given half a chance [10/13]
“Your Highness, may I have this
She’s blushing, a pink as pretty as her
dress. And yet, Victor cannot force himself to admire it. It’s the wrong shade.
The wrong smile. The wrong colour of the shy eyes that flit to his and away in
shyness so achingly familiar that Victor cannot stand to look.
It’s the wrong face, wrong person, wrong
All of it – it’s wrong.
He still smiles, polite to a fault, and
offers her his arm. “Of course, my lady. It’ll be my pleasure.”
The lie slips off his tongue with an ease
that is heart-wrenchingly painful. Victor hates that, too. He hates… he hates
everything. The castle with its grand halls, gold and splendour. The people in
it, lavishing in luxury and bigotry. The newly changed, appreciative looks that
follow him wherever he walks. And, finally, he hates walking, too. He hates how
hard the ground is under his feet, how odd his body moves, how painful the
first steps have been.
But he has gotten what he wished for: he’s
fully human now. He can walk, run, jump. He can learn swordplay. He can dance.
He can… he can marry. Sire children. Rule the kingdom after his father dies.
And all those things he once wanted, all
those things his parents still want for him, none of them have made even a
spark of happiness start in Victor’s heart when he finally had them all,
because to have them he has paid dearly. He has paid a price he would not wish
to pay, if he knew what it was. Because in paying it, he gave away something
more precious than all of these combined.
He lost Yuuri.
He spins the lady hanging on his arm into
the middle of the dancing pairs and swoops into motion with the same grace he
has taken to during all his years at sea. Dancing, after all, Victor thinks, is
much like wave riding. The rhythm, the motion, the sway… His heart squeezes
painfully in his chest anew.
Never again will he feel it. Never again
will his tail carry him to the depths of the sea, where his only friend lives.
He misses a step and pain like hungry
wolves bites up his calf. He suppresses a grimace.
His tail… it was so beautiful. The
shimmering scales, the slick feel of it, the gorgeous fins that caught the
light in such a magnificent way… He misses it. He misses it a lot.
They spin around each other, her warm arm hooked
through his, and it’s all wrong once more. Cold, she should be cold. These
clothes, constricting and vain, are nothing compared to the magic of touching
skin to skin. Coldness to warmth, paleness to ink. Silver to black. There is
nothing more than the harmony of that, two opposites coming together to form
one flawed, yet flawless whole.
Victor twirls her around. The dress rises
around her ankles like the jellyfish hat. Pretty, light… but wrong.
They pass another dancing pair, then one
more. All the faces turn their way, all of them smile. They want his approval,
they want his attention. They want him now, but who was there for him when no
one did? None of them.
Yet Victor, thinking of the cold, deep sea,
lifts the corners of his mouth and pretends that this is what he wants, too.
That this is what he needs. His dream come true.
“One more dance?” the lady in his
arms asks when this dance is over.
Her green eyes – wrong, wrong, wrong
– glow with happiness.
Once, Victor knows he looked like this.
Once, he turned such eyes to Yuuri. Once, he knew what happiness like this
felt. To be in the arms of the one you love, to feel the heartbeat against your
skin and breathe air against each
He forces his lips into a smile. “If