old guard

Dec. 19th, 2009 10:28 pm
metisket: (dgm shinitakunai)
[personal profile] metisket

This is the short DGM fic. It's a Bak and Fo fic, and I've been meaning to write it for...a very long time.

Thanks to Zephy for the beta!

DGM does not belong to me. It never does. Woe.

ETA: Now with a Russian translation by jayazz! ♥

Old Guard

She’s not alone yet, but she will be, and soon.

She never wanted to be the oldest living creature in Asia Branch, but want so rarely enters into a life. Particularly here. They don’t call it the Black Order just because of the snazzy uniforms.

She hovers by Zhu’s bedside and counts his breaths. This will not keep him from dying. Nothing can keep a human from dying once it’s decided to die. Useless creatures.

No, that isn’t fair. They all die, don’t they, and some of them wouldn’t if they could do anything about it. If they give up at the end, it’s only because even the most stubborn among them have to bow to inevitability. It’s not that they’re weak. It’s not that they decide to leave her behind. No matter how much it feels that way.

He breathes in, breathes out. If the idiot can still breathe so easily, what the hell is his problem? Live, you bastard.


Ah, it’s Bak. Bak, who will leave her too, in the end. He belongs to her, but he’ll leave her anyway. Apparently ownership doesn’t count for much with humans. “Bak.”

It’s all she says, but she knows he can hear all she isn’t saying. He’s no fool, though he often does a convincing imitation. He knows that she’s always been closer to Zhu than he has. After all, she’s known Zhu since he was a child. She helped raise him.

She waits for Bak to try to be sympathetic. Oh, she hopes he’ll try to be sympathetic. Then when she beats the shit out of him, he’ll have deserved it.

“I had congee for breakfast,” he says in an incongruously quiet, bedside voice.

She did not see that one coming. “Oh, really?” She takes back every nice thing she’s ever thought about him: he’s an idiot.

“Yes. It’s healthy, you know.”

“I didn’t.”

“Mm. Komui says the English are all about vegetables these days, so I’m having vegetables for lunch. And rice, of course. And green tea.”

She doesn’t know what she did to deserve this recitation of daily food intake. “I’m happy for you.”

“Citrus also has many health benefits!”

She’s wondered before now if Bak is mentally defective in some subtle way. He can be so clever, and then…well. Then there are days like this.

She lets him babble on. After all, if he’s talking, then only part of her mind can listen to the breathe in, breathe out from the bed.

Damn you, Zhu.

“I exercise, too!”

Oh no. If they’d stopped at food, that would have been one thing, but exercise? Fo has her limits. And, if she’s honest, they’re pretty modest limits. “No.”

“No, I don’t exercise?”

“No, I’m not going to sit here and listen to you talk about exercising, you moron. Why are you bothering me anyway? I’m busy. Did Wong finally get tired of you? I guess it had to happen sometime, but he’s pretty simple; I thought it’d take a few more years.”

“You’ve been here for hours,” he murmurs, draping himself over her shoulders in a way he almost never does anymore. She thought he’d outgrown it, but she should have known better. Bak rarely outgrows anything.


“What’s your point?” she demands.

He’s silent, and this is far more unusual for him than impromptu lectures about health and fitness. Silence. Invariably a bad sign among members of his family.


He shifts and stands, but keeps one hand on her shoulder. “I just came to tell you…I won’t make you do this for me for a long time. As long as I can make it, Fo. I promise.”

So he is being sympathetic. But it’s such a peculiarly Bak kind of sympathy that she can’t hate him for it.

She also can’t speak because she’s tearing up, and if he says one word, one word, then all his exercise and citrus and congee isn’t going to do him a lick of good because she’ll kill him.

“And I’ll have children!” he goes on blithely as if he hasn’t noticed. She knows he has. “They’ll be charming and lovely; they’ll have Lenalee’s beautiful eyes and my fabulous mind! They’ll be like me, only—if such a thing can be conceived—better! You won’t miss me at all.”

Bak’s odds of winning over Lenalee Li are only slightly better than a snowball’s chance in Hell, but he’s endearingly oblivious to that. At least, Fo finds it endearing. Komui seems to find it less so. Of course, Komui would have put Lenalee in a chastity belt by now if it weren’t for the fact that she’d destroy him if he did.

“I’m thinking five children,” Bak goes on contemplatively, giving her a chance to collect herself. “Five is a reasonable number. A fair-sized lab group. Aesthetically pleasing in photos. What do you think, Fo?”

“I think I’d also like to live in your cloud cuckoo land, Bak. The weather seems nice.”

“I’m wounded!” He closes his eyes and throws a dramatic hand over his heart, then spoils the effect by squinting one eye open to see whether she’s moved. She is not. He grins at her disapproving face because he’s a perverse creature, and a fool besides. “We won’t leave you,” he announces out of the blue.

“Yes, you will,” she snaps, but refrains from punching him because she doesn’t want Zhu to die while she’s in the middle of beating up his ridiculous relative.

“Maybe you need to stop thinking of humans as individuals and try to think of us as more of an undifferentiated mass,” he says thoughtfully, waving his hands in a squishing-things-together motion. She expects he thinks he’s being helpful.

“Maybe if you were a little less bizarre, you’d blend into the masses better,” she suggests.

“I’ll work on it!” he announces cheerfully. “Project Blending into the Masses: commence!”

He bounds out of the room, and Fo shakes her head after him. Idiots truly live the happiest lives. Bak will grieve horribly once Zhu dies, she knows, but until he actually draws his last breath, Bak will go on pretending that he’s fine. She envies that.

Zhu breathes in, breathes out.

“You’re just part of the undifferentiated mass,” she tells him. She fails to convince even herself. Stupid Bak.

She feels undeniably better, though. Maybe Bak’s idiocy is contagious. Wouldn’t that be nice?

She watches Zhu breathe, and remembers the training he did, even when he was starting to fall apart. Remembers all his blathering about Chinese remedies and food therapy and herbs his grandmother had told him to make into tea. Remembers him saying he wanted to live to see Kanda one more time.

He probably gave them all the years he could. He probably meant it as a punishment.

She finds herself smiling, and leans forward to cup his cheek in one hand. “Thank you,” she whispers. “You stubborn old fool.”

His breathing doesn’t change at all. If he seems to be laughing, that’s only her imagination.

Bak will probably die laughing.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-20 05:06 pm (UTC)
sky: (dgm - bak err)
From: [personal profile] sky


I don't even know what to say. You broke my heart. :(

I love to see Fou get treated like the ancient being she is instead of just Bak's tsundere girlfriend, and your Bak here is just... superb. Heart on his sleeve, a total goof with only the best intentions, so smart and yet so dumb. XD; They're both spot-on. And that all this tomfoolery is going on right there in the same room with Zhu slowly dying, while Bak apparently tries to pretend like nothing is wrong, that just makes it hurt worse in the best way.

(And as a giant Komui fan, the little references to him here and there made me very happy XD)

This is a side of Fou we don't often get to see in the fandom, and I'm thrilled to have had the privilege to read this. Thanks so much for sharing.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-20 08:28 pm (UTC)
theodosia21: sunflower against a blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] theodosia21
Oh, this was wonderful. I don't know who any of these people are, but I love it anyway- it's sad and hopeful at the same time. Also, you've got some great lines- I particularly liked:

They don't call it the Black Order just because of the snazzy uniforms.
Apparently ownership doesn't count for much with humans.
She waits for Bak to try to be sympathetic. Oh, she hopes he'll try to be sympathetic. Then when she beats the shit out of him, he'll have deserved it.
Five is a reasonable number. A fair-sized lab group. Aesthetically pleasing in photos.
Maybe you need to stop thinking of humans as individuals and try to think of us as more of an undifferentiated mass.

^_^ Thank you!


metisket: (Default)

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