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.


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”

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