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the aftertaste of mirrors.

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The sound of vomiting is resounding in the bathroom.

He hates his life, Ryouta thinks. The cool surface of the toilet bowl does little to soothe him. It's so so pathetic, vomiting in a toilet bowl of his dorm.

I'm pathetic, Ryouta thinks. He was just lying in bed, scrolling down his old and worn cellphone that the old dorm hag hadn't confiscated yet. And at the corner of his eye, he spots a black haired, twin tailed girl.

Immediately, his heart beat had gotten faster and breaths much shallower. His hands had become sweaty and his gut was churning with something akin to dread and horror.

He hadn't even noticed the small hum of his name, he felt like he's been hit on the head upside down. He desperately wanted to say something- to scream his lungs out.

"M-Mikami-kun..?"

A hand gently brushes his shoulder, and Ryouta swiftly whips the hand away, a small "smack!" resounding in the room as he whips his head, turning to the owner of the hand.

Ah, Ryouta thinks, it was Kisaragi. Said boy looked like deers in headlights, eyes wide and terrified, holding the injured hand to his chest. And guilt wells up along with the other feelings and it's too much- everything is too much- Tsukishima- Taki- himself- they were all too much.

He didn't register the cold tiles under his bare feet, and the small shout of a frantic "M-Mikami-kun!"

And so, he ran, until his feet carried him to the nearest boy's toilet and the nearest stall.

 

He kneels down and shoves his mouth over the toilet bowl, and vomits.

"I hate it," he hisses, a few drops of tears fall into the vomit-filled toilet bowl as he pulls his hair and scratches his head violently. "I hate it, why won't it disappear? why? why? why why why- I want to- I want to forget- forget- forget everything-"

Why can't I move on?

"M-Mikami-kun.."

Ah, Kisaragi's here, Ryouta's mind supplied unhelpfully. Kind, caring Kisaragi. Always there for everyone. Even for trash like you, Ryouta , a certain twin-tailed girl giggles in the depths of his mind.

The guilt from before increases tenfold, and Ryouta feels like he might go for another round.

"Why are you here?" Ryouta asks, hoping to come off as aggressive and not-pathetic instead of miserable and disgusting like he feels he is. His body is sweating and the humid air is choking him.

The scent of the pungent vomit is really terrible. "I-I wanted to check on you.."

"Why? I've..." Ryouta trails off, keeping his throat tight so his voice doesn’t waver. He doesn't want say it but he's sure Kisaragi knows what he's talking about. "I've hurt you, so why?"

His voice, carried into the wind. He feels pathetic, and the guilt is choking him because he hurt Kisaragi, another person, yet again.

Ryouta hears Kisaragi drawing a sharp breath. He hears Kisaragi coming a step closer. "I-I think it's fine, yo-you looked... terrified so I don't think it’s your fault.."

"And.. I'm sure you have a reason.. for.." Kisaragi trails off, and then shakes his head, "I just.. don't know you yet, but.. I think it's fine, Mikami-kun."

Ryouta's eyes widen, as he whips his head towards Kisaragi. A quiet, yet determined look is on Kisaragi's face, reminding him of-

Ryouta gags and retches into the toilet bowl and feelings of disgust and guilt flows into his stomach once more. His heart feels like it’s being crushed to death. He bites his lips, the pain sobering him a little and (ineffectively) keeps his tears at bay. "Shut up! Shut up! You don't even know fucking what you're talking about," he says, trying to keep his voice from wavering too much but he knows Kisaragi knows that he’s crying.

"Mi-Mikami-kun.. I.. don't know yet who you are.. but you're not a bad person, um, from what I can tell.. And.. whatever is troubling you... I don't think you deserve it.."

Kisaragi's wrong. Everyone has told him that he's at fault, that he deserves worse. “Go to hell!”  isn’t that what they told him? It’s because he deserves it, right? Taki hates him and Tsukishima likes him. Both of them are his fault. Kisaragi has to be wrong.

Because if Kisaragi is right, then why did everything have to happen?

Was his suffering all for nothing?

Had Taki really hated him that much?

Why did he have to suffer?

Why?

Why?

His suffering is just like a mirror, shattered into pieces by his own hands and swept aside by uncaring, unkind people. He tries to fix the unfixable, picking up shards and pieces scattered around. They dig into his skin, and he’s bleeding, he’s hurt, he’s untrustable, a liar and the pieces are shoddily put back together, in an attempt of normality. Tied with nothing but his uncertain feelings, it’s bound to fall apart soon. He’s damaged, with only a wall to protect himself with. He’s hurt, and has hurt everyone around him. He was the only one to blame.

Bit by bit, the wounds fester, the pieces and shards left untouched by himself.

Bit by bit, everything falls.

( Taki’s smiles, Tsukishima’s stealing glances, Taki’s sad, Tsukishima’s mad- )

Bit by bit, nothing is left.

( “Trust me, okay?” )

Bit by bit, it’s ruined. (He’s ruined, ruined, ruined and worthless. “ So why don’t you come back to me, Mikami-kun?” )

( “You’re mine, do you know that?”)

Bit by bit.

( “Didn’t you said to trust your friends?” )

Bit by bit.

( “...Taki.. It’s better if you just.. don’t stay with me too much…”

“Everyone, they just don’t know you yet, Ryou-chan. If it’s Ryou-chan, it’ll be fine, trust me, okay?” )

( “If you’re going to become someone else’s, then it’s better if you’re just hated, right!?” )

 

Bit

 

by

 

bit.

 

( “You’re my best friend, Ryou-chan!” )


"Are you okay, Mika-”

The sound of retching and violent vomiting echoes in the bathroom, only reaching to both of their ears. Ryouta can hear him faintly mutter, "no... that was a stupid question..."

The silence sounds loud and suffocating before Ryouta wipes his tears and stands up, wobbly. "It's.. I'm fine, Kisaragi."

His hands reach the flusher and he pushes it, staring at the vomit getting flushed down. Fucking gross. Kisaragi looks at him with a face that’s a mix of confusion and worry. “Ar-Are you sure?”

Ryouta scoffs as he walks past Kisaragi and towards the sink. “Yes, I am,” he growls.

The cold water makes him shiver slightly but he washes his face and rinses his mouth to get rid of the putrid aftertaste of vomit. Too bad it can’t wash out his suffering and guilt.

Walking to the exit of the bathroom, he can hear Kisaragi's frantic footsteps following him, like a frantic mouse. "Mikami-kun!"

Kisaragi reminds him of a butterfly.. so innocent.. so beautiful and fragile, just like how Taki had been. And Ryouta is sure that he will break, just like Taki had.

And Ryouta would rip his wings out, just like he had with Taki.

And that's a good thing, because he doesn't have to care about Kisaragi and Kisaragi doesn't have to care about him.

He doesn't want to trust Kisaragi. He doesn't want to get to know him.

So he wouldn't have to beg anyone to trust him anymore.