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21 June 2009 @ 08:32 pm
Cranberry // RukixAoi  
Title: Cranberry
Chapters: 1/1
Author: burn1ngcha0s
Genre: AU, drama
Warnings: gore, bloodplay, angst, character death
Rating: NC-17
Pairings/Characters: RukixAoi
Synopsis: As Aoi's world seems more and more like a boring place, he decides to do something good, both to help the one in need and himself. Sure of himself, he decides to lend a hand to Ruki, a young boy stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Little does he know what bringing home a stranger might lead into...
Word count: 3,717
Disclaimer: I only claim rights to the story

The big three-oh. Thirty. Three decades. Never before had Aoi hated this combination of numbers in his life. He felt old and hated it. After thirty, there would be forty and forty is just as good as retiring. And Aoi didn't want that. So what if he had dreams of one day having a family, a kid or three running around, a beautiful wife waking him up during the week and on weekends, sleep in late and get waken by the kids jumping on their bed. Taking the family to the amusement park, having fun. It all seemed like a wonderful idea, but who would want him if he was an old runt?

Most of his friends had already seddled down. Good jobs, steady incomes, pregnant girlfriends at home, waiting for their arrival with a warm "welcome home, darling" and warm food made just for them. Maybe even a pet ran around somewhere. But not for Aoi, no.

He was sure he would make a good father one day. The husband-part seemed scary, though. Sacrifices and giving in to find that golden middle-path to walk on... He had to admit he wasn't the easiest person to be around. His temper was not to be messed around with, and everyone knew better not to piss him off. Coming home from work after a hard day and not be annoyed even the slightest - out of the option.

Oh yes, Aoi really hated his birthday.

Walking down the street and smoking a cigarette, Aoi's ears caught a melody. It was beautiful, skillfully played and the voice accompanying the guitar was perfect. Not a single note was wrong and un-tuned. Such a masterpiece... Sure, he played the guitar himself here and there but this was out of this world. But who had created this melody so breathtaking? Turning around to follow where the music was coming from, Aoi repeatedly apologized left and right for knocking and bumping into people. As he finally squeezed through the crowd, there the songster be.

A small group of listeners around him, a boy was playing the guitar on his lap, sometimes tapping his fingers against the body of the instrument for rhythm. Judging by the crowd, people seemed to like the performance. The boy was sure to be someone of great skill. It was quite usual to see some great rockstars makeupless, playing on streetcorners for the people who sometimes did and sometimes didn't recognize them. Only one thing bothered Aoi as his eyes were fixated on the boy. He was in a wheelchair.

Now, did the lack of ability to move effect learning the guitar? Surely no. And the kid seemed to have practiced a lot to gain this level. The wheelchair seemed rough and heavy to manouver around with, and dragging the musical instrument around with it must've been stressful. Was this his job? Begging the nice people to throw him pennies for food? Was this why he hung out here? Aoi was sure he hadn't seen the kid before.

Meanwhile, the song had ended and the boy was starting another one. Gliding his fingers along the strings, the boy closed his eyes as a sorrowful sound was heard.

Opening his eyes again, he brought the guitar closer and continued the melody. Bitterful notes were released as the music went on, and it seemed he had fallen into a trance of some sort. Focusing all of his attention to the guitar, the kid played on, and as the sounds changed, so did the kid.

When at first he had seemed happy, overjoyed about being able to make people like the music he played, now his head was lowered. Lips firmly shut, he played a sad melody. And Aoi could swear he saw the boy trembling. Whether it was from the cold or emotion, he wasn't sure.

When the song ended, the boy looked up and everyone clapped. Aoi was still blind to everything else and the melody echoed in his head, back and forth. The crowd was already leaving and the boy was packing his guitar when his pick fell. A pained sigh was heard and the kid tried to tilt his wheelchair enough to retrieve the fallen object.

Before he knew what he was doing, Aoi found himself kneeling down and grabbnig the pick, handing it to the owner. "Uh, there you go."

"Thanks," the boy smiled sweetly and proceeded to pack his instrument. A cough made him turn his head again. Aoi was still standing there, awkwardly shifting on his spot and stealing glances from the kid.

"Un, you played really nice," he finally muttered, sure of blushing like a strawberry. The boy only chuckled a little, bitterly, it seemed to the guitarist.

And he knew he wasn't seeing things when the boy wiped his eyes and blew his nose - there was that unexplaineable pained expression again even though the kid was trying to hide it behind a smile he gave next.

"Thank you, I'm glad to hear you liked my music."

"Did you write it all by yourself?" Aoi curiously inquiered. A fellow guitarist with skill he wanted to posess right in front of him. He'd be stupid to miss this talent and rush away like nothing happened.

Somewhat anxiously, the boy nodded, his locks falling to cover his eyes. Hurriedly, they were brushed away again as the kid fixiated his eyes on Aoi's.

Burning would hurt, right? The flame burning in the boy's eyes would have been enough to dust his surroundings into smoking ashes, yet it was internal. Snapping out of the trance, Aoi shook his head and proceeded to mumble an apology before fleeing the scene. As he reached around the corner, he finally dared to look back.

The boy was gone; Aoi could see the back of the wheelchair rolling away to the opposite direction of where he was. He didn't mean to sigh, but did. All the wind he had kept without even realizing it, rushed out of his windpipe, and for a moment he felt the need to sit down. Staring at the wall next to him, he leaned on it, gerring his senses and breathing back in order. Why was he out anyway? Oh yes, a man's gotta eat. Turning on his heels, Aoi rushed to the nearest supermarket.

Some days later, Aoi was wandering around the town again. Stupid Uruha, calling him at the ungodly hour of a quarter past six in the morning to confirm the preparation-list for his birthday party had really killed his mood. Of all the people Aoi knew, Uruha was usually the most annoying, but on the other hand, very helpful and friendly even to bugs. If Uruha was around, Aoi didn't even dare to wipe the spicderwebs off his room's corners, for if Uruha saw that, he'd immidiately freak out and pester the living crap out of Aoi.

Without even realizing, his feet had carried him to the town square where he had been those days before. Jerking in surprise, Aoi looked around to make sure he was alone when all of the sudden, a calm voice behind him made his heart jump to his throat and with a panicked expression he slowly turned around only to have an intense glare aimed at him. Oh yes, there was that kid again, the guitar attached to his wheelchair.

There was nothing but silence before Aoi got his courage back and feeling utterly embarrassed, looked away. "I'm sorry for being so impolite the last time we met. It was rude of me to run away like that."

To his surprise, the boy only shrugged. "'T's okay. I've had ruder people in my path. Not everyone seems to able to handle handicapped people well so you'll just get used to it after a while." To prove his point he gestured to the other side of the town square where two kids, not older than 12 or so pointed at them, laughing and apparently not giving a damn if they were seen or not. Turning his eyes away, Aoi watched as the boy in the wheelchair manouvered his chair through people with a gently voice asking them to make way if they'd will.

Something clicked and Aoi was running after the boy. By the time he reached there, the redhead had already set his instrument and experimentally pulled the strings. Then, nodding to himself, he began playing.

Aoi was dumbstruck. New songs, he managed to understand before the music washed over him, burying him under it. The boy played like a pro again. The way his fingers flew across the strings, how they created many wonderful and pure sounds, how he looked so determined...

As the songs ended and the boy began packing his guitar again, Aoi rushed closer. Unable to say the word he really wanted to say to compliment the smaller, he frowned and feeling the blush radiate off his skin, mumbled the first thing that came to his head. "Wow."

The smaller gave him an odd luck and chuckled. By now, Aoi was sure he was close to autitioning to the role of a beetroot in a play or so. "Thanks," the boy raised his hand. "I'm Ruki, and you are...?"

"Un, I am... My name is... Erm... Aoi...," Aoi mumbled. Ruki, or how the boy had introduced himself, was still chuckling.

"Sorry 'bout that," Ruki lowered his head when he finally stopped laughing. "No hard feelings. You're just funny."

"Ha ha," Aoi mocked, a smile tugging his lips upward. This Ruki seemed like a nice fellow. "Hey, I've been meaning to ask you - you write such beautiful music. I am truly amazed. How do you put this much soul into those pieces?"

At that, Ruki frowned. Sighing audubly, he pointed towards his legs. "If you're crippled, there's not much you can do to be accepted as an equal citizen. So I have a lot of free time on my hands. This," he pointed towards the guitar, "is my way of dealing with my... imperfection."

Nodding in understanding, Aoi understood what the other said perfectly. As a child, one of his friends had suffered from a disease also killing the nerves in the body, in time forcing the person move less and less until the body withered away, leaving behind a frustraded soul unable to take care of himself.

Ruki, however, seemed perky enough to live with paralyzed lower body. He had found a light in his life where to aim for in the time of need. That kind of willpower was refreshing, pushing even the so-called normal people on to fight for what they believe in.

"Want a drink?"

Now why had he blurted that out, Aoi wasn't sure. The deepening frown on Ruki's pale face started the alarms in his head and he was about to apologize for being so blunt but Ruki beat him.

"I'm not chained to the bed and don't need your charity," the redhead growled, turning his wheelchair around and rolling away from the dark-haired. Still wanting to smack himself for ruining the moment, Aoi rushed after him.

"No no, I didn't mean it like that. I was only asking because it's still cold outside and I could need one. So I was just wondering if you'd want to join." he babbled all in one breath. Ruki stopped at that and turned around again in amusement.

"Like I said - you're funny," he marked. "But I accept your offer. To tell the truth, I'm a bit hungry myself." And side by side they headed for the nearest coffee shop, picking up a conversation on the way.

As they endulged in a light coversation behind a cup of hot, steaming coffee for Aoi and herbal tea for Ruki, the dark-haired learned about the life of losing your legs. One fosterparent after another, Ruki had been brought up in a orphanage. To Aoi's sadness, it appeared that whenever Ruki was taken into a foster family, they would bring him back a week or two later. It seemed unfair, for he was a sweet person, playfully even scolding Aoi as the latter told him about the wakeup call he had received from his honey-blond friend. By the end of the night, Aoi felt like he had truly leaned a lot about the young songster (only 19 years of age and already a genius with the guitar - go figure). He even promised they'd jam together one day. Ruki had only giggled at that. When it was time for them to leave, Aoi helped Ruki pull his overcoat on, and refused to take no as an answer when he suggested walking Ruki back to the carecenter. Cold wind was blowing all around them and Aoi inwardly blessed and thanked whoever decided to keep the snow locked away in the sky this year.

As they reached to the main entrance of the carecenter, Aoi waved as the smaller wheeled away and turned to leave himself. The kid had an amazing charisma and willpower to succeed.

During the following weeks, Aoi spent the noons on the citysquare, listening to Ruki's playing and joking around with the younger. Somehow their personalities just seemed to click.

After about a month, Aoi had made a decision. He had visited Ruki in the carecentre and what he saw, scared the living daylights out of him. Dirt almost everywhere, rude staff and the lack of care they showed towards the patients were only few of the reasons he felt the need to get Ruki out from that place. The headnurse of the facility was only glad to see Aoi sign the papers, meaning Ruki would move in with him. Ruki's belongings were only the guitar and a few pairs of clean clothes. Speaking of poverty...

At first, Ruki objected to the idea, but had to give in and wheeled himself after Aoi who had snatched his beloved guitar and was currently walking away with it. Rude cursing and taunts following after him as he headed for the front gate of the establishment to leave that place behind once and for all, Aoi grinned. In time, Ruki would get used to not stomping his creativity into a runt and create more beautiful songs on his guitar.

A click, and Aoi opened the door to his apartment. Behind him, Ruki gasped. The front hall was huge and well-lit. On the right, the door leading to the kitchen was, and on the left, the living grounds. Up until now, Aoi had always struggled with one room. Nothing seemed to fit there so it had been unused for years. Opening the door to that room, Aoi stepped inside and pulled the window slightly open. He let the air in every room of his place after every once in a while and this was just around that time. A sound of wheels rolling behind him caught his ears and with a gently smile he turned around.

"And this is where you'll be living in," he said to the stunned boy who's eyes had widened in shock seeing all that space. Then again, that might have been because of the smallness of his room when he was living in the carecenter, Aoi assumed.
Crouching, he was right in front of Ruki's wheelchair, the boy's eyes now locked on him in disbelief. "Do you like it?"

Ruki swallowed and wiped his eyes. Turning them back at his new host, he sniffled and Aoi could see the sparkle is the smaller's watery eyes. "Thank you, it's perfect. No-one's even been this kind to me before. You're too kind, Aoi-sama."

Upon hearing the honorific, Aoi flailed. "Pfft, you don't need to address me so businessman-like. I'm still Aoi, keep that in mind, will you?" Ruki nodded and let his eyes skim the room again. Deciding to let the boy adjust, Aoi quietly left the room.

It had been a little over a week after Ruki had moved in when Aoi heard a loud crash coming from inside the smaller's room. As he knocked and pulled the door open, he only saw Ruki on the bed, reading a book. Ruki's wheelchair was neatly folded together and resting against the cupboard next to the bed the boy was lying on.

"I heard a crash," he explained after Ruki sent him a questioning look.

"I was just reading a book here," Ruki shook his head. "I think I would have heard it, too, if something had indeed crashed." He had a good point, so Aoi retreated back to cooking the food. Not more than ten minutes or so another crash shook the floor, this one stronger than the previous one. Again, Aoi ran to Ruki's room, ready to carry him out if there was an earthquake and they needed to leave the house for safety. And again Ruki denied hearing it. Speaking of weird... Or was it just bad hearing?

Every time such things happened, Aoi ran to the rescue, but everything seemed fine when he busted in through the door to the smaller's room. However, he was positive the crashed had come from there, or near that room. And Ruki... seemed different. His energy seemed to be draining even after walks Aoi took him on around the park and where ever the younger has requested they'd go. It was like something was sucking away the life from him. His eyes were often red from tiredness and there were times when he passed out. Feeling guilty, Aoi had taken him to many doctors, but none of them were able to explain what was troubelling the young male.

Some more weeks passed, and Ruki was as thin as a skeleton. No food seemed to stay inside and vomiting everything out, including the vitamins Aoi gave him, Ruki looked like a dead person.

During one of his panicfits on what to do with the smaller, Aoi was sure his ears weren't deceiving him as the unmistakable sound of nails scratching against the walls reached him. Cauciously he followed the sound and stood frozen as he turned around one of the corners to go to Ruki's room. Everything, including the walls, were covered with thick layer of blood. Huge clawmarks decorated the once-beautifully decorated walls and a distinct sound of gurgling was coming from the only room in the end of that corridor - Ruki's room. Aoi swore his heart stopped, as without thinking, he took a step foward and slipped in a pool of warm blood. The stench of the liquid burning his throat, he forced the gagging reflex down and with careful steps, continued his journey.

By now, the noises had gotten louder. But as Aoi dared to take a peek inside the room, no-one seemed to be at present. Only Ruki's wheelchair was there, facing the opposite wall with no-one in it. The gurgling had quieted down and finally Aoi dared to step inside.

Like the walls in the corridor, the room's walls were also blood red, the liquid dripping off onto the ground. Looking up, Aoi involuntarily gasped - even the ceiling was scratched, long marks running all over it. A sudden movement caught his eye, and quickly he turned to the wheelchair again.

Slowly, the chair turned around, nobody controlling it. As it had made a full one-eighty, it stopped with a screech. On it, something lay. Something covered with all that blood, the wounds on it's body still heavily bleeding. An glass-shuttering scream pierced the air from between it's blood-covered mouth and it's eyes focused on Aoi who could only stand there, immobile to move for the fear that had taken over.

Slowly, the creature, or whatever it was, reached out its' hands, clawing for Aoi, muttering his name. A lightbulb clicked in the taller's head.

"R-Ruki," he muttered at the bloody mass of the creature still sitting in the wheelchair. A pair of milky white irises flashed and Aoi received all the confirmation he needed. "Ruki," he said more firmly, trying to lose the trembling in his voice. The mass only tilted it's head, letting out another shriek and Aoi fell.

His ears were burning. His throat seemed to have swollen so no air reached his lungs. From the corner of his eye, he saw the creature getting up and starting to move in his direction. By now he knew there was no escape, but he could still fight for his freedom, right? Fighting the numbness evading his body, Aoi tried to kick the creature but failed, and he could swear he heard a snort.

"Bastard," he growled as his legs collapsed beneath him and darkness was taking over. Above him, the creature was chanting a mantra. That being the last thing he saw, his eyes closed and finally going limp, his body sagged fully onto the floor.

Above him, the creature's body started to twitch and shake. A shrilly scream, and it fell, landing directly on Aoi.

For a while, nothing happened. The room was buried in complete silence. That is, until Aoi twitched and tore his eyes open. With a hiss, he rolled the bloody mass off of him and stood up. Brushing his clothes off the flesh that fall from the mass he had pushed off, he took one look on the obscenity before him and crouched, poking the mass. With his finger tainted with the blood, a lizard-like tongue slipped past his mouth to lick it clean.

"Thank you, Aoi, for letting me find a new host, even though you did put up a good fight," the wicked grin took form on Aoi's face. "The previous one was getting old already." With that, he left, footsteps going further and further until they were no longer heard.

Behind him, the bloody mass stayed motionless. Ruki, his hair tainted with blood, lay there, his dead eyes open and looking into nothingness. A drop of blood landed on his forehead from the ceiling. Nothing changed though. And then, out of nowhere, the body began decomposing. Disgusting scent of rotting flesh floated all over the abandoned apartment and soon, there were only bones left of Ruki's mutilated body. And even those crumbled into dust that the wind, sneaking in through the slightly open window, picked up and twirled around before carrying them off to everywhere.