~Simplicity: The Oneshots~
an original fiction by Ayame-chan

-Normalcy and Nightmares-

It was just a normal day for them. A day that suddenly went horribly wrong.

She was hungry, she remembered. She was waiting for this time of day, when Papa would come home after a long day of work and they would eat dinner together. She was especially waiting for this particular dinner because this was the first time Mama let her help. She actually put the salad together all by herself. Of course, Mama cut the harder vegetables, but she was allowed to mix everything together. It didn't look as pretty as Mama's, but Mama said that it tasted just like hers. That was something that she was proud about and couldn't wait to see Papa's face when the normal day completely shattered.

After that, all she could remember was the blood of her mother spilling over the table and she finding a place somewhere, anywhere to hide from her father's insanity...


She awoke with a start, her breathing running in quick gasps of air. Her heart was still pounding rapidly, so rapidly that it felt like it was going to burst.

It was that dream, no that nightmare again. The one that had been haunting her since the day she was given a second chance to live, the one that would always be hiding in the recesses of her mind, waiting for the perfect chance to reappear.

The hand on her back startled her out of her thoughts and brought her back to reality. She turned to the other occupant in bed, her wide, violet eyes meeting the familiar golden eyes like that of a frightened, helpless child.

The other occupant merely sat up with her, wrapping his strong arms around her small body, and pulled her back down to bed. He kissed away the tears as he did so, caressing the small of her back in rhythmic, repetitive motions. She allowed him to do this to her because he was the only one that could. He was the only person who could calm her nightmares, send them back to the recesses of her mind.

Her breathing steadied as he continued his caresses, and her eyes slowly closed as she continued to listen to the steady beat of his heart. It didn't take long for her to fall back into the realm of dreams with him so close to her, and he stopped his caresses as soon as he felt that she was fast asleep. However, he still held her tightly, resting his chin on top of her head and thought.

This was nothing new to him. He had been doing this since the day they decided to share the same room, the same bed. Everyone around them, those who didn't know how they worked, wondered why the change was made. They were not lovers but partners, and yet there was something more between them that couldn't be simply explained with words.

He knew the woman in his arms much better than anyone could ever know. For years, deciphering her many masks and walls had become his obsession. He hadn't gotten all of them, but he figured out most of them. And he knew one thing -- Masao Kaene was as normal as any woman could ever be during the nights which they had off. She had dreams, fears, and nightmares just like any other person did.

And in the morning, when they would begin their next set of missions, things would return back to normal. She, Masao Kaene, would return as the organization's most efficient and cold-hearted assassin, and he, Taille Zecht, would return as the half-blood son of Leo Zecht competing with his other six brothers for the organization's heir and the ever attentive partner to his stoic beauty.

But for now, he was content in just being her knight and she, his beautiful ice princess.