Have I mentioned that I love HishigixAkari friendship? Well, if I haven't, allow me to emphasize that I do.

Summary: She's hated him for years, but she refuses to let him die without a fight. One-shot, HishigixAkari friendship.

Disclaimer: AlukaKaiserin still does not own Samurai Deeper Kyo or any character therein.

Cry

He gave her a number: 13.

She gave herself a name: Akari.

He made her a god.

Ashura.

She hated her fourth name. She didn't want to be defined by death. But she never really minded it, because Hishigi-sama very rarely called her anything but No. 13.

And because he had not yet made her Ashura.

In the many years between Tokichiro's arrival to the Mibu and Akari's panicked flight with a Devil Eye in her hand, they had become close. Hishigi had even called them friends.

A liar to the grave, that one…

She didn't know why she ran to Hishigi's side as he lay in a pool of blood, gasping weakly for breath. He was a monster, a person who did not deserve the life she was trying in vain to save. And somewhere in her heart, she knew her efforts were no use. Hishigi was dying, and there was nothing Akari could do to save him.

Everything was over, every scrap of her life at his side fallen apart. And as much as she'd hated him, Akari didn't want to watch him die.

Her tears fell on his ravaged face, and his crimson eye met hers. Fading, filled with pain, but there was still power in that scarlet gaze.

But that power was not to overcome death, but to face it head on. Hishigi had no intention of surviving. He lacked the strength even to stand, and the horrible agony tearing at his left side was closing his remaining eye.

A moment later, as Yuan heaved the dying man to his feet, Akari felt a foolish spark of hope, that maybe he could be saved.

Until Hishigi pitched Yuan to the ground with a final burst of strength and staggered to Akari.

"Akari-san…I believe in you…" he breathed, leaning on her shoulder as he touched her face for the last time, as demonstrative a farewell as he had ever offered.

As his memories flowed into her, overpowering and ancient, she collapsed, watching the anguish of centuries flash before her eyes.

Finally, she understood his silence, his secrets, his lies. She watched a frightened, decades-younger Hishigi make the horrifying decision to place the Devil Eyes in his body; heard his agonized screams as they began to eat him alive, fighting to take over; a fight only she, whose mind had been taken by a Devil Eye, could understand the true horror of.

And she saw why he had done it. She watched hundreds—thousands—sicken and die, unresponsive to Hishigi's desperate attempts to save them. This distraught, furious man was a stranger to Akari, who had never seen Hishigi lose control.

The pain in his left side and the futility of his fight against the disease began to drive him mad, and he frantically continued his battle even as he grew hopeless and apathetic. He began to wish for death, almost begging Fubuki to kill him, only to force himself once again to live on for his friend.

Akari saw memories of her own life with Hishigi; things she had forgotten, like his half smile when she amused him, and the soft ghost of a laugh. And things she had never seen: his attachment to her, his reason for calling her No. 13; his regret as she fled, terrified, from him.

The shaman cried bitterly, mourning the man she'd hated for years.

End

Why is everything I write angsty? Probably because I keep writing Hishigi…I should probably stop doing that for a while. But I love writing Hishigi :/