A High Price

Chapter 10

By Lizard


Tsuzuki lay silently, ensnared in Muraki's arms, but contentedly so, head pressed to his firm chest, their legs entangled. It didn't matter that he was sore, that he would probably be so for some time, because for now he was safe and didn't feel the slightest inclination to move. The doctor's arms tightened around him slightly, and Tsuzuki peered upwards, catching a glimpse of a smile on pale lips and the gleam of his eyes before they slid shut, ghostly lashes brushing high cheekbones. The Shinigami couldn't help but smile in response, and pressed the length of his lean form against the warm body that held him, drowsing peacefully.

He was unsure of how long they lay this way, but some small nagging feeling in the back of his mind, something he simply couldn't ignore, no matter how hard he tried, was steadily growing, making him unable to settle.

I shouldn't be here. Tatsumi needs me.

The thought made him stiffen slightly. How could he have stayed so long, knowing that one of his closest friends was in need of help? What if he was still sat in that room, and Watari and Hisoka hadn't been able to find him? He bit his bottom lip gently, sick with guilt that he'd made no attempt to get back to him and was lying here with an enemy they all despised.

But could he honestly say he despised Muraki anymore? Oh he hated what he'd done, there was no questioning that, but his feelings were mixed, so confusing that he wanted to scream with frustration. He couldn't stay, he had to go and help.

Listening quietly to Muraki's soft breathing, quite sure that he was asleep, he propped himself up on one elbow, and looked down at the man that had just taken him so completely. How easy it would be to kill him now. He wouldn't even need to summon his Shikigami. Considering such a thing sent another wave of guilt through him, and as if in way of apology, he leaned over the doctor, grazing ivory lips with his own. Muraki stirred a little, one arm sliding across his back and brushing his rear. The Shinigami shivered, even that slight touch serving to make him slightly aroused, as if to lure him back down to the warmth of the doctor's lips and arms.

Strengthening his resolve, Tsuzuki gently lifted Muraki's arm from him, and slithered off the bed, shivering as he furtively moved towards the dark heap of clothing on the pale carpet, hardly daring to breathe in case he should rouse the sleeping man. Sliding his underwear, pants and shoes back on, he realised that his coat and the rest of his clothes were somewhere downstairs. Topless, and now having to contend with chattering teeth as well, he left the bedroom, only succeeding in finding the stairs after he'd walked in circles several times. Every creak upon those steps sent his heart fluttering. As exhausted as Muraki had been, there was no way of being certain that he wouldn't wake up and find him trying to leave. After what seemed like a small eternity, he finished the descent, and paused to catch his breath, glancing back towards the top of the stairs, expecting to see a tall figure watching him. There was none, and feeling a little more confidant, he began to search for the room to which Muraki had first taken him. It proved to be fruitless, the house was so large that he could have wandered for hours trying to find the right door. For some odd reason, he managed to locate the front door with considerable ease.

Luckily for Tsuzuki, the Doctor had been careless enough to leave it unlocked, too busy keeping hold of his prize to worry about securing his home. No sooner was he outside, than the cool night air cut him to the bone, so bitterly cold that it hurt his lungs when he inhaled and made his large eyes water until tears streaked his cheeks.

He ran. Desperate to get away like some criminal running from a murder scene, aching muscles needy for warmth such motion would bring, but so pitifully weak that he staggered, arms crossed over his bare chest, slender hands rubbing his upper arms. He felt something sticky, and glanced down to notice that his own blood was still smeared across his chest and stomach, congealed at the base of his neck, though the wounds that Muraki had inflicted were long ago healed. They didn't matter. he kept running, trying to spot familiar landmarks and push the thoughts of the pleasure that those little cuts and bites had given him out of his mind. Did the fact that he had enjoyed them make him a masochist?

His foot hit a slick patch of black ice, and he fell sideways awkwardly, crying out softly as his hands were grazed on the rough surface of the road. There was a sharp pain in his ankle, and when he rose again, and tried to continue running, he could do little more than limp along.

"Tsuzuki!" The voice startled him, and he looked up fearfully, amethyst twins searching the night for the owner of the voice. Hisoka.

The boy was stood about a hundred feet away, Tatsumi and Watari on either side of him. Tatsumi was all right! Selfless as ever, Tsuzuki's face was lit by a broad smile, a ragged sigh of relief expelled from his lungs and clouding the night air. Everything was all right now, his friends were safe, and so was he. He vaguely realised that he was suddenly dizzy, and that the night seemed to be spinning around him.

"Tsuzuki!" Again, he heard Hisoka call out to him, but this time the sound was muffled and more distraught.

He didn't notice when his legs finally buckled, or the pain of impact when he hit the ground, for by that time the darkness had claimed him, and the other Shinigami watched helplessly as he lost consciousness, out of reach.

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