Weiss Kreuz Fan Fiction ❯ He Staggered ( Chapter 1 )

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He staggered.

I saw his beautiful body, tall and thin under a leather coat, misstep and tilt. His right leg wilted where it had been placed and that well-trained professional lurched.

He hit the wall with his shoulder, hard.

It was not uncommon for our tasks to exhaust us, nor was it uncommon for us to be injured and maimed. I had seen him falter before and I had an understanding that every time it occurred was probably not going to be the last. I had seen him bleed and wince and cry out in pain, time and time again. But this time, this time was different.

His right arm hung like a solid mass, stiff and ungainly, as if a weight had suddenly been tied to his wrist and dropped to hang. It had unbalanced him, tripped him, and he fell out of sight as his body tipped toward the wall. In the moment it took to blink, he had hit like a tree felled in too narrow a space to drop flat, his left hand rising to brace but finding no grip. In the moment it took to suck in a breath, he slid down with a smear of fluid.

Fuck.

There was chaos in the hallway. There were bullets and screams and smoke. I could smell the iron-sharp residue of gun discharge and I felt the adrenaline pumping like poison in my veins. Better than the worst of drugs, my legs were charging as my hands sought to shake, and I was listening only to the blood in my ears. I could see it all and yet I was not really seeing anything. That was, until I saw him stagger.

I confess that I dont know if I truly turned to look. It was not like in the movies, where a scene slows down to excruciating detail, as if to make fodder for memory to do torturous things. That supposed moment when my eyes left the target and focused on him may not have been. The information that something had happened was just there, in my knowledge of the circumstances, as if transported without my eyes. I may not have actually turned to see it. It may have been that I needed answers and my brain was apt to develop and provide such things. The facts or imagination, regardless, he had staggered.

My gloves where slick with blood, my coat covered and sticky with what was oozing out onto the floor and spraying the walls all around me. There really were too many bodies in the corridor, moving and unmoving, alive and dead. Unlikely as it was that in all the figures I was able to take in my partners movements, it didnt stop the hairs on the back of my neck from rising in sudden clarity. A whole new sort of terror had entered the scene; because, although I had seen him falter before, I had never seen him fall.

My instincts sought for control and I must have made some sort of deafening noise. Glaring as I was at the target marked for death, I knew it could be nothing other than me that made that sneering face whiten with fear. There had been obstacles in my path, but under my rage they evaporated like so much filth in a downpour. I put my sword directly into heart and smelled rancid breath as it choked out its final disbelief. I wrenched arteries into pieces as I pulled it free.

And yet, as I stared at the life eeking from the hole in that ravaged chest, something came over me that never had before. I let out a sob of a sound, a quick breath of despair caught halfway out my throat and quickly smothered back down. A stilted thing, and divorced, my body jerked with the sound and I knew: He was dead. His beautiful blonde hair would be matted to his head, soaked with sweat and work, mussed from battling terrors in the deep night. His eyes, his green green eyes, would be dull like a dolls, unblinking and unseeing. And for the first time, he wouldnt be there to lead me home after a slaughter, to fish the human part of my soul free from the depths of horror that was slowly choking it.

When I turned around I knew I would see him as he was, leaning against that wall that could never catch as well as human arms, crumpled down in a violent scene of pooled blood and twisted leather. He would be smiling, his spattered face grinning in cynical defeat, watching me even as I stood and he breathed no more. Wire would lay like unwound twine, haphazard about his leaning frame, forever tangled and tarnished.

I knew I would see him and it just wasnt fair. It wasnt fair that he should have staggered on this night of all nights; that he should have fallen when he never had before.

The ringing noise of shuffling and sweating bodies slowly died down with the pounding of my pulse and it became clear to me that all along this many people had been standing, living, fighting, and dying within a space not more than 20 feet long. If I turned, I could probably be at his side in less than two strides.

Two strides had been the difference between possibilities this night.

But I didnt turn. I couldnt. Not with the scent of him still rebounding in the hallows of my skull, not with the feel of his hands still running on my skin, and not with the need for him to stand up,stand up, and never having strangely misstepped.

How&how was I to go on from this moment? I had never done it before, never been alone in the
aftermath. When the smoke clears, he steps out and finds me in the fold of his arms with his face in the crook of my neck. What was I to do without?

Paralyzed where I stood, the communicator in my ear hissed, calling for attention.

Youji! Youji! It was calling, repeating what my thoughts had begun to chant.

Youji! Report! What happened over there?