A short story, for a dare for Dullahan. This is only the first part. Wow, nevermind, it's not so short anymore.
Ah, and now it's done.
Oh hey, a FFN link. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11742473/1/Linger
An Extended Author's Notes. Spoilers Within
Kara no Kyoukai is the intellectual properties of Kinoko Nasu, Type-MOON, and other respective rights holders, I don't own it and stuff, etc. etc.
—August, 1995. I met him.
It had rained.
The water and wind had lashed against the windows and walls, a persistent roaring that drowned the sound from the shoddy hideaway, but it was of no more concern. Both things, the suffocating noise and the hideaway’s ‘activities’, were of no more concern. Both had already ended, leaving behind nothing but puddles.
The streets laid motionless, filled with the dull sounds of the night. Traffic rumbled far off in the distance. Street lights flickered, humming all the while. Trickles of water drained through grates at the roadside. Splashes and footsteps resounded against the walls.
The footsteps came from the alleyway. A girl emerged, taking staggered steps, stumbling out in a daze. She slowly made her way up the alleyway and along the sidewalk, clinging to the wall for support. She took ten steps. Her legs trembled. Twenty steps. Her body swayed. She lasted thirty steps before collapsing, leaning against the wall, clutching her stomach and gasping for breath.
Her breathing was shallow, her face contorted with pain. She removed her hand from her stomach, and raised it to her face. It was covered in blood.
She sighed, and let her hand drop, only to gasp and clutch her stomach again. She gritted her teeth. The stab wound went deep.
The girl sat there, slumped by the wall. Maybe, just maybe, if she just waited long enough, the pain would go away. The chills and nausea, the blood and the disgusting feeling in the back of her throat; they’d all just disappear and take the pain with them. But they didn’t. And she wanted to scream, to cry, to tear at the wound and make it disappear. But she couldn’t, and knew she couldn’t. She could only huddle and wait, hoping for it to disappear.
Time passed in a daze. How long had it been? Hours? Minutes? She crouched on the pavement wet with rainwater and blood, in a vain attempt to fight the pain. Yet it only grew stronger.
Am I... going to die?
Police sirens wailed in the distance.
No. No, I can’t die.
She heard splashes and footsteps through the haze of pain.
No, no please, not now, not yet—
The girl gasped. Slowly, she raised her head. Saw his face. Froze.
“Is everything alright?”
“No— I mean, yes.” Stay calm. Look calm. Act calm. Take a deep breath. “I’m fine.”
The newcomer raised an eyebrow, seemingly unconvinced. His eyes lingered on a spot near her stomach, and a spot near her left shoulder. Absently, she raised a hand to feel it, and noticed that some of her hair had been cut. She inwardly grimaced. The one with the knife… it must’ve been him who did it.
The two did not say anything, taking a moment to sum each other up. The boy opted to break the silence.
“You… you’re from Reien Academy, right? It’s a bit far from here. Did you miss your train? Or…” He put a hand behind his head, looking sheepish. “Do you want me to call a taxi?”
“I- no, it’s fine. I don’t have any money.”
“Oh. So you live near here?”
A sudden reply, a bit too sudden. They both fell quiet. He tilted his head in curiosity, and moments passed in silence.
“Are you running away?”
“...Yes… I have to.”
She averted her eyes and took a moment to recompose herself. She glanced back up. He looked concerned.
“...Do you need somewhere to stay, just for tonight?”
She felt her face grow hotter. “Really?”
He nodded. “I live alone, so it’s not a problem. Well, I mean, I understand if you don’t want to.” He shrugged. “I guess it’s kinda weird, isn’t it? I mean, I am just some random guy you just met.” He hesitated for a moment, and, seemingly coming to a decision, he extended his hand. She took it.
“You’re fine with walking, right?” He was looking at her stomach, and the hand that covered it, with a sheepish expression. “I could carry you on my back, if you want?”
“No… I should be fine. I can walk.”
They walked in silence. The girl was still gripping at her stomach, and the boy shot her a worried look.
“Does it hurt?”
She shook her head in denial, and they fell silent once more. Seconds passed by.
“...Yes. It really, really does. You don’t mind… if I cry, right?”
The boy nodded, and the girl smiled and closed her eyes. The night passed like a dream.
Like that summer day three years ago.
That same smile she once fell in love with.
It’s been a long time.
But I’ve finally found you.
In the end, he had invited her over to stay the night, seeing as she had nowhere else to go. She accepted the offer.
When they had arrived at the apartment, she asked to borrow the shower for a bit, to clean herself off and dry her clothes. He complied, and lent her a shirt for something to change into. With a slight flush and sheepish expression, he excused himself to buy cigarettes.
She turned the knob of the shower waited for it to heat up, the splattering like the sound of the rain. She stripped her clothes and hung them on a rack, and stepped in, to clean herself of the filth, the rainwater, the blood.
Another wave of pain. She gasped, contorted, grabbing her stomach to try ease it, and unsteadily looked down.
Clean, white skin. No blood. No cut. No wound.
—*—The girl woke up with not a start or sudden jolt, but in a lull. She raised her head slightly, eyes blurred, slowly getting a hold of her surroundings.
The room itself was rather unremarkable. Beige walls and carpeted floors. Faintly blue curtains, through which sunlight filtered into the room. The usual appliances lined the shelves and walls: a fridge, a water boiler, a microwave and stove. The room was decorated with simple wooden furniture, and a sofa, which the girl had been using as a makeshift bed. A plain room in the end, but more than anywhere she had ever been, it felt like a home.
She blinked hazily, and sat up a little straighter, peering meekly over the blanket. Her memory of the previous night was fuzzy, and she couldn’t quite remember how she got here. Much less what she was doing in someone else’s house, or why she was wearing someone else’s shirt.
A flash of pain brought her back to her senses.
It had gone as quickly as it came. One moment, searing, burning. The other, the familiar nothingness. No heat, no pain, no touch. An existence like one without a body; a ghost.
It was strange, but she almost appreciated the pain.
She glanced at the clock on the wall, and saw that the time was almost half past seven. She changed out of the shirt, back into her old uniform, and hesitated, pondering what to do next. In the end, she decided on waiting for the boy to wake up. The least she could do was thank him. And so, the wait left her nothing to do but think.
Those men… they’re gone, now. Like it all never happened.
Four dead. One remaining. He saw. He knows. Will he talk? Will they believe him…?
No. No, no nono no— They won’t. They can’t.
That’s impossible. Who could ever believe him?
—They don’t have to. They’ll investigate. They’ll find y—
The sound of the opening door snapped her out of her thoughts, and she turned her head to see the boy emerging from his room. She stood up, giving a small bow. “Thank you, for letting me stay for the night. Even if I cannot repay you.” With that, she made her way to the door.
She started, and turned. He had a guilty face on, though for what reason, she didn’t know.
“At least stay for breakfast?”
Another awkward silence ensued, and the girl quietly seated herself at the table. He got to work, rummaging through the fridge and pantry. Finally, he found something: noodles, oil, soy sauce and the like. And so, he made pan-fried noodles.
A minute or two passed in silence, no conversation or noise other than the sound of the stove. The boy, seemingly fed up with the silence, reached for the remote, turning on the television to a seemingly random channel. A news channel.
“—Four dead bodies were found—”
—In an abandoned bar. Limbs, twisted and torn. Cause of death: blood loss. The boy stared at the screen in wonder. The girl closed her eyes, head turned downward. She realized she was shaking.
“—have been identified, students from Kanjou High—”
—Who used that bar as a hangout. Delinquents. “Bad apples”. Guilty of various petty crimes: theft and drug abuse. And, of course, what they did to her. She stared with transfixed eyes, and felt a familiar burning. The newscaster talked about the investigation, the police’s response. They interviewed people, she didn’t know who they were. They talked about the victims.
“—always skipping school, haven’t seen them around—”
“—God knows what they were doing in there, though it’s hard to feel sorry—”
I think they deserved to die.”
And the pain returned in full force, along with the sensation of everything. The warmth of her clothes, the steam from the bowl, sweat on her skin, and that familiar, familiar burning. Hazily, she noticed the boy scowling and turning off the television. She clutched her stomach harder, even if it didn’t help ease the pain.
No. No. No nono noNO—
—It was obvious what the problem was. After all, it was her guilt. She really was—
Not a murderer, no, I’m not heartless, I’m not insane, I—
—Killed, no, brutalized four men, deaths not even befitting humans. Didn’t even leave bodies, just piles of flesh and twisted bone—
In self-defense, it was all in self-defense. They would’ve killed me, I had to do it—
—So was it justified?
Her hands trembled, her breathing ragged and heavy. She opened her eyes, and the room dissolved, melted, all red and green spirals, twisting and turning clockwise and counterclockwise. She blinked, and the room was back again, no different than before. Slowly, unsteadily, she stood up from her chair. She had come to her decision. “No one… deserves to die.”
Yet she had killed those men anyway. Contradictory, hypocritical, but necessary. Justified. Kill or be killed. There was no choice.
I… don’t want to do this.
One left. One escaped. He’d talk, others would find out. Her life, the one she had killed others to protect, would be over.
But there is no choice.
Finish the job.
She ran to the door. The boy got up to follow, face wracked with confusion and concern. “Wait, wait! Is something wrong? Are you okay? Please, calm down, is—”
“No. It’s alright.” Her breathing was steady by now, controlled, but heavy. She was at the door by now, one foot out, ready to leave.
“I… can’t go back. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, but—”
He’d find out. He’d get involved. Hurt. Even killed. Or he’d find out what she was, what those men had done to her, what she had done to them. She wasn’t sure which of those prospects terrified her more. Her thoughts were jumbled, her mind disoriented, yet there was only one thing she was sure of.
“ —I… never want to see you again.”
She left, disappearing into the city, determined to finish the job. Her pain brought her sensation, feeling, and she could feel everything. The summer heat. The city winds. A stinging heat on her face.
She didn’t know what it was. She wasn’t used to feeling. It was just a stray thought, but she thought she might’ve cried.
AN: So yeah, not much diverging yet, and so far it's all retreading canon territory (albeit stuff not covered in the movie). Real split comes (kinda) next chapter. Special thanks to Dullahan, Leo, and Frosty for beta-ing; Dullahan and You for helping me with lore questions on GD, and Lianru for some random translation of the school's name.