The fireworks festival. It happens around once every year, and people from all over come to watch and wish.
Having lived in the seaside city where the festival took place all his life, it's not as exciting to Sabito as it used to be when he was younger. However, on this very night, amongst the crowd of other civilians on the beach, Sabito takes this moment to stop and stare long and hard at the large dome protruding from the ocean, containing large and powerful explosions of bright and colorful lights. Closing his eyes, he quickly murmurs out his wish, before turning and advancing towards the open beach bar, his pocket feeling heavy.
As he walks through the entrance of the bar, Sabito almost stumbles into two girls exiting. He mumbles an apology, not really paying them much attention as he looks around, hoping to find a familiar head of black. His shoulders slump when he can't find his boyfriend.
"Ahh, you just missed him."
Sabito glances to the bar counter, where Makomo stood, cleaning a glass. She fixed him with a teasing grin.
"Don't worry, he told me to tell you he's at your guys' usual place."
She winks, and Sabito lets out a chuckle, rubbing the back of his head. He thanks the tiny bartender and proceeds to book it out of the bar, narrowly avoiding bumping into anymore people. He doesn't want to keep Giyuu waiting anymore than he has to.
When Sabito finds Giyuu, the ravenette is standing near the railings on the walkway leading to a building, hands clasped and eyes closed. The building is the usual hangout spot the two and their friends tend to hang out at. The same building where just inside, Giyuu tries to break things off with Sabito.
"I'm a L'Cie"
"Branded by Pulse."
"Danger to us all..."
"You get it now?"
"You're my enemy."
Sabito shakes his head, willing the painful memory away. No use remembering that moment. They're still together. Sabito will help Giyuu complete his Focus, no matter what. Fuck what the government says.
Putting a grin on his face, Sabito closes the distance between the two of them.
"Making a wish?"
Giyuu jumps, startled. When he sees it's only Sabito, he heaves a short sigh of relief, dropping his hands.
"Yeah. I was hoping that tomorrow, I could tell my sister." He bites his lip, looking ahead into the distance of the ocean, at the beautiful display of fireworks inside the dome.
"She'll definitely be upset that I hid this from her."
But Giyuu knows that if there's one person he can trust besides Sabito, it's Tsutako. His only living relative. Tsutako has done so much for him, ever since they were children and became orphans. She grew up so quick to make sure Giyuu could live a happy, normal life. Giyuu knows he can trust his big sister to figure something out. His only obstacle right now is finding the courage to tell her this secret that will surely get him killed if the Sanctum were to find out.
Sabito knows this. He leans against the railing, following Giyuu's line of sight.
"Don't worry, if anything happens, I'll take the blame for you."
A question lingers between the two. What exactly would Sabito even take the blame for?
After all, this whole ordeal is completely Giyuu's fault. There's no one else to blame but himself.
Not to mention, the couple knows Tsutako doesn't really approve of Sabito dating her baby brother. So if things really did turn south, Tsutako definitely won't pull her punches with the scarred man. Sabito quickly changes the subject.
"You know, you should wish for something bigger. These are wish granting fireworks, like in the stories."
Giyuu hums, finally averting his gaze from the fireworks to his shoulder. Slowly, he raises a hand, and curls his fingers over his bicep, feeling the thick outline of bandages through the fabric of his shirt. The only thing hiding his brand from the rest of the world.
Should anyone else see the bandages, they would think Giyuu was merely sporting an injury. But only he and Sabito were the ones who knew the truth.
His voice is barely audible as he utters that one word. So silent that Sabito doesn't even hear it.
But the next time Giyuu speaks, it's directed at him.
"When L'Cie fulfill their Focus, they become a crystal, and gain eternal life."
It's not really much of a reward if you ask him. But it's not like there's much for them to do to avoid it.
Sabito sighs and runs a hand through his hair, almost out of frustration.
"If only they had given you some clue on what you're supposed to do."
A Focus. A mission a L'Cie must take on, no ifs, ands, or buts. If you do manage to fulfill it, you become a crystal. And if you don't...well, you become a monster.
But according to Giyuu, he has no clue as to what he's supposed to do. When he was branded, all he was given was a hazy vision. He was lost on the meaning of it. He couldn't decipher what it was that the Fal'Cie wanted from him. And with every passing day, it's clear that Giyuu grows more scared at the thought of becoming a beast who'll be quick to be slaughtered by the army.
It's fucking frustrating.
Sabito takes Giyuu by the shoulders, and turns him so the two face each other.
"Don't worry, we'll get through this." He tries to console his boyfriend. But even Sabito knows it won't do much, not when Giyuu is running on a timer, and both boys have no idea on where to even begin.
Giyuu shrugs off his hands and turns, his fists clenched at his sides.
"And what if we don't?" he asks, voice wavering.
"If we don't I'll become a monster. And even if I do fulfill my Focus," Giyuu's voice cracks "I'll turn into a crystal. How is that a victory?"
In the end, there really is no happy ending for a L'Cie. One end just so happens to be less painful than the other.
There's really nothing Sabito can say to make it all better, to make it all go away like it never even happened. But - Sabito reaches into the pocket of his jacket - for now, he can try and give Giyuu a good memory.
"Yesterday, when we were out shopping for your sister's birthday present, I picked us up something."
Giyuu blinks, not expecting that to be the next phrase to come out of his boyfriend's mouth. He wants to scold Sabito, to ask how he can't even take this seriously. But alas, curiosity gets the better of him, and he turns.
Sabito is holding up his hand, and dangling from his clenched fingers are two necklaces. The pendants hanging from the chain are shaped in a way that remind Giyuu of their planet. They shine in his grasp, and at that moment, Giyuu thinks to himself, he's never seen a more beautiful piece of jewelry before.
When Sabito motions him forward, Giyuu does so without question, once again turning away from the taller man as he moves his ponytail out of the way. Sabito breathlessly laughs as he moves to clasp the necklace around Giyuu's neck, and the warmth of his breath causes the ravenette to suppress a shiver.
When the chain falls against his neck, and cold metal rests against his chest, Giyuu tentatively brushes his fingers against his gift. He turns to Sabito to thank him, feeling a flutter in his chest when seeing his boyfriend finish up putting on his own matching necklace.
There's a nervous expression on his face, and Giyuu falters. Ah, did he think Giyuu wouldn't like the gift? Giyuu absolutely loves it. He never was a jewelry person, and save for the matching wire bands he wears on his wrist to match his sisters, Giyuu never really wore any other accessory. But this, he would definitely cherish it forever.
Sabito takes a deep breath.
"I will stand by you. No matter what happens, I'm yours forever."
When Sabito says his name, Giyuu stays silent, looking up in wonder at where this is coming from, what is this leading to?
"My one. My only."
Sabito takes a knee, and brings a hand to his chest. Giyuu's heart pounds, loud enough that he's sure Sabito could hear it too. His hands clench into the hem of his shirt, fingers trembling. No way, is this...?
"Will you marry me?"
Giyuu's eyes widen, tears immediately forming and threatening to spill. Oh, that definitely explains the necklaces.
But there's no long wait for Giyuu before he answers. He's known for a long time that Sabito is the one person he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
"Yes!" He cries, the tears spilling down his cheeks. His vision blurs, but through it, he can make out Sabito's form gleefully jumping up.
"He said yes!"
And then Giyuu is being picked up. He can't help the laughter that bubbles out as Sabito crushes him close and begins to spin him around.
In that moment, their worries wash away. In that moment, the only thing the two lovers feel is happiness. If only it could last forever.
When Sabito tugged him along back to the beach, Giyuu figured they were gonna head to the bar, have Makomo fix them a snack and drinks. But he was mistaken.
Outside the bar are some air bikes. Sanemi, always a nut for that technology and engineering stuff, has been working on them for the past week. Not because they were broken, he was just working on giving them some upgrades.
"Yo 'Nemi, hope you don't mind if I take one!" Sabito calls.
Outside the bar are a couple tables. Sanemi sits on one, alongside his brother and Uzui. He growls at Sabito when he's called.
"I told you not to call me that, dipshit!" A pause. "But yeah, go a-fucking-head. Just don't scratch it or I'm chopping off your dick." Sabito blows him a playfull kiss, and Sanemi gags.
Despite there being a two seater available, Sabito takes the one seater, eagerly patting his thighs. An invitation for Giyuu to place himself on his lap. Even though he blushes, Giyuu carefully climbs a top his now fiance.
The engine revs up, and the vehicle is airborne. Sabito follows a trail mostly barren of any other people. Everyone wanted front row seats of the fireworks after all.
But Sabito's planned something better.
Giyuu doesn't question it when Sabito drives them over water, nearing and circling around the dome. The popping of fireworks grows louder, and Giyuu looks on with ease the closer they get.
He's at ease right now. The man he loved had just proposed to him. At the very least, he can enjoy himself for the rest of tonight.
Despite the fireworks, Giyuu can still hear Sabito perfectly fine.
"Gotta love these fireworks." The peach haired male starts off, a grin playing at his lips. "They really did grant my wish."
"Wish?" Giyuu asks, tilting his head.
Sabito's grin falters into a warmer smile, meant for Giyuu and Giyuu only. Giyuu's heart skips a beat.
"Before I asked you to marry me, I wished you would say yes. Believe me, I was so nervous, I almost considered not going through with it at all."
Sabito? Nervous? Those are two words Giyuu never thought he would hear in the same sentence. Sabito was always the determined type. Eager to get the job done. The thought of him wishing to some silly fireworks because he was afraid of the outcome of his proposal has Giyuu smiling.
He lets out an amused huff, and closes his eyes.
"Then maybe they'll grant my wish too. To tell Tsutako that I've become..." Giyuu trails off, lips pressed tight.
Sabito bounces a leg, jostling Giyuu in his lap.
"Honestly? Our engagement is way bigger news." He laughs. He's silent for a moment, thinking, before a look of realization crosses his features.
"Holy shit, Tsutako is gonna be my new sister!"
Giyuu lets out a laugh, nodding.
Unlike Giyuu, who's had parents to begin with, Sabito had always been an orphan. He remembers absolutely nothing about his biological family, and has lived in an orphanage for most of his life until he was old enough to go off on his own. While he made close friends along the way, people who he considers family, it's not the same. Giyuu can only imagine the joy he must feel knowing that not only is Sabito getting a husband, but a sister as well. His family is growing.
Sabito looks overjoyed. Shooting a quick glance at the dome, he spares Giyuu a look right after before turning their vehicle.
One minute, they're outside in the air, under the night sky and shimmering stars. The next, the two of them are inside the dome, the sounds booming loudly in their ears. They're inside the chaos of fireworks, bursting and showering them in bright, burning particles of light. Pinks, greens, blues, no matter where you look.
Neither of the two men have seen such a sight before. Sabito took the plunge, and he's glad he did. Just the sight alone of Giyuu looking around in wonder at the beautiful scenery has a warm feeling settling inside of his stomach. But it's not long after where the warm feeling goes away and something more ugly begins to show itself.
Sabito wishes. Oh how he wishes this moment could last forever. He loves Giyuu. Truly he does. If he's being honest, he has no idea where to begin to help Giyuu fulfill his Focus. He puts on this strong facade, says they're gonna get through this, but Sabito knows he's just lying to the both of them. He wonders if Giyuu has known that all along.
He just wants to keep Giyuu safe. It's not fair that this is happening. The both of them are scared, but Giyuu is the only one who's going to pay the price.
Sabito is pulled from his depressing thoughts at the sound of his name. Turning towards Giyuu with a small "hm?", he notices the way his fiance begins to lean in. Quickly getting at what he was going for, Sabito mimics his action, eager to meet him in the middle.
Before their mouths could slot together, a firework goes off a bit too close, throwing their vehicle off balance.
Giyuu shouts and wraps his arms around Sabito's torso, who quickly swerves the bike back outside the dome, away from any other possible danger. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Holding the bike steady, Sabito let's out a long exhale.
"Well, that was something, wasn't it?"
Giyuu hunches over, a hand over his face. Noticing the way his shoulders tremble, Sabito quickly leans in, concerned.
Quiet giggles evolve into full out laughter, and relief floods Sabito's system. It's not long before the scarred man joins his fiance in the laughter.
Giyuu's laughter is the first to die down, and he leans back, looking completely at peace as he gazes back at the fireworks. Sabito follows his gaze. If they could, they would stay here forever. Away from the harsh reality. Away from the reminders of a tomorrow.
"So beautiful...Like our own secret place, huh?"
Sabito briefly glances at Giyuu out of the corner of his eye, before looking back at the fireworks. A beat of silence follows, before he finally speaks.
"Next year, we'll come back here. Together."
The way Giyuu quickly turns around in his lap to face him, eyes wide and filled with hope at his promise, makes his heart painfully throb in his chest.
Giyuu advances first, putting a hand against Sabito's cheek. His thumb gently traces over the raised skin of his scar. Once again, he leans in. It's a gentle and quick press of his lips against Sabito's.
He's pulling away all too soon, but Sabito halts him, placing a hand at the small of his back.
Their eyes meet, and they stare for what seems like forever. Until finally, they slot their lips together in another kiss. This one deeper, desperate.
The sounds of the fireworks fade away into a dull noise, yet they continue to burn bright, lighting up their bodies in color.
As soon as they pull away from each other, Sabito sees the tears streaming down Giyuu's cheeks. Hears the way he chokes on a sob.
The hand on his back trails up, cupping the back of his head, and Sabito pulls him into his chest. Giyuu's arms wrap back around Sabito, hands clenched into the back of his jacket.
Sabito's lips press tight together as Giyuu finally lets himself go, trembling as his tears stain the front of his shirt.
His hands return to gripping the steering handles of the bike, and he drives forward. Away from the loud beauty of the fireworks, into the never-ending sky of stars.
Though Giyuu's face is pressed into his chest, what he says next, Sabito hears it clear as day. And his heart breaks.
"Thank you, Sabito."