Originally posted on New Year's, here's my reunion fic! Personally, I feel great knowing that I've been in this fandom long enough to finally actually write a reunion fic. It's been a great year in the fandom. I'm glad to be a part of it, and I'm excited to see what 2020 holds.
Despite the ups and downs 2019 held for my personal life, I feel I'm in a great place. I'm motivated to do more of my writing, I have an amazing set of new friends who support me, and I have a new job where I feel satisfied. I mean, how many places will just let you write fan fic which you're on the clock?
Hope you all enjoy!
WHEN IT RAINS, I'LL CALL YOU HOME
Shion hadn't imagined he would be here again: standing in the doorway of the abandoned bunker, listening to the sound of the rain falling outside.
It was raining that day, too. Has it really been eight years since I first met Nezumi?
It had begun raining as Shion trudged through the neighborhood that had once been called West Block. The recent years had developed the dilapidated buildings into suitable housing. The skies had been dark all day. The walk from his mother's bakery to the bunker had taken most of the day, but it was a trip Shion had grown well-accustomed to.
Four years had passed since Shion watched Nezumi walk away. Nezumi had kissed him and vowed to return, but he'd never specified when. There had been four years of separation between the two of them the first time, but Shion had thought―hoped―Nezumi would breeze back into his life sooner than the time before.
Shion took a deep breath. He'd been at the bunker less than a week ago, when he'd spent most of the night tossing and turning. Nightmares kept Shion awake on more than a few occasions. When those nights came, Shion pulled on his coat, left a note for his mother, and wandered to the place where those dark thoughts couldn't plague him.
He exhaled and surveyed the room with satisfaction. Shion kept it well-cleaned. Time seemed frozen inside the bunker, and Shion's diligence and focus kept it pristine.
It was his own personal world.
A reminder that the memories he had were just that―memories.
Proof Nezumi had existed before he'd breezed out of Shion's life with only a promise.
Shion drummed his fingers against the doorframe and stepped inside. The door was propped open with a wooden doorjamb. He didn't worry about anyone sneaking up on him. Nezumi's bunker was well-hidden, and only a handful of folks knew where to look for it.
Shion could feel the comfort and familiarity of the bunker swirling around him. It was a private oasis. A gemstone tucked in the ruins of West Block that Shion could look at any time he chose. He walked into the center of the room and folded his arms. He'd vacuumed earlier. The bedsheets had been washed, and all the dishes had been put away. Shion mouthed his to-do list. It kept his mind busy while the storm raged on above him. If he didn't think about it, then he wouldn't have to remember that yet another year had passed without a word from Nezumi.
Shion had just begun to dust the dining room table when he heard a sound behind him.
"I suppose I shouldn't alert the authorities, then."
Shion's heart clenched.
"I thought someone might have broken in. I should have guessed it would be you."
Blue and red static crackled along the edge of Shion's vision. It tunneled until all he could see was the bed: that too-small bed he'd been too afraid to remove, the threadbare blanket and the rock-hard pillows, all freshly laundered but unchanged. He'd wanted it all to be exactly the same when―always when, never if―Nezumi came back.
Nezumi leaned against the archway, arms crossed. Four years had added some height to him, and the worn, black pair of combat boots only made it more prominent. That was all that had noticeably changed about him. He still wore that black leather jacket, the dark fabric of the superfibre cloth trailing down his spine like a set of broken wings.
Those silver eyes, the same ones that had stared back at him in surprise on that fateful night eight years ago, finally met his.
And those lips, the same ones that had kissed him and promised to return, drew back in a familiar half-smile that looked mischievous and devastating.
Shion's vision blurred.
Nezumi's expression twisted into a look of concern, but Shion's legs had already given out. The green carpet, recently vacuumed, cushioned Shion's fall as he sank to his knees. He covered his face with his hands as the past four years came crashing around him.
Nezumi crouched down before him, their knees pressing together.
Shion pressed the palms of his hands against his closed eyelids until he saw a gray haze. It was a weight crushing around him. All the nights sitting up during thunderstorms and looking out the window. The days dusting and tidying up the bunker so it would be perfect. The letters his hands had itched to write, and the agony of knowing he had nowhere to send them.
He flinched as Nezumi's hands took hold of his wrists and gently drew them away from his face.
"Shion," Nezumi said, and the sound of his melodic voice pierced through Shion's psyche like a barrage of needles. "Shion, look at me."
Look at me. They'd been in this position before, four years ago. Shion on the floor, curled in on himself, on his knees, his world falling apart, and Nezumi there to ground him. Shion trembled and lifted his head. The miserable haze vanished, his vision opening up until all he could see was Nezumi's face. He peered into those glorious eyes―liquid steel, sunlight caught on the edge of an executioner's sword―and beheld the relief swimming within them.
Shion's trembling fingers curled into fists. He squeezed his eyes shut and punched Nezumi's shoulder. It was like hitting his knuckles against a solid board, but Shion felt a bite of satisfaction explode through him as Nezumi drew back with a pained hiss.
"Bastard," Shion hissed, and then he drove his other fist against Nezumi's right bicep. "You absolute bastard! Where the hell were you? Four years―four fucking years―"
"I know," Nezumi said, taking Shion's strikes on his arms. He made no move to dodge them, but Shion could feel the tension in his muscles. Nezumi's instinct to fight back warred against his willingness to withstand Shion's anger. "I know."
"Where were you? Where were you?" Shion's voice broke at the end. It felt as if a mirror had burst apart beneath his strikes and scattered across the carpets of the bunker, the same one Shion had spent years maintaining because he'd never given up hope that Nezumi would return―even when the years dragged on and the nights grew lonelier.
Shion thumped his hand against Nezumi's chest with a breathless sob. It landed against the spot where Nezumi's shoulder met his chest. His fingers uncurled until his palm was flat. Beneath the black leather, Shion could feel the thump-thump of Nezumi's heart.
What can you feel?
Shion drew in a sharp, shuddering breath. Your heart. I can feel your heart. You're actually here. He choked down a sob as it bubbled up from deep within his core. You're here, Nezumi.
Shion felt Nezumi shift beneath his palm. "Feel better?"
There wasn't anger in his tone―only a faint twinge of amusement. Nothing of the predatory edge Shion remembered Nezumi's words carrying with them. It pulled a wet laugh from his throat before Shion could cage it behind his teeth.
"I don't know," Shion admitted. "How about I punch you again, and then you can ask me?"
"Let's not, and say we did." Nezumi huffed. "You've gotten stronger. Those first two actually hurt."
Shion thumped him against the chest one more time for good measure.
He took a breath as he waited for Nezumi to take in the room around them. Once Nezumi's, then theirs, and then Shion's. Shion had spent countless hours making sure it was exactly the way Nezumi would remember it. He'd meticulously memorized the location of each book on the shelves, keeping them organized the way he'd done four years ago to pass the time.
Nezumi made a low sound, and only then did Shion allow himself to look up once more.
"It looks like the same," Nezumi remarked.
Shion smiled at the wonder in his voice. "Does not," he said. "It's cleaner."
Nezumi clicked his tongue. "Someone's been busy."
"You don't know the half of it."
The corner of Nezumi's lips raised in a bemused smirk. Shion relished in it, his throat tight as he continued to feel the thumping of Nezumi's heart beneath his hand. He could have spent eternity in that moment, suspended in time as if nothing had changed. He could pretend Nezumi had never left him to stand on the edge of town and watch until Nezumi vanished on the horizon. He could pretend the past four years hadn't gnawed away at a portion of his soul Shion had feared would never return.
"So," Shion said, "you're back."
Nezumi flinched as if Shion had struck him again.
"Is it temporary?"
"No." The word came out much quicker than Shion guessed it would. Nezumi must have read the shock on his face, because he added, "I didn't expect it to be."
"Oh," Shion murmured. It was all he could manage.
He braced himself as Nezumi brought his hand up again. His fingers were long and white, the same digits Shion saw in his dreams. Shion had dreamt of those hands carding through his hair, twisting the silver locks and tugging them hard enough to hurt, hard enough to prove he was real. Too often had Shion bolted from a dead sleep to find his own hands tangled in his hair.
They were sitting close. Their knees touched, and Shion could feel the warmth spreading in the air between them. He savored it, letting it chase away the chill that had settled in his core the day this boy―this beautiful, otherworldly, mysterious boy―had kissed him and walked away. Shion winced as Nezumi's fingers curled around a lock of his silver hair.
His thumb stroked a gentle rhythm over the lock as they sat in silence. Shion unconsciously leaned into his touch.
"Time for a haircut, Your Majesty."
Nezumi's hand stilled.
"Don't," Shion repeated. "Don't call me that. Not now."
"Shion," Nezumi amended.
Shion shut his eyes. "Sorry. I shouldn't have―"
"I'm sorry," Nezumi said. For what, Shion couldn't be certain. He couldn't remember the last time Nezumi had apologized in earnest. When Nezumi apologized, it was typically a theatrical display to prove a point. Nezumi rarely apologized with words. He used gestures, light touches, soft looks.
But Shion found his shoulders relaxing as he let the words wash over him. I'm sorry. Those two little worlds held within them so much weight. So many unspoken promises.
It was a serious thing, Shion realized, for Nezumi to tell him he was sorry and mean it.
For a long moment, neither of them spoke. They breathed the same air, existed within the same space, the same way they had for months over four years ago. Shion let him adjust to the familiarity of it all.
Nezumi was here.
It wasn't a dream.
He was here.
Nezumi said, "When I left, I wanted to come right back. It was… hard. Being away from you."
Shion's throat tightened.
"And that unsettled me," Nezumi went on. "No one had ever meant that much to me. My whole life, I'd only ever worried about myself. Only ever existed for myself. And once you came along, I found myself worrying for you. I cared if you lived or died. You just gave and gave without expecting anything in return―and I didn't know how to handle that."
The snag in his words was a knife in Shion's stomach. He shut his eyes and let his head fall forward. His forehead thumped against Nezumi's chest. Nezumi's fingers were still curled around a lock of his hair, and Shion could feel them trembling.
"I wanted to come back sooner," Nezumi said. "I did. But I didn't know if it was the right time. It wasn't healthy, the way we relied on each other."
Shion couldn't argue with that. When he and Nezumi had lived together, there had been so much threatening them from all sides. The Correctional Facility. No.6. West Block itself. In a world surrounded by enemies, even a reluctant ally was a welcome change from the norm. Shion's infatuation with Nezumi had stemmed from the other boy's anger, his willingness to challenge Shion's way of thinking and reveal to him the true world.
But Shion would be lying if he said he wanted things back exactly the way they were.
His relationship with Nezumi―if he could call it that―had begun in the midst of desperation for survival. A relationship of that nature was destined to fail unless both participants could grow. A seed planted in the midst of an apocalypse could bloom into something beautiful, but only if it received the right nutrients.
"But you came back," Shion murmured.
Nezumi took a deep breath. There were dark circles beneath his eyes. Shion wondered how long it had been since he'd slept well. "We were teenagers," Nezumi said. "Kids. We were forced to grow up rather quickly, but in the end, we were young."
A thorned rose began to bloom in Shion's chest.
"You don't know me," Nezumi said. "And I don't know you."
The edges of Shion's vision blurred.
"But," Nezumi murmured, and his voice had gone so soft that Shion had to strain to hear him, "I want you to know me."
Shion's vision blurred at the edges. "I want you to know me, too." The words came so easily, spilling from his lips like water. He lifted his face and sought those glorious silver eyes with his own. Nezumi had always been guarded; but looking into his eyes now, Shion could see the raw emotion burning within him.
"I missed you," Shion said.
Nezumi's chest heaved beneath Shion's hand as he exhaled. "I missed you, too."
Shion's heart jumped into his throat. He leaned forward and rested his head against Nezumi's chest. The rhythmic thump of his heart spread through Shion's body like a cluster of butterflies. He closed his eyes and let the sound wash over him. It was a start. A silent promise. Shion didn't flinch as Nezumi's arm came up and rested around his shoulders. He simply closed his eyes, and for the first time in four years, Shion could breathe again.