Falling from the Moon

A "Please Save My Earth" fanfic

By Natalie Baan


Chapter 8



It's night, and high above the Tokyo streets there's a light wind coming off the bay. Rin, crouching on a cross beam near the top of the Tower, feels it tug at his tee-shirt, play games with his hair. He stands up, theatrically holding his arms out for a balance he doesn't really need. Shimmering lights stretch out for miles beneath his feet.


That particular sparkle is his own apartment building, ridiculously easy to pick out. He doesn't even have to check the city map in his head--because down there Alice is on the balcony, saying a late good night to her plants. She's singing to herself, a brief, plaintive melody he's heard often the past few days. See? There she is. Perfectly visible, if you know how to look between distances instead of across them. He'd watch her all the time, except that would invade her privacy. There were girl things she would be embarrassed about; it wouldn't be nice. So he only looks in on her occasionally, when he can't stand it any longer and has to know that she's truly there.

That's his own bedroom next door, where he's supposed to be. The doctors say he needs to stay in bed for another week at least. Bandages still, after that, and no school for a long time.

Stupid, stupid doctors.

That thought leads where it always does, where most thoughts do, and his heart gets tight inside him. He flashes on the station's medical center, and the miserable son of a bitch who couldn't just let him die-- For long moments he is there again, with the empty hallways, the stars, and the dead. The years go by so many and so slow, with only love and helpless rage to sustain him in the dark.

The dark....

He leans back against a girder and presses his palms against the cool steel--doesn't close his eyes. Closing them will only make it worse. He keeps his eyes wide and staring at the brilliance of the city's lights until they threaten to water from the strain--until the night has gone back into the sky and the shadows, where it belongs, and into the furthest places of himself.

He takes a long, deep, shuddering breath.

All this because of Shukaido--and now Shukaido gets to wear Shion's face; Shukaido has Mokulen loving him and Tamura Kazuto ready to die for him; Shukaido is gentle and sickly and wronged so that everyone feels sorry for him, while Rin looks in the mirror each morning and is reminded of everything that he's lost.

The wind grows stronger, and he smiles at it.

Shouldn't he be bitter? Shouldn't he be angry? Shouldn't he want Shukaido to feel what he has felt, to see what he loves best die? To long for death before it comes at last?

Damn him. To the blackest hell.

Want a preview, Shukaido?

/Been/ there.

And now he's going to teach you what it's like, in simple lessons that you can comprehend.

Isn't that what you always wanted, Shukaido--to become the person capable of this?

Somewhere on the Tower a loose cable sings, drawn across metal by the wind, a high note that shivers on the skin.

Not stupid, no. Intelligent enough to recognize what he has become, what he is becoming. Stupid is Enju, who's trying to stand in the way of that. Did she really expect anything different, when cruelty is so easy, and the rage is so much better than the grief?

It's funny, but every time someone breaks through to the part of him still capable of that, of grief--they die. Lazlo. Kyaa. Mokulen. Fallacious connection, but still--it's amazing how regularly it happens.

Far better the rage. No one he's liked has ever died from that.

But for a moment, he'd thought Enju had.

He remembers looking at her lying on the high school roof, broken and bleeding for those stupid reasons that he'd found out later, and he'd felt what he might have if she truly were dead.

She could have been. /Idiot./ And it would've been all her fault.

Nonetheless, he doesn't want Enju to die. He doesn't want her to die at all. Enju had been kind to him, not so long ago, he doesn't dislike her, and although he /has/ killed, he isn't a murderer, not like that. She's helpless, and perhaps she truly thinks she's doing good.

He doesn't want to kill anybody who's innocent. It matters.

It does.

Enju and her "Shion-san" and "not your enemy." She should be afraid, but instead she offers herself up like that, sacrifices herself for things that make no sense. He can't understand her motives at all.

Hard to figure out a woman. Even when she's a man.


--"Kill him, or anyone...what does it get you? It'll only destroy you, your own soul...."--


Your own soul. Do you care, Enju? He's not the sort who believes. But he could almost believe in you.


Force is not an option. How then should he deal with her? Can she be persuaded? He lies well, but he doesn't entirely trust that she can't see his intentions, whatever she says. Find a way to put more subtle pressure on her, convince her that it's easier, better, not to get involved?

Wait, the way she'd asked him to?

The fury lashes up in him with a familiar shock, and he stamps on it so that he can think instead-- Think! What does she really want--time for what, what is she protecting? /Who/ is she protecting? Shukaido? Herself?


Ho, Enju.

You /are/ a fool.

Does he realize? Does he realize you're sheltering him again, as he's always been sheltered? He's never known anything else--goddamned golden boy always in Shion's face, gentle and proud and stupid. Would he even understand why you're doing this, let alone care?

Is he still after Mokulen?

He doesn't deserve her!

He doesn't deserve /anything!/

/It's not fair! He should hurt too!/


--"I don't want any more harm to be done."--


/Why should anyone be spared!/

The memories come, and he is falling into darkness again, into the person who understands only war and the storm and the deadly fear that grows into hatred, and part of him welcomes it because it is the only power he has ever known, the single fierce urge to strike now, strike hard, because there is no future, nothing but the life of this moment which must preserve itself, which must live, and in living does those things, those terrible things, savage--

/Necessary. /


--"Can you stop?"--


And there is only the rage.


--"Can you?"--




--"/Can you?!/"--


He screams. Leaps--


There are whole seconds of falling. Steel rushes past. His arms are crossed in front of his face. Between them, he sees the empty street; it hurtles at him faster, picking up speed. Late night, little traffic around the Tower, no one to see or realize. He is flashing by the scaffolding. His heart hammers: the ground is coming up at him, he watches it come, ten meters, three meters--

Three steps.

He flings out his hand and stops the Earth.

Rin hangs upside down a moment, his fingertips not quite touching the sidewalk, then pushes off and flips to his feet. All around him there is the city and its lights and its darkness, and nothing else.

He sinks down to his knees. In the middle of the empty sidewalk, he begins to cry. He cries for a long time, alone.

When the tears have ended, he wipes his face on his sleeve, and looks up at all the distance he has fallen. So very far....


--"...can you stop?"--


All of a sudden, it strikes him as funny. He begins to laugh.

Was that what you wanted, Enju-chan? Was that what you meant?

He springs skyward again. High above the city, Rin vanishes--

--and reappears elsewhere. He collapses from the air, landing facedown across his bed. Pain--but he doesn't cry out, only hugs himself against the strain of the teleport. Not as bad as it could be. Soon he'll be better, sooner than anyone thinks.

Won't they be surprised?


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