Claimer: Characters are mine. Ask if you want them, ne?
Warning: Cutesy, slashy sap and heartsy angstiness... Pretty much like last time XD
Author's Notes: Yay! A new chapter! To a brand new story! ... Well, sorta. Okay, you HAVE to read flawless first if you want to read this, because it'll make it easier to understand. Much easier XD And to everyone who reviewed the last chapter of flawless: If you so much as left a hint that you'd like to be emailed, I emailed you a reply to the last review XD If not, well, your reply is below, like before ^^;;
Tsuyuno ~ lol Hey, Kael has to improve slowly XD At least he's getting there . And skylark will be fiiine... Do you honestly think I'd leave any of them in angst forever? ... Don't answer that . I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, hope you do it again!! ^^
bagelmoo ~ lol yeah... That happens. Mwaha. In a very... uh... unsubtly planned way XD No, of course there was no writer intervention . . Anyway, I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, hope you do it again!! ^^
ghenne04 ~ Heh. Don't worry about it being almost over. There's still another epic-ly long part to go after this one... Like usual. Ah well. Updated soon ^^ I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, please do it again!! ^^
Wolfwitch ~ A mistake any wolf could make, I'm sure XD Yes. Hunt him down and give a gloriously bloody death. He bugs me. Grr. Send me photos of his body. I'll have them framed and give them to Mikah or something... *sidles away, shifty eyed* I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, please do it again!! ^^
NotEnough ~ lol That's what I'm here for XD Can't have everything being too sweet. Think how lovably boring that would be then XD Why now? Because it's the best time to do it. Think about it: the sooner the angst comes, the sooner they get together. ... Well, sorta. Started soon =P I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, hope you do it again!! ^^
Mistress2 ~ *is honoured* Wow. Thank you ^^ I'm glad you liked it so much XD Yeah, mik and sky take forever. On purpose too. Grr. Oh well. It's soon now... *gets into hunting stance...* Thanks for reviewing, hope you do it again!! ^^
MidnightsFall C. M. Guthrie ~ heh... cruel and unusual punishment, eh? XD ah well. At least it's my fault!!? ... I don't think that made any sense. Sorry T.T I'm glad you liked it XD Thanks for reviewing, please do it again!! ^^
One thing: The ending of Flawless – it was only an ending because it was a different time period of events for them all... sorta. It's not an ending, this could have just as easily been chapter 42, but I wanted the holidays to be a separate part because a lot happens XD Just wait for part three, when they go back to school... The twins final semesters too XD Mwaha... Anyway... yeah.
I hope you all like this part! ^^
Read, enjoy, and please review!! ^^
"You all packed up and ready to go?" Darryl sat on the bed and bounced, glancing around the messy room before his gaze returned to his brother.
"Yeah," Chad stood up and ran a hand through his hair, exhaling slowly. His copper locks were deliciously rumpled, Darryl thought, and he began kicking his feet t resist the urge to go over and kiss his twin. Chad continued obliviously, having not noticed Darryl's distraction. "At last. Christmas took so long in coming."
"Mm," Darryl agreed wordlessly. "You looking forward to see Dad again?"
"Yeah," Chad said again, and stretched languidly. "He promised me a car."
Darryl didn't even try to hide his laughter, using it to cover his fascination with his brother. "That proves he's around the bend."
Chad mock frowned at him. "Hey!"
The younger twin rolled his eyes and lay back on the bed, letting his fingers play idly with the sheets. "Hey yourself." There was silence for a second. Darryl closed his eyes and basked in the feeling of knowing his brother was watching him. Then he sighed softly. "You think Skylar will be all right? He's been pretty upset all weekend."
Chad shrugged and went to sit next his twin, leaning back into the touch as Darryl's hand crept under his shirt and began scratching his back. "He's still upset about Mikah, I guess."
Darryl snorted. "I figured that," he replied shortly. There was silence for a few seconds. "What about Kael?"
At that, Chad lost his serious expression and smiled. "As far as I could gather from his excited babble last night, Sully invited him home."
"Really?" Darryl chuckled. "I bet he was happy about that."
Chad's smile grew. "Bit of an understatement, that. You have a talent with words, the least you could do is use something more appropriate."
"Euphoric. Blissful. Exhilirated. Something like that."
His twin snorted. "Cliches, all of them. Give me another situation that needs words, and I'll show you real talent."
Chad looked down at him and smirked. "All right. Describe this."
"What?" Darryl asked, startled. "Describe what?"
"Put your money where your mouth is. Describe what you're feeling... right... now..." He breathed the last word against Darryl's lips, successfully rendering Darryl speechless. The younger brother made a soft noise and lifted his head to meet Chad's lips with his own, but Chad had already sat up again, and was smirking. "See? You couldn't do it."
Darryl merely smirked back. "Where my mouth is," he repeated quietly, and sat up fast to smash his mouth against Chad's.
It was quite a while later before they finished packing.
"No. I don't want to," Kael's voice was loud and not so much angry as it was panicked. "No! There's no reason why I should."
Sully lifted his head from the pillow to blink at the younger boy, his attention caught by the shrill voice on the other side of the phone. He had been listening to Kael's conversation from the beginning, when Kael had been talking to his father, but somewhere along the line he had been switched over to his mother, and it seemed to Sully that she was the more persistent one of his parents. At least, when it came to manipulating Kael. Kael's father, thankfully, hadn't cared either way. Sully wasn't sure if that was good, but it didn't bother him. Kael didn't need a good father – he had him now.
But sometimes he didn't think that would be enough. Kael hadn't seemed nearly as upset then though, so maybe it was all right. The blonde mused on the problems the situation presented him, keeping half an ear on Kael's conversation until his whole attention was arrested when Kael shouted something rather rude, considering it was his mother, and slammed the phone down.
Sully thought it was the best thing to do. However, he was expecting tears in Kael's eyes when the younger boy turned to him again, and he simply rolled onto his back, opening his arms in an offer of comfort. "You okay, hun?"
"Yeah," Kael mumbled softly, accepting the comfort, seeking to burrow further against Sully until his face was pressed into the blonde's neck. "I'm okay."
"Kay. Go to sleep then, all right? We have to leave early tomorrow."
He felt Kael smile against his skin, and the younger boy relaxed completely against him, his body warm and pliant. His skin was smooth and rather soft, but it wasn't enough to hide the bones that Kael had bared during the last few weeks. Sully rested his hands on the small of the younger boy's back, and let himself doze off. Kael would get better.
There was no way it could be otherwise.
Scowling, Skylar slid into Mathew's passenger seat, folding his arms and settling back to stare broodingly out the window at the darkening sky.
"You looking forward to being home again?" Mathew got into the driver's seat and closed the door behind him.
"I guess," mumbled the younger boy, not looking at his teacher.
Mathew shot him a look and started the car. "You don't sound too happy about it, at any rate. What's wrong?"
Skylar exhaled heavily. "Nothing. I'm fine."
"You're not," countered Mathew, "or you wouldn't be looking and acting so miserable."
"I'm not," Skylar began to argue, but Mathew gave him a dubious look, and he sighed instead. "Well, at least I will be fine."
"If you're sure..."
Skylar's eyes saddened, and he returned his gaze to outside the window again. "I am. I'm sure."
Kael made a noise of contentment and languidly arched against Sully's hands which were warm and gentle and surprisingly soft.
"You like that?" Sully murmured, his voice low and with a sleepy quality that could make Kael shiver.
"Mmhm," Kael hummed, and gave in to the urge to bury his face in Sully's neck.
Sully made a small noise and his fingernails dug into Kael's back for a second, making the younger boy try to scramble away in a panic that he had upset the older blonde. Sully's fingers moved to hook in Kael's belt loops though, preventing any movement and keeping their bare chests pressed together, leaving Kael blinking down at Sully.
"Don't move," Sully said firmly, although his eyes were affectionate.
"But I-" protested Kael, warmed by the sight regardless.
"Don't argue," Sully told him sternly. His gray eyes began to dance.
"Shh," Sully breathed, and his eyes softened further a few moments before he lifted his head to brush his lips softly against Kael's, trailing his left hand lightly up Kael's spine and making the younger boy shiver and purr into his mouth.
And when Kael pulled away to rest his cheek against Sully's collar bone, his hands curling against the blonde's shoulders, he whispered, almost inaudibly, "I love you so much..."
Sully took a deep, somewhat shaky breath... and turned his head away.
"Mikky, come in here for a second, would you?"
Mikah lifted his head from his pillow with a grimace, both at the nick name and command, but forced his legs over the side of the bed regardless. "Yes Ma'am?"
"Your father had to go to a meeting tonight, and I've already planned to go out with some other wives. Will you be all right on your own?"
"Yes ma'am. I should be fine."
His mother smiled shakily in response, her brown eyes nervously looking away after a few seconds of eye contact. "I – I'm glad you're home," she blurted out, to Mikah's surprise. "It was... lonely here, without you."
Surprised into being touched, Mikah opened his mouth to stumble through a reply, but his mother had already dashed from the room. Mikah was left staring blankly at the door, confused and unsure of the feelings he was feeling.
He had succeeded almost too well at making himself numb during the two days he had been home – two days since he had left everything that made him content , up to and including Pasta and Katherine, and, surprisingly, Skylar.
Who would have thought...
Well, never mind that now. He consoled himself half-heartedly and walked slowly to the kitchen in the small barracks home. It had enough room to be classified as a cottage, but not much more than that.
There was food in the fridge, but not the kind that was actually appetizing to him. Yogurts for his mother, decided on by his father, and left over curry for his father, no doubt from the night before. He couldn't have any of that though. First, it was too hot for him. It would burn his mouth if he even ate it frozen. Second, he hadn't gotten permission to have some, and that could lead to some severe punishments.
Sighing, half in disgust, and half in restless boredom, Mikah shut the fridge and turned to the bread bin. Last resorts always were a sandwich... He wondered if his father had gotten rid of all the spreads after he left. For a few minutes he was afraid that that was exactly what had happened, but there turned out to be some peanut butter in a cupboard by the door. Hesitating for a second because it could have a differently planned use, Mikah eventually gave in to his stomach and pulled it down, cutting himself a few slices of bread, and spreading some syrup with the peanut butter to sweeten the taste a bit. He ate it absently, his eyes vaguely centered on the wall opposite where he leaned against the counter.
The house felt empty. He had been used to it, as a child, because it had always felt empty, even when full. But now, coming back from a school where people had... well, freedom, and were mostly happy, the small house seemed doubly empty.
This wasn't home.
And that scared him. He had never understood home to be a comforting place; it had always been just the house they were living in at the time. But listening to Skylar talk about his home, there had been a note in the voice that Mikah didn't think he could ever replicate. Something that suggested home was meant to be a haven, a place that felt good to be in...
He had never felt that. He had never known he was supposed to feel that when thinking about a home. Depressed because of this, he finished off his sandwich and idly licked the sticky spreads off his fingers onto which they had oozed a little.
Walking restlessly through the living room, his bags sat on the floor and glared at him accusingly. He glared back at them.
"What?" he said aloud. "I don't feel like unpacking you yet." Aware that he was being childish and relishing the fact, he spun on his heel and stalked upstairs again to lie on his bed. He missed Pasta. For years, the teddy bear had been his sole constant friend. Katherine had always lingered in the background, but her father required them to move as often as he had, and it had been years since he had seen her before now. Occasionally their fathers would get together and half-heartedly arrange an engagement for them, but it had been agreed that they were too young. And while he could imagine worse fates then to be married to Tous... well, he didn't love her like that.
He had mistakenly told his father that once, and had gotten nothing for his pains at broaching the embarrassing subject but a rough clip around the ears. He had then been told not to meddle, and that love wasn't everything, and because he had believed that at the time, he hadn't argued any more.
Not that he would have dared to if he had felt otherwise anyway...
But now... Mikah sighed and hugged his pillow, wishing it were something that could comfort instead of emphasize the hurting something in his chest. Now he was in love... He couldn't bear it to be anyone else. And while it was still ridiculous to be in love with someone he had never met face to face before, it had happened, and while the pain was something unlike he had ever felt before, he wouldn't have given it up for the world.
Wouldn't give it up for his father.
He had to get back to the school. Had to. Couldn't now, because it was Christmas Holidays, but when they ended, he'd be back in the school.
That, he promised himself.
And when he got back, he'd find out the identity of his letter writer. He was tired of waiting for their leisure. It was time to take things into his own hands.
And although he had no idea how to go about it all...
He knew it would be worthwhile in the end.
It had to be.