It hurt. It hurt. How could something that hurt so much feel so good?
I grunted when I cut a long line down my innocence. The blood was invisible against the scarlet color of my limb but I felt the liquid run down my arm and I saw it drip from my fingertips onto the checkered carpet beside my bed. I sighed softly as I felt the wound throb painfully, reveling in it. As soon as the throbbing dissipated I made another cut, this one not as long but was deeper. I watched as even more blood dripped off my fingertips wishing I could see the blood run down my arm. I didn't want to cut my other arm though. It was my innocence that was the reason for my turmoil.
If I wasn't born with this arm then I wouldn't have been abandoned by my parents. Then I wouldn't have suffered from the loss of Mana because I wouldn't have met him. I wouldn't have become an exorcist and I would have lived in ignorant bliss. But no, I was born with it and I have to live with the burden of being in a war. Every night I have nightmares of the people I couldn't save. I dream of their souls crying to me, asking me why I didn't save them.
A baby's cry rung through my mind and I gritted my teeth as I savagely tore at my arm with the knife tightly clenched in my hand. Cutting was the only way to clear my mind and distract me from the memories I try so hard to avoid but today's memories just wouldn't go away.
It had been just a baby, not even a year old, and it had been such a weak akuma. I was too late. If I had just been a little faster then I could've saved everyone, especially that innocent baby. But no, I was left watching in horror as the akuma ruthlessly attacked the crowd of people. I killed it easily and I had crawled over to the baby still clutched in his mother's arms, pentacles spreading throughout its little body. The last noise it made was a cry, as he looked me in the eyes, begging me to help him. Now the only remnant of him was the powder in my uniform pocket.
I tear slowly glided down my cheek but I didn't bother to wipe it away. Suddenly fury filled me and I sliced through my arm, the cut overlapping all the others that I had made, unable to stop from letting out a small cry from the pain that filled me. This was my punishment for not being good enough. Suddenly the fury left me and all that I could feel was despair.
My door suddenly opened with a soft creak and I momentarily panicked but relaxed when I saw that it was only Lavi. He was the only one who knew that I cut myself and he always came to me, the towels he held a testament of that. I'm glad that he was the one who caught me and not somebody else. Because he's the Bookman's apprentice he can't tell anyone because that would be interfering but he won't record it because he's my friend.
He looked at me with disappointment and resignation. He always gave me that same look when he saw me like this and it never failed in making me feel ashamed. I didn't like him seeing me this way and I don't even know how he knows when I cut. He just does.
Lavi gestured with his free hand at my arm, his way of asking if I was done cutting. I looked at my innocence in contemplation before I nodded and dropped the knife on the bed. I cut too much already, a lot more than usual. If I cut anymore then I would die and quite frankly, death was too good for me. He nodded slowly before he closed my door behind him and quietly walked over to me.
He crouched down and tenderly picked up my arm and wrapped a towel over the wounds, forcing my other hand to hold onto it and keep pressure on them. I obediently kept my hand there as he took another towel, this one wet, and began scrubbing at the carpet. I felt a little guilty that he was cleaning up my mess but I was in no condition to do it myself.
I watched as the red on the white checkers turned pink which faded until there was only a slight tinge that was impossible to get out. It didn't really matter I didn't like people in my room so it was doubtful that it would be noticed. Lavi wiped his face and turned his attention back to my arm, nodding in satisfaction when he saw that the bleeding had stopped. The noticed that the white towel, a thick towel at that, was completely soaked in blood so there wasn't a trace of white on it.
Lavi took the towel and threw it on the ground before he took another wet towel and began to gently, so gently, wipe the blood from my arm. He had to lean over it closely, so close that I could feel his breath against my skin, in order to avoid my wounds. He was so damn careful and his movements were slow like I could break with any sudden movement.
A warm feeling spread through my chest and I gritted my teeth and forced myself to look away from him. I didn't like how I felt ecstatic every time I saw Lavi. I despised how my heart beats faster whenever I'm around him. And I absolutely hate that warm happy feeling that goes through me whenever he takes care of me in such a tender way. It was such a foreign feeling to me, this warm bubbly feeling, I didn't know what it was. All I know is I only feel it when I'm around him.
But no matter how much I hate it, I can't tell him to leave. I've tried to multiple times but the words never leave my mouth because I know that seeing his back walk out the door would be even worse.
I heard him sigh and I look back and watched as he threw the soiled towel with the other one. He wrapped the last towel around my arm, making sure that it was secure but not so tight that it would my wounds start to bleed again. He didn't bother with bandages because he knew I would just take them off. Bandages would draw attention and no one could see the wounds because of the color of my arm. Satisfied with his work, Lavi looked at me sadly and I could see pain in his emerald eye and I felt guilty and ashamed that I was hurting him but also a bit confused. I didn't understand why seeing me hurt hurt him too.
He suddenly reached toward my face and I flinched. He faltered a little but he carried on wiping the tears away from my eyes gently. I didn't even realize I was still crying. He gave me a tiny, strained smile and he turned around and leaned against the bed. He made it a point to never leave because he intuitively knew that if he left I could start cutting again. He waited until I fell asleep and when the sun rose to the sky he would silently go back to his own room. I didn't know if he even slept when he stayed in my room.
I sighed as I closed my eyes, intent on going to sleep. A baby's cry went through my head again and my eyes snapped open and settled on my coat that hung on the coat hanger across the room. I don't know why I had put the dust in my pocket, it was a stupid impulse, but now I felt like he was trapped in there. I should set him free.
With a grunt I got out of bed, ignoring Lavi's protest. As soon as I stood up I felt dizzy and weak and I swayed, almost falling down. Luckily Lavi was there, grabbing onto me and steadying me. I really did go too far tonight. When I was sure that I wasn't going to collapse I stumbled to my coat and carefully took it off the hanger, careful to keep the pocket upright and I held it to my shirtless chest not bothering to put it on.
I opened the door and made sure no one was in the halls before I slowly walked out, Lavi following close behind me. I felt so dizzy and a bit hazy it was hard to walk. I stumbled on a loose tile but Lavi caught me before I could fall. Instead of letting go when I steadied myself, he wrapped an arm around my waist to support me. I accepted his help and leaned against him heavily, resting my head on his shoulder. The smell of grass just after rainfall filled my nose and I smiled at how it suited Lavi perfectly.
Finally we reached a large door which I shoved open with my leg, knowing it wasn't locked from past experience. It swung open without a single noise and we started to climb the stairs that was behind it. We reached another door which I opened in the same manner and when it swung open it revealed the wide open space of the rooftop.
It was raining hard and I was wet the instant I walked outside. The raindrops hit my skin like little bullets and my pants started sticking to my legs uncomfortably but I didn't care. Lavi didn't let go of me as I began to walk to the edge of the building but he didn't tighten his hold over me, like he was scared that I was going to jump. I had to admit it was a little tempting as I looked down and saw the ground at least a mile away but it wasn't my intention.
I sat down on the cold wet ground, Lavi following suite, and I held my coat away from me and flipped it upside down. I watched as all the grey dust flew out of its confines and scattered away with the wind. As I watched the dust fly away from view I felt a strange feeling of contentment. I looked at Lavi who was frowning in confusion yet unwilling to ask any questions.
He never asked me any questions before because he knew I didn't want to talk. No matter how much he wanted to talk to me or question me, he kept silent, waitingfor me to be ready to talk to him. Maybe it was because of his patience that I suddenly felt like talking.
"It was just a baby," I said, gesturing to the sky and Lavi looked at me carefully without saying anything. "He was so cute like all babies. He had brown curly hair, wide brown eyes and these red little cheeks." My voice cracked a little and I had to clear my throat before continuing. "Then a level one akuma appeared but I was too late to save him. He died and he was only a year old. Tell me Lavi, what good is having this innocence if I can't even protect a little baby?"
Tears were running down my face but they were undistinguishable from the rain pouring down. I gasped when Lavi suddenly grabbed me and forced me into his lap so I was straddling him. I blushed at the intimate position. Before I could ask Lavi what he was doing I felt a hand force my head against his shoulder and an arm press my body against his. I was too surprised to move. I felt his mouth move close to my ear.
"Let it out." I heard Lavi whisper and I felt something shatter inside me. Suddenly I was sobbing into his shoulder, clutching onto his wet shirt desperately. I felt him hug me tightly and I heard him whisper into my ear reassuringly, sometimes in different languages. It didn't matter that I didn't know what he was saying, it was enough that he was there. I felt something bubble up and I just screamed as loud as I could, letting out all the frustration and guilt that was inside me.
I panted, feeling lighter and better than I have for a long time. I buried my head into Lavi's shoulder and I felt him hug me even tighter. It was so cold and we were both shivering from being wet in this weather but for some reason I felt so warm inside. I felt so safe in Lavi's arms. I lifted my head from his shoulder and I looked at him. He looked at me with a determined look and I blinked in confusion as he leaned in close, so close that our nose brushed against each other.
Understanding dawned on me and I blushed but I didn't move away. Slowly, giving me time to stop him if I wanted to, he pressed his lips against mine. Even though I knew what his intentions were, feeling his lips against mine surprised me. My heart began beating so fast I could feel it and my entire body felt tingly especially my lips. Before I could react he moved away again, watching me anxiously.
I didn't know what to do. I didn't really understand what was going on and I didn't know what these feelings were. I've never experienced them before and all this was just so damn confusing. But as I looked at him, as I saw how worried he was getting as time passed, I stopped caring. I darted forward and I pressed my lips against his awkwardly and I felt him make a small noise of surprise.
Then he began moving. He moved his lips sensually against my own, I felt a hand thread through my hair and an arm pressed our bodies even closer together so there wasn't any space between us. I opened my mouth and moaned softly as I closed my eyes. His tongues slipped into my mouth and wrapped around mine. I clutched onto him tightly. I didn't know what to do so I just went along with him.
It wasn't long before breathing became an issue and I gently tugged on his shirt. Lavi broke the kiss and we both looked at each other as we panted for air. I was surprised to see that emerald eye I like so much lit up in happiness but I was even more surprised when I realized he was happy because of me. He gently stroked my cheek and I leaned into the touch, watching as a small smile grew on his face.
"We should get back." Lavi whispered and I nodded numbly. I tried to get up but I found myself to weak, I was still suffering from all the blood I had lost earlier. I gasped in surprise when Lavi picked me up bridal style and I clutched onto his neck in case he dropped me. He shifted me around a bit before he began carrying me back to my room.
When I realized that he wasn't going to drop me, I relaxed and let go of his neck and I rested my head against his chest. I heard his heart beating against my ear as if it was proof that Lavi was really there and I wasn't just dreaming.
When we got to my room he gently put me on my bed and I immediately took off my pants so I was only in my boxers, the need to get the wet cloth away from me riding over my embarrassment of stripping in front of Lavi. I immediately threw my blanket over myself and looked at Lavi who was standing awkwardly, unsure if he should leave or not. I gave him a small shy smile as I lifted part of the blanket in an obvious invitation.
Lavi gave me a grateful smile before he too stripped to his boxers and slipped into bed beside me. Feeling a bit awkward, I looked away from him but then I felt him pull me towards him. I curled around his cold body and used his shoulder as a pillow, smiling when I heard his heart beat against my ear again. I felt his arm encircle my body and I closed my eyes and let the rhythm of his heart lull me to sleep. Just before I fell into sleep I heard Lavi whisper "I love you" into my ear.
It was so warm and comfortable which was unusual for me. Usually it was cold in the mornings. I slowly opened my eyes and stifled a gasp when I saw Lavi's face an inch away from mine. Memories from last night filled me and I smiled. Slowly, I reached forward and stroked Lavi's cheek like he had done to me last night and I marveled how the skin was so soft.
I love you
Lavi loved me. There wasn't even any doubt in my mind. The way Lavi had looked after me for so long was proof. I didn't know if I loved him back, I don't even know what love is because I have so little experience with it but I do know that I care a lot about Lavi. I know that I wouldn't be able to live without him. That warm feeling was still in me but now I didn't despise it like I did before. Now I accepted it.
I smiled as I shifted around but frowned when something poked me. I carefully moved Lavi's arms that were wrapped around me and sat up. I dug around the blanket and found the knife I had used last night. I looked at the blade carefully, fingering the brown dried blood that crusted the steel. Ordinarily I would've cleaned the blade up so it was ready for me the next time I wanted to cut but I didn't want to today. I didn't feel the need to.
I love you
With a grim smile, I leaned over and threw the knife under the bed instead of placing it under the pillow like I usually did. Then I laid back down beside Lavi and closed my eyes, intent on going back to sleep. I felt his arms wrap back around me and I smiled.
I can't say I'll never cut again because I'm not sure of that myself. I can say that I don't feel the need to anymore, the urge is small and easily ignored. Right now, as I lie in bed with Lavi, I think that things will be better. And even if they aren't, I'm content in knowing that Lavi will still be there for me.
I love you