Ohayo minna-sama

Here's the slightly edited version of this one shot. It still wasn't beta'ed (actually, I just re-read it, but as I've improved a little, I was able to remove the worst mistakes...)

Anyway, here it is. Please tell me in a review what you think about it, or if you find any mistake...

Dewa mata ^_^

Loveless - Protection

Sôbi opened his eyes and slowly moved his gaze towards the child in his lap. He didn't want to wake him, but he couldn't resist the urge to watch Ritsuka's sleeping form against his.

The young boy, now 13 years old, was snuggling lovingly against the lengthy older man. It was the first time he let his guard down that much around his friend, and Sôbi was enjoying it very much.

Letting his mind wander, following the flow of his memories, he remembered a time when he had to use all his seduction tricks to get closer to the un-trusting boy. Well, Ritsuka had all the rights to be angry at him, seeing that he never had the right answers to the questions he asked.

That was not the case any more, and as the bond between them strengthened,trust replaced lies and half truths.

Sôbi let a soft smile cross his lips as he recalled the pained expression on the child's face when he'd realised his Fighter had fought without him, causing him to be badly crippled.

He caressed his lover's hair, watching his silvery river melting in the boy's ebony mane. Undoubtedly, he was the milk in his coffee and the sugar of his life, giving back his existence meaning when Seimei's death had wiped all of it.

He sighed. How he would have liked for the child to be awake at this instant, just to see the joy sparkle in his dark yet smiling eyes.

Ritsuka stirred in his sleep, emitting soft little distressed noises, grasping Sôbi's shirt with his hands in an unconscious search for comfort and security. Spreading his long limbs over the small body of his beloved one, the adult obeyed the unspoken order by hugging him closer to his chest, stroking his jet black hair with his right hand. The young boy relaxed slightly, sighing in contentment and pleasure.

He wandered if the kid was dreaming again about his brother... He had never talked about it after this first time he had asked this so painful question... He just had seemed to accept his fate bravely, living every day to it's fullest.

Or perhaps he was reliving this dreadful day when his mother had broken a plate by hurling it towards her son's innocent head, nearly killing him in the process. Sôbi had spent two nerve racking days searching for the one he was sworn to protect, to finally find him in a hospital room, covered in bandages, a perfusion instilling strong painkillers in his frail body.

In spite of all Ritsuka's vain attempts to reassure his older friend, Sôbi had decided to take the kid with him the day he went out of the hospital, threatening his parents to turn them down to the police when they faintly protested. For all they knew now, their child was lost to them. In fact, he had been lost for the past three years...

Whatever, Sôbi could watch over him now more than ever. He eyed his innocent mouth now curled in a gentle smile and refrained himself from kissing it. That would definitely wake him... He realised then that he couldn't resist much longer and he softly brushed his own lips against the boy's, fascinated by the smoothness of his skin.

Ritsuka deepened the kiss, to the elder man's surprise, and put a gentle hand on his cheek, stroking gently his partner's silvery hair with the other. It took every bit of willpower the man had in his possession not to take him by force and the kiss let him panting heavily, searching for air and self control. This was very unexpected, and he looked warily at his Sacrifice, an unusual look of surprise painted all over his face.

"I love you" was all the young teenager could muster before he went back to sleep, leaving a very frustrated but happy Sôbi wandering if he could go and take a cold shower without disturbing his lover's dreamless slumber again. He chose not to move.

The realisation then struck him as thunder would have: all this time he thought he had protected the child, he thought he had fought for him and his safety...

And yet, the one being protected had always been him.