~K is not mine!~
As the Blue King began his solitary trek back off of the school island, he felt the warm rush of despair flood his face. He paused in step –his hesitance and regret would never make it to the bridge- and turned his eyes to the sky in quiet sadness. He had failed in his mission; Suoh Mikoto was dead.
"You fool," He murmured, closing his eyes now against a world without Red- without fire or heat. His surroundings felt cold after the deep warmth of Mikoto's aura and Munakata barely repressed a shiver as he felt goose bumps rise on his fair skin. "leaving me with this… what about them?" Munakata knew that HOMRA would be waiting dutifully, as it always had, for its King to return; despite being thugs, they were loyal, and they were like a family. The realization of what he'd done stung him again and the Blue king broke his solemn silence with a short gasp from within.
That little girl –the Strain, "Anna"- loved Mikoto dearly. Would she cry for him tonight? Would she lie awake and wonder what monster took Mikoto's life and didn't do more to help her King? Would she lose her safe place in the world and fall into harm's way?
Munakata didn't know, but the idea set fire to his cold heart. He ground his teeth against emotion, gripping the hilt of his sword tightly, and bowed his head sharply.
Grudgingly, Munakata's jaw slackened and, recovering his cool mask, the blue-haired King returned to his walk and shook away the snow that had begun to fall. The final act of the Red King had changed the temperature, moving the atmosphere to snow, and now the world was weeping for him in its way. The snowflakes were like teardrops in the sky and, falling down into Munakata's vision, they reminded him of something else that had fallen tonight and caused him much more pain.
And Mikoto had just taken it.
Arms out like a martyr as he looked up with the serenest expression on his paling face, sparking blood-red, and closed his gold-coin eyes before they could reflect the sky. Munakata's eyes were fixed on him; his high cheekbones, his smooth skin, the pools of gold that hid carefully behind his eyelids.
Sound funnelled as he stood there, Blue watching the Red prepare for his death as calmly as he would for battle, and Munakata gasped as a rumble shook them both. The sword was falling! He had to do something; anything! The whole island would be crushed, and so would everyone on shore; the Red clansmen and his would die, but he would live on by the power of his kingship.
So Munakata stabbed him.
He thrust his sword forward, drove it deep into the red-haired man's chest, and the splatter of blood pouring from both sides soaked his sword hand. In the deathly silence, Munakata felt as if his breaths were firing like cannon blasts, and he could hardly catch his breath. And even then, with his dying breath, Mikoto tried to comfort his little girl on shore.
"CAPTAIN!" Munakata paused on the bridge as his comrades' voices rose, but their cries and cheers couldn't block a scream from reaching him
"MIKOTO!" Wincing at the heart-wrenching cry, Munakata paused to put his glasses on again and he swallowed at the red stain on his right hand. However painful her little voice was, Munakata knew he couldn't stand in the snow forever. He took a deep breath and continued into the crowd of Blues waiting and cheering for his "victory".
He let them wash over him, his face passive and unexpressive, until he reached the end of the crowd where his lieutenant and the ex-HOMRA clansmen were standing. They hadn't come to congratulate him, or to console him; they waited and waited for him to speak but he didn't break his own imposed silence.
He had to hear it, all of it.
"No Blood..." Someone said roughly, "No Bone... No Ash!" More voices joined him, broken and weak, but mighty as one until all of the Blues present had fallen silent.
"No Blood... No Bone... No Ash!" The voices rallied, their hoarse tears strengthening their cry. Munakata felt the blood on his hand tingle like an electric current, making him clench his fingers into a fist. "No Blood... No Bone... No Ash!"
"No Blood! No Bone! No Ash!" Munakata let the rest of his men keep walking, standing vigil near where the bridge met land, and he hung his head shamefully as the Red clansmen took up their cry dutifully. He could hear their pain -it was a raw, and violent, and painfully beautiful way to salute their leader- and it burned him like their fire. He took a gasp that had been meant as a breath and felt his lip quiver. "No Blood! No Bone! No Ash!"
He heard Fushimi hiss, glancing up for what he knew would be the final purge of the Red King's power from his people, and he closed his eyes against the beautiful red stars that rose around him. Before he knew it, he was on the beach, eyes fixed on the final red banner hung in the sky as he staggered down the snowy shore. He said nothing, his steps smooth and steady, until he could see the upturned, teary faces of HOMRA up ahead.
No one had noticed in the midst of their mourning for their king, and Munakata was glad for the brief moment of solitude. His clansmen would look for him soon, or the people gathered on the beach would notice him, and then he would be turned away back into harsh duty and clinical law. He would cease to be a man and be the Blue King again, his emotions forced under the prosessional shell and behind the isolative barrier of power; his equal was gone.
Munakata did realize he had shed tears until the mass of HOMRA dispursed -their group dynamic had weakened with the fall of their king, freeing a few from their weaker bonds of kinship. The few that had accompanied Mikoto the most -ten clansmen, most hardly legal age- turned to each other and, by doing so, turned to see him standing on their beach.
The girl had been revelling in the beautiful glow near the water, her arms loose at her sides, and she didn't notice him. He had his eyes on her, as she watched the lights, and his heart stalled as she lifted her arms from her sides and twirled.
Mikoto's arms lifted lazily, nearly a stretch, and his palms opened as if he were about to embrace the Sword of Damocles. His golden eyes glistened -perhaps unshed tears?- as they slid closed, and he breathed deeply as he let his shoulders relax. The tense, wild aura slipped off his shoulders like a blanket, and Munakata felt his own eyes burn as the sight of Mikoto's serene expression hinted at so much.
Munakata caught the girl's wrist before her arms could rise, making a few of her companions cry out, and he dropped to his knees. The Blue King forgot his dignity for a moment -his title, his authority, meant nothing to him for now- and pulled her to his chest to embrace her tightly. She didn't struggle against him, seeming more surprised than frightened by having what had been her king's enemy holding her close, and Munakata shook silently.
'It's my fault, I'm sorry. I'm wicked, and cruel, and I took him from all of you.' Munakata's mind whispered, clogging his throat with guilt. 'I should die for my sins. I stabbed your king. His blood is on my hand, and I'm touching you, and I'm pretending everything will be alright.' Munakata let her go when she pushed, his arms fall open like a rag doll's, and he bowed his head to her.
There, on his knees, Munakata waited for their scorn. Their abuse.
He let the little girl lift his chin and see his teary eyes. He let her take away his glasses, her red eyes searching his face, and let her take away his sword. She took them all from him, bundling them into her arms, and she tugged at his jacket sleeve once before he took that off too and let her wrap it all together.
And then he knelt in the snow, shivering as the cold seeped into his legs and spread across his back and neck, with his eyes locked to hers as best he could with his poor vision.
'I'm alone, and I've forced you to be alone with me.' "I'm sorry." He whispered, looking down at his hands -too white and stained red where the lay in his lap- and fisting them tightly. "I... Mikoto..."
She touched his face, a warm hand on his cold cheek, and Munakata closed his eyes.
"Fuck you!" Suddenly, a raw voice like his own broke the young girl's silence and the skateboarder Munakata had heard so much about broke ranks to approach him. His angry eyes were red-rimmed with tears and his lip quivered while Munakata watched, but his anger seemed to transcend his grief for the time. Munakata was something he could fight. "You think you can just come here all fucking humble and make up for this?!" He pointed wildly at the fading red glow over the island, his own panic visible at the fading colour, and turned on Munakata with murder in his eyes.
He kicked out, catching the Blue King's shoulder, but Munakata didn't retaliate.
"Yata!" A blond man -Izumo?- caught his shoulder before he could hit him again and pulled Yata out of range. He said somethign quietly to the young man, melting anger off his face, and he left the teen with another clansmen to crumble under his grief more privately. The blond stepped forward, touching other shoulders and backs and heads as he did so, and stopped beside the girl.
She looked up. "He's sorry, Izumo." Looking back at him, Munakata was surprised that the little girl could be so frank. Wasn't she angry? He stiffened as she tried to throw his coat around his shoulders, nearly making it, and hesitantly tugged it on the rest of the way.
"Did he..." Munakata heard the emotion overwhelm Izumo and glanced up tiredly, meeting his eyes. "How?" With no words, Munakata lifted his right hand and looked away, exposing the blood to what was left of HOMRA. "...ah. I see."
"He said he was sorry..." Munakata finally told him, swallowing harshly. "something about a lovely red and... Anna?" He glanced at the girl, earning a sad smile and a nod, to which he responded in kind. He looked to Izumo again: "And that I was to... "take care" of a few of his clansmen."
"What?" Izumo looked shocked. He looked around, seeming anxious, and carded a hand through his hair. "'Take care of'? How so? Who?"
"He had a list of names. Ten. You, her, and that young man there are among them... and I intend to keep with his wishes." Munakata squared his shoulders calmly, feeling a little lighter as he knelt there, but his legs were growing quite numb. "There were others, which I assume are the others here, but I can't be sure."
"List them out." Said another man softly, stepping out of the group and squatting near Munakata. His hood and sunglasses hid most of his face, but Munakata didn't need to see him fully to know that he was grieving. "Get on with it already."
"Izumo, Anna, Yata." Munakata said quickly, nodding to each of them and earning only a teary snarl from the skateboarder. "Rikio,"
"That's me." The larger of them raised a hand, wiping his nose on his sleeve, and grimaced. He patted Yata's shoulder, bearing with the teen as Yata dug his fingers into his forearm. "I'm RIkio."
"Chitose and Masaomi?" Two men stepped ofrward, one in a derby hat and the other smoking moodily. They nodded, not distinguishing between the two names, and Munakata didn't complain. "Kosuke, Eric, Shohei," Munakata watched the three men nod or raise a hand at their name and, finally, he turned to the man squatting with him. "and Bando."
"That's all of us." Izumo nodded, taking a puff of a cigarette. He didn't seem to know where to look, but Munakata would never rush the blond after what he'd done. He did, however, cup his hands near his mouth and try to heat them as discreetly as he could. Izumo looked at him: "Anna, give him his things? He should go..."
The Blue King was not hesitant to pull his arms through the jacket's sleeves, or to reclip the sword to his belt, but putting his glasses back on meant he would be fully uniformed and the Blue King once more. Did he want to put them on?
His hesitation showed through, because Anna put them on for him and smiled faintly.
"We'll be in touch." Izumo murmured hoarsely, locking eyes with him as he stood. "To figure Mikoto's... wishes out?"
"Of course." Munakata said quietly, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out his ID pass. He didn't give it to Anna, or to Izumo or Bando; he walked past them, all the way to where Yata was struggling to keep face, and went down on one knee. "This pass will get you past Annex Four security like the PDAs for the high school." He explained, forcing the young man to take it. When Yata looked ready to argue, Munakata added, "In case you want to beat the shit out of me, Misaki."
And then he nodded, murmuring one final apology, and dutifully returned to the bridge when his PDA signalled a message from his lieutenant had arrived. He would contact HOMRA later, to make sure that he could "take care of them" like Mikoto wanted.
He would do it, or he would die trying.
~K is not mine!~
A/N: Um... tah-dah? I don't know, everyone, but leave me reviews to tell me what you think. I'm not really sure where this came from; not in the slightest.