Lost in Denial

© 2001 by Sofía 'Toffee' Francisco

This page was last modified: 2001/07/28


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And then, when everything was silent, came that whisper...

"Tell me a secret... something no one else knows." Soft hands trailed down his chest, taming the fire of his soul; stoking it with their nimble touch, damping it with the knowledge of future uncompletion.

"I love you."

"Do you, now?" Mocking voice, cruel voice.

"Yes."

"Only me?" Sad voice, cruel voice.

The silence would be more welcome than those questions, silence could be borne, but knowledge...? Truth...? One cannot change one's own feelings, some things cannot be subverted by will, only destroyed. And some truths cannot do any less than destroy that which will keeps hidden.

"...yes..." softly whispered.

"Why the doubt in your voice then?" Why the mockery in hers?

"Do you love me?"

"Would you love me any less if I didn't?" Mocking voice... she knew no other way of being. He knew this too, and could not for the life of him deny her what she asked, just as easily as she denied him everything he ever asked.

"I don't know..." Truth always hurts.

"Then it's best that I don't answer." Sad voice... she knew just how to hurt him by never telling him the truth. With her, truth would hurt much less than ignorance.

"Because you don't love me?"

"Because you should love me without needing to know that." Laughter, as if such a conclusion were obvious.

"Morgana..."

"Leave it, Blood. You have said what you wanted to say. You love me. Saying that doesn't automatically mean I will tell you the same thing." She turned around, her hands leaving his chest. Blood shivered, feeling an aching emptiness where her fingers had been seconds earlier.

"Because you don't feel what I want you to say?"

"Because I don't have to say it."

Blood had heard from his master once that some animals enjoy the hunt more than others, and that they do not kill for food, but for blood. His master had told him that these animals simply drank the blood of their prey while it was warm, enjoying the soft wet sounds of the dying creature below. They never gave explanations, they just enjoyed it as long as it was not cool. Such animals basked in the passion of others, until there was no more warmth to steal.

Sometimes the victim died, and sometimes...

"So you don't love me." It was more of a statement than she had expected.

"Perhaps I do."

...sometimes the hunter left a little blood in the prey, so it could go on. Hopefully, so it became warm an alive again; if not, even if this meant stealing that warmth from others and becoming a hunter too, hoping it would regain that which it had lost.

"Morgana..."

And these animals - his teacher had whispered smiling - are the most dangerous.

His teacher would often tell him stories like that; desire glimmering in his eyes as he stared at Blood. These animals - Blood thought - are all around us, all the time. But perhaps they were not evil, just... empty. Perhaps they needed someone to show them warmth again, to give it over and over until they could grow warm by themselves. And above all, Blood had wanted that... to give such warmth. To entice such a love that could bind the hunter and the prey in such a way that both benefited. So when his teacher reached out to him, eyes glowing with lust yet strangely devoid of all else, he let him. Blood let him do as he pleased because his teacher was not only a hunter but a human too, and so cold inside that sometimes it was a wonder he was even alive. There was not other motive, Blood reasoned, save that he wanted to give... so that someday, he could receive. His teacher would stare at him for long hours, his eyes alight with some unspoken pain.

"Why don't you push me away?" he asked once, staring at his red headed pupil awkwardly. Blood had looked up, blue eyes shinning softly in the waning afternoon light.

"Why should I? You don't want me to." Such a strange statement coming from the lips of a little boy.

"Because you don't like it," was the cold answer. Blood felt his teacher's taciturn eyes rest on the fresh bruises on his arms and legs.

"Perhaps I enjoy it," he countered, staring up defiantly.

"You don't, I can hear you cry out," came the reply. Blood winced as he pulled a shirt over his naked body, staring numbly at the darkening fingerprints on his pale skin.

"But you need it more than I need to deny it," and there was no real answer to that. Blood knew his teacher would not stop doing it even if he pleaded, he also knew the older man suffered after he saw the damage he had done. But he needs me -Blood reflected- because he can feel no pain, he seeks to give it to anyone near him. Yet he had known his teacher didn't love him in the very least... truth was something he could deal with.

But this...

"Blood?" he shook his head, dispelling the odd memory of his teacher. The Scorpio saint had stopped treating his pupil thus after Blood turned eleven. For no apparent reason, he just stopped. He looked up at Morgana's face, seeing the pale spring sunlight reflected on her mask.

"Why can't you just answer?" he whispered, feeling his eyes burn as she shifted her weight from one foot to another.

"It isn't that simple," she muttered. The wind rustled around them, upsetting the first unsure petals from their flowers and throwing them into a soft whirlwind. "It never is..."

"Even if I do love you?" Blood asked, and saw her shiver.

"Even if you do..."

And that was it. All his passion, all his fears, all his unslept nights fretting over this moment... all for an acceptance of his words. And nothing in return. But that was Morgana's essence, wasn't it? She didn't ever give, lest there was nothing left inside of her at the end.

Blood let her be, knowing there was nothing else to say. Perhaps he had known it all along, that was why he was the way he was. His teacher never understood how he could let himself be violated so tamely, and still have such a fiery spirit. But the truth was that Blood defended that which he thought important... not himself. And if others needed him to give all he had... then he would. His teacher needed him to cry out and sob, he needed Blood to look up at him mutely with the dark bruises marring his skin. He needed the passion and agony he could not feel himself; it was the closest to love he would ever get. Just like Morgana needed to keep the truths of her soul to herself; it was the closest to love she would allow herself to get.

Later on that night, as Ganymede and Blood sat together in front of a camping firelight, staring at the flames glumly as the moon pushed through the clouds every now and then, he wondered... Ganymede looked up at his friend curiously, a strange fondness creeping into his steely grey eyes. Blood sighed, the other's sudden softening going unnoticed.

"Do you think she loves me?" Ganymede's budding smile died a sudden death. He let out a shaky breath and leaned his head on his hands.

"I don't know, Blood... I could never tell what she thought. She is just like that," the pale haired man shook his head slightly. "Take it or leave it, but you can't have it all, not with her."

Blood sighed again and threw a stick into the fire.

Ganymede was right, he couldn't have it all. The only thing he could do was give as much of himself as he could, hoping that at some point it would warm her enough to make her love him. He gave the youth in front of him a sad look; did Ganymede always look as alone as he did now? Those grey eyes had only hardened with the years, despite his teacher's gentle nature. Dana was soft and sweet, yet the child she had trained was cold and unfathomable. So... passionless...

But he had never seen Ganymede take from another that which he lacked. He would settle inside his frozen heart and stare out silently, never touching the warmth of others. Sometimes Blood wondered if he even craved for it. Ganymede was not like those animals, he was not a hunter... more like an abandoned prey. And no matter how Blood tried to make him change, there was always something that kept him the way he was.

"I don't know why I love her..." he whispered at last, closing his eyes only to see the flash of silver in the back of his mind, and the dark tanned glow of her exposed shoulders. "I really don't..."

"No one chooses whom they love, it just happens. For better," and he seemed to pause, the wind stroking his moon-washed hair slightly. "...or for worse."

"Either way, I will still love her." That last comment made Ganymede shiver a bit, gaining Blood's confused attention.

"I know," was all he said. "I know."

For above all rationale these animals are everywhere, and they devour with a hunger that is unknown to the fey and gentle prey. They would sink their teeth into a warm neck and never let go, sucking the life out slowly, enjoying every drop of feeling, every nuance and shift of emotions, until there was nothing left. Or... until it was time to let go and let it replenish. Some preys managed to do so... others didn't.

Blood didn't really know for sure if this was true or not. He lived for that which he felt for, his feelings were his life and if he were to loose them he would loose everything. They were all he had, and all he could give. So it did not matter if his teacher needed him to suffer, or if Ganymede would never admit he cared... but for some reason Morgana's reticence did matter... a lot. He needed her to say something, to admit or to deny, but to choose one position so he could... so he could...

Know.

If only he knew, if only he could reach out and hold her, or reach out and crush her neck. If only she would hold him and let him kiss her or let him make love to her... or let him kill her. If only she would... let him live.

But she had trapped him; he was caught in her evasiveness, her touches and laughs, her frozen anger and her mask, the mask that hid her face from him.

Maybe he had given so much that he needed a little something to go on giving again; maybe he needed her to let him love her without the doubts she consciously planted along the way. But nevertheless she had him; truly and wholly, as much of him as she wanted. And she could drink his blood slowly or all of it in one go, he wouldn't stop her.

"Because these animals..." his teacher had whispered one night, after he was done with Blood. "...they need to feel pain. They need to be hated or loved or - more than anything- to be adored. The first and foremost in anybody's mind... or the mind of their current prey. They will never let you go and they will kill you softly, and pray that if they ever touch you they have the mercy to finish you off... lest you become one of them".

Like you, teacher? Blood had often wanted to ask that question, but never dared. Perhaps it was the look of cold warning in the man's eyes... perhaps it was because he already knew the answer.

And still... still...

"I can't help loving you!" he cried out, hours later, at the door to Morgana's cottage. "I love you! Is that so terribly wrong!?" He screamed in rage and pounded on her door, feeling his eyes burn as tears slipped down his cheeks. "Is it so wrong!?"

The door was opened eventually, letting him in. She wore only a light white shirt that rode high over her thighs, letting him see her shapely brown legs. Blood licked his lips, tasting his own tears.

"Why are you here?" she demanded softly, fists clenched. "Why do you always try and make things so hard?"

"And you don't make them hard for me?" he growled, and stopped short as her annoyed shift of weight brought the shirt even further up.

"Am I? Why can't you just let me be? Why do you need an answer to everything!?" she cried, shaking her head tiredly.

"Because I need to know! I can't go on like this!" and she looked up then, the muscles of her shoulders bunching up as if she were about to reach out and choke him.

"And I? What about me? You need, you need, you need. Why do you always expect something in return!"

"I don't! I just want...just..." his voice trailed off into silence. What did he want?

"You want promises... you want certainties. You want me to promise I love you so you can stop worrying over it. So you can take me for granted and throw that doubt out of your heart! And yet you cannot promise that you will love me forever either, can you? Can you!?" She slammed her fist into a wall and shivered, head bowed.

"I... I... can't..." Blood looked away, his voice thick with pain as his vision blurred once again. "I don't want to take you for granted.. I just... want to know.. if you..."

"I won't tell you... not now. Maybe later... I am afraid, Blood," she whispered as she drew closer to him.

"Afraid of what?" he whispered back, suddenly caught by the darkly enticing sight of her breasts, where the shirt sloped down to reveal the beginnings of their soft curves. His hand twitched as he fought the instinct to slide it into her shirt and fondle them.

"Afraid..." she mumbled, as she followed his gaze and let out a short sigh. "Of letting you know the truth."

"What? That you don't love me?" he muttered numbly, blue eyes pinned by the steady rise and fall of her chest, and the soft sheen of sweat on her dark skin. Morgana only sighed and slipped her arms around him, pressing her chest up against his. She heard him gasp in surprise, and then felt him slide his arms around her waist slowly. She drew up and gently bit his neck, then moved away.

"Or that I do. Does it matter? Why should you love me any less?"

Blood stared at her, feeling his chest grow unbearably heavy.

There are animals like that... he knew it. Perhaps he had always known it. When Morgana left, some distant part of him clung to the frail hope that she would return, while the rest of him capitulated and finally gave into the truth. She was gone.

And he felt so... cold.

Ganymede would hold him at nights and he would still feel frozen. Was this how his teacher had felt, was this why he always ravaged him? Blood couldn't know for sure. He dreamed of her often, and cried out her name when he made love to Ganymede. The Aquarius saint never seemed to mind... he never cared about anything, did he? Blood grew to see the reasoning in that, however obscure.

Sometimes the hunter left the prey alive, and if it could not find it in itself to grow warm again, then all it could do was become a hunter too. And so he did. He sank his teeth into Ganymede's soul, seeking to find the warmth he had planted there... but he found nothing. Ganymede never gave more than he received, and as he got nothing from Blood, he gave nothing either. Or so Blood thought, as he pillowed his head on his best friend's chest and played with his fine silvery hair.

And then Ganymede would leave, for whatever reasons pushed him to do so. Blood would lay alone at night thinking of her, only her; crying sometimes because he had had never known what her face looked like, and when the contours of her mask faded from his memory he cried out to Ganymede. The Aquarius saint always came. He would always be there to hold him, to let him do as he pleased, as he sunk in her memory and sought out to make him cry and sob in the ways he would have wanted her to do so too. Sometimes he wished he could hurt her, Ganymede didn't mind those times either.

And then, when everything was silent, came that whisper...

"Tell me a secret... something no one else knows."

Except that he was the one asking it now, trying to complete a ritual that was never really formalised. And Ganymede would lay back on his pillow with a far off look in his misty grey eyes as he sought out a memory Blood did not know.

"I think I have told you everything."

"There must be something, like... for example, why do you always come here when I call you? Always, always... and so fast?" There was honest curiosity in his voice, and Ganymede felt a sudden urge to cry even though he had promised himself never to do so again.

Perhaps Morgana had been right in never telling him the truth. Blood was so ruled by feelings, and so afraid of them at the same time. How could he love truly, if he wasn't even able to see what his lovers felt? How could he even hope to give when he was so afraid of what he would or would not receive? But even more than that, how could he give when he doubted his own feelings?

More than anything else, Ganymede knew that if Blood ever found out that he loved him, the Scorpio would never call to him again. Blood needed to take, to ravish and to steal, not to receive. Not anymore. Perhaps Morgana had known this. But in the end she had won. She never told him if she loved him or not, and because of this she was caught, fixed into his mind forever, her denial here left an open wound that would never heal. A memory that would accompany him forever. Ganymede hated her for this, and yet.. he understood. Perhaps if Blood had known the truth, he would have eventually forgotten her... eventually. He understood that, and why there was nothing he could say.

"Some things, Blood, are better left unsaid," he whispered back. Ganymede stared numbly as Blood bit his lip and got up from the bed, slipping on a robe as he walked towards the door. Ganymede let him go silently, saw him stop at the door and heard him sob.

"Sometimes I really hate... you know?" he ground around clenched teeth.

"I know."

And that was it.

Sometimes even after it has tasted warmth again, the prey cannot go back to being what it was. It cannot do it on its own, and it becomes a hunter too. It grows to need the warmth of others, and seeks to draw out their blood slowly just to find a few moments of peace as it feels so close to his past, but not quite. The hunter cannot go back, ever. Even if the chance for salvation were right beside it- or in its arms- it would not see it, and it would go on killing. Some hunters even grew to fear salvation, wanting the brief tastes of passion they remember having once more than the return of their old self. Because of this... some things are better left unsaid.

Blood lay on the bed, blue eyes glazed as he bent down to kiss his lover. "I really really hate you."

"I hate you, too." And no matter how much it sounded like he were saying the opposite, Blood never noticed.

But the hunter never forgets what it was, it never gives up on the ideals it once had. It forever remembers the things it wishes it would have done, and that which it believes would have saved him. Thus the hunter, will forever want to kill the prey, because for a few moments it can be the prey again.

And sometimes - just sometimes! - it will truly remember what it felt like to be innocent, and for a few moments... it will be free.

"When you love something, fight for it. Let it know you love it, and never... hear me, never turn your back on it. Make every moment last, and love to the very limit of your heart, and beyond."

A hunter will always remember...

...and grieve.

Morgana never came back, not while Blood lived. But some say that she never forgot him, and visited his grave often. Some even say that what was thought to be his grave was actually the place where he confessed to her. Yet Blood's name was etched into the stone, so it must have been his grave. Some say she changed her name to hide the shame, others say she changed her name because she had to.

The woman known as Morgana died as Mnemosyne. Many say she used this name to signify she remembered him always. A few say she had many things to remember. No one ever knew why she left.

Blood's pupil grew to be respected as a great warrior, always remembering what his teacher taught him. Though many say that he fell in love and was betrayed, which was why he always looked like Blood in the end. And even though Ganymede tried his best to teach his pupil not to love, he too, failed. But neither lived long enough to see the result of this, or hear of Morgana's death.

The End


Toffzzz:

This is huggily dedicated to Derre-chan, who said she wanted to read something about Blood and Morgana. I hope this was what you expected, but remember, you DID say "angst"...*winks* (my specialty!) So, as they say over here: De mi, para ti, con todo mi yo.


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