Kai nodded and sighed. "You're right. I'll carry it until just before we come within sight of other people and then I'll go ethereal. I plan on going straight to our Master with it." He hesitated for a second, gritting his teeth. "We're not supposed to link ourselves with our master in any way, but Hei should be with Ryo tonight. I don't know if there's a way to do that without throwing the mission."
And so you all headed over to Rin's hotel. Hopefully she would be more understanding than Chiyo.
Shari was off skulking, Hei went off to go be with Ryo, and Kai was alone in a room by himself. One of her ninja had taken the corpse for Kai.
Rin was looking as perfect as she always did as she sat down on the floor far too close to Kai for good manners. As ever she had no sense of personal space. "You came here even though you're not supposed to and pulled me away from my Yuanjun." She said with a little sigh. "I trust you though, so I'm sure you have good reason. What do you have for me love?"
He felt a little better around her. Rin was so carefree and so caring it helped counter the effects of the... creature.
He looked at her, and moved back deliberately. "I want my family under protection." He crossed his arms, and looked at the floor. He couldn't cope with confusing feelings at the moment. "And don't give me any bull about needing to talk to the Emperor- we both know he runs the country as much as I do. We dealt with a Mind Flayer tonight. Yesterday two princesses burst in to our inn, murdered our teammate and molested both Hei and Shari. They know who we are, they know who my family is. They knew who we worked for. I want Mio and her family under your protection- brought to the palace. Kept safe."
He was suddenly, inexplicably and coldly furious. "I can't help but get the feeling important information is being kept from us. Do you know what we're up against? Do you know what you're pitting us against? Because if you do I would really like to be in on the secret. What are you, Rin? Lady Shiranui? The Mind Flayer said demon. Is that it? I don't think so. But you're not human, either, are you?" He forced himself to stop, gritting his teeth. After a second he continued, "I'm sorry, Lady Rin, if I've seemed disrespectful. I'm just... I'm just fucking terrified. For myself, for Hei, for Shari, for Mio. People I love are getting hurt."
Rin hugged Kai close and began to gently stroke his head like a mother might a child. She smelled lovely. It felt better.
"Love, I've had Mio under protection from the moment you agreed to work for me. I've had my ninja keeping her under constant surveillance. Your family is protected. If it would make you feel safer, I can arrange to have them brought back to Kusanagi once we get back."
Rin held him even tighter. "I am so sorry about what happened. And about the... abomination."
"I am the same as anyone else, Kai. We're all what we choose to be. I choose to care. The game is bigger than you know, but all you need to know is that I'm here for you. Whatever else happens, Kai, I am here for you."
"It's okay, Kai. I'm here." She sounded on the verge of tears. "I'm so sorry."
Kai relaxed into her embrace the very second she admitted she'd kept Mio safe. "Yes," he said, "please ask her to come. I need her."
He closed his eyes, expecting the feelings to flood back- but nothing came. It was locked away for the moment, behind shadows too impenetrable even for light to pierce. He seized this knowledge gratefully.
"You're not, though," he began, so softly he barely noticed he'd spoken aloud, "You're not like me, Rin Shiranui. And yet, aren't we friends of sorts?
You're asking me to trust you, Rin, not just with my life but with the life of every person I care about. How can I trust you when you can't trust me?
If you can't believe I wouldn't betray you, then look at all I have done in your name. I faced a Mind Flayer and won for you, Rin."
Rin smiled. "As much as I love you, Kai, this is not quite a question of trust. You saw what that thing did to Hei. Arcane and other forms of mental domination may lack the horror and power of what that abomination did to her, but they are no less effective at getting answers." She smiled and kissed him on the forehead.
"I love you Kai, and you know that. Not the same sort of love I have for Yuanjun, but a love all the same. You are almost as clever as you are handsome, and yes, I have lied and hid things from you. I have done these things for your protection. In some ways, Kai, ignorance is your shield."
"And what do you think I am, love?" She lifted his head up to look at her and smiled. Gods, she was beautiful. "This doesn't look Human to you?"
"And we killed it," he snapped, his terror and irritation overcoming the malstrom of other emotion raging in his gut. "But you know why Hei was dominated? And not me? Not Shari? Because she was ignorant. Ignorance can be a shield and I believe that it was, once, for us. But not anymore. Our ignorance could have gotten us killed; not just now, but with the Thing in the lake too. You cannot in good conscience ask us to play in this game any more, not without giving us the rules."
He pulled away from her slightly, to stare fully into her achingly beautiful face. "I was able to kill it because I was not ignorant.
Because I am not ignorant, I know you cannot be human. No human woman has ever elicited the responses you elicit from me, Rin. Not one as feminine as you, as womanly. Not ever.
So either you are using magic on me- in which case I would like to leave now and never come back, for that is a violation- or you are something other, with no real control over this hold on others. You are a good woman, Rin. I trust in that."
"You force my hand." She said with a happy little sigh. "Yuanjun knows because I love her. You'll know now because you're clever and it's refreshing to have someone call me out." She kissed him again. "You're a good man, Kai. That's why I'm telling you."
And she did.
Kai sat silently for a few long moments, stunned by everything Rin had revealed. After a while he stirred, able to meet her gaze. "By the kami," he breathed, and then smiled, "what illustrious friends I have."
Rin smiled warmly at him, still stroking his head. "You can spend the night with me, if you'd like. I think Yuanjun will understand. And I'll keep my hands to myself if you'd like."