Hello fellows readers and writers !
I dedicate this updated version to Druidsorcerer who did a great job supporting me and correcting all the mistakes and inaccurracies that the previous readers have spotted in this English version. Thanks again paw ! I strongly recommand his own fanfic where Riki and Iason's relationship is so well and deeply depicted.
Disclaimer : of course I don't own Yoshihara sensei's work...
Reviews : yes, please ! And thank you in advance for your support, the more I read the more I learn !
Well, that's it I guess ! Hope you'll enjoy :-)
A brand new life
Riki opened his eyes...to close them at once. Everything was white. Blindingly white. Dazzling. As he was told. He didn't feel anything anymore. He was dead then. Slowly, he opened his eyes again. No, it was really impossible, the light hurt too much.
Weird, it sounded like Katze's voice.
"Riki, wake up."
For the third time, Riki lifted his eyelids. Katze was here indeed. He was standing over Riki, protecting him from the blinding light.
"What are you doing here?"
"You should ask yourself", Katze replied with an amused voice.
"I am...not dead?"
"Much less than yesterday. I came to fetch you both."
"But...The Black Moons..."
"Pretty efficient, aren't they? I bet you don't feel anything yet. They are very powerful drugs but they don't lead to death or even irreversible coma. It has enabled you to wait for me without any pain and would have let you rest in peace if I were too late."
"You b...why did you..."
"Hey, that's a good sign; you're recovering your temper. You entrusted Guy to me, remember?
It was not because Katze hadn't saved them any sooner that Riki had got nerve. Little by little he was realizing all the consequences of what he had just been told all of a sudden. He had survived. Katze had saved them. Everything got clear.
"Iason!" He tried to stand, but his back refused to obey.
"Hey, calm down will you?"
"Where is he?"
"Pretty interesting you care about Iason before Guy. Hewould be glad to hear it."
"Please tell me where he is!"
"You're being polite, now?"
"He's safe. Taking care of his legs. He's not like us. He'll be all right soon."
Katze's few efficient words reassured Riki. But the more he remembered the more issues came to his mind.
"Safe too. Taking care of his arm"
Riki got quiet. He had one last big question, but it seemed to him so ridiculous to ask after all that happened to them...
"It was not that easy, but we took good care of you too. In fact, only a few hours have passed since the surgical intervention."
Riki raised his head so quickly he got dazzled, but he didn't care. He wasn't sure he heard properly.
"Do you mean..."
"Yep, you don't have to face the consequences of the stupidity of your Mongrel friend any longer. Speaking about him and his lot, I doubt they'll remember anything from now on anyway. As you asked me to do."
Riki couldn't believe it. It was as if Dana Bahn's hell had been a kind of a creepy big joke. As if his demonstration of devotion towards Iason by dying with him was nothing more but another lie.
When their supposed last moment resurfaced to his mind, Riki suddenly remembered, when their eyes met and turned into this everlasting, intense gaze they kept sharing until the drugs took them both. His last words seized him like a slap on his face :"tell me if I am a nuisance and I'll shut up. It's not my style to flirt, but at least I can curl up by your feet."
His skin turned crimson, under Katze's amused but respectful gaze. He could understand Riki's sudden embarrassment. After all, it was Katze himself who heard him express his imperious wish to return to his master, Katze who saw him walk awkwardly into the hellish oven to die with him.
"Katze, what's gonna happen now?"
"Can't you guess?"
The eunuch turned back and walked away. Riki had had the time to get used to the light. He watched him opening the door.
"Rest and recover as soon as possible. That's the only thing you have to care about right now."
Weeks passed swiftly. Riki had been able to stand on his feet quite quickly, but he was still pretty weak. Little by little, he learned the news. He had been told that he was cured in Eos' hospital wing. That Iason's legs got fixed and would have very few scars. That Jupiter herself had intervened. That only she, Iason, Katze and Riki knew what had really happened in Dana Bahn. That the official version was the sudden explosion of old bombs hidden in the bunker which injured Iason when he was trying to supervise.
He had also been told that Guy had lost his arm. That Guy came back to the slums, convinced that he had survived a motorcycle accident. That he couldn't even recall Riki's name anymore.
And finally, Riki realized he had recovered his manhood again.
When they first met, Riki had offered his body to Iason in exchange of his freedom. When they last met, Riki had offered his life to Iason in exchange of giving up his. In both cases, it was of his free will. As a free man, aware of it.
He had entirely and willingly offered himself to Iason, in soul, body and spirit.
Now, he couldn't turn back anymore.
Such a gaze they had shared that day...Riki, The Dark, was no more. Neither was Iason Mink, the Blondie, Tanagura's leader. There were only two lovers left, ready to die together for each other, opening their heart for the first and the last time.
Now, life was back on track. An incredible chance was given to them to start all over again.
Iason would have to return to his Elite functions and refined business world. Whether they liked it or not, each one would have to go back to their duties.
Riki was Iason's. He belonged to him. He had given up everything for him. From now on, it was nonsense trying to deny it anymore, nor to long for a vain and pointless freedom in the slums. His right place was by Iason's side.
With his master.
Never had he felt so empowered by Iason, and so...aware of it. Quite the contrary, until now, to gather the remaining pieces of his broken pride, he had done every possible thing, to hurt Iason's own pride, to humiliate it, as little it would be, without any care for the consequences which were often much more serious than expected. Now, he embraced his condition from his own will.
Iason had sacrificed his life for Riki and so had Riki sacrificed his life for Iason. Thus they had burst through all the obstacles, all the boundaries, all the wedges between them, more surely than during any of their intercourses in Iason's bed.
"I am ready to give up my life for him again if I have to. I don't have to fight it anymore. From now on I am completely his, and I'll do whatever I can to protect him."
"Riki, a visitor for you."
Riki stood up. He was almost fine and his bandages had been removed. Besides the regular analyses, his body was healed and fit.
Katze came inside and kept the door open, obviously waiting for someone outside the room.
Iason stepped inside.
Riki froze. He was too stunned to move.
The last time he had seen him, Iason had just lost his legs. Riki had rested his head against his master's shoulder when Iason wasn't expecting anything from him anymore.
The last time their eyes had met, they had been dying for each other.
They had shared this everlasting gaze. This everlasting gaze of pure love.
And now Iason was standing in front of him. Impressive. Imperious. Powerful. As he had always been. Yet his blue gaze had changed. It was pure, as intense and piercing as before and yet so much softer at the same time. It had nothing anymore in common with the icy insensible mask Iason used to wear with his pet to preserve his Blondie's pride.
Mongrel's pride, Blondie's pride. How laughable it sounded to them now. Meeting each other in this hospital room was enough to make them realize it.
"Riki. Let's go home."
The Mongrel stepped forward, still speechless, getting closer to Katze and Iason. Without a word, he fell on his knees and kissed Iason's feet before everybody's eyes.
"Iason, I am yours."
Iason didn't move from an inch nor change his expression. Stunned. Katze took Riki and the three of them left the hospital.
Iason and Raoul were talking business. Dinner was just over. Riki was quietly assisting the meeting, as he was supposed to. Slowly, he slipped from his chair and sat at Iason's feet, his head resting against Iason's knees.
It's not my style to flirt, but at least I can curl up by your feet.
Raoul couldn't help but lightly raise an eyebrow. Blondies usually mastered the art of showing no emotion on their face. This slight involuntary change of expression said pretty much about his surprise. Iason, apparently untouched, stroked Riki's dark hair and cheek softly, and his Pet closed his eyes.
"Well well well, Raoul, what's so surprising about a Pet who openly expresses his affection for his master ?"
"Don't make fun of me, you know perfectly that Riki plays obedient when he's up to something. Be careful."
"Has Katze told you anything about Dana Bahn ?"
"He doesn't have to, I know you well enough to guess. And I am glad enough that things have turned so well you didn't lose your position or your life. You took your Pet away from this harmless Mongrel to defend your pride, and at the same time – you know what I'm talking about – you almost lost." You got severely injured and Katze saved you both at the very last minute."
"You know everything indeed. I wasn't expecting less from you."
"You weren't so confident when Riki was out of sight."
Iason was still stroking Riki's hair without any slight change but his blue eyes became icy.
"It won't happen again."
He took Riki gently and made him sit close to him, head against shoulder.
"I'm taking care of him, don't worry. Eos has more or less accepted him during his first three years here and then got used to him after he came back. Besides, Riki himself seems to be pretty much used to life in Eos. Don't you, Riki?"
The Mongrel raised his head and glared at Raoul right into the eyes, looking wild and stubborn, fearing nothing from the Blondie who was sitting in front of him. Which didn't reassure Raoul that much: it was the same Riki he was used to. Untamed and arrogant.
"My master has saved my life. I'll follow him as far as he wants. He can do anything he wants to me."
Raoul dived into Riki's glare. Unbelievable. He was sincere. The flames which danced in the dark eyes of this half-tamed Pet, had always expressed barely contained fury, humiliation, frustration. Never had Raoul seen in Riki's eyes such fervor before. Rage was still burning inside him, but this time it was targeting anyone who dared to criticize his master -precisely Raoul, right now.
"Master". That was brand new too. Even while pretending submission, Riki had never gone so far before. Never would he have willingly explicitly defined Iason as his owner.
Raoul glared at Riki a little longer. Iason was waiting patiently, showing no emotion as usual. Deep inside, he was delighted.
"Very well then". Raoul snapped at last . "At least, despite your Mongrel nature, Iason has managed to teach you some manners at last."
Riki said nothing. Raoul finally turned back to Iason.
"Sorry for the interruption. Let's continue."
Riki was all against him in his bed. They had just spent the night together and were resting in each other's arms.
"Why each time we sleep together you don't put on me the...you know..."
"Do you miss it that much ?" Iason smiled ironically .
"%$!*/ !" Riki swore as usual. " 'Course not. But I am your Pet and even so we attract enough attention like that. Plus...It would be better to keep close. Just in case we are in trouble."
Iason held Riki tighter against him. Riki turned around face to his master to bury his head in Iason's chest, where he kissed. Since he had lightened his Black Moon with Iason's, he sometimes made the move this way. Iason stroke his hair. Riki gave him a passionate gaze. The same gaze he had given him that day.
"I am so glad, Riki. Glad you've finally agreed to be mine. I don't need any bondage anymore to ensure you'll stay with me."
"But..at Eos...you've been in enough trouble because of me. And I don't fancy bearing even more jealousy from the other Pets or turning the other Blondies even worse than they already are."
Iason laughed at this last word. His Riki at his peak. Arrogant and obedient. Wild and affectionate.
"And you're afraid that we might part again."
Riki bit his lips, embarrassed.
"Me too", Iason confessed. Riki was taken aback. Iason seldom expressed his feelings aloud. Even that day, he had said almost nothing but "Could do. Not bad to have a last smoke with you."
"But", Iason went on, "I refuse to inflict this upon you again. You don't need to be "tamed" anymore. Plus, even if you're obviously a fit man" (he smiled at it) "you could get severely injured again."
He raised his chest over Riki, his blond hair slipping swiftly down and skimming Riki's face. His Pet stroke a strand of hair in silence.
"I'll see what I can do."
"Thanks" Riki whispered. He closed his eyes. Iason watched him falling asleep for a bit longer, and then he stood up to prepare to go to the office for his next appointment with Raoul.
Riki had already finished his delivery tour in Eos' subways when Iason came back from his work. Riki was still working for Katze. He preferred to make himself useful and to spend his time at work a thousand times than spacing around under the despising gaze of everyone in Eos. He would have suffocated within three days. Glances and sarcasms were as unbearable as before, it had not changed and would never change for sure. Yet he didn't complain about it anymore: with Iason and Katze doing everything they could to keep him away from the gossip, that was the least Riki could do to thank them. Not to mention that all of this was for nothing other than to keep them safe. Katze was the only one who knew the precise nature of the relationship between the master and his Pet. Except Raoul, maybe, who kept the secret to protect his friend, no matter what.
"I have something for you".
Iason put a little box in front of Riki.
"Engagement ring?" This one laughed.
"Just open it."
Riki opened the box. Two golden rings.
"Gosh, they really look like wedding rings. Is it a proposal?"
Iason burst out laughing.
"Aren't we married already?"
"Still, why two rings? Don't tell me you intend to put a Pet ring too?"
"Take a closer look".
Riki examined the rings closely. On one of them was engraved "Z107M". His Pet ID at Eos. On the other, nothing.
"I see". His face darkened at the sight of his number.
"The number ensures the others it is your Pet ring. But above all, I'll know wherever you are, even out of Tanagura this time. Although you're free to refuse the ring or to get rid of it", Iason added with difficulty," If I was the only one to remove it, you run the risk of being maimed again."
Riki looked up at a worried, confused Iason. He would have never expected Iason to be so much concerned about his well-being and even less, to express it so obviously. To think about it, the contrast between this and all he had made Riki endure to tame him was almost laughable. But Riki no longer wanted to hurt Iason with useless sarcasm."
"Thanks. I won't take it off." He put the jewel on his ring finger, and so did Iason.
"This ring also enables you to call me if you're in an emergency. You just have to say your number aloud to trigger the phone-call."
"Pretty useful, though I'd rather use another password."
"Never mind, you must be safe" snapped firmly Iason.
They looked at each other. Each time their eyes met, they remembered that day. Nothing would be the same anymore. They wouldn't waste their time to preserve their little pride anymore. They would never part again.