My love for Yukiteru-kun is genuine.

Of course Akise Aru did not think dirty thoughts about Yukiteru. Mostly.

(Those blue sky eyes. The tremble to those lips.)

Of course not. To deny the existence of a certain painful midnight-aroused desire, was another matter entirely but. He didn't think dirty thoughts. (Mostly.) He just...thought.

He was very good at hiding his feelings behind a small smile and thinking things over. He was cool, you know.

And so good at thinking. So good that dream Yukki had become a tangible entity; so solidly constructed from thoughts and recollections and obsession that Akise felt warm skin under his hands, sometimes, felt warm weight lean into him, sitting comfortable and safe beside him, as he should be. Yukki... Instead of being so wearingly far away...

(And if you asked if he had ever dreamed of more than touching, perhaps it would be hard to suppress a blush, a crooked smile, the incriminating touch of finger to lip, before he said, as evenly as he could, "I like Yukiteru...

"but, let's return to the business at hand.")

(There were times he was glad no one in the room could read his mind.

There were times he was glad he lived alone, where no one he knew could see the things he did, hear the things he said.

Sometimes, thinking became torturous... Anyone who has ever been in love knows that this is true. But Akise was pragmatic, patient.)

He could wait. He could sate himself on the fantasies that played during their casual conversations. He was smooth, he did not stare (too much). He sent the occasional text message, clever, careful, always luring Yukki a little closer to safety. This was no matter for mistakes, he thought. No matter for emotional recklessness. This was his own life he was playing with— No. This was more than his life.

Yes, he was patient-though sometimes at night he wanted, and he wanted. But he was a hard-boiled detective. He would not lose control. He would bide his time, he thought. But then,

the world decided to end.

It had really forced his hand, as such things do. It had forced him to action.

Who knew taking action would leave them like this, with Yukki aiming a gun to Akise's chest, jerking the trigger, as Akise delivered irresistible truth after irresistible truth, much faster than he'd like.

There were three corpses sprawled on the rocks below them, but this time, there was no fourth bang calling him down.

"Looks like you're out of bullets," Akise said with a smile. Funny how even confused, his dead friends lying in the wake of his bullets, Yukki was still adorable to Akise; how even with the blood of innocents on his hand, Yukki still seemed pristine like a young god. Akise stood steady.

He did not guard for blows or words. He was not afraid. Yukki could do anything to him, with his pleasure—this had always been true.

But, it was significant that there were no more bullets. It was a sign in his favor. He would win.

He was meant to win this time.

"YUKKIII," screamed Yuno, from below, stumbling and deranged with rage. "Get away from Akise! Hurry!" The ragged bandage around her midriff was no doubt seeping with blood but still she staggered on. Her passion would have been admirable, had she not stabbed herself from spite, had Akise not been the one who bandaged her, had she not a single-minded lunatic desire to steal away the boy Akise loved.

"Yuno," Yukki murmured, as if on reflex.

A flash of irritation. How thoroughly she had brainwashed him. "I won't let you have him," Akise called in reply. His hands tightened on Yukki's shoulders.

He moved with rash rage, but halfway through he forgot the rage. Halfway though he wasn't sure what he was doing, wasn't sure he was awake, wasn't sure of anything but the irresistible pull of what he had set into motion.

Yes—it seemed the distance between them was rapidly closing, and yes, Yukki's eyes were wide and blue and filling his vision, and yes, Yukki's lips yielded under his (so warm), not unwilling, perhaps willing, but (so warm) yes, this indeed seemed to be happening, they did seem to be kissing.

God, he thought. I could die happy now. Before he edited quickly, No, not yet. (But the thought had slipped through.)

At that moment Akise promised himself he would not close his eyes. They could kiss for years and he would not once close his eyes.

Because if he closed them, he might wake up.

Instead he stared and reveled in the electric slip of tongue and lip, in the brief exchange of breath, in the edge of Yukki's teeth, in the taste of Yukki in his mouth. He would not get dizzy; cool, hard-boiled detectives did not get dizzy, but he was feeling perhaps a little unsteady on his feet, a little drunk on the lightness, on the recklessness of it all.

It was okay. He was going to win.

In the corner of his eye, the flash of pink and a gasp of horror.

Oh Yuno was pissed... But what of her?

Lazily, Akise pulled back. His lips were sticky, wet.

He watched as Yukki set a shaking hand to his mouth, all startled innocence, and smiled, peaceful. He was so tempted to have a second taste, but there would be time for that, this would only take a moment. He had never felt so confident before.

"Akise Aru... You are..." Yuno trembled with rage. "DEAD! DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD!"

Yuno? So what? What could she do in the face of this? It felt like...the rise of a revolution. She would fall in line with the corpses she had made.

He was willing to kill now though he hated it, he would kill for this love.

It was like...his dreams had finally burst through this reality in an onrushing tide, washing away the chaos and bloodshed Yuno had wreaked—Yukki, already his god, would become everyone's god—Akise would make this come true for him. They would have their peace. They would have their afternoons together, walking side-by-side, uninterrupted in their idyllic world of endless sidewalks and sunburst skies—holding hands. Yuno could just go away.

Even if they didn't make it together, even if it was just Yukki safe in a quieter world, Akise would be happy, would count himself lucky. I want to protect you...

(The kiss had been a pledge.)

Akise picked up a bent pipe, felt the reassuring weight in his hand. "This time..." he began, as he faced down the beast.

(The kiss had been a blessing, stolen perhaps, but a blessing still. A protective charm...)

"...I will kill you, Gasai." He felt it. He was sure.

(Strange that a charmed kiss would leave a narcotic aftertaste, like a dulling drug.)

Akise realized too late, he was still a little dizzy, the blood was still pumping a little too recklessly through him, he was still

a little unsteady on his feet. When he lunged, he saw the knife come at him but he did not jump back, could not, not when Yuno's diary was so tantalizingly close, just within reach.

The blue plastic snapped under his blow, just as the knife bit into his throat.

It didn't matter.

The rush of triumph, anesthetic.

He had done it.

He had broken her diary. She was dead, at last, Yukki was free. Yukki would be safe. Yukki would be god. He had done it, he had done it, he had done it at last, he had won.

And yet Gasai was...


Why? Why was she smiling?

Despite his brilliance, his talent, his patience, his diligence—despite his love—

Fortune had made a fool of him again.

AN: This is a eulogy of sorts. Cuz I had to do something with my feels.