Characters: Gilbert Nightray, Vincent Nightray & Elliot Nightray
Series: Pandora Hearts
O.C: Cadence Nightray
Genre: Tragedy, Angst, Relationships.
Theme Song: I'm Drinkin' Tonight - Train
Warnings: Morbid Notions, Manga spoilers
Date: 31st January 2013
Author’s Note: Snippet from a full length story.
Pushing open the heavy wooden doors, the scent of the owner fell upon her. Taking a moment to look over the space, she noticed everything was the same as when he had left. Even the curtains were still open from the morning before, allowing a grey hue to pour through the tall leaded windows overlooking the expansive Nightray estate. Forcing herself to enter the forbidden room, she shuffled in, making sure to close the door behind her.
Since the first time entering the bedroom, she had always been told to stay out of there. A piece of her wanted him to catch her hovering there, and for him to throw one of his fits. But it wasn’t going to happen.
Making her way to the grand bed, she looked it over. Her eyes burned as she recalled a memory when she had intruded on him sprawled on the exact same sheets with his arm shielding his eyes. The offset of a fever reddened his face as he lay there struggling to take a decent breath. Despite his discomfort, she smiled softly to herself at his vulnerable state or more over, the remembrance of what happened that particular time. It was one of those rare – if not the only - time when he was in no mood to shout or even send her an offensive glare. She was thankful for that moment when he allowed her to keep him company.
Cadence leant against the foot of the bed like she had done way back then and slid onto the floor. Her sight now hindered by the tears couldn’t fix on anything but the blurred carpet beneath her feet as she pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs.
Lids shut gently over distinct eyes as the blond carefully leaned against the wall by the door of the space which had become prohibited from being entered. With arms folded over his chest, Vincent listened to the sobbing coming from inside the room he was stood by. Neither smile nor frown crossed his face as memories of his little brother’s last moments floated around his head. He was unhappy with the way things had turned out, no doubt. And he would enjoy seeing Cadence carry out his plan of getting rid of that excuse for a man they were told to call Father, but he was wondering whether telling his adoptive sister about the Duke’s knowledge of Elliot’s condition would send her into a state of frenzy – which would inevitably ruin everything he had been planning so long for.
He cared for the woman, as she had always looked out for Gilbert, but that wasn’t why he was hesitating. If she did something reckless, all his hard work would be undone, and he couldn’t jeopardize that no matter how much he wanted that old fool to suffer due to her vengeance. On the other hand, letting Cadence do all the heavy lifting would speed things up. It would be killing three birds with one stone, or so to speak.
“Vincent?” The blond opened his eyes at the sound of his brother’s voice and Gilbert, who had seemingly appeared from nowhere, returned the gesture with a solemn frown. “What are you doing?” The elder of the pair questioned lowly as they shared the dark corridor.
Vincent just smiled at his sibling before waving a hand comically. “Nothing for you to worry about.” With that said, the blond set off down the dim hallway without another sound, leaving Gilbert to raise an eyebrow in confusion.
‘Why was he hanging around here?’ In the minutes he had been silently wondering, the sound of muffled crying caught his attention. Glancing to the door, he became wary at the thought of whether to enter or not. He was never good at comforting, nor giving consolation. Maybe now was a good time to try. If he admitted it himself, he needed to talk about recent events. And if he couldn’t talk, then maybe could just listen. Holding a breath, he took the brass handle and cautiously pushed open the obstacle.
On the floor, his friend and adoptive sister sat hunched over herself. He examined her form for a minute or so, watching her hiccup every occasionally while he mentally debated on how to continue. Muted footsteps padded along the thick, burgundy carpet as he advanced for the young woman. Without a word, the older man sat down beside her. She didn’t even bother to look at him, but he didn’t feel offended by the lack of gesture. He thought he was on the right path. She hadn’t yelled at him to get out yet, which was something he thought typical of the female. Outstretching his hand, he shakily placed it on her shoulder.
It could have been an hour that the pair had been sat in the fast growing darkness and yet neither had uttered a word yet. That was until Cadence snivelled and forced herself to straighten up. Turning to face her company, reddened eyes met sympathetic ones. “Say Gil...” She started, her voice hoarse before looking away again. “If I faded out, would there be anyone who’d cry for me?”
Gilbert shaken by the question. He remembered what she had told him so long ago. Like him and Vincent, she’d been damned from the start, but unlike them, she had never given him reason to believe she cared about what people thought about her, or what her fate held for her.
She was tough, something he’d found out from years of friendship; she wouldn’t let anyone take away her freedom or break her. He couldn’t understand why she’d ask such a question. Maybe he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did. Maybe deep down, she did care if anyone loved her. Something that was obvious from the start though, was that Elliot's death had destroyed her, and Gilbert knew that there must have only been a sliver of self-restraint keeping her from rupturing and dragging everyone down with her.
“I would.” His tone was natural as he gave his answer.
Cadence looked at him again. A couple of seconds passed and the she coughed a shallow laugh.
Gilbert was baffled. Well and truly astounded. “What? Why are you laughing?” He shifted in front of her and placed his hands on the top of her arms. The female chuckled again, this time louder. “Are you okay? You haven’t cracked, have you?” The man before her asked seriously as he fretted over her, which only made her chuckle turn into a full blown, manic laugh.
Abruptly, the woman's laughing stopped and her head dropped onto Gilbert's shoulder. “You’re always so serious.” Staring at the black fabric of his favourite coat, Cadence felt the numbness creeping back. “What's left for me now?”
Regardless of not being blood related, Vincent, Gilbert and Cadence had all loved Elliot – Cadence most of all. She had chased after the boy since the day they had met when they were children and was smitten ever since. Even after he had physically fought with her, and having told her he despised her in front of a ballroom full of people, she had stayed resilient to his superficial lies and waited patiently for him to show some acknowledgement.
Those days would never come.
Just like a handful of other false promises, the three adoptive Nightray siblings were bound by their cruel fates to suffer the harsh truths of the real world, or bring about other's malicious downfalls in order to push their own short-coming's to the back of their minds. They were tied and bound by the chains of their merciless pasts no matter which way one looked at it.
Shutting off their hearts was for the best; solitude was their only true ally, they should have learned that already. Loneliness was their only friend. Nothing would change that. Not now, not ever.
Updated: 6th February 2018 – 19:16
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