Hello all! Well, here we are at the end of another fic! Thank you very much for all your lovely reviews:
darkangelintheshadows: Yep, poor 'lil Rei.
Just that good: Brad's not going to -die-. I live in England, we don't have the death sentence over here. And our prison sentences suck too -I sentence you to four years, but you can come out after two! Meh...suckwad English justice system... Anyway, after that little niggle, no, Brad isn't going to die, for the simple reason that it's unlikely that even in places where the death penalty exists he wouldn't get it.
Platinum Rei: I know what you mean- I particularly enjoyed typing the part where Brad get's darted, it made me smile, oh so evilly.
WolfDemonQueen: I'm glad you liked the last chapter, so here's the...well, the LAST chapter...
tntiggris: Lala? I don't know why, but I like that. Makes me think of the teletubbies a bit, though...
Echo in the Dark: I have returned, along with a couple of little ideas I cooked up while staying in the land of the potatoes (Jersey).
Katsutoshi96: People cry because a lot of my stories are morbidly depressing. Have you read Leaving You Behind? I made -myself- cry with that one, and it takes a heckuva lot to make me cry... Hope the update was soon enough for you.
0chibi-chan0: But he just got rescued, surely that's a turn up in the books?
Mei Kimari: Raise Your Voice? I've never heard of it. Is it a movie or something?
animeobsession: Ah, you'll have to wait to find out about the coffee!
miriam906: Jersey, land of the potatoes, was very nice. It was sunny all the time we were there, then I got off the plane at Durham and Tees Valley Airport and it was pouring down. Ah well. It's not home if it's not raining most of the time up here...
PandaPjays: This story probably loves you as well for being so nice about it!
Curtis Zidane Ziraa: I don't like coffee either- like the smell, hate the taste. I was thinking about bringing in Tala, but in the end I decided to make Kai the one who sorted everything out. I hadn't really included Tala before, so it felt odd trying to put him in at the end.
Ellen: Um...I don't know why the world is an ass. It was no trouble posting this when I got back. Nine days without so much of a glimpse of a computer- I came in the door, ditched my bag, and started the PC up. I know, I'm terribly sad, but hey.
WildChipmunkofYonder: I said coffee. Well, I typed coffee, but you get my meaning. It's not really so important, it just seemed the right thing to put while I was half-shot off the plane flight. Planes always make me think a bit funny...
DarkLightJak: There are lots of Brad's out there, they're just not all called Brad, if you know what I mean...that's why I wrote this, after I heard about someone hanging around my town trying to entice little kids into cars. It makes me sick, so I wanted to write something condemning it.
beda: Have done!
Ashley: Here, have a virtual aspirin, and you don't have to wait any longer for the chapter!
Helen: Thank you! It makes me feel squishy to know people missed me! I hope this last chapter lives up to your expectations...
bloody brandy: Thank you, and here's the update.
And now, the LAST CHAPTER!
"Rei?" Rei jumped and turned to look behind him, but then relaxed. It was only Kai.
"What is it?" Kai leaned in the door way of their bedroom, hesitating.
"I...um...do you want a coffee?" Inside, he was kicking himself for being such a gutless worm. Rei smiled and sat up.
"Yeah, that'd be nice."
Kai walked out and down the stairs, cursing himself. It was about a month since Rei had come back from the hospital, and he was starting to settle back into life with the Bladebreakers. Although Kai was still having problems with telling the neko-jin how he felt about him. He made two cups of coffee quickly and hurried back upstairs. Rei was lying on his front reading a book, but he looked up as Kai came in. "Thanks." Kai sighed.
"I didn't even want to make coffee..." Rei looked slightly put out at that.
"Well...you didn't have to, you know-"
"No! I didn't mean that like it sounded...I was trying to tell you something and I asked you about coffee instead..."
Rei took a sip of his coffee, looking slightly amused. "You're acting like a highschool girl with a crush, Kai. If it's something you're embarrassed by-"
"No! It's not that either. But...I don't know if I should...wait to tell you or..."
"Well you have to tell me now, you've got me interested!" Rei laughed and put his coffee down, bouncing up and leaning against Kai, stretching up to whisper in his ear. "Have you found yourself a girlfriend, is that it?"
"You slept with a whore?"
"Then what? What is it?"
Kai sighed and put his cup down on the chest of drawers, pulling Rei into his arms. Rei relaxed into them, looking up seriously. "Kai...has something bad happened?"
"I love you. I-I...oh God...you hate me now, don't you? I knew I shouldn't have-" Kai turned to walk away when Rei grabbed his arm and dragged him back.
"What did you just say?" Kai dropped his gaze to the floor, feeling crushed.
"I...w-when you went missing...I realised...that I like you. More than like you. I like sharing a room with you, I like talking to you...I like it when you care about me, and I...I realised that I never appreciated all the things you did for me and that I...I love you. But I understand, that isn't what you need right now so just pretend I never said it..."
"No, I won't pretend you didn't say it." Kai bit his lip, still staring at the floor as if it were the most interesting thing on the planet.
"I'm sorry, Rei..." A gasp escaped from between his lips as a warm body pressed itself against him, and a pair of arms wrapped around his waist.
"Why are you sorry? I love you too." Rei whispered, moving his hands up to twine around Kai's neck. "You saved me, Kai...and even before that I loved you. I always tried to do things for you, to be there for you...but you never seemed to realise why I was doing it. And you gave me myself back. I never thought I could ever be okay again, but...I am, almost. I still think about what happened to me but I'm trying to push it back, so it doesn't matter so much...and you're wrong." Rei's arms tightened slightly as Kai put his hands on the neko-jin's hips, holding him gently.
"I do need this. I need to trust someone, I need to know...that not everyone is like Brad was. I know they aren't really...but I have to prove it to myself and I don't trust anyone else enough..." Rei pressed himself closer. "I hated him. I hated him so much because I didn't want to be anywhere near him, and I didn't want him to touch me, or kiss me...but...you're different. Because I know you won't hurt me on purpose..."
Kai blinked. "You...love me too?"
"Yeah." Rei snuggled himself further up to Kai, prompting the Russian to wrap his arms fully around his waist. "Can I sleep in your bed tonight, Kai?"
"If you want to."
"Will you kiss me?"
"If...hold on...what was that?"
Rei looked up, head cocked to one side. "Will you kiss me? I've never kissed anyone willingly before..." Kai hesitated.
"Are you sure?"
"I wouldn't have asked if I wasn't." Rei whispered. Kai moved one of his arms up Rei's back and leaned in slowly, giving Rei plenty of time to refuse or back away. He didn't, so their lips met in a delicate, gentle kiss. Kai felt Rei's hold on him tighten but the neko-jin didn't pull away. Kai broke away slowly, looking deep into Rei's eyes to gauge his reaction.
"Rei...I...I'm sorry..." He said quietly, seeing that the neko-jin's eyes were brimming with tears.
"No...I..." Rei sniffed. "Thank you!" He buried his face in Kai's collar and sobbed, while Kai stroked his back soothingly.
"It's okay, Rei, I understand, it isn't easy-"
"It is now!" Rei laughed and sniffed again, wiping his tears away with the back of one hand. "I'm going to be okay now. I know I am." Kai blinked, then smiled.
"Good. I'm glad." He looked over at the coffee, which was now probably stone cold. "I'd better make myself some more coffee...that'll be cold by now..."
"I'll get it." Rei said, pulling himself out of Kai's arms and walking to the door.
"You don't have to..."
"I want to. Black with no sugar, right?" Kai felt his smile widen.
"Yeah." Rei shook his head, smiling."
"Maybe you'd getter get War and Peace out, Kai."
"Because I want you to teach me Russian so I can read it for myself one day."
And with that Rei was gone, skipping down the stairs like nothing had ever happened and he hadn't been missing at all. Kai reached under his bed and took out the old book, looking down at the cover thoughtfully. He knew it could never be like it had been before, and he knew that it would affect Rei more than he was making out...but he also knew that if Rei ever woke up in the night from bad dreams, he would always have a pair of arms around him for comfort.
Kai intended them to be -his- arms.
Well, that's it for this fic. It's done and dusted, so no more updates. I didn't really want to continue it after this. And in case anyone was wondering, Brad's in prison. I daresay the authorities will let him out in a couple of years...well, they'll try, but Kai might have something to say about that. Still, you can't count on the Judiciary to keep Brad locked up even if they ARE bribed. Don't know about anywhere else, but over in England the judicial system sucks major bum.