The cityscape below is filled with lights, and maybe it would be beautiful in some other life, but the sight only fills him with icy contempt. Anger and rage and misery in a tangled braid, meant for a noose. Just throw it on him, like a necklace. It’s what he deserves for being so weak.
Getting stolen, he reminds himself patiently, burning away the thorns and bitterness that threaten his composure. He’s not a human person. Not really. Father made him a weapon but he wasn’t even good at that, and inferior weaponry has no place in any arsenal.
So he’s not going to fucking cry about it. No reason to embarrass himself further, right?
“My son’s ‘bout your age.” The villain speaks, trying to fill the silence. Trying to pass the time. It’s only been an hour listening to the way the wind howls above the city skyline. It’s only been an hour since the message was left and the ransom was placed.
(Father doesn’t negotiate.)
“He’s … he’s a real good kid, my Keigo.” The villain speaks, and everything about the man fills Touya with hatred. He doesn’t have the right to look so sad and so steely at the same time, talking about his own son while he’s got Touya bound and gagged to the tippy-top of this tower in ropes that he could burn. Metal he could melt.
Why doesn’t he try? Why is he even waiting? Idiot. Idiot.
“Spittin’ image of his old man, even with his chick down.” The villain laughs as his eyes mist over with the beauty of reminiscing. The anger boils to a peak within Touya’s gut. Rancor coalesces. He feels his body grow too hot and his skin grow too tight. “Always chirpin’ too. Always so bright.”
The villain sighs. Those sun-red wings flare wide. Restless. This villain’s the type that Father hates, it seems. There’s the inability to sit still, the piercing eyes that see even from the corners, the underhandedness of using a hostage to get what he wants.
It means this villain will put up a fight.
“I’m going to get him back. Make it up to him, for everything. The distance. This shit.” The villain speaks, and his voice carries thick with mourning hope. Touya wants to snip and scoff. Sneer and snarl and spit. He doesn’t want to hear any of this. It’s all crap.
(Father won’t negotiate.)
“I’m sorry I had to do this.” The villain won’t look at him. Touya’s learned a long time ago to not take that as a personal insult. He knows what kind of face he wears, and it’s something not even his mother could love. Life is like that. Full of disappointments. “I just want my son back.”
Touya almost pities him.
Here, up above the city, up where the air is thin and the wind itself speaks as to how infinitesimal you really are, Touya almost feels something kind. That’s momentous because he’s rotten to the very core of his empty chest. That’s funny, too, because this man’s a villain and isn’t Touya supposed to be a hero’s child?
No. Dumbass. He’s not a human person. Don’t forget that.
And don’t fucking cry.
“It’ll be over real soon.” The villain promises, taloned hand reaching out and the instinct can’t be hidden fast enough. All he does is ruffle Touya’s hair. It’s a harmless gesture, if a bit demeaning. And Touya shows weakness, flinching under the touch like it’s Father’s fire-filled open hand and -
(Father won’t hesitate.)
“Your dad’s probably real worried about you.” The villain speaks to fill the silence and Touya’s thankful for the gag. He would’ve broken, would’ve laughed, and that’s not a good reaction. He knows better than to slander Father’s good name with mistakes like that. Little pathological liar. That’s him. Looking for pity. Looking for attention. “But you’ll be okay. I ain’t gonna hurt you.”
It’s not hate that Touya’s feeling.
He figures it out, right there and then. The pain holds fast and heavy. Breathing would be a struggle even without the gag. He fights against the weakness inherent to tears, and the anger that stems from their persistent threat.
But most of all, he aches with envy and all the grief that comes with it.
This Takami Keigo, the spitting image of his villain father, must be so fucking lucky. His father escapes heroes and police alike, slipping past every last defense without tripping up once, and steals Touya away in a flurry of sunset feathers. Trusts that he won’t get burned in the process, he flies so high, so close to the sun.
Or maybe it isn’t trust at all. Maybe it’s hope. Faith. Those pretty words that sparkle like pearls and opals in his mind’s eye, but has never really held for himself. The villain must have this to have eyes so sharp and set. The villain must have something to speak so surely of the future like he does.
Takami Keigo is so fucking lucky to have a father who loves him with this much determination.
The roar of fire arrives, and Touya is swept up in strong arms and stronger feathers. The threat of them, sharpened to hellish points, directed to his neck, is an empty threat. Touya knows and trusts the villain’s promise, even if he shouldn’t.
The villain just wants his son back.
Touya wishes that was why Father hovers before them both, upon his roaring flames. But he knows this isn’t the case. He sees it in the cold blue heart of Father’s eyes, piercing through the flames he wears to become larger than life.
“Where’s my son?” The villain shouts out over the wind, over the fire, over the city below. He pulls Touya closer, a mock shield and a reminder to Father just what he has.
It’s just unfortunate. Touya’s lament is painted in jealous green and a blue so cold, it burns. So unfortunate that this hostage situation was never going to be a success. Not all things are weighted equally. Touya isn’t worth any other life, and Father would never acquiesce to the heart-whole wish of criminal trash.
The ring of feather knives close in around Touya’s neck. It’s not the villain he fears. It’s not the knife point that pushes him over the edge, vision blurring with tears overwhelming.
(Father doesn’t hesitate.)