Disclaimer: Don't own anything really.

First part of three. It will be KaRe, in time, but as of yet some parts are still oblivious.

"It's funny how beautiful people look when they're walking out the door."

"Kai?" The Russian gave a half smile, gazing at the ceiling with half-closed eyes.

"My mother used to say that." Voice a smooth murmur. "I never believed her." Rei found himself nodding, and filled with a sudden carelessness he let himself fall backwards down on the bed. He bounced softly, as did Kai, jolted, almost falling onto his side. Kai bent his knee up, resting his head on his hands. "We only seem to get along when I'm away, and she usually realises that I'm actually her son by the time the front door slams shut."

"Oh…" Rei shuffled around, trying to find a comfortable position, when Kai let out a slightly annoyed grunt. He sighed in satisfaction, relaxing, turning to lie on his side. He froze when he saw Kai glare at him, eyes hard and exasperated, not the slightest amused. Rei grumbled. "Give me a pillow then."

"You're hiding something."

Rei smiled at Kai, indulging him. "Oh? What makes you think that?"

The Russian raised an eyebrow, looking over at the neko-jin. Rei was half lying in the sofa, lazily reading a manga. Which one, he couldn't quite make out, but Rei was smiling that smile again…

"Hn." Kai casually sat down next to Rei, his hesitance carefully hidden behind his mask of indifference. "That smile, for one thing." The neko-jin shrugged, turning a page without looking up at Kai.

"Well, smiles lie." The Russian sighed, leaning his head back on the couch.


Rei giggled.

"Kon." Rei threw a glance over his shoulder, eyebrow raised in inquisition. Kai glared, jaw set, holding up a newspaper, he tossed it front of his team-mate, hissing. "What's the meaning of this!"

Rei blinked, staring at Kai in confusion, then his gaze shifted to the folded page. The headline was bold, the black fat letters screaming and glaring in his eyes. And the picture…the picture… "Kai…I-"

"Are you out of you mind?" The neko-jin shook his head, staring at the floor.

"I just wanted to have a good time…" Kai snorted.

"At a gay convention?" Kai grabbed the newspaper, staring disdainfully at the image of a smiling, happy Rei being hugged sideways by a famous Japanese artist known for his dubious associations. "You're risking your entire career because of a clouded judgement." He glanced at it again, heated eyes turning back towards the blushing, indignant and still strong Rei. "You're even blushing for God's sake! Someone is going to get the wrong impression of you, and then you'll have hell to go through. Are you out of you mind!" Kai fell silent, taking a deep breath. "Don't you care?" Rei flinched, staring at the carpet, brown and frayed with age, he slowly shook his head, voice a quiet whisper.

"I should think that if people were to get the wrong impression of me…" He licked his lips. "…it wouldn't be the wrong impression in the slightest." Cheeks burning softly, Rei raised his gaze, staring defiantly into Kai's burning one. "Hiwatari-san." He paused slightly, swallowing, bright eyes wavering. "And Sakuma-san was most charming." The hesitance with which his last comment was spoken did not pass Kai.

Kai dropped the newspaper, closing his eyes. "I don't believe this."

"-I mean, it's not like it's a problem, right? And-" Rei watched as Kai's blade spun, growing steadily more wobbly the more the Russian's brow furrowed, until it stopped so abruptly that Rei blinked. "…you lose?" He patted Kai's back, only to have his friend go rigid and move away.

"Don't touch me." Rei took an involuntary step back.

"Kai?" The Russian glared, eyes seemingly burning.

"I don't want you to touch me." The neko-jin looked at Kai, lost and hurt, eyes big and expressive. He reached out a hand, and Kai took another step back, his eyes hidden in the shadow his hair created, voice quiet without lacking any of its intensity.


"Just don't!"

"I thought-"

Kai turned his back to Rei, crossing his arms, eyes closing of their own accord. "You were wrong." He flinched when Rei suddenly wrapped his arms around him, holding tight. "Rei-"

"I'm not letting go, Kai." The neko-jin purred softly, his face pressed up against the space between Kai's shoulders. "…I need you." He all but whispered.

For the longest of whiles, Kai said nothing, standing still, frozen and statue-like. The silence was heavy and oppressive, slowly but steadily untangling Rei's carefully constructed resolve. "It won't do you any good."

"…veto…" Kai snorted, untangling Rei's vine-like arms. Rei grabbed Kai's shoulders, twisting him around and stared up at him with wide eyes. "Buy me dinner?"

Kai snorted.

Watching the sun set, Kai mused. It had been bothering him, this, not problem per say, this…inclination of his friend. Not in a tangible way, there was just something he couldn't understand, something…

The physical feeling of someone resting their head gently on his shoulder caused his body to tense, and his friend to remove their head. It wasn't Rei as a person, he knew that. But, how could he be so…carefree?

"Kai…" Rei's eyes filled with hurt, and he bit his lip. Hadn't they been over this once already?


"I'm not…contagious, you know." Kai shrugged, not removing his eyes from the sunset. "Kai-" The Russian was suddenly staring at Rei, eyes intense and soft at the same time, and Rei faltered.

"You're ruining your career before it's even started. Doesn't that bother you?"

"…I don't think I am." He studied Kai in the slowly setting sun, and sighed, averting his gaze. "It doesn't really matter much what a man does with his life. What matters is the legend that grows up around him." Then he grinned, and before Kai had the time to react, Rei licked his cheek, before sprinting away, giggling. "I know you'll love me anyway!"

Kai shook his head, slowly standing up. "You're insane, you know that?"

Kai swayed, holding onto a flagpole to remain upright. He blinked. "It's made of wood." Rei shook his head. Eyes wide, he stumbled over, giggling softly.

He knocked on it. "Whoa…it is." When the ground swayed uncomfortably much, he followed Kai's lead. Throwing his arms around Kai's neck, he grinned triumphantly. The Russian blinked.

"I'm not." Rei prodded Kai's chest, nodding.

"Not wood." Then he grinned unexpectedly, eyes shining and sharp incisors gleaming in the moonlight. "Any idiot would know that. You're…er…" He trailed of, confused.

"I'm a space-age fucking superstar." Kai smirked, looking very pleased with himself.

Rei stared, eyes unconsciously following the strong, handsome facial features of his friend. The burning eyes, strong jaw, the high cheekbones and gentle slope of the nose…the soft, pale lips. The neko-jin stared dreamily at Kai, cheeks redder by the second. Kai suddenly poked his nose.


"Stop checking me out." Rei just grinned.

"But you're so sexy…" Kai nodded, smirking, suddenly looking very pleased.

Kai opened the door to his room, then promptly shut it again. He didn't just-? He shook his head, deciding no, he hadn't just seen Rei- Kai blinked. Then blinked again. "Rei?"

The neko-jin startled, blushing furiously, hand resting on a rather provocatively cocked hip. He stared with wide eyes at Kai through the mirror, showing rather great resemblance to a deer caught on the highroad facing headlights. "K-Kai!" Rei gasped, catching sight of himself and hurriedly stood in a more neutral way. He gasped again as his poorly buttoned shirt fell down, exposing a slightly tan shoulder and smooth, creamy back. "I was just, um, I- ah-" Rei twisted around, embarrassedly holding his shirt together. "Posing! Yes! For the, the…um…"

"Fashion magazine?" Kai helpfully supplemented, eyebrows raised and standing firm in the doorway. Rei nodded hastily, hair falling in his face. Kai swallowed. "Your…hair…"

"It's just a…thong. Leather thong." Rei stuttered, blushing madly. "For my hair, like a rope. A…thin rope. Yeah…"

Kai crossed his arms, and with a quick glance behind him, he leaned back on the wall, narrowly missing from falling. Rei twirled his hair, wounding the thin, taut piece of leather randomly down his black tresses.

"…isn't that my shirt?" Rei shrugged leisurely, faint blush slowly dying on his cheeks.

"Is it…?"

Kai sighed. "Your idiocy is…" He shook his head, trailing off. Rei winced and tried to escape, but the hold on his head was to strong for him to break out of. "Wuss."

"S-sorry." He inclined his head to Kai's surprisingly gentle dabbing, his touch feather light. "I-"

"Wasn't thinking. I know." He leaned back, not letting Rei's head go. He sighed again, picking up a new wad of cotton and dipped it in the small egg cup of vodka. "Rei." Rei clenched his eyes shut, and shakily turned his head slightly towards Kai.

The cut was nasty; not quite closed, but not quite bleeding as much as it had. Situated on Rei's left eyebrow, the blood had blocked his sight, and as it was so close to his eye…it would sting. Much.

"Ah!" Kai winced, tightening his grip.

"Stay still." Rei's right eye fluttered open. "…I know…" He glanced briefly at Rei's bruised cheekbone, then back at the task at hand. "…band-aids…" He would only need the small ones to hold it together, and hopefully that would be enough. He didn't want to bring him to the hospital.

Rei breathed out a sigh of relief as Kai let go of him. Then shrieked as something cold pressed against his cheek. "Kai!" Kai raised an eyebrow. The neko-jin looked away, hair shielding his bruised face. "…thank you, Kai." He brought a hand up, and as soon as he reached the icepack against his face, Kai let go.

"Why invite something like that Rei? I thought…" The Russian shook his head. "Do you want to die, is that it?"

"I-I don't. But he-" Rei closed his eyes, shaking his head, carefully licking his lips, wary of the split. "When you're abused like that...you know you've touched the stars."

"You don't make sense, Rei."

Rei closed his eyes. "They- their existence is grey and dull, Kai. I'm ignorant. I am." He added when Kai opened his mouth. "I don't understand why some people do what they did. But I do understand what I feel. And I feel alive. Like I've touched the stars…"

"You had a crush on-?"


"Luke." Kai repeated, sceptically. Rei grinned, sighing dreamily. "Who?"

Rei sat up abruptly. "You don't know who Luke is!" He waved dramatically with his arm. "Skywalker?" Kai raised an eyebrow.

"He's a wuss." The neko-jin looked scandalised.

"He's so not! He-"

Kai continued as if Rei hadn't cried out. "Han was at least a real man." Rei stopped, mouth half open, eyes turning glassy.

"…yeah…he was rather, uh, hot." The Russian shook his head, mildly amused. "Really, really…hot." He gave a sigh, rubbing his forehead.

"You're hopeless."

Rei huffed, indignant. "No I'm not!" Lips formed a pout. "I call it a freedom. A freedom you can allow yourself." The pout was suddenly replaced with a knowing smirk, and he raised an eyebrow, challenging. "Or not."

Kai blinked.

He knew their relationship was out of the ordinary. He wasn't stupid, so he knew this. But he also knew that it was out of the norm for men to remain friends with-

"Kai!" Kai's eyes shot open, and he coughed, winded. "Surprise!" Rei grinned happily, face turned upwards to the sun; the golden beams giving his friend a warm glow. He was also sitting on him. "Look what I did!" Hair was pushed aside, and an ear was exposed. "See?" Kai stared.


"What!" A scandalised cry. "Look closer, inside!" A finger suddenly materialised. "There." Kai gently brushed Rei's finger aside. The neko-jin shivered as he felt Kai's breath on his skin, coming closer, and then his gentle fingertips…

"You pierced yourself again."

"Hm…oh! Yes, isn't it pretty?" He chewed his lip. "I always wanted one, and then I was afraid it'd hurt, but it didn't and it so cool!" He poked Kai's nose. "I almost have as many as you now. See?" He pointed, "Ichi." Earlobe. "Ni." Above the first. "San." Inner conch.

"And they gave you caffeine." Rei nodded. "The idiocy…" He nodded again, still grinning, bouncing slightly. Kai pushed him off, and the neko-jin landed with a heavy thud. Rei puffed his cheeks, eyes narrowing.

"That wasn't very nice!" Kai looked away, hiding his face. "Was it? Right? Kai?"

He wasn't stupid, and yet…

R&R, please. Thank you.