tallulahgs: Adorably cross Raito (Adorably cross Raito)
[personal profile] tallulahgs
my true love sent to me

eight masquerades

[Title] Hollow Victory
[Fandom] Battle Royale
[Rating] PG-13 for sex
[Notes/Summary] Shou/Kazuo. Shou is fascinated by Kazuo's masquerade, or lack of it.

There’s no mask, with Kazuo. To be honest, that was why Shou had taken an interest in him to start with. Blank-faced rich kid with a penchant for doing terrible things to people’s eyes. He didn’t pretend to be something obvious, so what exactly was he, really?

They’re making out in a doorway. It’s three a.m., the rest of the gang left behind in a bar fight somewhere, Kazuo’s mouth warm and fingers cold. He only half-closes his eyes when he kisses and his face doesn’t change. Shou’s this close to going down on his knees despite the chill air and the darkness and Kazuo is as blank as ever despite the hardness under Shou’s hands.

It should be disappointing. The object of your affections turning out to be truly nothing? The mask turning out to be the face? Or that there’s nothing under the mask? (Shou has drunk more than one martini tonight, which makes choosing comparisons difficult.)

But he isn’t disappointed at all. Oh, he’d always known that most people are only out for themselves and a friend in need is a business opportunity and all that. Kazuo’s the crystallization of that and yet he’s above it all, too. He’s not lying, that’s for sure, he’s not faking anything. (He’s been watching, the entire time they’ve been doing this. Like he always does.) And Shou has no illusions. This will change nothing between them. None of the gang are anything to Kazuo; he’ll ditch them in a heartbeat one day. Still, at least for Shou it’s looking like there’ll be some really great sex first.

[Title] Make-out Gambit
[Fandom] Animorphs
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Rachel and Marco had to create a distraction. Prompted by [personal profile] still_lycoris. Thought-speak in italics to avoid HTML issues.

“You're sure they didn't notice you?” Cassie said. “They must have wondered why you were sneaking around like that.”

“It was fine,” Rachel said, curtly. “No fuss, no mess.”

“Yup.” Marco shoved his hands in his pockets, leant too-casually against the barn wall. “All good. Mission accomplished.”

“Did you break something?” Jake said, turning to frown at them both. “Or kill someone? Or get caught mid-morph? Because you both look seriously shifty right now.”

“Why would you think we'd do that?” Marco said. “Well, okay, I can see why you think Rachel would do that. But we didn't do that. No deaths, no security breaches, no property damage, everything is A-OK.”

“Hmm... how exactly did you stop them noticing you?” Cassie said to Rachel, who scowled at her. “You must have done something. You obviously didn't just morph, otherwise you'd tell us...”

Was it some kind of shameful human lie? Ax asked. Perhaps you had to pretend you were on the side of the Yeerks in order to escape... but you should know we would understand –

“Okay, fine!” Rachel threw her hands up in frustration. “If you must know, we... oh, god, I can't say it.”

“We used the make-out gambit,” Marco said, glowering at the floor. “You know. Guy and girl are on the scene of the crime but they clearly just wanted some place to be alone. We had to do it the safety of the world was at risk.

Cassie and Jake looked at each other, clearly both trying not to laugh. Ax glanced from one to the other. Up in the rafters, Tobias said, Rachel, I thought you had better taste.

“Shut up. All of you.” Rachel was blushing. “It's really no big deal. Why are you all making it such a big deal? It's not a big deal.”

“Of course it's not,” Cassie said, a grin spreading across her face. “I'm just wondering if maybe it was more of a big deal to you than you realised...”

“Yeah,” Jake said. “It's okay, you know? If the two of you have feelings for each other then that's absolutely okay. Marco, you hereby have my permission to date my cousin –”

“Shut up, no one needs to be permitted to date me –”

“I took a serious risk for the good of the Animorphs, you should be grateful –”

“And you don't want me to date Marco, we'd kill each other within a week and then what would you guys do –”

“I mean, making a move on Xena Warrior Princess, that puts facing down Visser Three in the shade, I deserve your thanks, not your mockery –”

“And any of you would have done the same thing,” Rachel finished, folding her arms and glaring round at them all. “We do what we must in order to fight the Yeerks.”

“Exactly,” Marco said, and then, “Not that you seemed to mind doing it.”

Rachel snorted. “Of course I minded. Just, I also mind getting caught by Controllers. You're the one who thought of it, I figured I had to go along with whatever stupid plan you were going to come up with.”

“Oh, yeah, so why did you keep it going for about ten minutes after they'd gone past us?”

“Because it needed to be convincing!”

“Face it,” Marco said, spreading his arms out. “You want this. You want me.”

“As if. Don't start projecting your unrequited love onto me, your crushes are all yours –”

I don't think I understand, Ax said. Do the two of you have feelings for each other or not?

I certainly don't, I just think Marco is confused –”

“Come on, Xena, you know it doesn't make you less of a warrior to pine after someone like me –”

No one noticed how quiet Tobias was.

[Title] Growing Older
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] PG for death and bereavement
[Notes/Summary] Raito is managing the loss of his father.

Raito is sad about his father, of course, but you have to keep going, particularly if the stakes are as high as they are now.

(He finds himself unable to breathe. Not because he is sad or angry or scared but just as if his lungs have paralysed themselves for a second, as if they are realising Dad’s gone – Dad’s not here any more – Dad’s never coming back –)

The plan is coming together and the shape of it is beautiful and the new world is so close that sometimes he can see it glittering behind reality.

(He doesn’t sleep much, and that’s fine, because he can use the time wisely, but it’s frustrating to be almost numb – to lie in bed and expect the slow warm tide of sleep and to have nothing there –)

It is sad that Dad will never see how much his son has changed the world, will never get to live in that new world, but Raito was never doing this just for his father.

(The thing on the bed was Dad and wasn’t Dad, the skin was flesh and dough and nothing more, and sometimes Raito finds himself wondering how someone who used to carry you on his shoulders or who seemed so tall you had to crane your neck to look up at him or who was just always there, was a voice in your head even if you didn’t see him for days, how someone like that could now be nothing more than flesh and then ashes. That Dad spent much of Raito’s life being a voice on the phone saying he wasn’t going to be home tonight and perhaps, even now, today, tomorrow, the phone will ring again and he will be on the other end to say –)

And of course, this way, Raito is spared having to deal with the potential problem of Dad not understanding. Obviously, the rest of the task force will never see things from the right perspective. Dull and stubborn and narrow-minded and, besides, knowing too much to be allowed to live. They’ve spent over five years rejecting Kira. Kira will reject them in turn.

(Sometimes Raito hears Aizawa on the phone to his wife, his daughters: I’ll see you soon or Don’t wait up for me or It’s an all-nighter. Tell her to behave herself or Good luck for that exam or How’s maths going this term?. Hearing this always irritates him, as if it’s unprofessional, as if Aizawa is trying to rub it in his face that he has a family. If Aizawa really cared about them, he would have quit the case like all the others. Aizawa is stubborn and prideful and can’t bear to admit that he’s wrong. And besides, his children will adjust. After all, Raito has first-hand experience of the loss of a parent, and he is absolutely fine.)

[Title] It's Complicated
[Fandom] Akira
[Rating] PG-13 for sex
[Notes/Summary] Kai/Yamagata. This isn't exactly dating. Kai's not sure what it is.

Kai's never had the chance to experience secret dating before.

Only dating suggests they actually go on dates, which they don't, they just make out in each other's rooms.

You could call it a secret relationship, maybe, but you try and apply the word relationship to Yamagata and it just bounces off. Yamagata's too surly and prone to telling people what he thinks of 'em. Not that Kai minds. It's comforting, like in the same way the dorm heating pipes groan every time someone turns a hot tap on.

You could say they're friends with benefits, but calling that secret sounds like you're trying to make it sound mysterious. If it's just friends with benefits, no one supposed to give a shit. Sometimes Kai figures no one would. They're both part of the gang and they both hold their own and if he just said, Yeah, we're doin' it, so what? maybe everyone would be like eh, no big deal. At the very most there'd be a few weeks of dumb jokes.

But why take the risk?

And really? He doesn't mind the secret. It's nice to have something that's just his, something that fits in round the day-to-day of school and biking and canteen meals. Something where it's just the two of 'em and reality's on the other side of the blinds. Makes him feel like it's something they're making together.

[Title] The Speaker and the Watcher
[Fandom] Lewis
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Hathaway isn't sure if he's putting on a front. ([personal profile] still_lycoris requesting Hathaway having emotions. This is my attempt...)

Hathaway, if pressed, would not have called himself fake. The image that he presents to the world is most likely the one he would wear if he were the only person left in it, or if no one were looking at him. And yet. And yet it feels as though there is something behind all of it that's not the same as it. Something that isn't allowed to speak. No. That's not right. He speaks his mind and if he doesn't he thinks it and chooses to remain silent. Nothing is forcibly silenced.

Still. When Will dies – when Will suicides – he can't tell if he is drinking to find this other thing or drinking to run away from it. Sometimes it feels that if he could only stop thinking about the situation then he would stop caring about it. When he is thinking about it, when he is hurting about it, he is not him, he is... the sadness and the guilt and the anger and him, whoever he is, would handle it all much better but is just not stepping up.

The image that he presents to the world isn't sad. People would be surprised to see him being sad. Typically he is resigned, or sardonic, he knows this. He is the one watching. But only watching. The person speaking is someone else. But if it is a masquerade, he doesn't know how to stop it. Stopping would mean saying nothing. He wonders if that's his soul. The watcher. It seems irritatingly undefined.

Lewis, he is pretty sure, doesn't have this disconnect. Lewis would say and feel that he is who he is. Sometimes it seems that he looks at Hathaway and sees the speaker and the watcher both. It's grounding, whatever it is. When they're talking, it isn't that Hathaway feels like himself at last. It is that he forgets to consider the question.

[Title] Convention
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Ide is sick of discussing his love life with Matsuda.

“Shut up, Matsuda,” Ide says for what feels like the twentieth time.

Matsuda, true to form, looks as hurt and surprised as if he has no idea what he was doing wrong. “I was only making conversation. I mean, it's not like there's anything else to do right now.”

Making conversation is talking about the weather. Or work. Or something. Not consistently discussing my private life.”

“Just because you don't have a private life,” Matsuda says, automatically, and then, “Look, I'm sorry, it's not just I'm trying to annoy you. Just we've worked together for years and I still have no idea what you do apart from trying to catch Kira.”

“That's because that more or less is all I do, right now.”

“But before all this? I can't imagine you going on dates, and I just figured a guy like you would be married by now.”

“What do you mean, like me?”

“You know. Conventional. Serious. Like Aizawa.”

Ide thinks it's fortunate that Matsuda's such an idiot. He only sees the images people want to project of themselves. If he actually brought the deductive skills he's supposed to employ in his job to bear on the situation, he'd probably work things out.

Or perhaps he wouldn't. He really does seem to think that all anyone ever does is go on a few dates and then get married into some kind of ever-after. He really does think that whatever is going on in your heart – or other parts of you – is something you're happy to talk about. Ide would like to shake him sometimes and explain that he himself has known as long as he can remember that he shouldn't talk about matters of the heart with anyone. He's not stupid. The people he dreamed about or thought about, in school or college or even for the first few years of work, were not the kind of people to whom he could ever voice any of his dreams, and the people he has become intimate with are people whose names he never knew and didn't care to know. It isn't a problem. It's just how things are. Love is something secret, in darkness.

Although, thinking about it, if Matsuda felt like that about men, he would probably voice it anyway, as if it didn't matter. Which is even more infuriating. Some people just have no idea about how discretion is supposed to work.

[Title] With Friends Like This
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Mello knows who his friends are. Near isn't one of them.

Most of the other kids, Mello couldn’t care less about them. Oh, sure, he plays football with ‘em or he wants them to pick him for teams or he wants them to notice he gets better grades than them, but if he never saw them again that would be fine.

Matt is his friend. Matt comes along with him when he wants to try exploring stuff and if there’s a test Matt will come study with him even though he mostly just plays on his Gameboy. Mello would be sorry if Matt went away. But Matt doesn’t get it about L. Like, he understands L is important but he doesn’t get that L is the most important.

L is not a friend. You can’t be friends with someone you’ve only seen from the top of the stairs or from behind curtains. Also a friend isn’t someone you need to be as good as. A friend is someone you’re already better than. They can be better than you at some things, like Tetris, but not everything, otherwise you’d hate them.

Which is why Near isn’t his friend. Near is better than him at pretty much everything (okay, not football or climbing or running but those don’t count) and Mello’s trying to be better but it’s hard and he spends a lot of time wishing Near wasn’t here. Mostly he tries to pretend Near isn’t here. Which is pretty easy because Near spends all his time sitting in corners playing with toys like a baby.

Okay, sometimes Mello sits down next to him. If Matt’s doing homework he should have done ages ago and it’s raining and everyone else is being stupid. Near’s not stupid. Mello wishes he was. Near understands about L. Even Matt doesn’t understand about L, not really. He thinks that Mello could just go and be someone else if he had to. If Mello’s screwed something up then he’ll go find Near and make him explain how he got it right. Near doesn’t even mind telling. He talks like he’s just thinking about it, like he doesn’t care that it’s Mello he’s talking to. Sometimes they talk about L, about old cases they’ve been studying. If they talk for long enough Mello can almost forget that it’s Near, his worst enemy, whom he’s talking to. But only when it’s raining and there’s no one else around.

[Title] Dressing in Your Skin
[Fandom] Skins / Battle Royale
[Rating] PG-13 for sex (and discussion of violence)
[Notes/Summary] Everyone thinks Kazuo is creepy. Everyone except Tony.

Everyone else thinks Kazuo is creepy.

Which, to be fair, he is. Anyone who never smiles is pretty creepy. The smile and the way his voice is always low and flat and the way he just looks at you as if he’s wondering how your skin would look as a suit…

“He’s not that bad,” Jal said when Tony made this comparison, but she sounded half-hearted about it.

“He is that bad,” Michelle said. “I mean, are we sure he hasn’t been sent here because he killed everyone in his school in Japan? Are we positive?”

“Maybe he’s just shy,” Sid said, doubtfully. “I mean, he’s in a foreign country… maybe he’s still jet-lagged.”

“He’s been here two weeks and his English is better than yours,” Tony said. “He’s not shy. I'm pretty sure he's a sociopath in training.”

“And so you’re hanging around him why?” Michelle demanded. “I mean, I know you like charming the pants off everyone, but… what, are you expecting him to start eating lunch with us and coming to parties? I don’t think I want to see him dancing.”

There was a pause while they all imagined Kazuo Kiriyama dancing. Sid turned pale.

“I’m not going to dance with him,” Tony said, lightly tugging some of Michelle’s hair. “I just think he might be a laugh.”

The others stared on him.

“I thought you didn’t come to class high,” Michelle said at last.

“He’s bored, okay? Trust me, I know the signs. And he’s spending all his time on get-to-know-Bristol activities and exchange student meet-ups, he must be going crazy under that mask of indifference.”

“Crazier,” Jal muttered.

“When have my instincts ever not been spot on?”

“You do not want us to answer that,” Sid said, gloomily, but Tony knew he didn’t really mean it.

“You’re the one who’s bored,” Michelle said, scowling. “Bored enough to make friends with Hannibal Lecter’s creepy younger brother. Don’t blame me when your severed head ends up in a box.”

Michelle is, as often, more right than she knows. Tony is bored – well, he’s usually bored – and Kazuo is –

Tony knows that there are limits, to what you can do. He hasn’t got to them yet but he assumes they’re there. Sometimes that’s a comforting thought, sometimes it makes him want to chew off his own fingers. Kazuo, he suspects, doesn’t believe in limits. The others don’t think about things this way, but if they did, they’d agree with Tony that someone like that can lead you down paths you didn’t even know were there. They’re all bored, in their own ways, they’re all waiting for him to keep things shaken up, cast them in another story, keep them high and never bring them down. Tony’s up to the challenge, of course he is, but he’ll come up against limits. He needs someone who won’t. So he'll start Kazuo going and watch how the pieces fall.

Besides, the sex was amazing. Which is definitely not something he’s going to make Michelle aware of (not yet, anyway, not unless it closes a particular circuit somewhere and sparks off… well, who knows what). He’s not gay, of course, but it was actually far more similar to being with a girl than he’d expected, because it’s not the bits, it’s who’s got them and what you’re doing to them and why. He said to Kazuo, So, do you play for the other team back home as well and Kazuo even said, Not especially. It makes no difference. Tony’s hardly going to voice this out loud, but to be honest he thinks it was amazing because it was like fucking himself. Only his real self, a self without the mask.


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