Theme: 30_moments: 01. Bending the Rules.
Fandom/Pairing: .hack//SIGN; Silver Knight/Mimiru
Rating: ESRB Rating of T for Teen < nature of pairing >
Summary: Silver Knight knows Mimiru doesn't belong in the Hulle Granz Cathedral and definitely doesn't belong in his video store. Watch him try to tell her so.
Notes: No official names given for Silver Knight or Mimiru, so I used the names of their Japanese voice actors. (So, for those who cannot pick it up from context, Chiba Isshin is the name of Silver Knight's player.)
Delta: Hidden—Forbidden—Holy Ground
She is wandering through the cathedral, her movements at times odd, jerky leaps and at times lithe, easy strides. Dark hair, dark skin, swathed in burgundy and gold—she does not belong in this place, she is not solemn enough for this place. This is a holy ground, a place of ethereal beauty, of the subtle interplay of light and shadow. Fictional as she is, she seems all too real for this place.
Their presence here seems almost irreverent. Impious. The part of him that has been Silver Knight for so long, the part of him that sometimes surfaces even when he is in his video store, says that they should not be here. That part of him that is Chiba Isshin doesn't mind.
"So where are you?" Mimiru asks, touching one hand to the chains that bind down the cathedral's statue.
He frowns. "I am right here."
She laughs. "I know; I can see you. But what if I wanted to see you?"
He is silent for a while. Silver Knight knows he should walk away, should show her that he will not break the rules for her. Chiba Isshin doesn't want to. He wants to stay.
As a result, the character stays still for one agonizing moment. The next instant, he decides.
He says the words he should say: "Giving out personal contact information within the game is strictly forbidden." Softens those words with, "And I shouldn't… I can't break the rules for you."
But then it only takes a few steps to cross the room. He places his hand above her shoulder, just inside her field of vision. She turns to look at him and he freezes up. Something is so real, so alive, about her eyes. How can her eyes emote so much?
Don't disappoint me, her expression whispers. This is my heart; please don't break it.
He shouldn't say anything. He should leave this moment a Knight's regretful denial. He shouldn't open his mouth.
"I live in Higashikurume. It's a little under an hour's ride from Tokyo," he says almost before he knows what he's saying.
"Higashikurume? I know a few people there!" She says. "Is your video-store in Higashikurume, too?"
She's sixteen. He's twenty-three. He shouldn't be here. He shouldn't say anything. What would his family think? What would her family think?
"No, it's in Ikebukuro. I work from four to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays."
Mimiru laughs and claps her hands together. Her soul is gone from her eyes, banished back to her heart where it belongs. "And I should come visit you sometime, right?"
Isshin freezes. No, she absolutely very definitely should not come visit him. Especially not during work hours. He doesn't really need the distraction. But it's not as if they're ever really busy; it's a run-down hole in the wall at the top of a rickety staircase. No neon, no customers.
"Only if you wish to."
It isn't exactly an invitation. But it isn't the order to stay away that he should give, either.
He's already bent so much for her. His drive to re-create the Knights. His zeal to enforce the rules of The World. And now, his willingness to abide by the rules of reality. He's bent so far.
This is as far as he bends.
To his chagrin, in his mind, her voice laughs, For now.