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All the honey that's running is blood due
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot
neverquitedies wrote in adstrngndumlog
Characters: Yuca Collabel and Kurotsuchi Mayuri
When: Backdated to the event
Where: Kurotsuchi's lab
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The event hits, and both of the scientists fortify the lab and try to protect one another.

Yuca swallowed hard as he glanced out the window, his eyes on the sky. In the past few days, he'd been watching, trying to judge if it would end, or if it would be the end. Either way, he found that he didn't particularly mind- if everything ended, then he would end too, and that was good enough for him.

Still. He wasn't sure how he felt about leaving Kurotsuchi to his death. It wasn't a particularly unpleasant thought, and yet, it still gave him pause.

He glanced behind him toward the scientist, biting his lip.

"The fire's getting worse. I don't know if our roof can hold out for the rest of the day."

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"It can't."

Though it was snappish, it wasn't directed at Yuca. He'd been reinforcing it with shields as much as he could, but there was a sense of futility that he couldn't quite shake. The fire ate through his kidou nearly as easily as it did the wood; besides, if the world was so set on ending, what good did prolonging it do?

"Retreat to the basement, I guess. For however long that ceiling holds."

So why was he bothering? Kurotsuchi didn't particularly want to die, he knew that much, and wanted to leave it at that. But if that was all, the prospect would've merely irritated him; witnessing a world end was a curiosity that should've countered it. The shinigami glanced to Yuca, ignoring the disquiet.

He nods, looking again outdoors, before moving away from the window.

"You're wearing yourself thin," he remarked, frowning at the idea. He knew he was useless when it came to things like shields and barriers, and he didn't know whether or not he liked the idea of Kurotsuchi doing all the work himself. Still- there wasn't much he could do.

"It's inevitable if this doesn't stop. We're both going to die."

Kurotsuchi knew it was a fairly useless expenditure of energy- no better than anyone putting up boards and metal; magical specialties were never valuable when he needed them to be. And at Yuca's comment, he almost questions why they don't just walk out into it, if it's pointless- but he stops himself, if only just.

"That'd be too easy, wouldn't it?" Turning away, he heads towards the stairs, ignoring the hissing of unnatural winds, the angry cracking of the building around them, the distant crashes of someone else's home giving in to the inevitable. "Don't rush it. Or go chasing discomfort when you don't need to."

He considered that for a moment- Yuca had always been one to just give in and die when there was no other alternative. It wasn't like he wouldn't come back, wouldn't just breathe again a few years later. But Kurotsuchi was right in a way- if he didn't have to, why bother? Besides which, from monitoring the network, it seemed that death was more fleeting than ever here.

Slowly, Yuca starts moving to the stairs too, lowering his eyes.

"It just feels so useless, staying here."

"In the house, in the city?" he called back, as they made it downstairs. "Hmph. Suppose there's no difference."

There weren't any windows to watch the destruction in the basement, but it didn't feel any safer. If everything fell in- he knew he couldn't contain it long.

"What would you rather do, then? Of your limited options now."

"I don't know. It doesn't feel like anything can be done."

Yuca moves over toward the animal cages, crouching down and watching as the horrors inside of them snapped and hissed at him.

"We could always let these go. Maybe they'd do some damage."

"Possibly." Not very likely. "They're not likely to survive here, at any rate, and if the whole places collapses, they can do something more than chew our corpses."

Practical, really. "Just throw them outside?"

"Maybe move the cages out and unlock them. Let them get out on their own so we have time to get back inside."

He glances over them, frowning.

"I don't want to lose our specimens, but it's not like they can't be duplicated."

"We lose them, we'll make better ones." Including Yuca in that, rather than considering it his work alone, was second nature by now. And as attached as Kurotsuchi was to his research, the interest was in the creation, the study itself- not simply having it.

"Besides, we could potentially track their corpses after," he adds, grabbing at the nearest cage and pulling it towards the door, stunning the hissing un-dog to keep from getting his fingers bitten off, "The results could be interesting."

"Yes. If they could eat parts of the strange things around the city right now, we could examine the contents of their stomachs."

He follows suit, taking one of the more vicious feline-like creatures after the shinigami.

"If nothing else, then at least they won't die in cages. They'll have a better chance."

"If the fire has any additional properties, it could leave traces of it in their burns," he added.

Bringing the things back upstairs took effort. And without his continued support, more wear was already showing in the structure. There was nothing to do but ignore it, though, opening the front door and pushing the cage through, leaving it unlocked.

The heat outside was much more noticeable; he didn't know fire could pool on the ground like that.

Yuca glanced over his shoulder at it, biting his lip and slowly sliding out the second newly-unlocked cage.

"True. As well as any other damage they might incur."

He found himself transfixed by the fire though, shaking his head.

"What could make it rain from the sky? It's not physically possible."

Kurotsuchi hesitated at the doorway, not closing it, for all that it wasn't exactly safe to stand there (but then, nothing was actually safe).

"How much in this city has bothered with keeping itself 'physically possible'?" he answered dryly, moving to stand next to Yuca. "It'd be interesting to stand above it, to find the source. It might not even be fire, just something that looks like it."


He looks a little closer, pursing his lips. He wasn't afraid of being struck by the flames- not really, he'd just die and it would be over- but he still held back, a little reserved.

"Is there any way to collect a sample?"

"Not easily, no." He stood there watching it almost blankly; the heat was almost soothing in a way. "No reason to bother yet, in any case. If it starts to die down, and we're still alive- perhaps it's worth the risk then."

Not that he didn't want to study it, but the thought of focusing on a bit of captured flame while the world burned around them was a little amusing.

"Yes, I..."

He glances up as a blast of fire crashes down onto the street in front of them, sending sparks and flames licking up the side of their house. Yuca swallows hard.

"I think we should get into the basement."

It wasn't so much as getting closer as it was already there and getting worse- but he had to agree. With half a glance towards him, Kurotsuchi grabbed Yuca's arm, already walking briskly back towards the stairs. "Practical observation. I'll-"

He cut himself off as a louder crack interrupted- half the roof following with a groan as it slid down into the house proper, fire spilling down as water, before the entire structure itself gave way.

Yuca spun, wide eyed as the building started to collapse, before scrambling to get down the stairs.

"Move- down, now- "

It was no good, he knew. If they were trapped in the basement while the fire raged above them, they were as good as dead.

He didn't answer; there wasn't much room to flash step either. It wasn't teleportation, and it was hard to dodge anything when he couldn't see it. In a blink, the upstairs was fire and shafts of wood; somewhere nearby, animals were screaming. It was a strange thing to notice in the middle of everything else.

His haori was on fire, and he could tell where Yuca was by sense, rather than sight; as the walls gave way, he ran into the stairs, falling into a stumble down them just to avoid getting immediately struck.

Yuca clung to him as the both of them managed to somehow get down the stairs, breathing hard, coughing at the smoke that was already beginning to seep downward.

He didn't speak when he saw the flames, his eyes just widened a bit as he reached out to pull the robe from the captain's shoulders, yanking hard at the fabric in a state of near-panic.

If he wasn't quite panicked himself, he wasn't thinking clearly, barely understanding what Yuca was trying to do, almost fighting him off before figuring it out. Tearing off the coat, he backed away, only half getting to his feet before half-tripping again, reaching a hand out to the wall for balance- and just as quickly snatching it away, burned.

He'd long since cut off powering any machine in the basement, both to conserve his own energy as for any other reason- but metal creaked and hissed and heated regardless, and it was distantly that he realized that much of what was kept in the lab was more than a bit combustible.

The rumbling wasn't distant at all; what had been calm only minutes before was a mess of progressively worsening conditions. It was still with near detachment that he turned, watching for a second as scraps of wood tumbled their way down the collapsing stairway, burning and spitting.

Whether it was from the collapse of the floor above cutting into the ceiling, long buried structural faults in an old building, dangerous materials pieced together in more dangerous ways- or some twisted combination thereof- but somewhere deep within the machinery, a chain reaction started. Metal screamed at a slightly higher pitch, and the laboratory detonated.

The noise briefly drowned out the storm overhead; the shards of superheated metal and glass briefly overtook the fire in terms of immediate danger. Shrapnel was fired in all directions; ricochet cut apart already damaged structures. It was more accident than design that Kurotsuchi covered Yuca's body at the time of explosion; in the few seconds of consciousness he had left, he made no attempt to change it.

They didn't have time- they didn't have time. Yuca knew that Kurotsuchi was almost drained of power, there was no way they'd be able to get out. He realized with a cold feeling amidst the heat radiating around them that they were going to die, trapped in there. There were worse ways to go. But there were certainly better as well, and as much as he knew death like an old friend, he still found his heart racing, his lungs expanding faster and faster, his muscles tensing up in the quick realization that he wasn't going to live through this.

Yuca barely registered the shinigami's body covering his own, not over the explosion and the sudden heat and shards of metal and glass that were now exploding through the room. He reached out, fingers grasping onto the fabric of Kurotsuchi's robes, tucking his head into his body and trying to rationalize- the lab was exploding around them. Vials burst, liquid splashed to the floor and was instantly vaporized- the cool, impersonal lab was twisted now into a steel inferno.

He continued to hold on, dimly aware that the other's body was shielding him, but unable to realize the true extent of the damage to Mayuri as a result. The smoke made him cough- he buried his face into the fabric of the other's garments and tried to breathe through that, the fire burning around them.

That it was death, not only unconsciousness- Kurotsuchi had no way of telling the difference himself. There hadn't been time to dwell on the small differences, time to question or think about it, or even be particularly worried. And in the chaos and the fire, noticing that everything had stopped would've been considerably difficult, even if one had been looking for it.

But when he was suddenly conscious again- that much the shinigami noticed, that was rather unmistakeable and unpleasant, and the only thing that kept him from screaming from the sudden overwhelming pain of it, was that he couldn't actually breathe.

This time he didn't have much of a chance to question it either; his hands twitched, clung to something- probably Yuca. Every shiver brought a new stab of agony, attempts to breathe brought choking and blood. He was impaled thoroughly by scraps of equipment. There was no chance of pulling them out in his condition, and apart from a ragged twitch, he didn't try. Sensing the other's life, that became the only priority- though pushing him down wasn't exactly something he had strength for either, managing only a nudge in his direction.

Dying was no more dignified or remarkable this time. Apart from the smaller shiver as he dimly realized what was happening, he couldn't feel anything at all towards it.

The blood dripped from Kurotsuchi's painted skin onto Yuca's cheek, and in that moment, his eyes widened with horror. He needed to get out- to try to pull the medical equipment out of him, maybe he could somehow heal himself- but Yuca was equally trapped, with the full knowledge that if he moved out of the shinigami's protection, he would surely die.

He tried to shield his face as he wormed his way up a little- pressing his hand against a shard of metal in the process, burning it white with a hiss. Yuca yanked his hand away, biting at his lip, and looking up toward the shinigami- oh god, he was dying, he was dead- again?

Yuca coughed from the smoke, tried to ignore the tears springing to his eyes (not an emotional reaction, he told himself, merely a physical one to the smoke all around him) and slowly tried to pull the both of them somewhere- anywhere safer than his current location. There was a corner of the lab that had relatively little in it- empty cages that had not been inhabited yet, the cooling fridge for growing bacteria. Gritting his teeth, Yuca tried to half-crawl, half-pull the other's corpse across the floor, even as the bits of glass cut into his face and the shards of metal burned his hands.

Ultimately, he knew there was nothing he could do. It would be a matter of minutes before he himself died. But he wasn't thinking rationally at that point, logic had little to do with it.

Reviving to pain and fire and suffocation- it was no less disorienting this time, his mind was no better for the experience. And in the middle of it was movement, wounds pulled at, disturbed, as his occasional corpse was dragged from the worst of it. Blood was everywhere, injuries sullenly bleeding anew as a few obstructions were removed, and a ruined circulation fought to escape while it had the chance.

His thoughts were a mess of anger and frustration and pain, little able to deal with anything he felt about Yuca damning himself by trying to protect a dying body- futile gestures that he couldn't break away from.

He didn't have the breath to tell Yuca to stop it. But even if he'd had the ability to tell Yuca to get away, he didn't have anywhere to tell him to go. Death creeped over Kurotsuchi again, only a few moments slower than the last, even as he lashed out at the darkness, upset and with rising panic- before everything was cut off again.

Yuca was breathing hard by the time he'd gotten Kurotsuchi over to the relatively-untouched corner, slipping out from under him finally and moving to look at the damage, wiping at his eyes with the back of his burned hands. He didn't have any bandages, there was nothing he could do, but he knew he had to try and heal this mess before the shinigami woke up again.

Tentatively, he pulled out a long shard of steel- one of the ones that had punctured the shinigami's lung. Swallowing hard, Yuca tossed it aside, ignoring the way the heat from it seared his skin. Another shard, a thin piece of glass this time. He pressed his hands over the worst of the wounds, willing the blood to stop coming- he didn't have healing powers, he couldn't save him, and in his attempts to make things a little more bearable for him, he'd probably just made it worse, but he wasn't thinking. He had to get these out- Kurotuschi had healing powers, didn't he? Maybe- maybe next time he came back, he'd be able to use them, maybe the animus would heal him, now that he didn't have the things in him-

They were too numerous to remove all of them, but Yuca took care of the life threatening ones, alternating pressure on the wounds that looked the most serious. For a split second, he thought it was going to work. A hysterical hope bubbled in his chest- Mayuri would wake up and be healed, he would find a way out, he would be okay- and a secondary explosion impacted the lab, shattering one of the machines. Shrapnel buried itself in Yuca's shoulders, peppering his back, and one, long steel pole shot directly through his chest.

Yuca struggled to take in breath, lowering his head to look at the thing that was now emerging from his chest, slowly reaching bloody hands over to touch it- it was only a matter of seconds before his world went dark and he collapsed on top of the shinigami, dead.

Waking up meant pain and darkness and confusion- though among it was the sick realization that he had died, that he was already in the process of dying again- senses choking on smoke and blood and heat.

A reflexive breath brought a choking cough, but a little air; something of a lung had healed, but it was fragile, still full of liquid. And as he fought- just a bit, to move- wounds oozed with more force. But there was a weight on him, he needed to get free; Kurotsuchi pushed awkwardly at it, only recognizing it as Yuca's body at the same moment he realized he could no longer feel the other's soul.

Kurotsuchi half-crouched against the wall, covered in blood and other fluid, barely conscious, still not entirely free of glass and metal- and he stared at Yuca's body, and for the first time felt panic.

Without thinking, he moved, falling next to him- and there went the ability to breathe again, and he nearly passed out again, outright- but his hands found the pole in the other's chest, and started pulling. Fingers scratched and dragged on metal, bruised and frantic, trying to gather any strength at all to free it. When he finally couldn't see, pain detached from him and fading, an unthinking despair remained, a nearly animalistic cry twisting his throat as he shuddered and died again.

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