AN: Ah, hello, here comes the pity note~ 1) This is not my usual style, I'm just testing it out, please tell me what works and what doesn't. 2) This is my first KHR fanfic so let me know what's IC and OOC(the entire thing).

Ahem. Anyway. I absolutely adore 10051, it's a shame I only kinda implied it in this piece. This is my 'testing the water' phase. I'll need some solid concrit before I move on and try to write some actual 10051. I realize my writing isn't terribly good, but it isn't terribly bad (or so I hope) either and there is a distict lack of ByakuShou so I didn't think there would be any harm in contributing. Though, if my work is really bad, please, please do inform me and I'll remove it at once and try again. It's too bad there are only two character tabs...

Warnings: Spoilers. OOC-ness most likely. Will probably be AU by the next chapter of KHR. Head-hopping. Also I changed tenses in the middle of writing it, I went back over it and tried to fix it, hopefully I corrected it all.


Hindsight


Kikyo bit back a feral growl. So it was going to end like this. That had been Byakuran-sama's plan all along: to have them killed. There was no way for them to survive, not with the Hell Holes activated. No way for anyone to survive, not really, not unless…

"Fuck you! Argh! Fuck you Irie Shouichi! Curse you! I curse you!" Kikyo spat, his calm, cool, collected demeanor tossed aside like so much garbage. He could feel his flame draining away, he could feel himself draining away, and for what? For Byakuran-sama. God, what made him think he was any different from Genkishi? What made him think he was invaluable?

This had been planned from the beginning. Kikyo was no Irie Shouichi, but he could still see the carefully crafted plan now, now when it was too late for him to do anything but howl in rage.

The only way to escape GHOST's power, to prevent your life from draining away, to avoid having your dying will flames extinguished was to simply not have any dying will left. That had been the purpose of choice. For Kikyo himself to save Irie, who he hated. Hated with every fiber of his being.

He made a mangled, pained, noise and it disgusted him. This…this he couldn't handle, it was hurting him, it was numbing him, it was freezing him, it was melting him, it was tearing him apart from the inside.

How could he have been so stupid? How could he have been so blind? The memories, the pieces of the plan, all of the warning signs he should have seen, should have accounted for…

"He's smarter than you, Kikyo-kun~"

Suddenly, he saw himself sitting at the table in the lounge room. The same table he played cards with Zakuro, the same table he played choice with that damnable redhead. That waif of a man. That man that never fails to defeat him at choice, no matter what version they played.

Byakuran chuckled at him as the screen lit up with the classic YOU LOSE, an addition Byakuran insisted Shouichi include.

"That's only because it is his game," Kikyo recalls he muttered darkly.

Byakuran's grin had broadened and he popped another marshmallow into his mouth. He slid the laptop over so that Shouichi will see him, and not Kikyo because the real Funeral Wreaths were still a secret.

"Yes, it is his game, isn't it?"

Kikyo cursed himself for not seeing that comment for what it was. For not adding up the facts. How could he have deluded himself into thinking he had won? That he had bested Irie Shouichi at choice, something he rarely even came close to doing?

Why didn't he question Byakuran-sama's casual acceptance of Irie's betrayal? The man who could turn deadly at so much as a mere comment, was entirely okay with his oldest friend turning tail. He still referred to the sorry-looking excuse for captain with affection. Still called him Shou-chan. And there was no mistaking the way his face and mood had lifted when he saw him at the very beginning of choice.

The sun that lights up the sky.

Kikyo let out a pained, bitter, chuckle. Those two put on quite a show at the end of that match.

In an instant, the pain was gone, there was no more frightening pull, there was no more hideous sensation of loss. Just exhaustion.

Kikyo turned his head, and what an effort that was as his muscles refused to cooperate, and what he saw chilled him.

His arm was almost completely skeletal, his flesh sagging, and wrinkled because it was supposed to cover much more than mere bones, but that was all that was left of him now. He heard leaves crunching in the distance and he knew they were drawing closer and closer. Kikyo was alive though. He survived this ordeal.

"It's astounding! I mean, researching it is one thing, but actually seeing it, and all of its effects…"

Kikyo identified that voice as Irie Shouichi's. All of that morality, that sense of right and wrong, and that sickening desire to preserve life was absent. Just an almost childlike excitement. It was equally disturbing to Kikyo, or maybe that was because he couldn't believe he misread the other so grossly.

"Maa~ Shou-chan is impressed," Byakuran's voice is full of approval and now that Kikyo has heard it, he realizes he's never had his God's approval.

The redhead nodded absently as he crouched down beside Zakuro's corpse. Kikyo wondered how he looked in comparison, because the other is beyond cadaverous, beyond any words Kikyo has in his vocabulary. He wanted to shout, to yell out for Irie to keep his grubby fingers off, but he could hardly turn his head and his vocal chords felt fused together.

Kikyo did not like this feeling of utter helplessness and vulnerability.

"Is the ring intact?" Byakuran quired, there's amusement in his voice. As if he's humoring his companion by letting him check the bodies. Kikyo wondered where Byakuran was standing because he can't see the man at all.

"Hm? Oh, yes," Irie responded as he finished scribbling something down on his clipboard. Then he grabbed Zakuro's hand and slipped the ring off, causing the finger to break, and Irie made a vaguely disgusted face as he let the middle finger fall to the ground.

It was surreal watching Irie wipe his hands on the pants of his suit, the one he lost choice in, though the term 'lost' is meant in the loosest sense. After all, isn't Irie the one who stands beside Byakuran now? Isn't it the useless, slimy, spineless engineer the one who wears the Sun Mare Ring now?

When he saw the shoes, blood smeared, covered in dirt and stinking of rotting flesh, approaching him, Kikyo wished he could spit on them. On their owner's face. The redhead knelt down, oblivious to the death wishes hurled his way, and peered into Kikyo's face.

"Byakuran-san!" Irie cried out, though hardly in the alarmed tone it ought to have been, "He's still alive!" He reached out and pressed his fingers to Kikyo's exposed neck and the teal-haired male hated him for it. He was powerless to stop him though, so he glared, or hoped he glared.

"Kill him," Byakuran's bored voice intones and Kikyo can picture the matching expression.

"But Byakuran-san," Irie started. He was interrupted by the sound of a gun being fired and now Kikyo doesn't care about the fingers on his neck. The ones that no longer feel a barely-there pulse.

Shouichi grimaced and snatched the Cloud ring from the not-quite-cold finger.

"Maa~ Shou-chan's pouting face is cute~" Byakuran chirped as he approached. The man holstered his gun, at first, unpleasantly warm through the fabric of his pants, but it cooled down within a matter of seconds.

"Byakuran-san," The redhead scolded, "you didn't have to shoot him." He righted himself and glared at the Millefiore leader.

"Is Shou-chan going soft, I wonder~" Byakuran asked with a soft chuckle and a teasing lilt. He held out his palm for the two new rings Shouichi picked up, and with a dramatic sigh the redhead put them in his hand.

"It would have been very helpful to study the effects of GHOST's powers on a living person. I wondered how long someone could survive after being exposed, especially since he had activated his Hell Hole. It's amazing that he survived at all." Shouichi murmured, rubbing his chin in thought.

"Don't be disappointed Shou-chan~" Byakuran placated, "In my new world I'll make sure you'll get to study another survivor."

Shouichi shook his head in vague annoyance, "All that's left is the Rain Mare Ring, correct?"

"Yep," Byakuran helpfully informed and let Shouichi meander over to whatever was left of Bluebell. He had disliked her, mostly for trying to cling to him all the time, if anyone was allowed to cling to him it was Shou-chan and it was stupid for those people to think otherwise. They had been a very stupid bunch though.

It was one of the reasons he'd had no fondness for Kikyo. It was stupid for him to think he could ever be Byakuran's right-hand man. It was incredibly stupid for him to make his distaste for Shou-chan so open. It was the epitome of stupid for Kikyo to believe he was needed.

Byakuran didn't need anyone. He could very easily rule his new world by himself, he was king, he was God, and God certainly didn't need anyone.

Even Shou-chan was only a desired companion.


End is kinda awkward. I really just wanted to finish it before the next chapter came out and dashed the idea to pieces, plus I had no idea where to end it. So. Yeah. Pretty bad, and it's probably worse because I know it's not quite right and I'm still publishing it. If you have suggestions let them be known, I implore you.