Chapter 2 - The way things are

Saionji mused that if he had been another man, he might have taken one look at the scene in the Student Council room - then make a beeline for the emergency fire escape; hang the elevator, it wouldn't let him flee fast enough, the rickety old thing.

However, Saionji being Saionji with his perchance for trouble akin to a moth to a flame decided-unwisely perhaps to remain. Okay, so there was also cause Saionji enjoyed watching the Student President take Touga down a peg of two once in a while.

The two where currently engage in a one-sided glaring match-Touga was glaring at Ruka, the senior on the other hand was smirking in amusement, his chin resting on one hand. Between them lay an envelope with a red rose wax seal, ah so that's what this is all about, Saionji immediately settled himself on a chair nearby to watch the show.

Saionji always thought it extremely entertaining to watch when a letter containing new orders from the Ends of the World showed up. At least, to watch how Ruka would interpret the instructions within. The first time it happened, Saionji was stunned to say the least. The order had been a duel between Ruka and senior Isamu Niita-a duellist who has since graduated a month ago.

Ruka had read the letter and looked at Isamu, his features dead serious, he asked Isamu quietly. "The Ends of the World has called for a duel between us, Isamu-san. Now, Isamu san, do you wish to duel?"

Everyone, including Isamu, were shocked. When the Ends of the World issue orders they were expected to be follow - at least that was how it was suppose to be. However, Ruka had always had a mind of his own and that occasion was one where he decided to oppose the Ends of the World. The affected Isamu san had stammered. "What, what are you saying Ruka! The Ends of the World has called for a duel, we should start making preparations…"

Ruka lowered the letter to the council table, it made a faint swoon sound as it handed but in the choking silence of the room, it was deafening. Ruka's voice was deadly as he spoke, "I'm not asking you what the Ends of the World wants Isamu. I'm asking you what you wish. Do you want to duel…?"

Isamu had looked at the President for a moment, then biting his lower lip, the duellist shook his head. "No, I'm tired of the duels Ruka sama. I…I don't think I'll find eternity."

Although he did not say it, Saionji was sure he, as well as everyone else who care to listen, heard the 'here' at the end of Isamu's words.

Ruka remained silent for a while then he smiled and Saionji could feel the tension in the room instantly lifted. Ruka stepped around the table then to stand by Isamu's side, a hand clasped on the latter's left shoulder. "Very well then, there shall be no duel. And Isamu san, congratulations for your graduation next month."

It was as if a huge load was taken off the shoulders of the other duellist at Ruka's words, standing straight Isamu looked Ruka straight in the eye then bent at the waist to the President with a bow of the utmost respect. "Thank you, Ruka sama."

At that time, Saionji wondered if Isamu was thanking Ruka for being excused from the duel or something else…no, best not to think of it! Saionji has his suspicions but didn't wish to think to deeply for fear of what conclusions he might discover.

Ruka had smiled at the others and proclaimed the council meeting was over for that day adding that he had to make preparations for the upcoming graduation ceremony.

Most of the members immediately rose from their seats, Saionji included and prepared to leave when a silky voice broke out, " is this wise?"

All movement paused immediately, everyone's attention drawn to the red-haired speaker who had remained seated. Saionji mentally cursed, Touga merely did an examination of his own fingernails seemingly obviously to the attention his statement had caused. Who was he kidding? His friend has always been an avid showman.

Ruka smiled broadly, revealing all his teeth, other then that, he appeared unruffled. "Ah Touga, did you have a question?"

Touga immediately dropped all pretences of examining his nails and locking glances with the blue haired senior repeated his question.

Ruka sighed softly and walked lazily over to Touga. Once he was in front of the junior he spoke in a condensing tone as if he was talking to a child, "Really Touga, you worry over the most minor of things."

"Ah, so now the duels are minor?" Touga purred.

Ruka began circling Touga's chair and Saionji was for the moment both fascinated by Ruka's predatory strides and horrified for Touga.

"Touga, we are the Student Council. And it is our duty and right to decide what's best for the welfare of the students both within and without the council itself, NOT the Ends of the World. Do not forget that, Mr Vice President." At the end of his speech, Ruka patted Touga's head with a touch as light as a butterfly, humiliating and intimating the redhead at the same time.

Touga gritted his teeth although his voice remained smooth as he answered. "Of course, Mr President." And that was the end of the matter-though not the consequences of it. The two have continued to battle it out after that day like now…

Saionji was abruptly drawn from his musings when he realised that he could no longer sense the tension in the room. To his mortification, the other where looking straight at him. He ducked his head in a curt apology. "Gomen, I was distracted. What seems to be our agenda today?"

Here Touga smiled at the Kendo captain, "The Ends of the World wishes for us to start recruiting new council members for the new academic year."

Ruka added, "with the graduation of some of our number, it's expected. Although, it would appear he has already made his choices but I think it would be best if we review the shortlist of candidates…just to be sure."

Ignoring Touga's flashing eyes, Saionji turned to face Ruka and nodded quickly, "of course."