Those Left Behind – Part 2

Hi all :) This is just a brief chapter to look at the way Yukito's feeling.

Of course, I don't own anything. Just so you know.

Of course, things could never go back to how they were.

Yukito missed the ease of their friendship. Every time he saw Touya now, there was tension in the air. A hesitance that had never been present, before. He lost count of how many times Touya reached for him and stopped. How many times he leaned toward Touya to share some whispered comment, but pulled back. How many times one or the other remembered and put a small distance between them.

He ached to have his best friend back. The one who smiled at him with carefree eyes and laughed over nothing. Gentle-eyed Touya pulling him closer, fondly rumpling his hair.

This hollow shell of a man had replaced his Touya. Touya should never have a straight knife-slash of a mouth, or those dark lines of despair around his eyes.

He knew what would make Touya whole again… but could he give it?

The kingdom desperately needed an heir. More than one, if possible. Sakura-hime had been more than adequate, beloved by all the people, and already growing into a skilled stateswoman in those duties her brother had allowed her. And it had pleased the people of Clow to see her so attached to her young suitor, ready, in all of their minds (and Yukito's as well) to wed him and begin producing further heirs as soon as she reached her majority.

But when she disappeared from their world, the kingdom of Clow reeled.

The stability of the kingdom grew directly from their ruling family. Those of the Kinomoto blood were all incredibly talented rulers, born with natural gifts of wisdom and compassion to rule their people well, and shrewd enough in bargaining and matters of law to keep the kingdom prospering. The kingdom was, as a result, quietly growing, peaceful, and contented.

With no heir, the kingdom would fall into warfare with its neighbours within the next few years. Everything that eight generations of Kinomotos had laboured to achieve would fall into ruin. Thousands of lives would be destroyed. The fate of thousands, weighed against one man's pain.

And were Yukito to become Touya's lover, there would never be an heir.

Were he to… he did not even know how to respond to the thought of it. Yukito had never considered being with a man. He knew such things happened, and certainly did not begrudge or dislike those who desired their own gender, but had never been interested in another man. Always, his idea of the future had included a wife and children, though he had not yet met any girl he had considered wedding. He had always been solitary, preferring a few deep friendships over many shallow ones. His childhood had been spent in study and seclusion, leaving him very little opportunity to meet others… he had never been romantically involved, despite a few minor, dreamy infatuations in his teens which had never been requited.

He knew that he liked the idea of being with a girl, that sometimes late at night, his body burned for another's touch… and the hazy images he drew on at those times were never of men. He liked the idea of softness against him, of warm round curves and gentle touches.

But to think of Touya that way… he did not know that he could. To imagine smooth planes of skin and muscle, hard lines and sharp edges, strength to match or overmatch his own?

The single kiss that Touya had pressed on his mouth, that day weeks ago when he had confessed his desire…

He had never been kissed before.

He hadn't known how it was supposed to feel. And still didn't. The warm press of lips against his had been far too brief to understand the sensations.

… Sometimes he considered finding a girl who would come to his bed. To learn about his body, and his desires. He was sure he could find one with little difficulty, a discreet one with only a little more. It would relieve this burning frustration, this confusion he couldn't seem to calm.

But Yukito didn't want to share that much intimacy with someone he did not care for, someone he did not know. And there was no doubt that it would gravely wound Touya. Very gravely.

He didn't know what to do, but pray with all his might for Sakura-hime's return.