Chapter 23: Consequences
A VERY IMPORTANT PRELUDE HAS BEEN ADDED TO CHAPTER ONE THAT BROKE MY HEART TO WRITE, AND I'M HOPING (IN THE NICEST WAY POSSIBLE) THAT IT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART TO READ. THOU MUST READ IT, LYK NOW I WUD SUGGEST, OR FOREVER MISS OUT ON THE VITAL PRELUDE. GO READ IT!
Ah, you're back! Did you read the prelude in chapter one? Good. Did it break your heart? Yesch? Good. If you haven't read it yet, then WTF ARE YOU DOING READING THIS?! GET YOUR SORRY ASS BACK TO THAT PRELUDE!
BUT ANYWAY! ONWARDS, GOOD STEED!
AN: THE KISS WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!
But is it really the dream our chick's been hoping for? Let's find out...
"I'm sorry," he says again, turning around to face me but still looking somewhere above my head, unable to maintain eye contact. "it should have been me and it wasn't. You needed me and I wasn't-"
Before I even realize I'm going to do it, I pull his face down to mine and hold him in a kiss.
It's faint, our lips barely grazing each other's. I press myself a little closer to him and fall deeper into the kiss, not even thinking about what I'm doing. All I know is that right now, in this very moment, this- this is what I need, and all the contents of Pandora's box couldn't stop me from having it.
I don't know how long it is before I eventually break the connection. When I finally do, I look up to Bane with expectation- of what, I'm unsure. He just looks frozen, his face a characature of it's usual appearance and he just stares at me with the most ludicrous expression I could ever fathom. The silence, the not knowing what he's thinking is the unbareable part. So I do the only thing that feels right- I lean back up and press my own lips against his again, but this time it is for less than a second, as he reels his head backwards and steps sideways out of my line of fire. I watch him, now worried about what he might say or do, but he still just stares, dumb-founded.
His name passes my lips and it works like the push of a button- he spins around, moves straight up to the door and unlocks it, fumbling with the key, then dissapears straight down the cook's alley, barley stopping to re-lock and push the key back into the cell.
I watch the place where he stood with a heavy, monochromatic heart- slowly I return the key to it's home on the bedside table, and find suddenly that I am exhausted- I lie flat-out on Andri's cot, simply because it is the closest, and find not much later that I am crying- ribbons of tears dart from my eyes, leaving trails of salt across my burning cheeks. I realize quickly that the tears are not those of sadness or of upset, but are infact tears of relief- relief that something, anything has finally happened, that some contact between our two souls has been made, be it entirely one-sided or not. It is only now that the revelation that all that tension and angst had been built up in me against him, and it feels asthough now that I've done the dreaded deed, I am finally at peace, be it only until he returns to shun or lash out at me. At the moment, I couldn't care less. I smile up at the chalky cieling with it's careless cobwebs and earthen cracks and laugh passionatley to myself, chest heaving as I choke through the tears.
A day passes with no sign of Bane; Andri comes and goes as the day progresses, Firdos and Barsad appear with armfuls of clothes which need washing. I work through my boredom inch by inch, scrubbing away at the rough surfaces of worn clothing and singing quietly to myself, songs of home of which I can only remember strings of words. I fight off thoughts of my past life, of summer days spent laughing with those I have loved and ultimatley become lost to. I think of the past year spent down in this pit and all the years to come, but channel all of my emotions into the soapy water and aged fabrics between my fingers.
I catch his shadow in the doorway as night starts to fall. He comes in, doesn't say a word, and sits on the edge of his rugged bed, hands pressed against his knees.
"Say something," I say eventually, unable to cope with the tension. He doesn't, so I turn to him, a hard expression on my face.
"I'm not going to apologise if that's what you're looking for," I say sternly, "so don't expect it."
He isn't looking at me, and has the expression of a confused child. Suddenly I feel like that's who I'm talking to.
"Bane," I say, shuffling forward a little to the break between our cells, "are you really that horrified by a- a kiss? Am I really that horrific to you?"
"I- jeesh, you-"
"It doesn't matter."
"Of course it matters! You can't expect something like that to happen and then for me just to act like it didn't. I need you to talk to me, Bane."
"About what?!" He looked weak, frighteningly so. He seemed uncertain of where to look and kept rubbing his thumb back and forth with the palm of his other hand. I look at him, now uncertain myself.
"Well- did you hate it?"
I feel a blush in my cheeks, but what would be the point in stopping now? He knows my feelings for him now, I've made those all to obvious.
"Did you like it?"
He stands up then, clearly too uncomfortable with the situation to continue. It's not a yes, but it's not a no either. And for now, I can accept that.
"I've been thinking," I tell him, allowing the conversation to veer into less awkward waters, "I want you to teach me how to fight."
He scoffs at that, and shakes his head.
"Well why not?!" I say, "I need to know how to fight, and after that whole thing with Nas-" I recoil as memories of his twisted corpse dance before my eyes- "It's clear I need to learn.
"That won't happen again," Bane says stoicly, and I fight to restrain my frustration.
"How do you know that?!" I say, standing up before him, "it happened once, it can-"
"It won't," he repeats, "I'm here now."
"You can't just say that," I tell him quietly, "I need to learn to stand on my own two feet, not have to rely on someone else to-"
"I've got better things to do with my time than prance about trying to teach you how to defend yourself."
"I don't want to learn how to defend myself, I want to learn how to kick someon's ass so hard they'll never think of coming within a mile radius of me ever again."
Bane laughs, then picks up the keys from the crate and walks past me, ready to go out and leave me all alone, again.
"Don't walk away from me!" I tell him angrily, as he sticks the key deep into the rusted lock. Infuriated that he's ignoring me, I take up a handful of straw and fling it at the back of his head. He brushes it off and fights again with the lock.
"Teach me!" I say, not caring that I must sound like a ratty six-year-old. I try grabbing the key from his hand and he grapples me away, unprepared as I pick up Bobby's Quran from the table to the side and smack Bane harshly around the back of the head with it. He jolts a second, stunned by the violent onslaught.
Suddenly he whips around, grabs the stem of my hand tightly and smacks the book from my grasp. It lands face-down against the straw floor, pages rumpled as Bane stares hard at me, his brown eyes sharp with a vicious light. I stare hard back, unwilling to give in or apologise. I pull my hand away from him, but he holds it tightly in his grip, suspended just above my browline.
I struggle hard to think of some witty spark to throw in his direction, and just as my brain elects a rather suggestive one, he smacks his free hand around the back of my head and pulls my face up sharply to his, crashing his lips against my own. I stand rigid for what seems like a long time, before my confusion and shock begins to apparate and I start to feel completley relaxed, asthough this were the most natural thing in the world. I close my eyes, and just as my own lips are about to respond, Bane pulls away. His body eradicates all contact with my own and he stands with his back facing the cells, looking down at me like I'm some kind of unnatural being. Not long after that his expression completley numbs and he stares at me blankly, emotionally shut down.
I don't know what to say. Words seem like they would just be vulgar and inappropriate. so I just stand there, as useless as a water fountain at the bottom of the ocean. He fumbles for the keys, actually flushed with embarrassment.
"Sorry," he says quietly, and throws himself out of the cell again.
I brush my hand up against my mouth and smile.
AN: i must apologize for how short it is and for having neglected 'Condemned' the past couple of weeks; I've been distracted by exams and my new Walking Dead story, 'Imprisoned', which I can't stop writing because I love it so much. TOO MANY BRAIN IDEAS!
R&R, dem reviews keep me going! :D