The Letter (fandom: The GazettE RPF, original date of publication: June 6th, 2021)

Uruha’s fingers skate over the letter in his hand, a letter from the Society for the Extermination of Vampires. His entire body shakes as he reads it. 


We have it on good authority that the recipient of this letter, Takashima Uruha, was Turned approximately four months ago by an unknown source. According to our sources, Takashima Uruha did not step into the sunlight (as is protocol for all venator in the event of a Turning), but instead returned to his cell to continue working as a venator, in spite of the danger this action would pose to his cell, his fellow venator, and to the human population of the area. 


If our information was in any way incorrect, please report to your local Officium Negotium within 7-10 business days with hard evidence. If the information was correct, please send this letter back to your local Officium Negotium with an explanation (written by Takashima Uruha) as to why he did not step into the sunlight, as is the proper protocol, and instead chose to continue working as a venator. 


If a response is not received by your local Officium Negotium within 7-10 business days, an official investigation will be launched into your cell by your local Officium Carnifex. 


Ut Sol Numquam Posuit

Uruha nearly wanted to cry. They know. They know and they want an explanation as to why I didn’t- “Step into the sunlight”? Just thinking that phrase made him want to laugh. Just call it what it is- suicide. 


I don’t fucking know why I didn’t kill myself? Why didn’t I do it? Why? 


Because it hurt. Because it would have hurt so much, so fucking much, and I’m a coward. I heard my skin sizzle in the sunlight and I watched as it fell off in black chunks and the smell nearly made me vomit and I cried, I cried so hard and a part of me begged myself to never do this again, no matter how much I wanted to. 


I know it’s weird for a vampire hunter, but I’m scared of pain. I think everyone is, in the end. You’d think that after they peeled my skin off strip by strip, slowly, because they wanted to watch me cry, for hours on end, you’d get desensitized to pain, but you don’t. 


It just hurts more and more and more, and you want to die so hard, but that’s the thing about being a vampire. You can’t kill yourself the easy way. Pills don’t work, carbon monoxide doesn’t work, jumping doesn’t work. If you’re a vampire and you’ve gotta kill yourself, it’s gonna hurt. 


And burning hurts. It hurts so much. Fuck all those bastards who think you just go stand in the sun and your body peacefully turns to ash. 


It hurts. 


It hurts so much. Uruha can feel the tears on his face, wet and sticky, staining the letter red. But you can’t say that. Can’t say that, because they’ll accuse you of lying. Lying because you wanted to live. 


He pulls his knees up to his chest. What is it they say? Better to die as a human than live as a vampire? Well, that’s bullshit. Better to live, period. Better to live on your own terms than die on someone else’s. 


As Uruha looks at the neatly typed words, the array of euphemisms for why didn’t you kill yourself, if you were truly a good person, you would have killed yourself rather than live on as a parasite, his stomach starts sinking. 


Is “ I didn’t kill myself because killing myself hurts” cowardly? Probably. They’d think I’m just looking for excuses to not get the Carnifex on my ass. Excuses that aren’t the truth. 


The brunette glances in the mirror, looking at his face. Bloody tear tracks staining a death-grey face, animalistic red eyes empty of all emotion. 


He used to hate looking at his face, in the days and weeks and months after he escaped. It used to twist himself up inside, remind him of his captor’s leering faces, make him want to vomit. But now when Uruha looks at his face, he can see himself in it. He can look past the changes they forced on him to see the shape of his nose, the brown of his hair and a thousand other things, and he can see himself in the mirror. 


But they can’t. They’ll just look at me and see a fucking leech wearing the skin of Takashima Uruha, and they won’t trust anything it says. If it says it didn’t kill itself because it was scared of pain, then that just means that it wasn’t really Uruha, because Uruha would have killed himself if he got turned. 


They’re so devoted to the idea of the perfect soldier that the instant you don’t follow through on their beliefs, you’re not even yourself to them. You’re just a thing. 


Uruha picks up the letter again, looking at the last few lines. If a response is not received by your local Officium Negotium within 7-10 business days, an official investigation will be launched into your cell by your local Officium Carnifex


A response. He snorts. They want a response about why I didn’t set myself on fire. A response that fits neatly into six little dotted lines. 


It makes him want to laugh. It makes him want to cry. It makes him want to chuck the letter out of the window and scream and punch the walls. 


But Uruha doesn’t do any of those things. 


He settles for putting the letter back down and pressing his face further into his knees, trying desperately not to let his turbulent whirlwind of emotions overwhelm him, trying to push back the Voice, which has already started rumbling in the back of his head, ready to shove images of blood and guts and violence back into his brain. 


Remember what you practiced, five things you can see, list five things you can see. 


blood, blood, tear up your palms and rub them against the walls, coat the walls in red


I can see the light on the ceiling (it’s buzzing, there’s a small bug on the surface), I can see the lamp on the nightstand (there’s three little scratches i’ve never noticed before), I can see the walls (they’re green) but wouldn’t they be better red I can see the letter (it’s folded into thirds) i can see my hands (my claws are out) shove them into your hands, rip the skin off 


Four. Four things. Four things I can hear. 


why aren’t you ripping why aren’t your ripping WHY AREN’T YOU RIPPING


I can hear the sound of the neighbors taking out their garbage oh good they must taste delicious no no no fuck you fuck you, i can hear the sound of someone walking down the hallway eat him eat him rip out his throat you know you want to i can hear the sound of someone turning his key in the door eat eat eat you need to you need to tear off his head i can hear someone walking towards the room i’m in. eat eat eat eat eat eateatEATEATEATEAT


“Uruha? Are you okay?” Kai had entered the room, his scent suddenly changing to one of worry good good good he smells so good WHY AREN’T YOU EATING HIM and panic. 


Uruha couldn’t move, still bent over, still as a statue. Kai, if I move I’ll hurt you. If I speak, I’ll smell you and then I won’t be able to resist biting you. 


“Babe, is it okay if I touch you?” 


After a few seconds, Uruha shook his head in the slightest, smallest no


“Is it okay if I sit next to you, then?” He moved ever so slightly towards Uruha.


The vampire dug his claws into his palms. I want you, I want you to hug me and kiss me and tell me it’s going to be okay, Kai, but I don’t want to hurt you, I don’t want to hurt you. He could feel tears running down his face. 


Something white flashed in the edge of his vision. 


“A tissue, then?” 


Very slowly, Uruha reached out and took the tissue. He dried off the edges of his eyes, finally turning to look at his boyfriend. 


God, I’ve never heard his heart beat this fast. Kai’s face was filled with so much concern it made Uruha want to cry again, but he simply settled for gesturing for Kai to come closer. 


Kai put on a pained smile. “It’s okay?” 


Uruha nodded, and was suddenly swallowed up by Kai’s arms and Kai’s warmth and Kai’s scent and beating heart beating heart it’s so pretty sounds so full and good good good full of good blood- 


Shut! Up! He gripped Kai’s limbs in a desperate attempt to maintain sanity, but Kai didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he was more concerned with swaying from side to side, humming under his breath. 


Oh, god, I love you. Uruha burst into tears again, trying to speak through his crying. “L...let...lett...letter...On…” 


“Shhh, shh, baby, just breathe, just keep breathing.” Uruha could feel Kai reach over him to grab the letter from where it lay on the nightstand, and he could feel Kai’s heart skip a beat as he read over it.  


Kai’s shoulders heaved in a great sigh. “Do you want to not think about this for a while?” 


Uruha could feel himself nodding against Kai’s chest, but his head was more conflicted. Please, please, I don’t know, I don’t know, just don’t stop holding me. 


The vampire felt his boyfriend bend over, and then found his feet leaving the floor, his body swaying back and forth as Kai carried him into the living room. 


“Do you want me to put anything on?” 


“Just turn on the TV.” Uruha mumbled under his breath. “I need the noise.” It might drown out the Voice food food prey kill kill kill meat and blood just meat and blood so good Shut up! 


Kai nodded, and did just that, the two men curling up on the couch. Against his better judgement, Uruha pressed his face against the crook of Kai’s neck, desperate for something to ground himself. Good. Good. Smells nice. Smells like home food Kai. 


Uruha turned to his boyfriend, pulling away slightly. He opened his mouth, but a series of words stumbled out of his mouth. “They sent me a letter asking-” he almost broke out crying, but managed to keep it in, “why didn't I step into the sunlight after I was turned, you know. I’m supposed to fill out a form and send it back in-” he laughed bitterly, unable to stop the words from flowing out. “In 7-to-fucking-10 business days!” 


Kai raised his eyebrows. “Are you sure you want to talk?”, he said, so kindly it almost made Uruha’s heart burst. 


I need to. I need to let it all out, or else I’m going to implode. “Kai, the Society sent me a letter asking why I didn’t kill myself. I think I have a right to cry a bit.” He tried to laugh, but only managed to let out a short sob. 


Kai smiled very slightly, and reached out a hand to stroke Uruha’s cheek. “I’m not saying that you can’t cry. I’m just saying that it might not be the best idea to fixate on this so heavily.” 


Uruha nodded in agreement, somewhat reluctantly, and the two men sat in silence and watched the inane talk show for a while, not one daring to move for fear it could cause the whole fragile peace to collapse like a house of cards. 


The sound of canned laughter echoed from the TV, and Uruha nestled closer to his boyfriend. “Kai, do you think I’m a coward?” 


“No. No! Uruha, why would I think that?” Kai tried to pull away slightly, but Uruha grabbed him. 


“You’re lying,” Uruha muttered under his breath, “you’re lying because someone who was really brave would’ve just stepped into the sunlight and taken the pain, rather than be a paras-” 


Kai grabbed his boyfriend’s hand. “But you didn’t. That’s what makes you brave. You sat down and you took it and you lived. You’re still living and breathing-” 


“I don’t breathe.” 


“Figure of speech.” Kai started smiling for just a second, a real smile that made Uruha’s heart grow warmer in his chest. “You’re still around , is that pedantic enough?” 


Uruha almost laughed. “I’m not pedantic!” 


Kai smiled again, his dimples clear to see. “I know, Uru, I was trying to distract you, I really think that this letter can wai-” 


The vampire grabbed Kai’s wrists in a sudden panic. “No, you don’t understand, I need… ” 


What do I need? I need to make sure Kai knows I’m a coward? I need to make sure that he knows how terrible “you need to write a business letter explaining in detail why you didn’t kill yourself” is? I need, I need to-


Slender fingers brushed across his cheeks. In the back of his mind, Uruha realized that he was crying, Kai’s soft voice like music to his ears. “The reason I was trying to distract you was because it seemed like the letter was really upsetting you, but if you feel like you need to talk about it…” 


Uruha leaned into his boyfriend’s touch. “Stop being so perfect,” he managed to mumble out through tears, “you’re so sweet to me, and I don’t deserve it.” 


Kai wrapped Uruha up in his arms as the TV went to commercial. “ Don’t. Uruha, don’t ever say that. You’re one of the bravest, kindest, most wonderful people I know, and I hate it when you’re like this.” His fingers started to wind through Uruha’s hair. “So please, for me, please stop hurting yourself.” 


The vampire nestled himself further in his boyfriend’s arms. Hurting myself? Does he think that’s what I’m doing? I’m just…


What am I doing? Obsessing over what the Society says to me, getting trapped in my head, what is that, really? Is Kai right? Am I really just hurting myself more? 


He started crying again, harder this time. Kai started rubbing his back, mumbling soothing nonsense under his breath. 


Am I really a coward? God, dying hurts, and if it’s more virtuous to die, than mark me down as a sinner, because I want to avoid pain more than I don’t want to live as a leech, so I’m alive, and if it’s cowardly to want to live even when you’re a scourge on the Earth, then fuck. Fuck, I’m a coward. But I’m a coward and alive, and I’m a coward and loved, and that has to be enough. 


Uruha pulled himself up against Kai, lulling himself to sleep with the rhythm of his heartbeat and the sound of his voice, desperately trying not to cry. 


It has to be enough.