The Possibility of Darkness
An angsty (but hopeful) look at the Dark Moon stunt incident from Ren's perspective. Because you were warned about the angst sandwich!
For the July 12th 'risk' prompt
Honestly, he should've seen the warning signals from miles away.
It was a beautiful, cloudless day. A light breeze swept through the city streets and the sun shone brilliantly, reflecting in dazzling sparkles off of every lustrous surface it touched. The temperature was mild, considering the season, and most people walked around comfortably in light jackets. In short, the day was perfect.
As if the day couldn't get any more idyllic, she came to visit him on set. A small shopping bag swung freely where it hung from her curled fingers as she respectfully greeted him in her usual manner. She was a vision in her costume and makeup and he made short work of moving her far away from anyone else's prying eyes when she arrived. If the powers that be saw fit to grace him with her presence before the filming of what was going to be a very tense, action-packed scene, he was not about to share his luck with anyone else.
She was beautiful and she was there. Just to see him. He wondered for the briefest moment if some deity would require a ritual sacrifice for something like this to happen again. If so, he might consider performing said rite in the future.
He looked at the pale pink gem hanging from her neck as it picked up the sunlight, twisting and morphing it to its will. It made him smile with pride. That was his ever-so-subtle mark on her and, while he wished for something far more ostentatious—a billboard declaring her off-limits, maybe—it was not her style. To be fair, it wasn't his style either. But, that didn't stop him from desiring it any less.
As if he even had some sort of claim over her anyway.
They walked idly back towards the location where she would be filming and he was unable to stop staring at her. Her hair fluttered in the breeze and her skin seemed to glow. Captivated, he tried to tell her how beautiful she was, but she carelessly threw his words away as if they were nothing.
That should have been his next clue.
When she began to talk about protective charms, he wished she had given him one. If he couldn't have her heart, he would've at least treasured that for the rest of his life. He told her as much and she vehemently disagreed. As far as she was concerned, he didn't need one. Only a fool would give him a charm because they believed he was about to do something that potentially put his life at risk. She had the utmost faith in his abilities and knew he was entirely capable of performing the stunt without incident. He was in no danger. But she wished he would be safe all the same.
That should have been a clue with a giant red arrow made of flashing neon lights.
By the time he was behind the wheel, he was in the zone. The practice run had gone smoothly and everything was currently progressing so well that he had the fleeting thought he could probably do it with his eyes closed. The needle on the gauge in front of him pushed higher and higher as he accelerated with almost reckless precision. He was riding the adrenaline high that buzzed through his brain and sizzled all the way to his fingertips and there was no tiny voice to warn him that this was going too perfectly.
But there should have been.
He would have liked to claim that the small, baseball-capped head of the child as he ran into the crosswalk came out of nowhere. However, heightened as his senses were at that moment, he noticed it right away. Tires squealed in a deafening whine as he stomped his foot down onto the brake pedal. He half considered offering up a brief prayer if that same deity from before was still looking down on him.
The entire car shuddered and jerked as the brakes strained to bring it to a stop and that was the last thing he remembered.
All he knew after that was darkness. He'd seen this darkness before and it was no stranger to him. It wrapped around him in a cold embrace and made a shiver run clear down his spine. Years ago, he'd fought his way out of this very same darkness—with a little help, of course. This time, he wondered if he was strong enough to make it out once more.
Or if he even wanted to.
Then, the nightmares came again. The ones that reminded him of the monster he kept hidden inside himself. The ones that kept him constantly aware of why he would never deserve happiness. They smelled of blood and asphalt and death. They felt like broken glass, broken bones, and guilt. He curled in on himself and whimpered, hoping they would go away and leave him in peace.
They mocked his hope. He was fairly certain he could hear jeering laughter.
Something warm touched him then, but he was afraid to see what it was. It was probably more blood, he assumed. Or tears from the woman whose wailing keened in his ears, over and over without end. It pressed more firmly against and he heard a familiar, lilting voice. Muffled as it was, he could not quite make out what they were saying but he fought to concentrate on it. Somehow he knew that voice was his only way out of the darkness so he clung to it like driftwood being thrown about a wrathful sea.
It got stronger and clearer the more he focused on it. Suddenly, he could understand the words that were being said to him. Suddenly, he could see the lips that were speaking them. His eyes refocused and he saw the look of concern and fear on the face of an angel who held his hand and spoke softly to him. Her golden eyes pierced through the remaining darkness as she continued to call out to him asking if he could hear her.
Yes, he could hear her loud and clear. The sun shone brightly once more and the beautiful day he remembered welcomed him back with open arms. He tried his best to put the swirling darkness from his mind and held fast to the hand of the only protective charm he would ever need. She'd saved him from that awful place and, as long as he had her, he would never have to go back.
However, if it weren't for the darkness, her beacon would not have shone so brightly from its midst. Perhaps going back was not as terrifying as he thought.
He now had her to light the way.
AND THAT'S IT FOR REN/KYOKO WEEK 2020! This is actually a pretty old piece I wrote for a prompt exercise with friends but never posted. It fit the bill here, so I figured, what the heck, now is as good a time as any.
Thanks for stopping by and reading. Be kind to each other, be kind to yourselves, and stay well, everyone!