Akabane Kuroudo watches the blood crawl its way across the floor as he waits for Ginji-kun to wake, and appreciates it in so many ways; aesthetically, precisely, in savour, in form, in colour, in presence and in absence. He closes his eyes for a moment, and is conscious of his own pulse; he breathes deeply, and reflexive memory brings the taste of blood to his mouth to accompany the ambient copper smell.
Time is passing slowly, but he doesn't mind. He can wait. Bringing things from one place to another -- or bringing people from one state to another -- is all about patience.
This mission was -- what word to use, what term to pick? -- enticing. Of course he took a proper moment's pause for consideration when it was offered to him by Hevn-san, but in all frankness he had known from the very beginning that he would accept it. The location, the partners, the intrigue, and, of course . . .
. . . the killing.
He sends people elsewhere when he kills. It's all part of the job. He kills to send, he sends to kill, he traces a J on their backs or slices them open and out comes the blood, but he moves so fast that it doesn't have time to touch him.
Akabane opens his eyes again. The blood is the only thing in the room that is moving.
Ginji-kun is still asleep. It has been perhaps seven, eight minutes? He should be keeping count. It will be interesting to see how long Ginji-kun remains unconscious. One more tiny fraction of the picture that he is assembling. One more fragment known. So many left to discover. So many ways to do it.
The scalpels shudder in his flesh as he smiles.
He begins to select the words with which he will prick Ginji-kun; he hones them like blades. Partner.
So meaningful. Mission. IR. Volts. Mugenjou.
Perhaps one of them will touch a bone, will scrape along a nerve and make Ginji-kun's face change. Perhaps they will draw blood, and Ginji-kun will grow pale with anger or fear or pain.
So . . . He breathes, he feels the expansion of his lungs, the shifting of his clothes against his body, the trembling of his scalpels as his blood pulses past them. He hears his own pulse whispering in his ears. Everything's sensation, sometimes, or everything comes down to sensation. The slow uncurling of cold-blooded passion that moves through him like a snake (and he's fascinated by Midou Ban as well, but that's another matter, that can wait till later) is tied to a dozen things, to sex and blood and death and pain and intrigue and art and -- most of all -- something new. Ginji-kun is something new.
Ginji-kun's about to wake up.
Future blood has its own scent, whether his or someone else's. Those who know that scent (and even Lady Poison can recognise it, can't she? She's one of the Last Children, and that will be so very interesting when it plays out) can smell it on the air.
Sometimes he thinks that he could live in anticipation forever.
And then he kills.