Title: This Time Together
General/light angst
ChigusaxRakan implied
End of volume 3 onward.
Summary: As he lays awake thinking about the future, Rakan realizes what death will mean for himself and Chigusa.
Disclaimer: Silver Diamond isn't mine.

As night fell over the world, Rakan could hear the sound of his companions falling asleep around him, their breathing evening out to a steady rhythm.

Chigusa dozed beside him, his arm around his shoulders. His closeness was undoubtedly meant to be a safeguard; Rakan knew that if he moved too much, it would jolt him awake. But he got the feeling that he liked keeping him close. The others would mutter rather rude things, but Rakan didn't mind. Chigusa only did it because he wanted to keep him safe.

It made Rakan smile to see him asleep – so peaceful, so vulnerable. He remembered how from the very start, when he'd first allowed Chigusa to stay with him, he had insisted on sleeping in the same room with him. He found himself wondering if his protector had ever studied his face while he slept, and felt his cheeks redden. He hoped he hadn't drooled or snored or said anything embarrassing in his sleep…

He only does this because I'm valuable to him, Rakan reminded himself. He was the key to Chigusa's immortality. He tried not to think of it that way – that he was nothing more than a tool – but he found himself thinking that even if that's all there was to it, it wasn't something he could be sad about. Chigusa's body was so warm, so comfortable to sleep against.

He'd gladly be a tool forever if he could hold onto this warmth.

Forever, he thought with childish fondness. Of course, he was old enough to know 'forever' was just an idea, not something that really happened.

Deep down he knew things couldn't stay the way they were, tool or not. They had to defeat the Ayami Prince and had to bring life back to the world. After that, Rakan supposed he'd have to live out the rest of his life here. He couldn't go back to Earth…there was nobody waiting for him there, anyway. Here, at least, he had friends. He had Chigusa, even though he knew he couldn't hang on to him forever. Once this world was returned to peace and life, he'd have to get on with his own life. Get married maybe, have children…of course he and Chigusa could stay friends.

He amused himself for a moment, wondering how his imaginary wife would feel about a strange man living with them and sleeping in their bedroom. "He's our bodyguard," Rakan could tell her. Though she'd probably notice that he never aged…

Rakan felt his heart sink suddenly. No…he couldn't keep Chigusa around if he wanted to have that life. His protector was considered a monster by most of these people. They thought he was evil, and that he'd been assassinated. Unless they found a way to prove he wasn't a demon, the people would probably never trust him and that would be difficult, given that he wasn't human, either…

Chigusa can't die, he thought, coldness overtaking him, destroying the warmth. I might be a Sanome, but I'm still…just a normal person.

Fear suddenly constricted his chest. He stiffened, realizing for the first time what Chigusa's healing ability – which, until now, was something he had been grateful for – truly meant.

One day I'll die, and he'll be left all alone again.

He shifted slightly against Kuro's fluffy fur. Maybe that was why Chigusa clung to him the way he did…maybe it wasn't because Rakan was a tool to him after all, but because Rakan brought him warmth, too. Warmth nobody else would give him because they believed the stories.

At least I had Mom and Grandpa…Chigusa's been alone forever. He needs me, he needs someone who will care for him. But I can't, not forever. One day...

He snaked one arm around Chigusa's waist, holding onto him more tightly.

One day I'll leave this world and he'll remain here, he thought sadly. He can't go on to the afterlife with me. This time together…will all end someday.

Gently he leaned against his shoulder and closed his eyes, burying his face in his partner's dusty-smelling jacket.

So I must…appreciate these moments while I can.

Notes: This is meant to be set before the flashbacks to Chigusa's past, so at this point Rakan wouldn't know that Chigusa wasn't always alone. Hence the "forever" comment.

I love these two, seriously. x3 They're like a more fantasy-world-ish version of Yami and Yugi. xD That's probably why I love them...

For anyone else who started school this week, congrats. We've made it to the end of week one!