Yoite has every reason to be in a foul mood when he wakes up. There is a cold, hollow space under the sheets where he thinks Miharu ought to have been, but where he most certainly is not anymore, and the cold has crept into him in the wake of the Shinrabanshou's obvious desertion. To make the morning worse, the ceiling of Yukimi's flat has come unpinned from the walls where it belongs, and is now spinning as if the whole room is a top in the hands of a toddler.

A horribly loud series of crashes splits the air. As if the ceiling business isn't enough, someone has ripped the door out of its frame and is proceeding to pull out numerous floorboards as well.

"Uuunngh." Yoite drags a heavy arm up to cover the ear that is not buried in a pillow. His hand is freezing, sending a chill through him when it touches his face, and even more so now that it has surrendered the protection of the blankets.

"Oh, you're awake? I thought you must be dead." A distant- and vaguely familiar- voice rumbles at him. It must be God; no one else could possibly have permission to speak so loudly. He slowly peers through half-lidded eyes in the direction of the door, and ugh, it's not God, it's just Yukimi who is the source of all this noise. He shuts his eyes.

"Where's..." His mouth is dry as sandpaper. His voice is low and scratchy.


"Miharu. Where's Miharu."

"Damned if I know." Something else slams. Yoite cringes involuntarily. "And as long as we're talking about Miharu, let's talk about how this is my flat. And how if you two are going to be sleeping together, go to his house, huh?"

"Hunh," is Yoite's only response.

"I only let him stay because you looked so bad last night. And now he's disappeared and you look even worse. See, this is what happens when I try to be nice. I'm left with the corpse."

Yoite grips the sheets between clawed fingers. An elephant is attempting to enter the room now. Possibly a whole herd. There's no way Yukimi's floor will survive all this. Why the hell did he have to pick such a noisy place to live, anyway?

"Oh, there you are."

And why can't he stop yelling.

Someone sits on the bed. The mattress shifts slightly, and Yoite clings to any fabric available and prays his ship will not capsize. "Hey, Yoite," Miharu says, peering down at him intently.

"Go away," he replies automatically, barely managing to unlatch his jaw enough for the words to be coherent.

"How do you feel?" Miharu touches the bare hand and raises an eyebrow, knowing the answer before Yoite says it.

"I'm cold."

"Maybe Yukimi can turn up the heat in here," Miharu says, looking at Yukimi. "If he has heating, that is."

"Of course," Yukimi snaps. "I can at least afford air conditioning in my own home."

"So then..."

Yukimi flops down at his desk with very bad posture, quickly preoccupying himself with the computer. "You turn it up if you want. I'm busy."

Miharu does exactly that. The bed shifts again.

Everything starts to look grainy, like millions of ants marching in Yoite's vision. They march in circles, around and around, but no, they're not circles after all... They turn the wrong way and march back in long curved rows. He thinks vaguely that their patterns look like fingerprints. He raises a finger to see if they match up. The stupid ants won't slow down for him.

"Well, shake him or something."

"Come on, Yoite, wake up." Miharu shakes him obligingly. Yoite looks up. The ants have vanished. "I think you were having a weird dream."


He realizes his hands aren't cold anymore. He's warm all over. Too warm. Sweat crawls down his neck and across his stomach.

The house is on fire. He's having trouble focusing properly, so he can't really see the fire, but he knows it's there. He can feel the sweltering heat of it in the heavy air around him. Miharu has lit the whole damn house on fire, just for him. It's so sweet and ridiculous and he wonders if the Shinrabanshou is trying to murder him.



Judging from the sound of his voice, Miharu is much closer than Yoite first estimated. He blinks and tries to align the two wavering images before him. Miharu is sitting in a chair next to him, his legs curled up to his chest, appearing very little affected by the heat and not at all alarmed that Yukimi's flat is burning.

"P...put it... out. Put it out."


"What's he saying?" Yukimi asks.

"I don't know."

"Put out... the fire," Yoite grunts. "There's a fire. It's going to... going to..."

"That's great, he's delusional now," Yukimi says. "He's babbling. Tell him to go back to sleep."

"There's no fire, Yoite," Miharu tells him. "I'll turn the heat off if you want."

"There is a fire," Yoite insists.

Miharu turns off the heat.

Yoite cools.

"Last night I thought he might be having withdrawal symptoms or something." A bag rustles and a chair scrapes the floor slightly. "So this morning I went out to get these."

"Why the hell would he be having withdrawal symptoms?"

"He hasn't taken any pills in twenty-six hours," Miharu says.

"Well," Yukimi mutters quite loud enough for them to hear, "I guess that would explain the bitchiness."

Yoite can think of two fingers he'd like to show Yukimi right now, one of them fatal and one of them just rude. After a moment of indecision, he opts for neither.

"Do you want to take these now, Yoite?"

No, he answers. "Nnnh," is how it comes out. Talking really isn't worth the full effort today.

"Just open his mouth and shovel them in," Yukimi orders sagely. "He can't stop you when he's like this."

Yoite changes his mind. "Y..." His mouth is so dry, the syllables are like gravel scraping his vocal cords. "Yukimi... th-there's something weird sitting on your... head."

Yukimi is not happy with this assertion.

"You know goddamn well it's a headband. You're not that out of it."

"I guess you could take them later," Miharu ponders. "If you're going to sleep now."

"And don't forget whose bed you're sleeping in," Yukimi isn't finished. "That's right, mine. I could throw you out right now. That's exactly what I ought to do."

They ignore him. They all know Yukimi would never do it.

"I guess I'll go back to sleep, too."

"Not in my bed, you're not."

Miharu climbs into the bed.

"I want you both out of here by noon," Yukimi says, louder.

"Your hands are cold," Miharu mumbles.

The contrast of Miharu's heated palms against his icy fingers is confirmation of it. Yoite is already shivering again. Invisible needles march across his skin. Miharu curls against him and his body is a furnace.

"It's your fault," Yoite mutters between clenched teeth. "Your fault the bed is cold."

"It's your fault for making yourself sick in the first place."

Yukimi makes a disgusted sound and walks out and closes the door firmly. Yoite hears it only faintly, and doesn't stir as he watches the walls dribble down like molasses. He blinks and the walls are solid again, and then in a few moments they resume their collapse. He follows their path down to the floor and doesn't open his eyes to look back up again. Miharu falls asleep first.