I got something to say, you know,
But nothing comes;
Yes, I know what you think of me,
You never shut up...
Silent All These Years
"It had to be him, didn't it? You couldn't just dance with anyone you had to dance with him."
"He asked me-!"
"Since when do you accept an invitation to dance from that man?!"
They drew back, eyeing each other, looking for weaknesses. Makoto could feel the blood thrumming in her veins, that latent desire for self-destruction pushing to the surface. Make him angry, make him lash out at you, give yourself an excuse to end this and then you can go to HIM, it whispered. Her treacherous body shuddered inside at the thought of going to the other man, filled with memories of hard muscle, warm skin, rum-laced lips.
"Nobody else was asking me," she said, deliberately making her voice cool. "Certainly not you. It was nice to be asked for once. And he was a good dancer, too." Her voice warmed but that was not calculated, that was automatic: she thought of being on the dancefloor, remembered how safe she'd felt in his arms, sure that he would not let her get hurt.
"Oh, and how would you know?" His voice was sharp with suspicion. "Danced before, have you?"
She lifted her chin, daring him to continue that train of thought. "Yes, but not in this lifetime."
"Yes, that's right, throw the previous history at me, make me feel an outsider, like I don't feel it enough already!"
She blinked, wrong-footed. "What...?"
"You never tell me about that time! Ever! But him, oh, he's automatically admitted to the favoured circle, isn't he? Because he was there, he remembers."
"He remembers being a traitor and shedding my blood!" she yelled.
"But you've forgiven him! You wouldn't dance with him if you hadn't forgiven him! And where did you go afterwards?" He stepped forward, eyes glittering. "Find a quiet spot, did you? Do some dancing on your back?"
Makoto didn't realise what she was doing until she found herself standing over Susumu, her fist tingling, he staring up at her with blood trickling from his nose. She lowered her fist and stepped back, ignoring the humming in her ears, the singing of her blood.
"I'm going out," she heard herself say, voice too calm. "You'd better be gone when I get back."
She could hear Susumu staggering to his feet as she walked down the hall to the front door. But she should have known he wouldn't let her leave with the last word.
"You made me do it!" he yelled as she slipped her shoes on. "You've been pushing me away ever since he came back! Is that where you're going, Makoto? To him?"
"Where I go and who I see is no longer your concern," she said and managed to close the door before the tears came.
DISCLAIMER: Makoto belongs to Naoko Takeuchi. Susumu belongs to me. The song belongs to Tori Amos.