Opheliac

III: Tainted Color

Doubt thou the stars are fire

Doubt thou the sun doth move

Doubt truth to be a liar

But never doubt I love

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—Opheliac—

Chapter III: Tainted Color

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O lovely doll, why don't you look…look at the world that had once abandoned you? The image that reflected now in the mirror…was that…of a pair of mismatched eyes.

…Do you still remember…once when you had asked for heaven? The heaven you feared you'd fall from, for gentleness could be faked, warm could be just illusion and love…could be all…a lie.

Do you still remember how your wings had been cut off as you were left to fall, falling…before being restrained, incarcerated in darkness that felt like eternity?

The reflection reflected back from the mirror never changed. It displayed only the truth before it. It was, instead, the people in front of it that always changed…

Do you still remember…that foolish person that shed his tears for the heaven that would never welcome him, crying just because he couldn't leave behind his childish desire to be loved? How many droplets of tears he had shed…before he finally stopped believing…stopped wishing for the light? That blindingly bright heaven that would never accept him, he turned his back on it even if he still couldn't bring himself to forget his agonizing desire.

Even though he knew his so-longed for heaven wouldn't even care to spare him a look.

Mismatched eyes stared blankly at the reflection in the mirror. Clear droplets of water clung dearly to pallid skin as if they didn't want to part with the one they loved. Even if some of them were to fall languidly from those flowing blue tresses that were still soaking wet. Those beautiful threads of hair that did nothing to cover those marks of possession made on milky skin.

Long, dark lashes lowered as a slender hand lifted up to touch the area of his throat where it had been thoroughly marked.

Was it for that reason…that he was so drawn to the endless blue? Keeping staring at the greatness that was the sky even from the darkest place of his damned prison. Just because he was too foolish to never really stop believing…that there was still heaven…somewhere over those freely drifting clouds.

Even if the sky was of bloody color.

The sharp edge of the razor glinted dangerously in the light of the room. It gleamed so white…so sharp that even the slightest force of pressure could draw out the reddest color from those soft fingertip that glided mindlessly along it.

Hurt because of lying and being lied to. Hurt because of lying to himself day after day…the same thing over and over. Just because there was no place in this world to really welcome him with open arms, for he was forever cursed to stay with nothing…but his own lies. Because the mist…the illusion…would lie to its creator as much as it was truthful in the untruth to believe.

Pale fingertip pressed against the sharp edge. Blood immediately gushed out from the fresh wound, coating the white with red.

Only to cover that hollowness in his heart.

"Mukuro-kun…" A gentle, dulcet voice whispered in his ear, abruptly halting what the doll was doing in the process. For the moment those beautiful mismatched eyes left the mirror to stare at the razor, the reflection of another man had appeared. "Suddenly leaving the bed like this, I'm so worried about you." Strong arms wrapped themselves around the lithe, still naked body, not caring if the clothes he was wearing was going to be wet.

The agony that he had now all forgotten…

"…My apology." Those mismatched eyes lowered, slender hands grabbing the other's hands tightly, "I just want to take a shower," as if feared his master would be angry and dissatisfied.

Crimson blood dripped, dropping from the open wound on that small fingertip, staining the back of stronger, larger hand with its contrasting color. Violet eyes shifted toward the bloodstained razor in the sink.

Red against white.

The taller man smiled. "What a naughty boy you are." He said before grabbing Mukuro's slim wrist, pulling him toward another mirror – the one that filled one entire side of the wall. It reflected…everything…so vividly…from head to toe. "It seems I'll have to teach you…make you remember…that your body is my property."

Long fingers raked through still damp tresses of hair, playing with the beautiful locks before…yanking them harshly enough to make his little doll feel the pain. "Your hair…belongs to me."

The smaller man moaned softly but didn't protest. His shapely legs wobbled as Byakuran's other hand took hold of his erection, bestowing him again this…powerful sensation that would soon guide him to bliss. The obedient doll closed his eyes, his breath becoming more and more ragged. Yet…

"Ah!!!"

That warm hand that moved along his length suddenly squeezed him hard. And he would have lost his footing if it hadn't been for those strong arms around him. Those wicked lips brushed against his ear, whispering with that smooth voice that he knew came with an order. "Don't close your eyes. When I'm teaching, you have to look…see it all....and remember…how I touch you." That whisper was accompanied with another squeeze.

His master would not accept denial.

The doll shuddered and slowly opened his eyes. Everything was so vivid in the mirror.

"Good boy." The white haired-man's smile widened as he moved his working hand away, leaving his pretty doll hanging in the midst of soaring heat. That lovely cock was wonderfully engorged and swollen. "Hold it until you have my permission."

The blue haired-beauty bit his lips. His pale face flushed with rosy color as his master lifted the fingers that were thoroughly coated with his precome and brought them close to his lips…as if telling him to taste himself.

"These lips…belong to me." Byakuran smiled satisfactorily as the doll obediently parted those pliant lips. Pink tongue darted out and licked the fluid from those fingers before taking them into his mouth. "Mmm…"

The hand that was in silky blue hair then moved, making its way languidly down to pale chest, playing with the pink little nub there until the lovely little doll screamed with need.

"Ah…" Lithe body arched up as lustful sensation ran through him like shocking electricity, stimulating his already aching desire for release. "B…Byakuran-sama…" He gasped. It felt…so painful.

"Mukuro-kun's body belongs to me." Byakuran still whispered his now so rightful claim as if it was a chant. Pulling the doll's slim wrist close to his own lips, he licked away the blood that seeped from that small wound on the fingertip. "And your blood…is also mine."

So painful…the doll was being burnt alive with desire.

So painful…for he wanted nothing more than his release…to feel bliss.

Mismatched eyes then widened as something – so warm and hard – brushed against his entrance, tracing the puckered hole oh-so-evilly teasingly just because it was yet to enter.

"Now, can you tell me why you are a naughty boy playing with the razor, hmm?"

The rosy color on the doll's pretty face reddened. Mismatched eyes lowered, unable to meet the piercing violet pair in the mirror. "I…I thought its whiteness was just like Byakuran-sama."

The razor-sharp whiteness. Colder than ice and sharper than spikes.

The taller man chuckled before bending down to nibble the doll's reddened ear.

The doll was too cute…

If you are still you, will I ever see you make a face like this? Or will you still…

"Well, I think red does suit Mukuro-kun."

Laugh…even though those eyes of yours never smile along with.

Red, the color of blood, made a perfect match as it dripped down onto pristine white.

For we are both liars.

Amethyst colored eyes gazed deep into mismatched ones in the mirror as if trying to search…for a trace of something that might still be left in those now so innocent windows. For a brief moment, silence seemed to prevail as the only sound so clear was that of their mingled breathing. And then, ultimately, the false angel whispered…the words that someone used to long to hear them, desiring them…more than anything in this world.

"If this world abandons you, I'll take you into my embrace, for we can create our own heaven. Even if it is all red. I'll let you see…the world that cannot deny you."

Because from now on, I'm your entire world.

…O beautiful doll, when someone had finally offered you both heaven and the embrace to hold you, were you still afraid of again falling now that you didn't feel any pain…? Even if…this heaven was so faked…and much crueler for the love you had once longed for.

"I love you."

This doll that was like a white sheet no one had yet to color…

Those sad, sad colors were all erased…

Being lied to…to make you think that it was love. Lying that it was love even if it was just the desire to hold you as a possession. Holding you there just to be a toy…to be used…to…

"Beg me, beautiful."

I will dye you…with all the colors I want.

…To hurt you even if you didn't know anything.

"Ah…Byakuran-sama…please…"

Because you are…

A doll.

"Ah…ah…ah!!! I…"

Mine.

"I love you, Byakuran-sama."

"What!? Are you saying that Mukuro is still alive?

It was Sasagawa Ryohei's voice that first destroyed the silence as soon as Reborn announced the news.

"The fact that Chrome is still alive is a good evidence." The Arcobaleno said, nodding to the girl in Kokuyo school uniform. The girl's face was still a bit pale but she could walk without needing a support now.

"Still, if the news about those Millefiore units withdrawing back to Italy is true, it sounds really suspicious."

"So what do we do? Contacting the Varia? They're in Italy and at least, the fact that we…"

"You're too noisy. Sit down. You're an eyesore." The voice came from the guardian of the cloud of ten years later. He was standing with his arms crossed against the door frame, far away from the conference table. It wasn't too far that he couldn't hear what the Arcobaleno had been saying, though.

"What!? You're also standing! And why is someone who doesn't like 'grouping' like you here, huh? You're annoying to the EXTREME!!!"

"The hell are you yelling for, stupid lawn head!? You aren't behaving like a grown up at all! You really shame the tenth!"

"Tsuna isn't a narrow-minded, boss, Gokudera. But surely, Tsuna, you can decide we're whether to yell or not to yell. Hahaha."

Wait. That isn't the point. Stop pushing matters on me. Tsuna looked at each of his friends. Seeing their…not-so-unexpected reactions, his head dropped. The tenth Vongola boss sighed.

"Giannini, how's the investigation with Irie Shouichi's round white machine?" Reborn turned to ask the plump inventor instead of paying his attention to the little brawl still going.

"The first level investigation has only 40% of the overall data. We still cannot conclude anything for certain. But the only thing that we know for sure…"

Giannini sighed.

"Is that…this machine will only work with a key. And this special key, we cannot mold a mockup ourselves. No. Actually, a mockup won't work at all."

"What do you mean a mockup won't work?" Lal Mirch, who had been quiet for all this time, finally spoke up.

"It means the only key that can make this machine work is…"

The plump inventor zoomed the picture of the machine in, presenting before them the image of a small hole he had claimed was the place to put in the key. The close up of the picture made Tsuna's stomach churn. It looked more like a…

"The Mare Ring of the Sky."

Silence prevailed once again in the conference room of the Vongola secret base. Everyone knew exactly well the true meaning behind that fact. Tsuna swallowed hard. The price they would have to pay to return to their era might be as high as losing their own lives, for the only way to get the Mare Ring of the Sky…was to face the Millefiore Boss who was its current bearer.

"So…to Italy, huh?" Ryohei once again broke the silence; however, this time he sounded much more serious and calm.

"Gamma, you know where the Millefiore Headquarter is, I suppose?" Reborn turned to ask the blond man who had been sitting and listening quietly like a good guest. For the man knew his own position. He was currently both a guest, an ally and…a refugee.

"The Millefiore Headquarter…" Yet, before the man could continue, there was an interrupting signal trying to connect itself in through the Vongola base's server.

"What is it?" Everyone turned to look at the monitor. It was a signal they had never seen before.

"It's not from the Varia. No virus detected." Giannini said before opening the message to answer everyone's curiosity.

It was a set of images of maps. All of them were very detail as if being sent from that place itself.

The skyscraper in the middle of a city.

"This is…"

"The maps of the Millefiore Headquarter."

Gamma confirmed.

The first thing Mukuro saw after reopening his eyes was that of an empty room. There was no sign of that man…the only person that owned his life.

Bare feet stepped from the bed, feeling soft carpet. Mismatched eyes looked around, searching for his beloved master. Yet, the only thing he had found was…a black shirt that was folded neatly nearby…along with a small piece of paper.

'I'm waiting on the 19th floor. You'll have to wear my shirt for now.'

"…" Slender hand picked that black shirt up, immediately putting it on as he was ordered. For his smaller frame, the shirt seemed to be a bit too big and loose yet…

The innocent beauty buried his face in the shirt's sleeve that seemed too long for him, inhaling the faint, familiar scent that smelled so much like flower from there.

Byakuran-sama's scent…

Long, dark lashes lowered as if in infatuation as he thought of how his master's scent seemed to overwhelm him when he took him into his warm embrace.

"If this world abandons you, I'll take you into my embrace, for we can create our own heaven."

The shirt was put on and the door was open. The doll was finally being let out for the first time since his operation.

The blue haired-beauty walked like a haunted puppet along the corridor…only to meet two men in Millefiore's White Spell uniform.

"Ooh, what is this? Walking around without your pants, beautiful?" One of the two immediately leered.

The shirt was long enough to cover some places. Still, it wasn't enough to cover everything.

"…" The doll didn't even spare them a glance. They were never his sight.

"Playing hard to get? Ah, but maybe you like it rough?" The man licked hips lips as he drew closer. "How about some blood?"

"And your blood…is also mine."

In a blink of an eye, the mismatched eyes that seemed empty flashed dangerously. Blood curdling scream was heard, echoing along the corridor as lives of the once living were taken. Red splattered beautifully against either side of white walls.

Two bare feet that were once so cold were now warm with blood. And the no-more-innocent doll smiled his first smile since waking up from the dream in which old, sad colors were forgotten.

"Even if it is all red. I'll let you see…the world that cannot deny you."

"Ku…fufufu…the color of your blood. It is…so beautiful…"

The red, red color that tainted the doll.

Violet eyes watched from the monitor of the 10th floor control room. The Millefiore boss smiled in satisfaction as he popped another sweet piece of his favorite marshmallow into his mouth. Aside from this, the sending of information to the Vongola base's server was also done. He stretched, picked his coat and got up.

"You're going out, Byakuran-sama?" Leonardo, the old man, asked as he took in the younger man's casual clothing.

Byakuran smiled.

My color…I'll slowly dye it on you.

"I'm taking Mukuro-kun shopping. You look after the rest, Leo-kun~~."

And then, we'll have…a lot of fun.

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TBC

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