Either/Or

Sometimes, Nina wished that she'd chosen Zero.

On the days when Ichi was just too smooth, too careful, too mannered, too-bloody-understanding, she wished she'd chosen Zero. On the days when she was angry and hurt and just wanted to be able to shout and scream at someone and she tried everything she could to get a reaction out of him and he just looked at her with those big, stupid, vacant brown eyes, she wished she'd chosen Zero. On the days when she looked at his brown hair and brown eyes and she felt that she was drowning in a sea of brown and she felt like she'd kill for just one glimpse of electric blue, she wished she'd chosen Zero. On the days when she looked at him as he sprang to her defence as though he couldn't even imagine a world where she might want to learn to take care of herself, she wished she'd chosen Zero. On the nights when she was tired of hearing that level voice over and over again - is this okay? Does that feel good? Do you want me to stop? Can I do that? Am I hurting you? Is this okay? Is this okay? Is this okay? - and she just wanted him to stop asking her so many questions and do something already, she wished she'd chosen Zero.

Sometimes, Nina wished that she'd chosen Ichi.

On the days when they went for hours without speaking because she'd said she liked green better than blue, she wished she'd chosen Ichi. On the days when he glared daggers at her over the breakfast table because she'd taken up too much space on the bed and his foot had gotten chilly, she wished that she'd chosen Ichi. On the days when he didn't come home until eleven and then looked at her as if she was insane when she let on that she'd been worried, she wished she'd chosen Ichi. On the days when his stupid antics annoyed her so much that she felt like ripping out every strand of his ridiculous hair – and who even has blue hair, anyway? Didn't he realise how much it embarrassed her to be seen with him sometimes? – she wished she'd chosen Ichi. On the days when someone bumped in to her in the street or "wasn't polite enough" or somehow managed to offend Zero on her behalf and she didn't even need to look at him to know that he had that face that meant something was about to get fireballed, she wished that she'd chosen Ichi.

Sometimes, Nina wished that she hadn't chosen either of them.

On the days when she was talking to him and halfway through the conversation she realised that he hadn't ever been listening, she wished she hadn't chosen either of them. On the days when she watched the way that he looked at him and she knew that he'd never looked at her quite like that, she wished she hadn't chosen either of them. On the days when she watched them practicing their magic together, saw how they worked together, anticipating each other's movements without even having to look at what the other was doing, and she knew that this, this ease of being, born of years of friendship and love and knowledge of each other, was something that she could never, ever hope to replicate, she wished she hadn't chosen either of them. On the days when she compared the way that they touched each other – warmly, strongly, like it was the most natural thing in the world and they knew that the other trusted them completely and would never, could never hurt them - with the way they touched her – reverently, like she was some marvellous creature of spun glass and smoke, fallen from the sky, that might shatter and disappear if they held her too tight – then, she wished that she hadn't chosen either of them.

But –

- on the days when she could walk down the street with a warm hand in each of hers –

- on the days when the sound of their combined laughter could drown out the world –

- on the mornings when she woke into a cocoon of warmth, with wonderful, ridiculous blue hair brushing her cheek and calm brown eyes opening to gaze at her –

- on the nights when she couldn't even tell whose hand was touching who or whose lips were on her skin or who was kissing who and eventually they just collapsed in a tangled, laughing heap of hair and skin and magic –

- those times, she was glad that she'd chosen them both.


A/N – Okay, so I just watched the whole series, on DVD, in one day. And then the whole "who will you choose, Nina?" "Both of them!" kind of worked its way into my strange, sick, M-rated mind, and this appeared. XD I own nothing. Reviews are love. Sorry if I polluted anyone's brains, but... it had to be done.

EDIT - Yeah, fixed some crap. Like anyone'll notice. Someday, I swear to god, someday I will get a goddamn review for this fic. What is it? The disturbing three-way relationship? The slightly odd writing style? The OVERWHELMING DEATH-SUGAR of the last semi-paragraph?Whatever it is, I will change it, if some kind, kind person would review. It's getting depressing.