Disclaimer: Buffy and the Gokusen Dramas do not belong to me.
word count: 1683
Shin sighed as he picked up the phone by his bed and dialed Natsumi's number. She was in university now, living alone in a small apartment. Their parents were trying not to screw up with her like they had him, so they were giving her the space she needed to be herself. He supposed he had to give them credit for trying...even if it annoyed him that their father mentioned at every political function that his only son worked for an international company that had more money than the sky had stars. Stupid old man.
He waited while the phone rang, even with today's technology it sometimes took a while for an overseas call to connect. When it did he started to greet her...only to hear giggling...and a voice that should not have been in his little sister's apartment.
"Moshi moshi." Said a masculine voice, one he knew quite well.
"Hey Minami...you better have a really good explanation." Shin told his friend through clenched teeth.
"Why are you in my little sister's home at this time of night?"
"Uh...here's Natsumi-chan." There was a bit of a scuffle, more giggling (Natsumi), a few curses (Minami) and then his little sister's cheerful voice was greeting him.
"Onii-chan! How are you?"
"Why is there a guy in your apartment? One of my old classmates...and soon to be dead friend."
"Shin! I'm an adult you know, and I really like Yoichi-kun, don't scare him off."
"How long has this been going on?"
"We started hanging out a year ago, just as friends. He helped me out on the train when some guys were harassing me. We've only been dating seriously for a few months. Dad gets all red whenever I mention him but he doesn't say anything."
He took a breath. It was rare for Minami to get serious like that...and their Father certainly hadn't changed that much. "What exactly did I interrupt?"
"We just finished watching a movie...and we were cleaning up the popcorn."
"There was a bit of a food-fight in the middle of the movie."
He rolled his eyes. "I'll let it slide, but I'll want to talk to him about this."
He heard her sigh. "Ne, what did you want? It is kind of late."
"I'm coming back to Japan soon."
"Maybe as soon as two weeks, I was wondering if you...and I guess Minami could air out the apartment for me. I can call Kuma too if you need more help."
"Your apartment isn't that big, Yoichi-kun and I can handle it. It'll be good to see you nii-chan."
"Yeah. Take care Natsumi...and put the idiot back on."
She sighed again and then Minami was on the phone. "Shin?"
"Make sure you thank her, otherwise I'd be throwing your body into the ocean when I got there."
"Idiot...don't hurt her...ever."
"That...I won't Shin. If I did I'd throw myself in the ocean."
"This...is almost too good to be true." Ryu murmured.
Hayato glanced up from his own packet and gave him a curious look. They were sitting in his family's small kitchen at the table across from one another. His dad was working, and wouldn't be back for a week...and Taku was at a friend's. "What is?"
"All of this. That foreign woman just handed us everything we could ever want. We could go anywhere, college overseas, learn a trade...it doesn't make any sense."
He blinked. "I know I'm not as smart as you but even I can read the pages here."
Ryu glared at him. "That's not what I meant."
Hayato sighed and rested his cheek on a fist. "You're thinking about what happened with Hyuuga, that shady guy he was working for, and the gambling in the back room."
"This is different."
Ryu kept glaring at him. "How is this different?"
"Yankumi trusts that woman, Faith-san. If Yankumi trusts her, then shouldn't we be able to?"
"My dad still wants me to go overseas."
"That's fine, but this way I can go with you."
Ryu blinked, and gave him a look that clearly said 'you're crazy'. "Why would you want too?"
Hayato swallowed and broke eye-contact. "We wasted too much time over that misunderstanding...and you're my best friend. Why wouldn't I want to stay with you?"
There was a shifting, a chair being slid back and a hand grasped his chin and forced his gaze back up. His eyes met Ryu's. "Say it plain, or don't say it at all."
Hayato swallowed again, trying to draw the words to his tongue. "We wasted too much time because of the fight. Then your dad nearly took you away...and I was so scared that Kudo was going to kill you that time."
He couldn't keep his eyes from watering...stupid girly emotions. "I want to stay with you. I don't want to walk forward into this life unless it's by your side."
"...That was almost poetic. Are you sure you're the real Hayato?"
This time he glared. "Idiot. I just confessed to you and you're making fun of me. I love you! Idiot."
Ryu smirked and leaned down to press their lips together, he still held Hayato's chin so there was no escape...not that escape was even on his mind. When he pulled away he smiled, one of his rare smiles, the ones that made his face shine. "Love you too. Took you long enough."
Hayato snorted. "That's why you always ignored the girls. You should have said something."
"I'm saying it now. Isn't that enough?"
Hayato pulled him back down for another kiss. "Yeah."
Ryu murmured against his lips. "This isn't getting anything done. We still need to make a choice."
Hayato's smile was mischievous. "I choose you. I choose us. Let's go to England."
Ryu smirked. "Together."
Ryu kissed him again. They'd made their choice.
"Thanks for having me boys. It's been fun."
The guard at the gate rolled his eyes. "Just try to stay out trouble Oshima-san."
Kyo grinned at the guard. "Ne, Shimizu-san." Their eyes met. "Let me know if you have any trouble."
Shimizu gave him the briefest of nods. "Take care of yourself."
Kyo gave a brief wave and stepped outside the prison gates, and drew in a breath of freedom. Then he blinked. His welcoming committee was not what it was supposed to be. There was a nondescript black car, that much was right...but it was not Wakamatsu waiting for him. It was a foreigner, a tall man, thin with hair starting to go grey, and he wore glasses. He gave Kyo a small bow, he returned it. This man...must be Giles Rupert, head of the organization they were forming ties with.
Kyo approached him and Giles held out a hand, they shook, and then Giles offered him a cigarette. Kyo lit up and breathed deep. "So I have you to thank for my early release?"
Giles nodded and leaned against the car. "Indeed. Consider it a bit of good will. Sawada Shin thinks highly of your people and your Oujo, and frankly, Oedo is the most honorable of the gokudo. We are especially impressed with your sense of honor and refusal to take part in the drug trade."
"Sawada Shin. He the kid that Oujo taught back at Shirokin? The one that fell in love with her?"
"He is." Giles smiled. "I believe his feelings are reciprocated."
"Tch. You talk too fancy; you need to loosen up some."
Then...Giles took off his glasses, and leveled a very hard, very cold look at him. "I want this relationship between our organizations to work out well Oshima Kyotaro; your underestimating me will not help matters."
Kyo blinked, and then smirked. Maybe this guy wasn't so stuffy and proper after all.
Buffy looked at him like he was crazy. "You know, most guys get the woman they love flowers, or jewelry. Chocolate is good too."
"I've been away for four years; I don't think flowers would be good enough."
She nodded in agreement. "Good point, but jewelry lasts longer anyway. Why not get her a necklace? Earrings?"
"Her ears aren't pierced, and I've never seen her wear a necklace."
She blinked in shock. "Seriously? Never?" Buffy shook her head in disbelief. "Do you realize how big these things get? Dawn dragged me to a show once, they get huge!"
"That's fine. She won't mind how big it gets." He gave her a hint of a smirk. "She didn't have much of a childhood; she spent most of it training to become strong so she wouldn't be bullied."
A bit of understanding reflected in her eyes and she smiled. "Maybe your way is better. If a guy gave me a puppy I probably wouldn't be able to turn him down."
Shin snorted and looked back to the pile of sleeping pups, all of them white, fluffy and very adorable. There was one that wasn't sleeping, instead it was staring at him intently, and unlike its siblings it had some color, a bit of grey on its ears.
"This one." Shin told the breeder. "This is the one."
"Are you sure? Usually people new to the breed want solid white."
Shin shook his head. "It's perfect."
"Alright. He's a good one, as far as breeding. Don't know about temperament, he hasn't shown much personality yet."
Shin stared at the puppy some more. It blinked and barked at him, then wagged its tail. "His temperament is fine. I'll take him."
"What are you going to call him?" Buffy asked.
Happy New Year!