Some Meaning to Memorize.

These days Ritsuka looks at him as if he wasn't sure he knows him, as if he was looking at him from within a dream. Soubi finds that part of him wants to reach forward, wants to touch the boy and nuzzle against the sensitive spot of his neck that'd make Ritsuka sigh and giggle, wants to kiss Ritsuka so that Ritsuka can get angry at him or something that tells him that Ritsuka is not forgetting him.

But Seimei pulls his brother closer and Seimei nuzzles against his brother's neck and face and Ritsuka stops looking at him and instead he smiles, happy and almost carefree, turning to face Seimei. Soubi's chest aches, deep and hard and burning and spreading all over his body and it's not jealousy and it's not loneliness but it's still bad, so fucking bad that he can't almost breathe.

Seimei smiles at him.

"Are you happy, Soubi-kun?" Seimei hugs Ritsuka against him, so childishly pleased that the part of Soubi that will always be Beloved's can't help but be content. "You can have your two masters, now. Ritsuka is."

Soubi bows his head forward. Ritsuka isn't even looking at him.

"I am what my master wants."

-...-

Of all the people he thought he'd share cigarettes with, he would have never thought that Nisei would be one of them.

But the other Fighter is as broken as he is, as lonely as he is, and they both turn towards the door when they hear the rumble of Seimei's voice, the soft tunes of Ritsuka's laughter. They both wait, smoking. They eat when Seimei tells them and they do what Seimei orders. Ritsuka's eyes most of the time follow his brother. They're not the eyes of his Ritsuka, Soubi knows. His Ritsuka's eyes were sharp and focused and alive, not shadowed, not dreamy, not murdered.

This Ritsuka is a different Ritsuka than his, and yet he can't do a thing about it. Ritsuka is Seimei's. Any and all Ritsuka that there was and is and will be belongs to Seimei. He looks towards Nisei and he sees the same longing he feels. He remembers what it was, waiting for a Sacrifice to call his own, and he remembers Ritsuka, soft voice and Ritsuka choosing him, as short as that was, and he reaches for two more cigarettes, lightning them up and offering one to Nisei.

The other Fighter accepts it without a word.

-...-

He only has one nightmare, but it's shaded in a rainbow of chaos, echoed with the Zero screaming, with Kio dying, with Seimei's orders, with Ritsuka muttering his name one last time.

Seimei smiles as he kisses Ritsuka, and it's a lovely Ritsuka doll, with nothing of his temper or stubbornness, nothing of his voice breaking or hands clinging. The Ritsuka Seimei has in his arms just smiles, pleased and vague, watching thousand of butterflies fall around them, blue-black wings twinkling like broken stars.

Soubi is holding the broken, bleeding bodies of Natsuo and Youji against him and still Seimei doesn't let go of Ritsuka, warm and pleased like Soubi never knew him and Soubi is trembling, not daring to think about Kio or about anything.

Ritsuka had called for him, once, before he changed. He hadn't been able to move.

"Soubi-kun," Seimei had smiled, kissing Ritsuka's face as Ritsuka's face went calm and peaceful. "Ritsuka wants you to kill them. And that's an order, isn't it?"

And the Ritsuka doll had nodded, heartbreakingly pleased as he looked towards his brother.

The nightmare keeps going month after month after month, over and over and over and over.

-...-

He's dizzy when the door opens but he doesn't care who Seimei sent this time to fix him and he just hopes that Nisei will be allowed to bring more cigarettes.

If the touch hadn't been familiar, Soubi wouldn't have moved.

"Stay still," Ritsuka says, detached. The scent of antiseptic hits Soubi, a little too sharp. "Or this will hurt much more."

What hurts, really, is feeling Ritsuka's fingers against him, but Soubi knows better than to even complain.

-...-

"Would you kill them?" Nisei asks one night. He's bruised and his hair is short now. His hands tremble as he lights a smoke.

Soubi takes a drag of his cigarette.

"Would you?"

Nisei doesn't answer. Neither does he.

-...-

"I think," Ritsuka whispers to him one day, as he's wrapping bandages around his arms. "I remember you, sometimes."

Soubi's heart breaks as he closes his eyes. He doesn't answer, instead move silently so that Ritsuka can clean the blood off his back.

He hisses a little but Ritsuka's touch is careful and as uncertain as when he had pierced his ears. His eyes sting even as he feels his cock hardening, and if Soubi could he would ask for Ritsuka to touch him just like this always.

"It's weird," Ritsuka murmurs again. "I've not told my brother yet. I think he wouldn't appreciate that, don't you think, Fighter?"

He's being addressed. Soubi swallows against the bile on his throat and he leans his head forward a little.

"Beloved cares about you," he says. Ritsuka is still touching his back but now it's more like petting, the way his Ritsuka used to do. Soubi shudders as Ritsuka's touch moves to his hair and neck, the fact of his slow touch is curious not making it any less sensual. "He would like to know."

"Mmm," he can't see Ritsuka's expression like this but he can feel his body warmth. Soubi's body hurts and he keeps his eyes closed even as Ritsuka touches his earrings.

"Butterflies," Ritsuka adds. Soubi knows he must be frowning, confused, and he could paint the expression from memory. "A blue butterfly in the night... and... my name... Fighter, you called my name!"

Ritsuka turns around and holds unto his shoulders but Soubi still can't see him.

"Fighter, you know my name?" Ritsuka's voice is deeper now that he's nearing fifteen, more suited for orders. "I order you to tell me!"

"Loveless," Soubi murmurs. The words taste like ashes. "That is your name."

After a few moments, Ritsuka let's go of his shoulders and starts picking up the first aid kit he used. He doesn't touch him again and now Soubi's skin is too tight, actually hurting now. Soubi looks up to watch him go, and somehow Ritsuka pauses by the door, even if he doesn't turn.

"Brother orders are that you rest for the night. Beloved's other Fighter will be used for the day."

Soubi doesn't answer. Ritsuka walks out of the room and closes the door.

Soubi moves to lay down on his stomach again, unsure if he feels like laughing or crying.

No. He wouldn't kill them, even if he could.