BY : Macx
Category: Descendents of Darkness/Yami No Matsuei > General
Dragon prints: 3098
Disclaimer: I do not own Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Byakko had had it.

In the last months, Meifu time, that is, Sohryu had slowly but surely
undergone a transformation for the worst. The man who had finally started
to unwind again, who could relax, who could leave the office and the palace
for hours on end, had reverted back to the work-a-holic Byakko hated to
see. Sohryu was suddenly closed off from the others once more, snapped
his orders, buried himself in work and whatnot, and he withdrew more and
more. Talking to him was straining because he was simply just barking orders
or coolly dismissing the other Commanders.

Touda had started to grow silent around him, his frown now ever-present,
watching the God with narrow eyes and waning patience.

Well, Byakko's patience had waned to nothing and he knew something had
to be done.

Finding Sohryu proved to be complicated. He had left his office and
was apparently on his way to Tenkuu, wanting to check something in the
computer room deep inside the castle's bowls. Byakko walked after him,
intent on getting answers.

Whatever it took.

"You should not corner him, Byakko," Touda said quietly as he walked
at his lover's side.

"I'm not going to corner him, I'm going to ask him a few questions as
to what the heck is going on!"

"An educated guess would be that it involves Terazuma. Ever since the
shinigami left again, Sohryu's been like this. And he hasn't been back
in all that time."

Red eyes glanced at the dark-clad serpent. "Did you ask Tsuzuki?"

"No. It's none of my business."

"It is our business, Touda, because Sohryu's crappy attitude and rising
temper is affecting all of us!"

The golden eyes narrowed a little, but Byakko ignored him. He had found

"Sohryu!" he yelled.

The dragon stopped just outside Tenkuu's walls and turned slowly, his
cold, distant eyes taking in the younger God.

"I am busy, Byakko," he told him coolly.

"Yeah, you always are. Busy, busy, busy. But not too busy to make a
complete asshole out of yourself!"

Byakko felt Touda wince at his side, but the serpent was silent.

Sohryu's brows drew down and his eyes narrowed dangerously. There were
lines in that normally smooth and handsome face that had been permanently
carved into his expression ever since... yes, well Terazuma had left GensouKai.

"What's wrong with you, Sohryu?" Byakko demanded. "What's going on?
You've turned cold! What happened between you and Terazuma?"

Now those eyes grew into dangerous slits and Sohryu hissed softly.

"Watch your mouth, tiger!"

"Why? You gonna pull rank on me? News flash! I am your equal!"

Sohryu's fingers flexed a little and Byakko felt a change in his aura.

"Is it Terazuma?" he pressed on nevertheless. "If so, damnit, get a
grip on yourself, Sohryu! You are our leader! You..."

He never finished that sentence. There was a flare of power, an incredible
explosion of it actually, and within a split second there was a wall of
glistening blue scales rising up in front of him, and a gleaming talon
came down toward the stunned tiger.

Byakko had no chance. Stunned, overwhelmed by the sudden spike of aggression,
he only saw the claws race toward him.

There was a hideous, wet sound, a sound of muscles tearing under an
immense force, of tissue surrendering to the impact of a predator's claws
with its prey -- followed by the dry crack of breaking bones.

Something hot and wet splashed over Byakko, whose red eyes opened wide
in horror, meeting breaking golden ones. Touda collapsed forward, mutilated,
violated, broken, and Byakko unfroze, catching the severely injured man.

"NO!" he roared, blood staining his hands and clothes.

The white tiger literally saw red as he took on his animal form and
attacked the blue dragon.

° ° °

It happened from one second to another. Tsuzuki was leaning against
the desk, sipping at a cup of black coffee, eyeing some donuts, when he
suddenly lost all color and collapsed with a scream of agony. The cup shattered
on the ground into a dozen pieces, coffee splashing everywhere. Terazuma
was out of his chair in a second, eyes wide, staring at the other shinigami
in horror as Tsuzuki screamed in pain and curled in on himself, arms wrapped
around his middle.

"Tsuzuki?" he exclaimed.

What the fuck...?

The door was pushed open and Hisoka stormed in, stumbling back against
the wall the moment his eyes fell on the writhing form of his partner.
He grew almost as pale as Tsuzuki, gasping, clutching his head.


Tsuzuki whimpered softly, moaning a name. "Touda..."

And Terazuma understood. Something had happened to the fire shikigami;
something bad.

The older shinigami began to convulse, hands clawing into the ground,
and he was at his colleague's side in an instant, keeping him from harming


There was only a new cry of pain, followed by harsh pants for air. "Hurts...
blood..." Tsuzuki rasped.

"Pull yourself together!"

The voice was like a whiplash and Terazuma's head snapped around, looking
wide-eyed at the slender young shinigami standing beside the two men. Hisoka's
green eyes were burning with shared emotions, but also with a resolve that
spoke of his determination.

"You need to get your shields up, Tsuzuki! Tune him out!"

Dilated violet eyes met intense green ones and Terazuma watched the
drama unfold. Hisoka was willing his older partner to break through the
input from Touda's side and gain control.

"Tsuzuki!" Hisoka snapped.

A blink. A whisper of breath. Tsuzuki suddenly closed his eyes and grew
lax, breath shaky.

"He... was... hurt..." he stammered, voice just a breathy whisper. "No...
chance... no... so much... blood... pain..."

Hisoka knelt down next to Terazuma, but he wasn't touching his partner.
For a good reason. The empath would get blasted with the full power of
this emotional thunderstorm.

"Tsuzuki!" he whispered harshly. "You need to get control! You're the
only one!"

Tsuzuki groaned, pale as a sheet, sweat beading his forehead, and his
hands were clenched into fists. His knuckles were white with the force.

"Tsuzuki!" Hisoka snapped.

"Touda..." Tsuzuki whimpered.

"He needs you!" Hisoka insisted. "But he needs you whole. He needs you
sane! Push the pain away. Tsuzuki... Asato..." The voice had dropped into
a coaxing, cajoling whisper. "You can do it..."


"I know. Just try... You're stronger than that..."

Terazuma watched, waited, and finally those strange eyes opened, meeting
his red ones. The two men looked at each other, Tsuzuki breathing hard,
Terazuma just frozen in shock by the sudden reaction.

By now others had crowded around them. Wakaba was there, as were Tatsumi
and Watari. Hisoka looked up, meeting the cool, blue gaze of the Shadow

"Something happened to Touda. I think we need to leave immediately."

Tatsumi nodded slowly. "GensouKai."

Another nod.

Fingers curled around Terazuma's wrist, the grip surprisingly strong.
"You, too," the shinigami whispered.

"W...what?" he stammered.

Tsuzuki swallowed several times as if he was about to throw up. A shudder
went through him.


Terazuma didn't know why, but he nodded.


Getting Tsuzuki upright wasn't easy. His knees threatened to give way
and he fell against Terazuma the moment he took a step. The shinigami grabbed
the shaking body, but Tsuzuki cried out as if in pain, and Terazuma almost
drew back.

"Phantom pain," Hisoka whispered, looking strained. "He feels what Touda
feels. It's bad, Terazuma. Very, very bad."

Tsuzuki's hands clawed into the other man's clothes and he tried to
get control of himself. With a groan he finally straightened and his eyes
took on a determined note.

Still, it was Wakaba who opened the Suzaku Gate and helped them through.

° ° °

The sight before him was as terrifying as it was amazing. Terazuma stared
at the gigantic blue dragon, eyes wide, mouth agape. Sohryu was magnificent.

And he was injured.

His leathery wings were in tatters, bleeding from multiple slashes and
cuts. His scales were criss-crossed by more marks, and his claws were bloody.
Some of that blood was not his. It belonged to the black-clad shikigami
currently lying in a pool of his own blood.

Terazuma swallowed.

Touda lay motionless in his human form, clearly unconscious, and a huge,
white tiger stood over the fallen man, snarling at the dragon. Sohryu bellowed
a challenge, claws rising again to attack. There was an almost mad light
in those reptilian eyes.


Tsuzuki's voice was like a thunder clash, cutting through the air, freezing
the image for a moment. Terazuma found himself paralyzed, staring at the
shinigami who had moments ago been barely able to stand on his own two
feet. Now he did stand, without swaying, his face like made of stone. Pale,
the violet eyes the only touch of color, framed by dark hair, Tsuzuki's
face looked alien, not at all like the easy-going, smiling shinigami he

The dragon turned its wedge-shaped head, eyes narrowing, baring impressive
teeth, each as long as a human was tall. Terazuma felt the blood leave
his face at the sight, but Tsuzuki just looked at the furious, blood-lusting
creature. His shikigami, the most powerful of the four Gods...

Tattered wings unfurled and blood splashed onto the ground. Tsuzuki
was small and insignificant in front of the gigantic dragon.

"SOHRYU!" he yelled, and the violet eyes gleamed with a power Terazuma
had only experienced once before.

The dragon bellowed again, a challenge if Terazuma had ever heard one.
Power bristled around it, incredibly strong and lethal, but Tsuzuki didn't
move a muscle. And then he felt it.


Terazuma heard himself gasp as he watched his colleague. Tsuzuki seemed
to be surrounded by it, a dark aura that flared and crackled, that hissed
and spat, and that seemed to taunt the dragon to attack. It wasn't the
magic of a shinigami, at least none Terazuma had ever seen. It was something
so powerful, it fried his senses, it overwhelmed him, it ate away at his
own power. The Black One whimpered, scrambling away, wanted nothing more
than to run, and it was the first time Terazuma felt his otherwise so fierce
shikigami tremble.

A claw descended. Violet eyes rose and met reptilian ones.

The former cop gave a cry of denial and stumbled forward to push Tsuzuki
out of harm's way.



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