Hope you like it!
Setting: Season 2, when Sanosuke and Shinpachi are about to leave the Shinsengumi.
The sound of wood creaking softly made the two men turn in surprise. Most had said their goodbyes already and the ones who hadn't...
Green eyes seemed to glow at them from underneath chocolate brown bangs.
"Heisuke...", Sanosuke breathed out in surprise. The night had just fallen and it was obviously easier for the youth to be up and about, but somehow he hadn't expected him to actually come. Well, he'd certainly hoped he would and no matter how brash Shinpachi often acted, he knew he had hoped as well that they'd get to see the youngest of the Shinsengumi at least one more time.
Golden eyes wandered over to the tall man by his side, who for once seemed at loss for words, before he turned them back onto the other.
The third one in their trio of 'idiots' as Hijikata-san so 'lovingly' had dubbed them.
"So that's it. You really ARE leaving.", Heisuke's voice carried over to them. It was oddly soft and subdued, lacking the cheerful spirit and energy that usually came with it.
The redhead felt an odd shiver going down his spine. The voice was not quite liveless, but... as if all happiness had been sucked out of it.
"We can't stay anymore. This is not what we signed up for.", he replied, accidentally cutting Shinpachi off, who'd finally opened his mouth.
Heisuke simply starred at them, before he tipped his head slightly forward, a shadow covering his expression. "I guess so..."
"You can always come with us!", the spikey haired man exclaimed right then and there, his voice urgent, hopeful. It wasn't right in his mind to leave Heisuke behind. Not here, not now. He was still young and staying would mean certain death and...
His thoughts immediatelly felt to a stop and any further words died at his tongue as Heisuke finally looked at him.
A mix of pain and despair flickered accross his green orbs for a second, before his lips stretched in a slightly pained smile. "No. I can't."
He was bound to this place in more ways than one. Officially dead, he had no name, no status, no nothing. Thought in this time that already was horrendous enough, it was by far not the worst. No. He had no choice but to stay with the Shinsengumi given the state he was in.
"But Heisuke!", Shinpachi protested. In his mind there was always a choice, always an option. Even now! Maybe leaving might not be considered the most honorable thing to do, but screw it all! He was not willing to lay down his sword, nor willing to die for a lost cause. In a sense he could see what drove Hijikata-san and the others to keep going, but... he supposed deep down he DID lack the core of a samurai's mental spirit. In the end, he wanted to live.
The younger male shook his head. "I've made some very bad choices... and now I have to bear the consequences. That's all there is left to do for me really." It was really all bitter sweet. On one hand he appreciated Shinpachi's words, made him remember there were still people out there that CARED. On the other it was painful to even have this conversation. Any other time, he'd have just let them go. Would have spent the evening drinking until he'd pass out from alcohol, rather than face them for this goodbye.
But as he had just said... He HAD made bad choices before. He didn't want this to become another.
"That's not true.", Sano disagreed in a similar soft tone Heisuke had used to adress them earlier. "Shinpachi does have a point. You COULD come with us. If that's what you want."
A dry laugh nearly got caught up in his already too tight feeling troath. "And how do you suppose that would work out for either of us?", he asked, his face a grimace. "Would I one day come to my senses with a sword sticking out of my chest, or would I come to my senses with your cold bodies on the ground and covered in your blood? Either one of those is too cruel. For any of us. I couldn't... bare the thought of hurting either of you and... I think there is little more cruel than forcing friends to turn their blades upon another."
Heisuke closed his eyes in pain, lightly shaking his head. In the back of his mind Sano missed the long ponytail dancing along with the motion.
"I can't. No matter how much I'd wish to. It's not safe. For either of us."
"Can't you just have Sannan-san write up how to make your medizine? We can take care of it!" It seemed that Shinpa - as usually - was far from giving up the fight yet.
A wry, warm but sad smile from Heisuke was part of his reply. "Even if that would work out... It only delays the inevitable, you know that. Sooner or later I'm going to NEED blood. And then what? Will you grab some homeless bum and cut him open so I can 'feed'?" The disgust at the mere thought was deeply laced into his voice just then.
"There has to be a way!", the tallest of the three insisted, not understanding why Heisuke wasn't FIGHTING some more.
The teen was about to snap something at him, most likely along the line that if there was a way Sannan-san would have long discovered and made use of him, when the other suddenly slapped a hand over his nose, his eyes wide and directed at Sano - and was that a growing ring of red in them?!
Startled he followed the other's line of sight to where Sano was looking at his thumb, then at Heisuke, a drop of crimson liquid forming on it's tip.
Slowly the red haired male held out his hand towards the teen, who stood frozen on his spot, eyes flickering wildly around, away, but undeniably ending up at the drops of red.
He swallowed and then started shaking his head, his other hand going to find stability against the wall beside him. A moment later he took a shaky step back.
"Shhh...", Sanosuke made a soothing noise, carefully taking a step towards him. Shinpachi did a double take, realizing that he was careful not to frighten him away. He'd seen him doing so with a skittish kitten before, but this... this was something else. This was HEISUKE.
"No...", came the soft almost-whimper from Heisuke. "No. No. NO! Nonononononononononono!"
"Shhh... It's all good... It's me, Heisuke. It's alright... Come here... You can have this. I'm okay with it.", the spear fighter coaxed the other, while taking another step towards him. Shinpachi watched with clenched fists, his body tight with tension. He understood Heisuke's aversion, he really did,... but... at the same time he wished that he'd just accept the gift Sano was offering. If he said it was alright, it was alright! It WAS just blood after all...
Before he could second-guess his move Shinpachi slashed at his own hand, noticing Heisuke jerk and look at him wide-eyed, his mouth hanging wide open in surprise.
"You heard the man. It's alright.", he gave the other a crocked smile. "If this is all it takes to take us with you, I'm pretty willing, you know?"
The red had nearly taken over the green, except for a ring of deep emerald around the pupil, but it was still Heisuke. And he was still in control.
"You... stupid idiots...", he managed to gasp out, a mix of pain and laughter. It took a few more moments and a few more steps up to him, that he finally relented.
With a shaky hand he reached for Sano's wrist, which made the redhead sigh in relief and relax, only to tense and give a sound of protest and surprise as suddenly he was jerked close to the teen.
Warm, wet lips wrapped around his tumb and he felt the tip of Heisuke's tongue rolling over his skin. It was slightly rough, as if the youth hadn't had enough to drink recently, but he could barelly focus on that as the other started to lightly bite and suck, to keep the liquid going.
It was only for a few moments, the wound already closing up, but for Sano it felt a lot longer.
Shinpachi wasn't given the same treatment. Whilst one could argue that this might have to do with even Heisuke in his fragily balanced state of mind instinctively knew that the mountain of muscle wasn't moved that easily, the fact that the taste of Sano had taken the most urgency out of it was more likely.
Almost tenderly the pink tongue darted out between parted lips and liked along the inside of Shinpa's callused and slightly sweaty palm, now painted red with is own blood.
Due the wound being bigger and deeper than Sano's, Heisuke was lapping at it for much longer than he had on the other one, but when he finally released him, he took a deep breath before facing them again.
Green was once more the dominat color of his eyes, a fact that relievered them a lot.
"See? Where's a will, there's a way!", Shinpachi declared proudly, with a grin so wide it felt like it might split his face, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
"Guess it's true...", Heisuke sighed softly, suddenly a smug expression on his face. "Even a blind chicken finds a kernel of corn now and then."
"HEY!" Shinpachi cried out after a second, reaching for the youth, who dodged, thought just barelly. A snort escaped Sano at their antics. "He does have a point, you know?", he joined in on the teasing.
They bantered and mock-quarreled for a bit more, before comfortable silence hung over them.
"So... You comin or what?", the spikey haired titan asked, shifting his weight from one leg to the other.
Heisuke's smile faltered, before it dropped and he sighed. "I... I don't know... I feel like I should stay, but... " He wanted to go with them. He really, really, really wanted to. But he felt torn. Just like last time. When he'd choosen to follow Itou. He hadn't really wanted to, but felt he had to in an act to take responsibility. If only he hadn't brought that man to the Shinsengumi in the first place...
Oh well. There was nothing he could do now in those regards anymore.
A hand closed over his shoulder. It was Sano. "Remember the inn I brought both of you too when we first arrived here?", he asked, making the younger blink in confusion, then slowly nod.
"We'll stay there three days and nights from today on, okay? No matter what you've decided on, by the third night, do come by and let us know your decission. Okay?"
Heisuke blinked and opened his mouth, but somehow he couldn't speak, everything stuck in a knot inside his troath. So instead, he gave a shaky nod. Three days were not much, but it was more than he had had a few minutes ago. It was enough to wrap his mind around his options and to make one final decission. All three of them knew he was living on borrowed time to begin with. Their arrangement wouldn't last forever even if he came with them. Still... Still they wanted him to come, wanted to spend what time remained with him. The very thought made warmth surge through his chest and spread out all throughout his body. He hadn't felt this much, this alive since he chose to drink that damn potion.
"In three days time then.", he agreed.
"You can always come earlier.", Shinpa pointed out, ruffling his short mop of hair, then slinging his arm around him. "You know, if you miss us THAT much.", he teased, which made Heisuke shove him a little, even thought it had near to no effect.
It was with heavy heart that he watched them go a bit later, both turning around to face him one more time, before walking through the gate. Already he felt a bit heavier, a little bit more lonely. But this time he didn't want to make a rash decission. This time he wanted to properly think it through.
Absently rubbing his chest, he turned and walked away.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow he'd think about what he had been offered. Tonight... he was going to drink. And maybe, just maybe it would ease the echoing pain of letting them walk away.
I might write the follow up as part 2 at a later time.