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.
Kou dashed down the hall, laughing, and dodged around a startled Ryuuko-sama to hide behind him.
Shirogane is in a temper with Kou and it pushes him to be a lot more forthright with Akira than he has, heretofore. Akira decides he’s all right with this. Set in the loose vicinity of issue 27.
Shirogane stalked down the street, cataloging all the things he was going to do to that insolent sprout of a rei, Kou, just as soon as the current situation had been settled.
Surely Ryuuko wouldn’t begrudge him. Kou learning some respect could only be beneficial to all concerned.
"Um. Shirogane? Could I have a shadow back?"
After another experience of Akira’s shin-ness interfering with Ryuuko’s power, Akira wants to know exactly what’s going on. And then he has to think about who, exactly, he is.
Akira paused in the middle of pulling his shirt off. "You know," he said to the wall, "I still don’t remember much of that time two years back, when I met Kou-nii. Or the other time you say I did that scythe thing." He hesitated for a moment. "Does that mean… when I’m Ryuuko I’m not me?"
Shirogane was quiet for longer than he liked.
In bed with Shirogane, Akira contemplates all the reasons he enjoys it.
From the possessive grip of Shirogane’s hands on his hips, he thought Shirogane had probably talked to Kou today. That did usually mean Akira getting taken to bed, or taken somewhere anyway, pretty soon after. Hadn’t taken long to figure that out. He didn’t mind.
Shirogane didn’t hide anything, in bed.
Kou is concerned over what Akira has gotten himself into. Akira isn’t.
"Hey." Kou shook his shoulder gently. "I get it. It’s only natural." He sighed. "I just worry about you with him."
Aya also wants to make sure Akira isn’t in over his head; Kengo is already confident.
Akira was getting used to the fact that he couldn’t have a calm, normal walk home from school, anymore, with nothing more exciting than maybe a gang of seniors wanting to beat him up. If it wasn’t kokuchi it was some shin and if it wasn’t either it was Aya. And he was starting to think he preferred the attacks to the friendly conversation.
"So." Aya swung her school bag casually in one hand. "You and Shirogane, huh?"
Wagatsuma is concerned for Shirogane and tries to speak to both him and Akira about it, with little success.
Akira hunched down on his chair. Great. He wasn’t supposed to sleep with Shirogane because of his past incarnation; yeah like that made sense.
Shirogane has a plan to buy them all time and reinforce the boundary between worlds, provided Ryuuko agrees, and provided Shirogane can bring himself to carry it out.
Shirogane settled his hat back on, speaking from under the brim of it. "You and I are the direct kings. Weakened or not. If we take an action together that resonates through our realms, that may reaffirm the balance for long enough."
In bed with Shirogane, Akira wants to see his hair loose. It reminds him of things he doesn’t quite remember yet.
Shirogane’s hand stroked down his back and the thought escaped on a sigh. "Do you ever undo your hair?"
Shirogane paused and lifted his head. He was smiling but his eyes were darker than they usually were in bed. "Not… for some time," he murmured.
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.
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.
After Shirogane returns to see to his own world, Akira comes to visit and get him to unwind a little. Lulu has a talk with Kou, in the meantime, about finding more shin.
"Mm." Kou hadn’t looked away yet. "So you’re not worried he’ll be pissed off if you just show up unexpectedly?"
"Probably will be," Akira allowed. "So what?"
Kou choked on a swallow.
"Sometimes he needs something he doesn’t want to admit to." Akira shrugged. "So I should know how to go."
Kou laughed through his last few coughs. "Yeah, you’re you all right." He leaned back, mouth quirked. "And totally in love too, aren’t you?"
Akira jerked upright. "I am not!"
A year or so later, life is going on. Two moments, one from light and one from shadow.
"Hah! Take that!"
The screen flashed with colorful explosions and Akira tossed his controller down in disgust. "You’re even a demon in games."
Kou thinks he’s figured out who the next king of shadow is. Now they have to convince Akira to let him go.
"All right, you said you found something," Lulu said, settling on Kou’s best chair. "So what is it?"
Kou blew out a stream of smoke. "Think it’s the king you want. You’ll never believe who it is, though." He certainly hadn’t.
Kengo convinces Shirogane to let him help with work.
"I’ll take care of it. Watch what I do, so you can learn it."
Now Kengo frowned, stubborn. "I should do more than that. I can do more than that, I know it."
Echoes of the past twitched at Shirogane’s nerves and he told himself firmly that Kengo was nothing like Homurabi had ever been. "In time."
Akira, Ryuuko and Shirogane get some closure, and some reopening.
Akira lay in Shirogane’s arms and wondered if humans, or shin for that matter, could purr. He felt like he wanted to try. The sun had gone down, but the air was still clear and warm with spring, and Shirogane’s hands were just that comfortable bit warmer as they slid up and down his back and over his shoulders.
"The shadow in you is thinning," Shirogane murmured against his hair.
Kou and Shirogane finally decide to come to grips, in their tug-of-war over Ryuuko, and it ends in sex. Written for Porn Battle with the promt: Shirogane/Kou, tug-of-war.
Kou supposed he should have expected it to happen eventually. He and Shirogane had been having their tug-of-war, or at least tug-of-Ryuuko, for a long time. And they’d kept, as it were, walking their hands up the rope to get a better grip. Maybe it wasn’t surprising that they’d eventually leave off the rope and just tug on each other.
To win the battle, Kou needs a king’s power to back his. There’s really only one king available… Picks up post-35.
Kou hauled himself up from the bed, wincing a little. "You’re a real bastard, you know that?"
"A fine way to talk to someone who just finished healing the wounds your own idiocy bought you," Shirogane observed, pulling his gloves back on.
After Homurabi is defeated, Kou and Shirogane have to reach some understanding of what they are to each other.
The shadow world could be kind of boring, Kou had decided. At least now that there weren’t any crazy kings around stirring it up. And he certainly didn’t wish Homurabi back, but with only two people around to talk to, and neither of them Akira, he was definitely feeling out of sorts.
Fortunately there was a solution.
Lulu notices that Kou is starting to settle in as a shin, and teases him about his new bond to Shirogane.
Kou didn’t realize he was humming until Lulu leaned over the back of the couch, positively smirking. "You’re looking more like yourself lately, Chibi. Did something good happen?"
Kou wrestles with his standing attraction to Ryuuko and his new attraction to Shirogane. Fortunately, Shirogane provides him with a resolution.
Kou leaned his chin on this folded arms and watched shadows curl below him. This balcony was a good place for thinking and he felt a need to think today.
He was getting much more comfortable, here in shadow, since he’d let himself accept that Shirogane was his king. It was a relief to feel Shirogane’s power in him; it was familiar and comforting. And that was starting to worry him.