Title: Collateral Damage.
Fandom: Aphorism
Warning: PG-13
Characters: Hakamada, Hinata.
Summary: Hakamada would like Hinata to know that dying fucking sucks, thank you very much.
Words: 975.
Hurt/Comfort square:forced to hurt somebody


Collateral Damage.


It fucks off Hakamada how Hinata gets him killed, time and time again. And yeah, so immortality is a pretty fantastic trait that Brains probably wishes he had come up with himself, but still. Death isn't one of those things that Hakamada should just be expected to get over, you know? Hakamada gets the same uniform allowance as everyone else, and each time he is burnt to a crisp, has his head chopped off, or ends up with his innards outwards, there is a whole lot of collateral damage.

Ha! And that's just with the quick deaths, the ones where Hakamada is here one moment then here again a moment later, some grotesque death scene played out in-between for everyone else's benefit.

The slow deaths, the ones where he is speared through on some putrid, rotting claw, blood slicking down his spine and regurgitating up though his throat-

Hinata forgets the little things – the little people – in his all so logical attempt to save the world. But most of all he forgets the dizzying heights of pain and that thundering, horrifying moment just beforeyour heart stops. Hinata thinks he can solve it all by simply kicking Hakamada off a building or shooting him through the brain, because everything will reboot back to where it once was. Ok, so technically that is what happens, but for such an intelligent boy Hinata forgets very quickly how the mind works.

Because the memories? The memories remain like a stain. They're dangerous and hot, one moment spiralling Hakamada into a dark depression and anxiety that reduces him to nothing. The next, those same memories destroy his concepts of mortality altogether.

He doesn't mean to hurt Hinata. It just sort of happens. Hakamada's become so used to breathing being a casual sort of acquaintance that he forgets for a moment how imperative it is for everyone else. He dodges out of the way of the sharp tentacle, shooting a smirk back over his shoulder at Hinata because Hakamada is totally not playing this game for once. The smirk evaporates in horror as Hinata's grey face stares back at him, thick blood slicking through trembling fingers. And then Hinata falls, his knees buckling beneath him as he sinks slowly to the ground.

Hakamada is too struck dumb to catch him.

"It's ok," Hinata says when he wakes days later, eyes groggy and his movements retarded. His voice is a little hoarse, and Hakamada hurriedly fetches Hinata a glass of water before he even asks. Hinata smiles benignly, and Hakamada realises belatedly that he is once again doing Hinata's bidding.

Arsehole. If Hinata thinks-

The paper cup rattles in Hinata's hand, and Hakamada only just catches it in time. Hinata flinches backwards, a cloudy disorientation momentarily settling over him before Hinata somehow manages to shake it away.

It strikes Hakamada like a fist how fragile Hinata is, how ... temporary. The deep wound is going to limit any of Hinata's involvement in the upcoming fights, but where exactly is there for him to hide? The eclipses don't discriminate between healthy and injured students.

And even if Hinata does need time to heal, even if he can take it safely-

Hakamada remembers how the others had hunted down the flame-girl, forgoing humanity in a desperate attempt to save themselves. What will they do to Hinata, he wonders, to make sure he continues to guide them through this torture festival? Will they tie an injured Hinata to a pole and stake him in the middle of each battlefield, forcing him to come up with ways to save them all?

Will Hakamada be one of Hinata's saviours, refusing to play into their savage games and plotting his rescue? Or will Hakamada stand beneath him, Hinata's blood dripping onto Hakamada's shirt while he begs Hinata to find some way, any way out of this?

There is a taut concern in the way Hinata runs his hand down across his bandages, surveying his injury with emotionless eyes, which suggests Hinata already knows there are consequences if he is unable to fulfil his role.

If they're going to get through this, they need Hinata.

Just as they need fire.

Just as they need something supernatural to up their odds a little bit.

Shit.

Just as they need a crash test dummy with an ability to put himself back together again.

It's kind of comforting, knowing that Hinata is just as fucked as he is. At least Hakamada succeeds in something each time he dies. If Hinata fails and gets something wrong, then a more permanent death is probably all their fates. It's not that Hinata is some kind of god, but they're just a little screwed without him.

Bastard.

Still, when Hinata slowly drags himself up from the bed, pain lingering in his eyes and his shoulders hunched protectively, Hakamada offers Hinata his shoulder. Hinata's surprised gaze darts over to him, and you know what? Just for a moment, Hinata looks his age. Tired and hurt and vulnerable. Childish, even.

Hakamada almost prefers Hinata when he's being a dick. But, maybe...

The wall explodes in a storm of plaster and paint, tentacles spiking inwards and piercing through into the room behind them. Hakamada hasn't any time to think, no time at all to plan ... and why is this happening now, damn it! Right when he's maybe (sort of) coming around-

A wicked grin sparks across Hinata's lips like an electric current, and he shoves Hakamada in front of him just as the next tentacle shoots into the room.

Son of a bi-