The Condition of Chivalry
Somewhere close by it was dark.
To his way of thinking, there were two types of darks. Some darks seem all encompassing, and are very frightening for it—the sort of dark that makes you think that maybe there's a monster just in front of you and to your right, or perhaps a large hole into which you may fall. Worse yet, darks like these make one believe, truly, in spirits and ghosts, and other unholy things which lurk in the recesses of the human mind, preying upon every fear or moment of weakness.
The parts of him which he could still vaguely feel knew well of both of these things. Spirits, and ghosts, and predators alike were all common to him, known well from his more familiar days, like the touch of an old sweater, or, in the case of the latter, perhaps more like the touch of a hot stove.
That dark was the nightmarescape. It was the impenetrable dark which clung to a person like a lost child until they thought that there was no hope of escaping it—or perhaps that they had always lived in such a dark.
The other sort of dark was more grey, really, than black. It was the dark through which a light shone, and it was, although still a dark, a hopeful one. It was being in the ocean—it was dark, and yet one knew that the sun shone above, somewhere.
Matter was unimportant. Space had no meaning any longer, and therefore the proximity of himself to the darkness was unknowable. He could sense only that it was near, and that it was the latter sort of darkness, the lighter sort, which gave him a sense of hope.
Yes, it gave him a sense of hope, although he wasn't quite sure what hope was any more, or what it meant to him.
And yet, even as he could feel that it was the hopeful sort of dark, the promise of the dawn after midnight, he could also sense that it was growing less light as time progressed.
That gave him a vague sense of fright somewhere in the pit of himself, although he wasn't quite sure what fright was, any longer, or how it was that it related to him.
Something told him that these feelings, or perhaps this lack of feelings, this lack of any sort of definition at all, was rather akin to being drugged. The word sounded familiar, in a playful sort of way, but he wasn't sure what the something was that told him. Was it part of himself? Where did he end and the darkness begin? Or perhaps it was all one anyway…
Except the roses. The roses were clearly defined, and not a part of himself at all. And so colorful! They were the only spot of color at all in this inky landscape. He loved them for it, and yet it made them suspect at the same time. They were like a tumor of light and color, a very concrete spot in the embryonic space that was both the darkness and himself.
But he didn't think about it often. Thought did not occupy much of his time—but who knew how much time he had at all? It was too warm and relaxing to think, and he didn't know which parts to think with anyway.
He liked the roses, though. All the colors… There were red ones, which grew slightly taller than the rest (but what were they growing in? Plants needed water and light and nourishment, he knew, although he wasn't sure how, and certainly none of these things existed in his darkness. Or maybe they did, it was hard to be sure), and then the green, which grew slightly shorter than the red, although he could tell that they tried so hard to reach the same level. Also around the red grew the yellow, which twined around the red's stems as though they wanted to fuse into one plant. But then a mere instant later they were separate again, and he looked elsewhere. Orange roses grew slightly apart from the rest, and between them and the others grew small blue flowers. There were buds of black just forming amongst all the plants, but he didn't look at them too closely—they were made of darkness, and he knew well enough of that.
His favorites, however, grew slightly apart from the rest, but unlike the orange roses they did not seem isolated at all. They were light pink, or maybe white—it was hard to be truly sure—and they were perfect. They almost seemed to shine with their own light. They seemed to be a part of him (the part that did not belong to the darkness) in a way that he could not describe. They were familiar to him.
Perhaps, whichever part of him did the thinking echoed, this is why the dark is not complete.
And in the white roses, he saw pictures. Moving pictures, of castles, and horses, and human figures which danced across life in joy, and anger, and sorrow—a shadow play of life, in a perfect world full of sunshine.
The sunshine in that world didn't seem to touch his darkness, though. This was because it was not real.
Occasionally, he saw in the white roses a flicker of a man in dark clothing, whose hair shone like deception and whose long eyes were the color of envy. Somewhere, he felt a bit strange inside, as though something very dear had been taken from him, which it was important that he get back immediately. A sense of urgency filled him, then, and for a brief second he felt a body, a genuine body, and he remembered what it was that he had been seeking, and knew the path before him once more! …But it passed quickly, and soon he was once again a part of the warmth and darkness.
Sometimes also, he saw a dark girl, whose eyes were reflections of the man's, and yet in truth reflected nothing at all. When she moved across the pictures the roses showed him he was filled with a sense of loss so profound that it pained him. A sense of guilt, somehow, for not thinking, and a sense of guilt for not _being_. It was agony, watching her, because he knew, somehow, that he could never reach her, although he did not know who she was, or why he would want to reach her. This filled him with the same sense of loss—the not knowing who she was, for he felt that he should.
But soon the darkness would fill him once more, and he would not have to worry about the pain of loss any longer.
And occasionally he saw a third, one whose eyes were the color of heaven. He didn't know what heaven was, or how he knew its color, but in her eyes he did not question what he saw. And through her, he could remember, at times, what it had been like to live, to feel a sword in his hands, and the wind on his face, and for this he loved her, and gave her what he could, when he could.
However, these sensations were also fleeting, as much as the sense of loss, or the sense of urgency, and before long he was dark again. Not hollow, because if one feels hollow, then one must know that something filled that space to begin with. No, not hollow, just dark.
He tried to concentrate, sometimes, for a moment, on remembering what it had felt like to have a body (for he was certain that he had possessed one at one time), and that was when it hurt the most. Arms and legs flared into life around areas in his darkness, and before he had a chance to recognize that the thing he felt was _life_, a thousand vines grew out of the darkness and wrapped themselves around the strange new flesh. The vines were covered in thorns, and they dug into his skin, and a scream echoed against the darkness. He quickly released the thought, and the pain ceased once more.
And once more, he was warm and thoughtless and dark.
If he thought only about the memories, and did not concentrate solely on the feel of having a body, then he could recall the feel of running, and of sitting on a horse, of clean sweat on himself, and also the feel of sweet, soft lips upon his own. He relished these, but soon enough they played themselves out and ceased to exist once more.
Slower to dissipate were the memories of bodily pain—of bruises and skinned knees, and worst of all, memories of a pain deep within his core. A roiling pain that was so great that he could not sit up, although he tried so desperately, because someone needed him, and her eyes…
They were green. But then they were darkness.
He adored the white-pink roses and the light they seemed to radiate, but something odd was happening to them. Darker roses, purple roses, were springing up around them. Choking them. Their light was dimming because of the purple roses, and again he felt fear deep within himself, although he did not quite understand what "fear" was. He felt also, somehow, that if roses had eyes, the purple ones would have eyes of the clearest green.
He wondered, vaguely (which was how he did everything), what color his eyes were, if he even had eyes. But, he realized, it was irrelevant, because even if he did have eyes, he had no way of seeing what they looked like.
And always, just out of reach, the light of white-pink roses danced, along with a thousand memories, all locked away in a coffin made of thorns that he wasn't even aware existed.
"You saved me," he said to the green eyes, and then, after a moment of consideration, "You killed me."
In the darkness, the part of himself that was himself rolled over, thoughtlessly, and drifted back into partial oblivion.
And somewhere else, the darkness grew.
Disclaimer: Don't own it. ^_^ You know it.
Notes: Well, not much to say, actually...
I was just wondering what it might be like for Dios, up there.
Or wherever the hell it is that he is. Although honestly,
for the record, I don't believe that he's a sentient being
any longer, as that hinted. I think that Dios and Akio are
one and the same and basically inseperable. ^_^