Kimi Wa Boku No Mono Desu Ne

These tiny moments of absolute despair are perhaps the closest that we can come to perfection inside a mortal life - for absolute joy fractures the moment that we try to hold it, falling to a thousand bloodstained pieces in our hands, and we stand there, looking at the fragments as our hands begin to drip slow red, and listen to the white rising tide of emptiness that comes when there is nothing else left.

For a moment I thought that you were going to die. I could see the vines moving under your skin, tracing the blue lines of your veins.

I have watched your wrists at times, at moments when you thought I was just smiling at nothing in particular. They're very delicate wrists for a man of your height and strength. I like them.

Then Sanzou resolved the matter. His decisiveness is one of the beautiful things about him. He took command, and calmly shot the plant out of you without so much as batting an eyelash. After that, my healing you was no more than an afterthought.

I thought about that, later. When I consider him, I see him as a work of art, something complete and precise; gold and ivory and amethyst, all put together but left unstamped because the maker had no need to record his identity. You I see differently, Gojyo. I am always discovering something new about you. You change, you evolve, you make me laugh. You I could affect. Him I would have to leave the same.

Kanan used to say that once I made up my mind about something, I could be quite ruthless. She would say so quietly, with that happy little smile - is that my smile? Is that all I have left of her? - and then she would laugh, as though it meant nothing. It didn't mean anything, then. It was only later that I realized she had known me better than I knew myself. That she spoke the absolute truth.

The perfection I now enjoy is the momentary perfection of despair, of choosing not to try to own. The words which I consider framing fall like gems through my mind, each carefully honed, all of them put together in a chain which could bind you or him. It adds to the piquancy of it that I don't make a decision between the pair of you, and that I spend my time considering possible choices. Words. Actions. The heat of flesh and a broken voice begging.

My reflection in the wing mirror of the jeep is smiling a habitual, tiny smile.

It's a way of staying sane, you know. Playing little if-when-then games. Sometimes it stops people actually doing things that . . .

. . . well, no. I wouldn't regret it. Any more than I regret those thousand youkai. I regret Kanan. I nearly bled to death for Kanan. Who would have thought so tiny a heart as mine could bleed with so much grief and pain?

I don't intend to lose you. Any of you three. I've come to appreciate you.

And I don't think I'll do it.

At least, not today.

I'll just sit back and relax into despair as I watch something I want sitting next to me and yet being a thousand miles away, entirely out of my reach.

You don't want me to love you, Gojyo. Really you don't.

I might change my mind tomorrow.


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