The chill of the air wraps itself around every nook and cranny of the caves stone walls. A fire casts shadows upon the walls that have already seen so many horrors in this new world. It cracks through the silence. Flickering as the last of daylight hides beneath the earth.
Tsukasa watches it dance. Entranced by the fickleness of natural fire. Unlike the very manmade one he had created between him and the guy who had taken his breath away.
His eyes lead up to him. Sitting there by the fire across from him. Looking at it with the tiredness of an old soul. When had they grown so old and tired?
His dear sister, even, was much more a woman than she had been when she had fallen into her coma. He sighs low. The intensity of their situation was now catching up with him. A world full of pure hearted youth? The ideal itself was a rotten one.
“Something on your mind?”
Tsukasa hadn’t expected him to speak so quietly. So on par with how his own tone replies back.
“I’m grateful for many things I don’t deserve, that’s all.”
Those crimson irises slowly gaze up to meet him. Inside those eyes is like a whole other world. So hopeful and wondrous. It makes him wonder why he ever wished to take such beautiful things from this world. Fear, maybe. Delusion. Self-righteousness definitely.
“Didn’t I tell you not to worry about that? Cmon... get over it already.”
The demeanor brings a smile to his face. Lips pulling tight as his half lidded eyes gaze at the other. The pull reminds him of the war paint still drying across his face. Accepted into this new kingdom as a new man. One who means what he says. That’s who he wanted to be. Someone who could protect those he cared for most in this strange jungle world. Tsukasa shifts in the space he sits.
“Well, Senku, what about you?” He wonders, “before you killed me you had a lot to say, but now you’re stone cold silent, did you mean what you said when I was revived?” There’s a part of him that’s truly afraid of that. Senku only reviving him for his strength. He wouldn’t blame him. Tsukasa knows better than to believe such a fear, but it made a content little nest in the back of his mind and hasn’t left since he woke yesterday.
He asks this but doesn’t get a reply just yet. No, Senku moves himself. Plotting himself just beside Tsukasa. Arms crossed and face scrunched into an almost unreadable expression.
The silence fills with fire pops again. He gives up on his wait for an answer. Senku has the right not to even look at him after all. He could take not knowing.
It’s not until Tsukasa yawns and stretches that Senku speaks again.
“No, I didn’t mean what I said.”
Tsukasa looks at him, but this time he doesn’t look back. The yawn is infectious and he smiles when Senku himself has to cover his mouth and stretch a moment. The motion has him leaning closer to Tsukasa.
“Then why all the silence?” He pushes on. Even before all of this Senku has been quite the chatterbox. Then again, a lot can change in a year and some.
“I’m processing everything, going over every event and detail up until this point..”
“Because?” There had to be a reason.
“It feels surreal, it did before sure, but the two of us... you especially... we were brought back from the dead Tsukasa, I resurrected you- I’m excited as hell but I,” Senku shifts and finally looks back up at him. There’s an expression on him that Tsukasa had never seen from him before. Something close to relief entangled in fear.
“It’s the most illogical feeling of all for this situation, but I can’t help but feel... scared.”
Tsukasa blinks. Well, it was logical to be scared of many things in this current world. But for Senku, right now, it is strange. Tsukasa looks down as he feels a smaller, calloused hand atop his own.
This seems to happen many times to them. But he can’t help but know what Senku meant right then. Scared that all of this was simply an illusion. So he replays all those horrible events in his head to cope with the relieving reality right in front of him.
Tsukasa opens his lion pelt to invite him in. It’s cold, and the thing is more than big enough for the both of them. They’re alone, so there’s no reason to hold back. After all, they’ve been denying themselves this closeness for literal years now.
Senku takes the invitation with little hesitance. His skin is cold.
Tsukasa raises his hand to hold the scientists head. Touching him in ways he had only dreamed of before. Senku melts into him, hand moving to his stomach and resting on his food pudge abs. He presses his head close to his chest. Theres no denying themselves anymore.
“You hear my heart beat right? And my lungs?” Tsukasa asks him quietly, so even the fire cannot hear them.
Senku shifts and his hair tickles Tsukasa neck. For a minute he’s quiet, halting his own breathing to hear Tsukasa’s own.
Tsukasa breaths deep and easy for him. Waiting again for him to answer him.
“Yeah,” that relieved and confident laugh fills Tsukasa to the brim with joy. The chill of the air has nothing on the heat filling his cheeks now.
“Guess you were worried for nothing,” Tsukasa says back at him, “I’m right here... alive and well thanks to you.. so get over it.”
Senku chuckles against him but doesn’t move away. Actually, he’s pretty sure Senku moved closer. “Guess I’m stuck with you huh?”
“You sure are, so get used to it.”
Senku doesn’t respond to him this time. He’s found his place just listening to Tsukasa’s heartbeat. Tsukasa feels closer to him there. Wrapping his arm around him with no complaint from Senku himself. With him so close, he does feel like he never wants to let go. Tsukasa understood his fear. When Senku had returned after death, Tsukasa had felt it surreal. Like he wanted to not believe it. What if it wasn’t real? He knew what that fear was like. It washed away soon after he had been laid to rest.
Soon he hears soft breathing from the scientist. Rest. That’s just what they needed, really. Tsukasa slowly lays back, so Senku is slightly on him. He doesn’t mind sleeping on the cave ground, he’s done it a hundred nights. All alone and cold and fading. Senku can use him for as long as he needed to feel better.
And soon in this warmth by the fire and under his flame, Tsukasa finds pure rest upon him. Lulling him onto quiet slumber, unbothered by the unsure tomorrow.