Author's note: No real spoilers here—just a bunch of speculation on Legato's origin, and how he met up with Knives. Since Nightow-sama gave us very little backstory on everyone's favorite blue-haired psycho boy, your idea of Legato's past may differ greatly, in which case, I encourage you to write more fanfic. ^_^ Big, big thanks to Teep, who not only inspired me with her fantastically described ideas, but also served as one hell of a beta-reader, critic, and supporter.

None of these characters are mine, I am not making any money off of them, blabbety blah blah. Please do not appropriate or copy without permission.


by Rachael Haring


July City Children's Asylum stood near the center of town, its sharp-angled, dilapidated shapes like a cluster of toy blocks plunked down by a careless toddler. Moonlight painted its walls a pale silver and glinted upon the dusty window sills; the stars hung contentedly overhead, dotting the sky with diamond-cast specks.

Within the largest room of the asylum, the night's deep shadows embraced a multitude of huddled, slumbering shapes. Nearly fifty of the city's forgotten, abused, troubled children lay on their cots, their eyes closed and twitching in dreams, their small hands grasping thin, stained bedsheets. They seemed to breathe as one, the gentle sighs accompanied only by the occasional slide of cloth on cloth and the listless hush of the desert's breezes as they brushed through the open window-holes.

All was still.

And in the corner, one child lay awake, helplessly listening to the mingled clamor of fifty sleeping minds.

Legato Bluesummers, ten years old. A strange and solemn child with unnaturally blue-colored hair and a gaze like that of a demonic cat - golden, piercing, and devoid of emotion. His lips never smiled. His voice, when heard, was little more than a monotone. But for all of his physical and mental singularities, the other children never called him "freak," never teased him, never beat him. In fact, they never talked to him at all. They avoided him, moved from his path, fearfully watched him as one might watch an unpinned grenade.

Even children can recognize a shattering mind.

Midnight passed, giving way to the first hour. Legato's disturbingly wide eyes stared at the peeling patterns of the ceiling, but he saw nothing but phantoms. Words and images, dreamlike and nightmarish, spooled through his mind like an unrelenting shadow-play, forcing him to watch, forcing him to hear. And though he struggled to quiet them, he could not stop their shapes from drifting constantly over his consciousness.

No, Father, don't...don't leave me here...

Hi! What's your name?

Down came the rain and washed the spider out...

Where did you go, Midori? Midori!

In the spring, the sky is bluer. Don't you think?

Legato blinked slowly, and a nearly inaudible whimper escaped his dry lips. He hated this. He hated these thoughts which were not his own, these images he didn't invite. And yet they came, every moment. He couldn't remember the last time he had actually slept well. There was never any rest from the mental barrage.

Never. Not in ten years. Not ever.

Sometimes, he couldn't even hear his own thoughts over the din. Sometimes, he gibbered nonsense aloud, just to hear a voice that was his own. Sometimes, he screamed. And sometimes, he cut his skin with glass and rocks, as if to make an opening for the voices to escape.

It never worked.

His mother, cursed with a dead husband and a hopeless life of prostitution, had never had the patience or willingness to deal with such an obviously disturbed son. She had never asked him what was wrong. She had never held him when he blithered and cried. She simply pretended that he didn't exist, never realizing that he desperately pretended the same thing.

Legato heard her thoughts, too. He listened to her as she mused over his worthlessness, as she hated, as she blamed him for every shortcoming of her life. When she beat him, she cursed him with both her lips and her mind. He heard them both. He felt them both. The unbidden words were as unavoidable as the blows.

And when she had finally taken the gun to her head and blown her wet, pinkish brains all over the dusty floor, Legato felt nothing but relief. One more voice was gone. One more hateful, imperfect, bitter voice was gone from his head. Forever.

It made him wonder what the world would be like if all of the voices were silenced so completely. It made him wonder if it had been his own thoughts which silenced her. Perhaps she could hear his mind, too. Perhaps everyone could, and he could subject them to the same hell, if he only tried hard enough.

Then, they would understand what this was like. Then, they would hate as he did...

Suddenly, a boy to his left shuddered in the grip of a nightmare, and a deluge of terrified mental screams washed over Legato's mind. Legato gasped and rolled onto his side, curling away from the pain, hot tears leaking from his tightly squeezed eyelids, but still the horrified cries tore at him. Abject fear tightened his chest until he could barely breathe, and his blood turned to ice.

I can't...I can't take this...anymore, he thought through the wailing agony. I need to...I need...

The small blue-haired boy sat up on his cot, frantically kicking the sheets away from his legs. He lurched to his feet and stood absolutely still for a long, long moment, his bare feet against the iciness of the boarded floor, his lungs choking with sobs, his mind reeling with noise. He stared at the open window across the room and watched as his streaming tears melted and blurred the beams of moonlight, creating tiny prisms and softening the edges of his sight. Another dark and shrieking nightmare attacked his brain, and his body jerked with the impact.

Insane, he thought, his disoriented rage growing with each second. I'm going insane. I am breaking.

All around him, the frames of the children's cots creaked and rattled faintly with an unseen force. His own cot trembled behind him, its feet creating tiny squeaks as it slid across the boards. He felt every one of the children's minds calling to him, singing to him, torturing him. They spoke of human weakness, and human fear, and human imperfection. They cried and mumbled and whined, all of them pitiful and ugly and useless...

I hate you. I hate you all. I want you to stop.


Instantly, as one, the children stopped breathing. Sleep-misted eyes popped open to stare into cold shadows, and small hands scrabbled at throats, but there was nothing to grasp onto. There was nothing to fight. There wasn't even enough air for one final gasp.

There was only...death.

A sudden and overwhelming emptiness descended on Legato's mind, as if every last bit of air had been violently knocked out of his lungs. He fell to his knees, gasping in the cool night, his tears spattering to the rotted boards below him.

What had he done? Where had the voices gone? Were they all...were they...were they all dead?

But as he knelt there, his small frame heaving with distress, he knew that he was not free. More distant, quieter voices drifted into his mind, always uninvited, always present. He would never be free from them, as long as humans existed. As long as he existed.

I have to get away.

The asylum's door was locked, but as Legato ran towards it, the rusty lock mechanism literally snapped itself off of its fixture. The small, blue-haired boy hurtled through the doorway and into the street, his sight blurred, his pulse pounding in his ears. The night was chill and gusty, and the desert wind pulled mercilessly at his poorly-mended shirt, whipping the fabric aside and chilling his half-bared chest. The city was like an ancient graveyard, grey and still and saturated with death; Legato could do nothing but run, his eyes streaming warmth, his mind a disjointed mess of fury and fear. He didn't know where he was going, and he didn't care. He only knew that he had to outrun the pain, outrun everything and everyone. If he never stopped running, perhaps he could find somewhere where the voices didn't reach...perhaps he could be alone in his head for one moment...

And then, suddenly, without realizing how, he was sitting hard on the gravelly ground. He had run into something, his muddled mind told him, and he raised his weeping eyes to see a tall, masculine figure looming before him.

The full moon created a brightly silver-edged halo around the man's pale, short, spiky hair and cast his face in shadow; Legato breathed in a deep and ragged breath, watching the stranger's form with catatonic fascination.

Slow, silent moments passed, and still the man stood over him, unspeaking, unmoving. Legato's eyes darted over the man's strangely tight-fitting attire, his well-muscled form, his straight and confident posture. The breezes whispered between them, ruffling Legato's hair and cooling his sweat-soaked temples. He wanted to run, wanted to get away from the voices which still assaulted his brain, but he was held in a strange and silent thrall.

Suddenly, the man stepped forward, and Legato found himself scuttling backwards on the dirt, his heart leaping against his ribcage as if it were frantically trying to escape. He moaned softly with terror as the cold solidity of a shop wall met his back.

The man crouched before him, and finally, Legato could see his features clearly.

Ice blue eyes. Golden hair. Flawless, porcelain skin. Soft lips curved into an expression of all-encompassing warmth and welcome.

Legato had seen a face like that before. Once, when he had stumbled into a church after his mother had gotten drunk and locked him out of their squalid apartment. There had been a marble altar in the church, and to either side of the altar was a smooth-limbed statue with wide-spread wings and indescribably beautiful features. It had smiled like this man, with acceptance and care. It had reached out to him with thin, perfect fingers, inviting him to salvation.

An angel.

And like that angel, this angelic man was beckoning. Legato's keen golden eyes watched the angel's hand as it reached out to him, as two cool fingers gently touched the fevered skin of Legato's forehead.

Legato's entire world seemed to recede into blankness, tremble, and then slowly return to him, one sense at a time. He smelled the dry, powdery scent of the desert. He tasted the thick, tearful saltiness of his sobs. He felt the loose sand under his fingers, the cool night air on his face, the wall against his back. He saw the beautiful angel-man, still smiling benevolently, hand pulling back from its touch.

And as Legato listened to the sounds around him, he realized that the ever-present voices had stopped.

The uninvited images had faded to nothing. No dreams accosted him, and no words slid over his own thoughts. His mind settled into a strange and wonderful peace, and he heard only the faint breath of the wind. The light chirps of distant crickets. The angel's deep and mellifluous voice as he deigned to speak to the lowly boy before him.

"What is your name?"

For a moment, Legato could only stare, but then his tongue finally found the strength to answer.


The angel's smile grew to a new height of beauty, if such a thing was possible.

"Legato," he repeated slowly, letting the name roll delicately from his lips.

A painful, pleasurable chill ran along Legato's spine, and he shivered uncontrollably. He had never heard such a powerful, entrancing voice. He had never heard his own name pronounced so beautifully. He wanted to thank this golden creature for conquering the terrible voices, for giving him such wonderful peace, but he couldn't seem to form the words. He could only stare, wide-eyed and rapt.

He could only wonder.

He could only adore.

"You have a great power within you, Legato," said the angel. "But you can't control it. You're too weak, too small, too young. That's why I'm going to save you, Legato. I'm going to teach you. Do you understand?"

Legato's eyes once again spilled over into tears, but these tears were different than any other tears he had ever shed. He wept for gratitude, for awe, for joy. He nodded dreamily, losing all sense of self in those blue, blue eyes. He would do anything this angel told him to. He would devote himself to this heavenly creature who had freed him and cured him. For this gift of healing, Legato would be his, forever and ever.

The angel stood, once again towering over Legato's prone form. He extended one steady, beckoning hand towards the trembling child, still smiling beatifically.

"Walk with me, Legato."

© 2001 Rachael M. Haring