ANIME: GetBackers
DISCLAIMERS: GetBackers and all GetBackers characters are property of Yuya Aoki and Rando Ayamine.
WARNINGS: Shonen-ai, Yaoi, GinjiXBan, BanXGinji, Death Fic with a side order of Fluff (if that's possible)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: My second fan fiction! The story is mine. This ficlet is dedicated to "Salad-chan",
since she said she likes angst. Constructive criticism always appreciated. Please no random flames.


One Last Minute

by sohmamomiji

"Ginji!"

One mistake. Just one mistake. If only he had been a little more careful, a little more vigilant.

Ban had allowed himself to become so preoccupied with finishing off the throngs of yakuza
thugs that he did not notice the sniper in the tower.

He had just knocked out the last thug when he heard the shot, but by then it was too late.
The world seemed to move in slow motion. Ban heard Ginji screaming his name . . . and horror
flowed from every pore in Ban's body as he turned his head to see that Ginji . . . his partner . . .
his best friend . . . had . . . pushed him out of the way and . . . taken the bullet himself . . . right
through his back . . . and out the other side . . . through his lungs. As the bullet pierced his body,
Ban watched disgustedly as blood spurted out of Ginji's chest and splattered grotesquely on
the grass.

For a single moment, as Ban tumbled to the ground from the force of Ginji's shove, all he could
do was stare, jaw agape, at the former Lightning Lord . . . who despite bleeding profusely and
grimacing in pain . . . somehow . . . with his last ounce of energy, managed a final bolt of electricity
to take out the sniper in a simultaneous strike.

As the thunder of gunfire cleared from the air, Ban lay in the grass, his mind racing, his limbs frozen
from the shock. The events of the past few seconds replaying in his head

When he was finally able to shake himself out of his stupor, Ban ran over to his fallen partner and
cradled Ginji's bloody form in his arms.

"Ginji!"

Working quickly, Ban ripped his shirt in half with his snake bite and used the tatters to bind Ginji's wounds.

"Ban-chan?" Ginji asked, dazed, his blood pooling around them. The bleary glaze in Ginji's normally
expressive eyes made Ban shift uncomfortably.

'Damn it! Need to get Ginji out of here!' Ban thought in a panic, looking around to orient himself.
He wasn't even sure where the closest hospital would be. Making a snap decision, Ban chose to take
Ginji to the only place he could think of: Gen's Pharmacy.

"I'm here, Ginji" Ban replied as he lifted his friend gently and started running.

Ginji's eyes grew softer at the sound of Ban's voice.

Ignored his tired, aching muscles, Ban sprinted with a speed fueled by concern and adrenaline, not really
completely aware of where he was running. Instinct alone guided his feet back to where he had parked
Miss Ladybug.

"Hang on, Ginji. I'm going to get you out of here."

"You're not hurt…" The blond sighed weakly while lying flaccidly in his partner's arms. "Thank God."

After reaching the Miss Ladybug, Ban drove towards Mugenjou like a rabid, rampaging rhino, probably
breaking at least a dozen traffic laws on the way. Glancing over at his partner, he barely remembered
even placing Ginji in the car, starting the engine and driving off.

"Don't leave me..." Ginji whimpered, reaching a bloodied hand out.

"I'm not going anywhere, Ginji." Ban soothed, reaching a hand to ruffle his friend's blond spikes then taking
hold of Ginji's outstretched hand. "Don't talk, Ginji. You need to conserve your strength."

With that, Ginji remained quiet for the rest of the trip. He kept his half-lidded mocha eyes focused on Ban's face.
Ban could feel his partner growing weaker with each passing breath. Whenever Ban felt his friend slipping away
from him, he would squeeze Ginji's hand and whisper, "Stay with me, Ginji. Don't give up on us."

In reality, the drive was less than ten minutes, but the seven hundred beats of Ginji's heart and the more than
a thousand beats of his own that passed during that time made it feel like an eternity.

When Ban finally arrived at the side entrance of Mugenjou, he grabbed Ginji crimson-soaked form out of the car,
kicked the door into the Limitless Fortress open and screamed, "Makubex! Ginji needs help!"

Within moments, a virtual set of double doors appeared before them. Lettering on the top of door read: MAKUBEX.

Ban pushed through the double doors and found himself at Gen's Pharmacy.

"Gen! Ren! Ginji needs help!" Ban called hoarsely. He carefully placed Ginji down on an unoccupied hospital bed
and looked down at his partner. He could tell that Ginji was fighting to keep his eyes open.

"Ginji, Hold on. Keep fighting. Please." Ban whispered in what he hoped was a reassuring tone, despite the panic
and terror he felt inside.

Gen rushed into the room, following the sound of Ban's cries. When he noticed Ginji lying on the bed, he nodded to Ban.

"Give me a few minutes." He instructed.

Ban backed away and allowed Gen to work. From a chair in the corner of the room, Ban sat nervously and watched
as Gen cautiously unraveled the improvised dressings, then inspected, cleaned, and bandaged Ginji's wound in fresh
gauze. He then injected Ginji with two syringes; one containing a thin fluorescent yellow liquid and the other containing
a viscous silvery solution.

Ban could hear Ginji gasping wetly and groaning in pain the whole time.

When Gen was finished with his ministrations, he pulled the covers over Ginji and told him to rest.

Ban anxiously awaited news.

"Looks like the bullet went clean through. Which is good news, I suppose." Gen spoke solemnly to Ban, "I stopped
the bleeding as much as possible and gave Ginji something that I hope will enhance his natural healing ability."

Then, placing his hand on Ban's shoulder, his voice became quiet, "But, Midou-san… he's… he's lost a lot of blood."

Ban's eyes widened at the implication.

"That's all I can do. I'm sorry." Gen said, shaking his head and walking through the door into the next room. "If you want,
I will inform your other friends."

"Yeah." Ban nodded, grinding his teeth in frustration. In truth, they weren't really his friends, but Ban was in no mood to
argue the point. All the current and former VOLTS members were really Ginji's friends. Ban only had one friend in this
world and that was…

"Ban-chan?" a faint voice called him, jogging him from his thoughts.

"I'm here, Ginji." Ban replied, swallowing a lump in his throat and walking over to sit next to his partner.

"Ban-chan?" the faint voice asked again.

Instead of answering, Ban took Ginji's hand and gave it a light squeeze.

"If… If I don't make it… Prom..." The blond GetBacker began tiredly, panting wetly for breath.

"Don't talk like that!" Ban snapped harshly before catching himself. Then, with a sigh, his voice softened, "Don't talk like that, Gin."

"Ban-chan, please! Promise me…"

"Promise you what?"

"Promise me… that you'll... live."

"Ginji..." Biting his lower lip, Ban gathered his friend into his arms and lifted a finger to stroke Ginji's jaw comfortingly.

"Live… a long, long time, Ban-chan... " Ginji winced slightly, pinching his eyes closed.

"Fill yourself... with happy memories..." he continued, pausing occasionally to gather the energy to speak.

Ban held his partner tighter as Ginji gasped for breath.

Ginji persisted, straining to get out the words. "So when we meet again... you can tell me... lots of wonderful... stories..."

"Don't talk like that, Baka." Ban scolded halfheartedly, his eyes glistening with held-back tears.

Ban looked down at Ginji sorrowfully. It wasn't a promise he wanted to make. He didn't even want to think about
losing Ginji. To even imagine even a single moment without Ginji was almost unbearable. A long life without Ginji
meant a lifetime of lonely suffering, as far as he was concerned.

"Promise?... Ban-chan... Please?"

Ban sighed in defeat. He couldn't refuse those pleading brown eyes.

"Okay, Ginji. I promise."

Ginji coughed, seeming to grow lighter in Ban's arms.

"Thank you… Ban-chan…" Ginji smiled gratefully, though weakly. Ban wished he could burn that smile into his
memory forever. Even the slightest smile from Ginji glowed with the warmth of a thousand suns.

Ban didn't know what else to say. How could he express a lifetime of emotions into the moments he had left?
Instead, he pulled his partner in closer to his chest... to his heart... and stroked Ginji's back to show him that
he was still there... still listening.

Ginji's hand, which had been resting on Ban's arm, tumbled to his side.

"Ginji?... Ginji!" A lump formed in Ban's throat as he drew back in order to look at Ginji's face. He could see
that Ginji's eyes were no longer looking at him, but instead were looking unfocusedly towards the sound of his voice.

"Ban-ch… I… love… y…"

With those simple words, the floodgates opened. No longer able to contain himself, unfamiliar tears flowed from
Midou Ban's eyes, his body racked with sobs.

"Ginji... I..."

Ban gingerly moved his partner's face up to his and looked deeply into Ginji's eyes. Something flashed in Ban's azure
eyes for a moment as his gaze reached out to Ginji. He needed Ginji to know his feelings and this was the one way he
knew how.

Then, closing the distance between them, Ban pressed his lips into Ginji's in a deep kiss. He felt Ginji's lips press back
weakly.

Drawing back, he savored Ginji's breath as it caressed his lips.

Ginji's last breath.

• • •

Suddenly Ban woke up with a gasp, sweat pooling on his back. He looked around, calmed slightly by the mundane familiarity
of his bedroom. He turned to glance at his partner only to find Ginji already staring intently at him, a worried expression wrinkling
Ginji's otherwise innocent features.

"Relax, Ban-chan. It's okay. You were having a nightm…"

Without thinking, Ban grabbed his partner and pulled him into a deep kiss. Surprised, Ginji tensed for a moment, then relaxed into
the kiss. Ban drank in Ginji's lips, mouth and tongue, like a parched desert nomad at an oasis.

Finally drawing away from the kiss, Ban closed his eyes and savored the feel of Ginji's breath on his lips.

In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Ban silently counted the breaths.

Ginji watched him, a mischievous glint passing over his eyes.

"Um… Er… Uh…" Brown eyes peered at Ban shyly. "… umm…"

"Thank you… Ban-chan." Ginji finally said quietly, blushing lightly.

Ban opened his eyes in surprise. "Huh? For what?"

"Ummm…" Ginji's blush deepened. "My… first kiss." He finally whispered.

"WHAT!"

Ban's eyes widened in surprise. Sure he'd been having dreams about Ginji every day for weeks now… but he had found the
opportunity to confess his feelings during that time, hadn't he?

Suddenly feeling panicked, Ban backed away from his partner.

The glint returned to Ginji's eyes and he threw himself wholeheartedly against his partner, kissing him gleefully.

"Fooled you!"

"What! BAKA!" Ban exclaimed, shoving Ginji off playfully.

Ginji chortled heartily while Ban glared at his partner with a half-pout. The moonlight flowing into the bedroom encircled the young
blond's head like a halo. Ginji's amber eyes, sparkling with laughter, seemed to amplify every twinkle, dazzling Ban with their gleam.
Noticing Ban's stare, Ginji's laugh softened into a dulcet smile; the one reserved only for Ban.

"Baka…" Ban said again with a smile, tugging Ginji towards him.

He pulled Ginji into his chest and stroked the blond locks lovingly. Curling up to look at Ginji's sweet face, Ban's cerulean orbs
carefully studied every nuance of his partner's handsome features. Tenderly, Ban ran a finger over every feature on his partner's face …
eyebrow, cheeks, nose, lips… as if mapping out every contour with his fingertips.

So beautiful… So perfect…

The brunette continued to caress his partner's lips adoringly, memorizing every soft line with his thumb.

Ginji coiled his arms around Ban's neck and drew him in for another kiss. As their lips met, Ban poured all his love into a slow,
passionate kiss. He wanted, no... needed, Ginji to feel the overwhelming intensity of his feelings. Finally, reluctantly coming up
for air, Ban released his partner from the kiss.

"Mmm… Ban-chan…" Ginji sighed happily.

Ban gazed down at his partner. Ginji's face was pure adoration and contentment.

Suddenly, the scene dissolved violently away, like a torn shroud. He and Ginji were once again back at Gen's Pharmacy…
back inside Mugenjou. The comfort of their bedroom blown away like autumn leaves.

For a long moment, Ban sat in disbelief, his partner lying limply in his arms. His hands still covered with his partner's dried blood.

Did you have a nice dream, Ginji?

Ban, tears still streaming down his face, leaned down and kissed Ginji's cheek.

"Oh, God, No… G-g-ginji…" Ban sobbed wetly into his partner's ear, Ban's voice, and his heart, breaking.

"Just . . . One . . . Minute . . ."

One last minute.

The end of Midou Ban's nice dream.


QUESTION: I already have an idea for a sequel to this. What do you think? Would you like to see a happy ending?