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Love Is Blind

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I walk on bare feet.

It's not because I believe it to be more comfortable, because it's really not. Small stones, hot sand, wood…

I have to. I can't see. I can't see the large rock in front of me.

And I can survive like this. It's difficult, because I can't work and no man wants me. Not that I want a man. I have no interest in men.

I can feel a storm rising. I can sense the lowering temperature, so nightfall is probably near.

I have been like this for seventeen years. Seventeen years of not seeing a single thing. My father and sister, who I lived with, died three years back. I’ve lived on by myself, begging for single scraps of bread. I know I'm malnourished. Whenever I touch my chest, I just feel my ribs poking out.

My dress is ripped, uneven. Its beautiful whites have probably turned brown in my travels. It's the last thing my father had given me before his death.

A horse neighs. I'm on a path, I think. A man grunts.

Something tugs at my hair. I wince, trying to get away. He's stronger than me. A cry rips from my throat.

The man laughs. I can hear him. Tears are in my eyes and I'm shaking. I'm scared. People have been trying to kill me for years, since I'm useless blind. These past years I have been fleeing, running from everything, everyone. I can't defend myself.

Then everything's quiet. I tilt my head and reach above, to where the man held my hair. I only feel stone. I twist my head in different directions.

“Don't look at me, I’ll turn you to stone too,” a feminine voice says. She sounds closeby. Close enough, in fact, to gently pull my hair from the stone man's grip.

I smile. “Thank you for saving me,” I murmur, trying to face the lady who saved me.

“Don't look at me,” she insists.

I reach out. My fingertips touch a soft shoulder, cloth draped over it. I trail my fingers down her arm and grasp her hand. She doesn't move.

“I can't. I'm blind,” I say gently. Her fingers curl around mine, almost protectively.

Her other hand touches my forehead, traces the long scars over my eyes, forehead and cheek. I close my eyes.

“Does it hurt?” she asks, pausing and looking for permission.

“No. I have been like this for most of my life.”

Her fingers continue along the rough scars, touch featherlight. She doesn't wish to hurt me, unlike many others I have met.

“My name is Charissa,” I introduce myself.

A huff of amusement passes her lips, and I can feel it on my face. I hadn't even realized how close she was standing. “Medusa. Do you want to come with me? I have food,” she says.

“I haven't eaten in two days,” I say, giggling a bit. “I'd love to.”

Medusa doesn't release my hand as she leads me along the shore. It's like she's afraid the sea will take me with. Like Poseidon will claim me.

I am worth nothing to the gods. Sure, I pray, but if the representatives of the gods on earth had any say in it I would be long gone.

Disposed of the moment they realized I would never be able to see anymore.

A door creaks, and I can already feel myself warming up as I step inside the cabin. Medusa steps arounds me and closes the door, before she releases my hand and walks away. Presumably to get food.

When the table is set, she grabs my hand again and leads me toward it. The smell of food reaches my nose, and I release a relieved sigh.

The chair scratches against the wooden floor as she pulls it back for me. Medusa gently leads me into the seat. I sit down and turn myself toward the food.

She helps me. She hands me a piece of bread, she puts wine in a cup and wraps my fingers around it. She lets her own fingers stay curled around mine for a little, her warmth seeping into my cold body.

She treats me like royalty.

“What happened to the man who grabbed me?” I ask quietly. I try to show in my voice that she doesn't have to answer, but somewhere I know she will.

As I chew on some bread, she speaks up. “Athena herself cursed me. Everyone who looks at me is turned to stone. That is why I didn't want you to look at me,” she says. She sounds calm, though there's a deep regret somewhere in her beautiful voice.

“Why did she curse you?” I ask, my voice barely above a whisper. She piqued my curiosity.

It's quiet, and for a moment I think she's not going to answer. “Poseidon forced himself onto me in her temple. Athena does not listen to reason. I was too beautiful, she said.”

“Well, I think you're beautiful,” I say, trying to lighten the mood.

Medusa laughs. I love her laugh already. “You can't see, though.”

“You have a beautiful voice,” I continue. I feel myself shying away from adding a flirtatious tone, but really, it is unneeded.

She stutters for a bit. “Thank you. You look beautiful,” she then states.

I giggle again.

 

--

 

I stay with Medusa. She helps me learn how to take control of my life. I help her through hard times.

I love her. I love the way she laughs when I say something funny. I love the way she somehow can't figure out her words when I compliment her. I love how she traces her fingers along my scar like I'm the most fragile piece of art in existence. I love resting my head against her shoulder and feeling it move up and down slowly as she breathes. I love the way she crawls with me into bed, unafraid.

I love her.

 

--

 

We stand in the waves. The water laps at my knees. Medusa is holding onto my arms, and I can only imagine her bright smile because I know she's smiling. I want to see the way her eyes twinkle. I want to see her grinning at me.

She releases one arm, hooks it around my waist instead. She tugs me closer as the storm rages on. My hair is in my face. She releases my other arm and brushes the strands from my face, pushing her fingers into my hair like a clip. Her palm is pressed against my jaw, her thumb gently running over my temple.

I touch her wrist with my hand and trail my fingers up until I can wrap my arm around her neck, my other quickly joining it.

She leans forward, her forehead pressed against mine. She continues until our bodies are pressed together.

She tilts her head and touches my lips with her own.

I feel starved. I reach for her, try to get her closer. I kiss her back like I'm about to lose her to the wild waves and strong wind around us.

Every single one of her touches is featherlight and yet desperate. It's not a dream. It's not perfect.

It's with her, though. That's all I want.

 

--

 

It's stormy. I'm naked. Medusa is pressing lazy kisses to my shoulder and throat, any spot she can reach with me laying half on top of her. It's nice. I'm happy.

“Medusa!” I hear a man call. I hold my breath. Not many know her name. Not many know where she lives, even less come here without the intent to kill her.

I take my white gown off the floor and pull it on. The bed creaks. Medusa is moving too.

She kisses me, desperate. Even she seems to think this is the end. I don't want to believe it. I'm not going to believe it. She's not dying. Not here, not now.

“Medusa?” I whisper, my hand on her arm and not letting her go. I know she pauses. The motion under my hand stops.

She takes my free hand in hers. “Charissa, my Love, my Dearest. I love you so much,” she says. She presses a kiss to my lips, to my forehead, back to my lips.

“I love you too…” I know I sound terrified. I know I'm shaking. I know tears wet my cheeks, I know she's pulling me into her arms and hugging my tightly for what may be the last time. I love her so much.

She presses another desperate kiss to my lips.

Someone knocks on the door. Rather, he nearly smashes it with the force of his hits. I wince.

Medusa releases me and walks past me to chase away the man.

I can hear her losing. I run outside, desperate to protect her.

The man's blade pierces my abdomen. I have never felt pain like this. Never.

I can hear Medusa cry out to me. “Charissa!” she yells, throwing herself in front of me.

I smile. “I love you.”

 

I see her.

I see her.

I wake up and I blink and I see a pair of eyes watching me.

“Chari?” she asks. It's still the same gentle voice I got used to living with her. I reach out and press my hand against her cheek.

“You're beautiful,” I whisper, undoubtedly smiling. She really is. I want to grab her and kiss every inch of her beautiful face.

Her eyes shift from my face to our surroundings, before she looks back at me. “You can see?” she asks.

I nod.

A surprised laugh leaves her lips, and she presses her forehead against my shoulder.

“You're beautiful ,” I repeat. It still feels weird. I haven't seen anything since I was nine.

And then she's looming over me and kissing me and I close my eyes and I feel alive despite it being clear I no longer am.

But she's here and I can see and I'm not stone, so we're fine. We're alright.