I have to apologize for almost disappearing from the fanfiction scene without so much as a by your leave. Let's just say that both uni and human contact all but squelched my writing desire. Luckily I had an epiphany due to a friend's obsession with World of Warcraft. Some of what the two characters talk about in this little tidbit is what actually has happened to me. Granted, I know what it's like to have an obsession (writing is mine), but I'd never sacrifice a friend for writing. I guess I have a balance in my life that others don't seem to have.

So, this story is dedicated to anyone who has ever been put second over an obsession. I feel your pain.

I don't own Loveless, but I adore it enough to write about the characters.

Cheers mates!



Soubi stole into his little sacrifice's room without a second thought and stepped up behind him to see what the boy was doing. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that Ritsuka was playing some sort of online video game, and a rather detailed one at that.

"What are you playing, Ritsuka?" Soubi asked, placing his head atop the younger boy's right between the cat ears.

"This is a new video game that quite a few classmates are playing and I wanted to see what all the hype was about," Ritsuka answered as if his eyes weren't trained on his computer and his fingers weren't dancing about the keys in a staccato fashion.

"Would you like me to leave then, Ritsuka," Soubi asked, knowing full well he wouldn't even if the boy were to say he wanted such.

"No," he replied. "I am not quite as interested in video games as others, so I'm not finding the addiction."

The fighter sat down on the floor with his back to the bed and scratched his chin. "Are you wanting to become addicted?" he asked nonchalantly.

Ritsuka sighed and turned the game off, then swiveled his chair so he was looking right at the older male in his room. "No, but I've been listening to the girls in class complaining about how their boyfriends are paying more attention to this game than to their relationship. I wanted to see what was so impressive about fantasy that people would ignore social relationships."

Soubi smiled and patted the boy's knee. "You are wise beyond your years, Ritsuka," he said, a twinkling in his eyes. "Video games are important to people who like them, but if that game, just like any obsession is hurting their physical relationships with people then it's not a good obsession."

The sacrifice stood up and slid down the bed so he was sitting right beside the blond, eyes fixed on the window in front of him and a serene look on his face. Soubi had an obsession too, he knew it was him. There were times when Soubi would forget about all of his other friends, Kio especially, just for his sake.

"I don't see the point in obsessions," Ritsuka commented dryly. He knew all too well how obsessions had hurt his friend throughout his life. It pained him deeply to know that the man he idolized was obsessed to the point of detriment. No type of obsession was healthy if it affected life.

The elder chuckled and pulled his sacrifice into a hug. "Maybe it's because you don't have an obsession anymore. But remember what it was like when you were attempting to find Seimei?"

At the mention of the name Ritsuka felt his back shiver. He did remember what he was like when he was attempting to find out what happened to his brother. However, even during that time he was able to make friends, even if he did run off. But, never once did he run off when he'd made plans with his friends. In fact, he made it a point to hang out with them. From what a few of the girls in his class were saying it was like their boyfriends were making plans, then breaking them without so much as a message that the plans were cancelled. A couple had even gone rather far from their roost to meet up with the boys, only to end up there on their own.

"I plan on never being obsessed like that again, Soubi, it was scary now that I think about it."

A kiss was placed on the tip of the cat-boy's ear. "I know you are too smart to let your friends go to the wayside. Other people are not so lucky."

Ritsuka raised an eyebrow. "You mean like Kio must feel when you disappear on him?" It was a cheap shot, but Ritsuka wanted to know what Soubi thought about his own obsessions.

"I am not as good as you, Ritsuka, and I never will be." There was a slight hint of sadness in his voice and Ritsuka knew that Soubi would change that part of him if he could. As it was, the elder may have been a little too brainwashed.

"I don't agree with that," Ritsuka admonished softly. "You are just the same as me."

"My obsession is you, Ritsuka," Soubi said, stating the obvious. "And while it may take me away from others, part of the reason I let it take me away from others is to keep them from getting hurt."

That was a point well taken. Kio had already ended up in some deep crap because of his acquaintance with Soubi, so maybe there was a good reason to ditch friends every now and then, especially if they could get hurt. Kio was one thing, but Ritsuka doubted that either Yuiko or Yayoi would be able to handle kidnapping, torture, or anything else that could come their way.

Instantly Ritsuka started to wonder if maybe it wasn't in everyone's best interest if he distanced himself from living human beings just to keep them safe. His face contorted in discomfort and he started to squirm until Soubi pulled him into a bear hug, holding him tightly so he couldn't move.

"Don't you dare start thinking what I know you're thinking, Ritsuka," Soubi scolded, resting his chin on the smaller male's shoulder and maneuvering the child's rear into his lap.

"And how do you know what I'm thinking?" Ritsuka asked, knowing full well that his fighter was so in tuned with him that no matter what he thought, Soubi knew almost before he himself did.

"You are not me, and you deserve to keep your friends. Disappearing is not the answer and will only make you miserable. As much as I'd love to keep you all to myself, I know your friends make you happy."

It didn't take much thought for Ritsuka to know that Soubi always had his best interest in mind. He wasn't even bothered all that much anymore when the older male was able to see into his head while a thought was being formed. Eventually he knew that he'd get there too, and he gathered that he wasn't already there due to his age; after all, his brain was still forming in some ways.

Ritsuka looked out at the sky. The sun was setting and he could see all manner of dark colors forming on the horizon behind the houses that were across the street from is window. The blue bled into purple, which became black, kind of how his mind worked at times. He'd not leave his friends unless it was necessary. If only he could keep his life with Soubi separate from that of his friends. The problem was that he didn't want to keep Soubi out of his other life. Maybe that was his obsession, or was the seed of obsession. Eventually it was going to grow like some tree, and Ritsuka found that he didn't mind.

"What are you thinking, Ritsuka?" Soubi asked after a few minutes of silence.

"I think I do have an obsession, Soubi, or at least the start of one."

Soubi sighed and took a deep breath. "It's okay to have an obsession, Ritsuka," Soubi said calmly, with a tender voice. "I promise that I won't let you become like those boys in your class, who pay more attention to a video game than their friends."

"Thank you," Ritsuka replied. "But I'm not too worried." The sacrifice managed to squirm his way out of Soubi's embrace. He stood up and looked down on the fighter with a slight smile on his face. "I'll never become someone who sacrifices friendship for the rush of a game. Maybe I'm too young to understand a gamer's obsession, but I'm not too young to see how much it hurts someone else."

The fighter grinned and stood up with a nod. "You care more about others than you do yourself, Ritsuka. Maybe that's why I care so much for you."

"Soubi, let me call Yuiko and Yayoi, we can all go to the park," Ritsuka suggested. "You should call Kio, too." If he could help Soubi keep from sacrificing his friends for him, then maybe Soubi could heal. After all, an obsession is only good if one knows when to shelf it and pay attention to other things. Balance is important in growing as a person.

Ritsuka smiled as Soubi made the call and he felt a bit of elation as he could hear how excited Kio sounded on the other end. It was another good day to make more memories, another obsession Ritsuka seemed to have. The boy aimed to add more obsessions to his growing list. Possibly the more he had, the less one would run his life.