Author's Note: Kyaaaaaaahh~!!!! I....am SO proud of myself!! After sufferin' from a horrendous case of writer's block, I got a random burst of inspiration - I blame Harmony283 fer this (Inspiration this strong gives me headaches, an' our conversations are DANGEROUS. Seriously, hon...yer like...my fricken muse, right now, y'know tha' right?) - an' I NEVER finish anythin'!!!!! 8D I spent from 'bout...11:30pm-7:30am writin' this. Eight hours. One of which was jus' used ta edit/revise/etc. Didn't actually SLEEP till 'bout 9am...then got up at 'bout 10:45. So....if I seem overly hyper, it's b'cuz I'm runnin' on less than 2 hours' sleep~

IN ANY CASE. A good friend of mine recently got me inta "PSYREN", an'....it's safe ta say I was instantly hooked. Got caught up on jus' over 2 days. An' - go figure - I got an urge ta write fer my OTP, Asaga x Tatsuo. This....was actually originally part of the series of drabbles I'm workin' on fer this pairing, but....it got waaaaaay too long. x.x Which....really, was NOT intentional. Hell, it wasn't until I was three pages in, I even REALIZED, "Wait...this is too long fer a drabble....damnit." Finally, nine pages later (twelve in all), it's been completed.

Now...I KNOW the style is quite...odd.... The entire point of this particular fiction, was mainly the stylistic elements. Which, honestly...I dun have much experience with. But...I'm happy, since I tried somethin' relatively new fer me, an' I'm more than pleased with the end-result. Hope ya'll enjoy it as much as I do~!!

Disclaimer: No, I ain't the owner of "PSYREN". Though....I wish I owned Tatsuo, Oboro, an' Shiner. They're all jus' so....HUGGABLE~~!!!! 8D -unconsentual snuggles...I think YES-

WARNINGS: Yaoi (pretty non-descriptive, though), gore, swearing, a cup of angst, SLIGHT/barely there AU, spoilers up-to chapter 69...

xoxox xoxox xoxox

First

The first time Mana Tatsuo saw Asaga Hiryuu, he was immediately drawn to the other boy. For some reason or another, he had felt compelled to say hello. Which was odd, in and of itself. Because he never spoke. To anyone. And in turn, they never spoke to him.

But Asaga did.

And for the first time in as long as he could remember, Tatsuo had smiled.

---

The first time Hiryuu hugged him, Tatsuo had felt as if his heart would burst from his chest. His lungs felt tight, and his breathing had quickened, as had his heartbeat. He'd never let anyone hold him like this before, but this boy…if it was Hiryuu…then it would be okay. He would be okay.

"…Hiryuu-niichan…?" he questioned softly, hesitantly…afraid to sever the tenderness of the moment.

"Shh…..let's just stay like this for a while, ne…?"

---

The first time Hiryuu had kissed him, it had been an accident. Well…sort of.

It had been just after the two had received the cards. Red cards, with an eye illustrated on the plastic surface, and the word "PSYREN" written across the front. Tatsuo had decided to go. If it really were "paradise", then his illness would no doubt go away. He could run, fight, dance, do any of the things other fifteen-year-old boys did.

But when he asked his best friend and crush – he'd finally accepted his feelings for the brunette – to go with him, the other boy declined. The look on his face must have shown his distress, because Hiryuu murmured a heartfelt apology, and leaned his own face down towards him.

Tatsuo had looked up in a combination of surprise and curiosity, and that's when their lips had met. The two had frozen there. Just like that. In shock, and unsure of what to do.

And then they had both pulled away so fast, it would never be known who did so first.

"I…I didn't mean…your f-forehead…" Asaga stuttered; his cheeks flushed with a rare blush, as he shook his head.

Tatsuo's own blush was much deeper, and much, much brighter, however. "N-no….it's fine," the boy muttered, turning away.

"But…you know where to find me, Hiryuu-niisan. Please…" he cut himself off, and began to walk away.

"Please don't make me wait forever…"

---

The first time he had told Hiryuu that he loved him, had been just before his core had been – essentially – destroyed by Yoshina Ageha

He had 'woken up' from his state of mindless bloodlust, for just short of a minute, perhaps – not that he'd been counting – and had been more than surprised to see none other than Asaga Hiryuu, right there before his eyes, holding him.

"Hiryuu…niichan…" he whispered breathlessly, and it was the look in his eyes that said it – "I love you." – and he knew then, he knew that Hiryuu had understood. They had always had that indescribable connection, after all.

They spoke – albeit briefly – before Tatsuo rolled to his side on the ground, the pain in his head rising, rising, rising, until he could feel-think-see no more. Nothing but darkness…and the need to kill.

And a few minutes later, there was nothing but black itself.

---

The first time they had had sex, was just after Hiryuu had been saved by Tatsuo, having been separated from his own group. The two had been in Tatsuo's room, talking, and childishly – for that's essentially what they were, children – skirting around the subject both wanted to avoid, and yet both knew would have to be brought up eventually. After hours of pointless blabbering, and useless distractions, it had been Tatsuo to mention it first.

"Do you remember…that last time? Before I left?" He had paused, but continued at the other boy's hesitant nod. "Do you remember…how you kissed me? And I know you'd been aiming for my forehead – that was my own fault – but do you remember it?"

They both knew it wasn't truly a matter of whether he remembered, but of whether he would admit it. And even then, it was only a matter of how long that would take. Finally, Hiryuu sighed; a look of determination far beyond his years taking place of the hesitance that had, only moments before, been clouding his eyes.

"Yes. I remember."

Tatsuo had waited for the other to elaborate, but gave up when it became apparent that he wouldn't. "Do you…remember how I walked away, then?" Another nod, and he continued. "Do you know why I walked away?"

Hiryuu nodded, yet again. "I do. You…" he paused at the word, but not for long, "loved me already, by then. Right? You wanted me to kiss you. It meant something to you, even if it didn't to me, at that time."

Tatsuo blinked, and shifted on his bed, just slightly. "…'at that time'? But…what other time was there?"

"This time. And this time, it means something to us both."

And then, before Tatsuo could even think to react, his face was already cupped gently in the older boy's hands, and there were another pair of lips pressed tightly, meaningfully, against his own. Within seconds, the kiss had deepened, and the hands on his face moved down, down, gripping his waist, and pulling him in closer.

He didn't resist.

Nor did he resist, when his shirt was pulled up over his head, and tossed into some unknown location in his room, to be forgotten in less than a second.

He did resist, however, when the lips moved from his own, to his jaw, his neck, and started making their way down further. He put up his hands, stopping the other, and made a – rather pathetic, he'd later decide – sound of alarm. "My…my Core…" he whispered, embarrassed and more than self-conscious, when the other looked back at his face in confusion.

Hiryuu shook his head, frowning deeply. "I don't care about that," he growled, knowing exactly what was going through his soon-to-be – if he had his way – lover's mind. "You're beautiful just the way you are, Tatsuo. Now shut the Hell up, and enjoy this. I won't stop until you do."

This time, Tatsuo didn't fight it, and the severity of his blush did not go unnoticed, even with the cover of near-darkness shrouding them. Hiryuu continued, and he let him, thankful at least that the older male bypassed the cause of his self-disgust; lips barely brushing against the edge briefly.

Not long after that, Hiryuu had also discarded his shirt, and minutes later, everything else followed.

"Are you sure…this is okay?" Asaga asked, almost afraid the other would say no.

His fear proved to be needless.

"Yes," the younger one insisted, pressing a kiss to the elder's jaw. "More sure than anything. It's okay, Hiryuu…I want this."

"Good…because I don't think I could stop now, even if I wanted to."

It moved on from there, just as it should, but with few minor setbacks. Neither had prepared for this, had planned it, or even foreseen the possibility, so of course there were certain…necessities missing.

Asaga had obviously not thought there to be a need to bring any form of protection, and in this new era, such things didn't even exist – and so they would have no choice but to bareback it.

Neither really gave a damn.

Asaga also hadn't thought it necessary to bring the proper lubrication – he'd never met anyone he'd wanted to fuck, after all, with the exception of Tatsuo – and so saliva would have to do the trick.

Neither had given a damn about that, either.

Even though it hurt quite a bit more than it should have, when he was entered, and Tatsuo couldn't help but to cry out loudly in pain. He wasn't a virgin – Dholaki had made sure of that, many a time, and he'd been 'awake' enough then to remember every bit of it – but it had been a while. And they'd been far more impatient this time. And it couldn't be denied, that Hiryuu had a lot more to brag about than the 5th Star Commander ever had.

Starting out slow and gentle, they continued like that, for a while. But by the time the two boy's reached the point of release, the act had long-since become fast and hard. But they liked it that way. And - crying out each other's names, at nearly the same moment - both knew they would never have any complaints.

---

By the first time Tatsuo had gotten Hiryuu to say 'I love you' back, three years had already passed.

They had finally healed Tatsuo – the Tavoo Core had been successfully removed, and the now eighteen-year-old was on his way to being healthier than he had ever been, thanks to Mochizuki Oboro.

Oboro's powers had grown exponentially since the 'Game' had started for them, and he was the only one trusted with the task to repair Tatsuo – body and mind – after the risky surgery of removing the Core from his body. For a while, there, they'd all thought the boy wouldn't make it.

But he did.

And the minute he had opened his eyes, Oboro instinctively looked to Ageha, seeking approval. At the beaming smile his lover sent him, the man's own smile grew that much wider. To the other occupants of the room – the children of Elmore Wood, Lan and Haruhiko, Amamiya, and Kabuto – it seemed like the sun could have been shining down in that very room, for all its brightness. But to the young man who'd just woken up – 'human' for the first time in nearly 4 years – and the man he loved…everything else was invisible, but for the sole exception of the other.

"Hiryuu… Did it work?" The once-Tavoo whispered the question softly, blinking his eyes blearily up at the man at his side. "Am I…fixed..?"

"You were never broken to begin with, silly," Asaga whispered back, half-teasingly. "But…you're cured, yes. It worked. Oboro saved you."

Tatsuo's eyes lit up, though he had still been far too weak to do much else but smile with relief. "I'll thank him later. He seems…busy now, if Yoshina-kun's hand being under his shirt is anything to go by…" He chuckled softly.

"Oh, geeze… The poor guy's gunna have a heart attack one of these days, if Ageha doesn't get a grip and stop molesting him twenty-four/seven. I mean, it's one thing to…" he looked over at his two friends, and- "AUGH, you guys need to get a ROOM!!!"

"I'm…not going to ask…" Tatsuo mumbled, and wisely chose not to look, even as the two 'offenders' rushed out of the room, laughing. The rest of their friends, who respectfully chose to give the patient and his lover some well-deserved alone time, had immediately followed after.

Hiryuu had rolled his eyes, and turned back to the youngest member of their group. "The doctor said for you to stay in bed for another week, at least. After that, you should be good to walk around, so long as you're careful, and don't strain yourself." He accentuated the last part with a half-hearted glare, letting it be known that the doctor wasn't the only one who wanted Tatsuo to take it easy.

"So…I can go home then...? So long as I find my card…"

"Yes and no," the brunette had replied, smiling. Seeing the confusion spread across the younger's face, he chuckled, and was kind enough to clarify. "Yes, you can go home. When you're healed. And no…you don't need your card. #7 has agreed to send you back to our time for 'free', seeing as your circumstances…are quite a bit different, from the average Drifter…"

Tatsuo nodded, but wasn't able to bring himself to smile just yet. "There's something you're not telling me…"

Asaga had coughed, and averted his eyes. This was unusual behavior in itself, let alone for him, and it only made the black-haired teen even more worried.

"Well…she also said that you'll be getting a new card, with the equivalent number of points as whatever remained on your old one… I tried to tell her to let you off the hook - that you've already been through enough because of Psyren, but she-"

"It's okay, Hiryuu," Tatsuo interrupted, shaking his head as he placed a hand on the other's arm. "I would have found a way, even if she hadn't. There aren't enough Drifters…and we're running out of time. I can't give up yet, Hiryuu. I'm already involved, and I have to see this through. I'm not going to go back eight years, and wait around – alone – in our time, worrying myself to death every time you and the others disappear into the future, and not knowing if I'll ever see you again!"

The elder of the two had grunted in response, and looked away, his brows furrowed. He knew the boy was right, but…that didn't mean he had to like it. He didn't have to like it. Which was good….because he didn't. Like it, that is. At all. In fact, he could honestly say that he hated it. And he hated #6 even more, for putting them all through this to begin with – though, he knew they'd all have been dead within a year, if she hadn't. Dead, or joined up with the bastards who'd destroyed everything in the first place. Which would have been worse, much, much worse.

"Fine… But if you die on me…I'm gunna fuckin' kill that bitch," his voice shook as he said it – and Tatsuo knew it was only tough talk – but he paid it no mind.

"Don't lie," Tatsuo admonished, lips pulling into a tight frown. "She's right, and you know it. Her methods may not be…agreeable, but it's all a means to the end result. Which no one can afford to give up on. Yes, I may die – we all might – but it's worth saving the billions of other people who could have lived, had W.I.S.E been stopped. People die, Hiryuu. It's life. We Drifters…we really are nothing, in the grand scheme of things. No one would even notice."

"STOP IT!!" Hiryuu yelled, biting his fist. Then he growled, and spun back to face the bed's concerned occupant. "I would notice, you damned idiot! You're not 'nothing'. You're everything! To me, you are everything! And if you go and do something reckless, and get yourself killed, or…or worse, then I don't know what the fuck I'd do!"

A few minutes of silence passed between them, as Asaga forced himself to calm down, and Tatsuo waited patiently.

Finally, "I won't do anything reckless."

"You'd better not!"

"…I love you, Hiryuu."

"………I love you too, you stupid boy. And I mean that…the part about you being stupid, too."

Tatsuo only smiled.

---

The first time he saw Asaga cry…was also the last time. Which was probably why the man had been crying in the first place.

Mana Tatsuo was dying.

It had been roughly 2 months since Tatsuo's full recovery, and his long-awaited return to his own time. He had been enjoying life. Life as a human. Life at Hiryuu's side, happier than he'd ever been.

It had been roughly a week since Asaga Hiryuu had proposed, and Tatsuo couldn't remember himself ever having smiled so much.

And then, without warning – not that they'd ever been given any – they had been called back to Psyren.

As luck – or a lack, thereof – would have it, this jump had landed them all in the middle of the Danger Zone.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

There were Tavoo all around them, as far as the eye could see, and far too many to be counted.

But that hadn't been the worst, either.

There were the Star Commanders. All of them, with the obvious exception of Dholaki. The dead cannot walk again, after all. Let alone fight. The Drifters still supposed they should count themselves lucky, however. Amagi Miroku was nowhere in sight, nor could they sense the man's PSI anywhere in the near vicinity. And he was the real threat.

They had known, however…that not all of them would make it out of this fight alive. Over half-of them would be left behind – dead or nearly so – and there would be nothing they could do about it. The children of Elmore Wood were not to be found, which gave the Drifters even less chance of survival.

This enemy was deadly. Unimaginably deadly, as they well knew. And though the Psyren Drifters outnumbered the W.I.S.E by two – Hiryuu, Tatsuo, Ageha, Sakurako, Oboro, and Kabuto vs. Grana, Junas, Shiner, and Caprico – the Star Commanders were still leagues above them in experience, and in their power (in the case of Grana and Junas, at least). Numbers meant virtually nothing against opponents like these.

And the children of Elmore Wood – possibly their last hope – were not to be found.

This wasn't a battle.

It was a massacre.

And they would be slaughtered.

Their eyes had immediately gone to Tatsuo – he was the weakest in their group, after all – and Hiryuu stepped in front of the younger boy protectively, growling out a low "Stay behind me."

And they say chivalry is dead.

Grana's eyes had swept slowly over the small group that made up the Resistance, and smirked when they landed on the one seeming to be 'protected'.

Ahh, he recognized this one. The boy Dholaki had successfully implanted a Core into, turning him into a mindless Tavoo. Well, it appeared the process was reversibly, after all. If only the idiot 5th rank was still alive, he could have taunted him with this failure, as well.

The pre-battle tension built up.

Insults were made, taunts were exchanged, and everyone's powers were building slowly, slowly, slowly…

Until something snapped.

The battle had begun, just as every other.

But this time, they knew – oh, they all knew – that within the next few hours, if even that…they would have to say goodbye.

But there was no way of knowing, to whom.

Not until something had felt terribly, terribly wrong; like a part of his heart had been suddenly ripped out from his chest, and thrown far, far away. Where he would never find it again.

And that's when he'd seen her.

Amamiya Sakurako. Or…what had been left of her. Scattered, like sakura petals – reminiscent of the girl's name - only red, red, red. Not pink. Never pink. Because this was blood, and – Oh Gods, was that part of her-

Tatsuo tore his eyes away from the shredded mess on the ground – he had refused to think of it as his friend. Not his dear, dear friend, who was now-

He let out a scream of absolute rage, and focused his PSI in his hand, bringing forth the gun that – oh so long ago – he'd nearly used to kill the one man he'd ever given a damn about. He had focused the anger of that, as well, and he felt his PSI swelling to uncontrollable magnitudes, while that bastard who'd ripped Amamiya to shreds just looked and laughed, as if everything was going to be okay. He screamed again, taking aim on Junas, and letting the energy build even more, just a little more…

But before he could even pull the trigger – even once – a had blur flashed by, from one side to the other, passing by Junas' back in the blink of an eye.

And that was all it took – one blink, of both confusion and surprise – before a splash of blood had forced its way out of Junas' mouth, just as a river of liquid red streamed out from the gaping hole in his chest. Red running down his back, and red running down his front. In just a few moments, the man was covered in red. And in just a few more, he had fallen to the ground – lifeless. Cold. Unmoving.

Tatsuo's eyes swept around, and immediately fell upon Hiryuu, watching in shock as the man stared, satisfied, at the empty carcass of Junas' body. His only regret, had been that they couldn't slice him up, like he did Sakurako…

It all moved faster from there.

Grana let out a roar of anger, is PSI rising to unbelievable heights, causing thunder to crackle ominously in the sky. This was it. This was where the slaughter started.

"It's…it's everywhere! We're not safe anywhere!!" Ah. That had been Kabuto's voice. No doubt, his Menace was showing him any possible 'safe' spots. But if there were none, then what the Hell was he waiting for???

Tatsuo heard some sort of battle cry – it had come from his own mouth, he realized a moment later – and he charged at Grana. A stupid thing to do – the weakest of one side, running at the strongest of the other with no plan or tact – but the boy figured at least a few other Drifters would do the same – Hiryuu and Ageha, no doubt. He heard another shout, this one of terror, but he couldn't make out what it said, or who had said it, because-

-he had been too distracted by the long, jagged chunk of metal that had just been forced through his chest. His eyes widened, as they registered the sight of Grana lowering his arm – so he used his telekinesis? – eyes alight with fury, and a small sense of triumph, just noticeable beneath the surface.

Then his brain had registered something, too.

He'd been hit.

He was on the ground – though when he'd fallen, he had no clue.

He was bleeding heavily from the chest wound, though not as badly as Junas had been when- Ah. That was it, then. He'd briefly wondered why Grana had bothered with him, of all people.

Revenge.

So then, it must have been Hiryuu who had yelled for him, most likely to stop.

Hadn't he promised his fiancé not to be reckless?

Fiancé…well, that hadn't lasted long. He couldn't get married, if he was dead.

And he was dying. He could feel it. Plus, every attempt to breathe, only resulted in more blood pouring out of his open, gasping mouth.

He had vaguely heard sound around him, but it seemed waterlogged. That meant his senses were shutting down.

Just as he thought, his vision started to blur. But not before Hiryuu – his love, his only love – had knelt down beside him, and scooped him carefully into his arms.

Tatsuo let out a retching cry of pain, as he was jostled. Then he noticed the metal in his legs. And arms. And everywhere else, almost. That explained why it hurt to move.

"Tatsuo…. Tatsuo, stop talking. You're making it worse, please stop!"

Wait…he was talking? Why was he talking – or trying to – when he didn't even know what he wanted to say? Or was trying to say. Whichever.

"It's only fair. You should never have resisted the W.I.S.E, any of you!"

Another voice, this one angered. Grana's, no doubt.

"Why?" Hiryuu had sounded so, so broken. Tatsuo didn't like that sound, even if he couldn't hear it clearly. "Why him? You're stronger than any of us, so WHY HIM!?!?"

"It wasn't about him," Grana had snarled. "It was about you. You killed my lover; I merely returned the favor. Besides, this is war - you're all fair game."

Why didn't this make sense? He knew it should have, but for some reason – it didn't. Then Tatsuo realized why. He'd only caught half the words. And already, he'd forgotten them.

This was it, then.

He opened his mouth to call Hiryuu's name, and all that had come out was a pathetic, gurgled, choke. But he caught Asaga's attention, nonetheless.

And the second he saw – more like felt – the tears, Tatsuo suddenly wished he hadn't.

He'd made Hiryuu cry.

The black-haired teen reached up a hand weakly, despite the pain it caused his torn muscles, and cupped his lover's cheek – a failed attempt to wipe away the tears. Just then, a splatter of liquid red dots hit them – from somewhere – covering his hand, and Asaga's face. So someone else had died…

But for some horrible reason, Tatsuo couldn't bring himself to care whom.

He heard more screams, but they had barely registered in his quickly fading mind. Once again, he-

-just-

-didn't-

-care.

Still managing – somehow – to hold Hiryuu's gaze, he had mouthed the words he could no longer say.

I

Love

You.

He could no longer hear the screams.

He could no longer see the tears in Hiryuu's eyes, nor feel them dripping onto his face.

Nor could he feel the man's face beneath his hand, or the blood on the back of it.

He couldn't feel anything.

Or see.

It was all gone.

It was the first time he'd seen Asaga Hiryuu cry.

And the last time he would see anything at all, as his whole world went black.

xoxox xoxox xoxox

Author's Note: Well!! Finally posted...a lil' over 24 hours after I started writin' it. -fails- Ah well. I'm lazy; what can I say? Hope ya all enjoyed this!

SERIOUSLY. LEAVE A REVIEW. Dun matter how short, or how long (though, I really, really like long...) it is, jus'...leave me some feedback. Please? It's really not tha' hard. At all.
If anyone Favorites this, without reviewin', I'mma send ya a PM askin' yer opinion. An' if ya dun answer within a week, I'mma keep sendin' 'em, until ya do. An' be warned - I can be an
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Now, I'm off ta bed~