dark would ever come rescue her. She had also seemed to realize that he was not there to hurt her. He needed her. He had the desire to become Kokuyoku, the desire to become Dark and Krad, together, and he needed her to do it. She was Dark's sacred maiden.
She hugged a stuffed animal she had insisted on having to her chest, in front of her mouth. She had her head tilted down, looking up at him with guilty eyes and speaking softly, "Um...Argentine? Is it allright...if I stay up with you for a while tonight?"
The blonde pianist gave an inaudible sigh and stared at the piano for a few moments, scooting over on the bench to make room for her. She scuttled over to the piano in her socks and sat down gently at the other end of the bench. She stared down at the smooth piano keys for a moment, as if afraid to touch them. He watched her squirm a few minutes, discerning that she wanted so badly to play, but something kept her from doing so. He slowly stood up and walked around the bench until he was standing behind her. Her shoulders tensed and she let out a slight yelp as he wrapped his arms around to put his hands on hers to control her movements. He was almost kneeling, his head almost leaning on her shoulder, his soft breath on her neck.
He stayed silent for a moment, then uttered in the quietest of voices, although it echoed through the silent empty halls of the building, "Let the music control you. Let it infect your every move."
The blonde Hikari creation pressed down one of her fingers on the keys, letting the sound of the vibration shake the young girl's being. He slowly began pressing her other fingers down on the keys, first one by one, then beginning in chords. Her eyes widened as his hands on hers created a melodious but uncommonly sad piece. His hands were cold and made her shiver slightly as he pressed on her hands gently enough not to hurt her, but forcefully enough for the resulting sound of the keys to emanate throughout the room. She turned her head to look at his face. So calm, so cold, almost sad. She looked back down at the keys he was helping her press and realized something. All these beautiful things he played on the piano came from his mind. There was no expectancy to his music. It all came from what was inside him at the time.
Risa Harada turned her head once again to face her stoic captor. She said nothing, just stared into the abyssal violet orbs for a long time as he himself stared at the piano keys. After a moment he felt her eyes on him and shifted his eyes to meet hers. His blank expression along with the fact that he was still pressing her fingers to the keys as he looked at her sent a quiver up her spine. He stoically hissed in her ear, "Concentrate on the keys. Don't let anything distract you. Let the music consume you."
She whipped her head back into the forward position, slightly whipping the living art creation in the face with her hair. He shook his head to free himself from her hair and whispered one last sentence, "Close your eyes and focus on the feelings in your heart and put it into music."
Everything he said to her was reminiscent of the tone a strict expressionless math teacher would use on a student he saw potential in but needed to be taught correctly. Risa nodded and closed her eyes, focusing on what she was feeling.
She felt sadness, pain, agony, and confusion. Soon her ears could hear an anxious song full of deep heart-clenching emotions that made her want to cry. She thought of Dark, of how he looked when she first saw him, of how he looked when he kissed her, and of his words and expressions the last time she saw him.
Risa was no doubt a heart-felt romantic, and she was not the kind of girl to have too many boundaries. Before the date with Dark, she had prepared for almost anything, except for what actually happened. He said to her that she could not be a part of his life. It nearly broke her heart, but she just smiled and asked him if he would go on one last ferris wheel ride with her. He agreed, although that was when the power went out in the entire park. The situation apparently demanded Dark's attention as he dived out of the window of the ferris wheel car. Risa hated being alone. She hated to see Dark leave. She had felt herself tearing up as she told him not to forget to come back for her...that she would wait for him. After she had said those words she wondered if they had a second meaning to them.
She didn't even remember how long she was in the custody of Argentine. All she knew is that the anomalistic being had grown accustomed to her. Every once in a great while she would talk to him about the human heart. It surprised her how much he did not understand. Risa saw Argentine as such a sad creature. At first she viewed him almost as her twin sister Riku views Dark. She saw Argentine as an invasive creep. A villain. She now saw how wrong she had been.
Although his methods and way of living were uncanny, as he did not understand the human ways. She did not know how, but it seemed as though he had been locked away for a long time, unable to be free or feel what anyone else feels. He seemed like he had been kept a prisoner, only informed by words and rumors of human beings.
To be honest she felt sorry for him, and her sympathy was probably one of the reasons she allowed herself to stay here. He had been totally alone for who knows how long, taunted by his creator who acknowledgably tried to destroy him. She could relate to what it was like being alone. She hated it. She completely despised being by herself.
When her parents left to go here and there for their jobs and such, leaving her, her sister, and their butler, she automatically felt lonely. She sought companionship from the Phantom Thief Dark. She felt as though she needed more love than she could get from her sister and her butler. Being the romanticist that she is, she turned down Daisuke Niwa's feelings for her, for she was very particular about the kind of man that she wanted. Little did she know that her precious Dark was in fact Daisuke Niwa's alter ego. She would probably continue not knowing that little detail for a long time, for it was plain to see that neither Dark nor Daisuke was about to tell her.
She missed her family, her friends, and especially Dark. But after this long, she was beginning to wonder if Dark would ever come for her. The thought tore her apart, so she put it to the back of her mind for the moment. Right now Argentine needed her help and she could, in a strange way, relate with how he probably felt, being without friends for the longest time. Even though once she got back, all her friends would be waiting for her, there were only a couple people who understood her. She hated being alone, and she could imagine Argentine being that way.
Risa did not know anything for sure. Argentine's measures were a bit invasive but otherwise mysterious and emotionless. He could easily be described as evil at first glance, but he still needed her help and she was going to do everything she could to escape. However, something, other than the building, stopped her from leaving. It was that sad look on his face that burned through her heart.
The worst part about her being kidnapped was that she was beginning to get used to it. Argentine had brought her books to read, most by the Hikari, in the daytime. He had said that maybe she would understand what she had to do to help him if she read some of the books. She obeyed, although almost all of them she did not understand. At night, she would go to sleep after a whole day of reading. Argentine would stay up and play the piano, which would eventually lull her to sleep.
Tonight, however, she had gotten bored with the same old routine. Even though she was with no one she knew and loved, she did not feel alone. Argentine and his music somehow provided comfort to her. This time she actually wanted to talk to him for a while and be with him, to try to understand what he was going through to make her life a little easier.
Suddenly she heard him speak once more, his apathetic silver voice invading her thoughts, "You play well."
Risa Harada slightly gasped and stared down at the piano keys. She had no idea how long ago, but during her inner conversation with herself he had taken his hands off hers and she had begun to play on her own. Every feeling that she felt had spread into her fingers, then into the piano, just as Argentine said. She was shocked by her feat, as she knew she had almost no musical talent whatsoever. Somewhere during her playing, Argentine had sat back down on the bench next to her, playing a part on the right side of the piano as she played on the left. She never knew she could play a piano, let alone play a duet with her captor by the moonlight. She sighed heavily.
Argentine looked at her, "Are you sad?"
Risa wrapped her arms around herself, trying to hide her pain and keep herself warm in the drafty castle. The blonde stared at her for a few moments then slipped his arms out of his jacket, reaching over to put in around her shoulders, "You are cold?"
She nodded slightly, then gave him a quick smile. Argentine turned to face the piano, running his fingers over the keys gently, barely making contact. "My creator said that I was incapable of emotion. He wanted to create another being like Kokuyoku...the Black Wings."
Risa knit her eyebrows together, trying to understand everything he was telling her. After a moment of silence, he withdrew his hands from the keys and stared down at them, continuing in a lower voice, "I am a failure. My creator locked me away. He tried to destroy me. I was dangerous and unworthy of being a Hikari creation. He said it was because they could not control me."
Everything he said was like a book's-worth of information for Risa. It took her a while to digest it. She was just beginning to grasp the idea of the Hikari artwork, and now Argentine had thrown another huge amount of information at her. Only, this information was about himself. In the amount of time that she had been there, he did not speak to her about his past that much, only tidbits here and there about what his creator had said about humans. "Argentine..."
Argentine glanced over at her with his violet eyes. For a long time he stared at her brown spheres, but did not speak. He was baffled. The sad look on her face and the glossy film on her eyes told him that she was sad, but being sad for him did not make any sense. He was not taught such a thing as love or compassion. To be honest he had no idea they existed. The Hikari hated what they had created and made no effort to change him into something that knew those emotions. Still, the look on Risa's face perplexed him. What she said next perplexed him even more.
"I-I've never seen this side of you, Argentine, I am so sorry for you..."
He stared at her for a moment, "Sorry? Tell me why."
"You had no friends. No one to talk to. No true family. You had to keep your problems locked inside, didn't you? So sad..." Risa sniffed once and rubbed her eyes with her hand. She then covered her mouth with her hand, trying to mask a huge yawn.
Argentine sighed heavily, "No more." With that, he stood up, closed the piano lid, and walked slowly over to Risa's other side. He looked down at her for a while, trying to discern the expression in her eyes. She was no longer afraid of him. Contradictory to what he had first thought, she was not as fragile as she seemed. She stared back into his own eyes sleepily, trying to understand what he was thinking. Finally he leaned down, scooping her up into his arms, his hands supporting her back and behind her knees.
She let out a surprised gasp and slight yelp, her eyes still lingering a gaze on his, "Um...What's this for?" She could almost feel herself blush. Risa was not as light as she appeared and Argentine was a thin male, although he was taller. However, he appeared to carry her with ease, despite his hands clutched awkwardly, showing he did not know entirely how to hold her in that position.
As he began walking towards the door to Risa's own room, she slowly closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around his neck for support. At first, Risa was forced to recline in the same room with Argentine's piano. However, the longer she had stayed, the more Argentine realized she needed her own room. She needed her own private place to think and cry and be out of sight and earshot from time to time. He walked over to her bed and leaned down, deposited her on it gently. He paused for a moment to make sure she didn't fall off the bed or something, then stood straight and turned to leave. As he walked away, he heard her meek voice call after him, "Argentine? Will you...stay for a few minutes?"
Outwardly, the blonde sighed, although there was something in him that wanted to stay. He meandered back over to the bed and sat down at the foot of it. Slowly he lifted his eyes to hers expectantly. His expression caused Risa to squirm a bit. Should he have been Dark, she probably would have squealed, twirling around and exclaiming how cute he was. Yet, this same expression sent chills up Risa's spine. Finally she bit her lip and spoke softly, "Um...Argentine? Have you ever loved anyone?"
Risa gave a gentle meek smile. She only wanted to know more about this entity of a pianist and art creation. After what he told her just a few moments ago, she wondered if he could love anyone like family or friends or any of the casual relationships humans take for granted. Plus, love was one emotion she too knew almost inside-out, and, being a romanticist, somehow always came into a conversation with just about anyone sooner or later.
Argentine blinked a few times. She never ceased to perplex him. After a few minutes of staring at the floor in thought, he looked back up at her, "I am not capable of loving anyone. I don't even know what it means to do so."
She stared at him sadly, which in turn sent shivers up his spine. For some reason, whenever she looked at him like that, it wrenched at him and burrowed through his skin. She spoke once more in her still small voice, "How could you go through life this long and not know what it means to love someone?"
Suddenly something hit him. Maybe that was the difference between him and Dark. Dark knew what it meant to love. For heaven's sake, Dark knew the emotion inside-out. Krad was just the opposite. Krad knew what it was to hate. This is what separated him from the Black Wings. He couldn't understand either of them. Or even if he understood them, he couldn't grasp them. It felt like an eternity of silence. He didn't say anything. After all, what was there to say?
However, before he knew it, she had wrapped her arms around him tightly and whispered, "I'm so sorry, Argentine. I really am sorry."
He managed to hide a slight gasp and stared at the floor, "What is it?"
Risa pulled away and gave a pained smile, "This is what humans do to tell someone they care. It can also be used to tell someone you're sorry, to thank someone or just to let someone know you're there."
Argentine sighed, trying to understand. The same way she was learning about the Hikaris, he was learning about humans, and her. As he went to stand up, he felt a pair of small hands wrap around his wrist, "Argentine...don't leave. I don't want to be alone again."
The pianist stared into the young girl's eyes for what seemed like an eternity before slowly slipping through her hands, "Good night, Kokuyoku's sacred maiden."
He turned away, refusing to look at her. He knew that she had that expression on her face that tore him apart for some reason. Those sad eyes that tunneled into his flesh. He heard her sigh and glanced back long enough to see her position herself next to the window, her knees huddled up against her chest. She stared up at the stars, clearly lonely.
Argentine shook off the strange feeling he had and walked out of the room, closing the door just enough so that he could no longer see her.
Risa watched him leave, the depressed loneliness returning from the depths of her soul. She stared out the window, slightly wincing as she heard him begin to play the piano once more. As she thought more on the subject, she couldn't figure out why she had done what she had done. She knew that she definitely felt different about Argentine than she had previously. But she couldn't understand why. Something that she felt compelled her to keep him with her. She gave a heavy sigh, beginning to wonder if she still really loved Dark as much as she thought she did. True, she thought with all her heart that she loved him when Argentine had kidnapped her, but she was beginning to wonder if that was a mere obsession with his character. The more she thought about it, the more she wondered about Dark's motives. During the time she had been with him, he had said and done some stuff that struck as questionable to her. However, during the time right before she was kidnapped, she felt in her heart that he was sincere. She also felt that he was sincere when he told her that he couldn't share his life with her.
The brunette burried her face in her knees. She had now began to wonder. She knew that by now, her mind registered Argentine perhaps as a comrade and friend, but she wondered if her subconcious had registered him as more than that.
Argentine let his fingers rush over the keys, creating a beautiful melody from his mind. Yet, his mind began to wander. What had this human done to him? That sorrowful look of hers shot daggers through his chest. It made him want to run to escape from the daggers, but running felt worse. Leaving her alone made him almost want to hurl, even though he didn't quite understand that concept either, being a piece of art. The silence in the next room consumed his mind. He wondered what she was doing, and if she was allright. Suddenly his hands slammed down on the keys. Great, she not only had invaded his mind, thinking about her blew his concentration.
To try to escape the thoughts, he stood up and walked over to the giant windows, staring up at the moon to get his mind off of everything. He sifted through the blanket of stars and the sheet of blackness with his eyes, trying to sift through all the thoughts of his mind at the same time. The night was so clear and everything was visible. The moon shown in the window, allowing him to play the piano without even need of a candle.
When Risa heard the beautiful piano piece cease, she opened her eyes, a tad bit worried. She stood slowly, tiptoeing over and peeking out of the crack in the door. She didn't see him at the piano, but at the window. After all the time she had been there, she had never seen him stare out of the window like that. Her mind wondered what he was thinking about. Her heart pounded in her chest, her thoughts wondering over all the possible things he could be thinking about. After watching him for a while with no indication of anything, her sleepiness and boredom forced her back to the reclines of her bed. She climbed in, letting herself begin to fall asleep without even bothering with the covers.
Argentine couldn't tell how long it was he was staring out the window, but something finally drove him to wander back into the young human's room. He found her more or less sprawled on the bed, her arms huddled close to her chest delicately as she slept. Argentine let his eyes trace her sleeping figure. Her feet were draped haphazardly yet delicately over each other. She layed on her side, the moonlight glinting through the window, the light outlining the curves of her waist, hips, head, and shoulders. The light also shined on her brown hair, making it shimmer slightly.
Argentine sighed heavily when he saw that she hadn't even bothered to get under the covers. He walked over slowly and gently tugged the covers out from under her, trying not to wake her up. The girl stirred a bit, then fell back to sleep. After a slight pause, Argentine pulled the covers over her gently. In response, Risa snuggled up in them.
Argentine could feel a smile playing at his lips while watching her. He then brushed it off and walked slowly out of the room, turning to face her before he left. Without a word, he walked out, closing the door halfway behind him.
Right after he left, Risa smiled to herself, cuddling the soft blankets up to her face.
To Be Continued In Chapter 2...
What happens when Risa wakes up to find Argentine missing? And if Dark actually comes for her, will she want to go with him?