the peripheral
Author: japancat
Content Rating: T-16
Published: 2012-07-02 01:01:53
Tags: Yu Yu Hakusho, Romance, Spiritual, Psychological, Hiei, Mukuro, HieiMukuro



Summary:
let me be here with you even for just a moment... Or the one where you learn about the love lives of cattle. HieiMukuro

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
the shift key holds me back. i kind of wanted to do the whole thing like this but i didn't I thought some people would just get irritated with me just like microsoft word is. the original point of this was an attempt to focus so much on the peripheral details that what's important just gets so pushed out of focus it doesn't matter anymore. then it became and attempt to focus less on dialogue mostly so i can say "why, because I'm an english major theater minor that writes plays about dongs in my free time" which I really don't. so instead i got this bizarro thing. i was somewhat inspired by "alive and kicking" by the simple minds. the last quote is supposed to be ambiguous. both meant it though. also there are some weird lines in here that can be skewed. i would discuss them in detail but that would get bad. i could also write my essay on the nature of hiei and mukuro's relationship that came up in a conversation with my friend andrivette but that would just get long and boring so unless you're super interested. thanks for your time. ps don't own this anime once again. please let me know about any typos.


Hiei sat, one foot tucked under his rear, vaguely aware of the fact that it was starting to go numb, falling asleep, far more preoccupied with the task at hand. One hand was placed on his knee and the other was placed behind him, maintaining his balance. He was too preoccupied with the task at hand or the lack thereof to take any notice of the light footfalls on the hard floor and the sudden feeling of anticipation that started to linger in the air. Out of that air, a hand found its way to his shoulder, and he reached out to grab it, ready to counter it in the semi-sloppy way he handled fist fighting. He turned to the side, finally registering the fine network of lines on the hand- the one that was a shade too white when you squinted in the right light- and then his eyes turned to Mukuro, who looked down at him blankly, having taken no offense. They stayed in that position for a moment before she slid her hand away, stopping when he caught the tips of her fingers in a light squeeze.

She'd just rolled out of bed; he could tell that much. Her clothes were folded in places like a crumpled newspaper and her hair stood with the static between the pillows and the sheets. Not that it even mattered to her anyway, and the most attention she really ever gave her hair whether or not it was getting in her eyes all the damned time. He watched her hand, the one that he held for that split second, as she sat down in her dog-like manner reminiscent of her past- legs spread just so, ankles close together, and hands in between her knees. The kind of sit that some uptown snob would gasp and point at. Her mouth was moving but that wasn't what he was looking at. She repeated herself without a sigh or any sense of irritation of having to do so, "It's hot today, isn't it?" He shrugged. Having never been quite aware of such things (or, rather having been completely apathetic as to whether he would be walking in the rain or not), he couldn't think of a better answer.

She glanced at him again. When their eyes met, he twisted away, pretending that he thought he saw something fly past them. He turned back to her again as she rolled back in some sort of reverse swan drive, taking a moment to arch her back as she stretched before letting her hands settle under her breasts. He wished she wouldn't. She raised her arm and pointed straight up before she started to draw nonsensical curls in the sky- though his eyes had still not reached her index finger.

"The sky is so cloudy today…" She paused. Her expression didn't change, though there was an overtone of realization in her voice. "Just like any other day. Someone from Gandara complained to me once that the sky here was too gloomy. As if it was all my fault and that I could change it."

"The sky's all the same to me. Though in the Human World, their sky is blue," Hiei replied. "Varying shades of blue depending on what part you're looking at."

She made a half smile at the humans and their backasswards blue sky with varying shades. "I wish I could have seen it. You never realize how precious the sky really is for you until you've been locked away. I never knew what it was like out here at all. I couldn't even imagine… So, whenever I go somewhere that's new, that's the first thing I remember. The sky in Gandara was just like ours that day. It made me want to vomit, really. It's all air and color but I look at it like it's that much of a gift just because I was confined. I never saw a single window in that damn place, and I don't think I ever really got used to the sight of one, no matter how much time passed… And the day I walked out, I guess that's what it's like to be out of the womb, it was so bright I could have swore my eyes were on fire."

"Yeah. It's something like that."

"And cold as hell."

"And you get this feeling that you're drowning and you have to inhale everything but you feel like you're choking but you know you have to get it into your lungs somehow. You hear everything and it's like an explosion and you hear this voice that's so damn close to you and then you realize that it's yours. You don't really calm down until you hear your- your mother's and her heartbeat because that's the only thing that makes sense to you at the time. But you still don't know where the hell you are but all you know is that you were happier in the dark- in the womb." Like a chorus, she echoed drowning, choking, explosion, and she finished with a hum of agreement. That's right. She was drowning out there. He could imagine that. He was, too. On the verge of a panic attack, a heart attack even. No. He didn't want to think about that. It was too long ago. He didn't need to think about it.

It seemed as though her hand was suddenly dropped by her side. She was lying spread-eagled, palms held up, and her legs turned so her feet were turned away from each other… How long was she lying like that? How long had he lost her? She lost him? Their eyes met again and he twisted away, searching for that damn phantom or unidentified flying object. Just as he looked away, she grabbed at his arm and pulled so he toppled over. He rolled over to growl at her, but her back was to him. He put a hand on her shoulder and rolled her over so they could be face to face. Before he could cuss her out, he noticed her hands were cupped over her mouth, muffling laughter. He let it go.

"What day is it?" he asked. He was probably glaring at her, asking the trivial question in a deadpan tone. He guessed as much since she laughed and doing so openly.

He asked what day it was. …That's right, they were sitting in the molasses slow and sweet sounds of silence. What was the last thing they said to each other? They were talking about the weather. Meteorology. The clouds and the sky. And birth. What day was it? What day was it? "Thursday."

"Thursday? Since when?"

She rolled over onto his arm, pressing against his side and she leaned into his face so her lips barely brushed against his ear, tickling like a feather. "Since around sixteen and a half hours ago." And then she collapsed onto him, leaving him to deal with the sensation of something soft pressed into him. His eyes darted about, trying to find some distraction to take away the reality that was on top of him. He failed. No need to resist anymore.

It was quiet. What wasn't she saying anything?

It was quiet. Painfully quiet. If it was silent, it would die. Something needs to give or it will die. Something needs to be said. Something. Something.

He put his hand on her shoulder, then ran it along her spine, column by column. He felt her ribs through her skin, and he suddenly became more and more aware of her emaciated form. The breasts pressed on his side that were almost not there and the collar bone and hips that took dips and protruded like ridges. He was sure if he were to grab her wrist (and his hand slid down the length of her arm) his thumb and forefinger would touch. She glanced at him, brows angled slightly, questioningly. He finally allowed himself to look at her, look into her eyes and see what was there that he didn't want to see before. She finally put a hand on his chest and hoisted herself up into a crouch with complete disregard of the fact that she shoved his breath out. Not taking her eyes off him, she drew in closer, that anticipation returning to the air. She then held her hand above his nose and then flicked it.

"What the hell was that for?" Hiei growled. She shrugged as she lay back down. He rolled to his feet, muttering a curse, and he towered over her. She rolled her head back, her back arching slightly as she looked up at him, squinting her eyes a bit from the rays of light looming passed his figure.

"Do something. I dare you." The side of his mouth twitched, probably resisting the urge to smile as he often did. His face would probably shatter if he ever allowed himself to do so or if he genuinely partook in the joys of laughter. She wondered in spite of herself if she was smiling right now- if it would be so painful to do it right now. "If you do something, then I'll throw you off the roof."

"If you do that, then I'll jump back over here and then I'll snap your wrists."

"I'd have gotten you in the gut before you do. And then I'd knee you in the face when you double over."

"But I could just hurry away before you have the chance to do that."

"Nonsense, that's against your nature. You can't run. You'll have to sit there and take it."

And so they proceeded to challenge each other to higher and bolder forms of torment, each one making the next stair step higher than the other, taking it further and the reaction times getting more and more hysterical. Their voices, however, got flatter to the point where it sounded more robotic, based on some sort of mechanism to continue to challenge, challenge, challenge…

Is this within the norms? Not that it should matter.

Is this within the norms?

Is this what's normal?

All he knew was somehow some way you end up in her bed and if you timed it wrong there would be someone else there too. All it seemed to be was going through the awkward motions before you actually get to slip in there. He was only aware of the end product, not entirely sure why he should ever give a damn because at the end of the day the prostitutes who weren't prostitutes just wanted to be above or below, side by side, sitting-on your knees-standing so they can spread their disease. Moaning in your ear so they let you know you're infected but it's okay because she let you come in her or on her or all over her but you still got her disease and that's all the lady asked for. And the ones who weren't prostitutes who weren't prostitutes see you walking down the streets and they narrow their eyes at you thinking You dog You dirty dog I know you want this but you can't have this you dirty dog The next time I open up my legs you're not gonna be in between them you're lucky I even let you think about licking me down there you dog You damn nasty ass dirty ass dog. And you walk by and don't pay them any attention even if that was what you wanted because you know she's been poked so many times that it'd be like fucking a fat cup of lukewarm soup. You'd walk away both times feeling just as ashamed of yourself but at least the soup doesn't complain about poor performance or threaten to call you out on some kid that wasn't yours to begin with. Between the prostitutes who weren't prostitutes and the not prostitutes who weren't prostitutes and the backasswards humans and their damn skies of varying shades of blue who made eight hundred virgins dance for a king eighteen hours straight, Hiei wasn't exactly sure what made him feel more sick. It's so empty. All of it. Just to have fifteen to twenty minutes of jumping on someone. Or maybe he doesn't understand with his silly virginal mind. Because real men don't think it through. Real men, like bulls, fuck cows when the need comes to their attention and they fuck as many as they want as many times as they want because they're bulls goddamn you. That's what real men did goddamn you and goddamn you because you're not one of them.

He shifted his feet before he sat down, cross-legged next to Mukuro. She blinked away the blinding light that ambushed her eyes at his leaving. Yet not a single sound escaped her throat. As his foot started to fall asleep again, he crouched and crab walked to the side, before standing above her again, vaguely aware of the pins and needles stinging in his foot but never entirely sure of which foot that was the problem. Even in this flesh wound red sky (that was twice as backasswards) covered with clouds and littered with lightning, the light still found a way to illuminate Mukuro enough. If there were angels (and he was not willing to bet anything that there were) he was sure they would look the way she looked in the light like this. Through the scars and the unnatural thinness there was something angelic in the way the light reflected off her skin just so. Maybe more that it was her half open eyes locked in a dreamy gaze that convinced him she wasn't, but he reached out and touched her to make sure that she was real. His fingers rested on the scars on her face, tracing the rough texture around the eye, on the bridge of her nose, on her cheek…

And whose hand was that anyway? Mukuro's eyes felt too heavy to open further to trace the hand's origins. It was just a hand or maybe it was her hand. The woman slave like her who had the softest voice she ever heard even after all those years. It was like it fluttered through the air, just fluttered until there was someone around to hear it. She had this soft hair that stuck up in wrong places when she was done with her duties- the time when she took hair- long enough for five people- out of its knot after knot after knot. She had soft hands and she remembered the back of one had a mole right in the center of the back of her hand and there was this one hair that grew out of it. The woman would always take Mukuro and sit in her lap, cushioning her with her fat childbearing thighs, and run her hands through her hair a few times before braiding it and she would always say, Damn girl, you got the prettiest hair I ever did see. It's the prettiest color I seen on someone. I like that you keep letting it get long. Never cut it, girl. You need to keep this pretty hair long. She always called her that- girl. She didn't know Mukuro's name because no one knew anyone's names because no one had one as far as they were concerned. So she was just girl, or daughter because the one said that if she ever had a daughter (though she mentioned she had one that was taken away from her a long, long time ago) she hoped that she would be like the poor little angel she had sitting in her lap. She would find Mukuro when she could and tell her story, usually (as she later realized) involving a young girl who was trapped in a castle or locked by a spell and was either saved by a heroic prince or by the girl's own cleverness. The other women around would kick her around to ease their own frustrations, throwing punches and insults, jabbing her in every way she could. But this one was still there- the sanity in an otherwise insane world and she would kiss Mukuro's cuts and bruises when she could, saying every time. Them old witches don't know nothing. Them old witches just full of anger. God, what was her name? What did her face look like? Did she even want to know anymore? By now she would surely be dead. Dead and bloody or hanged or beaten to a bloody mess. Don't think about it. The hands touching her now can't be hers. Those hands aren't the ones who loved her, the ones that felt so pleasant that she didn't want it to end it shouldn't have ended. She was surely dead. Still she reached out to the hand and then she remembered where and when she was. She let his hand go and he continued his meaningless caress. She reached up and put a hand on the nape of his neck, running her fingers through his slightly coarse, slightly greasy hair. He closed his eyes for the moment accepting her touch, taking in her touch, and she pulled her hand away noticing that there was sweat on it. It was wet sometime between the reaching out and the touching, she supposed. Still. People like him sweat. Write it down. She wiped it off on her shirt, acting as though she was straightening it out.

With his fingers tracing along the etchings of the sensitive scars on her skin, she became aware that when her right hand touched his, she felt nothing. She could feel the warmth of his fingers on her face but her hand could only make out that she felt something in her hand, nothing more than a series of mechanical signals to her brain. His hand just became an object. Her arm was an object. Just wires and metal and synthetic materials but none of it flesh. She told him to stop but he went on like she hadn't spoken. She sat up, not even looking at him at once, not entirely sure whether it was out of disgust, frustration, or shame.

"It's just skin," he said. It's just skin. And it's just wires and metal and synthetic materials. After a moment he went on, "I really don't care. It's there or it isn't. It doesn't matter."

"I know that you don't."

"Then why…?"

"It doesn't matter." But no matter how much she wished it could that hand would never feel the warmth of his skin. It was just wires and metal and synthetic material. It's just skin but it's damning to know she would never know what it would feel like to have his warmth on that hand.

He took her hand, hesitating part of the way through at that moment just before his hand reached hers. Pausing like a child. Even though he tried to stop it from doing so (and he hoped that he wasn't showing in his face as he had been losing control of his expressions as of late) his hand shook slightly. He wasn't entirely sure why it was doing so now of all times- as if it had a mind of its own. "Is this any better then?"

As she stood up, she said, "You're an idiot."

Out of instinct or out of habit, he replied, "Well, you're a bigger one."

She didn't respond and he wished she did. Something felt incomplete because she didn't. She looked at him over her shoulder. He could have sworn she had tears in the corners of her eyes, on the verge of rolling out. He could have sworn she was mouthing a question Do you love?

Do you love? Love what? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do you love? Can you love? What is it like to be loved? What does it mean to be loved? What is love? Rui- oh god Rui- was crying when she dropped him off the island. Was that love? What's the difference between love and pity, pity and hate, love and hate? Those tears on her face was not because she loved Hina's son like it was her own child, it was because she had to kill any child in general. Switch it with any child, a foreigner's child even, and the result would be the same in the end. She loved Hina; he was sure of that. She loved Hina as they often did, but she did not- could not- love the son who killed her. But what did she know of his loving his mother from the womb, from that first drowning breath, after her death, and what did she know of his painful longing to feel what it would be like to be held in his mother's arms for even a second? He remembered the sound of her voice- like Yukina's after years of aging- humming lullabies and dreams and sweet nothings, not entirely sure or caring whether or not they were listening, and never knowing that he would remember it every night so he could sleep burning with that longing inside. And the bandits and whores who couldn't replace her with the men's drunken and sober beatings and the whores mocking him, every once in a while attempting advances to get some sort of entertainment. But whores are like men. Men don't love. Men are like bulls and they fuck cows.

They fuck cows.

They fuck

fuck cows.

cows.

WOMEN.

He walked up to Mukuro but she paid him no mind. He stepped to her like a child, faced her, and kissed on her on the cheek in the experimental way children did. Just a brush. Blink and you'll miss it. It was pointless as it had always been. He was sure that if he, like an animal (a bull), took her right here right now it would still be just as pointless. Here in bed on your knees standing up sitting down laying down wherever it was, it would be just as pointless. It's not the kind of hunger he, or she for that matter, understands. It doesn't matter. Do you love? Can you love? Glancing at her, he was sure he knew the answer.

"I'm going back in," she said. Mukuro did an about face and started towards the door, and she knew Hiei would be close behind, not quite being the escort. He followed her into her room and lay down beside her. It was something some uptown snob would sneer at accusingly as though she didn't know already. Then again, who was that uptown snob anyway? Just some high-class whore in any case for thinking such things. It wasn't anything more than enjoying the warmth and company of the other. It was nothing more than two children holding each other during a thunderstorm, nothing more, nothing less.

And those childbearing hips that would never pass a child no matter how much she did or didn't want to she would have traded for broad shoulders of a man. Why the hell did she have to be born a woman? It's a pain in the pass is what it is. She was supposed to be lying on her back or whatever method he may choose and letting him shove his cock in between is legs, or any other method of entrance he so chooses. Or at least wave her damn childbearing hips at him so he would. That's what she was born for. That's what women do. Men are bulls and bulls fuck cows so cows are supposed to be fucked by bulls- women are supposed to be fucked by men. And their code of conduct is to love and to love and to love… She's just a woman in men's clothes- loose around the shoulders and slightly snug around her mostly masculine chest, and even more so around her childbearing hips. Her skin and beneath her skin was a prostitute who was a prostitute, that one exception to the rule, the cow that gets fucked by a bull, a street rat- no, street woman. It was deeply fragmented into her being and even though she tried to keep it from happening, men still turned their heads when she p[assed by, occasionally giving her more than the old once over, occasionally giving a cat call or a holler or a whistle, and more than once, they took a deep whiff of air around her, taking in the pheromones. At least until the figurative honeymoon was over. Oh hell. It wasn't supposed to be this way. Oh hell.

Even so, real women didn't put on men's clothes, instead they wore clothes which emphasized the curves of their bodies (or at least give an illusion of them being there) and real women didn't sleep fully dressed in those men's clothes. They wore makeup, touched up their hair just so, cared about their overall appearance. They don't scar themselves because they need to look beautiful. Women are mothers and breeders. She looked at her calloused hands. They were large like a man's. Wide palms and long fingers- pianist's fingers they sometimes called them. They were man's hands even though they were meant to wrap around a man before sucking him dry. They were man's hands, not small dainty woman's hands. Why the hell did she have to be a woman anyway?

Hiei pulled in closer, wrapping his arms around her, breathing in her scent. He said her hair smelled like home- whatever that meant. Maybe even he didn't know. He said the sheets and her clothes smelled that way too. He never did get the response he wanted so he never pursued the subject further. She was sure that he did take a whiff of home before drifting off into sleep in the drowning hopelessness he sent himself into, just in that moment before leaving consciousness.

But his arms

"Please- don't…" Mukuro mumbled.

"I won't do anything to you." Of course he wouldn't. He promised he would never do it, not that he ever told her so. It was silent. A light hum escaped his throat before he killed the silence. "How long as it been?"

"Since…?"

"Since."

"When was Enki the king? How many years?"

Fuck, he didn't want to think about other people right now. Not like this. Has it really been years or has it been months or weeks, or even days? "Hell, I don't know."

"Then neither do I, Hiei. Why does it matter?"

"It's just a question."

"You don't ask questions without motives."

"…What time is it?" Hiei asked after another moment of silence.

"Invest in a watch." He sighed and decided that speaking wasn't worth it anymore. With his arms around her shoulders, he pulled her in closer, or maybe he was coming in closer again, and they were pressed against one another. He's skinny as a rail, except for the little muscle that he has. He'd eat anything but he's skinny as a rail. She noticed that their breathing became in sync whether he realized it or not. "Hiei, you should get back to work."

She could feel the moistness of his breath on the back of her neck. She called his name again.

"It's like home…" She called his name again.

"I will protect you in the night and you are mine." She called his name again.

"This is heaven." She told him to wake up.

"Just this once." No, he needs to wake up. She told him to wake up.

"But don't be afraid." He's too far asleep. She told him to wake up. She called his name again.

"Because I am here with you."

She elbowed him in the nose. Whether or not he was asleep didn't matter anymore. He sat up, clutching his nose with a hand. He muttered a curse, "You made my nose bleed."

"I think I can see that," Mukuro replied. "I may be deformed and my right eye might be shit but I'm still not like Yomi."

"You hit like a damn mule, you know that?"

"As you've told me several times before, though I'm also aware that it was without any prior experience. You need to get out of bed sand get back to work. You have the night to sleep."

He lingered until the bleeding stopped, then looked at his bloody hand. He shrugged and started to lick it off, nothing Mukuro's cough in disgust. "You want some blood?"

"You're disgusting."

He shrugged and wiped his hand off on his pant leg and walked towards her.

"Don't touch me with your infected hand."

He stood in front of her. She was sitting now, a foot tucked under her rear, the other leg hanging off the bed, one arm in between her knees and the other beside her for balance. He put a hand on her shoulder and hers came up from between her knees to meet his hand. He stepped back, step by step by step, as their arms lifted as the distance between them grew strained. He stopped for a moment when she held onto his fingers.

She held onto his fingers.

...

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