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Say It Like You Do (I Want To Believe)

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They are making origami in the school that day, and the teacher holds up Fushimi Saruhiko's crane -  proud neck and confident wings -  to the class. 

This is beautiful, Fushimi-kun, the teacher says, appreciation evident in his voice, You've done a wonderful job. 



Niki sways in a cackling fit, and doubles over in mirth. 

Isn't it more beautiful this way, my little monkey?, he says; the cane lies at his feet, one of its white wings in his hands. 



He clenches his fingers, trembling, world blurring through the tears. 



Fushimi Saruhiko is a quick learner, though. He never needs to be told twice. 

Nothing is going to last forever, and the better the thing, the happier the emotions associated with it, the faster will it go away - fall apart - burn down - like sand grains falling though one's fingers. 

Everything. Everyone. 


He learns not to fall for these delusions, not to attach himself, not to be involved, not to feel, not to trust, not to hurt, not to let out. 

Not to believe. Never to hope. 



Fire, says Niki, is beautiful. The tip of the cigarette burns red, the room filled with cigarette smoke that makes Fushimi choke.  

Ah yes. 

Especially if the anthill is what his son has been working on for the past six months. 



But, wait, there's this boy, who goes against every definition that Fushimi has ever constructed, who goes against all the laws in Fushimi's small, dark world, who laughs like the summer breeze and warms like the winter sun. 

He says that no one can live without friends. 


He believes in heroes, and he saves people he doesn't even know. 


I can't be saved. 



And doesn't exception only prove the rule? 



Everyone will leave. Everything will break. Everytime will be the same. 

Everything he touches will be destroyed and it will all be his fault, because there is no such thing as destiny



The boy tells Fushimi not to call him by his first name. It's not manly, he says. 

Well, the radiant blush on his cheeks is not manly either. 

The name sounds like a young stream rushing out from the core of a mountain, alive and... 


The name sounds like the heartbeats in Fushimi's throat. 



And there's this lingering voice at the back of his mind, always saying, singing, snickering – how none of this is meant for him, how none of this going to last, how he should not let himself fall prey to such delusions. 



And there aren't even tears anymore, nothing to blur the world. It's naked, mindless, gray. Cold

Just clenched fists and blood seeping through fingernails. 



You do get taken care of when you're sick, right? Misaki asks. 

He can't say anything. He only hopes Misaki can not see the distorted twist of his lips. 



I'll come whenever you call for me, Misaki says. 

So he repeats the name a million times inside his head when he lies awake in bed at night, and he feels it overpowering the maddening laughter that comes from downstairs. 

And the strange thing is, Misaki does come.



And there, just like that, Fushimi allows himself to breathe a little easier, to live a little more. Just because Misaki says so. 



Together, we'll take over the world! 

Misaki's auburn hair looks like the flickering tongues of fire when the wind blows.

And how can he doubt anything that Misaki says? 



Knuckle bumps. Pizzas. Kotatsus . Double bunk beds. 


(You're amazing!) 



Mailing apps. Gaming centers. Nightmares. Fireworks. 


(Saruhiko! Are you okay?) 



Warmth. Heat. Fire. Smoke. 


(He's amazing!) 



Isn't it nice that we have our marks in the same place? Misaki exclaims and Fushimi wants to tear Misaki's eyes away from the mark, and tear the mark away from his chest. 



He burns the mark with his own fire, and sees the fire in Misaki's eyes flicker to a dead end, before it flares up again and consumes him. 

Better to leave first than be left forgotten. 

Nothing lasts forever. Better destroy it now than wait till the end. 



Traitor. Traitor! TRAITOR! 

I'll kill you, Misaki swears, and once again Misaki's eyes are on him. 



Oh, the sweet pain! Ah, the sick pleasure! 



Sick. So cold. 



Traitor. Yes, I am. 


He has Misaki pinned to the wall, damp with moisture and sharp from the plaster that is peeling off. 

Misaki is seething, but Misaki is not struggling anymore. 

Their lips can touch any moment now, and his vile sneer will be leaving an imprint on Misaki's slightly parted, rather inviting ones. 

That's the joke, though – they can, but never do

He wakes up, throat raw and body bathed in sweat, and he wonders why it is not blood instead. 



There's acid in his heart and there's venom in his mouth, there are knives up his sleeves and there are daggers in his words... 

...and there's a chill in his bones, there's a little child inside crying helpless tears over the burnt remains of what used to be an anthill. 

He pushes everything deep down, until everything is lost to the darkness. 

Like himself. 



He does everything he knows to kill the stupid, stupid rays of hope which shimmer in those amber eyes, but they keep coming back, and the other keeps coming back to him - when that's not how it should be, people should just leave and not come back, never come back to him. 

He knows none of this is working. The rules are breaking and he hates when he's not in control. 

Like his fucking heart that goes crazy everytime they meet. 

And, deep down, hidden behind his manic eyes, his unhinged laughter, his mocking drawl – he's afraid. Terribly so. 



You're used to being a traitor. 

The voice of the Blue King is calm and calculated, and he knows the story behind the statement. 


He has taught himself not to feel, but sometimes the void of numbness is too overbearing to carry. 



His back collides with the wall, his knees buckle and he falls to the ground on all fours, blood gushing out from the wound in his thigh.

Like a child searching for the broken pieces of a Rubik's cube on the floor. 



You're not a traitor!

Misaki's voice is swimming with faith, with belief, with relief, like Misaki is not only saying that to the other, but also to himself. 

Don't. Don't. 

You don't get to do that. Not now. 

I can't be saved. 

He can't find the strength in him to bite back viciously; he feels too weak to break into a run like he should and run till his legs give in and his lungs burn to ashes because this, this is going to break again, and this time there won't even be any pain to sustain himself. 

But he can't. And it's not entirely due to the wound. 

It's because Misaki came back for him, Misaki helped him up when he fell, Misaki looked up to him. Because Misaki cared



The convulsing relief hurts more than the stab wound high up his leg, and he welcomes it. 



Move in with me again, Misaki whispers, voice faltering at the edges. 

He stands stiff at the gate of the small apartment which barely fits Misaki's things – frenzied heartbeat and burning lungs. 

Misaki's apartment is small, indeed, but Misaki's heart is astonishingly large, and that is the place he has wanted to live in for so long, and Misaki says... 

... Come back home. 

He realizes, Misaki has been saying that for a long time, and this is the first time he hears. 



He stops an agonising distance short from Misaki's lips. 

The sun sets in the west, setting the horizon ablaze, and Misaki's eyes burn with the same fire, and he shudders as he thinks of the imprint his vile lips will be leaving on Misaki's parted, inviting ones. 

Everything he touches will be destroyed. 

He cannot click his tongue when he realizes how cold his hand is in Misaki's, and how it trembles. 

Misaki whispers, it's okay, voice like the soft downs of a pigeon's breast, and he cannot hold back the rushing desire anymore, and finally closes that gap.

Misaki's lips are soft against his dry ones, Misaki's breath warm against his cheek, his hands slowly growing warm in Misaki's. 

There's no blood like he dreamed there would be, there's no struggle for power, no bitter taste of vengeance nor the salt of tears. 



Misaki's cheeks are glowing faintly, and he is smiling like that again.

Misaki is here in front of him, completely open, Misaki's whole heart laid out for him to read, to claim. 



Broken things are not the only ones that are beautiful, after all. 



Everything he touches...



He touches Misaki's cheeks, they're warm, and Misaki is still here. Misaki is still smiling. 



It is not just a kiss, it's the holiest of salvations. 



And Misaki says that it is love.

Fushimi believes.