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Title: Walking Under a Pale Blue Sky
Author: kittyheaven
Pairing(s)/Characters: Yohji’s POV. Slight Yohji/Aya
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The desert stretches endlessly out in front of him, his only choice is to keep moving.
Warnings: Some violence, hint of yaoi
Author’s Notes: This is supposed to be a bit disjointed and surreal, but I do have in my head what is ‘really’ happening if anyone is curious!
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the characters of Weiss Kreuz or make any profit from them



The sand ran over Yohji's bare feet as he climbed the dune. There was a vague thought that it should be burning his feet, but maybe he had passed that point now and he was beyond the pain.


How long had he been walking through this desert? It may have been forever, for all he could recall.


He looked up, it was still the same endless, pale blue sky, no clouds, but it had a haziness that made the sun a bright blur to his left. The heat baked his body and the unrelenting dunes that he walked through. He was thankful his clothes were light, though he didn't recognise them.


How far had he come? He wanted to turn and look behind him but something stopped him. He mustn't turn round, never look behind.


There was a wind blowing, but it was hot and gritty and did nothing to break the dry heat of the desert. Yohji longed for a fresh sea breeze, blowing wispy white clouds across a bright blue sky. He found himself recalling that rare holiday they had taken. Omi and Ken had been messing about in the breakwater while he chided Aya for not protecting himself from the sun. Aya had eventually given into Yohji's insistence on sun block and allowed him to start spreading it on his back. Yohji had let his hands linger longer than they should have, taking his time to trace every inch of Aya's skin. That had earned him a smile and a heavy lidded look over his shoulder, Aya’s eyes promising much more later on.


He’d been trying to tell him something.


Yohji's stomach lurched and he found himself standing in a featureless plain. He couldn't move and realised in horror that he was standing in a lake of blood that clung thickly round his ankles. He looked up and saw Aya standing in front of him. Blood was running down his face like tears, staining his white shirt, and winding down his arms. He slowly brought up a dripping hand, reaching for Yohji. His eyes and expression looked glassy but his mouth was moving.


He was trying to tell him something but Yohji couldn't hear any sound. He needed to understand what Aya was telling him. Somehow he knew it was important. He felt terror creeping over him, a scream formed but stuck in his throat until he felt like he would choke on it.


Yohji stumbled and fell into the dune. He scrambled up, gasping in fright. What had happened? It had felt like he was really there, in that vision, but he must have still been walking the whole time. That was dangerous. He mustn't drift off and lose track of where he was. He had to keep walking.


Aya had been trying to reach him though, to warn him? No, don't think of that, just keep moving, as long as he didn't stop he would be alright. Don't look behind you. Always forward, always another dune. They never stopped, but neither must he.


He ran his tongue over his lips, they were dry and cracked, and his tongue felt like sandpaper. It was strange though, that he didn’t feel thirsty. He didn't really seem to be sweating either, part of him seemed to think that was bad, but he couldn't quite manage to feel worried about it. He was tired though, the urge to just stop and curl up was a constant tug.


He couldn't give in, he mustn't stop.


Why was that again? Try as he might, Yohji couldn't quite remember how he had got here. His mind seemed full of cotton wool; thoughts were hard to focus on.


He blinked up at the pale blue sky again, it was so featureless. Why were there no clouds? Just that steady expanse of blue that rejected his gaze.


Why was he here? He tried to think, surely he must know? Yohji turned his head to look over his shoulder. Don’t look behind you! He snapped his head back, his heart pounding. What was that? Fear made him pick up his pace. Was there something behind him? Was he being chased? No, that didn't feel right. It was just him here, pushing himself forward. There was something at the back of his mind though, trying to be heard. Danger?


He spun to his left at the yell. Ken flew through the air at him, his fist raised and the claws of his bugnuks out. He meant business. Yohij raised his arms, hoping to use his momentum to flip Ken over and minimise the damage. He had time for a bemused thought that Ken must be really hot in his full mission gear before he struck Yohji's left shoulder and they tumbled down the other side of the dune. Yohij threw himself up at the bottom and looked round desperately, ready for the next attack. Don't look behind you. But he couldn't see Ken anywhere.


It was just him.


And the dunes, hot under the hazy sun.


A mirage, that's what it was. A mirage caused by the desert.


Then why couldn't he shake this unease?


His shoulder ached where it would have been struck. Why had Ken been in his mission clothes, had there been a mission?


His eyes, his eyes, remember the look in his eyes. He'd been trying to tell him something.


No matter. It was important to keep going. To keep fighting… what? Why couldn't he remember?


Yohji stiffened. It was just the wind across the back of his neck, that was all. There was no-one behind him. If he turned to check, don’t turn around, it would just be more dunes stretching out behind him.


He closed his eyes briefly and carried on. Up to the top of the next dune, then another, then another, there was no end. Just had to keep going, don't think.


Yes, it was easier not to think about it.


But he was so tired, his legs ached as he kept pushing on through the sand. His feet kept sinking, and walking up the side of a dune meant the sand shifted under every step requiring more and more effort just to make progress.


He was developing an intense dislike for that sky as well. There should have been a break in it, some slight difference, but there never was. Every time he looked, the same. At least the sand had different shaped dunes, and sometimes ripples caused by the winds blowing across them.


He passed some time trying to imagine pictures in them. Maybe he could find a clue hidden amongst the patterns.


He focused on the next uphill section; near the top he imagined he could see a dark shape. It almost looked like, like a person.


A body lying in the sand.


Yohji gasped and forced himself to start running. It couldn't be, was it really someone there? He scrambled up the shifting dune. The wind was strong and whipped at him, he could see it was blowing sand over the body. He had to hurry.


As he drew closer the nagging fear in his head became clear. Omi! He fell to his knees and stared to pull sand back from him. Omi was in his mission clothes as well. He croaked at him to wake up as he pulled at the sand smothering him, but Omi didn't respond. He just lay there passively as the sand sucked him under. Yohji sobbed in frustration as he fought against the gusts of sand that kept covering him faster than his hands could dig. He abandoned Omi's body and tried to keep his face clear. Why wouldn't he wake up? The sand was in his hair and creeping across Omi's face. Yohji couldn't clear it fast enough; it just kept sucking him down, away from him. Yohji screamed as Omi slowly disappeared from view, but his throat was dry and hardly any sound came out. He kept digging, but eventually, he couldn't even feel him anymore.


He crouched there in defeat. His rage and fear echoed round his head. You failed, you failed, you failed.


He realised with a start that his arms were nearly elbow deep in the sand, and it had completely covered his lower legs. He pulled himself up with a huge effort.


No.


He didn't want to end up like that, he'd keep moving, he wouldn't give up. He wouldn't lose.


Lose what?


One foot in front of the other, and again, and again.


Don't think about how tired you are, how difficult this is.


Or how you haven't had anything to drink or eat for far too long, and you really shouldn’t be able to survive much longer like this.


Ignore the damn sky or the fact that there is nothing on the horizon whichever way you look, don't look behind you, except more damn sand dunes.


There has to be an end eventually, as long as you keep moving.


Yohji had no way of knowing how much time had passed before he saw the other figure standing on the top of the dune.


He slumped in tiredness, he didn't want to do this again. Maybe he could take a detour. Yes, instead of going straight ahead he could just walk away, climb over a different dune. His resolve faltered though when he saw the red hair.


It was another mirage, that was all, not real.


But his heart ached nonetheless, and he found his feet leading him there anyway. As he walked closer he watched this version of Aya. His hair blew in the wind, and it pulled his light clothes against his body. He wasn't in his mission clothes, that meant something didn't it? Hope clawed at Yohji, maybe this was different.


Aya stood watching Yohji impassively as he climbed up to him. It seemed to take forever to get closer to him. Had he come for him? Was this the end of this nightmare? Aya gazed over his shoulder at something on the other side of the dune. He turned back to Yohji and looked fiercely at him. Yes, yes, he was telling him he had to keep going, there was an end on the other side.


In his haste to reach him Yohji stumbled and ended up crawling up the remainder of the slope. When he looked up again Aya was gone.


He must have already gone over the other side that was all, don’t worry. Yohji dragged himself up and staggered over the crest eager to see what Aya wanted to show him.


More sand dunes.


More fucking sand dunes as far as you could see.


He didn't know if he was sobbing or laughing. Even if he was crying he didn't think he was capable of producing tears anymore.


He could feel himself start to sink as he stood there. The sand was trying to suck him down.


No, he wasn't ready for that.


He lurched forward and allowed himself to fall down the other side of the dune. At the bottom he pushed up onto his hands and knees, but he just couldn't seem to get his legs to stand.


No matter, he'd crawl if he had to. Just keep going.


He almost screamed again.


Why? Why did he have to keep going, what was so bad about giving in? And what the hell was behind him? Don't look behind you. Why? What could be worse than being suffocated alive by sand, or dying of thirst in a never-ending desert? Don't turn around, don't do it.


Yohji continued to drag himself forward. His movements painfully slow.


Fine, he'd keep going he thought resentfully, keep going through the sand, keep going under the baking heat of a hazy sun, and the weight of that pale blue sky.


Time had no meaning. It was the battle that mattered, with his tiredness, his fear.


He managed three more dunes before, with a sigh, he fell face forward into the sand.


Yohji slowly opened his eyes, his head felt fuzzy and his body heavy. He shifted on the sun bed and turned his head to see Aya looking at him with a quizzical expression. There was something he wanted to tell him but he couldn't quite recall. It didn’t matter now. He felt the warmth of the sun on his back and the sea breeze tickling across his skin. If he listened hard enough he knew he might be able to make out Ken and Omi's voices amongst the crowds playing in the sea.


Aya reached out a hand to him, he managed to move his arm and grasp his hand. Aya smiled at him, his eyes crinkled, warm and reassuring. Yohji sighed, it was ok, nothing else mattered. Aya was here with him, they were safe and he could sleep now.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
skyrat13
Jan. 4th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
I thought that the bulk of this was really well done, but the ending kind of lost me. The story really seemed to be leading up to something dramatic, and I was actually expecting the outcome to be -more- surreal than it was. That Yohji was simply having a symbolic dream came as a bit of a disappointment and felt a bit rushed and anticlimactic.

I thought this was very well written (it was very vivid, I had an easy time placing myself in the desert and imagining Yohji's experience,) I just wish it had been longer and had a bit more to it's conclusion.
white_cross_b
Jan. 6th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
Nice job making the reader feel uneasy all the way through. Even while having a nice day at the beach Yohji can't get away from who he is, who Weiß is. Sad, but not unexpected.
mainekosama
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
What a sweet ending! The landscape you painted throughout this story was striking and scary; but that's just like I imagine Yohji's soul would be, so it fins ;-).
swirly_ayuri
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
I agree with skyrat. You did an amazing job of building suspense, and you had me hooked from the start! However, the ending seems somewhat lacking. Although I love happy endings, I certainly don't mind one that is tragic or gruesome, as long as it's well written and fits the rest of the story. I think if you'd just do this little bit of tweaking, the fic could be even better.
rubyroh
Jan. 9th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
I felt tired just from reading Yohji's efforts to keep moving forward. At the end, I was unsure whether he was at the beach dreaming about being in the desert, or if he'd collapsed in the desert and was dreaming about that time at the beach. I really wanted to know why he couldn't look behind him, though.
penguin_sama
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
You definitley succeeded in capturing Yohji's exhaustion! So many things kept flikering through my mind while reading - somehow you managed to bring to mind most strongly the OVA, as well as Yohji's battle at the end of Gluhen (when he tells Aya that he doesn't want to betray or be betrayed anymore). I really got the feeling that he might live with the struggle of fearing both the deaths of his teammates, and their (as well as his own) capacity to turn on him. A very thought provoking story.

As for all the comments about the ending, I only have this to say: every writing teacher I've ever had has told me never to do a "dream" ending, as it feels like a betrayel to the readers. That being said, I think that if the story had gone on a little more after Yohji's waking, it wouldn't have seemed so abrupt. I'm more interested in Yohji's reaction to his dream than in having any of the questions answered.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )