Witch's thoughts: hello there. I'm very, very sorry for the delay, but some things happened and I couldn't finish this chapter. even now, it didn't turn out as I wanted it to, but will have to stay this way until I feel like rewriting it...

I'd like to thank xXxLoveLessVampirexXx for reviewing! it made my day seeing that you liked the way I handled my characters:) and many thanks to everyone that added this story to alerts and faviourities!

now, the last part of the story. unbetaed as two previous ones, unfortunately. anyone willing to beta my KHR stories?

comments are much appreciated!

enjoy!


They both knew that they were causing commotion.

Two of the most famous students in the University were spotted while drinking coffee together and gossips started to flow through the campus even before Coby finished her cup, caffeine addict as she was. Byakuran restricted himself to some juice and didn't even wet his lips with it.

"You don't want to tell me something?" Coby asked in beautiful, pure Italian. The man sat across her seemed to be deep in thought, before he slowly raised his head to look her in the eye.

"Should I, signorina Cavallone?" Smiling at her, Byakuran's eyes were strangely harsh. Coby snorted.

"Signore Gesso." She said, her voice no longer firm, but now soft and pleading. "You made Sho-chan miserable. I want to know why. And yes, it's my business. "she added, when he tried to interrupt her. "Because I can make him meet with you or not, according to your answer."

Byakuran stared at her, an unpleasant response right on his lips, despite polite and cheerful smile. And the point was, Coby knew about that and she observed Gesso nearly as much as he did with her. Then, he surrendered, smiling cheerfully, his expression calm, polite and totally fake.

"Alright. But you will help me."

Seeing that she wanted to voice her objections, Byakuran ordered her another coffee and placed a plate with marshmallows closer to himself. Then, he sighed.

"Shoichi is helpless, clumsy, unsure of himself and shy" he started, staring into the distance while supporting his chin on his hand. From the corner of his eye he saw that Coby didn't even try to protest to any of these, but instead she waited for him to continue "but at the same time smart, observant, caring and pleasant to be with… honestly, I don't know how it happened, but… well. Enough to say that I fell in love with Sho-chan." He finished as abruptly as cheerfully, giving her his usual broad smile. But the girl across him didn't seem in any way bewildered, impressed or moved. She just looked at him, her expression suggesting anyone who didn't know Italian that they were talking about some simple, normal matters.

"The party." Even if Coby looked pretty, this one word sounded like a thunder from suddenly gathered dark clouds. Byakuran involuntarily flinched, but masked it with leaning back on the chair and taking relaxed pose.

"That's a longer story…"

/

Following days, weeks and months were hard to bear. Not only because of course stuff, because that was the smallest of his problems. No, Shoichi was quite at ease with his studies. What was making him shiver then?

A certain second year PhD, albino student.

Accidents from that party made him miserable, but also a little angry at himself. He shouldn't have believed such a sweet-talker like Byakuran Gesso, a man that could have any girl in the campus without much effort. Wasn't it obvious that something had been fishy in his sudden interest in redhead that aside the colour of his hair didn't stand out in any way? And he was a boy, above it all. How could he think that Byakuran would be interested in him in any way other than a solution to win some bet or something? It should happen, make him clever and pass as the events usually did, not even making Shoichi remember them. But no; this one hurt too much, too much emotion built up even though three months have passed. And no matter how he looked at it, he always felt like hiding to the end of his life for no one to see.

Shoichi squirmed on chair by his laptop, the feeling of being betrayed and rejected washing over him once again, when he remembered the night he escaped Byakuran. It made his hairs stand up giving him goose bumps and involuntarily, he hugged his arms around himself, closing his eyes and keeping them shut. Such moments were kind of frequent, he caught himself actually thinking about Gesso more and more, as he was meeting his in the campus quite often now. However, when the moment was gone, Shoichi relaxed, sighed and opened his eyes, only to see that his glasses slid to the end of his nose.

"You alright, Sho-chan?"

Shoichi turned quickly around in his chair, when the voice startled him. Coby looked at him, worried, putting the tray with tea on the desk near the keyboard. He tried his best to fake a smile.

"I'm okay, Coby. It's just a little chilly here, but hey!, you know that I made it through the problem I told you about? The one about the settings in Choice…"

He knew that his babbling didn't fool her, but couldn't see her anxious face as she was standing behind his back. It was better this way. This way, he didn't have to explain anything to her, didn't have to make her more worried than she already was. Besides, this way he could focus on the game even more.

Coby closed quietly door behind herself. Listening to soft tapping of keys, she stood there for a while, in the dark corridor, unmoving. And it was a good thing that Shoichi didn't see her then, because determination in her eyes would make him feel even worse than he already did.

/

"You think it will work?"

"It has to work. Any other ideas?"

"Well… not really. But Cavallone-saaaan~…"

"Just Coby is okay. Now, hold onto it, I'm not sure if this should go into this socket…"

"You sure like to sing… but, why on juwenalia?"

"Let's say it's the only event Sho-chan would let himself be forced onto, okay?"

"Coby-chan, your smile is scary~"

/

Shoichi was standing in the shadows of the scene hesitantly. Being left alone on such an event painfully made him remember that there were people that he didn't want meet. He felt unpleasantly visible even in the crowd, so he quickly located a corner between some pillars and tables that seemed safe.

The fact that some people from his year tried to stop him and have a talk didn't improve his mood. Not at all.

If it wasn't for Coby, who announced she would be performing, Shoichi would be securely tucked between his laptop and newest pile of books he managed to get from the second-hand bookshop. Now however, he had to stay where he was, in room full of students babbling cheerfully and mindlessly, drinking beer and socialising, what made Shoichi gain a massive headache. Better it be worth it, he thought at the same time knowing that it would be. It was Coby, all in all.

Even though if he didn't understand, why she wanted him to be with the rest of the people, when he could observe her whole performance from behind the slips.

"Dear fellow students!" the presenter stepped onto the scene, thanks to the microphone enhanced voice taking over the buzzing in the room. Shoichi didn't listen to him at all; he was more than sure that he will announce Coby, as she told him to be here now, knowing full well he didn't like crowds. Sighing, he looked around, not having anything more productive to do and tensed, when with a corner of his eye, he noticed something white to his right.

"… and who cares anyway! Welcome her and enjoy the show!"

At first, Shoichi thought that some mistake was made, as the girl entering the stage was NOT Coby, or at least she didn't look like her, when he saw her last time, in the slips. But soon, he understood his error; his friend was wearing heavy make-up that made her look like a total opposition to herself: her hair was black, face white with something like face powder and her lips were blood-red. She was also dressed in that three colours, stylists made her look like a proper and very elegant gothic vamp or vampire. And Shoichi didn't like it at all.

Not that he could say anything. Coby was very secretive about her performance and he didn't even know what she would be singing. Saying that it was a surprise, she was always dismissing his questions about anything about the concert. And she practiced a lot too; so much that he actually wasn't seeing her so often anymore. It made him feel a bit lonely, but thanks to the time he would usually spend with Coby and now had free, he was nearly finished with the Choice. And that was what lightened his mood a little, every time he thought about it.

The lights were dimmed when Coby walked slowly to the microphone in the front of the stage. She was wearing heavy, black buskin shoes that made her look even taller than she already was. Her sharp eyes, green, beautiful eyes of a mermaid scanned the crowd with strange coolness, but when she noticed him, her expression softened. Small smile appeared on heavily coloured lips, just to get hidden behind the microphone.

The first times of the music were played and even before Shoichi managed to wince, as he didn't like that kind of music, Coby started to sing.

You're so hypnotizing

Could you be the devil

Could you be an angel

Your touch magnetizing

Feels like I am floating

Leaves my body glowing

Her voice a little breathless, her hands clasped surely on the stand, she swayed a little in the time with music, but her eyes seemed to be focused on one point only in the crowd. Curious, Shoichi looked to his right, but all he could see were people dancing, hugging and swaying in dance-like movement. Everybody seemed hypnotized by Coby's voice and Shoichi wasn't surprised by that, he always was listening to her with pleasure, even if in different repertoire…

Damn!

Byakuran was the only figure that was not moving in the especially cheerful group of people. Dressed in white, his whole body was glowing in the stroboscopic light. Shoichi winced violently and even made a few steps forward in escape attempt, when his mind kicked in with observation, that Gesso didn't notice him at all. He was standing in between dancing people, looking at the stage with attention. Quickly looking back at Coby, Shoichi's eyes went wide with realization.

They say be afraid

You're not like the others

Futuristic lover

Different DNA

They don't understand you

Their lips were moving in time, simultaneously, with the same words, pauses and breaths. It seemed as if Byakuran was performing as well, knowing lyrics so well and so well knowing what the singer would do. Shoichi felt a cool shiver running down his spine, when he understood what did it mean. It was Gesso that Coby trained her singing with. His beloved, only friend lied to him.

Observing Byakuran, he couldn't not notice how the lights made him look like an angel, his hair and clothes giving off an aura in the overwhelming darkness of the hall.

Your from a whole other world

A different dimension

You open my eyes

And I'm ready to go

Lead me into the light

Coby's voice became softer and much warmer, when against lyrics she closed her eyes. They matched each other; Byakuran white but traitorous and she black, but honest. At least Shoichi thought so, because right now he knew that he was cheated into coming here. What he didn't know was, what for they tricked him and it made him a little unsure. Out of the blue, he felt his eyes sting, when an especially strong reflector lighted for a second straight on him and he had to look down, to wipe a tear.

Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me

Infect me with your love and

Fill me with your poison

When the chorus exploded in the music, Shoichi found himself dumbfounded, stunned in his place by predatory stare that Coby directed at him, suddenly opening her eyes, heavily featured with dark kohl. Without blinking too much, she sang with deep, low and dangerous voice that made not obeying impossible. Shoichi was well aware that Coby could generate such tone from herself, but she hadn't use this ability of hers in such a long time, that he forgot how imperious she could be. Not able to bear it, he turned away his eyes.

Take me, ta-ta-take me

Wanna be a victim

Ready for abduction

Byakuran too was looking directly at him, still unmoving in the swaying crowd, making an impression of being completely isolated from the others. He still sang along with Coby, but right now his eyes were focused on Shoichi and on him only.

Boy, you're an alien

Your touch are foreign

It's supernatural

Extraterrestrial

The white figure made a step forward and Shoichi felt himself panic with fear. He wasn't prepared for this, he was avoiding Byakuran not because he was angry anymore, but simply because he was not sure what to do when he actually met him. Now, was especially not the best time for talking, in the center of undulating crowd that danced and socialized in time with Coby singing. Under these two intensive stares Shoichi felt that his legs start to back off not discussing it with his mind first.

In no time Byakuran was beside him, catching his arm when he stumbled and nearly fell under the feet of dancing people. Being held securely by a white angel with black heart, Shoichi knew that any second more and he would surely either do something stupid or escape with loud and compromising yelling. He must have looked like a scared little animal, because Byakuran smiled with his usual one-hundred-watt smile.

Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me

Infect me with your love and

Fill me with your poison

His lips were as warm and gentle as he remembered them, but this time they tasted like something sweet, reassuringly non-alcoholic. When his stupid body was melting under the kiss, Shoichi's mind listened to Coby's voice, feeling strangely motivated to just stand and allow being kissed. Her dominating tone penetrated all his defences, leaving him vulnerable and susceptible to influences. Such as Byakuran's.

There is this transcendental

On another level

Boy, you're my lucky star

I wanna walk on your wave length

And be there when you vibrate

For you I'll risk it all

All

During the quieter moment, when Coby was singing with unfit for her, high-pitched voice, Shoichi slowly opened his eyes that he didn't noticed he closed at all. Byakuran's face was only inches away from his, but instead of anticipated tensing of his muscles, Shoichi blinked, seeing that the other was not singing along now. He mouthed some words, as the music was still too loud for talking, but he chanted some phrase over and over. His violet eyes were caressingly watching Shoichi's expressions, when the man was holding his beloved redhead in his arms, repeating and waiting for understanding.

"Please, forgive me. I love you."

Shoichi gritted his teeth, suddenly feeling cold. When he went rigid in Byakuran's arms, the man narrowed his eyes for a tenth of the second and changed what he was saying.

"For you I'll risk it all."

He didn't know why he did it, because of music, Coby, adrenaline or maybe, simply, because of his own overwhelming feelings, maybe because of being able to feel Byakuran again and for real. Enough to say, he grabbed his shirt with force that surprised himself as well and yanked the man forward, crashing their lips together, this time actively participating in the kiss, as if it was the air he needed to breathe. Maybe it was.

Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me

Infect me with your love and

Fill me with your poison

Take me, ta-ta-take me

Wanna be a victim

Ready for abduction

His face burned with embarrassed blush, when he elbowed his way through the crowd, trying to get to the exit. The words that made his heart pound painfully, chased him along with music and this uncomfortable feeling of having done something that you would regret in the morning. Shoichi didn't know if Byakuran was after him, he didn't have the courage to actually look behind himself, not knowing who was the friend or enemy anymore. Were they both friends? Or foes? One of them? Which one?

His arm was grabbed and Shoichi turned around in dance-like pirouette. Being pulled towards Byakuran's chest didn't feel half bad and not as much forced as he thought it would be. The man's arms encircled him with gentle, but firm strength, suggesting that he was safe, secure and wouldn't be free anytime soon. And tired Shoichi just submitted to the feeling. Running wouldn't do him any good, he decided, snuggling further into Byakuran, lights flashing and people dancing around them. Feeling the other's lips on his cheek, moving in fast, hurried words, Shoichi allowed to be kissed, rising his face.

Boy, you're an alien

Your touch are foreign

It's supernatural

Extraterrestrial

Coby smiled with her blood-red lips, with cool eye observing the whole pantomime that was displayed right before her. Easily finding Byakuran in the crowd thanks to his white clothes, she was able to see what was going on, her trained mind giving her lyrics even though she didn't focus on singing at all. Sho-chan's escape made her worried for a moment that the plan failed, but when Byakuran caught him and hugged, she knew that they won. With satisfaction, in deep, commanding voice, she sang the song, knowing full well that two men most important to her, didn't hear her anymore.

Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial

Boy, you're an alien

Your touch are foreign

It's supernatural

Extraterrestrial

/

Coby ran forward, her white dress rustling softly in spring, evening breeze.

"If you two won't hurry, I'm going to eat all marshmallows by myself!" she shouted over her arm, already away, laughing. Byakuran let go of Shoichi's hand he was holding the whole time and started to run after her, shouting to wait up.

Shoichi resigned from following them, settling for peaceful walk instead. Two fair figures of his beloved friends were just disappearing in the doors of the dorms, but he couldn't force himself to hurry and join them. He just walked, foot after foot, letting his thought wander as they pleased, knowing full-well that his mind would always go back to the most pleasant thought of his life.

The three of them spent that Sunday on something that could be generally called 'having fun'. They went to Coby's favourite bookstore, to the mall in order to eat the best ice-creams in town, to park to simply lay down and sunbathe. And somewhere between Byakuran's laughing and Coby's teasing, Shoichi understood that he loved them both. That knowledge dawned on him so suddenly that he stopped abruptly in his tracks, making the girl bump into his back.

"Something's wrong, Sho-chan?" Byakuran looked him in the face, with a thumb caressing Shoichi's left palm as their hands were joined. "you paled."

"I'm alright…"

"Hey, Byakuran, stop whispering to him!" Coby yelled, elbowing him playfully. "Now he is red instead!"

But albino only smiled and didn't let go of his hand. Shoichi sighed, remembering the warmth that he felt from the man beside him. He couldn't believe that only a month before he couldn't face Byakuran! Now, he couldn't imagine living without him. It seemed just impossible.

Entering Coby's room as they agreed to go to have some marshmallows, Shoichi could hear that they were already arguing over the sweets. When he opened the door, he could see that Coby with a box in hand tried to escape from Byakuran's grip, while they both were standing on her bed. Seeing him, the man abruptly let her go and as flexible as she was, Coby jumped from the furniture, with victorious cry presenting Shoichi her prize. He laughed; how could he not, seeing Byakuran's disappointed face.

"I won, I won, I won~" Coby sang happily, dancing around Shoichi with the box in hands, before she sat down, opened it and started to divide the content into three identical parts under expectant gaze of albino. "Now, will you show me that game of yours…"

The light bulb flickered and went out so suddenly that nobody even managed to blink. In the darkness, a muffled shout could be heard, along with a chair being knocked down.

"It's alright Coby, it's just a blackout I think…" Shoichi quickly walked to the place he remembered she was standing and hugged her protectively. He could feel that she was trembling slightly.

"Hey, the whole campus is dark!" they heard Byakuran from the direction where window should be "It's pitch black out there."

"I'll go to the manager, she should know what is happening." Coby voice was shaky, but she quickly took out her cell phone, in its light looking for keys. "Wait for me okay? Here is the spare key, I'll lock the door, because a lot of people will be walking around, it seems…" she babbled, listening to various callings and shouts that could be heard from different parts of the building.

The key grated slightly when she was locking the door and that sound made Shoichi twitch, as if he was woken up from a dream. He tried to look around, but wasn't even able to see his own hand, even though he knew it was just in front of his eyes. Thanks to the darkness, his senses sharpened compensating the lack of eyesight and that's why he more felt than heard when Byakuran moved to his side, sneaking an arm around his redhead's waist.

"Are you scared of darkness, Sho-chan?" he whispered, nuzzling Shoichi's ear and crook of his neck, at the same time drawing him closer to his chest. "I'll defend you."

Irie took his hands off of himself and turned around, even if he couldn't see the other's face. "No, I'm not and please, Byakuran-san, cut it out. Coby will be back soon." Shoichi was grateful for that Egyptian darkness, as he felt a hot blush overtaking his face. He heard his boyfriend laugh and felt that he was being hugged again, from completely different side he expected.

"She won't." Byakuran's voice was warm, husky and sexy as all hell. "What did you think she locked the door for? Coby wanted us to be alone and undisturbed. Most likely, she is now with her boyfriend, Sho-chan."

"Boyfriend?" Shoichi broke from his reverie. "She has a boyfriend?"

Byakuran laughed quietly, a sound that sent shivers down redhead's spine. "Sure she does. That Skylark guy."

"But she didn't tell me about that!" Shoichi started to freak out, struggling to get free and run after his friend to force her into telling him everything, but his plans disappeared from his mind almost instantly. Byakuran had strong grip, his arms hugging Shoichi's weaker figure with firm strength of someone who knew he was stronger. And he somehow managed to found Shoichi's lips in the darkness without fail…

"Hush…" Byakuran whispered, laying soft kisses on the others face "Hush, Sho-chan."

Maybe it was because of darkness, but Shoichi felt himself being unexpectedly sensitive now, it seemed to him that Byakuran's hands were everywhere at the same time, touching him in manner that a connoisseur would touch a valuable piece of art. Byakuran's lips were warm, for a second sucking on his neck only to find his mouth once again and overtake it… he felt hot, incredibly hot… so good… so loved…

/

It was one of the June days that didn't make people believe it was a beginning of summer. Pouring rain made everyone reconsider if they necessarily had to go out right then, as it made everything wet and cold. Drops of water drummed on the hospital windows, but Shoichi didn't hear any of it.

He felt numb, deaf and blind. He didn't even feel his own fingers digging into the skin on his cheeks. He felt nothing, but when the door creaked, his head snapped up. However, it was only Coby, who came back from the ward.

"Did they…?"

The girl shook her head. "They haven't finished yet."

Shoichi once again fell back onto the bench, limply, as if a puppet with its strings cut. He didn't even have strength to rise his hand and adjust his glasses. He could feel that Coby walked to him quickly, worried by his indifferent attitude, but couldn't care less at the moment. He closed his eyes, clenching the eyelids as much as he could, before one stray tear fell down.

"Sho-chan, Shoichi" he heard Coby's broken voice, when she hugged him. "It will be alright… it will be…"

He didn't believe her. He knew that wasn't true. It will never be alright. Feeling trembling, fragile figure of his friend clinging to his side, Shoichi leaned his head on the wall behind him and looked up at the ceiling. It couldn't be true, could it? Byakuran wouldn't die, would he? If he just didn't push Shoichi out of that car's path…

"It's my fault…" he whispered, feeling that tears were falling from under his closed eyelids. "It's all my fault…"

"What are you saying, Sho-chan!" Coby stirred and caught his arm. "It's not!"

He shook his head, wiping the tears off his face. Coby couldn't, wouldn't understand. Now, nothing mattered anymore, he was quite sure of that. One person he loved more than his life, the one man that made him feel loved and appreciated, his reason for living and existing was now in the operation room, fighting for his life. It was entirely his fault, for changing Byakuran from egoistic, self-centred sweet-talker into caring and considerate man… which wasn't exactly a bad thing, but if he hadn't changed, he would have been not being operated on after being ran over…

Shoichi grabbed violently Coby's arms and forced her to look him in the eye.

"I'm the one who made Byakuran-san this...!"

/

Byakuran liked watching the other dimensions. It was something refreshing in that, yet something melancholic. Feeling, seeing something that could have happened. Sometimes, it was funny, sometimes he was grateful for present dimension his main personality was in. Byakuran was a curious person and knowing what it feels like to be at the same time in the middle of a beach and under a heavy rain, made his experiences even more diverse. And that's exactly why he liked to know, how his relationships would have turned out, should the events be different.

"… way! I can't run away from this now!"

Byakuran cocked his head to the side and looked again at Vongola group. At kneeling, already exhausted Shoichi, who was doing miracles of endurance during these past weeks, only to fight with him and defeat him; his green eyes were burning with a willpower of his stubborn character, along with warm, orange-red flames on his chest. At proud-looking, blonde girl beside him, who harshly returned his gaze; Cobra Cavallone of this dimension, even if in her ten-years-ago version, wasn't someone to joke with, being the Cavallone Famiglia assassin as she was. Feeling strange remorse that the three of them didn't meet under different conditions, Byakuran smiled, but it was a cruel smile.

"Ohh~? I didn't know you thought of it that way, Shou-chan."

That's right. Some dimensions made his melancholic.

But no more.


Witch again: some things that I think, need explanation.

1. in the first paragraph, I hope it was obvious that Byakuran and Coby are talking in Italian? hopefully it was.

2. I KNOW that the scene with singing is somehow forced and groundless, and I like it this way^^ the song is of course Katy Perry "E.T."

3. we all know who the 'Skylark guy' is, right^^?

4. I based Shoichi's and Byakuran's line on chapter 242 of manga, I didn't make it up, okay?

thanks for reading~!