A/N: Okay, I just finish reading volume 3 of Zone-00 so I don't know how Benio's fight will end. I think he won't die, since Senryou is too good to kill and cause Benio is too much of an interesting character to die so soon but I can only hope. In any case, please, no spoilers, okay? If you send me a review saying something like "by the way, he dies" I'll have no choice but track you down and kill you slowly, okay? (insert angelic smile here).

That said, hope you like it.

Warnings: shounen ai.

In the end they were both innocent, only in a different way.

Hisshou landed, the heels of his shoes and the injuries on his body making the once graceful movement as awkward and painful as possible. Knees giving up, the golden angel fell on the ground, shakily trying to breath. He was careless, back in the fight with that cat and dog. Now, there would be hell to pay. A hell of endless nightmares.

- Benio-kun?

The golden angel blinked, looking around for the first time. Only now he realized where he had landed: the pool. Tsukihiko's territory. And in fact the Mizuchi was staring at him from the border of the pool, his big, dark eyes seeming as sad as ever.

- Tsuki-chan. It's nice to see you're awake. – Hisshou said with a smile.

Tsukihiko left the pool, ignoring the fact he was dripping wet and naked. It wasn't like the Tengu was properly dressed anyway. Coming closer, he kneeled in front of the golden angel, seeing how strained that smile really was.

- You should call your brother. You're hurt. – the snake said in a low, almost shy voice, eyes tracing Hisshou's body without any malice just true worry. The Tengu relaxed. It wasn't like the other boy would have second intentions, but the fact still left him surprised. How could a mononoke – a demon – put concern in the first place instead of the customary lust?

Then again, it was that cute mystery that made Tsukihiko all the more adorable.

- It's okay, it doesn't hurt. Besides, brother is busy. – cupping that innocent face with his hands, Hisshou felt a small pang of guilt for what he was about to do – That, and all I need is right here.

Lips met; cold ones against fever hot. Tsukihiko shivered, hugging the golden angel but careful with the injuries. How he wanted to surrender to the warmth, enjoying a full mind-blowing kiss like he had seen so many times before. Yet, he couldn't. He wasn't a harmless human anymore but a mononoke. Worst, he was a snake, an animal feared for his dangerous fangs.

Yes, Tsukihiko kissed Hisshou back, moving his lips in sync and trying to show how much he cared, even if the Tengu would never truly believe him. But no, the Mizuchi didn't open his mouth.

But Hisshou wasn't in the mood for games. Not anymore.

- Stop it! – he said angrily, after tearing them apart – Kiss me for real!

- You know I can't. – the snake pouted, bringing his arms back to himself. He hated when the little angel was like that, all demanding and bossy. It makes him feel like Benio wasn't special at all.

- I don't care if you'll hurt me. Thanks to brother, I can barely feel pain, you know? – crossing his arms, it was Hisshou's time to pout. However, after all that happened that night he was clearly too tired to put much effort in it.

- Doesn't matter, I don't wanna hurt you. Now, lie down and let me see. – dark eyes narrowed and the angel looked away, still angry but a little ashamed as well. The snake always made Hisshou feel childish and the angel hated it. So, to stop the feeling he obeyed, lying on the floor on his stomach so the wings could stay up.

Tsukihiko let out a tired sigh before laying his hands over the Tengu's back and feathers, tracing the bloody skin softly. He feels sad for the angel. Benio was so beautiful…even with red wings; he was still a true angel. Not even Bishamon, with his twelve golden wings open in all his glory could be compared to the little Tengu.

No, for the Mizuchi, Benio was just the most beautiful being ever. No matter if mononoke or human, no, not even God could be more beautiful.

Too bad Benio was also the most miserable mononoke Tsukihiko had ever met. And that's included himself.

- Tsuki-chan. – the Tengu whispered softly, body relaxing against the small, cold fingers. The other's touch was like water, running slowly and carefully, taking whatever time that was needed to check the injuries and smooth them. Tsukihiko cared so much he would even left a piece of his own skin here and there, covering the deepest wounds, preventing it to bleed more.

The good side of being a snake. – he had said in awe after the Mizuchi had done that for the first time, even if the fact had made him somehow sad.

- It's not that bad. Even if you should be better. – the Mizuchi pouted again, some annoyance on his voice – Do you want me go get more pills for you?

Correction: It still makes him sad.

- No. – laying on his side, Hisshou did his best to smile like always. Truth be told, his life wasn't in danger. All he needed to do was take some zone-00 and his body would heal completely, not even a scar would be left as proof. He would survive without the drug for a couple more hours, though, so he could enjoy his moment alone with the Mizuchi.

- You should. I control water, not blood. – his skin served as a patch, especially while still holding some of his energy, but not for long. They both knew that.

- Blood is ninety percent water. – was the Tengu only reply, along with a small shrug – Now, come here.

Even if he was still annoyed with the other's attitude, Tsukihiko couldn't help but obey, lying in the ground next to the angel and bringing him back to his arms again. Hisshou snuggled close, taking a deep breath of the snake's scent. It was different from that cat's scent. While the cat smelled like spice and incense, Tsukihiko smelled like the sea, a soft, salty breeze blowing straight from the ocean, bringing with it the wish for freedom.

A wish both shared. One way or another.

Tsukihiko kissed Hisshou's cheek softly, drawing those golden eyes back to his dark ones.

- How long will you sleep? – the snaked asked, remembering how long his own sleep was.

- I don't know. Less than you since I didn't used much. – he wanted to say he was a hopeless junkie by now, already used to the side effects or, at least, as used as someone could get to live the worst day of his life over and over again with ingenious touches of cruelty. That's how the golden angel felt, like some addicted and pathetic human. In fact, the only reason he wasn't doing anything for some pills was because his brother made the drug, granting him a pretty much unlimited supply.

But Hisshou couldn't bring himself to say that aloud. He liked to think it was a matter of pride but truth is it wasn't. He just didn't want to look so unworthy, so… ugly in Tsukihiko's eyes. Besides, it wasn't like the Mizuchi wouldn't be feeling all of this in the near future.

Every junkie starts slow, after all.

Stop thinking of it. It's hopeless already. – if he was 'old Benio' he would be worried, desperately trying to find a way to push Tsukihiko away before it was too late. However, he was the 'demon Hisshou' now, a bloody angel that cares about nothing and no one, save for his own life and, of course, his brother's.

- Benio-kun, are you all right? – dark eyes stared straight into golden ones, cold fingers running over the Tengu's back again to check if his skin was still keeping the bleeding at bay.

- I'm okay. – he smiled with ease, showing all his beauty. Such innocence… Hisshou could feed of Tsukihiko's innocence just as much as he could feed of the zone-00.

- You sure? – the snake seemed hesitant.

- Yes. – stealing a brief kiss, the Tengu changed the subject – Will you fulfill your promise now?

Tsukihiko blinked. He didn't remember promising anything to anyone but, after a week of nightmares, he couldn't remember much of anything anyway.

- It was just before you left with Rouji. You promised me you would tell me why you keep calling me Benio instead of Hisshou. – a spark glow in those golden eyes. The Tengu was really curious. He had already changed his name when they first met yet, when the snake found out about his child name he had instantly discarded "Hisshou".

The snaked seemed puzzled for a moment, before sadness took over his dark eyes once again.

- Because love is sad. – the Mizuchi said, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

- I…I don't understand. – Hisshou said after a short silence, face showing how utterly lost he was.

- Hisshou is 'love', isn't it? But it's hard to be 'love', to be always ready and beautiful and smiling… It's hard, unfair and sad because nobody truly understands 'love' and because there's so little in the world, people are always fighting over it. That's why I don't call you Hisshou. I don't want you to be sad.

To say the angel was speechless didn't even begin to describe it. Hisshou wanted to run, to stand and tear those arms from him. The hug was suffocating him now and the Tengu wished with all his being to be set free, just brake free and run to his room, locking himself away in the dark …

…and cry his heart out…

- You're a hypocrite, Tsuki-chan. – the Tengu said with a smile, covering the ache on his heart with cruelty – You call me Benio, you keep your fangs away from my skin, you even patch me up when brother is busy…but you hurt me, just like everybody else.

Because pain is pain. Even if the pain caused by the small Mizuchi was warm and nice, pain is still pain.

- You hurt me too. You're bossy and never believe what I tell you. – eyes glowing with sadness, Tsukihiko redrew, body changing to a snake and already going back to the pool.

Hisshou felt a pang in his heart and quickly caught the Mizuchi.

Why? – golden eyes wide, the Tengu was desperately trying to find a reason for his actions – We're in war. Chances are one of us, if not both, will be killed for sure. It's hopeless and it will just make a mess in the end so why it hurts so much to let him go?

The snaked moved, stopping his head just a few inches from touching the angel. His thin tongue was in and out, smelling the air carefully. For a second, Hisshou thought it touched his lips.

- Let go. You're hurting me. – was all Tsukihiko said, voice deep and low, too low to belong to an innocent boy.

- I…sorry, it's just…I thought … – but Hisshou didn't know what it was, he didn't understand. All those years and he had never felt like this, not even with his brother. Why? Tsukihiko was just a Mizuchi worse; he was another future junkie like so many others.

The snake shouldn't make a difference. Yet, it was exactly how it felt. A difference, a… change.

That's it? I'm changing? – another pang in his heart – Will the nightmares change too? That day…it won't be the worst of my life anymore?

A tired sigh was heard. Tsukihiko curled up on the Tengu's arm and this time Hisshou felt the slim tongue dance over his wet face. Wait! Wet!

- Sleep. – the snake said before Hisshou had the proper time to panic – I'll stay with you until your brother came back.

And after that? – the thought was strong, the stronger he had in a while, probably since he started taking the drug. Still, the angel couldn't bring himself to say it aloud. Why should he, anyway? It was hopeless and sad. Just like his new name.

Just like their innocence. Their love.

So Benio just let it go, closing his eyes and taking in his bird form. Making himself comfortable on the hard floor, the Tengu drifted away to dream's land, not even bothering to pray for his nightmares to stay the same.

Curling on the same hard floor, the snake hid the little golden bird from the world and closed his eyes as well. Tsukihiko knew what was at stake. He knew how much blood and pain was yet to come and that nobody would protect them in any way, just like nobody have ever protected them until now. Still, the Mizuchi couldn't help but close his eyes.

Cause maybe, if they dreamed together…

…maybe they would understand just how innocent they really are…