title: Defined Territory
fandom: Loveless
characters/pairings: Kio/OC, Soubi
rating: G
warnings: soubi's brain
summary: Soubi and Richard discuss what they have in common
notes: "Richard" is a character that bryan invented, and i've played with him in _gamesweplay. Richard is the person that Kio falls in love with after he has 'gotten over' Soubi. Richard is... a photography student from Florida, on an exchange program in Japan. while he is a photography student, many of his projects are mixed media, so he studies different disciplines in fine arts. that's pretty much all you need to know about him, oh, plus, he's an anime/manga fan, so he's been studying Japanese since he was young, and is therefore fairly fluent.

Richard leaned back on his haunches. He was entirely dissatisfied with the work in front of him. In theory, it should have been fairly simple, but simplicity was the hardest thing to achieve in art. Deliberate beauty was hard to capture in brief gestures, and Richard was not precise enough to be skilled at it.

He sighed. Kio would have done a good job of this.

"Mm?" He nearly jumped as long, blonde hair fell on his shoulder. Soubi was bending over, looking at his work. Richard wanted to protest, push Soubi away... Someone who was so casually beautiful all the time really couldn't grasp the struggle of beauty, could he? And yet, it was up to Richard to show kindness to this person that used to be the love of Kio's life. "Ah. I think I see what you were going for. Is it complete?"

"Not by a long shot," Richard retorted quickly. He brushed Soubi's hair away, but it just fell back right where it was. He looked away, annoyed that he had to endure this person's presence.

Confounding Richard further, Soubi sat down next to him, arranging his long limbs to the side, so as not to disturb the canvas. He pulled out a lollipop from his pocket, and opened it up. "It's not bad. But it's clear you aren't satisfied. You'll clutter it, though, if you don't take the time to consider carefully what you need to alter."

"Thanks, I got it," Richard replied as coolly as he could without being outright rude.

Soubi stuck the lollipop in his mouth, and shrugged. "Just being friendly. If you'd rather I left, you have only to say so."

Of course Richard would rather that Soubi leave! How could that even be a question? Richard tried not to huff. "Whatever. It's nothing to me."

Soubi grinned, giving the impression of tiger who'd spied a lame antelope. "In this case, it would be better to say that it is one thing or the other. Otherwise, I have no way to know your preferences."

"Are you so... helpful... with all your classmates?" Richard asked, shifting imperceptibly away from Soubi.

"Am I being helpful?" Soubi asked, sounding a bit surprised. "Well, thank you."

Richard scowled at Soubi. Soubi started to crunch down on the lollipop. Richard flinched.

"I think it needs red. And perhaps, use a sheep hair calligraphy brush, extra large. Make sure it's very wet." Soubi seemed terribly pleased with himself, that he could be 'helpful.'

Richard narrowed his eyes. "Thanks. Where did you get that?" He pointed at the stick in Soubi's mouth.

"Eh?" Soubi pulled out the broken remains of his lollipop. "From Kio's stash."

"That's all right then, to just take from Kio?" Richard snapped. It wasn't that he didn't know where Kio's stash was. He had some pretty good ideas, at least. But he'd never asked. He respected Kio's right to have a stash. And why did Soubi know where this stash was when Richard didn't? "I suppose you are used to getting lollipops from Kio's stash."

"Not really," Soubi rebuffed, a little diffidently. "Kio used to give me the ones he was sucking on. But he hasn't in a while. I suppose I got used to the candy fix."

Richard just stared at Soubi. "Are... are you trying to make me jealous or something? Because I know Kio loves me!"

"Jealous?" Soubi asked, and the idea had clearly never occurred to him. "Why would that make you jealous?"

There were just no words, not in any language. Well, Richard could think of some colorful ones. But. "Your brain doesn't really work the way that a normal brain works, does it?"

Soubi actually looked at Richard, instead of through him. "No, it doesn't." He smiled, appearing genuinely pleased.

Richard just shook his head. "Why did you never love him? I can't believe you had someone who was better to you. Not that I'm complaining, mind you."

"I don't belong to him," Soubi replied matter-of-factly. "Although, since you mention it, I should warn you: if you ever hurt Kio, I will kill you."

Richard blinked. The very natural way in which he said it, like he wasn't saying anything odd at all, sent a shiver down Richard's spine. "You mean, like how you hurt him?"

"Exactly." Soubi beamed. "If you hurt him like that, I will kill you."

"Does that mean you're going to kill yourself?" Richard scowled. He didn't like being threatened, even if it was over something stupid like this. Like he would ever hurt Kio.

"No, I already told you. I don't belong to him," Soubi replied, speaking a bit slower, as if that was why Richard hadn't understood.

"I do?" Richard asked, raising his eyebrow.

"You do," Soubi nodded. "Though it would be more convenient if you had his name on you, as proof." Soubi frowned slightly, looking Richard over, clearly not approving of Richard's lack of labeling.

Richard just shook his head. Damn it all if there wasn't some sort of obtuse charm about the man, even when he was being incredibly obnoxious. "Well, that's a two-way street, you know. He belongs to me, now." He pulled the remains of the lollipop out of Soubi's mouth, and started to suck on it. "Which means I won't let anyone hurt him, either. I mean, I may not be a murderer or anything, but still. He's my love. I won't let you hurt him anymore."

Soubi looked Richard in the eye, and slowly, he began to smile. "That's not bad. No, really. Especially with no training... you wouldn't be half bad as a fighter." He stood up, and brushed his hands over his pants. "One minute, I'll get you the brush you need."

Richard watched Soubi walk off, dumbfounded. Fighter?

Richard would start to doubt Kio's taste in men, but that was an ego-deflating line of thought.