((A.N.: Sorry for the delay, but this is the point where I was wondering for a very long time if I ought to drag in another fan theory that I had. For plot reasons, I've decided to take advantage of how vague the canon is. Specifically how, you'll find out a bit in this chapter. Thanks so much for the faves and reviews, it really keeps me going~!))

Of all the things Yata didn't really like, having someone coming up to him and saying "We need to talk" was well near the summit.

Especially when it sounded a lot like "Yata chan, could you come with me for a moment?"

It was thus, grumbling, the brunet made his way into the storage area of the bar with Kusanagi, fidgeting every now and then in anticipation, or dread, he couldn't quite say; it was a cocktail of both and many more.

A schizophrenia patient could've told Yata that it had something to do with Fushimi; everything had to do with that skinny prick since they'd started hanging out again. But what troubled the teen was... Why? He hadn't neglected his usual HOMRA duties, the Blues weren't complaining either (if Awashima was anything to go by as a representative sample). The result was a very confused Yatagarasu giving Kusanagi incredulous looks as the older man lit up a cig in the bar's storeroom.

"So, Yata chan... It'll probably seem sudden but, actually Mikoto..." His attention was immediately perked, something Kusanagi had undoubtedly been banking on when he made that pause for effect. "... Had actually made plans for HOMRA just in case anything should... Yanno, happen to him."

Yata decided it wasn't his imagination that he suddenly felt an itch on his left collarbone.

"... What do you mean."

Despite his acting dumb, or the general consensus that he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, Yata had an idea of what was coming. Of course there had to be a subsequent Red King; there was no way that Suoh was going to let his clan die out just like that.

Following that thought, if he were to say he'd never considered himself the most worthy or best suited of being a successor, it'd have been the most transparent lie he'd made in his life.

It was thus with a slight blush he opened his mouth to speak; Yata didn't stop himself from jumping to conclusions very often, but leaping out at something like this would really have been embarrassing as all hell if he was wrong. "What're you saying?" He near stammered, though it was harder than he thought to hide his thoughts from Kusanagi.

"Ah, Yata chan, I'm sorry but... It's not what you think it is."

He stood where he was, slightly stunned before forcing himself to focus again. "Ah, o-of course not, I know I can't replace Mikoto-san... But, who is it? You?"

The tall blonde dragged a hand through his hair, cigarette smoke beginning to fill the storeroom; the silence had already given Yata the answer he needed. It had to be someone else, but even with his confidence in knowing the inner works of the gang, Yata just couldn't pinpoint anyone at all who could have really fit into the gap that Suoh had left empty.

"It's going to sound sudden, and probably stupid but..." It was then that Yata had a rare moment of sudden realization. It was just that inexplicably confident feeling of premonition.

But, there was just no way, no way in hell... Was there?

"I might need you to go talk to Fushimi kun."

Kusanagi almost, almost dropped a bottle. "What? But, Mikoto... Isn't it a bit too... Soon?" He near stammered, Totsuka giving him a warm smile as opposed to the 'I could give less of a shit' face Suoh was sporting.

Totsuka made his way to the bar from his napping sofa, a light cardigan still draped over his shoulder. "Well, I don't really think so, we all know the state of King's Sword of Damocles." Grumbling, Kusanagi admitted he did have silent concerns about that on many an idle night.

He set down the bottle in hand with a huff after pushing Suoh's drink in front of him. The redhead took it, blatantly ignoring an inquisitive glare. Kusanagi soon turned his attention back to the smiling blonde though; Totsuka for one seemed much less worried than Kusanagi had expected.

"Seriously? I mean, Totsuka, you're pretty much Mikoto's number one fan, why are you of all people supporting this idea?"

A little shrug was all the response he got, Suoh downing his drink and signalling for another. It was gruffly poured before Kusanagi turned his scrutiny back to Totsuka. The demure blonde gave his characteristic carefree laugh, scratching the side of his face once he realized it was serious.

"Well..." He began, eyes glancing down at the wooden floor. "I followed King because I thought he was capable of doing great things... A-and he is! He really is! Don't get me wrong!" He immediately added the moment Suoh made a sideways glance at him. "It's just that... I feel that King has already done so much. I mean, the establishment of a clan? All of this, from scratch, isn't that great? Everyone who gathers here for a common purpose is all here because of King, right~"

Kusanagi made a pointed glance at Suoh, who seemed to be flushing slightly either from his drinks, or Totsuka's uncanny ability to effortlessly push the Red King's buttons. "So... I'm not worried at all." He smiled, sitting himself down next to Suoh, an arm lazily supporting his chin on the bartop. "Because, King is still King, no matter what he decides to do."

"What he's saying is..." Suoh muttered, lethargically downing the rest of his drink and stuffing his hands back in his pockets. "I need to have a backup plan. It's not like I'm gonna step down, but there needs to be some kind of fail-proof."

Kusanagi gave a quick snort before handing Suoh a cigarette, he himself lighting up soon after. "Oh, so that's all you meant. Why didn't you say so, I'm all for it."

"Was him being the drama queen."

"Ehehe..."