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Sora G. Silverwind ([personal profile] cinnamonicles) wrote2015-10-06 04:02 am

[BOMBERMAN] Armistice.

Title: Armistice.
Fandom: Bomberman (Ariaverse).
Pairing: Shiro/Regulus.
Words: 1925.
Summary: I hate to see you go, but...no, actually, I hate to see you leave, too.
Rating: PG-13.
Notes: WELP I GUESS I’VE GOT A NEW BOMBERVERSE NOW. Fuuuuck me. Named for the Arias of Creation mentioned in #18 here. This particular fic is sort of a spiritual successor to #17 from this themeset, which is I guess because a lot of my talkerations and thinkerations with this ship circle around the question of "why are you two dating each other, whhhyyyyy."

(AV Shiro is such a hot mess compared with his EDV counterpart, which is saying something. But that’s what happens when the only person who can keep you sane also drives you absolutely bananas.)

(Writing Regulus is sometimes an exercise in wondering whether he’s being deliberately obtuse or if he is genuinely just that emotionally challenged.)




It was almost the edge of dawn when Shiro finally (some might say miraculously) woke from a deep sleep induced by blood loss, fatigue, and a heavy dose of seraphic sedative magic burning out his consciousness for several hours. Seated in a chair at the side of his bed, I could hardly miss him pushing himself up and examining himself in a groggy fog. But I chose to ignore him for a few minutes longer, mired as I was in thoughts and feelings I couldn’t grasp. I understood only that I was extremely vexed with him and intended to make him fully aware of that fact.

“You realize this is getting out of hand,” I told him, sparing him a brief glance.

“...yeah.” He sighed. “I guess this means that half the demonic nobility in Nibelstram are gonna come knocking on the door one day.”

“I am not as concerned about that.” I wasn’t; it was liable to be interesting, and in a much less infuriating manner than Shiro’s presence was. “I am talking about your insanely reckless attempts to save someone who, in the end, refused your help and took her own life.”

“I took too long to find her...they’d driven her crazy already. I should’ve been faster.”

“What you should have done was take a moment to think things through and realize that there was nothing to be done for her. Her fate had been sealed long before you caught wind of her distress.”

“I couldn’t have lived with myself if I didn’t at least try!”

“You would not be living at all right now, were it not for the combined efforts of Zoniha and Forath to purge you of the miasma coursing through your body. Tell me, Shiro, are you looking to die? If so, you may as well ask me to do the job and save yourself unnecessary pain. In truth, I may do so regardless of your wishes.”

“Then why don’t you, and save yourself the trouble of dealing with me.”

More than once I had considered that question, in varying forms but without the childish petulance. I had yet to find a satisfactory answer, so I declined to give one for the moment.

“In fact,” Shiro continued, “I may as well go ahead and leave, myself.”

My gaze snapped sharply to him. Something else did in me, as well, a fleeting sensation in my chest I felt I should recognize but didn’t. “What?”

His words floated down to his curled hands resting in his lap. “I never thought this would really...you always seemed so...” He took a breath and tried again. “I don’t want to be a burden to you any more than I have to. If this is upsetting you, then...”

I could not believe what I was hearing. “And so your solution is to leave, rather than to merely restrain your heroics?”

“What else am I supposed to do with myself these days?” Shiro demanded, eyes wide and pleading. I didn’t think I much liked that look on him. “I want to help others — that’s what I’m meant to do. That’s all I know how to do. But I can’t do it like I used to if I’m staying with someone as legally dirty as you.” His shoulders sagged. “Dealing with seraphs and demons is easier. At least then I’m not a raging hypocrite.”

I had to admit he had a valid point. The fact remained, however, that I didn’t understand why he felt it necessary at all to risk his life for strangers, and in increasingly foolhardy ways. Shiro was a cleansing fire intent on burning away all that he considered evil...and he would burn himself out before he incinerated even a speck of its entirety. “What of your cosmic connection? You require my power to mute it.”

“What do you care? If I’m enough of a pain for you to seriously consider killing me, I don’t see how what I do after I leave would matter to you at all.”

“My point is that you are, once again, either incapable of or refusing to think through the consequences of your choices, and crippling yourself in the process. How effective do you think you will be against those who stand in your way when you are being assaulted by voices you cannot tell from empirical reality? You cannot hope to save a single soul if you yourself are lost.”

“But...”

“I do not understand this incessant need of yours to put your life on the line for those who couldn’t care one iota about your presence, but if that is your desire you should at least have a modicum of sense about it. Besides, you have saved the entire universe already. Most mortals will never even get a chance to save a single life in their lives.”

“It’s not like I save people as some sort of personal challenge to top myself! Things just...happen a certain way, that’s all.” He huffed. “I don’t know why I’m bothering with trying to explain this to a heartless bastard like you.”

“Then don’t.” Truthfully, I doubted I would fully understand even if he succeeded in explaining it to me. There were only two people I would ever begin to consider trading my life for, and the second one came to my attention only recently. And he dared to sit there claiming that he could make me comprehend how he could feel what I felt towards him, but for the faceless masses of the known universe. It was irritating and utterly mystifying. At least Zoniha was reasonable about her altruistic whims. “Save your energy; you will need it. It is likely we will have to move soon to keep ahead of Hidelimech. Do you need anything to eat or drink?”

There was a moment of pause before Shiro simply shook his head.

“Then sleep.”

He settled back into the bed, and I left to get something to eat for myself. Considering this was Zoniha’s place, however, I found very little to satisfy my tastes. I settled for a small package of creme cookies and returned to Shiro’s side, where I found him already sleeping. The sight of it tightened my throat ever so slightly. I felt less exasperated with him, then. I noticed a small streak of dried blood matting his hair, and I reached out to brush at it.

“Thank you,” Shiro suddenly whispered, eyes still closed.

I drew back my hand a little. “For what?”

“Doing me a favor.”

My brows drew together. “I did not think that making you look slightly less pitiful would merit such gratitude.”

Shiro’s eyes flickered open. “Huh?”

“There is blood in your hair.” I brushed my fingers against the offending spot again.

He lifted a hand to check, briefly. “Oh. Uh...thanks for that too, I guess.”

“What did you think I was doing?”

A silence.

“...I figured you were gonna kill me,” he mumbled. “Like you said you wanted to earlier.”

The implication struck me immediately. “You desire it, then.”

Pale eyelids slid shut over dark eyes. “I’m so tired, Reg. Just...tired. But if I’m going to die, I’d rather it be because I was helping someone, or because you did it for whatever reason. You don’t seem to like that first one, so that just leaves the second. And to be honest...I kinda like that choice better too, these days.” For a moment, the melancholy cleared from his face as he gave me a peaceful smile. “Anyway, this is the moment you’ve been wanting to do since you first met me, right? So go ahead and do your worst.”

It would have easy. Simple. And free from unnecessary pain, as I had promised earlier. I saw the darkness consuming him and the bed he lay in as clearly as if watching it play out on a screen. I had sent many to their ends this way. And I knew that I was wholly capable of and willing to kill Shiro, if it came to it.

But there: that snapping sensation in my chest, sharp and sudden. Like a shock collar, it stayed my hand.

“I don’t particularly care to lose you, regardless of the circumstances,” I said. “I don’t know the reason. Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter to me. It simply saves me trouble to recognize what I feel and to act in accordance with it.”

Shiro’s smile only grew. “And now you understand why I end up risking my life for everyone.”

I blinked. I took a moment to consider his answer. “I rather thought you pursued it as a death wish.” Although I had not realized it had been so genuine. I had assumed that he was merely a naive crusader to his core.

“A little from column A, a little from column B, I guess.” He managed a weak laugh. “I’m pretty pathetic, aren’t I.”

“Right now? Yes,” I agreed. “You are not intrinsically so.”

His gaze slid aside. “Is that why you stay with me, then?”

“I stay because I don’t care to lose you.”

He threw up his hands a little. “Again with your circular logic! Here, let me lay out the right way to answer that question, using me as an example: ‘I stay because apparently I’m a masochist and also I’m effectively nuts without you.’ So what’s your excuse?”

I frowned at him. “I do not need an ‘excuse.’ Go back to sleep if you’re going to be so ridiculous.”

“It’s a legitimate question! Most significant others can at least name one positive thing about the person they’re dating. Don’t I at least get that?”

“If that is what you wanted to hear from me, you should have specified that in the first place.”

Shiro sighed dramatically. “Never mind! I’ll give you lessons in being a normal boyfriend some other day. I’m too tired for this crap.” He turned away from me, curling up on his side.

I finally opened the package of cookies I had brought from the kitchen. A faintly chemical smell rose up from within and I decided that I was not as hungry as I had previously thought. I set the confections aside on the end table.

“You are strong,” I said. “I don’t believe you put your strength to useful causes, most of the time, but the fact remains that it is a quality you possess. It is admirable.”

“Even though I just admitted that I wanted you to put me out of my misery?”

“You would not have convinced the Angel to back down if you did not possess that strength, regardless of where you are now. And I don’t waste my time with lost causes, besides.”

“...I guess that’s good enough,” Shiro murmured. “Not surprising, but good enough.” A beat. “Thanks.”

I found myself once again struck by the kaleidoscope of emotions and desires Shiro presented to me. His antagonism I wholly understood, and thought nothing of. We had not started off amicably, after all. I did not expect or even necessarily care for it to change, for hostility was something I knew, even welcomed. And I had no doubt that Shiro’s frequent expressions of frustration with my person were genuine.

Yet despite those feelings, he could still wish for reassurance from me, could still feel guilt over thinking he had unfairly burdened me. He could still wish for his last memories of his existence to be of myself, his executioner. I did not understand it at all.

But that was perhaps, truly, why I stayed.