Bloodline

Disclaimer: CLAMP owns it. I play with it.

Summary: Sequel to Advocate. Seishirou and Subaru thought getting together was hard enough, but six months later, they have to deal with angry relatives, juggling their jobs, maintaining some level of peace between them, Hokuto's upcoming wedding, and now, an old and forgotten enemy that threatens to destroy them both.

Pairings: Seishirou x Subaru, Kakyou x Hokuto

Warnings: Violence, blood, implications of sex. If you have a problem with any of this...you're in the wrong fandom. This is CLAMP, so blood is a given.

Author's note: Welcome to Bloodline! Rating is T...expect sexy scenes, but nothing explicit. I might upload a oneshot, detailing some of our favourite couple's less moral activities...but for now, you'll have to make do with a smattering of cute fluff, and a bit of sexiness. This story will be longer than Advocate, and the chapters will be a little longer, too, yay! This first chapter is something of a setup - a 'slice of life' sort of thing, but hopefully it won't be boring.

Dedicated to chalkbutterfly, and all those who supported Advocate and have been patiently awaiting the sequel. You're all amazing!

...Bloodline...

Chapter One – Routine

14th August 1992

A single amber eye shone in the moonlight streaming through the gauzy white curtains of the bedroom window, lazily blinking as Seishirou took in the scene before him. It was almost three in the morning, and the window was flung wide open in the humid summer heat as though to encourage a breeze, though the curtains barely moved. Seishirou's seventeen year old lover lay sprawled across the bed, a thin sheet covering his legs and one of his arms. The older man's mouth twitched in amusement.

Not as small as he used to be, still slender, and finally beginning to grow into his own muscle, Subaru breathed evenly in his sleep, unplagued by the nightmares which had once routinely haunted him. At first, when they had moved in together about a month ago, neither able to bare time spent apart and still stuck in what might have constituted a honeymoon period for any normal couple, Subaru had been flighty about sharing a bed every night. He'd been embarrassed and fidgety, endearingly shy even then, but in the weeks since their first night sharing a bed, he'd relaxed a little.

They'd settled into something of a routine. Subaru worked days and attended school, Seishirou preferred to operate late at night, though between them they still ran the veterinary clinic together. Seishirou had ceased deflecting the sakanagi from his spells onto the animals they took in there (and had never revealed he ever had). They worked, they spent time together and always had dinner together unless Subaru's job kept him occupied late into the evening. Usually if this was the case, Seishirou would meet him after work and take him out for dinner, something Subaru, himself head of a wealthy household, would try week in week out to protest against.

He never won.

"Stop creeping, Seishirou..." Subaru hadn't opened his eyes, but his sleepy voice brought an indulgent smile to the older man's face. "And don't you dare get blood on these sheets, they're clean on."

Biting back a snort, Seishirou raised his hands. Subaru must be sleepy if he was being so light about Seishirou's less-than-legitimate occupation. "No cold-blooded murder tonight, Subaru-kun. I promise." It wasn't too much of a lie, the murder he had committed wasn't really in cold blood. It had been a routine job, the dead man had been a wanted criminal escaped from prison and on the run. Since Seishirou (sort of) worked for the government, he was duty-bound to kill him for them, even though it wasn't fun, nor especially difficult. Personally Seishirou preferred his victims innocent, as did the Tree. Something else he never got around to telling his young lover. Seishirou was sure his Tree enjoyed it's meal regardless, though it would be hungry again by tomorrow. No blood on his hands this time, though, a clean break to the neck had done the trick, leaving the bloody part to the Tree. That man's blood would have been filthy on his hands. He stripped off his long coat and dumped it on the floor, knowing Subaru would throw a fit in the morning - "Don't chuck your clothes on the floor, put them in the wardrobe or they'll get all creased! You're as bad as Hokuto-chan!" – but not really caring at this point. He was too tired.

Dropping down beside Subaru, who had apparently gone straight back to sleep (either that or he hadn't heard Seishirou flinging his clothes all over the bedroom), Seishirou carefully tugged his share of the sheets out of the tangled heap under his lover's slender body, and pulled them up, wondering whether to shock Subaru awake with his cold hands.

Deciding such an act might be detrimental to his health – Subaru had gotten good at not pulling his punches with Seishirou ever since they'd fought that rainy night on the roof of Mirei-san's apartment building – he settled for rolling over and turning his back on the younger to wait it out. Sure enough, unconsciously or not, he soon had a very warm body pressing against his back, and soft hair tickling his neck. Shaking his head, he let a slight smile cross his features and let his eyes drift closed.

As he slept, Subaru lay awake behind him, chewing silently on his lip. He was pressed against his older lover's back, but couldn't help but let his thoughts stray, as they always did, to Seishirou's work. For all the man's protests, Subaru could sense death on him. If Seishirou thought he could fool an onmyouji as sensitive as Subaru, he was a damn idiot. He didn't think it would bother him as much as it did, Seishirou's 'choice' of job – it certainly didn't seem to affect Hokuto, she even made jokes about it. Why should it bother him, the one person who loved Seishirou more than anything? Besides...deep down, Subaru knew Seishirou had little choice. He was the Sakurazukamori, to pass the title on would mean his death, and if the older man's little hints were to be believed, likely at Subaru's own hands. That wasn't an option, but still, Subaru felt like a traitor to his own name sometimes. Hokuto would have called him silly – she would have said something like 'that's like being a vegetarian and marrying a steak-lover.'

And Seishirou's victims had diminished in number since they'd been together. Seishirou had outright told him he tried very hard to stick to guilty or contracted victims now (though Subaru would never forget the little girl, crying blood from dead eyes onto his nine-year-old face) and chose his targets, those he actually had a choice in, a little more carefully. At Subaru's request. Though it might have more to do with the younger man providing a better form of entertainment for Seishirou than cold-blooded murder, Subaru suspected.

Damnit. He loved Seishirou, wasn't that enough? Why was he lying here fretting about it? Subaru had seen Seishirou, the real Seishirou, knew that he had a good side, as stoic and gruff and dark as it seemed sometimes. The man absolutely doted on him, treated him with the utmost gentleness, and was kind towards Hokuto and Kakyou. Most of the time. The existence of the bet...Seishirou had made a bet he didn't believe he could lose, he had admitted as much. But the mere fact that he had made it in the first place, breaking a cardinal rule letting Subaru go the first time, meant that there must have been a glimmer of hope deep inside the elder that Subaru might...might just win it.

Subaru pressed closer to Seishirou's warm back with a sigh, chasing the thoughts from his head. "I love you..." He murmured against the man's skin, before letting his eyes drift closed.

...Bloodline...

19th August 1992

Seishirou didn't even look up when Hokuto barrelled through his front door. He just held his arm out to catch the groceries when she inevitably tripped over her own feet while trying to kick off her shoes and clamber into the kitchen at the same time, like always. "Good morning, Hokuto-chan." He said without taking his eyes off the paper.

"Hey, Sei-chan. Where's Subaru?" She responded, taking the brown paper bag out of his arm once she had picked herself up and finally kicked her second shoe off and into the hall, where Kakyou dutifully picked it up along with the other one and stowed them neatly on the shoe rack.

"Still asleep." Seishirou let a small smile touch his lips as Hokuto and Kakyou let themselves into his apartment, chattering about wedding venues and caterers. They were perfect for each other, polar opposites just the way Subaru and Seishirou were (though perhaps not quite so drastically). A handful of dress magazines dropped onto the table in front of him, obscuring his paper, and the smile turned indulgent, if a little...strained. Seishirou leant back in his chair, twisting his head to nod to the dreamseer. Kakyou was looking...healthier than usual, the new medication he was on was working wonders for his general health, and allowed him to keep better waking hours. He still slept twelve to fourteen hours a day, but it was a vast improvement from before.

"Ah...Hokuto-chan, please don't wake him..." Seishirou called quietly as the excitable older twin went to harass his lover. "He had a rough night, he wasn't sleeping well."

Hokuto's face fell. "Really?"

"Nightmares, I think. Nothing I couldn't handle, but I'm letting him lie in for a bit."

"Will you talk dresses with me instead?"

"No." Seishirou said flatly, sipping at his coffee and tugging his now very crumpled paper back out from under the magazines. Hokuto pouted, but didn't press the point, flopping down in the chair opposite and thumbing through the topmost glossy book. She hummed and nibbled on her lip as her eyes traced the modern designs of the dresses. Kakyou settled next to Seishirou and exchanged pleasantries with him, glancing over the paper in the man's hands briefly, then idly turning his gaze to a few of Hokuto's magazines. Kakyou was as mild mannered as ever, as calm as Hokuto was mad. Seishirou had grown to appreciate the quiet young man's presence in his life, though it galled him to admit that yet another human being had gotten past his iron shields to join Hokuto, and of course Subaru.

He blamed Hokuto, the meddling little wench. Had she not been so bloody-minded, everything would have gone to plan the first time around, and he would have died happy. And alone. Without the trouble of three young, vibrant, endearingly annoying lives to concern himself with.

Seishirou glanced up again as his lover shuffled into the kitchen, still in his black silk pyjamas with the sakura print (Hokuto's idea, Seishirou's present) and flopped straight into Seishirou's lap with a sleepy yawn, burying his face in the man's shoulder. Hokuto squealed in delight at the display of affection, and Subaru cracked one eye open to smile a greeting at his sister. Seishirou offered the younger boy his coffee, and wound one arm around Subaru to continue thumbing through his paper, a little struck by the ease of the situation. He remembered the first time Subaru had displayed such open affection, how Seishirou had wondered at it, been baffled by the Sumeragi's casual demeanour. He had never imagined Subaru would ever come to accept him. That had been a large part of the reason for all of his deception, he realised now. He was protecting himself, scared of rejection. It seemed stupid that the Sakurazukamori could feel such insecurity, and he knew that if the Tree was sentient, it would surely scoff at his ridiculous behaviour, but that was that. His mother had told him, a long time ago, that she had thought herself untouchable once, as he did. She never believed she'd come to care for anything, until she first laid eyes on her son. He had laughed at her then, unable to imagine a time when he would feel any such foolish emotion.

He glanced down at his lover, sipping gingerly at his coffee, and he swore he could hear his mother's ringing laughter in his head. Along with a delighted 'I told you so!'. He rested a hand on Subaru's forehead. "Your temperature is up. Please tell me you're not working today." He murmured, as Subaru accepted a magazine from Hokuto.

"No, I have the day off. I kind of expected to be ill." Seishirou's eyes snapped to his, and seconds later, Subaru was flushing, realising his mistake too late. He shrank under the older man's piercing gaze. "I mean, I – "

"Sakanagi." Seishirou muttered. "No wonder you were up with nightmares."

Subaru gave him a guilty look. "The job yesterday was a bit harder than I thought. I might have had to subdue some of the people involved with a spell..." Which invariably meant headaches and sickness would have beset Subaru in retaliation. Despite swearing off the animals in his clinic, Seishirou still redirected the sakanagi from his spells and his kills onto nearby creatures, everything from rats to stray dogs, something he thought Subaru suspected, but was trying hard to ignore. Subaru himself, when he used spells that invoked sakanagi, simply bore the backlash himself, quietly, unobtrusively – frustratingly.

"You should have told me."

"And have you snapping at me again?" Subaru muttered. "Just because you don't like to deal with your own mess..." He blanched, knowing that was unfair, that if Seishirou didn't deflect the backlash of his spells, he would have been killed a hundred times over. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean..."

"I know." Seishirou responded in a tight voice. Hokuto dithered, watching the exchange and chewing her lip, but it was Kakyou who broke the awkward silence.

"We all have our differences." He said evenly, flicking through a magazine showing off beautiful bunches of white and pink flowers. "Just like we all have to do the unavoidable sometimes." His warm golden eyes flickered up to meet Subaru's gaze briefly, then moved back to the page. Subaru flushed, and buried his face in Seishirou's shoulder again, stomach twisting. Once again he reminded himself that Seishirou's life was tied to the Tree, that it needed feeding, and that Seishirou would be the Sakurazukamori until he died. It should be enough that, since meeting and falling for Subaru, that Seishirou had changed; and did his best to only kill when contracted by the government. Or at the very least, only kill the guilty to satiate the Tree – as far as Subaru knew. He hated to admit that he doubted his lover sometimes, wondered if Seishirou's claims of innocence were just more lies...but with their history, and Seishirou's talent for deception, it wouldn't be far from likely.

And in the end, Subaru had decided he'd rather not know. Ignorance was not necessarily bliss, but it was easier to believe the best of Seishirou than to imagine the worst of the man. Especially since Subaru definitely couldn't live without him. He'd tried – and failed – twice. His fingers tightened on Seishirou's shirt, and he hoped that the assassin took it as the wordless apology it was. Seishirou's arms tightened around Subaru in response and reassurance – he wasn't angry. He had to try very hard not to be, sometimes – he was still one part human, six parts sociopath after all, and occasionally, he had to rein in his annoyance lest it melt into something inherently darker. That darkness had cost him far more than he had ever realised last time. He still struggled to see people as anything more than objects. Things. Only Subaru meant anything. Hokuto was bearable, Kakyou pleasant – he was a little fond of both, and he had admitted to himself he would miss them a little if they weren't in his life, but Subaru was the only thing he wasn't sure he could live without if he lost. Even in the other timeline, when he had abandoned a broken and sisterless Subaru to his loneliness and gone his own way...Subaru had still been alive. He'd still known where he was all the time, like some kind of creeping stalker. Not that Subaru had ever actually figured that out, of course, Seishirou was far too good at covering his tracks, and the Sumeragi far too occupied with his tumultous feelings.

He was determined not to lose him, not to screw up – again. Not least because actually, the thought of facing more of Hokuto's wrath should he hurt her baby brother again was a little terrifying. She was low-key, her talents in onmyoujitsu paling in comparison to those of her twin, yet she had unravelled time itself in her desperate quest for a happy ending. She was twisting destiny, and she had proved herself a wildcard Seishirou would be foolish to dismiss. So he would make all the effort he needed to to keep Subaru close, no matter how much he had to pretend to be human to do so. Subaru saw through him, probably, but the pretence kept them both just this side of sane. Strong fingers caressed the back of Subaru's neck gently, enjoying the feel of the baby-soft skin he found there, and the teenager shivered in response. He looked up at Seishirou, green eyes wide, and Seishirou held his gaze, appreciating how, even with only one eye that piercing shade of amber-gold, it could still hold Subaru utterly enthralled.

A giggly cough tore those beautiful green eyes from his face, and Subaru twisted in Seishirou's lap, squirming until the elder released him so he could slope over to the coffee machine and pour himself a second mug, blowing across the top. "So does this mean everyone has the day of today? No school, no work?" He asked, blinking owlishly through sleepy, half lidded eyes. Hokuto made a discontented noise. "I have class this afternoon, but it's only one class, and it is fashion design so I really shouldn't skip, but the three of you are welcome to go have fun without me! I can always join you afterwards." She grinned and winked at Kakyou, who was still flicking through the magazines. He glanced up to smile adoringly at her.

"I'm perfectly content to stay in." Seishirou threw in his opinion, eyeing the dark circles under his lover's eyes. "At the risk of sounding terribly domestic, my suggestion would be a film and a take away, given the lack of food in the fridge."

"Ehhhh, Sei-chan, you shouldn't let the fridge get empty!" Hokuto scolded, wagging her finger. "Subaru certainly doesn't remember to shop, and he still has school on top of work. I think that makes it your responsibility. You are the man of the house after all!"

"I have two jobs. Hokuto-chan, you are so far beyond biased." Seishirou sniffed, ignoring both twins, one of whom had gone off into a teasing rant about Seishirou's fascination with schoolboys, the other grumbling about Hokuto's insinuation that he was any less of a man than Seishirou. He did quirk his lips, however, when Subaru vehemently protested a comment about misuse of a school uniform, face turning that characteristic shade of crimson. The twins bickered, Seishirou added a teasing comment the way he had when he had masqueraded as a vet, and Kakyou laughed.

Seishirou relaxed into the normality of the situation.

...Bloodline...

24th August 1992

"Subaru-kuuuuuun!" Subaru blinked and turned, smile widening as his sister, dressed as usual in vibrant colours and crazy patterns, dashed over to meet him, shopping bags in hand. A trio of similarly dressed girls hung back, looking inquisitive. Subaru felt very plain and boring in his dark grey school uniform as she threw her arms around him. "Let's walk home together!" Hokuto announced, waving a quick goodbye to her friends. "Kimi-chan, Hashi-chan and Yuki-chan were just admiring my engagement ring again." She giggled, linking her arm with his and flicking her fingers in front of his eyes. Subaru blinked, smiling indulgently and squeezing his sister's arm. He had vowed after he'd finally remembered the horrid loneliness and anguish he had felt after he had died in their 'other' lifetime that he would never, ever take her for granted again. He paused to gaze at the emerald on Hokuto's finger for a few moments, admiring how it perfectly matched her eyes.

"Did you skip?"

"Of course not, silly! You know I don't have classes on Wednesdays!"

"It's Wednesday already?" Subaru blinked, nonplussed. That was right, he'd worked all day Monday and half of Tuesday, only attending class Tuesday afternoon. A groan. "I miss so much I can't even remember what day it is..." He sighed, shaking his head. Hokuto made a sympathetic noise in her throat. "Maybe Obaa-sama is right, and I should drop out..."

"But what about your dream?" Hokuto whined, shaking his arm and pouting. "It's all you wanted to do!"

"Let's face it, I'm never going to be able to juggle two jobs when being the Head of the family is so...involving. 'My life isn't my own'" He echoed the words his grandmother had told him repeatedly since he had first begun training.

"Well...you know I'd support you whatever decision you made, right? I suppose it would be nice to have you around more often. Between classes, work, helping Sei-chan at the practice and studying, I hardly see you!" Subaru rolled his eyes, knowing there was little truth behind those words. Hokuto saw him every day, they almost always had dinner together. "Besides..." She continued. "You really should be around for Sei-chan more." Her voice was light and teasing. "You're a very hard worker, Subaru, and you'll never exactly be short of money. Even if you do keep doing stuff for free." She muttered.

"Hokuto-chan?"

"Hm?"

"Can we go out somewhere tonight?"

"Ehhh? But what about Sei-chan?" Hokuto blinked rapidly. "Not that I don't want to, but I'd hate to steal you away from him!"

"Don't be so dramatic." Subaru laughed. "He sees plenty of me, seeing as how I live with him. Besides, we're having dinner together, and then he's...he's working tonight." Something dark flickered across his gaze. "And I want to spend time with you." He shrugged.

Hokuto gave him a level look. "What was with the face?" She blinked at him, dragging him to a halt and clinging to his arm. "Are you still worrying about Sei-chan's job?"

Subaru winced. "Don't give me that look, Hokuto-chan...I know, it's part of him, he has to do it, I've heard it all. But that doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it. Doesn't it ever...bother you that he kills people for a living? That he...killed you once?" He whispered, heart clenching as he squeezed her closer. She sighed and reached up to run a hand through his hair.

"Yes. Sometimes, it bothers me a lot. When we first came back, I was almost afraid to face him. But...I know he's your special person, and even though he's strange, and dark, I know he cares about you very much. So I can forgive him, because...because now...I don't think he'd ever hurt you like he did before. He knows who he is, and who you are, now. I don't think he wants to lose you. And he makes you happy. You love him too, I know, I can see it all over your face every time you look at him." She smiled a little sadly at him, knowing how much Seishirou had hurt her baby brother, and how much the younger boy still agonised over the callousness of his lover's previous actions. She also knew how intensely her brother loved the assassin, their fates were inextricably bound together after all. "Uh...Subaru? Where are we going?"

"To the practice. Seishirou-san isn't in this afternoon so I'm sorting out all the cages and feeding everyone."

"Ehhhh!" Hokuto scowled and shook his arm. "You don't have any time to do your school work and you're still doing Sei-chan's job for him? He's such a terrible husband! You have to tell him off. And why-are-you-still-calling-him-Seishirou-san!" She bit out, still shaking Subaru's arm. The younger twin let out a squawk as he was manhandled by his overzealous sister.

"We're not married, for goodness' sake!" He flushed. "And I call him that because I like it. And he likes it."

"You're both weird." Hokuto stuck out her tongue and huffed. "Well, I suppose I'd better help you if you ever want to get finished before dinner time. I hope Sei-chan's enjoying his afternoon off, he'd better be cooking something nice for you, since you're doing all the work!" She accompanied Subaru to the veterinary clinic, mercifully ceasing her incessant shaking of his arm, and waited, bouncing on the balls of her feet, while the younger twin unlocked the back door to let them in. Where she found all her energy, Subaru would never know. She seemed to have endless amounts of it, she was never tired, and always on the go. It was no small miracle that poor Kakyou could keep up.

After cleaning up at the clinic (while Hokuto proved herself more a hindrance than a help and spent more time spinning circles around the back room playing with the puppies than actually assissting Subaru), the pair linked arms and headed back to their apartment block. "So...what did you have in mind after dinner, then?" Hokuto ventured, poking her brother in the ribs.

"Maybe a film or something?" Subaru suggested. "Since Seishirou-san is out you could come over..."

"Well, that would save you being a third wheel at my place." Hokuto teased, tickling him.

He squirmed. "Cut it out. I don't mind if Kakyou-chan comes too, as long as you don't leave me watching the movie by myself." He teased right back. Hokuto just eyed him with a rogueish smirk, not a hint of a blush on her face. "...Tch. It's so impossible to rile you, isn't it?"

"Only because it's so easy to rile you Subaru." She snorted, looping her arms around his neck and prompting a yelp when he was dragged off course by her violent hug. A hug that, moments later, was interrupted by the sudden onset of heavy rain.

"Eeeek!" Hokuto squealed and grabbed his hand. "I forgot to bring an umbrella..." She whinged. "It's August, what's with this weather?" The pair of them dashed the last two hundred yards to the apartment block and were already in fits of dripping wet laughter by the time they'd crossed the lobby. Without having to actually agree on anything, they headed for Subaru's apartment on the eighth floor first, dropping Subaru's sopping wet schoolbag and Hokuto's handbag in the hallway and stripping most of their clothes off before even entering the kitchen. Subaru had long since stopped being embarrassed (at least visibly) in front of Seishirou, and he'd never been bothered by Hokuto seeing his bare skin.

"Not that I am at all against half-naked twins on my doorstep, but what on earth are you two doing?" Seishirou blinked, looking up from his book from where he sat at the kitchen table as Hokuto pranced over to the kettle dressed in only her underwear and filled it with water.

"You're such a pervert, Sei-chan." She sang as Subaru flung a towel at her head. "Oof – it's pouring it down outside, and unless you want a very wet sister in law dripping all over your sofa..."

"It's raining?" Seishirou glanced up out of the window. "So it is." He put his book down and stood up, making his way over to the younger Sumeragi twin and grabbing the second towel out of his hands. He looped it around Subaru's shoulders and used it to tug him close, pressing a kiss to the boy's lips. "Your lips are cold." He murmured against them. "It wasn't supposed to rain today."

"Since when have weather reporters ever been right, though?" Subaru laughed, kissing Seishirou's cheek and prising the towel off him. He blinked when Seishirou fixed him with a Look. "What...? You think there's more to it?"

"It's just unusual." Seishirou muttered as he led them both over to the sofa and settled down on it, pulling Subaru half into his lap and beginning to towel the younger's hair dry. "Enough to put me on edge. So much cold rain, in August. Not to mention the wind and storms we've been having." He straightened up and dropped the towel on the floor, pulling the Sumeragi against his chest and tugging the red fleece blanket that draped over the back of their sofa over him. "Call it instinct, whatever."

"Whaaaaat?" Hokuto bounded over, now mercifully wrapped in the towel. She had tied it expertly around her hips and looped it over her shoulders, twisting it elegantly in that way only she could manage to make it look like it was meant to be there. "Sei-chan! Do you think someone's making all this horrible wet weather happen?" She plopped down, squeezing herself next to Subaru and thieving the end of the blanket to drape over her legs. Handing over a mug of hot chocolate, she blew over her own and looked up expectantly at Seishirou.

The assassin spared himself a moment to inwardly grin at the expectant look in four identical vivid green eyes as the twins stared up at him. It reminded him of their old routine, when he would talk and the siblings would listen avidly to his every word. Now, the Sumeragi twins were older, a little taller, and one had grown her hair a little longer. Different versions of the same pair, and always, always the mirror image of each other. Shaking himself from his musing, he answered her. "Someone, maybe. Something. Something that's upset the balance, I'm not sure. It's just...unexpected, and worth keeping an eye on." He shifted in place, and Subaru wriggled next to him, pulling the blanket up before it could fall off the sofa. "I don't like disturbances." Seishirou continued. "Well. Ones I'm not the cause of at least." He added, grinning when Subaru hit him in the arm with a roll of his eyes.

"Not funny."

"You're just not receptive to humour, Subaru-kun. Nevertheless. Be careful when you're out and about without me." He muttered. "Something isn't right with Japan at the moment, and I'd rather not find out what it is the hard way."

"...I'm not incompetent." Subaru protested, though both of them knew he was pleased at the very genuine concern Seishirou was displaying, evidenced by the blush on his face and the smile tugging at his lips.

Hokuto, feeling decidedly ignored, drained her hot chocolate and thumped the mug down. "I'm going to go before you two out-cute yourselves. Subaru, I'm going to borrow some of your clothes, is that okay? As fetching as I make this towel look, I'm not sure I want to leave the apartment in it." With Subaru's nod, she stood up and danced out of the room into the corridor, presumably heading for their bedroom.

Seishirou's arms snaked under the blanket and around his half naked lover. "Warming up yet?"

"Mm." Subaru nodded and wrapped his own arms securely around Seishirou's middle, squirming when long fingers tickled his bare skin. He called out a goodbye to Hokuto, who promised to come back over after dinner for their movie date before bounding out of the door.

"Movie date...?"

"She's keeping me company tonight." Subaru murmured. "It's been a while since we spent more than an hour or so together."

"If she wasn't your twin, I'd be jealous. In fact, I think I might be jealous anyway." And part of him wondered if that hadn't been a major reason he'd been so happy to kill her in the first place. A dark line of thought, and one he immediately felt guilty for, but looking back on their previous lives was always something of an odd point. Trying to find reason in all his previous stubborn and unyielding self had done was both enlightning and somewhat appalling. He was distracted from the thought by a pair of petal-soft lips pressing against his neck.

"Don't be an idiot. You have me to yourself now, don't you...?"

...Bloodline...

Another Author's Note: There we have it, the first chapter of Bloodline. I'm very excited about this story, as the plot and the antagonists are all mine. I'm branching out, and I would like to hope that my writing style and structure has improved a little from way back when I started Advocate.

Please, read and review! I love hearing from you all!

Oh, and before I go, a quick extra...I am looking for active, one-on-one roleplayers of this and the X fandom. Particularly for this pairing, but with the option for further development, large scale AU's, etc etc. If anyone is interested, send me a PM and get in touch!

Next time: Unexplained deaths, Kyoto, wedding plans, Obaa-sama, and a rather explosive argument.