Can't Let You Go

PART FOUR (B)

Mikagami was getting really angry. He was not showing it physically, as always, so it seemed that no one had yet to perceive his displeasure. His 'worshippers' seemed to have disagreements with the statement of fact that he made a day ago, and had taken it into their heads to execute actual plans of cornering him.

He glanced at the clock, then at the faces that were looking through the transparent window of the classroom door. In the backs of his mind, he wondered how they managed to get out of class that early, but that small curiosity was overwhelmed by the nagging feeling that today's trouble will be thicker than yesterday's.

His eyes trailed to other parts of the classroom. The teacher was literally perspiring as he drew various graphs on the chalkboard, totally oblivious to the fact that his voice could never reach his students' ears through the chatter and squeals of the girls congregated outside. Once in a while, Mikagami would catch an incredulous look from one of his classmates via his peripheral vision. If the cacophony outside was not distracting enough, the class itself was contributing to the noise level. Mikagami snorted to himself – he could hear every word that they were trying to whisper to one another.

Resting his chin on his palm, he picked up his pen and started doodling on his exercise book. Raiha was laboriously copying down the graphs in front of him. Mikagami's pencil drew a smooth arc across the page; it seemed like he was always observing the ninja nowadays, almost unconsciously, he mused to himself. But it was not like he could help it, when he came down to it.

Mikagami has never denied that he was a sucker for obsessions. In fact, his last one was so serious it turned his life inside out, and ended in a general flop.

His pencil broke in his hand. The snap was loud enough to turn the heads of all the occupants of the room, the teacher included. Only Raiha kept staring at the board, pencil scribbling. Mikagami had not missed the way his body tensed, though. He put the two halves back into his pencil case, and took out a fresh one, ignoring the more pointed looks he was receiving.

Mikagami took a step back and accessed the whole situation. He frankly did not know how deep his like/love for Raiha went.

The pencil outlined the eyes, emphasizing on the lids, half-closed.

He only understood one thing, and that was that he did not want to lose him, like how he did Mifuyu.

The lashes were black, and curled a little. Dark like how the hair was, with the same sensual quality.

But the Mikagami family was generally cursed – this obsession too, will probably end in tragedy, for him and for Raiha, and for others. But as of now, all he could think of was a warm body beside his as he slept, as he actually slept, and an arm around his shoulders, holding him like he was important… He would never ask for too much; he only wanted it to last at least a little longer, to give him time to savor the feeling before he returned to the cold again.

Hair that flopped into the eyes, without the usual band to hold it up. Arms curled up beneath the face, on which it was rested.

But in the end, when he had to go, he did not want to give it to Fuuko. He did not want to give it to anyone, to have anybody else other than him taste the same forbidden feeling. Why are you being to hard on yourself…? You know that in one year's time, he'll probably have already forgotten about you and moved on. And even then, you'll still be circling the same spot, the place that you've been wandering in for the past eight years…

Mouth open, chaste lips moving slightly as he inhaled. Eyes shut tight, the wall that separated dream and reality.

And in the end, you'll still be the one that's hurt.

Legs tucked in, body curled up, pale skin soaking in the sunlight.

But it's alright, isn't it?

White sheets crumpled beneath the slumbering body.

Is it?

Mikagami set down his pencil, and stared at the picture.

Then, at the instant of returning to reality, the noise pierced through his thoughts. He shot another glance at the clock on the wall. it would be less than a minute to the end of class… Mikagami shut his textbook and his exercise book, sliding his pencil into his pencil case and zipping it shut in one swift motion. Everything went into his bag, just as the bell rang.

The doors slammed open, both the front one and the back one. Mikagami was taken aback at how crowded the corridor outside was. He thought there were at most, twenty of them. But as it was, he could not see an end to the crowd of girls (and boys). How many of them were innocent bystanders, he did not know.

So in one big crowd, they started to pour into the room.

"Mikagami-sempai! Is it true that-"

"Tokiya, it can't be!"

"Mikagami-sempai, Mikagami-sempai! Look this way!"

Be more creative… Mikagami sighed internally. He caught the wild look Raiha gave him, and shrugged. Raiha was probably thinking that there was no way they could get out of the mess, now that the fire was being fanned stronger and stronger. Mikagami smirked, and gave Raiha his Look.

Then, assuming that class was dismissed, Mikagami threw open the window, and flung himself with one hand over the sill. In one fluid movement, he was out of the class and falling down three stories to a concrete ground.

Even as he fell, and the wind rushed by his ears, Mikagami could hear the screams of horror above him. He did a flip in the air and landed on his two feet, with the grace that belonged all to him.

And then, as if he had splatted himself all over the pavement instead, two girls behind him shrieked in terror, and started running in the opposite direction. You'd have thought they hadn't seen people falling from the sky before… Mikagami thought, amusing himself with the lame sarcasm.

He shouldered his bag and squinted at his classroom window. It may be a trick of the eye, but for one moment, he thought he saw Raiha shaking with laughter. Surprised, Mikagami stood his ground for a moment, trying to observe more of the reaction in his class. He had meant to take off as soon as he could, in case there were more people in ambush.

Like yesterday… he mused. Yesterday had been disastrous… they had to race home in the midst of being assaulted by friend and foe alike…

---

"If you like Raiha so much, then at least have the guts to admit you're gay."

The words struck Mikagami hard.

And then there was perfect silence in the hallway. Mikagami took a second to rein in whatever emotions that threatened to break loose, then met Fuuko squarely in the eyes. "I'm afraid I don't understand."

The wind girl looked as if she was going to attack him again. "This is what I mean! You hound Raiha day and night, and then when someone confronts you about it, you just feign clueless. What are you afraid of, Mikagami? That people will look down at you if you're gay? Think about Raiha, you bloody fucking selfish asshole!"

"…" Mikagami's eyes narrowed dangerously. Fuuko was threading in a place she had no business to be in. "And you have evidence that I'm supposedly gay?"

"I've seen the way you look at him," Fuuko continued, rabid. "And the way you behave around him! If I were someone else, I'd say it's positively sick! Raiha deserves someone better than your kind of selfish bastard! Selfish!"

Mikagami's temper began to fray. His lips curled into a nasty smile. "If you haven't got something much more substantial to base your accusation on…"

His glare remained on Fuuko, as he reached out, grabbed Raiha's collar, and kissed him roughly. A deep, deep desire that ran with adrenaline through his veins… his tongue brushed at Raiha's lips, not expecting and not getting any response. Mikagami took an aggressive step forward, pushing Raiha against the wall, his one hand landing beside Raiha's head to support himself.

And still, there was an unblemished silence. Mikagami broke the kiss gently and drew back to take in Raiha's stunned expression. Stunned, but not disgusted or angry, just as he predicted. Or he would not even have tried in the first place…

Mikagami smiled, a small, almost embarrassed smile that only Raiha could see. Letting the simmering ire inside him magically dissipate, he turned around again to face Fuuko. He smirked, "That was a little demonstration to show that I am not afraid of being branded a homosexual. And this,"

He leaned in close to Fuuko dangerously, with elegance in every movement, "is to show you that, no, I am not gay."

He leaned down and met Fuuko lip to lip, the kiss mockingly gentle. His tongue flicked lightly over her mouth, moistening the slightly dry surface. The wind girl froze. Laughing softly, Mikagami broke off lightly and whispered in her ear.

"I'm a bisexual."

He took Raiha's hand and led him away, to the promised lunch.

---

Mikagami still wanted to laugh, as he recalled the disbelieving look on Fuuko's face when he suavely pulled the curtains on the issue. After a whole night of thought, though, he still could not fathom which devil it was that possessed him to play the prank.

They had not confronted Fuuko the whole day – the Fuujin master seemed to be absent from school.

Mikagami was about to turn and make for the hostel when someone landed beside him, a flurry of purple hair. More screams followed them, as they raced each other back to the hostel. It was good that neither of them had activities in school going on, or there would have been more problems. Inwardly, Mikagami wondered when things would cool down, and whether he needed to organize a press conference. Apparently, soon after his first fan girl found him, loads of others had decided he was to be their prince charming, and thus, the current situation.

A peal of laughter caught his attention, and he stole a glance at the ninja. Raiha caught his look and grinned happily in return. Mikagami arched an eyebrow, keeping his cool façade even as a surge of warmth rose in him. Raiha's laughter sounded good.

It was only when they reached the hostels that they slowed down. Towards the end of the first minute into their run, speed had already not been crucial, because they were already out of the main school compounds.

The hostels were deserted at this time of the day. Raiha nodded politely to the security guard and daringly laid a hand on Mikagami's shoulders, guiding him to their room, two stories up. Mikagami briefly regarded the warm hand, then looked away. He wondered how much between them has changed. "Why were you laughing?"

Raiha gave a casual grin, almost to himself. "No particular reason. I just felt so… free, running together with you."

Mikagami snorted. "Is that a pick-up line?"

Raiha shrugged good-naturedly. "It may be."

In their shared room, Mikagami dropped his bag onto his bed and let his hair loose, with a tired sigh.

"What are you going to do today?" Raiha asked, pouncing his pillow and curling up on the sheets. "I have this bad feeling that this room's going to be stormed, so if you are planning on staying here…"

"No. I'm going out," Mikagami replied, before he entered the shower.

"Where?" Raiha called, turning around to lie on his back. He watched Mikagami hang up his clothes and take off his shirt, before the swordsman caught him staring and slammed the door. "Hey!" Raiha protested.

When he next emerged, he was dripping wet with only a towel around his waist. Raiha chanced a mischievous whistle, which earned him a glare from Mikagami. The ninja snickered.

"You haven't answered my question yet. Where are you going?" Raiha resumed hugging his pillow lovingly.

Mikagami shrugged in response. "To the park. The library. Someplace quiet." He pulled on some slacks and draped the towel over his head.

"For?"

"Peace."

"Want me to come along?" Raiha offered. "I don't have anything to do this afternoon, and I don't to die here."

Mikagami paused to consider. "I said I wanted peace…" and he considered again, "and you don't exactly warranty peace," and he still considered, "but if you really want to come…"

Raiha grinned to himself. "Sure. Beats getting trampled. Girls don't exactly have dainty feet anymore."

Mikagami shrugged, then asked tersely, "Don't you have explanations for Fuuko? She must still be cursing us from somewhere on this continent."

Raiha quieted at that, and waited wordlessly for Mikagami to finish dressing. "Let's go," he murmured, and led the way out via the window again.

They took the small pebble-strewn path at the back of the hostel, which led, in a roundabout way, to a small district in the neighborhood, close to where Recca and the others lived. Mikagami took care to move at a safe radius, since he still did not know whether Domon had heard about the commotion yet. He certainly had not had any gorilla experience yet, but one should not take chances like that.

They found a relatively deserted spot in a nearby park, where there was a fountain bubbling in the middle of an artificial clearing. Mikagami retrieved his reading material from a random pocket and sat himself down by the fountain on the grass, the soft gurgling pleasant to the ears. Mikagami would not consider himself a sensual person – he did not have time for that – but he enjoyed little things like that that could shed some light onto his soul.

But recently, he had been forgoing more and more of these things, in favor of…

He opened the book to where he left a bookmark, and started reading, ignoring Raiha completely. The ninja gave Mikagami a disappointed look, when he saw that Mikagami actually meant to read, and debated with himself on whether to chance poking the grim swordsman.

His intelligence defeated temptation though, and Raiha settled for swatting at the waters from the fountain, left to his own boring devices. He only sat still on the warm granite for three minutes before starting to fidget. Eventually, he ran off into the trees, not noticing a pair of baby blue eyes on him, and the small wistful smile that twitched the soft lips.

Feigning the innocence he lost long ago… Mikagami thought, as his eyes skimmed over the words on his book. But the act seems to have him consumed, sometimes… He breathed out slowly, almost a sigh, as he was once again reminded of how much a mystery Raiha was to him. He just didn't comprehend.

But then again, he had never claimed to understand the Jyushinshyu ninja. Unlike someone else.

Mikagami relaxed into his sitting position, intent on actually spending time reading, instead of accumulating doodles on a random scrapbook. It was a nasty habit that he could not seem to shake off lately, and it was worse when they were doodles that he would have taken his life before letting anyone in on them.

It was with that thought that he drifted into the world of Physics – it was a three inch thick hardcover on advanced dynamics – the pure meaning of grotesque to the average society. But as it was, Tokiya Mikagami went through the first fifty pages of text like they were fiction, without external disturbance.

It took Raiha about three-quarters of an hour to come back from his forage into the nearby trees. And when he did, he did so with stealth, so much that Mikagami did not notice his presence before a hand gently covered his eyes and something slid against the back of his left ear, resting its weight there.

"What?" Mikagami demanded, though voice not reproaching. He plucked Raiha's hand off – it sent a tingling down his spine – and touched behind his ear.

To his surprise, Mikagami found himself staring at a small white flower as it rested softly on his palm. He blinked dumbly at it, then gave the smiling ninja an inquiring look. "What's this for?"

Raiha shrugged his helplessness, and replied, "I didn't pluck it, it was already on the ground when I found it!"

"I asked what's the flower for."

"Well…" Raiha scratched his head sheepishly. "I just thought it'd make you look more alive… you look so cute with it behind your ear, Mikagami!"

"Cute…?"

"Er… I mean…" Raiha hastily attempted to amend.

"Are you making fun of me?" Mikagami skillfully arched an eyebrow.

"No!"

"Positive?" Mikagami queried again, this time suppressing the smiling rising in him.

"On my life," Raiha assured, sitting down beside him on the grass, ruffling Mikagami's long hair a little.

"…Thank you, then," Mikagami fingered the petals lightly, thoughtfully.

"Er… You're not angry then?" Raiha blinked, just a little surprised.

"You're expecting me to be?" Mikagami asked, tone neutral, fighting his mirth. He really and absolutely did not understand the ninja, but he did realize that he looked extremely adorable blinking, just like that.

Mikagami gazed into the depths of Raiha's eyes, letting the small grin escape him. He lifted to flower to the sun and gave a sigh of something that sounded like contentment. "Nice," he commented, before carefully taking Raiha's hand. He looked from the smooth skin back to Raiha's inquiring eyes, then to the flower. "Thank you, Raiha…" he whispered, and kissed the slender long fingers tenderly.

A small shy smile flitted over Raiha's face, and he left his hand in Mikagami's warm grasp, feeling the heat slowly seep up. This was the comfort that he always found when he was near the iceman. The iceman who was not cold – no, never cold…

Mikagami pushed his book off his lap where it had been sitting, and shifted closer to Raiha, letting his head rest half on his shoulder. Raiha himself welcomed the increased contact – craved it even – and he stretched his leg, putting it beside Mikagami's happily. He sighed contentedly and let his head rest back against the warm stone that made the basin of the water fountain. They had to find some place to eat at later on, but for now…

Raiha closed his eyes, feeling with a certain pleasure the weight of Mikagami's head on his shoulder. A few loose tendrils of hair tickled his cheeks. The moment felt so… peaceful. Raiha cracked open an eyelid and looked silently at Mikagami's lips, open slightly. His cheat heaved slightly in rhythm to his breathing; it was then that Raiha noticed Mikagami was already asleep. Asleep leaning against him.

Should I… or should I not…? he wondered lazily, continuing to stare at Mikagami's delicate face. He had been through so much, but when his eyes were closed, he just looked like he had preserved the innocence he deserved, that everyone deserved.

The sunlight filtered through the leaves of the surrounding trees, landing in patches over both of them.

Not too far away, someone who was approaching that particular small haven stopped in her tracks.

Rational thought drained themselves away, and Raiha leaned down to kiss Mikagami lightly on the mouth, awkwardly at first, then more adeptly, as the lips underneath moved to encourage him. Mikagami's eyes remained closed, but he shifted as Raiha cupped his face. He could feel the hot breath on his face, and then Raiha's tongue slipped into the confined space in his mouth, tasting him experimentally.

Mikagami broke the kiss, pulling back a little. "Damn you…" he murmured, eyes still closed. "I haven't slept for more than ten minutes…"

"Sorry," Raiha breathed, face barely an inch away. "Can't help it."

Then Mikagami shifted his body, so that he straddled Raiha, a leg at either sides of his waist, kneeling. "Tell me if I'm too heavy, and I'll move off." He whispered softly, leaning their foreheads together and looking into Raiha's irises.

He leaned in and took the lead, delving his tongue into Raiha's mouth without any of the gentleness that the ninja had spared him. "Hmm…" Raiha said, meaning unknown. He rested his hands on Mikagami's hips, as the other set of hands locked behind his own neck.

They exchanged tastes for what seemed like hours, but the patches of shade and sunlight on their faces had yet to move much, so it must not have been as long an eternity as what it seemed to be. Mikagami could hold his breath well; it was Raiha who had to break off for breaths.

But eventually both ran out of steam, or rather, started to rationalize. It would be unwise to continue what they were doing in public. Raiha shifted a little so that the mild erection he was getting would not be that evident. Mikagami leaned his forehead against his, breath slowing down. A wry smile formed on his lips, but he did not speak.

"Raiha…?"

"Hm?" the ninja replied, voice heavy, as Mikagami started nibbling on his jaw.

"Let's go. Either to eat or to some place more private," Mikagami sighed softly, giving his lips one final nip before backing off, letting himself fall to one side onto the grass. He looked like he was starting to regret what they had done.

Perhaps Mikagami saw the doubts that flitted across his face for that one instant, because the next second, he was looking away again, the usual defensiveness coming back to him like a protective layer of skin that he could never do without. And maybe Raiha realized what he had unconsciously done, and he guiltily took his hand again, and squeezed, as if in reassurance. "Right," he smiled. "Let's go eat then. I'm hungry!" But the truth was, he did not exactly want to continue with it, even though it was he who had initiated the intimate moment in the first place.

Mikagami gave him a thin smile, but did not push his hand away. He thought he was a little paranoid over every little move Raiha made, and it pained him to know that he was not the main character in Raiha's life. He thought he would be satisfied, as long as the ninja was near…

Still unknown to them, the pair of eyes watching them had moistened over, and tears had started to fall. She gritted her teeth in anger and frustration. Angry that she saw what she did, and frustrated that she could do nothing about it, frustrated that they seemed so happy, frustrated at her own tears – why was she crying anyway?

She turned on her heels and left. It was all she could do not to run away, and wonder where the Raiha she liked- loved, had gone.

---

It rained that day, even after they got back to their room. Even so, the implicit mutual feeling of happiness was so great, even Mikagami failed to get irritated by the constant invasion of unclean city rain into his eyes. Raiha could not recall a time when he had heard Mikagami laugh so much. He had a nice laugh, loud and boyish.

So they lied in bed with each other after they had washed themselves and changed into clean clothes. Mikagami continued reading up on Physics, while Raiha whiled time away by constantly slipping across and back the border of sleep. It was evening, around 6pm, when they got back, and it was nearly nine when Mikagami finally set his book aside. They had missed dinner altogether, but that was not a rare occurrence. Mikagami favored his own cooking over hostel food.

Raiha opened his eyes when Mikagami stirred. He eyed the thick book on the side table lazily, still drowsy. "Is your studies so important to you?" he murmured, rubbing his eyes.

The rain still poured outside, lashing at their windows. Mikagami gave a half-amused snort, then shook his head shortly. "Habit. Meguri never taught according to syllabus. I had to do my own reading to pass his examinations."

"Examinations?" Raiha asked, pushing himself up on his elbows, and blinking at the light.

"For some reason, he insists on me continuing my studies," Mikagami shrugged, arranging the blankets around them properly, for they had been half kicked off by Raiha's frequent shifting. "He would spring tests on me, and deal punishments when I don't do well."

"And you like Physics?"

"No. But it's better than Chemistry," Mikagami reasoned, turning out the lights via the switch near the bed. "I'm going to sleep now, you alright with that?"

Raiha gave a small murmur of affirmation, settling down in the nest of blankets again. "Don't you read magazines…? I get the impression that others our age prefer those."

Mikagami gave another snort, implication unknown, then he laid himself so that his body covered Raiha's, their legs entwined. Raiha made a sound of pleasure, and rubbed his heel against Mikagami's calf, relishing in the itchy and warm sensation. He smiled into Mikagami's hair, feeling teeth on his collarbone.

"Want more?" Mikagami asked softly, almost hesitantly. Raiha could almost feel him cringing away, deathly afraid of rejection.

The ninja grinned into the darkness. "Sure," he whispered just as quietly, voice unheard by anyone except the person on top of him, in the midst of the storm.

The intensity of the rain made itself known outside, and the thunder rumbled softly, almost comfortingly, in the background. Surprising though, neither of the two noticed, or even thought about the wind, the wind that hid silently in one corner, this wild night.

Author's notes

Erm… anyone caught the sexual implication up there? *points* I exaggerated Mikagami too much here, I think, in his reaction to Fuuko *sigh* but I like it that way, so I'm not going to change it. Thank you great people who waited patiently for this fic… *cries* I'm really very touched ;_; Really!

This chapter is to those who wanted raitok *cheers* You guys rule! :D

And a big big apology to Raydance-sempai… -_-;; I'm going to work on this tomorrow… I promise… one more part and an epilogue to go……….. (yay… the notes are relatively short!)

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Can't Let You Go is an original piece of fan work copyrighted to saturn de wicked. No part of this work is to be reproduced or adapted in any way without the author's permission.