Chapter 5 - Waste Land
has a tantrum. Among other things.
The Incorruptible (5) Waste
Love is blindness
I don't want to see
Won't you wrap the night
Take my heart
Love is blindness
"Flesh is weak."
He clutched the cape to his
chest as he climbed. He could feel his heart beating against his hand, through
the material, each pulse as slow and heavy as his footsteps as he struggled up
the staircase. His breath came in desperate gasps, echoing in the darkness
around him. He pushed hard, driving himself cruelly, towards the cold ceiling
He was nearly at the top
when a wave of dizziness washed over him. His knees buckled and he fell against
the stairs, one hand still grimly clinging to the steel railing. He struggled,
and after a time managed to drag himself upright.
berated himself through clenched teeth. He was too weak, too human. His lips
burned, they tasted of Takeru. The words beat against his brain.
"I won't leave,"
he hissed into the darkness, words punctuated by a leaden footfall on the stair
above. He tried to ignore the thrill of hope that leapt inside him at the
memory of the words. I won't leave.
Don't leave me.
Stay with me.
He struggled for breath. He
ached, all over. His body ached inside, his soul ached.
"You can't stay,
Takeru," he whispered as he pushed himself higher, "Don't you
"I won't be
Not for you.
He reached the top, fell to
his knees, head thrown back and staring upward. His chest heaved. He wanted to
pray, kneeling where he was in the half darkness at the very top of the
staircase. He felt his eyes slide closed; he was dizzy, he was going to fall
backwards, slide down the stairs, fall into the pit all the way to the bottom
where the carcass of the dead thing lay and he would be swallowed forever by
He spread his arms, lifted
them up over his head, felt his fingertips brush the steel above him. Lips
Come to me.
"I need you."
Come to me in this
darkness. Don't leave me. Touch me. Love me.
His arms fell, hands came
to rest on his shoulders; he hugged himself loosely.
exhalation of air as he climbed to his feet. He kept his head bowed, shoulders
met the metal above. Gently. He reached up, fumbled for the latch. Yes. Pushed
Pain. The light boiled in the sky, it burned.
He clawed at his face. Where were his lenses, his glasses, his protection? Why
were they gone, why was he naked before the brilliance of destruction? The
gloves were soft, they did no damage, and after a brief moment of panic he
stopped, inhaling sharply. Because he remembered. The glasses were gone.
Takeru had removed them.
He was blind. His eyes
bled, he could feel the wetness spilling down his face, his neck, splashing on
his chest. It felt warm, hot. Were they tears? He tasted salt on his lips, but
it was blood, it must have been blood, or else how could it hurt so
much? How could it blossom in his head like that, ache like that, how could it
be a bright white pain that spread through his head and down the back of his
neck and burn with coldness unless his eyes were leaking blood all over his
perfect pale white skin? He moaned, pressed his gloves to his eyes, felt
wetness soak into the material. No good. The brilliance burned, somehow,
through his hands, through his skin, the radiation like a flashlight shining
behind them in the darkness.
He struggled to stand, and
to pull his hands away. To see, he wanted to see. The pain in his head
was in his whole body now, dull and white, crawling up and down his spine,
sometimes a stabbing at the backs of his eyes, sometimes a crushing tightness
in his chest...he drew a hand away, stumbled slightly, forward, closer to the
edge. The brilliance glared off the metal beneath his feet, off the distant
horizon, gave every object a halo of redness as though the soul of the world
were bleeding out into the air. He covered his eyes again with a cry of pain.
he heard himself whisper, "So sorry...." No, he had to see. He jerked
his hands away from his face and opened his eyes wide, forcing them open, even
as they filled with tears again. It was cold where he was. He couldn't think.
His heart was beating, he could hear it pounding against his ears, he could
hear his own pulse throbbing in his throat, he could hear his breath. He
grabbed the side of his head, one hand digging into the scalp, under the thick
hair. He whispered.
A tiny noise made it
through his lips, but he fell again, and this time he couldn't get back up,
just sat there on the cold surface of the deck, one hand on his head, staring
out into the red light. He could feel warmth spilling down his cheeks, his mouth
was open slightly and he heard himself breathing. It wasn't so bad now, maybe.
It was...he could feel, a little bit. He could see. Whiteness. He stretched out
a hand toward the horizon. His vision was blurry, it doubled and split apart
and ran together again, eyes drying out. He stretched out both hands, leaned
forward. Reaching for the sky, that was bleeding, and the edge of the earth, and
the end of time.
He felt his hands touch the
surface, he crawled forward, pulling himself. The metal stopped. The coldness,
it stopped. Why did it stop? He looked down. Fingers at the edge of greyness.
The world fell away below him. Or was it rushing up towards him? He couldn't
move, watched the stone spin beneath him, buckle and climb upwards. Towards
him. Was he falling down? Was he going to reach it? He would reach--he
stretched out, stretched his hand, down, forward and down. What was happening?
Where was he?
Want to hear, want to
Things get lost.
He was pulled. His head
jerked back, up, staring into the sky, and he screamed this time, twisted away,
covering his eyes. He was being fought down, he slammed against the steel,
knees on the surface, elbows on the surface, covering his eyes and hearing his
own gasping breathless cries. A body was against him, arms around him,
clutching at the cape, pulling it up. He heard short words, felt hands grasping
his own, then something was pressed against him, against his face, and the
world was dark again and cold and the brilliance of fire died away in shadows
and quiet sanity. His body relaxed, he felt himself leaning.
Looked up at Takeru.
"Your eyes are too
sensitive," the blonde boy said.
In a parked car
In a crowded street
You see your love
Thread is ripping
The knot is slipping
Love is blindness
There was a smell in the
Takeru looked up.
"What's that?" He
The Kaizer was breathing
hard, eyes squeezed shut behind the glasses. Takeru still had his arms around
him, holding him as he trembled and shuddered. He stroked his hair a little and
the boy opened his eyes.
For a long moment there was
no recognition in the boy's eyes. He stared up glassily at Takeru, then
blinked, slowly, and his lips moved.
repeated, shifting a little. "Can you sit up? Come on, try. I want you to
The Kaizer suffered himself
to be set upright, and Takeru released him cautiously. He stared around himself
as though he had never seen the place before. He reached up to touch his
"What is that?"
The Kaizer followed his
He bit his lip.
They were still topside,
sitting on the fortress, and it commanded a panoramic view of not only the
earth, but of the overarching sky. It was into the sky that Takeru was
pointing, far away, where the horizon was not orange, or red, but dark. Black,
shot to his feet. He ran back towards the hatch, then past it, trying to see
clearly. He shaded his eyes in the red brilliance, squinting. Darkness, and
shadows on the land....
"Why clouds?" he
asked, turning, and at that moment a gust of wind struck him, smelling of
ozone, rain, and something else.
The Kaizer mouthed
"Why?" at Takeru, and the wet wind struck him too, blasting his hair
back. He looked over Takeru's shoulder.
magnetosphere, the, uh, the climate zones, the natural, natural, um...."
he looked down, at his gloved hands that were splayed on the steel beneath him.
"The destruction, the heat, the swelling of the sun, the water--the water
cycle, evaporation," he shook his head, still staring down. "Storms.
There will be...storms."
Takeru spun around. The
wind swelled again, stronger this time, struck him with force. He stumbled
backwards. The air was cold, it drove at his naked arms and face, at his body
so used to the desert heat and light. He could see the clouds now. In bare
seconds they had become visible, huge thunderheads racing over the earth.
Lightning flickered, arced between the sky and ground.
"We have to get back
inside!" he shouted. He hurried toward the other boy, grasped him by his
"Can you stand?"
The Kaizer looked up at
"Wait," he said.
"Wait? For what?"
"I want," he
struggled to stand under his own power, swaying slightly, and pulled the cape
around his body. "I want to see." The look he shot Takeru was almost
one of challenge.
"I want to see,"
"We--we'll get blown
The Kaizer's face was pale,
but his lips quirked slightly in what could only have been a smile. He shook
his head a little.
"Wait," he said
again. He turned, and the wind slid along the surface of the deck and slipped
under the cape, lifting its edges. The boy released where he had been clutching
the material, lifting his arms slightly, letting the wind blow through his
fingers. Takeru stared in horror as the clouds surged closer, and when the
first thunderclap shattered the air he doubled over, clutching his ears.
"Come on!" he
shouted, even as the wind grew into a low howl and the first drops of rain,
driven on the vanguard of the storm, spattered against him. He grabbed the
other boy, forcing his arms down. "We have to go inside!"
The boy let his arms be
pushed down, but his feet remained planted, unmoving. He turned his head, that
same faint smile on his lips.
"Why did you do it,
Takeru?" he asked.
tried to turn him, but the dark boy was steadfast. He seemed suddenly to be
entirely unaware of the approaching darkness.
"Why did you do
it?" he repeated. "You don't love me. Why do that?"
"I--" He looked
at the storm again. "I didn't--I mean--"
The boy's smile was sad,
and he wasn't looking at him anymore.
"We have to go inside!
We can't stay out here anymore!" More rain sprayed across the deck, driven
in silver curtains. Takeru turned his head, shutting his eyes, but didn't
release the boy.
"You don't love
dammit!" But he wouldn't. For all the boy's apparent weakness, Takeru
could not turn him. His feet shifted, slid, but he was staring down smiling at
nothing, and somehow Takeru's strength was not sufficient.
"I won't leave without
you! Come on!"
The Kaizer raised his head,
looking out into the sky.
"There will be
storms," he said absently, and he stepped forward, somehow, breaking out
of Takeru's grip and walking into the rain even as it intensified. It lifted
the cape entirely and blew his hair back, and a cloud spat lightning that
turned the deck eye-searingly bright. Takeru shouted into the thunder.
He couldn't hear his own
He leapt after the other
boy, reached him in three steps, grabbed him and spun him with all the force he
could muster. The Kaizer cried out, and Takeru lost his footing on the slippery
deck and they both fell, crashing downward, and the Kaizer struck the back of
his head and there was the sound of metal against metal and the boy arched his
back in pain, and dug his hands into Takeru's arms and then fell back, panting,
and Takeru looked down.
He grasped the glasses and
pulled, and they came away and he saw where they were shattered irreparably,
the broken edges dark with blood. He threw them away and they skittered across
the deck as fresh rain burst over them, drenching Takeru to the bone, soaking
the Kaizer's face and hair. His eyes were fixed and staring, past Takeru, and
his hair was all around his head, smooth and shining and liquid blue-black.
Takeru leaned down, forced his head to turn, forced him to face him.
He kissed him violently as
the beginnings of the storm broke over them, kissed him until he tasted blood
and he felt the boy begin to struggle, hands squeezing his arms, legs kicking
"Get up!" Takeru
shouted, jerking the boy to his feet. He propelled him towards the hatch and
wrenched it open, half-pushed, half-lowered the other boy down, and followed
him as quickly as possible. Lightning arced across the sky and thunder split
He shut the hatch.
Love is clockworks
and cold steel
Fingers too numb to feel
Squeeze the handle
Blow out the candle
Love is blindness
Love is blindness
I don't want to see
Won't you wrap the night
Oh my love
The Kaizer was sitting on
the floor, staring at his hand. Takeru came over and took it, peered at the
edges of his fingers. Blood shone in the soft light.
He looked up. The boy's
hair hung in wet strands all around his face, not straight down but not in the
thick dry spikes to which Takeru had become accustomed. It was somewhere in the
middle, wild like ropes of dark silk, shining with water. Takeru reached
around, behind his head, tried to be gentle but the boy jerked away, made a
noise of pain.
just--" he tried again, "I just want to see how bad it is.
pl...." His head was turned away, but he was trapped between the wall and
Takeru, and despite the blonde boys' hesitancy he couldn't escape him. He
cringed when the boy's naked fingers came to touch the back of his head, where
it was warm and wet.
"It's not so
bad," Takeru murmured, "Just broke the skin a little--"
Fresh thunder drowned out
the rest of the sentence. Both boys looked up.
"We should go
lower," Takeru said, reaching out without thinking to the other boy. The
Kaizer shied away, scrambling to his feet on his own, leaning heavily on the
railing. Wet hair fell across his face.
He began to descend with
difficulty, not speaking. Takeru, after a moment of watching him in silence,
moved to follow. He hung back several steps, though, letting the boy go ahead
Halfway down the long stair
the Kaizer stopped, sinking to his knees on the steel floor. Takeru hurried to
reach him. The boy was breathing hard.
"You kissed me,"
he said, shutting his eyes, naked in the light. Takeru stared down at him.
boy demanded, hissing the word. "I thought--I felt--I wanted--" His
head fell to rest against the railing and his eyes opened, fixed Takeru with
"You made me
Takeru burst out. His face flushed, he could feel the heat in his cheeks and
throat. "I didn't want to leave you there! I--I didn't mean--" he
broke off, looked down at his hands.
"I didn't mean to hurt
you," he said quietly.
The boy sat looking at him
for a long time, then reached up, pushed his hair out of his face, and stood
again, with difficulty. He stretched out a hand to Takeru.
"Help me," he
said. Takeru stared at it, then stepped down, grabbing him and pulling him in.
Together they descended,
and by the end the Kaizer was leaning against him entirely, barely able to
stand on his own. When they reached the floor Takeru looked at the boy's face.
His eyes were closed and a fine sheen of sweat glistened on his skin. Takeru
took a deep breath. Without even speaking, he took the boy in his arms and
swept his feet off the floor, lifting him as he had done twice before. The
Kaizer made a small noise but did not open his eyes.
He followed the corridor as
it wound through the fortress, down several more staircases, deeper into the
belly of darkness. Occasionally he passed walls that must have been close to
the outside, and he could hear the storm raging, terrible and impotent. The
wind howled like an animal, as though the whole world had gone mad and was
tearing itself apart in a last desperate attempt to purify itself and destroy
the virus that lurked in its flesh. Once Takeru stopped, lowering the boy to
the floor, and stared at the wall. The Kaizer murmured but Takeru was listening
to the staccato, arrhythmic beating against the walls that must have been
stones and earth, picked up and hurled with terrific force against the hull. He
swallowed. Perhaps the world was an animal, perhaps it was aware of his
presence and sought to destroy him along with the Kaizer. When he shook his
head at himself and picked the boy up again, he could not shake the thought. He
looked down at the pale face.
responsible," he heard himself whisper, "I'm as guilty as you."
He came in the end not to
the Kaizer's room, which he had intended, but to the observation deck, and
stopped in the doorway to stare at the horror beyond. Blackness. All was
blackness, and driving sheets of rain, and hail that punched into the glass so
violently Takeru could not imagine that it would not shatter under the
pressure. Lightning flickered, exploded, lashed at the clouds and the earth and
He felt the Kaizer stir;
the boy's eyes were opened again, and he struggled a bit, pushing against
Takeru's chest. He lowered the boy and the Kaizer stood on his own, in the
doorway, one hand on Takeru's arm.
"It's us," he
"Us. It's us. It wants
to kill us." His eyes glittered. "But it can't. It hates us, but
can't reach us."
looked down. Neither one seemed to wish to move beyond the confines of the
doorway, and they stood there with the darkness gaping behind them and the
storm before them, and the Kaizer leaned slightly so that he rested against
"I'm dying," he
Takeru didn't respond.
When the boy stepped away
from him, he did not move to follow, simply watched him go forward towards the
window. He moved like someone in a dream, slowly, and halfway into the room he
stopped and turned, head to one side, eyes on something only he could see.
"What drives you,
Takeru?" he asked, reaching out a hand in the blonde boy's general
direction, though his gaze remained fixed somewhere else. Takeru licked his
lips. His mouth was dry.
you?" the boy asked again, dreamily, "What keeps you here? Is it
pity? Fear? Shame?" His eyes flicked, passed over Takeru's face, and they
were beautiful and distant and full of emotions Takeru could not even begin to
comprehend. In his pain the boy transcended him, in death he was beyond the
ethereal. Whatever dreams he dreamed were beyond Takeru's ability to
He wanted those eyes to
fall on him.
"What about you?"
he said, and cringed at the way his voice was harsh, focused, the way it grated
while the dark haired boy's floated in the air. It echoed behind him and Takeru
"What about you?"
he repeated, and now the Kaizer did look at him, briefly, and smiled again,
showing his teeth slightly.
"What keeps you
"Here?" The dark
boy opened his eyes and looked outward. "This is my home."
stepped forward, "There's another world for you. Another life--"
The Kaizer looked at him
"Are you going to save
me, Takeru?" he whispered, and for an instant those soft eyes were
piercingly clear. They pinned Takeru, then moved away, leaving his heart to
tremble inside his chest, leaving his palms cold.
"Is that what you
want? To do some good, even now? To be redeemed? Forgiven?"
shook his head, too sharply, too forcefully. "What are you talking
"Are you afraid?"
His eyes narrowed.
"I'm not afraid,"
he bit out.
he looked down, then shook his head again. "Not to go back, I'm not
"Not to see what
"I haven't done
anything! I never...hurt anyone! Anyone!"
Not Daisuke. Not
Hikari...all their pain, none of it was his fault.
"My fault," he
Takeru?" The boy was asking, from very far away, far away from Takeru. "Why
are you still here?"
"Are you guilty?"
He looked up.
"Are you like
buried his face in his hands. He sank to his knees.
"Are you sorry for
He was sick inside.
"Some of us can never
"I'm not like
you," he whispered into his hands.
But he could see her face.
And Daisuke, and Miyako and Iori. Daisuke and his cold control. Hikari, with
her savage darkness. Miyako's quiet, reproachful eyes. And Iori, in his anger.
Dead. All of them. Because of him. It had been him all along.
he whispered. "A monster...."
He was crying into his
A gentle touch on his head.
A hand stroked his hair.
He looked up.
The Kaizer's eyes were full
of tears, and when Takeru met his gaze they overflowed with sorrow. For him.
For Takeru. They were beautiful, heartachingly beautiful, he couldn't breathe
because of those eyes. Their brilliance, their depth, were so far above him,
yet it was his own face that he saw reflected in the black pupils. He turned
his head away. He didn't feel right, he felt far away from himself. The gaze
was enough to lift him up. He was above the pain, full and empty at the same
time. He shuddered. When the gloved hands slid down his face and came to his
shoulders, to loosely embrace him, he wasn't even looking at the boy, yet he
could feel his warmth, and the pressure of a body against a body, as the Kaizer
came to his knees and rested his own head against Takeru's shoulder. He felt
his body spasm as a sound that was not quite a sob and not quite a cry of pain
wracked him. He reached blindly for the Kaizer's sheltering arms, buried his
face against the smooth material of the uniform, and began to weep in earnest.
A little death
And no warning
Baby...a dangerous idea
That almost makes sense
He woke to darkness.
He sat up, sharply, in the
sound of the rain. The light--what had happened to the light? He groped, and
was startled to feel another body close by. The Kaizer stirred and murmured at
the touch. Takeru swallowed. He could hear the rain falling outside, feel the
coldness beneath him, enough to know that they were still on the observation
deck. They must have fallen asleep, together, hours after Takeru had cried
himself out, and the Kaizer had sat stroking his hair, murmuring shreds of
conversations the boy must have had in another lifetime. Takeru didn't mind. He
was used to the boy's distance, now, and those rare times when his eyes fell
upon him in recognition he felt a thrill akin to happiness.
He didn't believe the boy
was dying. He wouldn't believe it.
But what had happened to
all the light? He stood up with care and stepped over the prone form of the
sleeping boy. Thunder rolled outside, distant and low, and lightning flickered
on the horizon. The rain showed no signs of relenting but they had a reprieve
from the violence, apparently. He came to the window, ran his hands over the
glass, not surprised to see that the outside was pockmarked and glittering with
unevenness. There was a deep fracture in one pane, high overhead, and he
stretched his arms up to try to touch it.
He heard movement. There
was a presence behind him; he could hear, smell, feel. He turned.
"What happened to the lights?"
the boy said in hushed tones, as though afraid to disturb the overwhelming
silence and darkness. "Everything's dying. The power source...."
There was a sound like a sigh.
"You're going home,
though. I've made sure of it."
"I'm taking you with
me," Takeru said flatly.
He heard the Kaizer laugh.
He was beginning to be able to make out his form, now, and when the dark boy
laughed his outline blurred as his whole body shook. Takeru blinked hard. It
was difficult to focus in the darkness.
"You're going home,
Takeru," the Kaizer repeated. "I'm staying where I belong."
Takeru shivered. He stepped
forward but the boy was farther away than he had first imagined. His hand
touched nothing but air.
"I won't leave you
The Kaizer stepped forward
and grasped Takeru's hand in his own. He took a second step, and suddenly they
were very close.
"I don't want you to
go," the boy breathed.
"I--" he choked,
swallowed. It was suddenly hard to think. "I can't stay here."
"I know." He was
barely audible; a whisper would have been louder.
"You have to come
The dark boy grasped his
shoulders, pressed himself up against Takeru, head down. Takeru shut his eyes
"I've done terrible
things. I don't deserve to go back. I'm...I'm evil."
"It wasn't your
fault," Takeru said sharply, grabbing the boy, pushing him away. But it
was Hikari's visage that rose up before him, Hikari, standing far away,
standing on the water....
"People go away,"
the boy was whispering, "Everybody leaves me...."
"I won't leave
you...I--I'll take you back--"
"You said you would
stay!" The Kaizer raised his head, Takeru caught a glint of light off one
eye. Hands clutched his shirt. "You told me you wouldn't leave!"
Always telling lies.
Kaizer moaned, "Things and...people, everything gets
lost...lives....Lives, everybody leaves!" His voice rose to a shriek. His
hand became fists, slammed against Takeru's chest. "Everybody! Leaving
me!" Takeru stumbled, not in pain but in surprise, caught the boy
belatedly, as his back came up sharp against the window and he felt the Kaizer
collapse against him, pressing his face against Takeru's neck, whispering words
he couldn't hear.
grasped the boy. "I won't...can't stay...I...."
Do the right thing.
"They died," he
murmured. The Kaizer made a small noise.
He found his hair, tangled
his fingers in it, in its smoothness, gently, in its slick blackness. He was
looking for the side of his face, for his ear, his cheek, found his eye that
fluttered closed when his lips passed over his brow. It was dark, everything
was touch, and smell. And warmth, when his mouth came to his cheek he could
feel the heat beneath the skin, the scarlet blossoming, and he couldn't see the
Kaizer's lips part but heard the desperate sound that only an open mouth could
He tasted his skin, the
salt and sweetness, found the joint beneath his ear where his jaw met his
throat, heard the Kaizer whisper, "Stop, please," in a thick moan. He
fell against the glass, the boy fell, Takeru supporting him, pushing him,
finding the flesh under his jaw, feeling the vibrations in his throat as he
struggled not to cry out.
He pulled away.
"Killed them," he
He brought hand to the
boy's jaw, forced his head down, found his lips with his thumb and was rewarded
with a soft cry of pain and his lips parting as Takeru pushed against his
mouth. His hand came away and the Kaizer whispered.
breathed, and kissed him.
His hands found the other
boy's, open and grasping at nothing, and he grabbed the gauntlet at his wrist
and snapped it open, threw it down and heard it roll away. He pulled the glove
off and was rewarded with naked flesh. The kiss deepened, Takeru forcing
himself inside the boy's mouth and twining his fingers into his at the same
time. He didn't see his eyes fly open but knew that they had when he felt the
body jerk in shock at the unfamiliar sensation on his hand.
repeated, drawing away slightly.
God," the boy was breathing hard. Takeru felt his own hand spasm where it
grasped the other boy's.
the boy said, with difficulty. Takeru released his hand, felt it slide up onto
his chest, grasp at his shirt. His mouth tasted sweet and full of the other
boy. "I remember...he was quiet. So quiet...." Takeru, unable to stop
himself, drowned the rest of the sentence in another kiss, then pulled away,
closing his eyes, breathing hard. He swallowed.
"Daisuke Daisuke he
lay there bleeding, he bled, and then the fire, the fire, but his eyes were
open and I knew that he was dead...." the boy turned his head away and
Takeru reached up, pulled at the steel collar at his throat. His skin was warm.
"You believe me?"
The Kaizer asked.
Takeru closed his mouth
over the suddenly exposed flesh and the dark boy gasped at the contact, clamped
his hands on Takeru's arms. Takeru murmured into the shadow at the base of his
"You believe me?"
The Kaizer said again, and blindly sought Takeru's face, one gloved hand and
one bare trailing over his skin. "I saw them burning, I saw them burning,
screaming, Miyako screamed, and Iori, even he screamed, a little, and then he
died." Takeru shuddered at the other boy's touch, at the fire beneath his
skin. The Kaizer's whispers made his knees weak. The sound of his voice was
breathed, leaning in, feeling his knees go weak.
"Hikari, Hikari, she burned
alive...." The boy's voice trailed off in a cry as Takeru's fingers
moved over his belly, and then the blonde boy collapsed against his chest,
breathing hard, holding himself upright by clinging to his arms. The Kaizer
grasped him, held him, and they fell down together, dropping to their knees,
and then Takeru felt the cold floor beneath him and a weight on top of him, and
the image of Hikari seared into his brain and he screamed, he screamed
and beat his hands against the floor and tossed his head from side to side and
Hikari, Hikari was so far away, he could see her writhing in flame, burning
away, her skin and skull and hair...he was sobbing again with his mouth open
and his body jerking wildly, his hands clenching into fists and feet slamming
against the floor.
Until there was a cool
touch on his face, a gentle hand, smooth fingers trailing over his lips,
soothing him. He drew a shuddering breath, lip trembling in the inhalation,
felt the tears on his face, on his temples and cheeks, tasted salt as fingers
moved over his face and came back to touch his lips.
He reached up in the
"You believe me?"
The Kaizer whispered.
Love is drowning
In a deep well
All the secrets
And no one to tell
Take the money
The rattling crash of the
train split the afternoon silence, drowning all conversation and sending the
birds into flight. They launched themselves from the empty streets and took to
the air, winging away into the sunlight.
The boy on the corner
watched them go, shielding his eyes against the brilliant light.
"Aren't you supposed
to be in school?"
He looked around.
"Same goes for you,
Miyako," Daisuke said mildly.
He was squatting on the
curb, hands in his pockets, the very image of Japanese delinquency. Miyako
snorted, and shot a nasty glare at a passing woman who was staring at their
uniforms; both of them wore the strict military black of Odaiba Reform High
"Talked to Hikari
"Nah. She'll call me
when she's ready. I don't think she really wants to talk to anybody right
"I got a message from
him last night. He misses us."
Daisuke smiled slightly.
Iori was the only member of the now-defunct team to retain a more or less
normal life, somehow, and Daisuke made special effort to visit him whenever he
had the time. He nursed a quiet pride in the boy's successes, even as his own
academic career slid further and further into disaster.
He looked up. Miyako
shrugged. She had a cigarette in her hand and the smoke wafted over his head,
up towards the sun and the blue summer sky.
"No-one knows. No-one
can find him. It's like he disappeared off the face of the Earth."
Daisuke sighed heavily. He
took his hands out of his pockets and with his thumb traced the pale thin scar
that ran along the back of one hand and disappeared up under his sleeve. It all
seemed so far away now. Far away, and unimportant.
"I hope he's
all right," he said quietly. "Wherever he is."
Love is blindness
I don't want to see
Won't you wrap the night
Oh my love
Title: Love is Blindness
a note: in Japan people
hardly ever put their hands in their pockets.
I just thought that was
an interesting bit of trivia.
Stats for the song from
the previous chapter:
Lyrics: Peter Gabriel
Album: Volume I