A/N: I love me the dying fandoms?

Disclaimer: I don't own Silver Diamond.

Warnings: BL, dark, implications of torture, rape, dub-con...

By Blood, By Flesh, By Hope

They started out seven strong. The oldest was Shohei at twenty, a survivalist through and through that eyed his fellows with unease. The youngest was Miya, at fourteen, who looked bored by the world in general but kept close to Kazuhi, who was only fifteen - whose hope was only half-withered. Goushi, fifteen as well, offered to scope their territory out for the expected source of water. A couple of the others followed him, leaving Miya and Kazuhi with the wild-eyed Shohei and smirking Suichi.

"I suppose we should hunt, then, " Shohei said, immediately moving away from their awkward quartet, body language a clear indication he wanted to be left alone.

"I've always been gifted at hunting," Suichi mused, eyes on Miya and smile indecent.

Kazuhi, looking towards the house atop the hill, wondered if he'd live 'til twenty.

The house has over fifteen rooms and they stake out their own accordingly. Meals are whatever they can catch and sharing it is a nonexistent notion; they eat in their own rooms, sleep in their own rooms, patrol independently, and try to interact very little. Nonetheless, their self-imposed isolation doesn't seem to affect their formation of groups.

Kazuhi and Miya stick together, pulling in Goushi simply on the virtue of being the youngest. Kazuhi is cold and withdrawn, though, in contrast to Miya's knack for playful banter and Goushi's gentle compassion. Suichi had taken up company with the equally-willful Kiyoki, a man with cruel hands and an even crueler smile. Hiroto and Kouyo, caught between the ages, try to avoid the others as a whole; they are quiet and sad in a way that Kazuhi never wants to understand. Shohei keeps to himself, of course, but as the nights go by his arguments with the people only he can see and talk to get progressively louder.

Kazuhi counts the bundles on his necklace and wishes he couldn't hear Miya crying in the next room.

A year passes and Kazuhi wakes up one day to a knife at his throat and Shohei looking down at him from a ragged face. Kazuhi knows better than to move and instead stares up at the other man apathetically, half-listening to Shohei muttering to himself - a constant stream of words that bare little meaning.

It is Goushi's and Miya's startled yells from his door that force Shohei back into his own distorted version of reality and before he can defend himself, Hiroto has plunged a bone-knife into the soft interior of his throat. Kazuhi blinks the blood out of his eyes as a dying Shohei is tossed unceremoniously off of him, the front of his shirt soaked through with his former attacker's blood. Miya and Goushi crowd around him checking for injuries as Kazuhi glances over their shoulders, catching Suichi smiling at him from the doorway.

As Kouyo and Hiroto drag away the corpse, Suichi wishes Kazuhi a happy birthday.

Kazuhi spends his days outside of the house and patrolling like he has a cause. Miya remains by his side and alternates between quiet contemplation and baiting Kazuhi into half-hearted debates. Some of the things that the slender youth says are horrifying to downright blasphemous; steadily Kazuhi grows used to Miya's latent biting hatred that hides just beneath the surface. In proportion to Kazuhi's growing understanding comes the brightness of Miya's smiles, sharpening the hatred into a single burning point that Kazuhi wonders if he's already gone mad.

Kazuhi's laconic behavior only further incenses Miya, not that this irritation is ever brought to light; neither boy works like that as honesty was as quick to die as hope had been. Probably for nothing more than to get a rise out of him, Miya coerces Kazuhi into remaining in the cave under Suichi's room one night. Kazuhi does as told - if only to get Miya to stop smiling at him like that - and is close to falling asleep before Kiyoki's harsh bark of laughter snaps him back awake.

"Why do you always get to go first, eh, Suichi?" Kiyoki sounds amused and as if he already knows the answer.

"Because I prepare him correctly," Suichi's answer is calm and methodical.

It is through Miya's quiet sobbing that Kazuhi finally understands what is going on, and he spends the rest of the night awake and listening to his friend voluntarily going through torture. When dawn breaks and the silence had stretched on for over an hour, Miya emerges at the mouth of the cave; his clothes are pulled closed properly and he stares back at Kazuhi evenly, smelling like misery and sex.

"Now what?" Kazuhi asks, slouched on the floor of the cave.

Miya smiles, "What do you mean? Now our life goes on."

Kazuhi's days are spent sleeping and watching Goushi trying to pretend he is alright, and at night he perches in the window of the room next to Suichi's so he can listen to Miya suffer. He never looks, already knowing what he'd find if he did, and for their part Suichi and Kiyoki pretend he doesn't exist.

One day a hunting venture goes wrong; Kouyo comes back dragging Hiroto's corpse, the head bent at an odd angle. Kouyo's eyes are about as alive as Hiroto's as they burn the cadaver to ashes in their own version of a funeral, and it is of no surprise to anyone that the morning after, they find Kouyo dangling from the balcony of his room, noose tight around his broken neck.

A week later, Goushi points out that it'd be better to hunt in pairs from now on, just in case. The others reluctantly agree, but no one is more surprised by the boy's emphasis on teamwork than Kiyoki - who Goushi has chosen as his hunting partner for the evening.

Kazuhi tries not to laugh when Goushi comes back later that night, eye swollen shut and covered in scratches, heralding some great tale of how Kiyoki picked a fight with giant ayame and lost. Miya just smiles, one peering eye on the distinctly hand-shaped bruise on the teen's arm.

Suichi is no different after Kiyoki's death and his nightly tortures of Miya continue. Goushi remains conspicuously absent from that wing of the house at night, but Kazuhi has now taken to perching on the man's balcony and watching the stars.

Miya has not cried for a long time so when the eerie silence is interrupted by one small sob, Kazuhi finally turns to look in the room. Miya is naked and covered in blood, one hand still holding the knife that is stuck hilt-deep into the convulsing form of Suichi. Kazuhi watches Suichi's last blood-clogged breath leave his body before his eyes finally rise to Miya's face.

And, of course, Miya is smiling.

Now that there are only the three of them left, Goushi starts splitting up responsibilities and moaning about how they can't play a decent gambling game anymore. Miya shifts through the leftover possessions of their late companions and Kazuhi spends an awful lot of time staring into the empty vastness of the frontier.

Miya enters Kazuhi's room late one night, approaching the man reclining on the floor with the graceful stride of a predator. (Kazuhi has never been under any delusion that Miya is harmless.) Miya slides down, back to the wall and shoulder-to-shoulder with the broader man.

"Normal people usually sleep at night," Miya observed.

"Yeah," Kazuhi agreed carelessly. "Guess my sleeping patterns are off."

"Sorry - it's my fault, isn't it?" Miya says.

Kazuhi snorts, finally turning to look his friend in the eye, "Liar. You aren't the least bit sorry."

Miya smiles at him - the same kind of smile Suichi had on his face when Miya had stabbed him in the lung.

"Yeah, I guess I'm not," Miya allows, leaning forward and meeting Kazuhi's lips with his own. He is quick and incessant, and since when has Kazuhi ever had enough will to fight off someone as desperate to prove their existence as Miya? Miya, who was all harsh words and false smiles, who'd stab someone in the back and apologize meaning every word of it.

"You know," Miya says later as the sky turns into a lighter gray, clothes still undone and covered in the remnants from when he'd forced Kazuhi to take him, "He'd always wanted you. I just wouldn't let him."

Kazuhi reclined, staring up at his ceiling and ignoring the chill that licked at his sweat-slicked skin. "Saving me for yourself, huh?"

Miya's smile was sharp and empty, "What makes you think I'm saving you?"

Kazuhi couldn't help it - he laughed.

And damn, did it hurt.

Two months later, ten more numbered children were transported into their territory. Goushi looked inordinately pleased to find the three of them would be the oldest, and he reminded his two friends that this time they would play nice.

"They look more hopeful than we did, when we first came here," Miya notes, watching Goushi explain their outpost's rules and the splitting of responsibilities.

Kazuhi just scoffs, "And we can't have that, can we?"

Miya smiles as the youngest of the lot - Akiichi or Akaiichi, Kazuhi isn't sure - when he glances over at them warily. "Speak for yourself, Kazuhi; I still happen to have some hope. I guess its something you get once you've stopped another's heart from beating."

Kazuhi smiled.

A/N: There is not a lot of Miya and Kazuhi love in this fandom! I demand some, dammit!

Drop a review, please. For the sake of the Silver Diamond fandom? XD