calliope_love: (Break: Take care of him)
Callie ([personal profile] calliope_love) wrote2012-01-09 01:44 pm

28: It all comes of thinking of Kevin too much

Title: Ribbons Undone
Rating: Sadfaces
Disclaimer: I promise I'll put it back when I'm done playing with it
Summary: Another of my forays into Break's various psychological foibles.
Length: 801 words

“That entire family was murdered. Perhaps it was the doings of the noble house who was against the Sinclair family. The oldest daughter of the Sinclair family was assasinated, and the youngest daughter was so depressed that she became an illegal contractor.

She sacrificed the entire family to the Chain, and was dragged into the Abyss.”

--Sheryl Rainsworth, Chapter 32

Eventually, as often happens, the secret comes out. Kevin Regnard is dredged up out of the past that Break had wanted so badly to keep him confined to -- the Red-Eyed Ghost, indeed -- and Break himself is opened up and picked at right there in front of the kids he’s supposed to be pushing along. After they leave the theater, he tells them the rest of the story all on his own just to regain some semblance of control over it. At home, he retreats to his room to recover from the violation of it all, and consoles himself with the knowledge that there is still one secret that no one but he will ever, ever find out about, no matter what other sordid histories that stupid Duke Hair manages to get his hands on.

The truth is, Xerxes Break still sees the Sinclair girl everywhere he goes.

She’s in Sharon, of course; they share so many traits, from their worries to their desire to be proper ladies to their habit of rushing up to him in greeting. Once he arrived at Rainsworth, it was a long time before he expected to see ribbons instead of curls, and Sharon will never know that half the reason he can’t realize she has grown up is that his previous little girl never did. He still sees her in ruffles and small boots in the shoe shop and a certain shade of light blue she’d always favored fifteen years on, and in one of the porcelain dolls that Sharon still keeps in her bedroom because it had been a gift from her mother.

He finds her when Lady Shelly is at the piano; his mind always fills in her little voice singing along, just a bit flat on the high notes because he misses the frustrated pouty faces she used to make when she was chided for that. She’s in the weight of a young Gilbert Nightray against his back because she’d often fallen asleep in strange places and needed to be carried to her room, and she’s in the way he covers Sharon with his coat when she does the same precisely because he was never allowed to make such gestures as Kevin. She’s at his side when he’s walking the streets of the town whether he’s alone or not, and in every bit of wind that ever tugs at his coat.

She’s also in the screams of every illegal contractor he ever sees pulled into the Abyss.

That’s the worst of it, of course, and the first time it had come as such a shock that he’d had to excuse himself to be sick, which is why he’d never shamed Gilbert for his weak stomach when he first started out with Pandora himself. She’s in the screams, and the terrified faces pleading for help because they only just then understand what they’ve done, and in the remembered burn he feels on his own chest whenever he has the chance to witness a seal move. Nowadays he forces himself to watch all of these things at every opportunity, because the worst possible way to disrespect her would be to somehow forget what he did to her, what he drove her to do -- and there is nothing so humbling to Xerxes Break as the way one scared little girl still haunts his dreams after all these years.

In his mind, she’s sitting on his bed as he drapes Liam’s coat over the back of his chair. She waits for him expectantly as he washes the blood from his chin, and he recites a story she’d always requested from her nursemaid under his breath as he changes into his own pajamas and drops into his pillows. He’s too exhausted to stay awake and think of her, and he sleeps too deeply to dream. But in the morning, he’ll be right back to hoping that today won’t be the day the Abyss spits her out the way it once rejected him and Gilbert and Vincent Nightray -- and simultaneously hoping it does, so that he can finally look her in the face and see, really see, just what terrible, awful things have happened to her just because he couldn’t stay with her when she asked him.

Maybe then they can be terrible and awful together, though it’s the last thing he deserves. Either way, he’ll take her with him to his grave.