A/N: This is a one-shot written after I read the manga. Just could not resist wondering and writing about the possible interaction between these two fascinating characters. The classification might be slightly off though - its mainly hurt and no comfort...

Disclaimer: The characters in the following story do not belong to me, I'm merely borrowing them.

Night had fallen. Agatsuma Soubi was standing by the window, gazing at the twinkling stars in the dark night sky, contemplating his dismal performance in the fight earlier that evening. His Sacrifice would surely have something to say about that – of that, Soubi was sure. He sighed internally. It was going to be a long night.

He did not have to wait long. His master's footsteps were soft, almost non-existent. As always. "Soubi." Seimei's smile was, as always, gentle. Soubi turned around, allowed his eyes to feast on those fair, chiseled features, those tousled black curls, and those soft, cherry red lips for a few precious seconds before glancing away.

"I'm disappointed. How could you let so many of his attacks slip through?" Seimei mused as he laid one finger on Soubi's cheek. Deceptively gentle, Seimei's finger traced Soubi's right cheek, but he soon betrayed his true nature, allowing his fingernail to score a faint white, downward line on Soubi's face.

His pulse quickening at the faint pressure on his cheek, Soubi raised his eyes to meet Seimei's lazy, half-lidded gaze. Pointing to a greenish-blue bruise that he had sustained in a fight earlier that evening, Seimei said conversationally, "Look at this. How troublesome for me." Seemingly nonchalant, Seimei's words held notes of warning, and a promise of what was to come. His gaze drawn to the bruise, forgetting himself for one moment, Soubi reached out towards Seimei's face. His hand however, had not even gotten halfway there when it was sharply smacked aside by Seimei. "Don't touch me." Seimei's tone was now bitingly cold; cold enough to turn even the air around him chilly.

Soubi lowered his gaze and allowed his hand to fall to his side. "Shitsurei shimashita." I'm sorry, he muttered, in no doubt as to what would follow. If there was one thing Seimei disliked above all else, it was being touched by others. For Soubi to forget that, especially when Seimei was already irritated about the events of the evening, was unforgivable.

"Remove your coat and shirt," Seimei ordered coolly. Soubi's stomach lurched in mixed anticipation and trepidation; he lived for and by Seimei's orders, even if some of those orders were a precursor to pain and punishment. He immediately complied, striping off his violet fur-lined trench coat with economical, precise movements. Fingers now trembling slightly, Soubi then proceeded to pull off his black v-neck shirt with one smooth movement, moving away from the window as he did so, away from the carpeted area. Now bare-chested, he stood with head lowered in the middle of the room, his silver blonde hair veiling most of his face from view.

So it was that he heard rather than saw Seimei walk to a nearby drawer. The snick of the drawer opening, the selecting of an appropriate tool, then the soft thud as Seimei closed the drawer, as befitted his compulsive tidy nature. Then more footsteps as Seimei walked back to where he was standing. Soubi felt light, soft fingers on his long strands of hair, gently tugging at first, then suddenly, there was a flash of sharp pain as his head was yanked backwards. A gasp, more of surprise than pain, escaped involuntarily from Soubi's lips.

"Be silent, Soubi. Surely Ritsu-sensei trained you better than that." A rush of shame filled Soubi when he heard Seimei's censure; he had indeed been trained to do better. To have forgotten such training, to have disappointed his Sacrifice, his Master…Soubi was deeply ashamed of his actions.

Seimei smirked when he saw the shame and subsequent compliance in Soubi's eyes. With one hand woven tight into Soubi's hair, yanking his head back to expose his neck, Seimei allowed Soubi to view his other hand. And what that hand was grasping.

Nine inches of cold steel laid in Seimei's deceptively loose grasp. Soubi's eyes widened fractionally for a second before it regained its usual placid, calm acceptance. After all, he deserved it. Even if Seimei wanted to cut him up with that wicked looking blade, he would endure it. Just as he had been trained to do so. What's more, Soubi would like it. He would enjoy the total surrender implicit in the act of allowing Seimei to cut him up, enjoy Seimei's control over him. For that was what Soubi yearned for most of all - to be fully controlled by one single person, in this case, his Sacrifice and master, Aoyagi Seimei.

He watched as Seimei brought the blade closer and closer to his face, alternating between gazing at the blade and Seimei's eyes, now lighted up in evident enjoyment. Irrationally, a small bubble of contentment welled up in Soubi when he caught sight of those eyes. At least he's happy…he can do whatever he likes to this body… When the blade was about one inch from his face, Soubi allowed his eyes to fall shut. Whether it was due to nervous anticipation or to unconscious denial of reality, he himself could not tell. Perhaps it was a mixture of both.

Seimei's smirk grew even wider when he noticed Soubi's closed eyes. Instead of leaving the cut where Soubi expected, Seimei quickly brought the blade down to Soubi's chest and sliced across that pale, perfect body, marred only by the faint scars of the still healing cuts he had sustained in battle that evening.

Soubi's eyes flew open as pain, like crimson streaks of fiery, molten lava, blossomed into existence unexpectedly on his chest. Hands automatically flying up to the new wound on his chest, he almost allowed a moan to escape, but at the last moment, remembered Seimei's order and bit down hard on his lips, drawing blood. As the taste of iron filled his mouth, Soubi stared fixedly at the clean, white ceiling above. Just like me, he thought. A blank slate. For that was what he was before he met his Sacrifice, his Master. Before that name - Beloved - had been etched letter by letter onto tender skin, just below his neck. Carved by Seimei, one agonizing letter after another. Then, as now, Soubi could feel, rather than see, the enjoyment radiating off Seimei.

"Clasp your hands behind your back, Soubi," Seimei whispered into Soubi's ears. Soubi immediately obeyed, moving his hands, now slick and wet with his own blood, away from the diagonal line on his body. He clasped them tightly behind his back, inadvertently tightening his already taut muscles. Soubi knew that, as a result, the next cut, when it came, would hurt even more. His heart, already tripping along crazily, beat even faster. But Seimei did not continue with the punishment. Instead, at the height of Soubi's nervous anticipation, Seimei ordered, "Tell me the reason you're being punished."

Soubi's lips moved but no sound came out. As Seimei's grip on Soubi's hair tightened at what he perceived as a lack of prompt obedience, Soubi tried again. Staring at the white, blank ceiling, softly, he recited his myriad mistakes, "I'm being…punished because…I was not strong enough. I was unable to protect Seimei in the fight. And because I tried to touch Seimei – I disobeyed standing orders." His voice caught in his throat at that last sentence – Soubi could not believe how careless he had been. Seimei was sure to punish him severely for that. Seimei had made it clear over and over again; only one single person in the world was worthy of touching him, and that person was not, and would never ever be, Agatsuma Soubi.

Seimei loosened his grip on Soubi's hair, allowing his fighter to meet his eyes. "Make sure you do better next time, Soubi." Though thrilled at the commanding tone, nevertheless, Soubi shivered at the implied threat in that voice. He lowered his gaze. "Wakarimashita." Understood. At that submissive reply, Seimei's allowed his lips to curve into a smile. "Good. Now, let us continue. After all, the night is young."

In the dim light cast by the flickering lamp, the blade glinted dully as Seimei held it up. Blood, crimson and viscous, trickled down the blade's length. Oh yes. It was going to be a long night indeed.

Well, it's my first try at writing a fanfic using existing characters, so hope I did not deviate too much from their original personalities. XD

To read the prequel "The Evening Before", cut and paste this into the address bar (minus the spaces): http:/ /www .fanfiction .net/s/6042442/1/The_Evening_Before

Feedback and comments are welcome!