Title: The Question
Day/Theme: Aug. 11 / all cities were the same
Character/Pairing: Raine, Genis
A/N: So, it was going to be longer but I can't think of anything to add.
Summary: She lies, because that is all she can do, all she knows how to do, because it is the one thing that keeps them safe.



It starts with one simple, not-so-innocent question, "Are you a half-elf?"

Always, it starts like that. Raine enters the village, steps just past that first gate, and the question is encroached. They pay no mind to Genis's cuts, to the dirt that stains his clothing like a permanent (sin, like their blood, like their title) shadow. His hair is cut unevenly and her clothes are slightly torn.

If they were human, they would have shelter and concern immediately. As it is, they have to contend with that question and all it represents.

She gives a weary stare at the person who asks it, a young woman this time. "And tell the truth."

The truth? She almost laughs at that, the truth. What is it? That yes, they are half-elves and have been chased for that one unchangeable fact.

They are something no one wants.

(She carries her baby brother, his fragile frame nestled safely in a bundle of clothes, as they traverse the broad plains of this world. In the first few towns she makes the mistake of telling the truth.

The bruises, dark reminders on her skin, ensure she doesn't make the same mistake again.)

The girl watches expectantly and Raine almost wants to ask her, How do you know what is the truth? Does she think a light will shine, that Raine's face will contort the moment a falsehood slips out? What does she expect; that half-elves have this mark on them, this symbol of evil that helps them stand out?

(And maybe they do, because to those villagers, they are all the same, they are all that faceless, nameless evil. Something to be rid of, to avoid, to toss away. Something—they are not someone-to threaten, maim, kill. )

"We're elves," Raine finally states, watching the relief grow on the girl's face. Genis glances at her, curious, but she shakes her head.

They have been the hunted long enough.