You know what? I hate html.I wish I was doing almost anything else.Like getting laid. I could be having sex right now, but noooo.I watched Utena lose her virginity again this weekend.That scene is so hot.The fine line between obsession and madness is... what was I saying?GIRL ON GIRL ACTION!!!I want that outfit. I like red and black. What a surprise.This layout took forever to get just right. But that was because I took so many breaks.I never ate glue in kindergarten. Hard to tell, huh?Gio keeps talking about food. What a bitch.LEGS.See, I'm being productive. Now if only I could do this at work, where productive is just a dream...GODDAMMIT STOP TALKING ABOUT FOODYou know, those are the only important things in life. Food, sex, and sleep.Everything else is just window dressing.I have to clean my house still. That sucks.I hate cleaning. I should buy maids.I want to go to a museum, but I don't want to get out of my jammies.I suck at being energetic.Funny, you don't look Druish.


If I Could - Chapter Two


It was exhilarating. He didn't have an extra helmet with him, had unnecessarily apologized for that, and their hair streamed and tangled together in the wind the speed of their passage created. She wondered if it might be worth it to buy a motorcycle and learn to drive it. Every time he slowed, she pounded on his shoulder and called for him to go faster, faster, until they were far past the speed limit and approaching the top speed of the bike. He was quite the expert at driving it, handling it confidently and smoothly even when dodging between cars at top speed. For her part, she was becoming an expert passenger, learning when and which way to lean, and keeping one of her arms wrapped firmly around him at all times while the other urged him on. She could see, when she leaned away from him and a little to the side, that he was smiling beneath the tinted shield of the helmet. He liked the speed as much as she did. Pulling closer to him and crushing her breasts against his back, she let her free hand wander over the line of his throat, the silky skin teasing her senses delightfully. She couldn't wait to trace that line with her lips.

He seemed to like that soft touch as much as she did too.

It wasn't long before they pulled up at a little American-themed place, a bright and bustling little joint that advertised its real homemade hamburgers and fries. The thought of food made her feel slightly ill, but it didn't matter. She wasn't going to be eating. Kiryuu turned the key, and the bike's rumble died down. Without it, even the busy street seemed almost silent. Kohana slowly pulled away from him, swinging her leg over the bike and accepting his offer of a hand up. He didn't bother to let go of it as he too rose, keeping it in his light grasp.

"You are cold," he said wonderingly, capturing the other. "I'll bring some gloves next time."

There was going to be a next time? That would depend on how he treated her this time. But it was likely, in her estimation, that if he wanted a next time there would be one. "It won't matter. I'm always cold."

He rubbed her hands a little before tucking one into the crook of his arm and walking her to the restaurant. "Does that have anything to do with why you see the doctor so often?"

Kohana smiled up at him, covering her dismay at the question with humor. "Not really. My parents are always convinced that I'm sick with one thing or another, so they keep me home a lot and pester me with doctors."

"I see," he said, and held the door open for her. As he did, his cell phone rang, and he gave her an apologetic glance before answering it. She disregarded the conversation, and went to be seated.

The conversation must have been private, because he didn't follow until after the waitress had seated her at a table near the window. She'd been examining the frilly checked curtains, bored and a little piqued, but he did join her soon. "Another woman?" she asked teasingly, grinning at him.

He had a little frown on his face, but it dissolved at her taunting tone. "I'm hurt. Why would I be on the phone with another woman when I'm here with a very attractive one already?"

"Spare me," she said with mock exasperation. "Everyone knows about your habits, Kiryuu-sempai, and they want you anyway. Personally, I don't care whether you talk to fifty other women tonight. I'm not here for conversation." It wasn’t like her to be so direct, but they both knew what they were really here for. If Kiryuu had actually meant it about joining the Seitokai, she would be very surprised.

Smiling wryly, he said, "I am." When she arched an eyebrow at him, he continued smoothly, "Partly. But I've turned my cell phone off, so we shouldn't be disturbed again."

Amazing. He actually is here to convince me to join.

"Suit yourself," she chuckled.

The waitress came at that moment, filling their water glasses and leaving them to scan the menus. The aroma of cooking food made Kohana feel sicker, and she didn't look at hers very long. When the waitress came again, she said, "Hot chocolate, please."

Kiryuu glanced at her strangely. "You really aren't hungry?" he asked.


"I am paying. Take advantage of it."

"No, thank you. I'll just have my hot chocolate and a smoke, if you don't mind." She grinned at him, and then pulled out a battered pack of cigarettes.

"Go ahead." He ordered, giving the waitress a charming smile, and then leaned back. Kohana lit her cigarette, inhaling deeply and watching the curls drift up to the white ceiling. "I didn't know you smoked."

"Only before and after the good things in life. Chocolate. Motorcycle rides. Other things. Does it bother you?" She let her smile tell him what other good things she was referring to.

"Not at all." He watched her for a moment, and then leaned toward her. "I suppose we should get down to business." His devilish grin told her that this was simply the preliminary to more interesting activities, a formality that had to be carried out.

"Business before pleasure," she said, and then smiled charmingly at him. "No, I won't join the Student Council."

Hopefully that will hurry him along.

"Don't make such a hasty decision. I'd like you to come to a meeting, and I have something to show you. You've never been in the forest behind the school, have you?" The question seemed rather rhetorical.

"No." She had investigated it, of course, but she hadn’t been able to figure out how the door worked. What could be in there that was so private?

He seemed to pick up on her frustration, and said, "I'm one of the few allowed in, as is the rest of the Student Council. What I'd like to show you is in that forest. It would be worth it, wouldn't it, just to say you'd been inside?"

This was true. If whatever she saw changed her mind, then, that was fine. But so far she hadn't seen anything to change her mind. "Tell me, Kiryuu-sempai, what's in it for me? Joining the Student Council is fine for someone who wants something to add to their list of accomplishments, but I don't plan to do anything useful after school. My parents have enough money for me to do whatever I like for as long as I live. And I can't see why taking on any sort of position would be at all useful to you—I'm not going to do any extra work, and I'm away too often to be of much use in any case."

At this, he arched a scarlet brow. "As I've said already, you might bring a vitality to the Council that seems lacking this year. And you're one of the most popular students in the school—you have a lot of influence, even among the teachers. You’ve charmed most of them into being amused by your... interesting approach to schoolwork. You know that the Council has sway over the teachers. Juri provides quite a bit of that sway, but we need someone with a lighter touch. Threatening them only makes them resent us.

"And as to what's in it for you... you'd have the protection of the Student Council, in case anyone ever does find out that you're the one behind the pranks. The Council has known it for a long time."

That was surprising. She’d always been careful not to be seen when there was an opportunity she simply couldn’t miss. "How?" she asked, eyeing him warily.

Kiryuu smiled and ignored her question. "The strictures of the school are very much relaxed when you're a member. You could show up to classes as seldom as you like. As well, you'd have the power that the position provides, if you use it responsibly. There are various other benefits, but those are the main ones. All you have to do is come to the meetings, maybe once every two weeks, and vote when there's a vote needed. And if we need you to convince someone to our views, you'd do it."

She was almost sold on this idea. He was persuasive. More importantly, she had the feeling that there was a lot he wasn't telling her, such as how the Council had known that she was behind the pranks in the school. She had her own lines of information, of course, but to her knowledge, there had never been a rumor connecting her with the pranks. "Then I'll agree to go to the forest with you. I might join."

She thought she saw a troubled look pass over his face, but decided that it was her day to imagine things, because he smiled. "You won't regret it."

"I haven't joined yet, Kiryuu-sempai, and don't forget it. Now, are we done with business?" She crushed her cigarette out, grinding the coal into nothingness.

"For now," he said. He seemed more serious, as if something was weighing on his mind, but shrugged it off. "Tell me something, Kohana."


"Is it really your parents that force you to see the doctor?"

The question caught her off guard, and she was glad when the waitress appeared with her hot chocolate and Kiryuu's ice cream. It gave her a few moments to collect herself. Kiryuu didn't seem to notice, flirting with the waitress, and she was very glad of that. When he turned back to her, she was totally composed again. "They just worry too much. I get headaches, but as far as I know, they're just migraines."

"Is that why you miss morning classes so often?"

She scowled. "Have you been hiding under my bed? I like my privacy, Kiryuu-sempai."

He laughed and backed off, waving a hand as if to dispel her anger. "Scrutiny of potential Student Council members is mandatory. Be glad that you were my choice and not Juri's, or she'd have your every move mapped out since the beginning of the new grade. She takes her duties very seriously."

Her fit of pique dissolved at this. Of course he would have been watching her. It was strange that she hadn't noticed it, though. She usually noticed things like that, especially after one of her fans had started acting and dressing the same way, snapping photos of her at every opportunity. It had just been a crush, but it had still been unnerving. And the pictures had been horrible.

Before she could answer, he'd continued on. "But no more of that. I do have another question for you, though, one I've been wondering about for quite some time."

"Ask away."

"In the early school pictures of you when you were young, your hair was dark. It's not naturally that color, is it?"

She wrapped one of her white curls around her finger. "If it’s that important to you, you’re welcome to try to find out."

His mouth curved up in a catlike smile of satisfaction.

After the meal and a few seconds of deliberation, they had decided to go to Kiryuu's house. It was in the same neighborhood, their parents being of the same social status, and it was every bit as large and opulent as her own. Kohana didn't need to wonder what his room was like—she had a very good idea already. Something that reeked of seduction and sensuality. Her own room was... well, quite disturbing to someone who didn't understand her. That included everyone, of course, so most people didn't stay long in it. That was fine with her. It was her private space.

Kiryuu led her into the house, through large, richly furnished rooms and up stairs with carpets that she could swear swallowed her feet. The whole ambiance of the place was very similar to her parents' house. With a start, she saw that the frames on the paintings were exactly the same as the ones at her house. "I think our parents called the same decorator," she said, laughing.

He turned to her, glancing around dubiously. "What makes you think that?"

"The frames are the same," she said, pointing to one of them. "I can't remember his name, but he was a short man, balding, and he gestured and used his hands a lot."

Laughing, he opened the door to what she assumed was his room. "We really aren't so different, are we? Hanato was his name."

She brushed past him, finding what appeared to be a sitting room. It was even the same setup as she had her room, a sitting room before the bedroom. "It's a shame our parents weren't more creative themselves. At least yours had the fortune to pick a name more interesting than mine."

He didn't deny that his parents weren't creative. He asked instead, "You don’t like your name?" There was a teasing, flirtatious tone to his voice that she liked very much.

"I’m not a flower, especially not a little one." She was feeling almost like her normal self again, and her spirits were rising continuously. Enough to indulge in a little flippant jab. "But even though I’ve told you, will you make the mistake of thinking I am?"

Touga only laughed and said, "Make yourself comfortable. I'll bring something to drink if you would like, and an ashtray."

"That would be kind of you." Nodding graciously, she seated herself on the chaise longue and watched him leave. As soon as he'd closed the door, her hand crept shakily up to rub at her temples. Another migraine was coming on, and judging by the tingling feeling in her face, it was going to be worse than the last one. If she could only hold out until she got home… the sex would help. It always did.

Make herself comfortable, he'd said. An invitation to snoop? If so, she declined to use it. Instead, she yanked off the annoying red tie that was part of the school uniform and eased her neckline by a few buttons. This outfit was really far too revealing to be a school uniform. That was perhaps the only reason she approved of it. It made things all the easier.

She’d taken her shoes off at the door, and now she removed her socks as well. The carpet felt good on her bare feet, a little rough and very deep, and she wandered around to enjoy the feel before pulling a comb out of her jacket pocket and running it through the tangled mess the wind had made of her white curls. After that, she felt a little better. She'd stretched out on the chaise again, her skirt riding up just to the tops of her thighs, when he opened the door, carrying two mugs and the ashtray.

His eyes widened, and she knew the picture she must be. Exotic white hair spread out over the chaise's rolled back, her arms behind her head pulling the rumpled and half-undone shirt tight over her firm breasts, and her long legs bare from the tips of her toes to the tops of her thighs. It was a picture that had gotten her what she wanted many times before, and it would get her what she wanted now.

Watching him look her over, she smiled and said mockingly, "You said to make myself comfortable." Almost carelessly, she let one of her legs slide off the chaise, letting it dangle.

He was a gentleman, no doubt about that. It was refreshing, after being pawed by eager schoolboys that she had to guide and teach. He didn't even peek. "And are you comfortable?" he asked, his silken voice deepening with anticipation.

"Not yet," she said, and smiled. Before he could ask why, she added, "I haven't gotten my drink yet."

Laughing, Kiryuu crossed the room to where she was sitting, and set the ashtray on a nearby table. She sat up to receive her drink, and as she did so, he took the wordless invitation that curling up her legs implied, seating himself beside her.

It was hot chocolate, of course. Just for that, she decided she'd treat him very nicely.

Once she decided that she was finished with her drink for the time being, she set it down on the nearby table. The silence between them was a peculiarly comfortable one. They each knew what to expect, what would happen, and neither one had any illusions that it was anything more than mutual desire for satisfaction that brought them together. At the same time, the anticipation heightened their awareness of each other. It was almost like this had happened before, and they were just picking up where they'd left off.

Strange, that she should feel so comfortable around someone to whom she'd never spoken before today.

It was in honor of that soothing ease that she decided to stretch her legs out across his lap. "I feel like I've known you for a long time, Kiryuu-sempai."

"Then you should call me Touga. We're not at school." His hand absently traced the line of her shin, from her knee to her ankle.

The feather light touch of his fingers, the calluses on them, made her shiver a little. "I don't think either of us would mind if we were at school, as long as it was relatively private."

"Maybe not." He wasn't looking at her body, not at all. His eyes were the brightest blue she'd ever seen, liquid. He was watching her face intently.

The mark of a good lover. Watch my expression, listen to the noises I make, and let your body feel the rest.

"Maybe if we should happen to meet at school one day…" she let the words trail off and grinned. This was getting very, very good.

"Maybe. I like the idea." He smiled, and let his fingers wander around to the back of her knee, gently stroking. He seemed to know just the right amount of pressure, and just how long to linger, before his hand moved down to cup her calf. She bit her lip, just a little. Kiryuu smiled lazily, self-assured as ever. He had such sensual lips...

Languidly, Kohana's arms drifted up, and she arched her back and stretched. It was always good to stretch before exercise. She could clearly feel the soft cotton slithering upwards, exposing her flat stomach, and she closed her eyes in enjoyment. One thing her illness did give her was sensitivity, so that every little sensation was magnified. It made things like chocolate and silk into lush ecstasy; every taste, every touch, a little slice of rapture.

She felt him shift, and then his warm lips were gently heating her cold skin, his tongue flickering out to taste it. The sheer silken feeling made her gasp. Carefully, so as not to disturb him or stop him from doing as he liked, she slid one leg away from him. He was leaning on his elbow, so it was easy enough to inveigle her leg under his arm and then around him. Kiryuu smiled against her skin. Nipping lightly just below the bottom button of her shirt, he let her know that it was to be undone.

Kohana's hand made its lazy way down from behind her as his hand found the small of her back, the other still cupping her calf. Teasing him a little, she delicately ran her fingers over his hair, twining a lock of it around her finger and slitting her eyes so that she could consider the color as she relaxed. It wasn't red, exactly, more like scarlet or ruby. He nipped her a little harder, almost to the edge of pain.

The slight hiss of indrawn breath was all he needed to hear before he was kissing it better. She dropped the lock of hair she'd been playing with and stroked his head before letting her fingers creep up to the button and undo it. He was such a tease; he would drop soft kisses here and here, and then his tongue would circle her navel and draw a warm, wet line up to the next button, where her fingers rested. Kohana undid it without delay, and he continued his meandering way upward to the next one. And the next one. And the next one. Until there were no more buttons left, and he was placing wet kisses along the inside curves of her breasts and along the line of her brassiere.

Kiryuu's cheek brushed against her nipple beneath the flimsy covering. "Silk?" he murmured, gently flicking the hard point with his tongue.

"I can't stand anything against my skin that isn't soft," she breathed.

Drawing it into his mouth, he made a soft sound of assent. Even through the silk, Kohana could feel his mouth clearly, the moist warmth dizzying her. Her body writhed in ecstasy. When he let it fall from his mouth, the loss of sensation was almost unbearable until he whispered, "I have silk sheets."

The feather-light brush of his lips on the very tip and the warm tide of his breath made her moan aloud. It was a few moments before she could trust herself to speak. "Show me."

Chuckling, he said, "Soon," and kissed the hollow between her collarbones. Strong hands gripped her at the small of her back and her calf, and he slowly drew her down, crushing the length of her body against his. Wrapping her legs around him, she ground her hips into his, his hard cock rubbing sweetly against her clit through the layers of clothing. Kiryuu exhaled a ragged purr of satisfaction.

Kohana's retaliation was long past due. Gathering her concentration, she made her fingers open the fastenings that held his uniform closed. At last, when the shirt was open, she could touch and taste his skin freely. Every inch she could find was kissed, nibbled, licked, and caressed as she searched for the spots that would drive him mad. The vibration of the sigh in his throat reached her lips; the delicate shiver as she lightly dragged her fingernails down his back didn't escape her notice. When she roughly bit at the hollow of his neck while again pushing her hips against the hot length of him, he groaned. It was ever so satisfying.

"Slow down," he said, letting his weight fall on her enough that she could barely move. "We have all night if we want it."

Her eyes slowly opened, and she grinned lazily at him. "Habit. I'm not used to having hours."

"Your parents don't allow you to see friends like me?" Amusement welled up into his eyes.

"I don't like having people I don't know in my room."

This time he did laugh. Until she bit him.

Not too hard, of course, and she soothed the tender spot afterward by sucking lightly on it. Afterward she took her time, exploring and teasing endlessly. The simple feel of him was enough to keep her arousal at a peak; his heavy, feathery hair tickled her body, and his smooth skin slid easily over hers. She was so absorbed in what she was doing that she disregarded his delighted sighs until he trapped her hands in one of his and said, "Enough. You're far too good at this."

"Mmmm, such a compliment." Writhing sinuously underneath him, she thrust her hips against his again and gasped, "The bedroom, then?"

The only answer he gave was to kiss her. It was then that she knew for certain that this wasn’t simply another night and another lover; Kiryuu was an expert, teasing her at first with soft, almost-chaste kisses and then slowly allowing them to grow more and more heated, as if he was seducing her all over again with just that kiss. His lips caught on hers, taunting her with little flicks of his tongue at the corners of her mouth and then dipping inside to tantalize her with velvet touches before drawing away. The hunger in her soon became too insistent to ignore; Kohana impatiently returned the kiss, biting at his lips, her tongue twining with his in a silken duel.

"Of course," he breathed when they broke apart, desire flaming bright in his eyes. Always the gracious gentleman, he helped her off the couch and even fished her cigarette pack out of her jacket for her. The shirt wasn't needed any more, so she dropped it on the floor and picked up the ashtray, walking through the door he held for her.

Kiryuu's room was much as she'd imagined it would be. Sheer draperies on the bed, chairs with silken cushions, the same opulent style of furnishing, and what she'd wanted most of all to see, the silk sheets on his bed. It was impossible to resist them. She dropped the ashtray on the nightstand and nestled into those decadent silk sheets, stretching so that she could feel them on as much of her body as possible. Reveling in the feeling, her eyes closed in absolute bliss.

Warm hands spanned her rib cage. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone enjoy my bed quite so much without me in it." The hands moved around to her sides and she arched her back, allowing Kiryuu access to the fastener of her brassiere. He undid it expertly, of course, sliding it off so that her nipples, exposed to the cooler air of the room, became even harder. It almost hurt, until his mouth found one of them and soothed it with tender licks and delicate suckling. When he switched to the other, his hand covered the first, kneading at her breast. He was so warm compared to her; she hadn't noticed it much in the other room, but after a short cooling period, she found that she craved that warmth.

The best way to get it was to be direct. Opening her eyes, she pulled him to her, moving so that he had room to lie down. Shortly she'd stripped him of his pants, and for a moment she just looked at him. "You really are as beautiful as I am," she said, all pretense gone for that moment. His body was godlike, lean and muscled, smooth-chested and long-legged. Inviting. Eminently desirable. "I'd wondered."

He understood. He nodded. There wasn't any need for false modesty among creatures of sensuality. "And when do I get to see whether you really are as beautiful as I am?" There was none of the teasing undercurrent that his words usually held, only desire.

"Soon," she smiled, and leaned over to flick the head of his cock with her tongue.

She teased. She tortured. She would take all of him into her mouth and throat, suck strongly on the velvety skin, lightly stroke the pouch with the tips of her fingernails, and listen to the adorable little sounds he made deep in his throat as she did something particularly pleasurable. For Kohana, it was enjoyable enough just to listen to him and feel his body moving and know that she was the one who was doing this to him. For Kiryuu, no doubt it was a little more than that. The sounds he made were beginning to tell her how near he was to orgasm, and with this newfound knowledge, she brought him almost to the brink a few times, slowly backing off each time. By the time she decided she was finished, he was sweating. She slowly raised her head, looking directly at his lust-hazed eyes and licking her lips.

He was obviously keeping himself under very tight rein as he pulled her down to lie beside him, his skin burning against hers. Without wasting any movements, he rid her of the skirt, laying his hand over her sex and torturing her with gentle insistence. The slight pressure of his fingers was intense; all she wanted was for him to push a little harder, but try though she might, he would not. What was it that he wanted?

Probably revenge.

Yes, there was a smug look in his eyes that said that revenge was exactly what he was after. He wanted to see her wanting him as badly as he'd wanted her.

That was easily bypassed. Nestling in closer to Kiryuu's side, she ran her hands down her body, pinching her nipples lightly, playing eagerly with them with one hand while the other moved further down, the fingers slipping under his hand and under the waistband of her silk panties. After all, no one knew better how to please her than she herself. A few quick strokes, and…

...his hand clamped down, holding hers in place. Her eyes flew open, and when she saw the indecently complacent look in his, she hissed, "Bastard."

Kiryuu smiled at this, but he did ease off on her hand, allowing it to move just a little. Then he began to move his fingers, controlling what hers were doing. In moments she was on the brink again, the pounding wanting increasing—but again, he stopped her. And again after that.

It continued on until she was sure she would faint from sheer frustration. In the end, she had to give in. "I need you. Please."

Wordlessly he pulled her closer, stripping her of her panties and just looking at her for a few moments. "Beautiful," he breathed, laying a kiss between her breasts. When she wrapped her legs around him again, this time it was real, no barriers between them.

As she felt the tip of him nudge at her moist entrance, she said, "Go slowly."

Without asking for an explanation, he nodded, and then he was gradually, agonizingly, rapturously pushing into her. It seemed to take forever. Once he was fully inside her, he began to pull out again, more quickly than before.

That did it. The building pressure she'd felt exploded into orgasm, her nails dug into his arms, and her legs locked around his hips. For endless moments the world spun around her completely disregarded. She had to bite her lip to keep from screaming out loud.

When the orgasm had finally ebbed enough that she could speak again, she panted, "However you want it." That made him smile, and he began a slowly maddening rhythm, not the fast and hard fuck she usually got when she said that. This was entirely too perfect. He wasn't just going to fuck her, he was going to make it thorough. Kohana did her best to find an addition to the rhythm, finally settling for a twist of her hips that he particularly seemed to like.

Eons may have passed, and Kohana wouldn't have noticed. She didn't bother to keep count after the second time she came. Too absorbed in the enthralling dance of their bodies, she responded instinctively to any change in tempo, forgetting that Kiryuu was anything other than a near-perfect lover for her. Nothing outside of the moment seemed to matter at all. It was a moment of freefall, beautiful, perfect unto itself, and it went on and on...

By the end, they were near frenzy, Kohana's teeth sunk deep into his shoulder and Kiryuu obviously exerting every ounce of self control he had to keep it going just a little longer, to make it last as long as it possibly could. Eventually, though, their control wore out, and as she squeezed one last climax out, Kiryuu spilled into her, shuddering. They lay exhausted for a few moments, neither able to muster enough strength to move. She could feel him dwindling inside her.

The real world slowly began to intrude again. He rolled off of her, once again self-possessed and in control, and she ignored the trembling of her limbs long enough to light a cigarette and inhale normality with the smoke. Exhaling noisily, still unable to catch her breath entirely, she said, "We should do that again sometime."

"We should have done that a long time ago," he said.

"I didn't know you before today," she laughed quietly. It was actually quite a shame they hadn’t met before—she had truly been missing out.

"At least now I know that's your natural hair color." His amused smile was clearly audible.

"Same to you."

Kiryuu laughed and started to say something, but was interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Onii-sama? I heard a cry—" came through the door.

"It's nothing, Nanami," he called. "Go away."

There was a long silence, and then Nanami said, "All right, Onii-sama."

Kohana finished her smoke in silence. Kiryuu didn't seem to be inclined to talk, and most of the time she didn't like to talk after sex, especially at this moment. That migraine was finally making itself known again. Irritably, she stubbed out the cigarette, standing up and gathering her clothes despite the slight dizziness she felt. When he saw what she was doing, Kiryuu did the same. "Don't trouble yourself," she said, coolly amused. "I can let myself out."

"I'll take you home." Judging from the way his eyebrows drew together so slightly, he was going to be stubborn about it. She supposed that, on second thought, it might be easier to let him have his way.

A gentleman even afterward. Surprising.

As they made their way back down to the door, the migraine grew worse and worse. Kohana was beginning to feel the cool tingles at the top of her head that heralded a fainting spell, and the tiny spikes in her temples had somehow grown. At least she'd had the period of respite given by the sex.

Hold on, just until I get home. I can faint in peace there.

Within minutes they were on the motorcycle, her arms locked desperately around his body, and only a little while after that she was getting off at her house. The only problem was that she could barely hold herself up. Grey spots were starting to cloud the world around her.

"About the Council—" Kiryuu started.

"Tomorrow," she said, and waved him off. The blood was draining from her skin, a familiar feeling. Suddenly it seemed like she was made of ice.

Frowning, he asked, "Are you all right? You look pale."

"I'm just tired." After giving him a weak smile, she turned away and said, "We'll talk tomorrow." Why couldn't he just leave her alone? She had to get to the house, now, or she'd be in big trouble... The grey spots were eating slowly away at her vision, and she was dizzy. Somehow she fumbled the gate open by touch, unable to see it clearly, and made her way down the path. She was almost there, but the door seemed to be miles away.

The path was smooth; she’d made sure of that when she’d first been old enough to write a check, so why had she stumbled? The impact jarred her knees, her palms scraped from breaking her fall, but it was nothing compared to the stabbing silver pain in her temples. Soon she'd fall all the way. That would be worse, if she was conscious for it.

The last thing she remembered was warm hands on her arms, holding her up, and her own effort to say, very clearly and precisely through gritted teeth, "Leave me alone."