Character piece for Soubi, who is coming to a realization regarding Ritsuka. Soubi is slightly OOC. Pre-Soubi/Ritsuka.
By: eternalsailorsolarwind AKA youkai_girl
Disclaimer: Loveless and all characters are owned by Yun Kouga, Ichijinsha, Tokyopop, and a few other legal entities whose names escape me at the moment. I just write fanfics with the characters for fun.
A/N: When I started this over a year ago, I was not expecting where I ended up. It's turned out to be a bit of a character piece for Soubi, who's dealing with several things at once, and coming to what is, for him, a startling conclusion. Soubi may be a little OOC, since this is not my usual writing fandom. I just write 'em as they come to me.
The moment Soubi saw the bruises, he knew something was wrong.
It had been nearly a week since their last battle, so there was no reason for the mottling across the back of his Sacrifice. As an artist, he could see the aesthetics of the rainbow of colors across Ritsuka’s skin, the artistry of pain written large upon the canvas that was the boy in front of him. If it had been someone else’s body – anyone else’s body – he would be able to enjoy the artist’s work.
But this was Ritsuka’s body, and he did not appreciate this particular artwork. “Ritsuka?”
The boy flinched and turned, surprised to see him. His entrances and exits were always nearly silent, so it wasn’t his sudden appearance that startled Ritsuka. Soubi could see in those eyes that always enthralled him, that it was the fact that Soubi was seeing the bruises – and other wounds, now that he could see Ritsuka’s chest – that caused this reaction. “S-soubi?
“Has another fighter attacked you?” he asked, his voice sounding strained and worried to his own ears. It was fine if he fought alone, but Ritsuka was much too precious to be allowed to bear the brunt of an attack.
Hunching in on himself, the cat-eared boy shook his head. He quickly pulled one of his long-sleeved shirts on over his head. “It’s fine, Soubi. Don’t worry about it.”
Soubi crossed the room in two long-legged strides, stopping in front of the boy. “It is not fine, Ritsuka. You’ve been hurt. I wasn’t there to protect you!”
His sacrifice took a step back. “You can’t always be there, Soubi! And it wasn’t Septimal Moon.”
The blond blinked as Ritsuka looked away. “Was it someone at school? Did you and Yayoi-kun get into a fight?”
“No,” muttered the brunette, refusing to look at him. “It’s not important, Soubi. Just leave it alone.”
Soubi was surprised that Ritsuka was trying to avoid the issue. His spitfire Sacrifice usually met everything head on. Why was he attempting to deflect his questions? “It’s important to me, Ritsuka.”
Wide, expressive eyes stared up at him. Soubi could see the surprise and the desperate need to believe his words, before those eyes shuttered on him. “Liar.”
Soubi stewed silently, frustrated by the boy's response. It seemed he still had a lot of work ahead of him where Ritsuka was concerned. What was worse, however, were the sudden feelings of worry and exasperation he felt towards his Sacrifice. It meant he was getting too close, too wrapped up in Seimei's brother. Too attached.
The worst of all, however, was the realization that he didn't care; he preferred this master to his other, and would forsake Seimei just as he had been forsaken. It was frightening, it was exhilarating; Soubi took a deep breath before again attempting to cajole Ritsuka into letting slip who was hurting him. He was glad for once that the boy had forgotten to order him to leave the issue of the bruises be.
It was his job, after all, to protect his Sacrifice. A job he took particularly seriously. Especially where this master was concerned.