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Title: Love
Fandom: Bleach/Fullmetal Alchemist (Scorched-verse)
Characters/Pairings: Byakuya, Lust
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Author Note: Written for Aeri!
Summary: What does it mean to love?

They come here often, the two of them.

When he comes, he stares at one leaf and the name etched into it, memorizing the sway of each line as if they were smiles, words whispered in his ear. He says nothing. He does not blink or move and sometimes she wonders, watching out of the corner of her eye, if he even dares to breathe. Before he leaves, she hears him utter a promise that he will return and leaves a flower at the base of the tree, then disappears like a ghost.

When she comes, he doesn't bother to see who she is looking at or what she does. Is there someone special to someone like her? She is just as silent as he is, her lips not smirking or smiling. She wonders, not about a particular person, or the whispers of a long-ago lover, but what it means to love. What does it mean to care for another beyond all others? What does it mean to love? How does it feel? Is this feeling important to be human?

For the two of them, emotion is not something that has always been clear. She is a monster, no longer that woman who knew what it meant to feel, to love, to be happy. She longs for those days to return. He is not human, denies the heart inside is capable of human feelings. He longs to be free from the pain emotion brings.

They meet beneath the snowing sky this night, her tracks the only ones left in the otherwise pure snow. He stands as a statue beneath that sky. She watches his conversation with her from the sidelines, curious, wondering what it is that could allow that spark of fire and life in eyes that always seem cold and dead. Before he departs, he lays down a flower, obviously made by hand, beneath the tree with another promise to return.

Their eyes meet for an instant as he turns to depart and his walls rise instantly.

What does it mean to love? She wants to know.

He disappears in a swirl of snow and black. He has only one answer.

It means everything.

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November 2012

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