I got some really nice reviews to 'The Shinigami's Angel', so I decided to act on a plot bunny that's been digging burrows in my head. It's kind of a sequel – if you squint.

Any roads, if you reviewed 'The Shinigami's Angel', then this ficlet is dedicated to you (because you left such awesome reviews). Thanks, guys (smiley face in words, because FFn won't let it exist otherwise).

Disclaimer: Nabari no Ou and all associated intellectual property belongs to its creator, Yuhki Kamatani.

Truth

Yoite couldn't remember when he'd first noticed how Miharu's eyes ached for the truth. The yearning for it translated into his every movement.

But Yoite would never tell.

He loved Miharu like a brother, and as such, it made the omnipresent throbbing in his desiccated body more acute – knowing what he was denying the boy. The truth about his clause of erasure.

Yoite stared at the small boy as he flicked the appropriate switch on the kettle, before scampering across the floor of Yukimi's cramped kitchenette to click open the microwave and reach in. The elder teenager watched the flicker of discomfort that shot across Miharu's features as the too hot apple cider sloshed over his fingers – his auditory system too far gone to register the accompanying gasp.

Miharu would never ask him.

He knew that, trusted that.

It only made him want to tell him more – to share the little piece of himself that could explain everything - voluntarily, for the first time. The quiet boy wouldn't react like the others, wouldn't try to 'fix' him.

But the truth would taint him. It would let a tiny piece of his own darkness into the quiet boy's innocent soul.

Yoite refused to be the one to ruin Miharu. If anyone did within his lifetime, that person wouldn't see another sunrise.

So, day after day, he resisted.

Even if it left Miharu with no explanation, no absolution.

Because it was better this way.

Because that small, devil child was the first person Yoite's decimated, barely-beating black hole of a heart had ever wholly loved.

"Here," came Miharu's murmuring voice, close enough to his ear for him to perceive the sound "be careful, though. It's hot."

Answering with a smile and inclining his head, Yoite brought the pale green mug to his lips, temperature barely registering in his chimney sweep hands.

Returning his smile with a quick flick of his lips, Miharu rose and padded back to the kettle, bare feet leaving momentary smudges on the icy floorboards. Yoite watched him as he held the teabag still for the water to flow over, then jiggling it to speed up the diffusion process.

Having made his tea, Miharu crossed the room and settled on the couch, looking at Yoite expectantly, obviously waiting for the obsidian haired teen to join him. He looked kindly away as his elder struggled up, seeming to know instinctively that Yoite would hate to be reminded of his condition, which more than qualified as a disability at this point.

After a few moments, he was seated next to Miharu, who'd jabbed the 'power' button on the remote and was analysing the technicolour offerings. Eventually, he decided on what looked like a standard issue 'whodunit?'.

Yoite turned his head, watching the boy stare mechanically at the TV. He shivered slightly, the window was cracked open, and even though Miharu blocked most of the draught with his form, enough of the mild breeze crept around Miharu to seat the cold a little deeper in his bones.

Miharu set the remote aside and lifted himself, moving to the window and slipping it shut. Returning to the couch, he slid his hand over Yoite's.

The darkly dressed teen almost shivered again, purely out of reaction to the seemingly livid heat in his young friend's skin.

A small smile walked across his face. Miharu always knew. Always.