Disclaimer: Ikkitousen characters and affiliates do not belong to me.

Another excuse for character exploration. Plotless, as usual.


By Tanya Lilac

They were lying in the sweet, fragrant grass, tired, sweaty and somewhat euphoric. The sun was setting but the air was still warm. The sky above was stained violet and peach at the horizon, the first sprinkling of stars beginning to unveil themselves in the east, announced by the moon. The sound of the city was never far away, but for now, it didn't seem to matter.

These moments, like many simple things, never lasted long. Something would jolt them back into reality; a stray thought, a far off sound, a meaningful glance.

Ryomou sighed as she fixed her eye patch again. Teifu rolled onto his side to watch her, stroking her electric blue hair.

"You shouldn't cut it," he murmured. "I think it suits you."

She looked at him. "You said that last time."

"I know." He stood and rubbed the sores on his wrists. "Were the handcuffs necessary?"

Ryomou sighed and tucked them away.

He never really understood what it was about her that seemed to draw him in. She was hardly like the rest of them, but that wasn't why. She could be shy one minute and utterly cold the next- Saji couldn't tell the difference (and neither could the others) but he had learned to read her eyes and moods like no one else. She smiled less and less these days- but they were hardly ever warm.

He helped her stand, and she flicked the grass stains off the back of her skirt. As she combed her fingers though her hair, she wondered why he always volunteered. She knew about his feelings, but she'd never felt the same way. Unlike Saji, he possessed a kind of earnest sincerity, something that should have compelled her to return his feelings, but it was never the case. He was caring and warm, but there was always something holding her back.

Teifu looked around the small clearing. Trees had been smashed to splinters, chi blasts had done more than left their mark upon trunks, and more than a few branches had been left imprinted with boot prints.

"Why do you always need to look?"

He smiled at her. "Because it's broken, and I always feel like I need to fix it."

"You're too idealistic," she said as they walked back to his scooter. "You dream too much for a Deva."

"Maybe you can be a Deva without being so cold all the time. Ruthlessness and honour are not the same things."

"Who said you needed honour?"

He glanced at her sharply. "One day, Ryomou Shimei, you are going to break the code of honour that Toushi have."

And when you do, I'll be there to catch you.

She was silent, but thought about it on the way home, her cheek pressed against his warm back. Teifu was far too idealistic, it was true, but... he would protect her, no matter what. She would have to do the same for him. It was the honourable thing to do.

Note: this kind of marks the beginning of Ryomou's signature wrestling moves – hence the handcuffs. And the 'code of honour' that she breaks refers to the fact that she disqualifies Teifu in the tournament by saving his life, in the future.