This one is for Ness as an answer to her challenge. You devious little thing 0.o I don't watch my language nor does the Weiί. They are killers and not very happy with the fact, so do try to understand the possible angst. This is also a shonen ai story not quite yaoi, yet - so if you're a homophobic, don't read this! And possible flamers will suffer...
He had been suffering from insomnia for weeks now. Every night he would go to his bed, lie there wide awake, hugging himself as he rolled between the sheets, trying to get some sleep. And he would close his eyes as the pictures of his victims would arise from his memory, tormenting him with their screams, shouts and cries. And there was be no end to this until the first rays of the morning could thrust into the room through the heavy curtains. Every morning he had a pounding headache, his eyes were red from the tears he never allowed to flow, his heart was colder and emptier and he would be even moodier than before. He was suffering from it and he couldn't do a thing about it.
His only escape was Aya-chan, whom he visited whenever he could. She would calm his crying soul just by being there. She would offer him comfort in that silence beauty of hers. She would be there for him, no matter what. And every visit would lighten his days tremendously for the mere sight of her took away his dark thoughts. Just because she was she. Just because she was still there with him, even in her coma. And that made him live for another day. She alone and only.
"Oi, Aya-kun! Get your bony butt here right now! We're leaving!" Youji shouted from downstairs. Aya winced slightly before descending the stairs. Without a word he walked past the lanky playboy, his bag thrown over the shoulder. Youji snickered.
"And he descends from the heavens!"
Aya let that one pass.
"Geesh, Aya-kun, what took you so long?" Omi asked as he sat into the car. Aya glanced at the boy, keeping still his silence. He didn't want to talk about it a lot, especially not with Omi. The boy was too innocent. That thought made him snicker mentally. Since when did he start to think that an assassin could be innocent? He didn't know. But he knew that, no matter what, Omi still was as innocent as only he could be.
Youji was driving. He had put on the radio and was chatting casually with the blushing Ken and the smiling Omi. Every once in a while Aya would wonder how they could act so carelessly. Didn't they realise that they killed people for their living? He couldn't comprehend them. And they couldn't comprehened him.
In which he was used to by now. First it had hurt him that they couldn't see the blood in their hands, that they couldn't understand the fact that they were killers. Nothing could change, not he, not they, not Manx with her wits, not Persia with his excuses, not even Aya-chan if she would awake someday and forgive him his deeds. No one could change what they were.
Youji stopped the car in front of Villa White. It was white and snowy everywhere: in the forest, on the mountains, even the cottage was white and snowy. The landscape was extremely beautiful and it gave Aya a temporary peace of mind. He had always loved the nature of Japan. The beauty, the serenity that it gave freely to everyone made him almost forget what he was and what he did. It almost made him forget his guilt. Almost.
They carried their stuff in the cottage and Omi and Ken went to the kitchen to prepare them something to eat. Omi was a pretty skilled cook, but he was good in everything he did. Ken, on the other hand, wasn't that great a cook but he did his best. Youji didn't know how to cook and he always said that it was women's job to cook, not men's. And Aya... well, he did know how to cook and he was actually good in it, but he just didn't cook. It made him remember how he had often prepared a dinner for himself and Aya-chan when their parents weren't home.
Youji jumped elegantly on the living room couch and stretched sensuosly.
"Gods, it feels good to have a vacation. It was about bloody time. I mean, Persia can't exhaust us since we're his only assassins", Youji complained playfully, grinning at Aya, who was sitting on an armchair with a book. "Ne, Aya-kun?"
Aya felt his lips itching to smile but he couldn't. He couldn't smile at something as serious as his job. He just couldn't. Youji humphed.
"C'MON, Aya-kun, don't be such a moody party spoiler. We're on a vacation so you could at least try to enjoy it instead of acting like someone's poked a stick up your ass."
Aya tried not to blush at hearing Youji's words and he succeeded, but he couldn't stop his ears from burning. He knew he used harsh language every now and then especially when he got angry but he really thought that Youji should sometimes bite his tongue before speaking.
"Youji-kun, watch your language. Omi-kun might hear", he scolded with his monotonous voice. Youji sighed, leaning back and throwing his feet on the table.
"Geesh, you really are a stiffneck, mother."
"One of us has to be", Aya commented silently, opening his book and beginning to read. It took only couple of seconds for Youji to get up and go into the kitchen. Aya sighed for he knew that Youji didn't like to be ignored.
"Aaaaah!" Youji sighed as he finished his dinner. "That was great, Omi-kun! You really know your way around the kitchen", he complimented, mussling the boy's hair.
Omi smiled in his genki way, blushing slightly at the compliment. Ken joined Youji in praising the boy and Aya merely thanked and nodded, showing his appreciation for the good food.
"Saa, who wants some hot cocoa and marshmallows?" Ken asked then, looking expectantly at the others. Youji and Omi glanced at each other and mewled loudly, "ME!". Ken turned his chocolate brown eyes at Aya.
"What about you, Aya-kun?" he asked hopefully. He didn't know why, but somehow he felt that he should try to get Aya out of his shell and into an open communication with the rest of them. And what would be a better way than to get him spend the evening with them drinking cocoa and chatting just like normal people.
"No, thank you", Aya refused. "I'll be upstairs if you need me." He stood up and walked out of the kitchen. Youji humphed as Ken sighed deeply.
"He really is a stiffneck", Youji muttered. Ken shook his head, wanting to deny it.
"He's just being his moody self again", Ken said carefully, walking to the cupboard and taking out three blue cups. Omi nodded as if he was confirming the ex-soccer player's words.
"Hai, Aya-kun is a lot like that. I guess he doesn't know any other way to act", the blue-eyed boy said, getting also up and walking to the fridge to get some milk. Youji shrugged.
"He's still a stiffneck."
He couldn't sleep. He couldn't close his eyes. He couldn't even try to close his eyes. The memories would have been too vivid if he had tried to close his eyes, if he had tried to sleep. The dream avoided him and his sub-consciousness kept pushing before his open eyes the pictures of him and his family spending their winter holidays in Nagano. His father and mother sitting side by side at the restaurant table; he teaching Aya-chan how to ski; Aya-chan tumbling down in the beginning of the hill; he hugging the crying girl. And the worst of all, he could hear them like they were with him in his room. He couldn't run away even if he would have wanted to. He couldn't clap his hands on his ears for it would have only made their voices clearer. He couldn't close his eyes because he would have seen them more clearly. And he couldn't sleep.
So he surrendered, allowing the memories to pop up whenever they wanted. He knew he couldn't fight them. Even if he could he wasn't sure if he wanted to. He missed them so much, especially Aya-chan, who was still in a deep sleep in her bed in the sterile hospital room. He felt the guilt twisting his guts and he felt like he had abandoned her so that he could go for a vacation. He couldn't stand the feeling and so he hadn't been able to stay with his teammates to enjoy the hot cocoa and the marshmallows. He couldn't because the moment Ken had mentioned the cocoa and the marshmallows he had heard Aya-chan's voice in his head saying, "Mou, Ran-nii! I want marshmallows in my cocoa, too!", and he had seen her as the pouting ten-year-old girl she had once been.
He felt how the tears stung his eyes. But like so many times before, he didn't allow them to flow freely, he didn't allow them to flow at all. He just laid on the bed, the blanket thrown to the floor, grasping the sheets in his fists and fighting against the tears and the memories of the time when he had still had his family.
The morning came slowly, finding him hugging himself, biting his lower lip and trembling silently as the tears he didn't allow to flow reddened his violet eyes. Morning came slowly and offered no redemption.
Aya walked down the stairs and to the kitchen only to find Ken yawning there and making some coffee.
"Ohayo, Aya-kun", he greeted, tousling his silky brown hair. Aya nodded, walking to the table and sitting down. He looked out of the window and saw how Youji threw Omi to the snowbank, obviously laughing and then dodging the snowball the honey-haired boy threw. Unconsciously Aya heaved a silent sigh.
Ken glanced at the redhead and frowned a bit. He was going to ask Aya about the sigh but then he decided to let it pass for he was sure that he couldn't get an answer out of Aya. If there was one thing the redhead was good at besides kendo, of course it was keeping his silence. Not even a roaring herd of wild horses could make him say a word if he didn't want to.
Suddenly Aya stood up and walked out of the kitchen without a word. He went to the living room, pulled on his coat he had left on the armchair and went outside. He looked intently at the playboy and the youngest member of Weiss playing in the snow.
"Mou, Youji-kun! That's not fair!" Omi shouted as Youji grabbed the boy in his arms and threw him again into the snowbank. Youji only laughed. When Omi got up he waved his hand at Aya.
"Ohayo, Aya-kun! Wanna play?" he shouted, smiling happily. Aya didn't wave his hand back nor did he answer. He just stood in the porch, just like a silent statue. Except that he had the smallest of smiles on his lips. It was so small that even he didn't feel it creeping on his lips.
Youji glanced at Aya and said something to Omi. The boy giggled deviously, getting on his feet. Youji was marching towards Aya in a determined way, which made the redhead arch his eyebrow questioningly.
"Ohayo, Aya-kun", Youji greeted as he stood in front of the shorter man. "It's time for a...", he said in a matter-of-fact tone, "snowbath." Then he scooped Aya in his arms and without a moment of hesitation threw him into the snowbank under the porch. However, Aya grabbed swiftly the lanky playboy from his jacket and Youji fell also to the snowbank. Right on top of Aya.
Both Aya and Youji blinked their eyes. Youji grinned sheepishly at the redhead. Aya turned his eyes away from the man.
"Get off me", he hissed between his teeth. Youji smirked, studying Aya with his emerald green eyes. He brushed gently some snow off the redhead's creamy cheek. To his amazement he saw Aya blush slightly. Just when Youji was going to say something Aya nailed Youji with his cold, violet eyes. There was a hint of pain in them and... and tears. Youji's eyes widened in shock.
"I said get off me", he growled, sounding surprisingly angry and pushed Youji aside, standing up. He glared at the older man threateningly, then walking up the stairs to the porch and back inside the cottage. Youji looked dubiously after him. Omi was giggling in the snowbank.
Inside Ken shook his head as looked out of the window and saw Youji and Aya falling from the porch. He couldn't help smiling although he knew that the evening would probably be a total hell. Aya didn't like practical jokes, not especially if he was the target. Sometimes Ken wondered if the redhead truly was so serious and cold as he seemed to be. And if he was, Ken would've liked to know what had caused him to become like that. No one was like that for the fun of it. But the ex-soccer player had learned that Aya didn't answer to anyone who pried him about his past. Ken had burned his fingers too many times when he had tried to talk with the older boy and had happened to ask about his past.
The door slammed open and shut when Aya came in. Ken came from the kitchen to look if he was okay. Aya rewarded the boy's concern with a quick, cold glance as he wordlessly took off his trenchcoat, threw it on the nearest chair and walked to upstairs.
"Aya-kun?" Ken questioned, looking after him. The only sound that was heard in the cottage was the loud slam as Aya apparently closed the door of his room.
Ken frowned a bit, biting his lip. He knew that Aya could get pissed-off from pranks but such a childish reaction was something he hadn't expected from the redhead. But he wasn't going to go after Aya and get his ass kicked for asking about wrong things. No, he was going to stay downstairs where he would be safe and sound.
"Youji-kun?" Omi asked, waving his hand in front of the playboy's eyes. No reaction. The blue-eyed boy pushed Youji in the ribs. No reaction. Omi cast a worrying glance at Ken, who was sitting on the opposite couch and reading a sports magazine. Ken sensed the boy looking at him and raised his eyes from the magazine just to see Omi tugging one of Youji's wavy locks. No reaction. Ken grinned before frowning.
Youji was sitting on the couch, his arm slung over Omi's shoulders in a brotherly manner, his other hand holding a coffee cup that was already dead cold and an unlit cigarette hanging for its precious life from the man's lips. There was a frozen look in his emerald eyes and a slight frown on his forehead. He was also as silent as a rock. Almost as silent as Aya. It was a very disturbing and worrying situation. Youji was never quiet nor did he ever forget his coffee and cigarette.
Ken put down the magazine and shook his head. Youji had been acting very strangely since he had gotten inside after falling to the snowbank with Aya. He had treated Ken like a human being, he had put off his cigarette after Omi had mentioned it to him for the first time, he had even done the dishes. Ken swore to himself that something wasn't right in the playboy. He just didn't do things like those. You could say Ken was worried.
"Ken-kun? Should we call a doctor? Youji-kun hasn't smoked even a whole cigarette today and I think he actually offered to help me make the dinner", Omi said with worry in his voice. Ken shrugged.
"I dunno. Aya-kun has been in his room since he came in this morning and he hasn't even put his nose out of the door. Though that's not something unusual...", Ken's voice trailed off. Omi pouted.
"Mou, Ken-kun! I'm not joking!"
Ken sighed. "I know, I know... But there's nothing we can do if Aya-kun and Youji-kun wants to act all silly. I mean, I'm NOT going to let them ruin my well-deserved vacation. So, Omi-kun, if they want to act like buffoons, then why don't we let them. After all, it's not US who're making themselves look like idiots."
Omi couldn't help laughing at Ken's words, the choco-haired boy was just too hilarious sometimes. Ken's sheepish smile elicited more laughter from the Bombay and the boy collapsed to the floor, laughing with water in his eyes. Ken grinned, picking up his magazine.
Up in his room Aya was sitting on his bed and staring at the wall. Tears were glimmering in his eyes as well as the hidden pain that he didn't wish to show to anyone. He knew that it had been only a practical joke and that he shouldn't be so upset about it, but he couldn't help feeling both pain and pleasure as he thought or tried not to think about it. Youji's warm weight on top of him, his emerald eyes seductive in their curiousity, the faint scent of aftershave and Youji himself. It had been too much of a shock for him and he just couldn't bear to be like that under Youji. He didn't even know why.
Sure, Aya had always known that he wasn't like the other boys. He had never ogled over scantily dressed girls, he had never found any actress or singer hot or attractive, he had never treated a girl like she was a sex object nor had he thought about her that way. Of course, he loved his imouto how could he not love her and he had cared about some girls in his past but he had never loved them nor desired them. He just wasn't into girls that way. He never had been.
But he knew that he wasn't into men. He didn't like yaoi manga nor shonen ai stories. He didn't admire some good looking actor or J-rock star. He didn't look at men in that manner at all. He wasn't into men. And that confused Aya like hell.
"Goddammit!" he growled under his breath and hit the bed with his fist. Then he rose up and walked out of the room to downstairs.
Omi and Ken were sitting in the living room, apparently joking with each other. Youji was nowhere to be seen and Aya couldn't have cared less even if he had been there.
"Oi, Aya-kun! What's up?" Ken asked as he saw the redhead descending the stairs. Omi also glanced over his shoulder at Aya, looking curious. Aya grunted.
"I'm going for a walk", he only said as he put on his boots and took his coat. He closed his ears at Ken's and Omi's questions and calmly opened the door and walked out of the cottage.
Part 2 | Fanfiction