for a voice that can't be heard

Shinra's been in love with her since the first moment he saw her, shadows and watery light and a cloak over a head that didn't exist.

He's been in love with her since the first cut and the trembling fingertips, blood spilled simply to be reabsorbed in a process that he didn't understand then—but, he still doesn't understand it.

(He assumes this means he isn't meant to. Like so many things, he isn't meant to understand this either.

With someone like her, he supposes he should be used to it.

– mysteries and moonbeams and Victorian dresses in the cargo hold.)

.

She makes time pass like it's a blur, doesn't even pay attention, he thinks. Time doesn't matter to her. (she has far too much of it.)

.

Sometimes, there are things he wishes he could experience with her: things like having a vocal conversation, things like growing old together, things like children—

But then he remembers how much more important just being with her is, and he can smile and ignore the small details.

(for every word not heard he smiles until his cheeks hurt because it's all he can do to reassure her.)

.

He's sure that her head is beautiful. Most mythical creatures tend to be beautiful (although one could argue—well, he won't go into that), after all. But he still wishes – prays – for her not to find it.

Shinra's thought far too much about the consequences of her finding it, and far too often these fantasies end with him alone. She says that won't happen but he says you don't know that for sure while trying to keep his voice light, but he can still feel the tightness in the undertone.

It isn't lost on her and her shoulders stiffen. Her fingers twitch as though she wants to respond, but he knows he's made her upset, so he isn't surprised when she whirls around and the front door slams seven seconds later.

.

Maybe it makes him a villain how there's a part of him that's willing to hide her head from her forever to keep her with him, but the other part of him holds him back and says no, clearly, firmly, with a hand over his own mouth, no.

.

Ever since he was young, from a time before he needed glasses and before he wore a lab coat, he loved her.

Ever since that first glimpse of her, sailing home with his father, he wanted to know everything about her.

Everything about her and everything about her world and everything he would never be able to see.

.

There's something in the cargo hold, he said to his father, tugging on the older man's sleeve. If he wasn't so selfish, maybe he would regret it.

Instead he says now, isn't he a terrible father? because he isn't nice enough to feel bad about what happened to her, because if it hadn't happened, she wouldn't be here now. (With him.)

.

Maybe I'm afraid of beautiful things, he says once about her head.

She types furiously, because she's as tired of this almost-fight as he is, that's not funny, Shinra.

He says softly, forcing a chuckle into the words, I wasn't trying to be funny.

.

He'd never be selfish enough to assume he could hold onto someone like Celty. But then - that's one of the things that makes her beautiful.

The chase is more fun than the end, and the something is the means to the end of - something.

There was a message in there that he forgot a while back, but it still means something to him, so that's what really matters.

.

(She doesn't know for sure what finding her head will do to her personality -

you don't know for sure celty,

there's no reason to be scared; I'm not going to change,

you don't know that you don't you don't

- and he's too much of a coward to let her find out.)

.

Shinra knows. He knows Celty is the kind of thing too beautiful to hold on to, the kind of thing you can never stay next to, supernatural and fleeting.

Although, he supposes he's more fleeting to her - what, with an average human lifespan, at best.

It's a good reason to keep his distance, knowing that if she actually cared about him, he'd just hurt her in the long run. But - well. Shinra is many things.

(if I don't hurt her, will she remember me? will she forget me within the century?)

He's many things. Kind and selfless are not among those things.

.

He wonders, rarely, what it would look like if they ever had a child - the possibility doesn't even exist, he knows that, but it doesn't stop his mind from wandering - and finds he can't even begin to shape the features.

He thinks, even more rarely, that maybe there is a reason he likes Celty better without her head. Something beyond his ingrained twisted nature, something more human and natural. (don't think about it don't think about it don't)

He stops entertaining the thoughts when the dull ache in the pit of his stomach begins to grow.

The name of the feeling escapes him, and he doesn't mention to it anyone. He doesn't think he wants to know the name, anyhow.

.

By this time in his life, he's not sure his existence has much point besides being in love with her.

It's a little funny, somehow.

.

(Once upon a time, there lived a princess. She lived in a tower on a hillside, guarded by a dragon in human form, and a white knight on a black steed.

But they have nothing to do with this story.

Once upon a time, there lived a sorcerer. He lived in a dark forest and made potions. And every night, this sorcerer would open his doors and welcome in the headless faerie that rode through the trees.

They would talk and be merry, to the point where the sorcerer was sure the faerie loved him as much as he loved her - and perhaps she did. There was no way for him to know, so they simply talked through the night and ate.

Every morning, the faerie would disappear without a word or a sound, as if she had never been there. And every morning, the sorcerer feels an odd hollowness even though he knows she'll come to see him again.)

.

He's also gotten to the point where he's surrounded by people who cause him to never feel scared. Not in the sense that he feels he's protected - no, not at all.

More in the sense that meeting people like Celty and Shizuo and Izaya has given him perspective on life.

He never gets scared because there is no point. Killing him would be simple - easy, even. He knows that. How easily the people around him could crush him reminds him of that every day.

It's not that he feels insignificant or weak. He doesn't. It's just that he knows how fragile humans are, beyond the point of a normal (certified) doctor.

Being around supernatural beings gave him a whole new view on things. Somehow, it made life easier.

.

"You're a freak, y'know that?" Shizuo growled through a mouthful of smoke. Shinra grinned, and the blonde continued, "What the fuck're you doing, walking around this late?"

"I like the city at night! The lights are beautiful."

Shizuo considers the shorter man for a second, frowning. Then, "You don't care about yourself much, d'you."

He can't help the laughter that bursts out, and Shizuo looks more irritated. I'm on my way back from - a job, is the truth, but Shinra doesn't want to say that, so he side-steps it.

"What're you talking about, Shizuo? I care about myself," Shinra chuckled, adjusting his glasses, "I just didn't think I'd need an escort to walk home,"

"Yeah, well," Shizuo grunted, lightly nudging a punk in the stomach with his toe before beginning to walk with Shinra, "You're like a fucking trouble magnet."

"Are you worried about me?" The doctor asked brightly. Shizuo shot him a glare, and Shinra laughed again.

"I'm serious," Shizuo's glasses flashed under the streetlamps as they continued, "You need to be more damn careful. You're too easy to - "

"I know," Shinra sang breezily, waving his hand in the air a bit, "But it was just an accident,"

"One day it isn't gonna be just an accident," Shizuo's growling again, so Shinra laughs to defuse the mood.

(Somewhere on the inside, he thinks that maybe - just maybe - a part of him felt a tiny spark of… something, at the implication. Something almost like uneasiness.

He pushes it away and continues to talk with plenty of hand gestures and laughs. It was nothing new or unusual for Ikebukuro. People were mugged all the time, sometimes even killed, and Shinra's no different from those people.

It strikes him suddenly that Shizuo cares about him - or rather, he realizes, rather than notices. It's oddly touching, and he has no clue how to respond.)

.

She's an urban legend. Someone who belongs to the imagination of the people of the city.

He's ridiculously proud, and happy that people see how amazing Celty is, but at the same time… there's a part of him that almost wishes she had stayed out of the public consciousness.

Maybe he feels as though that would help him hold onto her. If he was the only one who knew her, he wouldn't have to share.

.

Even he's capable of becoming frustrated, he reflects. Depressed, maybe, even. He's only human after all - so human that it hurts.

.

Celty is unnatural and eerie, and even more so compared to a twisted guy like himself.

She was the kind of beauty no one could describe. The kind of everything that couldn't be described, and that's exactly why he loves her the way he does.

Because however close he gets, he'll never actually be able to touch her heart - for the simple reason that she doesn't have one.

end.


Thank you for reading, if you did. 3 Funny how easy Shinra is to write, and yet ridiculously difficult at the same time, ahahah.

Been writing this fanfic for... months. I finally feel like I've gotten it to a good place to let it rest, but at the same time, I'm not sure how I feel about it. /: I think there's a ton that could be fixed or taken out or improved or even added... but I dunno. I guess it's alright. :'D

I tried a much choppier, dreamy sort of style for this - it doesn't look that different from other fics of mine but damn it feels different. I had to try not to explain every little thing and, gah.

(I'm also thinking of taking out his dialogue with Shizuo and turning that into another little drabble, on its own. Any opinions?)

..Oh. I'd also like feedback on everyone's characterization - mostly Shinra and Shizuo's, because Celty's is going to be a bit skewed from Shinra's point of view anyways.
And another note on Shinra's POV : I feel like I might have made him... kind of... I don't even know the word. 8D

ALSO, ridiculously nervous right now. I'm realizing that my view of Shinra is probably skewed as everything else in my writing. I hope no one takes badly to this...