disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Dicey on her birthdahahAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
notes: I'm a bad person and I'm not sorry.

title: from her lips to god's ears
summary: I miss you like an open wound. (Or, everyone dies, but Satsuki dies first.) — Daiki/Satsuki.

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She was beautiful the day they got married.

Not that she was ever anything but; Satsuki was beautiful like the sky was blue, endlessly and forever and not worth mentioning because it was something so obvious. Satsuki was beautiful like air was necessity, like the way the pebbled surface of a basketball felt right underneath his palms, like the way sun rose and set like clockwork. Satsuki was beautiful, and it was a just another fact of life that Daiki usually didn't give a shit about.

But she was beautiful on the day they got married.

In white lace, hair loose and curled around her face, she'd stood under the crimson torii of the shrine where they would be married. A compromise—her dress was Western, but they'd be married in the old ways, just as their parents had. Daiki couldn't remember much of that day, but he knew she was beautiful.

It was a picture he could never recreate, shattered but golden forever. Two years and a baby boy later, she was still beautiful.

Didn't make her any less pushy, though.

(Didn't change the fact that he'd only known they were getting married fifteen minutes before it was happening, either.)

"Dai-chan," she said, one day in the fall when it was raining outside, asphalt soaked dark with it. She'd only just had time to pull in the last of the clean laundry before the storm had hit, and had done it so matter-of-factly that Daiki suspected foul play. "We should go see your mother."

This was a terrible idea.

From the determined tilt to her chin, Daiki knew he didn't have a fucking chance.

"I'll go get the car ready," he grumbled, and pretended quite loudly that he wasn't pleased when she reached over to press her hands to the sides of his face, lips like cocoa, eyes laughing like fire.

"Don't forget Hiro's car-seat," she reminded him.

"Like I even could."

"I wouldn't put it past you, Dai-chan," she said breezily, and swatted at his arm as she moved past him to put away the folded laundry.

Because this was his life now, he went to do as he was told.

Her laughter followed him all the way out, and it made the September rain seem less lonely.

The drive to his mother's was silent. Satsuki fell asleep mid-sentence, the way she always did when she wasn't backseat driving. Hiroshi watched the world pass by from his car seat, pacifier in his mouth. Eventually they'd have to stop to get him fed and changed, but for now Daiki let the rolling lull of the engine calm him into near-hypnosis.

Driving always left him like this.

It wasn't a bad thing.

The miles sped away beneath them, rain turning to sleet as they wound their way further north. His mother had moved up north "for her health", but really Daiki suspected it had to do with the hot springs not ten feet from her home.

His mother had always been a hearty woman, and no city air would be able to change that. She'd lived through his father leaving, raising a boy alone on a secretary's pay, and everything else life had thrown at her.

Satsuki said that he looked like her.

The little cottage was right out of a fairytale.

Satsuki, in typical Satsuki fashion, woke just as he was turning the engine off. She rubbed at her eyes once, twice, blinking the last of her sleep away.

"Hiro-chan," she sang softly, "let's go see Papa's Kaa-san!"

Hiroshi giggle, waved fat fists as Satsuki scooped him up, beaming.

"C'mon, Dai-chan!" she said over her shoulder. "Let's go say hello!"

"Do we have to?"

The door was open, and his mother stood in the doorframe, arms crossed over her chest. "I heard that, child!"

Satsuki had already smacked a kiss on his mother's cheek and bustled inside, a beacon of life.

"Hello, ma," Daiki sighed as he bent down to kiss her forehead. "Don't be mad."

She wavered for a moment, and then she smiled. "It's good you're home. The garden needs raking."

Which was absolutely ludicrous, as it was pouring and no one was going to be doing anything outside until the weather cleared up. But really, that was all the time his mother needed to herd him into the kitchen, force him down at the table, and shove a cup of soup into his hands.

(He'd forgotten about this part.)

"You're so thin, Daiki. They work you too hard at that school," his mother sighed, fussing. "Satsuki-chan, has he been eating? Or is he working too much again?"

"You know him, Kaa-san," Satsuki laughed cheerily. "He can't leave well enough alone!"

"Useless," his mother sighed again, and then went to fuss over his wife and son. It was what his mother did, fuss—it was what she was best at, and Daiki could remember days in high school when he'd come home, and the look his mother had leveled at him had been tired-eyed and worried.

It was still worried, but less tired-eyed, and that was mostly Satsuki's influence. They had tea and oranges, peeling away bright sweet-tart sections while Satsuki and his mother chattered away, the rise and fall of their voices a comfortable lilting melody that filled the silence.

Daiki held his son, and a wave of contentment washed over him. Contentment wasn't a thing he did. Satsuki did contentment, and happiness, and all the good emotions between the two of him. But right then sitting at his mother's table with the only people he cared about, he was content.

They stayed with his mother for a long time, long enough that the sky had darkened and the sun had set behind the rain clouds. Hiroshi was asleep, fist stuffed in his mouth, and Daiki watched as Satsuki drooped with the exhaustion of the day.

"Ma," he said, "it's late. We're gonna head home."

"Stay the night, Daiki," she said, voice suddenly sharp. "It's still raining."

But his mother didn't have the space for them to stay.

"Kaa-san, Dai-chan's right," Satsuki murmured. She held the baby close to her chest, touched her lips to the top of his downy head. "We should go."

His mother huffed again, muttered something under her breath about ungrateful children, but then she was bustling around the kitchen in her apron, her hair pinned up and out of the way as she gathered up cookies and tea and oranges and boxed them up.

Daiki tried to keep a straight face.

That was his ma, alright. She'd complain to the ends of the earth, but in the end she just wanted them all to be happy.

Satsuki curled into his side, a warm heavy weight as she fluttered on the edges on waking dreams. He slipped an arm around her. A sweet, slow smile split her face, lashes brushing down across her cheeks.

She really was beautiful.

"Go get in the car," Daiki muttered into her hair. "Get the kid settled, and then get some sleep. I'll be there in a minute."

"Mhmm," she hummed, and shifted Hiroshi's weight onto her hip. "Tell Kaa-san that I love her."

"I will."

She slipped her shoes on, his coat around her shoulders because she always forgot to bring her own. It was fall, and Satsuki always forgot how cold it got up in the mountains. One day she was going to learn.

(Probably not, though.)

She disappeared into the night like it was nothing, off to settle the baby down in his car seat and sing him to sleep. Daiki took one last look at his mother.

"He'll grow up strong," his mother said quietly.

"How do you know?"

"He's related to you," she said, and then she closed the door in his face.

He stuffed his hands in his pockets, chuckling low in his throat. Yeah, that was his ma, alright. Gonna be the death of him, one day, as long as Satsuki didn't see to that particular event first.

(She probably was, though, so that was moot.)

She was waiting for him in the car, already strapped in with her cheek pressed against the glass of the window.

And she was fast asleep.

Daiki scoffed to himself.

From his car seat, Hiroshi stared solemnly at him; father and son stared at each other for a moment, and then the kid stuffed his fist in his mouth, chewed, drooled.

"That's my boy," Daiki said, and started the car.

This late at night, the roads were empty and still slick from the rain. The headlights burnt bright white as they passed over the trees; their car was a tiny flicker of life in the dark, speeding ahead. Speeding home.

Daiki turned the radio on, just to pass the time.

"Mmmm… Dai-chan…"

Was she talking in her sleep again? Daiki shot Satsuki a glance out of the corner of his eye. Her eyes were open though, if only a little, and she looked out at him through warm red irises.

"Dai-chan," she murmured again, "what would you do without me? Your mother said you never call her unless I drag you out to see her."

Daiki snorted, and returned his eyes to the road. "You know how she is."

"Mhmm…"

"Go back to sleep, Satsuki," Daiki said, almost gently.

"I'm awake now," she said softly, rubbing the sleep away from her eyes. "Are we almost home?"

He made a noise of agreement in the back of his throat, one hand on the steering wheel and the other curling around her thigh, thumb pressing into the soft spot behind her knee. She smiled sleepily at him; her hair was a flash of orange-fuchsia beneath the passing street lamps. For a second he was seventeen again, and she was ranting about something or other Kise had done, and she was puffed up with the indignity of it, his blow-hard girl scolding because that was what she did best.

(Except for when she ran mental circles around everyone and everything. Satsuki was a literal genius, and never would anyone forget it.)

For a moment, the only sound was the rain on the roof of the car.

"You know," she said, softly, slowly. "I really do lo—"

And then came the crash.

There was blood everywhere.

Daiki couldn't breathe.

An echo-sound like wailing haunted the air around him, but he couldn't quite move—he was trapped beneath something metal and cold—

Jesus Christ, that was the car door.

The world came back slowly, in bits and pieces.

"Dai-chan," came a voice, sucking wetly.

Satsuki.

Daiki struggled with the door for a moment, before he managed to shove it away. His leg twisted; pain flared sharply. He bit through his lip forcing it away and crawled, bloody-knuckled and wincing, across the asphalt.

"Dai-chan… Where… are you…?"

"Satsuki, I'm—"

Daiki's breath caught in his throat. She was a mess. Hazy-eyed, trembling; there was a pole through her chest, black and shiny in the moonlight with blood.

"Oh," she breathed, a bubble of blood popping at the corner of her mouth. "There you are. You're okay. Good…"

"Satsuki, don't move, I'm going to get help—"

"Shh," she whispered. "Stop that. C'mere, Dai-chan, we don't have a lot of time."

"Satsuki—"

"You heard me, Dai-chan, I don't—" a jagged broken sound left her lips as she tried to move. "That hurt. Okay, I can't move. C'mere, please."

It wasn't like he'd ever been able to deny her anything.

(Especially not now.)

She raised bloodied hands to his face, cupped his chin and held on. She was so cold. Daiki still couldn't breathe, couldn't handle the way she was shaking, couldn't handle the way her hair had gone dark and matted. He didn't want to think about it, but Satsuki lay beneath him, and she smiled like nothing was wrong.

"Keep Hiro safe for me, Dai-chan," she murmured. "He'll need you."

"He needs you more, Satsuki. Stop moving," he got out. "Just stop, I'll go get help—"

Satsuki laughed weakly, and for a minute, Daiki could only think of her on their wedding day. She wasn't any less beautiful now.

"Oh, Dai-chan. So silly," she smoothed her hands up and into his hair. "I'm a realist, Dai-chan. I'm not leaving this place. We both know that."

Daiki swallowed hard around the lump in his throat.

"I love you, you know that, right?"

"I know," he said.

"Good. And remember," she said, breath gone shallow and sticky. "Keep our baby safe. He needs a family. Be happy, Dai-chan."

"Satsuki…?

Her chest stopped rising as her hands fell away from his face. There was a tiny, lovely smile on her face. Beautiful, always.

Panic, rising in his throat. "Satsuki?!"

Nothing. She wasn't breathing, anymore.

"Help," he croaked. "Someone help!"

No one was coming.

The wailing got louder.

(It wasn't until a long time later that he realized he was screaming.)

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fin.