Nataku: I'm sorry! /cries/

Ken: /sighs/ She's been busy.

Dark Magician: /scoffs/ That's no excuse.

Ken: Two words: Writer's block.

Nataku: Damn it! /waves fist/

Celtic Guardian: /blinks, poofing in/ What is she damning exactly?

Ken: Writer's block.

CG: Oh.

Ken, DM, CG: /sweatdrop as a large wooden block with the words "Writer's Block" appears out of thin air, landing with a thud/

Nataku: /screams in rage, turns chibi, and starts to bash at it with a mallet/

Ken: Uhh… /twitches and starts to edge away/

DM & CG: /edges away/

~*~

Comments:

Ayumi: Hopefully I will… ^^

Yuka: Thank you very much for the compliment.

*-*: I hope so as well.

Catgirl Rahen: ^^ I still have a long way to go though.

Karimon: Thank you. He's been taking lessons from me and a few other people…

kookey: o.o Glad to know that it's that amusing.

~*~

Adrian leaned back in his seat, lost in thought. The angel was in his usual jeans, bare feet propped up on a rather elegant writing desk. His hair was no longer neatly groomed however, strands flung carelessly about his face. He seemed almost like a meticulously designed doll of white marble and pearl, eyes of slit amber and ruby, yet left almost carelessly by some giant child who had gone to other pursuits. His hair seemed paler, more white than gold; silken strands were carefully inserted by some craftsman's nimble fingers into his scalp and carelessly framing his thin, handsome face. He pursed his lips slightly in thought.

"Do you always do that?" Takeru commented dryly as he entered the room, carefully folding his wings.

"What?" The angel looked up, blinking in mild bemusement.

"Arrange yourself as to show you at your best." The vampire slipped into a nearby chair, settling on the high back, hands settling on the elegantly carved arms. He was almost a mirror to Adrian, yet markedly different in several regards. His hair was neatly groomed, falling into his sapphire blue eyes at the right intervals. The vampire was resplendently garbed as usual, dressed in emerald green and black, but he was careful not to crush the fragile silk and linen of his clothing as he delicately crossed one leg over the other.

"It's what I do, no?" The tenshi smiled thinly, before sliding his legs off the desk. "And I can safely accuse you of the same crime."

"Right to the heart," Takeru said sarcastically. "What are you doing here anyways? You usually don't like staying in my room, unless you have news."

"It's about Hikari," Adrian replied almost carelessly. He was playing a careful game with Takeru, enticing the other with information but casually, without implying that Takeru was interested in Hikari. Denial was an ugly thing, especially when it regarded the vampire.

"Oh?" Takeru arched an eyebrow, slipping into his role easily. "And did I ask you to spy on her?"

"I do have other business you know," the angel retorted. "As much as you would like the believe that you are in the center of my occupation."

Takeru preened a little, smirking. "Of course. But what is it you plan on telling me?"

Adrian shrugged, tossing back his head. "Only that you have a chance of meeting her again…"

Takeru eyed him. "And why would I have interest in her? She's pretty enough, but I can easily fill my bed with more willing and more beautiful wenches."

"Yet you haven't," the angel pointed out tartly. Now he took the game to a different level. It was a battle of words now.

"Perhaps I haven't the inclination," the vampire said idly.

"From what I've heard of you, you have at least one woman in your bed within a five day period. You haven't been with another female for at least two weeks."

Takeru winced visibly at the barb. "So I haven't."

"So, there must be something about Hikari that attracts you to her." Adrian was almost smirking with smugness in his seat.

"Maybe."

"If it is enough to stop a nymphomaniac like you from abstaining for half a month," the angel said dryly. "Then it has to be attraction."

Takeru waved him off. "You just wait though. I'll have a woman in my bed within two hours. And it WON'T be that girl."

Adrian only gave him an amused look before getting up and vanishing from the room.

~*~

Hikari took a breather after her training session, sighing. Her shirt was soaked with sweat, her brown hair escaping its braid and falling into her eyes.

"You've been improving," Jyou said approvingly. "Tomorrow we'll be going on. We'll have to get through it quickly though. Think you could handle it?"

Hikari croaked, "The last time you said that, you ran me through the exercise so quickly my heels still burn."

The indigo haired man grinned at her innocently. "But it's so good for you."

She snorted, getting up and snatching up her water bottle. "Later, Jyou."

She headed to the locker rooms. Slowly undressing, she turned her head to look at a mirror nearby, only to see her reflection. Funny, she could have sworn that something was watching her. A bit self-conscious, she quickly headed to the showers.

As the hot water ran over her body, she closed her eyes and let herself ponder. Ever since that angel had visited her, she had been having the oddest dreams. Dreams that left her dazed and confused in the morning, yet oddly comfortable. And each dream held someone with the most amazing sapphire eyes… She sighed a little, before pulling out of her thoughts and getting out, drying herself off.

Once she exited the locker room, hair still damp, she leaned against a wall for a moment, closing her eyes. It seemed as though she was in a dream, everything not quite tangible. And an ache had started to build up in her chest, like a void gnawing at her slowly. It never left her, only growing.

"Hikari?" The girl jumped, looking around swiftly.

Yue was hovering nearby, his face its usual mask of impassive dignity. "Something troubles you?" he asked quietly.

"Oh, hi, Yue," the slayer muttered softly.

"Something most definitely troubles you," Yue pronounced, gazing at her with his pale cat eyes with something like sympathy. But you never knew what you dealt with when you tried to connect with Yue. Open only with Sakura and her elder brother Touya, he was a mysterious presence in headquarters.

"It's nothing that you'd be interested in," Hikari said, turning to leave. But she felt his long, cold fingers touch her shoulder gently.

"How would you know my interests?" he asked softly.

"Well," Hikari started before Yue gave her one of his trademark "You're-being-an-idiot-you-know" glances.

He sighed a little. "I'd like to have a word with you. In private." With a flourish, he went off.

When he didn't hear her footsteps behind her, he turned and arched an eyebrow at her. "You know I'm technically genderless you know," he said. "And your brother will have my head if I ever did anything to you. I just want to have a word with you."

"Isn't this private enough?" Hikari demanded.

"Not for my taste. Come on. We can have some tea." Yue was going into Imperious ModeÔ, his voice brooking no argument.

With a sigh, Hikari jogged to catch up with him.

~*~

Yue's rooms were surprisingly comfortable. It had a curious scent, like sweet amber incense and dust. He had furnished it very simply, choosing dark, rich fabrics for the carpets and curtains in gem tones of dark ruby, sapphire, and amethyst and selecting simple wooden furniture that were comfortable for his wings. A dusty armchair stood near the door, curiously incongruous in its shabbiness and design.

Hikari perched on a stool near an elegant tea table, slightly uncomfortable and looking at the delicate tea set in front of her. It was quite pretty, two handle-less cups set upside down on saucers, a round little teapot, bowls and tiny spoons for honey and tealeaves, all white porcelain patterned with blue lotus blossoms. There was a strong Chinese influence to the room, from the tea set in front of her to the embroideries on the curtains, almost exotically mysterious in its dark colors. Yue seemed oddly out of place in his simple white cheong-sam*, like a pale ivory and silver ornament brought to life within the dark depths of a jewelry box, as he was hovering about and boiling water on top of a small brazier.

"I've never seen a place like this," Hikari said awkwardly, trying to break the silence.

Yue shrugged, coming back with the water. "It's good enough." Lifting the top of the pot, he poured in water, letting the tea steep.

They sat in silence for a while- or rather, Hikari sat on her stool and Yue merely stood nearby. After a while, he lifted the pot, pouring her some of the tea, the amber liquid chuckling as it poured into the tiny, handle-less cup. A fragrant scent rose in the air, mingling with the incense and the dust.

"Thank you," Hikari said, picking up her cup and sipping at the tea carefully. It was slightly bitter but oddly comforting, warming her from the inside out. Instantly she felt better than she had for the last few days.

Yue poured some into his own cup, but didn't bother to sip. "Now, for the matter of what troubles you?"

"Since when has my business ever interest you?" Hikari asked somewhat crossly.

"Since the time that you decided to have an affair with a vampire," Yue said quite coolly.

"What?" Hikari sputtered. "An AFFAIR?! Yue, have you gone mad?"

"Not yet," he informed her, still in that infuriatingly calm voice. "I make it my business to know about the inner workings."

"You have no right to interfere with my inner workings," Hikari growled. "You are as bad as a mother-in-law."

"As I have been compared to." Hikari could have sworn Yue just smirked smugly at her.

Then he was impassive again. "Any person who has the sensitivity can read your distress thoughts," Yue said. His tone seemed distinctly waspish. "You've been projecting them while you sulk around here and it has been distracting some of us."

"Oh." Hikari's cheeks burned. She hadn't realized she had been projecting such strong emotions while she was thinking.

"And I notice you are lurking about here like a ghost," he continued, looking at her. "This vampire- you like him, no?"

"What?" Hikari nearly dropped her cup, blushing in anger.

"Ah, you do." Yue didn't seem smug. Oddly, he seemed- sad.

"I don't know," Hikari whispered. "I just don't know." Then her eyes started to well up with tears.

Yue put his hand on her shoulder and gently pulled her close, giving her the opportunity to move away if she needed to. She cried into the white silk of his cheong-sam until her nose was swollen and her eyes were sore. He offered her a cotton handkerchief and she blew her nose.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, wiping away her tears. "I don't know why I just- collapsed."

"You needed to purge your sorrow," Yue said quietly. He smiled at her, a sad, sweet smile.

"Is something wrong?" Hikari sniffed, starting to feel better.

"No, I am fine. But you are not. Not yet."

"I'll be fine," Hikari said softly.

"Not on your own," Yue answered solemnly, gazing at her. "I know what it is like to love though, to love someone you just cannot understand."

"What?" Hikari looked at him.

"I'm not of another plane," Yue said softly. "I was created. I'm a mage construct."

"How?" Hikari stared. Mage constructs were almost impossible to create; not even the most powerful Summoners of this age had ever been able to create simply create a living being.

He looked away. "It was centuries ago. My creator was a good, if eccentric man. He treated me like his son, not his servant, which is why many constructs were created. I- grew to love him. One night, he was tossing and turning in his sleep. I went to him, to comfort him." He closed his eyes slowly. "By chance, I woke him up; he was always a light sleeper. He asked me to stay with him that night… I did, lying by his side.

"But- the words just slipped through my mouth and I told him I loved him. He wasn't surprised… Instead, he just took me in his arms, and showed me ways of loving I had never imagined." Hikari blinked a little at the comment then blushed, realizing what he meant. He turned his gaze upon her once more.

"But- I never found out if he loved me as much as I loved him. He never said anything about it. Not even when he died."

"Oh- I'm sorry," Hikari murmured, putting a hand on Yue's shoulder.

Surprisingly, he didn't shake it off. "It was just a normal day. He called me to his study and he just said that he was going to die." Yue sighed softly. "I remember that day so well. He was sitting in his favorite armchair, serene as ever. His scent, of magic and old books, lingered about him like a cloak. And his hand was so gentle as he touched me, one last time." Yue touched his cheek gently before sighing. "He put me into an enchanted slumber, leaving me suspended animation. Sakura woke me up by chance and here I am today."

They lapsed in silence for a while as Hikari absently sipped her tea. Finally, she looked at him. "Who knows about this?"

"Sakura does, Touya has an inkling," he replied quietly. Then he looked at her. "Love is a tricky thing, Hikari. It can break the strong and strengthen the weak. You can name it with four letters yet you cannot describe it with a million words. Remember that."

"Then what can I do?" Hikari whispered, setting down her cup.

Yue looked at her, his expression impassive. "Do what you think is right."

~*~

"Oh, Dark One-" the vampire moaned softly beneath him.

"Shut up," Takeru whispered into her ear, grinning as she squirmed.

Though the whore seemed to be enjoying herself thoroughly, Takeru felt nothing. The heat in his loins seemed diminished, his mind encountered no rush of pure, animalistic lust. Even as the female beneath him screamed and groaned her pleasure, he merely felt empty, as his mind involuntarily pasted a different face onto the woman…

*

"So, you weren't able to do it." Adrian had appeared.

"Shut up," Takeru snapped at him. He only wore one of his bedsheets, the cloth dipping dangerously low.

"So, what did you do then? Lest she spread the gossip that the terrible Takeru Ishida is losing his stamina and virility."

"It's none of your business. I just wiped her memory, had her think that I gave her the wildest night in her entire life." The sapphire-eyed vampire glared at the angel. "It's your fault, you fucking bastard. What did you do to me?"

"Me?" Adrian arched a pale eyebrow. "I had nothing to do with it, Takeru. You are the one who imagined that it was Hikari writhing beneath you in pleasure."

Takeru actually blushed, the tops of his pale cheeks turning slightly pink. "How did you know that?" he demanded sharply.

"I make it my business to know these things."

"Then leave this out of whatever the hell you do," Takeru snarled.

"You're just sore about losing your virility."

"Adrian, I will count to ten. If you are not out of this room by that time, I will-" Takeru then described something that was probably not anatomically possible, but rather interesting to ponder.

The angel only grinned at Takeru, blowing him a kiss and vanishing.

~*~

*A cheongsam is a type of Chinese robe. If you've seen Count D from Petshop of Horrors or Chun-li's outfit (from Streetfighters), they wear examples of cheongsam. Basically they are like high-collared, somewhat tight fitting robes or coats with variations in design, though the collar is the hallmark. I figured Yue would wear one because Clow Reed lived in China for some time and was half-Chinese, thus influencing his creations' tastes in clothing.