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Naoe stared as a young man slammed the door to the hotel suite he was sharing with Takaya and collapsed back against it with no explanation apparent.

"Excuse me, would you mind telling my why you're in my room?" Naoe asked eventually.

"Er," Subaru said intelligently. "Look, if you don't mind, I just need to stay here for about five minutes and then I'll be go-" He paused, squinting at Naoe's aura. "Um, sorry to be rude, but… are you dead?"

"Is it that obvious?" Naoe asked wryly.

"Only I'm rather obliged to exorcise you, I think," Subaru said wretchedly.



"Well, if you're dead, I'm supposed to send you on. Um."

Naoe stared at him. "You're an onmyouji, aren't you? I always knew God hated me." He sighed very tragically. "Would you at least tell me what you're doing in my room?"

"Hiding," Subaru said, in a very illuminating way.


"No one," the young man said quickly, and looked stricken as soon as the words were out of his mouth. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing! I just… I'm sorry, you must think I'm crazy."

Naoe very politely did not answer that.

"My name is Subaru," Subaru offered. "Sumeragi Subaru. I'll be gone soon, I promise."

"Oh, no, don't be in such a hurry," Naoe said kindly. "You're welcome to stay however long you like. Naoe Nobutsuna."

"Pleased to meet you," Subaru said courteously, but he was quite clearly distracted, listening at the door for any sign of movement.

"So I am to take it that you do not wish to talk about who or whatever it is that you are hiding from, I assume?"

Subaru hesitated. "It's a long story," he said slowly, wondering why Naoe was unnerving him so much simply by being nice to him. There was absolutely no reason for him to be reminded of Seishirou. "He's… just someone I didn't think I could deal with seeing today."

"He must be someone you really did not feel like seeing, for you to go to these lengths to avoid him," Naoe commented, taking a few steps forward with a charming smile.

No reason at all. Really.

The fact that Seishirou seemed nice before you knew him was entirely irrelevant.

Subaru opened his mouth to reply and froze as the door handle rattled. Glancing uncertainly behind him and then at Naoe, he backed away a few steps to the side. Someone kicked the door in frustration-- probably not Seishirou then, thankfully-- and shoved at the door with an audible thump.

It swung open violently and a teenage boy stood there, looking quite puzzled from underneath his messy fringe. "What the fuck? It was stuck a second ago."

"I'm sorry," Subaru said, slightly flustered. "I was blocking it."

Takaya started and his eyes narrowed as he clearly noticed Subaru for the first time, staring at him suspiciously before turning to glare evilly at Naoe.

"Who the hell is he?"

Subaru felt quite indignant at being referred to so rudely-- this boy had no manners, clearly-- but… well, not enough that he really wanted to interfere.

"That's really none of your business, Takaya-san," Naoe said smoothly. "And that was hardly polite of you. You ought to apologise."

That was hardly the most tactful thing to say, Subaru thought. Naoe had seemed more intelligent than that. Unless, of course, he was trying to antagonise the teenager? But why would he want to do that?

Takaya's face darkened, fists clenched and breath speeding up. "He… you… youbastard!"

Naoe arched an eyebrow. "Excuse me, Takaya-san?"

"Do what you like," Takaya snarled. "Fuck who you like, like I care. But don't fucking bring them back here!"

Subaru's face stained red, wondering how Takaya could have gotten that impression. Takaya moved to stalk past Naoe, but Naoe grabbed his wrist. "Kagetora-sama, please desist."

"Don't call me that!" Takaya yelled, wrenching futilely away from Naoe's grasp. "Fuck, let me go!"

Subaru wished fervently that his onmyoujitsu extended to the power of being able to turn invisible, or perhaps sink into the floor. Witnessing other people's arguments made him feel horribly awkward. Even coping with Seishirou would have been preferable, wouldn't it?

Well, no. But almost.

"Is there some particular reason you are so agitated, Takaya-san?"

Takaya suddenly seemed jittery, uncomfortable. "It-- it's my room too, dickhead. I just don't like you bringing people back here."

"I see," Naoe said thoughtfully, letting go of Takaya's wrist. "Then in that case, it would not bother you at all if Sumeragi-san and I were to go somewhere else?"

"Of course not," Takaya lied through gritted teeth, looking away angrily.

"I'm glad we understand each other," Naoe said, voice sweet like a poison apple.

"Wait," Subaru objected. "I--"

He didn't get any further before Naoe pulled him into a very unexpected kiss. He was too shocked to fight much, only making a muffled squawking noise of panic, and you could almost hear Takaya grinding his teeth in pent-up rage.

Of course, this was the exact moment Seishirou chose to end their little game of hide-and-seek.

"What the hell is this?" Takaya demanded aggressively, more defensive than usual due to being messed around with by Naoe. "You can't just come barging into people's fucking rooms!"

Subaru looked rather pale and faint, as if he'd collapse if Naoe weren't still holding his arms. "S-S-Seishirou-san…"

"Subaru-kun," Seishirou said, calm like the eye of the storm. "I had hoped that as the Sakurazukamori I would be more suitable for you than as a veterinarian, but clearly I was wrong. I'm very disappointed."

"Seishirou-san," Subaru managed weakly, "are you insane?"

"Quite possibly," Seishirou replied, "I have been stricken mad with grief. How tragic."

His voice was still even, but the hint of steel began to edge through.

"I think," Subaru said to Naoe, very carefully, "you should probably let me go."

Cautiously, Naoe released Subaru, letting the onmyouji stumble a few steps towards Seishirou and watching with interest to see what would happen.

"What the fuck is going on?" Takaya asked, sounding quite bewildered.

"I'd quite like to know that myself," Seishirou said. "Since Subaru-kun is mine."

Takaya was vaguely disturbed at the correlation between this nutcase and Naoe. He didn't really want to think about what that implied.

"I am not yours," Subaru argued, sounding strangely hurt when he said it. "So if you would please mind your own business, Seishirou-san, we'd all be grateful."

"I beg to differ," Seishirou countered, the pentagrams on Subaru's hands flaring to life with a pained hiss of breath from their owner. "You are mine, Subaru-kun, and if you do not wish to put others in danger--" a withering glance at Naoe "-- then I suggest you remember this."

Takaya tried to decide if now was a good time to pull some magic shit, but from the looks of it the psycho was an onmyouji, and with his woefully inadequate memories he'd definitely lose in a fight. Maybe not just yet, then.

"Seishirou-san," Subaru said wearily, "leave me be. It wasn't what it looked like."

Very skeptical looks from both Takaya and Seishirou, though Naoe permitted himself a small amused smirk.

"And even if it had been," Subaru continued, "would it really matter? There's no reason for you to care. Just… don't play around with me today. Please."

Seishirou gave him a very considering look. "I'm afraid you're mistaken, Subaru-kun."

Subaru's eyes widened as Seishirou pulled him close. "Don't…" he said uncertainly.

"Are you just going to stand around and let your boyfriend get stolen?" Takaya snapped sullenly at Naoe. "Idiot."

Seishirou went very still, and Subaru winced.

"Oh, I assure you," Naoe said serenely, "that he is not my boyfriend."

"Your date, then." Takaya scowled. "Whatever."

Naoe laughed lightly. "Also wrong. Do you never listen to a word I say, Takaya-san?"

Takaya glared. "What are you talking about?" he said flatly.

"I was simply making a point."

Realisation dawned.

Naoe ignored the slightly murderous expression on Takaya's face and the somewhat more concerning cold assessment in Seishirou's eyes.

"You fucking bastard!" Takaya exclaimed, clearly upset and confused.

"Yes," Naoe agreed, catching Takaya's wrist for the second time as the teenager moved to slap him. "But you knew that already."

"As I was saying," Seishirou said, ignoring the other two occupants of the room entirely, "you seem to be rather misguided, Subaru-kun."

Subaru tore his glance away from Takaya and Naoe. "I don't understand."

"Haven't I said it enough times?" Seishirou said coolly. "You're mine."


Subaru's unvoiced question was presumably answered when Seishirou crushed their mouths together in a hard possessive kiss.

"What is this, a soap opera?" Takaya muttered under his breath. "Let me the fuck go, Naoe! You're hurting my wrist!"

Naoe may as well not have heard him, for all the attention he paid Takaya. "Would you mind leaving our hotel room now?" Naoe inquired. "Some of us have business that needs to be concluded."

"We were just about to," Seishirou said. "Possibly we will rent one of our own. Terribly nice to meet you and such."

Subaru followed him placidly out the door, because he was too dazed to do anything else.

"Right," Naoe said. "Now, where were we?"

"Let me go?" Takaya prompted, shaking his wrist slightly to emphasise his words. "Ow?"

"Ah, yes," Naoe said thoughtfully. "Of course. Kagetora-sama, one is rather curious to know what you are so angry about."

Takaya's expression read something very close to 'oh, shit'. "I'm not Kage--"

"You are," Naoe interrupted smoothly, "and you know perfectly well that you are. Don't change the subject."

"I'm angry because you were messing with me again," Takaya said defensively. "You do it just to fuck with me, why shouldn't I be pissed off?"

"Messing with you?" Naoe repeated challengingly. "In which way, specifically?"

Takaya stared at him helplessly, breathing hitching unevenly. "You… I… let go."

"What if I were to say no, Kagetora-sama? What then?"

"I don't know," Takaya said quietly, head turned away. A hand grabbed his chin, forced him to look back at Naoe.

"Things would be a lot easier for you if you were to be honest with your feelings," Naoe said idly. "I wouldn't need to mess around with you, as you so put it."

Stripped of his usual tough act, Takaya eyes showed how vulnerable and uncertain he was really feeling right now. "But you would anyway. Because you…"

Hate Kagetora as much as you love him.


"Do you know for sure that I would?"

Takaya wanted to look away again but couldn't, still held in place by Naoe's hand. "I don't know," he said again, this time frustrated.

"Hm," Naoe said, and before Takaya had the time to attempt to escape, Naoe was trying to kiss him again.

This time, Takaya let him.

Jealousy had its uses, after all.