AN: Just a little story that's been on my mind for awhile, enjoy.

Those Illusory Eyes

Ban Mido was tired. No, that wasn't correct, and if his mind was anything it was obsessed with being absolutely precise, he was exhausted.

Lying awake in the motel bed his partner had given up to him, Ban could not sleep. He was exhausted yet never more awake. Before he realized it, a cigarette was in his mouth and again before his senses could process, the cancer stick was lit. With a deathly quiet sound that only he could say was a laugh, Ban slowly got out bed.

A few breathes of the noxious relief that his vice afforded him Ban looked over his shoulder at his sleeping partner. Ginji Amano, having seen his friend was exhausted, or rather, had been acting very exhausted for the past few weeks practically threw the bed at him. The blond haired former Lightning Lord of the Infinite Fortress was more than content with the floor.

Ban couldn't help but stare at the form of his friend for awhile, saving precious seconds for the look on his face.

"You dreaming good dreams Ginji?" Ban muttered. Studying Ginji further possibly for an answer only he could see, Ban walked slowly to Ginji. Almost subconsciously he kept his steps light so as not to wake his friend, or it could be that he was just used to walking that way. Having lived the life he had, Ban knew the benefits of walking in silence.

Squatting close to Ginji, Ban reached a hand out to his face. Holding his arm in empty air for a moment he reached forward and put his hand on Ginji's head.

"Don't mind me, okay?" Ban said casually ruffling the blond spikes. Ginji mumbled something incoherent. To the Jagan master however, the clues were obvious. Drool down the cheek to the chin, mouth wide open. Yes. Ginji was either dreaming of food or girls. Or…yes, Ban concluded with that expression he was dreaming of girls with food

"Damn you're a simple guy Ginji…food and skirts…all you need, huh?" Ban mumbled again knowing again that his whispers would never reach Ginji's ear. Breathing out a bit of smoke, Ban felt a pang of worry, then relaxed. Ginji had been his partner for this long so a little scent of cigarette smoke wouldn't set off any alarms.

The cursed retrieval agent then stopped his massaging of his partner's scalp. Whatever mirth his eyes had, whatever slight quirk forced his lips ever so slightly up, disappeared.

Ban stared at his partner, hard. He began to say something. It would be something grand and meaningful. It would convey everything and nothing at the same time. The words would make a little more tangible the invisible and unbreakable bond that connected the Get Backers. But Ban knew how hollow those words would be, to him at least. And he also knew, had Ginji been awake, he'd have no need for the words.

Simply, he got up.

Ban walked over to the motel window that looked out down some random street off the borders of Lower Shinjuku. Just above the building tops he could just faintly make out the neon glitz of Tokyo that imprinted itself on the sky.

For moments without end he kept studying the realm just outside his room, separated by that near invisible sheet of glass. What separated shelter and the home, from destitution and the streets. Letting whatever light of the moon that got through the sky and city to wash over him, Ban was forced out of his thoughts by the smoke wafting from the window back to his senses.

It was then he realized that the picture of the world just outside his room was marred by his reflection. Ban could see how tired he was, could see things that other people would brush off as minor physical imperfections. The cuts and scrapes of a life lived hard, of vicious thoughts and emotions pushed down and away due to their inconvenience.

At night these things were freed. When the job and the day ended, the chains wrapped tightly around Ban's mind were loosened enough to let that which festered just beneath the surface to roam.

Seeing his reflection, Ban could see he looked a lot older than he was. He wasn't vein, just analytical.

Walking out of the room quietly, he froze just for a moment. He knew Ginji was still asleep. But he knew also that after this, his partner wouldn't sleep for a long time.

The door closed with a soft click.

Finding his way to the dingy open sewer the motel affectionately called the bathroom, Ban wondered if the door behind him would even close let alone if he should even try.

Putting his legendary grip strength to the test, Ban placed his hands on both sides of a nearby sink. Looking into the mirror above it, Ban's piercing blue eyes met their match.

"Hey…" he said to himself. Suddenly his reflection seemed to smirk as the world began to fragment and warp around them both. Ban had been curious for awhile now, what it would be like. So many friends, enemies, and everything in between had been subjected to his power, his curse, but him, never. There was one situation with a certain Beast master in a hospital, but the fact that was unintentional dulled the memory.

The Snake Charmer was holding an audience of one. At the mercy of his own mind, Ban let everything go. Every guard and built up emotional wall that hid his truest soul from the world, even from his partner. In here, in this filthy bathroom, there could be no shame, because the only witness was the victim.

Feeling himself breathe the man cursed with the eyes of evil found his crumbling world filled with smoke. The cancerous fog was well at home in the filth of his own power. Walls fell and glass shattered, enemies and friends wandered in and out of his perceptions leaving neither their names nor any lasting impression.

He was feeling dizzy but he pressed on knowing full well that the power was probably not designed for this purpose. Light fused with dark into an eerie gray which promptly imploded into itself, before finally vomiting up every other color into a resplendent shower.

Willing himself to look away from the mirror for a moment, Ban looked to the corner of the bathroom and found the shadows beginning to crawl up the walls, pooling on the ceilings. Feeling his foot slip on a floor he knew had been dry when he came in; Ban looked down to find he was still looking in the mirror.

Every emotion of every face he had ever seen appeared on the mirror now, from the homicidal smirks of a man in black to the warm sincere grins of a brother in arms.

Few friends, more enemies than he ever actually stopped to count.

Suddenly he was brought face to face with the specter of his sins.

"Hey Mido." Said the savage man in black, the feral grin he possessed made even more unnatural by his one functioning eye. The other eye now covered by a patch which itself was hidden by the locks of wild blond hair.

"Shit, you?" Ban muttered between breathes of smoke. The man grinned even more now. Using the arm that Ban had once destroyed, the reflection moved his hair from his ruined eye. With a flourish he ripped off the eye patch and dropped it into nothingness.

"Tell me a fortune cookie." Ban quipped, feeling groggy now. Blowing more smoke in front of him he soon found himself surrounded by it. The voices were distant but he could hear them, they were all just memories but they stuck with him day after day after day, how could he escape them when even his legendary speed could not separate the 'now' from the 'then'? His right hand quivered, it quaked as it relived every time the great force was used.

"Yeah…" he said, his hand gently grasping his throat.

The snake hissed and breathed smoke.