The Name of the Sound

Ayanami is more volatile than usual. This time, Hyuuga gets broken harder than usual. And then he has to explain the whole thing to Konatsu. Drama, Non-explicit BDSM, I-5

Character(s): Ayanami, Hyuuga, Konatsu Warren
Pairing(s): Ayanami/Hyuuga

Hyuuga strolled down the halls of headquarters with a bounce in his step. He always liked it when he got an assignment that was actually fun. Or could be made fun.

“Is Ayanami-sama actually going to accept the idea that you were honor bound to engage in single combat with the whole Gibraldan home guard?” Konatsu asked dubiously, at his elbow.

“Sure he will!” Hyuuga asserted with perfect confidence. In fact, Aya-san would believe nothing of the sort, but he would roll his eyes on the inside and be amused, which came to more or less the same thing. “Just let me do the talking while we report.”

“I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.”

Hyuuga fancied Konatsu’s grim tone covered up a certain amount of amusement there, too. Or at least anticipation. Konatsu always seemed to feel vindicated when Aya-san squelched Hyuuga’s teasing. He didn’t realize yet that was just Aya-san’s way of teasing back. Hyuuga was kind of looking forward to getting to see Konatsu’s expression the day he did figure it out. He was smiling as he threw open the door of Aya-san’s office. “Aya-tan! We’re back from our trip and we brought you souvenirs!”

Ayanami turned away from where he stood at his window, and Hyuuga stilled abruptly at the icy distance in his eyes. Something very close to panic sizzled through him as he looked into the bottomless gaze of Verloren’s memories. If he were alone, he could tease or coax or yield, whatever it took to get Aya-san back from the depths of the past, but he wasn’t alone today.

“Konatsu,” he said quietly, “I’ll make our report myself. Go. Now.”

Konatsu looked up at him, puzzled. He didn’t recognize what Ayanami was right now; Hyuuga had taken some care to keep him away when Ayanami got like this. Perhaps that had been a mistake.

“But…” Konatsu cut off, eyes widening as Hyuuga’s hand closed hard on his shoulder.


“You overstep yourself.” Ayanami’s voice was cool and dangerous, and it was rage that flickered behind his eyes today. Not something teasing or coaxing was going to work on.

Not something Konatsu should be present while Hyuuga dealt with.

Hyuuga took a step forward, hoping he could distract Ayanami’s attention. “Lord," he said, level and firm, "Konatsu is your own blood and he serves you well. Your anger shouldn’t fall on him.” From the corner of his eye, he saw Konatsu stiffen, startled and still. Yes, he should definitely have told Konatsu that sometimes the Black Hawks truly did deal with their Lord directly. Hindsight was distressingly acute. Hyuuga stiffened a little himself as Ayanami approached them with a faint, dark smile. His hands curled into fists at his sides as Ayanami stopped beside him, looking at Konatsu.

“You have the arrogance to tell me what I should and should not do, Hyuuga?”

Hyuuga winced; he’d known that was a provocation with Ayanami in this mood, but he’d hoped it would focus Ayanami on him. That… seemed to have backfired. Ayanami took Konatsu’s chin in his fingers, looking down at him with cold eyes. Konatsu stood without resistance, barely breathing, eyes wide and alarmed. “Are you saying,” Ayanami asked Hyuuga without taking his eyes off Konatsu, “that you don’t serve me well? In contrast to Konatsu.”

Hyuuga swallowed, relief and tension winding together down his spine. Ayanami was playing with him; he wasn’t really focused on Konatsu. This could still go well, if he could guess what would satisfy Ayanami, and call it on himself alone. He took a slow breath, considering his options. “If you break me, I’ll survive it and live to serve you after,” he finally said, alternately hot and cold with what he was naming and offering, but he suspected that, after challenging Ayanami in this temper, nothing less would suffice. He bent his head down, underlining his offer. “If it’s me.”

“Indeed.” There was a smile in Ayanami’s voice, a dark one. “Go, Konatsu.”

Hyuuga glanced over from the corner of his eye to see Konatsu, visibly shaking, bow deeply and back to the door. He let out a deeply relieved breath as it closed behind the boy. And then he had to swallow with the heat and apprehension coiling through him as Ayanami turned to him.

“Look at me, Hyuuga.”

Hyuuga lifted his head and his lungs locked. The force of Ayanami’s gaze on him was like a blow, and he felt breathless, unbearable pressure at the core of himself. An increasing pressure. Rather like someone with a sheet of mica between his hands, pressing on the center with both thumbs.

Like the sheet of mica, it wasn’t long at all before Hyuuga’s soul snapped into glittering shards in Ayanami’s hands.

That was only the beginning.

“…and I’ve never seen the Major do anything like that before, what’s going on?! Ayanami-sama was… I mean, he was…”

Katsuragi ran a hand through his hair and sighed as Konatsu faltered into silence. “There are times our Lord’s memories are stronger in Ayanami-sama than others. And our Lord has both great sorrow and great fury in him. Hyuuga is the one who can deal best with him, when he’s like this.”

Konatsu frowned, worry plain in his face. “But what—” He jerked to his feet and spun toward the door of the Black Hawk’s small common room as the first scream rang down the corridor. Katsuragi grabbed his arm before he could run.

“Haruse,” he said calmly. “Close the door.” He scolded himself for not thinking to do that sooner; as soon as Konatsu started talking, it had been clear just how dangerous a mood Ayanami-sama was in. Konatsu whirled on him, outraged, even as Haruse pulled the door firmly to, closing out the sounds from down the hall.


“Hyuuga knows what he’s doing,” Katsuragi stated flatly. “He got you out of the way for a reason; there’s nothing you could do that would help. Don’t interfere.” He softened a little at the stricken look Konatsu gave him and guided the boy to a seat and poured him a cup of coffee. The heat would do him good. “I know it’s hard to believe, right now,” he said as Konatsu wrapped shaking hands around the cup, “but Hyuuga does this willingly.”

“Hyuuga and this,” Kuroyuri said softly, curled up on the couch with her arms wrapped around her knees. “It’s kind of like me and flavors.” She cocked her head at Konatsu. “You know how it needs to be really strong for me to taste? Like that.”

Konatsu bit his lip and Katsuragi rested a hand on his head. “Wait here for him. You’ll see.” He fetched a cup of coffee for himself and inquired how Konatsu and Hyuuga’s last assignment had gone, keeping the boy talking so he wouldn’t listen too hard to the faint, desperate sounds still coming through the closed door.

For a long time he drifted in the darkness of his mind and soul. Broken bits of excitement, fear, unbearable and unidentifiable response flickered through and past him. Eventually, slowly, he came back enough to remember a few things. Who and where he was. Who was with him. That sent a jolt of heat and dread through him, though he couldn’t put words to why, yet, even in his own head. Anxiety wrapped around him, sourceless until he finally recognized that there were hands on him, an arm around him, fingers brushing back his hair and gently removing his glasses. When Hyuuga managed to open his eyes, seeing Ayanami looking down at him gave him another jolt.

“Lord,” his lips formed, driven to respond though his throat was too raw to really say it.

Ayanami pressed two fingers lightly against his lips. “Shh. Be still, Hyuuga. It’s all right.”

Hyuuga sagged back, relaxing. That was Aya-san; it was Aya-san’s hand that rested warm on his chest, Aya-san’s zaiphon that curled delicately around long fingers. After another few, dazed moments, he realized that Aya-san must be healing him.

After a time, while he lay in Aya-san’s hold, quiet and contented under the hand piecing his body and soul back together, Aya-san asked quietly, “Why did you provoke me?”

Hyuuga shrugged just a little, still shaky with reaction to what Ayanami had done to him. “I wanted to be sure you focused on me and not Konatsu.”

Aya-san gave him a slightly reproving look. “You know perfectly well how to turn my anger aside, if you were worried about Konatsu.”

Hyuuga smiled up at him, relaxing more as Aya-san’s power smoothed away the strain in his body, the lingering twinges of pain in his soul. “Yeah, but I’m the one you don’t have to hold back with. I’m not going to change that.”

Aya-san looked down at him for a long moment, hand resting against his chest. “Everything changes eventually.”

Hyuuga’s mouth quirked and he let his head rest against Aya-san’s shoulder as his body and soul settled back into solidity. “I’m yours,” he answered simply. “Everything I am is in your hands. If you choose to break me, I’ll submit. If you choose to heal me, I’ll submit. Always” He smiled. “Some day you’ll believe that.”

“‘Always’ is an illusion, Hyuuga.” Hyuuga wrinkled his nose at Aya-san’s stubbornness but held his peace and let Aya-san help him back to his feet. “Can you walk?”

Hyuuga stretched his legs a bit cautiously and nodded. “Yeah.” He smiled wryly. “And I’d better walk wherever Konatsu got to and reassure him the world isn’t ending.”

Aya-san held his eyes for a long moment and finally drew him down gently and kissed him. “Rest once you’ve done that,” he ordered quietly.

Hyuuga smiled. “Yes, Aya-tan," he lilted.

Ayanami looked very nearly exasperated and Hyuuga made his slightly wobbly way to the door, grinning.

Konatsu was trying hard not to bite his nails. The screaming had stopped some time ago, but his imagination insisted on filling in things that might still be happening, each more alarming than the last. When Hyuuga finally appeared in the door of the common room, pale and shaky, Konatsu knocked over his mug springing to his feet. “Hyuuga-san!” He skidded to a halt in front of Hyuuga, checking himself, unsure whether it was safe to touch him.

Hyuuga smiled and ruffled his hair. “I’m fine Konatsu, don’t worry. Aya-tan wouldn’t let me go without making sure of that.” He was leaning heavily against the doorway as he spoke, though, and Konatsu gave him a very dubious look.

“We heard…” he murmured, and trailed off, uncertain how to describe sitting here listening to the muffled screams of his superior officer, knowing they were wrung out of him by the commander they both followed.

Hyuuga winced. “Oh man. Okay, look.” He pushed himself more or less upright and Konatsu finally couldn’t stand it any longer and ducked under his arm to support him. Hyuuga smiled down at him. “Aya-tan wants me to rest. Help me back to my room, and I’ll try to explain, okay?” He waved over his shoulder to Katsuragi, who nodded calmly back.

Konatsu steered them to Hyuuga’s rooms, increasingly puzzled. The Major didn’t really seem like he was injured—more like he was drunk. When Konatsu finally got them as far as Hyuuga’s bed, the man rolled off his shoulder and flopped onto it, limp and relaxed.

“Oof! That was an intense one.” He made mournful puppy-dog eyes at Konatsu from where he lay. “Help me off with the boots?”

Konatsu silently unbuckled the Major’s boots and set them neatly by the bed, and went to fetch a glass of water too. When Hyuuga smiled and patted the mattress beside him, he came and sat, waiting.

“The thing is,” Hyuuga said quietly, after drinking, “Aya-tan only lets himself do this because I like it.” Long, mobile lips quirked up. “Once or twice I’ve even begged for it.” Konatsu felt his eyes widening, and Hyuuga chuckled. “You’ve felt what it’s like at the edge, Konatsu, at least with the sword. This is the same thing, to me.”

Konatsu’s eyes nearly crossed, thinking about it, but he could almost—almost—understand that. “But Ayanami-sama,” he said, low. “He wasn’t just… he wanted to…” Ayanami-sama had wanted to hurt something; it had been right there in the cold eyes looking down at him.

“Mmm.” Hyuuga looked up at the ceiling. “You know the stories our families pass down, about Verloren, right?”

“That he lost his love and followed her soul to the mortal world, mad with grief?” Konatsu guessed. He’d kind of been thinking about that ‘mad’ part, today, he had to admit.

“Think about what the story really means, though,” Hyuuga told him softly. “Before he ever left Heaven, he was blamed for Eve’s death and his power was broken from him. That’s not just a metaphor, for a being of spirit, is it? It’s like he had his hands cut off.”

Konatsu stilled, struck by that. He hadn’t thought about what that meant before, no.

“And on top of that,” Hyuuga went on, holding up a finger, “once he gets here and starts searching for her, his own hands get sent after him to tear his soul and body apart.” Hyuuga looked over at him, eyes grave for once. “You’ve felt what it’s like to have your soul divided, and that was by someone who cherishes you and was careful with you. Imagine having that done by force, by someone you hate, someone you’re fighting with all your strength.”

Konatsu slowly pressed a hand against his mouth, swallowing convulsively as his gorge rose. “Ayanami-sama… I mean, Verloren-sama…”

“Yeah.” Hyuuga folded his hands over his stomach, looking at the ceiling again. “All of that is what’s inside him. And once Raphael’s seal broke, he remembered it.”

“Hyuuga-san,” Konatsu whispered, shocked. This, this was what his superior had put himself in the way of!

Hyuuga smiled, crooked. “He’s the most dangerous thing in all the worlds. And I’m the one person he knows, right down to his soul, he doesn’t have to hold back with. You understand?”

Konatsu was silent for a long moment, thinking. He did understand Hyuuga’s passion for danger, for the edge of life and death; he even shared some of it. He could see why his superior would court Ayanami-sama’s anger. And he thought he could understand why someone who held such anger in his soul needed a way to free it before it overflowed. But there was something else to it, he thought.

“You love him,” he said, finally.

Hyuuga blinked at him and then laughed. “Don’t we all?”

Konatsu smiled a little. He thought he also understood why Hyuuga had explained all this to him, and it wasn’t only for Konatsu’s sake. “Yes, sir. We do.”

Hyuuga yawned and stretched against the bed, curling up into his disordered blankets. “Mm, think it’s about time for me to get some sleep, like Aya-tan said, then.”

Konatsu stood. “Sleep well, Shousa.” He drew the blinds and turned off the lights, closing the door softly behind him.

And then he made his way back to Ayanami-sama’s office.

“Ayanami-sama?” He tapped on the frame of the open door respectfully. Ayanami looked up from where he stood by his desk, and Konatsu didn’t think it was his imagination that that still face turned stiller. He’d had a few years, now, to get used to Ayanami-sama’s expressions, minimal as they were under his unbending control. This one was shuttered. Konatsu nodded to himself and came to stand before his commander, almost as close as Ayanami-sama had stood when he was toying with Hyuuga earlier, looking up at him. “I don’t think you had a chance to hear our report, earlier, sir,” he said quite calmly. “Shall I make it now?”

In comparison to the stillness, the faint smile that suddenly curved Ayanami-sama’s lips, the light of pride and satisfaction in his eyes, was so clear that Konatsu couldn’t help blushing. He ducked his head and glanced up shyly at his commander; he had hoped to offer what reassurance he could, but he hadn’t expected to be shown this kind of approval. It settled his heart.

Ayanami-sama finally stepped around his desk and sat, hands folded on the expanse of polished wood. “Yes,” he murmured, leaning back. “Tell me how it went.”

“Yes, sir.” Konatsu settled himself before the desk, hands clasped lightly behind him. “We reached the Gibraldan Duchy late yesterday…”

Ayanami-sama listened, and in the warmth of his regard Konatsu thought that maybe he truly did understand how Hyuuga could go to such lengths to serve this man and never fear or doubt that he would survive it and be well.

Perhaps Konatsu couldn’t serve in quite the same way, but the next time he saw that fury he didn’t think he’d be afraid either.