Rei: Um. Hello. I keep swearing I'm gonna stop these fanfic things and focus on my original...but god it's just like a drug! Once you're hooked you can't stop! O.O

Anyhow, about this's an extreme example of doing something for attention. This was my excuse to write about a psychological problem I've been reading about, Munchausen's Syndrome...not the by proxy thing, that involves little kids and that's child abuse. This is just regular old self-abuse. -.-; Cos theres something regular about that. Yep. Anyhow, so I've decided to afflict Akito with this disease, since well, it makes sense, to me anyway. People with Munchausen's Syndrome fake illness and try to produce it in themselves, because they need to be in the 'patient' role, and they feel this is the only way to get attention. Meegh. Read on and enjoy...well in a sec, I need to do your standard disclaimers and warnings.

Disclaimer: If I owned Furuba...well I wouldn't have had to spend $70 on Furuba junk at AnimeNEXT, now would I? I could get it for free...god I feel like such a junkie. XD

Warnings: Um...Akito having some really, really weird logic going disease-y-ness...but that's to be expected, am I right? o.o Some weird relationships going on here.

What You Do When You're Desperate

by: Rei

The ascent he makes into health isn't easy. There are days ruined by raging fevers, days when he's vomiting blood off the side of his bed. But as time goes on they get fewer and fewer, until pretty soon he's left with days where he feels okay. Not perfect but at least he could see a point to waking up in the morning. Before he prayed to no one that he would just die, that this pain would leave him now, he couldn't take it anymore! But he took it, and it went away. Now that he's healthy, his stomach doesn't seize up at the mere mention of food, and he can get out of bed without the floor dropping out from under him.

He doesn't know exactly what was wrong, he's been too out of it to pay attention. But he knows it was serious, the recovery took months. Mostly, he'd been on oxygen, an IV and a morphine drip, it was only recently that he's been able to go without.

But as he gets better he notices something. The one wonderful constant during his disease was disappearing. When he was struggling for air and crying in pain, there was always someone there, checking his vitals and stroking his hair. This someone seemed to genuinely care whether or not he made it through the night; whether or not his vomit got all over his bed. This someone was always there when he needed him. But he's losing him now that he's found his health, Akito is losing Hatori.

He would rather go through an illness twice as terrible then have Hatori gone from him again.

Akito sits up slowly in bed, not wanting to go too fast lest he faint. This has happened several times already today, which is why he's been in bed for an hour after waking. He spent the whole day there yesterday, but yesterday was a bad day, yesterday didn't count. He'd had a migraine, his temperature was too high. Today though, today is going to be different. Why? Because Hatori said so, and Akito takes whatever good news he can get. Hatori had told him that he could probably stay out of bed all day today if he didn't overdo it. But things aren't going too well.

"Haaaari!" Akito calls weakly out the door, clinging to the newly installed bedpost. He used to have a futon, but Hatori had put it onto an actual bed frame when he started throwing up, because the smallest bucket they had required him to sit up to reach it. With the higher bed, he'd only had to turn his head.

"Hari..." he calls again, pausing to cough. "Hatori are you here?"

But there's no response from his doctor, only a random attendant hired to watch over him in Hari's absence. She can't do much of anything herself, but she can call Hatori if anything goes wrong. Akito isn't sure he can lift the phone just yet, and he certainly can't remember Hatori's cell number. Trying to remember anything beyond the basics gives him a headache. "Akito-sama?" the attendant asks, voice quivering. He scares her and he knows it, he terrifies all the attendants. There are only three people he knows who can stand him, and the only one who's always there is Hatori.

"Yes...?" Akito says, falling back onto the pillow, exhausted from the effort. His entire body hurts, he doesn't know why Hatori said that today was a good day. Maybe his fever is down, maybe Hari just likes Tuesdays. Akito has no idea.

"H-hatori-san isn't there anything I can do?" Akito knows she'd do anything to be dismissed, but he decides to play with her a while, he's bored and lonely and doesn't want her to go.

"Yeah," he says. "Yeah, there's something you could do. You could tell me your name."

" name!?" the poor woman exclaims, clearly flustered. She straightens her blue kimono, smoothes her black hair in fear. Akito likes to watch her eyes get wider, her mouth fly up and down. "My name name is...I'm S-s-sohma...S-sohma...Sohma Megumi, s-sir."

"Megumi..." he says, because thinking of an adequate response takes time, everything in him is slowed. It hurts to talk, sears his throat terribly. "So you're a relative."

"Yessir," Megumi says, staring at her sandals. "You s-s-said yourself t-that only f-family members should be hi...hired."

"I did say that..." And then he flies into a coughing fit, a very violent one that quickly turns into vomiting. He turns around, retches into the bucket, and watches Megumi watch him with nervously fluttering eyes. "Megumi..." he says, pacing himself through the words so he can get it all out, this is an important question. "Do you know"

"I believe he went out to see Shigure-san and Ayame-san," she says, sounding a bit more relaxed then she was before, seeing that the master's too weak for malicious intent.

Akito nods, waves her away. He buries his face into his pillow and cries because Hatori has left him all alone again.

The sickness vibrates through him, a single entity in the process of disappearing. It's taking a long time to leave, Akito understands this. It takes him hours to get ready for a simple trip. Visiting his cousin Yuki requires an hour in the shower, half an hour getting dressed, and a lot of extra time taking meds and having psychosomatic problems because he knows he shouldn't go. Yuki doesn't need him anymore and Akito pretends he doesn't care. He threatens him and frightens him out of his mind, loving that he still means enough to produce such an effect. Loving that he's still alive in Yuki's mind, that he always will be even when his body is lying underground.

And he knows that his disease's departure is one of defeat. Hatori's magic medications, and Akito's shoddy immune system, have somehow managed to fight this thing off. He just has to wait until he feels well enough to stand up. That should be soon. Maybe even today. If not, perhaps tomorrow. If Hatori is here tomorrow then Akito thinks he'll be able to walk again.

Hatori returns with arms full of shopping bags, explaining that it's stuff for Christmas. Snow is falling outside, perfect for the season, a rare miracle where they live. Akito remembers how excited Yuki used to get when he was younger and it snowed, he'd run straight outside without a coat or anything, so happy to have his namesake falling from the sky. He never seemed to get cold, never seemed to care. He'd spend the whole day outside alone, Akito could not come with him. The cold went straight to his bones, and he'd be so miserable with it that he'd have to overdress to the point of heatstroke, and lie in front of the radiator for days on end. Everyone else thought this was crazy, but they didn't know what it was like to have their insides turn to ice.

"I hate the snow," Akito mutters, still not out of bed after the long, long day. He couldn't bring himself to make a whole twelve hours or so without Hatori to witness it. What would it mean if he was all alone?

"It hates you too," Hatori says, removing his coat and brushing the snow off. He hangs it up in the closet, shuts the door and begins removing his packages. He's bought some nice presents for those folks who mean a lot to him. For Shigure he's got a laser printer, since his ink jet one of is lousy piece of junk that he's constantly whining about. He's got some lovely clothes for Ayame, jewelry for his mother and even some books for Yuki. There's a little something for every member of the Sohma family, but Akito doesn't see anything for him. Not that theres anything he wants, just that he wishes Hatori would think of him.

"Why didn't you tell me you were going out?" Akito asks, in the smallest, most feeble voice he can manage. Things have to look bad if he wants Hatori to stick around. He hates himself for puking earlier, he doubts he'll be able to pull that off again.

"You were sleeping," Hari says, shrugging, he couldn't care less. "I figured you'd be fine on your own, and I had to do this shopping..."

"You were with Shigure and Ayame, right? How come you've got their presents then? Don't you want to surprise them?" He coughs hard and long, though he doesn't particularly have to. He will do anything if Hatori will look at him, even fake a seizure, fake death. Anything, just to have those eyes on him and only him.

"They picked out their own presents," Hatori clarifies, ignoring Akito's (fake) cough. He's annoyed, as much as he would be if it had been genuine. The effort had hurt his throat, it's getting pretty raw from all the real coughing he'd done lately. "Pretty extravagant, but what are you gonna do? I had the money, I couldn't say no."

Akito would like to know where Hatori got this money, but he doesn't push the point. He doesn't want Hari angry with him, can't bear to have this dear dear man leave the room. He's still shocked that Hatori would dare leave him alone on Death's doorstep, but he knows he turned around and headed home a long time ago. Hatori trusts that he'll be alright alone, Akito just wishes he wouldn't.

"You're not leaving again, are you?" Akito asks, the words bursting like pellets of

poison in his mouth. He just has to ask him to make sure it's not true, it can't be true.

It's true. "Yeah, I'm gonna go out and do the laundry. You'll be okay on your own, right?" He smiles so sweetly, at first Akito doesn't even understand what he means. He doesn't consider Hatori's leaving an actual possibility, he can't imagine the man could be so cruel. But he's gathering up dirty clothes, coins and detergent, and he's walking out the door.

Akito's still in bed. Akito can't go anywhere. Akito thinks he's going to die soon, even though he feels better then he has in months. Without Hatori he might as well be dead.

He has to get up. He doesn't have a choice at this point, there's only so long a person can hold piss in their bladder. He's got to go, he's got to get up somehow. He's been trying to suppress it for hours, hoping Hatori will be back in time with the bedpan, hating that he has to do anything for himself. He loves being taken care of, it's the only time anyone is nice to him. His family hates him, this he knows, he deserves it. But when he's sick, when he's defenseless, he can pretend that Hatori, mechanically tending to his needs, really loves him. He needs this illusion or he can't go on. Akito is a person who has never known real love.

He sits up, swings his legs around the bed and waits for the dizzy, sick feeling to go away. When he thinks he can stand he does, and he uses everything available to hold onto, wishing he had Hatori's arm instead. Within half an hour he's made it to the bathroom, and he's crossing and uncrossing his legs in agony. It feels like something's exploding inside him, but he's just going to have to wait.

He undoes his yukata, tied simply so Hatori can easily access his body. Not to touch, just to examine. Once or twice he's placed his precious hands on Akito's sickly skin, but it was only to check for tumors. Akito craves human touch the way some people need ice cream, air. He would gladly trade his digestive system and his lungs just to have Hatori's hands in his, touching him lovingly.

So finally, he can go to the bathroom. He wishes he were a girl so he could sit down while he does this. He probably could, but it strikes him as wrong somehow. He just holds the wall and hopes he doesn't fall over into the toilet.

He looks down into the bowl, notices he's bleeding. He doesn't care, this is nothing new. Urinary tract infections are nothing worth mentioning to Hatori.

Back to bed. He thinks his temperature's gone up, he feels hot and weak and lousy. He's going to sleep until Hatori gets back. He doesn't really have any choice now, does he?

When morning comes, Akito feels fantastic. He's amazed, didn't know that this was possible. The rooms not spinning, his foreheads cool, and he's not nauseous at all. He can breathe. He has never felt better in his entire life, but Hatori's gone again. Hatori must have seen that he was fine, must have figured he didn't need him.

Hatori has no concept of human emotion. If Akito is going to have anything like he'd had during his last illness, anything like the constant care he'd so cherished, he'd have to be that sick again. No, worse. Hatori has seen him survive his last disease, he might ignore him anyway, assuming he'd live through it again. He has to be so sick, that Hatori won't be able to leave him for a minute without worrying he'll die. He'd have Hari tethered to him, and there would be no way the man could leave.

The only problem now is how to get that sick. He doesn't know how to produce disease, he'd spent his life fighting against it. He doesn't know how to coax the sleeping pathogens out of his cells and back to life.

But there are ways, there have to be! Akito knows how awful he feels whenever he can't take the temperature, and he'd always heard that cold weather can aggravate an illness, possibly even produce one. At any rate he'll have hypothermia if he stays out long enough without proper clothes. That much is true no matter what you believe.

He is able to get up easily enough, not with the effortlessness he'd seen in others, but it was the best he can expect from himself. He takes off his clothes, knowing he'll get desperate and put them back on if he goes outside with them. There are deep snowdrifts out his window, and he is going to lie down in one of them, naked, for hours. He can take it, he'd suffered worse for weeks.

Perhaps before he goes he should make the vomit bucket fuller, then if Hari gets back he'll really suspect something's wrong. He leans over the awful-smelling thing, shoves his finger down his throat and notices his throat closing up in amusement. Why does his body defend him against his own finger when it couldn't be bothered to fight whatever had made him so sick?

Akito ignores this, pushes his finger further. His stomach and chest hurt a lot now, and he feels like he's vomiting air. He doesn't understand how bulimics manage this after every meal. But finally, finally his body gives in, and he's throwing up everything he hasn't eaten. All it is is hot white liquid, lots of water and mucus passing for food. There's a good deal of it though, enough to raise the puke level significantly. He tries again, this time it's so much easier. The water just comes spilling out.

Okay, he's done. He feels bad now, not horrible. He can see how this feeling might be intolerable to some people, which is why they never get an eating disorder, but for him, only being alone is intolerable. There is nothing physical that could hurt him so much.

He wipes off his mouth, and still wearing his underwear, he heads outside. Traditionally you're not supposed to wear those things with yukatas, but he's ashamed of his genitals and wants them as hidden as possible. They're discolored, shriveled and gross, one testicle far bigger then the other. His penis has a deep hole in it that has never healed. He wishes he could just cut them off and be done with it, unsightly and useless as they are. It's not like he's ever going to have sex with anyone again.

Outside is frigid, and already he's starting to regret his plan. The wind is whipping fiercely, and he wonders if this is what an actual whip feels like, if this is what he'd done to Yuki. But no, that had probably been far worse, the child had bled all over everything. Anyway this hurts, he's freezing, he wants to go inside where it's warm or at least put some clothes on.

But no, no Akito has no choice. If he wants to bind Hatori to him, he has to look like he's dangerously ill. He's not sure if this will work, but anything's worth a shot.

When he gets to a snowdrift that looks deep enough, he lowers himself down, slowly, carefully so he doesn't die of shock. He aches from the cold, it produces an inexplicable heat in him. As he starts to go numb, he pulls the snow on top of him, nestles into it like a blanket. He covers his head as well, knowing if he can't breathe he can always claw his way up.

Now. How long should he wait? Akito isn't sure he can take more then a couple of minutes, but he knows he has to if there is to be any point. He thinks about waiting for Hatori's return, but that could be anytime between two minutes to two weeks from now. Hari hadn't said where he was going, he could be anywhere. Akito figures he'll stay cocooned for three hours or so, but if Hatori gets him beforehand, he'll leave, the point of this is for Hatori's attention.

He's been waiting for decades, and he doesn't think he can stay awake much longer. His eyes are weighted down with cement, and he hurts too much to move. All Akito wants is to take a nice long nap, but he knows that that would be fatal. He doesn't want to die, he just wants to be in bad shape for Hatori's eyes. But when is the man coming back?

Time passes and he gives up. He doesn't think Hari will return and he doesn't care if he dies.

Akito wakes up in bed, wrapped in more blankets then he'd ever seen in one place in his life. They are too tightly wound, he can't breathe properly, so he tries to untangle himself. Suddenly a hand comes down to stop him, and Akito looks up at the person attached, at Hatori's worried face.

"Hari...?" he says quietly, half asleep. "When did you get back...?"

"A couple hours ago," Hatori says, placing his hand on Akito's forehead, no doubt checking for a fever. He doesn't know that Akito felt well today, he doesn't know why he was outside. He probably assumes he was sick and deranged, didn't know what he was doing. Hari asks him though, deflating the mystery. "What were you doing in the snow with no clothes on?"

"Nothing, I..." Akito trails off, knowing that this doesn't sound believable. "I didn't know I was out there..."

"You didn't?" Hatori asks, something like fear running through his voice. "You don't remember anything at all?"

"No," he says softly, pleased to present another problem, to keep Hatori from thinking he's okay by himself. "No I don't."

"Well what's the last thing you remember?" Hari says, shifting uncomfortably in the metal folding chair he probably dragged over. Akito wonders how long he's been sitting there, how much his well-being means to Hari.

He's going to have to lie now, but that's okay, he's good at that. When Yuki was his constant companion, he'd done nothing but lie to the child, telling him how perfectly horrible he was in every imaginable way, (he was perfect, plain and simple) how he was going to die too, be as sick as Akito one day, (there was no way that was possible, but when an authority figure tells you you're doomed, you believe them. Yuki was having a lot of bad asthma attacks at the time, so it wasn't hard to convince him) and that Akito hated him. (He loved him.)

So, he'd had a lot of practice. He could fabricate for Hatori, no problem. "I just remember having this really sharp pain in my head...then everything just kinda went dark and I don't know what happened..."

"Does it still hurt? Where was the pain exactly?" Hatori asks these questions with beautiful urgency, Akito loves him for caring so much. He nods, trying to elicit as much sympathy as possible, even though he feels okay. A bit disoriented, but that's about it. He's disappointed that his nap in the snow has done nothing else. He claps his hand to where he knows his cerebrum to be, a problem there could explain any bizarre thing he might do. As of so far, Hari assumes he's crazy and pumps him full of drugs to keep him sane. He's not a psychiatrist, but there's an obscure relative who is and who provides the medication. They say he's probably manic depressive, since he has a lot of mood swings. Akito thinks that this could be due to his life circumstances, how can you be happy all the time when you can't walk five feet? And when you're treated like a hated god, doesn't your personality get a little warped?

"This is...odd to say the least," Hatori sighs, looking straight into his eyes, the wounded one exposed. Akito looks away, hating himself for causing that damage. He's glad they're rid of Kana, glad he has Hari all for himself but...he wishes he hadn't made him so unhappy. Hatori continues: "If this repeats itself let me know. Anyway you should probably get some sleep."

"I will, but first you have to tell me something," Akito says, grabbing hold of Hari's wrist. "Where were you this morning? I was looking for you, but you weren't there...I needed you today." He tries to weight this sentence down, and it's easy because it's true. He does need Hatori, just not for the reasons he's saying.

"I was with Shigure...he needed some help going over a manuscript before he showed it to his editor...I wish he wouldn't show me those things, they're repulsive. Ayame would be more interested."

"I wish you would tell me when you're going somewhere," Akito responds, digging his unclean nails into Hatori's flesh, enjoying it as his winces in pain. Almost immediately he withdraws, feeling so guilty for what he's done. He doesn't apologize though, he needs this message to stick.

"I...I will from now on, Akito-sama," Hatori says, scared because he remembers that his master can hurt him. He remembers the incident with Kana all too well, but Akito is sure he remembers it better. He wishes he could emphasize with Hari there, but he doesn't know what its like to lose everything. How can you when you never had anything to begin with?

"Good," Akito says, and shuts his eyes to fall asleep, hoping Hatori will stay and watch. He doesn't, the minute he thinks Akito won't notice, he slips out, silent as he always is. Akito has to fight against his tears, he won't be weak when Hari can hear him.

He sleeps too much. Thinking about it now, Akito realizes that every event in his life, (not that there are many) ends with him taking a nap. Most people his age, (he's nearly twenty) don't take naps, they grew out of that fifteen years ago. When Akito was five he didn't nap, he was usually in too much pain to sleep. His doctor didn't want to give him morphine or tranquilizers back then, he thought he was too young and didn't understand that he needed them. So when Akito was five, he was a total insomniac. He didn't get over that until he was given sleeping pills, and by the time he was seven he was addicted.

Nowadays, he doesn't take them anymore, he's beat the addiction and he sleeps too much as it is. It's like every time he feels anything at all, his body shuts down and sends him straight for his bed. Even if he's feeling something good, he still needs a rest to recover afterwards.

Hatori knows of this pattern. Hatori sees him sleeping most of the day. So what Akito thinks is this: if he stops sleeping, Hari's gonna notice something. Just because he got a little attention today doesn't mean that's enough, he can never have enough of Hari. The man is like air, Akito can't survive long without him, but they're both hard to acquire. Akito's lungs are so scarred from disease that breathing is sometimes more difficult then holding Hatori captive. But that's alright, he'd rather be gasping for breath and have Hatori with him then be okay all alone.

So okay, he'll stop sleeping. He knows he's going to be tired, but it's not like he has anything to do. He has some family responsibilities, but they've been siphoned off to random relatives, and he doesn't have to resume them until he feels ready to. Mostly it's just keeping track of the money and giving or not giving his blessing to certain propositions. Often they're about a family member fallen in love, and those are the ones he has to turn down. He feels physical pain when he thinks of what he cannot have, what they all find so readily. People throw away their love so easily, discard it if it's not absolutely perfect. Akito doesn't understand how they can do this, he thinks, isn't it enough just to be loved? Isn't that the ultimate goal of every human being?

He believes this to be true, but what he sees contradicts it. Yuki is loved by so many people, but he rejects them, all of them. Akito would do anything to be Yuki, to be so adored for just a moment. But Yuki doesn't appreciate what he has at all. If he doesn't think about it too hard, beating some sense into the child seems like a good idea, but when he actually uses his brain he realizes that this would only make him feel more sorry for himself, and rightfully so. Akito has only been hit once, by his mother when she was mad at him for being sick and ruining her plans to go to the beach. He was two years old then and this is one of his only memories of his mother.

Anyway, he won't sleep for a while. He's not sure how long he can hold out before he collapses from exhaustion, but he thinks he can make three or four days at the least. When he was very small he once went a week without sleeping, how could he sleep when he felt like he was being shot with a machine gun that never ran out of bullets, held by a killer whose arm never got tired? Akito doesn't know if he can do that again, as he has no excruciating pain to keep him up. Also he knows he should be sleeping since he's still in recovery mode. Still, he doesn't care, he'll do his best to beat his record.

There's only one problem. Akito's bored, he doesn't know what to do now that a nap isn't available to him. He wants to have Hari with him, or Kureno, Shigure, anyone. But he knows this isn't possible right now, he can't have Hatori because he wants that too bad, and bringing Kureno here seems like a betrayal of Hatori, since he loves him in much the same way. As for Shigure, he's not even in the mood for that. Shigure means sex, Shigure means using up energy he doesn't have. Besides, it's not like any of them actually care whether or not they see Akito. Kureno might, but he'd rather be alone, he's obligated and so is Hari. Shigure just likes to play with him...Akito hates it but sometimes it's better then being all alone.

So the only person left is Yuki, who would just hate coming here. Akito would like to have weak little Yuki here, he wants to feel in control of something. His little Yuki-mouse is the only person in the world who looks at him with true fear in his eyes, who sees the cruel sadist inside. Akito doesn't want to be that way, but Yuki makes him want to cause pain to others, to make blood spill out of wounds and watch someone else writhe in agony for a change. With Hatori, with anyone else, he just feels too guilty. He feels too sick. With Yuki, he's healthy, he's strong, he's God.

Yuki it is then. He'll call him up straight away.

It's Tohru-kun who answers the phone, Tohru-kun who makes him really want to hurt Yuki. It's not that she says anything specific, or does anything wrong, it's just that Akito can't stand to think of Yuki happy with her. He wants Yuki always alone, at his beck and call. He can't stand to think that Yuki isn't just like he is.

"He...hello, Akito-sama!" Tohru yelps, and Akito snarls at her, angry as he can, that he'd like to speak with Yuki.

"Be quick about it," he says. "This is important." He knows it isn't, and he feels bad for deceiving them, but he suddenly feels like he needs Yuki, like he won't be able to breathe in a minute if Yuki doesn't come.

"Okay, just a second," Tohru says, then yells for Yuki-kun in the background. Theres some yelling from the neko, something along the lines of Yuki being out at the library. When Tohru returns she sounds quite nervous, a natural feeling for the bearer of such bad news. "Akito?" she says. "I'm sorry, but Yuki's not here right now. Can I take a message?"

"You can go fuck yourself," Akito growls, very mature. He hangs up as she stammers, not giving a damn what Tohru has to say. He's furious, he hurts because Yuki's gone! How can Yuki leave the house just when he needs him the most, how can he not know? Or does he know, and he's out to avoid him? Is Akito just being paranoid? But god, god, god, the one time he wants the kid around, and he's not fucking THERE! He's left him alone for so long, he's been so good, why does Yuki have to do this to him?

"GODDAMN IT YUKI YOU SHITFACED MOTHERFUCKER!" Akito screams at the top of his lungs, ignoring how badly it hurts his throat. "YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH, I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL!" As he curses the not-there Yuki out, he grabs the bucket of puke and turns it upsidown, spreading the stuff all around the room. Already he's tired, but he's got to keep going, he's just so mad!

He begins hurling handfuls of vomit at the windows, at his bed and all his things. He drags out his clothes and his books, everything he owns he destroys and throws around the room. Pretty soon the futons off his bed, he's punched a hole in the window, and the screen doors got a tear the size of Hatori. Before he knows it he's banging his head against the wall, screaming wordlessly until he's close to passing out.

Aki's almost out when Hatori comes in, alarmed by all the noise. "Akito, what do you think you're doing?!" he exclaims, grabbing him by the head to keep him from smashing it again. Akito notices the blood running down Hari's hands with pleasure, he thinks; 'that's my's so beautiful"Dear god..." Hari mumbles, sitting down and pulling Akito towards him. The pain in his head is worth it, for a moment like this anything is.

Akito is shaking, sobbing, and Hatori is holding him, trying his best to comfort. "You want to tell me what's going on?" he asks, trying to undo the rigidity of Akito's body, to flatten him. "Why would you do this to yourself?"

Through his tears he struggles out; "Yu...Yuki...Yuki...wa-wa-wasn't h-home, and I, I, I wanted...I wanted to, to s-see h-him, and..." With that he breaks down, this is too much for him when he's so weak. He feels terrible right now, hates Yuki for ruining his hard-earned good health. Though he knows the pain he feels is only psychosomatic, he feels like he's been cruelly denied necessary medication.

Hatori tells him a lot of nice sounding things about how everything's going to be alright and he doesn't need Yuki anyway, but Akito knows it's bullshit. For him, nothing will be okay, not even Hatori's attention will take away his pain. It's all he wants but...he needs Yuki. This isn't a want, it's a necessity. His self-sickening needs to take on a new dimension, he has to hurt himself badly enough to get even Yuki's attention, he's going to have to be on the edge of death. Then he'll summon Yuki, he'll have to come if he's dying, and...and...then what? What is he going to do when he has Yuki? With Hari it's enough just to be held, but he can't expect that from Yuki, their relationship is not that way. He's going to have to hurt him, but how can he if he's going to die?

"Lets do something about your wounds, okay?" Hatori says, rising up and holding Akito's shaking hand. "And I'll give you a little lithium...I guess you could use it after being off it for so long." This is true, Akito hasn't had the stuff in a while. He takes lithium for the manic depression Hari suspects, and it seems to work well enough. But he can't take much and recently he had to go off it entirely...the medications he took for his physical disease didn't combine well. Hari's right, he could use some lithium. That last outburst had been more then a little crazy.

"Okay," he says, so pleased to have a problem Hari can fix, to be tended to once more. These are the moments his life is made of.

Hari dresses the wounds, but Akito tears off the bandages as soon as he's not looking and smears vomit and glass shards where blood comes out. He goes into the garden and rubs dirt all over the top of his head, on his hands where he bled from punching the window. He's grateful to his doctor for trying to heal him, but he needs to be sick, he needs a nice raging infection. To let Hari succeed would mean being left alone, and there's nothing he wants less.

And he's changed his mind, he doesn't want the lithium. He'd rather be crazy then sane, rather ruin everything in sight and be on total lockdown then have Hari go away for a minute. The lithium gets stored in a little box, he knows its expensive so he doesn't throw it out. But he won't take it, not now. And he won't sleep either, even when his wounds get infected and he needs it. He's too desperate for this sad façade of love.

As expected, he's infected, and the way the affected parts swell up is spectacular. He's absolutely covered in pus, and the swellings on his forehead obscure his eyes so he can barely see. He can't use his right hand at all. All this in a single day and night of faked sleeping in another room. He's thrilled, near ecstasy because he feels so bad.

Akito takes his own temperature and is alarmed. 106 is pretty bad, and he isn't sure how much heat the human body can handle. He knows that 106 is up there, he knows he should be able to make himself move without considering it for ten minutes.

"Haaaari..." he croaks, moving his head to accommodate the mass. "Haaaari I need you to come here..."

It's a while before Hari actually responds, and Akito doesn't think he's been heard at all. Hatori comes in with breakfast and meds on a tray, and he very nearly drops it at the sight of Akito. The swelling must be monstrous. "What have you got on your head...?" he asks stupidly, placing the tray down beside the frameless futon. "And your hand..."

"It's an infection," Akito says, surprised that the grand high doctor can't see this at first glance. Akito thinks himself an idiot and even he knows an infection when he sees one.

"Well I figured as much, but where did it come from?"

Akito sighs, says he hasn't a clue but he feels awful, could Hari do something about it please? He loves this, not having to fix what's wrong all by himself. Even if he could, he wouldn't want to, he's never seen the point of self-sufficiency. When he really thinks about it, he realizes he's still an infant at heart, he just keeps finding new mother figures to latch onto. He doesn't want to grow up and enter the realm of adults, of health. He wants to be a sick little baby all his life.

"I really thought things were going to be better for you," Hari says, running fingers through his own hair. "You recovered so well from your last disease, I thought you were going to be okay. I guess I should have been keeping a closer eye on you, right?" With that he kneels down by Akito's bed, and makes an offering of food and medication. Akito declines, having no energy to chew and swallow. "At least the meds," Hari says, but when Akito says no theres nothing to be done. If Hatori would feed him then he'd consider eating, but he knows better. He knows all too well that humans can never have what they want more then anything, so he doesn't dare ask.

"Right..." Akito says weakly, too dazed by fever to give a better response. "I feel so sick..." he whines, staring at his deformed looking hand. "Oh god, Hari I want to die..." Please stay with me for a little while Hari, please stay with me forever. He would love to speak these words aloud, and he will if he gets desperate enough. It's wrong to ask for so much, but he'll only demand an hour or two. He needs someone if he's not going to be going to sleep. He wants this more then anything, he doesn't dare ask...but he can disobey himself. He's insane, he doesn't have to be consistent. "Hari please stay with me. Please. I don't want to die..."

Hari ignores his contradictions, tells him he has to leave but he'll be back real soon. "I'm going to go to the pharmacy and get you some antibiotics, okay? I'll be back as fast as I can."

"No, Hari..." Akito says, grabbing at his hand. "You can't leave me, have no idea how much I need you, Hatori...just get an attendant to do it, please..."

Hatori considers this for a while, then nods his head in agreement. "If you really want me here, I'll be here. Do you want to just sleep for a while, or can I get you up to wash the cuts?"

"Yeah okay..." he says, and then, totally off-topic, he asks Hari when he can go back to his room. Right now he's in a guest room, waiting for what he destroyed to be restored. He's not expected to fix anything for himself.

"Once Megumi and Kintaro are done cleaning up then you can go back in there if you're up to it," Hari answers, not at all phased by Akito's change of topic. He's used to this by now.

Akito nods, nearly falls asleep and then doesn't. Hari helps him to sit up, seeing that he cant really do that alone today. "My head hurts..." he mutters, letting Hatori pull him out of bed. "Hari..."

"Don't try to talk," Hatori says, knowing it's got to be hard for him. He barely has the energy to think. Still he needs to complain, needs for Hari to know he hurts. Besides that he has to talk for himself, to let Akito know that Akito's still alive.

After a century of seconds, they arrive at the bathroom, and Hari sits Akito down on the edge of the bathtub. He does his cleaning silently, and Akito whines at first about the sting, but after a while he's so tired he just doesn't bother. So he's dead, so what?

"I really don't understand why you got this infection," Hatori says, disturbingly serious, talking in monotone. "I cleaned out the cuts just like I'm doing now...that should have prevented it...and Akito-san, you've got broken glass in here! And there's a lot of dirt in here...this stuff looks like puke." He says this as he sifts through a particularly vicious cut. "How did this happen Akito?"

Akito shrugs, knowing the truth isn't going to earn him any brownie points. He didn't exactly mean to make his head swell so sickeningly, but he did want to be diseased. He's glad to be, glad Hari's here paying him attention. He's not sorry at all.

"Akito what did you do?" Hari sounds disgusted as he says this, like he's realizing something he doesn't want to know. And he is, he doesn't want to know that his patient hurts himself, that what he's dealing with is less then ordinary. "Do you see how sick you are? Do you see the damage you've done to yourself?"

He nods weakly, grabbing Hari's hand, but the man pulls it away, afraid. "What in the world possessed you to...Akito what's going on?"

"I had to do it..." he says, knowing he has no choice but to explain. "I had to...otherwise you were going keep ignoring me...being alone gets me really depressed...I have to be sick...that gets your attention..." That sentence took a lot out him, he has to close his eyes and rest a moment. He won't sleep, he won't be that weak, but he thinks he can allow himself a quick break.

"That's..." Hatori says in a little gasp, and for a moment Akito feels sorry for him, having done all that hard work for nothing. "That's wrong Akito, could you do that after we worked so hard to get you healthy? And what do you mean I ignore you, I don't..."

Akito laughs, theres nothing he's felt more acutely in the past few days then Hatori's eyes gazing someplace else. He knows he shouldn't expect the man not to have a life without him, but when Hari's gone Akito's life stops. Sure he's got some others, but it's not like he really sees them. Without Hatori he exists for nothing, and it hurts him to know the reverse isn't true. "You do..." he says, reaching for his hand again. "You're always never talk to don' don't understand how much I need you. I need you to friend."

Hatori reacts in the worst way possible, he says, "I can't be friends with someone like you. You...god that's could you? I don't need this, Akito, you're making my job so much harder...look from now on...from now on I'm just going to leave you alone. You need to learn to make it on your own, okay? I'll give you medicine and whatever else you need, but I'll have an attendant bring it in. You're not going to see me for a while."

With that he stands up, leaving Akito screaming by himself.

Days pass and Akito gives up on the idea of sleeplessness. His body leaves him no choice, it knows he'll probably kill himself if he's left time to think about things too much. He'll be lying in bed, resting but not conked out, and all of a sudden a lot of time has passed and he feels a little better. He takes the antibiotics Megumi gives him, and he begins to recover from the infection. He takes his own temperature and watches his fever go down, wishes it would stay sky-high forever. Akito doesn't want to recover, if he's sick then theres still the vain hope that Hari might come back. But he hasn't seen him for a long time now.

Christmas passes and he thinks about dying more then ever before, knows that he can't kill himself because without him, the family dies. Not that he cares tremendously, at the moment he's feeling pretty self-absorbed. But he's not quite selfish enough to think he's worth more then thirteen other lives. But he would love to be dead right now, the thought of waking up for one more useless morning makes him want to vomit. Often, he does. He's getting sick again and that's all that matters now. He's diseased and Hari's gone, thus his inner world is in chaos, nothing makes sense right now.

Morning. Morning will bring order to Akito's raving mind. A two day nap might not make things better, but it'll at least blot out those two days so he doesn't have to feel.

One week and four days later, he hears what he thinks is Hatori's voice. He's heard it in his dreams countless times, has hallucinated it even more. But this time he thinks it's real, though he can't really explain what makes him so sure of that.

Anyway, Hari's on the phone, listening to somebody's yatter and responding with brief statements as usual. He's much calmer now then he had been when Akito saw him last, which means he talks a whole lot less. "So what is it you called me about, Shigure?" Hatori asks, and Akito loathes how the stupid dog gets more attention then he does. But he can't get angry now, he has to listen to Hari's precious words.

"Oh, I see," he says. "So okay, what's the matter with him? Oh well that's nothing...yeah...yeah...normally I'd say no because that doesn't make any sense, I've got Akito here and he's far more likely to catch it then any of you are...okay, maybe Yuki, but he'd live, you know that...but okay, I need to teach Akito a lesson anyway...okay. I'll come pick him up this afternoon. No, Shigure, Kyo will be fine, don't worry. It sounds like he's just got the flu..."

The conversation turns to other things, but Akito's a bit distracted by that last mass of dialogue. What does Hatori mean, he has to teach him a lesson? What lesson, what's going to happen to Akito? And what on earth is this about Kyo coming here? How can he be sick anyway, that sort of thing never happens to people like Kyo. He's far too alive, far too happy to be stricken with disease. Akito doesn't really believe it, though he doubts that Hatori would lie.

Anyway, he's confused and wants to ask Hatori for a decent explanation, but he knows he'll find out soon enough, and he has a feeling the man wouldn't answer him if he tried. That he knows he couldn't bear, so he doesn't want to risk it. If he doesn't try then he can still imagine Hari cares enough to respond to him.

Hari leaves the Main House in the family's only car at 3 PM. He's one of the only members of the family who doesn't have to go through a long and relatively pointless procedure to get permission. Being the family doctor, he needs it for emergencies, so really, it's Hatori's car. Still, requests to use it go to Akito, since he's the head and king of everything.

If Hatori had asked Akito, Akito would surely have turned him down. He doesn't want him bringing Kyo here, from the phone call it sounds like little more then a revenge tactic, relatively pointless for Kyo's actual health. Left alone he'd recover just fine, over here at the Main House, he might not. Especially since Akito's planning to kill him. That'll get Hari's attention, he can't ignore him if he's a murderer. He won't have to go to jail, the family will cover his tracks. The Juunishi aren't listed on any official records except school, they don't have birth certificates at all, they were born at home and their births never reported. The school can be told that Kyo went back to the mountains for training, but no one else outside the Sohma will notice a thing.

He knows deep down that it's not quite fair to kill someone just to keep Hatori paying attention, but somehow his mind can't get around his own needs. If he doesn't have Hari he doesn't know how long he can go on stoically staying alive. Lately he has been quite ill, he can barely breathe most of the time, his fever's shot through the roof and he usually hurts too much to move. This isn't the infection, he got over that a while ago. But anyway, he thinks this new disease wouldn't have come if he'd had the will to fight it off, and he knows he won't bother this time, he hasn't even been taking his medication. He's going to die if he doesn't find some reason to keep going...even the lives of the Juunishi don't seem like much at this point. It's not like they're ecstatic about their existence either.

So if killing Kyo will bring Hari to him, then Akito won't have to die, and the rest of the Juunishi will stay alive as well. It's a reasonable sacrifice, especially since Akito would rather just die himself. His family has drilled into his head that that was all he was good for, living as long as he could possibly hold out, and then dying. He would never go to school, never have a career, marry or have children. His life would be completely empty, just a brief stage before the grave.

He knows exactly how he'll do him in, he'll sneak a lot of his lithium pills into whatever meds Hari's giving him. There probably won't be many, just an aspirin or two if Kyo decides he wants it. Aki's not sure what he can pass off the lithium as, not many ordinary pills are pink. But Kyo might be too disoriented to know the difference, Akito remembers having the flu and not being able to find the wide-open entrance to his room, which he was standing right in front of. And for once, that was all he'd had.

Hell if it doesn't work, he can just stab him. That might be better, subtlety will get him nowhere. Before he was thinking about what he'd do if he didn't want to get caught, but he remembers now that he does, that's the whole point. Also, he doesn't know how much would constitute an overdose anyway, Kyo can probably take a lot more then Akito.

So. Stabbing it is then. He'll take the lithium later, to make himself sicker and have Hari feel pity rather then rage. But even rage is better then nothing, He would rather be stabbed to death himself then have Hari think of something not Akito-centered.

All that's left to do is find an knife, which shouldn't be a problem. He's seen Hari use a particularly large one for cooking, and he thinks it's in the dishwasher right now. The only difficulty is that he doesn't know if he can walk the distance. But that's okay, he should be able to get there and back by the time Hatori returns with Kyo. It takes at least half an hour if he doesn't run into traffic.

Slowly, he forces himself to sit up. He feels dizzy and awful for much longer this time, it's getting late and if he's going to get that knife he can't wait until he feels up to it. If he can force himself to sit he can force himself to stand, so he does so and immediately falls over, hitting his head hard on the floor. He nearly cries for how unfair this is, for once he has something important to do, but he can't escape the confines of his body to do it. Does his flesh see how wrong this is, does it lie here to prevent Akito-of-the-mind from making a huge mistake? There's no way he can let himself care, he's made up his mind and he'd hate to be dissuaded. He's God, doesn't that mean he has to be right?

Getting up again requires great effort, but he does it, he does it! He can't imagine that killing Kyo will be any more difficult then this. Just so long as he can make the rest of the way, he should be fine...or maybe he should just ask an attendant for help? He could say he's worried about someone breaking in and that he wants to have a weapon with him just in case...they'll indulge him, they know he's out of his mind.

He can't remember any of their names but one, so he collapses back onto his futon and screams himself hoarse for Megumi. She arrives, dressed in a green velvet dress that suits her much better then the kimono ever had. "Yes Akito-sama, what is it?"

"I...I need...I need you..." At this point he can barely remember what he'd wanted, now that he's back in bed all he wants is to go to sleep...but he can't. He has to stay focused, has to kill Kyo... "I need you to..." And theres another problem. He can't get enough air in him to form complete sentences. The yelling he'd just done has sucked everything out of him. "Get me...get me a...knife...please..."

"Ehhh Akito-sama, what's this about?" Megumi asks, confused and a bit disturbed. She probably thinks he's going to do just what he intends to, kill somebody. She doesn't want to be an accomplice, doesn't understand that there's no way Akito can be caught. Or maybe she thinks that she'll be the one to die, though theres no real reason for that. Megumi's done nothing to him, but most people find some way to become the center of everything in their own mind.

"These...these to bre...tried to break in...last night...I want...a wea...a case they come...back..." he lies, not caring as long as he gets what he wants.

"Oh, okay...I didn't hear anything, but I'm a pretty deep sleeper," Megumi says, seeming to be stupid enough to believe him. "In that case, a knife isn't going to do you much good. You've got to be really agile for knife fighting, and you're...not. No offense!" she yells, terrified of angering her almighty god. Akito could care less whether she thought him fast or not. "Anyway I've got this little dad gave it to me when I moved over here, for protection. But you could borrow it for a little while, okay?" She bites her pink-painted nails, and Akito would laugh at her if he could get his breath. The gun was probably given to protect her against Akito himself, and now the stupid bitch is giving it to the very person who might hurt her! The girl's a genius, a true genius.

"Thank you just...leave the bed...please...?" he asks, patting the floor beside him. He's still on the futon, still in the guest room. Megumi and that other guy haven't been working too hard on restoring his room. Megumi leaves for a brief moment, then comes back with a small gleaming gun.

"I polish it everyday," she says proudly, so happy to be sharing this with Akito. "It's all I have left of my dad, so take care of it, okay?"

Akito nods, for a moment he feels bad about using Megumi's precious possession to murder Kyo, but he's already decided it's got to be done. Kyo will be here soon, he's got to get Megumi out of here so she doesn't hear the gunshot.

"Aren't you...aren't you going...somewhere?" Akito asks, hoping to jog her memory and make her leave.

"Yeah, I'm visiting my mom in Tokyo...but I have to wait for Hatori-san to get back with the did give me permission to use it today, right Akito-sama?"

He can't recall doing any such thing, but isn't about to deny her now. She may be an idiot, but she's nice and trusting, like Tohru. Not even nervous like she was the last time Akito called for her, now she seems to actually like him. "Yeah," he says, considering accompanying this with a nod, but realizing he hasn't the energy.

"Okay well, I'll just go when he gets back," Megumi says, not making a big fuss about it like Akito knows he probably would. If he were in Megumi's position, he'd be demanding the car right this second, regardless of what reason permitted. But Akito's used to making unimportant things go his way, this servant girl is not. Akito just wishes he could control the things that mattered.

" long are...are you...going" Akito asks, closing his eyes in defense against a headache that's started up. The pain is throbbing so hard he almost cries, but he resists in front of Megumi. Now that she's helped him out, he can't let her see him so pathetic. He's God, damn it!

"Just a couple of days," she says. "Anyway, so I'm gonna go finish packing...see you later Akito-sama."

And with that she's gone. Akito almost wishes she'd stay, just because he feels about to die and doesn't want to be alone when the moment comes. Not that Megumi really matters, it's just that she's human like he is.

Hatori comes home with Kyo trailing tiredly behind him. He doesn't complain much about how he feels, though Akito sees he must feel like crap. This doesn't mean that Kyo does not complain, it's just that its about how he's fine, he could've just stayed home and Hari's making too big a deal out of a stupid cold. Hatori corrects him, tell him that what he has is influenza. Akito laughs, watching from his bed through the open door, loving that he gets to see someone else looking lifeless and drained. He hasn't witnessed anything like this since Yuki used to live with him.

The ideal thing though, would be to see Hatori sick, Hatori whining for Tylenol and telling everyone to please shut up because he's got a pounding headache. But Hari seems almost super-human, immune to everything in the world. He never even gets emotional.

To Akito's surprise, Hatori decides to set up his new patient in the same room with him. When he thinks about it this makes sense, his rooms still not fixed up and this is the only available guestroom, but it doesn't seem quite right somehow. Akito doesn't think that Kyo's gonna like this at all.

Pretty soon though, another futons unrolled and Kyo's in bed, still whining at Hatori that he doesn't need to stay in bed, he should be in school for god sakes, how the hell is he going to beat Yuki at volley ball if he's not in gym class?

"Calm down," Hatori commands, tossing a very heavy looking blanket over the neko. "If you resist so much you're just wasting energy, and then it'll take you longer to recover. This is for your own good."

"Well why do I have to come here?" Kyo spits, furious to have his life disrupted, to have to spend a couple days in the same room with Akito, the man who decided his life would end at eighteen. What Kyo doesn't know is that it'll be ending, literally, a lot sooner then that. There will be no cage for Sohma Kyo.

"Shigure doesn't want you around while you're sick, he thinks he's going to catch something and then he won't be able to work...the publisher threatened to drop him if he didn't get his next manuscript in on time." Akito's not sure how Hatori can say this, that's not at all what went on on the telephone. But he guesses that Hari's not about to explain the real reason with him in the room.

"He's just a stupid hypochondriac anyway," Kyo mutters, throwing the term around like it's nothing. This is hard for Akito to hear, he himself was a serious hypochondriac for a while. Three years ago he hadn't been sick at all for months, but he was sure he was, felt all the symptoms and everything. He was sure he was dying, sure life as he knew it was all over. He thought he had brain cancer when he had a headache, AIDS when he had a cold. He was also very paranoid, thinking Yuki was trying to kill him instead of calm him down, that Hari's precious medicine was really poison. This went on until he developed appendicitis and had to have the thing removed. He thinks the whole thing came about because he wasn't used to being so healthy, whenever he has a quick break from disease he goes a little berserk.

"Regardless, you need your rest," Hari says, and Akito's pleased to see that the man is even less talkative around Kyo then he is around Akito. But he supposes that's just because they live together and know each other better, and besides, Aki has more symptoms to relate then healthy little Kyo. "I'll be in to check on you in an hour or two, and you'd better be in bed." Hatori heads out the door, not giving Akito a second glance. He feels like dying just for that.

"Whatever you say, jackass," Kyo says, shutting his eyes and sighing with pleasure. Akito knows he's too proud to admit he's exhausted, he knows the feeling well himself. He's almost starting to like Kyo, just for the pointless fight he had with Hatori.

Hatori leaves the room and Akito turns around, says hello to his new inmate. Kyo waves without looking at him. "I'm not really that sick you know," he insists, and Akito agrees, the boy's not really all that bad off. If he wants to see something serious he can stick around the Main House a while, wait for Akito to come down with something extra-fun like leukemia!

"I know you're not," Akito says, smiling because a person who hasn't had to give up their pride is a beautiful thing. Akito lost his a long time ago, when he was thirteen and shat diarrhea all over himself on his way to the supermarket. Walking in there covered in feces was one of the hardest things he's ever had to do, almost as bad as when he went home and had to face Hatori.

"Yeah...this is really bad timing," Kyo says, coughs a bit. "In gym class we have this massive volleyball game the day after tomorrow. Yuki's on the opposite team, and I was so ready to kick his ass. But then one of his stupid fangirls got me sick. The moron coughed all over me when she was asking where Yuki was, didn't even cover her mouth or anything! Jeez...I bet it was intentional..."

Akito can tell Kyo isn't really talking to him, he's just ranting to himself about the injustice of it all. If Akito were to actually answer, Kyo would get nervous and shut his mouth, leaving Akito with nothing to listen to but empty space, nothing to focus on but the hammer banging against his brain. Yes, it hurts that much.

So Akito listens to him blather on for a while, then his snoring as he falls asleep. He hears Megumi blasting music in the car stereo, driving away to see her mom. He wishes he could go see his mom, but that's been out of the question since he was ten years old. The woman wants nothing to do with him, because she knows she won't be able to take watching him die. She gave him up when he was two years old, but she visited once, years later, when he was thought to be on his deathbed with tuberculosis. She'd knelt down beside him very quietly, took his hand and when she let go, there was a cyanide pill in his child-sized palm. "End it now," she's said. "You've suffered enough."

There's not a moment now that he doesn't wish he'd listened to her.

Akito's starting to feel better again, and that's not something he'd expected or desired. Right now sickness is ideal, Hari's gonna hate him if he's healthy. But he's not quite sure how to regain his disease, not even sure what it was, since Hatori hasn't even checked on him since the incident with the infection.

But Kyo is sick, Kyo is contagious. If Akito just gives him one brief kiss before he kills him, he'll be able to catch his flu and be pitiable once more. The only problem is that Kyo might try and stop him, he won't like being kissed as society calls that sexual harassment. Still, Akito's got a gun, barely hidden under a blanket right now. If he waves that around then the neko won't dare stop him.

Thrilled with his plan, Akito stands up, a little alarmed that he can do it so easily. He's afraid of going crazy, this always happens when he's well. He knows he'll lose his mind, knows he should hurry up and do this before he snaps and can't control himself. "Kyo..." he says softly, picking up his gun. "Kyo-kuuuun..."

Kyo blinks, flutters eyelashes that are surprisingly long. Not like Yuki's, who's lashes look lathered in mascara, but rather attractive all the same. He coughs lightly for a moment or two, and at first Akito's not sure if this is even worth it. Of course he's gonna kill the kid, but he doesn't think the disease is any big deal.

Then he sees how tired Kyo looks, how pale and trembly he is. He sees himself at his best there, but he knows his best is pretty terrible, and theres no real basis for comparison. Looking at Kyo so vulnerable, he almost doesn't want to kill him. Here is a person who's going to move beyond the realm of illness, who has a whole life stretched out before him, at least until Akito locks him up in a cage for being a cat. He doesn't feel like he can even do that anymore, despite the reverence he holds for tradition. After all, it's family tradition that makes his own life so miserable.

Despite what he thinks though, he has to kill Kyo. He has no choice, if he doesn't he'll think about it all the rest of his life, lose it and kill someone way more important, like Hatori or his Yuki-kun. He can't bear the thought of either of them dead, but Kyo's life is of little consequence in his opinion. This is what you do when you're desperate.

So out comes the gun, and he leans over to give Kyo a nice tongue kiss. Kyo is staring at him, bug-eyed and disturbed. He doesn't ask what he's doing, can't because Akito's kissing him way too hard. Kyo tries to pull away, but Akito gives him a quick flash of the pistol, and he goes rigid, stops struggling at all. After a while he starts to move to the rhythm of the kiss, but Akito ignores it, doesn't fool himself into thinking he could make someone feel good. When he has to stop and come up for a gulp of air, Kyo begins screaming at him, demanding to know what the hell he did that for. "You freak, I don't want you kissing me! Goddamn it, you've ruined my mouth!"

Akito aims the gun but he misses as he probably should have expected. His eyesight doesn't even approach decent, and Kyo's fast enough to dodge the bullet even in his sickened state. The sound the shot makes as the bullet hits the floor is deafening, and it gets Hatori in the room, needing to know what's just happened, if anybody's dead.

Taking in the situation, Hari snatches the gun away from Akito. "What the hell do you think you're doing!?" he screeches, the first sentence he's said to him in weeks. "Do you realize that this is a gun, that you could have killed someone!?"

"Yes Hatori, I think I know what a gun is," Akito says, pleased that he's got the man's attention. He doesn't know what to do with it now though. Hatori's obviously mad now, but at least he's talking, at least he's not frozen and cruel like he has been. "And I was tryingkill someone, unfortunately I missed."

"You were...?" Hatori says in the same little gasp, unsure as to how this can be. He's seen Akito violent, sure, but neverwith a gun, never actually trying to take

somebody's life. Akito can see how he might be confused, and he pities him but...he can explain it if he needs to.

"The bastard tried to shoot me!" Kyo yells, standing up too fast and having to grab the wall for support. "I was just sleeping, and all of a sudden he was kissing me...I would have stopped him but he had that gun...god Akito, what the hell is wrong with you?"

"Can you tell me what this is about?" Hari asks softly, just as horrified as he was when Aki admitted to causing his own disease. "Did Kyo do something to make you angry...?"

And then he does this most wonderful thing, he goes over to Akito and touches his cheek, gently, lovingly like Aki's always wanted. He would slaughter every single Sohma if it meant this moment could last forever. "Why would you do this?"

"I did it because I need you, Hatori," he says, surprised he can get enough air to complete the sentence, thrilled to have a semblance of health right now when he needs it. Strength is good right now, he has to tell Hari what's on his mind. Kyo is irrelevant at the moment, it's only him and Hari in the whole wide world. "You've been ignoring me, and I don't know if you know this, but you might as well crucify me for all that that hurts. I've been wanting to kill myself for weeks thanks to you. I thought...if I killed Kyo, I could get your attention and get you back...I could—" he coughs, so much for the good health. "—I I lived then nobody else in the family would die, right? Just Kyo...but god, it's not gonna work, is it? You hate me, right?"

He believes more then anything that this must be true, and the tears are pouring down his face, getting Hari's beautiful hand soaking wet. How can Hatori look at him after attempting something so despicable, no matter how he justifies it Kyo doesn't deserve to die! "I don't mean it, I don't mean it..." he moans, flinging his body at Hatori's not caring how stiff and unwelcoming he is. "Please, I'm sorry. Hari don't hate me, please..."

"You should be asking Kyo's forgiveness, not mine," Hatori says calmly, but Akito knows he can't be calm. His whole body's begun to shake, but he doesn't say a word, just aches silently as he always does.

"I don't care about Kyo!" Akito shrieks, knowing just how horrible this is. He doesn't care though, Kyo barely exists in his world. All that matters is Hatori, and Yuki, Kureno and Shigure every once in a while. But right now, Hatori is sun to Akito's earth. "Just you...I just need you to forgive me, please...I'll do anything, just please please please don't hate me..."

He doesn't care how he's behaving, doesn't care what anyone thinks unless Hari hates him. His pride is too far gone for it's loss to mean anything, and all he wants out of this is Hatori's forgiveness. His love is far to much to ask, though this is what he wants most in his heart. "Hari?" he says, and the man sighs, puts his arms around Akito and hugs him hard.

"You're so small," he mumbles, his mouth in Akito's hair. "God you're so emaciated, so sick all the time. I can't believe that you're the person we're all afraid of. You're such a weak person...body and mind, you're pathetic. But I was scared of you before you learned to talk. I don't think anyone can grow up with their family in fear of them and still be sane. So you...the way you are is my fault, in a way. You didn't kill Kyo, and I know you won't try again, so I forgive you."

Akito's not sure he interpreted it quite right, he left out a lot about the physical agony, the terrible loneliness he'd suffered all his life because of the fear, and all he'd done to earn the family's hatred, but he doesn't care. Hari forgives him, that's all that matters and all he can process right now. He's exhausted and he doesn't want to think.

Still he's scared that Hatori will leave him alone, that'll when he wakes up from the nap he knows he needs Hari will suddenly hate him. "I'm gonna go to sleep...Hari could you please get into bed with me?"

Likely having no clue if he means sex or simply holding on for dear life, Hatori agrees, knowing Akito will die if he's alone. He's got the lithium in his pocket and is already thinking about whether or not nine is enough to kill him. "Okay," Hari says, and sends Kyo into the living room, promising he'll drive him home in an hour or so. Kyo storms off angrily, not wanting to spend another second in this house with Akito the madman. But if Hari doesn't sleep with him now, the moment will be over and he'll have to die. Without the moment, he's not forgiven, he's not pure at all.

Akito crawls into bed, nestles beside Hatori who has joined him because he must. It's a little empty knowing he doesn't want to be here, but for now he won't dwell on that. He has the one thing he's wanted for so very long, the one thing that's supposed to make his life worth living. He has to give Hari a chance to do that job, as it's a pretty important one if he wants to stay alive himself.

"I love you..." Akito says, nudging as close to him as he possibly can. Hatori doesn't respond and Akito tries not to get too upset, this is the best thing that'll ever happen to him and he just has to learn to accept that. He was never meant to live his life.

Rei: Hiii! I hope you liked my fic...I lost sleep for it because it was...well, fun to do. Good reason, right? Anyhow, if you're one of those people who's read way ahead in the manga and knows some things I'm wrong about, please don't tell me, okay? O.o I don't want to know! Thanky, and please leave a review!