The time shared by Soubi and Ritsuka late at night is one of their most intimate. Soubi begins to ponder this when Ritsuka is asleep one night.

Ritsuka can't stay up long, as Soubi has known for a long time. He tends to pass out at around eleven, which is quite early for Soubi. He likes to watch Ritsuka sleep. He looks so peaceful when he does, so cute, so soft.

As much as Kio calls him a pedophile, Soubi only has eyes for one child. He doesn't like other children. They are annoying, arrogant, and, most of all, the stupidest beings on earth. Ritsuka is the opposite of those other kids. He's interesting, humble, and a genius for his age; an angel. Just the mere thought of him makes Soubi smile, if only a little.

There are the rare occasions when Soubi gets tired and falls asleep before Ritsuka. It usually only happens when Soubi has been up for more than twenty-four hours, most of the time because of his school projects. Sometimes he just acts like he's asleep. It's apparently a believable act, because Ritsuka always, without fail, pressed a light chaste kiss on his lips before turning off the lights and crawling into bed beside Soubi.

Whenever Soubi wakes up in the middle of the night, whether it be from a dream, a sound, or just because, he always finds Ritsuka cuddled close to him, holding onto him in some way. He never dares to do this when they first get into bed, but decides to move once he thinks Soubi is asleep, which he is typically not. He will nuzzle his head into his side, toss his arm around his chest, and close his eyes, falling asleep quickly. It's cute, Soubi thinks, and it shows some of Ritsuka's true feelings.

Occasionally, Ritsuka will wake up and catch Soubi doing whatever he was doing, which is always something like stroking his black hair or rubbing his back. He will make something up, something like "I got cold" or "it was an accident" or "I thought you were Seimei". The last one always hurts the most because Soubi is becoming his own person. With Seimei he was a tool, not allowed to have feelings or even a personality. Ritsuka tells him he is not a tool, but a person, just like him.

Ritsuka helps him become his own person, even if he doesn't realize it. Soubi is discovering likes and dislikes and his own cynical, blunt, protective personality. For the first time in his life, Soubi has friends. There's Kio, Ritsuka, even Natsou and Youji. He is starting to see what kind of people he dislikes, those being the evil, cold, sadistic, vicious, arrogant people. People exactly like Seimei. Soubi also no knows that what he felt for Seimei wasn't love. Just because he is forced to obey Seimei does not mean that he loves him. Love, is what Soubi feels for Ritsuka.

There are times, though, when Ritsuka doesn't make up an excuse for sleeping by Soubi. "I was lonely," He'll say. And then there's the explanation Soubi is the most fond of, "I wanted to be near you". These are the times that make him think that maybe he is doing something right. Maybe he is showing that he really loves Ritsuka.

Before Ritsuka, Soubi never dreamed. Not when he was with Ritsu or Seimei. Now, almost every night, he dreamed. They were generally of Ritsuka, but not constricted to that. He dreamed of many different things, much like a normal person would.

With dreams come nightmares, and Soubi had those too. His nightmares consisted of his memories, two of them to be exact. The first was a memory Soubi still remembered clearly after sixteen years. The car wreak that had killed his parents. He'd been in the car, too, but has miraculously survived. The second was of the night Soubi involuntarily relived through both memories and his dreams; the night Ritsu raped him. He remembered almost every detail of it, a video burned into his dreams, playing on an endless loop. Over and over again, Soubi would relive that night until somebody finally woke him out of his fitful sleep.

Ritsuka dreams, too. It's easy to tell, since he tends to murmur things in his sleep, toss and turn, or even smile or purr. On the nights Soubi watches Ritsuka sleep, if Ritsuka is having a dream about him, he will hear Ritsuka whisper his name very quietly. Sometimes Soubi can't help but to say a spell that will allow him to look into Ritsuka's dreams. Ritsuka has more nightmares than Soubi. They're usually of either Seimei or Ritsuka watching Soubi die. Ritsuka has very particular dreams that seem to come straight out of his subconscious mind. Things like being trapped all alone, or a black kitten with violet eyes being abandoned in the rain.

When Ritsuka has the distinctly terrifying dreams, he'll wake up sobbing, never telling Soubi of his dreams. Despite this, he always turns to Soubi for comfort. Soubi is always happy to oblige, taking Ritsuka into his arms and whispering words of comfort. He wishes he could do more to stop Ritsuka from having the dreams so often, though.

Lately, Ritsuka has found the courage to ask Soubi to stay over. He agrees, but never sleeps. Ritsuka has admitted to his abusive mother, Misaki, coming into his room at night to beat him. Soubi has to keep little Ritsuka safe, safe from the mother that tries to kill him almost every day. He's worried about him and doesn't understand why Ritsuka won't come and live with him. Soubi has offered multiple times and has been turned down every time.

Ritsuka is safer at Soubi's house, where he sleeps over sometimes. It's clear that Ritsuka feels that way, also, since he seems a little more relaxed. Those are the times Soubi actually sleeps. He knows that Ritsuka won't be hurt. It's a good feeling to know that his Sacrifice will be kept safe until morning.

Soubi is, at times, worried that he is turning out like Ritsu. He remembers how that man used to watch him while he slept, when he never did so himself. Soubi reassures himself, pushing these thoughts away. He knows he'll never do to Ritsuka what Ritsu did to him. He won't do anything to Ritsuka unless he's ready.

Soubi loves Ritsuka more than anything. He needs him. Ritsuka is a teacher, taking his hand and guiding him through this new world. He wants to stay with him forever. Everybody else just uses Soubi and then leaves him. But Ritsuka is different. He wouldn't do that. Seimei may have ordered him to love Ritsuka, but Soubi never actually expected to fall in love with him.

Sighing, Soubi sees that Ritsuka is finally asleep. He reaches towards the light on the bed stand, shuts it off, and closes his eyes, sleep coming to him quickly.


So this is a story I wrote for Kitsune Alchemist. It's looong overdue, since I've owed it to her for almost four months now. Review and if you liked it, please leave some feedback on the rest of my stories, too.