Title: Your Ex-Lover is Dead
Fandom: Battle Royale
Characters: Shinji Mimura, Hiroki Sugimura
Summary: It was an ending neither of them wanted.
Warning: Unbeta-ed, and thus, verb confusion may or may not abound. You have been warned.
A/N: I miss Battle Royale :'( I just wanted to say that.
After ten long years, they meet again.
Shinji sees him from far away, his back turned against him, shoulders hunched, head bowed down low. He falters mid-step, half-wondering if he should proceed or just leave. The other person turns around just as he is about to go, preventing him to take another step in either which direction.
Shinji nods and takes a step forward.
He wonders when they first stopped using their nicknames to address each other and settled for the more formal, detached surname. It used to be "Mim" and "Sugi." Now they can't even say "Shinji" or "Hiroki" without unwillingly cringing inside.
Shinji notices Hiroki carrying a bouquet of fresh pink tulips, and he feels anger rising from deep inside his chest.
"She hates those, you know," he says steely, glaring at the man before him.
Hiroki chuckles bitterly and stares at the bouquet of red carnations Shinji holds in his hands. "She used to love them, back in high school," he answers.
"We've all outgrown our old selves," Shinji bites back, wondering when he became so poetic. "She likes carnations now."
"She hates any other kind of flower," Hiroki continues. "She only accepts pink tulips."
"She only accepts pink tulips from you," Shinji finishes for him. He chuckles. "She won't accept any from me."
Hiroki turns away, and Shinji stops the urge to charge and beat him to a bloody pulp.
"I just got back, you know," Hiroki whispers, his eyes cast down low, the bouquet of pink tulips still cradled in his arms.
Shinji nodded. "I heard," he answers, "from Shu. He called last night just to say you made it back safely." He pauses, not sure how to continue. It's amazing how a few years could cause awkwardness beyond repair. "How was Thailand?"
Hiroki smiled sadly, something Shinji did not miss. "It was all right," he says, lifting his eyes from the ground, and accidentally staring at Shinji's neckline.
Shinji notices and fingers the necklace gently. "This has always been her favorite, you know," he says.
"Of course," Hiroki replies, looking away again.
Shinji feels the urge to walk away and just forget meeting Hiroki ever happened. But seeing his former friend stand there in front of him, his head hanging dejectedly, Shinji did otherwise. He removes the necklace with the foreign coin as pendant from around his neck and tosses it to the man in front of him.
Hiroki drops the bouquet and catches the necklace clumsily. "Watch it!" he almost shrieks, holding the jewelry in his hands as if it is a lucky charm that he would never want to lose. "Do you know how important this is?!"
Shinji clenches his fists to his sides. "Of course I know how important that is," he hisses back. Then, closing his eyes for a second to collect himself, he says, "She would have wanted you to have it."
Hiroki stares dumbly at him, then looks away.
Shinji chuckles. "Idiot."
"Don't," Hiroki begins, but there is no stopping Shinji now.
"She loves you."
"I said don't," Hiroki answers, clenching his right hand, which held the necklace in place.
"She does." Shinji smirks, silently challenging Hiroki to budge.
"She chose you," Hiroki bites back.
The smirk disappears from his face, and Shinji again has to stop himself from lunging forward at his unwanted companion. "No," he says, trying to keep the anger from his voice. "She settled for me. She wanted you, but you…"
Hiroki's eyes blazes in deep hatred for the former basketball ace in front of him. "Stop."
Shinji shakes his head. "You don't deserve her."
Shinji chuckles. "My, my," he chides Hiroki, "Such vulgar words coming from your mouth. She'd make you wash that with soap if she hears you, you know."
Shinji sees Hiroki snap for the first time in their entire history of being friends (and non-friends), and the black belt martial artist lunged at him and grabbed the front of his shirt, murder evident in his eyes. "What the fuck do you want from me?"
Shinji grabs Hiroki's left hand and easily pulls it away from him. "I want you to suffer as much as I have suffered all these years."
Hiroki lets him go with a hard push backward. "That's your own fucking fault," he whispers, his voice laced with pain.
"You really are an idiot," Shinji chuckles, dusting his shirt off. "She waited for you."
Hiroki glares back. "Lies."
Shinji shrugs. "Whatever. I couldn't care less if you believe me or not. I'm just saying."
"She wouldn't," Hiroki continues. "She chose you, remember?"
Again, Shinji feels his head throb with fury. "It's because you kept her waiting, hanging, every fucking time!"
"And you took advantage of that!" Hiroki snaps. "You took advantage of her vulnerable state, and preyed on her, like you've preyed on other girls! That's the only reason she stayed with you!"
"So what if I did?!" Shinji snaps back. "She was better off without you anyway!"
"She was no better with you either!"
Shinji realizes that his fist collided with Hiroki's jaw only when he hears the 'snap' it produced. He watches as Hiroki tumbles backward, mouth and nose bloody from the impact, but with eyes burning with rage. He readies himself for the counterattack, but none comes. Instead, Hiroki picks himself up, as well as the necklace he dropped because of the blow, and wipes the blood streaming down his chin.
"Happy?" Hiroki hisses.
Shinji shakes his head one more time. "Just so you know," he says, picking up the fallen carnations he dropped when he punched his former friend, "I was never any competition to begin with. She loved you...," and his heart constricts as he says the words, "…and up to the very end, she waited. All you had to do was take her back, and she would have willingly gone and left me for you." Chuckling one last time, he turns around to avoid seeing the tears stream down from Hiroki's eyes. "You really don't deserve her."
He walks away, hearing the silent sobs from Hiroki, and he looks up, grinning at the blue skies above. "Hey hun," he whispers, because she never did let him call her 'Taka' – hell, she never allowed anyone else to call her that, "the idiot's still a crybaby." He lifts his fingers to his neckline and suddenly misses the warmth her necklace used to give him.
"I think I'm starting to be one too."
The first tear falls.