inkpawprints: (scary fic)
[personal profile] inkpawprints
Because I'm having trouble pitching the opening of 19.2, and I'm on the lonely down-trough that is the flipside of the travel buzz. Warnings for violence and assault.


Nukume Dori 19.1

Subaru was being hunted.

"--look out--"

"--what th-- careful--!"

Broken breaths burned his lungs. He passed cars and knocked people from their path and still he kept going. He had no idea where he was, had no destination in mind, only a desperate need to get away. The marks on his gloved hands doomed it to fail but the instinct to flee overpowered all and reduced him to this: straining limbs, a pounding heart, the hot blood of an animal on the run.

Prey.

"--watch it--!"

The hawk soaring above him refused to be shaken. There was no need for it nor was it trying to hide, as if the Sakurazukamori wanted Subaru to know he was coming. What that meant Subaru didn't dare imagine but it couldn't be good and he forced himself to run faster, stupid though it was. He had run away from Seishirou because he was furious, furious and anguished over Matsumoto's second death, not because he was--

Magical senses flared, his only warning. Reflexively Subaru ducked into a somersault right there in the middle of the street and felt the wind of the hawk's passing over his head. People stared at him, others turned to point at the hawk -- breathing hard, Subaru rose up onto one knee and watched it skim over the startled pedestrians and through the busy traffic in front of a small car which jerked into the other lane. The oncoming car had no time to brake and there was a sickening crunch as the two struck. Subaru's heart leapt to his throat - not again! - but the accident didn't look bad, at least for the drivers as they spilled out of their damaged vehicles. Still, it was a reminder of whatever was going to happen between him and Seishirou it had to be moved away from people, and fast. The hawk was gaining height and curving around towards him--

--apex predators we're talking about, if you're timid or fearful they will look down on you.

Subaru scrambled to his feet. Stood with hands clenched and head high as he faced the oncoming hawk. Its eyes were golden flame and its talons outstretched. Only at the last second did Subaru squeeze his eyes shut.

Powerful wings beat against his head then disappeared. Shaken, Subaru looked up to see the hawk glide to perch on a street lamp and balefully stare. His left temple stung with a thin line of fire that when touched dotted his gloves with blood. A shallow scratch, that was all. Subaru wondered if he was being toyed with.

On the road, the two drivers were heatedly arguing. The traffic around them had jammed in both directions and the chorus of frustrated car horns was a cacophony that seemed strangely subdued ... the street around Subaru was fading to black and he immediately recognised the weaving of a maboroshi. Once again he began to run, faster this time despite the exhaustion, hoping to break through the edge of the maboroshi before it closed entirely. He leapt onto the bonnet of a stuck car then the roof of a second without anyone noticing as shadows spread like water. Another jump and another, darkness folding around him -- quickly Subaru pulled out an ofuda and pressed it against his wound before flicking it out towards the shrinking sky where it disappeared the maboroshi closing behind leaving Subaru running in an unreal night, caught but not without options. Grimly Subaru lifted his hand in a two finger focus to speak the spell. Within moments shards of darkness fell from above as like a ball through a window Subaru's blood-spotted shikigami pierced the maboroshi from outside. It created a jagged hole through which the real world could be discerned, and Subaru made for that even as the maboroshi splintered further. Throwing himself through, he tumbled out onto hard ground.

Panting, Subaru stood and looked about. He was in a commercial construction site, all ugly steel struts and concrete forming the wall-less skeleton of a mid-sized building currently empty for reasons unknown. Maybe there was a strike or the gathering storm clouds had called work off, the important thing right now was that there were no people around. At all. The hawk shikigami was nowhere to be seen but Subaru knew its master had to be closing in, if not already here - frantically he turned this way and that searching the shadows--

The attack came not from the front or behind, but from the side. A black sleeved arm flashed out from around a wide support pillar to wrap around his neck in a choke hold cutting off the blood flow to his brain. Immediately Subaru threw his hands up to yank the arm down freeing himself just enough to twist away and free himself countering with an elbow jab to Seishirou's kidney. It connected and Seishirou gave a hiss of pain before sweeping a leg under Subaru's dropping Subaru onto his back. The fall sent the breath from his lungs and Subaru wheezed before rolling aside as Seishirou closed in again - hastily Subaru clawed the floor grasping a handful of sand and gravel that he flung into Seishirou's face buying him a precious split second to scramble to his feet and land a punch on the side of Seishirou's head sending the sunglasses flying. Another punch followed, then another and another, the blows strengthened by fury and a grief Subaru didn't even realise was overwhelming until he tasted tears on his lips.

"Why did you do that he could have been saved why, why--!"

His next punch struck air. Over-extended Subaru careened forward into sickening pain as Seishirou slammed a knee up into his gut. As he crumpled over a heavy hit between his shoulder blades sent him back onto the concrete this time face down where it was all he could do just to curl around his stomach in agony and try to breathe. Any respite, however, was denied as Seishirou grabbed the back of his grey jacket yanking him onto his feet to throw him against the pillar. He managed to catch himself on his palms - barely.

"At least you've stopped running."

Gulping down air Subaru spun around. It put his back to the pillar as he watched Seishirou stride up, black coat flaring out in the moaning wind. The man spoke lightly but his amber-gold eyes were hard. "Do you know how cute you are when you're angry?"

Furiously Subaru raised his gloved fist for another punch. This one Seishirou caught and pinned beside his head, quickly doing the same to the other to prevent any more attacks. Breathing hard they pressed together, and this close Subaru could see the bruises he'd left on Seishirou's face as well as a cut on the man's lip that stretched red with his smile. "How long are you going to keep fighting me?" Seishirou whispered.

Subaru strained and glared spitting out, "You murdering bastard."

"Now isn't that rather unfair? I didn't kill that old man, that was a careless driver--"

"You let it happen!" shouted Subaru. "You stopped me from saving him, you went out of your way to do so and for what?! Matsumoto-san meant nothing to you, it wouldn't have mattered to you to let him live--"

"And what does it matter to you that he died? You went on with your life last time, you'll do the same again--"

"That's not the point! Matsumoto-san had a family, he had stories and experiences--" He swallowed tears as he remembered being listened to in the sunshine. "A murderer like you wouldn't understand," he finished viciously.

"And there's that word again. You should really try to be accurate with your insults - to begin with I'm an assassin, not a murderer."

"I fail to see the difference--"

He hissed as Seishirou painfully tightened his grip. Still smiling Seishirou leaned even closer until their faces nearly touched. "Murder is the unlawful taking of someone's life," the Sakurazukamori said smilingly over a roll of thunder, "while those who rule this country take the lives of people by law, whether it be the emperor and shoguns through their executioners, or the elected government hanging criminals behind prison walls. If I told you that the deaths I cause are sanctioned by those who sit above, would you still call me a murderer?"

"And was Matsumoto-san's death also 'sanctioned'?" Subaru challenged angrily.

"Again, I didn't kill that old man and I couldn't care less about him. You, on the other hand, I have unfinished business with." Seishirou's smile disappeared. "Why did you choose him?"

Subaru tried to glare. "Because it was urgent and there was no need for him to die. Because he was kind to me. Because I cared for him."

"Is that all?"

"Yes--ah!"

"Wrong answer," said Seishirou clinically, fingers grinding between the bones of Subaru's wrist. "Again: why choose him over me?"

His limbs were beginning to tremble from the strain of resisting. Against him Seishirou was solid and warm in stark contrast to the cold amber eyes that never left his face. He tried to meet their gaze, to hold fast and not look away only to find himself quailing. Of the two promises he'd made, he had deliberately chosen to break the one to the person he loved ... "I wanted proof," he heard himself say, "I wanted proof that this repeated life can be changed and I can make things better. I want to know that I can win and be with you, that Hokuto-chan won't ..."

With that Subaru faltered, his fury bleeding away leaving a hollow despair. Like a rag doll he sagged in Seishirou's grip, horrible sobs racking his body and head falling onto Seishirou's shoulder where tears disappeared into black cloth. He was cold, heartbroken by both failure and futility; there were drops of rain on the wind blowing in the open spaces of the building. Outside, the sky had darkened.

Eventually Subaru exhausted himself and stilled. Gently a hand curled around the side of his neck. "Change your own life," Seishirou murmured.

Subaru's reddened eyes flew open. He was leaning on Seishirou completely and his freed hand was tangled in Seishirou's coat. Pressed together like this they were both warm -- too warm. "You keep worrying about the end and other people," continued Seishirou, and his thumb began to rub against the pulse on Subaru's throat, "to the point of neglecting your own life. If you want to change things so badly then stop interfering where you have no right and take care of yourself here and now. After all, without complete commitment, how can you even hope to win?"

The hand on his neck moved into the open collar of his shirt and with a stab Subaru realised what Seishirou was getting at. "Don't touch me!" he snapped, pushing against Seishirou in disgust and standing straight. Standing straight with back against the pillar's wall and one gloved hand still pinned beside his head. Subaru's pulse raced as it sank in just how badly he was caught. "L-let go, a man is dead because of you--"

"So? You think I have blood on my hands?" Suddenly Seishirou grabbed his free arm and yanked it above his head along with his right where they could be both restrained with one hand. The other hand snaked around his waist and Subaru's breath hitched as Seishirou shoved a leg between his-- "You know I'm the Sakurazukamori and said you love me regardless. Even if my hands were dripping red what difference would it make? Or did you think you could ignore who I am like you've been ignoring me until now?"

The way Seishirou fit against him, full length and so close they shared breath made Subaru burn. Disgust turned to panic; in this deserted place they were completely alone, there was no chance of rescue or interruption and Seishirou could do anything ... "Stop!" shouted Subaru, struggling as the hand on his waist slid under his shirt low on his back, "stop, I don't want this--"

"Please." Seishirou's tone was derisive over the sound of rain. "You let me Within your mind, I've seen what you want me to do."

The significance of what Seishirou said was sickening. Once more Subaru felt his face burn this time with shame and humiliation, but there was anger as well that Seishirou was using his knowledge of Subaru's most private thoughts to seduce. He tried to hold onto it, anchor himself with it even as Seishirou crushed their mouths together but the assault of touch and wet heat was a storm outpacing the one breaking with a crash outside. Rough and aggressive the kiss seemed to suck the breath from him in whimpers, his body taut to the point of breaking. Dimly he felt the hand on his back slide beneath underwear to grip the curve of flesh there and Subaru found himself grinding blindly down onto Seishirou's leg between his thighs, hard and urgent. He kissed back, dizzy, tongue tangling with Seishirou's but still the anger was there in his chest and spiraling into desperate fury. When he felt Seishirou release his wrists perhaps believing Subaru overwhelmed Subaru forced himself to move. As Seishirou reached to unbutton his jeans, Subaru wrenched off the kiss and punched.

Seishirou fell back. Touched his cheek and looked at Subaru, startled. Wild-eyed and tear-stained Subaru glared as best he could, panting and every muscle coiled as he hunched watching for Seishirou's slightest move. His skin was aflame; his body ached.

Seishirou made no attempt to approach him.

Lightning and a thunder crack burst almost simultaneously through the downpour outside. Disheveled, Seishirou's face was flushed beneath the bruises and his expression defiantly unapologetic. He too was breathing hard echoing Subaru, the sounds hanging like spun filaments stretching from self to self across the space between them and inexorably drawing tight. A magnetic force, perhaps, or a gravitational pull, something stronger than any magic.

There was a flight of stairs to one side. Subaru glanced at it, torn, but then Seishirou raised a hand to reach out and that was enough. Quickly Subaru side-stepped towards the stairs not daring to turn his back, only breaking into a stumbling run at the last possible second to flee four flights down and out into the pouring rain across the muddy construction site. He kept running through emptied streets flowing with water heedless of direction until he could run no more, and finally slowed to shelter in the alcove of an anonymous door in an equally anonymous alleyway. There he huddled, hair dripping into his eyes and clothes soaked, all senses stretched for any pursuit. Seconds passed, then minutes and more, during which the rain grew heavier and Subaru's shallow breathing tried to find some semblance of calm. Still, it wasn't until what felt like a lifetime that Subaru dared to think no, he had not been followed, and Seishirou had decided to let him go. For inexplicable reasons.

Subaru squeezed his eyes shut; his pulse was still pounding. He tried to hold onto an image, the birds, Matsumoto's bloodied death-grey face, anything to suffocate the wanting that stalked beneath his skin. It didn't work, and with a sob Subaru turned to brace one arm flat against the alcove's door leaning his head there and with his other hand undid the closure of his jeans to reach inside and desperately grasp himself. Half-hardness became full arousal in strokes, its heat amplified with shame to burn through his glove, but with his raw nerves didn't last long. Choking, he thrust once more into his gloved hand then stilled.

The rain roared around him. Drained, Subaru turned and stare out at it, how it turned the world blurry and grey. He held his hand out letting the downpour wash the leather glove clean, but the shame, that remained, crawling over him spider-like leaving him dirty and cold. Aching. On top of everything else with Seishirou. Trembling and overwhelmed, Subaru slid down against the door to the unforgiving ground, put his head on his knees and cried.

t.b.c.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-02 08:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] heygirl
yesss <333

i reread this story the other night (as well as your others) and i'm so happy you're still updating. you can feel subaru's painhateneed and just. ugh. it's 5am here and i'm really at a loss for words.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-02 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceres-wish.livejournal.com
OMG! It looks like Sei-chan's patience is really running thin, and i totally have the image of a hunter chasing after his prey when i read this. It's incredible, and since this is from Subaru's POV, i'm quite curious as to what Seishirou must be thinking as well. Argh, can't wait for more! You're awesome!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-02 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mochi_mokona.livejournal.com
OMG an UPDATE!

Seriously, this is my favorite TB/X story, and one of the best fanfictions I have read EVER. (And I read a lot, in many categories).

You capture the characters so incredibly well, and every chapter, setting, moment...Is always so expertly written and just amazing to read.

I loved the first half of this chapter and the almost-but-not-quite Seishirou/Subaru full-out scene. You really feel for Subaru in this chapter - the poor child's being spread out much too thin. And Seishirou...God, the man is truly devious.

Just amazing! And I LOVE all your other stories as well. Can't WAIT for next time!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-04 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dappermagpie.livejournal.com
A ND update!!!! My day is completely made.
Just can't wait to see how everything unfolds in the rest of the chapter (the teaser you posted for the next part is killing me); Seishirou's frustration is palpable enough that I'm starting to feel it too! I would really love to get into his headspace right now. As someone who's very calculating and coolheaded, I'm starting to feel that a lot of his actions here are being driven by the opposite, and I wonder how much of that he's aware of.

The imagery you conjure in your writing is very vivid and engrossing.
(I usually don't leave gushy fangirly comments on fanfic, so just excuse me here, lol.)


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