Disclaimer: Akimine-sensei, have your people call my people, okay? We'll talk about your supposed 'ownership' of the Samurai Deeper Kyo characters.

Author's Notes: I really hadn't been planning on a part two to "Still of the Night". Strangely enough, I got reviews (Thank you so much EVERYONE) asking me for more! Then I realised I hadn't said it was an interlude. -.- Motivated, I started writing it only to stop when I couldn't come up with an ending and was also sidelined by my larger than life Mary Sue Naruto fic and AU (It was supposed to be a gag fic – honest!). Anyway, I managed to finish it off today, and personally, I don't like it as much, but hopefully, it'll appease those out there who actually wanted a part two. And this is it! The End. Fin. Owari. Wan/Yuen. Finito.

Dedications: Kirstian, my imouto-chan who reads my crap and is my immensely talented co-writer (no returns) in our crazy fics. Angel-chan, another talented writer who has been so supportive of my works. Alyson, the third in the list of talented writers who reads my lousy SDK translations and fics. And to all the wonderful reviewers for your kind words!

Italics indicate foreign words or thoughts.

Echoes in the Morning

Kyo knew the exact moment she woke up. The sleepy murmurs that sounded as she shifted even closer, the stilling of her entire body, the sudden intake of air, and the acceleration of her heartbeat all sounded beneath his ears. He continued feigning sleep, allowing the young girl to figure out what the hell was going on. He just about grinned as he imagined her wondering how on Earth she could have gotten there.

Just as quickly, his thoughts grew serious. This type of behaviour would not do. They had further trials ahead, and deadly opponents who wouldn't hesitate to use such knowledge to their advantage. If she even tried sleepwalking while deep in Mibu territory, she'd be as good as dead.

A spasm went through him. The memory that Akira had painted for him in the Aokigahara was something he didn't want to recall ever. With firm resolution, he buried that thought to the back of his mind, and forced himself to concentrate on the little situation at hand.

What on earth was the stupid chit doing now? She was lying unnaturally still, as stiff as the board that he sometimes compared her figure to. Her fingers were splayed upon his chest, and the soft puffs of her breaths that hit his chest did not just cause his heart to thump louder. Mere irregularity of the system – perfectly natural for a young man in his prime.

This time, it was his turn to freeze as she tilted her head upwards. Her body had been nestled against his, with the top of her head tucked beneath his chin. And now, she was sniffing him? Startled beyond all reasoning, he reassured himself that the prickling of skin came from the chill of early dawn even if it wasn't really all that cold outside.

She rubbed her face against his chest once again, the soft blonde tendrils of her hair tickling his chest. Suddenly, he was entirely too aware of the fact that his plan had backfired on him. The stupid chit was supposed to have shrieked the house down, and then tried to brain him for being a pervert. Why had it all seemed so simple in his mind? Why wasn't she cooperating?

Not that the shrew ever did. She was stubborn beyond anyone he had ever known. Even when the odds were against her, not once would the bounty huntress back down. While facing Shinrei, she had given no thought to the danger she had brought upon herself as she defended Muramasa. As far as the idiot was concerned, Shinrei had been the bad guy, and she had to protect Muramasa – just as she had tried to countless of times with him.

Really, her faith in him was boundless, and considering he had slain thousands of men in cold blood, Kyo wasn't entirely sure where that came from either. When he had asked her if she believed his word, he hadn't been prepared for her answer. She had taken his word without question. Why would a young girl like herself trust him and take the word of a killer?

It was perplexing, aggravating and far too confusing for his liking.

He heard her murmurs and felt her arm snaking across his torso, only to finally stop when her fingers reached his waist. Without his permission, his own had answered by pulling her even closer. She didn't feel that good against him. She wasn't even all that curvy – barely developed and just entering womanhood. She didn't smell like sunshine and innocence plastered to his side like that. Most of all, the sense of peace that washed over him came strictly from the quiet of the morning and had nothing to do with the small body next to his.

His breathing began evening out again, and his expression eased. Dimly, he heard Bontenmaru's voice down the hall. Just one more second, he thought drowsily before the world turned into chaos again.

The deafening shriek erupted, and Kyo deftly avoided her fist. The futon, however, was not as lucky. She scrambled to her feet, clutching her edges of her yukata. He leaned back against the wall, and smirked at the return of the outraged virgin.

"Don't worry. Not really much to show there, is it?"

Her face was mottled with rage. "You… you… I thought it was a dream!"

"I've had better dreams," he commented offhandedly, knowing full well it would upset the idiot some more.

Kyo observed casually that her chest was heaving more than usual. Really, she hadn't grown one bit, he tsk'ed in his mind.

"You pervert!" she finally shrieked, throwing a wooden figurine at him. He dodged it with ease, though he noted that it was firmly lodged in the wall behind him. "How dare you kidnap me from my own room and make me sleep next to you?"

"You looked like you were enjoying it." His smirk widened at the slight of the rosy flush that spread across her face.

Blonde hair flew everywhere as she shook her head. "How dare you…"

His hand reached out for the jar of sake that was always within his reach. "And anyway, you came here yourself in the middle of the night, sleep walking…"

"I DID NOT!!!"

His eyes flashed with something that might've been passed as amusement. "…into my futon no less."

She turned even redder, her fists clenched tightly. "I DID NO SUCH THING!"

He lifted his brow in response. "Oh really? Then it must've been some other blonde idiot who was rubbing herself against me."

The colour she was turning was unholy at this point. He could see the storm clouds gathering overhead.

"I have to warn you though," Kyo continued, "you may have to compete with quite a few other women who have more… ahh…" He paused to stare at her chest. "… qualifications than you."


Then, the cup in his hand was falling to the ground, sake splashing everywhere as he moved forward. She had given a strangled noise before her legs had given out on her. He swore long and hard as he managed to catch her body before she hit the mat.

After anchoring her against him, he observed that her breath was rapid, and her eyes were squeezed shut. The grimace on her face didn't make him upset at all.

"Oi," he groused, voice gentler than usual.

She managed to rasp out, "Give… me… a… second…"

Reassured that she could at least speak, the red-eyed swordsman continued holding her. "Shut up, you idiot."

Her eyes flew open in indignation. He could read the outrage on her face at being talked to like this while she wasn't in perfect condition.

"Deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth…"

She stared at him as if he'd just announced that he was the Red King.

"Do it, ugly."

The expression on her face softened, and the teenager obeyed quietly. They remained like this, him holding her while he entertained himself with the awakening world outside and she content to be held.

Five minutes later, she finally spoke, her voice wavering a little before steadying. "It was nothing. Just a little pain."

He didn't want to say anything. That same guilt that had been nagging at him reared its ugly head again. The pain would only intensify as the countdown progressed. He knew from past experience that Shinrei's water dragon would devour from within, weakening the human body until it was released to reunite with its master. The suffering upon Shinrei's opponents' faces was something he remembered all too well. Unconsciously, his fingers tightened around her arm, and the sound of her gasp drew his attention back onto her.

She was looking flushed again. Was she feverish already? "I'm fine, Kyo. You can let go of me now."

He examined her closely one last time. Her breathing had returned back to normal, and aside from the slight stain on her cheeks, she appeared to be fine. Tension left his body, his muscles easing as he smirked. Deliberately keeping the teasing light, he asked, "What? Not enjoying yourself as much as you were last night?"

Irritation flashed in her green eyes. "You…"

The door slid open now, and Bontenmaru poked his head in, pretending to be shocked to find Yuya in Kyo's room. "Did I interrupt your love nest?"


"At least he's tidier than he used to be after he's had company the night before."

Keeping his arm firmly wrapped around her not-so-slender waist, Kyo thoroughly enjoyed the look of mortification upon her face, which quickly changed to disgust as she glared at him.

"Let me go," she hissed.

The request seemed to startle him. She must've seen some untold emotion in his eyes because he could read the confusion on her face clear as day. After easing his hold on her, his lips curled to form a cocky smirk. "I'm used to better workouts than that."

Bontenmaru flashed him a broad grin before winking at Yuya. "You need more stamina than that to keep up with him."

Prettily flushed with embarrassment, she shot him and the Shiseiten member the dirtiest look. "I'm going to go check on Muramasa-san," the bounty huntress huffed.

Kyo watched as she walked out of his room, two steps shy of stomping her feet, and assured himself it was perfectly natural to stare at the sway of such wide hips.

"Gonna keep this one?" Bontenmaru asked slyly.

The only reply he could think of at that moment was that he was hungry, and the one-eyed bastard's laughter accompanied him all the way to Muramasa's room. He told himself it was to check up on his teacher, and it had nothing to do with that golden-haired wench. He could hear her lively greetings to the old man, and he didn't want to think about why the sound of her movements was instinctively comforting. If he allowed himself to, he could still feel her warmth against his fingers.

What she had said earlier echoed in his mind, and his response would remain unsaid. He was Onime no Kyo afterall.

What if I didn't want to?