[identity profile] wutangfellowshp.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Contrariwise (Sin is Relative at Best Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] inksheddings
Summary: Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between sin and salvation. The seven deadly sins meet their match.
Fandom: Loveless
Pairing: Ritsuka/Soubi
Other Character(s): Kio, Misaki, Ritsuka's father, Seimei (in the background).
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Loveless belongs to Kouga Yun. My only profit is the big goofy smile on my face.
Original story: Superbia (http://allira-dream.livejournal.com/22755.html), by [livejournal.com profile] allira_dream.
Notes: Extraordinary thanks to my supportive and inspiring beta, [livejournal.com profile] midnitemaraud_r.

1. Kindness

"Seimei! Why are you here?"

Not that the why really matters. Ritsuka loves having Seimei show up unexpectedly. Not only does he get his big brother's company, but usually Seimei buys him something on the way home.

"I came to pick you up," Seimei answers with a smile that warms Ritsuka all the way through to the tip of his tail. "Would you prefer I didn't?"

"Of course I don't! Seimei, can we go and get some ice cream?" Ritsuka asks as he laughs and takes hold of Seimei's arm. He lets go quickly, though, when Seimei flinches. "Seimei, are you all right? And why is your coat so- so- dusty?" He's not used to seeing Seimei hurt or in any sort of disorder, and Ritsuka's heart beats a little too fast in concern.

"No ice cream. It'll spoil your appetite." Seimei answers only one of Ritsuka's questions, but he pinches both of his cheeks and smiles brightly, relaxing Ritsuka once again.

"Awwww," Ritsuka pouts as he swats Seimei's hands away from his face. Okay, he isn't really pouting. He knows Seimei is only making him work for the ice cream. At least he hopes... Who- who's that?

Ritsuka sees a man standing just a little ways behind Seimei. He's not looking at them, but he's not exactly going anywhere either. He looks strange and...he doesn't have ears!

"Seimei?" Ritsuka asks uncertainly, wondering if they should offer the man some help. "Is he your...friend?"

Ritsuka feels the warm weight of Seimei's hand ruffle his hair, and he immediately feels less anxious.

"No. He's no one important. Let's go home. What do you have for homework?"

"Too much math," Ritsuka answers, wrinkling his nose and flattening his ears in distaste. He's still watching the man though, even as Seimei is leading him away.

The man's long hair falls in his face as he pulls a cell phone from his pocket, which slips out of his hands and falls to the ground. Ritsuka thinks he looks a little sad, like he wouldn't mind curling up on the ground with his phone.

Seimei is still talking about homework, but Ritsuka pulls away and runs back toward the man. As he leans down to pick up the phone, which seems to have suffered only a few scratches, he notices a pair of glasses lying nearby.

"Oh! Are the glasses yours, too?" He picks them up along with the phone and holds both items out, one in each hand, offering them to the stranger. Ritsuka doesn't think he feels scared, but for some reason his hands are shaking anyway. The man is so pale, and he's dusty too. Just like Seimei.

"Do you- do you need me to call somebody?"

His eyes dart behind Ritsuka as he accepts the phone and the glasses. He still isn't looking directly at Ritsuka when he speaks, and it's not even an answer to his question.

"Thank you."

Ritsuka smiles at the sound of his voice; it's deep and...resonating? Yeah, that's the right word. It's almost as warm as Seimei's.

"Ritsuka! Don't be a slowpoke or I'll be the only one eating ice cream."

Ice cream!

Ritsuka smiles once more at the strange man and runs back to his brother's side. He doesn't like to keep Seimei waiting.

2. Charity

He never knows what to say. That wouldn't be so bad if he at least knew what to do. But Misaki.... He lost her years ago; so slowly he didn't even notice until he came home from work one night to the sound of screams and broken dishes and Seimei standing in front of Ritsuka, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, protecting his younger brother from a shrieking version of the woman who used to sing Ritsuka to sleep with the gentlest of voices.

Seimei still protects Ritsuka. He discovers this as he stands in his son's bedroom and watches him sleep. Ritsuka sleeps with one of Seimei's school shirts draped over his pillow. He's also wearing a pair of Seimei's pajamas that are far too big, and as he keeps watching he can't help but see an infant Ritsuka, innocence and trust and perfection, all a long time gone.

He thinks he should have given all of Seimei's things away, despite his wife's objections. But he'd given in, gone to work, gone to the bar (gone anywhere he could, really) and now he thinks it's too late.

He can't protect his remaining son. Seimei still has that job, and he thinks maybe the only thing he has left to give Ritsuka is the comfort of the brother who taught him to run and lock his bedroom door.

After all, the only reason he'd snuck into his son's room is because he realized he hadn't actually seen Ritsuka for nearly two weeks. If he's honest with himself, he hasn't truly seen Ritsuka for far longer.

As he leaves, re-locking and closing the bedroom door, he makes note to replace the lock with something stronger. If he'd been able to get it open, without waking Ritsuka even, Misaki would have no trouble doing the same.

3. Diligence

"Good night, Ritsuka. I love you."


Soubi breathes deeply, tickling the top of Ritsuka's head before he falls asleep, leaving Ritsuka with his thoughts.

Ritsuka knows he sleeps better with Soubi at his side, wrapped around him. He knows this and he's not sure how he feels about it. Or how he should feel about it, even.

Soubi never tries anything, at least no more than he ever has. Kisses, of course, and hands that wander close but never that close. All of that stuff Ritsuka grew used to ages ago, so Soubi's not the problem, not what troubles him.

Sometimes, when Soubi climbs into bed and fits their bodies together in such a way that warms Ritsuka more than heavy blankets ever could, his subconscious betrays him and he ends up dreaming of more than just kisses. Hands that don't just wander close, but take hold. Bodies that don't just fit close, but inside each other.

And when Ritsuka wakes up in the morning, he is more than well-rested; more than content. But he knows that won't last. He knows one morning he'll wake up after one of those dreams and he'll feel anything but content. He'll have a warm and willing Soubi wrapped around him and his body will finally convince his mind that he desperately wants those dreams to become reality.

It's hard to believe he'll ever be ready for that.

But as Soubi pulls him closer in his sleep, mumbling nonsense, and Ritsuka automatically snuggles closer too, he can't help but quietly laugh. Thinking constantly about what he has now and what he might one day want to have is exhausting.

No wonder he sleeps so well.

4. Temperance

Kio figures he should be used to it by now, the weird give and take between Soubi and Ritsuka. But it still catches him by surprise now and then. Like at this very moment, as he's sitting on the bed in Soubi's apartment pretending to read a magazine. Really, who needs print media when you've got these two?

Before Ritsuka, Soubi's moods and actions were a lesson in extremes. Extremely energetic when Seimei called; extremely morose when Seimei didn't call. Up and down, back and forth... Being friends with Soubi had often made Kio more nauseous than riding Space Mountain three times in a row.

There were times Kio had seriously considered walking away – for his own mental health, since he couldn't seem to do anything for Soubi's. But now, watching Soubi patiently goad Ritsuka into another bite of watermelon....

Kio doesn't call Soubi "pervert" anymore. A pervert wouldn't give a damn about what a kid does or doesn't remember about the foods he likes. A pervert wouldn't urge a kid to taste something that may or may not be new just because he's learned something about free will and wants to return the favor.

Yeah, Kio used to think about walking away, but now he's glad he's sticking around. Besides, he thinks as he turns to a new page he probably won't actually read, I'll get to finish what's left of the watermelon.

5. Humility

"It's okay. It's okay, Ritsuka," Soubi whispers as Ritsuka presses his face against his thigh, his hands clutching Soubi's jeans as though letting go would mean the end of the world.

And maybe it would. Soubi's world had certainly ended when Seimei had gone away. But then he'd found Ritsuka, still a little boy, and suddenly his world was reborn. Soubi was reborn, slowly and painfully and messily, just when he'd thought there couldn't possibly be anything more he could learn, certainly nothing a child like Ritsuka could teach.

Seimei had never needed comfort, or at least he'd never appeared to. Soubi certainly couldn't have asked Seimei for comfort, because that would have ensured just the opposite.

Soubi isn't sure what it has cost Ritsuka to show up here, crying and shaking and almost wordlessly asking for something he most likely doesn't want but needs nonetheless. But whatever the cost, Soubi has learned another lesson, free of charge.

Here, on the bare floor, Ritsuka is strong enough to admit his weaknesses. If he can do that.... Soubi thinks as he starts to cry. His tears drop into Ritsuka's hair and he smiles; soaked jeans and soaked hair - more mess, but they're making this one together. If he can do that, then so can I.

6. Forgiveness

Misaki prays to Seimei as she sits in her dark kitchen in her dark house, all the windows and curtains shut against the blinding morning light outside. With hands that won't quite come together, she prays for guidance and maybe...maybe for forgiveness.

She's not sure why she should need or want to be forgiven. It's not her fault Ritsuka was stolen from her and an imposter put in his place, as though she was stupid enough not to notice the difference. It's his fault Ritsuka is gone; his fault that Seimei-

Oh, Seimei.

Such a good son. So kind and generous, he had actually tried to protect the imposter. Her love for Seimei had grown because of that, as had her hatred of the one who called himself Ritsuka.

She slams a fist down on the table, knocking over a cup still sitting there from last night. She doesn't set it right. If Seimei were here, he could set everything right, yet....

Seimei had spent so much time with that creature, he had to have known it wasn't his little brother, hadn't he? So why had he protected him for so long? Why hadn't he let her deal with the imposter, force him to tell the truth, tell her where her Ritsuka was and what he had done to him?

Misaki didn't understand then and understands even less now, but with Seimei gone, with no one around to protect him, she could deal with him. She could force him, like she had last night with his arm bent behind his back and the stairs so temptingly close.

But she'd hesitated. She'd heard the crack of his bone and was about to push but then he'd looked at her and what she'd seen in his eyes...Seimei. She'd seen a little bit of Seimei, he and Ritsuka had always looked so much alike, and could she have been wrong?

She'd hesitated and he'd gotten away.

He was still in the hospital and she was praying to Seimei; praying for forgiveness she didn't need but had already been given by a boy she'd wanted to push down the stairs.

7. Purity

When Ritsuka comes, it's Soubi who always says, "Please, please, please, please..." over and over and over, like it's a prayer that will ensure their salvation.

Somehow, that makes Ritsuka feel better than the orgasm itself.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] allira-dream.livejournal.com
Ohgodohgod. I AM NOT WORTHY.

lkagljka. No, no, it's just. AAAH. THIS IS SO WONDERFUL AND AMAZING. You made Ritsuka's dad into an actual _person_ and! Misaki! I always fear it might seem as if I'm bashing her when I write about her and ohgod, it's so heartbreaking this, how you show it. AND. AND. KIO. I love your Kio and can picture him so well giving up any pretenses not to be staring and Soubiiii and Ritsuka and! AND this is SO AMAZING AND WONDERFUL.


And I think I flailed enough. Ohgod. ♥!!!!!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
When I first read this comment I was so incredibly happy. Thank you so much. I went into more detail in your second comment, but I had to respond to this first one since it was the one I was holding my breath for. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-22 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shikishi.livejournal.com
brilliant work here, remixer.

and I love the use of the father and how he is so inefficiant and yet not completely gone.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, especially the part with Ritsuka's dad. I wasn't sure how that would work out, you know? Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 01:24 am (UTC)
ext_14568: Lisa just seems like a perfectly nice, educated, middle class woman...who writes homoerotic fanfiction about wizards (loveless - soubi/ritsuka)
From: [identity profile] midnitemaraud-r.livejournal.com
I love this story - love how you took the original and turned it inside out. And I love all of the interactions between Ritsuka and Soubi! :-D

But I also really like how you gave Ritsuka's parents such a presence - made them real and even sympathetic, which takes quite a lot in my book! :)

What a wonderful collection of vignettes, and particularly, I love how the last one is so impeccably the essence of purity! Just beautiful!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
*kisses you*

I also really like how you gave Ritsuka's parents such a presence - made them real and even sympathetic

I was so nervous about including them! But I really wanted to, because you never get a good look at what's in their heads, especially the no-name father. *g*

*kisses you some more*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 02:38 am (UTC)
ext_3548: (LovelessPerv)
From: [identity profile] shayheyred.livejournal.com
Wow, this is incredible. Such beautiful details, and such savvy understanding. You make me love Loveless all over again.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Thank you! What a wonderful comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-25 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mousapelli.livejournal.com
this is really wonderful, it's by turns sweet and sad and scary and beautiful. I love the way you switch between the characters and show the connections between them. Lovely remix!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm very pleased you like it, especially:

...it's by turns sweet and sad and scary and beautiful.

That comment about made my day.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-26 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindsey-grrl.livejournal.com
Lovely and spot on and just... ouch.

Thank you. Not nearly enough good Loveless fic out there. *off to read the original story*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed. I had a lot of fun working on this story.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] allira-dream.livejournal.com
EEEEEH! Again, thank you SOSOSOSOSOMUCH for this! It's lovely and amazing and I'll be going 'eeeeeeeh' around here because I'm in such awe about your talent and. *fangirls! and goes to read what else you've written*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Oh, I am so glad you like it! After looking at your stories I pretty much knew I'd remix Superbia, but I chewed on it a while as I thought about a few of your other stories. Once I was sure, it was hard to decide what to do! I thought I might take only one section and write a story around it, expand on the situation, etc., but then when I researched the deadly sins and discovered they had actual counterparts, well, that cinched it for me, I knew what I wanted to do.

I really enjoyed remixing your fic, it's a great story and I absolutely love the concept.

Thank you so much! I can not tell you how happy I am. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-01 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] allira-dream.livejournal.com
Eheee! I really didn't know which fandom to expect, but I'm really happy you chose Loveless, furthermore this story which is one of the ones I've had the most fun writing. I'm really impressed by what you did with this, and really grateful, too! ^^

(no subject)

Date: 2007-05-03 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inksheddings.livejournal.com
Thank you. Remix is such a terrific experience, and part of it is never knowing what you're going to get, writing or reading. :D


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We Invented the Remix...Redux V

May 2007

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