title: All That You Can't Leave Behind
fandom: Fushigi Yuugi
characters/pairings: reincarnation: Nuriko/Hotohori, Nuriko/Nakago, Miaka/Tamahome, one-sided Tasuki/Kouji, Tasuki/Chichiri, Chiriko/Kourin, Mitsukake, one-sided Tomo/Nakago, Yui, Amiboshi/Suboshi, Nakago/Soi, Yui/Tetsuya, Keisuke
rating: Teen/Mature
warnings: mentioned underaged sex, mentioned rape of an underaged boy, drinking, swearing, sex, angst, incestual implication, some bloodshed, crossdressing, and a happy ending
summary: The seishi have been reincarnated, and are coming together... and living in the same house.
notes: see notes

Part 5 - The Part with some plot

Ryuen shoved the arm across his face away. Peeling the covers off of him, he started to get up, wincing. He hated having to get up and move around so soon after.

There was some muffled rumbling from the pile of flesh next to him. Ryuen poked at the blankets, grunting slightly to ask what had been said.

Ayuru pulled the covers off of his face, his blonde hair still spilled over his features. "You don't have to leave, you know."

Ryuen shrugged, pulling on his boxers. "I have class in the morning."

Ayuru grunted. "At eleven. You never want to sleep over anymore." He opened one cold blue eye to gaze accusingly up at Ryuen.

"I... would rather sleep in my own bed." Bending to kiss Ayuru at the look of hurt the other man feigned, he elaborated. "You have really heinous morning breath, anyway."

"Really?" Ayuru propped himself up on his elbows. "Is that true or are you playing with me?"

Ryuen grinned as he pulled his jeans on. "Why not both?"

By the time he had walked home, he was really tired. Not only had he spent most of the evening having athletic, adventurous sex with one of his most skilled partners, but he hadn't really slept well... in days. And he had a lot of work piling up as well. His hair was also getting in his face a lot on the walk. Some days, he thought of just chopping it all off. Then he shuddered, remembering the last time that he had done that. Granted, that was in a previous life, but still... He had never gotten used to the face in the mirror after that.

He knew he was close to home when he heard Genrou's and Kouji's voices, both of them yelling at each other.

Sighing, Ryuen shoved his hair out of his face and set his shoulders. From what he could hear, they were arguing about some girl that Kouji went out with, and their friendship not tying Kouji down.

"Boys, boys, boys." Ryuen spoke with enough determination to get their attention. "You are ruining some very nice afterglow here, and probably waking everyone up in a ten block radius." Ryuen shook his head in a mock disapproving manner.

Genrou started to apologize when Kouji interrupted him. "See, here is your problem. You live with all these fags and start thinking stupid things."

Ryuen interrupted before Kouji could speak any more. "Don't call me a fag, little boy. I can put an arrow through your heart from 90 yards away. I'm not the sort of person you want to piss off." Kouji gulped and took a step back. "Now, you boys play nice, or else I'll become irate. Maybe it's time for you both to get some rest. Hopefully in the morning, you'll be able to talk to each other without threats of death."

He brushed past the other two, wanting to get upstairs to bed as quickly as he could. Damn, he really needed a shower, but he could do that in the morning. Of course, then he would have to get up early enough to wash and dry his hair... But if he didn't, then he would have to wash his hair now, which would keep him up longer...

"Ry-chan?" Genrou was at the bottom of the stairs, looking up nervously.


"Um, sorry about that, and about what Kouji said... We were just arguing..."

"It's ok, Gen-chan." Ryuen smiled. He liked that Genrou didn't mind the old nicknames.

"No, it really isn't, but..."

Sighing, Ryuen stepped down, walking towards the redhead. "Is it something you want to talk about?"

Genrou turned, walking to bedroom, talking the whole way. "I'm sure you want to get some sleep. I know you don't wanna hear about my fuckin' problems. I don't wanna hear about them." By this time, Genrou had flung himself on the bed, after closing the door after Ryuen. Genrou's room was a study in controlled chaos, everything in stacks, even his clothes, with no shelves or anything anywhere. Ryuen shuddered to think what the closet was like. "I've been friends with Kouji forever. We were in diapers together, ya know? When you know someone so long, it's impossible to let 'em go, no matter what, ya know?"

Ryuen smiled slightly, setting himself down on the floor. "I know. I guess that's why I'm still friends with Ayuru."

Genrou grunted. "There had to be some reason. Anyway, I dunno... Kouji and I... We've known each other so long, things between us, I mean... Shit. Look, sometimes we fuck around with each other. Ya know, fool around and crap. We've been doin' it for years now. But Kouji's always saying shit like, I'm not gay, sex is just for fun, it doesn't mean anything, and making all kinds of jokes about queers and shit... And, like, parading the chicks he fucks with around like they're proof or somethin'. I dunno what to do about it, man, sometimes he just drives me nuts..."

Lifting a hand up to take Genrou's hand gently, Ryuen pitched his voice low and soothing. "Do you love him, Gen-chan?"

Genrou groaned and turned his head away. "Aw, man, don't ask me shit like that..."

"It's ok, Gen-chan. Look, if you guys were just having fun, then it would be great. But if you are going nuts and having arguments, and being bothered by the girls he's with, then you both aren't having fun. Just... don't let him use you for sex. It's no fun being a fuck toy for someone you care about."

Genrou heaved a sigh. "What's it like, man? Being queer, I mean. Is it... hard?"

Ryuen got on his knees, leaned over, and kissed Genrou's forehead. "You already know, man. But it would be easier if you weren't pretending not to be."

And then he got out of there before Genrou could kick his ass.

Forget the shower, it was straight to bed. Hopefully, in the morning, life would be slightly less surreal.

Sitting at his drafting table, Ryuen puzzled through his photographs. His first project for the year was due tomorrow, but he still wasn't sure that he knew what to do. And the presence of the photo of Saihitei in the window in his box was gnawing at him.

Still though... the photo of Do-kun with Kourin was a nice piece too. And he felt he had done a good job of presenting it.

It just didn't feel quite right, turning in a second rate project when a first rate one was in the box, begging to be used...

He didn't hear the soft knock at the door, but Miaka's voice managed to break his reverie. Opening the door without getting out of the chair, he smiled brightly at the girl, welcoming her in. "Taking me up on my offer to sleep over, Miaka-chan?" He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and grinned.

She smiled, which seemed a little forced. That was strange enough, but the fact that Miaka wasn't making enough noise to wake the dead was even stranger.

"Is something wrong, Miaka-chan?" Ryuen led her to the bed, where he sat her down so they could talk comfortably.

"Nothing is wrong, really... I heard that you and Taka had a conversation the other day." Miaka fumbled nervously with the end of her shirt.

Ryuen nearly sighed. He should have known that they wouldn't be able to work through their problems without him. They never had before, had they? How had they stayed together for so long without him? "I hope you aren't upset by what we talked about, Miaka-chan. My intention was never to undermine anything that you and he had decided together."

"No, no, that's not it, Ry-kun. I'm glad that you guys talked. But... Well, there are some things that I... I'm nervous about talking to Taka with, without getting some information first. Um, about sex and stuff..."

Ryuen grinned and patted her on the back with exaggerated motions. "So, you decided to come to the in-house expert! Very wise, very wise, miss, now, what can I do to help you?"

Miaka grinned despite herself. Gathering up her courage, she plunged on. "Um, see, I've only ever been with Taka, and we haven't done much, and I guess... I guess, I'm a little scared."

Instantly, Ryuen put his arms around Miaka and held her close. "You never, never, have to do anything that you are afraid to do, Miaka. Taka wouldn't do that to you, and if he ever did, I would kill him. Really, I would. You don't need to be afraid. Just let him know what you are and aren't comfortable with."

Miaka dug into the hug fiercely. She loved Ryuen so much, just like a big brother. "Oh, you are so good to me, Ry-kun, but it's not that, not really... It's just that... It's just that... I love Taka so much! And I want him to be happy! And yes, there are some things that I'm still a little scared of, but! He's given up so much for me! You just don't know, how much he's given up for me, and done for me! And... I promised my mother that we wouldn't have sex until we got married, but I don't know... I just want him to be happy! And... and... I'm afraid that... I won't be able to do that, that I won't know how, that... that I won't be good at it."

Her voice got softer and softer as she trailed off. Ryuen just let her speak, holding her until the end so that she could get it all out. Gently, he stroked her loose hair and kissed the top of her head. "Miaka-chan... First of all, whatever you are uncomfortable with, just let Taka know and you guys can ease into that. And as far as wanting him to be happy... That's good to hear, but that's not a good reason to have sex, or anything of the sort. When you do deepen your relationship, you'll be opening yourself up to him in ways that you never have before. In order for that to be something that helps your relationship to grow, you have to both be giving of yourselves. So, you can't just offer yourself to him, it has to be mutual. And it will be, because Taka wouldn't have made any sacrifices for you unless he loved you, very, very deeply, and wanted to be with you."

"I know, but..." Miaka snuggled in close, feeling very scared suddenly.

"And Miaka... Sex between you and Taka isn't going to be a deal breaker. He isn't going to come out of it and say, Well! That was well below expectations! Forget this story-book romance I have going with the girl of my dreams! I'm going off to get me some!" Ryuen ruffled her hair lightly as he teased her. "The first time... probably won't be very good. But that's always the way. First times are only mind-blowing in the movies and stuff. You guys will still have a good time, and you'll be open with each other, and learn about each other, and it will be great."

She looked up at him with those irresistibly helpless teary eyes. "But... how can you be sure, Ry-kun?"

He smiled. "Because, when two people love each other, sex isn't about sensations and stimulations. It's about expressing what you feel for each other. I know how much the two of you love each other. That's how I know that you will make each other happy."

"Has it ever been like that for you?" Miaka asked him, innocently.

He looked away, hugging her closely as a cover. "Well... I've been with people that I cared about a great deal, and over time we've gotten to know each other so well, that it's both easy and exciting."

Miaka bit her lip. She shouldn't ask, she shouldn't ask, she shouldn't ask... "Like, um, with you and Ayuru? You guys... you guys have been together, um, for a really long time, now, huh?"

Ryuen didn't bother to hide his sigh. "Well, I guess. Although, Ayuru is only a friend. And I never think of myself as being 'with' him. But yeah. And other friends, as well, and even my ex-boyfriend."

She perked up. "You mean Kei? Ooh, he was soo cute!"

Ryuen giggled. "Yeah, Kei. I forgot, Kourin probably pointed him out at the archery tourney, huh? When I was first with Kei, he was... uncertain. About the physical aspects of our relationship, and what it would mean." Afraid he couldn't keep up with me, the silly boy. "But in time, we worked things out. And so will you and Taka. Trust me, Miaka, everyone in relationships has to go through this early period of working things out. You and Taka aren't going to break up over bad sex."

"And if we do..." She looked up at him hopefully, "Will you kick his ass for me?"

"Any day of the week, and twice on Sunday." Ryuen spoke solemnly, then toppled them over so that he could tickle Miaka.

Giggling, she reached up and kissed Ryuen, surprising him enough to get him to stop. Blushing, she spoke between gasping laughs. "Thanks, Ry-kun! You really are the best!" Jumping up with her trademarked resilience, she added as she got to the door, "I hope you and Sai-chan work things out. I think you would be really great together!"

And she was gone before he could even think to fling a pillow at her.

When Houjun answered the door, he didn't even need to think twice before responding to the person on the other side. "Ryuen-kun isn't here now, you know, but you can wait for him if you want to, you know."

The tall, auburn-haired beauty just arched one perfectly shaped brow, and smiled, slightly. "Thank you. How did you know that I was here for Ryuen-kun?"

Houjun grinned as he showed her to the couches. "Just a hunch, you know?"

Kaen smiled back at him. "My name is Haku Kaen. I appreciate your hospitality."

"My name is Ri Houjun, you know. And it's my pleasure." Houjun thanked whatever deities were watching that it was Soi he had to entertain alone. Of all of the Seiyruu seishi, she was definitely the least offensive.

Kaen arranged herself delicately on the couch, pulling her short skirt down as she sat, and straightening her jacket. She was one of those people who was well put together in a calculating fashion. She wore nothing that wouldn't look perfectly in place gracing some celebrities' body when they made an appearance on a talk show. Her hair was pulled back in a nearly severe french twist.

Houjun offered her something to drink, and something to eat, and then promptly ran out of things to talk about.

Kaen took pity on him, deciding that he was nice enough not to torture, and she asked him about school.

A half an hour later, they were deeply immersed in a discussion comparing the precepts of western versus eastern philosophy, when Ryuen came home, his usual bouncy self.

Until he saw Kaen.

"Kaen-san. How nice of you to visit." His voice belied his enthusiasm.

She rose, perfectly, and smirked at him. "Ryuen-kun. I'm glad that the rumors of your terrible weight gain weren't entirely accurate."

Sighing, Ryuen tossed his hair out of his face. "I suppose you want to go up to my room...?"

She started up the stairs, with only that as an invitation.

Ryuen made a face at Houjun, and followed her.

He made an exaggerated gesture at being polite when he got to his door. Sighing heavily, he showed her in and let her sit on the bed as he put away his things. "I don't suppose that I need to ask you to what I owe the pleasure of your company, do I, Kaen-san?"

"Now, Ry-chan, you are so hostile! If anyone were to overhear us, they would think that you weren't happy to see me!"

"I would be happier to see you if I didn't know how this was all going to end up..." he mumbled, helplessly.

She giggled flirtatiously, and pinched his cheek. "Ry-chan! Now, please, stop being so silly! Love may cause us to do strange things, but we shouldn't forget our friendship in the midst of it!"

"Love only causes you to do strange things, Kaen-san."

She stood up, ignoring him. "Are these pictures all of your housemates? I hope they like living with a chronic photographer! Hm, this must be Saihitei... He is cute, I can see why you used to have a crush on him. How are things here, Ry-chan?"

"If anyone were to overhear us, Kaen-san, they might think that you actually cared about me..." Ryuen got up to stand next to her, crossing his arms over his chest as he did.

She got a wistful look in her eyes. "Do you remember the first time that we met?"

He shook his head, looking down and sighing. "Must we trek down memory lane every time you are getting ready to take him back? I hate getting dragged into the middle of your love life..."

She frowned. "You started out in the middle. How is it fair that he can be with you, and I can't?"

"I hate this." He looked away. "We were in our last year of junior high, and you had just transferred in. Some boys had knocked my books down and were teasing me, and you came by and helped me, sending them running. All the boys thought you were so hot."

She smiled at him, a genuine affection shining in her eyes as she remembered. "You weren't speaking at the time. I didn't know how you had gotten away with it, but all the teachers understood. We would pass notes back and forth, and I would help you tease Ayuru-kun. At the time, I really hated him. He was so slimy and know-it-all-ish. When you came to school that day and actually spoke to me, I nearly fell over with shock. You have such a beautiful voice."

He smiled, still looking away. "We went to the graduation dance together. All the boys were so jealous of me! I think that's why I was so popular in high school; everyone knew that I had had a really hot girlfriend in junior high."

She sighed, tilting her head back. "We went to my house afterwards. My parents were away, and we sat on the porch and watched the stars through the city lights. You told me that you loved me."

He touched her cheek gently. "I did love you, Kaen."

"We went to my parents' bedroom to make love. I was so scared, but you were so calm." She sounded vaguely bitter, as her perfect memory was filtered through what she now knew. "You told me that we would be sharing our firsts together."

"I told you that I had never been with a woman before. And, I had never been on top before either." He sounded reproachful, but guilty.

"It was the most magical night of my young life. I thought that life was perfect the next morning, when I woke up next to you. I thought that we would be together forever, and that we would have three beautiful children and a sweet little dog." She spoke of her childish dreams with more affection than she would have thought she could still muster for them.

"We were going to have two children and two cats," he corrected her with some humor.

"We went on that trip to the beach, just the two of us." She couldn't look at him, even peripherally, now.

He turned away from her. In a detached voice, "I should have waited until the end of the trip to tell you. I ruined our vacation."

She laughed humorlessly. "I had never felt so betrayed. I was utterly disgusted by you, that you had slept with men, that you had cheated on me with Ayuru, of all people! I didn't even hear you tell me about... about..."

"About being raped."

"Until much, much later. I hated you so much then."

His mouth twisted. "But you got your revenge on me..."

"I didn't intend to fall in love with him. I just wanted to be with Ayuru to make you jealous, so you would know what I had felt. But, the moment he touched me, I started to remember... our past life. And then, I couldn't get enough of him. I wish that I remembered more, I can still only see bits and pieces."

Ryuen sat on the bed, feeling tired. "If you remembered more, you would probably only hate him more."

"That bad, huh?" She turned to him again.

"I don't know. I died too early to know anything, really, about the two of you."

She reached out to him, gently touching his face. "Sometimes, I wish I didn't remember anything. I would have forgiven you eventually. And we could have been together."

He smiled at her, bringing his legs up to his chest. "Maybe. And maybe not. I don't know, do you really think I'm much of an improvement over Ayuru?"

She leaned over and kissed him, gently. "I do, Ryuen-chan. Very much so. But I love him. Why is that?"

He smiled warmly. "Because when he's nice to you, he's really nice to you. When he decides that you are 'his,' he takes care of you so much that you feel completely safe with him."

"And he's a fantastic lay."

"There's that too." Their eyes danced with mirth.

"But he's such an ass! God, he just makes me so mad!"

"Me, too. But, that's why I never fell in love with him."

"Can you do that? Can you just decide that someone isn't good enough for you and not fall in love with them?" Her eyes searched his face, but his eyes were down.

He bit his lips, trying not to think of soft brown hair and warm, pale eyes. "I... I don't know."

"The heart wants what it wants." She spoke firmly, before leaning over and kissing him deeper.

He broke away, leaving only a bare minimum amount of space between their lips. "Why must I always be in the center of you two?"

"Because, Ryuen. You are the reason we are together. And you are the reason we always fall apart."

He shook his head tiredly. "It's not my fault, Kaen-kun."

She leaned down and kissed him again. "Maybe. And maybe not."

When Ryuen escorted Kaen to the door hours later, he was in his oversized white oxford shirt and jeans, and she was as immaculate as ever. The house, plus Kourin, had congregated in the common area for dinner. Kourin bounced up immediately to talk to Kaen, excited.

Ryuen scowled at his sister, playfully grabbing her by the neck and mock-ruffling her hair. "What are you doing here, sis? And why didn't you tell me you were coming, I would have come to get you!"

Kourin rolled her eyes as Kaen giggled at the siblings. "I'm perfectly capable of taking public transportation myself, big brother! And I needed Do-kun's help with my history paper." She blushed prettily as she shyly let her eyes find Do-kun.

"Oh, I see! You are on a study date! Well, I remember what those were like!" Ryuen stretched out, smiling broadly.

Kaen poked him in the ribs. "I don't think it means the same thing as it did for you when you were her age, Ry-chan. Look, they have actual books."

Kourin giggled loudly as Ryuen waved away Kaen's clarification with distaste.

"Are you getting back together with Ayuru-kun, Kaen-chan?" Kourin winked at her brother with what he was sure was more mischief than he was comfortable with her possessing.

Kaen tugged on one of Kourin's curls. "Don't count on too soon, missy. It's good to see you again, Kourin-chan. We should have coffee sometime. You can tell me about all the boys in your life." She winked at the younger girl.

Ryuen pushed Kourin behind him, defensively. "There are no boys for her to talk to you about, Kaen-san! Honestly, as if I would let you give her advice about boys!"

"Why not, Ry-chan? I could advise her how to avoid the bad ones, like her brother!" And before he could say anything, she leaned in and kissed him quickly, winking her goodbye to Kourin and scooting out of there as fast as she could.

"Hmph!" Ryuen closed the door behind her. "The nerve of that girl!"

Kourin tickled him in his midsection. "You're just jealous cuz she doesn't love you anymore!" Then she screeched as Ryuen picked her up and carried her to the couch, plopping her next to Miaka.

"Why would I be jealous, Kourin-chan? She and Ayuru have the most fucked up relationship any psychotic pervert could think up! I'm only upset that I have to be as involved with them as I am!" Ryuen shivered with disgust.

"I didn't realize that you and Kaen-san were friends, Ry-chan." Miaka's wide brown eyes assessed Ryuen carefully. Was Ryuen involved with all the Seiyruu seishi?

"Kaen was in love with Ry-chan, first, Miaka-chan." Kourin was only too happy to explain. "But they broke up, and Kaen wanted to get revenge on Ryuen, so she started to date Ayuru. And then she fell in love with him. Although I think there are a few details I'm missing, like why she was so mad at Ryuen in the first place."

Ryuen sniffed, haughtily. "I'm sure I don't know what you are talking about. So, what's going on with everyone else?"

Kourin made a face at Ryuen's back, amusing the hell out of everyone there, but Miaka had already launched into her latest tale of woe.

"Ryuen! Did you know that the slutty American girls are having a Halloween party! And they want everyone to wear costumes, and do American stuff! Like they came to study in Japan to teach us about their culture!" Miaka was quite vehement in her dislike of the American girls. Everyone, even Taka, inched away from her.

"Uh, no, Miaka, I didn't know that. Um, so how do you know the American girls are slutty?" Ryuen looked deeply interested.

"We can't put up with this outrage! We must defend our nation's interests with our very lives!" Miaka struck what probably was supposed to be a patriotic pose.

"I mean, have you heard things, or have you talked to someone who knows? I only met one of them, the blonde one, I forget her name, she seemed nice..." Ryuen ignored Miaka as he pondered their neighbors from down the road.

"We need to have our own party! On Halloween! With costumes!" Miaka nearly trembled with excitement.

"Maybe we should test and see if they are slutty before deciding to call them that, is all I mean... I could..." Ryuen was still in his own Miaka-less world.

"You know a lot of people, Ry-kun! Do you think we could have our own party set up before them?" Miaka plopped down in his lap so that he couldn't look away.

He wrinkled his nose. "Well, sure, I know a lot of people, but that doesn't mean that I want them in my house. Anyway, Miaka, we can't have a Halloween party to show up the American girls. That would be both rude and tacky! I mean, if the idea is that a costume party on Halloween is dumb..." Miaka slumped down as Ryuen trailed off.

Everyone else perked up, sure that they had been spared.

"Of course, we could have a theme party. That would be cool. And we do have this bitchin' house, it's shocking that we haven't already had a party. Hey! We could have an anime-themed party! Dress up as your favorite anime character!" Ryuen suddenly got very excited, which meant that Miaka was virtually bouncing off the walls.

Kourin looked interested, as did Do-kun. Genrou was paying attention, thinking that a party would mean a lot of alcohol. Myojuan thought that maybe Shouka would consider them hosting a party as being social, and he could stop her from bugging him about 'going out' all the time. Houjun wasn't entirely disinterested.

Taka was sweating. A party, with costumes, was going to cost a lot of money.

Saihitei was nearly having a seizure. They were going to have a party in his house? With Genrou and his friends??

"I could be Sakura! And Taka could be Li!!" Miaka was going into hyperglycemic shock.

"That would be soooo cute! I could help with your costumes!!" Ryuen bounced with Miaka a little bit. "Hm, I wonder who I could go as? I could be Yue, but that costume has way too much fabric, and I'd really have to color my hair to make that work..." That was dismissed with a wiggle of his nose. "Oh! I could be Chihaya! In the anime, he has purple hair! And all I would need is black wings!!"

Taka couldn't help but notice that Ryuen had selected a really simple, and cheap, costume for himself, while he and Miaka were going in for elaborate and expensive costumes...

Kourin giggled, and asked in sotto voice who would be going as Kagetsuya, while looking at Saihitei, which earned her a noogie from her brother.

Ryuen turned his dancing eyes to Saihitei. "What do you think, Sai-san? It is your house. Does a party sound like fun to you?"

Saihitei wanted to say no, that a party sounded destructive and disruptive. But Ryuen looked so excited and happy, and he was asking him so nicely... "Um... I guess. Uh, I could go as that guy from Rurouni Kenshin. He has long hair, right?"

When Ryuen's eyes went black and heated, Saihitei immediately thanked all the gods he could name for the idea of a party.

"Yes! I'll go as Heero Yuy, Perfect Soldier!! This is gonna be awesome!" Genrou shoved a fist in the air.

Ryuen bit his tongue to keep from suggesting that Kouji could then go as Duo Maxwell. It just wasn't in good taste anymore. Dammit.

Taka sighed. Party it was, then...

Saihitei had spent the week cleaning and scotch guarding the furniture. Genrou collected such an impressive display of liquor that he begged Ryuen to take pictures, so that he could remember it forever. Miaka made sure that everyone had costumes, and helped everyone put together their costumes. Do-kun and Myojuan offered to move some stuff down to their basement, where there was plenty of extra room. Houjun helped to put together the music for the party, surprising everyone with his diverse collection of dance and pop cd's.

Ryuen made flyers for the party, passing them out around campus, putting the full weight of his charm behind every invitation.

Everyone worried that there might be too many people showing up to the house.

Still, in just under five days, they had organized what was rumored to be the first really big party of the year.

Miaka was so happy, she nearly overdosed everyone on her enthusiasm.

The day of the party, Ryuen oversaw the decorations, making sure that the place sparkled. Literally. The music was set up, the requisite snacks set out, the kitchen was transformed into a glorious land of alcohol (and two two-liter bottles of pop), and everyone was in costume.

Miaka was adjusting the robes on Taka's Li costume when Ryuen came bouncing down the stairs, doing what to anyone would appear to be an impersonation of Miaka.

Saihitei had to admit, the party was a good idea. At least, as long as it involved a happy Ryuen, dressed in tight leather pants that hugged his hips, a tight t-shirt with sparkling purple wings and halo, and cute little black wings strapped to his back, the party was a good idea.

"Guess what guess what guess what guess what????" Ryuen was jumping and grinning ear to ear. "Yesterday, I ran into some guys from the National Soccer Team, and I told them about the party, and one of the guys called me today, and he's bringing the whole team!! Can you believe it? The National Soccer Team!" Ryuen bent over, putting his elbows on the counter and his face in his hands.

"What the fuck is the big deal? Soccer guys are assholes. Just look at Taka." Genrou quickly ducked Taka's attempt at taking a swing at him. Fortunately, the heavy sleeves of his robes prevented full movement. "What's so great about the fuckin' soccer team showin' up?"

Ryuen gasped, actually gasped. "It's the soccer team, Gen-chan! Hot guys, with thick," he sighed wistfully, "beautiful thighs... And at least a couple of them have to be gay! This is going to be so awesome."

Saihitei deflated. He had hoped that he and Ryuen could spend time together at the party. He wasn't sure how to go about it, but considering how much Ryuen had enjoyed dressing him up for the party, he had hoped for at least a dance, maybe a good conversation. There was still so much ground to make up since that night at the club... And now, instead, he was going to be treated to watching Ryuen chase after hot soccer boys. This party sucked.

No one else seemed to think so, though. The house enjoyed a few drinks together, until everyone started to show up. For the first hour or so, the party was pretty intimate, and everyone was getting a kick out of each other's costumes. Kouji showed up, dressed as Chang Wu Fei, causing him and Genrou to act out scenes from Gundam Wing.

The party began to fill up, and people were beginning to get a little drunk. Saihitei was even having fun with Myojuan, Shouka, and Houjun in the kitchen as the three of them were making up weird drinks for the others to drink.

Over on the other side of the room, Ryuen was dancing with Miaka and Taka, when Ayuru showed up, with a friend in tow. Miaka pulled Ryuen down immediately. "Who is that with Ayuru-san?"

Ryuen looked over to where the tall blonde was dominating. "Oh. That's Ruo Chuin. He's a friend of Ayuru's."

Miaka tried to reign in her anger. "Look, I don't want to make any trouble for you or anything, or to feel like your friends aren't welcome, but that guy... I'm sorry, he just gives me the creeps!"

Ryuen hugged Miaka warmly. "Don't worry about it, Miaka-chan. He's not a friend of mine. I'll get rid of him."

With that, he made his way over to Ayuru, who was very pleased to see him. "Ry-chan... nice costume!"

"Ayuru. What's he doing here?" Ryuen poked a thumb in the direction of Chuin.

Ayuru looked nonplussed. "He followed me. Why?"

"Get rid of him." Ryuen crossed his arms over his chest.

"But... what's the deal? I didn't invite him or anything. I ran into him, and he just followed me! You know how he is... Look, I'll just ignore him, and he'll go away eventually!"

"No. Get rid of him. You know how I feel about him! He's creepy. And besides... he tried to rape Miaka!"

Ayuru rolled his eyes. "That was in the last life! And so did I, as a matter of fact. So did Shun! It was like a pastime in the book universe, or something."

"Well, you never took naked pictures of me and posted them on the internet!" Ryuen narrowed his eyes.

"He took them off, like, the next day! C'mon, how am I supposed to get rid of him? He just follows after me like a puppy!"

"And you know how fond I am of your puppies. If he's following you, then if you leave, then so will he." Ryuen spoke with cold clarity.

"Ryuen! You're kicking me out?!?"

"I don't want him here. Now get rid of him." And Ryuen walked away. Ayuru took a moment to appreciate the leather-clad ass before him, and then turned to Chuin, who had gotten him a drink.

"Hey, Ayuru! They've got a pretty nice spread. Want something to eat? Do you want to dance? Can I do anything for you? Hey, what's wrong? Hey! Let go of my neck! Hey!! Where are we going??"

Ryuen smiled. Chuin was pretty, with nice hair, but the little weasel had no place in his house.

And to make the moment perfect, the soccer team came in, dressed up in their uniforms, short shorts and all. Ryuen had to suppress his drools. He was just about to introduce himself to the two members he had quickly identified as being the ones most likely to be susceptible to his persuasions, when someone pulled at his elbow.

"K-K- Karamorita-sensei! Wh-wh-what... Um, I wasn't expecting to see you here..." Ryuen was at a loss. The soccer team was being greeted by Genrou and Kouji. They were dispersing and mingling. And instead of mingling with him, he was here talking to his professor, who shouldn't be at his party, and who was looking him over like he was a glass of cool water in the middle of the desert.

This was not how things were supposed to go.

His professor smiled, as if nothing were amiss. "Hello, Ryuen-kun. I heard about your party, and thought I would drop by. Do you like my costume?"

Ryuen stared blankly at him for a moment, then shrugged. He was wearing a dress shirt and slacks. "Um, costume?"

Professor Karamorita smiled. "I'm Seishirou from Tokyo Babylon!"

Ryuen continued to stare at him, as if he were trying to sell him a unicorn. "Um, oh, yeah, that looks great. I guess."

The invading professor grinned as if Ryuen weren't subtly trying to get away from him. "So, who are you, then, Ryuen-kun?"

"Oh, I'm Chihaya." Ryuen blushed slightly, feeling embarrassed for some reason. It was probably the way his advisor was staring at his belly button.

"Mm. I think you need a Kagetsuya to complete your outfit." Was his advisor leering at him? Ryuen wanted so badly to just escape... There were cute soccer players, with their thick, beautiful thighs nearby...

"Uh, no, I'm fine. So, um, do you like the party?"

His advisors barely spared a glance at the party. "It looks like fun. Wanna show me around?"

Ryuen swallowed hard, and forced himself to smile and be the good host. He showed off the ground floor, explaining the layout of the rest of the house. He introduced his advisor to housemates and friends as they encountered them. He sipped on the drink that his professor had poured for them, wincing a little. He had tried to say that he didn't really drink that much, but he thought that the drink was still pretty strong. They were in the kitchen, Ryuen trying to come up with small talk and avoid the lecherous looks he was getting from the other man, when the whole world swirled unexpectedly.

Well, though, when does the world ever swirl expectedly?

Oops, then it did it again, and Ryuen found himself leaning against Professor Karamorita, his legs having melted into rubber.

"Oops! Ryuen-kun! Are you all right? You nearly fell over there!" Ryuen felt the arms winding around him like they were in a dream, everything feeling really distant. His mind was wrapped in cotton, his eyes finding trouble focusing.

He started to speak, and became fascinated with the movement of his lips. "Um, hi, prof! I, uh, wow, that musta been some drink..."

Karamorita grinned wickedly. "Some drink. Yes. You know, Ry-chan, you should show me your room. What do you think? You want to show me your room?"

Ryuen worked hard at focusing on the face leaning close to his. He should say no. He should say to get your hands off my ass. He should say that he hadn't invited him to the party and that it was time for the older man to go.

Instead, he grinned senselessly and allowed himself to be carried off.

Everything was so distant, and strange, and fuzzy. He had trouble moving and thinking... What was wrong? It was getting harder and harder to even think that something was wrong...

He collided with something hard and solid. It was like walking into a pleasant-smelling wall. He giggled helplessly.

"Oh! Sorry, Ry-kun! Are you all right?"

Ryuen looked up into pale amber eyes, framed by chocolate hair that fell like silk around an elegantly beautiful face...

Ryuen smiled joyously. Throwing his arms around Saihitei's neck, he clumsily climbed into an embrace. "Sai-chan!" Rubbing himself into the hard body next to him, he pressed his mouth against Saihitei's, pushing his tongue in and writhing sinuously against him, falling into Saihitei so that Saihitei had to wrap his arms around him and lift him up to keep him from falling on his ass.

Finally pulling away, Saihitei looked down at Ryuen worriedly. "Ry-ry-ry-kun! What... what's going on??"

"Mm... you smell so good, Sai-chan. And you have such a pretty neck. I've always thought so, so long and elegant... heh, an imperial neck! The imperial neck of the imperial Hotohori..." Ryuen licked and kissed at Saihitei's neck, freezing him as lava poured though his veins.

Ryuen had called him Hotohori.

"Ryuen... Ryuen... I don't think that you are all right. I think... I think that you need to get some sleep..." Saihitei tried to pull his brain inside his skull. It was impossible. Ryuen had called him Hotohori. He remembered. And he was sucking on his jugular...

"Yes. Yes! Bed. We should go to where there are beds. Yes. You are so smart, Saihitei." Ryuen giggled and slipped his arm down the back of Saihitei's shirt, scratching and tickling at the vertebrae beneath his fingers.

"Excuse me." Saihitei noticed the angry looking man behind Ryuen for the first time. "The young man was with me."

Saihitei narrowed his eyes. This man... he was too old, his eyes were too beady, and the way he talked about Ryuen was too possessive. Saihitei smiled with the fake politeness his parents had taught him. "I'm sorry, but my housemate isn't feeling well. I'm going to take him upstairs to bed. I hope you have a pleasant evening." And with that, he swept Ryuen away from the nasty looking man.

Ryuen giggled and clumsily tried to throw himself into Saihitei's arms. Saihitei was scared. Ryuen was never clumsy. He almost never pulled at the buttons on his shirt and sucked on Saihitei's chest. And he hadn't called him Hotohori since he had died the last time.

Pausing to gather Ryuen in his arms, he carried the other man up the stairs, stumbling every time Ryuen sucked or licked some place particularly enticing. Somehow, he managed to stumble them into Ryuen's room, kicking the door closed behind him with his foot, and dropping Ryuen on the bed as soon as he could.

Unfortunately, Ryuen still had his arms locked behind Saihitei's neck, so he was pulled down on top of Ryuen at the same time. Ryuen giggled, taking Saihitei's face and kissing him hard.

"Ryuen... Ryuen... I think, I think you are drunk..." Saihitei pulled himself up, leaning on his elbows about the other man. Below him, Ryuen was spread out with a goofy grin on his face, his perfect hair spilling over his pillow and his lax body practically begging to be plundered. Saihitei shuddered.

"Oh, Hotohori-sama... You are so beautiful, the most beautiful man in the world..." Ryuen sighed. "Don't you want me? I want you so much. You want me, don't you? I can tell by the way that you look at me, all the time..." Ryuen rolled his hips up, bumping into Saihitei's groin. "Hotohori never wanted Nuriko, barely knew that Nuriko was there... But you want me, don't you? I'm right here, Saihitei. And I'm willing, as always, please..."

Saihitei couldn't stop himself from falling down, taking that sweet, cherry mouth, tasting Ryuen, letting their bodies lie flush against one another, the rolling and rocking friction sparking him, making him hotter then he had ever been.

Saihitei pulled up just as his sanity was slipping away. "No..." His voice was rough and raw. "No, this isn't what I want. I don't want some random drunken fuck. Please Ryuen... you know this isn't right."

But Ryuen just tried to pull Saihitei down on him again.

Saihitei started to get mad, his blood hot and his passions fired, he couldn't help it. Grabbing Ryuen's arms, he pinned the other man's hands above his head, and pushed himself up, staring down at the relaxed beauty with all his anger. "Stop teasing me, dammit!"

Ryuen's vision flickered, fractured, kaleidoscoping between what was there before him, and what had been there years ago. The image spun in shards from being Saihitei to being someone else, someone who had pressed him to the bed and bore down on him with anger, hurting him.

Ryuen shrank. He should be screaming. He should be kicking and screaming, pushing Saihitei off of him, and freeing himself. He knew that's what he should be doing, but he felt so distant, so abstract.

He whimpered.

The door sprung open, and someone yelled out, "Get off of him!"

Ayuru was pissed off. He had spent three hours on the phone with Kaen today, which meant that he had a lot of steam to blow off. Being that his favorite place to blow off steam was between the sheets with his best friend, he had put together a costume and come to the stupid party. He thought he had actually done a pretty good job with the costume too. After all, Zechs Merquise is the hottest man in anime, and so it wasn't much of a stretch for him. It was a little annoying to know that there would be other Gundam boys at the party, but he was sure he would be the best.

Did Ryuen appreciate his efforts? Did he ask about his day? Did he offer to get Ayuru off?

No. He kicked him out. And simply because that pansy Chuin was with him. Like that was his fault!

He liked Chuin. Sort of. It's hard to dislike someone who is so totally subservient to your every whim and desire, even if it is pretty much impossible to respect that person. But it had taken him twenty minutes and a blowjob in an alley to get rid of the nancy-boy!

Now he was finally back at the party, and he wanted sex with Ryuen right away. He felt he was due.

When he did finally find Ryuen amongst the masses though, his day went from bad to worse.

Saihitei was carrying Ryuen upstairs? Ryuen was all over Saihitei?? What the hell...? Ayuru didn't care if Ryuen was going to be furious with him. He went up to follow them. No way was he going to give up his stress relief just because that pampered twit had gotten lucky...

He banged into Ryuen's advisor as he was storming out of the party, which made Ayuru pause. Why was Ryuen's advisor there? Ryuen wouldn't have invited the dirty old coot. Strange... and he seemed really mad...

Ayuru waited long enough to watch Ryuen's advisor storm off in the general direction of campus, before remembering that he had to interrupt something upstairs.

It took a while to make his way to the stairs. There were a lot of people there, and since Ryuen had been in charge of the invitations, for the most part, there were some people that he knew. He also spied some soccer players in the corner, talking with Genrou and Kouji, and his eyebrows shot to his hairline. Ryuen had a definite thing for soccer players. Why would he be upstairs with Saihitei when he could be upstairs with soccer players?

Finally getting up the stairs, he flung open Ryuen's door, figuring the best thing to do would be to make a lot of noise and startle them. He wasn't expecting what he saw.

Saihitei had Ryuen pinned to the mattress, sitting on top of his chest, with Ryuen's arms above his head.

"Get off of him!" Ayuru began to move as soon as he spoke, over to the bed as quickly as he could, flinging Saihitei off as quickly as he could. "That was the position he was raped in!" He spoke to Saihitei, but he was too angry to modulate his tones to be sure that Ryuen didn't hear too.

"Ayuru-chan! Have you come to join us?" Ryuen sounded completely out of himself, his eyes weren't focusing properly, and he had a goofy grin on his face.

Ayuru's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Join you? Of course not! What have you taken? You can't possibly be this drunk yet... Dammit, Ryuen, what did you take?"

He kneeled down so that he could look Ryuen in the eye. Ryuen was still grinning, his arms flopping about like they weren't entirely under his control. "I didn't take anything! Ayuru, you know better than that, I wouldn't do that!"

"You aren't yourself!" Ayuru turned to Saihitei. "What happened here?"

Saihitei shrugged, feeling totally out of his depth. He wanted to leave, really, but he didn't feel very good about leaving Ryuen with Ayuru when he was in this condition, even if Ayuru seemed to be taking care of things. "I... I don't know. I wasn't with him during the party, I just ran into him, and he was... well, like this."

"I didn't take anything, Ayuru, you know I wouldn't! Not since Shun had that overdose, and 'Toku made everyone he met on the street promise to never take drugs... We stopped taking anything and everything, you know that... I didn't even drink much! I just had one drink." Ryuen spoke slowly, like he had to remember how to make his lips and tongue work.

Ayuru was getting a sick feeling in his gut. "One drink? Really?"

"One drink, cross my heart..." Ryuen tried to cross his heart, but he crossed his shoulder instead.

"You poured the drink yourself, you didn't give it to anyone to hold onto?" Ayuru's cold blue eyes bore into Ryuen's senseless brown-rose eyes.

"Karamorita-sensei poured it for me. I think it might have been really strong..." Ryuen trailed off, turning to smile at Saihitei.

Ayuru's hands balled into fists, his nails digging into his palms as he teeth clenched tight enough to shatter his enamel. "That... fucking... bastard..."

Saihitei looked at Ayuru, feeling helpless and a little nervous, now that Nakago seemed to be getting angry. "What is it? What does it mean?"

"Your advisor drugged you Ryuen. He put something in your drink."

Ryuen began to giggle madly. "Karamorita-sensei slipped me a mickey?"

Ayuru barely repressed the urge to slap Ryuen. Grinding his words out between his teeth, "Yes. Saihitei, take care of Ryuen. I have to take care of the advisor."

"Wait!" Saihitei nearly panicked. "What happened? What did he drug him with? Should we take him to the hospital, what should I do?"

Ayuru turned to Saihitei, appearing calm again, all his anger and rage funneled into focus. "Just look out for him, he's really suggestible right now, so don't let anyone take advantage of him. He's been given something that is ten times more powerful than valium, so if you can get him to go to sleep, he should be out for hours. I'll be back." And with that, Ayuru left, not wanting that bastard to get too much of a head start on him.

Saihitei was left alone in bed with Ryuen again. Ryuen stretched out on the mattress, his slim, perfect body arching and angling for attention that Saihitei was all too able to give.

"Mmm, it's just us again. Let's get naked, Sai-chan. Help me out of these pants..." Ryuen's eyes were closed, and Saihitei's heart was pounding. Maybe he was getting sleepy, maybe this wouldn't be so bad... But he couldn't sleep in those pants, could he?

Saihitei played along with Ryuen, slipping the now crushed black wings out from under him, and then pulling his shirt off. Saihitei quickly replaced it with another shirt, the almost always present oversized white oxford. Ryuen whimpered, but didn't protest or hinder Saihitei.

Saihitei was getting a low stomach grumbling, thinking about what might have happened to Ryuen had someone else been in bed with him. Was that creepy old guy Ryuen's advisor? What would he have done had he been successful in getting Ryuen upstairs alone?

Saihitei's hands were shaking violently, but he wasn't paying much attention to the flesh he was uncovering. He pulled the pants off with some difficulty, not being surprised that there wasn't anything under them, considering how tight they were. He kept his eyes on the mattress next to Ryuen's thighs, not looking even when he pulled the loose sweats on. Ryuen was protesting with meek whimpers and moans, but he wasn't resisting. He seemed to be getting tired, which was relieving to Saihitei, but it didn't help the freezing chill that ran through his body.

Someone tried to...

He picked Ryuen up, hugging him close, unable to resist holding him tight for just a moment. Ryuen sighed happily and melted into the embrace. Saihitei clutched at the cloth over Ryuen's back, measuring his breathes carefully so that he wouldn't cry.

He laid Ryuen down, and asked him to stay there quietly. He pulled the covers up, and told him to just lay still for a moment while he got a glass of water. Saihitei didn't know if the water would help, but he knew that it wouldn't hurt.

He helped Ryuen drink the entire glass, and then he let Ryuen rest against the pillow, smoothing the hair away from his face and gently suggesting that sleep was a good idea.

Before too long, Ryuen was lost to the world; in his sleep, his beauty looking more innocent and pure than Saihitei could ever have hoped to gaze upon.

He let Ryuen sleep, sitting by the bed, watching him and occasionally petting the soft, luxurious purple hair away from his face.

He didn't know how long he was sitting there, because he lost all sense of place when with Ryuen, but later Ayuru did come back, slipping in the room and coming to the bed. Saihitei looked up when Ayuru stopped just about a foot behind him, his hand still tracing the line of Ryuen's delicate jaw.

Ayuru looked like he had been running, his hair disheveled and his clothed rumpled.

And spotted with blood.

Saihitei made a small sound of shock, and Ayuru let his gaze drift down to the met his eyes. He smiled that frightening smile, and spoke in his low, dangerous voice. "Don't worry, the blood isn't mine."

Saihitei shivered, wrapping his arms around his waist. "Ryuen's advisor?"

"I made him admit what he had done." Nakago never sounded so cold or cruel. "He had four more pills, which I made him give me. And I... explained to him the error of his ways, and made him see how doing things like this in the future would be detrimental to his health."

Saihitei turned away, disgusted with both Ayuru and himself. "And do you think that's good enough? Shouldn't he be charged with a crime, or something? He could do this again, to someone else..."

Ayuru kneeled down, just behind Saihitei. "He won't ever do this to Ryuen again. And he's going to go home tonight, to his wife and baby boy, and have to explain... where he's been and his condition. Trust me. We don't want to subject Ryuen to the inquiry required if we wanted to press charges. Not again."

Saihitei shivered again, feeling lost. He knew that Ayuru knew Ryuen so much better, through so much more. Ayuru knew how it had been... before. Saihitei hadn't been around then. That left Saihitei feeling flat.

Ayuru watched the younger man with unguarded amusement. "So... you didn't take advantage of the situation yourself, Sai-san? I understand you are a virgin. I'm impressed. That must have taken great self-control not to relieve yourself of that burdensome virginity when such a lush opportunity presented itself to you."

Saihitei stiffened, hating the mocking tone of Ayuru's voice. "I'm so pleased to have earned your respect."

Ayuru laughed that laugh. "Oh, I can't say that I respect your decision. You had the perfect chance here. You were a fool to let it go. He wouldn't have remembered in the morning, you know. You could have clung to the fraying threads of your friendship, and have had him. It's a pity, really, since you aren't likely to get the chance to be with him again. To have his naked flesh pressed against your own, to know the sweet bliss of his passion..."

"Shut. Up." Saihitei hissed and spat out his words. "How dare you mock me! You are supposed to be his closest friend, and you would encourage that I use him like that? Do you really think so little of him that you think that he should just be used for pleasure??"

Ayuru smirked. "But he's very good. You'll have to take my word for it, though, now."

"Get out of my house."

Brittle laughs grated against Saihitei's nerves. "I'm such a threat to you, aren't I? I suppose I always was, but I can't help being the better man. All the breeding in the world, and it falls flat in the face of true grace."

"You? A threat to me? I think not. I don't have to be threatened by your friendship with him. It doesn't have any bearing on my relationship with him. Grace? You wouldn't know it if it was introduced to you at a party. You aren't a threat to me. You are something to be endured. Now get out of my house. You've overstayed your welcome."

Ayuru's smile didn't flag, only hardened. "Well, as long as his room is in your house, I will always be welcome. So you will have to endure me for as long as you can manage to keep him in your life. I trust it won't be too much longer. I'll be back in the morning. Thanks for looking after him."

Saihitei seethed, clutching Ryuen's blanket to keep from putting nail marks in his palm. When it occurred to him that the house was quiet and the danger was past, he slumped into his room and fell into bed.

He didn't sleep.

notesPart OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four • Part Five • Part SixPart SevenPart EightPart NinePart TenPart ElevenPart TwelvePart ThirteenPart FourteenPart FifteenPart SixteenPart SeventeenPart EighteenPart NineteenPart TwentyPart Twenty-OneEpilogue