Categories > Anime/Manga > Tactics


by queasy 1 review

A night like every other night since then. Future-fic.

Category: Tactics - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Haruka, Kantarou - Published: 2006-11-02 - Updated: 2006-11-03 - 1280 words - Complete


They are sitting by the water, as they have done every night for a long time. It ripples despite the absence of wind. They ignore it. Haruka is lying on the wrought metal bench with his long legs dangling off the end and his eyes closed. Kantarou perches on the end by his head, idly teasing Haruka's already tousled hair into knots. A bird is singing somewhere in the gloom of the shadowy trees.

"Listen, Haruka," he says, laughing. "Is that an /uguisu/? I did not expect to hear one again. But it shouldn't be singing at night."

The fragrance of wisteria hangs heavily in the air, as though it would cling like a drunk to anything that stays still long enough. It is the wrong season for singing as well. Haruka keeps his eyes closed and listens to the songbird as commanded, feeling the cold metal smooth and hard beneath him, and at his side the faint heat radiating from Kantarou's thin body. Even in the darkness, he knows, Kantarou's clear red eyes would be glowing.

"Haruka," Kantarou says, bright and false as always. "Haruka, Haruka, Haruka. Are you listening to me?"

"Don't wear out my name."

"Are you tired of me, Haruka? Do you want a new name? What do you want to be called?" The voice is light, careless, and if he does not laugh, his amusement is still clear. "How about Dousetsu? Hiroshi? Makoto sounds nice."

Sly, sly creature. Shut up, Haruka thinks and does not say. He sits up, reaches out unerringly to grip Kantarou's arm hard with his eyes still closed. Pulls Kantarou close and forcefully kisses away the infuriating crook of the mouth he knows so well. Kantarou allows the rough handling, lips warm and dry, lying calm and passive in his embrace. Haruka releases him and stands, turning away, half-angry at himself. The uguisu comes to the end of its song and falls silent with a nearly inaudible hiss.

"Ha-ru-ka. Is it not a lovely night? Open your eyes." This said in a sing-song voice, compelling attention. Haruka inhales sharply and glares at him.

"Stop it. Stop saying my name."

"What does it matter?" Kantarou smiles, comes close. He tugs at Haruka's shirtfront, pulling him downwards. "Hold still, Haruka. Let me..." First a gentle brush of lips, lighter than the touch of a falling autumn leaf, and again, more firmly, as Haruka jerks away momentarily, turns back, grabs Kantarou, holds him in place to be kissed. Haruka tries to press the slim, resisting form against the back of the bench; Kantarou is stronger metal than his deceptively slight form would suggest. Instead, Kantarou pushes back, clenching a fist in Haruka's hair, and rips two buttons from his shirt with a fierce tug, matching Haruka kiss for kiss, passion for passion, anger for anger. A flash of even white teeth as Haruka pulls his face away for a moment to gasp for air, then there is a sharp, punishing nip that draws blood, and Kantarou steps away from him again.


Kantarou laughs, backs into the water, shrugging off his shirt, which has somehow lost its buttons during their melee. "Come in. The water's nice." He lies. There is a bitter, stinging smell to the water that ripples around him strangely out of sync with his movements. "Haruka, come." He holds out his arms. Haruka hesitates for several heartbeats, catching his breath, and follows him in against all reason.

Fool, he is a fool, he thinks, as Kantarou welcomes him into his arms with soft eyes and smiles like those he once reserved for quiet talks on the rooftop late into the night, with sake gentling his usual brash cheer. Tonight there has been no sake to loosen tongues and reservations. Kantarou cups his face, breathes against his jaw, whispers, "Do you miss Youko-chan?" Fool.

He stiffens and starts to pull away, but Kantarou's arms are steel around Haruka's neck, the only half-expected weight dragging him inexorably down towards the suddenly stagnant-smelling black water roiling up around them. His feet touch the bottom of the pool, and it is slick with algae, belying the sharp chlorine tang of before. Coils of something dark and shadowy that does not belong in this polished, tiled pool moves beneath the water around them; he sees gleaming, oily scales as the barest part of it breaches the surface for a moment. He tries to gasp, "Kantarou, stop," as his chin hits the water and Kantarou continues to pull him down, but Kantarou only shakes his head and leans back. Come with me, Haruka, his smile says, and even now Haruka still finds that he wants to obey, would almost rather do so than be left alone again.

"I thought it was a good death," murmurs his treacherous master, and this brings him to his senses faster than the rasping slide of the serpent twisting itself around him and the water in his nose and mouth. "I think Youko-chan feels the same way, don't you agree?

"Don't be ridiculous. She's not here for you to ask." He extends his claws, concentrates and finds purchase on the slick scales, rakes his hands down the serpent's side in gory red grazes, forcing it to writhe and slacken its grip.

Kantarou snarls and tightens his hold painfully around Haruka's neck. He knows better than to imagine trying to grab Haruka's hands will make a difference to the outcome. "I haven't seen Youko-chan since that day! Why is she gone? Haruka, stop it!" Haruka realises, with a surprise that never fails to be fresh, that he can refuse to obey. And that no matter how she protested, it is this one failure that Youko could not bear, that drove her away despite her constant complaints about Kantarou's endless stream of petty and trivial commands.

Haruka drags himself halfway free of the coils, feeling like a drowned rat, and realises, perversely, that he is still clasping Kantarou to his side, the latter staring at him with hard-eyed bemusement. He manages to grab his /shakujou/, left lying at the side of the pool, and thrusts it into the serpent, summoning lightning just as he breaks free and bursts from the pool with his wings spread.

Lightning strikes the water. It takes a long time for the serpent's convulsions to cease, and when it finally becomes still, it fades away and the water clears as though it had never been there. With a click and a whirr, the uguisu begins to sing again. "You will run out of friends willing to die for you one day,"

"I can make new friends," Kantarou replies, without spirit. He looks more naked without his fuuda and the other paraphernalia of his art than he does without his clothes, Haruka thinks. Kantarou looks small, fragile, tired. Almost human. "What have you made me into? I should be dead. Haruka, end this."

He reaches around Kantarou, feeling at the base of the delicate skull, and presses hard. Kantarou's eyes should widen with surprise and betrayal, he thinks, expects, wishes - but they only turn glassy and relaxed, the light behind them fading. Kantarou's face becomes as smooth and careless as though he were only asleep, his body going slack against Haruka's side.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. There has to be some way he can make Kantarou stop fighting him and be content to remain at his side without question.


the prompts
From spook_me challenge
Creature Prompt #1: Tentacle Monster
Creature Prompt #2: Robot
Secret Spooky Prompt: Mysterious forces are unleashed

From commentfic-challenge
Something scary that lives in the water, like a shark or a piranha or tentacle squid monster.
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