After the Hurricane
"Living people are warm."
He became still, and not long after, I could hear quiet, measured breathing coming from him. With his feverish body still in my arms, before I knew it, I too was drifting off to sleep.
When I awoke the next morning, Nezumi was gone. The plaid shirt, towel, and emergency kit were gone with him.
No. 6, Volume 1, Chapter 1
A single golden sunray was breaking through the black clouds. The brightness tenderly touched the Holy City as if it was meant to be a sweet and soft good morning kiss. Streams of light, one after another, illuminated the fading night, the dark sky opened up and a powerful sunrise dyed the sky in a beautiful crimson color. The new dawn was approaching and the nocturnal storm was finally over.
Slowly Nezumi’s eyes fluttered open. The blankets rustled quietly when he raised his uninjured arm and let the back of his hand rest on his forehead. Carefully he turned around to look at the young boy lying next to him. Shion’s eyes were tightly closed. His long black lashes touched the ivory-colored skin of his roundish childlike cheeks softly. The boy’s raspberry lips were slightly parted while he breathed scarcely audible, but Nezumi always had sharp senses, so it was a simple task for him to absorb every single sound in Shion’s unnaturally quiet room. The soundproof window glass cut them off from any outside noises – he heard no bird’s twittering, no street noise, no person’s chatting, nothing at all.
Just Shion’s breathing.
The brown-haired boy’s small chest raised and fell steadily. Nezumi raised his arm and considered for a moment, but then he touched Shion’s sternum with his flat hand. The boy’s heart fluttered like a little bird, strong and healthy.
Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump.
It felt warm. A grin flashed across Nezumi’s face.
You’re pretty weird, little one. Sleeping so defenseless…
Just like I said, you elites have zero sense of danger. I’m short and looked like a girl, huh? You’re a fine one to talk. You should take a look in the mirror, doll-face.
Nezumi chuckled quietly.
He pressed his forefinger against the tip of Shion’s small button nose.
“Who looks like a little piglet now, huh?” Nezumi whispered and let up on him when the younger boy turned his head slightly and let out a small sound of discomfort.
The raven-haired boy sat up in Shion’s bed and clenched his teeth – he accidentally had used his injured arm to support his weight. But fortunately the pain faded away quickly. He relaxed his tensed muscles and looked at the boy that seemed to be dead to the world.
How can you sleep that peacefully? You told me that you don’t think this city’s perfect, but you have the sleep of the just. You understand nothing! You don’t even understand the words you’re using. How can one single person be so dense? You’re really an idiot, aren’t you?
Nezumi smelled the boy’s shampoo while his gentle long fingers stroked the soft brownish curls. Shion’s fragrance was fresh but sweet, just like a flower’s.
You are an idiot. Why did you help me? This will ruin your life, you know! But without you…I would probably be dead now. Do you even understand what this means to me? Do you understand what you’ve done, Shion?
Nezumi bent forward to the sleeping boy. Their nose tips touched each other slightly. Nezumi felt Shion’s hot breath on his shivering skin. After a few seconds he closed the gap between their lips and kissed him sweetly, almost innocently.
“Thank you for everything…” he whispered right above the other’s mouth and gave him another peck.
“I’m so sorry.”
His eyes flickered slightly while he gazed at his savior. His heart raced. Nezumi knew that he had to go now and he didn’t understand the strange feeling that was welling up deep inside of him. Shion’s scent, his warmth, his breath – it made him feel secure. The boy had held him in his arms the whole night and Nezumi had the strange urge to embrace him as well.
Geez! What’s wrong with me? Is this shitty city already brain-washing me? I have to get lost right now before I lose myself completely.
Silently he rose up from the bed, grabbed the towel and the emergency kit and made his way to the window. He opened it and sneaked out. In an instant the boy was surrounded by the sounds of morning he missed before – the twittering of birds, the wind rustling through trees and the distant laughing and yelling of children who already were on their way to school.
Nezumi jumped onto the balcony railing. The wind caressed his about chin-length hair softly while emotionless silvereyes gazed at the city he hated so much. He narrowed them while making out the Moondrop in a distance.
I’m going to destroy you, No. 6…
You – and your arrogance, your self-righteousness and your contempt for mankind...
The boy turned his head around and looked inside the room. The expression in his eyes softened slightly.
But I’m going to protect you. I always will. This piece of shit here won’t get you. I won’t allow No. 6 to corrupt you.
“This is a promise!”
Nezumi jumped down the balcony and felt the wind carrying his light, small body. The yard’s lush vegetation broke the boy’s fall. He sprang to his feet as fast as lightning and disappeared into the bushes.
We’ll definitely meet again, Shion.
Shion: “Wow, Nezumi! You’re pretty clingy.”
Nezumi: “Don’t bullshit me, I’m not!”
Shion: “Oh, you are, you are! It’s always you who’s feeling me up. You’re touching my hair pretty often, don’t you? Do you have some kind of hair fetish?”
Nezumi: “Shut up, Mr. “I-talk-embarrassing-shit-all-day-long”! I’m feeling pretty awkward, you know?”
Shion: “And you even traced my red snake! You held my hand and you hugged me several times…”
Nezumi: “Hey! I told you to shut up!” *beats him*
Shion: “Ow! No need to go postal!”
Nezumi: “It’s your own fault. You’re talking way too much, stupid. Your voice is giving me nightmares already…” *strokes his hair without thinking*
Nezumi: “What?” *stroke, stroke, stroke*
Shion: “You’re doing it again.”
Nezumi: “Don’t bullshit me! I’m not! I just wanted to clean my hand.”