notes: My heart breaks for Kuranosuke, I swear. Set during chapter 47, possible spoilers for the manga.


your demon's down
fall into the malaise

.

A part of him wants to sabotage them.

Kuranosuke almost hates himself. Almost. If there's someone who can treat women with utmost respect, his half-brother unquestionably tops the list. Not only that, Shu is a man (a good man, a proper man, which is a lot more that Kuranosuke can say for himself) who is butterflies-in-your-stomach, fireworks-in-your-eyes and head-over-heels in love with Tsukimi.

Okay, so maybe it's not love yet. Maybe he's over-thinking this whole thing, but right now, two things are clear: Shuu definitely feels something for Tsukimi and she definitely feels something back, and—and it's not good. It's not good at all. A part of Kuranosuke still, still wants to sabotage them.

In front of the mirror, Tsukimi sits, her back straight and her shoulders stiff as Kuranosuke drags his brush over her hair, methodically untangling each knot. It feels different this time; different from all those times he's brushed her hair before. It feels like the beginning of something heavy. It feels like—it feels like something he's going to regret.

He doesn't think he's ever hated this as much as he does right now. He's never hated this at all, before tonight.

"Tsukimi."

She turns her head slightly at him. "Y-yes?"

Kuranosuke rakes his hand through her hair, those strands of black slipping through the spaces between his fingers, curling at her shoulder just so before they gently cascade down to cover her collarbones. Then he asks, "Are you really going?"

His question only strengthens the violent trembling of her hands. Her cheeks are flushed red, and Kuranosuke needs to tighten his grip on the hairbrush to stop himself from touching her face, to keep his demons down. If you say no, you don't have to go, he wants to say. If you say no, we can stop right now, he wants to say. If you say no, I swear I will—

Tsukimi nods. It's a tiny nod, barely imperceptible. He'd have missed it if his fingers aren't resting on the nape of her neck.

stop you. I will stop you.

"I will go," she whispers. "I will go."

Her voice is different the second time she says it, a little bit louder, a little bit stronger. When Kuranosuke raises his head to catch her eyes in the mirror, her lips are moving, slowly repeating those words as if they are a mantra. Her hands haven't stopped trembling, but there is a faint blush on her cheeks that has nothing to do with him and everything to do with his brother.

"Alright," he says after a while. He grasps her hands, stills them in his. "Alright. Tonight I will make you beautiful."

.

end.


notes: Reviews would be awesome. Thanks for reading! :D