Part 4

Akihito, delighted by his sudden freedom, was in the meanwhile looking for Hirose. He hadn't seen his aniki for almost two days in a row and he didn't think he could bear it much longer. Unfortunately Akihito is, as everybody should know, not a very practical young man and so he soon every sense of direction (as if he'd ever had any). A steward, who had the misfortune of not knowing the name Hirose Nanjo, instantly found himself in the path of Aki's fist. Only when the man lay unconscious at his feet, did it dawn to him that maybe this hadn't been such a good idea after all. Had he done something bad again? Was the guy dead? Hirose must never find out about this! He didn't want to cause his aniki trouble. Desperately trying to think of a way to hide what he'd done, Akihito looked around and suddenly the most wonderful idea entered his mind. The ship had to sink! It really was the perfect solution – amidst all the chaos surely nobody would notice one more person missing! Laughing manically, Akihito started to chop holes into the ship's floor.

[So, dear readers, let's face the sad yet undeniable truth: there is no iceberg, there was no iceberg and there has never been an iceberg. At least not in this version of the story. It was all just one big cover-up designed by Hirose who wanted to deceive the media about this newest disaster of his younger brother. Don't ask me how many millions of dollars of hush money he paid but that's the way things are.]

By then Koji and Izumi had returned into their suite where they were already being expected by Hirose. Knowing that this was his last chance for a few quiet hours with Kurauchi, the latter had decided to deal with his youngest brother then and there – he'd be damned if he let that imbecile ruin this as he had ruined everything else. At any rate Koji suddenly found himself facing a band of tall, suspiciously Yakuza-esque looking Nanjo employees. What to do?! Before the confused rock- star had a chance to react, Izumi, who had "found" a pair of handcuffs, snapped them on him and chained the blonde to the wall. A rapt smile on his face, the boy threw the keys out off the window. Finally he would get some peace! Unaware of the surprised stares he was earning Izumi hummed the Captain Tsubasa theme song and happily skipped out of the room. He arrived on deck just in time to be sent sprawling by the first jolt that rocked the ship. After hours of hard, physical labor Akihito's efforts had been crowned with success. The Titanic was sinking. [That much was to be suspected, ne?]

As everybody had been expecting an iceberg to hit the ship at a much later point, the panicked mob fighting over places in the lifeboats was by no means acting. Izumi, who didn't want to take any risks at this point – the soccer season was about to begin – immediately started to organize his escape. Fortunately he was still wearing a dress and as he was also a minor, he had no trouble passing for a woman and a child. Once in a boat he contently leaned back and enjoyed the fireworks the numerous flare pistols were painting into the sky. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, strong arms grabbed him and pulled him back onto the sinking vessel. What the hell?! Looking up, he met Koji's accusing gaze. How had that idiot managed to free himself in such a short time?!

"Let go of me, dammit! I must immediately get away from here if I want to make it to Japan in time for the first match! It's damned long way to be rowing, you know?! If those were at least pedal boats it'd be training for my legs but as things are..."

"What is a first match compared to our love?! I know that you were afraid of those men before, but I really have to say that just taking off without me wasn't a very nice thing to do. Now come with me, love. Let's go somewhere where we can be alone."

"Where we can be alone?! Are you nuts?! We are sinking! SINKING!! And you just ruined my chance to get into one of the lifeboats. Now you'd better see you find another way to get me out of here!"

A rapt smile on his face, Koji took his beloved's hand. His Izumi was trusting him. He was asking him to rescue him! Unfortunately Koji had no idea of how to do this or where to go, so to cover for his lack of initiative, he just started running. Roughly pushing everybody out of the way, he made his way up the deck, all the time dragging his beloved with him. What were all those people doing there anyway?! And that priest – did he think he was in a church?! More or less uncaring Hirose watched his youngest brother's progress – that is, until he remembered hat those two still had his katana. Cursing, he started to run after them. At times like these he often wondered why he had people working for him at all. In the end he always had to do the dirty work himself anyway.

"Freeze or I'll shoot you!"

Hirose didn't know why he had just yelled that. He didn't have a gun and even less of an idea of how to use one. The Nanjo family was after all famous for their sword fighters, not their snipers. Now Koji seemed to be running even faster. Apparently he didn't think it beneath his older brother to actually carry out his threat – something, we have to admit, he wasn't entirely wrong about. Fortunately for Hirose the space on deck wasn't limitless so that at some point the other two just didn't have anywhere left to go. Gasping for breath, the firstborn Nanjo finally managed to voice his request, receiving nonplussed stares from two pairs of eyes. THAT was why he had been chasing them?! Desperately Izumi tried to remember where he had last seen the weapon – that damned sword had been just too heavy and unpractical and as he had realized after a few exercises that he just wasn't born a kendoka, Izumi had simply carried it around for the next couple of hours. When the bothersome weight had suddenly disappeared he hadn't wasted another thought on it.

Though it gave him some difficulties as the ship was by now all but standing upright and he had to hold on to the railing with both hands, Hirose managed to tap his foot- how you could "just loose" a several centuries old and undoubtedly priceless katana was beyond him. Finally the dark-haired boy blushed furiously, coughed a few times, and finally admitted that the wanted weapon was probably in a car standing in one of the cargo rooms below deck. How it had ended there he refused to explain. Before Hirose could say anything to that, Koji, in a disputable attemptto spare his lover further embarrassment, swatted at his oldest brother's fingers and sent him falling into the sea. Judging by the singer's delight at hearing the other's screams it might have also been his revenge for being locked into his cabin earlier.

Much to his own surprise Hirose landed quite softly – in Kurauchi's arms, that is. The loyal servant had, taking the Nanjo household's private yacht, immediately ridden to his master's rescue (no, the yacht isn't mentioned in the manga but with all the money they have I'd be surprised if there isn't one). In Hirose's head thoughts were racing: no ancient katana – no more kendo clan. No more kendo clan – no more need for an heir to it. No more heir – no more Koji. No more Koji – no more trouble. He'd finally lead the peaceful life he was entitled for!

"Kurauchi! Start the motor! Forget about the shrimp cocktail, we are going home!"

With that the white yacht turned and drove in direction of the sun that had miraculously decided to set a second time at two in the morning. The only things that hampered the romantic atmosphere were the yells of the drowning people and Akihito, who, holding to the anchor rope, loudly demanded to be pulled up. They left him where he was.

In the meanwhile Koji and Izumi weren't having quite as fun a time. Strictly speaking they were in the ice water where Koji had managed to conquer a floating door. After half-drowning the old lady that had occupied it before, he made to arrange both himself and his beloved on the small piece of wood. In the end however he had to realize that even the biggest western doors just weren't meant to support for 1.90 m tall Japanese men. For a while the star-crossed lovers were floating peacefully until, at some point, Koji got aware of all the people staring at him. In the beginning he thought they were admiring his stunning good looks but as time went by even he noticed that something was wrong.

"What is it? Why is everybody staring at me?!"

"They are waiting for you to freeze to death." Izumi informed the stunned rock-star.

"What?! We freeze to death?! Why hasn't anyone told me about this?!"

"No, not WE freeze to death. YOU freeze to death. I survive and become a famous soccer player. And now just get it over with. Everybody is waiting to move on."

"Out of the question. If you don't die, I won't die either! Do you hear me?! If Izumi doesn't go with me you might as well can the whole dying scene!"

The directress preferred to not comment to this.

As Koji carried out his threat and stubbornly refused to die, it was Izumi's turn to worry. More and more time went by and the day of his first match drew closer. If things stayed as they were he would miss it entirely and heaven knew those good-for-nothings in his team wouldn't make it without him. Finally the desperate boy leaned down and, blushing, whispered a few words into his lover's ear. What exactly he said has never been resolved yet the sentence is said to have started with 'If you get me back to Japan in time for my first match, I will...'. And so Koji, fueled by the energy reserved for semes hell bent on having sex, swam through the Atlantic, the Pacific and whatever other oceans separate England from Japan. Whether they arrived in time has yet to be determined.

The End