omnicat: (for Darker than Black)
Omnicat ([personal profile] omnicat) wrote2017-06-24 07:38 pm

FIC: Off, Aside, Under The Rug [Darker than Black, Hei & Pai]

Title: Off, Aside, Under The Rug
Author: Omnicat
Spoilers & Desirable Foreknowledge: Tensai Okamura & co’s Darker than Black: the Black Contractor anime.
Warnings: Bad things happening to children.
Characters & Relationships: Hei & Pai
Summary: It’s like trying to stopper a needle’s puncture to fix the great gaping hole beside it, but what else can he do? // 368 words
Author’s Note: Tian is a Chinese name meaning ‘sky/heaven’, just as Xing means ‘star’. Various other writers have used that as Hei’s birth name before me (I got it from tsuki-llama, who shares a lot of headcanons – including this one – with starrycontractor/major-victory/lolgirl607/darkerthanevanescence, but I also know of FFN’s desy). I love it, okay. I haven’t stopped cackling since I first discovered it. I’m going to use it in everything for the rest of ever. Enjoy!

Off, Aside, Under The Rug

Xing won’t brush her own hair anymore. There are a lot of things Xing won’t do anymore, but not brushing her hair is something that bothers Tian every time he looks at her.

"There’s no point," she says, whenever he brings it up. "Looking nice is useless."

Back home, their parents had managed to work out a deal; brush your hair, bathe yourself every night even if you don’t think you smell yet, keep going to school, say please and thank you, don’t be violent, and don’t use the electricity. Be a normal girl, and we’ll continue to feed, clothe, and provide for you like one.

(Please be our daughter; we’re your parents, we want to be your parents.)

But then the government came, and Tian and their parents didn’t get to see Xing anymore except for half an hour every other Sunday. And then the government came again, and now their parents don’t remember Xing, and all she has left is Tian.

(Part of him still can’t believe they let him stay with her. They didn’t explain why – not really – and every part of him other than the one that doesn’t believe it is too afraid to ask.)

Xing isn’t Xing anymore. They call her Subject 5, she calls herself Subject 5, and they don’t care whether she brushes her hair, or says please and thank you, or tries to be a normal girl. They want her to use the electricity.

"Mama and Ba didn’t want you to do that," Tian tries to tell her.

"What they wanted doesn’t matter," Xing says to that. "I don’t need them anymore."

(Tian still needs their parents, but they don’t remember him either.)

It matters to him, though. So he offers to brush her hair for her. She tells him to do whatever he wants, as long as he doesn’t hurt her by pulling at tangles.

He does hurt her by pulling at tangles. He’s never done this before and isn’t any good at it. But it mattered to their parents, and it matters to Tian, so he learns to be good at it.

Tian learns to be a lot of things, for the girl that used to be Xing.