Because Long Road Home doesn't need updating (?)

Two pieces of exposition for two carnations.

Simpleton's Matter

Present Frame of Mind

Memories of green grass two centuries away and a time when Yuki's hair was brown dragged Kyo into (welcome) sleep…

Upon awakening Kyo felt as if he'd weathered a storm. His limbs were heavy from sleep and his eyelids stuck together. With great effort he blinked awake, staring at the ceiling as his senses came alive. Curled away from him, Yuki breathed softly. The pale stretch of bare skin was smooth to the touch; Kyo ran his fingers over the outlines of Yuki's spine just to feel the bones and heartbeat beneath. Warmth radiated from the touch.

The afternoon sun shone through the window over their heads, the clocked ticked away at the desk before their feet. Kyo wiggled his toes, stretched his fingers, and then slid silently from the bed. The floorboards in Yuki's room were covered by a warming rug, for which Kyo was grateful. Kyo wiggled his toes, again, over the material. It was foreign to stand naked in front of these four white wash walls. He stretched his arms above his head, shaking free the tension he no longer contained. Kyo's spine voiced release and beneath his chest his blood pumped slowly, calm and relaxed. Sensibility had crashed over him sometime in the night.

Carefully, Kyo left with what little clothes had followed into the room clutched beneath his arm. He padded the hallway unconcerned with his nudity. A light snoring sound came from the confines of Shigure's office and the kitchen was the same as Tohru had left it the day before. Kyo assumed Hana and Uo had kidnapped the girl for another night. An ancient rumble started at the base of his throat but Kyo failed to define if it was of pleasure or frustration. Instead the cat gathered the discarded clothes and rung out the rain soaked items before dumping them in the washroom.

He stole into the fridge as the house itself groaned. Fingers tightened around the milk container and red eyes scanned the space around them. Feeling idle Kyo could do nothing but grow worried about the consequences of his and Yuki's coupling.

"The evidence is gone," he growled chidingly to himself. Then he chugged half the carton.

Yuki surfaced into a lonely bed. Afternoon light was in full strength and the sight made him cringe and moan. He clutched his head like a mad man as it pulsed with the pain of being run down by a train.

Kyo had whispered, "Relax."

Yuki choked on the memory as his limbs felt as heavy as lead. It was a fight between strained muscles and the burning sun. With a whimper of aggravation Yuki dropped his hands to the mattress –heavy. Tears collected in the corners of his eyes as the sun burned through his eyelids. Muscles ached where they had never before – not in this lifetime. Running a hand down his thighs, fingers cold against the veined flesh, Yuki finally opened his eyes. Cutting off another panting groan Yuki pulled his chest and knees together, meeting where he sat on the mattress. The sheets fell about him and for a moment thin fingers held fast to his knees.

The floor was bare of any sign of dirty clothing but Yuki didn't notice. His pulsing mind was aware of the ebbing headache; it began to feel like any other morning.

When the door slid open once more Yuki had managed to wrangle some briefs up his legs. From the threshold Kyo watched the rat struggle to get a shirt over his head. Seated on the bed, Yuki had one arm through the sleeve while the other arm was hidden below the wrist. Merely a lump beneath the blue material, beside the impressions that were Yuki's nose and lips. Never one for modesty, Kyo chuckled aloud.

The headless body swiveled to face the door and nearly toppled over from loss of balance. Kyo laughed outright as he watched Yuki tug himself free. Yuki sent Kyo a withering look as he dropped his head to his palm. He stared tiredly at Kyo as smiles started slowly on their faces.

Some of Yuki's bed addled hair fell into his eyes as he turned his head slowly to watch Kyo close the door. As the redhead sat on the bed beside Yuki he tried to tuck the hair back but it merely fell back down.

"Thanks," Yuki murmured. A dry laugh escaped his lips as his eyes slid closed. Kyo hummed through a grin, watching the tired being beside him. His fingers untangled from Yuki's hair and traced down to high cheekbones. Rubbing a thumb over the pale skin Kyo inspected the visible bite marks. Yuki moaned softly as Kyo's thumb traced the back of his ear.

"Good morning, love."

Kyo caught the corner of yawning lips and murmured a greeting in return. His nose continued on, to nuzzle against Yuki's ear. His eyelashes grazed against gray eyebrows just as the lips turned to catch together head on. Kyo stared at Yuki's closed eyes as he leaned his head against the boy's forehead. The rat looked exhausted, six hours of sleep not being but what he usually aimed for. Kyo whispered this humorously to Yuki who growled playfully.

"Stupid cat." Amethyst eyes opened and blinked into red irises. The cat stared at him with worry and Yuki couldn't help but laugh.

"I'm not fragile," he reminded Kyo. However, he did not hinder Kyo's attempts to put him back to bed. As the sheets were pulled back up around them Yuki curled around Kyo's back. The redheaded shivered when lips pressed at the base of his neck.

"Your nose is freezing," Kyo teased as the lips were replaced. A yawn stretched across his back before even breathing warmed his naked skin. The arms about his waist tightened and the wakeful creature felt like a completed puzzle – as corny to think as it was. Kyo laced his fingers with the group lain upon his hip. Yuki murmured into his ear and then their hearts threatened to fall into time.

Words dashed wildly at Kyo's lips, threatening to spill and spoil everything they touched. They were paranoid words, justified words, and terrified words. A whimper escaped the cat's lips but he clenched his eyes shut and tried to shut that out. Yuki's offer hung over his head and threatened with a single word. Wanting to escape Kyo turned in the clenching arms and faced Yuki. Kyo pulled the laced fingers with him and held them beneath his chin. The other hand shifted but held on across his back. A smile curved the pale lips, flush on cheeks and a sleepy murmur from Yuki. Kyo kissed the lips to escape tears and words. Yuki continued to smile.

"I have slept half a century in wait," the rat murmured. "Tell me what haunts you."

"In half a year I'm to be thrown in a cage."


19th Century

The sun was shining through the curtains when Yuki awoke and Kyo was hovered above him. Kyo's hands were clenched on either side of Yuki's head and his muscles running from his wrists to his shoulder blades were tense. A look of inquiry was on Kyo's face as their eyes met, then red irises narrowed. Yuki voice caught in his throat only to be released when Kyo leaned down to press their lips together.

It was a test Yuki found as he watched Kyo pull back. Hesitantly, feeling like he was on fragile ice, Yuki raised his hands to Kyo's temples.

"Rat," Kyo murmured. Yuki's hands froze half an inch from the older man's skin. His purple eyes widened in horror and his heart began to beat wildly.

Kyo chuckled lowly in his throat, a smile finally appearing over his features. Leaning his head against one palm Kyo raised his hand to pull Yuki's other palm against his skin. He closed his eyes and the smile curled with an air of mischievousness.

"I've missed you too," Kyo murmured before turning his head to kiss each palm in turn.

Yuki hovered between tears and rage. Choosing middle ground, Yuki ran his fingers down Kyo's jaw line, over the beard and back onto smooth skin, feeling Kyo's collar bones when he slipped the tips of his fingers below the warm clothing.

"So you do remember," Yuki stated. The curse word went without saying and the two men laughed. Their fingers roamed beneath shirts and over warm skin – creating a choir of gasps and groans.