Title: The intricacies of feeling
Day/Theme: May 25 / No more dreaming of the dead
Character/Pairing: Celty, Shinra
A/N: Though I dislike Shinra, this pairing is kinda cute. Though I really want to write a Shizou/Celty one...
Summary: This is as close to happiness as she can get, so she takes it.
He is a child. A young one, with a father she can't help but dislike, but a child nonetheless. He hasn't grown up, even though years have passed and his height has changed. His hands are covered in blood, in darkness, in the deals he accepts in alleys and basements. She doesn't know exactly what he does, only that he never reveals the secrets of his trade to her.
"Celty, I don't want you to know these things. They...they aren't for you," he tells her when she asks, his face serious. It's a face she isn't used to seeing on him, the sharp planes of his face playing with the light.
Then something shifts and a grin appears. "What if you told our child-"
She punches him, because that is all she can do when he talks like that.
Immortality is not quite what it's cracked up to be. She's seen civilizations rise and fall, fortunes change with the wind, buildings crumble into sand. The world is constantly changing, going from one state to another. The signs are always there, waiting to be found. It's only a matter of reading them.
She doesn't remember how she coped with it, only remembers the passing of time. The leaves bud, spread, and fall, the trees bare once more before budding again. Snow falls and melts, tiny droplets creating oceans. She knows the lineages of families, the inherited whiskers or noses, the long fingers, the soft chins.
There is one thing she has learned from those centuries, one rule she keeps reminding herself-all that are born must die.
Humanity is so fragile.
She likes to sit in the dark a lot. If the house is empty when she returns, she likes to close the door to the living room, open the blinds, and stare at the night sky. The stars remain constant over the years, as unchangeable as she is, and she looks for old friends as she stares.
This is how he finds her, tripping over a chair as he fumbles to find the light switch.
"It's natural," Shinra says when she asks. "You normally work at night, after all. You collected the dead at night, slept in the day-you're like a vampire!"
Her fingers type furiously.
"I know you're not a vampire. I just said you're like one. Maybe they're your relatives." There is a grin on his face, one that says he's joking.
Still. Vampires? And her? What is he thinking? She feels a little angry at that and expresses it when he says something embarrassing again.
She's lived with Shinra for years, long enough to see the child become a boy become a man. She doesn't think he's quite there yet, traces of adolescence appearing when he talks. Over the years, she's come to learn the things he likes and dislikes, his habits and past times.
He's a good liar, but he needs to be one considering his profession. Even though her job keeps her out at all hours of the day and night, he's is more often than not pulled out for a job. They often miss one another like that, returning only to find the other gone.
Their apartment remains empty a lot, waiting for its owners silently. She hates that, because she doesn't really know if he's gone on a job or if he's just vanished.
When he starts leaving note for her, embarrassing notes in big letters taped to doors and tables, bold capitals stating, HUNNY, I'LL BE BACK SOON! KEEP THE BED WARM!, she tries to remember the relief as her shadows eat all evidence of their existence.
Shinra has a lot of friends and over time, she supposes she can say they are her friends as well. Maybe.
She likes talking Shizuo, listening to his problems and laughing when he tries to hide his attachment to his brother. He's rather strong, and she admires that. Admires a lot of him. He's her first and her best customer.
Izaya is...different. She doesn't quite trust him.
If Shizuo is straight-forward, honest, then Izaya is the snake in the grass. She can't trust the words that fall from his honeyed tongue, the oily half-truths. He slides and slips in and out of her grip and she can't understand him.
She isn't sure if she wants to.
One thing has remained constant this past years, Shinra's love for her.
It hurts, a lot, when he lies to her. When she has to discover where her head is, that he knew it all along, by herself. Why can't he tell her these things? She doesn't hate him for it, only feels disappointed.
They've been together for years. He should trust her enough to know she won't hate him for the truth. He knows how hard she searches, how she's been living in confusion for years.
True, she doesn't need her head for this life. She's doing fine without it, without the memories or the explanations. Still...she would have liked to make the decision herself. To actually see her head and think, "I don't need it anymore."
To not have someone else orchestrate it all for her. Shinra doesn't understand this-while this life is enough at times, there is always a part of her that whispers, "Why am I here? Am I the last of my kind?" There is a part of her that wonders just who she was, what she was doing, to find the answers for once.
It seems impossible now.
Love is an abstract concept, something that only humans can really understand. Is it because she has no head, because she is missing part of herself, that she can't understand love? Will her head contain the key to understanding her feelings, to understanding emotions?
Shinra says he loves her, has loved her since they first met her. She can believe that, that he thinks that at least. But what is love? Is it the comfort of finding a light on when she returns from a hard delivery? Is it the relief at hearing his voice, the daily routine of hitting him when he admires her, the fact that she is used to this life?
She doesn't know. She doesn't know a lot of things anymore. If anything, she can say she is used to him and his ways, used to the things that he does and the words he never says. This is a stable life, though it has been cracking and breaking at times, and it is good enough.
She might never know love, never understand what causes Shinra to sing her name and smile at her appearance. That's fine.
Celty is happy with this life and she'll take what she can get.