His hands were warm and gentle and her tears still flowed.
Slowly she nodded, hesitant, and chakra flowed, becoming a small blue sphere hovering in midair, sapphire eyes focusing upon it as she filled it with memories; she didn't feel safe enough to open their minds to each other with her usual method, so instead she was basing a new seal off of her existing knowledge, tweaking and adjusting until she had something that would work....
And when it was done, she hesitated, her gaze meeting his.
"Otoha... I love you. And I'm sorry that you're going to go through this... because you'll be seeing my personal hell."
And then she softly kissed his forehead for a long moment before settling back, still holding tightly to his hand as the chakra sphere touched his forehead.
In retrospect, it was easy to see the changes, to see the signs.
He had left on some journey, wouldn't tell her where he was going, talking her out of coming with him.
Time had passed, and she'd grown more stressed and frustrated with each passing day--the memories skimmed through here, skipping ahead--until he finally returned, but she didn't really see the changes. His hair was darker, his body was tattooed with seals that she had never really thought to ask about, his golden eyes had become encrusted with dark flakes, even his body changed somewhat, but she didn't notice, she was too happy to have him back--
Sebokik-sempai left, and Otoha became Commander, and she became his Captain--
The days moved on normally, up until their second Yuki Ball; Raika had actively invited them both this time, and Omoi was worried that the Ball might end up like the last one, but he had reassured her that nothing would happen. And then they were inside, but suddenly he excused himself as a scent from an invisible man wafted by, hardly noticeable amidst the crowd; she certainly didn't notice, too frustrated with his abrupt departure and too focused on greeting Recruit Hachimon. But Hachimon had amnesia, and her frustration grew as she looked for her beloved in the crowd and he stopped to chat with a strange female even though she knew he could smell the distress in her scent, and she wasn't sure how to handle the situation, but then Recruit Hachimon started acting strangely and marched off into the crowd, intercepted by Supaiku-sama and then retrieved by Otoha while she was distracted by an old acquaintance greeting her before he, too, left, and by then Otoha had met Tsuuki-sama and gone outside with Hachimon--
Omoi approached, asked if she could join them quietly, Tsuuki-sama giving the go-ahead as she slipped out behind her beloved, noticing Apollo-san in the shadows--
And then came the strange revelation of Kumo's impending destruction from Koji-san, one of the Yuki princes, and Tsuuki-sama suspected Otoha but she protected him and Tsuuki-sama turned back away--
And then Ryuuchi-san had shown up and Koji-san had flipped out and attacked him and Apollo-san moved to chase the boy but Otoha slammed the man against the wall, telling him to sit and watch, and she sent a message to Raika who joined them and tried to stop Koji-san but Ryuuchi-san moved her and handled the situation without violence--
And then days were passing and her beloved withdrew from her, never showing her affection when she didn't show it first, and then they woke to a mission call and they went to the village vaults, bringing Hachimon along--his memories returned during the Ball, though his time lacking memories erased from his mind--and she and Otoha went into the vault, and Hachimon stayed outside, and her beloved put up a barrier of light, talking about how this was the only place in Kumo they could talk freely after hugging her close for the first time in weeks, but there was a strangeness and she didn't notice--
He asked about Kaitou-kun, and she told him how she had met him recently, how she was almost ready to save him, how he had so little time left, and Otoha told her to deliver a message to him--
And suddenly pain burned deep, and her blood was a fine mist in the air as he grinned, dark-evil-dark-malice as she fell, so much of her body gone and her blood flowing out and not enough left to try to heal herself as he told her to tell Kaitou-kun that he didn't want another man playing with his toys, calling her a toy as the light fled and it was just darkness and the Kinryu had run away and her vision kept fading and blurring and all she could see was red from the pain, and he told her she wouldn't die, he'd call for Raika, but Raika couldn't heal that kind of damage, only Omoi could, and he left--
Raika came, and Raika was helpless, and Nihon-san was there too and panicking, and then a stranger came and sent them both out to do their duties and he healed her, and it hurt and all she could do was hurt and scream her beloved's name and claw at her rescuer's hands until it was done, and she was laying bare in a pool of her own blood until he lifted her into his lap and covered her with a blanket, and she thought of the ring he had given her and phased it out of her heart in time to see the light die and the sapphire crack, and all she could do was cry for him and hurt--
And finally she left the empty vault, money gone--gone when her love had left with Hachimon? she didn't know--and wearing clothes the man who had healed her, Kiyoshi-san, had given her, too weak to form her own scale-clothing, and they walked among the chaos that filled the village, and the scent of fire and death and blood and the sounds of screams and shouts and battle were everywhere, and she nearly got hit by a mass of chakra shot from a crazed bijuu she only learned of later on--
And she found a rooftop and sat on its edge, watching him fly out of the ruins of Raika's hospital as a great black dragon with pupils of red, and Ryuuchi-san following after him in battle, but she knew her beloved was too strong to die, even as she sat with her face and body a mask as calm as Raika's had been when she broke, but her tears were endless and deep within her emotions were a storm threatening to break her--
And Raika's dragons were massacred, and there were unfamiliar airships, and death all around, and then her instincts sent her to him, and she betted on Kiyoshi-san's unwillingness to let someone he just saved die, and she blocked Ryuuchi-san's attack that could have seriously hurt her beloved, and Kiyoshi-san blocked Otoha's attack that he had intended to send through both Omoi and Ryuuchi-san, and then Ryuuchi-san left after she told him to go back to Raika, because Ryuuchi-san and Raika were in love, and she turned to him and told her Raika never could have saved her, and he shrugged and pointed out that she was alive before he left, not caring, and she left, too, not wanting to stay and unable to follow her beloved, travelling with Kiyoshi-san.
It was later that she learned from Raika that Otoha had been the ones to let in the enemies, that Ryuuchi-san had attacked Otoha after smelling Omoi's blood on him, that her beloved's survival medal had been found stuck into the mouth of a corpse's head that had been placed atop the Captain's statue like a hat, that Otoha had cut off his own arm during the fight with Ryuuchi and replaced it with the black-and-red dragon arm he had used until after Omoi had attacked him herself, that the village had been destroyed and blown up and such a tiny fraction of the villagers even survived.
And months had passed, and she had left Kiyoshi-san's company, and she had saved Kaitou-kun, and friends helped her become less broken until she could be herself again, and she had thought and theorized that the Kuroryu, the void from her love's exam, the demon staring at them from the mirror in that dark dimension, that he had come with the Kinryu, and as long as her beloved stayed strong the Kinryu kept its twin in check, but then somehow he had weakened and she hadn't noticed and the Kuroryu had beaten the Kinryu and he was the one staring out at her from her beloved's eyes, and she had to kill a dark god of fate to save her beloved, she had to, but she didn't know how yet, and she would find a way, she had to, she had to--
And then today had come and she had sensed something was wrong and had come and stayed hidden to witness Raika and Otoha talking, then fighting, hearing their words and seeing the cruel smile twisting her beloved's face, watching the battle, finally pulling Raika back to save her life as he tried to do the same to the sennin that he had done to her, witnessing everything, witnessing the Kuroryu demand Raika's dragons in order for him to let the villagers live, she denying and stating that she no longer had a way to after nullifying her contract, heard him suggest he keep her company since she had to be lonely after Ryuuchi-san had gone crazy again and left her alone, and she denying again and drawing her blades and the battle starting--
And she had saved Raika, and attacked him, thinking the change in his scent and voice was another of the Kuroryu's tricks, thinking that she would attack and attack and attack relentlessly until she could capture him safely and take him away from the world before more blood was on his hands, since she couldn't save the villagers, but then he was breaking too quickly and his defenses were falling and it didn't make sense, his regenerative ability shouldn't be so weak, and then she had brought him into this pocket dimension, believing that the dark god of her beloved's bloodline was still the one in control until she realized it was Otoha, not the Kuroryu, and she didn't know why and it didn't make sense and she couldn't help but wonder if it was a trap but he was here, he was finally beside her again, he was finally himself, and even if he was dangerous she had missed him so much....
Omoi was still holding his hand tightly, sapphire eyes on him, wary and uncertain and waiting as her seal showed him the memories she'd put into it in a matter of seconds.
(Kudos to Arzur for making the pic! ;D )