Per usual, song at LJ.
"Rather than a life for finalty"
- Narcissu, OST.
Things weren't always that way.
No. No, they weren't.
She didn't respond.
But neither of us could remember when things changed, could we?
There was a long pause before burgundy eyes flickered.
No, they couldn't.
The other broke away from their eye contact then, and stared out of the window.
Previously blue sky had turned grey with thunderstorms. Lightning flashed. Blinded. Just like her element.
"You're terrible at this, aren't you?" Nanoha finally spoke, pushing the thought to the back of her mind.
Their game of silence had ended.
She acknowledged that, one hand running over rain-slicked blonde hair.
"Terrible at what?"
Ash blue turned back to her. Darker than usual.
Grayer than it should be.
There was a saddened, yet near-apathetic look in her eyes.
She stepped closer, and closer.
Too close for her comfort.
But Fate did not move, even as hands reached for the drenched clothes, removing them.
Her jacket slid off her shoulders, and Nanoha hung it on the chair. Water dripped, soaking into the carpet. Then she reached for the buttons of her damp, white shirt; nearly transparent as it clung to the skin.
This time, Fate grasped her hands by the wrist.
And Nanoha almost flinched from those cold, wet fingers.
"I'm fairly certain," she said in a calm, measured tone, "that taking off clothes is something even a five year old can do...Nanoha."
Brief - morbid? - humor flashed past dark blue.
"Of course." Her tone was dry. Yet at the same time, it was so sad. "Of course, Fate-chan." But you had always been so terrible at taking care of yourself.
Her hands moved again, and unbuttoned the shirt.
Fate did not stop her, opting to stare at Nanoha, gaze piercing.
"...You should take a hot shower." The shorter girl whispered, when her hand brushed over cold skin. How long had Fate been standing there, drenched by rain?
Was there a tremble in her voice?
The last button was removed, and the grip on her wrists tightened.
Lightning flashed, and for the briefest moment, the bare front of Fate's body was exposed to her.
It was then that the unspoken question in red - dark red, like blood, her blood - eyes was said.
"Why are you here, Nanoha?"
There were many things Nanoha could say to that.
Many things she could have said to the figure who had stood outside - at the grave - in the cold, under the rain, but did not.
Things that she should have said but did not.
Still she said nothing.
Fate released her wrists after a moment of silence.
"...Why are you here, Nanoha?" The quiet question repeated in the darkness, but this time, unbidden emotion was in there.
Nanoha could recognize the emotion.
It never was something she could forget.
Only this time, those burgundy eyes revealed nothing. Before, they had been filled with grief. So much grief that threatened to overpower her...
And the words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them.
"Shouldn't I ask you that instead?"
Nanoha did not have to look at Fate to know she had stiffened slightly.
"...Indeed." The blonde paused, voice soft. Unreadable. "I shouldn't be here, should I?"
It was her turn to tense, and her gaze locked onto intense burgundy.
"I didn't - "
"Why did you bring me here, Nanoha?"
Because she couldn't bear to watch the sight of Fate soaked to the bone under the rain, burgundy eyes blank.
It was the second anniversary of Vivio's death.
Fate had not been there for the first.
Nor had she been around since that mission, choosing to travel to places where her job took her. And all those times, she had, not even once, contacted anyone in their close circle. Not even Nanoha.
But then again, it wasn't like she had attempted to contact the blonde either.
It had hurt too much.
She tore her gaze away.
Those burgundy eyes, as beautiful as they were cold, made her heart squeeze almost painfully.
Icy fingers brushed past her cheek, which was - damp?
"Nanoha." That voice was soft and rough. But the edge that was in there before had disappeared.
Her eyes moved to meet red.
The hostility in that gaze had vanished, replaced by something more intense, darker, and...sad.
"Why are you crying?"
No, she wasn't, damn it.
And she was suddenly pressed against the damp, soggy shirt, and a hand was threading itself through her locks in a familiar, soothing manner.
"...Don't cry," the blonde whispered, and all Nanoha could think of was the ghost-like familiarity of what that voice had once done.
Tears came even when she tried to stop it, and she shook her head.
"Don't cry," hoarse voice.
It only made her lungs constrict, and she fisted her fingers in the wet shirt to stop them from trembling.
She couldn't bring herself to say anything.
She didn't want to say anything, because each time she spoke, it always seemed to hurt Fate.
Ever since Vivio's death..
It was a mission. A mission that Fate had assigned to her daughter.
A mission that caused her death.
And that was when everything came crumbling down.
So she didn't say anything when Fate kissed her, too.
A/N: Well. Give or take, it's been a while. My mood for writing had been dampened for a while so...I don't have an explanation for myself, really. And I know putting more fics hanging on my belt is like calling more work but...meh. We will see how things go. I know I disappeared for a while, and probably will again, I'm afraid. Reviews are always most welcome, though. Works for good inspiration. 8D