Wow…what is this place? Oh! Where I post my stories that I never seem to update anymore! I'm sorry, guys! School and work have stolen all of my inspiration…so, here is chapter 6 of Substitute! But, before that, my usual shout outs, and there are a lot this time around, so gotta keep them short.

KentouKurige: Well, consider this the breaking point…CHAPTER 6, BABY! XD! Thank you for sticking with this fic, even with how long it's taken me. You rock, Shouri!

VivaRose: Yes! Kyo can do it!

SueSueMagoo: I didn't mind dedicating it to ya! Always willing to do anything for a reader, and I think it's a cute nick name! And thank you so much for the compliment!

Kyou: Here ya go! Updated! X3!

BlackRoseFalling: Ooh! A cookie! And here's the update!

HatoriSoma: OO I don't mean to be cruel…XD! Sorry for such a cliffhanger ending. Though you might hate me for this one too…heh…

Foxhana: Awww! I'm so happy that you're going to keep reading! I'll try to be more consistant with my updates, I promise! And about Akito finding out…you'll just have to read this chapter!

Tikitak: Thanks for the review. And no, Yuki really doesn't realize his love yet, but Kyo is just so in love with Yuki, that he wouldn't care if Yuki never loved him, as long as he gets to see him.

HalfWolfGirlHalfInuyasha: No cry no more! And thank you!

ShinigamiMiyaMizu: Well, aren't you just so sweet? Thank you for the wonderful review! You'll learn quickly…I write angst…XD! And it meant a lot to me that you thought it was so moving…so this chapter is dedicated to you!

DifferentChild: Thank you for the review! And here's the update! X3

Xwildfiregirlx: Hi! XD! Thanks for the review! And I hath finally updated!

Kat: I know, right? There's always a catch…it can never be so simple! And, thank you!

Mimorinu: I feel like I'm going to cry…thank you so much for that. It makes me feel so wonderful to know my words have that effect! Thank you!

Bubbble: Thank you SO much! I'm glad you found it that interesting! XD! And here's an update for ya!

Fairia: Oh, Akito is a jerk…X3! But to tear Kyo away his love…how sad…darn you, Akito…

FallenTruth: I'm glad that you're enjoying it so much!  As for what's going to happen…it's a secret!

Insanechildfanfic: Thank you! X3

Anyway…onward to Chapter 6!

DISCLAIMER: Yeah…I don't own Furuba…wish I did…then…I'd be rich and I wouldn't have had to shovel out 15 inches of snow this morning…


Chapter 6: Shatter

It was getting harder and harder to move my legs, as I felt them begin to tremble and liquefy below me. Each step I took drove them to further levels of fatigue, and this was what persuaded me to take a breather, resting my back against a tree that had looked oddly familiar to me. Then again, almost all the trees looked exactly the same, so it must have been my eyes playing tired tricks on me. There was some familiarity about this, wandering around with a feeling of warmth when there was nothing more surrounding you then dark. Oh, I remember quite vividly now, actually. The night Yuki and I walked home together…with Tohru between us. Why was she coming to mind all of a sudden? I hadn't thought of her in the longest time, and now, for some reason, I'm minutes away from seeing Yuki, she pops into my mind. I guess because whenever she would smile, Yuki's gentle smile would follow, and I guess I was rather envious of that fact, that I couldn't make him smile the way she could. I wondered if there was a noticeable difference between us, Tohru and myself. Of course there was, Tohru made Yuki happy, while I only aggravated him. Yeah, that seemed about right.

Either way, it was nice to finally be away from Akito, not having to fear a looming shadow behind me, breathing down my neck and peering over my shoulder. I was finally free to breathe in, close my eyes and see visions of Yuki instead of a leather strap closing in on me, coming closer and closer and finally making gruesome contact with my bare flesh. The wounds were still there, still throbbing and pulsating under my battered black t-shirt, but now that I knew I was going to see Yuki, it didn't seem to hurt as much anymore, now that my heart had taken over and was aflutter, the agony and fatigue my body had suffered seemed like a gentle, numbed buzz. It was actually rather amazing, what just hearing Yuki's name could do to me. I bet anyone anything that if I was on the brink of death, hearing his voice call out to me would bring me back from the darkness and into his light. Yeah, not being able to be around him and not being able to hear him for as long as it has been, I get a little sappy.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder if Akito had noticed my absence. If so, I would only fear that he would send Hatori after me. Even if Hatori would slow his search, hoping for my escape, after everything that had happened to that dragon, how damaged his soul was because of Akito, I wouldn't allow him to take the rap for me. If Akito wanted me, he would have to come and get me himself, which I knew would never happen, so I was safe.

The sky seemed different tonight. It was starless, moonless, nothing more then a black void of nothing. I could relate to how the sky felt, to be perfectly honest. Shining for no one's eyes, twinkling for not even one single, solitary reason; just a blank slate, that's all. I can remember the very first night I cried after realizing I was actually in love with Yuki. I tried to hide everything inside, wipe the tears from my eyes, and shrug it off as my imagination just messing with me, because everyone knew me as someone so callous, so bitter. How would I know anything about love? Why would I care about something so trivial? Contrary to what everyone thought, I really did care. I mean, I understand how Kagura feels now, constantly being pushed away by the one that you truly connect with and wish only to spend time. I'm too proud to stop my selfish way of life, though. I would if I could, but it's just a façade that I have to keep up, because I just don't want to be hurt, but the silence is bruising enough, isn't it?

Suddenly, a familiar smell crept on me and seduced my sense.

Rather, it was one of the most familiar, yet disgusting scents I had even had the displeasure of knowing. Leeks. Only one person I know was that naïve enough to cook such a disgusting dish. Tohru! I was close, I knew it. Picking up my pace once more, I ran through the brush, past the trees, and came upon a sight I hadn't seen in some time; Shigure's house, nestled in the middle of that hunter green labyrinth of trees. I had made it. I was away from Akito, away from his hellish gaze, and I was only moments away from seeing, hearing, and being near Yuki once more.

I could hardly contain the joy I was holding within, as I sprinted down the hill towards the oh so familiar sliding doors. I could imagine what was going on in the house; Shigure still avoiding that woman who always seemed to be on the verge of killing herself because the damned dog didn't hand in his manuscript, Tohru cooking a quaint dinner inside the house, clumsily spilling one thing or another, and Yuki watching with a coy smile painted upon his lips. Oh, home.

As I drew closer and closer to the door, I heard an incoherent mumbling coming from the opposing side of the house. Tilting my head inquisitively, I steadily grew interested in finding out the source of the sounds. Swiftly, I carefully plotted my course, unnoticed by anyone who may have been listening. As I came closer to the source of the voices, what they were saying become a bit clearer. At this point, I could hear almost everything that was being said, and moments later, I was able to put faces to those voices.

Yuki and Tohru.

Pressing my back against the wall of the house, I tried my best to remain unseen, unheard, as I even tried my best to steady my breathing. Peeking out just slightly, I could see Tohru standing there, still looking as spacey as ever, though this time, something was a bit different about her. Usually, she had this kind and sincere look to her, though she looked a bit more determined this time. I mean, don't get me wrong, Tohru had her moments, but this time, it was a bit scary, seeing her like this. Opposing her, though with his back to me, was Yuki, still in his school uniform. The black fabric steadily traced his back, and that was just a beautiful sight. But, I couldn't drift on that thought alone. I zoned in on their conversation, picking up each and every audible word.

"Yuki, h-how long has it been…you know…since I've come to live here?"

"Oh, I would guess, about two or so years. Why do you ask, Miss. Honda?"

She giggled softly. Even from where I was standing, I could see her cheeks glow, a soft crimson taking over. "I just wanted to thank you for everything! You really are a prince!" I could tell Yuki took this with a bashful smile. I just wish I could have seen his face in such a light.

"Miss Honda, you don't need to thank me, really." I could hear him laugh faintly, but before I could smile in correspondence to this, I saw Tohru force herself up on her tiptoes and come closer to Yuki. I couldn't imagine what she was doing.

I could. I just chose not to.

In a desperate attempt to prove my eyes, my mind, and my conscience wrong, I sprinted around the house, trying to keep my bearing on the somewhat firm soil. It must have been raining earlier. But, I wasn't able to keep my balance up for that much longer, as I stumbled over my own two feet and fell face first into the soft, cold mud that awaited me below. Gritting my teeth, it took all the strength I had within to actually lift myself from the place I had actually grown accustomed to, and after I did, I really wish I hadn't.

There, right before my eyes, Tohru's lips lightly pressed against Yuki's, and Yuki wasn't fighting back! Push her away, dammit! Please, push her away…

He didn't. He allowed his lips to melt with hers. And, to add insult to injury, his arm slithered up around her back. No…no, this wasn't happening. This was all just a bad dream. Yuki wasn't…his lips weren't…

At that moment, everything went black, and I could swear that I had died just then, but unfortunately, I was still breathing.

It didn't matter. It was all over now. I finally lifted my body up and ran back around the house, back through the forest, and away from any hope that I had of ever returning to a life that I could call my own. The life I wanted, the life I would give anything to create, had shattered right before my eyes in a blaze of betrayal and heartbreak. I should have known, anyway. How stupid was I to believe that Yuki would ever seen me as any more then the pain in the ass that I knew he saw me as! Maybe Yuki was right, maybe all I am in an idiot. To believe that I could ever be happy…

I didn't realize that it had started raining. The cold droplets ran down my face, but I felt so numb, that it didn't much matter, did it? I had slowed my pace, now trudging through the same murky forest that I had been through only a few hours before.

Where could I go? I couldn't go back there, no…they may still be interlocked in passion's embrace, and if I were to see that again…I couldn't even begin to imagine how I'd react if I actually saw him…but it didn't matter. I couldn't go back. I could never go back.

Soon, I found myself back in front of the sliding doors that I had left from. Nothing had changed; nothing had shifted even in the slightest. That was somewhat comforting; to know that I had been gone for a while and nothing had changed. I mean, I was away from Yuki and look what happened.

I don't know what was ruling my body at the moment, or what compelled me to softly slide the doors open and step back into the prison that I, at a point, longed to escape, but after closing the door behind me, I curled up in the darkest corner of the room. The rain still pitter pattered against the roof, mocking me in so many silent ways. My eyes felt heavy, as I leaned my head back against the wall and allowed my eyes to flutter shut. Maybe I'd get lucky and this time, when I shut my eyes, I wouldn't awake.

Well, that's it! Chapter 6 is now complete! That was massively angsty! Sorry about that…this story is starting to descend into an ending, I think. I'm really just writing this as I go along…Hehe…Anyway, read and review and comments and suggestions are always welcome! MouHitoriNoKei is the e-mail addy, so please, feel free to hit me up! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!