Me: I have decided to continue this, even though I really, really, really need to work on LIAVST. But I had serious inspiration for this, and just the right background music to write to (background music is very important for me, if I can find a track that suits the fic, it's as good as posted)

Brigs: And why did you decide to post today instead of yesterday?

Me: ^^ Because yesterday was my birthday silly!

Kai: *sarcastically* Yippee…

Me: ^^ Wuhoo! I'm finally sixteen! *dances around and throws confetti*

CP: Why don't I have a birthday?

Me: Because you will be a chibi for always and eternity CP.

CP: *pouts* So I don't ever get to learn to drive?

Me: You can take my lessons, I don't like it much anyways, I'd rather have a bike than a car any day… Anywhoo, back to the topic at hand! I have decided that this fic will contain a total of four or five chapters tops. The song My December by Linkin Park will only be used for the first and last chapters, thus leaving it as a song fic, but not entirely so… Disclaimer anyone?

Rei: Angevar doesn't own anything that is remotely recognizable from another source (Timmy has 'borrowed' her OC team/characters on various occasions, but they aren't in this story)

Me: Okay… Oh, before I forget! Thanx to all the people who reviewed for me! Scheree, Kiina, LuxLucisAnima, SilveryKitsune and Rumi-Chan (so sorry 'bout the virus) you've all been great support and getting reviews makes me oh-so-happy! ^^

Brigs: Riiiight… Warnings?

Tala: Shounen-ai later on… probably gonna be quite dark. Angie is considering soaking one of the later chappies in lemony goodness, but we'll just have to wait and see. In the mean time, go read the *censored* story!

My December, Chapter Two

By Angevar

(Monday, April 05, 2004)

Starlit blue eyes watched from a distance as Kai walked away from the bridge, watched as the soft, feathery ice-crystals floated down to cover the footprints left on the bridge. Tears threatened to trickle down a tanned face, but the young man managed to keep his emotion in check. Why did Kai have to be like that?!

Takao sighed regretfully and headed home, like he did every night, feeling lost, alone and depressed. He absentmindedly kicked a small stone along the pavement for a ways, mind not concentrating on the world around him, letting his feet take him slowly home where his friends were waiting.

He walked up and let himself in the front door, taking off his coat and hanging it on the wall with the others before heading into the living room. (A/N: Max, Rei and the Chief had all come to visit for Christmas and were staying with Takao, his grandfather was currently tied up with a backlog of family parties and get-togethers, he hadn't dragged Takao along for reasons that will be explained later. Hope that clears up a few questions before you ask them)

As the somber looking teen entered, a blond head looked up from where he was on the couch, cuddled up to his boyfriend (A/N: Max and Rei are together, let's leave it at that since I'm too lazy to elaborate). A half-hearted smile adorned Max's features as he greeted his friend "Hey Takao, how's the weather out there?"

"Okay, I guess…" Takao glanced absent mindedly over to Max and Rei, smiling regretfully to himself before curling up in a cushioned armchair, gazing out the window into the softly falling snow.

Max glanced worriedly up at Rei, wondering if there was anything they could do to pull Takao out of his self imposed isolation. Rei looked sorrowfully down at Max, kissing him lightly on the top of his head and pulling him closer. There was nothing they hadn't tried since they had begun to notice Takao's change of character.

After the incident with Kai five months ago, at least one former member of the team had been around to keep an eye on Takao, to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. He hadn't even come back from the encounter on his own; Max had gotten worried about him and had gone out to see what was up. He had found Takao slumped against the railing of the bridge half an hour after he had left, staring at Kai's footprints as they were covered up by the snow. Max had brought Takao back to the dojo by himself, not wanting to leave him alone in his state.

Once home, Takao had snapped out of it almost like a trance, saying he was fine and that the guys didn't have to worry about him at all. It had in truth seemed that Takao had been fine, for a while. But then he started going out for long walks as the weather grew colder, becoming more distant and quiet as the days passed. Rei and the Chief had had to go back to their respective points of origin, but had booked plane tickets back for Christmas in advance, leaving Max to look out for Takao.

It seemed that more than anything these days, Takao was almost lonely… why he should be Max couldn't even begin to guess, but he knew it had something to do with Kai. But strangely enough, even though he had almost expected Takao to seek Kai out and confront him about the incident, Takao just watched placidly as life went by. They had even seen Kai out in the street a week or so ago, and Takao had just turned the other way.

Flashback:

"So Takao, Rei and Kyojyu are arriving in a couple days… what are you gonna get them?" Max asked cheerfully, cerulean eyes sparkling at the chance to go Christmas shopping.

"I dunno Max…" Takao replied quietly, he was being more talkative than usual, but still much quieter than his old self. He spotted an indigo sign and pulled Max's sleeve "Hey, let's go check out that new shop that opened up a couple weeks ago, I still haven't gone in there yet."

"Great! I hear they have a whole bunch of cool stuff in there." The two teenagers headed for the shop in question. When they got in they started going through shelves and shelves of oddities. Stained glass wind chimes, pewter and silver statues of dragons, surreal art and anime posters and fantasy novels (A/N: I only lived in the states for a year actually, but where I lived, they had tons of this sort of shops ^^ I was in seventh heaven!). Takao glanced at a glass shelf with several elvish figurines and picked one up gingerly. A slight smile made its way onto his face, the first honest one in almost a month.

"Watcha got there Takao?" Max asked, peeking over his shoulder.

"I think he looks like Kai…" Takao said, holding the pewter statuette up to the light. "Doesn't he Max?"

Max studied the figurine, it did look like Kai. Narrow, ruby eyes; spiky bangs; it even had the same attitude, kinda glaring up at you over its shoulder, but looking like someone you could depend on if you really needed to. All that was missing were the triangular tattoos on the cheek. "You're right Takao; he does look kinda like Kai…"

"Hmm…" Takao smiled sadly to himself, replacing the figurine gently on the shelf. "Nah, he doesn't really, he used to be like that… he isn't anymore."

"…So, you gonna get that one Takao?" Max asked after a pause, looking at his friends face.

"No… I don't think so…" Takao sighed softly and headed for the entrance of the shop. "Did you find anything you wanted Maxie?"

"Gimme a minute to decide, I'll be out in a sec."

Satisfied, Takao left the shop and stood outside on the sidewalk, looking up at the cloudy, overcast afternoon. It looked like more snow tonight, Takao smiled at the thought, he liked fresh snow.

As he brought his gaze back down to earth, he saw, in the Starbucks across the street, two-toned blue-grey hair and a creamy scarf.

Max came out of the shop with a medium sized bag that had a couple posters in it and saw Takao looking across the street with unusual attention. He followed his friends gaze…

"Kai…" Takao breathed softly. There was no mistaking it.

"You wanna go over there and talk to him?" Max asked, looking at Takao to see what his reaction would be.

"… no, he doesn't need us." Takao's lower lip hardened as he gazed fixedly at the cafe window for a moment before turning to go the opposite direction. "And we don't need him either!"

Max was a little surprised at the bitterness contained in Takao's voice, in all the time he had know the midnight haired Japanese boy Takao had always been one to forgive and forget. Why was it different this time…?

Because it was Kai…

End Flashback

At the time, Max had been a little worried about his friend, it was very unlike Takao to ever be bitter about anything. But when he had caught up to him and seen his expression, it was evident that Takao had been holding back a lot of emotion. Out of respect fro his friend, Max hadn't brought the subject up again, but he could see that Kai was still eating away at Takao, whether he knew it or not.

Max got up from leaning against Rei and went over to Takao as he sat by the window watching the snowflakes fall. "Hey buddy, you okay?"

"He was there… again." Takao replied, not looking at Max and staring out into the inky blackness. "He looked… different."

"What do you mean Ta-kun?"

"He looked…" Takao hung his head and sighed. "I don't know… I don't think I really want to talk about it Maxie…"

"That's okay…" Max patted Takao's shoulder and checked his watch. "Hey, Rei's gonna make dinner tonight, that okay with you buddy?"

"Sure…" Takao replied, Rei usually did the cooking anyways.

Leaving Takao with his thoughts, Max went to the kitchen with Rei. He wished there was some way to get the old Takao back, the one who would look at his problems and laugh them off like so much dust.

"He's still not getting any better?" Rei asked while he was cutting vegetables.

"No." Max shook his head sadly "I kinda think he might be getting a little worse."

"What makes you say that?"

"He said he saw Kai again… when he went out for his walk." Max pushed the pile of sliced carrots to the side and looked at Rei. "Rei, I'm really, really worried about him. He doesn't eat enough and he hardly ever talks compared to how much he used to."

"I know…" Rei said, resting his hands on the counter "But I don't think that there's anything we can do to help him…"

"… maybe if… nah!" Max brushed the thought off and went back to cutting veggies. "Stupid thought."

"What was it?" Rei asked "I'm willing to try anything."

"Well… if Kai is what started the problem, maybe Kai can fix it."

"But you said it yourself yesterday, Takao doesn't want to see him!"

"Doesn't want to see who?" Kyojyu asked, coming into the kitchen and leaning on the table in the center of the room.

"Kai…" Max replied "I was wondering if maybe Kai can fix this whole mess."

"Max… you do remember what Kai was like last time we actually had a conversation with him don't you?" Kyojyu gave Max a blank look.

"Yeah, I do, but maybe if we just get them to at least look at each other or speak to each other the whole thing will clear up." Max replied.

"How do you figure that?" Rei asked, pouring the vegetables into a pot of soup.

"Last week when we were shopping for stuff to get you guys, we found this little statue and Takao said it looked a little like Kai." Max replied, Rei looked at him.

"So?"

"Just trust me on this Rei!" Max said, "If we can get Kai to even speak one non-insulting word or phrase to Takao, I think he'll start getting better, just as long as Kai doesn't hurt him again."

"But you are forgetting one little thing Max." Kyojyu said matter-of-factly.

"What?"

"I don't think Kai cares anymore" Kyojyu replied "Chances are he'll just make it worse."

Rei looked thoughtful for a moment "Let's talk about something else, k? Now c'mon, help me get dinner ready."

When Rei called him in for dinner, Takao stood up silently and went to the table. He didn't eat much at all, half of what any normal person would (Rei was a damn good cook) and certainly one heck of a lot less than the normal Takao would eat.

Max tried to get him to eat a little more, but Takao quietly turned everything down. He left after only a short while, going upstairs to his room as he did every night.

"Takao, don't you even want a little desert?" Rei asked after the storm eyed teen.

"No, but thanks Rei." Takao replied, turning and continuing on his way to his bedroom.

As the door at the top of the staircase shut, Rei went into the hallway and pulled on his thick winter jacket.

"Where are you going Rei?" Max asked worryingly.

"I can't stand seeing him like this," Rei replied, snapping the last buttons into place before heading out the door. "So I'm going to find a way to fix it!"

He left before they could question him.

Rei walked through the densely falling snow, through the residential area where Takao lived, through a small shopping area and into another part of town entirely. He turned down several corners, almost fearing he had forgotten the way entirely and sighed almost in relief when he came to stand in front of a very large, impressively built brick mansion.

Rei let himself in over the gate, walked up to the front door and rang the bell a couple of times, glaring up at the security camera to be sure the occupant knew it was him. After about thirty or forty seconds, the door was opened for him and he entered the house, shucking off his jacket and hanging it up on the coat rack. An icy voice from behind him made him turn to face the speaker. Cold claret eyes faced him and Rei mentally prepared himself for what was to follow.

"What the hell are you doing here Kon?"

Me: *cackles evilly* BWAHAHAHAHAHA! CLIFF-HANGER! *gets various random fruits/vegetables/projectiles launched at her*

Brigs: *looking over cliffie critically* It wasn't that big! I mean, you obviously told them who it was, and you can guess why Rei is there an- Mpfht!

Tala: *holding hand over Brigs' mouth* Shut it! Don't reveal the plot!

Me: Thank you Ta-kun! ^^ *dodges toy car*

Tala: Don't mention it.

CP: *watching Angie dodge missiles sent by readers* Angie says she will only continue to post this if she gets at least five more reviews, bringing the total to ten… if she doesn't, then she'll just write it for her own personal pleasure and not post it.

Me: *dodges English text book* Please review! *dodges five separate rolls of TP* I'm a review whore and they make me ridiculously happy… especially if they're more than one line…

Tala: In the meantime, reviewers will receive copies of their favorite anime movie. We have only a few copies of Princess Mononoke though *watches as Angie snatches one for herself* Okay… that makes one less…

Me: ^^ Review! I really, really think I deserve a few! *forgets to dodge giant pumpkin and is smacked into a wall* ~ …ouch.