waiting for the thunder

If this was supposed to teach morality, Ban didn't want the lessons.

All that he'd learned in the last day was that it was possible to love someone while utterly hating them for what they'd done to you -- for Yamato had used him as a weapon, quite calmly, quite consciously of what he was doing, used Ban to kill himself, and had known what it would to do Ban, and he hadn't cared. He hadn't fucking cared. He'd just wanted it over and done with and Himiko safe. Well, so much for the months of friendship, for the cigarettes, for the laughter over meals, for the shared thrill of a caper pulled off, for . . .

. . . anger ran out like water. Again.

So much for any of it.

The anger wouldn't stay. It ran through him like lightning and then vanished in the rain, and it wouldn't even hurt enough. All he wanted to do was scream and curse and swear and howl and rip the world down around him for what Yamato had taught him in that last smoke-scented breath.

You give your friends the help they need.

And then he'd run away from Himiko's eyes, from the spreading shock and deadness that turned her face so desperately calm, from her voice as she screamed in the way that he wanted to but could not, because he was so empty, so goddamn empty.

And you don't ask for anything back.

Himiko, come after me, he wished as he followed the lightning and the rain. If you're my friend, come after me and make this stop. Give me what I need. Please.

He lit a cigarette with Yamato's lighter, and the metal in the rain was as cold as corpseflesh.