Title: Promises, Promises

Pairing(s): Some Yusei x Aki, implied Ushio x Mikage.

Rating: M

Warning(s): Dark. Some language, plus details of the human anatomy.

Note(s): This is related to my previous fic Now, but is not a sequel, per say. I apparently have become obsessed with the fact that Aki is doctor and have to keep writing stories that relate to her career.

"Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver."


It had only been a few weeks since they had returned to Neo Domino City, but boys were already clamoring to get Ruka's number. That annoyed Rua. But because she didn't own a cell phone, he was always able to take pleasure in intimidating any of her suitors that called while she wasn't home. He got quite the tongue-lashing, however, when Ruka found out.

"Rua," she had said sternly. "I'm 21 now and I'm capable of taking care of myself. You don't have to chase off every single boy that flirts with me."

Rua sighed.

"Aw, Ruka..." He began. "You know I'm just trying to protect you..."

Her expression softened.

"I know..." she sighed. "But you can't protect me from everything. I mean, I actually like Jurou."

This revelation struck Rua in the face. Hard. He had been under the impression that Ruka was annoyed with all the unnecessary attention she received, too; which was probably true to a certain extent, but it hadn't occurred to him that one day his sister would actually find someone whom she was attracted to. In the end, Ruka ended up calling Jurou back and they set up a date for that very night.

It was strange, watching Ruka get ready. She fretted over what she would wear, and actually put on make-up. She never did that. She was naturally beautiful and didn't need cosmetics to cover up what was already perfect.

"What if he doesn't like what I'm wearing?"

"What you're wearing is fine."

"What if he hates my hair?"

"He won't."

"What if I say something stupid, and he decides he doesn't ever want to see me again?"

"Then he isn't even worth your time."

By then, Rua was on auto-pilot mode. Every negative doubt Ruka managed to conjure up Rua refuted with his own comment. Eventually, Ruka calmed down and apologized for acting so silly. And then, as if on cue, Jurou arrived and Ruka was beside herself once again. She rushed to the door when it rang, brushing through her hair with her fingers in a last-minute attempt to tame it. When she turned the handle to greet Jurou, Rua immediately noticed how her behavior changed; she became the shy, submissive 11 year-old he was so accustomed to. It puzzled him.

Jurou complimented her on her outfit, and Ruka laughed nervously.

"Oh this? I just threw this on..." she said, her cheeks flushing pink. Rua snorted and Ruka shot him a quick glare.

"I'll see you later tonight," she said, maintaining a cheerful front for her date. Rua rolled his eyes and nodded as she shut the door. However, as soon as she was gone, her sudden lack of presence left behind a kind of haunting silence that chilled Rua to the bone. He tried to shake off the feeling, but couldn't.

He inhaled deeply, stood up, and went to peek out the window; it was crazy, he knew, since they were at least 15 stories above ground and there was no way he'd be able to see them exit the building. Still, it gave him the sense of security that he was watching her, even if from far away.

There was something about Jurou that made Ruka go weak in the knees. Perhaps it was that when she looked at him, she lost track of time and found herself floating through the seasons. Or maybe it was his warm, inviting eyes that drew her in whenever they made contact with her own. Or perhaps it was the way his skin carried the lingering scent of his soap, plus the subtle touch of cologne on his wrists. Whatever it was, she loved it.

"So, what are you interested in doing tonight?" he asked politely. They had taken a detour through the Neo Domino Park, enjoying the chilled Autumn air. The park was generally considered unsafe at night, and Ruka was always one to avoid walking through after dark. A couple of days ago, she had refused to take the 'shortcut' through the park after she and her brother had walked down to the nearby market to pick up some groceries after sunset. Her brother insisted nothing bad would happen and that they would get home quicker if they cut through the park, but Ruka didn't give in, and the ended up taking the long route home. Yet, she felt no fear tread upon her as she stood beside Jurou, walking down the same path she refused to cross only a few days earlier.

'Anything, as long as it's with you,' Ruka thought. "Oh, I don't know... You decide..."

Jurou laughed.

"Whenever a girl says that, I end up picking something they hate."

Ruka smiled coyly.

"I'm not like most girls," she flirted. She shuddered inwardly; it wasn't like her to be so forward. She grew up believing it wasn't classy for a young woman to throw herself at a guy, saying what he wanted to hear and doing whatever he wanted to do just to get his attention...

"Well then," he began, grinning. "How about we head over to my place? I've got some pasta in the cupboard, we could probably make some spaghetti for ourselves." A red flag was thrown up in Ruka's mind; she'd never been invited to a date's home before. She wanted to decline, but Jurou's earlier comment was still ringing in her head. She swallowed.

"Sounds perfect."

"You know, most people are asleep at this time," Yusei commented as Aki flicked the switch to turn on the lights. The sudden illumination of her apartment shocked Yusei's eyes, and he blinked several times until the dark spots clouding his vision disappeared.

The two was each carrying a small bag full of food from some random fast-food restaurant they had dropped by before coming here. Friday date night was difficult to work with for the pair- Aki's shift at the hospital rarely ended before 10 p.m. on Fridays, so they were never able to go out to a nice restaurant (most of them were closed) or see a movie without one of them falling asleep before the end credits rolled. Yusei didn't mind much, though. It meant he had extra time to finish up work at the lab and besides, it didn't really matter what they were doing; he just enjoyed being with her.

"Yeah." She smirked. "Normal people."

He laughed and kissed her for no particular reason, other than he now could without either of them experiencing that lingering feeling of oppression. And damn, did it feel good.

The settled down to eat - on the floor, instead of at the table - and enjoyed their private picnic. But about ten minutes into their meal, Aki's ringtone interrupted the comfortable silence that had formed. She scowled when she picked up her phone and checked the caller ID.

"I'm sorry, I have to take this," she muttered apologetically. Yusei nodded in understanding.

"Hello?" Aki answered, sounding mildly irritated. The nurses should have known better than to call her on her cell phone after she left work- there were plenty of other qualified doctors at the hospital who were perfectly capable of taking care of any and all patients. The annoyed tapping of her foot ceased, however, once the person on the other side of the line began to explain the situation to her.

Yusei noticed the color visibly drain from Aki's face and he set aside his food, feeling a nervous anticipation build up within him.

"Yes... I'll be there as soon as I can," she mumbled before hanging up.

"What's wrong?" Yusei asked, worried. Aki looked at him with hard eyes and sucked in her breath before replying.

There is no worse feeling in the world than when the person you love the most has been shattered into a million pieces, and there's not a damn thing you can do to make it better.

Rua was bitterly contemplating this as he sat beside his sister in the ER, gently running his fingers up and down her delicate spine, because he had no idea what the hell he could do otherwise. Ruka was curled up on the gurney, her face hidden in between her legs. She was emitting soft, crying sounds that her twin found absolutely heart-wrenching.

Ruka was considered a priority case, hence why she was brought in right away. However, she shrieked when the nurse tried to touch her and batted her away; she then began insisting that it was Aki who saw her. The nurse tried to explain that Dr. Izayoi had left the hospital earlier, but Ruka would have none of it. Aki was the only person she trusted enough to examine her, which forced Rua to wonder if she would ever trust anyone ever again.

The nurse had looked to Rua for help, but he shook his head; at this point, he wasn't about to deny his sister anything that she wanted. Why, if she demanded they leave the hospital this instant and catch the next flight to Timbuktu, he would do it in a heartbeat.

Frazzled, the nurse finally left to call Aki. Rua wrapped his arm around Ruka and pulled her close. There were a lot of powerful emotions he never thought he'd feel when he heard her stumbling around the mansion in the dark and found her squeezed in the corner of the bathroom: fear, confusion, heartbreak, and hatred had all attacked him at once, like a vicious lion going in for the kill.

"Ruka!" he had cried, running to her. "What happened?"

She lifted her head. Black tears were streaming down her face, leaving dark circles under her puffy, red eyes. Her cheeks were pale with fright, gaunt like a corpse. Her celadon hair clung to the sweat on her forehead. Her perfect skin had been violated with scratches and bruises that looked suspiciously like kiss marks. When she spoke, her voice was teary and broken.

For the first time in his life, Rua had to suppress the urge to murder someone.

Paperwork was possibly Mikage's least favorite thing in the world. She'd spent nearly two years of her life drowning in it when she was Jack Atlas' assistant, and it was the one thing she had been glad to get away from when she became Chief of Special Investigations. She's never imagined she'd be back at it, though; now her days mostly consisted of logging police reports and cutting through bureaucratic red tape.

She sighed. It couldn't be helped. Director Daly had made it clear he didn't want her in the field in her current condition. Which she understood perfectly, but why did it have to mean being glued to her desk for 12 hours doing a secretary's work?

Mikage was just finishing up when there was a knock at her door.

"Come in," she said just loud enough so the person on the other side could hear. The door cracked open and Ushio's head peeked inside. Mikage's mood brightened significantly upon seeing him.

"Ushio," she acknowledged. The older man smiled at her weakly.

"Mikage," he began, closing the door behind him and getting straight to the point. "We just received notice from the Neo Domino City Hospital that there's a patient who's been sexually assaulted in the past four hours. I was wondering if you were up for interviewing her tonight." Mikage raised her brow quizzically.

"Special Investigations typically doesn't handle rape victims."

"I know, but... Director Daly is stretched on officers tonight, and I offered up our assistance. He said it was alright if you went," Ushio said. Mikage felt a smile tug at the edge of her lips.

"Well, I have been looking to leave my desk, for once," she said with a slight chuckle. Ushio deadpanned.

"There's another reason why I wanted to take this case, though," he said in a low, serious voice. This piqued Mikage's interest, and not in a good way.


"The victim is Ruka."

Aki had barely just slipped on her coat when she entered the ER with Yusei in tow.

"I want whoever did it to be punished," Yusei muttered angrily. "I want them to burn in hell." Normally, Aki would have been shocked to see him behaving in such a way. Yusei was the calm and collected one, the one who always kept hit wits about him; she would have never expected him to turn into this raging parental-like figure spouting off ill curses upon the man who had hurt Ruka. She couldn't complain though, because she was fuming too.

"Join the club," she replied. The nurse pointed them to the room Ruka was located in and both hurried inside. The sight they beheld tore them to bits; Ruka, the sweet, vivacious young girl they remembered, now resembled a rag doll that had been violently dragged through the mud and mistreated by an unruly child. Aki knew she didn't even have to take a close look to know that the damage done was scarring.

"Ruka!" she yelped. Ruka looked up and smiled a fake kind of smile that a person wears when they're at loss of what else to do.

"A-Aki... You came..." she said weakly. Aki rushed to her side, discovering that she was having great difficulty switching out of big sister-mode to being a professional. She wanted to hug her and cry with her and tell her everything would be OK, that they would get through this together.

"Of course I came," Aki said, allowing the edges of her lips to tip upward. "I would have flown across the world if I had to." After this was said, Aki forced herself to mentally shut down all familial instincts and straightened up. She could feel Rua and Yusei's eyes following her every movement, clinging to every word she said. Aki realized with a start that for the first time, she was the one in charge of a serious situation; not Jack, not Crow, not Yusei. For the first time, everyone was actually looking to her for guidance because she was the only one who had the ability to make everything better.

Or at least try.

"Ruka," she began very seriously. "The first thing I want you to know is that this is not your fault. Understand?" Ruka nodded, mechanically.

"Good. Now, I'm going to need to ask you a series of questions before I examine you." Aki's eyes drifted over to the two men in the room. "If you feel uncomfortable answering any of the questions while they're here, just let me know, and I'll ask them to leave."

"No!" Ruka said, sounding panicked. "I want them to stay. For the entire thing." Ruka knew she sounded immature and childish saying it, but she didn't care. Being surrounded by all these people she knew and loved made her feel safe; when bad things happened, it was the members of Team 5D's that protected her. They had never let her down before and they would never let her down now. Aki hesitated.

"I'm going to have to perform a pelvic exam," she said delicately. Ruka immediately tensed. Yusei licked his dry lips and tried to smile.

"Don't worry, Ruka," he began gently. "We'll stay until then." Ruka calmed down and nodded. Aki reached into her pocket and pulled out a pen for taking notes. She then began reading off a list of questions she was required to ask: What was the gender of the perpetrator? How many perpetrators were there? Did you urinate or take a shower after the incident? Have you consumed food or water since the incident? Have you changed clothes since the incident?

Rua felt it was weird hearing Aki ask his sister all these questions. He hated seeing Ruka looking so vulnerable, being forced to remember a moment in her life she desperately wanted to block from her memory. He realized he wasn't alone though; Yusei seemed uncomfortable too. His eyes were caught up in the thin lines of ceiling, wanting to be anywhere but there at the moment.

Ruka kept shaking her head no in response to each question Aki fired off until-

"Have you had consensual sex within the last week?" she asked. Ruka froze and muttered something incoherrent. Aki gripped her pen tightly and asked her to repeat what she said, fearing the answer.

"This was my first time," Ruka said, a little louder. Something broke within Rua. The room grew hot with anger, as he gripped the sides of his chair so much that it hurt the tips of his fingers. His eyesight went red, and the sights, sounds, and smells around him blurred together into one intense entity. He was vaguely aware of excusing himself before bolting out the door and to the men's restroom.

Throwing himself into a stall, he bent over and worshiped the porcelain God with a sacrificial offering.

After he was finished, he wiped his mouth clean and fell back against the stall's door. His head was dizzy from such an intense spiritual outpouring, but his thoughts remained crystal clear: he wanted that son of a bitch to pay.

"Ruka, did you by any chance bring an extra set of clothes with you?" Aki asked while preparing to draw a sample of blood from left Ruka's arm, as if she had only just remembered this important detail. Ruka didn't respond at first and watched the needle sink into her flesh, surprised she wasn't squirming or biting her lip or, at the very least, looking away as the syringe filled with the thick, crimson liquid. Ruka hated getting shots; then again, she wasn't really Ruka anymore. The young woman shut her eyes and wondered when everyone would realize she was now only a hollow shell of her former self.

"No," she replied faintly. "I didn't think to." Actually, she didn't have a chance to. After she told her brother what happened, he immediately carried her to the car and drove her to the hospital. She didn't have time to take a shower to try and scrub away the filth that had defiled her, or change out of her torn clothes. All of this was good in its own twisted way; the more fresh the crime scene was, the more fresh the evidence. Except, in this case, she was the crime scene.

"That's alright. Rua can..." Aki stopped herself, remembering Rua wasn't present any longer. "Yusei, can you run back to my apartment and grab an extra set of clothes? Just some sweats and a T-shirt. We're probably about the same size now..." Yusei nodded and retrieved the keys from Aki. He promised Ruka he'd be back before he left.

As soon as he was gone, Aki turned back to Ruka, ready to begin the more thorough part of the examination.

"I'm going to have to ask you to remove your shirt," Aki said bluntly. Ruka nodded and began to undo each button with careful control, unlike how it was treated earlier; she realized with a sharp pang in her heart that Rua had given this shirt to her for her birthday last year (she was positive one of her friends had actually picked it out for him, but still, that didn't make it any less meaningful). Now, it was just evidence Aki would need to confiscate for processing.

Aki made note of all the bruises surrounding her breasts, muttering medical jargon under her breath. Next, Ruka had to remove her jeans. However, she found this much more difficult than taking off her shirt, because what laid underneath was the part of her that had been lost forever.

"Are you on your period?" Aki asked, observing the sanitary napkin that clung to the bottom of Ruka's panties. The young girl shook her head.

"No... I was bleeding, so, I just thought... " Her voice trailed off.

"How long were you bleeding for?"

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe a hour, or less." Ruka actually had no idea; to her, time had stopped existing. Her life now consisted of only two parts: the before and the after. Aki nodded and scribbled something at the bottom of her paper.

The following part of the examination was the worst. Aki asked Ruka to lay down with her back flat on the gurney with her feet settled on the stirrups while she performed the pelvic exam. Ruka followed her instructions and had a drape laid across her body for privacy. First, Aki took a small, metal comb and carefully brushed it through Ruka's pubic hair. Ruka's face was flaming as she turned her head away; it was too embarrassing to even consider watching. She closed her eyes, silently reassuring herself that as a doctor, Aki has probably seen tons of vaginas, and is far too great a professional to let it affect her opinion of other people.

It was during this self-conversation that Aki gently inserted the speculum to spread apart her vaginal walls. Ruka gasped in surprise and, feeling a rush of terrible memories come flooding back, began thrashing wildly about.

"Ruka! Ruka!" Aki cried, jumping back to avoid being hit in the head with Ruka's foot. "Don't panic! It's just me!" Hearing her voice, Ruka immediately stopped, though she continued hyperventilating from the pure shock. Aki sat beside the young woman and clasped her hand tightly until she calmed down.

Yusei was waiting outside Ruka's room with what appeared to be some of Aki's comfort clothing in hand when Rua returned from the men's bathroom. The marked man looked up and probably intended to smile, but didn't.

"How are you feeling?" he asked. Rua stared.

"Sorry, dumb question," Yusei continued when he didn't reply, sinking into his seat. The two stayed together until the door cracked open, and out slipped Aki in the slender crevice she had made for herself. The eyes of the two men immediately fell upon her expectantly.

"I'm going to recommend she take an ECP," she said.

"ECP?" Rua swallowed.

"Emergency Contraceptive Pill," Aki explained. She hesitated before continuing. "It's more colloquially known as the morning-after pill. ECP's quite literally force a woman to have her period by tearing away the blood lining of her uterus, thus terminating any potential pregnancy. It's going to be painful for a few days, though." Rua gritted his teeth.

"I think she's going to be in pain for a lot longer than a few days," he muttered bitterly before storming off. Aki looked guilt-stricken and turned her head away to hide the tears that had formed. Yusei closed his eyes and exhaled a hissing sigh before touching Aki's shoulder comfortingly.

"Don't worry about it," he began gently. "I'll talk to him. You just take care of Ruka." Aki nodded as Yusei handed her the clothes he had retrieved and left to chase after Rua. As soon as they were gone from her sight, Aki sighed heavily and fell back against the wall, looking positively defeated. Before tonight, she never understood why it was advised that doctors not care for patients they knew personally- and now she did. It certainly would have hurt to see a stranger sitting there, battered and bruised and broken. But it was killer her to see Ruka, a girl she had known for ten years, in that state.

Aki shook her head. She needed to be strong, for Ruka. She forced a smile and headed back inside.

"Yusei brought you clothes," Aki said, handing the shivering young woman the sweat pants and t-shirt. Ruka nodded, grateful.

"Thank you..." she muttered weakly, pulling the shirt over her head. She was about to slip on the sweatpants when she stopped, hesitant. Aki looked up, confused.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"I... I don't want to get blood on them," Ruka replied quietly. Aki felt the urge to cry coming back on, fast. She swallowed and wiped the moisture away from her eyes.

"I-It's OK. I don't mind," Aki said shakily. This was getting to be too much. The doctor quickly gathered up everything she had collected from her examination- the extensive notes that were taken, the blood and semen samples, the swab of saliva inside Ruka's mouth, the clothes that had been worn (or rather, torn apart) during the incident- and hurried out, muttering that she would be back to check up on Ruka later.

Aki wanted nothing more than to be alone to grieve, yet as soon as she was outside, she was greeted by one of her nurses.

"Dr. Izayoi," the nurse said. Aki stiffened. "Security is here."

"Ah, yes," she said plainly, looking up. She was surprised, however, to see that it was Mikage and Ushio who had been sent. Aki shook her head; what a surprising dose of irony.

"Dr. Izayoi-" Mikage began before being cut off.

"-Please Mikage," Aki interrupted, trying to smile, though it was apparent that wasn't happening. "Calling me Dr. Izayoi would be as strange as me calling you Investigator Sagiri." Mikage considered correcting Aki for a moment, but ultimately decided it would be irrelevant.

"Aki," Mikage began again seriously. "With your permission, I would like to interview Ruka about what occurred." Aki nodded and turned the handle to Ruka's room, pushing the door open slightly.

"I'm fine with it," she said, gesturing inside. "However, it is not my permission you need." Aki then directed her attention to Ushio. "I would recommend only Mikage talk with her. Female victims of sexual assault find it easier to speak about their experience when there are no males present."

Both officers nodded in unison.

"Completely understood," Ushio said. Mikage touched his shoulder briefly and offered him a small smile before heading inside, causing his cheeks to flush pink. Aki raised her brow, noticing the gesture, but thought little of it as she left to take the evidence to the hospital's analysis lab.

Rua was shivering and crying when Yusei found him sitting outside the hospital on a nearby bench, staring up blankly at the stars, so dull they could hardly be seen. When Yusei sat beside him, Rua tried desperately to wipe away the tears; he didn't want to Yusei to think he was weak, though seeing Rua cry had quite the opposite effect on the older man. To him, it meant Rua cared about his sister and that this was hurting him more than anything that had ever happened before.

"I know... I was rude. I shouldn't have said that to Aki," he said, rocking his heels on the gravel, listening to the crunch it made each time his shoe dug deeper into the dirt. Yusei hesitated before setting his hand comfortably on the boys' shoulder.

"She knows your upset," he said. He paused before adding, "We all are." Rua shut his eyes together tightly, pushing back a fresh set of hot tears.

"What do I do next?" he asked, sounding lost. Yusei shrugged.

"You get a damn good lawyer. And you make sure Ruka is strong enough to get up on that stand and speak against that bastard, so that he never does this to anyone ever again," he said. There was a definitive edge in his voice. Rua shook his head.

"This shouldn't have happened to her," he said shakily. "I promised I'd always protect her. I mean, I was able to stick up for her against Demark all those years ago but this?" The tears started rolling down his cheeks once again. Yusei lifted his hand off Rua's shoulder and set back in his lap.

"Rua... You cannot protect her from everything," he said in a low, gentle voice. Rua realized with a start that his sister had made that very same statement earlier that day.

'You can't protect me from everything.' Rua's jaw clenched tightly together, resolved.

"Just watch me."

Mikage had never actually interviewed a rape victim before. Sure, she'd been through the training, read pamphlets on how to speak with traumatized persons, and even had a list of questions to ask conveniently printed out for her- but none of that prepared her for this.

Ruka laid motionless on the gurney, staring up at the bright, fluorescent lights above her. Her lips were cracked with apathy and her eyes were empty, as if someone had robbed her of the life within them. Her legs were clenched tightly together, trying to protect whatever bits and flecks of herself remained

"Ruka," Mikage called out politely. The officer was surprised at how wounded the name felt rolling off her tongue.

"Mikage," Ruka regarded, monotone. She didn't even bother to look at her. Mikage pulled up the chair Rua had been sitting in earlier to Ruka's bedside. Ruka groaned.

"More questions?" Mikage forced a smile.

"I'm afraid so."

Mikage started off with the easy questions, like what her full name, age, gender, and address was. Then, they became progressively more intrusive, prying into information that, Ruka felt, was better forgotten: do you know the name of perpetrator? Can you describe him for me? Where did you two meet? Approximately what time did he pick you up?

Ruka was able to answer all of these without thinking too much, but she knew they were becoming dangerously close to the one thing she didn't care to talk about. Ever again.

"Ruka..." began Mikage softly. "I know this is going to be difficult... But I need you to tell me exactly what he did to you, without going into explicit details." Ruka shuddered and sucked in her breath, trying to convince herself that she could do this.

"After we finished eating dinner in his apartment, I thought that was the end of it, and that he would take me back home," she began so quietly that Mikage had to lean in closer to hear. "But... he kissed me. And it was nice and all, especially because..." She paused, struggling for words. "I-I liked him." Ruka then clamped her mouth shut, but Mikage prodded her to continue.

"Suddenly, we were kissing a lot, and I was going along with it. But he was getting far too intense, and I realized where all of it was headed. I tried to push him away and tell him I wanted to go home, but he was stronger than me, and he pushed me onto the sofa." Tears were filling her eyes. "I continued fighting him when he tried to remove my shirt, scratching his arms and face."

Mikage made special note of that; once this scumbag was arrested, if he did indeed have the external injuries Ruka was describing, it would strengthen her case. And right now, the female officer wanted nothing more than this Jurou to be punished to the fullest extent of the law

"He slapped me to get me to stop screaming. And when I begged him to not do it, he looked at me and said, 'Don't tell me you don't want this.'" Ruka swallowed. "And then, he raped me."

Mikage was next to be inducted into the 'I want this bastard to burn in hell' society. She cleared her throat, having to force the next question out of her mouth.

"Did you continue fighting him?" she asked. Ruka shrugged.

"At some point, I think I just gave up and waited for him to be finished."

"What happened afterward?" Ruka rolled over, turning herself away from Mikage.

"No more questions," she pleaded. Mikage quickly obliged, slamming the pen down on her clipboard.

"It's OK. That was the last one," she lied. She actually had a whole two pages left, but Mikage wasn't going to force Ruka to go through with it any longer. She didn't care if she was chastised later for it. Ruka didn't seem to hear her though, and Mikage realized it was because she had actually fallen asleep.

"I will have my report submitted to Security tomorrow morning," Aki said to Ushio after returning from the analysis lab. Ushio, who had been waiting outside of Ruka's room for nearly twenty minutes, only nodded. Aki suddenly faltered and stuffed her hands into her pockets, looking away.

"How... How easy will it be to prosecute him?" she asked quietly. Ushio shrugged.

"A judge is always looking to put slime like this guy away. But... Well, he's going to claim Ruka consented. Unless there's definitive evidence that he raped her..." He hesitated. "Then it's his word against Ruka's. If she's even willing to testify."

Aki closed her eyes and said nothing further. It was then that Mikage exited the the room, still scribbling notes down on her clip board. There was a solemn sadness painted on her peachy cheeks as she returned to Ushio's side.

"She's fallen asleep," the female officer reported.

"Good," Aki replied. "She needs her rest."

The silence that fell upon them was unbearably uncomfortable. Mikage cleared her throat.

"Well, it was very nice to see you again, Aki," she said weakly, forcing a smile. "I... I just wish it were under different circumstances." Aki nodded.

"Same here," Aki said. Her feline-like eyes then made her way down to Mikage's lower abdomen and her eyes flickered with something positively mischievous. "Although, I assume I will be seeing you two here again in, oh, about 5 or 6 months?" Both Mikage and Ushio turned beet red upon her comment.

"You assume correctly," Mikage coughed, still blushing. Aki chuckled half-heartedly and offered them her congratulations.

Shortly after the two officers left, Yusei returned with a much more mild-mannered Rua.

"How is she?" the twin asked politely. Aki shrugged.

"Asleep," she replied. Rua looked disappointed at this. Aki bit her lip.

"You're free to go in though, if you'd like," she said. Rua nodded and did just that.

As Aki had promised, Ruka laid asleep on the table. She had curled up into a ball with her hands tucked tightly into her chest, like a little hamster buried in the hay to keep itself warm on a cold winter's night. Rua sat beside her, and for a few minutes, just watched her, noticing little things about her that he'd never bothered to look for before. The way her chest expanded when she breathed, how her pink lips always remained slightly parted. That when she slept, she looked so peaceful, as if nothing bad ever happened in her dreams.

Rua realized he wanted to ensure that the safe world she lived in her dreams became her reality.

"I'm so sorry, Ruka. I should've seen this coming. I should've prevented it." he said this all as though he could actually hear him, as if she was watching him with open ears and eyes. Rua was silent again, pondering, contemplating what was to be done next.

"Ruka," he began again, taking her limp hand into his. "I promise... I promise I will never let this ever happen to you ever again. I don't care if I have to hire you a bodyguard, or use every single bit of cash I earn dueling to install security cameras all over the world. I will never let anyone touch you in a way that will hurt you like this again."

Rua could of sworn she smiled, but then again, it could have just been his imagination.


Comment(s): Second M-rated fic. Ever. Also, the longest one-shot I've ever written. Ffffft.