When History Repeats Itself

[500 Themes: 184]

There's another clap of thunder, loud and seemingly so close that it makes their walls tremble. There's a hushed, comforting murmur into Kaede's hair as she buries herself deeper into her father's chest, and Barnaby exhales, tightening his own hold around the both of them, the pounding of rain outside of the bedroom's window attempting to drown out his thoughts.

Moments like this, where he's attempting to comfort a child – Kotetsu's child, a child that would have very nearly been like him, having lost both father and mother – make him recall his own excuse of a childhood. His own childhood wherein he was made to feel like a dead person in an instant, with rain pouring down and soaking him from head toe, with the sounds of his house crumbling to ash and rubble so amplified in his ears that it made him want to tear at his hair, rip into his own skull as if that would do something, anything to stop the pain from being so loud.

It was made worse after being shoved into an orphanage. Where was even a too-large, cold hand upon his shoulder in the rain there? Nowhere in sight, that much was certain, when he found himself too wary even to speak for fear of ridicule. His parents dying, his parents burning sapped his tongue of all eloquence, and Barnaby kept to lurking in corners, only dragged from them by older, too-curious girls that found him pretty, like a doll, perfect for combing his hair and stroking his face, sighing and wondering why someone like him was in a place like this.

A good question, when Mr. Maverick should have been kind enough to save him and take him in, rather than leave him in this place to rot by his lonesome.

But then again, it gave him freedom to a point, when he was just barely a teenager and sneaking out to question a dozen persons on the street, begging for information about Ouroboros – the only thing he could remember past burning, crackling flame and shots being fired. Perhaps that was when Mr. Maverick became concerned and finally pulled him from that place, much to the chagrin of girls that still thought he was pretty when he was older, still found him to be their doll, their mascot, even though – or perhaps especially because he barely spoke, barely moved from his bed on some days, far more 'content' to wrap himself around a book or slip out to do what research he could on rainy days when his absence would go entirely unnoticed.

Remembering these things now makes Barnaby that much more intent to make Kaede's childhood perfect, to make sure she never wants for anything, never fears anything, even in the midst of thunderstorms that he wishes he himself could hide from. His arms tighten more and she buries into his chest in kind, sandwiched warmly between Kotetsu and Barnaby alike and settling down to sleep.

If only he could some day find solace from his own thoughts, and settle so easily in kind.