Disclaimer:  If I did own Samurai Deeper Kyo...*grins evilly*  Mehehehehehe...but I don't, so this is only a frivolous engagement of my imagination.  Feh.

Don't Leave Me

            "Kyo!  Oi, Kyo!  Grrrrrr....DAMMIT, KYO, LISTEN TO ME!!" Yuya yelled to be heard above the howling winds of the blizzard, making a diving leap through a snowdrift to catch hold of Kyo's arm.

            Kyo whirled around and glared crossly at the bounty huntress, but Yuya was too tired, too cold, and entirely too pissed off to give a damn.  "Are we lost?" Yuya demanded, yanking back her ice-encrusted ponytail, which had flown into her face thanks to a sudden change in the wind.

            "Why would you think something like that?" Kyo retorted, jerking his arm out of Yuya's grasp.

            "Oh, I don't know," Yuya snapped sarcastically, "Maybe because we've been out in this damn blizzard for entirely too long without seeing some sign of getting close Yukimura-san's castle, or it could be the fact that I get the distinct feeling we've been going in circles!  I know we've passed that clump of pines back there at least twice now!  And my feet are bloody fucking numb!"

            "Sounds like a personal problem," Kyo sneered, turning his back on her and plowing forward.

            "You didn't answer my question!" Yuya flared, running after him.  Well, running as best she could through knee-high snowdrifts in a water-logged kimono and straw cloak.  She picked up a handful of snow and held it until it melted, then flung the chunk of ice at him.

            Apparently, the storm was messing with Kyo's maai, for the ice ball hit the back of Kyo's neck, unprotected by his cloak or his wide-brimmed straw hat, dead on.  The enraged samurai spun around and grabbed Yuya by the wrist.  "We don't have time for childish temper tantrums, you idiot!" he growled.

            "I'm not being childish!" Yuya replied angrily, stifling the urge to stamp her foot, "Just admit you have no idea where we are already!"

            "I do know where we are."

            "Really?  Where are we then, oh Great Master of Navigation?"

            "We're in Japan, of course," Kyo answered with a sly grin.

            Yuya almost exploded.  "I know we're in Japan, baka!" she shouted, simultaneously attempting to punch him with her free hand and wrench herself from his grip.  Kyo merely stepped to one side to avoid her fist, and Yuya toppled head-long into the snow as he released her.

            "You-you did that on purpose!" sputtered Yuya furiously, floundering for several moments as she tried to regain her footing.

            "You shouldn't blame me because you're clumsy," Kyo observed, not offering her any help.

            "Shit, now my entire kimono's soaked!" Yuya complained.  A particularly icy blast of wind punctuated this statement, almost ripping away their cloaks.  Yuya almost fell over again, and her attempt to maintain balance cost her her own hat.  "Dammit!"  She glared at Kyo.  "Don't you dare laugh!" Yuya ordered.

            "I'll laugh if I want to," was Kyo's response, but he seemed content with merely smirking in a condescending manner.  Yuya found that to be just as bad, if not worse.  He started walking again and Yuya had no recourse but to follow.

            "Kyo, there's no way we're going to reach the castle in this!" Yuya declared, huddling in her cloak and damp kimono as she tried to keep pace with him, squinting through the blinding, stinging snowflakes, "It'd be hard enough finding a ninja general's stronghold in the middle of the cherry blossom season, but we're not going to find it in this fucking blizzard."

            "And?" Kyo prompted derisively over his shoulder.

            Yuya felt the corner of her left eye spasm, and she had to forcefully restrain herself from trying to deck him.  "And I think it would be a good idea if we found shelter of some sort and wait out this damn storm.  Benitora and the others were probably smart enough to find cover the moment they saw the storm clouds, so I don't see why we have to keep slogging on through this shit!"

            "Oh, you're tired, is that it, little girl?" Kyo noted with a mocking chuckle.

            "Well, excuse me for not being an ultimate warrior who can just ignore the fact that it's cold enough to freeze the ass off a snow monkey!" Yuya muttered, because she did not have the energy to shout anymore, "I'm tougher than most girls, dammit, I just don't see any sense in trying to..."

            Out of the blinding swirling snow, the massive dark shape of a cliff reared up before them.  Unfortunately, it provided no relief against the storm, as the winds were blowing along a parallel course to its face.  Kyo turned into the wind, keeping the cliff on his left.  Yuya kept up her running monologue as she grimly chased after him, lamenting the day she had ever joined company with a bull-headed, inconsiderate samurai who had less common sense than a two-year-old, dragging a delicate, beautiful woman such as herself out into a raging blizzard because he didn't have the intelligence to stay at a nice warm inn with fires and hot food and...

            "...and the others are probably living it up, laughing about me and Kyo out in this fucking blizzard where we're probably going to freeze to death and I can't feel my legs anymore and I probably have frostbite on my nose and ears and fingers and..."

            Kyo vanished.

            "Wha...?" Yuya gasped, stopping in her tracks.  She rubbed her numbed hands over her eyes, wondering if the snow was playing tricks on them.  She whipped her head about wildly, trying to catch sight of her companion.  "Kyo?  Kyo?!"  Yuya took several uncertain steps forward, reaching the place where she could have sworn she had last seen him.  "KYO?!"

            Something incredibly strong grabbed her by her left arm, yanking her into the cliff.  Yuya shrieked in surprise and instinctively pulled back, but whatever it was would not let go.  "HELP!"

            "Honestly, with all your yelping I'm surprised you haven't started an avalanche," Kyo's gruff voice sounded in her ear.  It took Yuya several seconds to process that, one, she no longer felt the icy tearing of the wind, two, she was in a cave of some sort, and, three, the something that had grabbed her was only Kyo.

            "Don't do that!" she gasped, laying a hand over her heart.  It was pounding so wildly she thought it would burst.  "You could give someone a heart attack!"  She glanced over her right shoulder.  The icy maelstrom outside whistled and shrieked across the narrow cleft in the cliff face into which Kyo had pulled her.  The ceiling of the cave was barely tall enough for Kyo to stand upright in.

            "This will have to do until the storm is over," Kyo said, letting her go.  He stepped back and drew off his hat and cloak, shaking off the thick coating of snow and ice that clung to them.

            Yuya blinked.  "We're not going to keep going?" she asked, bewildered.

            Kyo rolled his eyes and tossed his hat and cloak to one side as he moved farther back into the cave, kicking off his water-logged overshoes.  He sat down on the ground, cross-legged, his Muramasa katana across his lap.  "You're the one who was whining about finding shelter," he pointed out, "I found shelter and now you're complaining about not being out in the blizzard.  Are you always this perverse or is it that time of the month for you?"

            "How dare you...!"  Yuya felt her cheeks flush scarlet with anger and embarrassment.  Only Onime no Kyo would be so crass as to refer to feminine problems at a time like this!  "It's just that you seemed dead set on getting to Yukimura-san's castle no matter what," she said when she finally regained enough composure, "Why the sudden change of heart?"

            Kyo shrugged.  "I couldn't put up with your bitching anymore."

            Yuya raised an eyebrow, but let it slide.  She had a sneaking suspicion there were other mitigating factors, not the least of which was the all-too-common male tendency not to admit to being lost.  Hell, if Kyo wanted to play it like that, might as well let him.  The important thing was that they were finally out of the blizzard.

            With a sigh, Yuya removed her own cloak, not even bothering to shake it out.  The thing was soaked in any case and would only serve to make her colder if she put it back on.  Glancing sidelong at Kyo, who was staring out at the storm with an inscrutable expression on his face, she began exploring their newfound refuge.

            It did not take very long.  The cave's entrance was a narrow passageway about seven paces in length.  From there, it widened into a vaguely oblong space ten paces at its longest axis and three at its shortest.  The walls were a rough dark limestone and the floor had hidden snags and protrusions that caught cruelly at Yuya's frozen toes through her thick straw-and-cloth overshoes.

            But the cramped accommodations were not the worst thing.  "Kyo, there's nothing here for kindling," Yuya told the samurai after she completed her investigation, "We need to dry out our clothes or we'll get hypothermia."

            Kyo did not respond, which caused Yuya to frown.  "Oi, Kyo," she said, prodding him in the shoulder with her finger.

            "What is it now, woman?" Kyo muttered, slowly turning his head to look up at her.

            "We need to find some way of keeping warm here," Yuya replied impatiently, "There's no fuel for a fire, and our clothes are soaked."  She gathered the hem of her kimono's sleeve in her hand and squeezed out a fair amount of water to prove her point.

            "You're expecting me to do something about it?" Kyo asked.

            Again, Yuya had to restrain the impulse to hit him.  "Of course, baka!" she exclaimed, plunking down beside him.  She gestured to the blizzard howling outside the cave.  "That storm doesn't sound like it's going to let up soon, and it's going to get dark, not to mention colder.  We can still die of cold in this cave, you know."

            "Something as inconsequential as the weather will not kill me," Kyo stated, as if that settled the matter.  He turned his face back toward the entrance of the cave.

            "Inconsequential as...?" Yuya echoed, flabbergasted.  'Is he really that full of himself?!'  With an unladylike snort, Yuya got back to her feet.  If Kyo was not going to take measures to ensure that he would live out the storm, that was on his head.  She, Shiina Yuya, was going to act like a sensible human being!

            'First things first.'  Yuya picked up her abandoned cloak and moved to the very back of the cave, as far away from any stray blasts of wind (and Kyo) as she could get.  She blessed her foresight in putting on two under-kimonos before setting out that morning as she undid the knot in her obi.  Yuya discarded her thick cotton winter kimono, drenched with melted snow, and doffed the first under-kimono, which had fared no better.  Her last under-kimono, hardly more than a thin yukata, was slightly damp, but she would have to tolerate it.  The overshoes and the sandals and tabi she wore under them were next.

            'Shit, this is not good...' she told herself as she chafed her dead-white feet to try and get the blood circulating again.  She had heard horror stories of what happened when limbs were lost to frost-bite, and there was absolutely no way she was going under a doctor's saw because of Kyo's idiocy.

            'Speaking of Kyo...'  Yuya looked over at him, seated as still as if he had been carved from stone.  In the dim half-twilight from the mouth of the cave, he appeared to be asleep.  'Kami-sama, don't tell me he's actually worse off than I am!'  Yuya got to her feet, the hot pin-prickle of resumed blood flow in her lower legs both reassuring and painful.

            "Kyo?" she said softly, almost worriedly.  She hesitated before reaching out to touch him, remembering his last reaction.  He did not respond to her touch, and that worried Yuya even more.  She knelt down in front of him, noting that he barely seemed to be breathing.  Kyo's eyes were closed, his face a neutral mask of slumber.

            Yuya began to panic.  "Kyo?  Kyo, wake up!" she called, shaking his shoulders.  It was utter folly to fall asleep in a snow storm, and it seemed Kyo was doing just that.  The illusion of warmth and peace that crept over the body was a herald of death, and she would be damned if she let him succumb to that.  Out of desperation, Yuya slapped him as hard as she could in the face, the imprint of her hand blazing red on his ice-cold skin.  "Snap out of it!"

            Snap out of it he did.  His katana was halfway out of his saya as he bore her to the ground, the terrible fire of unrecognizing lethal intent blazing in his otherwise blank eyes.  Yuya uttered a half-strangled shriek of terror as she stared Death in the face.

            Then Kyo blinked, crimson eyes focusing on her frightened face.  Recognition dawned in them and he hastily pulled himself off of her, sheathing his katana as he did so.  There were several tense minutes of silence as the two of them stared at each other.  Then Kyo reached up with one hand and touched the scarlet handprint on his face.  "Why," he finally asked in a deliberately calm voice, "the hell did you slap me?  Do you have a death wish?"

            "No," Yuya replied in the barest thread of a whisper, trembling from her brush with death.  She pushed herself up, still somewhat uncertain "I was afraid..."

            "Afraid?" Kyo interrupted, cocking an eyebrow, "You should be."

            "No, not that!  I was afraid that you had fallen asleep...that you were..."  She reached out uncertainly, her fingertips just short of grazing his offended cheek. 

            Kyo watched her impassively, making no move to brush her away.  "That I was what?  Dead?"

            Yuya nodded mutely.

            Kyo shook his head, as if unable to believe anyone could be so foolish.  "I told you before, a little bit of cold will never kill me."

            That was the last straw.  "You baka!" Yuya howled, slapping him across the other cheek.  She then threw her arms around him and buried her face in his neck, "I thought you had fallen asleep!  Don't you know that's how people die in blizzards?!"  Fierce hot tears fell from her eyes, liquid anger and fear flowing out of her.  "Don't you ever do that to me again, Onime no Kyo!  I'll kick your ass!"

            "Don't flatter yourself," Kyo snorted.  He glanced down at the young woman clinging to him.  "So, you were worried that I'd die, is that it?  Awfully sweet of you to care, little girl, although there are certainly better ways of showing it."

            Yuya froze, suddenly aware of what she was doing.  'I'm hugging Onime no Kyo!  And I've slapped him...twice!'  Surrendering dignity for the sake of expediency, Yuya leapt to her feet and backed away hastily.  "Well, of course I care if you're alive or dead!" she shot back with her usual acidity once she was a safe distance from him, "Do you know how hard it is to drag a frozen corpse to a bansho?  And dead bounties are hardly worth half as much as live ones!"

            "Ah, yes, I keep forgetting that you're only sticking with me to collect the million ryo bounty on my head," Kyo said dryly.  Some emotion other than disdain flickered momentarily in his crimson eyes and was gone before Yuya could be certain she had seen it.  "You needn't concern yourself."

            "Well, I won't," Yuya sniffed, "but you could at least have the courtesy not to fall asleep on me."

            "I wasn't asleep," Kyo told her.

            "Your eyes were closed.  What the hell else was I supposed to think?"

            "That I was meditating."

            "Meditating?"  Yuya outright laughed at that, but was cut short by Kyo's glare.  "Sorry, it never occurred to me that you were the meditating type, okay?  Besides, nobody tries to reach nirvana in the middle of a blizzard."

            "And you would know that because you are so wise in all the ways of the world," Kyo drawled, sarcasm so thick it was almost palpable.

            Yuya glowered threateningly.  "Up yours," she muttered under her breath, turning on her heel and stamping over to the far end of the cave.  It was only a couple of steps, so it did nothing to alleviate her anger.  With an annoyed growl, she sat down and started working out her frustrations on her wet clothes, wringing the moisture from them, pretending it was Kyo's neck.


            "Stop it."

            "Stop what?" Yuya snapped as she walked by Kyo.

            "Pacing.  It's irritating."

            "Not as irritating as you," Yuya said under her breath.  "I'm trying to keep warm, obviously," she informed him, "Since I can't meditate my way to a higher plane of existence where I don't feel cold, I'm stuck with this option.  And as long as you're in this cave with me, you're just going to have to deal with it."

            "Hn," Kyo grunted, narrowing his eyes at her.

            "Hn, yourself!" she retorted, wrapping her arms more tightly around her body as she strode past him again.  She glanced at the mouth of the cave.  The blizzard still raged, and now it was noticeably darker.  Colder, too.  She had put her sandals back on to prevent her bare feet from getting too torn up by the uneven cave floor, and the constant thock-thock of her footsteps was, admittedly, pretty grating on the nerves.  'Well too bad, Mister I'm-Seeking-Enlightenment-in-the-Middle-of-a-Freaking-Snow-Storm, you're just going to have to...'

            An unexpected projection in the floor snagged the front of her right sandal, almost pitching her to the ground.  She managed to catch herself just in time.

            "A trifle clumsy, aren't you?" Kyo observed.

            "Bite me," Yuya snarled.

            "Is that an invitation?" Kyo shot back, leering.

            "Oh for Kami-sama's sake!" Yuya groaned.  She was far too tired to start another bout of insults.  It was hard enough putting one foot in front of the other, endlessly circling the darkening cave, feeling the cold slowly, inexorably creeping over her despite her efforts, knowing that eventually, she would...  'NO! Don't you dare start thinking like that, don't you give up, you're not going to die out here, you're warm, you're all right, you're going to pull through this...'  She shook her head grimly as the room began to tilt and sway beneath her feet and the shadows seemed to close in on her...

            Yuya stumbled once more, falling forward heavily.

            "At least you landed on your pile of clothes that time," Kyo sneered, waiting for the girl's inevitable retort.

            Yuya did not move.

            Kyo narrowed his eyes.  "Oi, ugly, you're the one giving me a hard time about falling asleep.  Get your lazy ass in gear!"

            She remained where she had fallen, giving no sign of having heard his taunts.

            With an irritated snarl, Kyo hefted himself to his feet and strode over to Yuya's prone form.  "Get up, dammit!" he barked at her, nudging her with his toe.  Her body merely rocked in place.  Kyo knelt beside Yuya and yanked her up by the shoulders, shaking her roughly.  ""Wake up you idiot!"

            Yuya's head lolled backward, her face a blue-tinged bloodless white, her eyes closed.  "Yuya?  Yuya?!"  Kyo pressed his fingers to the side of her neck, just beneath her jawline.  Her pulse was so weak he could barely feel it beneath her cold skin.  "Damned wench, I thought you were more stubborn than that!" Kyo swore at her.  He carefully laid her back down on the ground and stood, his fists clenching and unclenching spasmodically as he stared down at her.

            "I'm going to regret this, I just know it," he said to himself.  Kyo retrieved his cloak from the other side of the cave and spread it out on the cave floor beside Yuya, the outer side face-down.  With a grimace, he slipped out of his kimono, stripping down to his fundoshi.  Picking the unresponsive young woman up once more, bracing her against his body, Kyo undid the ties of Yuya's under-kimono, roughly pulling her limp arms out of the sleeves and tossing the garment to the side.

            Yuya's eyelids flickered and Kyo paused, searching her face for a more substantial reaction.  When none was forthcoming, he placed her on his cloak and lay down on top of her, seeking to cover every inch of her bare flesh as he could with his own.  "Get angry quick, little girl, because I don't know how long I'm going to be able to stand this," he muttered, brushing her wet bangs back from her forehead.  He reached out and touched Yuya's kimono, but it was still far too sodden.  His searching hand found her cloak, which, like his, was still wet, but had dried out more than any other garment.  Kyo drew the cloak over both of them.

            "Well, congratulations," Kyo told Yuya, trailing his lips over her eyelids and down to her slightly open mouth, "You're probably the only person in existence who can still drive me crazy while unconscious."  He paused once more, staring down at her as if he had the power to will her eyes to open.  "Dammit Yuya, if you fucking die on me, I swear Emma-hu himself will boot your ass back into the world of the living when I'm through with him.  And then you're mine!"


            'Hm, this is nice...' Yuya thought lazily, delighting in the sensation of the warm summer sun on her face.  This was rather strange, since there was not a sun in the sky, only threatening black clouds heavy with winter tempest.  Yuya figured she really ought to be worried about that, but her body felt so comfortable, who could possibly care about some ugly clouds?  The winds, too, seemed to be howling and shrieking frightfully, but from where she lay, they were as the mewling of a kitten, having no importance.

            'I could stay like this forever.  I wonder where I am?'  She turned her head to one side, but there was nothing, nothing but a pure white blanket of snow and miniature cyclones of swirling snowflakes as far as the eye could see.  She frowned, slightly puzzled.  'Snow?  That's not possible; snow's so cold, and I'm warm, really warm, like having two good thick futons.  I must be asleep then, and dreaming all of this.'  That sounded like a satisfactory explanation and Yuya turned her attention back to the sky.

            'But when did you fall asleep?' a small voice asked her, like a pin-prickle twinge in the back of her mind.  'I thought it was dangerous to fall asleep in the snow.'

            "Leave me alone, I want to sleep; I'm tired, dammit," Yuya told the voice.

            'You got all hot and bothered about Kyo falling asleep, didn't you?' the voice nagged, now sounding in her ear like an annoying, stinging fly, 'What the bloody hell makes you think he's going to let this slide?'

            "I don't care," she growled in response, wanting desperately brush the irritant away, but finding that neither of her arms wanted to obey the impulse.  Panic surged through her, but the languid, comfortable warmth seemed to smother it almost as soon as it arose.

            'Now, now, there's no need to get excited over nothing,' a new voice murmured, smooth and soothing as warmed sake, 'You just lie still and relax.  Fall asleep, you've had a hard time, you deserve some peace and quiet.'

            "Can't argue with that," Yuya agreed, relieved that someone was willing to take her side, "Do you have any idea what it's like putting up with that jerk?  He doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself."

            'That jerk stopped every time you slowed down, remember?  He could have easily left you behind to die in the storm if he really didn't care about you,' the cutting voice came again, like a slap to the face, 'Not to mention the fact that he found shelter for you when you told him that you needed rest.'

            "Well, that's true," Yuya had to concede, frowning again.  She had been out in a storm, walking with Kyo...or was that the dream?  She strained to remember.  'Kyo got angry, didn't he, but he never went so fast that I couldn't keep up...'

            'And he kept calling you such ugly names, too,' the soothing voice added, 'Don't think about it.  You just want to sleep.'  A warm fog pressed down on her struggling faculties, miring them with murkiness.  It was too hard to try and remember.  She only wanted to sleep...

            'NO, you don't!' snapped the annoying voice, 'How can you be such an idiot, lying out here in the middle of a fucking blizzard, falling asleep?!  Do you have a death wish or something?'

            "Death wish?" Yuya echoed.  That was familiar.  Hadn't Kyo asked her that recently?  It was right after she had slapped him in the face, which was before she hugged him because she was so relieved he hadn't fallen asleep in the cave...she was supposed to be in a cave, not out here in the middle of a snowstorm she could hear but not feel.  Right?

            'Such silly things to be thinking, in a cave!' chuckled the comfortable voice, 'Why would you ever be in a cave?  Almost as silly as hugging Onime no Kyo...'

            'I know it hurts, but you've got to fight this, girl,' the nagging voice said sternly, sounding very much like Yuya when she was mad at herself for something, 'Kyo's with you.  He hasn't left you; don't you dare think about leaving him!  You've fought to stay by his side for so long, are you just going to give up on him now?'

            'And why should Onime no Kyo be so important to you?' the warm voice retorted, sounding discordant and unpleasant for the first time, 'He doesn't give a damn about you or anyone else, remember?'

            'He said to stay by his side, didn't he?  He ran after you in Aokigahara, and he fought for you.  He protected you, and he's kept on protecting you!  That counts for something, neh?'  The voice was like hundreds of needles, digging into her flesh, causing the muscles to flex and the blood to start flowing through her numbed limbs.  'You haven't survived this long by giving up just when you're tired!'

            "But I just want to sleep, why can't you leave me alone?" Yuya whimpered.  'But I can't do that, I can't just fall asleep, I need to wake up.  There's something wrong, this is wrong, I need to wake up, I need to wake up because Kyo needed to wake up, because if I fall asleep, I won't wake up again, and I don't want to die, I don't want to die, but oh this hurts, this hurts too much...!'  The burning, stinging pain radiated through her body, ripping her away from the bewitching, forgetful warmth, yanking her up, up through dark clouds and shrieking winds, and suddenly she could hear a different voice that wasn't hers but it sounded so familiar...


            Yuya was not responding to his dire threat, and Kyo began chafing her pale skin with his hands, wherever they could reach.  The blood needed to be encouraged to the surface or she would never wake again.  With grim determination, Kyo focused on his task.  Time faded into nothingness as he worked to maintain the dying flame of her spirit.  The howling winds and the failing light of day did not matter, only this woman, no, this little girl who only looked like a woman.  If he lost her...

            "Dammit!" Kyo swore, pressing his lips against hers, feeling no return of warmth, of softness.  He lingered for a moment before returning to his task.  "Don't die on me, Yuya, you're not going to die on me, I'm not going to let you die, dammit!"


            'Kyo?'  That was his voice, wasn't it?  Was he the one who was calling her?  'Kyo...'  She tried to speak, but her voice wouldn't work and it was so dark, she couldn't see.  'I want to speak, I want to tell him...'

            "I'm not going to lose you, you hear me!  Fight, dammit, use that damned stubbornness of yours and fight!"

            '...I need to tell him...'

            "You're not going to get rid of me like this, I'm not letting you get away from me!"

            "I'm not leaving you..."

            It was the softest ghost of a whisper, so quiet he almost did not hear it.  Only the exhalation of her warm breath against his cheek told him that it had not been his imagination.  Kyo dropped her hands, which he had been chafing between his own to restore the flow of blood.  "Yuya?" he called.

            'He said my name.  Boy, I must really have him worried to do that.'  "...think you're getting a little too friendly with me, Onime no Kyo," Yuya croaked weakly, opening her eyes and looking up with as much irritation as she could fake.

            Never before had Yuya (or anyone else for that matter) the privilege of seeing a look of absolute, unadulterated astonishment take possession of Onime no Kyo's features.

            "You took off my clothes," Yuya observed, shifting beneath him and feeling the glide of skin upon skin, magnified by the renewed sensitivity of her body.  He was warm, so very warm... "That's very rude and perverted of you."

            Kyo frowned, his confusion banished as though it had never existed.  "Would you rather be naked or dead?" he asked her through grit teeth.

            "Truthfully, I'd rather be naked," Yuya admitted after pretending to give his question serious thought.  "Thank you, Kyo," she added gently, raising up slightly and brushing her lips over his.  "I suppose I can forgive you this one time."

            "You're getting a bit too friendly yourself, you know," Kyo informed her after a moment of sustained silence.  He lowered his face until his breath tickled her left ear.  "And I still haven't paid you back for slapping me.  If you're going to make it so I can't meditate in peace, I'm going to have to find some other way of keeping warm."


Narrator here.  Yes, I know, it's an over-used plot contrivance, but heck – that's the reason it's fanfiction and not the real thing.  Personally, I prefer a Yuya/Benitora pairing, but after reading volume 5 of the manga and seeing episode 17 of the anime, I wound up thinking, "Oh, so that's how it's going to be!  Darn it..."  Hope ya'll liked the fic!