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19. Worry

"Where the hell is he?"

Akira had been thinking this for the past three hours. It was snowing badly outside and there was still no sign of Akito. Kaito was gone, off somewhere working on things Akira was certain he didn't want to know about. Akito had gone out in the morning, claiming he would be back later. Well it most certainly was later and there was a snowstorm picking up.

Kaito's going to kill me if he gets hurt! Yet what could he do? ATs were useless in the snow.

There was suddenly a wild knocking at the door. "Oh jeez..." Akira muttered, feeling a mixture of relief and fury. "Gonna beat the tar out of him."

He opened the door to see Akito, who was unconscious and being carried by a stranger. Akira's eyes widened and he snatched the boy protectively from the man's grasp. "Who the hell are you? What'd you do to him?"

The man raised his hands defensively. "Nothing sir. I mean it. He saved my life!"

"Why the hell should I believe that?"

"His skates... he said that you would know what happened if you looked at them." Akira glanced down and paled. So much blood... how many guys was he up against? He relaxed slightly, but wariness was still second nature.

"Do you want to come in?"

The man shook his head no. "I have to get home before I can't drive at all. Good night." He was gone before Akira could react, leaving a still unconscious blue-haired boy in his arms. Akira looked down.

He groaned. "What the hell am I gonna do with you?" Akito stirred, shifting over in his arms. As he moved a box fell to the ground. Akira shifted the boy to one arm and picked it up. The box had his name on a tag. Carefully opening it revealed a weapon; a pair of knuckles the older boy had been eyeing since they got there. There was also special parts for his AT, which were worn as hell.

How much did it cost him to get these? He glanced at the sleeping boy, who of course was barely hurt.

Akira couldn't hold back an affectionate smile. "You're so odd."

Akito opened his eyes to stare at his friend blearily. "Akira's warm..." He nuzzled into the older male's chest.

Akira groaned. "Come on you can't fall asleep here."

Too late. The little boy was curled up there, clearly not going to move anytime soon. Akira blinked then smiled again.

"Geez," he muttered. "You always worry me." He went to go sit down.