title: AfterLife
fandom: K Project
characters/pairings: Shiro/Kuroh, Neko
rating: G/Teen
warnings: snuggling, skinship, kissing
summary: After it's over, it's not over.
notes: contains spoilers for the end of the series. my little bit of post-watching wish fulfillment.

For not the first time in his life, he was surprised to discover that he wasn't dead. For not the first time in his life, he wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that.

It took him much longer to heal than any other time before. That wasn't surprising, since his body was literally ripped to shreds. The Red King didn't hold back, that was for sure! And it was just as well. That corrupted soul, that Colorless King... nothing less would have worked.

He expected to die, though. It had been a long time, and he was in a new body... He really expected to be dead. Finding himself alive... he wasn't sure what to do about it. During the time it took to heal, he spent a lot of time thinking, but he'd spent the bulk of the past six-plus decades thinking, by himself.

He was alive.

His body, having stitched itself back together, and healed up the parts that went missing, was slow and unwilling to move a lot. That was fine with him, but when he was finally able to get moving, he passed the broken husk of a school building, and saw his shadowed reflection in a piece of broken glass.

For some reason, he was shocked to see the face of Isana Yashiro looking, for the most part, just as he ever did.

For not the first time in his life, he laughed at something that wasn't funny.

"Kuroh? ...Kuroh!"

Sighing, Kuroh turned to face the cat-girl. Grimacing slightly, because once again, she failed to properly tie her yukata, he replied, "What? I'm trying to clean! You could help!"

She looked at him doubtfully. "Shouldn't we go back now, Kuroh? Shiro won't be able to find us here."

"I've already told you, it's all right," he turned back to his work.

"But...!" she complained.

"He'll be able to find us," Kuroh grumbled. "I've already told you. Many times. This the home of my former master, the seventh king, Miwa Ichigen. Shiro will know where this is, because as the Silver King, he would know that this is the home of my former master, the seventh king, Miwa Ichigen, and he would know that this is where I would come."

Kuroh kept his head down as he spoke. He did not lie. Everything he said was exactly true. However.

He did not believe that Shiro was capable of coming to find them. He wanted to share Neko's faith... but...

Sighing, he set aside his brush. She was still whining... He forced himself to smile, thinking about Shiro as he did. "We should go down to the river to catch tonight's supper. What do you think?"

Immediately, she went from sniffling and weeping to jumping around excitedly, grabbing his arm to hurry him. "Kuroh! Kuroh! Let's go, let's go, we have to catch fish! Carp! Cod! C'mon, c'mon, let's go, let's go!!"

"You're too easy to distract," he muttered under his breath. He moved to put away his cleaning tools. Even with an over-excited cat-girl on his arm, he still had to do things properly.

"Eh? What was that?" she frowned.

"Never mind," he shook his head. "We have to go catch dinner." He grabbed the fishing pole and bucket, and ruffled her hair like Shiro did. She beamed at him, and then pranced off ahead. He followed, sighing.

Even though they did this every day, Neko still got rambunctious, jumping into the grass to chase frogs and dragonflies, screeching when they got to the riverbank as the coldness of the water shocked her. Eventually, she would put her toes in the water and then screech again, but once his pole was jumping from the fish on the line, she'd become fearless. After that, he only had to try to keep her from eating the fish raw from their bucket.

All told, the trip to and back took a bit over an hour, which wasn't too bad. He supposed he was like that with his master, too, when he was young, though he wasn't really sure how old Neko was.

As they approached the house, they could hear voices, which wasn't too unusual, though only the old woman who lived nearby came with any regularity. However, just as Kuroh was about to warn Neko to be careful, they heard the musical, sparkling laughter...

"Shiro!" Neko took off running.

Kuroh froze in place, his eyes wide. His heart was thumping in his chest, painfully. "Shiro!" Neko screamed, upon confirmation... it seemed? Kuroh dropped the bucket of fish. All he could hear was his heartbeat. The edges of his vision was getting fuzzy. More like being drawn than choosing to move, his feet took him one step closer at a time, until he rounded the corner, and he could see it.

The First and Silver King... Isana Yashiro. With Neko in his lap. Petting her gently, smiling.

Just like always.

Just like before.

"Kuroh! It's been a while."

His King beamed at him benignly. He was wearing simple clothes, in black, which made his face and hair seem to shine all the brighter. Kuroh somehow kept moving forward.

"He looks like he's seen a ghost!" the old woman laughed. "I'm glad I was able to bring you here! Seeing that face makes it all worth it!"

"I told you! Meanie Kuroh! Shiro couldn't find us!" Neko complained, sticking her tongue out at him.

Kuroh was just staring at his King, though. "Welcome... back..." he weakly offered.

Shiro grinned. "Ah, Kuroh... that's not quite right. I've never been here before. So, it's not really... welcome back, is it?" Shiro laughed.

Kuroh's heart was pounding, and he knew he was blushing.

"Ah, you young people need to catch up, and I need to get cookin' for my family. I'll see you later, then!" the old woman bowed to them slightly, smiling.

Kuroh knew, in his mind, that he should reply, but he couldn't tear his gaze away from Shiro for anything in the world. Neko rubbed her face against Shiro's chest. Kuroh could tell why she would want to do that...

"Kuroh, you really do look like you've seen a ghost," Shiro smiled, but it seemed like he was apologizing, too.

"How do I know it's really you?" Kuroh asked, breathless. But he didn't really care. He did, because he could only serve his King, but. He wanted this to be real.

"Kuroh, that's mean!" Shiro complained, making a cute face. A few months ago, Kuroh probably wouldn't have thought it was cute. "But it's so like you. You need proof. Mm. Well!" Shiro winked, and then he put his hands together.

With seemingly no effort and no strain, there was a small flash of light, and then the Sword of Damacles ,Shiro's sword, the gleamingly pure silver sword of Shiro, the First and Silver King, appeared above them.

"Shiny!" Neko happily gasped.

Kuroh thought he might cry.

"I should put this away. It's not really a parlor trick," Shiro laughed.

"It's you. You're here," Kuroh sighed, breathless.

"I take it you're happy to see me?" Shiro grinned.

"Yes!" Neko answered for all of them.


Shiro stepped outside to fetch Kuroh. The moon and the stars were particularly bright that night, and in Kuroh's sentimental state, he felt like they were there to greet the Silver King. Shiro himself, though, appeared to be just as always. Smiling stupidly, tripping over the hem of Kuroh's late master's yukata, waving too widely since Kuroh could clearly see him...

"Kuroh! You should say something when someone calls out to you!" Shiro whined, making a big show of pouting and putting his hands on his hips. "It's your turn for the bath." Neko had insisted on going in with Shiro, which galled Kuroh, but he allowed it simply because the girl was convinced that she was a cat.

In the moonlight, the Silver King seemed... as if he were from another world. Thinking that, Kuroh suddenly couldn't hold back. He reached out and put his hands on Shiro, touching his arms, and then his neck.

And then they were kissing.

Kuroh had never kissed anyone before, so he didn't know what he was doing. He knew that he needed to get his arms around Shiro, though. He needed to be holding Shiro as tightly and as quickly as possible.

"K-Kuroh!" Shiro exclaimed, once Kuroh let his lips free.

"Is it all right?" Kuroh asked, surprising himself with the neediness in his voice.

Shiro didn't respond right away. Kuroh knew he should let go, but he couldn't, not just yet. Finally, Shiro put his arms around Kuroh's neck. "Mm. It's fine. I... I'm happy, in fact."

Shiro sounded more hesitant than happy, but Kuroh was given permission, so he used it. He pressed their lips together again, and this time, Shiro took control of the kiss, and then their tongues were touching... Kuroh wasn't sure about that, but somehow, he liked it, and it made him want more. For one thing, holding Shiro was good, but he needed Shiro's skin, because that was much stronger proof that Shiro was there with him, finally, finally... So he pushed Shiro's yukata aside and grabbed onto Shiro's flesh. Touching Shiro's skin, though, made him feel hot. Their kisses felt hotter, too, more intense.

There needed to be more skin.

He pulled Shiro back, until his back hit the back of the tree. Both of their yukatas got shoved aside, and then there was plenty of skin contact. It still wasn't enough, and Kuroh knew why. He fumbled around, touching Shiro's cock. His own was hard as a rock, but Shiro was only halfway there. He looked into Shiro's eyes, uncertain but needy.

"Is it really ok?"

Shiro laughed, and touched Kuroh's hand touching him, kissed him. "Don't be in such a rush!" Shiro admonished, still grinning.

"I thought you were dead," Kuroh closed his eyes, his fingers digging into Shiro's hip. He continued his confession, gently stroking Shiro as he spoke. "I wanted to believe... but I was sure you were dead. Neko would cling to that damned umbrella... and I had..." Nothing. No faith, nothing to hold onto, no proof...

"I know," Shiro sighed, nuzzling closer to Kuroh. "I thought I was, too."

"You shouldn't have gone alone!" Kuroh cried out, his hand tightening around Shiro's cock. Shiro gasped. He was reacting, for sure. "Please... don't ever do that again!"

"I... I had no choice..." Shiro complained, rocking his hips a bit. "Kuroh... like this..." He moved Kuroh's hand, so they were both holding both their members. Shiro looked into Kuroh's eyes, and Kuroh felt like he was being blasted with heat. "Together. C'mon. Let's do it together."

Their fingers interlaced. The moved together. Shiro pulled Kuroh's head down, and they kissed again, and Kuroh felt like he was getting the hang of the whole kissing concept. He dug his fingers into Shiro's hip hard enough to cut his skin. They kept stroking, and Kuroh kissed Shiro's neck, his shoulder... his eyes. His hair.

They climaxed.

Neko was snoring softly. Shiro had put a blanket over her, but the way she was curled up, she was clearly fine. Shiro had bathed a second time with Kuroh, and there had been more touching and more kissing. It was fairly embarrassing if Kuroh thought about it, so he didn't. He just held the sheet open so Shiro could cuddle up to Kuroh in his futon. Kuroh couldn't help clinging to his King. There was more kissing, and now Kuroh wasn't as sure about it, except that he knew that he couldn't stop.

Shiro was alive.

Shiro pressed his face to Kuroh's chest, and Kuroh wrapped his arms around him. Shiro laughed softly. "My sister used to hold me like this. Of course, when she did, we were both fully clothed..." he snickered softly, and Kuroh could feel Shiro's breath against his skin. "That was so long ago.

"I fell in love. Back then. I was... always good at being friendly with people, but never good at being friends with anyone. Except my sister. We were inseparable. In fact, I even skipped grades in school so we could be in the same class. Claudia. She was amazing. She was all I needed.

"But there was a war going on... Terrible things were happening. We had to do... terrible things. Claudia... made it possible for me to just... focus on what I was doing. She blocked a lot out. Kept newspapers away, made sure the radio only played music, dealt with the soldiers... We did our research, and I was sure. I was so sure... we could have peace. We could all get along, if we used our findings correctly. Claudia was aware, like I wasn't, of how dangerous wanting peace was, but she helped me." Shiro sighed, and snuggled in closer.

Kuroh ran his hands over Shiro's body, being comforting.

"A Lieutenant from the Japanese army came to help with the project. When I first met him... It was a shock, I guess. He wasn't too sociable, either, but we got along just fine. Even I knew that we had to be careful. I don't know how his superiors would react, but I knew what would happen to me if the soldiers saw me with another man." Shiro sighed, and it wasn't a sound like Kuroh was used to from him. This was the sound of a man who had seen too much of humanity in his too long life.

It was disquieting.

"I said that I had fallen in love, but I was really too innocent. I didn't know anything about love, or... being in love. He kissed me twice. Once, late at night... he escorted me back to my quarters after a late night working. I was practicing my Japanese, and I wanted him to teach me some slang. Once we got to my room... he pushed me against my door and kissed me. It was... erotic. But then he left, right away. The only other time was... was after Claudia died. After her funeral, he accompanied me to my apartment. I was on the couch, with my head in my hands. He knelt down in front of me... touched my face... and we kissed again. We kissed for a long time... I... I don't know what else might have happened, but then there were people at the door.

"The last thing I ever said to the Lieutenant in person was Goodbye. Actually, that's the last thing I said to him over the phone, too. I was always saying that to him. He was always saying that I was running away. I was. I didn't know how to be alive without Claudia. I didn't know how to make people want peace. The Lieutenant did. He used the power I had discovered, and did wonderful things here in Japan. He became an imposing and splendid man. I just stayed up in the clouds, away from everything.

"When I first... well, when I realized I was alive and I could move... I saw myself... This new face. This new body. The Colorless King was corrupt and twisted, but he did me a favor, unknowingly. He brought me down to earth again. I met Neko, and you. Now, I have connections to this world again.

"Now, I have a new life. As Isana Yashiro. When you first kissed me... and asked if it was all right... I felt guilty at first. Like... I was betraying the Lieutenant. But he's an old man, now. And I've already decided to start new. I'm surprised, though! I thought I was just the sort of person you hated!" Shiro laughed.

"You are," Kuroh grumbled. "You know this is the first time you've ever been honest with me? And I can't even say I'm sure that you're being honest now, except that I don't think you'd make all this stuff up." Especially since even Shiro wouldn't make up a past lover at a time like this.

"It's all true! You have to believe me." Shiro leaned up, and looked into Kuroh's eyes. For once, Shiro wasn't smiling. "I'm starting a new life. With you. Believe me." Kuroh felt a huge rush of emotions, too strong and too powerful to name. He was about to kiss Shiro, but Shiro turned his face, smirking devilishly. "Ah, but... isn't Ichigen-sama watching over us here? That's a little intimidating!"

"D-don't say such creepy things!" Kuroh complained, flushing right down to his toes.

"You're telling me this, now?!" Shiro laughed.

Kuroh turned them over and kissed Shiro, hard, keeping his hands on Shiro's body. He could shut Shiro up.

Even if that laughter was the best thing he ever heard in his life.

The first thing he heard in the morning was Neko's triumphant cheer.

"Finally, you understand! Clothes are terrible! No more clothes!"

Shiro laughed, but Kuroh didn't find the idea of Neko running around the mountainside naked at all amusing. Nor did he like how Neko was edging her way into their futon to cuddle Shiro from the other side.

He would have to check and make sure she was fixed...