Warnings: Mild angst.
Word Count: 541
Notes: I really need to write more fics/drabbles starring these two. ^^ Takes place around the last scene in the newly-released volume 8. This means spoilers, so don’t read if you haven’t gotten that far. ^_^
Ritsuka is exhausted—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s the worst kind of exhaustion: It’s the kind of exhaustion that seeps into his bones and settles there, making him feel much older than he really is. It’s the kind of exhaustion that makes it difficult to even sleep, when sleep is all that he really wants right now.
He sighs and rolls over in bed, discovering rather quickly that he isn’t the only one having trouble sleeping. Soubi is beside him, eyes wide open and body tense.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?” Ritsuka asks, even though he knows it’s a stupid question. It’s a stupid question because he knows the answer already. Today has been a difficult day for all of them.
“Can’t,” Soubi answers, his gaze focused on the far wall instead of on Ritsuka. Ritsuka wants his Fighter to look at him. “I don’t even deserve to be here with you, Ritsuka.”
Not this again, Ritsuka thinks, but he doesn’t voice his thought. He doesn’t want Soubi to hold this in his memory forever—he doesn’t want Soubi to always regret an action that hadn’t really been his fault in the first place.
It all boiled down to Seimei, and how Seimei had changed so much… or perhaps Ritsuka had simply been ignorant of his brother’s true nature to begin with. That’s what he’s starting to believe, anyway.
But he doesn’t want to think about that, either. He doesn’t want to think at all; it requires too much energy—energy that Ritsuka really doesn’t possess at the moment.
“Listen to me,” Ritsuka finally says as he moves closer to Soubi, “you’re my Fighter. Didn’t I tell you that? Didn’t I tell you that you’re the only Fighter for Loveless—for me?”
“Yes,” Soubi replies quietly, still not looking at him.
“Look at me,” Ritsuka demands, and Soubi does. There’s a sadness in his eyes that cuts Ritsuka to the core, and reminds him that he himself is not the only one who has been betrayed by Seimei.
Ritsuka edges closer still, until they are touching, and it’s almost… comforting. “You have every right to be here by my side. I want you to stop beating yourself up about this.”
Soubi looks like he can’t quite comprehend what Ritsuka is saying. Perhaps he can’t. Perhaps he believes that Ritsuka should be angry with him. “Is that an order?”
Ritsuka shakes his head. “It’s a request.”
“I’ll try.” Soubi’s response is barely audible, but Ritsuka hears it all the same, and it’ll have to be enough for now.
“Okay.” Ritsuka buries his face against Soubi’s chest, and Soubi finally slides his arms around him, holding him tightly.
Tonight, it feels like their roles have been reversed—like Soubi is the scared child and Ritsuka is the grownup trying to allay his fears. Ritsuka supposes that it’s only fitting, since he feels that today’s events have turned everything upside down, anyway.
“We should try to get some sleep,” he eventually tells Soubi. “Maybe tomorrow won’t be… won’t be so bad.”
Maybe tomorrow, they’ll fit in their proper roles—maybe Soubi will once again be the grownup and Ritsuka will be the child.
And maybe tomorrow, they can start trying to turn things right-side-up again.
Volume eight broke my little heart and I feel so sorry for Soubi and Ritsuka, though I am eagerly awaiting (and probably will be eagerly awaiting it for some time) volume 9. ^____^ I want to know more about this “new level of understanding” and this “new level of intimacy”. XD I am hoping for fluff, because goodness knows they need some of that.