disclaimer
I, Kagura Fuujinnomai do not own Bankotsu, Jakotsu, or any of the other characters associated with the Inuyasha series.
(Although I wish I did own those adorable, wonderful, super kawaii, sexy little sons of...ahem! anyways)
I get nothing from writing my Fanfics.
I am simply a fangirl who wishes to share her passion with the rest of the world
- sincerely,

Kagura Fuujinnomai

(AN. After months of hiatus, Never Again has finally come back home. To everyone that emailed me, requesting a continuation; here is your answer. Yes, yes and yes! I live for you, my readers.

This is the final chapter! Please note that this is a flashback. It tells the story of Bankotsu's final day of highschool and just as requested, answers some nagging questions.

As always, please Read, Review, and most importantly, Enjoy. )

Never Again: Chapter 25: Out of Murky Water

"Jakotsu…" The word had fallen from his trembling lips before he could stop it.
"Jakotsu! Jakotsu!" But Bankotsu's lover did not stir.

For a moment he could only stare in horrid disbelief at the love of his life, whose eyes were shut gently, eyelashes ruined with dark purple mascara which shone sickeningly against his deathly pale skin.

But then, shaking the shock from his body, Bankotsu stood on his knees, catching hold of Jakotsu, and pulling him onto his lap, out of the cold water.
He held him as closely as he could, trying to share the warmth of his body with that of the limp man in his arms.

Warm relief filled his heart as the sound of Jakotsu's breathing met his ears. It was uneven and shaky, but it was an unmistakable sign of life.

Still he wracked his brain, wondering what the hell was going on.
Why the hell had his lover been sitting against the door, soaked with water, and surrounded by wet paint in that stall? Surely it had been the fumes given off by that very paint, which had caused him to lose consciousness. So why stay in the stall?

Even now, Bankotsu could see plenty of reddish paint smudged over his lover's shirt.
The one that'd once held elegant designs and kanji painted across the front…

Ruined. What a foolish thing for Jakotsu to have done…

"Aisuru, wake up." He mumbled, annoyed at having grown so sick with worry.
He gave Jakotsu's shoulders a firm shake, pulling him closer. But he did not stir.
Jakotsu merely continued to take quiet, shivering breaths and his eyes remained closed.

"He's too cold." Bankotsu realized. He reached into the water around him, finally locating one of the stopped up drains on the ground. He pulled the wad of toilet paper out and the cold water began to slowly drain. This completed, he turned to remove his lover's ruined and soaked clothes. One by one he peeled them carefully from his limp body. Modesty had never mattered to Jakotsu anyway…

First removing the infamous sash and sliding his kimono from his shoulders, Bankotsu continually rubbed his hands along his skin, trying to warm it up.
Next, he began to pull off his love's shirt, rolling it up, over the cold skin of his stomach.

But halfway into doing this, Bankotsu's fingers froze up, his gaze having fallen on the source of the 'red paint' which had ruined the shirt.

He suddenly recognized this brownish liquid to be not paint, but blood.
Blood which he'd unknowingly been allowing to flow into the murky water they sat in.
Jakotsu was unconscious, not due to stupidly remaining in a room filled with paint fumes, but to a heavy loss of blood.

"Oh God…" Bankotsu whispered, unable to move. As his shivering hands finally regained their strength, he moved to completely reveal a large wound on his lovers lower stomach. Letters had been cut in a diagonal row, incorrectly spelling out a word Bankotsu had read one too many times.

"F-A-G-I-T"

Reality hit him, hard, as he put the pieces together in his mind.
His lover was in very dangerous condition, and it was all because his so-called best friends had given a gift to make up for a ruined prom.

It was vengeance, offered to him on a silver platter.
For making one mistake at that stupid dance, his lover had been punished with this:

A bloody death.

"Ai- Aisuru get up!"
He spoke again, loudly, his voice more shaky than his love's shivering breath.
And again he shook him by the shoulders, growing desperate to pull him back into consciousness. But Jakotsu only replied with that same shaky, gagged breathing.
"Get up!" Bankotsu begged, beginning to put pressure on his lover's chest.
CPR class seemed decades away. But his hands moved in the motions he thought he'd never need, and he bent down to put his lips to Jakotsu's, voice breaking.
"Please! Aisu… ai…! Get up Jakotsu!"

Finally, as if an electric shock had gone through him, Jakotsu drew a deep, quivering breath, only to begin coughing.
His lover moved quickly to roll him over in his lap, allowing the water to drizzle from his mouth. But he soon forced him onto his back, unable to stand not seeing his face.

Bankotsu pulled Jakotsu into a sitting position, holding him close to himself as he finally began to show more signs of consciousness.

Jakotsu moved slowly, grasping weakly at his lover's clothes.
He was wracked again and again with rancid coughs and choked uncontrollably on his breath.
His head spun mercilessly and searing pain continued to shoot through his body, the letters burning on his torso.

He moaned unintelligibly to his love, just as darkness threatened to overtake him, and Bankotsu was forced to throw his arms around him, just in time to stop him falling onto the hard linoleum.

"Aisuru, you have to stay awake." He warned, pulling his injured lover securely to himself. But Jakotsu merely began to cough again, trying to pull away from him.
His lover's chest was pressed painfully against the bloody wounds on his own, and he dazedly wished to return to the numbing cold water.

Still Bankotsu held him against his will, but realized how powerless he was to help his precious friend. Jakotsu was wet and heavy, bleeding profusely, and fighting against him.

"Help, help…" He moaned, realizing that the cell phone in his back pocket was undoubtedly already ruined by the water he'd sat in.

Jakotsu stopped struggling, but pulled back, shivering violently as Bankotsu tried again to lift the older, taller man from the ground.

'If I leave him here to get help…' He shook the thought away before it surfaced.

"Help…" The hot tears stung his eyes as Jakotsu ceased his efforts to move. He was now shivering uncontrollably, unable to do anything else. Still Bankotsu persisted. He tried time and again to pull his sopping, weighed down lover farther from the source of the filthy water, making little progress, and just as hopeless panic began to cloud his mind, the sound of the bathroom door sliding open met his ears.

Bankotsu turned to call out to whoever had come into the room, but the words caught in his throat as his 'help' rounded the corner.

Hiten, eyes wide with worry, hurried over to him but froze staring around in shock.
"I thought Naraku was lying…" He whispered, eyes set on the injured man in his best friend's lap. "I thought- I thought the guys were just gonna…"
He silenced himself, reaching out to help Bankotsu up. "Let's get him out of-"

"Don't touch him!"

Hiten pulled his hand back, shocked by the vicious retort his friend had just shot him.
"But Bankotsu, I just want to help…"

"This is your fault!" He hissed, clutching his lover fiercely as he began to move away from him. "You and your monster friends…" Hot tears ran freely down his cheeks now, rolling off his chin. "I can't believe…" He choked, trying desperately to lift Jakotsu.

"I love you." Bankotsu whispered, holding the limp man still closer. "Don't die, I love you, I love you." He repeated, as if chanting.

Hiten stood, too shocked to do anything, despite how badly he wanted to help him.
The voice in his head shrieked with disbelief. 'He loves him… He loves him?! '

He reached down again but Bankotsu pulled away, sobbing into the older man's dark hair.
If his precious Jakotsu was going to die, it would not be in the arms of the man who'd caused it!

"I- I mean I didn't-" Hiten stammered, being rebuffed yet again, "How was I supposed to know?!" But Bankotsu said nothing, refusing to even look at him. Silence fell between the two former best friends, broken only by the younger man's anguished sobbing.

Dread pooled inside of Hiten, swirling much like the frigid, cloudy water he stood in. Never had he imagined that Bankotsu had fallen in love with this effeminate man who he rarely even mentioned.

'But no wonder', he thought bitterly, eyes cast down at his ruined white cleats. Suddenly he bitterly regretted the uniform he'd so happily sported.

Just as he reached out again, the bathroom door crashed open behind him. He took a mechanical step to the side as officer Kyoukotsu and Naraku hurried past him, both kneeling to aid the sobbing teenager.

And their help was readily accepted.

The garbled radio on the officer's hip said something about an ambulance, but Hiten didn't understand it. His best friend stood as Kyoukotsu and Naraku carried Jakotsu from the room.

Bankotsu brushed past him, gritting out only one thing.

"I hate you."


Bankotsu lie in the bathtub, a bottle of sake hanging loosely in his hand. He was shivering slightly, despite the heat of the foamy water around him. Just yesterday he had resigned himself to clean out his closet. The skeletons still lay in pieces on the floor, and he was at a total loss for what to do next. The only thing he was certain of was the fear. The fear that caused his shivering, the truth that he'd buried so many years ago.

He tried again to tell himself that Inuyasha wouldn't hate him for it, but it was useless.

Somewhere in his mind a loud voice bugged him still. He couldn't stand for his friends to know about him. What if… what if he got Jakotsu hurt for it again?

Memories of high school had suddenly flooded his mind, after being pent up for so long.
The truth he had been hiding; the source of his anxiety and fear threatened to surface.

He knew what had to be done but hesitated, no longer allowing that small glimmer of hope to blind him. All that was left was the paralyzing fear.
He was terrified of letting Jakotsu remain in America. Hiten would be there… The two of them together made Bankotsu physically ill because unlike Jakotsu, he remembered high school like it was yesterday.

Hiten, his so-called best friend who had betrayed him on their last day of high school.

The water he sat in seemed cold, suddenly and for a moment Bankotsu imagined the horrid vision of his lover floating in those murky depths.

He shook his head fretfully, dunking his head into the water. 'If I had the choice', he thought bitterly to himself, watching the little rubber ducks bob around him. 'I'd never have let Jakotsu go anywhere near Hiten again…

Not for all the world.'

The End

(AN. And with that, Never Again has come to a Crashing halt. It's sequel, Not For All The World is already posted for your viewing pleasure.

Ja ne, my precious friends!)