Having Yuki be so kind worded was strange even after they had been doing this thing with each other for the past couple of days. He [i almost] wanted to admit to himself that he actually enjoyed this interaction with the other but he knew it was bound to be short lived no matter what anyone else thought. No matter if... Yuki wanted it too.
[#d89104 “Look Yuke, I would have gotten in the way of that teacup and confronted Akito even if you didn’t feel that way about me- whether you wanted it or not. Everyone is below God but no one is above punishment.”] He wondered if that made sense. Pain was just a path. With Kazuma, he learned that pain made him stronger. With Yuki, he learned that pain meant conviction. WIth Akito, it meant justice. Maybe his mindset was wrong... Maybe he shouldn’t run into pain head first... Like Yuki advised...
[#d89104 “Why?”] Kyo said, his orange eyes raising up to look at the rat fully. [#d89104 “Why aren’t you going back to how you used to be? When you looked at me and saw the ‘[i stupid cat]’? Why do you even want to be here for me?”]
Yuki continued to watch the cat, listening as he remained in his withdrawn position. He couldn't understand why but he didn't want Kyou to feel this way. The two never got along before this point, Yuki should be allowing the cat to do whatever he pleased while the two hurled insults and punches at each other. But he didn't want to.
[+purple "Giving Akito that satisfaction wasn't something I wanted,"] Yuki answered quietly. 'Hate' wasn't a feeling the rat would use to describe their relationship at this current point, anyway. He wouldn't say the two were friends but a lot of that negativity just wasn't there at the moment. [+purple "Admitting that would only hurt you physically and myself emotionally. I still appreciate what you did for me and I'll never forget it."]
Yuki ran his hand through his hair, letting out a near-inaudible sigh as the cat tried to end this conversation. It seemed he wasn't in the mood for it, which he could understand. But at least he was home and safe for now. He slowly rose to his feet after a moment, lightly folding his arms over his petite chest.
[+purple "No matter what would have been said or done, Akito would have found something to hold over my head. Please, promise me that you won't go back there, not without me. I...I don't want to see you hurt like that again."]
Kyo shook his head. What was he talking about? Beating him was all Yuki ever did. Why would it be any different if Akito did it? And, of course, his interruption at the dinner was entirely his fault. They wouldn’t have angered the God if weren’t his instinct to protect-
[#d89104 “Look, it was my fault Akito is more angry at you then usual all because you wouldn’t say you hated me. You should have agreed with him then he wouldn’t have thrown that stupid tea cup and we wouldn’t have needed to go back. Then he wouldn’t have hurt you. No one needs to protect the cat. No one ever has or will.”] The words hurt to say but they were the truth. He wished Yuki would understand that and go back to hating him as he always had. This... kindness to him was not deserved. Why did he even try?
[#d89104 “I went there so he could go back to hating me more than you. I can’t have-”] He stopped, suddenly aware that he was becoming too personable. He shouldn't be telling him all this. He didn’t care. No one benefits from hearing what's on his mind without getting into more trouble... like Akito said. [#d89104 “Just forget it.”] He hated this.
Yuki's head tilted faintly with Kyou's words, the bright eyes narrowing a bit in question. Trying to make things right? What things? The only thing he could think of was the dinner the other night and how Akito continued to brood over it way longer than he should've. Was that what Kyou was talking about? Also, why was he so worried about fixing things when it came to Akito and them? Neither one of them could stand the male but it wasn't Kyou's battle to fight. Not on his own.
The cat's form remained in his tight ball, occasionally trying to make himself smaller, and the moments of silence between them didn't seem to help it any. Yuki had rarely seen his cousin like this, normally he was so focused on proving himself around the rat that he never would have allowed anyone to see him so vulnerable. So small. It was a position Yuki had been in hundreds of times in his life and he hated seeing someone else reduced to it.
[+purple "I could never live with myself if I let you take the brunt of any of Akito's punishments for my sake,"] Yuki answered quietly after a long moment of silence. As much as the two of them argued and seemed to hate each other's existence, he never wanted Kyou to suffer the God's wrath on his behalf. [+purple "You don't have to fix things or try to make things right, Kyou. It's not your responsibility."]
Time felt long and eventually he did hear sounds of Shigure’s rustling downstairs but the dog never came up. It’s not like they were close. It’s not like Shigure actually wanted him here in the first place. He had a slight idea that he was only here in favor of Kazuma, to try to move him closer to a different school then the all boys one near him. He should have listened. He should have stayed.
Always screwing things up. He couldn’t think straight- or normally, that’s what got him into trouble. The cat spirit it just hot headed, full of anger. It was something that he just had trouble controlling and no amount of training could cure that. [i I hate this. I hate everything.]
There was a creak in the hall and slowly his door opened. The teen didn’t move, anticipating that it was Shigure checking to see if the problematic cat was still here, but it wasn’t. The silver haired male poked his head into the room, looking quite exasperated. Still he didn’t say anything, stunned by the mere fact that the rat was even here... looking for him.
Eventually, Yuki spotted him in his corner near the shadow of the window, folding up tighter into himself as his cousin knelt in front of him. Kyo could see every detail on the other. His cheeks were flushed, like he had been in a hurry, and his breath was ragged. His hair mangled in different directions and those intimidating purple eyes were... soft.
Kyo was almost unnerved by the quiet words he spoke. Yuki should be angry with him for causing him more pain rather than preventing it all together. He should be angry that he lied instead of confiding the truth.
[#d89104 “Yuki,”] he said, finding his voice after a moment, [#d89104 “You don’t have to be scared for me. I can take care of myself. If Akito wanted to take it out on someone, you should have let him do it to me. I can handle it. You can’t.”] He gripped his knees tighter. [#d89104 “I was trying to make things right without you there.”] [i No one needs to suffer more.]
Yuki tried to keep his focus off of the doctor as he took his treatment but there wasn't much else to keep him occupied. Hatori had already taken care of Akito and calmed him down, having returned not long ago and was busy speaking to someone on the phone. He imagined it to be Shigure, keeping him updated as to what stupid antics his charges were up to now and how they both had angered the God. If Yuki had to guess, the dog would either be on his way to the main house or waiting to lay into him when he got home. There was no way Shigure would allow the rat to slink back into the shared home without making some sort of comment or giving a miniature lecture.
He rested his head against the wall while he continued to watch Hatori at his desk while his thoughts continued to drift. The most troubling thing to Yuki about this entire ordeal wasn't that he was hooked up to a breathing machine or even Akito's anger but the fact that he had no idea where Kyou had run off to or what he was doing. Why did Yuki even care in the first place? Sure, the two of them had sort of been getting along the past day or so but it didn't make them friends. It made no sense to the rat but was something he couldn't shake. He just wanted to know that the cat was safe and sound, even if he couldn't do anything to make him feel better emotionally.
Once the medicine had emptied from the nebulizer, Hatori gave the rat another check up to make sure his airway had opened up once again. He appeared to be satisfied, cleaning up the equipment before taking out the IV and bandaging up the puncture mark. [+teal "Take it easy for the next twenty-four hours,"] he advised Yuki, carefully winding up the cord of the machine and securing it to the back. [+teal "You can go."]
Yuki didn't waste any time, pushing himself off of the bed and making his way out of the main house. He took it a bit slower than he normally would, his chest still a bit tight, but figured it would feel better once the other medications really began their work. It meant he made it home a bit later than he wished to but at least it was still daylight when he walked through the door. He imagined this was a good place to start looking for Kyou, knowing full well he never would have stayed at the main house. There was nothing there for him. At least here he had the sanctity of his room. The house was quiet, something that the rat didn't appreciate for a change, and he slowly made his way through it.
His voice came out breathier than he would have liked, a frown touching Yuki's lips. At this rate he'd be taking a couple hits off of his inhaler before he even found the cat. Yuki slowly made his way up the stairs and stopped momentarily as he saw the partially open door to Kyou's room. Maybe he was in luck. He headed over, pushing it open the rest of the way, and narrowed his eyes as he looked around the disheveled floor.
Please be there, please be there...
He was about to leave when he saw Kyou's balled up form in the corner, Yuki quietly stepping in and over to him. The rat knelt down in front of him, simply watching him for a moment and trying to decide on his next move.
[+purple "You scared me,"] Yuki admitted quietly, [+purple "when I realized that you had gone to see Akito alone today. I don't understand why you did."]
Kyo almost tripped over his own shoes as he stumbled out the door, grabbing his bag as a last second thought. He had to get out of here before Akito really lost it. What would Master say about his behaviour? It was something he always advised against- giving in to the darker temptations of hurting another person. He was going to be disappointed in him and now... now the Box was looking more inevitable.
[i But I can’t think about that.] He didn’t want to drown.
The cat spirit hurried off the property, running nowhere in particular as long as he put distance between him and those in the main house. He pulled his hood up, shielding himself from the cold winds as he threw his backpack over his shoulder. Where should he go? Should he just run? Maybe go back to the mountains like he did a few months ago?
He paused a moment to catch his breath, noting how close he was to Shigure’s house. Maybe he should gather some things from his room before he decided to do anything drastic. Surely Shigure must know everything that happened by now. Him and Hatori were fairly close plus the dog was one of Akito’s favorites... He might not let him get away. Was it worth the risk?
Tsk... It wasn’t exactly ideal weather to be running away in...
With a groan of frustration, Kyo stomped his way up the stairs and entered back into the dog’s house. There was nothing but silence when he closed the door, giving him the sign that he might be the only one here or that maybe Shigure was choosing not to speak to him on purpose. Quickly, he took to the stairs up to his room taking another moment to actually breathe. Maybe... he shouldn’t go.
[i Damn it! Would you just make up your mind already?!] He kicked his discarded school books across the floor, watching the scribbled note papers fly out. Why did he fucking care so much about the damned rat anyway? Kyo’s kindness only got him into more trouble despite all his stupid good intentions to try to turn someone elses pain into courage. It was just a weakness. He hated seeing that pain etched in good people’s eyes like in Kazuma’s or his mother’s. Yuki just always looked so fucking sad that damn it, he didn’t want to fight them anymore.
The teen slumped in a corner of the room, deciding, in the end, to simply wait. There wasn’t much he could do and it wasn’t going to help to have Master worry about him. The darkness and loneliness wasn’t all that unfamiliar.
Everything happened so fast. One moment he was apologizing and trying to soothe the God's ego and the next he was on the floor. When he fought with Kyou it were almost as if everything was in slow motion, the rat able to see and counter every move before it was fully made. With Akito it was quite the opposite. He didn't see the God move until it was too late and there was no way to protect against it.
Akito probably counted on this.
Yuki had merely glanced away when he felt a sudden and sharp blow to his chest, knocking the wind out of him and causing him to drop to his knees. It was hard to breathe in that moment as his lungs couldn't seem to fill up again and the hateful phrases and words that were spoken softly to him only made it harder. It didn't take long for his asthma to trigger, soft wheezes coming from his chest with every shallow exhale. He didn't move when he heard the screen door open again, the deep voice of the dragon speaking to the God, and some kind of commotion erupting. Whatever it was, Akito wasn't taking it well. But it didn't matter, he couldn't breathe.
When Kyou took off, Yuki having locked eyes with him for a brief moment before, he slowly rose to go after him. His breathing was quite labored by this point, his wheezing becoming louder and more frequent, and a firm grip to his wrist prevented him from leaving. No! He needed to make sure Kyou was okay! He had to do something to help him!
[+teal "I'll take Yuki back to my office to treat him then I'll return to help you,"] Hatori addressed Akito, his hand remaining wrapped around the rat's wrist. Yuki weakly tried to pull away but it was no use. Hatori had too firm of a grip and Yuki was losing oxygen too quickly to properly fight back.
[+red "No, let him suffer,"] the male growled, his dark gaze locked on Yuki. The teen didn't notice, still focused on the door that Kyou had ran from. Each passing minute made breathing harder but the urge to chase after Kyou was stronger.
[+teal "Akito, if he doesn't get treated soon, he'll suffocate. I know you don't want that."]
Akito paused a moment, continuing to watch them for a moment before waving them off. The doctor didn't waste a moment, his free arm wrapping around Yuki's waist to help him back to his office. Once there, he promptly sat his cousin down on a bed and inserted an IV to the back of his hand. A shot of steroids was then put into it in order to get it into his system faster and, while it began to work its magic, Hatori began to set up a nebulizer system to begin a second dose of medicine. Yuki, meanwhile, curled up a bit on the bed and stared out the window as his breathing slowly returned to a manageable level, all the while hoping Kyou would come back.
But it didn't make sense.
He and Kyou had never gotten along before but, in the short time they had, Yuki had grown to enjoy the cat's company. He liked his energy and wanted to experience more of it. It were almost as if Yuki had made a friend for a little while. But, just like anything else good in his life, Akito took that away from him.
Kyo was relieved when Hatori finally took him for his word and made his way back to the main house. He followed behind closely, anxious to return so they can put it all behind them once and for all... and then he heard it. The thump of something- [i someone] falling. [i No- don’t let it-]
The doctor opened the screen and Yuki was kneeling in front of the god-child, a smile on Akito’s face that made his blood boil. The cat felt himself on fire again like when yesterday morning in the kitchen. The anger felt like it would consume him if he didn’t release it. That he would burn up right where he stood.
[i [#FF0000 “No one benefits from your existence. Not Shigure, not Kazuma, not even pitiful Yuki.”]]
He felt himself in that weird head space again... where everything felt like instinct. Like the fire had finally submerged him and he needed to act. He needed to do something. He needed to feel like everything wasn’t his fucking fault. He needed to make everything okay when everything will never be right again. [i Do something now like you didn’t do then.]
[#FF0000 “Don’t lie to me, Ha-”] Kyo shoved as hard as he could, watching Akito stumble back out of reach of the rat and pushed on. His ears seemed muffled, barely hearing Hatori in the background of all the noise. He grabbed the God’s kimono gripping the large folds of cloth in his hands, bringing it up so he and Akito were looking eye to eye. He was screaming something, an echo of monster in his ears. [i Monster. Monster.]
[i Breathe, breathe.]
Kyo shoved down once, watching Akito scrunch up and bringing his hands up to cradle his head. There were hands on his shoulders pulling him away from the god and he couldn’t help but yell in frustration. Everything was for nothing! It was for absolutely nothing!
The cat spirit found himself staring at the floor as the doctor rushed in to tend to his creator. This was it. He had to get out of here. There was nothing left. Hatori was here, he’ll take care of the two of them.
The carrot top looked up, meeting gazes with the rat spirit across the room and instantly felt guilty. He wanted to curl up and hide, the failure feeling embarrassingly overwhelming. What was going to happen now? Kyo pushed himself to his feet and hurried out, holding back any emotions till he could be utterly alone.
It was strange seeing Kyou so passionate about saving the rat from Akito and it didn't go unnoticed by Hatori. Normally he would have left by now, leaving Yuki to fight off his own demons, but here he was trying to gather help instead. He didn't know what caused this new found comradery but he didn't think he had the time to question it at the moment. Not with the urgency in his tone and his body language.
[+teal "Alright, alright. I'll head down,"] he reassured Kyou. He wasn't about to make a deal with the teenager but it intrigued him. What, exactly, did he plan to offer? As far as he knew Kyou didn't really have anything. Hatori ran a hand through his hair, beginning to make his way through the house in order to confront the head of the family and hopefully put out whatever fire had been started.
He paused a moment when they turned the corner to Akito's hallway, a thud had sounded from Akito's room. Something had hit the floor. He picked up his pace a little and pushed open the shoji screen to see exactly what it was. Yuki was on his knees in front of the god, his form bent over a bit with his arms wrapped tightly around his torso. He could hear shallow breathing coming from his form and was able to see it tremble. Akito, on the other hand, seemed perfectly fine and quite happy with whatever he had done.
[+teal "Akito,"] he called out, stepping into the room and remaining a safe distance away from him. [+teal "I need to take Yuki back to my office, he's due for a physical."]
What happened? Couldn’t Hatori sense his urgency? Why wasn’t he moving faster? Why was he still here asking stupid fucking questions?!
[#d89104 “Why does it matter what happened? It’s what’s [i going to happen] that’s important.”] Kyo looked up at him, his face twisted in frustration. [#d89104 “Just go over there and make somethin’ up. I don’t care. Just say somethin’ that will get him out of there.”] His chest heaved and his mind raced. At the turtle rate this seahorse was going, he was going to have to go back there and risk it all anyway.
[#d89104 “Just tell me if you’re going to help or not,”] the cat spirit hissed, his hands clenching ever more tighter. [#d89104 “Or if we need to make a deal then we can.”] Though he wouldn’t know what the hell a doctor would want.
Another small gasp left the rat's chest as Akito squeezed again, his eyes closing for a moment. It was like an anaconda slowly suffocating its prey; was this frightened feeling one rats felt before they were swallowed alive by serpents? He was almost scared to breathe for fear of repercussion, he was fully aware he wasn't about to experience anything good. The God wanted to make those closest to him suffer and the more they did, the better. Yuki, his favorite, had not only avoided a blow that was meant for him a few nights ago but also ran away immediately after. He avoided the male's calls and even left his home, not giving his guardian or the one who governed him any notice or call.
If Yuki was ever going to die by the male's hands, it was probably going to be today.
He was relieved to hear Kyou leave the room, opening his eyes to affirm the sounds he heard, before turning his attention to Akito. Yuki needed to think of something and quick.
[+purple "I just...I didn't want him to see whatever punishment you've decided to give me,"] Yuki answered after a few moments of silence. That wasn't a lie entirely, if Akito was going to attack then he preferred if Kyou wasn't there to witness it. His pride was already suffering a bit as it was now that the cat was fully realizing what Yuki's place in the zodiac meant: he was Akito's bitch. He always would be. And it was incredibly embarrassing and frustrating.
[+purple "I'm sorry I abandoned you."]
Hatori raised an eyebrow at the banging at his door, the seahorse looking up from his book. At first he imagined it to be Aaya and had full intentions of shoving the male back out but was a bit surprised to see Kyou instead. The young cat appeared as if he had ran the entire way, his chest rising and falling rapidly. What was this about Yuki?
Did something happen?
He wasn't sure if he should go at first, continuing to watch Kyou with his stern gaze as he slowly set the book down. Whatever was going on between the rat and the God certainly wasn't his business and he would certainly hear an earful if he were to interrupt. The frantic behavior of the red-head, though, made him consider otherwise and the fact that he was here to protect Yuki was equally as surprising.
[+teal "What's happened?"] he asked, rising from the couch and pulling his glasses off. He set them on top of the book before moving closer to Kyou, the male standing quite tall over him. [+teal "Is there an injury I need to know about?"]
Kyo’s muscles tensed up, readying his body for an encounter that he was trying to hold back. He wanted to rip Yuki out of the God’s hands, make him stay as far away as possible. He came here to fix things but now it seemed they made everything infinitely worse. It wasn’t fucking fair that they all had to share this bond. That the zodiac always belonged to God till the very end.
But Akito- he was something different. He was something darker.
[#FF0000 “What are you whispering about?”] Akito asked, squeezing harder.
The cat watched as the rat tensed but spoke his message. Fuck that. He wasn’t going anywhere. If anything were to happen it would be because of him. No one else should be hurt... but Hatori was one of Akito’s favorites and older- taller- more suitable for handling situations like this when the raven haired male was involved. Dammit! He hated how useless he was!
With a look of frustration, Kyo turned and hurried out the room door. Time was precious and he had to move if he wanted to make this moment as quick as possible. His swift walk turned into a run as he pushed past the maid and out the door, taking a sharp turn to the dwelling closest. He slid open the door a but too roughly and didn’t bother to use the casual words that Yuki had said. [#d89104 “Get over there and get Yuki out of Akito’s house now!”]
His chest heaved and his fists were clenched. He didn’t know Hatori like Yuki did but he trusted that he would know what to do. Unlike him where violence wasn’t always an answer.
The rat's frame visibly flinched and tensed at the first touch from Akito, bright eyes shutting tightly for a moment before slowly easing open again. He had learned to expect the worst in every moment, especially around Akito, and was always a bit surprised when he was left relatively unscathed.
Akito enjoyed this, he lived for these games, and it was visible in his face. His eyes, though, shone with a more sinister light that reminded Yuki that things could change and turn violent at any possible second. Either one of them could crawl out of here or need to be dragged out by another family member. It all depended on the mood and how Yuki handled the situation he was currently in.
He planned on giving a simple apology, maybe stroke the male's ego a bit, and after all of his self esteem was wiped out once more the two could be on their way. Akito's retaliation to Kyou's movements changed his game plan, realizing that something so simple wouldn't work. Not to mention feeling his touch again left an uncomfortable shiver up his spine, one he tried to shake off unsuccessfully.
[+purple "I'm sorry I hurt you, Akito,"] Yuki responded quietly, his frame remaining visibly tense. It seemed as if one more ounce of pressure was put onto the rat, his very form would shatter. [+purple "I never meant to, I was just...scared."]
Amethyst eyes lifted as Kyou spoke suggesting the two of them leave, and Yuki moved to do so. A soft gasp of surprise with a bit of fear in it escaped as the male tightened his arms around him, obviously refusing to let his favorite leave. His form began to shake a little under pressure and nervousness, the bright gaze flickering from Akito over to Kyou.
What were they supposed to do now?
Physically, Yuki could easily take Akito out. Hell, even Momiji probably could. What prevented any of them from doing so was fear, maybe even a bit of responsibility. Even though the rat hated it and would rather chew his hand off, being with Akito meant that his focus would stay on his favorite for a while and no one else would suffer his wrath. It was the only way Yuki could protect the others.
[+purple "If you have to, go to Hatori and tell him that I need to see him,"] Yuki murmured quietly to Kyou. His statement was worded that way for a reason: if Kyou didn't already have a plan of action figured out then Yuki did. His low voice also prevented Akito from hearing every word, he may pick up some but hopefully not enough to put them together. [+purple "If he claims he's busy, keep persisting. He'll get the point after the first couple of tries."]
Akito’s face cracked into a smile. [#FF0000 “It’s true. He is foolish. Guess I should oblige since you’ve taken the time to come see me.”]
Kyo pulled his head back the moment the god-child let go. He had to do something. He couldn’t leave Yuki here, not after he had made the effort to come for him and that look in his eyes. No, he couldn’t live with it.
The black haired male brought a hand up to caress Yuki’s face, revelling in the reaction he received from the rat. [#FF0000 “Have you come to apologize for leaving me too? How could you let him hurt me like that?”]
The cat stepped forward, Akito instantly recoiling by grabbing onto Yuki’s thin frame. [#FF0000 “Don’t you get any closer. I will not let you take him from me,”] he hissed.
Kyo’s heartbeat had quickened, feeling that absentminded urge to intervene again but this situation was different then the dinner. Back then there was a table in between them. Now it was Yuki and he wasn’t about to do something drastic... but there may have been no other way around it. [#d89104 “Come on, rat. We don’t have to stay here. Let’s go.”] If plan A didn’t work...
[#FF0000 “I told you, you monster. We don’t want you here.”]
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