In Joy and In Sorrow

Before it all starts, Kou is a bit of a brat. Ryuuko scolds him. After it’s all over, Kou is still uncertain of his place. Ryuuko reassures him. Drama with Massive Crush, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY

Character(s): Kou, Ryuuko

One

"KOU!"

Kou dashed down the hall, laughing, and dodged around a startled Ryuuko-sama to hide behind him.

Hikari stalked after him, seething. "I’m going to render you down for parts, you little…"

Kou peeked over Ryuuko-sama’s shoulder. "I was just expressing my appreciation, really," he insisted with his best innocent look.

Hikari actually bared her teeth and snarled. Kou was charmed. She was the next oldest among Ryuuko-sama’s Children, and definitely the most fun.

When her hands started glowing, though, he squeaked and ducked again.

"All right, that’s enough," Ryuuko-sama declared, leaving Kou to go and close his hands over Hikari’s.

"But…!"

Ryuuko-sama just smiled at her and she heaved a sigh and let her gathering power disperse again. "All right, Ryuuko-sama. If you say so."

"You can leave it to me," he assured her.

Hikari nodded, her calm, collected self again, and turned back down the hall, leaving Kou with Ryuuko-sama.

Which wasn’t quite as nice a thought as usual, Kou decided as Ryuuko-sama turned back to him and raised a brow. He scuffed a toe against the floor and peeked up through his lashes. Ryuuko-sama’s mouth twitched, but he crossed his arms.

"Well?"

"I’m sorry for causing trouble, Ryuuko-sama," Kou murmured.

"You always are, afterwards," Ryuuko-sama sighed. "What did you do this time?"

"I, um…" Kou cleared his throat; Ryuuko-sama was so dignified, it was actually kind of hard to say to him. "I snuck up behind Hikari and grabbed her boobs."

Ryuuko-sama actually rubbed his forehead. "Kou…"

Kou ducked his head, hands clasped behind him. "Yes, Ryuuko-sama." More softly, he added, "Forgive me."

Ryuuko-sama’s fingers threaded through his hair, ruffling it gently. "I’m not the one you need to ask for that."

Kou knew he was blushing at the touch and couldn’t manage to care. "Yes, my King," he murmured, obediently.

"Good." Ryuuko-sama’s hand slid down to clasp his shoulder and Kou had to suppress a shiver.

From the gentle way Ryuuko-sama smiled at him, he thought maybe he hadn’t managed to.

Two

Ryuuko and Shirogane looked at each other over the last remaining breach in the boundary.

"Well." Shirogane looked like he missed having his hat to pull down over his eyes, even though he wore his regalia with every bit of his old arrogance, in Kou’s informed opinion.

Ryuuko smiled. "Yes." He reached out a hand and Shirogane laid his palm to palm against it. "We’ll miss you."

Shirogane’s mouth actually curled up in a wry smile. "Likewise, I imagine."

"I’ll see you again," Ryuuko told him softly.

"Yes," Shirogane murmured. His hand tightened on Ryuuko’s and then released it. "Take care of yourself, in the meantime."

He turned away and stepped through the tear, which sealed behind him, not looking back.

Ryuuko sighed.

"You will miss him, won’t you?" Kou asked, softly.

Ryuuko turned to him with a small smile. "I miss all those important to me when we can’t be together."

Knowing that was to his address, a kindly given reassurance of his importance to his king, Kou flushed, looking down.

"Come." He could hear that Ryuuko was still smiling. "Like Shirogane, we’ll need to find new people."

Kou swallowed. "Ryuuko… am I still…" he felt like an idiot and he still couldn’t help himself. "Do you still want me as your Child?"

Ryuuko looked at him quietly for a breath, and then another, until Kou was trembling under the weight of his gaze. And then he was swept up into Ryuuko’s embrace, held close against his king.

"Do you doubt yourself so much that you doubt me, too, now, Kou?"

"No! Never, I swear—" Kou broke off as Ryuuko set a finger against his lips, hushing him.

"You can feel that light fills you again?"

Kou nodded, silently. His master’s power renewed his own again, and it was a vast relief he had to say.

Ryuuko’s mouth quirked. "So what was your question, again?"

Kou downright blushed. Yeah, he was definitely an idiot. "Nothing, Ryuuko-sama."

"Oh, Kou." Ryuuko cradled him close and Kou’s breath caught at the warmth of it. Ryuuko’s hand lifted his chin, holding him so Ryuuko could meet his eyes. "There is nothing to forgive. Understand?"

Husky, caught by the direct clarity of Ryuuko’s eyes, Kou whispered, "Yes, my King."

"Good." Ryuuko smiled with just a hint of mischief. "Hold on to this to remind you, if you start to forget."

Ryuuko kissed him, slow and thorough, and Kou melted helplessly into his chest. Before long he was gasping for breath because Ryuuko wasn’t stopping; he kissed Kou until he was dizzy with the heat and sweetness of it.

"Think you’ll remember that?" Ryuuko murmured against his mouth.

"Yeah," Kou whispered, breathless. "Oh yeah."

"Good." Ryuuko pressed another kiss to his forehead and set him gently back on his feet. "Come along, then."

Kou trailed after his king, pretty sure his grin was illuminating the landscape and totally unable to care.

End