Disclaimer: I do not own Loveless or any of the characters. They belong to someone other than myself. I'd tell you who, but I'm really too lazy to look it up right now.
Chapter One: Dreamless"Loveless…"
"My name is Ritsuka!"
A flash of fire. Retreat.
"That was a good spell."
One face fades to another just as familiar.
Ristuka woke all at once, sitting straight up in his bed, his breath coming in gasps, his eyes searching the darkened room for something, anything, to focus on. Almost as a reflex, his hand shot out towards the cell phone laying next to his pillow on the bed.
Ritsuka grabbed the phone and stared at it, taking comfort in its physical weight against his palm. Soubi was just a phone call away. If Ritsuka called now, he would answer. He promised. Soubi never missed phone calls. Not any more. Not since the last time Ritsuak had had the dream.
Putting the phone back down beside him, Ritsuka lay back down on the bed, his cheek resting on the pillow, his face towards the phone.
The dream. Ritsuka hadn't had it for years now. Not vividly at least. Never as clear as the first one had been, the time when he had woken up in Katsuko-sensei's office. Never as clear as tonight.
Ritsuka buried his head into his pillow. He couldn't call Soubi. Not tonight. Soubi had a deadline tomorrow for a painting of some sort. Ritsuka didn't know. That was Soubi's business; Ritsuka tried to stay out it.
Besides, it wasn't as if Ritsuka didn't have anything to do tomorrow. He should get some sleep. He had been sleeping better, for a long time now. His weekly visits to Katsuko-sensei's office were hardly necessary now. He had improved a lot. He was no longer afraid of loving and living.
He had friends. Yuiko, Yayoi, Kio, Zero, Shinonome-sensei. There were others. Friends in his junior high school. He was popular and well-liked. He was almost the Ritsuka from five years ago. But that didn't matter anymore. He was who he was. People changed. Everyone did. It was part of growing up.
At least, that's what Katsuko-sensei told him.
Ritsuka looked at the clock. After midnight. He should sleep. He had exams tomorrow.
He was dead.
If he wasn't…
Ritsuka picked up the phone. He shouldn't call. He was being stupid.
"Ritsuka? Is something wrong?" Soubi sounded worried.
"Is Seimei dead?" It was a stupid question. Of course he was.
There was a pause. "Why do you ask?"
"Nevermind. It was a stupid question. Sorry for bothering you. I'm going back to sleep again." Ritsuka went to hang up the phone.
"Ritsuka, wait! What hap-" Soubi's voice cut off when Ritsuka slammed the phone shut.
He lay back in his bed.
Why had Soubi hesitated before answering? Had the question just caught him by surprise?
He knew that even if he asked, he wouldn't receive an answer. If Soubi was hiding something.
Did he even want to know if he was?
What if Seimei was alive? Would that change anything?
It would. It would change everything.
But Ritsuka was just being stupid. A dream is a dream and nothing more. That he remembered it was nothing too unusual. It had been a disturbing dream, one that had felt surprisingly real. He has remembered it in dreams before tonight. He had never woken up from those dreams, shaking in his bed like a child.
He wasn't a child anymore. In spite of still having his ears, he wasn't a child. Soubi and he had fought many fights, each time victorious. They were strong together. And always together.
Soubi and he had fought fights. Soubi was his. His fighter. Not Seimei. Seimei was dead. He couldn't kill anyone.
Ritsuka turned in his bed, his back to the phone. He would go to sleep now. If he fell asleep during the exams, Yuiko would scold him.
Still, it was a long time before Ritsuka fell asleep again.
Soubi stared at the phone. The dial tone was his only response.
"Soubi! What are you doing? We have to…"
"I know." Soubi cut Kio off. He pocketed the phone and walked back into the studio to return to his painting. In the real world, there were deadlines to meet that could not be put off for fights or disturbing phone calls. No matter how much Soubi wanted to check on Ritsuka at the moment.
Kio looked up from his own part of the project. "Was it Aoyagi?" he asked, no hint of the jealousy he had once held for the young man.
"He's fine." Soubi picked up his brush and paints and went back to work. Kio chattered while they worked, but Soubi ignored him, his mind intent upon Ritsuka's strange phone call.
What had prompted such a question? The last time Ritsuka had asked such a question had been after his dream…
Did he have another dream?
Soubi would call him tomorrow and ask. He doubted he would get an answer. Ritsuka could be secretive when he wanted to be.
"Yes?" Soubi asked without turning around from his painting.
"You finished yet?" Kio asked him. "Because I'm certainly done with my part."
Soubi shook his head. "I probably won't be finished for awhile."
"That Aoyagi distracting you again."
Soubi just smiled.
"I'm heading back home then. You'll be fine here?"
Soubi nodded. "Of course."
"See ya, then."
Soubi heard Kio shuffle around the room, then heard the door close. He was alone in the studio.
Even though their bond wasn't as strong as one who shared the same name, there was still a bond. Soubi would know if Ritsuka was in any real danger.
No, whatever had prompted the phone call hadn't been a physical danger.
It had been the dream. Soubi was certain of that. Was it the same one as before? The one had made Ritsuka ask who Soubi would choose? Seimei or Ritsuka?
Truthfully, Soubi feared the choice as he feared that it would have to be made some day.
But not tonight, not right now.
Right now, he had to finish his work for tomorrow.
A/N: This is my first attempt at a long fanfic, so let me know how I'm doing. My sister warned me that my portrayal of a dark Seimei would get me flamed, so I'm warning everyone else that flames are greatly appreciated and will be used to warm myself in this cold weather. Positive/constructive feedback used to feed my ego and make me happy.