The worst of me

Yamamoto Takeshi is a monster.

It's quite simple, really, uncomplicated and merely another fact as natural to existence as the tint to the sky or the scent of a storm. Yamamoto Takeshi is a monster, and he knows it.

It hadn't always been true, not years ago when he was nothing more than a cheerful middle school student with no worries – or verifiable existence – outside of baseball. Back then, when all he had to look forward to was sport and sushi, he would never have ever thought of himself in such deranged terms and never would have even dreamed that one day he would.

He'd like to say that he didn't know when it was, exactly, that he'd become a monster. He'd like to say that it had been a gradual change as his life went from being seeped in school and friend to being soaked in blood and Family. He'd like to say that it was an effect of the mafia, an effect of being who he'd been forced to become. He'd like to say that, but that'd be a lie, so far from the truth it wasn't even on the same wave length.

Yamamoto could remember exactly when it was he became a monster. He could recall the shrill halt of his mind and the freezing of his heart that had accompanied the moment. He could recall the way his breathe hitched and his skin tingled much in the same manner it did when he found himself in danger.

Maybe that had been what it was after all. What could be more dangerous than becoming a monster?

On the day that Yamamoto Takeshi went from being a simply harebrained student to a cold-hearted monster had been a surprisingly normal one, and to an outsider there was nothing that could have prompted such a drastic change in he who was both kind and popular.

"This is Gokudera Hayato. He'll be your classmate starting today."

Except that there had been the brilliant flash of silver and the intoxicating smell of cigarettes, blood and death, the sharp angles of a foreign face and a heart-wrenching glint of maturity in a pair of dark eyes.

Mine, Yamamoto had thought in that instance where his mind halted, his heart froze and his skin tingled, He's mine.

And so it was that Yamamoto became a monster; although in truth it wasn't something he'd realized at that exact moment, even if was the second of transformation.

Gokudera was unlike anyone else that Yamamoto had ever met before, an enigma that was just as beautiful as he was dangerous and the more time that Yamamoto spent with him, the more time that he had to hungrily trace the sharp curve of his jaw with his eyes or notice the appealing way his skin pulled tight over his hipbone, the more of a monster he became.

Mine. He's mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

Gokudera always brought out the worst in Yamamoto.He made him a monster. Gokudera could have asked for the world and Yamamoto would have walked through a sea of blood and decay to get it for him.

As time went on and the things that had used to mean the world to Yamamoto – Baseball, friends, sushi – slowly became replaced – Blood, death, war – he continued to slip deeper and deeper into depravity. Slowly, the sharp press of a sword hilt held tightly in his hands became more familiar to him than the uncouth grip of a bat. And, before he even knew it, he no longer lived in a world of safety, cushioned by society and the promise of a future.

But that was okay because he was a monster and this was the world in which he belonged because…

Mine. Mine. Mine.

Yamamoto didn't think that Gokudera would truly ever realize the hold he had over him, how cruel he made him and the thoughts he caused to fly unbidden through his mind. He didn't realize what Yamamoto would do for just a second longer to gaze at his pale skin and long lashes, the hungry glances he stole.

And if the brilliant glint of cool silver locked with the dark amber of Yamamoto's in those moments, he found that he couldn't tear himself away – not even if it would otherwise be the death of him. And messages, powerful and wordless, would pass between them, crackling in the intense atmosphere.

You're mine.

Weeks turned to months and months turned to years and as the passage of time slowly continued to tick, Yamamoto found in himself a well of previously unknown cruelty that the enticing tang of smoke and bombs had led him to discover.

But with Gokudera at his side this time, this cruelty, it was meaningless.

And then they hurt him.

He could still remember it, clear as – no, clearer – than the very first time he sent his bramble gaze upon smooth skin and dangerous smiles and the shuddering still of his heart was even more painful as it grew cold and distant, floating somewhere far off.

There was blood, so much blood, rivers of it, lakes even, pooling rapidly around bony limbs that lay unmoving on the hard press of stone and concrete, bruising the delicate ivory and an appalling purple that contradicted the crimson flow.

And Gokudera wasn't moving. Wasn't breathing. Wasn't doing anything.


Yamamoto Takeshi was a monster and he thinks that might be the day everyone else realized it to.

There was the sickening crunch of breaking bones and shrill screams, spray of bright blood that he didn't even register through the red tint of his vision. There was shouting – lots of it – and there was sticky wetness on his face, war-paint for the hunter.

All around him reeked of death and destruction as the monster in him painted the desolate garage in stains and splatters. There was a lot of colours – red, blue, black – and hands were grabbing at him, hurting him, trying to stop him with blades and bullets that his raging mind didn't even comprehend.

They touched what was mine.

And then it was over, nearly as quick as it began.

Calmly, dressed in the rags of battle with gore tainting his tan skin, Yamamoto turned, completely unperturbed by the spoils of life all around him and made his way through the wreckage, uncaring of the way the expensive leather of shoes sounded on the red soaked floor – splash, splash, splash – and made his way to what was his.

And Gokudera just stared back at him; expression unreadable as ever as Yamamoto crouched beside him and cupped his cheeks roughly on the calloused palm of his hand, leaving a streak of red against the white flesh.

"You do this to me," Yamamoto whispered hoarsely as his thumb brushed against the soft pink of Gokudera's lower lip. "You make me a monster."

It was silent save the light dripping of blood from the walls, the cars, the ceiling, even.

Slowly, with fingers that twitched from pain, Gokudera lifted his hand from the floor and with movements that were so silent they barely seemed there, pressed the very tips of his quivering fingers to Yamamoto's hand that so gently cupped his cheek, dark eyes locked with his as he answered, voice gravelly from cigarettes and hurt.

"I know."

A sharp intake of breath paramount to a sob. "You're mine."

"I know."

Yamamoto Takeshi was a monster, and it was funny how little he cared.