Our Curse

Chapter 1: Crescent Moon

by Killiko Jun
killiko_jun@yahoo.com

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A/N; This was started at night, school night too and I just -know- I'll regret it in the morning but damnations,
I will chalk this out before I pass out ^_^ This is an AU fic that circles around Auron and Rikku, together.
I'm fond of giving my characters so more depth than your harlequin novels so even if there will be
romance, I will flesh out Rikku and Auron in the process. I hope everyone enjoys the story!

Disclaimor: I wish I owned Auron and Rikku, but I'll just content myself with the plushies for now XD
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When she smothered the candleflame between her fingers, she was drowned in darkness.
In this murky black, she could calm the stormy thoughts that raged inside her mind, quell the nightmares
that haunted her. In the silence of the room, her breathing was a steady, quiet sound and her green eyes
flickered as a bird flitted on the branches outside her window. She rubbed her forehead gingerly, furrows
forming, and then opened her eyes, staring almost dully at the ceiling.

Her dress lay in folds, dunes of satin and lace against the white seas of her bedsheets.
Her head craned to the side, revealing a graceful neck, as she began to undress. Fair
skin highlighted hauntingly in the moonlight. She smiled ruefully. They called her a beautiful ghost,
a spectre, a ghoul that could easily steal your soul with a glance, a touch. Yet a pale beautiful
woman still.

She walked to a basin of water nearby, dressed now in a plain nightgown, and proceeded
to wash off a day's worth of sweat and fake, strained smiles. Her fingers rubbed furiously and when she cooled
her skin with the water, she looked up to see a more happier young woman. Cocking her head slightly
to the side, she let her wispy blonde hair fall over her naked shoulders.

The branches swayed as the wind howled, their shadows breaking her fair face with black
rivulets. She sighed tiredly and walked over to her bed, curling up in the cold sheets as she watched
the moon.

She fought sleep, fought the nightmare that had drawn grey circles under her eyes.

Heavy footsteps pounded mutely outside and she heard her door creak open. She quickly
shut her eyes and breathed in her sheets.

"Rikku?" whispered Cid as he held a small oil lantern in his hands. Upon seeing his
daughter asleep, he smiled warmly and shut the door.

A heartbeat of silence passed and Rikku let out a tired and frustrated sigh, eyes opening slightly.
Her lashes fanned downwards as she gazed at the moon, so slim and crescent that it reminded her of
the way the light shone on spectacles.

Spectacles.

She drew the sheets within heself, suddenly afraid of the moon and the night. There was no
need to think of such things for they would only lead to the nightmares. Burying her face into the pillows,
Rikku forced her tears away but could not stop her pounding heart.

***

The wine glass revolved in his grasp as his solemn gaze penetrated the gold-designed glass
to the moon outside.

Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Red like the wine swirling in his glass and blue like the shine of dragonfly
wings. Red like sunset-razed fields and blue like the seas. Red like his velvet coat and blue like the
coldness he felt inside.

Red like the blood that covered his hands and the pale blue pallor of the dead that
haunted him.

He frowned and his grip around the wine glass hardened. A wave of nausea took him and the
room swirled and bent like a twisted painting. He staggered somewhat in front of the fireplace and in one
swift motion, smashed the wine glass into the flames.

The flames roared and his one, unscarred eye gazed dispassionately at the shards of glass
littering the firewood. He blinked and the glass shards sparkled and died, engulfed by the fire's plight.
Pushing his arm off the mantleplace, he retreated from the firelight and sat himself on a great mahogony
chair, cushioned by a crimson pillow. Without noticing, his left hand traced the dips and graves of the
designs etched on the armrests. Scaly serpents twisted and entertwined themselves on the wood, so closely bound
that it was difficult to see where they ended and started, if they ended at all. His slick, charcoal black hair was
pulled back in a long ponytail, tied by a simple grey band. A stubble was growing on his chin and jaw
and he reminded himself to shave it tomorrow morning.

He rested his head on the back of the chair and closed his eye, trying to blot out the
memories of the horrifying transformation that had cracked his bones and almost tore apart his muscles.
Alpha had informed him months ago that the transformation was unkind and cursed the bearers for eternity.

Cursed just like his life.

Sagging because of his sorrow, he slumped in the seat, looking too old and tired for the
fineries around him. The gold plated plates, the velvet carpets, the elaborate tapestries and fine feast
before him were merely swathes of misused paint to hide the sullen, crumpled, crying soul that was Auron's.

The door slammed open and Auron didn't even flicker his eyelid. His mute maid
had come to cleanse the drying blood that caked his torn sleeves and pant legs, and to supply
him a fresh set of clothes and boots. Auron proceeded to undress, shaking off his screaming muscles
and cleaning absent-mindedly the fresh scars and scratches with a basin of water. He observed his
maid, who worked hasitly but not nervously. She was forever imprisonned in silence, her mousy
auburn hair tied neatly in a ponytail and her figure hidden by the monotony of servant clothes. She rose
her gaze to her Master and her odd-shaded eyes looked at him questionningly.

"You may go," rasped he as he shouldered a fresh green jacket and wore a pair of brown
pants.

She cocked her head. Are you sure?

Auron nodded and stated, "I'm fine by myself. You needn't worry."

She curtsied and left as Auron reached for a new wine glass and proceeded to drink.
She would have been a fragile-looking young girl and being sheltered by his castle walls did little
to her naivete sometimes.

Sometimes, when Auron looked at her, he found himself somewhat taken aback by the
knowledge that her green and blue irises held. They seemed to pronounce wisdom beyond
her years and frail frame. Her eyes radiated such a deep, unsettling feeling of compassion that
Auron felt like he was in the prescence of his close friend Braska once more.

Braska.

He trailed his eye to the window and the crescent moon hung in the sky, waxing slowly over
time.

Auron fell into a dreamless sleep as a lone wolf howled, waking Rikku in screams.