Melissa's A/N: It's been a long time since SilverIsamu and I have updated this story. Due to complications and not being able to get together much due to our job schedules, we can't work on this as much as we like. Thank you for sticking with us though through our sparse updates.

Also, feel free to check out Defy and Comply by Revamp and Quiet As Kept by SilverIsamu.

Now enjoy the last half of the Araki and Daichi fight!

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Torn Family Portrait

By: SilverIsamu and Melissa Norvell/Revamp

Chapter 43: The Unwilling Prize

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Daichi tried desperately to pry Araki's hands from his throat. The brown-haired ninja's grip was cutting off his air supply and his breaths were becoming more and more difficult to make, and fainter as he struggled not to pass out.

The red-haired school teacher made one last desperate attempt to get free and managed to swing his leg upwards, landing a harsh kick into the ninja's stomach. Araki coughed and groaned in pain. The move was effective in getting him off of the other male. He rolled over and clutched his stomach, coughing up the fluids that lurched to the surface. Through the pain, slight chuckles were heard.

Daichi managed to stand up and unstably walked to a nearby tree. His limbs felt heavy and he was tired due to the struggle and cut off breathe but he drug himself up the tree, slowly grasping onto the hard, rough surface. His body resonated with pain and the damage that was done to his mid-section hindered his mobility.

Araki slowly pulled himself up, still clutching his stomach as his eyes scanned over the vicinity, looking for the red-haired man. "Where are you, bastard?"

There was no response. Like hell Daichi was going to tell him where he was. The ninja stood stock still, trying to listen for any sounds that he could hear that would give him a hint as to what direction the other male was in. After a few moments of nothing, Daichi propelled himself from the tree, jumping out into the air. The ninja's keen senses caught hold of the movement and he glanced up to see his opponent falling fast towards him.

Quickly, he tried to counter him but his attempt was futile. Daichi collapsed onto the man below him and wrapped his hands around the ninja's neck, trying to choke him out. His grip wasn't as tight as the choke hold that he ninja had on him, but it was pretty tight.

Araki placed his legs around the teacher's waist and flipped himself on top of the other man and began punching his mid-section. Daichi took his hands from his neck and grabbed his arm, pushing up on it. The ninja stood and kicked Daichi in the face, this caused the red head to release him and clutch his face, trying to will the pain to go away as his entire face stung with dull pain.

Araki didn't waste a moment to kick him in the mid-section as hard as he could, driving his foot into the depths of his body as the other male doubled over and coughed, falling to his knees. Araki looked down on the other male, standing above him with a daunting presence and a cold expression. "Give it up! I could go all night." Unlike him, he knew that Daichi wasn't accustomed to the fighting lifestyle. Soon, he would become weak and lose the fighting spirit.

"Never!" Daichi was full of defiance. He wasn't about to let this other man get one over on him. Just because he was a ninja didn't mean that he couldn't be outsmarted. Besides, he had something to fight for and he wasn't about to give it up so easily. "He means so much to me, and I want to show him that I care about him." Putting all of the strength he could into his arm, he swung at the brown-haired ninja, who simply blocked his punch as if it were nothing.

Daichi drew back for another punch, and Araki blocked it again. He then lifted his leg up and kicked Daichi across the face in a jumping round house kick. The red-haired teacher fell to the ground and laid there for a few moments before he quickly got to his knees and spit up some blood. This only earned him another kick to the face.

"Don't you get back up!" Araki commanded, "stay there, that's where you belong!" He kept kicking, trying to keep the man down as he delivered blow after blow. Daichi managed to evade the attack by dodging and rolling on his back. His arms shot up, grasping his attacker's ankle in his grasp. Then he punched his knee cap, trying to break his leg.

"There's nothing worse than being belittled by a pathetic, self-centered, egotistical, insecure, over grown child!" Daichi yelled with each punch, then arose to his feet and charged at the ninja.

"Oh, spare me your lectures, teach! Call me what you want, it's what I answer to!" Araki bent down and punched the man in his mid-section again, bruising his rib cage. The red head grunted in pain and bent over again. Araki then performed a spin kick and made contact with him. A scissor chop hit Daichi in the back of the head and he suddenly lost consciousness.

Araki stood, gasping for air as his skin was layered in a thing layer of sweat. That had taken more out of him than he had expected. He didn't know that the teacher had no much fight in him. As soon as he caught his breath, Araki was still filled with anger. He walked over and gave the teacher's immobile body another swift kick, making sure he stayed down. A twisted smile crossed his face.

"Heh, he must have meant nothing to you at all. I hardly call that a fight." Araki let out a sadistic cackle, then he bent down and punched the unconscious man in the face, taunting him. "Get up!"

Daichi slowly moved his head as he slowly stirred awake. However, his eyes ended up popping open as he registered the pain of a kunai knife being embedded into his leg. The red head screamed in pain and elbowed the ninja in the face. His hands went to the wound, which had now made a red stain on his pants and gripped it, wincing in pain.

Araki spit blood in the teacher's face in a degrading manner. "You're worthless...What makes you even fathom that you are good enough for him?" He cackled again, as if Daichi's endeavors were nothing but a humorous joke.

"It isn't up to you," Daichi said, wiping the blood from his face as he glared daggers at the other man. "You are not in charge of his social choices." Reaching up, he grabbed Araki by his pretty, brown hair and removed the kunai from his leg. His voice darkened, "if you want to see crazy,"his pink eyes became void of light, "all you had to do was ask." The teacher ran the knife along the ninja's skin on his cheek, drawing blood to the surface before he sensually licked the laceration clean.

"What the fuck!" Araki shouted and and shoved the teacher off of him. "You fucking prick! Get off of me!" Drawing back his fist, he punched the man again.

Daichi leaned his head to the side and smiled in an eerie manner, "not bad for my first taste...but not really my cup of tea. I can see why you act so rash, your blood is tainted. It is impossible for you to think wisely," he chuckled. "You poor child."

Araki placed the blade underneath Daichi's chin, seething with anger at that little comment he made about his blood. "I'd be mindful of what seeps from that trap of yours," he hissed. "Just because you dwell in a school building doesn't make you the smartest man alive. I could kill you and not think twice about it or feel the least bit guilty, and yet you keep talking as if you rule the whole country of Japan. Don't you think it's not a good idea to anger a trained killer?"

Honestly, it was sickening to listen to him babble the day away with his intelligent words. Daichi always took pride in the inner workings of the mind, priding those who showed exceptional intelligence. That kind of behavior sickened the ninja, as life was not merely about intelligence but adaptation, speed and strength.

Daichi shrugged, clearly uncaring about the position Araki often boasted about. "No matter of mine if it's my time or not. Either way, I'm ready, ready to meet my father."

Araki rolled his eyes at the other male's idiocy and nonsensical babble, "annoying and a spiritual nutcase." He brought his foot forward and kicked the red head in the back. Daichi's form was jolted forward and fell to the ground in pain.

"You can't be serious? You really believe there is something after this hell? Hahaha you make me laugh." The ninja didn't believe that there was a god, and he didn't plan on changing his beliefs any time soon.

"There has to be a place where peace is eternal...We don't suffer for nothing...only the strong can receive it." Daichi couldn't believe that anyone wouldn't believe in the higher forms of the world and their good graces. No matter how much he was beaten and battered, he wasn't going to give up. His god was watching, and now was the time to rely on his strength. "You, my dear Araki, are the weakest person alive!"

Araki growled in anger. "I'll show you weak!" In a blind fury, he let his fists fly, striking the man below him over and over again. Daichi tried to block his hits, but he was starting to fade out from losing so much blood. Again and again, Araki struck him over and over until the man below him went lifeless.

His heart pounded and the blood inside of his body boiled with rage. After he was finished pummeling the other male, he stood up, panting with exhaustion as he glared down on him with eyes of malice. "I'm so weak, huh? Look who is down!" He cast a glance over the to the black ninja, who stood a few feet away from him with his arms crossed. "Looks like I win."

"And what good did that do?" Kusarigane asked with a disapproving look on his face.

"Well, if anything I put him back in his place. At least he won't be percing on you anymore." That was all that he truly wanted. Araki just wanted to kick out the competition and he was effective at doing so. It was a feat that he was proud of.

"You just beat up somebody that has no fighting skills. What do you possibly have to prove by picking on somebody who isn't at your skill level? That's like beating up an infant, and for what? To win an argument about something that isn't in your right to have an opinion on in the first place because it's my decision on who I want to be with." Kusarigane was beyond pissed. The fact that his friend felt like he had to beat up a civilian brought shame on his ninja honor, and the fact that he was treating him like a prize more than a human being with his own thoughts and emotions only added irritation onto him. He couldn't believe the way that Araki was acting. What the hell was wrong with him?

"If I wanted to be with anyone at all," he added, "because both of you were being shit lords and I don't wanna be with either one of you right now."

Araki stepped back, shock on his face as he tried to explain his actions. "It may not be my right, Kusarigane but that doesn't mean I have to sit back and have him try to toy with you by acting like a love sick puppy. You deserve better than some educated chump. Plus, he is just plain annoying." Kusarigane had to understand that he was doing all of this for the sake of their bond.

"For one, do you not think I can make decisions on my own? Do you think I have no brain? I'm actually smart, you know. Just because I'm younger than you, doesn't mean I'm bad at making life choices, and for two, I am not your prize! So, if you're trying to win me, or you want me to be your damned slave, then you need to step back and think about your life choices. Because I am not your gift and I didn't ask you to fight over me for one and I didn't say I would go with anybody who won for two," Kusarigane argued his points, "and you are out of your mind if you think I am for three."

Araki ran a hand through his hair where Daichi pulled it, the pain still searing through his skull. "I didn't fight to enslave you, I fought to free you, but I can see your point, regardless and you are very smart. As your best friend, I want the best for you. He just makes me so agitated, thinking he's the judge and boss. Maybe he is at Tejifura High, but outside of those walls, things are more graphic and real. He's more immature and naive than the boy." Just thinking about that sickening Bible thumper, made him feel like vomiting. More than anything, Daichi was public enemy number one and he wanted everyone to know about it.

"What are you freeing, then?" Kusarigane combatted what his friend had to say. "I was never held captive by anything as far as I know. I've always done whatever the fuck I've wanted to. I like who I want to like, I be around whoever I want to be around and it's not really your business to go around beating the shit out of people who happen to like me. You wanna talk about people being immature, you need to start looking at your reflection, because you're being a fucking bully." Sure, what Daichi did was considered creepy, but Kusarigane didn't mind the company of the red head. It was just a harmless crush and he certainly didn't need to be beaten up because of it. That was going over the top and he didn't appreciate it, especially since Daichi was just a normal human being with little fighting skills.

"I can understand if he was a ninja, but he's not. He is a normal person and you abused your power, just because you're a ninja. To beat the crap out of a normal person that you knew was going to lose to you anyway, because he had no skills. So if you were trying to prove anything about being stronger. Everybody knew you were from the beginning. So, you didn't prove anything, but what a huge dick you are. Congratulations!" The Black Ninja clapped slowly in sarcasm. He was disgusted that Araki would have used his powers like that. There was no getting out of it. His friend really did make a shit move and he was going to tell him about it, and argue the point no matter what.

"You're right," Araki hung his head. "I did abuse my power against a defenseless civilian, and for that I am a dick. The biggest dick, even. I shouldn't have let myself get so worked up or that jealous..." He felt shame in that aspect, and maybe he was being a bit overboard in his deliverance of punishment to the red head.

However, he had to defend a few of his actions as well. "But, you know what you mean to me, and regardless of circumstance or consequence, I don't want to lose you. As I have stated before, I have lost so many that meant everything to me. I don't feel like losing my best friend, ever. It may sound mushy, but it's how I feel." He mean that, more than anything. Araki didn't want to lose his best friend, especially over an argument about him.

Kusarigane glared down the brown-haired ninja with a stern visage. "You need to grow up and stop being insecure, and you need to trust me and stop beating the shit out of people. Just because they like me, doesn't mean that they like me in a romantic sense or even that I like them in the same way at all. That doesn't mean I am better friends with them than I am with you. So, I'm going to walk away before I punch you in the face." The spiky-haired male turned his back to his friend, irritation still apparent on his face as he clenched his fists to his sides. "You'd better get Daichi some help or I'll think worse of you. Now, I'm out of here."

With that, the Black Ninja disappeared, leaving his friend to deal with the repercussions of his actions.

...To Be Continued

Melissa's A/N: Here it is! The moment you've all been waiting for! So sorry that this chapter is really small. We promise that future chapters will be longer. Who knows when this is getting updated again, but thank you all for sticking with us!

Please review!