He had nothing left he could do. Staring at the ceiling had lost it's luster hours ago, and he just wasn't tired. He cursed whatever bad luck was causing his restlessness as he crept down silent and deserted hallways.

So why was he sneaking around the castle in the middle of the night? He wasn't entirely sure he was doing it for any reason beyond an adrenaline rush, but then again he also admitted he didn't know why he was doing this at all. He just didn't want to be confined to his room right now.

In fact he was so incredibly awake, that he had tried himself many times, many different methods of trying to tire himself out and nothing had worked. 'You're Ranmaru Mori dammit, quit sneaking around like a child and go to bed! you have THINGS to DO tomorrow!' No matter how much he yelled at himself, it was like he had a split personality that just loved to dare to defy himself.

Though sneaking around as quietly as he was had him wondering, was this really all that it took to be a ninja? It really wasn't all that incredibly hard to be honest. At least thus far, that also scared him to a certain point. If it was THIS easy to be a ninja, could they be all over the place? Right now?

Ranmaru whipped around and looked all around him, he didn't see anything moving around in the dark. Well if he found any ninja's they had better look out, because he's Ranmaru and you just don't mess with him on a sleep high. Ranmaru stopped when he had crept all the way to his lords bedroom.

He stared at the doors fascinated, he didn't go in there very often, but he had been in there before. Ranmaru sat down outside the doors and imagined what his lord could be doing right now. He tried to listen in to see if he could hear anything possibly. He could have swore he heard a noise of some sort, maybe a voice?

It also could have been wind blowing through though. Ranmaru sighed and got back up, what would his lord do if he saw him creeping around the castle? It was true that Nobunaga often treated him very special, above others, but that was because he worked so hard to please his lord. What if he tried to get on his nerves?

Curiousity welling up inside of him as he thought about it, and compared Nobunaga's bad tempers towards others to situations he could possibly put himself into. Nobunaga would get mad at Hideyoshi only sometimes because he was so pesky, or overbearing. Nobunaga liked a mediation between friendliness and distance, and Hideyoshi was bad at keeping up with it.

That and Hideyoshi was sort of a prank puller, or a comical instigator. For the most part, Nobunaga got fed up with Noh's complaints, or her constant threats. Nobunaga also treated Mitsuhide coldly, for his 'fake' attitude that he saw in him, and his weak minded view of the world.

Ranmaru was very reflective on this, it never crossed his mind to do any of those things since they went against his nature, but what would happen if say he did? Ranmaru smiled softly to himself, and he sort of blushed at the thought that Nobunaga had never once scolded him, or gotten angry with him.

Ranmaru caught himself blushing at the thought of his lord more and more lately, and vaguely he wondered what that could mean. Did he love his lord Nobunaga? Ranmaru noticed he had been outside his lord's bedroom this entire time, and had a guard walked down this hallway to see him probably would have assumed he was an enemy ninja or something.

He decided he should make up his mind what he was going to do tonight and do it so he could get back to his room and hopefully finally fall asleep. 'What can I do to tire myself out though? I just feel so full of it today.' He sighed heavily again and shook his head, perhaps he should try going outside of even the castle, going on a long walk.

He froze when the door slid open, and he saw his lord Nobunaga in his usual night attire. Nobunaga looked surprised to see him at first, but the look gradually faded to be that of an amused stare.

"Yes... Ranmaru?" He asked, Ranmaru looked around the hallway then eventually at his lord. "Uhmm... Good Evening..." He bowed to his lord.

"Hmmm... Are you playing games around the castle again, like when you were a child?" Ranmaru blinked. "I used to do that?" He asked. Nobunaga laughed, "Not this particular one, but yes. You did." Ranmaru bit his lip, he had no excuse to be running around the castle right now though.

"Well... I couldn't sleep..." He admitted. Nobunaga stared at him for awhile, studying his answer. "So I see, and you thought walking around would tire you out then?" Ranmaru nodded.

"It was better than doing nothing..." Nobunaga moved away from the door and made a gesture for him to come into his room. Ranmaru glanced down the hallway once more, then hesitantly went into his lords bedroom.

"I couldn't sleep either, I heard a storm would hit in the middle of the night. I like to be awake through each storm." Nobunaga had an amazing room, it appeared simple. The large open balcony, showed the dark grey clouds in a pitch black sky.

All his doors to the balcony were open, and the door to his personal bedchamber was open. "So a storm will come in the night... It certainly does look that way." Ranmaru observed, staring out into the open skies. Ranmaru looked over at his lord, who was sitting on the floor and waiting for it to come.

Ranmaru got that curious idea in his head again. When Ranmaru asked himself what his bond between him and Nobunaga was, the first thought that came to his mind, was servant. The problem with being a servant was, there was an endless possibility to things that he could be expected to do and not do. Especially as a personal servant.

So he'd have to know more personally, from Nobunaga's viewpoint. "Lord Nobunaga..." Nobunaga looked up at him. "I have known you all my life..." Ranmaru said softly. Nobunaga smiled instantly and closed his eyes, "Yes. You have. What of it?" He asked.

Ranmaru sat down across from his lord, "Sometimes I find it difficult to see you as just my Lord since I have such an emotional attachment." The rain was beginning to fall lightly from the sky.

"Oh...?" Nobunaga inquired, Ranmaru nodded resolutely. "And what sort of an attachment?" Ranmaru looked away and gave a small shrug.

"I do not know... You are my Lord... I will give my life for you, like so many others will, because you are our lord... But I feel more than just that. If you were not my Lord, I would still give my life for you, based upon my feelings having known you my whole life. So I feel a need to protect you that is even stronger."

Nobunaga was silent again, staring out at the rain that fell from the heavens. "So those are your feelings. What are your desires?" Nobunaga asked that of many people, it was something that interested him. The psychology of those around him.

Perhaps he wanted to know what those around him wanted for his own benefit. Ranmaru watched the rain with him, thinking to himself of what he possibly did desire. He knew he had to desire things, it was just he pushed them out of his mind.

Anything he had ever desired, he denied himself. In order to turn his 'desire' into serving his Lord. Small things, trivial things, they didn't matter, he need not need them, or want them, or desire a single thing in this world, over his Lord Nobunaga. Then he got that curious feeling again.

Nobunaga had told him so many times that he cherished Ranmaru's honest personality, and his bold and clear intentions. Ranmaru dared to test the limits of how bold he was allowed to be with his Lord Nobunaga. Moving beside him quietly and placing his hands on his Lords shoulders.

The sensation was so strange and foreign, very different. "I just want to be of use to you. That is my desire." Ranmaru finally answered, rubbing the tense muscles under the collar of his Lords kimono. An appreciative groan was his only reply, Ranmaru smiled smally and withheld a chuckle.

"My Lord works too hard." Ranmaru wanted to continue to test how bold Nobunaga liked his actions, leaning down to rub up and down Nobunaga's rippled chest. Ranmaru began blushing intensely at how it felt to feel Nobunaga all over. "It's not easy, conquering the world." Nobunaga lightly joked.

Ranmaru worked meticulously to ease the pain and stress out of his Lords muscles. Nobunaga had such a perfect, firm body. Ranmaru leant his face down close to Nobunaga's neck so he could reach lower down his stomach. He definitely wasn't being punished for his bold actions, at least not yet.

So if being to bold could not get a negative reaction out of his Lord Nobunaga, then what could? It wasn't that he wanted to anger his lord, he just wondered why it was he simply wasn't capable of doing so. Surely he must have something about him that annoys his Lord. 'Perhaps if I were to act not much like myself...' He began to think of the Lady Noh, who is very physical and sensuous.

Or Mitsuhide, who hides his true meanings, and is very evasive about what he truly means, and hides the truth. Perhaps he should try to be like those who get negative reactions out of Nobunaga in order to see if it is possible. Ranmaru was already being physical, and although this was sexy to him, he was sure Nobunaga saw this as nothing more than a fun new trick he'd learn to help ease his stress.

He was so close to Nobunaga, he could have virtually tried out anything. He let his lips graze his Lords ear, experimentally. The second he had done it though, his resolve literally disappeared and he wasn't sure where the courage to do it in the first place could have possibly come from. Nobunaga could see him out of the corner of his eye, and the look he was giving him was an amused inquiry.

Blushing brightly and pretending nothing at all had happened, Ranmaru continued to relax his lord, but now Nobunaga was curious. "Ranmaru... Are you feeling alright?" Nobunaga asked. The rain started to pick up outside. Ranmaru nodded, "Of course, my Lord." He reassured. Nobunaga half-smiled and closed his eyes, "You just seem to be not yourself today."

Ranmaru caught himself smiling, Nobunaga knew him that well? He could tell when he was pretending to be other people? Ranmaru was still curious as to wether or not he could annoy his Lord though. Nobunaga sat up and took a gracious sip of his red wine sitting next to him on the floor.

Ranmaru stood up slowly, the rain was heavy now, pouring. Nobunaga watched the rain silently, "I'm glad I didn't go out for a walk earlier..." Ranmaru said softly. "You were thinking of going out?" Nobunaga asked, Ranmaru nodded. "It crossed my mind... Since I am having so much trouble sleeping..." Thinking about it more and more, going out right now in the rain sounded like the perfect thing to tire him out.

He wondered what Nobunaga would think of him, going out onto the balcony in the rain. Would he think him a fool? Or childish? Ranmaru bit his lip but then smiled softly, would his lord find him annoying? Perhaps it would be his naive thoughts that awaken a sort of anger in his lord, but the more he thought about trying it out the more he wanted to do it.

Ranmaru suddenly dashed out onto the balcony into the pouring, icy rain. He danced around in it, childishly, innocently. The lightning would illuminate the world around him for only a few seconds, and dancing to it's rhythm, he would catch glimpses of Nobunaga out of the corner of his eyes. Nobunaga was staring at the boy, with an unreadable emotion in his eyes.

The flashes would create a glow all around him, as his pale skin would clash with everything else. He turned and stopped only for a moment, to stare directly into Nobunaga's eyes. He wanted to try and desphicer the emotion behind them, but they were far to complicated.

Almost the instant he tore his eyes away from Nobunaga's, he felt strong arms wrapping around him. Somehow Nobunaga was outside with him in a flash. "You dance like an innocent spirit... A lost soul in the rain... Celebrating some sort of obscure phenomenon... It's the sort of thing that inspires poetry."

Ranmaru could fully noticed now, just how wet he was. His clothes were soaked and sticking to him, and Lord Nobunaga was fully drenched now to. Nobunaga was holding him close in the rain, and towering over him, looking down at him. "It just looked like it would be fun..." Ranmaru admitted, loud thunder cracked in the sky, and lightning illuminated the area once again.

Nobunaga ran his fingers through Ranmaru's hair, it had fallen loose in the middle of his dance. "Do you enjoy things like this...?" Nobunaga asked, Ranmaru nodded slowly. He felt safe and warm despite being in cold rain. He felt Nobunaga's warm breath, and the heat from his skin, and his fingertips running along his scalp.

He didn't have any fear of the lightning outside striking them, not when Nobunaga was holding him so close like this. "You should come inside... I wouldn't want you to get ill." Nobunaga murmured quietly, Ranmaru blushed and nodded. He should probably go and get something dry to wear as well.

"Here... I think I have something for you..." Nobunaga pulled him inside, and moved away. Ranmaru was curious as to what it could be. Nobunaga presented him with a beautiful looking robe, Ranmaru hesitantly took it. "This is so pretty..." He said admiring the garment. "It would fit you perfectly, you should keep that." Ranmaru blushed instantly. "I couldn't keep something so invaluable!" He pouted.

"Keep it Ranmaru, it's yours now... " Nobunaga turned away and then smiled. He had been waiting for a time good enough to present it to him anyway. Nobunaga opened the door to his private quarters, Ranmaru knew he was going inside to get dressed. When he closed the door, Ranmaru took off his own clothes and slipped the robes on.

"I knew they'd suit you..." Nobunaga said walking into the room again. Ranmaru bowed, "Thank you, my Lord. They're so beautiful." Nobunaga walked over to him. "How do you feel now? Are you still wide awake?" Ranmaru shook his head. "Not anymore. I knew the rain would help." Nobunaga half-smiled and nodded.

"This might also help." He was talking about the red wine that he always liked to drink. Ranmaru blushed at the gesture, he was holding his cup out for him to have a sip from. Ranmaru shyly gave in to his Lord's whim, though it was hard like sake was. This was a completely relaxing taste.

"I thought it would burn like sake does..." He admitted. "You won't get drunk off one sip like you would sake... This is less alcohol." Nobunaga smiled as the boy curled up on the floor, watching the rain outside. In a matter of minutes he had fallen asleep. Nobunaga got up and put out most of the candles, he collected a satin sheet from his bed chambers and draped the material around Ranmaru.

He playfully ran his fingers through the boys hair and watched him sleep peacefully through the storm. Nobunaga liked to be up during the storms. If the castle is to be struck and set on fire, he wanted to be the first one to know. He did have a lot to lose after all. He smiled softly tracing his finger down Ranmaru's pale neck.