"I'm sorry, Adele. I didn't know," Ryfia apologized quietly, holding a slim hand over her now reddened cheek. She was in shock; the usually happy and upbeat Adele had just backhanded her without a second thought. "I'm not trying to take L'arc away from you!"
Adele's silence hurt Ryfia more than the slap had. She did not know what to do, how to comfort the other woman, so she stared at the wooden floor, hoping it would give her a much needed answer. Ryfia had never felt so useless as she did now, the woman she looked up too most hated her, hated that L'arc would only ever look at her and not Adele. Everything was his fault; he hurt Adele without realizing it.
Ryfia wanted to heal that wound, but she knew it was too late. The damage had already been dealt.
"I know," Adele whispered belatedly, her voice warbling. Ryfia looked up to the unwelcome sight of tear-stained cheeks. The other woman was trembling, trying to fight back unshed tears with little success. Ryfia had never wanted to see the pink haired woman in this state, had never imagined that Adele could feel such painful emotions. "He won't ever see me as anything more than his friend. He will never come to me and tell me that he loves me. I know. I know. I know."
"Please don't cry Adele," Ryfia said, slowly encircling her arms around the older woman's waist, pulling her close in an awkward hug. Adele startled at the sudden movement before wrapping her arms around Ryfia's slim body, burying her face against the other woman's neck. "If L'arc won't look at you, then I will."
"When L'arc doesn't acknowledge you, I will. When he doesn't show you love, I will," Ryfia went on, she never wanted to see that pained expression on Adele's face ever again. She wanted the happy Adele back, wanted her Adele back.
"You're something, you know that?" Adele chuckled halfheartedly into Ryfia's neck. The hands gripping Ryfia's body to the point of pain betraying her calm voice. Ryfia did not know if she was inflicting more damage on the pink haired woman by saying those things. She only did what she thought was right, perhaps it was selfish of her.
And in that selfishness, she lifted that beautiful face from the crook of her neck and gently kissed her. Adele responded timidly, much to Ryfia's delight. The other woman was not pushing her away, telling her to stop, it thrilled Ryfia. Adele was hers, if only for this one night.
"And when you want his body, you can take mine," Ryfia said softly as their lips parted, staring intently into Adele's watery violet eyes.
"You're too kind for your own good," the pink haired woman stated, pulling away. An air of uncertainty surrounded her, and Ryfia feared that Adele regretted what had just transpired. "Thank you."
"You don't need to do any of that for me," Adele smiled weakly. "Just knowing you're there for me is enough."
Ryfia hugged her again, and they stood that way for a long time. Tomorrow everything would be the same; all the same words would be left unspoken. She hoped her strength would be enough to keep Adele from falling apart. Hoped her love would be enough to counter the pain L'arc inflicted.
It would never be enough, the reality of that statement hitting Ryfia as she watched her friend taunt L'arc, telling him that she would kill him if he did not kill her first. It hurt, watching Adele turn into a madwoman before her very eyes.
Everything that had happened to these people was Ryfia's fault, and she would fight to make everything right again. It was her duty as a Diva under Imaginal's Law.