I knew it the second I saw his kind, amber eyes looking at me through the bars of my cage and I didn’t feel afraid anymore. I knew it when he gently cradled me in his hands for a moment before letting me fly away. I’m still not sure how I came to be in this form. Maybe I just wished for it hard enough.
I’m a Tribeswoman of Darkness now… Well, not really… Um, I’m not a bat anymore either. I’m not anything, maybe something in between…
Well, it doesn’t really matter… When I showed up stark naked at his campfire the next night, he calmly averted his eyes, gentleman that he was, and quickly fashioned me some makeshift clothing. He seemed to believe me when I told him I was that bat he had saved.
I quickly realized that something was wrong. He just looked so sad… I wanted to make him as happy as he’d made me. I could tell right away that he was a good person, so I had no qualms about pledging my undying gratitude to him. Shocked, he tried to dissuade me, but eventually gave in when I insisted.
He seemed to be searching for something, but, at first, he solemnly refused to tell me about who or what he was looking for. We traveled on in silence, and I always found myself blushing whenever he so much as looked at me. I knew straight away that I loved him, and I wished that he would love me in return. I was too shy to tell him as much; the time never seemed right. He was always distracted and pensive; in hindsight, he was as oblivious as I was obvious, and neither of us realized.
Things went on like that, like a daydream, for over a year. Finally, one night, he broke my heart without knowing that he did so. He had come to trust me enough to tell me the story behind his journey; he told me just who he was looking for. As he spoke of her, his eyes softened and he smiled gently. He had always looked at me kindly, but never quite like that. He never has, not even for a moment.
I wanted to leave right then and there; I didn’t want to look at him for a few days at least, or possibly even forever. But I didn’t go; I only listened. Each night, he told me more, and I began to realize just how soul-crushing his situation was. I knew without a doubt that he would never find her this way; he knew it too, but he refused to give up.
That was one of the things that I came to love so dearly about him. His spirit was so strong… It…It was torture, watching it get crushed and twisted just a bit more each day. He had been searching for over two years at this point, yet he still had hope. He kept a journal and filled it with the things he saw and the people he met, all so he could one day tell her about them.
He could not hide his suffering from me. There were many times where he told me that I could and should leave, that I should not be wasting my life following him around on a pointless quest. Sometimes, I was tempted to, there was so much to see in these worlds… But I stayed, because it was as clear as day that he desperately needed someone, anyone, to help stave off the darkness that was slowly engulfing him. I had hope too, and, even if I could not glue together the pieces of his shattered heart, I never stopped trying.
I couldn’t understand how anyone could consider him to be an evil demon, but some did. That is how we discovered what I could do. Whenever trouble arose, I could daze and immobilize out enemies while we got away. Eventually, I got strong enough to erase the memory of us from their minds. I knew I could do so much more damage, but the thought didn’t sit well with either of us.
Once, I attempted to use my powers on him. I thought that maybe I could take away all his suffering, that I could wipe his slate clean so that he could find happiness again. I was unable to follow through on it for a number of reasons. Emotionally, I couldn’t do that to him; I couldn’t erase such a huge part of who he was, and…it was true love. No matter what happened to him, his heart would never forget. My power could not match up against that.
However, there was something else that blocked my power, something that turns my blood to ice whenever I think of it. It was…aware. It knew I was there, inside his mind.
It was pure darkness. Its presence was relatively small at the time; its influence could only grow stronger.
That was the first time I ever felt afraid of him. I’d definitely violated his trust and, just for a second, I could see that darkness in his eyes. I murmured something about just wanting to help, but it didn’t matter. He never quite trusted me as much as he did before the incident.
After that, he only became more distant and cold. There were times where he thought he heard her voice calling to him, or that he caught a glimpse of her, her dress, her long hair, her warm eyes… He would realize it wasn’t real and was crushed all over again, as if she had slipped through his fingers once more.
A few months later, he finally succumbed to the Dark Prognosticus.
His father had shown it to him shortly before he met her; he was told that, one day, he would have to be its guardian. I suspect that’s when it first got its hooks into him. I refer to it as if it were a conscious being…because it is. I never read it myself, but I spent a great deal of time around it, and I could always feel it looking at me. W-Whatever it is, it’s truly ancient…
…I-I’m sorry, I got a little off topic there… You wanted to know how I could possibly have a ‘crush’ on him. You know, it really kind of hurts when people assume that it was only some silly infatuation. I…I loved him…
Sometimes, I still wonder if it was all my fault…if things would have been alright if I had never invaded his privacy.
Sometimes, I think it was inevitable, and I only sped things up…
Even after that, I still didn’t leave. He wiped out all the life in the dimension he was born in; the only being he spared was…was me. He even killed his own family, but not me! …Doesn’t that…show how much he cared about me? He still cared even though I hurt him…
So I stayed, because I still had hope even then. I wasn’t going to give up looking for her, even if he did. Besides, I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself, not after all the dimensions we traveled through together, not after those nights where we’d just sit by the fire and talk… Without me, he would have lost himself entirely. I was his lifeline to what little of himself was left.
Even when the others joined up one by one, he was never as close to them as he once was to me. He never told them why he wanted to destroy everything, though they caught him crying once or twice. But I know he did care for them, because I do as well. I’ve always looked out for them, especially now, since all we’ve got is each other…
So, I guess that’s the story of how I became a part of the group that wanted to destroy the universe… I never wanted things to go so far, but I just couldn’t fill that hole in his heart… Seems like nothing can fill the hole in mine, either…