[PPGZ] Buttercup never admits defeat on the battlefield but in her dreams she finds loss inevitable. (Side of KaoruxMiyako, lesbian)
A/N: Another fic for the 10_pokes challenge on LJ. I like the KaoruxMiyako pairing but I'm becoming a bit tired of writing romance in general. I wanted to write a fight scene or two and here it is. I hope you enjoy.
Theme 10. Spring
HIS laugh is low and hollow just like the two bodies surrounding me. They look like they're loosely curled up and sleeping. Before they were bursting with life and fear, straining to stand and briefly clutching their wounds. Blossom, who always smelled of sugar, stinks of copper and bubble gum; her formerly puffy ribbon looks like red shoestring licorice and it holds her red hair by a thread.
I can't stand to look at Bubbles, at the red staining her cheeks and her clothes shredded, revealing paler skin. Instead I look-- glare-- at HIM. HE smiles, laughing against gritted teeth, thrusting one of his long arms at me. I dodge and a building falls, the product of his missed attack.
HE keeps me dancing the same routine. I wind my way through his attacks, then inches from a punch, he slips into the darkness, comes behind me and I jump out of the way.
I'm fighting as hard as I can, shaking and breathing raggedly and at once it's as if I'm a mile away, watching myself lose, cursing and crying.
Beyond fatiqued, I keel over, then tremble back to my feet. Tears are brimming from the corners of my eyes. I am mentally exhausted, nearly wasted. HE swoops me up by the neck, squeezing his luminous red claws, forcing cracked wails.
I reach my arms out drunkenly as the ferocity of my will to live and protect fades. I'm dying and at the same time watching myself, defeated. My heart is pummeling my rib cage, thrashing harder and harder. HIS claw is tighting against my throat. My neck snaps and slumps awkwardly on my shoulder.
After that all I can hear is my heart drumming through my head, faster and faster until I jolt out of sleep, catching my breath.
The dreams weren't always this graphic. They surfaced as the snow melted, and grew more vivid just as the flowers and grasses' colors returned. The dreams struck me like the sun, just as the sun brings me to a sweat so did the nightmares.
While I couldn't cover up my fears at night, my mask was nearly flawless during the day. Nearly. Miyako wasn't oblivious like I had pegged her. The first time she asked we were sitting alone on the couch at the lab.
She looked up from her magazine. "Are you okay?"
I looked up from the sports game on the television, eyebrows raised. I hesitated in answering, shocked that she was asking me out of the blue. Then I wondered if I was too obvious.
"Yeah," I reassured, shrugging my shoulders.
The same question was asked often, always when we were alone. Miyako was persistent, but so was my continual answer-- "I'm all right." Sometimes I scolded her for being nosy, tapping my finger on the tip of her nose.
Today we were alone and I was expecting her to inquire about my unsettled behavior. She was flipping through a fashion magazine as usual, a pen in one hand to circle what she wanted, and humming. Abruptly the tune reverberating in her throat stopped, still looking at the magazine she said, "You seem distracted."
"Eh? Why do you say that?" I drawled out, knowing where this was going.
"You're becoming a sloppy fighter."
"Oh, really?" I wondered how a girly girl thought she could be opinionated about fighting.
"You've always been rash in combat but still moved gracefully." She set her things aside, giving me full attention. "These days, you stare off into space, your movements are choppy..." Miyako gingerly reached for my hand, brushing her fingertips over the palm. "Please tell me what's bothering you."
"Don't lie." She laced our fingers together as she pleaded. "Are you afraid of being weak?"
We stared at each other, knowing she was right. "I'm not weak," I huffed, turning away. She tugged me towards her, and caressed my cheek.
"Well, I'm weak." Her tone was strong, unashamed. "I know I'm not the best fighter and because of that, I jepordize the team, but I try not to fail. I've been taking a self-defense class. I don't always want to be the damsel in distress. I want to protect my friends and... and you, Kaoru."
I averted my eyes, backed into a corner. She had opened up to me, and I was expected to do the same. "Promise not to tell?"
"I promise." Her lips curled into a relieved smile.
"That day HIM appeared. . . I never felt so intimidated," I began, then told her the dream, slowly, and shakily. When I came to the part where I failed as a hero, she wrapped me in her arms, and my face pillowed by her still-developing bossom.
"It's okay to be afraid, but never let that fear control you. Please don't doubt yourself, we need you."
I nodded, though I still wasn't sure if I could push past my fears.
"Have you ever dreamed about something and knew what the outcome was and changed it?"
"Uh, yeah. I guess."
"Change the nightmare, make it a good dream."
They're bloodied, littering the concrete with somber beauty. HE is towering over me, yellow eyes glowering, wearing a large Cheshire cat smile. I charge, weaving around his attacks, about to throw a punch until he phases out of range and sneaks behind me. My punch lands in a broken window and glass shatters in my face. Little pieces stick into my fist. I whirl around, and before I can react further a claw hurls in my direction and hooks onto my throat.
My green eyes watch his yellow-cornhusk gaze, my heart is racing and I'm breathing wildly. The claw clenched around my neck slowly clamps but instead of lashing my arms out wildly like before, I take a deep breath, and exhale, thoughtful. HIM pauses as my hand wraps around his wrist and I squeeze like he is squeezing my neck. He releases me, bewildered, and smirks at my tenacity.
I return the expression.