———- …
         But why do you get to answer questions with. Nope. What did you—do to our neighbors.

There were never any neighbors. We live in the middle of nowhere.



            d̨̲̬̞̝̺̹̗̫͑͂̿͂͂̒̀͌̓͝ͅa̢̻̩͓͚͇͎͉̺͒̔̆̊̀̓̈́̈́͘̕͜y̢͙̟̩͙̤̳̜̥̑͐̋͆͋̽̆̕͜͝͝o̢̨̼̙͙̭̲̭̞͙̊͛̍̋̇́͗̏́̿ ̧̻̺̪̺̼̤̮̰̀̊̎͂͂͛́̈́̐͘͜n̩̤̭̳̹̮̬̱͙͉̉͗̅͛̌͐̿͑̓̋ë̢̛̤͉̭̝̜̝̻̝̼̓̍̒͒͗͘̚͝?̛͙̯͔̘̝͕̦͈͍͈̂̇̉̃͆̑͑̐̚




        — !!! 

I know, right?



        I said why! Dumb. 

The answer to that is also nope.



         —Hey. Why don’t we—have any neighbors?



It’s so difficult for her to hear—that her work is done for the moment, that it’s her turn to relax and allow Zero to tend to her. It’s so difficult, and she’s quivering beneath it all, feeling his touch so tender and docile as he caresses her and kisses her. He’s absolutely everything. Abra can’t imagine a life in which she doesn’t have Zero—she doesn’t want that life, she doesn’t want any part of a life without him, but to have him so close is to fear that she’s doing him more harm than good.

But he loves her—why can’t she ever remember that? He loves her. He loves her, and all is well. He loves her, and she loves him, and he won’t stop and he won’t leave her alone because they’re in love. When people are in love, they aren’t ever away from on another. She feels his mouth pressing against her own—Zero kisses her slowly, and Abra sounds a muted little whimper as tiny fingers catch onto thick blond curls. She cries out against his mouth—she raises her damp eyes to look towards him, loving to be held, loving to be cradled in such a way.

      * …You’re—everything. To me. I breathe for you—I want to. Live for you. Just—you. *

  All Zero wants is for her to live. Even if it meant that she had to leave him, which he knows isn’t the case, he would accept that because it meant that she was living. In that scenario, the childe knows that he would have lost his reason for existence, but he’d be happy enough knowing that she was alive and well. That wasn’t a feeling that he’d ever understood before meeting her, and one that he hadn’t understood for a long time afterward, either. 

  Well, he says breathlessly from the overdrive of feeling. I’d say you’re doing a pretty damn good job so far."

  Maybe one day, when she’s better, if he can ever find it in himself, he’ll tell her the story of them. He’ll start at the beginning and he’ll tell her everything, both the good and the bad, the parts that he wishes he could live out again and the parts he’s deeply sicked and ashamed by. Maybe one day. When she’s better. If he can ever find it in himself. 


Those times are difficult, because Abra knows she’s the root of it—she knows that she caused his anger, she inspired his need to go down to that horrible basement and heave himself into the walls with animal screeches and inhuman howls. It hurts painfully—how soft he is with her, how tender he tries to be. She remembers their last dispute, her anguish surrounding the fact that she couldn’t help him, she couldn’t be selfless and offer him what he was so good with offering her. She can’t return any of it—she’s hopeless. Useless.

She doesn’t remember much of giving Zero her divinity, she only knew that it was there and that she had lodged it there. She doesn’t remember that carving, either, and that leads her to only grasp at straws—she cries out weakly, shaking her head as their eyes meet and her quivering hands catch his wrists. She kisses at his palms because he’s wrong, wrong, wrong, and there isn’t anything good about someone like her. Someone like her, who can’t help him anymore—it isn’t her now, it can’t be her now because she can’t remember, can she?

       * —But I don’t remember any of that. I don’t remember how can—that be alright? How can this be alright? Do you love me—like a wife? Do you love me like you did before they—took me before—he took me? I can’t give you much anymore, Zero—I can’t—I can hardly give you anything— *

  There’s nothing more you can give me. You already gave me everything there is to give, Abra. My turn now. My turn. 

  He strokes her face with hands she’s kissed, presses her own tearful kisses back onto her cheeks with his palms. He leans downward brushes noses with her, eyes falling shut, his lips just barely touching hers as he speaks.

  I love you like a Zero loves an Abra. I love you like a wife, and I love you like everything else there is that can be loved. I love you for the things you can do and can’t do, I love you no matter what you remember or what you don’t. It doesn’t change history. It doesn’t change me or you or how we love. I love you like I’ve always loved you: more than makes sense. 

  He allows his lips to finally meet hers, kissing her slowly, holding her in his arms and not letting go. He’s forgotten how to let go.


          * But Zero—— Zephyr —- *

There’s a desperation in her voice—he’s so sweet to her, he’s everything to her. He’s consumed her in such a way that Abra can’t recover from, nor does she want to recover. She only wants Zero, she only wants to love him and have him possess her. There was little desire to possess him in return—she only wants to love him, to be able to hold his hand and kiss him—but at what cost?

The idea of her being a burden is so constant in her mind—she turns, faces him with a small cry as their eyes meet.

       * I don’t want you to—resent me to. Feel bad because I’m such a—bother I’m just a mess. I’m a mess, didn’t you know? I’m a terrible mess—how could you love me at all? I would rather die than have you resent me—I’m so selfish— *

  Zero has lost his reserve a few times, stormed down into the basement and caused a ruckus, roared and cried and felt as impossibly hopeless as she looks right now. There had been moments, brief and shameful, in which he had the audacity to find himself angry at her for going into the woods and getting abducted, for being unable to remember anything, for falling into despair so easily. However, these moments always pass. They’re nothing he could ever hold on to, nothing that he could let grow and warp until he resented her. It’s only his ridiculous temper.

  I could never resent you. You listen to me, Abra. Listen to me now. He takes her chin in his hand with a soft and looks directly into her eyes, gentle as he could ever be. I love you. And no matter what you say, no matter how many times you tell me I’m wrong for it or call yourself those bad, untrue things, I’m not going to stop loving you. I’m not going to change my mind. I could never resent you, Abra.

  Never again.

  I know you don’t remember any of it, but there’s a piece of you inside me. Actually, there are two pieces. The first one is from when you saved my life. I was very sad and very confused and very sick-minded, and I let myself waste away and die, and you came and you put some of yourself in me to kick start my heart again and keep it beating. The second time, you put an extra part of you in me when we were in bed together—this one here—when you were renewing the carving on my chest. It always stings, but it isn’t a bad hurt. There a good hurts and bad hurts, and it’s a good one. Abra, there is no me without you. You’re inside of me. I could never resent a woman who is inside of me. There’s so much you’ve already done for me, this is just… me, finally getting to pay you back.


        * If I were—you I would. I would hate me. I would hate me so much.*

Those kisses to her face—Abra quivers beneath his touch, hating how much his touch soothed her because she knows that her own dependence on Zero is part of what keeps him here. The fear so prevalent in her dreams, in the hidden facets of her mind, kept Zero burdened with being near her—how can he not see that? It’s miserable, and Abra sounds a small whimper at his words, giving her head a slow shake. No, no—that can’t be right, it can’t be.

        * Because—because I am. Such a burden and so—small and. You would be. So much happier if you didn’t—give up so much—for me—— *

  Shhh, no. No. I haven’t given up anything worth keeping. Bunny—Abra, you are not a burden on me. Nothing makes me happier than taking care of you. Is that what you were crying about? Don’t cry about that. I haven’t given up anything, but I’ll tell you what, I would give up the whole world if it would get you to smile at me.

  Arms tighten around her and he kisses the back of her head, her hair. She smells sweet, like earth and fruit, and all her energy is sorrowfully delectable, too. Sweet. Everything about her is sweet, even her sadness, and she doesn’t deserve it.

  Bowing his head into her shoulder, he nuzzles into her. 



          * N—othing it’s. Empty it’s always empty it’s— * 

She can’t seem to breathe so well and she feels herself dissolve beneath Zero’s strong hand—there’s a sudden sob that racks through her thin form. She doesn’t want to be this way—she wishes Zero wouldn’t hear her when she cried because it makes her feel so sad, that she bothers him with this, that he has such a sad look on his face. Abra shudders, biting into her bottom lip and keeping her face hidden as fat tears spill down her ruddy cheeks. She hugs her legs to her chest, whimpering out weakly and slowly lifting damp eyes to look towards Zero. She wipes quickly at her eyes, biting back another sob.

        * —Aren’t I ever. A burden? Don’t you—get tired of me? *

  No, of course not. Of course not.

  Zero moves closer, slipping behind her and wrapping his arms around her tiny frame. Curled around her, sitting with legs apart and knees bent, he draws her against his chest and shakes his head, looking at her over her shoulder and kissing the sad, beautiful face that she’s trying to hide from him.

  You’re not a burden. You’re never burden. I could never—are you listening—never get tired of you. I love you more than anything.