Disclaimer – I do not own or profit from Diabolo or "I Will Carry You". Diabolo belongs to the incomparable Kei Kusunoki and Kaoru Ohashi., and the song belongs to Clay Aiken. Rated M for sexual situations and adult subject matter. A slash story. In fact, a very slashy story. Do consider yourself duly warned, please.

Author's Notes – I've read the first two volumes, and there are major spoilers ahead for both, in particular volume 2. If that bothers you, please don't read this.

Because this site is cracking down on a rule I wasn't even aware of, I removed all song lyrics from this fic and reposted it, rather than get my account deleted. Therefore, if you wish to read the actual version of this story the way I'd intended it to be, please go to www. geocities. com /GhostHelwig and read it there (spaces must be removed for link to work). You can also find this story at adultfanfiction. net under this penname.

Anyway, enjoy. Peace, all.


The Watcher

by Ghost Helwig


He watched, for the longest time. It was all he could do. The person held so high above him in his own head, the one who had occupied some part of his every thought since they'd met, had forgotten him completely.

He tried very hard not to take it personally.

Because he knew, in his heart, that Ren hadn't forgotten him deliberately, or even willingly. But still...

It mattered to Rai, this forgetting, because Ren mattered so very much to him.

So when he approached Ren, he was gentle at first. Didn't want to scare him off, didn't want to make him run. Saved him from those nasty boys who picked on him (and an irony, that, oh yes, an irony), but he knew that wasn't enough to really do... anything.

But Ren was strong, stronger even then he thought. Though Ren didn't want to leave his mother, when she died (and you dream about it, don't you, Ren? I hear you scream at night; your every whimper is a cry for her. Your loyalty will shatter you. Don't you see? Must I always be the one to show you darkness?), he went with Rai almost... happily. He wanted to help. He wanted to save.

He was too giving, by far. But Rai would not let that stop him from taking.

They traveled together after that, through dark streets, dark lives, dreaming dark dreams. It got to Ren sometimes; a child of sunlight couldn't walk through shadows and feel at home.

Rai could. But then, Rai wasn't made of light.

But Ren held on, kept moving, kept trying. Rai was so damn proud of him for that. No matter what horror they faced, Ren faced it with the same bright-eyed, hopeful strength, the same determination and undying will. He would protect all the innocents from the Diabolo if he could – and looking in his eyes, one thought that maybe he really could.

Was Ren really the sword, and not the shield? Sometimes, Rai wondered.

But then...

Blood, everywhere. A massacre. A hospital turned into a mausoleum.

He could still hear Ren's horrified scream in his head. He hadn't screamed. Not even on the inside.

But then, he didn't really mind the blood. No, not really.

Not at all.

But he held Ren then, and even though some part of him – most of him, God help him, he was falling - was consumed with the bloodlust, the need, another part of him, quieter, gentler, aching, was clinging to Ren with an altogether different kind of need.

Long ago he'd stopped believing in a just world. But when he realized what he was feeling, what he was needing, he finally stopped believing in a just God.

He could not protect Ren from the Diabolo. He could not protect Ren from his mother's incestuous insanity, from feeling the pain of others, from the unresolved loss of his beloved cousin Mio.

And most especially, he could not protect Ren from the pain he knew he would inflict on him very, very soon.

But he could protect Ren from his lust.

That night, Ren slept uneasily, undoubtedly dreaming of the blood he'd seen, the viciously brutalized bodies. Rai didn't dream – he didn't sleep.

Instead, as a last defiant act, he kind of... prayed.

Even when he prayed, his first and last thoughts, as always, were of Ren.

It isn't fair to him. What kind of God are you, that you let the Diabolo take someone like him? If I still believed in your magic, I'd stake my life that he was one of your angels.

He should have had a normal life. I... was never meant for much. But he was. He's special. And now he has a demon inside him. Your angel's been infected.

But you don't care, do you? You put him on this forsaken planet, and you let them take him, and I'd hate you for that but that's not even the worst thing.

I think... I could've found a life with him. I want to, now, now that it's too late. It was too late when we were children, and innocent, thinking we were strong enough to save Mio. It's far beyond too late now.

I hate you for that more than for anything else.

He wiped icy tears from his cheeks, the demon rearing up for a moment, demanding blood in return for every tear his human soul had forced him to shed. Only by staring at Ren's sleeping face was he able to lock it away,

He pretended to sleep as dawn approached, not wanting Ren to know he'd lain awake all night, watching him. Ren would worry, and wonder, and he really didn't want Ren to do either of those things. Especially not on account of him.

His pain wasn't so important, wasn't so special. It was the demon inside him that he had to fight every single moment that was truly worthy of being worried about.

But he couldn't let Ren see that, either.

Deep breaths – that was what it took. Deep breaths, and the easy remembrance of the warmth of Ren's body whenever he touched him, the heat of mingled friendship and care, trust.

Nothing dirty in that, no, nothing at all.

Which hurt a little, quietly, but his pain just... had to be handled. And it was.

But then Ren made him promise. Pinky-swear, as they'd done as children. Was Ren still that innocent, where a pinky-swear was the most binding vow of all?

Yes, it seemed he was.

Had he not already fallen for this untainted soul, that would have been all he needed to begin his descent.

So he promised to tell him the truth, something he had no intention of doing – not just yet. But that didn't matter, not really, not to him.

He would follow Ren anywhere, everywhere, until the end. And at only seventeen, that should have been a difficult inner promise to keep; one made in haste but sincere, though ultimately fruitless.

However, with destiny fast approaching and a demon eating at his thoughts, he knew he wouldn't follow Ren for much longer.

But he would want to. Inside, deep, where Rai would go when the monster reigned. Deep in there, he would want to follow Ren until his death.

Will you kill me, Ren, when the time comes? he wanted desperately to ask. Can you really do it? Will you really do it? Can you go through with it? If I were to stop right here, to be brave and tell you what I was feeling, would you kill me? If I were to beg you to stop my heart, to steal my breath, could you do it?

Will you kill me, Ren, when the time comes, when I'm forced to admit I'm falling?

Will you kill me, Ren?

Please?

Then, they met the girl. Tsukiko. Pretty enough, but something strange, awkward, ugly, in her eyes... Reminds him of the first time they met Hiromi, who reminded him of him...

It's sickness. He doesn't say it aloud, not to Ren, the great innocent, the naive child, but he thinks it all the same. She's sick. Like Hiromi. Like him.

They try to save her, anyway. Because really, what else is there to do? Sit by and let the darkness win, gnaw his fingers to nubs, watch Ren with lust-love-loss clouding his gaze? Each of those roads leads only to sadness.

Each of those roads leads to his ruin.

He wishes suddenly that he could sleep. Curl in Ren's arms and just...

Rest.

There's a robbery at the mini-mart where he's buying Hiromi's clothes. Such a small thing to the clerk, but such a big thing to him. Because they should be stopped. Evil should be stopped.

A fine line, thinking that without falling into hypocrisy, but he walks it just fine.

But he lets it go, tastes the blood he's drawing from his own finger without recognizing it for what it is. Not just blood-

The sign that his fall from grace has begun.

They take Tsukiko to her home, a condo, so fine – too fine – for someone as down on her luck as she is, as her friends probably are as well. But they trust her.

Or rather, Ren trusts her, because Rai can't really feel anything much either way.

Upstairs, her home, and it isn't what they expected it to be. Far from. The creeps are there, the same ones they 'saved' her from earlier, and the irony of that makes Rai want to laugh.

Or vomit.

Either would be appropriate, Rai thinks.

But Ren's outrage and confusion are pulling him in, and the human, horrified part of him is winning-

Until he sees them, the creeps, and Hiromi, she's letting them...

She's letting them.

Ren is fighting this, that's obvious, and his cheeks are slightly flushed and passion lights his eyes-

And is it the human or the demon who is now watching him with lust? Rai can't even tell.

Ren doesn't see. Ren doesn't even look at him, is so caught up that he's ignoring him completely, not forgetting about him again but that's what it could be, what it feels like. That would hurt, really, if Rai were paying attention.

But he isn't.

All he can see is that body. Not Tsukiko's, though hers is bared to all, and lovelier than many. Oh no, not hers, he can't even see her.

What he can see is what he'd like to be doing, in that den of filth and depravity and blatant, never-satisfied hunger. Oh yes. He can see what he wants very well.

Ren, nude, spread-eagled on the bed. Himself, bent over him, devouring that perfect skin, drowning Ren in kisses and caresses, marking that milky flesh with red, pressure-marks from his anxious fingers.

Ren, bent over a chair, jeans around his ankles, hands fisted in the cushions. Himself, behind him, thrusting in hard, wanting to hear Ren scream, smiling in satisfaction when he does.

Ren, wanting him. Ren, moaning for him. Ren, aching for him.

Ren, letting him.

He's disgusted with himself, because in this the human and the demon are in total agreement.

He listens to Tsukiko's story, listens, is horrified, and doesn't care. The devil in him is winning. The Diabolo is winning.

And even now, he can't let Ren see.

Violence is looming – that much is obvious. And then suddenly it's there, the blood, the pain, and he overloads. Can't take this, not now, his need for blood mingling with his need for Ren, one demonic and foul, the other all too human and pure, and it's like his mind is being raped by this demon, and when he thinks of raping Ren the demon part of him is aroused.

And so the human flees.

But he can't leave like this, with this conflict inside him, with this human soul and its desires and fears and heartaches on the one hand and the twisted desires and fearlessness and savagery of the demon on the other. He can't leave here with that vow still on his hand, an invisible mark around his pinky finger, heated, a band of heat like a fire ring. He can't take that with him. It's the last of his purity, and he's going to hell.

So he leaves it behind.

Ren turned when it was all over, wanting only to see Rai behind him, to share his pain and confusion with the only person in the world who would understand – the only person who ever understood him. But Rai was gone. He was truly alone.

He'd never been alone before, not really. Even though he'd not felt connected to his mother ever since the day she saw him covered in blood (though he tried to deny it, he knew in his heart it was true), this was still... different. Because he knew, now, what being connected to someone, to Rai, was like. And now...

He was... without.

That empty room terrified him. Scarred him like not even his mother's insane lust had.

Was this what his life would be now? Had the end begun?

Was Rai... gone?

He screamed, screamed, but this time...

No one heard him.

Gentle hands picked him up as he lay helpless in the street, carried him out of the rain and into warmth. Some part of his consciousness, even mired in this fainting-sleeping world as it was, noted the care he was being given. And as he had experience of this with only one person in his life, he immediately thought of Rai.

Only it wasn't thoughts, not really, because he was dreaming, and dreams, his dreams, were more vivid than thoughts could ever be...

Rai was touching him, gently, just a little. A caress, not even the 'biggest' touch Rai had ever given him, but Ren felt it in his bones. It was... warmth.

He bled this, now. This warmth was everywhere. It enveloped him. It had awoken with Rai's sudden disappearance, awoken from the realization that it must awaken now or be forever lost.

But he was drowning in the heat. Even in a dream.

Rai was smiling at him. He smiled very rarely of late, even less ever since the massacre that Ren himself couldn't even bear to think about. What a nightmare that had been, and still was, and he'd ask Rai if Rai dreamed about it, too, but Rai wasn't really there...

Except he was.

"Ren," he said gently. "Please open your eyes."

"Hmm... Rai?" It hardly seemed right, for Rai to be here now, but Rai was still looking at him and he couldn't focus... He was drowning in the light, the heat...

The need...

Slowly, his mind began to clear, and Rai was still there, gazing lovingly down at him, making joy tremble in Ren's throat. The last night, then, with its orgy and blood and stench of sin, must have been a nightmare, too... Just a nightmare...

He had a lot of experience with those.

"I'm glad..." he whispered. "I... was dreaming." An understatement, and a poor one, and he spoke again as he finally, truly awoke.

"I dreamt that you were gone..."

And it was true.

The man above him wasn't Rai. Had it been, Ren would have pulled him close, pulled him down...

Kissed him, maybe. Yes. Definitely kissed him.

But it wasn't, and he didn't. He screamed instead. But what he really wanted to do...

Was cry.

Kyouya was nice, had saved his life, fed him and apparently let him sleep in his bed, had even taken his wet clothes so he wouldn't sicken from sleeping in them. But he wasn't Rai. Hardly his fault of course, and Ren couldn't very well blame him for not being Rai, but he kind of wanted to.

Because Kyouya was here, and Rai was not, and Ren needed Rai to be. He needed him to be here, to be watching over him, to be loving him... He needed this not to be the end. It couldn't end yet. He had something he needed very badly to say to Rai first.

You were always the stronger one. You were always the one who did things, who knew what needed to be done. You blame yourself for it, for the Diabolo, but I need you to know – I always loved that about you, Rai. That you could run where I could only walk. That you led me on the paths I could never traverse on my own. And even when we're both dead, I want you to know that you left a mark – you mattered. And even then, when we're dead, when we've killed each other to save each other, I will remember you.

And I'll love you.

And he'd kiss him then. Yes. Probably. No – definitely. Because he couldn't leave this world without getting at least that.

No lifetimes for them, no roses and houses with white picket fences and gardens with beautiful ponds. No children, no grandchildren, no family gatherings at holidays. No passionate nights and flirtatious days and knowing, desiring looks scattered in between. They couldn't have any of that.

But they could have a kiss. He could steal one. Before the end. Before they ended each other.

And it would warm him, as his body grew cold. Yes. It would warm him.