Disclaimer: "Darker Than Black" isn't mine. If it was, Season 2 would have a whole lot more of Hei-Yin moments… or there would be a Season 3 that would totally focus on Hei and Yin (and Yin would definitely be alive).
Darker Than Black: Tanabata
"Now's not the right time."
"Because no one is ready yet."
"Nothing makes sense... But I've collected so many samples."
"It's impossible for me now."
"Let's make a deal. When it's that time, I'll grant your wish." *
He wasn't ready to give up on her yet.
Staring at Yin's immobile body, Hei pondered on how to proceed from there. Two years. It had been two years since he found out Yin was still alive. For two years, he had deliberated and planned on how he would get her back. Now, he was being told it was too late. Yin was nothing but an empty shell.
No. That can't be true. Yin was stronger than that. Didn't she manage to stop the awakening by herself? Didn't she keep Izanami under wraps for two years? So, no. She can't possibly be just an empty shell. She might be intertwined with Izanami for now, but she was still there. Yin was still there.
She was still waiting for him.
He would need his power back. Someone once said being in close proximity of the awakened Izanami could grant wishes. Well, Hei would just wish against all odds for his power to return. If not, then he'd have to resort to coaxing Yin's psyche to come out. He'd decide what to do when the time comes. One thing was certain though: he'd kill Izanami.
His mind made up, Hei went out to search for his prey.
He arrived just in time to stop Suou from a desperate attempt to protect her memories – not that it would help the girl any if she had indeed managed to shoot Izanami. Hei felt a tinge of sadness and pity for the young girl, who, in so many ways, reminded him of himself. Once again, Izanami had taken another person he had grown fond of. Well, at least, Suou was going to a better place, a place he knew without a doubt she'd be happier.
The least he could do was make Suou's final moments as tranquil as possible. He wrapped comforting arms around the girl and whispered words he thought she'd want to hear. He was startled when Suou mumbled the same words that Yin had once told him. "You're lying". In a way, he was. Contractors were liars and traitors.
It was while he was gazing at the children's motionless bodies that Hei felt a gentle pressure on his shoulder. It wasn't solid – more like coagulated water without it being ice.
He turned cautiously. Izanami had pretended to be Yin once; there wasn't anything to stop her from doing it again. However, upon turning around, he was met with gentle eyes. The malice that was usually present in Izanami's eyes weren't there. The amethyst orbs that stared back at him were warm and trusting. Was it an illusion?
"It's not too late." She whispered in the monotone voice he had deeply missed. She gave him a small smile. "Kill me."
Hei paused for a second before a smile tugged up his own lips. This was Yin, alright. Who else would smile at him while asking to be killed?
Standing up, Hei carefully took a step closer to her. "You're smiling."
"You are here." She replied as if his mere presence could explain the phenomenon.
He affectionately touched her cheek. She felt different – he wasn't touching skin after all. Still, he was touching her again. She was right there in front of him. "I'm sorry for making you wait."
"It's fine." She tipped her head towards his hand and placed her own hand over his.
He was startled to feel the familiar sensation of electricity coursing through his veins and his soul. His power had returned. Yin nodded knowingly. Was it her that returned his powers? Did she want him to use his powers on her?
He looked at Izanami's hovering figure behind Yin. The entity was motionless as she seemingly watched the interaction between Hei and Yin. Separate. Yin and Izanami were separate – for now. A portion of their souls must still be entangled somewhere – keeping Yin captive, hurting her, making her do things she never wanted to do. Hei would deal with that.
"Hei." Yin softly called.
His coal-black eyes returned to Yin's face. "Do you remember, Yin? We promised we won't leave each other alone."
Yin lowered her eyes. "If things were different, I would have wanted to spend forever with you."
She had told him that before too. It made him happy to hear the statement again. He smiled gently and pulled her to him. He buried his face in her shoulder, wanting nothing more but to get a whiff of her scent. It was useless, of course. Souls don't have scents.
"Do you believe in me, Yin?"
"Always, Hei." She stepped away from him and guided his hand to her chest, just above her heart. "It is time."
Hei clenched his jaw as he stared at his hand. He would only get one chance to get this right. If he failed, Yin would die, and he would survive – alone. He'd be alone again.
"It will be alright, Hei." Yin smiled at him encouragingly. "You will be alright."
He met her eyes. They were staring at him with blatant trust. She was handing him her life.
If this worked, Yin would be alive. Mao would take care of her. She wouldn't be alone.
He let out a static of electricity. All of a sudden, he wasn't touching water anymore. Yin had become solid – her body. He was holding her body. He reflexively pulled away his hand.
Yin seemed to have predicted his reaction as she immediately caught his hand and directed it on her heart again. "It's okay, Hei. You don't have to pull back. This will make it easier."
She had called her body. He didn't know how it was possible; but water was her element, and water was, by its own right, a mysterious force. Hei took a deep breath to calm himself. The fear of hurting Yin had been so deeply ingrained in him, he had reacted as if he was actually going to hurt her.
That wasn't the plan though. Yin being in her body just made it easier for him. He wasn't going to focus on the physical anyway. He was going way beyond that.
"I will always be with you, Yin." He kept his eyes on her as he let out a high voltage of electrical energy through her. He would tattoo her face in his mind. He didn't want to forget anything.
Despite the immense pain, Yin was able to give him a tiny, reassuring smile. "As I will always be with you."
Hei liked that. He didn't know where he would end up. Was there life after death for contractors? Was he going straight to hell or was he going to linger in this world, a spirit suspended in time?
Well, he'd cross the bridge when it comes.
Hei returned his focus to what he was doing. He must concentrate. He must not fail.
The light that emanated from his use of power was blinding. In the fake night sky, his star burned intensely – unlike anything anyone had ever seen before.
Hei plunged into Yin's and Izanami's souls – the very fabric of their being. He would rip them apart. As promised, he would kill Izanami.
Then finally, Yin would be free.
There was a frantic voice buzzing right next to his ear – or was it above him? Odd. Was he supposed to be hearing voices? Especially if the voice sounded a lot like Mao's?
"Hei! Wake up!"
Wake up? He wasn't supposed to be able to wake up.
"Is he dead?"
Was that Kirihara-san?
"No. He's alive."
Slowly, Hei opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was the night sky. The fake stars twinkled mockingly. His star, Hei realized, was still there. It hadn't fallen… So, he was alive…The second thing he noticed was a flying squirrel standing on his chest. Mao.
"Yin?" Hei grunted out.
"Yin..." Mao stole a sad glance to his right.
Hei pushed himself to sit up; uncaring that Mao had fallen off due to the action. He ignored Kirihara Misaki's attempt to help him. He turned to where Mao looked earlier – and what he saw made his blood run cold. It was Yin. She was lying on her back – unconscious, motionless. Her face was a picture of tranquility. She looked as if she was sleeping. But… was she just sleeping?
If he was alive and Yin was unconscious… Did he fail? Did he... kill Yin?
Dreading the worst, Hei crawled over to her prone form. Mao and Misaki gave him enough distance for privacy as he hovered over Yin. She looked so fragile. He cupped her face and whispered, "Yin?"
There was no response. She didn't stir. Hei placed a hand over her heart and waited… and waited…
And then, there it was. It was faint, but it was there.
His face remained stoic, but inwardly, Hei felt like crying in relief. He didn't kill her. Yin was alive – albeit barely. He gently collected her in his arms and then stood up. He had to get her somewhere safe.
"Where are you going, Li-kun?" Misaki asked worriedly.
"There is nothing here for me anymore."
"Take care of Souo's and July's bodies." He gave Mao a glance. His eyes did not betray the whirlwind of emotions he was feeling. "Good-bye, Mao."
With that said, Hei walked away while carrying Yin's limp body securely in his arms. He and Yin would disappear, and maybe, just maybe, they'd have the peaceful life that so often evaded them.
They were together again. Finally.
* The conversation at the beginning of this chapter occurred between Yin and Izanami at the end of DTB: Gaiden.