hc where, once the wedding party has finally dies down, the squad 0 kids start yelling for hirako.
hirako breaks into a fucking sprint. he expects — I don’t know — blood. guts. a surprise attack. a ghoul neatly halved, somehow, maybe. the point is that evisceration is less surprising than what he actually finds, which is yomo, weeping helplessly on the floor of his cell.
“He’s been like that for thirty-eight minutes.”
“I don’t think….he’ll ever stop….”
“Water,” hirako tells them, and when they blink up at him in shock, he repeats it: “Water. Go. As much as possible.”
they flee. it’ll take them a good while, probably; during the party he was almost positive there was no liquid available at all except for the mysteriously procured — beverage — that he suspects is the cause of yomo’s misery.
Oh, hirako realizes, when he attempts to get yomo off the ground and is immediately grabbed and babbled into. most of these words are moving much too quickly for him to comfortably comprehend, except for one, which is repeated over and over: “Happy…happy….happy…so happy. I’m so happy.”
touka. the wedding. beautiful touka, handsome ken, married, happy, happy, happy, so beautiful ken handsome touka. yomo thrashes and hirako dodges a fierce kick that turns out to actually be part of a very slumpy mambo. hirako wheezes and clutches yomo and tries to drag him to his feet and yomo’s leg collapses unexpectedly and this turns out to also be an attempted mambo. yomo swings him around and hirako’s shoulder hits the wall. this, too, might be mambo.
“Okay,” hirako says. “Alright.”
“You don’t understand,” are a few of the many words yomo says in response. “You see, I had once had this thought to myself and yet never imagined that it would come to fruition, the seeds that I planted, well, the seeds that my sister planted, that is —”
the sister, hirako realizes some ten minutes later, who is touka’s mother. the tears come up again, and this time hirako understands they are perhaps only partially joyful. hirako dips yomo to the floor and yomo reaches it relatively safely, and allows himself to be maneuvered such that he leans against his cot. the whole time, he keeps talking. for a while, he talks even faster and faster and faster. eventually, he starts to slow.
when squad 0 returns, it’s with a triplet of sloshing pitchers.
“Sorry,” shio says. “We couldn’t find water so we tried to ask Haise or the Manager but they were —”
“Busy,” yusa interrupts, curtly. “They were busy.”
“It’s fine,” hirako tells them. “Just leave them here, within reach.”
in their panic, one of the pitchers lost almost all of its water, and this one hirako empties, in case yomo needs to use it for…a…receptacle in the morning.
“Hirako-san,” rikai says. “Would you like help?”
yomo’s head is lodged firmly against hirako’s shoulder, right beneath hirako’s chin. he’s sleeping, heavily, which hirako knows because yomo’s body had made the telltale twitches of falling into sleep, which at first had felt one last, desperate mambo.
“It’s alright,” hirako tells them, quietly, so as not to wake yomo up. “Go on ahead. I’m fine.”