Seimei and the art of insanity. [Seimei/Ritsuka]
Warnings: Um... incest, yay? And Seimei in general. He's a creepy one.
He wants to touch no one. Everyone is filthy to him, dirty and stained with a million things water could never wash away. They're all poisoned, filled to bursting with greed and other despicable things. They're only puppets trying to be human. Being in a crowded room is suffocating to him as he tries to get away, his expression distantly polite but his skin prickling every time he brushes against another breathing carcass.
He knows he's not human. He only pretends to be for everyone else, inside he knows better.
He doesn't hate them, not really. They aren't worth hating - hate is an emotion, and a strong one at that. Disgust and indifference he knows well, but hate is too personal for him.
And yet as he watches this boy walk through the front door to their house, he thinks he's never seen something so utterly delicate, so beautiful and at the same time so utterly /flawed/. He knows he should be sickened with the fact that he's so fragile - there's no room for weakness in this world - but there's something...
The boy is laughing. It's cold out today, so his cheeks are tinted red from the wind. He tells him about his day at school as he takes off his mittens, his words pure and honest. He doesn't hide, he doesn't try, he just /is/.
He takes the little one's hand and kisses it, a shiver running down his spine from something that is not revulsion. He wonders if he feels for this boy, his /brother/. The one who makes him truly seem mortal, a feat that both threatens and intrigues him.
He likes to read. Everyone says that books are an escape, and for him it is no different. He finds them fascinating, these characters who are too smooth, too heroic, too perfect to be human. They try to feel, they claim to feel, but none of it is real - in the end they're all just idealistic fantasies. He sees himself in them, /but he doesn't pretend/.
It bothers him, though, that their fates are decided from the first page.
When the boy, Ritsuka - yes he is Ritsuka he is no matter what he says - interrupts his reading time, he doesn't mind. Anyone else and the dispassionate smile that constantly adorns his face would lose even more sincerity, but Ritsuka is so pretty and soft, so pure unlike the rest. He's not anything but vulnerable - when the woman beats him, he bleeds. When she hates him he cries, even though he thinks he deserves it. He is constantly bent, constantly pressured, but he has not broken yet.
Maybe that's all right for now.
If he has the ability to love - Beloved, one who is loved - he has enough for only one person.
"Are you afraid of me?" he asks, wondering which answer he would prefer. Aren't you afraid of your world, a world that can destroy itself and end your existence? Crush it effortlessly like a butterfly?
"Why should I be?" Ritsuka asks in return, not answering the question. He's so confused, so cute, so /delicate/.
You think I can't hurt you because I'm the only one who loves you. Dangerous. He delights in the younger boy's humanity, wants to drown in it, wants to see nothing else. He also wants, needs to taint him somehow, to not destroy the beauty but to paint it with new colors, because he knows that's the only way Ritsuka can survive and not be taken from him. It irritates him. Nothing so white - he's cracked but still white - can survive in this loathsome world, something that makes him feel a cold rage. Feel.
No matter what, he has to do it, he has to be the one - no one else can touch him. The very thought of it is maddening, and he unconsciously digs his nails into his palms until they bleed, the dark red contrasting aesthetically against his pale skin. Mine. Forever. I am the only one who can...
He knows he's twisted, knows he's wrong, but he's better than the others /because he doesn't pretend/.
He remembers a time when Ritsuka wanted to give him something.
"Seimei!" the boy had called, his voice sparkling with adoration. Ritsuka was eight then, completely content and carefree. No emptiness, no lost memories.
He was thirteen, and even then he was unlike the rest. He took off his glasses and looked into eyes filled with unconditional love and devotion. He smiled, and meant it.
"Brother, I have something for you, because you're the most beautiful person in the world and the best." He'd been told things of this nature before, but Ritsuka's voice was clear and open, not embarrassed or hesitant. "Do you want my ears?"
He laughed softly. "You're too young to be thinking such things. Do you even know what you're saying?"
"What?" Ritsuka looked hurt. "I... I don't know how they're supposed to come off, but I heard that you should give them to the person you love the most. I'm sorry if you don't want them."
Something swept through him for a moment, a feeling (/feeling?/) foreign and warm through his chilled veins. He did not understand then.
"Well," he began, "they are rather soft. I suppose, maybe when you're older..."
His brother interrupted him with a hug, his small arms wrapping around him as tight as they could. "Thank you!"
He returned the embrace, knowing that he should look and not touch, the heat of the other scorching his cold, dead skin. He wondered if this was what it felt like to be alive.
"You won't remember this."
Now Ritsuka has forgotten, but he hasn't.
He sleeps with him in the same bed - chastely, now is not the time for anything else, though he sometimes indulges himself under the guise of brotherly affection. Occasionally he will go too far and the younger boy will become confused, which amuses him like nothing else.
The innocence is once again pressured, but he will not allow it to yield, not yet.
It's time for him to go. He's a sinner - not perfect anymore - and they will give him his retribution.
For Ritsuka, the world is going to end. He is curious to see if he will be strong enough to survive this apocalypse, strong enough to never leave him.
He's a good big brother, so he will leave behind a gift. It was given to him, but he was never really fond of it. Better to give it to someone who can appreciate it more rather than let it go to waste. This gift is too damaged to love properly - it thought it loved him - but it will try because he will order it to and it doesn't know any better. There's a part of him that might pity it, but it's no more alive than he really is.
He remembers a creature from one of his books. When it dies - a moment of weakness - its body bursts into flames, only to arise from the ashes. Immortality. Another chance. He finds it fitting enough. Surely the fires of Hell were not only meant to torment the damned, but also perhaps to burn away their transgression to nothing. Scald a wound and it stops bleeding. Ignite a body and there will be no stinking corpse.
He only hopes that Ritsuka is strong enough to live, strong enough to be hardened but still beautiful.
Closing Notes: Ha, I really should be shot for that one bit about Ritsuka and his ears. 8D
Seimei "burning" at the end was metaphorical. I know he didn't actually die.