Title: Standstill
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/Character/s: vaguely SanoxKazu, mentions of IkkixAkito
Word Count: 602
Warning/s: Um… vague spoilers for episode 17, I guess?
Summary: Caught in a moment.
Dedication: kshi- I'm officially ruined.
A/N: ARGH WHAT AM I DOING! I don't know these characters well enough yet. I don't know what I'm doing. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. YET. I do this anyway. WHY?


He's trapped in a moment all over again.

He knows now, that three minutes is all it takes to be destroyed—finds himself reliving that lesson in his dreams over and over again, one drop of blue-gray oil at a time.

A single instant can change your life forever, and when he closes his eyes and listens to the ticking of the clock on his wall at night, waiting to fall asleep, he feels fingers stroking his chin instead, there for just a second and all eternity. Tilting his face up-- a deceptively soft touch and elegant, gentle hands. He recalls the sensation of freezing too, remembers the world standing still in the moment it took for him to swallow, to work his mouth open in confusion.

"Such a cute face."

He's still frozen by those words even now, feels like they're some sort of mysterious incantation for whatever spell that man had used to make Kazu's universe come to a stop at that moment, completely motionless for just one heartbeat. He remembers wanting to blush, wanting to reach out and punch the arrogant bastard, wanting to do something—anything-- and being rendered immobile instead, trapped in the time it took for him to swallow, to blink, to register what was being said to him. To feel that touch for a breath and then forever.

He wakes up from that instant in his memories and finds himself trembling in bed every time afterwards, even when he tells himself it was just a dream, just a dream and today is today, not yesterday or the day before. But he can still feel the thin trickle of blood on his lips from that time long past like it's still there right now, and with just one sentence—one touch-- that glasses-wearing bastard has stuck him in some sort of bizarre temporal paradox that exists for him and him alone. He licks his lips afterwards and doesn't taste blood when he expects to—proof that he's still caged between then and now and can't quite discern one from the other just yet.

The brush of fingers under his chin—a feather light stroke there and gone again in the blink of an eye but lingering ever after.

Stuck in a moment.

It bothers him so much he starts thinking about it when he's awake too, sticks his hands in his pockets and looks up at the big wide sky next to Ikki, feeling like he's all boxed up still, hot and bleeding and with his chin cupped tenderly in the fingers of a smiling time wizard.

"Hey, Ikki," he starts one day, and his voice is just a little bit hoarse. He swallows and works his mouth open, even if it feels like it takes forever.

"Yeah?" his friend answers absently, and when the clouds reflect in his eyes like that it looks like he's flying even on the ground.

"What'd it feel like when Akito kissed you?" Kazu finally manages, and turns his gaze downward. His cheeks get a little bit pink.

Ikki makes a face at the memory. "Like the world fuckin' stopped," he snorts, though his eyes are still trained up, up, upwards. Never faltering. "Thought I was gonna die."

"Oh," Kazu murmurs, and finds one hand going up to touch his own face then, fingers unconsciously brushing the line of his jaw, the jut of his chin. He shudders and his throat suddenly feels dry again. He half expects to taste blood on his lips. "Oh."

Just one instant can change your life forever.

Kazu feels like he's trapped in it.

END