Goo's Note- This is probably the halfway point of the fic, so it's a pretty crucial chapter. And the lyrics Quon Yue sings part of are "The Logical Song" by Supertramp (one of my favorite songs right now. Too bad I can't think of a good fic to write to it).

Heart's Fašade

Chapter Eleven: Day and Night

Written by A Girl Named Goo

"You know what? Every time I start to like you even a tiny bit you have to go and pull a damn foolish stunt like the one you did last night!" Hiro all but howled.

Quon Yue took a drag off of his cigarette and looked up at Hiro, bright blue eyes mocking him and smug smile plastered on his face. "So quit, Mr. Suit. Unlike some former employees of ill repute around here I am not holding a gun to your head and making you work with me."

Hiro had a thousand things he could have said-quips, excuses, insults- but instead he went straight for his secret weapon. "You know, you look just like your father when you smile like that."

Just as Hiro had expected Quon Yue's face turned into an icy mask, his eyes changing color to match. He smashed his cigarette out on the corner of the table and pitched it into the trashcan. "That's low, Nakano. Low even for you."

"Oh, so I'm low now? Or are you confusing me with someone else, someone you look at every morning in the mirror while you fix up your pretty hair and make-up?"

Himeko cleared her throat, drawing the attention of the quarrelling men. "At any rate," she began, "the concert last night was a success. According to these numbers Chen-san's approval rating is quite high. And when he releases his CD we can expect him to chart at the very least. Of course, with Amai's recent CD release and Neo Grasper's formation imminent we can't expect to rise to number one, but if we can sell a million albums then we should be secure."

"You say 'a million albums' like it's an easy thing to achieve," Hiro muttered, exasperated.

"I'm sorry, Nakano-san, but the fact of the matter is I've seen a lot of acts come and go. Chen-san is talented enough to go far, but he's shaped a less than marketable image for himself. Yes, the fans at the concert enjoyed him last night, but that means nothing. He was something new and he was on stage. That doesn't mean they will actively seek him out. We are really reaching out to a niche market, one which might not have one million people willing to buy CDs in it."

"Would you stop talking about me like I'm not here?" Quon Yue snapped. "I don't give a shit how many albums I sell. I just want to be able to say I was something at one point."

"Oh, you're something all right," Hiro muttered, rolling his eyes.

"You know what? Fuck you!" Quon Yue cried out at last in exasperation. He stood up, smoothing the black skirt of his mock black-and-blue schoolgirl uniform and walked toward the exit of the room. Before he could leave the room entirely, however, he turned and looked back in. "You know, Mr. Suit, you might hate me, loathe me, dread every moment you have to spend with me, but I can't hate you. I want to, and I try to, but I really can't, so there must be a damn good reason for it. Think about that for a while."

And with that Quon Yue thundered out of the room.


"So, tomorrow is this grand ball of your father's?" Quon Yue asked. He was sitting on the floor, Tokui leaning against him and writing.

"Yes," was the simple answer as Tokui turned a page in his notebook.

"Is it a formal affair? Never mind, I know the answer to that. I'm just no good at this society thing."

"Neither am I."

Quon Yue had to laugh at that. He had to admit that he did have difficulty imagining Tokui in anything but his plain black streetclothes. Though he had grown up in wealth and privilege he'd chosen to live a Spartan lifestyle, and now it was hard to imagine him being any other way.

"Your father really goes for the whole tuxedo-and-ballgown thing?"

"Oh, yes. Contrary to popular belief he isn't a self-made man. He was born into money, and quite a great deal of it. Strange as his sense of fashion is he still likes to play dress-up when it's time to meet other people who were born with silver spoons in their mouths or have learned to leach off those who were. You can just smell the mold on the money the second you step foot into one of his parties."

"You don't like your father's parties?"

"I don't like any parties. But his I am especially not fond of. They all end the same way: he makes Shindou-san feel three inches high and then sends him on some humiliatingly meaningless task, gets very drunk and then does something stupid, and in the meantime my sister is preening and kissing up and trying to draw attention away from him."

Quon Yue had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. "You're kidding, right? If that were true you'd look forward to your father's parties."

"Oh, no. It's not nearly as funny as it sounds. I spend the evening hiding in the coat closet usually and then when the guests go to get their coats I scare them."

"On purpose?"

Tokui blushed. "No. They open the closet and I'm sitting just behind the shoes. It causes them to jump."

"Oh. And here I thought you were secretly this party animal who wears scary masks and jumps out at the rich society bitches."

Tokui shook his head, but he was biting his lip to keep from smiling back. "No, I don't do anything like that. I just sit in the closet. I make my token appearance so people know my father hasn't secretly sent his son off or killed him and then I am free to do what I please for the rest of the night. And I have to wear a tuxedo. I have to look presentable so that Otousan looks good, after all."

"Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable," Quon Yue half sang softly.

"What?" Tokui asked, confused.

"Nothing. I heard it somewhere before. Anyway, I guess I have to see about renting myself a tux. Or a ballgown. Guess it depends on how I feel that day. I suppose I should rent one of each just in case."

Tokui closed his notebook and stood, stretching. "You could always ask Nakano-san if he could find you one. He knows where to rent them."

Quon Yue cringed and climbed to his feet, also stretching. "We aren't on good terms right now. I kind of told him to fuck off."

"Why did you do that?!" Tokui asked, shocked

Quon Yue shrugged. "He was being an ass."

Tokui had a difficult time imagining Hiro being an "ass", but he decided not to question Quon Yue's actions. He knew that his friend didn't get along with the older man and therefore it wasn't all that surprising he would call him names and tell him to perform rude and physically impossible actions.

"At any rate I have to do something if I want a tuxedo," Quon Yue said, more to himself then his best friend. "Maybe if you come with me he'll stop acting like an ass and agree to help. After all, he wouldn't want to insult me when my cute little best friend is standing right next to me."

Tokui shifted uncomfortably. Though his crush on Hiro was waning, it was still there and he couldn't ignore it, even if it was so that his best friend could ask for a tuxedo.

"He won't even have to talk to you. It's just so he'll have incentive to behave himself," Quon Yue explained.

Tokui sighed. "All right. I suppose I'll go."


Touma chewed on the end of his pen, a nervous habit he’d had since he was young, then sighed and looked at his daughter, who was sitting across from him, leafing through a fashion magazine. He removed his reading glasses and put the pad of paper he had in front of him down on his desk. Though he’d long since planned the menu for his engagement party he’d forgotten to take his son’s dietary restrictions into mind

"Can your brother eat anything with beef in it?" Touma asked.

Amai shook her head. "He has a metabolic disorder that keeps him from digesting protein in food. He has to take a supplement for that."


"It’s possible, but I think the last time someone tried to feed him chicken he got an impacted bowel so I don’t know."


"As long as they’re the expensive organic kind. He’s allergic to the chemicals on normal vegetables. He can’t eat anything that has been chemically treated or contains preservatives of any kind."

"How about desert?"

"He can eat sweets sparingly, but not often. He can’t metabolize sugar very well."

Touma rubbed his temples. "Then here’s a simpler question: what can he eat?"

Amai looked up from her magazine and removed her own reading glasses, seemingly giving this a lot of consideration. "I don’t know. I usually make him macaroni and cheese, but you obviously can’t serve him that. You’d have to ask Shindou-san. He cooks most of his meals."

Touma hoped that his daughter didn’t see how hurt he was at that remark as he jotted down a note to talk to Shuichi about his son’s diet. He dreaded this encounter, however, since it would mean admitting to Shuichi that he knew Tokui better than he did. Though this was an obvious fact, it still felt like a defeat to him, and if it was one thing Seguchi Touma didn't do unless it was unavoidable it was admit defeat.

"Tousan, what do you think of this dress?" Amai asked, handing him the magazine and pointing at a green strapless, floor-length dress.

Touma readjusted his glasses and looked over the magazine. "It's nice, but I thought you already had a dress for the party."

"I do, but this is the one I want to get for my next special occasion."

Touma sighed and looked between his daughter and the magazine. "We'll see," he said.


"You have a lot of nerve," Hiro muttered as he looked between Quon Yue and Tokui, making sure he kept his language clean for the latter. "After what you pulled earlier why should I do you any favors?"

"What I pulled? You started it!" Quon Yue argued.

"Someone needs to keep you in line! You are out to make a complete fool of yourself and when the time comes I am not going to pull your ass out of the fire!"

"So you've said! And I am not asking you to baby-sit me, I'm asking you for a damn tuxedo!"

Hiro looked down at the table he was sitting at. "Why do you want to go to this party, anyway?"

"For Tokui."

"I thought you hated Seguchi Touma."

Quon Yue smirked. "Well, he has his good qualities."

"Like what?" Hiro and Tokui asked at the same time. Tokui blush and stared at his feet.

Quon Yue lit a cigarette before holding his finger up in the air and twirling it slightly, raising the pitch of his voice so that it matched Touma's much lighter tone. "He makes the trains run on time╣."

At first Hiro and Tokui just gaped at Quon Yue. Tokui was the first to cover his mouth to hide the smile that had crawled to his face, though it wasn't enough to muffle his soft laughter. Hiro was the next to start laughing. He just couldn't help himself: the combination of the joke and the tone Quon Yue had used to make it had made it an undoubtedly funny moment.

"And here I thought you two wouldn't get that. At least, I was sure you wouldn't, Mr. Suit," Quon Yue said softly.

"They didn't call me the 'genius guitarist' for nothing," Hiro brought up, but he was still laughing.

"Does this mean you'll rent me a tux?"

"No. But I'll let you borrow one of mine. You're a little shorter than me, but you take what you can get."


Hiro looked up and noticed Tokui laughing for the first time. He widened his eyes, then looked back at Quon Yue.

Quon Yue mashed out his cigarette and smiled. "He has a pretty smile, doesn't he?"

Hiro just nodded and looked at Tokui, who had stopped smiling and was now staring at his feet, blushing.

"Yeah," was the only thing Hiro could force himself to say.


"I hate tuxedos."

"You also hate Seguchi-san's dinner parties."

"Yeah, but I hate wearing tuxedos even more. They're so stuffy."

Yuki sighed as he tied Shuichi's black bowtie. It had been an uphill battle to even get Shuichi to agree to wear a "monkey suit", as he called it, but even though he agreed to wear a tuxedo he was wearing a light pink shirt and a hot pink cummerbund that matched his hair color.

"Why am I going to this again?" Shuichi asked as Yuki finished tying the bowtie. He immediately took a safety pin out of the bowl on his bedside table and put it in his mouth as he rolled up his sleeve, then he pinned it up.

"Because you were invited. And possibly to support your former producer," Yuki explained, examining his own tuxedo. He and Tokui had identical tuxedos with white shirts and yellow cummerbunds. Shuichi had thought the sight of them standing next to one another wearing their tuxedos had been too adorable and insisted on getting pictures. Of course, neither Yuki and Tokui were very photogenic, and any pictures taken without them shielding their faces would have them both looking rather unamused.

"Oh yeah…" Shuichi said, as if this realization were just dawning on him. "Can you believe my invitation got lost in the mail? And here I was thinking I wasn't invited. At least Sakano-san sent one to Hiro, too."

Yuki hadn't bothered to tell Shuichi that he hadn't been invited. Touma had intentionally not sent him one, as he had suspected, to see if Yuki brought him as an excuse to make him feel uncomfortable. Sakano had assumed he hadn't been sent an invitation since it was implied he and Yuki would be going together, though she had made sure she sent Hiro one, much to Touma's chagrin.

"Are you going to spend the night in here babbling or are you going to finish getting ready?" Yuki snapped. Though he'd never admit it, he also hated Touma's dinner parties, and for many of the same reasons Shuichi did. But as Touma was his best friend, former brother-in-law, and father of his nephew Yuki couldn't bring himself to decline the invitation.

"Just a second," Shuichi told him, disappearing from the room. Yuki followed him into the bathroom, where he was attacking his unruly pink locks with generous portions of hairspray. "Done!" he announced, exiting the bathroom and running smack into Yuki. "Hey! Watch where you're standing!"

Yuki stepped out of the way of his lover, deciding not to hinder their progress further. Tokui was already sitting on the couch, waiting for them.

"Hiro is bringing your friend, right?" Shuichi asked. When Tokui nodded he grinned broadly. "All right! Let's go!"


"You look good."

"I don't feel good. What are you, a giant?"

"I told you to take what you can get."

Hiro finished tying Quon Yue's bowtie. It was painfully obvious the young man had no experience when it came to wearing formal wear: he hadn't been able to figure out what his bowtie and cummerbund were for. After some struggling on both men's parts Hiro had finally managed to make him look presentable (despite the fact the suit hung off of him, making him look like a little kid playing dress-up). After some convincing Quon Yue had agreed to tie his hair back, and Hiro had to admit that it was possible cleaning up streetkids was his calling.

"You can tell what kinds of people are meant to have money," Quon Yue noted, his eyes stormy blue-gray as he fumbled with his bowtie a bit. "If they look good dressed up, then they are supposed to. If they look awkward then they are supposed to be poor."

"You do look good," Hiro persisted, wondering why he was trying to reassure this boy. As far as he was concerned they still didn't like each other, even if Quon Yue insisted he didn't hate him. "You just need to put on a little weight. Or get a tuxedo made in your size."

Hiro had never realized how very small Quon Yue was before he'd helped him get dressed. Even when they'd slept together the lights had been off and Quon Yue had made a conscious effort not to let Hiro see him. Usually Quon Yue wore dark, baggy clothes that at the very least created the illusion he was tall, if not just lean rather than dreadfully thin. But now Hiro's clothes were making him look as tiny and delicate as Tokui had ever managed to look, and the dark blue cummerbund had to be loosened lest it look awkward on his almost non-existent waist.

"You think I'm ready for my first society party?" Quon Yue asked, examining himself in the mirror. He still didn't look pleased with his appearance, but he'd promised Tokui he'd be there, no matter how he was dressed.

"No. But you're going anyway. Now come on."


Amai walked around the large hall of her father's mansion, meeting and greeting all of the high-society friends of Touma. She knew that she looked good in her emerald green silk spaghetti-strap dress, gold and emerald necklace, and gold and emerald earrings. She smiled winningly at an older couple and scanned the room for her date.

Alexander was standing near the food table, wearing a red carnation that matched his cummerbund. Amai found herself wishing he'd consulted her on what to wear, but decided she'd best take what she could get. As she began to walk toward him, however, she found her view of him obscured. At first she wasn't sure who had stepped in her way, but as she squinted to get a better look she found herself suppressing the urge to groan. She knew that backless lavender dress and swept-up violet hair anywhere.

Biting back her rage, Amai approached the usurper and tapped her on her shoulder. Saki swung around to look at her, violet eyes wide with surprise and then easing to a smug look. Her dress was probably very expensive, as it had what appeared to be a hand-beaded bodice, and she was wearing a silver and amethyst pendant that hung into her ample cleavage and silver and amethyst earrings that, if worn for any great deal of time, would probably stretch her earlobes down to her shoulders.

"Amai!" she cried out in genuine surprise. "You look...feminine."

Before Amai could respond (she had been about to say "and you look slightly less slutty than usual") Alexander stepped in.

"I think you look beautiful," he told her, smiling. He then started to look around. "When is the dinner half of this dinner party?"

Both girls were taken aback by this sudden change of topic, but Amai answered anyway. "As soon as all the guests are here and Tousan has greeted them all."

"Okay. I get it," Alexander said with a nod. He grabbed another h'or duerve and started to run toward someone. "Dad! Tousan!" he shouted as he tried to run and eat at the same time.

"So much for him being your date," Saki said to Amai with an aggravatingly smug tone of voice. "He was saying some very...flattering things to me before you got here."

"And I should believe you why?" Amai shot back. She was definitely feeling threatened now, and was getting ready to get into attack mode should the need arise.

"Believe whatever you want, but I'm sure you know the truth. Have fun." And with that, Saki walked away from the table.

Amai was going to pursue her and demand to know the details, but was interrupted by a voice behind her. "Amai, could you come here?"

Amai turned to face her further. He usually didn't wear tuxedos, and with his cummerbund the same color and material as Amai's dress one could easily mistake the pair as twins rather than father and daughter. If only he'd taken off the hat...

"Coming, Tousan," she told him, walking over to him. Saki would have to pay for what she had said later...


"I am just no good at this society thing..." Quon Yue muttered. He was currently sitting next to Tokui at the long table in the dining hall of the mansion, with some older woman he didn't recognize to his other side.

"Don't worry. You're doing better than I am," Tokui whispered back.

In all actuality they were probably tied for being most awkward so far. The first part of the party had consisted of Touma leading Tokui around to introduce him to a bunch of strangers while Quon Yue tried in vain to follow, and when Tokui had been released it had been announced that it was time for dinner. Sitting at the head of the table was, naturally, Seguchi Touma, with Sakano sitting to one side of him and Amai to the other. Alexander Sakuma-Winchester was sitting next to her, and Quon Yue could feel him staring at him from across the table every once in a while.

Touma's toast had been brief, even more brief than most of his speeches usually were. It was enough to make a few of the guests suspicious, but rather than question why all he did was raise his glass, say "to my future wife" and promptly sit back down they were just thankful to be through with the pleasantries so they could eat.

When the food was served Quon Yue was looking at his place setting with a rather panicked look on his face. Tokui just noted that his father must have consulted Shuichi on his dietary restrictions as he picked up a fork. He was about to take a bite when Quon Yue leaned over and whispered in his ear, something that actually tickled as it was a little known fact that he had quite sensitive ears.

"I don't know which fork to use," he whispered.

Tokui shivered. "Neither do I."

Quon Yue laughed a little. "Then I'm just grabbing the first fork I see. I'm from the streets. I'm lucky if I get to eat with one fork." He picked up a fork at random. "And Christ, do you eat?"

Tokui blushed slightly. "I can't eat much. I have a lot of digestive problems and food allergies."

Quon Yue shrugged and speared the unidentifiable dish in front of him. "I don't want to know what kind of animal this once was, but I'm hoping wherever this meat came from was closer to the front end than the back end."

Tokui almost choked on his food before he started to laugh uncontrollably. Everyone at the table was staring at him now, especially his family. They'd never even seen him smile before, let alone laugh. Noticing this, Tokui blushed and slunk down into his seat, just wanting to disappear.

"I'm telling you, you have a pretty smile," Quon Yue told him simply, nibbling on the unidentified meat substance.

"Are they still looking at me?"

"Not so much anymore."

Tokui sat back up. The only one still watching him was his father. He groaned and began to finish his meal.


If there was such thing as heaven, Tokui was positive that it had to feel something like being in the arms of Nakano Hiroshi. His strong arms around him, pressing him to his hard chest, and the masculine scent of his aftershave lotion all added to a combination of feelings that almost put Tokui into sensory overload.

It had been unexpected when Hiro approached Tokui, who had been trying to hide behind the h'or duerve table with Quon Yue, and asked him if he wanted to dance as the band began to play a slow song. Tokui had never been much of a dancer, especially of the ballroom variety, and fortunately Hiro didn't have much more skill.

Tokui was resting his ear over Hiro's heart. He wanted to close his eyes, but just as he was about to he caught a glimpse of his uncle glaring at them. He was probably glaring more at Hiro, but it didn't keep Tokui from feeling uncomfortable.

He must of tensed up, because his quiet moment of reflection was interrupted by Hiro's voice asking "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine," Tokui said softly, closing his eyes again. He wondered dimly where Quon Yue was, but decided not to give it another thought.

All too soon the song ended and he was released by Hiro. He looked up into Hiro's eyes and smiled slightly before he turned and retreated. He didn't hear the conversation between Yuki and Hiro afterwards...


"Don't you think he's a little young for you?" Yuki said in a tone of voice that made his real message quite clear: "stay away from him or I'll tear off your face and feed it to the wolves."

"Relax. I was only dancing with him because I lost a bet to Chen-san," Hiro reassured him. "I'm not trying to rob the cradle."

"What the hell kind of bet involves you being pressed up against my nephew like that?"

"Tokui wanted it. Chen-san bet me he could get Tokui to play piano for him and he did it, so I agreed to dance with him. He likes me a great deal, apparently."

Yuki looked around the room. He couldn't find Tokui or his elusive friend anywhere. "Where is he now?"

"How would I know? I think Chen went out for a smoke and Tokui most likely went to find him. You know, as much as I don't like him he's doing wonders for Tokui. He never smiled before he met him."

"Yes. That is a rather interesting development. I've yet to meet him, though."

"Consider yourself lucky."

"I'd like to know who my nephew is spending so much time with."

"I don't know where they are. If you can find them then more power to you."

Hiro started to walk away when he heard Yuki call out "Wait!" He stopped and turned around to face him.

"Is he really as bad as you say he is?"

"I told him once to stay away from Tokui and he didn't listen to me. Draw your own conclusions."


When Tokui found Quon Yue he was standing on the balcony that overlooked Touma's large and currently dead garden, leaning against the ballistrade and smoking a cigarette, staring up at the stars.

"I watched you dancing with Nakano-san," Quon Yue mused. Tokui was surprised that he knew it was him.

:"Aren't you cold?" Tokui asked, shivering slightly.

Quon Yue pitched his cigarette over the edge of the balcony. "You looked so happy," he mused, ignoring the question. He turned around and leaned his back against the railing, staring up at the sky. "I should have known you could see the stars if you have money. I always assumed that was a luxury only we really poor people with no money had."

Tokui looked up at the stars. He hadn't even noticed it was a clear night "I'd forgotten that they're yours."

Quon Yue began to finger the coin around his neck. "When I was a kid I'd lay down on my roof and watch them all night. Just watching. And I'd wonder what they'd seen. How many sad little boys with shitty lives they'd watch. How many unsolved crimes they were witness to. How many clandestine romances they were keeping the secret of. How many others were looking up at the same time I was and thinking the same things. How many people had ever turned for them for comfort the same way I did."

Tokui swallowed and nodded. Quon Yue sounded more like he was talking to himself, his eyes faraway and the same dark blue as the sky right now.

"I was always like the night. Dark and mysterious and forgiving. I was like the moon and the stars in that I never radiated enough light to make much of a different. And you're like the day. Like sunlight. Even your smile leaves a resounding impact on people. So light and radiant."

Quon Yue pointed up at the sky. "I used to count them all. It was impossible to count them, of course, but it made me feel better. By giving them names and numbers I was making them my friends. Sometimes, on days when I felt empty, I'd wonder if a star had burnt out. On cloudy nights I felt lonely. On rainy nights I felt cold. On stormy nights I'd hurt. On snowy nights I felt dead. I still do. It's like being cut off from my life source, like being deprived of something as precious as oxygen."

Quon Yue seemed to snap out of whatever trance he was in as he turned and looked at Tokui. "So, are you having fun?"

Tokui had tears in his eyes as he stared at him silently. Suddenly, he launched himself at Quon Yue, embracing him tightly. "I don't want you to hurt," he whispered, sobbing on his shoulder. "I don't want you to ever hurt. Never again."

At first Quon Yue didn't quite know what to make of this. Slowly he placed his hand on his best friend's back. holding him against him. "I didn't mean to make you cry," he whispered sincerely. "I really didn't mean to. Doi m'jui▓..."

Tokui sniffled and began to back away from him. He stopped before they had broken physical contact completely, though, and just looked into Quon Yue's eyes, which were now sky blue and full of sorrow. Tokui put his arms around Quon Yue's shoulders, as if trying to support himself.

"You've never been kissed, have you?" Quon Yue asked, his voice sounder deeper somehow with the tone he spoke with.

Tokui shook his head, looking deep into Quon Yue's eyes. Before he could register what was happening their lips were pressed together. At first Tokui was too shocked to do anything, but as he felt Quon Yue's tongue touching his lips he parted them, allowing Quon Yue to enter his mouth, to taste and explore every part of it. Tokui was unsure of what he was supposed to do, and tried to conjur the memories of his uncle's books and their detailed descriptions of kissing. He began to rub his tongue along his best friend's, tracing it down to the base, tasting the inside of his mouth. It was a strange taste, and he was slightly offput by the taste of cigarettes, but he closed his eyes and leaned into the kiss anyway, trying to mimic Quon Yue's movements.

To Quon Yue, the other's complete lack of experience was obvious. He was doing a rather poor job of attempting to mimic his movements and every once in a while he would break slightly to breathe. But still these movements were somehow cute, a testament to his innocence. After all, not every kid grew up practicing their kissing on total strangers...

Just as Tokui was starting to get the hang of the kiss, though, something interrupted them. The doors to the balcony flew open with a loud *SMACK* as they hit the walls to either side of them.

"What the hell is going on out here?!" Touma fumed, looking at his son entangled in Quon Yue's embrace, lips still swollen from their kiss.

"T-Tousan..." Tokui whispered.

Yuki walked up behind Touma and looked at them, gasping as he saw the way they were holding each other. "Tokui, get back in here," he ordered.

"And why the hell are you taking advantage of my son?" Touma scolded Quon Yue, whose eyes were now white.

"I-I was...I was just..."

"I wanted him to do it," Tokui announced, causing both his father and his uncle to glare at him. "I-I wanted to be kissed. I wanted him to kiss me. Don't yell at him. It wasn't his fault."

"I think it's time we go home," Yuki announced, guiding Tokui back into the house. Shuichi was standing off to the side, watching the scene, and he ran to catch up with him.

"Yuki, he's sixteen years old and he's never been kissed before. How can you blame him?" Shuichi asked.

"I don't want to talk about it," Yuki muttered, leaving the house.

"Eiri-ojisan, I am so sorry-"

"I said I don't want to talk about it!"


"I think you should find Nakano-san and leave," Touma told Quon Yue firmly.

Quon Yue just nodded dumbly, walking by his boss. He could smell the strong scent of alcohol coming from him, and suddenly the reason for his strange speech earlier had become clear. He didn't comment on this, however, as he went to go find Hiro.

Touma walked over to where his bottle of scotch was and poured it into his glass, drinking it all at once.

"Tousan, I don't think you should have any more," Amai said, appearing next to him.

"I know what I'm doing," Touma told her. His voice wasn't even slurred, but by the look in his eyes it was obvious he'd had too much all ready.

"Tousan, please don't," Amai begged.

Ryuuichi approached Touma just then and looked up at him. He and Kumagorou were similarly attired with their tuxedos with light blue cummerbunds. "You don't look too good, Touma," Ryuuichi told him, his voice sounding far too serious. "You should go to bed."

"Dammit, I am fine, all right!" Touma cried out, dropping his glass. "Why does everyone here think it's a crime for me to fix myself a drink?"

He walked through the pile of broken glass and back out onto the floor, Amai close behind.


"You know, for someone so smart you really are damn stupid!" Hiro cried out. "Making out with the son of Seguchi Touma in his own home?! That's your boss, for Chrissakes! We could both lose our jobs!" He glanced over at Quon Yue, who was leaning against the door, his forehead pressed up against the window. "Hey, are you all right? Chen? Hello, Earth to Chen..."


She hated it when her cat climbed up onto the roof. She was too old to walk around the house and climb the fire escape up to find it and bring it back down, but at the moment the old woman had no other choice. Her knees ached as she climbed up the steps, carefully judging the position of each step in the dark. She finally made it to the top of the roof, calling for her cat.

As she stood on the roof, however, she realized she wasn't alone. That strange boy from upstairs, the one that supposedly didn't exist, was standing there. He couldn't have been much older than ten, and he was wearing a dark school uniform, his dark blue hair shoulder-length. His collar that he wore was just barely visable under the collar of his school uniform, and he gazed up at the night sky, pointing at something and mumbing to himself.

"Boy, what the hell are you doing?" she asked him. "It's freezing to death."

When the boy turned to face her she gasped. His eyes were sky blue, and the pupil of his right one was slightly smaller than the left and twitching ever so slightly. And in them there was a wisdom and intelligence that frightened her. She wondered if he'd understood her, as all the shouting from his apartment had been in Chinese, but as he looked at her with a sad smile she knew that he had.

"I'm counting the stars," he said simply. His voice didn't have the accent that most developed from speaking Chinese all their life.

"Why?" she asked, feeling unnerved by the boy that police had tried so hard to find but never could.

The boy turned back around and looked up at the sky again. "To make sure they're all there."

End of Chapter Eleven


╣ This comes from the old belief that Benito Mussolini, an Italian Dictator, made the trains run on time. Quon Yue just called Touma a dictator. More on this legend here:

▓ Cantonese for "I'm sorry".