He could still remember the moment with unnatural clarity.
Among the rows of clean and proper brick apartments, the only two imperative bodies moving across the street smiled genuinely to each other and came up the driveway to a familiar-looking wood front door. His Mother said something the adult could not hear from a distance but to his brother— no, that's not true anymore— Ritsuka laughed at it with enthusiasm.
"Where is your Father?"
To answer the person behind him, the original Ritsuka Aoyagi never took his eyes from his previous family even as they disappeared from sight into the house. "I saw him leave with a couple suitcases. He's never coming back to the place."
"He's safe here…"
Soubi grew slightly uneasy by the still present far-away haze in wine purple as he drew closer to his Sacrifice. And how effortlessly Ritsuka could ignore the title of his older brother. "I still don't understand. Even with all of his memories…I don't—"
"— Youji and Natsuo are feeling better now that they are back together." The older interrupted purposely, touching the teen's arm, "Youji is healing faster now that he's had rest. Kio asked if we don't mind keeping them at the apartment until the end of the week. They've been given the key so they should be there already."
Blinking several times rapidly, the first made a small noise of distress low in his chest.
"Let's just go." The dark haired ordered dispassionately, snatching him by his sweater sleeve and yanking him along as he sped up into a power walk across the avenue. After two blocks, Ritsuka started to slow.
Periwinkle stared back at the younger boy absently rubbing his abdomen area with his left hand. "Your stomach still hurts?"
"The skin feels like its on fire...or something..." Ritsuka's eyes shot wide open as his Fighter caught him off-guard, lifting up his green vest and the jersey beneath to observe his lean frame. "Soubi! What the heck...you can't just—!!"
Printed in bold black English characters, in a line ending just above the cranny of his bellybutton: L. O. V. E. L. E. S. S.
As the teenager lifted the other's man sweater up by the heavy fabric edge, the very same name greeted his vision. He glanced at Soubi's fresh bandages on his neck.
It. . .worked.
Without thinking, Ritsuka moved closer to him and in turn, both names lit up simultaneously.
"What happens if they touch...?" Soubi's verbalized inquiry brought an onset of hot flush gripping the young man's features. He protested reluctantly when the bespectacled adult wrapped his long arms around him. The sound of light foosteps thankfully came to distract them. To their right, 7 with a large knapsack in hand watched the scene with doctile interest.
Hoping to shield his embarrassment, Ritsuka tugged back down his shirt.
And after a moment, he instinctively did the same to Soubi's and the older man smirked coming across as extremely satisfied.
Severe green eyes behind oval glasses lenses held a mild staring contest with the still amused man before staring much longer at Ritsuka, directing her question to him. "Did you find your answers?"
Sombering up, he replied in all seriousness, breaking from Soubi's embrace, "I don't want them anymore."
The young blonde woman tightened her hold on her knapsack, revealing how far her betrayal went in her cracking voice, "I can't go back to the Academy. Sensei allowed Nagisa-chan and I to be attacked. I cannot forgive him for that. "
"He's still alive?"
She nodded curtly at Soubi, "Indeed." Then proceeded to appear thoughtfully, fidgeting with the strap on her shoulder. "It's very strange. . .after I arrived at Kio-kun's apartment, I recieved a phone call from a particularly perky-sounding woman who called herself Yamato. She offered up an apartment to stay if I didn't mind sharing it with herself and her girlfriend."
Ritsuka hid a smile behind his hand that she never noticed. "Good luck to you."
"And to you both as well. I will not be seeing you again." 7 waved slightly as she eventually walked and vanished into traffic to begin her journey towards the main highway.
"GET THE HELL OFF THE FLOOR IDIOT— IT'S NOT CUTE—AND GO TAKE A SHOWER!"
"I AM SO CUTE, YOU TOLD ME THAT LAST NIGHT! AND WHAT ARE YOU— MY MOTHER!? MAKE ME!!"
Three or four very loud crashes soon followed after the two separate yells from the Zero Boys resided from within the cramped apartment room. Soubi scratched the back of his head, not looking predominately pleased or displeased, "If they don't calm down, the neighbors will complain about the noise."
"Maybe we should go to the park or something until they've calmed down." Ritsuka suggested from below from the sidewalk as the ash blonde man made his way down the creaking outdoors staircase.
"Whatever you want Ritsuka."
Frowning, the earless teen countered, "It's what you want too. You don't have to always agree." His boyfriend smirked again, saying evenly but teasingly, "Understood, my Master."
There was no conversation until they reached the park gates; Ritsuka forgot his annoyance when they hiked across the grass and some of the autumn park trees. Amongst the fully blossomed flowers, a rarely colored bluish purple butterfly flew rapidly out of the corner of Ritsuka's eye.
He took Soubi's limp hand silently.
I wish I had brought my camera.
"Soubi. You never tell me you love me anymore."
His Sentoki asked calmly, letting slip nothing, "Do you miss hearing it?" Wine-colored eyes avoided his own almost as if ashamed to disclose his own emotions so unguarded.
"I just want to hear it knowing you are saying it with your heart, and not because someone told you to."
Cool, tobacco-scented fingers cradled his face before turning it back to focus into purple-blue eyes. Soubi smiled—not mocking, not superiorly smirking— and said with honesty the boy couldn't mistaken, "I love you, Ritsuka."
Not wasting a minute to suspense, Ritsuka tilted his head and claimed his Fighter's mouth for his control, raising up on his tiptoes for added height and moaning aloud with approval when the familiar warm cavity allowed him passage. The burning of his real name replaced with the soaring feeling he got whenever he kissed Soubi, like his body was weightless and he could forget all of his sorrows and regrets. Disappointing him momentarily, Soubi pulled away, surprisingly enough breathing a bit heavily, "You've got school tomorrow."
Never taking his hungry eyes from those pale lips and right before jerking his warm lover's body right back against him, he mumbled partly mesmerized, ". . .Yuiko will give me the notes."
JUST KIDDING!! Almost fooled you, didn't I? Teehee.
Well, crap, we're done, aren't we? That's no fun for you or for me.
Actually, I'm a little relieved to finally be finished. At the beginning, I never thought Deeper would be as long as it turned out to be, or so intricate, or get so many readers and interested folk. XD That was one of the greatest rewards of making this fanfic. Just to hear you guys say that you could grow attached to a perspective I put on a familiar character and to able to make it believable? It's an amazing feeling.
I love this story. I loved writing Ritsuka, Soubi, believe it or not Seimei, Kio, and everyone else. I loved spending countless hours with story ideas, rejecting them, connecting them, and forming them into halfway decent sentences for almost a whole year. I loved the escape this provided against all the shit I've had to deal with since last year. And I love you all too, every reviewer, every reader, and every crazed fan! You made it WORTH it til the very end and I thank you.
And now I'm starting to get teary-eyed...time to wrap this up. Oh, and thank you Yun Kouga for unknowingly and probably unwillingly allowing me to screw up your characters for my own personal amusement.
My reviewers, thank you for you kindness and suggestions: Annissina lovejoy, Yumi Kei, Elken, LaChoy, Cass, Vicious Cabaret, Jenelle, Leon Bastion, spader says hobey-ho, StoryofGreen, Tearless Tenshi, ..blood, Angel Girl Julia, bledding black rose, LittleBro, AizSaku, CrymsonTear, setsuko teshiba, Tater Tots, 107602, Meyuga, Sans Amoure AKA S.A, Evil Bunny of Death, DarkHeart16, Mr Obscenity, queenskin, troublesome67, Natalie, Kitsune MeiHime, Verna Jast, Shiragi-kun, Lolita-mist, XOiHeartMiloOX, Absinthian Lies, TheDreamerLady, Bri, Yet Another Yaoi Fangirl, Youko-sama, Autumn's Solitude, Deshera, and fallendemise21!
If you want to leave a last review, you are more then welcome and I will probably burst into happy tears...I'm nearing that point...you can leave a story recommendation, rant, cry, curse me out, whatever.
And I will see you at the next Loveless story! :D
All my love, Miss Val.
One last thing...
The cat man paused with his black and blue Converse sneaker on the foot pedal to his bicycle, gazing over at his troubled companion. "Huh?" One of his closest friends, a brunette cat girl with pigtails, pointed across the large park to a male couple in each other's arms underneath a tree.
"The shorter one looks a lot like you, Ritsuka."
He scrutinized his so-called doppleganger, after a few quiet moments, wrinkled his nose. "I think you've been watching too much television. It's starting to rot your brain."
She motioned at him irritably, eyes still fixed on the intimate setting. "They sure look cozy who ever they are. Don't they know this is a public place?" Uninterested and quickly becoming less by the second, the black-haired cat man blew a strand of hair out of his face.
"Hey, I thought we were biking."
"Okay...okay..." The cat girl started wheeling down the dirt path as he lingered behind. Fascinated, he peered at an innocent butterfly that landed next to his other sneaker, the strangest color combination of purple and dark blue. Noticing his hesitation from several feet away, his friend called to him.
Grinning darkly, he crushed it with the sole of his shoe.
"Ritsuka, what's the holdup?"
She pumped her way back, skidding to a stop and making a sympathetic sound for the poor creature near his sneaker, "Is that what you were staring at? How terrible. Who would do such a horrible thing?"
Overlooked, indigo-colored eyes flickered. . .and almost misjudged as sneering in nature.
"It was just a butterfly."