Disclaimer: X and associated characters belong to CLAMP ect. ect. You
get the deal. All original characters herein belong to me ect. ect.
Timeline: I'm trying to set this after the 10th manga. So spoiler up
to there may and can apply.
Subaru cursed to himself as he finally caught sight of the slim
figure on the ground. He had felt the weakening of Kamui's aura
throughout the day but had brushed it off to being distracted by his
own personal hunt. He could feel no battle signatures, nothing that
would give rise to alarm. And so he had been completely and utterly
shocked when he felt the boy's aura wink out just as the rain began.
With nothing to go upon, he'd had to search for the boy by hand and
He cursed again, this time directed at his own idiocy as he felt the
boy's neck for a pulse, his other senses searching for any signs of
life as well. The unnaturally pale skin beneath his fingers was like
ice to the touch, and he felt a sense of nothingness within. But no,
it felt more like a barrier of nothing than true emptiness. Not dead,
Subaru gathered the boy's thin frame within his arms. He had to get
Kamui out of the rain, he could figure out how to deal with the rest
Hinoto stared around herself in growing confusion. There was nothing
in the dreamscape not touched by the unending rain. It blocked her
from other's dreams as well as from the future with its torrent. In
all her life she had never experienced such a thing, and yet it was.
But why? And how?
What could possibly bring about such a disaster here of all places?
She whirled around, something odd catching on the very tip end of her
awareness, only to see the last fading edges of... an umbrella?
Karen sighed in contentment as she leaned back into the comfyness of
the couch, a small indulgent smile quirking her lips. She had to
admit, the Imonoyama mansion was a great place to relax and wind down
from the day. Maybe she'd stay the night, the rain certainly didn't
look like it was going to stop anytime soon.
Besides, it was rather amusing watching the other Seals' antics. She
did get quite a bit of enjoyment from watching Sorata and Arashi.
They were always amusing. And she got to see Kamui and sometimes even
the elusive Sumeragi-san not to mention Aoki-san. She wondered if...
"What the hell happened?!?" She was abruptly ripped from her
contemplation by Sorata's outburst. She jumped up from the couch and
darted out into the hallway. Sorata stood in the middle of the
hallway fretting over a very waterlogged Sumeragi-san and... Was that
Kamui? Yes, it was Kamui sheltered within Sumeragi-san's grasp. What
could have possibly happened to them?
Karen absently noted the worried Yuzuriha and the silent Arashi who
stood off to the side of the little drama. A soft touch on his
shoulder was enough to quiet Sorata for the moment as Karen came up
behind him. She brushed wet bangs out of the way as she felt Kamui's
forehead. It felt like ice. A quick check showed that Sumeragi-san
wasn't much better off.
She noted the barest hint of a blush on Sumeragi-san's cheeks as she
turned towards Yuzuriha. Hmm, that was something interesting to
ponder at a later date. "Yuzu-chan, would you go fetch a clean set of
clothes for both Kamui AND Sumeragi-san? Arashi-san, would you mind
She turned back to the drenched pair after a squeaked "H-hai." from
Yuzuriha and a slight nod from Arashi. Sorata looked on in
bewilderment as she hustled Subaru and his precious bundle towards
the bathroom. "We need to get you both out of those wet clothes and
into a nice hot bath."
After pushing Subaru through, Karen began to close the bathroom door,
then caught herself and looked up at Sorata, "Would you mind bringing
in the fresh clothes that Yuzu-chan and Arashi-san are getting?" She
winked then, a playful grin crossing her lips, "You know how girls
are around naked men."
Her grin widened at Sorata's "Sure thing." answer as she closed the
door behind her, turning her full attention to the duo within. Subaru
had dropped his burden off against the bathtub rim and was already
attempting to unbutton Kamui's school uniform. The cold was obviously
affecting him by the shivers that ran through his fingers, slowing
down his progress.
She tsked as she reached down and turned the hot water on. It took a
few moments for the water to heat up, when it did she plugged up the
tub and turned to help Subaru with what was turning out to be a
daunting task for him. Pushing his shaking hands away, she smiled at
him, "I can handle this Sumeragi-san, you should go ahead and get out
of those wet clothes of yours. You must be freezing."
An extremely distracted "Ahh," was the only indication that he had
actually heard her. His attention seemed solely focused on Kamui. A
faint look of concern had replaced the usual empty reflection of his
emerald green eyes. A lovely, if rare, occurrence. Karen wondered
briefly just how few people had actually seen anything of the sort in
his gaze before. Not very many at all judging by her scant knowledge
of the young man.
His attention finally left the boy as he gracefully stood up and
began struggling out of his waterlogged coat. A slight voyeuristic
smile tugged at the edge of her lips as she kept one eye on Kamui,
even now being divested of his uniform's black jacket, and one eye on
Subaru as he shrugged out of his coat at last and began to pull off
the white turtleneck beneath.
Karen muffled a soft sound of disappointment when Subaru stopped in
mid-pull. His emerald eyes, cold and reflective once more, turned
their silent regard towards the bathroom door.
A click of the knob and a slight female giggle herald Sorata as he
slipped in through the partially open door, shooting a half leer at
whoever was outside which was instantly followed by yet another
giggle. It must have been Yuzuriha, Karen couldn't really envision
Arashi giggling, or laughing for that matter. He twirled around
cheerfully, kicking the door closed with one foot and holding a
bundle of clothes before him as if they were an offering to the gods.
"Here we go, a clean pair of clothes for Sumeragi-san and Kamui-chan.
Do you want me to..." He trailed off as he finally saw the three
Dragons within. A rosy pink blush painted his cheeks as he looked
over at Karen, who was by now pulling off Kamui's white undershirt.
His eyes darted over to Subaru and his cheeks darkened a hue further
to red. Subaru stood there, his sweater nearly pulled up off of his
chest, giving Sorata a close approximation of a death glare.
Karen smiled sweetly in reassurance when Sorata shot her a pleading
'save me' look. She rose, abandoning her task for the moment. Taking
the proffered bundle of clothes from the sweating monk, she
suggested, "Everything's fine Sora-chan. You'd be better served out
there keeping Yuzu-chan and Arashi-san's spirits up, ne?" Sorata
nodded emphatically in agreement, somewhat wild-eyed as he slipped
back out the bathroom door.
An amused chuckle died in her throat as she turned back to the wet
pair within, a rosy blush painting her own cheeks. Sumeragi-san is an
awfully lovely man, she thought. He knelt next to Kamui, bare of
chest. Having divested himself of his sweater somewhere in the time
she had taken to 'save' Sorata.
He turned his attention towards her for a moment, a somewhat
unnatural indifference in his emerald eyes. "I'll take care of the
rest," a dismissal if ever she'd heard one.
"Are you su-"
"Yes," his answer, cutting her off even before she could finish.
She chewed on one of her nails and frowned in confusion. Then as if a
light had gone off, she really looked at them. Both wet and half in
and half out of clothes. Of course, silly of her not to notice. She
turned to leave, then hesitated, "I'll be outside with the others.
Just give a shout if you *need* anything." A wink followed as she
opened the door and began to slip out. "Modest men are so cute," she
murmured as she closed the door behind her.
Subaru sighed in relief, burying his face is Kamui's shoulder as that
woman finally left. He sighed again, relaxing his control and
allowing the furious blush he'd been fighting to rise to the surface.
He wasn't sure which was worse, the Kansai boy's blushing regard or
that woman's appraising look. It was enough to make him scream in
anger, frustration... or worse.
He briefly wondered if Seishirou-san was watching as he knew the man
was wont to do. That would just make it perfect. He groaned, he could
just imagine Seishirou-san chortling away at his discomfort. It would
be like him to enjoy this. Damn the man!
Something faintly brushed up against his senses, intruding in his
mind and interrupting his flow of thoughts. A vision of rain falling
upon an endless mirror-like expanse of water. Someone... out there
standing on the water, holding a black umbrella to protect them from
the cold, cold rain. He could almost see, but then the vision was
gone, leaving him with a feeling of emptiness.
'What was that?'
Could it have been..? He pulled himself up from Kamui, studying the
boy's pale features. Could it have been Kamui reaching out from
behind whatever trapped him within? It hadn't felt like the boy. But
then again, who really knew what the boy could do?
He frowned in concentration, stretching his senses to feel along and
prod against the surface of nothingness that wrapped itself around
the boy. His fingers moved of their own accord, removing the rest of
Kamui's wet clothes. He continued his exploration of the barrier as
he removed his own clothes, doing his best to keep his mind from just
exactly what he was doing.
Getting into a hot bath, naked, with Kamui, who was also naked. Were
he not distracting himself with something else he'd probably die of
bloodloss from the nosebleed he just knew he'd acquire.
Kamui was after all a very, very, *VERY* lovely boy and quite
pleasing on the eye among other things.
Subaru grimaced at the ghostly laughter he most assuredly heard. If
Seishirou-san hadn't been watching before, surely he was now. And
laughing his ass off at Subaru predicament most likely.
Subaru sighed dramatically. His existence was cursed. That was the
only possible explanation.
"Oh no, Subaru-kuuuun," Seishirou purred, "Not cursed. Just highly
amusing for the rest of us." Seishirou smirked at the scene playing
out in his mind's eye. How Subaru managed to get himself into these
predicaments so frequently was beyond him. But damn, it was hilarious
watching the Sumeragi suffer slowly through each and every single
He briefly debated barging in on Subaru's cute little scene, but
decided against it. As much fun as riling Subaru was, he just wasn't
in the mood to play with the other Seals today. Still, it was a
lovely sight to behold. Subaru's bare skin next to Kamui's, who was
almost as lovely as the former. There's a thought. Having those two
together, for his own, would certainly be... interesting at the very
It was something to think on, and perhaps plan ahead for. It was
certainly a more pleasant train of thought than the usual plotting
for the destruction of a kekkai or the movements of the chess pieces
the Dragons of Earth were. Besides, it would be wonderful fun to
seduce Kamui. The boy was terribly rude and quick tempered, but that
would make it that much more interesting. Yes, very desirable.
He was decided.
Now, he just had to wait for the boy to wake up. A worrisome thought
which brought him back to the troubling curiosity that had him
'spying' on Subaru today in the first place.
Kamui's aura was nonexistent. A startling occurrence for someone who
wasn't dead. The thought of Kamui being sick was ludicrous. But
asides from that what in the world could harm the boy so? None of the
others had attacked him, Seishirou would have felt that at the very
least. No, one minute the boy had been blanketing most of Tokyo with
his aura, the next it had winked out as if it had never existed.
Seishirou frowned slightly, sending out a minuscule probe through his
connection to Subaru. It was small enough that Subaru wouldn't notice
unless he was looking for it and yet it should be enough to give him
some idea as to what was ailing the young Dragon of Heaven.
He drew back in surprise as he felt... nothing. No, it wasn't exactly
nothing. Seishirou reached forth with the probe, it was more like
something that appeared to be nothing. How odd, he couldn't remember
ever encountering something like this before. It was unsettling.
It was then, as he was pondering this new discovery, that the world
seemed to unhinge itself. The maboroshi darkness came without his
calling or want of it, blotting out his apartment with its inky
depths. "What the-"
It began to rain, here in the dark, as he whirled around. Seeking the
edges of the illusion, intent on breaking it and finding... nothing.
Simply nothing as if the illusion truly did not exist at all. How was
He turned back around, his ears picking up the odd sound of rain
hitting something other than the nonexistent ground. A girl stood
there, holding a black umbrella against the rain. She looked to be of
teenage years, dressed in the usual high school fuku. Her raven black
hair fell wildly to her waist, seeming to glow with its own
luminescence. Violet eyes glittered as they blinked at him curiously.
She tilted her head to the side for a moment. And then, vanished.
Taking the illusion with her as if neither had existed.
Now that was curious.
Those eyes were very familiar, once he thought about it. And they
proved to be a mystery in and of themselves. Well, this certainly
would take care of some of the boredom. And what a wonderful game it
Briefly, Seishirou wondered if any of Seals would realize what was
going on. No, he doubted it. It would have to literally be spelled
out for them as well as for the Dragons of Earth. What a splendid
occurrence. And already, he was ahead.
Subaru sighed heavily and closed his eyes as he leaned back against
his bedroom door. The bath had been an excruciating exercise in
control. It also glaringly showed that he needed to work on his
ability to distract himself. Kamui was a horribly lovely boy. But
Kamui was just a child and he really shouldn't be thinking along
those lines. He had his hunt, that should be enough. But obviously it
wasn't. He truly must be cursed. It was the only explanation that
made even a modicum of sense.
Of course, it hadn't ended there. Oh no, it couldn't be that simple.
He'd actually managed to survive the bath intact only to face the
other Seals and have to try to explain to them what had happened. And
he still didn't *know* what had happened. And of course, he hadn't
gotten anywhere with that gods-be-damned barrier. What a hell of a
Oh well. He pushed away from the door, more than ready to go to bed
and kiss this day goodbye. Only to discover, as he opened his eyes,
that the fates weren't done playing with him just yet.
Lounging carelessly on *his* bed in skimpier than usual lingerie, if
that were possible, was Karen Kasumi. Her smile bordered on something
that screamed 'I want to eat you'. Wonderful, now how to get rid of
her. Amazingly, he didn't even have to think about what she wanted.
It was too damn obvious.
"Sumeragi-san," Karen purred as she stood up and sauntered around the
bed, "You've been awfully tense today. Would you like some help
relaxing?" She reached up as if to touch his face, stopping short.
She smiled, waiting for an answer to allow her to continue.
Subaru coughed politely and shook his head, "No... thank you."
"Well, in that case," She closed the distance between them, pressing
her body up against his and draping her arms over his shoulders, "My
invitation is always open. Or if you'd prefer, I'm sure Sorata
wouldn't mind helping you *relax*. As for Kamui," She frowned
slightly tracing his earlobe lightly with a fingernail, "Be careful.
He really is very sweet, but so easy to hurt. I'd be very upset if he
were hurt in some manner. But, I trust you'll think before you leap
Subaru-san." She smiled sweetly, planting a chaste kiss on his lips
before leaving the room.
Subaru groaned, leaned back against the door and slowly slid down to
the floor. Was he that transparent? Or somehow, someway, maybe she
was related to Seishirou-san. They both obviously knew more about
himself than he did. How galling, now there were two people finding
vast amusement at his expense. Surely the gods hated him.
Nokoru sighed expansively as he filed away yet another paper.
Paperwork, it never stopped no matter what he did. And he could never
seem to escape it for long. And even if he did manage to get away, it
would just build up to massive proportions in his absence. And of
course, the Dragons of Heaven only seemed to add to it, mainly
insurance paperwork. They were awfully destructive at times. Oh well,
they were fighting for the fate of the world. They deserved at least
*some* considerations for their efforts. And beside, they were pretty
nice once you got to know them.
He grumbled half-heartedly as the phone rang. It probably was some
new *emergency* he had to make a decision for. He picked up the
receiver and placed it in the crook of his neck while he stacked some
more papers off to the side.
"Hai," he was too tired for other pleasantries.
"Of course it's me. What is it?"
"You're not serious?!?"
"Alright, I'll check."
Nokoru turned to his computer, swiftly dialing up the feed for one of
the myriad security cameras scattered throughout the campus. His
fingers drummed against the arm of the chair as he waited impatiently
for the computer to hook up. His eyes widened in shock and his face
drained of color as the picture came up at last.
The shinken was missing.