Notes: sometimes it feels as though I'm the only one interested in these characters. Anyone else? I'm all for requests/prompts when it comes to these three!
It's 3 am and the moon is a pale wash of faded yellow, too weak to cast even a faint halo against the wane green of the early morning sky. Haruhiko watches it through the sheen of an empty bottle of cheap beer, intoxicated and blurred into nothing but edges. If he angles the bottle just right, he captures the moon in the bending, refracting glass.
If he tilts it wrong, the moon fades away and the world ends.
His jumper is too large.
The city isn't pretty, not on nights like this when the rain-slick streets look like they've been salvaged from an oil spill. The hallow wail of an ambulance echoes through the night air, catching on the wind before being snatched away just as quickly.
And his jumper is too large.
The shadows flicker in discontent.
"I don't get it." And Haruhiko doesn't, no matter how much cheap beer he slogs. "What the fuck is he thinking?" Nothing in this world comes free. Even tonight's pathetic excuse for a moon, suspended like a childish paper cut-out against a barely bothered with backdrop, will claim its rewards. He must want something in return, just as the moon must be repaid each morning through the subjugation of the tides.
Haruhiko knows this. More than anyone else, he knows that everything comes at a fucking price.
It's just … he feels drained. Empty.
He doesn't understand and it doesn't make any sense, not even after his fourth bottle and with the sleeves of his jumper shoved up optimistically around his elbows. He should be pissed and fucked off and sick to tired of all these games-
And, he is.
"Your jumper is too big," Lan says as he separates from the shadows and steps out of their shitty room and onto what almost passes as a balcony. Haruhiko's gaze slides down to where the sleeves engulf his hands and trail past his fingertips.
Stupid, fucking jumper. Can't even stay in place for half a minute-
He blinks, unfocussed.
Lan settles against the frame of the bi-fold door, his arms crossing against the light material of his nightshirt. Lan should be shivering in the frigid night air, but then Lan's powers are all about containment and small spaces. He doesn't feel the elements like Haruhiko does, because what fucking good is there in that?
And Lan's giving Haruhiko that look, all hooded eyes and containment and small spaces. Haruhiko wishes he could conjure up even a spark of heat to combat it, however his jumper is too big and the sleeves too long.
"You've been up all night thinking about Kagetora?"
Lan always asks the wrong questions.
"No. I've been writing fucking poetry to the moon." His words taste like arsenic, and he can't keep Lan's gaze, turning instead to the empty city below. Where do people go on nights like this? "He's working an angle. They always are." Perhaps they've all just stopped existing, because what is the point if it's just you and a moon that can't even be bothered half-arsing it? "He wants something from us." There, that feels safe and predictable. Haruhiko thinks he can hold onto that.
Those eyes, expressionless and bland, consume Haruhiko whole.
"Do you want him to want something from us?"
Do you want him to need you?
Haruhiko snorts. Rolls his eyes. Slips his arms out of the sleeves of his jumper and tucks them in under his armpits.
He … he doesn't know.
He's always gone cheap, less a two dollar hooker and more a "free to a good home" advert in a local newspaper. Haruhiko has never really been one for quality control, and so "good" tends to be whoever bothers to show up on the day.
He takes a swig from the empty bottle, swallowing the moon.
A lost black cat, huh? What a laugh.
(He's fucking blond)
"Chica gets released tomorrow. Today. Whatever." His non answer brings a response, as Lan's eyes narrow into impatient, frustrated slits.
"I don't fucking know, alright?" Haruhiko snaps tiredly, rubbing his cheek down against the thick material of his jumper. It feels coarse, cheap, and Haruhiko bites back a bubbling, bitter laugh. "That shitty bastard's cheating; he's not supposed to offer us anything in return. Fuck. He's not supposed to give us something for free first."
Drunk, lonely eyes seek out Lan, and Haruhiko knows he looks a desperate fool.
Lan blinks, a surprise in his eyes that gives way to something almost thoughtful. He moves towards Haruhiko, fading briefly back into the shadows before he becomes the fucking moon, standing right in front of Haruhiko and screwing with the entire world.
"I think," Lan says slowly, one hand smoothing across Haruhiko's cheek and sliding into his hair, the other detangling the beer bottle from where it's half buried up his sleeve. "I think we should go back to bed."
A smirk flickers at the corner of Haruhiko's mouth. "I'm a little bit drunk," he agrees amicably. Lan is warm. The touch of his hand, the look in his eyes, the quiet heat of his mouth as it brushes just so against Haruhiko's own. Maybe Lan is better at this elemental stuff than Haruhiko gives him credit for.
Kagetora rings the next week. He doesn't demand repayment, just asks for help.
Haruhiko curses, swears, tells the bastard he must be fucking kidding.