suffer in silence

on precarious perches

Keisuke had an aversion to sitting on mundane things like chairs.

Dangling his legs over a bridge, however, or balancing lightly on the edge concrete overhang. Something risky, filled with peril. A motion of rest that moved and sent his heart hammering at the flesh of his chest. Now that had held some appeal.

Youji seemed to recognize this. His intuitive senses working far past the needed bar once again. But instead of being irritated, as past cases had demanded, Keisuke felt instead an unfamiliar sense of security he failed to put to name. But it was similar to being anchored under water, while at the same time being held down in a perpetual state of drowning. Fuck if he wasn't still wet and drowning in his own murk filled shit, but Keisuke wasn't one to complain. Hell, he knew better than most ever would that such things would never change.

No matter how far back the past is shoved into the neat little packages of memory Keisuke stores in the farthest reaches of his thoughts, the scars on his left arm won't ever fade.

And it fucking sucks. To feel that burn as fresh as the day it first seared deep within muscle, sinew and bone. He'd hoped some menial figure of sensation might have crept back by now.

But he supposed, in a grudging sort of way, maybe he had.

Only it itched, and all the fucking time. Because no matter how much resistance Keisuke pulled protectively about himself, he found new cracks in them daily. Dry, crumbling fissures that balked under clinical surveillance. And the source of idiotic erosion was a daily bout of nicotine Keisuke couldn't chase away from his senses, or wash out of his hair. Nor could he push away the masked gaze, that trailed after him, stripping away everything he had worked so hard to create these past years.

That chain-smoking bastard wasn't going anywhere.

Keisuke stands as often as he can. Ready to bolt at a moment's notice. But he's troubled. In the past, plenty of opportunity to flee the scene had made itself known. He should have left weeks ago. But he hadn't. And now, his unwillingness to leave puzzled the hell out of him.

He wasn't supposed to be indecisive. That night had changed that. There hadn't been anything left for him, and there wasn't now.

Right?

Keisuke bit hard on his toothpick, and with a scowl, glared at his reflection some feet away, a look that clearly said, shut the fuck up.

In the opposite corner of the dim-lit room, Youji is at the piano, warming his hands up in rapid succession across the keys before the hour of opening draws near. It's softer than usual, but if Keisuke took note of it, his face showed no sign. He only continued to grind his teeth over the stub of a mint-flavored wood, his eyes nailed stubbornly to the window looking outside. Only the slightest, minimal tap of his left foot said otherwise.

Outside the closed bar the cars continued to race by, a stream of colors bleeding into the ink black night. A dull rumble shuddered through the city streets as the dark clouds continued to fill the sky. Keisuke listened for the eventual crack of thunder, but felt his heart stumble when a different noise forced a shocked expression across his face.

A train was passing overhead.

Shivering, his flesh pale to match the icy cold wrapped thick around his chest, Keisuke quickly jumps off the stool of his momentary perch and begins to pull the hood of his sweatshirt over his head.

'Bar opens in an hour,' Youji supplied quietly. His fingers never faltering in their drum across ivory keys.

Kiesuke paused on the threshold, but didn't glace back to see the sharp eyes he could feel burning into his back.

'I'll be back in 30.'

Listening to the door close, Youji stopped playing. A cigarette was at his lips, and in the next moment, lit and ripe for the deep drag of air that followed. He exhaled slowly, his eyes trained upon the twisted furls of silver smoke that danced and rose into the rafters high above. Youji watched in silence. His lips pulled tight into something stretched and foreign.

And I'll be waiting.