In the final confrontation with Homurabi, Ryuuko returns. Afterwards, Akira finds that he remembers and understands a few more things. One of them is why Shirogane has refused to make any more shin than him. Drama with Mild Angst, I-3, MANGA CONTINUITY, implicit spoilers post-32

Pairing(s): Shirogane/Akira

This was it. This was their last, best chance to corner Homurabi and hopefully defeat him. Akira was somewhere between exalted and terrified.

But not because of Homurabi.

Whenever Akira had changed in the past he’d been too occupied with, most usually, almost dying to notice before he was suddenly waking up again. This time was different. This time, Akira could feel it happening, like walking down a see-saw and reaching the fulcrum, the tipping point, when uphill suddenly became downhill and the world turned over. "Shirogane…" he whispered.

Shirogane looked around at him, eyes widening. "Oh." Swiftly, he was back beside Akira, one hand on his shoulder. "It’s all right. Don’t fight it." His mouth quirked. "It’s only yourself, after all."

Akira swallowed, looking up at him. He could feel the shadow in him thinning. "I don’t… I…"

Shirogane’s eyes darkened and his already rather strained smile tightened. He took a long, slow breath. "Akira."

And then Akira was swept up in Shirogane’s arms, long fingers winding through his hair and tipping his head back, being kissed with ruthless thoroughness. If he’d had a moment to think he might have been embarrassed at being kissed like this in front of everyone, including the damn enemy!, but all he had time to do was respond. So he did, leaning into Shirogane, mouth open under his, moaning softly as Shirogane’s tongue pressed deep.

Relaxing, he forgot to be alarmed by the growing light.

Memory unfolded inside him, memories of Shirogane through ages on ages, his temper and his brilliance, and he reached for Shirogane’s hands, lacing their fingers together, kissing back.

Finally Shirogane drew back and they stood eye to eye, hands clasped palm to palm. Shirogane’s eyes were still dark; he’d known they would be. "I’ll miss being sheltered by you," he murmured.

Shirogane smiled, wry and a little painful. "I’ll miss your young self."

Ryuuko laughed. "Pessimist," he teased, affectionately. "You’ll have both of me back. I doubt I’m recovered enough to stay in this form after we’re done here." Though he hoped, as want flashed over Shirogane’s face, that he’d be recovered enough to remember why he needed to find Shirogane other Children as soon as possible.

"What a dilemma," Homurabi prodded at them. "Perhaps I can relieve you of it by killing Ryuuko again." He smiled at Shirogane, deliberate and provoking. "Though I admit I never suspected you of such common taste."

Shirogane’s lip drew up off his teeth and he straightened, pure and edged as his sword. "A King will die here today, yes."

Ryuuko smiled. "Yes." A King would die, and a King would sleep, and possibly, if they were all very fortunate, a King would heal.

He would have to trust himself, for that.

When Akira came to again he wasn’t sure it was an improvement, because he was half-crushed in Shirogane’s arms. After a few tries he managed a slightly rough "Hey." It was followed by a squawk as Shirogane’s hold tightened before easing enough to breath at least.

"Akira." Shirogane held his shoulders and examined him, and finally sighed. "You’re all right."

"Few broken bones, nothing big." Akira blinked as Shirogane picked him up. "Um. That was a joke. I can walk."

"Actually, no, you probably can’t at the moment." Kou looked a little wobbly himself, but he was grinning. " ‘Sokay. You don’t have to for a while."

Akira looked at the torn ground around them, though he didn’t really need to. "We won." It wasn’t a question. He knew.

"We won." Aya and Lulu each had an arm around Kengo, keeping him upright, but they were both grinning too.

"Good." Akira sighed. "Now I can finally sleep in again."

Aya growled at him and Kou and Kengo laughed. "Need your bed for that," Kou pointed out and held out a hand. "Here. I’ll take him."


Akira looked up at Shirogane, attention locked by the breath of cold ferocity in that flat statement. "Hey." He laid a hand on Shirogane’s chest, feeling the tears in his coat. "Doesn’t matter to me who my litter bearer is."

A little of the tension under his hand eased and Shirogane smiled down at him. "Brat."

Akira mouthed a quick It’s okay, I’ve got it at Kou when Shirogane looked up again. Kou gave him an odd look but nodded and let Shirogane carry him.

He thought all the way home. Every now and then he asked if he could walk yet, just to prod Shirogane, but mostly he thought.

Shirogane settled him on his bed, or at least settled him on Shirogane, on his bed. Akira squirmed around, ignoring the indignant little oofs that Shirogane made until he was more comfortable—still lying against Shirogane’s chest but at least not cradled in his lap.

Somehow he wasn’t at all surprised that Shirogane wasn’t letting go.

"Hey," he said, after a while.


"That first night. The night you changed me. Why did you do it?"

The fingers stroking his hair paused a moment. Finally Shirogane laughed. "Panic, I suppose." His fingers started moving again. "I didn’t expect half of what happened. I didn’t think you’d bolt. I didn’t think the boundary would be so thin you’d fall through it." Dryly he added, "You’re good at being unpredictable."

Akira snorted.

"And I still wasn’t sure you were the one I was looking for, then. It looked like you, but your power was still so faint. So I used what I was most sure would work."

"So," Akira said, reflectively, "the first time in a really long time you make a contract… and it’s basically by accident."

"Not the most elegant way to put it, but I suppose so, yes," Shirogane sighed. "It gave you the power to protect yourself so perhaps it was the best thing in the end."

"Considering how much trouble you instantly got me into," Akira grumbled, and then, while Shirogane was drawing himself up, added, "And here I still am, anyway, alive and everything. So it must be all right for you to make someone shin. All right for you to want to."

Shirogane froze. "Ryuu…?"

"No." Akira looked up at him, arms tightening around him. "I’m Akira. I just… I think I understand more, now." At least it was suddenly clear as day to him just how much Shirogane needed shin around him. And how much he would resist making another, in case he lost them. "I’m me. And either way I’m…" he flushed a bit but finished gamely, "I’m yours."

Shirogane took in a quick breath at that and caught Akira against him, kissing him hot and possessive, the way that turned Akira’s bones to water. "Mine," Shirogane growled, human politeness stripped away, and his tone sent a shiver straight down Akira’s spine to his cock.

Against the rising heat, though, the thought lingered in the back of Akira’s mind that Shirogane’s hunger for shin of his own couldn’t wait much longer to be fed, no matter how much Shirogane didn’t want to risk it.