Title: Here is Love, Here is Madness
: Rei/Kira, duh.
T. For foreplay and sex and underage drinking and like, one bad word.
I just read (and watched!) all of Mars this weekend, and wow, was that a joyride that I'd love to take again. Everyone was so deliciously messed up, all trapped in mental prisons of their own making. Some snapshots into Rei's head as the series progresses. And please, remember to review!

Her hair usually falls, not styled, not teased, not primped and prodded, but naturally onto her forehead and in messy hanks around her face. She doesn't wear make-up; her nails are covered in dried paint and frisket, her palms smudged with charcoal and lead. She dresses like a woman twice her age, and acts like a woman thrice that. She walks with her head bowed, her shoulders hunched, her movements slow and gestures carefully considered. There's nothing random about her, nothing spontaneous, nothing out of order: she exists like a ghost between the worlds of the alive and the dead, of the awake and the sleeping; and by virtue of that, she paints like a muse, her works a supernova of color and emotion and form and life.

She holds his hand and walks with him through the upheavals and storms and darkness of his own mind; she is not afraid even of what has haunted him for the past two years, ever since he drove the other half of his soul to death. She faces his madness alongside him, unflinching, watches him slay his demons and holds whatever tatters are left of him in the aftermath like he's actually worth a damn. He knows, then, with more certainty than he's ever known anything before, that no matter where and how deeply he loses himself to the monster purring in his chest, she, like a compass, like the North Star, like the siren call of long, winding highways, she will always draw him home.

He loses himself on the track. The whine of the engine purrs in his little-boy heart, coalescing with the beat, until he and the bike are one—until he feels the thrumming of the motor in his veins and vibrations in his very bones, until metal and plastic and gasoline and rubber become flesh and bone and blood and skin. There is no distinction between them, and then he is ready to fly faster than anything else in the world.

He can smell cigarettes on her breath mingled with cheap wine, or maybe it's his breath. Maybe it's both of theirs. He can't bring himself to care, as the sinewy body of the girl (what was her name? Yuna? Yuka?) writhes on top of him, clawing at his shirt and mouthing his neck.

He doesn't close his eyes when they kiss; she's so close, he can count the beads of sweat on her forehead, follow the sweaty strands of artificially extended hair clinging to the hollows in her cheeks, pick out the clumps in her mascara. Her breath fans across his skin, hot and moist and stinking like dollar-store perfume and nicotine.

Not baby-soft skin and the scent of fresh laundry detergent and the faint, familiar odor of varnish and oil paint.

He pushes Yuka-Yura off and walks away.

When he makes love to her, the stars move: he touches her with infinite gentleness, careful beyond measure not to break her, not to mar her, not to shatter her, however unintentional it may be, anymore than the monsters in her nightmares have.

He wakes up in the morning and is genuinely surprised that the world is still intact. He forgets to ponder the small miracles of life when her eyes fill his vision and her mouth curves into a small, delighted smile and his hand fits to well on her hip--that's when the small, bright lights that have been dancing in his chest come together in an explosion.

And damn it all, he wants her all over again.