Title: of Confidence
Characters: Toki, mentions of the other characters
Rating: T
Words: 761
Warning: Some spoilers if you haven't seen past like... episode seven of the anime or read past... chapter fourteen of the manga.
Description: Toki's POV. He smiles like that, and somehow, Toki always feels that it is going to be okay. Friendship-fic.

Dedication: To mikamura, who liked my other Amatsuki fic!

Disclaimer: I do not own Amatsuki. That honor belongs to the actual manga-ka. I'm just borrowing without permission.


He smiles like that, and somehow, Toki always feels that it is going to be okay.

He doesn't really understand it. Maybe it's Kon's confidence, the sense of assurance he seems to exude from every pore. Arrogance and authority, Kon has both in spades.

But when he smiles at Toki, he is convinced he can do just about anything. That he can make the decision and maybe, just maybe, things won't be so bad after all.

It's a strange thing for Toki, who's only relied on one other person in his life. Who has allowed only one other person to affect him like that, to get so close.

But here are Kon and Kuchiha and Shamon-san... his little family. His dearest friends. He finds himself clinging to these three like he's never held to anything before. He doesn't want to lose them.

And he knows he will do anything to keep them.

It is pure spontaneity that prompts him to leave his patch with Kon. To continue the tradition he had always kept with Suou. There is a feeling that is niggling in the back of his conscious, a squirming in his belly. A worry that this is the last time he might see his friend and that smile.

Toki never expects his impulsive action to be returned. Never expects to watch Kon yank out his string or watch that dark hair fall free across his shoulders. Never expects to feel those fingers – always cold somehow – press the strip of fabric into his palm. The gift is accompanied by that smile.

As if Kon knows of Toki's unease and has already planned for it, already anticipated it. He has already prepared his assurance.

Toki doesn't even think of his next actions. He just accepts the string and knows exactly where it will go. He doesn't want to lose it, couldn't bear the thought of misplacing the item.

He winds it about his neck. Two loops and a small knot. Every time he moves he can feel it pressing it against his throat, and he can almost imagine it is still a bit cold, like Kon always seems to be. He is reminded of their friendship, and it serves to calm – if only a little – the building unease. It makes him think that Kon is still with them, though he wouldn't dare say something out loud to Kuchiha.

And with it, Toki feels a bit bolder, or perhaps he is only tricking himself into feeling that way. Maybe the brief surges of confidence are in his mind alone.

He lifts his fingers, every now and again, just to brush the tip of them across the string. As a reminder. It is the only comfort he has when he begins to worry. When a passing breath of wind or a strange shift in the dirt beneath his feet set him to thinking and wondering.

Kuchiha catches him once, but rather than ridicule him as he is expecting, she just snorts and turns her attention elsewhere. But he doesn't miss the faint stain across her upper cheekbones, the beginning of something like a blush. For him, or Kon, he doesn't know.

But what he does know is that there is a storm brewing on the horizon, something fierce and destructive. As the supposed Blank Page, he knows that he will have a hand in its outcome. And he knows that he might lost something – someone – important to him along the way. He is afraid to make that decision.

The day when he will have to make some choice that cannot be undone is descending on him. The very thought makes his knees knock together, his stomach clench with a whole flock of anxious butterflies.

Yet, if he closes his eyes, he can still see Kon smiling at him. Telling him to come back soon. Saying, without words, that everything is going to be just fine.

And that, he supposes, is the greatest encouragement he could have.

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a/n: Yep. Goes everywhere and nowhere just like my other fic. But, still rather fond of it. Hope you liked!