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Sound and Heartbeat

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Shintaro was certain that if he managed to live through this, he would never forget the sound of the scream that Marry made as Seto’s limp, bleeding body dropped to the ground.

This guy—Konoha? No, it couldn’t be Konoha, Konoha had been so gentle and naïve and… anything but this, this black figure up to his elbows and knees in blood and laughing like mad—this guy turned towards her, his grin only growing wider with each passing moment. “Ah, he was your favorite, wasn’t he? That was such a beautiful noise just now. But with that it means we’ve concluded the finale, so let’s return to happier days!”

Shintaro had thought that nothing could pull his gaze away from that terrifying, cackling figure. But then there was movement right next to him as Marry screamed again, and Shintaro caught a glimpse of… what the hell even were those? Those pale, thin, pointed things extending from her back. Were they wings? Pieces of her hair? All he knew was they were something that was absolutely, surely not anything he’d expect from a normal human.

This was wrong. Everything about this was wrong.

He didn’t think he’d made any noise, but suddenly that guy’s head snapped towards him, quickly enough that he would have jumped if every muscle in his body hadn’t frozen in fear.

That grin widened.

“Ah, yes. How could I forget? Poor Shintaro, the collateral damage, pulled into this tragic story so unnecessarily… Ah, it’s enough to make me cry!” He brought a hand to one of his eyes and ran his fingers down his face, leaving behind what looked like nothing if not tear trails of blood. His grin didn’t waver in the slightest. “You know, maybe there’s some time for an encore.”

“A-ah…!”

It had been an attempt at vocalizing protest, but the words all but died on his lips until they were nothing more than weak sounds of fear. Being an encore could only mean one thing.

His eyes darted around the floor of the room. Momo. Kido. Kano. Hibiya. Seto. Some of these people he’d only met today, or yesterday, and now they were dead, dying… All of them were going to be dead soon, if they weren’t already. Somewhere among the mess of bodies was a crushed cellphone. The virus he’d wanted to be rid of for so long—could he at least think of her as ‘Ene’ now?—was probably gone as well. It was just himself, Marry, and this terrifying figure.

How had everything gone so wrong so suddenly?

He looked up to find this guy had already walked right up to him and was standing over him.

What were those shadows—

snakes?!

—Definitely, those were snakes wrapped around him, moving and slithering and he just stood there like he didn’t care one bit. Had those always been there? Had Shintaro just missed them? Or was he only seeing them now because it was his turn to die like the rest of them had?

The guy knelt down and hissed out a pleased sigh, and Shintaro found himself trying to scoot back, as if he could push hard enough and make the wall behind him give way and let him escape. He raised his hand to Shintaro’s cheek, and Shintaro felt the cold, slippery sensation of blood on his face. That was Momo’s blood, from when he’d put his left hand through her stomach… It must have hurt, but her scream had been so quiet…

“Have you ever been told how much the color red suits you?”

The words sent a chill through his body. Shintaro’s mind seemed to freeze for several seconds, only to be dragged back to reality by the sensation of a tongue on his skin. His stomach turned and he regained his wits, jolting to the side with a startled shout and starting to scramble away on hands and knees. No. No. Whatever sick game this guy was up to, he wasn’t playing along…!

His arm caught on something, so in his panicked attempts to get away he suddenly found himself falling to the ground shoulder first. He tried to push himself back up on his other arm, but he found that one wouldn’t move properly, either. What the hell were they caught on, now of all times?!

He tried to pull them free and felt something tighten on his wrists, uncomfortably tight, and an angry hiss sounded in his ear, freezing him where he lay. That… was impossible, wasn’t it? It should have been impossible, but when he didn’t move for several seconds, he felt something slide against his back and more coils wrap around his arms, binding them together behind him. But, snakes weren’t supposed to be able to do that sort of thing, were they? They weren’t… that intelligent, or that deliberate. They shouldn’t know exactly how to disable a human so precisely.

“Trying to leave so soon? But we’re just beginning the fun!”

Suddenly fingers had tangled in his hair, and before he realized it, Shintaro was being lifted upright again, upright enough that he was back up on his knees. Pain shot through his head and neck and he shouted, twisted—pulled his arms again and received another angry hiss—but he was caught; he had no way to get away.

Fingers ran along his neck, his cheek, down to his collarbone, and always leaving trails of blood in their wake. He felt his stomach churn at the sensation, but he couldn’t do anything about it, having barely enough room to shiver. At some point, certainly, that hand was going to break his skin and add his blood to the rest of theirs. It was just a question of how long he was going to be taunted first.

He jumped as he felt those fingers, wet and cold from the lifeless blood coating them, touch his stomach. But no matter what he wanted to do, it was irrelevant. Unimpeded by any effort he could possibly muster, they slid up beneath his shirt and settled on the left side of his chest.

“Right in here. That’s where your heart beats in its tiny cage.” Fingers pressed, just a moment, and Shintaro was sure that for that same moment his heart froze in response. “It looks so beautiful when it’s set free. It continues to beat and desperately pump blood, even when each time it’s losing more and more to a gaping wound. Even with the owner dying, it doesn’t stop; it can’t stop, until everything is over. It’s inevitable; the very thing that it does to sustain life instead leading straight into death. Such a beautiful struggle to the very end…”

Lips. Lips against his, and Shintaro tried to shut his mouth but there was already a tongue inside it. He bit down, and this guy laughed, laughed of all things, and just kept touching him like the pain in his tongue didn’t bother him at all. It made Shintaro squirm, struggle. Another hiss, right in his ear, startling enough that he gasped and let up on this guy’s tongue so that he could pull back with a terrifying chuckle.

“I’d be careful about making them mad. They can be… temperamental.”

Shintaro’s left hand was starting to tingle a little as it began going numb. The snake on his arms was definitely squeezing tighter now than before. He tried to twist his head away, but the fingers holding his hair held tight.

He wasn’t sure which he was more afraid of right now, but then a hand drifted to the button on his pants and he rapidly decided it was probably the guy in front of him. He had so little room to struggle, already having to support himself on his knees so that he wasn’t just being held up by the hand in his hair. Shintaro tried to give a kick, or something like that, but the movement came out awkward and rewarded him with nothing but more pain in his head and neck and another chuckle from this guy’s lips, and soon he could hear the metallic sound of his zipper being slid down. He grit his teeth.

“J-just… k-kill me already…!”

He’d rather die. He’d rather die now than suffer through what this guy seemed to be up to, when death was all but a certainty anyway. There was no way this guy was going to let him live after this. Not after he’d killed everyone else.

Marry had been wailing for so long, he almost couldn’t even hear her anymore. He didn’t even have the chance to apologize to her, but there was absolutely nothing he could do to help her. In his weakness, it was all he could do to join the rest of them.

Those yellow—red?—unnaturally bright eyes flicked upwards to meet his and a grin tugged at those lips.

“Mmm… You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Oh how eagerly you of all of them rush into death’s embrace…”

He was kissing him, and then his hand was grabbing Shintaro’s cock and squeezing a little too tightly. Stroking a little too roughly, and even the blood didn’t make it smoother in the least. Shintaro let out a noise, sudden and desperate and scared and disgusted, and his whole body jolted. The snake behind him hissed again. Pain shot through him from his neck.

“Ah, it bit.” The guy pulled back a little with a grin, giving Shintaro the ability to release the shout that had been held in when he’d been squeezing his lips shut. “You know… I think it likes you. It didn’t go for your jugular.”

But Shintaro’s eyes were wide anyway, and he was completely frozen in fear.

“You don’t need to give me that look. They’re not poisonous. If one of them wanted to kill you, it would just wrap itself right around here…” hand on Shintaro’s throat, “squeeze, and… bite.” Then there was another set of teeth on his neck, human teeth. Teeth that didn’t avoid his jugular.

He wasn’t sure if this guy broke skin or not. It was so hard to tell when there was already blood on him. It definitely felt like he was biting hard enough for it; it felt like he could be biting hard enough to tear his flesh right off. Probably, he’d done it, with the way Shintaro soon felt liquid slide down his neck. Mixing his blood with the rest of theirs. He went to scream but found he’d already been screaming.

How insane did someone have to be to bite right through to his vein?

“But I digress.”

He pulled back and grinned at Shintaro, a fresh trail of blood leaking from his mouth down his chin. That’s my blood, Shintaro realized as his stomach dropped and his whole body went cold. The guy’s tongue darted out to lick some of it up. Watching him, Shintaro felt like he might throw up.

“Red really does suit you…”

“Shut up…!” He didn’t want to hear those words. Not now, not from him. Not from this guy who had just stained all of his new friends in the color he was now praising. Red was a terrible color. It didn’t suit him. It didn’t suit anyone. Not even the one who had first told him that it suited him, wrapping herself in that color and throwing herself off a building for no reason at all.

Red was the color of death. All those strange red eyes that would never open again. And now that he had got himself mixed up with them, he was going to die like they all had.

In front of him, the guy stood up and unzipped his pants.

“Don’t bite, now.”

He squeezed Shintaro’s hair, and Shintaro winced, but out of some sense of stubbornness, managed to keep his mouth shut. The guy made an annoyed noise and squeezed harder. Shintaro grunted, but still managed to grit his teeth.

Suddenly pain exploded from the side of his head through his whole body, dazing him for several seconds. When Shintaro managed to recover from the unexpected blow, he found the cock was already shoved almost into his throat, already making him gag and choke.

‘Don’t bite?’ To hell with that… What’s he gonna do? Kill me?

Shintaro bit.

He’d expected a scream, or at least shouting. Something, because there was no way that anyone could be okay with teeth clenched on their dick. It was the sort of thing that no one could possibly stand, or so he’d thought. Hell, the whole reason Shintaro had bit was because he figured this guy would do something drastic to get him off. Hopefully something that’d kill him fast.

The sound that met his ears was much more like someone who’d just been punched in the stomach, and not even particularly hard. A low “Nnh…” but no shout, no scream, no anything else. An impossible sound under the circumstances. And then, even more impossible… a chuckle. Shaky and breathless, but a chuckle nonetheless.

“And here I even warned you… Well. You’re not the only one who can bite.”

The hand holding his hair and the cock in his mouth shifted in perfect unison to tip his head to the side a little, and suddenly he felt fangs—multiple sets, more than just one of those snakes—dig into the side of his neck. He yelped in surprise and pain, giving this guy the opportunity to pull out of his mouth unscathed.

“Ah, look what you’ve made them do! Why, Shintaro, you’re going to bleed out now, you know?” But he knew, even without being told. He could feel the way the blood was dripping down his neck, not a simple trickle any more but something more steady and substantial. Warm and cold at the same time, the sickly wet feeling of his very life slipping away not nearly quickly enough. “I suppose that means I should pick up the pace. It’s so much less fun to fuck a corpse.”

He finally let go of Shintaro’s hair, only to grab his pants as Shintaro collapsed back to the ground. It took several seconds for him to regain his bearings and start to struggle, but even as he tried to kick and lash out, a knee pressed far too painfully against his stomach to hold him down. Forgetting the snake yet again he tried to pull his arms free and was rewarded with another hiss, another bite—or had that one never stopped biting him in the first place?—but not any ounce of freedom. No, just hands on his bare hips, and then he was being dragged across the floor…

The pain hit him so hard, his throat immediately sealed shut, cutting off his scream. ‘Agony’ didn’t seem to do it justice. There wasn’t any way he’d been ready for it, but he was helpless to resist as fingers gripped him tightly enough to bruise, keeping this guy’s cock buried inside of him. Tears slid down his cheeks as he struggled even to breathe. How could he be expected to fight against this guy when he couldn’t even force his own body to inhale? But then the guy pulled out and drove back in and it was no gentler than the first time, and it seemed to force the oxygen out of Shintaro’s lungs, cutting the air with a staccato scream.

“There we are. Now you’re breathing again. Your expression is wonderful on its own, but without your noises, it always feels like something’s missing.”

Of all the things, he didn’t expect slow. Those fingers dug into his hips, holding him in place, as above him this guy started to leisurely but forcefully move in and out of his ass. It wasn’t like he was invading Shintaro’s body. He’d already succeeded, he was already in, and now he could take his time doing whatever he wanted. Shintaro had no recourse but to try to force himself to relax, force down the rolling pain of too much friction in too tight a space in the vain hope of making it wide enough to not hurt.

Like there was any way for it to not hurt at this point.

He could feel the way the guy shifted and how it sent a jolt up in his spine in response. Shintaro gasped sharply and without meaning to, hooked his legs around his waist and pulled him closer for as long as it took him to notice he was doing such a thing. The guy was smirking down at him, and Shintaro let his legs go limp again, giving an embarrassed glare as he diverted his gaze. But his body was at this guy’s mercy, and a few more slow drags of his cock in and out of Shintaro’s ass got more gasps, more shudders, almost had his legs back around him and he had to deliberately stop himself from doing so. It all still hurt and he hated that there was something to it that this guy was making feel good. Far too good for the circumstances.

“What do you think? It feels better than you want it to, right? Want to come once before you bleed out? Beg me and I’ll even let you do it.”

Shintaro glared. “And give you the satisfaction?”

“That’s a no, then?” His grin widened. “Suit yourself.”

Without warning, the slowness completely vanished. Suddenly they were moving, harsh and fast, an unforgiving pace that forced Shintaro to breathe only so he could scream more. All traces of pleasure were gone, leaving only a pain like nothing he’d ever felt before. It consumed his whole body, racing through him in waves, setting fire to every nerve.

“How I love that sound…” The words were spoken right into his ear, just loud enough that he could hear them over his screaming. “It makes me want to do this to you over and over again.”

He hadn’t thought that it would get worse. He hadn’t thought that it could get worse.

Fingers pressed into Shintaro’s chest, and his body gave an involuntary jerk in response to the pain. Above him, this guy sneered. “Don’t move. You don’t want me to mess this up, do you?”

Shintaro couldn’t help it, though, as fingers pressed in harder, with a strength that had to be beyond human, with the terrifying strength he’d seen Konoha using before. Something inside him snapped, and at the exact same moment he felt a piercing pain shoot through his chest. That… that had to be a rib snapping. This guy had just snapped one of his ribs using only two fingers.

He could do nothing but scream as hot tears slid down his face.

Another snapping sound echoed through him and his whole body jolted. His gaze was locked on this guy, locked on that terrifying grin, as he felt pain and shifting and another snap rang out from his chest. His vision swum.

Shintaro honestly couldn’t tell which hurt worse, as this guy resumed fucking him. He pulled his fingers out of Shintaro’s chest, and they were coated in blood… fresh blood this time, his own blood. He didn’t even want to look down and see what the damage was. Not even as this guy leaned in and started… Shintaro didn’t even know. Was he licking him? Was he biting? He could have been just outright tearing off chunks of his flesh and eating it and Shintaro wouldn’t even be able to tell. It was just an overwhelming haze of pain, and he’d already lost far too much blood to think straight.

“This is your heart. Right here.”

His hand was back on—in?—Shintaro’s chest, and even in the blurry haze of pain he could feel the agony of fingers rooting around where there were never meant to be fingers. Nerves that he never knew he had protesting as the tissue they connected to was carelessly brushed and shifted and pinched. Blood coated this guy’s chin as he gave an impossibly wide grin, picking up the pace of thrusting into his ass again.

“I could tear it out, right now. But that would make this sweet time of ours even shorter. So I’ll just do this.”

It hurt. Whatever “this” was, it hurt like hell. Shintaro screamed, his head swimming as it felt like blood rushed to every extremity in his body, his ears popping, his eyes and head throbbing, every toe and finger tingling and he gasped for breath on reflex without knowing why. It was just a pain like nothing he’d ever felt before.

“I always love the feeling of a heartbeat in my hand. It’s proof that you lived. It’s proof that you’re dying.”

When Shintaro opened his eyes again, the world had gone dark at the edges. All he could see was this guy above him, shifting as he fucked him mercilessly, grinning as he squeezed his heart tighter. His screams had dulled to soft choking noises and the pain was giving way to numbness. Well, at least this was it. At least he was finally going to die.

Suddenly it felt like it went very quiet. Or rather, it wasn’t that it was particularly quiet at all, but that a noise he had become accustomed to finally went silent, leaving Shintaro unable to remember what the noise had even been in the first place. But then the world around him—around the two of them—seemed to crumble away, replaced with a space full of black and red and dull golden gears. The movement in his ass stopped, and this guy turned to look behind him.

“Well, well, well. He’s finally finished dying, hmm?”

Shintaro tried to follow his gaze, but he couldn’t focus to see more than an indistinct, pale shape floating off the ground a small ways away.

“That means it’s finally time to go back to before. Let’s have even more fun the next time, shall we?”

At the last second, he turned back to Shintaro with a sneer.

A moment later the gears around them suddenly started spinning impossibly fast, filling the air with a cacophony of whining that pierced Shintaro’s eardrums and reverberated through every cell in his body. A strange lack of feeling overtook him, like the vibrations echoing through him were numbing his whole being as one last kindness. The noise seemed to disintegrate the very world itself, dissolving absolutely everything to dust until it all ceased to have even existed in the first place.