By the third day Rye and the others were fully recovered. I had retreated to the quarters I was given and leaned over the balcony edge, which had fast become my favourite spot in the Missionary. The view from here was magnificent. Vines, waterfalls, wild flowers, and in the distance – past the wall of the city – the unknown. I drowned my thoughts in the view; letting them distract me from everything else I needed to attend to but was putting off. A meeting was to be held tomorrow morning to decide what our next plan of action was to be. Now that everyone was better there really was no use putting it off. And I couldn’t if I really wanted to save Talzere. Still, I revelled in the little peace and quiet I had, even if it was only short lived.
A knock on my door alerted me to a visitor that I had not noticed, due to being so immersed in the beautiful sight of the city. Though I had left the door ajar, Rye had not entered. The Elekid greeted me with a nod and then deciding that was too formal, he cleared his throat and raised an arm behind his head awkwardly. We had barely spoken since he had returned. It wasn’t too hard to see I was avoiding him for very obvious reasons. There was absolutely nothing he could do that would take away the pain he had caused me, or was still causing me, and he was very conscious of that fact. But if something didn’t break the tension soon I was sure we were both going to be driven mad.
Without a word from me he crossed the floor to my side, though his gaze fixed itself on the waterfall in the distance. He rested his arms on the smooth marble wall that surrounded the balcony, covered in intricate hand-carved patterns. I lowered my eyes to assess it, now that it had become increasingly more interesting since Rye had appeared.
“It’s a beautiful sight,” he said, raising a paw to gesture to the world outside.
“Yeah.” I nodded in agreement, keeping all tone from my voice. Either that, or I couldn’t muster any tone in the first place. My throat was getting thick and it was harder to speak than it usually would have been. I hated this feeling.
“We spent ages building the city to imitate the curve of the land. We did not wish it to hinder the outside. This city is one that flows with the world, and I think this views captures that perfectly.”
“But you didn’t come here to talk about the view, did you?” I finally muttered under my breath.
Rye took this chance to turn towards me, trying to catch my gaze, but still I averted him. “No,” he sighed. “I came to talk…about us.”
I whirled to face him then, paws clenched, fur bristling. “Well there isn’t anything to
say!” Tears threatened to well in my eyes, and I pushed them back with all my might, willed them not to fall. Not a single drop. “You left me, Rye. You LEFT. And what was worse is you kept secrets from me. How can there be anything between us if not trust? Darkrai of ALL Pokemon. How could you go to him?!” I realised my voice had risen a few octaves and I glanced towards the doorway to make sure no one had overheard, but Rye had closed it silently when he had entered. The Elekid raised a paw to my shoulder but I stumbled back to avoid it, panting. “How could you leave me?” I uttered. My voice, resolve, completely shattered. My knees buckled and I fell to the floor, weeping in silence. This time Rye didn’t make a move to my side, but held back, warring with himself to do so.
“I had to do what was best for you,” he told me, casting his gaze to the mountains. “I had to do what was safe. I knew you would hate me for it, but I couldn’t be around you like that. Seeing what I had done to you…what I am still doing to you,” he corrected, “I just…can’t bear it. I couldn’t bear it. I didn’t want to stay and witness what I’d done to hurt the one I cared for most. And so I did the only thing I could do; I contacted Altair for help. I am not ashamed to say I loathe him, after what I learned from you, but I have no doubt he has your best interests at heart. That is the common ground we share. I knew he would not harm you, as I had. So I consulted him for advice.” Rye paused to catch his breath and run a paw through the tufts of loose fur over his head. “I went to Darkrai because…he was the only option. The only way I would ever see you again. Please, Zanna, you have to understand. You are not the only one hurting.”
Through the haze of my tear-stained face I was able to lift my head. Rye, who so solemn cries, let alone show any hint of emotion, permitted a solitary tear to fall to the ground. Just one. He did not try to hide it, either. But through everything he’d done to me, I hadn’t the heart to put myself in his place, for fear if I did I might disintegrate entirely, unable to stand on my feet again. I simply couldn’t. I clenched my eyes shut tight until they hurt. Even then, the external pain was welcome, for it lessened what I felt within. Then, when I was willing myself to drown in a pool of frozen ice, something warm flowed through my being.
Rye had lowered himself to the cool marble floor and held a paw under my chin. He pressed his mouth to mine gently, as soft as a butterfly. My heart immediately soared as I remembered the feeling. This felt familiar. It felt…right. I was far too taken aback to offer any resistance. And for a moment I lost myself in the warmth it provided, drawing me upwards from icy depths. But there was something else that wormed its way into my core. A swirling black darkness that threatened to quell the fire. I could feel it probing around the edges, looking for a way in. Frightened by the black abyss, I withdrew, eyes flying open. I broke contact with Rye, my heart still racing.
The Elekid peered at me as I pressed myself to the banister, taking in the rise and fall of my chest. It was all too apparent that he had understood well what I had just experienced. But I had a suspicion he wanted to let me see the darkness and to know, as the fire had, that he was able to keep it from going out of control, from consuming him – consuming me.
Without a word Rye held out a paw, suspending it in the air. My eyes took in its form, making barely the slightest movement to do so. The recognisable contours of his fur laced with a golden hue; gleaming claws. But this was…all too familiar. I couldn’t. I didn’t know what to believe in anymore. I tore my eyes away for a split second. My head, or my heart? And that second was all I needed.
I glanced at his paw once again, hanging just above me in the air, unwavering. It all happened so fast; a vision flashed before my eyes. It was dark – night. I was standing amongst the carnage, reaching out a paw to the one thing that had held my sorry world together. The one thing that had made it turn. I was vaguely aware of wet tears sliding down my cheeks, my brow pressing closer to my eyes. I was scared. This feeling…it was fear. But I wasn’t scared of the figure that stood in front of me. No. I was scared of losing
that figure. And when it turned and walked away, I had no will left anymore. Nothing left. I was a black hole. I didn’t want to live.
I gasped, back in the present. Without realising it, I had experienced the worst moment I had ever had, all over again. And Rye’s paw still hung in the air. I dared not to meet his eyes, for fear what I might do. But my brain knew what it wanted. I rose fluently and retreated, in check with my fear. Without waiting for a reaction I turned and ran, flinging the door open with force.
I ran as far as my feet would take me, for as long as I could hold out. I ran until the tears began to fall from my face all over again, until I cried so silently there was nothing left. I ran until I could no longer hear the pleading of Rye’s voice behind me. Ran until I forgot everything – even who I was. My only fear now was what would happen when I stopped running. It seemed this time my mind had won, my heart nothing but a scattered memory.
IT LIVES. AHAHAHA. Ahem. Anyway I think it's about time I got another chapter up, don't you? xD