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The Year Alone

Chapter Text

Shingyouji stood bare chested before the bathroom mirror. The necklace and ring hanging from his neck. His fingers wrapped around the ring and held it tightly. Misu's last gift to him before leaving for college. And while Shingyouji was now alone he held a piece of his Arata-san close to his heart every day. The thought both saddened him and made him smile.

He slipped his school dress shirt on and carefully did each button, tucking his shirt into his pants. He wrapped the tie around his neck and twisted it into place. He left the bathroom and pulled his jacket out of his closet, quickly throwing it on. He smoothed the fabric down with his hands. He picked his school bag up off his bed and swung it over his shoulder. Lastly he slipped on his shoes. He stood before the bedroom door, physically ready, but not mentally ready for the first day of the last year of school.

He opened the door and stepped into the hallway. It was filled with the chaos of the first years and the calm of the third years, with the second years somewhere in between. With a group of third years Shingyouji headed for his first class. At lunch time he sat with his classmates trying not to think about everyone that he was missing. After lunch he headed back to class, his eyes glancing down the hallway to the executive room. A slight blush appeared as he thought of the last time he was in that room. He shook the memory away and hurried to class. At the end of the day he headed back to the dorm alone. With no Misu to visit he had a lot more alone time on his hands.

After an hour of studying Shingyouji closed his books and stretched. Time for dinner. He exited his room and found the hallway empty. He made his way quietly to the cafeteria and ate by himself. For the moment he was enjoying the peace. As he finished his meal he set his tray on the counter.

"Shingyouji?"

Shingyouji stopped. His heart skipped a beat.

"Mitsu?"

A cold chill ran through Shingyouji. He turned slowly.

"Kago-kun?"

"Mitsu? You call me Haruka. You know that."

"Kago-kun, what are you doing here?" Shingyouji stared at the young boy standing before him, wearing a Shidou uniform.

"This is a surprise, for you. I just started." Kago took a step closer to Shingyouji who took an involuntary step backwards right into the counter.

"You're a student here?" Shingyouji stared at the uniform, but he didn't want to believe it.

"Well you left so quickly, and I haven't seen you since you said goodbye. When your father told me you were going to school here I knew I had to come here to. I saw you when I came to take the tests, but I wanted it to be a surprise. You were with a bunch of other people then. Are they not here?"

Shingyouji slid sideways on the counter adding more distance between him and Kago.

"They graduated last year."

"Oh, then does that mean all your friends are gone? Ah well, I am here, so that's all you need."

Kago took another step closer. A large crowd of third years entered the cafeteria. Kago glanced away. Shingyouji took that opportunity to escape.

"I have to go Kago-kun, see you later." The crowd of third years parted for Shingyouji as he rushed through them. He heard Kago call out after him but he ignored it and kept moving. In the hallways he was careful not to run as to not catch any trouble on the first day, though he moved as quickly as possible back to his room. He slipped in and closed the door behind him. He slid down to the floor, his arms wrapped around his knees, his head leaning into his arms. He wouldn't cry, couldn't cry. He'd shed enough tears over Kago Haruka, but how was he going to survive going to school with him, alone.

The first week was a game of cat and mouse. Shingyouji did everything he could to avoid Kago. And those times he couldn't avoid him he tried to find other people to be around. Each time Kago would come uncomfortably close and Shingyouji would side step away.

Kago Haruka was from his home town, and at one time had been a childhood friend, his best friend. Though Kago was younger he and Shingyouji found they shared a lot of the same interests. As they grew older Kago's friendship changed. He would put his arm around Shingyouji's shoulder when they watched television. Walking back from school he would grab Shingyouji's hand and hold it too tight. He would kick Shingyouji when he did something Kago didn't like. And each time Shingyouji cried out, Kago always excused it as childhood good fun. Then the lying started.

It started with small silly things, like who took the balls out at lunch and left them outside. But then the lies turned bigger, getting Shingyouji into trouble that Kago always started. When Shingyouji finally realized what was happening and had enough, he tried to distance himself. At first Kago wouldn't let him. Kago threatened that he would tell everyone stories about their alone time together and what Shingyouji had done to him. And being the younger and innocent looking, everyone always believed Kago. But that changed when Kago heard the news about Shingyouji's parents getting a divorce. Shingyouji never knew exactly why that stopped Kago, but as soon as the news was out the threats stopped. Kago went back to being his old self. No lying, no touching. Shingyouji was grateful, but he knew he could never trust Kago again. When he got into Shidou he left Kago behind, hoping that would forever be the end of dealing with Kago's manipulations.

But now Kago was here, at Shidou, and Shingyouji was alone. Kago had followed him and was back to his tricks. He had not yet started lying, but Shingyouji was afraid it was a matter of time. Instead it was the touching. Grabbing his hand in the hallway, taking his arm during lunch, always standing too close. His classmates were giving him looks, whispering as he walked by. Every once in a while he could hear the word Misu come from their lips. Each time it stung.

The necklace weighed heavily on his neck, but currently it offered his only support. Hidden from everyone's view he could feel the weight of the ring as it pressed against his chest. During that week he spoke to Misu once on the phone, but could not find the strength to talk about Kago. All he wanted to do was listen to Misu talk. To listen to his calm voice and find the support from there.

"Mitsu."

"Kago-kun."

"Mitsu, I wish you would call me Haruka again. Aren't we friends?" Kago grabbed Shingyouji's hand. Shingyouji tried to pull away, but Kago tightened his hold, squeezing harder than he should. "Mitsu, please call me Haruka."

"Haruka."

Kago loosened his grip but not his hand. "Thank you Mitsu. So who is this Misu-san everyone keeps whispering about?"

Shingyouji froze. "What do you mean?"

"I keep hearing his name getting whispered nearly every time I get near you. Who was he?"

Shingyouji had to stop his hand from reaching for his necklace as he lied. "Nobody. I mean he was a student here, the student council president, but that's it. I don't know why you keep hearing his name."

"If you say so." Kago smiled. "See you later, Mitsu." Kago released Shingyouji's hand and went running off down the hallway.

Another few weeks and more of same. A daily game of hide and seek. Shingyouji took his meals at odd hours, returned to his room at different times and tried to walk with groups of people wherever he went. Some days he was successful at never seeing Kago at all, others he couldn't shake him.

After a month and a half at school Kago caught him alone.

"Mistu?

"Haruka?"

"You were dating Misu-san."

"I...Haruka that's personal."

"But we're friends. You can tell me everything. You were, weren't you?"

Shingyouji realized the lying would no longer work. He looked Kago straight in the eye. "Yes I am."

"Am?" Kago took a few steps back away from Shingyouji. "You are still seeing him?"

"Yes." Shingyouji raised his hand and put in on his chest, feeling the ring there, gathering strength from it. "I belong to him. I love him."

"I see." Kago took another step backwards. "I have to go."

Kago turned and walked away quickly, not looking back once. Shingyouji watched as he walked away. He held his hand against his chest a little longer, trying to find hope in Kago's reaction.

Over the next few weeks Shingyouji saw very little of Kago. He was keeping his distance and Shingyouji was truly hopeful that it was over with Kago's obsession. He returned to a normal routine. Eating dinner at a normal time with his classmates, no longer hiding in his room, walking the hallways without scanning each corner.

On one pleasant Sunday afternoon off, the announcement came over that he had a phone call.

"Shingyouji."

"Arata-san."

"You sound...happy."

"I am."

"Have you been studying well?"

"I have. Though it's hard without you. I don't know how you studied with all the other things you did. I just have classes and Kendo."

"It wasn't easy for me Shingyouji. I worked hard. As I know you are."

"I am trying. I feel like I am doing well in class, and I have more time to study this year."

"Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san."

"Summer vacation is coming up in a month, and my mother has insisted that I invite you for a visit."

"Your mother? I would like to see her again, but..."

"And she would to see you again too, and she is insisting that it is time you meet my father."

"Your father?" Shingyouji's voice dropped low.

"Shingyouji, I need to see you again, soon."

"Do you think it will be alright? My visiting?"

"Shingyouji if my mother says so, it will be. She will make the arrangements for you. She is best at making travel plans. But don't tell my father that."

"I wouldn't say anything to your father."

"You might have to talk to my mother to make complete plans. Are you comfortable with that?"

"Yes Arata-san, I am."

"She will want you to stay with us at the house. Which means a lot of close contact with them."

"As long as you are there it will be alright."

"Yes Shingyouji, as I am staying there as well, you will be with me. My mother will set you up in the guest room."

"I understand Arata-san."

"I'm sorry Shingyouji, but I can not talk long today. I have a study group that is meeting soon. But I wanted to make sure I gave you my mother's invitation, and...to talk to you."

"I understand Arata-san."

"Good-bye Shingyouji. I will call again in a few days."

"Good-bye Arata-san."

Shingyouji hung up the phone and turned around. Kago stood a few feet away, watching him.

"Was that Misu-san?"

Shingyouji sighed.

"Yes Haruka." Shingyouji turned to walk away.

"You will be seeing him over the summer break?"

"Yes I am." Shingyouji took another step away.

"And you will be staying with his family?"

"Yes I am Haruka." Another step.

"Do they know about you two?"

Shingyouji stopped. A question he had not asked himself, did not want to ask. And the one person he never wanted asking was the one to say it out loud.

"Good-bye Haruka." Shingyouji disappeared quickly around the hallway corner. His good mood evaporating with every step he took.

"See you soon Mitsu."

Two days later Kago cornered him inside the library. Shingyouji had been looking for a book and was caught alone and unaware.

"Mitsu, I am worried about you."

"Why are you worried about me Haruka?"

"I am worried about you and Misu-san."

"Please don't be." Shingyouji searched for a way to escape, but was blocked in by the wall of books and Kago.

"And what might happen to you two if his family found out about you."

Shingyouji meet Kago's eyes. The boy smiled wide, his teeth showing.

"Hakura, why…"

"He's staying with them right now, while he goes to college isn't he?"

"How do you know that?" Shingyouji stepped forward, his hands clenching into fists.

"One of my chores is to clean the Student Affairs Office. I was able to look at his records when I was alone." Kago dropped his smile and lowered his eyes in an effort to look innocent.

"You're not supposed to touch those."

"I know, but I did it for you. I just wanted to see who this Misu-san is. You're my friend after all and this is such a big secret for him to ask you to keep. But now I share the secret with Mitsu. I can help keep the secret from Misu Natsu and Misu Ryou."

Shingyouji felt the world slide out from beneath him. He backed into the bookshelf for support. Shingyouji's head ached, his heart pounded hard in his chest, his fingers stung from clenching them too tight. Kago reached out and wrapped his hand around one of Shingyouji's clenched fists. Shingyouji recoiled backwards, away from his touch.

"Don't be upset Mitsu, I know it hurts to keep such a big secret. But I am here to help. Let me help you."

Kago touched Shingyouji again, firmly pulling on his clenched fingers. Shingyouji slowly opened his hands. Kago wrapped his fingers between Shingyouji's and squeezed hard once and then relaxed.

"I will keep your secret Mitsu. Don't be afraid." Kago leaned in and kissed Shingyouji on the cheek. "Now smile as your friend is offering you support, and you should be happy."

Shingyouji smiled as small tears formed in his eyes. His head still hurt, his heart still pounded in his chest, and his fingers stung even more, but he smiled.

 

Chapter Text

Shingyouji had done everything he could to plan for his trip. He had spoken with Misu Natsu twice. Misu had a special class during the summer break that he couldn't miss, so Natsu would pick him up from the train station. She had arranged to meet him outside by the car park. He was scheduled to stay for a whole week. Shingyouji had argued that was too long to use their hospitality, but Natsu had persuaded him that it was for the best. He had spoken with his grandmother letting her know that he would visit her and his father later in the break.

He had planned for everything, everything except for Kago. For the last month Kago had been by his side nearly every moment. Shingyouji stopped listening to any more whispers, until they finally died away. He faked his smile each time Kago was around, but whenever he wasn't looking he couldn't pretend. He tried hard to study, but his thoughts were often distracted. His mood worsened with each day. Misu once asked him about it on one of their phone calls, but Shingyouji said nothing as Kago sat feet away, watching him. He had stopped wearing the necklace, afraid of what Kago would do if he found it on him. Instead he would clutch it in his hands as he slept at night, hoping to escape into his dreams and be with Arata-san.

The only bright spot Shingyouji had was the upcoming summer holiday. He was finally going to see Misu. He hid his excitement as best he could. He knew he would also be in Misu's parent's house, and that was a dangerous place to be. But as long as he could be by Misu's side, and see him, that was all that mattered. He would be Misu's friend and he would be happy again, at least for that week.

Except there was still Kago. Three days before his trip, Shingyouji was called into the Student Affairs Office to speak with Kaka-sensei. Kago was there. Shingyouji felt a chill go to his very bones.

"Shingyouji-kun, Kago-kun has told me you are going to _ for the first week of the holiday."

"Yes Kaka-sensei."

"Ah that's good news then. Kago-kun needs to travel there as well, as he has family that he needs to visit. I was hoping that you will would be willing to escort him there."

Shingyouji looked over to Kago who smiled brightly at him. A loud no wanted to scream through Shingyouji's lips. There had to be some excuse, any excuse he could give to say no.

"I can take him as far as the train station in the city, as someone is picking me up once I am there."

"Will that work for you Kago-kun?"

Kago hopped up in his chair. "Yes, that's fine. I can take a bus to my Aunt's house from the train station. Thank you Mitsu." Kago took Shingyouji's hand and squeezed hard. Shingyouji winced in pain until Kago relaxed his hold.

"Kago-kun."

"Yes Sensei?"

"Would you please excuse Shingyouji-kun and I for a moment. I need to speak with him alone about something else."

"Of course Sensei. I will see you later Mitsu." Kago jumped up and hurried out of the room, closing the office door behind him.

"Shingyouji-kun, is everything okay?"

Shingyouji hesitated a moment. All the words wanted to come flooding out of him. To explain all that Kago had done to hurt him and of his manipulations, but he couldn't say the words. "Yes Sensei, I'm okay."

"I only ask as some of your teachers have noticed a reduction in your grades and your participation in class. They are concerned about you."

"I am sorry Sensei to cause them concern. I'm fine."

"And are you really okay with escorting Kago-kun on the train?"

Again the words threatened to spill out, but he stopped. Just like when they were younger Kago's innocent face would protect him. When he was younger Shingyouji had learned over time to just keep quiet. He only had to survive the rest of the school year. Alone.

"Yes Sensei, I don't mind."

"Then you are free to go Shingyouji-kun. But please feel free to come at any time if you need to talk."

Shingyouji stood up and bowed. "Yes Sensei, I will."

Shingyouji opened the office door and stepped out into the main office. He headed back toward his room. As he rounded a corner Kago stood before him.

"Mitsu, is Misu-san picking you up?"

"No Haruka."

"Oh, then his mother."

"It doesn't matter who is picking me up Haruka, you are taking the bus once we get there."

"I'm just worried about you Mistu, being with his family, keeping secrets. You should come stay with me at my Aunt's house. It would be safer."

Shingyouji shuddered at the thought. "Thank you Hakura, but no. I have already made arrangements with his family. It would be rude to change plans now."

"But if they found out, you and Misu-san couldn't be together."

"Don't worry about me Haruka, I am going as Arata-san's friend and guest. That's all."

"But."

"Haruka, I will not be changing my plans."

"Okay Mitsu, if you feel it's best." Kago pouted for a moment before suddenly smiling again. "At least we get the train ride together. Thank you for taking me with you."

Kago stepped forward throwing his arms around Shingyouji waist. Shingyouji tried to pull away but Kago held him tight.

"Thank you Mitsu." Kago leaned back and kissed Shingyouji hard on the lips.

Shingyouji shoved Kago away. "Haruka, stop." The boy stumbled over his feet and nearly fell, catching the wall instead.

"Shingyouji-kun, what's happening out here?"

Shingyouji turned quickly. "Kaka-sensei." Shingyouji bowed. "I'm sorry."

Kago pushed himself off the wall. "It's my fault Sensei, Mitsu was running around the corner and I got in his way."

"Shingyouji-kun, you know you are not suppose to be running in school. Please slow down."

Shingyouji bowed. "Yes Sensei."

"Though it's lucky for me he ran into you Kago-kun. I have something that must be done before summer break and I realized I am behind. Would you mind assisting me in the office?"

Kago looked at Shingyouji. "But I was going to…"

"I would really appreciate it Kago-kun."

Kago bowed his head. "Yes Sensei, I will help."

"Thank you, Kago-kun. Shingyouji-kun you are excused. And no more running."

Shingyouji bowed again. "Yes Sensei, thank you." Shingyouji escaped quickly, leaving Kago behind staring as his back. Shingyouji hurried to his room. He pulled open his bedside drawer and grabbed his necklace. He held it tight against his chest, next to his heart. Three more days and he would be by Misu's side again, and safe. And while he would have to take Kago with him, at least he would be able to send him on his way before he got anywhere near the Misu family. Before he had a chance to say anything to them. Shingyouji lowered his hands and placed the necklace back in the drawer, where it would remain safe for now.


 

The train was running late. Shingyouji stood with Kago on the platform awaiting its arrival. The boy gripped his hand, always holding it too tightly. He had taken hold the first moment they arrived at the station and had not let go since. Every second the train was late Shingyouji feared it never arriving at all a little more. He breathed a sigh of relief when the announcement came that the train was on approach.

Kago only released his hand once they train arrived and they were boarding. Kago ran ahead. Shingyouji considered taking a different seat but knew Kago would just follow him back. Kago sat by the window and Shingyouji sat next to him in the aisle seat. The trip was filled with Kago's constant ramblings and touching. Shingyouji did his best to avoid Kago's touch and yet smile.

As they neared their destination the train became filled to capacity with passengers. Shingyouji saw a perfect opportunity to distance himself from Kago as an older lady boarded the train. He jumped from his seat and offered it to her. He ignored the glare Kago gave him. All he could do was smile. He was so close to his destination. Kago would be on a bus and out of his life for the rest of the summer vacation, he would be with Arata-san that whole week and all of that would be happening in just a few stops. And nothing could spoil it now.

Shingyouji's heart beat a little faster as the train pulled into his stop. It was still running late and he hoped that it hadn't be a problem for Misu Natsu. The crowd of passengers around him stood as it appeared nearly half the train was getting off at this same stop. As Shingyouji was already standing he managed to get a few people ahead of Kago. He followed the slow crawl of people off the train and out on to the platform. For half a second he felt free. Then Kago called his name. Shingyouji turned.

"Mitsu, wait up." Kago jumped off the train and ran up to him, grabbing his hand. "It's not too late, you can still come with me."

Shingyouji could just smile. Just a few more minutes and then he would be free.

Kago yanked his arm, turning him around. Face to face with Misu. Shingyouji's heart dropped into his stomach.

"Arata-san? I didn't expect you to be here."

"Obviously. My class was canceled so I came to get you instead of my mother."

Kago squeezed Shingyouji's hand tight, too tight. "So you're Misu-kun. I've been looking forward to meeting you." Misu looked at Kago.

"And you are?"

Shingyouji opened his mouth to respond but Kago lifted their locked hands before he could speak.

"Can't you guess?" Shingyouji could feel all of his happiness slip away. In one move Kago had hurt him more than any other time before. The tears he had fought back for so long pooled in his eyes. Misu looked at him and the pain stabbed him even deeper.

"Arata-san, please."

Misu looked away from him and down at Kago's painful hold on his hands.

"Shingyouji, stop."

Shingyouji felt his world slip away from him. It was over, he was now alone. He couldn't stop the tears as they slid from his eyes, didn't want to stop them.

"I don't know what game you think you're playing, but let go of Shingyouji's hand right now." Shingyouji and Kago stared at Misu.

"But, I'm…"

"You're what?" Misu leaned in close to Kago and whispered "You're Shingyouji's new boyfriend, his lover?" Kago's face flushed. "I don't think so. Shingyouji's mine. He will be, forever. You're nobody. Now...Let...Go...Of...His...Hand." Kago quickly dropped Shingyouji's hand. Misu smiled at him. "Now don't you have somewhere else you need to be?"

"Mitsu was taking me to the bus stop."

"Over there." Misu pointed, then reached down and gently took Shingyouji's hand in his own, leading him away, turning his back on Kago. Shingyouji could only stare at Misu's back as they walked through the crowd. The tears drying on his cheeks. Misu maneuvered them through the station and outside. He lead them to the carpark and to small black sedan. Without saying a word Misu took Shingyouji's bag and threw it into the back seat. He opened the passenger door for Shingyouji and helped him inside. Shingyouji watched from his seat as Misu walked around the car and climbed in the driver's seat.

Still without speaking Misu started the car and pulled out of the lot, and drove away from the train station. Shingyouji waited patiently as he watched Misu out of the corner of his eye. Misu kept his attention focused on the road. After 20 minutes Misu pulled into the driveway of a beautiful medium modern 2 story home. Misu opened his car door and got out. Shingyouji followed his lead. Shingyouji opened the back door and grabbed his bag throwing it over his shoulder. He followed Misu up the front path and in through the front door.

"Arata, is that you?" A female voice called from inside the house.

"Yes mother." Misu called back.

"And is Shingyouji-kun with you?"

"Of course."

Natsu appeared out of a side room, smiling, arms spread wide. "Shingyouji-kun, I am so happy to see you." She wrapped her arms around Shingyouji and held him tight. For a second Shingyouji didn't know how to respond. And then he lifted his arms and hugged her back, the tears threatening to return. Natsu released him from her hug, but still held his arms. "We are so happy that you agreed to spend the week with us. I know Arata has missed spending time with you. Haven't you Arata?"

"Yes mother. In fact I would like to show Shingyouji to his room, and the house before father gets home for dinner."

"That's fine. He won't be home for a few hours, and I...I need to go...out. Arata may I have the car keys."

Misu handed the keys off to his mother's waiting hand.

"Don't forget to show him your room Arata."

"I will mother."

"Shingyouji I will see you later."

"Thank you Misu-san." His voice sounding weak to his ears. Natsu looked at Shingyouji, then looked to Misu.

"Of course Shingyouji-kun, it's our pleasure to have you here. Please feel free to think of this as your home any time you are here." Natsu suddenly grabbed him into a hug again. She whispered quietly into his ear. "And thank you for being Arata's friend." Shingyouji felt a pain stab his heart. How much would it break her heart to learn about her son, and learn about his relationship with Misu.

"Mother."

"Ah yes, sorry." She released Shingyouji. "I will see you two in a few hours." Natsu turned and walked out the front door leaving them standing alone in the main hallway.

"Shingyouji, follow me." The first words Misu had spoken to him since they had left the train station. While he had sent Kago away Shingyouji didn't like the look in Misu's eyes. Misu had never been like this before. It wasn't anger, it was something worse. It looked like pain. And worst of all, he knew he was the cause of Misu's pain.

Misu walked down the hallway passing room after room, not saying a word. Shingyouji followed closely, his eyes trained on Misu's back. Misu lead them up a back staircase and into the first room on the left. It was a simple room with a large bed in the center, a dresser, a wardrobe and two bedside tables with lamps. Misu turned towards Shingyouji. He grabbed Shingyouji's bag out of his hands and threw it on the bed. He turned and walked out of the room. Shingyouji stood there for a moment confused.

"Shingyouji." Misu called.

Shingyouji ran out of his room and found Misu standing in front of the next doorway down. He walked inside and Shingyouji followed. This was clearly Misu's bedroom. A twin bed was pushed against the wall, and desk lined with books was against the other wall. In the center was a wardrobe that matched the one in the guest room and a dresser below a small window letting in the afternoon sun. In addition to the books on the desk there was also a bookshelf filled with more books.

As Shingyouji looked around the room he became aware that Misu was staring at him. He turned to face him, but could not meet his eyes. His head dropped low as he felt the tears returning. He didn't want to hear what Misu was going to say. He knew he had broken Misu's heart today. He reached up to his neck and around for the necklace. He had risked wearing it today as he didn't want to meet Misu without it on. He undid the clasp and held the necklace and ring out to Misu.

"What are you doing Shingyouji?"

"I am sorry Arata-san. I didn't mean to hurt you. I don't deserve this."

"Shingyouji what do you mean, hurt me? You haven't hurt me."

"But Hakura, I mean Kagu-kun."

"That's his name? No he's the one who should be offering apology."

"I am sure he would apologize to you Arata-san."

"Not to me." Shingyouji lifted his head and looked up at Misu. "To you Shingyouji."

"Arata-san?"

Misu stepped forward and took Shingyouji's hand, the necklace pressed between their palms. "He was hurting you, wasn't he?"

Misu gently massaged Shingyouji's fingers between his. Shingyouji couldn't stop the tears any longer. He didn't want to cry in front of Misu, but the last of his strength left him as Misu held him so carefully.

"Yes."

"This wasn't the first time, was it?"

"No."

The tears fell harder as Shingyouji was pulled towards Misu's gentleness, but still afraid of Kago's manipulation. No matter how Misu spoke now, Kago still threatened to bring it all down. And Shingyouji knew this could still be the end. His last possible moments with Misu.

"Shingyouji why do you allow this?"

"I have too."

"Shingyouji, what is it that he has over you that allow him to treat you this way?"

Shingyouji closed his eyes. The words again all wanting to come spilling out, but the fear holding him back. He swallowed hard, and opened his eyes. Misu's concerned look and gentle hold on his hand finally pushed him over the edge.

"He...he is threatening to tell your parents about you, about us. So that we can never see each other again."

Misu's eyes opened wide for a moment, then he shook his head and let out a small laugh.

"Is that all he has over you Shingyouji?"

"What more could there be? I need you Arata-san."

With his free hand Misu reached under Shingyouji's chin and lifted his face. "And I need you Shingyouji." Misu let go of Shingyouji's chin. "But if this is all he has on you, then you don't need to worry about him anymore."

"I don't understand Arata-san."

"Why do you think you're here Shingyouji?"

"Because your mother invited me as your friend."

"No Shingyouji, because my mother already knows about us. She invited you because she approves of you."

Shingyouji lost all strength to stand. His knees buckled under him and he slid to the floor. As he was still holding on to Misu's hand Misu crouched down with him.

"She knows? How..When? Did you tell her?"

"No, I think she figured it out after our New Years trip. She takes care the family expenses, and when I added your name as a guest that day, she would have seen it then. I think she's always had suspensions, but that was enough."

"But then at the graduation?"

"I didn't realize it then, but she was using it as a chance to meet you in person. Which is why she took you after tea. She wanted you to herself."

"And now…"

"And now she invited you here as she does want to introduce you to my father. He will take longer to win over."

"So he knows too?"

"Yes Shingyouji. Mother talked to him on her own right after graduation. He was angry at first. But mother has been working on him, and she usually gets her way. This trip is his chance to get to know you. And for you to get to know them."

"So they really both know? And they aren't going to stop us?" The words felt unreal to Shingyouji's ears. It wasn't a question he ever thought he would ask. His greatest fear had already come to pass and it had come to nothing.

"No, they aren't going to stop us." Misu wiped away the tears on Shingyouji's face. "In fact why do you think my mother left us alone so suddenly."

Shingyouji's head spun in circles. The fear, the joy, the pain, the excitement, all the emotions he'd been feeling in the last few minutes still running laps through his head. He needed to center himself, find a point to anchor himself to before he lost his mind.

"I don't…"

Misu leaned in and kissed Shingyouji. All thought stopped. The fear vanished, the pain disappeared. While the happy emotions remained they too were pushed to the back of his mind as he anchored himself to Misu's touch. Their hands still locked together around the necklace and ring. Shingyouji pressed into the kiss, holding onto the moment.

Misu wrapped his free hand into Shingyouji's hair. Shingyouji nearly cried out from the soft touch. He felt Misu's tongue lighting licking at his lips. Shingyouji opened his mouth. Misu's tongue slid slowly into his mouth, his kiss delicate. Shingyouji could feel Misu's need to press harder, faster, and yet Misu restrained himself.

Shingyouji let his tongue meet Misu's. A warm feeling radiated from the center of his body out through his limbs. The pain in his hand still slightly tender from Kago's rough touch faded away. The dull ache in his head evaporated. And in the first time in months everything felt as if was returning to normal.

The kiss felt as if it lasted forever, but only moments passed before Misu pulled away. Misu loosened his grip on Shingyouji's hand, the necklace suddenly falling free. Misu caught the chain before it hit the floor. He held the chain up, letting the ring dangle between the two of them.

"Shingyouji lean forward."

Shingyouji obeyed. Misu wrapped his arms around Shingyouji's neck and re-did the clasp in one try. Misu traced his hands along his neck and then off. Shingyouji reached up to hide the necklace back under his shirt.

"No Shingyouji, not here. Don't hide it here."

Shingyouji dropped his hands, leaving the necklace in place. He looked to Misu, who was holding out his hand. Shingyouji reached out and took Misu's hand. Misu pulled Shingyouji to his feet and lead him over to his bed. Misu sat down first then pulled his feet up, laying sideways along the bed. He pulled on Shingyouji's hand bringing him down into the bed next to him so they were laying face to face. Shingyouji's hair fell into his face and Misu pushed the strands away, before placing his arm over Shingyouji's body. Shingyouji stared directly into Misu's eyes, taking comfort from the warmth he found in them.

All the energy Shingyouji had been using for the past few months felt as if it had been drained out of him. His head felt overly heavy laying on the pillow. His eyes closed for a moment. He forced them back open. Misu was smiling at him. He smiled back. His eyes closed again. He struggled harder to open them again. He was surprised by how much darker the room suddenly was when he opened his eyes. In the dimmed light he could barely see Misu's eyes were closed and he was breathing slowly. Misu had pulled him even closer, wrapped his arm tight around his body and fallen asleep.

Shingyouji started to inch back from Misu's embrace. He'd barely moved before Misu's arm tightened around him and pulled him back even closer. Shingyouji waited a moment but Misu didn't make any additional movement. Shingyouji tried backing away again. After a few inches Misu pulled him right back this time bringing Shingyouji right against his chest. With his breathing still slow and his eyes still closed Misu's hand ran lightly up along Shingyouji's back and into his hair.

"Are you trying to go somewhere?"

"Sorry Arata-san. I didn't mean to fall asleep for so long."

Misu leaned down and kissed Shingyouji on the forehead. Shingyouji relaxed into Misu's hold. Timing each breath with Misu's. Letting his head rest back into Misu's chest. It was the first time in months everything felt like normal. There was no school, no interrupting roommates, no Kago, no homework, no stress, only the welcoming arms of Misu.

"Today Shingyouji was for you. You needed the sleep. The rest of the week is for me."

Shingyouji pushed himself back to look into Misu's eyes. "What do you mean?"

"I haven't seen my pet in months, I go all the way to the train station to pick you up, find you holding hands with someone else, get you home and all you want to do is sleep." Misu's voice grew louder as he spoke.

"Arata-san, I am sorry." Shingyouji said, "I really am sorry for…"

Misu pressed his lips against Shingyouji's, cutting him off. Shingyouji felt Misu pushing against his shoulder, pushing him flat onto the bed. Misu rolled over on top of him, pinning him into place. Misu pressed his lips against him even harder. Shingyouji parted his lips slightly and Misu took the invitation. Misu's tongue reached to him through his lips. Warm electric currents radiated from the center of Shingyouji's body. He lifted his arms to wrap them around Misu. Misu grabbed his hands and pinned him back to the bed. He was trapped completely beneath Misu, and he never felt more safe. Misu released his mouth and began to kiss his way along his cheek, over to his ear.

"If you apologize one more time for what happened today." Misu licked along Shingyouji's ear.

"But."

Misu gently pressed his teeth around the side of his ear. The warm current spread further throughout Shingyouji's body. His fingers wrapped around Misu's hand. Misu's teeth pressed a little harder. Shingyouji couldn't suppress the small moan the escaped him.

"Arata." Shingyouji froze. Natsu spoke from outside the bedroom door.

Misu released his hold on Shingyouji's ear and lifted his head slightly. "Yes Mother?"

"I just wanted to let you and Shingyouji-kun know your father will be home in 30 minutes for dinner."

"Thank you Mother. We will be ready."

Shingyouji tried to lift his hands again, and Misu pushed him back down. "Don't move."

"But we have to get ready for dinner."

"We will, but don't move just yet."

Shingyouji lay perfectly still. He could feel every part of Misu's body that pressed against him as he was held down. His own body was reacting to Misu's touch, the comfortable weight of him, the feeling of being dominated and yet respected. Shingyouji wanted to move, wanted to feel, and yet he obeyed. He slowed his breathing until he brought his own body back under control.

Misu leaned closer to Shingyouji's ear and whispered very softly. "We will continue this later."

Misu let go of Shingyouji's hands and pushed himself off of Shingyouji and the bed. He put out his hand and offered it to Shingyouji, helping him up. Misu walked over to bedroom and lead Shingyouji back into the hallway. He pointed to a door across the hallway.

"The bathroom is right there, if you want to freshen up. I will meet your room before heading downstairs. Are you ready?" Misu squeezed Shingyouji's hand.

"Ready?" Shingyouji asked.

"In the 30 minutes you will be meeting my father."

Chapter Text

After leaving Misu's bedroom Shingyouji used the bathroom to wash his face and brush down his hair. Back in his guest room he realized once again he had not brought the appropriate clothing. This time for meeting Misu's father Misu Ryou for the first time. His head had been so filled with escaping that he had grabbed only the few things that he felt he would need and was out the door.

He might be able to borrow a shirt and tie from Misu. They would fit poorly, but they would be better than anything he had stuffed in his bag. He opened the wardrobe to toss his bag inside and stopped. Inside hung a full outfit. Slacks, shirt, tie, even a jacket. He pulled them out. All to his size. Whether Misu or Natsu were to thank he wasn't sure, he was just relieved to see the clothes there.

He quickly changed, leaving the jacket hanging in the closet. That felt too formal for dinner at home. He waited to see what Misu would be wearing. His last step of dressing was to pull the ring free of his collar and set it atop the tie. His hands shook as his did so. Misu had told him not to hide it, but to flaunt it so readily in front of Misu's father, he wasn't sure he was ready for that. Completely dressed, and completely nervous Shingyouji moved to stand by the bedroom door and wait. His hands nervously reaching to straighten his tie for the fifth time.

The knock scared him backwards by a few feet, even though he had been waiting for it every second.

"Shingyouji?" Misu called to him through the door. "Are you ready?"

"Yes." Shingyouji called back, or tried to. His voice barely a whisper.

Misu opened the door and entered the room, closing it behind him. He had also changed into slacks, a nice blue shirt and tie, no jacket.

"You found the clothes." Shingyouji nodded his head. "Are you nervous?" Shingyouji nodded his head again.

Misu approached Shingyouji and slowly lowered his head. His lips very softly pressed against Shingyouji's. Then harder, until Shingyouji felt himself being forced backwards. Misu wrapped his arms around Shingyouji's waist and held him in place. His kiss strong and deep. All feelings beyond those of Misu's touch vanished. Misu suddenly pulled away. Shingyouji staggered, grabbing the dresser for support.

"Don't worry, my mother will be there, and you know she already likes you. And don't forget you've already passed the hardest to please person's tests, so this should be simple."

Shingyouji looked at Misu. "Who?"

Misu smiled slightly. "Me." Misu reached up and brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. "Just be yourself. I know this will be difficult for you, but remember he is already on his way to accepting this. He will not be as open as my mother, but it does not mean he doesn't like you. Are you ready?"

Shingyouji felt his fear begin to build for a moment, and then it faded as he looked into Misu's eyes. All the emotional and physical pain he had endured by Kago's hands to bring him to this moment was not going to stop him now.

Shingyouji held his head up and said. "Ready."

Misu turned and stepped out of the bedroom. Shingyouji followed. Misu lead him back down the same staircase they had climbed earlier. At the bottom of the stairs Misu walked down the hallway and turned into a side room. Shingyouji briefly took in his surroundings as he stayed close behind. The room was an office, with only a simple desk and chair on one side of the room. The rest of the room was floor to ceiling bookshelves, filled to capacity with a variety of books.

"Father."

"Arata."

Misu stepped aside. "This is Shingyouji Kanemitsu."

Shingyouji bowed low. "It is an honor to meet you Misu-san."

"It is a pleasure to finally meet you as well Shingyouji-kun."

Shingyouji raised his head and finally got his first good look at Misu Ryou. It was like looking at his beloved Arata-san, only a little shorter, older and stricter.

"Arata?"

"Yes Father?"

"Go tell your mother that we will be ready for dinner in a few minutes. I want to talk with Shingyouji alone."

Shingyouji looked sideways without moving his head. Misu was looking at him. Shingyouji very slightly nodded his head.

"Yes Father." Misu bowed and left the room. Shingyouji didn't move. Ryou made no motion for him to sit, so he stood, waiting.

"Shingyouji-kun, are you a good person?"

Shingyouji tilted his head slightly and looked at Ryou. "I try to be Misu-san."

Ryou turned and sat behind his desk, again giving no indication for Shingyouji to sit.

"And you love my son?" Shingyouji opened his mouth, but Ryou held up his hand. "Please don't answer that. I've heard enough from my wife." Ryou fell silent for a moment and Shingyouji waited patiently for him to speak. All his time in Misu's presence he had learned when to wait. "I am not comfortable with this, situation. But my wife has persuaded me to meet you. Why you? Why are you the one he should be with?"

Shingyouji hesitated for a moment. "Why me? I don't know why he is with me over anyone else. I know why I am with him."

"And?"

"He is the most important person in the world to me. For the first moment I met him I wanted to be near him, had to near him. I didn't know if he would ever accept me, but that didn't matter. It was enough to be allowed to be by his side."

"But can you be what he needs? Can you be a w…"

"Wife?" Shingyouji laughed inwardly at the thought. "Honestly no, not in the traditional way you want. But you know your son, and he would never have that even without me. What I can offer is my support in everything he does, as I believe in him."

Ryou leaned back in his chair and stared at Shingyouji. "And what of your family? What do they think of all of this?"

"They don't. Not yet. There has not been a good time to tell them. I would like them to meet Arata-san when I do."

"And if they disapprove? And you have to choose?"

"Arata-san." Shingyouji said quickly, before Ryou even finished speaking. "My choice will always be Arata-san."

"You would choose him over your family? Interesting. And what about your friends? What do they think of this?"

Shingyouji's quickly thought of Saki-senpi and Hayama-san and nearly laughed out loud. He swallowed hard to suppress the laugh.

"My friends want me to be happy, and they know that Arata-san makes me happy. And I believe that I make him happy."

"When you leave Shidou, do you plan to follow Arata to his school?"

"I don't know. I want to be near him, but I need to get the best education for me, and I know Arata-san would want that for me too. He makes sure I study well and get good grades. It has been hard this year being apart, but if it makes me better I can do it."

"And after school?"

"Yes I will follow wherever he leads."

Ryou stood up from his chair and moved around from his desk. "Thank you for being candid with me Shingyouji-kun. It makes me feel a little better." Shingyouji smiled. "That doesn't mean I approve. Yet."

Shingyouji nodded his head and bowed. "Thank you for meeting with me."

Ryou opened his study door and indicated for Shingyouji to step out first. Once out Ryou closed and locked his study behind him. He lead the way down the hallway to a modern dining room where dinner was already laid out. Natsu and Misu were already seated, waiting for their arrival. Misu indicated the seat next to him. Shingyouji moved around the table and sat next to Misu, while overlooking the dishes laid out.

"Misu-san, did you make all this? It looks wonderful."

"Thank you Shingyouji." Natsu smiled. "I wanted to do something special for your first night here. I didn't know your favorite dish so I hope everything is to your liking."

"This is perfect, thank you for doing this for me."

"We should all go out at least one night. There is an Italian place I love."

"Natsu I don't think..."

"Ryou you can stay home if you want, but I am taking Shingyouji-kun out at least one night. I want to show him around while he's here."

Ryou smiled at his wife. The sternness of his face mellowed and his age suddenly appeared much younger. He patted her hand. "Alright, I understand. We'll go out to dinner at least one night this week."

Shingyouji looked down as he felt a slight movement on his leg. Misu's hand was resting against the side of his leg, slowly rubbing back and forth. Shingyouji lifted his head to look Misu in the eyes. Misu instead was looking ahead, watching his parents.

Shingyouji returned his attention to the table the best he could with Misu gently petting him. Looking over the plates of food they all bowed and said "Itadakimasu."

"Arata do you have any plans for tomorrow? Do you have any more classes while Shingyouji is here?" Natsu asked.

"Tomorrow, no. I have no plans." Misu hand slid up Shingyouji's leg before raising it back to the table. "I do have one class. It's in two days. It will only be for a few hours."

"I hope you don't mind then, I need the car tomorrow. I will be out all day while your dad is at work. If you need to go anywhere call a taxi."

"Natsu, that's expensive."

"Call a taxi, if you decide to go anywhere. I will call you when I on my way home. Arata for your class, if you will let me take you, then Shingyouji-kun and I can spend the time together until you get out of class."

Misu nodded his head. "That's fine with me mother. I would like the car at least one day."

"Of course, you can have it the any time after tomorrow."

"Thank you mother."

"Shingyouji-kun how has school been? Are you studying hard?"

"I've trying to study hard. Arata-san checks on me. But I know I can do better."

"Do you still have a lot of friends there?" Shingyouji lowered his head slightly. "Oh I'm sorry, did I ask a bad question?"

Shingyouji lifted his head and smiled. "No, I just miss Arata-san."

"I am sure. But knowing you Shingyouji I am sure you have lots of friends."

"I did...do." Shingyouji rubbed at his wrist which he could almost feel the fingers still tightly wrapped around.

Natsu looked at Shingyouji for a moment. "Well there is only the year left and then you're going to college?"

"Yes I am."

"That's good to hear."

Their conversation dwindled as they finished their dinner. In a short while they stared down at the emptied plates and dishes.

"That was a good meal Natsu, thank you."

Shingyouji and Misu offered their agreement. Natsu stood and started clearing the plates. Shingyouji stood as well and started to help.

"Shingyouji-kun you are our guest, you don't have to help."

"I know, but I always help at my grandma's and I want to pay you back for letting me come here."

"Shingyouji." Misu started.

"Arata-san, I need to."

"Shingyouji all I was going to say was when you are done come back to my room, I have old notes from classes that I want to give you. Even though it's summer break you can still be studying."

"Yes Arata-san." Shingyouji gathered as many dishes as he could and followed Natsu into the kitchen. He set the dishes by the sink and took up position at the end to dry. They worked mostly in silence as they made their way through all the dinner dishes. Shingyouji helped put everything away as directed. Once the kitchen was cleared and cleaned Shingyouji started to make his leave.

"Shingyouji-kun?"

"Yes Misu-san?"

"Is everything really okay?"

"Right now it is."

"Shingyouji-kun, I know I am not your mother, but please feel free to talk to me. I know Ryou has already met with you and I will keep working on him, but know that I already think of you as part of our family."

"Thank you Misu-san."

"I will finish cleaning the dining room. I am sure Arata is waiting for you." Shingyouji bowed quickly before escaping the kitchen and heading to Misu's room. First he stopped in his own room to change out of his nicer clothes and into something more comfortable. At Misu's door he paused for a moment then knocked.

"Come in Shingyouji."

Shingyouji opened the door and stepped into Misu's room. He was currently at his desk with a second empty chair next to him. Shingyouji crossed the room and sat in the chair. Along the desk lay a small stack of notebooks. Shingyouji felt a small amount of disappointment. His vacation with Misu was suddenly changed to a study session. Shingyouji picked up one of the notebooks and flipped through it.

"Thank you Arata-san. I am sure these will help me get better grades."

Misu pulled the notebook back out of Shingyouji's hands and set it back on the stack.

"They might. But what will help even more is staying away from him. He's the one that is getting in your way."

Shingyouji nodded his head. "I understand. I will try."

Misu brushed his fingers through Shingyouji's hair. "And I will try to find a way to help as well. But for tonight," Misu put the notebook back in Shingyouji's hands, "I do need to study, and you should as well."

"Arata-san."

Misu put his hand on Shingyouji's lap, petting his leg again. "Did you prefer we do other things, here alone in my room, while my parents are downstairs?"

Shingyouji shook his head and opened the notebook. Misu smiled and turned back to his own work. They worked in silence for the next few hours. Every once in awhile Misu would reach out and pet along his leg, or push some stray hair out of Shingyouji's eyes. Shingyouji welcomed every warm touch Misu placed on him. As it neared bedtime, Misu leaned back and yawned. Shingyouji pushed back in his chair and stood up.

"I should go to bed." Shingyouji said as he stretched.

"Good night Shingyouji." Misu stood and kissed Shingyouji lightly on the forehead. "I will see you in the morning."

Shingyouji wandered across the hallway to the bathroom first. He cleaned himself up before heading back to his room. Shingyouji changed into sleeping pants. He stared at the bed for a moment. It was larger than any bed he'd been on before. He crawled in laying first in the middle, then moving to one side. It didn't take long before he fell soundly asleep.

The next morning the room was filled with natural light. Shingyouji snuggled deeper under the covers. In his sleep confused mind for a moment he couldn't remember where he was, except that it was the most comfortable place he had slept in years. He was startled when an arm wrapped around his middle and pulled him backwards.

"Are you going to sleep all day?" The soft voice whispered in his ear.

Shingyouji opened his eyes and started to pull away. "Arata-san, you can't." Misu tightened his hold and pulled him back against his body.

"Relax, they're already gone. We have the place to ourselves for the rest of the day."

Chapter Text

For a brief moment Shingyouji couldn't relax as ordered. It was almost too much. The bed was too soft, the sun too warm, the touch too gentle, the moment too perfect. It was a dream. It was all fake and any moment it would all dissolve around him. He would open his eyes at Shidou, alone in his bed with only the memory of Misu.

A hand touched his shoulder. Shingyouji tried to bury his head further in the covers. He would not be pulled away from this dream. He would stay trapped in the moment of Misu's embrace. Remembering every moment. The feel of the covers against his bare chest. The sound of Misu shifting closer to him. The smell of breakfast in the room.

Shingyouji opened his eyes.

"Arata-san?"

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"This is real?"

"Yes Shingyouji."

Shingyouji let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding and rolled over. Misu lay next to him his head propped up by his elbow looking down at him. He was partially under the covers so that only the top half of his body appeared, which was currently bare, and a part of his sleeping pants showing. His hair stuck out at odd angles. Shingyouji smiled a little at his uncharacteristically disheveled look. Misu frowned at him.

"Something funny?"

Shingyouji bit his lip to try to hide his smile. "No Arata-san. I'm just happy."

Misu leaned down and kissed Shingyouji on his forehead. "Good. Get up and let's eat. My mother prepared this for us and it's getting cold from you sleeping too late."

Misu peeled the covers off of Shingyouji, his bare chest suddenly exposed to the air. Misu rolled out of the bed and Shingyouji followed. At the foot of his bed a small table had been set with two chairs. Covering the table was a traditional Japanese breakfast.

"Your mother made all this for us?"

"Yes, she did this for you."

"For me?"

"It's not for my benefit. I've been here for months and this is the nicest meal I've seen yet." Misu pulled out the chair and held it for Shingyouji. Shingyouji slid into his seat. Misu moved into his seat directly across from Shingyouji.

"Oh. Why would she?"

"She wants to impress you."

"Impress me? Why?"

Looking down at their plates, they both said "Itadakimasu."

"I think she believes if she can impress you, it will make my father less difficult to deal with. She is afraid he will try to scare you away."

"Your father didn't try to scare me. He just asked me some questions. I kind of like him." Misu's eyes opened wide. "He reminds me of you."

"Ah, well, my mother will be happy to hear that."

"I like your mother too." Shingyouji lowered his head for a moment. "I am thankful that she welcomed me so readily. I already liked her when I met her at your graduation. She treated me so kindly then. I was afraid of what pain I was going to bring here."

Misu's foot tapped against his leg. Shingyouji looked up. "And now you know, you didn't bring pain to this house. Instead you've brought her joy."

"And you Arata-san? Are you happy that I am here?"

Misu stared at Shingyouji for a long moment. "Shingyouji are you really asking me that? You should understand by now that I need you. That is not going to change because of a little distance. You do understand?" Shingyouji nodded his head. "Good. What is making me unhappy is that I know you are doing unwell in school. Both socially and with your studies. I knew something was wrong. I wish you could have shared this with me earlier."

"Arata-san I couldn't. He was right there. He heard everything I said."

Misu held up his hand. "Shingyouji I understand now. At the time I was worried."

"Arata-san, you were worried about me?"

"Shingyouji of course I worry. It worries me that I am not there and that you've felt alone in all this. I worry that you've been hurt. But that will change. From now own you will distance yourself from that...pest. At least until a better solution presents itself."

"I will try Arata-san."

"Do your best. Remember his threats won't work. He has nothing on you anymore." Misu leaned back in his chair suddenly looking at Shingyouji over the table. "Ah but here he is, ruining my time still. I'm done talking about him."

Shingyouji glanced at the now empty plates littering the table. "I'll clean up."

"No. Stay right there. Don't move." Misu stood. He pulled the table away to the corner of the room. "I have waited patiently to see you again and that was so rudely interrupted yesterday." Misu held up his hand before Shingyouji could say anything. "So don't move at all." Misu stepped over to Shingyouji who sat in his chair, hands held carefully locked before him in his lap. "I have waited patiently to touch you." Misu lightly ran a finger under Shingyouji's chin, up along his neck, to the base of his of ear, then away. "To kiss you." Misu leaned down and kissed the outer edge of Shingyouji's ear. Shingyouji remained still. His hands gripping to each other a little tighter. He pinched his eyes closed.

"You're not moving. You're obeying me well. But even when I do this?" Misu's lips wrapped around his ear, his tongue gently rubbing against the skin. Shingyouji began to shiver from head to toe. His hands gripping harder. Misu brought his front teeth down and slid his tongue to the other side, holding the tip of his ear between the two. Misu pressed Shingyouji's ear with his tongue into his teeth, gentle but firm. Shingyouji’s eyes shot open, his hands dropped to the sides of chair, gripping the edge for support. Misu worked against the sensitive nerve a few moments more. His warm breath trailing along the side of Shingyouji's face. Shingyouji’s own breathing changed to short quick gasps. His hands shook as he held the chair tightly.

With one last lick, Misu released Shingyouji's ear. Shingyouji relaxed forward, his breath still a little shallow. Misu whispered lightly in his ear. "Seems you've missed this as well."

Shingyouji could only lightly nod his head in response.

"But you moved."

"I couldn't help it Arata-san."

"I see. Well then something must be done about that."

"What?" Shingyouji lifted his head. Misu put his hand in his hair and stopped him from moving.

"No. Stay."

Misu released his hold. Shingyouji heard Misu walk away. He heard the wardrobe door open and close. Misu walked back and stood behind Shingyouji.

"Shingyouji, do your hands still really hurt?"

"Eh?"

"Your hands, do they actually hurt? You keep rubbing your hands and wrists as if they do, or is it just a memory of where he grabs you. And you need to be honest with me."

Shingyouji looked down at his hands. The warm pleasant feelings he had a moment ago quickly fading. He rubbed at his hands and wrist just as Misu mentioned. There was no pain, but he could still feel the fingers digging into his bones. "Ah, no Arata-san, they don't still hurt. It's just a memory."

"That's good. Give me your right hand."

"Arata-san?"

"Your right hand." Shingyouji lifted his hand up to his shoulder. "No, put it behind the chair."

Shingyouji did as asked. Misu took his hand in both his hands. Starting at the wrist he dragged his fingers along Shingyouji's hand. Massaging his fingers into the palm of his hand, around the back, and back up to the wrist. Misu's hands were very warm, compared to the soft thin cold item that suddenly wrapped around his wrist. For a brief second Shingyouji pulled away.

"Don't move Shingyouji. I'm going to give you a new memory. Instead of thinking of him, think of this moment. So if he ever grabs you again, you think of me and now instead." Shingyouji relaxed. "Good. Now your left hand."

Shingyouji moved his left hand behind the chair. Misu massaged it as he had done to the right. The same cold cloth wrapped around his left wrist. Misu tied his hands together firmly but not too tight. The hold was comfortable but he was unable to move. Misu slowly stepped out from behind the chair and stood before him. Shingyouji looked up to Misu, but Misu was looking down. Shingyouji followed his gaze downwards. Even through his sleeping pants and boxers Shingyouji's erection was clear as it pushed against his clothes. Instinctively he moved to cover himself. His hands moved barely an inch before he was stopped.

Misu kneeled down and grabbed the side of Shingyouji's pants and boxers. Without protest Shingyouji lifted his hips and in one quick motion Misu stripped him of his clothes, leaving them in a pile at Shingyouji's feet. He stood again and stared down at Shingyouji. Shingyouji watched Misu's eyes as they traveled over his body. Misu took a step forward. He reached out and touched Shingyouji's chest. His fingers sliding slowly downwards, then rising again, brushing beneath Shingyouji's chin, before moving downwards again. Shingyouji took long deep breathes that followed Misu movements. Hand rising and falling, breathing in and out.

Titling his head Misu leaned in closer. He pressed his lips against Shingyouji's cheek. Slowly he worked his way over to Shingyouji's lips. His kisses were light at first. Just barely touching. Shingyouji tried to lean forward but his tied-up arms restrained him, holding him back. Misu moved again, trailing kisses along Shingyouji's chin, over his neck and down his chest, stopping for a moment at the gold ring hanging from the necklace. Misu lowered his hands and slowly forced Shingyouji's legs apart. Shingyouji complied though he felt a warm blush fill his cheeks as he looked down at Misu's head moving downwards placing kisses along his body. Misu moved into a kneeling position before him, directly between his knees. With his right hand he took Shingyouji's erection, the left he placed against the flat of his stomach.

"Arata-san." Shingyouji whispered.

Misu looked up at Shingyouji from his kneeling position. As their eyes met, Misu's tongue reached out and licked the tip of Shingyouji's erection. Shingyouji inhaled quickly. His heart pounded so hard in his chest the sound briefly filled his ears. His eyes started to close, but stopped as Misu continued to stare up at him. Misu pulled Shingyouji's erection closer to him, wrapping his lips around the head of his cock, their eyes still locked. Shingyouji's whole body shuddered. His hands pulled at his restraints again. Misu's tongue still licked at him even as his lips encircled him. Shingyouji cried out softly. Misu's lips released him, leaning back smiling. Shingyouji lifted his hips slightly as Misu's hand rubbed the length of his cock.

Misu leaned forward again breaking eye contact. His mouth completely enveloping Shingyouji. Another moan escaped Shingyouji's lips, much louder this time. His eyes slammed shut as he felt Misu suck him in. Misu's lips running the length of his shaft, his tongue moving continuously. Shingyouji's breath became long shallow pants, with occasional moans. His arms pulled tight against his restraint. Misu's mouth worked the length of him, up and down. Tongue licking, twisting, curling. Lips tight, moving and sucking.

"Ara…" Misu leaned back, with his hand still moving quickly. Shingyouji's hips thrust against Misu's hand. Once, twice, three times hard. The orgasm roared through his body, lifting him from his chair. He collapsed back into the seat panting for breath, his whole body shuddering. His nerves tingling with pleasure.

With his eyes still closed, he felt Misu release his hold on him. Slowly his breathing returned to normal. He opened his eyes. Misu still knelt before him, looking up at him. A half smile on his face. Misu reached up and caressed his cheek for a moment before standing. He walked back around the chair. Shingyouji felt as Misu slowly undid his restraints. First his left wrist, which he again massaged once free, then the right wrist. Shingyouji brought his arms forward and stretched them. Though the restraint was gone he could still feel them there. He rubbed at his wrists. A new memory.

"Time to get clean."

Shingyouji stood and turned to look at Misu standing behind his chair. In his hand he held his tie from his suit. "Arata-san, my tie?"

"I would have used mine, but it was in the other room. Next time I will." Shingyouji felt himself blush slightly. "Come on." Misu took Shingyouji's hand and started to walk him to the door.

"Arata-san, my clothes."

"What about them? Nobody's home, remember." Misu's eyes glanced at the chair.

"But, that's different. This is a bedroom."

"Would it help if I was naked too?"

"That's not what…" Misu grabbed his waistband and stripped his pants and boxers down to the floor.

"Come on." Misu threw open the door to an empty hallway. He stepped out, and Shingyouji followed, his hands covering himself. He hurried quickly behind Misu into the bathroom. Misu grabbed the shower handle and turned on the water. He started by cleaning Shingyouji first. Taking his time rubbing him with soap and rinsing him off. He cleaned himself off next. Once cleaned he turned off the water and picked up the towel. He rubbed Shingyouji dry and then himself.

Back in the hallway a naked Misu paused. "Go put some clothes on." Shingyouji nodded and hurried into his room. He threw on some casual clothes out of his bag. At their breakfast table he gathered all the plates together into a stack. As he was finishing Misu entered the room. He helped Shingyouji pick up everything and they carried it downstairs to the kitchen. Misu set the dishes into the sink to soak.

"Come on."

"Where are going?"

"You've only seen parts of the house so far. I want to show you the rest." Misu stepped into the hallway. He pointed at the closed door down the hallway. "You've seen my father's study, of course. He keeps it locked, but if you wish to look at his collection of books just ask, he is very willing to share. The dining room and kitchen you also already know." Misu walked back closer to the front door. "This is our living room. We don't use it often, dad is usually in his study and I am in my room. My mother decorated most everything. As you can see she has very western tastes."

Shingyouji stepped into the room and looked around. "Where does your mother spend her time if both of you are busy."

"While she spends a lot time out of the house with her projects and friends, she also has her own space." Misu turned and indicated the staircase near the front door.

"Oh I thought that just went upstairs to your parent’s room."

"No, it's a separate space from the bedrooms. For all my mother's love of keeping things clean and simple out here, her space is, well you'll see."

Misu lead Shingyouji up the stairs. At the top was an open medium sized loft. The room was full of controlled clutter. Book shelves filled with books and cheap knick knacks. Display cabinets with beautiful pottery next to plastic figures found at silly souvenir shops. Bamboo mats covered the floors. Large blue pillows were thrown about the floor and one large well used recliner sat in the middle of the room facing the one picture window. The walls were covered in photos from places around the world along with family photos.

Shingyouji walked slowly around the room, taking everything in. His eyes frequently scanning the photos for a young Misu. One in particular caught his interest. It was of Natsu and Ryou with a younger Misu. Next to them stood another couple and their young son.

"Is that Saki-senpai?"

Misu stepped up next to him.

"Oh that. I wish my mother would take that photo down."

"I remember now, didn't Saki-senpai say that Misu-san knew his parents."

"Yes, my parents have worked with Saki's parents before on various business dealings. As children aren't usually present for those she recognized him about as well as I would expect his parents to recognize me."

Shingyouji moved on to another photo of a 5-year-old boy dressed in a little suit. "Arata-san, is this you? You are so cute."

"Shingyouji I am beginning regret bringing you up here."

"Arata-san, how can you say that. I think this is the best room ever. I love it here."

Misu gently pet his hand through Shingyouji's hair. The feeling sent goosebumps across his skin. "I thought you might. I know mother won't mind, so feel free to spend any time you want up here."

"Oh, well I'd only come up here if you're with me. We only have a few days."

Misu smiled and shook his head. "I didn't mean just this week Shingyouji. I meant any time you visit. This won't be the only time you come over. You know my mother will insist you come back often." Misu turned away slightly. "Shingyouji I know you haven't picked your college yet, but if you do choose to come to the same college as me, you should come live here."

"Arata-san?"

"I know my mother would insist it."

"And your father?"

"By then I have to believe he will be more accepting."

"I will think about it Arata-san."

"Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san?"

"This is not one my orders you need to follow. You need to pick the best school for you. We will find a way to make it work no matter what you choose. Do you understand?" Shingyouji nodded his head. "Good. Now are you ready for lunch?"

"Yes Arata-san."

Shingyouji followed Misu back down the stairs, he eyes looking over the chaos of the room once more. It was a place he wanted to come back to again, often. In the kitchen they worked together to make a simple lunch. Shingyouji found he enjoyed working domestically with Misu. They took their lunch to the dining room and sat across from each other.

"Itadakimasu." The both said.

Shingyouji bowed his head slightly as he smiled to himself. He felt Misu tap his foot. Misu left his foot gently pressed against his. A wonderful familiar feeling from days past. He raised his head, biting his lip to hide his smile as his did so.

"Something wrong Shingyouji?"

"Ah no Arata-san. Actually I am very happy. I was just thinking how nice it is to be here."

"It is a nice place."

"This was your childhood home wasn't it?"

"Yes, I grew up here, except for the time I spent at schools, this is where I lived."

"It must be why I like it so much. It's Arata-san's home."

Their attention turned to their lunch, quickly finishing the meal in short order. They cleared the table and carried the dishes back to the kitchen. As with the night before Shingyouji positioned himself to dry while Misu washed the breakfast and lunch dishes. Shingyouji leaned against the kitchen counter as he finished with the last item. He watched Misu closely as he put the dishes away. Studied his face, how his hair curled slightly around his ears, the slight pout to his lips as his concentrated on his task. Shingyouji's body responded to his thoughts. His hands wanted to reach out and grab Misu in his arms. He held onto the kitchen counter even tighter.

"Arata-san do you want to take a walk with me?" Shingyouji suddenly blurted out.

"A walk?" Misu glanced at Shingyouji, the small pout turning into a slow smile.

"I was just thinking of what we might do now."

Misu turned and placed his hands on the counter on either side of Shingyouji. He dropped his head slightly and quickly kissed Shingyouji. Misu leaned back but did not remove his hands.

"I see. This is my childhood neighborhood. I can understand why you might want to see it." Misu leaned back in. "We could go out and view the whole neighborhood, which could take hours. Or would you rather stay here?" Misu kissed Shingyouji's cheek. "Where we still have the afternoon left." Misu kissed Shingyouji's ear. "With what may be our only day alone." Shingyouji gripped tightly onto the counter as his knees shook beneath him. Misu started to pull away. "But if you prefer to go on a walk, we can."

Shingyouji released the counter and wrapped his hands into Misu's hair, pulling him back. He pressed his lips hard against Misu's. Their tongue's meeting, finding a familiar pattern. Misu's hands wrapped around Shingyouji's body pulling him in a tight embrace. For the next few minutes all they could do was kiss. Touching each other as if this was the first time they had truly seen each other and the last day had happened far in the past.

When Misu finally pulled away, Shingyouji looked him directly in the eyes. "I missed you Arata-san."

"I missed you too Shingyouji."

Misu dropped his mouth back on to Shingyouji. On his lips, his neck, his ears, his check, his forehead. Any exposed skin. His hands moved around his waist, took the edge of Shingyouji's shirt and peeled it over his head, throwing it on the kitchen counter. His hands ran over the length of Shingyouji's now exposed chest, running over his stomach, across his body, lightly touching his nipples, moving back down his sides. Shingyouji watched Misu's face as he touched him. The half-smile on his lips, his eyes filled with yearning. Each place Misu touched Shingyouji wanted more. But he also wanted to feel Misu's skin under his fingers.

Shingyouji placed a hand against Misu's side, pulling at the edge of his shirt. Misu glanced down at his hand, then back up to Shingyouji's eyes. The same need filled Misu's eyes.

"Come on." He grabbed Shingyouji's hand, dragged him from the kitchen, down the hallway, back up the stairs, kicked open the guest bedroom door, pulled Shingyouji in, kicked the door shut and brought Shingyouji to the edge of the bed. He pulled off his own shirt and threw it to the floor. He gently pushed Shingyouji backwards. They fell into the bed together, Misu nearly on top of him. His lips and hands resumed their exploration, up, down, everywhere he could touch. Shingyouji swallowed hard as Misu worked along his body. Small cries of contentment escaped his throat.

Misu raised up suddenly. He gripped Shingyouji's pants and stripped them off nearly in one motion, throwing them to the floor. He grabbed his own pants and quickly removed them, tossing them after Shingyouji's. He lay back down next to Shingyouji their naked bodies tightly pressed to each other. He pulled Shingyouji's face closer, resuming their feverish kissing. Small moans vibrated his lips from Misu's mouth. Misu's hands continued to work along his skin. His hands working ever downward. Shingyouji moved his legs apart and shifted slightly as Misu's hands rubbed along his thighs. Suddenly Misu stopped and sat up.

"Ah, I need..."

Shingyouji looked away suddenly unable to look Misu in the eyes. "In my bag."

"What?"

"I have some in my bag."

Shingyouji peered up at Misu from the corner of his eyes. Misu stared down at him, smiling.

"To my parents’ house? Did you imagine that something like this might happen?" Misu rolled over Shingyouji, putting one hand on either side of his head, staring down at him. The hard blush filled Shingyouji's cheeks immediately. "Did you miss me that much?"

Though his cheeks were still burning Shingyouji turned his head and looked Misu directly in the eyes. "Yes Arata-san."

"Good."

Misu backed off the bed. Shingyouji watched him walk across the room. Naked and confident. Beautiful. Misu opened the wardrobe and rummaged around in his bag. After an infinitely long moment he retrieved the bottle of lotion. Misu turned around, lifted his head and dropped the bottle of lotion. Shingyouji lay completely naked atop the white covers, his legs still slightly parted. Shingyouji started to sit up.

"Stay." Misu growled.

"What's wrong?" Shingyouji shifted his position slightly.

"Don't move."

Misu lowered himself to pick up the lotion, his eyes never wavering. He walked slowly back to the bed, his chest rising and falling in short breaths as he approached.

"Arata-san?"

"It's been too long since I've seen my pet like this."

"But Arata-san, what about...earlier?"

"That was different. That was for you Shingyouji. I've waited patiently to see you again. Now here you are finally before me." Misu reached out a hand and stroked Shingyouji's leg. "I've needed this." Misu’s hand moved lower. "Seeing you like this now, I cannot wait much longer."

Shingyouji shifted, letting his legs spread further apart. Shingyouji watched Misu inhale and exhale quickly a few times. Misu flipped open the bottle of lotion and dumped some in his palm. He placed his hand between Shingyouji's legs, spreading the lotion around. After a few seconds, Shingyouji felt Misu’s press a finger into him. He was surprised by how much it hurt. He gasped, his hands grabbing Misu's to stop his movement.

"Shingyouji? Does it hurt?" Misu pulled away and the pain faded. "Should I stop?"

"No Arata-san, it just hurt a little. Please don't stop."

Misu put his hands back against Shingyouji's leg. His fingers working the muscles slower. He lowered his head and kissed Shingyouji's stomach. Shingyouji felt the pressure of Misu's fingers. At first the feeling was slightly uncomfortable but no longer painful. He shifted his hips a bit and suddenly the pleasure washed through him. He moaned loudly. Misu pressed his finger onto the same spot. Shingyouji gripped the bedspread tightly. Misu slid his left hand over pulling one of Shingyouji's hand's free, holding him firmly in his grasp. The warm feeling remained with each of Misu's thrusts. Shingyouji felt as Misu slid another finger into him. His nerves awoke with a new wave of pleasure. He squeezed Misu's hand. Misu lifted his gaze to look at Shingyouji.

"Does it still hurt?"

Shingyouji could only moan in response, his voice escaping him. Misu smiled.

"Ah, then does it feel good?" Misu pushed into him.

Shingyouji took in a quick breath. His hand squeezing Misu's even tighter. His hips jerked towards Misu's hand causing him to press deeper.

"Please." Shingyouji managed to whimper out. His whole body ached, needing more.

Misu removed his hand. For a moment Shingyouji felt empty. Shingyouji lifted his legs as Misu positioned himself. Misu's beautiful eyes stared down at him, filled with the same yearning as before. Shingyouji gave a small nod. With a slow movement Misu entered him. It felt good, it felt right. Misu lowered his body down. Shingyouji wrapped his arms around Misu's chest. Misu leaned down further, his lips falling to meet Shingyouji's. They kissed strong and intense.

The pleasurable warmth that started at Shingyouji's groin moved throughout his body. With each of Misu's thrusts he moaned into their kiss. Misu pushed hard into him. Over and over, his pace quickening. Shingyouji's hands fell away from Misu, gripping tightly at the sheets again. His whole body filled with the full pleasure of Misu's touch.

Misu suddenly pulled back and sat up, his chest heaving. His hands roamed along Shingyouji's chest. His fingers felt so comfortable against his skin. Misu still hard inside of him. His own erection firm, lying against his body, needing to be touched. He started to slide his hand over, but Misu reached him first. The feeling was electric. To be held by Misu while he was still inside felt overwhelming. His breath caught in his throat, his heart pounded throughout his body, his hips jerked.

Shingyouji closed his eyes for a moment. Feeling every movement of Misu's touch. He rested his hands on Misu's legs, looking for even more contact between them. Misu's hand worked along him. He opened his eyes again. First he looked down at where Misu was touching him. Watching it he felt as if another electric shock went through him. He could feel his orgasm fast approaching. His eyes moved upwards. Misu was looking down at him, directly in his eyes, his mouth slightly open, breathing deeply, his eyes filled with desire.

Shingyouji couldn't hold back any longer. His hands squeezed Misu's legs tightly, his hips lifted into Misu's hand and his orgasm poured out of him in one long powerful moment. Misu kept his eyes locked on his the whole time. Just as the wave of pleasure was drifting away Misu fell forward, his hips thrusting hard against him. Misu called out loudly as his own orgasm took him and he pushed deeply into Shingyouji. Shingyouji wrapped his arms around his chest and held him. They held each other in this position until their breathing slowed back to its normal pace.

Misu lowered himself slightly so that the soft skin of their stomach's met. Misu's body felt incredible against his own body. Misu's face continued lowering until he was merely inches above Shingyouji. He propped himself onto one arm and ran his free hand through Shingyouji's hair. Shingyouji tightened his grip around Misu's chest. It felt so right to be holding him. It felt like where he belonged.

"Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san."

"I don't think I can let you go home to your family. I waited too long to see you, I cannot let you go back after a week."

"Maybe you'll get tired of me after a week. We've never been together like this, for so long."

Misu moved down and kissed Shingyouji deeply. When he finally pulled away he looked Shingyouji in his eyes. "Shingyouji, never say such things. I will never tire of you."

Shingyouji smiled as he looked up at Misu, but the smile quickly faded. "I cannot stay. I promised my grandmother I would visit her. And I do miss her. And I need to visit my father."

"Shingyouji, maybe it is time that I meet your father."

Shingyouji moved, nearly throwing Misu off of him. Misu backed away and Shingyouji quickly sat up. "Arata-san you want to meet my family?"

"Yes Shingyouji. It does seem appropriate if we are going to be together. Are you ready for that?"

"I...I don't know. For my grandmother yes. My father, I am not sure."

"Will you be okay if he doesn't accept us?"

Shingyouji nodded his head. "Yes Arata-san. Because I have you, and now I have your family."

"Yes Shingyouji you do." Misu climbed off the bed and stretched. As he brought his hands down he rubbed them over his body. "We should clean off."

Shingyouji crawled out of the bed as well. For the second time that day they walked across the hallway naked, into the bathroom and quickly showered. Once cleaned Misu lead them back into Shingyouji's room. Shingyouji reached down for his pants lying on the floor.

"Wait. No clothes."

"Arata-san? I don't think I can, again. Not yet."

Misu brushed the hair out of Shingyouji's eyes.

"No, just lie with me. I want to be with you a little longer, like this."

"Oh, okay."

Shingyouji crawled up on the bed and lay under the covers. Misu followed him. They entwined their legs together. Misu put his arm out and Shingyouji rested his head against it. His other hand Misu lay across Shingyouji's side. Misu leaned forward and placed a small kiss on Shingyouji's forehead. As Misu pulled away Shingyouji smiled lightly at him. Misu lifted his hand from Shingyouji's waist and moved to slowly pet his fingers through his hair. Shingyouji let out a soft little sigh.

While he had been happy the last 24 hours being with Misu, in this moment he truly found his peace. Staring into those eyes that treasured him so completely. Being held in arms that would not let him go. Being kissed by lips that would say anything to protect him. Being touched by a heart that is much kinder than ever shown on the outside.

"I love you Arata-san." Shingyouji whispered.

"I know Shingyouji." Shingyouji smiled at Misu's response. It was exactly what he expected from Misu.

Shingyouji leaned forward and lightly kissed Misu on the lips. Shingyouji started to back away, but Misu's hands held him in place. He returned the soft kiss. Neither backed away. Their lips touched again, soft and delicate. Misu parted his lips and Shingyouji did the same. Gently their tongues touched. There was no urgency to their kiss, only the kiss itself. Misu's fingers still pet smoothly through his hair. Shingyouji with his hands trapped between their bodies lay his palms flat against Misu's chest, feeling his heart pounding hard.

Shingyouji didn't know how much time passed that way, lost in Misu's embrace, just kissing. It felt as if the last of their hours flew by. Gradually Misu pulled away, his lips slightly swollen.

"Today was a good day Arata-san."

"Yes it was Shingyouji. Unfortunately, I think my mother will be home soon. We should get dressed."

Shingyouji nodded his head. Misu crawled off the bed first. He gathered up his boxers, pants and shirt. Shingyouji followed and grabbed his boxers and pants. He scanned the room for his shirt.

"Arata-san, my shirt. I think we left it in the kitchen."

Misu looked around the room. "You're right. I'll be right back." Misu pulled on his clothes. Shingyouji slipped on his pants fast before Misu opened the door. Shingyouji sat down in the chair he had sat at earlier for breakfast. He was feeling regretful that the day alone was coming to an end, but very happy to have had the time at all. As he leaned forward the necklace and ring swayed freely around his neck. He took the ring and held it tight with both hands.

"I will be stronger." Shingyouji whispered to himself. "I can be stronger. For Arata-san, and for myself."

The bedroom door opened and Misu came back in the room carrying his shirt. "Here's your shirt. And you should put it on quick. My mother is already home."

Shingyouji felt his heart stop and his face go instantly red. "Did she see you, with this?" Shingyouji asked, trying to get the shirt on as fast as possible, only to put it on inside out the first time.

"She's the one who handed it to me. Hurry, she's waiting for us."

"Arata-san I can't see her now. Not with her knowing." Shingyouji flipped his shirt around only to put it on backwards.

Misu approached him and helped him turn it around. Once the shirt was properly placed Misu placed a hand on his head.

"I'm just kidding Shingyouji."

"Arata-san, why?"

"Because I like the face you make when you get embarrassed." Misu dropped his smile as he took Shingyouji's hands in his and rubbed his fingers into the backs of his hands. "Shingyouji don't forget this new memory. Remember this and only this from now on."

"I will Arata-san."

"Good, now let's go downstairs before my mother really does come home."

Chapter Text

"Shingyouji are you ready?" Shingyouji looked out the car window as Misu walked away across the school parking lot. Shingyouji only nodded his head in response. "Great. Arata will be busy in class for the next three hours. I've really been looking forward to our alone time." Natsu backed out of the parking space and pulled out onto the main road.

"Me too Misu-san."

"Shingyouji-kun?"

"Yes Misu-san?"

"I was wondering if you'd do me a favor?"

"If I can."

"I understand if this is too soon, or if this is something uncomfortable for you, but when it's just the two of us I was wondering if you could call me mother."

Shingyouji turned his head quickly to look at Natsu. She didn't look at him, her eyes focused on the road ahead. Her hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.

"I…"

"If you don't want to, that's fine too. I know you have your own mother, and I don't want you to think I'm trying to replace her. I just want you to think of me as another parent that you can come to, for any reason."

Shingyouji stared at Natsu. A small smile lifted the corner of his mouth, a calm warmth settled into his body. "Okay, Mother." Natsu sat up higher in the car seat. "But will this be okay with Arata-san?"

Natsu turned her head slightly and smiled at him. "I am sure it will be. Arata is a lot like his father. He comes across as cold, but he would do anything for you. I believe my son cares for you very much. Talk to him and I'm sure he will understand."

"About calling you mother?"

"About everything."

Shingyouji turned his head away and looked back out the car window. They were currently driving through a small shopping district. Natsu turned the car into a small parking lot. She turned the car off and they climbed out of the car.

"Are you hungry?" Shingyouji nodded his head. "Great, there is a restaurant near here that I love, but Arata is always in class when I go. It would be nice to have company this time."

"I'd like that...Mother."

Natsu suddenly grabbed Shingyouji's hand and wrapped it tightly in her own. She lead him down the busy streets filled with other shoppers and tourists, until they reached a small blue door that lead into an equally small restaurant. Inside were only a few tables. One of the tables was currently occupied by a young foreign couple. Behind the counter stood behind a local man and a foreign woman. The rooms decor was filled with pictures from landmarks around the world with the couple behind the counter in them.

Natsu took a seat at one of the empty tables and indicated for Shingyouji to join her.

"This is an interesting place Mother." Shingyouji said just as the foreign woman stepped up.

"Misu-san, welcome back." she said, speaking perfect Japanese. "Did he say mother? Did you finally convince your son to come in?"

"No, he's my future son-in-law." Natsu winked at him.

Shingyouji looked to the woman then to Natsu.

"Oh, I didn't realize you also had a daughter."

Shingyouji stared at Natsu, his heart pounding hard in his chest.

"I don't."

"Then how...oh."

"Shingyouji-kun this is Sarah, Sarah this is Shingyouji Kanemitsu."

The woman turned to Shingyouji a large smile on her face. "A pleasure to meet you. Misu-san has spoken about you often. I just didn't realize...but it all makes sense now. I am happy that you are visiting. I think she's spoken nonstop of you visiting these last few months."

"Sarah, I think he gets the idea. Can I get two of my usuals?"

"Sorry." Sarah bowed. "Of course. I'll be back in a moment." She bustled away leaving Shingyouji feeling a little flustered.

"She means well. She is just very excitable."

"She seems nice. And she speaks Japanese very well."

"That is her husband. They have been together, I believe it's been 20 years. She moved here from Canada to teach English, and never went home. I promised her I would introduce you. I hope I didn't embarrass you too much."

"It's okay. I just wasn't expecting..."

"To be introduced as my future son-in-law? Shingyouji-kun I am sure by now you've noticed that I hold fairly western ideals. Ryou likes to pretend he doesn't, but at heart he does too." Shingyouji nodded. "I also don't want to interfere between you and Arata. I don't know what you've two have discussed for plans for the future. Arata won't tell me. And you both have plenty of time, but I do hope you believe that you have my full support. Shingyouji-kun I know we haven't spent a lot time together, but if Arata cares about you, I already know you are someone special."

Shingyouji bowed his head as he felt the hint of tears in his eyes. "Thank you, Mother." The last word came out as a small gasp.

"What I do know is that Arata is planning to talk to your father. He told me that he plans to travel with you back to your home town and meet your family. Will your father be okay with this?"

Shingyouji looked up. He swallowed hard. "No."

Natsu reached across the table and took Shingyouji's hand. She rubbed her thumb across the back of this hand. "If you are not ready, you should tell Arata. I am sure he would…"

"No, I'm ready. I need to tell him. I want my father to know, but, I don't think he will understand. He's always expected for me to go to college, marry, have children."

"But you can do all those things with Arata. Well the marriage part you can't, yet, but I will still see you as my son-in-law, no matter what. In my eyes if you wish to be married I will think of you as such. And children, there are ways around that, if that's what you both want."

Shingyouji offered a small smile. "I don't think that will matter to my father."

Natsu patted his hand. "I understand." Natsu took a deep breath and let it out. "I'm sorry if I made you sad. Just remember you have Arata, me and even grumpy Ryou behind you. You didn't think you'd gain a whole family when you met Arata did you?"

Shingyouji smiled. "No. Thank you."

"Here you go." Sarah appeared from behind Shingyouji, her arms filled with plates. She started filling the table with various items.

"Sarah, what is all this? This is more than we ordered."

"Yes, but this is a special occasion. So eat up." Sarah walked away leaving Shingyouji and Natsu to stare at their overflowing table. They looked at each other, smiled, then dove into their lunch.

The time passed swiftly. Shingyouji felt a comfort speaking with Natsu that he had never found with his own mother. Their conversation swayed from his current favorite anime, her volunteer work, his goals for college, her own college life, his love of kendo, how she met Ryou, how his studies were currently going at his last year and a very adorable story of Misu when he was 4 and a trip they took to the zoo and some ice cream.

As they finished Sarah cleared their table. Shingyouji sat back and looked at the empty table, patting his very full stomach.

"Did you like it?"Sarah asked, returning to their table.

"Very much."

"Good. I hope Misu-san brings you back often."

"If he goes to college here, then you might."

"Then I look forward to seeing you again."

Natsu and Shingyouji stood and walked out of the tiny restaurant.

"I hope you don't get the wrong idea. I want you to come stay with us but wherever you choose to go I will fully support you and Arata will too. But that doesn't mean I won't try to my best to get you to come here."

Shingyouji laughed a little at Natsu's enthusiasm. It was hard not to be caught up in her wake and want to follow along. Shingyouji wanted to throw his arms her and hug her tightly. Only a few days ago he had never thought he would feel this way. Back then it all felt as if it would slip away and instead he was more welcome then he could even begin to imagine.

Natsu glanced at her watch. "We're a few minutes early. Shingyouji, I have a small surprise for you. It's just up here." Natsu lead them through the city streets, around a corner to a small park.

"Mitsu." Shingyouji's blood ran cold, all feeling of joy slipping away in an instant. Very slowly he turned around. Kago ran up to him, tackling him in a hug. Shingyouji fell back a few steps from the unexpected weight.

"Haruka? How?" Shingyouji gulped out.

"He called the other day asking about you. He said you were classmates and that he was in town. I thought it would be nice for you to have break from all of us and visit with another friend for a bit."

"I...I…" Shingyouji stuttered. Kago continued to hold him tight.

"He's so happy he doesn't know what to say." Kago said, smiling at Natsu.

"Well I was going to run one errand, give you two some time." Shingyouji looked up at Natsu. He wanted to beg her not to leave, grab her hand, hold her tight and use her strength for protection. She looked at him, confusion on her face. "But I don't have to. I can do it later."

"No, Mitsu and I will be fine." Kago whipped Shingyouji around, grabbed his hand and started running, dragging Shingyouji behind him. Shingyouji threw one last glance back at Natsu as he was pulled away.

"Oh, okay. I'll be back in half an hour, make that 20 minutes." Natsu called after them.

"Okay." Kago threw up a quick wave.

Shingyouji fought to get his footing under control as he stumbled after Kago. The old pain in his hand returning as Kago yanked on him. The fear and panic began to settle back into its familiar place. And then his mind switched. For a moment he felt Misu's presence with him, could nearly hear his voice. A new memory. It wasn't Kago touching him, but Misu tying his tie around his wrists. There was strength in that memory. Shingyouji planted his feet in the ground, and forced Kago to come to a halt letting out a small huff of breath as he did.

"No." Shingyouji said simply, pulling his hand free while Kago was too shocked to resist.

"Mitsu? Why? Aren't you happy to see me?"

Shingyouji took a long deep breath. "Haruka, why are you here? I thought you went to spend time with your Aunt."

"I did, I am. But I've been worried about you. Ever since Misu dragged you away I was worried what his family would do to you. He doesn't seem very nice. And if he's like that, what must his family be like. I know his mother is just acting nice for my sake, but you can tell me."

"Haruka." Shingyouji tried to interrupt.

"No, I understand. My aunt has an extra room and told me you can come tonight. I know it's been a terrible burden for you keeping your secret and now that I know how horrible he is I can't let you go back."

"Haruka!" Shingyouji yelled. A few children and parents turned to look at them before quickly going back to what they were doing. "I am not going with you. I am staying with the Misu's, and I have no reason to leave."

"But you can't be happy there."

"I can and I am."

"But can you still be if they ever found about your secret?"

"Secret? What secret?" Natsu suddenly approached from the side a small frown on her face.

"Mo...Misu-san?"

"I decided that my errand can wait and that I would like to spend time with you and your friend instead. So Shingyouji-kun are you keeping secrets from me?"

"No Misu-san."

Natsu turned her eyes to Kago. He glanced once at Shingyouji. "I'm sorry but I've have to say something Shingyouji. It's for your own good."

"There's nothing wrong with Shingyouji-kun is there?" She stepped closer to him and put her arm around his shoulder. The motherly gesture felt sweet and made Shingyouji smile a little. Kago saw it and narrowed his eyes in response.

"It's about Shingyouji and your son."

"What about Shingyouji and my son?"

"They're...they're…" Kago faltered.

"They're what?" Natsu tightened her grip on Shingyouji's shoulder. "What are you trying to say?"

"They're in a relationship." Kago said in one quick breath.

"They're in a relationship?" Natsu repeated much slower. "Are you trying to say that Shingyouji and my son are more than just friends?"

Kago nodded his head. "I'm sorry to say, yes."

"Ah, and you're here to warn me?"

"Yes."

"But to what purpose?" Kago looked up at Natsu. "Are you trying to protect your friend, which by telling me is not helping him, or are your trying to hurt him, which by telling me you are?" Kago opened his mouth then shut it again. "I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish here, but you should know, I already know about Shingyouji and my son. I have for a long time. And I couldn't be happier. Shingyouji is exactly the type of person my son needs. And I believe, I hope that Arata is the type of person who Shingyouji needs in his life. And now I think it's time you went back home to your family. Shingyouji and I will be leaving now as we have to go pick up my son from school."

Natsu slid her hand down Shingyouji's back and took his hand. She gave it a quick squeeze. He squeezed back. They turned together and walked out of the park. Shingyouji resisted the urge to look back at Kago as they walked away. Instead he looked slightly to the left, watching Natsu as she walked. She caught him and gave him a quick smile. Once they turned the corner out of eyesight of the park Shingyouji forced them to stop.

"Thank you."

"I'm sorry it took me so long to realize what was happening. I shouldn't have left you in the first place."

"But you came back."

"I had to. I could see it in your face that something was wrong."

"Thank you, Mother."

Natsu smiled and gathered him up in her arms, holding him tight. Shingyouji leaned his head onto her shoulder wrapping his arms around her waist. He'd hugged his mother before, but he realized he couldn't remember the last time she had hugged him first. He swallowed down the thought before he was caught up in any bad memories and instead enjoyed the warmth of Natsu's motherly embrace. Natsu released her hold and Shingyouji slowly stepped back.

"We still have a little time before we need to get Arata. Do you want to shop around for a bit, or would you like to go back now and we can just wait?"

"I want to go. I don't want to run into him again."

"I understand."

They walked back to the car, maneuvering through the other people out for the day. Shingyouji kept throwing back glances every few feet, but they were not being followed. At the car Shingyouji climbed into the passenger seat. Until they pulled away his need to panic waited just below the surface. After a few blocks he let out a long breath and relaxed into his seat.

"Shingyouji-kun, I'm sorry. If I had known I would never have agreed to have him meet us. He seemed determined to hurt you."

"Yes. He wants me away from Arata-san."

"Why?"

"I think he believes he likes me."

"And he thinks hurting you is going to make you like him back? He has a lot to learn doesn't he?"

"Mother, thank you for standing beside me. Only you and Arata-san have done that for me when it comes to Kago-kun."

"Really? I think you'd be surprised how many people are behind you if you'd only talk to them."

Natsu pulled into the small parking lot. She turned off the car and turned to look at Shingyouji.

They sat there for a long time in silence watching the school grounds. For the most part they were alone as most students were still out on break.

"Are you going to be okay?" Natsu asked interrupting the silence.

Shingyouji hesitated for a moment. "I will be."

"Good." Natsu reached over and patted Shingyouji's hand. He looked down at his lap and her hand. His eyes so focused on that one space that he didn't notice Misu approach the side of the car and tap on the glass. Shingyouji jumped in his seat. He looked up at Misu who stared down at him from outside. Misu opened the back door and climbed into the car.

"Am I interrupting something?"

Shingyouji turned in the seat to look back at Misu. "No Mother." Misu's eyebrows lifted high. "I mean Misu-san and I were just talking about where we went to lunch. I really liked it. You should go with us next time."

"Mother? Us? It seems a lot of bonding happened while I was in class."

"Arata you're just going to have to get used it. Shingyouji and I are getting to know each other."

Misu's looked between his mother and Shingyouji. "Something happened today didn't it."

Shingyouji turned to look at Natsu. She gave him a small nod in response. "We ran in Kago-kun." For a moment Misu just stared at them. Then a look of anger passed across his eyes.

"How?"

"He called the house. I thought he was a friend, so I arranged for them to meet after lunch."

"Did he…"

"No, I remembered what you said. It helped." Shingyouji said.

Misu's eyes flicked to his mother and suddenly Shingyouji felt himself go red as the memory played through his mind again.

"I'm sorry if I'd known I'd never had agreed."

"It's okay...Mother." Shingyouji said as he cast a quick glance back at Misu. Misu's mouth twitched slightly but he said nothing else.

Natsu pulled out of the school's parking lot and drove them home. Shingyouji kept glancing in the backseat but Misu was busy looking out the window, lost in thought.

"Shingyouji you go on ahead, I need to talk to my Mother." Misu said as they arrived home.

Natsu handed Shingyouji the house keys. He entered the empty house and instead of feeling like a stranger he felt at home. He walked the hallway to the back stairs. He bypassed his own room and went directly into Misu's room. He stood among the books and papers and marveled at the work that Misu was doing even with him there. He looked over the few photos and mementos around the room. His gaze fell on a picture sitting on the desk. In a small plain black frame was a picture of himself. He wasn't looking at the camera but looking somewhere beyond, smiling at something, someone out of frame. By the background it appeared it had been taken at Shidou. Shingyouji picked up the photo to get a closer look. He looked so happy in the photo. A reminder of happier days at Shidou. Those days had disappeared at the same time Misu and the rest of his friends did.

"That was the day they announced the Kendo results." Shingyouji jumped. Misu leaned in the doorway. "Saki was taking pictures of Hayuma that day, but when they heard your news he snapped that picture when you were talking to Hayuma. He gave it to me."

Shingyouji looked back down at the picture again. "Why didn't I know about this?"

"I kept it in a drawer at Shidou. Only here at home have I kept it out."

"Arata-san, I don't have any photos of you."

"You know I don't enjoy getting my picture taken."

Shingyouji set the photo back down on the table. "Then can I have an older one?"

Misu cocked his head slightly. "Older?"

"Yes, there was this one of you downstairs when you were 4 at the zoo. I heard the story today. I want that one."

Misu took a deep breath. "I will get you a new picture. And then tell my mother not to share any more stories with you."

"Sorry, I can't do that." Natsu walked past Misu in the hallway on her way toward her bedroom stopping just behind Misu. She gave Shingyouji a small wave and wink. Misu dropped his head. "If you need any pictures Shingyouji I have plenty. But I would like to get a picture of you two before you leave Shingyouji, for the wall downstairs."

"Mother, do you think that's wise?"

"Then for my space. Either way I will get a photo of you two."

"Okay Mother." Misu said.

"We still have a few hours before dinner, why don't you take Shingyouji around the neighborhood?"

"More Arata-san childhood stories?" Shingyouji asked happily.

Misu narrowed his eyes at him.

"If you don't Arata I will."

Misu sighed. "Let's go." Misu held out his hand. Shingyouji took it in his eagerly. Misu lead the way outside. At a slightly fast pace he walked them down the street and around a few corners until the stood near a sports fields next to a school. Misu didn't say anything as he stared at it. Shingyouji initially looked at the buildings, but his eyes moved to Misu instead. Misu's eyes traveled across the buildings but showed no signs of happiness or pleasure at looking at the structure.

"Arata-san, we don't have to have do this. We can go back home."

"No Shingyouji, it's okay. This place doesn't hold all bad memories for me. But it was not the happiest time in my life. It was at that time I started to realize how I differed from everyone else. I don't believe anybody knew, and nobody said anything to me about it, but I never felt comfortable here. My mother agreed it was best to send me to a different school. I think my father still questions the decision. She looked at several different places." Misu looked down at Shingyouji. "In the end she left it up to me."

"And you choose Shidou."

"I almost didn't."

"Really?"

"At first glance it didn't seem like the right school for me. But the more I looked the more I felt like it was where I needed to go. I couldn't say why, but it was what felt right in the end."

"I am happy you made that choice."

"I am too."

Misu's scanned the school one last time. With a small tug on Shingyouji's hand they started walking again. Misu walked them up and down the blocks, pointing out places of good memories and bad memories. Where his mother bought him his favorite candy every Friday night, where the boy had punched him for staring a little too long, the bookstore where both his parents took him frequently, the restaurant where he first realized that he felt differently than most of his classmates. Each place Shingyouji listened to Misu's story with silence, enjoying the rare moment of his willingness to share so much.

After they had roamed long enough and far enough they started their way back home. They spoke very little the whole way back. Misu still gripped his hand tightly. Shingyouji didn't mind, he didn't want to ever let go. As they approached the house they noticed two figures standing in the driveway. A few steps closer and Shingyouji came to a dead stop, bringing Misu with him.

"He can't be." Shingyouji took two steps forward but Misu held him back.

"Wait, let my father speak with him."

"But it's Haruka, Kago-kun."

"The pest? I know. Just let my father speak with him."

Shingyouji stepped back to stand next to Misu. As they watched Kago took a sudden step backwards. Ryou didn't move. With the lowered voices they couldn't hear what they were saying. Kago lifted his hands and Ryou responded by slicing his own hand through the air. Kago tried stepping forward but Ryou stepped towards him forcing him backwards by two more steps. Ryou pointed down the driveway, yelling at the same time "Go, now." Kago took two slow steps backwards. Ryou took one large step forward. Kago turned and ran off in the opposite direction from where Shingyouji and Misu were standing, never once seeing them there. Shingyouji and Misu walked up to the house, Ryou still in the driveway, watching the disappearing Kago.

"Father."

"Arata."

"It's seems you've met Shingyouji's little stalker."

"I have."

"Pleasant person isn't he?"

"Not that I noticed. I don't think he likes you very much Arata."

"I am not fond of him either. Was he here to try to tell you about my relationship with Shingyouji?"

"No. Would he?"

"He already did earlier today, with mother."

Ryou smiled, looking even more like Misu. "I bet that didn't go as he expected."

"No it didn't." Shingyouji said.

"What did he want this time?"

"He came because he said he was worried about Shingyouji. At first he didn't want to say why he was worried. Instead he kept insisting first that he talk to Shingyouji alone. I tried to explain that you were not home. But he somehow twisted that into you keeping Shingyouji locked away. No matter what I said he kept insisting you were doing Shingyouji some harm. I had to ask him to leave when he said that. He tried to argue with me that you had hurt Shingyouji, but I am sure you saw how well that worked for him."

"I'm sorry that he bothered you." Shingyouji bowed his head.

"Shingyouji-kun thank you, but you cannot help that he is who he is."

"His obsession is getting a little less interesting and a lot more annoying." Misu said.

"I am sorry Arata-san." Misu squeezed Shingyouji's hand gently.

"We should get inside. I am sure dinner is almost ready." Ryou turned and Misu and Shingyouji followed.


 

Dinner had been served and eaten. The table had been cleared. The conversations ebbed and flowed until the evening grew late. They each parted ways to their bedrooms. Shingyouji sat on his bed thinking through the day. Without Kago's presence it would have been a perfect day. A knock at his door pulled him out of his thoughts.

"Come in." The door opened. For a moment his eyes didn't focus. "Arata...Misu-san." Shingyouji stood up.

"Shingyouji-kun can we speak for a moment?"

"Yes Misu-san." Shingyouji indicated the chairs for Ryou to sit.

Shingyouji fidgeted in his chair as he waited for Ryou to start speaking, after a minute he took a deep breath and began.

"From what Natsu and Arata have told me, you've been having some trouble with that kid earlier today. He's been bothering you at school?" Shingyouji offered a small nod. "But this has been going on for longer hasn't it?" Shingyouji could only stare at Ryou. "I thought so. Does Arata know?"

"I don't know."

"He's from your home town?"

"Yes." Shingyouji confirmed.

"Was he always like this?"

"Mostly. When he got worse I tried to distance myself from him, but…"

"But he made that difficult, didn't he?"

Shingyouji nodded his head. "He lied to my family, to our friends, teachers. Everyone wanted to believe that he was perfect, innocent."

"Even your own parents believed him?"

"This was before they divorced. They were so busy fighting I think it was easier for them just to believe him."

"What about at Shidou? Is he lying to the teachers there?"

"Yes."

"And do they believe him?"

"I don't know."

"Have you spoken to any of them yet?"

Shingyouji dropped his head. "No."

"Shingyouji-kun I know this may be hard to believe with what you've already gone through, but I think if you talked to them they would understand."

"Mother...ah Misu-san."

"Mother is fine, but I'm not yet comfortable with Father."

"I understand. Mother said the same thing earlier."

"And she's right. You need to trust those around you. There will still be some out there that don't want to see past such simple lies. Keep looking for those that will listen. Ignoring him, he's not going to go away. He's only get worse as he keeps trying to get your attention. You need to confront him, but you don't have to do it alone."

"Thank you Misu-san."

"I like you Shingyouji-kun. I didn't want to. But I can see why Arata cares for you." Shingyouji smiled a little. "That doesn't mean I accept this way of life. But I am happy that he choose well."

Shingyouji bowed his head, unable to say anything in response. A knock at the bedroom door interrupted their moment.

"Shingyouji?" Misu opened the door and froze.

"Shingyouji-kun good night, I will see you tomorrow." Ryou stood and walked to the door. "Arata don't keep him up too late."

Misu bowed his head slightly and let his father pass. Shingyouji watched as Misu stood in the doorway long after Ryou had left.

"Arata-san?" Misu looked at him. "Arata-san, are you...embarrassed?"

"What? No. Why would I? Why was he here?"

Shingyouji stood up from his chair and walked to the door. He took Misu's hand and gently pulled him into his room. Misu pulled the door closed behind him.

"He said he likes me."

The look of reassurance slipped back on to Misu's face. He lifted Shingyouji's hand and kissed the back of it. "I knew he would." Misu took a step forward. Shingyouji took a step backwards. "You are very lickable." Misu licked the back of Shingyouji's hand, taking another step forward.

"You mean likeable?" Shingyouji said taking an equal step back.

"That too." Another step forward, another step back.

"And your mother,"

"What about my mother?"

"She introduced me as her future son-in-law."

Misu's next step faltered for a second. "She did?"

"I hope you're not mad."

"No, I'm not mad." Shingyouji took a step back his legs hitting the edge of the bed. He fell backwards on to the bed. "But I don't want to talk about my parents anymore." Misu stepped up to the edge of the bed. Shingyouji crawled backwards. Misu followed, pushing him flat on his back. He moved forward until he hovered over Shingyouji. He lowered himself and kissed Shingyouji on the forehead. Shingyouji shivered.

"Arata-san, your parents are home."

Misu moved lower, kissing the tip of his nose.

"Yes they are."

"And your dad knows you're in here."

Misu moved even lower, kissing the left side of his mouth.

"Yes he does."

"But…"

Misu placed a kiss on the right side of his mouth.

"Now who's embarrassed."

"Arata-san." Shingyouji whispered.

Misu kissed him squarely on the mouth, lowering his body down along his. Misu's body shifted to fit comfortably against his own. His need to be embarrassed fought against the other desires that rushed through him. As he thought about how little time remained his desires won out. Only a few more days and he would be taking Misu to meet his own father. A meeting that was destined to end poorly, but Shingyouji didn't want to hide any more. It was time to move forward no matter the consequences, with everything in his life, his family and Kago.

Misu pressed his kiss a little harder forcing his lips apart. Shingyouji responded by wrapping his arms around Misu's neck and opening his mouth. He felt a twitch in Misu's lips, as if he was smiling as he kissed him. Embarrassed or not, good parents, bad parents, stalker, all of it didn't matter because Misu was there for him, wanted him, needed him. Shingyouji smiled back, enjoying every moment of Misu's touch. Enjoying every second, every minute. Misu hands stripped him of his clothes. He watched closely as Misu removed his own clothes. He looked up into Misu's eyes and could seeing the desire, the lust that burned in him. They touched each other, held each other, made love to each other, all as quietly as they could until they were both exhausted and they lay down next to each other side by side, naked and sweating.

Shingyouji snuggled into Misu's side, resting his head on his arm, Misu's fingers petting his hair. With the steady rhythm of the fingers running through his hair and his strength nearly used up Shingyouji's eyes grew heavier. The long strange day was finally catching up with him. Shingyouji snuggled a little deeper into Misu's embrace, his eyes falling completely shut. As he drifted off to sleep his last thoughts were of Misu and the difficult days still ahead.

Chapter Text

Shingyouji stood in nearly the same spot where one week ago it felt as if his world had ended. This time Misu stood by his side, with Natsu and Ryou facing them. It was an amazing feeling to have them there, but he wasn't ready to leave. He wanted longer, a week, a month, a year. Anything to delay the trip he was about the take. Taking Misu home to meet his father.

"Shingyouji-kun," Natsu moved in for a hug, holding Shingyouji tight. " I'm going to miss you so much." She whispered in his ear.

"I'll miss you too Mother." Shingyouji whispered back.

Natsu finally released him and stepped back. "You have to promise to visit soon."

"Natsu they need to get going, or else the train might leave without them."

"I know, I know. Shingyouji-kun call me when you get to your house and then when you get to school."

"Natsu."

"Okay. Arata you take good care of Shingyouji. Don't hurry back."

"Mother I am beginning to think you care about Shingyouji more than me."

"Nonsense Arata. I can share my love." Natsu smiled at Shingyouji, though her eyes betrayed her happiness. "Be well Shingyouji. I will talk to you soon."

"Good-bye Mother, good-bye Misu-san. Thank you for welcoming me to your home."

"Good-bye Shingyouji, I am...I am looking forward to speaking with you again soon." Ryou bowed slightly at Shingyouji. Shingyouji bowed back a little deeper.

Shingyouji felt fingers glide between his. "We really do need to go." Misu said. "Good-bye Mother, Father. I will call you soon."

Misu turned him away and lead him to a set of open train doors. Misu stepped in first and Shingyouji followed. He cast one last glance back. Ryou was already walking away, Natsu remained in place waving at him. Shingyouji returned her wave then entered the train. Misu waited for him at a pair of empty seats near the back of the car. He indicated for Shingyouji to enter first. Shingyouji obeyed and slid across the seats against the window. Misu sat down against him, their legs pressed firmly together. Shingyouji leaned forward to look out the window for one last glance of the train station that had changed everything. The train suddenly lurched forward. Shingyouji fell back against his seat. He heard Misu laugh slightly.

"Arata-san?"

"Hmm?"

"Thank you."

Misu turned his head to look at him. "For?"

"For...for...everything."

Misu laughed again. He briefly grabbed Shingyouji's hand and squeezed it.

"Get some rest Shingyouji, you're going to need it."

 


 

The house felt too large and too small at the same time. He stood in the entryway looking in. The place was trashed. Each corner he could see held a memory and garbage. Weeks’ worth of instant meal wrappers cluttered the floor and tables. Take-out boxes towered against the cabinets. Towels piled in musty heaps in the corners. Tea cups resting on their sides completely covering one table. Unlike Ryou's study which was a beautiful clutter of books, this was just a mess.

"Father?" Shingyouji called out weakly. No response. "Father?" He called again louder.

"Kanemitsu? You're home?" A voice sounded from inside the darkness of the house.

"Yes Father." Shingyouji turned back to look at Misu who still stood at the gate to the house. He had yet to see inside. Shingyouji bit his bottom lip. There was still time to run. Escape this pit of a place and the anger that awaited.

"Who's your friend?" Shingyouji bit into his lip, wincing slightly in pain. He turned quickly as his father stood feet behind him. Shingyouji sighed inwardly, while the house might be in ruins, his father was still clean cut. His hair trimmed short against his head, his shirt freshly pressed and tucked into his cream slacks.

"Hello Father."

"Hello Kanemitsu. Who's this? I wasn't expecting company."

"I am Misu Arata Shingyouji-san. I apologize if Shingyouji forgot to mention that I would be traveling with him. I am," Shingyouji stopped breathing, he couldn't be confessing already could he, "a former classmate of Shingyouji's. It is a pleasure to meet you." Misu bowed low. Shingyouji started breathing again.

"You must be from Shidou then?"

"Yes Shingyouji-san. I graduated last year."

"Ah you were the classmate Kanemitsu was visiting in the city."

"Yes he was visiting my family."

"Please come in. I am Shingyouji Taka."

"It is an honor to meet you Shingyouji-san." Misu stepped up next to Shingyouji and got his first real glimpse to the inside of the house. Shingyouji watched as his foot faltered to take the first step. And in that brief moment Shingyouji imaged Misu running from this mess. The real mess and the emotional mess yet to come. Then Misu lowered his foot and stepped inside. He cast a glance back at Shingyouji jerking his head, indicating Shingyouji should follow close behind. Shingyouji picked up his bag and followed Misu and his father into his childhood home.

"I apologize for the state of the house. I wasn't expecting anyone expect Kanemitsu." His father gave him a hard glare. "I also hope you two don't mind sharing a room. We only have Shingyouji's old room. Unless Shingyouji you want to take the couch."

"We'll be fine sharing.Thank you Shingyouji-san."

"Kanemitsu can show you the way. And then if you are hungry we can go down the street to the noodle restaurant, or if you prefer to bathe first after traveling we can eat later."

"Eating first is fine Shingyouji-san. Shingyouji please show me your room."

"It's not really my room any more, it was my room." Misu only stared at him. "Sorry. This way." Shingyouji lead Misu down a short hallway to the back of the house. His bedroom was on the opposite side of the house from his parents, separated by the living room, dining room and kitchen. Always a distance between him and them.

Shingyouji opened the door to his bedroom and let Misu enter first. It was a simple room. In one corner, sitting on his old desk chair, was the rolled up futon and bedding. His belongings once spread throughout the room were in boxes in another corner waiting for the day he finally moved into a space of his own. An empty wardrobe stood between the room's two windows. Misu stood for a moment looking about. Shingyouji set his bag down next to Misu's near the door.

"Not much to see, I know."

"There's lots to see."

"Arata-san?"

"This is the room where you spent most of your time. In those boxes are the books and posters that decorated this room. This wardrobe held your school uniform and other clothes. I see there used to be a desk here, where you studied somewhat diligently." Misu stepped over to the bed and started to take it down, rolling the futon into place. It was only slightly big enough for two people. "And this is where you slept, and did other things." Shingyouji's eyes went wide as his cheeks burned.

"Arata-san."

Misu finished spreading out the bed and stood. He turned and slowly stalked up to Shingyouji, backing him up against the door. "Are you going to deny it?"

"I..I...just...I…" Shingyouji stammered.

"What I am most curious about is what did you picture during those times? Who did you picture before you met me?" Misu smiled at him.

Shingyouji couldn't speak. He swallowed hard. He blinked once, twice. Misu continued to smile. A knock at the door shook Shingyouji's whole body. Misu didn't move. Only continued to stare at him and smile.

"Misu-kun, Kanemitsu, I will meet you down at the restaurant. Kanemitsu knows the way. I have to make a stop first so I will meet you there later."

"Thank you Shingyouji-san. We will be ready soon."

Shingyouji waited a moment, then with his paralysis broken tried to step away from the door. Misu stopped him.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"To dinner?" Shingyouji barely managed to say.

"In a moment. I'm not finished with you yet."

"But Arata-san."

"Don't worry. I am not done picturing you in this room. It's a small revenge for what my mother and you put me through."

Misu leaned forward, bringing his face inches from Shingyouji's. Shingyouji didn't move. Misu moved closer and closer, finally pressing his lips against Shingyouji's. The kiss was simple, soft and sweet. Much like the beginning of the fantasies Misu wanted to know about.

"Let's go."

"Shouldn't we unpack?"

Misu looked down at the two bags. "No we should leave them. Shingyouji I fear we won't be here long. We shouldn't put off telling your father. But I admit I am unsure of his reaction."

"I understand Arata-san."

"Though I don't plan to tell him tonight. I want at least one night in your childhood bedroom."

"My room isn't as comfortable as yours. I don't know why you'd even want one night here."

Misu ruffled his hand through his hair. "Shingyouji you're an idiot." Misu said with a soft voice. "Come on let's go."

Shingyouji stepped out of the way, allowing Misu to open the door. As they entered the main living area again Shingyouji's eyes tried to avoid looking at the clutter, but he couldn't stop himself.

"It wasn't always like this. Even after the divorce it wasn't like this."

"Something must have changed recently. Don't judge him too harshly before you know why."

They exited the house and out the gate. Shingyouji lead them down the street to the restaurant. They were the first to arrive. Shingyouji selected a table near the front. Choosing a different table from the one he and his family used to sit at when he was younger.

"Mitsu-san?" A voice rang out through the restaurant. For a moment Shingyouji froze until he realized it was a female voice calling his name. Shingyouji turned to look at the owner. A petite girl a few years younger than him came dashing from the back of the restaurant. She ran directly up to a few feet from him, then stopped and bowed slightly. "Mitsu-san it is you."

"Asako-chan?"

The girl bounced from foot to foot. Her whole body shaking. A small smile lifted from Shingyouji's lips and he opened his arms. Asako jumped into him nearly toppling him over. She hugged him tight. She let go after a few moments, then glanced over his shoulder at a quiet Misu.

"Oh, Asako-chan, this is my friend Misu Arata, Arata-san this is Tora Asako, the owner's daughter." Both bowed to each other. "Asako-chan I think you've grown a foot since I've last seen you."

"I have, I have. And you've gotten cuter Mitsu-san."

"Um, Asako-chan, I..thank you."

"You know I am almost old enough to start dating."

"Oh really?"

"Do you remember that you promised you'd be my boyfriend?"

"I...Wha...I...Huh?"

"It seems that he does not remember." Misu spoke up from behind him.

"Really Mitsu-san? You promised when I was old enough you would take me on my first date."

Shingyouji let out a small sigh. "I remember now. You were 6 at the time. And I said date, not boyfriend." Asako pouted slightly. "When you are old enough I will take you on your first date."

Asako jumped up and down. "Yipee." Everyone in the restaurant turned to look at her.

Misu leaned in close, his lips right against his ear. "Think you're going to replace me?" Shingyouji shivered at the breath of warm air that Misu blew gently into his ear.

"Sorry Arata-san, I should have asked." Shingyouji turned to look at Misu, but was surprised by the smile on his face. "Oh." Shingyouji laughed. "She has friends, we can make it a double date." Misu dropped the smile. Shingyouji bowed his head but couldn't stop himself from smiling.

"Shingyouji-kun, it's a pleasure to see you again. You've been gone too long." Shingyouji turned as his name was called to see Asako's father approaching.

"Tora-san, it is good to see you. This is my friend Misu Arata."

"Dad, Mitsu-san agreed to go on a date with me."

"I heard Asako. The whole restaurant heard. But not tonight. Now you need to go help your mother."

"Yes sir." Asako said in a quiet voice. "I'll see you later Mitsu-san." She bowed to Shingyouji and then Misu. "Don't forget your promise again."

"I won't."

"Shingyouji-kun, is your father coming tonight? I haven't seen him for a few weeks."

"Yes Tora-san. He's meeting us here very soon." Shingyouji glanced at Misu. "My father usually comes here a couple times a week." He turned back to Tora. "Did something happen?"

Tora hesitated before speaking. "Did you know that your father had been dating again?"

"What? No, he never said anything."

"About a month after your mom got married he started bringing a woman by on a semi regular basis. It seemed like it was going well, but it seems something happened recently and she left him."

"I didn't know any of this."

"Ah here he comes now, Taka-san, I was just telling your son that I've missed you."

"I've been busy." Shingyouji noticed that his father didn't meet Tora's eyes as he spoke.

"Sure, sure, we all get busy. But you're here tonight, and with your son, who we haven't seen since he went off to that school. I think this calls for a special dish. I'll be right back while you decide what else you might wish to order."

Shingyouji followed as his father lead them away from the table he had selected. They almost always sat in one of the tables near the front by the window, and instead he was leading him to the back. His father pulled out a chair and sat down hard. Shingyouji and Misu took the two seats opposite.

"Father, were you dating recently?"

Taka glanced at him, before turning his eyes on Misu. "Misu-kun what did your family think of sending you all the way out to Shidou. It feels as if Shingyouji is very far from home."

"Yes sir, as are all the students at Shidou. It gives all the students the chance to make connections they wouldn't normally make outside their home town."

"Really?"

"Yes sir, you would be surprised to know some of the alumni that sponsor our school. Shingyouji has made some very influential friends while attending Shidou."

"Ah well then, I guess there is some good in sending him out there."

"Yes Shingyouji-san, a lot of good. I believe Shingyouji has grown a lot as a person since he began attending Shidou."

"I did notice last year his grades made a steady improvement."

"Shingyouji and I had a lot of study sessions. I encouraged his lessons."

Shingyouji tried to avoid blushing as he thought back to that very first study session. Stripped down to nothing but his underwear. With Misu teasing him, encouraging him to work harder. And then the biggest embarrassment to have Saki-senpai walk in. But Misu was there shielding him. He was always there. Shingyouji glanced over at Misu. His hands wrapped around the tea cup. His beautiful hands with his long slender fingers. Lifting the cup to his lips. His full, thick lips. His tongue reached out and licked a small drop of tea from the side of the cup. Shingyouji gulped and pulled his eyes away. Neither his father nor Misu noticed him.

"It sounds as if you're devoted to my son."

"I am Shingyouji-san."

"I only wish you were there this year. His grades have been dropping again."

"I know. We've talked about it. Hopefully once he returns to classes things will be better."

They were interrupted as Tora brought out his special dish. He set down a bowl of beef and vegetable ramen noodles. The steam poured out in a great wave over the table. All conversation was forgotten as their stomach's demanded their full attention. They placed additional orders for more food and then dug into the delectable dish.

More food was set at their table and devoured. More greetings were made as other neighbors entered for dinner. More conversation's avoided as Asako returned to ask again about Shingyouji being her boyfriend. More moments missed as he wanted to hold Misu's hand, inches away, but completely out of reach.

With dinner complete and partings given they walked as a group back to the house. Shingyouji stared at their backs. Misu directly in front of him, with his father in the lead. They walked home in silence. Everything being said or not said back at the restaurant. Shingyouji wanted to ask again about the woman but his father had so purposefully avoided the subject he knew better than to bother. They returned to the cluttered house, the trash reduced from what it had been before. His father had obviously returned after they left and cleaned a bit of the mess. Though much of the clutter still remained. It embarrassed him for Misu to see the house in such a state.

"Kanemitsu, Misu-kun, I think I will turn in for the night. I am feeling very tired. Misu-kun, Kanemitsu can show you anything you need. I will see you two in the morning."

"Good night Father."

"Good night Shingyouji-kun."

Taka bowed and walked away. Shingyouji looked at Misu, who was himself looking around the living space.

"I cannot imagine how he has lived with it like this. He is normally so neat. He must hate it."

"Then we should do something about it."

"Arata-san?"

"We should clean up."

"But, you're a guest."

"You cleaned numerous times at my house."

"Yes but,"

"And did you ever feel like just a guest there?"

"No, not really."

"It's the same here. While your father may see me as a guest I know what I am to you. Let's clean."

Shingyouji wanted to fight his logic. Explain that Misu didn't have to help clean, but he knew he couldn't win. Instead he picked up a pile of the old towels and walked them to the washing machine. Misu started clearing the tables of tea cups and other dishes. It short order they had the living space completely cleared. Misu finished with washing the dishes while Shingyouji wiped down the tables and floors, scrubbing every space clear of all dirt and residue.

Shingyouji stretched as he finished with the last corner of the room. The space was back to its former order. While a small amount of nervousness still plagued him, he felt better having done something for his father. Misu stepped out of the kitchen, drying his hands on a small towel.

"Not another towel. I just finished washing all of them."

"We'll have even more in a few minutes." Shingyouji looked at Misu, but no further explanation was offered. Instead Misu walked out of the main living area toward the bedroom. Without needing to be told, Shingyouji knew to follow. Misu turned away from the bedroom and headed directly into the bathroom, stripping his shirt off in the process. He stopped in the doorway and looked at Shingyouji. Shingyouji felt his heart pick up in pace. He glanced back to the living room. It was still empty, for the moment. He looked back at the bathroom. Misu had turned and was stripping out of his pants. Shingyouji exhaled a little hard. Misu slid off his underwear and stood naked in the bathroom, the door wide open. Shingyouji gulped.

"Arata-san?"

Misu turned on the water to the bath then picked up the shower head and turned on the faucet. He glanced over his shoulder at Shingyouji. A rush of old fantasies hit Shingyouji all at once. Taro, the teenage thug who worked at the bakery in the neighborhood, Hiro, the popular boy who sat two seats up in Mr. Sumiko's class, Mr. Sumiko. All nearly forgotten memories starting from that fateful day. That first day he had seen Misu and lost his heart.

Misu smiled at him. Shingyouji took a step forward. Misu lifted the shower head and let a small amount of water run across his body. Shingyouji took another step. Misu lowered his eyes, looking him over head to foot. Shingyouji peeled off his own shirt as he took yet another step forward. He stopped in the doorway. Misu let more water cross his body, over his chest and down around his legs.

Shingyouji stepped into the bathroom. Misu turned the shower head on him, soaking him head to foot.

"Arata-san, my pants."

Misu responded by spraying him again, aiming directly at his pants.

"Arata-san."

"Shingyouji do you want to wake your father?"

"No."

"Then you better keep your voice down." Misu sprayed him a third time.

Instead of yelling he stripped out of his soaking pants and underwear and threw them into a pile on the counter. With a quick flick of his foot he shut the bathroom door. Misu turned the water back on to himself, fully covering his body. He handed the bar of soap to Shingyouji and turned his back to him. Shingyouji took a moment to enjoy looking at Misu's back. Usually a view enjoyed through layers of clothes, now completely naked. His skin was beautiful and smooth, his legs long, leading to his perfect ass and up to his strong back.

Shingyouji soaped his hands together, covering them in sudsy bubbles. He reached forward, and felt a slight rush of anticipation just before his hands touched Misu's skin. His hands brushed against Misu's back. Shingyouji felt the tremble in his stomach. The tiny current of pleasure drifting outwards through his body. He ran his hands further along Misu's back, sliding down. His fingers stopped short of moving too far downwards. Instead he changed direction and moved his way back up over Misu's back. Misu turned his head to look at him over his shoulder.

"Why'd you stop?"

Shingyouji looked at Misu and then looked away. Misu turned so that he was facing him, his naked body dripping in soap and water. Shingyouji couldn't stop his eyes from drifting back and admiring the view. At the same time Shingyouji became more aware of his nakedness and where Misu was staring.

"Arata-san." Shingyouji whispered.

Misu laughed lightly. "You can look at me, but I cannot look at you?"

"No, that's not...I don't mean." Shingyouji sighed. "Arata-san that's not what I mean."

Misu turned his smile down a little. "Are you turning me down?"

"No." Shingyouji said quickly. Misu's mischievous smile brightened back up.

"Good because I wasn't kidding when I wanted to know about your fantasies. What it was like here before you met me."

Misu ran his hand down the length of Shingyouji's arm taking the soap out of this hands. With soaped hands he ran his fingers across Shingyouji's chest.

"My..my fantasies?" Shingyouji stuttered.

"You do have fantasies, don't you?"

"I do."

"You do?"

"I mean I did. I don't, not anymore."

"Really?" Misu's hands moved along his chest, making it harder and harder to think.

"N..n..no. I don't." Shingyouji tried hard to get his mouth under control, to speak clearly. But Misu flustered him so much by being this close, naked with his hands running along his body. Not every stutter was from nervousness.

"And why is that?" Misu's hands slid down his sides, over his hips.

"I met you."

"So you gave up all fantasizing after we met? Is that so?" Misu slid his hands around his thighs. He leaned in next to Shingyouji's ear. "I don't believe you."

Shingyouji's heart pounded hard in his chest. His arms broke out in goosebumps, and his knees shook beneath him. His mouth opened to claim his innocence, and Misu pounced. His lips pressed tightly against his, forcing him a step backwards. Misu slipped a hand around his waist steadying him, pulling their bodies tightly together. Shingyouji slid into Misu's embrace. All thought of what he was about to say slipped from his mind as Misu held him tight, kissing him deeply.

With a reluctant sigh Misu pulled away. He picked the shower head back up and sprayed it over both of their bodies, rinsing the soap away. With a small tug on Shingyouji's wrist he directed him to the bath. Shingyouji climbed into the warm water first and stood there as Misu climbed in behind him. The tub was small and they were packed tightly together in the cramped space. To Shingyouji it was perfect. He leaned back and Misu opened his arms allowing him to rest on his chest. He could feel the rise and fall of Misu's breath. Shingyouji closed his eyes. Misu lightly stroked one hand through his hair. In this moment he felt completely at peace.

"I know you're lying." Misu whispered.

"Arata-san, I'm not." Misu’s hand tightened in his hair, pulling his head slightly. It didn't hurt. It actually felt good.

"I know you're lying because we were not physical from the start. You cannot have been satisfied with just following me around and stealing my books."

Shingyouji shifted slightly in the tub. Though with its tight space all he could do was rub his body against Misu, who moaned at his touch.

"Shingyouji, what's wrong?"

"Nothing." Shingyouji replied too quickly.

"So something I said." Misu paused for a second. "Shingyouji did you steal my books for a reason?"

"N..o" Shingyouji sighed. He could feel Misu's laugh against his back.

"You hoped I would do something about it? Punish you for taking my things?" Misu bit at his neck. Shingyouji shivered.

"I didn't." Shingyouji tried to say.

"So that's your fantasy then. You want me to punish you." Misu pulled on his hair a little harder, forcing him to expose more of his neck. Again Misu bit at him. Just a brush of teeth and warm wet lips. Shingyouji tried to protest but nothing would come out of his mouth. Instead his body responded to Misu's touch and the flood of fantasies that Misu had awakened in him.

"I see I was right." Misu slid his hand down over Shingyouji's body and took hold of his full erection. Shingyouji could only gasp in response. Misu nibbled along Shingyouji's neck. Alternating between teeth and lips. With a long lick of his tongue he reached Shingyouji's ear. "What did you imagine in these fantasies? What did you imagine I would do to you for disobeying me and taking my things?” Misu's hand stroked him once under the warm water. Shingyouji took in a shallow breath.

"Arata-san," Shingyouji tried to speak, but between pleasure and embarrassment his voice was lost.

"Was my punishment long and hard? Did I make you suffer?" Misu removed his hand. "Did I make you feel good?" Misu grabbed him again rubbing him gently under the water.

Shingyouji gasped, sighed and moaned at Misu's touch. While Misu was forcing the images into his head his hands moved along his body. Shingyouji used all his willpower to try to get his body under control, even while his mind wanted to run away. For a few minutes Misu said nothing. His lips occupied with placing kisses along Shingyouji's shoulder, neck and ear.

Misu leaned back, removing his hands. "Time to get out."

Shingyouji with a lot of Misu's help pulled himself up in the tub his legs weak beneath him. The water dripped from his body back into the tub. Misu stood up next to him. They stepped out of the tub and let it drain. Without being told Shingyouji picked up a towel and began to rub Misu dry. Not by accident did his fingers lose grip of the towel a few times, rubbing against bare skin instead. Misu took the towel from Shingyouji and wrapped it around his waist. Misu leaned against the bathroom door and watched him as he grabbed a new towel and dried himself off. As Shingyouji finished he started to wrap his own towel around his waist, but Misu stopped him with a shake of his head. Shingyouji hung the towel back up on the wall and stood before Misu, naked. Misu didn't move a muscle. Only his eyes traveled up and down and over his body where Shingyouji could almost feel the weight of them. With a final nod and smile Misu pushed himself away from the door.

Misu opened the bathroom door, cast a quick glance around before stepping across the hallway into Shingyouji's bedroom. Shingyouji followed, dashing in a naked streak across the hallway through the open door. Misu pushed the door shut behind him, the towel already dropped to his feet. With a quick glance from Misu at the futon on the floor Shingyouji turned and crawled into his bed. Misu turned off the light, leaving only the faint glow from outside. He paced across the room and lowered himself down over Shingyouji. Misu placed feather light kisses on his chest, his neck, his face, his lips, his ears until Shingyouji's head spun.

Shingyouji felt lost in the moment as Misu worked his hands and lips over his body. Following along with Misu's touch and the flood of fantasies that filled his head he felt a slight pang of guilt as none of them were of Misu, not from this house, this room. All had been before he met Misu. Though it was Misu's fault anyway for bring it up at all. The hands that touched him were real and dreamt, the lips that kissed him belonged to Misu and someone else. His legs wrapped around Misu's hips and all the other people in his head. In the near darkness he couldn't break through fantasy to reality. Not until he felt Misu slide into him. Every image fell away and left only Misu's face above him. The only face he wanted to see. Shingyouji stared up at Misu in the dimmed room, the thrust of pleasure moving through him with each of Misu's strokes.

Shingyouji wanted the moment to last forever. Just Misu and him, connected. But his body was ready even if his mind wasn't. Misu barely touched him before his hips lifted and the orgasm hit him hard. He barely heard as Misu made a low moan as he succumbed to the pure pleasure of the moment. As the feeling faded he took long heavy breathes, slowly returning to normal. When he eventually opened his eyes, Misu was staring down at him. Shingyouji realized he could no longer feel Misu.

"Sorry Arata-san."

Misu dropped down along Shingyouji again, kissing him hard and deep. Shingyouji surrendered to his touch and kissed him back. Misu finally pulled back long enough to look down at Shingyouji.

"Don't be sorry Shingyouji."

"But I couldn't control myself. It was too soon."

"It doesn't matter."

"But you…"

"I what?"

"Didn't."

"Didn't what?" Misu pet the hair back from his face. "Shingyouji next time you will actually tell me one of those fantasies. You felt so good, I want to know what was going on inside your head."

"So you…"

"Yes Shingyouji, I did."

"But."

Misu laughed. "Too much going on in your head to notice."

"Sorry."

"Shingyouji, that was not something to apologize for. Just share next time." Misu kissed him gently on the lips, then pushed himself up. Still naked he left the room and came back with a damp towel. He wiped Shingyouji's body, then his own. He left the room again and returned a few minutes later.

"I put the towels and our clothes in the washer. If you remember in the middle of the night, try to take them out to dry." Misu crawled into the bed next to Shingyouji wrapping his arm around him. "Good night Shingyouji."

"Good night Arata-san."

In a few short minutes Misu was asleep. Shingyouji took a few minutes longer, enjoying the feeling of lying in his childhood bed, with his lover's arm wrapped around his shoulder. In this very second he was truly happy.


 

Shingyouji crouched low. He hid his head to avoid the loud voice. He covered his ears but the sound kept coming. He reached out for Misu, and found nothing but emptiness. Then the voice stopped and Shingyouji relaxed. The nightmare gone he fell back into a comfortable sleep.


 

Shingyouji woke to the feeling of an empty bed, but not an empty room. He opened his eyes slowly to the daylight. Misu sat at the chair in the corner of the room, fully dressed. His face was hard and his eyes red. Their two bags were sitting next to him on the floor. He was staring down at Shingyouji.

"It's time to get up Shingyouji." With a long sigh Misu said, "It's time to go."

Shingyouji sat up in bed. "What? What do you mean?"

"I'm sorry Shingyouji." Misu pushed a pile of clothes in Shingyouji's direction.

"I don't understand." Shingyouji picked up the offered clothes and started to pull them on.

"We have been asked to leave."

Shingyouji stopped putting his shirt on halfway. "Did you talk to my father already?"

"In a manner of speaking. I was planning to tell you before it happened, but your father came into your room earlier. He was not pleased by what he found. I was surprised he didn't wake you. He was less than quiet. I managed to get him to living room where we talked for a while. Or he yelled some more and I listened. I tried to talk to him, but I don't think he's ready to listen. But he didn't throw me out the second he found us. He also allowed me to wait for you to wake up. Given time he might be okay. But not today. Today we are being asked to leave."

Shingyouji finished dressing but made no move for his bag, for the door, for anything. He was being kicked out. He had known his father's reaction would not be good, and possibly even lead to this, but to have it actually happen made him sick.

"Maybe if I talk to him."

"He's already left. He asked that we be gone by the time he returns. Shingyouji this is for the best. I promise we will try talking again to him later when more time has passed."

"Where can we go? I don't want to go back to school yet, I don't think we should go to my grandmother's. Should we go back to your house?"

"I already have a place ready." Shingyouji looked at him. "Don't look surprised. I called Saki. His family has a small condo on the beach nearby that he is letting us borrow. The building caretaker will be ready to meet us when we are ready. We should go now. We can call your grandmother and my parents later to let them know we are okay."

Shingyouji still couldn't force himself to move. He had gone to bed so happy only to be awoken into such misery. Misu stood, picked up the bags and walked up to him. He took Shingyouji's hand. Softly he whispered, "Time to go."

Shingyouji let himself be lead from the bedroom out into the living room. He cast a long look around the rooms he and Misu had spent cleaning the night before. Misu caught him looking.

"He did say thank you. Which is why I have hope this will be better soon."

"Arata-san, the washer."

Misu squeezed his hand. "Don't worry I already took care of the towels and your clothes last night. Shingyouji we need to go."

Shingyouji allowed himself one last look around the house, unsure when he'd ever get to see it again, and followed Misu out the door. As they passed the front gate two houses down he was sure he saw his father hiding behind a neighbor's wall. Shingyouji bowed slightly and his father tilted his head back, a small almost unnoticeable motion. But it was enough to give Shingyouji hope that Misu's words were true. With enough time he would be able to speak with his father again. Have him accept Misu and his life. But not today, not now.

After a few steps his father was out of sight. Shingyouji turned to stare at Misu's back. Misu who carried both their bags without a complaint. Who held his hand tightly but gently at the same time. Who lead each step safely through the streets and people. Who told him he loved him without ever saying the words.

"I love you too Arata-san."

Chapter Text

"When I asked to borrow your condo Saki, it didn't mean you had to come with it."

"Arata-san." Shingyouji gasped.

Gii leaned back on the deck chair. They were sitting out on the patio overlooking the ocean. A warm breeze brought the fresh smell of salt water to their table. "It's okay Shingyouji. I actually expected worse from him. When you said you needed a space at the beach I thought it sounded like a great idea to take a quick vacation. I called Takumi and he agreed. We also both miss Shingyouji." Misu raised an eyebrow at him. "And you. Though I've seen you more recently."

"Thank you for this Saki-senpai. Though Misu said you had a small condo." Shingyouji looked around the expansive deck. The small condo had turned out to be a 4 bedroom private house. Or more accurately, a small mansion. Each bedroom had its own private bath. There was a large living room, fully stocked kitchen, a dining room, three different decks, a private beach and an indoor pool. Shingyouji nearly ran at the sight of the place. He couldn't ask for this kind of favor. Instead he could go back to Shidou early. Misu had to drag him in by force and words. Shingyouji insisted they pick the smallest bedroom to use the least amount of space. Though it was still bigger than any bedroom than Shingyouji had ever used. Shingyouji was hesitant to even leave the room at all. A few hours later Gii and Takumi showed up, much to his delight and Misu's frustration.

"He does that. He forgets what the rest of us think of as small." Misu said.

"That's not true Misu. I just didn't think Shingyouji would agree to come if he knew the truth. Shingyouji and Takumi are similar in that way." Gii took Takumi's hand. "They don't like to use people for their money. But Shingyouji please feel free to be comfortable here. I offered because you are a friend, as is Misu."

"Thank you Saki-senpai."

"Shingyouji, call me Gii."

"Saki." Misu insisted.

"Saki-san?" Shingyouji asked.

"That's fine too Shingyouji." Gii said looking over at Misu.

"Shingyouji-kun?"

"Yes Hayama-san?"

"Can I ask, is everything okay? When Gii told me about why we were coming here I admit I was concerned. That was part of the reason I agreed to come."

Shingyouji looked to Misu. "Shingyouji it's up to you if you want to tell them. They are your secrets to tell."

Shingyouji looked back at Takumi and Gii, then down at his hands. "We were visiting my father and he found out about my relationship with Arata-san when he discovered us in the bedroom this morning. Though we were actually planning on telling him later day."

"I'm sorry Shingyouji-kun. That takes a lot of bravery to come out to your family."

"I didn't really. He found out and Arata-san talked to him. I haven’t spoken to him at all."

"But you were planning to."

"I just hoped it could have turned out different. Arata-san's family was so kind when they found out."

"Oh, when did this happen?" Takumi asked.

"Technically they already knew. Shingyouji just found out about them knowing this last week while he was staying with us."

"The little I know of your parents Misu, I am not surprised. Though I did expect your father to be a little less understanding." Gii said.

"Oh Arata-san's father is really nice. We had a private discussion. He's very much like Arata-san. I like him a lot."

"He's not yet fully accepting, but…"

"But he didn't kick us out of the house."

Misu reached over and took Shingyouji's hand. "No, no he didn't Shingyouji."

"I'm sorry Shingyouji-kun. Hopefully being here will give you a little peace."

"Thank you Hayama-san. And having you here is a big help as well. Both of you."

"Though you really didn't have to."

"Consider it that I still owe you that favor Misu."

"Easily done Saki."

"Is anyone else hungry for dinner? There's this amazing seafood restaurant back in town. I think everyone would enjoy it."

"I'm ready Gii."

Shingyouji looked over at Misu. He wanted to go, but he wasn't sure Misu would like the idea. Misu glanced at him and nodded his head. "As long as it's your treat Saki."

"I wouldn't accept it any other way. Takumi I'll meet you in our room in a few minutes. It seems there was a misunderstanding. You two," he said nodding his head at Shingyouji and Misu, "were in the wrong bedroom. I've had your things moved to the correct room now." Gii stood. "Let me show you where you will be staying."

Gii lead them down a long private hallway of windows that looked out onto the ocean. He opened the double doors into a large bedroom, twice the size of their previous room. One wall was an enormous window looking out at the open blue sky, the rolling white waves and empty sandy beach. The king bed was at the center of the room on a small platform facing the view. The bed was covered in multitudes of cream colored pillows and a large down comforter. A large two person soaking pool was visible through the open double doors in the bathroom.

"Saki-san, no. You've done too much already. Isn't this your room?"

"Shingyouji, Saki's offering, you should accept."

"Misu is right Shingyouji. I want you to have this room. Takumi and I agree on this."

Shingyouji started to open his mouth and stopped. Misu was looking at him shaking his head. Any excuse he could come up with Misu would put a stop to. Shingyouji bowed slightly to Gii. "Thank you Saki-san. Your kindness and Takumi's mean everything to me."

"Your worth it Shingyouji. I'll leave you two alone and we'll see you both for dinner in a few minutes. Meet us at the front door."

Gii stepped out of the room closing the double doors behind him. Shingyouji turned to look around the room. It felt like being a fancy hotel. In a way it reminded him of the hotel he had spent with Misu. Though they looked nothing alike it had the same feeling. Luxurious and high end, a rare treat that was becoming less rare the more time he spent with Misu. As he turned about the room he realized Misu was staring at him. He ran up to Misu and kissed him, then stepped back, his hand going to his lips.

"Ah sorry, Arata-san."

Misu stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his Shingyouji's waist. "Are you that happy Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san, I am. Thank you for doing this for me."

"I didn't do this. This is Saki's house."

"That's not what I meant Arata-san. We wouldn't be here if not for you. I know you don't like Saki-san very much. To ask him to do this means a lot to me."

"He owes me."

"But to ask him for a favor and for me."

"He owes me."

Shingyouji laughed a little. "And he still owes you. Sorry they're here."

"That is annoying. But you are happy that they are here, so it is fine." Misu leaned in and kissed Shingyouji. "Are you sure you want to go to dinner?"

Shingyouji’s knees shook a little at Misu's touch. He did want to stay there and never be let go again. But Gii and Takumi would be waiting.

"Yes, we should go to dinner."

Misu didn't let him go. He pulled him in tight and kissed him again. His kiss was strong, dominant, powerful. Shingyouji weakened under Misu's control. When Misu finally released him he had to grab onto Misu's arms for support.

"To think about, for later tonight."

"Later?" Shingyouji asked he head a little fuzzy.

"After dinner."

"Dinner?" Shingyouji shook his head a few times. "Right, dinner. Do you think this is a fancy place we're going? I didn't bring the jacket from your parents’ house. I didn't expect to need it."

"If it was the whole Saki family I would say yes, but it being just Saki, I am sure you are dressed fine. He would have told us if it was any different. But we should freshen up."

In the bathroom, that was bigger than Misu's bedroom at home, they found their things had already been set out. While the soaking tub dominated the center of the room, there were dual sinks to the back of the bathroom and a full shower at the front of the room. Misu and Shingyouji took a few quick moments to clean themselves up before meeting Gii and Takumi by the front door, both still wearing their casual clothes. Gii was holding a set of car keys in his hand.

"As it's a bit of a walk I will drive us down."

Takumi offered the front seat to Misu and took the back with Shingyouji. As he got in the car Shingyouji noticed Takumi's clothes were a little more wrinkled than before. He smiled to himself. After a 15-minute drive Gii pulled up in front of a family seafood restaurant. They climbed out of the car and headed inside. Gii paid his greetings to the family as they were all seated near the window. He offered and they all accepted for him to order for the whole table. With the order placed and the tea poured they sat back to enjoy the different view of the ocean.

"Are you enjoying college?" Shingyouji asked of Gii and Takumi.

Takumi laughed a little. "I thought I would. I thought there would be more freedom. But instead it's just harder to make yourself get to class." Takumi glanced at Gii. "And it's hard being at different colleges. At least we're in the same city."

"But our schedules are not the same, so we don't get to see each other as often as we used to. Which is why I am thankful this opportunity presented itself, even if the circumstances for it are not happy ones."

Shingyouji just bowed his head lightly at the comment.

"As Saki and I attend the same college I think I've seen him more than Takumi has recently."

"What about you Shingyouji? Are you thinking about what college you want to attend?”

"A little. Arata-san's mother has asked that I stay with them if I go to the same college as Arata-san. But I don't know yet."

"You still have a little more time to decide." Takumi said.

"How's school been this year? I know there is a lot to study for your last year." Gii asked Shingyouji.

"It's been...fine. You're right, there is a lot to study for. Though you guys helped me by leaving your notes before you left. Without having you to study with anymore your notes are the next best thing."

"Shingyouji, you can all feel free to call any of us if you need any help. We're happy to help."

"Thank you Saki-san."

From the back of the restaurant a male voice bellowed out "Mitsuru." Shingyouji jumped in his seat. His head whipped around in time to see a middle age man pulling his young son away from a knocked over glass of water. His heart pounded hard in his chest. He slowly relaxed back into his seat. Misu's hand appeared from beside him and took his. His fingers entwined themselves in his and held him tight. Shingyouji glanced up to see Gii and Takumi staring at him.

"Shingyouji, what's wrong? Are you okay?" Takumi asked.

Shingyouji dropped his head. "I...I…"

"Shingyouji has a stalker."

"A what." Gii said sitting up straight in his chair.

"Are you okay?" Takumi asked leaning forward.

"Who is it?" Gii asked.

"Shingyouji?" Misu asked, squeezing his hand lightly. "Do you want to tell them, or should I?"

"You can Arata-san."

"It seems a childhood friend has followed Shingyouji to Shidou. He's been following Shingyouji everywhere. Even showing up at the train station when I went to pick up Shingyouji when he arrived in town last week. Acting as if we he was Shingyouji's new boyfriend. He's been hurting him. Threatening to tell my family about our relationship." Misu's free hand clenched into a fist on the table.

"But your family already knew you were gay. At least I know your mom did." Gii said.

"Shingyouji and this pest didn't know that. Instead he thought he could intimidate what belongs to me in to leaving me." Misu voice deepened as he spoke.

"He's an idiot if he thinks he can get between you two. You said he's at Shidou. Have the teachers been able to do anything about him?" Gii asked.

"He's subtle." Shingyouji said. "He lies, he manipulates. And everyone believes him because he so innocent. He's always been this way. No one ever believed me when he did something wrong."

"That's not completely true now is it Shingyouji."

"No, Arata-san it isn't."

Gii looked at Misu. "My parents. They stood up for Shingyouji. The pest even showed up at our house." Misu let out a small tight laugh. "My father chased him away."

"That must have been a sight." Gii said.

"It was. He tried to say that Arata-san was hurting me. Keeping me locked up."

Misu squeezed his hand. "The locked up part might be true." Misu's eyes went to his necklace with the gold ring hanging from it.

"That ring, I don't remember you wearing it before Shingyouji. A gift from you Misu?" Gii asked. Misu looked over at Gii, but said nothing. "Some sort of promise maybe?"

"You would go there Saki. No, it's not that type of ring. But it is meant to show he's taken. That he belongs to someone, to me."

"Usually that's what those types of rings mean." Gii said. Takumi hid a small laugh. Shingyouji bit his lip to avoid laughing as well. Misu only glared at Gii.

They were interrupted by the timely arrival of the food. Plates of beautiful dishes were set out before them. A variety of fresh fish bought from the day’s market, with many other plates of side dishes laid out on the table. They all bowed their heads then dug into the different options. Conversation was light and easy as they talked about happier things. Memories of Shidou and what they missed most. About the people they missed from Shidou, and who they didn't miss. Who they saw often, rumors of who was dating, who was too involved in school to date. All conversations that made it easier to forget what had happened that morning at his father's house.

"Shingyouji, when you get back to Shidou I recommend you talk to Kaka-sensei. I remember him being an honest man willing to listen to you fairly. Give him a chance to help you." Gii said. "But if for some reason he won't listen, let us know. We have influence as alumni. They will listen to us."

"Thank you Saki-san, Hayama-san. I appreciate all you have already done. I promise I will let you know if I need help."

Gii looked down at the time on his phone, then pushed back from the table. "It's getting late. Are we ready to head back to the house?" They all nodded in agreement. Again Takumi rode in the back of the car with him. Gii lowered the front windows and a cool breeze filled the car. Shingyouji closed his eyes, feeling calm and relaxed. He was startled out of his moment when a hand was placed over his. He looked down and then over at Takumi.

"You'll be fine Shingyouji. You're strong. One of the strongest people I know. You stood up for me when I needed it. You were willing to walk away from your love because you thought it would make him happy. It just all feels harder now because you are alone. Loneliness is very hard." A dark look crossed Takumi's face. "But you're not alone. We're all still there with you, even though you can't see us every day. We're just a phone call away, anytime. All of us. Even Akaike-kun."

Shingyouji couldn't stop the tears that sprung up. While every one of Takumi's words warmed his heart, it was his simple act of willingly holding his hand that touched him the most. Shingyouji knew a little about Takumi's issues with physical contact. He wouldn't avoid it completely, but very rarely initiated it with anyone but Gii.

"Thank you Hayama-san."

"What are you two talking about back there?" Gii looked in the rearview mirror at them.

"Nothing you need to know about." Takumi called back.

Misu turned in his seat, looked at Shingyouji, then looked at Takumi's hand on his. He raised his eyebrow at him. "They're holding hands."

"Really? In one quick car ride you've left me for Shingyouji. Does that mean I have to start dating Misu now?" Shingyouji and Takumi laughed. Misu did not.

Gii pulled up in front of the house. He dropped Misu, Takumi and Shingyouji off at the front door before driving the car around to the side of the house. Inside the three waited in the foyer until Gii joined them.

"Normally I'd invite you to the living room for a drink and more conversation, but I think Misu has put up with me enough for tonight. We'll see you both in the morning." Gii took Takumi by the hand and lead him away.

Misu and Shingyouji watched them go then headed to their own bedroom on the other side of the house. Misu opened the double doors and let Shingyouji enter first. Shingyouji's eye were drawn directly to the window where a table had been set along with two chairs. On the table was a bottle of Umeshu and a small white cake with strawberries on top.

"Look Arata-san."

"I see it Shingyouji. Have you had much alcohol before Shingyouji?"

"Some." Misu went to the table and poured two glasses. He handed one to Shingyouji. "Knowing Saki this is high quality."

"He has done a lot for me today."

"I admit I am starting to see his merits."

"Look Arata-san, there's a box of pocky sticks."

"But then again maybe not."

Misu sat down in one chair, Shingyouji in the other. They sipped on their drinks and stared out the window. The sky was growing dark and soon all they could see were their own reflections in the window. Misu stood and went to the wall looking for something. After a few moments he flipped a switch. The windows immediately changed from clear to opaque startling Shingyouji.

"Woah, that's amazing."

"And not surprising. I was just looking for a switch for any curtains. But they've taken it one step further."

"I think it's neat."

"And I think the alcohol is already getting to you."

Shingyouji only smiled. Misu returned to the table. He cut two slices out of the cake and set one piece in front of Shingyouji. Shingyouji dug into it, enjoying each and every bite, savoring each tasty strawberry. In between bites he took sips of his drink that never seemed to empty. When his slice was finished he looked up to see Misu staring at him, a little blurry around the edges. Misu's piece was barely touched.

"Arata-san, don't you like it?"

"I like it just fine Shingyouji."

"Then why aren't you eating it? You should finish it."

"I will, maybe later."

"Oh, how about these then." Shingyouji grabbed the box of pocky sticks and poured them out on the table. "We should have one of these."

"We should?"

"Yeah we should. Saki brought them for us. We shouldn't let them go to waste."

Shingyouji tried to stand but the room spun forcing him to sit right back down. He waited for a moment for his head to calm then looked up at Misu. He was still a little blurry around the edges but no longer spinning.

"Better?"

"I think I stood up too quick."

"I think you're drunk."

"That too."

Shingyouji stood again, this time a little slower. The room stayed still. Holding a pocky stick in his hand he walked around the table. He leaned over Misu but his balance swayed. He turned and dropped down into Misu's lap. Misu let out a breath of air at his sudden weight.

"Arata-san, open your mouth." Shingyouji waved the pocky stick near his face. Misu didn't respond. Instead he took the candy from Shingyouji's hand and threw it on the table.

"Shingyouji do you want to kiss me?"

"Maybe."

"Do you think you need some silly trick to do so?"

"Arata-san it was just for fun. Try it."

"Shingyouji it seems that alcohol makes you more aggressive."

"Ah I guess. I hadn't realized. Sorry Arata-san. I'll try to be better."

"No. This is interesting."

"Oh?"

"But that doesn't mean you're not still my pet. Understand?"

"Yes. Then you'll try this?"

Shingyouji picked up a new pocky stick off the table. Misu parted his lips slightly. Shingyouji took the invitation and slide the stick into place. Shingyouji started to move forward then stopped himself.

"I wish I had a camera right now." Misu squinted his eyes low. The stick bobbed in his mouth. "Ah, never mind."

Shingyouji took the free end of the stick in his mouth and slowly moved forward. Misu held his eyes as he did so, unmoving, waiting for Shingyouji to reach him. In a few short bites Shingyouji reached Misu. At first only their lips brushed past each other as Shingyouji took a slow bite. And then their lips were together. Misu wrapped his arms around Shingyouji pulling him tight against his chest. Shingyouji pushed into the kiss. He leaned slightly over Misu, controlling the depth of his kiss. The ground swayed beneath him, the walls twisted around him and the ceiling spun in circles. But Misu was his anchor. He clung to him with all his strength even as he felt the rest of the world spin away, Misu remained his fixed point. He kissed Misu long and hard. His tongue forcing control and dominance over Misu.

With a heavy head Shingyouji leaned back. His chest heaved as he drew in large gasps of air. The kiss or the alcohol had left him light headed, or some combination of both. Misu stared up at him, his eyes slightly closed, his own breathing deeper than normal.

"Shingyouji…"

"Bed, now."

Misu made no move to stand. Instead his hand slid up Shingyouji's back and into his hair. He grabbed it in his fingers and pulled back slowly, forcing Shingyouji to lean back and expose his neck. Misu leaned forward and kissed up Shingyouji's neck to his ear.

"You have to get off my lap first." Misu growled in his ear.

"Ah, yes."

Misu's fingers released him, allowing him to stand. He took it slow as his balance wavered again. Misu stood behind him taking him by the elbow, stepping up on the platform and leading him to the luxurious bed. With a steady hand Misu turned Shingyouji so that his back was to the bed.

"No."

Shingyouji grabbed Misu by the arms and spun their positions. Misu's legs backed up to the foot of the bed. He nearly fell from Shingyouji's unsteady grip but managed to remain standing. He reached for his shirt but Shingyouji stopped him, instead Shingyouji pushed Misu lightly on his chest forcing him all the way down on to the bed. Shingyouji took a step back with Misu's eyes fixed on him. With a slightly dizzy head he stripped for Misu. First his shirt, which he threw to the floor. Then he unbuckled his pants and slid them down, setting each leg free. He pulled his socks off, twirled them and threw them on top of his shirt. He put his hands on his underwear waistband and stopped. Misu propped himself up on the bed. Shingyouji lowered one corner of his waistband then the other. He stripped himself of the last of his clothes with slow deliberate movements, until he was completely naked.

Misu's eyes looked him over. Shingyouji stood still letting Misu take a moment. Then he stepped forward. He put his hands on the bed and crawled up and over Misu. A completely naked Shingyouji to a completely clothed Misu. Misu reached up to touch him and Shingyouji brushed him away. Misu's eyes opened wide for a moment. Shingyouji stared back unblinking. Misu gave a small smile and nodded. Shingyouji bent down and nuzzled on Misu's neck, just above his shirt collar. His lips and tongue working against the soft skin. He wanted to lick that spot until he left behind a mark, but he knew Misu wouldn't want that. Instead he moved on, kissing, licking, tasting along his jawline, up to his ear, across his forehead, down the tip of his nose, skipping his lips, to the edge of his chin and back to his neck. Misu's breathing deepened the more he worked over his face.

Shingyouji moved further down, opening one button at a time along Misu's shirt, kissing his skin as it became exposed. Pushing the fabric to one side, Shingyouji ran his tongue in one long lick across Misu's nipple. He was rewarded with a small moan of pleasure deep from Misu's throat. He licked again. Another small moan. Shingyouji felt his own body react to Misu's pleasure. He moved the other side and licked Misu's other nipple, creating a similar reaction. Shingyouji moved back and forth kissing and licking each nipple listening to Misu's moans. It felt amazing to create this reaction in Misu.

After a final kiss on each nipple, Shingyouji kissed his way down Misu's chest to the top of his pants. He undid the belt buckle, unzipped the pants and moved the fabric aside. Misu reached down to help push his pants off and again Shingyouji brushed him away. Shingyouji ran his fingers along Misu's underwear and the bulge that lay beneath. Misu's body shuddered beneath his touch. After a few more strokes Shingyouji pulled Misu's underwear down just enough to set him free. Shingyouji looked up to see Misu looking down at him. With their eyes locked Shingyouji opened his mouth and took Misu in. Shingyouji was rewarded with a loud gasp and Misu's head falling back.

Shingyouji went to work on Misu. Stroking him, licking him, feeling him, tasting him. His own body continued to react. Soon he was as hard as Misu. He re-positioned himself so that he could continue to suck and stroke Misu with one hand, and touch himself with the other. Misu pulled one of the numerous pillows over and tucked it behind himself, angling it so he could watch Shingyouji. Shingyouji's hands worked in unison, pleasuring them both at the same time.

Shingyouji lifted his eyes and met Misu's. The pure desire that burned there echoed in his body. Slowly Shingyouji moved his hand off himself and down where he had never touched himself sexually before. Misu's glanced down at his movement before looking back up. Misu's chest heaved with his hard breathing. Shingyouji continued to stroke Misu even as he rubbed himself. His fingers grazed a sensitive spot and he let out a load moan.

"Just a minute." Misu pulled himself free of Shingyouji's touch and rolled off the bed. From his suitcase he pulled out the ever ready body of lotion. He stalked to the end of the bed where Shingyouji still sat. He took Shingyouji's hand and poured some lotion on to it. "Now continue."

Shingyouji rolled over on the bed spreading his legs, fully naked. Misu stood at the end of the bed nearly dressed, shirt still on, but open, his pants hanging from his hips, his underwear almost pulled back into position. Shingyouji reached down again. Misu's eyes followed his hand. He rubbed the lotion onto his body, then slowly into his body. He worked himself while Misu stood there watching. His hand pushing his underwear aside and stroked himself.

Without a word Misu grabbed Shingyouji's legs and pulled him to the end of the bed. Shingyouji gasped in surprise. Misu flipped him over on to his stomach. Pushing his underwear and pants slightly down he stepped up behind Shingyouji. Shingyouji felt him place a firm hand on his back then with little announcement he was inside. At first the suddenness hurt. Shingyouji forced himself to relax and the pain slipped away. All that remained was the pure pleasure of Misu pressing into him from behind. Shingyouji lost all sense of time as Misu thrust into him again and again. Each time bringing small little moans to Shingyouji's lips. From behind Misu's breathing grew louder, his thrusts stronger. Shingyouji gripped the bed cover tightly as Misu reached his orgasm. His name escaping his lips at his peak.

"Shingyouji." Misu slumped against his back pressing him into the bed, his mouth coming close to his ear. His hot breath tickling the side of his face. "That was good."

After a minute Misu pushed himself backwards and up and off of Shingyouji. He disappeared into the bathroom for a moment carrying a box of tissue on his way back. He carefully cleaned up Shingyouji before cleaning himself off. Shingyouji rolled over onto his backside and watched as Misu finally stripped his clothing off standing nearly where he had not long ago. Once naked Misu crawled onto the bed, placing kisses along his sensitive skin, from foot to head. Misu lay out next to Shingyouji pressing their naked bodies together. He nibbled lightly on his ear. Even in the places where Misu wasn't touching him, Shingyouji could still feel the memory of his lingering presence on and in his body. He own body ached for its release. Shingyouji took himself in hand and began to work towards his own climax. Misu stayed against his side, his hands stroking his body, his lips kissing his skin, his eyes watching his every movement. It didn't take long before Shingyouji's orgasm swept through him. Misu held him until the last wave of pleasure rolled away. Then as before he stood, grabbed the tissues and wiped off his body.

Misu held out his hand and Shingyouji took it, getting pulled to his feet. Misu lead them to the bathroom where they jumped into the shower for a quick rinse. They then stepped into the soaking tub. Misu leaned back first against the back of the tub and opened his arms and Shingyouji leaned his back against Misu's chest. The room was nearly dark as Misu had previously closed the bathroom doors and turned off all the lights. This allowed them a view out the window along the beach and the rolling waves. They sat there quietly, Misu gently petting his hair. The buzz of the alcohol was wearing off. He no longer felt aggressive or as strong as before. Instead he felt a little hollow. Not from the time spent with Misu, but from all the memories that were previously blocked that were now rushing back to him.

"Arata-san?"

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"No matter how bad it gets, will you always be there?"

Misu kissed the back of his head. "Shingyouji, my pet, I am not going anywhere, and neither are you. No pest is going to tear us apart and you will become part of my family if it comes to that. Anything else that life throws at us we will conquer together."

Shingyouji closed his eyes for a moment. He body rose and fell with Misu's deep breathes.

"Thank you Arata-san." He felt Misu laugh more than he heard it. "Arata-san?"

"This isn't something that requires a thank you Shingyouji. I take care of the things I care about."

Shingyouji turned slightly and cuddled against Misu's chest. Misu wrapped his arms around his body, holding him in tight. He rested his chin on top of Shingyouji's head.

"Arata-san?"

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"Did you just purpose to me a moment ago?"

"No."

"But you said I could become part of your family."

"Yes, I think my mother wants to adopt you as a second son."

"Arata-san." Shingyouji pulled himself free of Misu's grip. In the darkened room he could only see a vague outline of Misu's shape. He glared at Misu but knew it wouldn't matter. In a true act of defiance, he stuck out his tongue.

"I have far better uses for that tongue than using it as an insult."

"Ah, you could see?"

"No."

"Then how did you?"

"Because I know you Shingyouji." Misu's hand slid up his back pulling him forward. Misu met him, his lips already parted. Misu grabbed and sucked his tongue into his mouth. Shingyouji relaxed into Misu's arms surrendering all control over to him. His heart raced as Misu took dominance over him. He didn't need a proposal or some promise spoken. Just being with Misu was all he needed. He gave him the strength to conquer anything. He made him want to be a better person. With his support he'd already stood up to Kago once, he could do it again. With his council he would be able to speak to his father again. He would improve his grades and pick the college that best suited his decision. Misu gave him the power to do anything as long as they were together.

Misu released him from his dominate kiss. Using his own words against him, Misu growled lowly, "Bed, now."

"Yes Arata-san."

Chapter Text

Shingyouji stood alone on the balcony overlooking the ocean. It was the last morning of his summer break before it was time to head back to school. Instead of going on to his grandmother's as he had originally planned he had stayed with Misu for the whole trip. He called her a few days after arriving at the guesthouse to explain. Based on her tone he could tell his father had already talked to her. He hadn't wanted to cancel on her. He missed her greatly. But he knew seeing her meant potentially seeing his father. He wasn't ready for that, and he was sure his father was ready for that either. She did ask about Misu. What type of person was he, what kind of family did he come from. Shingyouji only answered vaguely for the moment. He wanted a better opportunity to explain to his grandmother what Misu really meant to him and now was not that time. Not so close to when his father poisoned them all against their relationship before even giving it a chance. If his grandmother was willing to listen he was sure she would like Misu and the whole Misu family.

Gii and Takumi stayed for a week, much to Misu's displeasure. The more Gii attempted to be friendly the more Misu grumbled. Shingyouji tried numerous more times to get Gii and Takumi to take back the master bedroom but Gii refused every time insisting it was better suited to Shingyouji's current needs. In town they visited the seafood restaurant a few more times as a group. Gii also drove them around to a few other local places. At each location Gii was always welcomed as an old friend. When Gii and Takumi finally left Shingyouji was a little sad at first. They understood well what he was going through. They were willing to listen when he wanted to talk and distract him when he didn't want to think about it at all. With them gone the house felt even bigger than Shingyouji could imagine and so very quiet. The mornings were the hardest. Lately he found that he couldn't sleep in as well as he used to. He was always awake before Misu.

The first morning after arriving when he woke early he wandered about the house, where he found Gii working in the kitchen alone, making breakfast for all of them. Shingyouji tried to get out his way but Gii insisted he stay and help. Shingyouji helped every morning after that. It had been nice working alongside Gii, just the two of them. He had never spent that much time with Gii alone. He learned a lot about the Saki family, their relationship with the Misu family, about his search for Takumi and how his parents reacted when he told them about his choice. Shingyouji could never admit to Misu how relaxing it was to talk to Gii. Gii listened to him intently when he talked about his own time with the Misu's and how welcome he felt there, his own time growing up and his current time at Shidou. By the end of their week he found he missed those morning visits the most. On the last morning Gii insisted that Shingyouji should call him whenever he needed to talk. Anything he told Gii, Gii promised he would keep in his confidence. Shingyouji couldn't imagine what he would have to tell Gii that he could never tell Misu, but he appreciated the offer.

The rest of his summer break he spent alone in the large house with Misu. No parents, no classmates current or past, no interruptions, nothing but the two of them. At first it felt strange. While they'd gone away on holiday before this was different. Last time it was at a hotel where everything had been taken care of. Here they were playing house. As Gii took his car with him, they were forced to cook their meals at home in the fully stocked kitchen. As the town was just out of walking distance they spent all their remaining time in the house. It hadn't been all fun. Misu forced him to keep up on his school work, even reviewing older lessons he had done poorly on. In between school work and cooking meals they walked the property, enjoying time on the private beach. They also took advantage of the indoor pool. As neither had brought swimsuits they hopped in naked. Shingyouji liked to watch Misu glide through the water, his body toned and sleek. He spent more time watching Misu swim then he spent swimming. All the other times were filled with Misu's affection. Sometimes they made love, sometimes Misu just held him tight in his arms, other times Misu teased him getting him excited only to walk away, leaving him wanting more. Shingyouji never knew which direction Misu would take when he suddenly moved in on him, but each time Shingyouji was happy. Misu knew exactly what he needed. Shingyouji wanted to stay forever, but time had run out and it was time to return to reality.

Shingyouji looked out at the rolling waves of the ocean. The water beat softly against the shore in a calm rhythmic pattern. All he wanted to do was stare at the ocean and enjoy the peaceful moment. To enjoy his last morning with Misu. But his mind would not calm along with the beating of the waves. Instead it fought against him to think on everything that waited for him once he left the front door of this refuge and returned to all that waited beyond. Shingyouji sighed.

"Are you that worried Shingyouji?" Shingyouji jumped. He turned. Misu was standing in the doorway to the balcony. He was wearing only his blue sleeping pants, with his chest naked. It would have been a beautiful site, if not for his hair pointing out in six different directions. Shingyouji would have laughed if he wasn't already use to this sight. A different side of Misu that most people never saw. A Misu who didn't need to portray a level of perfection every second. A Misu that almost appeared relaxed, calm, happy. Shingyouji smiled.

"A little Arata-san." Shingyouji turned back to look out at the ocean.

"You've stood up to him before. You will again." Misu stepped closer to Shingyouji, stopping directly behind him.

"It's not just him. Now that my father has told my mother and grandmother about us I am afraid of what's coming. What do they plan to do? I am afraid to lose..." Shingyouji couldn't finish.

Misu reached around him and placed his hands on either side of the railing, trapping his body between his and the balcony wall. They continued to look out over the ocean for a few minutes. The only sound the ocean, Shingyouji's pounding heart, and Misu's deep breathes. Misu shifted and Shingyouji felt Misu bend down and place a gentle kiss on the back of his head.

"You'll never lose me Shingyouji. No matter what happens we will be together. I promise."

Shingyouji couldn't speak. Instead he only nodded his head in response, knocking himself into Misu's lips.

"Aiii. Shingyouji."

"Arata-san, I'm sorry." Shingyouji turned quickly, stepping on Misu's foot. Misu took two fast steps backwards.

"Shingyouji." Misu barked.

"Ahh, I'm sorry Arata-san. I didn't mean to." A crooked smile appeared on Misu's lips, his teeth showing, the tip of his tongue peeking out. "Arata-san?"

"I think somebody needs to be punished."

"What? I didn't mean…" Misu narrowed his eyes at him and licked his lips. "Oh, yes I understand." Shingyouji stepped through the doorway and hurried down the hallway back to the bedroom. Misu followed close behind.


 

Compared to the train station at Misu's home this one was a ghost town. Only one other family waited in the lobby with them. They were all waiting for the only train that passed through, which would take them to the next main station and that is where they would part ways. His trip had ended very differently than he had ever expected. It ended with a complete commitment from Misu and their relationship, Misu's parents acknowledging their relationship and welcoming him into their home, Kago's further act of defiance, and his own father kicking him out of his childhood home.

When the train arrived it was small and old. They picked two empty seats in the back. Misu took the aisle while Shingyouji sat next to the window. As the train pulled away from the station Shingyouji leaned over and placed his head on Misu's shoulder. Misu tilted his head and lay it against Shingyouji's. Misu's hand slid over and took his. For the rest of the train ride they didn't speak. Shingyouji felt secure in his knowledge of Misu's love for him and that he had his support in all things. Now he just needed to live up to those expectations.

In far too short of time the train pulled into their station. They disembarked and stood on the platform. Misu's train was due to arrive in 10 minutes. Not nearly enough time to be anything more than a short stop before he gone and Shingyouji was alone for the next hour while he waited for his train. Shingyouji clung to Misu's hand, grasping it too tight. Misu said nothing, only held him back.

"Arata-san." Shingyouji started.

"Shingyouji I know it is difficult to go back alone. While I am not there physically I am there with you always. You have less than a year to go before you graduate. Put your mind to the task of thinking about what comes after. Do well in your classes, study hard. The time will pass quickly. We will see each other again before the end of the year. Be strong."

Shingyouji didn't want to cry. Not now, not in front of Misu. He swallowed hard and looked up into Misu's eyes. Those beautiful eyes that cared for him so much, but that he would not see for a long time. He looked at that half smile, half scowl that fit perfectly on Misu's face. He looked at his now carefully tamed perfect hair. Shingyouji looked at all of him and fully realized, he's mine. As much as he always knew he belonged to Misu and was his completely, he was only now realizing that Misu belonged to him. Not at all in the same way, but in his own important way.

"Thank you Arata-san."

"I only spoke the truth Shingyouji."

"No, thank you for this trip. When I got off the train and you saw me with Kago, I really thought it was the end. I couldn't imagine what I would do without you and suddenly that possibly was very real. I felt that once before, but this time was so much worse. Before, I could let you go because I thought you were happier with Sagara. This time I thought I broke your heart, and it broke mine. But instead you made everything even better than it was before. I love you for doing that." Shingyouji continued to fight back his tears.

"Then I hope this continues to make it better."

"Arata-san?" Misu turned him slightly. Misu's train was approaching. "How can that be better?"

"Wait a moment."

Shingyouji watched the train. Misu made no movement towards it. Instead he waited from a distance. A few people disembarked from the train and only one person that Shingyouji recognized. Natsu Misu stepped lightly from the train her face lit with a smile.

"Shingyouji-kun, Arata."

"I wasn't kidding when I think she's care about you more than me. She even calls for you first now." Misu squeezed his hand.

"But how, why?" Shingyouji stood there unable to believe what he was seeing.

"I've talked to her a few times since we left your father's. I called her yesterday to let her know our final travel plans and she insisted on coming out here. She wanted to see you one more time before you went back to school."

"Shingyouji-kun." Natsu swallowed Shingyouji up in a hug. Her arms strong and warm wrapped around him. He lay his head against her shoulder. He could no longer stop the tears. "Oh Shingyouji-kun. You're crying. Are you not happy? Are you upset?"

"Yes, no." Shingyouji pulled back from Natsu. "I am sad that I am leaving. But I am very happy to see you mother. This is a surprise."

"I am glad you are happy. I know you were expecting to say goodbye to Arata now, but I couldn't help myself. I had to come out. We'll take a later train tonight. I know it's only been a little while since we've seen each other but I already missed you. I missed you the moment you left."

"Mother."

"I missed you too Arata."

Shingyouji let out a half laugh half sob as he watched Misu's face looking at his mother.

"That's not what I meant. If you're like this now how are you going to deal with him going back school."

"I'll call him. And maybe go visit."

"You didn't talk to me that often when I was at school."

"That was because you didn't want me to. If you wanted me to call more and visit I would have. Shingyouji-kun on the other hand I know would appreciate the attention."

"I still think you like him better."

Natsu moved closer to Misu. She opened her arms and pulled him into a tight hug. Misu stood there stiff. Natsu released him and backed away.

"Don't complain about wanting equal treatment if you don't like equal treatment. I will have my relationship with Shingyouji-kun and I have my relationship with you. Get used to it, he's part of the family."

"Mother."

"I know, overstepping my bounds again."

As Shingyouji watched them argue he could see the kid that Misu used to be. Independent but secretly dependent on his mother. Denying every second that he wanted her hugs and her attention but enjoying every moment of it. Misu may be one of the strongest people he knew, but even he still needed his mother.

"And what do you think you're smiling about."

"I'm just happy Arata-san. Thank you for this."

"Don't thank me. It was all her doing. I couldn't stop her if I wanted to."

"Arata now you know that's not true. I would have stayed away if you asked me. It would have broken my heart, but I wouldn't have come."

Misu rolled his eyes. "And you think I could have told you no when you say things like that?"

"Shingyouji-kun knows I am only teasing. Arata if you had asked I would have stayed away. I don't want to get in the way."

"I know mother and you are not in the way. Shingyouji missed you too, so it seemed best to let my p...Shingyouji have one last chance to see you before he went back to school."

Shingyouji's eyes widened for a moment.

"My what?" Natsu asked. "Do you have little pet names for each other already?" Shingyouji started coughing. "Shingyouji-kun are you okay?"

"He'll be fine. We should sit while we wait for Shingyouji's train."

Misu turned and walked away. Shingyouji followed after two steps behind. Natsu followed third.

"Wait up Arata." Natsu called after her son.

Misu kept walking at full speed. It made Shingyouji smile. He didn't want to catch up. As much as he liked to walk beside Misu, he liked to follow this way too. To stare at Misu's strong shoulders, his straight back, his long arms, all of him. In touched a different place in his heart to walk in this way than walking next to Misu did. And the glance back from Misu showed that he knew it too.

Misu stopped at a group of empty chairs within line of sight of the train line. Misu sat down, Shingyouji sat next to him, and Natsu sat next to him, keeping Shingyouji in the middle.

"Shingyouji-kun you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but how did it go with your father? Arata refused to tell me. I know it can be a difficult thing to do." Shingyouji looked down at his hands. "Then it didn't go well?"

"I didn't get to talk to him exactly."

"But something happened? He knows right?"

"He does, but it's a little complicated. He asked us to leave."

"Oh Shingyouji-kun I'm so sorry. So that is why you stayed so long with Arata. You could have come back to our place. Where did you go?"

"We were staying at the Saki's guest house."

"The one on the beach? We've been there once. I loved it, Ryou insisted on being indifferent, though I am sure he enjoyed himself too. Then I don't blame you for wanting to stay there are long as you did. The Saki family is very generous. "

"It was a very nice house. Saki-san and Hayama-san stayed over too. It was nice to see them again."

"Hayama?"

"You met him mother. The day of our graduation. Hayama Takumi. He was my roommate."

"Right, the flirt?" Shingyouji laughed. "Oh I mean not the flirt. I just thought he was flirting with Shingyouji-kun at that time. I didn't like the idea of someone flirting with my Shingyouji."

"Mother he wasn't your Shingyouji then. He's not really your Shingyouji even now."

"You keep telling yourself that Arata." Natsu took Shingyouji's hand. Misu only shook his head. "Shingyouji-kun I am sorry about your father's reaction. I know it must be hard on you. But it's hard on him too. Don't give up on him yet. This is something that will need some time. It's probably for the best that you're going back to school. Give you both some time and distance."

"Thank you mother."

"I didn't mean for this to be such a down visit. I came to say goodbye one more time and now I've made it depressing. I wanted this to be a happy moment."

"It's okay mother. It helps sharing with you." Shingyouji felt a soft nudge from his side. "And with Arata-san."

"I am happy that you have each other for support. So did you have fun at the Saki's guest house?"

"It was amazing. The house was so big. I enjoyed their pool. Saki-san insisted we stay in the master bedroom. He took us out to dinner many times and even surprised us with dessert back in our room our first night there."

"Where someone got a little drunk." Misu whispered in his ear.

Shingyouji felt his face burn. He remembered bits and pieces of that night. Mostly he remembered bossing Misu around. And being a little sexually assertive. It was a strange feeling, one he didn't expect to have repeated. Though at the time Misu didn't seem to mind.

"The master bedroom? I remember that room having a spectacular view."

"Yes it does. Even though he didn't have to do it, I appreciate Saki-san sharing it with us."

"It's nice to hear the son is taking after his parents in behavior."

"Yes Mother, Saki is very generous when a favor is asked of him." Misu said coolly.

"I still don't understand why you didn't get along with Saki-kun. He seems like a nice kid."

"Yes he is very nice mother. A real pleasure."

"Sorry Arata, I won't push you. I already know I'm not going to change your mind."

"No, you won't. Though lately Shingyouji has helped point out some of Saki's better qualities."

"I have. When?"

Misu waved his hand. "In the past."

"Ah okay."

"Shingyouji-kun you're already showing your positive influence on Arata."

"I like to think we are benefiting each other Mother."

"Yes Arata I believe that is true."

Shingyouji enjoyed listening to Misu and his mother talk. Even their teasing banter had a calming effect on him. He could listen to them all day and still be happy. Even Misu's father and Misu were fun to listen to. Being at their house watching them as a family, watching Misu interact with his family had been a rare moment for Shingyouji. It was something he hoped to repeat again and again.

Their conversation continued on with more casual topics until Shingyouji's train was nearing time to arrive. When there were still a little over five minutes left Natsu stood up.

"Shingyouji-kun I'm going to say goodbye now. I'll let you and Arata have your final minutes alone."

Shingyouji stood up and wrapped himself into Natsu's waiting arms. "I will miss you Mother."

"And I will miss you Shingyouji-kun. I promise to call you very soon." Natsu stepped back. "Arata I will wait here for you. I recommend that alcove over there for your own goodbyes." Natsu pointed out a small corner in the train station. A spot that most people wouldn't bother to take a second glance at as they walked past it on the way to their destination.

"Thank you Mother, I will be back shortly."

Misu stood and walked away. Shingyouji hurried after him, three steps behind. At the alcove Misu turned. Shingyouji stopped before him. Shingyouji looked up at Misu. A thousand different words rushed through his head of things he wanted to say, but not one word came out of his mouth. Misu reached over and pulled the necklace and ring from under his shirt. His fingers stroked the ring for a moment before letting it drop back against Shingyouji's chest. Misu's hand moved up to his cheek and pet him with the back of hand. Shingyouji closed his eyes.

"No Shingyouji look at me."

Shingyouji opened his eyes and looked back up at Misu. He didn't want to go. He wanted to stay right where he was. With Misu, with his family. Shingyouji swallowed hard. He had to push those thoughts out of his head. He had to go back to school. He had to find the strength to get through this on his own. Misu believed in him, so he had to believe in himself. He had to prove to Misu, prove to himself that he could be a better person.

"Arata-san."

"Shingyouji, by the next time I see you again I expect your grades to be back to where they were last year.

"Yes Arata-san."

"No longer be distracted by petty little pests."

"I will try Arata-san."

"And don't forget to ask for help when you need it." Misu paused. "Not just from me. Accept it from others that have offered as well."

"Yes Arata-san."

Misu smiled. He stroked his fingers through Shingyouji's hair. "My Shingyouji, my pet." Misu wrapped his hand behind Shingyouji and pulled him closer. His eyes did a quick scan around to ensure they were truly hidden from view. He pulled Shingyouji's hair forcing his head upwards. Misu descended on his exposed lips. His tongue licking along his lips, stroking the edge of his teeth, teasing the tip of his tongue. Shingyouji responded to each of his movements. Surrendering slightly, resisting slightly. He moaned lightly as Misu pushed into him deeper. All his worries fell behind him as his world was filled with Misu's touch. Shingyouji wrapped his arm around Misu's neck forcing their connection even tighter. Then it happened. Over the train PA system came the first announcement that Shingyouji's train was pulling into the station. They were down to their final minutes.

Misu pulled away from their deep kiss and gripped Shingyouji into a tight hug. Shingyouji held him back. Neither said anything. They just held each other until the next announcement that the train had arrived and was disembarking passengers. In mere moments it would be time to board. Misu stepped away first. He took Shingyouji by the hand and walked him to the train platform. They stood hand in hand silent, waiting for the last call to board the train. When it finally came Misu turned, ruffled Shingyouji's hair and smiled.

"Arata-san." Shingyouji whined. But he smiled too, flattening his hair back into place.

"Good-bye Shingyouji."

"Good-bye Arata-san." Shingyouji leaned forward and placed a quick kiss on Misu's cheek. "I love you." He whispered before making a dash for the train. He took one glance back to see Misu shaking his head and smiling at him. He hopped on the train and found a seat near a window looking back out onto the platform. Misu was still there, watching for him. He waved and Misu waved back. His heart already hurt. The train lurched forwarded. Shingyouji clutched the seat to keep himself from bolting. He would not run away from his problems. He would be strong, he would believe in himself just as much Misu.

His eyes stayed focused on the platform until the very last moment and Misu was ripped from his view. Shingyouji leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes. He had a long journey ahead of him. It wasn't just the train ride home that he was thinking about. It was the rest of the school year that remained before him. In an attempt to calm his ever building nervousness he pulled out his latest manga buried deep in his bag, untouched the whole trip until now. Misu would have told him to pick a schoolbook instead, but the manga distracted his mind more. After several hours of traveling he arrived back at Shidou. He was not alone in his walk back to campus. Other students were returning from their summer travels as well. He greeted everyone he recognized or that called out his name. It helped remind him how many friends he really did have still at school, even if he thought he'd been left behind.

Avoiding any real conversation with anyone about what he had been doing while away he made a direct path to his room first. He opened the door and nearly dropped his bag on his foot.

"Mother? Haruka? What are you both doing here, in my room?"

"Shingyouji-kun your father and I have had a long conversation about what happened when you were there and what you've been keeping from us. Kago-kun stopped by your father's to check on you later and he shared with us some disturbing stories about this Misu family. Threatening Kago-kun, keeping you from following through on commitments you made. You should know how upset this has made both me and your father. Your grandmother was looking forward to seeing you. She was very disappointed in you. Your father and I were planning to take you out of Shidou and take you back home. But Kago-kun convinced us that would be a bad idea this late in your last year. So instead because I think he can help influence you back into being a better person I asked them to make Kago-kun your roommate for the rest of the year. I think he can be a big help to fixing what's wrong with you."

 

Chapter Text

Shingyouji sat in the back room of the far corner of the library. It had been a month since Kago had moved into his room. He had given up trying to study in their shared bedroom, but he had not given up on studying. He would not let his grades slip any further. He still had a lot of work to do to bring them back to where they belonged. As he studied in the library he knew Kago was most likely back in their room, waiting for him to return. Shingyouji would only do so once the last minute of curfew remained not a minute earlier.

That night when he found his mother in his room with Kago had nearly destroyed him. He had barely registered the other things his mother mentioned. How they had planned to remove him from school, his grandmother's disappointment in him, in the end it was the news about Kago being his new roommate that truly soaked in and rattled him to the core. It took every bit of his strength and the strength Misu had given him to keep from running away right then and never look back.

"Mother none of this year is the Misu's fault. All of it is my own fault. In fact they helped me better understand what was wrong and how I can make it better. I am all ready to make an improvement."

"I am sure they helped you with their own ways of thinking. That's why Kago-kun is being moved to your room. He's your childhood friend, he can help you with any of your troubles. You do not have to bother the Misu family anymore nor talk to that other boy. I am sorry for the drastic measure that your father took in kicking you out of the house. He should have never let you leave. Only that other boy needed to go."

His mother stepped closer to him. Kago stood behind her nodding his head looking at Shingyouji with his sad puppy eyes.

"Mother, Arata-san hasn't done anything wrong. I know by now father told you everything, but Arata-san is important to me. I will not stop talking to him.."

"He is not a good…"

"Mother." Kago stepped forward. Shingyouji jerked his head to Kago. He was now using familiarities in his family. Calling her mother. "I understand what Mitsu is trying to say. I know when I wasn't able to contact Mitsu over the summer holiday I felt the same way. Mitsu is very important to me and I know it hurt me deeply to not be able to see him. I did some stupid things because of it. I think if we monitor his contact with all of the Misu family instead then we can know Mitsu is being kept safe from any possible harmful influence."

His mother nodded her head, patting Kago on the shoulder. "Kago-kun, thank you. You're right. I can wish to keep Shingyouji away from them completely but I can also see that might cause more rebellion. And we've had enough of that. Shingyouji-kun," his mother started with a sigh, "I will allow you to contact anyone in the Misu family but only with Kago's supervision. He will keep me informed of your conversations and if he feels you're making poor decisions again."

Shingyouji clenched his teeth together, but nodded his head in acceptance.

"Good. I think we might have made a little progress today."

"Mother." Shingyouji whispered.

"Yes Shingyouji-kun?"

"Does Haruka have to be present for all my phone calls, or will I be allowed to call other people without his supervision?"

"That depends, who else would you need to call besides me, you father or grandmother."

"He is an alumnus here. His name is Giichi Saki."

"This isn't some sort of trick around my rules."

"No mother. You can ask anyone at school, Arata-san and Saki-san were never what you would call close. In fact Arata-san would never call Saki-san his friend. They were in the same class together but were more competitive than friendly." Shingyouji's hands shook a little as spoke.

"And why would you be calling him?"

"As an alumnus and a college student he has agreed to help counsel me on any advice I may need. His advice will be valuable and welcome for this remaining year and next year. It will be very helpful to me, but I would think very boring for Haruka."

"Saki? Why do I know that name? Kago-kun did you mention it?" Shingyouji held his breath. Kago shook his head in the negative. "Then where have I heard this name."

"You..you have probably heard of the Saki family before Mother." Shingyouji managed to stammer out.

"You mean he's part of that family?"

"Yes mother he is their only son."

"And he's someone that you can just call for advice?"

"Yes mother."

"Then I absolutely agree. Their family must be doing something right to be so wealthy. If he is offering free advice then I have no problems with you using him. However I will leave it up to Kago-kun. He may choose to listen to one phone call but if it as you say he may leave you for the rest. But do not pull any tricks and call the Misu family instead."

"I promise mother. I will not call the Misu family house without Kago present. I will only call you, father and grandmother, and possibly Saki-san if permitted."

"Good. Now that we have that settled I think that covers everything. Follow the campus rules, in bed by lights out, study hard, get your grades back where they were. And try to let Kago-kun be your friend again. You two were once the best of friends." She walked to the door and looked back. "My two boys. You both be good now. I'll will talk to both of you later."

"Good-bye mother." They said in unison. Shingyouji tightened his hand into a fist but only smiled as his mother left the room. It took every effort he had not to stop smiling once the door was closed. A smiling happy Shingyouji for Kago to see. Not the Shingyouji that was inside, the one that was screaming, crying, shaking. Only a few more months until graduation. Less than a year. He could do it, though the tendons in his hand might be worn out from the tight fist he was preparing to never unclench until this nightmare was over.

Kago had treated him as he expected during the next few days. In his face just before bed, in his face at the break of dawn. It didn't take Shingyouji long to realize if he wanted to get any studying done he could never do it in the room. He never had a moment of stillness. Kago was always there, right at the edge of his desk, staring, pacing, begging for every bit of attention Shingyouji would give.

The library had almost failed him as well. Kago followed him everywhere. That was until the Student Affairs Officer Kaka-sensei ran into him one day and reminded him of the senior only study room. As Kago was still a year younger than him, he was not allowed to enter under any circumstances, just as Shingyouji had not been allowed to enter the year before. He had been surprised by running into Kaka-sensei as it was long past working hours and not in area that he normally frequented. And then to give him exactly the news he needed. Everything about his encounter with him had been strange, but Shingyouji took it as what it was. A small break of luck in an otherwise horrible week.

Making phone calls was just as difficult as Shingyouji expected. Kago was right by his side for every phone call. The first phone call he chose to make the day after he returned. He decided to call the Misu household first. He was sure he wouldn't get Arata-san as he'd be in class, but he hoped to catch Natsu. He wanted to thank her again for her kindness and to hear her voice again.

Kago sat on the floor next to the phone as he made his first call.

"Hello."

"Hello Misu-san."

"Shingyouji-kun. I am so happy you called. Are you back in school? Did you have a safe trip? Are you eating well?" Shingyouji let a little smile out before hiding it back under his passive face.

"Yes Misu-san I am doing well. I returned to school safely."

"Shingyouji-kun? Is something the matter? You're voice sounds odd. Why are you calling me Misu-san?"

"Everything is fine Misu-san. Classes start tomorrow and I intend to study very hard this term. Thank you for pushing me this summer. I will be putting a lot of serious thought into my college choices. I plan on speaking with Gii Saki and getting his advice. Though don't tell Arata-san, you know how much they dislike each other."

"Ah, yes Shingyouji-kun. I think I understand. I am very happy that you called me. Will I still be able to visit you there at school?"

"Yes, I believe you can, but not right away."

"Then I will wait a little while before making any plans. I'm sorry if it is hard on you Shingyouji-kun. It's just a little longer. No matter what we'll be here waiting for you."

"Thank you Misu-san. And thank you again for your hospitality and letting me stay with you for so long. You treated me very kindly."

"You are very welcome Shingyouji-kun. Thank you for being a wonderful guest."

"Will you please let Arata-san know that I will call him later this week."

"I will. Thank for calling Shingyouji-kun and please be careful."

"I will Misu-san. Good-bye."

"Good-bye."

It had hurt Shingyouji to talk so formally with Natsu. The woman whom he had just called mother the day before. Who had embraced him with all her heart. Their additional conversations that month had been just as formal, though with each one, Kago showed less and less interest with what he had to say. This was true of everyone he spoke to, with the exception of Arata-san. That was the one person he listened to every word.

"Arata-san." Almost a week had passed and it was the first time hearing Misu's voice since Kago had moved into his room. Shingyouji wanted to spill out everything in his heart. Instead he bit his tongue and held everything back.

"Shingyouji. Let me guess he's monitoring all your phone calls. He's sitting there right now."

"Yes, but how…"

"I spoke with mother. Based on your conversation we figured something had happened. I'm sad to say I underestimated him. I didn't anticipate this."

"Arata-san?"

"After I talked to mother, I called the school. I spoke with Kaka-sensei. He informed me that the pest had been made your roommate at your mother's request. I would ask how you are doing but I can guess. And you cannot answer honestly anyway. Are you at least able to study in peace now that you are in the library?"

"Yes Arata-san…"

"Don't ask. I asked Kaka-sensei to speak with you. I know you wouldn't remember about the private library. I hope to hear your grades have made a considerable improvement by the end of this month. We are unfortunate in that we are stuck with him as your roommate. I asked and we have no power to change this situation as it was requested by your mother. For now you just have to keep working hard and do your best to protect yourself."

"Yes Arata-san."

"Mother informed me that you are planning to speak with Saki."

"I didn't mean to keep it from you. I know you dislike Saki-san." Shingyouji said raising his voice. Although he knew Kago was listening he didn't want him to miss a word. "But I want to talk to him. He is the best person to offer me advice in these matters."

"While I could wish you would come to me for all your issues, if you feel the need to speak to someone else, Saki is, unfortunately, a good choice. He will counsel you well."

"I do believe that Saki-san is my best choice for this."

"Shingyouji, you know can call me at any time, even if he has to sit there and listen. We never have to talk of anything that will cause you any suffering on your end. You can call just to discuss your school work. Do you understand?"

"Yes Arata-san, I understand."

"Now has he done anything to you? Has he hurt you again, or touched you in any way?"

"Not yet Arata-san."

"That's good. We can hope that it stays that way. But I fear what we know of him, it's only a matter of time. You need to be strong. Don't let him take advantage. That's my job." Misu's voice lowered, becoming deeper, smoother. "It's my job to touch you. Run my fingers across your skin. Lick your lips. Suck on your tongue. Tie you down. Feel your naked body beneath mine."

Shingyouji swallowed hard. He wanted to respond, but his voice would betray him. Already his cheeks were starting to burn.

"Shingyouji you are mine. Nothing he says or does will ever change that. Remember that."

Shingyouji took a small breath. "I do Arata-san."

With that he reluctantly hung up on his first phone call with Misu. He knew Misu said those things to keep him strong, but hearing his voice, knowing Misu was so far away made his situation all that worse.

A few days after calling Misu, he made his first phone call to Gii. As promised Kago listened to the phone call but this time he had brought homework to keep himself occupied. Shingyouji could see his disinterest almost from the moment they started talking.

"Hello Saki-san."

"Hello Shingyouji. I'd been told that I might be hearing from you soon. I understand things are a little complicated there."

"Yes Saki-san, it is." Shingyouji glanced down at Kago spread out on the floor absorbed in his homework.

"Can I assume at the moment you are not able to speak freely?"

"No, Saki-san, not today."

"But you are hoping that the fact that Misu and I were never considered on friendly terms while at Shidou that I will be easier to share information with."

"Yes, Saki-san."

"Then I will try my best to assist you in any way I can Shingyouji. I told you before at the guest house I enjoyed our talks. I was very happy that we got to spend that time together. When you can share with me, I will share any information you wish on to the Misu family and Misu himself. But also remember any conversation you wish to have that you do not want me to share just let me know."

"Thank you Saki-san. I welcome your advice."

"Now to keep up appearances, is there anything you wish to talk about to keep suspicion at a minimum?"

"Ah yes Saki-san." Shingyouji listed off a few questions he had prepared. Gii answered him honestly.

"Thank you for your time Saki-san. This was a big help."

"You're welcome Shingyouji. I hope I can continue to assist you."

And so the first month passed, leading Shingyouji to where he sat now in the library. In that month he made 2 more phone calls to Natsu, all the time wishing he could call her mother instead of Misu-san. 5 more calls to Misu, all made awkward by his discussing school work and Misu telling him all the things he would do to him once they were alone in full detail. And 2 more calls to Gii. Both unmonitored, but as there was no change in his situation Shingyouji had nothing special to share, expect to keep up appearances of needing Gii's assistance. Though talking to Gii freely gave him a level of peace to make it through each day.

And with that, Shingyouji's first month had passed. Shingyouji packed up his books into his bag. Carefully arranged his assignments into his folder to turn in the next day. Turned off the light to the room, as he was the last leave. He was always the last to leave. And with heavy footsteps Shingyouji walked backed to his room. The hallways were mostly quiet at this time. Not many wanted to risk being out after curfew. With only seconds to spare Shingyouji reached his room, and with much reluctance stepped inside.

The room was uncharacteristically dark, save for one small glowing candle in the middle of the room. Shingyouji clutched his bag tight to the front of his chest. Up until now Kago had been a nuisance but nothing more. Never giving him a moment to himself except when he was in class or at the library. But for the whole month he had gone out of his way to avoid touching Shingyouji. Sidestepping when they got too close, never handing him anything directly. Being always right under foot but unusually helpful. It had been odd at first, but Shingyouji didn't complain. He'd come to hope that maybe Kago's wants had changed and he was only obsessed with friendship. Walking into the room now he knew he'd been wrong to hope. Something had changed.

"Happy Anniversary Mistu." Kago's voice whispered from the dark. The candle moved closer and Kago's face appeared illuminated behind it. The light and shadow bouncing off his features giving him the look of a mad man.

"Anniversary?"

"Our one month anniversary. We've lived together for one month. And while I wish you didn't get home so late every night I think this has been a good month for us to grow our friendship. I've tried to give you the space you needed. To give you time to understand that I am here for you always, no matter what." Kago held up the candle before Shingyouji's eyes. It was stuck into a slice of cake. "Now blow out the candle and let's celebrate."

Shingyouji hesitated for a moment, then blew the candle out. The room fell into complete darkness. The only thing he could see was the after image of the flame of the candle before his eyes. He felt as Kago moved next to him, heard the plate shift in his hand. Something warm passed by his ear, then Kago's voice was there. He whispered so quiet Shingyouji wasn't completely sure what he heard, but it sounded like "Kiss me." Before Shingyouji could react and step away, Kago placed a small kiss on the edge of his ear. Shingyouji took three quick steps backwards crashing his right elbow hard into the wall.

"Ahhh." Shingyouji yelped in pain dropping his bag on his foot. His elbow hurt too much to even notice the pain of his foot.

"Mitsu?" The lights came on in the room blinding Shingyouji. "Mitsu are you okay?" Kago grabbed his arm and pulled on it. Shingyouji cried out in pain again. He pulled his arm away from Kago and held it tight against his body.

"Stop it Haruka." Shingyouji barked. Kago's hurt expression told him that he would regret it later, but at the moment the pain outweighed his need for fake politeness. "Leave it alone."

"I'm...I'm sorry Mitsu. I didn't mean." Kago mumbled.

Shingyouji sighed deeply even as he swallowed hard against the pain. "I know Haruka."

"Are you okay?" Kago asked quietly.

"No Haruka I don't think so. I need to go to the infirmary."

"Ah I'll take you. We can go together."

"No Haruka." The words came out hard. "I can go alone. There is no reason for you to get in trouble after curfew."

"But Mitsu."

"Haruka, you need to stay. I can go on my own. You will get in trouble if you come with me."

"Ah Mitsu you're looking out for me." Kago stepped forward, ready to wrap Shingyouji in a hug.

"Haruka." Shingyouji slid against the wall, away from Kago.

"Ah right. Sorry. Hurry back and we can share this cake for our anniversary Mitsu."

"I'll try."

Shingyouji sidestepped around Kago and made it out the door with no further injury. While the pain has lessened it still ached and hurt to move it beyond a few inches past his body. He made it to the infirmary without meeting another person. The school was completely silent as all students were back in their rooms, where for the first time in a month, he wished he was.

He knocked on the door with his good left hand.

"When do you knock? Come on in."

Shingyouji awkwardly opened the door, shoving it with his foot.

"Oh Shingyouji-kun, sorry I was expecting someone else. Isn't it past curfew? What can I do for you?" As Nakayama stood from the table Shingyouji noticed two empty glasses and a bottle of wine sitting on the table.

"I'm sorry for interrupting you Nakayama-sensei."

"It's quite alright Shingyouji-kun. Did you injure your arm?" Nakayama stepped closer to Shingyouji and gently took his arm in his hands.

"Yes Nakayama-sensei. I hurt my elbow."

"How?"

"It was…" They were interrupted as the office door was opened.

"You better have a good wine toni...oh...sorry Shingyouji-kun."

"Hello Kaka-sensei."

"Are you alright Shingyouji-kun? What happened?"

"We were just getting to that when you so boldly interrupted. You can continue Shingyouji-kun."

"Ah, well it was an accident. I ran into the wall with my elbow."

"An accident, really? You had to be moving really fast to hurt it this bad." Nakayama said looking over his arm being careful not to move it too much.

"Shingyouji-kun was this really an accident? Why were you moving so fast?"

Shingyouji looked down at the floor. "Yes it was an accident. I was trying to get away." Shingyouji whispered the last two words.

"Shingyouji-kun?" Kaka asked.

"I was trying to get away." Shingyouji spoke louder.

Kaka sighed. "As I guessed."

"Sensei?" Shingyouji asked, startled by his comment.

"Kago-kun is causing you problems isn't he?"

"How ...you know...you understand?" Shingyouji asked, unable to find the right question. He suddenly felt very light on his feet.

"We can continue this conversation as I treat Shingyouji-kun. But first we need to get him seated." Nakayama lead Shingyouji over to the corner of the room with all his supplies and helped Shingyouji up onto the examining table. As he continued his examination Kaka stood to the left side of the table next to Shingyouji's good side.

"I've had my suspicions for a while now. I was hoping you would have come talk to me. I didn't know about the roommate re-assignment until after the paperwork went through. As your mother requested it, there wasn't much I could do."

"But how did you know?"

"Let's just say my suspicions were confirmed when a few of your concerned friends called recently me to ask that I keep an eye out for you. You keep some interesting friends."

"A few?"

"Yes. Especially an ex-student class president who has called more than once. But enough about how I know, is this really from an accident. Tell me what happened."

"I…" Shingyouji started, but wasn't sure where to find the words. This was the first adult outside of the Misu family that wanted to know his side of the story. And might actually believe him. He wanted to be honest but was still a little scared. "I did hurt myself on accident as I said. I backed into the wall. I was trying to get away from Haruka. He was...he was doing something I didn't like."

"I see. Did you tell him to stop?"

"No, not this time. He startled me. Which is why I hurt myself."

"But you have asked him in the past?"

"Yes. He doesn't listen to me."

"And does he know that you are already seeing someone?"

Shingyouji opened his mouth but found nothing would come out.

"Don't be too surprised." Nakayama said as he finished looking over his arm. "It was a pretty well-known secret last year. One among many."

"You too?" Shingyouji whispered. The pain in his arm forgotten for a brief moment as the embarrassment of what all of his teachers must think of him filled his mind.

"Don't worry Shingyouji-kun. This school is special." Kaka said glancing at Nakayama.

"Very." Nakayama agreed. "Shingyouji-kun, I don't think you did any major damage to your arm, but I am afraid it is going to be difficult for the next few days. I recommend we put it in a sling." Nakayama looked over at Kaka, "Normally I would recommend keeping the sling on at all times, and getting assistance when you can, but it seems there is a complication in that plan."

The three looked at each other for a moment. No simple solution presented itself.

"For tonight you can stay here." Nakayama offered.

"Thank you, but no. If I stay here, he will think it is worse than it is and make a bigger deal of it. The more I can down play it the better."

"I leave it up to you. For something this small we normally do not call anyone, but is there anyone you would like to call."

For a brief moment the temptation was there. "No. I made a promise to my mother that I would not make phone calls without his supervision."

Kaka nodded his head. "We understand. However as I am sure to get a phone call again in the next few days, and I have no such restrictions, do you mind if I make a call on your behalf."

Shingyouji considered hiding the truth from Misu. He didn't want to worry him. But he knew in the end it was better to share then keep it from Misu. "You may. But please do tell him it was an accident."

"Alright Shingyouji-kun I will."

Nakayama pulled out a sling and wrapped it around his arm, showing him how to put it on and take it off. He requested that Shingyouji return in 4 days to check on any progress, sooner if it got worse. Kaka handed him a pass that allowed him out in the halls after curfew and sent him back to his room. Shingyouji noticed the pass wasn't dated. He tucked it into his pocket for safe keeping. The halls were still deserted as he made his way back to his room. An hour after injuring himself he was back at his room.

He took a deep breath and opened the door. To his surprise Kago was asleep. Shingyouji closed the door quietly behind him and made his way over to his bed. A note was laying on his pillow.

I am sorry Mitsu. I ruined our anniversary. We will have to try again.

Shingyouji nearly crumpled the note in his hand before stopping himself, realizing it would make too much noise. He threw the note in the garbage along with the uneaten cake. With careful maneuvering he undid the sling, undressed, put on his sleeping clothes, redid the brace and crawled into bed. As he lay there trying to fall asleep a small knot grew in his stomach. Things were about to get much worse.

Three days passed. Three long agonizing, grueling, painful days. As expected Kago appointed himself assistant. Following Shingyouji everywhere he went, carrying his bag, getting his meals, tying his shoes. Every motion Shingyouji made was followed by Kago's overly protective eye. For three days Shingyouji lived with the added stress until a visitor interrupted them.

At the first knock Kago jumped from his seat next to Shingyouji and ran to the door. His body stiffened the second it was opened.

"You can't…"

"Yes I can." Misu's voice carried through the door. Shingyouji stood, his chair nearly falling to the floor.

"Arata-san?"

Misu eyes were barely visible over the top of Kago's head. They glanced to Shingyouji for a moment before looking back down to Kago.

"Move."

"No. Y…You're not allowed." Kago stuttered.

"In fact I am allowed. I was invited here by people with much more authority than you. So get out of my way." Misu grabbed Kago's shoulders and spun him around, switching places with him. In one quick motion Kago was suddenly in the hall and Misu was in the room. "Go away." Misu slammed the door shut. He grabbed the chair Kago had been sitting on and slid it under the handle forcing it shut. Kago pounded on the door.

"Let me in. You are not allowed to be here. You are not allowed to be alone together."

Misu stepped close to the door and raised his voice just loud enough to be heard. "Leave now, or I will do worse than kicking you out of your room." The pounding stopped.

"Arata-san?" Shingyouji said again.

Misu looked at him, this time clear of any obstacles. When his eyes reached the sling on his arm he scowled.

"Accident? Really?"

Shingyouji sat back down in his chair. "Yes Arata-san it was. He didn't hurt my arm."

Shingyouji saw Misu's hands clench into tights fists. He shut his eyes and took a few deep breathes. When he opened them again his hands relaxed.

"Then I believe you Shingyouji. I'd been told it had been an accident, but I needed to hear it from you. I tried to wait, but you never called."

"You know why Arata-san." Shingyouji looked up to Misu. There was something in his eyes that he'd never seen before. "Arata-san?" Shingyouji stood and walked closer to Misu.

"You know I would change this situation if I could." Misu said, raising his hand, placing it on Shingyouji's cheek. "If he had hurt you…" Misu growled. Shingyouji watched as Misu's eyes became harder and colder than he'd ever seen them. Shingyouji suddenly became very scared. Not for himself. But for what Misu might do. It had never occurred to him that Misu could possibly do something on his own. Something that would destroy his own future just to protect him.

"Arata-san, please." Shingyouji leaned forward and kissed Misu. At first Misu didn't react. Shingyouji was afraid he was too far gone. Then he felt a hand slip behind his good side and pulled him closer, being careful to position his hurt arm in a safe position. With that Shingyouji let Misu take over.

Misu's warms lips moved over his, placing soft kisses against his lips, then pulling away. For all his anger his kisses were kind. Shingyouji moved his good hand behind Misu. He could feel the tense muscles there relax under his touch. Misu's hand drifted under his shirt, brushing his fingers against his soft skin. Shingyouji moaned lightly at the touch. And with that sound Misu pulled away.

"Arata-san?"

"We can't go any further today Shingyouji. I only have a few minutes before I have to leave. I needed to see if you were really okay, but without a real reason to be here I cannot stay long."

"But you told Haruka that you were invited."

"A small lie. I was informed of your situation, but had not yet received full permission to come to campus. I know how long things like that can take here. I couldn't wait that long."

"So you have to leave?"

"Shortly, yes, before it gets too complicated."

Shingyouji's throat closed up. In the last month he'd not been able to talk to Misu without someone always listening in, and now when he finally had the chance it was over before he'd said anything. He could feel himself start to panic. He wanted to tell Misu not to worry about him. To not do anything just for him that could cause him problems. To keep his distance to stay safe. That he missed him.

"I miss you." He finally found something easy enough to put into words.

"I know Shingyouji. Next time I see you will be different. Now I am sorry I have to go. There is one last person I need to speak to before I head back."

"Who Arata-san?"

Misu ignored him. He slid his hand into his hair and messaged his fingers in deep. Shingyouji melted under his touch.

"Shingyouji you are strong and smart. You wouldn't be mine if you weren't. You will prevail through this." Misu kissed him one last time before releasing him. At the door he slid the chair away and opened the door in one swift motion. Kago fell into the room from where he'd been leaning against the door while sitting on the floor.

Misu leaned down and grabbed Kago by the collar. "Come with me. We have to talk." Misu lifted Kago to his feet and dragged him from the room and down the hallway. Shingyouji and a few other curious classmates watched them go. Kago fought against him every step, but Misu didn't let up. Once they were out of sight Shingyouji went back into his room and closed the door. He slowly walked over to his bed and fell into it, careful to avoid hurting his arm. He didn't want to delay its healing by any amount of time.

He hadn't wanted to cry in front of Misu, but he knew what a burden he had become. His problems were bound to start infecting his life. Creating trouble that he didn't need. But leaving Misu, even for a little bit was not a possibility. Unfortunately even with whatever Misu was saying, threatening, to Kago right now, it would not be enough. Shingyouji had to think of something to get Kago out of their life completely. And he had to do it without Misu. He had to keep him separate from anything else dealing with Kago.

After half an hour of thinking and getting nowhere the door to the room opened and Kago entered. He looked physically unharmed, but his face showed trouble.

"Mitsu I don't think I can help you any more today. I don't feel so good."

"All right Haruka. I think I will go to the library then."

"Just so you know he's already gone."

"I know Haruka. I will see you later. Oh Haruka, do you mind if I call my friend Saki-san?"

"I don't care Mitsu. As long as you follow the rules and don't call anyone else."

"I won't."

Shingyouji grabbed his bag with his good hand and headed out. The beginning of a plan forming in his head. First he needed to call Gii to see if he would be willing to help. It was a big request that would take time and would bring Gii into Kago's line of fire. He didn't want to risk the Saki family any more than he wanted to hurt the Misu family, but it was time to put an end to Kago's manipulations.

Chapter Text

"I am happy to help Shingyouji, you know that. But are you sure this is what you want to do? What about Misu?"

Shingyouji leaned against the wall next the phone. Currently he was alone as Kago was in class and he was using his approved time to call Gii alone.

"I will tell Arata-san everything when the time is right. What about Hayama-san? Do you think he will be okay with this?"

"I will explain everything to him Shingyouji."

"This is going to take up a lot of your time. Will that be okay?"

"For you Shingyouji, yes."

"Thank you Saki-san."

"Shingyouji for this to work you are going to have to start calling me Gii."

"Ah yes...Gii." It felt odd and nice at the same time.

"And you will have to give me some warning when he starts listening. I know he won't be able to hear me, but it will help me."

"If I mention the time we spent at the guest house then you'll know he's here."

Gii chuckled. "Makes sense. Use the time we really did become closer to talk about."

"Sak...I mean Gii."

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"I really do want to thank you for doing this for me. This wouldn't work without you."

"Shingyouji, I know you would do the same for me or Takumi. Also Takumi would be upset with me if I didn't do everything I could to help you."

"Then thank Hayama-san for me as well. I will call again soon."

"I look forward to it Shingyouji. I always look forward to our talks."

"Good-bye Gii."

Shingyouji hung up the phone. It felt like a lead weight in this hand. He had not been surprised at Gii's willingness to help. It was that he had now put his plan in motion. If this didn't work he didn't know what he had left in him to fight back.

Over the next month Shingyouji made a point of calling Gii frequently. Each time he would tell Kago beforehand. His phone calls to Misu became less frequent and shorter. It was difficult to pull away, but he had to for the sake of freeing them all. Misu noticed right away and questioned him about it. For now he lied and gave a need to study as an excuse. He played the lie even more for Kago by not studying right after talking to Misu. As the month wore on each time Shingyouji mentioned that he was going to call Gii, Kago's face began to grow more troubled.

"Mitsu, you are calling him a lot. Do you really need that much advice? Are you sure you are keeping to your promise and not having him contact the Misu family for you?"

"Haruka I can promise that he is not sharing our conversations with the Misu's or Arata-san. I like talking to him. He makes me feel good."

"Really Mitsu? Is he that much better of a friend than me? You don't need him, you don't need the Misu family. You have me. I can be everything you need."

They were currently in their dorm room. Shingyouji had just spoken with Gii and returned to the room just before curfew. He had finished changing and was getting ready for bed when Kago asked him about Gii. It wasn't surprising Kago would notice the difference. He always left the conversations with Gii a little happier, with a smile on his face. The conversations with Gii reminded him of the time at the guest house. He found it easy to speak with him on any matter of subjects. He was smart and never made Shingyouji feel bad for not knowing something. He could see why Takumi loved him so much. He was an easy man to care for. Not that his heart was truly swayed, he'd never fall for anyone other than Misu.

"Gii is different." Shingyouji tried to find words that were true. Words that Kago would believe even if there weren't any true romantic feelings behind them. "He is caring even to people that he barely knows. He treats me with respect and listens to what I have to say. He has freely given me his valuable time. Add to that he is stunning. He is," Shingyouji paused, as if thinking deeply. "special to me."

Kago stood up from his bed. "I can be all those things."

"No Haruka, you can't." Shingyouji turned his back on Kago and pulled the covers down on his bed. When he turned around Kago was standing directly behind him.

"Why can't I? I know I am better than Misu, he's scary, and I have to be better than Saki. I've known you longer. I know you better than they possibly could. Why can't you see that?" Shingyouji took a step back. His foot hit the bed, causing him to sit hard onto the mattress. Kago leaned down over him. "You've always pulled away from me Mitsu. And every time you get hurt. If you just stop running and let me in, all of the pain would stop."

"No Haruka, it wouldn't. You will never mean to me what either of those two mean to me."

"If you were going to choose someone new why couldn't you have picked me?"

"You don't understand Haruka."

"No Mitsu I don't. I don't understand any of this. I've done everything to get your attention, but you won't look at me." Kago grabbed his shoulders. "Just look at me Mitsu."

He shoved Shingyouji back on to the bed, climbing on top of him at the same time. He trapped Shingyouji's arms beneath his legs. He leaned forward and Shingyouji turned his head. Kago grabbed his head with his hands and forced him back. Shingyouji met his eyes.

"Don't do this Haruka."

"I have to Mitsu. You'll never look at me until I do."

Kago leaned forward, his lips coming inches from Shingyouji's. "Haruka, stop." Shingyouji yelled. He could no longer hold back. He had always had the physical strength over Kago, but never the mental strength to use it. Until now. With a quick twist of his hips, he slipped one arm free and used it to shove Kago off. Kago fell the floor with a loud thump. Shingyouji stood quickly and hovered over Kago. His hands were clenched in tight balls at his side. Shingyouji used all his control to not strike him while he cowered at his feet. Hitting Kago would not fix anything. It would only be a momentary solution to a bigger problem. "I told you to stop." Shingyouji said through clenched teeth.

"I really don't understand any of this Mitsu." Kago slowly stood up. He took a step backwards. "Not at all." He hung his head and walked to his own bed. He crawled in and turned his back to the room. "You are not allowed to call anyone any more without my being there. Not the Misu's, not your family, and not this Saki."

"That's fine Haruka. I am going to be calling Gii again tomorrow. You are welcome to listen. I plan to ask him to visit me. Maybe if you meet him then you will understand."

"I doubt it Mitsu."

Shingyouji crawled into his bed feeling a little shaken. Kago's attack and his own response had pumped adrenaline throughout his body. He felt a little nauseous. But hopefully soon it would be all over. He had told Kago that he would be inviting Gii to campus. It was the final piece to his plan. If this didn't work then there was nothing left. Shingyouji grabbed the blanket and wrapped it tight around his body. Suddenly he felt very cold.


 

Shingyouji picked up the phone, his fingers over the numbers. Kago sat on the floor, his back against the wall looking up at Shingyouji. Kago had woken up that morning happier than he had gone to bed, as if last night's actions had never happened. Except for one offhand comment about phone calls. Shingyouji decided it was best to play along with his momentary amnesia. He didn't need to upset Kago any further. Shingyouji entered the well memorized numbers. Gii picked up in two rings.

"Hey Shingyouji, I didn't expect to hear from you so soon. Not that I don't like talking to you."

"I like talking to you too Gii. It's like the times we were alone at the guest house. I feel like we've become really close. Because of that I was wondering, hoping, that you could come visit me soon."

"Of course Shingyouji. So he's listening then? Does that mean we are ready to take the final step?"

Shingyouji swallowed hard. "Yes, and I would really like to see you."

"Then I can be there day after tomorrow."

"I didn't mean…"

"Shingyouji I am guessing something happened. You sound different today. I want to help you. And if getting there sooner helps then I will. So I will see you day after tomorrow. Remember to talk to Kaka-sensei as well. He will need to know I am coming that day to help us."

"I will. Thank you Gii. I will see you then."

Shingyouji hung up the phone. Kago continued to stare at him. "So he's coming to see you then."

"Yes Haruka, he's coming day after tomorrow."

"That's fast. He can't be that important if he can visit you on such short notice."

"Haruka." Shingyouji sighed.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean that comment. I thought about what you said last night. While I still think Misu is not right for you. He's too forceful, too controlling. I am willing to meet this Saki. Maybe you're right and I will understand once I meet him."

"Thank you Haruka." Shingyouji said not believing a word Kago said. "I need to visit Kaka-sensei about getting permission for Gii to visit. As I am not speaking to anyone outside of the school you do not have to come."

"No, I want to join you. After all I help in the office, I am sure Kaka-sensei would do a favor for me."

"I would appreciate it then Haruka."

They found Kaka working in his office. He greeted them both and welcomed them inside.

"Kaka-sensei, I have come to ask a favor. I know it is short notice, but Saki Giichi is planning to visit me day after tomorrow, and I would like to get special permission for him to be here."

"Ah, yes, well that is short notice, but…"

"Please Kaka-sensei, do it as a favor for me." Kago smiled brightly.

"Of course, Kago-kun. Then as a favor for both of you, I will grant Saki's access to campus."

"Thank you Kaka-sensei. I appreciate it." They stepped out his office and walked a while down the hallway. "Ah, Haruka, I left my bag in Kaka-sensei's office. I'll be right back."

Shingyouji jogged away before waiting for an answer. He knocked on the door and entered. Kaka was holding his bag out to him.

"I figured you left it as an excuse to come back so I didn't say anything."

"Thank you Kaka-sensei."

"With Saki coming does that mean you're going through with it?"

"I have to. I am not going to force Haruka to do anything, everything will be his own choice. If he continues to behave the way he has then it will finally be over."

"Then I will play my part the best I can. Have Saki contact me when I am needed. It's such a small thing Shingyouji-kun, are you sure there isn't more I can do?"

"No Kaka-sensei, it is enough. Thank you for believing me."

"Of course Shingyouji-kun. Now you better get going before he starts getting suspicious."

Shingyouji took his bag from Kaka and headed out the door. Only a few days left and it might finally be all over.


 

It was 3 o'clock when the call came in that Shingyouji had a visitor waiting for him in the main courtyard. Gii choose the most advantageous spot to be seen from in any direction. As Shingyouji stepped out onto the courtyard he first noticed his other classmates staring, all in the same direction. He followed their line of sight directly to Gii. Their eyes met and Gii's face lit up with a large smile. Shingyouji hadn't been lying to Kago about the stunning comment. Gii was dressed for the part. He wore black boots, skinny black jeans, a tight grey shirt that highlighted his chest and a thin black leather jacket. His hair was just the right level of tame and messy. He walked directly up to Shingyouji and kissed him on the cheek, then pulled him into a long hard hug. Shingyouji actually felt himself blush. He still wasn't tempted, but he had to admit, Gii looked good.

"Shingyouji. I've missed you." Gii said loudly. Then whispered quietly into his ear. "Is he here? Do you see him?"

For a moment Shingyouji was so flustered he forgot who he was supposed to be looking for. Then he remembered everything when he caught sight of Kago standing 20 feet away glaring at them.

"He's watching. And I think he's already ready to burst."

"Then we just need to push him a little further." Gii released him. "Yes I'd love to see your dorm room." Gii said just loud enough.

At this comment, Kago was at Shingyouji's side in mere seconds, nearly knocking him over.

"Hi, I'm Haruka Kago. I'm Mitsu's roommate."

"Mitsu?"

"Yeah, that's what he prefers I call him. We've known each other for years. We're very close."

"Interesting. I don't remember Shingyouji mentioning you before. Ah well. It's nice to meet you now, Kago. We were just on the way to the dorms. Care to join us?"

Kago's face twisted with different emotions. Offended at being slighted, but elated at being asked to accompany them.

"Of course."

As they walked back to the dorms Gii put his arm around Shingyouji's shoulders and held him close. Classmates and teachers alike paid their respects as they walked past. While they walked Shingyouji offered little smiles at Gii, who smiled back at him. Every step Kago was directly at his other side, watching them closely.

In their room Gii immediately took the edge of the bed to sit on. He patted the space next to him inviting Shingyouji to sit next to him. Kago pulled up the desk chair and sat directly across from them. Gii leaned over into Shingyouji while digging into his jeans pocket.

"Sorry," he says as he winked at Shingyouji their faces inches from each other. "I just need to send a message to my parents that I got here safe."

"Of course."

Shingyouji watched as Gii typed on his screen to Kaka-sensei. "I'm here. We're ready for you in the bedroom." And hit send. He leaned over again to put his phone away moving his face even closer to Shingyouji.

"Kago." Gii said suddenly turning to look at Kago. "You say you've known Shingyouji for years. You must have some interesting stories to share with me about him." Gii dropped his hand on Shingyouji's knee. "I'd love to hear anything you could tell me about our Shingyouji here."

Shingyouji watched as Kago gripped the edge of the seat, his knuckles turning white.

"I do, but those are stories between me and Mitsu. I couldn't share them with just anyone."

"Oh I understand." Gii turned his head to look at Shingyouji. He put his hand under Shingyouji's chin. "But I'm not just anyone, am I?" Shingyouji slightly shook his head no. "Great. Then tell me, was he always this cute, even as a kid?" Shingyouji kicked him lightly in his shin.

"Well I always thought he was." Kago said.

"As I expected. I'm just sorry I didn't see it earlier. But I see it now. I've come to realize all of Shingyouji's great attributes." Gii ran his fingers through Shingyouji's hair staring directly into Shingyouji's eyes. Shingyouji did his best to not look away.

"Yeah, Mitsu is...is really great."

The moment was interrupted by a knock at the door. Kago jumped up to answer. Gii dropped his hand and offered a smile to Shingyouji. "You're doing good." He whispered.

"Thanks," Shingyouji whispered back.

"Oh Kaka-sensei, why are you here?"

"Kago-kun I am happy to find you. I'm sorry to bother you but I need your help."

"Um, we have a guest."

"Oh?" Kago opened the door. "Ah yes Saki, good to see you again." Gii stood and approached Kaka.

"You too Kaka-sensei."

"I'm sorry to interrupt but I really do need Kago-kun's assistance. My other assistant is out sick and I have a project that I must finish before tomorrow. It will only take an hour of your time, but I really need the extra hands to put the materials together."

"But...um...I…"

"That's okay Kago-kun, we understand." Gii patted Kago's back. "Shingyouji and I will be fine on our own. Won't we Mitsu." Gii said, winking at Shingyouji.

Kago's whole body tensed at Gii's use of Mitsu, but remained silent as he glanced over at Kaka.

"Great, I really appreciate it. Come along Kago-kun."

Kago dropped his head and with heavy steps followed Kaka out the door. Gii closed the door behind them. As soon as the latch fell into place Shingyouji let out a huge sigh.

"He seems very attentive to you Shingyouji."

"Too attentive."

Gii stepped over to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Are you doing okay?"

"Yeah this is just a little weird for me."

"I know what you mean. But you're doing well Shingyouji. Only a little bit longer."

"I know. I keep reminding myself we are only doing this because he's forced me here."

"Do you still think he will do something?"

"If he sees you as a threat, yes. We just need to push him a little more as we talked about."

"I can do that. Kaka-sensei promised to warn us when he was on his way back, so we should have some time. Let me call the restaurant to make sure they are ready for our arrival on their end."

"I am sorry I asking you to use your family name for something like this Gii."

"If I cannot use my name to help a friend then my name isn't worth much."

Gii called through to the restaurant to confirm they were ready for them and would do as asked. It was a small favor to them for the Saki family. Their name carried weight wherever they went. When finished with his call Gii sat back down on Shingyouji's bed sitting a few feet further away the time talking about other things besides Kago. They talked about Takumi, they talked about Misu, they talked about college life. They talked about things to look forward to once Shingyouji's life was his own again. As the time for Kago's expected return grew closer Shingyouji began to get nervous.

Gii took his hand, gently, as a friend. "Are you ready for this?"

Shingyouji offered a small smile. "No. You?"

"Honestly no. I never thought I'd be in this position with anyone besides Takumi."

"And me with Arata-san."

"Aren't we a pair? The two most uncomfortable fake lovers possible." Shingyouji laughed, feeling a little more at ease.

Shingyouji reached down and stripped off his shirt. Next he stood up and unbuttoned his pants.

"You can wait until we hear from Kaka-sensei if you want."

"We can't know how fast he will get back here. Better not wait."

With a quick embarrassed glance at Gii he stripped his pants off too, leaving himself standing only in his underwear and his gold ring necklace. He took both shirt and pants and threw them in the closet. Gii stood and looked Shingyouji directly in the eyes.

"You can do this. One last step to convince him completely. Lay down on the bed."

Shingyouji moved over to his own bed and lay atop the covers. Gii took off his jacket and set it across the chair. He crawled over next to Shingyouji, his back to the door. He leaned over positioning himself as close as possible to Shingyouji without touching him yet. From the back it would appear as if they were actually touching. Shingyouji looked up at Gii.

"I don't think I will tell Arata-san about this part."

"I don't plan to tell Misu about this either. I like my jaw right where it is." Shingyouji smiled. From Gii's jacket his phone vibrated. "That would be our final warning. He's on his way now." Gii shifted once again moving one leg over Shingyouji's leg.

In a few short minutes, the door to the dorm room was thrown open. Shingyouji twitched in surprise but Gii didn't react. Instead he pinned Shingyouji down further into the bed, tilting his head even closer.

"Mitsu."

Gii slowly let go of him and rolled backwards, glancing over his shoulder to look at Kago. "Ah sorry Kago. Shingyouji was changing for tonight and I couldn't help myself. I tried to help, but it ended up like this."

"Well I'm back now, so…"

"I see, then excuse us." Gii rolled completely off Shingyouji, grabbing his jacket from the chair. He held it up for Shingyouji to cover himself with. Shingyouji gathered the jacket around his shoulders.

"So you were going out to tonight?"

"You caught that? Yes I wanted to take Shingyouji out to dinner this evening. You don't mind do you?"

"Well, I would prefer…"

"Why don't you come with us? But only as long as you promise to share with me some stories of our Shingyouji."

"Really? I mean yes."

Gii wrapped his arm around Shingyouji still covered in his jacket. "Then we should probably finished getting you dressed."

Shingyouji handed Gii his coat and moved to his closet to look through his clothes. His hand slid across his favorite shirt. The white floral shirt Misu had bought for him. Even for a night like this he wouldn't wear that shirt with anyone else except Misu. Instead he pulled out a nice red button down shirt and black slacks. It didn't take long for Kago to dig through his closet and find a nice outfit to wear out as well. At the door Gii placed his coat over Shingyouji's shoulders.

"It looked better on you."

"Thank you Gii." Shingyouji offered a warm smile to Gii.

"Looks like we're ready."

Gii placed his arm around Shingyouji, while Mitsu stood close to his other side. The trip to the restaurant was long, if uneventful. Just enough time for Shingyouji to start to fret that his final step in his plan was for nothing. Kago wouldn't fall for the bait. Nothing would stop him from continuing to ruin his life.

The restaurant was a nice upscale Italian place. At the front desk they politely asked what the reservation name was under. Shingyouji was surprised they didn't recognize Gii, but then he realized Gii had asked them not too. He didn't want Kago to suspect anything about this place. They were led to a secluded table in the back. A perfect romantic location.

"Ah sorry Kago I forgot to update the reservation for bringing you. Can we get another chair?"

"Of course sir, I'll bring one right away."

Gii pulled out one of the chairs and gestured for Shingyouji to sit down. He then took the remaining chair, leaving Kago to stand and wait for the extra chair to be delivered. Gii handed Shingyouji the menu.

"Order anything you want. It's all my treat tonight. But save room for dessert latter." Gii winked at him. The extra chair finally arrived and Kago pulled himself up close to the table. Gii handed him his menu. "You too Kago, feel free to order what you want, as long as you keep to your promise about the Shingyouji stories. But don't worry about saving room for dessert."

The evening moved by at a standard pace. They ordered their meals, waited only a short while for them to arrive, then finished them off while talking about nothing important. As their plates were cleared away Shingyouji looked over at Gii and nodded his head slightly. Gii nodded back. Shingyouji pushed his chair back.

"If you excuse me, I need to use the restroom for a moment. I will be right back."

Shingyouji stepped away from the secluded spot and stood just around the corner. He couldn't see either of them, but he could still hear them. They were quiet for a few moments, then he heard Kago's voice.

"I am surprised by you Saki."

"Really? How so?"

"You know that Mitsu is still seeing that Misu jerk right? You saw he was still wearing his necklace."

"I did see that. And I do know. And you probably know that Misu and I are not on friendly terms. I freely admit that my seeing Shingyouji has the added bonus of causing Misu some grief, but I came into this knowing that Misu and Shingyouji are an item. I know I have my work cut out for me."

"So you wouldn't mind if Misu found out about you?"

"No."

"Ahh." Kago went quiet for a second. Shingyouji could almost hear the wheels spinning in his head. "I probably shouldn't tell you this. Mitsu would be very mad if I did, but I worry for your family name."

"Kago what are you talking about?"

"I don't know, it's not good."

"Kago, tell me."

"Shingyouji can get a little scary at times. I've known him so long I've seen every side of him. He can be very sweet and nice but he can be violent too. Just the other day he pushed me down onto the floor."

"Really, he attacked you? You didn't do anything to provoke him?"

"Not at all. Something in him snapped. It was very scary to be around."

"But you've forgiven him?"

"Ah well, I've known Mitsu a long time. He is my friend. Of course I forgive him."

"Shingyouji is my friend too. I am sure if he did something wrong I would forgive him as well."

"But you have your name to protect. I'm nobody."

"Ah don't say that Kago. You're not a nobody."

"Th...that's not what I mean."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean you. You should be worried. If Shingyouji does something to you, and someone saw it, it would make you look bad and could hurt your family name."

"Really? Shingyouji doesn't seem the type. He is very sweet."

Shingyouji could tell Gii was purposefully misunderstanding Kago. Trying to get him flustered, trying to get him to react.

"Well yes, usually but sometimes he isn't. I am just saying you should be careful. You might want to back away now before it's too late."

"Is that a threat Kago?"

"No, just a warning."

"Ah I see, well I welcome your advice. However for now I think I am happy with how things are with Shingyouji and I. In fact I am hoping to further our relationship even more tonight. You don't mind if I take him out after for dessert, alone. I'd like to spend some quality time with him, if you know what I mean."

"But, um, he's not allowed to be with others without supervision."

"Without supervision? He's not 5. He'll be fine with me. I promise I won't get him in any trouble."

"His mother…"

"Oh his mother wants him supervised? I am sure she wouldn't have any objections to me being his chaperone."

"Maybe. I don't know…"

"I am sure she would be fine, once she hears my family name." Gii's voice suddenly lowered a bit. "My name gets me a lot, and what I want is Shingyouji."

Shingyouji waited. There was no sound, nothing. After a minute Shingyouji decided it was time to return from his fake trip to the bathroom. He couldn't put it off any longer. Every word Gii used had meant provoke Kago into a reaction, into an outburst, to be filmed by the restaurant in front of a member of the Saki family. And instead he remained quiet. Kago had not taken the bait. Shingyouji came around the corner his shoulders slumped and his head hanging heavy. Gii was smiling happily at Kago. Kago on the other hand had his napkin wrapped in his fist curling it around his left wrist. His eyes were scarier than Shingyouji had ever seen them. As Shingyouji entered the room, Gii grabbed his chair and pulled it closer to him.

"Ah Shingyouji, I was just telling Kago here that I was planning to take you out to dessert, if you're ready."

"If you excuse me for a moment I need to use the restroom as well." Kago said behind clenched teeth.

Gii reached over to Shingyouji and pet his hand through his hair. "Of course Kago. We'll be waiting for you here."

Kago pushed back from the table hard, the chair nearly falling over. He stopped it, catching it before it crashed to the floor. "Excuse me." Kago said again his voice flat.

After he stepped around the corner Gii pulled away from Shingyouji. "Are you okay?" Gii asked.

"I've never seen him like this. I'm a little worried."

"Except he hasn't done anything yet. I am sorry Shingyouji but I think I failed you. I really thought I could get him to do something while we were here." Gii took Shingyouji's hand and held it between his two comforting hands. "I am very sorry Shingyouji. Are you going to be okay tonight?"

"I don't know. I didn't plan for this not working. I really thought he would try something. He seemed willing to in front of the Misu's. I don't know why this would be any different."

Shingyouji felt so defeated. All this time planning and he had nothing to show for it. Instead of forcing Kago into creating a scene in public, in front of Gii, a place that was important to the Saki family, he had gone silent. Shingyouji had been depending on Kago's past actions to guide his plan, and Kago had defied him. Shingyouji could feel the beginning of tears forming. But he couldn't cry. Not here, not now. Not when Kago could come back to their table at any moment. He still had to make it through the rest of the night. And there was no telling what Kago would do once they were alone. Maybe he could find an excuse to spend the night in the infirmary.

"I am very sorry Shingyouji. You know I am willing to try again if needed."

"Thank you Gii, I mean Saki-san, but I am not sure at point it matters anymore."

"Saki-san?"

"Yes, there doesn't seem much point in keeping up the illusion now. And even if I lose Arata-san because of this, it is what I agreed to call you for him."

"I understand Shingyouji, even though I wish it wasn't the case. However you won't lose Misu. He's too stubborn to let you go over something small like this."

Shingyouji offered a small smile at Gii's attempt to tighten the mood.

"Sir? Pardon my intrusion." Gii and Shingyouji turned to look at the man standing in the doorway.

"Oh Hazuki. Shingyouji this is the owner of the restaurant."

"Nice to meet you sir. Thank you for trying to help us tonight."

"Not a problem at all. I know the Saki family is what brought you to our restaurant, but please feel free to call on us again if needed. I don't like bullies and I am happy to help. But based on tonight I am betting that won't be necessary. We will be emailing you the recording shortly."

"Emailing the recording? What recording? He didn't do anything." Shingyouji found himself nearly babbling.

"Ah right you two wouldn't have seen. I don't completely understand why he did what he did but I am sure this recording will give you what you need, along with Saki's word."

Gii and Shingyouji looked at each other confused. "Thank you Hazuki."

"You're welcome sir. If there is anything else we can do for you in the future please let us know."

Hazuki turned and walked away.

"I didn't hear him. What could he have done?" Shingyouji asked.

"I don't know Shingyouji, but will find out soon enough. It sounds like we don't need to use the going out to dessert to keep pushing him. We can still go out if you would like, but I was only using it keep trying to get a reaction out of him."

"No, that's okay Saki-san. I think I want to call it a night. If we really got something I want to know what it is. We should head back soon."

"I understand Shingyouji."

As they waited for the recording to arrive Kago returned to the table. He was holding his arm funny, keeping his left wrist close to his body. He glanced at Gii, then looked to Shingyouji.

"Mitsu, I would like to go home. I am suddenly not feeling well."

"Okay Haruka. I'm also feeling a little tired, so I am ready to head back now as well."

"You are?" Kago's eyes lit up. "You're not going out on your own?"

"No, we're not. I'll escort you both back to campus." Gii offered as he stood up.

"You don't have to do that." Kago muttered.

"I don't mind." The three left the restaurant, with Gii stopping and paying. At the door Gii stopped. He glanced at his phone. "You two go on ahead, I'll catch up in a moment."

"Are you sure?"

"He's sure Mitsu." Kago started to walk faster. Once they were a couple blocks away Kago slowed down. Shingyouji noticed he never put his left arm down. Holding it tight against his body.

"Haruka, what happened to your arm?"

"Oh it's nothing."

"Nothing? You look like you hurt it."

Kago glanced back over his shoulder. Shingyouji looked too, but they were alone.

"I didn't hurt it." Kago said, emphasizing the I.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I don't know how to tell you this Mitsu, but Saki threatened me while you were in the bathroom."

"He did? What do you mean?"

Kago looked down at his arm. "He told me to leave you alone. Said that I was a nobody and that you were better off with someone like him. When I told him that I would never leave you and that I was somebody to you he grabbed my arm and twisted my wrist really hard." Kago held out his hand. The wrist was bright red and already showed signs of bruising. There were angry looking lines across the backs of his hand.

"He twisted your wrist? Then where did these lines come from?"

"He also slammed my hand against the table. All the things he did are unimportant. That he did them at all is what matters. If he did this to me, what would he do to you if you ever made him angry?"

"I...I think we should go see Nakayama-sensei about this. He should have a look at your wrist."

"Thank you Mitsu. If you think that's best. I really don't want to make a deal about it, but I am worried about you."

Shingyouji looked up at Kago. It was like looking into the eyes of a puppy who had no idea what was about to happen to him. Shingyouji felt a little sad for him, but not enough to not see the plan through. Without seeing the recording, Shingyouji had a very good idea what was on it. It and Gii's word should be enough proof needed to remove Kago from Shidou and remove him from his life. It took every bit of willpower Shingyouji had not to start smiling.

"I think we should also invite Kaka-sensei as well. You should tell him everything that Gii did to you."

"You think that would be okay?"

"Yes Haruka. If Gii really hurt you, you need to tell them everything."

"Thank you Mitsu."

"Gii is going to catch up with us soon. Will you be okay walking with him?"

"Yes. I don't want to leave you alone with him Mitsu. I was very happy that you decided not to go to dessert with him."

"Hey guys. You both took off really fast. I wasn't sure I'd catch up with you."

Both Shingyouji and Kago jumped at Gii's voice coming up behind them. Kago pulled his arm back against his body as they turned around. Gii's eyes glanced at his hand before moving over to Shingyouji.

"Ah sorry Gii, we were just feeling a little anxious to get back. We have to stop at Nakayama-sensei's office before we go back to the dorm."

"Is there something the matter? Are you alright Shingyouji?" Gii stepped closer forcing himself between Shingyouji and Kago, putting his arm around Shingyouji's waist. Even though they had the evidence they needed it didn't feel like the right time to drop the act yet.

"I'm fine. Haruka was feeling ill."

"I'm sorry Kago. I hope it wasn't the rich food that did it to you."

"I'm sure it wasn't the food." Kago said, his voice flat and cold.

"That's good. Then let's get you both back to the dorm."

The trip back to the dorm was quiet. Kago refusing to talk anymore and Shingyouji and Gii giving him his space. At the school Shingyouji and Kago headed directly to the infirmary while Gii excused himself promising to catch up with Shingyouji later before leaving. Shingyouji and Gii knocked on the infirmary door and entered when Nakayama called from inside.

"Good evening Shingyouji-kun, Kago-kun. What seems to be the problem? Did you hurt yourself again Shingyouji?"

"No, this time Haruka is hurt. Can you look at his wrist?"

"I can. Come sit over her Kago-kun. How did this happen? Was this another accident?"

Kago looked at Shingyouji. "It's okay Haruka, you can tell Nakayama-sensei. Though I think you should include Kaka-sensei as well."

"Let me call him, then I will finish the examination."

"Mitsu, are you really okay with me telling them what happened?"

Shingyouji swallowed once and looked Kago in the eyes. "As long as you tell the truth it's okay Haruka."

"I will Mitsu."

Nakayama returned and finished his examination. Bandaging up Kago's arm and giving him a few pain pills. Kaka finally showed up after some time.

"Sorry I took so long. I had someone in my office. I heard there is something you wish to speak about with us Kago-kun."

"Yes Sensei's. It's about what happened to my wrist."

"Go ahead."

Shingyouji held his breath as Kago told the same story again about Gii threatening him and hurting him at the restaurant. Kago had taken the final step on his long manipulative path.

"If this is all true, these are some serious allegations Kago-kun. You know his family is very powerful." Kaka said.

"I do, but I am not doing this for myself. I am doing this for Mitsu's sake."

"Okay Kago-kun, then could you come with me back to the recovery room, so we can discuss this further."

"What about Mitsu?"

"It's getting late. He's going to have to go back to his room."

"Oh, okay. Mitsu, I'll talk to you later."

"Good-bye Haruka. Please take care of yourself."

Kago gave him a strange look as he was led away by Nakayama.

"Shingyouji-kun I need to get in there soon as we need to have him tell his story one more time on tape. But I wanted to let you know Saki showed me the video. It's proof that Saki didn't do anything. Kago-kun is trying to falsely accuse Saki of something pretty major. We wouldn't tolerate this here at Shidou with any student but it helps that it is Saki. Things are going to move pretty fast now Shingyouji-kun. You should go back to your room. Saki is there waiting to say good-bye. Kago-kun will not be coming back to your room tonight, or any other night. He will be sent home very soon."

"Thank you for everything you did Kaka-sensei. You'll never understand how much you did for me."

"I just wish I could have done something more Shingyouji-kun."

"It's okay Kaka-sensei. Everything you did was exactly what was needed. I couldn't have asked for more. Good night Kaka-sensei."

"Good night Shingyouji-kun."

Shingyouji walked out of the infirmary feeling light headed. His plan had worked. Not exactly as he planned, but it had brought about the end result he wanted. Kago was found out. It was the end. In a small way he felt sad for Kago. His world was about to be turned upside down. While Kago had only himself to blame for bringing it on, Shingyouji hoped that this would lead to Kago finally getting the help he needed. But for now he was no longer Shingyouji's problem. He was free. Shingyouji hurried back to his room where his white knight was waiting.

"Saki-san." Shingyouji called opening the door. Gii was standing there with a large smile on his face. He gathered Shingyouji up in a deep hug. Shingyouji hugged him back. "Thank you Saki-san." Shingyouji whispered.

"You are more than welcome, Shingyouji." Gii said releasing Shingyouji.

"I owe you so much."

"You don't owe me anything. You are my friend. You are Takumi's friend. That's all that matters to me. Kaka-sensei told me that he will be expelled from school, and hopefully this should keep him away completely. But please let me know if he tries anything again. With my family and this video I won't let him come near you again. Did you want to see the video?"

"No. Is it what I assume though? Haruka hurt himself and blamed it on you."

"Yes he did. I understand you not wanting to watch the video, it's a little upsetting to watch. He's," Gii paused for a moment. "unstable."

Shingyouji laughed lightly. "That's one word for him."

"Now I think it's time for me to head back home, and I believe you have a phone call to make."

Shingyouji nodded his head. "Yes I do."

Gii left after one more hug. Shingyouji watched as he rounded the hallway corner then made his way directly to the phone. The phone rang through to the Misu's house. On the second ring, Natsu answered.

"Hello Mother, can I speak with Arata-san?" Shingyouji heard a happy little gasp in her voice.

"Mother? You're calling me mother again. I mean...hello Shingyouji-kun, yes, yes of course. Let me get him right away."

After a minute Misu picked up the phone. "Hello Shingyouji, Mother seems extremely happy all of a sudden. Has something happened?"

"Yes Arata-san." Shingyouji couldn't stop the tears as they came to his eyes and fell down his face. Tears from months of stress, tears of relief, tears of happiness. "Yes something very good. He's gone. He's being expelled as we speak. And I should never have to speak to him or see him again."

The line was quiet on the other end.

"Arata-san?"

"I'm here." Misu's voiced cracked a little as he spoke. "How?"

"I tricked him. I used his own obsession against him to get himself into trouble."

Misu's voice was stronger now. "His obsession? You are his obsession. How did you stop him?"

"I had help from a friend."

"What friend?"

Chapter Text

Shingyouji stood in his half empty room. All of Kago's personal belongings had been removed the day before by Kago's parents. Shingyouji had tried to help them, but after their fourth apology to him and the constant fearful whispers to each other Shingyouji decided it was best to leave them alone. As angry as Shingyouji wanted to be at them for not seeing the problems in their son, he knew they were hurting too. He left them and went to the cafeteria to get a snack and enjoy his new found freedom.

As promised Shingyouji had not seen Kago again. He had been forced to stay in the infirmary until his parents were able to collect him two days later. Shingyouji wasn't sure what details the Kago's had been given about why their son was being expelled. He only knew they were scared. Most likely the Saki name was mentioned at some point.

Now it was his turn. His own parents were due to arrive any minute. They'd also been informed of everything that had happened. Their first plan was to transfer him out of Shidou as well. The belief that he would be better cared for at his father's home. He had reminded them that Kago was being taken home too and that would put them back in the same neighborhood together. It would be best for everyone if Shingyouji kept his distance. He couldn't live with his mother. She had her new family and it would be uncomfortable for everyone if Shingyouji moved in. It was decided instead that he could stay at Shidou but only after they came to check on him in person. While the people that would have most influenced his real desire to stay at Shidou were no longer attending Shidou he didn't want to leave now. Partly for just not wanting to leave Shidou with so little time left and partly for not wanting to live with his father again. Even if some time in the future he could repair his relationship with his father it would never be what it was before the day he evicted him from his own home.

There was a loud knock at this bedroom door. His father had arrived. With a deep breath Shingyouji opened the door. His father stood filling the doorway. He had not seen nor spoken to his father since that day. His face was hard to read. He was not smiling, but he did not look angry. Instead he loomed in the doorway. Barely visible over his father's shoulder Shingyouji could see the top of his mother's head.

"Hello Father."

"Kanemitsu." His father remained a stone wall in his doorway.

"Enough stalling already. Go inside." His father stumbled in the doorway as his mother pushed from behind.

"Hello Mother."

"Hello Shingyouji-kun."

"Please come in." He watched as they both glanced at the empty space that had belonged to Kago before turning their backs and looking only at him. No offer of support was given. No motherly embrace to ease his pain, no fatherly handshake to lift his spirits. These simple lack gestures designed to always keep a distance between him and his parents.

"They've already been here then?"

"Yes mother, they came yesterday."

"It's good they did. You didn't suffer with his stuff for long."

"Yes it was his stuff that was the problem." Shingyouji whispered to himself.

"Kanemitsu?"

"Yes it is good that his stuff has been removed." Shingyouji looked at his parents. It seemed as neither wanted to looked him in the eye. After a few moments of silence his mother finally spoke up.

"Shingyouji-kun, I know you want to stay here and I understand your reasons, but first we need to talk about more than just Kago-kun. We need to talk about Misu Arata."

Shingyouji took a small step back. He should have seen it coming, but he hadn't been prepared.

"What about Arata-san?"

"You know what we mean. He has been an immoral influence on you." His father said.

Shingyouji couldn't stop himself from laughing out loud.

"This isn't something to laugh at Kanemitsu. What I saw in your bedroom was wrong. He's corrupted you."

Shingyouji looked down at the floor. He wanted to laugh louder and scream at the same time.

"Your father's right. It isn't right what he's turned you into. You should be spending more of your time with people like that boy Saki. He sounded nice and while I wasn't clear on exactly how he helped, it was generous of him to do so."

Shingyouji bit his tongue to keep himself quiet.

"Kanemitsu? Are you listening to us? Do you understand what you are telling you?"

"I am. But do you understand?" Shingyouji said through clenched teeth.

"Shingyouji-kun what did you say?"

With a deep breath Shingyouji looked up at his parents. "I said, do you understand? Arata-san has done nothing wrong. When you praised me for my grades getting better, it was because of him and his help and encouragement. When nobody else believed me about Haruka, he was the one person who trusted me. He listened to me."

"We would have…"

"No mother, you wouldn't. For years you haven't. The whole Misu family was more willing to listen to me rather than you two." Shingyouji could feel tears forming in his eyes and he fought them back. This was not the time to cry.

"Now Shingyouji-kun that's taking it a little far."

"Mother even before I came to Shidou I told you about my problems with Haruka and in the end you made him my roommate. How was I supposed to feel?"

His mother averted her eyes. He could see he had struck a blow with her. It hurt to do so, but it also felt better to get it out in the open. He turned to his father.

"And father, Arata-san has not corrupted me."

"He told me about your...relationship. If that is not being corrupted then I don't know what else is."

"If you think my being gay is a corruption then I must accept that father, but to blame Arata-san is where you are wrong. I've been this way long before I meet him. He was not the one to make me this way. No one did. I just am. What Arata-san has given me is acceptance. He cares for me in the way I want to be cared for."

"I don't believe that you've been this way. Not while you were in my house."

"Yes even then father. I have never had any interest in girls."

"What about Tora's daughter?"

"Asako-chan? From the noodle house? She has always been a little sister to me."

"But she told me that you promised to be her boyfriend."

"I promised her a date. But I only did that as her friend. I have no interest in her. I never had. I love Arata-san."

"It's just wrong Kanemitsu."

"I am sorry you feel that way father. But as Arata-san does not attend Shidou any more I do not feel my relationship has any bearing on if I should stay. With Haruka gone I can put my full attention back into my studies, as both you and Arata-san want me to."

"But you will still continue to see him and I…" His mother grabbed his father's arm.

"Please stop. That's enough. If even half of what Shingyouji-kun said is true, then possibly we should at least talk to Misu-kun."

"I have. He's a fine person. That's not the issue. It's their relationship. It's not natural."

"Okay. But as Shingyouji-kun said that doesn't have anything to do with him staying here. And you want to stay here, don't you Shingyouji-kun?"

"Yes, very much."

"Then it's settled. You will stay here until you graduate. After that you will choose your college and start making your own decisions."

"Thank you mother."

"This doesn't mean I accept your decision. I am with your father on this in that I find your relationship unnatural. However, if Misu-kun is anything like you say then I can see his merit. I would like to talk with him sometime."

"Of course mother, I am sure he would like to talk with you as well."

"I have no need to speak with him again." His father turned to the door.

"I understand father."

"If we're done talking about this, I'm ready to go."

"You don't need to leave right away father."

"We only came to make sure you were okay. And as it appears everything is, we can go."

"Father?"

"Yes Kanemitsu?"

"Thank you for allowing me to stay."

His father turned his head and glanced at him. His eyes showed a weariness to them that reminded Shingyouji of his last visit home. He worried for his father's health. He knew that he was a part of his father's stress and it upset Shingyouji to know he would never be able to fix it.

"It is the best decision."

"I believe so, but you didn't have to agree to it." Shingyouji bowed at his waist. "Thank you father."

"Goodbye Kanemitsu."

"Goodbye father, goodbye mother."

"Goodbye Shingyouji-kun." With their final parting words they were out the door. No last handshake, no warm embrace, no tender moment. Only the parting words.

It was not the visit he had expected, but it gave him what he needed. The permission to stay at school and the semi acceptance from his parents of his relationship with Misu. While they had called it unnatural they were not locking him away either. For Shingyouji that felt like a victory.

With no more obstacles in front of him, it was time to get back to studying. He now had the empty room to himself. No more distractions and no more excuses to make the best of himself.


 

"Mother."

"Shingyouji-kun."

Natsu grabbed Shingyouji in her arms, pulling him tight into her embrace. She held him for a full minute before finally letting go. Shingyouji turned and bowed low to Ryou standing next to her.

"Thank you for coming Misu-san."

"Shingyouji-kun you are a part of our family. It's only right that we come to check on you after what you've been through." Shingyouji fought the urge to hug Ryou as well. His simple words showed more acceptance than his own father had only days previous.

"You have been through a lot these last few months. I wish we could have come before. That we could have done anything to help." Natsu said.

"It helped knowing you supported me."

"What did you do? Arata told us very little. He seemed happy and annoyed at the same time."

"Ah well, I asked for Saki-san's help. He helped me bait Haruka into a trap posing as my new boyfriend." Natsu made a small gasp. "Mother?"

"Oh sorry, it was just a little startling to hear you say that. I know it isn't true, but I don't like hearing you say that at all. No wonder Arata was in a mood. And based on your partner choice I can see his added annoyance."

"I've never understood Arata's problem with the Saki boy. Always seemed like a nice young man to me."

"I know dear. Personally I don't think Arata dislikes him as much as he proclaims to do so. But don't tell him I said that." Natsu winked at Shingyouji.

"Saki-san was very kind to me. It was a favor that I don't think I can ever pay back."

"Knowing the Saki family he doesn't think you owe him anything in return." Ryou said. "They help people because they want to. People then help them in return because they want to, but not because they feel they owe them. I am sure you feel that way now."

"Yes, I do."

"Now how about a tour of campus?" Natsu asked taking Shingyouji by the arm. They were standing in the courtyard of Shidou. There were a few students wandering past. Though none were staring as they did on the day that Gii visited and stood in the same courtyard.

"It would be the same tour I gave you last year Mother."

"Well about that. I wasn't actually paying close attention to the places you were showing me. I was more interested in spending time with you and getting to know you better. I knew Arata wouldn't tell me anything so I needed to get information some way. And Ryou hasn't seen the campus either."

"You're looking for any excuse to spend as much time with Shingyouji-kun as possible."

"And I know we have all day, so don't try to make me feel hurried by looking at your watch Ryou. I know exactly when we need to be at our train. I've missed Shingyouji-kun too much to waste a minute thinking about leaving already."

Shingyouji smiled at them. He missed their playful bickering, Ryou's somber yet caring demeanor, Natsu's overt motherly love. He felt calm, at peace. He felt happy. He felt at home.

Shingyouji walked them along the trails of the school. Showing them different landmarks along the way. He took them to the Kendo training room, where he had taken Natsu the day of Misu's graduation. The place he had told her was his favorite location. Very different from where he took Misu later that same night. They passed many teachers and students each offering a slight bow to the Misu's as they walked past.

After a bit of walking Shingyouji lead them to a small picnic table set under a large tree. He left the Misu's sitting alone for a moment while he rushed off to get some snacks and drinks. When he returned Natsu indicated that he should take the seat next to her while Ryou sat across from them.

"Shingyouji-kun I don't want you to feel like we're pressuring you. But I wanted to know if you've given any thought to your plans for college."

"I have. Saki-san and I discussed many different options. I wanted to find a way to make everyone happy but he helped me decide what would be the best for me."

"And what is that?"

"Well if your offer still stands then…"

"Yes, yes. Of course, yes." Natsu interrupted him.

"Natsu, you should let him finish."

"But he was going to say he wants to live with us, weren't you Shingyouji-kun?"

"Ah well yes Mother, I was. I cannot live with my father again, my mother already has her new family and I know I cannot live alone."

"Of course not. You need to live with family while you attend school."

"That's what Saki-san said. He also said that I shouldn't feel guilty about accepting your offer."

"He's right. Shingyouji-kun it would make me very happy if you would come live with us."

Shingyouji looked over at Ryou. He couldn't accept living there unless he had permission from both. "Misu-san?"

"Shingyouji-kun, before I agree…"

"Ryou." Natsu tried to cut him off. Ryou glanced at his wife and continued.

"Before I agree I must ask you a few questions."

"Yes Misu-san."

"Are you choosing this college because it is closest to Arata?"

"Saki-san and I spent a lot of time discussing schools. He talked about his college and how it could benefit me. We also talked about the school our friend Hayama-san goes to. I will be applying to both if my test scores allow. I am still haven't decide which one I want to attend. The other one will take more effort to get to on a regular basis, but I am willing to try if that is the one I choose. While Arata-san does attend the same college as Saki-san we would never be in the same classes. It makes no sense for me to follow him to college. I am making this choice for myself."

Ryou nodded his head. "Living in our house will be different than being a guest. There are rules you must follow. You will need to focus on your studies and not let other distractions get in your way."

Shingyouji smiled. "There is no worry about that. I am dedicated to my studies, as is Arata-san. When he was here at Shidou he was a great help to me in keeping me motivated."

"I believe you Shingyouji-kun. I know my son and I feel I've gotten to know you. Then I agree as well."

"Really Ryou?"

"Yes dear."

Natsu threw her arms around Shingyouji and pulled him tight against her chest. "I'm so happy."

"Me too," he whispered back.

He hadn't completely lied to Ryou. He had spoken to Gii about what college would be best for him. Though Gii heavily influenced him toward the college he and Misu attended. Giving him the Misu household as one of Shingyouji's best reasons. Knowing the support he would get from Misu. But he wasn't choosing to move into the Misu household because of Misu. It was all of them, Ryou, Natsu, Misu. He needed them and what they offered as a family. As his new family.

Chapter Text

Shingyouji sat in the hotel chair, close to the large picture window, his hands folded neatly in his lap. A burgundy silk tie knotted around his wrists binding them together. It was currently the only item of clothing on his body. The rest of his clothes were hung neatly in the closet. The room was dark except for the small amount of light filtering in from the city outside. At the moment he was completely alone.


 

The end of Shingyouji's school life at Shidou had finally arrived. He had survived the last few months, bringing his grades back up to where they belonged and better. He studied for his entrance exams and received a score high enough to apply to the college of his choice.

During his breaks he had gone back home once to spend time with his grandmother. She welcomed him to her home as if nothing had changed in their family. He was grateful to her for treating him the same even though he knew that she knew everything.

All other breaks he went to the Misu household. Every time the guest room was converted a little bit more into a room designed for him. A simple desk and two bookshelves were added on his first visit. After each visit more books filled the shelves. He was never sure if it was Misu, Natsu or even Ryou adding to the collection, or possibly all three. The white bed linens were replaced with an earth tone pattern. Natsu took him shopping a few times for art work to decorate his walls, along with some framed photos of Misu, much to Misu's annoyance. By the time Shingyouji was ready to graduate Shidou he had come to think of it as his room and no longer a guest room. He learned more about the routine of the house, helping with the chores, sharing their meal times, even enjoying his moments alone. He had inserted himself as one of the family and they had welcomed him.

His first visit to the Misu household was not long after Kago had been removed from school. While he had spoken to Misu on the phone multiple times they had yet to see each other in person. Shingyouji was excited yet a little frightened to see him again. He knew Gii was the best person for his plan, but he also knew there was a price to pay for his choice. The train pulled into the station. Shingyouji held his head low. He kept his bag close to his body and stepped off the train. A quick glance confirmed Misu was waiting for him in the distance. He shuffled his feet over and stood before Misu.

"Saki? You asked Saki to be your boyfriend?" Misu's first words carried throughout the train station. Shingyouji looked around as a few people glanced their way before moving on.

"Pretend. Pretend boyfriend. He was…" Misu held up his hand. Shingyouji stopped talking.

"It's done. I do not want to hear any of the details. Knowing it happened at all is upsetting enough. I do not need to know more."

"Then you're not mad?"

"No Shingyouji, I was never mad. You found a solution to your problem. You were able use the resources around you and get the help you needed. For that I am proud. However, for the use of Saki I feel it deserves punishment. I realize I've been a little too lenient on my pet."

"Ah yes, well…"

"Come on, we're going shopping."

"Wait, what?"

"Oh you're not going to be punished now Shingyouji. There are preparations to be made."

Misu drove them from the train station to a high-end department store. He escorted Shingyouji directly to the men's suit department where it appeared as if they were expected.

"Is this the gentleman that we are fitting today?" A man carrying a tape measure asked, approaching Shingyouji.

"Yes." Misu said. "The complete suit."

"Color?"

"Black. White undershirt, everything else in black."

"Very good sir. This will take a little time for measurements. Will you be waiting?"

"I will. But first I wish to see your tie selection."

"Yes sir, they are just over here." The man indicated over to the left, then turned back to Shingyouji. "Sir if you would please stand here while I get your measurements."

Shingyouji followed the tailor's direction feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sudden nature of Misu's request. He didn't understand the reasoning behind Misu wanting him to get a tailored suit, but knew better than to say anything. Misu stepped out of his field of vision for a few moments only to return carrying two ties, one black and one burgundy. He sat at the provided chair, crossed his legs and lay the ties across his lap. His eyes looked up at Shingyouji, following wherever the man touched him for a new measurement. Misu's fingers idly stroked the burgundy tie as he waited. Shingyouji obeyed each command given by the tailor as he was measured head to foot for a new suit.

As the tailor was finished he redirected his attention back to Misu. "This suit and the other one will be ready in a month's time. We will contact you when they are ready."

"Thank you." Misu stood. "I will take these two items now."

"Right away sir."

The two ties were wrapped, placed in a black gloss bag and handed over to Misu. With a bow from the tailor, Misu walked out of the shop. Shingyouji followed close behind.

"Arata-san?" Misu stopped and looked at Shingyouji.

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"What just happened?"

"If you don't know that Shingyouji, you really do need more studying."

"Arata-san, you know what I mean."

"Yes I do Shingyouji. And I think you know exactly what happened."

"But why Arata-san?"

"I said I was going to punish you."

"I don't understand how this is part of my punishment."

"You do not need to."

At this Misu walked away. Shingyouji felt even more confused, but knew better than to push it even further. Back at the house after all the greetings were exchanged and bags unpacked, Misu unwrapped the two ties. He placed the black one in Shingyouji's room and the burgundy one in his room. They remained untouched until Shingyouji's next visit.


The door to the hotel room clicked as it opened. Shingyouji remained still, his back to the door. The entry light highlighted a dark figure in the window before he moved and the light went out. The room grew brighter again as the bedside lamp was turned on. The figure's dark grey clothing reflected clearly in the window. With deliberate movements the figure set something down on the bedside table. For a moment the figure didn't move, only facing his direction. After a few seconds he turned and disappeared into the bathroom. Shingyouji waited patiently, his own naked reflection now showing in the large window.


 

On his second visit back to the Misu household Misu drove them back to the high-end department store, leading them directly to the tailor.

"Good to see you both again sirs. Your suits are right over here." Hanging off to the side were two suits. One in all black and one in deep grey. "If you would please enter here to try them on, we can check if you need any final alterations."

The tailor handed the grey suit to Misu and the black suit to Shingyouji. They entered the separate dressing rooms and changed from their casual clothes into the tailored made suits. As Shingyouji finished dressing he looked himself over in the mirror. The suit was amazing. He'd never been egotistical about his looks. He'd never thought himself ugly but never would call himself handsome. Looking at himself now, wearing the black suit he felt a change about his looks. He appeared older, he felt taller, he looked good. If he looked this good in a suit, what must Misu look like?

Shingyouji opened the door to his dressing room and almost forgot to breath. Misu was standing outside his room. His grey suit fit him like a second skin. His tight pants highlighting his long, lean legs. His white dress shirt stretched tight across his body in all the right places, his jacket open and loose, and the burgundy tie knotted in place around his neck. In his hands he held the smooth black tie. Without prompting Shingyouji stepped forward. Misu slipped the black tie around his neck and tied it swiftly into place.

"How do they feel?" Shingyouji jumped as the tailor approached from behind him.

"My jacket is a little large. And I think his legs can be a bit tighter." Misu ran his hand over Shingyouji's hip and down the side of his leg. Shingyouji forced himself to remain calm under Misu's touch.

"If you would both come out here we can mark the final adjustments."

Shingyouji followed Misu out into the main area. The tailor stood Misu in the measurement area first. The soft light filtered down on him, spotlighting him in the center of the store. Shingyouji heard a few female exclamations behind him. He glanced around at them to see them all looking at Misu and whispering to each other. Shingyouji smiled. There was no denying Misu looked good.

After a few quick movements the tailor marked out a new cut for Misu's jacket and had him step aside. He brought Shingyouji under the lights next. As the tailor remeasured Shingyouji's legs, Shingyouji kept a close eye on Misu. In fact he couldn't stop looking at him. He was simply stunning in his suit. The tailor finished Shingyouji's measurements on his legs and stepped back.

"We will have these alterations done within the week. You may change back into your regular clothes now."

Shingyouji followed Misu back into the dressing room. He didn't want to change. More precisely he didn't want Misu to change. He wanted to stare at him for hours dressed this way. Misu disappeared behind his curtain, and reluctantly Shingyouji moved to his own. In a few minutes he was changed back into his own comfortable clothing. As he exited Misu was waiting for him. He still looked good, but Shingyouji already missed the suit.

"Did you like it that much Shingyouji?"

"I liked my suit very much Arata-san."

"That's not what I meant Shingyouji."

"Ah, well, yes Arata-san. I liked your suit even more. You were very handsome. Everyone was staring."

"I wasn't the only one they were looking at."

"Eh? You can't mean me."

Misu stepped closer to Shingyouji. "Of course you Shingyouji. Don't you think you looked good?"

"I guess. Maybe?"

"Maybe? Do you think I am doing all this because you maybe look good?"

"No? But why are you doing this Arata-san?"

"This is part of your punishment Shingyouji."

"This is all very confusing Arata-san."

"You don't need to worry. This is only a step towards the final plan."

"Step?"

"Yes Shingyouji." Misu pulled out the previously purchased burgundy tie, the one he had worn with his suit earlier, and wrapped it once around Shingyouji's right wrist. "a step. I need to truly punish you to remove all lingering memories of anything Saki did to you. Any touching that happened. Any visual memories. Everything needs to be removed."

Shingyouji thought back to the moment Gii visited him that day on campus. Gorgeous from head to toe.

"That memory. That's one of the memories that needs to be removed." Shingyouji hadn't realized he'd shown a reaction to the memory, but he must have done something for Misu to react to him.

"Sorry Arata-san. I still liked you in the suit better. You do know nothing really happened between Saki-san and I. It was all for show."

"But there was something to show. Which means you did do something. And that is what you are being punished for and what I want wiped from your memories."

"But Arata-san we've already had se…" Shingyouji stopped.

"Yes Shingyouji we have. A few times. But that is not that same. Your punishment will come after you graduate. As I said I've been too lenient on you, but now is not the time to change. You must finish school first. And you cannot allow any other distractions. Even me."

"I don't mind Arata-san. You are not a distraction. I want everything to go back to the way it was before."

"And now you need to earn that. You need to show me that you have what it takes to come back from this." Misu slid the tie off of Shingyouji's wrist and slipped it back into his pocket. "It's time for us to go." Misu stepped out of the dressing room. Shingyouji followed a few steps behind. Their two suits were out of site. Tucked away for their last alterations. Shingyouji felt a little sad he couldn't see Misu's suit one last time before they left.


 

Shingyouji averted his eyes from his own reflection into the hotel window. While his image was distorted it only served to highlight his nakedness as he waited in the chair. From behind him the bathroom door opened and the grey figure stepped out, drying his hands and then throwing the towel back into the bathroom. The figure then moved from the bathroom over to the closet. Shingyouji watched all of these movements in the window. Never turning his head, only watching with his eyes. Remaining still and obedient.

The figure walked about the room, moving in a slow deliberate pace. Doing tasks that Shingyouji could barely make out in the reflection. Moving back to the closet, then to the bed where first he set something on the table then, with his back turned, leaned over and altered something on the bed. After long minutes of Shingyouji watching the dark grey mass walk around the room the figure came to a stop directly behind him. Shingyouji swallowed. Fingers brushed through his hair. Shingyouji's eyes drifted shut, relaxed by the gentle touch. The fingers tightened in his hair, pulling his head backwards. Shingyouji opened his eyes to look into the stern face of his loving master.


 

Shingyouji stood in the hotel lobby. He wore the black suit Misu had picked for him, with the white shirt and black tie. He had arrived as requested by the note that had arrived with the suit. Both had appeared at his school the day before he graduated. While Misu had been there for his graduation neither he nor Shingyouji made any mention of the suit. The note had given him all he needed. As Natsu was also at his graduation she took most of his belongings directly back to her home. The rest Shingyouji was to send on ahead before he headed to the Misu household. Once he left Shidou and before he went to his new home, Shingyouji was take an overnight bag and his suit and go to the hotel indicated on the note. He would check in, get cleaned up, get changed and go to the lobby to wait.

And wait he did. He stood in the lobby for half an hour, exactly where he was told to stand. Without Misu next to him, he noticed all the stares he received. It felt weird to garner such attention. A few girls even tried to flirt with him. Shingyouji only smiled and politely told them he was waiting for someone. As they stepped away Shingyouji's attention was drawn across the lobby. From behind a pillar Misu stepped into view. If Shingyouji thought Misu was amazing before, he was beyond stunning now. This time he was freshly cleaned, his still slightly damp hair carefully arranged just above his eyes. His wore the burgundy tie tucked neatly in place between the retailored grey jacket, now buttoned, and the crisp white shirt. His pants left little to the imagination tapering down to his polished black shoes. Shingyouji could only stare.

Misu crossed the hotel lobby in slow deliberate steps. Shingyouji knew there were other people in the room, could sense they were there, but all he could see was Misu. He noticed Misu's eyes travel over his own body. He tried hard not to blush when Misu met his eyes and smiled in that half smile of his. Shingyouji had taken extra care in his own looks to try to please Misu. Based on Misu's stare he knew he had succeeded.

"Follow." Misu walked right past Shingyouji. Shingyouji turned to follow Misu. They walked down the hallway to the elevator bank. Misu entered the elevator first and stood near the front. Shingyouji moved around to the rear and stared at Misu's backside. The suit looked just as good from that side as it did it from the front. They rode in silence up to the top floor. Misu stepped out first and walked directly the restaurant at the end of the hall.

"Reservation for Misu."

"Of course. Your requested table is ready. Right this way."

The host lead them to a small semi secluded table near the window. As it was night the lights of the city were just visible through the reflection of the rest of the restaurant. Misu pulled out the chair for Shingyouji. He tried not to be embarrassed by Misu's gesture. Instead he bowed his head and took his seat. Misu sat down across from him. After a few minutes a waiter approached their table. They both ordered their drinks while Misu ordered their main dinners for both of them.

"Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san?"

"Are you ever bothered by the fact that I do not call you by your given name, or even your shortened name, Mitsu."

"Ah no Arata-san. Please don't call me Mitsu. That's what he called me. I don't want to think of him when you say my name. I like how you say my name now."

Misu nodded his head. "That's good. I'd prefer not to call you by some pet name. It's enough that you are my pet."

The drinks clanked together in the waiter's hand as he walked up at this last sentence. The waiter set the drinks down on the table glancing in Shingyouji's direction. Shingyouji was a little embarrassed and slightly startled when the young man smiled and winked at him.

"Shingyouji, you know things will be different living with my parents?" Misu said as the waiter walked away. "You will be expected to work hard, keep up your studies, help around the house. And the freedom we enjoyed at Shidou will be limited."

"I know Arata-san. But I still think it was the best choice for me."

"I agree Shingyouji. I think you made the right choice. I'd rather have you close by then back in a household that didn't approve of you."

"My grandmother offered for me to live with her."

"That would still be too close to them, and too far from me. You made the correct decision. We will make do for now. It is a small obstacle. When I graduate and move out you will be coming with me."

"Arata-san?"

"You don't want to?"

"No, it's just that I wasn't expecting… Actually I wasn't sure what I was expecting."

"Did you not think we would end up living together on our own at some point?"

"I guess I never thought that far. After everything that happened this year I stopped thinking about the future."

"I didn't give you that ring as a game you know. There was a commitment behind it."

"I know Arata-san. I just sometimes wonder why?"

"Why?"

"Why me? After what happened and what I put you through, why do you still want me?"

Shingyouji bowed his head. He suddenly felt very small. Misu had done nothing to bring about these fears, however Shingyouji couldn't deny he had them. He couldn't say for certain that Kago would never come back into his life and cause trouble in anything Shingyouji tried to do. He couldn't offer a new family the way Misu had as his own family would never fully accept his lifestyle. He wasn't the smartest person around, the richest, the handsomest. What could he offer Misu that Misu wasn't already giving to him instead?

Shingyouji heard Misu's chair as he pushed away from the table. Shingyouji didn't look but saw Misu's feet appear next to his chair. A hand brushed away the hair next to his ear. Soft lips pressed lightly against the edge of his ear.

"Because I love you. I need you."

Shingyouji bit his lip. Misu's words sent a shiver throughout his body. Misu stood and went back to his seat. Shingyouji risked looking up. Misu was staring at him.

"Do you need more than that?" Before Shingyouji could answer Misu continued. "You make me smile. I didn't do that often before you came along. You are kind where I am not. You are caring to all even when I don't see the merit." Misu's eyes strolled over his black suit, "And you are beautiful."

"No, I'm not…" Shingyouji stopped talking when he saw the look in Misu's eyes. "Thank you Arata-san."

Misu only offered a small nod in response.

"Shingyouji about your punishment."

Shingyouji tensed up in his seat. "Ah yes, Arata-san."

"You are done with Shidou now. You've selected your college. You did well the rest of the year. You have shown me that you can overcome and eventually conquer difficulties."

"Thank you Arata-san."

"For that I think it's time return to what we had before. That is what you want Shingyouji isn't it?"

"Yes Arata-san."

"You do understand what that means? Even though I was lenient the last few months do not expect that to happen again once you enter college. I am who I am. I am not like Saki, easy going, I am not like Hayuma, sensitive to my surroundings, and I am not like you, eager to please. So I ask again, is this what you want in every regard to our relationship?"

Shingyouji smiled a little. "I do understand Arata-san. And I do want more than anything for everything to go back to what it was. I like Saki-san and Hayuma-san. But I don't love them. I love you Arata-san."

The waiter approached from behind Shingyouji carrying their plates of food. Shingyouji could see him trying to hide his smile as he set the plates down. Shingyouji wanted to crawl under the table from embarrassment.

"Very well Shingyouji. Then tonight you will be punished." Shingyouji's eyes went wide as the waiter stopped mid step walking away from the table.

"Arata-san. The waiter keeps hearing you." Shingyouji whispered.

"I know. Just think of it as part of your punishment."

Shingyouji couldn't respond. Misu wasn't the type to hold his hand in public or give him flowers for no reason. Instead this was the way Misu showed his affection, and he'd just agreed to it. And he was happy as it was exactly what we wanted.

With dinner served they proceeded to eat with a relaxed conversation. Throughout dinner Shingyouji stole long glances at Misu. While he wished he could see Misu standing in his full suit, sitting with his jacket open, the tight white shirt and the burgundy tie was nice view as well. Shingyouji wanted to touch the fine fabric. Run his fingers over the smooth cloth and feel Misu's body just underneath. He wanted Misu to press down on him, hold him against their bed, his jacket hanging loose, the tie tickling his face. Misu choosing his punishment.

"Shingyouji."

Shingyouji shook himself out of his fantasy. It took him a little longer as his eyes focused directly on Misu in his dark grey suit. The one he'd just been fantasizing about. His mind had trouble separating fantasy and reality.

"Ah yes Arata-san?"

"I am getting up now. You stay here. When directed go to our room."

"How will I know?"

"That won't be the issue."

"Then what is the issue."

Misu didn't respond. He pushed back from the table and stood up. Shingyouji watched as Misu walked away. As confused as Shingyouji was, it was beautiful to watch. The suit highlighting Misu's lean body. Shingyouji leaned back in his chair and waited. He trusted Misu to give him what he needed.

After a few minutes the waiter approached him. In his hands he held two items that he held out to Shingyouji.

"I was told to give you these." Shingyouji took the items from the waiter. "I hope you don't mind me saying, you two seem very happy. You are very lucky. I am a little jealous. If you weren't taken I'd consider asking you out. You're gorgeous."

Shingyouji wasn't sure how to respond. "Thank you." he managed to say.

"Don't worry, the bill has already been paid. You are free to leave whenever you wish. Though I wouldn't wait too long." The waiter bowed once and walked away, glancing back one last time.

Shingyouji looked down at the two items in his hands. A folded note card, much like the one he had been given the day he received the completed suit at Shidou. The other item Misu's burgundy tie. Shingyouji set the tie in his lap and opened the note.

Go to our room. Take the tie. Undress. Wait for me.

Shingyouji picked up tie and looked at it again. Misu hadn't give any direct instructions for why he'd sent the tie but it was pretty clear what was expected. But the issue was how. And Shingyouji suddenly realized what Misu meant.

Shingyouji left the restaurant and went to the room on his own. He never caught sight of Misu and had no idea if he was being watched. He could only assume he was. Once in the room he hesitated at the one command, to undress. He would obey but it felt strange to strip down alone. He started by removing his jacket and hanging it in the closet. Each additional piece he removed one by one and carefully hung each item on its own hanger. His own black tie he wrapped around his shirt. Part of him told him to hurry, but another knew if he left any piece of his suit crumpled Misu would be unhappy. He pulled Misu's burgundy tie from his jacket pocket.

Once naked Shingyouji felt a little awkward standing in the room alone. He turned off the lights to feel less on display. He moved about the room looking for the perfect place to wait. He sat on the bed, lay on the bed, sat in the chair facing the door, even tried the floor. After trying everything he could think of he settled on sitting in the hotel chair with his back to the door. He didn't want to risk anyone seeing him in case they were walking down the hallway the same time Misu opened the door. Only the last item remained, the tie. Shingyouji wrapped it around his eyes first. He changed his mind quickly realizing he didn't want to block his site of Misu in any way. He thought about tying his ankles together as that would be easiest, but that seemed pointless. It would have to be his hands. Using his teeth and a small amount of dexterity Shingyouji wrapped the tie in a knot around his wrists and pulled it tight. His hands were now bound, he was completely naked and he was alone, in the dark. All that was left to do was wait.

Shingyouji couldn't say how much time had passed. It felt like forever and no time at all before he heard movement at the door. Shingyouji held his breath. It felt as if he'd been holding his breath since the day he stepped off the train with Kago by his side, and only today he could finally breath again. Everything was back the way it should be. He had a family who accepted him, even if it wasn't his own family. He survived his time at Shidou alone and graduated with the best grades he could get. Misu had renewed his promise that they would be together forever and agreed to return to what they had before. Shingyouji let out his breath. It felt good to breathe again.


 

 Shingyouji tilted his head back following Misu's gentle but firm tugging on his hair and looked up into Misu's face. He felt vulnerable in this position as Misu hovered over him. He whole body exposed in the harsh hotel room light. Misu released his hair and stepped around the chair to stand between him and the window. With his back to the room and Shingyouji, Misu pulled the drapes closed. Shingyouji felt a little foolish for not thinking of that before. Misu turned and stood silently before him. Shingyouji couldn't take his eyes off him.

He hadn't been exaggerating when he believed he could stare at Misu for hours in that suit. He looked older, taller, sexier. He looked like a true master. Shingyouji licked his lips as he looked over Misu. He was very aware of their current difference. Misu fully clothed, next to his complete nakedness. Standing over him with his legs slightly spread. His arms crossed over his chest, while Shingyouji's own remained tied in place in his lap. Misu's full pink lips turned down in a slight pout, his beautiful eyes reflecting the darkness of the suit. Shingyouji's body couldn't help but react to everything that was happening. He saw Misu's eyes glance downward then back up, a small smirk replacing the pout.

"Shingyouji?"

"Yes Arata-san?"

"This is the last time I will ask you, though I think I have my answer already." Misu's eyes glanced down at his visibly aroused body. "Is this what you want?"

Shingyouji only nodded his head in response.

"Then Shingyouji, who do you belong to?"

"You Arata-san."

Misu reached out and stroked one finger across the side of his forehead. Shingyouji tried to lean into his touch, but Misu pulled away.

"But yet, you allowed someone else to touch you?"

For a moment Shingyouji's mind drew a blank. There was no one else but Misu. Then a brief image of Gii popped in his head. This time the image was of the two of them on his dorm bed. Gii pinning him to the bed in an act to force a reaction out of Kago.

"Yes Arata-san, I did." Shingyouji would admit to the touching, but for everyone's sake, he would never speak aloud what happened on that bed. Partially for the safety of Gii. But mostly because he loved Misu too much to put that thought in this head.

"Did you like being touched by someone else?"

"No." Shingyouji answered quickly.

"You aren't bored yet by my touch."

Shingyouji shook his head. "No, Arata-san."

"Even though it was just acting, it bothers me that someone touched my pet." Misu's words were cold.

"I'm sorry Arata-san."

"What bothers me more is that it was Saki. Do you know the thoughts that have gone through my head because of you, because of whom you choose?"

For a moment Misu's strong image dissolved, replaced by a vulnerable boy. Shingyouji didn't think about what Misu had been imagining this whole time. Shingyouji felt a tiny ache in his chest as he realized. It hurt to know that having to keep a secret from Misu was actually causing another sort of pain.

"I am sorry Arata-san." Shingyouji said very quietly. He wasn't playing into his role. Instead he apologized with true sincerity for what he had put Misu through.

Misu took a small breath and stood up straight. In an instant the powerful Misu was back.

"For all of these reasons you are getting punished."

Misu walked to the bed and grabbed one of the pillows. He threw it on the floor in front of Shingyouji's feet. He then leaned forward and grabbed the ends of the tie dangling from Shingyouji's wrists. He held them loosely in his hands as if holding a leash. He played with the ends without saying a word. Shingyouji waited patiently. With a sudden movement Misu yanked on the tie, pulling Shingyouji forward. Shingyouji fell out of the chair and landed knees first on the pillow in front of Misu. His arms were slightly raised as Misu held on to the ends of the tie. With his free hand Misu reached down and stroked Shingyouji's hair.

"Shingyouji?"

"Hmmm?" was all Shingyouji could get out as Misu continued to stroke his hair.

"You keep staring at me."

"I do?"

"Yes Shingyouji. Now, and previously through dinner."

"Ah, well I..I think you are beautiful."

"Beautiful?"

"In that suit. You shine."

Misu smiled down at him. "The suit pleases you?"

"Yes Arata-san. I want to look at you like this forever. I don't want you to ever take it off."

"That could create some complications in other areas."

"Ah, yes."

Misu opened his hand and let go of the tie. Shingyouji's hands fell toward the floor. Misu unbuttoned his jacket in one quick motion and slid the sides back behind his hips. His white shirt was already partially unbuttoned at the neck where he unbuttoned it when removing the tie currently around Shingyouji's wrists. Misu's lowered his hand and rest it on his belt. He looked down at Shingyouji his lips slightly parted, his eyelids lowered.

Shingyouji taking his cue slowly raised himself up on his knees. Misu didn't react, only watched him through his narrowed eyes. Shingyouji lifted his bound hands and reached for Misu's belt. With careful maneuvering Shingyouji slid the belt out of its clasp. He looked up to Misu. With a small nod from Misu, Shingyouji proceeded to unbutton and unzip Misu's pants. The zipper resisted him at first, but with a small amount of tugging he was able to get it down. As soon as the zipper was undone Misu took a step backwards. Shingyouji stayed as he was, up on his knees. Misu slid his pants down just past his hips. He pushed his underwear down with his pants. His jacket fell back into place at his sides. Shingyouji realized he was leaning forward and forced himself back into position.

It was almost too much for Shingyouji. He wanted Misu, he needed Misu. No matter how many time they had made love since the problem had been removed from his life, they had not completely returned to normal. But now here was Misu standing above him, beyond stunning, dressed just for him. Teasing him, playing with him, controlling him. Shingyouji wanted to move forward, he wanted to touch Misu, please Misu. Feel the suit beneath his fingers as he tasted Misu. The jacket surrounding him as he took Misu in his mouth. Shingyouji once again realized he was leaning forward and sat back. He swallowed hard as he waited for his next command.

"Shingyouji." Misu's voice was smooth and low. Shingyouji raised his eyes to look up at Misu. He didn't say anything. Misu took a small step forward, now within Shingyouji's reach. Shingyouji didn't dare move. He continued to stare up at Misu. He could feel the faintest touch of cloth against his bare skin. It felt cold and smooth. Shingyouji's fingers twitched as he wanted to slide his fingers against the fabric. Feel Misu's warm skin just beneath the cool fabric. Shingyouji licked his lips. He took small little breathes. He curled his toes. All steps to try to keep himself in control as he waited.

Misu raised his hand and placed it in Shingyouji's hair. "Shingyouji, my pet, are you ready?"

"Yes, Arata-san." Shingyouji managed to whisper.

"Then do as you wish."

Shingyouji blinked at Misu a few times before breaking contact and letting his gaze slowly drift down until Misu's hard-on was directly in front of his face. With his wrists still bound he lifted his hands and gently took Misu in his grasp. Misu made a small noise as soon as he touched him. Shingyouji opened his mouth and reached out his tongue. In one quick motion he licked Misu's member from the base to the tip. Misu let out a full moan this time. Shingyouji risked a glance up. Misu was looking down at him, his mouth partially open, his eyes glazed over. Shingyouji licked him again while still staring. Misu's reaction was beautiful. His face transformed as pleasure took over. The tiny upturn of his lips, the slight view of his tongue, his eyes opening wider. Shingyouji was proud that was he was able to create that kind of reaction in Misu.

Shingyouji continued to lick Misu, enjoying every moan that came from above. His hands holding Misu in place, until finally Shingyouji took him in completely into his mouth. Shingyouji gave every bit of pleasure he could to Misu. Tasting, caressing, loving him with his tongue, teeth and lips. His own body felt little waves of pleasure as Misu responded. His fingers brushed against the fabric of Misu's suit. He wanted more. His hands struggled against the tie but the knot only tightened.

"Shingyouji." Misu moaned his name. "Stop."

It took a great amount of effort to obey. Shingyouji leaned backwards shaking slightly. He looked up at Misu. Misu's eyes were nearly shut. He was taking long deep breathes. Shingyouji risked a smile. It gave him a thrill knowing that he had caused that response in Misu. Misu pulled his underwear and pants back in place, leaving the belt unhooked.

"Shingyouji, hands." Misu voice was commanding, if not a little weak.

Shingyouji held his hands up to Misu. Misu grabbed his offered wrists and lifted Shingyouji to his feet. Misu licked his lips once as he looked over Shingyouji's naked body. Shingyouji felt the instinct to cover himself but Misu kept his hands restrained. Misu's wandering gaze came to a rest on Shingyouji's lips. Shingyouji realized he was still smiling. He tried to stop, but he couldn't hide it. Shingyouji watched Misu closely and saw the faintest hint of a smile at the corner of Misu's mouth.

In one quick motion Misu slipped Shingyouji's hands over his head and stepped forward. Shingyouji was forced to wrap his arms around Misu's neck. Misu's hands moved behind Shingyouji's backside and pulled him tight, their bodies now pressed together. Shingyouji only had a moment to enjoy the feel of Misu's clothed body against his naked body before Misu's half smiling lips were on his own. Shingyouji opened up to him eagerly. As always giving Misu total control and his full surrender.

Misu held him tight in his arms. Kissing him long and hard. Shingyouji's legs weakened beneath him and he gripped on to Misu's neck a little harder. The soft dress shirt rubbed against his chest, the edges of the jacket brushing against his sides. Shingyouji lost himself into the haze of the moment. It was as close to a perfect moment Shingyouji had ever felt in his life, second only to the day Misu claimed him in that dressing room.

Time passed slowly as Misu kissed him until Shingyouji's lips felt slightly bruised. His lips felt full and swollen when Misu pulled away. Shingyouji tried to open his eyes, but his head spun each time lifted his eyelids. He was vaguely aware as Misu started forcing him to step backwards. Past the pillow on the ground that brushed against his feet, past the chair he'd very patiently waited at, all the way back until his legs hit the edge of the bed. Misu's hands released their hold from his backside and reached up for his arms. Shingyouji felt Misu as he ducked down and freed himself from his grasp. Still holding his tied hands Misu helped Shingyouji down onto the bed, first sitting, then all the way back until he was lying face up, his head slightly propped up on the remaining pillow. Misu set his tied hands back down on his naked belly and stepped back to the end of the bed.

Now that he was lying down Shingyouji's head no longer spun out of control. He was able to keep his eyes open and look at Misu standing at the end of the bed. Starting at the top Misu began to undo each button of his dress shirt one by one. Showing a little more skin as he worked his way down. With the last button he pushed his shirt open exposing the full length of his chest. Shingyouji gave a little sigh as he admired Misu's body. Misu shrugged his shoulders and both jacket and shirt slipped down his back. He caught them in his hands before stripping them completely off his body. He casually folded them in half and placed them along the back of the chair Shingyouji had been sitting at earlier. His hands moved next to his belt. In one fluid motion he pulled it free from his pants and set it on the seat of the chair with his jacket and dress shirt. His hands ran along the top of his pants, making no move to remove them yet. Shingyouji's gaze went from Misu's hands, to his eyes, back to his hands. With every move Misu made Shingyouji was captivated by him.

Misu's moved his hands up to his bare skin, just above his pants. Shingyouji wanted to put his lips against this same place. Let his mouth feel Misu's smooth skin against his. He hadn't realized he was moving until he heard Misu make a small disapproving noise. Shingyouji moved back into his place. With one graceful movement, Misu slid both pants and underwear down to the floor. He stepped out of them, picked them up and laid them along the chair. He turned, fully naked to Shingyouji, standing at the foot of the bed. Misu made a step forward.

"Ah, wait." Shingyouji squeaked, afraid to speak, but he couldn't help himself.

Misu stepped back. "Do you not want me Shingyouji?"

"What?" Shingyouji eyes grew wide. "No, no. That's not what I mean." Shingyouji babbled.

"What do you mean?" Shingyouji hesitated. "Shingyouji, speak."

Shingyouji's gaze moved over to the chair, where the suit was carefully placed. "Can...can you put the jacket back on?" As soon as the words left his mouth Shingyouji felt himself go red. He risked a glance at Misu. He looked amused by Shingyouji's request.

"You are here for punishment, and yet you make requests?"

"No, never mind Arata-san. I didn't mean…" Shingyouji shook his head. He lifted his tied hands and waved them, trying to deflect his request.

Misu turned slightly to the chair. He picked up his dress shirt and held it up. "Would you like it if I wore this as well?"

"Yes...I mean no. I shouldn't have said anything."

Misu opened the dress shirt and slipped it back on to his arms. "My pet is getting bold as to make requests at a time like this." Misu picked up the jacket next. He threw it on over the shirt. "Is this what you wanted?"

Shingyouji was afraid to answer. It was exactly what he wanted. Misu was beautiful. But he was afraid if he spoke the words, as he was being punished, Misu would take it away from him to tease him more. Misu moved toward the bed once again. His eyes traveled down Shingyouji's body. As his eyes reached Shingyouji's mid section he smiled.

"I have my answer." Shingyouji instinctively covered himself with his bound hands. "Shingyouji." Misu said his name as a command. Shingyouji pulled his hands back, leaving himself exposed.

Misu knelt on the bed at Shingyouji's feet, leaned down and placed a kiss on the inside of Shingyouji's right ankle. He turned his head and did the same with his left. Shingyouji felt a small shiver run up his body at the softness of Misu's touch. Misu moved upwards on the bed, placing light kisses along Shingyouji's body as he went. The cloth of the jacket and shirt tickled Shingyouji's skin as Misu moved over him. Misu left kisses along his legs, his hips, his stomach, his chest, his jaw, his forehead, until he was hovering over Shingyouji. Shingyouji looked up at him, waiting for Misu's lead.

Misu grabbed the ends of the tie and pulled Shingyouji's hands up and over his head. Shingyouji felt something different under them. It wasn't the pillow or sheet. It was slightly rough. He turned his head to Misu, but Misu wasn't looking at him. Instead he was looking above his head reaching for the very thing Shingyouji felt. With what sounded like tearing fabric followed by a small click Shingyouji realized Misu had just tied his hands to the bed. The item he had felt, the restraining belt. It must have been what Misu had been preparing earlier when he couldn't see his reflection clearly in the window. Shingyouji gave the belt a small tug. It moved a little but for not enough for it to matter. He was trapped in place. Shingyouji's first instinct was to struggle. He pulled again against the restraint. He was stopped just as before. A tiny spark of panic began to form in his chest. While he knew Misu was next to him, the frightened part of his brain wanted to tell him Misu was gone, and this was a lie to escape Kago and his manipulative games. A soft hand caressed his face. He wanted to lean into it, he wanted to pull away from it.

"Shingyouji." Misu whispered softly into his ear. Shingyouji drew in a short gasp. Tears appeared in his eyes. "Shingyouji." Misu whispered again, this time kissing his ear. "Let go of all the memories. Let go of all of them. You're safe."

A tear slid down the side of Shingyouji's face. He wanted to wipe it away, but with his restrained hands he had to let it remain. As another tear slid away his panic began to recede a bit. He hadn't realized he was still so deeply emotionally attached to what Kago had done to him. He had been terrified during that time and still was. Kago had hurt him physically and mentally. And while time had passed this was proof he still needed support to get through what had happened to him. Misu shifted his position up on to his elbow, looking down at Shingyouji. He made no move to untie Shingyouji, though his face was calm and concerned.

"Shingyouji, we can stop. While I want to punish you, I do not want to hurt you."

Shingyouji felt more tears appearing though for different reasons this time. He blinked them away the best he could. Once he could finally see he looked at Misu. He pulled on the restraints. They didn't set off a new level of panic. Instead he was able to see a look of desire light up Misu's eyes. Misu lightly stroked his hand along the side of Shingyouji's chest. It tickled and Shingyouji instinctively pulled away. Misu leaned forward and touched his lips against the place his fingers had just been. His lips light to the touch again tickling Shingyouji's skin. Shingyouji let out a small involuntary laugh. Even though it was pure reflex it felt good to laugh. Misu's fingers and lips worked against the skin along his chest. Shingyouji pulled against the restraints but only as his body moved with pleasure, not from panic or fear.

In one quick movement Misu twisted his body and climbed on top of Shingyouji, straddling Shingyouji's hips. Shingyouji arched his back a little at the sudden weight. Misu leaned forward, his shirt and jacket open on either side falling along Shingyouji's chest. Misu's head was directly above his. Shingyouji tried to keep his eyes on Misu's face, but was distracted by the rest of his body hovering over him.

"Shingyouji." Shingyouji forced his head upwards to look at Misu. "Do you want me to stop?" Shingyouji could hear the playfulness in Misu's voice, but could see the seriousness in his eyes. Shingyouji knew he could choose to stop. While Misu was in control, Shingyouji also had the power to bring to an end anything that pushed him too far. Misu respected him, loved him, cared for him even when he was being in control, something that Kago couldn't understand.

"No Arata-san. Please don't stop."

Misu lowered his body down along Shingyouji's. He kissed the side of Shingyouji's cheek. Shingyouji pushed his body into Misu's. He wanted an even closer connection. He heard a change in Misu's breathing as their bodies were pressed together. Misu placed light kisses along his cheek, his ear, up his forehead. Shingyouji leaned into each kiss. Misu placed two final kissed above his eyes, then pushed himself back up.

Shingyouji wanted to touch Misu's exposed chest. He wanted to feel Misu's smooth warm skin beneath the palms of his hands. He could only flex and release his fingers in response to his need. Instead it was Misu who used his free hands to explore Shingyouji's body. His fingers were strong as they stroked along his skin. Misu worked along his body for a few minutes, massaging his every area that Shingyouji had no ability to cover or hide.

"Arata-san, please." Misu glanced up at him, but ignored his plea. Instead where Misu's hands had been were replaced by lips. Placing long warm kisses on his chest, his stomach, along his thighs, down his legs, all the way to his toes. Misu seemed in no hurry to satisfy any craving on his own. Instead his seemed content to devote his attention to Shingyouji. Every moment Shingyouji enjoyed, and yet an ache was building inside of him. A desire to be touched where only Misu had ever touched him. Shingyouji slid his feet apart, allowing Misu access. Misu met his eyes and smiled at him, his hands gently petting his leg yet he did not take Shingyouji's invitation.

Shingyouji felt as if he should be embarrassed by the way Misu's eyes devoured his body. Normally he would be. Instead he felt excited looking at Misu kneeling at the end of the bed. The shirt and jacket hanging open exposing his long chest. His cock semi erect. And his once tamed hair now standing on end. Shingyouji couldn't help but let out a small giggle. Misu tried to follow his line of sight. He rolled his eyes when he realized where Shingyouji was looking. Misu pushed himself up from the bed and walked out of the room into the bathroom. Shingyouji heard a familiar sound he couldn't place. In a moment Misu returned, with his hair now straightened. Misu knelt again at the end of the bed. His hand was in a fist clutching something small. Shingyouji tried to lift up to see but was unable to move.

It didn't take long for Shingyouji to discover what Misu was holding. A cold drip hit the inside of his ankle. Shingyouji jerked his leg away. With his free hand, Misu pulled his leg back and with his warm tongue licked the spot the drop had fallen. The cold followed by warm made Misu's tongue feel extra hot. Misu opened his hand to expose the ice cube in his hand. A few more drops fell. Each one Misu licked away. Misu moved back up Shingyouji's body, dripping small bits of cold drops on Shingyouji's skin. Shingyouji squirmed with every drop. The cold was torture and Misu's tongue was pleasure. One after another, moving up his body, until the final drop landed on his lips. Misu was there instantly. His tongue licking away the drop, pushing at Shingyouji's lips, forcing them open. Shingyouji opened up to him accepting Misu in his mouth. Shingyouji opened his eyes in surprise. Misu tasted different than he did earlier. He tasted like mint.

Misu released their short kiss and moved back down Shingyouji's body, stopping at his fully erect cock. Misu repositioned himself so that his head was directly between Shingyouji's legs, and in one quick movement took Shingyouji into his mouth. Shingyouji didn't try to stop the moan that Misu created. The feel of Misu's mouth, teeth and tongue on him were amazing, and yet there was something more. He felt a tingling along his skin. Shingyouji realized it was the mint flavoring in Misu's mouth. Everywhere Misu touch sent an extra sensation through him. Even as he enjoyed the moment, Shingyouji put the idea away for future reference to try this trick back on Misu one day.

Shingyouji's hips bucked forward as Misu hit an overly sensitive spot. Misu responded by taking more into his mouth. Even as Misu's mouth was warm the mint felt cool. Much like the ice treatment Misu had put him through earlier. It felt amazing, and yet he still wanted more.

"Please, Arata-san."

Misu released him and sat back. With a quick glance Shingyouji noticed that Misu was already erect.

"If I don't prepare you, it might hurt."

"Then please hurry, I need you Arata-san." From the side table Misu grabbed bottle of lotion and let it pour over Shingyouji. Using his fingers, he spread the substance around. In one fluid motion he slid one finger in, followed quickly by another. Shingyouji barely felt any pain. It didn't take him long to be ready for Misu.

Misu positioned himself between his legs. His shirt and jacket still on, though hanging a bit more loosely from his shoulders. Without a word, and with little notice, Misu entered Shingyouji. They both moaned out in response. Misu pushed hard into Shingyouji. His hips moving quickly back and forth. Misu's body leaned further and further forward until he was directly over Shingyouji. His jacket and shirt falling open, brushing Shingyouji's sides. Shingyouji pulled hard at his bounds, desperate to get free. Not from panic but from passion. He needed to touch Misu. As before they didn't move. He pulled again. Nothing.

Without a word Misu reached above him and with one easy movement released him from his bounds. Shingyouji lowered his arms, though slowly as they were stiff from being in one position for too long, and lifted them to Misu's body. His fingers ran from fabric to skin, back to fabric, back to skin. He wanted to touch everything. Shingyouji moved his hands around Misu's back and pulled him down. Misu followed his command until he was laying on top of him. Their lips met and Misu kissed him a few times. He began to work his hips again, pushing into Shingyouji over and over. Shingyouji moaned with every thrust. His hands wrapped around Misu's back, twisted in the shirt and jacket. His own erection trapped between their bodies.

"My Shingyouji." Misu whispered his name. It made his heart race the way Misu said his name. With true passion and desire. Shingyouji clutched hard on to Misu's jacket. His whole body burned as Misu continued to press into him. He needed a release soon. He couldn't last much longer in this forever aroused state. He felt as Misu started to lift away. He released his hold on his jacket, his arms falling to the bed. As Misu sat up he lifted Shingyouji's hand from the bed and placed it on his erection. Just a touch and Shingyouji was about ready. Misu thrust into him hard and strong, while Shingyouji worked his own hand up and down. A warmth built up and he was close to release. Misu breathed heavier as he clutched onto the sides of Shingyouji's body, moving his hips faster. Shingyouji's own breathing came out fast, filled with tiny moans. Misu let out loud moan and pushed hard into Shingyouji. The feeling of Misu's orgasm triggered his own and Shingyouji cried out as well. The world disappeared to that one moment of Misu and him feeling ultimate pleasure at the same time.

As the pleasure slowly faded away, Shingyouji opened his eyes. Misu was still there between his legs, breathing heavily. It took a moment longer for Misu to also open his eyes. When their eyes finally meet Misu smiled at him. Not his usual half smirk, but a real smile. Shingyouji smiled back. He wanted very much to grab Misu in a hug and hold him tight, but first they needed to clean up.

Misu slowly backed away from Shingyouji. For a brief second Shingyouji felt a sense of loss when they were separated, as he always did. Misu put out his hand and Shingyouji tried to raise his hand to take it, but found he had little strength left in his arms. Misu's smirk returned as he looked at Shingyouji struggling. With a shrug of his shoulders he dropped his shirt and jacket off his back and into his hands. He tossed them on to the chair. He crawled back onto the bed and positioned himself to lift Shingyouji from the bed. He raised Shingyouji and lead him to the bathroom. There he turned on the shower, backing himself into to the stall pulling Shingyouji with him. He turned Shingyouji so that the water fell over him, on to his arms. After a few minutes Shingyouji regained strength enough to lift his arms. His first goal to wrap his arms around Misu and pull him closer under the water with him. Misu stepped into his arms willingly. Shingyouji lay his head on Misu's shoulder. The water fell over them both, Misu's arms wrapped around his waist with his head leaning against his. If only this moment could last forever, but instead Shingyouji would be content with however long he was able to have.

In all too short of time, Misu released his hold on Shingyouji and stepped back. He picked up Shingyouji's right arm and gave it a quick rub down, he did the same with the left. When he seemed satisfied he turned off the water. He grabbed a nearby towel and rubbed Shingyouji dry first, then dried himself off. Once dry he led them both back to the bedroom, where Shingyouji got his first good look at the restraints that tied him to the bed. Simple black straps with velcro, clipped together at the wrists. They looked professionally made.

"Arata-san, where did you get those?"

"At a store."

"What store?" Shingyouji realized his voice was a little higher than normal.

"I will take you with me next time. They have a lot of interesting items for sale."

"I...I...I…"

"Shingyouji."

Shingyouji stopped trying to speak. The idea of going to that kind of shop with Misu embarrassed him completely, and yet he realized that a part of him was excited by the idea as well.

Misu moved around the bed and removed the restraints. He gathered up his suit and took everything to the closet. Shingyouji prepared the bed by pulling down the covers and returning the pillow from the floor to the bed. He crawled in just as Misu finished hanging his suit. He pulled the covers up to his chin. Misu climbed in next to him. He opened his arms and Shingyouji snuggled into his embrace. He enjoyed these moments just as much as he enjoyed Misu's dominance over him. In both cases he felt protected and safe.

Misu stroked his back. Shingyouji tried to snuggle deeper into Misu's arms. Their naked bodies pressed against each other, Misu's leg wrapped around his.

"Arata-san?"

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"Thank you."

"For?"

"For everything." Shingyouji leaned back so he could look directly at Misu. "For giving me a new family."

"That wasn't my doing. I think my mother would have adopted you no matter what our relationship."

"But you still allowed me to be part of their life. Also thank you for believing in me this year even when it looked like you shouldn't."

Shingyouji felt Misu's muscles clench around him, though his face never changed. It was in that moment Shingyouji realized how much anger Misu had been keeping stored up and under control.

"I will always believe in you. It's other people I don't always trust."

"And thank you...for tonight."

Misu smiled his crooked smile. "You are satisfied then." Shingyouji gave a small nod of his head. "That's good because we're here for another night."

"What?"

"When I told Mother we were only staying the one night, she insisted we stay for at least one more night. This is what you will be living with soon. You will not have the same level of privacy that you were used to growing up."

"That's okay Arata-san. I like it. She cares about you."

"And you."

"And me."

"Are you ready for this Shingyouji? Starting now, you and I will be living together under one roof. This is your last chance to change your mind."

Shingyouji let out a small laugh. "Arata-san, why would I change my mind? You've given me everything."

"All those things were easy to give. I will not be an easy person to live with."

"I know." Shingyouji saw the corners of Misu's mouth turn down slightly.

"I can be difficult."

"I know." A further downturn of Misu's mouth.

"Demanding."

"I know."

"Shingyouji." Misu was completely frowning.

"Everything you said is true Arata-san. But it's what makes you you. The you that I want to live with, for as long as you'll have me."

"That means you'll be with me forever."

"Good." Misu's hands stroked further down his back. "Arata-san?"

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"Do you have...I mean did you bring...ah nevermind."

Misu's hand strolled lower and stroked Shingyouji's bottom. "Bring what Shingyouji? Ask me freely."

"Ah, well, did you bring anything else from that store?"

"Would you like to see?"

"There is more?"

"Of course. We're here, alone, for two days. I brought enough to keep us well occupied. So would you like to see?" Misu turned away. Shingyouji grabbed hold and pulled him back.

"Wait."

"Yes Shingyouji?"

"I love you Arata-san."

Misu smiled at him. "For saying that, I am getting the special toy out." Misu rolled off the bed.

"Wait, the what? What do you do mean special toy?"

Misu picked up a black canvas bag and stuck his hand inside. "Do you trust me Shingyouji?"

"Always."