So it seems that the Future Devil was right about me. Of course it was, that is its ability. This is a horrible way to die.
Part of Aki wanted to laugh. He could still hear the sounds of the gruesome battle going on somewhere nearby. He supposed it was all up to the rest of them now since he couldn’t move his body. Well, what was left of his body anyway. He couldn’t lift his head to check, but he was sure most of it had been torn to shreds from that last unblockable attack. An injury like this would’ve killed most people instantly. They were the lucky ones. Aki didn’t have the pleasure of a quick or painless death.
He was in complete agony. The pain didn’t even have a focal point. Absolutely everything hurt so much he could barely breathe. Although that was also probably because his lungs were filling with blood. He’d probably drown in a matter of moments. Perhaps even worse than dying was the fact that he had time to reflect on his life as he stared up at the sky. What a pain.
There was a lot he could’ve done differently, and no use in getting worked up about it now. As tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes, he realized that he only wanted one thing. To see Angel one last time before darkness claimed him forever.
Ah, Angel Devil, his partner in multiple senses of the word. He was sure he’d never get along with the devil when they met, but fate sure had other plans. Aki couldn’t say for certain what it was that caused him to save Angel’s life multiple times. He claimed that it was because he didn’t want to watch anyone else die in front of him. As accurate as that was, it never felt like the whole truth. There was always something else that fueled his actions. Though Aki couldn’t begin to explain what.
If Angel noticed, he chose not to say anything. He accepted Aki’s words at face value and their partnership continued. Though the devil did go out of his way to make sure they wouldn’t touch again. After that first incident, Angel was a lot more aware of how much space was between them. He kept it more than an arm’s length to avoid anything remotely similar from happening. His own life didn’t matter to him, but he hated the guilt that came along with siphoning off someone’s life force by accident.
Aki understood the reason behind it, even if he felt it was rather silly. His life was his own to do with it what he pleased, after all. For some reason it seemed like Angel didn’t see it that way. He always had a guilty look upon his face if the conversation veered towards that incident. Such a frown didn’t suit the devil at all.
That forced void between them didn’t change the fact that they genuinely ended up growing to enjoy one another’s company. It was unexpected and certainly unwanted on Aki’s end in the beginning, but he moved past that. When they were together something just clicked. They resonated in a way that he couldn’t explain even if he wanted to. He simply had to accept that there was nothing he could do to fight it. Like it or not, he wanted to be the reason that Angel smiled, rare as it was. If he could get a laugh out of the devil that was even better.
Aki could admit that it took the two of them a bit longer than necessary to realize what they were feeling towards one another. Granted, they had all the reasons in the world to believe it could be anything but that. However, once they accepted the truth for what it was, everything felt so natural. The rest of the world was a confusing, hellish mess, but they just fit.
So the two of them started dating. Kind of. It was the closest thing to dating that they could manage when there were so many forces attempting to keep them apart. Neither of them cared about any of that. Intimacy had many forms. Physical was just a blip on that scale and neither of them minded a challenge.
Aki and Angel found their own ways to show one another affection. From spending their free time together to trying out all sorts of new hobbies with one another, the possibilities were endless. They actually found quite a lot of common ground this way. At the end of the day it didn’t really matter what they did as long as it was together. That and the fact that absolutely nothing could keep the pair from whispering soft words of affection to one another while in private, of course.
Though unconventional to say the least, the two of them managed to make the best of the situation. They were happy together. Angel even told him that he didn’t wish for death anymore because he finally had a reason to live. Aki wasn’t sure he’d ever been more moved by anything in his life. He told Angel that he was glad because he wanted to live for him as well.
He ignored the nagging voice in his head that cackled as it told him it didn’t matter what he wanted. Aki was in love. He was happy for once. That voice couldn’t bring him down from his high. He would always have his time with Angel to look back upon, no matter when the icy hands of death finally got their grip around his throat.
As Aki lay there dying, he had to admit that this was a terrible way to die, yes, but he was sure it wasn’t the worst possible one. The pain was excruciating, the flashes of happiness he’d never know again made him weep, but still… it could’ve been worse. He found himself grateful to be dying alone. As much as he missed the devil, he didn’t want Angel to have to see this. The expression he’d make would be unbearable.
Oh no. Please don’t.
Angel’s face appeared above him, a vision as always. He had tears in his lovely eyes as he cried, “Aki! Can you hear me?”
Aki attempted to speak but only gurgled on the blood in his throat instead. What a shame. That sad look on his face doesn’t suit him at all and I can’t even say so.
Angel bit back a sob. He cradled Aki to his chest and shook his head. He did his best to force a smile as he said, “Shh. It’s OK. Don’t try and speak. Everything’s going to be just fine.”
What sweet lies the devil tried to comfort him with. He appreciated the effort, though it wasn’t necessary. Aki wished he could lift his arm to wipe the tears from Angel’s eyes. If he could, he would tell him not to cry. He only ever wanted to see his Angel smile.
While Aki knew his death had been inevitable, he could never have imagined it’d end up this way. Here, in the arms of the devil he loved, unable to say a word. The Future Devil had been correct. This was truly the most terrible way to die. Tears continued to drip from his eyes as Aki choked on his own blood and struggled to breathe. It was getting harder to focus. Angel was blurry now.
“There’s only one thing I can do for you at this point,” Angel said softly. He laid the human back onto the ground as gently as possible. His bottom lip trembled and he whispered, “Please forgive me, Aki.”
Aki’s eyes widened when Angel bent down and pressed a kiss to his lips. That was something he thought they’d never get to do. He couldn’t begin to explain how many times he’d daydreamed about this exact thing. Though there had been significantly less blood and he’d been able to kiss back. Still, it felt like something out of a fairy tale, and he had his very own prince charming.
Suddenly, Aki felt no pain. He knew he was still dying but he felt at ease. In fact, he was even more calm than before. Ah, so this was the power of his Angel. It was poetic in a way that such a deadly power had this merciful side as well. His eyes slowly fell shut as his remaining lifespan drained out of him. He could feel Angel’s tears drip onto his cheeks. They were warm. What he wouldn’t do to be able to embrace his devil.
Right as the last bit of his consciousness faded into nothingness, Aki felt Angel’s lips move against his own. He couldn’t hear the words, but he knew what the devil said. He’d done so countless times before, after all. Aki felt exactly the same. Being on death’s door wouldn’t change that.
I love you, too, Angel. Goodbye.