AN: This is for ShadowHaloedAngel for her birthday, I hope you like this! A new pairing for me to try and write – and one of the longer one shots I'm doing for her. Thank you for reading and reviewing, and I always find my stories look better on 3/4 or ½ size.
Pairing: Soubi and Kio
Warnings: References to abuse, bad language


Kio tried to look after the young art student. To start with, he had just agreed to help Soubi because he had looked out of place and lonely, but as he watched more he found he felt concern and even a faint blooming of love for the man who was so like a young boy. When they spent time together, he found the artist was so eager to please, so innocent and naive. It was tempting, so very tempting, to take advantage of him.

"Just hold there Sou-chan..." He sketched the other leaning against his unused kitchen cabinet. All in the name of art of course. The fact that the other looked absolutely delicious there had nothing to do with it, and nor did the fact that Soubi would cook dinner afterwards. And it was solely for his creative skills, and for nothing else, which meant that he asked Soubi to remove his shirt.

Kio's eyes stayed fixed on his bashful model as he unbuttoned the shirt he had put on. It opened up, revealing the pale skin, and then slipped down over his shoulders. Without even thinking, Kio licked his lips. Soubi noticed the other's subconscious gesture and blushed deeply, letting his shirt slip to the floor.

He stayed still, awaiting further instruction. Kio smiled. "Just lean against the table again..." Soubi nodded, turning around and leaning against the table, the harsh light glinting off his skin. Kio gasped in horror as he noticed the thin pattern of scars across the other's back. They looked old, faded, like the one Kio had on his knee from falling over. But that scar had been from when Kio was seven. These ones must be equally old.

Soubi looked over his shoulder, blushing. He knew what was wrong. He looked disgusting. He had so many scars.
"I'm sorry Kio." He bent to pick up shirt. "I shouldn't have agreed to model for you. I hope we can still be friends." Kio walked over, cuddling him gently, stroking a hand over the other's damaged back, biting his lip to stop from getting distracted or upset.
"It is okay Sou-chan...how?" Soubi shook his head, and Kio realised he wouldn't say anything more tonight. "Do you want to make dinner now? We can carry on sketching later." Soubi nodded, going to cook. Kio watched him going silently.

***

"Sou-chan..." Kio whined. It was months after the incident, and he had again persuaded Soubi to pose shirtless. He had braced himself, expecting scars, and so that hadn't bothered him so much now. Whatever had injured him was in Soubi's past now, he should give his friend a chance to move on.

What had bothered him greatly was the way that he could see each of Soubi's ribs as he posed provocatively. He knew that Soubi could cook, very well, and yet he looked half starved.
"Sou-chan, haven't you been eating?" His voice was teasing but worried. His friend looked down, the platinum blonde strands of hair covering his eyes.
"I haven't been given permission." Kio flinched at that.
"Seimei huh?" The blonde nodded.

Kio muttered a swearword under his breath, brushing his hair out of his eyes. He hated Seimei and the way he treated Soubi. Soubi was drop dead gorgeous, but he was also still a child, and he needed looking after, not being treated like dirt. He wrapped his arms around the other.
"You know...I could be your boyfriend instead...I'll give you lots of orders, I know you want that..." He licked the blonde's ear, making him squirm and blush. He frowned a moment later when Soubi pushed him away.

"Kio... it's not like that." Soubi would not deny that Kio was attractive, but he would only love his sacrifice. That was how he had been raised. To give himself solely to the sacrifice and no one else.

"Fine!" Kio huffed, sending a breath of air up to ruffle his fringe. "That's your choice Sou-chan, but my offer-" he smirked "and my bed are always open for you should you want them."
"I won't." Kio pouted, wondering how Soubi could be so beautiful and so harsh. He guessed it was just a part of his charm.

"I'm still making you eat you know?" Soubi frowned, watching in confusion as Kio rummaged in a cabinet before finding a packet of chips, walking back to Soubi and holding one out.
"I don't want to-" Soubi's protest was cut short as Kio pushed the food into his mouth. Soubi sighed, eating it obediently.

Kio petted his hair, stroking along where his ears had once been and earning a low moan of appreciation in return.
"Soubi..." He had to do something to look after him. "I'm going to go out and get pizza okay? You stay here and finish those chips and look sexy." With that he headed to Soubi's rucksack, rooting through it.
"What are you doing?" Soubi asked.
"Money for pizza!" Kio replied, taking his friend's money, along with his house keys. "I'll be back soon."

Soubi settled back against the counter with a smile, eating the chips, a slight smile on his lips. Kio left the apartment, locking the door behind him to make sure that his model would still be there when he returned. He phoned in an order for the pizza, then went to get a copy of the key made. He was determined to help Soubi, even if Soubi wouldn't let him.

***

"Sou-Chan?" Kio was extremely worried. Soubi had called him up, voice shaking. The only thing which he had said was 'help me', and then the line had gone dead. Kio had dropped what he was doing, running to Soubi's house. "Sou-Chan! Open the door!" He knocked on it, and there was no answer. He reached into his pocket, pulling out the key which he had stolen. He unlocked the door and ran inside. He found Soubi slumped on the floor, blood soaking from his neck and staining the floor.

"What...oh fuck Sou-Chan, it's going to be okay..." He ran to Soubi's bathroom, searching through it until he found things which might have been of use. Then he raced back to kneel by Soubi's side. He wiped at the blood, gagging as he saw the pattern carved into it.
"Beloved."

He punched the floor, shaking in rage. Seimei. Seimei had done this. He'd hurt Soubi, and for that Kio would never forgive him. He wrapped the bandages over Soubi's neck, stroking the skin as he tried to wipe up the blood.
"Sou-Chan, please... please wake up..."

Soubi's eyes flickered open, and Kio cuddled him tightly.
"Oh Sou-Chan, I'm here...I'll help you, I swear I will help you..." He rocked Soubi. "Leave him, please...he's so cruel to you. Just give up..."

Soubi smiled, eyes staring past Kio, a blush on his otherwise too-pale face.
"I live only to serve Seimei."

Kio cuddled him, stroking his hair sadly.
"Soubi, why don't you get to bed, you need a rest." Soubi looked at him blankly, and Kio cursed himself for what he would be saying next. "Soubi, Seimei wants you to go to bed..." Soubi nodded, getting up, blinking at the blood on the floor.
"Sorry for the mess..."

"Don't be." Kio bit his lip. "I'll clean it up." He had never cleaned up before in his life, but he would do it now for Soubi's sake. He took Soubi's hand, leading him to his bed and tucking him in, then going to search for treatments for blood loss online, in case he could do something to help. He thought he could never hate anyone more than he hated Seimei at that moment.

***

It took a while before he realised he was wrong. It wasn't that he could hate any other being more than Seimei, that wasn't possible. But he could hate Seimei a lot more than he did that night. It wasn't another violent attack on Soubi which made him this angry, even though those made him furious. What it was was when Seimei died.

Soubi had broken totally at. Kio could do nothing to help him, despite all his efforts. Soubi would just sit there, staring blankly, feeling that he had no purpose or point any more. The only way that Kio could find to feed him was to hold the food to his mouth and tell him to eat. Even with that, Soubi was getting weaker, more ill. Kio would do everything for him, but in the end, the most that he could do was hold him and stroke his hair, whispering meaningless words of encouragement. It wasn't enough. He couldn't save him. Then one day, the email arrived, and someone else could save him. Kio could only watch as the child managed his dream.