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When we die...

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It should be cold.

The sky was covered in grey clouds, and the ground once full of grass was now hidden under far too many layers of icy white.

Even without all that, death was supposed to be cold… right? Then…

Why?

He blinked slowly, the white world swaying slightly before his eyes…

Ah, no… he was the one swaying… wasn’t it?

He could feel his own feet sinking into the snow, plowing through the deadly cold.

Was the snow pilling up, or were his legs starting to fail?

“… Put me down” he mustered all his strength to make his thoughts into words. His own voice a far too weak whisper – his own breath tasting of his own muddy blood.

He did not reply.

He just kept walking. Relentless. Pure stubbornness fueling his every step, one foot at a time.

Right…

Left…

Right…

Left…

Each step was more laborious than the one before, sinking just a bit deeper into the growing snow.

“… stop…” he muttered again.

No response.

“I said. Stop” he repeated “… won’t you listen to my orders?”

There was a moment of hesitation – and for that small group of seconds, it seemed like the butler was finally going to stop.

No such luck.

“Your orders? Hah! Too bad you are not my master anymore” the silver haired finally spoke, voice breathy, and tired, and cold. He stomped forward, slowly, but surely, ignoring the trail of red left behind him. “You should have thought of that before firing me, huh?”

Ritsu closed his eyes.

This was certainly not what he had in mind when he broke the pact that tied the two of them together. Being carried through the night in the small back of the man that used to be his servant… the still burning remains of his manor coming apart right behind him.

He’d seen the trails and heard the rumors. Of men that hunted calamities down – of ‘saviors of humanity’ that specialized in ending those who were like him.

Not even a full month had passed since he last used his claws to hunt the scout that was sent to his manor, and already the caravan of guns and dogs and death approached from the distant frozen mountain.

He could smell them… hear them. Their unwavering will and their disregard for life. The hatred of a curse in their breaths as they called to ‘end the monster’. The bloodlust that could only be satisfied with death.

… at least they never killed humans, or so he had heard.

A wistful thought, as the shackles of destiny closed on his ankles.

“You’re free to leave” he said. Unceremoniously. His hand placed on the window and his eyes far lost into the source of his despair.

Behind him, the last of his servants – his servant- stood, straight as an arrow.

His reflection on the window showed icy blue eyes shaking, lips pursing as they sought an answer.

“… I’m releasing you from your contract” the words dropped from his throat, reluctantly yet certain.

From a manor once full of maids and butlers, gardeners and cooks, only this man remained past every single one of Ritsu’s outbursts. Stubbornly keeping the already ruined manor from crumbling apart – just like he kept Ritsu from throwing away his life. Beautiful as always – like the light of the moon that kept Ritsu company for many nights of loneliness.

This man. The only one to be his. Not his brother’s. Not his family’s. His.

For whatever short time that was… Five years? Ten? More?

It was hard to tell what was substantial to a human life when you had no links to that.

It just felt short and unfinished. Like a summer night.

The man, his butler, had stood there for a few seconds too long. Lips pursed and eyes wet…

He thought that’d be the last time he’d see him. Holding back his tears like a sulking brat…

… and yet.

“You’ll die” he stated the inevitable, his voice even quieter than before.

A cacophony of voices raised into the night – past the burning flames and the frozen wind. Bloodlust looking from the escaping ‘monster’…

“Oh, shut up” his ‘servant’ replied, tired legs sinking even further into the snow “You’re such a brat… You annoying, fucking, asshole. Always coming up with weird requests… making me bake for your birthday when I’m not a cook… making me sing along to your piano even though I can’t hold a tone… then laughing as if it’s all great. Acting like you know it all…”

His legs trembled. It looked like it’d be hard to walk… exhausting… painful. The boots of his pants were drenched, his always polished leather shoes useless in the snow.

He stumbled, knees touching the cold ground with the painful noise of both fabric and flesh scratching against ice…

“… you were always dragging me into your stupid shit…” he continued, settling his feet strongly into the slippery ice that made him fall to his knees and propping himself back up. Ritsu’s weight following along naturally.

Ah right. He had made him sing to the rhythm of his piano, and dance under the moonlight in his arms. He always fussed about it, yet still agreed to his whims.

He wished he could have been a bit longer with this human. That he could have seen him dance and sing many more times…

“I like…” the words just barely left his lips “your… singing… and dancing”

He trembled slightly… maybe catching on his words.

“Oh, shut up. That won’t help your case, you brat. Who the fuck do you think you are to be considerate at this point? To say stupid shit like ‘I’ll let you go’?”

Ritsu held his breath, his consciousness starting to fade, he bit at the inside of his mouth over and over again, hoping the pain would keep him awake… would tie him to this world. Would let him listen…

“… go where? You stupid, stupid, stupid vampire… Take responsibility! If you’re going to drag me to hell with you, then do it properly!”

The world swayed… the pain in his tore mouth hardly enough to keep him awake… all the sounds in the world seemed distant. The wind, the fire… even the distant yelling as their trail was found…

This had to be death… cold, hard, death.

And yet, the back that carried him was warm. The fast thumping of a human heart resonating against his own chest – echoing through his already death thorax.

Ah… that’s why he didn’t feel cold…

Odd… he hardly ever felt warmth through his life.

“When we die… we’ll do it together…”

……

……..

Ritsu jolted slightly as warm light hit his eyelids, scarlet eyes opening slowly past long eyelashes and glaring at the uncertain world around him. The green trees, the patterned floor beneath him…

“...Huh, what’s this? A dead body? Ughhh, I stepped on it!”

That voice! Red eyes darted open, skimming through the still blurry world before him as he looked for the owner of that voice.

“I think he’s alive, though? I was standing by the gate this whole time, so I saw him wobble over here and lie down. Perhaps he’s taking a casual nap?” That was a different voice, a tad more feminine…

“While outside? And don’t just ignore suspicious people when you see them, okay? Show a bit more interest in others! What if he’d felt sick and lost consciousness? That’d be a really big deal!” Ah, he was still as much of an annoying worrywart… was he?

Finally managing to open his eyes fully, Ritsu stared at the figure before him.

Silver hair… icy blue eyes… a beautiful face like that of an angel…

Ah… he was here… alive and well…

“Hey! Are you okay? Do we need to call an ambulance?” the silver haired male asked, blue eyes shining with worry towards a total stranger.

He was still as kind… as warm… as beautiful…

He was so glad… he’d found him again…

Ah, but maybe it’d be better if he didn’t drag him around this time. Wouldn’t he be much happier living on his own?

“I’m fine, leave me alone… You’re getting in the way of my sleep.” He lied… voice but a tired whisper. It was enough with seeing him. It was enough with seeing his soul hadn’t been lost…

“Excuse me? We’re worried about you, you know!? What’s up with this guy, he’s pissing me off! You’re probably a first year, huh, is this any attitude to be showing to your kind senior?” ah… he was slightly bitter, harsher… but he was still the same…

He almost felt like laughing… or crying… or both.

“Just leave me alone already… Today the sunlight’s intense and unbearable…”

“If you‘re not feeling well, I’ll carry you to the nurse’s room.”

… the same… it was the same. No matter how much he tried to say no, the silver haired still lifted him up.

He was just as warm, just as slender… and smelled just as nice…

… maybe this time… with no hunters and no guns… he’d be able to protect him. To pay him back for all his kindness… all the warmth he’d been given.

Maybe this time… he’d be able to make him smile.

“Secchan… I missed you” he whispered soundless words.

...

To be taken by the wind and forgotten.