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Couldn't bear to lose you

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Life with Licht isn’t all fighting–such a partnership would be pretty abysmal indeed. There are times when they trade vicious blows because that’s simply their nature, sure, but now there are also cuddles and comfort and kissing and I-love-you’s and soft conversation. If he had to, Hyde would compare their relationship to a lemon cake, tart and sweet at the same time, and it never ceases to amaze him how far they’ve come.

In other relationships, though, Hyde has made no progress at all, and one of those is where he falls on his youngest brother’s to-murder scale. Hyde is hated on two counts by Tsubaki; one for not knowing him (but that wasn’t his fault), two for killing so many of his subclass (but this was his fault; he hadn’t been stable at the time and they had attacked first, but he had still made the conscious decision to slaughter almost all of them mercilessly, not even allowing them to escape if he could help it until Shirota Mahiru stood in front of Lilac and stopped him). Hyde’s having a good life right now, all things considered, but it’s still tainted with Tsubaki’s war and the chaos caused by their dysfunctional family.

Tsubaki hates all of his older siblings, and he acts accordingly.

Tsubaki’s smart. He has to be, given his position, given that he had learned from their creator which is more than most of them can claim. He’s a general, a strategist; he’s been fighting this war for half a century and has been laying the groundwork for at least twice as long; his objective is to kill his siblings and he knows to hit them where they’re weak, and that’s why he targets Hyde’s angel.

“Hello, brother,” he says merrily, laughter subsiding.

“Hey,” Hyde replies. Licht stands behind him, disbelief and shock fighting for dominance on his face because Hyde had just thrown himself in front of a blade. “I don’t appreciate you attacking my Eve like that, you know?”

“I know.” Tsubaki smiles at him, and it’s a cruel, cold thing. “That’s why I was hoping to do it while you were away at one of your jobs, but I suppose I miscalculated.”

He hadn’t, actually; Hyde usually went to work at this time, but he’d quit after losing so much of his jin–the better to stay close to Licht as much as possible, feeding off the bond he could feel from their contract and trying to recover. His strength is dictated by their proximity, and to say that he needed that strength would be an understatement. He’s somewhat better now–that terrifying doctor had figured putting all of C3′s stored-up jin inside the Servamps would be an effective treatment, and it was–but he still sticks close to Licht, apprehensive about distance with the contract item still in neat halves. He’d been enjoying a nap backstage in hedgehog form, actually, but the second Tsubaki’s bloodlust seeped into his awareness he’d bolted for Licht, and it’s a good thing he did, too–were he a second later, he’d likely have been left Eve-less once again.

Tsubaki slides the sword out of his belly, and Hyde coughs blood as his healing powers kick in. Getting stabbed by that sword isn’t as harmful as having his contract item broken, but damn it hurts and his healing is slower now than it’s been since he became a vampire.

“What a pity,” Tsubaki sighs, dodging Licht’s kick. Even one boot is plenty lethal; a Lead is a Lead even if the Servamp connected to it is low on power. “I was hoping for an easy victory this time.” He laughs briefly. “How boring. See you later, big brother.” And with those discouraging words of parting, he disappears.

“Shit rat, you idiot,” Licht hisses furiously once he’s gone, dropping down beside Hyde. Hyde laughs a little but starts coughing again, blood bubbling at his lips. He isn’t quite healed yet. “Hyde. What were you thinking?! I’m an angel; I can take care of myself! Dummkopf!” Licht’s words shift to a steady stream of angry German, but Hyde just smiles.

“I may be an idiot, but I’m not stupid,” he rasps, grinning cheekily. “You’re the one who told me to never give up on what I want, and I want you alive. I’m not dumb enough to let Tsubaki kill you.”

“What if he’d killed you?” Licht says frustratedly, venting his displeasure by tugging on Hyde’s hair. “Where would that leave me, huh? I haven’t purified you yet. What kind of angel would I be if I let you die before then?”

“One grieving me, I hope.” Hyde winces when Licht pinches his ear. “Okay, I get it, that wasn’t funny!”

“Don’t joke like that,” Licht says darkly, and under his anger Hyde can see worry, can see the fear that’s been present ever since he learned that Tsubaki alone is capable of killing Servamps.

“I’m not going to die,” Hyde says. “You gave me my life back, Lichtan. I’m not going to let it go so easily.”

“You’d better not.”

“I won’t.”

“You’re still an idiot.”

Ich liebe dich, engel.”

“Hmph. Ich liebe dich.”