Abyss-Pt.4

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T ( for violence, language )

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview :  To most people, death is the most horrifying thing. But to a certain youth, death may be the only escape from his current situation. If death was to free him from that man’s grasp, then so be it.

—–

IV.

Preview : The hand that clad in black glove was bought to the youth’s side, not to kill him but simply to give him a soft caress on the cheek. “Stupid”, his lips murmured, the word direct to the youth or himself he did not know.

 —–

Shiki never flinched when taking down a man.

When it came to killing, some found immense joy, some cowered with fear; for him, it was no more than a habit, a part of his daily life, like eating, like sleeping, too mundane for him to give it a thought while swinging his katana. He held neither pride nor gratification in killing, just carrying out the act with grace and utmost nonchalance, the way true swordsmanship required its practitioners. Had he been born in another time, perhaps the era when warriors were still in their glory, he might have become a warrior himself and had his name written in history, as either a hero or a murderer. If you came down to their nature, a hero and a murderer are not so different. Whether it is for a noble reason or a despicable one, in the end, killing is killing. As every life is of equal value, no purpose could justify the act of slaughtering.

So, Shiki had no qualms in killing. Neither did he possess the slightest sliver of hesitation.

Perhaps, long, long ago, when he had had his first kill, he had hesitated. Back then, he was just a boy who barely entered his adolescence. As a child constantly trained to become a shadow assassin, it was his very first mission. His target was a man twice his age and double in size, a towering man as compared with his lean, frail, teenaged figure. Though proud in his training, when confronting such an intimidating opponent, he had doubts in his sword. He was required to complete his mission as neatly as possible; yet, it was a bloody mess he had created out of his target, causing real fuss days later. But he could not careless since his mind was too occupied with one single sound to ever think about anything else in this world. The final, deafening scream of the man before he eventually met his end in countless slashes.

It was not an assassination, it was a massacre.

That cold night, while still remaining in his jacket from which the blood of his victim was still dripping, Shiki stepped into a bar on the deserted end of the town, the place where no one would pay attention to who you were or what the hell you did as long as you had enough cash, and spent his first pay to the last coin to purchase an amount alcohol enough to drown his mind. He did not even remember how he had gotten out of that bar and staggered to his shelter. Had his pursuers managed to find him, he would have paid dearly for his carelessness. Still, he deliberately drunk himself to the point his trembling hand was no longer able to hold his sword firm, otherwise that scream would refuse to quiet down in his head, keep challenging his sanity.

First kill, first drink. Those were what he could never forget.

Anyway, it was a long ago. With time, his swordsmanship, his mentality as well as his resistance to alcohol had been greatly polished. Nonchalantly, perfectly, he cut down his victims; their pleads, moans or screams no longer stirred him. His mind, serene as the autumn lake and cold as the winter snow, needed not the alcohol to seek peace after slaughtering.

The Shiki of the present never wavered when taking a life. Not those thugs’ lives, not even his brother’s life.

Tonight, his brother had fallen to his sword. Knowing fully that his strength and skills was far beyond his brother’s, still, the boy charged him, betting everything he got on a thin, frail thread called ‘luck’.

In those clear blue eyes that resembled the sky Toshima had once had, sanity was absent; what filled in its place was anger, hatred and even despair. Pure adrenaline boiled his blood, madness clouded his mind, the boy readily flung himself into the palm of death.

He could have spared the boy’s life, just like he had done so each and every time his brother came for him.

But it was different this time.

For whatever reason had driven him into this desperate state Shiki could cot figure out. Still, there was one thing he was sure of : that was, Rin would not be able to return to this former self even if he spared his life. He had thrown everything he got, even his sanity, into this bet. To take his brother’s life, he was willing to sacrifice his own.

His spirit was broken beyond fix. There was nothing he could do to the Rin besides granting him a quick, painless end.

So, in a swift, smooth strike, Shiki gave an end to his brother’s existence. As regard to the blood they shared in their veins, he made sure Rin experienced no suffering.

The moment Rin’s body fell to the muddy ground, memories of his first kill played vividly in his mind like a rewinding film.

And, the first time after years, he relied on alcohol to calm his tulmulous mind.

Nevertheless, unlike the adolescent that night, Shiki found himself strongly resistant to the effect of alcohol. The more he injected into his blood, the somber he became. And because he was not drunk, he was able to recall Rin’s last moment.

In his final moment, Rin did neither scream nor cry. Even if the boy had wanted to, the swiftness of Shiki’s flawless swordsmanship would not have allowed him to utter the smallest sound. So, there was no terrible scream shouting in his head, only a stiff silence that seemed to manifest from the depth of Rin’s hollow gaze. Those blue eyes whose color was of the midsummer sky were filled with alien emotions. Emotions he could not fathom. What was his last thought before his soul drifted into another realm? Would that be of shock or fear? Would that be of hatred? Would that be of peace?

Was there peace after a person’s death?

Those eyes were vastly different from those of countless thugs he had sent to their graves. He would not remember any of those since they left no significant impact on him; those eyes, dulled by drugs, pathetically pleaded for their lives to be spared. But he was sure he would remember those eyes of his brother till the day his own closed.

Before he left the dark, muddy alleyway, he gently brought his hand to Rin’s face.

Darkness faithfully greeted him like a loyal pet once he set food in his current shelter, the rundown apartment he had randomly picked from the deserted block on the quieter side of Toshima. His status, as well as the contract he had with that perverted man was more than enough to earn him a fine room in the luxurious mansion; yet, he chose an apartment with the minimum of furniture. Neither did he fancy the extravagance nor being part of the crowd. He preferred the fierce solitary of a tiger than the company of a pack of wolf.

However, he was no longer alone. Sometimes, solitary could be troublesome and recently, he had found himself a partner. It was a young man who gave off a certain air of defiance, as if there was nothing in this world that he needed, that he wanted. His eyes, his stoic and passionate eyes, caught Shiki’s attention the very first moment their gazes locked. He would not admit he was attracted to this youth since it would sullen his pride if he did; still, he could feel a strong, primeval desire of possession arousing from the depth of his being. He wanted that youth for himself, to own him, to ravish him, to encage so that no one could ever lay their eyes upon him.

Was that only a mere obsession which would fade over time or something much deeper? For once he did bother himself with such question but he dismissed it as soon as it was formed in his mind. Why should he spend his time pondering such a trivial matter? Obsession or not, he could not careless; all he knew and ever cared was he wanted that youth and anything he wanted, he never failed to obtain it.

It did take long before he literally dragged that youth from the streets of Toshima to his dusty, rundown apartment. It took even less than that for the youth to lie on his soon-to-be broken bed, straddled, violated and eventually spent. Night after night, the same routine: cursing, fighting, beating (if necessary), dominating and being dominated.  Surprising, it was almost a month but his interest in the youth had yet to fade; it was getting stronger. It astonished him as well, to realize the he who took a liking to something very easily and got bored with it just as easily could maintain his interest in something or someone in such a long period.

Once, after getting done with the youth, in a doze of intoxication, he amused himself with a thought of what he would do to the youth when his lust for him subsided. Would he continue to keep him as he was, a caged, helpless and humiliated animal? Or would he just end his life and dump his remains at some deserted corner for those hyenas to find and take care of the rest?

He laughed loudly at that thought. Mostly because it was too lame to fit his character. The perverted man whose hand he had joined with much reluctance might agreed with such methods for he took great joy in satisfying his sadism. He was different from that man. Sadistic as he might be, he did not take pleasure in breaking the boy. He did it because he wanted it, nothing else. Of course he was not oblivious to the idea that his doings caused pain and suffering to his subject of desire, he simply paid it no mind. He had gotten used to placing his own wants above others’ needs and this time, it was no exception.

He was just selfish, after all.

That led to his extreme distaste for the idea of getting rid of the boy should he grow tired on him. Disposal was only a method fitted to trash. The boy was no trash. If he had thought he was, he would not have cut him down the very first moment of their encounter instead of dragging the boy back to his shelter. There was something special in him that made him stand out among the mindless thugs who were quick to drown themselves in this town. That very thing had caught his attention, stirring his desire. Because so, he experienced the lust to dominate and to own such a being, to keep and never let go of the boy even if he had enough of him.

He smiled. If that day did ever happen, he doubted it would be near. For he had yet to earn the boy’s total submission.

In a blink of eye, he had thought he was looking at his brother’s corpse lying in a growing puddle of his own blood. The illusion hastily faded for reality to kick in. In a mess of tangled sheet and bloody pieces of glass laid a pale, poorly covered body. That lean frame which had been trembling in his forceful embrace. That pale, almost translucent skin which had become flushed under his invasive touches. How could he not be familiar with those features? It was only this morning that he had been moaning in ecstasy; yet, at this moment, he was not much different from the corpses left on the streets except from the very faint heaving of his chest. Still, breathing as he was, there was no doubt that his life sight was a flickering light facing the upcoming storm.

His normally composure footsteps unconsciously quickened, so did his heartbeats as he proceeded to the boy’s side. In that instance when he was sure the boy’s life sight had not disappeared, he also realized that the boy meant something else to him than just a mere fascination.

He had been told that he needed to let go of all which he held dear in order to attain true power. He understood the meaning behind that saying; still, it confused him. He had no one close other than a half brother whose existence he barely acknowledged. And that said brother had also perished under his merciless sword. He should be free of mortal emotions since he was no longer bound by anyone or anything. Why, instead of power, what occupied his being was only a deep emptiness as if a part of him had been permanently taken away? And why his sword felt so heavy in his hand? When he glanced down to the naked body in a mess of blood and shards of glass, he thought he had found the answer.

This youth was the chain that firmly intertwined with his sword. This was the last attachment that anchored his soul to whatever remained of his ‘humanity’, also the last obstacle on his pursuit of true power.

His existence was bordering on the edge of death; if he were to leave the youth as he was, it was no doubt he would die in a few more hours. He could almost smirk at the irony laid out before him. As if mocking him, fate had set this up as a means to test his determination. Should he just let the current of fate wash the boy away from his life, pretending it was merely lust that had drawn them together? With that, he could probably cast off his last chain and obtain what he always yearned for. Or should he intervene and retain his chain knowing fully it would certainly hinder his way? For a person that killing was almost his nature, it did not seem a hard decision. Yet this time, he hesitated.

The hand that clad in black glove was bought to the youth’s side, not to kill him but simply to give him a soft caress on the cheek. “Stupid”, his lips murmured, the word direct to the youth or himself he did not know.

He carefully studied how serious Akira’s wound was and was surprised to discover something odd. It was a straight, clean cut on the wrist, severing the artery; an act done by someone who wished for death. But that was not what concerned him; instead, it was a make-shift bandage placed on his wound. Though only made of shreds torn from the bed sheet, it was helpful enough to slow down the bleeding which could like lead to death. Without it, Akira would have ended up a rigid corpse by this time.

When contemplating the possibilities of who had saved Akira, he could only think of a person. A person who could roam freely in the town of Toshima without provoking the Executioners, a person who could have invaded his place while he was out and left without leaving a trace behind. Who could it be but the man he had been pursuing for years? What motivation he had had in saving Akira’s life he could not comprehend. Every of that man’s thoughts, every of his actions were beyond common sense. Would it be of kindness? Would it be another trick on him? Nevertheless, whatever idea he harbored with his unusual mentality when saving Akira did not matter to him. For once, Shiki did not experience a raging aversion when the thought of that man came to his mind.

This was perhaps the very first time he ever found himself being so tender to a person. With much care, he cleaned the wound on which he would later apply a proper bandage. He had learnt the way to treat an injury back in his days of training; he even had clean bandage and a first-aid kit in his closet. Things could come in handy sometimes. He covered Akira’s body with his coat and carried the boy to the bathroom, where he could rest in the bath tub while Shiki dealt the mess he had created. He cleaned the broken shards that littered on the bed and the floor; he replaced the dirtied bed sheet with new one that he kept in the closet. But for the broken window he had nothing to replace the glass so he left the window frame bare. It would be quite cold later but he had no other choice. After all the mundane tasks were done, he carried Akira and placed the boy between the bet sheet. Judging from his condition, who knew when he would regain his consciousness?

Sighing, Shiki sat down next to the bed. He had long ungloved his hand in order to carry out the task of cleaning. His bare fingers caressed Akira’s cheeks, feeling cool.  His temperature was usually lower than that of normal people’s; especially when he often spent time roaming the night streets. He was aware if such fact when he had touched Akira’s skin; the boy’s skin was pleasantly warm beneath his fingertips. At the moment, when he caressed Akira’s cheeks, he only felt a stiff coldness. The boy’s complexion also seemed paler than usual; under the dim light, it was almost transparent.

“Why did you have to damage yourself, doll?”

Softly, he whispered into the ears that could not hear. Softly, he brushed his lips against the pair that could not feel such intimacy.

“I won’t allow you to leave my side. Even if fate wants to steal you away, I will pull you back. You belong to me, doll. Forever, only me.”

His tone, still dripped off blatant arrogance, seemed to possess an alien warmth his usual taunts always lacked. Being the cold-blooded he was, he was surprised to find that such emotion was present in his voice, that he was still capable of harboring such sentiment.

The defense he had instinctively built up for years experienced its very first crack. Whoever this frail-looking boy lying helplessly in his bed was, he had succeeded in crackling up Il-re’s heart. For such great accomplishment, he should be proud of himself. Supposed he was aware of that fact.

His hand caressed the boy’s soft silvery locks, as a rare act of compliment.

Abyss-Pt.3

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T ( for violence, language and innuendos )

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview :  To most people, death is the most horrifying thing. But to a certain youth, death may be the only escape from his current situation. If death was to free him from that man’s grasp, then so be it.

 ——

III.

Preview : In this state of utter carelessness, if Akira was to slit his throat or break his neck, the most feared man of Toshima would just end up a lifeless corpse just like his victims.

 ——

It was stranger than his wildest imagination. The fact that Shiki did not force himself on him like usual was not what surprised him; the man was a cold-blooded killing machine, a narcissistic rapist, an arrogant owner but Shiki was not the one to go back on his words, that, Akira harbored no doubts. What confused him was Shiki’s falling asleep by Akira’s side, with his firm arms wrapping around Akira. As if afraid of Akira’s lean form would slip from his embrace and melt into thin air, as if afraid of losing Akira, Shiki held him with such force that it was almost uncomfortable to breathe in. If Akira did not know Shiki better, he would be convinced this act had been carried out of desperation. Shiki was not the type of person to hold another so dear that he would be too frightened to experience the feeling of lost. Once you had gotten used to, perhaps even enjoyed, the sadistic pleasure of slaughtering, you were also immune to love and compassion. That was the image of Shiki that Akira pictured. Still, if he carried on with that train of thought, this act of Shiki was incomprehensible, especially when Shiki had never shown even the tiniest of tenderness to Akira prior to this incident. Not only had he saved Akira (though in his way of saying, it had been only to ‘fix’ his damaged property), tended his wound, Shiki also embraced Akira in his sleep. It was not a pleasant feeling, to be in someone’s tight hug, but it was not so terrible either. With his body enveloped in the heat of another, warmth began to spread to every nook and canny of his being, so cozy that the gradually decreasing temperature in the room and the howling winds out of the creaked window frame seemed like a hazy dream. Despite there was no heater in the room, night chill did not invaded his poorly covered body, a living person’s temperature was more than enough to fight off the coldness. Besides, lying with Shiki in such position, Akira could feel every of his breaths ghosting over the youth’s shoulder, stimulating his sensitive skin; could almost make out every of his heartbeats with the steady rhythm of Shiki’s broad chest. Before he noticed, his own heart had subliminally synced with Shiki’s heart in a harmonious tune. This urged the blood to rush to his pale cheeks, warm them up with unusual heat. It was vastly different from the time his blood boiled in his veins and his face went red with humiliation; it was a strange, unnamed sensation never before the youth had experienced nor imagined to experience with a person he so despised as Shiki. Nevertheless, it was not unpleasant.

Breaths so hot on one’s skin, chest heaving in tune with his heart beats, blood flowing in his veins to verify his existence; under the cold yet fair skin of a mannequin, Shiki was, after all, a normal human, the same as any other humans he had nonchalantly cut down. Only in his sleep that the twisted cruelty in his crimson eyes and the sardonic smirk constantly adorned his lips were absent, leaving his countenance in its genuine pulchritude. Akira could not deny that his blatantly egotistical owner possessed a rare, unearthly charm he had not seen before. One could easily say such beauty was very much akin to a demon’s attraction; it was lethal yet few had the courage to reject it. Even Akira found himself somewhat drawn in it in spite of his full knowledge of what lied beneath such alluring façade.  For a moment, he allowed himself to loosen his guard to appreciate a close view of his master’s face since a chance like this would not come very often.

In this state of utter carelessness, if Akira was to slit his throat or break his neck, the most feared man of Toshima would just end up a lifeless corpse just like his victims. He would not have a chance to fight back nor would he suffer any pains; his heart would stop beating and his brain would stop functioning, a beautiful death like Akira had always thought. When this notion passed his intoxicated mind, Akira’s blood seemed to stop flowing for a moment. All the warmth that had been embracing him vanished like he was, all of sudden, thrown into a black hole and he kept falling but never reached the bottom. What was this unfathomable feeling ? Was apprehension of killing ? Unlike Shiki, whose life might not have gone a day without killing, Akira had never deliberately taken a life. Deep down inside, he feared it. The sight of his adopted father killing a stray cat had engraved vividly in his memory. Death, he perceived, was beautiful; still, the act of killing itself was terrifying beyond his imagination. He had declared to take Shiki’s life whenever he had a chance. When a chance was actually presented to him, he recoiled from carrying the act that would free himself from this nightmare called Shiki. Such was his irony. He was afraid to kill Shiki and he could not help but allowing this hesitation to slowly devour his animosity. Akira did not want to admit it but the truth lied naked in front of his eyes. Somehow, his heart and body had begun to form some kind of attachment to the man who was his captor. This was the root of his demur. Had he not touched the stray cat, not grown fond of it, the image of that cat brutally slaughtered might not have left such a horrifying impression on his mind. Had he not been in Shiki’s arms, had not experienced the warmth of his body, his demur to kill Shiki might not have become so fierce. Yet, once that warmth had gone deeper into his being, passing the barrier of plain physical needs, there was no way for Akira to shake it off his mind. Everything else became surreal, only the pleasant heat of Shiki’s body was real. No matter how much he detested Shiki’s arrogance, he enjoyed the sensation of being enveloped in Shiki’s arms, if not, seeked for it. This was the cage he refused the chance to break; therefore, he had no other choices but to remain trapped in it, endured it till he finally grew tired of it. Though he might resent it in the future, right now, it was his choice.

Blood loss had nearly consumed all of his vitality, his limbs moved with sluggishness and his mind in a haze. Despite, Akira could not call back the sleepiness he had had earlier. Sure he was in fatigue but even if he shut his eyes, he would not be able to drift into his sleep. Because so, he was forced to stay awake. The dawn was far from coming and Shiki was still deep in his slumber, Akira was left with only himself to contemplate the dusty ceiling while wearily waiting for sleepiness to claim him once again. Even such simple attempt was disturbed by savage thirst; right now, he craved for nothing than water. Just one sip of that liquid was enough to lessen the fire scorching the inside of his throat.

Hunger he could bear but thirst was an emergency need demanding to be satisfied. The more he tried to suppress it, forget about it, the more severe it would become.

There was a bottle Shiki had left on the table after his return. Probably water but other drinkable liquid was fine since it could calm his intense thirst. Akira tried reaching out his hand, testing the distance between him and the bottle. It was only a mere inch that prevented him from getting what he wanted; Akira signed in frustration, if only Shiki had placed it a little closer. Stretching out his arm one more time, he reached to the bottle. His fingertips barely touched the surface, feeling cool. If he could touch it, there was a chance he could maneuver it into his grasp.

The sound of broken glass was not pleasant to the ears. When Akira thought he finally had it in his hand, the bottle slipped from fingers and met it ends in dozens pieces. Its content spilled on the cement floor, reeking of a smell that was not water’s. So engulfed in his physical demand that Akira had entirely forgotten about his bandaged hand. It was the hand he had used to punch the window, breaking the glass. Though less severe than the cut, the skin on that hand was littered with bleeding scratches. He had paid them no mind; still, with a rare consideration Shiki had spotted them while tending to the wound on his other arm.  The cloth used to dress the scratches made it harder for him to grasp something with a smooth surface; therefore, the bottle fell from his hand to the floor.

His sleep was disturbed by a terrible noise, Shiki opened his eyes and looked at Akira through a dozy veil.

“What happened ?”

“The bottle slipped from my hand.”

Shiki sat up with his hand casually rubbing his glassy eyes in order to chase away the sleepiness left in them. If Akira did not know Shiki any better, perhaps he would find a half-asleep Shiki very charming.

“You thirsty ?”

Apparently, that question was only rhetorical since he had already registered the situation. If he had not been so thirsty, he would have tried so desperately to get the bottle.

Shiki’s gaze laid upon what had been previously a glass container of some fluid.

“You can’t drink alcohol to quench your thirst.”

Akira arched an eyebrow. That was not really what he had expected to hear.

“You drink ?”

“Once in a while. It’s relaxing.”

Akira did not know how he should react to this newfound knowledge. His mind toyed with the imagination of Shiki getting drunk and losing his normal composure. If such thing was to happen in reality, it would surely a sight to remember.

“It’s a shame. I didn’t bring back water. Only that bottle of alcohol.”

Akira’s temples twitched. Had he intended to leave Akira a whole day with alcohol instead of normal drinking water ?

Shiki suddenly rose up from the bed. He carefully avoided the broken shards on the floor and walked to the corner of the room, where he had laid his trusted katana. Bewildered, Akira watched as Shiki unsheathed the sword and came back to the bed.

“What’re you doing ?”

Shiki did not answer his question. He only cast a quick glance at Akira’s reflecting on the shining surface of the sword he polished with care everyday. Before Akira realized his intention, the edge of Shiki’s katana had sliced open his palm. As if immune to the pain, Shiki’s expression remained stoic when he extended his bloody palm to Akira.

“What’re…”

“You’re thirsty, right ? Take my blood !”

His query was cut short with a tone of dead seriousness. When he spoke with such tone, Akira immediately knew Shiki was not joking.

“Are you out of your mind ?”

Deliberately ignorant of Akira’s protest, Shiki seized his jaw with enough power to keep Akira’s mouth open. A flow of liquid was poured into his mouth; thick, metallic taste assaulted his tongue. It was foreign at first, to have someone’s blood down his throat; nevertheless, it sufficiently cooled the flame tormenting him from within. The steel-like grip on his chin loosened without his notice; as soon as he downed Shiki’s blood, his rationality was clouded with a mild haze. He was unable to comprehend the cause of this sudden bloodlust; all he knew at the moment was he wanted more of that blood. Unconsciously, he leaned toward, holding Shiki’s arm with both of his hands.

His pet’s reaction when he got in contact with his blood brought a satisfied smirk on Shiki’s lips.

“How does it taste ? Good, isn’t it ?”

Apparently, Shiki’s taunt failed to reach Akira’s ears; the boy was too indulged in his bloodlust. “This isn’t enough.” The thought repeatedly resounded in his intoxicated mind as he used his tongue to draw out more blood, hungrily sucking each drop like a baby being breastfed. When blood stopped coming, Akira bit at Shiki’s skin.

A strong hand forcefully grabbed his chin, lifting it up so that his glassy eyes met a pair of crimson orbs.

“Enough.”

The short command pulled him back to reality. Subsequently, his eyes regained their usual light, his hand was brought up to wipe away little blood left on his smeared lips. When he glanced at his teeth mark marring the immaculate skin, a surge of remorse hit his heart but he quickly dismissed it. It was only a small compensation for what Shiki had been doing to him.

Akira was surprised by Shiki’s unexpected act when the man leaned toward him. The distance between their faces was so close that he could feel Shiki’s breath hot on his skin. Was Shiki going to kiss him ? The idea itself was enough to urge the blood to rush to his cheeks. Why did he blush over such trivial matter ? After all, they had gone far more intimate than a mere touch of two pairs of lips.

He half closed his eyes, expecting a fierce assault. It was not like Shiki had never kissed him before. However, all his kisses, if they could really be called ‘kisses’, came without warning and were always too rough that they caused Akira’s lips swollen afterward. Instead of pressing his lips to Akira’s, Shiki just licked away a single droplet of blood clinging to the corner of his mouth and leaned back, restoring their respective distance. Throughout the course of action, his expression showed not even the slightest change. In contrast, Akira was puzzled and disappointed. The wet sensation of Shiki’s tongue lingered faintly on the skin he had licked and the youth swallowed hard when he recalled how Shiki had almost touched his lips. Shiki’s kiss was not enjoyable; nonetheless, Akira was looking forward to it. Heat started to coil in his stomach; he was angry. Did Shiki just toy with him like always ? Moreover, he was angry at his body for having reacted so strongly to a mere, simple stimulation.

“Now, who resembles a dog ?”

He vented out his frustration on Shiki, who was the cause of the oddness proceeding in his body. Akira did prepare for Shiki’s punishment when his remark which sounded suspiciously similar to an insult came out from his mouth. After all, Shiki was a man with enormous ego who could not, would not stay silent at an insult being carelessly thrown at his face.

“First, you bit me. Now, you even dare to bark at your master. For a pet, you have ill manner.”

His tone was strangely calm, like a forgiving owner patting his pet’s head. This enraged Akira even more because the fact that Shiki was not acting like himself confused him. What was going on inside his head, Akira wondered. Was he planning something ? Would it be better if Shiki just went on being the ruthless owner he always was ? As uncertainties piled up in his mind, Akira was prompted to provoke Shiki, to see how much it would take till his composure crumbled and his violent side took over.

“And who are you, the one that fucks a dog ?”

“A master can do whatever he wants with his pet.”

“So, how will you punish me ? Beat me ? Fuck me the way you’ve been doing every night ?”

“Normally, I would. But tonight, I’m not in the mood.”

“Not in the mood.” he said. In the brief moment when these words left his mouth, Akira swore he could see all the arrogance, sadism and cruelty vanished from the mysterious glow of Shiki’s crimson orbs. In those red irises always blazing with a frigid flame existed a deep void that seemed to eat away at his soul. Akira had once heard about a ‘madness’ that lurked in everybody’s minds. Was this void a sign of Shiki’s madness ?

For an instance Akira thought he had caught a glimpse of the depth of Shiki’s soul. Shiki was a man of complexity; every of his actions seemed to be governed by his whims alone, completely lacking reasons. Akira had told himself that he did not give a damn about what Shiki was thinking, nor did he try to comprehend that man; yet, there was a part of him that restlessly aroused his curiosity. He yearned to know Shiki, searching with every chance he could have to find even the tiniest part that reflected Shiki’s inner side. Shiki was undeniably strong; he would not allow others to easily see his weaknesses, especially Akira. His hope had eventually faded until today, when he could finally grasp a spark of Shiki’s mind and what he perceived was a terrible emptiness.

He did not want to care about Shiki. However, the hollow stubbornly clung to his mind, haunting him. Subsequently, he let the reason he had tried to vex Shiki’s anger slipped.

Sulking, he lied down, feeling really stupid. What was the point of getting on Shiki’s nerves and later, getting punished by him while his utmost need at the moment was a peaceful rest ? After all, he had barely escaped the hands of Death.

Though with his eyes closed, he could feel a cool hand lightly touching his cheeks. Instinctively, he brushed that hand off, knowing fully whose it was.

“Don’t touch me !”

“You crave for your master’s touches so much that you can’t sleep ?”

A smile crept up the corner of his lips as Shiki whispered into Akira’s ears.

“Didn’t you say you weren’t in the mood ?”

“I’m not that terrible of an owner who selfishly denies his pet’s needs.”

“I don’t need your so-called generosity!”

Akira turned his face to the wall, feigning sleep. He swore he could hear Shiki’s light chuckles echoing in his ears but he paid them no mind because he started to feel the sleepiness brushing his eyelids.

The secluded space in the room soon sunk in the silence of the full moon. Without the tilted glass, its light seemed to shine more brilliantly than usual.

When he woke up the next morning, Shiki had left. The same routine repeated itself, only without the dull weariness left inside him after their nightly intercourse. Still, he felt weak. It was only normal when he had lost quite an amount of blood in that attempt of suicide. It would take some days, probably, for him to fully recover.

The handcuff was gone, only the whiteness of bandage was seen. When he realized Shiki had considerately changed his bandage before his departure, the warmth in his stomach spread to every nooks of his body. It was different from Shiki’s embrace but equally, it was pleasant.

His stomach harshly complained him for neglecting its food intake. With no reservation, he grabbed the pack of Solids Shiki had prepared on the table. Omurice, his favorite flavor tasted even more delicious when he was starving. Shiki might treat him like his slave but one thing Akira knew for sure: Shiki never left him deprived of food and drinks.

Shards of the broken had been cleaned up. Akira chuckled to himself, Shiki had been overly cautious when he had destroyed any means Akira could use to assist in his self-destruction. Little did he know, the idea of suicide had ceased from Akira’s mind.

The sky outside the small window frame was still the same as always; however, it was also different. A soft breeze came in, gently caressed Akira’s cheeks.

There was something changing in this stale room, as in Akira’s heart.

——

Note : Well, basically, it was the end of Akira’s POV. The next chapter will be written in Shiki’s POV.

Abyss-Pt.2

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T ( for violence, language and innuendos )

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview :  To most people, death is the most horrifying thing. But to a certain youth, death may be the only escape from his current situation. If death was to free him from that man’s grasp, then so be it.

 ——

II.

Preview : “If you hate me that much, how about trying to preserve your life so that you’ll have the chance to take my head when the time comes ?”

 ——

He never expected the afterlife to look like this.

His surrounding environment was a monochromatic grey, a color strikingly similar to that of the room in which Shiki had confined him. The fact that he could remember this much meant that the memories of his past life had not been erased. That was indeed a real shame since the last thing he wanted was to keep all the haunting images of Shiki and bring them with him to the next life.

His eyesight was a tad blurry and a terrible fatigue firmly bound his body to the mattress beneath him; he also realized he was lying on some sort of mattress since it felt soft and quite pleasant to his back. He tried to move his limbs but they were heavy beyond belief; had he somehow, on the dying process, ended up with a boulder tied to each of his limb ? Was this how death felt like to a person ? Before, he was pretty sure he should have felt nothing since his body, which related to physical sensations, had been left behind. His soul should have achieved true freedom and his mind should have been blank like an unwritten sheet. He should have forgotten even his own name.  Yet what was he having at the moment ? Despite the dizzy that was chewing at his brain and the fatigue mauling his body, if what he saw could still be called ‘body’, his memories and sensations remained in starkly perfect state.

If this was really death then it was nothing akin to his perception.

If he was to try hard, he might manage to lift up his hand. Slowly, his trembling hand was brought up to meet his gaze. His heart skipped a beat when what greeted his sight was the white of bandage. The pure color had been profoundly tainted with large, shapeless blood stain. His blood, no doubt. That somehow explained the weariness in his body. Beneath the cloth cover, the flesh where he had cut open with shard of glass ached with a dull pain. When he tried to move his pale, almost transparent fingers, they felt rigid and numb as if they belonged to someone else. Putting all the small details together, he formed a conclusion that his attempt of suicide had failed.

“Such foolish act you have committed.”

A voice raised in the air, coldly cutting his thought, each word dripping with cruelty and unwavering confidence. This was the voice that continuously haunted him in every of his waking moment, the voice of the man who had brutally forced his ownership on Akira.

Shiki.

Along with the voice, a figure clad in black came to his bed. When he looked up, his smokey-blue eyes met burning crimson orbs. That was only a mere, simple encounter, yet it was enough to make the inside of his body shudder. How could the eyes of a human possess such power ?

With no reservation, Shiki held out his hand and touched Akira’s forehead, brushing away his long, unruly bang. Strangely, he felt warm. Was it because Shiki’s normal temperature went up or his own temperature had decreased too much that he actually felt Shiki’s cool skin warm ? Either way, it was not a bad sensation.

“You broke the window, cut yourself and made a real mess out of the bed. For a pet, you are truly terrible.”

His act might appear gentle, still, in his speech, heartless sarcasm was never absent.

Emotions could create wonders, someone had said. Just a few minutes ago, Akira could not even move his body. Yet, in a surge of anger swelling up in the depth of his heart, Akira pushed himself up from his lying position, momentarily forgetting about his wound. As expected, a scorching agony harshly reminded him of his condition. New blood oozed from the mouth of the cut which required more time than a few hours to close.

“I advise you not to put more force into your hand or else we’ll have a hard time dealing with it later.” Upon seeing Akira’s expression distorted with pain, Shiki calmly spoke.

“It’s not your damn concern !” Akira managed to raise his voice in a hoarse tone. “Why did you, of all everything, save me ?”

“I didn’t save you.” Shiki corrected. “What I did was merely fixing my property, which, out of sheer stupidity, damaged itself.”

“I’m not your damn property ! I’d rather die than having to put up with your humiliation day after day. I’m sick of being your toy ! I’m sick of being caged and treated like a fucking animal ! I’m sick of your face ! I’m sick of your shameless touches ! I’m sick of you !”

Rage bursted out fiercely, uncontrollably like a tidal wave, threatening to sweep away all pitiful beings on the shore. His pain being swept away, his condition being swept away, even his rationality being swept away. He did not care about his injury nor did he care about the following consequences, about Shiki’s punishments; right now, all he wanted was to vent his frustration, his anger on the man who had robbed his pride and freedom. He wanted to give Shiki a piece of his mind.

Shiki listened to Akira with unusual serenity. In his red, shining irises bore not the slightest sign of fury; instead, there was a twinkling mischievous like he was amused by Akira’s tantrum.

“You’re done ?”

As if teasing, as if mocking, Shiki smiled at Akira, whose face had become flushed and breath had become quick pants. His outburst of emotions had dried off what was left in his already exhausted body. Weariness filled his being to the brim yet his mind was at ease since all that had been troubling him was released in that fit of anger. He badly wanted a rest; nevertheless, knowing Shiki, the ruthless man would not allow him a peaceful rest after what Akira had done.

Shiki reached out his hand to Akira, his ungloved skin was an antagonistic comparison to the darkness outside the room. His long fingers seized Akira’s chin firmly but not too violently; therefore the youth experienced little discomfort. With Shiki’s hand holding his face in such angle, Akira was made to look straight into Shiki’s eyes which seemed to pierce through his façade, to the deepest of his core. In those eyes, Akira looked at his own reflection, anxious, weak, trembling. Those eyes, beautiful yet seething as if they contained in themselves the flame of Abyss, seemed to suck out the quivering soul of Akira. The longer he looked into Shiki’s eyes, the more he found himself mesmerized by their hauntingly mysterious glow. He could not help but expose his weakest part to the man he least wanted to expose.

Unable to bear the searing tension Shiki had brought upon him with a mere look, Akira nervously averted his sight to Shiki’s hand, tracing the outline of his fingers. Long and delicate yet strong and merciless, Akira wondered how much blood of fallen victims had marred this seemingly flawless skin ?

Shiki was not human. Though he hated to admit it, his master was the living embodiment of every of mortal’s fears, yet on the other hand, every of a mortal’s primitive desires.

His hand held Akira’s jaw, his face leaned closer in a dangerously close distance, his breath ghosted warmly over Akira’s lips, his voice whispered into Akira’s ears, seductively, demandingly.

“You careless threw your tantrum at me, not caring about the consequence. That brave act kind of impresses me.”

“However…”

All of sudden, Shiki’s torso wrestled Akira down the bed. His weight was a chain that bound Akira to the mattress underneath, effectively extinguished any attempt of resistance from the helpless boy.

“However, you chose death to escape from the reality. That was obviously a sign of cowardice.”

Akira’s temples twitched at Shiki’s taunting remark. If there was something Akira detested more than Shiki’s abuse, it would be being labeled a coward.

“I’m not… I’m just sick of you.”

“If you hate me that much, how about trying to preserve your life so that you’ll have the chance to take my head when the time comes ?”

Akira was shocked at Shiki’s straightforwardness. Was he too confident in his skills that he believed Akira could never win against him ? Or he conceived that Akira would never kill him despite his profound hatred for the arrogant man ? That was the most ridiculous of all ridicules. As soon as he had the chance, he would never hesitate to take Shiki’s life. Definitely. Akira had utmost faith in his resolution.

Shiki’s wicked smile crept up his lips as his fingers traced Akira’s lips, softly, gently.

“Tell me… will you be able to kill me once the chance is in your hand ?”

“I…”

Shiki’s hand freely roamed over Akira’s chest and abdomen, never stayed at one place for too long, lingered for a moment to heat up the sensitive skin then moved. Against his will, his body submitted to the skillfulness of Shiki’s molestation. It was an unneeded distraction to Akira’s effort on concentration. Understanding this particular weakness of Akira, the man proceeded to take advantage of it. Apparently, he was in success as the boy’s lips opened in breathless pants but hardly any words were formed.

“I…”

“What ? I can’t hear you.”

All his sensual touches ceased as his hand stopped dead on its track. To match the change, his seductive tone turned to that of dead seriousness. Again, his hand grabbed Akira’s jaw.

“I only want to know whether you take my head when you have the chance.”

“ I-I hate you, Shiki. One day…one day for sure, I’ll kill you with my own hands.”

Gathering his will and courage, Akira spoke at once. He spoke swift manner, as if he was afraid he would be overwhelmed with hesitation. Ironically, while he kept telling himself that he despised Shiki to the core, that he wanted Shiki’s death more than anything and he would gladly deliver the man’s final blow, he had to use up all his will to suppress the hesitation which was unknowingly lurking in his heart. When Akira thought he had hardened his resolution, Shiki proved to him otherwise. With his mind clouded by physical need, his heart also wavered. Little by little, without Akira’s notice, with everytime Shiki violated his body, the man deliberately dulled his fighting spirit, to the point it became a rusty knife which could not harm even a strand of his raven hair.

The scarlet in Shiki’s irises flashed an unfathomable thought before shifted back to its familiar sadism.

“Good. That’s what I want to hear from your mouth. Burning hatred, soaring spirit, unrivaled valor. There’s nothing that disgusts me more than gutless dogs.”

His head bended down his lips captured Akira’s in breathless encounter.

“However, until that day, you’ll remain my toy, my pet, my slave. My affection for you will continue pushing you to the edge of insanity, testing your persistence. If you can overcome them all, I’ll be waiting for the moment you end my existence.”

His declaration sent utmost chills down Akira’s spine. His mind lost its rationality as Shiki’s strong arms forcefully embraced his shivering figure.

Once trapped in those arms, Akira was unable to think of anything. Not Keisuke’s death, not his own shame, not his hatred for Shiki. At the moment, all that floated in his intoxicated mind was a sweet fatigue and the mysterious glow of Shiki’s irises.

 ——

Well, that’s the end of chapter 2. Look out for the next chapter 😀

Thank you so much for your comments. They motivate me to write more for this wonderful couple.

Abyss-Pt.1

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T ( for violence, language and innuendos )

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : To most people, death is the most horrifying thing. But to a certain youth, death may be the only escape from his current situation. If death was to free him from that man’s grasp, then so be it.

 ——

I.

Preview : In that swift moment, when all the hatred, anger, humiliation, fear and despair erupted in Akira’s exhausted mind, the youth had decided. He had had enough of Shiki’s persecution, he had had enough of being a toy in Shiki’s hand, being used over and over to Shiki’s amusement. He had had enough of being Shiki’s collared dog.

——

Shiki had left again. After having drained off Akira’s last drop of energy, the man nonchalantly put on his coat, his gloves, took his katana and walked out of the door, into the chaotic streets of Toshima. Bathed in the thick scent of blood, he only returned when the sun painted the monochromatic buildings a shade of crimson. Everyday, the mundane routine repeated itself.

Akira lied limply on top of the broken bedspring, in the middle of a mess made by the bed sheet and his carelessly discarded clothes. Naked, dirtied by the aftermath of their previous intercourse, yet Akira did not bother to pick up his clothes and put them on. What was the meaning of covering up when sooner or later, he would be stripped naked.

Akira glanced at the handcuff that attached his left wrist to the bed post. It had been there long enough for the metal ring to eat at his pale skin, forming a crimson bruise. One of Shiki’s weird fetish, huh ? To see him in pain ? Or was it Shiki’s way to keep his dog from escaping his leash ? His dog. The thought of being treated like an animal immediately heated up the anger that coiled in Akira’s stomach, his teeth ground and his nails bit into the tender flesh of his palms. Thick droplets stained the unclean sheet. The more he contemplated that matter, the more he found himself resembling a weak, pathetic stray dog. Everything that man had done to him was against his will. He was dragged here and confined in this stifling room; he was stripped and violated by that man; he was forced to bend over night after night, having himself at the mercy of his ‘owner’. Yes, the man had imperturbably claimed his ownership on him upon a metal pierce on his naval. Just like that, his pride, his ego was continuously smashed to tiny, unrecognizable pieces.

The physical abuse, no matter how harsh it was, could not compare to the mental suffering. After all, Shiki never meant to kill him; if he wished so, Akira would have long been a rotting corpse; all he wanted was Akira’s submittal. Everytime Shiki used his strength to make Akira bend over for him, the youth kept telling himself that he was disgusted by what Shiki was doing to him, that he hated Shiki to his core. Repeating it like a mantra and he had the courage to oppose Shiki. His resistance was weak and undoubtedly, it would soon be crushed by Shiki’s overwhelming dominion. Yet, it proved to Akira the vivid existence of himself, of a person named Akira, not an animal caged and tamed by Shiki’s hand.

What was even more frightening than Shiki’s abuse was the newfound truth Akira had just discovered. Against his will, Akira’s body had begun to subliminally obey Shiki’s orders. At first, it was just uncontrollable moans he desperately tried to suppress whenever Shiki had his way with him. But now, when Shiki told him to take off his clothes, though hesitated, Akira stripped himself naked. When Shiki told him to raise his waist, he did as he was told. He wanted to fight back, to give Shiki a hard time yet it was as if there was a silent voice inside kept whispering into his ears, slowly, slowly coaxing him into a belief that the more he could please his master, the less suffering he had to endure later. When had he begun to stoop so low ? When had the uncaring, apathetic Lost been destroyed, only to be replaced with a pusillanimous slave ? The truth, which brought a satisfied smirk upon Shiki’s lips, was a thousand times worse than any tortures. What would become of Akira in the end ?

Wearily, Akira looked up at the sky. Through the dusty glass, the sky appeared even more ominous than it already was. Although the sun was known to be up in the sky, its feeble rays failed to pierce through the thick bank of cloud, resulting in the whole town dyed in grayish hue. No matter how they tried to look further beyond the dark, cloudy canopy, light never reached their eyes; no matter how they struggled, what awaited them at the end was eternal darkness. Despair, that was the only thing this crumbling town known as Toshima could offer its inhabitants.

Whenever Akira looked at the sky out of the small, rusty window frame in pure boredom, it was always the same; only a dull, hopeless grey his eyesight could capture. Grey seemed to engulf everything that surrounded him: the sky, the wrinkled sheet, the broken bedspring, the moldy wall. Even when he contemplated his own future, he could only perceive a lifeless grey. On that dim scenery emerged a vivid black that was Shiki.  Vehemently, frighteningly, that man’s aura absorbed the liveliness of his surroundings, consuming their life forces with his menacing air. Shiki was not a man; Shiki was a ruthless demon that fed on the lives of those who were weaker than him. The more he hated Shiki, the more Akira feared Shiki’s reign over him. Judging from his domineering personality, that man would not loosen his steel grip on Akira until his interest in the youth died out. What would happen first, Akira wondered, that or his withering in Shiki’s dominion ?

A dry, painful sound bounced between the walls that confined the narrow space. With his free hand, Akira had gathered all his remaining strength and hit the glass window, shattering the material to shards. In that swift moment, when all the hatred, anger, humiliation, fear and despair erupted in Akira’s exhausted mind, the youth had decided. He had had enough of Shiki’s persecution, he had had enough of being a toy in Shiki’s hand, being used over and over to Shiki’s amusement. He had had enough of being Shiki’s collared dog.

It was the only way to retain his dignity as a true human, Akira thought while planting a shard of glass in his right wrist. His artery was severed and blood gushed out uncontrollably like water being released from a broken dam. A satisfied smile adorned his trembling lips; freedom was finally in his grasp. As his consciousness was fading away along with rapid blood loss, Akira weakly entertained himself with his imaginations of Shiki’s reaction once he came back to discover his dog’s rigid corpse. What his expression would be like, Akira wondered. Would that be of shock or terror ? Though it was merely his imagination, the sight of those crimson orbs getting wide was enough to amuse him. From the short period he had spent by Shiki’s side, Akira could not name anything that that was capable of horrifying such a man as Shiki. It was certain not blood or death. Judging by the way he cut down people so nonchalantly, it seemed impossible for goriness to terrify Shiki. Being a cold-blooded murderer he was, the man might even enjoy it. Not Akira’s or anyone’s death could make the unwavering light in those crimson orbs flicker. Akira pictured that Shiki would just cast an uncaring gaze at his bloody corpse before dumped it to the rotting pile of unnamed bodies located somewhere in this Toshima. He died before he had a chance to challenge the invincible Il-re; he was forgotten before he was even remembered. Such was the tragic fate of the losers in this town. But Akira wanted not to think about anything any longer. Death was luring him into its embrace with an enchanting lullaby and the youth found himself willingly succumbed to its lethal invitation. Before a tempting sleepiness cast darkness upon his heavy eyelids, his last imagination of Shiki was that of teary eyes.

Insanity : Shiki’s side

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : M (for violence, deaths and innuendos)

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : Their lust, fueled by death. Their love, covered in blood. Their insanity matched perfectly like two sides of a mirror.

Their first encounter in that dark, corpse-littered alley was purely coincidental. Shiki was simply following his routine of disposing useless trash when he saw that youth being outnumbered and cornered by those same trashes. He carried out his task, nonchalantly, cleanly, perfectly, as expected from polished swordsmanship. Fresh blood spraying and bodies piled up. Soon enough, there were only the two of them left standing in the middle of corpses.

Perhaps, it was fated.

Had he not been in that alley, the youth would have been dead. Had he not ‘saved’ him, those worthless thugs would have claimed his life. He would have joined the heap of nameless bodies no one bothered to give a proper burial.

He never intended to save the youth. Neither did he mean to spare his life.

Having witnessed such a ruthless massacre, the youth was slight trembling; his hands, his forehead were damped with cold sweats. He was in fright. After all, it was very likely that he himself was about to join the corpses, fallen victimized to the demonic sword. Yet, there was not a singe trace of cowardice in his eyes or the slightest pleading from his lips.

In Shiki’s eyes, he saw no human. There was only a young, weak beast being intimidated by the overwhelming presence of a much stronger one. Still, his predatory nature allowed no space for pusillanimity. If his life was forced into danger, he would bare his fangs. Even when he was fully aware that he might be killed, he would still fight. He would fight as long as the essence of life was burning in his chest.

The truth intrigued Shiki tremendously. Before he realized, Shiki had spared the youth’s life. This was the first time he had found in this dull, hopeless city one of his kind.

He, too, was another beast. The most powerful predator in this hunting game called Igra. Knowing the existence of a beast which possessed a great potential of dethroning him someday did not provoke his rage; in fact, it stirred up his curiosity and even ignited his desire. He wanted him, craved for him. There was nothing more interesting than taming such a beast, having it at your mercy.

His determination consolidated by his unwavering confidence. Soon, he would definitely capture that beast.

To tell the truth, he was not on the hunt for that beast the second time he ran into him. There were rumors about a Line abuser who had committed a massacre at a bar in neutral zone. A daring act, he might say. By such action, that Line abuser, whoever he was, had openly taunted the rule of the game. Arbitro would have already sent those rabid dogs to hunt for the culprit. Though savage and insane, they were not less useful than hunting hounds. Once letting loose, they would not come home without a bloody, terribly mauled corpse dragging behind them. If they got to him first, Shiki would lose his prey to them.

When he arrived at the scene, his target had already fallen. Those annoying hyenas were nowhere to be seen, only the young beast was present. In comparison with their first encounter, he appeared much weaker, much more vulnerable. Weapon not in hand, fighting spirit absent, he was quivering and crying in the pouring rain. Pathetic. Pitiful.

“You killed him ?” Shiki nonchalantly asked.

He did not get to the answer from him, whose mind perhaps had gone completely blank.

A wounded beast on the verge of insanity.

Shiki smirked. When a beast was wounded, he was easily tamed.

“Stand up !”. He commanded.

No reply. He kicked the young beast, hard enough for him to feel the pain. A soft groan, still, he remained motionless.

“I told you to stand up, didn’t I ?”

“You’re called Shiki, right ? Go ahead, do whatever you want. I don’t give a damn.”

So he wanted death. Overwhelmed with the guilt of murder, he chose death as an escape from remorse. By giving up his own life, he assured himself that was enough to atone for his sin. That was something only cowards would do. Due the first impression the young beast had given him, Shiki believed he was no coward. He just grew temporarily weak by the impact of his conscience that he was drawn to suicide. Therefore, Shiki would not grant him that wish. Besides, Shiki had no intention in assisting self destruction. There was neither benefit nor fun to gain from killing a man who was so eager to welcome death.

Instead, he had other things in mind.

He let out a startled sound when Shiki bent down and scoped him in his arms. As soon as their bodies got into contact, the vigor which had previously absent in the limp body suddenly ignited. Kicks and punches went flying wildly, lacking all the precision a fighter would have if he earnestly wanted to defeat his enemy. The impact of the fight prior had drained off his strength. The seemingly returned vigor was only what was left in his exhausted body, the blaze of a dying ember before its extinguishment. Even in his full condition, he was no match for Shiki, let alone this weakened state. It was useless, futile but Shiki liked it. It would not be interesting if he gave up without a fight.

The rain bore no sight of calming down and the figure in his embrace gradually ceased its struggle. Shivering, he began to cling onto Shiki’s coat, desperately seeking for warmth. Right now, his physical demands had surpassed his defense system. His first sign of submittal.

“What’s your name ?”

A moment of hesitation. The beast was surprised when hearing his name being asked. His confusion was understandable; after all, this was the first time his ultimate master asked a question like that. Such trivial matter seemed to never cross his master’s mind even after such intimacy they had shared. Could his master be blamed ? In the end, he was only a property. It was unnecessary to know how it was called as long as it remained in your possession.

“Say it !”

“Akira.”

“Akira.”

He repeated the name so that its sound got used to his ears. A good yet common name, no special. There were probably thousands other “Akira”s in this country. Nevertheless, when this name was bestowed upon him, it seemed strangely fit.

Shiki thought he had already taken a liking to that name.

“And your name ?”

“…”

Shiki was momentarily off guard. He had thought Akira who hated him to the core as he had claimed every time Shiki forced him to bend over would not care to know Shiki’s name.

“Tell me.

“Haven’t you known it already ? From those nuisances.”

“I want to hear it from your own mouth.”

He never ceased to amuse Shiki.

“Shiki.”

“Shiki.”

Akira repeated the name the same way Shiki had done previously.

“A normal name that thousands others could share. I’ve been convinced that your name would be something more special. Still, it suits you. I like it.”

“It doesn’t matter whether you like my name or not. It won’t affect the truth that I’m your master for all of eternity. There’s no way you can escape.”

“I know.” Akira replied with a smile whose meaning he could not decipher. Since the day he had forcefully dragged Akira to this rundown room, confined him and sought to gain control over him every night, he had never seen the slightest of Akira’s smile. He had a reason to believe that Akira would never show him his smile. Yet today, upon hearing the declaration Shiki had made perhaps dozens times before, Akira’s lips curled into one.

His smile was indeed charming. Innocent, naïve, contrastingly different from Shiki’s sadistic smirks.

“I’m already tired of struggling between rejecting and accepting you. So I’ve decided…”

Akira left the sentence dangling to pull Shiki into a surprise kiss. Though he was caught off guard, Shiki quickly resumed his absolute control. He was, after all, the master.

“But remember, even when I give myself to you, I will continue to oppose you till the end.”

His promise did not fade over time. Though he wholeheartedly complied with his wishes, Akira was never an obedient pet. There, inside the boy, existed a wild part that was unable to be tamed. On bed of off bed, Akira would occasionally, purposely allow it to surface and challenged Shiki. Shiki had no complaints, however. In fact, he fancied Akira’s personality. Shiki was a fierce predator. The stronger the opponent, the more enjoyable. It would bore him to the point of death if his preys were all but cowards who pathetically begged him to spare their lives even when they fully knew it was the most absurd of all absurdities. In comparison with those gutless small fries he had encountered, Akira was fascinatingly courageous. His somewhat reckless braveness was a stark contrast to Shiki’s intimidating personality yet it was also a perfect fit. With Akira, both Shiki’s pride and conquering nature were satisfied. Because of that, he could never grow tired of Akira.

He may even love him.

The wounds on his back ached slightly. Instead of irritation, their sensation felt rather pleasant. Pain, with an appropriate portion, heightened the ecstasy. He had learned of that fact when piercing Akira’s naval. The pain and blood oozing out had turned Akira on. While watching that, he had also learned that Akira was absolutely not the type that favored gentleness. Violence and dominion were what needed to make him submit. Shiki understood that because he was no difference from Akira. Children like them grew up not by the loving tenderness of the mother’s hand but by the severity of the war. Before they knew of the warmth of an embrace, they had been flung out to the harshness in which they learned the hard way the rule of survival. It was simple : fight and kill or be killed. In this environment, there was no room for love, forgiveness, care and such. Those were alien to them. Violence, killing, blood and pain were they factors that had shaped and nourished them.

Without those, they would be utterly starved. In the end, they lived on while embracing their own madness.

Perhaps, madness was the necessary condition to survive in the chaos known as Toshima. Once the capital of Japan, it now fell into the black-pit hole of crimes, drugs and murders. There were neither government to govern nor laws to protect the inhabitants, each and every one relied on themselves to carry on with their lives. The strong lived, the weak died. The strong ruled, the weak obeyed. The one who rose to the top of this insanity was the strongest of the strong. Each day passed as he seated on his throne, his subordinates under his soles, Shiki could tell his madness was growing stronger and stronger in his heart. Still, he was not bothered in the slightest. If madness was the key to survive, to live, then he would not mind if it threatened to overwhelm his mind.

Again, who living in this world was able to keep his sanity intact ?

In this castle, there were plenty of fools who desperately wanted Akira. Shiki was fully aware of the fact that his beloved pet was the subject of their lust and did not mind it. Actually, it was kind of fun to watch them display their hopeless stupidity by falling right into the lethal temptation. It was nothing but a game of Akira. Confined in such a luscious cage, if there was no form of entertainment to kill the time while Shiki was not here to keep him company, he might as well die of boredom. As long as it did not turn into something other than a game, he would allow Akira to play to his heart’s content. He might even join it if Akira wished so. Since they shared a predatory nature, they both longed for hunting and killing. Therefore, he understood Akira’s motif when setting such a game, as well as his joy. The joy of preying, if you were not a predator, you could never enjoy. They were two of a kind yet they were different. There were two main types of predators : one used his strength to fiercely attack and killed his preys; the other took time to prepare a trap and lured his preys in. In this hunting game, Shiki was the former while Akira was the latter. Together, they were an inseparable pair.

The blood-smeared ground of Toshima was the perfect platform from which they deprived their sadistic pleasure.

That boy’s name was Ryunosuke. He remembered being told once or twice. Really, there was nothing special about that boy in appearance; a youthful countenance, neither good-looking nor hideous; tall and lean form; eyes brimming with hope and aspiration; all the features too common in a youth who had just passed adolescence. Perhaps he was the kind that had yet to see the cruelty of this world; because of that, insanity temporarily spared his mind. Still, it was only a matter of time until he sank and drowned in the depth of Toshima, until he was engulfed by the darkness of his own insanity.

He was a nice and obedient boy, though. There were times when Shiki caught the boy gazing at him with eyes sparkling with admiration. It was fascinating to find a person who did not tremble when looking at his red eyes. Up until now, there had only been his foolish brother and Akira that were not terrorized by his killing look. But Ryunosuke was different from Rin and Akira. Akira opposed him, challenged him with his wild, untamed nature while Ryunosuke unconditionally, wholeheartedly obeyed his every orders. Indeed, he was far better than those cowardly small fries he had killed; yet he did not have the crucial charm that only Akira possessed to interest him. To the beast that was Shiki, he was merely a tail, never qualified as a partner.

Ryunosuke was a nice and obedient boy and undoubtedly an unfortunate one. Akira had also taken interest in this particular guy, but it was not in the positive way as Shiki did. It was not really hard to notice the flame in Akira’s blue eyes whenever Ryunosuke appeared in his sight or Shiki happened to mention his name. It could be qualified as jealousy, Shiki guessed. Being a beast as he was, Akira could not tolerate someone’s invasion of his territory, stealing his master’s attention. When it came to possessiveness, Akira did not fail to prove his wicked ruthlessness. His seduction was not less lethal than the edge of Shiki’s katana, maybe even more. It allowed its victim to taste just one lick of sweetness and delight and then, in a mere second, crushed it all together, throwing the victim straight into the bitterness of despair. Shiki’s katana did not give its preys false hope, Akira’s poison did. Therefore, in this game, Akira was the more brutal one.

In the end, Ryunosuke was not so different from those who had fallen victimized to Akira’s trap. Unable to resist the temptation, he proceeded to taste the forbidden fruit without knowing he had signed his owned death sentence. Pathetically foolish. When his katana sliced off Ryunosuke’s head, Shiki almost felt sorry for the boy. Almost.

“Blame your own foolishness on your way to Hell.”

Shiki inwardly muttered that thought when he sheathed his katana. His strike had reached the peak of perfection in which the victim’s blood failed to cling to the edge. Though it appeared clean and shining, there existed invisible taints that could never be wiped off, proof of those unfortunate souls fallen to this katana. A killing sword in a murdering hand; there was no better combination.

Akira gave him an enchantingly sweet smile as he welcomed Shiki into his embrace. Only Shiki, the true master of Akira, deserved the love and loyalty of this menacing beast. As blood stopped flowing from Ryunosuke’s severed neck, the pair once more engaged in their sinful desire.

That smile, those lips, that body; those were worthier than a mountain of corpses. For Akira he would willingly give his everything.

If Akira craved for pleasure, he would spend all night giving Akira what he wanted until he could take no more.

If Akira lusted for blood, more lives would fall to his sword.

If Akira wanted to continue the game, he would play with him until the very end.

Because, their insanity matched each other like two sides of the mirror.

End.

Note : That’s the end of the end of the second part, based mainly on Shiki’s POV. Seriously, writing this fic was both a joy and a burden since I kind of get used Shiki and Akira (mostly Akira) in the true ending. There were times that I got stuck with the characters. I wanted them to be least ooc as possible so it took me a while to figure out what they would probably think in some situations. It was a real challenge to get into their insanity and tried to portray it as best as I could. Hope I didn’t make a mess out of it 😀

Insanity : Akira’s side

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : M

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genre : Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : Their lust, fueled by death. Their love, covered in blood. Their insanity matched perfectly like two sides of a mirror.

——

There were many features of Shiki that Akira found endearing: Shiki’s skin, a color paler than the moon; Shiki’s hair, a shade darker a starless night; Shiki’s eyes, a crimson deeper than blood. Those eyes… Akira inwardly moaned when he recalled the moments those blazing irises bore lustfully into his entire being. Cover was unneeded because soon enough, they would pierce to every nook and canny of Akira’s body and exposed the deepest part to mercilessly toy with it.

Perhaps, what Akira loved most about Shiki was his unique scent. There was always a faint fragrance emitting from Shiki’s body whenever they engaged in pleasure. A fragile scent, tinged with the thick metallic smell of blood belonging to those fallen to his katana; a scent spoke of both passion and death; a red rose nourished and grew from corpse-filled soil. The scent complimented on Shiki’s contradictory nature : a ferocious predator underneath gorgeous skin; a terror in disguise of temptation; intense pain coated in burning pleasure and passion intertwined with demise. To others, the smell of blood was disgustingly terrifying; to Akira, it was a perfume more fragrant than roses’, his perfect aphrodisiac. To others, Shiki was devil incarnate, a cruel tyrant who compelled them to choose between submittal and a painful death; to Akira, a beautiful master to whom his everything, soul, body, heart, belonged. Strangely, in this possessiveness of Shiki that Akira found contentedness and pleasure. And maybe even love.

Gently, Akira rubbed the bite mark on his shoulder. It was Shiki’s, a lovely vestige of their heated lovemaking the night before. The wound did not bleed much since it was rather shallow; still, it stung. The pain was tolerable, Akira reflected, and the ecstasy it offered was a thousand times sweeter.

It was neither the first nor the last time Shiki intentionally left some marks on Akira’s body. A bite or two, a cut or a bruise. Most of the times, they bled but never would they be deep enough to leave permanent scars on Akira’s flawless skin. When it came to sex, it seemed that Shiki possessed a fetish of wounding his partner as a way to declare his ownership. It was a weird method to express one’s affection, Akira often thought. But again, ordinary was not expected from the mighty Il-re. Had Shiki been all nice, gentle and caring instead of merciless and violent, would he have captivated Akira’s heart and soul ? Akira knew better than anybody that his former self, the proud, invincible king of Bl@ster was not moved by conventional elements as tenderness or care.  Perhaps, Shiki had been right when he had spoken the truth of Akira’s heart : deep down, Akira craved for being put under dominion and restraint. With his unwavering confidence and strength, Shiki had succeeded in breaking through Akira’s apathetic façade to light up the passionate flame inside of him. As a result, the present Akira was more than willing to comply with his every desires.

Akira’s lips curved into an exulted grin. He himself was not that obedient as a ‘pet’. There were times that he would allow his rebellious side to openly taunt his ‘master’. The night before was a perfect example. As Shiki bit his shoulder in a surge of pleasure coursing through his being, Akira also responded with equal force, if not, stronger. His nails dug into Shiki’s back almost painfully, drawing long, bloody trails on Shiki’s already scarred skin. Somewhere in the middle of paintings and moans, Akira could make out a soft groan escaping Shiki’s lips when he mimicked Shiki’s marking behavior. The sound was erotically pleasant to the ears; Akira mentally made a note to remind himself of this wonderful discovery.

People viewed Shiki as a symbol of pure, primal terror. In this chaos called Toshima, the strong lived, the weak died. The rule was brutally simple. As the strongest man, Shiki rose to the top and became the king of this lawless town. It was natural for the weak to be dominated by the strong. Those living in Toshima were not really bright, yet they were smart enough to choose life over death. No matter how much they despised, hated and longed for Shiki’s destruction, they would just lower their heads to king and obey his every orders.

A strict relationship between the lord and his servants, nothing more.

A loyalty forced upon them by strength and fear. There was no sense of honor, no compassion, no respect.

Perhaps it was because others thought of Shiki as nothing but madness and horror that Akira could feel the specialty of his existence toward Shiki. In this vast sea of people, he was the only one who did not tremble when looking in Shiki’s red eyes, the only one who could disobey the king and was not punished, the only one who had touched the profound depth of Shiki’s soul, the only one who understood and loved Shiki wholeheartedly. Those other than himself neither desired nor deserved Shiki’s attention. Akira wanted to remain the sole subject of the lust burning in Shiki’s crimson orbs. Just as his entire being belonged to Shiki, Shiki’s everything was also his possession.

As long as he had Shiki, he would wish for nothing else.

As Akira laid flat on the luscious bed, his lips formed a pout. Much to his detest, Shiki only stayed with him when the night fell and as soon as the sun rose, he departed, leaving Akira alone to chew on his solitary and boredom. The bed was soft and comfortable beneath his back but what benefit could it bring if Shiki was not here to pin him against the mattress ? The servants were always ready to do his biddings but they were utterly useless when it came to entertainment. What he truly wanted, truly needed, none could offer.

What Akira wanted now a something to kill the time while waiting for Shiki to come back from his work. And he knew just where to find it, his ‘entertainment’.

In this castle, eyes followed him everywhere he went, eyes brimming with desire. There were many who secretly gazed at him with yearning, with need and Akira knew it. It profoundly disgusted him, the ignominy of craving for something completely out of their reach. There was not a single subordinate who did not know Akira was Shiki’s, laying their hands on the king’s treasure could only lead to execution. Even so, to Akira’s invitation none of them refused. Blindly, they succumbed to Akira’s seduction, a poisonous forbidden fruit despite its enchantingly alluring fragrance, like pitiful insects being lured by the Venus flytrap’s attraction. Some even went so far as to promise to ‘free’ Akira from Shiki’s brutality. Whether it was plain pity for Akira’s ‘imprisonment’ or simply a way to solace their bruised egos by pretending to extend their hands to a person they deemed as weaker, more vulnerable than them, Akira knew not. Provided that they could really ‘save’ him from Shiki, what would they do to him ? Whenever this thought flashed his mind, Akira could not help but letting a dry chuckle. It was no doubt they would just replace Shiki’s place as his owner. The ‘freedom’ they promised him, after all, was no difference from Akira’s sugar-coated words of seduction. An outrageous lie, a bait to lure him in, to take advantage of his body, nothing else. Even when their throats were slashed open by Shiki’s katana, they were still unable to see the truth that they had fallen right into Akira’s trap, that they were merely a toy for him to play in his boredom.

How pleasant it was, the scent tinged with blood.

Shiki, though possessing a breathtaking beauty, was a predator in nature, a predator that was most ravishing when tearing up his preys. It was strictly because of this menacing aura of Shiki when he nonchalantly took lives that Akira was hopelessly bound to this man. Peace and tenderness were foreign to him, it was violence and death that made up Shiki’s deadly charms.

Whose blood should he drench Shiki with today ?

When Akira was idly passing the hall, he spotted that boy. Normally, Akira would not lay his eyes on a person so obscure. A face littered with freckles, a slightly hunched posture, there was nothing special about this boy who had recently been employed to the castle as a guard. Still, as soon as Akira caught sight of him, a sudden surge of heat rose from the bottom of his heart, the heat of profound jealousy.

Different from others, this boy was not afraid of Shiki. In contrast of fear, it was a kind of emotions Akira did not want to acknowledge when he caught the boy gazing at Shiki from time to time. It was admiration, respect and perhaps even affection. What fueled Akira’s hatred for this boy was that Shiki himself had complimented on his obedience once or twice. It was hard for Akira to admit, yet the boy, on some levels, had succeeded in earning Shiki’s attention, the attention that should belong to him only.

Like a tiger, Akira was not pleased when someone invaded his territory. His possessiveness was not any less intense than Shiki’s.

A wicked smile on his lips as Akira contemplated his plan.

The boy was hopelessly naïve and dumb against Akira’s seduction. Just the sight of Akira’s lean, smooth chest peeking out from his thin shirt was enough to make him blush furiously. It only took few whispers, a few caresses for all the blood to rush to his face. And somewhere else. As Akira’s skillful hands roamed over his suited form, his hot breaths playfully tickled his sensitive earlobes, the boy, Ryunosuke was his name, wholeheartedly succumbed to the fatal temptation. His feet blindly followed Akira’s lead to the sleeping chamber and his mind went blank from raging desire, Ryunosuke completely forgot about the thoughtful old chef’s advice when he had first set food into this castle.

“The lord keeps a treasure in his chamber. If you still value your life, never touch it, never even look at it; stay as far from it as you can.”

Amused, he watched another of his prey pathetically fall into his trap. In this game, Akira was no longer Shiki’s pet; he was a beast, a beast which never failed to catch his desired prey.

”You sure got guts, kid, to touch your master’s property.”

The chef’s words echoed in his ears as he felt the frigid edge of his lord’s katana against his Adam’s apple. When he came to realize the fatality of his fault, it was too late. Blood seemed to have evaporated from his body when he looked into those crimson irises of his lord.

He had never been afraid of this man. In contrast of fear, his heart was flooded with admiration, respect, even affection.

But now, he truly tasted the bitterness of horror.

His lord was not angel. He was demon.

Akira sat nonchalantly on the tangled sheet of the luscious bed, the cold, indifferent smile never left his lips as he watched the boy, his poor victim trembling, begging for his life. It was of no avail; soon enough Shiki’s katana would decapitate him and his corpse would join the mountain of rotten flesh underneath this castle.

Truly, this chamber had witnessed too much of its owners’ cruelty.

Akira’s porcelain arms intertwined around Shiki’s neck, his lips starved for a deep, burning kiss.

“Honestly, you have never thought about being loyal to me ?”

Shiki’s reprimand leaked between hot breaths, absent of the severity it should have had. That Akira played with some man while he was not around was not something new to Shiki.

“It was your fault for leaving me unoccupied. Without you, it was boring as hell.”

His breaths were reduced to short, quickened pants; Akira moaned at the damp sensation of Shiki’s tongue teasing the tender flesh of his neck.

“For your recreation, a life was wasted.”

“You pitied him ?” Akira smirked. “Weren’t you the one who killed him ?”

“Weren’t you the cause of his death ?” In respond to that smirk, Shiki bit down on the flesh, hard enough to draw fresh, hot blood.

“I hate the way he looked at you, Shiki. Only I can look at you without any reservation.”

“So, you’re jealous when someone tries to get your master’s attention ?”

In answer to Shiki’s taunt Akira was silent; his hands were too busy freeing Shiki from his complicated clothing.

“You don’t mind that corpse ?”

“Why should I ? That’s just another small fry you cut down. Let him watch us. At least he’ll learn his lesson on the way to hell.”

Shiki smiled at the blatant atrocity of Akira’s words. Though blessed with a fair appearance, his twisted personality was more dangerous than the most bloodthirsty monster.

As soon as Akira finished his job, Shiki’s strong arms immediately pushed him down the mattress. His fingertips, cool as ice, traced Akira’s lips.

For a pet, you’re quite rebellious.”

Their passion heated up while the body on the floor grew colder with each passing minute.

Their lust, fueled by death. Their love, covered in blood.

End.

Note : The first part of this story is finished. This time, it is based on Shiki’s 3rd ending in which Shiki became the lord of Toshima and Akira became, literally, his lustful ‘mistress’ who would seduce any men while Shiki was out. When I first came across this ending, its weirdness struck me hard; especially Akira. This Akira was entirely different from the original Akira, like he had been turned into another person. It intrigued me what had changed him so. Besides, it amused me terribly how calmly Shiki acted toward Akira’s behavior. It seemed to me that both of them were not in their right minds. Nevertheless, it was an interesting ending; I enjoyed it as much as I did with ‘military’ ending and the true ending.

Baka Neko

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T ( for violence, language and innuendos )

Pairing : ShikiXAkira

Genres : Fluff, Romance, Humor, Crack

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : What’s Toshima’s strongest charisma’s greatest enemy ? If your answer is N then you can guess again. A crack fic which involves Shiki chasing a cat and getting scratched by it.

Shiki hates cats.

By cats, he means every kinds of cats.

From the normal cats whose existence holds no meaning except for breeding more of their kind and annoying his hearing sense with that hateful “meow” of them. People find that sound cute but everytime Shiki hears it, he wants nothing but to find its source and put a god damn end to it.

To that woman* who dresses in shameless skin tight outfit he once saw on TV. That movie which Rin forced him to watch was a total crap. Such a terrible taste his stupid little brother has.

And there is that fat blue cat children and even adults are so fond of. Seriously, what is good about a cat with no ears running around screaming for dorayaki*. Tch, it is unbelievable that he once read that kind of manga and even found it fascinating. Silly childhood indeed.

Not to mention those cat folks* he and Akira happened to encounter a pair some weeks ago. As expected, Akira immediately made friend with one of them, a cat with beige fur*. He even went so far as exchanging his solids for some weird fruits* those cats were bringing along and promising to visit their home someday. Like hell Shiki would allow Akira to come to a lair of cats and bring back that nauseous smell of them. Moreover, on that encounter, it took nearly all his willpower to not slash off the head of a certain silver-haired cat*. That disdainful look the cat gave him was simply intolerable. Judging by that look, Shiki could the hatred was mutual. It was only fair.

And he hates being called “Shikitty” by one of Arbitro’s rabid guard dogs. If it wasn’t because of his deal with Arbitro, Shiki swore on his precious katana that those dogs were no longer rabid. No dead dogs were rabid.

Perhaps, long, long ago, Shiki did not hate cats as much as he does today. He might not be a cat-lover but cats did not bother him much. As long as they did not get in his way, their presence was acceptable. However, thanks to a certain blonde stupid half-brother, cats have become Il-re’s nemesis.

It was a humid summer when that incident occurred. Like any other ignorant teenagers, back then, the king himself was careless enough to let his guard down to his wicked, evil half-brother. Little did Shiki know while he was snoozing out of the heat of a summer after noon, Rin had sprayed some sort of cat pheromones on his hair, face and shirt. God knew where he had had his hands on that kind of stuff. Shiki was perfectly unaware of that stupid yet cruel prank until Rin presented him with a cat. And a cat in heat, no less.

Before this incident, Shiki had paid little attention to the lectures in his biology class. But he remembered something about animal sexual behavior his teacher had remarked in his lesson. That was how ferocious could a cat be in mating season. Unfortunately, Shiki had experienced it firsthand. The cat, once being released from Rin’s grip, assaulted Shiki with all her strength. She bit, she clawed and she did a few more embarrassing things before Rin, out of pity, lured the female cat away from Shiki by introducing her to her true partner, a male of her kind. As a result of this stupid prank, Shiki’s face, arms and chest were littered with bleeding scratches and bites. How miserable Shiki was for the next few days. To add insult to an injury, the poor teen developed a fierce cat allergy, something he had never experienced before.

Up until now, his hatred for cats has not cooled down one bit. So has his hatred for Rin.

When he opened the door of his rundown apartment, the sight greeting him was not of his favor. On the bed, beside his Akira was his greatest enemy laying. No, it was not N. In N’s presence, Shiki would not be rendered speechless. It was something worse than N, something that could make the king unable to form a word. It was…a cat.

On top of that, Akira was all giggling like a foolish teenage girl while playing with that damn cat. He did not even notice Shiki’s approaching.

“What the hell is that thing, Akira ?”

Being entirely ignorant of the malice in Shiki’s tone, Akira looked up and smile, the cat cuddling comfortably in his embrace.

“I ask again, what the hell is that thing ?”

Akira was perplexed by Shiki’s strange behavior. Normally, Shiki would come straight to the bed and give Akira a hot, sensual kiss. But today, Shiki just stood awkwardly at the entrance as if to keep a relative distance with him.

“Just a cat that happened to pass by the window. What’s the matter Shiki ? You’re acting rather strange.”

“Throw that thing out !” Shiki coldly commanded.

Akira was taken aback by Shiki’s unusually harsh tone. Well, to be fair, Shiki had never been gentle to Akira or anyone. However, Akira could detect the irritation in that tone easily.

“Why ? I like this cat. See, he looks a lot like you.”

As though to demonstrate, Akira walked to Shiki, his hands holding out the cat. The distance between Shiki and that little damn cat was terrifyingly shortened. He would take several steps back if it was not Akira who was approaching him. To do so meant to admit his fear to Akira. Wait a minute, it was not “fear”,  Il-re feared nothing; it was only his burning hatred for cats.

For whatever reason, to step back was equal to losing his face in front of Akira.

What an insolent cat it was ! As if he could sense Shiki’s animosity toward him, the cat extended his claws to Shiki.

He was a jet black cat. His fur was ragged, a proof of him being a stray cat. And dirty, too. He was no difference from any stray cats that could be found on the streets of Toshima; except for his round, crimson eyes that seemed to emit light themselves. Much to his resentment, those eyes, coupled with his black fur, the cat indeed resembled Shiki. However, admitting that knowledge did little to calm his fury, only fueled it.

“I hate cats.” Shiki replied, turning his face away to avoid the cat’s sight.

“I know you do. But can you make an exception ? I really like him. See how much he looks like you. I even name him Shikitty.”

Oh crap, where did he hear that name ?

By the way, was it his imagination or Akira was actually pleading with him ? For the time he had known ( and gotten together with ) the youth, Shiki had never heard Akira plead for anything. Not for his won life. Not for Shiki’s mercy. Yet now, for a stupid cat, he was pleading with Shiki ? Shiki knew not whether to feel irritated or amused at the youth’s sudden change in behavior. Putting that aside, the sight of Akira giggling while cuddling with that cat was… should he hay it since it was too out of character…cute.

Shiki was almost convinced by that… until the cat shamelessly waved his tail at Shiki’s face. His ragged, furry tail.

Cursed it. His allergy to cat fur. He had thought it was gone since he had not come near a real cat for years. But it was still there, embarrassing him in front of the person he wanted to feel embarrassed least. A surge of uncontrollable sneeze hit him right the face and he kept sneezing in a rather inelegant manner.

Akira was in perplexity when he witnessed the unexpected event occurring in front of his very eyes. The arrogant Il-re was sneezing furiously, his straight back bending over, his immaculate white face flushed red. Who would think Shiki could be this… adorable ?

“Are you alright, Shiki ?” Akira tried hard to suppress his laughter which threatened to burst out. “I did not know you’re allergic to cats.”

“Throw…it…out…” Shiki grumbled between sneezes.

“I’ll keep him away from you. Don’t make me throw him away, please.” The last word “please” came out much softer than the rest; even Akira himself knew he was acting out of character. But this cat was just too cute that he did not mind pleading with Shiki.

“If you don’t, I will.”

Akira silently gasped at the sight of Shiki unsheathing his katana. It was no doubt he was serious in killing the cat.

The cat which possessed the ability to sense dangers, leapt from Akira’s hand to the nearby table in a flash. Shiki, one hand covered his nose and mouth, the other swung his katana.

“Stop, Shiki !”

Akira’s shriek did not seem to reach his ears as Shiki kept swinging his katana wildly, fully determined to take the poor creature’s life. Unfortunately for him ( and luckily for the cat ), a sudden urge to sneeze made him miss his target and the cat got away in a strand of hair. Instead, furniture ( well, there was not much furniture in this room anyway ) fell victimized to the merciless hand of the king.

The sight of a furious man chasing a cat around was something not every one wanted to see.

“That’s enough, Shiki !”

Before Shiki destroyed the last piece of furniture, the bed, and rendered the two of them bedless for the night, Akira did a bold act of hugging Shiki’s waist with all his strength. In other situations, this could be considered a rare romantic act between them.

“Let go, Akira !” Shiki grumbled while trying to free himself from Akira’s bearhug.

Taking advantage of Shiki’s off-guard moment, the cat leapt from the window and disappeared in the vast darkness of the night.

“Damn it, you let it get away !“ Shiki growled, terribly frustrated in letting his prey escape.

“I don’t want him to get killed by your hand.” Akira retorted with equal harshness in his tone.

“I did tell you to throw it out, didn’t I ? It would turn out like this if you had listened to me.”

“I didn’t know Il-re is so afraid of a cat.”

As soon as the sarcasm leaked from Akira’s mouth, Shiki’s eyes flashed with anger. Before he could continue, Akira was pushed with such force that he lied flat on the bed. The bad creaked as another weight was added.

When he thought Shiki had stopped treating with violence, the man allowed his ferocious side to be on display. His strong hand seized Akira’s throat.

“I’m not afraid. I hate them.”

“Refusing to admit your weakness only proves your childishness.”

Despite the pain which was gradually increasing in his throat, Akira replied sharply. When Shiki was abusive to him, instead of submittal, Akira’s fighting spirit would kick in. Plus, his lips also curled into a smirk, a mocking aimed directly at Shiki’s pride.

“Tch…”

Speechless, the king’s hand loosened its grip on Akira’s throat; still, it did not let go. As though Shiki had been turned into a statue, he fell utterly silent. In front of this abrupt change in behavior, Akira lost his interest in mocking Shiki’s fear of cats. He actually felt a bit pity toward his partner’s phobia, knowing it would do nothing but enrage Shiki more if he expressed his sympathy. On the other hand, his anger had not subsided.

They stayed in that position in what felt like an eternity until Akira, who could not stand it anymore, opened his mouth first :

“Let go of me already !”

As Akira’s voice, Shiki snapped out of his trance of thought. An unreadable emotion hidden in his scarlet orbs.

Slapped.

His hand flied across Akira’s cheek. It was not really painful; still, it was entirely unexpected. As Shiki climbed off the bed and walked out, his katana in hand, Akira was left there, confused, exasperated. Sometimes, this man’s acts were beyond comprehensible.

No word was exchanged; only the sound of Shiki’s boots on the cement ground echoed.

Needless to say, tonight would not be a peaceful night for the inhabitants of Toshima.

There was one way for the king to vent out his anger. In this town, there were plenty of small fries. As their screams echoed and their blood went flying in the air, the heat in his head began to cool down.

When he set his feet in the room, it was dark and rather cold. The window was deliberately left open for the merciless winds to assault the space. On the bed by the window, Akira was laying soundlessly, his back facing the entrance. Obviously the youth was sulking.

“Hey”

No answer.

“You are not pretending to sleep, are you ?”

Silence.

“Tch”

Knowing he would not get any reply from Akira if he was just asking, Shiki took off his coats, boots and gloves to climb on the bed. His hand reached out to caress Akira’s cheek, the spot he had hit Akira earlier, feeling a bit of remorse. Shiki’s arrogance never allowed him to apologize; still, he intended to give Akira a night of pleasure to make up for their fight.

“Don’t touch me !”

Akira’s tone was cold; his hand slapped Shiki’s away from his face.

“What the…”

The taste of rejection was unpleasantly bitter. The proud king felt anger coiling in his heart. Of all people, this little pet was the one that dared to speak to him in such manner, to disobey him, to reject him. Was it not because of these traits that he had been captivated in their very first meeting ?

Sometimes, his stupid pride and stubbornness was beyond tolerable.

His arms grabbed the youth’s shoulders, forcing Akira to face him.

“Dare to say that again ?”

“I told you not to touch me.” Trapped between Shiki’s strong arms; nevertheless, Akira refused not to provoke Shiki.

“No one tells me to do anything.” Shiki growled; the malice was vivid in his eyes. “I can just kill you right now.”

“Then go ahead. Do whatever you want. Hit me. Rape me. Kill me.”

It was true that Shiki could kill this boy in one swift motion. However, if there was one person Shiki could not kill, would never kill then it would only be this boy laying beneath him. When challenging him with his sharp tongue, Akira probably knew of this fact. He could also use his strength to take Akira right now but it would be utterly meaningless. After all, he had spent time and effort to tame Akira, to make Akira willingly, wholeheartedly comply to his every wishes.

Losing the battle, Shiki eventually let go of Akira and lied down, his back facing Akira. In return, the youth also turned to the wall.

This was the first night after such a long time that Shiki found it hard to fall asleep despite having Akira beside him.

He departed early in the morning, when Akira was drifting in his dream. Before leaving, he noticed the pack of solids he had left for Akira the previous morning was only half eaten. Akira had skipped his dinner. Without a word, Shiki cleaned it up and placed new packs of solids on the bed together of a bottle of water. Omurice flavor, Akira’s favorite.

When he returned in the evening, the food was not yet touched, only the bottle was half full. Akira was still facing the wall, refusing any communication with Shiki.

“Do as you please. Go ahead and starve yourself to death.”

He spoke with toughness but his heart was not that tough. Another day passed and Akira neither talked nor ate anything. Though he did not want to admit it, he was starting to feel worried. If this silence was a challenge then he was losing terribly.

The second day passed and Shiki decided to put an end to this stupid game, whether the lost was at his or not.

“Did you see a black cat with red eyes ?”

Several Igra participants were scared to death when Shiki approached them, katana unsheathed, eyes burning with frigid flame. To them, Shiki equaled death since no one ever came back in one piece after an encounter with Shiki.

Being asked such ridiculous question, few of them could gather their guts and answer. The rest was all trembling and pleading for their lives. Thus, Shiki was left with only himself on the pursuit of the cat.

Little did they know that Shiki’s preys were all Line-users.

The dawn came with weariness and exhaustion. Akira was never a morning person and he did not enjoy getting up early. But with his stomach harshly complaining, it was hard to keep sleeping. Glancing at those packs of solids Shiki had left for him, Akira heaved a sigh. Did he deliberately leave them here as a mean to test how long Akira’s stubbornness could last or did he do it because he genuinely cared for Akira ? Akira preferred the latter but knowing Shiki’s personality, it could very likely be the former. There was always a cold, cruel part in Shiki that Akira could not deny even when he had accepted Shiki.

To be honest, Shiki’s attempt to kill his cat was not the sole reason of Akira’s sulk. With such terrible allergy, no wonder why Shiki held such fierce aversion to cats. It was how insensitive Shiki was toward Akira’s feelings. Most of the time, Shiki was out on the streets, doing whatever he wanted to do. He only came back after sunset. Shiki never knew how bored Akira was while waiting for him in this secluded room. All he wanted was a little entertainment.

Perhaps Akira himself was overdoing it. Shiki never apologized, he knew it, but he had shown signs of willing to make up for his act. And Akira’s pride did not allow him to accept it. Instead of reconciling with Shiki, he had foolishly chosen to oppose Shiki with his self-starving. Now was the result : he was starving for both food and sex. Truly, he missed Shiki’s sensual kisses and touches.

This stupidity ought to stop. When Shiki came back, Akira would talk to him; he might as well do something for Shiki as his apology.

Last night, Shiki had not come back. Where had he been ?

Footsteps echoed through the apartment, all too familiar. Subconsciously, Akira’s heart thumped with every sound; his anxiety gradually built up with the shortening distance. Today, Shiki’s footsteps were rather strange. They seemed to be heavier than usual and if Akira listened carefully, he could detect faint noises accompanying each step. Noises of… sneezing ?

Akira did not have to wait long for the answer. Soon enough, Shiki stepped through the door with something black in his hand. That “thing” was jerking violently, trying to free itself from Shiki’s grip.

“Your stupid cat. Take it !”

The cat was thrown to Akira, who was all confused and speechless. It was the same black cat Akira was so fond of’. Shiki had probably spent the entire night looking for this cat. Who knew the ruthless Il-re could be this caring ? Joy filled his heart, more because of Shiki’s act than having the cat back. When he turned to Shiki to express his gratitude, he knew not whether to feel amused or pity toward the sight presented to him. There were dark circles around his crimson eyes which had grown dull due to sleepiness. His usually immaculate white face was littered with scratches. Some shallow, some deep, some bleeding, some not. Obviously, the cat had put up a good fight with Toshima’s strongest charisma. His nose was slightly swollen and red, result of sneezing all the way to home.

“Keep that thing away from me or I’ll kill it.” Shiki spoke with nasal voice, his hand covering his nose. With every chairs destroyed in the last incident, he had no choice but to sit on the bed, much to his dismay, uncomfortably close to the cat.

“Are you alright ?” Akira asked meekly, his hand touching Shiki’s wounds.

Jerking off, Shiki replied with hoarse voice. “I’m fine.”

Chuckling at his childishness, Akira put away the cat and went to bathroom to fetch some water and a towel.

“No need to do that.”

Akira ignored him and began his job of cleaning the wounds. Shiki tried hard to suppress his groan when the water touched his scratches.

Even the ferocious tiger could have his soft side. Akira found this newly discovered fact quite adorable. Putting down the towel, Akira could not resist the urge to cup Shiki’s face and licked his wounds.

“What are you doing ?”

He could feel Shiki’s startle; nevertheless, he did not want to stop. A coy smile adorned his lips.

“Someone told me it lessened the pain. That’s why cats often lick their injuries.”

“Are you a cat ?”

“May be I am. And your cat, no less.”

“Stupid cat.”

After the remark had left his mouth, Shiki pulled Akira into a vehement kiss.

“So are you”.

End.

——

Note : This product is brought to you by love, courage and a bit of Line LOL ( a running gag in Togainu no Chi funny disc )

My third fic dedicated to ShikiXAkira :D. And the first humor fic, a change of mood after two angst fics -_-.

The fic was written mostly in Shiki’s perspective so any remarks mentioned at the beginning were from Shiki’s view. If you find them offensive, don’t blame me 😀

The title “Baka Neko” means “Stupid Cat”

*”that woman” refers to Cat Woman, played by Halle Berry.

*”fat blue cat” refers to Doraemon. His favorite food is dorayaki, a kind of cake filled with red beans.

*”cat folks” refers to the Ribicas- a race mixed of human and cat. They look almost human, except for the cat-like ears and tail. They are present in Lamento, another work of Nitro+ChiRAL.  And a yaoi game no less 😀

* “a cat with beige fur” refers to Konoe, Lamento’s main “uke”. The game follows his journey to find a cure for his curse. Before he was cursed, his ears and tail was beige. After that, they turned black.

*”silver-haired cat” refers to Rai, Lamento’s main seme. He’s a mercenary cat with white hair, ears and tail. He often expresses cold, uncaring attitude, only opens up after traveling with Konoe. In the cross-over drama cd “Welcome to ChiRAL café” which includes the main cast of Nitro+ ChiRAL’s 3 yaoi games ( Togainu no Chi, Lamento and Sweet Pool ), Rai and Shiki strongly dislike each other. On the other hand, Akira and Konoe get along very well.

*weird fruits” refers to kuim, a kind of fruit in Lamento. Kuim is Konoe’s favorite.

——

Omake :

While playing with the cat, Akira discovered something he had not noticed before. It was a collar with a piece of paper attached to it. Someone had intentionally put the paper in the collar for Akira to find.

“Shiki, look what I find on the cat.”

Shiki did not reply. He was busy polishing his precious katana.

“There’s something written here. Let’s see… the handwriting is quite bad. To face your greatest enemy is to overcome your greatest fear. Signed : N. Who’s this N person, Shiki ? You know him ?”

As soon as the words left his mouth, Akira immediately regretted saying them. Whoever this N person was, when hearing his name, Shiki’s calm attitude abruptly turned to that of rage and malice. Without saying anything, he grabbed his katana and stomped out of the room.

Akira sighed. Tolerating Shiki’s mood swing was even harder than tolerating a long and tumultuous summer.

Note :

N and his philosophy. LOL

Winter

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T

Pairing : ShikiXAkira, Akira-centric

Genre : Angst, Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : One year ago, Akira had come to Toshima in order to defeat the invincible Il-re. Now, the king himself was under Akira’s care and protection. Based on Shiki’s true ending. Warning for spoilers.

Perhaps, the most severe season of the year is winter. To some people, winter is the metaphor of death. As a pale sheet covers a deceased, snow pains the land an immaculate lifeless white. Under that bleak blanket, every creature succumbs to a long hibernation.

During those dreary winter days, the forest falls into utter silence. If there is a sound to be heard, then that will be the dry howling of savage winds ruthlessly sweeping through leafless branches. Besides, nothing else.

However, the end of winter is the beginning of spring.

It was near the end of winter. As if a wounded beast desperately trying to cling onto its last breath, the weather was even harsher than it had been in mid winter.

Despite the freezing temperature outside their temporary shelter, Akira still wanted to take Shiki out for a walk. The air in their room was too humid and stuffy that even Akira sometimes felt suffocated; staying inside for a long time would undoubtedly do harm to Shiki’s health. The man needed fresh air once in a while.

To be fair, Akira himself did not have many complaints about the poor condition of their present shelter, a deserted hut near a forest’s edge. Life of constant travelers did not allow them the luxury of being picky about their places. As long as there was a roof to cover them and the minimum of furniture, a bed at least, then it was fine. They would not stay at one place for too long anyway.

A thick, fuzzy scarf to prevent the frigid winds from assaulting Shiki’s frail body, an extra blanket to warm his wheelchair. Tenderly, carefully, as if a gentle mother would treat her precious child, Akira prepared Shiki for their trip. When Akira’s fingers were working on the scarf, a drop of tear fell on the back of his hand.

Akira rarely shed tears. Instead of shedding tears, the proud youth would rather shed blood. Nevertheless, there were times he could not help but bringing his hand up to wipe away his tears.

If it was a year ago, he would use a variety of adjectives to describe Shiki’s body, cold, lean, firm… but never “frail”. Memories of their being together, of his arms clinging desperately onto Shiki’s broad shoulders were still vivid in Akira’s mind. Even now, when he closed his eyes, he could still trace the curve of Shiki’s back, the faint fragrance, slightly tinged with sweats, emitting from Shiki’s skin when they were in the middle of heated sex.

It was all but a distant past. Now Shiki sat motionlessly on the wheelchair like a soulless doll someone has carelessly discarded; his every needs tended to by the hands of Akira. If someone were to look at this present him, there was no way they could tell he had once been the most feared man in the chaos known as Toshima. This was a tragic end, even pathetic, for the arrogant king.

When Akira lifted Shiki’s hand to put on a glove, he could not help but tracing his fingers along the delicate bones. This hand, so soft, so smooth, yet it had ruthlessly taken away countless lives. It was also this hand that had violated Akira’s body without mercy, both inside and outside. However, no matter how Akira wished this hand to tightly grip his jaw, to harshly push his face down the mattress, to grab his most private part, to toy with it, it would just fall soundlessly if he let go of it.

He really should have stopped thinking too much. It would only weaken his will while he had to stay strong. For Shiki and for himself.

The wheels of Shiki’s wheelchair left two deep tracks on the snow-coated route as Akira took Shiki to the forest. The freshness and purity of untamed nature would improve Shiki’s condition and calm Akira’s tumultuous soul.

Akira had spotted this forest when they first came to this province. It was sheer bliss, Akira thought, to find such wonder in this war-torn nation, perfectly untouched by the greedy hands of humans. That was why Akira wanted to share with Shiki this fascinating little discovery.

A tiny snow fleck landed on Shiki’s cheek, unintentionally close to his eye. Quickly it was melted by his body’s heat, rolling down his face on a thin trail of moisture. It looked like a drop of tears, thought Akira as he carefully wiped it off with a handkerchief. He knew not whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of his analogy or feel down about it. For the short time he had been with Shiki, he was sure the man could never cry. Still, if the arrogant Il-re had known he would end up relying entirely on someone one day, would he shed tears ?

Akira immediately brushed that trance of thought off his mind when his keen hearing sense picked up the sound of boots stepping on snow. Just those usual small fries who tried to take Shiki’s life for either revenge or benefit. Akira smiled as he drew out his katana, Shiki’s katana. When did Shiki’s arrogance begin to seep into him ?

Blood spilled mercilessly on the purity of snow; body fell after body as Akira took his Danse Macabre. The very first moment he had witnessed Shiki’s massacre reeled in his mind like a rewinding film. He remembered vividly how revolting the thick scent of blood and innards had been to his nose. He had participated in Bl@ster, had won countless battles but Lost had never taken a life. Deep down in his heart, Akira detested killing to the core. Yet, what he was doing now was exactly what he had found so repulsive in the past. No pursuer encountering them had come back alive. His heart did not waver when his katana cut down his opponents. For Shiki’s sake, Akira would not mind dying his hands in the crimson on blood. For Shiki’s sake, he would not mind turning himself into a cold-blooded murderer.

One year ago, Akira had come to Toshima in order to defeat the invincible Il-re.

Now, the king himself was under Akira’s care and protection.

Such twist was the irony of life.

Akira wiped off the sweats between his brows and sheathed his katana. He noticed that his clothes, as well as Shiki’s, were tainted with blood of those pursuers. The scenery was not much better. What a mess he had created.

“Let’s go back Shiki. I’ll have to change your clothes. Sorry, I messed up our trip.” Though Shiki probably could not hear anything now, Akira whispered into his ears.

A grain of blood clung stubbornly to Shiki’s face. The crimson contradicted intensely with his porcelain skin.

Blood and snow, red and white, these two made a poor combination.

But again, red and white were Shiki’s colors beside vivid black.

Burning red pupils, snow-white skin, those features Akira felt both haunting and endearing.

That was his Shiki, both passion and death incarnate.

That was his Shiki, and no one else’s.

“All of your being belongs to me. I’m your owner.”

As Akira kissed Shiki’s icy lips, he mentally repeated Shiki’s lines when the king had claimed Akira his possession.

It was near the end of winter. Soon, spring would come and every living creature would rise from their hibernation and the forest would be revived.

Perhaps, at that time, he too would also wake up from his deep slumber.

End.

Note : The last 2 CGs of Shiki’s true end inspired me to write this fic (In one of them, Akira’s expression’s like “Touch MY Shiki and I’ll hack you to pieces =))). At first, I intended to set the background in autumn, as per Akira’s comment about how the season suited Shiki (suited his eyes to be precise). However, when I processed to write it, I suddenly found winter to be a more appropriate background than autumn because winter carries a metaphorical meaning. Shiki’s true end touched me and I immediately became a AkiraXShiki fangirl. Like many others, I would want Shiki to wake up from his coma someday (the drama cd did imply that Shiki started to gain consciousness). Since it’s supposed to be an angst fic, I wanted to put in a bit of hope to lighten the mood.

Danse Macabre : Dance of Death

Il-re : Italian word for “king”. Shiki’s title in Toshima.

High Anxiety

A Togainu no Chi Fanfiction

Rating : T

Pairing : ShikiXAkira, Akira-centric

Genre : Angst, Romance

Characters : Akira, Shiki

Preview : A pathetic soul clinging onto another, unable to live on its own, that was what Shiki would probably think.  But Akira could not careless. As long as he was with Shiki, as long as he had Shiki, Akira needed nothing else.

——

In the thickness of the night, a figure, dyed in pale moonlight, rose.

Panting, shivering, trembling.

Sharp, ragged breath came out from his mouth a thin, foggy veil. Outside the makeshift shelter, savage winds kept howling like a starving beast. Inside, little could the dying embers do to warm the atmosphere.  It was in deed a cold night.

The mattress beneath his back damped with sweats. When he brought his hands to his forehead, he could not distinguish whether his forehead or his palms were soaked with sweats. Fresh drops traced his back in tortuous trails. It was as if he had just been thrown to a pool.  Gust of wind swept through the rundown window which had been pulled open sometime in the night, undoubtedly chilled to the bone.

Akira tight gripped his chest where his heart was racing with painfully fast pace. In the dead silence of the room, Akira could clearly make out the sound of his heart pounding against his ribcage. So fierce, so desperate, like a caged animal trying to crush his prison. It was quite some time since his heart had been forced into such intensity.

He twisted his torso and bolted the window. At least it could block the winds somehow.

Silver moonlight leaked from the cracks of the window, barely invaded the darkness engulfing the space. As if something had just flashed his foggy mind, his hand blindly sought out to seek something. When that ‘something’ was found, his hand immediately grabbed it; his fingers squeezed it with such force that through the fragile skin, Akira could feel both his and its pulses.

It was a hand that Akira searched for. Moreover, it was the hand which belonged to someone lying beside him.

It was Shiki’s hand.

In contrast with his raging pulses, Shiki’s pulses were calm and balanced.

In fact, as the state he was now, it was unlikely that anything could disturb the stability of his heart.

That was, if his heart was still functioning.

As soon as Akira felt the steady rhythm of Shiki’s pulses, he let out a lengthy sigh as if a heavy burden had been magically lifted off his shoulders.

As long as there were pulses, Shiki was perfectly safe and sound.

As long as there were pulses, no matter how terrifying his nightmare was, Akira could always reassure himself that it was just a bad dream.

As long as there were pulses, he knew Shiki had not abandoned him.

A certain nightmare had been tormenting Akira for quite sometime. Since when had it started, Akira could not pinpoint the exact time. Perhaps around the time when Shiki had fallen into this doll-like state.

It was always a same dream. In the dream, they would be thrown into a raging river. While Akira could hold onto a boulder or a branch of tree, Shiki was struggling in vain against the ferocious currents. No matter how desperately Akira tried to hold out his hand, Shiki could never reach it. It was a mere inch, the distance between their hands, a cruel, uncrossable inch. In the end, all Akira could do was helplessly watching in horror as the whirlpool devoured Shiki, leaving not a trace left.

As the heart wrenching cry echoed, Akira woke up, soaked in cold sweats, exhausted, terrified.

Tonight, there was a tad difference in the dream. When Akira held out his hand, instead of trying to grab it like every other times, Shiki flashed Akira his trademark smirk. As if disgusted by Akira, Shiki threw himself into the current, allowing the force of nature to take him away. Away from Akira.

It was a stupid dream, Akira contemplated, yet, it was so horrifying that the despair it left in Akira was startlingly real.

Shiki’s skin was pleasantly cool against Akira’s heated palm as he held onto Shiki’s hand. His lips pressed gently to the back of Shiki’s hand. In his chaotic world, only this hand, this dedicate hand, remained a constant serenity.

How long would it take before this fragile tranquility was mercilessly crushed ?

Perhaps the dream was not all surreal. Perhaps it was a reflection of Akira’s greatest fear. It never ceased to frighten Akira that one morning, Akira would wake up from his sleep only to find a cold, rigid body by his side. Sometime in the night, Shiki had silently taken his departure to next world, not bothering to bid farewell.

If it were someone else, they would find this fear rather absurd. To Akira, it was a terror he had yet to find a cure. The state in which Shiki was now, there was only a thin, fine line separating life and death. If somehow that line was to severe, he would ultimately lose Shiki. A line so thin, so frail, just like that cruel, uncrossable inch in his dream.

As he laid his head on Shiki’s chest, each and every beats of Shiki’s heart thumped against his eardrums. No symphonies could be more pleasant than these monotonous beats. Their beauty was simply beyond comparison because they were proof of Shiki’s existence, proof of Shiki’s remaining by his side.

Besides affection, their relationship was that of reliance. In his paralytic state, Shiki could not carry out even the simplest task without Akira’s aid; so he ended up relying entirely on Akira to take care of his needs, to protect him from those who lusted for his blood. On the other hand, Akira was also reliant on Shiki to carry on his existence. It was incomprehensible, even absurd, in others’ point of view, for someone capable to be dependent of another, and a disabled no less. Only Akira knew the truth. Back in the chaos of Toshima, after Keisuke’s death, he had had no other choice but to lean on Shiki’s strong form for support. He hated to admit it, but without Shiki’s protection, he would probably have joined the pile of forgotten corpses in the heart of Toshima. Now, when he was released from that chaos, when he was able to stand firmly on his own two feet, his existence became strongly adhered to this man. In this vast world, where he had no parents, no friends, no acquaintances, no attachments, Shiki was his everything. To protect Shiki against his pursuers, he became stronger. He even wielded the sword and soaked his hands in the essence of life. To wait for the day Shiki would rise from his slumber, he survived the cruelty of this world and lived. Eventually, Shiki became his raison d’etre.

A pathetic soul clinging onto another, unable to live on its own, that was what Shiki would probably think.  But Akira could not careless. As long as he was with Shiki, as long as he had Shiki, Akira needed nothing else.

“What would I do if you left me, Shiki ?”

A weary smile on his lips, Akira tightened his embrace on Shiki’s lean frame. The calm, serene beating of Shiki’s heart soon lured him into another sleep. This time, instead of the raging river, Akira would dream of the peaceful summer sea.

End.

PS : My second fanfic dedicated to this wonderful pairing. *sweatdrops* did I make Akira too weak ?

“raison d’etre” : French word for “reason for being”

Chapter 2 : A lost pet – Part 1

Saya was very happy to have Haji with her. The boy was more than just a pet, like a little friend. Although he could only speak some simple sentences such as ” Saya’s home “, ” pick me up ! ” or ” play with me “, he had another thing to entertain her. The box she was given was actually a cello with a bow, especially modified to suit his size. When Saya gave them to him, little Haji ( or Haji-chan like Saya called him ) ‘s eyes shone brilliantly. Little Haji could play many pieces with his cello. If he listened to a new piece on TV or radio, he could play the entire piece again, perfectly. The greatest part was he would play anytime for her, if she asked him to.

However, there was a small problem.

Since Saya had little Haji, she became very sneaky. Every night, she came downstairs and stole some food, biscuits, milk or jam, even candies. Sometimes, she got caught by Kai, her older brother or Diva, her twin sister. Saya could put up with being called ‘ glutton ‘, as long as she could keep little Haji with her.

The young boy would appreciate anything she gave to him but she realized that Haji would enjoy things that Saya herself enjoyed. There was some kind of bond created between her and little Haji. As days passed, Saya grew more and more attracted to her pet. Saya gave up hanging out with her friends, going to the movies or shopping with her sister, to go home with Haji. The boy grew gloomy when she said ‘ goodbye ‘ to him to go to school, only to be cheered up when she got home and picked him up.

Saya knew she wouldn’t be able to hide him like this forever. However, she tried to keep it as long as possible. For now, she just enjoyed her little secret.

Unfortunately, her little was exposed sooner than she had thought. Her brothers and sister soon noticed that there was something strange about her. First, her younger brother Riku realized that Saya was eating more than usual, since he was the one that made lunch for her ( in fact, for all his brother and sisters ). Plus, Kai and Diva once caught her stealing food at night and bringing to her room. Second, Diva got really frustrated because Saya made her knock before entering her room. She often got to Saya’s room without knocking, which Saya really didn’t mind. There was once Diva forgot that and habitually came to Saya’s room to borrow a dress, she got herself scolded by her older twin for almost 30 minutes. And last, Saya didn’t want to go shopping with her anymore, so she had no choice but to ask Nathan, her ‘ gay boyfriend ‘, who got the worst sense of fashion to come with her. Talking about this ‘ gay boyfriend ‘, Diva couldn’t stand being ‘ boyfriendless ‘ while all her friends got one ( well, her sister Saya didn’t have one either but she didn’t take it serious like Diva ); so she made Nathan, the only one in the school that dared to get close to her, her boyfriend. At least, he was half a male.

That was why Diva gathered her brothers to secret meeting at the kitchen ( without Saya’s notice ).

” Saya must be hiding something from us ! ” Diva declared, banging her fist on the table to add dramatic effect.

” Maybe she is. But don’t you think it’s too personal for us to poke our nose into her business ? ” Kai, the oldest one, said like he didn’t care what Saya was hiding. In fact, Kai was too lazy to get involved to this kind of stuff. He would simply get Diva do the entire job for him.

” There’s nothing personal between us. We’re a family and she has no rights to hide something from us ! Right, Riku ? ”

” I… I think it’s her privacy and we shouldn’t interfere. Maybe Saya nee-chan got a boyfriend or something. ” Riku, the youngest one, spoke up, feeling a little scary of his sister. Seeing Diva’s glare, the boy quickly brought a hand to his mouth.

” Nonsense ! We’re brothers and sisters. We must care for each other ! ”

” Then… what’re you going to do ? Sneak into her room while she’s out ? ” Being the oldest one of Miyagusuku family, Kai was the only one who could debate with Diva. Even Saya wouldn’t dare, sometimes.

” That’s exactly what I want to say ! Listen carefully, tomorrow, Saya nee-chan will have extra class and that’s a perfect chance for us to have a look at her room. Now, who’s with me ? ”

Diva looked at her brothers expectantly. Much to her disappointment, neither of them raised their hand.

” Count me out ! Not interested in girl’s stuff. Beside, I have a date with Mao tomorrow. ”

” Jeez, you’re such a coward, Kai. ” Diva hissed. ” Riku, you’re with me, right ? ”

” Uhm… don’t you think it’s little invasive… ” Before he managed to finish his line, Diva sent him another death glare. The young boy swallowed hard. ” I mean, I’m with you, Diva nee-chan. ”

” That’s my brother ! ” Diva patted Riku on the back triumphantly, which caused the poor boy to choke. Poor Riku had no guts to stand against his sister.

” Tell me if you find something interesting ! ” Kai yawned and stood up to leave the kitchen.

” In your dream, Kai !! ” Diva growled.

So, as they had planned, Diva and Riku ( dragged along by Diva ) sneaked into Saya’s room while she was out.

” You guard here, OK ? If she comes home, signal me ! ”

” How ? ”

” Knock three times on the door ! Got that ? ”

” Eto… Don’t you think… we… uhm… shouldn’t… if Saya nee-chan caught us ? ”

” That’s why I brought you with me ! Stop blabbering or your Gundam figures are dead ! ” Diva ground her teeth threatening, which shut the boy up right away.

” Yes, ma’am ! I mean, Diva nee-chan ”

” Good. ”

Then, Riku was left alone outside Saya’s room, praying with all his heart that Saya wouldn’t go home in any minute.

Little Haji was left alone in Saya’s room as his master had to go to school and then, extra class. Whenever his master wasn’t here with him, little Haji wasn’t feeling comfortable of being alone in such a huge space ( much due to his size ), so he just went back to his box and slept until she went back and picked him up. Though he didn’t know why, Saya told him not to play his cello or turn on the TV while she wasn’t here.

The little boy woke up when he heard the door open. A Chevalier’s senses were keener than any hound. He decided to ignore that. He had learnt that if he pretended to be sleeping, his master would hug and caress him until he opened his eyes. Little Haji loved that, especially when it came from his master.

And he closed his eyes, waiting. Normally, the first thing his master did was to open the box and greet him. But today, she was slower than usual. While waiting in the box, little Haji heard noise of footsteps. Too bad, they didn’t seem to come any nearer to his box, which was placed against the wall, next to her bed.

Unfortunately, a Chevalier wasn’t blessed with good patience. Little Haji stood up and opened the box himself, only to be horrified to find out that the figure wasn’t his master. Same slender figure, same porcelain skin but longer hair, much longer. The cent was also different. His master smelled like candy and milk. This person smelled like rose. She was a stranger ! Scared by the thought, little Haji quickly closed the box and lied down, shivering. What would this stranger do if she found him ? Would she eat him ? Would she take him away from his master ?

Diva had successfully sneaked into her sister’s room. She wore sunglasses, pretending that she was on some top secret mission. Watching too much Rambo movies !

“ Nothing’s special “ She thought, with a bit of disappointment. “ She must be hiding something. Must be ! “

Diva wouldn’t give up until she found something. Nothing could stop her undying effort of finding something she wanted to found. Like when she tried to find a pair of shoes that suited her now dress. There she spotted a strange black box. ” When did Saya-neechan get such a box ? ‘

” I wonder whether she is hiding in there ? “The thought rang in her mind as she approached the item.

” What in the world is this ? ” Diva murmured as she saw a strange creature in the box. This was her first time to see something like this. Not even in the movies ! He was about the size of an infant, clad in black suit ( Diva just assumed that was a ‘he’ ). He had long, wavy, dark hair tied in a ponytail with a blue ribbon. Except the tail and ears, he wasn’t much different from a human.

” So that is her little secret ? How could she have something this cute and not telling me ? ” The young, blue-eyed girl was fueled with furious.

” There there little boy, come to mommy !! ”

She picked the creature, only to find him trembling with fear. His eyes shut tight, not daring to look at her.

” Oh, are you scared ? Now now, don’t be ! You’re so cute, you know that. So cute that I want to eat you right away. ”

The very word ‘eat’ stirred him to the core. This girl might have the same face as his master but she was indeed a predator and he would become her prey, without a doubt. Gathering all his strength and courage, little Haji jerked himself free from her captivity and ran with all his speed to the door, which was already open. However, he remembered his master telling him something about not going through the door so he ran back.

” Hey, come back here ! ” The girl shouted with anger. ” I’m not going to eat you. That’s just a way of saying ! ”

She expected him to believe that ? That was just a trap to lure him into her range and catch him. He wasn’t that stupid.

They did a few chasing around the room. Although little Haji had super speed, one of Chevalier’s special abilities, Diva herself wasn’t slow, either. Beside, this room was small. Soon, little Haji found himself standing on the table, trapped between the window behind him and an angry girl in front of him. He had nowhere to run.

” Jeez, you annoying little brat ! ” Diva growled while trying to catch her breath. ” Riku, come in and help me ! ”

” Yes, Diva-neechan. ”

An answer was heard and there came a boy with chestnut hair. He looked nicer then the girl but to little Haji, he was still a threat.

” How cute !! ” The boy’s eyes shone with admiration. ” So, he’s Saya-neechan’s secret. ”

” Yea, and he’s very mean. Trying to run away from me. Let’s get him before Saya-neechan comes home ! ”

Riku looked at the poor creature which was standing defensively on the table. Then, he turned to his sister.

” Neechan, I think you’ve scared him. “Knowing his sister too well, Riku actually felt sorry for little Haji.

” I didn’t ! Come here ! ”

Riku did as he was told and Diva cupped her hand around his ear, in order for little Haji not to hear. ” You distract him and I’ll get him, Ok ? ”

They were wrong. Due to his keen senses, little Haji could hear them, every word. He couldn’t let them catch or else he would never see his master again.

” Hey, he jumped through the window ! ” Riku shouted.

His master told him not to pass through the door but she didn’t tell him not to jump through the window. He got to find a way to escape.

” Oh my god ! This is the second floor and he won’t make it alive. I can’t see this. ” Riku panicked. ” What should we do ? We’ve killed Saya-neechan’s… Er… what should he be called ? ”

Diva, who was always the one with nerve, dared to look out the window. Then, she hit her cowardly brother’s head, hard.

” Stop that ! He hasn’t died …just run away ! ”

” Oh my god ! We’ve lost Saya-neechan’s… er, what should he be called again ? ”

The boy held his head tightly, imagined when his other sister got home and found out what they had done. He was too scared to even remember a big lump that had just appeared on the top of his head, all thanks to Diva’s abuse. Saya was always nicer than Diva but who knew what she would do when she got angry. She would probably tear every of his manga to shred.

” Shut up and let’s go find him ! Say that again and I’ll tear every of your manga to shreds. ”

Diva grabbed Riku’s collar and dragged him out the room. The boy, who was still panicked, couldn’t walk on his own legs.