Warnings: Shonen-ai (Tsuzuki x Hisoka), maybe vague hints of other pairings, NCS (memories), sadism, and pretty much all of those cool stuff that comes with Yami no Matsuei. And yes, of course, bad writing.

Rating: For now, PG-13, I guess. I'll probably raise the rating as the story progesses.

Spoilers: Mostly for the anime. I'm not following the story of the manga, so there's no such thing as the GenSouKai arc (though Hisoka rocks in that one ^^). Some manga characters might be mentioned (i.e. Yuma, Saya, Terazuma), but they might as well not exist.

Disclaimer: Yami no Matsuei belongs to the talented Matsushita-sensei. I don't own one single bit of it, and I'm not making money from this. (Besides, if I owned Tsuzuki and Hisoka, I would have better things to do than sitting around writing meaningless fics.)




:: italics ::--empathic thoughts (doesn't appear here yet)


            Fire…flames that never die…white-hot flames that could devour even the souls of those who aren't truly alive…Everything is a blur, a vague impression of what lies on that thin line between an existence and an everlasting death… There was only that certainty that death lay behind that crimson haze…

            //Hot, everything's burning, oh no I'm losing him…//

            Hisoka woke with a start, his breathing coming in irregular gasps, only vaguely aware that his hands were clenching the sheets to his chest almost painfully.

            It's been two weeks, and he still dreams of it every night, each dream more vivid than the last. He could see everything as if it was happening right then and there, every painful detail seared into his mind. The infernal flames of Touda's fire, spreading out like crimson waves of death, burning everything within sight…

            …and Tsuzuki. Silently awaiting the end, those amethyst eyes that once held all the life in the world, now devoid of hope and spirit, a fire that had long since burned to ashes.

            //No! Don't think about Tsuzuki, don't think about Touda's fire, don't think about any of it! //

            Hisoka took a few deep breaths to calm himself. His dreams had always consisted of more nightmares than sweet fantasies, but in the past he had always dreamed about a demon in the disguise of a white angel, the man who had taken away the innocence, dreams and life of a thirteen-year-old child.

            Now, however, his nightmares were always of that that fateful night where Tsuzuki had almost surrendered himself to the clutches of Touda's fire. Hisoka's heart clenched at the thought of Tsuzuki leaving him. Forever. He feared the thought of being left alone once more, dreaded the feeling of emptiness that had always been his only companion.

            No one had ever cared about him before. When he died, he doubted that anyone had cried for him. His parents saw their son as an abomination, a monster in human form. His mother called him a demon, an evil spirit that wasn't her son. As a child, he sought love and comfort from his parents, a simple gesture of affection and closeness that any young child would do. In return, they beat him and confined him in the darkness of a cell. His prison. They didn't want anyone to know about their demon child, the disgrace and shame of the family. They hardly visited him in his prison. When they did, they came to lash out at him, blame him for every misfortune and accident that befell the family.

            "Demon child…it's all your fault! You're nothing but a curse. You don't deserve to live! Ever since you came, you've brought nothing but trouble; you're evil! You caused all the pain, demon child!"


            "Don't call me that! I'm not your mother. I can never give birth to such a monster! You're not my son!"


            You're not my son…

            How many times had his parents said those words to him? They did so everytime they saw him. He had long since forgotten the time when they had truly loved him, when he was their little boy instead of a demon.

            What hurt most weren't the harsh words or the repulsed faces. When they looked at him, he could feel their hatred and loathing. Every one of those feelings was directed at him. As time passed, every emotion they experienced seeped into his soul…revulsion, condemnation, and disgust at having to witness the existence of such a monster, horror that their son would turn out to be so…abnormal.

            Their feelings were so intense that they blended with his own. He no longer yearned for human contact, for with each of their visits, he lost a little more of his identity.

            It wasn't long before he started hating himself.


            When he was thirteen, he left the confinements of his prison in the dark of the night. No one knew, and no one cared.

            It was on that night that he saw something that he should never have seen—the face of a merciless killer.

            He saw him plunging the knife into chest of a woman…again and again. He could see that face twist into a smile of maniacal glee when the woman finally fell to the ground as a lifeless body.   

            The killer was dressed in a cleaned pressed suit of pure white—a demon in the guise of an angel.

            Those insane eyes, one of them only a mechanical replica of the original, shone with an intense gleam of hunger when they noticed him, a trembling boy that simply stood there, eyes fixated on the gruesome scene before him, paralyzed by shock and fear.

            He knew he could never escape, and yet he ran. The murderer dragged him to the ground, still struggling helplessly.

            That night, he learned the meaning of true pain. Pain that ripped through his body again and again, a merciless fire that burned within him.

            He never knew that it could hurt so much. He didn't know that being taken that way could bring so much pain.

            But that pain was insignificant when compared to the agony that tore through him when his murderer slowly carved that curse onto his skin, burning in every word and every stroke, making sure that he would never escape from the torture and anguish. 

            Through it all, he knew only the pain…

            …and that his killer called him his beautiful doll.

            That night, the moon burned with a crimson glow. The sakura petals that fell softly to the ground were tinged with a brilliant red—the colour of blood.  

            His blood.


            His murderer took away his memory of that night. Slowly, the curse that was carved onto him drew him to his death. Three years of suffering, never knowing why, only wishing that he could end his life, end this eternal pain.

            No one came to visit him in the hospital. For three years, it was only he, the empty room, and the pain.

            Three years…

            And no one ever came.

            Most people admire the beauty of the sakura blossoms.

            He hated them with a passion.


            He wanted to know the cause of his death. If he had truly remembered what had happened that night, he would have wanted to forget it, to erase it from his mind.

            But he didn't remember. His killer took away his memories, and now he, being cursed with ignorance, wanted to know the reasons behind his death.

            He became a Shinigami—an angel of death, because he wanted to know.


            It was then that he met him. His partner in the afterlife. Tsuzuki Asato, seemingly the most cheerful and outgoing person in the world, and also, in Hisoka's original opinion, the laziest and most idiotic.

            But appearances can be deceptive.

            And Tsuzuki was the prime example of the age-old adage.


            He did get what he wanted. Finally, he met the man who killed him. The demon disguised as an angel. That demon returned him his memories, because his killer wanted him to remember…and suffer that knowledge for all of eternity.

            He finally knew the name of his killer.

            Muraki Kazutaka.

            And Muraki had him within his grasp and mercy once again.

            Muraki called him his precious toy, as he once did so long ago.


            Before he knew it, he was experiencing the sensation of dying for a second time.

            But Tsuzuki came. The idiot. He knew it was a trap, set by Muraki to lure him in, but he still came.

            I know, but I can't leave you here.

            That was what Tsuzuki had said to him. And when Muraki wanted to deliver that final blow, wanted to dispose of him once and for all, Tsuzuki took the blow that was intended for him.

            How could anyone care so much for someone that they barely knew? He had known Tsuzuki for barely a week back then, but when his life was in danger, Tsuzuki had acted as though his own life was on the line.

            Because you're my partner.

            Such simple words. Said with such force.

            Because you're my partner.

            // Tsuzuki…you're such an idiot. //


            Don't cry for me, Hisoka, I'm not the kind of person who deserves this.

            Save your feelings for someone more worthy of it…

            Someone who protects you, cares for you…

            Someone who loves you.

            Someone who loved him? No one could ever love him. He's worthless, no one would ever care about him.

            That person is right beside you.


            He killed her. Tsubaki-hime. He did it because she asked him to. It would have been better than letting her live as a puppet, but no matter what the reason was, it still didn't change the fact that he killed her.

            Maybe he wasn't that much different from Muraki at all. He, like Muraki, was perfectly capable of killing a person.

            "I killed her, Tsuzuki…I'm no different from him at all…"

            "No! You killed her to end her suffering, while Muraki kills to make others suffer, you're not the same at all."

            "You'll never be like him."

            Hisoka never displayed much of his emotions. Everytime he did, he ended up getting hurt. So he simply did the most reasonable thing to do, he closed himself off from others.

            But he allowed himself to cry in front of Tsuzuki.

            The tears seemed foreign then. He didn't know when was the last time he had cried. There simply wasn't any reason for him to cry at all. He had no one to cry for, and he hated himself so much that he would never cry for himself.

            But now he did. In front of a person he knew for a few months, he cried for the loss of a life of another that he knew for an even shorter period.

            Because he was the cause of her death.

            And somehow…with Tsuzuki it didn't matter.

            He trusted Tsuzuki enough to display his emotions in front of him.

            Why? He didn't know.


            Tsuzuki always seemed so cheerful and positive that most of the times he appeared idiotic. In fact, he frequently ended up giving Hisoka headaches.

            But thanks to his empathic powers, Hisoka knew that Tsuzuki was actually grieving within. Even though Tsuzuki's ever-too-cheerful sometimes got on his nerves, he admired his partner's ability for being able to maintain a cheerful exterior in front of others.

            When Hisoka asked, Tsuzuki would never tell him. Tsuzuki was forever pestering Hisoka about his worries, but he would never tell Hisoka his own. Sometimes Hisoka felt like yelling at him for being the hypocrite that he was. Which was to say that he did exactly that.

            He couldn't understand why, but it hurt him when Tsuzuki refused to tell him anything.
            To Hisoka, it meant that Tsuzuki didn't trust him enough to tell him.

            It hurt him to see Tsuzuki in pain, while all he could do was stand by and watch.

            He told Tatsumi that he didn't know Tsuzuki as well as Tatsumi did, but Tatsumi said that he was wrong.

            Till now, he wasn't sure if Tatsumi was right. Hisoka wanted to understand Tsuzuki, but that didn't mean that he did.

            But it didn't stop him from wanting to understand.


            "Hisoka, am I human?"

            "Of course you are."

            "My eyes…Muraki said that no human could have eyes of this colour."

            "You're human! I say so!"
            "Do you…really believe that?"

            "Baka! I wouldn't say it if I didn't!"


            It was when he saw Tsuzuki amidst the flames, doing nothing except awaiting his death; it was then that he realized how much he had come to depend on Tsuzuki. Tsuzuki was the one who taught him how to feel, how to accept other's feelings.

            Tsuzuki was the first person who didn't hate him.

            He couldn't let Tsuzuki die.

            But that was what Tsuzuki wanted.

            Just to die, and be able to be free from all the pain, guilt, regret, sorrow…

            But Hisoka couldn't let him go.

            He told Tsuzuki he needed him. That his only place was by Tsuzuki's side, and whatever path Tsuzuki chooses…

            Whatever his choice is…

            Hisoka will follow.

            And Tsuzuki asked him if he could truly stay with him.

            For that one moment, Hisoka couldn't answer. A barely discernable nod was all he could give in response.

            And then the world disappeared in the black fires of hell.

            Somehow, he wasn't afraid. If this was what Tsuzuki wanted, if this was the only way to free Tsuzuki from his pain…

            He would be willing to take it.


            By some unfathomable stroke of fate, they survived.

            Maybe he was a little selfish. All Tsuzuki wanted was to be free from his pain and guilt, and he had to deny him even that.

            Because he couldn't live without him.


            Purple eyes…a colour that no ordinary human could ever have. Muraki told Tsuzuki that he was a demon.

            Tsuzuki himself believed that he was a demon.

            But Hisoka had never met anyone who was more human than Tsuzuki.

            For his entire life, Hisoka had been called a demon by his own parents. A monster that didn't deserve to live.

            But now he knew that those words weren't true.

            So Tsuzuki, like him, is just another human.

            And the colour of Tsuzuki's eyes…

            Hisoka felt that those amethyst eyes were the most beautiful that he had ever seen.


-- How was it? Feedback, please? I'm terribly insecure about this. I won't continue if nobody likes it.