Categories > Anime/Manga > Loveless > Reflections


by Calex 2 reviews

The past. It is a topic that many look back to with fondness. To them, the past is poison... [Stand alone one shots from the point of view of Soubi and Ritsuka on the past...and the future].

Category: Loveless - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Kio, Ritsuka, Seimei, Soubi - Warnings: [R] [V] - Published: 2007-05-05 - Updated: 2007-05-05 - 1044 words

The carving on his skin still bothers him, sometimes. Like an old man who can feel the change in atmosphere and temperature in weak bones, he feels it in his scar like a slow burn, tracing the letters of 'Beloved' across his neck, the thorns that criss cross on snow white skin in a pattern at the same time obscene and beautiful. It is his cage, the ropes that bind him not only to the memory of Seimei but also to the memory of his youth, of the past, of the childhood that was taken away from him by Ritsu-sensei...and destroyed.

Beloved... Loveless. The names given to the two Aoyagi brothers are the deepest irony. Although he has 'Beloved' etched into his flesh, he knows that it should be 'Loveless' instead, not only for the bond he feels for Ritsuka, but also for the way he feels about himself, about what his life holds for him. Ritsuka is not 'Loveless', not in the way his true name means, because Ritsuka is loved. Loved by his friends, his teacher. Loved by him. Oh, Ritsuka never believes him when he whispers those words, those achingly true words and his face contorts in that way that tells the world his anger, his confusion, his pain, and most of all, that heart-breaking /hope/.

Ritsuka, no matter how astute he sometimes seems, is the one most oblivious of the love that surrounds him, because Ritsuka cannot look towards the future. Ritsuka is stuck in the past. Then again, Soubi cannot say any different; he is just as bad. He is still haunted by the lash of Ritsu-sensei, scalding on his back. He is still haunted by the cut of the blade, writing Seimei's name on his skin.

"We are bonded by pain," Seimei said, calmly, watching Soubi's face with a pleasant smile and hawk-like eyes as the tip of the curved knife cuts through his skin, spills boiling hot blood over both of them. "Pain is what makes you feel alive... you're a masochist, aren't you, Soubi? You like the pain."

"...Yes," he whispered, because there was nothing else he could say. The words were phrased as a question, but he knew better. He heard the underlying knowledge, the gleam in Seimei's eyes, the prompt of the expected answer. He could not say anything else, for Seimei's word was law.

"Yes what?" His voice was still pleasant, the smile pleasant, but there was cruelty lingering in his eyes. He didn't bother to hide it from Soubi, he never hid it from Soubi. Because he knew that it was his cruelty that Soubi liked, that Soubi craved.

"Yes, I like the pain...sir."

"Good boy, Soubi," Seimei murmured, and the knife bit in. Cut, cut, cut the words into his flesh, the curve of the B, blood trailing down dirtying clothes and hands and faces as Seimei draws out the agonizing act, as he dipped fingers already stained with blood into the fresh supply, and he traced the remaining uncut letters onto Soubi's skin. "You are my fighter unit. You are mine. Do you understand that? You're
mine, Soubi."

"Yes, master." And Soubi stared straight into Seimei's beautiful, childish face and repeated the words taught by him to withstand pain...with pain. "I must grit my teeth. I will bear it. I will withstand."

"Don't hypnotise yourself," Seimei hissed, and the knife dug in, deeper than before, spilling more blood than before, hurting more than before. "Don't use what that man has taught you with me. You
will /feel the pain. You /will withstand it. But only because I say so. What is my word, Soubi?"

"...Law," Soubi whispered. He couldn't look away. There was no way he could look away from the fierce intensity in Seimei's eyes, the first sign of true emotion he had ever seen.

"And my orders?"

"I will obey them."

"Your life?"

"Is yours. I will forfeit my will for you."

"Then feel the pain, Soubi. I want it to soak you." And with that, the cutting began anew. And this time, Soubi didn't hold back on the screams that had before choked in his throat. Because this time, he knew that it was what Seimei wanted to hear. This time, he knew that it was what Seimei craved from him. And what Seimei wanted, Soubi gave...unquestioningly.

Ritsuka is different. Ritsuka is life and love and joy and laughter.... Ritsuka is mistrust and hurt and this big need for him not to see when things go wrong. In Ritsuka Soubi has found his instinctive need to protect protect protect /and to make sure that Ritsuka /never /sees him as weak. Seimei wanted to see his weakness, wanted to hear him cry out with pain but Ritsuka is different. Ritsuka needs him to be strong - at least, he thinks so. Ritsuka doesn't have anyone to be strong for him, he is the one who has to be strong, who suffers daily through his mother's irrational and hysterical hatred of him, of who he is, /no/, of who he /isn't/. Ritsuka needs to be strong because Seimei is gone and there is no one to be strong for him /anymore. Ritsuka needs to be strong because he needs to take care of himself against his mother's harsh words, his mother's screams, his mother's beating hands and slashing knife. Ritsuka needs to be strong because that is the only way he can stay sane. Even though every day Soubi can see that delicate sanity Ritsuka is clinging to become more fragile that the threads on a spider's web.

Ritsuka is called 'Loveless', while Seimei was 'Beloved'. Sometimes Soubi thinks that the roles were reversed, and that Ritsuka should have the name 'Beloved' instead. But Seimei could never be 'Loveless' because despite everything, Seimei was loved and loved well. By his mother, by Soubi... by Ritsuka. No, if there was a name that would suit Seimei, it would be 'Pain', like the scar at his throat, like the wounds he takes for Seimei. Soubi only hopes that Ritsuka will allow himself to be Soubi's balm, but he is Pain, too, when he doesn't believe Soubi's repeated 'I love yous'.

Maybe Ritsuka really is Seimei's brother after all.
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