Title was inspired by a song from Weiß Kreuz.
The room was dimly lit - the only source of light was Kaito’s computer screen. He was hunched up on the chair in front of it, wearing not his SAKURA uniform but comfortable room clothes. To some people the scene might have looked normal, even serene and peaceful but for Mamoru it made alarm bells go off in his mind.
“Say, Mamoru, I’ve been thinking about Haruto.”
Just the name alone made Mamoru go into panic-mode and he strode over to the other briskly, grabbing Kaito’s shoulders and turning the other around to look at him. Maybe a little bit more roughly than he should have, judging by the look of surprise and discomfort on Kaito’s face.
“Ow, Mamoru, that hurt.”
“I’m sorry, Kaito.” Mamoru let go again, heart still racing but the look in Kaito’s eyes told him that the other was alright. That the other was still here. “I forgot my own strength for a moment.” It was a lie and he didn’t even know why he was lying to the other but it felt like the right thing to say. At least to him. It was a logical thing to say, a good answer, a perfect excuse.
He followed up with a question so that Kaito wouldn’t think about it too much. “What were you thinking about?” It wasn’t Haruto’s death anniversary or anything, Mamoru would have remembered that. So this had been out of the blue.
Kaito turned back to the computer screen. “I was looking at the place where it all happened. And I checked reports and files. Everything that I could find.” He worried his lip. “They never found a body. I knew that much. You told me. But it’s, you know, they never found anything. Human bodies float. And even if fish would have done something to him, there would have been remains. The fishermen do examine the contents of fish stomachs before they sell them. And there aren’t any fish in that area big enough to ingest an entire human body.”
“What do you want to say, Kaito?” Mamoru had an inkling but he’d let the other speak.
“What if Haruto’s still alive. What if he just doesn’t remember who he is or what if he is somewhere without any means of contacting us?” Kaito finally said but then lifted a hand before Mamoru could interrupt. “Is what I kept thinking. But I just came across something today when I was doing some research for one of the upcoming missions.”
Mamoru blinked. This was new. Also the expression on Kaito’s face. It looked both hopeful and conflicted. And maybe there was a lingering hint of despair but also anger.
“The Northern Alliance was active in those waters. There were reports about them disguising their ships as normal fishing ones but they were often spy ships, carrying forces or other things like weapons. Naturally, those ships wouldn’t report back to the coastal guards or at least not report anything that was true.” Kaito swallowed. “The Northern Union is known for its experiments on humans. And they’d take every opportunity they could get to do so.”
By now Kaito’s hands were shaking a little bit. “I went through some files we got through Misu and Amane’s research. I also looked at old files SAKURA had and found some in Gojou’s. I found some logs on experiments.”
Mamoru did not like the direction towards where this was going. He got a sinking feeling in his stomach. A knot formed there that twisted painfully with every word that was spoken.
“There was Amane’s mother. There were young children. Old people. And then around the time when the accident happened, the records said something about an adolescent male. He was described as scrawny but healthy with minor damage from,” Kaito’s voice broke a little bit and he struggled to continue, “water inhalation.”
That particular piece of information drew a soft gasp out of Mamoru.
Kaito caught himself and continued and he started to ramble a little bit, “It all started when Serizawa hacked Haruto’s hologram. It brought up so many questions. How did he know Haruto was my brother? How did he even know his name? The hologram had no data about that whatsoever. The hologram is made up of code to create an image. Everything else, identity, name, was not included. It’s like a photograph. It says nothing about the person on it. You only know that information if you actually knew the person on the picture. He knew. Serizawa knew Haruto’s name. He knew Haruto was my younger brother specifically. I know the Northern Alliance probably has other means of obtaining information like this about us but it didn’t seem like Serizawa had gone through that much trouble. It was like he knew.”
Wrapping arms around himself, Kaito sunk back into his chair. “To be honest, I was shocked when I noticed that the hologram had been hacked and that there was a message for me. It sounded so much like him, Mamoru. Like Haruto. But I knew it was a lie. Because you had told me. You had told me that Haruto was dead. So I figured out their ploy. But then I sat down afterwards and I started thinking.”
It had been when they had been separated. Mamoru felt the knot in his stomach twist painfully again. Back then he hadn’t been with Kaito. Hadn’t let himself be with the other even when the other had so clearly wanted him to be there. Needed him there.
The familiar feeling of guilt started to gnaw on him again. He’d made so many mistakes and hurt Kaito in the process. He really didn’t deserve to be around the other.
“Another thing became clear to me, though.” Kaito’s voice changed suddenly. Gone was the sadness, replaced by a much darker emotion. It sent chills down Mamoru’s spine. The chills intensified when he looked into Kaito’s eyes the next moment.
“They killed him, Mamoru. Haruto wasn’t killed by the ocean. He was killed by the Northern Alliance. He probably died in agonizing pain from whatever they did to him.” Mamoru had never seen hatred in Kaito’s eyes before. Not to mention hatred that was so strong. So dark. “I am not going to show them any mercy. I will do everything to destroy them.”
“Kaito,” Mamoru spoke up for the first time in what felt like forever. And he didn’t get out more than the other’s name. He didn’t know what to say. It seemed like the world had changed in the past few minutes that he had stood in this room.
Before, neither him nor Kaito had had any reason to be in SAKURA other than the fact that they had had nowhere else to go and had come to know of the existence of this secret organization.
To Mamoru, being part of SAKURA had been a job, just like his previous one. He was working for the government in order to protect innocent citizens from threats. His desire to protect and be useful were what kept him around, what motivated him. He didn’t have any personal involvement with other parties in the conflict. Or didn’t use to, until now.
While Kaito had been more or less a tag-along until now, the other had a reason to be here now, something apart from being with Mamoru to motivate him.
He blinked when he suddenly found himself in Kaito’s arms. When had the other gotten up and over here? Had he zoned out? Mamoru turned his head and found himself looking straight into Kaito’s eyes, both visible for once, through his bangs.
“I’m sorry for everything you went through because of this. Because of me. I’m also thankful for everything you’ve done for me. For us. And still do.” Kaito smiled and pulled him even closer against the other’s body. “You can stop feeling guilty now, Mamoru. You can stop worrying about me. It wasn’t your fault. And things will be okay from now on. I will never go back to that place.”
It wasn’t so easy. Mamoru wanted to tell Kaito that you couldn’t rewrite the past and that these new revelations didn’t change anything for him - well, not everything at least.
“I’ll train hard from now on, too. I promise I will catch up to your and everyone else’s level. That’s what you want, too, right? I won’t be a hindrance during missions. I will fight and I will survive. I will live until the last of these bastards is gone from this world.” Kaito buried his face in Mamoru’s shoulder as he whispered the promises. “I’ll do my best so we can graduate and move on. I’ll do my best so that you won’t have to worry about me. I will be able to live and work by myself. And I will be able to safe and protect you and not just let you do that for me.”
There were too many thoughts and emotions assaulting Mamoru. He didn’t know what to think, didn’t know how to feel, didn’t know how to react.
His arms came back around Kaito’s waist as a reflex.
He’d need some time to think about all of this, to let it settle.
There was a slight feeling of unease somewhere at the back of his mind though. This seemed so wrong somehow. That look of hatred and darkness on Kaito’s face was wrong. It didn’t belong there. And maybe, to be honest, it scared him a little.
Elsewhere in the CHURCH building, Kuroko looked at Ichijima. “It’s rare for you to circulate information like this. Information we have not yet verified completely and that is vague at best.”
“Even vague information is information. And some people will believe in things until they are proven wrong.” Ichijima smirked. “And maybe these pieces of information were just what some people needed to make their own picture.” He looked at Kuroko. “Every member of SAKURA is here for a reason. People survive because they have something to live for. Be it the desire to protect, a strong will to live or a quest for vengeance.”
“I know that, darling.” Kuroko made a face. “What do you want to say?”
“People are weak. They will cling to these reasons for comfort. Even if they are lies.”
Your turn talisa_ahn :D