Title: Heart

Author: Jasmine Starlight

Universe: Eerie Queerie

Rating: R run children run. Foolish bunny multi-colored grain cereal bits are for children :)

Word Count: 2,876

Spoilers: Vol. 1-3 I haven't read 4 yet. Ichi needs some more screen time.

Warnings: YAOI angst dramaIdon't know how my Mikuni and my Kanau came off. Let me know if they seem OOC. Horny! Satoi and Dark! Ichi §Man Whore§ Hasunuma Glomp Happy! Ichiro :)Matchmaking:) Mikuni £Worried£ Mitsuo 7 pages of Hasunuma/Ichi angst, drama. Lots of useless conversations I couldn't get rid of. 13 pages.

Time Completed: 05:55 PM 5/24/05 dude it took me weeks to complete this one…

Pairing (s): Ichi x Hasunuma eventual Ichi x Satoi

A/N: Does this make 17:( How many fics do you need an anime to have a character bar thing? We don't know too much about Ichi's home life, so I took some guesses. I don't know what to do with this one. Not sure if it's a one-shot. A drabble maybe? A series of drabbles? Long drabbles? Maybe I'll make it into a ficcy, with a plot and everything. A short one. I dunno, depends on the response I get from this. I just checked, they STOLE my number again! Tis now 18 EQ ficcies, well I can say I wrote 2/19 of the fiction. Hehehe. This is one monster one-shot/drabble/thing/fic.

Dedication: Evil Chibi Malik, Daphne22, and evilolivemonkey (Niro has no lines in this one)

Ichi never thought that he would ever say he needed anyone.

Least of all Hasunuma, who for all intents and purposes was the complete opposite of everything that Ichi, stood for.

Or had stood for.

It had all started that night, when Mitsuo had brought Ichi home, to "nurse" him back to health.

As per usual Hasunuma was not far behind, and as usual Ichi felt like the third wheel, so he took off.

Nothing new.

He had been walking back to his apartment, which was empty, why wouldn't it be?

Except this time, he was being followed, Ichi sensed it, so he ducked into an alley and waited.

He saw the person walking towards him, he sprang from his hiding place and pushed his stalker up against the wall.

Hasunuma? (A/N: Like it would be anyone else)

"What are you doing?" he asked incredulously.

Hasunuma raked his eyes lazily over Ichi's taut body; Ichi was suddenly feeling very self-conscious.

"I was bored." He offered by way of reply, eyeing Ichi smugly.

"So, you decided to follow me home?" he asked indignantly.

"Hey, you're the one with me pinned up against a wall." He drawled lazily.

Ichi flushed and relinquished his hold.

Hasunuma smirked, and then it was Ichi pinned up against the graffiti scrawled wall.

Ichi felt his throat tighten, and his stomach clench into a knot, twice in one day?

Predictably Hasunuma leaned in and kissed Ichi, hard, and forceful.

Ichi felt his every thought and inhibition just drift away, he should scream, curse, punch Hasunuma, anything, he shouldn't just stand there and let his mouth be ravished by—by—what was he saying again?

Hasunuma finally broke it off, and Ichi glared at him, "What was that for?" he asked testily.

"I didn't hear you complaining." He smiled widely.

"Maybe because your tongue was halfway down my throat." snarled Ichi.

Hasunuma seemed to think about this, he looked thoughtful for a moment, before kissing Ichi again.

And again, Ichi let himself be kissed, it was getting addicting, he leaned into it and entangled his hands in Hasunuma's dark hair.

Pulling, causing tension at the roots, bringing him closer, Hasunuma slipped a hand under Ichi's shirt, pushing it up, higher, higher, higher.

Hasunuma broke it off again, to kiss his way down the column of Ichi's neck, biting, sucking, and leaving a trail of fire in its wake.

Ichi groaned, his hands dropping to rest on the other boy's collarbone, gripping tightly, leaving red crescent moon marks there.

Hasunuma hissed, and Ichi pulled his face back up and kissed him again.

After they broke apart, Ichi looked at Hasunuma through hazy, half-lidded eyes.

"My place or yours?"

"Mine is closer." He whispered hoarsely as they exited the alley and set off toward Ichi's abode.

§§§§

Ichi had had the sense to at least close the door before frantically ripping off all of Hasunuma's clothes.

Maybe it was a good thing that no one was ever at his house.

Made this much easier.

They stumbled into his bedroom, barely making it onto the bed.

How many times that night, Ichi couldn't recall.

But when he awoke, he was alone, there was a note on his pillow.

"It was fun. We should try it again."

Ichi ran a hand through his hair, before getting up to shower.

§§§§

At school, Hasunuma acted like nothing had changed; he still flirted with Mitsuo, still hugged Mitsuo, still protected Mitsuo, and still did everything for Mitsuo.

What the fuck was he playing at?

Winning the award for most likely to die from gonorrhea?

It made Ichi very angry, in hindsight the goalie had had it coming.

What's a couple of fast projectiles between acquaintances?

Seeing them together made him want to pop more soccer balls; there were a few raised eyebrows but no one was brave enough to inquire about the cause of his ire.

They had all assumed that he was jealous of Mitsuo and Hasunuma.

He was, for all the wrong reasons.

At soccer practice he had been dismissed early, because he needed to let the other players play.

What kind of crap was that?

You break three noses and no one takes you seriously.

It left Ichi sitting in the locker room, shirtless, and glaring.

Not at anyone in particular.

Just glaring.

He needed to work off some steam.

§§§§

The arcade had been a good idea, wearing out his thumbs on Tekken Tag had been a much better outlet for his anger.

And he had set a new high score.

Twice.

But , his interest was waning; he should head home anyway.

But heading home didn't sound too appealing; it would be cold and empty. Those were the last two things that Ichi wanted.

He would have to clean up, do the laundry, and make dinner.

It seemed so irrelevant.

Ichi had never felt so alone.

Or used.

§§§§

He watched as the amber liquid swished about it in its dark glass bottle, foaming at the top, as he uncapped it.

It was odd that he should have two six-packs of aged beer in his refrigerator.

Ichi couldn't recall ever buying beer.

It didn't matter now, he mused disinterestedly.

He was drinking it, wasn't he?

Why should he have to suffer?

Ichi made his way to his bed; his nerveless fingers found a shred of paper. Lifting it up, he squinted at it.

He coughed, and then laughed bitterly.

It was his note.

He laughed again, before shredding the note into several bits and pieces. Ichi wouldn't need it now.

It was over.

Whatever had happened wasn't going to happen again.

Ichi ignored the stabbing pain in his chest and the salty tears slipping down his face and tried to go to sleep.

§§§§

The next day when Ichi hadn't shown up for school or soccer practice, Mitsuo became slightly worried.

It wasn't like Ichi to act like this.

Maybe he was sick?

He decided to visit Ichi's house after school.

He was in for a surprise.

(I'm making this one long chapter because I feel bad for Ichi)

§§§§

When Ichi woke up he felt like a truck had hit him, several times.

He disentangled himself from the sheets, and staggered toward the bathroom, he looked in his mirror.

The boy who looked back wasn't the same Ichi he was used to.

His eyes were bloodshot and ringed with shadows; his face was haggard and weary.

He felt the need to vomit and violently retched. There were sumo-wrestlers in his brain, dancing and stomping and prancing.

He groaned; he was sprawled across the toilet seat.

That's when the doorbell began chiming madly.

"Ugh." Ichi picked himself off the toilet and slapped his cheeks with cold water.

He looked slightly better.

Drying his face, he slouched his way to the door. Leaning heavily on the doorframe, he opened the door to reveal a harried Mitsuo.

"Ichi!" he exclaimed upon seeing Ichi's appearance.

"What?" returned Ichi, unenthusiastically.

"You look like you got hit by a truck!" screeched Mitsuo.

"I wouldn't be surprised." returned Ichi dryly.

"What happened to you?" demanded Mitsuo.

"Why do you care?" he asked bitterly.

Mitsuo's eyebrows furrowed in worry. "What do you mean? I'm your friend, friends worry about each other, Hasunuma and I--"

"Hasunuma? That's funny. Hilarious." said Ichi bitterly.

"Ichi, what's wrong with you? Why are you acting like this? You're making me worried, I better call Ha--"

"Hasunuma? Yeah, right, he's already taken care of Me." said Ichi scathingly.

"What are you talking about?" asked Mitsuo cautiously.

"Hasunuma not the angel you paint him to be, Mitsuo-chan. It's time you realize it."

"I don't get it Ichi."

"Well, you wouldn't." said Ichi venomously, "I think it's time you left Mitsuo-sama."

"Ichi--" said Mitsuo but Ichi shoved him out. "Out! Out! Out! Get out!" he howled.

Mitsuo worried listened to Ichi's pained cries from outside the door.

Fast forward to shortly after New Year's and Mikuni's transformation takes place before vol. 4

Ichi angrily ran up the steps, through the Torii gate and around the shrine, again and again, and again.

Mitsuo worriedly swept the shrine, as he watched Ichi deteriorate.

At New Year's Ichi had gotten drunk off his ass.

It wasn't as if he was a mean drunk.

He just looked broken and lost.

Mitsuo felt helpless (A/N: It's your fault you whore! Ahem…Gomen ne) what was the procedure for a friend who was slowly cracking, and dying of a broken heart?

The only clue Mitsuo had, was Ichi's bitter anger toward Hasunuma.

Which wasn't much, especially when he had tried to confront Hasunuma about it.

He had just said Ichi was jealous of how close they were and then had tried to interest him in some charm cards from Mikuni.

There was something happening here.

Mitsuo was considering asking Mikuni or Kanau about it.

Kanau appeared next to him, silent and wearing a horrendous frilly apron, "Lunch is ready. The others are already there. Mikuni no bakayaro sent me to get you." he said quietly.

"That's nice, I'll be there in a minute." said Mitsuo absently.

Kanau turned to leave, "Hey, Kanau have you noticed anything odd about Ichi lately?" asked Mitsuo worriedly.

Kanau seemed to consider this for a moment, "Actually, I have, as of late he has been distracted, like he doesn't care. It used to bother him when I put laundry in his room, because he couldn't see me. Now, he doesn't even care to notice the floating clothing. He's seemed—"

"Depressed? Lonely? Broken? Manic? Detached?" supplied Mitsuo worriedly.

"Hai." said Kanau softly, as they watched Ichi run up and down the shrine steps, which numbered in the hundreds.

"Mitsuo-san, why do you ask?" queried Kanau quietly.

"I worried about him, Kanau, there's something wrong; he won't tell me about it."

"Perhaps, you should consult Mikuni about this." suggested Kanau softly.

"Maybe I should."

Ichi was making his way past them once again, when Mitsuo grabbed the back of his shorts.

"It's lunch time, Ichi." he said, smiling.

"Great, I'll be there in a second." He said, smiling in return, the smile did not reach his eyes.

And Ichi resumed running.

"He's pretending." observed Kanau.

"I know, after lunch we ask Mikuni what he thinks." said Mitsuo firmly, more firmly than he felt.

"Do I really have to be there?" asked Kanau wearily.

"Yes."

"Shitfuck."

"Don't curse, Mikuni's not that bad."

"Have you met Mikuni?"

"Point taken."

£££

"I've already done something about it." said Mikuni wisely.

"Really?" asked Mitsuo warily.

"Hai!" Mikuni all but chirped, "Now who wants some sake?" he asked enthusiastically.

"What did you do?" asked Kanau suspiciously.

"Kanau-chan how could you act like I did something wrong?" asked Mikuni innocently.

"Because you probably did, Mikuni-sama."

Mitsuo, who was in the process of sipping some tea, started hacking and sputtering maniacally.

"What?" asked Mikuni.

Kanau glared at him.

"Alright, alright, I have reinforcements coming to help with this." he said slurping his tea.

"What kind of reinforcements?" asked Mitsuo cautiously.

"The kind that should be arriving as we speak." said Mikuni smoothly.

Kanau and Mitsuo shared a pensive look.

£££

Ichi collapsed onto the ground, panting heavily, he reached for his water, waving his hand frantically, and he was relieved when someone handed it to him.

Starting to pour the cold water all over him, he realized there was someone beside him.

Looking up, he was stunned to see Sanjaya Satoi squatting next to him, in surprise he let out an involuntary yelp.

"Hello, to you too." He said grinning widely.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, still panting slightly.

Satoi let his eyes rake over Ichi's taut form, which shone—no gleamed, gleamed with sweat, "Mikuni wanted Ichiro, Niro, and I for a stay since our pipes flooded the shrine." He said flicking his eyes once again over Ichi's body.

"Mikuni invited you?" he asked skeptically.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." said Satoi pensively.

"It's just your brother and Mikuni…" Ichi trailed off, gesturing wildly with his hands.

"I'm still waiting for the restraining order." said Satoi smiling his 100-watt smile.

Ichi smiled slightly, this time it did reach his eyes.

£££

By dinner Mitsuo noticed a slight change in Ichi.

He wasn't moping, or pushing his food around his plate.

He was eating, and smiling.

And gasp—laughing.

Mitsuo smiled, maybe Mikuni had done something right.

"Mikuni-kun! Allow me to serve you rice!" exclaimed Ichiro loudly, as he took the serving spoon from a harassed looking Kanau.

In his enthusiastic vigor, he had sprayed rice all over Mikuni and Niro.

Niro wasn't one to take anything lying down, so he launched his own volley of rice and miso at his older brother, who ducked, so the projectile hit Kanau with a splat.

Kanau had had enough.

He had spent all day being annoyed by Ichiro (who had exclaimed loudly: "No one makes food for my Mikuni-kun except me! So back off biznatch.") and he wouldn't take it anymore.

And so the food fight that ensued was epic and fun.

£££

Being able to laugh again, was very liberating, Ichi no longer felt that he was burdened anymore.

He stopped to pick some rice out of his hair.

Apparently the rice wouldn't be removed with simple shower, so Ichi was left picking out odd pieces of rice that had clung to his scalp.

Satoi walked past him, stopping to watch Ichi furiously scrub his scalp with a towel.

Satoi had just finished his own shower, and was shirtless and damp, he too had had trouble with the rice, that just wouldn't relinquish its hold on his dark locks.

But he had eventually gotten it out.

It was interesting to watch Ichi stand there and scrub furiously at his scalp.

Satoi was very good at multi-tasking so he could ogle man candy and be amused at the same time.

But at the same time, he was getting a warm fuzzy feeling in his chest, was that the feeling that Ichiro got every time he finished another Mikuni doll.

No, that was a different kind of feeling, the kind of feeling one gets after stalking the object of one's affection and finally getting the nude shower pics one has been waiting for.

That's not what Satoi was feeling. That feeling was strictly for Ichiro.

Sort of a warm, toasty feeling that made him want to seek out orphaned baby birdies and duckies and teach them to fly while hearing an orchestra of violins and flutes in the background.

Finally, Satoi took his own towel and began to vigorously massage Ichi's scalp.

Ichi was almost purring.

Satoi had magic hands.

£££

Mikuni wanted to dance and sing in sheer glee, it had worked.

Not that he had any doubt of it.

"See, I told you so." said he triumphantly.

"Alright." admitted Mitsuo grudgingly.

"Don't count your eggs before they hatch." said Kanau cynically.

"Don't rain on my parade." Mikuni sang.

"I can't. It's in your head." Kanau said tiredly

£££

After his odd massage therapy encounter with Satoi, Ichi retreated outside to look at the stars.

Satoi gave him an odd clenching feeling in his stomach.

It was weird.

It wasn't like the feeling he got around Hasunuma, which wasn't exactly a very good feeling.

It was a sort of apprehensive feeling, a churning of his stomach muscles so to speak.

For Satoi it was more of a warm, glowing, feeling, like Look-there's-the-love-of-my-life-one-day-we'll-get-married-and-have-white-picket-fence-around-our-house kind of feeling.

Unlike Hasunuma's Hey-it's-my-fuck-buddy-let's-go-fuck-and-perpetuate-the-stereotype-no-strings-attached-relationship feeling.

Which was interesting.

Ichi's musings were interrupted by the object of his musings.

Satoi, who was still shirtless (not that Ichi minded) took a seat next to Ichi on the cool ground, languidly positioning himself on the ground.

"Hey." Ichi said by way of greeting.

"Hey." Satoi returned.

Ichi continued to gaze at the stars fixedly.

Satoi felt his heart thumping in his chest.

Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump

Turning to look at his companion, Satoi said, "Ichi?"

"Yes?"

"Nothing."

There was silence once again.

Satoi was beginning to suspect that Ichi could hear his heart and was remaining silent out of awkward necessity.

Ichi on the other hand was contemplating what Satoi could have said, it was messing with his sanity.

Honestly, that kimono he was imagining would not be practical at all.

And where would he get a papaya at this time of year?

But back to Satoi, who by this point had worked up the nerve to ask Ichi out on a date. (A/N: Aww! Kawaii ne!)

"Ichi-san?" Satoi queried, his heart pumping louder and harder in his chest.

"Hai?" Ichi responded absently, when had Satoi added the formal suffix onto his name?

"Would you—I mean—if you would like to—I know I would—but if you're not busy, wouldyougooutwithme?" he blurted out.

What had happened to his composure?

Apparently it had flown away with his motor functions.

As Satoi was slowly inching his hand closer to Ichi's, until they touched and Satoi's was covering Ichi's.

Ichi shivered, "Well, Satoi-kun, I am not entirely sure of what you said but I think I got it."

Satoi tensed immeasurably.

"Yes."

Satoi snapped out of his daze.

"Huh?"

"I said yes you deaf baka." Ichi replied.

"You said yes." repeated Satoi dumbly.

"Yes I did."

"Oh."

"Hmmm."

Then it finally hit him, "You said yes!" he exclaimed joyously, refraining from dancing in glee, but merely contenting himself with tackling Ichi to the ground.

Maybe his genes were finally kicking in.

"Yes I did."

"This is monumental, we should celebrate."

"We should, but before that you should get off of me."

"I didn't hear you complaining."

"Eh, maybe I'm getting lazy."

While the pair interacted, another watched jealously from the shadows.

four weeks later, still before vol. 4

Ichi dashed around the house, searching frantically for his jacket.

Where was it?

He was late.

Oh, so late.

After their interlude beneath the stars, Satoi slowly and painstakingly chipped away the wall around Ichi's heart.

It was not out of the ordinary for Ichi to be at the Sanjaya Shrine or Satoi to be at Mikuni's.

"Looking for this?" Hasunuma asked, holding up said jacket.

"You found it, give it here." Ichi said reaching for it.

Hasunuma pulled it away, "What do you think you're doing?" he said.

"Getting my jacket?"

"You know what I am talking about, don't play dumb, Mitsuo does better than you."

"Speaking of that, you two seem to be pretty close lately."

"What do you think you're doing with Satoi?" demanded Hasunuma.

"Hmmm, I think it is what we on earth call: dating."

"Don't give me that."

"I don't have anything else to give you, Hasunuma."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"What do you think? You have a great life Hasunuma, why do you spend it living in a torrid affair?" Ichi queried calmly as he secured his jacket and swept out of the house.

OWARI.

Whew.

Finally.