Title: Not Fade Away
Rating: PG or G
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Or the title, that was stolen too.
Word Count: 1595
Summary: Kensei's POV. Hiro visits Kensei in his coffin 3 times.
For the Hiro/Kensei Fic-a-thon on LJ
Prompt: If I had told you that I loved you then, would we be here where we are now, carp?
Author's note: First fic for this pairing, and un-beta'ed. So the characters might be off, But i had to post it anyways because it was eating me up inside. Hope you enjoy! Read and Review!
Not Fade Away
You know how every once in a while, you just get that chill? A shiver runs down your spine, or you get goose bumps for no reason at all. And you'd justify that chill with the phrase "someone just walked over your grave". That is only partially correct. You don't normally get a chill when someone walks over your grave. You get a sinking feeling in your gut. You can feel the pressure, the extra weight of the person added to the original weight of six feet of earth. That pressure change would make your ears ache. And, if you were anything like me, you would curse and yell for someone – anyone – to dig up that grave.
Every once in a while, though, I would get that chill. The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach would still be there (an odd feeling, considering I'm lying on my back) and my ears would still ache from the added pressure. But there would be that added sensation – a shiver down my spine, goose bumps from the anticipation. When I got that extra sensation, I would stay quiet and wait; my body would tense up in expectation. I might have even opened my eyes.
It wouldn't happen often. Only three times.
But every time it did, I knew. I knew exactly who was standing over my coffin. I knew exactly what was coming next.
Back then, in the beginning, I loathed myself for wanting him to come. This was the man who put me here, who betrayed me. But he was the only thing left in my life. The only other living thing I had contact with. And I looked forward to these meetings, terse and brief though they were.
The first occurred after at least a year of my captivity. It had been the first time I had gotten a shiver and goose bumps. I was unsure of what that meant, then. When Hiro popped into my tomb right beside me I yelped like a small girl. But I was still furious. I yelled at him and turned onto my side so I could hit him. And I hit him hard, as hard as I could. It probably didn't hurt much, due to the confined space of that wretched coffin. There was no room to wind up. I don't know how long I went for. I had forgotten how to gauge time correctly by then, but I assume I went for a good long while. Hiro just lay there, taking every blow. Wincing when appropriate, but mostly kept a straight face. When I was done, I could feel tears on my cheeks. And I didn't want him to see me cry. So I turned my back to him and held my breath. Again, I don't know how long I lay there, facing the wall of the coffin, but after a short time, I heard a whispered 'gomenasai' and feel the familiar rush of air that meant he had teleported away.
It took me a few months to realize he actually was truly sorry. That day, or rather, sometime soon after I came to that realization, I got that familiar sensation and Hiro popped into my coffin for the second time.
I had been ready for him that time. I had already turned on my side, and was looking at the exact spot at which I calculated him to be. This time, it was he who gave a small yelp when he opened his eyes and I was waiting for him. I didn't say anything this time; I just waited for him to speak. I assumed he had something to say, why else would he come to see me?
He didn't say anything, though he opened his mouth a few times without forming any words. Eventually, he slid something into my hand. I had been determined not to break eye contact the whole time he was there, so I didn't look at what it was. After giving me my gift, he squeezed his eyes shut and I felt the whooshing of air. I remember staring at that space wondering how fresh air was coming into my coffin. I remember wondering why Hiro came to see me. I remember thinking about the way he smelled.
Some time after that, a few days or a week maybe, I remembered that Hiro had given me something. I guess since I knew time was never-ending, I didn't look right away. Hiro had given me a flashlight. And lying beside my arms was a book, a pile of comics, and a full pack of batteries.
I read them all. Over and over and over again. I had plenty of time, and I went over every single frame in the graphic novels, and I memorized nearly all of Crime and Punishment.
Hiro didn't come back for years. I guess his conscience was sated. He thought he had saved me from the eternal boredom of my coffin. And he had; the books were the reason I didn't go mad, but for a different reason than he or I would have originally thought. Every line I read, I would think of how Hiro would react to it, or what he would think about it.
I realized not to long after he brought me the books that Hiro had become my entire world. There was no one else I was ever going to see. I stopped yelling when I would feel someone on top of my grave.
It took me longer to realize that Hiro had been my entire life for much longer than I ever knew. He had been my conscience, my inspiration, back in the year 1671, and he was the reason I had completed those tasks. He was the reason I had become somebody. After he left, he was the reason for my existence. I had been determined to wait four hundred years to exact my absolute revenge.
"Because he betrayed me…" For four hundred years, I started all my thoughts about Hiro with that sentence. But I realized then that he had never really betrayed me. I had never loved Yaeko, I knew this. What I didn't know was that it was Hiro I loved. And even the fact that he had been kissing another, that wasn't truly betrayal, because I had never told him how I felt.
Naturally, I began wondering what would have happened if I realized – if I had told him.
When he came the third and final time, his hair was almost white. He seemed shorter than I remember. And I was immeasurably sad, because I hadn't seen it. I hadn't been there. I looked up at the ceiling of my coffin, and closed my eyes.
For the first time since I had been put into my prison, I spoke to him.
"If I had told you that I loved you then, would we be here where we are now, carp?
"I don't know about you. I don't know you anymore Hiro. But I know about me.
"I wasn't mad about you kissing Yaeko, you know. I was mad about you kissing Yaeko. But I didn't really have the right to be mad, now did I? I never told you that I was in love with you. How could you betray me when you were never mine to begin with? But I still felt betrayed. I guess I expected you to know. I've been down here for a while, by the looks of you a couple decades, and I'm trying to figure out what would have happened if I had told you, carp.
"I fancy the tale where I tell Yaeko first. She leaves, because she's hurt. But she won't tell you why. Then you and I have all the time in the world together. I tell you and you respond in kind. You never leave me to go back to your time. We spend the rest of our lives together, in Japan, and we die together. But that can't be what would have happened, because I don't die.
"I also like the times where I tell you but for some reason you have to return to the future, or past, rather. Kensei does get his heart ripped out by the dragon, right carp? I wait for you, and four hundred years later, I find you again, and we're happy.
"But none of these end well, because you die and I never do.
"I didn't know if I'd get this chance, but I am supremely glad that I did. You are my everything. I don't have much to live for down here, not that I have much of a choice of whether I live or not, either, but you are the reason I stay alive. I am, always have been, and always will be truly deeply in love with you.
"If, some time in the future, I ever get out of this coffin, I'll go back to being a good guy again. I'll try to help the world, and not in the sense of purging it. Because you wanted me to. Because you are my conscience. You are my everything."
I dared to look at him. Silent tears were crawling down his face. We locked eyes for a moment. He whispered 'ai shiteru, Kensei' and there was that familiar rush of air. That was the very last thing I ever heard him say. I knew he wasn't coming back.
He had faded away.