Voice Unkind.
Did you say 'no, this can't happen to me,'
And did you rush to the phone to call
Was there a voice unkind in the back of your mind
Saying maybe you didn't know him at all
'Last Goodbye', Jeff Buckley

It hurts. Miharu can't stop crying, giving huge, gulping sobs that threaten to break him apart, that threaten to steal all his air away and yet he can't stop. His shoulders are shaking and he's almost screaming, and he has never cried, he can't remember ever crying for anything, not even after his parents died.

It feels as if he's coming apart, and Miharu is not sure he won't actually break apart and scatter in the air. There's a missing part inside of him, something that is torn and bleeding and it's not stopping, not even with Yukimi's hand warm on his head, on Yukimi's shirt bunched on his fists.

Yoite, he thinks, and he can't remember. He remembers and yet no, because the name means something and it aches, but he's completely empty and alone, with nothing to make things alright.

Miharu's not sure for how long he cries, for how long his screams last. His throat hurts and he almost remembers something like this before, with Kumohira-sensei. He had screamed then, too, but then there is another piece broken, something he can't remember and he presses his face against Yukimi's chest.

"You're gonna be okay, kid," Yukimi says. Miharu can't believe him, not when everything he knows is aching. This feels familiar and Miharu can't remember why, why this feeling of his whole world vanishing, being washed away by the tide.

Eventually, there are no more tears and Miharu just feels exhausted and so empty as he leans against Yukimi's leg.

His heart aches, but the kitten sniffs closer and it mewls, brushing against his hand and Miharu holds him close, feels the way it purrs as loud as it can, the best a little runt of a kitten can.

"You promised something, didn't you?" Yukimi asks. His hand is warm on Miharu's head, rubbing his hair a little, as if he was a cat too. Miharu closes his eyes and curls as close as he can, as if he was cold. "Even if you don't remember what it is, if you meant them from the heart, the promise will stay. Promises work like that."

"How...?" Miharu starts, but then he has to cough a little, his throat feeling raw and sore.

"'cause I feel like I made a promise, you know?" Yukimi says, and he shrugs. "I don't really remember what or why, but a promise is a promise."

Miharu tries swallowing to speak again. Now that he's done crying he feels exhausted, but he also thinks this is important. He wants this to be true, and he wants it to be true without magic or jutsu or anything.

"What did you promise?"

Yukimi doesn't answer for long moments, just rubbing at his hair, and Miharu sighs and closes his eyes. Yoite has curled in his arms, still purring a little, and it seems so, so very easy to fall asleep just like this.

He's not quite asleep yet when he hears Yukimi's voice, soft and gruff.

"That I'd take care of you, and whoever it is that I made that promise with, I'm not gonna let them down."

Somehow, that fills a little bit of the emptiness Miharu can still feel inside, despite the fact that it hurts as well.