title: on Orders
fandom: Loveless
characters/pairings: Ritsuka/Soubi
rating: G
warnings: talk of death
summary: Ritsuka gives Soubi some orders.
notes: post-series, ritsuka at about 15... following in the same general universe as all my loveless fics, about...

Ritsuka rolled over to his back, staring at Soubi's ceiling. He was supposed to be doing his homework. Soubi was in the corner, working on a canvas on an easel. His hair was up, and he was wearing a loose tank top. It was too warm, by far. It was making Ritsuka itch with thoughts.

"Soubi. What happens to someone after they die?"

Soubi's hand quivered over the canvas, and he set the brush down. He looked at Ritsuka and then wiped his hands on a towel, and came over to Ritsuka, kneeling on the floor next to Ritsuka. "I don't know. They're just... gone, right?"

Ritsuka narrowed his eyes. "But where do they go? They can't be gone, gone. Right? They still affect us. We can still talk to them. I think. Don't you think?"

Soubi licked his lips, and shrugged, reaching up to the bedside table to grab his cigarettes. "I don't know. I suppose. If you say so, Ritsuka." He pulled out a cigarette with his lips, and started to light it.

Ritsuka furrowed his brow. The more he thought about what Soubi said, the angrier he got. He grabbed Soubi's cigarette, and threw it to the floor, getting up to stamp it out. "Soubi! I'm asking you a serious question! And don't smoke anymore! It smells disgusting, and it makes your breath disgusting!"

Soubi blinked, and looked down at his smashed up cigarette. "Is that an order?"

Ritsuka wanted to slap Soubi, but he never could. "It's an order!"

"Yes, Ritsuka," Soubi nodded, looking down at his last cigarette. He'd barely tasted it.

"Soubi! Don't you ever think about death?" Ritsuka had his hands balled up in fists at his side.

He was really passionate about this. "All the time. Why are you thinking about death? Ritsuka?"

"What do you think? What will happen to you after you die? What do you want to happen?" Ritsuka leaned in closer, looking Soubi in the eye.

Soubi blinked. "It will be over. Finally."

Ritsuka reared back. "Soubi! Do you want to die?"

He didn't have a cigarette anymore. He looked at the crushed butt, somewhat regretfully. "I have wanted to die. Many times. But what I want is irrelevant. I live for my Sacrifice. Everything I endure is for my Sacrifice. So, my life has meaning, and my death will have meaning. After that, well, it's irrelevant."

Ritsuka fell down into Soubi's lap and threw his arms around Soubi's neck. "What about after? Soubi? What if there is an afterlife? Will you still exist for your Sacrifice? If you could, would you be with me forever?" He leaned in closer and closer, until they were nose to nose.

"Forever?" Soubi frowned, and put his hands on Ritsuka's hips. "But, I don't... understand... What is forever?"

"Soubi!" Ritsuka furrowed his brow, his tail sticking up. His fingers got tangled in Soubi's hair. "What do you mean, what is forever? Forever is forever! It's always! Eternal!"

"But I don't understand, Ritsuka," Soubi sighed, leaning closer to Ritsuka, clinging to Ritsuka more. "What is forever? I don't know what that is. There is now. I understand that. There is the past. What else is there?"

Ritsuka opened his mouth to retort, and then he shut it. He looked into Soubi's eyes, long enough to calm down. His tail swished over Soubi's legs. "Soubi. What about the future? Don't you think about that?"

"There is no future," Soubi stated plainly. "There is now, and there is the past. Each moment passes into the past, and each new moment becomes the now. That's all there is."

"What about someday?" Ritsuka combed his hands through Soubi's hair. He pulled it out of the ponytail, wrapping his fingers in Soubi's hair. It needed to be washed. "Someday, I'd like to wash your hair for you."

Soubi brightened. "I'd like that."

"And someday, you're going to take my ears and tail," Ritsuka licked his lips, and averted his eyes.

Soubi's eyes widened, and he drew in his breath sharply. "When?"

"When? I don't know when!" Ritsuka blushed. "Someday, someday!"

"But when?" Soubi slipped his arms around Ritsuka's waist, and pulled him in closer. "Tonight? Next week?"

"No! Not for years!" Ritsuka wiggled back, and glared at Soubi. "I said someday! When I'm ready!"

Soubi nodded, but the light in his eyes was gone. "I see."

"You believe, don't you?" Ritsuka narrowed his eyes.

Soubi watched Ritsuka evenly, maintaining eye contact. "No."

"Why not? I told you, it will happen," Ritsuka deflated a bit.

"Someday," Soubi shrugged. "There is no such thing."

Ritsuka leaned back, biting his lip, thinking. "But I said that there was. It's an order. Someday, I want you to take my ears and tail. Because. I... I don't want it to be anyone else but you."

Soubi watched Ritsuka with wonder in his eyes. "Yes, Ritsuka."

"So you believe that someday, you'll take my ears and tail?"

Soubi beamed. "Anytime you want, Ritsuka."

Ritsuka scowled. "Someday! I said someday! And until then, no one else should touch you... like... that, and you shouldn't touch anyone else! B-because, you're mine, and I can't bear it!" He threw his arms around Soubi's neck, clinging to him. "And when we're both dead, we'll still be together, ok, so don't forget, not ever! It's forever! This is forever! Right here, this, this is forever! Soubi! Do you understand?"

Soubi lifted his arms, and hugged Ritsuka. "Ah, I understand now. Ritsuka. Forever. Ritsuka... I love you."

"You always say that," Ritsuka sighed. "I'm not even sure you know what it means."

Soubi chuckled, and Ritsuka could feel it in his chest, because they were so close. "Then someday, I'll prove to you that I do.

"How does that sound? Ritsuka?"

Ritsuka blushed, and clung to Soubi tighter. "Fine. But you'd better do a good job of it."

"Yes, Ritsuka," Soubi smiled, and, his lips touching the ears that would someday be his, he thought about someday for the first time in his life.