Well, I'm back again after another long time away. I'm pathetic. Anyways, here's my first Tactics fic. I was listening to this song right after I finished watching the Tactics anime and I couldn't help myself. Somehow I don't think it came out they way I wanted it. It always sounds so much better in your head.

This fic is set at the very ending of the Tactics anime so there might be spoilers if you haven't watched it. I have only read the first two mangas so my writing is probably much more influenced by the anime.

Wow… I congratulate anyone who actually read that junk above. On with the story!

Disclaimer: I do not own Tactics anime/manga or the song Listen to Your Heart. There I said it.


Listen to Your Heart

"I want the people I hold dear to always be on good terms with one another."

Haruka sat quietly on the broken stone he had been sealed inside for so many years. He stared down at the red glass resting gently in his palm. The sunlight that just reached into the clearing made it shine softly. Suzu's words from earlier that morning played over in his mind. He wished to be on good terms with the others also. How long must he keep hiding?

Somewhere inside him vengeance slept wrapped closely in stifled memories. Haruka knew that his old self wanted Kantarou dead just as badly as his current self wanted to protect him. Somehow his master was connected to the one who had sealed him away. The few memories that had returned would not leave this fact alone. Even though Kantarou had released him, in the act of naming him, the young man also sealed his memories away. It probably would have been better if things had remained that way. But that power-hungry samurai and his companions had to interfere.

Haruka's fist clenched tightly. It wasn't fair. Why couldn't they have left Kantarou and him alone! In that house with his master and Youko, Haruka had known peace, contentment and something he was tempted to call happiness. The tengu smiled softly. For the first time in his life Haruka believed he had friends. Suzu, Rosary, Muu, and even Sugino, despite the fact that the white-winged tengu had been less than friendly towards Kantarou. Kantarou… The name made his head hurt.

I know there's something in the wake of your smile

I get a notion from the look in your eyes

You've built a love but that love falls apart

Your little piece of heaven turns too dark

Haruka looked down at his hand again and unclenched his fist as not to crush the tiny bottle. It shimmered and then went dull as the sun hid behind a cloud. He knew it was silly but the object held some source of solace for him. To see it so dim was depressing.

"Haruka!" The tengu's head shot up at the familiar sound.

"Haruka!" Kantarou was running up the steps to the shrine. Haruka spread his wings quickly in preparation for a quick get away. He forced his composure to appear calm and apathetic.

The silver haired figured reached the top of the stairs and rested his hands on his knees. His breathing was labored and his face was covered in a fine layer of sweat. He seemed paler and thinner than when he had last seen him. Haruka couldn't help but worry for the thin man's health, but his concern did not reach his features. After a moment, Kantarou straightened and took an unsure step forward.

"Haruka… Thank goodness I found you." At the second timid step Haruka tensed causing Kantarou to step back again.

"You shouldn't have come." To Haruka, his own voice sounded foreign.

"I know Haruka. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But you deserve to know…" Haruka's eyes widened. He was sure he didn't want to hear what Kantarou would say. It might answer questions, but the oni-eater did not wish to risk triggering his bloodthirsty self. He stood quickly and turned to fly off. "Haruka, please don't!"

Listen to your heart

When he's calling for you

Listen to your heart

There's nothing else you can do

I don't know where you're going and I don't know why

But listen to your heart

Before you tell him, "Good-bye"

It wasn't a command but Haruka froze nonetheless. His back remained turned so that he would not see the expression on Kantarou's face. The desperate sound of the exorcist's voice tugged at his heart. He hated to see his master so sad especially when it was his fault. If only he could return home. He shook his dark head violently. He was a danger to Kantarou. As long as some part of the oni-eater wanted the exorcist dead there was no way he could go back to the house. He would continue to run if it kept Kantarou safe from him.

A soft sound made him turn around again. Kantarou had dropped to his knees and was searching Haruka's face. The sweat had been replaced by quiet tears. This time his voice was scarcely audible.

"Please… Haruka come home. I'm so sorry, I'll explain everything. Things will work out, I promise. Just please… come home." As he finished his voice was no more than a whisper. Tears had started to flow faster, but his ruby eyes were steady.

It was all Haruka could do not to reach out to Kantarou. He wanted to tell him off for being ridiculous. He wanted to help him up and tell him to stop crying, and remind him he probably had a manuscript to write; anything that would have sound normal had it been just a normal day at the Ichinomiya house.

"I can't go back. I tried to kill you and I'll probably try again if—"

"I don't care! That doesn't matter! All I ever dreamed was to meet you! And since I found you I just wanted to stay by your side. Nothing else matters…"

Haruka's eyes shifted to the ground to avoid the penetrating gaze. He was torn. He wanted to stay by Kantarou's side also, but he would never forgive himself if anything ever happened to his master. He had grown so attached to the human who named him. Now as he was putting his own selfishness aside to keep the other man safe and all Kantarou did was call him back. Haruka's resolve was slipping and it frustrated him greatly. Didn't he see it was for his own good? Did he want to die?

Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile

The precious moments are all lost in the tide

They're swept away and nothing is what it seems

The feeling of belonging to your dreams

"Think about yourself for once! You are always being so naïve!" Haruka stared fiercely into his master's eyes once again. Kantarou gave him a sad smile.

"Maybe so, but if I'm with you it's ok, right?"

Haruka sat back heavily on the rock and let his head fall into his hands. "How am I supposed to keep you safe when you're so damn difficult?" Kantarou quietly walked to kneel before his important person. He rested his forehead against Haruka's shin and closed his eyes.

"This is where I feel safe," he whispered. The smaller man looked up as the tengu slid defeated off the rock until they were face to face. Kantarou eyes went wide as he felt himself drawn in quickly by strong arms and pressed closely to Haruka's chest. The dark head bowed, hair covering his face as he rested his head at base of Kantarou's neck. Kantarou's eyes filled with fresh tears as he clung tightly to Haruka's coat. After a long silence a soft eyed Haruka looked up into the wet but smiling face in front of him.

"Let's go home, Haruka."

Listen to your heart

When he's calling for you

Listen to your heart

There's nothing else you can do

I don't know where you're going and I don't know why

But listen to your heart

Before you tell him, "Good-bye"

"I'm glad. You guys have made up, right? Kantarou? Haruka-san? I'm so glad."


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