Written for the Heroes challenge at Temps Mort. Decided to take a bit of a Greek twist to the hero thing. Spoiler for the anime/manga, in relation to Ohtori and Shishido.


Tragic Fall
by Vul


You were the first to notice him, before he ever though to notice you. The first you ever saw him was at a distance, as it always is. He was someone above you, a deity to be placed upon a pedestal above the masses. You knew that was the way things were, the way they always would be, yet for you there was something different about him.

Perhaps it was the way his hair swung about him, tied high in an expression of shallow vanity and overflowing pride. Perhaps it was also the way that pride was present in every action he took. From your eyes, each step he made was planned, each breath he took, intentional. He was full of everything he was and everything he did.

Many saw that as an asset, they saw it as a wonderful thing to have pride in one’s thoughts and actions.

You saw it as a flaw. You saw him for the Greek idol he truly represented, for the tragic hero awaiting the fall.

What others saw in him as pride, you, almost bitterly, saw as hubris.

You would speak not a word of it, you were far too polite in your ways and in your manners to say a single word to him. He was, to you, an elder, and therefore to be respected. It was against what you had been raised as to speak against your elders.

You also wondered, softly at the back of your mind, if you ever could speak to him on the topic, even if your manners did not confine him. There was something in the harsh edge of his eyes, the small quirk of his lips that told you every word you spoke to him would be disregarded in his eyes as something inconsequential, unimportant.

He had his pride, and, from what you saw, that was all he needed.

He had no need for your words or what you could say or do to help him. He had his pride.

For the most part, you did not mind. You were content to watch him from afar, the first to notice him before he noticed you. You at times felt a sort of wondering adoration toward him. He was, as always, the Greek idol, the perfect image that you felt one should strive for. He was a small portion of perfection, gifted down by the gods on high.

In your eyes, he was beautiful, yet in your eyes he was flawed.

You felt, for him, a sense of anger, almost irritation. You wished, somehow, that he could see beyond that flaw. You saw before him the fall that would come, the tragic fall taken from his own overwhelming pride. That fall would break him, it would leave him without the certainty that he now had. Within yourself, you wished to save him from that, to keep him from the fall.

You would not, however, speak out to him, tell him what you saw and what you knew, tell him the knowledge that you had to save him from his fall.

He did, after all, have his pride.

If he was as proud as you saw him to be, he would not take his aid from one such as yourself.

You watched him, from afar, and you grew more to adore him. As the days stretched on to glistening slivers of sunset and radiant glows of sunrise, you found your adoration for him grew, as the slightest disapproval that you had waned.

The way he tossed his deep brown hair to shake off the sweat from his hard work done no longer struck you as an arrogant gesture, it was beautiful. The smirk of his lips, both sardonic and mocking was no longer a thing that reviled you and made your stomach churn with distaste and hatred, it was fitting, it was handsome. The harsh and cold edge of his eyes, the angry but firm quality that they held to all other people within the world was no longer a thing that scared you, it was something you wished to wash away.

Much as you wished to save him, you wished to change him. In showing him the fault of his flaws, you wished to open him to the world as it was. You wished to expand his view of the world beyond the jaded vision he held in his too-proud eyes. You wished to make him see things as you saw them, in a glowing light where all could easily be changed for the better.

You did nothing, though. You waited, you watched. Your heart fell when you saw his pride grow upon him like a ravenous monster. Your spirits dampened when you saw his flaw come to the fore. Things that you had seen him once do with grace and elegance were now sloppy and mistake-ridden. His fall was eminent, you knew it was coming.

You were not there the day he fell, but you knew it happened all the same. You knew when the fiery pride was gone from his eyes. You knew from the slump of his shoulders, the slack in his posture, the lack of sharp biting words he cast at those who were around him.

You did not need to here the announcement made to the world to know that he no longer had the pride he once treasured. You needed no reminder to show to you how your tragic hero had his fall.

You had not been able to save him, his fall had come as you had seen.

But in the end, it was not you who went to him. You would not approach him in his state of defeat, you did not dare to go near him as his life before his eyes had been broken.

It was he who came to you. It was he who noticed you, before you noticed him.

It was he, humbled by defeat and in realization of the dangers of the pride he had once carried himself with, who came to you, who noticed you. You had not expected him, nor had you any way to know of his coming, but he came to you all the same. He put himself down before you, he as one who was above you asking you for your help.

You knew you had the power within you to save him. He knew you had the power within you to save him.

Yet it was he who came to you, and it was that which made the difference.

You had seen him, proud and tall upon his pedestal of uncertain pride and vanity. Now you would see him bruised and broken, one upon the ground who strove to climb the ranks to where he once had been, now lifting himself up from the bottom.

And through it all, you would be there to stand by his side,

It was you, through your skills, through your work, that brought him back. You knew, without a doubt, that you would grant unto him anything that he asked.

To him, he was your hero, your Greek icon, your perfection. Within yourself, you would do anything to return to glory what once had been for him.

And so you did.

You built for him a foundation upon which he could stand. You made, of him, a true icon, a true idol, a true hero, one who was without his flaw, without his pride. You gave to him what you felt was true beauty. You softened the gesture of his ways, you opened the closed doors of his eyes, you warmed the harsh smirk with a smile.

In the end, though, it was he who cut away the vain representation of his pride, letting the locks which you had once so admired fall to the ground in a symbol of his won true defeat.

It was within that action that you saw him transformed.

You felt your heart swell with a truer sense of adoration and admiration for who he now was. Your spirits were upon the clouds of air when you knew at last he had become what you had wished for him. His grace had returned, refined and strong, and he was now no longer to you like an idol, but now like a god.

Though at first, it was you who had noticed him before he saw you, in the end, it was he who saw you before you noticed him.

And through your bonds and what you had built together, you transformed him, within himself, to one not built on pride, but upon the truer strength of the ages.




The End

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