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Title: Last of Days
Fandom: K Project
Rating: T
Pairings/Warnings: Sarumi, more or less.
Summary: Sometimes it felt as if the day Fushimi had joined Homra he’d received a deep cut to the vein and he’d been bleeding out slowly ever since.



“Delicious~~”

The sound of Misaki’s voice was just enough to get Fushimi to look up from where his gaze had been fixed firmly on the pavement.

“This was a great idea, Totsuka-san!” Misaki chattered happily, taking a bite of the crepe in his hand. Of course it had been Totsuka’s idea. ‘I just saw the new crepe shop opened and I thought Anna-chan would like to try one,’ so naturally they all had to go along. Fushimi would have refused but Misaki had grabbed him by the hand and announced that they would both be coming along too.

“Tch.” Fushimi clicked his tongue in irritation. After all that dragging him out of the bar, Misaki had barely so much as looked at him since they’d gotten their food. He was walking at the head of the group now, right beside Mikoto, blabbering on about something pointless.

Stupid. This is all stupid. From his spot at the back of the group, Fushimi stared fixedly at Misaki’s back. Why did I have to come along?

Misaki hadn’t turned around once, not since they’d left the bar. Fushimi’s throat felt hot and he took a small bite of his own crepe, forcefully tearing his eyes away from Misaki and making himself look anywhere else. The food tasted dry and flat in his mouth and his head was pounding slightly.

I should have stayed behind. This is stupid. Why do I have to come along for these types of things? It’s pointless. It makes me sick.

He’d come along because Misaki had wanted him to. Because they were ‘comrades,’ because Homra had ‘bonds’ and did things like this, went out and had fun together, like a family.

It makes me sick.

“Fushimi?” Totsuka’s smiling face appeared in his field of view and Fushimi clicked his tongue again, looking away. “Are you all right? You don’t like crepes?”

Fushimi glared darkly up at him. Memories fluttered up, unwanted, and his muscles tensed.

(“Saruhiko!” Misaki poked his shoulder and Fushimi looked up from where he’d been sitting at his desk, staring idly out the window.

“What?”

“Hey, after class, you want to go to the crepe place down the block with me?” Misaki was smiling like an idiot, the way he always did, and it made Fushimi’s heart pound uncomfortably. He looked away with an irritated click of his tongue.

“Crepes? What are you, a girl?”

“H-hey, guys can like them too!” Misaki insisted.

“That’s where all the girls go on dates though, right?” Fushimi said calmly and Misaki’s face turned slightly red as he looked away.

“M-maybe,” he muttered. “B-but anyway, some girls in the hall were talking about it earlier and they said it’s really good, so—so I figured I should try it.”

“And you can’t ask a girl to go with you since you’re too much of a virgin,” Fushimi declared.

“What the hell was that?” Misaki snapped. “I-I am not. I could ask any girl I wanted. I just—I just thought I’d rather go with you, that’s all.”

Fushimi’s face felt hot and he looked up abruptly. Misaki’s eyes were turned away, clenched hands stuffed in his pockets. Fushimi closed his book and stood.

“Fine. Let’s go.”

“You’ll come?” Misaki’s face immediately brightened, as if someone had flipped a switch. The sight of it made Fushimi’s breath hitch just slightly, and he clicked his tongue again to cover it. “You’re the best, Saruhiko! We can each get a different one and split them, okay?”

He began to lead the way out of the classroom and Fushimi followed silently behind, as he always did.)


“I don’t like sweet things,” Fushimi said coolly, brushing the thoughts away like mud. Totsuka was still smiling at him with that annoying face of his, as if he knew exactly what Fushimi was thinking, and Fushimi stared coldly back.

Don’t look at me as if you understand me. Don’t look at me as if you know.

Totsuka seemed about to say something else when he was interrupted by Anna pulling at his sleeve. He turned to reply to her and Fushimi slowed his pace, falling back further and further behind the group.

Stupid. All of this is stupid. Misaki was still ahead of him, arguing with Kamamoto about something as Mikoto looked on. Fushimi’s feet seemed to stop of their own accord and he stood there as the rest of Homra walked away from him up the crest of a hill. In moments they would all be out of sight. Fushimi’s chest felt hot.

Misaki. The name cut through his mind like an open wound. When are you going to remember I’m here?

They were almost out of his field of view now. A few more steps and Fushimi would be completely out of Misaki’s sight.

Misaki. Misaki. Misaki. He couldn’t stop it. The name was like the beating of his heart.

They reached the top of the hill and soon Fushimi couldn’t see any of them anymore. His fists clenched.

“Tch.” Fushimi tossed the barely-eaten crepe into the nearest trash can before turning and walking deliberately in the opposite direction.



The bright clear sky had begun to grow choked by clouds and still Fushimi walked. He’d long ago lost track of where he was going, if he’d ever had any idea in the first place, and by now he was only walking for the sake of it, just walking so that he could be alone and not have to play his part in pretending he was a member of that group. Walking, so he wouldn’t have to act like he was comrades with those people who had so easily taken Misaki from him.

So he wouldn’t have to watch Misaki talking and smiling and laughing with other people and feel the pain in his head throbbing so hard he couldn’t even think.

Fushimi pulled his PDA out of his pocket and stared at it for a moment. He’d turned it off soon after he’d walked away from the group and part of him wondered if he should turn it back on. Maybe there would be a message for him. Maybe Misaki had noticed that he’d gone. Maybe Misaki had called him, looking for him.

Or maybe there would be nothing at all. Fushimi stuffed the PDA back in his pocket.

It was stupid. It was all so stupid. Fushimi didn’t see why Misaki cared about Homra so much. Hadn’t it always been enough before, when it had been only the two of them? That had been all they’d ever needed, just each other. He didn’t understand why they had even bothered with Homra at all.

Fushimi had never wanted to join in the first place. He’d known from the start that it wasn’t a place for him. That kind of place, full of people who spoke empty words about ‘bonds’ and ‘comrades’ — Fushimi knew better than to trust that kind of thing. They would tell him now, that he was part of them, but in the end it would all be the same lie it always was. Fushimi could feel it straight down to his bones, that he wasn’t like the rest. There was no point in trying to become a part of that group when it wouldn’t change anything anyway. The day would still come that they would break apart and ask him leave, and Fushimi would simply have to go.

These were things Fushimi had always known, that everything broke eventually, so there was no point in forging those bonds in the first place.

But Misaki didn’t seem to understand that. Stupid idiot Misaki, acting like they had ever needed heroes or saving. They’d had each other. That should have been enough.

Fushimi’s head was pounding and he ignored it. There was a pain in his chest that seemed to have always been there and it made it difficult for him to breathe. Sometimes it felt as if the day he’d joined Homra he’d received a deep cut to the vein and he’d been bleeding out slowly ever since.

Misaki. Misaki. Fushimi grit his teeth and leaned against the nearest wall, breathing hard. It was like drowning, here on his own, and he wasn’t even sure he understood why. He’d always been fine on his own. He’d never needed anyone before, never needed people to smile at him, to say his name like they cared.

(He sat in a cold empty room and stared at the wall, swallowed whole by silence and sick to his core of the world around him and all the people in it.)

(If everything could all disappear, everything in this world, it would be fine. He had no need for any of it.)


Never needed anyone, except Misaki.

Somebody slammed roughly into him then, jolting him from his thoughts and pushing him up against the brick wall. Fushimi glanced up sharply, irritated.

“You got a lot of guts to walk through this part of town, kid.” There were five of them, standing in a semi-circle that neatly blocked the mouth of the alleyway Fushimi had wandered into. They all looked big and dumb and violent, and Fushimi felt a sudden spike of anger.

All these petty annoyances, always hovering around him. There was a red haze building in his mind and Fushimi grit his teeth.

“Do you even know where you are?” another of the punks said, pulling on the band of black cloth he wore around one arm. Fushimi noted that all of them were wearing the same band and it clicked in his mind.

That was right, there had been some issue with another gang causing trouble in the city. He remembered Misaki blabbering on about it, something about ‘how dare those punks cause trouble in Mikoto-san’s territory’ or some useless crap like that. Fushimi dimly recalled Misaki claiming they had run the group off at some point and complaining that Fushimi had skipped out on it. Apparently they had missed a few.

“Leave me alone,” Fushimi muttered dismissively, turning to walk the other way. It was none of his business, whatever issue this trash had with Homra.

“You don’t get out of this that easy, punk.” One of the men reached out and grabbed Fushimi’s collar, pulling open his shirt slightly to reveal the Homra tattoo on his chest. “I thought so. You’re one of those damn Homra punks who think they own this town, aren’t you? You think just because you got all those fancy powers you can do whatever you want, huh?”

“But you’re not so tough without that king of yours,” another of the men added, smirking. “I think it’s time we send them a message. We’ll carve it into your flesh. See how your precious king likes that.”

“My king,” Fushimi said blandly. Something shuddered in his mind and somehow he found a laugh bubbling in his throat.

Stupid. Everything really was just completely stupid. So many useless things.

The red haze reached up and overtook him, and Fushimi smiled as he slid the knives into his hands.

--

Fushimi panted hard and fell back against the wall, blood-stained knives disappearing up his sleeves as he clutched at the bleeding hole in his side. He hadn’t expected one of them to be a Strain, but it had all worked out the same in the end.

The ground beneath him was wet with blood and the five men who had attacked him lay still and unmoving all around him. He wasn’t completely certain if they were all still alive and he was not quite surprised to realize that he didn’t even care.

It had felt good, in any case. Blades slicing through flesh and bone, the blood pounding in his ears, heart beating hard in his chest. He had almost forgotten the reason he was walking alone in the first place, swallowed whole by the blade and the kill.

It was almost worth being in the world, when his blades drew blood so beautifully.

The wound throbbed and Fushimi bit back a hiss of pain. He wasn’t even certain which one had managed to land the hit. Probably the Strain, who had been throwing some kind of sharp-edged disks of power at him. One had sliced a thin shallow cut in his neck and blood was dripping down from the wound, soaking his already blood-stained shirt. Other than that and the wound in his side, he was nearly unscathed. Fushimi felt a dark smile curl over his lips.

It had felt nice, hadn’t it, and it wasn’t like that was anything new. He’d been twisted inside from the very start, after all, and he’d always known it.

He wasn’t sure how long he stood there trying to catch his breath when he became aware of the sound of many feet approaching. Fushimi felt himself tense, the knife slipping back into his hands as easily as if it belonged there.

“You there! Don’t move!” A bright light blinded him as a commanding female voice rang out. Fushimi clicked his tongue and grimaced at the group of figures walking stiffly towards him. He recognized the blue uniforms immediately.

Scepter 4. The last he’d had anything much to do with them had been back when they’d attacked the center to save Anna and he and Misaki had fought the annoying twins. These people seemed different somehow, and it took Fushimi a moment to place the reason why. He recalled Mikoto and Kusanagi talking about it at some point.

That was it, wasn't it? Scepter 4 had a king now. Fushimi's face twisted into a scowl.

A woman with cold eyes and blonde hair approached him, walking with officious purpose. She surveyed the carnage surrounding him and then gave him a searching look, her eyes going from the tattoo still visible on his chest to the knife in his hand.

“Homra. I see. Did you do all this?”

“I did,” Fushimi said dully. He relaxed his stance slightly but did not return his knife to his sleeve and it disturbed him slightly to realize that he didn’t want to. That he almost wanted them to attack him just to see how many he could take down before they killed him.

The red haze and feral smile were curling inside him again, and his head still pounded.

“I was not aware that Homra had ties to this part of the city.” She was still looking at him as if trying to figure something out.

“I didn’t do it for Homra.” Fushimi couldn’t stop the slight derisive edge added to the last word. Was that how it was for these stupid clans?

Is everything you people do for a king?

The woman gave him a vaguely exasperated look, as if he was a particularly troublesome child, and it set his teeth on edge. She opened her mouth to say something else and a cool, cultured voice cut her off.

“Awashima-kun. Stand down.”

All of the Scepter 4 members immediately stiffened and the woman saluted sharply.

“Captain. I was simply--”

“It’s no problem, Awashima-kun.” A figure stepped forward to join her and Fushimi got his first look at the Blue King.

It took Fushimi a moment to recall the overheard name: Munakata Reisi, and he looked as refined as the Red King was wild. His smile was calm and pleasant and completely dangerous, and his eyes were sharp and intelligent. Fushimi felt his hackles rise and his hand tightened over the hilt of his knife even though he knew it would be as useless as a plastic toy against a king. Though the Blue King’s aura felt cool and steady, the exact opposite of Mikoto’s usual wild untamed power, it was no less crushing.

No less crushing, but not stifling. When Mikoto was around Fushimi always felt closed-in and smothered, as if he was being rejected by his own body. Munakata's aura was colder and steadier, and Fushimi was slightly surprised to find that he could breathe normally.

Even so, he didn’t relax and he did not let go of the knife.

“I can handle this, Awashima-kun,” Munakata said smoothly. “Please secure the rest of the area.”

“Yes sir.” The woman saluted sharply and walked away, barking out orders to her subordinates.

The Blue King turned his eyes to Fushimi and Fushimi felt his muscles tense so hard it was painful. It was like staring down a venomous snake disguised as a peacock.

“It was impressive of you to handle them all by yourself,” Munakata said calmly, almost soothingly, as if he was trying to tame an injured beast. “We had been tracking them for some time. Were you aware that one of these men is a Strain?”

“That one,” Fushimi said sharply, jerking his head towards one of the unmoving bodies. Munakata nodded and motioned his subordinates towards the indicated man before turning back to Fushimi with the same infinitely polite smile.

“It’s rare to see a Red clansman act on his own,” the Blue King continued. He eyed Fushimi shrewdly. “Certainly not something one would normally expect.”

“I guess.” Fushimi shrugged noncommittally and winced in pain as the wound in his side reminded him of its existence.

“Ah, you’re wounded.” Munakata glanced down at the wound and then back at Fushimi, who was eying him suspiciously. “We have medical care available at Scepter 4, if you’d like to accompany me back.”

“Am I being arrested?” Fushimi asked slowly, not relaxing his stance. Munakata was still looking at him with that sharp-edged gaze, as calm and cool as Mikoto’s was burning and intense. Now that Fushimi was standing so close to the Blue King he found himself thinking that the two kings were not so different after all. Mikoto was a lion scattering mice before his approach, but Munakata was the hawk deciding if the mouse was useful enough to let live.

Creepy, Fushimi decided with a grimace.

“Of course not,” Munakata said. “You did us a favor. They attacked you first?”

“They did.”

“Self defense, then. We certainly couldn’t fault you for that. So no, you are not being arrested.” Munakata held out a hand to him. “I am simply offering you some assistance, in return for the help you’ve given us in hunting down a criminal Strain. ”

Fushimi stared at the offered hand for a moment. He stuffed one hand into his pocket, fist closing tightly around his PDA.

Misaki had to have noticed by now. There was something cold settling in his lungs and he suddenly felt light-headed. He needed to find Misaki.

“I’m fine,” Fushimi said shortly. Munakata lowered his hand, completely unfazed, and turned back towards his subordinates.

“Very well.” Munakata pushed up his glasses with one hand and gave Fushimi another cool smile. “I must get back to my work. But I imagine we’ll meet again sometime, Fushimi-kun.”

Fushimi nodded curtly and turned to leave, and didn’t bother to ask how it was that Munakata knew his name.

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