Chapter 38 : True Colours
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Chapter 37 – True Colours
Sirius stood in front of the make-shift, wooden door for a long time.
Maybe I shouldn’t, he thought to himself and made to turn around and back to where he was supposed to sleep for the night, but something inside him stopped him.
Turning back to face the door, he gingerly lifted a balled fist and gave the wooden surface a soft rap, half hoping that the hard, solid wood would muffle the knock. Nothing happened for a while, so he gave a noiseless sigh and resolved to turn away. However, just before he did, the door creaked away as if moved by invisible hands.
It was pitch-black inside and he could see absolutely nothing and all his senses told him to be vary, but a hauntingly familiar scent drew him to take a step inside. His eyes tried desperately to make some shape or form in the pitch black before him to no avail. Whatever dim moonlight that was behind him seemed unable to penetrate the darkness in front of him. Carefully, he thread a few more steps ahead. And just as soon as he cleared away from the entrance, the wooden plank that was the room door shifted back into place with a whispered creak, shutting off all possible light from even ever hoping to filter in.
“Réatra?” he called into the darkness.
Silence followed with no sign of life or movement in the dark space around him, though his sense of smell told him otherwise. And he was about to call out again when he felt something cold brush lightly against the side of his face. He jolted, but stayed still for the familiar scent was ever closer to him now. He let the cold touch brush him again and allowed himself to feel without flinching the icy fingertips that traced his jawline gingerly. The sensation that came next was the cool feel of an entire palm flattened against his cheek with a softness that he remembered all too well and missed all too much.
“Réatra…” he whispered wistfully, almost afraid the mere sound would drive hand that touched his face away. Still, there was no answer. And so he too, remained quiet and calmly submitted himself to whatever the hand wished to do.
It lingered for but a moment at his face and before long, moved over his ears to the back of his neck, fingers raking gently his tresses as it went. There was a slight pressure upon his neck, pulling him down a little and he followed the motion until his lips were met with another pair. His eyes widened a little with surprise, but he soon succumbed to the bittersweet scent that enveloped him. He closed them, relishing the moment, parting his lips to drink in the taste of cool breath, inebriating and sweet yet leaving the faintest hint of bitterness in his mouth. He reached out a hand and found her face and there he stayed it. When the brief kiss ended, he opened his eyes and tried to search for her yet could still see nothing but darkness. He was as good as blind, but that didn’t matter. Then he felt a trickle of something warm against his fingers where they still rested on her cheek.
She was crying. He could smell the salt of her tears and confirmed it when more flowed down to meet his fingers. Instinctively, he wound an arm around where her waist would be and pulled her to his chest, letting her bury her face there as she continued her silent sob.
“I’m sorry...”he heard her whisper. “I didn’t mean to hurt you...”
Sirius tightened his hold around her, wrapping the other arm around her shoulders. “It’s not your fault... you only did what you thought best...”
That was when a dam seemed to break, and she finally let out a soft cry as her tears flowed freely from her eyes onto his chest, her shoulders shaking in the process. That was how they stayed for a while: with her wrapped up in his arms and weeping away in his hold. And they remained so until her sobs slowed to hiccups and finally soft sniffs. Once she was silent and still again he released his hold to wipe away whatever remnants of her tears.
“I understand why you did that and thank you...” he began slowly, “but no matter what, I can’t stop loving you, and you can never make me forget you completely.”
He felt her turn her face up towards him and took that opportunity to lean down and kiss her again. Her cool breath had somehow melded with his own warm one and seemed to change to match his temperature. He pulled her closer in his arms to try and drink deeper from her lips, each second more intoxicating than the last. Her hand had managed to find its way to his neck again, and she raked her fingers through his hair, grabbing a handful as she pulled him even further into her, if that was possible. He felt her move back though their lips remained locked and his body moved of its own accord to close the gap she created. His mind was a whirl of confusion, but his body had taken over, seemingly possessed by a sudden, dire need to immerse in her presence. And when they broke away for a quick breath, he found himself with her nestled in his tight embrace on the soft cushions of her bed, her skin almost hot to the touch as she panted slightly along with him.
He reached out and pulled her close again, kissing her along the nape of her neck and back until he found her lips again, his hands wandering across her waist at the edge her top. Her delicate fingers grabbed at the fabric of his shirt and tugged it until he had to break away from her to allow it to slip over his head and off him. When his lips found her again, tracing back and forth between her lips and her collarbone, he slid his rough hands under her top. He let them hungrily feel the soft skin underneath as they roved across her belly and back, producing from her lips a low, soft moan. At the soft flesh between her neck and her collarbone, he bit lightly, making her gasp sharply and breaking whatever spell that took over all his senses.
He hurriedly broke away and released her from his touch. “Sorry, I-” Sirius began but let it the sentence drift off into the darkness around them, at a loss for words.
It was quiet and still for a moment, but just a short moment. He heard her sigh aloud first. There was a rustle. Then followed by the tender touch of her hand on his face, guiding him back to her lips. Another hand went to take hold of his and led it back to her stomach where he found now bare of any fabric. He had let out a small gasp against her lips as he realized there was now not even cloth to separate them, but her silent accord was clear and so he continued and let himself finally drown into her presence.
“Are you sure this was the wisest choice?” a voice so much like his very own asked, dripping with doubt in every word.
He turned to look at a face that matched his own though the smile playing on those lips contradicted the words that came from it. Sei’rei sighed heavily and frowned his usual frown. “I’m not,” he answered truthfully as he looked away from the eerie smile that was Sei’ra’s. “But it would be cruel if tomorrow comes without either of them finding any closure between them.”
Sei’ra’s smile turned into a smirk that his twin did not see until he turned at the next sentence. “What about your own closure, ‘Rei?” The other brother turned to look at the smiling teen with glare that would have made a grown man flinch, but he simply continued to smile even under the threatening glare. “Oh come, dear brother... Don’t act as if it is an unspeakable crime...” And when he didn’t respond with any more than a huff, Sei’ra added, “And don’t try to deny yourself that feeling welling inside of you ever since you saw her.”
Sei’rei spluttered and Sei’ra chuckled.
“What are you-”
“Oh, come off it. I’m your twin. I know how your mind and heart works... probably better than you do yourself.”
Sei’rei narrowed his eyes suspiciously at his brother. “You brought her along on purpose, didn’t you?”
The other’s smile grew wider at the charge. “Like I said, I’m your twin. I’d recognize the type to melt even your hardened heart anywhere, anytime. Even if she’s not fully matured into all she could be at this point of time... Then again, neither have you.”
His brother let loose a frustrated growl. “Even so, what is the point in introducing her to me? It would have been better off if we never met at all.”
“Maybe,” Sei’ra replied cooly and turned to look at his twin with not a smile but a heartbreaking look that took him by surprise. “Or maybe I just wanted to see my little brother smile again... and I don’t intend to let your heart get broken in the process either...” he finished with so strong a determination in his eyes that Sei’rei was sure not even the force of the entire universe could break it. And before he could ask what the older sibling had meant by those last few words, he melted into the shadows behind him instantly.
“Damn him...” Sei’rei cursed softly, wishing he too had inherited from their birth mother the ability to move between worlds through the shadows.
Before he had any time to think beyond that small desire, a soft footfall alerted him of a presence just at one of the entrances to the atrium he was in. He turned to find a pretty girl standing tiredly with a shoulder pressed against the stone arch of the doorway. She was slender and fair, with thick, silvery tresses falling in curls around her. Her eyes were laced with traces of sleep as she brought a fist to rub at one gently. She was still wearing the same outfit she had on when she had followed the rest of the group to them earlier in the day. She scanned around the room that was dimly lit by the moonlight streaming in through an unblocked window until those deep blue eyes found his form leaning against a stone seat at the center.
“Sei’rei?” Gabrielle called out, sending a warm crackle through his spine with the sound of her voice. When she saw his form shift slightly in response to her call, she dropped her hand from her eyes and moved to where he was. “What are you doing here?” she asked innocently as she closed the distance.
He had half a mind to run off and disappear from her sight. His brother had been right. Very right. And that was all the more he wish he hadn’t met her. But something told him to stay where he was, and so he did. He let her approach him. He let her reduce the gap between them until she was standing a mere arm’s length from him, until she was close enough for him to see how the moonlight danced in her eyes.
“Are you alright?” she asked, concern seeping into those deep blue orbs.
He sighed aloud, not really understanding why he listened to that tiny voice that told him to stay. “I’m fine. Just tired,” he answered, asking himself in his mind why he had told her that.
“Oh... You should get so sleep, then,” she answered plainly.
He shook his head, still wondering why he was still there interacting with her despite his better judgment. “If I sleep, who’s going to stand watch?” When she didn’t respond to his rhetorical question, he added, “You should go back to sleep...or at least go back inside. It gets very cold here.”
He could see her face turn from concern to surprised wonder and then a soft smile. “I’m not sleepy anymore. Nor am I cold,” she shot back, plopping herself down at the seat he was leaning on. She was quiet for a while before resuming conversation. “Um... thank you... for saving me the other day...” she said shyly, peeking a look at him from under her eyelashes as she wondered why she felt shy around this boy when she had no trouble flirting shamelessly with others.
He turned to look at her, as if studying her curiously, and then let a slow, small smile creep onto his lips. Then, as if realizing what had just happened, the smile disappeared within an instant. But that was enough for her to see and notice the smile for what it was.
“You know... you look a lot better when you smile... A lot more natural” she tried, keeping a keen eye on him. “Why is it you chose not to?”
His eyes searched her for a while before he answered, “I can’t. I don’t feel any need to.”
“Not even just because you feel happy?”
“I don’t have much reason to feel happy.”
There was a sad quality to his look at that moment. She didn’t know what made her do what she did next but reflexively, she reached out a hand and placed it on his where it rested on the back of her seat. He seemed dazed by the simple touch of sympathy as he turned to look at where their hands touched and then at her. Without understanding much why she went against all rational to do what she did next, she rose until she was on her very toes to reach his height and leaned in until their lips met. He neither flinched back as she expected he would nor pulled her into a full kiss like she was used to with most boys. Instead, he just stood there, as if shocked by the whole deal. But it was over in a few seconds because that was all the time it lasted.
It was a brief kiss. It was a chaste kiss. She hadn’t meant anything by it, if anything at all had crossed her mind when she pecked him on the lips. And when she found that he was staring at her in shock, blood rushed up to her ears and cheeks as she mumbled a quick, “Sorry” and made a move to flee his presence.
She didn’t get beyond a turn and a step though. She found that though his face still held the same expression, somehow in that flurry of her movement to leave him alone in that room, he had managed to grab onto her wrist with a firm but gentle grip. When she turned back to him fully, she found his expression had softened somehow though he was hardly smiling. As if in some sort of trance he reached out another hand and brushed a lock of loose hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear. His state made her half-think that he had finally been affected by her Veela charm but the look in his eyes told her differently.
“You know, you’re so damn slow and wary it’s not even funny, my beloved brother,” a voice shocked them both with a jolt as they snapped their heads to find a smiling Sei’ra perked on a fallen pillar to one corner of the room, glee dancing in his eyes. Both turned as red as tomatoes and more as Sei’rei quickly jerked his hands back to his sides and turned away from her. She too turned away from him in that instant while his brother gave a light, teasing chuckle. “Sorry,” Sei’ra apologized in that same teasing tone, “I shouldn’t have interrupted... Well...ta!” And with that, he disappeared into the shadows leaving nothing but an imprint of his mischievous and knowing smile in their minds.
With his brother finally gone, Sei’rei nervously cleared his throat, bringing Gabrielle’s attention back to him with a deep blush on her face. He was looking away from her though, but even so and even in the dim light, she could see that his face had turned two shades darker, presumably red. She looked away quickly. “Sorry, I... I wasn’t really thinking,” she mumbled out nervously, though it was the truth.
He shook his head though he didn’t dare turn to look at her. She took it as a hint to drop the subject and take her leave but found that his hand was already back at her wrist and keeping her in place, exactly just two small steps away from him. “If you don’t mind...” he started so softly it was a bare whisper, “could you stay for just a while?” She felt her heart skip a little at that. She didn’t dare open her mouth though, lest she broke some spell, so instead she nodded and went back to sit down on the stone chair beside him, looking anywhere but him. “Sorry, about my brother...” he apologized after a moment’s silence. She just nodded her head and kept her eyes on the floor. “He was right though,” he told her quietly. At that, she looked up with some amount of surprise to find his face a few inches from hers with a look she couldn’t quite decipher. “I am too slow and wary,” he muttered softly before their lips crashed.
Sei’ra sat idly on the floor of Risteard’s ancient laboratory with his back against a stone bench. He heaved a large, loud sigh.
“What’s with the sigh, kiddo?” a voice asked, sounding odd as it seemed a blend of the voices of two little girls mixed with that of a fully grown man.
Sei’ra looked up at a very strange sight of the twin girls he had called his sisters sitting on an opposite bench with their legs dangling as they leaned onto each other while one of each of their eyes shone yellow as they looked at him with interest.
“I’m tired, Risteard...” he responded, letting the fatigue he felt physically, mentally, and emotional show.
“I know kiddo, but it’ll be over soon.”
“Yes...” he trailed off as he turned to look at a dark form obscured by the bubbles that shrouded it in a glass tank of liquid. “Soon.”
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