title: and it is bitter,

pairing: RenzouIzumo

dedication: to Les. because she ships them harder than a really hard hard-on. sorry this took so long. continue to be fabulous

and it is bitter

See, the thing is this. Izumo is the prettiest, most wonderful girl he knows – and Renzou doesn't even know why. She's an unapologetic bitch half the time; self-righteous, arrogant and cold to those around her. Paku, with her brown eyes, brown hair and warm heart, is the only one she's ever let close.

He wondered, once, how two people who were such complete opposites could possibly be friends. More than that, he wondered how anyone could be friends with someone whose default facial expressions seemed permanently set to either scorn or thinly veiled disdain.

"You don't know her," Paku told him softly, when he asked. "What you see is just…Izumo putting on her thickest possible skin."

That was the beginning, he supposed; the shooting of the starting pistol and a wonderful new game.

Bang! and he's found that the only way he can break Izumo's carefully composed mask of indifference is to, frankly, piss her off.

"You disgust me," she says.

Renzou pouts, thinking of frozen lakes – the glorious crack of thick ice breaking beneath pelting stones. "That's mean, Izumo-chan," he replies, edging closer. "I adore you."

Small hands shoot out and shove him away. He likes the feeling of her fingertips through the thin, white material of his shirt. Later, he'll think about all the ways this could go down – how it would feel to have her fingers brush his neck, to curl in the hair at the nape of his neck, the stiff collar pushed aside. Her lips are pressed thinly together, rosy red and pale white. Snow White, if Izumo was ever a princess.

You don't know her. You don't know her. You don't know her. Paku's voice echoes in his head, a quiet truth stuck on replay and Renzou thinks of fairy tales and wonders if Izumo's already eaten the poisoned apple. He wonders if it's ruining her from the inside; making her a beautiful showcase of rotting heart and bleached, bare bones.

"I don't want your adoration."

Her eyes are like glass – smooth, cool and all he can see in them in his own reflection. Renzou doesn't like it.

"All girls want to be adored." And it's brash confidence, a façade because it started as a game and – and shit, I don't know if I can do this anymore.

Because the truth is this; that Rin has Shiemi and it is a beautiful thing – a gentle hand in the dark, soft gazes and gentleness in the space between their wishbones.

Yukio has Shura; taunts and the dingy, smoky corners in a dark bar. Off-kilter smiles and flashing lights.

Bon has Paku, Renzou thinks. The idiot just doesn't know it yet.

"I don't want anything from you," Izumo says and it is cold, cold, cold like marbles against his skin. A shudder runs down his spine, a fist clenching by his side. Because – because he used to get a reaction out of her, used to laugh whenever he provoked that fire to the surface. It was like seeing the sun glare through the cracks in her china armour.

But somehow, he gets the sense that Izumo isn't playing at indifference anymore. The pretense has taken over and this girl is frozen.

Desperation claws at him, and Renzou is leaning forward, closing the gap between them and – and –

Her lips are soft and dry. His free hand delicately twines in her long silky hair. The sun is a blood-red orange hanging limply in the sky and the world stills.

The slap doesn't come. Renzou pulls away and Izumo stands there, still and empty-eyed.

"Are you quite done?"

When he doesn't answer, she deftly removes his hand from her hair and steps around him. The world stops. And it's what he's wanted for so, so long but –

His mouth is moving before he registers the words in his throat. Her footsteps halt for a moment.

"What was that?"

And what does Renzou have? Izumo?

No. He gets broken glass and winter deep down in his bones. He gets the girl of his dreams walking somewhere nearby, and she gives him nothing but flat eyes and cutting words. Renzou misses the fire she used to hide. It doesn't matter that he can touch her, if he wants. He never gets any closer.

And the fire is going out.

The sight of Izumo - so close, and so, so out of reach – leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.

He licks his dry lips, spins, runs a hand through his tousled hair. "I said you turn me on when you get angry."

Izumo whirls on him then, hair flying, eyes narrowing – and there, there it is, that little spark of anger, of defiance.

There's his Izumo.

"You're revolting," she snaps, turning abruptly on her heel and stalking away. He smirks, and shoves his hands in his pockets.

Maybe there's hope after all.

notes: this came out really…idek. angsty. and one-sided. ooops.

notes2: yeah. week away and i still hate my flatmates. welp. at least there are only 2 more to go til easter.

notes3: les is pretty much one of the most kickass people i've ever met.

bitches, be bold and review. OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN. (no seriously, I am so sick of you guys fav/alerting my stuff and saying not a word.)