Big angsty Bugsy post goes here too, hurr.
Ho-Oh’s an asshole. :c
Word Count: 1,288
Characters: Bugsy, Malik, Receba, Ho-Oh
Bugsy wasn’t ready for this.
Gary’s was the only funeral he had ever been to. The only /formal/ one, anyway. The little stone grave markers he and Kurt had fashioned deep in the burnt-out Ilex forest for the rest of their town had come months later, after they were completely certain that no one else would return. It had been private, and quiet, and Bugsy suspected that Kurt had done his crying while he’d carved their friends’ names and locked the feelings away when he and Bugsy had gone out together to place them.
This was different.
The little Gym Leader felt horribly out of place, dressed in a borrowed black suit from one of Malik’s friends, fitted with magic. He didn’t have his own; hadn’t ever thought to get one, and he’d grown just enough that nothing he owned would have fit. Kind of like he’d been doing emotionally, really. He just barely didn’t fit in Pokeworld anymore; he’d grown just far enough away from the boy he’d been to notice.
Bugsy came late in the service, with Receba at his side, who stuck out worse than he did. The alien was there as much to observe, to try to better understand his partner’s grief, as he was to pay his own respects–but his pale pink hair and faintly blue-hued skin stood out against the black suit he’d borrowed.
Malik joined them, feeling out of place more than looking it–except that his eyes weren’t red from crying. He wondered, briefly, if they’d missed Falkner; blue hair was hard to miss, but he wasn’t seeing any he recognized.
Ho-Oh came last, stony-faced, wearing red-lined robes. His presence had everything to do with his pet human, and nothing to do with the deceased. It was hard to hide his feelings from Bugsy, now; relief, more than anything, that his boy’s strings would finally be cut after all this. Even in the event of a third resurrection, the Phoenix had the permission he needed to stop history from repeating itself.
The air was heavy, and Bugsy felt Malik slip ahead of him to the casket first.
It could’ve been worse, Malik thought. He hadn’t heard the gruesome details, didn’t /want/ to know them, but Gary’s body looked… good. For a dead person. The whole situation was so surreal. So awkward. Barring his father’s and Atem’s, he’d never been this close to a carcass. Both those times had been different. Not one that wasn’t reanimated and trying to eat his brains, anyway.
“Don’t go sitting up to say hi or anything,” Malik said, waving a hand over the casket. He glanced toward Bugsy out of the corner of his eye, whose composure had been slipping long before they got there. The kid wasn’t paying attention, and Malik whispered a quiet incantation, offering a little magical assistance where makeup hadn’t been able to put color back into Gary’s cheeks. “Jeeze. Talk about a dead audience. You don’t belong in there, you know? I bet you saw a lot of broken hearts today.” Talking was easy, but /looking/ at the younger male’s body wasn’t. Malik frowned. No, even with magic to help him look that much more like he was sleeping, this was too real. He stepped back. “You’ll be missed. If you don’t get eaten by Ammit, you should come back again sometime.”
A joke about wifi in the Afterlife lodged itself in his throat, and Malik shook his head. This wasn’t the time or place, really.
He veered away, made his way over to the other casket; closed instead, with a framed picture of Joey to remember him by, the way he’d been. Receba watched him, watched the way his lips thinned, and watched as he laid a hand on the bin without words.
“Bugsy,” Receba said, leaning down a little to whisper in Hieratic. His tail twitched uneasily, unsure of whether what he wanted to do was appropriate. By rights, wasn’t sure he should have been there at all; if it went against the will of the dead, if no invitation was the same as being excluded, even if Bugsy had asked him to come along. “May I speak next?”
The request startled the boy, and Bugsy stared for a moment, but nodded slowly. Receba offered a gentle smile, squeezed his hand, and stepped away.
Gary hadn’t liked him, and he hadn’t had the chance to try convincing him otherwise. They had never met in person, and from looking at him, Receba couldn’t guess how well Bugsy had /really/ known the brunette.
Receba spoke in his own tongue, too unaccustomed to Hieratic or Japanese to trust his words in either. Bugsy had heard him use it before; caught the way that Receba mispronounced his name when he was too engrossed in what he was saying to remember the consonants, and wondered what kind of heartfelt farewell his boyfriend could offer to a man who’d hated him.
“…Aa’ menle nauva calen ar’ ta hwesta e’ ale'quenle. No in elenath hîlar nan hâd gin,” he finished, and Bugsy could see the dampness in his eyes. “I will take care of Bugsy until you meet again.”
Well, that tore it.
Bugsy had to bite his lip to keep from sobbing outright, even as tears filled his eyes for the umpteenth time, and even as his shaking legs brought him to the casket. It was the right thing to do, to look in on his best friend one last time, to say goodbye.
The boy hadn’t made a point of watching Gary when he slept, the few times they’d had impromptu sleepovers. But he didn’t think he would look like this, and all the magic in the world couldn’t have made him look /right/, lying there, still as a statue, not breathing.
Bugsy’s control shattered, and the careful wall he’d tried to keep up, for the sake of appearances, for everyone else’s sakes, came crashing down. His breath hitched, and the floodgates opened without anything left to stop them. It took all his willpower not to let his knees give way, to fall to the ground, to ruin the borrowed suit that he knew really didn’t matter.
He couldn’t really believe that this was /real/, staring down at his friend’s still body, even as his vision blurred so badly from tears that he could barely make out shapes. He shook and sobbed, babbled without dignity, and apologized–for every disappointment, for every little regret that Gary probably hadn’t cared about at all–knowing that it was too late for any of that to matter, that nothing would bring him back.
A warm hand gripped his shoulder, and Bugsy didn’t have to look to know who it belonged to. It was comforting, and reminded him that he wasn’t the only one there.
“…Thanks, Fènghuáng,” he managed shakily, dragging his sleeve across his eyes. No matter how much he had already cried, for some reason, he never seemed to really run out.
Ho-Oh whistled, and Bugsy shook his head. He didn’t want singing or pretty sounds to drown out his heartbreak.
“…I’ll miss you,” Bugsy whispered, “I hope you’re somewhere better.”
Receba pulled him away, offering a much-needed shoulder to sag against, and Ho-Oh took his place. The Legendary looked down at Gary’s body, too, unimpressed, unperturbed.
And had nothing kind to say.
If his pet human weren’t so close, perhaps Ho-Oh would have berated him, knowing he would never hear. It made no difference whether he did or didn’t, not now. But the unpleasant taste in his mouth remained.
And it would /continue/ to be there. Ho-Oh’s memory spanned more lifetimes than humans often dared to think about, and he would remember.
“You have your immortality,” Ho-Oh said, shaking his head. “Next time, do something better with it.”