"Pretty girl is suffering
while he confesses everything.
Pretty soon she'll figure out
you can never get him out of your head…"
- "Pretty Girl" - Sugarcult
It was for the best, perhaps, that we went our separate ways with only a kiss - not really a kiss - between us. I to my world of barren plains and stormy skies and the empty castle filled with too many memories, and you to your labyrinth of steel high-rises and paved streets. I could never get used to it; the crowds and stores that all seem to look alike and those damn contraptions you call cars. I can just imagine that trademark grin on your face as you watch me - black lace and silver - madly dash out of the street, and then you'd likely ruffle my hair, like a friend or little boy-child.
Strange that; you always told me you loved me, but of course your idea of love and mine were never exactly the same. You loved me, you said, like a sister, but your sister was your lover. You never did make sense though, and even now, I continually attempt to wrap my head around your bizarre ideology with nothing but a headache to show for it.
Though I, the proverbial wild-child in a family of fourteen, conquered the make-belief lands around my home with ragamuffin demon children as my soldiers and spoke in an abhorrent accent of slang and vulgarity and chose board shorts and sweaters over frilly dresses, in my heart I always was a woman. Perhaps that is why Lady Alexiel was so easily replaced.
I don't mean to say that I no longer love her - she will always be my queen - but in all fairness, I am not the least bit displeased that I was never able to marry and protect her. That is a job I happily hand to Sakuya - I mean, Lord Lucifer.
We still visit from time to time, you know, me and the ol' Prince of Darkness. He's different now that he's got his memories back, if I am going to be honest, but in my eyes, he will always be Sakuya, with that malicious smirk and soulful gaze as he regards Alexiel within her crystal prison. If he has a heart - and you and I both know he does…somewhere - it breaks every time he awakens with the knowledge that she will never be there beside him, and in turn my heart breaks for him. Perhaps that is why we, he and I, get along so well, and sometimes I think it may not have been so bad to marry him; if the wedding hadn't been a farce, I mean.
And Noyz is doing well, if you were interested. Hatter is here too, still as mad as I've ever seen him…her…I'm still not entirely sure. Innuendo slips into conversations now and again - I think she just does it to bother me, stupid clown - and hands clap with delight like a small child in front of a magician every time I appear in whatever awkward getup Hatter's chosen for the day.
My days are busy, between caring for my subjects and attempting, the lot of us, to recreate Hell in it's former glory, what little of it it had. It's not easy, and often my feet are sore, my eyes drooping, and my dark skin coated in a layer of dry sweat and dust, but I don't mind it too much. It keeps my mind on the task at hand, and away from you.
I've not forgotten you, and I know that were I to live until the end of time, your image, the sound of your voice, and the feelings it stirs within me will always remain. An incessant tick in the deep recesses of my heart. As I stare down the street from my spot in the shadows, I wonder if I am as present in your mind as you are in mine. You've grown older, as I have; now more a man than a boy, with lines on your face that weren't there before, a roughness I assume has come with living a life of secrecy. Sara has grown beautiful as well, more so than I remember, though she has always been an inferno to my candle.
I'm not too shabby, mind you. I've grown taller…a little, and fuller, with dips and curves that turn the heads of many in Hell. No lie, I'm sure even Lucifer might double take, had he not witnessed my metamorphosis as it was occurring. My hair, once short and coarse, now flows like liquid silver and my lips have acquired a clear purse in pity and ponder.
What would you say, what would you do, I wonder, if you saw me now? Is it as Hatter once said? Would you finally love me as you love Sara? But it is a thief's game to play, and though I will always love you, I can't do something so low as to steal your heart with my appearance alone. If you cannot love me, plain old Cinderella, then it was only just that you chose her in the first place.
I've become a queen, a good queen, beloved by my people, sought by my suitors, and sympathized by my friends. I have not taken a husband; I forbid to marry without love, but you, my endearing eyesore, will never be my king.
There is a bundle in Sara's arms, wrapped in blue fleece to protect from harsh winds or edged pebbles shot around by spinning tires. Your child? Another secret, another load, to bear, hide, from the world. But I have no worry; you're strong, always have been, and determined above all. Once you set your mind and heart to something, you are never swayed. Though irritable, it was something I have always loved about you, and I'm pleased to see that has not changed.
The sky begins to darken, my cue to exit stage right and return for home. I don't know when I'll visit again, if I ever do. I thought coming by might ease the pain I feel at night, but seeing you again, knowing we will never be, fills me with such sadness I can barely stand, and my vision blurs with warm tears I couldn't hold back if I wanted to.
Perhaps you hear my silent weeping, or feel the stirring of the air as I begin to turn, but suddenly, cerulean meets chestnut and I feel the space between us sizzle as if torn apart by lightning.
You, with your lie you call a life, your damaged love and the child who should never know of his origin, must see the tears on my cheeks, trails of glittering sorrow. You do nothing.
I, who loves you, more than I could ever imagine, watch the surprise and recognition take their turns upon your face, watch the reality sink in that I am not an illusion. I say nothing, though I am still smiling.
We've changed, the both of us, no longer children searching for our happiness. We've found it, and deep down I know, the both of us have attained it, be it in ways other than we once thought. You with your lies, I with my peace, knowing you are okay.
We've changed, though I've come to realize that days, months, years will pass, but I will always be a fool.
Disclaimer: Kurai, Setsuna and all related Angel Sanctuary characters belong to Kaori Yuki.
Notes: I originally wrote this for a contest on a Livejournal community, but I missed the deadline, so I don't think I'm eligible for the prize anymore DX
The ending, for any who were confused, refers to the line in Volume 3 of the manga, when Kurai returns the ring to Setsuna and urges him to stop Sara from going to England. Arachne hugs her, calling her a fool because she chose Setsuna and Sara's happiness over her own.