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Last time it took me so long to understand what I felt for you, Seishirou-san, and by that time, it was too late. But here, in this time, with this second chance … I already know what I feel. I do love you. I don't have to hide from that anymore. And I know, that last time, that last day... You did feel something for me.

I will play the game again. And this time, I play to win.

The year is 1999. On the Final Day, Subaru Sumeragi confronts his opposite star and both ended up dying in each others' arms. Then, the last one left standing made a Wish.

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The year is 1990. Subaru Sumeragi wakes up in his old apartment in Tokyo, once again sixteen years old, and remembering everything. He knows that he's reliving the last few months of a Bet with Seishirou Sakurazuka, that Seishirou is actually the Sakurazukamori, and that Hokuto Sumeragi's life is on line if he loses. But for some reason, Subaru is the only one who remembers the last (next?) nine years. Now Subaru, a less-naive twenty-five year old in the body of a teenager, resolves to win this game of love and death, not only to save his twin sister but to finally achieve his happiness - but will he be able to keep his facade of the innocent boy he no longer is, while using this second chance to try to change the tides of the Bet to his favor without letting Seishirou and Hokuto know? What if they find out the truth? What if Subaru succeeds?

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While labeled as a Fix Fic, the stories progressively detaches from the Canon continuity, getting more into the lands of Deconstruction Fic. The real implications of loving yet mistrusting someone for something he has (technically) not done yet, being in love with your family's mortal enemy, and messing up with the past are constantly there, and Subaru discovers that a second chance doesn't necessary mean a happy ending.

Nukume Dori is a Tokyo Babylon fanfiction series by Leareth, which started in 2000 and it's STILL GOING. As a series, Nukume Dori is broken down into four parts: Change, Conflict, Convergence and Consequence. The first three stories are a retelling of Volume 2 to Volume 7 of Tokyo Babylon, while Consequence is essentially an original fic that explores the consequences of Subaru and Seishirou's decisions.

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Nukume Dori provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The Annex chapters are dedicated to some of the side characters and written from their points of view.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Each "book" of the series has a name that begins with "C".
  • Adorkable: While Subaru still conserves some aspects of innocence, it's Kakyou who takes the mantle. His interactions with Hokuto, especially in Consequence, are just so blatant of a guy in love that it's both hilarious and endearing.
  • All Take and No Give: Surprisingly, Subaru becomes the taker. After establishing their relationship, Subaru demands that Seishirou show sincere affection and attention to him, but Subaru is either too embarrassed, scared or absorbed in other people's problems to do the same in return. He gets better.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: One of Subaru’s many, many hang ups surrounding the idea of any possible intimacy between him and Seishirou. Seishirou is not amused.
    "This, this is serious for me," he continued defensively. "And I can't do anything unless it means something. To you, I mean."
    Seishirou laughed. "In other words you won't put out unless you win? I'm not sure whether you're being hopelessly romantic or amazingly calculative; either way, you have a real talent for repression."
    • Hokuto even unwittingly throws fuel on the fire when in a fit of jealousy she accuses Subaru of becoming Seishirou's pet.
    • This comes back into play at the bet’s conclusion when Seishirou exploits this fear as a way of twisting the knife a little further.
    • An interesting contrast to the above two scenes occurs in the Consequence arc as a deliberate contrast to Seishirou saying he feels nothing for Subaru in direct opposition to his actions, we see what happens when he’s with a partner he really does not care about beyond sex. Seishirou is picked up by a young man in Tokyo and the results turn ugly during their sexual encounter. So much so that the aftermath of the sex scene reads more like rape, with the original character reflecting on feeling like they’ve been used for sex and nothing more.
  • Amnesiac Lover: Subaru in Consequence.
  • And Then What?: Discussed. Subaru and Hokuto talk about, if Subaru and Seishirou do get together, how they're going to reveal everything to their grandmother? Not only is Subaru dating a man, but that man could be the Sakurazukamori, the Sumeragi clan's nemesis.
  • Animal Motif: Both Seishirou and Subaru have birds as their shikigami, and Seishirou in particular is more obviously compared with his as a bird of prey. In the retelling of the "Old" case, the old man gives to Subaru advice on how to deal with Seishirou by talking about his experiences as a zookeeper caring for raptors.
  • Anti-Villain: Lady Sumeragi is the antagonist of Consequence, but everything she does is with the aim of keeping her grandson safe. Unfortunately, her actions do more harm than good.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: On the Final Day, Subaru asks to Seishirou if he still feels indifferent towards him. Seishirou says he feels for him what a kid feels for their favorite toy. Subaru then realizes that Seishirou does feel something for him.
    Subaru: You answered the question.
    Seishirou: (shocked) I suppose I did.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Subaru: I just wanted us to be happy for once. I just wanted to make things right.
    The Sakura Tree: So you did. But did it ever occur to you to ask what the Sakurazukamori wants?
  • Attempted Rape:Seishirou is 0-3 on this one, but it's still a reoccurring part of his power dynamic with Subaru. The first time we see this in action is during the construction site fight scene, repeated as a possible intention later on in the flashback where Seishirou mentions is as one of many expectations he was willing to explore when breaking into the Seal's mansion, and again in the Sakurazuka mansion after dinner when he grabs Subaru with the intent of forcibly stripping him despite the younger man's obvious terror.:
  • Badass Family: The Sumeragi family is the pre-eminent clan of onmyouji in Japan. Those born without spiritual ability to use the art are still highly trained in physical combat.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Lady Sumeragi is so outraged with the Sakurazukamori kidnapping Subaru that she declared that once he's found, the Sumeragi will break their own rule and kill him.
  • Beak Attack: Turns out one of the many defences of the the Sakurazuka mansion: is a flock of spirit crows.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Lady Sumeragi believes that Subaru and Seishirou's relationship was non-consensual and Subaru was abused by the Sakurazukamori. Shouhei, being the one that goes Within Subaru, knows that Subaru was the one that gave himself to Seishirou and their relationship was everything except non-consensual.
  • Beta Couple: Once Kakyou is introduced to the plot, his and Hokuto's relationship is a great contrast of Subaru/Seishirou.
  • Big Fancy House: The Sumeragi Manor in Kyoto, and the Sakurazuka Manor in Kanazawa.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Seishirou and Subaru kiss under fireworks as 1991 begins.
  • Black Sheep: The twins' cousin Shouhei is the bastard of the family, only accepted because of his onmyouji abilities but not formally recognized as a Sumeragi.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Sakurazukamori's Sakura Tree has a degree of sentience, and it also remembers the events of the Final Day. While the Tree is okay with the Sakurazukamori falling in love with someone as part of the Sakurazukamori's succession rite, it's not okay with that someone being the Sumeragi head, who could then become the Sakurazukamori. That's just unnatural!
  • Blithe Spirit: Hokuto is a highly modern and independent girl born in the traditionalist and highly constrictive Sumeragi family. And it's safe to say that her grandmother disapproves of her match-making her brother with a Sakurazuka, and a man at that.
  • Break the Cutie: Not even in a Fix Fic Subaru is safe from suffering. Hokuto herself also suffers by association.
  • Breather Episode: After the tension heavy chapter "Fractures" comes "Children", an annex chapter that just has Okada (the Tokyo police's Director-General) being informed by Seishirou about taking a break from "job", and a group of children playing hide-and-seek.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Subaru knowing the outcomes of his jobs don't necessary means he'll be able to bring a better result. Most of the time, he ends making things worse.
  • The Cameo: Karen appears during a scene, thanks to Kakyou contacting her. She's a famous model instead of a soap girl, and thanks to an incident with a little girl, she remembers the canon timeline.
  • Captive Date: After Seishirou abducts Subaru he finds that reversing previous damage is going to be harder than expected. Since immediate gratification is off the table for the two, Seishirou tries to revert back to their old roles in an attempt to regain control of the situation. Part of that plan involves Seishirou's repeated refusals to free Subaru before sliding head first into the world's most awkward dinner date of all time. Said dinner date includes Subaru pointedly refusing to talk to or even acknowledge Seishirou before pointedly asking for the use of the phone to call his only life line outside of the house. As you can imagine from a start like that, the rest of dinner does not end well.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Subaru tells to Seishirou the truth, Seishirou can barely believe him. Imagine Hokuto's reaction when she hears the story from him and Kakyou.
  • Category Traitor: In Consequence, after Hokuto helps Seishirou enter the Sumeragi manor by nullifying the protective ofuda wards, the Sumeragi family names her as a traitor.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Some of Subaru's problems come from being the head of the Sumeragi clan. He has to uphold the name and reputation of his family, which means sacrificing his personal dreams and health. Hokuto lampshades that since he has barely any onmyoujitsu talent, she has something Subaru doesn't: freedom.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Subaru. Not only is he described as being attractive to both men and women looking to pick him up in the alternate time line, after meeting Hashimoto in the Save case, Hokuto and Seishirou both tease him about how clueless he is to her budding affection for him.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The fights between Subaru and Seishirou in Conflict chapter 13 and Convergence chapter 16, and Seishirou against the Sumeragi clan.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In Convergence, Seishirou practically flips out when Subaru prioritizes the old man's life over spending time with him. He chases Subaru down and nearly rapes him on a construction work site for daring to take Seishirou for granted.
  • Darkest Hour: The first chapters of Consequence. Subaru's memories of Seishirou, including his emotions of love, are sealed by his grandmother and kept sealed by his cousin, making Subaru a shadow of his former self. Tokyo-girl Hokuto is essentially confined to Kyoto which she hates, plus she's forced to study accounting, but she endures it all in order to protect what is left of her brother. Basically, the twins are practically prisoners in the Sumeragi Clan's manor.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: It's the 1990's, the idea of openly gay couples is still a shock, especially in highly conservative Japan, and especially when it concerns the head of such a known and prestigious family as the Sumeragi.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Hokuto quickly picks up that Subaru is no longer a virgin as soon as she sees him after returning from her ski trip, despite Subaru saying nothing. She just knows him that well.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Subaru wasn't aware that his psychological maturity allowed him to overcome his unconscious disregard for his safety, which allowed him to let loose his offensive might. Imagine his shock when his mirror spell seriously hurt the three girls in the retelling of the "Call" case.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Seishirou buys Subaru a chocolate covered banana on a stick at a festival they attend. According to Word of God, Seishirou did this specifically for the pleasure of watching Subaru eat it while completely unaware of the connotations.
  • Dreaming the Truth: Shouhei gets one of these in the Consequence arc.
  • Empty Shell: Subaru becomes a shadow of his self, merely existing without living, after he has his memories of Seishirou sealed.
  • Enemy Without: In "Consequences", Subaru's raw emotions are such a mess, after years of being numb, that he's in danger of birthing an Ikiryō. While most Ikiryō can be handle by an expert, Seishirou declares that Subaru's Ikiryō could be a superpowerful abomination that not even he could handle, considering Subaru's power.
  • Fallen Princess: After becoming a runaway, cut and hiding from her own family, Hokuto comes to realize how much she actually depended on her grandmother's financial support: she paid for her studies, her house, her (very expensive) shopping. Now she's living from Kakyou's goodwill, with no actual education to find a well paying job.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Seishirou's pride. When he blames the Sakura tree for concealing his memories, causing him to not remember the events of the original timeline, the Sakura argues back that even if he remembered everything, his own pride wouldn't let him admit his defeat in the Bet. Either way, he would've hurt Subaru and all this debacle would've happen; the tree just made it easier for him. Seishirou couldn't argue against that.
    • The Sumeragi are not immune to pride neither, since they've take great pride in their family name and have been looking down at the Sakurazukamori for thirteen generations and even longer before, demonizing them as mere assassins for hire and calling them "eta" note  just because they've been acknowledged by the emperor and gain prestige. A prestige Subaru is well aware they will do anything to protect, if he himself is an example of what they're willing to do.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Lady Sumeragi is deeply rooted in traditions and she's conscious that the Sumeragi has a name and reputation to uphold, so she highly disapproves of Hokuto's aspirations of studying fashion design. She also is not thrilled with the idea of her grandson and heir could actually be in love with a man.
  • Festival Episode: The twins go to Kyoto for New Year's Eve and fancy themselves some traditional clothes.
  • Feuding Families: The ancient history of the rivalry between the Sumeragi and the Sakurazukamori is revealed in chapter 3 of Consequence, and it dates back centuries as far as the Heian era. The Sumeragi think themselves superior because of their official rank and moral code while the Sakurazukamori mostly ignores them, but the Sakura tree is still spiteful; so yeah, it makes things complicated.
  • Foil:
    • Just like Hokuto and Subaru are Polar Opposite Twins, their boyfriends are a complete opposite between each other. The only thing in common they've is that both are older than their partners and used to be Dragons of Earth. Seishiro is prideful, dominating, very recluctant to talk about his feelings, not very tactful and an all-around Bastard Boyfriend. Kakyou is humble, waifish, supporting, shyly affectionate and an Understanding Boyfriend.
    • Subaru, after a brutal history lesson from the Sakurazukamori's side, comes to see that the Sakurazukamori (and therefore, Seishirou) is more his equal than he can remember.
    Subaru: Balance only happened between equals.
  • Freedom from Choice:
    • One of the more interesting parts of Subaru and Seishirou's budding relationship dynamic. Seishirou is regularly shown as being the one who chooses many of their activities, including where they go on their “dates” down to deciding what Subaru eats and drinks by ordering for him when they go out. Interestingly enough the only time this chafes on Subaru is when he and Seishirou are fighting over whether or not he should save Matsumoto’s life. Subaru seems to draw a firm distinction in his mind between Seishirou taking care of him as part of their relationship, and the Sakurazukamori using this as a tool to be condescending and belittle his choices.
    • "Consequences" reveals that Lady Sumeragi and Shouhei's meddling with Subaru's mind has left him numb of emotions, and uncapable of dealing with complex thoughts, so they manage his life without he giving much resistance. In chapter 7, when Subaru finds himself with Seishirou, he comments how long it was the last time he had to think that much.
  • Gilded Cage: Subaru and Hokuto are kept prisioners in their family manor for 5 years. When Seishirou rescues them, he takes Subaru to his old manor, which is practically impossible to leave without his consent. Hokuto lampshades how Subaru practically switched a prison for another.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Since Subaru picked up the habit of smoking during the "canon" timeline, whenever he's over-stressed he just aches for a good smoke. And he even brought a pack and a lighter and smokes whenever Hokuto is away. And of course there's Seishirou, who uses the smoke of his cigarettes to cast spells.
  • Great Escape: Subaru manages to escape the Sakurazuka manor in the fittingly named "Escape" chapter. Unfortunately he Didn't Think This Through and found himself lost in an unknown place, with nowhere to go nor people to return to, while in the middle of a snowfall. Luckily for him, Seishirou found him.
  • Harmful Healing: Lady Sumeragi thinks she's helping Subaru by making him forget about Seishirou, but it's obvious to everybody that Subaru is unwell as he has a fundamental part of his self locked. On the other hand, Seishirou attempts to undo the harm Lady Sumeragi did to Subaru but it's unknown how much harm it can cause to the already mentally delicate boy, as he had lived for five years like this, and the shock could be worse.
  • The Heart: While most things took a turn south for the twins, Kakyou says there's still a reason why this timeline is better than the original: Hokuto is alive. With her alive, Subaru, Kakyou himself, and even Seishirou, can be happier and have her wisdom and support. Hokuto pretty much is the glue that keeps this little, strange group together.
  • Heroic Second Wind:Three days before the Bet's end, Seishirou declares that Subaru lost and he's ready to feed him to the Sakura. But Subaru, after the initial shock, is able to see that the man is bluffing and defends himself, and calls him out for being a coward unable to accept his feelings.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Turns out the Sumeragi and Sakurazukamori go long before the Heian era, and were actually equally respected coworkers, but the Sumeragi's ancestors grew prideful and ascended in power, leaving behind his still loyal but humbler counterpart. The Sakurazukamori became Japan's shadow protector after a series of mistreads, betrayals and rightful wraith only as a last effort to retain a sense of purpose, yet the Sumeragi painted themselves the morally superior ones and demonized all their contributions and services.
  • Honor Before Reason: Two young children of the Sumeragi clan try to stand up against Seishirou when he breaks into the Sumeragi manor, looking for Subaru, out of a sense of honor and pride in their family name. Seishirou later lampshades how the Sumeragi clan fails to include self-preservation in its training.
  • I Gave My Word: One good thing you can give the Sakurazukamori is that, since he doesn't acknowledge any rules but his own, once he says he'll do something you can bet he'll do it. Thanks to this, those who contract the Sakurazuakmori for jobs hold him in very high respect, and Subaru is able to trust that Seishirou will fulfill his Declaration of Protection until the end of the Bet.
  • Instant Sedation: Justified; the sleep spell done by Seishirou (and later, Subaru) is instantaneous and very potent.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Sumeragi always refer to Seishirou as "the Sakurazukamori", since to them he's more of an amoral monster than a human being.
    Hokuto: He has a name, you know. Sakurazuka like Sakurazukamori, Seishirou with the kanji for star, history, and son. Try using it sometime and remember he's a person as well.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The first of Subaru's jobs after returning to the past is the "Dream" case from Volume 2. And in the first chapter of Convergence, Seishirou goes Within Subaru and sees everything, from Subaru's memories to the boy's risky sexual fantasies.
  • Kimono Fanservice: The twins have a moment of this when they go home for New Years. Shouhei is particularly delighted at how nice Hokuto looks in her furisode.
  • Kissing Cousins: Shouhei has a crush on his cousin Hokuto.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Sakura Tree sealed Seishirou's memories of the last (next?) nine years. And in Consequence, Subaru's memories of Seishirou are sealed.
  • Last-Name Basis: Everyone, except the twins and Lady Sumeragi, calls Shouhei by his last name, to highlight he's not really a member of the family. When Hokuto calls him "Kitajima-san", he's damn sure the girl hates him for slowly destroying her brother's self.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: After spiriting Subaru away, Hokuto and Kakyou leave to Tokyo to distract Lady Sumeragi, while Seishirou takes Subaru with him to his childhood home in Kanazawa.
  • Like a Son to Me:Turns out the Inspector General has a bit of this for Seishirou.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: As always, Hokuto is Subaru's support; but her role becomes significantly important when Subaru's memories are messed-up by their grandmother and cousin. Subaru comments how Hokuto is the only person that feels real to him. And when Seishirou abduces Subaru, it's Hokuto telling him that she's conscious and consents on it for Subaru's wellbeing and her asking him to trust her judgement on Seishirou that Subaru (recluctanly) gives Seishirou a chance.
  • Living Is More Than Surviving: A recurring theme in Consequence is that surviving means going through life avoiding dangerous things that can actually improve life out of fear of being hurt in the process. Subaru is kept safe from the Sakurazukamori by his grandmother, but he's completely isolated and detached from the world and has become a mere shadow that just exist. Seishirou on the other hand was so terrified of the idea of falling in love to then be killed that he stubbornly denied his feelings for a long time, and was only able to turn around thanks to the memories of a past life where he admitted to himself he loved Subaru at the last moment before the end of the world when he had nothing to lose.
  • Living with the Villain: Lady Sumeragi's grandchildren spent a year living with the Sakurazukamori. Worse, they deliberately hid that fact from her. She doesn't take it well.
  • Love Confession: In Conflict chapter 13, Subaru screams at the top of his lungs that he's playing the Bet because he loves Seishirou.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Seishirou's main issue is that admitting to himself that he feels anything for Subaru is practically signing his death sentence.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: In Convergence, Subaru replicates the same events that made him realize he loved Seishirou: He deliberately throws himself at the scalpel Yuuya's unstable mom has in hand in order to make Seishirou worried about him. Also, the Sakura Tree describes the Sakurazukamori in love as mad as a deaf person suddenly thrown into chaos.
  • Make a Wish: The Kamui of the Dragons of Heaven was the only survivor of the Final Day. He's the one that made the wish for everyone to be happy, causing time to reverse and the fourteen Dragons to live a life where they are happy.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Subaru and Seishirou end up having sex in the operating room of the Veterinary Clinic, it’s implied afterwards that the clinic staff was aware of what was going on the whole time it was happening.
  • The Masochism Tango: Subaru and Seishirou's relationship in a nutshell. Seishirou physically dominates Subaru but Subaru can (and has) fight back in a psychological way. Subaru challanges Seishirou as much as Seishirou challenges him, and it's thrilling for both parties.
  • Meaningful Name: "Nukume Dori" means "warm bird", and it comes from a Japanese artwork of a hawk who uses a dove to warm its talons during a snowy night, and the dove trusting the hawk not to eat it. Given that Seishirou and Subaru canonically have bird spirits to represent them, it's a pretty good summation of their relationship.
  • Meet Cute: Hokuto and Kakyou first meet while on a school ski trip.
  • Moment of Weakness: Subaru chosing to save the old man over spending time with him, Subaru risking his life in order to get at him and Subaru's life getting out of danger were moments when Seishirou's perfect control was broken, and are clear evidence to Subaru that Seishirou does consider him special. And such accusations bring another moment of weakness: Seishirou starts to kick Subaru all over out of frustration.
  • Morton's Fork: In Convergence, Subaru learns (to his horror) that there's no actual happy resolution for the Bet: if he wins, Seishirou must die at his hand as per the Sakurazukamori's succession rite (something he'll never do), and if he loses, either he or Hokuto are as good as dead.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Lampshaded by Seishirou himself.
    "My, my," he said, amused. "This is a very unusual development, I must say. Not only am I your enemy, Subaru-kun, both in onmyoujitsu and destiny, but I've lied to you and betrayed your trust. Furthermore, according to you I am also the future murderer of your twin sister. Yet despite all of this, you're in love with me." Seishirou shook his head condescendingly. "You're one very disturbed young man, Subaru-kun."
  • Not Himself: In Conflict, Subaru growing snippy, more bold and secretive and keeping Seishirou at arms' length causes concern on Seishirou and especially Hokuto. By the final chapters, Seishirou just takes it at a sign that Subaru is growing up, which is not far from the truth.
  • Not So Different: Hokuto lampshades how Seishirou isn't acting as different as Lady Sumeragi: both are attempting to hammer their will upon Subaru, saying it's for his own good.
  • The Nose Knows: Seishirou uses a particular cologne (Amaris JHL) that is made distinct by the hint of blood. Hokuto picks up on it in Conflict Annex IV, and in Consequence when Subaru is left without his memories of Seishirou, Hokuto mixes a drop of her blood with Aramis JHL to try and keep his memories of Seishirou alive. The scent is one of the few things that can bring Subaru peace, although he doesn't know why.
  • Older Than They Look: Subaru. Although no one but he and Seishriou knows it. Considering that there’s a nine year age gap between them, and Subaru is physically still a highschool student, this leads to some awkwardness once Lady Sumeragi and other concerned adults find out about their relationship.
  • Out of Character Is Serious Business: Knowing how Seishirou is a man of his word, Subaru can spot the great contradiction of him finishing the Bet three days earlier than the accorded date. Subaru knows Seishirou is getting scared of the conclusion and he's trying to cheat.
  • Original Character: The author creates some more members for the Sumeragi family, including a bastard cousin who has the most development and significance. There are also original characters who staff Seishirou's clinic, a powerful government official who protects Seishirou's interests, and an arrogant, ambitious government agent who starts investigating the Sakurazukamori, and has a history with Shouhei.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: After Seishirou's repeated negatives over feeling anything for Subaru, Subaru then demands Seishirou to kill him himself with his own hands, not using the Sakura; and not to prove a point or just because he can, but because he honestly wants him dead.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Seishirou's memories reveal that, at the eve of the Final Day, he went to Subaru under the cover of an erotic dream, and they slept together.
  • Property of Love: Subaru now takes great pride on the inverse pentagram marks on his hands; they confirm that he belongs to Seishirou, and whenever Seishirou reinforces that fact, the mark glow. Subaru only keeps wearing the gloves to keep appereance in front of Hokuto and his grandmother. Even after getting his memories sealed, Subaru tries to carve the marks into his skin again because he feels he's missing something.
  • Psychic Link: Seishirou's mind is connected to the Sakura tree, and they often have conversations. The tree can also meddle with his memories and, if Seishirou's will gets weak, be influenced by it.
  • Relationship Reset Button: In "Consequences". Now that Subaru can't recall Seishirou or any memory or feeling involving him, Seishirou has to enamour Subaru again. However, Subaru deduced Seishirou is the Sakurazukamori and can't trust him, so putting any mask is useless. Seishirou, despite the situation being more complicated than the one year Bet, is somewhat grateful: he doesn't have to hide his true self and he has no deadline this time.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In the final chapters of Conflict, Subaru tells Seishirou the whole truth about their past life, including that Subaru is aware of the Bet and that Seishirou is the Sakurazukamori. Oh, and that Subaru loves him, that bit too. So Subaru demands that Seishirou at least try to feel something for him and make this thing fair for Subaru. Which means they'll be officially lovers.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: At first it seems that Subaru is the only one able to remember the events of the "canon" timeline, but it's revealed that, with the right trigger, all fourteen Dragons are capable of remembering since they're the objects of Kamui's Wish.
  • Sadistic Choice: In Consequence, Hokuto either allows her family to slowly destroy her brother's heart while being a prisoner in her childhood manor, or she gets the freedom to return to Tokyo and study fashion as she always wanted but has to leave Subaru forever. And if she tries to tell Subaru anything about Seishirou, Lady Sumeragi will separate her from Subaru and send her far, far away.
  • Safe, Sane, and Consensual: While Safe and Sane aren’t always on the table for these two – Consensual is. Subaru and Seishirou’s dynamic might seem twisted to outside parties, but viewed within the context of their own backgrounds and personal needs, its actually pretty highly functional. Subaru finally gets some say in who he gets to be hurt by (and as a highly empathetic person who works in an emotionally stressful job that’s important). While Seishirou finally gets someone he can play his games with sans mask.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Subverted with Kakyou. While at first it seems his role is only to be Hokuto's own love interest, he actually has a hand on Seishirou regaining his memories of the canon timeline, and subsecuentially, Subaru's rescue.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The Sakurazukamori is able to live and "work" freely thanks to having contacts in higher positions of power, most of whom are regular clients for assassination contracts.
  • Shown Their Work: The author researches extensively to keep everything accurate to the times. From 90's fashion and music to real landmarks in Tokyo and Kyoto at the time. She even goes as far as incorporate research trips on her holidays to Japan.
  • Slave to PR: Seishirou weaponizes Subaru's upbringing on proper protocol to force him to share a meal with him. However, Subaru barely interacts with him and only does what is minimally proper, like thanking him for the food.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When the time for the "Rebirth" case comes, and Subaru knows that Seishirou will lose an eye protecting him, Seishirou simply says that they just have to avoid the hospital the day this incident is meant to happen.
  • Stepford Smiler: Consequence begins the Sumeragi plot with a case involving a girl who's being haunted by something, but the girl doesn't know and is always smiling trying to convince everybody that everything is ok. Turns out that it was the girl's repressed agony over getting knocked up and concealing the abortion lashing out at the world.
  • Storming the Castle: In Consequence chapter 5, Seishirou breaks into the Sumeragi's manor (with some help from Hokuto and Kakyou) to rescue Subaru.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Subaru notices how Seishirou and Setsuka's smile and amber eyes are similar.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Seishirou's eyes are amber-brown, and are described as being cold and hard as ice or similar to those of his eagle shikigami. Especially when he's totally pissed.
  • Synchronization: Sakanagi is the magical backlash an onmyouji feels when one of their spells is broken; the more powerful the spell, the worse the sakanagi is.
  • The Talk: Hokuto tries on a few occasions to bring the subject up, but Subaru’s usually too embarrassed to get too far into it. Even after the two of them finally have sex, she bites the bullet and goes around trying to make sure that everything was consensual and that the two of them used protection. Say what you will, she’s trying her best by these two.
  • Their First Time: After a very intense argument (understatement), Subaru and Seishirou have their first reconciliation sex which just happens to also be their first time...of this timeline.
  • Thicker Than Water: Ofuda wards can be reinforced by members of the same bloodline. Also, it's revealed that the thicker the bloodline, the easier it's to track down people. That's why Seishirou gives to Hokuto one of his ofuda to help her hide from her grandmother, the closest relative the twins have, since to him it's easier to hide Subaru alone. Hokuto is still trackable, but her grandmother won't be able to pinpoint her exactly.
  • Third Wheel: Poor Hokuto for most of the series. Although this is looking to change now that Kakyou’s been introduced.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Thanks to the urgency to have as many of them as possible and for his loyalty and services to the family, Lady Sumeragi finally recognizes Shouhei as a Sumeragi. He was so grateful, he cried at her feet.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Shouhei feels conflicted over sealing Subaru's memories of Seishirou. He wishes to do the Good thing and stop with it, because it's clearly destroying him, but he remains doing it out of dutifulness towards Lady Sumeragi and because he believes Subaru close to the Sakurazukamori is fundamentally wrong.
  • Together in Death: Subaru and Seishirou's original plan for the Final Day. Seishirou would let Subaru kill him, using Hokuto's spell and then with his last strength, he would strike Subaru down. It worked but Kamui's Wish kicked in.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Subaru's pentagram marks glow and feel like burning whenever Seishirou reinforces the fact that he possesses Subaru, and since Seishirou does this more often than not during sex, Subaru has learned to associate that specific pain with pleasure.
    • Although, to be fair, Subaru does this even before they start having sex. In the Kyoto chapter, Subaru deliberately causes himself pain by holding his star marks under hot water in the bath as a way of feeling closer to Seishirou when they are separated. Pain, in one way or another, remains a bonding element for the entirety of their courtship.
    • There's also Seishirou tying up Subaru, much to his delight, during the Rebirth chapter, along with Subaru specifically thinking that being given verbal instruction in bed is a relief. Also, as disturbing and violent as Seishirou’s attempted rape is in Hunted, Subaru is still sufficiently aroused enough afterwards to masturbate. This isn’t so surprising given what we know of the fantasies he harbored in the alternate time line, where Seishirou’s actions are described as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘rough’.
  • Tragic Dropout: Subaru abandons his studies when he starts to run low on time; he just can't manage to continue his education with a consuming job and the anxiety of the Bet in his head. Hokuto is at first shocked because the Subaru she knows swore that he would study to be a zookeeper no matter how long or hard it gets, but at the end understood that Subaru has a point on choosing to focus on his job.
  • Time Skip: Consequence takes place five years after the Bet's end.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Subaru is no longer the naive teen he was. While still kind, he's more willing to stand his ground and talk back, and he also retains all his magical might as a Dragon of Heaven.
  • Twin Desynch: Around the time of New Year's eve, Subaru decides to cut his hair shorter (in the style he had after Hokuto's death), and this combined with his drastic change of attitude, makes the twins easier to tell apart.
  • Twin Telepathy: Downplayed. Subaru and Hokuto share a curious link thanks to both their nature as twins and their onmyoujitsu sensitiveness. Thanks to this link Hokuto, despite her lack of onmyouji abilities, was able to track Subaru all the way into The Sakurazukamori's maboroshi.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Subaru after becoming an Empty Shell, a young member of the Sumeragi clan observes that although he is always kind to her, there's something broken about him.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Sakura Tree is entirely devoted to its Sakurazukamori, to the point it would downright lie to him if it thinks it's in his best interests.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Justified, as Hokuto spends more on clothes than on food and she's even stated to never wear the same outfit twice.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: At the beginning, Subaru is the one who's madly in love with Seishirou and the one that remembers everything, while Seishirou is still indifferent towards him and can't recall a thing about 1999. In Consequence, Subaru can't recall any memories of Seishirou (meeting him, his love for him, their shared destiny) while Seishirou demanded his memories back to the Sakura and now remembers how dearly he holds Subaru. Lampshaded in chapter 6 of Consequence.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hokuto and Seishirou. They're buddies and trust each other so much that Hokuto can pull his strings without fear of the Sakurazukamori; and Seishirou pretty much finds it amusing and is grateful of her playful teasing to an extend.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Consequence, Lady Sumeragi basically imprisons her grandchildren and keeps a fundamental part of Subaru's heart blocked, but you kind of understand her when you remember she believes an assassin is after her grandson.
  • Windows of the Soul: Seishirou's face is perpetually frozen into a friendly smile, to the point that one would believe he never gets angry...until they look at his eyes.
  • Woman in White: The Sakura Tree takes the form of Setsuka Sakurazuka to talk with Subaru, and she's wearing a white kimono.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Thanks to still being recovering from the stab at his guts, Subaru is barely able to defend himself from the Sakura's attempts at killing him when Seishirou traps him in his maboroshi. After escaping the hospital and going all the way to Ueno Park to confront the Sakura, it's a miracle he was even able to stay conscious for so long.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Seishirou's young assistant in the clinic is all-out supportive of Seishirou/Subaru. Arguably Hokuto as well. She's often described as having a yaoi manga collection and even offers to lend some of the more choice volumes to Subaru for inspiration.

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