Dreams in red.

Blue.

Dreams in purple.

Fantasies struck with violet.

Green, green grass beneath him.

But they are suns.

It is hot.

That is the first bullet to note.

That it is hot. Sweltering, sweating sun, grand grainy green. Then it is royal purple, dark dye between his blistered fingers. The tendrils snake about the pale, pale sticks of flesh, twining with the blazing hot white. How beautiful, how tortuous.

Then – a hand. Salvation.

One cool, cool, dead hand, thrumming with silent life. Hiding streaks of blue.

Does it hurt? he asks, quietly, but he should not be the one asking that. He hurts. He is the one who is in a state of pain. Only he knows.

The hand is gentle; it holds his all the more tightly as the royal strands pull away; he makes a sound of protest as the vibrant strings leave his hand to settle down her back. She does not reply; she never does. Does it hurt? he says again, then realizes that it was a croak. She merely wraps her crocus hair about him – why, and how – and holds him; his heart pumps in spasms. Blood shoots throughout him, and he feels warmth overtake him, dripping out and sweeping his skin.

His face is buried in the crook of her neck then, and suddenly her butterfly lashes are skimming across his brow, head bent and fingers stroking his hair, down to the warm roots of his scalp. His heart flutters as he breathes in air sweet with violet. This love, then, was never innocent. He loves her, loves her through every one of his fibers and pores, down to his very core, in his heart.

He almost dares to touch her, touch her pale skin where he can.

Breathe. Mia...

Does it hurt?

Does it hurt?

--

"Mia!" he gasped, strained, fitful. He bolted upright, as if from a nightmare, breathing hard, sucking long draughts of air into his lungs.

Does it hurt?

He drew in breath, coughing; it was then that he remembered – he had fainted. Why? – he did not recall; could not remember. But that did not matter, did not concern him – for it was then that he noticed the presence beside him –

– Immediately he yelped and jumped in terror.

Spluttering her name – "Mia!" – he clutched at his heart automatically, squeezing as if for salvation. And all he had in reply was a blank stare, though that was not unexpected. Mia was stillness embodied, and he could swear that the girl never blinked. In fact, he did swear – he had never seen her blink, not once!

Mia was a girl of little nature, and it was in fact her own nature. Ironic.

"W—Why..." He gulped in a smooth wave of breath, heart flying against his ribs. "Why are you here?" he asked. His hand was still clutched about his heart, and he noticed the strain of his muscles; the hand dropped.

She stared some more, before speaking, though softly – as was her nature – "You fainted." Her face did not shift, and her thoughts were hidden behind whatever thick curtain was placed before her mind.

Edward grimaced. I know. Though his face was heated, he went on, "I'm in the..." About to say "nurse's office," he noticed his surroundings and changed his question to one with more point. "How did I faint?"

More staring.

The silence scared him; and he suddenly remembered the fountain of fantasy from which he had been pulled. Feeling his cheeks heat, he batted at it, but he had already dreamed and already remembered. He had dreamed of touching Mia. Of hurting. Of heat.

Does it hurt?

Had he murmured in his sleep? he wondered, wishing that his face would stop feeling so warm. Did Mia hear?

"Did I say anything?" he blurted out, hands meeting to twist in his lap. "Did I say anything while I was, you know, unconscious?"

"Yes...," Mia murmured, softly. And oh God – oh God – he had sudden thoughts of her twisted violet vines and curly scent between his fingers and wreathing him, her skin bare to where he had buried his face...

Get out of my head! he thought, embarrassed already. Because she knew, she knew.

"What did I say?" he asked, his voice clashing with the tone of desperation. "Did I say anything weird?"

Does it hurt?

"You murmured my name..." Mia's face was still impassive, though was that a blush spreading across her cheeks?

"How?" Edward bit his tongue. Hard.

But you're so cute when you blush, he observed lovingly, watching the spectral pink on her face. Then he slapped himself internally. And hard. What was this obsession with Mia?

And then it hit him – it had taken too long, but at least it was there: realization. He was in the nurse's office with Mia. Alone. And without her psychopathic guardian of sorts, Abigail. How? – she could be in hiding, but she would have appeared earlier if she were there...right? How? And yet...with Mia, alone, and without Abigail...this was a once-in-a-lifetime possibility. Had heaven decided to act in his favor this day?

In a sudden act upon inspiration, flushed it pre-success, he opened his mouth eagerly –

"HEY BROOOO," came a voice identical to his. He jumped. Damn the heavens, they were playing with him! It was his twin Brandon, and he would recognize that drawl anywhere – his brother had been quick in adopting a slur of speech when he desired when they had first entered high school. "Heard what you were saying in your dream." Damn that twin of his! He could hear the hysterical laughter. "Was it niiiice?" Brandon went on as he waltzed in through the door – that pigeon!

"What are you talking about?" Edward snapped, righting himself – he reckoned that his face resembled a tomato by now – and watching the smug look on his mirrored face. He cast a small glance at Mia, whose face was still blank as ever.

"Oh, you know." Brandon winked, his face split into a wide grin. Edward could practically see the mocking words on his brother's face, left unspoken: "I should've brought a recorder..."

It was a surprise that Edward wasn't crying by now.

"SHUT UP!" he yelled. What a moment to ruin! "GET OUT!"

Now howling with laughter, the cockblocking brother swept out, flipping his caramel hair mockingly in Edward's face. "Mia Schwarzkopf," he cackled, ducking as Edward flung the nearest object – a plastic cup at his head. Edward's aim, pride of the tennis team, was off, and he swore inwardly, at the same time promising revenge.

From the halls, Brandon's voice echoed as he ran to his next class, passing others. "Hey, Yanagi-sensei! Mr. Schaffer! Mrs. Gottschalk! Mr. Gottschalk! Sanada-sensei! Chang Laoshi! Mrs. Hale! Hey! My brother Edward..."

He was going to kill him.

Somewhere in the halls, he could hear Mr. O's laughter. Twitching, he swore to kill Brandon in his sleep.

But then Mia blinked – to catch that movement was a feat in itself – and Edward's flushed attention was turned back to her.

"S – Sorry for my brother," he offered, for that was the first thing to say. Mia still did not say anything, and quickly the opportunity bared itself to him – this was a chance, one out of a million, if not infinity. Again he was eager, though his cheeks still burned a horrible shade. "So – so," he went on, tumbling over those words, "how are you?"

Stare.

Blink.

From that soft, soft throat, came the quiet rounded "Fine...."

Edward smiled, softly. And resisted the urge to press his hands to his face. So cute...

"So," he continued, hopefully, "do you like anyone in this school?"

A pause.

Then he realized what he had said—he mentally galvanized. Depp! he screamed mentally, a German word he had picked up from his father. Depp! Depp! DEPP! GOD DAMN IT, YOU SOUND LIKE A FUCKING GIRL! Really discreet, Ed! He grabbed the book lying on a chair beside him, smashing it against his head. KONO BAKA! – a term picked up from his mother.

"Don't hurt yourself," Mia said softly.
OH GOD, he screamed again. His crush on Mia showed its sadistic triumph as it took its toll upon him – Edward was demeaning himself before her.

"And I like someone."

Edward froze, unbelieving. His ears needed checking, was his immediate response. Mia did not just...

"He's very short," Mia continued blandly, not stopping, "but he's funny."

Short...

Yeah, my ears need checking.

Because, another voice stated bluntly, you can't accept that she likes someone else.

Edward clenched his fists, again unconscious of the girl's presence. Lies!

But don't you find it touching...that she's confessing this to you?

Edward sucked in a breath, weighing the two. It was a valid point...he twitched the brain-held scale. Very valid.

Perhaps there was hope...so spoke his desperation.

Does it hurt?

The dream haunted him again – it had, the whole time, but it struck again.

Silence.

Instead of being bored, the ever-dynamic Edward was charmed. If Mia spoke, then it would have shattered the peaceful candle stub, and the silent scratch of pen on paper.

He had remnants of Mia's heart. It was somewhere else. All he had were the shredded tatters. Ebon hair and sour apple eyes came to mind – his friend, Jet, who was short. Mia liked Jet. Loved him. Her heart was for him, while he, Edward, was clutching at the pretty shambles of bloody heart. Could one of those cloth tendrils still be connected to that little heart presented to someone else?

He could start. Start now – he could give the expert tug when the girl's personal demon was nowhere to be found.

"Mia," he started, savoring the word, beautiful, upon his tongue.

She stared. She always stared.

Then – steel. It was pressed against the back of his neck; too late, the mattress squeaked and hot breath was blowing upon him. With a squeal, Edward froze. "Hello...," murmured the all-too-familiar voice of Abigail – the she-devil herself. "Are you making a move on dear Mia here?" The smile in her voice was clear.

"I – " How could he not expect her to be in hiding?

"Silence!"

"I – "

The steel pressed harder.

His heart was booming; it was squeezing blood, so rapid –

Then Jet came in, clearly to visit. He opened the door, and Edward caught sight of his black hair, and green, green eyes, like Mia's – "Hey, Ed, how are – "

He fainted before Abigail could say, "Pft. He fears butter knives."

--

"Does it hurt, Edward?"

He stirred; opening one brown eye, he caught sight of her again.

Mia.

I'm dreaming.

Yes, that was it.

"Edward?"

He muttered something about albinos and knives.

"She's gone now..."

Edward murmured something even he could not decipher.

It was hot, he noticed. Blindingly hot – white hot, like the air shifting form to a burned rod. A poker, perhaps.

Then – a hand. Salvation.

Déjà vu? He blinked. Another dream?

"...Hi, Jet."

This – this one name brought him back to reality – it was abrupt and harsh, and his vision's sudden clearing was no help. He blinked fiercely, eyes watering in the light.

"Yo, Ed," said that traitorous, traitorous voice that made his blood run hot. "How're you?"

He automatically mumbled, "'M fine." Cockblocker, he added, though not angry at his friend. But why? The green eyes of the beast within him took over; he heard, from his own lips, "But I need quiet."

It was not a lie.

His lungs felt weak – he did not want to speak. It was exhausting to think, it was exhausting to be awake. He wanted to slip again into his dreams – at least then he could dream.

A pregnant pause – at least, pregnant to Edward.

And then his friend's voice, quiet, almost tender; "See you."

Liquid-filled eyes of Edward's squinted to see Jet's retreating back. Grace filled him – what a friend he had, to know, and to care. He would repay this in full. He would.

More silence. He was sure that he had fallen asleep, and even there the decision was unsure – it was a seesaw, out of balance and rocking, rocking, rocking...

He found himself at the edge of the bed, and it annoyed him, but did not want to move – he didn't want to move, he didn't feel like it –

Edging, edging more – get up, he told himself gruffly, and did not move –

Fall –

It was a relief, in fact...

With a yelp, his senses were doused in water, and he could see and hear again. To see! To hear! To feel his exhaustion leave him – !

"Mia!" he gasped, and turned – speak of the devil! – to see that he had collapsed atop the girl. Heart thundering immediately, with every cell of his red, red blood galloping through the canals, he realized what he had fallen into – luck. Good or bad...

"I'm sorry!" he cried, feeling his cheeks heat as he lifted himself from the cold floor; she stared at him, blue irises speaking quietly, violet hair limp in its position. His arm was tangled with hers, twined – oh God – and her skin beneath the cloth was so cool and warm at once.

"I'm sorry," he squeaked, sitting on the floor, so that they were back to back; his face heated, and he tried to move.

His legs refused.

"I'm sorry!" he squeaked, trying to send lightning down his thighs; how embarrassing, to be with her...oh, if anyone came in now – it would not surprise him. He thought again of her pale, pale skin, and beautiful twisting violets – she smelled nicely of it, and that treacherous thought was quickly pushed away. "Does it hurt?" said his mouth, his tongue, and he froze.

Does it hurt?

"...No...," said that rosy voice.

Lovely.

Entrancing.

How his heart beat!

Was that a blush spreading across her cheeks? – a thin, thin bloom of rose?

This, said the blunt voice expertly, is a wonderful moment. You are overjoyed, no?

No! I –

Mia was not moving.

"...You have a strong arm," she pointed out, tone low.

Virile, Edward, called the voice, wickedly amused.

"T-thank you..." That was for both his voice and Mia. But Mia more.

She still did not move.

Just let go of denial.

There was a knock upon his inner scale of reason – it shook, and tilted upon one side. On it were the tatters of heart, and they fell into his hands; how coarse the cloth was beneath his fingers.

He gave an expert tug.

Smiled.

One moment, he whispered to himself.

He sat there then, unmoving, feeling Mia's back pressed to his, and her arm snaked about his.

Does it hurt?

No.

Overjoyed.