Disclaimer: Flame of Recca (and its characters) belongs to Anzai Nobuyuki-sensei.

I have no beta-reader. Any grammatical and spelling errors are solely mine.

Thanks for the still-warm welcome. I've been away from the fandom that I have this thought that the people here dwindled to nil. Thankfully that wasn't the case. Haha.

To those who reviewed [besring, name-hime-chan, abubi-chan & satomika]… thank you so much. Here's the next one for you all.

Warning: OOC possible.

The Line That Shouldn't Be Crossed

Chapter 1: December

People change so fast.

One blink, the person in front of you is just... a person. Someone you just know. Someone whose name slips from your tongue without giving it much thought.

Another blink and that person turns from someone you just know to someone who's a constant part of your everyday life. And in a playful but strange twist of fate, this person will become a very important person for you.

One more blink and suddenly everything is not as it always seemed to be and the person that you think you already know turns into someone you didn't know he can become. Far from the person you originally knew.

Then… blink again. And that person becomes a total stranger. It's like you never really knew him at all.


A college friend once told me that you'll never really know a person deeper until you become intimate with him.

She did have a point there. And looking back to everything that has happened years ago… I now know how right she was.

Everything started so innocently that you wouldn't expect it'd suddenly blow up in your face and change your perspective and your life in ways you wouldn't imagine.

It all started one night of December. After Christmas. The Recca-tachi was in high spirits, as well as hyper mood and was pestering me to attend the post-Christmas party-slash-group reunion at Recca's house. I already got invitation via email from Domon the other night (after a greeting of Merry Christmas and a painstakingly declaration of his undying love for me). And now…

"But Fuuko-chan," I can hear Hanabishi Recca's irritatingly whining voice at the other end of the line as I rolled my eyes, clutching my rather cold phone in my hand as I made my way back to my apartment after a gruesome day at work. "We haven't seen each other for a long time since we graduated! And that was like years ago."

I grunted before answering, nearly colliding with a drunk guy in a business suit who was swinging his brief case in an exaggerated and intoxicated manner. It nearly hit my knee and I was about to give him a nasty expletive… if Recca wasn't distracting me with his yawping.

"Correction," I said exasperatedly. "We haven't seen each other for a year. Only a year you idiot!" I muttered hating Recca's affinity for hyperboles once he's in a whining mood.

"It doesn't matter," he argued. "The fact is still we haven't seen each other for quite some time!" He stressed the last words with an intention to knock some sense into my hard head.

I had to grin at that. Ok, he does have a point. I haven't been to our get-togethers as frequently as I should have been, especially last year and this year. How can I? When all I do since I graduated last three years ago is work, work and more work?

"Do I have to sic Yanagi-chan on you?" Recca threatened when I didn't answer.

I laughed. Actually, he had me even before he said his girlfriend's name. "Ok, ok," I said. "You don't have to call the back-up army." Sakoshita Yanagi may be one woman, but when she's the one arguing with you, it feels like you've been toss in the middle of an army, enough for you to wish facing every single one of your previous opponents during the Urabutousatsujin and Sodom days again.

I can imagine Recca's grin by the way he said, "Then it's all set. The 28th. Dinner time. Here in my humble abode. Bring anything edible. You're required to. See ya." He hung up even before I can say another word of complaint.

All I could do that moment is stare at the phone in my hand. I already stopped walking and recognized that I was near the park a few blocks away from my apartment. I unconsciously made my way there, plopped down on a deserted park bench, brought out my pack of cigarettes and lit up one. It was a darn cold night and I was hoping the nicotine stick will help lessen it and would help clear my suddenly muddled mind. I do miss the guys. And maybe there's no other time to meet them than at the post-Christmas party on the 28th. After all, I did plan on spending the New Year with my family back home. Tokyo can be so lonely even if it is a big city especially when you are alone. And who knows when I'll see the guys again? It may take half a year or more given the way my work was demanding all my time.

I inhaled deeply, loving the familiar feeling of the smoke going into my lungs. The 28th it is. I'm kinda excited. There will be a lot of catching up to do with them. I thought with a smile.

Little did I know that December 28th will be the night that would start the change in my life and in me forever.

- To Be Continued -

Chapter 1's up. I need to hear (or better yet read) your thoughts. READ and REVIEW please. Thank you.