Yuya was not surprised to see Kyo sitting at a booth in her section when she came through the kitchen doors and into the restaurant's large dining room area. She resisted the urge to smile as he ran his hand through his now short hair and frowned. She could tell he was muttering something under his breath and if she had to guess it was probably a curse at his brother for cutting his long hair short. She went over to the bar and grabbed her drink order from Chinmei and took it to the table near where Kyo was sitting. She could feel his eyes following her as she greeted her customers and took their orders. When she could no longer put it off, she came to his table.
"Can I help you, sir?" she asked formally, giving him a pointed look that indicated he should not cause any trouble at her place of work.
Kyo held up his hands indicating surrender. "I'm not here to cause trouble, Yuya. I just wanted to see you and to make sure you're okay."
She sighed. "I'm not okay, but I'm alive and safe so for now that is enough."
Kyo could tell she was deeply upset by something. "Yuya, has something else happened?"
"Do you know what I did earlier today?" she asked in a whisper.
Kyo shook his head.
"I drugged my best friend. I love Keikoku as if he was my brother, and today, I betrayed his trust and drugged his drink so he would sleep," Yuya said her voice quivering. "When he awakes later today, he will be alive and safe, rested like I wanted, but I will probably have lost his friendship."
"You drugged Hotaru?" Kyo asked slowly.
"They murdered his grandmother, did you know that?" Yuya asked quietly. When Kyo nodded in response, she had to resist the urge to scream before continuing. "I have known for a long time this world has parts of it that are dark and that some people are just bad people, but I have always believed you must strive to see the best. Lately I feel like I'm drowning in the worst, I feel like I'm losing myself."
Kyo saw the tears prick her eyes and he resisted the urge to stand and gather her to him because he knew that would only upset her more. "Yuya, I…"
"Did you want something to eat?" she asked cutting him off. Her voice back to being formal and a fake smile plastered on her face.
"Yes, I would. I'll have whatever the fish special is tonight," Kyo said dryly barely containing his irritation at how quickly she shut herself back off to him.
"That's a good choice," she said before turning and going into the kitchen to give Taihaku her orders.
Yuya nodded at Chinmei before entering the kitchen. He gave her a smile to encourage her. She took the orders over to Taihaku who was barking commands to his assistant chefs. When she handed him the orders, he raised an eyebrow.
"I'm fine," she said quietly. "Kyo's behaving."
"Chinmei told me about Keikoku," he murmured.
Yuya hung her head ashamed. "I know it was wrong, but he would not rest. I was afraid with all that's happening if he did not rest he could end up getting himself killed if he has to fight again."
"I understand your reasoning but next time, dear, just let Chinmei and Shinrei knock him out," Taihaku suggested.
"Do you think he'll ever forgive me?" Yuya asked.
Taihaku nodded. "He loves you too, Yuya. Love can forgive many things."
Yuya glanced back at the doors leading to the dining room and thought of Kyo. "Many things, Taihaku, but not all things."
Taihaku nodded but offered no comforting words because he could think of none that would suffice for all of the emotions the young girl he loved dearly was feeling. He watched as she walked back out into the dining room, her face determined. "Brave girl," he murmured to himself.
Yuya entered the dining room and was surprised to see Kyo's sister had joined him at his table. Clearly, he was not happy about her presence but she felt relief that Kyo would have someone else to focus his attention on. She made her way to the table. "Hi Tokito," she said politely.
"Hi Yuya," Tokito said overly cheerfully.
Yuya instantly felt her guard go up. She glanced at Chinmei who was mixing drinks. He didn't seem to notice anything off. "Can I get you something to drink?"
"Yes, I'll have what he's having," she said pointing at her brother.
Kyo glared at his sister. "No, she will not have anything. She should be at home."
"Well I'm not, I'm here, so unless you're going to take me home…" Tokito trailed off without finishing her statement because she knew her brother would not leave Yuya.
"I will not. I'll call Kyoshiro," he muttered.
"Oh you can't do that, he and Dad are busy with his crazy girlfriend," Tokito returned.
Yuya drew in a breath. "You didn't turn her into the police?"
Kyo swore loudly causing patrons to look at them. "No, we didn't."
Yuya shook her head disappointed. "Tokito what can I get you to eat and drink?"
Kyo started to say something but Tokito just talked over him with her fake cheery voice. "I want ice tea and the rib eye steak medium-rare."
Yuya nodded and walked away, hiding her devastation that Sakuya was not only free but that Kyo's family was protecting her and giving her shelter and aid. She walked over to the bar to get Tokito's ice tea.
"Yuya, what's wrong?" Shinrei said moving up to the bar.
Yuya yelped startled. "Shinrei, where did you come from?"
Kyo had stood up when he heard Yuya cry out and frowned at the sight of Shinrei standing with her. Their eyes met and Kyo frowned and sat back down. "Why are you here Tokito? Except to clearly be a bitch to Yuya who clearly has no idea you're deliberately saying things that will upset her."
Tokito's eyes narrowed at her older brother, perhaps he wasn't the idiot she took him for. She would have to tread lightly. "Well maybe I'm trying to protect you, did you ever think of that stupid?"
"Protect me? How do you plan on doing that, squirt?" Kyo asked rolling his eyes.
"By trying to keep you from getting your heart broke," Tokito muttered as she pointed to Yuya, who was still talking to Shinrei. "You think they're just friends, puhlease."
"Shut your mouth and mind your own business, kid," Kyo growled.
"Don't say I didn't warn you, big brother," Tokito said with a shrug and then turned to give Yuya, who had returned with her drink, a big fake smile. "You and Shinrei seem pretty chummy, Yuya."
Yuya frowned at the younger girl. There was some underlying animosity happening and she had no idea why. "We are Tokito, but not in the way you're implying. Now if the two of you don't need anything else, I'm going to go look after my other clients who aren't passive aggressively trying to insult me," Yuya said in an equally fake cheery voice to match Tokito's.
Tokito glowered at Yuya as she walked away while Kyo chuckled and winked at his baby sister. Yuya never failed to surprise him.
Hishigi climbed off the bus and made his way to his car. He could not be too careful when making his way to his home. His enemies would love to know the real place he called home, but he did not even trust his fellow Four with that information. He did not doubt for one minute that Fubuki knew his true address but that did not concern him. His mentor was a villain to many people but to Hishigi he was more like a father. Hishigi climbed into his car and pulled away from the curve.
His stomach grumbled letting him know it was well beyond dinnertime. His meeting with the other three had taken longer than expected, dragging on long after Tokito had left to go watch Yuya at the restaurant. There were a lot of issues within the organization that needed discussed and ironed out. He felt weary from all of it. He needed a vacation but the criminal world never rested so neither could he. He navigated around the streets making unnecessary turns, stops, and doubling back before finally pulling into a small single family home in a quiet suburban neighborhood. He climbed out of the car and quickly went into the house, throwing his car keys onto the small table inside the door as he slipped out of his shoes and into his favorite slippers.
He felt the hair on his neck stand up as he made his way into the kitchen. He reached inside of his jacket and his fingers wrapped around his pistol he always carried when carrying his sword was not feasible. He quickly rounded the corner and lowered his weapon shocked by who was sitting on his kitchen counter. "Akari, what are you doing here?" he asked as he put his gun on the counter and quickly made his way to stand before the woman he loved.
"I heard this horrible conversation between my father and Muramasa," she said quietly looking at him with sad eyes. "I could not believe what they were saying was true, so I had to come ask you myself."
"You should be out alone," Hishigi gently scolded. "You were just abducted. You should be at Muramasa's where you will be better protected."
"I can take care of myself, Hishigi," Akari returned coolly.
He reached up to brush a lock of hair out of her face, but she turned her head away from his touch. "Akari, please tell me why you've endangered yourself to come all this way," he said not bothering to hide the hurt he felt at her rejection just now.
"I can take care of myself," she began quietly, "but do you know, Hishigi, who cannot take care of themselves?"
He shook his head.
"Little old women," Akari scathed. "How could you order Shinrei and Hotaru's grandmother to be killed?"
Hishigi swore and stepped back from her. Muramasa already knew about the hit which was not expected since Keikoku had clearly severed ties with the Mibus by showing his true loyalty was to Yuya Shiina.
"It was not an ideal solution," he agreed.
"Ideal solution?" Akari raged jumping off the counter. "You killed a defenseless old woman. How does that help you?"
"We had to send a message for any who would dare cross us in the future," Hishigi said quietly. "We also had to try to lure the brothers into making a mistake in their grief and rage."
Akari was appalled by what the man she loved was confessing to her. "You're a monster. There is nothing left of the man I once loved."
Hishigi grabbed her wrists and pulled her to him when she turned to walk away. "I am being honest with you. You may not like my answers, but at least I'm not lying to you like your father and Muramasa."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded.
He looked away. He could not answer her question. He had sworn to Fubuki he would not tell Akari the truth about this matter, but he would not lie to her either. "I cannot answer that question."
"Can't answer or won't?" Akair demanded.
"Won't," Hishigi conceded. "Besides, you wouldn't believe me even if I would tell you. This is something, my love, that you will need to figure out on your own."
"You're lying," Akari said shaking her wrists free.
"Exactly what I was talking about," Hishigi muttered. He clasped his hands together and leaned back against the kitchen counter. "You may not believe me, but I do love you. Everything I do, I do for our future."
"We are never going to have a future," Akari spat.
"I don't believe that," Hishigi said quietly.
"Clearly," Akari said sweeping her hands around to indicate the room around them, "you still have the house bought when we were dating."
"I told you then that I could see us here, raising children together, growing old together and I still have that dream and I will never let it go," Hishigi vowed passionately.
Their eyes met for a long moment and then Akari turned and walked out.
Yuya tentatively followed Chinmei into his apartment afraid to face Keikoku. Chinmei gave her shoulder a quick squeeze before heading to his bedroom. Yuya sighed and walked into the living room where she could see Keikoku sitting on the couch.
"I know you're there, Yuya," he muttered.
She walked in and hung her head. "I know you must hate me."
"I don't hate you," he said quietly as he stood up. He walked over and grabbed her chin firmly in his hand and forced her to look up at him. "But I am really, really pissed."
A tear fell from the corner of Yuya's right eye.
"Tears are not fighting fair," Keikoku grumbled. "You drugged me, you don't get to cry."
"You drove me to it," Yuya said fiercely. "You were being an idiot. You weren't even trying to rest and sleep or take care of yourself. You would have pushed yourself into an early grave and I refuse to let that happen."
Keikoku opened his mouth to say something but Yuya's tirade continued.
"Don't you know how much I love you, you big stupid-head?" Yuya raged. "No one knows how dead inside I felt after I lost my brother, there was no one I trusted, there was no one I would let myself love. But then, one day there was you. You are my best friend but you are also my brother, the brother I chose," she said tears now running freely down her face. "Do you think I could bear to lose another brother?"
"Your brother isn't actually dead," Keikoku reminded her.
"You're such an idiot," Yuya growed, "you're probably the world's biggest idiot. There's probably a picture of you next to idiot in some online dictionary somewhere."
Keikoku gave her one of his rare smiles and pulled her in for a tight hug. "Your picture is probably right next to mine with a caption reading 'only an idiot would drug their best friend who is capable of killing them in a hundred different ways all of which are painful'. I'm still really pissed, but I love you too," he said softly before kissing the top of her head.
"Well my picture will look better than yours," she mumbled into his chest and then she let out a choked sob of weariness from all that had been happening.
Keikoku tightened his grip. "Kyo was at the restaurant tonight."
Yuya knew it was a statement not a question. "Yes, he was. He gave me a really hard time about leaving with your brother and Chinmei, but I couldn't take anymore of him or his little sister tonight."
"Where is my shithead brother?" Keikoku asked finally let go of Yuya and moving to set back on the couch. He wanted to question her more on why Tokito was at the restaurant but decided he would save that conversation for Shinrei.
"He said something about doing a final perimeter check," Yuya mumbled tiredly before sinking onto the couch next to Keikoku, but when she went to lean her head on his shoulder he playfully pushed her away.
"Still pissed," he said giving her a pointed look.
"Fine, I'm going to get a shower and go to bed and study. We have a chem test tomorrow," Yuya reminded him.
"How can you care about tests knowing what the end of the week is going to bring?" Keikoku asked dumbfounded as he watched his best friend get up and start towards the bathroom.
"Appearances, right?" Yuya returned with a smile.
"Or you just want to try one last attempt to beat Lee Kim's grade in chemistry," Keikoku said dryly.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Yuya replied sticking out her tongue before going into the bathroom.
Keikoku snorted and went back to watching the television. A few minutes later, Shinrei entered the apartment. He scrounged around in the fridge and finally decided to make a sandwich.
"Yuya still alive?" Shinrei asked his brother as he sunk down onto the recliner.
"For the moment," Keikoku replied without looking at his brother.
Shinrei snorted and took a big bite out of his sandwich. "Kyo sat at the restaurant the entire time tonight."
"I bet that bothered the hell out of you," Keikoku observed.
Shinrei gave his brother a withering look. "Only because it makes this more difficult for Yuya."
"Right and has nothing to do with your feelings for her," Keikoku said finally looking at his brother.
"It's not like that," Shinrei replied quickly.
"Yuya said Tokito was there as well." Keikoku said changing the topic since clearly his brother was the real idiot in the family.
"Yes, she was being a royal bitch to Yuya too," Shinrei said his eyes darkening at the hard time Tokito gave Yuya, making a difficult evening even more difficult to endure.
"She's the fourth isn't she?" Keikoku asked quietly.
"Yes, it's been confirmed," Shinrei said darkly. "The man who killed grandmother has also been dealt with."
"Is he dead?" Keikoku asked.
"No," Shinrei said with a shake of his head. "Migeria might have done him a mercy though if he had killed him. He let Allister interrogate him."
"Oh, I see, so the man spilled everything he knew and probably things he didn't realize he knew," Keikoku said giving his brother a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, Allister hates this kind of work but he is quite skilled at it. Anyway, Migeria sent him back to one of Juan's safe houses, so there is no doubt they will know he talked. The Four will further torture him or simply kill him," Shinrei supplied in a low voice with a nervous glance towards the bathroom where he heard the shower turn off. He did not want Yuya knowing about this side of things, what it took to keep them all safe, she had enough to worry about.
"Who is on watch tonight?" Keikoku asked changing the subject again. He knew what his brother was thinking and agreed. He might be mad at Yuya for what she did, but he also knew she loved him and was trying to protect him. He would protect her too, from everything even the knowledge that sometimes they were forced to do terrible things to keep her safe.
"Migeria and some of his other men," Shinrei said. "He wants us all to get a good night's sleep."
"I slept all afternoon thanks to my best friend," Keikoku returned dryly. "I guess I will go study chemistry with her. That is an even better sedative than whatever she put in my drink earlier."
Yukimura crept to the edge of the rooftop overlooking Chinmei and Shinrei's apartment. He could see the glow of a light behind the blinds but nothing else to indicate who was inside. He glanced across at the another rooftop and could barely see the outline of two men watching the apartment.
"Are you a friend or are you a threat to Miss Yuya?" he wondered out loud.
He heard movement behind him and quickly turned to face his opponent but before he could finish turning around he felt the pressure of a sword's blade against his neck.
"Please Yukimura, do not finish turning around," a very cool male voice said from the shadows behind him. "I do not wish you harm but I cannot allow you to see my face either. To answer your question, the men across the way you spotted are mine as are the ones on multiple rooftop for the surrounding blocks and all of them are here to protect Yuya Shiina," the man said quietly.
"You're the guardian of her estate," Yukimura surmised. "You're the one from the other night who rescued her."
"Why are you here tonight, Sanada?"
"To ensure Miss Shiina is safe," Yukimura responded, "Yuya is an innocent thrust into a world she could not possibly hope to grasp or survive. I mean to ensure she survives."
"So do I," Migeria replied keeping the blade of the sword firmly against Yukimura's neck.
"I do not know you so how can I trust you truly mean her no harm," Yukimura said quietly.
"You do not know me nor will you ever know me, Sanada, so I will pose a question to you to give you the proof you need of my intentions," Migeria replied. "You saw me leave with Yuya the other night so you know now that Shinrei and Keikoku are in my employment."
"Yes, that was a surprise," Yukimura conceded. "They had everyone fooled of their allegiance. Unfortunately, their grandmother paid the price."
"The Four will pay for that, I assure you," Migeria assured in an icy tone. "I have already located the man who physically committed the crime and he, I'm sure is being made an example of as we speak."
Yukimura was a dangerous man and had killed men before, men who deserved it. Yukimura did not consider himself afraid of anything but this man in the shadows with a blade to his neck, something about him gave Yukimura an unease. He remained silent and let the stranger continue.
"So you know Shinrei and Keikoku are loyal to me, do you believe they would be loyal to me if I did not have Yuya's best interests at heart?" Migeria asked in a matter-of-fact tone.
Yukimura smiled. "No, they would not. They both love her each in his own way. They would die for her."
"As would I Sanada, so I appreciate your concern for her. It has inspired me to make you an offer," Migeria said. "You back off trying to figure out who I am and I promise you Miss Shiina will sign over the property to you by week's end."
"That's a very generous offer," Yukimura replied. "Why would you make such an offer?"
"Yuya will never be safe as long as she owns it. You are the best choice to own it and deal with what owning it actually entails," Migeria returned.
"Very well, I accept," Yukimura agreed.
"Swear it," Migeria demanded, "on her name."
"Whose name?" Yukimura asked with dread spreading across his stomach.
"The name of the one you hold most sacred," Migeria whispered.
"I have never used her name in such a manner," Yukimura whispered hoarsely.
"That is why I am requesting it Sanada," Migeria replied, "I know any oath you make by it you would never break."
"I am even more curious about a stranger who knows so much about me but I know nothing about him," Yukimura said quietly.
"Your curiosity will only end in tragedy, Sanada," Migeria assured. "The path I offer you brings additional wealth and power to your family. Wealth and power offer those you love more security. Seeking out who I am will only result in the ruin of all your family has built for generations and the destruction of all those you love."
"Are you threatening my family?" Yukimura hissed and almost turned but the blade of the sword dug into his neck stopping him.
"No, I am stating a fact," Migeria replied. "I would raze the whole world to the ground if it meant Yuya was safe, my identity being a secret helps her stay that way."
Yukimura did not doubt the man's sincerity of destroying everyone and everything for Yuya; he could hear it in his voice. "I see now why Shinrei and Keikoku trust you with her."
"Your word Sanada, and we all walk away from this awful situation in a much better place."
"Very well," Yukimura said softly, "I swear by Mizuki that I nor any member of the Sanada organization shall seek out your identity. I swear we will always protect Yuya with as much passion as you do, stranger. I swear too that if you should ever fail her or hurt her that I shall bring the full weight of the Sanada clan down upon you."
Migeria chuckled at the last bit of the younger man's vow. "Eloquent, Sanada. You shall have the paperwork within two day's time."
And then like a gust of a wind the blade was gone from Yukimura's neck and the stranger as well. Yukimura glanced at the apartment one last time as the lights in the window turned off. "Be well, Yuya may your guardians be enough to protect you."
From the shadows Migeria watched Yukimura depart. He called the house and waited until Nozomu answered. "Phase two is in place. Sanada accepted the terms. Is the paperwork ready?"
"Yes Migeria, it is ready," Nozomu assured his friend. "My sister, how is she?"
"She is holding strong. Kyo is still a problem though. Shinrei reported her obvious emotional torment over his continued presence and her needing to deceive him."
"She will be fine. We only have a few days left where she must be troubled by all of this," Nozomu returned.
"Sanada agreed easily to backing off, but my friend, Kyo will never back off," Migeria said quietly.
"That is why our plan must go off flawlessly. He will only let my sister go when she is dead."
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please review.