It looked better as a one-shot than part of being Hidden beneath those Eyes.
"What?" he raised a brow, piercing chartreuse eyes peered at her, looking passed lose brown stands that framed her face, straight at her bright eyes until she turned her gaze away, staring down at the fine powder veiling the pathway she swiped her shoe with.
"I don't know it's just," she fiddled with the rim of her scarf, tugging it upwards, over her her nose- hiding the rising colour on her cheeks as she gazed at him through her lashes. "I feel like you're getting away, you know? Like you're slipping away right through my fingers."
"I don't see how," he averted his eyes, gazing straight ahead towards a well lit building, bright neon colours illuminating the dark around them, shining bright at the side of her face as he looked at her again, feeling her gloved fingers gliding over his bare knuckles. "I'm right here."
"I know," the corners of her lips drew up, tilting her chin high enough to meet his eyes, and he saw that her cheeks were flushed deep crimson. "And I'm thankful for that but," her eyes fluttered away, trailing after a pair of moths flapping about the street lights, a distant look in her eyes before it washed away and she smiled again, lips curling up the way he was used to. She squeezed their fingers and let go, slowly untangling them with a tenacity he could always see in her eyes, embodied in herself- something he came to appreciate.
He foresaw it all.
Knew it all.
He gazed away, denied to have felt the immediate absence of her warmth, to have missed the shape of her hand fitting perfectly to his hand. He raised it, gazed at it, relished the numbness, and felt momentary glad that the cold was slowly replacing the sensation that still tingled through his palm to his finger tips, waiting until the cold wrapped completely around his hand, clung onto him. Steadily clenching the want to hold her hand her again, to reach out, to squeeze her fingers like she has done so many time before, to forever forget to ever have felt anything.
It wasn't meant to happened.
It was though an unseen shadow struck him in the middle of nowhere.
Pulling and dragging him off to some places he never wanted to go nor stay.
It had been unpredictable. Unforeseeable. Incalculable.
So beyond his reach.
Slender arms circled around his neck, pulled him out of his thoughts just when masses of brown hair clouded his vision, a head nuzzled against him, buried deep against his shoulder, sighing deeply against his black knit cap, right above the lobe of his ear, "Stop thinking too much already," she lifted her head, staring at him right in the eye with knitted brows that didn't even look half menacing. Shesagged her head, looking very much defeated, and for a moment he wondered whether he spoke out loud but Akemi turned back to him, and beamed bright as ever with new found vigour, stepping closer, whispering quietly into his ear,"We're merely tiny grains of dust drifting aimlessly against the current. Just what could we predict?" she bumped their foreheads together, still smiling with eyes so honest he didn't dare to look away.
He knew their end and the beginning.
Planned it all out since the beginning.
"What makes you say that?" he tilted his head, his green eyes sharpening on her, daring for her to say the words he by now loathed. "We're prone to guess and indulged ourselves in ideas we have no answers to, even more so when we happened to be right at times."
"If that's so I'd forever be wrong," she glanced at him through her lashes yet not quiet looking at him nor gazing passed him either, rather as though she looked right through him and he hoped she did. "If half the thoughts in my mind were right, I don't think I'd be able to walk through life anymore. It would be too painful."
She nodded, leaning on him again and placing her head on his shoulder. "If I were to run looking answers, I'd only stumble over my own life and realise the kinds of lies it was build on. Sometimes reality appears as though it was an illusion," she held him tighter, mumbling into the fabric of his jacket, "I'm glad to have you verify that. You seem like a good judge."
". . .I might not be as good as you think. In fact, what if I were to have the same problem as you?" he glanced down at the exact time she gazed up, a delicate brow raised in question at him but he said no more, still gazing through the quiet evening.
"That cannot be." Akemi shifted, wrapping both arms around him as though she was cold. "You don't allow yourself to be. From what I can tell, imagination and illusion don't seem to be your forte. I could swear that you rather surround yourself with analytical facts and concrete evidence then false delusions. That's appears to be rather me."
A quiet laugh fell from his lips. "You could tell this much in what, two years?"
She swatted his chest with her open palm. "It's not my fault you're not every easy to read!"
It would have been best if she never tried reading him at all. Only blindly followed him.
Trapped in the path he drew out for her. Sketched to the final dot- the finest detail,
where she would have continued dancing to death within his grip.
"But I guess I don't mind." Akemi shifted closer, laying her head on his shoulder again, gazing straight ahead at the sea of stars above them as they leaned against his car, mumbling, "I've told you before, didn't I?" she glanced at him for the corner of her eyes, a tiny smile forming on the tips of her lips as she bolstered her chin on his shoulder pad of his jacket, looking straight at him as she recited the same line she had done so many times before, "You could tell me a thousand lies and I would believe each one of them."
"Stupid. As if I'd believe that," he cracked a smile and ruffled her hair, numb fingers driving through her soft locks and she laughed, quietly to herself.
"It's the truth," Akemi looked away from him, hiding her nose within her scarf again, eyes trailing after the formation of stars. "I don't know how many times I've got to say it until you'll believe me."
"Until it loses its meaning."
He had no remorse pushing his plan into place,
pulling the strings to make it dance,
bringing a lie alive that held her in trance.
"What would've been the point of that?" she canted her head, brown bangs falling forwards, framing the side of her face and emphasising her sea blue orbs glowing with deep affection for him. She smiled. "Someday, I'll make you believe in my words. You'll see."
"Good luck with that," he mumbled, silently praying that day would never come. And even if it came he decided that it would be fine. He dug his own grave to lie in and he would gladly lay within it if it meant lying besides her. He wrapped an arm around her, feeling her shift and squeezed her tight, pulling her a tad bit closer until he could smell the scent of soft vanilla coming from her dark hair. He'd make sure to be beside her regardless of his initial intentions. He'll make this lie her reality even if it was only a minute longer- seconds deeper into this fantasy.
He'll bath her in this illusion.
In this fabricated reality he slowly braided together.
"You've regained consciousness!"
Okiya Subaru remembered the accident in bits and pieces yet the aftermath was as clear as day to him, never changing in his mind eye as though it was an unforgettable formation of sequences of a self-made film that branded into a small section of his brain, taking hold of it, seizing it, appearing now and then to make itself known, reminding him of his dark deeds and the hole in his chest- the vast bleakness inside the depths of himself he tried to will away. The definite part of him he draped over in darkness, the darkest black he managed find and covered it with, hid it away so he never had to stare at it again- never had to feel it again.
"You don't remember?" Akemi tone was light, breaths away from lifting off as she leaned forward, blue eyes rounding in concern as they fastened on his bandaged head, "I hit you with my car," she whispered, clasping her fingers tighter in her lap. "I'm sorry. It was due my carelessness."
It was fine. He planned for it to work out this way. She did her share. It was meant to happened. He planned for it. Twisting her into this game. Interweaving her into this scheme without regards to her well being- to her safety- to her was no need to make that face. It was alright. It was closed his eyes, willing his mind to relive each moment, each emotion that jerked the laces to his heart, pulling the strings tighter, constricting it, clodding his airways, suffocatingly soand yet-
It was alright.
"Is your head in pain? Or the rest of your body?" her brows, arched in concerned, alleviated. The lady smiled, shoulders sagging with relief before she rose to stand up. "Thank goodness. I'll go call the doctor now!" she hurried towards the door, then stopped and turned around, eyes softening at what she saw before smiling brightly, moving her lips in a certain pattern that formed aural images of characters he could never forget.
Subaru eyes fluttered opened, gazing into the moon and the dark blue swimming around it as the evening breeze fought its way into the collar of his shirt, still hearing the peculiar song of her voice loud inside his brain when she first introduced herself, vowels and consonants within her name raising and descending from her lips like a long forgotten melody he could only distantly hum to.
He cracked a smile, tousled copper strands against the window pane as he leaned against it, staring straight ahead at the many windows lit up from within in Agasa-hakase's house, inwardly chuckling to himself, his facial features softened up, shoulders losing on tenseness as he gazed into the senseless night, vaguely wondering how long it had been since that day, since that moment he decided to scrape out the stuffing inside him, to drape a cover over his emotions and threw them out, far away from him, ensuring that a glass wall will forever be between them, separating them so they'd never emerge together again. He'll never allow it. He'd make sure to remain an empty shell. Distant from himself and others. Distant from himself and his friends.
The lights turned off from his neighbour's house and Subaru was casted in total darkness. He laughed quietly, a lopsided smilegrazing lips. Silently, he shuffled away, manoeuvring his way through the dark towards his bedroom at the end of the hall, his hand pushed the handle down, door squeaking under the pressure and suddenly he could see a blaring moving picture appearing inside his mind eye. Long hair, brown and dark slicing through the air as she whirled at him, smiling bright with sunlight stark behind her, wooden spoon in her hand dripping of sauce, splotching a puddle near her feet but she didn't seem to notice, her eyes were only directed at him,"Welcome home!"
Subaru closed the door behind him, leaned against it, mind taking him back there. To a time where he was unbound, where no burden took hold of him, clutched onto him- continuously remembering him of his deeds, trying to swirl up guilt and shame within him that he has still never completely felt. Sometimes he can't help but wish that it was a curse Akemi has put on him in her final moments out of spite- out of revenge, he truly didn't care what it was exactly, only that it was a punishment out of her choice. That, he'd forever remembers her throughout the rest of his life. Remembers the pain he inflicted her with, the misery he dumped over her, how easily he turned her naivety against her, pulled the rug under her and watched her fall without ever having the intention of catching her. That she cursed him so that he'd one day live his life in pain the way she did. Subaru wished it was the case but knew it wasn't. Akemi wasn't like that. She could always see straight through him.
Even, at the beginning.
"You would never do something you don't mean, right?"
He drove his hand through his copper hair, quiet amused at himself. When have I become such a mess? It wasn't like him to bath himself in memories. Whatever happened, happened. It's the past. No point in wallowing now. She was dead and no amount of wishing was going to change that fact. If Subaru didn't know better he'd advice himself to forget all about it. To lock it away in the deepest corner inside his mind and never opened it up again. If he was lucky the memories would rot away into an unrecognisable heap of pieces that could be chucked away.
He'd be free.
But not from his conscience. Deep down, Subaru knew it was himselfthat continued to flood his mind with memories so he'd never forget. He didn't want to forget. It was a selfish act with which he wanted to redeem himself, even though he knew Akemi never held anything against him from the start. It was her own choice to stay with him after all. She knew and yet let herself be blinded by his lies. She willingly stepped into this lion's cave, knowing wholeheartedly she'd be shredded apart.
"Foolish woman," he mumbled sliding under the cover, placing his glasses on the night stand before staring holes at the ceiling. "But, I'm not exactly better."
To thinking he'd sink so deep . . . .
"How can I make it up to you?" she canted her head at him, tinges of red splotched on her cheeks as she glimpsed at him, "For your injury, I mean."
"It's quiet alright." Dai turned to her, putting his jacket on. "Nothing to worry on, in my opinion. But, I guess that's not exactly what you want to hear, is it?"
"Well, no." Akemi looked uneasily at his head, although the bandage around his forehead was gone, she still couldn't help but think that there were visible scars lurking around beneath his fringe even though he showed her twice that, in fact, there weren't any. Dai sighed, she must still feel guilty for running him over. "I hurt you pretty bad, didn't I?" she continued, biting her bottom lips as her eyes still carried the worries from days before,"Isn't there anything I could do to make up for it? Anything you specifically want?"
"What I want?" he looked up in thought, pulling his knitted cap over his head. "I don't think there's anything."
"There must be something. Everyone has something they want." Akemi followed him out, trailing after him as he walked through the corridor. "Think again. Anything is fine, really."
He rose a brow, mischievousness glinting within his olive orbs,"Anything?"
"Anything," she insisted without a second thought.
"Oh, if that's so," Dai closed in on her and Akemi backed off flushing bright and stammered as her back hid the wall, looking straight at him, bright blue eyes dilating, fastening on the sharp smirk that was only centimetres away from her. He was hovering over her, so closed to her, she could feel her legs turning to jelly, was almost ready to let herself fall in hopes he'd catch, in hopes he'd hold her, in hopes he'd-
As swift as the moment came, it disappeared. Dai retreated, stepped away from her, punched numbers into a familiar, white coloured phone with a smirk still playing on the corner of his lips. She blinked, slowly swimming back to reality, before quietly laughing at herself in embarrassment, how could she have thought that he'd-?
"You should be careful at your wording," he murmured, handing her phone back. "People might get the wrong idea."
"You didn't need to scare me like that," Akemi said and looked through her phone. He added himself into her contact lists. Akemi frowned at the number. Why didn't he add his name?
"If your offer still stands then I'd like a coffee, someday."
"Someday?" she tilted her head, lips jutted into a cute pout. "We can grab some now."
He shook his head, "There's somewhere I need to be now. I'm busy tomorrow, too."
"Then, when?" Akemi brows furrowed.
"I told you someday," he mumbled and stuffed his hands, "Or do you prefer it if I'd say 'one day'?"
Akemi came to a stop, watching him round the corner towards the stairway of the hospital, blinking after him, not quiet sure what to make out of him. He phone beeped then. Akemi unlocked her phone, reading a message from an unknown sender. Her brows wrinkled further, confused than ever, eyes skimming over the same line for the umpteenth time until her eyes fell on a monosyllabic word, a rather a self-included name within the message."I can't believe it," she laughed breathlessly, a smile formed on her lips as her eyes glided through it again.
"Tomorrow," she read off, eyes shining bright as crystal, "We'll drink coffee tomorrow."
How he could not he have foreseen this?
It had been so obvious. . . .
"We're merely tiny grains of dust drifting aimlessly against the current.
Just what could we predict?"
"Moroboshi Dai dug his own grave to lie in," Subaru murmured and sat up, sliding his eyes opened, olive green orbs staring holes into the dark as his mind drifted else where- somewhere far, far away, "and Okiya Subaru seem to be slowly pulling him out," within this selfish act of penance.
He'll bath himself in her memories.
In all the recollections of her, preserved in the deepest section of his mind.
One by one.
Until it was finally enough.