A/N - trigger warning for attempted suicide.
It was wrong.
I stood there in the dark black suit Ayame made for me, staring at grey stone with inky lettering and it was wrong. The weather was wrong; it should have been either sunny, the perfect elegy, or raining, pathetic fallacy more than just a mouthful. But instead it was just grey, grey clouds, grey light. Grey stone.
It was wrong that there is nothing to place beneath it, long destroyed by hateful fire. It was wrong that I was only there as a schoolfriend, standing in the ranks en masse with weeping girls, only able to observe his family from afar. He told me I was the most important thing in the world and I was naïve enough to believe him and all of these people will never know.
I couldn't stand to watch the sympathetic glances and murmurs directed towards his mother, even his father, because all I could think of was look at me, look at me like that, please, please please, somebody notice because it's eating me and I can't stand it so I left without even getting to say goodbye.
It's hard to describe without sounding pathetic, but it was like looking down at myself and not knowing what the stuff I looked on was there for anymore. This arm, he'd bit it, licked it. The skin was no different to anyone else's save for the teeth which had once impacted on it. This neck, this back, my body, it was there for Kakeru.
I no longer had any use for it.
"Sir? Your boarding card?"
The black-haired boy's eyes rested on her for a moment, before he chuckled once, his face lighting up. He turned on his heel and began to run…
I'd like to say they noticed. I'd like to say someone tried to stop me, tried to make me eat or work or go out or something but nobody did. I've never felt more insignificant. I didn't know whether it was just because I'd got used to Kakeru doting hours singularly on me and now expected everyone else to or whether I'd just forgotten that really, nobody ever noticed be. Whatever it was I floated along and actually devoted my time in wondering what I should do to make it all stop.
I could leave.
If I left, I wouldn't have to look everywhere and just see memories, brooding beneath a thin film ready to erupt and fill me with misery. But… the idea of leaving, it filled me with a terrible, all-consuming terror; irrational fear of isolation, of existence without God, and with no Kakeru to even make it a little bit okay the idea was intolerable.
There seemed to be only one option to make it stop permanently, and I must admit, the first time I thought of it, it made me laugh for the first time in a very long while. Our family was so screwed up that death wasn't exactly a foreign notion, and suicide, although generally frowned upon, occurred more frequently than most families had gatherings. It was considered the greatest sin in the world to Akito, and I must admit I have no recollection of any member of the Zodiac ever being so driven to desperation they killed themselves. Then again, if anyone had, I probably wouldn't have been allowed to know about it.
So I began to approach it like I would any problem. Means. Method. Research. It wasn't heartless, it was sensible, and well, I'd always been that if nothing else. I started thinking and well, the fact that I could think so dispassionately made me wonder how the hell I'd got so fucked up. Then the word Kakeru (it was a word now, a simple word to describe a motive, if I let it become anything more I would be so lost) came to mind and I let my mind continue to wander again. I didn't want it to hurt. This was supposed to make it stop hurting. Which meant I had to plan and think and consider my options like I was filling in some career options form.
Kakeru would have laughed…
No. Don't let yourself.
So I did consider my options. And then went to a pharmacy. And another. And another. And another. And hid them all in a silver tin under my bed. So I went to work and thought of the little silver tin under my bed and occasionally smiled to myself because already the hurt was starting to slip away. It reminded me of when I was little and even though my knuckles would be sore and raw from beating and my whole body would throb I'd sit with a maths problem and just work, and eventually the pain would go and I'd sit and think about numbers and equations.
Now I had nothing, nothing to live for and I'd never felt so happy because it was over. Completely over.
I'm sitting on my bed. The small silver tin is open in front of me, and there's half a dozen white tablets in the palm of my hand. It's quiet here, Kyo's out with Tohru and Shigure's gone to see Aaya. I'm alone, but that doesn't matter because I've always been a little alone. Outside, the stars are out for the first time in a very long while, and I wonder whether I should go sit up on the roof, before realising I'll slide off and break something… not that it'll matter, because I won't feel a thing, but still, it's the principle, the idea of crunching bones that made me feel slightly queasy.
I realise I'm not queasy, I'm hungry; oh well, I find myself thinking. Last meal for the condemned man. I walk downstairs and find myself piling in a considerable amount of rice into the cooker then wandering into the yard to stare at the sky. The cool breeze kisses my face and I smile because in this moment I feel okay again.
And then I realise I haven't felt sad in a very long time.
I had thought it was because I couldn't feel anything anymore, but that couldn't be true, because I stand here now and I feel happy, blissfully so, just at the sight of the stars and the wind on my face and fresh grass and trees and oncoming rain in my nose.
And for the first time I realise that Kakeru is gone and it doesn't hurt anymore. Is this what moving on is? Not caring? It's blissful, it's freeing, and when I think of Kakeru I see his face and his laugh and not the little silver tin of white pills now sitting on top of my bed. It hurts a little, of course it hurts, but it doesn't drive me to despair and anguish anymore. It would always hurt a little, I knew then, because I knew I'd never really be over it. Over him. It makes me think about what an idiot I've been. Everything we did together would be gone completely if I died with him and I don't want that. I want people to remember.
And that's what this is. It's what happened between me and Kakeru Manabe, and how nothing is meaningless, and everything has a consequence. A lesson hard learnt, but learnt nonetheless. And I'll keep going, and I'll keep living, because some sacrifices are too much to make.
One week later
Kakeru emerged from the forest, looking around. He was limping, one foot carrying the weight onto the other with subconscious hesitation. He spotted the flare of orange on the seat ahead and moved up to it. Kyo raised his head, acknowledging him with the simple movement. "It's true," he whispered. The article was still clutched in his hand but it had meant nothing till he'd seen what was left.
Kyo nodded once. "He's gone." It had been no time at all since they had last seen each other but already his shoulders were hard, eyes made of nothing but orange rock. "He's gone." He stood and moved back into the trees; two men stood waiting for him, one dressed in black, the other his contrast in white. His memory mumbled the useless names to him; Akito and Hatori. And suddenly everything made horrifying sense. Kyo's reluctance to let them be together, his passionate determination to have him removed from Yuki's life. It wasn't hatred, it was close, but there was a huge gap; it was jealousy. Desperate acts of a man who knows that what he wants he can never have and God, Kakeru had never seen so much pain in a walk. Kyo settled in between the two other Sohma, and together they walked from the clearing, Akito's hand resting on Kyo's arm. So this was punishment? Repentance?
Kakeru's eyes returned to the charred clearing which had once contained a house, which had once contained a lover. House fires weren't uncommon. Starting from the kitchen, the article had read. So like Yuki to let a fail in the kitchen lead to losing his life. Then the single word pricked at his brain again and he burned with guilt…
The Yuki he knew would never have done that. But the Yuki he knew had gone, he'd been told, left as mere nothing, smashed into shards in the week and a half he lay in hospital dreaming of safety and freedom. He'd been so lucky, oh so lucky, to decide to leave the flight and come back. But not quite lucky enough; not lucky enough to save his lover as well as himself. The shockwaves from the crash had smashed half of the airport to pieces and he'd been knocked nearly thirty feet, or so he'd been told. He remembered nothing but pain and anguish and fear. Unconscious for nearly a week and a half, an unnamed boy lying amongst countless more because according to everyone Kakeru Manabe got on that plane. When he'd awoken he'd had three days of care before he left, and then he saw the paper. Then he saw the fire. Then he saw the words Yuki Sohma and then he began to run.
And now he was here.
Although the police had long since moved off, a single yellow band fluttered in a tree still, remnants of an investigation which had taken nothing to draw up. The police had shaken their heads sadly and drawn it up to unfortunate circumstances. Tragic loss of life. Kakeru knew it to be more, so much more, so much worse than that. He knew it was deliberate acts of a dying man and it was all his fault because he hadn't been there…
He reached down and picked up a piece of blackened wood, palming it and letting it fall into his jeans pocket. If he hadn't been so stubborn, if he'd just come home, if he'd just understood what he'd asked Yuki to do was unforgivable…
He shook his head once to no one in particular. These were his actions, and the consequences were his to bear.
The tense change was deliberate, before Yuki died. I was going to have that he wrote all this down like a personal diary but then some bits wouldn't make sense, and besides it'd be lost in the fire, so meh. You can think that if you want.
I don't do happy endings. It's a policy of mine, because they don't exist. Okay, I do bittersweet endings most of the time, but I knew that when I started this story Kakeru was going to die. But that got such an amazing response I started thinking, what if? And here we are now, with Kakeru alive but Yuki not and Kyo confined and it's all gone to pot basically.
I can only thank you all for reading. Maybe I'll write KyoYuki now. Maybe I'll get another KeruYuki out of myself, but I must admit my inspiration for Furuba has kinda diminished. Ah well, you got this one out of me at least. I hope you enjoyed it, because it was a lot of fun to write.