Disclaimer: Pandora Hearts belongs to Jun Mochizuki and Square Enix (I presume).

A/N: … I found my next Riku.

A Grocery List of Forgetting to Forget

By fantacination


He buys coffee because it doesn't have any memories.

Oz used to like his tea hot and sweet, half-drowned in cream, like a child's even at fifteen. He'd insist that Gilbert make it for him. Gilbert would get a tea service out, glad for the one servant-like thing Oz ever makes him do when all he ever seems to do is run after Oz's blonde-haired whirl of motion.

The tea the servants make at the Nightray mansion tastes bland and lifeless.

Coffee is a worker's brew, not even a very popular one at that. It lets him feel a little less like the adopted son of the Noble House of Nightray. Reminds him that he is still the traitor of House Vessalius and that when he find Oz, he'll have to carry the same sixteen pieces of silver in his pocket.


Whenever Break pops around, he always, always asks for tea. Even when he knows very well that Raven never keeps any. Even when he gets coffee after every single time. He'd just look at the coffee and smile and look up at Raven with the piercing single eye before chatting to Emily about how the service was just so terribly shabby.

He'd sit there on the faded couch, in all his sloppy silk finery with Emily on his shoulder, and he'd take out a little glass jar and eat candy, discarding the abandoned skins like colorful confetti on the rough wooden floor.

Then he'll stand up and step into some god-forsaken little nook with doors- a cabinet, a closet, the wardrobe or a cupboard- and disappear, smiling all the while. He leaves behind the wrappers and a shallow imprint on the couch, but the room never feels any less empty than it does when he's there.

Sharon is more polite, the one time she comes over. She asks for nothing and smiles at Gilbert- not Raven- and daintily crosses her ankles under her flower-patterned dress, age-old eyes from a young girl's face. And so many women, Raven reflects, would kill to have what she has- eternal youth and beauty in a society where women were married at fifteen and desired even younger. But she never seems to be particularly disappointed or satisfied.

Sharon never does anything out of the ordinary, always polite and sweetly smiling, dainty and unruffled as a young lady of good breeding must be.

Raven finds that almost as disturbing as Break's habit of disappearing tricks.

Maybe it's that they never ask and always know.

Raven keeps buying coffee.


He picks up cigarettes because they give him something to do.

For the next order, a word from Pandora, during the long hours of the night when he can no longer train- he waits and his fingers wrap around the slim sticks, rolling and twisting. The lighter is cool and heavy metal where it rests in the palm of his hand, shaped and sized very like a padlock.

At night, when he closes his eyes, he can almost hear the last sound of lead hitting flesh. Like a ghost at his shoulder, forever tap-tapping away.

He lights up.

The smoke chokes him and he can feel the tar coat his lungs- but the waiting never ends and Raven cannot fidget; cannot wring his hands together like a boy named Gilbert.

He imagines it makes him feel older and tougher. Not Gilbert at all.

It never really does, but the illusion helps, sometimes. And the tobacco stains on his fingers are better than blood.

Before he can stop, he already craves the tiny feeling of familiarity when the nicotine rushes into his system.


He only keeps one knife in the apartment.

He doesn't keep even a dagger for emergencies. There's only him to cook for, when he does even that, and the blades remind him of things that shouldn't have happened; a memory carved by a long thin gash across his ribs.


He buys bullets because they run out.

He gets normal rounds and heavier slugs, powerful enough to pierce the thick hide of monstrous chains. It's never quite good enough, but he might as well use the distraction.

House Nightray gave him his first gun. But the two he has now, he bought himself.

They have no names. He doesn't think he can bear to give them any. He doesn't love the guns nor what they do. Raven just needs them. Like he needs Vincent and Break and Sharon and Pandora. Like he needs Raven.


He wears black because it makes him feel safe.

He hasn't felt safe since the day Oz was taken. Everywhere there are eyes: his brother's gold and red, Break's single mocking one, the sideways stares of the servants and nobles at a mansion he never belonged in.

White reminds him of his brother and the sharp snick of scissors on hapless stuffed rabbits. White makes him think that it can just as soon be red. Colors don't suit him. They show too easily. So he wears black and pretends that he can melt into the shadows, Nightray's second and least noticeable adopted son.

It doesn't matter if they don't notice him. And he has always belonged more to the darkness. The only person he wants to see him is already deep in a place where no light could reach.

It's a little short, but please review and tell me what you think. :)