Author's Notes: And, ladies and gentlemen, I present thee with another Clover fanfiction. A real fanfic this time, too. More A stuff, because I’ve really developed a warped sort of liking for the guy. I feel sorry for him… Even if he is portrayed as the villain of sorts in all the Ran/Gingetsu ficcies. ^^; But anyway, yes. Enjoy. Contemplate the issues of my messed-up mind.
Part I - Pooled Tears
A shuddered faintly, glancing down momentarily into the pool that lay beside him before immediately turning his head away again. His arms were wrapped tightly around his knees as he sat curled up on the ground, clutching tightly at the dirty gray-white fabric of his clothes. Everything was silent; it always was in the cage.
Or at least, it always was now.
Once there had been noise; conversation.
Had it really been it really that long ago?
“No…” he whispered in a hollow tone. “Only a year…”
But every second of that year had felt like forever. A cold, fruitless eternity that echoed and enveloped him like a deathly-cold blanket. Once he would have welcomed the possibility of forever; indeed, before now the prospect of his eternal life had been a valued asset to him. He’d welcomed it with open arms.
‘…But that was when C was here,’ he mused numbly, sending a flickering glance back to the pool of water at his feet. And without his brother there to share forever with him, the only thing that seemed welcome to the boy now was death.
He snickered faintly. Death. It sounded so easy; but from experience he knew that it was virtually impossible to achieve. There were no weapons in his ‘cage’; they’d all been confiscated by the council. He couldn’t starve himself; couldn’t make himself bleed enough. Gods knew, he’d tried. The floor of the delicately-crafted prison was spattered with blood stains- blood stains, he mused ironically, from all three clovers who’d been housed in it. A, B, and C. Although the blood he’d forced himself to shed now far surpassed the faint spatters of crimson liquid ever having been released by his siblings.
The young boy looked back at the small pool at his feet, idly lowering his finger and swirling it in the crystal liquid. Soft, lapping ripples extended in silver rings around the spot of contact. One, two, three. A momentary pang struck his chest as he watched the rings; saw as they extended to the edge of the water and vanished. One two three.
‘A B C.’
He was alone; the thought struck him with a painful bite. He was terribly, truly alone in a way he’d never imagined possible. He’d never thought that C would leave him; never thought that he would betray him and find someone else.
‘I’m the only one who understands you, C. I’m the only one who loves you.’
“…Why did you leave?”
Silence, of course, greeted his softly-whispered question. He winced, the air mutely laughing at him; ridiculing him for relying on one who had abandoned him and left him forever. His grip on him knees increased, skin beneath the fabric growing white from the desperate pressure of his fingertips. He was enveloping himself in a pained, longing hug; attempting to find a long-lost comfort he could barely remember.
“Do you love me?”
“More than anything?”
The conversation echoed in his head as if obscured by mist. That had been his last conversation with C; with anyone. Once or twice afterwards, someone from the council tried to talk to him, but he’d only replied with the same, solitary phrase each time.
“Where is C?”
They’d closed off all communications after that. And he’d sat, then, alone. A part of his mind faintly suggested the possibility of escape; he’d done it once before, and he could do it again with minimal trouble. The security on this place was laughable, to be sure. He could go out. He could see C; they could be together again.
But each time his mind suggested this ethereal possibility it was always combated with images; images of C and that man, of C standing in his way; of his scared, angry eyes. C never got angry. That was what his mind echoed numbly as it recalled that gaze. C never got angry, and never at him. To bear the weight of that glare again would be impossible to withstand.
“I’ll kill myself before I let you kill again.”
That was what he had said. That was the line that had broken A’s heart, that had unleashed the tears for the first time as he broke down, sobbing, into his twin’s arms. He wished more than anything for the same comfort now; but he was alone. There was no one to embrace him; no one to care.
Even B, he reflected in a hollow sort of way, would be some sort of comfort. And that was saying something; there hadn’t been one second in his existence that he could recall not hating the third three-leaf. That bland expression, the eternally calm façade… B never got angry. B never cried. B had never needed C. Not like him; the other boy was so undeserving of his twin’s comforts, it infuriated A every time he saw one nestled in the other’s arms.
But even B was better than being alone. Better than being trapped for an eternity with only cold, lifeless walls and shields of glass to keep you company.
‘…Maybe if I ask they’ll get me a bird…’ he mused. But that was no comfort; the council would never agree, and what good would a bird do him, anyway? Besides, birds died. And death, he imagined, would be harder to stomach than solitude ever was.
He sunk down, nestling his chin hopelessly in between the gap of his knees. His long, ebony-black hair slipped down his shoulders and hung over his face. And his eyes, unconsciously, drifted back to the small pool of water that lay beside him.
The thing couldn’t be considered a true ‘pool’ by definition; only a shallow puddle, a concentration of pooled tears. His tears. It’d been a sort of warped goal of his; to let his tears all fall in one spot until they formed a concentration of water large enough to see himself in. They hadn’t evaporated due to the biting-cold temperature of the cage; and now he could glance down and look at his reflection. A small part of him had hoped that by glancing down, somehow, he could make himself believe that he was looking at C.
But he only saw A. The only face he could glimpse in the water’s depths was that of a pale, blotched, barely-adolescent child who had nothing left to live for. A picture of what he had become; a painful reminder that, for now and forever, he was alone.
And the boy cried, his crystalline tears rolling slowly down his face like rainwater.
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