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.

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