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for this and all we are about to receive

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Tagami is lying there, breathing slow and evenly despite the quiet, stressed knowing in the air.

This is what is going to happen: He is going to die.

Hirahara’s pulse is hammering against his neck, and there’s a sound between him and Tagami that cannot be hidden by the buzzing of insects in the summer nor the shouts in the distance. It’s almost embarrassing, and there’s a small flush across his cheeks when it rings out from the open field they lie in. The grass feels cool against his fingers and Tagami’s eyes look feral under the dark blue of the sky and he really does not want to do this.

Hirahara feels the pressure of Tagami’s hand gripping his arm.

“It’s okay,” he says, in a voice too soothing that it doesn’t sound like the resilient and abrasive Tagami he’s grown used to. This sounds like a stranger, so accepting and quiet and the only trace of Tagami Hirahara can hear in the mumbled tone is the exhaustion that laces his every word. It doesn’t feel right, it feels like it’s not really Tagami who’s talking, and it feels like it’s not really Tagami who’s agreeing to, to this .

He wants to say please, stay with me a little longer, as if maybe Tagami would just by him begging into his skin. Hirahara wants to see if he could just hold on, just hold on to this one good thing, but they both know that’s impossible so he doesn’t say anything at all. He wants to pretend that they will escape and grow old together like how the stories told by village elders always end. We will run away and be happy and love never dies.

But Hirahara can see it in his feral eyes and in the way his bones jut out of his body in sharp, sharp angles that that it’s hopeless for him. Tagami is going to die and Hirahara is going to fall only god knows when afterwards. This is their ending, this is the only way their story can end.

The tears still come anyways, a burning wet sensation that feels as vast and empty as his hunger, and he is just so hungry ; the part of his mind, the tiny one in the back of his consciousness that’s half gone and half animal tells him that what he really wants is meat. Good food, good meat, good god let’s eat , he remembers, in broken vivid words from some time long before.

The thing is that--

The thing is that it tastes good, but there isn’t a word to describe the tightness of his throat when the first taste of blood hits his tongue. Hirahara feels the quivering of Tagami’s stomach moving against his lips, his teeth. Knowing his pain is an alien feeling, the acute sensation of guilt closing like a vice against his heart, to the point where every breath he takes feels forced. Even his exposed insides don’t feel warm— the waning night sky that hides them for now, taking away all signs of life.

Hirahara stands in the lonely field on uncertain feet, with his golden eyes blazing and his fists all dirtied in the mess of friendship and love and life while Tagami is in a dreamless sleep and gone forever into the earth.

In the distance, the edge of the horizon grows into a wild sharp red as the clouds are dyed with the return of the sun, and with it, smoke creeping from the edges of the forest, like demon eyes watching them.

There is no happy end.