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Strong Hold
Little Prince Station
Just a Line
Coming Up:
One by One
Episode 4:
The door got slightly ajar, just enough to let a shadow slide into the bedroom. His mouth sore and numb, unable to catch a deep sleep, Boss opened up his eyes as soon as he sensed the intrusion. He recognized at once that slender shape, the loose t-shirt hanging over the soft thighs, the stealthy moves. He stayed very quiet, wondering what could be Trash doing in there and what was he supposed to do about it. The girl stopped by the bed and crouched down, her head very close to his. Boss chose keep quiet, holding his breath when he felt a hand covering his fingers, taking away the napkin with the ice. Another hand softly slid down his cheek, a warm breath blowing upon his face.
— Didn’t mean to hurt you... —Trash whispered, leaning further over him, so close her lips almost brushed his face as she spoke—. Forgive me, I...
Unable to repress himself any longer, Boss turned his face to reach hers, never caring about his mouth's pain when he found her lips in the dark, expecting to be roughly rejected. But it didn’t happen. Trash grabbed his face with both her hands, gasping as she kissed him back. Boss’ arms encircled her back and waist, effortlessly tossing her up to lay her on top of him and held her tight
The very same body he had a glimpse on a few hours ago, when he teared the curtain away to see why whoever was in the shower didn’t answer to his knocks. Slender, firm, the head leaning backwards, the red mops waving in the water that slid over her closed eyes, down the arched neck and between the small breasts. He forgot it all, the pain, the other two across the hallway, how inconvinient could that be for the team as a whole. He could only be conscious of his own need, Trash’s body heat against his, allowing him to touch her and kiss her with soft moans, the fingers entwining his hair, the wet trail her tongue was tracing down his neck. He made her lay by his side and stretched on top of her without taking his lips away from her skin, their hands franticaly moving as their breaths grew heavier.
Something hard and cold against his eye startled him back to reality. Boss bolted upright in a fit, throwing down to the floor the ice that had just squashed his eyelid. He looked around still gasping. Nothing. Nobody. He flopped himself back onto the matress and reached out for the ice, though now he used it to refresh his forehead, not his mouth. Shit. The only word his mind figured out, again and again as he tried to calm down. Shitshitshit. The very last thing he’d ever wanted to dream of. Shitshitshitshitshit.
* * *
Home-crop grass. So the boys called what they smoked that night. Marijuana raised in some hidden backyard, dried by domestic ways. It wasn’t nice, but it was cheaper. The smoke burnt up your throat as you swallowed it, and inmediatly you felt what the boys called laughing "the cloud". The utterly abstract sensation of a dot in the very middle of your head blowing up and expanding towards the walls of your skull, erasing it all. When the cloud "got stable" everything was much better, and you could relax and chat with the buds, putting the burnt out with some cheap wine gulps. The issue used to be going back home. You gotta get used to that grass and its aftertaste. And more than that, you gotta get used to the headache left once the cloud was gone. For that, nothing better than taking the bus, with the window wide open and the cold wind biting your face, and endless half of an hour to the Park of Peace, and from there, walking with no hurry the fifteen streets up to the house. And if some jerk tried to tease her and the jacknife was not enough, a 22 bullet in one leg should cool the asshole down.
She walked across the garden to the kitchen’s door, sat down there as she used to, to smoke one last cigarette and chew some mint gum. Boss and Slash hadn’t got home yet, but there was light at Run’s bedroom.
Though the night was quite cold, her teammate's window was slightly ajar, the curtain floating out in the soft breeze. She could hear the music coming out with the curtain. A slow, romantic song. Trash grinned. Run could try to look as hard as he wanted to, but she knew damn well that he was actually just a tender boy. She was sure that would be the kind of song he would choose to be alone with a girl... which wasn’t happening quite often, considering the few things she knew about what he did on his spare time... It was then that she heard him speak very lowly, barely a whisper. She couldn’t beat the temptation. She knew that if Run found her spying on him, he was never to trust her again, but the cloud left within her head sneered at that risk. So she crouched just beneath the window, very careful not to make any noise. Then a shadow cast over the grass in the window’s lit square. She couldn’t get wrong. It was two people kissing. She grinned again. Run got himself a girl, and what was more : a girl his height ! She was burning to show up on the window and congratulate him, for that was really hard stuff to get.
He spoke again, though she didn’t get what he said. But she froze hearing the voice answering him. Her eyes fixed wide open in the shadow, that was now showing two heads. She had to be wrong. It was the cloud’s trace, of course. Fucking grass. She didn’t hear right. Then she heard another whisper, a warm, soft tone she had never listened from Run’s lips. Trash crawled under the window up to the curtain, ready to confirm her former mistake. But there was no answer. A couple of sighs, both shadows parting on the grass, Run’s shape taking out his shirt as the other’s hands stroked his chest, Run’s head leaning forward, lips slightly parted, reaching out. Then the other voice spoke at last, and Trash couldn’t help but jump onto her feet facing the window. There had been no mistakes. She had heard it well. The person Run was kissing as he was getting undressed, both of them rocking very slowly with the rythm of the music, it was a man. And Trash knew him at once : it was the guy at the restaurant.
The dark roof above her replaced Run’s picture. She didn’t try to control her breath. She just let her lungs catch bak some air as they liked. She reached out for the night table searching for her cigarettes and lit one still panting. Shit. So that had been what disturbed her when she saw Run that midday. The desire in the other guy’s eyes and grin. The serene acceptance of the other’s desire in Run’s attitude. The other guy may be gay, but not Run. I know it. The question struck her at once. And what if Run actually was homosexual, or bisexual? Shit. It doesn’t have to change a thing between us. Nothing. She destroyed the cigarette into the ashtray, covered her eyes with one arm. Nothing. Shit. It wasn’t a dream she’d like to keep in mind, her friend with that guy. Her... friend? I ‘ve got no friends. But Run was the closest thing to a friend she had ever found... And as a matter of fact, I know shit about him. How much did she need to know about somebody to think him worthy of her trust ? She killed a sigh right into her throat. Shit.
* * *
He stalked into the changing room, opened his locker, slammed it back shut. He heard León’s steps behind him and spun on his heels to face him trying to repress his rage. León leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms, and stared at him with that eternal grin. Run felt his hands burning to knock him down.
— You’re behaving like a spoiled asshole, Rosschild —that confidence in his voice, drove him nutts sometimes— May I know what was all that racket about ?
Run crossed the room with to paces and stood before him clenching his fists tight to his legs, barely refraining himself. — If you've got any problem with me, spit it out. But don’t make me look like a fucking idiot before the whole team just because you haven’t got the guts to tell me so.
— Come on, Rosschild, even a boy from the second team could see you were playing like a girl. It’s not my problem if you fuck around all night through and come to train without getting any sleep.
Run’s hand crushed open against the wall a few inches away from León’s face, the other boy didn’t even blink, but kept on staring at him and grinning.
— It was you who took me to that party, remember? What’s the matter ? You’re pissed off cos I left with that girl instead of you ?
León’s grin vanished at once, and a threatening glimpse sparkled on his black eyes. — Watch your mouth, Rosschild, if you like having teeth.
Run couldn’t help the satisfaction for erasing his confident look. His self-esteem was hurt and he needed to pay it back. — I thought we were friends, León, that we trusted each other enough for you to tell me if there was something wrong.
— Rosschild, you’re crossing the line...
León was barely able to hide his amazement when the other boy took grip of his t-shirt collar with both hands, dragging him away from the wall to glare at him very closely, his voice a raging hiss scaping his clenched teeth.
— I ain’t crossing no line, you asshole. We’ve known each other for years and I’ve always been fucking careful not to poke into your life. Always taking your stupid limits and your shits on your pants showing up in that pretty self-confidence disguise you love so much. Always watching each word, each move not to screw it. But I’m fucking tired of all this, you got it ? Sick and tired. If you’ve got something with me, then you better say it straight right now. I’m not letting you make me look like a dick-head before anybody any longer just because you like me and you don’t have the guts to tell me and take my answer.
The last thing Run expected was that punch on his belly, a hard hit that bent him over and pushed him backwards staggering. He glared up breathing hard, his face distorted out of rage and pain. León stared down at him with something close to pitty, both hands loose by his sides. Run didn’t try to repress himself any longer. He jumped over him, his fist aiming for that nice gentle face, wishing to shread it down. But León awaited him. They dodged and hit each other several times, struggled, stumbled, fell down together.
Run with his back flat against the floor, León on top of him. The shock of feeling that body’s weight paralyzed him. He felt the cold floor beneath his back, the sweat wetting his chest and his t-shirt, the other boy’s hurried breath over his face. He gawked up, finding León’s trade mark grin too close to his own mouth.
— So here’s where you wanted me to be, Rosschild. You should have told me...
Run pushed him away roughly and stood up as fast as he could, reaching the wall behind him for support. León straightened up with no hurry and folded his arms a few steps away, still mocking with his eyes at the gasping astonished boy before him.
— I don’t raise homosexuals, Rosschild. I like men sure of what they want, not handy teenagers.
Run felt the trail of blood sliding down his chin from his mouth, he dried it up with a glare full of hatred. The other grimaced shooking his head.
— Don’t get it wrong, Rosschild. Of course I like you, I should need to be made of stone not to want you. But it’s also true that you’re the best friend I’ve ever had, and that’s enough for me to lock up my libido and respect you —he stepped closer to him, grinning when Run stuck to the wall, trapped ; he took grab of his face looking deep into his clear eyes—. It’s hard stuff, friend’s love among men. We’re not raised to accept it easily. Don’t you think I could have taken advantage of that with you long ago? That I’m not able to wash your head enough to get you into my bed by your own will? —he got even closer, pulling Run’s head from the wall— And what would I win with that ? —his thumb traced Run’s lips parting them slightly, drying the new blood, feeling him trembling from his head right to his toes—. Screwing up your life, Rosschild, that’s all I’d do. For if there’s something you won’t ever change, no matter how hard you tried, no matter how hard I wanted you to change it, it’s being straight from your very core. And screwing your life like that would be the last thing I’d do. For you’re my friend, and I want you to be just like you are.
Run pushed him away again, sending him to the middle of the room, where the other boy stood quiet and still, always grinning, his hands into his pockets. He stroked his mouth again, this time trying to erase that warm touch’s trace.
— If you ever touch me again, I swear you I’ll break both your legs —he hissed, still trying to control his distress.
— Easy, Rosschild. I just wanted you to know that if you look for me, you’ll find me.
León spun on his heels and walked out of the room without looking back. But the door closing behind him wasn’t the changing room’s one. Run blinked several times glancing around. He fell asleep reading. And he didn’t finish the chapter. The last picture he could recall before falling asleep was León and Marron kissing. He closed his eyes with a heart-felt sigh. Recalling that fight with his friend, the only one they ever had, hadn’t been easy. But somehow it wasn’t useless. It helped him to understand León better. He drew in a deep breath as a morning light trail got through his window, trying to cool down the shock and the rage he felt ten years ago. Just a week later, León had quit training the top soccer team, and he left. Without saying goodbye, without a word. He just left.
* * *
Slash spent the whole night at one of his "virtual marathons", as he called them, lost in the web. He chose the dinning room table to help his shoulders from being so sore after six hours leaning over his laptop, and behind the screen there were several empty bottles of beer. When he realized it was dawning, he took a break and made some coffe. The sound of the hallway’s door surprised him. He checked out the clock. Almost seven... Somebody else had spent the night through. Bet it’s Boss, after how Trash ruined his face he surely couldn’t close a fucking eye. He looked out with a joke ready at the tip of his tongue, but it was Trash coming to the kitchen, and one single glance at her face told him he better didn’t talk to her at least she did it first. The girl dodged him wihtout raising her eyes, always frowning, and pour herself a cup of coffe. Slash shrugged going back to his laptop. The door got open and closed again behind him, and he thought Trash had gone back to her room.
But no. Now it actually was Boss, who almost crushed onto Trash, coming out of the kitchen; both of them half dressed and looking down. Slash forced himself not to laugh aloud seeing them facing each other and looking away at once. Trash’s expression hadn’t changed, and she flopped herself onto the large couch with her coffee and a cigarette. But Boss blushed up to his ears, all of his face matching his bruised mouth. He quickly lowered the head and poured himself another coffee, choosing to drink it right there at the kitchen, turning his back to the wider room. Slash shrugged again, and was trying to focus on his surfing when Run came in, already dressed and ready for his jogging despite the day wasn’t done yet. Another coffee, though he sat at the table to drink it, aparently not noticing the others three were there too. Slash turned around on his chair to look at Trash, straightened to look at Boss, tilted his head to look at Run.
— Excuse me, but... did I miss something ?
He felt three pairs of eyes staring at him, lacking both comprehension and hostility. Nobody answered. Slash shook his head, took his laptop and headed for his bedroom to surf in peace.
* * *
— So we’ve got this Salvatore, owning this disco Paradiso, "managing" both sexs teenagers in prostitution and pedlaring... And you want us to take him down...
Trash and Slash agreed at the same time, the same nodd, brief and convinced. Run smiled inside his mind. They could get along so bad when they wanted to, but working as a team they were just unbeatable.Boss poured coffee for everybody and sat down in front of Trash carefuly avoiding her eyes, his bruised mouth more than an explanation for the way he was dodging her.
— All we can do is check it out. And the only way I can think of is going to that disco and try to do some business —Run went on ignoring the askance look Trash gave to Boss’ mouth—, cos you say you already took care of the boys out in the streets.
— For a while —Slash grimaced at him—. As soon as the sucker gets new people to run the kids, they’ll be out again just like nothing happened. The only way to finish this for good is putting that son of a bitch down, for he’ll be out of jail as soon as he steps in. And employees are just that : employees.
— Don’t even dream of making me step a single foot into that fucking place —Trash bitterly growled.
Slash raised his cup of coffee towards her with his best grin. — Take my sit, honey, for I do wanna have some fun this time.
Run turned to Boss, who raised one brow pointing out his mouth.
— Fine. So Slash and I go in and you two back us up —he pretended not to notice Trash and Boss’ embarassment—. Slash, you gotta teach Boss what he needs to now about your equipment, so he can monitor us. Trash, Boss won’t be able to speak clearly for a couple of days, so you’re gonna stay with him to link him with us, ready to move in case we need you.
Slash stood up with a satisfied grin and clapped Boss’s shoulder. — Come on, lover boy, I wanna get some sleep this afternoon.
The youth followed him glaring at his back. Run finished his coffee with no hurry, then he faced Trash, who was staring at him. He raised the brows invitating her to speak her mind. The girl only stared at him a moment longer, then she scowled and left the dinning room without a word. Run allowed himself to sigh.
* * *
The voice lost strengh and the doctor ended his explanation with a srhug. Run just nodded looking away, letting the man walk out the room as if running away. He waited for the door to close before turning to the bed where Kao seemed to be going through the last span of his agony, as long as useless. Trash was still sitting by him, holding his hand in hers. When the doctor went out, she looked up at Run, who shook the head in silence. She drew in a deep breath, turning to stare again at her partner’s gentle and absent face.
— They already suggested the old man that the best they can do is disconnecting him —Run said in a low voice, sitting at the other side of the bed.
— Let it fall upon his head —the girl snarled.
Minutes went by silently until the watch’s alarm softly ringed from his wrist. Trash got to her feet without a word, kissed the youth’s forehead and walked out always looking down. Run stayed a bit longer by the bed. He rested Kao’s hands at his sides, held one for a moment feeling his throat squeezing.
— Don’t let them choose even the day for your death —he whispered, then he spun on his heels and strode out the room.
* * *
The place was huge, maybe an old theatre recycled anew, with room enough for two thousands people, even three thousand huddling them a little. Slash and Run spread apart as soon as they were in, heading by themselves for two of the four bars. Meanwhile, at the van’s rear, Boss was observing the four level’s diagrams as the sensor drew them in the upper screens. He pointed out a spot at the underground level; standing behing him, Trash leaned forward to see it better and agreed.
— Bottom level —she told her partners on the mic—. There’s a spot with low tables and couches, apart from that level’s dance floor. It’s almost empty.
— I’m closer —Run muttered.
Boss was already pointing the other screens.
— Slash, there are only two offices, at the top level. Find a hidden door on the opposite wall to the d.j., they also open to a flat roof and a fire ladder.
— Ok.
— Be ready to cover that roof —Run whispered.
Boss heard Trash moving behind him and focused on following his partners on the screens. A black gloved hand offered him a beer can. He spun on his seat and shook the head trying to smile. The girl just nodded, her eyes quickly slidding down the bruised lip. Boss turned his back at her at once.
— Mind if I smoke ? —he heard her asking.
He tried to swallow his surprise at such a question from Trash and shook the head again, avoiding to face her. His dream’s traces seemed to crouch at some corner of the van, ready to jump onto his head as soon as he got distracted. And the last thing he wanted was a black eye matching his mouth to make his day.
— You burn a key and I kill you —Slash hissed on both their ears.
— Fuck off —she growled back.
Slash was about to answer when he saw the offices’ door, almost invisible among the walls decoration, in the middle of a dim balcony opening over the main dance floor, two levels below. And a few meters further, leaning alone on the balcony’s veranda, there was a girl with a form fitting black dress that barely hid her breasts and thighs. He stopped stunned when a white beam fell upon her.
— Stella? — he hesitated.
The girl looked up at once, staring at him as she tried to recognize him, then she gave him a bright smile. In the van, Boss silenced Trash before she could say nothing to her partner. He reached the small notybook he had brought and scarwled a few words for her. Trash decoded them after a minute, then she write down her questions, to keep the audio channel free. What was that girl doing in there if she was one of the street’s kids ? Inside the disco, Slash was asking the very same question. Stella pointed out the bar counter with a shy smile, he nodded and held her by the hand to lead her among the crowd. He lifted the girl to one of the stools and huddled to her, his back agaisnt the counter, as he paid for a champagne bottle.
— The boss somehow knew that you picked me up, guess some of the boys saw me, and he wanted me to be here today instead of wroking out in the street...
Slash leaned over her grinning, and spoke to her fixing his honey eyes on her lips, knowing the bar's manager was watching them. — But you know what your here for?
Stella agreed lowering her head and scarcely shrugged. — At least I don’t need to spend the whole day out... —she mumbled—. And I’m gonna earn more here...
Slash gave a fleeting glance at the manager and wrapped his arm around her shoulders concealing his rage. — Come on, honey, let’s get comfy —he took the champagne and the glasses and lead away the girl, towards a darker sopt where he saw some couches.
— Heard that, Run ? —Trash hissed angrily.
Run, who had just sit alone on a leather couch, waited for the waiter to go away to answer. Slash managed to ask him what he had there below. He glanced around leaning back in a lazy attitude.
— This is too quiet for the crowd in here. I see boys attending some single aged men, but who came to me was an ordinary waiter, even older than me...
Slash filled Stella’s glass with a giggle. — Begginer’s luck slip. I’ll teach you some tricks later on.
— Is there any boy with lank brown hair beneath his shoulders? —Trash asked, forcing herself to repress her feelings.
Run scanned the place with a quick look and saw the boy at the last table. At that very moment he was sitting by a greyheaded man in a expensive suite. Boss realized the sparkle in her eyes, grindding her teeth as she draw in a deep breath. He ignored her glare when he sign at her to keep quiet. Slash leaned back holding the girl, who huddle against him when she saw his blink.
— Tell me, Stella, if a guy wants some company... but not from a woman...
— The bottom bar —she answered without hesitation—. My cousin is there. The men at those tables choose the boy they like most and point him to the waiter.
— Grandsons of the greatest bitch —Trash hissed.
* * *
The screen showing the top level pointed two people entering the offices. Slash took Stella back to the balcony, a few steps away from the door. Run finished his drink and stood up trying not to look hurried. Trash turned to Boss and grimaced covering her mic with her hand and signaling him to do the same. He faced a bit surprised.
— Two and two can get weird —she whispered—. But if I go...
Boss shook the head getting to his feet and pointed the seat to her, then he took his gloves and a long range rifle after checking its ammo. Trash stared at him trying to understand.
— I’m going —he said in low voice, covering his mic again—. I’m useless here if I can’t speak clearly.
Trash seemed about to refuse, but soon she agreed with a sharp nodd and sat down by the screens, turning her back on him. Boss left the van and ran along the side alley up to the fire ladder. Meanwhile, Run and Slash gathered by the offices’ door. Slash faced Stella, who didn’t dare to ask a single question, and stroked her cheek gently.
— Now I want you to go down to the second level bar and wait for me there. If I don’t show up within the next thirty minutes, do what you like, got it ? —he took out of his pocket all the money he had and forced it into her hand—. And take care.
— They’re about to come out.
Slash hurried Stella to leave and joined Run with a soft laugh. — Jealous, honey?
— You should come to this roof —Run said, leaning casually just by the door’s lock.
— Boss' already going.
Slash faced Run stunned. The other man just raised his brows. — What!? He left you there?? —his voice was a furious hiss— Boss, you stinky sucker ! Get ready to pay if she screws anything!
— Coming —Trash cut him.
Slash was standing by Run pretending they were chatting. As soon as the door moved on its hinges, they both set blocking the space for the men coming out. In a single flirk, Run grabbed the first man’s neck and pushed him back inside, getting in with him as he pointed his 9 mm to the man’s head. Slash was already by his side, pointing at the oter. They were in a narrow hallway, with two doors at its bottom.
— Take us to... —he started, but saw in disbelief how Run frowned staring at the guys and lowered his gun.
— León, Marron... —Run mumbled, trying to get over his amazament.
— You know them?! —the other three cried out at the same time.
León face him with his grin, no sign of concern for their burst in. — Nice entrance, Rosschild, looking for somebody? —he coldly asked.
Slash noticed Run’s hesitation and stepped forward pointing his gun at them. — Yeah, some Salvatore bud. Take us with him.
León didn’t take the threat in his voice. Instead, he glanced at him as if Slash was a teddy bear. — And why you wanna see him?
Slash lost his patience with León’s sneer. He pushed the man against the wall, and was about to rest his gun on his temple when Marron got in between them. — He’s at his office. Come —he said, with a bitter glare at Run.
— They’re empty —Trash said then—. The bottom one opens to the roof, Boss is already there.
Run pointed at that door, making Marron lead them. He gripped one of León’s arms, forcing him to walk by his side. The first moment’s surprise had been replaced for a cold rage that seemed to feed on every of León’s words and gestures. Slash pointed Marron to open the last door slowly, not to try something weird. Once the four of them were into the office, Run locked the door and stood before it, as Slash took position from behind the other two men, by the window.
— Which of you is Salvatore —Run asked them, and the bitter coldness in his voice surprised those who heard him.
León grinned again resting against the desk's edge. Run turned to Marron.
— I want all the papers and the counting books. The true ones. I want names.
Marron faced León astonished, he agreed without looking away from Run, always grinning. The other man hid a sigh and pulled the drawer’s keys out of his pocket. Slash stood by him, to keep the man from even thinking of taking out of them anything else.
— So you turn out to be a high-classed thief —León said then raising an eyebrow—. Who should have said? — It’s always better than pimping for babies.
Marron handed several folders out to Run, who noticed how his hands were shaking. He took them with a sneer, flirked at them. Marron had turned to Slash pointing out a black briefcase. León stepped up to Run
until he forced him to hold up his eyes.
— Don’t tell me you’re with that idealist prats’ group... —he softly laughed in mockery—. Though I could expect that from you. And what are you gonna do now? Kill me? Think, Rosschild. Those kids are looking for food among the trash when I pick them up. And that’s what they’re gonna be doing right tomorrow if they lose this job. Or are you gonna give them something in exchange? There’s nothing but a line between you and me, and it’s up to the hand that traces it. Who’s right, who’s wrong? You, playing the Quijote and dooming those kids back to misery ? Me, giving them at least a chance to eat once a day, they and their families?
Run pushed him away clenching his teeth. — Here’s data missing.
Slash showed him the briefcase. He pointed Marron again to open it.
— Hurry up —Trash said then.
At that moment Marron pretended to open the briefcase, and instead whirled round and tried to smash Slash on the face with it. Three gunshots sounded together as Slash dodged the briefcase. Marron slumpped onto the floor wihtout even a sigh, reached between the eyes by Boss’ shot from the roof. Run had pushed León away, and turned around when he heard a hoarse groan behind him. His friend had fallen on his knees, bent over as he clasped his belly with both his hands, where the Slash’s deflected shot got him. Run crouched down by his side and held him up.
— Run, let’s go! —Slash cried, already about to jump out the window.
— Don’t worry, it’s noise proof —León mumbled, resting against Run’s chest as his friend took his hands and pressed them onto the wound to stop the bledding, even knowing all he was doing was just delaying his death.
— Go back with Boss, I’ll be right out.
— Are you nutts? —Boss managed to say—. Come out of there right now, both of you!
Run gazed up at Slash without leaving León. They looked into each other’s eyes for a moment. Then Slash nodded and got out the window in silence, speeding his pace to meet Boss.
— Just try to make it short —was all he said, before going down the ladder.
Run yanked the mic away from his jumper and leaned over León, who had closed his eyes, his features constricted with pain, gasping. Run wasn't breathing right either; his chest hurt, his eyes burnt. He wrapped his arms around León and held him tight, sinking his face into the blue-black hair. He was surprised feeling León pressed his arm.
— Finish what you started, Rosschild —he panted—. Don’t wanna be dying for hours...
Run lift the man’s head, finding his bright black eyes shinning as always, his lips pursing in his trade mark grin. And he knew he hadn’t got the nerve to refuse. He sat down on the floor, placing his friend between his legs, holding up his face between his arm and his chest, the gun ready on the other hand.
— You know... You always did what you wanted, León. With your life, and with mine... And the worst of all is that I never could even chide you for that... I admired you too much... It got me scared sometimes, feeling how important you were for me... —he swallowed painfully, trying to conceal his trembling voice—. Even now, that I can’t still believe this filth you partake in...
— Rosschild... I’m fucking dying... Save your preaching for once...
Run managed a shaky laugh, León grinned again.
— Always so goddamn beautiful, you prat... —his features contracted with a pain burst—. If you only could know how I loved you... That’s why I always tried to push you away... Guess you figured it out when you met Marron... Such a fucking idiot....
— You’re not meaning...
León agreed holding his breath for a moment. — He was just a pain in the ass... but he looked so alike to you... it was worthy to endure him...
Run held him tight again against his chest squeezing his eyes shut, teeth so clenched, trying so hard to repress himself. — Holly shit, León! If you hadn’t gone away...
— Rosschild... I can’t stand the pain... anymore..
He nodded bitting his lower lip, eyes full of burning tears. León managed to raise a hand and gently brushed his face, gathered his few strengh left to smile at him.
— Come on, bud... This last line... You’ve gotta trace it...
Run clasped onto his shoulders, raising the man’s head and lowering his. His tears fell down on León’s face as he put the gun against his chest. León tilted the head just a little. Looked into his eyes one last time, still grinning as he softly brushed Run’s lips with his own. Run didn’t move away, allowing León to kiss him as he desperately sought for the strength to pull the trigger.
Until he found it.
Sayaki - 4/2k