Konbanwa! Hisashiburi desu ne? Haha... osoku natte gomen'nasai!

Oh my god… I am tired… Soooo tired… Haven't really slept in two days... Hellish work…*sigh* Aaah nettai! (T_T)

Alright! Let's move on before I faint! XD

Warning: Angst, loooong chappie

Disclaimer: Watashi no mono janaidesu!

Gen no CD to hon o kattekudasai! XD

Italics- Iason's and Riki's thoughts, and emphasis :)


Chapter 15 Revelations

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."

Aldous Huxley

It was only to be expected that Jupiter would summon him. The digital ruler of Amoi hadn't approved of his move to have Riki move to Apatia, let alone work for Katze. He sighed as the panel in front of him flashed to display the summons, and he nodded, passing on his acquiescence. And immediately set off to fulfill her order.

How would he explain it this time? What would he tell her?

Her.

He smiled. His view of Jupiter had transformed since that time when the computer had found out about his feelings for Riki. That impeccably human voice had changed forever, the thoughts and feelings he held for his creator. If before he had felt a sense of duty, and slight annoyance at the computer's orders, now it was more a liking and understanding of its abilities and efficiency.

Abilities... Iason's eyes widened as the thought dawned upon him. He had been so engrossed in his misery that he hadn't even thought about it.

If there was anyone on Amoi who could reason out a possible explanation and pin-point Riki's location using the available information, it was Jupiter. She would know. She would definitely know.

He entered the room and bowed.

"Do you see the consequence of your action?" he heard in his mind, a direct sharp question.

Iason just bowed his head.

"And you understand why there are rules and why it is not allowed to break them?"

Iason nodded.

"Then you will restrain yourselves from making these foolhardy choices and defending them in the future?"

Iason looked up, his eyes defiant and cold. The being on the platform frowned as he sat down on the chair that had materialized before him, holding the same gaze. Jupiter transformed itself and leaned in close to touch him.

"Answer me, Iason Mink."

Iason smirked, his mental guards blocking her every attempt.

"You already know what I feel. You know what my answer will be." he answered coolly.

"Which is why, I want you to think again before you put it forth to me. You cannot make a mistake again. You have been warned, Iason. I gave you a last chance."

"So you did." said the Blondie, smiling mysteriously.

"Do not tell me, you are going after him?"

Iason's smile widened.

"Foolish!" shouted the computer in its female voice.

"If not for the sake of retrieving my pet, I would go for the sake of my injured pride. It is a vendetta, as valid as any." he answered.

"And you would accept it if I ordered that your pet be confiscated if you retrieve him."

Iason sat silent. He had to withstand these threats, because he needed information from Jupiter.

"His ring's tracer does not respond. He doesn't answer my calls. He has been missing for about 8 hours. I-"

"Silence!"

Iason looked at the artificial being with a steady gaze. He wasn't about to be intimidated now.

"I need to know where he is. I-"

"If you came here expecting that I would help you, then you are mistaken, Iason Mink... I can have you trapped here in this room if I wished. I can prevent you from ever leaving these premises."

"You can. Perhaps you must." said a smiling Blondie, tired, apparently powerless. He wanted to try and invoke her mercy if possible. Anything, if it would help him see his Riki one more time.

"Do you see what you are like now, Iason?" she asked aloud, softening her tone as he had expected, placing both her arms on his shoulders. "Do you think I created you to see this day? Do you think I gain any amount of profit looking at you behave like this?"

Iason tried one last time.

"Would you tell me where he is?"

The computer frowned once again. Iason was surprised that it looked almost as if Jupiter was sad. But, regardless, he couldn't let this go. He couldn't let his Riki go. Not like this.

"No." muttered the soft voice in his mind.

"Then there is nothing more to discuss." He said coldly as he stood up, feeling, quite inexplicably, as if this would perhaps be the last time he communed with her like this, and waved a dismissing hand through the computer's form, bowed ceremonially and silently left.

As Jupiter returned to her platform, she analyzed the meager data she had managed to collect from her favorite son. The way Iason had answered her questions worried her. There was a distinct indifference in his tone that irritated her. Iason's interest had seemed present only when the issue of his pet had been brought up. As if all of Amoi had no significance beside his microscopic issue. As annoyed as she was, Jupiter understood his position. She wasn't programmed to feel emotions, yet she had evolved on her own; evolved to such an extent that she could almost feel the electrical impulses of pain and confusion course through her system and her memory at just a glance of the Blondie's vitals.

It was indubitably plain to her. Iason was going through a stage of evolution. And she could easily pin point the source and cause of such an evolution in Iason. He wasn't a complete machine. He was, however great his abilities, still partly human. If anything, she had created Blondies the way they were because she hadn't wanted them to be stagnant as she was when it came to various things. And she had been nothing but kind and merciful, when she had formulated the laws. Those laws were neither just lines written down without proper research, nor some strict disciplinary orders enforced just in order to be acknowledged a dictator. But it hadn't been her intention that such a transformation should take place in Iason.

True. An evolution wasn't always bad. But the way Iason seemed to have assimilated the changes had her worried. If his vitals were any indication, the Blondie was far worse off with the changes than he had been without, and that fact was one of great concern. While the Blondie had grown unusually soft and attached, there were also contra-indications that puzzled her. Iason's mental quotients were sky-high, the highest she had ever seen in a non-machine entity. It was no wonder that the Blondie had been able to resist the most powerful of her advances into his mind. He would perhaps even be able to resist her core energies, if she used them on him. That was a sure advantage indeed, but was it good? The answer would be no. If it kept like that, she would no longer be able to read her son. And that was dangerous.

And then there was the case of the mongrel pet; the physical source of all her problems. She closed her eyes as the components of her form positioned themselves. The ruler of Amoi settled on the pedestal, spreading her arms apart and her face turned up, in a regal posture, as she resumed her work, her face still frowning. If unchecked, this would not bode well at all.

xxxxx

Iason had been sitting in the great hall of his penthouse, calling the phone Riki would have to carry for work, every few moment. Ten whole hours had passed since Riki had last been seen. He was in agony. So much could have happened in that time. The look of intense worry on the Blondie's face caused quite some concern to the visitor, who approached him and sat beside.

"Is there some sort of trouble?"

"No. Not really."

Raoul looked down and sighed. He was not foolish enough to not know. He had investigated the concern closely when he had received an intimation of Jupiter's intent, ordering him to prepare himself and his staff, should the worst happen. And then, he had decided to have a word with his friend.

"It is very seldom that you've such a concerned look on your face."

Iason snickered.

"Seems like you were called out by Jupiter..."

When there was no response, Raoul continued. "It's between us. So I'll come right out and say it. Rule breaking, in its own way, should have its own tacit rules. Unless you start facing facts you'll get everyone's back up. No one's going to trust you anymore."

"You mean keeping Riki in Apatia?"

Raoul scoffed. That hardly even encompassed a quarter of what Raoul meant to point out. Everything, with any connection to Riki, was his target. He corrected Iason's statement.

"When the Syndicate's boss loses his charisma, it's the end. A scandal with a pet, a mongrel pet at that, is the lowest of the low."

"That having me with you is a blemish to your name?"

Iason snickered. "He said the said the same thing too."

Raoul's eyebrows furrowed as he contemplated it. Even the mongrel understood! Why wasn't it getting through his friend's thick skull?

Iason looked at Raoul's expression and smirked, understanding its meaning.

"I have already told you how I feel, Raoul."

Raoul could hardly restrain his anger anymore. It was unnatural and an abomination for a Blondie to say such things. He hissed between clenched teeth, steeling himself to deliver the bitter truth from his perspective.

"Do you think he feels any of it? He is a mongrel, Iason. He does not feel it the same way as you. He can not. You were not his first and you would never be his last. This incident just proves that he does not lo-"

"Raoul." He called sharply, just in time to halt his tirade.

Iason had felt a burst of pain and anger at the words, enough, that he had raised his voice at the concerned friend, but he settled further into the chair, thinking.

Raoul was right. There was no way that Riki would feel the same as him. Not because he wasn't capable of feeling, for the mongrel was only incapable of not feeling anything. But because that feeling could not be anything other than hate; because, he had behaved unforgivably with Riki. But that wasn't really his fault, for Riki was a pet, and pets were normally treated like that.

No. His only real fault was that he had fallen in love.

Raoul looked at his friend and said softly.

"Give up, Iason. It is only possible that he hates you."

At any other moment, he would not have tolerated such a word from anyone, not even Raoul. But right then, his thoughts had also been on a similar wavelength, and he sighed. Raoul was undeniably, absolutely right.

"That is true, isn't it?" he responded. But… No matter what, he couldn't let Riki go like that. If it was just a matter of pride, that he had been outwitted, taken advantage of, betrayed, he would still let it go. For Riki, he would forgive it. But where his heart was concerned, where his existence was concerned, he could not. Riki was sustenance; he was the air, the water, the earth and the fire of his world.

He scoffed at his own weakness. It had taken only one lowly mongrel, who had spirit enough to defy him to the end, who could never reciprocate his feelings, to bring down the great Iason Mink. He understood everything perfectly well. His eyes closed and he smiled. And yet, he couldn't give up on Riki.

Raoul looked at the smiling Blondie and spoke.

"Iason. Don't forget this… I flatly refuse to be the one to tamper with your mind."Soft, honest words, from a true friend.

Iason let out a breath. So that was why Raoul was here. Had Jupiter contacted him with the order? It was decided that he was to be punished like this? As important as that was, Iason could not bring himself to worry about it. All his mind was preoccupied with Riki's situation right now. What was his mongrel doing? Where was he? If Riki got to know of Jupiter's decision, would he regret this act of defiance? Iason scoffed in his mind. It was entirely possible that Riki would just rejoice at the news.

"What, is Jupiter planning to retire all the perverted Blondies?"

Riki would love it if his mind was tampered with, wouldn't he? He would love to see the Great Iason Mink, his tyrannical, cruel master completely unaware of his past, struggling with himself, or in the worst case even, reduced to the level of a sex droid. Or better yet, to never see his master again. He realized; he didn't mind Jupiter's punishment. To him, nothing could be more merciful. Whatever the way, he knew that he would remember nothing of his previous self, and that it would be an easy transition for him- from complete awareness to an absolute blank. Even if it did hurt every one of his friends, he knew that he would be isolated in his mind. But if this happened, what would happen to his Riki? Would he be sold off? Killed? Turned to a sex doll? Either way, it would hardly be easy for the mongrel.

Iason looked down, contemplating his options, trying to find a way. Perhaps it was better to let Riki go? It would kill him, but perhaps it was the best that his pet be removed from his company forever...

"I must leave." said Raoul suddenly, interrupting his train of thought. And when Iason nodded and rose, he interrupted with a small "Don't bother. I will show myself out." With that, the Blondie disappeared from his sight.

Cal had been standing on the sidelines, listening to the Blondie's conversation, ever since he had shown Raoul in. And he had been controlling himself to not intrude. The great Blondies could not be more wrong when it came to Riki's feelings. He knew it because he had heard it from Riki himself. He bowed to Raoul, half annoyed, as the Blondie stepped out and returned immediately to his master's side. He needed to tell Master Iason. The Blondie deserved to know the truth.

Cal slowly approached the Blondie who was still on the chair.

"Would you like a drink, Master Iason?" he asked, a well-trained reflex, trying to make light the situation.

"No." Iason placed the phone on his ear and listened to it ring, a millionth time; hoping against all odds, that Riki would pick it up.

"Master…"

"What?" returned the Blondie, in obvious irritation.

"I… I don't think Master Riki would have left you of his own will…"

"Oh? Really? And what makes you think that? Some kind of mongrel intuition?" Iason asked coolly. It was curious that Cal would come forward to support Riki.

Cal looked down as he composed his words.

"Master Riki did not hate you."

Iason scoffed again. What did this furniture know of his and Riki's past?

"Master Riki loves you…"

That is just impossible.

"Again, is this some sort of-"

"Master Riki told me…"

Iason scoffed out loud, completely taken by surprise. He didn't believe it. Of course, Riki told Cal that he loved his master… Who was the furniture kidding? Nobody would believe it! Was he trying to protect Riki in some way? Had he played some role in this? He looked at the furniture's innocent, genuinely troubled face. That was not the look of a guilty suspect. Then, why was the furniture spouting such lines? It was nothing but nonsense, wasn't it?

What if it's true? What if Riki did tell Cal?

It was nothing more than a hopeless fantasy that he should never encourage. It was a thought that could destroy him all over again, but… He wanted to hear more.

"When?" he asked nonchalantly.

"While you were away… On that trip to Scalia…"

Iason wanted to know more. During the trip to Scalia? That was during the time Riki was behaving unusually. His eyes widened. Was it really possible? Had he really confessed to Cal? He wanted to hear it, he wanted to make sure.

"He would never leave you like this." affirmed the furniture, solid in his belief, as he helped his master pull up the records with a small apology, locating the interval in question. Iason looked at the furniture's daring in surprise and then at the panel, as he played the video, skimming through the various times Cal had entreated the mongrel to eat something. It was pretty much the same almost all through the day.

"Master…" Cal pointed at the panel.

And that was when he heard the maniacal laugh. He paused there for a moment, interested in the way his pet had looked, his eyes overflowing with tears, an expression of desperation on his face, yet, laughing. A picture of pathetic, painful, helplessness.

Oh Riki…

He let it play and snickered in his mind as he observed. Riki was telling the furniture a story.

"There was, once in a kingdom, a charming little prince, who ruled with deadly hand. He was loved by his people and his enemies shivered at just the sight of him…"

"Master Riki..."

"And then there was this beast… From a very different place, of a very different nature, the king of beasts, who saw the prince one day. They met accidentally, while the beast was on a hunt, when the beast had caught but a glance at the prince. At first he was intrigued and curious. But as time went on, as he watched from a distance, he noticed that he was being watched as well."

"Master Riki…"

"And the beast could not look away from the prince…" Riki scoffed. "The prince took an odd liking to this beast and entertained his own fancy, spent hours with him, and the beast accepted it, giving up all that he valued, for a reason he didn't even know... After some time, the beast realized that he had fallen in love with this prince…"

Riki waited a moment. He smiled at the boy, before he proceeded.

"Do you know how the story ends...?"

The furniture shook his head.

"The beast gets burnt to ashes… while the prince looks on…" he finished.

Iason was stunned. His mind dwelled on the words as his heart raced in response to the extremely unconventional delivery of the confession. He swallowed and then shook his head slightly as if to reject even the proof.

"The beast had realized that he had fallen in love with this prince…"

Iason closed his eyes, and furrowed his brows, trying to restrain emotions that threatened his composure, as the words echoed in his head. Riki truly loved him? As much as he wanted to question the mongrel's sanity at this point, for falling in love with the one who had inflicted infinite torture upon his mind, body and heart, it felt sublime to know.

He released a bated breath, his mind reeling with the sweet joy of the confession, and the bitter truth of the situation. He cursed in his mind as anger burned through is thoughts, making him tremble with a desperate need to do something. Why did it have to be like this? Why couldn't he or his pet have understood each other better? Why…? He slammed the panel in frustration and saw the crystal shatter to pieces.

"The beast gets burnt to ashes… while the prince looks on…"

Iason gathered himself slowly and composed his mind. No. He would never let that happen. He would never let Riki go through that. And if it were ever to come to that he would walk through the fire and save him… Or die with him. Together with his beloved Riki.

"For, one day or the other, the subjects will rise up, irrespective of the leader's choice and will, to avenge their leader."

Iason's eyes widened at the recollection. Bison… The answer lay with Bison. Now wasn't the time for remorse. If he didn't move soon, he would lose his Riki.

xxxxx

Katze snorted as he entered the shop bathed in swaying lights, reeking of smoke and alcohol. He scanned the room looking at the mongrels, drinking, smoking, fighting and mating in its various corners, cheered on by an enthralled audience, in broad daylight, and frowned. How aptly named, this place was! Depravities.

When he had called Cal almost an hour after informing Iason of Riki's disappearance to make sure if there was any new information, he had been told that no progress had been made in locating the pet and that the Blondie master was beside himself with worry. He had immediately contacted his agents and received information that Bison was here. Or what was left of it. He kept walking looking for familiar faces and stopped when he saw one. He glanced once at the two men he had brought with him and then moved over to confront his target.

They had been having a wonderful time today. Norris sighed. He would soon have to leave his friends, so he had accepted the costs of this fest. With Riki no longer around and Guy gone insane, Bison had no choice but to disband. Maxi could pay. He was the one who insisted that they never meet like this again. And if Norris was accepting the man's will, then he would do it as a favor, which was to be repaid this way. One final little drink-fest, as the members of Bison; a farewell to their old gang. It was a pity that neither Riki nor guy, the original founders could be here to celebrate those glorious memories.

Norris looked at Maxi, who fidgeted, suddenly uneasy about something and caught his attention with a snap of his fingers. He flashed a grin at him and then passed him a bottle of stout shouting over the noise.

"Get drunk, Maxi. You are paying for it."

Maxi turned away and stared at the man who seemed to be approaching them and frantically reached out to grip onto Norris' hand in a possessive, protective gesture. He recognized the scar and then sunk further into the chair looking at the two men walking beside him, trapping the mongrels to their table. Even a chance meeting with the infamous Scarface wasn't good news.

Norris shivered. Maxi was a man's man. He had never seen this man as frantic, as worried as he looked now, in all his life. He followed his gaze to look at what his partner was seeing, and gasped.

Katze looked at the expression of horror on the man's face before he stepped in and caught a similarly shocked kid's collar and pulled him up, holding his throat, thrashing him onto the nearest wall. The table tipped over as the others rose and the noise startled everyone in the shop to silence.

Katze's voice, though low, seemed to echo throughout the room in the newly established hush.

"Where is Guy?" he asked, cold, menacing, his eyes sharp as needles, boring into the boy's eyes. This one was called Luke, his mind reminded him. But he did not care. The boy was half drunk, half-high, but he did not care. When there was no response, he pushed him up further almost lifting him off his feet. He turned to the others.

"Tell me where he is now, and I'll let you all go."

Luke was struggling in the chokehold as he tried to give the man his answer.

"We don't know." Norris responded.

Katze raised an eyebrow and then nodded to his men. They grabbed a hold of Sid and Maxi, proceeding to twist their arms behind their backs.

Norris looked over at Maxi, who seemed to be in considerable pain and then looked at Katze.

"We really don't know." He whispered, shaking. "He isn't with us and we haven't seen him the past two days. Let them go."

Then, when the man holding Maxi pushed him to the wall, delivering a blow to his spine while his hands remained bound by the man's hands, banging his face on it, then removing a gun from his jacket to point to his forehead. Norris shouted and rushed to his side, looking at the man grunt out his agony and the menacing gun held to his face.

"Shit! Please… Stop it! Please! He had nothing to do with any of us! Fuck! Guy isn't even with us! We don't know anything! He never tells us anything anymore! It's like he's fucking insane!"

Sid spoke up, supporting his friend.

"Please... We don't know where he is."

Katze looked at the mongrels and sighed. They seemed to be telling the truth. He let go of the boy with a warning glare and turned to leave.

"You two are going to stay here and tell me if anything changes." He ordered as he walked to his car.

He revved up the engine and then activated Riki's tracer again, with no positive signal and then proceeded to tune his receiver to various radio wavelengths, searching for frequencies that still transmitted.

It was an advantage of being old-fashioned. Nobody used radio-waves to transmit information, not since the revolution. Because there were multitudes of other, more effective, secure channels one could use. Radio waves were perhaps the worst in security, for any satellite tuned into the frequency, which intended to tap information relayed via a radio communiqué, no matter how small or weak, would be privy to the broadcasted information. And eta waves, which had come to replace everything else, ever since its advent was perhaps the best at keeping things secure.

Ceres, being Ceres, hadn't really moved on much from the days of the revolution. But even here radio communication was almost extinct. And that always ensured a proper reception, mused Katze as the tuner began picking up various channels. The signal from the radio-bug he had placed with the tracer would be interfered by the eta wave signals from Riki's pet-ring, if placed in close proximity, like if it was stashed in the pockets of the mongrel's slacks. But when it was even a little distance away, it would work. It wasn't as susceptible as the tracer. If at all the tracer was undamaged, the bug he had set up would relay sound waves from a 100 meters vicinity of its position, through the best available radio frequency. Katze waited for the old receiver to respond, and automatically fine tune to any voice signal, ignoring the static cracks of unsuccessful tires, as he lighted up a cigarette and inhaled deeply.

"Hah…"

The voice startled him. He checked the gauge. It was from an ultra low frequency, short-range bandwidth which could only be received by ground units. The clarity in the reception astounded him, leading to a belief that the sender was somewhere close.

"Oh wake up soon! I can not wait to see you awake!" a soft voice, exulting in its expression. It was not a familiar voice, but he was willing to bet his life on it that it was Guy.

"Wake up soon! You will love what I have to say!"

The sound of a metal scratching across metal surface, and a small soft thud, as if someone had just sat down.

"See what your best friend has planned for, what he is willing to do, just for your sake." A snicker.

"Wake up… Riki…"

Katze's eyes widened as his hand reflexively twitched at the mention of that name. Riki was sleeping? Unconscious? That meant the brat hadn't gone with Guy voluntarily. Katze decided, his convictions strengthened. He would find Riki. Come hell or high water; he would find him.

They were close. They must be. But if they were in Ceres, why hadn't Iason been able to find him? Was this also some sort of game the Blondie was playing? He felt an irk of irritation as he imagined this to be some foolish act of Iason testing Riki's loyalty. But if that had been the case, there would be no reason for the Blondie to be worried.

Katze sighed, calling his men and ordering them to widen the net and search the entire area.

xxxxx

The floating sensation, though soothing, did nothing to ease the stabbing pain that seemed to course all through him. He recognized the fact that he was not conscious, but it was impossible to wake up. A cloud of darkness seemed to swirl all around him, trapping him inside his own mind. And echoes of voices surrounded him.

"Get out! Don't come back here again!"

"But if you forget, you may always come to Eos…"

"If you've got time to worry about that, you'd better improve your skills..."

"Do you want to become a hacker?"

"Guy…"

Guy… He remembered and then grunted, still blanketed in the darkness. What was Guy thinking abducting him like this? What was that fool planning? He needed to wake up and take charge of the situation. He needed to make sure that there was no madness afoot potent enough to harm anyone. Yet, he was tired. And his body was uncooperative. This will not do. He forced himself to open his eyes, and blinked. Starry spots blurred his vision, making him dizzy. It would indeed be better to float around in darkness for a bit longer, rather than face this. Yet, he did not close his eyes. He needed to wake up.

"How do you feel?"

He hadn't paid much attention to his body until that moment, that question. He took a quiet inventory of his status. His head was throbbing as if it would explode. His whole body felt sluggish and battered. How long had he been sleeping?

"Just great, thanks." He muttered sarcastically.

"Thought so."

He slowly sat up and looked around.

"Where are we?"

"Dana Burn."

"Dana Burn? The underground shelter where they had the revolution?"

"Looks pretty run own, but hey, it's not everyday that you come across a place like this."

He sighed. Did it even matter? They would be found soon enough. There was, perhaps, time enough for a chat, a little walk down the memory lane. But that was all there was left.

"We'll soon be found. The pet ring has a tracer."

"It won't be of any use here."

Riki raised his eyebrows in confusion.

"This place is shielded. I had to take these measures to hear your true feelings."

Riki scoffed in his mind. His true feelings? His feelings? Did they even matter? Wasn't everything going on as everyone else wanted? And besides, what was the use of knowing it anymore? He still remembered that day. He had been cruelly rejected by Guy when he had come out with the truth. He hadn't really expected anything else, but it did hurt that even his best friend hadn't understood. Guy hadn't even tried to understand. The last thing he wanted was to confront him again and go through the guilt and sadness.

"What's the use of saying what's true and false now?" He thought for a moment before he continued. Only the absolute truth would suffice.

"It's been three years, Guy. Do you know what a pet really is? I didn't have a clue until I came back to the slums. The weight of being his pet for three years… Iason's poison has tainted my blood. There is no way to get it out. The reality that I was a pet won't change."

"Then just forget the whole thing." a cool reply.

Riki's eyes widened in surprise. Forget it? Was he kidding? How could he forget it? Those three years of humiliation, slavery, forbidden pleasure… That love which had grown from those disgusting roots. The intense feeling he had of being alive, in every sense, just being near the Blondie. He could never forget it. But he understood why Guy would say that. And perhaps that was why he felt so irritated.

"You don't understand. You don't understand at all!" he hissed.

Yes, Guy didn't understand. What was there to understand? Riki was a prisoner and he should be released. Riki was a proud, defiant, charismatic, brilliant mongrel. A Riki without all those defining qualities was not Riki. And wasn't that a pity? Anyone would want him to change and come back. He would just have to forget that those things happened at all, and he would be back! Riki was strong, he could do it! Guy had been his closest friend, his pairing partner. He knew Riki better than anyone else. Riki would be able to come back, he just knew it.

"Yeah. I don't want to understand your pointless arguments... What are you so afraid of? Don't tell me you don't mind being kept the rest of your life?"

He looked down in shame. Shame that he had turned into this. Shame that he was unable to deny Guy's accusations. Shame that he wanted to be kept all his life, that he wanted to be near Iason.

Riki got up, desperate in his effort to control his anger. It wasn't Guy's place to decide anymore. Guy had no right to interfere.

"How long do I have to put up with this stupidity?" he shouted.

"Till the storm blows over."

Riki's control wavered. Was he seriously thinking this would be taken lightly? That he would be allowed escape and do as he pleased?

"It's never gonna' blow over! Do you understand? What you have done isn't just a slap on his cheek. It's like pissing on a Blondie's pride."

Why didn't Guy understand?! Why was Guy defying him? He had done all this for Guy as well. He had done it to save him from the torture that Iason had promised for him. He had done it to keep Guy from the fate he'd had live through. His brows furrowed as he realized his position. How helpless he was! How useless! He had no more control over his men, he had no voice anymore, and not even an ounce of influence remained over his friend's flawed reasoning. And he found that it hurt him. Why didn't Guy understand that all he was doing was protecting him from serious harm?

"Such confidence. You're saying a Blondie's gonna get so hot about having a mere pet kidnapped?"

Could there be a sting more potent than this? To be reminded of the truth, that he was a mere pet. To be made to acknowledge his insignificance. To be reminded of those three years, and that too, by Guy. Iason's deeds seemed to pale in cruelty when he looked at the situation. Wasn't Guy too robbing him of his dignity with his words? He would have cried at just this, if he could have afforded to. Crying would accomplish nothing but an opposite, undesirable reaction.

"Do you really wanna know the truth?" He asked harshly.

"Yeah I do. Until I am completely satisfied."

He stood for a moment, looking into Guy's eyes, and then decided.

Riki steeled himself. He would do something worse than anything he had ever done in his life, if he could shake Guy off, to save him from the Blondie's wrath once again. Yes. Then, Guy would know what a pet really was and he'd give up on him, he'd be overwhelmed with disgust.

He unzipped his jacket and threw it away and then quickly, with unfeeling precision, removed his clothes and threw them away, until he stood naked before his former pairing partner, stripped of all his dignity, all his pride, his self laid bare for the man to see. Until he was completely satisfied.

"This is the truth you wanted to know." he cried angrily. "Open your eyes wide and look!"

Guy stared at him, unable to comprehend what his friend was doing, why he was doing it. Yet, a silver of disgust passed through his mind as he looked at the ring.

Riki read it in his eyes. But, this wasn't enough. He sighed in his mind, pained beyond belief to be forced to show this revolting side of himself to his best friend. He bore it quietly, advancing, baring even more.

"Do you know? It gives me shivers when I am caressed lightly here." he whispered, as he touched his own chest, ashamed that he felt something even by that small touch, yet swallowing it, for Guy's sake.

"Here, and here too. He says they're my good spots." He cocked his head to the side to show his friend. His eyes, he knew, would now be glinting with the slight twinkle of passion, and his face would be slightly blushed.

Guy turned away from the sight, crying in disgust and pain. No more. He could stand no more of this farce.

Riki kept talking. This was his truth. This was what he was now. There was no going back.

"As long as the ring is on my penis, I can do it with him. And you have no right to wreck that." he said with finality and closed his eyes.

"If you really care about Guy, cut him off completely"

"Was it all my own supposition that you'd be suffering? Are you saying I was complacent?" he caught Riki's hand as he hissed, staring at him, his pain clearly visible in his eyes. "Don't I even have the right to feel for you?"

Don't say that. Don't torture me with those eyes.

It would not do to give in now. It would not save anyone. He would only end up destroying his friend. He had to be strong and reject Guy as forcefully as he could.

"That's right! I'll do as I please! Don't make me repeat myself!" he shouted, shaking his friend's hand off.

Anger finally gained control of the man, making him rush out and blurt his inner-most feelings.

"Why?! Is he better than me? I won't allow that! Never! I won't allow that!"

Riki stood there listening to him strike out in rage. Guy was now comparing himself to the Blondie? Of course Guy was better! Guy had been his savior in times of misery, a friend in times of need, an equal, a comrade, a beautiful person who had accepted all of him happily. And that was why Riki could never be with him again. Because he was no longer worthy of having Guy by his side. Because he now belonged to Iason. And he could never live without the Blondie.

Riki stiffened as he felt Guy rush behind him and throw himself at his back, embracing him, pulling his body into his own, whispering words that would forever haunt Riki.

"When we used to hang out together, everybody turned to look. I was so proud of you. With you, I didn't care how dangerous it was... Riki, you gonna destroy that? Can you betray us?... I am not saying 'Come back to Bison.' You don't even have to be my Riki… But just don't be his. Not his!"

Riki understood. He felt fresh guilt that he was being selfish trying to talk Guy into letting him go. He didn't want to go with Guy because he didn't want to be like that ever again. It was physically painful to be apart from Iason. But he was only considering his own pain. What of Guy? What of the pain he felt? Guy must have gone through a great deal to plan this. He would have risked his freedom and ventured into Midas to acquire the necessary information and the equipment. That he had planned so meticulously showed his concern for him, his camaraderie.

And what had Riki returned? Rejection. Cruel words.

I am the worst kind of traitor ever, am I not?

And yet, Guy wanted to...

"I wont allow you being his toy for the rest of your life."

The hands that had been wrapped around his torso moved with intent. One placed itself strategically over his chest and the other moving downwards to grip the ring-adorned muscle.

Riki grunted as a minuscule pulse of pleasure traversed through his spine and his eyes closed. Somehow, the hands did not make him crazy, thirsting, hungering a further touch.

"I wont let you say I'm a nosy guy and should mind my own business, Riki. He is the one who picked the fight..."

The fingers touching his member moved to hold the ring, and twisted it slightly, drawing Riki's attention to it, as the words were spoken.

"You can't leave him because of this? Right? Then better take it off."

Riki gasped in shock, eyes widening, at both the casual tone in Guy's speech and its meaning. He closed his eyes and let out a breath as he surrendered to his guilt.


Done! Phew… I thought I would never be able to make it… :) Was it ok?

Damn, just when we were getting to Riki's manhood... I am sorry again… I couldn't resist! }:) The chapter would get to be too much if I continued :) And it so happens that my muses didn't want me to go on, as well. (^_^;) Oh and forgive the lousy technical stuff as well :)

Eto… Again, this chapter… Not too much of a surprise, ne? I had to get this out. It's been driving me nuts, the way my mind imagines what each player must be feeling during those scenes. And so it's ended up like this... Except for a vital point or two, it feels like OVA 2 all over, again, ne? T^T But don't give up! There's more coming. And I am not giving away spoilers ;D XD Though... It seems very predictable to me after thinking about it so much...

Numbers are not really important, but it is not everyday that a humble fic like mine turns fifteen and has a hundred reviews! This moment was unimaginable a few months ago, and I thank you for all your support, and your encouragement, without which none of this would have been possible. Hontoni Arigatogozaimasu! m(_ _)m Watashi wa ganbaru!

Dear Prospero, I had a feeling that it was a joke :) I was joking too! I'd never hide from you! :) And, no, your comments are never 'obtrusive'. As you know, I value them highly! :D I am really happy to be your victim, and honored to be the only one (really?! w(^o^)w) Bring it on! XD Please, don't say sorry! I enjoy every word you write! Thanks! And wow… That is a wonderful quote, indeed! Really beautiful!... You are really smart, huh? (Kidding!XD) I loved the quote! Iya! It is my pleasure to write something you enjoy!

Dear Guest(s)(lol), "so everybody lives happily ever after." XD Where is the fun in that, indeed! But let's see what happens! ;) Thanks for the review, it inspired an idea! :) And... I am glad you like it! (^/^) Such high praise makes me feel… *blushing again*! Did it really meet your expectation and blow your mind? :)

Thank you for reading/reviewing/favoriting/following! Cookies all around!

Have a beautiful week! *crawling like a zombie before passing out* must… sleep… Gah!