Title: Be Here with Me

Fandom: Manga – Air Gear

Author: Faker of Innocence aka goldenneko

Character(s)/Pairing(s): IkkixKazu

Summary: Until then, he was simply happy to hold the person who had held him all night long.

Rating: PG-13, for kissing and slight swearing.

Warning: Slight spoiler to chap. 242. BL.

A/N: My first contribution to the fandom, and a fanfiction after, like, a year? So, yeah.

Disclaimer: Me own nothing, fine. So don't rub it in, okay?

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They both stumbled into the dark house, with ATs and all still on. Kazu thanked whichever deity above who made Ayaka work late that night and decided to stay over at her friend's house.

Not that she minded him coming in late (she was used to it by now, anyways), but seeing the way they came in might bring in some unwanted questions.

"Ikki… help me out here, would you? Take off your ATs. I'm bringing you to my room, okay?" Only a silent nod on his shoulder answered him.

What are the rare occasions where the almighty Ikki have to be helped around just to get him to move?

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No one knew what actually happened that night. Kogarasumaru surely didn't, that's for sure. Tried as they might, even though they managed to finish their battle in time for the midnight battle, the Jiggy's home city was simply too far away for them to reach on time.

By the time they arrived, they were greeted by an almost hysterical Kururu and the rest of her Tool Toul To friends. And even they did not know what happened.

For some reasons, no one was able to witness the battle between Sleeping Forest and Genesis that night. Even audience and spectators who came in five hours early could not get into the battle area. But they did know what happened in the end.

The battle ended in favour for the Genesis, with the sacrifice of their swallow, Simca. The condition for the rest of the team remained unknown.

For the other team, the Noyamano girls' became the sacrifice. Kilik, Om and Gabishi were nowhere to be found, but the blood found scattered around the area was too much to belong to the girls'. The girls were not bleeding that badly, afterall.

All four girls are still alive, but even the doctors could not say anything to the rate of how long it would take for them to wake up, and eventually, recover.

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After struggling to take the Crow upstairs, they eventually arrived at Kazu's room.

Dumping Ikki's body onto his bed, the Stealth took off his Kogarasumaru's jacket along with his ever present beanie before doing the same to his friend.

"Ikki, stay here for a bit, 'kay? I'm going downstairs to see what we have to eat."

Not receiving any response, Kazu turned back to the bedroom door and started to walk out of the room.

Only to be stopped by a hug from behind.

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By the time they arrived at the battle scene, the girls have already been sent to the nearby hospital. Not even taking a break, they quickly ran to the hospital, mouths still gasping for the breaths they desperately need.

The hospital was in a chaotic state. Doctors, nurses and even some fans were moving around everywhere helping (or not, depending on whom), making it hard for them to ask.

Eventually, they were led to a hallway with more people hanging around. As it appeared, each girl was treated in a different room, with different doctors and nurses with them.

Not knowing what to do, the group was approached by Ine Makigai.

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"Ikki?"

Even when the mumbled answer was right beside his ear, Kazu still could not decipher what it was about. "What is it, Ikki?" He pressed on.

"… Stay here."

The hug around his shoulders tightened, as if unwilling to let him go.

Just like how unwilling for Kazu to see the Crow like this.

"Ikki, I have to get us something to eat. We haven't eaten since before our battle with Jiggy. And we have to take a bath, as well. My sis-"

He was cut off when Ikki turned him around to face him and pulled him closer by his waist.

"Stay here, with me."

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"Here," Ine said, hand shoving a piece of paper to the Kogarasumaru's captain. "I think it's for you. We found it in Simca's pocket."

Hastily, Ikki took the paper from the former Pledge Queen and read it. Silence was in the air, and the rest could not help but notice that Ikki was taking too long to read a small piece of paper.

"Fuck, what took you so long to read that small piece of paper?" Agito finally snapped, taking the paper from the Crow. Kazu noticed that that Ikki was not fighting back, and his hand previously holding the paper was shaking.

Moving over to behind Agito, Kazu read what was written on the paper, and his face became visibly pale.

'To the newly appointed Storm King,

Here, for you, from us, are your presents to celebrate your selection as the newly created Storm King of the Hurricane Road.

What else is the best way to celebrate, rather than with your family and with the one who showed you your path to fly?

Our best regards,

Takeuchi Sora.'

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In a way, Kazu guessed it was his luck that Agito decided to stay at Nakayama's house that night. Hell would definitely break loose if the small rider's other part saw them like this.

"Ikki…"

"It's me," the other started, cutting off anything Kazu was trying to say. "I'm the one they were doing all this for." His arms tightened even more around the smaller teen's waist.

Kazu could not bear to hear the pain in the other's voice. No, it reminded him too much of the time Ikki found out Takeuchi Sora's real intention.

At least, back then, he was still moving around (moping as he was).

"Ikki, listen…"

"Why?" It was as if Ikki did not hear Kazu talking at all. While his arms around his best friend, it was as if he was talking to himself. "Why must they do this? I thought Simca-san was important to them? Were they angry that Simca-san still talks to me? But why Ringo, Mikan and Ume as well? Were the-"

"Ikki, stop!"

Kazu pushed the boy away from him, forcing him to let go of him. "Look at me!" The dull, glazed eyes looking at him sent shivers to his body. 'No… this is not Ikki.'

"Ikki," Kazu tried again, his voice softer this time. "It's not your fault." The stern look on his face stopped the Crow from saying otherwise.

"Look, we know they're crazy, alright? We know that, all of us do. Especially the Sleeping Forest; especially Ringo, Mikan and Ume. But even if we know that, we still fight them, right? Remember what Ringo said? Tonight, one team will be forever annihilated. She was aware of it, Ikki. They were aware of it, as well. Even Simca."

Pulling Ikki's hands to him, he put his head on the other boy's shoulder. "And what happened to Simca wasn't your fault either. We didn't know what going on in her team, and we could not make any assumption until they wake up."

"… Until they wake up," Ikki said slowly, hands tightened around the smaller ones. Kazu tried not to flinch. He looked up to Ikki's face and put up a small smile.

"Yes. Until then, you're stuck with me." He attempted for a humor. His laughter, however, died at his throat when he noticed how Ikki was looking, staring at him with indescribable expression.

He did not have the chance to say anything else as a pair of chapped lips brushed softly at his eyes.

"I…Ikki?!"

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"Are… are you sure you're going to be alright with him, Kazu-kun?" Bucca asked, voice full of concern. Kazu appreciated that, the other boy had a heart as big as his body. Beside him, Onigiri, Adachi and Nakayama looked to the boy beside him worriedly.

"Yes, I… we will be alright. No problem. You guys just go home and rest, 'kay? I'll ring you guys if anything happens," Kazu continued, taking his place as the substitute captain, now that their captain was currently shocked to his core.

"And Agito?" The smaller boy looked up at him, eyes showing his worries about the current situation. "Can't you stay at someone else's today? I think I need to talk to Ikki alone."

The Shark looked at him, before saying, "Fuck. Whatever. Just make sure you snapped him out of it. Nakayama, can I…?" The last line was sent towards the long-haired girl, who quickly squeaked a 'Yes!' before the boy managed to finish his question.

Kazu sighed and put up a small smile. "Thanks, guys."

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At first, it was just a small kiss, before the same lips moved lower on his face, his nose, his chin, before going back up to his lips.

"I…Ikki, what are you-" He was immediately cut off by a kiss, not being able to even move his hands, restricted by a pair of larger hands.

"Just… just let me do this…" Ikki rasped, the moment their lips broke apart, before diving back onto the lips he just devoured seconds before that.

It was as if Kazu could not fight back. 'Do I even want to fight back?' The next thing he knew, he was pushed backwards onto his bed. "Ikki!"

"Please… just let me do this, please…" Ikki was now mumbling to himself, busying his hands with the hem of Kazu's shirt before pulling it off over his head.

"Ikki, it's me, Kazu, damnit!" Kazu's shout seemed to snap the Crow out of it. His eyes darted down, looking at the blond he had pinned to the bed, topless with his lips swollen from the kiss.

'It's Kazu, not Simca-san or Ringo.' Kazu, his best friend who had been in his dreams for the last few weeks.

"Because it's Kazu, it's going to be alright…" Even so, he could not stop. He leaned down, nuzzling the boy's cheek before kissing the lips once again.

Hearing those mumbled words, Kazu simply gave up the little fight he had, closed his eyes and started responding to the kisses the Crow was giving him.

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"Ikki?"

"K-kazu? Where's everyone else?"

"They've left. Come, we should go home too. They'll call us if anything happen, Ine-sensei promised me that."

The small, gentle hand squeezed his hand slightly.

"Don't worry, I'll be here with you, 'kay?"

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As he started to gain consciousness, the first thing he noticed was that his right arm was numb, as if there was something on it for a long time.

Slowly, he started to remember what happened last night. The battle between Sleeping Forest and Genesis… Ringo… Simca-san… Kazu…

Startled, he opened his eyes as he remembered what actually happen between him and his best friend last night. The first thing he saw after he opened them was the sleeping face of the blond rider.

Kazu looked peaceful, a small smile on his face as he unconsciously snuggled further into the Crow's neck, hands placed on his chest.

The Crow could not help but to smile at that, his left hand moved up to play with the soft lock of hair.

Kazu had been there for him, when anyone else did not know what to do with him that night, guilt-ridden as he was. The feeling was still there, but had been lifted up tremendously by his friend.

His smile turned to a frown. Can he still call the Stealth his friend? After what happened between them last night?

"Ikki…"

The small murmur of his name surprised Ikki out of his thoughts. Looking at Kazu, he resumed his smile, slowly and gently placing a kiss on the blond's forehead.

'Thank you, Kazu.'

With that, he pulled the blond closer to him, both arms around the other.

Leaning back slightly, Ikki decided that it could wait, at least until Kazu woke up and willing to talk to him about the battle last night, about the girls and about both of them.

Until then, he was simply happy to hold the person who had held him all night long.

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A/N: It's up to your interpretation what happened between Ikki and Kazu that night. Nope, I'm not going to say anything else.

First time writing for this pairing, first time for this fandom, what do you think?

CC are well appreciated. Thank you for reading.

F.o.I aka goldenneko