Title: Burnt Out
Disclaimer: *pnish*'s, not mine :x
Warnings: BL, angst, boys kissing
Author's Note: For yomimashou! Feel better! ♥
Things looked infinitely brighter when they were teenagers. Maybe it was because they still had a chance, or maybe it was because they were stupider, but whatever the reason, when they were sixteen and seventeen, Saiga was sure they were going to win this war. Sure, there weren't many of them, not nearly as many as there were of the Hanyuu, but, as he told Shisui time and time again, the Ina were way tougher, and they were going to win in a battle or two. Shisui was never as enthusiastic, but Saiga was better than anyone at reading him, and there was a look in his eyes that told Saiga that he certainly didn't have to tell him twice.
And inhering the leadership position, the two of them together, was all excitement and potential at first, because the two of them had always been a perfect team, and they'd be the final push, the last effort just to cross that line and fight those stupid Hanyuu back-- together, he and Shisui could do it, there was no question in his mind, and he went about his planning and training and practicing all with great fervor and excitement, because victory always seemed just a day, just a moment away.
But the years went on and on, and their numbers dwindled. Friends died from wounds and infection and suicide for honour, family members were taken hostage and tortured and murdered. After all of his zeal in his late teens and early twenties, by twenty-five, he no longer had the energy to push the way he used to, nor did he have the manpower to to be as effective. Along with death and capture, disillusionment had stolen away too many of Saiga's men, and where the Hanyuu used to have been a little bit larger, the Ina was now outnumbered in horrifying proportions. It was just one more burden bearing down on Saiga's shoulders as he trudged through each day simply because he had to. He'd burnt himself out, in a sense, and though Shisui said nothing, Saiga could tell that his hope was running out.
After all, at the end of the day, what did they have left? Any affluence they had once held as head to the Ina clan had been traded in to further war efforts or else destroyed by the wear and tear or battle, and they had no clan anymore. It was just Saiga and Shisui in whatever shelter they could find themselves , or, in some cases, camping out and trying to get by on whatever they could they could afford anymore. It was embarrassing, it was depressing, it was everything but what Saiga had expected it to be, and he simply didn't know what to do anymore.
Sitting in front of the small fire, he couldn't help but sulk, hugging his knees to his chest and sighing. Suddenly, he felt very alone in the world, and he wondered what became of the world he used to take for granted in his youth. He was being stupid, of course, he was too strong to cry, but his eyes were watering anyway even as he tried hard to swallow back his emotions.
But then there was a rustle beside him and an arm placed around his shoulders. Saiga started and glanced to his side; it was unlike Shisui to be affectionate at all, not to mention to initiate any sort of physical contact. But, he realized belatedly, showing Shisui his face allowed Shisui to see his tears, and no matter how weak he felt, he couldn't let Shisui think him weak, too. Turning back to the fire, he tried to wipe his eyes on his sleeve stealthily, but, to his surprise, heard a soft chuckle from beside him.
Surprised, Saiga glanced to his companion again, but Shisui was gazing straight ahead. Saiga considered speaking, but he wasn't quite sure what to say; this behaviour was bizarre for his partner. A few moments passed in silence before, "tears don't suit you," Shisui remarked quietly.
Saiga's eyes widened in shock, but his tears slowed all the same, and despite how horrible their situation looked now, he couldn't help but smile. Wiping at his eyes quickly and swallowing, he nodded, leaning into Shisui's embrace and resting his head on his shoulder. "Yeah," he remarked quietly, feeling so much warmer in Shisui's arms than he had by the fire alone.
They remained like that for a little while, or maybe a long while; Saiga wasn't sure, but he didn't care, either. Shisui was warm and comforting and Saiga was content to remain that way forever. Still, he was beginning to wonder if Shisui had fallen asleep sitting up when he spoke again, his voice softer than Saiga had ever heard it before. "Don't give up just yet... I can't do it without you."
"Never," Saiga replied with a little laugh, but for the first time in a long time, he really meant it. Leaing up, be brushed a gentle kiss to Shisui's lips, settling into his arms and remaining long, long after the fire had burnt out.