decides: (002.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-02 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Kaneki is uncharacteristically silent, as he takes the blank form and Haise's pen from him - shooing him away from his workdesk, so that he can take his place and complete the remainder of his reports. He works off of Haise's notes, asking him questions only when they're pertinent and can be whittled down into five words or less - and generally, he does not make a nuisance of himself at this time. His handwriting is far smaller, tight and full of angles. If he were to concentrate, he could mimic Haise's hand fairly well, but that isn't his goal tonight.

When he finishes the paperwork, he slips it into the correct folder, and sets it aside. If Haise has lingered, he turns to him - otherwise, he seeks him out. ]

I want to go out.

[ He's come to understand that he does not live under his own authority. He needs Haise, to go places. ]

Come with me, to the bookstore. I need something new to read.

[ Or something comfortably old, as he is wont to select. Already, he's gone to locate Haise's jacket. And a second jacket, also belonging to Haise, which he slips into. He wears what he finds, or what is given to him, seemingly without a concern. Which means that everything he currently has on, belongs to his other-self. Minus the socks, to be fair. ]
pursuit: (curious)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-05 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
[The invitation — he chooses to view it as such — comes as a surprise to Haise. As much flickers across grey eyes before he can do anything about it, holding the book he's been leafing through in pointed silence. Just a little too still. Though Kaneki has suggested something terribly mundane and ostensibly non-threatening in this instance, one wouldn't know it from his response.

It's a brief, short-lived thing, but there's no doubt that Kaneki would know that expression on a face that was once his before Haise can smooth it away. Maybe it's the sheer normalcy of it that startles him]

Ah... [At least it's an utterance, though he presses on after a short lapse] Alright.

[And now, after such delay, he realizes that his jacket's been offered to him. He accepts it a little absently, shrugging the familiar garment on. There are several bookstores they could visit, so he thinks to ask in case Kaneki has a preference]

Anything in particular you had in mind?
decides: (009.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-06 10:54 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Haise dons his jacket, and Kaneki's hands find the lapels - creasing them around his neck and drawing them down into a neat line. It's an idle gesture, perhaps better suited for Haise's hands than his own, but it allows him to linger in thought for a moment longer. As though considering which store he wants to go to, before he shrugs. ]

The nearest one. I'd rather not be monitored all the way across the city.

[ Something sharp and acidic in his tone offsets the uncharacteristically fussy gesture, as he buttons Haise's jacket and then steps away to slip into a pair of shoes.

This time, he leads the way - tired of being cooped up and ready for some fresh air. ]
pursuit: (consider)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-07 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
[Haise finds it a curious thing, the way Kaneki straightens his clothes. Without intention, his eyes follow those hands as best they can, observing some curious phenomenon. He'd not have pictured the other as being the type for such gestures and he's still unsure what he should think of it. In so many little ways, Kaneki defies his expectations]

They don't watch us quite that closely...

[That's what the suppressants are for, he knows. They're quite standard in the "stew" they're provisioned with, but this is something the knows he doesn't have to tell Kaneki. There was a sour recognition in his expression the first time they'd sat together during what constituted a meal.

Haise never calls it as much. What they're given is a bitter thing in more ways than one.

Today he follows Kaneki's lead to a bookstore they both recognize, and he falls a short distance behind once they've entered the building. He doesn't need to crowd him after all]
decides: (003.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-10 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
They watch, and I don't enjoy it.

[ His expression is, without a doubt, withering.

Whether they are watched quite closely, or only as a supplement to the diet that they've been fed, it remains fact that Kaneki does not appreciate eyes upon him. But, he is a new thing - a thing to be studied, an entire consciousness divorced from the root and given purchase in a body grown especially for him. He wonders, sometimes, if Haise feels the scars as well. The portions within him that were burnt away, to divide the pair of them from one another in one decisive swoop. He doesn't believe he has to wonder if Haise prefers the scars to the former connection.

The bookstore is quiet, save for the ring of the distant register, and Kaneki casts a look over his shoulder to pinpoint Haise's location before he steps into the stacks and begins his work. He pulls books from their shelves and flips through them, taking his time ( and remaining Aware ). When he places them back, it's with a sort of stern rejection, as though the subject matter is not to his liking. He puts them in different places. Rearranges them, almost absently. Accidentally.

It is not, at all, an accident, that he spells quick, curt phrases with the spines of the books. Leaving them in his wake ( though he selects one or two, so as not to be OBVIOUS in his motions ), and holding an armful of novels he seems to be partial to. ]
pursuit: (ponder)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-11 11:37 am (UTC)(link)
[Haise doesn't go out of his way to keep an eye on Kaneki, trusting that he won't need to. In the beginning he'd watched him more closely, the ever-present awareness of his responsibility pressing in on him so much that he was compelled to, but with time he's come to understand the lack of necessity. Regardless of whether he seeks him out or not, he knows Kaneki will find him, having so often made a habit of appearing right behind him or at his elbow when least expected. Their scent is so similar that it's difficult to even track him.

It makes enough sense, he knows. They're about as close to identical as possible, by virtue of how Kaneki's body was fashioned. Some details differ, most notably their hair, and the marks of past battles exist only on Haise's body. It's ironic, considering he's not the one who knows what battles led to those internal scars.

He wanders the bookstore with his arms tucked behind him, glancing at the shelves with no particular intention to find something for himself. His own collection isn't lacking, but he knows by now that Kaneki's favorite genre is one he isn't keen on. His favorite author, likewise, is one that Haise doesn't share an interest in. And so he means simply to pass the time while he waits. That is, until he spots a title out of place. And another. And another...

It's enough to make him pause, collecting these from the shelves in order to put them back where they ought to be]
decides: (002.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-20 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
[ as he comes back to haise, he notes the novels that have been gathered by the other. the ones that had been purposefully moved about, to create quick, brief messages - literary morse code, perhaps - and kaneki keeps his expression schooled, his motions as smooth as he can. he reaches out with one hand, to gently remove the books that haise has picked up, and replaces them with the ones that he's gone around collecting for eventual purchase. ]

What do you think of these?

[ a question, one that he hasn't asked haise before. they share similar tastes, but are divided enough in opinion to remain two unlike.

he crowds into haise's space, pushing aside titles to direct his attention to this one, and that one - all the while turning to set the books back on the shelf where haise had pulled them from. as though discarding them for Just A Moment, while he discusses the more important ones. the ones that lead him to stand closer to haise, practically shoulder-to-shoulder with him, as he flips open one of the novels and points out a particular passage. he's doing his best, in that moment, to utterly consume haise's mind and his attention. it's ironic twist, considering. ]
pursuit: (phone)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-20 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
[Haise can't remember the last time that Kaneki actually wanted his opinion on literature, staring at him in disbelief before he catches himself and smooths the shock off his face. The other already knew something of his opinions and tastes, and had more than once dismissed the both of them, so he wouldn't have expected to be asked. Closeness isn't new, although in this setting, his shoulders bunch up when Kaneki bumps against him.

Maybe he just wants to dissuade strangers from approaching them, or something like that. In the past it hadn't really been a problem, but it's what he imagines as he looks over the text. It's something he knows. Something he's sure Kaneki knows he knows, in point of fact, a realization that crinkles his brow.

But if he really wants him to state his thoughts, he doesn't see any harm in it]

I thought his late work was colored by the gradual loss of his eyesight... [He pauses, hesitant, if only because surely if it's apparent to him, it's clear to Kaneki already] There's a deep melancholy when he reflects on his past. A longing, you could say.

[What he doesn't know of course is that his sort-of other half is a close reader, rather than a contextual one like him. They might well come to their own conclusions for entirely different reasons]

But why ask me?
decides: (004.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-21 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
[ kaneki has him; perhaps not as lost in the conversation as he'd like, but lost enough so that he can put the books back on their shelf. so that, perhaps, he can pile his own to-be-purchased stack into haise's arms and take hold of the other by his elbows. giving him a proper steer away from the aisle that they're in, towards the further corner of the store. under the pretense of course, of "educated argument" and "wait, let me show you this".

the look on his face is withering, when haise actually gives him an opinion. it's one that he's come accustomed to, something heavy with sentiment and less so on the structure. ]

Because, I -- [ why indeed? the reason is, of course, that he wanted to get haise's hands off of his coded messages. ] Enjoy your voice.

[ putting aside how soundly narcissistic that makes him sound, kaneki moves aside ( someone wanders behind them, book open, nose buried in it, unaware of the tight squeeze between the stacks ) and directly towards haise, hands still curled around his elbows and the backs of his arms. they're the same exact height; there's no awkward angles or difficulty in aligning with him. eerie, how he knows the shape of his own body when haise wears it, better than he knew it when it was his own.

he'd touch haise's ( his ) hair, if he hadn't vowed not to put his hands near the other's face. ]

I think, [ he murmurs, with a quick glance up and down the length of the now-empty aisle, ] if we were of the same opinion, it'd be very boring.

[ he'd have looked for an out long before this, if he weren't bound up - somehow, someway - in haise's existence. leading some manner of exhaustive half-life, when his other-self was gone for extended periods of time. there's something, he assumes, that's in his engineered biology that leaves him dependent upon haise. in the way that a flower seeks the sun - or something as terribly perverse as that, once applied to living, breathing things.

the only reason he rises onto his tiptoes, at that very moment, is to be able to fit himself over the armful of books he's forced onto haise, when he kisses him.

( an aisle over, someone will be by to read the coded message -- and kaneki cannot let haise's attention wander, for any reason. not this soon. ) ]
Edited 2017-04-21 00:19 (UTC)
pursuit: (start)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-21 12:43 am (UTC)(link)
[His first answer is awkwardly self-serving, and even Haise can't quite overlook it. Briefly, he wonders if it's some attempt at humor. How they comport themselves is assuredly different, but he doubts that the sound itself is influenced by that. Although he could speculate the reasons for such a comment, he doesn't have very long to wonder. Kaneki sounds much the same, despite having another body.

Physically, they're near-identical, save for the marks of his own battles and Kaneki's. Only Haise has those now, not remembering the bulk of them, and whatever strength comes along with that. He's wondered if such a thing couldn't have been emulated, or if the purpose was to intentionally make Kaneki weaker. If he even is.

Some part of him remains convinced the setback would mean nothing if they came to blows someday.

Their differences, rather than the reasons for them, are what Haise tries to focus on most often. For his own sake, it's to cement the idea that they aren't the same. That he exists, and he won't just be erased someday. That much, of course, he knows better than to say. He might state his own thoughts on having independent opinions, if someone wandering past them didn't set off his sense of smell, didn't make him wonder just for a moment if —

His thoughts scatter when Kaneki leans in close. He doesn't even have to touch him, because that reflexive wariness of anything coming near his face remains as ferociously irrational as it ever was, at least from his perspective (if only he knew). The moment Kaneki's lips touch his, he jerks back, bumping into the bookshelves behind him and doing no better than staring at him]


[All he manages is that one broken word, and it's unclear whether he might've asked what or why. Just now, that was intentional, wasn't it? He'd gotten up on his toes to do it, so it had to be, but...

As much as Kaneki has crowded him since the first day they'd met face-to-face, this is a departure from what has become the norm]
Edited 2017-04-21 00:47 (UTC)
decides: (002.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-21 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
[ there's a tightening of his hands, around the crook of haise's elbows. a sudden burst of strength to keep him from moving too far, as though caught up in the jaws of something that's unwilling to release him. or, the hands of someone who's trying to keep him from knocking over more than a few books, in the middle of an otherwise quiet little bookstore. true to himself, haise recoils. the kiss is still an act of something approaching his face, without warning, and certainly without rhyme or reason. and it feels so

blindingly corrupt

to, even briefly, press his mouth to another's. especially this one.

kaneki would rather not dissect the psychology of the act right now, not when he's still stalling for time. not when he'd rather not consider what's lead him to decide that this, right here, is the best option available to him, as he seeks to distract haise sasaki from his surroundings. to pull him away from the bookshelf he's pressed his back against, closer again. kaneki, still on his toes, his hands still where they've been all this time, the edges of a small stack of books pressing against his sternum. ]

I've heard it means many, many things.

[ a kiss. ]

"You're alive," is a good one. "I'm alive," is just as well.

[ what an ugly thing to do, he thinks. what an ugly thing he is, to do it, all the same. ]

Don't flinch from me, [ quiet, without urgency, he fits his foot between haise's ankles and steps in again, rising on his toes. he's cornered haise, like this. it's a terrible thing, to corner someone and put such a shock to them, but he needs -- just a moment longer -- this is a distraction. ] I won't bite you here.

[ he takes his time, now; fair warning, a slow advancement. all the same, he kisses haise again. ]
pursuit: (blush)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-21 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
[In quiet moments, within the privacy of his own mind and nowhere else, Haise had imagined what the gesture might be like. A kiss. A small, simple thing most normal people had experienced, an act that might be ranked among the incredibly mundane. And it was the normal, the unremarkable, that he'd always found himself yearning for, the uncomplicated normalcy of simply being human.

A luxury he would always be denied — he never forgets that reality, even in his imagination.

This is, without question, nothing at all like he'd fancied it would be. But the notion of sharing such a thing with Kaneki hadn't ever entered his mind. And even now it's having trouble settling in, despite being a concrete reality, his posture rigid with the sense of intrusion. The things he'd said weren't reason for it, which only makes it that much more baffling. People didn't always need one, he knows that too, but Kaneki...he does. He has to, because as strange as they are, this crosses a different sort of threshold.

Perhaps the worst part about it, underneath the initial shock, is that the revulsion he expects doesn't well up in him. They're both men. Their bodies are practically the same. They could pass for twins. More than that, Kaneki is (though he hates to acknowledge it) the person he once was. It should repulse him. It ought to, he knows it ought to, and that disturbs him all the more]


[He mumbles against Kaneki's mouth, not entirely sure which of them he's really addressing.

With nowhere to go, a foot lodged between his and an unyielding wall of books pressed against his back, Haise doesn't have very many options. But he's a creative man, enough so that he lets most of the books between them drop in favor of holding just one, and this he pushes between their faces after wrestling against the grip on his elbows.

It'd be fit for a romantic comedy, if not for the individuals involved, he thinks with some chagrin. At least he can try to collect his fractured composure from behind this makeshift literary shield]

What's the matter with you?

[Once more, he's unsure whether it's himself or Kaneki those words are really for]
Edited 2017-04-21 01:21 (UTC)
decides: (003.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-21 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
[ this will have to be the best he can do, to grant his message-bearer the time they need to decode kaneki's strange, secret notes.

haise resists.

no, haise thrusts the flat of a book between their faces, and intends to ward him off by utilizing it as a barricade. it could be endearing, to some, but kaneki feels the sputtering ember of frustration flicker within him, alighting into a small flame once more. haise is -- difficult. perhaps that was to be expected, of him. perhaps, kaneki things, he shouldn't build his plans based on how he thinks haise will react ( like him? how could he have come to expect such a thing? ). ]

Stop that.

[ he sidesteps the question, leaving the books scattered on the floor of the store - however loathe he is to do so - in favor of reaching over the top edge of the one that haise is using to defend himself. he pulls down, against haise's grip, against strength that should match his, but currently outstrips him - a combination of engineering and other limitations. all he wants, now, is to lower it far enough that he can find haise's eyes. come out from behind there, you stupid dandelion! ]

You're behaving like a schoolgirl.

[ says the one kissing said "schoolgirl" like some sort of rogue. ]

Nothing is the matter. This is a remarkably better date than the last one I was on, is all.

[ and with that, he stoops to collect his books and MARCH OFF IN A HUFF I TYPED THIS IN A RUSH REN ]
pursuit: (ponder)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-21 10:11 pm (UTC)(link)
[Had he the presence of mind for it, Haise would point out he's still the one who needs to pay for the books. Instead, he's left standing there dumbfounded, wondering what in the world he'd just experienced. Kaneki has ever been a phenomenon he couldn't quite understand, couldn't quite grasp, his presence heavy around him like smoke and yet impossible to apprehend.

If that was humor, he doesn't understand it. Neither does he think that his sort-of other half has suddenly become quite this fond of him. While it was true that people would often find themselves endeared to those with whom they spent ample time, he sees these circumstances as entirely separate, out of left field. They'd gone shopping before, and it hadn't ever constituted a date.

The whole thing feels a little theatrical, for all that he finds it impossible to wrap his mind around.

I want to go out.

Turning the words about in his mind, Haise casts a glance at the bookcase. Or rather, toward that scent he'd picked up before. By now it's quite gone, and he wonders about that too. The timing of it. He smells human enough to any ghoul that he wouldn't set off any alarms, but he knows one was here. Here and gone in such a very brief span of time, just long enough for...ah. Now he gets it.

Well, Kaneki should know as well as him what happens if one steps out of line. He knows by know that he serves as some sort of chain binding the other to the CCG, much as he'd never wanted any of this. Despite that role, he doubts there's much he can do.

It's certainly nothing he'll be a party to, one way or the other.

Supposing he'll keep the other waiting if he lingers on his thoughts for too long, Haise follows the aisle between bookcases to catch up. It's a simple matter to pluck the books from Kaneki's hands, being every bit as good with his own, and he does so without losing stride. If they're quite done here, he can go ahead and make the purchase.

But in passing—]

You know me better than that.

[It's entirely too calm, but Kaneki really should know better than anyone else. Haise is an incredibly convincing actor. In order to survive, he has to be. He thinks he knows when someone's doing the same]
decides: (002.)

[personal profile] decides 2017-04-27 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
[ haise knows.

a voice that calm, the faint scent of him - nearly indistinguishable, something that kaneki has to actively hunt for and pick out of the sea of others - there's no doubt that haise knows that something is amiss. he is an investigator, after all. he looks for the out-of-place, like a bloodhound among a favored thing to chase or a tracker in their native terrain. kaneki, for all that this means, manages to keep his chin up all the same. this will only be a small complication, he tells himself. it's all that it can be.

even as haise steps by him, hands snatching at the stack of books ( items he truly did desire, after all ), and breathes such words, he tells himself this is not a stray thread that needs to be tugged at. there's no need to unravel, here and now. they come from the stacks, kaneki following in silence and haise leading the way. passing comment or no, there are a thousand things that sit on the end of his tongue. he wants to say them all, he wants to grab haise by his jaw, no matter if he flinches or not and demand that he look him in the eye.

that he call him by his name, for pity's sake. ]

You don't want to know anything about me.

[ the retort is wicked, and he knows it. a sharp tongue, slick with venom and unhappiness and the acceptance of those two things. it hovers, near to his surface --

he feels very thin, and draws a tight breath to compose himself, taking the bag full of his books, before approaching the exit. ]

Tattle on me if you want. I'm going back.
pursuit: (down)

[personal profile] pursuit 2017-04-27 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
[Haise can't deny the uncomfortable validity of that statement. For so long the cloying fear that remembering would make him cease to exist had loomed over him. If he remembered, he wouldn't be himself anymore, he was certain. Kaneki would eclipse him, and he would vanish as though he never was. A wisp of smoke from a match, swiftly burned out and resolving to nothing but the faint aroma of something charred away. That's all he'd be.

Even now, when it's not possible to be erased by Kaneki's presence, that resistance remains. The reasons are what differ, and he knows that even as he watches him leave. He doesn't say it, because there's no purpose in doing so, just the same as voicing his name.

This will not last.

As surely as he feared he would not if they continued to grapple within the confines of his mind, he's come to expect the inevitability that Kaneki will leave. Haise is a kept thing — he sees no reason to actively seek the certain destruction that defiance will result in. But Kaneki has once, and he senses that the same will play out again, given time. Given opportunity.

He's the one Arima put down, after all.

The awareness of it twists uncomfortably in him, an uneasiness that he doubts he will ever shake. Like so many other things, Haise buries it within himself, that writhing mess of anxiety that mounts upon itself over time. One day, Kaneki will leave. And on that day, Arima will surely strike him down permanently. He feels he knows this with the same certainty that a car stuck on the railroad tracks will assuredly be crushed by an oncoming train, twisted and broken with such force that it can be scarcely recognized.

This is what he sees in a series of books placed where they ought not be, and placed back there when he'd attempted to move them.

Why call his other half by his name when he's so determined to rush headlong into that collision?

And this is among so many things he simply doesn't say, standing there in a store which he no longer has any purpose lingering in]
Edited 2017-04-27 05:32 (UTC)