Well this was supposed to be for Valentine's Day but I got a little busy with the stupid flu and dumb school but oh well. It's not too late.
So, this would be my first songfic. I don't usually like songfics too much but this song, Colder than You by the Waltons, just screamed Aya and so I had to write it. He's asshole in this but hey, I don't think that he and Ken would have a perfect relationship. I guess this is like a 'trails and tribulations' type shit-thing. I dunno. And it's not written in chronological order so watch out. I had to write scenes that fit the lyrics. Admittedly, it's not the most romantic thing but today's not Valentine's Day so who gives a crap? I beat the system!
And I used the manga arrangments, where the boys live away from the shop and Ken and Aya are next door neighbours. So yeah, enjoy!
Yeah yeah, I like it a lot
When you treat me like dirt
Laying under your feet
Toxic-blue cleaner drooled down the window. Ken set the spray bottle down beside a vase of bright forsythias and began to scrub his ratty newspaper over the smudged glass. Outside he could see the sun splashing over the bustling people and rushing cars and shiny buildings.
"Ne Aya? Isn't is a beautiful day today?"
The redhead was silent as he worked on an arrangement of lilacs.
The paper squeaked over the glass, mingling with the sounds of busy life outside. "Spring is finally here," he continued, pausing to watch a cute little girl walking a puppy. "We should do something today. It's too nice a day to waste, don't you think?"
Pale fingers tightened surreptitiously around a sprig of the purple flower.
Ken sighed gently. "Aya - "
The chimes above the door jingled and Omi sailed into the shop.
"Konnichiwa Ken-kun, Aya-kun!" Omi enthused. "Today is a great day! Seems like winter is finally over!"
"I was just telling Aya the very same thing," Ken remarked, smiling at the cheerful younger boy. "It's absolutely gorgeous out!"
Omi grinned as he tied on his apron. "Well Yohji-kun should be waking up soon, so why don't you guys go out and take a break for a while?"
Ken looked hopefully at his moody lover. "Aya? Would you like to go for a walk or something?"
Aya finished with his arrangement and untied his apron. "No."
"Oh." Ken fiddled with the shredding newspaper in his hands. "Well maybe later than? We could go see that-"
Hardened eyes narrowed. His voice was a shard of ice, jagged and cutting. "I said no."
The chimes sang again as the redhead disappeared.
Ignoring Omi's huge, sympathetic eyes, Ken tossed the newspaper away. They stained his fingers black.
Yeah yeah, the feeling is hot
When you're calling me names
Around the people we meet
Ken sprinted down the stairs while hurriedly pulling on a navy blue T-shirt. He was forty minutes late. "Stupid late night Samurai movie marathon," he muttered, pausing a moment to tie his sneakers.
He had watched the movies well into early morning, all while waiting for Aya to come home. Aya and Omi had been on a dangerous mission last night and he'd been worried sick. But Aya hadn't bothered to see him. He had gone straight to his own apartment after the mission. And now he was late.
Ken ran down the remaining stairs and burst into the flower shop. "I'm here!" he announced, hastily grabbing a black apron from the hook and quickly putting it on.
Violet eyes stabbed into him. "Where the hell have you been?"
"Look, Ken-san is here!"
Immediately the horde of girls currently infesting the shop turned their attentions onto him.
"I thought you weren't going to be here because you're always the first one here!"
"Will you go out with me today, Ken-san?"
"How come my dahlias don't look as nice as yours?"
"You look so kawaii today!"
A biting pressure scathed into his arm and prevented him from answering. Aya roughly jerked him away from the cooing girls and back behind the counter.
"This isn't finished," the redhead ground out in low tones.
Ken blinked down at the black book where they recorded their sales and profits and business transactions. It had been his turn to do the book-keeping this month and he'd started it but then he'd fallen asleep. He couldn't help it, book-keeping was so boring.
"Ken," Aya snapped, his fingers digging into his arm.
"You're hurting me," he murmured softly, conscious of all the girls watching them with wide-eyes. "Please let go."
Aya obeyed with a displeased scowl. "You're always so busy fucking around," he spat out venomously.
The younger boy took a step back. "It's not a big deal Aya," he soothed, though his words shook slightly. "Just calm down. I'll do them later, okay?"
"This isn't one of your goddamn games," he hissed, eyes sparking like furious flints. "You know very well what's behind us."
"Aya - "
"Either do it or don't fuck up," Aya snarled and stalked into the supply room.
Ken forced his face to smile. "He's just been stressed lately," he told the stunned girls, his voice a little bit quieter than usual.
Yeah, when we met I was sold
Yeah, but nothing is colder than you
Colder than you
"So Aya ol' buddy, how'd ya like your first day working here?" Ken asked as he swept up dried leaves and fallen petals.
The redhead grunted and continued to wipe the counters.
"Is that a 'yeah this place is great and I'm gonna love it here' or a 'this blows, I want out'?" Ken persisted, undaunted by the older boy's silence. "But then again, even if you did want out, tough luck. We're stuck here whether we like it or not. Manx and Birman will prolly hafta hunt us down if we ever tried to escape. But I kinda like it here 'cause - "
"Do you ever shut up?"
"Well what?" Ken shot back defensively. "You've barely said anything since Manx left. I'm just filling in the silence. It's enough to make a guy go crazy!"
"Not a far trip for you," Aya muttered.
"Hey, is that an insult?" Ken demanded.
Ken frowned. "You're a real jerk, you know that?"
They finished cleaning up and then exited the shop.
"Well it's been a pleasure," Ken declared. "But I'm gonna go and play some soccer now." He studied his silent companion. "Can you get back home alright?"
"Well just make sure that you don't forget about the mission tonight." Ken waved jauntily as he began to walk away. "Ja ne!"
He had only walked a few steps when he stopping. His damn conscience was railing against him, as it had all last night. "Aw shit," he swore, before turning around and jogging after the redhead. "Oy, Aya!"
Aya stopped and stared coolly at him.
Ken shuffled his feet awkwardly. "Sorry 'bout yesterday," he mumbled, picking at a stray piece of lint on his mechanic's jumpsuit. "You know, for punching you and all that." Even if you deserved it, you cold bastard "Guess we got off on the wrong foot, ne?"
Icy violet eyes met his briefly. "Hn."
Ken's jaw dropped as the older boy turned around and stalked away. "Whadda shithead!" he muttered furiously, whirling around and stomping down the sidewalk. "Arrogant jerk! See if I ever apologize again!"
Yeah yeah, I'm on top of the world
When you lie and you cheat
About oh everything
"Ohayo, Aya-san," a soft, melodious voice spoke up.
Aya, Ken and Yohji all looked up as Sakura entered the shop, gazing shyly at the redhead.
"Ohayo," Aya murmured back, his eyes softening at the sight of the young girl with braids styled so similarly to his imouto-chan.
Sakura smiled sweetly, her eyes wide and adoring.
Ken turned back to placing baby's breath into an arrangement of orchids and tulips, carefully keeping his expression neutral. A small voice within him couldn't help but point out that Aya never said 'ohayo' to him with a melty-eyed expression. Perhaps he cared more for Sakura then he let on.
"That bouquet you're working on looks lovely, Ken-san," Sakura complimented, approaching the counter.
Yohji laughed and threw an arm around his shoulder. "Ken's a pro at this flower arranging stuff, Sakura-chan! Without him, this place would be outta business, right Aya?"
Aya gazed pointedly at the arm that was casually slung around Ken. He scowled knives at the soccer player, then at Yohji and went back to trimming an English ivy.
Ken quickly pulled away from the lanky blond. "Omi's good with flowers too," he mumbled half-heartedly.
"You're all wonderful with flowers," Sakura declared, peering at Aya through her lashes demurely. She toyed with one of her braids coyly. "Aya-san? I came here, wondering if you'd like to have lunch with me today? I know a wonderful, little foreign restaurant not far from here. Would you accompany me?"
There was a silence. And then Aya smiled.
The white flowers in his hand shook ever so slightly. It hurt, seeing his lover smile at someone else. Maybe he was only a convenient fuck for the redhead. Afterall, why should he want the blood stains of an assassin when he could have a young girl's innocence?
Sakura latched onto Aya's arm, beaming up at him. Ken watched them until they disappeared outside, into the warm sunshine that was meant only for lovers.
"They look good together," he murmured quietly, sadly.
Yohji pushed up black sunglasses with his index finger. "Aya's a fucking bastard."
"He said he didn't care about her," Ken whispered absently, staring out the window. "I guess he changed his mind."
"Ken - "
He looked over at the blond and forced a smile. "It isn't his fault, Yohji. He's just got a lot on his mind, that's all."
"How long are you gonna keep making excuses for him?"
Until he loves me
Ken turned back to his arrangement.
Yeah yeah, my heart is all in swirls
When the curtain is closed
And you still pull my stings
The night was lazy and silent. Ribbons of moonlight stole in from the ajar window and drew impossibly long shadows upon the walls. The clock on the VCR dissolved the murky darkness into a flashing, nuclear-green. They'd been watching it for so long now, watching as the numbers slowly crept up as time moved with stilted lethargy.
Ken closed his eyes, still seeing green beneath his eyelids. He shifted against the too-long arm that was holding him and settled deeper into the sofa cushions.
"He'll be home soon," Yohji said again, his voice stretching languidly like a cat after a nap.
He laughed quietly. The room seemed to swallow it up. "I've gotten clingy. Always worrying for one stupid reason or another."
Long fingers tangled into chocolate locks. "You care about him."
"That's the problem." The shoulder he was leaning on felt bony. He sighed. "I just wish he'd tell me where he was going."
Yohji said nothing because there was nothing to say. He held Ken a little bit tighter and together they watched the blinking green clock make sluggish rounds.
When Aya finally did come home, it was quickly and suddenly. The door opened and shut with loud swiftness and he stood in the doorway, watching them with a dispassionate gaze.
Ken surged up, his heartbeat accelerating. "Aya, you're home! I've been wait - "
Aya didn't wait for Ken to finish. He simply turned around and stalked out of his apartment.
The brunette stared bewilderedly at the closed door. "What..."
Yohji sighed and raked a hand through his hair. "Ken, maybe you should just leave him alone for now. It's late and you-"
"No." Ken stood up. "He came to my apartment. He wanted to see me. I guess that he - "
"He looked upset."
"When doesn't he?" Ken grabbed his grey, hooded sweatshirt and hastily shoved it on. "Thanks for waiting with me Yotan. I appreciate it but I gotta go now." He waved and headed next door to his lover's apartment.
"Aya open up," he called, pounding on the door. "I won't leave until you do, koi." He hammered on the door and yelled until he finally heard angry footsteps from inside draw close to him.
Aya yanked open the door. "What?!" he snarled.
Ken pushed his way past his irate lover. "Aya, what happened?" he demanded, concerned. "You've were gone for so long and I've been worried sick. Are you alright? Did something - "
He frowned at his lover's brusque reply. "Aya - "
"I thought you wanted to stay with me tonight," he murmured, unable to hide the hurt that bubbled up at Aya's rejection.
"Looks like Yohji got the same invitation," Aya sneered.
There was a deafening silence as Ken gaped incredulously at the glaring assassin.
"Are you..." He swallowed audibly, his head suddenly pounding. "You're not...with Yohji..."
"Do whatever the fuck you want to," Aya spat out, frostily. "I don't give a shit."
Pure rage enveloped him so swiftly, like stepping out into a torrid squall. He clenched his jaw, eyes sparking. "I waited for you for five goddamn hours," he hissed, his voice uncharacteristically low. "because you didn't fucking bother to tell me where the hell you were going. Yohji sat with me because he was worried about me and now you have the fucking gall to accuse me of cheating with him?"
Aya raised an eyebrow in surprise at Ken's silent fury.
"Yohji and I are friends because I don't have one in you," Ken continued, staring hard and coldly at Aya. "But I have never once led him on." His features twisted in a malicious sneer. "Unlike you and Sakura."
Aya's eyes narrowed. "Don't you dare bring her - "
"Why the hell not?!!" Ken shouted, his temper scathing into a boil. "I've never once said anything while you make fucking googly eyes at her and treat her like she's so damn special! Just because she looks like your sister doesn't mean that you can fuck around with her, Aya! Is that why you were late tonight? You went on another goddamn date with her?" He looked away, unable to stand looking at the one who kept breaking him and playing with the pieces. "What would she say if she knew that you were fucking me?"
"Do you think I want her?" Level words, spoken lucidly and without even the faintest trace of emotion.
"If you do then say it." He raised his head and looked squarely into frigid, lilac pools. "I'm sick of playing games with you."
"Do you love me?"
He looked away, the harsh question splintering into him like shards of ice. He was so good at running away.
Cold fingers curved around his chin, forcing him to look into that pale face again. "Do you?" Hard words accompanied by tightening pressure upon his jaw.
Ken closed his eyes and still he could see drowning violets. "You know I do." Exposed and defeated, once more, in front of this scarlet-haired killer who took everything and gave nothing.
"Then it's enough."
But they both knew it for the lie that it was because it could never be enough.
Yeah, we'll grow up when we're old
Yeah, but nothing is colder than you
Colder than you
The door of the cramped linen closet snapped shut.
Ken jerked on the cord of the single, naked light bulb that hung from the middle of the ceiling. Dim light spilled over them like melting butter. Vivid crimson locks fell into a face that smoldered.
"Aya?" Ken took a step backwards. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
The redhead reached out with long fingers and caught Ken's wrist. He stripped the boy of his claws and tossed them onto a pile of sheets.
"Hey, what the hell are you doing?" Ken shouted, trying to free his wrist from Aya's tight hold. "Are you crazy or something? We're on a mission!"
"Shut up!" Aya snapped, yanking Ken roughly up against him.
Chocolate eyes widened with understanding. "You wanna do that in here?!" he cried, aghast. "Our target could walk past at any moment! We can't just have a fucking quickie in the middle of - mmmphh!"
Omi's voice crackled through the discarded com links. "Abyssinian, Siberian, the target will be coming up in about eleven minutes."
Inwardly, Aya smirked. There was plenty of time to finish this.
White fingers deftly pulled and unzipped at resisting clothing. Glimpses of skin were frantically stroked, bodies straining towards each other. Moist mouths met desperately, sucking moans and flesh. It was rough and spontaneous, the shelf behind them rattling. It was too much and not enough, as wordless cries splashed into each other like gentle liquid.
For a tiny instant, two heartbeats became one.
Aya picked up his katana with gloved-hands. "Don't just sit there," he ordered, his jaw clenching. "Hurry up and get dressed!"
Ken stared up at his lover. Aya looked collected and perfect, clothing tidy and not even one strand of blood-colored hair was out of place. As though he hadn't just initiated a fuck in the closet.
He fumbled to close his pants with limp fingers. "You're just not normal," he muttered, willing his heart to stop racing.
Pulled my heart out
I love to bleed
Pull it right out
It's just that your pleasing me, is just teasing me
It startled him, that curt voice suddenly speaking when it had remained silent for the entire morning. "What?"
Aya strode towards him, eyes flashing with some unidentifiable emotion that Ken had never seen before. He ruthlessly invaded his personal space, forcing him to move back against the counter. "Why do you keep watching at me?"
Ken stared up at the redhead, reading the blatant challenge in lashing, violet depths. 'Do you dare?' they asked him, mockingly. He raised his chin determinedly. "I'm attracted to you."
One scarlet brow arched sharply. There was a brief moment of silence before he spoke and his words were terse. "What makes you think I feel the same way?"
Ken tore away from those binding plum-colored eyes. "I don't care," he replied firmly.
Aya smirked. "Are you trying to convince me or yourself?" he demanded sardonically.
Brown eyes narrowed. "Go to hell," he snarled irately. "Conceited asshole!" He forcibly shoved past Aya, his shoulder pushing against the redhead roughly.
White fingers clamped around his wrist and pulled him back. "Why?"
Ken scowled, jerking his wrist away. "Why what?" he snapped.
"Why are you attracted to me?"
He folded his arms across his chest and glared at the impassive redhead. "Right now, I'm asking myself the very same thing."
"I'm not attracted to you," Aya told him, frowning.
"Good for you."
They stared at each other.
"Not in the least," Aya continued and his voice seemed softer to Ken.
The soccer player said nothing, only watched the redhead and he didn't know whom to hate and where that fine line was.
And then everything was forgotten because they were falling into each other like rain in the night. They were kissing, hungrily and insistently, unable to take without giving, not knowing where one began and the other ended.
In the space that followed, as they waited for closing time and later violated on a mission, he would reiterate the lack of desire on his part. Even as he constantly caught the brown-haired boy into his arms and gave in to swirling emotions, what he claimed he didn't have. Things grew thick, perplexing and everywhere lay a broken risk.
And when it was over, that which was so new and consuming, the sky spilled cold rain and moist eyes watched from stained sheets as the redhead left the silent lull of the darkened apartment.
Yeah yeah, it hurts to be with you
I thought that without you
I'd be incomplete
He blanched as his finger came away smeared with viscous, scarlet goo. "Aya," he whispered, hugging his lover tightly to him. "Aya, please..."
"Stop squeezing me so hard," the wounded assassin ground out gruffly.
"I won't let anything happen to you," Ken vowed, pressing the orange piece of torn sweatshirt to the gaping wound in Aya's stomach. He kissed the redhead's pale forehead, red strands softly pressing upon his mouth.
"It's too late for that," Aya muttered sardonically.
"Don't just stand there!" Ken shrieked, catching sight of Yohji and Omi coming out from the building. "Calling the fucking ambulance!"
"Calm down Ken-kun," Omi soothed. "We called Manx-san and she's bringing over a team."
"I said I was fine," Aya bit out, glaring at Omi.
"You're not fine!" Ken snapped, scowling. "People who are fine don't have big fucking holes in their fucking guts!"
"Oy, watch the language in front of the kid!" Yohji cried, clamping his hands over Omi's ears, much to the youngest boy's chagrin.
"Yohji-kun! I'm not a little kid so get off me!"
"It's my stomach, not my gut," Aya pointed out calmly.
Ken leaned close to the redhead so that they wouldn't be overheard. "I can see that this is all a joke to you," he hissed, eyes flashing. "because you don't care about anyone but your fucking self but in case you've forgotten, I love you!" His voice cracked and bloody hands began to tremble every so faintly. "Imagine if the one you loved was laying in your arms, bleeding all over the place. Would you be making jokes then, Aya?"
Violet eyes widened a fraction, feeling something clear and wet drip onto his face.
"I know you don't love me," Ken whispered brokenly. "But just let me love you because - "
The screech of tires on pavement drowned his words. Manx rushed out of the car, her heels clicking sharply on the asphalt.
Ken scrambled backwards and let them take the redhead. Omi lead him to Yohji's car, by a hand that was smeared with Aya's blood.
Yeah yeah, but tangoing takes two
My leash wouldn't fit you
But yours sure fit me
"I love you."
He shoved them out from his chest like a virus and the small words hung in the room, cloying and syrupy. They mocked them both, jeering because they didn't deserved it. He could feel the heavy weigh of an amethyst gaze washing over him but it wasn't in him to raise his head and meet it.
"I don't love you."
Biting words, gnawing words, creaking words. Hollow words that slid into his veins and sliced up rationality and emotion and insanity and everything that pulsated inside. He had known that they were coming, those four cruel words but still he'd hoped. Foolish hopes because it was so easy to pretend. Dreams that were made up of diaphanous spun-sugar and sweet to taste; he liked those dreams. They smiled and loved him when reality was too much. When his world became too hard and so cold. Empty and silent and crimson.
He knew it but still he'd told him. And he couldn't move or go back because it was the truth. He loved him.
"This means nothing."
I love you.
"It can't mean anything."
I love you.
"Do you understand Ken?"
He nodded once, jagged locked obscuring his eyes.
And then Aya was gone, in a swirl of red and black and white.
The room grew colder and he was weary.
Yeah, we'll grow up when we're old
Yeah, I thought it was cold
Yeah, when we met I was sold
But then, nothing is colder than you
Colder than you.
Ken looked at Aya and then at the wrapped box clutched in one pale hand. "Oh great, not another present," he groaned theatrically. "Those crazy schoolgirls just don't get the hint. What the hell am I supposed to do with all these presents? I'll be eating chocolates 'til next year! And if I see one more of those stupid teddy bears holding a heart, I swear I'm gonna - "
"It's not from one of the schoolgirls," Aya interrupted, rolling his eyes.
"It isn't?" Ken scratched his head and stared searchingly at the box. "Hey, is it from a secret admirer? Wow, I've never had one of those before!"
"It's not from a secret admirer," Aya snapped, getting impatient.
"It isn't?" Ken was stumped. "Then who could it be from? Oh wait! What if it's from Schwartz and they're trying to trick us? Maybe it's a bomb! Or a rattrap! Or - "
"It's from me, you fool!"
Cinnamon-colored eyes grew to saucer-size. "From you?!" he squeaked, boggling at the redhead. "Why? How? What for?"
"It's Valentine's Day," Aya growled out, fuming.
"But this morning you said that Valentine's Day is a tacky, useless, stupid Western tradition fit only for love-struck fools and American-wannabes," Ken quoted slowly.
"I still feel that way," Aya shot back, crossly.
"Then why did - "
"Just shut up and take the goddamn thing!"
Ken shut up and took the gift.
Aya glowered at him and stomped off, slamming the door behind him.
Ken ripped opened the red and silver wrapping paper and opened the small box. His wide eyes widened even further.
Aya had cut out a heart from red construction paper. The slightly crooked heart was glued to a lacy doily and in the center of the red paper, written in Aya's tiny, meticulous script were the gold-colored words, 'Will you be mine?'