Pins and Needles

He looks different. He's taller, a lot taller, and older, too. His face has lost that chubby baby fat. His smile's still the same, though.

It still makes her heart flutter.

But she didn't expect him to change so much.

To her he was always that twelve year old boy who played with her at the beach; who build sandcastles until the weather went cold and his hands were rubbed raw; who comforted her when Miss Natsuhi scolded her for being so clumsy; who read mystery novels with her under the white arbor and promised to take her far, far away someday- maybe not today, but someday.

Someday soon.

But soon never came.

They might have read mystery stories together- no matter how serious the stories or grisly the murders he'd always affect strange accents for each character to make her laugh- but the times they spent together were more like a fairytale.

A hazy dream born on lazy summer days.

When the roses in the rose garden died, so, too did their promise.

He never came back.

Good dreams rarely do, even when your head hits the pillow at the end of the next day and you fall back to sleep.

But he's different now. He's not like the boy from her memories at all. W

Why did she think he wouldn't change?

Why did she think he'd stay the same?

…She was being childish.

He was like a storybook to her- and the words of tales never change; only your interpretations of them as you grow older. She almost started to half-believe he wasn't a real person.

But he is.

He's standing right before her- and it's as surreal as if life has been breathed into her favourite literary characters.

They're not twelve anymore and the weather isn't nearly so fair as it was six years ago. The clouds are heavy and it's going to rain. Everything seems cheery and light-hearted but something dark and ominous lurks underneath their smiles and underneath the sunshine and even, it's true, underneath Yasu's feelings.

He's not the same boy who left her six years ago. She hardly recognizes him. So it's not like she'll hurt her cheerful daydreams if she tries to take revenge. She'll tear apart this cruel reality and leave behind only the good memories.

Memories can't hurt her.

But they do.

Every single night they do.

…And then he extends his hand towards her, smiles- his smile is so wide, so warm, it makes her face flush despite of herself- and says it's nice to meet her. Jessica laughs, 'don't try to act like a gentleman, it's not like you've never met before' and Battler laughs as well.

"I'm trying to reinvent myself! I've got to become a perfect gentleman, just like George, or he'll get all the pretty girls!"

"Haha! Good luck with that."


All of a sudden, he's not so different anymore. His looks have changed so drastically- he's shot up like a weed whilst she's stayed almost the same- but his smile is no different. He's no different.

He's in her happiest memories and her worst nightmares. His smile both comforts and haunts her in a way that makes her feel ill, until she hardly remembers who she is anymore. He makes her miserable. Angry. Almost insane. He splits her personality apart because she's always been indecisive and she doesn't know how to feel about him and she's been secluded for so long she doesn't know how a normal girl is supposed to react and she doesn't know what to do.

She never did.

She think she might hate him but she's not certain.

When she sees that bright smile… she can't help but smile herself.

She loves him, too.

After all this time she still does- or, at least, a part of her does. How could she hurt him?

He hurt her.

But… is that justification enough?

He looks so different and yet he's exactly the same- and, all at once, she feels the same, too; but she never really changed. She feels like a confused young girl who's fallen in love for the first time, and it's wonderful and painful and completely overwhelming.

But Yasu is a good maid, a trained servant, and she's able to hide this emotion behind a small smile.

He'll never know.

She's happy with George and he will never remember what he said, and that's for the best, isn't it? That isn't a tale she wants to pick up again. And yet, even though he hurt her, she can't hate him. She wants to, but… she simply can't.

She was her happiest when she was with him.

And so, stood on the pier with the wind running through her hair, Yasu says her goodbyes.

She bids farewell to her childish self that never changed.

She says goodbye to her old love who broke her heart so badly it could hardly even beat anymore.

And she welcomes Ushiromiya Battler back onto Rokkenjima.

But the Golden Witch isn't nearly so forgiving.

a/n: I wanted to write some of this pairing cause I really like it :3 And I was listening to sappy deco*27 romance songs… XD Though the title for this fic was taken from the Birthday Massacre song 'Pins and Needles'

It's been so long / Feels like pins and needles in my heart / So long / I can feel it tearing me apart

It's somewhat fitting XD

~renahhchen xoxo