title: pale wings
fandom: Loveless
characters/pairings: Kio/Soubi
rating: G/teen
warnings: soubi's life
summary: there's no one Soubi trusts like he trusts Kio, and no one Kio loves like he loves Soubi.
notes: for the Stages of Love challenge. at first, i was going to do this as an AU where... they could really be together. but then i thought about it, and i realized that, while not... not at all, yanno, reciprocated or even, it's a beautiful relationship in canon, the way that Soubi trusts Kio, and the way that Kio gives his love to Soubi. so, this is set pre-manga/anime. ^_~




attraction




He didn't give Kio his phone number; Kio 'borrowed' his phone, took Soubi's number, and programmed his own in the phone's memory. Soubi changed the name in the directory, but he didn't delete it. If Seimei saw it, though, it would be trouble.

He should have deleted it, but he didn't.

He never invited Kio to his apartment, but Kio followed him home one night. Kio made him buy beer on the way home, and he kept promising to cook, but Soubi was always very particular about what he could eat, and he ended up cooking. Soubi worried about what would happen if Seimei called, but he didn't, so it was all right.

Kio got a bit drunk, and asked Soubi if he had 'anyone,' and if he didn't, could he maybe fall in love with another man.

Soubi told Kio that he had Seimei.

Kio avoided Soubi at school for a few days. Soubi watched him from the corner of the studio, the way that Kio pretended to smile for everyone. It was odd, because Kio had nothing to do with Seimei, and Seimei certainly wouldn't approve of Soubi having anything as useless as a friend, but seeing that false smile made Soubi's chest ache.

He went over to Kio, and kneeled down next to his painting. Quite certainly, Kio was a far more talented artist than Soubi was. He watched Kio work, watched his brush move over the canvas.

"Can you teach me how you mix color like that?" he asked, pointing to the shimmering, nearly translucent shade Kio used for the veil in his portrait.

Kio looked at Soubi, so Soubi looked up, meeting Kio's gaze evenly. Slowly, Kio smiled, but it wasn't the sort that made Soubi's chest feel vacant. "Anything for you, Sou-chan."

Soubi blinked. No one had ever called him by a nickname before. Very slowly, he smiled for Kio.




romance




He turned over, unsure of what it was that jarred his sleep. He picked up his phone staring at it blankly for a moment, surprised that it was making noise.

"H-hello?"

"...Kio."

"Sou-chan?" He swung his legs out of bed, but his head was still foggy. He peered around, looking for his clock. He didn't have his glasses on, but it was after four. "Why are you calling me so late? What's going on?"

"...Sorry."

"Sou-chan, you're worrying me now. What's going on? Are you ok?"

"No."

He jumped out of bed. "Where are you?" He grabbed his watch; he needed pants, a shirt...

Soubi sighed. "Will you come for me, Kio?"

"Always," Kio replied firmly, hopping on one leg as he put his pants on.

"...Why?"

"Because. You know why." His cheeks turned red. He grabbed a button down shirt, so he could slip it on while keeping the phone to his ear. He grabbed his wallet and keys, shoved his shoes on as he got to the door, and sprinted down the steps.

"Do I? Sorry."

"Sou-chan, you're not normal. Tell me where you are."

He was too worried to care about the amused tone to Soubi's voice. Too worried to be too concerned with the fact that he forgot a jacket, or that he was running through some not so great neighborhoods at four in the morning.

When he found Soubi, he dropped his phone. He stared, just... He'd never seen so much blood. "S-Sou-chan... what... what happened to you?"

Soubi closed his phone, trying to sit up. "My fault. Didn't follow orders. Should have. But they were so young, I didn't want to..."

Kio's eyes widened, and his heart hammered in his chest. He thought he might vomit. "Didn't... didn't... do you mean... Did... Seimei..."

"Kio." Soubi looked up at him, even though he could barely keep his eyes opened. "Thank you... for coming. I'm sorry... to bother you."

"Bother me... Sou-chan..." Kio knelt down next to Soubi, and pulled him into his arms. He just... had to ignore... the blood, and... just forget what Soubi said, first things first, first thing was getting Soubi better. "Told you already. Anything for you." He lifted Soubi's chin, kissing his lips quickly, just...

Fuck it! Someone should love Soubi!

Soubi blinked, and stared at Kio, confusion coloring every part of his expression. "Kio?"

"It's ok," Kio soothed, discreetly checking Soubi's wounds. It seemed that a lot of this wasn't his blood... "You don't need to worry. I'll take care of you now. So just relax."

"Ok," Soubi nodded, and put his head down on Kio's shoulder.

What a strange first date this was, Kio thought, as he helped Soubi to his feet.




passion




Someone was scratching the door. Of course, it was Soubi. Who else?

"Sou-chan. What are you doing here?"

"Kio. I had too much to drink," Soubi hiccupped, and laughed. He stumbled, falling on Kio.

Kio sighed. "I can tell, Sou-chan. Where were you? What did you do?"

"Seimei... wanted me to buy him beer, but then he didn't like it, so he made me drink it all. But he didn't want me to wake up his cute little brother, so he threw me out." Soubi grabbed at Kio, his hands climbing up Kio's body.

This was cruel.

"Kio." Soubi scooted up, pressing his face to Kio's neck. "'Msorry. Hate being alone sometimes..."

"I know what you mean, Sou-chan," Kio sighed heavily. "I hate being alone all the time."

Soubi's hand was on his chest. "Why are you alone, then?"

Kio brushed Soubi's hair back. "Because I'm not with you, Sou-chan."

"Eh?" Soubi looked up, confused. "I'm right here."

"Are you?" Kio couldn't take his fingers out of Soubi's hair. Couldn't resist letting his hand smooth over Soubi's back. It was Soubi's cruelty, after all. "You've left the most important part of you with Seimei."

Soubi furrowed his brow. "Which part?"

Kio chuckled. He let his fingers play over Soubi's chest. Over his heart. "This part, Sou-chan. This part."

Soubi's brow only got more wrinkled.

"And what about these parts?" Kio laughed, mussing up Soubi's hair. "I bet you looked really cute with ears, before Seimei took them."

Soubi's expression sobered. Kio had never seen his eyes like this. "Seimei doesn't have those. They were taken from me. Seimei still has his ears. He won't let me have them, because I'm filthy."

Kio's eyes widened, his lips parting. What... what the hell? "That's... you aren't filthy! What the hell kind of nonsense is that? Your ears were taken? That's not your fault! Soubi! I'd give you my ears, if you wanted them!"

"Eh?" Soubi blinked. His hand came up slowly, and touched Kio's cat ear. "This? You'd give me this?"

"In a heartbeat," Kio sighed. He was panting. His heart was pounding. He was getting hard, really... really hard, but... Soubi was looking at him, and his eyes were so beautiful, shaded with desire. "Didn't you know that?"

Soubi leaned forward, and touched Kio's lips with his own. And damn, if Soubi was doing that on his own... Kio grabbed his head, and kissed him, as fucking hard as he could.

"But I'm..." Soubi protested, and Kio pushed him down to the floor.

"What are you, Sou-chan? Because what I see, I see someone who's completely beautiful."

Soubi shook his head, his lip, wet from the kiss, trembling. "I'm not..."

"I want to give you my ears," Kio insisted, his fingers digging into Soubi's shoulders. "Will you accept them?"

Soubi stared up into Kio's eyes, and then his arms came up, and circled around Kio. "Thank you."

Kio didn't have time to smile. He was busy making Soubi feel beautiful.




intimacy




Absently, Soubi's fingers brushed Kio's hair back. Kio wasn't sure why Soubi was letting him rest his head on Soubi's lap, but it was nice. Especially if Soubi was being affectionate.

"Sou-chan. When are you going to work on your painting?"

Soubi just took a long drag from his cigarette. He'd only started smoking, but he seemed to be taking to it. Kio would have sworn that Soubi didn't like cigarettes just a few weeks ago, but now, he was a smoker.

"In a bit," Soubi sighed. His phone trilled, that annoying, can't be ignored sound that it made especially for Seimei.

They'd been trading text messages all night. Kio had stayed late in the studio just because Soubi was late. He was the furthest behind in class on his assignment, but he still spent all afternoon with Seimei. His canvas was laid out in front of them, but Soubi had barely uncapped his paints when the phone started ringing. Kio would love to sit up and read what Seimei wrote to Soubi. He'd love to see what Soubi was writing to Seimei.

He turned over, and reached up, touching the bandages on Soubi's neck. "Why don't you ever take these off?"

Soubi looked at Kio for a moment, and then he closed his phone. "I take them off sometimes."

Kio had never seen Soubi's neck uncovered. "Take them off now."

"Why?" Soubi asked. Kio couldn't read his expression, couldn't tell if Soubi was playing with him, or if he was really curious. Couldn't tell if Soubi was considering it or not.

"Because I want all of you," Kio replied simply; honesty was easiest.

Soubi touched Kio's face gently, and then closed his eyes. "I have nothing that is mine to give," he shrugged, and pushed Kio's hand out of the way so he could unwrap the bandage.

Kio sat up, holding his breath. He couldn't have said what he had been expecting, but he wasn't expecting this. He put his fingers on the letters, fascinated. His mouth was slightly open, his tongue slipping out to touch his lips. It was... it wasn't scar tissue. It wasn't... a burn. "What is it?" He traced the letters. Beloved. Kio knew just enough English to recognize the root in that word.

Soubi smiled bitterly. "It's fate."

"Oh?" Kio frowned. Somehow... he had a feeling that it was a cage, each mark a bar that kept Soubi out of his reach. "I don't like fate."

"Who does?" Soubi's phone rang again.

Kio put his hand over Soubi's, and kissed him, parting his lips. "Character is fate, Sou-chan." Soubi blinked, and Kio smiled. He slid back down, and put his head on Soubi's leg again. "Don't forget your painting, Sou-chan."

Soubi's free hand came to touch Kio's throat, his thumb tracing Kio's lips. "I won't. Kio. Thank you."

"Don't have to say that to a friend, Sou-chan," Kio softly murmured, but Soubi was busy writing to Seimei.




commitment




It was wrong to be elated over someone's death, anyone's death. It was wrong, and Kio swore he'd go to the temple and say some prayers or something like that, but he couldn't stop grinning.

He ran all the way over to Soubi's apartment, wearing himself out on purpose. After all, he couldn't smile in front of Soubi. But the joy of just running made the burning in his legs feel good, his fingers clutched around the newspaper as if it were a baton.

Soubi wouldn't be happy, but... he would be free, right?

He took the stairs up to Soubi's door three at a time, finally exhausting himself to the point where he couldn't even smile that brightly. Just. He had to be careful. Soubi would be grieving.

"Sou-chan?" he knocked on the door. Soubi would be here, right? "Sou-chan! I read it in the paper. It's... awful. Sou-chan! Let me in!"

The apartment was dark, and as quiet as a tomb. Fortunately, though, Kio had made a copy of Soubi's key. He opened the door, and toed his shoes off, locking the door behind him.

For a second, he just scanned the apartment, looking for any signs of life at all, his heart thudding painfully with fear at the thought that there were none, and never would be again. Once his eyes had adjusted to the light, though, he saw him, lying on top of the bed, fully clothed. "Sou-chan! Why don't you answer a person when they call for you?" He shook his head, and went to Soubi's side.

Soubi was breathing, but Kio had to check to be sure. He was lying completely still, staring lifelessly off into space. "Sou-chan." His heart twisted painfully. Soubi... was really hurting. "Sou-chan... oh, Sou-chan. I read about it. I'm so sorry." He knelt down, and pushed Soubi's gorgeous hair behind his ear.

Soubi's eyes flicked up, and met his for a second. "I'm alone now."

Kio's stomach turned at the sound of Soubi's voice. He pushed Soubi back, and slipped onto the bed with him, wrapping his arms around Soubi.

"No, you're not, and I swear to you, Soubi, you never will be." Though, even saying it, he knew he wasn't the person that Soubi wanted to hear that promise from. He kissed Soubi's forehead, though, and wrapped his arms tightly around Soubi.

After all, Seimei was dead.

Soubi did scoot over, and put his head on Kio's chest. He let Kio hold him, and he let Kio touch him.

He could take some sick comfort in knowing that Soubi would always be grieving for Seimei, and therefore he would always need Kio to comfort him.








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