He hasn't changed a bit, Mika thinks, stuttering a breath around the sword in his gut.
Oh, he's taller now. And broader. Confidence settled on his shoulders, assuredness in the hand on his demon's sword, speaking of actions to fit his bold words. Dressed smartly in human army black, collared so clearly Mika can hardly stand it. Made a toy soldier and trained to believe it.
But his raven's-mop of hair is the same, and his eyes. Those are the same. Wide now with shock, the green of moss and of leaves straining to the sun; the green of summer weeds, tangled together and drunk on an overabundance of light. They blaze, suns in their own right. Blazed forth at eight, at twelve, and now at sixteen, lanterns through the mist, guideposts to tread by.
Hyakuya Yuuichirou. Always and only the person he is.
Yuu-chan, he thinks. So earnestly it almost escapes with the blood dribbling down his chin.
Green eyes and blue; the earth and the sky. Only Mika has changed. Changed so much he can't recognize himself, and can he expect Yuu to? His eyes were azure once. Now they are seaspray and fog. Ice on January mornings.
I lost my fire, he thinks, and I'm sorry, but Yuu-chan is Yuu even if Mika's not Mika, and a stab wound is nothing if their breaths share this space. Losing is nothing if Yuu can keep living.
And ice can melt still in the heat of the flame.
So he manages at last: "Yu... Yuu?"