Nightingale Dreams
"Je me dis que le rossignol
Est sans pitie
Il ne chante pas la pitie
Ni par pitie..."
le tourbillon, Jeanne Moreau

("I believe that the nightingale
Is without pity
He does not sing about pity
Nor for pity...")

He had slipped into dreams somewhere between watching the pale moon and comparing it to his mental image of Tszuki's face. So pale, that sweet touchable skin, but the flush came so quickly when he touched it; so dark, those lovely amethyst eyes, so quick to life and emotion, like water mingled with blood and flashing with color.

Blood was salt and iron when you tasted it. He wondered what Tsuzuki's mouth would taste like. His skin had been soft. The pulse had hammered so hard, so frenetically, in the other man's neck. Both of them had been breathing faster when the boy interrupted.

He dreamed of the dying Tsubaki-hime, her flowerlike face upturned towards him as she whispered that she loved him, as her blood ran out over the deck. Her voice had been sweet. She would have been pleasant to listen to if she had sung a psalm in the Western style, plainsong, where the voice moves in calm progression from note to note, repeating the pattern, varying the length of the notes. She was a pretty child. Had been. She had been a pretty child.

In the end, he had given her honesty twice over; his assurance that he did not love her, and a bullet in her chest, not quite through that much-tormented transplanted heart, but close enough to mean her death. What doctor could offer more than that?

It wasn't as if he loved her any more than he loved Tsuzuki, or even any more than he had loved the boy. (Had the boy finished her off? There had been something about the resonance which whispered back through the old markings of his curse and to the back of his mind, something about a finished death, a completed killing. He would have to check up on that.)

It wasn't about love.

Love was something for other people.

Love didn't exist.

Love was love. He didn't have anything to do with it.

Doctors should not love. (A geisha house in Kyoto. An old friend. But that wasn't love. That was friendship.) Men should not love. (Nobody should love, really.) He did not love.

He hadn't loved his parents. He had certainly not loved Saki. And he did not love Tsuzuki.

It was aesthetic appreciation for the purple-eyed shinigami, and clinical appreciation for his biology. He had to have him.

Now it was Tsuzuki's body on the ground, blood spreading over his dress shirt from where the bullet had struck, gasping thinly through parted lips. The boy and Tsubaki had vanished from the dream, and good riddance to them. It was Tsuzuki lying there, helpless, without even the strength to stand up, to defy him, to try to retreat.

He knelt down beside the other man.

Doctors have no pity. They only do their job. It is their task to heal, not some sort of emotional investment. If doctors had pity for those they fought to heal, surely they would go mad.

One hand moved to cover the wound, feeling the blood hot and sticky, while the other tilted Tsuzuki's head so that he could bend and kiss him.

But as he bent closer, the other man's body dissolved to blood, running away between his fingers, uncatchable, unstoppable. He was kneeling in a sea of blood which stained his white clothing and ran hotly over his hands. He couldn't stop it.

I could drown in you, Tsuzuki, he thought.

Not that I would blame you. Why should you care? Why should you pity me any more than I pity you for being my victim?

I will drown the moon in blood and then I will meet you under red moonlight and we will walk together under red-leaved trees and listen to the night wind. I will touch your warm flesh and listen to your frantic breathing and you will look at me and you will see nothing else. I will taste your blood and own you. I will cut away all your friends from you with a scalpel harsher than anything you can imagine. I will not pity you. I do not love you. I must have you. I cannot wait very much longer.

The moon was shining high in the sky as he opened his eyes. He looked at it, and he thought of Tsuzuki's pale face.

A bird was singing somewhere in the night.

He wondered if birds sang in Meifu.


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