Love is Pain
The white-washed bedroom was strewn with boiled candies in colorful wrappers and pink polka-dot pillows. Some of those pillows had been shredded down the middle, releasing multitudes of feathers across the floor and bed. The few unwrapped candies, most of them wet with saliva and peppered with teeth marks, were stuck to the feathers like some kind of strange arts and crafts project made by a five year old. Plates of chocolate cake and half-eaten sweet foods were mixed amongst this haphazard clutter of mess along with stray forks and crumbs and bits of broken teacup.
In short, it was a person with OCD's worst nightmare. Merely trying to describe the scene of chaos leaves the reader with something akin to a patchwork jumble, so imagine how it must have looked in real life.
If you're anything at all like the Stake of Sloth, Belphegor, you surely would have fainted in horror at such a cluttered, disorganized, disgusting spectacle.
But there was another, far more interesting 'spectacle' occurring in that room, not occurring on the floor but on the bed. It was happening between two people.
Then again… the use of the word 'people' is debateable in this case. Were witches 'human'? They would tell you adamantly they weren't, of course they weren't, a thousand times over. Witches are very prideful, you see, and don't like being compared to the mundane.
They don't hold humans in very high esteem.
If you had seen these two people in a crowd, however, you would instantly have assumed they were just ordinary little girls. And who knew? Maybe, despite their airs and graces, they weren't all that different from humans after all.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves here.
The witch with blonde hair who looked like pink anthropomorphic representation of Halloween, trick-or-treat candy in her hair and a pumpkin on her dress, was Lambdadelta, the Witch of Certainty.
The girl with blue hair and emotionless eyes was Bernkastel, the self-proclaimed cruellest witch in existence. Whether she was or not is up for debate. Lambda preferred to call her 'my lovely Bern' or 'the most adorable witch, like, ever!' much to Bernkastel's passive-aggressive minor annoyance.
It couldn't be denied Bernkastel was cute, though.
At least, on the outside.
At that moment in time, Lambdadelta was wailing indistinctly, and it went something like this; "Uwahhhh! It's so unfair! I hate the witches at the senate- hate, hate, hate! They're all such meanies! Why don't they drop down and die with bits of boiled candy shoved so far down their throats they bleed from the mouth? Why, why, why? Uwaaaaaah!"
Well, actually, no she didn't. A sigh would have displayed too much emotion, and displaying her feelings took too much effort. Bernkastel didn't want to waste that effort on a person like Lambdadelta.
She didn't deserve it.
Whilst Bernkastel only displayed the minimal amount of emotion required so people didn't believe she was dead, the emotions Lambdadelta showed were all crude caricatures; incredibly over the top. A lot of the time, it felt like her reactions were built on lies purely to irritate or annoy or get attention.
Despite her crocodile tears, Lambdadelta wasn't really upset- of course she wasn't. She just wanted an excuse for Bern to give her a cuddle.
Lambda was a like a young child. She pretended to be upset so she could get sympathy from others, and liked throwing temper tantrums so she could have her own way. She was just as immature as Asmodeus or Beelzebub- but at least they had an excuse to act childishly, given they really were young kids.
Lambdadelta's reasoning behind her behaviour was as thus. She looked like a child, so it made sense she should act like one too, yes? Didn't that make her cuu~uute?~
Bernkastel knew Lambdadelta too well to think of her as being 'cute'. Instead, she thought Lambdadelta was manipulative, twisted, cruel, and untruthful. They both disliked each other, really- and they were both right to do so, as well. It was a wonder they spent any time together at all.
Lambdadelta liked to explain it as, "Well, the maniacal love company, right?"
Bernkastel would always correct, face dour and eyes empty, "Actually, the saying is misery loves company."
"Fufufu~ Well, that applies to both of us as well, doesn't it?"
And Bernkastel never replied to that, because she simply didn't know what to say.
She didn't want to share her deepest thoughts or feelings with Lambdadelta; not now, not ever, not even the sky rained spears down upon her head.
Maybe she would have been more open with Lambda if Lambda was more open with her in return. However, that was like saying 'maybe I'll become a sweet person if I live on a diet comprised only of cake'. It would never work. Just like eating sweets didn't make one sweet, being honest with people wouldn't make them be honest with you as well.
Life didn't work that way.
It will neverwork that way.
Lambdadelta might have spent a lot of time with her 'beloved Bern', but Bernkastel still felt she couldn't really trust the immature witch who was always lying to her.
It wasn't like she tried to hide the fact she was lying, either.
It was so blatant Bernkastel could have rolled her eyes- and it was beginning to get tiring.
Everything was so boring.
"T-the witches at the council are so mean!" Lambdadelta continued. Her voice got a little more hysterical once she'd realized Bernkastel hadn't immediately tried to comfort her. "T-they say such horrible things to me… D-don't they remember Iused to be a witch on the council too? U-uwahh…" Snivel, hiccups. Always put at the best places to sound the most heart-rending. Lambdadelta was such a good actress."I-it's so unfair!"
When she wasn't over-acting, of course. Lambdadelta didn't understand subtly.
Bernkastel didn't say anything.
She didn't say anything because she didn't want to say anything. Why should she waste words on a liar?
Lambdadelta claimed she was crying because of something that had happened earlier that day. Or… maybe it hadn't happened that day- but it had definitely happened a short while ago.
Bernkastel wasn't sure about many things, but she was sure about that.
Given the strange, mysterious way time worked in the meta world, it was always difficult to be precise about it. Everything in the meta world was pristine and white, never changing. The sun and the moon and the stars in the sky were luxuries not afforded to witches and demons. They could only witness these spectacles humans took for granted if they descended upon the human world. Retaining corporeal form amidst clouds of anti-magic toxin was so draining few witches or demons bothered with this, though.
The lives of those who knew magic were bland and boring, with no sky and no stars, and nothing to mark the passage of time. When time didn't exist, it never ended. The concept of 'time' was even more confused and jumbled to a voyager witch like Bernkastel, who flitted restlessly between kakera just like a butterfly hovered from flower to flower in a vast, never-ending rose garden.
Voyager witches were even lonelier than normal witches or demons. They had no real homes or family. They just… existed- and sometimes their existence alighted on one world, and sometimes it alighted on another, but they had no ties to bind them to one place for very long.
It was quite miserable.
Anyway, to get back to the point at hand.
Lambdadelta's tears, and the reason behind them.
Bernkastel had recently attended a meeting with the council of witches. It didn't really matter how recently- all she knew was that it had been recent. The council was an exclusive group comprised of the most revered witches in the meta world, and a more exquisite collection of ruffled, ornate, antique dresses had never before been seen gathered together in the same room. A fashion designer would have loved to observe the myriad of beautiful fabrics and antique bonnets that were sure to gather, like seagulls flocking round food, whenever witches had a tea party.
Although the council was comprised of strong, fearsome witches, they never discussed anything overly important. Mostly, it was an opportunity for people to brag about latest exploits and drink tea. It was held all under the guise of formality and friendship but, in truth, they all hated each other and would not have blinked an eye if any of their comrades were found slaughtered by Eiserne Jungfrau. That was the two-sided, selfish nature of most witches.
Bernkastel didn't know why she attended those meetings. They were so dull. The tea served there wasn't very nice, either. There really was no reason to stay.
None at all, except…
Perhaps the main reason she still attended those meetings she disliked so much was to annoy and upset Lambdadelta. Lambda had previously held a chair in the witches' council long, long before Bern ever had. However, Bernkastel had defeated her, and had taken her spot. Bernkastel just wanted to rub it into her face a little that she had the privilege of having tea parties with the strongest of witches and Lambda no longer did.
It was childish, but Bernkastel was a childish person. Taking pleasure in small things, like the looks of jealousy Lambda would throw at her before she could smooth them over, was her favorite pastime.
Bernkastel thought the previous witches' council meeting had been about Beatrice, but she could hardly remember. It wasn't important. The witches never acted on anything they discussed- mainly because they didn't care. It was just a bland way of whiling through the hours.
In that respect, the meeting had been just as boring as ordinary. There were no surprises there.
However, at the end of the meeting, something different from the norm did occur…
Somebody had been waiting for her- and there had been simply no mistaking that mass of pink and Halloween candy.
It was Lambdadelta.
Lambda had been come to 'pick her up', just like a mother would wait outside the school gates for their child. Bernkastel might have been annoyed at how presumptuous Lambda was- 'you really think I want to talk to you?'- but seeing her after a meeting had been something new, and Bernkastel hated the monotonous and predictable. Instead of being annoyed, she was actually, surprisingly… somewhat amused.
Bernkastel hadn't even been angry when Lambda, in view of the other witches, had pulled her 'darling Bern!~' into a huge hug. Head resting on her shoulder, blonde hair tickling the side of Bern's cheek, Lambda had held onto her tightly as though she were a buoy in a storm at sea. If she let go, she might die.
That would be a fun experiment…
"Bern!~ Bern, there you are! I missed you! When you're at those stupid council meetings you actually hate attending but only go to just to spite me I get so bored and lonely!" Lambda had wailed- and Bernkastel hadn't reprimanded her at all.
For a few brief moments, she had to try very hard not to smile.
Just a little.
It wasn't really a real smile anyway; no, it really wasn't!
But… there was something sincere and warm about Lambda's hug.
There was something comforting about the way she pressed their bodies together.
Bernkastel had even started musing that maybe, just maybe, Lambda was telling the truth just that once.
Maybe she really did miss her.
She had never been missed before. It was a very odd feeling; not exactly unpleasant, just… strange.
Being with Lambdadelta at all was a strange experience in itself.
Squealing, Lambda had pressed her cheek against Bern's, ranting about how precious she was. Of course the other witches had noticed. It was only to be expected.
Lambdadelta wasn't very good at monitoring the volume of her voice.
Most witches tried to act with a certain degree of grace and dignity, and acting like a child was certainly anything other than 'graceful' or 'dignified'. Lambda was anything but.
The witch from the council who had observed the spectacle was Elsa Maria, a rather formidable witch who acted as the head of the council. Now, it should be noted that although she was formidable, she was by no means the strongest witch in the meta world. That title could only go to one who was truly twisted with no morals, such as Featherine Augustus Aurora, as Bernkastel could tell you herself, if she was the mood to do so (which she generally wasn't). The truly powerful witches didn't attend the council, and had no desire to be affiliated with it. They held it in the same regard as Bernkastel, really; an annual tea party for foolish witches to boast, in some faint hope they could relieve the feelings of ennui and worthlessness that constantly plagued their unacknowledged existences.
Elsa Maria was a very old witch, though, and a very strong one. She was notable for taking many promising humans under her wing and training them to be witches like her. However, as she had a very short temper, she rarely managed to cull these humans into anything remotely resembling a witch before she grew bored and disappeared.
She was very fickle like that.
Elsa Maria had observed Lambdadelta clinging to Bernkastel and she had made some disparaging comment- something like, "Oh my… A witch who was once on the council shouldn't act in such a disgustingly childish manner… Lady Lambdadelta, you really are a disgrace; no wonder Lady Bernkastel was able to defeat you… Fufufu…~"
It wasn't a very good insult, and it certainly wasn't able to upset Lambdadelta, who heard comments about how 'childish' she was almost 24/7 from the other witches.
Ha~ They were just jealous of her because she was so powerful and cute and pretty, obviously.
Still, being insulted like that before her precious Bern had stung a little- like a weak concentration of salt water being poured into a very shallow cut. Being devious, Lambda had hoped to shed some fake tears over that incident, and maybe get Bern to sympathize with her.
Of course, Bernkastel had seen through that in an instant.
"Bern, Bernnn~" Lambda continued to whine, pinching Bernkastel's cheeks. "I'm, like, really upset here! I'm a strong witch too, but nobody wants to recognize that! I feel so dejected! Don't you want to make me feel better?~ I thought you liked me…?"
Bernkastel didn't comment. The look on her face didn't even change.
She was… bored.
She was bored of all the lying; of this fake relationship built on Lambdadelta's constant lies; of feeling like a fly Lambda was trying to lure into a trap. Lambdadelta was getting boring and predictable, and Bernkastel hatedbeing bored.
She hated it.
Now, then. Hate was a pretty strong emotion- so maybe being with Lambdadelta wasn't all that bad. Hatred certainly made her feel less… empty… …
Why had the warm, impulsive hug from earlier been different? When Lambda held Bern tightly like that, just a young child would cuddle a much-loved stuffed toy, Bernkastel didn't feel like pushing her away. Sometimes she would make apathetic comments or roll her eyes, but she could never gather the heart to tell her to stop. Her heart just wasn't in it.
When Lambdadelta was like this, however, it was different.
Bernkastel didn't want to be with her.
She wanted to shout at her- to pull her hair- to summon her lovely, cute kitties and tear that wolfish smile straight from Lambda's face with their disease-ridden claws. When Lambda was playing the crafty fairytale monster that wanted to ensnare the young maiden ('I'll build a beautiful bird cage made of gold and keep you locked up in it alllll~ for myself!~') Bernkastel didn't want to be anywhere near her.
Bernkastel was used to being locked up.
She wouldn't let it happen again. She was nobody's toy.
She didn't want fake tears and false emotions.
She didn't want friendships based on lies.
She just wanted something… … truthful, for once… and maybe warm; impulsive; genuinely caring…?
How sentimental, how disgusting! It was pitiable enough Bernkastel felt herself grinning a cruel, sadistic smile at her own stupidity. She really was pathetic, then- and delusional! What kind of witch expected to be loved? If she had ridiculous dreams like that she'd end up weak, just like that poor, broken little Beatrice; the young servant girl playing at being a majestic witch in her too-ornate dress with the blonde hair in a bun that didn't suit her.
Bernkastel was a real witch and she wasn't going to delude herself into thinking she could have a happy ending. Miracles were impossible, after all.
Instantly, Bernkastel's tiny body stiffened. Her heart seemed to freeze in her chest.
Lambda's fingers against her skin suddenly felt like the claws of a monster burrowing into her skin.
She wouldn't delude herself anymore…
Fingers pressed with just a little more strength against her pale wrist; free hand rolled her long sleeves up the arm to reveal more milky white skin. Bernkastel's delicate blue veins traced delicate criss-crossing patterns up and down that exposed flesh. If Lambda bit down she could tear that skin away, strip it from her body to the bone, and take those pretty arteries between her clumsy, chlildish fingers and squeeze hard until blood went splattering against that pale skin.
I'll never let you go.
Lambda pressed her face into Bern's, caring nothing for personal space; the mere concept of it being shredded unceremoniously to tatters. Lambda was always forceful and graceless. Nose bumping against Bern's, Lambda continued to lean forwards, her sweet breath of mixed sugar and honey and poisonous lies ghosting against Bern's face.
Her voice dipped to a delicious whisper.
"I love you…"
Her lips were pink as cherry blossoms.
Her pointed tongue was like a cats'.
It… hurt when Lambdadelta smashed their mouths together.
Teeth clinked against teeth; hands fisted in blue hair; Bernkastel was pushed back against her pillow- fingers were roaming everywhere all at once, everything in her mouth was sweet, too sweet, like that disgusting tea served at the witches' council when Bernkastel always preferred the simpler things…
I love you, Bernkastel~
But that wasn't true.
This wasn't 'love'.
Was it so odd for a witch, who existed precariously between half-formed fantasy and tremulous reality, in a world of shadows with no concept of time, to want to discover the truth…?
This touch wasn't real; it didn't meananything.
She didn't mean anything.
Everything, it was… all wrong…
It was painful and forceful and messy and cruel, childish laughter from pink lips and teasing touches; it was sex for the sake of sex with no real love behind it because Lambdadelta was a greedy girl who wanted to own everything all for herself and eat it up like a plate of delicious dessert, and when she said I love you she never meant it because the only person she had ever loved was herself; the only thing she cared about was fulfilling her own needs, and, and, a-and…
"O-ow! W-what was that for…?"
Lambdadelta recoiled in pain, voice indistinct; words messy and garbled and half impossible to understood, though Bern could hear them clearly all the same.
Those pink, pouting lips were stained with spots of red.
Bernkastel had bitten down on her tongue.
She had bitten as hard as she could, teeth sinking into flesh, and then pulled back- jerking Lambdadelta's head forwards with such force she might even have been able to tear the tongue out of Lambda's mouth.
That's what you did with your problems, right? You snipped them off at the root. If a rose wasn't blooming properly you cut it at the stalk, because in nature it was useless waiting for things to improve by themselves.
That didn't happen.
You had to sacrifice the ugly roses for the sake of making a pretty flowerbed.
Lambdadelta could only ever lie using that tongue.
Bernkastel only wanted the occasional looks of real affection, the hands that played with her hair gently, and the person who lay beside her at night and pulled her into warm, tight hugs when she was having nightmares.
Lambda didn't need a tongue for any of that- not really.
Whenever she spoke, it was only to say something foolish or hurtful.
Lambdadelta looked at Bernkastel in surprise, face pale, filled with pain, and obviously being bitten that hard had really hurt because the tears budding in the corners of her eyes might have been genuine this time. When people don't expect pain, a sudden shock like that can really mess with the mind.
Even Lambdadelta wasn't impervious towards surprises like that, it seemed.
"Bern, y-you… you…"
But Bernkastel didn't look, didn't listen.
She didn't want to look at that pathetic face anymore.
"You're so predictable, Lambda. If you want to engage in that sort of game go and ask somebody else. I don't want to play with you anymore."
It hurt to talk, but Lambda tried anyway. She would have done a lot of things for Bern, really- but she hardly even knew that herself, so she couldn't tell Bernkastel.
Bernkastel could taste Lambdadelta's filthy blood in her mouth. How troublesome. She would have to have a cup of tea to wash that disgusting taste away. The blood of a liar was too sour even for her to swallow; she, who liked sour pickled plum tea, at only twenty yen a packet.
It was a shame Lambdadelta was better at making tea than her, or she would have asked…
Bernkastel didn't want to see her again.
"Leave me be, Lambda. You really are sickening. Looking at you, I could vomit."
There was no arguing with that tone of voice.
Whimpering slightly, like a dog that had been kicked, Lambda gave Bernkastel's back a reproachful, wide-eyed look. Bernkastel never saw it. Maybe, if she had, things would have been different. There was something unguarded about that expression of Lambda's; something sincerely, honestly truthful.
But Bernkastel never saw it.
Nobody told Lambdadelta to stay. Everything about Bernkastel's body language was telling her, in no uncertain terms, to get out. So she did.
As it is so often is with people who care about each other, but are unable to properly show it and find themselves arguing, neither was very happy about this arrangement.
But both were too proud to say.
a/n: Uu, so I wrote this because of a request from TheDrawingOtaku… It was meant to be a short & sweet oneshot, but then I had an idea and it ended up a lot longer… I hope that's okay? / o_o /
The first part of the request was… 'Bern does something to hurt, annoy and make Lambda angry with her, more so than usual.' Which is what this bit kind of deals with, but it'll be more prevalent in the next part.
I think it will possibly have four parts… And it will include Furfur, just 'cause XD I hope you like it ^_^;;
It was going to be more light-hearted and funny than this, but it ended up serious instead. Because these two have a twisted relationship XD
I edited this so much I don't even, I really disliked how it was written and altered a whole lot of it, and cut huge bits out… But now I don't know if it's good or not because I spent so long editing… But I thought I should stop worrying about it and just post it already ._.ll