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“Hey Hizashi. Remember...” That’s how he always started the conversation with the blonde. The blonde who’s green eyes seemed a little less vibrant with each passing day. Who’s lips didn’t stretch into that impossibly wide smile. Who didn’t speak anymore.

“Hizashi, remember when we were younger and you told me that you were never getting married. Never settling down?” Shouta’s voice was soft, almost wistful. “Remember how adamant you were about that?” 

Shouta’s fingers gently caressed his skin. He traced the lines of his face and moved his hair back. He chuckled softly. 

“You said you could never. After all, that’s not what rockstars did.” His voice held mirth. Shouta wasn’t laughing at him, he would reassure him. Shouta would never laugh at him. Just the memory of how angry Hizashi had been when Nemuri said that he was wrong. 

“You refused to talk to her for a whole day. She had to bribe you.” He gazed into dull nearly grey eyes. “But even then I knew that you belonged to me.” He nodded. 

Shouta knew he was right. Hizashi had always been his. Whether he knew it or not. Shouta watched as he tried to break the bonds that tied them together. But no matter how Hizashi struggled, how his eyes wandered, he always ended up back with Shouta. Sometimes, Shouta had to help the process along...but that’s not important. 

“The first time we kissed was a disaster.” Shouta lifted his hand and straightened up. He dipped a wash cloth into a basin of herbed water. He rung it out gently and wiped over his body. “Our teeth clicked and we bumped noses and foreheads. You didn’t apologize. Just did it again. More aggressively. Your breath smelled of pineapple and vodka. And I knew that I would always crave that flavor.” His voice held notes of time long passed. 

“But the next day, you didn’t remember. And you moved on. And I watched you flirt and take another man.” He sighed, rinsing the rag to repeat his movements. “He wasn’t good for you. Sure, he was from old money. And sure, you would have never had to work again. But that’s not who you are, Zashi. He wanted you as a trophy. And I...I couldn’t stand by and let him show you off like some charity case.” 

Shouta looked at him. His eyes were so accusing. “Don’t look at me like that. I did that for you! He was...you were going to marry him. Settle down! That’s not what rockstars do!” He hissed. “You said it yourself.” He kept cleaning the silent blonde. 

“He didn’t suffer, you know. If it makes it better. Probably not.” Shouta sighed. He had come by on the pretense that he was helping with the wedding. As Hizashi’s best friend, he knew him best. Right? Right. He’d thought of a thousand ways to kill him. But some were too messy, others too long..complicated, risky. A swift knock out and crushing his sternum. So he lied. He had suffered. He gasped for air. Sputtered out questions. It was interesting to watch him try to breathe as his face changed colors. As he begged Shouta to call for him. 

The wash cloth and basin were set aside and The dark eyed man moved to wash the blonde’s hair. “How does it get so dirty? It doesn't shine like it used to. I thought this was your favorite conditioner? We might want to consider a new one.” He carefully undid the pony tail, combing it out and starting to wash it. 

“I miss your freckles. When we were younger, you used to spend so long in the sun that you were golden and had an entire night’s sky worth of constellations across your sun-kissed skin. Isn’t that what you called it? Sun-kissed?” He was careful about how he washed Hizashi’s hair. After all, he was sensitive. 

Shouta took his time to blow dry and condition his hair. He carefully redid the ponytail. “I miss your voice.” He’d hoped that the blonde would speak again. A futile hope. He never answered.

He stood and grabbed some night clothes. Shouta was concerned with the color of Hizashi’s skin. “Maybe you need more sun. You look...gray. We should get you up and moving. Laying here all the time isn’t good for you.” He huffed. Hizashi never listened to him.

Graying green eyes just watched. Skin, the color of soft ashes, lay impassive under his touch. Lips gone nearly white never moved. Once golden hair lay thin, brittle, and the color of sun burned wheat. 

Shouta blinked. If he tried hard enough, he could convince himself that he hadn’t killed his best friend and his fiancé. He tried hard not to remember what the blonde’s lips had felt like when as he kissed him, hands around his throat. He tried hard not to remember Hizashi’s feeble attempt to break his hold. His last breath. Keeping Hizashi clean seemed to help fight the smell, at least...for a little while. 

“Hey. Hizashi...remember...” He started again.