Princely Plot Bunny

a modern story with old-fashioned flavors

A/N: I received a lot of reviews last chapter, for which I am very grateful. :) Hopefully you find this new chapter entertaining.

Characters/Pairings: Misaki, Akihiko, Haruhiko [Part One]; Tero, Mistake [Part Two]


Chapter Nineteen: Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing

(August 24th, 2012)


It was a marvel, all of the rings that were glaring at him like the unseen eyes of ghosts. The jeweler's was rather cleared out at the time, but then again it was early, so most people weren't quite off work yet.

Haruhiko was in the process of waiting for the gemologist to clean the band he'd purchased for Misaki. The different stones placed within the ring each had a special meaning; one for Misaki's birth month, one for his, the month of the wedding, the month they'd gotten engaged, and the first time they'd been intimate. He could think of more important dates, but he knew Misaki wouldn't appreciate a gaudy ring, so he kept it simple.

His own band would mirror Misaki's in that the stones would be opposite. So when they were at the altar, the stones would match up as they stood across from one another.

The idea of getting married caused the man to smile within, but he kept his stoic persona outward so as not to look any different than people were used to seeing him as. In truth, as of recent, he'd been worried about what had been going on with Misaki, so it was quite the chore keeping his cool. It would be an understatement to say that Haruhiko would be relieved when the ceremony was over and done with, finalized. Maybe then he could release some of his fears away and look optimistically toward the future, to a family and the remainder of his lifetime spent with the ones he cared for.

"Usami-sama, this set of rings you picked out is perfect. I've got Takahashi-kun's already finished; yours will be a little bit longer. I know you wanted to take his home today so you could surprise him." The jeweler was an old family friend who had even done the rings for Haruhiko's father's royal wedding, many years ago.

"I appreciate your assistance in the matter, sensei." The response was blunt, but the elder Usami son knew the man well enough to know that he wouldn't be offended.

"Maybe you should bring in your future husband when you pick yours up," the jeweler suggested as he finished putting the ring in a box and tying it off with a plain, black ribbon.

Haruhiko nodded, but didn't say anything out loud. The man in question was acting so distant lately it made him wonder if the wedding was even going to happen. A pang of pain hit his body and caused his nerves to scream, yet he kept his continence. It wouldn't do for someone of his status to have a meltdown in such a place.

"Thank you, Sensei, for everything," he commented, trying to sound as if all was right with the world when deep down he knew it wasn't.

. . . . .

"You never answered my question, the last time I saw you."

Takahashi dropped the bowl he had been holding up as a frisson of surprise ricocheted within him, sending the beginnings of a salad sprawling all across the granite counter. Mind working fast pace, he reflexively began to try to tame the mess, gathering up leaves of cabbage and other greens and cornering them back into the vessel, thinking errantly that he'd need to start over on the dish for cleanliness' sake.

Instead, the boy was made to pause when a hand brushed against his arm, stilling it with one movement. A body leaned into his from behind as if using him as a post for balance, touching every inch. Green eyes blinked, and a frown crept onto the youth's face.

Realizing from the action that ignoring the elder was not a viable response, Misaki caved and led with, "Why are you here, Usami-sama? You aren't supposed to be here."

"I can't simply leave you alone. I love you, Misaki, and what I want more than anything is to not be in this place. I wish you would agree to come and live with me."

The younger of the two males faltered.

Could the prince not hear the words that were stemming from his own mouth, and realize that was a situation that wasn't easy? It wasn't the matter of packing his belongings and making the short trip, but everything else in life that blockaded that option. Sometimes... the way Usagi-san spoke, it was like he didn't even consider Haruhiko-san an obstacle at all. As if the man wasn't in existence.

"I can't..." his voice wavered, and he thought to make the point swirling around his mind. "It's not that easy, Usagi-san. There are a lot of reasons why not."

"Sure it is," the elder coaxed mellifluously, hand comfortably soothing Misaki's shoulder, long digits massaging away the tension. Akihiko was relieved at the abrupt change in name that the brunette had bestowed on him. Hearing such a proper moniker as Usami-sama felt foreign in the severest degree to him. "I will be right here to help you, so you need not worry."

Though the words were sweetly-spoken, earnest even, something in Misaki's head protested the idea. Feeling a surge of indignation, he suddenly snapped, "I am supposed to be marrying your brother!"

Before he could relay more of his point across, the brunette felt his body swiftly revolved, and lips clashed with his mouth, drowning out any further utterings. For a string of moments, the boy struggled, hands scrunching at the front of Usami's clothing and trying to wrest the man from him.

But, a mere instant later, his irresolute mind jettisoned all notion of resistance, succumbing to the tidal wave of love that he felt emanating from the prince's fierce embrace. Hands cascaded downward and lips fluidly moved with the flow of it all, placidly parting to allow a deeper exploration.

Akihiko deviated from the main once he felt Misaki's walls begin to dissipate, gingerly attending to the youth's succulent, inviting neck. His tongue traced a hollow at the base, wetting the beautiful flesh down with flourish. It only brought forth the desired sounds, his own joy at having the license of doing this. Talking was perhaps not a strength of the royal's, for all his dalliances with the written word. Clear actions as these were the only real way he felt he could argue back to the injunction laid at his feet.

He knew very well about Misaki's situation. It simply did not make a difference to the silver-haired scion. His brother was not an opponent he needed to fear, and the power was in his side of the court, not Haruhiko's. Misaki might feel obligated to the other because he had been there first, but that was a futile line of reasoning. The heart is a complicated thing; it does not follow logic like the first finder is a person's keeper.

"If it's a settled down life that Misaki wants," Akihiko murmured in the crook of the boy's shoulder, "I will happily give that to him. Any part of it, all of it."

A strange feeling bloomed in the youth at that statement. For a minute there, he was forced to wonder if that was what he truly desired. It was right that he preferred a more peaceful day-to-day regime, but was that life meant to be spent at Usagi-san's side? Or Haruhiko-san?

Before he could consider it too much, his body was lifted from the ground and into the cool arms of the elder, erasing all hope of logical decision-making.

"Wait!" Misaki protested as he was summarily carried off, to the bedroom he used to occupy before becoming one with his fiancé. "Not here," he croaked.

It hardly did him any good as the prince placed him on the bed and immediately attacked his lips. It was a horrible thing he was doing, getting intimate in the bed he and Haruhiko had used before, but for some reason whenever the prince was around, all common sense flew out the window on the breeze.

Misaki kissed back as the prince started to unbutton his shirt. Immediately, the cool air sliced at his skin, causing his tender nipples to firm up and beg to be touched.

"I won't stop, Misaki," Usami purred, leaning down and sucking gently on his left bud, causing Misaki to moan. "Not when I know you want this as much as I."

He couldn't deny that fact, when he and Usagi were like this he wanted it and he wanted it bad.

Even his inner dialogue stopped half the time because he couldn't think properly when the elder was making love to him with his mouth, his hands…his very need. Misaki threw back his head into the pillow as his trousers were lowered and he was quickly enveloped in the warmth that was the prince's mouth. The feelings such motions created were ecstasy and all he could reasonably do was squirm, to try and deflect the extraneous sensations.

It didn't take long for him to feel the tingling sensation as he climaxed onto the other man's tongue. The entire process took less than two minutes, which was too fast in his mind. Far too fast.

Intelligence impaired, he felt Usami oji-sama move up the bed and claim his mouth as ardently as he ever did.

He could taste his essence on the other's tongue as they battled for dominance. In the midst, he could hardly recall what had been said minutes ago, though he knew the gist in his mind. These days, it felt like his mind had less and less resistance to spare in an argument. This both confused and gave him hope. Hope that he was nearing some form of conclusion in the struggle.

Misaki didn't even know when it happened, but within moments of his mouth being assaulted he felt the Prince pierce his backside and he let out a wanton cry as his legs wrapped of their own accord around the younger Usami's back. The man was driving into him with ardency, and each powerful stroke against his febrile insides was processed keenly, sending jolts of electricity careening up from where they were joined. He could sense the elder growing larger inside of him, and the simple flyaway notion was enough to make him want to boil over.

. . . . .

Haruhiko didn't quite know what to think as he stood in the doorway of Misaki's personal bedroom.

There was his lover, the one he'd pledged to spend the rest of his life with, legs coiled around his younger brother while they danced the forbidden tango. He hadn't wanted to believe it was happening, but he'd had his suspicions. This definitely confirmed it, in spades.

Once he'd returned to the house and seen his brother's car in the driveway he'd almost raced inside to see what was going on.

Not seeing Misaki in any of the communal rooms or the kitchen, his heart had fallen to the floor as he made his way to the hallway where the bedrooms were located. His hand shook from a wide array of emotions when he opened his own bedroom door; the room had been empty. So he went to Misaki's old door and could hear unmistakable noises echoing from within.

For a moment, he almost wanted to turn and leave, but he found his body on autopilot as his hand reached for the handle. Slowly, he pushed open the door and was greeted with the sight of his worst nightmare, and he couldn't even cry. All he could do was drop his briefcase, still in hand, to the floor. And yet, neither of the lovers knew he was there.

Moments after opening the door, he could hear his own fiancé climax and call out a pet form of his little brother's name. This was followed by the prince finding his own release and falling on top of the younger man in a heap. Haruhiko could then hear the other Usami whispering into Misaki's ear, but couldn't make out what was being said. Not that he particularly cared to know.

Eyes bloodshot as if he'd cried for the entire day, Haruhiko took a step forward before taking two steps back beyond the doorway. "Excuse me," he apologized, softly.

With those words, green eyes swung upward and met gray; Misaki could see the hurt in his fiancé's eyes. His eyes left Haruhiko's and landed on Usagi, who was glaring at the elder of the two noble brothers.

There was disdain written on the prince's countenance and within moments Misaki could feel the tears start to slide down his face.

It was in that moment that shock captivated the boy and he truly realized what the consequences of all this were. Everything was no longer a scenario in mind that he worried would happen, but something that actually had. And it was more terrible than any of his previous imaginings.

"Can't you see we're a little busy?" the prince posed, hand resting on his lover's shoulder as if to guard him from the traumatized stare surveying them both.

"Yes, I'll leave," Haruhiko stated calmly as he shut the door. He could hear Misaki call for him as the portal latched, but girded his ears to the cry so that he could run for cover. Before he could even begin to process what he'd witnessed, he needed to find a safe haven to uncover it all in.

Without another thought he walked away from the room and made his way back to the front door. His car was still parked in the driveway, so he got in and turned on the ignition. Lost and feeling more alone than he'd felt since he met the kid, Haruhiko drove out of the driveway, aiming his course toward the one place he knew he'd be welcomed when his entire world was falling apart.

. . . . .

"Daddy, when I go to school, will I meet my special person too?"

Having the innocent question posed to him caused the elder to laugh, at the precociousness of it all. Reaching over, he ruffled the boy's sandy brown hair and grinned.

"You never know!" he singsonged, watching in amusement as the kid's eyes gullibly widened like plates. What else could you really say, though? No one ever knew how life was going to play out, and for all Isaka knew, Hideyoshi might meet someone as early on as preschool that he later turned out to love.

The whole fantastical notion was kind of his fault to begin with. Isaka had mentioned to the kid before that Asahina and he had first met when they were schoolkids. Not quite preschool age, but not seriously older either. It appeared to have really stuck with the boy if he was still wondering about it a week later.

"C'mon though, let's not worry about that. Show me how well you can toss that ball, huh?"

The miniature brunette nodded, carefully walking a fair distance away from his father and then turning to face the man, compact orange ball in hand.

Concentrating with all the intensity a young child could muster, Hide situated himself and then launched the ball under-hand, sending it flying in a spectacular arch in the direction of the other player. Moments later, Isaka stooped to catch it artfully, and so the game progressed from then on.

For the space of about twenty minutes, it was halcyon, a simple pastime for father and child. The late summer air wrapped around everyone like a humid blanket, pleasant enough in its embrace compared to the exertion it warranted. When the companionable silence was shattered, it came not as a stark interruption, but more of a slow and unsettling one instead.

At some point in the early evening, the sound of a motor drawing nearer caught the ears of the yard's occupants, and a dark sedan soon came into view, parking at the nearest terminus of the driveway. Upon further inspection, Ryuuichirou noted the man the vehicle was housing, and was taken aback to find that it was Haruhiko, given that he hadn't expected a visit of any sort tonight.

'What the fuck?' Isaka mused to himself, eyebrow quirked in acute concern as he continue to survey the sight.

The behavior was so unlike the guy that the executive caught on immediately that there could be few reasons why Haruhiko had showed up at his house unannounced, and he didn't like any of the options. Simply put, something terrible must have occurred.

"Here, you, take the kid inside," he directed the order at the lady in charge of watching the children when he and his spouse were at work.

Something was fishy about his friend's arrival, and he had a strong suspicion as to the cause. Whatever the case, Hideyoshi had no business witnessing anything like the conversation he wanted to start with Usami. And besides, if the boy was still here when the man emerged from the car, he wouldn't want to leave; the tot was attached to his "uncle" like white in a snowstorm.

"What would you have me do with him, sir?" the woman inquired seriously, taking over the duty of holding Hideyoshi's hand from his father.

The toddler squirmed, scrunching up his nose at the change. It was as if the kid could sense something was different in the milieu, and, really, Ryuuichirou wouldn't be surprised if he could. That was only more reason for him to separate him from the approaching scene.

"I don't know, he just needs not to be out here. Hurry," Isaka urged, making a pointed turn of his head to alert his little son that he needed to follow the governess inside. "Please," he added as an afterthought. Manners should still be observed, at least. And, sure enough, she went quietly after that, towing an overzealous Hide-chan back into the house for a different means of play.

After the important things were squared away, Usami still hadn't emerged from the car, so Isaka decided to make the first move.

Stalking up to the midnight-colored automobile, he rapped on the driver's side window bluntly, demanding that the man pay him the time of day. From what he could make out through the glass, Haruhiko was sitting up straight against the seat, staring directly ahead. Upon a second, more serious investigation, the cobalt-eyed believed he could see tears slowly wending from unfocused eyes.

That, more than anything, was what flipped the switch for him. Taking a chance, he yanked at the door handle, and there emitted a click before the portal gave way and allowed him to open it up. When he did, Haruhiko turned his blurred lenses that way, voice barely registering in volume as he spoke, "I can't believe it. I can, but I also cannot. You were right all along, Ryuuichirou."

The named's face twisted in disgust upon hearing that truth, horrified. Nothing else needed to be said for him to discern the grander scheme of what must have occurred. It appeared that the dark clouds that had been circling for the past few months had finally let loose their shower, drowning his companion along the way.

"Well, fuck," Isaka groaned, already feeling the effects of anger stirring hotly within his stomach, "...Don't just sit in the car, let's go inside."

He composed his expression as best as he could in the situation and fervently snatched at Haru's arm, coaxing the man out of the vehicle and back toward the house, letting the other use him to lean on as they walked.

It was oddly reminiscent of times past when the problems had been lighter - maybe he'd had too much to drink and the elder Usami would have to pick up after him; the powers that be knew that had happened often enough when they were younger. Never could he recall being the one to have to be in charge though. He was the problem child, not Haruhiko, and despite that, he wished it were reversed to how it normally was. As it stood, Isaka wasn't quite sure how to deal with this, though he'd damn well do his best to make sure that retribution was handed out to the parties involved in dragging his pal down to such an emotional low.

A few minutes later, settled into one of the parlors closest to the front of the house, the two sat themselves at a table, one meaning to extract an explanation from the other if at all possible. Apart from that first initial statement, Haruhiko had been eerily quiet. Tears fell from twinned slate irises without discernible pause, but words were not so forthcoming.

Appearing exhausted, the man eventually pulled something from his suit pocket and passed it over to his friend.

Isaka's eyes roamed over the top of a nondescript black box with angered curiosity. Across the table, Usami relieved himself of his glasses, setting them gingerly on the flat surface and then hunching over it, hiding his face from further view. Isaka, bogged down by a rather uncomfortable pit in the bottom of his stomach, reluctantly opened the inky square to examine the contents. When he saw what lay inside, his fears were summarily confirmed.

Perched on a bed of velveteen material was a simple but gleaming platinum band, plain apart from the minute etching of a message on the interior. He snatched it up immediately, figuring everything had already gone to hell; why not read the damned thing? This was what Haruhiko had been planning to give to his fiancé when what had just happened, happened. He might as well have all the sordid facts of the occurrence.

In block letters, the inscription was soon revealed.

Haruhiko Misaki.


. . . Tero . . .

(September 1st, 2012)


Quite frankly, Miyagi wasn't sure whether to be amused, or to wonder how he'd managed to get himself into such an eccentric position.

The fiery young man he'd somehow agreed to devote his remaining years to was currently standing before him, giving the oratory performance of his life on precisely how the coming months were going to be spent. Truthfully, he had no objections to any of this, but it was entertaining to let the kid go on speaking as if Miyagi needed to be convinced of the plans. Shinobu was being enthusiastic, in his own belligerent way, and it brought a concealed smile to the professor's face.

This whole conversation had been initiated shortly after breakfast.

Miyagi had been peacefully attempting to read a new book in his home office when one terrorist had stalked into the quiet room, breaking up the literary ataraxia and demanding attention. The very first request, no, order that had been put to the elder? That one had been exact. The kid had stated that he wanted to be married in the space of a month. October the second.

At the time, his brain had felt muddled, weighing the reasons why he could understand the other's urgency in the matter with why it had to be that particular day. When the raven had inquired as to the impetus, he'd been treated to a snippy but stammering response of, "It's just important to me, okay?! Also, I want you to take my name when we do it."

Miyagi chuckled after the teen's outburst, which caused Shinobu to glower. Then the professor placed his hand atop the sandy-blond head of the younger and ruffled his hair fondly.

"Whatever you want to do, Shinobu-pon, is what we'll do." At the use of the cutesy '-pon' being attached to his name, Shinobu turned brick red and glared at the older man standing before him.

"Well, then, what now?"

Miyagi picked the boy up, bridal style.

"What in the fuck are you doing, old man?!" Shinobu screeched.

"I am taking my future to the bedroom, where I plan on covering him in love bites, followed by planting my seed inside of him, multiple times, just to prove that I am going to be a good Takatsuki," said old man stated with a cheeky grin.

Shinobu burned, but didn't put up any resistance. He wanted to feel Miyagi inside of him anyway.

"Can I still call you Miyagi, though?" he asked, as he pretended to squirm a little.

To be sure, he had thought he'd receive more resistance to his ideas than he was currently getting. When he'd been psyching himself up to ask for them, earlier this morning, he'd been certain he'd come off as rudely overbearing. That Miyagi was apparently just going to let him get away with all that he desired, rather than fazing Shinobu, made him fall more in love with the man's generous nature.

"Only you can call me that, Shinobu-chin."

"Good," the younger responded.

. . . . .

Shinobu crawled onto the bed, keeping his expression as passive as was manageable.

It was difficult, though, with the way that Miyagi was staring at him as he moved about; something in that gaze made him both nervous and giddy - not that he would ever confess to being either of those two. He straddled the other's lap, perching himself carefully as he finally took a good look at his husband. The word was so final sounding, and a relief, also.

Cautiously, his hands moved to the front of the button-up shirt, lessening the ties one by one as their stare remained intact. He couldn't find it in him to turn away because, despite everything, the embarrassment wasn't there. Where it had gone and when it had gone away, Shinobu couldn't pinpoint. All he felt now were simple things; no shame, no real hesitation... he wanted this and he knew Miyagi did also, so the atmosphere was benign.

"Pretty sexy there, Shinobu-chin," Miyagi commented, grinning rakishly.

Instead of a sweet response, the other bristled, "C-could you please not say that? I mean, not in that way. I... would appreciate you being serious."

"No?"

Miyagi quirked a brow, secretly pleased that the younger seemed to be more courageous than he had initially been when they first did this. It appeared that Shinobu had gotten over what bridge he needed to cross as far as being comfortable. He had all the passion in the world, but the elder supposed that with youth and inexperience, nerves soon followed. He was seeing less of that now, with the boy beginning to take some control. Miyagi suspected that somewhere within his personality existed a dominant streak, and here it was, finally coming out to play, what little that it would.

"No," Shinobu answered resolutely. "It's not that I don't like it, it's just that tonight is special. You finally agreed to marry me after all."

Miyagi reached out for him, placing a hand on either hip and looking him dead in the eye. "I think it is also, and though I may say that teasingly, I do mean what I say."

Shinobu stopped for a moment after loosening the final button. He placed both palms against the other's chest, pensive, and then commented, "I understand that, about you. I like that about you, really, but..."

"But you had a mental image of how this was supposed to go, and I'm not exactly playing along?" Miyagi smiled in earnest now, knowing that his conclusion was the correct one when Shinobu's fingertips pressed firmer into his skin, his head turning downwards, suddenly a shade shy.

"What you have to remember, though, Shinobu-chin, is that dreams, while pleasant, are only specters compared to what's reality." His own hand roamed lazily, stroking the outline of the blond's hipbone through the thin layer of clothes still present, right before switching and trailing up the youth's slender chest. Keen slate eyes avidly followed the travel, and Miyagi swore the other's pulse was beating rampant enough to hear.

Giving in to the silent request, he plucked at one fleshy bud, rolling it firmly between two fingers, bowing his head to anoint the twin with his tongue. The taste of the youth's skin was ravishing, the tender flesh sliding silkily against his tongue as he suckled the mound to full stiffness.

"Am I more than your dream?" he imparted huskily against trembling shoulders, hot breath pulsing against a patch of unmarked skin.

His teeth lightly serrated against tender flesh, tongue bobbing against what was roughed on second pass, making soothing swipes against signs of love.

He hadn't ever really thought of himself as that kind of partner, to have the mind-boggling urge to leave numerous traces behind, to claim, to imprint himself on the one he stood with side by side. The noises he gleaned though, the hand that twisted and tightened in the thick of his hair - those were probable cause enough. Shinobu's motions seemed to speak to him and let him voice his approval in new ways. Miyagi figured that he knew why the younger man was so receptive, and it burdened him with some sadness as much as it fed his desire.

Partly his fault, but he thought that doing this was the reassurance Shinobu needed, to verify that all was real.

"M-Miyagi," Shinobu's voice shook, and he pulled back, looking partially unnerved, but mostly excited.

He leapt forward, breaking the spell and capturing the elder's lips with his persistent ones.

Miyagi smiled into it. Though he still had some reservations about this, whenever Shinobu had these reactions, he felt as if he could really believe the teen when he claimed passionate love. He still could not definitively say the moment he had decided to love this boy. Perhaps it was something that built up slowly over time, ebbing at the edges of his consciousness. He had resisted it in the beginning, had been caught up in his own stagnant life, but he was genuine in his attempt now.

Shinobu's tongue prodded and swiped insistently at his lips, begging for entrance. He granted that much, feeling the thrill it sent through his young lover as they met. Shinobu's body turned into his, seeking that extra measure of closeness. He wrapped one arm around the youth's middle, pulling them almost flush as he slowly took control of their oral embrace. That seemed to be their rhythm more and more. Miyagi found that he enjoyed holding back for a spell, taking in the affection foisted on him before paying it back in triplicate.

Shinobu was the sort of young man who never gave up. Even if he didn't feel like he was getting a response, his heart craved the things it wanted so badly that he would sacrifice his own pride to passionately chase after them.

"I..." the youth let out a shaky breath as he disengaged from the kiss, staring Miyagi straight on, "I want us to have a family."

The elder stumbled at the oddly-timed question, chuckling awkwardly. "Oh? And when?"

"Now, of course! I want to have a lot of kids, so we should start right away. ...Is that a problem?"

A steely visage persisted, and Miyagi was left to search his mind for an appropriate answer. Truth be told he wasn't expecting to be accosted with such an order at a time like this. What Shinobu wanted wasn't a bad thing, maybe a little quick for the pace he'd envisioned, but... was that such a terrible thing in the long run? More information was required.

"I suppose not, but what do you mean by a 'lot' of children?"

"Ten."

"Ten?!" The elder's jaw quite honestly dropped at the figure. He had been estimating something more along the lines of three, or four, at the very maximum.

"Hmm," Shinobu revised, "No, that's not the number I was thinking of before. I had a dream about our kids a while ago, and we had almost all boys. How many of them were there though?" he trailed off, trying to recall the chimera and attempt a head count.

"Hopefully not ten," Miyagi offered, feeling his head begin to spin a little at the sheer volume of that idea.

"I think there were twelve, altogether, including our daughter."

"Twelve-" the professor sighed audibly before proceeding seriously, "Shinobu-chin, let's be reasonable. Don't you think that will be a bit much, especially with me working, and you going for your degree? Well, it wouldn't be at once that we would have that many, but eventually, having twelve or so children will be difficult. You won't have any free time."

"Do I look like the sort of person who pines over their free time to you? To me, having a family with you is my top priority. It is what I want more than anything else I can think of. I still plan on going to college, but if I were to get pregnant, I'd go as long as I could, then take time off. I'm not giving up on either dream in the end, but the baby would obviously come first."

"But-"

"That's enough talking," Shinobu huffed.

To emphasize the point, his hand reached for a part that fallen by the wayside during their little chat. Cozying it in a firm grip, he resumed stroking the organ into life, eyes fixed onto the elder's as he did so. All mention of any of it soon left the raven's head; his other was at the forefront as far as attention now. Apart from the astronomical demands now and again, Shinobu's bossy nature tended to arouse him more than inciting anything else.

However, Miyagi was finding that patience wasn't on the menu for either of them tonight. There was nothing that sounded more divine to him than a swift taste of that beautiful skin once more.

"No more talking," he agreed quietly, gaze hooded with a sudden sultriness as he surveyed the nymphet of a boy currently dominating his lap. Amazingly, the younger's lower regions were still visibly enticed, cock pushing upward and colored a faint rose.

Taking his lover by the shoulders, the elder eased that slender frame into a more desirable position, nestled back into the splay of the mattress. Smiling fondly, he rearranged his own body between obediently parted legs, wasting no time in pressing a kiss to the softest part of Shinobu's lower stomach. Miyagi could sense even the cadence of the other's breath, feeling each wave as it sped up, approaching the form of panting.

"I love you." A quick reassurance of all that was on his mind.

"I love you too, old man," the younger male grunted, not really angry, but wanting him to get on with it. Miyagi seemed to understand this reply from him, as he only laughed and returned to the former play. Figuring he should meet the clear expectations, he finally relented, pulling the impressive protraction at a better angle and sliding it into the warm, wet haven of his mouth.

He hummed at the salty taste, his hand unexpectedly clenching at the base of Shinobu's rigid manhood. Shinobu squirmed like he had never squirmed before, feeling a jolt of pure want course through him at the simple, yet intimate touch.

Miyagi wasted no more time after that, taking the youth's length deep within his mouth on the first round. In response Shinobu felt his back wanting to arch, though with the hold his partner had on him, he wasn't permitted to move very far at all. Shinobu hardly knew how to process what was happening at first. The feeling of M's throat vibrating against his sensitive head; his warm, moist mouth enveloping the rest of him.

After a few seconds of watching Shinobu try to adjust to what he was doing, Miyagi decided to take it down a notch. Shinobu wasn't used to these kind of sensations, and especially not so expertly bestowed upon him. He didn't want the fun to end too early, did he? Miyagi slowly slid his lips back up Shinobu's shaft, resting them on his swollen knob. He wrapped one of his hands around Shinobu, squeezing firmly as he slid the tip of his tongue across the sensitive skin just under Shinobu's head.

"Ahhh," Shinobu moaned, clenching the blankets under them in his fists and squeezing his eyes shut.

Miyagi popped his head up, squeezing a little harder now and steadily starting to pump Shinobu in his hand. He asked in a silky voice, "Tell me what you want, Shinobu-chin."

The blond's body tensed upon hearing this request. Some kind of exasperated sigh huffed from his lips, half impatience and half desire. He knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted Miyagi to take him back in his mouth and make him see stars. He just didn't know how to articulate that right now. He just hissed, "On with it!"

Miyagi smirked at him, a devilish gleam in his eyes. He blew a slow, long puff of warm air onto the head of Shinobu's penis, making his little fiancé intake a sharp breath. He instructed in a quiet, authoritative tone, "Say it."

Shinobu would have said anything, at that point, if only to get the raven going again. He begged, "Put your mouth back on me." He was delighted when Miyagi did just that, sucking his head back between his lips. Those soft, talented lips! Shinobu felt his groin radiating with heat as Miyagi's tongue and curled downward, taking more of him inside until Shinobu felt the back of his throat again. It was so tight, so hot!

Pressure steadily throbbed in Shinobu's pelvic region, and he bucked his hips when Miyagi began to pull back, not wanting any more cruelly timed interruptions. He started to sweat as he anticipated that beautiful release he wanted so badly. One could only begin to imagine the dismay and anger that sparked through him when suddenly Miyagi stopped, moving away from Shinobu and leaning back on his knees silently.

"What did you stop for?!" Shinobu snapped, his voice sharp with disapproval, his eyes dark with lust, utterly forgetting he had wanted to be the one to lead their other pursuits. He had been so close!

Slithering his tongue again up the vibrantly pulsing length brought out a ragged gasp, and the elder took advantage of the distraction, gently pushing a finger into the narrow passage below, firmly circling the digit to open up the space. Working in a slow motion therein, Miyagi switched up his other tactic, dipping his head and gently sucking at the inside of the boy's milky thigh, worrying a mark onto the sweet skin.

"M-Miyagi," he protested, his choler beginning to forcibly dissipate. Between that and the incredible ecstasy, he didn't know up from down. Frankly, the various stimuli were beginning to make Shinobu feel wild.

The intrusion inside of him stirred up the fiercest sort of lust, aching to be filled to a greater degree. Contrariwise, the silken threads of Miyagi's hair against his most feverish regions was subtly tempting, the vision of the man's face buried between his legs nearly unbearable to turn his eyes on. Then there was the rest, the limbo of feeling like he was being catered to; the desire to be reciprocating in some way, his inability to merely accept the caresses for what they were.

Everything was brought to a shuddering halt when he first felt the new.

A wet press at the area where he was craving attention the most. The sensation jolted his head up, mind racing as to if what he thought was was true. The idea to look was an ill-advised one. He couldn't exactly see, but now that his thoughts were focused, he felt every inch of it. The hot, slippery muscle pushing inside and flickering within, further readying him; Shinobu let loose a pleasured groan and gave up on the endeavor of trying to be still. That tactic was futile.

Grasping himself in hand, he slowly stroked to accompany the pace of his beloved's tongue elsewhere. Waiting was also overrated.

. . . . .

Closing his eyes for the moment, the youth felt relief start to sink in. He couldn't really explain why, but he had this insurmountable feeling that, somehow, he knew his dreams would come true. Perhaps they even had already; that was another thought on his mind that he was inclined to think was true. No one could actually know if this time had been the one to create a child, but he would continue to hope until it was proved otherwise.

Shinobu wriggled a hand free from the confines of their sleeping hold, dropping it to his (for now) flat stomach, trying to picture how in the coming months that plane might alter. It may sound ridiculous to others, but he believed in it.

The idea made him almost giddy to consider, and his vision swerved to Miyagi's face of their own accord. Rather than some idyllic picture, the elder's mouth hung open in sleep, brows furrowed comically. The blond rolled his eyes at the image. It was ludicrous sometimes how much he could love that idiot's face, but he still managed to.

One theme stayed constant in Shinobu's dreaming as he waited to drift off to slumber - they were definitely going to be a family, sooner rather than later.

. . . . .

Later that day, after steam had been effectively blown off and a nap was accomplished, the duo decided to make a trek into town to run errands. Shinobu had his sights on getting registered for his first classes in the fall as well as one other important matter. To deal with that, he let Miyagi know he was going off on his own to visit Isaka.

The man was naturally the only choice Shinobu entertained when it came to persons he would want at his wedding, and, more specifically, he had designs on asking the elder to serve as both his best man and the one to give him away.

It seemed clear that neither of the boy's parents would be enthused if he announced his impending nuptials, so Shinobu wasn't even going to put himself through the bother of trying to have them attend. In the end, he resented that, but he wanted more than anything for that day to be a happy one, and cutting out negativity was one way of achieving that hope.

When he arrived at his friend's abode, he was let in by one of the house staff and led summarily to the large kitchen, which, despite its domestic air, the two business-minded adult occupants used as a central meeting place. This late afternoon, only one of those men were present in the space, accompanied by the smaller of the children. Takatsuki wasn't disconcerted, however; where one was, the other was sure to be nearby.

"What brings you here?" was the polite greeting meted out to him by the sandy brunette. His hands were occupied with clearing the baby's face of food residue, but he felt Shinobu's presence in the room nonetheless.

"I need to ask Isaka something and wanted to do it in person. So, where is he? Is he showering or something? It is after work, so it's about the time you two'd normally finish up whatever madness you engage in, post quitting-time."

Asahina laughed, curtly, while scrubbing a sauce stain off the baby's cheek with a damp washcloth. Kichirou flashed a rather imperial look at his father for an infant of less than a year old, and from those features alone, his paternity could not be questioned. No crying commenced from those tiny pursed lips, but the pouting spell continued for the entire minute or so Shinobu observed the family duo. The expression was almost too reminiscent of the other half of the parental equation for Shinobu's comfort.

Eventually Asahina spoke up in answer, relaying, ""Right to the point as always... Ryuuichirou-sama is-or was, as it should be over soon-attending to a conference call in the study, Shinobu-kun."

"Working after hours? Since when?" the youth commented while leaning on the nearest counter to wait.

When the kitchen door itself tellingly creaked, Asahina amended in an even keel, "Or there he is now, eavesdropping most likely."

The portal then fully opened, admitting the brunette executive into the room. Isaka strolled in care-freely as he ever did, though out of the usual office wear.

Now that he was ensconced at home, the elder was sporting a navy blue sweater over a white button-up, and well-pressed khakis on bottom. Whatever personality the man had, he always garbed himself with finesse. In this instance, it was the immaculate condition of the clothes that suggested to Shinobu that the imp had somehow avoided the food mess from the baby entirely. Convenient. Suspicious.

"Oi, I'm wounded, Shinobu! I'll have you know that I am supremely capable in all and every aspect of my profession!" Isaka barked, pouting as spectacularly as his pint-sized doppelganger was, under his spouse's care. He sidled up to the two in question, motioning to Asahina to pass over the kid. Asahina, unimpressed by the timing of this fatherly intervention, frowned and handed Kichirou to Isaka before doing away with a few pieces of dinner debris that lingered on his own shirt.

"Yeah, don't start, Isaka. I've had it with you and the old man both, today, with your so-called wounds. It's a recurring theme now that I'm not fond of," Shinobu replied, following his friend over to the table on one end of the room to continue their discussion. Asahina had swiftly vacated the area, probably to regain his composure, or at least Shinobu thought. Or to take that shower that the blond had brought up earlier.

"And why is it that Miyagi-san is feeling that way?"

Fixing his gaze on the child in front of him, Shinobu explained, matter of fact, "He's afraid of having a decent sized family."

"Dare I ask what your quota on that is, exactly?"

"Twelve." Shinobu's tone was flat; no room for argument. He knew in his soul that despite the brick wall his soon-to-be husband was putting up, the man would accept that number someday. Victory was the only outcome the youth would entertain on that score. He vibrantly anticipated the day their family would be complete; for now though, what he needed to worry about was conceiving the firstborn.

"Ouch," Isaka winced even while maintaining his trademark grin, "That's a bit steep, kid. Wait until you have two or so, and you might wind up reworking that grandiose number. Children are time-sucking little monsters, after all. Very bad for productivity."

Dismissing his companion's warning with a wave of the hand, Shinobu countered, "It's not for everyone to have that many children, but even though I know it will be hard, I can't help but want it. Besides, you and Asahina-san work too much; it makes sense for you to only have two. For me that doesn't make sense. Everything I could hope for is already in place. Miyagi will be a good father, and I want to give him plenty of opportunity to be one. We will have a spacious home, and they won't want for anything. I'm not extremely interested in being a career man, so I'm not sacrificing anything to focus on our kids."

Isaka considered the concept. He supposed that, sometimes, with a different path in life, different choices did fit better.

As for him, he had been brought up to know that he would one day be at the helm of a large company; that had been his destiny. He'd happily accepted the role and flourished in it more than out of pure obligation. House husband he was most certainly not. And, as much as he adored his boys, his soul just needed something outside of them. Something for himself that he could take pride in. Working provided that satisfaction.

"Still, you're a bit isolated out where you live, considering your guy works around here and your kids would go to school here too. Wouldn't it be more convenient just to get a place in the city? It's not as if you have to stay inside the capitol walls, you could set up house outside them like Kaoru and I have. Never would have pegged you to be the settle down in the country type, Shinobu."

"The country is where Miyagi's house - and he - is. And that is where I will stay. Even if I didn't want to for that reason, it's not unbearable. Contrary, it's a hell of a lot more peaceful than being in this trap, and there's more privacy, too. I honestly have nothing but positives living there. We can just come into town when we need to, and other than that, we're alone together."

Isaka chuckled devilishly, "I can see how that might appeal to you. I take it you're fucking like rabbits, then?"

The kid tellingly burned bright red, but found the gall to mutter, "None of your business!"

"Now, now, don't be coy. Tell Uncle Ryu-"

"The fuck is with this uncle business, Isaka-san? I have a real uncle, and I can assure you that I would never speak to him, let alone spill details about my... private life... with Miyagi."

"I only do it because you get like this, Shinobu, and it's a total hoot." The imp grinned without any shred of shade of shame forthcoming. "Let's cut to the chase though where you tell me everything. I could use a fun tale of true love to cheer me up this afternoon. Too little of that in this world lately, sad as it is."

Shinobu's expression altered, his mind quickly honing in on the tail end of that response. Clearing his throat, he deflected, "What do you mean there's too little of it? Something I need to hear about from you?"

"Nah. Mine's still such a catch as ever. I'm just thinking out loud, is all. Life's gotten to be a bit crazy, Shinobu. At one of my best departments at work, I have an employee that, luckily, just married for love. From what I hear though, it took them decades to even get together, so that's less fortunate. In the same office, to add onto the workload of the one guy being on honeymoon, the department chief went out and got his leg broken, so he's on light duty - from home. Due to that, a third guy in the place spends a significant time with the second, helping out, or so is the excuse. They ought to be...well, anyway.

"And then, outside of work, I've got one friend, you, who's perfectly happy as can be, but my other pal is in total heartbreak. It's seriously a lot of stress."

He wasn't quite sure if it would be right to pry further into the subject, but, tentatively, Shinobu mulled the idea over. Isaka normally wasn't so loose lipped as to leak information that wasn't meant for him to hear, so, if he had brought the topic up himself, perhaps it was fine to ask.

"What happened?"

The identity of the friend was someone Shinobu thought he knew. Not that long ago at the celebration of Kichirou's birth, and on the rare occasion or two in the past, he'd crossed paths with another of Isaka's good acquaintances, Usami Haruhiko. He surmised that was the only other person - save for Asahina - that the man would consider a best friend.

"The brat who was supposed to be his fiancé up and cheated on him - or, I guess, has been running around on him for some time. As if that wasn't shitty enough, kid was getting plowed by his own bro-"

Isaka's stream of words was cut off by the creak of a door a room away, by the sound of it, one of the back entrances to the house, just off the kitchen they were conversing in. Grimacing, the elder remained silent, indigo eyes casting at the nearest door, through which a man soon strode, making a purposeful debut into the space.

Suddenly feeling a little unnerved by their talk as he put two and two together, Shinobu picked up a glass from the center of the table and poured out a drink for himself from a pitcher situated in the same area. He raised it to his lips and took one slow sip, eyes perceptively scanning the newcomer over the ridge of the vessel.

The man of the moment. The only question was, what Usami was doing here looking like he'd just come straight from the office?

Haruhiko busied himself off to one side of the kitchen, not quite ignoring the two of them, but keeping to his lonesome. The air in the room seemed to have gelatinized from tangible tension as soon as he'd arrived; how could it not, with such a bomb of a story just having been dropped?

"Oi, Haruhiko! Say something. I doubt you missed at least the tail end of that, unless you've gone deaf on me, too."

"...It's fine. You may talk of it if you wish. I understand how you feel, Ryuuichirou, and as long as you keep your opinion away from Misaki, I don't care."

Isaka balked at the notion. "I don't understand why you insist on shielding him. He's the one who screwed you over, and as your friend, I should be able to tell him exactly what a horr-!"

"It's my choice. Respect that, or you and I will have an issue, immediately," the other intoned with steel, slate eyes narrowed behind each lens.

The expression on Usami's face had shifted to one that even caught Shinobu off guard as the uninvolved onlooker.

"I appreciate all you have done to support me in this time, but this is something that I will have to deal with or move on from myself. I do not require assistance of that nature, nor would I ever approve of such a thing. Misaki acted as he did, but that's between he and I. It's none of your concern."

"I would like to know what you plan on doing then. You can't just sit here and take it."

"I-" Haruhiko abruptly trailed off, falling silent. Gray eyes narrowed thoughtfully, seemingly pondering the statement with care. As he did, a new arrival slipped almost unnoticed into the room until a cry shattered the quietly tense atmosphere.

"Uncle!" Hideyoshi hollered excitedly, crashing into one of Usami's legs and wrapping both tiny arms around it. The tot bounced slightly on his heels as he held on, repeating the title aloud over and over, as if it were a question in of itself. Completely oblivious to the atmosphere, Hideyoshi was more focused on gaining attention than anything else. Shinobu continued to observe, wondering just where all that extra energy came from. Or where the boy had come from in the first place.

Slate eyes blinked as if drifting out of a trance and then navigated downward to the new attachment.

At the insistent toll of "Uncle, up?" Haruhiko finally seemed to come back into his senses, gingerly bending to capture the boy in his arms and hoist him off the ground. After his godson was safely situated, the man's eyes turned back on the kid's father, a notable frown encasing his expression.

"If you must hear, I am waiting for him to come to talk to me first. I understand that I'm not who he wants to be with, but there are practical matters to be settled. If it's him that Misaki wants to marry, then we would have to annul our engagement legally before-"

A fist slammed harshly onto the kitchen table.

"Damn it!" Isaka's normally unreadable cobalt gaze fired with anger. "I'm sorry, but I'm not getting you right now, Haruhiko. It's okay to show some damn emotion, you know! Are you really going to put the blame on yourself? Correct me, but you're not the one who did anything. What the fuck is wrong with your head that you look at things this way?!"

Impassioned an argument as it was, it was not one Shinobu particularly cared to overhear. Even he had a little more tact than to sit there while such personal talk was being engaged in.

Rising from his seat, he shuffled around the table to where Isaka was, a disapproving expression painted on his lips. He reached for the baby and, rather than resist, Isaka distractedly handed over the little boy to the blond without a word.

The next stop was to recover the other child from Usami's care and it went as uneventfully. The man in question looked stricken by the words Ryuuichirou had unleashed on him, his eyes shifting from one reflected emotion to the next. Tears seemed like the next logical step. In his heart, Shinobu felt pity for the elder male's plight, but this was not something that children needed to party to, and he would take charge to make sure that it wasn't.

Gathering both kids, he relocated the three of them to the nearby library. It was a quiet place, and one that unexpectedly bore pleasant memories for him of the night that, not long ago, Miyagi had formally claimed him as his by asking the youth to move in.

Settling with his back against the foot of the couch, the blond eyed both children before procuring a book from the basket on the floor nearby. Hideyoshi was sitting docilely next to his infant brother, shyly sucking on his thumb and waiting for the story to be told. Back when Shinobu had resided in the house, this had been a common event between the trio, and the kid seemed to enjoy the fiction as much as he did playing outside.

Thumbing to the first page, Takatsuki prepared to regale the Isaka's brood.

All he could hope was that Isaka and Usami would end their quarreling soon. He'd come over to ask an important question, after all, and in the wake of the drama between the two men, the attention had shifted away from him, and Shinobu had lost the opportunity to make that request. It'd be an inconvenience if he had to leave without an answer; preferably he'd be able to give Isaka at least this one month's notice so that the elder could figure out the logistics with work.

Until then, he supposed he'd just hang out with these two less troublesome individuals.

Clearing his throat, Shinobu began to read, "When the stars and moon come out to play-"

. . . . .

In what seemed like an eternity later, the youth was tasked with the pleasant occupation of cradling one set of weary children. Both had unexpectedly been tired underneath their outward facade, and the story told to them had delivered the effective dose of sleep sand necessary to carry them off to slumber. Shinobu hadn't been sure whether to try to attempt disturbing their lay by moving them to the boys' shared bedroom, so he had instead stayed put, intent on waiting it out for a bit until sleep deepened enough for the action to be taken without repercussions.

Truth be told, it gave him an odd strain of happiness to have a baby nestled in the crook of his arms and a second child napping within his line of eyesight. It caused him to feel needed in a way that he never had really experienced before, but enjoyed.

For the time that he could, the blond reveled in the position, wistfully hoping that it wouldn't be long before the one he was holding onto sported hair of a different shade and a cast of some of his own features. This train of thought passed a few quiet minutes until the spell was broken by the opening of the library door, and the admittance of Asahina into the cozy space.

"Shinobu-kun, I apologize, but I took the liberty of alerting Miyagi-san that you were ready to be picked up," Asahina recited calmly from the doorway, "And given the time that's passed since I made the call, I believe he should be arriving momentarily. If you'd like to wait for him outside, we can say goodbye for today."

Shinobu nodded attentively, then inquiring, "Is Isaka-san done speaking with Usami-san?"

"I believe so." The reply was tactfully short, leaving Takatsuki to fill in the blanks of his own accord. He'd receive no further details out of this elder; it simply wasn't in his nature to disclose information as freely as his spouse might do on occasion. "He should be waiting to send you off at the door."

"I appreciate it," Shinobu emphasized, gingerly rising and handing over Kichirou to his father. "Oh, the kids fell asleep about ten minutes ago, for what it's worth."

"Thank you. I'll make sure that they get tucked in." Asahina inclined his head in acknowledgement, which also allowed Takatsuki the permission to depart.

Striding through to the front hallway of the home, he was piecing his final thoughts together when his friend materialized from one of the side doors and into the same dominion as he. The two converged near the main exit. Before the boy could begin to articulate his goal for the day, he was stymied by an utterance from Isaka instead.

"Yeah, so, I'm sorry about all that crap getting aired while you were here, Shinobu-tan. I couldn't really just shut my mouth though; it burns me up inside that Haruhiko isn't doing jack to assert himself in this situation. After all, if gods forbid I was him, I'd be taking the other guy down to hell with me if necessary to get back at them for what they did to me! ...Anyway, I kind of figure this stuff wasn't what you came over for, so, was there anything important we didn't get to today?" Isaka leaned against the wall of the entry, archly crossing both arms over his chest.

Shinobu surveyed his elder and took a gauge of the mood. Maybe neither of them were in the best humor, but, there wasn't a lot of time before the wedding to ask what he wanted to ask. Also, the primary reason for giving the man advanced notice was so that things could be dealt with at work in order for him to attend. Might as well put the idea out there and see what happened.

Threading his words carefully, the blond eventually was able to proceed. "I visited because I wanted to know if you'd consider giving me away when I get married. I think we both can agree that my father isn't going to participate, and I don't have anyone else to do it. That, and, it'd be dual purpose job because I would require a best man, also. That's what I wanted to ask about today."

Isaka let slip a tiny smirk, an expression that brought the youth some relief. "Oh? And when is this glorious event taking place? And, better question, does the groom know it is taking place?"

"He will show up," Shinobu deadpanned, "one way or the other. It's going to be next month, on the second."

"So soon! Where are you having it then, on such short notice?"

"The chapel in the old district. Neither Miyagi or I care too much that the ceremony is fancy. Actually the quieter, the better. It's more vital to me that it happens at all than any of the specific details being grand."

"Well, color me surprised at the timeline, but I'm happy for you, kid. Gonna grow up and join the married crowd, I see. It's not so bad once you get used to it. Of course there's no turning back at that point. So if you're having any doubts about any of this, run, now."

"Absolutely not," Shinobu emphasized, voice void of emotion.

"Perfect. Then in that case, I happily accept the job!" The imp flashed a true grin, reaching outward and patting the boy on the shoulder fondly.

"I would suggest having a bachelor party but I am betting that you would spend those hours digging me a grave. So I'll settle for a fun wedding gift instead. Anyhow, expect us to be there supporting you. Now that that fear's put to rest, I think your fair maiden might have arrived outside, Shinobu-tan. So have a good night!"

After echoing some semblance of a parting to his friend, the youth shuffled his way out the front door of the house and toward the driveway where, eerily enough, a familiar car was parked in waiting.

Frankly, at that juncture, Shinobu was just glad to see Miyagi's face again because it imbued in him the calm that he sorely lacked after the past hour.

For whatever success he'd had with what he'd come to ask, there had been a lot that happened at Isaka's house that he wished he hadn't been party to.

But, after hearing the dramatics of someone else's situation, it did leave him relieved at the smooth trajectory of his own relationship. Though they had only been "together" for a short amount of time, they'd truly been connected for much longer than that, and Shinobu had no qualms that he'd ever find himself in a situation like Usami's. He wasn't like that and neither was Miyagi.

"Ready to go home?"

Shinobu silently inclined his head in assent before nestling into the comfortable seat, cheek pressing into the cool expanse of the window as he did so. Before he drifted off to a much-needed nap, he could have sworn he felt the light sweep of fingers ghosting over his hand.

It was a touch he hoped never to lose.

END CHAPTER.

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A/N: Slightly ironic chapter title for the win? Wow. There are some shenanigans going on in this one.

I'm not totally happy with how this one turned out, but I just couldn't quite get the "oomph" I would have liked out of the writing this time. I sincerely hope that it came off decent though. Did you like/dislike anything? Let me know in a review. I appreciate any sort of feedback.

On a personal note, I am about to start my 40hr/wk clinical rotation, tomorrow. So. Wish me luck. Kind of a ball of nerves over here.