Title: White

Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort

Rating: T

Prompt: "I'm tired of watching you slowly die."

Summary: Run away, little girl, but she knows she can't run now. I love you, says the boy, but he knows that he doesn't anymore.

XxX

He doesn't remember much about their first meeting. Actually, he doesn't remember much at all about anything before that; it's only her distant and unconditional grin that stands out vividly in his mind.

He supposes it began one fateful morning (fate, he savored the word on his tongue. So often he had uses such a noun to describe his life, but he'd never really understood the meaning). He'd been at school – or the mall or the park or had she been a stranger on the train? – when he saw her. She wasn't just human, but rather something incomprehensible, unworldly, exotic.

And beautiful, he adds as an afterthought, years later.

Her name was Bianca, but that wasn't the name she introduced herself with. Someone, their identity too fuzzy for him to recall, asked her to explain her alias, and she said,

"because I don't want to be Bianca right now."

It was a game, he thought, entranced. It was her game, and he loved it.

Soon, she became his game.

A drug, he later relates, but the good kind. The kind that left him addicted and wanting more, but also the masochistic sort that hurt oh-so-badly. But he couldn't stop.

She was wild and ravenous, always trying new things with fervent passion and consuming everything she touched with her rabid influence. He followed her because he was scared of being left behind, and she led because she didn't want to forgotten. They were the best of friends, closer than lightningthunder, firesmoke, raincloud, but as he matured, he wondered if he ever meant anything to her at all.

He loved her, a cruel, twisted dependency, but she could crush his advances with a single word.

"Please,"

was all she said.

"Hypocrite!"

he wanted to cry when she fell for another man, but she was despairing, and so he swallowed his bleeding heart and nurtured hers. Never, he decided, would he turn away.

It was horrible, but he found pleasure as she wept. He was guilty, yes, but also relieved because now he knew at least she needed him.

He loved the Man that she loved the Man provided Bianca with something he'd never been able to supply but he hated him too the Man was someone else. An intruder to the world of he and she, the villain, the prince encased in flickering black.

"Oh, stop,"

she laughed when he voiced his concerns about the Man.

"You're just jealous because I love him."

And he was.

It was darkness that he always saw in the Man, and darkness is doomed to fade.

"The darkness is dead,"

he told himself, but her wails swallowed his joy. He thinks, when he's older, that as the darkness was vanquished, his light had perished as well.

Now, he knows that depression is not a curable disease. Psychiatry claims it can be treated, but he has been taught better. The pain only leaves when it is permitted to leave, but she isn't letting go.

He muses sometimes, whenever he's not taking care of her. They are married now, but the love he once colored her portrait with has faded into a dull throb. Now, when she calls his name, he knows she's just remember the Man. Now, he knows she'll never loveadoreneedwant (never feel the same agony) him the same way, and it doesn't bother him because he doesn't care.

He's tired, and he feels old, but she says,

"Don't leave me,"

and her desperation binds him.

He stays with her because he loves her, he says, because he doesn't want to believe otherwise. Her game, he thinks, is that reality is as she makes it; he sculpts his world as she once did. She is no longer fit to do so.

He visits one day. She is bedridden pallidunnaturallyunhealthilythinfrailfragilelifelessdead. The sunbeams dye her bed orange, casting ghastly shadows across her features. Her eyes, once lively, are blank. She is possesses by the memory of the Man.

"How are you?"

he asks.

"I'm alright,"

but she's not.

He sounds weary and resigned; she is deaf to the world.

"Bianca,"

he sighs. She doesn't respond. She doesn't want to be Bianca anymore.

"I'm tired of watching you slowly die,"

he says.

She laughs, hollow.

"Maybe, maybe that's for the best. Do you think I'll meet him in the afterlife?"

He looks at her, and it's like she's a stranger. Perhaps, he thinks, she's always been so far away and out of reach. He used to think he knew her, but he's no longer sure.

Bianca dies on September 22nd, but he doesn't miss her. He feels that he lost her to death much longer ago than that. His heart has already gotten over her. He doesn't attend the funeral – he's already mourned her. Instead, he goes for a walk (he remembers now, that's how he met her).

He doesn't remember much – it was a petrified, gray afternoon. Only an unconditional grin stands out vividly in his mind...

For my lovely, lovely beta~