A/N: Well, this is it, folks. Not too much more to it, but it just didn't feel like a conclusion after the last part. Hope you all enjoyed this excursion.

(Part Three: Scars)

"Take me dancing."

Yusuke blinked at Kurama. "What?"

"Take me dancing," Kurama repeated. He cocked his head to one side. "Don't you dance? I'd really prefer it. I suppose we can go out to dinner if we have to, but movies are absolutely out. They bore me." His tone was casual, and yet challenging.

Yusuke felt it fair to point out, "I didn't ask you out."

"Weren't you about to?"

It had been years. Two years since the end of the Makai Tournament; one years since Yusuke and Keiko had finally given up on each other. Three years since Yusuke became a demon; three years since he'd talked to Kurama in any way that might be construed as having an attraction to him. Three years since he'd touched Kurama any time it wasn't absolutely necessary. "Well... yeah, I guess..."

"So, I asked you first. I know you hate being beaten, Yusuke, but so do I." Kurama gave him a serious look. "It's unlike you to hesitate like this once you've decided to do something. Why?"

Yusuke wasn't sure how to answer. His eyes flickered briefly to the scar on Kurama's neck. Yusuke had been surprised and chagrined when the wound had turned out to be so bad as to scar--it was a small and inconspicuous mark, but it was a large part of the reason he never touched Kurama. Better to be safe.

Kurama saw where he was glancing, and acquired a slightly incredulous look. "That? That's why?"

"I don't want to--to do that again."

"Neither do I," Kurama said wryly.

"I can't forget it." Yusuke held up his left hand, letting his own set of scars catch the light--scars he had deliberately encouraged to form, to serve as a reminder of what he was capable of. "I won't forget it."

Kurama's eyes widened slightly. "Those--I thought they were from something else. I didn't cut you that deeply."

"So you did move the rose there deliberately." A mystery Yusuke had always wanted the answer to.

"Well, not exactly--you grabbed hold of it all by yourself. I may have encouraged the thorns to lengthen a little bit."

"That's fair. But you understand why I--why I'm hesitating to--"

"Actually, no... I don't. I had somewhat assumed we wouldn't start with blood this time. And that you had forgotten, or at least accepted, what happened in a moment of transition that won't ever come again. You know I don't hold you accountable. You should also know my patience is not inexhaustible, and I'm tired of this tension between us. You should really take me dancing."

After this conclusion Kurama calmly folded his hands, and gave Yusuke another mildly challenging look. Yusuke found himself starting to grin. "Okay... okay, you win. We'll go. Movies suck anyway."

"Excellent. You do realize in order to dance with someone you have to touch them?"

Yusuke squirmed slightly. He should never be surprised by Kurama's observational skills; of course the fox would have noticed Yusuke's aversion to touching him. "Um."

Kurama held out his hand. Palm forward, like he was offering a high-five, but he wasn't. Yusuke felt like squirming a bit more, but he wasn't willing to back down from the challenge. He hesitated only a moment before cautiously placing his hand against Kurama's.

Nothing happened. Kurama regarded him with amusement. "Feeling any urges to attack me yet?"


"Well, we have time."

"You said... you said you hoped we wouldn't start with blood this time?"

"Take me dancing, Yusuke. Now. There's an order to these things, you know."