by Jacquey-san
Well, so here is the new fanfic that I promised everyone. Oh yeah, I did also promise to explain the title. Here goes; well, if u read the summary, you should know that Fuuko must try to stay alive for 24 hours, till Team Hokage can fly over to help her (& a friend). Since it’s only 2 of them against a whole bunch of baddies, that’s why “Pas de Deux” comes in. In case for those who doesn’t know french, “Pas de Deux” is a ballet term for a term for a dance with only the 2 main leads inside. I would just like to make clear that there isn’t going to be any ballet inside this fic. Only metaphoric dancing during fights, & perhaps, just perhaps, a quaint (& hilarious) ballroom sequence. So, here goes nothing… 
She wore shades, perched upon a button nose, giving her an air of mystery. Hair was just below the ears, not long enough for shoulder-length. Fringe was just as long, and slightly parted to the side. Lips a ‘Peach Galore’ hue. A black choker, leather jacket to match, a beige tee underneath, and a pair of tight navy blue pants. Combat boots to top things up. Fuuko sighed, and turned away from the mirror. Was the shades a bit too much? Nah, not when she was going to some underground mob-scheduled fights to check out their madougus. The Hokage clan has tons of weapons, and all over Japan now. That was why she had travelled here, to this  part of the country, a small, rural, district. It seemed like there was not only one ‘Uroubatousatsujin’ held. At least it was toned, and the prizes all cash. Well, she had to give the mob credit, they chose to hold these competitions for betting purposes (and to increase their income) away from the hustle and bustle (plus the cops) of the big cities. She gave myself one last check in the mirror, and proceeded to leave the hotel room. She hoped that her outfit did indeed screamed, ‘Don’t touch me ‘cos I’m with the mob!’ Sure, Recca told me it was going to be dangerous, but hey, I was just going to be a spectator this time round. She walked down the hall way, her fringe obscuring her path. My hairdresser’s going to pay for this! How was I to know, when I decided to change my hair-style, that I was going to end up looking like a female Saicho? Only the hair, I mean. Oh well, I have better things to do now. Like go watch a really good fight! Rubbing her hands together, Fuuko just couldn’t wait for the blood and gore. Or, could she? 

Fuuko left the venue at about 10pm, feeling really, really cheated. There WERE madougus, but where was the fights, the good adversaries, the ones that could match up to their opponents in the Urou.? Well, I guess it seems like there is only ONE Urou. EVER. Fuuko sighed, and tucking her freezing hands in her pockets, started on her way back to her hotel room. As she turned around a corner, some noise was emitted from a nearby alley. Uh-oh, sounds like trouble. It’s no business of mine, but I’ve better go check things out. Especially if that could lead to any Kurei the 2nd. Fuuko broke into a slow run, and came to the entrance of the side street. To her shock and immense horror, she saw that a group of about 5 men was bending over a motionless body. My God! What is going on here? I’ve better get the police. Even 5 men would give my fuujin a run for its money. Fuuko slowly backed out of the alley, when she saw the ‘body’ suddenly get back on its feet, and with a effortless punch, manage to fell the nearest man. That made her freeze in her tracks. Wow, he’s good. Maybe he doesn’t need my help, and I don’t have to interfere after all. As though to prove her wrong, fate made this outnumbered fighter slip on a banana peel, falling on his back,  sword wrenched from his hand by his attackers. 

SWORD??!! Nobody uses a sword as a weapon these days. Unless… Fuuko took a closer look at the weapon the goon had snatched away. MY GOD!!! It IS the ensui… But Mikagami isn’t here. He’s back home, managing that hot-shot law firm of his. Isn’t he? There was only one way to find out. By now, the 4 other men had pinned their victim to the wall, and started punching and kicking him. Fuuko was trying her best to stay hidden in the shadows, she couldn’t risk venturing too far forward and catching the attention of the goons. It was dark with shadows lurking around, but a shaft of moonlight from an almost full orb cast itself upon the figure, illuminating him. It was the reflection of the unique silvery-gray long hair that convinced Fuuko of the bad news. Damn you, Mikagami. Why did you have to appear and ruin my holiday? Still, there was no way to avoid it. Tokiya was, after all, a Hokage member, and furthermore Fuuko wouldn’t even leave an enemy to just suffer at the hands of another. It’s too late to call the cops; don’t think Fuuko, just ACT! And act, Fuuko did. Years of training had honed Fuuko’s lithe and athletic body to a point where she did not have to even think about fighting. Her body had been through so many drills and exercises, it was fully capable of operating on its own, regardless of Fuuko’s state of mind. Which was helpful when Fuuko was facing a crisis and had problems keeping herself cool and calm. It had been around 8 years since the Uroubatousatsujin, but Fuuko’s skills were still as sharp, precise and dangerous, even more than ever before. 

Fuuko keyed herself (and her fuujin) into attacking mode, and analyzed the situation as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Blows were raining heavily on Tokiya, and though Fuuko knew he was tough, she also knew he didn’t have much time. Hmm, think, Fuuko, think! 5 people I can handle, but with Mikagami wounded… A gasp of pain escaped at that point, making Fuuko wince. Damn, there’s not much time. Ok, I can’t use Onitsume, I might hurt Mikagami accidentally. Maybe on one only, since the element of surprise is there. That leaves manipulating the air currents. One great gust of wind, I rush in, give a few kicks, get Mikagami, then rush out. Okay, let’s do it! Fuuko sprang into action immediately. Okay babies, fly for mama. Letting loose 2 needles into the air, Fuuko wasted no time, and called on her Kazetsumi, slamming Tokiya’s attackers onto the ground. He just slid to the floor in pain. 

Tokiya had just left the underground den. How did I ever get myself into this mess? He had managed to get, or more likely, threatened, information out a cowardly informer of a weasel, to send a highly influential mob family behind bars. He had been working on his usual criminal cases when a mangled body had turned up, with slashes and stabs that baffled the city coroner. Not that the coroner couldn’t do his job; Tokiya knew him personally to be an excellent physician of the dead. The man was killed using an extremely powerful madougu. That had piqued Tokiya’s interest in the case,  and also landed him in this state. Right after receiving the substantial news, he had been jumped by 5 brutes. Their training had been adequate enough to overpower Tokiya, with a sharp blow from behind, and he had at first played dead. He thought he could surprise his attackers enough to give him the advantage. Well, at first. Then he had slipped on a damned banana skin, causing him to land up back in square one. They had even took away his precious ensui. In a way, that had hurt him more that physical pain. Mifuyu… I’ve got to protect the ensui. She told me to… Those 5 gorillas were beating him up till he groaned in pain. Well, at least I had experienced worse than this before. I have to come up with a plan, I won’t be able to last much longer. I really regret not asking Hanabishi for help. Jeez, I’ve got to think! 

However, before Tokiya could come up with a substantial plan, one of the goons clutched  his side, red with blood and a protruding needle, and toppled. A gust of wind then stormed in, sweeping the other 4 ninnies onto the floor. Tokiya was shocked. He had expected to be ambushed, but definitely not helped now! Even more so when he regconised the technique used. Fuuko!? But how can that be? She should still be touring the States for, what did Yanagi say again, oh yes, tornadoes. What’s she doing here? Not that I mind… Tokiya watched with detached concentration; he was trying to overcome his pain and those gray spots dancing before him, as Fuuko came leaping in, graceful as ever, and delivered a snap kick to a goon who had struggled into a crouching stance. Fuuko flashed Tokiya a toothy grin as she swung around to execute a high kick, sending another goon flying into a pile of discarded furniture. 

3 down, 2 to go… Fuuko mentally calculated the body count. Get Mikagami now…Fuuko extended a hand to her fallen friend, but withdrew and nodded in understanding when she saw him up on his feet, brushing dust from his suit. Suddenly, 2 muscular arms grabbed her from behind, restricting her movements altogether. Caught off guard, Fuuko was trapped by the enemy, and Tokiya’s eyes narrowed in mirth. Gripping his ensui tightly, Tokiya started drawing power to issue a command, but it was totally unnecessary. Fuuko’s arms were bound, but her legs were sure as hell not! Swinging her right leg into a aerial split, the toe of her combat boot (very hard) caught her opponent, who luckily, was a head taller, right in his face, and knocked the living daylights out. Grinning, Fuuko turned around to Tokiya, but instead was met by a gun, cold and cruel. That stopped her. Fuuko backed up, her brain clicking faster to churn out possible solutions. Mikagami, where are you? Then as though answering her mental question, the goon slid forward, off balance, and then his lifeless body crumpled to the ground. Standing triumphantly in a attacking stance was Tokiya, his ensui drawn and bloodied. 

“Mikagami, are you alright?” Fuuko rushed towards her friend. 

“I’m fine.” Was a curt reply. 

“You’re not. I saw them beat you up. What the hell is going on?” 

Tokiya sighed. “I’m fine. Really, Fuuko. I’m a lawyer, this happens all the time.” 

Yeah right! Fuuko snorted. “Mikagami, I’m not a baby. I’m only one year younger than you, and a full 25 years old. Those guys there nearly killed you and me! Don’t you think I deserve to know?” 

“You’re right. You did save my life.” It’s freezing here… and I hurt like crazy…Looking around, Tokiya asked, 

“Do you think we could go somewhere else? Those goons might have been connected to their HQ, and they might send back-up.” 

“Whoa… wait a minute. HQ? Back up? What the hell have you gotten yourself into? It’s not like just any 5 goons can corner you.” Mikagami, you idiot. You’re obviously in big trouble. Why can’t you just swallow your pride and ask us for help? 

“I think I can explain better over a cup of tea.” Fuuko saved me, and this might land her in trouble. Should I involve her at all? And is she better off knowing the situation? 

Sitting in a bright little 24 hr restaurant, cups of steaming tea at hand, Fuuko was seated across Tokiya, trying her very best to absorb what he had just told her. 

“So you’re saying, that this dead guy was working for the Yushika Takero, and the killer or killers, is from rival Kinoshi Itowa.” 

“That’s what all the evidence points to. Remember, they’re both not only the biggest and richest mobs around, they’re also very much into collecting madougus. Not that they make use of the psychic devices, thank God, but it’s more of showing off.” 

“What do you mean?” 

“Turns out that Takero’s grandfather was a excellent warrior in his own right, and he left behind a madougu after he died.. I’m not sure what that is, but that’s not the point. Itowa heard about it, and decided to start his very own collection of madougus. Very soon, both of them were fighting over even the smallest weapons. Recently, another madougu went on auction, and both were bidding highly for it. However, it was stolen and both men claimed the other had stolen it. Nothing was proven until the body showed up.” 

“I get it now. So, doesn’t that mean that Itowa sent men to kill Takero’s spy?” 

“ Well, we found a letter on the body stating that the madougu was in one of Itowa safe houses, whatever that meant. Itowa denies it, but Takero insists that he did. I just got back from a informant when those 5 brutes jumped me.” 

“So you’re now working for Takero? He was willing to employ you?” 

“Yes. He has already heard about me in some other cases, and wants me to help him sue Itowa. I’m supposed to meet the prosecutor for the murder too.” 

“Shouldn’t this Takero guy be in charge of your safety? I mean look what happened.” 

“He did offer protection, but I declined it. I always work better alone. But I guess you’re right.” Wincing at his every move, Tokiya was already regretting he took up this case. 

Damn, I’m in worse shape then I thought. Better call Takero. I can’t depend on Fuuko bailing us out every time there’s an attack. 

Watching Tokiya over her tea, Fuuko’s keen eyes noticed that he was moving gingerly and slowly, as if in pain. She blinked, and realized what a fool she was. I can’t believe. I totally forgot he was beaten up. And for quite some time too. Mikagami’s trying not to show it, but he’s in great pain. Better get back soon. Then as an afterthought, mentally added, and make a very important phone call home. 

As 2 figures made their way back to the hotel, the skies were overcast, red clouds loomed menacingly overhead, impending a violent storm in the wings. Perfect for my mood. Fuuko glanced at Tokiya, who appeared to be limping, while cautiously walking to prevent impact on his bad foot. Fuuko bit her lip. Should I offer to support him? I mean he’s the only Hokage member that prefers to work alone. And we aren’t even close. Tokiya, on the other hand, was concentrating on keeping a emotionless face, even though the effort and the fight’s aftermath was threatening to rip his entire façade apart. Damn, I just want to get a good shower and sleep for a million years. 

“Mikagami, don’t you think you ought to spend the night in my hotel room?” Even though people might talk… Oh well, none of the others are here. What’s the fuss? 

Tokiya contemplated for a second. “You’re right. I’ve already been ambushed. I’ll bet they’ve already started monitoring my room till I return. I mean, if you don’t mind…” I want to lie down and rest. My head feels like there’s a hammer pounding away inside… 

“I certainly don’t. Mikagami, you’re a friend. I don’t turn away friends in trouble. Sure, you can stay the night. Of course, I’ll just have to share the bed…” Fuuko trailed off, shocked at what she had just emitted, a rose red blush spreading. I just said WHAT?! MY God, I can’t believe I just said I didn’t mind sleeping with Mikagami. Fuuko astounded herself again. Did I just say sleeping with Mikagami? I’m nuts. Honestly, I am. Tokiya, on the other hand, had heard what she said, and for some reason, was blushing just as furiously. Sharing the bed?! I think Fuuko meant that she was willing to share the room. Does she? Like Fuuko, Tokiya was just as dumfounded at his mental conversation. You pervert, Tokiya, Fuuko would kill you if she could hear… Both of them recessed from their solitary thoughts for a glance at each other, and was met with red, blushing faces, making them both even more embarrassed. Suddenly, overhead, lightning flashed, and the boom of thunder could be heard a distance away. Water droplets started falling from the heavens,  and Fuuko stared up in dismay. 

“Just great! Mikagami, do you think you can make it back to the hotel?” Damn! I didn’t mean the way it came out. I just hope he doesn’t notice. Fuuko cursed herself for not being sensitive enough to Tokiya’s feelings. Nobody liked being treated as an invalid. 

“My foot hurts, but yes, I think I can break into a slow jog.” Mikagami was stunned at himself. Did I just admit my vulnerability to Fuuko? But the worse part was… And I didn’t even mind. 

“Here, if I give you a hand, we can get back quicker. I just hope you didn’t sprain that ankle.” Thank goodness he didn’t notice my slip. Wait, did he just open himself to me? Fuuko would have thought about it more, but it was now pouring cats and dogs, definitely not the time nor place for self reflection. Supporting Tokiya, Fuuko tried to speed back to shelter. 

“Here, catch.” Fuuko threw a fluffy towel at Tokiya, who caught it effortlessly. Good, that means he’s not hurt that badly. 

“I don’t suppose you have spare clothes…” 

Fuuko shook her head, while drying her hair. “I do have a baggy shirt or 2, but as for your other wear, I’m afraid you’ll have to send the hotel staff to get it for you. And get another bed.” They had arrived back at the hotel soaked to the skin, and it seemed like forever before they managed to get warm and relaxed again. 

“Umm, yeah. Sure, whatever.” Tokiya undid the rubber band and tried to dry his wet hair, which was no mean feat since his hair was really long. Blast it, I forgot to bring clothes along. Which means I’ll have to stay in these wet things until some apparel is found… 

Fuuko had other ideas of her own. His hair is so nice… What am I thinking? Mikagami would most certainly get the ‘flu in he remains in his wet things. Better ask him to take them off… AHHH! Am I deluded or something? Nope, I’m not. Just purely for health reasons… Damn, his injuries!!! 

“Mikagami, I think you ought to take your clothes off. Pneumonia might set in. And most importantly, get your injuries checked out.” 

“I’m okay, you know. And umm, it’s not very nice to err… strip in here…” Although I would love to be dry again, and my body is killing me… 

“Yeah right!” Fuuko was peeved. “Can you stop acting like a gentleman for a minute and look at yourself? You’re wet, cold, hurt and exhausted. Now you listen to me, Mikagami, I have a bath robe which you’re going to change into straight away, you hear me? I’ll call for room service and then tend to your wounds. Get it?” My God, did I just order Mikagami? Since when did I start doing that? Since when did I start… start… caring? 

“Umm, sure.” Tokiya limped to the toilet and while changing, Fuuko’s words and tone finally started sinking in. Did Fuuko just threaten me? I’d never heard her command me before. And why in the world did I obey her? I think I’m really tired. 

“Wow, you took a really long time. Here, eat some food. I’m sorry but you’ll just have to sleep in the bathrobe, since your clothes will only arrive tomorrow morning.” Fuuko greeted Tokiya with a sandwich in one hand, a cup of tea in another. 

“That was fast. And I don’t mind the bathrobe, it’s quite comfortable actually.” Remember, no admitting to pain or tiredness again…Mikagami resolved. 

Fuuko caught her friend grimacing as he took the sandwich and tea from her hands. Hmm, better check out his injuries to see if they’re serious. Goodness, he was beaten up quite badly. What if he has internal injuries? 
“Mikagami, how badly are you hurt? Do you think you need a doctor? Come over here, no wait, I’ll come over. You stay put.” 

“What the…? I’m just bruised and battered. No need for a doctor, and what the hell are you trying to pull, Fuuko?” Mikagami was alarmed, and he had every reason to feel so, for Fuuko had moved over to him, and was tugging at his bathrobe. 

“I just want to do a check on you. Are you going to cooperate or do I have to do this the hard way?” Fuuko threatened. Man, what is wrong with me? This is the 2nd time I’ve done that. And jeez, Mikagami has a GREAT body… Oh Kirisawa, you’re such a pervert!!! 

Mikagami wore a enormous scowl as disrobed to the waist. Oh well, at least I always keep myself in good shape. Apart from the bruises, that is. 

“Does it hurt here? Or here?” Moving her hands all over Tokiya’s torso, Fuuko tried to untangle some of the muscle knots and the bruises. Feeling firm and smooth flesh under her fingers, Fuuko concluded that Tokiya only suffered external injuries which would heal in a day or 2. Good, Mikagami wasn’t hurt that badly. *Sigh* He feels so good… Dammit Kirisawa, of all people, you just had to be attracted to Mikagami? 

“Ouch! Yeow! Fuuko, can you be gentler? And since when were you licensed to be diagnosis doctor?” Fuuko’s massaging does hurt but it feels really good too… Then blushing hotly, Tokiya concentrated on his pounding headache. 

“You forgot that I am a field meteorologist, which in other words means I chase weird weather all around the world. Do you think I’m allowed to get myself in sticky and dangerous situations if I don’t have adequate medical training? The doctor can’t be with the entire team all the time! And you’re fine now! You just need to take a long rest.” 

“I will, after I make a phone call to Takero concerning our protection.” 

30 minutes later, Tokiya and Fuuko sat opposite each other across a marble table, trying to figure out what the next day’s itinerary was going to be. 

“Takero will be sending some of his bodyguards to pick both of us up tomorrow. We’ll be spending a few days as his guests in his mansion.” 

“But Mikagami, wouldn’t that make it extremely difficult for you to collect more information?” 

“Yes, it would. But your… I mean, our protection is more important. Especially after tonight’s little workout.” Tokiya unconsciously rubbed his sore arms. Why in the world did I say ‘your’ instead of ‘our’ protection? Damn you Tokiya, you can’t risk getting too close to Fuuko. She’s just a friend, and have you forgotten Mifuyu already? 

“I agree. But you made 2 phone calls. And you looked pretty worried while speaking to the other person. Is something amiss?” 

“Yes. Another contact has given me every reason to believe that Takero is hiding something. Remember the madougu his grandfather passed down?” 

Fuuko nodded her head. “You mean Takero might be planning on using this madougu? Perhaps to upstage or maybe even destroy Itowa.” 

“You have a point there, Fuuko. But I can’t prove it. Not at this point of time, at least. But if Taketo was really bent on destroying his rival, he would have done it a long time ago. If not open war, then definitely through underhand means.” 

“True. So what exactly did your contact tell you?” 

“The madougu that had been stolen actually conjoins with Taketo’s heirloom madougu to from a powerful weapon. What exactly is the power, I do not know. My contact seems reluctant to tell me too. Anyway, my opinion is that Itowa must have garnered the same information through a spy, and apparently, sent someone to steal the madougu, to prevent Takero from using its power.” 

“This sounds extremely dangerous. Thank goodness I’ve already telephoned Recca and the others to rush over.” Ops, big mistake Kirisawa… 

Tokiya’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly. “You called Hanabishi? Why?” Damn if I’m going to let that idiot stick his nose in my business again! 

“It’s perfectly logical Mikagami. Look here, this is a small town without even a proper and reliable police force. Even in a big city, I don’t think the law there could hold up against a dozen well-used madougus. And do you think both of us could make any difference once war is openly declared between Takero and Itowa? Might I remind you that we both nearly lost our lives to a mere number of FIVE men? And they didn’t even have any weapons!” My God, this just reminds me what I find so annoying about Mikagami. His I’m-better-than-the-rest-&-I-don’t-need-any-help attitude! 

“So based on that attack you’re going to assume that we cannot handle the present situation and that’s why we need Hanabishi’s help?!” Fuuko is simply ridiculous! 

Fuuko’s temper flared as she slammed a fist on the table and stood up. “Damn you! Listen to yourself Mikagami! You are perfectly willing to accept protection from a complete stranger who might be involved in creating World War 3! But you won’t even let your friends, whom you’ve known for EIGHT years, to help! All because of a silly rivalry. I always felt that you were the most intelligent among the Hokage; don’t let some biases get in the way of making a judgement. That could jolly well cost you your life! Think, as in a third party, not Tokiya Mikagami, is Recca and the others needed?” Please Mikagami, try to understand, you stubborn, pig-headed Ice-man… 

Tokiya listened to Fuuko’s yelling in surprise, he had forgotten how effective she was when she wanted to knock some sense into anyone. Fuuko’s right, I am being bias. And that could result in a breach in safetey. For Fuuko’s sake… I got her invovled, and I have to be in charge of her safety. 

“You’re right, I guess. Hanabishi can come. But don’t expect me to accept him and treat him like some buddy…” Tokiya trailed off, for Fuuko erupted again. 

“The hell you are, Mikagami! Stop acting like a child! This is not a game, we could be killed anytime now, and all you can think about is Recca upstaging you?! Don’t be stubborn!” Fuuko’s tone then softened. “Recca isn’t and was never your enemy. All of us are your friends. We love you, even if you don’t return that feeling. I understand you miss Mifuyu, but it’s been 16 years Mikagami, isn’t it high time you’ve moved on and stop moping about her death?” 

That hit Tokiya where it hurt most, and he lashed out in anger and pain. “You don’t understand, none of you do! Have you ever had parents died when you were a toddler, then have your beautiful sister bring you up, shower you with love and care, and finally you see her DIE when you were just 10? And then find out the man you so respectfully loved and called ‘Sensei’ for 7 years was the killer? Have you?!” Tears pricked in the corners of Tokiya’s eyes, startling him considerably. I’ve never actually told anyone how I felt before. Why am I doing this now? 

Fuuko was too furious at Tokiya’s tone to care about his feelings. “No, I don’t! But you’re the last person I would think to carry this around for 16 years, afraid, yes afraid, to care anymore just because of a bad experience! When I broke up with Raiha, sure, I was damn upset, but did that make me a loner? You never came to our gatherings for the past 8 years. You never once called or contacted us. We only saw you by chance, at work or somewhere else. Yanagi is the only one you speak or write to, and even then, you’re as frosty as a snowman. Even she says she’s kind of scared by your chilly temperament!” 

Tokiya, for once, felt his icy bearing melt, and steaming anger took over. He matched Fuuko temper for temper, word for word, with a take-no-prisoner maxim. 

“At least I show my real feelings! Okay, maybe I act nonchalantly, but everyone knows how I feel. Not like you, smiling and laughing when you’re hurting like hell inside!” 

“What… do… you… mean… by… that…?” It took all of Fuuko’s self-control to check the fiery inferno inside, to keep from choking Tokiya to death there and then, as she slowly spit out her question word by word. 

“You should know what I mean. When you broke up with Raiha, you practically told the whole world BOTH of you wanted out. You smiled and laughed and everyone told you were fine. Even Yanagi, who told me about the entire matter. But you were  bleeding like hell inside, weren’t you? Don’t look so surprised; I saw you drunk at a bar, and phoned your brother to take you home. You wouldn’t remember, but I heard you screaming and yelling at an imaginary Raiha for breaking your heart. You are a good actress, Fuuko. You managed to fool everyone into thinking you were alright. Even Raiha. I did ask him, by the way. He thought the break-up was mutual, but obviously, he was dead wrong.” 

Fuuko was shaking with cold fury. “So the man my brother couldn’t reveal was you!” Taking a step towards Tokiya, Fuuko continued, enraged. “You mind your own business from now on, you…” Tokiya was saved from Fuuko’s wrath by the bell. Picking up the telephone, Fuuko shifted her concentration away. 
Tokiya, you silly little fool, how could you have said that to Fuuko? You’ve better apologise when she gets off the phone. By now, Tokiya was thoroughly regretting his rash actions and words. He had always prided himself to be cool and calm, under any circumstances, but for some reason, his control had slipped away and he had definitely flown off the handle. Meanwhile, on the phone, Fuuko was also regretting the way she had treated Tokiya. Only half her mind on the phone, her conscience was rebuking her other half. Kirisawa, you dolt! Why did you have to lapse into Mikagami’s faults? He was already willing to work with Recca. You know how he’s like. He may say one thing, but actually means another. He would accept Recca anyhow. He just doesn’t like to say it out loud. He has his pride, you know. And don’t give me the  he-dragged-up-Raiha crap. You deserved that. Though you got to admit he is sharp to have notice your real feelings. 
Once Fuuko got off the phone, she had been chided enough by her conscience to want to apologise immediately; Tokiya was facing the exact same predicament. 

“Umm, Mikagami, I think I have to apologise.” 

“Me too, Fuuko. That was nasty of me wasn’t it? I’ll accept Recca’s help.” 

Fuuko grinned. She wasn’t comfortable at admitting her faults and was glad to have gotten that over with. 
“You haven’t been the only nasty being around. And talking about Recca, he was on the phone. It’s midnight now, so they’ll be flying over tomorrow, and I gave them Taketo’s address and the other information. Kagerou is checking things up for us already. They’ll be arriving in the evening.” 

“Good. I guess we’ll just have to survive for 24 hours then we’ll be fine.” 

“Hey Mikagami, you can actually make a joke or 2.” 

“Was that a joke, Fuuko?” 

“Forget it. We need rest now. Not another heated debate. Here, you take the Queen bed, I’ll take the mattress.” Mikagami’s hurt, he needs the more comfy bed. But he’ll be too much of a gentleman to accept it… Lucky I already expected that… 

Tokiya was already on the floor, head shaking. “No, I’m not really hurt much. You said so yourself, I’ll be fine on the floor.” Give up Fuuko, please. I’m so tired and my head’s spinning. I can barely keep my eyes open… 

“Sure Mikagami, if that’s what you want. Just come over here and sit beside me for a second, I’ve got something important to tell you.” Putting Bed plan into action… 

Tokiya was so glad at Fuuko’s giving in that he did just that without any fuss. Only when sitting on the soft bed did he get suspicious. “Fuuko, since when have you been so submissive? You didn’t even argue with me…” Damn, I can’t even keep my eyes open…Wait a minute, I was fine all along… “Fuuko???!!!” 

Fuuko smiled sweetly. “You’ve probably figured everything out by now. I have to give you credit.” Jeez, his brain works pretty fast even when he’s half-down. 

Tokiya understood everything. “The tea… You drugged me, you sly vixen you…” 

“Smart. Not only the tea, the sandwich too. Both of us know you’ll never sleep on the Queen bed. That’s why I had to drug you. Oh, don’t worry, it’s only a slight does of sleeping pills… That’s a good boy, go to sleep now…” Tokiya had fallen asleep at the end of Fuuko’s explanation, and after tucking him in, Fuuko proceeded to tidy the room. 

Mikagami looks so vulnerable, like a little boy when he sleeps. How I wish Mifuyu never died, then we’ll finally know who Tokiya Mikagami really is…Fuuko picked up Tokiya’s clothes, and while hanging the sodden apparel up, a small notebook fell to the floor. Picking it up, she realized it was open to a page with a poem on it, in Tokiya’s handwriting. Hmm, I never knew Mikagami was a poet… Let’s see what it says here…Fuuko was definitely not prepared for what the words conveyed and divulged. 

Spirit & body, 
shadow & light, between earth & sky I tumble, 
spinning arabesques, kaleidoscope journey. 

Wow… He’s poetry is good. But he seems so confused, unsure here. A kaleidoscope journey? He’s doubtful, even dreading what the future will bring… 

I am noble & rogue, 
mortal & sorcerer, ice & water, 
power & grace. 

This sounds more like the Mikagami I know. Always so sure of himself. Fuuko stifled a chuckle as she continued reading. 

Sublime & grotesque, somber & afire, 
I entrance, mesmerize, fusing madness & wisdom, 
primordial chaos. 

God, Mikagami’s thinks he going mad?! Casting a look at the sleeping figure on the bed, Fuuko couldn’t believe her eyes. He thinks he needs help… Poor baby… 

I am celestial & eerie, 
playful & mischievous, subtle & striking, 
magnificent, androgynous. 

This is much better. It sounds like the Mikagami that I know. 

Soaring, teetering, slithering, I am fluid, poetic, hypnotic. 
Dancing, whirling, flying. 
I am rebellious, defiant, explosive. 

Is this the Mikagami deep down inside? The one we’ve never seen? A beautiful, intelligent being that was killed 16 years ago. Is he finally resurfacing? 

I am one, I am many. 
I am as we are --- 
eternal, out of time. 

Mikagami’s joined to Mifuyu. That’s what he’s saying. He died when she died. But he’s still alive, that’s why he’s eternal. Not belonging to either heaven, hell nor the living. 

I am science & magic, chimeric, ethereal. 
I come from nowhere. 
I come from everywhere. 

Gods, Mikagami’s scared, frightened. He has power of the ensui, but he doesn’t understand it at all. It’s just something he vowed to protect, a mean to avenge Mifuyu. He hates the ensui, and even himself, because they both caused Mifuyu’s death. He’s seriously confused. He has no idea what to do. Fuuko put down the notebook, and looked at her friend, sleeping peacefully, an innocent babe. Mikagami, you poor boy… 

“Mikagami-chan, please, allow me to convey my deepest regrets and apologies. Itowa is a madman, and I knew that, yet I didn’t insist on your protection. You being ambushed and hurt is partially my fault. Use my humble lodgings as you would yours.” 

Humble lodgings? Is that guy kidding? Fuuko looked up from Taketo’s face to the surroundings. Taketo’s mansion was anything but a ‘humble lodging’. Jeez, you could put a King up in here, maybe even the entire ‘Royal Kings of the World’ convention! 

“Taketo-chan, I wouldn’t have taken up your offer if not for my friend’s, Ms Fuuko Kirisawa, protection. It is true she came to my rescue, and your enemies may therefore come after her. I do hope you will extend your hospitality to her.” He’d better, or else… 

Taketo responded with a warm smile, and directed his response to Fuuko. “Ms. Kirisawa, you have saved the life of a man whom I greatly respect, it is my pleasure that I should meet you. It is even a greater honour to house you in my humble lodgings. You do not mind, I hope…” 

“No, not at all. Your house suits my taste very well indeed. It is absolutely magnificent.” My God, that Taketo idiot is practically flinging his house into our very faces… Jerk! 

Tokiya had diligence and a ability to pick up innuendoes to match Fuuko’s, and he was doing some mental criticizing of his own. Taketo is a show-off. What ‘humble lodgings’? This a practically a palace! Bother him, I just want a word with Fuuko… 

As though Taketo had head Tokiya’s thoughts, he excused himself. “Mikagami-chan, Ms Kirisawa, I do hope you both will not take offense at my absence. Much as I loathe it, I do beg to take my leave. I have some business meetings to see to, and will not be free to entertain my guests. Feel free to wander around, all grounds are opened to you. We shall meet for dinner, where a few of my close associates will be coming by. Dress code is formal. Do not worry about the clothes. I’ll have some servants to prepare them. Now, if you do not mind…” A slight bow and a quick nod of the head signaled the recess of Taketo Yushika. As he walked off, a procession of bodyguards tailing, Fuuko and Tokiya finally had a much needed talk. Tokiya had only awaken the next day at around 12 noon, and Taketo’s limousine had arrived shortly after. They had lunch, and if anyone is interested, it was cold salad, boiled lobster, a variety of top-class sushi and a good number of scented (and extremely expensive) sticky rice balls. With Taketo around, Fuuko and Tokiya wasn’t inclined to discuss anything; it just wasn’t proper. Now that Taketo had finally left, they both could do as they pleased. 

“Mikagami, I do hope you aren’t blaming me for yesterday’s incident. You know how hard you can be sometimes, and you needed rest badly.” I hope this gets through to him; he seems to have put that bloody ice-mask back on. 

“You were pretty sneaky, but you had good intentions. I’ll just have to take it as though I had fallen into an enemy’s trap and deserved to be punished by having to put up with your merciless teasing.” Tokiya, how could you have been so careless to let your guard down. Remember, you can’t let Fuuko in, what if she… 

Tokiya brushed away that thought and shifted topics. If Fuuko really had been the enemy, you would be dead by now. From now on, all defences go up! Nobody gets in. And yes, not even…not even Fuuko. 

“Fine, take it as you will. Okay, can we plan what do now? I mean even if we’re under Taketo’s protection,” Fuuko’s voice dropped a few decibels, “He is also rather dangerous. What if he turns on us?” 

Tokiya nodded. “Yes, it is much better if we had a back-up plan. But still, we’re on Taketo’s side. He wouldn’t try to kill people that work for him. I going to help him convict Itowa, he needs me.” 

“I agree. Unless Taketo discovers that we have been checking up on him. Not that we found anything that brands him as a criminal, but he might be paranoid that we’re Itowa’s spies and decides to …” Fuuko drew a line across her neck to pass on her point. Tokiya didn’t let any of his feelings onto his face. Mikagami, why are you closing yourself from me? Yesterday you were warmer, okay, so we had a yelling match, but that beats your cold shoulder now… Fuuko felt Tokiya’s doors slam shut in her face, and decided to do something about it. Hmm, it’s 4 more hours to dinner, plenty of time to get to know him. 

“Mikagami, do you like soccer?” 

Tokiya blinked in surprise. “Soccer?” What is Fuuko up to now? 

Well, he was about to find out. 

“…Come on Mikagami, surely you can do better than that!” Fuuko yelled at Tokiya came towards her at full speed, dribbling a soccer ball. 

“ Oh yeah, then catch this!” Tokiya kicked the ball as hard as it could, and it sailed, no, more like zoomed, towards Fuuko, the goalkeeper. 

“You’re not going to beat me, not if I can help it!” Fuuko leaped, and caught the ball in mid air. Yes! I did it! Ouch! Oh no… Fuuko did manage to intercept the fast ball, but she didn’t count on the impact on her, or how far it would have landed her. As the ground approached, all Fuuko could do was close her eyes, brace herself for the collision, and pray that the ground was soft. She couldn’t use her fuujin to manipulate the air currents and cushion herself as she wasn’t wearing it. Tokiya had been adamant about her cheating and Fuuko had risen to the challenge to prove that she was a soccer champion. Tokiya had been suspicious when Fuuko had contested him in a game of soccer, and was mildly surprise (Hey, it’s Ice man we’re talking about here. Mildly surprise for him = Very surprise for us normal people) when Fuuko had literally meant what she said. He has protested at first. After all, they were guests in a mansion, it wouldn’t be nice if they started rolling around with a ball. They would look childish. I mean, I’m Taketo’s lawyer, not his 10 year old soccer-crazy charge. But with an evil grin plastered on her face, and armed with a ‘he told me to make myself at home’ excuse, Fuuko had dragged an extremely unwilling Tokiya to find a soccer ball and a playing field. Though I admire Fuuko’s guts. Not that he regretted it now. Wow, I’ve never had this much fun in a long, long time. I’ve never played soccer in years either. I’ve always been too busy. Maybe Fuuko was right about me moping about Mifuyu. Rubbish Tokiya, how can you forget Mifuyu? Tokiya’s inner voice cut in. It was right, all this while, he had never once thought about his dead sister. She’s your sister, and she died for you! And you promised never to get involve with anyone…Before Tokiya could finish that thought, he had let loose his killer ball for Fuuko to fend off. He never expected Fuuko to have caught it,  and was shocked when he saw Fuuko knocked off balance and flying towards the ground. Don’t panic Tokiya, Fuuko has the fuujin… Damn it, I made her take it off! Fuuko?! Without missing a beat, Tokiya leaped into the air, steering his body towards Fuuko. Just before Fuuko fell to the ground, Tokiya had positioned himself underneath her, to bear the brunt of the fall. Fuuko didn’t realize Tokiya had caught her until she had lost all velocity and felt a soft body, and not the hard ground under her. What the…? How come I’m not the least bit hurt. And this soccer field is so soft and warm… Soft and warm?! And who’s groaning? 

“I don’t expect any thanks from you, but will you at least get off me?” God, I hurt all over again. Why did I save Fuuko from a bruise? She’s healthy enough to take it. 

Opening her eyes somewhat gingerly, Fuuko looked at what prevented a really nasty bruise. Mikagami? He saved me? Fuuko then realized that both of them were in a really compromising position, with her on top of a groaning Tokiya, a mere soccer ball as a chaperone, and the only thing between them. 

“Oh I’m so sorry!” Blushing furiously, Fuuko got off Tokiya somewhat awkwardly, and helped him into a sitting position. Jeez, I’ve never been so close to him before. He smells real good. I think it’s Calvin Klein’s latest cologne range ‘Madness.’  Madness? Recalling the Tokiya’s poem, Fuuko snapped out of her embarrassment and thought about more important things. It’s really ironic, Mikagami;  you’re a really weird guy. 

“Umm, how are you feeling?” Tokiya was also red with embarrassment, and could only manage a sentence. I think that’s mint isn’t it? Jeez man, I just wanted to save her, not smell her or end up looking like a pair of lovers rolling on the ground. Did I say lovers? Damn you Tokiya, you swore never to get involve with another. Yet you… 

“Mikagami, you dolt! Why did you get under me? You have barely recovered from yesterday’s fight? It’s only a bruise you know. And I’m fine. You’re not.” Why am I so concerned about Mikagami? 

“You said it so yourself. It’s only a bruise. And do you think I can’t even withstand a beating and a bruise? You really underestimated me, Fuuko.” Is Fuuko concerned about me? Nah, it can’t be. She’s just worried about her patient getting another ‘trophy’. 

“I guess you do look alright.” Fuuko admitted grudgingly, but she was not about to be beaten at her game. 

“But any complaints and you get another dose of tea straight away!” Even Tokiya couldn’t keep a straight face at Fuuko’s warm-hearted jest, and broke into slight, extremely slight smile, so only the corners of his mouth appeared upturned. 

“You win, Fuuko. I’m not complaining, but do you think we could try something less dangerous, so I don’t have to rescue you all the time?” 

“That sounds like a complaint if I ever heard one. Tea coming right up!” 

Tokiya just groaned. “You’ve got to be kidding. Me and my big mouth.” 

“Yes, your big mouth! And what do you mean by rescuing me all the time? If your memory permits, I would like to remind you that I did all the rescuing yesterday.” 

“My memory is just fine Fuuko. And perhaps I should point out that I did help you do away with the last idiot with the gun! And you did plenty of drugging too, by the way.” 

“Yes, I did.” A evil gleam twinkled in Fuuko’s eyes. “And I’m also going to do plenty of drugging today!” Laughing, she chased after Tokiya all the way back into the mansion.