I'm a bit confused with how it all went. Because I don't remember all about the planning sessions. XD Don't bite my head off.
-Aya did not kill off Kikyo in the endless rain.
-The story was basically that Aya didn't waste Kikyo after all but left him to choose whether to bleed to death or get a new life, but instead, Kritiker decided for him and shoved him into some laboratory to brainwash him? Because he still possesses the skill he makes a perfect killing toy that doesn't have much conviction left...
-And then when Omi discovered this later on, he used it shamelessly in his advantage, because we know what a bastard the genki brat really is.
-When Aya discovers this, he makes plans and 'rescues' Kikyo who doesn't really want to be rescued because of... medication addiction and his unreasonable bloodthirst that runs his life now?
-And now they are somewhere in Europa, Aya hasn't told yet where and why. Did I get it right?
Waiting. Aya hated waiting. Nothing really was so frustrating than staring down at a unmovable body layed down on a bed, waiting for them to wake up. There were not easy words to describe how much he hated it.
The apartment wasn’t really dirty, only poorly cared. Paint was peeling off the walls in long chunks, plastic carpet floors blistering at the corners and the old smell of dust and softening wood tinted everything within the walls with a feel of years of ignorance. It was not a place Aya would have wanted to own, nor rent, but it was perfect for the use he had for it now. The only things he had brought in few weeks ago when he had been here the first time were a bed, some clean clothes, sheets and food. He already had left a note at nearby shop that he needed home delivery. And he would probably be doing lot of cleaning in the next few weeks - to defuse his own frustration.
He sat at a three-legged chair at the middle of an empty floor, dressed in all black and watching Kikyo sleep. His bags and belongings he had taken with them were at far corner, some wood and tools lying at the opposite wall and evening sun setting in colorful mist trough thin, partially broken Venetian blinds, door to the French balcony was open because he wanted to let the fresh air in. Until Kikyo would wake up.
Yet as it was, Kikyo had been living within waking dreams for as long as his memory went back. How many years had it been since he had lucid thoughts, aside from the sporadic moments of consciousness that came and went? And even those moments he would rather chase away so he could stay in the comforts of oblivion forever.
There, under the influence of mind numbing drugs and deceptive whispers, he could pretend like none of his previous life ever happened. It didn't matter that there was something artificial about his reality. All that mattered was that his fingers could occupy themselves with what they did best, and that his mind could justify his every move. Only sometimes, if he was too careless, his psychotropic trip would run its course and he'd find himself breathless and heaving, trapped within the contours of his mind. Like now...
He could feel the walls closing in, forcibly pulling him from his reverie.
Where was he? It was cold...so cold he was shaking uncontrollably. It wasn't going to stop. Kikyo gasped, eyes snapping open but for that moment they saw nothing.
Nothing changed in Aya’s expression as Kikyo started to wake up. He had been staring at the man’s face for a little eternity now, tracing the pale skin, memorizing the raven hair again. Peaceful, more so than ever before.
For a moment he had wanted to kill Kikyo again. Just pull out his katana and shove it right through slowly beating heart within the chest rising and lowering under white, immaculate clothes Omi had dressed him in. Would he stay that peaceful in death too? Or would the expressionless calm fade away when blood stained the pure white?
But moment passed, and he knew that haunted gaze would be breaking out behind the lids he already saw blinking open, bitter - invisible for him before, now too clear and taunting - line of his mouth curving and tainting every word that would pass those lips. That couldn't matter anymore. He had once let Kikyo live, he would not kill him now. If Kikyo could, then Ran could too. He had to believe in that.
As the slim body on the crisp sheets begun to shake uncontrollably, he got up silently. Throwing his long, crimson braid to his back, he walked to the bed. No hesitation, just gracefully slow in his motions, he sat down beside Kikyo and placed a cool hand on the man’s forehead.
Aya's hand descended from the white nothingness that were reflected in Kikyo's hollow eyes like an apparition barely in focus. But it was more his touch that startled the waking man, grounding him to reality with its presence.
Who was this? Kikyo's wavering gaze took in the sight, darting across the features of Aya's face as it shifted within his blurred vision. Though the answer was still in fragments within his mind, he could sense something familiar in this man. It was his scent, subtle and yet still seared into his memory somehow.
With trembling fingers, Kikyo grabbed at his own upper arm to stop himself from shaking, but his body would not do his bidding. He couldn't do this alone. He needed something...something now. His body demanded it.
He parted his lips, parched and pleading. But all he could utter with his hoarse voice was one word--
“Doesn’t matter,” Aya answered slowly, violet eyes studying the shaky body before him. He still didn’t know what Omi had kept Kikyo on for those long years the older man had been the young Takatori’s plaything.
He wiped off the cold sweat pearling up on Kikyo forehead with his calloused fingers. He had an extensive medical cabinet at the toilet, that now smelled like chlorite, but to know how to treat Kikyo he had to know first.
“Kikyo..” he begun, doing nothing to stop the violent trembling of the other’s body. “..how do you feel?” He was sure he had been going to say something else but the question felt like a reasonable one so he didn’t change it.
"I..." Kikyo began, but stopped, squinting up at Aya as his consciousness began to swirl, rising up from its slumbering depths. He knew this face. It was the face of his other self. The last time he had seen it, he was supposed to die. Like a soul reaper from the other world, this man had arrived to deliver him from the hell of his own mind.
But instead, he left him hanging on, clinging to this world with just a thread of life and the absence of hope.
He pulled himself up, leaning his palm heavily against the mattress to support himself as his fingers curled even tighter around his trembling arm. His cloudy eyes darted from the bed, to Aya's face, to the window outside and back to those violet eyes. He couldn't remember how he got here, nor how it was that this specter from his past appeared before him now.
And Aya was wrong, the "where" did matter. It mattered because Kikyo needed access to the things that kept him distant enough from the voiceless memories in his head. Where those things were, and when he could get them were the only things that mattered.
Dark and lusterless locks slipped down from his forehead, falling across Kikyo's eyes.
“They call me Aya,” the redhead murmured calmly. Violet eyes scrutinized Kikyo’s face, falsely composed, denying the fact that Aya felt anything but comfortable at the moment.
He couldn't quite wrap his mind around the fact that Omi was responsible for this. It hardly was the first time he'd seen a mark of taint in Kritiker. But he had though Omi still innocent for the crimes some of his underlings committed.
Apparently he still had his work cut out for him with Weiss. Aya had wished that he was finally free, free from all the teammates and could stop caring.
But first, Kikyo was what mattered at the moment. “How do you feel?” he asked again. “I need to know,” he added almost softly, resisting an urge to brush aside the raven hair falling over Kikyo’s eyes.
For a moment Kikyo's eyes looked almost lucid as they watched this younger man at his side. But the moment passed, his amber gaze veiled once again by an artificial blankness.
"Aya," he whispered, his lips curling just slightly into a twisted smile. He didn't ask him why he had changed his name. Maybe it was a symbolic thing, discarding one life for a new one. It wasn't a foreign concept for Kikyo. It made no difference to him, for names were just names. The past still followed no matter what you called it.
"How I feel?" He chuckled softly. It had just a hint of madness in its tone. "Does it really matter...?" With shaky fingers, Kikyo pulled away at the covers. He could feel the throbbing need in his veins already, the cold sweat breaking across his skin. He had to get out of here.
Aya closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. He had not slept for more than 24 hours by now and it seemed he would be staying up for longer still. He stood up, making room for Kikyo as the older man started to shift. The door was locked from the inside, the only key in Aya’s pocket and there was no other way out than through the French balcony, flying across the air down all the three levels.
“Suit yourself,” he murmured. It would only be more painful for Kikyo
himself to get rid of the drugs in his body if he didn’t let Aya to help.
Moving to the balcony door, he picked up a cigarette package from the windowsill and lit up. He leaned to the metal railing as he sucked the smoke in. He hardly was the same boy anymore that had worshiped every word falling from Kikyo’s lips. But seeing the older man like this, like he had been in Kritiker’s cell, struck a cord deep within him, causing a spurr of bloodlust that was quite a rare occurrence nowadays.
Kikyo staggered to his feet, pressing his fingers against the wall beside the bed to steady himself. Nothing in this room felt recognizable, and its sparse, shabby furnishings hardly provided even false comforts. Under his fingertips, the cracked paint scraped off in useless flakes to the floor.
Wherever he was, he had to find his way back to the only thing he knew. This place was too foreign, too vacuous to contain him. And the presence of Ran just confused him more. Maybe if he got his fix, he could form coherent thoughts.
"I have to go back.." he uttered, not really addressing the other in particular, but just speaking the one thought that kept repeating in his mind.
A small cruel smile spread over the redhead’s lips as the setting sun painted his unmarred skin with feverish glow. Aya kept his gaze at the horizon over the rooftops of the surrounding buildings. He had been waiting this. He wondered what lies Omi had fed to Kikyo, what kind illusions he would have to break. Life had been so different after he had left Sendai.
He didn’t bother to elaborate. Not yet. The end of his long braid was resting heavily against the small of his back, hip cocking out in seemingly lazy angle. Ran – no, Aya Fujimiya was not the same person anymore. Kikyo probably had changed as well. And still there was a connection, something almost palpable in the air.
"Hn.." Kikyo grunted, still with his back to Aya as he took a few more steps forward on his unsteady feet. His fingers curled under his hand, bringing with them chips of dried paint that pressed against his palm. He slumped against the wall with his shoulder, falling silent for a moment.
Aya was never a man of many words, even as a teenager.
Now that same young man was here in this room, speaking to him like a parent to a willful child, compelling him to stay with no explanation. Kikyo didn't need any explanations. He was too far gone at that moment to care why his former teammate had materialized from his hazy memories and to bring him here.
Chuckling bitterly, he said in an edgy voice, "Did you miss me that much?" He turned slowly and looked at Aya from over his shoulder, a pair of deceptively calm eyes that narrowed just a little.
Stumping the cigarette to a small glass jar he had found from the cupboards (it still smelled funny after soaking it in chlorite for hours), Aya turned slowly to look at Kikyo. He leaned against the railing and was distracted for a moment to follow the dance of dust in the air between them. His stubborn nature compelled him to answer no questions when the only answers he got were only questions themselves.
He did realize he was far too wired up, but that tended to happen when you were stealing from the organization that you had lived and breathed with for the passed ten years. When his eyes finally met Kikyo’s the hard shell of ice was thinner than usually, a flicker of emotions visible at the cool depths of violet gaze.
“Why were you killing for him?”
"You found me after all this time and that is what you wish to know?" Kikyo laughed softly, as a look of dark amusement passed across his tired features. "But then...why should it surprise me, when you have asked me this before?" Always, the question of 'why'. Just like back in Sendai, when Aya confronted him and demanded the same.
Why are you doing this?
The answer was still the same. Because he had to. To take away the breathless chill inside his veins. He could never stop until he yielded to that insatiable need. Omi had fed this need, recognizing a tool he could use to full advantage. So Kikyo gave him what he wanted, to receive that which he needed in turn.
He staggered on some more, only a few feet away now from the door.
“What do you want me to ask, Kikyo?” Aya started softly.
Oh, the time he had spend thinking while Kikyo had slept, topics he never before had dared to confront, matters so deeply repressed he hardly knew how to start up with them anymore. And still after thinking them through, he didn’t know what Kikyo was. Trust broken? That was what he first thought when he questioned himself. He hated backstabbers. Used, that was what followed right after; the fear of lossing so familiar in his mind – all those heartbeats for nothing?
“You want to get down to it? You want me to ask why you left me all alone when you seemingly died? I don’t care if you have killed. My hands are stained with blood – so much that I can never wash it off. There is no rightful murder, so there is no reasons either.”
He stepped away from the balcony door, closing it behind him just in case. “The door is locked,” he finally told Kikyo calmly.
And still there was the recognition, the almost touchable connection between them. Something that made his head throb in time with his heart. Something that made him do all this, risk everything to take Kikyo away from there.
"No, there are no reasons. And yet you still ask me why." Kikyo turned back as he approached the door. Despite what Aya just told him, he reached for it still, clasping the knob and uselessly trying to turn its unyielding lock. He closed his eyes, resting his forehead against the cool surface of the door while his fingers curled desperately around the knob.
"Is that what you really want to know, Ran-kun?" he murmured, his voice slightly muffled against the door. "Why I left you..?" He left him because he had no choice. He couldn't do it anymore, deceiving Ran. No...deceiving himself. His shoulders were visibly shaking as his body began to cry out for the toxins that kept it whole.
"Had you discovered how I was really like, I would have been dead to you already." Kikyo gripped the knob tighter as he hissed, "Now open this door."
“No,” Aya answered again, taking few steps towards Kikyo. “You’re not going back.”
None of them had had it easy; he had seen Ken slip into his insane blood thirst, Yohji into his delusions. He had almost given up himself when he had been stabbed after Weiss had disbanded again but he had not let Kikyo live just so that he could continue this delusion. There had to be something left within that was worth saving!
“Do you know what kind of medicines they gave you?” His voice was cold, uncaring even but within him the burned the same flame that managed to flare up only for his loved ones, never to himself, concreting his firm resolve.
It took every effort for Kikyo to suppress a rising sense of panic in his blood. The remnants of the drugs were draining from him as they spoke. Soon, too soon it would come...the fits of unbearable pain and hallucinations that crashed down with force when his chemically induced stupor dissipated.
Swallowing hard, he set his other hand against the door beside his face, curled into a fist. A low chuckle resounded from his throat, soft but eerie.
"I don't suppose you are asking me because you plan to give them to me..." he purred darkly. Kikyo peered over his shoulder at the younger man as he approached. His amber eyes looked taunting and yet somehow desperate. "...are you?"
Cold violet poured into the feverish sun of Kikyo’s amber eyes; Aya looked at the older man for a moment silently. Then he snorted, voiceless steps taking him to the kitchen, past Kikyo without a second glance. There was no reason to continue this game of questions, the only ones answered were the easy ones. And there was just too little of those.
“Sit down before you fall over and I’ll bring you tea,” he said, unaffected by the other’s tone of voice.
Kikyo watched in silence as the younger man coolly walked past him to the kitchen. Even in his less than lucid state, he noticed how the years had changed Ran - no...Aya. He saw a loss of innocence and the cold distance in his heart. And yet if he listened a little closer, he may have heard that his heartbeat had not changed. Steady and still echoing of compassion, though Aya may have claimed to have lost it years ago.
He turned from the door, leaning his back against it as he slid down to the floor.
"Ran-kun..." he whispered, tilting his head back against the door as his arms came to rest weakly by his side. "You cannot keep me here."
Despite everything that had happened between them in Sendai, Kikyo still didn't want Aya to see him like this.
The stove was hardly clean, the white paint peeling off in big chunks and sickeningly orange rust pushing it’s way through to the surface. When Aya set the burner on, a bitter smell of smoke invaded the dusty apartment. He set a small kettle on the heat and begun to prepare the tea. He had brought a little pot with him and some tea leaves. The scent of the tea that tried in vain to rival the sour smell of smoke managed to calm him a little.
He didn’t waste any time beyond letting the tea steep for a moment; he used the time for spreading the insecticide in the corners of the kitchen and behind the stove. Then he poured the steaming liquid to two cups and headed back to Kikyo. He paused his voiceless steps beside Kikyo and kneeled down, closer to him than was comfortable and offered the cup at his former mentor and a lover.
With reluctance, the older man took the offered cup, clasping it with both hands. They shook a little still, unsteady in their grip as the contents of the mug quivered from the motion. He peered up at Aya from behind his curtain of long dark locks, wispy stands of raven black. But he couldn't keep the gaze, for there were questions there he couldn't answer. Kikyo lowered his lids, letting his long lashes rest against his pale cheek.
The subtle aroma of tea wafted up with the steam, but could not induce the man to drink. This was like the calm before the storm. Kikyo knew with certainty the future that was to come. If Aya didn't release from here....if he wasn't going to get what he needed.
Kikyo didn’t see the soft frown on the younger man’s brow as the redhead crouched beside him for a moment. But even if his eyes were cast down, there was nothing wrong in his ears and he could hear the deep sigh falling from his lips before Aya got up and walked away.
The evening stretched quietly between them. Neither one of them eager to break the awkward silence, deep within their own thoughts as they circled around each other. Kikyo crawled back to the bed and fell asleep while Aya was cleaning, somewhere around midnight.
Hours later, chlorite still stinking in his nose, the redhead pulled a blanket over the shivering, sleeping form of Kikyo and listened to the hitching breathing for a while. It wouldn’t be this easy for a long.
But this was what Aya had to do. Just had to.
He dozed off at morning hours, sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall where he had been watching Kikyo sleep. He dreamed of Aya-chan, of Koneko and Shion. There, in the realm of not yet in sleep and still not awake anymore, his resolve was adamant, there everything was so clear and simple, black and white. But comes the morning and everything will be painted with the rusty sunrise, in countless colors of hesitation and fear.