Vignette-Chrno's internal conversations leading into a conversation between Rosette and Chrno at an unusually quiet lunch hour. Stream of consciousness on my part. Sort of.
SUMMARY: Vignette-Chrno's internal conversations leading into a conversation between Rosette and Chrno at an unusually quiet lunch hour. Stream of consciousness on my part. Sort of.
RATING: T (language)
SPOILERS: Nothing harmful.
DISCLAIMER: Daisuke Moriyama and ADV are sole owners. I only wish Chrno was mine...
DISTRIBUTION: FF.net, FicWad, and whoever wants it can have it. Just ask.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's my first "finished" Chrno Crusade piece. Glory halleluiah.
She's not one to let fear show right on her face. In the time that I've known her, I've found Rosette Christopher to be the kind of person who will smile until her cheekbones ache-no matter how empty she feels inside. Those smiles that never reach her eyes with warmth and leave me feeling sympathy pains.
Before I met Rosette and Joshua, I don't think I knew what it meant to be happy. When I saw them... That looked like happiness. In the face of the cruel deck of cards that Life dealt them both, they were still happy. But now that Rosette has no one else... I can't remember what her happiness really looks like. I can't remember what color her eyes turn when she smiles so blissfully.
When did her happiness become such a priority to me?
I almost can't remember a time when she wasn't with me. I've grown so attached to her presence-her personality. The blush on her cheeks after confession that she assumes I won't notice if she talks louder. The way she inhales her meals rather than simply eating them. That shit-eating grin of hers when she finally gets her way. The devious arch in her eyebrow when she's planning something.
She's so happy looking... And it's such a farce that it physically pains me as it must physically pain her. But she's taken the cards that Life dealt her and reorganized them around to a playable hand. She's accepted her hand and isn't drawing any more.
Those who accept are much stronger than those who tempt Fate and change their hand.
Her plate was spotless. I still had food on mine. It's a familiar picture that's comforting in its normality. I don't really need the food, but it isn't like I don't enjoy it. Human food is certainly something they can brag about as an accomplishment.
After Rosette finishes inhaling her food, she always watches me finish my meal. She doesn't usually talk-she just waits as patiently as she can.
"Are you happy?"
The question comes out of left field and cracks me in the head with the force of a sacred. Why the hell should it matter if I'm happy?!
The fork full of mashed potatoes was halfway to my mouth when she asked. "Huh?" was my eloquent response.
Rosette sighed and blew a stray blonde hair out of her eyes. "Are you happy, Chrno?" she repeated.
Normally, I would never lie to my contractor. But this wasn't something she needed weighing on her mind. She had enough difficult issues crammed in her head as it was.
"Sure," I shrugged and ate what was on the fork.
I could see her analyzing me out of the corner of my eye. She had that obvious: 'I don't believe you' angle in her eyebrows and the line of her lips was white.
My god, the girl was white-lipping me.
I dropped my fork into the remains of my potatoes and turned to face her. "What?"
Rosette crossed her arms. "You're lying to me. I don't believe this! You just goddamn lied to me!"
I copied her posture and wished I was still at least six feet tall. I hated being shorter than her. "And? So what if-"
"So what if you lied to me?! Jesus, Chrno, I thought we had some level of trust here," now she was pouting.
"Rosette, I just don't want you to..." how the hell should I word this? "I just don't want you to worry. You've already got enough on your mind."
"Well now I'm worried!" she shouted.
"Well stop it!" I shouted back.
Rosette bowed her head. I could see the tips of her ears turn red and I bit the tip of my tongue to stop the further digging of my own proverbial grave. At first I thought she was going to shout at me some more, but then I noticed her shaking.
"I just want you to be happy," she ground out between her teeth. "You don't smile enough anymore. And when you do, they're as empty as the first ones you had when it was just the three of us. I want that to stop, Chrno. I want your smiles to mean something."
I bit down harder on my tongue and drew blood. /Physician, heal thyself! /I wanted to scream.
Instead, I said, "If that's the case, then I just want you to be happy, too. I want your smiles to mean something, too."
When she looked me in the eye finally, her entire face was burgundy with embarrassment. "Sorry," she mumbled.
"Don't apologize, Rosette. If you need me to crack a joke or something, all you have to do is ask. You being happy makes me happy. So when you start smiling and meaning it, I'll do the same."
Rosette looked away from me. "I don't know if I'll ever be truly happy again."
This time, I pinched her arm.
"Ow!" she cried. "What the hell was that for?!"
"Stop talking like that," I advised. "It's not like you to give up. Don't even think like that. In some point in time in the not so distant future, something is going to make you happy."
I went back to my mashed potatoes in lieu of watching her reaction to that. I did feel her twist on the bench, though. She plopped her elbows down on the table and continued to watch me eat. That's when it happened.
I sensed more than saw it. The corners of her mouth lifted up and her eyes twinkled. Mirth oozed out of her, and Rosette Christopher let out the first heartfelt laugh I'd heard from her in too long.
She slapped her knee and snorted hard enough to probably choke on her own saliva and it was just so infectious.
I started laughing too.
Rosette grabbed me around my shoulders and squeezed as hard as she could. I felt her shake against me with such joy that I wondered if it was really happening or if my tired mind just conjured the moment out of thin air to torment me.
She calmed down after a while, and I was startled to find that her arm was still wound across my back and grasping my shoulder. Her fingers squeezed slightly and she wiped away the tears that managed to escape her eyes. "Chrno, when I smile at you I do mean it. Because you are a person in my life that really matters. The one devil I care about as much as my brother."
My fork didn't seem to want to move anymore.
"The one card in my hand that I wouldn't even put back in the deck when the game is over," Rosette finished.
I dropped my fork and met her eyes.
The smile that was splitting her face in two was reflected there... Warm, inviting, and meant for me.
I couldn't help but accept and return it.
AN: I wrote this at two in the morning because it just wouldn't go away. Sorry if the characters are OOC, I tried to avoid that, but that's kind of a tough thing to do at 2 AM.
Anyway, please hit that little button down there and leave a review in the following pop-up window. I'd much appreciate it.
4/11/2005 2:40:10 AM