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Rosebud

Chapter Text

ger·mi·na·tion

ˌjərməˈnāSH(ə)n/

noun

  • the development of a plant from a seed or spore after a period of dormancy.
  • the process of something coming into existence and developing.

The icy black sky restlessly grumbled. The thick blackened clouds were dragged down by the heavy rain. The rain came down at the world with a roar and the cracking of thunder.

He was running.

The seven-year-old boy rushed across the slippery sidewalk, the streetlights only helping just so to see where he was going. His posture weakened by the onslaught of the elements. His arm stung where a thorn had dug into him, his sleeve ruined. His hand closed around empty air, already missing the absence of another, very similar hand in his.

The rain made his surroundings become blurry and hazy. Surreal. If he closed his eyes, he could almost pretend nothing had happened.

Shivers wracked his frame as he forced himself to stop, his shoes completely soaked. The houses had long ago become unfamiliar when he realized what he had done and what had happened.

He realized, but couldn't process it. They had been fine, they had been talking and laughing and looking at him with calculating eyes. They had been fine, until-

Gulp, gulp.

Red.

Thud.

The room had held nothing but ghosts and himself, dizzy with horror amongst the dead bodies and splatters of wine. Without knowing what to do, he had run.

He could go back, tell his mother what happened, hug his sister and never let her go. Just a small change in the great picture. Life would go on.

He could go forward, towards the unknown, alone for the first time in his life. Whoever had planned the attack could still be around, could have seen him escape. No witnesses. He hadn't touched his glass the entire time he had been in the room. He couldn't put his family in danger by returning.

No, it would be best if he didn't return for a while. Anonymity was a shield, for them especially. Besides, his mother would look for him soon, however enticing the idea of disappearing was.

He knew what would await them if he returned. A succession conflict, even though his sister was the elder. She deserved to be the successor more than he did, so why go through all that trouble? It would save his family much grief, too. Those were good enough reasons. Those were his only reasons.

That was a lie. He was selfish.

Being in their family, they had to play by the rules, however much he despised them. He was sick of being compared to his sister. He was sick of having to repress his emotions forever.

He was sick of being scared of not being good enough. He wanted to go back and take his sister with him and then it would just be the two of them against the world. He couldn't risk it, she would be safe where she was. Besides, it would only be for a couple of days, then his mother would retrieve him and things would go back to normal, even with the knowledge he had seen his father-

No!

That- that hadn't been him! He hadn't seen- that had happened to someone else, and he just happened to be watching. Yes, that was it.

He couldn't afford to lose himself in the recent memory, or he would spend an eternity rooted to the spot.

The boy closed his eyes and slowly turned to the darkened street.

Being the best, always, always, a shadow of his perfect sister, cold eyes and unkind whispers and never showing how he felt. Living with the knowledge that no one could be trusted, everyone could stab you in the back at any given moment. If that was the case, then he was better off alone. He wouldn't miss any of that. He wouldn't be missed either. Would he?

Wherever he ended up, it had to be better than what he was leaving behind.

Without looking back, he opened his eyes and walked quickly down the street, picking up the pace gradually until his body was flying through the darkness as fast as his legs would take him. And with the running, he forged his identity.

"My name is Allen," the boy whispered to himself. The name felt right in his tongue. "My name is Allen, and I am a street kid of seven, and I have never heard of the Lucifen family name."

In the silence came a low crackle of thunder, rolling through the city. For a moment, everything stopped. A streak of hot silver split the sky. The wind picked up force, newspapers blew along the street and umbrellas turned inside out and the wind was almost carrying him.

He was running.

This time, he wouldn't stop.