OK, so kill me. I finally decided to write another one-shot.
Stop laughing now. Please.
Hey, I need a break from Chords right now, so…read this if you will! I'll probably do a Harry Potter or Bleach one next, though.
Do you know what the face of Chaos looks like? Would it be the eye of a hurricane, black and ominous on the horizon? Or would it be something more devastating, like the effect of the hurricane on the houses of poor, unsuspecting suburbia? Well, it's neither. I have met this person named Chaos, and it looks like something much more ordinary.
Chaos is my room on Saturday night, strewn with popcorn and fading VCR tapes and many layering, colorful sleeping bags full of un-ironed wrinkles. Chaos is going to work in the afternoons at the café called Garfield's down the street on a sizzling hot summer day. Chaos is facing Tsunade-sama after she's downed a few too many cups of sake.
Chaos is what I feel resonating deep in my chest whenever those blasted pair of obsidian eyes even flash over my face.
It is truly pathetic, that jolt of electricity and of something that could be described as 5-second depression that passes through my entire frame every time he walks by, that glazed, cold mask in perfect place over his porcelain features. It is so stupid, how my body shivers with pleasure every time his skin brushes against my arm.
I used to hate his guts. Now, I hate myself for hating his guts.
Is love always this confusing?
At least, I hope its love. I hope that its not just another confusing little puppy-dog infatuation of mine, because I've been known to join fan clubs and do very stupid things like make picket signs and stalk the poor boy home. The fun starts if you can get him to at least come out to shoo you off.
What do I think about him? Do I even think when he is there?
He doesn't even look that great. He's not amazingly cute or anything. That hair couldn't be tamed by any comb known to man or woman, that shock of ebony silk shooting out the back of his skull. Those eyes are like the opposite of diamonds: dead. There is no shine in them, even on hot sunny days like this one. His skin is smooth, but like it has never seen the sun, despite the many hours I find him lonely, so lonely, trodding untrodden paths alone deep in the forest…
He is the face of Chaos. Those are the perfectly devil-like features of Chaos, and they are burning my insides to a crisp.
I don't know him that well. I only know him from the brief passes of "may I take your order now" or "is everything alright here, sir?" at Garfield's down the street, where he happens to be a regular. Or, regular wouldn't be the right word. He only shows up irregularly, actually, once or twice a month. I find myself staying up late at night with anticipation, wondering if he will be there tomorrow or the day after that.
It's always disappointing when he isn't.
It is very hot in Garfield's kitchen. We have to wear the most uncottonish type of apron that doesn't have any airholes in it, but it has always smelled nice back there. Like cinnamon and honey and some kind of salty, creamy sauce that is supposed to go on rye bread. It is humid and makes my hair friz.
Still, it's not so bad when he's there, even when I'm working double shift and my arms are about to amputate themselves and my back's screaming for a hot massage.
He smells good too. But not like hot sauce that goes on rye bread. That man that is Chaos, or perhaps one of Chaos's more honored sons, does not smell like his world. If Fate had a smell, then it would be mint. So he smells like peppermints. And the forest. And quite possibly tomatoes.
I suppose that is the scent of Chaos. Or his sons.
The first time he said anything back to one of my mandatory waitress questions besides "Hn" was a cold winter, a Wednesday, actually. I remember, because I consider it one of the greater things on my historical calendar.
He said, "You're annoying," and then turned back to the greasy remains of his food. I have never seen him chew or swallow: work always whisks me away. Maybe he chews like a cow. Maybe stuff dribbles down his chin when he stuffs too much in. I don't think I would have cared.
When he said "you're annoying" to me, my first thought was to give him a good whack in that pretty jawline with one of my fists. Tsunade-sama has been rubbing off on me, I fear. The second was that it was part of my job to be sweet to all customers. So instead, I told him, "I'm very sorry, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
He cocked an eyebrow at me, his lip pulling up slightly to the right in an amused smirk, as if I were a mouse caught in a trap, and shook his head very, very slowly.
His voice was deep, but not very, very deep. A little scratchy or coarse. Like a watery saxophone. Not unpleasant, but a bit irritating. Smooth-like.
Chaos sounds like a voice that belongs on a talk show.
Don't ask me why I know that I am in love with this man, this messenger of the Chaotic heavens, if I am merely on a waitress-customer relationship with him and have not really had a real conversation with him. It is the way that he seems so lonely in his solitude, wallowing in something darker than self-pity and shutting himself off from the world. It is the way that he stares at me from under his bangs darkly every time I pass, blaming me for his own difficulties. I know that I can help him. I want to help him.
I see the light, swirling and hidden and fading, inside his darkness.
The first time I felt his touch was another Wednesday, almost a year later. I was fifteen. He called me over to his table just by adjusting his head slightly, leaning lazily onto his hand. I sighed and hurried over. The hot weather had put me in a bad mood that day, something not even his demonic features could lighten.
"Sakura," he said. A shiver ran through me, a warm spurt bursting in my chest. My name sounded wonderful on his tongue.
"Haruno Sakura, yes," I said, slightly confused. "Is there anything you needed?"
He paused, and then shook his head. "Hn. Not something a waitress could give me. Something you could give me," he said in an offhand voice, like he was talking about the weather. Like I said, he belonged on a talk show. I shifted my tray, trying to get comfortable, and rested my hand on my hip.
"Well, I'll be going into the kitchen then. Inform me when you have less cryptic remarks to make, please, sir."
I turned to leave, and his fingertips brushed against my elbow. It wasn't hard or coarse or even unusual. It felt like every other human being that I had ever felt, but something inside me stirred for the feather-light touch, for the better, yearned for those soft, sensitive fingertips again.
Chaos is soft, not hard. That is what Chaos feels like. So achingly sweet that it will tear your heart apart. Honey snares more bees than vinegar, that is true, but not in the way that you would expect.
He caught me as I was leaving at 7 PM that night, touching my elbow again, although this time it was on purpose. I regretted having put on my rainjacket before he had done so. There was barely a whisper of connection through the heavy, death-defying two-ply polyester.
"Thank you," he said simply. I stared blankly until he had left out of the door.
Today, two years from then, I have seen him numerous more times.
Somewhere along that timeline, I had fallen more deeply in love with this man whose name that I did not even know, and he had come to accept the fact that I would continue to be his waitress as long as he continued to dine at Garfield's. We became friends, an awkward pair, but friends nonetheless.
Between Tsunade, Garfield's, and downtime, I tunneled an extra place in my time just to talk with him. Well, I did most of the talking. He mainly listened, smirking as I babbled, his eyes still refusing to shine.
That day was humid. He was sitting with me at a run-down house that belonged to his deceased family. It is a very long story how we ended up there, so I will spare you.
There was a breeze. I remember that very clearly.
For a while, we just sat like that. No words were exchanged. Then, I turned towards him to ask him something, (I don't remember what it was.) Instead, he reached out a rough hand to cup my cheek, and stared at my upturned face. "Sakura, I'm going to kiss you," he said flatly as if it were daily routine.
I nodded slightly, surprised that not even the hint of a blush had crept onto my cheeks.
So he did: he pressed his lips to mine, and it was not passionate nor sweet nor demanding. It is what happens when Chaos meets Harmony. His lips were rough and mine were soft, and we sat like that, my hands entwined in his spiky hair and his stroking a soft spot on the side of my neck.
This is what Chaos tastes like.
I know his name, this son of Chaos. It is sweet to relish on the tongue when it slithers from your mouth, so I do not say it often to make it all the more enjoyable.
And about the title? Well, just make your own weird theory about why it's called that, OK?