Fandom: Starry Sky, Dark Matters AU

Genre: General

Characters ; Pairings: Yahisa Tsukiko, Kagurazaka Shiki ; no pairings

Summary: It's moments like this when they understand each other, and just bask in one another's quiet companionship.

Warnings: AU, possible slight OOC

Notes: For the dA Starry Sky fanclub's ~In Mafia contest.

Her fingers languidly brush through his hair, twisting and playing with the pale tresses to form a decorative braid on the side of his skull. His head rests in her lap, using it as an impromptu pillow, and his expression is unguarded, his posture relaxed. It would only be too easy to assume that he were asleep. However, the telltale flickering of his eyelashes once and a while, revealing red irises open at slits for barely a moment at a time, demonstrates otherwise. She knows this of course. She's fully aware that he's actually awake and conscious of her actions. Between the two of them, she the spy and he the assassin, not a detail is lost. It's clear that he's not exerting an effort to keep her from noticing, and that she doesn't need to exert an effort to notice. She allows him to sleep in her lap, and he allows her to braid his hair. No words or looks are exchanged, there's a sort of silent understanding.

At times, it seems as if the two of them are on a completely different wavelength altogether, though it's more often the case for him than it is for her. It's moments like this that make people wonder what goes on between them. They needn't fear, nor feel jealousy. It's certainly not love, least of all in the romantic sense between a man and a woman. It would be difficult to call them friends either, as they don't do the things that friends usually do. They barely talk, only exchanging a word or two when absolutely necessary, and sometimes not even then. It's as if they can tell what the other is about to do without needing to say it. It intimidates the others sometimes, though they refuse to show or admit it. But no, the feelings between the two of them are neither love nor friendship. They are simply close. There's a mutual respect between the two of them, a mutual sympathy.

A mutual companionship.

They've been colleagues far longer than most of the others in the agency. Before they were recruited, before this organisation was established, they had known each other. They'd work together on occasion, cooperating and watching each others' backs. Back then, when they both worked under a different flag, under different names. Spy syndicates are not merciful in their training, or in their regulations. Some of the things that they went through, others simply will not and cannot understand. What happens within a syndicate stays within a syndicate. Those are days long gone that neither of them are willing to talk about. But she knows that he's not so different from her, and that their pasts are something that they can share.

She doesn't know everything about him, she only knows what happened after she met him, but she knows enough to know that he can understand. The things they do, the things they feel, sometimes they just can't be explained to outsiders. At times, it's as if they are trapped in their own little bubble, a window to a hushed, quiet past that only the two of them share.

Someone mentions something about tarts, and red eyes flutter open. She smiles and leisurely runs her fingers through his hair one last time. "Shiki-kun, you're awake," she comments pleasantly, though they both know that this is a hollow statement. She knew that he was awake all along.

He responds with a muffled, affirmative sound from the back of his throat. His gaze flickering over to where some of the other agents are standing, the smell of sugary baked confectionaries reach his senses.

"Would you like a tart?" She asks him, voice kind.

He pauses for a short moment, then makes a small noise again, this time shaken his head to indicate 'no'. Laying his head back on her lap, he slowly closes his eyes and relaxes once again, hands folded across his stomach in a peaceful position. The both of them fall silent afterwards. No words are needed. It's moments like this when they understand each other, and just bask in one another's quiet companionship.

A/N: A short drabble-kind character/relationship study between Shiki and Tsukiko. Part of a 'Tears of Polestar'-esque AU called 'Dark Matters'. I'll probably be uploading more of this AU on Tumblr, so if you're interested, then you can check out darkmattersau . tumblr over there. I hope you enjoyed this short piece.