Standard Disclaimers Apply.

A/N: There actually is a spin-off of this running through my head, but it deals a lot with Rikkaidai, whose members I don't know very well. Inspiration fro mteh Lady Gaga song of the same title. Probably very different from what is usually written for this pair, but hey. Inspiration does whatever it wants.

He dreams of fleshy walls, buildings made of ventricles and atriums, blood vessels and heartbeats. And always, the boy walks toward him, small, slight in build, reaches out a pale, pale hand devoid of pulse and warmth, and the bloodless lips barely move as the boy's voice, quiet and deafening all at once, moves slow and gelatinous in his ears, crawling inch and inch through space to reach Tezuka.

"Give it backā€¦"

The boy has no shoes on; the bottom of his blank, white yukata is stained in blood, and his feet sink in torn tissue. His wrist is slim, thin, and his face is blank, and so so tired. He looks like a breeze could blow him over. If Tezuka were to bump into him on the street, the boy would probably crumble and fall apart like the dried clay sculpture he left out too long in third grade.

"Give me back my heart."

And suddenly, Tezuka is aware of something warm and sticky in his left hand. And somehow, merged into his own hand, is a mound of something, almost human in the way it seems to stutter and gasp, beat fleetingly and struggle for air.

It's a heart.

Its vessels sink into his hand, merge with his own arteries and veins, shares his blood, recycles it, uses him like a blood donating machine and yet it feels like him, is part of him, and as the boy grabs his wrist, he feels another consciousness edge into his mind. Weak and straining for a chance, a last thread, anything, and the boy shoves him down with strength that a walking corpse shouldn't have.

"Give it back", the boy whispers, breath like dry ice, burning in cold, and he leans down, presses his lips against Tezuka's. Contradiction: the boy's mouth is unbearably hot, and becomes horribly cruel and harsh as the heart is torn out of Tezuka's hand, blood spilling and pooling and spinning into threads of gold and silk, the glinting golden eyes of a demon staring endlessly into him, embedded like simmering coals in a marble face, hair so black it can hold no light at all, a study of light and shadow.

And suddenly, the boy presses in, tongue going past lips and teeth, sweeping about and as the boy swallows him whole, Tezuka can only think He stole my heart, he stole my heart and somehow, somehow the boy is familiar like he met him lifetimes ago in a world of Technicolor, and the hole the boy leaves in him is gaping open wide and glistening as his mind is left an empty echo hall and his life spills from his hand as a boy kisses his life into sleeping beauty.

* * *

Tezuka wakes up with a start, breath harsh and halting, and he shoves his glasses on with trembling hands. His mind is blank, his throat burns, and the room is cold somehow. He turns to walk past the slumbering bodies of Inui, Oishi, Kawamura and Kaidoh to turn the thermostat up, flinching when he sees Echizen.

Echizen smirks at him from where he sits against the shoji doors, feet tucked under him in perfect seiza position. His eyes laugh, his skin is tan and the light coming in through the window blinds paints him in weak stripes, his hair reflecting in white.

"How did you sleep last night, Buchou?" he asks, voice careless as usual, smirk widening. Echizen rises smoothly to his feet and leaves without further word.

Tezuka catches sight of his hand and wrist when he reaches out to call the freshman back. Vivid against his skin, black and blue and trailing old blood, several spots dotting his wrist and palm, resting quietly on top of the red and blue railroad tracks of blood flowing beneath his skin.

Echizen's yukata was white, he remembers numbly, white with red trim on the bottom.