Second Chances

Author's Notes: Um. I don't feel like writing these this time. You'll all have to figure out my motivation yourself.

Credits: Thanks again to Flamebyrd, who I *keep* getting good fic ideas from. She suggested the idea for this fic, and I took her up on it.

Warnings: Yaoi. ::rolls eyes:: Seishirou x Subaru, Kamui+Fuuma, a *teensy* bit of Keichii+Kamui (that's more implied than anything else.) Maybe some other pairings if I feel adventurous. Also Sorata+Arashi, not that this is yaoi or anything. Other warnings? Hm... for now, none. Later there will be some violence and some angst and maybe some minor death. Actually, major death, but it's all happened before the story starts so it's okay. Also, this is AU. Verrrry AU. It takes place *after* X, so I'm kind of making up how X will end. (Though I'm beginning to think I'm not too far off.) The beginning will probably breed mass confusion, but *that's* okay.

Disclaimer: ::looks at dorm room:: Yeah. Right.

"It's not like you didn't know that
I said I love you and I swear I still do
It must have been so bad
Cause living with me must have damn near killed you
It's not like you to say sorry
I was waiting on a different story
This time I'm mistaken
For handing you a heart worth breakin'"
-- Nickelback, "How You Remind Me"


//There is a moment in every person's life when the universe around them stops, blurs, fades, and everything comes to a screeching halt around them. In that moment there is absolute clarity, the ability to see everything that was wrong and everything that was right, everything they should've done and never did, everything they never did and should've done, everything that might have been and never was. In that moment light shines through your life like glass through a windowpane, and it illuminates all your actions, your emotions, your devotions, and your mistakes.

This is the moment before you die.

In that moment, there is agony of both the body and the soul; there is fear and hatred and despair. But there is also a pervading sense of peace, of quiet and calm and understanding.

This is where your life has taken you.

For better or for worse, this is how it ends.

There is no going back, no righting the wrongs you made or apologizing to those you caused pain, forgiving those who deserved forgiveness.

You can only forgive yourself.//


//Forgiveness comes from so deep within the heart that it can get tangled, or torn, or never fully realized. It hurts to forgive, and it hurts more to withhold the forgiveness.

The moment of death is a moment of understanding, a moment of clarity and acceptance of everything your life has contained, and at the end of the moment you are washed clean of your sins and given a clean slate.//

"Subaru-chan, wake up . . ."

//There is rain, and darkness, and blood.

And that is where his memory ends.//

"Subaru-chan, you're going to be late for school!"

Sumeragi Subaru sat up with a start. "What?"

Hokuto clicked her tongue with disapproval. "Come on! It's seven o'clock already!"

Subaru meeped and leapt out of bed. Hokuto nodded, satisfied, and headed back to the kitchen.

"Did you have weird dreams again?" she asked.

"Yeah," he replied, pushing his hair out of his face. His dreams were so vague that he didn't really like to discuss them. Especially not with his older sister, who would attempt to analyze them in the best Freudian way, and it always meant something that it shouldn't.

"Well, hurry up," she said gently. "Kamui will be here soon."

Subaru nodded and bolted his breakfast, then ran back into his room to get ready. He threw on his high-school uniform, then ran a brush through his hair and wandered out to the living room. As usual, he was running late and Kamui was in the kitchen talking to Hokuto while he waited, spinning his school tie around one finger.

"Having trouble with the tie again?" Subaru asked.

Kamui turned to hear his voice, startled, then nodded. "Yeah. I can never get it straight."

"Let me." Subaru took the tie out of Kamui's hands and knotted it efficiently, then gave it a quick tug to straighten it. "There you go."

Kamui nodded his thanks. "We're going to be late," he said, checking his watch.

"I know."

Hokuto handed him his lunch. "Are you staying after for anything today?"

Subaru thought about it.

Kamui nudged him and whispered, "The archery team is going to be practicing."

Subaru jumped as if he'd been stung. "Uh, yeah, neesan, there are a few things I need to do." He laughed nervously. "I'll be a little late. Mata ne!" He hurried out of the building, pulling Kamui after him.

Kamui snickered at his friend's obvious discomfiture. "You don't have to stay after and watch them practice, you know."

"I know," Subaru said. "But I like to help out."

"Mm hmm." Kamui was obviously not convinced.

"I had one of those dreams last night," Subaru said, changing the subject quickly.

Kamui glanced at him quickly. He knew that Subaru didn't like to talk about them; he usually didn't bring them up. "They've been getting more frequent, haven't they?"

Subaru nodded a little. "I feel like something weird is about to happen."

Kamui gave him another quick look. Subaru was a member of the Sumeragi Clan, even though he was so far into the branches of the family tree that it barely counted for anything. He had always shown good intuition. "You're probably just nervous about the new semester beginning," he finally said.

"I hope so."

The two of them walked to the school in near silence, both wrapped up in their own thoughts.

Subaru walked into the classroom and stopped dead in his tracks.

//a bridge, suspended high above the water, and a crumpled figure lying at his feet -- there was blood, and he somehow couldn't breathe -- it was cold, very cold, and he could hear a few whispered words//

"Subaru?" Kamui pushed him the rest of the way into the classroom and made his way in. Then he stopped. "Oh. I guess they're doing that thing they were talking about last year."

"What thing?" Subaru asked, staring across the classroom.

"The thing about taking smart juniors and mixing them in with the seniors." Kamui was watching his friend in amusement. "Come on. Let's sit down."

Subaru nodded slightly and allowed Kamui to guide him to an empty seat, then sit him down. "Subaru, you're staring."

With a supreme effort, Subaru tore his eyes away from the figure across the room. "I don't want to be with the seniors."

"Why not?" Kamui grinned at him. "It's a chance to see your precious Sakurazuka-senpai every day."

Subaru turned bright red. "Don't say that so loud!" he hissed.

Kamui just grinned even wider, completely unremorseful. Then he plopped into the seat next to Subaru, all arms and legs and boneless grace.

"It's not like he even knows I exist," Subaru muttered.

"Well, no," Kamui agreed, "but if you have to get obsessed with someone, you've shown extremely good taste." Kamui began to tick Sakurazuka-senpai's good points off on his fingers. "He's handsome, intelligent, captain of the archery team -- "

"Enough already . . ." Subaru pushed his hair out of his face. "I don't have a chance, Kamui. He'd never be interested in me."

Kamui watched Sakurazuka-senpai greet his fellow classmates with a friendly smile.

The teacher came in and called everyone to their seats, then took attendance. "Announcements," he said. "To begin with, I'm not the regular teacher for this class; I'm only a substitute. Your regular teacher will be in tomorrow. Secondly, I'm sure you've noticed that this class has some younger students in it this year." He introduced the five juniors and pointed them out. Kamui smiled at the class. Subaru turned red and looked like he would've liked to crawl under the carpet, especially when Sakurazuka-senpai's eyes fell on him in mild curiosity.

"Also, there's a transfer student this semester; he's also a year younger than most of you." The teacher turned to the door and waved for the young man to come in. "Everyone, this is Monou Fuuma-kun. He'll be joining you this semester."


Okay, I know the thing about mixing classes is pretty unlikely, but they did it in *my* school, so why not in Japan? ::Sweatdrop:: And I dunno, Seishirou just seems like the archery type.

Next installment: Seishirou speaks, Fuuma speaks, and the indentity of the mysterious teacher is revealed. Also, you may get more of a clue as to what's going on.