Timing Is Everything

by Katsuko

Disclaimers: All copyrights belong to their respective copyright holders. Please do not steal!

For the most part, the team (Kirihara Mana, their Mind Breaker, had at some point dubbed them Orion, and while they didn't actually go around telling people that's who they were it stuck as an unofficial rallying name) was able to avoid major confrontations with other groups that were trying to control the Aquarian Age. There were still those who thought that directly attacking the people who surrounded the Mind Breaker who'd managed to mind-break one of her own ilk was a good idea, and those were the ones that annoyed the piss out of Itsuki Naoya.

They were also the ones that tended to cause a hell of a lot of damage, which distressed Mana greatly and would generally end with Kusakabe Kaname letting Bael out to play, at which point someone (usually Itsuki or his sister Haruna) would need to go bring Mana to the battlegrounds so she could talk Bael back to sleep.

Really, it was a major pain in the ass, but Itsuki adored his Mind Breaker and his Darklore so he rolled with it.

Today, it was one of those annoying as piss fights, and things weren't going quite so well.

Haruna had fallen back to stay close to Mana, in order to be a final line of defense if any of the enemy's Darklore or Wiz-Dom members broke through the ranks. Their own Arayashiki, Shiba Isshin (it was pronounced Yi-Xin but Itsuki tended to use the Japanese pronunciation rather than the Chinese just to mess with the guy) and Wiz-Dom, Nakaura-sensei, were keeping up something akin to a shield to give the whole group a little time to recuperate before diving back into the fight, and the resident Eraser Amou Tsukasa was healing the minor wounds that Itsuki and Kaname had already managed to gain after the initial skirmish.

All in all, just a typical, end of the world type of day.

And yet for some reason, this seemed like the perfect time to get something off his chest. His sister was probably going to slap him stupid later, but whatever.

"Hey, Kaname," he said abruptly, drawing four sets of eyes to him; Amou looked away after a second to resume his previous duties and sensei likewise deemed it less important than his current task. "I've got something I've been meaning to tell you for a while."

Kaname blinked at him, expression remaining as mild as always. There honestly didn't seem to be too much that made Kaname lose his cool. "What is it, Itsuki?"

"I know that you have Mana and all, but I just wanted to let you know that I love you, and I have for probably three or four years or something like that," Itsuki replied, fairly matter-of-factly but being completely honest. He'd known for what felt like ages that he was in love with his best friend, and finding out that Kaname was a Darklore really hadn't done anything to kill the feelings.

If anything, it made sense to the E.G.O. psychic; like called to like and all that happy crap.

The Eraser and Wiz-Dom both looked up abruptly from their tasks before exchanging a look. "About time," Nakaura-sensei groused softly before turning his attention back to the shield. Amou giggled and moved to sit beside his father figure. Apparently, this revelation was in no way new to them, even if Kaname looked the tiniest bit shell-shocked at the confession.

Isshin was a bit less quiet in his reaction.

"Is this really the time and place for this?!" he hissed, glaring at both Itsuki and Kaname in equal measure. "In case you hadn't noticed, we are in the middle of a battle!"

"Yeah, I kind of figured that out from the bleeding I was doing a few minutes ago, thanks, Isshin-sempai," Itsuki said dryly.

"And what about Mana-san?" the Arayashiki continued. "What would she think about this?"

"Mana likes Itsuki," Kaname offered, shrugging slightly as if, now that he'd had a moment to process things, everything in his life was moving down a logical pathway.

"I'm not opposed to a three-person relationship," Itsuki added. "I like Mana, she's good people. I don't mind sharing Kaname with her."

Isshin actually, physically facepalmed and growled into his hand. "You realize Haruna is going to kill you, right?"

Itsuki nodded, grinning brightly. Kaname let out a soft snort of amusement and rested a hand on his best friend's shoulder, squeezing slightly before pushing himself to his feet.

"Discussions can continue later," he said, slipping back into the role of commander. "Right now, we have the enemy to deal with. Mana will be upset if we waste too much time dealing with them."

"So let's go kick their asses!" Itsuki responded with a smirk. Kaname was right that they could work out the details later.

For now, Itsuki would be content to fight alongside his friends and loved one, and worry about his sister's comments on his poor timing later.