Illuminating the Darkness

BY : LucyMay
Category: Descendents of Darkness/Yami No Matsuei > General
Dragon prints: 2632
Disclaimer: I do not own Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Hisoka awoke to find his bed empty, and bolted up with alarm, his eyes traveling over to where Watari was toweling off his long tresses by the bedroom mirror.

“Don’t worry, little one. He just went down to breakfast with the chibis. You slept even less than he did last night, so he let you be,” Watari said, glancing at his reflection in the glass. “Shall we join them?”

“Yeah,” Hisoka grumbled, resenting being left behind.

Downstairs they found Hy and Finch bickering about something trivial, while Tsuzuki and Michael ate in silence.

“Yeah, well you didn’t have to answer me like I’m some sort of idiot,” Hy huffed, crossing his arms.

“I was merely trying to word it in a way that you would understand,” Finch said calmly, his heavy lidded eyes lighting on the two who had just arrived. Hy fumed, following his gaze.

“Good morning,” Watari said, ruffling Hy’s hair affectionately and sitting beside him. “Did we have a good night’s rest?”

“Sure. Dandy,” Hy said, coloring slightly and glancing away from Watari’s suggestive grin. Hisoka noted with curiosity that he and Michael were sitting with Tsuzuki and Finch between them.

“How are you?” Hisoka asked softly, sliding into the chair beside Tsuzuki.

“I’m fine,” Tsuzuki said with a smile, surprising Hisoka when he leaned in, giving him a tender kiss.

“Baka,” Hisoka whispered, his eyes glancing quickly towards the others. He felt a strong wave of guilt escape from his partner and looked at him with concern.

“It’s not a big deal, Tsuzuki. It’s just awkward,” Hisoka said reassuringly, squeezing Tsuzuki’s hand under the table. Tsuzuki merely nodded, stroking his fingers lovingly with his thumb, and leaving his lover to wonder at his emotional overreaction as he seemed to close himself off.

“Are you ready, Tsuzuki?” Finch asked, looking toward the window of the hotel restaurant, where a boy with blond hair was waving to him from the street. Hisoka wondered why he had addressed his partner specifically as they followed the pair outside.

The tall, gangly blonde’s brown eyes sparkled when they rested on Finch, and the others watched with disbelief and discomfort as the taller boy pulled Finch into an impassioned embrace, capturing his lips in a kiss that bordered on violent. Watari looked quite entranced, and Hy shyly gazed at Michael, who was staring at his feet. Tsuzuki merely looked confused. Hisoka cleared his throat irritably.

Finch firmly pushed the other boy away with a scowl, to the blonde’s displeasure, and they began a conversation in French that quickly escalated into an argument. After a few moments of what seemed like exchanged insults and pleading, Finch finally calmed him with softly spoken words, and turned to the others completely unfazed as the other boy slunked off sulkily in the other direction.

“Good. Alain has agreed to lend me his bike,” Finch said with satisfaction, walking over to a small scooter parked in the street.

Before Hisoka or the others could even question how they were all supposed to travel, Finch mounted the bike and tossed Tsuzuki the other helmet.

“What’s going on?” Hisoka asked, as Tsuzuki climbed on behind Finch, throwing him an apologetic look as Finch started the engine.

“Tsuzuki?” Hisoka asked in numb shock, as he watched them pull away and merge with the traffic of the busy street.

xxxx

“That stupid idiot! I can’t believe he ditched us,” Hisoka said dejectedly, as Watari fiddled with a hand held PC in an attempt to look for directions to the Musee Fragonard. The four men sat on a bench outside of the hotel where they had been left behind by their guide and Tsuzuki.

“Tsuzuki’s really powerful. I’m sure he’ll be able to handle it,” Hy said. “And Finch may be an ass, but he’s probably some use at his job.”

Hisoka looked up at two pale blue eyes, as Michael uneasily patted his shoulder and gave him a look of sympathy.

“Well, Finch was right about one thing. There seems to be several Musee Fragonards!” Watari said, shaking his head and dragging a stylus across the small screen before him.

“Well, he said that he was sure which one would appeal to Muraki, so just look for the creepiest one,” Hy said with a shrug.

“Let’s see, it’s probably not the one centering on perfume,” Watari said, squinting. “The art museum seems unlikely, too. Somehow I just can’t see Muraki being a big fan of the Rococo period, despite his weird little doll collecting thing --”

“Watari, hurry,” Hisoka urged, his eyes still looking in the direction where Tsuzuki had disappeared.

“Aha! There’s a link on the museum page, mentioning that Jean Honore Fragonard had a nutty relation with his own museum in Paris,” Watari said, jabbing at the screen.

“What does it say?” Hisoka asked. Watari shook his head.

“The link is dead. Let me try another search,” Watari said. Hisoka sighed with frustration.

“Hey, guys, should I hail a cab or something? Maybe the driver would know what we‘re looking for, since it probably gets tourists,” Hy said, as Hisoka spotted the boy Finch had borrowed the bike from emerging from a nearby sweet shop.

“I’ve got a better idea,” Hisoka said, leaping to his feet and rushing up to the blond.

“Alain?” Hisoka said, remembering the name Finch had used. “Do you speak Japanese?” The boy gave him a confused look, before he tried asking about English, to which he received a timid nod.

“I speak a little,” Alain said slowly.

“Do you know where Finch went?” Hisoka asked, to which the boy shook his head. “How about the Musee Fragonard?”

Alain’s eyes widened slightly.

“Which one?” Alain asked, receiving a collective groan from the group.

xxxx

Alain looked a bit startled, having been pulled with bodily force by Hisoka into the nearest cab, and pumped for the information they sought. The car zoomed towards the outskirts of the city, to the area of Maisons-Alfort, once Alain mentioned a strange and little heard of museum was located there.

“I would not know it’s there,” Alain explained. “But I went with Finch once. It is not a good place, to my thinking.”

“Finally! Here it is,” Watari exclaimed, waving the little computer over his head. “It says here that Fragonard was an anatomist, who used a now unknown method for preserving the bodies of both animals and humans, using them as material for macabre works of art. His work was actually quite in vogue during his lifetime among the wealthy, in adding to their cabinets of curiosities.”

“And that’s the kind of place Finch takes a date?” Hy asked in disbelief.

“It was not a date,” Alain said. “We were working.”

“You’re shinigami then?” Hy asked.

“No longer. I left summons for investigations,” Alain explained.

“Oh, so you got a promotion! Good for you,” Watari said.

“It was not a transfer to my wishes,” Alain said with a shrug, with a look as though the subject pained him.

“Looks like we’re here,” Hy said, as the cab slowed to let them out on a quiet street before a stone wall bearing an engraved plaque reading Ecole Nationale Véterinaire d'Alfort.

“A veterinary school?” Hisoka mused aloud as they climbed out of the car, and Michael paid the driver.

“The world’s first, in fact, relocated from Lyons, and Fragonard was the director of anatomy. He was later fired for being crazy and later found work elsewhere,” Watari said, leading them to the front entrance.

They marched in silence past the old building of the school, following Alain’s lead, Hisoka feeling tense with mounting dread and urgency. What was Tsuzuki playing at, leaving him and the others to face Muraki on his own? Hisoka quickened his pace, urging their guide to make haste.

Alain lead them into a rather antiquated building labeled as the anatomy building and up to the second floor, Hisoka pushing ahead and taking the steps two at a time once he knew their general direction.

The door atop the stairs laid open upon a room that was dimly lit, Hisoka impatiently paying his way in and hearing nothing but the hollow clack of his shoes as he raced across the parquet floor, and the thrumming of blood in his ears. The small space was divided into three sections, which were each crammed with glass cases he only fleetingly registered the gruesome contents of as he went from one to the next, searching for his partner.

There were no other visitors to hinder him, and he finally reached a sight that gave him pause as he stepped into the last walled section of the museum. He could not help but lose focus of his goal for a fleeting moment, as his gaze fell upon the most impressively macabre vision he had ever encountered. Mounted on a pedestal which dominated the room were the skeletal remains of a horse posed in mid-gallop, bearing a well preserved and fully skinned mounted rider. As his gaze reluctantly lowered from the oddly glistening muscles and tendons of the corpse’s eternal grimace, he glimpsed the figures in contrasting suits of black and white beyond the gruesome sculpture.

“Humans are such frail creatures, are they not?” Hisoka heard, in the chilling voice that had so long haunted his recurring nightmares.

“I will not deny their uses though. They are delightful playthings. Just look at the beauty their raw materials can create. Their mortality is so enthrallingly poignant, sweet as their blood. I do sympathize with your infatuation with them, my love, but it is time that you accept their overall insignificance.

You have allowed much lowlier creatures to ensnare you, convince you that you share their very petty emotional weaknesses. It is not within your nature to feel these things, Tsuzuki. Will you not at last accept that we are brethren, and reject the inferior creatures from whom you so needlessly seek approval? They have most certainly rejected you, black lamb. They were never worthy of anything but your contempt. The sins you crucify yourself for are only sins in the eyes of the weak. You are stronger than these wretched insects, my perfect love.”

Hisoka craned his head slightly to see them better, not wanting his presence known just yet. He struggled within himself, wanting to run to Tsuzuki, shield him from any hurtful things the manipulative monster might wish to burden his mind with, but at the same time, unable to suppress a burning need for the answers Muraki might reveal.

As Hisoka slowly drew closer, crouching out of sight, he saw that Tsuzuki had fallen to his knees, head hung low and his hair obscuring his face.

“No, Muraki,” he heard Tsuzuki croak in a pitiful, low whisper.

“I offer you all that you have ever hoped for, Tsuzuki. There is peace in the darkness from which you were born. Above all, you crave love and forgiveness, and I am telling you that you have no need of either, that you have been disillusioned with an empathy for what is but dirt beneath your feet. Awaken, Asato! Hear my plea to your darkness! To your true self!” Muraki roared, his voice echoing through the room with a resonance that chilled Hisoka to his very soul as he watched the face of his lover with murmured prayers, begging him, though unsure what he was asking of the clearly shaken man.

Hisoka pulled himself up onto shaky legs, and darted around the pedestal, where he fell to his knees beside Tsuzuki. Muraki laughed, as Tsuzuki raised his head, his face wearing an impassive, malevolent smirk, and his eyes taking on a strange luminance.

“Poor timing as always, poppet,” Muraki said, his focus shifting. “Would he not be beautiful drenched in blood, Tsuzuki? Our own undying doll to play with at our leisure. Would it not be delicious to hear his screams? I see no reason why we can’t take him with us for our amusement.”

“Tsuzuki?” Hisoka pleaded, looking into eyes he no longer recognized, reaching out tentatively to touch his face. He gasped as his arm was clutched with a lightening quick grab, Tsuzuki’s hold tightening to an extent where Hisoka could feel the small bones of his wrist being crushed.

“All right, big fella. Unhand that chibi,” Watari said, running in at the sound of Hisoka’s pained cry. Tsuzuki wheeled around in anger, throwing Hisoka to the floor.

Hisoka looked up in a daze, to find the others had rushed in behind the blonde scientist, who was currently throwing anything he could pull out of his coat at an enraged Tsuzuki. Finding the powerful shinigami distracted, Hisoka saw Michael place his hands together, chanting softly as energy seemed to gather around him.

“Do you fools really think that you’re any match for Tsuzuki?” Muraki asked, looking on with amusement.

“That isn’t Tsuzuki,” Hisoka growled, struggling to his feet. “What have you done to him, you bastard?”

“What your king and all his minions most feared, though knew was inevitable,” Muraki said. Hisoka turned at the sound of a loud whoosh, a strong bluish light emanating from the now parted hands of Michael, who gazed upon Tsuzuki with intensity as the other shinigami released a fuda spell that knocked Watari off of his feet and sent him skidding across the floor. Before Tsuzuki could turn to respond, Michael unleashed his power upon him. Tsuzuki’s eyes went wide, as he clutched at his throat, mouthing silently as he was struck dumb.

Unable to voice an incantation to retaliate, he lunged at the visibly weakened Michael, as Hy threw himself between them.

“I’m sorry, Tsuzuki,” Hy said, eyes glistening, as he punched him in the jaw as hard as he could. Tsuzuki seemed only momentarily slowed, glaring at the boy murderously, as Finch and Alain stepped in on either side of him, spreading their arms in unison and chanting. Tsuzuki at last stilled, as a threads of golden light seemed to weave themselves around him.

Writhing, his voice returning to emit a howl of pain and anger, Tsuzuki fell to the floor, the golden light fading as the pair who had created it stood panting beside him.

Hisoka stumbled towards his fallen partner, but not before noticing that Muraki had gone.


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