At the end of the Black Rose arc, Saionji pays Touga a visit.
Touga himself lay slumped in a chair, in the Kiryuu estate's empty ballroom.
"If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born."
He remembered, if only vaguely, that there had been a party recently, and he'd had to stand up and talk to people and be charming. Nanami had demanded it. He'd been as charming as he could, and he thought he remembered girls laughing with him... but then, he also remembered one of Nanami's little followers walking into the room and ripping a sword from his chest, and that could never have happened.
"If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born."
All his memories were faded, since Tenjou had slashed the rose from his chest and demanded her prize. Who knew that the loss of the Rose Bride affected the Victor this strongly? Maybe Saionji had been right to stay back from school so long...
"If the egg's shell..."
The record stopped, with a screech. Touga blinked, still staring at the floor... that hadn't happened before. He should get up and put the record back on. He had to finish the speech, or the Ends of the World would be displeased.
"If the egg's shell does not break, the chick will die without being born," Touga said, in a voice rough with underuse. "We are the chick. The egg is the world. If the world's shell does not break, we will die without being born. Break the world's shell..."
Another voice joined his on the last clause. "...to revolutionise the world!"
That was as usual. But the other voice hadn't been Arisugawa's.
"You look pathetic," it said.
"Kyouichi?" Touga looked up, a little.
"Saionji," the voice corrected him. "You haven't called me Kyouichi since we were eight."
Touga looked up further, seeing the man in front of him: Kyouichi Saionji, almost as tall as Touga himself, in a neatly-pressed white Student Council uniform, his green hair flowing out behind him and a pair of kendo practice swords in his hands.
"Saionji," Touga confirmed, in a voice more like his usual one, and Saionji made a sound that was almost a laugh.
"Good," he said.
Saionji turned back to the gramophone. "What's the point of this thing?" he asked. "You never let machines do your speaking for you before."
"I had to give the speech," Touga answered, which was no answer at all.
"Why? You haven't come to the elevator in weeks. You haven't come to school in weeks."
Touga didn't reply.
"Get up, then." Saionji dropped a practice sword at Touga's feet. "I want to spar."
Touga looked at the sword, and then stood, his rumpled Council uniform a stark contrast to Saionji's immaculate one. "Shouldn't we change into robes?"
Saionji picked up the other sword and raised it above his head. "We've never bothered with armour. Why bother with robes?"
Touga held the sword out in front of him, an approximation of his usual stance.
As tradition dictated, they spent a moment each silently taking the other's measure. Then Saionji shouted a wordless cry, ran forward, and brought the shinai down to slap against Touga's waist, in an attack that Touga seemed to make no attempt to block. "/Dou/!" he announced, and then turned to face Touga.
"You've lost all traces of your skill," he said. "Usually you could block that cut without thinking. What's wrong with you?"
"Nanami says I need to rest." Touga seemed to be regaining some of his humanity.
"That's what she said to me, too. You normally know enough to ignore her when she behaves like that. /Men/!" Saionji charged again. Touga raised his shinai halfheartedly, and Saionji's smashed it aside with ease, to come down on the part in Touga's hair. "I assume you're like this because you lost to Tenjou. But that's no excuse. You're better than her, and one loss shouldn't set you back. /Kote/!"
Touga made another attempt at a block. Saionji swept it aside just as easily as the first and landed a strike on Touga's wrist, hard enough to make Touga drop his shinai.
"When we fought the first time, we were seven years old. Even then you were better than this. /Tsuki/!"
Saionji's shinai came forward fast, the rounded edge stopping a bare few centimetres from crushing Touga's windpipe.
"What do I have to do," Saionji asked, not lowering the shinai, "to bring you back?"
Touga didn't answer, and Saionji made his decision.
He dropped the shinai, grabbed Touga's collar, and pulled his body hard against Saionji's own. Touga let a breath out of his lungs at the impact, but not from surprise... this was nothing new to either of them. Touga and Saionji had been duelling for all ten years they had known each other, and at least half of those duels had ended with Saionji pressed against Touga, running his hands over Touga's body, both making meaningless noises of approval. Over the last few years, though, Touga had discovered his gift for seduction, and the sessions of contact had faded away.
Almost viciously, Saionji pulled Touga's head down the half-inch difference in their heights, and pressed his own lips against the taller boy's. At that, Touga made a muffled noise of surprise - Touga had kissed Saionji once or twice, in the past, but Saionji had never dared to kiss Touga - which Saionji noticed not at all, pressing his tongue against Touga's in a passion that was almost a fury. Touga's hands came up, seemingly of their own volition, to clasp Saionji's hips, and Saionji increased the pressure on Touga's tongue as if seeking to cause injury. Some part of him noticed that he was hurting, somewhere, but it was nearly the furthest thing from his mind.
Then Saionji pulled away from Touga's lips and Touga's hands, looking at Touga almost challengingly. He realised he could taste blood in his mouth, and that his tongue had somehow ran into Touga's teeth or his own - it didn't seem to matter much. He turned his head, wordlessly, to spit blood onto Touga's carpet. "Well?" he asked, another challenge.
Touga half-knelt, picked up his fallen shinai, and examined it for a moment, before shouting "/Tsuki/!", and charging at Saionji. Saionji ducked backwards, caught unawares, and grabbed his own shinai from the floor to block Touga's attack. Touga clashed his shinai against Saionji's twice, before knocking Saionji's guard aside and thrusting the shinai to almost touch Saionji's adam's apple.
"Well." The amused, predatory gleam Saionji remembered was back in Touga's eyes. "You're right. I haven't been myself lately."
Saionji laughed, and swung his shinai to knock Touga's aside. "And what are you going to do about it?"
Touga was already walking, and his usual grace was in his movements. "I think..." He looked at Saionji, smirking, and threw him his shinai. "I think I'll go for a drive."
Saionji caught the shinai and watched him walk from the room, caught between two sentences; I didn't know you drove and /Get back here, Kiryuu, you're mine/!
He was only alone for a moment before the doors flew open and Nanami stormed into the room. "What did you /do/, Kyouichi?" she demanded.
"I broke your brother's shell," Saionji replied. Looking at her, in that yellow atrocity she assumed was a Student Council uniform, so full of powerless rage at everything around her, Saionji was starting to realise how ridiculous - how pathetic - the Duellists were.
"He's getting away, little Kiryuu." Saionji's mouth was full of blood again, but he figured Nanami would look askance at him spitting on the carpet. Instead, he swallowed, and thought he could feel the blood burn down his throat.
Nanami scowled, then slammed the door behind her as she stormed out.
Somewhere in the distance, Saionji could hear a car engine running.