Warning: Devilish Cassandra and OOC Kanda. Sorry. I'm a failure as a writer and even emotionally instable.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own DGM otherwise it would have been in hiatus forever since how late I am with the last updates… (Sorry U_U'')
"My need to go is hard to fight
I want to gaze upon this world just like the Northern lights
And of all the things about you
What I'm going to miss the most is the bond
We formed together through the crimson kiss."
"Crimson Kiss" from the musical "Lestat"
CHAPTER XL – TOGETHER FOREVER, MAYBE
An unknown island in the middle of the Ocean, night
"Do you think she's really going to return?" Allen asked with a strange melancholy in his voice. He was alone in the empty room and one who didn't know about his absurd situation would think he was speaking to himself, but Allen knew better than that and the same did the Fourteenth:
"She said she'd come back, didn't she? So stop mumbling over her being late as an idiot. Probably she had something better to do than to return to keep company to a injured little boy like you…" The Noah mocked him, but Allen didn't seem to catch the irony:
"Yeah, probably she's obeying to the Earl's orders in this moment while I'm trapped here like the weakling I am." The exorcist muttered darkly. He hated inactivity and the thought that she could be out there killing humans and ordering akuma while he was there, helpless and useless, made him mad.
"She's a Noah," the Fourteenth stated the obvious as if it could explain everything, "What else do you expect her to do? She may really love you, we've a heart as well, but she's also a Noah. You said she's your enemy, maybe it'd be better if she decided to not return. It would be easier for both of you. You know you can't remain here forever. Or did you think you could forget being an exorcist and live here with her separated from the real world?"
"I never thought that." Allen replied with a coldness which didn't suit him, staring at the low ceiling, "I never thought we could remain here together. To tell the truth, I never thought I'd have allowed myself to go this far either, but… I want to leave tomorrow morning, if I don't leave then I won't ever do it, but I also wanted to tell her before disappearing. There are things I want to say to her clearly before going away, things I need to understand, and things I need her to understand…"
"Are you going to be stupidly romantic?" The Fourteenth asked interrupting him.
"I hope not. Why do you ask?"
"I just wanted to know if I could listen without risking vomiting because of your sickly sweetness." The Noah declared with cruel irony.
"Idiot." Was all the answer Allen was able to give him at first, then he added: "You don't even have a body to do that."
"I can always take yours." The demon joked.
"Don't dare…!" Allen's threat was interrupted by the sound of the door opening. A familiar shape entered inside the little wooden house.
Road felt horribly strange, there was confusion in her mind to which she wasn't accustomed to. Life had always been simple for her in a way, since she had become a Noah: she desired something, she obtained it, then she started craving for something else. End of the story. As a little spoilt princess she had used, and abused, her powers, her family's status, everything just to satisfy her whims. She had always thought of it as right and natural, a sort of compensation for what she had suffered from her biological family. She had lived into Hell until the stigmata had appeared on her forehead and the Earl had come to save her. Like in a fairy-tale, she had been an ill-treated innocent child who had been rescued by a magic god-father, and following that god-father she had become magic herself and she had acquired brothers and sisters, beings who were the same as her, with the same powers, the same despicable desires.
The god-father had saved her and sooner or later a prince would have come, her prince, who would make a woman out of the helpless child she had been. And then, protected by the god-father and loved by the prince she would finally achieve her long wished happy ending. That's how every fairytale is supposed to end, that's how her fairytale should have ended, but what if the prince and the god-father are mortal enemies? What should the princess do, but try to transform the two of them from enemies into allies? She couldn't do anything else for the prince was her soul mate, while the god-father was her saviour.
That's how Road had always though till an evil akuma affected by honesty had revealed her one horrible secret and all her castle of dreams had crumbled miserably.
The Earl had ordered to kill her father.
Then was it the Earl's fault if her mother had gone mad with grief and started to drink? Was it the Earl's fault if the two of them had ended up suffering that much? Had all that happened just because of one of the Earl's whims? Road didn't know, but the question was there, haunting her mind and refusing to let go. It wouldn't let go. The doubt was there, merciless and without solution. She didn't know what to do or think and it annoyed her, this confusion…
"Confusion is unnecessary." She reminded herself.
Maybe, she thought, just maybe, if she could talk with someone and confess what she had discovered, it would have cleared her head; it happens often that saying things out loud helps to make order in our thoughts after all. Still, she had nobody to speak with. To whom could she reveal that secret? Tyki? No, he would have never been able to give her a useful suggestion and he was too stupid to keep it secret. Should she speak to Cheryl, her loving adoptive father? No, he would have never taken her seriously: to him Road was just a cute adorable child.
No, Road thought, no matter where she turned, there was nobody in her family who could understand her and help her. They were all useless when it came to use their brain; that was why the Earl had such a strong grip on them all. The only very intelligent ones were Wise and the Twelfth, but she had never been close to them. To tell the truth, the former was too worried about Lovely to listen to anyone else and the latter scared her with his highly and mighty attitude. The Twelfth was even scarier than the Earl and he was always so busy with his absurd duties… In all honesty, Road hadn't seen him for ten years and didn't miss him at all. He was one of those people who are useless to anyone but themselves.
It was in this state of mind that the little Noah had joined her family for dinner the night before. Obviously she couldn't have possibly felt well, yet she had tried to smile and act as her usual to not arouse suspects. She had tried hard not to show the melancholy and the sadness she felt, she had tried very hard, but the Earl understood there was something wrong. So at the end of the dinner he had come to her and had asked if there was something she wanted to speak to him about. What could she possibly answer if not something which really did trouble her, but that wasn't her main problem?
"Earl, where are we from? How is it that we were born humans and then were transformed? Were we born like this, or were we chosen after because of some characteristic of ours?" She had asked him.
"You were chosen by God to fulfil his plans, but how can I know if it was before or after your birth? Only He knows." The Earl had answered with a smile, but Road had perceived something hard in that smile, something which told her that it was only a half-truth. Yet, she hadn't replied. It would have been useless. If nothing else, the Count's answer made it clear to her that he wasn't going to reveal anything more than she already knew.
That night Road had been obliged to sleep at Kamelot Manor (the Earl was observing her movements), but the morning after she woke up early to reach the island where she had left Allen. She wanted to see him badly and it wasn't just because of a lover's anxiety. She really needed to see him: it was as if she hoped his presence could bring some sanity back in her disastrous existence. Allen's smile, Allen's kindness, Allen's faith in morality and justice were like poison to her Noah nature, but she loved them all the same. To her Allen was as surprising and astonishing and pure as a miracle.
When Road entered in the little house she couldn't help but feel an unreasonable relief seeing her lover. Against all predictions, the "prince" had waited for her. She stared at him proudly as the teen turned his neck to look at her and when he smiled Road thought she could cry. Of course she didn't do that, but something in his behaviour moved her.
"You're back." Allen declared in a strange way, as if he had doubted she would.
"You've waited." She replied in the same way. Again they just stared at each other in silence and, again, there was that overwhelming atmosphere which belonged only to them. Road wondered if it would have been the same between them if they were normal people. If she hadn't been a Noah and he hadn't been an exorcist, the bond between them would have still been that strong? Or could it be that the idea of forbidden romance had given new force to their feelings? She wondered for some moment, but at the end she realized she couldn't care less. That was how things were and there were no buts or maybes to add.
She looked down at Allen waiting for her and she suddenly understood she had found the person she had searched for, the one who could listen and understand her troubles, it was nobody but Allen.
He already knew her story, she didn't have to explain everything to him, and he could have understood her! Hadn't he felt the same when he had discovered that Mana, his father, his saviour, was the Fourteenth's brother? Hadn't he felt unsure, betrayed and confused as she was and had to bear that burden all alone? Hadn't he felt angry and defeated, regardless of what the truth really was, discovering how fragile his faith in Mana could be? Who could understand her if not that young man?
"Allen," she said all of a sudden, rigid, "I have something to tell you, something I've just discovered. May you forget for a moment that you're an exorcist and listen to me without prejudices?" She asked. The teen stiffened and looked at her suspiciously, but nodded with decision after an instant of hesitation.
Road began to tell him the whole story: she spoke about the akuma's confession, about her doubts and discomfort, about the dinner at Kamelot Manor where she had tried to ask the Earl what the truth was. She kept on talking for more than an hour. During this time Allen never interrupted her, he let her speak and speak without questions; in a way, it looked like he expected all that, for he never gave a sign of surprise whatsoever while hearing. The only things which proved he was actually listening to her were the light that shone in his eyes now and then and the way he nodded at some of her stating.
"He's my saviour. I've always loved him for that, but what if he's also the reason of my fall?" Road asked ending her story. Allen remained in silence for some moment, and then he spoke carefully:
"If you're sure of this," he began, "then it means he has been using you from the start. Road, you must leave that monster alone!" He concluded with passion. She loved the way he had pronounced her name and in another situation she would have teased him about that, but it wasn't the right moment.
"Are you speaking as Allen Walker or as an exorcist?" She asked instead, severe.
"Both!" was the teen's furious reply. Silence fell and left them like they were, frozen in their positions, each of them standing on their positions at the opposite corners of the room. That's until Road's faint voice was to be heard again:
"I can't." She said, "If I had joined him only for gratitude I could, but there is much more: I love my monstrous family, I love them as much as I do love you, that's why I can't choose. And yet, even if love would have brought me to stay with you, I would still be tied to the Millennium Earl because of this wicked nature I own. It's something which resides in me, it belongs to me regardless of what he could have or not have done to me and it condemns me to stick with him forever. I may not like what I am, but I love myself nonetheless." Road declared and thought her voice sounded broken there was determination in her eyes. Allen stared at her and an unbearable sadness overwhelmed him: nothing he could do or say would have changed her mind, that's what her gaze was telling him.
Did he looked that way too when he had refused her countless times? He wondered and for the first time he fully understood why Road had felt so desperate and violent at those times: he himself was so tempted to oblige her to follow him, even if he had to kidnap her. But he didn't do that, he just sighed.
The moment he hadn't wanted to come had arrived, it was now or never, he had to tell her in that exact moment:
"I have to go." He confessed looking out of the window. His noisy words shattering the pure silence seemed blaspheme even to him. He didn't want to look at Road; he didn't want to read the painful consciousness in her eyes.
"I know" she said instead. The smile on her lips was sad, but still she looked strong and determinate as before. "Where are you going to stay?" She asked.
"I don't know still," Allen answered staring at her amazed. Would it have ever come the day when she would cease to amaze him?
"I'll go searching for my Master, the Fourteenth should guide me to where he is, and when I'll find him… I'll oblige him to tell me all the truth about his past, Mana, the Fourteenth, the Earl and you Noahs. I'm sure he knows more than I can imagine." He declared with confidence.
"Then this is a goodbye?" Road wondered out loud. Her voice was sad, but there was no accusing in her words, she was just trying to accept it herself. Allen clenched his fists:
"It's not." He assured, "When this war is over, we'll meet again, we surely will, but until that time we won't see each other. You understand this, don't you?"
She nodded in response. Of course she understood, she knew it as well as him: if they were to meet on the battlefield they would have had to kill each other, that's why it was necessary for them to be separated till the nightmare was over.
"Then, bye bye, Aren…" the Noah said with a serious voice, confirming the oath, then she bowed to kiss him lightly on his lips. Allen closed his eyes and when he opened them she was gone as if she had never been there.
The exorcist remained alone in that room, again, alone with that frightening silence he had come to hate. He felt strange. What he was experiencing was an emotion more powerful than pain, but it was also different. It was impossible to define. All he could have said to describe it was "emptiness".
"Aren't you going to cry?" The Fourteenth asked with a comprehensive tone which was unusual for him.
"What would it be the point in doing that?" Allen asked. His voice sounded cruel to his own ears.
"None at all, but it would be very poetical…" The demon noticed returning to look a little more like himself. All the reply which came from Allen was a heartless laugh which echoed sinisterly in the desolate room.
"Don't be ashamed," The Fourteenth told him "don't you think she's also crying right now?"
"Who, Road?" The exorcist shook his head in deny, "She won't, she would never cry idiotically over something like that. She knows better, she's stronger than this. She's even stronger than me." He declared with confidence and with these words he rose on his feet and left the little house wishing a silent goodbye to the little dream he and Road had experienced for a few days.
Headquarters of the Black Order, lunchtime…
Kanda was seated at his usual table like always, but he and his companion were still attracting quite a lot of curious looks.
"Stop scowling like that, Kanda! We must look like a couple for a little while if we want them to stop suspecting you!" Cassandra scolded him. The swordsman looked away from her sea green eyes which were flashing with annoyance.
"Why must we keep on pretending?" He protested in a low voice, "The Crows have left already!"
"Are you forgetting that it was because of the rumours that they came to arrest you? What if the rumours started again? Don't you think they will return? For once, please, try to act as an adult…"
"Are you saying that I'm childish?" He asked offended.
"Yes, you are. All this is as annoying for me as it is for you, but it will save your life, you idiot, so make an effort! It's for you that I'm doing this, you know?" She replied dryly.
"Who asked you? You're always there pretending to do things for the others, but nobody asked you in the first place! You could just have left me like that and now I wouldn't be troubling you."
"Of course not, since you would probably be dead. Do you really regret that?"
"That's not the point…"
"And what's the point?" she provoked him, obliging him to look at her face.
"The point is…" Kanda began, but was interrupted but the arrival of Lavi, Lenalee and Reever.
"How cute! The sweethearts are already fighting… Yuu-chan, you mustn't treat ill your girlfriend!" Lavi joked causing the swordsman to snap and evolve into the murdering-rage-mode. Meanwhile, said "girlfriend" face-slapped herself and swore silently that she would never, never again argue with Kanda in public since those seemed to be the unavoidable consequences.
While the Japanese exorcist was still running after his insolent comrade, Lenalee and Reever seated next to Cassandra. For a moment an awkward silence floated in the air. The truth was that Cassandra hadn't really tried to socialize with anyone but Kanda so she didn't really have a relationship of some kind with the other exorcists. Normally they just made sure to maintain the distance from her, the scary woman, the witch, the one who had made the well loved Angel vanish. It was actually the first time someone tried sitting near her.
Lenalee smiled while sitting, but the smile died on her lips as she saw Cassandra staring back at her coldly. It wasn't like she hated Lenalee or something, being diffident and suspicious was simply her nature and even then she was wondering what hidden reason could have brought the Chinese exorcist to sit next to her. She didn't even spare a second on the reason why Reever was there as well: it was so obvious that it took her not even half a second to realize it.
"You seem to get along well." the girl said, avoiding Cassandra's piercing eyes.
"Who are you speaking about?"
"Of you and Kanda of course!" Lenalee answered immediately surprised, "I've never seen him being so open towards someone but Angel."
"Really?" the woman asked with the same coldness of before, but a strange light shined in her eyes, a light which made the other exorcist shiver. "We do nothing but argue and you still think he gets along with me better than with anyone else? He must really be more incompetent at socializing than I thought…" Her words provoked a strange annoyance in Lenalee:
"I can say the same of you," the Chinese girl replied with unusual malice, "you don't seem to have any friend but men with whom you have a curious kind of relationship…"
"That's none of your business." Cassandra replied with a dark smile. She felt angry and annoyed at the insinuation, but didn't want to show it. That girl speaking to her in such a way… it was unforgivable. Who did she think she was to say such things to her? She wouldn't allow her to do that, not to that coward spineless imitation of a woman.
"If you're jealous of what's going on between me and Kanda," she declared and Reever choked in his tea at her words, "then try to take him away from me, but I tell you: you have no chance."
"How in the world…" Lenalee's words died in her throat and she rose on her feet angrily, "I don't have that kind of feelings for him!" she declared.
"Then why are you so against me?" Cassandra asked back with gelid fury in her voice.
"He's a childhood friend! I don't want to see him being manipulated by someone like you! He doesn't need to suffer because of you, he doesn't need you!" Lenalee shouted attracting more attention than the supposed couple had before. It took Cassandra some second to answer. "He doesn't need you!" Lenalee had said and she was right, the woman knew she was and that was the problem. It was her to need Kanda, but was the opposite also true? She doubted that. But then, she thought, was there anyone else able to bring him back to live? Was there anyone else who could make him realize that he was living a lie? Was there anyone else who could give him back his freedom? She knew this answer as well: no, there wasn't anyone else able to do that, because nobody had guessed the weakness in is soul hidden under that strong appearance.
"You're wrong," Cassandra stated calmly staring at Lenalee in the eyes, "what he doesn't need are pathetic companions like you who would only hold him back. You all have held him captive for too long." The woman said and walked away before a shocked Lenalee could reply anything to those words she hadn't understood.
Cassandra's voice had been calm, but as she walked away there was a thunderstorm going on inside her. She couldn't bear it anymore.
She had waited for Kanda to realize, she had waited for him to understand, but he was so slow! If it kept on like this he was going to die before understanding the simplest of the secrets she had kept from him. She couldn't tolerate that situation, there was no time and she wasn't strong enough.
"So, what are you going to do? Are you going to tell him?" The Innocence asked her.
"Why not?" Cassandra replied, "I put too much trust in his wits, I overestimated him. He's never going to realize it if I leave him by himself. Besides, I'm bored of waiting and waiting and waiting. I want to act. I need to take action."
"Maybe it's not that you overestimated him, but that you are too complex yourself. How is someone supposed to understand what you think if you don't say it?"
"If he was the man of the dream you showed me he should…" the woman replied with bitter sadness.
"Cassandra," the Innocence called her name with a protective tenderness, "my dreams don't reveal any truth. They simply show you a possibility, to realize it is up to you two, maybe. Besides, don't you think you're forgetting something?"
"You made a deal with me, remember. I gave you my power but you promised me something in exchange. Do you really think it's wise to keep on with your plan knowing that one day you'll have to fulfil that promise?"
"Is it worth to live knowing that one day you'll have to die?" Cassandra answered sibylline.
"You love to run all the risks you can, I love you for this also, but don't joke with feelings. It will destroy your heart eventually." The Innocence scolded her.
"I'm not joking at all," was Cassandra stubborn answer, "if I was, I wouldn't be in this mess right now."
"As you wish, my dear." The Water Innocence replied, "But how do you plan to tell him? Are you going to stand in front of him and reveal him that you are the same of…"
"Absolutely not," Cassandra replied with a mischievous smile, "do you think I'm going to make it that easy for him?"
"I guess not…" The Innocence sighed with a voice that seemed to say it pitied Kanda.
"Of course not! That idiot has made me go insane for months, no, even years, and now I'll take revenge. I can't wait to see the face he'll make when I'll tell him that I love him…" Cassandra almost laughed while saying so. The whole thing seemed to amuse her: "Do you think he'll get angry? Or maybe he'll be too stupefied to even talk and he'll remain unmoved and silent as a statue… it would be so like him! But there is even the chance he'll run away…"
" Cassandra…?" The Innocence interrupted her.
"Are you really going to confess?"
"Are you sure of it? I mean: Are you sure you're doing this because you really have feelings for him, or is it just because of the vision?"
"What a stupid question! Because of both, of course: my feelings are the consequence of the vision and the vision was a consequence of the feelings I'd have had for him one day, isn't that so? Your question really has no sense."
"Do as you please, then. I know you too well not to know that nothing I can say can stop you when you're like this. You're so arrogant…"
"You're one to talk. When you revealed yourself to me you made me promise that thing even though you knew very well that I would fall in love. After this you have no right to say anything to me." Cassandra said coldly to her Innocence. It remained silent with what the woman supposed to be guilt and she regretted her words, but said nothing.
"Try not to overdo it." The Innocence said at last with sadness before disappearing: "That man will have to live on after you're gone."
"I know" Cassandra said biting her lower lip and walked straight to Kanda's room.
When Kanda entered in his room he was frozen with shock noticing the figure of a woman seated on his bed. Though he couldn't see her face- she was staring out of the broken window- he immediately recognized her. Nobody else at the Order had such ridiculously long reddish hair.
"May I ask you what the Hell you are doing in my room? And, please, don't tell me it's another part of the "let's pretend to be a couple" plan!" he was beyond pissed and Cassandra clearly recognised that, but she turned smiling in that mocking cold way which was characteristical of her.
"No, it isn't." She said with calm. "Why don't you seat down, Kanda?" She proposed making space for him at her side. The swordsman rolled his eyes thinking of the absurdity of her inviting him inside his own room, but he came forth and seated on the ground in front of her.
"What's wrong now?" He asked staring at her with determination. The woman smiled seeing that he had overcome the rage and was now serious. Judging from his short breath and clothes, she understood he had just come back from the training room.
"Then?" Kanda asked again, "Are you going to remain here in silence for long? Are you dead?" He provoked her.
"Sorry, I was lost in thoughts," she said stroking her hair with her left hand to wipe them off from her face. She looked back at him with a devilish smile:
"I wanted to ask you one thing Kanda… It's nothing much, really…"
"Yes?" He said already trembling at the idea of what she could ask him despite her reassurance.
"What do you think of me?" She enquired with a strange light in her eyes. Kanda froze, surprised.
"And now what?" The swordsman wondered feeling that whatever he could say would have been the wrong answer. "Is she asking me what? If I think she's a good exorcist? No, it can't be! She doesn't need to ask me to know she's good and she never gives a damn about the missions. Is she asking me if I find her beautiful?" he wondered panicking, "No, she would never ask something like this, especially to me! Or maybe she would? Yes, she could do this if it was to torment me… No, it can't be this." He decided at last. "Is she asking what? If I find her a good fighter? A good person? What?"
Cassandra could almost read on his forehead the sentence: "I really don't want to be here in this moment".
At the end Kanda made a little cough before asking neutral: "What do you mean?"
"What's the meaning of "what do you mean?" ? I asked you what do you think of me, what else can this mean?"
"Oh, yeah, what else?" Kanda murmured under his breath rolling his eyes.
"So?" Cassandra urged, her eyes almost shining with expectation. The swordsman was taken aback by that intensity and redrew. He rose on his feet and reached for the door without thinking.
"Kanda? Where are you going?" the woman enquired with an annoyed expression.
"Who? Me? Nowhere, obviously. It's just that… I think better on my feet."
"Then answer me!"
"Yeah, the truth is… the truth it's that I don't know what I think of you and I don't get what the fuck you want to hear me to say!" He exploded at last. When he was under pressure he always ended up getting angry without fail. His eruptions were as easy to predict as those of a geyser. Cassandra had expected that, but she still had to work hard to suppress the laughter looking at his puzzled/angry face.
"I don't want to hear you say anything but the truth. What do you think of me as a person and as a woman? Don't worry, I won't kill you…" she mocked him, but the smile on her face was almost sad. Kanda shook his head as to clear his thoughts and seated once again in front of her.
"You want the truth? I'll tell you, but then don't tell me that I'm mean or something, right?" He asked and the woman nodded. The swordsman took a deep breath and then he began: "I… think you're a complicate person, I don't really get you, maybe I'm stupid I don't know, so I don't really think of you in a particular way. It's just you, that's all. It's not like I can put you in some category. You're absurd, sometimes you seem terribly evil, other times you act as a paladin of justice; sometimes you look so childish and arrogant that I'd like to slap you to remind you we're not joking here, other times you look much more mature than me. Normally you're so strong and your strength scares me so much that I attack you without a real reason, but once in a while there are moments when you seem so weak and desperate that it's heartbreaking. And I can go insane, but I just can't understand what's in your mind. You're so far away as if you belong to another universe and I don't get you, I really don't, but I know this makes you sad. I'm sorry, maybe, but I can't help it. It's as if you're walking down a path where I can't follow you. I don't understand who you are, if you're a supernatural being or a human, if you're good or cruel, I don't understand anything. If someone was to ask me how you are I wouldn't be able to answer. It's not that I hate you, I just don't understand you. That's the truth, all the truth, nothing but the truth." He said mocking the act of swearing. He looked up to gaze at her face, but it was hidden by her hair.
"That's what you meant back then when you said it had been a failure right from the start you trying to understand me?(Author: it's referring to chapter 39)" Cassandra asked with calm without looking at him. She was staring out of the window once again and Kanda knew something inside her had shattered, but he couldn't help that. That calm wasn't like her, that coldness towards him also was unusual, but he couldn't help that either.
"More or less." He admitted. She nodded and the swordsman wondered what she meant through that. Was she saying that she understood and accepted what he had just said? Or had she just recognized that it couldn't be helped as well? Kanda didn't know, and maybe he didn't want to know.
"Are you sad?" He asked with the usual distant calm, looking away from her. He didn't want to sound as if he pitied her, she would have gotten angry if he had.
"A little bit." She admitted and he thought that she would have remained silent for some moment before leaving the room without a word; instead she surprised him when he understood she wasn't going to move at all. She remained there, staring at something he couldn't see, and he wondered what her eyes were seeing, what she could be thinking. The light of the setting sun illuminated her hair making them shine of a thousand reflex and she looked even more unnatural than the usual. She was a statue of fine porcelain with eyes of transparent light green glass, dressed as only a doll could. It wasn't a beautiful image; really, it was more frightening that anything else, it was like staring at a corpse. Again, Kanda thought, Angel had never looked like that though she had possessed the same body. When she was there, she wasn't able to stay quiet a single moment, she was always moving, running, singing, asking absurd questions, making him angry all the time. There was no trace of that Angel in the statue in front of him. It was no novelty, but it hurt him the same the way one regrets what's lost forever. And the worst was that he wasn't able to hate Cassandra for that, he wasn't able to wish for Angel to return and cancel the woman in front of him anymore.
Everything was so complicate, and Kanda hated to be confused. He started to move uncomfortably in his position and at the end he rose on his feet once again unable to bear that immobility. That was when Cassandra spoke again:
"Yes, why should I deny it?" She said all of a sudden, breaking the spell, the light of vitality returning in her eyes, "Yes, it hurts, it hurts being considerate a monster, you should understand this. But can you imagine what's that really brings me down to my knees?" she asked and painted over her face there was that heartbreaking expression he had mentioned before. It was with that face that she turned towards him, a note of desperation in her voice: "Look at me, Kanda, you also have admitted this: I've the appearance and the powers of a goddess, I can do what the others can't do, I know things you all can't even dream of and I seem so distant, so unreachable, do I not? I scare others and they're right to be scared because my personality more than my powers will surely crush them if they were to come after me. But even so, despite all this, I'm not even an inch nearer to the Truth than you all are. I can be powerful, I can be in contact with the Innocence, but I don't have any hint about why I'm here, why I have to live and why I'll have to die one day! I don't know if a God exist, I don't know if I could love him if he existed, I don't know why He should have allowed the existence of pain. If there really was a God, shouldn't I hate Him? Shouldn't I crave to bring him down and accuse Him and oblige Him to admit that pain was always wrong, that death can't be turned in a rite of reborn? And if He existed and I should hate Him, then why am I here fighting under His standard? I hate Him, for something inside me tells me He exists, but I long for the truth He's said to know, I… I would like to love Him and to be sure I'm doing the right thing, but I can't. I know nothing more than a human does, and yet I'm much, much more than a human!" She paused and covered a side of her face with her right hand as if she was ashamed of her confession.
And for once Kanda could understand the reason why of her desperation. A common person who believes in the existence of God can choose to reject Him or to accept Him and submit his doubts to the conviction that He, who's so superior, must know what He's doing, but she couldn't do it, she couldn't do either of the two. She was too intelligent and angry to simply reject what she didn't like, she wanted to understand, she couldn't just trust in Him without proofs.
She was arrogant, her powers had made her so, and she couldn't just hope that everything had been done for the best, she had to know it! She had to because she knew she was more than a human being. Probably all she wanted was to be just human, but she wasn't, so what was left for her if not to cover up her weakness with pride? What was left for her to do if not to protect those frail beings she would have wanted to be like? If she couldn't be human, she had to be a goddess, if she couldn't be protected, she had to protect others and how could she if she didn't know anything more than them? She had to know. She needed to know. She needed to understand why she had been born like this, who had decided it, who had wanted this and why! She had to, but she couldn't and here she was. No goddess, no human, forever rejected by both sides, unable to realize what she really was. So far away from humans that they couldn't understand her, so far away from God she couldn't understand him. How many times had she felt as a new Satan and how many times had she actually wished to really be him so that her existence could have had a meaning and a role to fulfil even if an evil one?
Kanda almost smiled while realizing all this because her problems which seemed so enormous to her were those that every normal human has, because she was no different from humans and yet her problems were born form the fear she wasn't. At the end he smiled because for the first time he had understood what she had in mind, he smiled because her pride and her dreams of damnation where so innocent in the end that they ended up contradicting themselves.
"Cassandra," he said, calling her with her name, something he had done only once or twice before, "you are human, no doubt of that." His voice had been cold and calm, but if he had shouted he couldn't have made a biggest impression on her. She took her hand away from her face and said:
"Why are you saying this?" she asked and there was no trace of her previous weakness anymore. Her gaze was threatening, almost challenging him to say something, anything, to her.
"Because you have the same problems of every human being, you have the same emotions any person may have. If, as you said to me some time ago, everyone who has human feelings is human, why should you be an exception?" Kanda asked and again there was no unusual kindness in his voice, just logic, but she understood his intention anyway. Still, she shook her head gently in deny:
"Even if I was, it doesn't change anything. I'm still more than a common human without having the knowledge of a god. I'm still isolated from anyone else, as you confirmed before. It's a half-closed old wound which stings all the time. I should be used to it by now." She murmured without sadness or rage. She sounded only a little bitter.
"That's because you don't explain yourself. You never do that. If you don't speak, how can you expect others to understand you? Really, I never understood you, I've told you that, but when you said those things before I thought I had had a glimpse of you. People will understand if you care to explain them. The problem is that you refuse to 'cause you are convinced they can't comprehend anyway. Come down from your pedestal, you're no different from anyone else, the distance you feel is the one you've put between yourself and anyone else!" Kanda accused her with calm, but he had to look away. He couldn't bear the way she was staring at him. There was something daring and fearless in the way she used to look at people, something which made him feel uncomfortable.
"But Kanda," she said with a strange honesty which made her look helpless for a moment, "I have to put that distance. If I didn't, if I revealed my nature, people would be scared by me! Finders already don't want to go on missions with me, they're terrified by my powers. That's why I had to learn to fight in a way which could look more similar to those of the common exorcist. You know I don't have to forge weapons from ice to destroy my enemies, but I have to if I want to avoid scaring those who work with me. That's only an example, but it shows that I'm not as free as you think to reveal myself. I have to choose from being misunderstood and being feared. For now I prefer to be misunderstood, but you Kanda… you have to understand!" she said and it seemed both an order and a plea.
"Why me?" Kanda replied showing some annoyance. She always had to make things so complicated and here she was: as soon as he had thought to have resolved the enigma, she was there posting new problems he couldn't completely understand!
There was a sudden silence. Then Cassandra spoke in a low voice:
"Kanda, you must understand, you're the one who has to understand. You, only you have to."
"Oh, please," Kanda began sarcastically, "this is ridiculous, it sounds too much like a confession for my taste! Now don't tell me you love me because I'll die of laughing if you do!" his expression was threatening. He hated when she joked like that.
"But I do love you." Cassandra replied with calm, a curious look on her face, staring at him with that shameless expression once again.
"Stop joking!" he ordered almost panicking, "We both know far too well you love yourself only. Spare me this silly idiocy." Kanda stated disdaining, looking away as if he was offended.
"It may be true that I love only myself, but then how do you think I feel about those who resemble me? Shouldn't I love the part of me I see reflected in them also? I assure you I love you, Kanda-chan. You've said a cruel thing." She declared looking away and Kanda felt both horrible and painfully surprised. He felt horrible because he had been bitter and mean when she didn't deserve it and painfully surprised because of the way she had called him. How much time had passed since the last time those lips had pronounced that name? Kanda-chan… that name also reminded him something else:
"You're not her." He murmured emotionlessly avoiding her gaze.
"Are you so sure about it?" Cassandra asked him.
"How could it be otherwise?" He raged, "Even if you do share the same body, that means nothing! You're completely different from her." He declared. He was furious with her for joking with him about Angel. Why did she amuse herself confusing him more than he already was?
"Did you love Angel?" The woman asked him, hard, her eyes sparkling in that captivating way of hers. Kanda turned his gaze away and when he spoke his voice was bitter and tired:
"What do you mean by love? And what's the meaning of love in a world such as ours?"
"Do you wish to stay with that person all your life? Do you feel you would do anything to protect her? Do you think that person is more important to you than anything else? Would you put aside your pride for her? Would you sacrifice for her happiness? That's probably the idea of love people usually have." She explained.
"Really? And what's your idea of it then?" The swordsman provoked her.
"Did you love Angel?" The woman asked once more. Kanda took a deep silent breath:
"I… probably did. I don't know, I'm not used to these things!" He exploded, but she didn't seem to notice:
"Do you love me?" she asked instead.
"You didn't answer to my question of before. What's the meaning of love for people such as us?" He replied avoiding the enquiry. Cassandra seemed to think about it for some moment:
"Do you remember when you said you could understand me because I explained myself? Well, I don't think that's the reason why you did. I think it's love that allows people to understand each other: I can comprehend someone if I care to. In others words you can understand other people only by loving them. Do you get what I'm saying?"
"More or less." Kanda admitted. It made sense, but everything else was blurred and difficult to put in a logic order. "You're saying that people can't comprehend each other unless they love each other. But how can they love if they don't know?" He asked polemic.
"Good question. I've also wondered that and I've come to a silly solution that it's obvious even to children: love is not rational, we don't need a reason to love, we don't need to comprehend. Understanding comes later, maybe, sometimes it never comes at all." She said with self-confidence. Kanda answered her with a long awkward silence.
"I'll ask you one last time, if you deny it now I'll let you go forever, I promise. Kanda-chan, do you love me too?" she asked with a much sweeter voice than the usual.
Kanda didn't know what to think or say, he was literally panicking. He wasn't a man of thought, he wasn't able to understand his own feelings so well as she wished. Of course he was attracted by her, he could even say he liked her, but from this to declare his love! It wasn't like he thought he couldn't love her, there were times when he had thought that if there was a woman in the universe he could bear to be with would be her, but there was something missing in her, something which made him fear her and held him back.
Exasperated, Kanda turned towards her to say it all out loud, but as soon as he saw her face he stopped. There was something wrong with that face now that the ferocious cynic expression had vanished form it, there was something deadly wrong with her, with the light in her eyes, with the way her lips curved, with her very essence. For a moment it seemed incredible to him to finally see the tiger stripped out of all her defences, then in a moment of extraordinary lucidity, he realized. What he realized he himself didn't really know, but a terrible suspect was born inside of him. As if guessing what was going on in his mind, Cassandra smiled triumphantly.
"Could it be that you are…?" he asked, his voice uncertain, his eyes widened for the surprise at the revelation. Cassandra smiled once again, in a different way, a familiar way, a comforting one. In that moment Kanda understood everything.
The more I go on, the more my situation seems hopeless to me. Now that he's convinced that I understand his mission, Tyki spends less time with me every day that passes. And yet I can't blame him of not caring about me anymore: somehow, it's like he loves me even more now that I know what's going on (what I know, I wonder, if not a miserable percentual of the whole truth?). I've become precious for him for I'm the only "normal"one that knows the truth about him and his family, the only one who has accepted him nonetheless. That's what he thinks, and I can't help but feel a monster at the thought that I'm going to sell him to my father. What he's going to do to this family? Why does my father think them so dangerous? I don't dare to think what he has been planning all along while I was here and I wonder if I'll really be able to consign them to him, to that demon. I wonder, but in reality I know very well the answer: the question is not if I'll be able to betray them, but if I'll be able to resist to the power my father has over me. I fear I won't. I KNOW I won't! Will it be me who will give up my beautiful Tyki to that monster? Will it be me who will strip him away from this Manor, from his adored family, from his luxurious habits, from his dashing and daring style to consign him to my merciless and insensible father? Will it be me who will cast him in the dust and condemn him? And why? What has he done to deserve it but having loved me?
No, may I be damned for all Eternity if I do something like this! I won't, I swear I won't, I don't want to, it's not right to! But I feel so tired, so lonely when he's not here. When he's next to me I forget everything about my mission, about my father suspicions, about the menaces of the Earl to this world, I forget everything, I'm just inhumanly happy. But when he leaves me, the dark shadow covers me once again and I feel I can't put p to the situation. I'm weak and, that's the worst, I'm weak now that I should be stronger than ever.
"You must understand, Christine," Tyki tells me every time he's going to leave, "we owe everything to the Earl. I must do what I can for him." He says so, sure that I understand, and he disappears for days, weeks sometimes, while I don't know where he is, what he does, and I remain here in the castle, alone with Road who tries to comfort me. She's so kind. She knows there is an affair going on between me and Tyki and, surprisingly, she's keeping the secret perfectly. She's the best friend I could have hoped for (though she's so childish sometimes!). Also Lord Cheryl, who knows nothing f me and Tyki, is always so gentle, so caring towards me as a father should be. More than once he told me I've become like a daughter to him and I doubt his words not. I believe him, I trust him, the gentleman Lord Cheryl, the always elegant, always appropriate Lord Cheryl. Lulubell keeps me company too whenever she feels like it and it's surprising, considering her reticent character. She really obliges herself to speak while I'm there and she even smiles sometimes! They're all so kind with me. Amatus is gone, thankfully, he left two weeks ago all of a sudden without even saying goodbye to me. I can't say I regret it and Tyki said that he would have killed him if he'd come near to me once more.
What I wanted to say is that this last moth has been strange. I feel lonely without Tyki, yes, I feel insecure, and there are moments of dark desperation when I think we're all hopeless, that it won't last long, that soon we'll be all condemned, but despise all this I would be a ingrate to complain. For once in my life I'm in a beautiful place where everyone seems to love me, so why should I complain? It's a bad moment, but I shouldn't worry, Tyki hasn't left me, instead I think he's growing more affectionate to me now that he can't see me everyday. When he returns he doesn't have eyes for anyone but me, and he's so eager to tell me everything about the places he's seen!
Last time he brought a gift for me: the seeds of an oriental kind of rose I knew nothing about. He told me it's very beautiful for when it blooms the colour of the inside and the outside petals is different. Isn't it wonderful? I can't wait to see these roses grow, but where should I plant them?
I know why Tyki brought those seeds to me. He wants me to plant them in the garden of my house in France so that I can remember him when I'll see the roses bloom. He didn't tell me this, but I understood it, his eyes were saying this so clearly that I couldn't misunderstand it.
He's right, maybe, after all even he knows that we won't be able to remain together for long. It's not like we plan to marry. I thought about it once or twice, but I just can't see me like a married woman, I hate the idea, and even if I wanted to I doubt Tyki would say: "Yes, why not?". Both of us are not the kind of person who can settle down and choose to live a life "together forever and ever, in good and hard destiny until death do us part". Yet I can't bear the idea of leaving him now and I don't think I'll feel able to do it anytime soon.
Still, my family becomes more anxious every day, they want me back home, my mother because she feels lonely, my father because he wants the information he needs to fulfil his plan, whatever it is. I expect their orders to arrive soon and I fear that day. I know it's almost time, but I can't accept that for that day I'll be obliged to make a terrible choice: my family or the Kamelot family. It would be easy to decide for my heart, really, but there is some sense of duty left that prevents me from doing what I wish to do.
Damned moral, damned ethic and sense of duty! That's what humans are: helpless puppets whose actions are leaded by useless values, chains we have created to keep our infinite potential suppressed.
I'm so troubled, my diary, I change my mind all the time and sometimes I fear I'm losing my sanity. I see things, I hear strange things, I… I will say nothing more for now, I have to believe myself first.
Author's notes- Coming back
I'll say nothing, I won't even try to excuse myself. I was away for too long. But I decided to start to write this fic once again. I want to end it one day, though I don't have any idea of how much time it will take. So… I'm back. Will my readers be back as well? Please, review!