One-shot #8: Red Eyes
Characters: Ikuto, Tadase
Summary: "You're wrong." The man growled, slamming him against the wall. "You stayed. You were the one who stayed by my side after everyone left, when all of my friends abandoned me and my father didn't love me anymore. You promised me I would always be the most important one in your life! But then you thought you could just leave me? Unacceptable!"
...yeah. I can't say I regret this one... because I don't, but I really have no idea what this is. *sigh* oh well. Hope you enjoy xD Please tell me what you think! Would you like more of this style? How was the fighting? I appreciate feedback. You can decide for yourself if the relationship between Ikuto and Tadase is romantic or not.
The man paced back and forth in the room, feverishly twisting and turning about as his face took on an angered, agonized look. He ran a hand through his hair, jamming the other into his pants pocket. A heavy rain was pouring outside, but the pattering on the roof did little to soothe his troubled conscious.
I have to get out of here, was the thought that kept on repeating in his mind; replaying like a mantra, pulsing with the beating of his heart.
He couldn't believe it.
He couldn't believe that his childhood friend, the one he'd looked up to, his friend one year his senior that he once might have even considered his big brother had turned on him; locking him away in one of the back rooms of the castle as if he were some kind of common criminal.
He paused at the door, halting his thoughts to listen closely between thunder strikes for any noises outside. He heard nothing, but he knew the sentries were still there.
He's not taking any chances.
He supposed he should have at least seen something coming. He saw the way his friend began changing over the years: from a calm, easy-going, carefree, reliable and lovable friend to a controlling, manipulative, power-hungry and possessive prince.
He'd been a simple commoner; a son of one of the musicians that played for the king's court, but that never stopped the young prince from playing with him, and liking him. In fact, he seemed to hold him in higher regard than the rest of his high-class playmates. He'd supposed he'd simply been kept around to keep the prince happy.
The prince would talk to him; passionately spinning tales of all he wanted to do when he became king. He spoke of all the problems he was going to fix and all of the things he was going to change with a zealous gleam in his eye: one that make his younger friend stare in awe.
But, as they grew older, things began to change. The prince received new tutors, new teachers, new politicians that surrounded him; filling his mind with thoughts of darkness. How to control the people. Squeeze every last drop of revenue from the people, to maximize the royal treasury. What good is kindness when it only hurts you? Use the people for your advantage. You deserve it. They owe you.
Pressure was rising. The king let his son know exactly was he expected of him. The prince must be perfect, flawless, charismatic. He must never make a mistake. He must rule with an iron fist.
The prince became greedy. The prince became cold.
Somewhere, deep down, the innocent musician's son believed that the real prince could still be saved.
And so, he stayed by the prince's side. In his own quiet manner, he did his best to reassure him that he was more than the expectations of his father, of the people. After all, he assured him...
He would always be the most important person in his own life, prince or not.
He never knew if his endeavors got through to him.
Looking back on it now, he guessed they hadn't.
He stormed over to the door, taking the wooden frame in his strong, lithe hands. However, no amount of shaking yielded any results.
"Let me out!" He hissed.
"The king has ordered us to confine you to quarters, Mr. Tsukiyomi." One of the guards spoke up. He was offered no other explanation.
He scowled, and slammed his fist into the door.
It was right after the king died when things took a turn for the worse. After the death of his father, the prince seemed to just... snap.
He ascended the throne as a fair, just ruler, looking forward to leading the people into an age of a better nation.
But only to the people.
That kind, charismatic demeanor... Was nothing but a facade.
And he realized, when he watched as after the newly crowned king waved to his people from his high balcony in the palace, he turned, his kind smile slipping off to reveal what was really underneath: an evil, malicious smirk.
...he realized that his friend could no longer be saved.
He had to get away. It was painful, seeing what his friend, the prince - no, he was the king currently - had now become.
He made himself scarce; he left the palace and did not return, and avoided being out in public or at home too often. He doubted the prince missed him, with all of his new duties and all. In fact, he doubted that he had even noticed the young Tsukiyomi was missing.
Little did he know that the king had noticed, and was conducting a more or less frantic search for him.
He soon learned that his sister, Utau, was going to start traveling, ready to spread her singing talent around the country. Finding this the perfect opportunity to get away from everything, he asked to accompany her.
His sister agreed, and together they set out, ready to visit new places and see the world.
So imagine his surprise when, before they could even leave the village, a group of royal soldiers waylays their small party. He is hit by a poison arrow and falls helpless, unable to help as his sister is viciously clobbered over the head and cast aside and he is dragged away and locked up in the castle without an explanation.
As of now, the wound still ached terribly, but he ignored it. He had to get out of here.
Where is Utau? Why were we attacked? Why am I here? Where is the King? Has he really forgotten me that much?
No matter. I may not be any noble, but I'm Ikuto Tsukiyomi, and I won't be treated like this.
Resolve filling his mind, he glanced around the room. The only way out was a high window on the far side of the room. As skilled as he was physically, he couldn't jump that high.
A wardrobe sat near the bed on the tiled floor. Glancing over it quickly, he guessed he could make the jump if he pulled the piece of furniture underneath the window.
That will be too loud. The guards will hear it.
He sighed as the window lit up from a flash of lightning. Thunder followed a few seconds later.
That's it! He thought. I can move the wardrobe during the seconds of thunder.
He quickly paced over to the wooden cabinet, giving it an experimental rattle. The legs gave a light screech on the tile. He could only hope that the thunder was enough to cover the noise.
The window lit up again, and Ikuto took a deep breath.
Here we go.
Then, the sky began to rumble.
Now, he thought as he began to pull the wardrobe across the floor. The piece was heavy, and he exerted quite a bit of effort into moving it. His arrow wound on his back began to pulse and throb horribly, but her persevered. The thunder began to taper off, coming to an end, and Ikuto ceased his movements, breathing heavily.
How troublesome. I seem weak; perhaps the drugs haven't fully passed through my system yet.
He readied himself as lightning flashed again, and gripped the wood in his hands.
Little by little, he began to move the wardrobe across the room, taking breaks in between thunder crashes. He was sure to be as quiet as possible so he didn't alert the guards.
Eventually, the wardrobe was underneath the window.
Ready. He thought. He was about to climb the wardrobe when he happened to glance down at his attire. He wore only black slacks, since his shirt had been removed to bandage his upper torso.
"Can't go out in the rain in this." He murmured to himself.
Glancing around, he spotted his familiar black boots and midnight cloak by the bed. He rushed over to them, finding that a new black shirt had been neatly folded by the bed. He pulled it on, adjusting the long sleeves on his wrists.
Silk. He thought bitterly. Only the best from the King.
He quickly pulled on his black boots, and snatched his cloak, bringing the swirling fabric about his shoulders. He pulled the hood over his head, hiding his face.
He reached to his sides, wanting to feel the cool metal of the katars, his claw-like weapons in his hands. His eyes widened slightly in realization as he felt nothing.
They took them from me. His shock quickly switched to anger as he growled.
Eyes hardening, he quickly strode over to the wardrobe and leapt atop of it, ready to force the window open to escape this god-forsaken castle.
However, just as he was reaching towards the glass, the door to his room – cell – opened.
A man strode in, opening his mouth to speak as he glances towards the bed, where he'd left the passed-out man.
He paused when he saw it was empty.
Frantically glancing around, his eyes widened when he saw Ikuto opening the window.
"Freeze!" He shouted, pointing a finger at him. "Guards!"
Ikuto immediately leapt into action, jumping from the wardrobe to tackle the man to the floor. With a quick blow to his head, Ikuto knocked him unconscious, and leapt up to face the two sentries.
He dodged the spear of the first one, and delivered a swift but sure punch to his jaw, knocking the man to the floor. He seized the spear and turned to the second one, quickly disarming the man and swept his feet from underneath him. He simply moved too fast for the guards to follow him.
Leaping back up on top of the wardrobe, he didn't even bother to open the window as he used the spear to shatter it.
He immediately leapt out of the opening, preparing for his fall.
As he plunged towards one of the lower roofs of the castle, he angled his body to accommodate it. Hitting the surface, he propelled his body into a roll, using his momentum to steady his landing.
He stopped on his knees, and leapt up to observe his surroundings. He wasn't on the outer wall of the castle like he'd hoped. Just below him was one of the inner courtyards of the castle. No matter. He'd get out. At least the rain had lightened up to a sprinkle.
A shout from the room behind alerted him – the guards were coming.
As he turned to leap into the courtyard, he spotted a figure walking across the area, towards the archway beneath him.
I'll have to fight him. I don't have time to wait for him to pass.
He charged towards the end of the roof and leapt off, his cloak rolling behind him.
He landed gracefully on his feet before the figure and glanced up, ready to subdue them quickly.
Only to freeze, staring into the eyes of the man he hadn't seen for almost six months now.
The man who used to be his friend.
The man who was now King of this country.
The man who had him locked up here.
He stared in shock at the red eyes staring at him, all his thoughts suddenly chased out of his mind.
The owner of the eyes seemed to be equally shocked, before the eyes suddenly narrowed and hardened in anger.
"And where do you think you're going?"
Ikuto blinked, suddenly remembering the events that had just transpired. His anger returned.
"What do you think?" He shot back, almost yelling. "I'm getting out of here! You expect to just arrest me for no reason and do nothing about it?"
He saw his eyes widen a fraction in surprise. Ikuto had never been this angry with him before. Sure, they'd had disagreements in the past, but Ikuto was normally a quiet person. He'd never been actually angry at him before.
"You think you can just leave?" He asked, quietly at first. "Pathetic. You were always there. When no one else was. You can't go now. YOU CANNOT LEAVE!" He shouted, his voice rising to a roar as he spoke.
Ikuto heard more commotion from the castle behind him. He didn't have time for this.
He strode around the King, intent on leaving as quickly as possible.
"Just a moment!" He yelled. "You aren't going anywhere! You're going to stay here!"
Ikuto only gave him a heated glare as he walked away.
"GUARDS!" The King shouted, attracting the attention of some personnel in the archway. He pointed at Ikuto. "Seize him!"
Ikuto cursed, quickly launching himself into a run. He shot out of the courtyard, making his way towards the castle gates. Luckily, he knew the grounds well.
He heard the pounding feet behind him. He had the advantage of speed, which he could use to escape the clutches of the soldiers.
He entered the inner halls of the castle, and sprinted towards the opposite end of the corridor. He threw the heavy wooden door open, rushing into the adjoining room.
I'm reaching the entry way. He thought as he ran. I'm almost out –
He halted in his steps, his eyes widening in disbelief as a group of soldiers entered from the opposite end of the hall, rushing towards him. They'd cut him off.
He whirled about and ran a different direction. This heads outside. I'll be able to get out from there.
As the door opened, Ikuto was blasted with water, as the rain had increased into a torrent. He bolted across the garden, mud splattering his boots and cloak, and water soaking his pants.
His hood fell back, and Ikuto blinked quickly as rain poured down his face.
"Halt!" The guards shouted behind him. "We have you surrounded!"
Ikuto's silent question was answered as he was blindsided by something slamming into his gut, tossing him to the ground. He gasped for air as he stumbled back to his feet, wiping the mud from his face.
How did he get here without me seeing him?! Ikuto wondered as he attacked, quickly dispatching the man and taking his sword.
He turned to face his other foes, charging at them. He tore through the ranks, fighting his way towards the edge of the group that was beginning to surround him. His sword whipped around, slashing left and right. Blood soon coated the blade.
"Surrender now!" One of the guards yelled.
Never. Ikuto hissed in his mind, as he broke through the lines and began running again. Numerous cuts riddled his body, and he was completely covered in mud and soaked to the bone with rain. His wound had re-opened, and he could distinguish the sticky blood wetting his bandages.
He was panting heavily, his chest aching in exhaustion. The need to get out took over his actions, bursting against the confines of his mind.
Why would he do this? What motive could he have? He pondered as he sprinted.
"YOU CANNOT LEAVE!" The young king's words echoed through his mind. Why could the King want to keep him here? He'd done nothing wrong!
Could he want to kill me?
That thought ignited more feeling in him than he wanted to admit. Sadness and betrayal filled his mind. He pushed them down. He had to keep thinking logically. But why would he want to kill me?
Ikuto's visions whirled as his foot caught on a root sticking out of the ground. As much as he fought to keep his balance, he failed, and his body crashed into the ground.
He lay for a split second, momentarily stunned, before he struggled to his feet, coughing.
By then, the soldiers had entered the courtyard. Ikuto pulled out his sword, ready to fight for his freedom.
He swung his sword, meeting his first foe. He shattered the spear the soldier was holding, and quickly dispatched him. Using his momentum, he whirled in the opposite direction, his sword clanging against another guard's weapon.
He was fast, yes. Speedy, able to quickly dart in and out between the soldiers, often surprising them with an attack before they knew what hit them and disappearing without a trace. He cut down many soldiers, using only his sword.
But he was tired. His movements were less sharp, and his speed not as quick. He was tired. More and more cuts built up on his body, and his blood mixed with the mud that coated his being. For as much as he could fight, the sheer numbers of the guards were overpowering him. He couldn't fight all of them.
Ikuto whipped his head to the side, not even having enough time to widen his eyes as the club he saw swinging towards him contacted his skull, sending him crashing to the ground. He saw stars as his head throbbed, his eyes clenching shut from the intense pain.
He felt a cool piece of metal placed against his neck. He knew what it was without opening his eyes.
"Get up." The wielder of the sword hissed, prodding his neck with the weapon. It tore his pale skin, causing more blood to trickle out.
Ikuto groaned, spots filling his vision, his head lulled to the side, more mud smearing on his face, matting in his hair.
"I said get up," the man hissed, grabbing Ikuto's arms and yanked him to his feet.
He tried to resist, he really did. But his strength has left him, and all he could feel was a throbbing pain coursing throughout his body. He had no feeling left in his fingers, and he felt numb all over.
One guard seized Ikuto's right arm, one yanked the left, and the blue-haired man was escorted back towards the castle.
Through Ikuto's hazy vision, he saw the doors approaching.
No. I'm not going back in there! He thought, trying to free his arms, but the act was futile. He was dragged unceremoniously into the citadel.
"Take him to the king's quarters." One of the men spoke, and Ikuto felt the men turn and drag him down one of the hallways.
His head lulled forwards, and he allowed himself to be towed to whatever fate awaited him.
It took the voice of the king to bring him back to consciousness.
"You may leave him there." He spoke quietly, turned away from them towards the window. The guards dumped Ikuto on the floor and left, closing the door behind them. Ikuto landed on his hands and knees and sat there, breathing deeply.
A silence extended in the room, stretching out into the minutes as Ikuto gained his breath back, trying to stay conscious. Water dripped off his hair and face, making an ugly brown puddle on the pristine white tile floor. His cloak was tangled around him, crumpled into an unsightly muddy mess on his back. His shirt was ripped all over, blood seeping into the black cloth.
"I don't understand you." The King spoke at last. Ikuto glanced up, looking through his matted eyelashes as the king turned to him at last, stale red eyes boring deep into his own.
The words he'd spoken didn't register to Ikuto as he gazed into the face of his old friend. Even since he'd been gone, his face had further hardened. None of the happiness and peace he saw as a child remained in those red eyes.
"Tadase." His voice rasped out, unbidden, speaking the name of his friend.
The man's face didn't change, but Ikuto spotted something unidentifiable flash through his eyes.
"Ikuto." He responded evenly, his voice even.
Ikuto opened his mouth to question him, when Tadase beat him to it.
"Why did you leave?"
His eyebrows furrowed, his forehead creasing in confusion. "What do you mean?"
Immediately the calm look on Tadase's face dispersed, replaced by a look of furious rage as he strode towards Ikuto, stomping across the room. He grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and hefted him up, slamming his back into the wall.
"Don't ask what I mean!" He roared, pressing Ikuto into the wall harshly. "I finally got you back! So why did you leave?!"
As tall as Ikuto was, Tadase was even taller. Some of his strength sparked back into him, and he glared up at the blond.
"What do you mean got me back?!" He snapped. "You captured and locked me up for no reason! You treated me like a criminal! I've done nothing wrong!"
Tadase's hands wrapped around Ikuto's neck and squeezed, not enough to choke him but enough to limit his air supply. "You had no right to leave! You can't just leave like that! You belong to me!"
Ikuto's glare sharpened. "What in the world are you talking about?" He spat. "You may be the king and rule my country, but you don't own me! No one does!"
Tadase squeezed ever harder, bruising Ikuto's neck. He struggled to breath, wrapping his hands around the blond's and trying to pull them off.
The King's eye were deep red and furious, absolute rage boiling in their depths.
"You're wrong." He growled, slamming Ikuto against the wall. "You stayed. You were the one who stayed by my side after everyone left, when all of my friends abandoned me and my father didn't love me anymore. You promised me I would always be the most important one in your life! But then you thought you could just leave me? Unacceptable!"
Ikuto aimed his weakening glare at Tadase, confusion and disbelief swirling throughout his murky brain. What was he talking about? Where was the Tadase he knew? What did they do to you…
But still. "It's not your choice to make." He croaked.
"Wrong!" Tadase barked, slamming him against the wall again. "You belong to me." He hissed, a deadly threat in his voice as he glared down at Ikuto and tightened his grip around his neck.
Ikuto was beginning to choke, getting drowsy from lack of oxygen. He gasped, panting, as he still attempted to peel the king's grip from his neck. "I don't." His voice was a mere whisper.
Tadase pressed his forehead against Ikuto's, getting right in his face as he glared into his sapphire eyes. "You're going to stay here, and if I have to lock you in a room and chain you to a wall to make you see it, I will!"
Ikuto managed a dry laugh, though it came out as more of a choke. "I'll just escape again." He challenged. "Or my family will come for me. You can't just keep me here."
Tadase smirked. "That's where you're wrong. I'm the king, remember? I can do whatever I want." At this, he released Ikuto's neck. As the blue-haired man collapsed, Tadase grabbed the back of his collar and began dragging him across the room.
"You won't see them again." He said, his voice back to its normal tone. "You shouldn't even think of them. I'll make sure of it. You won't leave here ever again." He turned and glanced downward, grinning, and looked into Ikuto's hazy eyes. "I'll make sure you don't see anyone. No one but me."
Ikuto fought with all of his might, but he couldn't fight the darkness closing in on him. He began to fade into unconsciousness as Tadase dragged his limp body into one of the side rooms.
What happened to you, Tadase?