Ain't Afraid To Die
Part 1All I can see is that rain… Whipping at me like it holds a grudge against anyone who tried to confront it. Ignoring it, I make wide, rapid step, headed nowhere, just loving the dreary weather pounding against me, loving how gray and dismal the night landscape is. A simple escape from grief. Oh wind, throw me to the ground if you will, I want to feel the wet hard concrete scratching my skin, I want to see the streams of blood diluting in the water. I bump into something hard. I suppose that will do. I step back dizzily, almost losing my balance. I feel arms catching me, stabilizing me. But I don't want that. I want to be thrown to the ground and be stepped on, crushed under sadistic feet.
The curtain of rain opens a little, allowing me to see something I can't even name, since it's been such a long time I haven't such a thing. A face. Well, that's not what surprises me. It's the fact that that face is not scornful, not ugly, not hateful. Not a man or a woman either. Just…a face. A miracle.
"Are you okay?"
Quite a deep voice. A man. But… what a man. I nod numbly, not daring to look at that face anymore. It holds too much beauty for a man like me.
"Come inside for a second."
No more words than that. He's already slipped a friendly arm around my shoulder, leading me to the door of a run down building. I follow, somehow welcoming that turn of event. I don't want him to touch me, I'm too dirty for that. However, when I try to shrug him off, he tightens his hold. Surprisingly, the hold doesn't seem threatening. He leads us in a dark, noisy, smoky place. Some kind of bar, I don't know exactly. We sit at a small round table. I remove my drenched coat; suddenly the rain seems much colder, and I run my hand through my hair, trying to remove the dripping water.
I set my eyes back on the man, whose gaze is strangely persistent. I admit I must offer quite a sight. My hardened face must look even meaner in the darkness, but I don't even want to know what I look like, drenched as I am. I hope I don't remind him too much of a wet pit-bull.
I challenge his gaze, all the while taking in his appearance. His face is still as beautiful as ever, despite the cheap lighting effects playing on his skin. His lips look infinitely soft, almost begging to be touched. The emotions on his face grip my heart, squeezing it. Please, don't make me feel like that...
"I know this is the best place for meeting someone, but this is where I work."
I look around, finally noticing the appearance of the clients and employees. Dressed down. Very much. Eccentric getups that could only belong to strippers… or hookers… I shrug. It's not like I've never seen such a place before.
"Why did you bring me here?"
"I couldn't let you go. You look… very sad."
He reaches out to bring one of my hands to the center of the table, pressing it against his two palms, looking at me with these caring eyes of his, teasing something inside me, something that almost make me want to cry. Leave me alone…don't mess with me!!!
"You know, that's a very subtle way for getting a client." I say coldly, getting up. "You better stick to those in here, 'cause I wont fall in your little trap."
I pick up my coat and turn around, trying to erase him from my mind already, restraining myself from getting a last glimpse of that beauty. I need an escape. I'm not any safer here than anywhere else, anyway.
The arms that catch me from behind are stronger than I'd have expected. Their hold is tight around my arms, keeping me from shrugging myself off. I prepare myself for a vicious kick in the tibia, but his face comes back to me. I hesitate. I give him time for his next move. Give him time to kiss my neck with passion, not bothering to push my long hair aside.
So good… The physical contact is more than welcomed, my recent lifestyle having denied it to me. I catch myself before I sink into the embrace, but the man still feels me relax, and his hold loosens. I squirm to turn around and look up at the taller man. His face is begging now, begging me to stay. I can't, I have to make him understand that. There is no way I can loose myself in that beauty, not even for a moment. I have to be on my toes every second of the day. Why is he after me anyway? Is it really just his way of getting clients?
"I'll let you fuck me for free if you want… just don't go," he says, almost tearfully.
I can't understand the sudden obsession he has over me. I put my arms on his shoulders, pushing him back gently but firmly.
"What do you want?" I ask, struggling to keep my eyes hard, merciless.
He retreats of his own will, sitting down and burying his face in his hands. He lifts it a few seconds later to look at me, wiping one of his eyes.
"I just want you."
What can I do? Stay or leave? Follow my heart or my logic? I have to keep running. But… I need to understand. My heart won't let me leave.
I sit back down, keeping my mouth shut.
Suddenly, someone appears behind the man, making him turn around. He slaps him. The man just blinks tearfully as the newcomer starts screaming at him and slaps his other cheek mercilessly, before he signals him toward the door and leaves, stomping his feet. The man gets up, looking condemned. He shoots me one last look then heads out. Without thinking I follow him - what business do I have here anyway? I walk beside him in the fading rain, under a black sky. He shoots me one glance, as if to make sure it really is me, then goes on walking in silence.
Suddenly a gunshot rings.
Oh no… not now! Not with him!! I grab his hand and dive between two buildings, breaking into a wild run, the man releasing my hand, keeping up with me as well as he can in his platform shoes. I have a pretty good idea where we are, so I lead us toward a safer place. We are almost there, my companion panting but still behind me. I turn in a back street, and come to an urgent halt, backing in to the other man, stepping back in the previous alley. The man rubs his arm but kept quiet, sensing that something is really wrong. I tiptoe in retreat, praying that the other will understand that any noise from our side might be fatal. He seems to catch on and we walk carefully until we arrived beside a tall pile of garbage bags. I touch them. Only ripped paper. Should we hide in there? No. If they come upon it they will surely shoot, just in case. I breathe deeply. The other is shifting his weight from one leg to the other, looking nervous. He looks around for a moment as we start walking forward, then I hear him sigh in relief.
I glance at him inquisitively. He takes my hand, pulling me with him. Everything is silent. My enemy is being as careful as we are. I hate it so much, playing cat and mouse when I have a protégé, when any mistake might send him sprawling to the ground, bleeding with me.
The man stops at a corner, looked both ways carefully to make sure no one is waiting for us, then goes on confidently to a specific building. He presses the dirty doorbell repetitively, cursing for the door to open. Something crashes not too far from us. A man swears angrily in the distance.
"Please please please," the man beside me mutters, taking my hand. I squeeze back protectively. Why, oh why did I have to endanger him?
The door swings open, and my friend plunges in without even greeting the person who opened. I step in quickly, closing the door behind me and nodding at the red head standing before me. He turns to look at the other man.
"Toshiya, will you tell me what's going on?!"
Toshiya comes back to my side. "My friend and I are being followed. Can't you let us stay until tomorrow? It's dangerous outside."
The redhead's face finally loses its indifference.
"Sit down and tell me what's going on," he says, concern seeping his voice, as he looks his friend over.
We sit onto the worn out couch. Toshiya makes a point of sitting beside me, much closer than he needs to. I bring my arm around his shoulder, hoping he'll understand I want to protect him from what is going, to protect him from my twisted, violent existence. He snuggles close, sighing contentedly. It seems like he doesn't need anything more to be relieved.
I glances up at his friend sheepishly. He smiles; he doesn't look that cold anymore.
"Die," Toshiya tells his friend, "meet Kaoru."
He gives me an angelic grin as I narrow my eyes. How does he know my name?
"Kaoru," he says sweetly, "this is my friend Die. We're safe with him. He has a weapon," Toshiya specifies, quite innocently."
"I have a weapon too," I say. "That doesn't make us safer. If they shoot first, they win."
"They won't win," Toshiya say confidently. "I won't let them."
There is no use in arguing with him. I don't like how things are getting. Toshiya looks too sure of himself, suddenly. How did he know my name? Maybe…maybe he's with them? No, that doesn't make sense, it would be too much of a long shot for them to have me like that.
Meanwhile, Die is watching us with a distant look in his eyes. He gets up suddenly.
"Take my room. I have things to do."
I frown. I don't trust that man at all. But Toshiya does, apparently. He gets up and tells me to follow him. I thank Die, who shrugs me off, and we get in the dark room. Toshiya closes the door behind us and turns on a low lamp. He stretches on the bed and look at me seductively. "Come with me, Kaoru… Ka…o…ru…chan…"
It is obvious the emphasis he put on my name is deliberate. I glare at him. He cowers a bit, blinking innocently, then he smiles again. "Come on, Kaoru. You must want me just a little?" He sits up and pulled his sweater off. "You have such a beautiful name, Kaoru… You…are so beautiful. Please… sleep with me."
"Don't you think it's the wrong moment for that?" I ask, not moving from my spot against the door. "We don't even know what's going on outside. And how do you know my name?"
Toshiya smiles mysteriously. "I know you, dear Kaoru. I've known you forever. I've loved you forever."
"STOP saying THAT! You don't know me. Stop acting so weird!"
I shut my eyes for a second. Not a wise thing for me to overreact. I have to stay neutral as I usually do.
"Explain. Tell me what you're talking about. Tell me why you know me."
I cross the line to the dangerous territory that is the bed, and sit on edge. He crawls toward me and presses his torso against my back, resting his chin on my shoulders, holding me tight. "You'll leave me if I tell you."
I feel myself shiver. His breath so hot, his body so sensuous. His tongue flicks out and licks the lobe of my ear. "Stay with me," he whispers. "I'll be good for you."
Get away from him, get away from him! My hormones are starting to react, and oh god, I mustn't abandon my reason to that beautiful man.
"I won't leave you, Toshiya. Tell me."
I hear him sigh sadly. "Just…take in consideration that… I love you… I don't want you to leave me… I had to make it without you for so long…" He puts soft kiss on my neck and on the top of my shoulders. "Kaoru… there's so much violence in this world… When two people can get together… they cling to each other… they won't let the other go.. I've loved you so much… when we were young… I'd watch you from afar… couldn't get close to you…I wasn't allowed. It was wrong. So wrong. I grew up. The moments I could see you were sparser. You never acknowledged me. I don't know if you ever knew I existed. One day… there was a fight. A huge fight. Between your clan and mine. And… it was so chaotic… I had a gun in my hand… I know these things kill, Kaoru. I'm not as innocent as I look… I just want to spare the people I care about. And then… everyone was shooting. And… oh…"
Toshiya's voice breaks and he bursts in tears, still holding me from behind, his chin propped on my shoulder, his head shaking. My heart is in shambles. The shooting…the shooting that started it all… Our gangs already hadn't gotten along. That time had been fatal.
His tears muffle his words, but I understand. He pulls away from me and lies down, his face buried in a pillow, crying, crying so much, so desperately. My head is swirling. It couldn't be… calm down, don't hate him, calm down, it's not his fault!!!
"Toshiya," I call in a controlled voice. "Turn around. On your back. Good."
He looks at me fearfully.
"You're the one who killed my brother, you say?"
He nods and closes his eyes.
"I didn't mean it I didn't mean it I just wanted to protect myself and you!" he whimpers. "… Kyo was aiming at you … you don't know him…he's dead now. But… at that time… he was there and aiming at you. And…I screamed for him to stop! I screamed your name!!! You looked at me and then at him and dove in time to dodge Kyo's shot. Your brother… saw me protecting you. He started ushering the younger ones out, saying we didn't have anything to do with it all. Die… didn't see it quite like him. He said…*sob*…he said a gang was family and everyone should be together! He told me to shoot at your brother… pointed his gun at me and I cried and I cried… I dropped the gun and Die tensed up. I started to think he wasn't bluffing, that he really was going to shoot me. Your brother must have thought that too, 'cause he dove to protect me… and Die killed him."
"But… dammit Toshiya, you're not the one who killed him, don't be so guilty! And… why the hell did you bring us here!?? Die…"
"Die changed… We won't try to kill you, unless… It's not… our gang who's after you tonight… is it?"
"I don't know… the gangs have been moving and changing lately… lots of betrayal and merging… Are we…together, Toshiya?"
He nods weakly, tears still in his eyes. "Kaoru… I always wanted to be with you."
I pull him in my arms, I need so much to have someone whom I can trust… so much… To have at least one person whom I'll never doubt… I stroke his back tenderly, surprised at myself, surprised I can be that gentle with someone.
"Toshiya. Can I trust you?"
"Kaoru…" He wraps my waist with his arms and buries his face in chest. "You can trust me always, I'm devoted to you eternally…"
I smile sadly. The way he is so eager…it's cute… "I have faith in you too." I lose control for a moment and kiss his forehead, my hands in his black hair. "I'm sorry we could never meet before. I like you very much."
He looks up at me, his eyes hopeful. "You're the first one who told me that in such a long time…usually it's just oh god you're so sexy, from clients. Your words… they mean so much to me."
He holds me tight. "What do we do… if Die wants to kill you? Even if I tell him not to, I'm afraid he will if he has to… I don't know if I'm more important to him than the gang is… Maybe we should run away…"
I sigh, playing with his hair. For the first time in a long time, I'm feeling scared. Since I lost my brother… I've had nothing to lose. And suddenly there is that lovely man entering my life… and making me afraid to die…afraid to lose someone… I can't bear the thought of losing him. I close my eyes wearily, wanting us both to disappear at the other side of the planet. When I open them his face is close to mine. Gazing with concern.
"Together. We're together, Kaoru. Together. It's too good to be true. Don't be so sad, shouldn't you be happy?"
He kisses me softly. I'm too numb to respond.
"I don't want to lose you," I admit in a whisper.
"Oh, Kaoru… Your words mean the world to me," Toshiya says, kissing me again. "Now… I can die happy. Now that I count for you.."
"Don't say that!!" I exclaim. "You won't die!"
I've brought my face close, and I am speaking so loud he looks almost scared. I cup his chin in my hands. "Sh… don't be afraid of me…" I bring my lips on his and we kiss, and it feels so good… for a moment it makes me forget where we are. His kiss is so passionate, so insistent…. His lips against mine… I will never forget that feeling. It's as if I've known him forever! My heart is pounding so hard, and for once it isn't caused by the stress of staying alive. "Toshiya…oh Toshiya," I moan inside the kiss. Suddenly I'm lying on him, suddenly our tongues are caressing each other, suddenly I'm in heaven. I open my eyes… he is still there, beautiful, looking like he is in heaven too. How will I be able to pull myself away from him? Danger is everywhere but I can't bring myself apart from him, I'm so scared we can never ever be together after tonight…
A sound of gunshot brings us back to earth. Toshiya clings to me for a moment, then he gets up and looks outside, careful not to be seen through the window. I see his face change and rush to see what was happening. He tells me hurriedly to duck, which I do and he imitates me.
"Two men," he whispers. "They're looking up here, I think they want to get in… Die's not there. I don't even know if they're after you or him."
He looks terrified. I hug him then dare a peak out. Damn. One of them I know very well. He wants me dead. As soon as he sees me, he'll shoot. They look like they're about to get in.
"I have to take them out now," I whisper. "Stay down Toshiya. I'm shooting."
He nods hurriedly, tensely. I trace a picture of him in my mind, then carefully take out my gun. I stand against the side of the window, fortunately it's open, and peer outside. The two men are arguing. I shoot. The one whom I'm sure is after me. He falls. I don't know how badly I hit him, I can't see. The other man swears and aims toward the window. I move away from the window, the bullet wheezing into the room and lodging itself in the wall. I look down at Toshiya; he's petrified.
"It's okay Totchi, it's okay," I say, trying to look outside, only half hearing him repeat 'Totchi' in a soft voice. There's one man lying outside. The others disappeared. He must have gotten inside.
"Shit, shit…. Toshiya, hide."
I leave the room, creeping along the wall until I reach the staircase. He must be waiting downstairs. I shoot, aiming where he might most possibly be. I hear a scream. Then nothing. I take a careless step forward.
Then I am thrown back on the ground, a deafening sound ringing in my ears. I bring my hand to my chest, a searing pain tearing me apart. My hands come up wet and hot. God, he hasn't missed me at all. I hear someone stepping beside me, picking up the gun. I try to sit up but the pain is too intense. I only see Toshiya advancing dangerously toward the stairs.
I try to scream but it doesn't come out. Nothing more than a faint whisper.
"I'LL KILL YOU I'LL KILL YOU I'LL KILL YOU!!!!" Toshiya screams angrily, running down, shooting blindly. A scream of pain. The gunshots stop. Toshiya… please…don't die with me.
Why is it that I know I'm dying? Why am I so sad? Toshiya, I don't want to leave you…
Fortunately, Toshiya's voice sound, close. He's okay...
"Oh my god such a big wound! Hang on, I'm calling the ambulance."
Toshiya leaves. No, he mustn't leave! Toshiya… I love you… If there was a meaning to my existence, it was meeting you. Stay with me until the end!
I touch my chest once more. So much blood, coming out of my own body!! I'm freaking out. Suddenly I'm possessed by a coughing fit and more blood splatter out of my mouth. Totchi… come back…
Suddenly I see him, looking at me, looking so worried…
"It's okay," he says, taking my head in his hands, putting a kiss on my forehead. "The ambulance's coming. Die just got in too, he's with us. And the guy's unconscious. I don't think he will wake up."
Oh my god.. I've forgotten about that… the guns… the cops…
"Totchi… hide the gun… unload it and throw it away. I don't want you to be caught…"
"Go… As long as you're safe… I'll be okay."
"Kaoru, you will live, promise me you live!!!"
He kisses my lips. I hope heaven is like that. Or rather, hell, which is probably where I'll end up. I can die like that… I can die with his lips on mine and his hands in my hair. I can die now…
I can fade away… Now I've done my purpose…
"I love you, Totchi," I whisper in his kiss. He pulls back, trying to figure out what I just said.
"I'll always love you Totchi," I repeat weakly. "Please…kiss…me"
"I love you Kaoru, I love you!!! Stay with me!!! Please!!!"
He's crying so much as it slowly dawns on him that nothing can be done, nothing can be changed, as his lips touch mine once more. Don't cry Totchi… Don't be sad. I'll always be with you… Always together…
* * *
Written by Arashi
I've been meaning to
write a happy birthday fic for Toshiya... and all I end up with is
this!! I'm really officially a sado...
Also, maybe the 'plot' doesn't make a whole of sense. I wrote it in one shot and had no idea where I was going with it. Might rework. Someday.
~to be continued~
back to fics page