Author: Mirai Shinranui

Rating: PG.

Notes: Please see the end of the page


"So…friends?" Tyson asked, sticking out his hand to Rei. Rei stared at it for a while until Kai poked him in the back. Rei sighed and shook Tyson's hand. He was not very enthusiastic about it, but it had to be done. It was not as if they could keep arguing forever. Rei just had to accept that Tyson was going to be a jerk sometimes.

Rei found himself with his arms full of his very excited friend. Max babbled into his ear, threatening to crush the air out of Rei from his overbearing hug. "Oh, Rei, I'm so glad you guys made up! Tyson's been mopey all week and it's so annoying and I missed you such much!"

"Max!" Tyson laughed and attempted to pull Max off Rei.

"What happened to your foot?" Kenny asked, pointing at the bandage sticking out the top of Rei's soft shoe. He shot Kai an accusing look.

"It was just a little accident. I'll be fine. I hurt my hand too. Look! I bet it will leave a scar." Rei held out his hand.

Kenny shook his head. "Only you would think a scar was cool."

"Rei is accident prone," Kai said. He had his arms folded across his chest, looking none too interested with the reconciliation meeting. It was so typically Kai.

Rei stuck his tongue out at Kai, which made Max giggle.

"Could it be that you managed to tame Kai in the time you've been here?" Max asked and pulled on the end of Rei's hair. "He doesn't look half as prickly as usual!"

Rei and Kai stared at each other and Max did not miss the faint tinge of pink across Rei's cheeks.

"I'm being nice to an invalid, that's all," Kai said and then glanced away.

Max leaned up closer to Rei. "Wow, what did you do?"

"Nothing!" Rei whispered back, but the blush across his nose grew darker.

"You have no idea how long we were looking for you guys!" Tyson said. "Like, it took Chief days just to locate you. It's like you didn't want to be found!"

"We didn't," Kai said. "At least not by you. You're noisy."

"Oh c'mon! Two seconds we're back and he's already insulting me! Did you hear that, Chief?"

Kenny ignored him. "When I found the address here I decided it was probably better to give us all some more time apart. I figured Rei would know when the time was right to come back and bring the team together."

"Rei? Why Rei?" Kai snapped, as if his leadership skills had somehow been questioned.

"Because Rei knows best, especially when it comes to you. So when he rang this morning we knew that everything must be alright."

"You rang them?" Kai stared at Rei.

"Well…I didn't want them to think we had totally abandoned them. I'm not angry anymore either. Yesterday was…such a good day."

Max blinked, staring at Kai. Was Kai blushing?

"As if you could abandon us! What would you do without us?" Tyson smirked, resting his hands on his hips.

"Perhaps we could get some peace and quiet."

Rei smiled. Everything was back to normal. Kai and Tyson were bickering, Max was his usual bubbly self, and Kenny was more interested in how Kai managed to evade his investigations than anything else. Everything was how it should be. Except… Rei glanced at the floor, trying his best to hide his embarrassment. What would the rest of the team think? He looked up and Max caught his line of vision. What was Max doing, waving his hands like that? Rei looked to where Max was motioning. Okay, towards Kai… Rei put his hands up to cover his eyes, his face burning hot. Max knew! From a few scant minutes observation, he knew!

"Rei, are you okay?" Tyson leaned down, hands on his hips, trying to see Rei's face. "Is he okay, Max? He's gone really red!"

"Rei's fine. Aren't you, Rei?" Max giggled and grabbed Tyson's hand, pulling him away. "He's just been spending too much time with, Kai."

Rei felt like throwing himself into an open chasm in hopes that the earth might eat him whole. This was so embarrassing having them here, especially because Max knew his secret and was now teasing him. Just when Rei decided to seriously entertain his concept, Kai pulled his hands away from his eyes and leaned forward to place a gentle kiss on his forehead. Rei was not sure who was more surprised, Tyson or himself. Rei looked up at Kai, feeling disorientated. Maybe he was going to pass out from sheer embarrassment.

"Whoa! Did Kai just—"

"Yes, Tyson… Boy, you're so slow! I mean, for the last god knows how many months they've done nothing but stare at each other with dumb looks!" Max sighed and shook his head.

Everyone stopped and looked at Max. Max was not exactly known for his intelligence or observational capacity.

"Well…you have! I thought it was cute." Max giggled, holding his hand to his mouth. "I'm glad it's finally out in the open. All those bottled up feelings aren't good for you!"

Kai shoved his hands in his pockets, turning away.

"So…you guys don't mind that we're…" Rei could not even finish his sentence, the words welling in his throat.

"Why would we care?" Tyson raised an eyebrow in question. "It's not like you're hurting us. In fact, this is probably better. Now Kai won't pick on me so much!"

"Don't get your hopes up," Kai said. Tyson pouted in response.

"It may well improve Kai's attitude. You never know." Kenny adjusted his glasses. "Do you have a computer here, Kai?"

Kai waved Kenny towards the back of the house, knowing the little nerd would probably sniff out the electronics. Sure enough, Kenny hurried away in the ushered direction.

"Now, if you don't mind, I promised Rei I would take him out to dinner. You're welcome to stay—"

"We're welcome to stay? Awesome! Kenny was right, you're nicer already, Kai!"

Kai shook his head. He reached out, took Rei's hand without further words to their teammates, and proceeded to lead Rei out the door into the night. Rei just laughed and waved to Max and Tyson, mouthing a quick 'sorry!'

"Wow, I would have never guessed that Kai and Rei would get together!" Tyson said.

Max just smiled at the adorable look of complete confusion written across Tyson's features. Everyone was so clueless! He laughed and linked his arm with Tyson's, leaning against him. "I just know they'll be happy. You couldn't have chosen a better time with have a fight with Rei!"

"Hey, I didn't start it!"

Max laughed again and patted Tyson's arm. "Well whoever did, it was a great idea! Now Kai and Rei can finally be happy, too."

Tyson smiled, falling into one of those very rare 'serious' moments. He smiled at Max and leaned down, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips.

"Maybe we can tell them now?" Max said, with a goofy smile plastered across his expression.

"Nah, this is our secret. It's not our fault if they've been so wrapped in each other they didn't pay any attention to us!"

Max just laughed and dragged Tyson down the hall to explore the house with the free reign Kai had given them. At last, everything was right.

The End


So, it's finished. After all this time, this is the end. There will be no sequels, no continuing of the arc, this is the end. If you're at all interested in my opinions on the finished product, want to learn of some of the symbols I used, or want to ask a question, please take a trip over to my journal! The link on my profile page labelled "homepage" will get you there. I will be leaving the post open to the public and you may ask any questions you would like.

Of course, this would not have been possible without my special muse, Hikari no Donya. Hikari, you are my eternal inspiration and all my love goes to you. Thank you for putting up with my whining and helping me with so many ideas, and generally for just being there when I needed to talk.

A special mention goes to two people: Mimay and Pretty Crimson Eyes. For those who don't know, Mimay wrote a great poem inspired by the title of this fiction. Go read it on her profile page, because it's very good! Pretty Crimson Eyes was clever enough to pick out one of the many symbolic references in my story, so extra marks for being so clever!

I would also like to thank the following people who left multiple reviews. Reviewing more than once is very useful as it lets the author know you are still interested in the fiction and have continued reading it. So thank you to all those who left more than one review:

aishiteru ayu, SoulSister, darkangelintheshadows, Kioko Yasu, tntiggris, Eros Of Boy's Love, M.S.K, Poppy Cotton of Underhill, Raku Ozzarian princess, vamoose, Bluumberry, Forfirith The dark angel, Moonlit Sea, Omnimalevolent, Pashing. Pandaboe, Aggs, Amaya Jade, Angel Spirit, Celtic Warrior, Chibi Kitty, ChibiNekoSakura, Jay Kamiya, Kuroneko Hikage, Pretty Crimson Eyes (noticed the weatherthing), Shaka Dragomir Nocturnus, A dragon's crystal, devilburns, Futile Faith, Hikari no Donya, kalirafirestorm, Lady AA-Chan, Mimay (Wrote Poem!), PadfootItachi, Platinum Rei, Raven Deathstar, safire flame, Shin Rigel, SwiftSilver, Taiy-Chan, Alesca Munroe, artemis347, chi no hana, Chrono Breaker, El Conejo Morado, fox.thief, hoshicat Jade Cyclone, jak'idiot, Judgement Of Tears, Kai'sgrl, Kiko cat, Legolas19, Lone Wolf a.k.a Loner, Mako-Magic, Mei Kimari, Sakin, StarryNightObsession, Stunstar, UlTiMaTe KaI LuVa, and Yuuki Tsubasa.

I would like to thank everyone else who left a review, or intends to leave a review in the future. I really love reviews (I have an ego to build here, people!) Thank you to everyone who read this story and has enjoyed it. Finally, thank you all for being patient with me, and for all the wonderful e-mails I have received regarding this story! You guys are great!