[identity profile] kiyala.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] shannys_corner


Five.

Klavier wakes up with the strong urge to roll over and stay right where he is for another week. Kristoph is being executed tomorrow. It’s been the first thing on his mind for months now, counting down the days, long past the denial and waiting to be told it’s just a joke, but not quite ready to accept the reality just yet. He doubts he ever will be.

He sits up reluctantly, dragging his limbs as if his movements will make time proceed slower. He hears the scrabbling of paws against the polished floor, followed by a lapful of dog. He’s taken care of Vongole since Kristoph had first been arrested and even though Klavier usually thinks of her as his dog, not his brother’s, the thought is difficult for him today.

He goes to the prosecutors’ office, sorting through his files dispassionately before heading down to the detention centre. The entire administration staff there know him by now. They know he’s here to see Kristoph and he doesn’t meet their eyes, not wanting to see their pity.

Instead of being taken to the visiting room, Klavier is led directly to Kristoph’s cell. He doubts it’s protocol, but then Kristoph’s cell is decorated with little comforts and he’s sitting in a comfortable chair, drinking tea and reading the newspaper, as if he’s at home. Klavier has reached the point where he doesn’t even bother to wonder how many people Kristoph has managed to coerce into running errands for him.

“Fix your posture,” Kristoph mutters in the place of a greeting. “Does anybody talk you seriously in court when you slouch like that?”

Klavier smiles wearily, standing a little straighter. “Hey, brother. How are you?”

“I’m alive,” Kristoph replies calmly. “For now.”

Klavier cringes, his fingers curling around the steel bars in front of him. “I…”

“You’re here because you feel like you’re obligated to visit me one last time before they lead me out to the electric chair tomorrow,” Kristoph says and then shrugs. “If you think it will make you feel better, then by all means, talk to me. Just bear in mind that I’ve never been very strongly inclined to say things just because you’d like to hear them.”

Klavier sighs heavily. “I just want to ask you some questions.”

“Allow me to guess. You want to know why I did what I have.”

“I want to know if I could have noticed earlier,” Klavier says. “If I had any chance of realising that you needed help—”

“Why do you ask? Do you truly want to dwell in guilt if I say yes? If I tell you that all this time, I’ve just been reaching out to you, Klavier…”

“Just answer the question,” Klavier says through clenched teeth. “Was there any chance I could have noticed?”

“None at all,” Kristoph smiles. “I was very careful, Klavier. That’s how I’ve gotten away with so much.”

Klavier knows, without a shadow of doubt, that there is more that Kristoph has done—for who knows how long—that he’s never been caught for. He knows better than to try and think of what these may be, because he’d done it once and found himself unable to sleep.

“Anything else you would like to ask?” Kristoph prompts, sounding patient and not lifting his gaze from the paper in his hands.

“Just one thing,” Klavier says, hesitating, because he’s sure he knows the answer to this but he wants to hear it from Kristoph himself. “Tell me. Do you ever regret anything you’ve done?”

Kristoph gives him a pitying look, which is far worse than receiving one from anybody else. “Oh, Klavier. You know that I don’t. I never have, and even if I had the opportunity after tomorrow, I promise you that I never would.”

“I see,” Klavier nods once, his jaw set. “That is all, Kristoph. I’ll leave now.”

He turns to leave, and hears the rustle of Kristoph putting his paper down.

“Klavier,” he calls softly, “out of curiosity, do you think that your good friend Daryan regrets killing Romein LeTouse? If he found himself in the same situation again, facing this man with the threat of being caught for smuggling, do you really think he would do anything differently?”

Klavier freezes. He knows the answer to this; Daryan may as well have said it himself. He would have done anything to get the cocoon to Xander—that includes killing LeTouse again.

“Hm. I thought so.” Kristoph sounds so disgustingly smug that a surge of anger runs through Klavier. “He’s not all that different, is he?”

“Your circumstances were completely different,” Klavier snaps, turning back around and glaring at his brother. “He was trying to help a friend. You killed people just because you could.”

“My, Klavier. I believe that when I saw you at the prosecutor’s bench, you would have said that a murderer was a murderer, regardless of why they killed.” His smile is cold and mocking. “Are you changing your beliefs now? Just to help yourself deal with the fact that you’re clearly in love with a murderer?”

Kristoph’s words are like a knife. Klavier clenches his fists, struggling to keep his expression blank.

“I’m leaving now, Kristoph.”

“Goodbye, little brother. Try not to miss me, hm?”

Klavier’s jaw tenses, but he turns away from Kristoph. He leaves, ignoring the looks of pity as he walks right past the receptionists’ desks and out of the detention centre, never looking back.

Only to come face to face with Daryan. He has his hair tied back in a ponytail and is wearing a plain white button-up shirt, black pants and a tie. There’s a gun holster at his hip and another detective—Gumshoe, Klavier recognises—right behind him.

“Uh. Hey.” Daryan greets, and then turns to Gumshoe. “Give me a sec. I’ll meet you inside.”

The moment they’re alone, Daryan touches Klavier’s shoulder, his grip tightening when Klavier flinches.

“You went to see Kristoph.” Daryan waits for a moment but when Klavier says nothing, he continues, “His execution is tomorrow, isn’t it?”

Klavier nods, unable to find anything to say. Daryan squeezes his shoulder, meant to reassure him but all Klavier can think of is Kristoph, comparing the two of them, pointing out the way Klavier’s own beliefs have rearranged themselves without him even noticing.

“Daryan—” he begins and his voice comes out as a croak. He doesn’t care; he’s impassive when he is with Kristoph because seeing him is so emotionally draining that he’s just left to feel numb, now. With Daryan, it’s an entirely different story. With Daryan, he can express himself exactly the way he needs to.

“Hey, hey,” Daryan places both his hands on Klavier’s shoulders, even more worried when he sees Klavier’s expression waver, somewhere between heartbreak and helplessness. “It’s alright. You’ll be fine, man, I promise. I’ll come tomorrow, you know I’ve got your back. I’m right here if you need me—”

“No,” Klavier says, his voice cracking over the word. “I don’t need you, Daryan. I’ve never needed you. Don’t give yourself so much credit.”

“Right. Fine. Sorry. Look, if you want—”

“What I want is for you to leave me alone. That is all.” Klavier shrugs Daryan’s hands off, side-stepping him. “I don’t need the sympathy of a murderer.”

Klavier,” Daryan protests.

Klavier ignores him, walking away while he still has the resolve, ignoring the way his entire being is crying out to turn around and soak up whatever comfort Daryan is willing to give.





Today, Klavier thinks as he wakes up, is the day my brother dies.

He lies in bed, trying to figure out how to feel about this fact. Numb, he decides. He feels empty. Drained.

A little relieved that he no longer needs to dread this day, and extremely guilty for thinking it.

Vongole greets him with her usual enthusiasm, blissfully unaware of the fact that this is the last day of her previous master’s life. He pats her fondly. Today, she is his dog. They have each other, and that is all.

Daryan, Klavier thinks without meaning to. His chest tightens and he pushes the name, all the thoughts related to the man, out of his mind the same way he has for the past five years. There’s no point holding onto something he no longer has. He should know this by now.

Except Daryan is there, standing in front of the detention centre, arms folded across his chest and a look in his eyes that reminds Klavier of everything they were. They way Daryan understands him, reads him without needing a single word of communication between them.

“Hey.”

“I thought I told you I didn’t want you here,” Klavier sighs, but he can’t bring himself to push past Daryan and into the building. Not just yet.

“I told you I’m here for you,” Daryan looks away with a shrug, as if he isn’t being incredibly sincere. “I’m here whether you like it or not, man. Because I care. So you can tell yourself whatever you’d like, but now you know.”

“Now I know,” Klavier repeats, and laughs hollowly. “Sure this isn’t pity, Crescend?”

“You know it ain’t,” Daryan replies. There’s the hint of a growl in his voice, and Klavier doesn’t blame him, isn’t even surprised. He knows Daryan like his own hand. They’re both sick of this, of Daryan having to fight to prove himself every single time they see each other and it’s beginning to show. Klavier wonders how long it will take for Daryan to just give up.

“Daryan,” he says again, sounding tired this time. He doesn’t know how to deal with this right now. Not when he needs to go inside and watch his brother die.

“I’ll be here. Right here.” Daryan sounds earnest in a way Klavier hasn’t heard since they were teenagers. “Ain’t like I’m gonna follow you in or anything like that. I’ll just wait here.”

Klavier shuts his eyes, not sure whether to feel irritated or relieved. “I’ll see you, Daryan.”

“Yeah.” Daryan reaches out, as if to touch Klavier’s shoulder, and stops himself, bringing his arm back down to his side. “Uh. Good luck, I guess.”

Klavier smiles mirthlessly and inclines his head. He walks past Daryan, allowing the receptionist to give him her pitying looks and murmurs of condolence. He’s led to a room—a gallery—and he is the only person there. He stands at the large window, peering into the sterile room with the chair sitting in the middle. Kristoph isn’t there yet. Klavier doesn’t want to sit, doesn’t know what to do to pass the time as he waits.

The execution itself is a blur. Later, he will try—though not very hard—to recall it, and all he will remember is the look in Kristoph’s eyes when he is led into the room. Calm, almost bored. He looks at Klavier fleetingly, as though he is just any other meaningless decoration in a room he doesn’t care for. He remembers the request for Kristoph’s last words, he remembers them clearly, toneless, I have nothing to say.

He retches afterwards, locking himself in a bathroom stall and throwing up everything. There are tears in his eyes, unsure whether they’re from the pain of losing his brother, from the discomfort of vomiting what feels like a week’s worth of food, or from sheer exhaustion. He washes his mouth, stares at himself in the mirror and thanks whatever deity is listening for the fact that he’d cut his hair short long ago, no longer wearing his hair in the drill that had been inspired his brother—the way so many things in his life had been.

Daryan is still standing exactly where he’d been before. His face is lined with worry, his body tense the way it is before a performance, before going into the field on a job, ready to act the moment he gets his cue. Klavier, too tired to pretend, gives him his cue. He stumbles forward, arms reaching out.

“Daryan.”

“Right here.” Daryan’s voice is soft. His hands are warm on Klavier’s sides. His eyes are blue-grey and Klavier wonders when he’d last taken the time to look into them. Probably long before Daryan had been arrested.

Without warning, Klavier hits Daryan in the shoulder. It isn’t a very hard blow, but it catches him by surprise all the same.

Fuck you, Daryan, why did you both have to ruin my life?” Klavier growls. “When I—when Kristoph was first arrested, I thought that at least I had you. At least I could rely on you. But you couldn’t just let me do that, could you? You… you…”

“I fucked up,” Daryan says without the slightest bit of hesitation. “I was an idiot and I hate what I did to you. Every single day, Klavier.”

“Stop saying things I want to hear,” Klavier snaps, shaking his head.

Daryan sighs, glancing around them and taking Klavier by the elbow, leading him to the small car park at the side of the building. “Come on. I’m taking you home. Then we can talk.”

“I’m not going anywhere—”

“Shut up, Gavin,” Daryan snarls, “and get in the fucking car. We’re going to talk and we’re going to do it right the fuck now. Understood?”

They drive to Daryan’s place in stony silence, neither of them even looking at each other until they’re inside, the door shut behind them. Daryan is the one who breaks the silence, folding his arms across his chest and levelling Klavier with a look that makes him feel like he is being stripped bare.

“I’m so fucking sick of this,” Daryan says, but he’s not yelling the way that Klavier is used to. His voice is low and cold, and it scares Klavier because he doesn’t know how to deal with it. “I don’t know how many hoops you want me to jump through to fix things, Gavin, but I’m just about ready to give up.”

Daryan doesn’t mean it. Logically, Klavier knows this, but it doesn’t stop the rising panic. “You can’t.”

“What was that?” Daryan asks, raising an eyebrow.

Klavier frowns. “Damn it, Daryan, I’m trying too damn hard to get over everything—to fix this—to have you just give up.”

“Right, of course everything’s about you,” Daryan snaps, taking a step closer to Klavier, crowding into his space and scowling at him. “Always has been, hasn’t it? Don’t worry that I saved Xander’s life or anything, because I fucking let you down. Nothing worse in the world than that.”

Klavier gives Daryan a rough shove in the chest, making him stumble two steps backwards. He’s been through far too much already today to be able to handle Daryan yelling at him. “You need to stop thinking you’re some goddamned hero for what you’ve done. You didn’t get sent to prison for five years because you did something good.”

“Fuck you—” Daryan grabs Klavier by the front of his shirt, winding his arm back, but it’s Klavier who throws the first punch; he sends his fist into Daryan’s stomach, winding him for just long enough to wriggle out of his grasp.

“I hate you so much, sometimes,” Klavier says, and he tries to ignore the way his words make Daryan flinch. “I’m trying so hard to get over everything so we can move on, but—”

“But what?” Daryan asks, and now he does sound angry. He grabs Klavier by the upper arm, pulling him close once again. “What the fuck do I have to do to fix this, Gavin? Because it sure as hell feels like you’re waiting on me to just say some magic words and fix this, considering you ain’t doing anything about it.”

Something snaps inside of Klavier and Daryan can see it. His eyes go hard, his entire face a mask of fury as he lashes out at Daryan, punching him across the face. This is nothing like the Klavier who throws a few angry words when he isn’t getting his way. This is pure anger, and Daryan has no idea what to do, because for as long as he’s known Klavier, he’s never seen this.

“You don’t think I’m doing anything about it?” Klavier asks, his voice filled with rage. “You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to get back to normal for the past five years, in one way or another. If you think that I don’t want to fix things between us, if you think that seeing you regularly makes it any easier for me… you really don’t know me, do you Daryan?”

“Klavier…” Daryan can see the sheen of tears in Klavier’s eyes and he’s seen this enough times to know that if he doesn’t do something right now, he’s going to regret it later. He takes a step closer and Klavier blinks furiously, trying to will the tears away. It doesn’t work. Klavier doesn’t flinch when Daryan carefully cups his cheek with a hand—he simply looks weary. Daryan sighs and bows his head, so their noses are almost touching. “Klavier, I’m sorry. I’d never hurt you on purpose, you know that. Give me a chance, and I’ll never do it again. And if you don’t want to… look, I’ll leave you alone if that’s going to make you feel better. I’ll stay out of your life and we can just pretend—”

“No,” Klavier interrupts, gripping onto Daryan’s arm so tightly that he flinches. Looking into Daryan’s eyes with a look of determination, he repeats, “No. I’m not letting you go anywhere, Daryan. Damn it…”

He starts tearing up then and cuts himself off, bowing his head to hide his face. Daryan places a hand on Klavier’s back, his touch light and cautious as he wraps his arms around his friend. Klavier leans into him, burying his face in Daryan’s shoulder, arms going around to hold him in return.

“I try so hard,” Klavier’s gasping sobs are quiet, and his voice is barely louder than a whisper. “I try to hate you Daryan, but I just… can’t. I must have hated you at some point, four or five years ago, but now? I just miss you.”

“Well,” Daryan smiles cautiously. “Likewise, man.”

Klavier chuckles quietly and leans into Daryan once again. “Good. I’m sorry if I hit you too hard.”

“Don’t apologise,” Daryan’s reply is immediate. “Don’t ever apologise to me, man.”

Klavier smiles, the briefest flash of teeth, and then he’s leaning into Daryan, pressing their lips together. Daryan makes a muffled sound of surprise before kissing back, holding the sides of Klavier’s face. Klavier sucks on Daryan’s lower lip, making him moan softly. Their tongues slide against each other and Daryan pulls away, resting his forehead against Klavier’s.

“Does this mean I’m forgiven?”

Klavier chuckles. “I had hoped that much was obvious.”

With a grin, Daryan tighens his grip on Klavier, kissing him harder this time. “Fuck, I really missed you.”

“Good.” Klavier splays his hand across Daryan’s chest, gasping when he feels the gentle scrape of teeth against his neck.

Daryan snickers, his hands settling on Klavier’s hips. Klavier looks at him, eyes dark with years’ worth of pent up desire, licking his lips before leaning in, demanding another kiss.

Yes,” Klavier breathes as Daryan’s hands slide beneath his shirt, but then Daryan pulls back and he frowns with confusion.

“Klavier,” Daryan’s frowning too, but he looks concerned. His hands are still warm against Klavier’s sides. “How much weight have you lost?”

“That doesn’t matter right now,” Klavier replies, face heating with impatience and embarrassment. “Come on, Daryan—”

“You look so exhausted,” Daryan murmurs, like he’s only looking at Klavier for the first time. He runs his fingers along Klavier’s cheek. “Man, I’m serious. There’s bags under your eyes and everything. Did you even sleep last night?”

Daryan,” Klavier protests, because it’s a lot easier than talking about how he hasn’t eaten or slept properly in weeks. “Just—”

“You’re getting some rest,” Daryan decides, taking a step back.

“Is that your way of saying you don’t want me?” Klavier asks, which he knows it’s not—he’d just felt the evidence to the contrary—and he knows that he’s pouting, like they’re both still in their early twenties and arguing over something trivial.

“I do. I fucking do,” Daryan growls, grabbing Klavier’s hand and glaring at him. “But I want you to take care of yourself more than that.”

“Fuck you, Crescend, why do you have to pick now of all times to be a nice guy?”

Daryan grins, “Couldn’t pick a good time now, could I? That wouldn’t be me. I’m taking you home. We’ll continue this later and that’s a promise.”

“One I fully intend on holding you to,” Klavier says, trying to sound irritated, but he’s smiling as he follows Daryan back out to the car, going to his house.

Vongole greets them cheerfully and as Klavier is steered straight to the bed, he reluctantly admits to himself that he is incredibly tired. He yawns, and then laughs as Daryan attempts to tuck him into bed, losing his patience with the extra pillows on the bed and dumping them on the floor.

“Do I get a kiss good night?”

“You’ll get as many as you want if you promise to never use cheesy lines like that again,” Daryan replies, kissing Klavier’s forehead and then his lips. “Sleep tight, baby.”

“Don’t call me that,” Klavier mumbles sleepily, a smile tugging at his lips as his eyelids grow heavily. He rolls onto his side, curling up under the covers and gives in to the exhaustion.

As drained as he is, he still manages to notice that Daryan doesn’t leave until he’s fully asleep.




Six.

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