Rei: O.o Er…this is a short little thing…written while trying to combat some very annoying writer's block. I swear, not being able to write is going to drive me crazy someday. I've been at the computer for an hour and a half and have only produced one paragraph of work. The feeling of uselessness is horrible, and a quick little fanfic should hopefully get me going again. Of course I could be being 'useful' by cleaning my room or studying for my finals…but I'm not going for the logic angle here.

Disclaimer: If the hobo I gave a dollar to today was one of them magic godlike people who reward people for their generosity, I might be owning Furuba right now…but it was just a hobo. He wanted to buy some food at McDonalds so I gave him a dollar. I helped him clog his arteries, yay!

Warnings: Akito being a mean. Yes, mean is no longer an adjective, it's a noun because I said so, and it is my mission to mangle the English language. ^^; But I'll abandon that mission for this fic, so you're not confused. Anyhow, Akito's not exactly sweetness and light in this fic, since it's just a little moment between Yuki and Kyou, sparked by a flashback Yuki had about Aki's past treatment of him. You could interpret this fic as Kyoki if you want.

So you know, I really like Akito. He's my favorite character in the whole series and I'm not trying to bash him…but this is from Yuki's point of view, and so he's shown as being a monster.

There is some sexual content here…not too much. You'll see. You saw the rating, so you're prepared for whatever this fic throws at you, right? ^.~ It's nothing too bad.

~`~`~

Firelight

By: Rei

"Goodnight everyone!" Shigure yelled, dancing through the halls on his toes, waving a sheaf of papers around like a pompom. "If you're going to stay up then don't leave the light on too long…we've got huge electricity bills to pay…"

"I was going to study," said Tohru, popping out from her room, legs crossed as if she had to pee. "But I'll just go straight to bed if you want me to…tomorrow's test isn't that important."

Yuki walked out too, already wearing his pajamas. They were pastel purple and when he realized this he blushed, feeling defensive in front of Tohru, waiting for her to say something about his looking like a girl or being gay. He'd heard that more then enough times from classmates and Akito. Akito had meant it as a compliment, but any traits of his that Akito cherished were now seen as horrific. Akito thought he had good social skills, so when he left he stopped talking. Akito thought he had a nice soft body, and so Yuki had dieted all the fat off to displease him.

"Tohru, quit trying to guilt me!" Shigure whined. "You're making me feel so bad…look leave the light on all night if you need to…" With that statement he slunk into his room. Hypocritically, he immediately turned on a stereo, blasting Kyou's recently acquired Hyde CD. Kyou yelled at him to shut it off or risk having his head decapitated, but the music kept playing. "If Tohru-kun can leave the light on then I can play music!"

"Tohru's lamp doesn't keep everyone up all night!" Kyou snapped. Shigure did nothing and the other three residents tried their best to get used to it.

"Goodnight…Tohru…" Yuki said, knowing he had to say something before he went off to bed. He didn't like to talk much, but he didn't want to let Tohru think he was mad. Another thing he'd learned from Akito was how to be kind to people. Akito was a master of subtle cruelties, and he took pleasure in Yuki's small achievements. Akito was never unkind to those who deserved it, never to Hatori who'd purposely forget his non-essential medication, who'd laughed as he twitched in pain because of this sin. Hatori was right to do this, but Akito never took revenge on him as he did the others.

Because of this, Yuki knew to be cruel to those he felt deserved it. He'd do anything not to be like Akito. Ayame deserved his hatred, as did Kyou. Tohru was innocent, and so he'd never hurt her in any way. This was the opposite of Akito's philosophy.

"Night Yuki-kun," Tohru said, yawning and heading to her room. Yuki walked to his, and sat on the bed, cringing at the irrational thought of Akito coming in. Akito was far away at the Main House, probably fast asleep at this late hour. Probably drugged out of his mind on morphine or whatever else Hatori could give him. The doctor had been known to supply him with heroin when morphine proved ineffective. It was a totally illegal practice, and Yuki had considered reporting it when he was young. But that would mean the ruin of Hatori, not Akito. Akito was the innocent patient. Innocent, right. Innocent people didn't make their cousin suck a lighter when he refused to suck his dick.

That time…when his mouth had been burned…when he'd left the main house for good…that day had freed him, but it had been so miserable he barely cared anymore.

He'd learned by now not to listen to what Akito said. The things he said were things that would kill him in the long run if he took it to heart.

He'd learned this, but that didn't stop him from hearing it all the same. He'd die despite his feeble efforts at self-preservation. "Do you know how ugly you are Yuki?" Akito would hiss; his ragged nails clawing at his own or Yuki's skin. He was always tearing at something, always causing pain. "How boring, how stupid? I'm not even sure why I like you, since obviously you haven't got any good qualities…but you've got to stay here forever, you know? No one else will take you."

"What if I want to go live by myself?" he'd asked, as he had a thousand times before. This memory was getting specific now, Akito was sitting by his huge window, legs drawn up and spread apart, with his arms together in front. He looked like a freak in Yuki's eyes. Yuki himself was sitting below the ledge, by his feet. Akito was digging at his ankles, tearing bits of flesh and not acknowledging a speck of pain. Yuki worried about what would happen when Akito grew bored with this.

"Leave? Yuki-kun, that's ridiculous," he said, laughing to himself. "You, leaving me...ridiculous."

"Akito, what if I'm serious this time?" Yuki wailed, knowing he was not. He could no more leave Akito then he could hack off a limb and leave it there. Akito was a part of his pain, and pain was his life now. Whether it was watching his mother as she him, or Akito's torture chamber games, Yuki was always hurting somehow. Akito said he hurt too, more then Yuki could imagine, and if they were to be close Yuki would have to experience at least a fraction of Akito's agony.

Yuki figured most of it for fake. No one could scream that loud and mean it. The world just didn't work that way…people weren't supposed to survive the kind of pain Akito claimed. He didn't believe because it didn't square with what he knew.

Or maybe he just feared the pain. After all, Akito said that one day they'd be equal in the respect.

"Enough of this," Akito said. "Don't talk about leaving me…please, Yuki…I need you…you've got to understand that. Yuki if you go I'll kill myself. I'll be too lonely to live. And then…" he leaned forward, eyes narrowing in malicious bliss. "And then the whole family will die. Do you want to be to blame for the death of the Souma?"

"No…no I don't," Yuki said, standing up slowly and turning to face Akito. Despite Akito's being two years older, Yuki was about a head taller and 30 pounds heavier. Physically, Akito could do nothing to stop him from leaving. And Hatori would never allow his suicide. He kept too close an eye on the sickly head, especially in times of stress or illness. Yuki's leaving would be so traumatic that Hatori would scarcely have time to sleep for all the attention Akito would need. Yuki would cause the family no harm. "I don't want to hurt them but…"

"But what Yuki? If you leave, they die. If you can't understand that then I'm going to have to beat it into you. What do you hate most in the world Yuki?" The last sentence was sweet, as if it wasn't leading up to whatever torture Akito could summon the strength to perform.

"You," Yuki spat stupidly, immediately horrified by his own insolence. He was going to die now; he didn't deserve to live after saying such a thing to God. He tried not to look at Akito's strange face, tried not to look at the odd tears collecting there in his eyes. Akito couldn't cry, that would make him human. This monster was no human. Yuki, half a rat, was more of a person then Akito could ever be. Yuki was alive at least. Yuki had a life he was expected to live. Akito was expected to stay alive. Even if he'd entered a coma at the moment of his birth and never came out until death, no one would have cared as long as he stayed alive for the next head.

And no human, dead or alive, could ever be so cruel as Akito.

"Of course," Akito sneered, brushing away the tears, acting as if they'd never existed. "Of course you hate me. I raised you Yuki, and kids always hate their mothers for doing it wrong. Your real mother gave up on you a long time ago. I'm your mother."

"That's stupid," Yuki said, shaking his head. "Biologically impossible. And you didn't raise me Akito; you forced my mother into selling me. The you beat the hell out of me."

"Well that's your opinion. If you don't think of me like that…then tell me Yuki, what am I to you? What kind of relationship do we have?"

"I don't know…" Yuki muttered. "Maybe we don't have one…and if that's true I'm better off just leaving, right? I could live with my brother, maybe…I don't really like him but…he likes me and he'll take me in…or maybe Shigure would let me stay at his house…"

"Yuki I know what our relationship is," Akito said, standing up to look at Yuki. When lay down or sat, he looked like he could become a giant, but here, standing at his full height, he looked very small and weak. Yuki could easily beat him up if he wanted to. This made him feel very brave, the stupidest feeling a person could ever hope to have in the presence of Akito. "It's sexual."

"Akito it's never been like that we've never…" Yuki said, trailing off as he thought of all the times he'd been out cold due to a beating. Akito could have raped him then. His lack of humanity allowed that sort of thing.

Akito laughed cruelly. "Shows what you know, Yuki-kun. Even if its not, as you choose to believe, that's what its about to become. I tell you you're ugly only because I don't want you to have the confidence to go out and find someone better. You deserve more then me, Yuki, but I need you. I can't sleep nights, thinking about you…" With this deceptively sweet sentence, he began to undress, removing his yukata and tossing it aside. "How do I look?" he asked, daring Yuki to say another cynical word.

Akito looked terrible. You could see every rib, every bone. He had sores all over his chest, the residue of his most recent illness. He was disturbingly pale, so much so that the skin between the sores looked transparent.

Akito removed his underwear. His genitals were shriveled and warped, and he had no pubic hair to speak of. He was nineteen years old, and his private parts looked like a cross between a baby's and an old man's. He looked like a freak.

"Bend down," Akito commanded. "Suck it."

The thing was repulsive. Yuki didn't even want to look at it, let alone put it in his mouth. He would have preferred to go eat of the catbox in the next room. He shook his head, trying not to look disgusted.

"I knew it…" Akito said sadly. "You don't want me. Who could? It's alright though." Suddenly he was smiling, and Yuki was terrified. "I know a better game." He threw on his clothes, still grinning maniacally. Once dressed he opened a drawer beneath the window ledge, and began searching through it. "You're going to love this," he said.

"When have I ever loved anything I did with you?" Yuki muttered, knowing the lie. There had been good times with Akito too, before Akito learned the meaning of sadism. They'd played together as children, and Yuki had loved Akito.

It seemed insane now, that he could have ever cared for such a monster.

Akito squeaked happily, having found his item of destruction. It was a lighter, probably swiped from Hatori during one of his check-ups. It was silver colored, with sticky pink residue on it, from the sticker that must have covered it. Akito clicked it repeatedly, shaking it and cursing at it when the flame did not ignite. Yuki took it from him and tried to make it work. Stupidest thing he'd ever done. He'd thought that maybe Akito wanted to take up smoking, and add a lung tumor to the list of his problems. Yuki hated Akito so much at that moment that he didn't even notice the lack of cigarettes needed to accomplish this.

If you won't suck on this," he said, pointing to his crotch. "Then you'll suck on this." He took the lighter from Yuki and held it up to his face. "Don't make me jam it in. You'll only be hurt worse."

Suck on a…flame…? If the burns didn't kill him, the smoke rushing into his lungs surely would. That was the most suicidal thing he could ever do, save from shooting himself in the head or jumping off a bridge or…or disobeying Akito.

Maybe it would be better to take the flame.

He opened his mouth, waiting like an expectant bird. Akito guided the lighter gently into his mouth. Yuki clamped his mouth down around the cold, hard metal, and immediately felt the heat. At first it was nothing, only the pain one feels when they've eaten too spicy a food. But as the seconds passed it grew hotter, more painful. He couldn't focus on anything but the fire behind his teeth, on his tongue, and down his throat once or twice when Akito felt especially cruel. He could feel the walls of his mouth begin to burn, the backs of his teeth begin to melt. The melted bone dripped onto his tongue and he screamed, thrashing at the pain.

"Aki, Aki, Aki!" he yelled, crying now. "Take it out, take it out! It hurts, Akito!!" The pain grew worse with each word, and so he soon shut up. He couldn't breathe enough to talk anyway. After three or four more seconds, Akito removed the lighter, and tried ineffectually to extinguish the fire. Yuki took it from him and did this, not wanting Akito to try anything else with it.

Hand over his mouth, Yuki left. He threw some clothes and a few books into his schoolbag, knowing he had to leave, right then. But after he'd packed he wasn't sure what to do. Where would he go? He wasn't really sure where his brother was living, and Yuki didn't really like him anyway. Ayame was too hyperactive, and he'd be sure to make a bigger deal out of this then it was. He might hurt Akito for what he'd done. Maybe he could stay with Shigure, he knew where he lived and the man was always complaining about how bored and lonely he was now.

So he stole some of the main house's grocery money, and took a cab to his older cousin's house. Shigure was out when he arrived, so he sat on the doorstep and tried to cry hard enough to drown his pain. The extra saliva that came with tears was excruciating in his raw and melted mouth, so he calmed down and waited for his cousin's return. When he did come back, Yuki blurted out what had happened and was taken to the hospital.

And now he was here, safe. He had a home in Shigure's house, more so then Kyou or Tohru-kun. His mouth was healed, his teeth reconstructed. Akito wasn't here. He couldn't come barging in, demanding that Yuki play a new game with him. He was safe. So why was he crying? Why did the tears still come after so much time had passed? He shouldn't be having these flashbacks…this wasn't any ordinary remembrance, this was more like what you got under hypnosis, or an acid flashback like the one Shigure had had two years after his one and only experience with the drug.

He was crazy. Akito had made him this way. In a way, he was his mother, for wasn't the mother the one who made or broke her children's psyches? That was what all the psychology books said…but Yuki's own mother had had almost no impact on him, except when he learned that she valued money more then her son. So Akito was okaa-san for Souma Yuki.

He was still crying. Almost screaming, loud enough to drown out Shigure's music, which had become obscenely loud over the last ten or so minutes. He heard Tohru's books slam shut, heard her walk towards the door, as if to go to him. But she never came. Instead it was Kyou, shifting uncomfortably at the doorway, who came to see to him. "Yuki…" he said, staring at his feet, kicking off the one blue slipper he'd been wearing.

"Yeah?" Yuki asked, wiping away some of his tears, trying to calm down for his enemy. He didn't feel the hate too badly then, being with Kyou was immeasurably better then being with Akito. Still he said, "What do you want, baka neko?"

"Just wanted to know why you were crying," Kyou said defensively, as a twelve-year-old caught looking at porn might. Just wanted to see if these ladies were as pretty as you mommy. Yuki smirked at this analogy, glad for the smile to drive Kyou away. His concern was disturbing, the neko wasn't meant to tend to the nezumi's tears.

"I'm fine," Yuki said, beginning to calm down a bit. He had to for Kyou; there was no way he'd let himself be weak before him. Kyou didn't appreciate vulnerability, he'd only laugh, mock him as Akito had so many times before.

"What the hell are you screaming for then?" Kyou asked. "Are you just trying to keep me awake or something?" Kyou walked over to the bed, stretching. He sat down next to Yuki, and stared at him. "You're pissing me off."

"Sorry," Yuki said, looking at the ground rather then Kyou. Kyou smirked, shook his head.

"I can't believe you just apologized."

"I can't believe you're laughing at me," Yuki spat, his voice without venom. He couldn't be mad at Kyou, not now when he'd just rescued him from more painful remembrance. He couldn't even picture Kyou standing up and walking away, going back to trying to sleep, trying to drown out his own CD with music he liked even less. He couldn't imagine another fight with him.

"Well why shouldn't I be?" Kyou said, leaning back on his elbows. "We don't like each other, right? Why should I be nice to you?"

"I don't know…you came in here…in the middle of the night, wasting your time for me. It seems more like something Tohru would do, not you." Yuki looked away, hoping to hide the newest batch of tears from Kyou. Why couldn't he stop crying? He was barely thinking about Akito now; he wasn't even upset right now. There was no way he could justify his tears, to Kyou, himself, or anyone else. The flashback hadn't been too horrific anyway; his past with Akito had been far worse then the last incident. And he'd had a year to distance himself from it; he shouldn't be hurting now!

"Yeah, Tohru was going to," Kyou said, leaning back even further, until he fell against the wall. "But I told her to get back to her studying, I'd see what was going on…by the way, you know we've got the same test, right? I already studied but I don't think you did."

Yuki barely cared. What did it matter what his grades were anymore? There was no one to punish him for doing poorly, no one to beat him when he brought home a bad test paper. Akito had asked to be sent the first two report cards after Yuki's departure, but then abruptly, he didn't care anymore. Maybe it was because Akito had had a kind of mental breakdown after Yuki left. The desire to cause pain had grown stronger, as it always did when Akito grew weaker. Yuki ignored the reports brought in by Hatori. He didn't want to know how Akito was doing, because it was something he cared about deeply. He wanted to erase Akito from his life completely, but this was obviously not happening.

"I could help you out if you want," Kyou said, suddenly sitting up, turning to face Yuki. "Would you like that?"

"No…no thank you," Yuki sighed. "Could you get off my bed? I'm tired and I want to go to sleep." He shoved at Kyou's body, trying and failing to push him off his bed, out of his life for now.

"You're going to freak out again," Kyou said with certainty, the false kind that could only come from guesswork. "Whatever you've been thinking about, I don't want you worrying about it alone. People have been known to commit suicide in these kinds of situations. I'll stay with you tonight, alright?"

Yuki said nothing. He wasn't sure what to make of this, of Kyou caring whether he lived or died, if he was happy or depressed. But Kyou was here, actually looking worried, as much so as Tohru or Akito or anyone else who he'd meant something to ever had. Did this mean he meant something to Kyou? That he was more then just an annoying housemate to try and defeat?

"Shove over," Kyou said, knocking Yuki into the wall and laying down himself. He threw the blankets over them both and closed his eyes. "Theres no way I'm sleeping on the floor."

Better just accept it. Weird as it was, people were going to be nice to him at some point. He'd accept it because he wasn't about to let Akito take his confidence away.

~`~`~

Rei: Wow what a saptacular little story. I'm a bit worried about the ending, but I have finals to study for and not a lot of patience…oh well. I hope you liked, please leave a review! ^^ ::Glomps you.::