Red Roses2: This is a one-shot. It's my second Muhyo and Roji one-shot. Again, it's yaoi. MuhyoxRoji. Spoilers for those who have not read Volume 9 or past Article 71. This one-shot is seven pages.

Disclaimer: I don't own Muhyo and Roji. It belongs to Nishi Yoshiyuki.

!#$%^&*()_+~

"You can stay here," I say, glancing at Roji, giving him a look that was the closest to concerned that I would allow. Even that small look was a risk.

I couldn't let Roji learn I felt more than friendship for him. Though I know that sometimes he doubts that I care about him at all.

Roji looks at me, confused and a little scared. He always wears his heart right on his sleeve. Sometimes that annoys me. Other times I hate it. But not because it's obvious what he's feeling – because everyone else can see it too.

"You got dragged into this."

I don't want him to get hurt, trying to rescue someone he doesn't know.

"I won't force anyon- "

"No way. How can you even say that!?"

His face goes from distressed to stern.

"You take on too much, Muhyo! I might not know much about Enchyu. . . . . . But I've got plenty to say to him."

I can't help but wonder what he means by that.

"I know hwy he's jealous of you . . . and I think I get why he hates. But his mother surely wouldn't have wanted this! Maybe it's too late, but still . . ."

I hadn't wanted to hear that last part, but why would he put himself in danger if he thought it was a lost cause?

"Besides . . . . . . Magic law is for helping people. And I'm all about magic law!"

I look at him, trying to detect any kind of waver in his resolution. He gazes back, his expression set in determination, passively daring me to say he couldn't help.

Sometimes I let myself pretend he cares so much because he feels the same way. Then I remind myself that he's an idiot.

"Right?" he says, smiling. For once he's not asking for confirmation, merely an agreement.

"Heh. At least you talk the talk." Cue my trademark smirk.

Then the annoying brat came in.

~!#$%^&*()_+

This has to be what love is. It scares me. Not as much as ghosts do, but it does. I worry about him constantly. I'm glad I don't have to worry about being useful to him anymore, but I still worry. I still second guess. It's driving me insane.

But the flutter I get in my stomach is well worth it when he says that.

"You can stay here."

He's worried about me.

"You got dragged into this."

That's the only reason he'd be saying this.

"I won't force anyon- "

"No way."

But I'd worry too much if he went alone. Without me.

"You can you even say that!? You take on too much, Muhyo! I might not know much about Enchyu. . ."

He gets a faraway look in his eye, and my heart twists as I let my suspicion crawl in – that he and Enchyu were a couple.

"But I've got plenty to say to him."

He's regret causing Muhyo the pain that he won't let me see.

"I know why he's jealous of you . . . And I think I get why he hates."

But if he loved Muhyo, he never would have left.

"But his mother surely wouldn't have wanted this! Maybe it's too late, but still. . . ."

I don't know if I want Enchyu to be savable or not.

"Besides. . ."

Whatever makes Muhyo happy, I guess.

"Magic law is for helping people."

I just don't want to lose him.

"And I'm all about magic law!"

I want a chance to have him.

"Right?"

He gives that smirk that's both cute and creepy at the same time.

"Heh. At least you talk the talk."

The door creaks open, and Kenji enters the conversation. It's nice to see him again, but I don't think Muhyo appreciates it.

~!#$%^&*()_+

"Now where's that idiot of mine?" I ask, my arms crossed. It wouldn't be good if he faced that Ark member all by himself. Hopefully, he's running like I told him to.

"Actually . . . I've been trying to call him!" Imai replies, her phone making "bring!"ing noises. "He's not picking – "

Imai put the phone to her ear at the sounds of the other end picking up.

"Finally! Hey, Roji - "

She cuts off, and from the look on her face, it's obvious it's not what she wanted to hear. Fear is something one sees constantly in this profession. I'm a little concerned myself, but Roji isn't that big an idiot. He probably dropped his phone, so that's why the bad guys have it.

He couldn't get into deep trouble that easily.

"Hee hee."

I smirk as I clue in on what the situation must be.

That wasn't Roji. Was it?"

~!#$%^&*()_+

I pull against my bindings.

"What the!?"

I had to have passed out. The last thing I remember is handling a knife and Umekichi asking me something . . . Where is everyone?

"Poor boy. . ." Panza says, looking at me with pitying, reassuring eyes. "You really have forgotten me!" She points at me. "It's okay. Once I clear your mind of distractions, I'm sure you'll remember."

"What?"

Muhyo is standing next to her, under her spell or whatever it is, a bit of drool escaping his mouth, slowly trickling down his lower lip. Fear grips me. What is she planning to do to him?

"Muhyo!"

"Yes." Panza says, her eyes drifting to look at Muhyo. "Distractions!"

I look on, helpless, tied to the chair, as Panza grips her knife, throws her arm back, and swings the blade, stabbing Muhyo in the chest, his shirt ripping.

"NO!"

Not Muhyo! Please, no! Let this be a horrible dream, please!

"Muhyo!"

Please get up! I don't want you to die!

"MUHYOOOOO!"

Panza pulls the knife out, and Muhyo falls to the ground, lifeless.

~!#$%^&*()_+

Roji yells at Panza to untie him, that there's still time to save "me." I feel kind of bad for making him cry and howl like that, but this was the only way the plan would work. And it's not really me, so he won't cry for long.

"Why? Why?" Panza yells. "What's he to you?"

Who is this girl, anyway?

"Why's he more important . . . than me?"

I really doubt I'm as important to him as she seems to think. But it's nice to know he cares a lot.

Roji falls, and the chair falls with him. While still tied to it, he pushes himself towards "my corpse", crying my name.

Then the seven-faced dog reveals himself.

"Hey. Mutt face. Who said you could drop the disguise?" I say.

Roji gawks at me, tears still in his eyes. He's completely bewildered. I don't really blame him.

"Yo."

~!#$%^&*()_+

Muhyo walks into the center of the circle of puppets, holding his magic law book out in front of him, smirking.

Sorry to crash the party, Panza."

He's okay! He's really okay! Thank goodness!

I still have a chance to tell him I love him someday.

"Whew. . ."

I sniff, tears rolling down my cheeks again. I hide my face in my arm.

"I – I thought you were dead!"

He gives me a slightly annoyed but reassuring look.

"I don't die that easily."

~!#$%^&*()_+

"You little cheater!!" Panza screams at me.

I laugh.

"I didn't see you playing fair!" I reply.

"You . . . You . . . YOUUUUUUUU DIE!"

She lifts her hands up and her puppets, Imai included, advance on us. Imai lifts her staff, prepared to bask me on the head.

Muhyo! Look out!" Roji cries, and he moves to shield me . . . with his own body.

Then the seven-faced dog and I cut the strings attached to them.

Imai's staff fell short, and Roji isn't hurt. Good.

Stupid Roji.

~!#$%^&*()_+

Does Panza think Muhyo is . . . well . . . m-my boyfriend? Is that why she never gathered the courage to just come out and talk to me? Or is it just because Muhyo was intimidating? And I am always with him. . . .

"I'm sorry! I . . . I shouldn't have talked to you . . . Then Teeki wouldn't have found you!"

I'm sorry I would have broken your heart, anyway.

"If I'd only realized sooner!"

Because I'm in love with Muhyo.

"You could have gone back to normal. . ."

Is it that obvious? Obvious enough to make someone like her feel like that?

"We could have been normal friends. . ."

I'm sorry.

"It's okay, Roji," says Panza.

~!#$%^&*()_+

I'm not stupid enough to be jealous of her. Roji's an emotional idiot, after all.

But why was I a factor in her problems? What about Roji and me could possibly had deterred her? Was she just too shy for her own good?

Or did she see through me?

Or is she just stupid to think Roji likes me back?

Enjoy Heaven, Panza. You really do deserve it.