rendering death and forever
by Rana Eros

Written for Spren Appreciation Week. I used the original Stages of Love format and themes. Betaed by Eliza. All titles taken from the e.e. cummings' poem commonly known as "somewhere i have never travelled."

easily will unclose me

Kurosaki is ideal. Practical and competent, yet he looks vulnerable, and Tatsumi knows how Tsuzuki responds to that. Tsuzuki will hold himself together for a partner so young, and Tatsumi believes Kurosaki won't allow Tsuzuki to become distracted on assignments.

Really, the chief chose well.

Then the chief hands Kurosaki a gun, and that vulnerability shifts into a deadly delicacy. Tatsumi doesn't even blink, but his breath startles in a way both strange and familiar, his skin growing tight, hot.

As though in response, Kurosaki meets his eyes. That fierce gaze burns through his shadowed heart, leaves him exposed.


deeper than all roses

Kurosaki doesn't like the sakura trees that grow around JuOhCho. Tatsumi's too polite to ask, but when a demon-possessed Tsuzuki destroys the library, and Tatsumi consequently finds Hisoka trying to read in the noisy breakroom during lunch, it only seems logical to offer the use of his office.

"Thank you, Tatsumi-san," Kurosaki says formally, "but I wouldn't wish to inconvenience you."

"It's not an inconvenience." Wondering if he's overstepping, Tatsumi adds, "Your company would be...welcome, Kurosaki-kun. We'll read and eat together."

He still feels bared by Kurosaki's eyes, but the flush to Kurosaki's skin makes it worthwhile. "All right."

whose texture compels me

It begins as a disagreement about the meaning of a translated poem, Kurosaki leaning over the desk from one side, Tatsumi from the other, their fingers meeting on the page, heads nearly touching.

"The reversal begins with this character, Tatsumi-san," Kurosaki says, and taps the relevant spot for emphasis. His hand brushes Tatsumi's, and Tatsumi catches it, feels the calluses of pen, sword, bow that mark the fineness of Kurosaki's fingers. "Ah...."

"I'm listening," Tatsumi whispers, but he's distracted by a different sort of poetry.

Kurosaki's hand turns in his; he follows where he's pulled, away from the open book.

touching skilfully,mysteriously

Tatsumi's not sure what he expects after rescuing Tsuzuki and Hisoka from the Queen Camellia, after hearing what happened. He doesn't expect Hisoka to come to him, to close the door to his office, cross the floor, lean across his desk and ask, "Are you still listening?"

"Yes," he says, then pushes away from the desk as Hisoka rounds it. He raises his hands to catch Hisoka at the waist, and Hisoka's hands press down on his shoulders. He holds on, and waits.

Hisoka takes a breath, but doesn't speak. Just watches, just lets Tatsumi hold him.

That says enough.

your most frail gesture

Hisoka is what Tsuzuki needs. Tatsumi says it, and he means it, but he still can't make himself suggest Hisoka sleep in the same room as Tsuzuki. Hisoka is tired, shaken in his own way; Tatsumi wants to keep him close.

Hisoka stumbles, moving toward the door. Tatsumi catches him, and he turns into the touch, letting Tatsumi draw him in. Tatsumi presses his hand against soft hair, and Hisoka makes an odd, hitching sound. "I'm sorry, Tatsumi-san...."

"Stay here," Tatsumi whispers. "Stay."


Hisoka won't let Tsuzuki fall apart. Tatsumi promises himself he'll be there to hold Hisoka together.


Yami no Matsuei
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