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Because I've been writing too much angst lately, and needed a little of the opposite. And because these boys are too cute to resist.
It's two AM by the green digits of dashboard clock, and Ban starts awake with the feeling that there's something...on him. On his head. More than his hair. He bats at his bangs and is vaguely horrified, with that unconditional terror that comes of being three-quarters still dreaming, when his fingers brush something moving—
He jerks, and the sharp pain of his knee impacting the bottom of the steering wheel wakes him up the rest of the way. "Ow," he mutters, rubbing the new bruise, "ow ow ow."
"Ban-chan?" Ginji murmurs sleepily from the passenger seat.
"Nothing," Ban says, "just a—"
Then the something flutters against the car roof with a faint rustle like dead leaves, and Ban twists around to see the Godzilla of the insect world, or the Mothra, rather, with brown and white wings as wide as his head.
Well, maybe his palm, without the fingers, but still, the furry body is big enough that when it hits the window he can hear the tiniest of thumps.
"What is that?" Ginji asks, turning in his own seat until he also sees the monstrous invader, which has abandoned the left side window in favor of the rear. Its wings whisper against the glass.
"I've got it," Ban says, contorting in order to pull off his shoe. He grimaces when he imagines the mess this will make on the sole, then takes a swing at the moth, but it swoops out of reach just in time. Undaunted, he waits for it to circle around into range, and when it pauses for a breather on the seatbelt dangling behind him, he raises the shoe and brings it down—
Where the moth isn't, and from its aimless flitting one would think it had never been there at all.
He's used to this kind of playful cunning from the likes of Akabane. It's harder to take from an insect.
"Damn it!" But the next minute of attacks is no more successful. Predicting a moth's flight path is practically impossible, and he manages to slam the shoe down on his own fingers twice. It gets in his hair again, and the feathery tickling of those wings against his forehead makes his skin crawl. If he had any clue how to use the Jagan on compound eyes, the bastard bug would be dreaming of Raid right now.
"Ban-chan," and Ginji's laughter isn't helping at all, "let me do it."
"Be my guest," Ban grates.
He tried to hand over the shoe, but Ginji doesn't take it. Instead he just raises his hand, makes a fist and shuts his eyes. At first nothing happens, and then, so faint it might just be imagined, there's a glow, which brightens as Ban watches. Ginji isn't wearing his gloves, and the light emanates from his skin, closed fingers and the back of his hand shining with a pure white hazily mirrored in the car's windows. His eyes open, and Ban can see it reflected there, too, twin stars in that bright brown. It's steadier but not much stronger than a candle, barely enough to illuminate the curve of his cheeks, but Ban doesn't need to see Ginji's smile. He already knows it by heart.
And like all moths are with candles, this one cannot resist the allure. On silent wings it drifts toward this unexpected treasure, and Ban grins. Raitei Amano Ginji, human bug-zapper. The moth spirals down, and he's ready for the electric buzz which will send the invader to that big candle in the sky.
Only it doesn't happen. Instead the moth touches down on Ginji's hand and docilely folds back its wings, the white circles shimmering like little moons. The feather-like antennae wave at him in a friendly way, and Ginji smiles back, raising his fist so he can meet its beady black insect eyes. "You didn't mean to wake up Ban-chan, did you? Just got stuck in here by accident."
His expression in the light is calm, but there's a little tightening around the eyes, and his yellow hair is spiking more than usual, even without gel. And Ban wonders at his control, mustering enough energy to excite that glow, yet keeping it all under his skin, his touch so cool it wouldn't hurt a fly. Moth.
It's strange, because it's not like he hasn't killed with that power, and more than bugs. But this is Ginji, and Ban gave up questioning his logic some time ago. Now he doesn't ask, he just watches. And learns, a little at a time.
The moth crawls farther up his fist, opens its wings and closes them again. Clearly it's content where it is, at the source of the light. Lucky moth, to have found the one irresistible artificial glow which isn't fatal. Ginji has made yet another friend for life. It's one of his worst habits.
Keeping his fist with his newest buddy still, he reaches across with his other hand and rolls down the window. Then, slowly, he extends his arm into the night, and lowers his power. Ban feels the prickle of static over his skin, and the white glimmer fades away. He blinks to adjust his eyes to the new darkness.
"There. Go on, fly off." The glow is all gone, but the moth still clings hopefully to his fingers, not wanting to let go of this safe flame it's finally found. Ginji shakes his hand gently, until he dislodges those sticky legs, and the bug sadly floats off to drown its sorrows in the streetlamp across the road.
"Bye," Ginji calls after it, then rolls up the window and settles back in his seat. "Maybe it'll find a nice boy moth tonight," he says, yawning.
"How'd you know that was a girl moth?"
Ginji shrugs. "Or a girl moth."
"You are such an idiot," Ban says, rolling over in the seat to face the window, careful to avoid the steering wheel.
"Good night, Ban-chan," Ginji chuckles behind him.
Then it's quiet again, no wings in the darkness, and in a minute Ginji is snoring. But Ban's knee is still aching a little where he banged it on the wheel, and he can't stretch it properly without opening the door, which would wake Ginji.
The next bug to break in is going to get a 200 kilogram swat, Ban decides, windows be damned.
Though he didn't mind Ginji taking care of it. Who knew electricity could be so versatile? His partner has all kinds of talents. And maybe the bug-zapper idea would have been more efficient, but Ginji's way worked, too. It usually does. Something else he's learning.
And to tell the truth, he's kind of glad the moth didn't have to die for its devotion to that light.
Because really, Ban knows exactly how it feels.
Love to know what you think!
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