It started off with a smile. One that illuminated the darkest of nights. Shortly followed by a twinkle in her eye.
It fascinated Death how she could just shrug at his appearance and whisper those small words, "It doesn't matter."
Oh but it did. With bony hands and those sockets voided of eyes, he would take her hands in his and try to look her in the eyes. Yet as he gazed into those endless seas of silver and gold, he felt his heart, what was left of it, melt at just the sight of her. To be holding her hand, close enough to smell the lavender and rose aroma that seemed to hang around her, was more than enough for him.
"Why?" he softly asked, his heart pounding with each word.
And as she normally did when he asked her this, she let out a small laugh while her hands left his much to Death's dismay. Instead of mocking him as he always thought she would with a look of disgust in those gorgeous eyes of hers, she gently cupped his skeletal face with her delicate hands and placed her forehead to his.
"Because I love you." she would whisper sending his heart soaring.
However, love could not stop her from slipping away from him. The sun had cursed him once more, forcing him to hide in the shadows. Every day, every single moment he had, he thought of her. Her gorgeous white hair that cascaded down her shoulders and past her waist, her delicate hands that would trace each bone with such careness that it would make his heart melt, her brilliant eyes that would always have that twinkle and her smile that would light up his world. Perfect in every single way, he yearned for her like a beggar craves food. And every solar eclipse, she would always be just a hair width away from him, always out of his reach. She was doomed to spend an eternity with those filthy creatures that she had given her life to protect, reborn every single time. On the day she would be reborn, Death would travel up to the Middleground just to see her spirit be trapped into another accursed body.
On those days, he would lock himself away in his domain, forsaking any spirit that would come to him to spend forever in the Underground, his realm. He would remember his promise to her, to always try to save her even if she never remembered. And every time she was in trouble, Death would offer to save the one she loved if she could just find the three items that he had given to her.
A pearl comb.
A crystal rose.
A silk scarf.
And every time she failed due to that accursed body, Death would cry. He cried for his love, he cried for her pain and he cried for his inability to protect her. But this time as he looked down upon the seven year old girl that was about to lose her mother, he saw that same look that she had whenever she got inspired. It was that moment that Death had finally began to hope. To hope that this time the curse was broken. That this time was different from the rest. Just because she wasn't afraid of him. Because she was her.
This time, she would return to him.