A/N: That's right, I'm not updating my stories. I've done nothing this past week except continuously write in my notebook multiple Pandora Hearts one-shots. I've been on a spree since the latest chapter. I can't help it...
So welcome to my first Elliot/Leo. :P It's not as long as my Ozbert one, but nevertheless, I worked just as hard on this one! This is for OfWithHisHead's contest on dA (which I hear Rejected-frogotten love also wishes to participate in ;D READ HER FANFICS!) with the "on the other side" theme. But also I got inspired for the "color" theme, so I'll post it later... =w=
Please, read and enjoy!
Maybe you thought that THAT time would be the last that you saw of me. I wouldn't hold it against you, you crass bastard.
But I kept going to the House of Fianna, mostly in secret. You should've been grateful; it's not easy for an underage noble with protective siblings to slip out. Not to mention my father didn't even WANT me in Sablier, for one reason or another. When it began to seem weird that I was going through said lengths just to see you – the rudest orphan I had ever met – I convinced myself that you were worth it. You were interesting.
I kept wanting to sit beside you on the other side of the bookshelf, you see. The nuns told me you were always holing yourself up in the library. Just like the day when I first laid eyes on you.
I had a plan to tell you off – thinking you were SUCH a righteous bastard that you could even bother to properly communicate with people. (Funny, that sounds like what my classmates at Latowidge keep telling me... But I digress). So I found you sitting on the floor, just like the first time, with a book open before you. You were next to a window, the sun's rays spilling out on your lap as you silently read. It looked cozy. And I don't think you even heard me come in, or sensed me at all. Or maybe you were ignoring me. I opted for the former.
For reasons I beat myself up for later on, I scrambled to the other side of the shelf where you sat so that you wouldn't be able to see me.
It was so quiet in here, I don't know how you didn't notice me. I'm not really used to NOT being noticed. That book really must have been something. I walked down the aisle as softly as I could, my heart racing. Through an open slot where a book should be, I caught a glimpse of your unkempt black hair, and I took a seat on the floor where I knew you'd be directly behind me.
I don't know why I stayed there, silent for so long – hours going by when all I heard was my own bated breath and the crisp sound of you turning pages. You finished two whole books while I sat there, feeling much like a content, teenaged stalker. But I respected the silence you seemed to appreciate. At the Nightray mansion, something or another was always going on; there was always noise of some sort, proof that there was life. That's not to say, the air around you seemed dead – just the opposite. Being in this library with you, just lost in my own thoughts – which always somehow managed to come back to you – as I knew that you were there, lost in your realm of stories. It was being content.
Sometimes I heard you chuckle, or even have an outright laughing fit. I should've been annoyed, annoyed that I wasting my time sitting in silence next to a person who was being a mysterious, gleeful idiot. But I ended up smiling a little myself. When we first met, you were scowling, so I became curious: what did your smile look like? I couldn't see it from where I was.
Whenever the light from outside turned from white to golden-orange, I knew night was approaching and that I should leave, so I would quietly head to the door, making sure you never suspected I was there. Or had always been there. Every time I came back, you were there in your same corner in front of the same window, a different pile of books next to you for the day. It didn't matter if you were lying down, sitting up, or had your legs folded in, you never took notice of me – and I never allowed you to, as I settled myself on the other side of the bookshelf.
You weren't reading on some days. Only some. Once, I heard you humming a tune I didn't recognize. It was something you made up, I think; you'd experiment with the notes until the melody became something you were satisfied with. I heard tapping with each note you hummed.
"No, that's not how it should go," you murmured in slight frustration.
So I found out that day that you were a composer as well as a loyal reader – you know, besides being a completely rude, imprudent little-!
The next sounds I heard wasn't humming, but singing. Your voice was husky, and it cracked a little at the softer notes, but I still felt myself keeping away the urge to have you sing a little louder – for ME.
"Every time you kissed me, I trembled like a child..."
Warm blood rushed to my cheeks as you continued to weave your song, I not even daring to breathe. You know, I didn't let anyone listen to me when I composed my own piece on my violin. Was it the same for you, perhaps? Musicians were perfectionists – I knew I was listening in on something private and intimate. This was something no one but you was supposed to hear. I was pretty sure that that was why I took in your voice with relish.
You clicked your tongue, and there was a rustling of paper. I guess you had been writing your piece down. "It'll be easier once I'm actually on the piano," you said, and you continued humming your song.
My heart pounded. A violin and a piano would sound so beautiful together. The urge to reach out was getting stronger each time I was with you, watching from the blindside. How much longer would I cower, frozen on the other side, where you didn't even know I existed?
After about a month of me coming by to see you, the spring rains began to visit frequently. I knew it would be riskier to sneak into the House of Fianna when I was expected to stay inside because of the rain. But at Latowidge, I'm not exactly known for being the abiding type.
I sat on my side of the bookshelf like usual. After a few visits, I came with my own books, sometimes with blank sheets of paper to write songs. I didn't hum like you did, but it wasn't like I could anyway. I also had to be careful about moving the sheets of paper about, and even opening my bag had to be done very quietly. I was coming to find I'd do anything to preserve that peaceful solitude on your side, the side I couldn't bring myself to cross.
A certain melody came in my head whenever I was around you, and I was just now coming to write it down. This was you. This song was for you. I didn't even know if you were ever going to receive it from me.
It was sunless outside from the dark-gray clouds slugging across the sky, threatening to pour the cool rain down on the earth. If I didn't hurry back home, I knew I'd be caught in the downpour, and it'd be difficult for me to have my carriage wait through that. I wrapped up the last few notes before they left my mind. Being near you, the song poured freely, as if it had been in my mind forever. After my papers had been carefully and soundlessly put back in my bag, I got up, getting ready to leave. But before I could mentally promise you I'd return, I heard a cracked sob escape your throat that seemed to automatically seize my heart.
Of course, it wasn't like I hadn't heard you cry before. It wasn't a lot, but from my side of the bookshelf, I'd hear you sniff. Probably from the book you were reading. But the crying you were doing now seemed different. You weren't shedding tears for the story. This was something else. Your next few sentences confessed as much.
You made a sound that sounded like a disgusted scoff. It was the first cruel noise I heard you make. "It must be nice, Edgar," you said, and I realized with a start you were talking to your book. "It must be nice to have so many people mourn you after you're dead. After I was taken away when my parents died, no one came for me. I haven't even been adopted. Who will miss me once I'm gone? Who...do I...have?"
Your words choked at the end, and you inhaled sharply. I peeked through the books, moving the ones on my side a little so I could have a better view of you. It was the first time I had seen this much of your face since that very first day. Your black bangs were just as long as before, teasing your cheekbones and coming down in an unruly mess down your shoulders. But it didn't hide the glittering tears I saw streaking your cheeks. Your fingertips were white from gripping your book so tightly. If I angled my head just a little more, I could make out the corner of your wet eye, a small flash of black lashes...
"This used to be enough," you said in anger. You shoved the book away from you, like it was suddenly poisonous. You curled within yourself, hugging your knees to your chest tightly, and your shoulders began to shake.
Then I couldn't take it anymore. It had gone on long enough. Without anymore hesitation, I crossed over onto your side of the bookshelf – on the other side. And you jumped when I was suddenly in front of you, your head snapping up to look at me. You had been so confident and stable the first time. This pitiful state didn't suit you, even for a peasant.
"I wouldn't forgive you if you died," I interrupted quickly, crossing my arms. You probably had no idea where this reprimanding tone was coming from, but later on you learned that that was just me. I furrowed my brows together, tilting my head slightly. "If you died, I wouldn't forget it. I wouldn't forget you. I'd sooner fight death Himself...before you tried to crawl over to him."
You didn't say anything at first, but you had stopped crying. You didn't wipe away the tears that had already fallen. Later on, I'd criticize you for looking like a girl when your leg shot out and sharply kicked my shin.
I stumbled to the floor, glaring at you. "What the hell was THAT for?"
Now you got up, smoothing over your shirt. Under those bangs, I saw a sliver of purple flashing dangerously at me. "Who said anything about dying?" you demanded in a placid tone. "Dear noble, don't they teach manners alongside your studies? This stuff is kinda beneath you."
My eyes widened as you chastised me. An illusion – that crying little boy I saw just now was an illusion! "What are you talking about?" I said, rising back up. I noted in satisfaction that I had an inch or two on you. "Here I am, minding my own business when you're talking this mess of who will miss you when you're gone! Forgive me for trying to cheer you up!"
That seemed to floor you for a second, but you quickly recovered. "I never said I wanted your help," you said, tossing some of your messy hair behind your shoulder. "And it's hardly minding your business when you always stealthily come in here and try to stalk me! Really, have you no life at all?"
"Oh, don't even-!" I paused, your words slowly sinking into my mind, followed by a strong sense of dread. My heartbeat pounded in my ears as you placed your hands in your pockets, a smirk gracing your lips. "Th-that... Y-y-you...!"
You chuckled. "Really, you thought I'd never find out? Even little orphans like me are aware of their surroundings. I realized you were the same Nightray boy from before. Elliot, I think it was? So hard to keep up with you guys."
"You knew I was there!" I declared belatedly.
You hummed in agreement. I scowled, your stupid cocky attitude getting under my skin. Just as I was getting to telling you off, you asked casually, "So what were you doing all that time? You were pretty quiet, which I was shocked about..."
"What, did you want to ask if I could be your servant again?" you asked, tilting your head towards me.
"I...!" I frowned. To be honest, I don't think I had pondered it all that much. I had been so busy with the fact of just wanting to SEE you because it always made me feel so much BETTER – so much like...I wasn't alone. I hadn't even known I WAS lonely until I started seeing you like this. But to ask again if you would be my valet... It seemed like the logical next step.
"Hey," I began quietly, softening my expression. "If you really felt like all that you said, why didn't you just accept my offer the first time?"
"Eh? Oh, don't take that personally. I don't like people in general. I told you off, since that usually keeps everyone away." You shrugged nonchalantly. "Didn't expect you to actually come back. More than once, for that matter." Sheepishly, you scratched your cheek.
"If I asked again, would you want to become my servant?" I asked tentatively. I had to do it; I had already crossed to the other side, and now I wouldn't leave until I pushed all boundaries.
"What would happen if I said yes?" you said in something like a defeated sigh. "Would I have to learn proper noble decorum? Would I have to do whatever you said? Would I," at this point, you had walked up to me, and this time I was certain about the beautiful purple irises gazing at me in the darkness, "have to have the rest of my dignity taken away from me?"
"No, nothing like that," I said firmly. Then, I couldn't help it, I chuckled. "Considering who you are, I'd sooner get a kick than obedience from you. And as if you'd ever obtain the proper upper-class manners anyway."
You smiled. "Ah yes, I was just about to say the same about you." You straightened up, hands digging deeper into your pockets. Your attention was suddenly on the window, at the dark clouds outside. "I'm not used to such persistent people. Ah, but you had me worried for a minute there; you just stayed on the other side, and never came to me."
It hadn't been my fault! Excuse ME for being a bit apprehensive. "I crossed over, isn't that enough?" I asked through an embarrassed murmur.
"You may not like it now that you can see me." You scoffed, wiping away some of your drying tears. "Like this."
"I've got no regrets," I said, and I reached out to touch your wrist. "I meant it. If you die, then I won't ever forgive you for leaving me. When you die, it's all over. What's happening now is just the beginning. I want to join you forward."
You looked down and stared dumbly at where my fingers brushed your sleeve. Then, slowly, a smile formed on your lips, and you scoffed. "What an annoyingly observing person you are. Get off your high horse, you damn noble. Really, the way you talk without abandon like that. Ever think of the consequences, you idiot?" You laughed, tossing your head back slightly. "Ha... Then, I guess I should get used to calling you 'Master Elliot,' huh?"
"No, I think Elliot will work out fine," I confessed. I thought it would be too weird to hear that kind of talk from you – all I'd be able to hear then is you mocking me. "And to be fair, I'm not on any high horse." You were the first I could be so open and equal with. We were on a same level.
"Am I not looking up at you?" you asked rhetorically with a hint of annoyance.
"How's that my fault? Nature takes it's course; I just ended up with better growth."
"Physically, yes," you bantered with a laugh. "You know, I always knew you were there," you admitted, putting your hands behind your back. "Always felt you next to me, even though I couldn't see you. I never expected a noble to do such things."
"You...made me interested," I said, looking away as you stared at me. Underneath those bangs, I knew you were studying me, and it was making odd feelings well in my stomach.
"That so? You really are an idiot," you declared, bending down to pick up your books.
I huffed. "Where do you get off talking like that?"
"I suppose you'll have to get used to it – idiot."
I should've been angry. Yes, I was really annoyed, but I think I can forgive you for a banter or two. I didn't think you were beneath me. Not like that. You were unique. You were different, living by yourself and so independent.
I guess it was only inevitable that one day I'd get curious enough to journey to the other side.
You looked up at me, tucking some hair behind your ear. "I hope I won't regret getting into this. You made pretty big promises, MASTER Elliot."
"...Shut up. I suppose you'll just have to get USED to it..."
"Leo," you introduced and you took my hand.
You...kinda had a hard grip... Ow.
Ending A/N: So about the title... Since Elliot already did the whole 'flower language' thing, I figured I'd keep up with that theme... White clovers symbolize "I promise." I thought it kinda fit. Maybe? Yes? Perhaps?
This was...kind of alternating way their whole relationship could've started... Please excuse me for not following the story... -sweatdrop-
So tell me what you think, please! D: Feedback is always appreciated... And I won't unleash Jabberwocky on you! Fufufufu-! -is reminded of Leo from the latest chapter and breaks out in tears- LEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOO! D''''x