disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Les, Sidney, Chloe, Vikki. Totally my harem of bitches.
notes: this is what thinking about death gets going in my head.

title: a predictable lie
summary: Congratulations on your wedding day. — Yukio, Shura.






"They don' know what they're getting' m'selves inta."

Bitterness had never been in Shura's vocabulary.

The first time Yukio heard the acrid tone in her voice was in the darkened reception hall of his twin brother's wedding. She was sitting alone in the back, smoking a black-market cigarette and guzzling beer in a dress stained darker than black with alcohol. Elbows on the table, she sat in the shadows with the butt glowing hanging from her fingertips.


"They'd don' got a goddamn clue," she said, and blew smoke in his face.

Yukio grimaced. She would. "Put that away, there are children here."

Shura just smirked, tipped her head and rested it against her palm. Her hair spilled around her shoulders, and Yukio watched it with a sort of fierce hunger. Her eyes were so wide, so young—she was thirty-one, and didn't look a day older than eighteen.

She'd looked eighteen as long as Yukio had known her. She'd looked eighteen for more than half his life. It wasn't natural.

The knowledge of it churned in his stomach.

A ribbon of smoke hazed lazily upwards to disappear into the ceiling, pale grey. It was more substantial than the silence between them, so it was better than nothing.

"It don' matter if I smoke, Scaredy. We both know it. What's th' point in pretendin' otherwise? S'not like it's gonna kill me."

Yukio squinted down at the bottle castle she'd built on the table. It was a masterpiece in miniature; turrets and walls built up to keep sober participants out of the way. "How much have you have to drink, Shura?"

"More'n you, kid. Sad thing is that m'not even trashed."

She shrugged, green eyes clear. Her eyes flickered up to the couple still swaying on the floor; his brother and his brother's new wife had not left each other all night. Even now, hours later, they still whispered quietly in each-others ears. Part of Yukio wondered what they were on about. Part of him didn't want to know.

He looked at Shura, and had no idea about her.

"I don't understand."

"She's gonna die, Scaredy."

The world tilted on its axis, and Yukio stared at Shura like she was a ghost. The look on her face was frozen in sharp contrast to the movement on the dance floor just behind her. The thoughts flashed across her eyes.

Yukio read them, and understood.

"Human. She's gonna get old. She's gonna die."

"And we won't," he said, and it wasn't a question.

Her smile was a curve against dark glass. "Nah, I don' think so. Lookit me."

Yukio dropped his eyes, if only to spite her—he already knew what he would see. The bottle castle glinted in the light from the dance floor, and he thought of his brother and his brother's wife; when she would begin to age, and his brother wouldn't; when Rin's children would outlive their mother; when his brother would have to watch his children die, even.

And he understood Shura's bitterness.

Bitter, at least, was understandable.

The moment hung unbroken.

Shura stood, perfect grace and control.

"C'mon, Scaredy. Les'go wish the happy couple congratulations."

And Yukio went.