|[May. 22nd, 2014|05:33 am]|
Raidou dropped his hand to an iron-tense shoulder, squeezing just once, and pulled back. Ryouma looked up, eyes red-rimmed and too bright. He’d killed half a family today. Raidou had bled a baby out on a burning floor and beaten a man to death. There were bigger issues at stake than what they thought of each other, but dammit, Raidou was tired, and it was too hard. |
“I’m sorry,” he said at last, helplessly. For everything.
Ryouma’s cheek dented; he was biting it again. “S'okay,” he said. “It's not your fault. You're just… being who you are.” He looked down at the basin again, where the remains of soap bubbles drifted, and scrubbed the back of his arm quickly across his eyes. Then he rinsed his hands, still raw-looking, and tipped the basin into the drain. “Anyway, I actually get rejected more'n you'd think. I'm getting better at dealing with it. Surviving inappropriate crushes on my team captain is pretty much my hobby at this point.”
There was probably a story in that, but Raidou didn’t have the will to chase it.
Ryouma stood, cast about for a towel, found none, and dried his hands on the seat of his pants. The yellow lights picked out a sulphurous gleam in his dark, still-damp hair. He turned and flashed Raidou a faintly watery grin. “If you’re not kicking me off the team, I’m already doing better.”
Maybe that was how the other story had ended.
Raidou pushed himself back to his feet, pressing a hand to his side when his ribs twinged. “No kicking,” he said seriously. He’d keep saying it, until Ryouma heard it. “You’re in ANBU now; we look after our own.”
Ryouma was silent for a moment, eyes searching Raidou’s face. No dark-eyed flick of look and look away; this time he stayed, looking for the crack. Finally he swallowed roughly, and nodded. “Okay.”
A little relief lightened Raidou’s chest.
Ryouma turned away, to the staggered wooden shelves lining the back and side walls. “If there was dehydrated curry and rice, there ought to be something else edible in here.” He rummaged and came up with a dusty box. “How’s soybean stew sound?”
“Like heaven,” Raidou said, eying the evil snap-chair with faint longing. “Also like it needs beef, but I’m about one step away from finding stink-badger tasty, so my judgement is questionable. Don’t eat that, by the way. It’s never worth it.”
He reached for Genma’s medkit and pulled out a half-used tube of ointment and a roll of bandages, tossing both to Ryouma, who caught them with one-handed ease and a nod. Ryouma set them both down on the counter.