It's over. Lawd I be cryin'. Many thanks to everyone reading this and everyone who's stuck with my abysmal updates so far, have THE WORST F*CKING THING I HAVE EVER WRITTEN as a thank-you.
Chapter 5: Kings and Queens
Meeting the Blue King was… an experience.
And not one Mikoto was eager to repeat. One moment he had been minding his own business, melting away in the summer heat and the next…
It was like the world stopped the second he saw her.
Which sounded romantic but was actually very fucking unpleasant.
A bead of sweat crawled down Mikoto's face as he locked eyes with a pair of amused violet eyes behind thin lenses, that was the only thing that seemed to be moving.
Everything else, him, her, the world, seemed frozen in time, the still air like sandpaper across his skin.
She hadn't introduced herself then, but she hadn't needed to, he knew. Even without the uniform, he would have known.
For a million dollars, Mikoto couldn't have told you afterwards what they'd said to one another
Their eyes met, locked, held. Neither of them looked away and a very different kind of heat from the weather crawled over Mikoto's skin, his every nerve screaming in repudiation.
Unfortunately, Mikoto's first impression of the Blue King, one Reisei Munakata; it doesn't seem like we're gonna get along, was correct.
He'd never felt anything like their fights, the fire, the heat, the power, and above all, her laughter that said she felt it too. For the first time in his life, someone else felt it too.
But the other 99% of the time? Fucking Christ.
It was like everywhere Mikoto turned, Scepter 4 was there, getting on their case, stopping them from doing literally anything, didn't these Blues have bigger problems? Apparently not.
And Munakata was, you guessed it, the worst of the lot.
Every single time Mikoto released his Sword of Damocles, there she was, like it had conjured her. Getting up in his business with words like 'illegal' and 'violent' and 'Suoh.'
Okay, that last one was just his name -but you should hear the tone!
Mikoto sighed and rolled onto his side. Thinking about Munakata just annoyed him but he couldn't help it.
The Blue King…
He hadn't expected it to feel like this.
She was the most annoying person Mikoto had ever met, unlike him in every way that mattered… and she understood him in a way no one else ever had. She was his opposite but she was the same as him. She-
"Aaaah!" Totsuka thumped the back of her head back against the pillows, snapping Mikoto out of his thoughts. "I can't believe it! We're literally lying in bed together and he's thinking about another woman!" She exclaimed to the ceiling.
Mikoto started guiltily. He wasn't thinking about another woman! He was… Well, Mikoto supposed, he was thinking about another woman.
He was thinking about another King who might just maybe, possibly, happen to also be a woman -not that Mikoto had noticed or cared- but that wasn't the same thing.
"Is she as good-looking as Izumo says she is?" Tatara asked, turning onto her side so she and Mikoto were facing each other.
"I didn't notice," he said honestly.
Tatara chuckled softly, "good answer." Growing more serious, she said, "talk to me."
He half-shrugged, "what's there to talk about? There's a new Blue King. Not much we can do about it."
"I've been thinking about… the old Blue King recently," said Totsuka nervously, as though she was hesitant to bring the subject up with Mikoto.
Ah yes. There was that, wasn't there?
He eyed Tatara. She was good at hiding it, but now that he knew to look for it, he could see her unease.
"What are you so worried about?"
Well that was a good question, Tatara thought, because ever since she'd heard there was a new Blue King, she'd been filled with unspeakable terror for Mikoto.
She knew what had happened at the Kagutsu Crater, they all did, and they'd known well before Munakata was enthroned. But now it seemed real.
Before it had been a story, nothing to do with them. But now, with a new Blue King and worse, Mikoto's reaction to her, it seemed like a terrifying possibility.
So it made sense for Tatara to be scared. But she wasn't scared of a Damocles Down, even though maybe she should be. She wasn't scared for herself or her other friends either.
No, she was terrified for Mikoto and Mikoto alone. Because of the new Blue King.
Which didn't make a whole lot of sense because Jin Harabi hadn't killed Genji Kagutsu. In fact, almost the opposite was true.
It would make more sense for Totsuka to be afraid for everyone but Mikoto. Especially as neither Izumo nor Mikoto had described Reisi Munakata as particularly aggressive.
And yet here they were. Totsuka was terrified.
Especially since Munakata and-
"I can't believe it. We're literally lying in bed together and she's thinking about another King." Mikoto deadpanned.
Tatara burst out laughing. "Sorry," she said, realizing she'd trailed off in the middle of their conversation. "I'm just worried about you."
Mikoto didn't tell her that her that her worry was stupid. Instead, he just rolled over so she was trapped underneath him and buried his face in her neck.
Totsuka squeaked and then laughed again. Wrapping her arms and legs around Mikoto she luxuriated in his warmth.
"Am I crushing you?" He mumbled against her skin.
"Yes. Don't you dare move."
Totsuka felt Mikoto smile against her skin and they lay like that for a while. She was on the verge of falling asleep when he said, "you don't need to worry about me. I'll be fine."
As long as I have you. But he didn't say that last part out loud. The fire inside him was threatening to burn him -and everyone else- alive but with her it was a gentle warmth. If she left him, he'd be okay. He'd have to be because he would never force her to stay, never take a choice from her. He'd know that he shared the same world as her and that would be enough. But…
Mikoto's grip tightened ever so slightly. She'd been attacked again the other day. Because of him. He had it on good authority (Yata couldn't lie for shit) that the rip in her shirtsleeve was from where she had barely dodged a knife when someone had come after her as revenge against Mikoto.
Luckily, she'd been out shopping with Yata and Fushimi who'd been quick to remind the assailants why teenagers were the worst demographic, so Tatara hadn't gotten hurt.
If she left him, he'd survive, Mikoto vowed. But if someone took her from him…
Then Shizume City had better pray Munakata was more successful than her predecessor.
But he'd never tell Tatara that, never put his volatile state on her shoulders.
So instead he just held her ever closer and said, "I'll be fine," again.
And hoped that was a promise he could keep.
But the biggest problem they had with Munakata came as a surprise.
It was after a fight she and Mikoto had just had. Totsuka had called them off, saying they were upsetting Anna. Anna didn't look particularly upset to Mikoto but this allowed both Kings to back down while saving face.
He didn't know if it had something to do with their power, if it refused to back down in front of another King, or if both he and Munakata were just Type A personalities (or both?) but they both had a real problem with just turning around and walking away and if Anna was okay with Totsuka using her to break up their fights Mikoto wasn't going to call her out on it.
Either way, their fight had just finished and their other clansmen came swarming back now that it was safe to do so. Munakata stepped away just as Fushimi rounded the corner and only the Blue King stopping dead prevented them from bumping into each other.
And then their eyes met. And Munakata smiled at Fushimi.
It was such a small smile, calm, but almost intimate, as though he was someone she'd been expecting
'Ah,' Munakata's smile seemed to say, 'there you are.'
She didn't make any other sign of acknowledgement to him, but Saruhiko actually took half a step towards her anyway, his usually bored expression, stunned.
'Here I am,' his eyes replied.
Munakata brushed past him on her way out. Fushimi turned to watch her until she was well and truly out of sight. Mikoto just watched Saruhiko.
Huh. This was a first. He'd never lost a Clansman before.
Mikoto had been right about Fushimi.
He caused quite a stir for not only leaving HOMRA, but defecting to Scepter 4. Everyone was extremely and vocally angry.
Everyone except Yata.
She stumbled through the motions of her usual routine in shocked, wide-eyed silence and everyone just got angrier and angrier pretending not to notice when she turned to someone who wasn't there or trailed off in the middle of a sentence, expecting someone else to finish the thought for her.
Christ, Mikoto wasn't made out of stone, even he felt bad for her.
"It's fine, we can go." Yata, who actually seemed to be in a cheerful mood was saying, swinging her legs while sitting on a barstool. She was talking to Kusanagi about a shipment ordered by another psudo-gang that he suspected was a drug shipment and he wanted HOMRA to check out. "It's fine, we'll do it," Yata was saying when she went motionless. Her legs stopped swinging, she seemed to stop breathing.
"Me. I'll do it. I can go," she corrected herself, expression rigid. She was keeping her emotions locked down but it was heartbreakingly clear she was hanging on by a thread.
Izumo shook his head and went to say something but Yata forestalled him, "it's fine, I can do it by myself. It's okay."
She dashed out the door.
The room was dead silent. Then the glass in Izumo hands shattered under the force of his grip.
There was no anger in Yata, not then. No one could have guessed how volatile it would get later, or the resolution it would have.
But that's another story for another time.
Yata's small world was lost but for the rest of them, the world kept turning.
Not too long after that, Mikoto made a purchase that set even his heart racing. Now all he needed was the perfect moment.
Boom! The door blew off its hinges.
Bang! A body hit the wall.
Crash! A baseball bat knocked smashed a gun, and the hand holding it, to smithereens.
"Whew" commented Totsuka, from where she was standing slightly behind Mikoto, "they sure are energetic."
"Hn." Her King said.
"Hey guys," Yata had torn the top off one of the crates. "There's something else here."
Totsuka frowned slightly, yeah, they'd gotten all the drugs, hadn't they so what was-
"Oh crap!" Yata yelped. The minute she saw what was in the boxes, Tatara quite agreed.
"Hey guys!" She yelled, eyeing the crates of fireworks nervously, "stop using your-"
You can guess what happened next.
Her warning was too late. A fireball, Tatara didn't see who threw it, hit the crates of fireworks. Everyone on both sides went motionless in horror for a split second.
Then the crates exploded.
And there were a lot of crates.
The other members of HOMRA were right on top of the crates. Yata, moving faster than Tatara had ever seen her, got between them and the explosion, shoving Bandou, who was closest, to the ground and letting her sturdier body take the brunt of the explosion.
Then the fireworks began to go off.
"Wow, thanks Yata!" Said Masaomi, who was a little singed but otherwise okay.
Yata calmly picked pieces of her ruined shirt off her skin, "that's why they pay me the big bucks," she said sourly.
Totsuka, who'd just managed to hear her, snorted with laughter. She knew she shouldn't, they could've been badly hurt. But Yata did not have a dry sense of humour and that comment had caught her off guard.
"I really liked this shirt!" Yata groused.
"Yata your hair!" Chitose almost wailed. Yata's body had been strong enough to pull through unscathed. Not all her hair could say the same.
"I didn't pay for my hair! Fuck my hair!" Yata pulled off her only partly ruined sweater from around her waist and slipped it on before her shirt fell right off her body.
"And you can bet your asses I'm gonna take this out on you guys!" She barked at the terrified Yakuza members they'd been fighting.
More banging and crashing, this time with screaming and exploding fireworks. Totsuka hummed, pleased. "I'm glad everybody's okay!" She said cheerfully.
Mikoto just watched her beautiful face being lit up different colours from the fireworks and felt his heart thud.
Now, he had to ask now. He'd been mulling over scenarios and they'd all been far more romantic than this but now that he was here, Mikoto couldn't imagine asking anywhere else.
"Will you marry me?" He asked quietly.
Naturally, Totsuka didn't hear him.
"What?" She yelled, gesturing at her ears.
Mikoto stepped closer, leaning down, he didn't yell but he spoke directly in her ear.
"Will you marry me?"
He pulled back as Tatara did, she stared at him, stunned, before her smile lit her whole face.
She nodded, "yeah, okay!"
On the few (or maybe not so few) moments Tatara had allowed herself to daydream about this happening, she'd always said something a little more sweet than 'okay,' but she couldn't bring herself to care. This was perfect.
Throwing herself at Mikoto she hugged him tightly as he caught her in his arms. His kissed her briefly but passionately, and pulled two simple silver bands from his jeans' pocket.
"These have been burning a hole in me for months now," he muttered, Totsuka grinned.
"I'm glad to take the burden off you then."
She reached for hers but Mikoto beat her to it, catching her hand and slipping the ring on, Tatara took his instead and slid it on him too. The rings glittered in the light and her heart pumped double time. "I love you," she said.
"I love you too."
Tatara hugged him again, but this time he held on, so, protected by Mikoto's sanctum, she just turned in his arms to watch the fireworks and Yata chase around fully grown men with a bat who ran away from her shrieking. Listening to the sound of screaming, crying, fireworks and gunfire, Tatara hummed to herself again. Maybe life couldn't be truly perfect but this? This was pretty close.
Mikoto just watched her watch their clan. Maybe it was the fireworks, but the whole world seemed a little brighter.
Raising an eyebrow at his pda, which he was using to cyberstalk Yata, Saruhiko Fushimi looked askance, "what the Hell did she do to her hair?" He wondered aloud.
Mentally shrugging, he slipped the device back into his pocket and went back to work. No rest for the wicked and all that.
After that, the next big thing that happened was they had an influx of Clansmen. Izumo blamed Tatara. Ever since she got engaged she'd been practically glowing, according to him. She was drawing people to HOMRA like a moth to flame.
Totsuka thought he was being ridiculous so she ignored that and did her best to settle in these new members. She didn't want another incident like what happened with Fushimi.
And she really liked these new members, especially a new boy named Shouhei who was an old friend of Bandou's and Erica, a girl Kouske found. They seemed cool.
She hoped neither of them tried to kill her or anything.
Time passed. Then, Mikoto didn't think anything of it, but looking back he realised all of the moments he thought of when he wanted to think of something happy had Tatara in them.
She made him cookies when she found out he liked cranberry but he was pretty sure those cookies should be classified as a weapon of mass destruction.
He ate them all anyway though.
She dragged him out for a snowball fight with the rest of HOMRA. But Mikoto's aura kept melting the snow and eventually it devolved into everyone else watching, amused while Tatara, shrieking with delighted frustration, pelted snowballs at Mikoto while a dutiful Izumo and Anna kept her supplied with ammunition.
No matter how fast or hard she threw, Mikoto's fire won every time.
They went on a road trip but *somebody* definitely not Mikoto, read the map wrong and they ended up in an entirely different city. It was still fun though.
She took up knitting and good God was she bad at it. Izumo took one for the team and 'accidentally' burned the pile of horrible sweaters she made them all but Mikoto saved his.
It was literally the most hideous item of clothing Mikoto had ever owned and that was saying a lot.
Tatara, who knew damn well how awful they were and that Izumo had done that on purpose, teased Mikoto about it.
He threatened to wear the sweater on their wedding day.
And thus, time passed. Every day seemed brighter than before and it was because of the gentle woman who was HOMRA's heart and Mikoto's. He couldn't imagine the world without her.
And then it was December and Anna's birthday was coming up. Tostuka was worn out from everything; shopping, running from mobsters, taking care of a sick teen with a katana who'd rescued her from mobsters, Kuroh, Izumo said his name was, gang stuff, Yata in general, and more. So she wanted to head right home now that they'd decided what to do for Anna's birthday but she had one more errand to run.
Totsuka's new hobby was filming and Shizume looked amazing at night. She was going up to the rooftop of a nearby building to film the lights, she thought Anna might like to see it.
And then the world decided to stop turning.
There was already someone there when Tatara got to the roof, a white-haired teen in a school uniform, humming loudly to herself.
"Hey! How you doing?! It's a nice night out, isn't it?" Asked Tatara, already filming, although she'd delete this part if the girl didn't want to be on camera, "I came up to film the city lights since it's so clear, it's beautiful. I'm Tatara Totsuka. What's your name?"
AND WE"RE DONE! I hope you liked it.
Mikoto and Munakata's story is up next! I like to cycle through writing three K fics and MikoRei's story is one of the Final Three. We'll be at the beginning of the end there guys.