TW: Gun violence and injury
“Put the gun down. Now,” said a new voice. Kirishima was standing behind the couch, holding his gun to Ravi’s head. Akihito breathed a sigh of relief. He had seen Kirishima and the other men silently enter the penthouse. There was a pause and then the next moment seemed to shift into slow motion. Ravi pointed his gun at Akihito. One shot and then another thundered through the room. Something slammed into Akihito’s head, shoving it to the side, and wrenching his neck from the impact. Everything went dark.
He really was a small leaf drifting along. The fast moving stream seemed to be taking him away. It scared him but he knew it was useless to fight. It was best to stop struggling. He needed to rest now and let the current take over. The sun was shining brightly overhead but there seemed to be fast moving clouds passing in front of it. He watched the play of shadow and light.
“…hito, don’t…!” A sound, a voice, broke through for a moment. It made him wonder but he went back to watching the play of shadow and light, forgetting it.
“Akihito!!!” The sound of his name broke through and he realized he wasn’t looking at the sun and the clouds but the blurred shape of someone leaning over him. The person seemed very familiar but he couldn’t think of who it was. He felt if he remembered the person it would keep him from drifting with the current. He wanted this person to go away.
SPLASH!! SPLASH!! Something wet was falling into his eyes and rolling down the side of his face. His vision cleared and he could see the person at last. Asami? He looked up at him, confused. Asami was talking to him, and he seemed unnaturally frantic but he couldn’t hear what he was saying. He wondered what he was doing. He couldn’t move, hear, or feel anything but then Asami pulled him close and he realized he was pressed up against his neck. He still couldn’t feel anything but something wonderful overcame him. Asami’s smoky scent filled his nose, triggering the longing from before. He felt a great rushing and memories rocketed through him. Memories of passionate lovemaking, of seeing Asami from the glass elevator on Feilong’s casino ship, of looking up at him when he heard Asami shout his name in reply from the ship’s stern, of the first time he laid eyes on him, of hearing him say “You are mine,” of Asami pushing at him and telling him to get away after being shot by Feilong, and finally, of Asami holding his hand out to him as they boarded the plane and the warmth of their two hands together.
Akihito felt his own tears gathering in his eyes and a hollow sadness lodged inside him. He tried to move or to say something but he couldn’t. He knew he would have to do something or the current would take him away. Asami laid him back down and he saw that paramedics had arrived. The sadness increased because he knew they couldn’t do much for him. One of the paramedics was pulling at Asami who didn’t seem to want to let him go. Asami shouted at the man and then looked down at him again. Tears, real tears, were pouring out of Asami’s eyes to Akihito’s amazement. SPLASH! SPLASH! It was Asami’s tears falling into his eyes. Asami’s hands were on his face now, one of them bandaged, and Akihito could hear his faint crying from very far away.
He felt something strange in his body, a kind of shivering. It took him a moment to realize his cell phone was vibrating. Didn’t he turn it off earlier when he was with Maseo? He tried to move and was able to shift his hand a little. He wanted to touch Asami’s face, wanted to tell him everything was going to be all right. He couldn’t stand to see him crying like that, and right then all he wanted was to keep Asami from feeling pain. More of Asami’s tears splashed in his eyes and then Asami was being pulled away by Kirishima and another paramedic. Akihito wanted to cry out but instead he took a deep, hoarse breath. There was an unbearable roaring all around him that seemed to shatter him into small pieces. The broken pieces of him seemed to fly away and then they abruptly collapsed back to where he was lying along with the sound, and he could hear and feel everything.
“He’s awake!” shouted a paramedic and they hovered around him, one of them shouting orders and then looking down at him. “What’s your name? How old are you? Can you hear me?” Akihito blinked rapidly. Asami’s tears ran out of his eyes and leaked into his ears. He could see they were in Asami’s living room. The sounds were very loud. There was a raw, wet sensation in his head. It felt horribly unnatural. “What’s your NAME?!” shouted the paramedic, bringing him back. Akihito shifted his legs and another pain from his right leg shoved up the length of his body, making him whimper.
“AKIHITO!!!” He heard Asami shout his name, his voice watery and hoarse. Kirishima and two of his other men were holding him back, just beyond where the paramedics were kneeling over him. “Let GO of me!!!” Asami was shouting.
“A…sam..i,” Akihito said looking at the paramedic then he tried to look at Asami but there was a deep, hard pain in his neck muscles that prevented him from moving his head.
“No, no, what is YOUR name? How old are you? Do you know where you are?” shouted the paramedic again.
“A…sami…I can’t…” said Akihito. He was having difficulty breathing. The lights seemed unnaturally bright. They were hurting his eyes. He could still hear Asami shouting for him but his voice seemed to be fading. The paramedics above him started to blur over and Akihito could feel the pull of the current again. He was slowly drifting away from all the pain, the raw light, and sound. He stopped paying attention. The blurred paramedics soon turned to the play of shadow and light, the dark clouds passing in front of the sun. He felt his memory slipping from him.
One last memory nudged him. He wondered at it for it had happened just that day. The memory of sitting with Asami in the car, their foreheads pressed together, gazing at each other, completely happy. That strange ordinary silence. It had been the kind of contentment that might permeate their day to day lives if they were ever given the opportunity to be together.
Once again the roaring, the shattering, the splintering of himself, and finally the collapsing of his being back into the room, where feeling, pain, and everything else was. He could see Asami on his knees, eyes closed, tears streaming down his face as his men held him back.
“ASAMI!” he managed to yell. Asami’s teary eyes flew open and he pulled himself free.
“Akihito!” He shoved one of the paramedics aside. “Let me see him, let me talk to him!” he was shouting, trying to throw off his men who had rushed forward to grab him.
“Asami-sama, you need to let them help him!” Kirishima pleaded, trying to pull him away.
“No, that’s perfect!” said the paramedic, “Keep him talking. Keep asking him questions. We need him to stay awake until we can get him into surgery.”
Asami nodded, wiping away his tears, and took hold of Akihito’s hand, laying his bandaged hand on top of his. A great relief and wonder filled Akihito. He knew he wasn’t going to drift away. Instead, the realization that had eluded him all day shined through him at last. He had finally, truly come home. He smiled at Asami.