Title: surrounded by your embrace
Kou Yaten - March 24, 2012 10:24 PM (GMT)
The door to her room was closed with a little too much noise than Yaten would have wanted it to. She pressed her back against it and closed her eyes, taking a couple of deep breaths, trying her best to keep up the walls which were protecting her emotions from those of the people that were still downstairs, enjoying the party. They probably thought that she was extremelly rude for having excused herself so suddenly and, if they did, Yaten didn't care about it. She didn't care about what people thought about her, because people were always going to think the worse of her, for the fact that she didn't play nice for the sake of playing nice and she didn't go out of her way to say nice things and sugar coat the truth. She didn't care... then why did she feel tears stinging at her eyes so badly?
The petite empath clenched her fists tightly, her nails digging against the skin of her palms hard enough to remind her that she needed to stay composed. No one could see her between the four walls of her room but that didn't mean that she wanted to give anyone the satisfaction of being weak and crying, in spite of the fact that she felt like curling in a corner and crying until there were no more tears left in her eyes. Yaten felt absolutely exhausted and it wasn't only the effort of shielding herself from the emotions of a crowd of people that made her feel that way. It was the fact that Fred was scared of her, combined with the fact that Gunn and Wesley were both scared and wanted her away and... Why couldn't none of them understand that she was never going to make Angel perfectly happy? Why were they so selfish? Gunn had Makoto and Wesley had Fred and they couldn't see the fact that Angel deserved having someone too.
Wiping furiously at her eyes, Yaten took a deep breath. She decided to go and take a bath, hoping it would help her relax and calm down, so she could fall asleep easily. Opening her eyes, she took a step further into the room and frowned, her eyes catching sight of something which she hadn't noticed immediately upon entering: a nicely wrapped parcel leaned against her bed. Why hadn't this been taken down, under the Christmas tree, with the other presents? Sitting on the edge of the bed, she picked the present up and carefully removed the bow and the wrapping off what seemed to be a framed painting. When it was completely unwrapped and Yaten turned it around, her green eyes widened in awe, tears slipping from them without her being able to hold them back. Her breath picked up in her chest as she watched it, a glimpse of the all too familiar garden of the royal palace on Kinmokusei, whose contour was perfectly recreated in the background. The petite young woman's hands shook with the emotion of seeing that sight in front of her eyes and she cried without restraint, her heart aching with longing for her home.
Angel - April 24, 2012 12:22 AM (GMT)
The night had wound down quickly for Angel – the trepidation he had held about attending the festivities in the hotel were proven right far faster than he would have imagined and for reasons that were for his own sake, unsettling. He had hoped that this last year would have helped, somewhat, that some degree of trust would have been extended, rebuilt between him and those that he worked with, for, under, however one wanted to phrase the relationship (or what was left of one) that he had with his colleagues – his friends, his family, at Angel Investigations. He was trying. Wesley was… trying, in his own stubborn way. Fred was trying. They were all trying, and no one was getting anywhere. It was disheartening, and it had made him wish all the more that he had the courage to just walk away. To leave them to their lives, to let them move on, and to let himself retreat into the shadows once more. He was tired of hurting the ones he loved, and he had wondered many times if they would be better off without him. He hadn’t quite managed the act, though. In that he was selfish, he supposed. He needed them. They were what made him human. What made him better. They were what reminded him of what he should be, not what he was, or what he had been. In time, they would leave him. He was a vampire, he would not age, or break or grow old and weary – not in terms of physicality, at least. They would die, or suffer an injury too severe to recover from and maintain this line of work. They would grow tired of fighting their instincts that told them to flee from him. In the end he was always alone. He could not bring himself to take that first step.
He needed them. He needed Yaten. He wished they could see that. That they could trust him – if not him, then trust in her, in her abilities, in her strength, in her ability to control herself, and to sense him. Yet how cruel it was, to lay such a burden on her. To ask her to know that he could never let himself be truly happy in her arms, laying with her or beside her, that he could never let himself be at peace because if he did, it would turn him into a monster, cruel and twisted, to take and break all that he held dear? What future could he offer her? In so many ways, it was an entirely similar scenario, a twisted sense of déjà vu. So little had changed with him, in terms of the issues that he had faced when dealing with this similar circumstances with Buffy – but then again, everything had changed. He had accepted, somewhere along the way, what it was that he was – she had seen the best of him and the worst of him, and she had loved him in spite of those … and she could empathize… but she could never truly understand. To know the pain of what he had done to his loved ones, to know the torment, the futility of the essence trapped in the back of the monster’s mind while he ravaged and killed and destroyed. No matter how much she tried, Buffy would never know that helplessness. That guilt. Whether he cared to dwell on it or not, it was omnipresent, and Yaten – she knew him better than he could know himself. She had known his pain, because it had been her own, trapped within the walls of the cage built by the vampire essence – she had been saved, redeemed and made human and perhaps – someday, if the prophecy held true, maybe someday he might know the same… but for now, all he could do was strive.
Strive to be better. Strive to survive, to take one step after the other, hand in hand with those that would walk with him. Those that he loved. He was grateful for the time he had with them, with her, and he only wished that she could have been welcomed, rather than being ostracized, as it seemed they were inclined to do. She had retreated, not long ago, and after a few moments, he had followed. He expected that she had hoped that he would not notice, perhaps wanting to be alone with her thoughts, but he knew that he had left something that she would most likely see not long after entering the room and he did not feel inclined to either leave her alone, or leave himself in the midst of those that lingered. He lingered in the doorway to her room, watching her as she pulled apart the paper that bound the painting, his heart aching as he watched the awe, and surprise and the pain and loneliness that followed. He had been worried that he had not mastered the details that he’d garnered, the descriptions, but even seeing that he must have gotten a fair approximation did not do much to ease the pang of sorrow as he watched her.
He slipped further in, the door shut quietly behind him, and he moved to the edge of the bed, his arms curling around her and drawing her close to him, his head resting gently on the top of her head, a pang of sympathy and love slipping through him as he held her. ”I’m sorry,” He murmured, hopeful that she would know it was for her own sorrow, not for the gift itself, a reflection of her home that she could take with her, to carry with her no matter where she went.
Kou Yaten - June 4, 2012 12:56 PM (GMT)
It was very difficult being far away from her home. The first time when Yaten had to be separated from her home had been when she was merely in her early teens. Back then, she had been required to leave her small and quiet home in the rural town close to the capital city of Kinmokusei in order to go to the palace and start her training as a Starlight senshi. The change had not been an easy one to adjust to but, in the end, adjusting had not been as difficult as little Yaten Kou imagined. Because her father worked at the palace, she could still see him on a daily basis (not that she really wanted that), her home was close and, with the help of her newly made friends, Seiya and Taiki, Yaten managed to make the transition from life in the countryside to life at the palace. In retrospect, that could hardly be considered leaving her home. No, the moment when Yaten truly left home had been when she and the other two Lights were forced to flee before they shared the fate of the rest of the inhabitants of the planet. The petite empath had to witness the destruction of her home and then she had to flee for her life and seek refuge on different planets, until the trio finally settled on this rural, primitive planet so far away from their side of the galaxy.
No one could possibly imagine how difficult something like this could be. Although Yaten so often bitched and moaned about the fact that the air felt weird and she couldn't breathe it or that there was a funny smell all the time and the people were weird and impossible to suffer, the truth was that Earth was pretty similar to Kinmokusei and all the small similarities made the homesickness feel a lot more difficult to bear with. As if things hadn't been pretty hard before they found Kakyuu-hime or before they defeated Galaxia, now they were stuck here, completely powerless but knowing that their home was back – it was pure torture. Yaten would have given anything for a chance to go back and see Kinmokusei one more time, if only for a couple of hours, in spite of the fact that she knew all too well that once the opportunity arose, she would be faced with a dilemma which she didn't want to deal with any time soon: seeing her beloved home or staying on Earth, with the man she loved.
All of the sudden, it felt like fate had taken pity on her and offered her that chance to see her home, if only under the form of a panting but, stars, that painting was so vivid! Yaten almost expected to see the leaves move with the faint breeze and feel the smell of the splendid flowers. It was almost as if she had been snatched from the chaos of a failed Christmas party and taken to the one place in the world where she could always find her absolute calm and serenity. The fact that a small voice on the back of her head reminded her that it was only a sensation and she was still at the hotel made everything overbearing, it made the petite empath crack under the weight of everything which she tried so hard to bottle up and keep for herself. She didn't realize that she was not alone in the room any more until the moment when she felt the two gentle arms wrap around her small frame and pulling her close. Trembling hands set the painting down, next to the bed, before Yaten moved to burrow close to Angel, hiding her face in his chest, not thinking about the fact that her tears would stain his shirt. His presence and the warm love he projected felt like a warm blanket wrapping her securely and providing her comfort but she simply could not stop the tears from falling, to put her brave face back on. ”It's beautiful... It's... just like I remember it. How did you...?” Yaten looked up at her lover, trying her best to offer him a small smile through the tears that refused to stop.
Angel - August 25, 2012 02:04 PM (GMT)
Angel was not an empath – not in the technical definition of the word, such as Yaten’s ability – but he had enough experience with the range of human emotions to do a fair approximation, and the grief and sadness that wrenched through Yaten’s expression was as easily read to him as the pages of any textbook. There had been a time when those emotions, to see faces wrought with them, wet with tears and voices raw with grief and ragged rage, had been sweeter to him than the most delectable wine. Even before the decades spent relishing such suffering, in his human years, he had paid them less than any heed, too caught up in his own petty desires and petulant wounded pride to give any attention to anyone else’s wants or feelings unless they directly interfered with his own. There was so much in his life that he had to make up for, so much that he had done wrong, so much penance to pay, and from more than just the actions of the demon that lurked in his soul. He had done so much, and it was never just him that paid the price, but those that he loved that suffered the worst for it. Tonight had been proof of that, that even now, with his soul intact, that he was not without blame, in his own eyes or in the eyes of those around him, and she had been the one to bear the brunt of it.
It was impossible for him not to remember why it was that Wesley was so loathe to risk any singular moment of happiness: no matter how brave a face that Fred put on, he could smell the fear in her, hear it in her scattered heartbeats and her shallow breaths if he moved too close or too quickly, and Wesley was just as in tune with Fred as Angel was with Yaten. Wesley had spent the better part of a year helping the girl piece herself back together, and the guilt and grief that Angel felt for what he had done already made it almost a guarantee that the first thing that he would go after should he lose his soul would be straight back to Fred’s door… and what would follow would make the encounter a year ago seem like a tea party in comparison. And there would be no piecing her back together after that. And Angel knew that Wesley faulted him for the release of Angelus, for falling for the deception that allowed the demon shaman to strip his soul from him. But this was not that. And Angel knew himself, knew his emotions and his conscience and knew that it would take more than any respite that Yaten could offer him to free himself of the pain and guilt that he bore. And above all else, he knew Yaten, and believed, whole heartedly, in her ability to read him and know, with fair warning, if he might ever grow too complacent, too content, too happy.
He just wished that Wesley could extend the same faith. Instead, however, the once Watcher viewed Yaten as something to be despised, feared, with a ferocity that Angel found almost appalling, and no matter how often Angel had requested the man to give the Senshi a chance… it ended, almost always, in this. With Yaten in tears, or hiding them, from the emotions that the man expelled in her direction each time she was in his presence. He knew, now, of course, that her tears were for so much more than that, but he couldn’t help but think that if any one part of it was easier for her… she would be so much better for it. His arms curled around her, as she buried herself against him, her face pressing into his chest. One arm wrapped around her shoulder and back, cradling her against him, his fingers brushing gently against the temple of her head, easing the damp curls back from her delicately boned features. He offered a slow, measured smile as she finally broke from her tears long enough to draw her gaze up towards his, and he drew his curled fingers along her cheeks, drawing the tears up and away. ”I spoke with some of the others, little pieces, here and there, and from what you’ve spoken of, before,” he explained, quietly. ”I’m glad you like it, I… I wanted you to have something,” He said, his lips edging upwards into a faint smile.
Kou Yaten - September 16, 2012 09:28 PM (GMT)
So much for making it through the night without turning into a ball of emotions which she could no longer contain. Yaten tried to do it, she really did, only that it had become impossible to manage it in front of this one gesture of love which she had not taken into account at the beginning of the evening. It wasn't that the petite empath thought so low of herself that she imagined that she would be the only person at the party that wouldn't get any presents or that would get a huge pile of lumps of coal, no. It was simply that Yaten didn't imagine that Angel would buy something for her. To begin with, from personal experience, Yaten found it nearly impossible to get something for him, so she imagined that the same happened to Angel. They hadn't known each other in that long and, ironically, it had been easier for the silver-haired Senshi to buy a gift for Angel the previous year, in Sunnydale, a couple of weeks after they had known each other, than it had been now, after living together for months.
If someone would have asked her what she wanted to receive for Christmas, Yaten would have said... she would have probably done something she hated about others and she would have been completely dishonest because what she wanted was to go home, back on the planet which Sailor Moon's power was supposed to have restored. No one could give her that, the petite Senshi thought, because no one could make it so that she got her powers back and regained her ability to travel across the galaxy, to her beloved home. Angel's gesture contradicted what Yaten had thought. With one painting, he had managed to take her home and it didn't really matter that it was not a real cosmic voyage and she never left the room she occupied at the Hyperion. This was the closest Yaten could get to a trip home without having any of her powers and she felt more overwhelmed than she did in her entire life. Her bright yellowish green eyes met Angel's, her cheeks leaning against the soft touch that brushed away tears which soon were replaced by other, fresh ones. ”It's … It's perfect, Angel... Just like I remember it...” Her voice was cut off by a sob. ”Arigatou... You didn't have to get me anything though. Having you makes me happy.”
The young woman offered Angel a small smile before pulling away from the embrace and getting off the bed to go to her nightstand and pull the drawer open. She took out a scroll of paper tied together with a piece of green ribbon and turned back towards her lover, holding it carefully on both her palms for him to pick up. ”Merry Christmas, Angel.” In the light of his present, her own completely lacked any trace of originality; it was the best she could come up with, though, after weeks of looking and thinking. Yaten tried thinking of something Angel didn't have and only one idea crossed her mind: his own image. As a vampire, he was cursed to live eternity being unable to see his reflection in the mirror so the least Yaten could do was offer him a glimpse of it. The petite young woman took a seat next to Angel again, waiting nervously for him to open the scroll and react to the present he received.