Tendou sees Kagami rubbing at his chest absently – this wouldn't bother Tendou normally, but Kagami has just fought off the possession of TheBee with nothing but his own will. It's one of the many, many things Tendou holds against ZECT. Every time he pays them back for one, they add another sin for him to repay.
He'll count them out later. Now is Kagami's forehead creasing a little in pain, his hand held against his chest. He moves forward to stand behind Kagami. "Those who walk the path of heaven properly have no pain," he says. Kagami jerks in surprise, but less than he would have even a month before.
"What are you talking about?" says Kagami, looking up. He's scowling at Tendou, but that makes no difference, as long as Kagami is looking at him. That is the only thing that matters. Tendou has considered it throughly, but he can only come to one conclusion: Kagami must look at him.
"If you walked the path of heaven, you would understand," says Tendou, picking up the dishes Kagami had put on the table when he felt the pain of his chest, and walking toward the kitchen.
"If you would just talk straight, I would get it," says Kagami sharply, following after him. Hiyori looks up but doesn't comment as Tendou sets the dishes down and began to stack them neatly.
Tendou looks over at him again, but refuses to answer. If Kagami doesn't understand, he won't understand.
That night Tendou comes to Kagami. He kisses Kagami's mouth, the angle of his jaw. Kagami makes little broken noises, clutching at Tendou and then almost pulling away. He doesn't seem to understand yet, what they will be to each other, but Tendou is patient. He will wait just a little longer.
Afterward, when Kagami is asleep, heavy with the weight of Heaven's regard, Tendou leans over him. He pushes a lock of hair away from Kagami's face, and slides his hand down, past Kagami's jaw and the fragile curve of his windpipe. He spreads his hand over Kagami's chest, directly over his heart, and listens.
Kagami's heart beats, slow, patient as the ocean tide. The mark of TheBee is gone. Tendou leans closer, studying Kagami's skin. There is no scent, not even a shadow to suggest that TheBee had tried and failed to take Kagami for ZECT's own. Tendou's nose flares. There's a slight difference to Kagami's scent, not the honey sweetness of TheBee, but something darker and more feral. He coaxes Kagami's head to the side and sees it, by the jugular – the mark of an injection point.
Another Zector is attempting to claim Kagami. He must have fought it somehow, to have an incomplete branding like this; Zectors are programmed to claim and seal their chosen to them as quickly possible. It's not safe, for either Zector or partner, to be in such an incomplete state; Kagami is lucky a Worm hasn't noticed this yet. Only Tendou.
Tendou thinks for a moment, his hand soothing over Kagami's hair as he shifts restlessly, frowning a little in his sleep. He knows that Drake has claimed a Chosen, and TheBee will not dare approach Kagami again, now that its mark has been removed and the scent of another Zector is on Kagami. Sasword may have found its Chosen as well, but in any case he knows that Sasword is not suited to him.
Perhaps this is what he has been waiting for. He knows there is one unreleased Zector, one of the two prototypes; he knows that it was held back for further development even after Kabuto was released to seek out its Chosen. There were problems, according to what Tendou has heard. The AI was too independent, too volatile. Tendou looks down on Kagami's sleeping form and allows himself the barest huff of a laugh. Kagami, gentle Kagami, bred to peace, the partner of the God of Battle? Perhaps.
Kagami stirs again, his eyelashes flickering against his cheeks. He blinks up at Tendou, shockingly vulnerable. "What are you still doing here?" he says, sleep-clouded. "You always leave."
Tendou bends down to kiss him. I am always here, he thinks, but doesn't say. Instead he slides his hand back into Kagami's hair, lets Kagami put his arms around him and pull him close against his sturdy frame. For a minute Tendou indulges himself with the taste of Kagami's mouth and the new, faint edge to his scent. Soon enough, though, he allows himself to push Kagami against the mattress, to bite the mark faint against his throat, to let Kagami fill the air with his gasps and faint moans.
When Kagami falls asleep again, Tendou slips out without waking him.
Kabuto likes to bring Tendou presents; little flash drives and pieces of armor prototype, that Tendou sits and untangles patiently. He doesn't know, or care, how Kabuto finds them or how it gets away with them, but once Tendou has studied them and knows them utterly, Kabuto takes them back from whence they came. Sometimes he finds viruses or tracking chips, so he knows that ZECT must be aware that data is somehow being shared. Kabuto's body lets out sufficient radiation to mask the path it takes, and Tendou takes care of the rest.
The latest data drive is at least a terabyte in size, although only slightly thicker than a bank card, and about the same dimensions. Tendou turns it over in gloved hands, examining it carefully. There – on the front – is a sigil he has never seen before.
Kabuto buzzes at him, sending waves of excitement and pleasure toward him. Look look look it is them it is ours, it chitters at him. It flies around his head once and again, buzzing until Tendou holds out his hand. It skitters up his arm to his shoulder, close to his neck. It vibrates a little in satisfaction.
Tendou looks at the sigil again. It is dark blue, and in the form of a stagbeetle.Slowly, very slowly, Tendou allows himself to smile.