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23 June 2008 @ 10:20 pm
Nothing is... - Non-JRock, Loveless, Youji/Natsuo  
Title: Nothing is…
Author: Kagome
Warnings: Slight angst and slight spoilers with a heaping spoonful of fluff.
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Youji/Natsuo
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies.
Summary: Their name is a lie.
Comments: I got out of bed in the middle of the night to write half of this thing. XD So… yes. Can be considered a companion fic to To Know Pain. Hope you all like it~! Slight spoilers for volume 4 of the manga and episode 10 of the anime.

Nothing is…

Zero. Zephirum. ṣifr. Nothing.

It is Youji’s name. He’d looked it up once – just once – to see what it really meant. He’d learned that his name quite literally means nothing. He hadn’t been concerned once he’d learned the meaning of his name, but these days, things are different. He’s not unconcerned anymore—not like he used to be. He’s not as carefree as he once was; things have changed in such a short amount of time, and there have been nights in which he’s done nothing more than lie in bed awake, thinking and staring at the ceiling, or at Natsuo.

Tonight is one of those nights. He is wide awake in the darkness, losing himself in his thoughts as he listens to the sound of Natsuo’s breathing. It is soft and even, indicating sleep. At least one of them is sleeping soundly.

Zero. Nothing. Professer Nagisa had named him after nothing. Was it possible that she’d done so simply because of his supposed inability to feel pain? Perhaps. However, Youji isn’t certain—has never been certain about the origins of his name. He hasn’t questioned it either, until recently. He hasn’t had a reason to.

Recently, everything he knows – or thought he knew – has been turned upside-down. He believes that he has good reason now to question everything.

Beside him, Natsuo stirs. “Youji, what are you thinking about?” His voice is rough with sleep, but his remaining emerald eye is open and watchful, belying the drowsy quality of his voice.

Natsuo is also Zero. Natsuo is Youji’s Fighter. Until recently, Youji had believed that they were the only two Zero. That’s how it’s supposed to be, after all. Two who share one name, not four.

Youji also wonders if there are others—if there are even more Zeroes that Professor Nagisa hasn’t informed them about.

Does it really matter, though, if there are indeed others? He and Natsuo are outcasts now; they can’t go back. They are no longer part of the safe haven that they’ve always known, and yet, they still bear the same name that Professor Nagisa had given them.

Youji is beginning to dislike their name—he believes that it is a lie in and of itself.

Finally, after several seconds of silence, Youji answers Natsuo’s question: “Nothing,” he replies, and he twists that one word so that it is simultaneously an honest truth and also an utter fallacy. He knows that Natsuo will not believe that he is not thinking about anything – will not believe that his mind is clear – because Natsuo knows him far better than that.

So, Youji elaborates, burying his face in his Fighter’s auburn curls before fiercely whispering, “You aren’t nothing, Natsuo.”

He is being serious (which, he has to admit, isn’t very characteristic of him), but this is important to him and so seriousness is necessary. He needs to put this tangle of emotions into words. He needs Natsuo to understand how he feels. He needs Natsuo to know that he has never been – and never will be – nothing. Not to Youji.

Of course, Natsuo understands. Even when there are no words between them, or when the words don’t make much (if any) sense, Natsuo always understands. “Neither are you, Youji,” he answers as he slides his arms around Youji and pulls him closer. His voice, like Youji’s, is thick with equal parts emotion and conviction.

Youji unhesitatingly relaxes in Natsuo’s arms, nearly sighing in relief. He feels more at ease now; he feels better now that he’s put his thoughts into words and has spoken them aloud to Natsuo. He is glad that Natsuo understands—that his Fighter knows.

He closes his eyes and smiles, pressing a soft kiss to the top of Natsuo’s head. Now, he is certain that both of them can get some sleep.

Sometimes, nothing is something.

And sometimes, nothing is everything.

So, I had this idea floating around in my head for a little while, but I didn’t have time to write it due to studying for my NCLEX (the nursing exam that I had to pass in order to become a nurse), and I passed. ^_^ I started writing this the other day… I believe the day after I found out I passed. Or maybe it was the day after that. I can’t remember. XD Anyway, I wrote about half of this in one sitting, and then I had to go and I couldn’t get back to the computer for the rest of the day. That night, the idea for the rest of this ficlet hit me, and WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE so I got out of bed and scribbled down the rest. This is the final product, after a bit of editing. I hope you all enjoyed! ^_^

Also! In case you guys were wondering, zephirum is Medieval Latin and ṣifr is Arabic. Both words mean the same as zero—nothing.
Teka Lynntekalynn on June 24th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
I do like this story, and congratulations on passing your exam!
Kagome_newworld on June 27th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Thank you very much on both counts~. I'm glad you liked the story. ^_^
vahinkoelainvahinkoelain on June 24th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
I think you've described the change of feelings well. How doubtful Youji is in the beginning but how he becomes perfectly content when his other half reassures him. Things go from utterly complex to simple in one moment. You've expressed a lot with a few words.

I also like the name of this fic. Before reading this, I read it as "nothing is... something that the author will reveal later", and now I'm thinking that it may mean "nothing is." It exists, even though it's nothing.

PS. It's a bit embarrassing to ask, but I've always wondered how people know that Natsuo's male. Have I missed something in the anime or manga?
Kagome: Kai - Silence all around me_newworld on June 27th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
For some reason, I really like how it flowed from Youji's doubt to Natsuo's reassurance. It's funny how in the other fic I wrote about them, Youji was the one doing the reassuring--he's even trying to here, but it's what Natsuo says (and doesn't say) that reassures him most.

Well, thank you~! I'm glad you like the title of the fic. I wanted to let it kinda trail off like that, because I wanted the readers to have the impression that 'nothing' is what you make of it. For Youji, since Natsuo is also Zero, nothing, he believes that nothing is his everything. You are correct--nothing exists, and what really counts is how you react to that, whether you choose to accept it as is.

*giggles* You aren't alone! I, too, thought Natsuo was a girl to begin with. ^^;;;; It was cleared up quickly but still. *laughs*

Again, thank you! I'm glad you read and commented, and most of all, that you enjoyed this fic. And I'm so sorry for rambling at you. XD
vahinkoelainvahinkoelain on June 27th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
No problem, I like to hear what's behind the story (and I've never minded discussion, except when I should be leaving for camp in a few hours, except _everyone_ seems to leave me comments exactly at that time. Bad karma or something?).

Btw, it's a shame you've got so few reviews - I guess the Loveless fandom on lj is quite... dead. D:
vahinkoelainvahinkoelain on June 27th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
(Uh, added this to clear up: I don't mind comments when I should be doing something else, actually I like them so much that I let them distract me and that's a bad thing. Which is why I think it might be karma's doing.)
Kagome_newworld on July 1st, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
XDXDXD I knew what you meant, no worries. ^_^
Kagome: Reita - Gloves_newworld on July 1st, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
*LOL* Awww. I know that feeling. XD Except I don't go to summer camp--it's more like when I have to be doing something else, yeah. Like moving. ^^;

*sigh* I'm a bit disappointed that I haven't gotten many reviews for this one, especially when I'm actually proud of it. ._.
Hollyhollybennett123 on June 28th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love those Zero boys *sigh* Great fic! XD
Kagome_newworld on July 1st, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Me too~! ^_^ And thank you very much!
kyana02kyana02 on July 1st, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
Your story is very insightful. Both boys are letting themselves ponder on feelings that they have never experienced before. While it does give them some hestitancy in a fight from now on, it also may give them consideration for those that they have "trampled" on in the past (or maybe not.) Kudos for passing your nursing exam!
Kagome_newworld on July 1st, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed this! I, too, wonder if they would give thought to others' pain in battle (when fighting Soubi, they only seemed to enjoy inflicting pain--they didn't seem to stop and think about consequences, etc.). I'm sure that Natsuo, at the very least, will be wary after that fight with Kouya and Yamato, considering what happened to Youji. *could ramble on about this forever* XDXDXD

And thank you so much for the congratulations~!