I inhale deeply the stale sent of nicotine from my lighted cigarette. How I wish my problems would float away like the thin trails of smoke. But they never will. I have sinned and for that I am doomed forever to my guilt and misery, to never be happy. Never again...
The others are out for the evening. No missions came in tonight, so they're out having fun. Ken and Omi went to see a movie. And Aya...well, he's probably visiting his sister. I didn't have a date tonight, so I just stayed home, politely declining Omi's invitation to join himself and Ken at the movies. I'd rather be alone tonight. Tonight is special. The anniversary of Asuka's death. My beautiful Asuka...
Putting out the cigarette, I pour myself a glass of the wine I bought the other day. Asuka's favorite of course. Its dark color reminds me of the rich redness of blood. Her blood. It's sweet scent fills my nostrils as I gulp it down. Normally, I wouldn't drink so fast. I always like to take it slow, give myself more time to feel the drunken stupor settle over me. But tonight is different. I have no patience for staying sober...
Grabbing the bottle and leaving the glass behind, I walk out onto the balcony. The pale moonlight brightens the evening with a sort of bewitching effect. It reminds me of her fair skin. How it used to shine with a luster all its own. Shadows cover the streets down below. I take another drink of wine as I lean against the rail. The night transforms everything. It turns things of beauty into dark, hideous monsters. I wonder mildly if this is the reason we all work at night. We turn ourselves into cold, ruthless killers when the sun sets...
My thoughts are becoming a little slippery now as I guzzle more of the alcohol. My head swims with images that I can't hold onto. Ken playing soccer with children...Omi waving a test with an A on it...Aya assembling a bouquet of white roses. The images are pleasant at first, but suddenly they take on a darker nature. Ken gutting a person with his tiger claw and smiling about it...Omi firing his cross bow with a possessed look on his face...Aya slashing through a man, the blood splattering onto his jacket and face.
I cry out as I drop the emptied bottle, the glass shattering on the floor of the balcony. Gripping my head in my hands, I collapse to my knees. The broken glass cuts into my legs, but I'm barely aware of it. What are we becoming??? This dark lifestyle is transforming us all into murderous animals!! Aya is becoming more withdrawn with each kill, his humanity slipping further away...Ken kills now without even a second thought! And Omi...the kid's only seventeen and already he knows more about death than someone three times his age!
I whimper as another image flashes into view. Asuka, covered in blood. Dead because of my foolishness and idiotic persistence. My beautiful Asuka. Her eyes snap open, sending shudders through my spine at the dullness in her once lively eyes. She reaches her hand out to me, saying something I can't hear. Against my will, I listen harder to her words.
"...learn? ...won't you ever learn?"
I try to cover my ears, to stop listening to her words, but now they come at me with a vengeance. Her eyes glare at me with hate and accusation. The pain her looks bring my heart are more than I can bare.
"It's all your fault, Yoji! I died because of you!"
"...I tried to save you, Asuka! ...I tried!"
"My death is your sin!"
"Sin...I have sinned..."
"That sin will bring the same fate to your comrades! They will die because of you!"
"...no! That's not true...!"
"Because of your sin!"
"...NO! ...it can't be!!!"
"It's your fault!"
"...my fault...everything is my fault!!"
Asuka's image fades as I vault from the balcony and into my room, hysterical and afraid. I rush for the door, fumbling with the knob in my drunken state. Self-loathing and desperation fill my heart as I stumble out into the hall and down the steps. My foot misses and I fall forward, rolling down the stairs to land in a heap at the bottom. I feel a slight pain in my ankle, but ignore it as I lift myself off the floor. I have to escape!
Crawling into the den, my fumbling hands fan out in search of something to help me escape my guilt and sorrow. My right hand bumps something on the floor next to the couch. I pick it up and try hard to see it through my blurring vision. Aya's katana...
Aya must have forgotten it here, not usually leaving the weapon out like this. Curious, I draw the blade from its sheath, staring at the sharp-edge with awe. This is what I need to escape the guilt. What I need to end the pain. Quickly, I rip my glove from one of my hands and press the sharpened blade against my wrist. I slide the sword across my skin, feeling it cut deep. The crimson blood rushes from its flesh prison to cover the floor and myself. A puddle begins to form on the polished wooden floor, making an island beneath me.
Strangely, the pain disappears almost immediately. I sit and watch as my life blood flows from my cut wrist with a morbid fascination. The sight of blood has always seemed to make things better, especially my own. I dip my fingers into the blood and draw a streak on my cheek, letting the warm liquid run down my rapidly cooling skin. How fitting that I die by Aya's blade. He'll probably be mad at me for getting blood on it. Then he'll wipe it off and deposit my body in some back ally. He won't miss me, though I'll miss him terribly. Though I've never told anyone, I feel more than friendship towards the silent redhead. Everyone would probably laugh if they found out that the womanizer has fallen for a male. I wish I'd told him, now. He allows no one near him, even the friends that wish him too. My vision begins to get a little hazy and my head feels lighter. Soon now. Soon, my problems will be solved and all the ones who's death I've caused will be avenged...
The room suddenly lights up and I turn my face towards the door. There stands Aya, his face transformed from cold, cool calmness to quiet shock. I smile and slowly stand, hunching over the floor. My arm hangs down in front of me, the blood dripping to the floor the only sound to be heard. How ironic that I finally get a reaction from him when I'm dying.
"Don't worry Aya. Soon, you and the others...will be safe..."
He looks at me with a strange sort of mixed puzzlement and horror on his face. My legs fail me and I fall to my hands and knees, which give out just as quickly. Slumping to the floor, my eyes catch Aya rushing to my side. He rips cloth from his trenchcoat and presses it to my wrist tightly. I smile at his attempts to save me. Too late, Aya. Too late.
"Dammit, Yoji! Don't you DARE die on us!! ...On me!!"
My hand reaches up and caresses his face weakly, streaking it with my blood. He's actually upset that I'm dying? I must be hearing things. Death usually does that. Something wet drips onto the fingers that touch his cheek. Tears??? Aya never cries! Why would he now? I'm just a nuisance! Don't cry for me, Aya. I'm not worth your tears. I never was.
"Yoji, you selfish bastard! Don't die...! Not now!!!"
"If not now...then...when?"
"The team needs you, dammit! I need you! Your the oldest! The pillar we all stand on and look up too, stupid!"
The team needs...me? Aya needs me? He must have been drinking! No one needs me. All I bring is trouble to the ones I care about. Just ask Asuka.
My vision starts to grow dark and Aya's face becomes harder to see. I reach out my other hand to try and find him. I can barely lift it. It's become so heavy and sluggish. I grope at the air until a hand clasps my own in a grip of iron. His hand is so warm compared to mine. So warm...
"Aya..! I can't...see you..."
"I'm still here, Yoji! Just don't leave us!"
His voice is desperate, something Aya's voice usually isn't. Could it be I was wrong to assume that Aya cared nothing for me? Could it be possible that he cared as much for me as I did for him, yet was afraid to reveal it? Sadly, I don't think I'm going to find out the answer. My body starts to shiver involuntarily. I'm so cold.
I faintly hear a door slam in the background. A voice, I think it's Ken's, calls out to see if anyone's home.
"Ken! Dammit Ken, call an ambulance! Yoji's slashed his wrist! He's losing blood fast!"
"Oh my god..."
That would be Omi. I can barely feel his hands cradle my head as I start to black out. I hear his voice calling to me as I fall into unconsciousness.
"Hang on, Yoji-kun...hang on..."
And the darkness takes me completely. My last thought is of Aya and how he would never know how much I love him.
I open my eyes to see a beautiful face staring into mine. The area is filled with clouds and a bright light beckons beyond the face.
"Where am I?"
this is the gateway to the afterlife, yoji. your dead.
"Who are you? How do you know my name?"
A giggle erupts from the person. The face backs away until I can see the whole person. My eyes widen in shock.
yes, yoji. its me. i've come to help you.
yoji, its not your time to die yet. you have friends who care about you very much. and someone that loves you more than i ever could.
yes. Aya cares more deeply for you than even he realizes. at this very moment he's trying to break the window of the emergency room as the doctors try to bring you back. he's crying, yoji.
"How do you know?"
because, yoji, when the living think of the dead...the dead can hear them.
"Yoji! God dammit, don't you dare die on me! Fight, you selfish bastard!! FIGHT! ...come back to me...please..."
I gasp at the voice I heard. Aya's voice is so desperate. So frightened. So...lonely. My heart wrenches in pain.
there's still a chance to set things right, yoji. go back. go back to them and to Aya. i'll still be waiting here when you come again. when it IS your time.
Her eyes smile at me. It gives me strength. The strength I need to go back and face my nightmarish lifestyle. But I won't be alone. I know that now.
"Asuka, before I go...forgive me."
i can't do that yoji.
My heart falls and I turn my gaze to my feet, ashamed. I don't blame her. I wouldn't forgive me either.
i can't forgive you if i never blamed you in the first place.
My head snaps up to look at her and the honesty in those eyes is surprising, yet comforting.
"But its my fault your dead!"
it was my time. the only one who blames you is you. i never did. we all die someday, yoji. you have to face that.
"I should have been able to protect you, though. You paid for my mistake with your life. I have sinned."
yoji, look at me.
Timidly, I bring my eyes up to meet hers. In her eyes, I see the truth that I have been denying deep in my heart for years.
remember, yoji. remember what you told me once. your only a sinner if you believe in the sin.
"Your...right. Thank you Asuka. For everything."
She smiles and the area fades away. I feel myself being sucked through the clouds and back to a fast approaching earth. My mind goes blank as everything goes black.
A faint beeping reaches my hears, causing my head to ache severely. I suck in a small amount of breath through my teeth, hissing at the pain. A rustling beside me catches my hearing, but I'm still trying to persuade my eyes to open. I groan to let whoever it is know I'm awake.
Aya. Like I should expect anyone else. His voice sounds exhausted, like he just woke up. Probably did.
"I'd ask if you were okay, but it sounds like a stupid question at this point."
A hand grasps mine. I give it a faint squeeze. The hand squeezes back. My eyes finally cooperate and I open, squinting until they adjust to the light of the hospital room. Aya scoots closer to the, still holding my hand. I look into his tired eyes and smile.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"That you cared. I heard you calling out to me when I...died."
A slight tint of pink lights upon his cheeks, but he glares at me. I'm obviously in trouble for what I had done.
"What the hell were you thinking, Yoji?! Huh?! You scared us have to death! Ken blames himself for not seeing this sooner and Omi thinks its all his fault since he didn't stay home when you didn't go with them!"
"And you? What about you, Aya?"
"You've got a lotta nerve, Yoji!"
I frown, guilty for making them worry. I should never have decided to drink that wine. Normally, I can suppress my suicidal side a lot better than that, but the alcohol had kept any rational thought from processing in my mind.
"You never answered either of my questions, Aya."
My voice is very quiet and I almost think he didn't hear me. Almost.
"I didn't tell you because I didn't think you felt the same. I was afraid to lose the friendship we had for something more. And you scared the shit out of me! I couldn't think straight for two days!"
I smiled a little. Aya clasped my hand tighter, as if I would leave him any moment and he would wake up to find out he was dreaming and that I really was dead. I could hardly blame him. I would probably be thinking the same thing if our positions were switched.
"Promise me one thing, Yoji. Promise that you'll never leave us like that again."
I felt more than saw him relax, his muscles uncoiling. He leaned forward and pressed his lips lightly to my own. It felt...nice. I sighed and grinned, feeling some of my humor coming back.
"After all, Aya. What would you guys do without me?"
He smirked and brushed my hair back a little. His face became solemn for a moment as he looked into my eyes, exposing all the hidden feelings to me.
"Let's hope we never have to find out."
I really enjoyed writing this fic, though I don't think its very good. If you haven't guessed yet, Yoji is my favorite character (Aya being my second). I wrote this fic very late at night (or very early in the morning, whichever you prefer). It took two bottles of Mountain Dew (TM) (I'm talking the 3 liter sizes, ya'll, not the 12 oz. bottles) and a LOT of thinking to write this fic, so please tell me what you thought of it. I hope everyone liked it and if I get enough encouragement, I might write a sequel (encourage me, please! I would like to try it!), so ta ta for now!
P.S. I will admit right now that I have never seen Weiss Kruez, so everything here is based on episode summaries and other fics that I've read. So be kind in your judgment! Thanks again!