Akabane returns to Mugenjou to do one last favor for an old friend. (yaoi implied)
Author's Notes: This is exactly the third story that ever made me cry when I was writing it. Damn you, Makubex. Do not steal, bend, mutilate, feed, or otherwise take anywhere without contacting me first.
The last time I had been up on this particular peak of Mugenjou was after I had heard of Ginji-kun's death. I came without being called and walked down, down, through sub-basements and physical plants and empty storage rooms, passing around traps and walking through doors few even knew existed. Finally, I pushed open a door that usually opens on its own, into the very heart of Mugenjou, where its master wept, curled in on himself. His face was streaked with days of tears, his clothes smudged with dust. He did not look up at me when I picked him up in my arms and carried him from that room. When we flew up fifty floors in under a minute, his only response was a tiny shift, to close one hand tight on the lapel of my coat. He stirred when we arrived on the roof, and the first gust of cool almost-fall wind breathed over us, faintly sea-scented. We were high enough to be over the smog, and under it the city lights glowed mutely, like jewels under water.
He blinked and looked around, as if he'd never seen Tokyo sprawling beneath him before. "Why did you bring me up here?" His voice was incredulous, cracked and rough as if he'd not used it in a long time, or had been shouting for too long.
I set him down on the low concrete wall surrounding a cluster of piping. As he showed no inclination to let go of my coat, I sank down next to him. I thought on his question, thought of him curled in that dark, windowless room, with the weight of Mugenjou's sorrow pressing down upon him. "It does one good to have a change of perspective, Makubex-kun. This is as good a place as any, don't you think?"
He looked up at me then, and even in the moonlight, I could see the grief and weariness in his eyes, a glaze over eyes the color of the summer sea. "This is...Ginji-san...he caught me...." His hand twitches weakly towards the edge.
I nodded. I remembered, as had Ginji-kun. Once, I'd heard him murmur to himself, "I'm afraid for him. What will he do when I'm not there to catch him?"
Makubex stared out over the city, eyes faraway, looking into the past, perhaps, at the city rushing up to meet him and the one bright soul who had snatched him back. He turned to look at me, and I met his eyes. I am not sure what he saw, but it crumbled something within him. He fell slowly forward into my arms, his weight slight and familiar, his arms twisting around me. I held him, and he wept bitterly until the sun rose over us.
This rooftop has been his gateway between life and death more than once. It is fitting that he chose it tonight.
As I look out over the edge now, Tokyo still stretches almost as far as the eye can see. There are more buildings now, and taller. Between them and the residential platforms that now arch out over the water, you can hardly see the ocean anymore, even from here.
"Are you ready, Makubex-kun?"
He takes a deep breath, eyes closed. He looks almost like a child, or a saint, or a seraphim, head tilted back to receive the grace of God. He nods, turning away from the city, to me. "Yes. I'm ready." His face is serene, a pale, beautiful thing shining in the moonlight above a ragged sweater. His headscarf trails in the wind, snapping out over the precipice as if reaching for the city lights below. Below us, Tokyo stretches almost as far as the eye can see. Like us, the city has changed, and yet it stays the same. Like him, it still glows like a pirate's hoard under the dark, moonlit water.
I nod, and my hands come up to frame his face. I lean down to press my lips to his, and they are pliant and soft, parting easily for me. He tastes of salt and the sea he has never touched, though not, anymore, of bitterness. My hands slip to his shoulders, one falling farther to press over his heart. It beats steadily under my palm, and for one moment I hesitate, memorizing, savoring.
His breath falls out of him in a tired sigh, his head leaning forward against my chest.
A reflex, easier than breathing, and it is done. He makes only the slightest, softest sound as the scalpels pierce his heart, more of surprise than pain. His hands come up to my shoulders, holding, and I retract the scalpels, picking him up and sitting us again where we sat nearly a hundred years ago, on a wall that looks only slightly worse for wear. He burrows closer to me, weakly, and I wrap my arms around him. His heart all but shredded, he bleeds little.
He sighs, looking up at me apologetically, his voice a mere breath, "I'm sorry, Akabane-san."
I wonder, for a moment, what he is sorry for. I merely shake my head, smiling, and say what he has always needed to hear. "You are forgiven, Makubex-kun. Rest now."
He turns his cheek against me, a smile on his lips, his eyes turned to Tokyo, and after a few minutes, I close them, gently.
I leave him lying on that wall, covered with my coat, my hat sitting beside him. Halfway out of Mugenjou, the blood on my hands disappears, and I know that on that rooftop, my coat now rests over nothing but concrete. It doesn't matter. I leave Mugenjou, leave Shinjuku, leave Tokyo, and never return.