Title: Prove Me Wrong

Note: Let me see the truth.

She doesn't strike him as the kinda person to cry. There is steel beneath her skin, and it makes people shy from her.

Not him. It draws him closer; he always found metal and ice so beautiful.

There are days when the world has peeled away her thin, pale skin and bared the iron core beneath; when all the pains bestowed upon her have exposed the steel frame, frigid to the touch, to all the people who think to tear her down.

He doesn't like to be proved wrong; no one ever truly does.

He hears people warning; they are soft whispers in a crowded hall. There is something wrong.

In class, she shakes. Her hands tremble as though struck with palsy, in a way they'd never shook before. When she drops her pencil, she just stares at it in a despondent way.

It has instilled fear into the pit of his heart, and then he sees the bruising around her wrist. Her jacket sleeve rode down and there it was, black and purple and blue.

School ends and all the children leave. He's what's left, sitting in the back parking lot and staring at the school as the sun drops away.

He doesn't know what he's waiting for.

The temperature is dropping, and he drags the heavy jacket closer. It falls free as he sees her.

She stumbles free from tangling shadows; skin is ripped from her face and arms and he can clearly see the steel. He can clearly see the rusted steel that is cracking, crumbling.

Her knees buckle and he wants to jump from his car. The man stops him.

He's jeering at her, looming over her and he can see from the safety of the car as the steel straightens. She's on the man in moments; bruises shown as clothes fall away from too thin a frame.

Her hands smash against a face and rip at skin and he watches as the ice spreads and burns the man. He shoves her away and lands a harsh kick, before leaving her to crumple in on her rusted core.

Slowly he gets out of his car and steals up on her, drops to his knees beside her. Large forlorn eyes lift to his and he looks at her upturned palms. The skin is scratched and bleeding.

Then there are tears swelling in her eyes, bleeding down her face. Her hands swing down and collide with hard asphalt and she opens her mouth as though to scream.

She chokes in a breath, and then she's proving him wrong, so wrong.

Her shoulders shake as hands grab and scrape at unforgiving concrete until her nails are chipped and her fingertips are bleeding and raw; she leans forward to press her forehead to the ground.

He never wanted to see anyone break; it kills him. Watching her crumple into a completely new state, of such innocence and fragility, makes him feel special. He reaches out tentatively; afraid she'll fall upon him like a rabid beast.

She melts into his embrace, clambers into his lap and clutches at him. He holds her, rocking gently and enjoying the scent of peppermints.

Stillness overtakes her, the tip of her nose and the torn skin of her lips is on his neck; her breath flares over the skin and makes him shiver.

Slowly, she leaves his embrace and helps him to his feet.

The skin that was ripped away is growing back, hiding the steel that is twisting and jerking slowly from the bottom of her soul, twining through her limbs and creating a whole person once more.

Her hand touches his, fingers intertwine with his own and then she's gone. The destruction of something old, and the birth of something new and it burns him slightly. Like the touch of ice cold metal against bare skin.