Yaho! How long has it been? err, a year? Sorry bout that ne? but this is the 5th part. Don't kill me? onegai? And oh, if you already forgot the story please read it from the 1st part, heh...

standard disclaimer applied
warnings: Dark x Krad, Satoshi Daisuke, yaoi, sap, angst, PG-13
notes: special thanks to Tiggy Malvern for beta-ing this one... :)

x o x o x o x

Pieces of Love
Part 5

The rain was falling heavily that night.

Satoshi glanced at the window, watching the water smashing on the glass like thousands of sharp needles. The darkness once again ruled as the moon hid herself behind those graceful black clouds hanging from the sky. His hand touched the cold glass and he felt himself burning with the anticipation in his blood. The same eagerness he felt every time the phantom thief sent him a challenge.

But he wasn't the only one. He could feel that demon soul inside him shiver in delight tonight; that chill feeling shrouded Satoshi in fear. But it wasn't as if this was the first time he'd felt this way, feeling burned and frozen at the same time. Every bone and joint in his body stiffening, his lips trembling, and his legs giving out.

No, something was very wrong. No matter how excited he was, he'd never felt this way before. This was too much. As if he was going to disappear. The pain that burned him was way too much for his body to handle...

Krad?!

He raised his head, one palm still on the window, beginning to weaken. One hand clutched at his chest, feeling the pain over and over again. The image of red strands of hair burst into his head without warning.

No! He shook his head. He mustn't think of Niwa now, not in this state of weakness, waiting for him to give way to his demonic alter ego. But it was more than that; something inside him knew that this was unavoidable. It wasn't about Niwa. It wasn't about him becoming weak, it was Krad who was getting stronger.

Anger, hatred, and somehow... sadness, welled in Satoshi's heart. Why he was feeling all that he didn't have a clue. Except if those weren't his feelings… His vision blurred and as he finally fell to the floor he saw the rain pouring even more heavily than before.

And darkness was all he could see.

x o x o x o x

When he opened his eyes, he could only see darkness surrounding him. And it was cold, very cold. Satoshi looked around to find light, and found none. His ears caught the sound of water dripping from somewhere in the ceiling of this cold, silent room. There was something wrong with the room, as if it was... enchanted. He felt something sticking inside his throat and welling in his stomach. Some kind of power that prevented any magic from being performed.

He felt himself drifting in the air; as if he was there but at the same time he was just a mere shadow. Hadn't he had the same experience before, when Krad was fighting Dark Mousy in the museum not too long ago? If he'd been brought into the same memory as the last time, than it's must be a memory belonging to…

"Who's there?"

Satoshi gasped as he heard the question. It seemed that he wasn't alone in the room. But it didn't surprise him anymore when he recognized the owner of that voice. A dim light could be seen from the corner of the room as a youth stood up; it was his aura that created such light, but it was weak and slowly disappearing.

"Krad?" A voice entered the silence; someone was calling from the other side of the door. Satoshi turned back to watch Krad, who was looking at the wall before them. It wasn't him who Krad was talking to before, but that someone who was outside. "We're going to take you to the great chamber now."

It was only then, when the door was opened, that Satoshi realized that the room wasn't just an ordinary room. It was a magical prison, made by someone who had obviously mastered both white and black magic. Someone who owned power greater than anybody else Satoshi ever met in his life. Vaguely, he could feel it... it belonged to a Hikari, just like he was.

"I'm ready." Krad said; sad and tired, but at the same time, uncaring. His eyes were too drained to give any response or expression that could help Satoshi to guess what he was feeling at that time. The room must have absorbed some of his magic power; it would take him some time to gather his strength back. Who would have thought that someone could do this to a creature like Krad?

Two men who were standing beyond the door nodded and guided the ice demon outside. Satoshi followed them, walking down the long corridor. Krad's strides were getting weaker with every step he took, his eyes drowsy; he wet his lips more often. Satoshi didn't know what kind of magic was being used in that room and how much it could drain the power out of Krad's body; but it seemed that Krad had been there for quite some time.

They stopped in front of a big door with runic letters engraved on its surface. The door opened and Krad walked past the two men, stepping inside. Satoshi walked in with him without being noticed; this was a memory and he was obviously unintentionally invited in. But no matter how much he hated Krad, there was always the slightest curiosity to see what he'd been through in the past. Especially after what he'd seen the other day.

The room was bright and filled with magical aura. Satoshi gritted his teeth at the sudden chill invading his bones. He knew this feeling, he knew it so well. It reminded him of the power he had inside his blood. There was nothing in that room, only a wide, empty space with runes all over the wall and the floor. There wasn't any window, but Satoshi could feel a draft blowing slightly on the back of his neck.

A man stood in the middle of the room, no expression on his face and his eyes as cold as ice. Satoshi shivered, but he knew that somehow the man reminded him of himself. "Krad, come inside. I see you have done some thinking," the man said flatly, smiling slightly almost like he meant it. He nodded to the two men standing by the door, and soon they left.

Krad lifted his face, wetting his lips before he spoke. "I haven't changed my mind."

The man closed his eyes and opened them, pretending he was taking his time to think. "You belong here and not in some other place. Tell me..." The man's voice was almost like a whisper. "Are you planning to go to the Niwa like your traitor friend?"

"No." Krad shook his head weakly. "There's no such intention! We are going to leave everything behind... I won't betray you or the family. I swear to you."

A small smile crossed the man's face, "How nice... but you can't be sure about what he was thinking, am I right?" He played with his chin, shaking his head. "You don't know if he's only using you, right, Krad?"

Krad's eyes widened. "No, of course not. He--"

"What's so special in him that made you dare to go against me, really? Was he the one who persuaded you to runaway from the house the other night?" The man approached him and Krad took a step back. "What makes you so sure that he won't betray you?"

"No, Hikari-sama! It was my own idea, I ran away of my own will, he never told me to do such a thing!"

"That doesn't matter anymore, Krad." One hand stretched out to touch Krad's chin, tipping his face up to look at him. "We've caught you anyway, and I believe... punished you a little." His fingers trailed along red scars under the demon's chin and down to his throat. "Look at you... the room didn't let you heal yourself... look what it has done to my beautiful work of art..."

Krad pulled away from those fingers and looked down at his feet. "Like I said before, I haven't changed my mind... I still want to go... I'm ready... to receive my punishment." The words came out weak and drifting, but Satoshi could feel the sincerity in that tone, something that resembled faith and trust. Krad looked up, and for the first time in his life, Satoshi saw happiness in those usually cold golden eyes.

The gentle hand that had caressed Krad's face the minute before was raised up to the air, and Satoshi almost closed his eyes as it landed on Krad's cheek. The youth fell to the bright floor, blood staining the corner of his lip from the new wound as he tried to get up. The man crouched before him, grabbing Krad's collar in his fists, eyes glaring with anger. "Didn't I treat you fairly all this time?! What is it that I won't give you?! Answer me! Answer me!!"

The answer was just a shake of Krad's head; he didn't even have the courage to meet his master's eyes. Satoshi saw something that looked like tears trailing down from the youth's eyes. Another slap on the cheek and the creature fell once again, his white wings spreading weakly as they touched the cold floor.

"You don't want to be punished like the last time, do you?! Do you want to spend ten more days in that room?!"

An intake of breath and the youth shook his head. "You've promised that I can go if I receive my punishment…" he said clearly as if he was repeating something very important. The golden eyes shone with persistency, and slowly, he stood up. "Hikari-sama…"

The master eyed him coldly; Satoshi could almost see the gears in his head turning as he studied the pale youth standing in front of him. And after what seemed like an eternity, he nodded. "Very well, you've won," he said almost sincerely. "You shall have what you want, Krad. But there is price for everything."

A tentative look crossed the golden-haired youth's face, an unsure quality lingering in his eyes. He opened his mouth and almost reluctantly shut it again. He just stared at his master, not knowing what to do afterwards.

"I want you to give up your magic power."

Golden eyes widened Krad's face a deathly pale shade of white. "...Hikari-sama?"

"I think it's only fair to take back what this family has given you. Besides... this is the most perfect punishment for a traitor like you." He stopped; a smile of wicked delight painted his lips as his eyes once again met Krad's. "This way, my dear Krad, you won't be able to use any magic, and of course... you'll lose your immortality."

Satoshi's forehead wrinkled. He watched Krad bite his bottom lip nervously. He just stood there, waiting for his master to continue. "Sadly, you could never become a normal human even without your power. Your life will be shorter than any mortal's, and your body will be weaker. Once I take your magic power, you can only survive for less than three years."

"Three years..." Krad echoed, his voice swallowed by the air into nothing but a whisper.

"That's right, Krad," his master replied, "You will only have three years with your lover, with pain and sickness like a normal human. Is that really worthy enough to fight for?"

The look in those golden eyes astounded Satoshi like it never had before; Krad took a deep breath, and a hint of smile caressed his dried lips as he spoke. "It's worthy. Please, I'm ready now."

The next second, all Satoshi could see was the bright light that filled the entire room. He tried to shield his eyes, but even the slightest hint hurt his retinas like sharp needles. His ears caught a muffled cry that grew to a deep painful howl as the light burned his vision until he was forced to close his eyes. The last scream was most atrocious to his ears, and along with that the light subsided. Satoshi opened his eyes as the light shrank and disappeared into the man's palm. Krad crouched on the floor with his two hands supporting his body. His body was wet with sweat, his skin paler than before. Krad's ragged breathing sounded more clearly in the now silent room.

"And finally…" A sword formed in the man's hand, its sharp point glittering as if the sun touched its surface. He raised his sword high. There was a sound like a painful melody as it met the air, and before Satoshi could realize what was happening, the sword landed on Krad's body, drawing forth another cry as blood stained the white, clean floor. Satoshi's eyes moved with horror from the two fresh open wounds on Krad's back, where crimson blood was starting to ooze, on to a pair of white wings that had fallen to the floor.

"Kra--" Satoshi never did finish his word as he was swallowed back by the darkness clutching him from behind.

x o x o x o x

His eyes felt heavy and he could feel fog clouding his brain. It took him a few minutes to adjust his vision to the darkened room. The rain was still pouring heavily outside; it was almost dawn. He pushed off with one hand to get up from the floor and walked over to the bed, flicking his long golden hair as he strode. A hint of a smile crossed his lips as he felt something burn on his back.

His white wings spread gloriously, shining brightly in the darkness. He'd thought he had lost them, again. He could feel that pain ripping him from the inside when he saw the memory. His host must have seen it too, for he was unconscious now; it seemed that by 'seeing' his energy was drained. Sometimes, on rainy nights like this, Krad felt his power increase; somehow he knew it was because of his anger. Satoshi couldn't deal with it most of the time, but he was adapting, and gradually learning to peek at what was inside his head.

Some things were meant to be forgotten; something that he shouldn't have remembered, should have erased from his memories. A total humiliation to keep being reminded of all those days filled with dreams. Days when they used to watch the stars upon a hill, waiting for the sunrise while the morning mist wrapped them in a loving embrace.

And those times when he was left alone, plucking the white aster petals with his cold, pale fingers. 'He loves me... he loves me not... he loves me... he loves me not...'

Krad closed his mouth, his lips tugged into a small smile before he finally burst out into laughter. He'd never thought he would still remember some of the funny, stupid things from his past. He wondered if Satoshi would laugh too when he saw it later; if he was that unlucky that he saw it, that is... but wouldn't that be embarrassing?

But not everything was bad; he remembered one beautiful memory from his past. Oh yes, how he could forget? He remembered the night he drew that sword from that old Hikari's hand, the same sword that had cut off his wings. He remembered raising it high and watching his former master's eyes widen with rage before his 'work of art' stabbed the sword right into his heart. He had deserved it. They all deserved it.

And tomorrow night, it would be Dark Mousy's turn...

x o x o x o x

He hadn't come to school today.

Daisuke looked over at the empty seat near the window for the fifth time that morning, sighing with disappointment. He had asked his mother to make extra onigiri for lunch today, thinking that he could spend some time with his friend like yesterday. Maybe he's sick, his mind supplied. Should he go over to his place after school today?

'That would be a baaaad idea,.' Dark interrupted. 'We have something to do tonight, remember?'

Daisuke scowled, looking down at his book. Dark was right; his mother had reminded him countless times about the next mission since yesterday. It would be bad if he went home late because he was visiting a sick friend. Or maybe Hiwatari was just busy with the preparations for tonight. There were times when he was absent from school because he had to prepare some plan to capture Dark, maybe today was no different.

But he'd never worried like this before. Somehow he knew that something was wrong. Like something had happened to Hiwatari and he was supposed to help him. Like he was supposed to be there with him. What if…

'Look, if you're that worried, let's just wait until tonight,.' Dark said guiltily. 'If he is not at the museum tonight, maybe he is really sick, and we can go check on how he's doing.'

'You're probably right, Dark...' Daisuke sighed, his fingers beginning to move on the white paper, 'I just have a bad feeling about this, you know…'

Dark snorted, making a face. 'You think too much.'

Daisuke blinked, talented fingers sketching the page with grey. 'This time is different. I know it, somehow...' He sighed, hoping that his alter ego could understand the anxiety inside his heart. 'Forget it, I can't explain...'

There was a long silence from Dark before Daisuke heard him sigh softly. 'I understand.' He thought he could see Dark's faint smile before the thief turned and disappeared. The classroom was silent; everybody was working on the tasks their teacher just gave them a minute before. Once again Daisuke looked at the empty seat by the window and realized that the grey clouds already hung low in the sky. The wind also blew rather coldly today.

It was going to rain again tonight.

He looked down to the sketch he'd made in his notebook, and was surprised as he saw a picture of a boy with glasses looking back at him with a sullen face.

x o x o x o x

Dark Mousy looked up to the black sky above, shielding his eyes from the drizzle of the rain. His sleeves were all wet and he could barely see the situation outside the museum in front of him. He had to admit that the circumstances were rather strange tonight. There were more police cars outside the building, and there were too many guards there too. Hiwatari never really liked the crowds; he liked it clean and simple, efficient. It wasn't right that he would suddenly throw in some extra guards to catch the legendary thief. This wasn't like Hiwatari at all. Daisuke was right. Something was wrong.

'Let's take a closer look, shall we?' It wasn't exactly meant to be a question. Dark was just making sure Daisuke wasn't going to protest over what he was about to do and mess with his work. His host didn't make a comment; he too was worried about something. And that something was more than likely to be the supreme commander.

It was easy for him to knock out one of the guards and take his uniform. As he had thought, the guards were everywhere inside the ancient building, especially on the second floor, where the diamond he was going to steal tonight was kept. Inspector Saehara walked to and fro in front of his men, cellphone glued to his ear, grumbling to himself.

"Where the hell is he? In a situation like this!" he snorted, ending his call and dialing once again. He waited on the line before giving up and shoving the phone into his pocket. He cursed and waved his hand. "Get ready in your positions!"

"Sir, what about the supreme commander?"

"You heard me, I've been unable to contact him since this morning. We'll just have to finish this without him." A hint of a smile could actually be seen on his rather sullen face. It wasn't a secret that he never had liked being ordered around by someone else, especially a supreme commander who was so much younger than he was.

Dark could feel Daisuke's worry when they heard the shocking news. The police hadn't been able to contact Hiwatari since this morning. That's why he wasn't in school today, because he had disappeared. What could have happened to the supreme commander? There was no way on earth he would abandon such a case as this. Or was it just another trick Hiwatari had planned to capture him?

'What do you think has happened to him?' Daisuke wasn't trying to hide his wariness. 'You think he's here somewhere in this building?'

'Honestly, I don't know. But we have a mission and we're going to finish it, Daisuke.' He tried to say that as flatly as he could, but he too had started to worry about Hiwatari. What if it had something to do with Krad? Although he had never really liked Hiwatari, he wouldn't let anyone be hurt by the ice demon.

He was just about to take the stairs and go straight to the diamond room when the lights went out. He heard glass breaking from the second floor. The police were yelling to one another.

"Dark Mousy has stolen the diamond, sir!"

"The guards are all down! Call for an ambulance now! Seven men are injured!"

'What? But we haven't done anything!' Daisuke said in confusion as Dark made his way to the stairs. He abandoned the guard's uniform somewhere along the way; it wasn't needed in the darkness. 'Dark, what's going on?'

'I wish I knew,' he said whole-heartedly, finally reaching the last stair. The room where they kept the diamond was small and equipped with complete security technology. It seemed that whoever had entered the room had broken in without caring about the damage.

From the corner of his eye, Dark could see two policemen sitting wounded beside the box they used to store the diamond. Another two were trying to help their friends in the corner of the room.

'Dark...' Daisuke's voice was choked, struggling to come out. 'That is…'

Dark felt his heart beating faster, his lips pressed together, not even a sound could escape his mouth. He saw what Daisuke saw. Through the broken windows, water droplets sneaked into the building, followed by white iridescent feathers carried by the wind outside.

He was waiting for me.

'Dark, it's Krad, isn't it? What should we do now?' Daisuke asked, somewhat tentatively. Dark swallowed hard; he didn't know what to do. But he knew that he had to see him now. He had to talk about all this mess he'd made here, for... what? For getting his attention? If that's what he was after, he'd succeeded.

"WITH!"

The dark animal flew from outside the window and landed on his back; ignoring Daisuke's yelp, the thief followed the white feathery rain as it guided him to the old tower of the museum. An ethereal figure was standing there, smiling, white wings spread gracefully in the darkness of the rainy night. Oh, he knew so well how those lips could smile, ethereally beautiful. But not like this... This was a demon who would destroy anything just to get what he wanted.

The thief nodded to his black beast friend and With flew away from the tower, leaving him with the ice demon.

"Hello, Dark. Are you looking for this?" the white figure said with a smile, opening his palm to reveal the oval-shaped diamond in his hand. "It's crying for help, this piece of art. Isn't that what you're trying to do? To save yet another poor soul of an art piece?"

Dark returned his smile, cynically. "It seems that you need some help yourself."

"Indeed." Krad's fingers clenched around the diamond; it almost seemed like he could turn the crystal into ashes with one strong squeeze. "But can you save me? Or are you not willing?"

The thief crossed his arms over his chest, eyes narrowed. "You've hurt those people in the museum. What is it that you want this time?"

"But I didn't kill them, did I?" Krad gave a playful pout. "It's strange how this boy can still refuse to kill innocents like that. How melancholic..."

'Hiwatari-kun! Dark, what happened to Hiwatari?!' Daisuke's voice echoed inside his head. Dark knew that somehow he had to ask about it too. "Where is he? What have you done to him?"

"Oh, he's okay." Krad blinked. "I didn't know you cared. Don't worry, he's just slightly fatigued... something came up and he used too much energy to... see something. He'll wake up, eventually."

'What is he talking about? Dark? Is Hiwatari okay?' Daisuke was impatient; Dark could feel his head spinning every time Daisuke spoke. Dark realized that Daisuke's power rose every time when his emotion was uncontrolled; he was getting stronger without even knowing it.

'I'm sure he's okay, Daisuke. I don't think that Hiwatari is hurt, even Krad couldn't do such thing,' Dark said, half-lying. Truthfully, he didn't know what Krad could do now with his power.

Krad tilted his head, lips parted slightly, sighing, "Don't tell me that your host is worried about Satoshi?"

Daisuke snapped until Dark had to close his ears mentally. 'Of course I'm worried! He's my friend!!'

The thief shook his head and stared back at his opponent; Krad stood with the background of the night, an epiphany he burned so pretty. Why did it look so familiar in his eyes? To watch this creature standing in front of him, like a lonely north star in the firmament. But he was different, this was a different person. Krad used to have this small smile on his lips every time their eyes met. Now there was only anger mixed with hatred in those golden eyes. But why did he feel like he deserved all that?

"Why did you take the diamond? Were you just using it to bring me here?" Dark's voice came out flat and cold.

Krad opened his palm and looked at the small crystal. "I'm not interested in the jewel. All I want is your life!"

Dark failed to notice the energy ball that was suddenly thrown at him. His arm burned slightly, but the pain was something he could live with. It seemed that Krad had just started the game. The thief didn't waste any time. forming his own black energy. Krad was taken by surprise and flew to avoid the explosion. But he was careless; Dark grabbed him by the collar and sent a good blast across the blond's pale cheek. Krad fell to the tower floor, his lips dripping with blood but curled into a smile.

The ice demon swept out his feet and Dark followed him down to the cold, wet floor. He realized that both their bodies were wet all over, and only slightly cold. He tried to push himself up when suddenly Krad grabbed his wounded arm and threw him back to the floor. The diamond fell from the demon's hand and rolled to a stop by his feet. Dark was trying to reach for it when Krad kicked it, and it skittered to the other side of the tower.

His hand crept up to touch his arm, feeling the burn left by Krad. He saw the blond stride away to take the diamond from the floor, eyeing it with a thoughtful gaze before he squeezed it in his hand. Violet eyes widened as seconds later he saw brilliant crystal flakes escaping the pale slender fingers.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" A black fireball spontaneously blasted from Dark's palms straight to the white winged figure. Krad was caught by surprise and thrown into one of the pillars, the rest of the diamond pieces falling to the floor.

Krad gave him a cocky grin, his white-sleeved arm stained with blood. He would've made an attack if Dark wasn't already in front of him, hitting him in the face. They both tumbled to the wet floor once again, Krad's hair a golden pool against the black floor. He tried to struggle free, but Dark had him pinned beneath him.

"What are you doing?!" Dark repeated his question, one hand around Krad's neck, "What the hell are you doing?"

'Dark!'

"It's just an art piece." Krad almost choked out his words, eyes mocking.

'Dark!'

"You're wrong!" He tightened his grip until Krad winced. "It has a soul and you know it! What's the matter with you?!" he couldn't stop himself from shouting. His brain kept reminding him that he was supposed to help that soul inside the diamond; it had been kept inside the sphere for too long, alone, abandoned by the Hikari. And now that soul was gone. And the thing that hurt him the most was that it had happened because of Krad's rage. The rage that was there, locked inside that cold, cold heart of an ice demon. A rage aimed at him. He was the real cause of all this...

'Dark!'

Krad's eyes were still the way he remembered, golden and bright. But they didn't hold that light that made him special any more. "You're not the Krad I used to know." The words escaped his mouth, sad and longing.

'Daaaaaaark...!!!'

"The Krad you knew is DEAD," the golden haired demon said, his voice an almost deadly whisper. "He died because he was too foolish, too naive... he believed everything you ever said to him…"

Dark gasped as he heard the quiet response, his hand loosening from around Krad's neck, the other hand leaving Krad's shoulder. The next thing he knew, he was kicked off and his back met the puddle of water on the floor. It was his turn to be trapped under Krad, anger subsided and replaced by remorse. The rain fell even more heavily, soaked their hair and bodies even more. Water dripped from Krad's golden bangs and down his cheeks, a smile upon those beautiful rosy lips.

"There's something I always forget to say," Krad whispered until their lips touched in a butterfly caress. "Thank you for making me the way I am now..."

A smile, followed by a hand planted on his chest. Dark's eyes widened, realizing the palm above him had started to heat up with energy. Daisuke's warnings came too late in his ears.

'DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRKK!'

"Goodbye, Dark Mousy."

-tbc-

x o x o x o x

I'm sure you're not confused with all the shifting and all that, right? of course you're not. And let me promote something... myDarkxKradlemonficsareinmysite... there, :) I hope you're old enough to read them if you decided to come visit me, ho ho...
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