Title: Rival Unraveled

Author: Midnight Rose Princess

Rating: M (for Kazuma's language, and violence in later chapters)

Summary: Ryuhou and (OC)Selina go to find Kazuma for Kanami. They do, and as Kazuma's past is played before Ryuhou's eyes, will his feelings for Kazuma turn into something else?

Midnight's Note: Ok.. Here's the long awaited Chapter 5. Sorry it took me, what, over a year to update, but my life isn't just about fanfiction. I have my parents to be there for and of course look out for/help/deal with my friends' issues and shoulder some of their drama at times. I've seriously thought about being a pro therapist when I'm older, but I still want to be a 3-D animator, so I guess I'll just have to leave any of my future would-be patients to find a hobby to distract them (I would have recommended FFNet anyway LOL).

Disclaimer: Are you trying to make me cry? I do not own Scryed. If I did, you wouldn't know about it, because I'd keep Kazu-kun all to myself. You can have Mimori, though. Hahaha, don't take it personally! If you're a (female) Kazuma fan like me I'm sure you feel the same way, right?

Warning: This is yaoi. There, you've been warned.

Also, things have now changed a bit:

italics are thoughts

print = regular

bold = title or author's notes


Chapter Five: Treatment

Selina shivered. "It's getting cold. I don't want to waist the lamp." She went outside the cave and came back a second later with some wood she'd seen while searching earlier. She took out a match after putting the wood in a circle and made a fire.

The wind outside was howling as it passed through the canyon and the fire inside the cave crackled. Selina turned out the lamp so that the only source of light was the fire.

"So he's out of the coma, right?" Ryuhou asked.

"Yes, but the side-effect of my power when I use it like that is that he'll be asleep normally for about a day and a half. I think that happens because the patients I usually treat need rest and my Alter just adapted to do that."

Ryuhou nodded, but asked, "Selina, your Alter, when you've finished using it on people who are in comas, do you remember everything they do?"

"What do you mean?" Selina asked, tilting her head slightly.

"Well, if you remember everything you see for all the comatose people you've treated, plus your own memories, how do you not go into... I don't know, memory-overload?"

Selina giggled at the term, but smiled, "Simple: I'm an Alter user."

Ryuhou blinked, then nodded, now finding it a stupid question.

"Here," she said, taking the extra cloak out of the backpack and tossing it to Ryuhou, "You're going to keep him warm tonight, so cover him with that."

"Wait, what?" Ryuhou said as he blinked.

"If he stays laying on the ground like that, he'll get even sicker, and that's the last thing we need right now, right?" she replied logically.

She was right, of course. The stone floor was cold. Without some kind of heat source, it would leech away every shred of warmth from Kazuma's body. The last thing he needed was a chill that would give him a fever, but still...

"Don't look at me like that, Ryuhou-san. I'm a girl, I can't keep him warm."

Ryuhou nodded, for that made sense. The only girl who would be willing to keep Kazuma warm and not have it be awkward would be Kanami, and that's only because they were like brother and sister. Selina sat down by the fire and layed down, wrapping her cloak around herself. She was out like a light, no doubt exhausted from using her Alter. Ryuhou sighed and lifted Kazuma up to knee level, wrapping the cloak around him. He sat down Indian-style while leaning against the wall. He let Kazuma lean against him.

Ryuhou sighed, troubled. He had to get all this information straightened out in his head or he'd go mad from over thinking it. Most of the mysteries about Kazuma he'd wanted to ask about, but would never be answered by Kazuma himself (knowingly, anyway), had been answered. But one major question remained: with all this new knowledge, could he act the same towards Kazuma? Ryuhou doubted it would be easy due to the overwhelming sympathy he now felt towards the younger alter user. But if he knew Kazuma half as well as he thought he did, he deeply doubted that Kazuma would be all right with the knowledge of people prying in his mind. Ryuhou found it believable that Kazuma would feel furious, if not a little bit unveiled. Anger like that could only made Kazuma run off again, maybe this time never to come back. With that, the ex-holy member decided that although it would be a challenge, he had to try his best act as if he knew nothing and keep this whole thing a secret.

~Next Day~

3 figures made their way across the desolate landscape in the direction of a village, the monolithic formations of the Lost Ground surrounding them in the noon-time light. Selina led the way, carrying both the backpacks and somehow not falling under the weight. Ryuhou carried the sleeping Kazuma on piggyback, letting Kazuma's head rest on his shoulder so he could keep track of his breathing.

At dawn, Ryuhou had told Selina his thoughts from the night before and she agreed, thinking it probable from the memories Kanami had shown her of Kazuma's personality. They'd mutually decided that they would tell him that Selina's ability was just a physically healing alter power, and tell Kanami and the others to do the same. Selina agreed that keeping a secret this big felt wrong, so she'd promised that the only person she'd ever even tell of the memories to would be Kanami, who had a right to know more than they did.

As they walked, which they'd been doing since a little before daybreak, Ryuhou thought back on Kimishima. How must it have felt, he thought, to have your friend die literally on your back? I felt horrible enough when Scheris died saving me... His mind, of its own accord, thought what he would feel like if Kazuma died on his back now in the present. Shuddering inwardly at the horrid thought, Ryuhou pushed it to the back of his mind.

About 10 minutes later, they reached their destination. They'd passed through mid-sized town before as they'd headed towards the mountains. It was peaceful like most of the villages in the Lost Ground now, thanks to Ryuhou and Kazuma's actions against the Mainland. And since the watermelon harvest that dominated the Lost Ground due to Urizane and Elian's efforts was still a few weeks off, the marketplace wasn't very crowded and was populated mostly by locals.

They headed to the town inn and rented two rooms for a week. Selina's room had one bed, and Ryuhou and Kazuma shared a room that had two beds. Each room had bathroom, and room service was available. Ryuhou set Kazuma down on one of the beds, and hung up their cloaks on the bed posts when Selina came in carrying what looked like a more equipped first-aid kit that had a strap over one of her shoulders and a bowl of water with a rag in it.

"Here, Ryuhou-san," she said, giving him some money with her free hand, "I need to treat his wounds properly, and it wouldn't do him any good to put back on those ruined clothes afterwards. Do you think you can go into town and buy him some new clothes so his wounds won't get infected through the old ones?"

"Sure," Ryuhou said, taking the money and nodding at her logic. "I'll be back in about 45 minutes, then," he said, leaving the room. How am I supposed to know what size he wears? he ranted to himself in his mind at first, but he did have a good idea of the size Kazuma would wear due to the few months they spent together fighting the first of the Mainland opposition. Sighing, he went to see if any of the stores in town would have the kind of clothes Kazuma would wear.

Meanwhile, Selina started to work on taking off Kazuma's jacket and shirt to see his chest, where she could tell most of the injuries were. This didn't embarrass her in the slightest due to her medical training. She did, of course, work with the doctor in the village she and Kanami lived in, and thus had plenty of experience in dealing with many kinds of patients. To her, Kazuma was just another patient in this scenario. She looked at the Scars covering the right half of Kazuma's chest and side of his waist, knowing they'd must have caused him great deal of discomfort for the past few years. There were cuts here and there on the left side of his chest and his arms, which looked like they came from thorns of some kinds or a shallow cut with a knife. Probably a street fight, Selina thought at that, or maybe an assassin from the Mainland who got lucky.

Opening the new kit she'd gotten from the inn's own store for supplies for the average traveler, she got out some healing salve, antibiotics, and bandages. She smoothed the salve over the scars, which made his restless expression relax slightly. She took the antibiotics and put them on the cuts and grazes before bandaging up his chest, but making sure it was loose enough just enough for his breathing to not be restrained. She put smaller bandages on the cuts deeper than others on his arms, and put the miniature ice packs from the kit on the bruises she'd found, waiting for a few minutes before taking them off. She took the wet rag and tried to wipe as much dirt and grime as she could from Kazuma that she already hadn't in her treatments. His hair would need shampoo to properly get out the dirt, but that would have to wait until he woke up. She continued the rest of her work diligently as time ticked by.

By the time she was finished, he looked much better than before. She closed the kit and put the rag back in what was now the bowl full off dirty water before stepping back to look at her work, checking for anything she might have missed. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Selina went over and cracked it open to see Ryuhou with what she took to be a bag of clothes. "Great Ryuhou-san, thanks!" she said, taking the bag and starting to close the door.

"Wait! Why can't I-?" Ryuhou started, trying to edge closer inside.

Seline smirked. "Believe it or not, I'm not the kind of person to take someone's last shred of pride away. Kazuma-san's gonna keep his dignity, you dig?" she asked rhetorically.

Ryuhou nodded, but pressed in confusion, "But what am i supposed to-"

"Just wait here and twiddle your thumbs like a patient little alter user, all right?" she said, shutting the door and locking it for good measure.

A cloud of doom hung itself over Ryuhou and he leaned against the hallway wall with his arms crossed, muttering things like "it's my room, too," or "he's already prideful enough." There was definitely a muttered "little memory flipping alter user" said as well.

Selina giggled at the tidbits she heard. I bet he thought that since I was friends like Kanami, I was always soft-spoken like her. Well, sorry to disappoint, but believe it or not, this "little memory flipping alter user" has some spunk in her. Kana-chan (A/N: her nickname for Kanami) said you'd react like that-I'll have to remember to tell her she was right. Now back by the bed, she took the clothes out of the bag. Ryuhou hadn't done too bad at all. He'd gotten a dark red tank/muscle shirt, simple black jeans, and a black jacket, even a pair of red underwear. Selina wondered how Ryuhou knew Kazuma preferred "commando" style, but let it slide. She re-clothed her patient in all but the jacket, putting his old clothes in the bag and setting it on the ground.

Putting back on a bright smile, she went back over to the door and unlocked it. "You can come in now," she said to Ryuhou, who came in with annoyance still traceable on his face.

He looked at Kazuma for a moment. "How is he?" he asked.

"Not too bad," Selina said. She came over and lifted Kazuma's upper body up to put the jacket loosely over his shoulders before laying him back down onto the bed. "But still not in the best shape," she said, pulling the blankets from the end of the bed up and covering Kazuma up to his collar bone with them.

Ryuhou nodded. "So what's the plan of action from here on?" he asked, referring on their goal to get him back to Kanami.

"I'm not sure. We shouldn't move him anymore until he's awake. And even when he does wake up, he'll be weak for about 6 or 8 days, give or take a few hours," she said, shrugging at the last bit.

"Then we'll just wait until he's recovered enough to plan how to get him to Kanami," he said.

Selina nodded, "Sounds good to me." She suddenly got a mischievous smile on her face, "I almost forgot... what do we do if he refuses?" She looked to Ryuhou, still brimming with mischief.

"Simple," Ryuhou smirked, "Drag him back anyway."

Selina giggled. "I thought Kazuma-san was the one who liked to use the direct method," she said.

"He's rubbing off on me," Ryuhou said.

Selina's eyes widened in mock fear and she looked down at her patient. "Kami-sama, give me and Kana-chan strength," she said in a faux morbid voice. (A/N: Kami-sama means "God")

Ryuhou chuckled at the spunky girl, earning a laugh from her before she bed him farewell and went to her own room for some sleep. He shut the door behind her while she bounded over to hers, which was across the hall, before going over to his own bed. He had a feeling he was going to need strength himself to deal with whatever happened next, be it dealing with an angry Kazuma or a bitter one in the next few days.


Midnight: And there's the end of chapter 5. Things really start moving next chapter, when Kazuma wakes up. This chapter, as you can probably tell by now, was to show more of Selina's personality. I utterly cannot stand Mary Sues and lose patience with any kind of self-inserts, so I make sure to do my best to make my character as humanly believable as I possibly can. Selina's life has made her to where she is naturally spunky and loves life normally, is dead-serious when it comes to anything medical or her alter power, and also got a bit of a mischievous side that likes to humorously mess with people (but not in any kind of harmful way). Again, I'm sorry for taking so long to update. But life is life. This summer though will be an entirely different story for all my fanfics. ^_^