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Burst Bubbles

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Don’t fall in love with something you could lose.

Don’t do that. Don’t risk it.

It hurts too much.

Junpei was never one to follow advice. He did what he wanted, when he wanted.

And he wanted to find Akane Kurashiki. She was a bubble. It seemed like a terrible metaphor, but she was a bubble; beautiful, brilliant, and you can never get too close. Try to catch it and it bursts, disappears. Keep your distance and it has drifted off before you know it.

Bubbles burst. They disappear.

Junpei knows.

Akane disappeared off the face of the earth. So did Santa - Aoi. He was always forgetting that they weren’t on that ship anymore. Gentarou Hongou, Light Field, Aoi Kurashiki, Clover Field, Akane Kurashiki, no one had ever told him Seven’s name. Damn. Hazuki Kashiwabara and Teruaki Kubota.

He had to remember them.

If he forgot he was lost.

He should write them down somewhere. But does he really want those names staring down at him?

It didn’t matter anyway.

He was leaving.

He was going to find Akane, so really it didn’t matter what he knew. He could have absolutely no leads and he’d make sure he found her. It might take longer but she’d still be there.

What was that about bursting bubbles?

Ah well. Junpei was never one for advice.

/////

Aoi Kurashiki was a burst of flame.

Too hot-headed, too brash, too impulsive.

That was what Light Field thought.

Aoi was blinding, even to Light. Who was blind. Pretty goddamn bright.

Fire burns if you get too close, fire will kill you. Aoi knew that all too well. Light was with him when he found out.

Fire was never going to be beautiful to Aoi. It was horrific, a reminder of death. Before the crash, Light had loved the way flames licked up twigs and old newspaper.

“You’re really far gone, aren’t you?” Clover said as she screwed the cap back onto her nail varnish. “I’m impressed.”

Light snapped from his daydream. He had been so preoccupied with the thought of Aoi, he had forgotten all about what Clover was telling him.

“What do you mean?”

Clover laughed. Or sighed. It was somewhere between the two. “I mentioned Santa like, what, once? And you lost all concentration.”

“Yes, Clover. Though I fail to see how that leaves you impressed,” Light said.

“You’ve known him eighteen hours? Less?”

She was right. Despite the teasing tone to her voice, she spoke the truth.

Light hadn’t known Aoi long enough to develop any sort of feelings. Aoi had kidnapped him and put him in a coffin.

And here Light was, wishing he had the means to go out and look.

A moth to a bloody flame.

Except, Light wasn’t sure if the fire had been extinguished.

Maybe one day Light could escape the bubble that kept him there, stuck. Then he can find Aoi.

////

Aoi winced as he grabbed the bagel that had just popped up from the toaster.

For once in his life, he might actually have a quiet day. Aoi failed to see how being curled up with bagels and TV could be topped.

He smiled to himself as the TV flickered to life, a news reporter’s face showing.

“Gentarou Hongou, the CEO of Cradle Phar-” she read before the channel changed. Aoi wasn’t about to have his day ruined by that asswipe. He’d had enough of him.

His day wasn’t going to be bad.

No mention of fire, no Cradle Pharmaceuticals, no Hongou, nothing of that sort. Aoi didn’t even want to see Leonardo Di Caprio.

“Serves you right,” he muttered, thinking of the actor and his ultimate demise. Stupid boat. Stupid Jack Dawson.

“Clover needs to be a part of this one,” Akane burst into the room, scaring Aoi so much that he choked on his bagel.

“Fuck!” He coughed. “Jesus, Kanny, can’t I have a day in peace?”

Akane frowned, then leaned down and stole part of his bagel. Aoi scowled. Well, harder than he normally did. “This game is vitally important, the fate of the world rests on it, we can’t have days off,” she said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Aoi sighed. “Can’t I?”

“No. We need to find out where everyone will be to coordinate the-”

Aoi turned to her. “Kidnappings? Alright, fine. Clover, Alice…. anyone else so far?”

Akane shook her head and looked down.

“What about Junpei?”

Aoi was honestly surprised she didn’t get whiplash at the speed she moved. “What about him?”

“Do we need him?” He should’ve dropped it. He was digging his grave.

“No. No, not that I’m aware of.” Her voice was all business, no warmth. They both knew. Neither said, but they both knew what Akane really thought.

“What about Light?” Aoi mumbled, almost afraid of the judgement she would cast upon him.

“Who?”

Akane didn’t remember. That, or she hadn’t heard Aoi. He hoped it was the latter.

“Clover’s brother, Snake, blind guy.”

“No, we don’t need him.”

That didn’t sound right.

Aoi needed Light. He needed Light to be safe, to be happy. It hurt to think of him as anything but.

It was the same for Akane, he could tell. She might’ve tried to close herself off from her feelings but she was still a little too obvious.

Maybe the bubble she was living in would burst one day.