Author's Warnings- not only contains a bit of shonen-ai, but also some self-harm. This isn't one of my best stories- I literally just sat down and wrote this. No real editing done, and no real proofreading. Some of the verbs and stuff aren't the best, and one or two phrases may be repetitive, but like I said I pretty much just shat this out. XD Just a drabble I wrote and thought I'd upload.

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I trudge through the house, once again on the lookout to find the smallest of the four of us- Red. Red had been going missing a lot recently, spending an abnormal amount of time by himself. What little time he spent with us other three was… not the same.

The others don't see it, but I do- there is something the matter with Red. He acted like his normal self, but I knew him well enough to know for sure that something was wrong. His smile never reached his eyes anymore.

Usually I'm the type to let people be when they sought privacy, but it's different with Red. I can't really explain it, but I always feel like I have to look out for Red just a little bit more than the others. Not like Red was any weaker than the others, but… it's a complicated feeling.

I head up to Red's room, deciding to start there. It's a good thing I do- I can feel someone inside, someone I know is him. I don't know how I do it, but my intuition on where people are has never failed me. I'm about to open the door when I hear something from inside.

Red is crying. He's trying to be quiet about it, but he's crying hard. He goes silent for a brief second, and then he gives a sharp gasp and I hear him burst into tears again. Something about is seems so profoundly wrong that I can't just stand there and listen.

I turn the doorknob and open the door swiftly. "Red?" I call softly.

Red gives a startled cry, and I hear an object clatter to the floor as he whirls to stare frightfully at me. He's kneeling in the middle of his room, his back facing me. "Blue!" His eyes are wide and fearful, and tears are still making their way down his face. His shoulder moves like he's going to raise his arm to wipe them away, but he stills the movement and turns away from me again.

He leans forward over his knees, his arms pulled tight to his middle. I step inside the room, shutting the door behind me and approaching him quickly. "What's wrong, Red?" I ask, concern more than tinting my voice.

He scoots slightly away from me as I draw nearer. "N-nothing, Blue," He chokes out, trying vainly to hide something. I drop to my knees beside him, and I notice an object protruding from slightly under where he shifted his foot.

With a growing sense of horror, I reach over and withdraw a razor blade. There is crimson on the edge. "Oh, Red…" I breathe, my blood turning to ice. I glance up and see that Red is purposely avoiding my gaze. "Why, Red?"

He bites his lip and gives no answer, squeezing his eyes shut and shaking his head. "Dammit, Red!" I yell, my voice only rising because I'm scared. "Why the hell are you doing this? How the fuck did you even…Why…?"

Red's sobs increase as he shakes his head rapidly, the tears dripping down his face like rain on a hopeless morning. He's usually so bright and cheerful, just like the sun. My sun. I hurl the blade away from us, reaching out impulsively and hugging him tightly.

He turns to bury his face in my shoulder, though he keeps his arms to himself. I hold him close, rubbing his back and rocking him slightly to still his sobs. "You should never feel so bad that you do something like this," I growl, pressing my face into his neck.

He whimpers something softly but it's muffled by my tunic, so I gently but firmly pry him off of me. "What was that?" He casts his gaze to the floor, biting his lip again and shaking his head. I reach out roughly and grab his arm, forcing him to hold it outstretched.

I push his sleeve up forcefully, and I'm nearly sick at the sight that greets me. There are multitudes of thin scar lines crisscrossing the skin of his forearms- many are partway healed over, but there are some that are still oozing blood. I grab his other arm and inspect it- it's nearly identical.

"WHY?" I have to fight to keep my voice from rising to a deafening level as my grip on his hands tightens. "Red, why would you ever even THINK about doing something like this?"

"Blue, you're hurting me," He whimpers quietly, his shoulders shaking as he fights to control his tears. I briefly intensify my grip on his hands further, and he cries out quietly.

"Oh, so you only dislike pain when someone else does it to you?" I snarl, throwing his hands back on his lap as I rise angrily. I pace back and forth across his room, agitated and scared. I return to kneel before him, picking up his hands again.

He flinches slightly and looks frightened, but I don't hurt him again. Instead I hold them close to my heart, my head bowed. "Red… Do you remember what I said to you after that one fight against the Dinalfos?"

"T-that I shouldn't attack them straight on?" He pipes up, his voice shaky. His eyes are wide, glistening with tears still unshed.

I shake my head. "No, not that. You told me that you were upset about something, but you didn't know if you wanted to tell me about it since you didn't think I'd care. And do you remember what I said after that?"

His response is a moment in coming, but he eventually sniffles and says, "You told me that I could always talk to you, because you would always listen." He gives a weak smile. "Even if you were mad, you would still listen to anything I would say."

"Do you remember why I said I would always listen?" I prod gently.

His smile strengthens a little more. "Because you care about how I feel, and you don't want me to feel bad."

"That's right," I smile too. I raise one of my hands and tentatively brush his hair from his eyes. "And I always will. You can tell me anything, and I'll do everything I can to help." Only when we're alone together do I ever drop my gruff outer shell- I don't even always do it then, but he's the only person I'll do it for.

He nuzzles my hand, his smile widening a little more. I gently wipe away his tears with my thumb, sliding my hand down to the back of his neck. I pull him forward just a little, close enough so I can lean in and rest my forehead on his gently.

It didn't make sense why the two of us were so close- we were pretty polar opposites, and Din knows we didn't get along well at the start. But there was just… something that happened somewhere. Neither of us were this close to any of the other Four Swords- it was only us two.

I lean forward and place a very soft kiss on the tip of his nose- it wasn't that serious, it just helps him calm down. "Do you want to tell me about it, Red?" I murmur, nuzzling him as his sobs fade to only the occasional hiccup.

"O-okay," He stammers, shifting a little bit closer to me. I outright pick him up and put him on my lap, cradling him and rocking him back and forth comfortingly. I didn't usually act this kind, but he needed it, and I knew he wouldn't get it from any of the others in the same way.

He cuddles against me, his arms resting in his lap as he does so. There are faint red lines beginning to show through the sleeves of his shirt, but he doesn't seem to pay much attention to them. "It's kind of pathetic…"

"It's never pathetic if it bothers you," I shake my head, stroking his hair with one hand and holding his hands with the other. "Tell me."

He sniffles a little. "It's gonna sound stupid now that you're here…"

I dip my head and press my lips to one of his temples, keeping my mouth there as I murmur, "It will never sound stupid to me- just tell me."

Red hesitates a moment longer, but lets out a sad sigh and begins. "I… I've always kind of felt like a burden to you guys. I mean- I just can't always keep up, and sometimes I screw up when I shouldn't."

My grip on him tightens as he continues on in a faster, slightly frenzied pace. "I know Green tries to be nice and wait up for me, but even he sometimes loses it. And Vio just rolls his eyes- he doesn't think I notice, but I do! And it hurts!"

"And…" He pauses to try to steady his voice, but deems it futile and just continues through the sobs. "And you get mad at me a lot, and sometimes I just get the feeling that the three of you would be better off without having to worry about dragging me around!"

"Red!" I snarl, the anger in my voice causing him to glance up fearfully. "Don't you EVER say that again! We would fall apart without you here!" He dissolves into tears again, burying his face in my chest.

I hold him tightly to me, feeling my own vision blur as a few rare tears form. "Listen to me, and remember everything I say. You are not unwanted. You are not a burden. And most importantly, you are never alone."

"We need you- I need you." I bow my head and bury my face in his hair, letting the tears fall freely. "And I always will. If you ever feel like you're going to cut yourself again, or you ever feel bad, I swear on my life I will be there for you."

"Oh, Blue…" He sobs, freeing his arms to hug me tightly back. "You don't- you don't know how much that means to me! Thank you…" Tears still pour down his face, but I don't think they're marks of pain anymore.

I hesitate for a brief moment, wavering in the choice of my next action, but ultimately I've already made up my mind. I pull away from him far enough so that I can place a soft, gentle kiss on his lips before returning to embrace him.

He giggles quietly, his head pressed into my shoulder again. "Thank you, Blue," He whispers in a barely-audible voice.

I chuckle softly as well, stroking his hair. "It was nothing." After a moment more, I let out a sigh and pull his arms from me, taking in their appearance. "Want to see if we can get these bandaged up?"

He gives a guilty chuckle and bobs his head. "Hehe, sure…" I stand up and pull him to his feet by his hands.

"Come on- I've got lots of first-aid stuff in my room, since I get hurt training a lot." I'm about to lead him to my room when he stops me from moving, rising up on his tiptoes to kiss my cheek.

"I love you, Blue," He giggles, his eyes glistening. I let a rare honest smile spread across my face, and I return the gesture.

"I love you too, Red." He lets me lead him to my room, where I sit him down on my bed as I rummage about to find some bandages. As gently as I can I clean the cuts, feeling slightly guilty as he winces from the antiseptic I apply to keep them from getting infected.

I tenderly wrap his wrists in clean bandages. "There," I say with a slight smile. "Now it's like it never happened." I take in the appearance of his bloodstained sleeves, and then add, "Hold on, let me get you a different shirt."

I leave him briefly to return to his room, opening a drawer in his dresser and pulling out a clean light pink shirt. I head back to my own room and shut the door behind me; Red is still sitting patiently on my bed, swinging his feet slightly.

"Here," I hand it to him. "You can change here, I'll just look away."

"I don't mind if you see me, Blue," He shakes his head, already removing his belt and outer tunic. "It doesn't bother me at all." He pulls off his undershirt, and in the interim between then and when he puts on the clean one, I sneak an indirect look at him.

Since he was so little, you wouldn't expect him to be that muscular, but just like the rest of us he's pretty toned. Except for his arms now, his skin is pretty much flawless. I try not to look directly, but I think I probably turn the lightest shade of pink.

He puts his red tunic and his belt back on too, holding his stained shirt uncertainly in his hands. "What should I do with this?" He asks, a frown creasing his forehead and marring his sweet expression. "I've been pretty careful about not… bleeding on my stuff up till now."

"I'll take care of it," I offer, taking the shirt from his hands and placing it on my dresser. "I've gotten good at getting blood out of clothes by now." Another giggle follows my statement.

I glance out the window and gauge the sunlight. "We should probably head downstairs soon- the others might begin to wonder where we've gone."

"You're probably right," Red agrees with a smile. He hops up off my bed and bounces over to me, taking my hand and kissing me sweetly. "Thank you, Blue… You always save me, no matter what."

I blush and bow my head to hide my grin- I couldn't even put it into words how good it made me feel to see him back to his normal sunny self. "And I always will." I let him tug me out of the room and back downstairs, listening to him as he begins to chatter aimlessly about this and that.

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~The End~

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~Artimus-Maora

Author's Notes

No, I've got absolutely no idea why I chose Red of all people to cut. It just seems like it's rarely the people you expect. I was feeling a bit down for reasons, and this is how I vent. … So yeah. XD