tarnera: (Doctor Who - 5 - There must have been...)
Silver ([personal profile] tarnera) wrote2012-09-07 03:19 pm

Fic: Coming to Terms With Life

Title: Coming to Terms With Life
Author: tarnera
Appearing in this work: Ginko (AU/Mushishi), several members of the Batfam, and Jason Todd (deceased)
Spoilers/Timeline: Character death?
Word Count: 1,588
Summary: Jason Todd dies (again). Ginko has to cope with one of his closest friends dying (again).
Disclaimer/Thanks: I own nothing, save my crazy theories. Also this is part of a larger PSL where Jason Todd and Ginko are lovers, and Ginko is an immortal who can't die. Enjoy!

It’s raining in a slow, steady drizzle, the dark clouds turning high noon into a gloomy dusk. The very tiny collection of people dressed all in black huddle under their umbrellas, their pale faces and somber expressions blurred by the space between him and them; he doesn’t even really know any of the people. Not their street names, anyway. One of them must be Nightwing, one must be Batman, and there are probably a few Robins and ex-Robins in the tiny group, too. It doesn’t matter. He isn’t going to say hello. He isn’t going to even pretend to be friendly with them.

He’s always known this day would come. He is an immortal while Jason is—was—a human with a normal lifespan despite his brush with immortality; there was no way it could have lasted forever. But he hadn’t expected it to be over so soon… only a few decades, at the most. If only Jason had given it up… done something safer… been more alert that night… Ginko’s mouth twists as his mind plays over the sequence of events he’s been told about. There must have been something someone could have done. Even though he knows everyone did everything they could, he keeps playing it over and over again through his mind in an endless loop, as if that will bring his lover back to life.

Ginko hunches his shoulders, shoving his hands deeper into his pockets as the rain soaks into his hair and dark clothing. He’s not worried about catching a chill, because he never gets sick. Part of him does realize that he’s punishing himself, in a way… he’s alive and Jason’s dead, and that means he doesn’t get an umbrella. It’s stupid logic, but he can’t bring himself to care very much either. Honestly, the only reason he isn’t blind drunk right now is that would be a really shitty thing to do in Jason's memory… and he really doubts Jason would approve of him doing that, anyway.

The priest drones on and on; Ginko tunes in long enough to catch something about life after death and tunes out again hurriedly before he starts laughing. Not only would that be rude, but he has the somewhat dismayed feeling that any sound coming out of him right now will probably be hysterical at best. He feels half-crazy, already aching from loss… it hurts so much. He’d forgotten how badly losing someone you really, truly love feels... he doesn’t think he’s felt this bad since Tanyuu died.

After a while he loses track of what’s going on. The rain drumming down on his head, seemingly endless, and the strangely muted sound of people talking is enough to lull him into some kind of trance that may or may not be a form of shock. After more time he vaguely realizes someone’s trying to talk to him; one of the younger men. He catches the name Grayson, which gets filed away in his mind because that’s just what he does, but he doesn’t react visibly. After a bit the guy goes away. Maybe the other people told him to leave Ginko alone; Ginko doesn’t care why he’s gone, he’s just numbly grateful that he is.

When he finally pulls himself out of the trance-like state, it’s dark. He doesn’t really know how much time has passed; probably less than a day, or someone would have come back and forced him to come in out of the rain. Humans tend to do that. It’s still raining, which strikes Ginko as being entirely appropriate. He hasn’t managed to cry yet; his grief has created a yawning chasm in his soul, but his eye has remained dry. He doesn’t know why… he wishes he could cry, because maybe then it will hurt a little less. Still, it suits the side of himself that fancies itself a poet; the sky is crying because he can’t. If he tilts his head up a little so the rain falls on his face, he can even pretend he is crying.

Kind of pathetic, really. Pretending to cry to hide the fact that he isn’t.

He should really go inside… he’s pretty sure he remembers Grayson inviting him back to the mansion he saw back there, and he’s starting to shiver now. But he doesn’t want to… he just wants to stay out here a bit longer, where the thing that used to be Jason has been planted in the ground.

Ginko finally moves, taking a few stumbling steps before he manages to pick his feet up high enough off the ground. As he approaches he notes that the grave is relatively simple, as graves go. Just his lover’s name, and the date of his birth followed by the date of his first death… and beneath that, his second one. He finds it oddly right that they kept both dates. After all, that first death shaped Jason into the hurt, angry, beautiful young man he’d fallen in love with.

He kneels down on the tiny hillock of earth, numb fingers tracing the name. You usually say things at a grave, don’t you? Ginko finds himself drawing a blank at first, and so he just continues to run his fingers over the gravestone, tracing letters, numbers, or simply following lines in the stone… it occurs to him after a while that this is a macabre parody of stroking a lover’s skin, but he doesn’t stop.

Eventually the rain lets up. Eventually, Ginko starts to feel tired, then exhausted… but he’s too numb to care. He’ll just stay out here, with Jason, forever... but he does give into the feeling enough to lean against the grave, a slightly awkward position, and close his eyes.

“…always loved you.” Is that his voice? It sounds so hoarse and tired. “I know… I know we never really talked about it, a-and you didn’t want to hear… but I did, I loved you… so, so much, Jason.” He pauses to swallow, rubbing his cheek against smooth, water-slick granite. “I loved you for how broken you were… and how you managed to be good still. Maybe not everyone could see that in you, but you were good… and you were good for me. I’d started drifting, you know. Looking at the people I should have been helping like they were… bugs or something. You grounded me again, reminded me that I’m human too, so... thank you for that.”

The breath he draws is shaky, and he’s glad he’s sitting down. Maybe he’ll just go to sleep here… sleep with Jason one last time. He doesn’t find the idea as creepy as he probably should… maybe dying so much has scrambled something in his brain. He wouldn’t be at all surprised if that was true.

“I… I could say a lot of things here, like… like I wish you’d done something else with your life, and I wish—“ He breaks off to choke back a sob. When he speaks again, his voice is hushed, almost a whisper. “By anything that fancies itself a god, I wish you were still here. I won’t… I would never force that on you, I know what that’s like, but…” Ginko presses himself a little more into the gravestone, shoulders shaking and tears finally spilling down his face. “Dammit… how the hell am I supposed to live without you, huh?” He starts crying in earnest, deep sobs wracking his body and a low keening coming from his throat. There's no one around to hear him, not that he would have cared if there were, and he gives himself over to grief for a while.

He loses track of time again somewhere in the middle of that, so when he's finally able to calm himself down he has no idea if five minutes or five hours have passed. Wearily, he reaches up to wipe some of the liquid off his face. “Stupid... I was so… stupid, getting myself involved with a mortal…” He sniffles, blinking into the darkness. He doesn’t hurt any less for all that, but he doesn’t think he can cry anymore right now. “I don’t… I don’t regret it, Jason. I couldn’t. But I really don’t know how I’m going to live without you… guess I’ll manage, since I don’t really have a choice about either of those things.”

He lays his right palm over the two d’s, which is the only thing he can easily touch in his current position, and he doesn’t really feel up to moving right now. “I’ll always miss you, Jason. And… as long as I’m alive, I’ll remember you.” His fingers move, slowly tracing over the lines and loops of the two letters. “I can’t… meet you anywhere, if the religious people are right, so… so this is the next best thing. I’ll remember you forever, and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help you more while you were alive.”

Ginko finally falls silent. There's nothing more to say, and he feels worn out from all that--mentally, emotionally, and physically. He doubts anyone would mind if he just… stayed out here. Just for tonight. He's pretty sure all of them know he's an immortal, so they probably won't be too worried about him. He allows his eyes to close, breathing slowly evening out as his fingers slide down the grave to rest on the dirt at its base.

Maybe he could plant some flowers here… the idle, sleepy thought made him smile, bittersweetly. Yes, flowers… flowers to show Jason how beautiful he really was, on the inside.

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