Body pressed uncomfortably against a wall, Akechi watched the PT fight, explosions flashing before the metal pig crashed onto the floor, sending vibrations rumbling through the floor. He held still, listening to the conversation that followed, hand loosely holding onto his gun. Impatiently, he tapped with his foot, longing to send a bullet through Kaneshiro’s head.
However, the stupid PT were dragging on their conversation.
“There’s a criminal using other people’s palaces to accomplish whatever they damn well please. They don’t care about the consequences. Psychotic breakdowns, mental shutdowns…anything goes.” Kaneshiro coughed, weakly leaning against a gold block, fingers curled tightly around it. Akechi froze, knowing that Kaneshiro was referring to him, as Madarame had before. When Madarame had said the words ‘black mask’, Akechi had wanted to kill him on the spot, but orders had held him back.
Akechi knew that Ryuji was smarter than he showed, and a clue like that could ruin their friendship.
He turned his eyes to Ryuji, watching carefully for his reaction. The rest of the group were all yelling in anger, claiming that the ‘black mask’ was evil and against justice, but Ryuji stayed silent, eyes turned to the floor. Almost as if he was…agreeing…
No, Akechi was just telling himself that. Ryuji was on the side of so-called ‘justice’ and against Akechi. As if Ryuji would even consider doing anything like murder. He didn’t have time to think about it though, as the PT rapidly gathered themselves, yanking the gold away from Kaneshiro and dumping it into Ryuji arms. Ryuji’s leg buckled underneath him, and he toppled onto the floor, the gold bars landing directly on his bad foot. Akechi winced, knowing that it would hurt, and decided to look after that when they next met up.
“Ryuji, stop messing around and get up!” Makoto snapped, her voice harsh and cutting. Ryuji stood up immediately, his leg almost buckling again. He carried the gold, Morgana laughing at his limp not so discreetly. Akechi’s hands shook, curling into fists without him meaning to. He was very close to charging over and smacking every single one of them as hard as he humanely could. However, the PT didn’t have time to carry on making fun of Ryuji as the ceiling crashed down, scattering debris across the floor, narrowly missing the group. Morgana hastily changed into a bus, Akira herding the group into the vehicle, zooming off into the distance.
Akechi walked forward, his boots clicking on the ground, dodging the debris as best as he could. Kaneshiro looked at him, eyes wide in fear, his stupid fly wings buzzing and trying to lift his fat body up. Cocking his gun, Akechi smirked. “Game. Over.”
Akechi relaxed, stretching and smiling when he heard the familiar cracking of his bones. The fatigue was settling in his bones, but it was at the good stage when it felt like he had finally accomplished something. Ramen and his favourite book were calling to him.
Hey, could I come round?
Ryuji texted him, his name next to a red heart popping up on Akechi’s screen. He frowned, confused as to why someone would want to come over at such a strange time. But any time spent with Ryuji was a good time so he replied with ‘yes’, not expecting Ryuji to arrive for another hour or so.
Akechi ran to the door, flinging it open to see Ryuji, drenched from the rain and tear marks staining his cheeks. He also leaned on only one of his legs. Panicking internally, Akechi let him in, hastily running to get a towel and spare clothes, all the while scolding Ryuji for walking in the rain without an umbrella, he could get a cold and didn’t he understand that he needed to keep warm? Ryuji listened to him with glazed eyes, changing quickly and accepting hot chocolate without saying any words. Akechi frowned.
“They-They made fun of my leg, Akechi.” Turning his eyes towards Ryuji, Akechi’s heart broke when he saw Ryuji’s eyes. “They know why it’s broken and they-they made fun of it.”
“I’ve had enough-I don’t want to be friends but I have no one else and I can’t leave the Phantom Thieves-that’s my life! The only good thing about me.”
“Ryuji, look at me.” Akechi held Ryuji’s face in his hands. “You are a good person. You’re determined, caring, kind, brave, amazing, you care so much and you don’t deserve to be beaten down every day like this. The fact that you’ve had so much shit happen to you, yet you can smile and still care and that’s why I lo-care about you so much. Don’t let their stupid, hateful words hurt you, because you’re better than what they say you are.”
Ryuji’s face crumpled, and he collapsed into Akechi’s arms, sobbing into his shoulder. Akechi squeezed tight, fighting the urge to kiss Ryuji’s head before succumbing, gently rubbing Ryuji’s back.