Twice Bitten, Thrice Shy, Chapter 2

By: Zoicyte aka Johnnyjosh

Fandom: Saint Seiya

(Although actually it was started based on the English Dic dub, so some of them may be a bit OOC. Also, for Hiso-chan, and a couple of others that were enjoying this fic in all it's 'dude' spewing KotZ glory, *giggles* the original Knights version will be continued on both my webpage, and on my StS ML, )

Rating: NC-17 (Just your typical JJ-style smut! *LOL*)

Pairing: Shiryu/Shun, Hyoga/Shun, others?

Warnings: Yaoi, lemon, language

Notes: OOC, AU, PWP, TWT, etc, Bastard!Shiryu, Angsty!Shun and Hyoga. Silliness, angst, insanity, you know the drill by now. If you can't handle my craziness, why are you here? *peers at you curiously*

Summary: Shun gets burned by love twice, can he find it in his heart to forgive and let someone in again?

Archived: Others ask for permission, and no mst'ing.

This fic is dedicated solely to my lovely Saint Seiya muse, Pacifist Daniel *glomps, snuggles* Thanks to my ever-suffering beta, Espaa! Thanks also to Lara for the encouragement, and Herve for the opinions on the original series and invaluable assistance. Now I have SUBS! *dances* Kudos to Animom as well for reminding me of an entire sequence I almost forgot to put in *sheepish grin*

Disclaimer: I don't own Saint Seiya, and am making no money from this.

" " Speaking

* * Thoughts


~~oOo~~ Change of scene or POV


The next morning found Hyoga and Seiya sprawled on the couch in the living room, each lost in his own thoughts. Hyoga watched Ikki as the older teen went through a complex series of katas in the back garden, while Seiya pondered what he'd seen, late last night. *Who was Shiryu so pissed off with last night? What happened? Did he and Ikki have a fight of some kind? Over what?* He wondered silently. The more he thought about it, the more certain he was that he had in fact heard a door slam, moments before Shiryu had nearly knocked him down. *It must have been pretty serious, if he was so angry he wasn't even aware of his surroundings.* He was jerked out of his thoughts by the sound of Hyoga's voice.

"Shouldn't Shiryu be down here already?" the blond asked, almost as if he'd read the other teen's thoughts.

"You'd...think so," Seiya said, staring at the clock in surprise as he realized what time it was, "he's usually up and about ages before the rest of us."

"Except maybe Ikki," Hyoga shook his head, glancing out the window at the Phoenix saint once again. "That guy's intense!"

"Maybe he's still upset about whatever it was that happened last night, and he's up there thinking things over," Seiya said quietly, before both teens became lost in thought for several moments.

"Do you think we should go up and see if Shiryu's okay?" Hyoga finally broke the silence that had settled over the room.

"Don't bother."

Both saints turned at the sound of the soft voice to see a very subdued-looking Shun slowly descending the stairs. "He's gone, he left last night." The teen walked over and perched on the arm of the couch, hands folded in his lap, eyes trained on the floor.

"What?!" Seiya was on his feet and over in front of Shun in an instant. "Where did he go?"

"He was supposed to meet up with Kiki and leave this morning," the emerald-haired teen said, eyes still downcast. "He said he was going to be gone a couple of weeks."

"Why did he leave last night then, what was the big rush?" Hyoga asked idly, grabbing the remote and switching on the television.

"Well," Seiya sighed, dropping back onto the couch between the other boys. "I hope he's in a better mood when he gets back."

"What do you mean?" Shun glanced over at Seiya, eyes widened slightly.

"Heh, you mean you didn't hear the commotion?" Hyoga snorted and sat forward, glancing up at the younger teen. "Shiryu came stomping down the hall last night, nearly took out Seiya on his way by, then slammed his door so hard he rattled the pictures on the walls."

Seiya shook his head and folded his arms, brow furrowing as he went over it again in his mind. "It was so weird, it was like...he couldn't see anything else, just the anger. He didn't even know he'd hit me, or I'm sure he would have at least turned and looked, or something." His head snapped up, brown eyes widening slightly as Shun seemed to cave in on himself, arms winding around his torso, a look of pain settling on his fine features. *What's he so upset about?* Seiya wondered. *You'd almost think...nah, no way. I could see Shiryu and Ikki having words, but I just...can't see Shun doing something, anything, that would piss Shiryu off like that.* His eyes narrowed, as the young saint mulled over the possibilities. *Maybe he heard everything, Ikki's room is right next to his. Geez, if he's this upset after hearing them fight, it must have been awful.* Seiya shook his head, turning and trying to get into the program Hyoga had settled on.


Ikki growled softly under his breath, body moving with fluid, graceful motions. He'd been in a foul mood for some time already, and it was only getting worse. The Phoenix saint's thoughts flashed back to earlier, when he'd knocked on Shun's door, to see if his brother wanted to come down for breakfast with him.

// "Shun, are you coming down for breakfast?" Ikki knocked gently on his brother's door, yawning and stretching his arms out to his sides, then over his head as he waited. After a few seconds, he knocked again. "Shun? You in there?" He tilted his head as the door cracked open, a smile on his lips. But the smile quickly faded when he saw his brother.

Shun's face was pale, his eyes puffy and red. The teen swiped his hands quickly across his cheeks and took a shaky breath. "Yeah, just...give me some time to grab a shower, get dressed, and tidy up this room a bit and I'll be right down, okay?" He tried to give his brother a smile, but it fell flat because of the sadness in his eyes.

"What's wrong, Shun?" Ikki demanded, stepping into the room. He set his hands on his little brother's shoulders, gazing down at him intently. "Why are you crying?"

"I..." Shun shook his head, trying to back away. When Ikki didn't let go, the smaller boy sighed and leaned forward, embracing his brother. "I don't want to talk about it. It's just something...I need to work out on my own, all right?"

"Shun," Ikki began, not content to merely let things go at that.

"Niisan, please, I'm not a child anymore. This is one battle you can't fight for me, I need to handle this by myself." Shun whispered.

Ikki fought down the urge to press the younger teen for answers, instead reaching one hand up and resting it on Shun's back, cheek resting on the top of his head. He wrinkled his nose as an errant lock of green hair tickled his face, before he turned his head away quickly and sneezed, earning a soft laugh from Shun, who had been watching him in the mirror. The sound of the teen's laughter alleviated some of Ikki's concern, and he released him. "All right, I'll let it go, for now. But if you need to talk, you know where to find me, hmm?"

Shun nodded, giving him a smile that managed to reach his eyes this time. "Don't worry, Ikki. Like I said, this is just something that I've got to work through on my own, it's not a problem anyone else can solve for me."

"Mm hm," the older teen nodded, "Well, I suppose I'll see if Shiryu would like to train for awhile, given that Seiya and Hyoga rarely roll out of bed before eight." The teen frowned at the expression that crossed Shun's face at the mention of Shiryu. The other boy flinched, looking as if he'd just been slapped across the face. "Did I...say something wrong?"

"No," Shun shook his head quickly, turning away from his brother, arms wrapping around his own body as he bit his lip. "Shiryu's gone, he won't be back for a couple of weeks, that's all."

"I see." Blue eyes narrowed, as Ikki watched his brother carefully, noticing the defensive gesture. *So, it was Shiryu that upset you, was it?* "Well, I'm going to get some breakfast, then do some training. I'll be outside if you change your mind."

Shun nodded, turning and giving the older teen a small smile. "I guess I'll see you when I get that far," he laughed weakly, giving a slight shrug with one shoulder.

Ikki merely nodded, giving his brother a last long look before leaving the room. //

"That coward, hurting my brother, then taking off before anything can be resolved..." the Phoenix saint snarled, turning and lashing out with his fists at the empty air. "I don't know what you did to him, Shiryu, but I will find out. If I can't coax him into talking, I'll just beat it out of you..."


Shun sat beside Seiya, replaying the words of the other two teens in his head. *I... I knew he was upset, we both were,* the hands in his lap clenched into fists, and he made a concentrated effort not to flinch every time Seiya shot him a curious glance. *But I didn't think... I mean...dammit, why didn't I go after him when I had the chance? Now he thinks we're through, but I didn't mean it...not really...* Blinking away tears, the teen shot to his feet, turning away before either of his friends noticed his distress. He only took three steps before Hyoga's voice came from directly behind him.

"Where are you going?"

"I..." Shun bit his lip, trying to find a decent excuse for nearly running out of the room. "The morning's almost gone, and I haven't even done my run yet today."

"Mind if I tag along?" Hyoga stepped up beside him, giving Shun a lop-sided grin. "I should have gone myself already, but I guess I got used to having a partner."

Seiya glanced over and smiled ruefully. "Guess that leaves me to go out and see if I can survive sparring with Ikki." He rose to his feet, and gasped as he watched Ikki's fist slam through a thick wooden post. "Er, on second thought, maybe I'll just go bug Tatsumi..."

Seiya's antics brought a smile to Shun's face, and he found himself able to laugh a little for the second time that day. The tension in his shoulders and neck eased slightly, and he took a deep breath, releasing it with a soft sigh. "I think that sounds like the safer option," he grinned at the other teen, then nodded to Hyoga. "Okay, let's go, race you to the door!" He turned and bolted out of the room, laughing as Hyoga yelled about him taking a head start.


Ikki spun around, tilting his head and watching as Shun shot down the front steps, running down the drive with Hyoga hot on his heels, both teens laughing as they ran. *Well, he seems to have worked it out by himself after all,* the Phoenix saint nodded to himself, glancing in the living room window and noticing he was being watched. "How about coming out here and making yourself useful, instead of sitting in front of that idiot box all morning?" he barked, forcing down the grin that threatened to surface when the younger teen blanched, looking around the room before pointing a finger at his own chest. He nodded and motioned for Seiya to join him, snickering softly as the teen turned away and made his way to the door, shoulders slumping. "Don't worry, Seiya," Ikki chuckled as he rounded the corner. "I'll go easy on you, for now."

"Yeah...right," Seiya gulped, dropping into a defensive crouch.


Shun and Hyoga ran along the path through the trees, the only sounds their footfalls, heavy breathing, and the birds singing around them. Hyoga glanced over at his running partner, brow furrowing as he noticed the distracted look on Shun's face. "Hey, Shun," he reached out, lightly touching the teen's arm, "what happened last night?"

"Huh?" Shun nearly stumbled in surprise, only Hyoga's hand clamped onto his shoulder kept the younger teen on his feet. " you mean?" He turned and gazed up at the blond saint with wide eyes.

"Come on, Shun, I'm not stupid. I heard Shiryu coming back to his room last night all pissed off, then he leaves in the middle of the night. This morning Ikki's pissed off too, and you're upset. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that something happened last night." Hyoga forced him to a stop, gazing down at him. "So, just how bad was it between those two?" he asked quietly.

"Between...what?" Shun blinked, shaking his head. "I don't...understand what you're ask..." His head jerked up, eyes locking with Hyoga's. *Of course, he must think that it was Shiryu and Ikki that had a fight, and that's why the two of them are angry. Great...* he sighed softly, looking down at the ground. *How am I supposed to explain it was me Shiryu was so mad at, without going into details?* The emerald-haired teen didn't see the searching look he received from the blond saint.

"Hey, it's okay, I understand if you don't want to talk about it," Hyoga smiled, brushing a stray lock of hair away from Shun's eyes. He found himself wondering if perhaps he and Seiya had gotten the wrong impression about Shiryu's absence. *Maybe it wasn't Ikki that Shiryu had the problem with. I mean, Shun's acting like he's feeling...guilty," he thought, brow furrowed.

"Yeah..." Shun shivered and glanced up at the feel of Hyoga's fingertips grazing his forehead, a light blush staining his cheeks as they stood, only inches apart, staring at each other. The Andromeda saint gave himself a mental slap as he realized just how long he'd been lost in the other teen's blue eyes. *What's going on here? Shiryu's gone not even one full day, and you're suddenly finding Hyoga attractive?* he berated himself. *Well, it's not like you haven't noticed that before. You just wouldn't admit it, because you considered yourself to be involved with Shiryu, even though he was really just...* Shun cut that thought off abruptly and took a quick step backward. "Well," he cleared his throat, running a hand through his unruly hair. "I guess we'd better get back to our run..."

"Yeah, guess so," the Russian teen nodded slowly, eyes narrowing, a strange expression on his face as he continued to observe the younger teen for a moment, before they turned and started to jog once more. "So, which way do we go today?"

Shun blinked in confusion, then realized what he was talking about. "Oh yeah, the fork in the path, I say left." He chuckled softly.

"Aw, come on, it's a perfect day for the right one, sunny, not too hot, let's do it!" Hyoga grinned at him, moving over and herding the smaller boy to the right.

"I don't know, Hyoga, that hill's to the right, do you really want to have to come all the way back up there at the end?" He winced, remembering the slope led down to a dead end, with no other way to come back but straight back up the same long, steep hill.

"Ah, that's nothing, come on, Shun," Hyoga sprinted ahead, veering off to the right as he reached the fork.

Shun sighed heavily, shaking his head. "Oh, all right then," he said softly, trying to catch up to Hyoga. The two teens raced down the hill, sweat rolling off their skin, soaking into their sweatshirts, making their hair stick to their faces. They reached the bottom of the hill, darting and weaving in front of each other, laughing as each one took turns trying to cut the other off. Their game came to an abrupt halt, however, when Shun's foot came down on a patch of wet grass and leaves, sending the teen tumbling to the ground.

"Shun!" Hyoga halted as he heard the other teen's yelp of pain, spinning around and running to his side. "You okay? What happened?" He knelt beside the smaller boy, wincing as he saw the cut on Shun's right knee.

"Aah... Dammit!" Shun hissed in pain, clasping his hands over his injured knee, blood oozing from beneath his fingers. "I slipped on some wet grass, and came down on that rock," he pointed to a jagged stone that stuck almost straight up out of the mossy ground.

The blond stripped off his sweatshirt, then pulled off the t-shirt he wore underneath. "Here, let's wrap it up, and get you home." Tearing the black shirt at the seams, Hyoga wound the fabric around Shun's injured leg, tying it tightly before donning his sweatshirt once more. "Now comes the fun part," he murmured, moving around to Shun's other side, one arm sliding under the boy's knees, the other winding around his back.

" Hyoga, what are you...Hey!" Shun cried, arms wrapping around the blond's neck as he was lifted off the ground. He blushed wildly as he found himself cradled against the older teen's chest, Hyoga's face scant inches from his own. "Put me down, Hyoga, this is ridiculous," he protested, trying to jump down out of his arms. He winced as his struggling jostled his knee, which was starting to throb painfully.

"Relax, it's no big deal," Hyoga smiled at him, then turned and started walking up the hill, "you're nice and light, see?" The blond jerked his arms, lifting Shun up higher, laughing as the boy clung to him even tighter. "Don't worry, I'm not going to drop you, I promise."

Shun slanted a look at the older boy, giving him a mock-frown. "You'd better not," he shook his head and laughed softly, "but seriously, I'll be fine. You can't carry me all the way back to the mansion, it's too far."

"Hey, who said anything about the mansion," the blond smirked, "I'm just carrying you up the hill, that hill's tough enough on a good day."

"Oh," Shun blinked, then looked away, a light blush on his cheeks as Hyoga smiled at him, "well, good... I should walk this off a bit, don't want it to stiffen up too much, right?" He looked away, glancing up at the trees, the sky, anywhere but the other teen. *Stop it,* Shun thought, biting his lip as he found himself resisting the urge to rest his head on Hyoga's shoulder. *You're hurting over what's happened...well, what's been happening with Shiryu, and now that he's gone, you're upset, and feeling a little vulnerable. But this is not the way to solve things. Shiryu will be back, and then you can get things straightened out, see exactly where everything stands. If things can be worked out, great, then at least you won't have done anything you might regret. If not,* he sighed softly, *then you can think about exploring...other possibilities.*

"Hey, you're awfully quiet all of a sudden," Hyoga said softly, noticing the expression on his friend's face, "what are you thinking about?"

Shun glanced over at him, green eyes widened slightly, then he sighed and answered truthfully, "Shiryu." He drew back one arm from around the older teen's neck, fingers toying with a lock of green hair. "I'm worried about him."

"Ah, he'll be back before you know it," the Russian teen gave Shun a reassuring smile. "You'll see, after he gets his head together, and does whatever he went out there to do, things will be back to normal."

"I hope you're right," Shun said quietly.

"All right, last stop, everybody off!" Hyoga grinned, slowly setting him back on his feet. He moved around to the smaller teen's right side, ready to help should it prove necessary.

Shun gingerly put a bit of weight on his injured leg, glancing down in surprise as he realized the pain had subsided quite a bit. "Hm, doesn't feel too bad, actually," he said, walking slowly, favoring his right leg only slightly.


Seiya slumped into a patio chair, snatching up his discarded shirt and using it to wipe away the sweat that ran in rivulets down his neck and chest. "Man, I'm beat, and you still look like you could go for hours! How do you do it?"

"You're just a slacker," Ikki sniffed, folding his arms and staring down at Seiya haughtily. He laughed and ducked the shirt tossed at him, grabbing up a cushion from one of the other chairs and throwing it at Seiya, who was on his feet and making to charge the larger saint, a wide grin on his face.

Suddenly he stopped, arm shooting out to point behind Ikki. "Hey, what happened to Shun?"

"What?" Ikki spun around, spying his little brother and Hyoga walking up the drive, a thick line of what looked like dried blood staining the pale skin of Shun's calf, his knee wrapped in black fabric. Both teens quickly made their way over to the pair. "What happened?" Ikki asked, tilting his head and glancing down at the wound. He looked up once more, and was troubled to see that a hint of sadness had crept back into the emerald depths.

"I slipped on some wet grass, and came down on a sharp rock. It's not as bad as it looks, really..." Shun gave his brother a rueful smile. "I guess that'll teach me to stay on the trail, won't it?"

"You should still get it cleaned up, though," Hyoga said, brushing past the other teens and heading for the front steps, "need a hand upstairs?"

"No, I'll be okay," Shun smiled faintly, wincing a little as he made his way up the front steps. "It'll just be slow going."

Seiya followed the others into the mansion, smiling and shaking his head as he watched Hyoga, who was patiently staying beside Shun as the younger teen hobbled his way up the main staircase. *You'd almost think they're a couple, the way they act with each other sometimes...* The smile disappeared as he looked up at Ikki and saw the frown on the other saint's face. "Hey, Ikki, what's wrong? Don't be mad, you heard Shun, it was just an accident."

"I know that," Ikki snapped, turning and stalking away.

"Hey, where are you going?"

"It's lunchtime," the older teen answered curtly, turning the corner and heading for the kitchen.

Seiya looked up at the sound of Shun and Hyoga's laughter, then turned and followed Ikki's lead, pushing open the kitchen door and heading for the fridge. "So, looking forward to the party?"

"What party?" Ikki glanced up from the sandwich he was making to give Seiya a blank stare.

"Oh, come on, the party set for the day after tomorrow," the smaller teen gaped at him as Ikki's expression didn't change, "the party Saori-san's only been going on about for the last week... Oh, damn, she's going to be pissed when she hears Shiryu's taken off, we're supposed to put in an appearance."

"Hn," the Phoenix saint smirked, grabbing his plate and heading for the door, "She'll be doubly upset then, when she finds out I've decided to go on a trip as well."

"What?! No way, you can't do that, Ikki, come on! You have to show up!"

"Oh, no I don't," Ikki laughed softly, turning and giving the younger teen a grin. "Shun, Hyoga and the others will put in their required appearance, and then you will probably spend the rest of the night sniping at Tatsumi and Jabu, or having two or three females vying for your attention. None of you will even notice our absence." He turned and left the room, not giving the other boy a chance to reply.

Seiya blinked, gazing after Ikki with an expression of surprise. "I wouldn't go quite that far..." He chuckled, before deciding to make his own sandwich.


Shun was sitting on his bed, rubbing a towel over his freshly-washed hair, his bandaged knee propped up before him on a pillow. He glanced up as someone knocked on his door, smiling as his brother poked his head in. "Hey, come on in."

"I just wanted to see how you were," Ikki said, sitting down on a corner of the bed, "and say that I'm going to be taking off for a day or two." He held up a hand as Shun made to protest. "Like I said, it won't be for long, and I'm not going very far..."

"Yeah, I kind of thought you might be leaving soon," Shun bit his lip, trying to keep from smiling, "I figured being told you were expected to make a public appearance wouldn't sit well with you."

"I'll pass, thanks," Ikki scowled, then chuckled as Shun grinned at him. "I'll be back in a couple of days. Are you going to be all right?"

Shun nodded quickly. "I'll be fine, don't worry." He smiled up at his brother as the older teen set a hand on his shoulder, nodded to him, then silently left the room. A wave of guilt accompanied the relief the emerald-haired saint felt as his brother departed. *I hate to say it, but this whole thing will be easier to deal with while Ikki's away. I know it makes him upset to see me crying, it's just better if he's gone while I get this out of my system...* A heavy sigh escaped him, as Shun ran one hand through his damp hair, his thoughts turning to Shiryu once again.


Hyoga stepped out into the hallway, turning as he heard someone behind him. "Where you off to in such a hurry?" he asked, spotting Ikki heading for the stairs, a bag slung over one shoulder.

"I'm leaving for a couple of days. I need some time to be alone, to meditate..."

"To avoid Saori's party..." Hyoga smirked, rubbing one eye as he stifled a yawn.

"That too," answered the older teen dryly. He turned and looked at Hyoga intently, until the blond began to look uncomfortable under the scrutiny.

"Don't worry, I'll look out for him," the Russian said quietly.

Ikki merely nodded, before turning and stalking down the hall.


The next day, at the home of Mu...

Shiryu and Kiki arrived at Mu's home without incident...Well, so long as you don't count a few rock formations and natural landmarks destroyed by the occasional bout of sparring an incident.

The auburn-haired youth ran to his master and was greeted warmly, before the tall, lavender-haired Gold saint turned to regard Shiryu. The young boy's eyes followed his master's gaze, and he spoke quietly. "Something's up, he's been kinda quiet, broody, even for Shiryu," Kiki smiled, then sobered. "He was already outside when I arrived, looking like he was going to take off early."

"Mm hm," Mu's dark eyes narrowed slightly as he studied the bronze saint. "I sense...inner turmoil, something is indeed very wrong with our friend." He set a hand on Kiki's shoulder, shaking his head as the boy made to speak. "We will find out, one way or another." Stepping forward to welcome Shiryu, the Gold saint watched him carefully, noting the troubled expression on his face, and the restlessness of his movements. "Welcome, Shiryu," he said, smiling as the teen bowed slightly, "it's good to see you again."

"Thank you for letting me come," the teen said quietly, looking up at him with a soft smile of his own.

"Come inside, you must be tired from your journey," Mu gestured toward his home, as Kiki snickered and sprinted off ahead of them. Mu held back a smile, wondering what pranks Kiki had in store for the Dragon saint. *Well, this should be an interesting visit.*

After Shiryu had dropped off his suitcase in his room, the teen headed back outside, putting himself through a grueling physical workout, made even more difficult by Kiki deciding to play a few pranks, using his powers to toss rocks at the bronze saint when he least expected it, 'just to keep him on his toes', as he explained to his master.

Finally, hours later, Shiryu collapsed to his knees, sweating, trembling, and nearly exhausted.

"Shiryu, you have neither eaten, nor rested since your arrival. You are here to improve yourself, not work yourself into the ground," Mu smiled. "Come, eat, and then we can talk."

Shiryu nodded, slowly rising to his feet and following Mu inside.

"Phew, I think a bath should be the first order of business before you sit down to eat. The way you smell, you'll spoil my appetite," Kiki quipped, then laughed and dodged as Shiryu spun around and gave him a mock-scowl, hand up as if he were aiming a cuff at the back of the youth's head.

"Kiki..." Mu folded his arms and gazed at his apprentice.

"Eh...heh heh...sorry,"

"Hm, he's right," Shiryu said, giving Mu a somewhat embarrassed smile. "I should clean up before dinner."

"As you wish," the Aries saint nodded, leaving Shiryu to find his own way.

"So," Kiki followed the teen as he strode into his room and pulled a clean set of clothes out of his suitcase, "you ready to talk about what's bugging you yet?"

Shiryu sighed, turned and frowned at the boy. "I told you, nothing's bothering me."

"You're a lousy liar, you know," Kiki gazed at him steadily. "I watched you today, you were training really hard, almost like you were trying to keep your mind off something."

"I don't want to talk about it, okay?" Shiryu shook his head impatiently, stalking down the hall to the bathroom and pausing as he noticed a hot bath had already been drawn for him. He glanced over at Kiki, nodding his thanks, before entering the room and quietly shutting the door behind him. The teen stripped off his clothes, hissing, then sighing in pleasure as he slipped into the hot water, grey eyes slipping closed, head falling back as the tension slowly left his body. Shiryu was content to lay there, merely letting his thoughts wander, until they settled on a pair of wide, emerald green eyes. Eyes full of tears that stared at him, their gaze accusing and hurt.

//"I'm tired of you using the others as an excuse not to spend the night."

"Every time we're together it's the same thing. You come here, we have a few minutes together in the darkness, and then you leave, without so much as a kiss goodbye."

"I'm tired of being nothing more than a warm body for you to use at your convenience in the night, then becoming some dirty, shameful little secret you need to sweep under the rug before anyone else notices the next day."//

"Dammit, it wasn't like that!" Shiryu slammed his fist down on the edge of the bathtub. He finished washing quickly, then launched himself to his feet with a growl, climbing out of the tub and pulling on his clothes.

Dinner was a quiet affair, with Shiryu lost in his own thoughts, barely even tasting the food the others had prepared. Kiki and Mu sat watching the teen, exchanging somber looks as the dark-haired saint brooded silently, seeming to be oblivious to everyone else.

"I think," Mu said quietly, gazing out the window at the setting sun, "it is time to retire for the night. We can try some meditation tomorrow, if you like."

Shiryu jerked, blinking rapidly as he glanced over at Mu. "Oh, right...sure," he nodded slowly, frowning as he glanced down at his empty plate, not even remembering having eaten all of his meal. "I..." the dark-haired teen shook his head and sighed heavily. "I'm sorry I wasn't the best company tonight, I'm just feeling a today."

"It's all right, Shiryu," Mu said quietly, studying the teen for a moment through hooded eyes, "perhaps after a good night's rest you will feel better."

Shiryu rose to his feet, nodding and quietly thanking them both, before bowing slightly and taking his leave. He entered his room, closing the door and leaning up against it, heaving a sigh as he glanced at the bed.

"Somehow I don't think I'm going to be getting a lot of sleep tonight," he murmured, stripping off his clothes and pulling on a loose pair of pants. The dark-haired teen turned down the blankets and stretched out on the bed, arms folded behind his head. Staring up at the ceiling, the ebony-haired saint found his thoughts turning to his lover once again. *I shouldn't have left that night,* he thought, a small stab of pain shooting through him as he remembered the younger teen's tears, his pleas for Shiryu to stay, *He wasn't asking me to stand up in front of everyone and announce our relationship, all he wanted...was for me to spend the night.* He turned over, punching his pillow before resting his head on it, a scowl settling on his face. *God, I really was being a bastard, wasn't I?* Grey eyes narrowed, as Shiryu went over the argument once again in his mind. * I never once stopped to think of how he was feeling, I just pushed ahead with what I wanted, never considering what he wanted, or needed, until it was too late...* He winced, thinking of how fed up Shun must have been to snap the way he had, and decide to break things off. "Looks like my visit might have to be cut short," Shiryu murmured, rolling onto his side and pulling up the blanket. "I can't just leave things like this... I have to go back."


The next morning...

Mu sat back in his chair, watching the Bronze saint with a knowing smile. "So," he said quietly, pushing aside the remainder of his breakfast, "will we meditate today, or do you wish to return home, and resolve the problems that have been weighing so heavily on your mind?"

Shiryu gaped at the Gold saint, grey eyes wide in disbelief. "How did you..." he trailed off, then shook his head and laughed softly, "of course you knew."

"Mm," Mu nodded, slanting a look at the dark-haired teen. "It has been rather obvious that there's something bothering you. So, the question is, do you wish to stay and try to train despite this, or do you feel it would be better for you to go home and solve these problems, then return?"

"I think," murmured Shiryu, as he leaned back in his chair, arms folded over his chest, "that it would probably be better for me to leave, and come back when all this has been resolved." He sighed, staring down at the table, "I'd just be wasting my time, and yours by staying here when my thoughts and feelings are so...chaotic."

"I understand," Mu smiled softly, "you are of course welcome to come back, whenever you feel you're ready."

"Thank you, Mu" Shiryu said quietly.



*grins* Oh my, does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? Will Shiryu and Shun be able to work things out before it's too late? More to come soon, read and review!

Flamers will be taken to a chop-shop that fronts as a morgue and sold for parts to mad scientists with a penchant for monstrosity creating, so their bodies will more fit their illogical minds.