Disclaimer: Yeah, don't own Tekken.
Author's Note: Dedicated to Thunderxtw, whose going through some seriously rough shit at the moment, and has been for the past few months. Here's to all that stuff getting better, buddy. Me and your other friends miss the smiling, soup-spamming, pimped-up Pirate-Eskimo. Hang in there, everything will get better –insert thumbs up and cheesy grin here-
You. An alien to my home.
An unfamiliar woman living under my family's roof.
I knew you, once upon a time. I could say that with confidence. Perhaps not with pride, but definitely with confidence. But that was so many years ago. So, so many years ago; when everything was simpler and without complication. So, so many years ago; when everything used to be a-okay, when we would find happiness in misery, as opposed to the other way around.
You showed up on my doorstep months ago, wearing a stone cold mask with no emotion etched in. Naturally I was surprised, considering all the hate and anger you and I threw between one another, like the countless bullets from all those times when we were younger. Why come to me in your dire time of need, when I am the very person you have intended to murder multiple times throughout our lives?
"I need your help," You hissed, your voice barely above a whisper, blue eyes downcast on the ground.
Did you pick a mission you couldn't possibly do, and you needed your wretched, wicked-witch sister to do it for you? I wonder. But it turns out that my pondering is far from the truth. The truth in itself is something I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams. My stomach twisted and turned uncomfortably as you explained your story to me. Each word was perfectly recited, as though you had already rehearsed everything before coming here.
"They took him away from me."
You of course mean your son. Your little boy, only nine years old. Fair blonde hair that shone brightly under the sun. Baby blue eyes that held all the care in the world. Every time I would see you and him, way back when, all those years ago; he would be holding your hand shyly, with a boxer-like grip, refusing to relinquish his hold on the one person he cares about the most. He admires you. He loves you, just like you love him, though the concept of you loving someone other than Father is hard for me to grasp.
"Of course I'll help you," I bit out with a sympathetic smile. Rest assured, it is terrible to have a child forcibly removed from its Mother, and I did feel horrible for you… but… I did this for my little nephew more than anyone else. I let you into my home, into my life and everything along with it, on civil terms for him more than you.
I turned to my husband and my daughter, who were standing behind me, the latter being held in the former's arms; and explain in short what's going on. They wear sad smiles too, and welcomed you to our home. You shuffled inside with nothing but the clothes on your back and a few items in your pockets, shivering due to the cold weather that is dispelled by our home heaters.
You. Intoxicating the environment.
A substance that can cause serious damage, illness or death.
For the first month or two, you are actually grateful. You help out around the house. You take my daughter to school when neither me nor my husband are able to. You smile at me, a silent 'thank you', one I know I should take for granted. And it isn't a sadistic smile – it's a true and honest one. Like you actually care about me. But still, I then have to remind myself that you never cared about me. I was the little girl caring about my bigger sister, tending to you in injury, only to be pushed away and screamed at to leave you alone.
But then you turned rotten. You begin to think this house is your own and stop helping us, as though we are your slaves. You repeat yourself like a broken record about things nobody cares about. You create wild accusations. You rudely begin to insult me, like you always did. I'm not hurt by it; I just shrug it off as I always do. But then you move onto my husband. He does everything within his power to not insult you back, because he feels sorry for you. And then you move onto my daughter. That is what hurts me. To see my seven-year-old baby cry, because you think you can boss me and my family around.
And still I, still we help you. We take you where you need to go – court, the library, the lot. You don't even thank us anymore.
I'm doing this for Stevie, I tell myself everyday.
Every waking moment, I repeat those five words. I'm doing this for my adorable little nephew, who I treat as my own son. My adorable little nephew, who is probably confused and frightened in someone else's arms, wondering where his Mother went, and why she was not with him now… for the weeks that had endlessly gone by.
And still the months move onward. My family sinks further down the hole you into your trap. The hole you dug from beneath our feet, and we have no line to pull ourselves out. You've overstayed your welcome, and yet still, none of us have spoken up and asked you to leave. We can't, though we so desperately want to. Every time we try and find privacy so we can speak about what we're going to do, and you barge in with your usual bizarre ramblings that nobody cares about or can decipher anymore. Even at dinner time, for whatever reason.
Rachel, named after our Mother, would simply look at me, her honey brown eyes full of confusion, barely seen through Asiatic slits. She would bite the inside of her cheek and look at you, not quite sure, not understanding because she is still so, so young. Your icy glare would scare her. My husband and I would watch with anger as she shrunk back into the chair.
"Stupid child," Your own niece. Your own family.
"She's seven!" I would growl back, tugging on my husband's arm, instructing him to take her to bed, hearing her sob.
You. Spreading through this place.
An abnormality created by a number of external influences.
You have diseased me, and my family. Your presence has taken us down from our happy, picture perfect life, and thrown it down in the dumps. I don't even think Father's death could match the depression I feel when I wake up every morning. I wake up every morning, wake from my dreaming, to find I am back in my nightmare – the very thing I am trying to escape. I wake up, sad to know that you are still here, tormenting me like you did in my youth… And with a sigh, I would roll over onto my right and cuddle up against Lee.
He wakes up every morning, angered that you still walk through our house. One morning, he strokes my brown hair and murmurs, "When are you going to get rid of her? You can't keep doing this to yourself, or the rest of us for that matter."
"She's my sister…" I whispered, shaking my head, trying to make the forming tears leave.
You may not care about me, and I may not care about you either… but… deep down, there is that sisterly bond, that blood bond that neither of us can destroy. That is why I let you in. Because you're my sister, and through everything, I do love you. And Stevie, little Stevie with his dreams of becoming a world champion boxer. I can't forget Stevie. I have to continue for him. I have to put up with the grown-up woman, who acts like a child, for him.
This morning, though, I realise something else as I go to kindly make you breakfast, despite all the cruelty you have inflicted upon my family. Still, through all this… Through all this… Through our whole lives as children, to teenagers, to young adults, to adults, to the people we are now… I would trade your cold shoulder charade for the inconsiderate, disrespectful one you currently wrap around yourself, like a blanket. Any day. Everyday.
How long do I have to do this…? I ask myself softly, carrying the plate of food, accompanied with a drink, into your room.
I can't do this forever…
"Nina?" I ask softly, turning the doorknob, knowing that she is probably on the phone to a nameless stranger once more.
"Leave it at the door," She spits fiercely, returning to predicted whispers once she hears the items gently clink on the tiled floor.
…But I can't throw you out onto the streets with nothing.
I cannot abandon you, as much as I'd like to. By all rights, I should have thrown you out when you turned sour, especially after that particular argument where I did manage to gather my voice and tell you to leave my house. But remembering you at that door with your dramatic sad face on, tears about to run from your eyes… I become weak. I am swarmed by guilt. I can't do that. I can't turn into the ruthless assassin I too once was, before I found the love that you and the rest of our family so easily depleted me of.
I have no heart to turn you away because the blood has been sucked dry.