GUYS IM ALIVE *dodges rocks thrown by understandably frustrated readers*
Sooo sorry for the wait - I'm planning to finish Pls Txt Me Bby and work on Ten Flames when I get the time I SWEAR
Anyway! I HAVE DECIDED THIS FIC SHALL BE COMPLETELY KAWA27 (with like vague all27) AND I HONESTLY REALLY LIKE HOW THIS CHAPTER TURNED OUT -SO YEAH
'For everyone, I'm out to prove wrong, you keep the light on
The only one, you know me better than the truth
So, despite what I've done, I pray to God that we can move on
'Cause thus far you are the best thing that this life has yet to lose
And for once there is nothing up my sleeve
Just some scars from a life that used to trouble me
I used to run at first sight of the sun
Now I lay here waiting for you to wake up
I lay here waiting for you to wake up
So if you gonna leave, if you gonna go
I can't bare to sleep without you in my arms
I know we got caught up sifting through a crowd of pebbles and lures
But you must not let them take you
They don't know you like I do'
-Sight of the Sun by Fun.
In the pale light of the moon a man with hair as white as snow, eyes as red as blood and a heart lined with scars coloured the deepest black, stared down at his distorted reflection in the lake before him. Anxiety and anticipation curled and twisted in his chest like sharp claws on ash grey silk as he waited for the meeting soon to come.
He didn't have to wait very long. A relief to him as any longer stewing in the bittersweet hope that refused to ever leave his mind would've driven him even closer to that precipice of heartbreaking insanity he had resolutely tried to avoid.
A burst of the brightest orange alerted the albino to his awaited's presence. The sudden spike in warmth and colour contrasting greatly to the cold inky night of the darkest indigo.
Stepping out of the flame was another man. A smaller, more petite man. One with gravity defying hazel brown hair that by the glow of the surrounding flames looked like fire itself and skin the colour of soft sweet caramel. Vivid orange eyes, the same shade as the flames looked piercingly at him, thoughtfully and lush lips on that face, that elegant, beautiful face, smiled gently.
It was disconcerting how much a single look, a single smile, could make the older male's heart both crumple and grow at the same time.
"You came Kawahira." The latecomer greeted, voice quiet yet clear and full of emotion and tiredness that truly revealed the other's age. His wisdom. And his burdens.
"Of course Tsunayoshi." 'I would do near anything for you' he wanted so badly to say, to just push their lips together like he had craved to do and tell him everything his cowardly self couldn't, wouldn't tell for so many centuries past, 'If you need me, I'll be there. If you call for me, I'll respond. If you crave for me.. then, I wouldn't hesitate to let you completely consume me because I would give anything, everything to be yours.'
However since the brunette was unfortunately not a mind reader nor has suddenly gained convenient telepathic abilities none of his inner thoughts of love and desire were relayed and thus were ignored.
"Of course." Tsunayoshi repeated, almost to himself, the smile widening ever so slightly. The brunette looked.. content? Happy? But why? The last time they met was not so long ago and they had parted in less than amiable terms after all. What had happened in the short time he was gone? "Kawahira we need to talk."
"What is there to talk about?" The older immortal asked, half curious half wary. His and Tsunayoshi's relationship had all but dissolved since that French blonde brat incident (oh how he loathed that stupid human) and almost every encounter they've had since then had ended in shouting, anger, secrecy and bitter feelings that tasted like burnt soil and dried bark.
The younger in response just gave a sad regretful grimace, the small but genuinely happy smile completely gone from his delicate features. "This," he gestured vaguely at the space between the two immortals, "I want to talk about this Kawahira! I'm tired of this distance and all the fighting and everything!" The more Tsunayoshi spoke the more the frustration and anger bled through his increasingly loud voice.
"I hate whatever this is! I miss the times that we actually met each other for the sake of meeting- not because one of us has screwed each other over!" Kawahira stayed silent, face expressionless as the brunette irritatedly combed a hand through his unruly hair. "I just- I just want to be friends again Kawahira. I just want what we had all those years ago. Can, can you understand that?"
Tired honey brown eyes edged with that hypnotic golden orange looked imploringly at the other. "Don't you want that too?"
'Yes. Yes. Of course I do. Let's go back to the days when everything was so simple. When I didn't have to be duty bound by my very accursed existence, when I wasn't haunted by the lives I've ruined all for the sake of the greater good. Let's go back to when we were young and love was such a simple sweet emotion untainted by the confusing rules of adulthood. Yes. Yes. Ye-'
Tsunayoshi's face fell. Pure despair and grief washed over so blatantly on that all-too-expressive face and it hurt. It pained Kawahira to see him induce such emotion from the other. But he couldn't just go back. They both couldn't. They've changed too much and were both so broken in so many different ways.
And... Kawahira knew that there was no way he could ever again pretend to be 'just friends' with Tsunayoshi ever again.
It was so soft and questioning, that one word, like it came from the voice of a small scared child rather than from an immortal who has lived through so many wars and seen enough blood shed to fill an ocean. The older male had to shut his eyes closed. Hating himself. Hating his stupid, wretched self.
He really should have seen the punch coming in hindsight. It didn't matter if he did anyway, he would've let Tsunayoshi go through with the action even if he did know. After all he did deserve it.
Still doesn't stop it from hurting like a bitch though.
"Shit." The albino mumbled as he spat the metallic red liquid onto the damp grass he was sprawled on. His hand pressed to his cheek and his eyes averted from bright furious orange.
"NO?! NO?!" Tsunayoshi screamed, "WHY THE FUCK NOT?! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS PUSH ME AWAY?! TELL ME KAWAHIRA, ENLIGHTEN ME YOU GODDAMNED BASTARDIZED SPAWN OF AN ACORN WHORE! FUCKING EXPLAIN YOU PIECE OF SHIT!"
The brunette was completely infuriated. It was possibly the most rage Kawahira had seen from the other immortal for decades. He could tell from the edges of gravity defying hair now crackling to life into dancing fiery orange flames, flickering brightly, threatening gleefully to completely consume and burn, the temperature from the nearby area increasing rapidly as heat swelled around the rage filled immortal.
It was a rather ethereal sight. In a devastatingly beautiful, ferocious way.
Their kind had always been taught to control themselves, restrain their feelings, their emotions and expressions. If they go too far, feel too much they burn. The fire of their core comes out, setting their bodies and soul literally aflame. It's been something passed down each generation and not once had anyone been 'consumed', no one knows what happens when they are 'consumed' but never had there been anyone for millennia willing to find out. All they knew was, to them, emotions, especially in their purest form, were lethal and dangerous and should never be provoked freely.
But looking at the enraged man before him, more expressive and... Alive than he had been in a long time- orange fire licking the edges of his hair, flashing eyes brighter than the stars imbedded in the night and the air, warm and thrumming with energy as intense as an untamed inferno- Kawahira couldn't help but question why.
How could something that allows them to feel so alive, so full of life be so terrible? Why was it that humans; humans who should be looked down upon, humans who were in all ways lesser than them, those stupid greedy shortsighted beings; could express and experience and actually be encouraged to feel while they must close it all off? Emotions were human. Emotions were dangerous. Emotions needed to controlled, restrained. Emotions were, emotions were,
Emotions were so, so painfully beautiful.
"Because I love you."
The words slipped out like water, a soft breath of a creek that had finally escaped the mountain it had been contained in after years and years of relentlessly wearing down the hardened rock walls. The confession was no louder than the wind the blew past them yet it echoed like thunder with the weight and clarity that it held.
Suddenly all the heat in the surrounding air was sucked out, dissipated into the cold night and with that warmth stripped away so did what felt like years of unnameable barriers and unresolved questions.
"You love me?" Tsunayoshi whispered hoarsely. "Is this true?"
Crimson eyes filled with shame and fear looked up at the smaller figure as he stood slowly up in an attempt to gain a semblance of control with his traitorous body. He could feel the blood pumping to his ears in his nervous vulnerability and could hear a faint barely audible crackle as the tips of his white hair began to burn a faint indigo.
"It is true." Kawahira replied in an equally shaky whisper. The way the words had been said sounded more like an admittance to guilt of commiting some disgusting, unredeemable sin. Maybe for their kind, who shunned any true emotions and any real feelings were considered selfish, it was.
But the elder immortal at this moment could not find himself to regret it. Not right now. He felt fear racing through his veins. He felt anxiety crawling in his stomach. And yet he also could feel relief flood his chest. Determination invading his heart. And hope fluttering from the ends of his fingertips. He felt. For once he let himself truly feel. Alive. He felt alive.
"I love you Tsunayoshi. I do. But…" Kawahira trailed off uncertainly. Unsure what he was going to say next. The albino had always dreamt, imagined this moment but now that it was happening… It was like his tongue had grown heavy and his throat suddenly had the urge to choke himself.
But forcing himself to look up, to look at those waiting patient orange eyes that still was looking at him with that acceptance that at the very core had never changed since the moment they met, Kawahira found the strength to say everything. To let all the words he had weighed in his heart, in his chest, in his mind come out through his mouth and explain as much as he can how much, how inexplicably deep and twisted and self-loathing his love was for the other. His anguish. His apologies. His cowardice. "I- I have done so many things to so many people. Things that I know you will never forgive me for. Hate me for. Despise me for."
"However even when I've been called heartless. Cruel. Ruthless. A human shaped monster unable to form any attachments to anything- I admit I have never bothered to listen, to care, much less feel the need to change. Because to me, like everyone else in our species, the Greater Good was all that matter. It was how I was raised, feelings were useless and destructive things that would hinder our duty- So I didn't care, I never saw what everyone nor I was doing as wrong. In fact I took pride in our people's actions, I still do. It was all always for the Greater Good." The older immortal laughed shakily, a trembling hand combed through his snow white hair. His eyes which had been again downcast and stubbornly been refusing to meet Tsunayoshi's looked at him with such raw pain, such pure helplessness, it took the brunette's breath away for a moment.
"Until I met you Tsunayoshi."
"Kawahira... I-" The albino silenced him with just his eyes. Crimson red begging him to let him finish. Tsuna didn't know what he would have said anyway.
"Even if it's pity or sympathy, hatred, anything, it'll be okay. As long as you have feelings directed toward me. Any feelings." Another brush through of his hair. Tsuna knew the other did that when he was nervous. He knew so much about Kawahira, in fact the brunette would boast he knew the older man better than anyone. Yet looking at him now, it felt like he didn't know anything at all.
"Honestly I don't know anymore what I should do. You've shaken my core, my beliefs and made me feel. I am supposed to put my Duty above everything. My soul was made to serve the greater good, just like our predecessors, it is the reason for our being. It is the only reason. And yet all I crave for and hope for is to draw any affection out of you by any means possible."
Kawahira looked at Tsuna again. The vibrant orange eyes had cooled back to nearly all innocent expressive brown. Those confused honeyed brown eyes with the faintest orange lining that only he could make out stared back. Honest naivety still shown through the countless years, experiences, disappointments the young immortal had gone through. Beautiful eyes that both made him waver in resolve and spurred him on.
It was frustrating. Irritating. The fact that even after hundreds of years his place in the brunette's heart has moved no closer because of his own fear of getting further away. For centuries he had wallowed in these feelings of one sided affection. Love was not as pink and fluffy as most people perceived. There is anxiety. Insecurity. And uneasiness. Disgusting grey emotions that slid down the back of your throat like a bitter burning slimy liquid.
It was like sinking deeply into a pool of darkness. Unable to tell up or down. And even if his eyes are closed, even if they're open, no matter how much he strains them... Only black surrounds him. And inside this darkness, this damned place, he always stood paralyzed at a loss of where to go.
Now he was taking a step forward. But is this the right direction?
"I- ever since I met you, as stupid as this is, I've always been yearning for you. You always made the world so much more tolerable just by being at your side and even back then I just-"
It was the first time the older immortal's ever let himself be so open about himself. And it was terrifying. His hands were shaking, he was sweating, his voice was trembling and Kawahira could feel the unfamiliar sensation of tears starting to prickle at the back of his eyes. The albino wanted to leave so badly, to disappear to the ends of the earth and never come back. Oh he must look completely and utterly pathetic.
He forced himself to laugh, but it was strained and there were, to his horror, choked humiliating sobs in there. A comforting warmth hugged him gently, it took a few seconds to realize it was Tsunayoshi. He laughed again, it was less forced but still bitter and choked.
"God. I really want to laugh at myself at how desperately wretched I must look to you right now."
"You don't look wretched." The younger whispered softly, "You don't look wretched at all." The embrace tightened slightly. Kawahira didn't know what to do. Slowly, awkwardly he began to hug back. The white haired male had to bite back another sob, head nestled into the nape of the younger's neck. How much he wanted this, longed for this.
"But do you even for a bit feel the same way?" He asked desperately, hopelessly, "Are you even able to feel the same way toward someone like me? Could you even ever come to love this disgusting, damaged heart of mine? If you knew everything I've done, would you even still want me?"
Tsunayoshi could feel the larger body against shake ever so slightly. Even now after everything Kawahira was still trying to restrain himself. The brunette could feel silent tears starting to soak his shirt. He didn't comment. Instead Tsuna just silently tightened his hug as his heart in turn tightened with his feelings, feelings after all this time he still couldn't truly name, much less understand.
"Say Tsunayoshi," Kawahira's voice was cracking, soft and unsure, his breath shaky under the weight of emotion he had poured into his words, "what should I do to capture your heart forever?"
The brunette didn't answer. He couldn't. Because he didn't know. He didn't even know if the older actually meant for him to hear the last part it was so quiet. All he knew was seeing the man who had by his side for countless years look so desperate, so raw and passionate made something stir inside him. It wasn't the same feeling of fluffy lighthearted affection he had with the French skylark. It was so so much more complicated than that.
There were emotions he could pick out from it. Pain. Confusion. Anger. But also there was clarity. Fondness. Even some attraction. Then there were the emotions that were too deep, too mixed up and tangled to unpick and examine. Their was a new light on the other immortal, Tsunayoshi was no longer caging his perception of the man to just a 'friend'. These feelings, these emotions were not something he should feel for a mere friend after all.
But was it something he could feel for the other romantically? Was it something that could ever change, ever evolve into anything more? To take Kawahira as a lover- could he ever see himself do that?
The answer surprised himself more than anything but the brunette was never one to deny being honest to himself. He was far too old for lies after all. Yes. Maybe. Possibly. He liked Kawahira. Enjoyed his company, his smile. Kawahira had been there for him for many hard times in his life and vice versa. He was a confidant, a friend. The first and only person of his kind who accepted him as an equal, the first person he asked for when he was hurt or sick or scared. Who knew him better than the truth itself. He was even the first person he told about Alaude.
Tsunayoshi still loved the man. How could he not? He still grieved and regretted and wished over the blonde. Holding those precious fleeting moments of the two together like a treasure that could fade at any moment. Alaude was his first in many things, just like how Kawahira had been. He was the first person to ever make it feel like the world was perfect, to make his heart beat so fast and face go so red that Tsunayoshi swore he would explode. He was his first time being truly intimate with anyone.
But there had been no trust there between them. He could see that now. They could not possibly be equals because of who they were. Alaude had given up everything of himself, was willing to give everything of himself to the immortal. He told him of his aspirations, his family, his childhood. Everything. Yet thinking about it now, the brunette never even told the French male about his own dreams of being a teacher. Tsunayoshi hadn't even told him what he really was. His immortality, the fact he wasn't actually a spirit of a tree. Maybe it was because deep down inside, he had always known, he could never truly connect with Alaude?
Being with Alaude all those years ago was probably one of the warmest memories he had. But looking back Tsuna could see how short it had been. It had been like a beautifully woven fairytale; they met, they fell in love, all in a few short years. As magical as it all had been, fairytales, even this one, wasn't real. Maybe he truly did love Alaude, maybe Alaude truly did love him or maybe they were just blinded by their first meeting, blinded by the hope and escape and the fantasy.
Kawahira on the other hand was so real. With Kawahira he knew he had trust in him. That trust while it had been beaten and broken countless times over the years was still there, was still strong and irreplaceable. It was something he never truly had with Alaude. And unlike with Alaude there was never any lies between them, secrets yes, countless ones, evasion of the subject, half truths, but never had they ever outright lied to each other. There were memories and moments, real moments, with the albino that Tsuna had never, would never, have with the blonde. Memories he had always cherished and treasured and called upon in his darkest days to light his way.
But the idea of falling in love again, the idea of being together with another person, no matter how familiar, scared him. And while Kawahira may be many things to him, right now, a lover, a romantic interest wasn't one of them. It was too sudden for him to just change his tune.
Emotions, Tsunayoshi had always found the concept easier than any of his kind but they still on some level petrified him, they were like like an abyss, a chasm. It was so easy, so quick to fall, to lose your grip and delve into that endless dark pit of even darker emotions. To hate, to fear, to despise. But loving and adoring and truly wanting a person in every sense of the word- to let yourself be selfish and refuse to let them leave your side yet at the same time be willing to sacrifice everything you had for someone? That is a harsh, steep, bloody climb that no one has truly succeeded in conquering. It takes patience and time and endurance and strength that both human and immortal do not seem to have.
"K-Kawahira." Tsuna croaked out, his voice equally as soft and uncertain as he cautiously stroked the back of the taller immortal in soothing circles. "You know I love you, no matter what right?"
"You're just not in love with me, I know." The albino murmured defeatedly, his grip tightening on the more petite figure as the words left his mouth to linger in the air between them.
Feeling a little more confident at what he was about to do, the brunette inhaled the cool night air, internally sighing as the icy breeze filled his veins and his own hold mirrored the intensity of Kawahira's hold on him. "But I could be Kawahira... I could be."
Kawahira shoved the younger away, his usual calm mask all but thrown in the bottom of the lake below as he looked at Tsunayoshi with disbelief and confusion so painfully expressive on his face. "Tsunayoshi?!"
The brunette stepped toward Kawahira, wavering slightly as the elder winced at the action. However that was not enough to stop him from reaching out his hand to lightly trace pale white skin from the corner of those entrancingly bright crimson eyes, shining and slightly pink from tears, to the edge of the man's slightly stubbly chin. "Maybe not necessarily today." The brunette murmured, eyes steadfastly refusing to meet the others', "maybe not for a while at least but.. I.. Wouldn't not be adverse to a... courtship."
Tsunayoshi then, rather shyly, lifted his gaze to face the other immortal. His lips half quirked nervously, as if unsure whether to smile or not, adding to the obvious trepidation exuding from the younger male. "Well, that's if you want it anyway."
Kawahira felt like he was choking. Drowning. And at the same time he was soaring. He was overcome with these feelings- so painful, how could he feel so happy it hurts?- as he croaked out, "It's even more than I ever hoped I could have."
The brunette did smile then. A small, adoring smile filled with happiness and fondness and, hesitantly, affection. It was the most genuinely bright smile directed at him that he had seen on Tsunayoshi's face since they were just fledglings. A part of the albino wondered if this was the time he was going to combust from his emotions because it certainly felt like he was damn close to what the humans described as 'euphoria'.
Slowly, tentatively the smaller figure moved toward him, leaning up, closer, closer, till it finally registered what the other was trying to do. Kawahira wanted to burst with the new waves of excitement, nervousness, hope, so many things swelling inside him, promising to completely crush him from the inside out. But it was too fast wasn't it? Did Tsunayoshi just lose himself in the moment? Would he regret it? Kawahira wouldn't know what to do if the other did. But he couldn't find it in himself to prevent his own body to gravitate down toward the equally nervous immortal.
"This is reckless." Kawahira warned half-heartedly with what little restraint and sense he could muster in the heat of the moment, as he placed a hand on Tsuna's shoulder blade.
"This is madness." Tsuna agreed softly as he too clasped the older man's shoulder, moving closer, nuzzling into the touch.
"This is insane." Both of them breathed as one as they closed the gap between their faces in a soft, tentatively chaste kiss. It was a short kiss but the burningly electric tingling on their lips still lingered as they separated. The only witness to their fragilely sweet moment of foolishness was the pale light of the moon.