The Peninsula

The Fiction and Poetry Archive of Liana Mir and scribblemyname

The Morning After


Mikoto stood in the doorway to the bar, and Kusanagi just looked at him for a long moment before Mikoto shrugged and dropped onto his usual seat at the front.

It wasn’t his way to apologize. Kusanagi had been the one to tell him that ages ago.

“You’ve had that in your system for years,” Kusanagi commented. His voice was just slightly sharper than usual, more disappointed.

Mikoto leaned his head back. Kusanagi was too close to this, too close to Mikoto’s inability to protect Totsuka, and he’d be the first hit when Mikoto left him holding all the pieces. There wouldn’t have been comfort in Kusanagi’s bed.

Munakata should know this was the only warning he was going to get.

“Did you find the gun?” Mikoto asked.

Kusanagi studied him for a long moment, seeming to pack up his pain, his disappointment, his face and tone smoothing out to something both casual and dangerous. “Yes.”

Smile Recklessly


“Smile recklessly,” Kusanagi asked, desperate for a bit of hope and normalcy in their crisis.

Totsuka thought of his childhood wish to be the joker in the King’s court, to make the King laugh. He smiled recklessly. “Hey, hey, don’t sweat it. It’ll all work out.”

Yata was holding him, and there was Kusanagi standing over him stricken shock instead of the emotional composure that carried him through all major and minor catastrophes.

Smile recklessly.

Totsuka struggled to breathe. “Hey, hey, don’t sweat it,” he managed to get out. Normalcy in their crisis. “It’ll all work out.”



“Sometimes you’re a real piece of work,” Kusanagi commented dryly, (more…)



His friends come to the funeral.

Mikoto stopped next to Kusanagi, hands in pockets, radiating warmth in the chill but without expression. Totsuka stood on the other side, close enough to brush arms and shoulders, a frown on his usually cheerful face. Neither of them looked “free.”

They stayed through all of it, caging him in with their bodies and their wordless care. He wasn’t alone in this world yet.

Kusanagi sighed. “Let’s go back to Homra.”

They stayed there too, Totsuka talking lightly, Mikoto quiet but present.

Yes, Uncle. I have friends that might help me serve.

Courting Red


There was exactly one way Nagare could see ever joining someone like Suoh Mikoto to his cause, and no comfortable way to kill him or his directly and bring his own power to bear.

It took quite a bit of work to get a message to Homura before they did anything rash—like completely destroy Totsuka’s body.

“You can resurrect him without consequences?” Kusanagi’s voice was appropriately skeptical under the diplomatic tone.

“There are always consequences,” Nagare corrected. “But yes, I can bring him back. He’ll have my aura.”

He wouldn’t be the first with two.

“Do it,” Mikoto said.

The Smoke


There was a raw empty space, gaping like a wound between them. (more…)

Take My Hand


Saruhiko caught his breath staring. No bone. No blood. No ash.

Mikoto gave a sort of bone deep weary sigh and leaned back with that tired look about him that sometimes made Saruhiko wonder if he ever felt regret.

“That’s too bad,” Kusanagi said.

Saruhiko blinked at him in surprise for the understated reaction, then looked down at his own hand. It was shaking. They’d said as much, but it was only hitting Saruhiko now that by taking Suoh Mikoto’s hand, he could have died.

A moment ago, there was a person. Now, there was nothing: no bone, blood, ash.



Ostensibly, Mikoto knows what a pillow is. His personal definition, Kusanagi thinks with some chagrin as he tries to reach around a grumpy redhead’s hair and face to fill in the next problem on his math, seems to be the person I like’s lap.

Mikoto grunts a complaint and Kusanagi almost swats him on the side of the head. He refrains, but he can feel the corner of his mouth quirking up in a small smile.

“Your choice to sleep there,” he comments easily, laying blame for all the awkwardness squarely where it belongs.

Mikoto just huffs. “Yeah.”

He stays.



Yata wasn’t normally the fastest in picking up on conversation around him in the bar, but today he seemed particularly out of it.

“Are you all right?” Kamamoto asked.

He only got a mumbled reply, barely intelligible with Yata’s mouth buried in his arms on the counter.

“What’s wrong, Yata?” Kusanagi asked.

Yata looked up, blushed bright red. “What do you do when someone kisses you?”

The bar went quiet.

He blushed harder, buried his entire face.

“It depends,” Kusanagi answered. “Either you say you’re not interested or you kiss them back.”

“He’s interested.”

“It’s gotta be Fushimi.”

“Shut up!”

Soft Spot


Mikoto was like the kind of big cat that let kids crawl all over him. Particular kids. Just two really.

Anna could snuggle up right next to him and even tuck her hand into his without even a grunt of protest. Totsuka could make Mikoto his own personal blanket if he wanted and Mikoto wouldn’t do more than sigh.

He never failed to complain whenever Kusanagi encroached on nap space in an attempt to sit down, but then again, Mikoto may have been audibly put upon but he let Kusanagi sit down anyway.

“Softie,” Kusanagi teased.

Mikoto’s grumpy glare notwithstanding.

That Moment of Peace


A moment of peace, rain falling gently against the windows, the scent of fire and red aura mingling with mundane smells of an apartment shut up against the weather, stale scents of breakfast and cigarette smoke.

It’s rare and remarkable for highly ranked blue and red clansman to share that moment of peace together.

Seri lets her wary edge slowly fade before Izumo’s openness. He seems so close to his king, in ways she doesn’t have with the Captain. Friends.

She looks at him talking about friends and wonders a little to herself if this is what that feels like.

Start a Fire


He was lighting a cigarette when Seri asked curiously, “How precise are you with that?”

Izumo stopped, stared at her for a moment, then smiled. “How precise do you want me to be?”

She shot him a look he could read easily, Don’t get too cocky. But her expression turned speculative, finger running over the lighter cap. “Hot but not painful.”

Which meant getting very close but not touching her skin. He glanced appreciatively over her skin again as she stretched out on the bed.

“You sure?” he asked one more time.

“Get on with it,” she commanded.

“Yes, Seri.”



She’d scrupulously avoided the mistletoe. Seri was pleased with the Captain as her King and liked him well enough when he chose to mingle during holiday parties, such as at Christmas, but not well enough to let him kiss her for spirit or tradition. The one subordinate who’d suggested she’d yet to try the mistletoe had visibly wilted under her unamused stare.

It was well after HOMRA’s party by the time she went over, everyone cleared out or asleep except Kusanagi.

“Here for your free drink?”

“No.” She paused under the mistletoe.

He stared, surprised, but didn’t keep her waiting.

Mutual Support


“Seri?” Kusanagi blinked in surprise at recognizing the person behind the largest pile of boxes from shopping he’d ever seen. “Would you like some help?”

She studied him warily around her pile, not a look he was unfamiliar with.

“You certainly helped me enough with Anna and the Slates,” he said quietly.

Man to woman, there was always tension between them, but Seri softened when he said that. Clansman to clansman, they’d always been able to communicate.

“Certainly. Thank you,” she said with the snap of authority in her voice she’d mastered long ago.

Then she buried him in boxes.



She was beautiful, truly beautiful, and he didn’t just think that because she was hot.

Kusanagi enjoyed watching Seri take charge of her clansmen with firm authority and easy competence. He admired her elegance and the way she’d sometimes soften her expression when she cared. He liked that they could talk comfortably about their mutual difficulties taking care of their clans.

“Always a pleasure, Seri.” He smiled when she found her way into his bar, ordered her horrible drink, sipped it slowly.

“Surely you jest,” she commented, eyebrow raised.

“Why wouldn’t I be pleased to serve such a beautiful woman?”



“You’re not exactly what I expected,” she stated.

Kusanagi looked up with interest from mixing her martini.

Awashima Seri had been coming to HOMRA more often, even regularly. They’d discussed mostly clan affairs. Despite the destruction of the Slates, Scepter 4 had plenty of work policing the strains created before its destruction, and Homura remained useful as an organization rooted in the city streets and too familial to disband.

But occasionally, they talked about other things than clans.

“You’re quite responsible,” Seri told him.

He chuckled and gave her the drink. “Not frivolous?”

“Still frivolous.” She softened. “But also responsible.”



Izumo never used to mind butterflies. They weren’t important, pretty enough when one floated by on a breeze. Now, he looks at them like they hurt him personally.

It was just the three of them once upon a time, before Clans and Kings and the Dresden Slates changed everything. It was Tatara and Mikoto and Izumo—friends.

The butterflies he sees now aren’t made of fire and red aura. They don’t rise from Tatara’s hands like proof that flame can be beautiful and not deadly, wielded by the right hands. Everything is gone—Tatara, Mikoto—leaving only Izumo and butterflies.