I sat down to write sap and fluff and humor, I swear I did...

But Bob is a fickle, fickle, fickle, evil muse.

Title: The Lesson Left to Learn
Author: Em (lys_ap_adin@yahoo.com)
Category: Drama
Warnings/Labels: Angst. Death. Shounen ai. General weirdness.
Archive: Under Lys ap Adin at www.gwaddiction.com, and other places...

The Lesson Left to Learn


How many repetitions does it take to learn a lesson?

My answer to that has always been "Too many."

If I were more melodramatic, I would tell you that I have seen the blood of my lover spill across my hands, the floor, the earth, splattering the walls of imperial bedrooms and peasants' huts alike too many times to count.

That would be a lie.

I have counted, and kept the count, ever since I first became dimly aware of some darker pattern running through our lives. It is an inaccurate count, since I don't know how many lives it took for me to realize that the destruction of my lover was something all too familiar.

The count now is one thousand seven hundred ninety-eight.

How many times will I have to endure this?

Nearly two thousand lives. Do you know how many ways to die there are? Very few of them are pleasant, and I am sure my lover has yet to experience one of these.

I have known jealous rages. I have known incompetence. I have known betrayal altogether too well.

A few times my lover has taken the death meant for me, and I have watched him die for my sake.

What lesson am I failing to learn? What curse is it that grinds us both to dust in the unending cycle of our lives?

I wish I knew.

I wish I could remember the great body of our lives together before the collection of awful moments of recognition in my lover's eyes as he dies slowly (or swiftly, or painfully) in front of me. I wish I could hold him and promise that in the next life things will be different, better, and happier for him and for me.

I can't make those promises, because I know, and I think he knows, that those promises would be empty. Until something is done differently (what?) or some lesson is learned (what am I missing?) things will not end happily for us...

He sees all this in my eyes right now, his mouth hanging a little open, maybe from the pain of his wounds, or maybe from this moment of shock when our eyes meet, sharing the intersection of hundreds of lives intersecting and ending in blood.

Again? he whispers.

I'm sorry, I tell him.

He offers no recriminations for me, no complaints about whatever idiocy it is that separates us. All he says is the same words I've heard in one thousand seven hundred ninety-eight --- now ninety-nine --- lives. Aishiteru. Eien ni. I love you. Forever.

And, like always, the words choke in my throat as his eyes close, and the part that is him departs.

There is no time for grief here. I'll have time, and lives, enough for that later.

Instead I lower his body to the cold steel deck, arm myself with his gun, and come to my feet with a snarl.

I am Shinigami, and today is going to be a very bad day to be a member of OZ.


Feedback, please? Please? With sugar and naked bish on top?