Absence of Fear

By, Esmee

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Note: The song is in italics.

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Inside my skin there is this space

It twists and turns

It bleeds and aches

          I was sitting in my apartment, staring at the young woman across from me and wondering - not for the first time - why I had let myself care. Why I had bothered to let myself care. Caring for other people just got you hurt. I had learned that lesson very early in my life. I don't need anybody and nobody needs me.

         True, but, when I am around this young woman, this frail, fragile girl, I feel needed, even wanted. It's a strange, terrifying, wonderful feeling. Is it possible that I l-- I got up abruptly, suddenly feeling much to restless to sit and study. The young woman raised amber eyes questionly.

          "I'm getting something to drink, you want anything Mimi?"

          Mimi shook her head. "No thanks, I'm not thirsty." 

          "'K." I wandered into the kitchen and pulled down a glass. Seeing nothing good in the fridge I opted for water. Staring out the window, nursing the glass of water, I tried to unravel my thoughts. A considerable task indeed. 

          "What's wrong Yamato?" Mimi's soft voice came from the kitchen doorway. Should have known that she would suspect something was wrong. She always knows when something's bothering me, it was uncanny the way she did that. There were times when I thought, no knew, that she knew me better than my mother.

          Oh, wait. I forgot. 'Mom' never bothered to stick around long enough to know me well, so of course Mimi would know more about me than her. Silly me.

          I turned and studied the object that caused most of this confusion almost as intently as she had been studying her textbooks. She cocked her head to the side, raising an eyebrow.

          The familiar gesture made now-familiar warmth flush through me.

          Don't care about her. My head advised. There is no such thing as love; let yourself care for her and she'll hurt you. Look at your Mother and Father.

          I knew what my mind was saying was true, but when she was around the empty, cold void in me filled and warmed. Sometimes when she was around I even forgot it was there.

          But, My mind argued, when she leaves doesn't it ache worse? Doesn't it hurt more? If you let yourself care for her it will hurt a thousand times worse than that when she leaves for good. Remember your parents! It won't last; it's just an illusion. Love is just an illusion.

          ~What if she doesn't leave? ~My heart asks timidly. ~What if she stays? ~

          She won't. My mind says dryly.

          "When's Jyou due back?" Mimi asked leaning on the counter, speaking of my roommate and best friend when I didn't answer her first question. It was truly incredible the way she could read me. If there was something that I didn't want to talk about, she knew and wouldn't talk about it or ask me what was wrong after the first time until she thought I was ready. Truly incredible.

          A strand of brown sugar colored hair fell in front of her eyes. I got an impulse to reach over and brush it away. I promptly squashed it.

          "Late tomorrow, or early Thursday."


Inside my heart there's an empty room

It's waiting for lightning

It's waiting for you

          She had been there for me unconditionally ever since the Digiworld. I had never asked her why she was there for me, never asking anything in return. If I needed her, she would drop everything and come to me. She never asked anything of me, she was just there. As fixed as the sun or the moon or stars: always there and unchanging.

          I remember when, a few years after we had returned from the Digiworld, Takeru had gotten in to an accident. I had been as close to hysterics as I have ever come in my life and I couldn't call Jyou, because he was on a trip to only god knows where with his family, so the first person who came to my mind after him was Mimi. She got there five minutes after I called, she didn't say anything she just came up to me, wrapped her arms around me and held me as one would hold a tiny child or some small wounded animal. That made me break down and weep silently into her shoulder.

          Takeru turned out to be fine, lots of scratches, a few bruised ribs, and a broken leg, but nothing he couldn't live with (or without). I later learned that Mimi had blown-off a job interview to come to the hospital for me, and to repay her for that I took her out to dinner.

          That had signified a major change in our relationship; I had let my armor rust and crack and let myself care about her, at the time it had been terrifying. That had been when we had started "seeing" each other, Though, I thought cryptically. We didn't even kiss until we'd been "seeing" each other for at least six months.

          Not that I hadn't been attracted to her though. A man would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to be attracted to her. I had just been terrified because she had seen me at my weakest, she had seen my without the walls I had oh so carefully built up over the years, seen past the mask of the angry rebellious youth to the scared lonely young man underneath, and she hadn't left.

          Little by little I began letting myself care for her more and more, and each time one of the blocks in the wall that separated me emotionally from other people fell, my mind shrieked 'get away'.

          That had been what had made me so restless this afternoon, I had been trying to come to a decision. Let her go now before she hurt me, before I let her hurt me or, or let myself open up to her, let myself-

          No, if you let yourself believe that you love her, you give her the power to hurt you. Bad.

          She was looking at me with those beautiful, wise eyes. "Please tell me what's bothering you, Yamato."

          I felt my mouth go dry, and an electric warmth flow through my veins.

          No! Stop! You don't love her! There is no such thing as love! Remember your parents! Tell her you should stop seeing her now! You'll only get hurt if you don't!

           ~But I don't want her to go. ~

And I am wanting

And I am needing you here

Inside the absence of fear

          "It, it's nothing."

          She looked at me skeptically but didn't say anything more, instead she came and stood next to me in front of the window, which was flooding the kitchen with a rich ruby color. Her right arm just barely touching my left. I was finding it increasingly difficult to think. She had that effect on me. Like a bankcard next to a magnet.

          "So beautiful." She sighed softly. "I love sunsets."

          "Mmmm." I tried to make an appropriate agreeable sound that wouldn't require any of the higher mental functions like thought. Yup, a bank card next to a magnet.

          "But I find something about them so sad. I prefer sunrises."


          "Sunsets are endings, closure. Sunrises are the opposite. They are beginnings."

          Fear suddenly gripped my chest. Endings? Closure? Why was she talking about endings? Panic was setting in.

          See? It doesn't last. It falls apart like a decaying tree, strong looking on the outside, but rotting on the inside.

          ~No . . . ~

          She leaned on my arm slightly, and turned her head to look at me. I forced myself not to look at her, because I knew that if I did I wouldn't be able to look away.

          She had seen me at my weakest, and in return had laid all her feelings, fears, and self-doubt out for me to see. I learned that although she seemed confident in herself, it was just a mask to hide the low self-esteem she had for herself. I know many people thought that she was conceited, but it was all just an act to hide the fact that she felt she wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough. She was totally unaware of what a beautiful person she really was, and the fact that she was unaware just made her more beautiful in my eyes.

          "We should get back to studying." I was pleased that my voice didn't crack.

          "Yeah, you're right." She said moving away from me, and I felt colder because of it.

          Get rid of her, before she hurts you. You don't really think you can make her happy, do you?

          ~I want to try! ~My heart cried. ~ Even if I get hurt, I want to try. ~

          No, you don't. It will make you hurt. She doesn't really care about you. She doesn't love you. She doesn't need you.

          ~But I need her. ~

Muscle and sinew

Velvet and stone

This vessel is haunted

It creaks and moans 

         I followed her into the living room, watching her as she moved. When Mimi was younger, she had been slightly clumsy, but now she moved with the unconscious grace of a professional dancer, and I was made even more aware of the fact that even if I needed her, felt needed by her, I didn't deserve her. She deserved someone like Jyou; kind, patient, or someone like Koushiro; smart, charming, or even - though I hated to admit it - someone like Taichi; brave, funny. Not the carrier of the crest of friendship who wasn't sure how to be a friend.

           She walked over to the CD player and turned on Jyou's Chopin CD in it.

          "Dance with me?" Her eyes asked.

          Looking at her as she stood there, the beautiful music an almost tangible presence in the air, what else could I do? I took her hand and started to sway gently to the music.

          Tell her now! It will hurt you only a little now, but it will hurt a lot more later!

          ~I can't! ~

          You must!

           ~I need her. ~    

          Her hands were resting on my shoulders, mine were around her waist, and it felt - for lack of a better word - right. And the loneliness, the fear, was being filled by the rightness, the warmth.

My bones call to you

In their separate skin

          I wanted to just hold her tightly. She fit into my arm like that was what she had been made for. I felt like I was a puzzle with a long missing piece finally found. I knew then that though I might never be certain of anything else in this life, I was certain that I wanted her and I needed her.

          No you don't!

           ~Yes, I do. ~

I make myself translucent

To let you in, for

I am wanting

And I am needing you here

Inside the absence of fear

          Someone once said, 'If you love something, let it go. If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with. If it does, then it's yours forever.' I don't remember who said this or where I heard it, but I hope to god it's true.

          I knew now what I had to do, though I didn't want to do it.

          Yes, it's the best for both of you.

          ~Yes, I know. Just let me have this moment. ~

          She must have seen something of this internal decision in my eyes, because she put both her hands on either side of my face and kissed me.

          At this moment all I wanted to do hold her until we melted together and became one, I wanted to drink her down. Reluctantly I pulled back intending to tell her it was over, but she spoke first.

          "I love you Yamato." And lay her head down on my shoulder. Instinctively I tightened my hold.

          ~She said she l- ~

          She doesn't love you because there is no such thing as love! Remember y-

          ~She loves me! It is real; love is not an illusion! S- ~

          She can't love you!

          ~But she does! ~

          She was the first to pull away this time. "We really need to study, you know." Her face was calm, like she hadn't just said something earth shattering. 


          See. Love is not real, but pain is. Let her go tonight and save yourself pain later.

           ~I love her. ~

          No, you don't, you can't; love is not real.

There is this hunger

This restlessness inside of me

And it knows that you're no stranger

You're my gravity

          I knew that I should let her go, she deserved someone stronger, braver, better, but all I wanted to do was to hold her to calm this restlessness in me, kiss her to satiate this hunger in me. I felt ashamed at this selfishness, this need, and tried to concentrate on the work in front of me.

          Suddenly, Mimi bolted up and looked at her watch. "Ah! It's after nine! I should get going." But she seemed to be hesitating. Waiting.

          Now! Tell her-

          ~You love her! ~

          No! Tell her it's over! Let her get on with her life and us with ours!

          ~No! Tell her you need her, tell her you want her; tell her you love her. ~

          She was turning towards the door now; I was reaching out, touching her hand to stay her, to tell her . . .

          Tell her . . .

          ~Tell her . . . ~

My hands will adore you through all darkness aim

They will lay you out in moonlight

And reinvent your name

          "Don't go."

For I am wanting you

And I am needing you here


I need you near

Inside the absence of fear

          "I need you."    

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Disclaimer: Okay, everyone should know the drill by now. I do not own any of the characters, so if you sue me you will get nothing. All characters are copyright Akiyoshi Hongo, Toei Animation. TM, and Bandai.

The song 'Absence of Fear' is by Jewel.

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Esmee's note:

Hi there! It's me again! This is the first 'real' songfic I've written; it's the first part of a duet. I know that not everyone likes F.P.P.O.V. (First Person Point Of View), but I love writing in it and I think that it fits this story, don't you?

Now, I know that you're all wondering what I must be on, to write something like this, but in all the fan fiction I've read, after Yamato gets over the initial problem of telling Mimi how he feels, he turns in to the 'wonder-boyfriend', caring, helpful, forgiving, etc. Now he probably would make a great boyfriend but think about where he's coming from! His Mother and Father separated (I don't know if they're divorced), and parents are suppose to set the guidelines for most major relationships in a child's life, so I think he would have a lot of trouble opening up to another person, let alone saying the big 'L' word. Now before I'm flamed to death I would just like everyone to know that I am not critizing other fan fiction or writers. This is just my opinion and my style of writing.