[fic] Digital Devil Saga, "Colorblind" (Springkink) Colorblind Digital Devil Saga Gale (Gale/Lupa) Safe for work, spoilers for both games. For Sprinkink: February 2.
The strain in his leg, the trembling tenseness of muscles, the perfect arch necessary to hold the position, his toes twisted to press the button and keep the blade in his boot extended. The miniscule movement Lupa had made towards the knife as Gale had kicked towards his neck; the miniscule movement Gale had needed to pull the strike and not penetrate Lupa's skin. The utter calm in the air between him, his own arms crossed over his chest.
It had been complete efficiency of movement, unemotional and uncontrived. He hadn't felt much about it; it was just the necessary thing to carry out his plan.
He remembers the confusion of the others, the gasps, the way Argilla had taken an abortive half-step forward. Strange, he'd thought then. To what are they reacting?
The truth is, when he faces the truth square on, that he cannot truly remember the way he used to be before he awakened as the others had. He can remember bits and pieces, but he cannot associate it with a different self. That he knew he was 'different' at some point is almost entirely because he remembers commenting on how different everyone else was from him in their passions and motivations.
This troubles him, in a way that he cannot quite put his finger on: it troubles him that he has not always been the same person, that he has changed and he is not sure how.
After Lupa had died -- after he had killed Lupa, the world had changed in a way he could not understand at the time or in retrospect. The best comparisons he can find are ones that annoy him somehow, because they're too biased.
Like the feeling of a knife sliding into his flesh; like a hard punch to his chest, knocking the wind out of him so that a moment later the next breath in feels hot and heavy and throbbing with pain; that is how it felt the moment after Lupa died in his arms.
It is as if that moment has flavored everything. Occasionally he wakes up feeling rage and the urge to destruction: whatever he must destroy to make things right, make things as they should be (a feeling he had always taken for granted before, if it was even a feeling at all; he remembers it as one, but his memory is faulty) he will do so. He lies very still at those times, feeling it throb in him, a sharp pain in his chest as he breathes, a heat in his face, a burning at his groin and thinks that he has no such thing as lofty ideals; instead he is a selfish man, whose urges come down to the personal. He does not want to change again, does not want to unwind further and further into these passions; he wants instead to change the world so as to find vengeance, to eliminate the unnecessary and the wrong, to set things to right.
He has changed; he is still not like the others. He cannot understand them, and beyond a certain point, he has given up trying. Argilla reacts to things that are beyond him: he cannot say this is inefficient any longer, because he understands that Argilla is not driven by efficiency; he feels that, and he sympathizes with it, but the depths of her is not something he can touch on. She moves as if that pain he knows is not centred in her, calm and steady and burning low, but rages through every motion; as if that pain brings colour to her cheeks, plants each foot firmly on the ground, runs down into every fingertip so that everything she touches leaves a faint smear of desperation behind it, as if of blood. It settles into her hips and into her breasts, heavy and swaying with her motion. He feels it now, but she lives it.
The others are alike: Heat in his betrayal and his grief and his rage, Serph in his steady sadness and need, Cielo in his bright and shining energy, his way of punching the air and of dancing, stepping lightly and talking lightly as he muses, off-handedly, on a sad philosophy of death. They are beyond him; they are different, and while he might have once called it off-balance, he thinks it may be its own kind of balance, or perhaps a better idea: momentum. It is tied to the hunger; they are all hungry. Even Sera has developed her own kind of hunger, which settles on the weight of her eyelashes, the curve of her lip.
He senses it in him as well, this deep-running anger, the hunger, but it is hard for him to pin down. All the places he has to define these things never quite seem to fit it. Instead he just lets it go, accepting his helplessness in the matter: accepting that this is how things are, this is how they are, this is how they react. Better to just feel it, and leave his understanding behind, if he is not able to think it through.
Truthfully, he has never expected to see Lupa again. Death is final, and has a way of catching him off guard.
When he stands in front of Lupa again, here in this corrupted Nirvana of the sun, with petals caught in an updrift and light shimmering off the lotuses, he finds himself at a loss of words.
Gale draws a breath.
It is strange, how he can suddenly feel every movement: this holy air -- this wholly corrutped air -- being drawn between his lips, through his mouth, down his throat; the way his chest fills with it; the pressure of his clothes over his skin. He blinks, slowly, and feels that as well; reaches up to touch two fingers to the bridge of his nose, pushing up glasses that he does not wear and has never owned. His mouth is dry. He licks his lips, feels them absorb the wetness of his tongue. Lupa smiles at him, faintly, calmly, proudly.
"Lupa," he says. His voice comes out husky, low.
"Gale," Lupa says. "Well met, again."
There is something growing in him, a whirlwind, a fire. His heart is beating too fast; he is desperate, he is hungry, he is starved; his mind cannot possibly comprehend all this. With a hand shaking from how steady he attempts to keep it, he reaches up again and touches the same two fingers to Lupa's face. When he speaks, he is proud at how steady his voice has become yet again.