"Gods! I'm awake! I'm awake! What in the nine hells are you …Hikou?"
Normally, the ex-monk would have been annoyed by being rudely awoken by his lover and best friend, but the demon looking down at him, he realized, was not the demon he had taken as his lover. It was his Majin counterpart; he did not dress in fine silks but a t-shirt that read 'The Genepool Needs Chlorine, Badly!' and jeans.
It took a few moments for Houjun to place where he was. He sat up, and realized he'd dozed off on the swing in his backyard, the wind gently making it sway to and fro, rocking him gently to dreamland. But this Hikou had troubled him with wakefulness, and wanted his attention urgently, his amber eyes dancing with inner light.
"I need to speak to you."
The one-time monk sighed, and sat up. Hikou backed away, shoving his hands into his pockets and looking uncomfortable.
"What is it, Hikou-kun?" Houjun said softly.
"I'm afraid," the demon replied. "Of disappearing."
Houjun's brows knitted together, and he canted his head as he looked to this other version of his one-time friend.
"How do you mean?"
"It's dying off. The place I've been put. And there's no other place for me. All of these other worlds opening up, and there's not a space for me to squeeze into!" He huffed, and then said, "I'm not ready to die."
"You're not dying," Houjun said with a roll of his eyes. "You'll never die, so long as there's a page of logs with your name on it, or someone that remembers the game you were on. I'm certain, Hikou, that you will never die. Our writer has a lot wrapped up in you. You're symbolic of many things, you know. The break of old friendships, the fact that love and kindness are not illusions, the vehicle for catharsis for old, deep wounds."
The demon did not seem comforted. "It's still leaving."
"But you are not. You are special, you know. She wears your Jade Circle, and you've become one of the higher muses here, you know. You, me, Kouran… Vash, Seifer. We're special. We represent so much more then just fun characters. We represent ideals, aspirations, desires, old pains. And as such, we will never be forgotten. Do you understand?"
Hikou's expression softened only slightly. "I did not appreciate being the 'vehicle' of her catharsis."
"None of us ever do!" Chichiri laughed, and then motioned for his friend to join him on the swing. "But it still means that we will never be forgotten, where others might fall to the wayside. You will never die. You will retire, certainly, as we all will someday, but you will never die. Your immortality is assured."
"Nnh." Hikou grunted his displeasure at the notion, and then sat down, folding his arms over his chest, still radiating tension.
"It will never be the same; you will be static, yes, but there is always the chance for rebirth, recreation. Remember that." Houjun's words were a small comfort, but he could tell that he was affecting the demon.
"You'll never lose her. Part of you will always be with her somewhere."
Chichiri ruffled his hair, and for a moment, they sat in companionable silence.
"If I may ask?" Chichiri queried, "Why did you chose me? To talk to about this?"
"I scare the Wagakuni Houjun. He's not fun. The rest are from the modern world. You… You are still the man I remember." His expression screwed up slightly, looking caught between nausea and amusement. "Even if you are gay. And fucking my double. And do you know how wrong that is, Houjun?"
The monk laughed without care, and he then punched Hikou's shoulder lightly. "Yes. Trust me, every day I wake up and realize that he makes me as happy as I do, I realize that's it's bizarre and abnormal. But I'm okay with it. It gives us both peace. Not forever, mind you, but still. Besides... There is a Kouran in my future, too."
"Is there now?"
"Yes." Houjun winked his single eye, and then says, "So... I don't suppose in your varied sexual romps you've... ever had a threesome?"
"Oh, gods! I don't want to talk about my sex life! Least of all with you!" But it was said with laughter, and with that, Houjun realized the demon's fears had been soothed, if not put to rest.