Disclaimer: I made no claims to owning Loveless outside of my dreams. And my dreams don't count.

Chapter Twelve: Deathless

As if in a dream, Ritsuka felt himself gently set Soubi aside and stand. With Soubi's collapse into unconsciousness, the restraints binding Ritsuka had vanished. He felt strangely calm. His mind was more focused than it had been before this entire mess began.

He calmly stepped over Soubi's lifeless body and slowly walked over to Seimei.

"Ritsuka." Seimei's voice was calm. He backed up away from his brother as Ritsuka advanced.

Ritsuka met his brother's eyes. No, not his brother. His brother was dead, had died five years ago. This was an imposter, not his Seimei, to borrow a line from his mother.

Without a Fighter, Seimei was defenseless. Would his death hurt Soubi? Soubi was already dead. It didn't matter.

He died to save Ritsuka, to give him this chance. Ritsuka wasn't going to waste it.

"Restraint." Ritsuka's voice was icy. If he thought about what he was doing, what it had cost him to be able to do it…

Seimei gasped as the silver collar appeared around his throat and cut off his air. He fell to his knees, eyes obscured by his dark hair.

"Ritsuka…" he breathed. For the first time, Ritsuka saw fear in his brother's eyes.

Ritsuka froze, the death spell he had been about to utter freezing on his lips. He couldn't…not his brother, not even for Soubi…

"I yield the battle…" Ritsuka's voice was a whisper. The world flashed back into view.

Seimei's eye's widened. "Why…?" He stumbled to his feet and looked down at his younger brother, violet eyes wild. He took a step backwards, then another, then turned and started to flee the scene.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?"

Natsuo and Youji stood, blocking Seimei's retreat.

"What do you think, Tsou-chan? If we kill him do we get back in Nagisa-Sensei's good graces?"

"I think its worth a try, Ji-chan. Battle initiate!"

Ritsuka's breath was caught in his throat. He tried to cry out as Zero and his brother faded from view.

The last of Ritsuka's energy drained out of him. He fell to his knees just as Zero reappeared into the world. It hadn't taken them long to finish the job that Ritsuka had been unable to do.

He should have…they shouldn't have had too…Ritsuka felt sick. He leaned forwards onto his hand, his face inches from the ground and emptied the breakfast Kio had cooked for him onto the sidewalk in front of him.

When he was finished, Ritsuka noticed a dark shadow blocking his view of the sun.

"Ne, Loveless, what happened?" Youji asked. He looked down at the younger boy.

"You're being careless with your Fighter again," Natsuo chided, from over by Soubi.

Ritsuka weakly raised his head. His Fighter…? But Soubi…

"He's still alive, you know. Not for long if we don't get him somewhere safe…" Natsuo seemed doubtful. He leaned down and started to lift Soubi to his shoulders. "Are you two going to help me or are you just going to stand there looking dumbfounded?"

Youji held out a hand to Ritsuka. Ritsuka blinked, his mind not fully comprehending what was going on around him. Dimly, he took Youji's proffered hand and walked over to where Natsuo was holding Soubi.

Soubi was…alive?

Hesitantly, as though he might break, Ritsuka held out his hand and cupped Soubi's cheek. It was warm and he could feel a faint breath where his fingers covered Soubi's lips.

He was alive!

"Soubi's apartment isn't far from here," Youji said. He slipped a shoulder under Soubi and supported the Fighter's weight. "We'll go there. I think the danger's gone for now." He looked to Ritsuka, as if for confirmation.

Ritsuka nodded and took Natsuo's spot under Soubi's arm. Together, the group of four stumbled towards Soubi's apartment.

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Ritsuka woke to the feeling of someone gently stroking his cheek. It was dark in the room. Ritsuka didn't even remember falling asleep. Ritsuka was aware of the moon coming in through a window across the room. It made the large shape next to him a mere shadow in the darkness.

"Soubi…"

The finger stopped its rubbing. A hand was placed over his cheek instead. He felt a head rest against his shoulder, bury into his neck.

"Gomen, Ritsuka." Soubi's voice was soft, muffled by Ritsuka's body.

Rituska felt a lump in his throat. Goddamnit! He was so tired of crying. Carefully, he lifted his arms until they wrapped around the body next to him. He pulled Soubi closer, relishing in the gentle contact.

"Its over now, isn't it?" Ritsuka asked.

"Yes."

"Soubi…" Ritsuka paused to untangle himself from Soubi and sit up. Soubi let him go without an argument, verbal or otherwise. He looked at his Fighter. He wanted to ask questions, to finally get everything set in stone, to list Soubi's crimes for future reference, to know exactly what had happened.

But Ritsuka suddenly realized it didn't matter. It was the past. What Soubi had under Seimei's orders…those were crimes committed by Seimei, not Soubi. Dredging them up would only serve to divide the Ritsuka and Soubi more. Drive them apart when Ritsuka wanted desperately, needed, to be pushed together.

The crimes of the past would stay there. What mattered was the future, where they went from this moment.

"Ritsuka?" Soubi sat up, his blue eyes questioning. Ritsuka had never seen the Fighter so unsure of himself. "If you tell me to leave, I'll go. Ritsuka will never have to see me again."

Ritsuka shook his head. "Soubi, I love you." He watched as Soubi's eyes widened as they had the only other time Ritsuka had said that to him.

"Ritsuka…" Soubi kissed him, pushed him back onto the bed. When the kiss was finished, Soubi rested his head on Ritsuka's collarbone. "I love you too," he whispered.

Ritsuka curled his arms up around Soubi. Tomorrow, he would have to go to school and explain his absences, tomorrow he would have to face his mother and her wrath. Tomorrow.

Tonight, he would fall asleep in Soubi's arms. Tomorrow, he would wake up in them.

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A/N: That's it. The end. I told you I believed in happy endings. For now. I have plans for a sequel…look for it soon! Hope you all enjoyed!

Noone: Thanks for the compliments on the spell battles- they honestly were my weak point in that chapter. And yeah, I think it would take more than a stab-wound to a spot above the heart to kill Soubi.

Lyerial: I apologize for being evil. But thank you for the compliments!

Sadil: That was kind of cruel. Sorry…

Teldra: Glad you enjoyed it! Soubi's alright now.

-Phaenilix RM-: No, I haven't seen Last Order- I should put my bf on the hunt for it. He sort of…downloaded and shared…Advent Children before it was released in the States.

Wkitsune: Did you bite me? -blinks- I don't think I've ever been bitten before in a review. But Soubi's not dead, no need to worry.

Nikkler: I told you I believe in happy endings, didn't I? He's still alive and well. For now.

Little Angel's Perk: Your name is the only one that Word likes. And my chapters are NOT short ms. 17 page unfinished chapter-writer. Btw, I'm posting now :-P