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Moments Like These

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She'd been idly staring at the moon from the window when Staffhead came to her, and only aware of his presence when she felt something coil itself around her ankles. Looking down, she was met with large pleading eyes. It was rare that he be civil to her, and even rarer still that he show any affection. No, he had a higher motivation for his humbleness tonight, one undoubtedly linked to Lord Fear.

She returned her gaze to the night sky, there was no need to fulfil Staffhead's unspoken request to get him back into Fear's good books. It wouldn't be of benefit to anyone. She contemplated going to find Ace. Fear would not question her whereabouts, not since they had arrived in this dimension had he questioned her whereabouts. Any awareness of her absence was always lost in another moment, forgotten to him, in much the same way that her presence was also so often forgotten. He now spent his days assaulting that damned organ and mumbling about the Amulet.

A sharp pain stung her ankle, as Staffhead drove tiny jagged teeth in, reminding her of his being there. Almost habitually, she brought her foot down on his long tail, exerting enough pressure to make him cry out in pain, withdrawing his teeth from her flesh. She returned to her previous train of thought, deciding it was useless when his small paws trying desperately to push her foot away proved too distracting. Instead, she watched him, bemused, as he eventually gave up his assault, and slumped against her leg defeated. Her small victory gave her compassion, and she relented, rising up from her seat.

Exactly where she knew him to be, he was sat hunched over the organ, playing some thunderous melody that seemed to reach no conclusion. It would be no use to attempt conversation with him, he could not see her again tonight.

She gave a small sigh, seating herself beside him in front of the organ. For a while, she just watched his fingers fly deftly over the keys, hardly seeming to touch them. He really couldn't see her. His mind was sunk so far into madness, his perception of reality was warped to include only himself. Tragic, that such a mind should go this way.

Again, she sighed. It wasn't as though he could hear her anyway.

He had once promised to teach her to play. After he'd taught her to dance. That would be once the war was over, once they could settle down in the Carnival without the imminent danger of ambush.

It was a younger time, from when the battle looked in their favour. The Resistance had a new focus and drive it'd never had before, alongside a leader with seemingly phenomenal power. They were liberating villages and towns faster than the Knights could fly, and the Knight's empire itself was diminishing at a rapid rate.

For a fleeting moment, she felt tears sting her eyes.

She pressed one of the keys gently. It's sleight sound was not heard over the thunderous melody he played, so she pressed it again, louder. His song was improvised, that much she could tell from the long-untouched music sheets, but there was still that underlying element of calculation and logic beneath his key strokes. Perhaps he was not that far gone. She watched him for a moment more before following his lead and beginning to play.

She hissed in pain as she felt a sudden pressure on her arm, his hand locked around her wrist. She raised her head to glare at him, expecting to see the usual cruel malice in his eyes; instead she was meet with an expression of desperate sorrow, and immediately felt uneasy with such an unfamiliar sight.

"Please," His face just inches away from her own, he whispered hoarsely, struggling to articulate his words. He spoke as though he'd never done so before, and it was something alien to him.

"Please do not play," She let out the breath she'd been holding. She wasn't sure about what she'd been expecting, or perhaps wanting, him to say; but a simple request not to play the organ hadn't been quite what she had in mind. She lowered her eyes, and placed her free hand upon his, still clinging onto her wrist. His grip had softened, and the bones no longer causing pain.

"The notes," his voice had found a little more strength now, and he brought both his hands to enclose hers. "They... clutter my mind. It is difficult to remember..."

His eyes faltered with the admittance. The years of intimacy had taught her to know when he was avoiding her eyes, even when he was seemingly still looking in her direction. She raised her fingers to his skull, tracing his jaw, fleeting glimpses of old times gone invading her mind.

"My lady," he gazed down at her with an affectionate look; one she hadn't seen for a long while. "I've missed you so."

He pulled her into a gentle embrace, and she felt her lips curve into a genuine smile, as she felt him shift a little so as not hurt her with his bones. It was so rare for him to recall the past fully, to recall all that they had shared, and all of a sudden she was reminded; reminded why she remained by his side throughout this madness.

It was moments like these that made it all worth it.