tallulahgs: Miserable Kai (Miserable Kai)
[personal profile] tallulahgs
my true love gave to me

nine tough nights

[Title] Two Broken Mirrors
[Fandom] Battle Royale
[Rating] PG-13 for language and implied/referenced child abuse (and Mitsuko in general)
[Notes/Summary] Mitsuko and Shou are making a go of it. Somehow.

Mitsuko slumps into the chair and kicks off her stiletto heels.

“Tough night?”

She doesn’t jump; her head slowly falls back. “Oh. You’re still alive.”

“That’s no way to speak to your loving hubby.”

“Eat me.”

“Fish makes me gag.” Shou steps out of the darkness of the tiny kitchen. Streetlights glint in the bottle he grabbed earlier; his silk dressing gown; Mitsuko's short, silky skirt. “You didn’t answer my question. Hard day at the office, sweetie?”

Mitsuko rolls her eyes. Her face is blank underneath that. She reminds Shou, in some ways, of Kazuo. Once you thought of broken glass and blood when she got close to you, now she’s just black water. “The usual. Nothing worth taking. And no one for you, either.”

“These are difficult times.”

“Not for me,” Mitsuko says, flatly. “One born every minute.”

“You know…” Shou wanders over to her, offers her the bottle – she shakes her head – perches on the arm of the chair. “Maybe you should treat yourself. Have a holiday. Pick someone up and take them home and really enjoy yourself, no strings attached. This scamming’s taking it out of you. Plus you’re turning into a fucking liability, we’re going to get busted at this rate –”

Mitsuko sits up, stands up, fingers at his throat, digging them in enough to bring tears to his eyes. He could beat her in a fight but he’d rather not go down that road. She’d take care to mess his face up because she knows that would really get to him.

“Don’t patronise me,” she says, sweetly. “I’ve been shaking down saps for money since I started junior high. I’ll know when I need to back off.”

Shou manages to retort, “Honey, you never knew when to quit, I’ve known you since you were –” Mitsuko digs her nails in a bit harder and he wonders if he should slap her off or something, but it isn’t like he doesn’t enjoy a little breathplay.

“Tell me what to do again and I’ll make you smile from ear to ear.” She traces a line out, a widening smile across his face. He grabs her wrist, pulls her off him. Some things are beyond a joke. “Temper, temper.”

She snatches her arm away, then wrenches the bottle from his grasp, takes a swig. “You shouldn’t drink so much. Your face looks like roadkill.”

“You’re not looking so fresh yourself.”

She shoves the bottle back into his hands. “I’m going to bed.”

Likely she’ll be crawling into his bed later, talking half-sentences about how she’s his little Mitsuko and daddy’s girl and she can feel the love. He’ll shove her off and wait until she falls asleep. As beards go, he couldn’t have found one much crazier. God knows why he went along with this (all right, he’d found himself in need of some concrete proof of heterosexuality to avoid getting sent to a labour camp and she was kind of desperate because she was about to be made homeless, something about some higher-up frantically ditching her before his wife finds out, so really it was a win-win situation...)

But the broken and the battered and the cruel… Shou’s always found that appealing. Mitsuko’s got the wrong kit, sure, but if her body doesn’t appeal her mind is a glorious train wreck. And she can’t scare him (much) and she can’t fuck him and so she doesn’t know what to do with him. Except, perhaps, live with him. She’s terrible at it, but Shou knows, these days, he’s not much better.

[Title] Grey, Red and Black
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Matsuda goes through the days after Kira is defeated.

The mornings are grey. When Matsuda opens his eyes he always has that brief moment of forgetting what has happened, thinking that Raito and Chief Yagami are both alive and Raito isn't Kira and everything's all right. And then it comes back to him as sharply as if he's finding out about it for the first time. If he starts to think about it then he wonders what the point of getting up is, or of doing anything. He mostly gets through by bullying himself, you killed Raito and now you think you can just lie around in bed like everything's fine – you get up right now and start trying to make up for what you did –

Sometimes he gets through by cursing Raito instead, thinking that Raito – Kira – always wanted him just to give up and quit, give up and die, and so he won't, just to teach Raito a lesson, and he's not sorry.

The days are red. When Matsuda gets to work he always puts on a smile and tries to forget whatever he might be thinking and behave as if everything's all right. It works, because people echo it back to him, wait for him to say something goofy or sarcastic, tease him about never taking anything seriously. Sometimes he manages to convince himself that this is really how he feels, that this is the way to sort everything out. Shiny-bright smiles and always the last to leave when they go drinking and his own voice talking and talking and he listens and wishes they'd shut up. And then suddenly he's so angry with everyone for not noticing how fake it is, how no one ever asks him are you okay? or seems to catch him not looking happy. He mostly gets through by starting a conversation about nothing, or having another drink, and re-convincing himself.

Sometimes he catches Ide or Aizawa or Mogi looking at him. They know he's faking the happy. They would ask him if he was okay, if he wanted them to. But he'd have to give them a truthful answer and there's no way that's happening. They saw him fall apart back at the warehouse. He's not going to let them see he's still in pieces.

The nights are black. When Matsuda gets into bed he always prays that he'll just fall asleep and dream of nothing and everything will be all right. It doesn't work. It comes back to him as sharply as if it's happening now –

Raito is laughing, on the edge of hysteria as if he's equally horrified by all this. Raito is waiting for all of them to die. Raito is always looking at something else and you never knew what his expression was when he wasn't facing you. Raito is clutching his hand, blood dripping off his fingers, and screaming. Matsuda wants to stop now, he wants to lower the gun and lower his voice and get them both back to normal. But he never does. He always fires the gun over and over again and Raito spasms and twists and screams and crawls across the floor leaving bloody fingerprints and begs Ryuk for help and sees his name being written down and knows

Matsuda gets through this by going through it. There's nothing else to do.

[Title] All in Your Head
[Fandom] Battle Royale
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Shogo Kawada/Noriko Nakagawa. The two wait for Shuuya to make it back to them.

Noriko holds up fine for an hour or two. It's probably the adrenaline from shock of someone having tried really hard to kill her, and yet she's still alive, and the gunshots, and Shuuya fleeing, and the explosion seeming to shake the island... She holds up fine and then suddenly it's like the ground vanishing from under her and. She. Can't.

Her teeth are chattering and she's clenching her fists and telling herself she has to be brave, Shuuya would want her to be brave, and Kawada is always brave, but her heart is jumping in her chest and she wonders if she might just actually throw up right here and now.

Kawada looks over at her and mutters something like damn it and wraps his coat around her shoulders. C'mon, Nori. It's the shock, that's all it is. You got this. You're gonna hold it together.

She nods and tries to force a smile and says, Sorry, and I'll be fine but the words tangle up in her mouth. Kawada squeezes her shoulders, tells her to take deep breaths. He smells of earth and boy and gunpowder.

I bet you didn't go like this, she says, and the words are in the right order this time. In your game.

Kawada half-smiles. Not so much. More like I didn't do feelings at all.

That must've been nice. She didn't mean to sound so bitter. Just, the thought of being able to switch off all the terror – But Kawada doesn't seem to mind her saying it. Nah, doesn't work that way. They come back online sooner or later. What's just happened to you, really. You were fine earlier, now your brain catches up with you and freaks out. His hand on her forehead, warm fingers. No fever, though. This is just in your head.

Noriko nods and finds herself shivering and mumbling, Sorry. Sorry. Kawada sighs again, pulls her closer to him. Come on. You're here, I'm here, soon enough Shuuya'll be here...

His voice trails off. Like he doesn't believe himself. Like Shuuya's not coming back and they both know it. Noriko's biting her lip so hard it hurts. Part of her mind is just screaming at Shuuya being dead but then there's the other normal thoughts, like there always are, like how funny it is that she's basically letting Kawada give her a cuddle like he's her dad or something. Or something. He's the only warm thing here; the air's damp and chilly and the ground is layers of cold under her feet. She feels him breathe. He's warm. She looks up at him. His face is in darkness but she can just about see the shiny white scar around his eye. She doesn't think exactly, she just reaches up to touch it because – what, for luck? It's a testimony that you can go through hell and come out okay. Sort of okay. They're leaning very close to each other and she's warm, now, too. It's not the happy, giggly warmth she gets when she thinks about Shuuya. Just that Kawada is alive and she's alive and Shuuya might not be and all around it's so cold. The moonlight turns them both into people onstage and when he kisses her – awkward, hesitant, tasting of cigarettes – it's almost not real.

They're kissing. They're kissing and that's being alive, too, and for a good few minutes she's not thinking anything, she is just not dead.

And then he's gently breaking the kiss and saying Nori. C'mon, this ain't gonna help.

She's blushing. She's mumbling apologies again and wriggling away from him but because it's Kawada, he just shrugs and says, No need for that. I'm a sucker for a cute girl in the moonlight, I was kidding myself I made some better life choices. You should get some sleep while you can. Lie on my coat again.

Noriko nods. She's curled up on the ground, trying to ignore the lumps of stone and stick under the coat, when Kawada says, That your first? Kiss?

She turns bright red – she can feel it even in the dark – and mumbles, Well, uh... I guess, I... Kawada snorts. What was it he said about me, chain-smoking malpractice magnet? S'okay, Nori, I wouldn't wanna count it either if I were you. Call it a dress rehearsal. When Shuuya makes it back you can do the real thing.

[Title] In Dreams You Return
[Fandom] Animorphs
[Rating] PG
[Notes/Summary] Even now it's all over, Cassie still dreams about it sometimes. (Spoilers for end of the series)

I have the dreams when I’m stressed out about something else, usually. It’s a sign I need to give myself some downtime.

And of course, on particular days, certain anniversaries. But then I know it’s going to happen. I told Ronnie I can go sleep in the spare room, it’s fine, but he said it was okay. We don’t talk about it much, the past, the war, so I think this is his way of trying to admit that side of me exists. Of trying to be there for me when I have to go back. That’s nice of him, I guess. It doesn’t really matter whether he’s there or not. It’s the same for me either way.

Sometimes it’s the obvious stuff. I’m in wolf morph in a fight and I’ve just torn out someone’s throat. I can cope with that. I wake up, sometimes, with claws or pointed ears, and we pretend it’s funny. I haven’t ever morphed all the way in my sleep, or grown teeth that could take off Ronnie’s hand. I’m hoping I’m keeping that control even while I’m asleep, the same way you don’t wet the bed. I hope. I don’t think Ronnie believes that I could kill him.

The other dreams are worse. They should be nice, but they’re not. We’re in the barn, all of us or some of us or just me waiting for the others. Sometimes I’m realising everyone knows who I am and knowing I have to admit to the others that I’ve blown our secret. Or sometimes they think we’re all still kids and I know I’m not and I can’t tell them why I’m the only one who isn’t. Or Rachel’s not there and I’m the only one who knows why.

I woke up half-morphed into her one time. Ronnie wasn’t awake. I ran into the bathroom to morph back just in case he did wake up.

Okay, that’s not true. I went into the bathroom to see her face in the mirror and I finished the morph, god knows why, and I looked at her and she smiled at me and I cried for about fifteen minutes. I was silent so he still didn’t wake up.

I didn’t tell him, of course. I mean, that would make it sound like a big deal.

Sometimes – hardly ever – I dream of before it all. We’re in the mall, or I’m at school, or Rachel and I are hanging out at her house. It feels like I’m someone else in those dreams. I wake up as me.

[Title] Duty to the People
[Fandom] Animorphs
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Earth is far from home, and sometimes Ax feels very alone.

We Andalites are warriors, and adventurers, and protectors of the galaxy.

Actually, sometimes we are not, sometimes we do things that I don’t want to believe are true, but that is individuals, and I need to remember the spirit of my people.

We are warriors and we are brave and we are strong and even apart we are one, connected by the rituals and by the ideals of our people.

I think.

It was quite a long time ago that I learnt these things and sometimes I wonder if I made them up. Of course I know really that I didn’t but sometimes – only sometimes – I find myself awake at night and then I wonder stupid things.

It is because sometimes, even now, I wake and forget where I am. I think that I am home. I have dreamt sometimes that I am, and then I awaken still happy until I work it out. The air tastes different, the grass tastes different, the lights on the horizon and the stars above me aren’t mine. Of course mostly this isn’t a problem. I am a soldier and an ambassador and a warrior and I have found new people here and had I not come I would never have encountered the glory that is cinnamon buns.

But sometimes I want to see the light on the rocks or hear the birds call or see sun glint on the water and be reminded of when I was little. Sometimes I want not to have to think about who I am and whether I am different from those around me, just to know in my bones. And sometimes even the things I do know stop meaning anything unless I really think about them. I would like not to need to build up who I am again and again.

But who I am is an Andalite and brave and strong, so and thinking of these things doesn’t help to fix them. Sometimes I can fall back to sleep, and if not then I know dawn will come.

[Title] The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] At the beginning, Raito was scared.

This is the third night Raito can’t sleep. For a while he tries to pretend that he is sleepy and he’s going to drop off any minute but after what feels like hours of rolling onto one side, then the other, he gives up and opens his eyes. The room is full of dark. Everything looks so familiar every day that sometimes he almost believes that he hasn’t got anything to be frightened of, that this is all in his head.

Other times it crashes back onto him like a rock to the skull, that he is a murderer, that he has killed a lot of people by now and if anyone finds out – if anyone finds out –

It’s one of those fears that you try not to think about because it’s entirely rational to be scared. If he is found out, he’ll be taken off in handcuffs and spoken to as if he’s nothing (he can’t quite imagine it, because no one has ever spoken to him like that, but he’s not stupid, there will be no respect for a, a murderer, and they won’t see, they won’t see that it was an accident, that he was just trying to do the right thing…)

And that’s not even touching on how they will execute him and so once he is caught his life will be nothing but being locked up waiting to die. This would be so bad that he can’t quite wrap his thoughts around it.

And yet part of him still believes that it might not – that they might see – see that he isn’t, he isn’t that kind of person – he’s not a criminal, he’s trying to do good, surely people would understand?

Which is pathetic. He isn't that kind of person but he is also not stupid enough to credit others with the intelligence to see this.

And the only answer to this problem is not to get caught. He believes he is doing the right thing, doesn’t he? And he isn’t going to back down just because he’s scared, is he? He can make this work. All he needs to do is hold his nerve.

He breathes out, slowly, and closes his eyes again.

[Title] Flight
[Fandom] X-Men: Apocalypse
[Rating] PG (mention of non-specific dub-con)
[Notes/Summary] Prompted by [personal profile] still_lycoris, who asked me to make Angel kiss Apocalypse.

Angel hardly misses the cage-fighting.

No, Apocalypse tells him. You do not miss degrading yourself for the entertainment of the rabble.

And he doesn’t miss the pain, either. Nights where it’s gone badly and he’s won but only just and the pain crawls on him and throbs and he can taste blood in his mouth.

You did not fight for the pain. You fought in order to be free from pain.

You had to. If you didn’t hit first, they would, and hit harder. Go for the weak spots. Sometimes he remembers standing in the middle of the cage under the strobe lights and he remembers the crowd roaring and then it’s a blur of movement and there’s no him, no Warren, no thinking, there’s just flying and someone else slamming against the wall and blood on the floor.

And you fought for the power.

It was always fleeting, though. You knew you were only as good as your last fight. And he knew if they ever busted up his wings properly, that would be it. He dreamt of that, sometimes, of people ripping his wings off. Felt like that, at first, when Apocalypse called the new ones out of him and knitted them to his bones.

Out of pain, there is rebirth.

Sometimes, on those nights, he’d consider doing what others do. The sex is messy and ugly and half the time is just a stiller version of one of the fights, is someone rubbing in their victory, or celebrating it. But if that’s the case, perhaps it would make him not him.

You should not seek to become someone else. You should seek to become who you really are.

This isn’t messy or ugly, this is… like… flying, this is like fire, this is being reshaped and remade like the way his wings were. Lights in the dark behind his eyes and the blood roaring in his ears. He is not him, or he is not Warren, he is only Angel, but he knows that he’ll never have to come back to himself, this time.

[Title] Words of Comfort
[Fandom] Death Note
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Prompted by [personal profile] still_lycoris, who asked for Soichiro and Mogi interacting.

Mogi is checking Yotsuba employee records and the Chief is working a little way away with his head on his hands and perhaps it's only the dim light but Mogi hadn't realised until now quite how much weight his boss has lost in the last few months.

It would be nice to be able to say the right things. Whatever the right things are. But the Chief has never been one for unrealistic optimism, and people have been dying in droves every day for months now, and they have already lost one man to this case, and there is no guarantee of success because they are dealing with a murder method utterly unlike anything the human race has encountered to date. This weighs enough on Mogi's mind and it isn't his son in the running for prime suspect. And the Chief is a good man, which means he is a man who can't walk away from any of this, not even for a moment.

Mogi rarely knows the right things to say. He rarely knows anything to say. He's nowhere near halfway through these records but he's confident that he won't miss anything. That's something he can bring to the case. Care in the small details. He gets to his feet. The Chief looks round, manages a tired smile. Mogi says, “I'm making coffee. Would you like some?”

[Title] One of Those Nights
[Fandom] Akira
[Rating] PG-13, mainly for language
[Notes/Summary] Sometimes Kai finds his friends idiotic. Yamagata's okay, though. (Kai/Yamagata)

Sometimes you get off your face or you get nearly killed or you throw up in the road and it's still a really good night. Other times you come home all in one piece and it wasn't even raining and you feel like shit because everyone was just... on edge. Tonight is one of those nights. Tetsuo was off his game – much as he's ever on it – and so that made Kaneda twitchy, and when Kaneda's twitchy he gets obnoxious and started going on to Kai about being short and geeky and kind of a pussy to be honest but we love you anyway, right, right guys? Sometimes Yamagata laughs at all of this and sometimes he joins in with the obnoxious but tonight he just told Kaneda, shut the fuck up, you're bein' a moron. Of course then everyone else joined in and it was a fight that everyone was pretending wasn't a fight, just goofing around, and everyone was making fun of Kai because they really wanted to be having a go at Tetsuo and they couldn't 'cause he was Kaneda's best friend.

Everyone in the world is fucking stupid and Kai would happily wake up tomorrow last person alive.

“Bunch of morons,” Yamagata is saying loudly, following him along the passageway from the dorm car park. The fire exit here's busted so the alarm never goes off.

“How come you're still here? Last I checked you didn't live with me.”

“My place is too far away. And. Besides. I figured it was, like, you and me.” A confused shove on the shoulder. Kai wrenches the door open, steps into the dimly lit corridor. Yamagata follows, stands there arms folded and a truculent look on his face.

“Whatever,” Kai says. “You could try not to steal all the covers this time.”

“Not my fault I'm taller'n you.”

“Do not even start with the short jokes. Do not even fucking start.”

Yamagata snorts. As they start to walk down the corridor he makes to rest his arm on Kai's head. The joke sort of turns into an arm-round-the-shoulders and then an awkward hug. Kai rolls his eyes. “Save the PDA, all right?” He tries to sound like he doesn't care either way, but he almost risks grabbing the other guy's hand. Okay, it's pathetic, but he thinks he'd miss Yamagata and this... weird make-out buddies thing... that they have going on. And he's owed it after a night like that. Okay, maybe come the apocalypse Yamagata can stay.
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