Breath Didn't Come

Author's Note: Sorry for the wait!! I'm really, really sorry!! Thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter and voiced their thoughts on what should happen next. Since I received a mix of suggestions, I have a vague idea of where I'm going to go, and otherwise, I'll have to see where my keyboard takes me! Read and review, mes amis!

Vera stared into Yusaku's eyes as she held him against the wall. "Yusaku... I must have you understand how I feel for you..." Her lips brushed against his cheek. "As soon as I saw you... I knew there was something special between us... don't you agree?"

Yusaku couldn't answer. He didn't know how to respond.

"You don't have to be so shy, you know," she laughed. "Oh, but I know what will help you relax a bit."

She took his hand and led him up a staircase to a bedroom filled with sunlight. Yusaku saw the bed and let out a sound that Vera interpreted as a whimper. She smiled.

He felt so guilty. He couldn't do this... his heart was for Kyoko...!

Vera was already taking off her clothes, and her eyes told Yusaku that she expected him to take his off as well. But Yusaku just stood there, frozen. This wasn't supposed to be happening at all. Yet it was happening anyway. Yet it was still happening.

Now she was unbuttoning his shirt for him. "Let me help you," she whispered, giggling softly. "My dear little Yusaku... this must be your first time..."

Yusaku was shaking. This was the millionth occasion in his life when he felt completely powerless, but it had never been this bad. His conscience was killing him, but he didn't know how to listen. Maybe... maybe this was okay, he tried to convince himself. Maybe he was just making a mountain out of a molehill...

Vera pushed him onto the bed lay down beside him. However, she quickly realized that Yusaku still wasn't doing anything. He lay on the bed like a dead corpse, still and silent. She sighed.

"Yusaku, must I help you again?" chided Vera. She pulled his body close to hers, and-

"For Kyoko," Yusaku gasped.

Vera's head snapped towards him. "What did you say?" Vera hissed threateningly.

~*~

Kyoko heard her name upon the wind. By this time she had reached Vera's house and was wondering how to get inside. The door was locked, and she could tell that no amount of force could possibly make it budge. Kyoko looked upwards and noticed a balcony. "Perhaps... I could climb," she thought as she spotted a nearby tree. She took off her shoes and approached the large trunk cautiously, as if she was greeting an opponent.

Her arms took hold of the closest branch, and up she went. She had tried to climb a tree once during her childhood, and it hadn't been a good experience. But now her heart burned with determination, and she climbed the oak with speed and confidence, thinking of Yusaku and the woman with green eyes and long black hair.

Who was she? And why was she after Yusaku? The image of Yusaku's face when the woman had dragged him away played over again in Kyoko's mind. It was obvious that Yusaku didn't like the lady at all. Kyoko climbed quicker as she thought of what the woman could be doing to Yusaku. What if she was torturing him? Or flirting with him? Kyoko's face turned red. She hated it when people acted like Yusaku was available... even though he kinda was...

Kyoko could reach the balcony now... she held tightly onto the railing and carefully pulled herself over. Then she ran and opened the doors, which just happened to be unlocked, and raced through.

She immediately came to a halt.

Nothing could have prepared Kyoko for what she saw. Fractions of the scene flashed before her, one at a time... the bed. The two underneath its covers. Naked. The woman with the green eyes and black hair, her pale breasts against the other person's body. Yusaku's.

There wasn't room for anger. Just shock. Shock. Even breath didn't come.

Vera lifted her head slowly and glared at Kyoko with menacing eyes. Then she smirked. Kyoko could only stand there, trying to understand what she was seeing.

Vera turned back to Yusaku, who seemed as if he was half asleep. "Yusaku," she murmured, "We have a visitor..."

Yusaku opened his eyes, and he jumped when he saw Kyoko. Then he closed his eyes again, shaking his head. Damn, it couldn't get any worse than this. "Geroffamee," he mumbled to Vera. "Get off of me!"

She got off of the bed and walked up to Kyoko. "So you must be Kyoko... it's funny, Yusaku hasn't said much about you."

Kyoko gave her a glare that would have stopped a lion in its tracks. But it didn't work for Vera.

Meanwhile, Yusaku was messily putting on his clothes. He had to get out of there without either of the two noticing... the thought of dealing with either one made him feel sick. He had made a mistake: that was for sure. And who was he going to go to for help now? Kyoko would hate him. He hadn't listened to Mrs. Ichinose. He couldn't trust Yotsuya further than he could throw. He was doomed... but he had to get out of there first!!

He glanced up and saw that Kyoko was hopping down from the balcony. "Kyoko!" he shouted out as he ran for the doors.

"Yusaku," cried Vera, "Stay with-"

Yusaku wrestled free and jumped down after Kyoko, shouting her name. It had started to rain... but when Kyoko turned her head to glimpse back, Yusaku could still see the distinguished mark of sorrow on her face: tears.