Yaksha stared at Mirja, silently, watching her entire display. There was a degree of incredulity there, as if he were staring at something in the throes of a fever dream. Or a bad drug trip. His face went through too many expressions to count, in a span of time that seemed both too slow, and too fast. His hands clenched, loosed, and then clenched again; already, the severely-burned one was beginning to regain its color, and luster. His face, on the other hand, still seemed punch drunk, as he watched Mirja turn into a swan. Throughout, one word swam through his head.Friend.
Mirja actually considered him a friend. That was supposed to comfort him on some level, wasn't it? That there existed someone out there who liked him the way he was? But there was a hidden barb in that statement, a hook that could catch him and bind him tight if he wasn't careful. It was a thought that could defang him in an instant if he let it. He could let her milk him of his venom, and leave him docile, drugged, to live a life of...whatever sought her fancy.
Or he could fight back. Mirja seemed so very certain he wouldn't dare, and it was clear she wouldn't leave. He inhaled, pushing his way back up the wall, facing her head-on. Those eyes were...unsettling, to say the least, but Yaksha had seen better and worse eyes. He saw them, in fact, every time he closed his eyes. Every time he tried to rest."I killed my last friend and ate him. Don't tell me you know what friendship is, Mirja. Allow me to run through the timeline for you. Feel free to tell me if I left something out. You meet me out of the blue, when I get dragged into the collateral damage of a fight between you and a crazed mortal. I volunteer my help, and you drag me further into it, going so far as to force me to go toe-to-toe with a monster to prove a point. Something about being unable to play evasive and defensive forever. Telling me I'll have to fight, one day. You offer to train me, and I turn you down, out of wounded pride, and a desperate desire to avoid going insane and losing out to my hunger in the throes of a fight.""A few months pass, and moods cool. I call upon you, prepared to learn from you. To protect things I hold dear, and to be able to say I made a difference. You call me an idiot, insisting that you have no interest in helping me learn to fight for myself. A few more months pass, months during which I try my very damndest to stand on my own two feet and do something that matters. Jamaica. Djibouti. I risk my life and limb time and time again, burning up my already depleted reserves, and I achieve nothing. I pit my will against another, and I come out sorely wanting. And then, when I'm at my wit's end, when I'm trying my very best to focus on what's important, and find a way to live in this fucked-up world, who do I find again? But -you-! Insisting that you can't stand to watch me wither away, or die. You call that friendship!? Telling me I have to fight, but you won't give me the tools I need, and I don't have the option to roll over and die on my own terms? That's your friendship, is it Mirja? You want to tame me, to put a leash around me, so you can show me off to everyone else, and say 'look what neat tricks I taught him!'"
He stood straight now, and tall, eyes seeming to dilate and contract randomly, his hands still clenching, his teeth bared ever so slightly. There was something hideously organic moving, near the surface of his skin, giving the impression that muscle and nerve tissue was rewiring itself even as Mirja watched. His eyes were filled with a mad, eerie canniness, and there was a disdain there that hadn't existed even a moment earlier. A deep, scouring disdain."You won't let me talk my way through problems. You won't teach me how to fight. You won't let me roll over and die. Stop toying with me, Mirja. Stop acting like your 'friendship' gives you the right to dictate the terms of my life. If you supposedly care about me so much, then take some goddamn time to step off of your pedestal and look at me like I'm a person."
He paused, panting, his eyes swiveling in their sockets, looking at nothing at all that could be seen. He cocked his head to the side, listening to...something. Some conversation entirely in his head. All of the anger, all of the hatred, seemed to boil off of him almost immediately, and the insouciant, ever so faintly smug Yaksha was back again."Or, Mirja. You could help me with an experiment. I've been trying to swear off meat, in a manner of speaking. Every time I eat a hollow lately, I have to struggle to keep my head straight, and figure out what's me, and what's bleeding over from elsewhere. And an idea just came to me. Your Gikon might be exactly what I need, to settle my stomach without leaving me feeling ill afterwards. I'm certain you can requisition another one from the Gotei. So...be a pal, hmm? I think we both know that I don't have a single thing to offer you that you would accept, so let's just go ahead and make this a relationship of all-give and no take."
Coding Altered From: [The Frost]