Alteration

Shay Sheridan

Fandom: Loveless, Ritsuka, Seimei.
written for the Loveless 100 Challenge of the same name.


When Seimei died, his room was left exactly as it had always been. On the side of the bedroom he shared with Ritsuka, Seimei's bed remained neatly made, the drawers in his desk still crammed with the paper remnants and odd detritus of seventeen years of life. Ritsuka's mother didn't move anything, not a keychain or a poster, not even the shoe Seimei had left peeking out from under his bed on the day he died.

Ritsuka knows better than to move them himself; his mother comes into his room while he's at school, and the slightest alteration, the tiniest change of distance between objects, would be detected. Ritsuka doesn't like to think about what would follow.

Before Seimei died, Ritsuka used to get his brother's clothes as Seimei outgrew them. Seimei was the neat son; he never tore his clothes, never came home with ragged hems or scuffed shoes, so his clothing lasted a long time. Their mother would shorten a sleeve, or hem a cuff and Ritsuka would have something new to wear. He didn't mind getting Seimei's castoffs; it was a little like wearing a part of Seimei himself, a little like being Seimei.

Now the clothes hang in the closet on matching hangers, and although he is growing into them even without alterations, Ritsuka does not dare touch them.

Seimei had been the neat son, and the clever one, the one who always knew the right words to say. Seimei knew how to alter their mother's dangerous intentions by choosing the proper words to redirect her anger into calm. He had power over words, and used that power skillfully.

Ritsuka feels powerless to change anything about his life. And yet life, it seems, has managed to change him, making him someone else entirely.

How strange that nothing has changed -- not a paperclip, not a poster, not the placement of a keychain nor the position of a shoe – and yet everything is different. Even he is different.

Reality has altered for Ritsuka, and he does not know how he will survive in this new world.


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