Chapter one

It was Ritsuka's fault that Soubi lost his memory.

Ritsuka never meant for it to happen. He never wanted it to happen. It was something that Soubi had done to cause him to fall amnesic, but it all rooted back to Ritsuka. Soubi had only been trying to help Ritsuka, but he lost something because of it. This all would bring guilt in the months to come, since it didn't take Ritsuka very long to figure it out.

The origins of Soubi's memory loss went back to just after returning home from the incident at Seven Voices. Ritsuka was confused by everything that had happened, and also a bit sad, but that was nothing compared to what Soubi seemed to have felt. Ritsuka tried and tried to cheer him up, but almost nothing seemed to bring him out of his depressive state. The only time he was a little happy was when Ritsuka was around him. Seimei's reappearance had had a huge affect on him.

In the time between the insane road trip and Soubi's memory loss, Ritsuka had stopped pushing Soubi away so much. He wasn't sure of his feelings for the older man, but he knew that Soubi felt something for him. It didn't appear to just be his brother's orders anymore. Ritsuka could tell from the way Soubi smiled at him and held him closely in the hard, frightening nights and the way he whispered gentle words in the teen's ears when Ritsuka was suddenly awakened after nightmares of Seimei. He hated to admit it, but he liked spending time with Soubi, which is why he hated to see him in such a depressed state. So, he had come up with something for them both to do to keep their minds off of Seimei.

It had started with a simple book Ritsuka had brought to Soubi's house to read. He had grabbed it off of the library's non-fiction shelve after the title had caught his eye. Amnesia case studies. It was a large, thick book with a bright cover that had made Ritsuka stop before he walked past it. It wasn't as if he hadn't read up on amnesia before. He had when he was ten and first lost his memory, but the information was too complex for him to read, then. Maybe I'll understand it, now, Ritsuka had thought.

As usual, Soubi had picked Ritsuka up at school and offered to take him back to his apartment. Ritsuka had agreed- he had come to think of the place as a safe haven and also as a sort of home. He had watched Soubi paint for a while and then began to read. His eyes and mind had grown tired quickly and he got frustrated with the information. He had thrown the book down and collapsed on the bed, quickly drawing Soubi's interest.

Soubi had picked up the book and sat next to Ritsuka, asking him which part he was frustrated on. Ritsuka told him that he didn't understand any of it and that the information was too hard for him. Instead of laughing at Ritsuka, as the boy had expected him to, he led Ritsuka to the kitchen table and sat down with him and began to explain the book bit by bit. It amazed Ritsuka. He had always known subconsciously that Soubi was very intelligent, but he hadn't known that he was this smart. He explained everything with ease, quickly and silently reading paragraphs in the book before putting them in layman's terms for Ritsuka.

In just a day, Soubi helped Ritsuka through more than a quarter of the book. In three days, they were done. The day after they had finished, Ritsuka had brought a bagful of books on amnesia to Soubi's house. Soubi was more than happy to help him read and take notes with him. Ritsuka didn't have to say that he was trying to figure out the causes of his own amnesia; Soubi just knew. Ritsuka liked spending as much time as he could with him. The project kept their minds off of Seimei and Soubi seemed to be coming out of his depressive state.

Ritsuka stayed over at Soubi's house a lot and spent nearly every day with him. Trying to figure out the mystery of Ritsuka's amnesia had only brought them closer. Ritsuka found that Soubi was a very truthful person if Ritsuka didn't ask about Septimal Moon. If Ritsuka asked about that, Soubi usually just didn't say anything or apologized. If Ritsuka said something about Seimei, Soubi would just get sad, so Ritsuka tried his hardest not to say anything about him.

Ritsuka had been affected by Seimei's reappearance, too. He felt betrayed and lied to, by both Seimei and Soubi. He found that he couldn't be mad at Soubi, though. He understood that Soubi couldn't help but obey Seimei. Seimei ordering him to break the window at Seven Voices had proved that. He would obey Seimei, even if he didn't want to.

Soubi obviously felt bad about letting Seimei escape. He had apologized extensively to Ritsuka and called himself a traitor. Ritsuka had hoped that this project would help him get over that. It had, up until Ritsuka had come over one faithful day.

Ritsuka pounded up the stairs to Soubi's top-floor apartment, hoping that Natsuo and Youji weren't there. He really wanted alone time with Soubi. He was growing more and more affectionate with the man. Their kisses were becoming longer and Ritsuka was beginning to initiate them from time to time. Soubi never took it further than making out or the occasional light kisses pressed on Ritsuka's neck, though. Ritsuka didn't really know if he wanted more or not.

It was Friday. Soubi usually took Ritsuka out on Friday nights. It was something that Ritsuka looked forward to. It had been nearly six months since the incident with Seimei and for almost every Friday since then, with the exception of the first few weeks. Usually it was just to dinner, but sometimes Soubi did something special, like taking Ritsuka down to the city or to the beach.

If Natsuo and Youji were there, Soubi would have to get Kio to watch them, since he was afraid they'd burn down his home if he left them alone. Maybe Soubi had already sent them to Kio's.

"Soubi?" Ritsuka called, stepping into the small apartment on the top of the building. He wasn't sure if he could call it an apartment since it was the only one on the top floor and it had its own roof. It was also tiny, a mere three rooms.

"Soubi?" Ritsuka called again. He made his way to Soubi's bedroom, opening the French doors, expecting to see Soubi asleep in the double bed. Soubi had a wild sleeping schedule and he often slept well into the day. If Ritsuka didn't wake him, Soubi would probably sleep through the entire day.

But he didn't find Soubi in his bedroom. Something about that worried him, and the fact that he hadn't answered when he had called for him twice made him even more anxious. He tried to reason with himself, thinking that Soubi had probably just had too much to drink and passed out or maybe he had stayed the night at Kio's house to finish a project. Somehow, Ritsuka didn't believe himself.

Ritsuka thoroughly checked Soubi's room and was about to call the man's cell phone when he heard a weak, raspy groaning sound. Ritsuka's ears went straight up. He ran out of the room, his heart beating wildly. For the first time, Ritsuka noticed the dark crimson blood on the wood floor. Tiny puddles, which got larger and larger as they led into the kitchenette, splattered the floor. Ritsuka crept towards it, terrified, not for his life, but for Soubi's. Something had happened. It looked as though Soubi had lost a lot of blood. Had he gotten into a fight without Ritsuka again?

Nothing could ever prepare Ritsuka for what he saw as he looked around the corner. Soubi lay on the cold tile, bleeding heavily and seemingly unconscious. Blood stained his clothes, his hair, his skin, everything. His glasses were next to him, broken into pieces. The bandages on his neck were half torn off and dark, dark red. Cuts marred almost every piece of exposed skin. Ritsuka noticed that his clothes were a bit torn, too.

"Oh god…Soubi!" Ritsuka rushed to his side, scared out of his mind. This man that he definitely felt something for could very well be on the brink of death. He knelt at his side, not caring that he was getting blood all over himself. Soubi was more important and he was all Ritsuka cared about now. He grabbed onto Soubi's hand, holding it tightly in his hand, looking down at the pale flesh.

Ritsuka felt the tears coming fast and he didn't try to stop them. His shaking fingers found their way down to Soubi's wrist. He breathed hard, trying desperately to find his pulse. Terrified, he waited, gripping Soubi's wrist as hard as he could. The pads of his finders were pressed so hard into Soubi's skin that, if he was still alive, a bruise would form there.

Suddenly, Ritsuka felt it. He opened his eyes, not realizing that he had closed them and hung his head a little so that Soubi's hand touched his forehead. Silently, he counted his heartbeat. One, two, three, four…one, two three, four. The rhythm was punishing and fast. If Ritsuka didn't get Soubi to the hospital soon he would die. He had lost too much blood and he was probably in a world of pain.

"…Ritsuka…" Ritsuka's head snapped up, recognizing Soubi's voice, even though it was raspy and barely audible. He watched Soubi open his eyes slowly and look at him with cloudy pupils. His left eye was bloodshot and he couldn't seem to focus on Ritsuka.

"Soubi! What happened?" Ritsuka was panicking. He had to do something. He didn't care how much Soubi hated hospitals. He'd have to take him to one.

The hand Ritsuka was holding on to rose to Ritsuka's face, coming to a rest on his cheek. The moment had seemed strained. Ritsuka put his hand over Soubi's bloodied one, keeping it there. Despite the cuts and the free-flowing blood, Soubi's skin still felt soft and warm. Soubi looked to be drifting away again, letting his eyes fall shut. Ritsuka couldn't imagine how dizzy and lightheaded he was from the blood loss.

"Stay with me!" Ritsuka begged. He needed to know what had happened. Had Soubi gotten into a fight without Ritsuka, or was this much more complex than that? "Soubi! Please! What happened?"

Soubi kept his eyes half-open, but he was still falling away from Ritsuka. "I know why you like to make memories now…Ritsuka, I know who did this to you…" Soubi whispered. "Your amnesia…I know…" When he didn't finish the sentence, it only freaked Ritsuka out even more.

"Hang on!" Ritsuka's voice shook. But he wasn't concerned with keeping his emotions in check. He hung his head, crying hard. "Don't leave me! I have no one else!"

Soubi was the only person he had. He never saw his father, his mother was crazy, his only friend was an idiot, and his brother was…his brother had betrayed him and hurt Soubi. Yuiko, his dim-witted friend, would always be there for him, but she didn't understand the pain Ritsuka was going through. She couldn't. Soubi was the only one who could comfort him in the nights were terror reigned in the darkness of Ritsuka's dreams. Soubi was the only person who could understand his pain and hold him close when he hurt the most.

"I'm not leaving you, Ritsuka…" Ritsuka could've sworn he had heard amusement in Soubi's voice. "I won't…I promise…I…love you…"

"No!" Ritsuka shouted, not at his words, but at the way Soubi had closed his eyes and was unresponsive. He had heard the truth in his words, but that was the kind of thing someone would say right before they died. "I-I'm going to call an ambulance! Soubi! Don't leave me!"


I really like where this new story is going.

Review if you like it and want the next chapter quicker :)