Acceptable Losses

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“I accept.” The leomon-like beast hadn’t even finished uttering those two little words before he lunged forward with unrivaled speed towards a tied up lizard across the room. The leo’s fangs were bared and his claws unsheathed, as if his speed had not given away his intentions clearly enough already. Every footfall brought him closer and closer to his target, and, something else… A roar that had been building up since he spoke was becoming more audible with every passing step. He had been fury embodied even before he had begun his charge, but now it truly was seeping through to be shown in his actions. The leo had lost himself to his rage, but the events leading up to it justified his actions entirely and even gave him solace despite his own fear in being so utterly infuriated. He felt that if he did not turn the beast he was mere inches from reaching into a pulpy mess as slowly and painfully as he could, that he would be betraying the one thing he had loved in almost 200 years…

The leo was most certainly not like this normally, and was in actual fact a fledgling baker after having retired from a long and prosperous body-building career. His dramatic shift in professions was caused by two things, and two things alone: He had grown tired of always being in the spotlight for such a superficial reason, and he had met Sai. Sai… That wolf had completely changed his life ever since he had come crashing from the sky almost 3 years ago. It had been quite an awkward first meeting and one that the leo could never forget, but it had been something which started a 2-year-long partnership the pair both cherished for different, and similar reasons. Their reasons didn’t matter though, as neither one could live without the other now… And that is where the tale about why the leo was so intent on killing the lizard in front of him starts.

 

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“Kai!” Sai waved to the leo from across the road before he started across the street in a light jog. Kai paused and smiled warmly as he heard Sai, then moved to the curb to wait for the jogging blue wolf to get to him. Once Sai did, the leo picked him up and put him on the sidewalk with a light grin and a small pat to the smaller beast’s head. Sai just blushed and smiled at Kai, looking as shy and cute as can be with his little shopping back and submissive body language. Sai was always like that: shy and cute. It was one of the things Kai loved the most about the younger, smaller, and considerably less ragged fur he called his partner.

“What’re you doing around here? I thought you were going to be at the bakery all day.” Kai looked a little confused to see the wolf as he looked down at him, but there was no displeasure in his voice, only concern. Sai shifted from footpaw to footpaw as he pondered his answer, looking almost giddy thanks not only to his bouncing, but his tail frantically swinging back and forth behind him. There was something he wasn’t telling Kai, and Kai was determined to find out what the blue, bouncy canine was keeping from him: Kai hated surprises. Sai knew the leo well enough to know that, so just as he saw Kai’s brows furrow into the faintest of frowns due to the lack of answer, he spoke up for fear of having Kai’s wrath fall on him. Kai’s ‘wrath’ usually considered of a smart-ass remark and some sulking, but still… Sai had no desire to upset the leo that day.

“I was looking for you actually. I closed up early so we could have lunch to celebrate.” Kai raised a brow out of curiosity, as he had no idea what needed celebrating at that moment. Their anniversary wasn’t for another 2 months, the bakery hadn’t even been open for a year… “It’s for finishing off your paperwork and finally selling all those gyms entirely. You deserve a little celebration for finally getting all that done.” Kai had just done that today, and Sai had come all this way, so with a hearty nod he took the wolf’s paw and started walking, in pace with Sai of course, as he was going to let the wolf pick the venue this time. Sai seemed to glow he was so happy that Kai went along with him with no question, and instantly started off towards their growing-favorite restaurant: Cliffside. The place was owned by some gainer wolfdragon or something; neither of the two was sure, but what they did know was that the place had one of the best open-air buffets around. This may have been only a cursory reason for most couples, but with Sai egging Kai into gaining and Kai actually enjoying the ever-so-small amount of fat on his frame, it was all but the only reason.

“Are we going to walk there?” Kai’s question may have seemed lazy, but Cliffside was almost 5 miles from their current spot, and walking all that way burned so many precious calories that Sai worked so hard to put onto him… He was really only thinking of the blue wolf. Sai pondered the question for a moment, leading the way walking at a decent pace the entire time as he did, before stopping and turning to face the leo with his trademark smile. He had stopped them at a corner, and just around that corner was a cab with a door open and the driver waiting. Sai had apparently thought of everything that day, and that only made the leo more excited, as this much planning into something usually meant that it was going to turn out well. “Alright then, I guess I spoke too soon.” Sai simply grinned and rushed over to the door, making sure to hold it nice and wide so Kai could get in comfortably. Kai wasn’t THAT big, but it was nice to see Sai putting in the extra effort for him, so he simply slid into the car then patted the seat beside him with an expectant look on his face.

The wolf didn’t need to be asked twice, and hopped right in before leaning against the ‘mon’s side with a contented sigh. “Cliffside please, and take the long way.” Sai’s directions were barely audible to the ‘mon, but the driver was another canine and he heard them fine as he started up the cab and slowly pulled out into traffic, what little of it there was on a weekday at 3PM. Sai’s leaning had turned into snuggling before the driver had even merged into the road entirely, and with one of Kai’s paws resting on the wolf’s strong back, Sai was extremely content. Deep murrs and a wagging tail accentuated that, but nothing else gave it away more than a few gentle squeezes around the ‘mon’s middle and a kiss to it as well. “My papa-mon…,”Sai murmured out as he stayed snuggled there, a pair of words which made Kai chuckle to himself gently before leaning down and giving the wolf a kiss on the forehead. Sai seemed to love calling him that, and once Kai had figured out why, he never said anything to stop it… Instead he fostered it sometimes when the pair got ‘frisky’.

Kai’s mind wandered around those topics, bills, what to do about a couple issues at the bakery, anything he had forgotten in the deal with the gym… He was a busy leomon lately, and as such he almost never had time to just sit and order things in his head like this. Sai seemed to be thinking too, until a light snore came from the wolf and Kai realized just how ‘lost in thought’ the canine was. He chuckled to himself softly as he began to pet his sleeping love, a strong paw giving nothing but comforting strokes to the form which rested gently against him. Kai did that for a moment before seeing what a good idea Sai had in terms of napping, but didn’t join the wolf in dreamland just yet. He first asked the driver to make sure to circle the city a couple times so the two could nap, and told him he would be compensated for the trip. Then, off to naptime he went…

 

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Kai awoke almost an hour later to the car coming to a gentle stop and the driver turning around. He had been quiet and driven just like he had been told, so Kai made sure to give him a very large tip and humble thanks, all quietly of course as Sai was still asleep. The poor wolf… He must have been very tired to be asleep this long, but Kai was just as tired when he thought about it. Life had been crazy for the pair for the past while, and any break they could get to spend time with one another, as well as time for things like sleeping and eating, they cherished. All good things had to end sometime though, and with that thought as well as a heavy sigh, Kai gently gave Sai’s shoulder a shake. That was all it took to wake up the napping canine, as Sai had always been somewhat of a light sleeper when it came to getting touched. “We’re here.”

“Mmnnnn… Already? I was just having a good dream too…” Sai seemed to pout a little, a cute smile forming on his muzzle as he stretched and yawned in an attempt to get his body going again. Sleeping curled up in a taxi’s back seat couldn’t have been too comfortable, but his one stretch seemed to be enough as he gave the leo’s middle one final hug before sitting up and giving the taxi driver an appreciative nod. Kai gave the driver a look as Sai did, making sure the driver said nothing about their long trip around the city so the wolf could truly rest. The driver gave a quick nod in return, both to Sai out of politeness and to Kai to show he understood the request. Kai smiled in appreciation, and as he got out after Sai, he added to the driver’s tip even more out of thanks. He slid out of the car completely once that transaction was complete, and stretched like only a feline could once his footpaws were safely back on the ground. Sai was waiting patiently for the leo, and Kai knew that as he gave the cap one last look-over to make sure nothing had been forgotten before shutting the door and walking over to the yawning blue wolf.

“Still tired?” Kai asked as he saw that big yawn coming from a mile away. Sai just shook his head in response once his jaw was shut again, smiling like only he could and extending a paw to Kai. The leo took it and followed beside Sai, who set off towards the entrance of Cliffside at a slow pace. The pair loved the open-air outdoor buffet, and every time they got close to it, Kai would almost drool at the smells of all the food in the place. Sai was… different, and could not eat like a normal fur, but Kai could feast to his heart’s content, and with Sai encouraging him, there would be quite a bit of heart to make content. Kai didn’t mind that fact and all, and as they got closer, his pace quickened so that he was now leading the way, with the wolf in tow behind him and only keeping up thanks to the fact that the pair had yet to let go of one another’s paws. Kai had once been embarrassed about getting so excited to go to places and stuff himself silly, but Sai had erased all that with a few kind words and a night the leo still couldn’t forget almost 2 years later.

The greeter at the door recognized the pair almost immediately, and called a waiter to lead them to their usual spot as soon as he greeted them properly. The couple usually sat away from the main drag, on a secluded table Kai had asked to have put in on his tab. The owner, who was actually there on a date at that moment and gave a hearty wave towards the pair, had approved it and even footed some of the bill himself as he made a few more of those ‘exclusive’ tables that he could rent out to his richer clientele. Both Kai and Sai returned his wave before resuming following their waiter to their table. It didn’t take long at all to reach the place and be seated; Sai in a soft chair and Kai on a sofa that Sai swore the leomon would fill one day. That day was very far in the future, as Kai still had his chiseled good looks for the most part, with only a small layer of fat over his belly that wasn’t even enough to cover his abs the only blemish on his herculean figure; a figure which he had no problem slowly decimating with treats and big meals.

“The usual Kai?” The waiter’s question rang out and hovered in the air for a moment, as Kai pondered whether or not he should get his usual or try something different for a change. His usual had never failed, but with how much he had been eating lately, he wasn’t sure if it would be enough to fill him up. Sai seemed to agree, and shook his head at the question while holding up the menu and pointing to the day’s special. Kai had to squint a bit to make it out, as the table was pretty big and Kai wasn’t wearing his glasses, but once he did see it… He knew what he was going to do.

“I’ll have my usual, and the day’s special. Sai?”

“I’ll just have a glass of water thanks.”

The waiter looked a bit nervous at the order, but took it down anyways and scurried off to the main cooking area. Kai chuckled to himself as he saw all that, as the ‘special’ was most definitely not designed for him to eat. Sai looked quite pleased with Kai for his order, and once the waiter was out of sight, the wolf scooted over to the leo’s couch and leaned against the mon. Kai reached down and stroke Sai’s back for a long moment, and for that moment it almost felt like he was going to fall asleep again like in the taxi. He had no desire to do so, but it was just so comfortable and relaxing to finally have some quality time with his wolf after almost 3 months of running around like a headless chicken that he couldn’t help but feel the urge to sleep, since his other favorite activities to do with the wolf were either coming up or couldn’t be done in public. Sai didn’t look to want to sleep either, as his head rested in the Leo’s lap and he stroked one of those huge, rippling thighs gently. He looked like he wanted to say something, but was holding back out of almost… Fear? Sai rarely got truly worried, so it had Kai worried when he saw that telltale expression on the normally-content face of his wolf.

“Everything alright Sai?” Kai’s voice dripped of concern, and Sai could sense it as he rolled over to look up at the leo, with his head still in that strong lap. He paused before he spoke, looking away as words slowly fell from his muzzle.

“That guy came by the bakery again today, as I was leaving… He’s so insistent.” Sai looked so upset and nervous, and judging from how quietly he said it, he hadn’t wanted to mention the incident until later so as not to ruin the night. Having the wolf worry ruined anything for Kai, so getting it out helped a little, but only a little as the feline temper he was known to have started to boil in his veins.

“That little shit… Did you call the cops?”

“No, I just hurried away to come see you.” Kai sighed and gave Sai’s cheek a gentle kiss as he heard that, knowing full well that Sai couldn’t call the cops on his own even if he wasn’t in a hurry: Sai was far too kind to do that. Kai wasn’t by any means, and planned on having his lawyer draft up a restraining order first thing in the morning for the stalking lizard. Kai wanted Sai to feel safe, and having a stalker outside his work nearly every day couldn’t be helping that feeling in any sense.

“I’ll have John draft something up tomorrow morning, and drop it off as soon as it’s signed… I want you safe Sai, especially from a psycho ex of mine.” The guilt in Kai’s voice was all but invisible to most, but Sai heard it and gave the leo’s leg a gentle squeeze. They both knew it was an impossible situation, and that neither one did anything to instigate it aside from existing, but that some things just happened. Kai had made some bad decisions during his body building career, and they were coming back to get him now, but there was nothing he could do about it aside from try and protect Sai from those decisions. The wolf deserved far better than to be harassed by that lizard, and Kai was going to make sure it stopped… By legal or other means. Sai could sense that building fury in Kai, and despite wanting a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Sai’s ‘other half’ wanted to see a bloody, violent end to this dispute, so he forced the wolf to stay quiet.

“Hey there you two,” Sasuke, the owner, called out as he approached their table, albeit a bit tentatively as they looked to be falling asleep again. Both the leo and the wolf jumped as they heard that, but quickly calmed back down as they saw there was no threat, but rather a jovial old friend. “Sorry to scare you.”

“It’s fine Sasuke, we’re just so tired that anything could scare us. You looking to join us?” Kai’s words rang out with so little feeling that even Sai cringed inwardly at how fake they sounded. Sasuke was not as tactful as Sai however, and the look on his face showed more than words could ever convey. Kai felt bad right away, and moved to talk, but instead shut his trap and said nothing rather than making the situation any worse than his rude outburst had.

“Kai’s sorry, and while we would love your company, he and I haven’t seen eachother for more than a few hours sleep in almost a week, so we want the alone time. Sorry Sasuke.” Sai’s words were far more genuine, but his body language and word choice… Sai wasn’t acting like Sai, so that must mean Pandemonium was fixing things. Pand was Sai’s ‘other half’, a demon that ‘lived’ inside the wolf and came out as he pleased. Kai never once put up a fight with Pand after the first time he had met the demon and had a more than rude encounter.  It was clear all Pand wanted was to keep Sai safe at all costs, as well as having a bit of ‘fun’ along the way, so Kai simply put up with the demon and stayed mostly silent. His idea of fun was always lust-driven, but since his and the leo’s tastes matched nearly perfectly, the angel and the demon had done things which neither would really talk about, ever.

Sasuke smiled and nodded to Sai, giving them both a farewell wave which they returned in kind and with genuine smiles. Kai still felt a bit bad over his false words, but he knew the wolfdragon wouldn’t take it to heart and there would be nothing to worry about as soon as a few minutes later. His main concern wasn’t the wolfdragon’s feelings though, it was the demon he could feel brooding in his lap as the wolfdragon waddled away.

“Pandemonium,” he whispered out, afraid Sasuke would hear even though the beast was well out of earshot by then. “What are you doing here?”

“Saving your sorry hide from the looks of it,” the demon muttered before turning his red eyes up to look at the leo with his trademark disdainful smirk. “I also wanted to talk to you about our mutual reptilian friend. By talk, I of course mean I talk and you listen, and by friend, I mean the fur either you or I is going to kill to keep him away from the mutt, permanently. Now, you know as well as I do that I am not in this body for any other reason than to talk to you, and that I will be leaving as soon as I am finished. We both also know that when I do take over the mutt to talk to you, it is either quite serious, or having something to do with the terms of our… arrangement, and since I am not at all aroused, I would say we also can both be sure it’s the former rather than the latter. Kill that beast before he hurts this mutt, or at least make him never ever want to come around again, or let him hurt Sai and I first kill him, then you for letting it happen. Do we have an understanding?” Sai’s eyes were alight with the demonic rage behind them, the burning red orbs piercing right into Kai and making him cringe with not only fear, but the thought of failing to find the reptile and getting Sai hurt because of it.

“As long as you understand that I will do my best, within reason, to find the lizard before he hurts Sai, then yes, we have a deal. Oh, and you know I hate it when you call Sai a mutt…”

“Within reason? Is the little angel afraid of causing a scene in front of his beloved wolf? Or are you so vain that you can’t stand the thought of blemishing your perfect image?” A smirk from Sai and a low hiss from Kai followed that remark, as Kai knew Pandemonium was fully aware of the leo’s reasons for having to stay within reason. He hated that demon so much, yet it was tied to the one he loved so dearly… His dilemnas were never simple at all, and that made for not only an interesting life, but a constant string of headaches and annoyances which he had to deal with. He could feel one of those headaches coming on even before he and Pand had started to exchange ‘pleasentries’, but now it was in full swing as he had to all but apologize and explain himself to the demon, albeit it as harshly as he dared.

“We both know the answer to that Pand, don’t make me explain it and just give me Sai back.”

“Fine, have your precious lover back, but know that while I know your limitations, I also know yours outer limits as well, so know that if you do not push those, I will kill you if the mutt gets hurt.” Kai knew that, and he knew what his outer limits were as well, but it didn’t take Pandemonium telling him to push them for him to do so in an effort to keep Sai safe. Pand was nothing if not perceptive when it came to furs, their motives, and their intentions, so when Pand himself needed to step in and give Kai an ultimatum like this… The leo took it as seriously as Pand made it out to be in spite of his constant insults and general uncaring demeanor. Kai was too busy thinking about all of this and several other things about finding his former friend to notice that Sai had come back to him, and it took a gentle nudge from the wolf for him to finally realize it.

“Oh, sorry… Thinking about what you said about our mutual ‘friend’.”

“Oh, ok… How come you never say his name?” Kai was taken aback by Sai’s question, and at first had no real answer for the wolf. He did not like to mention the reptile’s name because it just WAS that specific reptile, and no other reason past that. Sai had never wanted to know it before either though, so he just ignored it and went about not saying it as part of his way of pretending the whole situation would just go away if he ignored it long enough.

“Kyle is his name, and I don’t say it because to me, it is one of the worst words you can utter.” Kai looked down and almost ashamed to have even said it as he spoke the name to Sai, but a gentle squeeze to his thigh and Sai’s eyes meeting his with their gentle blue gaze quickly blasted away any embarrassment or worry. Sai seemed to understand, and gave the leo a very warm, if not tired smile before putting his head back down on the strong thigh beneath it and resuming his tender stroking. Kai resumed petting Sai gently shortly after that, and the two just sat like that, stroking one another, for nearly the entire time until their orders came.

Sai’s was first to come, merely taking just a minute or so after their exchange had ended and only having taken that long as the head chef had cooked Sai a very light meal as well as his glass of water, something the portly rhino always did and something Sai almost never ate. He always nibbled at it or mixed it around to make it look as though he had tried it, but he always ended up giving his meager meals to Kai so the leo could ‘keep his strength up’, or so he said. The light salad the waiter handed over would be no exception to this rule, but Sai and Kai kept up appearances and thanked the husky husky all the same. Taking a bite of it in front of the waiter was part of the ruse, which Sai did and gave a hearty smile to show his gratitude and satisfaction, something which made the canine smile and trot back to the chef with his fluffy tail wagging happily behind him.

“You always lay it on so perfectly for those guys, it makes me wonder sometimes.”

“Why would you even need to wonder Kai? I would never lie to you, you know that… You’ve seen me upset with you before.” That much was unfortunately true, as a perfect, happy couple Sai and Kai weren’t. They had had their share of fights and almost-break-ups, but they always managed to make it through it all without so much as even a hint of false love. Sai couldn’t pretend, he was to pure, and Kai wouldn’t pretend, as he needed Sai by his side to lose him through lies.

“I know, makes me wonder nonetheless though how you manage to look so happy with what they bring you, and yet you never eat any of it.”

“You’re my energy, you know that. I look happy when they bring me the food because… I am happy that they would think of me enough to bring me something to eat, and something that tastes so good, although this one is the best one as of yet… I don’t know if you’ll get any of this one.” Kai heard that, and aside from being slightly stunned that Sai would eat an entire portion of food, he looked lightly pouty for the fact that he wasn’t going to get any of it at all. Sai sensed that, and gave the leo a forkful to sate the hungry beast for now.

“Wow, you weren’t kidding… That dressing is what makes it. I might have to have one of those brought out for me.”

“You really weren’t reading the special, were you?” Kai shook his head, looking curiously at the wolf as Sai sighed and shook his head. “You need to wear your glasses more often Kai, this salad is the special. That’s why the waiter was looking at you funny.” Kai blinked, then chuckled as his cheeks flushed bright red with embarrassment. He really couldn’t see well without his glasses lately, and since he didn’t want surgery or contacts, he was stuck with them and trying to remember to put them on. His glasses issue was the least of his worries though, as he needed to quickly come up with a reason to justify his getting a salad in the first place, without know how good it was going to be of course, as that would not exactly look good to anyone who really knew he or Sai. “You could say you got the salad for me?”

“You… I swear you read my mind sometimes wolf…” Kai’s blush softened as he hugged the incredibly intuitive wolf to his side with a strong arm. Sai just smiled and let out a light murr of contentment, more than a little glad to be getting affection from his favorite source, and even moreso as it was the first real amount of it he’d had in almost a week. Kai released the wolf somewhat after a moment, leaving an arm wrapped around him and gently stroking the canine’s side as he ate, but not squeezing him close like before just so that the wolf could eat without interruption.

Kai’s order came about the time Sai was finishing his salad, which was not ten minutes before he had gotten it thanks in no small part to all of the leo’s ‘nibbling’. Sai didn’t mind that at all though, and had even been kind enough to give the leo a few more bites of his own free will in spite of slightly wanting the whole thing to himself. Sai was as selfless as they come though, so Kai would never put up a fight if he was offered something from the wolf, as he knew he would lose. Kai’s order arriving though signaled an end to the sharing and a start to the feeding, one of their favorite activities to do and something they both found to be… entertaining. There was little Kai enjoyed more than the feeling of being stuffed to the brim, and doing the stuffing just got Sai all hot and bothered to put it lightly. It took two waiters, as usual, to bring out all of Kai’s order and place it on the table in a very handy, and reachable, spread. Ribs, a t-bone steak, a heap of potatoes, his salad, a whole chicken, and a generous amount of gravy on top of it all lay before them, with a big foaming mug of beer to top off the feast fit for a king.

“Enjoy your meal sir,” one of the waiters said politely as he placed down dessert: A cinnamon roll the size of a small cake. “Sasuke sends this as a congratulations of sorts, although he wouldn’t say what for… May I ask?”

“Sai and I finally getting to see eachother for more than a few hours for the first time in a while. Thank you for the food.” Kai’s reply was followed by a light chuckle and a nod of thanks, which the waiter returned before scurrying off to help someone else. Both the leo and the wolf waited until the waiter was out of earshot before chuckling to themselves and giving one another a light kiss; their own way of congratulating one another for such an achievement. Kai thought of another way to commemorate the occasion, and took out his phone to do so.

“What’re you doing?”

“Taking a picture of us, a reminder of the first day that there is no more gym in our lives and the first meal we shared on that day. Smile,” Kai was already smiling, and Sai joined him right as the phone the leo was holding above the pair clicked off its camera. “Perfect,” Kai murmured as they both smiled at one another and shared in another kiss, each quite content with the way things were already going that evening, and the main event hadn’t even begun yet to boot. Kai had every intention of kicking the rest of the evening off shortly though, so he gave Sai a hungry look with the best kitten eyes he could muster. Sai simply smiled in return, offering up a piece of the chicken to the hungry leo as his way of saying ‘dig in’. Kai took the invitation, and that was when their evening really got underway.

 

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For every blow the leo landed, the lizard became more deformed and broken. Being kept conscious and breathing by a watching Pandemonium, every single strike was felt on Kyle frame. The leo was hardly just punching in a normal way either, as many years of fighting had taught him several things about how to create maximum pain with minimum damage to another’s body. It wasn’t just his fists that were doing the beating either, as his claws, his footpaws, and even his muzzle got into the act of ripping, tearing, and pummeling Kyle until nothing but a lump of flesh that could barely pass as hamburger remained. It would be a long and steady process to get to that point, as one would need to tear away the scales, flesh, muscle, and bone to get to the real meat that made up the beast, but Kai had time, and Pand had power…

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Kai awoke the next morning with a strong arm wrapped around a still-sleeping Sai. They had gotten home quite late the previous night, and just slipped right into bed rather than trying and having any fun with one another. They normally were fairly frisky when Kai was stuffed up like he had been, but exhaustion prevailed and put them both into light comas as soon as their heads hit their respective pillows. A deep, good sleep was something Kai had wanted for nearly a week, and having got both it and a great meal in less than 12 hours; he was in his own little relaxed heaven as far as he was concerned. It was a Saturday, so there would be little to do aside from some bakery-related work in the morning, but that didn’t come for another few hours so Kai and Sai could relax in bed and enjoy one another’s company. Granted, Sai was still asleep and Kai was starting to join him again in spite of having been out for nearly eight hours, but to lay close to each other was enough the pair.

Kai had almost rejoined Sai in dreamland when their alarm went off for its first attempt at trying to rouse the sleepy furs from bed. Kai heard it and jumped up as fast as he could to try and shut it off in time to keep the annoying, loud noise from waking Sai. His attempt was unsuccessful though, for as he slid back into bed, the wolf rolled over with a small smile on his muzzle and yawned, looking as cute as ever. Kai sighed and wrapped his large arms around the canine, holding Sai to his chest gently while kissing the top of the wolf’s head. A light murr and another yawn came from the wolf, making Kai smile to himself as he just held Sai for a long moment before releasing the wolf and looking down at him. “I tried to get the alarm in time, so you could sleep in some more.”

“It wasn’t the alarm that woke me, you moving did.” Kai blushed as Sai said that, looking a bit upset with himself as he frowned lightly. Sai smiled and gave the leo a gentle kiss, as if to push any worries right off Kai’s face. That being its intention or not, the kiss did just that, and Kai was smiling again before their lips had even parted or the wolf had opened his muzzle to explain his comment. “You moving made it get cold and lonely in the bed, and that’s what woke me,” Sai murmured as Kai turned red again, only for a different reason this time. Sai always knew what to say, and it almost always made Kai melt when he heard it.

“You’re too darn good for me ya know…”

“I am not, and even if I was, I love you and that’s all that matters.” Kai smiled as he heard that, leaning down and giving the wolf a passionate kiss right on the muzzle. Sai returned it, albeit more sensually and less lustfully than he had the night before as he was still waking up. Their lips locked, tongues exploring one another’s muzzles, and paws rubbing ever-so-lightly over the other’s frame, Sai and Kai shared their passion for one another as much as they could. Everything about that long moment was perfection for the both of them, and if they could have stayed that way forever, they would have gladly done so. Life doesn’t work that way though, and after nearly a full minute of their lips glued to each other’s and their bodies so close it was as though they were one, they separated enough to become two beings again. “I love you Kai.”

“And I love you Sai.”

***************

 

“How could you do this to Sai?! How could you fucking do this you piece of scum?!” Kai screamed at the broken reptile under his foot, his paw resting on a protruding bone which he moved around in slow circles to only further the beast’s agony. Shrieks of pain were the only responses he would get,  as any thoughts of words were long lost to Kyle thanks to the utter amount of pain Kai had inflicted over the course of almost an hour of relentless beating. Kai didn’t seem to care about the reason for the lack of an  answer, just that he wasn’t getting one and that he wanted one, so he let go of the bone and looked right down at the swollen, bleeding eyes of the lizard with a gaze that could set the world on fire. “Why?”

A strand of blood coughed up from a deflated, punctured lung was the only response the leo got, and in his state, he took it as an insult from Kyle. He was in no mood to be insulted by the broken reptile, at all, so he simply stood back up, looked down at the mangled frame beneath him with a deepening frown, and resumed his beatings with new vigor. He was both relentless and tireless, and with a new reason to be so, it was going to be a while before the blows stopped and Kyle was finally allowed to be brought to hell by Pandemonium. The demon didn’t mind that though, or at least didn’t seem to as he leaned against a wall and watched every blow with a smug smirk and a casual amount of disinterest, in spite of the fact that he had not once let his eyes leave the fight. Kai’s fists and rage were like poetry to the demon, and he was quite fond of poetry, so he had no intention of slowing down the raging angel anytime soon…

****************

 

The morning at the bakery was as busy as usual, but the fact that there had been a line out front before it opened gave away Sai’s loose lips on their weekend specials. Kai had intended to quietly have a small sale on their goods, but had not intended Sai to tell anyone, nor to have their goods be in such high demand so fast. It was absolute chaos to try and keep up with all the orders that everyone made, and the fact that it was just him, Sai, and two other employees helping a small army of hungry patrons didn’t help matters at all. Kai’s paws flew over pounds upon pounds of dough, as Sai manned both the counter and what little cooking he could do in between taking orders, as the other two helpers did prep work and frosting, or glazing depending on the treat.

“It’s a madhouse out there Sai, what’d you tell them?” Kai panted out as he heaved a big bag of chilled dough out of the industrial refrigerator in the back. Kai had meant nothing by the comment, but Sai hid his face in embarrassment when Kai said it, so apparently the wolf had taken offense. “I ask because I want to know what to say to bring in the crowds like this,” Kai said with a hearty smile and a reassuring grin, hoping it would repair the damage his previous comment had done. It did, as the wolf smiled and Kai chalked up another save to being quick on the draw.

“I just told them that the bakery would be having a sale, that’s it, honest. The food did all the work for me I guess.”

“That, or your cute face did it too.” Kai winked as he set down the dough with a loud thud and tore the bag open with a single claw, tossing the ripped plastic aside and then dumping the flour-covered mass out of its bag onto a cutting board the size of an average fur. He gave Sai another smile, one the blushing wolf returned as he set back out to the front to deliver the newly-made pastries to the waiting customers. Kai simply chuckled to himself at that blush and cut the dough into thirds using little more than a large, sharp spatula as he watched the wolf leave.  He scored the pieces into manageable sections for both himself and the workers to deal with before carrying a chunk to each of them, both of whom looked exhausted from all the work that they were putting in on a Saturday morning; their supposed day off.

“I’m sorry for the overtime boys, I promise me n’ Sai will make it up to you come payday, ok?” Kai’s words got a pair of unenthusiastic grunts from the ‘poor, overburdened beasts of labor’ as they put it. The response simply made Kai chuckle, as it was more than what he expected in terms of any response being given at all. He didn’t truly have the time to enjoy the moment or make anything of it past a light chuckle though, as he needed to get started on the latest batch of pastries for the seemingly-endless line of customers. He wanted to get everything made and done so that their day could end before things got too late, and he and Sai could go out and enjoy the rest of their day, and the next day too. It was supposed to be a perfect evening, so maybe he and Sai could go out on the boat and just enjoy the night sky, or maybe a rooftop romp would be in order since it had been a while since the pair had been truly ‘intimate’…

It was as he thought of those things that he remembered his errand that he had to run, and he looked at the clock. Cursing under his breath, he took off his apron quickly and went to wash his hands, with a pair of angry eyes burning holes in his back. “Sorry Luke, Ran, I need to get over to the lawyer’s office right now, draw up a restraining order for that stalker that keeps coming around here. You two ok with that?” Both furs nodded, although not looking too happy about it since that meant that they had to work, alone, for almost a full hour. “Ok, tell Sai where I went if he asks, bye.” Kai’s words tumbled out of his muzzle as he all but ran for the back door to the bakery, struggling with his coat in one paw and giving the older of the two assistants a pat on the back with the other. He needed to hurry over to the office, as he knew John would not wait around for long on a Saturday since lawyers were, well, lawyers. That thought in mind and his errand yelling at him from the back of his brain, he opened the door and was off before it had even begun to swing back shut.

He had broken into a full run just as soon as his feet hit the sidewalk, dodging furs left and right and looking somewhat frantic as he did it. Most got out of his way, since he was quite imposing even when he was normally walking, but a few were too distracted to do so and he nearly bowled them over thanks to rushing. He wasn’t going to slow down though, as he needed to get to that office as soon as he could, but after his fourth close call, the leo decided it would be safer to run down the street alongside all the parked cars rather than in the sea of furs that clogged the sidewalk. It was a considerably less safe way to get to his destination, but he didn’t want to hurt anyone because he was in a hurry. So out onto the street he went, where he went back into a full run alongside several parked cars. With no one to dodge, and nothing but shut doors and full spaces ahead of him, the leo knew the trip would be far shorter now, and considerably more accident-free.

Running past cars and exiting furs, the leo’s move to the street was turning out to be quite the smart one. He did not have to dodge incoming pedestrians, nor did he have to worry as much about plowing into anything which was suddenly in his way. With his powerful legs propelling him forward at a breakneck pace in this less restricted way of travel, his time to the lawyer’s office was nearly cut in half. The fact that it was turned out to be quite a benefit too, for Kai was just slowing down out of his run to walk when he saw john leaving the office with his briefcase in one paw and a coat in the other. Knowing that once the muskrat made it to his car, there would be no chance in convincing him to draft up the restraining order until Monday, Kai broke into a run again just to catch the fur. “John!”

“Oh, Kai, you’re running late I see.” John’s smug words always got under Kai’s skin, but the muskrat was the best of the best when it came to attorneys, so the leo did not say anything and instead just sucked up the insult and nodded as he slowed down to a jog, then a walk to come to a stop beside the well-dressed lawyer.

“I’m sorry, we had a busy morning at the ba-“

“I know, Sai told me about the sale when I stopped by a couple days ago. Quite the little enterprise you two have there, and such good treats… My wife can’t get enough of the croissants.”

“She does? If you stop by later, I’d be happy to give you a box.”

“I think I will… The ol’ girl has been hounding me for not ‘being there for her’ or something lately… Anyways, what is it that I can do for you?”

“I need a restraining order for an ex of mine put out for myself and for Sai, one with a large radius and a severe penalty for breaking it.” John’s expression changed from a smug smile to an even more smug smirk as he looked the leo up and down for a moment before saying anything.

“Can’t protect yourself and your prize, eh Kai?” The rude words dripped with sarcasm and hints of envy, both of which Kai hated and wanted nothing more than to jam them back down the bastard’s throat. He held both his tongue and his paws though, and simply looked at John through slits of eyes without uttering a word of reply. John could sense the leo’s anger, and he did know better than to test Kai’s limits, so he simply sighed and re-opened the door to his office, beckoning Kai to go in first. Kai silently complied, still angry from John’s snide remark, but not enough to leave the muskrat to his angry wife yet; he still needed his restraining order. “You know where my office is, go in and have a seat while I get the papers for this thing.” Kai did just that, taking his time to go down the short hallway as he was still catching his breath somewhat from his long run.

Since sitting after a run gave the leo cramps, he simply paced in the office while he waited. John took his time, as usual, to come up with the paperwork for whatever was needed, and that gave Kai a chance to get his head back on straight. He always got wound up with John’s jabs and snide remarks, but the one today had really pushed his buttons. Pand’s jabbing had been one thing, as Kai expected the demon to show up at any time and was all but used to being berated by the demon by that point. The treatment from John though… He was going to need to find a new attorney after he got this restraining order finished, as that was just too low for even him to tolerate. In his thoughtful pacing, he was even debating just leaving the office altogether and heading out to see Sasuke’s lawyer nearly an hour away on Monday, just to spite the muskrat for being such a jerk to him. More and more reasons to  do that kept popping into his head following the initial thought, such as the fact that he was paying the fur for his services, and he settled his mind on leaving after a few more moments of pacing. The whole thing just wasn’t worth it anymore, for even though he only saw John a few times per month at the very most, the muskrat never failed to leave Kai angry for a good day afterwards, and four years of that was enough for him. It was as he was about to leave just to do that when John showed back up with the paperwork. “Sorry for the wait, and… for what I said out there, it was out of line.”

Kai was slightly stunned to hear an apology from John, but two… Something was up as far as Kai was concerned, and since he had nothing to lose but a good attorney that was close-by, he decided to push for more than an apology. “Sorry isn’t good enough for that one John. You’re always an ass with me, and that was too much. I only waited to tell you that I’m taking my business to Sasuke’s lawyer now, and that you can bill me for making you wait on Saturday.” Kai turned to leave after all but hissing those words out at the stunned lawyer, but John moved to block him as quickly as he could. Looking down, Kai growled deeply and flashed a toothy frown at the much-smaller creature, hoping to just intimidate John out of the way rather than needing to be pushy. John stood his ground though, but not without quiet gulp and a faint look of fear in his eyes; the leo was just that imposing.

“I know I’m always an ass with you, it’s who I am and how I work. That fat wolfdragon’s lawyer is no better ‘an me though, so you would be leaving one ass for another. I know you at least though, and you’ve been one of my best clien-“

“You treat your best client like this?!” Kai growled, looking down at the now-slightly-shaking muskrat through eyes that burned with rage.

“N..No, I don’t. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“You’re right there. How much do I pay you every year? Twenty? Fifty tho-“

“No..” John stopped the leo and looked up at him, fear in his eyes and his voice trembling as he spoke, “Nothing anymore, ever. Consider me free and on retainer for life for whatever you need now.” Kai looked right back at John, staring him down for a long moment. He was weighing the option of keeping the muskrat in his life versus cutting him out. On one hand, there would be one less fur to berate and be rude to him, and on the other there would be free legal service and way less need to travel… Plus, he couldn’t imagine Sasuke’s lawyer being free often, with all the buying and selling and other things the beast did. It was a fairly obvious choice once he had that list thought out in his head, but he just needed to really mull it over for a long moment so that he could phrase it properly.

“I want it in writing, and I want my restraining order, now.”

“Done, I’ll even bring you back to your bak’ry so Sai can sign everything as a witness… And I can get some of those croissants too, if you’re offer is still on the table?” John’s last few words were less nervous and more hopeful, but with Kai still looming over him in not an inviting stance, the undertones of fear were still present. Kai sighed and stepped back into the room, backing up and moving back over to the desk.

“The offer is still on the table, but John… We aren’t having this conversation again, clear?”

“Crystal Kai, I know just what would happen to me if we did. Now, about that restraining order…”

 

**********

Wheezing, labored breaths came out of the battered husk that had once been Kyle’s body. Few signs that it was even a living, functioning being remained, as Kai had really done a number on everything he could get his enraged paws onto. Blood, flesh, and bone were strewn about all over the warehouse in which the beating was taking place, but enough of those things were present to make it look like the scene of a grizzly mass murder, rather than just an utterly merciless torturing. Kai was tiring of beating on Kyle by this point, and not because he had forgiven the reptile, but because he had pushed, broken, and far overstretched his limits as to what he could do with his temporary body. His paws were shattered from all the punches, his footpaws were also broken from all the kicks, and his lungs screamed at him as he panted hard to try and get some oxygen to his extremely-overworked muscles.

“Kai, I think it’s done.” Pand’s voice was the first thing Kai had heard aside from screams and his own voice in almost four hours, and it was jarring; he had lost himself in his mind and hearing something new brought him back out of it. “There are limits to what even I can do in this realm cat, and he’s at ‘em. I’ll make sure he gets it even worse in my domain, trust me on that one… You can go now, I will be back soon to take care of you.”

“Now… Do it now…” Kai could barely talk he was so tired, and with the adrenaline slowly leaving his system, he was really starting to feel just what he had done to himself in the process of taking out a rage he hadn’t felt in his entire life on a single creature. He had no idea what Pandemonium had planned for him, but now that the rage wasn’t driving him anymore, he didn’t care. He couldn’t see Sai like this, not like this… And after what he had just done… He may have never been a truly pure angel, but after doing what he had, he was damned and tainted and so vastly below Sai in his mind that he was beyond redemption. That thought coupled with that Pand usually asked of him gave Kai no reason to care, so he just stood and awaited his fate, sweating and panting and looking ready to collapse from fatigue, but ready for more.

“I was going to clip your wings formally little angel, but considering how briefly I will get to enjoy that before your current, feeble shell fails, it would be boring. So just wait right there, and I mean right there, do not move until I return. Understood?”

“Yessir, understood.”

“So well trained… It’s too bad we were on different sides of a war neither of us cares about really, you would have been quite the ally.”

 

**************

“Something’s wrong John, can you go faster?” Kai looked around out the front window of the car as he said that, an almost panicked expression on his face. He had just sensed that something was wrong with Sai, and that… That was not ok as far as he was concerned, so he wanted to get there as fast as he could to see if anything really was wrong. He sometimes got this feeling when Sai dropped something or when  Sai cut himself, but this… This was too strong to be something as small or simple as Sai being clumsy. John did as the leo asked, going as fast as he dared on the busy Saturday streets, which wasn’t fast enough for Kai thanks to the amount of traffic. He bounced and fidgeted impatiently in his seat, but didn’t dare get out of the car and run, as he knew that would just take even longer. His lack of patience did lead him to roll down his window and yell at any car that was dumb enough to get in front of them, causing more than a few angry looks and making John shrink down into the driver’s seat in embarrassment.

When they finally did arrive at the bakery, Kai all but flew out of the car and raced up to the back door, ripping it open and looking around for any signs of Sai. He did scare the life out of his help in the back, but he didn’t care about that at the moment, and instead went through the entire kitchen before going out to the front to see if Sai was there. There was a line, but the blue wolf was nowhere to be seen, so back to the back he went to question the two working back there. “Either of you seen Sai?”

“He left with some lizard a-“

“Where did they go?!” Kai yelled as he heard that, making the long line outside go silent and the poor worker who answered look white as a sheet. Taking a breath, Kai sighed and looked down for a moment, remembering where he was and taking it down a couple notches as best he could. “Where did they go Luke? It’s really important… That lizard is an ex of mine and he’s very, very bad news.”

“They just left a few minutes ago out the front, said they’d be back in about 20 minutes. Sai didn’t look too happy about it, but the lizard was doing most of the talking… We’re sorry, we didn’t know.”

“Shit… Shit, shit, shit… It’s not your faults. You can go work the counter and sell what we have left Luke, my way of apologizing for shouting. Ran, you call the police and tell them to get a picture of Sai and Kyle MacTaring out as soon as they can; Sai’s been kidnapped.” Both Luke and Ran got even more pale as they heard that, and nodded in silence at their assignments. Ran dropped his bowl and tools and went right over to the phone to dial while Luke just looked stunned for a moment before heading towards the door to the front. “Luke… Not a word. This is a business, we need to make money, so just try your best to remember that Sai will be back and I will be back and everything will be fine… For us.”

“How can you be so sure Kai?”

“I have my reasons, and I know Kyle won’t come back after today.”

“Why?” Kai chuckled at the question, looking right at Luke as he thought for a moment how to put his answer into the simplest form that he could so that the stunned fur could truly calm down and just do his job.

“Because I’m going to fucking kill him,” Kai said with a confident, albeit distant smile. He really was going to kill Kyle for this, literally, and had no intention of letting anything, even Pand, stop him on that task. It was his fault Sai was in trouble now, so it was his responsibility to get him out of trouble, and make that reptilian bastard pay for it. He needed to find them first, and he had just the way to do it, as he had sewn a tracker into all of Sai’s clothes almost a year ago after Sai wandered off for a few days under Pand’s influence. The tracker worked with Kai’s phone, and Kai had it out and loading up as soon as he had finished talking with Luke. The tracker took a moment to get its location, but once it fired up, the location showed it just a few short blocks away.

Kai hadn’t even truly looked at the location, he just ran out to John’s car and got in. “I need to get to here,” he said, pointing at the place on his phone. “Now, please… Someone kidnapped Sai.” John nodded and started the car, not asking questions and just driving as fast as he could. Kai’s panic, and anger, were as evident as his very presence in the car, so driving was all John did to the destination Kai had pointed out. Kai was silent the entire short trip, staring at the phone and swearing to himself for allowing this to happen. He knew Pand was going to lecture him and probably punish him now, but he didn’t care about it right now; he wanted Sai back first.

“We’re here Kai, should I go back to the office and start drawing up paperwork for a defense for you?”

“Don’t bother John, you’re going to be my alibi for this one… Go drive. Do that for a few hours, then go to my house and stay there until I get there. Do that, and we’ll be even for today.” Kai extended a paw, a peace offering for the muskrat that was taken quickly with a hopeful smile. “Thanks John.”

“Ass or not, this isn’t the time for it… I’ll be waiting there, same code to get in?” Kai nodded and got out of the car, giving a nod to the muskrat before turning to walk into the building where Sai supposedly was. He heard the car restart and go down the road after a moment, and it sounded like John was going to do what he asked; the good thing about being so intimidating when the time called for it. He was planning on using his intimidation and then some this time around though, as he wanted nothing more than to turn Kyle into pulp at that moment. He just kept that thought in his mind as he entered the rundown warehouse, tossing the door open like it was nothing and storming inside with a purpose.

“Sai!” he yelled, looking around the darkened room as he got there, squinting in the darkness as his eyes were not adjusted to it yet. He ventured in further after calling out once, quietly taking steps into the messy building through what looked like a former entryway. A soft moan got his attention after a few moments of listening to hear any response to his call, and Kai raced to where he thought it came from. The warehouse must have been some sort of office building and storage facility all in one when it had been in use, as there were offices and doors everywhere. For a moment, Kai feared he would lose the location of the moan and get lost in the maze of hallways and closets that made up the confusing, dark place, but he heard another one and was right back on the trail. It was closer this time, so he knew he was at least headed in the right direction, but the fact that he had not yet made it still made his pace frantic and his direction of travel erratic. He needed to find the wolf, fast… And the third moan he heard only spurred him on more, as it was not only closer, but it sounded like Sai. There were few offices left for Kai to check, so he knew he was getting close to where Sai was being held, and steeled himself for the worst when he did finally find the wolf.

Kai burst into the last office down the hallway furthest from the entrance, expecting to just be greeted by Sai being held hostage by Kyle. What he got… Kai snapped when he saw it. Sai’s pants were around his bound ankles, a bloody gag was holding his bleeding muzzle shut, and his bound paws were behind him much like he was being arrested. Pandemonium was in there, as being a demon gave him powers beyond that which Kai could comprehend, with Kyle in one of the demon’s massive paws pressed firmly onto the roof of the room. Pand was crushing the reptile with his incredibly strong grip, just glaring daggers through flaming eyes up at the dying lizard as Kai looked on in absolute shock. “Nice of you to join us cat, take care of the mutt will you?” Kai couldn’t even speak, or think, as he processed what had happened to Sai that he had been unable to stop; Sai had been violated. The one pure thing in his life, his one last piece of solace and purity, had been tainted by the thing that he was about to lose his only chance at revenge to thanks to an overzealous demon. He wanted, no, needed to get his revenge on the lizard, and with Pand in his way, he saw no choice but to take the ten foot tall wall of muscle on, in spite of knowing that the demon could kill him with just his finger.

“No, not until… until he dies,” Kai said, barely above a whisper, as he was still soaking in what had happened on his watch. The guilt, the anger, the shame, the helplessness… All of it just overloaded his system, and the fact that he felt this way only made him feel worse still for Sai, as he had no idea how the poor wolf must feel at that point. Unloved and unprotected, of that he was sure, but past that… Who would want someone who just let their attacker go free? Kai’s need for revenge and his self-hatred for not taking it sooner, for not acting sooner, for not trying even harder with what little resources he had… Each and every feeling in him grew exponentially as he just watched Pandemonium ignore his request. “Drop him right now demon!”

“Oh, now you speak runt? And why should I listen to the pathetic, useless cat who let this happen to the mutt? Hmmm?” Pand’s words dripped with malice and anger, his glare turning to the leo as he spoke. Pand had no intention of forgiving or forgetting in this case, and Kai did not expect or want forgiveness; he wanted justice and to atone for it in his own, ill-thought-out way.

“Because I want to make him suffer before you kill him and let your boys do even worse things to him. Because Sai means just as much to me as he does to you, and this is my fault. Because if you don’t, you’ll just have to kill me to stop me from taking him. Take your pick, demon.” Kai’s glare right back at Pandemonium showed just how serious he was about everything he had just said. Kai knew he didn’t stand a chance against Pand, and he knew Pand would want to tend to Sai personally before allowing the leo to see the wolf again, if he ever did allow that thanks to this whole mess. If he had any chance of reaching Pand and getting what he wanted, it was what he just said, for any actions outside of making threats and showing that he was serious would probably have just gotten him killed.

“You know you’d die against me, and that you pose no threat to me, so I could kill you so easily that even this vile beast would die after you did. You do have something I want though, so I wouldn’t kill you just yet… Care to hear what it is?”

“What?”

“Your soul. When you die, you would be sent back to your ‘glorious’ master up in the sky, rather than down to my domain where you belong. Give me your soul, and the beast is yours to pummel as long as you need to.” Pand released the lizard from the ceiling and tossed him through the closest wall, out into the main warehouse area, waiting for Kai’s answer to his offer. Kai didn’t even need to think it over, for he knew that it was both a generous offer, and what he deserved after all he had done with his powerful self over his long time among the living, for Sai’s assault was not his first ‘mistake’ by any means. He shut his eyes, breathed deeply, and then opened his eyes again to look up at the demon who now owned his body and soul with a look that spelled out everything he felt with just two dead eyes. Pandemonium looked right back, knowing the answer to his query and moving aside so that the former angel could now exercise something which was strictly forbidden amongst his kind: wrath.

“I accept”

**************

 

It was nearly an hour before Pandemonium returned, and Kai had long since lost consciousness. He had tried so hard, so very hard to stay lucid enough to remain standing, but as soon as enough adrenaline wore off for the pain of his actions to really register in his brain, he went right into shock and passed out from it. Pand knew that was going to happen from the beginning, but did not seem to care about it as he looked down at his latest catch for a brief moment with almost a look of pity on his face. Pandemonium was not a normal demon, that much was certain, but he was still close enough to one that seeing Kai disobey his orders did not sit well with him, even if it was from exhaustion and shock alone, not willpower. He wanted Kai up for what he had to do, so he looked onto the all-but-lifeless body beneath him for a few more moments before delivering a swift, rough kick right to Kai’s chest. The crunch from the kick gave away that the demon had kicked harder than he thought, but considering the body Kai was in had maybe hours before it just failed, he didn’t care and neither did the soul who was in it.

Coughing, weezing, and straining to even move, Kai awoke with that kick and looked up as best he could at Pand. He realized where he was, and that he was disobeying, and tried to get to his feet as fast and best he could. It took a few tries to get himself sitting up, but from there he was on his feet soon enough and standing, bloodied and broken, in front of the demon with his head hung low. “So…Sorry..”

“Tell that to the mutt runt, he’s the one who took the worst of it. He needs you right now too, but in your sorry state… I doubt you’d last the ride back to see him.” Coughing up a little blood and smiling through it, the leo nodded as best he could before doubling over and coughing some more. He was dying, and he knew it, and he was surprisingly ready to die. He did not have another host to jump into, and with his original body long since misplaced, he knew that he was going to die from lack of a ‘container’ within the next few minutes… But he had no more regrets. Beating Kyle, freeing Sai of any need for the leo, casting himself down into hell to make up for a life unworthy of the title of angel, almost one hundred years of philanthropy work; he had atoned enough in his mind for his sins.

“I… Can’t..”

“I know you don’t want to see him, but suck it up and get over it. We both know that on this one, you did everything you could, because if you hadn’t I would have killed you by now. We also both know the mutt needs you for more than just comfort; he depends on you for the very love and affection and attention that keeps him alive. That being said, I have to keep you alive to maintain his life until he finds someone new to love.” Kai looked confused, partly because his brain was still in shock from the day’s events, as to why Pand was even giving him a hint of kindness. He had failed, Sai had gotten hurt, and yet here Pandemonium was giving him a second chance at life and being with Sai?

“Pande… I…”

“Oh just shut up cat.” Pand growled and looked ready to his the leo, but stopped himself and instead but a large paw on the smaller feline’s head. He shut his eyes and held the paw there, and within an instant Kai felt far better. In the time it took Kai to blink, he was fully healed and back to normal, nothing broken or bleeding anymore. His mind was still a mess and he was still more sore and tired than he had been in ages, but he was functional and healthy again, and could go back to Sai without worrying about the wolf finding his wounds. “There, the mutt is waiting in bed at the house with no memory of what happened after he left the bakery. Keep it that way, understood?”

“Yessir… Than-“

“Thank the mutt, not me, I would love to watch you die cat. He needs you, and that is the only reason you are still in this world.” Pand vanished as soon as he finished those words, neither a puff of smoke or a bit of ash left of his presence after he did. Kai was a bit surprised to hear those words from Pand, but thought little of it as he already had so many things he needed to work out in his head before he got back to Sai that anything little needed to be put on hold. He needed to find a reason for himself to be worthy of Sai again, to figure out what to tell the attorney, to make sure Luke and Ran didn’t tell anyone about the incident… Things were going to be messy for a while for him, but it was ok… As far as he was concerned, his worthless soul and a great chunk of his time to clean up a mess he’d made were acceptable losses when it came to keeping Sai in his life. So, with that thought in mind, he headed for the side door of the warehouse to begin his long trudge back to his house, and to Sai.

End

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