Title: That’s Not How It’s Done
Notes: There aren’t any spoilers, really. It’s kind of angsty. Written for kh_drabble.
“Doesn’t he ever give you a day off?”
His question is sufficiently answered when she looks up at him from her scattered mess of paper and crayons and pencils and asks, “What’s a day off?”
He shrugs a little and leans more heavily against the wall. “You know—a day where you don’t have to jump when he tells you to.”
There is a brief moment in which he thinks he sees a hint of curiosity and naïveté in those blue eyes (and for that moment, he thinks of Roxas), but it is gone in the blink of an eye, quicker than it would take him to torch all of her pretty little drawings, if he wanted to. An empty look settles in place—in her eyes, the set of her jaw, the slump of her shoulders… but it’s not just that. She looks tired and weary and disappointed and fragile, and he can almost picture an old woman in that chair, as opposed to a young girl.
After a long silence, she answers, “Day, night… I don’t get to have either off.”
He is no fool—he hears the slight catch in her voice, and he hears the subtle shift in the tone of it (something like almost-defiance mixed with quiet resignation). So Marluxia plays those games with her, too, and the thought of it makes him wince.
You’re too young for this—too young to have that look in your eyes, he thinks, wants to tell her, but doesn’t dare, because the laws of this world dictate that not even children are innocent and free. There are always too many cages here; he’s realized that from the start, and she knows it now, too.
(But Roxas does not, not yet, and he’s waiting for the day when that happens, wondering if this empty ache he feels will go away, or if it will just worsen, when the time comes).
“Put the crayons and paper down,” he tells her, and she glances up at him again, even as she mechanically does what he’s instructed, like a puppet on strings. He isn’t Marluxia—he doesn’t get off on unwilling obedience.
“What would you have me do instead?” she asks.
“Nothing at all,” he responds. “Just listen.” Maybe it’s because his human self would have felt sorry for her and would have wanted to help, or maybe it’s because he has nothing better to do, or maybe it’s because she reminds him of someone who would-be-could-be-is important to him, but for whatever reason, he finds himself telling her about everything and anything that he can think of.
He tells her about his previous life. He tells her about flames and destruction and about ‘home’, though he skirts around several of the details that she doesn’t really need to know. He tells her about the clock tower, and: “There’s this kid back home. You kind of remind me of him.”
She’s listened intently to his stories (even the silly ones) and is more relaxed now than he’s ever seen her. “I’d like to meet him.” And then, “Was this a day off?”
He snorts at her and shakes his head. “This isn’t really how it’s done, either. I’ll take you there one day. I’ll show you.”
He nods, and for the first time, she smiles.
He never fulfills his promise, but the road to heaven is paved with good intentions, and all that.
(And that ache? It never goes away.)
Can I not write anything happy for this fandom anymore? D: