"Yen! Psst. Yen-kun."

"Hmm? Aya?" Yen Ragun shifted, looking over the pillow toward where his cousin slept. "What is it? It's the middle of the night." As if to emphasize this, Jin snored loudly, kicking a corner of the blanket off of himself. "Annoying little brother," Yen muttered, fixing it. "Is something wrong?" he asked, returning to look through the darkness.

"Did you know I used to keep track of you before I ended up living here?" Ayato Hisui's voice said softly. "I was always curious about you and how you were doing."

"I kept tabs on you too," Yen muttered, wondering where the conversation was going. Was that really the only reason he'd been woken up in the middle of the night? "And if I remember correctly, we both have student council meetings tomorrow."

Aya chuckled. "Yes, we do…" He sighed. "It was different for me, though. Unlike you, I still remember when we met as toddlers. I still remembered that you were my cousin."

A guilty flush heated Yen's face for a moment before he frowned. "Wait, we met when we were younger? How come I don't remember that?"

"We were really young at the time. You still carried around the toy bear you have on your shelf back then. Anyway, it was before our parents had a fight, back when we still were on speaking terms."

"They had a fight?"

"Yen-kun," came the exasperated response. "You didn't think that we hadn't seen each other in years because it was too hard to take the subway halfway across town did you? Our moms all but stopped speaking to each other over some argument some years ago, and haven't forgiven each other since. Thankfully that grudge doesn't seem to be held against me," he added thoughtfully.

"Oh. I never really thought about why Mom didn't talk about her sister much. I always thought it was because she married into Dad's family and we're pretty secretive and all… It makes a lot of sense though." He rolled over to stare through the dark at the tiny distorted reflections of light that he guessed were Aya's eyes.

"Anyway…" The light in the dark shifted, becoming shadowed again. "Back when we met I was curious. You were smart even back then and I wanted to impress you. That's why I studied so much. Then we entered grade school, and we both ended up in our student councils… It made me happy because it meant that eventually I'd get to meet you." The light was back, and Yen could feel eyes watching him. "I wonder how things would be different if we weren't cousins."

"Aya?" There was an oddly longing tone to the statement that confused him. Why would Aya not want to be his cousin? "It means you can be here now," he ventured, testing to find what was the matter.

"Yes." There was a small sigh. "Am I a burden, Yen-kun?"

"No, of course not. Mom loves having you here, and Jin is glad to have someone who will actually listen to him ramble. Even Dad likes you." He frowned slightly, trying to make out his cousin's expression, but the shadows made it unreadable.

"And you, Yen-kun? Am I a burden to you? I almost got you in trouble before. I take up space in your room. I can't even do anything to help you or Jin out…"

"Don't be like that." Yen sighed. "I like you here. You're actually rational in this madhouse. Besides, I like you Aya. You just being there makes my life easier. You've helped a lot more than you know." He reached out, clumsily, finding an arm, then a hand. He curled his fingers around it. "You're someone I can talk to."

Fingers tightened around his. "Thanks, Yen-kun. Goodnight."

Yen watched the darkness in confusion before mentally shrugging. Either Aya would tell him, or he wouldn't. Oddly, he felt reminiscent of the time where Aya had asked him why he wouldn't use his nickname. Was Aya mad at him? Was he disappointed? Lonely? Yen closed his eyes. He would think about it later. He had school to focus on in the morning and he had plenty of sleep to catch up on. His fingers relaxed in the warm grip of his cousin's and he fell asleep.


It took him a long time to get it. For someone as smart as he was he could often be—and often was—rather dense.

"Why didn't he just say it?" Yen wondered to himself, over a year after the discussion had occurred. "Why couldn't he just come out and tell me everything?" But of course he couldn't. He was Ayato Hisui, and secrets were as common to him as they were to Yen. They breathed them, from the time they were tiny children, to their growing maturity. Secrets were part of daily life on both sides of their breached family.

Things made much more sense, Yen thought, than they did that night. For one he knew more about why his mother had disowned her own sister. Why Aya had come to live with them. Why everything was so turned around in their lives. For another, he knew himself better. Aya had known him more than he had, it seemed. He always had been one step ahead of Yen, be it in schooling, or train of thought. That had long ceased to annoy him like it once had.

And he knew Aya. He had finally gotten past the smiling charade and learned who the person was underneath. It made him wonder why he hadn't seen it before. It irked him that it had taken a kiss to make things come into focus.

Yen touched his lips for a hundredth time, wondering how he was going to look his cousin in the eye after that. But he had needed it, he thought regretfully. He had needed it or he would have gone on misunderstanding both of them. Ayato and himself. "How did he know?" he groused. "All the way back then, how did he know?" He'd loved Aya for a while and hadn't even noticed. Heck, he might have liked him before he knew they were related back when he obsessed over him and held him up as a rival. Aya had been a focal point in his life for a long, long time.

Still…to kiss him, then vanish… Yen sighed. He wasn't sure why he was even surprised. After all, it had only been temporary to begin with. Aya would show up again, he was sure of it. He was, of course, in the gakushi circle. It was something Yen should have seen coming from the moment he learned the truth about the fight. He sighed against his fingers. He only hoped his cousin would accept his answer.


AN: This will likely be a one shot. This is as far as my muse currently took me. But if a lot of people show interest, I might be inspired to write more. There are a lot of onenings in the original plot that hint at things that are never mentioned again. I could build off these. But I won't do so unless I think someone is interested in reading it. And if you dislike shonen-ai, I appologize. Although, Yen/Aya is cannon. Book 3 pretty much shows us that. Alright, that's all. Read and review please! And the characters are genius (and lazy) Sugisaki-sama's. I would bow to her, but I am displeased at her inability to finish her epic series.