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Joined: 5-December 04
From: In your noun, present participle verb your noun
Member No.: 3,284
Gender: Not Telling
Um... HI! I got this idea just the other day when someone suggested that perhaps it was possible for someone to make an OC that didn't suck. Well... I got the OC part down... you'll have to be the judge of the rest.
This is my first actual serious Shoujo Ai. ::waves miniature flag:: I wrote one humor one once... that was it.
Okay, so PG-13-ish? Dark plot, pre-series, Cruel Dante, mild shoujo ai, and plot-holes like, whoa!
"Put the books back in order when you're finished," The woman instructed, raising herself from her seat in the library.
The instructor paused briefly and thought for a moment to correct her student's over-politeness, but decided against it and simply gave her the same sigh and shake of the head as she had been used to giving in the past years. She left the room, and the girl bent over her text to continue her study once again, smiling in the wake of her powerful master's presence, and brushing back her sandy hair.
She wasn't sure how or when she had grown accustomed to calling Dante "Milady", but it seemed to fit her well enough. It wasn't satisfactory to give the low-level guestures of respect as "Teacher", and "Miss", and they simply seemed too unfamiliar and foreign to describe the woman who had raised her for as long as she could remember, taught her everything about life and alchemy, and was the only dependence in her life. And even with the formality and propriety, there was a hint of posessiveness in the title she chose, and that was just enough for her.
She was a frail girl, small in comparison to her master, who in spite of little true height difference always projected a foreboding and unshakeable air of strength. Sometimes she wondered where that intriguing aura was rooted, and supposed perhaps it was just something inherited at birth, but secretly always prayed that one day she could have the same strengths. Everything about her, she admired. Even her name, 'Dante', was steeped in mystery and sounded invincible. Compared to her, a simple girl, with a simple name such as 'Alice' would seem so utterly boring, so miniscule. She mentioned this to her teacher once, who only laughed merrily and told her to stop believing in such superstitions, and rely on strength of own mind.
There are more ways to see things than with the eyes of the body. Perhaps this is why young Alice, even with her self-declared useless eyesight, always managed to notice the smallest of things, especially those pertaining to Lady Dante. Every habitual movement, every pattern of custom, every old colloquialism she drew up in her strange habit of speech, was carefully noted, and added to the girl's inner sanctuary; a collection of things to remember about Dante; things to admire her more by. It was because she so loved, so worshipped her beautiful master, that perhaps she saw not with the her own true eyes, those that failed her to the point that her master insisted on constructing her several pairs of steel rimmed spectacles, but with the eyes of her soul; those which see only what they desire, taking their own pictures of selective memory, and euphoric optimism.
It was when she watched her master so carefully, that she was able to notice the subtlest of changes. As she herself began maturing into a young woman, her master seemed somehow unchanged, as though frozen in her perfect age. She seemed as though she was perpetually twenty-something, and she had inquired as to her true age once, only to recieve a dodging reply, and admonishing warning that a woman's age is a secret thing that should never be pried into.
That was one more thing on the list of things never to ask her master about. While she wondered sometimes about the strange voices late at night, and guests Lady Dante always had whom she was never allowed to speak to, or speak of, she taught herself to never ask. She never asked either, why her master insisted on keeping all their activities secret, or why they never left the mansion. In situations like these, she found it more rewarding to leave all of her trust in the perfection that was Lady Dante than to satiate her own prodding curiosity. She knew that perhaps someday, if she were good enough, she could learn all of Dante's secrets.
As the years passed, Dante grew more sad and inverted. She still went through the motions of being an attentive educator, and emitted the same command as she ever did, but at moments when she supposed she wasn't being watched, her eyes would grow dull, and she would often stare for long periods of time at nothingness, standing at a window and gazing outward, or leaning against the arm of a chair, her brow knit with worry, and her hand at the small of her back as though nursing some unseen pain, as she absentmindedly drew her fingers through her long raven hair, deep in contemplation some unknown paradox.
She began to lose some of her coordination, as much as her strong sense of control would allow. While she continued to control her confidently calm walk, and seductively strong posture, she began slowly slipping things up; occasionally losing command of her twitching fingers, knocking over a vase, or making other trivial mistakes. Alice would notice that she sometimes drew small transmutation circles on her wrists and joints, hiding them in her long clothing, all the while muttering senseless things like 'This body is no good,' and worriedly flipping through the mounds of highly encoded books she kept in her study.
But her student disagreed. No, she thought to herself, Everything about Milady is perfect.
She tried as hard as she could to please Dante; doubling her efforts at study, finding every day new theories and formulas for her master's research. She made the most wonderful creations her mind could think up, and showed them to Dante, whose lips would curve into a proud smile, but whose eyes wouldn't agree, betraying a hint of disappointment, and melancholy. It was then, that Alice discovered her own uselessness to her master.
And she also knew that she had fallen deeply, and unbendingly in love.
She had full resolve to do whatever it took to make Dante happy. She continued to obediently carry out the woman's every whim, go every extra mile, taking notes, doing research, working overtime at refining the red stones she was so avidly studying.
She began to obsessively improve herself. She did all she could to try to reach her Lady's unattainable level. She let her hair grow long and wild, and tried the best she could to make alterations to her style, her appearance, her mannerisms. However, her long hair always fell in her face as she worked in the garden alongside her teacher, the makeup she wore couldn't make up for the ugly spectacles that marred her face, and she couldn't with any amount of practice seem to adjust her weak and childish voice to the slow and sultry pace of Dante's. But every time she got a compliment, even a half hearted or insincere one from her beloved instructor, it was enough to encourage her to keep believing. To keep believing that perhaps one day she could be good enough to learn Dante's secrets. Maybe even be good enough to have her love returned.
She came to Dante one evening, to find the woman hunched over her desk, scrawling furiously and frustratedly flipping through her books with shaking hands. She could feel the wrath, the anger, the despair emanating from her form. It hurt her so deeply to see Dante in pain like this. Even if she didn't know the source of all this anguish, she still felt the pang in her heart, as though this had something to do with her own lack of worth, and she felt so helpless.
"Milady-" She began, drawing back as her master's woeful and frustrated eyes met her own, "Milady, is there anything I could do to help?"
"No," Came the curt response as Dante turned once again to her work, "There is nothing you could do." Alice could hear the emphasis on 'you'. Her heart sank again. She drew up the resolve nestled deep within her chest and took a few steps forward.
"Please, Milady, please," She leaned forward imploringly, clutching at the cloth of her shawl, her heart beating into her clenched fist, "If there's anything I could do. You know I would do anything for you. Anything at all! I'd give all of myself just to make you happy again. Please!"
The raven haired woman turned and gazed at her student critically, then softened, as though coming upon a great answer within her deep and labyrinthed mind. She reached out and took the young woman's hand in her own, and held it to the side of her face, as though feeling for a weak hidden pulse.
"I'm sorry," was all she said, lifting her head to kiss the girl's hand, and rested it once again on her soft palm, "I'm sorry."
It was late evening, perhaps early morning, when Alice lay in her bed, sleeping soundly, and a sliver of pale yellow light sliced across her floor, growing into a broad sheet and landing on the foot of her bed, accompanied by the creek of the doorhinges. She stirred a bit, and lifted her head toward the direction of her sudden interruption. She squinted at the fuzzy sillouhette, and shaded her eyes.
"Milady?" She asked, with a drag of sleepiness in her voice. She rubbed her eyes and heard the echoing footsteps near her bedside.
"Come with me," The familiar voice invited, gently taking the student by the wrist. Alice had fumbled for her glasses, but heard them hit the ground with a soft shattering sound, and was led to move before she could protest.
"Don't worry about them," Dante instructed, with urgency and elation in her voice, "Just follow me."
While Alice knew the mansion through space and feeling by heart, she soon watched her fuzzy surroundings as they went through a door she didn't know about. They hurried through hallways, and tall stairwells, sweeping through passages and unfamiliar rooms. There was only the clicking of Dante's dress shoes, as Alice had been swept off in her bare feet, and the echoing sound signaled a deep and secret place that was foreboding, and almost romantic in it's essence. And being with her trusted Lady Dante, there was no fear. Not for a second did her own safety cross her mind.
It wasn't long before the sound of her footsteps and Dante's excited voice was accompanied by another sound. She could hear music. Yes, a distant orchestra of beautiful music, the sweet serenade of the voices of many violins playing in harmony. Dante pushed open two large doors, to release a blinding light, and pull in the girl who gaped in awe. What little she could make out of the large golden room was magnificent. Pillars, chandeliers, great carpets, and a vast wooden floor that just begged to be danced upon.
She felt the hands about her wrists again, and her instructor bending close to her face, speaking gently into her ear,
"Dance with me."
The invitation echoed, a thousand times in her mind before it took full root. She felt frozen as though an eternity with the realization that this was happening, that it was true. This offer was real, and not one of her many fanciful dreams. Her lady, Hers, was leading her to dance, and like a sheep following it's all-wise sheperd, she followed without question.
She had never known such joy, such pure elation than at that moment. Everything, every perfect detail of her distant dreams was about to come true. And there she was, being hopelessly swept into this dance with her beautiful Dante and it was more beautiful than any of her richest dreams could have predicted. It was something forbidden, yet truly pure, that she wished she could hold on to, just as she held on to Dante's hands for dear life.
Her hair fell out of the messy plait it had been in, and flew wildly about her shoulders. She closed her eyes and submitted to the free pleasure of spinning madly, with Dante gently holding one hand, and tenderly cradling her waist with the other.
She may have cried, for it was all so beautiful. So beautiful that she didn't care if she died that moment, and in her spinning moments of final blinding passion... she did.
Her next conscious thoughts were flooded with bits and pieces of the truth, as though someone were pouring them into her mind, like water into a pitcher. She felt cold hands snake around her being, but as she realized she could feel all of Dante's secrets within her mind, she only felt the warmth of that joy. She looked from her dark void into the white light across the gate, and saw her own face staring back at her, standing still in her nightclothes, and realized she was only seeing these things with the eyes of her soul. She knew now what it was all for, and she couldn't have been more happy.
Perhaps if she had used her own eyes, she would have seen the transmutation circle on the ballroom floor. If she saw with honest vision, she would have seen her gaze, now Dante's gaze, glaring back at her with cold, unfeeling eyes. But she didn't. She saw only the beauty in ending this way, as she sank farther back into the abyss. With the last of her soul's energy, she somehow managed to speak the words, in less than a whisper,
"I'm so happy. I'm so happy I was finally able to be of use to you... Milady."
And the gate closed.