Suboshi almost spluttered with surprise when Miaka and Yui walked in together, hand in hand. Amiboshi grinned at his brother. He had guessed this was coming, especially when Miaka had slipped off unseen by the rest. Yui glanced nervously at the twins and Miaka nudged Amiboshi. Giving her a half smile, he turned to face the front.

Amiboshi was having an inner battle of his own. He wasn't one to hold grudges but this was the extreme. Amiboshi knew he loved Miaka, as more than a sister, so how could he just let it go? However, he knew that if he didn't let it go, Miaka wouldn't be happy. All he wanted was to see a smile on his best friend's face, even if that twinkle in her eye was because of Tamahome or even if she only lit up when she saw Tamahome.

Amiboshi glanced at Miaka's glowing face and silently smiled to himself. Somehow, he would have to live with the fact that Miaka would always treat him as a brother and that Miaka and Tamahome were officially an item. He was kind of glad that Miaka did not know what he felt as he was content just to have her near him and to see a smile on her face.

Tamahome and Tasuki stared disbelievingly as Miaka and Yui walked in, side by side. Nudging Tasuki, Tamahome got up and half smiled at Yui before he led Miaka towards the queue for food.

"So you going to tell me what happened?" he asked.

Miaka shrugged. "I just decided to let it go."

Tamahome smiled. "That's why I love you." He whispered in her ear, making her squirm, giggling. Tamahome grinned and nudged her ahead of him.

After collecting their food, they made their way back to the table. Miaka felt eyes on her. Turning slightly, she saw Harumi and Azumi's eyes on her, their eyes narrowed. An involuntary shudder passed through her and Tamahome looked at her quizzically before flashing a look at them. His eyes hardened. Balancing his tray in one hand, he draped his other arm over her shoulders and smiled at her tenderly. Miaka smiled and quickened her pace, placing her try next to Amiboshi's tray.

Amiboshi looked quizzically at her before turning to Tamahome. Tamahome nodded towards Harumi and Azumi and Amiboshi frowned. Suboshi's eyes narrowed as he glared at them. Tamahome leaned over and whispered, "Ignore them. ", before smiling at her, his eyes twinkling.

The friends walked back to Miaka's house, Yui had a defeated look on her face. Miaka leaned in to whisper something to Tamahome. He looked at her before nodding and grinning. He jogged to catch up with Suboshi while Miaka took Yui's hand.

"What's with that look?" Miaka questioned as she looked at Yui. Deep down, she knew the answer yet she wanted to hear from Yui. Yui shrugged. Miaka pressed on before Yui finally admitted it. "I know they haven't forgiven me. The only one who hasn't been acting weird around me is you!" she spluttered.

Miaka sighed. "Look, you have to understand. They were more affected than I was. I got the physical pain. But it hurt them to see me that way." She whispered. "You saw the way they pounced 

on the lot of you. What you didn't see was the defeated look in their faces. They were disappointed in themselves more than anything for failing to help me." Miaka smiled.

"I know. But it's just…" Yui stammered.

Miaka interrupted her. "You also have to understand that the twins and I have been best friends since kindergarten. Suboshi practically beat himself up over the fact that he wasn't there to protect me. He's like an older brother, really. He's always protected me from bullies especially."

Yui nodded slowly. "Give him time." Miaka whispered. Yui gave her a small smile as Miaka grinned.

"Su!" Tamahome called, catching up to him. Suboshi smiled. "I just want to talk okay?" Suboshi nodded.

"Miaka wants you to forgive Yui, you know." Tamahome finally voiced. Suboshi's face darkened. "Have you forgiven her? I can't. Not for hurting Miaka that way. She was Miaka's friend. How could she think those nasty things of her own friend? Miaka's like my sister, and I failed to protect her!" Suboshi burst out.

Tamahome nodded. "It's hard, I know. I struggle with forgiving her. I cannot forgive myself even more for being unable to protect Miaka. But if it's what makes Miaka happy, I'm willing to try!" Suboshi frowned. Tamahome continued, "Give it a shot. I know it's difficult. But look at your brother and me. We know that we are still unable to forgive her, totally. But how about trying? At least be nicer to her."

Suboshi nodded and Tamahome clasped an arm around his shoulders, smiling at his friend.

Amiboshi smiled as Miaka groaned at her homework. Tamahome leant over and whispered in her ear as she giggled. Amiboshi was glad that Miaka didn't know about his feelings. He had told himself long ago, his way of loving her would be simple. Being by her side, even as just a brother, comforting her, supporting her. That was how he would love her.

Amiboshi looked at the clock and inwardly sighed. He would have to give them some private space. Flashing a look at Suboshi, they got up, announcing about unfinished housework before leaving. Yui scurried after them, shutting the door and leaving the couple alone.

Tamahome looked at Miaka and smiled a little. They moved towards each other but were interrupted by the doorbell. Miaka grumbled before getting up, leaving a grinning Tamahome sprawled on the sofa. Miaka swung open the door to reveal Tomo, grinning up at her. Miaka stumbled backward and made to slam the door but Tomo stopped her.

"Hey, is your brother at home?" he whispered. Miaka shook her head, stumbling further backwards as Tomo invited himself in.

Grabbing her roughly, he clamped a hand over her hand and hauled her into the adjoining room as she struggled in vain.

Tamahome looked up. The house was too quiet. He silently got up and peered out of the living room. The main door was open yet Miaka was nowhere to be seen. Tamahome had a bad feeling.

Miaka struggled as Tomo threw her onto the floor. Miaka's voice stuck in her throat. The scream she wanted to let out catching in her throat, unable to come out. Tomo smirked before getting down beside her. Miaka let out a whimper but Tomo started fumbling with the buttons on her blouse.

"Tamahome…find me. Please!" she silently screamed.

Tamahome burst into the drawing room and punched Tomo in the gut. Tomo reeled back in pain. Tamahome jumped on him. "You don't fucking touch my girl, you hear me?" he shouted.

"I'm home!" Keisuke shouted from the front door. Miaka gave an audible sob and Tamahome grabbed Tomo and threw him out into the hall. "Tomo?" Keisuke questioned in surprise. Tamahome followed soon after. "This drunken bastard tried to… "Tamahome shook his head, indicating Keisuke to take care of him.

Tamahome trod carefully and knelt next to Miaka. Gently, he touched her arm. Finally, she let out the ear-piercing scream that she was dying to release and recoiled from his touch. Tamahome flinched. "Miaka… It's me. Tamahome." He whispered.

Miaka peered from where she had retreated and saw Tamahome's warm brown eyes and let out an audible sob. "It's okay." He whispered before, moving towards her. She lunged at him, and he embraced her tightly. She buried her head in his chest, her body racked with great sobs.

Miaka fell asleep in Tamahome's arms. Gently, he lifted her off the floor and onto the sofa. Keisuke cast a concerned glance at his sister and Tamahome motioned for the kitchen. "I just need to call the twins okay?" Tamahome told Keisuke, retrieving his phone.

"Ami?" Tamahome started. He repeated the events after they had left, asking them to make their way down.

After hanging up, Tamahome turned to Keisuke. Keisuke waited for him to explain.

"Miaka and I… we're together." He started, waiting for Keisuke's reaction. Keisuke had trusted Tamahome already, so he nodded approvingly. "Well, we had a study session. The rest left and it was only the two of us. The doorbell rang. She went to answer it, but I found it quiet, too quiet."

Keisuke nodded. "I found the bastard on Miaka." Tamahome spat, hands clenched into fists. "But, he didn't manage to do anything." Tamahome hastily added. Sinking into a chair, Tamahome said, "I just… I can't believe I took that long to find her!" Keisuke laid a reassuring hand on Tamahome's shoulder.

"Keisuke. Let me stay here tonight. I'll sleep on the sofa." Tamahome whispered. His eyes had a defeated look about him. Keisuke nodded. "I'll explain to my parents. Miaka needs you here." He added.

Miaka sat bolt upright, curling herself into a ball. She started sobbing again. Footsteps resounded in the hallway and she tensed, not daring to look. "Miaka?" Tamahome's warm voice resounded and she relaxed, tears flowed freely yet again.

Tamahome perched on the edge of the sofa. Tears welled in his eyes as he saw the hurt and fear Miaka was going through. He pulled her close and held her tightly, willing her fear to vanish. He whispered, "Hey, I'll be here for you, okay? I'm staying tonight. And I'll try to see if Ami and Su can sleep with you, alright?" She nodded slowly. He hugged her tightly to him as the door burst open.

Miaka clutched at Tamahome and he gently stroked her hair. "It's all right. It's the twins." He whispered. Miaka tentatively glanced up into the faces of her two best friends. Amiboshi wore a worried look on his face as Suboshi jumped next to her. Tamahome nodded at Amiboshi, before they left Suboshi with Miaka.

"Tomo tried to…" Tamahome couldn't finish his sentence. Amiboshi cast a glance outside. Tamahome shrugged. "I hate myself for not being faster. If I had just gone with her to the answer that stupid door…" Amiboshi interrupted him.

"You wouldn't have known. All of us didn't." he spoke softly. Tamahome forced a smile before peering out of the kitchen. Suboshi had Miaka in animated conversation and Miaka seemed to have temporarily forgotten her fear. Tamahome sighed and said, "I'll prepare drinks. Go spend some time with her." Amiboshi nodded and proceeded out of the kitchen.

When Amiboshi had received Tamahome's phone call, he had hastily hung up, hollered at Suboshi before rushing out of the house without even a word of explanation to either his brother or parents.

Suboshi had restrained Amiboshi before finally getting a coherent explanation out of him. Suboshi had turned pale and both boys had sprinted over to their best friend's house.

Amiboshi watched as Miaka continued in animated conversation with Suboshi. He wanted to protect her, but he didn't know how. He shook his head, before smiling brightly at his best friend and moving over to hug her. Miaka clung to Amiboshi, enjoying the feeling of being protected.

Tamahome watched the three best friends and sighed. It wasn't jealousy. It was the feeling of hopelessness he felt. He didn't know what he could do for her. "Tamahome?" Miaka's voice called. He started and whirled around. Miaka looked at him tentatively from the entrance of the kitchen.

Tamahome smiled at her, sending silent messages of reassurance. She moved forward and hugged him. "What's wrong?" she whispered into his shoulder. Tamahome replied, "Nothing. Don't you worry about anything." Miaka looked up at him and frowned. "Don't lie."

Tamahome marveled at the way Miaka could see through him. Sighing, he led her to the kitchen table. "It's really nothing. At least nothing you need to worry your little head about." Saying this, he gently ruffled her hair. She scowled and he relented. "Alright. It's just me, okay? I just feel…feel hopeless. I can't do anything to help you. I swore I would help you but…" Miaka was by his side, her finger to his lips.

"Don't say any more." She pleaded. Tamahome watched her as she leaned against him. "You've done more than you know. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be who I am. If it wasn't for you, Tomo would have…" A chill ran down Miaka's spine and she shivered. Tamahome wrapped an arm around her and hugged her tight. Miaka buried her face in his shoulder and smiled against him. She knew this was what defined bliss.

Next chapter up! Thanks for the support guys! I know this took a little longer than usual. Quite hectic!

Usual, R&R please! But don't be too hurtful with your comments, thanks! I'm a newbie writer! Anything you want me to add in my stories? Review and let me know! (: