Disclaimer: I don't own Loveless or information from the website Heal-from-a-Collapsed-Lung
A/N: Second or third time in a fic that I'm making the title two words combined, to maintain the single-worded titles.
This is the final chapter, enjoy…
Chap 8: "Bloodflow"
Soubi could not stop thinking about one sentence in the packet: "You are at an increased risk for another collapse of the lung if you had a collapsed lung recently. One in five people who have had a pneumothorax will have another one within a year…" He needed to ensure that would not happen. If Ritsuka would not come live with him, it would become necessary to disobey one of his sacrifice's top orders and do away with his mother or use a spell on her to be certain.
The beautiful boy presently lay napping, and though each sweet breath was as music to his ears, he was so very troubled.
Ritsuka coughed lightly once and blinked to wakefulness. The fact that each time he woke these troubled days Soubi was always right there made him realize more than ever the measure of the man's devotion. No matter each whisper of those three words which caused an emotional and confused uproar within him, Soubi was without doubt his friend and someone he trusted almost entirely.
"Hi Soubi" he whispered. His fighter had not realized him stir because he was debating so fiercely in his mind. He peered directly into celestial violet eyes, and lifted Ritsuka's left hand to place a kiss upon, "I love you".
Surely returning to the familiar way of things, Ritsuka blushed but the hot rouge on his cheeks abated as quickly as it came.
Not loosening his grasp on the darling appendage, Soubi reached over and picked up a water bottle. His sacrifice was very gracious of it and drank. The simple aspects of daily life which most people take for granted now made them both very happy- Ritsuka swallowed the liquid easily without spilling or coughing or choking. He breathed regularly after drinking, and Soubi's eyes smiled as he passed the bottle.
"Ritsuka, when you're discharged today…" He cupped two small hands in his own, and finished in a whisper "Live with me".
After a long breath, Ritsuka regretfully explained "I can't Soubi, mom must already be so worried and…" he turned away. His fighter knew it was a long-shot, but he needed to present the option.
One way or another he would ensure that devilish woman did not send Ritsuka back to the hospital. This time was not her fault, but as the horrific x-rays showed and Dr. Shimizu explained, his sweet sacrifice had endured brutality and told no one despite the effects on his body. The photographs of his bones would never leave Soubi's memory.
"It is alright; if Ritsuka wishes to go home I cannot stop you, but know that I will remain nearby to watch over you each night." Ritsuka nodded knowing there could be no argument, and curled his fingers around two of Soubi's.
"I love you", Ritsuka hummed acknowledgement and they shared a long gaze. "I will go pick up the discharge papers and prescriptions" Soubi slowly let go and as he stood kissed Ritsuka's forehead.
As Ritsuka eased into his second boot, Dr. Shimizu entered the room "Aoyagi-kun I'm happy to see how wonderfully you have progressed, you're a very strong young man." "Thank you for everything you did for me Dr. Shimizu" Ritsuka said brightly. Soubi wordlessly shook the doctor's hand with a good strong genuine shake that said all he could not express.
Soubi threw a bag over his shoulder then clenched the other parcel, and offered his free hand to his young sacrifice. Slowly they departed the hospital.
Since there were no obstacles, their journey back to Ritsuka's house took about as long as Soubi calculated, including the instances when they stopped to rest between bus rides. They arrived at the Aoyagi residence just after school let out.
On the sidewalk two houses away, Ritsuka instructed Soubi "Go around back, and climb through my window". Soubi removed the contents of his backpack putting them instead into the bag he was carrying, and passed the backpack to Ritsuka.
In moments Soubi had disappeared as if camouflaged from sight, and Ritsuka walked the pathway to his front door.
Cautiously he entered and slowly climbed three steps then "Ritsuka my dear son, I feel like I haven't seen you in so long" his mother hugged him "School lasts too long. I'll make you a sandwich".
Treading carefully he said "Thank you mom".
"Ritsuka you sound different, are you sick?" He nodded. "You went to school being sick?" he froze "My Ritsuka is such a dedicated student" she smiled with pride "I'll make soup instead, go upstairs and rest" she kissed next to his cat ear and went into the kitchen.
Not wanting to push his luck he tiredly lumbered upstairs to his room. Soubi stepped out from an unlit corner and optimistically regarded his sacrifice. He did not hear any yelling, and now saw no red marks or cuts; it seems his mother was sane for the moment.
After closing the door Ritsuka said "I told mom I'm sick and she's making soup".
Being a mother for once…
Cupping his sacrifice's face in one hand Soubi said "I'm glad. I left your belongings on the other side of your bed. Tomorrow I'll wash your clothes, and do something about your coat".
Curiously Ritsuka asked "By the way, how did no one notice the spots?"
"Kio tried to wash it, but to little avail. I cast a spell for it to go unnoticed, but it is not permanent. I will find and purchase the same coat before school tomorrow."
"But Soubi that was expens-" a finger covered his lips and Soubi smiled "I will have it tomorrow, do not worry". He would leave at dawn and buy the coat in Tokyo, stores in the city never closed.
"Ritsuka!" he turned to the door anxiously "I made your favorite soup!" Misaki called as she climbed the stairs. Soubi was out of sight by the time Ritsuka turned back.
After his mom came back to check if he felt any better, Soubi returned.
Peering upon his sacrifice's pure face he saw the trails of unrest in drooping eyelids. The clock read 8:25pm "Perhaps it would be best to sleep" Ritsuka turned and nodded groggily "I think so, I'm still very tired".
All that you endured, it is unsurprising…
"I will stay here tonight and every night for some time, to make sure you are safe." Bewildered Ritsuka asked "What are you going to do, sleep on the floor every night and when my mom comes in, roll under the bed?" "Precisely", again there was no room for argument.
Soubi brushed long fingers between black cat ears, Ritsuka's eyes closed again and he murmured incomprehensibly. Before he fell asleep sitting up wearing day clothes, Soubi took out his pajamas and helped him redress, without protest. He kissed a bare shoulder and slowly pushed one arm then the other through blue sleeves.
Soubi lifted his body then laid him atop his warm familiar mattress and fluffy pillows. "Good… night Soubi", Ritsuka whispered with lips curved into a pleasant demure smile before settling into the land of dreams.
Watching his dear sacrifice's sleeping lips release breaths as his chest rose and fell, Soubi's body finally relaxed. After sitting watching the boy for several hours with deep thoughts streaming through his mind, Soubi lay on the pillow Ritsuka passed him and whispered a message to his peacefully slumbering sacrifice, "As blood flows throughout these veins, you are necessity to my existence. I love you Ritsuka".
A/N: Thank you for all of your reviews, and thanks again to Ennu for convincing me to continue rather than leaving it as a one-shot. I hope you all liked this