Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.

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[=]

The reason they place a plastic tarp over the bed before they have sex is because afterwards, when Akashi is positively glowing, his lips flushed from kissing and his skin tinged a light pink, eyes glossed over, Midorima will reach into the bedside table and pull out a paring knife and sink it deep into Akashi's chest and carve out his heart, pulling at the veins and letting the blood soak into his hands and run over the tarp. Then, when the blood is still warm and running off the chest cavity, Midorima leans back, out of breath, the knife lying in the pool on the tarp, and watches as Akashi's body reverses time and stitches itself back together until he is covered in his own blood and taking deep breaths as he stares up at the ceiling.

"Is it a mood killer?" Akashi asks once, sitting up and letting the blood run – still fresh – down his body and examines the knife. "Holding me, and then cutting me up like an animal?"

"Sort of," Midorima says, looking away. He's already past the point of throwing up after these rituals. Instead, he brings Akashi a wet towel to wipe himself off before busying himself with disposing the blood. The bedroom looks like a crime scene, but Midorima is meticulous when it comes to cleaning. He would make the best accomplice.

Akashi kisses him after the blood is all gone and his lips taste sweet again.

[=]

Akashi and Midorima meet at some event, unimportant enough that neither of them can recall it several months later. All Midorima can really remember is that their eyes meet, and he thinks he has curious eyes and later after a couple flutes of champagne, they tumble into bed together at Akashi's hotel room and consummate a spontaneous relationship.

Later, when he is in the bathroom washing his hair, Akashi walks in and flings open the shower curtain, holding a pair of scissors. "Stab me with them," he asks as Midorima struggles to keep shampoo out of his eyes. When Midorima refuses, as expected, Akashi turns the edge of the scissors against his bare chest and presses it deep into his heart. The blood gets everywhere and Midorima stumbles back against the tiled wall of the shower and almost trips. Akashi gives him a demure smile and drops the bloody scissors into the warm water. Midorima watches as the blood stops and the wound seemingly closes itself before vomiting into the pink water at his feet.

"The thing is," Akashi says, when they're sitting on the bed later, much later when Midorima collects himself, and they're sitting next to each other in the hotel bath robes, "I'm kind of like a god. I can't die by normal means. My body rejects it."

"Just because you can heal yourself doesn't mean you can't die," Midorima reasons. Akashi doesn't strike him as a cuddling kind of man, with the way he held everyone who spoke to him at the event at a distance, but he supposes stabbing oneself will make one a little vulnerable. Akashi rests his head against his shoulder, and it's a welcoming weight. "It isn't that you don't age, is it?"

"I suppose not," Akashi shrugs. "It might be too early to tell. When you grow old, your body deteriorates from age, but if my body heals itself, that won't happen, will it." He looks up at Midorima with mismatched eyes. "I'll never die."

"Don't be full of yourself," Midorima says, for lack of a better thing to say, and Akashi leans up to kiss him.

[=]

Akashi says he doesn't have any family, and that frightens Midorima slightly at first – perhaps Akashi has already lived several lifetimes and he's cavorting around with a thousand year old being – but he finds later after an afternoon at the local library, upon stumbling upon some recent news articles, that Akashi is actually the son of the prosperous Akashi family. He just hadn't made the connection before. Akashi doesn't deny it when Midorima brings it up during dinner.

"I've cut myself from them," Akashi says normally, spearing his food and eating as if he was not speaking about family estrangement. "They're the type that would use my power for profit, and only I can do that to myself." His demeanor speaks of times of neglect and solidarity. Midorima feels himself feel pity and tries to hide it.

Later that night, Akashi seems distracted and walks him through the cutting process. "Cut out pieces of me," Akashi orders, and groans in an almost pleasured way when Midorima complies. "Mangle me up, slit my throat."

The blade hovers over Akashi's throat, red from hickeys that never stay overnight. "I can't," Midorima says, his voice failing. It's taken him so long to get to sinking a blade into Akashi's chest, building up from cutting deep gashes into his arms and legs, but such a sensitive place – he can't.

Akashi growls, actually growls, and reaches up to guide Midorima's hand through the process. Afterwards, Akashi walks, wrapping the sheets around him and staining them a deep red, and reaches the bathroom, where Midorima is kneeling on the floor, where he ran to and retched in after Akashi's body rebuilt itself. "I'm sorry," Akashi says, but his voice isn't apologetic in the least. "I shouldn't have pushed you like that."

"Your voice is flat," Midorima says, and his voice is tired. His eyes flutter shut and he lets out a deep breath as he learns against the toilet. Akashi gathers the sheets and sits down in front of him, almost angelic with the white around him and the red like roses stained through.

"I'm sorry," he says again, and this time he looks a little earnest. Midorima watches him exhaustedly. "I won't ask you to do that again."

"I'm afraid sometimes," Midorima interrupts, "that one day you'll lose your healing ability and I'll really kill you. And I'll just watch you die in front of me. It haunts me so much I second-guess myself every time I do it."

"Why do you do it then?"

"Because you tell me to." Midorima meets his eyes. "Because you tell me to, and I trust you."

"It wouldn't be so bad to die at your hand," Akashi says pleasantly, and collects and makes a makeshift pillow out of a corner of the sheets on Midorima's lap to lay his head on. "So that's why you don't like it; anywhere else, you could save me, but the coronary, the heart – beyond salvation."

"Right." They stay on the floor of the bathroom for a long while. "You'll catch cold if you sleep on the floor, Akashi."

"Carry me to bed, Shintarou."

[=]

Midorima doesn't know if he should blame Akashi's upbringing or the fact that he can't die that makes him so seeming insensitive to others. News stories about deaths and murders and war don't make him bat an eyelash. "They couldn't withstand it, so it was time," he says. "If you can't fight your way through, you may as well not deserve to live."

The rich have a bloated head, usually, or at least that's what he's told as a child. I wouldn't be like that, he used to think. When I become wealthy. I won't forget my common roots.

Akashi is on a level above everyone's head. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and now able to cheat death left and right, Midorima wonders how he amuses himself with the people around him. He may be able to reconstruct himself, but Akashi still feels pain, so he supposes the pain is the only thing keeping him humble enough to stay amongst mortal men. Akashi doesn't cry out when he gets hurt, but takes it silently as if it doesn't.

Midorima watches as the trauma spot seems to go back in time, developing and going in reverse, the flesh materializing and the skin sealing itself again.

It takes Akashi a while to understand why Midorima gets so upset when he gets into a car accident (nothing too harmful, just a few rough scratches but no broken bones and the car is in worse shape than he is) and Akashi visits him with a blank look and no concept of concern. "You're alright," Akashi says. "Why would I be worried?"

"I try," Akashi tells him when they're home and Midorima is making up the bed in the spare room for himself. "I try to understand, but I can't. You know this."

Midorima sighs because it's true. It's the same as trying to describe color to someone blind. He doesn't think Akashi would ever understand the sort of panic he went through as he crashed, images of his still uneventful life and the idea of leaving Akashi alone and behind. So he lets Akashi sleep with him, breathing softly pressed against him, who can't sleep just yet.

[=]

(When Akashi hears Midorima's been in an accident, he becomes numb all over because he's been in a car accident before, when he was younger someone drunkenly crashed into the family car. He can remember the force, the way it shook all of his young bones and the way his neck snapped but fixed itself before the paramedics found him. Luckily, his other family members suffered only minor bruises and breaks and Akashi was proclaimed a medical miracle.

He rushes over to the hospital because he knows Midorima doesn't like pain; he knows the way the man's face contorts if he burns himself or bumps into things hard. He knows the face Midorima makes when he cuts and paints his body with his own blood. His breath comes in short gasps and Akashi wonders if he's going through a panic attack, because if it was something with his body, it would fix itself but he can't breathe right until he is informed that Midorima will be alright and is in room 406.

A part of him wants to rush in and throw his arms around Midorima, but his father's stern lectures keep him from doing it and he paints his impassive features on, because that's how a man stays strong even when he wants to cry.)

[=]

They're stopped on the side of a dark street one night on the way home by a man who pulls out a knife and demands their wallets. "If you don't hand them over, I won't hesitate to kill you," he threatens. Midorima sighs and complies and digs his wallet out.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Akashi says, and grabs his wrist before he can hand over his wallet. "This place is usually well patrolled; you'll be caught before you can make off with our possessions."

"Hand them over!" the thief yells, and brandishes his knife. Midorima reflexively steps in front of Akashi. "I'll do it, really!"

"Of course," Akashi says, and looks down the street. A police officer is making their way toward them and the thief notices too and scampers off. The officer calls backup and they give their statements and make it home without further problems.

"Why did you do that?" Akashi asks as Midorima pushes another finger into him. "Put yourself in front of me? You know I wouldn't have been hurt if he stabbed me."

"If people found out about you, they'd take you away from me," Midorima says simply, a little out of character for him, and when he reaches for a knife afterwards, Akashi stops him.

"It's okay tonight." Midorima raises an eyebrow. "I'm tired, I don't want to do it today." He turns his back to Midorima and curls up against the wall and falls into a dreamless sleep.

[=]

"You've desensitized me," Midorima states one day. "I watched a documentary on factory farms and I didn't see anything special about it."

Akashi smiles wanly. "I'm glad."

"I'm not sure I am."

"Isn't it good?" Akashi insists. "You're stronger than regular people. You've got a stomach of steel now." He chuckles to himself. Midorima doesn't laugh and continues washing the vegetables.

"Why do you make me do it?"

They find out that they're out of rice so Akashi takes the keys and takes the car out to buy a bag, and they finish making dinner, and it's good, so they set out the shogi board for a quick game before bed (but no sex, Midorima has the early shift the next morning), and right as Akashi wins, Midorima asks again:

"Why do you make me do it?"

[=]

(What Akashi will not let anyone know is that he's afraid. He's afraid of a lot of things. He's afraid of saying he's afraid. Fear cripples people. Another thing that cripples people are emotions.

What he used to be afraid of was to be found out and constantly dissected and studied and drugged. After he meets Midorima, he's afraid of being turned in. Now he's just afraid of everything, practically. He's afraid Midorima will leave him for someone normal. He's afraid Midorima will die and leave him without the only person who has ever cared for him. He's most afraid that they'll live out a long life together and then he'll have to watch as Midorima dies and he'll have to bury him under the ground as he keeps on the top of health.

He's afraid because he's in love.

So he asks Midorima to hurt him, because the pain chases away the better thoughts, the thoughts that say that Midorima loves him back and will never leave him. If he equates love with pain, he'll develop a Pavlov's dogs instinct and he won't be sad or disappointed when Midorima leaves. If he dies every time Midorima holds him, and says he loves him, he won't hold hopes. He wants to repulse the man before he gets even closer, so that when he leaves, Akashi won't die but not be dead.)

[=]

"I really love you," Midorima says. "I hope you know that."

Akashi cries, and blames it on the knife in his heart.

[=]

Note: I'm so done.