Pairing: Byakuran/Shouichi + others; yaoi + yuri + het
Notes
: PG-15/R + Mature + Violence, AU
Warning
:Might be OOC for Byakuran, but since we still don't know much about him aside from his happy-bouncy personality… It's also a bit disturbing OTL;; This is one of the central settings/segments for the entire AU, so a lot of the cross-over things and the explanations are in this fic :] I love 10051 but even I can't deny that their relationship is more than a little bit fucked up and disturbing orz
Word Count
: 2455

• Part of my multifandom AU 'World End'
Formatting: Full formatting + other parts of the multifandom AU is in my livejournal :)
Setting: At 23:59:59 of December 31, 2999, a world-wide earthquake welcomes the arrival of the new year. And when the morning comes, the sun disappears and Earth is plunged to an unending night. This is the story of different characters under the same circumstances.

*

December 31, 2999.

The last day of the century.
The last day the sun will ever rise.
The last day before the start of the unending night.

*

December 01, 2995 - Tuesday

"Shou-chan, what do you think?"

Amiable, easy-going, cheerful. Those were three things that people usually use to describe Byakuran. In a world where everything is in 1's and 0's and every information can be obtained within a few clicks, nobody bothers to look deep beneath one's façade.

Irie Shouichi, 19, looks startled at the sight of pure white that invaded his vision. He grasps his books in reflex, flushing slightly when the stranger chuckles at him.

"…Shou-chan?" He asks slowly, watching the other's movements.

Byakuran shrugs good-naturedly. "It's a good name, ne?"

"I…" As an exchange student, Shouichi is extra-careful not to make enemies. He also keeps an open-mind about other students' strange mannerisms and habits. "Please call me 'Shouichi', um, Byakuran-san."

Well, Byakuran might be a stranger, but he's a popular stranger. He's a favorite amongst professors (who wouldn't love a cheerful, studious young man?), he's a heartthrob amongst the girls (smart, handsome, nice and rich—isn't that the ultimate jackpot?) and he's an idol amongst the guys (great in sports and not prone to stealing their girlfriends—that's the best friend one could have).

Byakuran doesn't even look surprised that the exchange student with large glasses and awkward walk knows him. "Then I guess that takes care of the introductions~"

With that, Byakuran flops into the seat in front of Shouichi and starts talking about his clubs, about his roommate, about anything and everything.

And Irie Shouichi finds his heart twisting at the sight of the smiling Byakuran and tries his best to not feel as though he's being strangled with each stare he gets from those narrowed purple eyes.

*

December 01, 2996 - Thursday

"Shou-chan, what do you think?"

A year later finds Irie Shouichi in a whole different continent from the Alliance University in Italy where he spent a semester in the exchange program. The gold medal that proclaims him as the top graduate of his degree is heavy and suffocating, but Byakuran's presence suffocates him even more.

"…Byakuran-san?! What are you doing here…!" He hisses at the strange, strange man, who apparently flew over from Italy (how much is the plane ticket nowadays?!) just to harass him on his graduation day.

People are staring at the two of them, because, don't they make an interesting sight? There's a nerdy-looking valedictorian looking overwhelmed by his oversized graduation gown and a handsome young man with shocking white hair and a charming smile.

Byakuran is casually leaning against the sports car he brought along to the ceremony, easily ignoring the murmurs and squeals of the passersby. "I thought I'd fly here to congratulate my favorite Shou-chan on his graduation~"

The sight of Irie Shouichi embarrassed stops a lot of his classmates on their tracks. "I…! T-thank you, but, you didn't have to! You shouldn't waste money on such frivolous things!"

Some of the eavesdroppers are inching closer and they gasp at Irie's words that confirmed Byakuran's foreigner status. Some girls are sighing about 'how sweet' that is. Irie wants to yell at them, but yelling at Byakuran who just showed up on his graduation without any word is more important.

"Maa, maa~ I'm already here anyway," Byakuran places placating hands on Shouichi's shaking shoulders.

"Ne, Shou-chan," Byakuran says after Shouichi brushed his hands away. "I heard that it's a custom to take one's second button~?"

"Wha-What are you talking about!"

"I want Shou-chan's second button~"

He flushes from the persistent naggings, but doesn't protest (much) when Byakuran tugs along when he returns to his parents. Though, seeing the way Byakuran's eyes narrow at the sight of his parents hugging him, maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all?

*

December 01, 2997 - Friday

"Shou-chan, what do you think?"

As though there wasn't anything wrong with the scenario he presented, as though there wasn't streaks of blood on his clothes, as though there weren't dead bodies on his feet—Byakuran smiles a wide smile that knew no fear.

"I… I… Byakuran-san, what—"

Irie Shouichi's thoughts and words are clashing against each other, not knowing what to think, not knowing what to say.

After all, what can he say to an acquaintance who invited him over to see a crime scene?

"Oh, silly me," Byakuran ushers the unmoving Shouichi towards the living room couches. "Do you want some juice, Shou-chan?"

Shouichi looks like he's going to faint or vomit or maybe both. He feels sick, and the sight of a blood-splattered Byakuran is only making it worse. Somehow, the thought of someone sneaking into the house and killing Byakuran's family doesn't even cross his mind.

"What happened here?" He asks in a pitiful voice, hands shaking as he held the proffered juice. His stomach is churning in agitation.

Byakuran kneels in front of him and takes the juice away from his unresisting hold. He then assists the younger man in drinking, but Shouichi can only feel his eyes water.

"I killed them," No remorse, no guilt, no emotion. Is Byakuran even human? He just killed his family inside their home in Italy, and it was planned, even, because Byakuran-san booked his plane tickets a week ago.

"…Why…?"

Really, what can he say to an enigmatic man who he doesn't really know? He's not friends with Byakuran-san, because friends entailed knowing things, entailed liking spending time together, entailed trust.

He doesn't know anything about Byakuran-san (or rather, the things he thinks he knows are most probably lies). He hates spending time with Byakuran-san because all he gets from those times are migraines, stomachaches and heartburns. He doesn't trust Byakuran-san, because surely, he isn't just imagining the cruel glint in those eyes?

"They didn't like me spending time with you."

Lies.

Shouichi knows that it's a lie, but he can't help stop the shiver that runs down his spine.

"Are you going to call the police?"

"…Yes."

Byakuran looks inappropriately amused at that answer.

A cellphone is being shoved into his still-trembling hands. He can smell the rich scent of blood, mixing against the strong acidic taste of orange juice he just consumed.

"Go on, tell them," Byakuran says encouragingly, once he managed to connect to the emergency line.

The shaking of his hands spread to his whole body. He opens his mouth to speak, but no words come out. Byakuran is still smiling encouragingly at him, kneeling in front of him, close enough to invade his personal space, but not close enough to stain his clothes with blood as well.

"An unknown man entered the room and killed everyone," Shouichi finds himself saying, "he escaped, yes, from the window, yes, yes, thank you—"

When the phone call ends with the police officer's assurance that help will be arriving soon, Byakuran softly extracts the phone away from his hold.

Shouichi closes his eyes as he feels like he's dying, just from the sight of Byakuran's eyes.

"Good job, Shou-chan."

*

December 01, 2998 - Saturday

"Shou-chan, what do you think?"

Alarmed by the sing-song tone of a stranger he has fervently hoped he'd never see again, Irie Shouichi collapses on the doorway, eyes wide and breathing frantic. Apartment keys jingle against the marble floor as they fall from his shaking fingers.

He tries to sit up, and fails. He tries to make his jaw work, to compose words that will try to clear the situation, but all he can make out is a faint "Byakuran-san…"

Byakuran is standing at the center of his living room. He is smiling that bright smile of his, and Shouichi's blood runs cold.

"Come in, Shou-chan~" Byakuran calls out to him, inviting him to enter his own home. He would have laughed at the absurdity of the situation, but the sight in front of him prevents him from moving even an inch.

Shouichi wonders why his neighbors aren't rushing here, why aren't the police hurrying to arrest Byakuran-san, why is nobody coming to save him?

In a split second, Byakuran is already beside his half-kneeling form. Hands stained with so much blood gently lock the door behind him. The same hands settle on his shoulders, heavy not unlike the shackles used on prisoners.

"Tell me what you think," Byakuran breathes into his ear, the warm exhale doing nothing to keep him from shivering. He tries to shut his eyes, to deny the savage truth in front of him, and fails.

His roommate's body is bound to the living room chair, ropes and wires snugly holding him in place, the face contorted into a look of terror and agony. There is a stark contrast of dark red stains against the living room's yellow carpet.

Shouichi's stomach grumbles in a way that's not remotely close to hunger. He embraces his stomach with a free hand, while his other hand seeks to free himself from Byakuran's heavy hold.

"W-What did you do, Byakuran-san?"

Byakuran's hold doesn't shift from his shoulders and guides him slowly towards the living room. His body is lax and powerless against the other man's insistent strength.

"I killed your boyfriend, Shou-chan~" Byakuran's tone sounds pleased and victorious, though Shouichi can detect the underlying current of displeasure and malice. Byakuran-san is jealous, he realizes with growing dread, though he cannot fathom why.

"He isn't my boyfriend, Byakuran-san!"

The white-haired man steps away from the furious Shouichi, patting the shaking shoulders as he does so. "Maybe not," He allows with a chuckle, "Though maybe soon?"

"…I don't understand this," Shouichi whimpers as he takes in the sight of his roommate bloodied and dead in his living room. All thanks to a stranger he doesn't know. All thanks to Byakuran-san.

"Maa, maa, what's done is done~ "

No guilt, no remorse, no regret, nothing. Shouichi is horrified to learn that Byakuran-san is even happy with the way things turned out. What did he do to deserve the attention of this horrible, horrible man?

He isn't sure how many seconds, minutes, hours have passed since he stood in front of his (now, ex-) roommate's corpse. The scent of blood and decay is stifling, but he feels that standing here is the only thing he can do in repentance. The idea of avenging his roommate leaves his mind in a hurry. How could he even think of winning against Byakuran-san?

"Ah, let's leave this place, Shou-chan," Byakuran suggests with a soft smile, ignoring the shocked look that reigns on Shouichi's face. "I prepared a room in the mansion for your stuff already, and of course you'd share a bed with me, and then I can help you move in later—"

"Please let me go, Byakuran-san." Shouichi whispers with a tone of resignation and fear.

Purple eyes gaze at him with an unforgiving stare.

"That won't do, Shou-chan," Byakuran chides him, playfully poking his cheek with a slender bloodstained finger. "After all, you are bound to me, forever, and ever~ "

*

December 01, 2999 - Sunday

"Shou-chan, what do you think?"

Apathetic, cheerful and uncaring—that's what Byakuran sounds like. His shoulders are slightly slouched forward—not stiff, unlike the businessmen and the rulers of the State.

Irie Shouichi's fingers tremble alongside his warring thoughts; he's grateful that he is thousands of kilometers away from the white-haired man, so Byakuran cannot see the way his limbs shake with every word exchanged between them.

Byakuran is gesturing at the army he is mass-producing underneath Russia's expanse of tundra. How Byakuran managed to build his fort there, without alerting the Russian government or the World Union, he can never understand. All he knows is that Byakuran is a very powerful man and he is Byakuran's most trusted subordinate.

He'd give everything to be rid of this man. He'd give everything so he can earn the power to stop this man. He'd give everything if he can return to the past and change things.

Four years since he first met Byakuran-san and he is still nowhere finished in deciphering his reasons. Why did he show up, that day, in front of him, a mere exchange student? Why did he appear on his graduation day when they haven't stayed in contact for almost a year? Why did Byakuran-san kill his own family and then show it to him? Why did Byakuran-san murder his roommate, someone who doesn't have any connection whatsoever to him?

And now… why did Byakuran-san make him his most trusted aide?

"…That's," Shouichi starts and stares helplessly at the robots Byakuran-san is showing him; he continues after clearing his throat. "That will be a powerful military resource."

Byakuran's eyes narrow as he laughs, voice sounding clear and unaffected by any sort of static. Shouichi feels his stomach hurting again at the sight of that brilliant smile and that seemingly-omnipotent gaze.

"Once all the preparations are finished," Byakuran tells him after some talk about the new shield technology they're planning to utilize, "I'd like you to come here."

The idea of leaving the country and his parents bring a bad taste on his mouth. He curls his hands into fists, trembling, shaking, angry.

"But—"

"Of course," If Byakuran-san understood his barely-restrained anger, he didn't show it, "I already arranged a flight for you and your parents."

There is no escape.

"…Why?"

Questions starting with 'why' never got answers from Byakuran. But Shouichi can't help trying, slowly, persistently. Maybe someday, his questions will get the answers they deserve. Maybe someday, Byakuran-san will get bored of him and let him go. Maybe someday, Byakuran-san will get tired of his games.

"It's a secret~ "

Maybe someday—

*
Project Dying Hope
: END Prologue [Part 1]