Riva sat at Toya’s feet, idly sketching as his Master looked though the work done on the new game he was creating. In less than a week, Toya had pulled together a team of up and coming young programmers to help him finish the game he had needed to put aside months ago when he assisted with Jupiter’s systems. Riva had been surprised at the amount of people who desperately wanted to work with his Master. Finding out people coveted the chance to work with his Master made him feel proud to be Toya’s pet.
Every once in a while he felt Toya’s warm hand idly caress his crimson hair as the Blondie worked. As he felt the hand gently stroke him, he couldn’t help but wonder at the change Toya had made in his life in such a short time. As blood dripped from his body on the night he stood over the cowering Elric, he would never have believed that he would ever again be proud to be anyone’s pet. After the months of living in terror and pain inflicted by his former Master he had thought it impossible to be happy to be a pet again. But in the past few months with Toya he’d discovered happiness and found a renewed sense of pride in being a pet, even if it was an unconventional pet/Master relationship.
In many ways, Toya was the Master Riva had fantasized about when he was in the pet academy. A beautiful Blondie who was kind and indulgent with him, wealthy and renowned, Toya was all of those things and even more than Riva could have dreamed of.
It seemed almost too good to be true, and yet as each day passed the dream became more and more real to Riva. Without even realizing it, Toya had entwined himself around Riva so much that the pet couldn’t even imagine his life without the gentle Blondie. With a sigh he put his pad down and closed his eyes, savoring his Master’s touch.
“Riva, is everything alright?” Toya asked, his hand stopping.
“Just keep doing that,” Riva murmured.
Toya chuckled softly. His hand resumed caressing Riva’s hair as he turned his attention back to the pad he’d been reading.
Riva smiled as Toya went back to his work. Although Toya had been busy all week long, sorting out how to balance his job with Jupiter and his own programming work, he still made time for Riva. He had been very attentive to his pet and always made sure Riva was close to him. He saw how excited Toya had been at returning to his programming and had been more tolerant of the long hours the Blondie had spent organizing his team of assistants. Things had finally been set up and Riva hoped that their lives would now settle down into a normal pace.
“Master, you asked me to remind you that you were going out tonight before I left,” Shin announce as he poked his head into the study.
“Thank you, Shin,” Toya replied, setting his pad down on the end table as he looked up at the clock.
“Going where?” Riva asked curiously.
“To the pet auction. Don’t you remember?” Toya answered, looking at his pet with surprise.
“That’s tonight?!” Riva exclaimed sitting up, “But then it’s almost time to leave!”
“Yes, it’s tonight. I thought you knew,” Toya replied.
“Come on!” Riva said, grabbing Toya’s hand. He got up quickly, a bit upset that Toya hadn’t said anything sooner.
“What’s wrong, Riva?” Toya asked in confusion, following behind his pet.
“We only have a half a hour to get ready,” Riva replied entering his room.
“That is plenty of time,” Toya said mystified.
Riva rolled his eyes at his Master as he opened his closet. Looking over at his Master he knew he didn’t have time to force the Blondie into something different from his normal body suit. Within minutes he picked out a pair of black pants with silver lacing running up the legs and a gold skin tight armless shirt with a black jacket.
“Go put on one of your silver and gold body suits and come back here,” Riva said undressing.
“Riva, I don’t know why you are making such a fuss about clothing,” Toya said with a sigh looking at his pet.
Riva stopped unbuttoning his pants to walk over to Toya, looking into the sad blue eyes before gently kissing the Blondie.
“Because it is my job as your pet to make sure everybody notices you,” Riva whispered.
“But…” Toya started.
“And it’s my job as your Master to make sure you do what I say,” Riva cut in, turning Toya around and slapping his ass, “Now go and don’t argue with me, we don’t have time to play today. Unless you want to be late?” Riva asked mischievously.
Riva watched Toya leave without saying anything, amazed once again at his new life. It was another thing that he would have never even dreamed about at the pet academy that now was a reality. He would have never imagined talking to his Master in such away, but with Toya it had become second nature. Shaking his head a little, he quickly got into his clothing as he looked at himself in the mirror. Picking up a brush he worked on his long hair deciding to leave it down as Toya returned to his room in the requested clothing.
Before long, Riva had both of them looking at least passable in his critical pet eyes. Glancing at the clock he knew that it was time for them to leave although he was unsure if he really wanted to go to the pet auction. Oki seemed to be the one flaw in his perfect dream he was now living and he was unsure of what to do about it.
“Are we meeting them at the auction?” Riva asked.
“No, they are. . .” Toya started as the door chimes rang through out the apartment.
“…meeting us here,” Riva finished.
Toya nodded getting up from the chair and going to answer the door. Riva followed behind Toya now realizing why the Blondie had so readily obeyed him about dressing up. Smiling a little, he knew Toya’s pride didn’t want him to be caught in an embarrassing situation. Toya opened the door to admit two laughing Blondies.
“You two are in a good mood,” Toya remarked as Omaki and Oki entered the apartment.
“Of course we are. We get to spend the night with you,” Oki shot back leering at Toya.
Riva frowned a little at the comment but quickly reminded himself not to let Oki annoy him. He had promised himself he would try to let Oki’s comments go and not make a fuss, hoping that if he ignored the Blondie he might stop trying to irritate him. Since growling at the Blondie wasn’t working, he thought the ignoring might. At least he hoped so since it seemed that Oki liked teasing him.
“Come on, lets get going,” Omaki said grinning as he looked between Riva and Oki. It didn’t take them long to get into Omaki’s car and head for the pet action. Sitting in the back seat with Toya, Riva looked through the pet listing to see if there were any pets he recognized from his academy days. Smiling, he saw many familiar faces as he glanced through the pages until his eyes landed on A-789M. Dropping the listing in surprise he quickly picked it back up as Toya looked at him.
“Is there anything wrong?” Toya questioned.
“No, I just wasn’t paying attention,” Riva evaded.
“Hey, see any good pets?” Oki asked looking back at Riva.
“All A-class pets are exceptional. I don’t know how much help I will be since I don’t know what kind of pet you are looking for,” Riva replied, looking down at the listing again and the face of A-789M. His heart ached at the familiar, gentle face.
“Something sweet and delicate I think,” Oki said, his brows furrowed in thought.
“Definitely male, I don’t think I have ever even owned a female. I can’t seem to understand them and all those curves. Well I guess I will wait until the auction, then you can tell me about each one that comes up.”
“Alright,” Riva replied distractedly.
“Riva, are you sure every thing is ok?” Toya whispered looking at his pet with concern.
Riva smiled, nodding his head as he passed the listing to his Master. He couldn’t believe that A-789M was up for action. When he had left the academy a year ago it was uncertain if the pet would ever be put up for auction. There had even been talk of making A-789M into furniture. He was too shy and embarrassed of a pet’s duties and seemed to be having difficulties improving. When Riva had been auctioned off, he had worried about the pet since he would no longer be there to protect him from the other pets’ backbiting and gossip. The young pet had no self-confidence and was often the butt of jokes.
Sighing, Riva wondered what he should do. Oki wouldn’t be a good match for A-789M, his humor and jokes would undoubtedly scare the pet. As desperately as he wanted to see A-789M again and talk to him, Riva was sure that the perverted Blondie wouldn’t make a good Master for the shy pet. Not only that, but he couldn’t bear to let the sheltered young pet see his scarred body. More than anything, he didn’t want to try to explain either his past or even his present to the naive young man; who he was sure would be horrified to know of Riva’s life since the pet academy.
They arrived at the pet auction early and found a table near the auctioning platform. All three Blondies took their seats as Riva kneeled next to Toya. As they waited, Toya talked about his new team of programmers while Riva watched the platform. From here, A-789M would be able to see him during the auction. Sighing, he wished he hadn’t agreed to come. Seeing the pet again would be hard for Riva knowing that he wouldn’t even be able to talk to him. He also worried what A-789M’s reaction would be to seeing Riva kneeling next to his new Master.
The room was beginning to fill and the noise of the crowd increased. Gazing around, he was surprised to see a familiar face on the opposite side of the room. Paling slightly, he saw the stunning beauty that used to be his Master, a demon masquerading as an angel.
“Riva,” Toya said quietly as he rested his hand on his pet’s shoulder.
“It’s ok,” Riva murmured as he looked at the man and his friends.
“What’s wrong?” Oki asked with a frown when he saw the pale pet’s face.
“Elric,” Omaki said briefly, his attention on the gently laughing man across the room.
“You’re kidding?! We can leave,” Oki said as he stood.
Riva stared at his former Master dressed in an aquamarine silks that clung to his body, his newest pet chained by the neck kneeling at his feet. Riva looked on with pity at the delicate female with dark brown hair that fell in waves around her small body. Seeing the dead expression in the almond shaped eyes, he felt a shiver run through his body. Although he felt a deep sadness for the little pet he couldn’t help but be thankful that Elric wasn’t looking for a new pet.
“It’s ok, the auction is about to start,” Riva said shaking his head at the Blondies. “I’m fine, Elric is part of my past now.”
Oki looked down at the pale pet, his golden eyes showing their concern. After a few moments he sat back down, glancing at Riva with worry. Riva felt Toya’s hand on his shoulder, pulling him against his Master’s knee. He leaned into his Master’s comforting touch. Riva was a little surprised at Oki’s outburst, but was grateful for his vocal support.
The lights dimmed as the auction started. Riva watched as many of the pets he knew from his academy days were brought up onto the platform. Oki questioned him occasionally when he saw a pet that interested him, but Riva’s answers seemed to steer him away from picking any of the lovely pets. Riva’s eyes often watched the table where Elric sat with his friends, some of which Riva recognized from the Taming Tower. Flinching every time he saw one of the men bid on a pet, he wished that he could stop them from ever again acquiring a pet. None of the beautiful pets wanted what these men had to offer, and he couldn’t fathom their need to take an A-class pet.
“Hey this pet is kind of cute. Well Riva, do you know him?” Oki asked turning his attention back to the platform that held A-789M.
Riva gazed up at the platform at a loss for words. The lanky pet of a year ago had filled out into a pale beauty that his picture didn’t do justice to. His long auburn hair had finally grown down to the middle of his back in thick waves. His thin willowy body complemented the delicate features of his face, just as his startling forest green eyes were accented by his pale luminous skin.
“He is very shy and easily embarrassed. He is gentle and studious,” Riva said when he noticed all three Blondies staring at him. “I don’t think that he would be a good match for you.”
“Hmm that’s too bad. I really like his looks, but studious? That doesn’t fit me at all. I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever find the right pet!” Oki exclaimed.
Riva looked up at the platform realizing with a little relief that A-789M couldn’t see him because of the lights shining onto the stage. Bidding had become heated as Riva glanced over to see that a man from Elric’s table was biding on the pet. Riva was horrified as he looked at A-789M then back at the tall silver blued haired man bidding on the pet as Elric cheered him on.
“Oki, please buy him!” Riva said franticly, grabbing onto the Blondie’s arm.
“But you just said …” Oki looked at the pale pet in confusion.
“Please! I’ll do anything! Just hurry!” Riva begged as he noticed the bidding coming to an end.
Oki’s eyes followed Riva’s glace towards Elric’s table and the Blondie jumped into the bidding without another word as Omaki and Toya exchanged worried glances. Attention turned to them and Elric noticed who was sitting at their table. Riva watched as Elric grabbed his friend’s arm pulling him down to speak with him. After a quick exchange the man backed down on bidding and Oki won the auction.
The beautiful pet was led off the stage and Riva leaned back against Toya with profound relief. He watched as Elric rose from the table he occupied and quietly glided through the tables, leaving the room and his friends behind.
“Well Riva, I take it you know my newly acquired pet?” Oki said dryly.
“I… yes…,” Riva stammered realizing what he had done.
“I got it, I got it. You weren’t very enthusiastic in advocating I buy him at first, but I guess at least I’m better than Elric’s minions, huh?” Oki said grinning “But more to the point I remember something about you doing anything? Consider that pretty little pet’s price tag.”
“Oki,” Toya said disapprovingly.
“Toya, stop. I will honor my word just like you did.” Riva replied firmly, looking pointedly at his Master.
“Stop you three. I have a really good idea where this is going and here is not the place for it,” Omaki interrupted, “Let’s save it for later when we can discuss it without being overheard.”
“You’re right,” Toya agreed, checking to see of they’d been overheard.
Riva looked up at the two grinning Blondies and winced, wondering what Oki was going to ask of him. Leaning against Toya’s leg he felt a warm hand bury itself in his hair soothing him as he brooded about the possibilities. He had acted without thinking, not wanting A-789M to go through what he had. But now he had to face the consequences of his rash actions. He looked up at Toya to see a worried frown on his face and sighed. He had made a mess of the situation without meaning to.
The auction wound down and they went to pick up Oki’s new pet. Riva stood behind the three Blondies as A-789M was led out to Oki. He heard the deep voice that mirrored his own thank Oki for buying him. Peeking around Omaki, he saw A-789M kneeling down at Oki’s feet.
“Hmmm, what shall I name you? Hey Riva, you would know better than I would,” Oki said turning around looking for the pet.
“Elwyn,” Riva said instantly. It had always been what the young pet wanted to be named, but they’d never thought it would happen.
“I like it. Elwyn it is then,” Oki said as he turned back to his new pet. The pet was looking wide eyed at Omaki.
Riva sighed knowing he couldn’t hide anymore. He stepped out from behind Omaki to look down at the kneeling pet. He watched as the sunrise spread across the delicate face as Elwyn rose from the ground and launched himself at Riva, hugging him tightly, crying. Riva wrapped his arms around the sobbing pet as his looked at everyone’s shocked faces.
“Brother!” Elwyn cried burying his face in Riva’s chest.
“Brother?!?” Oki repeated, staring in confusion between his new pet and Riva.