Prompt: You cannot change what you refuse to confront. – Unknown
Word Count: 1489
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).
Summary: Nezumi spends most of his life running away. He spends the rest pining for Shion.
and i will never want much more
He touches you and you remember you’re not supposed to trust anyone. He smiles, brown eyes wide and untainted by the darkness eating away at the edge of your sight.
You know it’s a stupid decision, letting him near you with a needle filled with an unknown amount of anaesthetic. You can’t trust him, your mind repeats, but you give yourself up when he holds out his hand anyway.
“You’re strange,” you tell him. But you don’t tell him how odd he makes you feel. He looks at you curiously and doesn’t understand why.
“You didn’t even ask for my name.”
“But I haven’t given you mine either,” he says.
You know his name, though. Shion, his mother calls him. The word rolls off your tongue the way you didn’t expect it to. New, yet familiar.
He asks for your name and you could have lied but you tell him the only name you’ve ever known. Nezumi. Rat. You laugh to yourself, your name seemingly fitting for someone who broke into his house during a raging storm, looking everything like a drowned rat.
He hands you a cup of hot chocolate and the warmth almost suffocates you. It reminds you too much of his pulse against your fingers when you pinned him to the wall. You’ve realised, right at that moment, that he’s softer, warmer – everything that you are not and everything that you’ve longed for.
You mockingly call him defenceless and he gets defensive. You secretly enjoy watching him when he’s all flustered and tongue-tied.
“I don’t know,” he mumbles at the end, a frown on his face. You breathe in sharply. He is soft and warm, you think, and the chill in your bones starts to mellow out.
“Thank you,” you say, lightly. Something in you breaks when you realise you meant it.
He’s naïve. Too curious for his own good. You pin him down again, sliding the rim of the spoon against his neck. You expect him to get angry and reject you. He does none of that. Instead, he holds your hand. Holds you and all your broken pieces.
So you close your eyes and you let his presence burn beside you.
He touches you and you forget how it feels like to feel empty, with a gap in your chest. You call him names and you make him frustrated. You try to shake that feeling off, and just like how Lady Macbeth hurries his husband to wash his bloody hands to rid them of his sins, you wash your body with cold water to cleanse the ghost of his skin on your skin. It doesn’t work. It never works.
You tell him he would break himself, being attached. But you don’t tell him that it broke you too, leaving him on that bed four years ago. You don’t tell him that. Instead, you feed him lies, saying you only saved him because you owed him your life. He eats it up and self-hatred sits in your stomach likes heavy stones.
That feeling turns to horror as he starts to scream and whimper. White noise gets drowned in the heartbeat against your ear and your hand shakes uncontrollably. He cries. He gives up before you do. You shout at him and you don’t remember what you said exactly but it seems to work and he stops struggling. That night he sleeps in your bed but it’s not the way you want him to.
You find him half-naked in front of your mirror three days later. You kneel down and you force him to look at you. You ask him questions that you’ve asked yourself countless times on lonely nights before. His eyes flutter close, avoiding your gaze.
“Nezumi, I want to keep on living,” he whispers, and that’s good enough for you.
He gets quiet when you present him the raw and uncensored version of reality. It makes you uncomfortable because you can deal with him talking and arguing. That’s Shion for you. It’s not him when he’s silent.
“I want to know the truth,” he stands up and you let go. “I want to know what’s real and what’s happening to the world I live in. I want to see its true form.”
You huff out a small laugh and there’s warmth in your chest that you refuse to acknowledge.
You show him reality.
He touches you and his lips taste like unsweetened tea and horribly constructed lies. The irony is that you’re supposed to be the one who spin lies like it’s second nature. Not him. What’s even more pathetic is that you unwillingly feel jealousy and bitterness burning in your throat. You know he’s chosen her over you.
“That’s not a kiss of gratitude, is it?” You ask.
“It’s a goodnight kiss,” he smiles and he’s clueless of how you feel and what you’ve done for him and him only.
They’ve been right. He’s made you soft. It explains why you’re angry at yourself instead of him when you swallowed your pride and asked Inukashi for information. It also explains why you hate that their voice rings in your head, shouting almost painfully, “If he’s so important to you, make sure you protect him with all you’ve got!”
He leaves. You pretend it doesn’t break you.
You punch him and he punches you back.
“I want to be your equal!” He yells, clearly in distress. “But you keep on obsessing over NO.6, treating it like it’s disposable. You don’t try to understand me. You look down on me and won’t tell me anything…”
“Don’t you dare,” your hands shake as you grab onto his collar. “You’re the one who doesn’t understand how important it was to me when you saved me four years ago.”
He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know how you were going to give up because you thought it was impossible for someone to help you without asking anything in return. He doesn’t know how much he’s taught you and how it became a part of you.
He doesn’t know how much he means to you.
So you tell him and you don’t regret it.
(but you keep the fact that you are head over heels in love with him to yourself.)
He touches you and a sob is stuck in your throat. Your head is under water and you’re drowning. Both you and his hands are soaked in blood. It’s your fault. A repeated mantra in your head. It’s your fault it’s your fault it’s your fault and you can’t stop blaming yourself because he’s the gun and you pulled the trigger.
“It’s all right, Nezumi. It wasn’t your fault,” he says, with the softest voice you’ve ever heard him use. He doesn’t blame you. “So don’t cry.”
You look up and you watch him through your tears. He smiles and you remember how it feels like to be twelve again, running away and desperate to survive. He bandages you up and you remember how it feels like to be saved by someone so beautiful, so bright. He shows you kindness that you don’t deserve because your hands were made for destruction and violence, while his was made for something and someone better. Someone that isn’t you.
You reach out for him and his fingers find yours. He holds you, like always, and for once you’re glad you’re selfish.
So you want him to believe that you used her if it means it will make him feel better. So you push him away and you take the bullet for him if it means he would live.
He dies and you die with him. Your wounds are bleeding and Inukashi is screaming at you. You don’t notice when they leave because all you care about is an empty body and its cooling warmth. You’re numb enough to not feel the coldness sinking into your bones. But it’s there, and you know it is.
You want to scream you want to shout you want to say his name but there’s ash in your lungs and sand in your mouth. You know he’s never going to reply you.
So you sing.
(and you hear him call your name again.)
You touch him and his lips taste like salt and nothing and everything all at once. There are tears in his eyes and you want to tell him you’re proud of him. You want to tell him you would start wars and burn down the world for him. You want to tell him you want him. You want him so much that your heart (that you thought had long stopped beating) aches for him.
“You’ll be fine,” you choose to say instead. He looks at you, eyes bright with burning flames, and nods.
You leave. You don’t tell him how much you love him.
(he knows, though. he loves you, too.)
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