Even with the will of the entire world, you just couldn’t tame his emotions. Frustration swelled within you, because you were exhausted from having to constantly mind him. Your relationship usually allowed proximity and romance, without him lashing out and attempting to eat away at your flesh. Genuine adoration was shielded behind that mask, but the thought of expressing too much of it was terrifying to him. Given his societal status, he had never before known such a pure and authentic love. This wasn’t something he wished to ruin, and yet the venomous ticking in his head, the whispered voices…they were perpetually hunting for creative, new ways to tarnish his remaining chances with you. It wasn’t a controllable force, but it could be temporarily subdued, by the melody of your voice.
Every lyric that rolled off your tongue was Heaven (or as close as he could access), softening the abyss of his mind. It was ephemeral, however, and every second that ghosted past in your absence felt like Hell. The demons who shackled and repressed any traces of optimism that might creep into his system, appeared adoring towards you, and so provided a little leeway in your company. When you abandoned him, even for a mere moment, they returned, their taunts more aggressive than before. They informed him of his dependency on you, and how very tired you were becoming, as a result.
But…how could he function, with a degree of normalcy, without you? Although, yet another matter niggled the back of his brain: your relation to the young head of the Hassaikai, Overhaul. The connection hadn’t been completely fleshed out, so he wasn’t sure if you were siblings, cousins or something else, but he could concede that it frightened him, ever-so-slightly.
What would transpire once the news surfaced? A simple, yet violent argument? A fatal fight? For as much as he was deemed insane and incapable of empathy or affection, he truly craved your kindness, your divine presence. It was that which bestowed upon him a sense of security, of home. He never wished to be the cause of your demise, or your split from the organisation. An alien love had settled within his core, and instead of consuming it, he had nurtured it. If you ended up suffering injuries because of him, whether they be physical, emotional, psychological or anything in-between, the grief would devour his heart. Behind his burlap sack mask, beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, as his nerves illuminated. His hands started to tremble. The fear, the demons, they were invading his head again. Overhaul had rescued Soramitsu, yes, but that was inconsequential.
Such a powerful figure commanded the utmost respect from his inferiors, not this. To Overhaul, it could manifest as scorn, as a ‘trash-is-dating-your-relation-in-an-attempt-to-usurp-your-post’.
Surely, he wouldn’t even consider his pleading, his insistence that the truth was far more benevolent! If honesty permeated him, Soramitsu didn’t see why you had chosen him. Often, only a singular word attained liberation from his lips, and it wasn’t something worthy of adoration. Why? Why did you claim to love him, so very dearly? Why did you gaze upon him, as an awe-struck child, learning to interpret the stars? And…why hadn’t he refused your advances?
Ah…perhaps it was the introduction of love into his otherwise worthless existence, that had so mellowed his heart. It was something which he hadn’t fully realised, and which his mind agonised over, for many moons. Feelings of neglect bubbled away in the pit of his stomach, as time trickled by. You were still nowhere in his immediate sight, and that was filling him with worry. His mind and mood dropped further into their depressive cavern, as he imagined what tortures Overhaul could be subjecting you to. You possessed a mental strength far superior to his, but it was generally nigh-impossible not to break under such agony. His knees wobbled with the anxiety, forcing him into a crouching position on the ground. What was presenting such an issue, that you would break your promise to him?
You never betrayed his trust.
Yet, maybe an hour had passed since the time that you had suggested. The panic was eating him alive. Had you encountered someone with foul intentions, or had you simply fallen out of love? Were you really busy, or simply in hiding? Soramitsu just couldn’t be certain, and the desperation was killing him, slowly. How would he ever hope to function without your help, without your guidance? Even his illustrated emotions were unsure of themselves - should crystalline tears be falling, to signify his sorrow? Should screams tear apart his lungs, because of an unrelenting anger? Or…should he retain his silence, as a testament to his emptiness? All three were competing for validation, but he didn’t know which to grant an audience.
As he brooded, these feelings only developed in ferocity. Almost like a relapse, food was once more on the brain. It happened suddenly, eclipsing the final few scraps of rationality, which had lingered since your previous visit. Despite the relatively short period in which you had disappeared, his heart thundered with malice, misery and rejection. This relationship was still fresh, still brimming with bashful side-glances and awkward half-smiles, yet he sincerely cherished it with all his faculties. Had your numerous, supposedly affectionate encounters simply been a nicety? Were those ever-burning embers of love real, or a façade? Did you pity him, or did you revel in his hopeless confusion?
Eloquence aside, would his deepest, innermost emotions - the ones that caused his nerves to explode with an unfamiliar comfort - ever reveal themselves to you? The very worst circumstance, he fretted, would be for you to turn tail and flee, the moment his lips parted. But…but surely that sort of cowardice, of discourtesy was unachievable for someone as wonderful as you…right? Soramitsu placed a hand on either side of his burlap sack mask, desperately searching within his soul, for a sign of reassurance. It might be mentally and physically draining, attending to him around the clock, or ensuring his lack of rampage, but it didn’t automatically predetermine that you would just walk out of his life…right? His overactive mind needed an answer - one to ground it again.
“Sora! Oh my gods…” Those heavenly echoes sliced straight through his thoughts of desolation and self-contempt, as a knife to the flesh.
The tepidity of your embrace was something for which he had long yearned. He understood himself to be wholly undeserving of such a loving gesture, yet his quivering hands failed to shove you aside. He couldn’t! He refused to impart even the most minor injury on to your delicate skin. You caressed him with a tenderness that should have been reserved for someone else - someone who carried an air of stability, of maturity. You didn’t require his filthy love, and you never did. His deplorable appearance was that which should be scrubbed from your life. He didn’t wish to taint your grace any further.
He didn’t even deserve to touch you.
But…wasn’t it above his station, to spurn your courtship?
“Soramitsu? What’s going on, sweetie? Did someone hurt you?” The concern penetrated your heart, and this was reflected in your voice.
This whole ordeal was painful - agonising! His vocal chords strained with the effort, but he was determined to respond.
“Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You…I - It w-w-was y-you…”
“Me…? How did I - what…? Did you…did you really mean that?” The quiet cracks which fractured your words were ungodly; why was he cursed with such inarticulacy?
The abnormal dejection crossing your features, the sniffling, the near-waterfalls of your eyes…No! Anything but this! He couldn’t bear your current expression. If only his words could be repealed…If only he had been more careful! What had he set in motion? Could his crime ever be absolved? Shaking his head over and over, desiring the phrases which would inevitably dispel all this negative energy, Soramitsu started to choke on his own sharp breaths. Tears threatened his heart with thousands of red-hot pokers. Your form was convulsing in its sorrow, but you hadn’t moved away, not even by an inch. Soramitsu relinquished his voice - words couldn’t possibly aid him now. Rather, despite his unwavering anxieties, he rested a hand on your shoulder. The connection was feather-light, as though you might shatter, or gain an intense disgust for his touch.
Neither of those harrowing ideas occurred in reality, to which he thanked every god and goddess in the universe.
[Word Count: 1414]