lightrobber: (Muraki | we all fall short of glory)
[personal profile] lightrobber
Happy birthday, [ profile] gantai! Have a fic~ :3


The moon hung full and blood-red in the cloudless night sky. Hisoka could feel his pulse pounding madly in his throat as he raced down the streets of Tokyo, weaving between people and ducking around couples who strolled idly hand in hand. He narrowly avoided running headlong into someone who suddenly stepped into his path from an unlit back alley. He had barely enough time to register the long black coat and the sunglasses that reflected his own flushed face back at him, half a heartbeat for a hurried not-at-all-apologetic "sorry" before he took off again. Hijiri. He had to find Hijiri.

But Hijiri was lost. Caught in a wire mesh, suspended halfway between pain and pleasure; eyes watering, tears streaming down his face, though he was no longer even aware of them. Somebody was screaming. Was it him? He couldn't tell. The ancient sakura branches spread far and wide above him, barren of answers. Blood trickled down his skin. Silver filled his vision and a new wave of pain took him. Breath shuddered out of him as the low murmur of another's voice filled his ear. He couldn't make out the words, though it sounded like they were very important somehow. He strained to hear them and he strained too much because the wires cut in deeper, his throat tightened, and a scream died on his lips. Something broke. Somebody was laughing.

Muraki turned around to regard the white-clad onmyouji who had just flung a spell at him. There was a hint of surprise on the other's face, a fleeting moment when the other glanced at the cherry tree and the boy suspended from its branches in glistening silver wires, as if he'd expected to see someone else; then his jaw set and he focused his gaze on him. The spell had been a powerful one; Muraki gave the young man that much credit. But for someone who'd faced Tsuzuki's shikigami, it was no more than a small puppy's bite. Ofuda flashed again and Muraki batted it aside with an idle sweep of his hand, countering with his own. To distract, not actually pose any real threat because he needed some time to finish a sealing spell. Because the young onmyouji had seen the face of a murderer. He couldn't be allowed to live.

The flare of magic in the park drew attention, though Seishirou's attention had already been drawn there by the proceedings under his tree. He'd been curious - and slightly irritated as well, he had to admit - that somebody else was about to feed the sakura, even if unintentionally. The tree was only too glad about the murder about to take place beneath its branches, but that fact didn't sit particularly well with the Sakurazukamori. He arrived at the scene almost simultaneously with Hisoka, whose attention had been directed there by the flashes of magical energy which, heart sinking in a dawning realisation, he'd recognised as Muraki's. The other source he hadn't been able to identify. He started though, recognising the man he'd almost ran into earlier and briefly wondered about seeing him again here, of all places, but he diverted his gaze to appraise the scene before him. Muraki was fighting someone he didn't know. Hijiri was a half-naked blood-stained mess, strung out beneath a large, age-old cherry tree.

Hisoka moved forwards without thinking, rushing to free Hijiri. He felt Muraki's gaze on him, sensed more than saw the irritated scoff that flicked across his face, as he passed him, but the man he was fighting with kept him busy enough to prevent anything more than that one look cast his way.

"Hijiri!" He reached to undo the wires around the other teen's wrist and quailed from the painful emotional blow he received. Vision going white for a moment, heart pounding wildly in his ears, he staggered back, wrenching his hands away. His head spun and he shook it in order to clear his mind. He needed to help him; he couldn't afford to get blindsided by his own power. He resumed working at the wires again, this time being more careful to avoid touching skin.

"" Hijiri looked at the other through a daze of pain, unsure of what he was seeing. If he was seeing at all.

"I'm here," Hisoka ground out through clenched teeth. His head was throbbing with pain, and the coils around Hijiri's wrist were coming undone much slower than he would've liked. "I've got you."

Seishirou watched a seal snap in place around Subaru, tying him down with invisible threads and quirked an eyebrow at the silver-haired man's prowess. When he saw that the spell kept his prey trapped, he considered his further way of action by studying his would-be opponent even more closely.

"Not going to attack me?" Muraki turned towards him and quirked an eyebrow in unconcealed amusement. He was finding this situation as troublesome as he found it exhilarating.

"Should I?" Seishirou countered with polite interest in his voice, reaching into his pocket for a cigarette and lighting it. Then, after a moment's deliberation, he extended the pack towards the other man. "I was merely passing by."

Muraki considered him, then stepped forwards and accepted the offer, ever so slightly leaning in towards the lighter as it flickered to life. His artificial eye glinted with reflected flame.

Hisoka, realising that all battle noise had subsided, glanced back over his shoulder. The sight of the two men standing there and smoking in a display of camaraderie made something twist in his gut. Abandoning Hijiri for the time being, he pulled out his own ofuda - he'd been studying dutifully after his last encounter with the murderer - and attacked.

"Muraki," he snarled, raising the spell and narrowing his eyes in hatred. The need of keeping calm and collected had fled his mind entirely at the sight of what had been done to Hijiri and the realisation of what else Muraki ha planned on doing to him. It was the worst sense of deja-vu he'd ever experienced.

He didn't get far, however. With an idle gesture, Seishirou wrapped him up in an illusion, sakura branches twining around him and lifting him off the ground.

"Good little boys should wait for their turn," he intoned.

Stunned for a moment, Hisoka froze, then strained against the branches, seeking to tap into the spell to find a way to unravel it. But the sakura shifted, whispering across the blossoms that budded along the knobbly sprigs, wreathing him in their cloying scent. Overwhelmed, he screamed. Seishirou raised his eyebrows in surprise. No one had ever reacted quite that way to the tree, though Subaru's attempt to exorcise it so far had been his favourite.

"That boy," Muraki explained with a delighted smile, "is an empath."

"I see. I was wondering about that when I... ran into him on the street earlier." He put a deliberate emphasis on the word.

"Oh? Were you interested in him? He is quite a troublesome boy."

Seishirou took a thoughtful drag of his cigarette, through his sunglasses eyeing the trapped Subaru who still hadn't managed to break free from the binding spell. The Sumeragi heir shot a cold stare his way, a slight frown creasing his forehead as he strained at the invisible trap, trying, in vain, to unravel it and keeping stoically silent. "I've come to find that I like them troublesome."

Muraki hummed, pleased with the turn things were taking. "Perhaps we can come to an agreement here."

Seishirou regarded him with cold calculation. And smiled. "Perhaps we can."

They finished their smokes and moved towards the sakura tree; black and white, side by side. As Subaru watched helplessly, all of his spells coming up short against the seal, Muraki returned to Hijiri's side, picking up where he'd left off while Seishirou traced his fingers down the side of Hisoka's face, delving into the boy's mind, watching his body shudder and tremble violently at the intrusion. He pulled him back to consciousness and the first sound out of his mouth was another scream.

He leaned in closer, whispering to the boy, "Let me take the pain away." His knuckles stroked a line down his cheek, reassuring, calming, feeding the emotions to the empathetic teen and he yielded, just a fraction. But that was all that was necessary for Seishirou. He sealed the impact from the sakura away and the teen breathed easier in an instant. He shuddered, as the death and magic was held at bay, churning at the fringes of his consciousness, bearing down on the seal holding them in place, but otherwise unable to reach him and overwhelm his senses again. Not that there was any need for that. Seishirou's touch was for too overwhelming on its own.

"Scared?" he whispered against the boy's lips, leaning in close, looking into those dazed green eyes that held the same brilliance as his precious Subaru's. "Don't be." You should be.

On the surface, Hisoka could only see his own reflection on black sunglasses. Below that, he was seeing flashes of murders and deaths every time Seishirou's fingers touched him. He kept his touches brief enough to keep him relatively attentive, but Hisoka could tell that he'd done something beyond that. That he'd somehow, someway lessened the impact on his ability. Like slamming a gate against an oncoming flood, he'd raised a dam which the young shinigami didn't know if he ought to be grateful for.

Beside him, Hijiri gasped and writhed in the wires as Muraki's fingers finished tracing the lines of a curse onto his skin in blood and pain. They blossomed fire-red, burning into his skin and then fading into nothingness, as the doctor whispered along every action, telling him how to undo it all only if he was a good and patient boy and listened closely to his words. Hijiri thought he'd memorised the beginning, but by now all of the words and signs had become an indecipherable jumble of pain and liquid fire, scorching him on levels that ought to be impossible. He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him because the barren branches above his head now stood covered in flowers, casting the world in an ethereal glow in the red moonlight.

The words of a prayer pulled Muraki away from Hijiri and towards Subaru.

Seishirou turned his head to follow his movement out of the corner of his one good eye. "Kill him, and I'll kill you," he warned silkily. Beneath him, Hisoka gasped sharply from the murderous intent that flashed briefly to the forefront and jerked violently in his restraints.

The smile Muraki shot him over his shoulder wasn't entirely reassuring, but the small nod of acknowledgement let him know that he had been heard and his words taken into consideration. "I don't care what you do with that boy. The other one, however..."

And just like that, an understanding had been reached.

Seishirou turned his attention back to the writhing Hisoka, murmuring gentle nothings and watching the boy's eyes widen and glaze over as his intent flooded him. He reached up and removed his sunglasses to regard him in the otherworldly light. The sakura branches drew tighter around his new prey, anchoring him into this illusory world, though he was no more than an illusion himself. He leaned down to the boy's neck and breathed in deeply of the fear, the pain, and despair. And smiled.

Subaru gasped when Muraki slammed a spell right into his chest, winding him and distracting him with the pain. The words of the incantation died on his lips. The white-clad doctor ran a hand down his chest, twisting the fabric above his heart sharply, grazing a nipple. He leaned in, murmuring low a spell of his own and binding Subaru's will, his intention to fight. His mind resisted, but Muraki's hands slid beneath his shirt, tracing spell lines on his skin, distracting him. He bit back a groan of pain, arms straining against the bindings that held them pinned above his head in a desperate instinct to defend himself, to do something, but the sight of the wire-bound and bleeding boy and Seishirou's back bowed over another boy was already slipping from his view. Silver filled his vision, pain stabbed through him, and the moon bled its fire-red light over him.

Above it all, sakura bloomed madly.
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October 2013


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