Trapped halfway down the throat of a cave he knows she strangles in the proximity he can see her hear her useless machines and proxies alike the ignorant unable to be what she needs for this moment he does not look up and

the comb is in his hands.

She sees him under lashes clumped with mascara just do it his hands do not belong to him he is only Vincent who spills his cereal whose room reflects careful symmetries who belongs to nowhere and who will never ever be good enough.

He is only Vincent.

Moving stopping beginning again he thinks he should say something it stays frozen on his tongue the air is cold and she appeared but Re-l is stronger more furious than he can grasp her hair the ink he wants to stain his fingers with knots undo themselves as teeth drag in his grip she does not complain or move.

Re-l is not fragile. Just the same he maneuvers carefully, gently, committing to unfamiliar motions as light flickers across her back. When his gloves brush scalp she offers no protest, when he winds hair through his fingers to shape the outward reflection of herself she only sighs and says

"Hurry up."

It takes several attempts, but eventually he understands.

From her, it's high praise.