Worst Case Scenario: What Do You Do?
You are, as per usual for your morose self, gripped by depression and low self-esteem. You miss your native country and your friends who are all away on missions. You are tired of missions (the failure of the past eight helps this attitude) and are becoming more and more upset as you sit in your tiny room, alone, thinking of how hopeless you really are. Wishing to avoid total despair, you decide a change of scenery will help soothe your troubled mind.
What do you do?
You go for a walk.
The soft ball of a cream foot met the rough layers of cool gray stone as dark eyes collided with the shadows of endless hallways, blinking owlishly to adjust. Miranda gulped, putting a hand to her heart and lifting the crooked tallow candle in the burnished copper holder in order to illuminate a greater ellipse around her turned in toes.
"It's big." She jumped, clasping a willowy hand to her mouth as soon as the words came from her and bounced menacingly off distant surfaces she couldn't see.
"Aaah…" a whimper died in the cage of her slender fingers and she turned her rigid body from side to side, scanning the expanses of dark all around her.
Upon realizing (as was predictable) that nothing aside from sound waves lurked beyond the stain of her candle's flame, Miranda wilted instantly and was reduced to hysterical laughter.
"Hmm…" she recovered what little composure she had with a sharp inhale and adjusted her thin linen nightgown, tugging the neck up and the hem down to preserve her modesty in the presence of her nonexistent company. The orange orb of light followed her aimless path away to parts unknown.
You are haplessly wandering in the dark in a familiar area. You have a generally reliable light source and are enjoying a fine stroll when an unfamiliar noise disrupts the serene night scape. Luckily you were able to determine the area from which the sound issued and can situate yourself accordingly.
What do you do?
You back away slowly.
"Eeh! Aaah!" two shrieks crashed down around her in quick succession (the first being a response to the creepy grumblings of the cavernous Order and the second being a response to her very own previous scream). Miranda's mouth was open and a third shout was nobly attempting to dislodge itself from her vocal chords but she managed to reason with herself that screaming over and over out of fear of her own cries was not the best way to deal with the mysterious noise.
"It's okay, it's okay," her heals scuffed the cracks of the cold floor, "it's okay, it'sokayit'sokayit'sokay," she shut her eyes and increased the pace of her backwards gait, "it'sokayit'sokayit'sokayit'sokay-wha!!" She halted and closed her eyes tightly, screaming loudly into her hand as the pain in her skull and spine faded and she turned watery eyes to see the wall (not monster nor axe murderer) that had curtailed her retreat, standing dully in the shaking light of the candle in her trembling hand.
"Just…" she breathed deeply as she slid to the floor, "just a wall…" a borderline crazy smile flitted across her face and a shaky giggle trickled up her throat, "just a silly wall… Oooh…" Lily white quaked across her chest as her heart stampeded beneath her skin but gradually stilled after an intense session of calming breaths.
"Up we go," Miranda held the candle higher as she rose carefully to her feet, dusting off her legs and again adjusting her nightgown as she did so.
A shiver raced a scream up her body and she turned and ran.
You are running at break neck speed through the dark from an unidentified noise. You successfully traverse two flights of stairs and several hallways without tripping. Most unfortunately, you fail to make a 180-degree turn into a side hallway as something is solidly blocking the narrow corridor. As you are bounced to the floor, your light source escapes you and is extinguished.
What do you do?
Miranda blinked into the pitch black surrounding her. Someone had screamed back at her. Someone had said 'sorry!'. A frosty hand came down on her foot, her knee, her head.
"I'm so sorry! I didn't realize you were- usually I'm the- it's unusual to walk at night and I- are you alright- are you- no, thank goodness, you're sitting up aren't you- I'm sorry! So sorry!"
"No, I- I wasn't watching where- I was just sort of running- see, there- well, I was startled- oh, but you'd have heard, too-"
"Well-um, no… that was me…"
"Are you alright?"
"Krory?" Miranda patted the hand on her head, finally having placed the familiar voice.
"Yes?" The finely boned fingers wiggled once in affirmation beneath her barely-touch. The fear boiling in her chest was doused with lukewarm comfort and then icy embarrassment and she jerked back from his hand, scuffling away from the now slightly darker patch before her that was her fellow exorcist, grasping her nightgown protectively and blushing invisibly. "Miranda?"
"N-n-yes! Yes! It's me!"
She stopped her desperate scrambling as she felt a warm wave of relief from his smile mixed with a nippy undercurrent of fear from the white gleam she could discern where his teeth were exposed in the same comforting grin.
"V-vamp-" She stopped herself instantly. No, no, no, bad! Bad, Miranda!
"I thought you might have been Kanda…" both of them shivered at the thought of running into their violent and unforgiving comrade.
"No…no, I'm most definitely not-"
"Yes, that's very lucky for me-"
"He… he scares me quite a bit-"
"Oh, yes, me too, very…"
"yes, just short of…-"
Much removed from the trauma of her near insult and encouraged by their shared terror of Kanda, Miranda relaxed enough to assess the situation.
"Krory, do you have a candle?"
"Ah… I… I tripped on the stairs and it rolled away into- you know the large open space in the center of the hallways? Yes, it rolled down-"
"The noise." Miranda brought a finger to rest on her lips in contemplation.
She laughed sheepishly.
"I heard your candle fall. That was the noise."
"My goodness, I didn't- oh, I'm so sorry. That's why you were running, yes? My darned clumsiness!" She made a tiny twinge of sympathy as a smack indicated Krory had slapped a palm to his forehead. "My sincerest apologies, Miss Lotto. I had no intention of frightening you so!"
The unseen blush flared again.
"Not at all, Krory," she crawled back towards him, slowly waving a hand before her until it came to rest on his shoulder. "I frightened you too, didn't I?"
"Yes, but that's not too difficult a feat…" Miranda settled back on her heels, taking one of the spindly chilly hands in hers.
"Don't be silly… I'm more of a push over than anyone. And besides, I never make it up the stairs without tripping, plus I break everything I touch, and I can't ever find my way anywhere, and I've failed all my missions this month, and I'm afraid all the time even when I'm safe here, and I'm completely useless with practical things like cleaning, and I still mix up which room is mine, and I can never talk to people because-"
"You're talking to me."
Miranda stopped her sentence midway, blinking and realizing she was crying, tensing her hands and realizing they were now held, not holding.
"E-excuse me, I didn't mean to…" she hic-coughed awkwardly. Krory stood, gently pulling her hands with him. Her body followed feet first, toes levering her heels up, knees unbending, torso straightening, shoulders hunching to keep her arms folded slightly before her. They could now distinguish pale eyes in faces opposite their own and blurry outlines of skin or clothes.
Then, quite unexpectedly,
"AH!" Miranda lurched forward, grabbing the front of Krory's shirt and Krory met her halfway, arms folding around her bare biceps. The sound did not stop as it had before but grew louder and more malignant and was met in full earnest with a pair of warbling screams as Krory and Miranda clung to one another.
You are certain there is something causing the mysterious noise and that it is coming to destroy you in any number of gruesome ways. Even more so, you are certain that your heart will soon instantaneously cease to beat or explode.
What do you do?
Let someone else take the reins.
"Oh!" A sensation close to but not quite as stressful as the horror she had been feeling flooded her from her spine along her legs and arms, stopping to pulse where cold hands grasped her beneath her knees and around her shoulders. Her scream jolted to a stop and she stared curiously at where she imagined and where she could faintly make out Krory's face was.
"A-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!" His voice bounced along with them as he tore down the steps and, as they flew by the kitchen, a flicker of light spilled out upon them and she realized his eyes were shut tight.
"AAAAAAH!!" The fear was back in full measure now and Miranda too closed her eyes and her muscles tensed involuntarily, fists closing on the ornate collar of Krory's shirt where they had never relinquished their original hold.
"No, no, no, no, no, no! This way, come on."
Komui moaned pitifully, twisting his wrist in Reever's vice grip. "This is your job, not mine, now go!"
Komui tripped forward, body following the arm following Reever's sharp tug.
"Mm, Gatekeeper!" The dormant door made no reply.
Reever covered his ears in protest of his supervisor's high-pitched squawk.
"Huruf!" The immense eyes in the doorway's face cracked and then flew open, flitting rapidly over the scene before him. "What, what? Akuma? Noah? Oh, Komui…" Gatekeeper stared down at a much more than usual tousled Reever and a glasses-less and exasperated Komui.
"You were snoring again," Komui sighed drowsily.
"Oh, whoops, heh heh," the baritone guardian grinned apologetically. "Thanks for waking me."
"Yes… we didn't really have much of a choice," Komui trailed off darkly, turning to follow Reever back to their rooms and much desired sleep.
"Good thing there aren't any newbies here right now, remember the first time Allen heard that? And Kanda? God that was a nightmare..."
Komui nodded vaguely as the two science department members staggered blearily off into the dark.
Krory skidded to a stop on the third floor.
"It… did it stop?"
Miranda opened one eye halfway. Then both. They turned their heads in all directions. Krory let her down gently, carefully removing his supporting arms so that they had minimal contact with her exposed skin. In the faintest of glows creeping through the high glass windows, Miranda noticed a subtle hint of red on Krory's high cheekbones as he looked at the floor and scratched his head nervously. Despite the lingering sense of immanent danger, Miranda felt relieved and oddly happy as she stood in the gray washed world coincidentally right outside her room.
Krory was breathing heavily, the energy of his sprint through the Order finally registering as lost, but he looked up at the soft sound she'd made.
"I guess… it wasn't anything after all… kind of silly of us…" She convulsed as she failed to suppress a peal of laughter from escaping her. The edges of Krory's eternal frown turned up and his teeth caught the dull light of dawn.
"Hm hm hm!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha! Hmm…" Miranda smiled down at her feet and then up again at her comrade, fangs included. "Krory," a cream hand met rough chipped wood as she turned to re-enter her room, "you should smile more often."
He blinked in surprise, blush deepening slightly as the door clicked shut and Miranda returned to her tiny room, alone, thinking of how wonderful and strange the nighttime could be.
You are safe, at long last, safe and content in your room and ready to resign yourself to sleep. You know full well that ladies of your vocation and age do not 'fall in love' as they say (however literally this phase could be applied to your situation) but you are well aware as well that you've found someone very special.
What do you do?
Hope you dream about him.
Inspired by a nightgown that inspired a picture (on deviantart). Yes, the linen one. Who new it would go this far...