red is the color of blood. the color of passion, action, energy. color psychology will tell you a few things about the color red. red is energizing. it excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. it signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. but be wary, for too much red can cause irritation, agitation and anger.
he was not always the red king. you're not born a king, you become one, whether you deserve to or not. there was a time when he didn't have to worry about being a leader, didn't have to worry about anyone but himself. but people crept into his heart, crawled in and latched on like a parasite and...oddly enough he doesn't mind it. his youth was filled with dumb choices, anger - he supposes he hasn't matured much from his teenage years.
he is red.
"why are your eyes that color?"
you blinked, amber eyes pinning the other boy's, partially blocked by glasses that his face still needed to grow into. "i've never seen purple eyes before."
you're still young though, and you'd probably seen purple eyes before, but you've never got close enough to anyone to notice. plus, munakata reisi is different, and you sit in front of him on your knees and lean forward, little hands grabbing, reaching for reisi's hair, fascination in the way it fell, two parts near the front longer than all the others. tugging it lightly, you blinked, narrowed your eyes and sat back, plopping into the grass with a soft hmpf. not fast enough, though, to see reisi's face contort in confusion and irritation, before he was reaching forward towards you and pulling your hair roughly in return. you have a temper, you've always been quick to anger, but this makes you laugh, you smile wide, and you're tempted to reach forward once again and bother the other child, but you remain still. unaffected.
"are you real?" you questioned, and looking back, this was not the nicest way to introduce yourself to a stranger, but that never stopped you before. first impressions were 100% your forte, obviously.
"i don't know, are you real?" the response comes quickly, its almost as though you've offended the other boy and you narrow your eyes and you feel contested. this is a battle, though it's the most innocent one you've ever had. "course i am! i'm not the one with purple eyes!" "you have amber eyes though!" "so? those are normal!" "purple eyes run in my family! they're normal too!"
you're a little brat of an eight year old, but reisi...there's something about him that makes a fire burn inside you and you reach forward and grab him by the wrist and you tug him closer to you, golden eyes pinning his amethyst ones and you don't let go. you don't let go and you don't plan on ever letting go.
he can't say no to you, but by now you know everything about him, you know his mannerisms and he knows yours, you know his likes and dislikes, and you're not romantic but you know that the two of you have shared glances, you know that there's something more there. most of your life is lonely, your family is gone, you don't have any siblings, and reisi, while always cool and seemingly unattached, has warmed up to you enough for you to make quick work of this. a kiss is something you've not done before, it's not something you've ever wanted to do, but you lean forward and there is a surge of anger, a surge of possessiveness that flows through you, blood rushing and you grab him by the face, one hand on each side of him, caging him in your grip and you press both your lips together. he doesn't resist, his cool icy exterior melts between your touch and when you pull away, your eyes meet his and widen, and you apologize. it was fast, it was too fast, maybe he didn't want it.
you take his hand again, like you've done so many times before, and while you feel awkward, he doesn't pull away.
reisi is your only friend for a while, but you meet izumo kusanagi, owner of a bar called HOMRA and he isn't unlike reisi in his loyalty to you. it's different, of course, and you wouldn't call it loyalty at the time, but izumo sees something in you worth his time. you didn't have anyone else but the two of them, but munakata reisi had a family, he wasn't able to spend all of his time with you. you'd never ask anyone to do that, you're entirely independent, you don't need anyone, but all that aside, he's always been the one to calm you and you find that when he's not around, your temper rises. like lava boiling under the surface, small things can set you off and when a few bullies push you down in the street, try to steal what little you had, you lashed out like a viper, you lunged at them and if you had your powers then, you would've burned them all.
you're good with your fists though, could handle yourself, and you had no idea that during all this time, you had someone watching you from afar. someone who'd end up worming his way into your life as well, someone who'd break your heart. chest heaving, arms swinging and hitting each thug with precision and force, you left the three men whining and catching their breath, squirming in agony on the ground of the otherwise empty street. your temper was what made sure you weren't taken advantage of, your temper protected you. it wasn't like anything else could. not then.
he was just a boy who ended up in the hospital. you didn't have to get involved. in fact, it would've been better if you hadn't. but while izumo saw you as a bomb with a short fuse, tatsuka tatara saw you as more, and when you visited him in the hospital, he lit up as you entered the room. a stranger. he was a stranger and he looked at you like you were the world
, like he thought you were already his king, like you'd change everything. how could he afford to think like that? you were the start of a thug, you were no leader, you were no king
. he was foolish. he was some middle school student who'd been stalking you, an annoying little thing that didn't leave you alone. he kissed up to you like it was his job
and it was obnoxious, it made your skin crawl and he wanted to work for you and got himself beaten up and in the hospital.
you remember seeing him in the hospital, reading peacefully, and he turned to look at you with a wide grin, bright eyes and called you king. "what brings you here, king?" king of what? izumo asks - you've learned to try to ignore it.
"who jumped you, kid?" you ask him, ignoring everything else, and he doesn't answer you, doesn't want to fess up to who did this to him. he's brave. stupidly brave. idiot. izumo was the president of your anti-fan club, but he was always right. always. "listen, pal. if you keep hanging around this guy, you're going to be spending a lot of time in the hospital. you might think you'll be safe, being near someone this strong. but you'll find out the exact opposite is true." tatara didn't believe him. why didn't he believe him? it was the truth--it was the painful, horrifying truth and if you knew better at 16 years old, you would've forced the younger boy far far away from you. safe.
he was such a stupid little brat, such an idiot, such a pain in your ass and he told you he'd lead you to those who'd put him in a cast if you scratched his foot. you supposed you tried to give him another hint, another excuse to keep the kid away from you with a punch to the head instead.
it didn't work.
"snow." you heard his voice, distinct and clear, and you look up to the sky and grunt, noncommittal, eugh. you're warm, you're not the red king yet, you're still just suoh mikoto, and you're standing besides munakata reisi, his hand in your hand as the snow begins to fall lightly. the night is young and the stars are easy to miss in the sky as the white flecks of snow trickle from them, and you find a few steps to sit on as the two of you take a seat next to each other, brushing away the light dusting of snow with your feet. you pulled out a box of cigarettes from your leather jacket pocket and handed reisi one before popping your own in your mouth, grabbing your lighter to light his and yours.
it was oddly romantic, at least for the two of you, considering romance was neither one of your things. it was more so reisi's, you knew that he thrived on that more than you ever would - you didn't need words to know how your friends felt, and you certainly didn't need words to know how reisi felt. to most, he was a stubborn, militaristic teenager, sophisticated--but he'd become more witty and charming since the two had met when they were both 8. you'd made more friends, izumo and tatara, it was weird for you to be well liked. smiling to yourself, it was soft, barely noticeable, and you reached your arm over to reisi and around his shoulder, tugging him close to your side. he was always cooler than you, you'd noticed, his hands were cooler, you ran hotter than most.
"i love..." you turned, suddenly, amber eyes directed at purple ones, something you'd now found new meaning in. purple and yellow, opposites. red and blue, opposites. good thing both of you were stubborn as hell, otherwise you'd be too different. you waited for him to say it, you didn't think it was something you wanted to hear until it was so close to being spoken aloud - it'd been years since the two of you were together, even longer since you'd known each other, and say it, reisi. the pause was palpable, but soon the other male spoke again. "...it when you smile."
he is chosen to be red. it hurts, its a strange feeling to be in control of the power he now has and what's even worse than that is that munakata reisi is blue. fourth king, the blue king. he is mikoto's opposite and the two of them are torn apart. mikoto's supposes it was a long time coming. he was a thug. reisi was the law. it wasn't meant to be. it could never work.
it's not fair. you didn't deserve to be king, you didn't deserve it, you didn't want
it--tatara was so fucking happy, gleaming and glowing and prancing around, saying shit like "your powers aren't meant for destruction! they're meant for protection!"
but they're not. you wield fire, flame, violence
. that is what the third king, the red king is. violence. you live up to the name. you're a thug, you get into fights, you're reckless. tatara always tell you that a king is what you were meant to be. so why don't you feel that way?
reisi and you have drifted apart.
you suppose it's not all bad. you get a tip of someone that's in danger, and when you save anna, a strain--she appears as a young girl, and she's colorblind except for the color red. it seems like it's destiny that you find her and she latches onto you almost immediately. she doesn't have anywhere else to go, she doesn't have a home, but she's more powerful than she appears and becomes a quick asset and clansman for you. she looks up to you, they all do. "it's warm next to you. it's the only warm place." now that reisi is gone, it's harder to imagine losing any of the other important people in your life. your status as the red king makes it easy to find other troublemakers on the street like yata and fushimi, and you invite them into your clan, to which they accept. its easy to find people willing to be with you now, and you're temper has toned down ever since you've been chosen.
by then, your sword of damocles is unaffected. you are a good king, you are one of your clansmen, you are not better than any of them and you don't mind solving their problems, even though you do so with violence. you typically don't know other ways to solve things. the world is a different place, and you still ache with loneliness every now and then, you know reisi is out with scepter 4, you see him every now and then, sometimes you cause problems just to attract his attention. a childish notion, perhaps, but not many people would dare to call you mature. he is different now, he has his own clansmen, he is powerful and you don't need to talk in order to get your feelings across. not then. but sometimes you'll find him on his own, you'll smirk at him, a coy grin and you'll reach towards him, and stop yourself. you don't touch him anymore. you don't call him by his first name anymore. you glow red, angry and frustrated and upset that this world has ripped the two of you apart, that the red and blue king are to keep each other in check, they are not supposed to be anything more than that--you want everything to burn, it's times when you're alone with him that you're the most angry, that your ferocity comes back and you want him back but your worlds are too different now. it makes your chest ache, your throat swell and close in on itself, you are not one to show emotion, but there are times when it's hard. times when you need to be alone to do so.
you never wanted to let him go, but in the end you didn't have a choice.
"sorry to bother you, mikoto."
the voice on the other line is izumo, you didn't need the caller ID to tell you that, and he sounds distant, voice fragile and on the verge of breaking.
"i have some bad news."
you can hear sobs in the background, heavy, heaving sobs and you swallow thickly, only able to get out a controlled hm? you don't know what the news is, but you can tell the crying in the distance is yata and you are with anna at the time at HOMRA. tatara.
you burn. your heart hurts and this is the first time you've lost anyone, really really lost them. tatara is dead and he's not coming back, you can't summon him the same way you can with reisi, and you don't cry. you don't allow yourself to, but flames soar and burst around you in a spitfire and you rage, you want to destroy everything, you want to make the person who did this to tatara pay. the red spiraling stops when you feel anna embrace you, holding onto you tight and the fire ceases, and you want to crumble. you're torn between wanting to fall to the ground and never get up, and going on a massive man hunt, but you step away from anna, pet her hair softly before heading outside into the cool dark night and you light a cigarette and you want to cry. you want to die. why couldn't it have been you? you were the one who deserved it, not tatara, he was kind and lighthearted, he believed in all of the good things of the world, you should've pushed him away, he wasn't strong enough, he was too irresponsable, too reckless...in the dark of the night you feel a single tear roll down your cheek and you wipe it away, you can't let them see you weak. they can falter, your clan can be in mourning, but you're the king. you have to be strong for them, at least be strong for them. it's what tatara would've wanted.
it just wasn't what you wanted.
your sword of damocles was corrupted, distorted, it was faltering and you knew it. you were gaining power, you were getting more and more reckless and impatient and your clansmen were following you. everyone was angry. everyone deserved to be angry. tatara was gone and it felt like a part of yourself had been ripped away from you, it was like missing a limb and you knew it'd be the same if you lost any of the others. you'd look up to the sky and see the sword looming over you when your powers were activated and you knew that if you continued on the path you were headed, it'd fall to the earth, and blow away a whole part of japan. you'd loose your clansmen, izumo, anna, yata - fushimi had left and gone over to reisi's side, and the thought of losing the two of them as well made your chest tighten. and reisi
...no. no. you had to resist the temptation, you knew yourself, you know how destructive you were ready to be, you had lost the will to hold back and you let yourself be captured by reisi and his blue clansmen. it was the only way.
the blue king was no fool, he knew what was happening, had heard of tatara's murder, knew what you wanted, and knew that your sword of damocles was growing too strong, you were becoming to strong and even though he visited you in your cell, seemed distant and closed off, you could see the pleading look in his eyes. those purple eyes. unfortunately, he wouldn't stay with you, even though that was the only thing that could hold you back if you felt the renewed urge to go back into the world. your guilt was eating you alive in here, but it was safer for you to stay locked up, at least until your clansmen located the colorless king, the evil king - the one rumored to have killed one of your dearest friends.
so you stayed that way, nightmares came to you every night, the gruesome reality of you bringing doom upon the world you loved dearly, and it only made it more important that you stay behind bars. at least, until a phone was dropped in your room and you heard a voice on the other line, the voice is unrecognizable, but what he says is what makes you burn once more. you don't show it, the lion on the inside of you is tame, still, but the words that spill from this person's mouth is driving you closer to the edge.
“i’m calling about your pal. his name was totsuka, wasn’t it? i was the one who killed him. i feel bad for him now! he’s probably lonesome all by himself in the other world. don’t you think he could use some company? i could kill everyone, starting with kusanagi, and then yata....”
you try to remain calm, at least, you try to look it. you can't get too upset, you have to try to pinpoint his location and have him killed, you can't let your powers get stronger, you have to be calm and lure him in.
“maybe next time i’ll get that young girl to entertain me. you know the one i mean, that pretty one you always have with you? her name’s anna, right? i’m sure she’s gonna be a lot of fun. i like ‘em young and innocent."
you've got him. "two can play at that game." and you're sure you know where he is, a high school student and there is new rage and anger inside you and you can't stop yourself from blowing a hole through the wall, through your cells and through all of those who stand in your way. when you escape, or...more accurately, when you walk calmly out of your holding, out of the whole building, your clan is waiting for you, the blue clan is as well, but reisi is nowhere to be found. instead fushimi and seri stand up front, but they are no match for you. not now. you brush them aside, sending fire and explosions their way and you and your clansmen head to ashinaka high school.
with your power, it doesn't take much to completely overrun the school, and you're not there to kill the students, you're just there for one student, and you send your clansmen out to look for him, finding the colorless king is the top priority, it has been since tatana died. you have another thing to take care of, you need to try to remain calm, and when the snow falls down over you, all you can think of is reisi and as you and anna lay and she drifts off to sleep beside you, you wonder if he's caught up to you yet. he's smart, resourceful, no doubt he's already on the island.
you know that once you find the colorless king, once you can end him, your sword of damocles will be damage beyond repair, and reisi is the only one who can end it. he can end it all. he has to end it all.
you're surprised when you find him, standing in the snow and looking at you, all donned up in his usual blue uniform and you're brought back to years ago, curled up close as the chilled air fogged from your breath, white surrounding the two of you. you've both changed too much. it's been too long. "isn't breathing the same air as me supposed to be toxic for you?" munakata reisi pulls out a pack of cigarettes, and it feels far to flash-back-like for you to handle at the present moment. you want to tell him that he's got to do it, he has to kill you, you need him to, but...you're sure he already knows. he doesn't want to believe it, but he knows. you need to keep him close to you, you need to keep him by your side, only a king can kill another king, and while havoc is being wracked on the island, the two of you are in a world of your own, and you wish it didn't have to be this way. you wish that there was something better, you wish that the world was a different place -- the colorless king is found and he is headed your way, but you and reisi fight, you both are combative and he pleads for you to stop what you're doing, warns you of where you're going, but it's too late now. it's been too late since that night, december 7th, on the rooftop. the night tatara died. this was how it was supposed to end.
the silver king approaches out of thin air, you and munakata are engaged in swirls of red and blue, targeted blows and strategic attacks and defenses, and the silver haired boy stood before you and pushed reisi away, and you grit your teeth. this was him, this was the silver king holding onto the colorless king all at once, and all you had to do was kill him now, he was standing right here, waiting for it.
reisi's voice was the last thing you heard before everything went black. it was clear as day, like crystal cutting through the air, a rushed, panicked, uncharacteristically emotional "stop! don't do it, suoh!" how you wish you could've.