for: 31days, May 7th, 06
Series: Yami no Matsuei
Summary: healing comes in stages.
set in a time period after Kyoto and before the Gensoukai arc.
For Rachel as she was feeling unwell.
Real love stories never have endings.
-Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
After the flames that threatened to consume them all, after the hospital where Hisoka stayed just outside Tsuzuki's door all night waiting, sleepless with his fingers drumming on the side of the chair to drown out the beating of his heart. (the faint beating of Tsuzuki's heart which haunts him so that he can't focus on anything else.)
After the checkout and finally being able to breathe after being suffocated in all the endless sterile white halls. (He hates hospitals, even now.)
He waits outside through the crush of people visiting, staying outside the window, far enough to listen unnoticed.
The breeze is soft and smells of apple blossoms, it catches in his hair, mussing his bangs in front of his eyes again. Hisoka brushes them aside.
Spring has come again.
In-between this there's fairytales, empty rooms and fables. ("we were all alive once, ." Tsuzuki says, lucid and open for but a brief second. "Ah, but lunch is here.")
you're not a bad person Hisoka almost says, it never leaves his lips, they feel stuck shut and useless.
The moment passes.
"The weather is nice" Tsuzuki says, to fill the space of silence between them. He's out of the hospital but not completely well. One week is all Tatsumi gave him to recover, Tsuzuki spends most of it lazing around Hisoka's apartment, just a step away.
"Soon it'll rain."Hisoka replies.
"It's good for the flowers, though."
How Typically Tsuzuki, Hisoka thinks.
"If you're going to be here, you mind as well get some work done." Hisoka hands him a washcloth without another word.
Any other time Tsuzuki would've whined, but now he seems happy to given the chance to help Hisoka dry dishes.
Tsuzuki fills the spaces of sound with idle conversation.
"Is the book you're reading good?" Rustle.
Clink. "Passably so."
Hisoka's house is austere, nothing but bare bones. Table, two chairs, a couch and a futon all interspersed in the rooms. The walls are unadorned and the floors are carpetless.
After dishes Tsuzuki stays, curled up on the couch and looking a stark contrast to the settings around him.
Tonight, Hisoka lets him stay.
The next morning Tsuzuki disappears without even leaving a note. The blanket is neatly folded beside the couch. The room is so clean, there's no trace that Tsuzuki was ever even there.
It is almost eerie, Tsuzuki always leaves traces (muddy footprints, clothes thrown haphazardly, wrinkled bedsheets,) the absence feels wrong and painful, as if the little annoying reminders had been cleaved from his side.
Hisoka remembers, he might not be the same, (Tatsumi's warning rings in his mind, a nagging reminder that sinks into his skin, a sliver deep in his palm reminding him of its presence)
There is nothing the glaring cleanliness of the room, bright light reflecting through the windows.
Hisoka leaves, the door closing behind him.
Hisoka checks the bakeries and bars, then spreads out, moving closer to the outskirts of Meifu's outcropping of storefronts, closer and closer to the outer gates.
With each shop anxiety bunches in his stomach, coiling tighter and tighter as he listens for the sound of Tsuzuki's heartbeat in his mind, his emotions, everything that signals his presence.
He finds Tsuzuki under an alcove just beyond the outer walls, leaning against the cold stone walls, deep in thought, buried in some memory who's tendrils wove deep around him, pulling down deeper.
Hisoka does not announce himself, merely waits for Tsuzuki to come out of his reverie, coming closer, pressing his fingers to wall.
Even from this distance he can feel Tsuzuki, the emptiness, a scar constantly reopened, but this time beginning to close.
"Hisoka... you're here." Tsuzuki says incredulously.
"Of course, you idiot. Where else would I be?"
Tsuzuki smiles then.
On the first day at work in nearly two weeks little has changed. Tsuzuki is scolded by Tatsumi for spending too much, there is paperwork and new jobs soon to be handed out. At times he forgets all that has happened, the scent of death and charred rubble, clinging to Tsuzuki for dear life, flames licking at his skin and turning it inwards, like a bruise fast-forwarded, skin disintegrating.
Perhaps one day he will even forget that, but he doubts it.
There's picked apple blossoms and dandelions that make a clumsy bouquet on Hisoka's desk. No card to go with it, but the message is obvious.
"It's nothing. It's not like it can get any worse. I'm not going anywhere."
"thank you.. Hisoka.")