"Is this my cue to come up from behind and surprise you? I think so." Nero took a step and lazily wrapped his arms around the other. "Hey there, sweetheart." he said with a small smirk, holding his hands in front of her visage to reveal seven of his fingers— just like old times.
"You sure are making a habit of showing up like this, hm? I knew something was up," Raising a brow as the other appeared from what seemed like nowhere, the silver haired teen folded her arms over her chest as a small smirk formed on her lips. With a tiny scoff and a shake of her head, Seven leaned into the hug, giving the other a tight squeeze before watching as he did the number thing with his hands. "Still think that’s clever, huh?" she asked with an amused glare.
Eyes fluttered shut just the slightest when he felt the small circles being traced upon his back. Although they weren’t in a tight embrace like they were before, he still did his best to maintain the warmth that they shared. Whatever was left of it, anyways. Though when the promises came— when she actually started to promise him, the knight’s breathing shook. Nero only prayed— ironically— that Seven didn’t notice.
The ivory-haired male listened to every word she spoke, but during the process, he was thinking at the same time. I have no reason not to promise.. Lips curling inward just the slightest, he chewed out of the nerves that itched at his brain and caused perspiration to coat his palms a bit.
After the first few times Seven had asked him to promise, he replied when it was his turn. “I promise,” he paused. “Seven,” Her name rolled off his tongue without restraint, but nothing else came afterwards. The devil only drowned in the intensity of her stare and wondered what was going through her mind. The unnecessary complexity of when they would be able to see each other again? Or maybe, how desperate he seems? If Nero allowed himself to even make a sound at that thought, he would have. Thank Sparda that his teeth were dug into the available flesh of his lips, even if it was a mere centimeter or two.
He was dragged away from his over thinking when he noticed Seven’s smile, and how it returned due to another thought that was far from his reach. Through furrowed brows, Nero managed to tug the corner of his lips upwards. An attempt that was clearly poor to anyone’s eyes, he had no doubt that she would notice. Especially her.
Nero found comfort in the fact that the silverette understood what he told her, and also found relief. Not enough to rid of the pang of worry and— for some reason— pain, in his chest. It was a tragedy to know that he was stuck between relief and misery, but when her hands stroked away the strands of hair, how else was he supposed to feel? Nero was just about to say that he understood, that he could take care of himself until she spoke once more.
“And you have to promise me that you’ll keep moving forward no matter what happens, okay?”
A gasp that was practically inaudible escaped his lips and whatever color that was left in his face drained away, only to replaced with an even more pale color. His eyes widened for less than a second, and the familiar, deep blue color of his irises seemed to freeze over to a lighter shade. He was speechless for a noticeable amount of time after that sentence.
Fuck. Hoping Seven didn’t witness such thing, Nero cleared his throat, gritted his teeth and averted his eyes to only glance away for a moment before meeting her face once again. “Uh, mm..” What do I say? What consumed his mind now was the worry that he might have reduced her morale and confidence. “Don’t say that,” he hushed her as softly as he could and pulled her in once more for an embrace. This time, he allowed his lips to press softly against her cheek this time and he could hear the groans of agony echoing in his mind.
Nero couldn’t face her after that. He held her in his arms and stared far ahead again, the path he had to take after this. Eventually his arms faltered from her figure and he made sure it was a slow process. It was getting late and Seven would have to leave soon. Heart too heavy and throat too dry with words he can’t repeat, Nero remained silent.
Voice faltering, the silver haired teen felt every fiber of her being want to take back what she had previously said. Feeling her chest painfully contract, she held her breath as she watched the pieces break, so clearly visible by the look on his face.
What have I done?
Sorry will never be enough.
Pale arms wrapped around the other as he pulled her close one more time, feeling his lips brush against her cheek ever so softly. It was enough to make her realize she was still holding her breath, letting out a long shaky sigh as she leaned her head on his shoulder for the last time. It was incredible how safe he was able to make her feel— even though things were seeming to crumble, just one look and just one touch could make her feel all the better. It was something she would be longing for in the coming weeks, taking a moment to close her violet eyes to commit the feeling to memory.
And this was the hard part.
It wasn’t long before she felt Nero’s arms carefully dropping from their embrace, slowly creating space between them. Clenching her jaw tight, she reached her right hand out to grab his left, squeezing it a slight bit before taking a step back. Slowly lifting her gaze from their hands up to his eyes, she knew she was in for it. Those blue eyes would forever be embedded in her memory, leaving her to remember what little time they were able to spend together.
The first meeting, the cards and the alcohol. Waking up and making breakfast only to be pulled away by the people she loved dearly. It was the beginning to the strange thing that had been happening between them, and something she wasn’t going to be forgetting any time soon. The letters and all the time spent thinking about being able to see each other again—
Then there was tonight. So fresh in her memory, she could still smell the sweet scent of the festival in the air, assorted foods and sweets— the games and the lights everywhere like nothing she’d ever seen before. Talking for who knew how long by the docks, being able to watch the fireworks together and relax for what might have been the first time in forever.
It all meant so much to her. More than she could ever express. All she wanted more than anything in the world was to have one more day, one more hour— one more minute, just to give the same to him.
I have to come back.
A faint smile made a ghost of an appearance on her lips as she squeezed the other’s hand once again, thinking about the memories they had made together already. “When I come back,” she started, voice light and slightly teasing. “I demand a rematch.”
Knowing the other would know what she meant, she slowly let her grip on his hand fall as she took another step back. Folding her arms over her chest to ignore the urge to reach out once more, the teen bit her lip as she stared at the other waiting for an answer. “You can’t back out on me, Nero. We said we would,” Smile turning more genuine by the second, Seven ignored the horrible pain forming in her chest as she moved herself further away.
What he had said to her was something no one should have to think about. The fact that Seven was breathtaking and left Nero speechless, was absolute. His breathing slowed, and each breath he took after he spoke made him a bit lethargic— he could get lost in those eyes any day. If only they actually had all the time in the world, he would. For now, all I have istonight.
He heard how his words had effected the girl and in that exact moment, his heart skipped a beat. The knight could have sworn that he began to see a tinge of pink coloring the pale skin of her face, though before he could comment on such a sight, Seven’s arms were already around his neck. His arms were around her waist before he even knew it.
There was no words he could muster during their close embrace. A mere whisper of the female’s name was the only thing he said, his face buried against the side of her neck. Breathe in. The soft scent of her skin will soon be forgotten for as long as she’s away. Keeping a single arm wrapped around her securely, a hand was weaving through the silverette’s long strands of hair gently, doing what ever it takes to burn her in his memory.
To risk that he would lose his memory of Seven was too much. The might and determination Nero had to keep her in his mind was strong, but was it enough? The knight brought his face from her neck and stared at the road behind her. “You make it so damn hard to leave,” he cursed quietly. The urge to plant his lips against her neck, cheek— anywhere, was heart wrenching.
Still, he composed himself.
It wasn’t long before the heat of her body became one with his. Nero was afraid that he had let himself become too comfortable, because what came next when she departed, was nothing but cold. “Write me. Call me. Do whatever you need to do to keep in touch.” he reminded before pulling away just the slightest from her hold, though the devil made sure to keep close to the other still.
"Promise me something," Nero whispered, forehead pressed against the Seven’s. His eyes were focused on her own, though they followed downward as he continued. "You promise me that you stay safe— that you stay alive, and we’ll have another day like this. Believe that we will. When whatever you’re going against is over, we’ll have more days like this to make up for lost time,” his voice was still low and quiet. A few seconds later, Nero leaned his head away from hers a bit and gently placed his hand under her chin so he could meet her eyes once more.
"You’re going to be alright. Everything will be ok."
He wondered, as he spoke, what was on her mind? Cerulean optics searched within hers, trying to find more solutions to his questions. The male drew a slow breath out and his expression was one that showed eagerness and the need to protect.
"Do you understand?"
As Nero wrapped his arms around Seven’s waist just as tight as her hold on him, she suddenly felt the lump that had grown in throat grow ten times larger. Tears pricked at the teen’s eyes as she closed her lids tightly to force away the overwhelming urge to cry. It didn’t take long before she felt herself calming down, feeling the other’s arms around her and listening to the consistent thrum of his heart beating. Relaxing into his touch, she began drawing tiny light circles on his back as she lost herself in the moment.
"You don’t make it any easier," she retorted mumbling, a faint smile forming on her lips.
Lifting her eyes to meet his own as he pulled away, Seven held her breath as he spoke. All she could do was nod in response, unable to form the right words to say back. What could she say back, really? She had no idea what was to come and she couldn’t make any promises. Still, she told herself to do whatever she could, when she could. That would have to do.
"I promise," voice barely a whisper, the student felt her chest become tight once again as tears pricked at her eyes. Silently cursing herself for being so emotional, she wished she could keep it together better than she had been. You idiot, you have to stop. Forcing a weak smile, she nodded lightly, “I promise I will as long as you promise me too.”
Gently placing her hands on the sides of his face, Seven took a moment to pause and really look at him. She had no idea when she’d see him again. It wasn’t certain if she’d ever be able to anyway… But there, standing in front of him, hearing his words. Being able to look into his eyes and know with certainty that he really believed she’d be alright— It gave her all the more hope that she and her family would be okay. There would be more times to see each other, and there would be so many more opportunities and happy times with all the people she cared about to come.
An overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and— what was that? Something she couldn’t pin point— suddenly washed over her, causing her to smile once more. Feeling stronger than she had and more confident in what was to come, Seven knew she could make it through. There were people on her side and that she knew for sure.
"I understand," nodding slowly, she lightly brushed a few strands of hair away from his face. "But you have to promise me you’ll take care of yourself. That you’ll stay out of trouble and be careful while you’re out doing whatever you have to do—" Pausing for a moment she furrowed her brows in a serious gaze. "And you have to promise me that you’ll keep moving forward no matter what happens, okay?"
Holding her stare for a few moments longer, she hoped that her words would have an impact. The thought of something happening while she was away, and the thought of Nero not being there when she returned— if she returned scared her tremendously. It wasn’t something she wanted to think about. Knowing that she’d be leaving him safe, with the assurance of knowing he’d stay true to his word was all she needed now.
"I’d have to be careful?" Nero asked, in slight exasperation. "What are they gonna do, kill me once I take one look at ‘em?" The knight exhaled through his nose in amusement and playfully nudged Seven’s arm. He had no intention whatsoever to harm the silverette in anyway. After all, he had no reason to. The only problem they would have is if her tight-knit friends figure out that he had gotten Seven drunk. The thought caused Nero’s bottom lip to curl inwards slightly. He’ll deal with it if they ever figured it out.
The sound of the female’s voice caused the male to snap out of his thoughts. Their day together has basically come to an end and he wanted nothing more but to take whatever was left of it. What Seven began to say though, was nothing he expected. To have the knowledge that from where she hailed, people lost their memories of an individual after they pass didn’t suit so well with him.
Cerulean orbs looked towards the other, filled with concentration. “What do you mean you lose your memories of them?” he asked in a whisper, half expecting an answer and half not. There was a possibility that she would disregard it, and Nero disliked to admit that she had disregarded a few other questions that had to do with her “job”. But this only happens where she lives.. Lips pursed a bit while he pondered— would this apply to Nero too? If something were to happen to Seven, would she only become one of those faint images too?
The fact that she had stated that it was “ok” twinged at his nerves. To think that it’s even remotely ok was beyond the knight. For now, I’ll just have to listen. The question he had asked was about who her parents were, and for Nero to interrupt a topic that was important would be rude. “Well,” he began once Seven had said that she had a great family back home, “I’m more than relieved that you have people looking over you, sweetheart.” Ceasing his nerves, the devil allowed his posture to relax and blue, sleazy eyes looked at the other. “You got me too. Don’t you forget,” he added.
After that heavy topic, he didn’t expect her to find her hands tussling through the locks of his hair. “Tsk,” he breathed out while a small smile formed on his lips. “What can I say? Such an honor that a lovely girl such as yourself believes that my name fits me, despite the contradiction.” The smile now a smirk, he bowed just the slightest before straightening his posture.
I’m happy you think so, he thought to himself once the student had stated that it was nice that the both could carry conversation, specific or not. Only, he didn’t notice that in the inside, she had felt an emotion of guilt and only Sparda— or rather— Etro, in Seven’s case, knew why. Ignorant to what she was truly feeling due to the lack of answers given, Nero allowed himself to bask in the rest of what they had left for tonight.
Eventually and unfortunately, the sight of the school was now visible. Lips parted now, and it was difficult for Nero to believe that this was it. After she walks into that school, I won’t have a damn clue when I’ll be able to see her again. The hand that held the silverette only gripped harder. He had no clue, though. Nero made sure to tell himself to breathe or else his lungs would collapse.
He came to a stop once he was able to breathe in air, then turned to Seven. What should I say? There were words flooding his mind, so much to ask and so much that he wanted to learn about her. But all Nero could do was stare at the girl, doing his absolute best to take mental images of her in case.. It would be, a while until they would meet again. The glow of the moon complimented her skin and she almost seemed to glow herself; the color of her eyes more bold than ever. The end of their day wasn’t the only thing leaving him speechless tonight. What’s next for the two after this day? Somehow, words managed to slip from his lips and he had no objections saying it in the first place.
"Believe me," she started, a serious tone in her voice. "If I understood why it happened, I’d explain more… But I really don’t know." Brows furrowing as she realized how guilty she felt about the whole situation. There were some things she could tell him, and others she couldn’t. There were some things she could explain, and others she couldn’t— by choice or by sheer fact she didn’t know, the situations varied. It didn’t seem fair.
After being pulled out of her thoughts, Seven focused on the other, feeling the corners of her lips tug up into a hint of a smile. It was a strange feeling, knowing there was someone outside of the people she had grown up with who cared about her. “Thank you,” she replied sincerely, giving a small nod to her head.
"I’m sure once you meet my classmates they wouldn’t mind having you around. Then you could stop by whenever you wanted to." It seemed like an awfully optimistic proposition, but one that sounded nice nonetheless. It was exciting to imagine Nero getting along with the people she cared so much about. Thinking about them talking and getting into the crazy situations they always found themselves in together made her wish all the more that it would happen… Then maybe she wouldn’t have to worry about him being alone so much.
Seven scoffed as the other teen bowed, shaking her head at yet another one of his ridiculous antics. As much as she outwardly seemed to find it silly, it had begun to grow on her the more time they’d spent together. Picking up on the little things he did and said during the night, knowing almost certainly they would be things that she’d look back on after they parted ways. Though she didn’t want to admit it, there was a strange pressure that had started to form right in the middle of her chest just thinking about having to end the night.
As the school came into view, a noticeable change in expression was apparent on the girl’s face. It was a place that held a lot of good memories with her family, things she hoped to never forget. But more recently it had become a place of silent fear in her. Not knowing what was coming next, having to brave a face for everyone. Knowing everyone was probably dealing with the same emotions she was, and being unable to speak up about it. Now, it was a place of the unknown.
Feeling the grip on her hand grow tighter, Seven looked from the school to the face of the teen beside her. She held her gaze locked with his, noticing how even in the darkness his eyes still seemed to shine the same vibrant blue they always did. A hint of fear coursed through her body as she thought about the consequences which would come with what had happened. The thing she’d been avoiding from the beginning was getting close to anyone, and now she’d done it. Do I regret it? She thought, scared to let herself answer.
Her breath hitched as she paused for a moment to process, mouth hanging open embarrassingly trying to get words out. It was then, though, that she realized how stupid her thoughts had been before. Violet eyes softening as she gripped his hand more tightly again, she found herself at a loss of words. Words couldn’t do anything at that point. Releasing her hold on his hand, the silver haired teen stepped forward onto her tip toes as she wrapped her arms around him tightly in a hug. Gently burying her face into the crook of his neck, she felt hear heart start to race as she came to a realization.