|A Bullet for Cinderella
Author: KIS'E'productions PM
What if the person you were meant to be could never be yours? :: 10051; Loveless inspired AU; for Seto’s Darkness ::Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy - Byakuran & Shōichi I. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 21,565 - Reviews: 46 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 57 - Updated: 03-18-10 - Published: 01-10-10 - id: 5657329
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Pairings: 10051, Ghost51, 100Ghost, 100Kikyo, Kikyo/Zakuro, others.
Genre(s): Fantasy • Drama • Romance • Angst • Loveless-based AU.
Warnings: Byakkun is, eh, a few sandwiches short of a complete lunchbox, but that's pretty much canon, so, eh. Yeah.
Disclaimer: Amano, you're first on my hit list.
Summary: What if the person you were meant to be could never be yours?
RL = Fuck, fuck and more fuckity fuck to the fuck. Fuuuuck.
A Bullet for Cinderella
Zakuro's lips shaped into a blood-curling grin; there was a red slash across his cheek, pulsing hot, and with blood seeping from the cut. He smoothed his thumb over the incision, wiping off the red trickle of rich, crimson liquid. His pulse quickened when he caught a whiff of the scent: sweet, coppery, and burning hot as it pooled beneath the feet of his opponent, bubbling and seeping into the soles of the boy's shoes.
Licking his lips, he fixed his burgundy hues on the Fighter on the other side of the ring. Taking one step forward, he chuckled darkly from deep in his throat. "Playtime's over, pet."
He could already taste the Fighter's defeated cries on his tongue, feel his bones crush against one another, smell the sweet scent of death; the honor and glory that came with it. And right as he was about to deliver the final strike, the one voice that always managed to break through his bloodlust rang in his ears:
"Enough, Zakuro." Flicking glossy teal locks behind his shoulder, Kikyo smiled. Unlike the redhead, there was not a speck of blood on him. He stood tall, elegant, and as pristine as always. "There's no point in fighting when you've already won."
Zakuro scowled, good mood immediately turning sour. Seeing this, Kikyo's smile widened. The taller man took a step forward, not touching his Fighter, but it wasn't like it was needed. It was impossible for Zakuro not to feel Kikyo. "We're having lunch soon."
Byakuran was bored.
And sure enough, as the battered Sacrifice ran to her equally wounded Fighter across the arena, tears running down her cheeks as he cradled him gently in her arms and the teacher called for the medics, Zakuro could see the achromatic haired Fighter sitting by the bleachers. He looked bored, slender shoulders slumped, a childish pout on his lips.
Byakuran was bored; of course Kikyo would be tripping over his own two feet to lift his spirits.
Cracking his knuckles, Zakuro shrugged his shoulders. He knew it would be pointless to say anything. To Kikyo, Byakuran always came first. "I was getting hungry, anyway."
A smile—different from the last one in the way it made a shiver run down Zakuro's spine, made his pulse quicken in an entire different way than the thrill of battle did—graced Kikyo's lips. "You did good today," he said, and Zakuro scoffed audibly.
He didn't need Kikyo to praise him. Zakuro knew that he was a good Fighter, one of the best. This stupid little school was beneath him. It was full of children. Inexperienced brats that couldn't give him a good fight if it killed them. Being stuck in this prison was worse than death. It was all Zakuro could do not to die from sheer boredom. Hell, it was a wonder he even woke up for classes. Most days he didn't even feel like getting out of bed. Kikyo often had to drag him outside to make sure the redhead didn't forget there was a world outside his room, or remind him to eat because Zakuro had simply stopped caring altogether.
Running a hand through his blood matted hair (not his, never his), his burgundy eyes drifted over to the bleachers, and he grinned.
Well, there was a reason why he stayed in this shitty place.
Lavender eyes brightened when they began to make their way outside the arena, all traces of boredom leaving the young man's pretty face. Waving an arm at them, Byakuran whistled. "Woo, Zakuro-kun~! You looked so cool~!" he cheered, a giddy smile on his lips when he sprang to his feet.
Zakuro's spirits instantly lifted. His lips threatened to curve into a pleased smile, his lungs inflating with something akin to pride when thin arms wrapped around his shoulders in a congratulatory hug. Soft, spiky tresses tickled his face, Byakuran's sweet laughter chiming like church bells before the young man stepped back.
"Zakuro-kun is so lucky," he said, rocking back on his heels. "Reborn-kun isn't letting me play until the nurse gives me the okay~"
Worry flickered across Kikyo's face for the smallest of seconds. He said nothing, but the bond between them let Zakuro know his Sacrifice was still worried over Byakuran's wounds.
His brow furrowed.
Zakuro had been present last night, when the school guards had reprimanded Byakuran for cutting school. The headmaster never came to the detention room to deliver out punishments to misbehaving students; the ever-reliable tutor Reborn was in charge of those things.
There were seven teachers total, plus the headmaster. Zakuro had only ever met two of the seven teachers, and the headmaster he'd met countless of times before. In all honesty, he didn't know what to think of the man. He looked like an idiot, and acted like one, too. In Zakuro's opinion, the man's Fighter would be better suited for the headmaster position of this goddamn school. Now there was a guy Zakuro wouldn't mind locking horns with.
Without a trace of care, Byakuran reached over with his hand to pat his back. His face showed no pain, no sign to show he'd been whipped and received nothing short of caveman treatment. He did, though, furrow his brow delicately. His lips quirked downwards, fake ears droopy. "Ne, Kikyo-kun, do you think Shou-chan will hate them?" Not waiting for answer, he pressed on, and Zakuro was eerily reminded of a young teenager fretting over his first date. "My scars, I mean. They're ugly, I'm worried Shou-chan will hate them." His voice softened as he continued, gaze lowered to the ground. "I don't want Shou-chan to hate me. I want Shou-chan to like me as much as I like him."
Zakuro didn't know what to say to that (other than 'chicks dig scars', which he didn't think would be appreciated much in this situation), and apparently, neither did Kikyo. Which was a surprise, because he always knew what to say to lift Byakuran's spirits.
Shuffling awkwardly, Zakuro almost breathed a sigh of relief when Byakuran broke the awkward silence himself, after staring pensively at his boots for a couple of long, tense minutes where Zakuro debated taking cover.
A bored Byakuran was bad; a sad Byakuran was downright dangerous. Heads rolled when Byakuran was feeling lovesick.
Zakuro almost felt bad for the recipient of Byakuran's affections.
Almost, but not quite.
There was too much to gain from their union for Zakuro to take the other party's feeling into consideration.
Lifting his foot, Byakuran pouted up at Kikyo. "Mou, my laces came loose," he sulked prettily, his blue mood apparently forgotten. Byakuran was a master when it came to flippant mood changes. "Tie them for me, Kikyo-kun?"
A Sacrifice as prideful and strong as Kikyo would have been insulted; such a meager task was beneath someone of his status. Was for someone as weak and worthless as a pitiful servant, not a man of Kikyo's standing. But Kikyo said nothing. He kneeled down, tightening the laces of the younger Sacrifice's boot, nimble fingers making quick work of the meager task.
Kikyo had come out of their fight without a smear of dust on his clothes; when he stood up, his impeccable attire was dirty at the knees.
If it had been anyone else, Zakuro would have curled his lip in disgust.
Smiling sweetly, Byakuran admired his boot. "Kikyo-kun is so good to me. I wouldn't know what to do without him~"
But this wasn't some worthless worm, or some stuck up weakling pretending to be strong, pretending to be something. This was the man who Zakuro admired so much it bordered on obsession.
If there was a man who Zakuro would go to hell and back for, it was Byakuran.
Byakuran was the only Fighter he had ever lost to. Their fight hadn't even a fight. It had been too one-sided to be considered one; Zakuro hadn't stood a chance. It had been a lost cause from the very beginning. He could still remember the thrill he'd gotten from it, the taste of his own death flooding his taste buds like a sweet, forbidden fruit. By the time Zakuro had met Byakuran, he'd been so tired of life he hadn't cared about dying so as long as he got to go out with a bang. Sweat, blood, his enemy's life his to take—those had been the only things which had made up his existence. Nothing else mattered, because everything else was bleak, gray, and dead.
Back then, even the thrill of battle had begun to lose its interest. Waning, decaying, leaving Zakuro with nothing to do. With nothing.
Until Byakuran came along. Until Byakuran offered him something better than all the riches of the world put together.
Byakuran had given Zakuro a purpose, a new way to entertain himself.
Byakuran had rekindled Zakuro's interest in the droning thing that was life.
Byakuran had given Zakuro Kikyo. He had given meaning to the name branded on the skin of Zakuro's chest.
If there was anything Zakuro respected in this pathetic, boring as hell world, it was strength. Byakuran had that in spades. Which was good, because Zakuro would never follow a leader who couldn't kick a few heads off a pair of shoulders.
"Pretty boy has to be good for something, at the very least," Zakuro grunted, hands in his pockets. They were smeared with gore, but he paid no heed to them. Kikyo would do his laundry at some point, once he realized the redhead was wearing the same clothes from two days ago. He couldn't stand Zakuro's sloppiness, that Kikyo.
"Kikyo-kun found Shou-chan for me." Like always, Byakuran's smile brightened at the name of his Sacrifice. His smile was elated, his pale cheeks pinking with color, the happiness so obvious on his face it was blinding. Just looking at him in such a state gave Zakuro cavities. "Kikyo-kun found Shou-chan for me, he's amazing~"
Snorting, Zakuro crossed his arms over his chest. Kikyo gave an elegant chuckle, the tint of worry in his thoughts overshadowed by his pleasure of seeing Byakuran's happiness. Zakuro didn't mind their bond, even if he sometimes preferred not to know the other man's moods. Some things were just better kept secret.
Not that he cared if Kikyo doted on Byakuran as if the young Sacrifice were his firstborn, oh no. As a fellow Fighter, Zakuro understood the achromatic young man's situation (even if the time he'd been apart from Kikyo wasn't as long as Byakuran had been apart from that that what's-his-nuts kid), and why he needed so much attention. Byakuran was very much like a child, and like a child, he was childishly cruel. He was capable of being incredibly sadistic, and Zakuro didn't know if he was unaware of it, or if he just didn't care. Actually, he would bet his money on the latter, to tell the truth.
Not to say Zakuro understood Byakuran. (No way, that was Kikyo's job.)
Byakuran was a complex individual, but at times he was overly simplistic like a child. His actions were unreadable, but when the marshmallow-aficionado explained himself, his reasons were like that of a possessive child. It was hard for Zakuro to make head or tail of Byakuran's intentions.
There were times when Byakuran seemed innocent and vulnerable, when he stood alone in an open field, staring forlornly at the sky as laughter and happiness hummed around him. Those times were the times Zakuro was most edgy, anxious for Byakuran to become one with his Sacrifice as soon as possible.
Danger! his instincts always warned him. Run away! the deepest, most primal part of his being screamed at him whenever Byakuran would look at his side and see no one there, lavender eyes hardening like cold marble while the smile on his lips would grow sweeter and sweeter still.
Zakuro would never lie and say he wasn't afraid of Byakuran then; only a fool would stand before his boss and say he wasn't afraid.
In simpler terms, Byakuran was completely insane.
Again, not that Zakuro gave a rat's ass if his boss was batshit crazy. He could care less if Byakuran burned the whole world to the ground as long as long as he got to hold the lighter.
He may admire Byakuran to the point where he would die in battle for him, but Zakuro wasn't blind to his faults, unlike Kikyo, who would give his right hand to turn Byakuran's frown upside down.
It was almost a pity, really. Byakuran had such an obvious weakness, and that weakness played a big key in his strength. Which was why Zakuro understood why Kikyo was doing everything possible to push that kid—what was his name again?—into synchronizing with Byakuran before the Academy caught on to them.
Byakuran's name was too dangerous; Zakuro could see why the founders of the school were so determined to keep him apart from his Sacrifice forever.
"I'm leaving soon," Byakuran announced suddenly, swinging his legs back and forth. The sleeves of his shirt were too long for him, covering his hands down to his pink, oval-shaped nails. Delicate was the one word which most fitted his appearance, what with his tall, slender frame, his pretty face, smoldering lavender eyes, and fair complexion.
Dangerous was the word Zakuro thought fit him best. A carnivorous flower, pretty to look at, but insanely dangerous.
A predator to the core.
"I have a date with Shou-chan," he sing-sang, drawing a heart in the air with his index finger. Zakuro's eye twitched. "I have to look my best tonight."
A pink tongue dabbed at a pale bottom lip, a wicked smile taking shape on his curious mouth, lavender eyes hidden behind silky lids. "Mmm. But Shou-chan is so cute, I can't stand it!" Laughing, his threw his head backwards. "I promised to be nice, but, ah, a little bite can't hurt, ne~?"
Zakuro's brow wrinkled. He glanced at Kikyo from the corner of his eye, expecting too see the same confusion he knew was drawn on his face. He arched an eyebrow when all Kikyo did was stare at Byakuran with that same patient, almost paternal expression he almost always wore around Byakuran nowadays. Like how a father would carefully watch over his frail, sick firstborn, attentive to the son's every little need.
Bringing his hands together, Byakuran's eyes snapped open, all traces of his laughter gone in a second. "Oops. I forgot. Shou-chan still has his ears." Lacing his fingers together, he pursued his lips. "Ma, since I already took Shou-chan's first kiss, maybe I should be more patient? But Shou-chan's ears are so cute; I want them~"
Zakuro spared a glance at the arena, now empty, and with barely any trace left of his fight. There were a few bloodstains here and there, nothing more. He stared at the specks of dark, dried blood, focusing on them instead of the words spewing from the fair-headed Sacrifice's lips.
Contrary to the rumors that flat-chested little harlot had spread throughout the school, Zakuro was not a pervert. He was perfectly happy not knowing the details of Byakuran's private life.
"Byakuran-sama." Kikyo always sounded so cool and collected. Zakuro often imagined him as a secretary of sorts. "I advice you to wait. If we proceed too hastily, our actions will draw the Headmaster's attention."
Half-lidded eyes stared coolly at the teal-haired Sacrifice, and when Byakuran said nothing, Kikyo proceeded. Zakuro had to hand it to him; Kikyo had balls. Despite the height difference, the age, and the pounds Kikyo had over Byakuran, Kikyo was no match for the pretty young man the Academy thought of as their 'idol'.
"Irie Shouichi is an ordinary student." Kneeling so he could stand at Byakuran's height, who remained seated, smile growing wider and eyes becoming steelier as the conversation progressed, Kikyo trod on forward. "He does not even know his true name, the Academy made sure of that. If our rebellion were to become known by the Headmaster, he will most likely order Irie Shouichi to be guarded by the most elite of his—"
"Shou-chan is mine." A cold, hard fact. Words with so much will, they would have suffocated Zakuro had he not been used to the dark, oppressing atmosphere that was Byakuran's presence. Byakuran's words always cut at his opponents like lovingly-sharpened knifes; like claws breaking through bones and muscle to rip out a still beating heart; like warm, sweet chocolate dripping from the lips of the most beautiful woman imaginable. "Shou-chan has always been mine."
The gossamer thread fluttering around Byakuran like finely cut piano wire brought to life, the red string of fate that tied him to his other half, the bond between him and his Sacrifice—it could be called beautiful.
Byakuran's smile was razor sharp, his lovely face as ethereal as ever. "Shou-chan was born to be with me."
It could be—but the gnarled mess of crooked piano wire that must have at some point shimmered like strands of silver and white gold was twisted, dark,and debauched. The sadly weeping gossamer thread dancing around Byakuran's frame, the bond that tied him to the only other human being who shared his name, was so flimsy by now that it was close to snapping.
Standing, Byakuran casually walked past him, the light brush of his shoulder against Zakuro leaving the redhead chilled to the very bone. "Shou-chan was born for me. I won't let Tsunayoshi-kun keep us apart any longer."
Byakuran called it 'love'. Kikyo called it an 'unbreakable bond'.
"Shou-chan and I are destined, after all~"
Zakuro called it 'obsession'.
He didn't understand.
-- I'm Shou-chan's Fighter Unit --
None of it made any sense.
-- Don't leave me all alone. I need you --
And thinking about it made his head hurt.
-- I waited for Shou-chan to come get me, but he never did --
Made his heart ache.
-- I want Shou-chan to stay with me. Just the two of us forever --
Made him feel like…made him feel like…
-- I need you --
Like Byakuran was—
"Shouichi, I want you to be my partner."
Shouichi didn't have to look up from his laptop to know Spanner was wearing his usual neutral expression, blue eyes focused solely on him even as he wrote down notes on a pale orange notebook. They were sitting in a café near the building his prep classes took place, which had been cancelled for the day due to the teacher coming down with the stomach flu on short notice. Shouichi had been slightly put out, as he'd scheduled his day around the class; but he'd been more than happy with the outcome when he'd received a call from a friend he hadn't been able to see since quite some time.
Although a year younger than him and from a whole different country, Spanner and him had a lot in common. They had met two years ago in a robotics convention, and had traded numbers when they found themselves intensely intrigued with each other's projects. It was a long distance friendship, but they made it work. Spanner dropped by whenever he could, always with the same excuse of "Japan is too nice not to visit" when he crashed at Shouichi's place for several days before returning to his homeland.
Shouichi would never say it out loud, but he considered Spanner to be his closest friend. Regardless of that, he wasn't quite used to the other's formal way of speaking yet. He was often left flustered or embarrassed by Spanner's forward words, always mentally reminding himself that Japanese wasn't the blonde's first language, and to stop nitpicking everything.
"W-what?! Wait." Closing his laptop, Shouichi shook his head, swallowed hard, and hoped Spanner wouldn't notice his burning cheeks.
What was he doing, thinking about that guy? Byakuran was insane; it was as simple as that. Shouichi had agreed on that last night. He shouldn't waste his time thinking about some clearly unstable creep like Byakuran. Especially when Spanner was visiting. He hadn't seen his friend in a long time. Shouichi should make the most of the blonde's visit.
"I'm sorry. I wasn't listening. Run that by me again?" he asked, tone apologetic.
Spanner raised a blonde eyebrow, the only sign of his puzzlement with the redhead's strange behavior. Ruffling through the papers strewn across the surface of their table, he held up a particularly bright poster for Shouichi to see. "There's a food-eating contest going on tomorrow. It's partners only, what do you think?" The Italian did love his Japanese cuisine.
"Eh…" Mentally slapping himself for getting the complete wrong assumption, Shouichi quickly read over the details of the contest. He cringed as he got to the bottom of the paper. Of course Spanner would pick something that would undoubtedly lead to a horrible stomachache for him. "I'm not a big fan of sweets, you know that, Spanner."
Spanner was as big of a sweet-lover as he was a Japanholic. If Shouichi disliked anything about his friend, it was that he had a tendency to leave candy wrappers all over his room. Not that Shouichi himself was any better. His mom still had to hassle him to clean his room at his age. It was, sadly, one of hiss less than desirable traits.
"I'll only be here a week," Spanner pointed out, brows drawn together into a little frown, and that was the closest Shouichi had ever seen Spanner to sulking. His golden ears twitched on top of his blonde head, his tail flicking back and forth. "I've always wanted to try it out."
By which he, of course, meant he would forever blame Shouichi for ruining his vacation.
Not that any of this was said out loud.
Shouichi sometimes missed his no-friends life. Sighing in defeat, he took a sip of his drink. "Fine. But you owe me."
Spanner's lips curved into a barely perceptible smile. Shouichi must have imagined the smugness he saw in his pale blue eyes. "As someone I aspire to be like, Shouichi can ask me for anything."
Glancing to the side, Shouichi scoffed. His cheeks were warm, but he not so subtly ignored that little detail in favor or staring at the oh-so-suddenly very interesting window. "I only beat you at that competition because you weren't thorough with your wiring." He gave a shrug of his shoulders. "It's no big deal."
"Ah. Well, you are older than me." Spanner looked slightly bemused, irritatingly calm, like always. He rummaged through his pockets, unwrapping a cherry flavored lollipop, much to Shouichi's amusement. "You have a lot more experience than me."
"I'm only older than you by a year." Shouichi fought down the urge to laugh. The corners of his lips lifted up into an unmistakable smile.
"A year is a lot to catch up to." Closing his notebook with an easy flick of his wrist, Spanner ran a hand through his blonde locks, absentmindedly petting his golden ears. "I hope that one day my work will be as good as yours, Shouichi."
"You're already very good." And he wasn't being modest, either. Spanner was good. More than good, actually. All he needed was a challenge. Sadly, Shouichi lived too far away to provide the right douse of rivalry to get Spanner to up his game. "I'm sure if you apply yourself and stop being such an introvert you'll—"
"Fuufuu~ Shou-chan looks very cute like that," a familiar, musical, and not very welcome voice carried to their table despite the bust and noise of the busy café.
Lowering his shades, Byakuran flashed a white arch of teeth. There was a backpack slung over his shoulder, and a disposable espresso between his fingers, leading Shouichi to believe the young man was coming home from school. He pressed stop on his iPod, but left the hot pink earbuds dangling around his neck. He was decked out in party clothes, much like he'd been last night. Bracelets jingled around his wrists, matching the jewelry on his fingers and neck. The playful smile dancing on his pale pink lips dared Shouichi to bolt from his seat, confident that he would catch the redhead if he ran.
Thankfully, Shouichi didn't bolt from his chair like he'd expected to. Not so thankfully, his reaction wasn't what he would call 'good', either.
It was downright sad.
Half of Shouichi was screaming at him to ignore the flippant young man, while the other half was mentally preparing itself for the crash. It was when Spanner turned to look at the cause of his friend's dear-in-the-headlights look that Shouichi had no choice but to acknowledged Byakuran as well, grudgingly, mechanically, with his heart beating so fast he feared it might break free from his ribcage. He convinced himself that the best thing to do would be to acknowledge the owner of the lilting voice, that it was the safest option. It would be like ripping off a band-aid: easy, quick, and mostly painless.
Sadly, Shouichi's positive thinking was of very little help.
"What are you doing here?" If there had been any way to become invisible, Shouichi would have traded just about anything for the secret. If he could have, he would have pressed himself against the nearest wall in the hope he would get swallowed into it and disappear.
Surrounded by the prettily blushing waitresses fluttering around him like he was a particularly cute puppy, Byakuran greeted him with a smile bright enough to power half of the city. The hope that he had just happened to coincidently bump into Shouichi flew straight out the window when he said, cheerfully pleasant smile in tow, "A little bird told me I could find you here, Shou-chan~"
Shouichi took a moment to collect his jaw from the floor. It felt like last night all over again, where Byakuran's mere touch had been enough to make Shouichi do something as ridiculously as to cry in public. Swallowing thickly, he prayed his burning cheeks weren't too obvious.
"G-Gesso-san," Shouichi hissed, aware they were once again, like last time, attracting various stares. An all male group was bound to attract stares, but Shouichi was pretty positive it was Byakuran's flamboyance that was getting them all the attention. He did an amazing job at standing out.
"You know him, Shouichi?" If Spanner was surprised, he did not show it. He stared unflinchingly at Byakuran, whose smile took on a slightly sharper edge when his lavender eyes fell on Shouichi's companion. It sounded crazy, insane even, but for the split second that his lavender eyes moved away from him, Shouichi felt strangely cold and weak. Then Byakuran smiled sweetly at Shouichi when it was the redhead's turn to be scrutinized, and everything was good again.
Honestly, it was baffling. Up until last night, Shouichi hadn't even known Byakuran existed, but then it turned out he was some sort of stalker and on a strange impulse Shouichi will never ever understand, he gave Byakuran his number. It wasn't like he didn't understand why girls trailed after the odd young man, or what they saw in him. Shouichi wasn't blind, after all. But it wasn't Byakuran's looks that made Shouichi feel all flustered around him; it wasn't his sweet smile or even his ridiculous flirty comments. It was his presence. It was they way Shouichi felt too comfortable, too right, too complete, with Byakuran.
It was terrifying, and Shouichi was wary of the feeling.
"Shou-chan and I are the best of friends," he answered amiably before Shouichi could get a hold of himself, stop looking at Byakuran like a lovesick girl, and make a further fool of himself. Byakuran's face warmed into a dazzling smile, leaving Shouichi feeling strangely dizzy. "You could say we're destined~"
"Shouichi and I are friends, too," Spanner said, not looking the least bit bothered when Byakuran sat down at their table after waving goodbye to the crowd of girls, or by his strange wording. Thank God. "Though I didn't know Shouichi had made another friend."
Shouichi felt strangely mortified by how Spanner sounded too much like the mother of a misfit son who'd finally managed to bring his first friend home. He groaned, covering his face with his hand, finally snapping out of his little stupor. This was going to be awkward—not that it already wasn't, but things could certainly get worse.
Laughing, Byakuran comfortably reached for Shouichi's drink. Shouichi felt his face burn when he took the straw between his lips, sipping happily. W-would that be considered an indirect—"I didn't know about you either, so that makes us even~"
Yes, it could definitely get a lot worse. "Spanner," Shouichi quickly intervened before Byakuran could open his mouth again, hands face down on the table as he stood up from his seat in his haste to prevent another conversation from springing. "This is Byakuran Gesso, he's, ah…" Damn it, why was his quick thinking failing him now of all time?
"I'm Shou-chan's girlfriend," Byakuran chirped matter-of-factly, much to Shouichi's eternal embarrassment and everlasting shame. He gaped at the smiling, evil young man, speechless, nerves fried and mind left completely blank. He was so floored he couldn't even come up with a single, coherent thought. His brain had short-circuited, and was refusing to acknowledge the current situation.
Spanner cocked an eyebrow, quietly sipping from his drink. He nodded, which just made everything all the more worse. And if Shouichi had been expecting any help form his friend, that hoped died as soon as Spanner opened his mouth.
"I see," was all he said, no change in his expression except for perhaps a small curve of the lips.
"T-that's not, I'm not—" Shouichi sputtered, blushing furiously, tongue-tied, and desperately wishing for the earth to open up and swallow him. "—you shouldn't tell lies like that, Gesso-san!"
"Ah." Spanner tilted his head to the side, setting his drink down. "That's the first time I've ever seen Shouichi make that kind of expression."
Shouichi practically felt his jaw hit the floor.
That dirty traitor.
"Muu. It breaks my heart that Shou-chan doesn't call me by my name," Byakuran said sullenly, although the brazen smile on his lips ruined the image. "You call Spanner-kun by his name. I'm getting jealous."
Shouichi opened his mouth—
"Shouichi is smart, but his social skills aren't every good." Spanner was suddenly the avid chit-chatter, forgetting his role as a reclusive, robotics maniac. Shouichi took a second to glare at him, the poster for "betrayed-by-a-friend". Then he turned to Byakuran, glared and—
"Ah, but Shou-chan is cute, so it doesn't matter~" Swirling the contents of Shouichi's drink, Byakuran flashed said redhead a brilliant smile. All of a sudden, he and Spanner were bosom buddies, sharing their life stories' together, with Shouichi as the main protagonist in both.
Spanner nodded in agreement, offering Byakuran one of his preferred lollipops. There it was, the best-friends-forever pact. Byakuran's face visibly brightened at the prospect of sweets and diabetes. "He is."
In the end, Shouichi buried his face in his arms and groaned quietly to himself, stuck between a criminally cheerful Byakuran and an oddly talkative Spanner. (Who would never, ever, be allowed to visit him again. Ever.) He refused to take part in the conversation, convinced Byakuran had somehow, someway, brainwashed his friend into liking him. Shouichi may not know Byakuran very well—or at all, actually—but he certainly wouldn't put it past him.
But that was mostly because every time Byakuran spoke, it was the only sound Shouichi could hear. And every time their eyes met, Shouichi grew warm. And when his foot just bumped into Shouichi's, his whole body tingled. And it was really starting to freak him out.
"What a coincidence! I'm from Italy too~" Byakuran hummed in approval at whatever Spanner had just said. "So," he grinned, leaning forward, all of a sudden immensely interested in the direction the conversation was heading, "how did you and Shou-chan become friends, Spanner-kun?"
It was weird. It was definitely weird. They didn't know each other, had just recently met—and under very weird circumstances at that. Shouichi should have absolutely no reason to feel like a middle school student with his first crush around Byakuran.
"We met at a robotics convention, didn't we, Shouichi?" Spanner wasn't asking a question, manly simply restating a fact for their new 'friend'. Shouichi knew he shouldn't feel annoyed with Spanner for liking Byakuran so easily, because Spanner was an easy-going kind of guy who was rarely bothered by anything, but just as he was about to take a deep breath and relax, he was jolted by an overwhelming shock—an electric charge fusing in his skin, slamming his veins, and making his whole body tingle.
And it was all because Byakuran placed his hand on top of Shouichi's own.
"Is everything okay, Shou-chan?" Cocking his head to the side, Byakuran drew his brows together in a visible sign of concern for Shouichi's health. He gazed at Shouichi in a way so intense, so intimate, Shouichi quickly looked away, embarrassed. Feeling like his whole breath had been knocked out of him in one go. He frowned, noticing how his whole body had gone all warm and electric, wondering what could possibly be causing it. Because it wasn't like he'd never had his hand touched before, though he'd yet to experience anything remotely like this.
"Shou-chan?" He smiled, and Shouichi felt his face flush at the sound of his soft, lyrical voice.
Shouichi yanked his hand away, viciously fighting down the urge to cradle it to his chest.
It was ridiculous, simply ridiculous.
"Nothing. I'm fine." He shrugged his shoulders, taking back his drink from Byakuran, who was still smiling, clearly amused. Shouichi hesitated, mentally battling with himself before he took out the straw to drink straight out of the cup. He refused to acknowledge Byakuran's pouting face. It was no use, though. He could feel Byakuran's gaze on him—heavy, warm, and inviting—and it was making Shouichi so nervous his palms started to sweat and his drink slipped from his grip. Falling so fast, he couldn't do anything to stop it, just wait for the splash.
Before it hit the floor, Byakuran caught it and, instead of returning it to Shouichi, took a sip of the drink himself, pale lips lifting and curving into a smug smile as they brushed against the same place Shouichi had just drank from. It was almost enough to make Shouichi want to rip his hair off his scalp in a strange mixture of frustration, giddiness, and embarrassment.
Thankfully, Spanner decided that he was once again Shouichi's friend, and took pity on him. Shouichi could've kissed him. "It's getting late, Shouichi. We should go," he added after a glance at his wristwatch. It was indeed late; the sun would be setting soon.
Byakuran's smile wilted. "Eh? You're leaving me, Spanner-kun?" He sounded like a sullen girlfriend after the boy of her dreams had suddenly decided to cancel their date at the very last minute. "Can I come?"
Throwing his bag over his shoulder, Spanner gave what could be considered a confused look. "It's Shouichi's house." Leave it to Spanner to remember his manners now.
Byakuran's new smile was slightly less friendly than it had previously been, and twice as sugary. "Spanner-kun is staying at Shou-chan's house the whole week?"
Spanner gave a noncommittal shrug of his shoulders, wrapping his moss green scarf around his neck. "I always crash at Shouichi's place when I come over," he said simply, plopping a matching hat on his blonde head, golden ears twitching. "Shouichi is a surprisingly good cook," he added, as if that explained why he never looked farther than the redhead's house for a place to stay during his visits.
Shouichi sighed, he too picking up his things. He was glad that they were finally leaving. He didn't think he would be able to stand one more minute in Byakuran's presence, not with how his reactions to the Italian's antics would be much better suited for a love-struck young girl. "That's not what you said last time you had my cooking."
"I was expecting a traditional Japanese breakfast." Spanner's brow furrowed at the thought of a Western breakfast in a Japanese household, as if the mere idea was blasphemous.
"I'll make you one in the morning—Gesso-san, what are you doing?!" Color riding high on his cheekbones, Shouichi pushed at Byakuran's shoulders to get the taller man to let him go.
Stubbornly shaking his head, Byakuran puffed out his cheeks childishly. He had his arms wrapped around Shouichi's middle, stubbornly clinging to the redhead's coat. "Mou, I want to go to Shou-chan's house, too!"
Why me? Shouichi thought despairingly. He was a good person, there should be no reason for bad, unlucky things to happen to him. "Gesso-san," he tried again, doing a poor attempt at getting the clingy Italian to stop hanging from him like a particularly large fungus. "Gesso-san, please let go. You're making a scene," he hissed out the last part, fretting nervously at the various stares glued to their backs.
Great. This was exactly what they needed: more attention.
"I like Shou-chan more than Spanner-kun does, it's not fair!" Shouichi stared at the sudden outburst, blinking, momentarily forgetting to free himself from Byakuran's suffocating embrace. The loud chattering of the café grew louder still at the spectacle they were making. "And I bet Shou-chan likes me more, too!"
"I most certainly do not—" Pinching the bridge of his nose, Shouichi bit down on his tongue before he said something unforgivable. Manners, remember your manners, Shouichi. "Gesso-san, you can't come."
Firmly, and with as much dignity as possible, Shouichi unwrapped himself from Byakuran's hold. His expression or righteous indignation crumbled as soon as he saw Byakuran's face, though. He looked downright hurt, his ears flat against his head. And were those tears?
"We can have a sleepover," Spanner suggested from his spot, breaking away from the audience. There was the smallest of smiles on his face.
Shouichi could have slapped him.
"Yes, we can have a slumber party!" Throwing himself at Shouichi again, Byakuran nuzzled his cheek. He was all smiles once more, no crocodile tears to be found. "We can—"
It took a second for Shouichi to place the loud, disgustingly happy chirping sound.
Trust Byakuran to have a ring-tone fitting to his personality.
Blinking, Byakuran flipped open his phone. It could have been the lighting, but Shouichi swore the young man looked far from his happy, sunny self. "Ah, just when we got to the good part~"
"Let's go," Shouichi grumbled under his breath, dragging Spanner out of the café while Byakuran was distracted. Tugging at the blonde's hand to get him to walk faster, he quickened his pace as they turned a corner.
"We're running away." Far from looking uncomfortable, Spanner looked—dare Shouichi say it?—amused. Spanner had such a short attention span when it came to, well, practically anything that didn't have a thick, boring manual in extra small print attached to it.
It would be a cold day in Earth when Shouichi would get him to give up his portable DS to interact with other human beings.
"No, we are strategically retreating," Shouichi ground out through tightly clenched teeth. "Which is like running away—"
"—just manlier." Spanner was definitely looking amused, his poker face not as neutrally stoic as usual. "We're running away." Lacing their fingers together, Spanner's longer strides quickly caught up with Shouichi's fervent pace. Then he added, "You don't like him."
Shouichi was so close to socking him in the face. And he abhorred violence. "I don't dislike him," he settled on saying, for a lack of anything to say.
"But I also don't know him." Rummaging through his pockets for his keys, he let goes of Spanner's hand. "I can't dislike him if I don't know him, now can I?"
He didn't hate Byakuran. He knew he doesn't.
He feels something when Byakuran is around, but he's far too prideful and stubborn to act like the many love-struck girls at his school after seeing the face of their favorite idol on TV. No; he'd die of mortification if any one ever caught him blushing at Byakuran's sweet little words. Byakuran was just some weirdo he met on the street, anyway. He was no one important.
Stepping through the door, ignoring Shouichi's comment for him to 'Take off your shoes!', Spanner glanced back at the world outside the redhead's home over his shoulder. "He certainly seemed to know you, Shouichi."
Shouichi didn't know why, but a shiver ran down his spine at the certainty in his friend's voice.
Shouichi perused the pastry case of a well-known coffee shop, finally deciding on a plain doughnut covered in rainbow-colored sprinkles, and a hot cappuccino. He normally didn't indulge in sweets, as he didn't have the stomach for them, but after last night, Shouichi felt like he deserved a break without a moment of guilt.
Well, maybe just a little. He had left Spanner behind. Then again, the blonde was still dead to the world. Spanner wasn't an early riser, not like Shouichi.
Not that he minded; it gave him more time to be alone. Shouichi definitely needed some time to himself after last night.
Just thinking about it made him shiver. It was almost like that guy was standing right behind him. Shouichi could almost imagine the stupid, goofy smile, and the annoying lyrical—
"I'll pay for that," said a cheery, sugary male voice from behind him.
Shouichi drew up sharply. He knew that lilting, lightly accented voice, even though he'd known its owner for less than three days.
"Gesso-san," he said, turning around to face him, too tired to feel properly freaked out. Which he should, because he was sure Byakuran hadn't walked into the same coffee shop as him out of mere coincidence. "Good morning."
"Hi, Shou-chan~" Byakuran smiled, and Shouichi's heart did a crazy flutter in his chest. Before Shouichi could stop him, the young man leaned in to kiss him on both cheeks. His eye twitched at the familiarity. Those weird foreigners. "Ah, why is Shou-chan only getting one?"
Glancing down at his bagged doughnut after letting out a deep, tired sigh, Shouichi shrugged his shoulders. "I don't really like sweets."
"You don't? It just so happens it's my second favorite vice." Tugging at a particularly unruly white lock of hair, Byakuran's lips curved into another of his dazzling smiles.
"It's not one of mine," Shouichi replied, feeling slightly breathless all of a sudden.
Byakuran made a soft sound in his throat, almost a purr. "Then what are Shou-chan's vices?"
Why was his heart beating so loud? The sound felt oddly obscene in Byakuran's presence.
"I don't have any." Turning back to the register, he pulled out his wallet. "And you don't have to pay."
"I insist~" Smiling pleasantly, the Italian handed the barista a twenty and didn't accept the change. He didn't seem to notice the pretty cashier's coy look either, all of his focus rooted on Shouichi. The intensity of his lavender eyes, his entire presence, seemed to suck some of the air out of the too-small room.
"Thank you," Shouichi said primly, taking his sugary doughnut, which he probably wouldn't be eating anymore. He felt strangely light-headed; he felt his face flush as he turned to grab a few napkins from the dispenser at the end of the counter. A peculiar heat also traveled along his neck, tingling like a mild electrical charge. Shouichi felt it down to his marrow, in every surging vein. He was eager to change the subject, far too aware of the heat Byakuran was putting off as he trailed Shouichi casually toward the coffee-shop door. "Do you live nearby, Gesso-san?"
If possible, Byakuran's smile grew sweeter. "Not far. And Shou-chan?"
Don't you already know? "Just a couple of blocks away," he said, walking alongside the strange, strange man outside into the chilly morning air. Now that Shouichi was standing next to him again, he couldn't stop thinking about their strange encounter two days ago. That time, it was easy to think of Byakuran as some odd coincidence; an encounter that wouldn't repeat itself again. Yet, here he was, flesh and bone. So real that Shouichi could touch him.
It shocked Shouichi how much he wanted to do just that.
It unnerved him, made him twitchy and anxious. Made him want to get away before the urge became something even stronger.
"Well," he said, as he tipped his cappuccino in Byakuran's direction. "Thanks again, for paying," he trailed off awkwardly, not quite sure if he should end their little meeting with a, 'see you later', or a more suitable, 'see you never'.
As he turned to walk up the sidewalk—willing himself to think about what he was going to make for Spanner's breakfast, and not the strange young man he was leaving behind— Byakuran reached out and touched his arm. His smile curved into an amused, if icy, smile. "You're always running away from me, Shou-chan."
Was he? And really, why the hell shouldn't he? Shouichi hardly knew him, and what he did know of Byakuran seemed to send all of his senses into overdrive. "I am not trying to run away from you—"
"Then let me give you a ride home." He pulled a small key out of his coat pocket, and a red Porsche parked at the curb gave a chirp, its lights flashing once in response. Nice car, Shouichi thought, not surprised to find Byakuran driving something sleek, fast, and expensive.
Fighting down a powerful urge to reach out and touch Byakuran back, Shouichi swallowed thickly. "Thanks, but…that's okay, really. It's a nice day out." It was nearing winter, it was not a nice day out. "I was actually going to walk for a while," he lied again.
"Ah. Then can I join you?"
If he'd insisted in that confident, childish way of his, Shouichi would have turned him down flat. But Byakuran was asking politely, as if he understood just how far Shouichi could be pushed. And although Shouichi had been craving alone time, today of all days, when he thought about making an excuse to leave him, the words simply wouldn't come. "Um, sure. I guess so. If you want."
They began a slow stroll up the sidewalk, just another couple on a street full of residents enjoying the quaint nationhood of Namimori. For a long time, neither of them spoke. Shouichi sipped his cappuccino and Byakuran…Byakuran stared at him, a gentle smile on his face. He had his hands in the pockets of his jeans, and he looked like he couldn't be any happier, simply walking side by side to a person he'd met mere days ago.
It made Shouichi feel pressured. Made him feel a tad bit guilty for wanting to get rid of Byakuran when all the young man wanted was to walk with Shouichi.
"Are you a student, Gesso-san?" he asked, feeling nervous. Feeling like he should say something, anything, to break the silence.
The silence was killing him; it felt too intimate for him to be comfortable.
Byakuran glanced over at Shouichi as they walked, his smile as bright as ever, but Shouichi couldn't help but think there was something off about that smile. "I am. I haven't graduated, though."
Shouichi didn't know what to say to that, so he said nothing. Instead, he thought about how he should be getting home. About Spanner, who was back home, waiting for Shouichi to cook him a traditional Japanese breakfast. Shouichi had promised after all.
"Of course, now that Shou-chan is with me, I can finally graduate." Kicking a random rock, his smile grew softer. "If Shou-chan is with me, I can do anything."
Shouichi didn't laugh, even though he wasn't at all certain Byakuran was serious. "What university do you attend?"
Maybe he should change the subject. Something was telling him he was treading on dangerous ground.
"What is Spanner-kun to Shou-chan?" Changing the subject himself, Byakuran paused to look at him, something dark flashing across his features. Then, a sullen pout. "Spanner-kun really likes Shou-chan, I can tell."
Shouichi frowned. "Of course he likes me. If he didn't, we wouldn't be friends."
"But he likes you," Byakuran whined childishly, watching Shouichi more closely than ever now. "And I think Shou-chan likes him back."
He made it sound like it was a bad thing, Shouichi thought. "Spanner is my friend. It's a mutual feeling."
"How did Shou-chan become friends with him?" They resumed walking, with Byakuran slowly but surely doing away with the space between them.
Their shoulders brushed together.
Shouichi looked away from Byakuran's triumphant little smile, ignoring the light dust of heat on his cheeks.
"We met a couple of years ago." Byakuran was crazy if he thought Shouichi was going to go into details. Having Byakuran know his whole damn schedule was more than enough. "He's been a good friend to me. I like him."
"Shou-chan is so mean~" Their shoulders were touching and brushing against each other's repeatedly now. "I'll cry; I swear I will."
Because that made a whole load of sense. "Spanner is my friend, and I like him."
"But Shou-chan likes me more." Byakuran glanced at him as they walked, smugness radiating out of every pore in his being. "I know Shou-chan knows he likes me best~"
"How could you possibly know what I think?" Shouichi scowled despite himself, brow furrowed. He didn't look like it, because he didn't believe in losing his composure so easily, but he was silently bristling. He didn't like being corrected; he didn't like being wrong. "You don't know anything about me."
"Really?" That smug smile couldn't possibly get any wider. "Tell me I'm wrong then~"
Shouichi started to say as much, but Byakuran's unwavering gaze stripped him bare. He did know. God, how was it possible that Shouichi could feel so connected to him? How could Byakuran read him so clearly. Shouichi had felt this same awareness—this instant, peculiar bond with Byakuran—the fist time they'd met.
"That day, when we first met," he said, his voice quiet in the cool freshness of the early morning, his cheeks blood red, "you kissed me."
"Yes~" Rather than looking ashamed, Byakuran looked downright pleased with himself. Then he laughed. "It's a good thing Shou-chan left when he did, otherwise I might not have stopped at just kissing him~!"
"In public? Where anyone could have seen?" Byakuran didn't deny it. And the slight, inviting curve of his lips sent arrows of het licking through Shouichi's veins. Shouichi shook his head, exasperated. Angry. Happy. "I'm not even sure why I let you do that to me," he grumbled.
"Does Shou-chan wished I hadn't?" Byakuran inquired, blinking innocently.
"It doesn't matter if I wished it or not; it already happened," Shouichi said icily, his temper flaring up. He picked up his pace, moving ahead of the Italian on the walking path. His untouched food was abandoned at a passing trashcan. If his mother had been here, she would have railed on him about brushing off a person's kindness like that.
"You're running away again, Shou-chan," he sing-sang cheerfully, his longer strides catching up quickly.
"I am not!" Shouichi surprised himself by the frightened tone of his voice. And he was running, his feet trying to carry him as far away from Byakuran as possible, even though everything else within him was drawn to the odd young man like a magnetic field. He forced himself to stop. To remain still as Byakuran came up next to him and turned the redhead to face him.
"Is Shou-chan running away from me because I frightened him?" He linked their hands easily, fingers lacing together, palm against palm. Shouichi wanted to pull away. Wanted to stay like this forever. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to."
The kiss to the back of his hand didn't come as a surprise; but when Byakuran tightened his fingers around Shouichi's and gently brought their bodies together, a gate slammed down before him.
Icy cold. Freezing cold. It felt like all of his strength was being sucked out of him the longer Byakuran held him.
Shouichi's expression fell. He froze, stiffening, pulling away from him. "I don't like kisses," he blurted out on a rush of breath, face incredibly hot, insides twisted into hundreds of uncomfortable knots. "I…I'm sorry, Gesso-san. I have to go."
Lavender eyes widened in surprise, slender brows drawing together delicately. Byakuran looked terribly confused. Terribly lonely. Terribly sad. It was that terribly forlorn expression that had made Shouichi give his phone number to a complete stranger. "Wait, Shou-chan—"
"I have to go."
Shouichi was already moving onto the other side of the sidewalk. Then he pivoted around and ran off at a quick jog, leaving Byakuran to stand alone in the park to wonder what the hell had just happened.
He only hoped Spanner wouldn't mind breakfast being late.
"Shou-chan hates me!"
Zakuro winced when another lamp was thrown against the wall, showering the thick Persian rug with a rain of shimmering glass. If he had been a lesser kind of man, he would've been hiding behind Kikyo's skirts, who was the only out of the other three occupants in the room that was taking Byakuran's temper tantrum in stride.
Well, besides GHOST. The mirror image of their precious leader was casually napping on the bed, unaware of his Fighter's dilemma. Zakuro often wondered if Byakuran was ever unnerved to have a Sacrifice (Blank or not, GHOST was a hell of a good opponent) that looked so much like him. He knew he would; it would be creepy as hell. Especially with someone like GHOST. The guy could barely keep his eyes open for more than five minutes before falling asleep—and at the darnest of places too!
Grumbling quietly to himself, Zakuro crossed his arms and ducked before he was hit on the head by a flying dictionary.
"Byakuran-sama." Oh thank God; Kikyo was entering mother-hen mood. No lives would be lost today. Or not many. Whatever. "Irie Shouichi does not hate you." If he does, I'll kill him was the hidden subtext.
Not that Byakuran noticed. Throwing himself in the bed in a dramatic flair worthy of an Oscar, he sniffled and buried his face in his pillow. There were tear tracks on his flushed cheeks, bottom lip trembling pitifully. "Shou-chan hates me, Kikyo-kun! He hates me!"
A vase full of lush, scarlet roses went flying through the air next, crashing against the ruined rug with a spectacular burst of water and expensive glass.
Zakuro cringed, stepping back. He hated it when this happened. An emotional Byakuran was scary as fuck. People were known to disappear when Byakuran threw one of his temper tantrums.
Casually looking at the door, he scratched his head awkwardly. "So, I'm supposed to be in class right now—"
"Zakuro-kun!" Stumbling back when Byakuran threw himself at him, burying his tear streaked face in his chest, Zakuro cursed out loud. "What should I do? I don't want Shou-chan to hate me!"
Kikyo's acidic glare warned him he better give their leader a good answer. Or else. "Um." Shit. He wasn't any good at this romance crap. All those magazines (which he borrowed from that closet shota-complex Bluebell) he read only had pictures of sexy blonde bombshells, not advice on how to woo them.
Hell, he couldn't ever remember the last woman he'd taken out on a date. If he wanted to fuck he usually just went to that prissy, know-it-all ass—
Looking up at him with his patented kicked-puppy expression, Byakuran sniffed. "What does Kikyo-kun do to make Zakuro-kun happy? Maybe it'll work on Shou-chan."
Ahhh…well, shit. That there threw him for a loop.
"Flowers," the soft, dreamy voice of their last companion saved the redhead from the painful Spanish inquisition. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, the fourth occupant in the room yawned widely, long pale hair falling into his face. "Byakuran can give Shouichi flowers."
Gah. Zakuro always got goose bumps when he heard GHOST's voice. He and the leader sounded so alike it was creepy.
Byakuran seemed to be pondering his Sacrifice's suggestion. Still hanging from Zakuro's neck, he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Joining GHOST on the canopy bed before Zakuro could finish blinking, he threw his arms around his carbon copy in a suffocating hug, their cheeks rubbing together. "Good idea! I can give Shou-chan flowers~"
"Tulips," GHOST went on, oblivious to Byakuran's affectionate touches. He tilted his head to the side, achromatic hair framing his face elegantly. "Red tulips for undying love."
Zakuro was expecting Byakuran to nod vigorously and order enough flowers to fill an entire room—but Byakuran's eyes narrowed, the smile falling from his lips. "Ne, GHOST knows Shou-chan is my most precious person, right?"
It didn't sound like a question. Zakuro took another step back.
"I would do anything for Shou-chan, because I love him more than anyone." Cupping his Sacrifice's cheek, Byakuran kissed his marionette chastely on the forehead. It was a gesture many would call sweet, though it was anything but.
Zakuro had never been under much of the leader's affectionate hugs and kisses, and for that he was glad.
In his opinion, blood and pain were much more bearable than Byakuran's love.
"If Shou-chan asked, I would tie a ribbon around this world, and give it to him as a present." Burying a hand in the other's long, pale hair, Byakuran threaded his fingers gently through the soft strands.
"I want to mix our blood together in the ground, so Shou-chan can never leave me." Sighing sadly, Byakuran puffed his cheeks out. "But Shou-chan dumped me! That's why I need to do something to make Shou-chan like me best!"
"Flowers," GHOST said again, his voice as lovely as Byakuran's, but more monotone. No survival instincts whatsoever, that one. "Red tulips. Lots of red tulips."
"Yeah! I bet Spanner-kun has never given Shou-chan flowers!" Pumping his fist in the air, the leader smiled radiantly. Apparently, he no longer felt suspicious of his Sacrifice's sudden interest in that—what was his name again?—kid he was courting. Or attempting to court. Whatever.
"I'm going out to eat," he said to no one in particular after too many hearts began to float in the air, knowing he was no longer needed here.
Kikyo could help Byakuran order his flowers, and buy chocolate, and make date plans. Kikyo would make Byakuran happy by making sure their plans to overthrow the Academy succeeded. By making that kid fall in love with Byakuran. By shielding Byakuran with his knowledge and perfect strategies.
Zakuro did the fighting, he protected Byakuran by fighting. He made Byakuran happy by getting rid of the pests that made him sad. By killing anyone who stood in the way of Byakuran's dream. He shielded Byakuran by conquering, and pillaging, and taking.
And that kid? Well, for starters, he could help keep Byakuran sane.
—End Part Two
Ah, Buttercup~ I hope this makes you feel better! My life may be really shitty right now, but that doesn't mean yours has to be too :D
And, shit. This was supposed to be two chapters long. LMAO I fail at planning my stories xDDD Byakkun just runs off and…kind of leaves me to fill in the blanks. Darn that beautiful man; I'm so weak against his (creepy as fuck/bad touch) smile.