Love? Or Hate?

Disclaimer: Subaru and Seishirou don't belong to me, they belong to each other. ^_^ Also, I haven't read the manga for either TB or X since a million years ago, nor do I own them, so please excuse any mistakes etc. Last but not least, this story is vaguely AU.

Oh yes, this has some mild slash in it, just a friendly warning. ^_~

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I still remember, the first time you asked me that question. We were sitting together at the observation deck near the top of the Tokyo Tower not long after I had completed my job there. I was still a child then, so naïve, so trusting…

You turned to me suddenly and asked, "Subaru-kun, do you love or hate this Tokyo we live in?"

I was, well, surprised. I had never really thought about my feelings for this city, but at that time, I firmly believed… "I suppose I love it. Why do you ask?"

You shrugged nonchalantly and flashed that charming smile of yours which held no emotion, not that I knew back then. "I was just curious. But, why do you say you love it?"

I was speechless. A small part of me was confused, didn't know why; but another part of me was screaming:

Because this is were all the people I love are. Because you are here, and that changes everything.

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Indeed, you changed everything. You turned my world upside down. You took everything away from me. My sister. My soul. My life. My heart.

I tried to hate you, but I couldn't. I swore to hunt you down and kill you, but deep inside, I knew I could never hurt you the way you hurt me.

I didn't answer your question then, because I didn't know how to. Did you know how it has haunted me since? I've searched everywhere for the answers, I'm still searching now…

Why do I love…

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We met again, nearly a decade later. You hadn't changed, at least, not outwardly. I sensed that you… felt different somehow. I couldn't help asking you the very same thing you asked me, "So, Seishirou-san, do you love or hate Tokyo?"

You took off your sunglasses and scrutinized me with your good eye. For a moment, I though that perhaps, you felt the same way I did. Then you smirked and drawled, "How could I not love this city, my dear Subaru-kun? There's so much blood here, waiting to be spilt. And not forgetting, I finally have my prey in sight."

Beneath my gloves, the inverted pentagrams flared to life. Your claim to me. I was struggling so hard not to show the turmoil I felt.

You calmly lit a cigarette and raised it to your lips. "By the way, you never answered my question at the Tower."

Your coolness, it infuriated me. I answered you the only way I could – by pulling out a handful of ofuda. My voice was devoid of emotion as I ground out, "I've been looking for you for a long time, Seishirou-san."

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So, do I love or hate this place? Do I love or hate you?

I don't know.

Someone, help me, I need to find the answers to my questions…

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Our final battle on the Rainbow Bridge. Perhaps, that was what pointed out the answers to me.  I poured my soul into that battle, summoning all the power I possessed, every shred of hate I felt for you. If I hadn't destroyed you then, I would have destroyed myself.

You wore your mask to the end, but even your cool façade shattered, as did my resolve to hate you, when your spell backfired. I was left with my hands stained with the blood of the person who had haunted me for so long, watching me from the shadows of my heart… the only person I had ever loved.

I remember, you smiled at me, the first real smile you gave me. Even as you fell into my arms, you whispered, "I lied."

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I don't remember what happened next. It all passed as a red haze. I found myself at your house, wandering aimlessly through the halls. I found a piece of paper in your room:

It doesn't matter what I feel for this place, as long as you are here, I am satisfied.

Was it meant for me to find? I don't know. It was just one more question on my list… one which would probably never be answered.

The Kamui found me standing in the garden watching the blossoms falling from the trees. He handed me a sealed container with your symbols on it, and I knew that there was only one way I could get my answers.

When I accepted it, I knew what I had to give up in return. But I still did it, because I was past caring about anything but you.

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So I became the Sakurazukamori. Your successor. How ironic. How could I possibly fight a clan war against myself?

I look out at the world through your eye and feel you watching me from within. Your presence fills my head, but I can never grasp you. When I look in the mirror, I see a fathomless amber sea. You stand at the bottom beckoning me, but I do not know how to reach you.

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The sakura blossoms are strangely fragrant tonight. Or maybe it's because this is the first time I've actually paid close attention to them. There is no breeze as I make my way through the silent park. The scent hangs heavily in the air, it's almost as if I were caught in your maboroshi. It is overwhelming, stifling, yet strangely liberating.

Subaru-kun…

I stop, shocked and unsure. I've never heard your voice so clearly in my head before. My imagination?

Subaru-kun…

I hesitate, then answer the night. "Yes?"

You still haven't answered my question.

I smile wryly. "Trust you to remember that." I sigh softly and look up at the moon hanging low in the sky. "I don't know… I don't know why… I thought that, perhaps, you would be able to help me… Will you help me find out why?"

I can see you smiling at me through my mind's eye. You extend your hand and I take it without hesitating.

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All night long, you've been leading me to so many places. Familiar places that held so many memories from the years when my life was not so obviously complicated to me.

Now, I find myself standing atop a building watching the red sun rising on the already bustling city.

Do you know why?

I walk over to the edge and look down into the heart of the city I had grown to love. Even though it was full of sin and hate, even if it was filled with the stench of the human race striving for dominance…

"This is my home. Tokyo has given me some of the best and worst times of my life, but most importantly, she gave you to me."

That's good then. I can almost hear the laughter in your voice.

As we watch the sun climb above the skyscrapers crowding the city, I realize this is the first time I've felt so free.

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Tokyo…

City of destinies…

Here it all began…

Here it will all end.

FIN

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This was originally written as a song fic to "Haunted" by Evanescence, but halfway through, the story just took on a life of its own and turned out totally different from what I expected. As a result, the song didn't really seem appropriate for the whole mood. *shrugs*

Anyway, please R & R and tell me what you guys think!