Shadows and Flame

BY : Darkephoenix
Category: Descendents of Darkness/Yami No Matsuei > General
Dragon prints: 1182
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.

This is the beginning of a whole lot of crazy. Reviews are welcomed, flames will be laughed at, posted in the Baka Files in one of my groups for futher mockery and deleted.
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“Honeeeeeyyyy!!!” Was the only sound Yutaka Watari heard before crashing to the floor face first along with several test tubes, beakers, and enough paper-work to have killed /several/ trees.

“Blaze?!? When did you get here?” Watari asked rolling and trying to dislodge her from her seat.

“I just got in from Chicag . . . Whoa! When did you grow the rack?” the small, dark haired woman said. Staring avidly at the all too perky set of double D’s her formerly male friend had grown.

“Sometime around two this morning. I never knew these things were so heavy. My back is killing me.”

“You’re already dead. You really should find others to test these things out on rather than yourself, dear,” she said, smiling down at her friend.

“No one will even take so much as a potato chip from me anymore,” s/he said mournfully.

“With good reason. They’re worried they’ll suddenly grow these,” she said, reaching forward and squeezing each breast as if to make sure they were real.

“Hey, don’t manhandle the merchandise!”

“Technically, I’m woman handling the merchandise. It isn’t every day my friend with fringes forces me to have lesbian moments by becoming a woman. This could be fun,” she said. Smirking evilly.

“Only one slight trouble with the formula,” Watari said, watching the woman currently straddling his/her hips.

“Let me guess; no antidote.”

“There is that.”

“Want me to poof you back to normal? Or as close to normal as you manage to get, my darling little mad scientist.”

“Please?” s/he said, looking at her pitifully.

She sighed. “If you insist. You do make a beautiful woman,” she said, looking critically at her friend’s altered appearance. “Though I never expected you’d turn out quite so voluptuous. Has anyone else seen you like this?”

“Just Tatsumi.”

“I bet that went over well.”

“He just snorted and rolled his eyes.”

“Naturally. Does he still call me . . .”

At that moment they heard, “That insane female is in the building, I can feel it,” from down the hall. “Make sure she stays out of my office.”

“Well, that answers my question. I feel loved.”

“Blaze, you aren’t planning on setting his office on fire again, are you?” Watari asked worriedly.

“That was twenty five years ago. I didn’t plan it last time, it just kind of happened.”

“He’s the only person I’ve ever seen make you lose your temper.”

“Honey, dear, none of you have ever seen me seriously lose my temper. Thank goodness. But we all have our bad days. Are you sure you want me to switch you back? I can think of all kinds of fun things to explore with you like this,” she said, flipping the lab coat open and running her hands along his/her narrow waist and newly curvaceous hips.

“Blaze!”

“What?” she asked innocently. “Don’t tell me you’ve suddenly become a prude since turning into a girl.” Sneaking one hand underneath the edge of the sweater. “Are you wearing a bra?”

“No. Those are the most uncomfortable things in the world. Blaze, stop that. It feels too weird.”

“You could think of it as an experiment,” she purred seductively. “To see the differences in how a female body reacts to certain stimulation via the same person as opposed to a male one.”

“That could be fascin . . . no. I think I’d rather be a man around you. I’m starting to feel squishy.”

“Squishy? Oh, that squishy. Perfectly natural reaction of a female body to sexual stimulation.”

S/he squirmed uncomfortably for a moment. “Blaze, just change me back.”

“Fine. Spoil my fun before I’ve even started having any,” she said.

“I’ll make it up to you later,” Watari said suggestively.

“Reeeaaallly? I’ll hold you to that.” She pointed a finger at his/her chest and said, “Return.”

The widened hips narrowed so quickly it almost shifted her off of him. The swells deflated to normal. Leaving the sweater stretched almost beyond repair.

“I think you’re going to need a new sweater.”

“Probably. What are you doing here? We haven’t seen you in ages. We were getting worried.”

“It’s only been a year. But Chicago is a busy place for us. I’ve been completely swamped for ages.”

“I thought they only called you in when they needed the really big guns,” Watari said, sitting up and hugging her.

“That is on an almost daily basis up there lately. There have been a couple of serial killers running loose. We won’t even discuss the gangs.”

“I can imagine.”

“Come on,” she said, pulling him to his feet. “I want to pounce Tsuzuki before the suit finds me. Since he obviously knows I’m in the building.”

“Obviously.”

She paused, looking at him thoughtfully for a moment. “Hey, didn’t you and the suit have a thing going there for a while?”

“Yes.”

“And?”

“It didn’t work out.”

“I’d gathered that. What happened?”

Watari shrugged, “We just didn’t work very well as a couple. He’s a little too structured for my tastes. There just seemed to be something missing from the relationship as well. Though I could never put my finger on what exactly was wrong. The sex was great though; extremely passionate and intense.”

“Wait, wait, and wait. I’m trying to get a mental picture of this. Nope, not getting it. I would have never guessed him to be a passionate person.”

“He puts up a very good façade. Ah, the times I’ve been thrown down on a bed by him,” he said wistfully. “Or up against walls or onto the kitchen counter. The bathroom towel rack doesn’t hold that much weight though,” he looked at her askance. “Come to think of it, you and I have done all of those things too. I’m really surprised you and Tatsumi don’t get along better.”

“It’s because I’m secretly in love with him and trying desperately to hide it from him and everyone else,” she said dryly.

Watari stared at her for a moment. Uncertain as to whether or not to take her seriously.

“Tsuzuki has a new partner, by the way,” he said finally after deciding to let her last comment slide.

“Yes, I know.”

“How do you know?”

“Honey, you are fully aware as to how incredibly nosy I am in my old age. And it isn’t as though I don’t keep tabs on my boys.”

“Oh, you’re only a couple of thousand years old.”

“Hmmm. More than that, actually. What was his new partner’s name again? Hisoka?”

“Yes.”

“He’s the empath.”

“Right.”

Watari poked his head out of the lab door and motioned for Blaze to follow him. They walked hand in hand down the hallway. Pausing to peek around corners to make sure Tatsumi didn’t see them. Silently giggling the whole way.

She smiled up at him, tamping down the urge to just throw him down on the floor and have her way with him. She had missed him so much. Had missed everyone who worked there. Maybe she should just transfer to this district and be done with it. But they really didn’t need her skills here. They had Tsuzuki. The office in Chicago needed her expertise and firepower on a regular basis. Even though no one really knew who or what she was.

They stopped just outside the door to the office Tsuzuki and Hisoka shared. Tsuzuki was asleep at his desk, drooling slightly on the paperwork spread before him. Hisoka was glaring at him over the top of an enormous book on world history. He looked as though he’d like nothing better than to throw the book at his partner.

Hisoka glanced over when he felt Watari come into the room. He stared blankly at the woman with him. He hadn’t felt her at all. He’d had no inkling that she was even there until he’d looked directly at her. He blinked repeatedly and stared harder at her, trying to discern any vibrations or emotions from her. Nothing. Then it hit him.

She was an empath. Though unlike him, she was at the full height of her abilities and knew how to use them to her advantage. She was shielding her presence both mentally and emotionally.

Blaze smiled at the young man staring so intently at her and managed to just stifle a heavy sigh. Tsuzuki had nearly broken her heart when she had first met him. He had been so desperate to have someone prove to him that he really was a good soul and someone worthy of the second chance he’d been given. While she had never been quite able to prove any of that to him, she had pulled him back from the edge of his self created abyss on numerous occasions.

But this one, this quiet, sullen, half man/half child ripped open wounds she had thought thousands of years healed, because his own pain was so new. And because his death so closely mirrored her own it was almost like looking into another piece of her soul. She shook off the feelings he roused in her; the protective “If I ever find out who did this to you, I’ll make them suffer and die slowly” feelings that nearly left her breathless. It was odd that she felt this way about someone she hadn’t really met as of yet. But he felt so . . . familiar.

She left Watari’s side and leapt lightly onto Tsuzuki’s desk, perching on the balls of her feet for a moment before pouncing on him. This sent the chair he was sitting in spinning wildly backward with both of them in it; nearly toppling them to the floor. She laughed at the small scream of surprise this elicited from him and started kissing him anywhere she could reach. Leaving lipstick prints all over his face and neck.

“Blaze?!” he said in disbelief, his arms closing around her and pulling her tightly against him. “Where have you been? Wow, you smell good. We were all so worried. Even Tatsumi was getting freaked out because we hadn’t seen you in so long.”

“I don’t believe that for an instant. But thanks for your concern,” she said. “I missed you all so much.”

“And we’ve missed you,” Tsuzuki said, squeezing her tighter.

“Speak for yourself,” came a voice from behind Watari.

“As usual, the wet blanket descends,” Blaze said sarcastically, glancing over her shoulder at Tatsumi. “Don’t you have some numbers to throttle into submission?”

“Not at this particular moment. Though I can think of certain people I’d happily throttle.”

“As if you could, child,” Blaze sneered, her eyes narrowing dangerously.

“That would mean I’d need to touch you, crone,” Tatsumi fired back at her.

“Round one. Place your bets. Here we go,” Watari said, grinning maniacally and stepping aside to give Blaze a clear shot at Tatsumi.

She came out of Tsuzuki’s lap in one swift movement and was in front of Tatsumi in less than a second. The top of her head barely came to Tatsumi’s collarbone but she stood her ground.

“Who says you have enough power, even with your little shadows to throttle me?” she said, glaring up at him. “You stubborn, tight ass, pencil pusher.”

“What gives a disruptive little wanton like you the right to judge mine or anyone else’s inclinations?”

“Probably the fact that I was around a few thousand years before you were ever born.”

“Yes, and I can certainly see why several people wanted to kill you.” As soon as the words had left his mouth he wanted to take them back. His eyes widened almost comically and he put one hand over his mouth. There was a clear look of genuine horror on his face. “Oh, gods, Blaze, I’m so sorry. I didn’t really mean it.”

“Yes, you did,” she said, so quietly that he barely heard her. She was looking at him with a mixture of fury and hurt. Her eyes were sparkling with unshed tears.

That look nearly brought Tatsumi to his knees to beg her forgiveness. What in the Universe had ever made that woman cry? Evidently he had. He could handle Blaze when she was angry and sniping at him. But he wasn’t so certain he could stand knowing he had genuinely hurt her. He didn’t know what to do or say that wouldn’t make the situation worse.

Tsuzuki’s startled “Hisoka!” distracted him and brought everyone around to face the young man.

Hisoka had gone much paler than usual and was shaking. Tsuzuki had started toward his partner when Blaze stopped him.

“No, Tsu. Don’t touch him. He’s on overload. My fault entirely. I dropped my shields. I’ll see if I can pull some of the excess emotions away from him,” she said, turning to the young man.

Hisoka was breathing in hard gasps. He felt as though someone were sitting on his chest. He felt like he was dying again, only he knew it wasn’t his death but hers. He knew intimately what it felt like to be robbed of your very breath and life. To be cursed by others into dying before your time had truly come.

For him it had been one man’s fault. For her, it had been the product of many working in concert because she had been too strong for only one to overcome. But she had died much the same way he had. She hadn’t prayed for death in the end. She had prayed for the means to avenge herself and she had gotten it. She didn’t bear the curse scars that he did because it had been too long ago and those who had caused her death were gone themselves. She wore her scars on the inside. Seeing what she had suffered reactivated his own pain and nearly sent him to the floor. He put one hand on the desk to support himself refusing to be bowed by the flood of memories.

Blaze was standing in front of him, draining off the excess emotions and memories. Drawing what was hers back into her own mind and body. She was trying to keep from railing at her self for forcing this on him in the first place. She should have kept her temper. Shouldn’t have let Tatsumi goad her into an emotional reaction around someone who was still so fragile both from his upbringing and what he had been forced to endure. His own hurt had now risen to the surface of his mind. That was a harder thing to battle. She could pull what was hers away from him, but couldn’t help him with the horrors that were firmly entrenched in his mind due to his own experience.

For all of the overwhelming emotions flooding through him only one word rang through Hisoka’s mind. The emotional impact from it was staggering. Safe. He was safe with her. He would always be safe with her. He could touch her and be touched by her without fear. She would never hurt him and would always try to shield him from her darker emotions. She knew what he had gone through because she had faced the same thing. She knew what it was to be hated by people who were supposed to love you. She knew what it was to be feared because of abilities no one else could comprehend. She knew. Beyond anyone else other than Tsuzuki, she understood him.

Hisoka swayed on his feet. Then much to the surprise of every one present, including him-self, fell willingly into Blaze’s arms. His eyes squeezed shut against the onslaught of tears. He could barely breathe and was hardly able to form a coherent thought. But he knew that she was shelter. She felt much the same way Tsuzuki did to him. Safe. Warm and most of all, safe.

She caught him just as he started to fall forward. He was only slightly taller than she was and she cradled him easily. His hands clutched at her shoulders and back as though he were drowning and she was the only solid thing he could hold on to.

“Tatsumi-san, would you please take Tsu out of the room,” she said quietly. “I need calm if I’m to help his partner.”

Tatsumi nodded and took Tsuzuki by the elbow. “Come on.” When he started to protest Tatsumi said in a low voice, “Let her work, Tsuzuki. You know he’s safer with her than anyone else in the world. Let her do what she does best.”

She smiled slightly at Tatsumi, taking the small compliment to heart. Considering that, from him, it was equivalent to grandiose praise.

Tsuzuki nodded and reluctantly allowed Tatsumi to lead him from the office. Watari followed them out, winking at Blaze then closing the door quietly behind him.

“You poor baby,” she said into Hisoka’s hair.

Part of him wanted to protest that he wasn’t a baby, that had he lived, he would have been eighteen that year. But some other part of him, the part he thought had died years ago from neglect, wanted to be held. Wanted to feel warm and safe and cared for.

Why was it that this woman’s touch felt so familiar to him? He didn’t really understand human contact being as he’d never really had any. He mistrusted nearly everyone who had tried to touch him. But she was different. He felt like he knew her. Like she was a long lost friend or sister. Or a . . . a . . . mother. His mind staggered over that thought.

“Grandmother actually. You are of my bloodline somewhere along the way. I’m not really sure how or when that happened, but it’s true. I can feel a part of my soul inside of you.”

He raised his head from her shoulder and looked at her. “How is that possible?”

She shrugged slightly, her arms still around him. “A mother gives a piece of herself to a child if the child is wanted and loved. The same as a father does. I did have four children who survived to adulthood. It’s always possible that one of them or their children somewhere along the line wound up here. There was always wanderlust in the blood for us,” she said. “Especially for my boys.”

She kissed his forehead and loosened her grip on him slightly. She had started to release him but had felt his need to be held for a bit longer. Though he was shielding his defenses were less and she was picking up memories from him quite without trying. Memories of pain and loneliness that stretched for years.

Sweet baby, she thought. How could anyone in their right mind reject you?


Outside, Tsuzuki, Watari and Tatsumi were staring through the glass office door in disbelief. Watching Hisoka hug and hold on to another person was mind boggling within itself. He usually flinched away from any kind of contact. The fact it was someone he hadn’t officially met was even stranger. But Blaze seemed to have that effect on the males of the species. One way or another, the vast majority of the men they all knew ended up in her arms.

Watari smiled. “She’s just amazing.”

“For a lunatic,” Tatsumi snorted.

“You don’t hate her, Tatsumi,” Tsuzuki said quietly.

“I never said I hated her. I just think she’s irresponsible and insane. But she is damn good at what she does,” he admitted grudgingly.

“If she were irresponsible she would have blown up entire countries by this point,” Tsuzuki said. “She has a very firm grip on her abilities and knows her limitations better than any of us could ever dream of.”

“She does seem to cause far less damage than you do, Tsuzuki.” Tatsumi pinched the bridge of his nose above his glasses to stave off the headache that had suddenly started there. “And she’s the only shinigami in history ever allowed to work without a partner.”

“Uh-huh,” Watari said, rocking back on his heels and surveying Tatsumi shrewdly. “I think you actually like her and aren’t willing to admit it.”

“You’ve been in the lab too long. The chemical smell is starting to affect your brain. That woman drives me absolutely crazy,” Tatsumi said, glaring at him. “She comes in, turns everyone’s lives upside down and then leaves.”

“Hmmm. Maybe beyond like,” Tsuzuki said thoughtfully. “I think maybe you want her and can’t bring yourself to deal with that fact.”

Watari blinked at his friend. “You are astoundingly perceptive some times. I think you may be right.”

“Now you’ve both lost your minds,” Tatsumi said, stalking off and slamming the door to his office so hard it shattered the overhanging light.

“Yup. He definitely wants her,” Watari said smiling and rubbing his hands together gleefully.

“No doubt about it,” Tsuzuki said. “Doesn’t that make you feel a little weird though?”

“Not especially. She and I don’t have that kind of relationship. I mean its fun, we get along well and the sex is spectacular. But there’s no deep romantic attachment. Besides, when she was alive it wasn’t anything unusual for someone to have multiple partners at the same time. Especially a woman of her standing,” Watari said. “I can just picture her saying “Take your clothes off and come here” to some guy. Wait a second, she does that anyway. Usually to me. Aren’t I lucky?”

“I don’t think I could stand it,” Tsuzuki said, glancing back into the office to see how Hisoka was doing. Watching him being held and comforted by someone else was almost painful for Tsuzuki. He felt . . . jealous? Then ashamed of himself for even thinking that Blaze would try anything with him. For being so inherently sensual she was, to the very core of her being, a mother. (Though she would have denied that and probably seriously injured someone for accusing her of being loving and gentle.) How many times had she done exactly the same thing with him? How many nights had he spent with her just holding him? How many times had he cried his head off in her arms when the darkness in him had been too much to bear? How many times had she effectively saved his soul? Countless.

“My friend, some women enjoy having several love interests at once. Just like certain men do not.”

Tsuzuki stared at him blankly for a few moments. “You’re kind of creepy sometimes, Watari.”

“Yeah, Blaze rubs off on me if I’m around her for more than a few minutes.”

“Do you think she wants him as much as he wants her?”

“Probably. The fighting may just be an excuse to relieve the sexual tension. We’d have to ask Bon to be sure though. I’m certain he can pick things up being an empath that we can’t.”

At that moment Hisoka stuck his head out of the office door and smiled at them. They both blinked back, startled. It was such a rare thing for him to smile.

“Blaze says that you two are taking us to dinner,” Hisoka said.

They looked at each other. “Do you have any money?” Tsuzuki asked sheepishly.

“Not really. You?”

“Um, no.”

They were startled when both Blaze and Hisoka started to laugh.

“It’s okay. I was just teasing. My treat,” Blaze said, peeking around Hisoka. “Go find Wakaba and Terazuma and invite them along. Providing you can keep from fighting like two cats in a sack,” she said to Tsuzuki. She grabbed two handfuls of Watari’s hair on either side of his head and kissed him. “Honey, go grab the suit. He’s going with us if I have to pull rank on him.”

Watari looked startled for a moment then smiled and bounded off for Tatsumi’s office. Carefully avoiding the broken glass from the light, he knocked on the door just before flinging it open.

“Hey, Tatsumi-san, Blaze says to come and grab you. We’re going out for dinner.”

“Watari, I have paperwork to do,” Tatsumi said coldly. “And spending an evening with that woman is nothing short of torture to me.” Although in a different way than any of his coworkers could ever have imagined.

“Yeah, well, prepare for the torture then. She threatened to pull rank if you didn’t agree to come on your own.”

Tatsumi stared in startled disbelief at Watari. As far as he knew, never at any time had Blaze ever deemed it necessary to pull rank on anyone. True, she didn’t work for their office, but all of the offices were interconnected and relied heavily on one another in times of need. She was the one everyone called when things got too heavy for their usual operatives to handle safely. To refuse a senior officer, especially one of Blaze’s standing, would be corporate suicide. He sighed.

“Fine,” he said. Logging off the computer and straightening the last of his paperwork. It would be there come Monday morning.

“By the by, you were way over the line earlier with that comment.” Watari didn’t have to explain which one he meant.

“I know that,” Tatsumi said almost savagely. “I know. I just can’t seem to do anything right when it comes to her.”

“Seiichiro, you were just as worried about her as the rest of us were when we didn’t see her for so long. You care about her. You even went so far as to contact the Chicago office to make sure she was safe. You’re concerned with her well being just as much as Tsuzuki or I are. You know the dangers she faces are far beyond what any of the rest of us handle. Even Tsuzuki can’t match her.”

“Yutaka, she is the oldest shinigami in the world and probably the most powerful. In the western traditions and realms that she comes from she’s considered a goddess in her own right. She doesn’t need me to worry about her.”

“So what if she’s powerful. Tsuzuki is too and you worry about him constantly.”

“That’s because Tsuzuki requires being worried about constantly.”

“There is that,” Watari said, smiling. “I think you’d like Blaze if you’d just give it a chance and stop fighting with her every minute she’s around. Honestly, you two fight like you’re married. ”

That’s just the trouble, Tatsumi thought. I do like her. Far more than I should; because she belongs to you, Yutaka. Fighting with her is the only way I can keep my hands off of her.

“We should be going,” Tatsumi said finally.

“Suit yourself. But think about what I said, will you?”

“I’ll try.”

“That’s all anyone can ask.”

When they left Tatsumi’s office they heard voices from down the hall. All of them were female. Two of the voices were raised and whining, the other low and carrying just enough menace to make a shiver run down both of their spines. They shot one another a worried look. When Blaze was screaming, things were fine; she was venting and would soon get over it. When she was talking low and calm, she was dangerous. But when she sounded like Tatsumi after someone had gone over budget: calm, cold and thoroughly calculating, she was lethal. When they rounded the corner the entire scene came into view and both men thought they had a pretty good idea as to what had happened to cause it.

Saya and Yuma were standing in the hallway, clearly trying to get to Hisoka. Hisoka was hiding behind Blaze, who was standing with a giant blazing fireball poised in one hand. Tatsumi couldn’t help but shudder a bit as he remembered his office had been on the receiving end of one of those fireballs. Terazuma and Wakaba were staring wide eyed at the whole scene. And Tsuzuki was looking startled and somewhat sick.

“Allow me to make this perfectly clear to you girls,” Blaze was saying, bouncing the fireball as though it were something completely harmless. “This young man is not something to play dress up with. He is a person, not a toy. Try it and I will toast the both of you.”

“But, Blaze, he so cuuuuutttteee!” they both whined evidently completely oblivious to the fact that their afterlives were in serious danger.

“No! Mine!” Blaze snarled and they both took a couple of steps backward. Along with everyone else present. They had only seen her be this protective of two other people and both of them happened to be in the room. She had only used the term ‘mine’ twice before as well.

It finally seemed to register just how much peril they were in. “Okay, okay, Blaze! We’re sorry. We promise to be good. Right, Saya?”

“We promise,” Saya said, nodding vigorously.

The fireball simply ceased to exist and Blaze turned to Hisoka.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, fine. Thank you,” he said, giving her a warm smile and reaching out to take her hand. This caused a look of surprise from everyone but Tsuzuki. Who was looking for the entire world like a kicked puppy.

“Good.” She turned to the girls. “You’re welcome to have supper with us if you’d like.”

“Um. Okay.”

Tatsumi let out a huge breath after he realized he’d been holding it. He had been envisioning the cost of replacing the hallway walls and floors, possibly the entire wing if he recalled Blaze’s fireballs correctly. Not to mention explaining to the chief how two of their operatives had gotten flambéed by a superior.

“Everyone ready?” Blaze asked and before anyone could answer, poofed them all to the restaurant.


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