“Hmm?” the brunette replied, turning on his heel to face the nurse who called him.
The young woman locked eyes with him for a moment, then looked at the ground. People never held his gaze for long. “Dr Midori wanted me to give you this.”
Haruka blinked, passive expression never changing. The nurse handed him a small black envelope. He took it slowly and tucked it into his pocket. His eye seemed to twitch in irritation.
“Is that it?” he asked, coldly.
The nurse nodded, swiftly turned on her heel and hastily walked back down the corridor to her station. Haruka pursed his lips and clenched his fingers around the black envelope in his pocket, crinkling it beyond recognition. He didn’t need it, he knew what it was. Another invitation to victory, that’s what Midori would say. Haruka didn’t care about winning the TGC, he didn’t care about Ichi or Fujimoto and he certainly didn’t give a fuck about Hoshishiro’s captain. He scowled - even the thought of him made his skin crawl. The pathologist picked up the file he had been processing and placed it in the relevant tray. Finally done for the day.
He moved through the hospital corridors, staring blankly ahead with his head in the clouds. No-one attempted to speak to him, they knew better than to disturb the strange, silent pathologist with the permanent frown. Haruka preferred it that way, he enjoyed the isolation provided by his dead patients and fearful colleagues. If he had his way the whole world would be silent, save for the sound of his brother’s voice.
The brunette smiled softly as he hung his white coat up in his locker and the image of his brother filled his mind. That was his only reason for competing in the TGC with Hoshishiro. Haruki refused to see him, thus the contest was his only opportunity to get close to him. The man pushed his locker shut and sat down on the bench behind him, resting his elbows on his knees. He dropped his head and rubbed his temples gently. It broke his heart to see Haruki on the field, eyes turned away from him. He wanted his brother to look at him, he wanted him to smile - but he knew that he never would. He sighed angrily. His brother would never be happy due to Haruka’s unbridled desire to capture him. Chasing him, gunning him down - truly nothing thrilled the pathologist more. He tried to reign in this want for Haruki’s sake, he really did, but after the first flicker of fear behind the gas mask, he would, without fail, completely lose control. The memory of blood pounding in his ears and the excitement he felt when he finally cornered his beloved brother against the roots of a tree still sent shivers down his spine.
I love you so much, brother.
Haruka had never considered the obsession he had for Haruki to be strange, it was a feeling he had come to accept a long time ago. On occasion he mulled on why, on what he would do if he had his way, but he knew that time would never come. For now, he would have to be satisfied with the chase and the fantasies that played out in his mind.
The pathologist sat upright and turned his head to the side. Midori was stood in front of his locker, facing away from Haruka. He was shirtless, seemingly changing after finishing for the day. There were a set of scratch marks on his side, fairly fresh and raw-looking. The brunette frowned and stood, grabbing his bag from the bench.
“None of your business,” he replied, placing the satchel strap across his chest. He made a point of speaking to Midori with the utmost rudeness - it was all the other man deserved in his opinion.
Midori chuckled and turned to face him, fixing his gaze. The older man wasn’t like his colleagues, he always looked him in the eye and he never broke contact first. Haruka tried not to visibly show his irritation, smoothing his expression into a blank mask. Midori smiled. The warmth never reached his eyes.
“Always so unfriendly,” he commented, pulling on a t-shirt and navy sweater. He shut his locker quietly. “Despite everything.”
“I have made my feelings toward you quite clear,” Haruka stated. “Or are you just ignorant?”
Midori’s expression darkened slightly and Haruka looked away from the unwavering silver eyes, ignoring the slight chuckle from the other man. The brunette started to move toward the exit, but was halted when Midori’s arm shot out in front of his chest and crashed into the lockers, blocking his trajectory. Haruka narrowed his eyes. Midori didn’t intimidate him, he was one of the few people who saw through his air of pleasance to the truth. He was a lifeless, heartless creature clothed in a kind doctor’s skin.
“Move,” Haruka repeated, left eye twitching slightly. He cringed inwardly at the action - the tick had been present since he was a child, only appearing when he was nervous or angry. Midori noticed and grinned. He loved that little twitch.
“Did you get the invitation?” he asked, tilting his head.
“Good. I take it we will see you there?”
“Is my brother participating this year?”
Midori laughed lightly and let the hand that had been resting on the locker drop to his side. “But of course.”
“Then yes, I will see you there,” Haruka replied, walking past the other man. He paused when he felt Midori’s hand encompass his shoulder. Not now. He spoke calmly, but anger was bubbling beneath the surface. “Get your hand off m-.”
“It must be so hard having a brother who hates you,” Midori said, smoothly. Haruka visibly stiffened, much to his satisfaction. He smiled as if sympathising, though they both knew it was mocking. “It’s such a shame he will only face you on the battlefield.”
“Shut up,” Haruka replied, his voice unusually soft.
Midori’s pleasant smile dropped into a nasty smirk. He enjoyed pushing Haruka’s buttons. The younger man was wonderfully defiant, one of the few who were not afraid of him. He surpassed even Yukimura in this respect, though in a different manner. The bespectacled man lashed out, he was so obvious in his anger, but Haruka was placid, unfeeling. His unchanging, blank expression and unwavering tone somewhat intrigued Midori. Their relationship had taken a strange turn recently and it shed a new light on the man. The sadist in him wanted to see his calm break during their time together, his pretty yellow eyes to water, his mouth open and drooling and panting as he pressed a gun into his cheek-
“Maybe if you let him win, he would love you.” Midori chuckled lightly, drawing himself from his vile thoughts. The doctor quirked his head to one side.
“You know I can’t do that,” Haruka responded. A muscle twitched in his cheek. “Are we done here?”
The doctor released the brunette’s shoulder and gestured to the exit. “I think so.”
Haruka moved toward the door with more haste than he intended. He didn’t look back when he heard Midori call to him.
“I lost a patient today,” he said.
The pathologist halted, but didn’t look back. He knew that feeling, it wasn’t one he wished on anyone. The death of one you were trying to save affected everyone, even Midori. The doctor wasn’t the type to get upset, but it did frustrate him, made him angry. He would always need to release that anger if he were to continue working at the level he did. He didn’t let death affect him, he couldn’t.
“There was nothing more that could have been done,” Midori continued. “But she was sweet, it was a shame.”
“Children are the hardest to lose,” he replied, placing his hand on the doorknob. “But you can’t save everyone.”
“Spoken like a true pathologist,” the other man mused, taking a seat on the bench. He looked up at the back of Haruka’s head. “We all end up on your table in the end, don’t we?”
The pathologist opened the door, letting out a soft sigh as the ever-buzzing hum of the hospital filled the changing room.
“Get home safe, Haru. I'll see you later.”
Haruka felt his eye twitch. Later.
“Stop it!” the fleeing figure panted, raising his gun. He couldn’t shoot it with great accuracy as he ran, so the bullets hit the trees surrounding the advancing soldier in white. “Why do you always fucking do this?”
Haruka could hear the exhaustion in Haruki’s voice, he wouldn’t last much longer. It had been such a long time since he had been able to see him, he wanted to wrap the wheezing, terrified man up in his arms and pull him in close. Why wouldn’t he slow down, why didn’t he love him in the same way he loved him?! He would make him, even if he had to grind him down, even if he had to hurt him and make him feel worthless just so he could build him back up - he would. Haruka raised his gun and fired once, with more skill and poise than his brother could ever hope to achieve. The single shot hit Haruki’s Achilles tendon, sending him flying face first into the ground. The gas mask was ripped off in the tumble and landed a few metres away. His fallen body stopped and crumpled when it hit the roots of an oak tree. Haruka approached him slowly, lowering the rifle to his side. A sick grin formed on his face.
“Are you scared yet, brother?” he asked, his voice eerily high-pitched. “Are you feeling useless?”
Haruki grunted and turned onto his back, groaning in pain. There was dirt on his cheeks and a large tear across his temple from where his head collided with the tree. “F-fuck you, Haruka.”
The younger man smiled and tilted his head to one side as he stepped closer. He crouched down so he could look in his brother’s eyes. “Why do you always run away from me?”
“B-because you’re insane,” Haruki wheezed, shuffling backwards as far as he could. His back hit the tree trunk and he tried to hide his panic, but Haruka could see it in his wide eyes. “Leave me alone.”
“Why would you say something like that?” Haruka frowned, standing upright. He felt a twinge of excitement as he raised his gun and stabbed it into Haruki’s chest. His brother whimpered softly, much to his pleasure. “I love you, big brother. Why do you hate me so much? Is it because I’m successful, whilst you’re a failure?”
Haruki opened his mouth to argue but the only thing that left his mouth was a harsh scream caused by a metal pellet digging into his chest from a point blank range. Haruka looked down at him and placed his finger back on the trigger.
“Is it because I exceed expectations?”
Another loud crack rang out, then a scream. Haruki panted roughly and collapsed to his side, clutching his chest with one hand. He felt his younger brother’s military boot kick his shoulder so he flipped onto his back, then he pressed down, holding him there. The muzzle of the gun was settled back on his stomach.
“Tell me that you love me, brother,” Haruka said, softly.
Haruki looked up at him, tears starting to blur his vision. “Stop-”
He screamed when another shot burned his skin, scorching through the thin dress shirt he wore. The metal pellet dug into his flesh and a vile red stain started to blossom through the material. Haruka pursed his lips.
“Say you love me,” he repeated, digging the muzzle into the open wound. Haruka looked ecstatic, clearly enjoying himself. “I won’t stop until you do.”
“Hit,” Haruki ground out, defiantly.
“No dice,” his brother replied, giggling. He pulled the trigger again and smiled happily as the man beneath him twisted in agony.
Four more shots rang out, four more shots made seven bloody lesions, seven before Haruki broke, his voice cracking as he screamed for forgiveness.
“I l-love you - please,” he sobbed, closing his eyes as tears poured down his bloodied cheeks. “Stop, please, I love you, Haruka.”
His anguished begging continued for a minute until the muzzle was lowered. He heard the other man drop to his knees beside him, then felt the warmth of his body over him. When he opened his eyes he saw that his brother was straddling his hips with his knees and his arms were on either side of his head. Haruki, in too much pain and fear to react, let out a whimper as his sibling leaned down and pressed a kiss to the open wound on his forehead. When he drew back, Haruki saw his blood on his brother’s bottom lip. He looked so happy, genuinely happy.
Haruka licked the blood from his lips, much to the other’s disgust. “I love you too, brother.”
He kissed every wound on his brother’s body before he picked up his gun and left him. Haruki didn’t move for a while, he simply lay sprawled out on the floor, staring at the cloudy sky. He sobbed openly, ashamed by his weakness and horrified by his brother’s action, until a horn sounded signifying the end of the tournament.
Haruka’s home was a beautiful place, only fitting for a doctor of his calibre. The furthest wall was entirely made of glass, giving a beautiful view of a sparkling city below. The space was open plan, with a well-equipped, stainless steel kitchen to the right and a large seating area occupied by squishy leather couches to the left. A rectangular dinner table was placed in the center of the room so that guests could fully admire the expansive view of the city outside. The colour scheme stuck to steely grays and rich blues and the surfaces seemed to be devoid of any personal touches. It was almost as if he were living in a showroom. The only signs that this was Haruka's penthouse were the pictures of his brother on the mantle, the ash-trays, the stacks of medical journals and half-empty bottles of wine on the dining room table.
The pathologist was sat on the sofa near the vast window, sipping his third glass of wine. A smoking cigarette hung out of one corner of his mouth, his hands preoccupied by the laptop in front of him. It probably wasn’t wise to be finishing up his reports whilst drinking, but he didn’t care all that much - they would be well written regardless. Haruka didn’t have much of a social life, so he often found himself hold up in his house in the evenings. It meant that he got a lot of work done, but on the odd occasion he did find himself getting lonely. Sometimes he would go out to a local bar and pick up some pretty or handsome thing to play with for the evening. They were never satisfying, never quite a delightful as he wanted them to be. They were never Haruki. He found a single solace aside from his brother these days, one he was not best pleased about. A vicious smirk, a pair of hate-filled silver eyes and a gun were hardly solace, but they were all he had.
He ran a hand through his hand and took a long drag of his cigarette before tapping the ash into a tray on the table. The image of his brother’s tears lingered in his mind. He had gone too far, he’d really hurt him. Haruka sighed to himself - he wasn’t certain when his love for Haruki had become twisted. When they were young he did all he could to make him happy, he loved seeing him laugh, he always wanted his attention. It was only as they grew that things changed, when Haruka started to surpass his sibling. He had only been trying to impress him, he only wanted to make Haruki proud - why didn’t his brother see that? He was the one who tried to protect him from their pathetic excuse for a Father, he was the only one who loved him in the way he deserved! As the elder started to distance himself, the younger only wanted to pursue his love with more ferocity. Somewhere in this pursuit, love turned to obsession. He wanted to own Haruki, he was the only one good enough for him, the only one and he would make him see, even if he had to hurt him to make him see-
Haruka let out a sigh and a cloud of smoke dissipated in the air. In his heart, he knew Haruki wouldn’t react positively to that sort of treatment, he would despise him even more now. The pathologist was both pleased and irritated - pleased, as now he could continue the chase he found so much glee in. Irritated, because he knew the chase would never end and one day he would tire of it and he would be stuck, alone and unloved. He pushed that thought from his mind and decided not to broach it again until the day arrived. For now he would focus on his plan for the next TGC.
The smartphone beside him buzzed loudly. He picked it up and rolled his eyes when he saw his team captain’s name appear on the screen. Well, nickname - Haruka had chosen to label Midori ‘Bastard’ in his contact list.
‘Are you at home?’
Haruka grimaced and swiftly typed a reply. ‘None of your business.’
It was barely ten minutes before his front door swung open and the captain stepped inside, slamming it shut behind him. He was dressed in the same clothes he had been in at the hospital, covered by a navy pea coat. Midori gave Haruka a wry smile and crossed the room with his hands in his pockets.
“Learn to knock, asshole,” the brunette snapped, glaring at the other man as he approached.
“You're a doctor, you shouldn't smoke.”
Haruka scoffed as Midori took a seat in the armchair opposite him. “Get fucked.”
“You know better than most that I am the one who does the fucking, Haru,” he replied, bluntly.
The younger man swallowed a large gulp of wine and gestured to the bottle and the extra glass on the table. He knew the other man would come tonight, he could tell even from their brief interaction in the locker room. Midori didn't speak to Haruka unless he wanted something.
“Don't be so crude,” he snarled, irritably. As much as he was accepting of this arrangement, he didn't like it. The means to an end, he thought, that was all this was. He was looking for something in particular and Midori provided it. He had no idea what the captain got out of this and he didn't muse on it for too long or ask, for fear of what he would discover. Perhaps he felt the same crippling loneliness as Haruka, though he seriously doubted it.
“You know better than to tell me what to do,” Midori said, his tone playful. He poured himself a glass of wine and began to drink.
Haruka frowned and flicked his cigarette into the ashtray.
He had never seen the usually collected Haruka so angry before. The brunette knew he had overdone it with his brother, now fretting and ranting that he hadn’t meant to, he didn’t mean to- Midori had taken great pleasure in taunting him. Perhaps he had gone too far. Midori smirked and continued to remove his military jacket. Perhaps he hadn't gone far enough. Fujimoto had already left, surprisingly deciding to cycle home with Ichi rather than wait with them. His assistant was always trying to impress the nurse, probably so she would stop hitting him. His thoughts were interrupted when Haruka’s fist landed on the locker next to his head.
“Are you fucking listening to me, you prick?” he shouted, voice echoing around the empty changing room.
Midori sighed dramatically and turned so that he could lean against the lockers. He tapped a finger on the top of Haruka’s knuckles.
“Drop,” he ordered, sternly.
“Don't talk to me like I'm a dog,” he hissed, dropping his hand nonetheless. “This is all your fault.”
“My fault?” he scoffed. He reached behind him, unseen by Haruka, and slid the knife in his gun holster from its concealed sheath. It wasn't strictly allowed in their war games, as the knife was real, but he kept it on his person in case he needed to carve tracks into trees or cut rope. “I didn't tell you to do any of that.”
“Yes, you did.”
“I told you to hunt down your brother because I knew you would do it regardless,” Midori answered, tone dropping as he grew slightly annoyed by the other’s insolent whine. “I didn't tell you to brutalise him and tongue his injuries, did-”
Before he could finish, Haruka swung a fist at his head. Midori caught the punch swiftly and slammed the smaller man, back-first, into the lockers. He gripped the knife and brought it to Haruka’s neck, whilst he placed his forearm over his chest to pin him down. The brunette let out a grunt as the air was forced from his lungs.
“Don't try me, Haruka,” Midori hissed, furiously. “I don't accept insubordination from my team.”
“F-fuck you,” he growled, choking as the hand that held the knife was pressed harder into his windpipe.
The men glared at one another in silence until Midori finally released the smaller man, who fell to his knees, coughing violently. Haruka looked up at the other as he gathered his breath and was disturbed to see him looking down at him with an odd glint in his eyes.
“Why do you bother with Haruki?” he asked, with a sigh. “He's a useless piece of shit, you know that as well as I do.”
“Don't say such things about my brother,” Haruka growled, pushing himself off the floor to an upright position. “Not unless you want to end up on my autopsy table.”
“His weaknesses are glaringly obvious. As are yours - you want his love so desperately that you’re mixing up emotions,” Midori chuckled, picking up his bag. “You're going about it the wrong way. You're smothering him.”
“How would you know?” Haruka spat.
“Well, first off, he runs away from you whenever he sees you. Two, I'm good at getting people to fall in love with me,” the doctor continued, smirking.
“As if,” Haruka snorted, fist curling at his side. “Who the fuck would fall in love with you?”
Midori had him backed into the lockers again in an instant, sensing that the younger man was going to try and hit him again. He placed his hands on either side of the brunette’s head and leaned in close, much to the other’s disgust.
“More than I can remember, but to name a few - Masamune, Fujimon, Ichi, all the nurses in my department,” he listed, sounding bored. “I’ve fucked everyone on this team.”
Haruka visibly tensed at that final statement and turned his eyes away from Midori’s gaze. “Not everyone.”
The larger man chuckled darkly and stroked a long finger down the other’s neck, causing him to shiver. “Not yet.”
Haruka growled under his breath and shoved his hands into Midori’s chest but the other man quickly grabbed ahold of his wrists and slammed them back into the lockers. The impact caused pain to run down the young man’s arms and he let out a grunt of pain before he could stop himself. He twisted his torso, trying to escape, as Midori shoved a knee forward between his thighs. The older man tutted at him and shook his head.
“Get off of me!” Haruka yelled, his eyes wide.
Midori grinned and tilted his head to one side. “Losing your cool at last, Haru?”
“What do you think you’re doing?” he gasped, still thrashing against the tight grip. “Let go of me at once!”
“Are you going to try and punch me again?”
“Of course I am you fucking idi-”
Haruka was cut off by the feeling of Midori’s lips against his, rough and wet. The brunette froze, startled and uncertain. When he felt the other man’s lips part slightly, his confusion turned to anger and he opened his mouth so that he could bite Midori’s bottom lip. Much to his chagrin, the doctor groaned softly and threaded a hand through Haruka’s hair, tugging the strands softly.
This was wrong, he thought, eyes still wide open. He despised Midori, he didn't want this man to be the one kissing him but it felt strangely pleasant. The doctor pulled his hair roughly upward so that his throat was exposed and released his lips so that he could trail a mixture of sloppy kisses and bites down beside his ear. Haruka released a soft moan and gripped Midori’s side with his free hand, eyes fluttering shut.
The harsh bites felt wonderful, the sensation went straight to his head and he lost himself in the feeling. Behind his closed eyes, he pictured Haruki. It was wrong but so very beautiful as he imagined that those were Haruki’s fingers twisting in his hair painfully, his saliva on his lips and his teeth on his throat. For a blissful second, the fantasy felt real and he was so happy. He was brought crashing back to reality the moment Midori pulled away and yanked his head up, slamming it back against the locker. He held the hair tightly, forcing Haruka to open his eyes and stare at him.
“Oh dear. Just one kiss and you’re a mess. You really must be desperate for human contact,” Midori hissed, giving him an awful smile. “How disappointing. What would your brother think?”
He released the smaller man and crossed the locker room to collect his belongings. Haruka watched him, dazed and speechless, as he slung his military jacket over his shoulder and picked up his kit bag. He looked back at the pathologist carelessly.
“You have my number if you want me.”
Haruka pushed himself away from the lockers and was ashamed by how his body was shaking. He felt his eye twitch a few times. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Midori smirked. “Look at how easily you gave in to me. You didn't even try and push me away. You're lonely, Haru. You're lonely and I get bored easily.”
The brunette watched him silently as he left and tried to ignore the truth to his words.
They were not careful, there was not an iota of care or romance between them. Each touch, even if physically soft, seemed violent - Haruka hadn’t expected any less of the other. He often woke to a torso covered in deep bites and stark crimson scratches and he frequently found his voice little more than a harsh whisper for days after due to the crushing hold on his neck that Midori was so fond of. He didn’t think of himself as submissive, he fought tooth and nail against the other and made a point of leaving marks in the most inconvenient of places. But in terms of damage done, Midori always managed to gain the upper hand. It wasn’t a surprise, he was a precise, exceptional paediatrician, an unstoppable soldier on the battlefield, Midori was the victor in most areas he ventured into. Their physical relationship didn’t change his opinion of Midori, he still thought of him as a vile creature, a waste of an attractive form and a brilliant mind. Haruka imagined that the other man thought the same of him. If Midori knew he was picturing his brother behind the blindfold, he never mentioned it. He wondered if the doctor thought of someone else as well, or if he was as focused on this as he was on everything else.
It may have been due to the lose of a patient, or maybe he was just in a bad mood, but that evening, he was particularly merciless.
Part Two soon.