I got lots of text and descriptions from Taryn's scanlations of X 11/12 - you can find them at Asphyxia. Those translations of the dialogues are the best I could find, and I'm very grateful for her permission to use them here! Of course, she's not to blame if I mixed stuff up - all mistakes are my own ^_^
Rating: PG-13 to R for violence, 1 bad word
Pairing: Kamui/Subaru, Seishirou/Subaru
Summary: A few weeks after "Birthday Boy", Subaru's in trouble...
Disclaimer: Not mine, Clamp's. Just playing.
Warning: Shounen-ai, spoilers for X11/12 (the Subaru/Fuuma fight), sudden mood changes
Home And Heart
Chapter 1: Blink of an Eye
"Here kitty... come on, there's a good girl..."
Subaru sighed in exasperation. The kitten refused to budge. His room on campus looked like it had been attacked by a wool-weaving spider, and the perpetrator of the mess sat stubbornly under the bookshelf with the sad remains of the ball of thread. All he could see was a pair of frightened golden eyes. Normally he would have left the animal there, but he was getting worried that the cat would get tangled in the wool in a way that would threaten its life.
"Here Pochi-chan, come on out!" he tried again.
He wondered whether his feline companion was still sulking about his calling her what was technically a dog's name. Then he decided that if cooing and gentleness did not cut it, he would have to try another way.
A few whispered Sanskrit syllables dragged the cat into the center of the room. Pochi looked at him with an offended air.
"I'm sorry, Pochi-dono," he apologized, taking the diminished ball of wool from her and starting to rewind the thread. "I was worried you could have hurt yourself."
She eyed him with disgust for a few more seconds, then marched off to the kitchen to soothe her wounded pride with some cat food.
Subaru almost chuckled at that little display. He found himself smiling more and more since the little feline had entered his life. He could now almost look at her without thinking of the one who had presented him with the kitty...
He dropped the ball of wool as a sudden pain arced through his body. A too familiar one...
A kekkai is falling
Even on the campus, he felt the slight tremor of the ground. He reached with his mind towards the scene
- Sunshine 60 -
and felt the presence of three Dragons.
Two Angels, one Seal.
A mind empty of all but primal evil. Fuuma. Another with a feeling of strange innocence and no definition of self. Nataku. And one he could not mistake for anyone else. Kamui...
When Pochi decided to see what her human was doing, she only caught the sight of the door slamming shut. Looking out of the window, the cat noted that he was jumping over rooftops again, and she wondered whether she should try it too. She finally decided it wasn't a dignified mode of transportation and noticed he'd left the wool on the ground. She settled to re-weave her patent better mousetrap...
Subaru saw Fuuma lift Kamui, the Angel's hands on the boy's neck, and knew he had to act fast. His first ofuda were destroyed by Nataku's scarf as the bioroid jumped down and barely missed him, but at least he had their attention now.
"Take your hands off him!" he yelled, more to buy time than from any hope his command would be obeyed.
Fuuma turned towards him. "Have you come to help?" he asked.
The image wavered in front of Subaru's eyes. Fuuma's figure was gradually replaced by one taller, more broad-shouldered-
"Seishirou-san?!" Subaru whispered softly. He could not believe his eyes. He dared not believe them.
"No way," he muttered. "I have to be seeing things." Seishirou's image morphed into Fuuma's, and then back again as he watched, strengthening that suspicion.
He realized that a battle would be unavoidable now, and already the Sunshine 60 building was falling apart around them. There were innocents around. He shut his eyes and concentrated on drawing his power, shaping it into the familiar five-point star.
"You set up a kekkai," Fuuma remarked. "You also set innocents outside of it."
Subaru paid no attention to him. Instead he started to plan a way to block the Dragon of Earth's power. It would not be easy, but he thought he could do it. He'd dealt with unpredictable sources of raw energy before, though none of this magnitude. It was all a matter of adjusting. And speed.
"The quickest way to leave," Fuuma talked on, a scowl on his usually smiling face, "is to kill the maker of the kekkai."
The onmyouji stared at him, unafraid. His first priority was getting Kamui away, safe and unharmed. Physically at least... even at this distance he could see the anguish on the boy's face that told him /Kamui/ had been playing his mind games again-
"SUBARU!!" Kamui called out through Fuuma's hands clenching his throat. The cry cut the air, snapping Subaru out of his reverie.
The bioroid was heading for the Sumeragi, its deadly scarf prepared for an attack. The onmyouji barely managed to block the slash with a hastily raised barrier of five ofuda. He jumped down off the catwalk he had been standing on and launched his own counterstrike. His spirit-birds shrieked through the air, but Nataku's scarf cut them into pieces, and the torn remains of the ofuda floated to the ground.
Still they had served their purpose, diverting the bioroid's attention long enough for Subaru to jump up again, his target the ledge on which Fuuma was holding down his prisoner. Suddenly the scarf wrapped around his wrist, halting his ascent. The Dragon of Earth jumped even higher and descended with its hand prepared to pierce the onmyouji's heart.
Subaru heard his name called out again, even more desperation in Kamui's voice, but concentrated on his immediate opponent. He raised another ofuda adorned with the Sumeragi five-point star. The spell did not even require a command word to release its strength.
A torrent of flames erupted from the card, throwing Nataku back. Subaru prepared for another assault, but noted that the bioroid had backed up to the other Dragon of Earth and Fuuma seemed ready to take its place in the battle. He heard Kamui yelling his once-friend's name again, and quickly ran through the strategy he had assembled before. He hoped it would work - it had to.
Fuuma picked up Nataku's scarf and used it to get himself down to where the onmyouji was waiting.
Subaru froze. His opponent's face was Seishirou's.
Kamui's voice broke through his daze and he realized that Fuuma had started to prepare some sort of attack. He knew what he had to do.
A quick jump brought him to the first point he'd chosen. He quickly deposited an ofuda there and jumped again. Second. He realized that his opponent was preparing to throw the ball of energy. He had to be faster.
And he was, the black sphere slamming into the concrete where he'd stood seconds before. He managed to put down another ofuda. Now - up!
On the railing another ofuda was positioned in the chosen place, then he had to dodge another attack. He placed the last one on a wall as he turned towards his opponent.
"Are you just going to run around in circles, or fight me?" Fuuma sneered.
Subaru kept his face calm as he raised his hands to complete the spell. He still saw Fuuma as Seishirou, but if he concentrated, the illusion could just disappear...
The power of the barrier ripped deep trenches through the tiles of the terrace on which they stood. A more powerful, ofuda-reinforced version of the Sumeragi's kekkai, there was no way Fuuma was breaking through it.
As long as Subaru concentrated.
"Oh, I see!" the //Kamui// grinned. "You weren't just running, you were setting this trap, right?"
The image in front of the onmyouji's eyes wavered and changed again. Now it was the Sakurazukamori staring at his prey, a small smile on his lips. The wind ruffled his hair-
That's impossible! Subaru thought. Why? This question tugged at his mind - why did Fuuma suddenly look like-
He barely stopped an energy attack Seishirou - no, Fuuma - launched at his kekkai.
"Pay attention, or your barrier will break," //Kamui// admonished. No... the voice, it was also Seishirou's!
A smile appeared on 'Seishirou's lips. "Subaru-kun..."
The word, the oh-so-familiar endearment, tore through Subaru's mind like a knife. He barely stifled a moan of anguish-
-and the barrier broke.
The explosion hurled the broken floor tiles towards the Sumeragi, and the sharp slivers of stone cut deep gashes into his skin. He collapsed, his body and mind flooded with pain, leaving just one question.
He could dimly hear Kamui calling out his name again, but he did not have the strength to respond. If he could just lie here for a moment on the blood-slicked tiles...
Fuuma's boot connected with his body, harshly jolting him back to reality. The impact threw him against a wall, knocking his breath out. He could feel at least one broken rib, but his most immediate concern was the man who used his boot again, lifting Subaru's head up. The man with the heartbreakingly familiar face...
"Seishirou...?" the onmyouji whispered. But he knew there was something wrong with the picture. "Why... do you... and Sei... shirou-san..." he wheezed. His blood was dripping down his face and he raised his hands self-consciously, catching the droplets.
"Look alike?" Fuuma/Seishirou guessed. "Because..."
He raised his hand, and Subaru knew what would come next. Then something came back to him.
...your eyes... don't see the truth. You might find it... interesting.
What was the truth here?!
I like your eyes.
Those words, full of warmth, and he did not care if it was faked.
He blinked, and suddenly it was Fuuma towering over him, his lips still moving, though he did not hear what was said. Instead he felt - everything. Each pain in his broken body. The way Fuuma's fingers twisted in his hair. The blood-covered Sakurazukamori stars on the back of his own hands.
He could feel the fire. So-
He raised his hands, palms inward, moments before Fuuma's right hand contacted with his eye.
The flames engulfed the //Kamui//, scorching his skin. Subaru could hear a keening wail, but the Dragon of Earth's form was hidden by the blaze. He kept fueling the fire, channeling all his energy - all the hate he felt because of this deception, more emotion than he had thought he could feel for anyone beside his Special Person.
Then Nataku jumped down, gathering the badly burned and wounded Fuuma in its deceptively slender arms. The bioroid did not look at the Sumeragi, but hurried away with its unconscious burden, dodging the flames. Subaru allowed the blaze to die, absently noticing that his own hands were untouched.
Only then did he notice a whimpering. On the ledge above him, Kamui was struggling against his bonds, the wires cutting deep into his skin. The onmyouji dragged himself to his feet, then started looking for a way to go up and free the boy. He swayed, dizzy from the pain and exhaustion.
Then strong hands held him up.
"What happened here?!" Sorata demanded, directing the wounded man to a place where he could sit down. "Who did you fight??"
"Fuuma..." Subaru whispered. "Was hard..."
"I can see that!" the monk grinned. "I wonder what the other guy looked like..."
Sorata whistled. "My compliments. You're almost diced to bits, your kekkai's the only thing holding up the building, Kamui looks like he's been through a cheese grater-"
"Kamui." Subaru tried to stand up again.
"Easy there! Neechan's taking care of him."
And sure enough, Arashi was now helping Kamui down the stairs after having cut his bonds with her sword. As soon as the violet-eyed boy's feet touched the floor, he hurried towards the other two.
"Subaru!" He stopped about a meter away from the wounded man. "Are you alright?"
"I've been worse," the Sumeragi muttered. He tried not to wince as the boy hugged him gingerly.
Some distance from the Sunshine 60 building, a lone figure stood on top of a pole. Seishirou Sakurazuka smiled.
"Dinner's ready!" Akira called.
"Whee!" Yuzuriha laughed. "Akira-san, this looks good!"
"I hope so. Do you think this will lure Sumeragi-san out of his hibernation?"
"I'll go get him," Kamui offered and rushed up the stairs. Their temporary quarters at the Imonoyama mansion were doing wonders for the boy's health, and between talking with his fellow Dragons and stealing treats off Akira, Kamui seemed almost happy. Almost.
Once he left, Arashi sighed. "I still think we should have taken Sumeragi-san to the hospital."
"He didn't want to go, and Rijichou's doctor takes care of him," Akira protested. "I think it's for the best. Also, Kamui-san can see him any time. I'm sure it's a great comfort."
"Not that great," Arashi said, looking at the stairs.
Kamui was walking down towards them, his head hanging low. "He's still asleep," he informed them.
"That's strange," Yuzuriha said. "I mean, he went to sleep yesterday morning! I know he's tired, but shouldn't that be enough?"
"I think so too..." Kamui agreed. "But he won't wake up."
In depth of the night, Kamui sat up in Subaru's room, staring at the man who had saved his life more than once. The breeze from the open window ruffled his hair.
"Subaru..." he whispered. "I wish I could help you somehow..."
He ran his fingers through Pochi's fur. The kitten had adopted his knees as her rightful resting place in the past two days, and was now purring sleepily.
Then the cat's head snapped up and her golden eyes turned towards the window. Kamui's own violet ones followed.
"Good evening," Seishirou said politely.
Kamui stood up and drew a deep breath in order to shout for the others, but the older man clamped a hand over his mouth.
"You can scream the house down later, Kamui-chan. Right now I'd just like to talk."
The boy glared at him and growled.
"You're breaking my heart - here I thought we were such good friends!"
Kamui's face expressed evident disgust.
"Alright, maybe I should have phrased that otherwise," Seishirou smirked. He removed his hand from Kamui's face. "Better now?"
"What do you want?" the boy spat.
"I came by to talk to Subaru-kun, but I do believe he's in the arms of Morpheus right now," the assassin sighed. "And I so wanted to congratulate him on putting Fuuma out of commission so gracefully..."
"That's what put him here!" Kamui protested.
Seishirou's eyebrows shot up. "What do you mean?" he asked. His voice was empty of all emotions except a mild curiosity.
The boy sighed. "He's been asleep ever since the doctor finished with him yesterday morning."
The Sakurazukamori touched his fingers to Subaru's forehead and closed his eyes. Then he stepped away.
"I see... I do believe my Subaru-kun has overtaxed himself."
Kamui's eyes were full of barely-repressed pain. "I tried going Within him," he whispered. "There was nothing there, just darkness..."
Seishirou raised an eyebrow. "Going Within? Oh, that wouldn't work at all. Subaru-kun is far too busy fighting for his life now to spare time for visitors."
In a flash, Kamui's hands were clutching his lapels, the knuckles white. "Fighting for his life?? What do you mean? Will he be alright?" the boy demanded through clenched teeth.
Seishirou seemed to ponder that question as he gently freed himself from Kamui's grasp. He bent down and picked up the cat, scratching its ears reflexively. "It depends. Left to himself... I should think he'll die of starvation before he deals with the magical consequences of his spell. IV's won't help because all the processes in his body apart from the most basic life support have been suspended. His only hope is if someone else straightens this mess... someone experienced with this brand of magic."
"We don't even know what he used," Kamui grumbled dejectedly.
"Can you help him?"
"Maybe. Before, I wouldn't particularly care, but now Subaru-kun has showed... promise." The single golden eye looked possessively at the prone body on the bed. "But it would take time, and it wouldn't be here." He released Pochi, letting her fall to the floor.
It took Seishirou only a few seconds to pick up Subaru. "I believe I'll be taking my leave of you now, Kamui-chan."
He barely avoided walking into the boy. "No. Fucking. Way," Kamui said. "Or I kill you." He raised his hands, his fingers crackling with energy.
"You're welcome to try. But it's either I take him, or you watch him waste away until his heart stops."
The boy hesitated. "I can't let you just take him!" he protested. "He's- he's-"
"The only friend you have?"
A strangled gasp proved the statement correct. "How did you know?"
"I'm observant," Seishirou smirked. "It's one of my good points. Besides, everyone else here is rather too stupid."
The violet eyes closed. "I can't let you walk away like that. Sunshine 60 was my fault... I can't let him be hurt again." They opened again, shimmering with tears. "Subaru... he said I should always follow my heart..." A slight smile stole over the boy's face. "I'll go with you."
Kamui had the rare experience of watching the Sakurazukamori completely speechless. The assassin only stared at him for a couple of minutes.
"Pack up some of Subaru-kun's clothes, and your own stuff," Seishirou said finally. "And take the cat. I don't trust Imonoyama to treat her right."
A few minutes later, all that was left in the room was a short note on the bedside table.
"Dear Sorata & all,
I'm going somewhere to help Subaru. I haven't been kidnapped. I'll call tomorrow.
Regards, Kamui Shirou."
A cold wind blew in through the open window, billowing the curtains.
The Right Hon. Lady Panther (black streetcat with royal manners, currently sitting on top of my monitor) takes the credit for all of Pochi's behavior in this and other parts.
Once again, thanks to Taryn - I couldn't have done it without the scanlations from Asphyxia
Explanations for some stuff (like what spell Su-chan used and why it did away with Fuuma so neatly, apart from the obvious plot-contrivance reason...) in the next part
In the next chapter: Even in the darkest hour of the night... "I'll stand by your side."
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