nagachika hideyoshi & kaneki ken
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|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 14 2015, 03:04 PM
He’s had enough. They’re all playing basketball and that’s his absolutest favouritest sport. His dad would always hoist him on his shoulders, letting Kagami dunk the ball in and touch the hoop. It’s in these moments he feels so tall and so happy.
He won’t let the other kids take this away from him. Kicking and screaming, he’ll play if he wants to.
Air, I need air.
Panic has yet to set in. First, it’s frustration. Frustration that it’s not going his way, that he can do this but doesn’t know how.
Reach, just keep reaching.
Kagami pushes himself. He won’t drown in this sea of silver coloured faces. He won’t let the bright yellow laughter sear itself into his skin more than it already has.
Drowning is the nature of the Drift. It’s casting oneself into open waters full of sharp toothed memories hoping that someone will save you, again and again. To instil hope, first you must experience despair.
It wants the press of palms against his chest, of breath against his neck and smiles reserved for him. It wants fingers intertwined and an unbreakable kiss to solidify their unbreakable bond.
(But only from him. There's no one else.)
“I don’t want to stop,” he grins.
Again and again, he watches himself soar.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 14 2015, 11:40 PM
The boy in his peripheral has a shock of red hair and wears expensive sneakers to go with the frown on his face. Tatsuya sees him often walking by himself after school, and is old enough to recognize loneliness on someone else.
He is too young to realize not everything can be fixed with a game, but it's the only solution he knows to try.
On this day like any other, he extends his hand towards the stranger, and everything changes.
"Do you want to play basketball with us?"
(In the universe where monsters exist worse than hurricanes, this never happened.)
Taiga's heart is too big for his shoulders to contain it, broad as they've gotten throught months of extensive training. He'd be embarrassed at the thought, but it would be pointless. Worse are sure to come, because he loves Taiga too.
Hey, Tiger, he says, now in their shared consciousness as a test run. His own cheeks flush at the childish nickname, proof that it worked, that they're compatible. How's that new Jaeger smell?
If anything, he'd be the the slob between the two of them. When Taiga asks what's so funny? he smirks instead of replying, as if to quip, you'll find out soon enough.
Later, when both of them lie awake, he poses a question to the bunk below his.
"If I asked, would you kiss me again?"
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 15 2015, 12:26 AM
Kaiga raises his fire red brows curiously.
“What do you think about having a sibling? A little brother or even a little sister?”
He jumps out of his spot on the couch, forgetting to use his inside voice. “WHAT!” It’s an exclamation of happiness. He has a grin and he clenches his fists in excitement. Kagami’s always dreamed of having a big brother, but he’ll settle for taking care of a little cub.
Two weeks later, Kagami finally meets a big brother.
Do you even know where you’re going? Kagami never knows, but as long as Tatsu’s there, does it matter?
In tandem, his cheeks flush with Himuro’s. Their embarrassment as much as their affection is shared. Kagami could grin like the lovestruck fool he is and see it mirrored back in his one and only.
It smells like home. It smells like you.
(He’s selfish. He lets go of his troubles because he has Tatsuya. Nothing can touch him.)
The tossing and turning is loud, impossible to ignore. Kagami hoists himself to the top bunk and curls himself around the smaller man. He wipes the sweat off of Himuro’s brow and pulls him close to his chest.
“I’m here,” he breathes, repeating his oath to protect him.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 15 2015, 01:17 AM
"Tell you what. I know how you can remember these better. You like basketball, right?"
Taiga's eyes practically shine as he listens, which is another yes.
On Friday the quiz results are released, and when Taiga bounds into his room his score is written all over his face.
"Congratulations." Against his better judgement, pride swells in his chest, widens his mouth into a smile. Who knew giving kaiju jersey numbers would be so effective?
We'll figure it out together.
Fortunate that those in the control room could only monitor their vital signs, conveniently locked out of their memories, because the pulse in his wrists and throat is more than chemical, more than sensory, and it can't be measured by anything but the way they synchronize. As they say, the deeper the bond—
Let's take her for a spin.
—the better you fight.
He hasn't fallen out of the top bunk in his thrashing yet, but it's just a matter of time. This, he tells himself, is the only reason Taiga often joins him on the thin mattress, whispering the same thing that might as well fall on deaf ears, for all Tatsuya chooses to hear them.
"Shuu." The smell of this shirt is different, because it's a different co-pilot, might as well be a different life. "Shuu, you bastard, wake up."
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 15 2015, 02:39 AM
Sitting on the edge of his bed, he blows his nose and wipes at his eyes with the back of his sleeve. Whenever his dad came home on Kagami’s sick days, he’d take a seat beside him and play one round of Street Fighter with him. His father used always leave for weeks on business trips, so every moment spent with Kagami was important.
“I’m fine,” he sniffles, his voice high and nasally, at the sight of Himuro entering their room. Lying down, he covers his face because this is embarrassing. “I’ll be fine!”
Whenever they move, Kagami feels like he’s taking Himuro’s hand again, dragging him down the steps to look at Ignis Mirage for the first time. This time, it’s more intimate. He can feel what the other wants and vice versa. To know that everything he’s felt is reciprocated in some way is more rewarding than finally taking Ignis out.
He’s smilling so widely, it hurts, but the good kind.
At the edge of their hope, at the edge of their time, Kagami chooses to believe in Tatsuya and he will go to the edge of the earth with him. (Or to the other side of the breach. Anywhere.)
(It’s not good to hide things, Kagami. You share one mind, after all.)
He swallows back the prickly feeling in his throat as he continues to hold Tatsuya. “I’m sorry,” he says, still caressing his hair gently. “I’d bring him back for you, if I could,” he confesses, knowing that his words are nothing more than sounds evaporating into nothing. Meaningless, unheard.
If it’d make you happy, I’d bring him back.
If it’d stop this pain, I would die for your happiness.
He makes sure to stamp this memory out of his mind, for Tatsuya’s sake.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 15 2015, 03:26 AM
Red cheeks, watery eyes, and a voice like he's just entered puberty. Tatsuya opens their door with one hand, a console tucked under his elbow, and a steaming mug in the other, careful not to spill its contents.
"Lemon, mint, and honey. I don't give a shit if you don't like tea, you're gonna drink all of this." He sets the mug down on the surface nearest to the bed and sits beside Taiga's legs, a silent request for him to scooch. "And then we'll play."
This part is routine, much to Tatsuya's surprise. As long the mission remains unfinished, his mind doesn't wander, focused on the kaiju before them and not the memories that lurk under the surface. Taiga's single-mindedness works in their favor too, and their kill count rises until they don't bother to keep score.
I think he might be the best thing that's ever happened to me, Shuu.
Of course I miss you, but right now—
Life is good.
Figures, though. Usually Taiga should be in his own mattress, and he's here because Tatsuya had woken him again. With a sigh, he closes his eyes and bows his head to Taiga's collarbone when speech seems to have gotten stuck on his tongue.
"Good morning," he says, soft as daylight, and as he watches Taiga open his eyes the apology tries to tumble out, desperate and pitiful—asking for understanding and knowing he'd get it, but feeling like hell nonetheless.
"That bad?" His smile is self-deprecating. Most of his are like that, these days. "You know I won't be hurt if you requested another room."
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 15 2015, 06:11 PM
Kagami stares blankly at the microphone shoved in his face. There are so many bright lights and cameras pointed in his direction, too. I’m sweating so much. They’d just come out of another successful mission and the reporters have been waiting eagerly for them.
“Uhhh,” he grumbles inarticulately, too shocked to even glance at Himuro. “Yes,” he says simply not really having heard the question. Kagami’s a deer in the headlights, all functions shutting down at so many people around him, looking for something fancy statement to print. And then even more people will read it, he tells himself, sweating even more at the thought.
Someone whispers ‘Yes isn’t really… an answer we can work with’ and he’s scrambling for words again. “Tatsu is the most important person to me,” he offers, although it’s only slightly better than his previous answer.
His face flushes a bright red and they’ve got it on camera.
You and me, a team.
The rush is unreal. He’s still getting the hang of it and he allows himself this joy. (Himuro allows him to enjoy this.) As of now, Kagami doesn’t think there’s a better them out there than the two of them. Maybe it’s for the better that they’re just far enough that they can’t touch. Any closer and he swears he’ll yank Tatsuya over to his side for a crushing hug.
I love you so much.
As soon as they dock and shut the Jaeger down, Kagami disconnects himself and launches himself at his co-pilot. (The comms are off and everyone’s packing up for the day.) “Tatsu,” he mumbles into his neck, his favourite place to hide, especially when he’s happy, especially when he’s nursing scarlet embarrassment.
Inevitably, Tatsuya heard him. He was riding the high of the action, his heart still burning from the thrill of killing kaiju and the thoughts spilled out of him.
Little by little, Kagami has to think about the little gestures that used to come so naturally. Smile, now, because he needs this. But this is what he’s always wanted, right? To be closer to Tatsu, to be a part of him. He’s a spectre on the other man’s shoulder, constantly in his wake.
“It’s fine,” he lies, pulling him closer and hovers for a moment, about to kiss the top of his head comfortingly. Kagami doesn’t and simply pulls back.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 16 2015, 09:39 AM
And it doesn't disappoint, inappropriate monosyllabic responses and all.
Taiga's skin betrays him on cue and Tatsuya figures his time for vanity has run out, shifting into Taiga's space so his mouth can speak into the mic instead. "Enough about me. I'm sure everyone's dying to hear about you."
There's agreement among the reporters and he picks out a question from those hurled in his direction, one that tiptoes the line between sentimental and impersonal.
"Have any of Kagami's quirks rubbed off on you?"
"Oh," he says, as if he's having trouble coming up with any. He throws the cameras a conspiratorial gaze, "more than you know."
They lean in, intrigued, and he could say I've forgotten how to be happy about small things until he reminded me or he doesn't know how to stay mad, least of all with himself, but. They haven't earned the right.
It's a privilege only Tatsuya can have.
"I find myself eating more than ten burgers at a time. Can you believe that?"
He imagines it must be kind of lonely.
There are family members too: siblings, parents and their children, blood relatives that were bound together from losing everyone else. With all these different kinds of relationships it's not unheard of for co-pilots to get married.
Who better than the one who's seen your soul (and stuck around despite?)
In another life, he could have had that with Taiga. They could have met like ordinary people would, at an office or in a coffee shop; they could have met as children and grown into their love as it transformed from innocence into something more. They could have had anything but a life in the army, trapped in a war bigger than themselves and who they were.
But not here. Maybe that's what he's working towards, and why he's doing this. For a world where such a life isn't so out of reach.
"I saw, Taiga." He breathes against Taiga's hair, lets him rest against his neck for what feels like forever. "I saw it."
He snaps at random people who come across him, and the worse is at Taiga, inevitably, when he asks if he's all right, if he needs anything.
"Just shut the fuck up. This is your fault for whacking your bo around like a five year old."
He'd murder someone to snatch the words out of the air, set them on fire and pretend he never said them, if only Taiga wouldn't look so hurt, like the child Tatsuya had likened him to.
This impulsiveness, this anger, it's not like him. Even his usual insults are more calculated, more cutting. They're not so crude. And this, this is the price of drifting, of taking on Taiga's habits, the good ones and the bad ones, a disastrous cocktail mix he has no choice but to drink from.
"I'm sorry." Tatsuya drops the ice pack on his lap to reach for Taiga's hand. "I didn't mean it."
But the damage has been done.
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 16 2015, 04:02 PM
“So then the engineers were wondering why it didn’t work and I figured why not give it a shot? I didn’t study for it, but I am a pilot and I think I know my way around the conn-pod,” he’s grasping for words, anything to make him seem utterly distracted and to keep Himuro’s mind occupied.
Pushing through the cafeteria doors, the lights suddenly switch on and they’re greeted by all their friends and co-workers. “Happy Birthday, Tatsu!”
Kagami’s half apologetic—he couldn’t stop everyone from joining in. They wanted to do this for him.
“We don’t have to stay long if you don’t want to,” he throws his arm around Himuro’s shoulders and speaks lowly. “I hid the cake in our room, anyway.”
(It's not him anymore, it's them.)
Kagami searches Tatsu's eyes for signs of disagreement or rejection but finds neither. He can't imagine a world without him, even if it means a world without monsters. Of course it's the worst kind of greed, but that's how far they've come. Looking behind serves no use to him anymore, he's only interested in where they’re going.
(A world without kaiju is not a ‘what if’ to him. A world without kaju is something they will have.)
“I…” If he wasn’t so much of a coward, he would have said his true feelings. “I see.” If he was a braver man, he would have said the right thing, but he’s counting on Tatsu to know.
It doesn’t have to mean anything. It won’t mean anything if you don’t want it to..
(They’re not brimmed with tears, but his heart keeps sinking deeper and deeper.)
All he wants to do is get better and he’s trying, he’s really trying. Kagami has no spark to fight back. He searches and searches for it, but it’s gone. Instead, he smiles sadly at Himuro, as if he needs to protect him from himself, to be the bigger brother and tell him it’s fine even when it isn’t. The grin is forced, almost a grimace and he has to tell himself not to pull his hand back.
He's hurt. You hurt him. Fix it.
“It was my mistake, Tatsu. I’m sorry.”
With those words, the ones tossed carelessly at him and the lies he says back, Kagami dies a little more inside.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 16 2015, 10:52 PM
And this counts as playtime. He elbows Taiga in the side as he chides, "now I have to think up something worse for your birthday."
Fast forward to later in the night when the alcohol's brought out and inhibitions lowered, he pulls Taiga down by his collar for a kiss that's deep and slow and not exactly platonic, warming him to his toes.
"How's that for a thank you?" His grin is sloppy and careless, though he might also say carefree. The alarm hasn't been raised in weeks now, and they haven't had a chance to drift since, which means, "how lucky a kaiju appearance didn't spoil the surprise, aren't we?"
His lips find another destination by way of Taiga's ear, whispering into it, "I could go for some cake now.'
Taiga acquieses, and when he's finally ready to face it again... long story short he's reprimanded for overkill, wasting too many resources on a kaiju that won't get up anymore, and destroying parts that could've been used for research. He doesn't really give a shit; he's just glad it's gone, and he'll do it over again if he has to.
When he has Taiga in his sights it's his turn to launch himself at his arms, face etched into his shirt with saltwater.
"Taiga," he says, as if that speaks for itself and it does. He's got his fists digging into the soft fabric, his nose tucked under Taiga's ear, and he says, "Taiga.
"I can't lose you."
No too, because this isn't just about Shuu anymore.
And this isn't an apology. Doesn't even come close. He'll have to repair what he'd committed so carelessly over the span of weeks, and more than their compatibility it's Taiga's forgiveness at stake. He can't fuck up, shouldn't have fucked up in the first place. He's the older one who always had his emotions in check, so why didn't he right then?
He finds Taiga in their room and sets the tray down, as Tatsuya had done for him countless times when they felt like having lunch to their themselves; uncovers the plate with something of a wince, realizing how uncool it is to do it this way now that it's actually happening.
"You're a better cook than I am, and it's not exactly how your mother made it, but..."
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 17 2015, 05:28 PM
Himuro is the match, the one who knows how to ignite Kagami whenever he wants and however he desires. He is the one who breathes life into him when the world has all but killed him. He is the one who sharpens Kagami’s fangs when they step into the Jaeger.
He longs to feel Tatsuya’s hands through his hair, roaming the expanse of his now broader chest—those hands that have molded him and shaped him into who he is today. A few careless words and he’s becomes so soft and malleable.
“I can think of something better than just cake,” he laughs as he hovers over him. Reaching over, he dabs Himuro’s nose with icing and grins down at him widely, a tiger bearing his teeth.
Was he always this small?
Pulling him into his arms, Kagami holds him for as long as needed. Carefully, he strokes his head, pushing the hair out of his face. “I’m here, Tatsu.” Voice delicate and soft, the lightest of whispers in this tender moment. Kagami uses his body to shield Himuro from the rest of the world.
“I won’t leave you, I promise. I’ll be right here.”
Whatever he needs. Whatever it takes.
“You’ll never lose me.”
He’s never made a promise he can’t keep.
They never told him that whenever you step into a Jaeger, it’s on borrowed time. The human heart is capable of awesome feats, but the mind is finite. Buried beneath the rubble of his crumbling mindset is his heart that’s still open and willing. It’s buried so deeps, he doesn’t think anyone can find it.
“It’s perfect,” he lies wearing a delicately chosen plastic smile. Every situation requires one. He’s practiced the one reserved for Himuro time and time again.
This, this is the consequence of molding one’s entire being to someone else. To heal him, Kagami shoulders pain he does not understand. He’s too stubborn to ask why he feels this way, so he bears it.
He takes a bite of the food, hoping that it’ll help stop the corrosion beginning inside of him.
When, when did I start feeling this way?
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 19 2015, 08:59 AM
And Taiga doesn't disappoint, the only cue Tatsuya needs to stand, albeit on wobbly knees, and stagger towards the exit, draped against Taiga's side like a candle on the verge of melting.
(One could say they left the rest of the crew to have the rest of the night to themselves.)
Every step is interrupted by drunken laughter, or a drunken collision of their mouth or a drunken collision of their mouths, and Tatsuya can't count how many interruptions they had before they reached their bunker, stumbling inside and barely making it to the bed. The floor was an equally likely candidate for what comes next.
"C'mere," he says, beckoning, until he's surrounded by Taiga's smell on Taiga's bed, a weight that keeps him from flying off the edge.
He can't afford to be so weak.
"I know." A sigh and a kiss to his throat before he withdraws, now with a smile he hopes reaches his eyes. "We showed him, didn't we?" Then, tenderness gone, he punctuates the question with a flick to Taiga's forehead.
"Well, enough of that. The marshall's waiting."
Are you even listening? Don't you know how hard it's been?
I think you do. And I think you'd know how to save him. So why didn't you in the first place?
God, why'd you have to leave?
Why you, and not me?
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 19 2015, 04:56 PM
Standing at the ledge, he’s waiting, debating whether he can—whether he should—fall into all that is Tatsuya. The curve of his body still brings awe to Kagami, though he’s seen it before in old dreams and memories. The press of their lips is still as their first time, still as hungry as their last.
There’s a kiss that’s sweeter than the rest, a dart of the tongue over a sharp nose as if to say ’of course’.
A field of sheets and limbs, of Kagami’s teeth grazing skin, of fingers searching for unexplored territory. Careful hesitation comes to him so seldomly in the worst moments, in moments where his wild desire is welcomed. Yet, he can’t help but be afraid of his own feelings, so loud and bright and all-consuming.
They’re a fire, threatening to burn everything down with them.
It’s not good to bottle it up, Tatsu. He wants more of this, he wants to be allowed in.
“The marshall can wait a little longer,” he huffs, hugging Tatuya and resting his chin on his head.
What’s the point?
He kicks his boots off, trying to remember why he signed up for this. Everyone’s dying and no one’s happy. It’s a war with no end in sight. Despair is not a feeling, it’s the state of the entire world. Whoever let him be this naive about it until now is cruel. Did they know how he’d react when he realized there’s nothing ahead except loss? (Did he know?)
But no one’s died.
Maybe it’s just that he hasn’t died yet.
He should get angry about it, but he doesn't want to be that child anymore. By forcing reality down, he's being the more responsible of the two. It's clear to him that he needs to do this, to bear the brunt of their battle or they'll fall apart.
|HIMURO TATSUYA ϟ||
Posted: Mar 22 2015, 01:34 PM
This Tatsuya knows because he opens his eyes to a grin illuminated by daylight, eyes with a tamer fire than last night, to which he can only say, "good morning," without regret, and without fear.
Morning comes and they should be ruined, but they aren't, and isn't that saying something?
We've always been special, you and I.
No, that's behind them now. Taiga's safe, and world hasn't collapsed just yet.
I love you, you know.
"You're right." He feels like a little kid, trapped under Taiga's chin like this, so he pulls back without pulling away, the corner of his lip slightly lifted. "I don't feel like filling in a report anyway, and I've still got all this loose... say, about a spar?"
They can fail to kick each other's asses, just like old times.
More often than not, Taiga's inside it, which means Tatsuya isn't allowed. No one's ever stated it in those terms but the tension in the air speaks for itself, fog-heavy and knife sharp, filling his lungs with something more toxic than plain oxygen (the element keeping him alive, when he shouldn't be.) Aside from nighttime when one of them's—pretending to be—asleep, they can't be in the same space.
Tatsuya finds himself in the hangar (remember Christmas Eve, Taiga? remember when I gave you everything I had in the world?), watching over sparring sessions, giving interviews to talk shows with the seat beside him glaringly empty; anything to get rid of a void he thought had already been filled.
(You were—are, everything I have in the world.)
But not even the Shatterdome is big enough to coexist in when a kaiju passed through the breach. Suddenly there's no escape, not from his guilt or his regret, not from his inadequacies or his fears, not from their manifestation in one person.
Not in the drift.
|KAGAMI TAIGA ϟ||
Posted: Apr 8 2015, 05:00 AM
PRIDE BLEEDS FROM HIM AS DAWN ARRIVES. (THERE’S NO DAYLIGHT POKING THROUGH THE BLINDS, BUT THE ROOM FEELS WARM AS IF SO.)
“LET’S GO AGAIN,” HE GRINS WOLFISHLY, STEALING MORE KISSES FROM TATSU.
YOU AND I ARE ALL THAT MATTER.
Pulling all the wires apart, he doesn’t care about the work he’s piling on for engineers. He doesn’t care that safety protocol demands that they remain in their piloting consoles. The jaeger’s at a standstill and there’s nothing that either of them can do. Alarms blare in the background and he’s pissed.
“Hey,” he says as softly as he can manage, voice still rough. “Are you alright? Maybe adding more firepower wasn’t a good idea.” It's an attempt at a joke, his smile's too worn down.
The Jaeger’s movements feel jagged and mechanic, like those of a robot and not that of a graceful warrior. This is metal and circuitry, not Ignis Mirage. Heart pounding in his throat, Kagami avoids thinking of anything except the kaiju. The responsibility of being a knight weighs on him, but he’s determined to keep his mind blank.
(But he can’t, he can’t.)
He’s a spitfire, a raging inferno and he can’t contain his emotions. Every part of him his wildly out of control. At the same time, he’s forcing those feelings into an ill-fitting box. (This, this is dangerous.)
The city, his mind breathes at the sight of the Kaiju.
That’s where you found me.
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