Not my characters. But then again... you knew that.

Lyrics are from "Grey", by Ani diFranco.

by Maya Tawi


the sky is grey
the sand is grey
and the ocean is grey

and i feel right at home
in this stunning monochrome
alone in my way

I wanted him.

Simple as it gets. I just wanted him. He was beautiful and unattainable, frozen and fierce, distant and wild and beyond reach; I wanted to feel him under my fingers, to know he was there. I wanted to be the one to make him crack. To make him feel something real.

I was. He did.

And now we're killing each other.

And we're not going to stop.

i smoke and i drink
and every time i blink
i have a tiny dream

"You're drunk," he says, and I can hear the disapproval in his voice, the contempt that I could surrender to such a base human weakness.

Fuck you, Aya. You can't even talk.

I look down at the empty cans on the table and smile. It feels hard on my face. Brittle. "Can't put anything past you."

"It's two in the afternoon," he says coldly.

I squint out the window. "Gray, gray, and gray. Couldn't prove it by me."

"What if we get a mission?"

"You know," I say, still staring up, "days like this, there might not even be a sun. It's like a whole different world. No day or night. Just gray."

Aya frowns. I don't think he understands; he's not much for philosophy. Hell on wheels with an aphorism, though.

I light a cigarette and exhale slowly, watching the smoke spiral upward. Aya's lips thin. "If you're bored," he says acidly, "you could always go to work."

"Could," I agree. "Or, here's a thought, I could tie you up and fuck you again."

He stiffens, and I see him glance around furtively, looking for Omi or Ken. I smirk. "Don't worry. They're at work right now, like good little florists. It's just you...." I take a long drag, exhale again. "And me."

"We are not talking about this now."

"Maybe you're not, but I sure as hell am."

His face hardens, but I can read him now, can read the pale flicker of panic in his pale orchid eyes. "What do you want?" he asks.

Before I know it, I'm on my feet, face inches from his. He blinks but doesn't back away.

"You," I say softly. "Always you."

Aya looks uneasy. "I'm flattered."

I grab him. He flinches.

"Aren't you tired of it?" I whisper. "Always pretending to be so above everything, so un-fucking-touchable? I know the truth, Aya. I've seen you on your back, begging for it. Hell, I'm the one who makes you beg."

His pupils are dilated, his pulse throbbing under the fragile skin of his throat. "We can't," he manages. "We should be in the shop --"

I shove him against the wall and kiss him, rough and demanding. He struggles, but not as hard as he could.

Later he will say that he wanted it. I will convince myself that I didn't.

but as bad as i am
i'm proud of the fact
that i'm worse than i seem

I never had illusions of a normal life. I know what I've become. We may be Weiß, but we're none of us white; it doesn't blend well in the shadows.

But if the others' fantasies help them do their job, so much the better. Selling flowers is a soul-sucking enterprise, after all. At least it is the way we do it.

That was a joke.

It started as a joke, at first. A prank. Nobody's idea, really; just my way of pushing him, of seeing how much he'd take before he snapped.

But he kept taking it, and I kept giving him more.

I guess I'm still pushing.

Only now he's pulling me with him as he falls.

you walk through my walls
like a ghost on tv
you penetrate me

Aya struggles as I loop the wire around his hands, lashing them to the bedpost. He always struggles; that's part of the ritual. But he never makes a sound.

I hit him. I tell him to hold still. He doesn't. I hit him again.

Not in the face, though. Never in the face.

Fever-bright eyes focus on mine, and widen at what they see. I'm never sure where he goes in his head when we do this. He might be delusional; he might just be seeing me.

"Why so afraid?" I croon. "This is what you wanted, isn't it? To surrender? To be punished? You're a fucking textbook, Aya. Show me something new."

He glares up at me. I wrap the wire around his neck. He moans.

He's beautiful like this. Stripped of his protective coloring, his mask of icy disdain, he becomes merely mortal: writhing and helpless, his face twisted in pain and ecstasy. Fujimiya Aya, surrendered to my mercy.

Only I get to see him like this. The others couldn't even imagine.

He lets me do this to him, and I am grateful for it.

At the time.

I don't know if he thinks I'm playing a role, or if he knows that I'm not.

I don't know which is worse.

and what can i say
but i'm wired this way
and you're wired to me

I light a cigarette with shaking fingers. He lies beside me, motionless.

Quietly, he says, "Thank you."

The smoke drifts toward the ceiling. I watch it rise.

"You shouldn't smoke," he says darkly, unexpectedly. "It's bad for you."

I turn my head and look at him.

His body is pale and scrawny and impossibly strong, and he is curled up at my side like a cat, tangled hair falling over his half-closed eyes. One hand rests possessively on my chest. Mine.

Sometimes I imagine us happy. Caring. Ordinary.

It's bad for you.

I wanted him. He wanted me.

I think I could love him.

I can't remember what he looks like unbruised.

It's a dangerous game for people like us. We're capable of violence. We don't hold back.

and what can i do
but wallow in you

It wasn't the first time, he said, soon after we started... whatever this is. He'd gone to others before. Strangers. He said that they barely touched him, that he got hurt worse during our missions. That he didn't even feel it.

Fujimiya Aya let complete strangers render him helpless.

I used to think I knew him, a little. Now I don't think I ever did.

I thought things would get better when his sister woke up. He hasn't even spoken to her.

He refused to choose a safeword. I gave him one anyway. He hasn't used it yet.

He says he trusts me.

He trusts me to make it hurt.

i guess i've only got three
simple things to say:

why me?
why this now?
why this way?

"I don't want this."

He's leaning in the doorway. "I thought you wanted me," he says, deadpan. "Always me."

Fuck you, Aya. "Not like this," I insist. "It shouldn't be like this."

Aya's lip curls. "What should it be like, Yohji? Roses and candlelight? We live in a flower shop. We're halfway there."

Quietly I say, "I don't like to hurt you."

He pushes himself upright and begins to stalk towards me. "I disagree. I think you like it too much."

I swallow.

A ghost of a smile flits across his lips. "I wonder what that says about me."

"That you're an utter asshole?" I watch him warily. "This isn't right, Aya."

He glares at me, and I can see his fear. If I refuse, where will he go next? Will he find a stranger who can touch him?

Will he come back alive?

"We're not right," he says. "We're killers."

"I know."

"Do you think we get romance? We don't deserve it."

"I know," I whisper.

His eyes are blazing with a pale, unnatural light. "This is the life we have. We accept it or we die."

"I know," I say, and I wrap my hand around his throat.

He closes his eyes and smiles.

with overtones ringing
and undertows pulling away
under a sky that is grey
on sand that is grey
by an ocean that's grey

what kind of paradise am i looking for?
i've got everything i want
and still i want more
maybe some tiny shiny key
will wash up on the shore


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