By: Wyvern D. (japeena@hotmail.com, http://moonmonkey.elidan.net)

Rated: R for swearing, violence, and sexual themes. 

Warning: Yaoi content.  Don't like?  Shoo.

            This is for Stormy, my longest, and best, online friend.  I've never been asked to do a fic before, so obviously I was flattered, and eager to try!  Any die-hard Ronin Warriors fans out there, please don't crucify me.  I've never seen the show, I barely knew the characters when I wrote this, and all my information came from browsing through sites and shrines.  A lot of this is improvised so when/if it's wrong, DON'T flame me on it.  -_-  I will crush you. 

            Anywhoo, please also keep in mind that I have used the Japanese names.  There's also the trick with the warlords, where 'Cale' from the Dub (Warlord of Corruption) is now 'Anubis', and 'Anubis' from the Dub (Warlord of Cruelty) is now 'Sh'ten'.  Hokay? 

            Be prepared for boys on boys, supah thick imagery, and angst up their whazoos! 

~~~~

Fire in the Blood

            An indigo eye watched half-lidded, the other covered by the mass of hair clutched by sweaty, tense fingers.  The flats of his other fingertips were slowly moving across a thick bandage, stroking its length as though it would further along the process of mending beneath it.  His lips were held bitten and swollen against his wrist, plump from the sobs that had continued to wrench forth until only minutes ago.  The one eye that watched was dead, the life inside of it quenched the moment the body had landed.

            Seiji moved his hand away and smoothed his thumb over a small cut he'd missed, easing his light over it until it was only a memory against Ryo's skin.  As the miniscule wound closed and disappeared, he could only think of what he couldn't heal, what he couldn't make go away.  Not only the bites, the slices of flesh, the blood that had escaped…

            His one eye lifted back up to Ryo's face, and as though he could will it just through his gaze, he pleaded with him to wake.  To move, to do something beyond struggle to breath.  The marks of fangs buried deep bit into the darker skin of the other man's cheek, his throat, his back, his…some were narrow, like that of a small snake.  Some were a human's breadth apart.  The raking gashes down his hips, as though talons had used them as handles to get a better grip.  For more friction, force, more leverage.

            Ryo's sweep of black hair framed his face, and were it not for the remaining purple of his bruises and scars, the serene expression of his would never betray his hell.  The ache that had first stabbed into Seiji hours before pulsed again, flaring red inside a darkness that wouldn't recede. 

            All that he wanted to do was sleep and let the pain slip away, if only for a few minutes.  His desire to rest couldn't win against that to watch over though, and as if to assert that will he locked his hand into Ryo's limp one and held it tight.  Seiji's eyelashes drooped against his cheeks as slumber fought back in the battle.  Even with his one arm propped up against the hard arm of the chair, his spine slumped over, his stomach muscles yelling their protest from being so cramped, sleep was starting to creep over his exhausted senses. 

            In a last attempt to ward it off, he shifted against the palm of his hand, but even that motion couldn't be completed as he fell out of one world, and back into the horrific past that wound like a broken record between his ears. 

~

"Touma, at your back!"

            The Strata fighter dashed away from a vicious swipe by Anubis, spinning around to deliver a hard blow into the warlord's helmet with his armored arm. 

"Tou chi Mou!

Seiji suddenly found himself bound by the web of Rajura and swore at his own stupidity for allowing to be distracted.  For a moment his balance was lost and he surrendered a step towards the cackling demon, before he pulled his weight away from him with a low grunt.

            Shin and Xiu were head to head with Naaza, exchanging blow after blow with the snake.  Despite the battle they fought, a sly grin played on his mostly hidden face, even when he took a blow it was with an amused cough before they re-engaged.  Ryo was behind the general group, facing Sh'ten in, what was at the moment, a veritable stand off.  Seiji turned his attention away from him, his senses pushing back the pain around his arms and in his legs as he fought the webbing.  He was vaguely aware of the Demon Warriors that slid about in the shadows around the pair, using the night around them to hide and move like wraiths in the dark.

            With little effort, he focused on the Datchi still clutched tight in his fist and spun it over the back of his hand, effectively slicing through what bound him and loosening Rajura's hold.  Seiji was moving for the other bindings when he felt the pull of a portal being opened, as though someone were drawing a needle through his gut, and looked up away from his task.  Naaza was holding the door to hell open, and Anubis darted inside just as Rajura pulled on what little still held Seiji and threw him to the ground.  With that opportunity he too disappeared through the portal, and only the cackle of Naaza was left to echo behind as the four warriors bemusedly watched the gateway seal upon itself. 

            Seiji leaped to his feet and sliced through the last of the webbing, muttering beneath his breath his disgust. 

Xiu threw his Ningata over an armoured shoulder.  "What the hell just happened?" he asked, voicing their collective confusion. 

            "OI!" Touma suddenly exclaimed, drawing all of their attentions to him.  "Where's—

            "Ryo!" Seiji murmured, the word breaking forth in the start of a  panic.  "Where is he?" 

            "Did…did anyone see Sh'ten leave?" Shin quietly asked, his blue eyes wide. 

            The four young men stood rooted to their spots for the length of a moment, watching each other with horrific suggestions caught in their throats.  None of them wanted to fathom…

            Xiu suddenly slammed the ground with the butt end of his weapon, sending flecks of hard earth flying away from it.  "FUCK!" he screamed.

            Seiji's gaze tore away from him and began widely searching the clearing, trying to find any sign whatsoever of the warrior of wild fire.  A wind screeched through the trees around them, ripping leaves from the branches and sending them towards four gritty faces. 

            "Son of a bitch, they planned this," Touma muttered.

            Seiji whipped his head around to him and strode towards him.  "What do you mean by that?"

            Touma met his gaze, his brows cast down in resolution.  "Didn't you notice?  They had the four of us herded away from Ryo while he fought Sh'ten.  Then when Naaza opened the portal Sh'ten probably opened one at the same time.  We didn't sense his because we only noticed the other one.  That must have been when he took Ryo, sealing it along with Naaza's."

            Shin shook his head.  "Touma, that sounds like…they had a plan or something.  Like a strategy bent on kidnapping Ryo."


            "Why not?" Touma replied, his eyes hard and cold.  "They know that he's the leader of sorts, they must've wanted to bring our numbers down, take the one we follow." 

            Kento snorted softly.  Ignoring it, Seiji said, "We have to go after him!"  Wings of a fear were fluttering in his heart, ones that were making him much more desperate to find Ryo.

            "Obviously," Touma answered with a weary sigh, leaning on his bow.  He was noticeably favouring his right leg slightly, but had not said a word of it yet. 

            Sweeping a few of his bangs from his eyes, Shin took up his Yari in a new grip and shared a glance with Xiu, who was already looking battle ready. 

            Just as Touma stood straight again and took up his bow, they all felt a portal open, their stomach falling and pulling towards the trees.  Four bodies whipped around, prepared for whatever onslaught would come.  A minute passed, and still nothing emerged. Xiu took a step forward, splitting his weapon into nun-chucks.  "Where is it?" he asked. 

            Seiji moved past him, slowly side-stepping his way over to where they'd felt the portal, his blade at the ready beside him.  "Careful," Shin warned.

            There was a small cluster of ratty bushes acting as a fence from one part of the asphalt to the next, a tree jutting up from between them.  At first, Seiji saw nothing around the foliage, but after one more step something came into view.  The thing that had fallen from the portal, that hadn't moved to confront them, was a broken body.

            His Datchi clattered to the ground beside him, the other boys starting at his reaction.  "Shit…"

            The world around him fell away, focusing only on the naked flesh lying battered on the ground before him.  Ryo's black hair was stuck slick inside his bloodied mouth, against his shoulders and neck, flat against his back.  Blood touched every orifice, smeared at least somewhere on each part of his body.  Burned into the olive chest that shuddered slowly was one symbol: "Pleasure".

~

            Seiji ripped himself away from his sleep with a sucking breath.  He had to blink away the image of Ryo's limp form, crumpled against the tree, pushing it aside.  Pulling in a slick breath through his nose, he pushed back the blond hair matted against his face, wincing as it tried to cling to his pink skin.

            "Finally awake…"

            His eyes shot up, catching hold of a hazy blue gaze.  "Ryo."  The word tumbled forth off of his tongue, sounding like an exaggerated gasp.  Seiji abruptly sat up, still holding onto the other man's hand, and moved onto the bed, inching up beside him.  "You—how are you fee …"  Seiji could have kicked himself.  'How do you think he's feeling, you dumbass.'

            Ryo either didn't finish Seiji's question in his mind, or decided not to answer.  "What day is it?" he asked, his voice a gravelly replacement to his smooth low tones of before. 

            Seiji blinked a little at the question, his eyebrows shooting up.  "It's the 5th, Ryo.  Of August.  Remember?"

            The bruised lips twitched, his head shaking.  "That, that can't be right."

            "Why?" Seiji asked quietly, trying his best not to prod him.  He knew how fragile Ryo would be feeling right now, and the last thing he needed was to see him upset or...hurt.  Seeing him hurt more then he was would only further drive the spike down the crack in Seiji's heart, he knew it.

            Ryo looked about him a little desperately, his tongue slipping out to wet his cracked mouth, his breaths increasing in speed.  "I was…I was there for d-days!" he stammered. 

            The fist tight inside Seiji's chest suddenly twisted, and the tears he'd thought were dry suddenly sprang back up into his eyes.  "Oh God…" he murmured.  Seiji had feared this.  Touma had suggested that time had been warped for Ryo while with the Warlords, but he'd had no idea that it had been twisted to the extent of days. 

Ryo looked to him, pleading silently like a man desperate for a trace of sanity in a home for the damned. 

            For a young man who could usually use his silk tongue under the hardest circumstances, to bring anyone he desired lapping at his feet, the sudden loss for words shook Seiji down to his bones.  All he could do was tighten his hold on Ryo's hand and lift his other to shakily pull away some of the dark hair from the others' eyes.  "It's okay," he murmured, a smile ghosting over his lips.  "It's okay." 

            His hand continued to smooth away the rough strands, and soon Ryo's anguished eyes had disappeared behind their lids.  Seiji watched him, chewing on the tip of his tongue absently.  How was it that he loved this one so much?  Someone so fragile, with a pretense of such strength.  Someone who now lay so weak, with a word Seiji could break him.  Then again…Ryo could do the same to him right then.

            His gaze drifted over to the washroom connected to Ryo's room.  The door was still open, left when he and Shin had lifted Ryo from the tub to his bed like men carrying a precious corpse from a battle field.  There was a dried spot of blood turned peach with water on the tiled floor, a spot where some had splashed over the side.

            Seiji was suddenly fixed on the checkered floor, his mind pushing forth a memory into the forefront of his surface thoughts. 

            He remembered when he made love to Ryo on that floor.  His body was so warm and slick out of the shower, his hair like ebony veins all over them both.  Seiji found it clinging to his pale skin as though Ryo was asking it to silently, his mouth busy, covered with Seiji's lips. 

            Tongues engaging in a sword dance.  A startled meeting, steel against sparking steel.  A thrust forward, dancing back, moving together, side by side, beneath, a retreat before the dancing would resume.

            Most men cannot admit to hearing the low sound of another man beneath him.  The struggle it can be for dominance.  It's like iced flame through the veins, that mutual wanting for ownership.  Strong hands sliding over narrow hips, over a long back, against fingers and palms equal to their own.  How many can say they've kissed down a bold jaw-line; flicked their tongues against a vibrating Adam's apple; dipped their lips into the hollow between a jutting collar bone? 

            Ryo's mouth was like a flame licking against his lover's skin that time.  His dark body would move in a heated grace, both men soaked against each other as they slowly burned against the cold tile.  

Who has felt wild fire at their fingertips…in their stomachs…in their throats and out their mouths. 

            Who has cried for wild fire? 

"Ryo?"

His eyes opened slowly, for even they felt exhausted.  Seiji looked down upon him, his blond hair framing his pale face, falling over the hues of violet in his eyes.  Ryo was struck by the light that surrounded him.  It seeped from his skin, each strand of gold. It smoked from his parted lips. 

"Ryo, can…"

Inhaling a breath, Ryo nodded slightly and shifted his back against the sheets.  "Yeah, I can hear you," he murmured.  He hated speaking now.  He'd come to loath the sound, after hearing his own voice echo in his ears for so long.  He was somewhat surprised he could still utter a sound, after so many screams had been wrenched from his raw throat.

A soft palm cupped his sensitive cheek, a rough thumb grazing just barely over his bruised mouth.  "Can I please kiss you?"

Ryo's eyes fluttered up to his lover's.  For all of the times that he'd kissed Seiji, or been kissed by him, he'd never heard those words spoken before.  It was the kind of question normally asked by the tilt of a head, the pouting of lips, a half-lidded gaze. 

His brow puckered in slight confusion.  "Since when do you ask?"

Seiji smiled, a warmth passing over his eyes.  "Since now."  His expression faltered a little, and he blinked quickly a couple times.  Ryo could barely believe it when he saw the indigo eyes shimmer, and a tear slip over his bottom lid to hang between his lashes.  Seiji opened his mouth thickly, his voice a rare whisper.  "Please?"

With aching effort, Ryo lifted his arm and took the hand against his face in his own.  The bandage wrapped around his hand was a frustrating barrier between his lover's touch, but where they touched tingled along his nerves as though they were bare.  He wasn't sure if Seiji would actually make him say the words, but after a few more quiet moments, he croaked, "Yes."

In a sweep of air over his arms, Seiji leaned forward and brought his lips to Ryo's.  He didn't test the waters; it wasn't a butterfly brush; he kissed him.  With a sound touch, he brought their mouths together and in that moment tried to pour as much as he could into it.  How much can be said without the voice?  Yet, with the touch of his fingers on Ryo's cheek, the slight way his lips trembled for just a second when he moved against him, Seiji spoke.

As though he was staring into the sun, Ryo blinked dazedly when Seiji finally moved back, stroking Ryo's blue-black hair with his fingers.  When he felt the other man's mouth press against his throat, his eyes reflexively fluttered as a shiver shot down his spine.  He could feel his love's lips moving against his skin, murmuring words of comfort and caring.  As each word formed on his flesh, something bit down on the back of his brain and caused his body to seize against itself.

Who's teeth was it against him now?

"You like it, you know you do.."  A dark chuckle, pointed nails raking down his chest.

Ryo couldn't help it, he couldn't stop the whimper that trickled past the soaked cloth between his teeth.  The laughter grew louder, the hands doubling in number, moving across each raw scar on his body.  He wanted to shake his head, violently, to send away those touching him.  So weak…  He wanted all the noise to stop. 

The hissing…

"Aw, baby wants to say hello." 

He begged himself to pass out.  If he could just fall back into darkness, it would all leave him.  At least for a little while.

"Ryo?"

Another scream tore from his throat, his hips spasming  forward.

"RYO!"

"Hee hee hee…baby likes that.."


            His throat threatened to close, his eyes raising to the ceiling.  'Why?'

"And he cries for us?"  Fingers that felt like talons took his chin and tilted it sharply, making the muscles in his neck crack and burn.  Soon a scorching tongue traced along his marred cheeks, lapping up the rivulets of wet that fell down them. 

Another mouth suckled at points on his chest, biting into each mark before moving to another. 

The grip on his face turned him back around, but through sweat and blood and tears and pain Ryo didn't see anything other than a blur before him.  "You're forever ours," a voice of lead and dust said. 

"God...Ryo.."

"Wild fire."

The beginning of that, the end of this.   

========

Teeee hee. Like that? Welps, it's yours Stormy-chan. ^^ Lurv ya.

~Wyv