"Seven years. It had been seven years since that day. " Ushio is alone, and sinking deeper into a darkness as black and empty as his own perceived future. Will anyone be able to pull him out of his...
I'm trapped in this world
Lonely and fading
Heartbroke and waiting
For you to come
We are stuck in this world
That's not meant for me
- Not Meant For Me
Seven years. It had been seven years since that day.
Deep soulless black eyes traced over the photo even as a single finger smoothed delicately over the plastic cover protecting it from harm. Seven years ago, less a day to be exact, they had all been there, in that very livingroom. The man's eyes softened slightly at the sight of familiar old friends smiling back at him. His own youthful dark eyes laughed up at him from where a younger man was sitting in the center of the image. Short black hair hanging around his ears, the grin of a boy, not a man. He had been... 19, when they had taken the picture. It seemed so long ago.
Crouched on either side of the youth were two faces he knew he could never forget. Faces that haunted his dreams endlessly, taunting him... they would continue to do that until the day he died. Those two faces, amidst the sea of friends and relatives, seemed to pierce into him, driving a cold spear into his heart. Unconsciously, he trailed his finger over them, tracing the icy glare of the tiger and the soft glow of the weasel. Two friends... if they could still be called such, who had been lost to him for longer than he cared to admit.
Closing the cover of the photo album, the man glanced over the back of the couch and out into the heavy snow that was falling outside. Winter had come quick that year, enveloping the shrine in a thick white blanket, freezing the life out of everything that lived in the soil. And it seemed, that the winter itself was freezing him as well. Tired black eyes surveyed the empty room around him, barren and cold, but he preferred it that way. Christmas Eve and yet no tree stood in the center of the room, no mound of presents for children to open in the morning. Why bother putting up a tree when there was no one there to enjoy it?
~I still remember them. All those years ago.~
'Move that fuzzy ass, Tora,' Ushio demanded teasingly, as he plopped down on the end of the couch, forcing the beast to shift his legs. 'Brat,' the monster growled lightly, even as he accepted the large cup of hot chocolate from the boy and blew away the steam. 'Are you two arguing again?' Asako's voice came from where she stood in the doorway with a plate of cookies fresh from the oven. The pair gave her innocent smiles, well, if they could be called that coming from a hunter and a monster, not that she believed them anyway.
The front door opened and Ushio heard the sounds of guests entering his home. Sure enough, the livingroom door was suddenly host to three smiling people, the human formed Kamaitachi (sickle weasels).
'Hi Ushio! Tora!' Juro greeted them happily, even as his brother and sister, loaded down with presents, entered the room behind him. Karani and Rashin said their hellos, smiling at their favorite demon hunter, before leaving to help with the two girls in the kitchen.
Ushio suddenly found himself pressed up against Tora's side as the beast shifted to let Juro sit down. ~Hm... he never did that for me.~ Ushio couldn't help the sudden jealous thought as he watched the pair smile at each other. ~And what is up with that?~ His brows knitted as he caught the strange, in his opinion anyway, look that passed between them. Not that he cared, nope. They were just his friends, it didn't matter if they looked at each other like... like... Ushio looked away, focusing on his hot chocolate in his hands. Who cares if his friends liked each other like that... it was just weird. Tora and Juro... together? Ew...
Even as he thought that, his eyes were drawn sideways back at the now more snuggling pair. Unable to take the sudden rush of pain, not that he understood why he cared, the boy stood up abruptly and left the room. What he didn't notice was the two pairs of confused eyes watching him go.
'That's right. That was the first night I noticed them together.~ He wasn't sure how long Tora and Juro had been interested in each other, probably since he had brought Juro back to life. Not that he cared how they felt about each other... If he told himself that for long enough, maybe he'd start to believe it.
Getting up from the couch, the man let the photo album slip from his fingers. As he made his way out of the room and up the stairs, he didn't notice the album land on the floor, open to a picture of the past.
The lights went out and all was dark and silent in the house. The man, once a hunter with senses keen enough to catch even the slightest sound, fell into the black emptiness of sleep, failing to notice the slight shift of air as a door opened downstairs. Two large figures kept to the shadows as they crept in, pausing as they entered the livingroom. Black and white stared down at the smiling face of a boy, a blue finger tracing it softly as both remembered that day. That day so many years before.
Author's Note: Yes, this will be a yaoi fic. Who are these mysterious visitors? You'll just have to keep reading and find out. Reviews please!