Memory 05 - The Arrow in My Heart
by Midori Kou
These tears that he had shown to me...
They reveal the sorrow buried in his heart.
Do I feel that way as well?
Am I that fragile than how I portray myself to be?
My lips touched his tears suddenly.
Was it me? Was I truly acting upon my emotions?
Why do I feel so attach to this boy?
This is strange and foreign to me.
Why am I feeling this way?
The blond teenager searched his heart and soul for the answers which he desired. But he could not find any in this enclosed bedroom. The only thing that seemed apparent was that his arms were wrapped around this defenseless, frail boy crying in his comfort. The dark haired boy clung onto him tightly, ignoring the fact the person who was in his grasp. He could care less at the moment. He wanted the security that he had lack from his other peers and he found it here, in Takeru's arms. The Bearer of Hope stared out of the window, his cerulean eyes illuminated by the lighting of the night. Hesitating, he slowly touched Ken's silky ebony hair, stroking it tenderly to calm him down.
The Bearer of Kindness buried his face and continued to weep uncontrollably. The boy shook his head as he tried to force himself to stop, but he could not. Trembling, his body acted on its own will, rejecting all his orders from his mind. He felt so pathetic. Here he was, alone with this other boy and showing how weak he was. Even so, he was relentless to let go of this angel who had restrain his sadness. Confused, Ken could not understand why being in Takeru's arms felt so right. It was ironic that this boy was the first person he had talk to since weeks. This boy who may or may not share that same pain... This boy who was not retaliating against his behavior... The relationship between them seemed so different since back then. They were never so close, not even close to be officially friends. Why now? Did God purposely made their lives this way?
Holding that thought, the dark hair boy finally pulled away from the Bearer of Hope as he wiped his eyes with his sleeve ever so gently. Lowering his eyes, he felt guilty for putting Takeru through such a situation. But then again, it was the blond angel who kissed his tears away. What was the meaning behind it? Why did he perform such an affectionate notion? Ken blinked as he stared at the wrinkles of the sheets. "Sorry...," he apologized.
Takeru did not responded back for he was still gazing at the outdoors. His eyes were so distant and his face appeared so blank. The Child of Kindness could not comprehend why though. Suddenly, the blond teen finally realized that the boy was speaking directly to him. "Oh!" he gasped, snapping out of trance. "There's nothing you need to apologize for."
The golden haired teen glared away from Ken as his face became slightly flushed. Was he embarrassed about what had happen just now? Did he feel ashamed? Whatever it was, Takeru would rather not acknowledge its existence. It felt disturbing at the time, especially when there are other people present on the other side of the door. Rubbing his temple, he released a soft sigh as he pushed himself onto his feet.
"Takeru...?" Ken uttered out of concern.
"Do you feel alright now?" he asked flatly as he walked towards the long mirror in the room. As he combed down his hair with his fingers, the boy nodded in return. Takeru raised his eyebrow as he saw the Bearer of Kindness reflected in the mirror. Pulling a Kleenex out of the tissue box from the drawer beside the bedpost, he handed it to the dark hair boy silently to clear up his face.
"Thanks...," he said as he used the tissue to wipe his face, mainly his eyes.
"It's not a problem, Ichijouji-kun... Really..."
"But nothing," The Bearer of Hope interrupted as he went to the closet to grab a silky maroon dress shirt and black slacks. "Don't worry about it, alright. I completely understand your condition..."
His sincere voice alarmed Ken's attention. It was different from before, different from the affectionate version of him. Now he sounded just like how a friend would approach this situation. Shoving the idea in the back of his mind, he tried to keep his focus. "You do?" he finally responded.
"Yeah," Takeru complied casually as he unbuttoned the rest of his shirt. As he allowed his bare skin to be exposed in Ken's presence, the dark haired boy blushed suddenly. Quickly he looked away shyly, blinking in incredibly surprised. The blond eyed him in the mirror and merely shrugged the thought.
"So...," The Child of Kindness muttered uncomfortably. "What part of my life do you understand?"
"Well...," the blond pondered. "When I was a little kid, I was such a crybaby."
"You?" he blinked as he was astonished.
"Yep!" he answered as he slipped on the silk shirt, buttoning it carefully. "Anyway, back in the days of the old Chosen Children, I was always getting in the way... The weak one of the group."
"The weak one..." Ken raised a brow.
"Hey, what do you expect? I was also the youngest, even with Hikari-chan on the team. But that's beside the point. The point is that on the day we confronted Piedmon, I felt totally helpless. It was just me, Hikari and Angemon left. I didn't know what to do or how I could save everyone. At that point, I gave up."
"My crest... Well that was another thing. I lost all hope... The weight of this terrible pressure was over me to save everyone or else all would be lost. You could imagine what that could have been like for an eight-year-old. Anyway, Piedmon got to us and we fell such a long distance, heading straight to our untimely deaths... At that point, I wanted things to change... To have it not end this way. I wanted a future... And then, Angemon evolved and saved all of us..."
"So how does this relate to me?"
The blond teen turned around and faced him. His serious expression and narrow eyes... It had such a strong impact on the Bearer of Kindness. "You gave up too easy without a fight, Ichijouji. Although you are no longer the same Ken Ichijouji who became the boy genius, others don't know that yet. You need to show them that things have changed... That you have changed... Only then, they could accept you as you."
"Fight for your dreams and desires! Don't let everyone take advantage of your kindness!"
"If it's only that simple..." He murmured as his eyes wavered by uncertainly.
"You say it so loosely as if it could be done in a snap, but some things don't flow that easily. Some times people don't want to accept the truth..."
The golden haired teen held his breath, unable to respond any further. The boy's words hit the core of his soul. This piercing arrow that the kind boy had shot to him hurt his heart deeply. He flinched at the idea as he visualized it. It was greatly painful to hear this from Ken. Is the arrow in my heart the guilt and denial I have hanging over me? Funny I try to help Ichijouji-kun with this load of crap that I, myself don't even bother following... I don't fight for my dreams. I let others play me like a dog. They made me this way because they don't want to lose their hopes... Is that the truth that they are not willing to accept?
Shaking his head, he refused to believe that is the only reason the people around him wanted him to live out being the ideal student. It couldn't be true, could it? Taking in a deep breath, he rubbed his forehead as he returned his gaze back at the mirror. "That might be true," Takeru admitted out loud.
"It is true...," the dark haired boy corrected him. "Things like that do exist."
Takeru stared at the boy's reflection as he heard his last words echoing in his consciousness. They were certainly symbolic to him for they held great meaning. But why? Did it apply to him? Was he in such denial of himself that he could not acknowledge the truth? Was he that blind towards his own problems?
The other boy searched the ocean blue eyes of the Child of Hope as the silence grew between them. The blond teen's face was blank, his thoughts consuming his mind. He appeared lost before the presence of the raven haired boy. What could be troubling him? Standing quietly, Ken stared at him, wondering why he did not respond any further. As he cleared his throat, Takeru broke out of his deep daze. Shaking his head, the golden haired boy rubbed his temple and released a shallow sigh.
"Takeru...?" Ken softly asked. "Are you--"
"Alright? Yeah... Why?" He gave him a gentle smile upon his face to reassuring him. Those curved lips of his were quite questionable. Why does he try to hide his emotions? What's holding him back? What is it...?
Ken shook his head as gazed weary at the floor. "Never mind... Well I better leave so you can finish up here." As he stood up, Takeru's eyes followed the dark haired boy's reflection until he could no longer see him in his view. As he spun around, the Bearer of Kindness disappeared from the room, leaving the blond by his lonesome.
"What part of me that's accepted is true?" He uttered under his breath. "What lies have I created about myself? What are they...?"
The raven haired teen stepped silently out of the older Ishida's bedroom as he paced back to the dining table room where he originally had kept his peace. After what had occurred in that room, he would not know how their relationship would change. Would it be for better or worse? Shutting his eyes, he wished not to concern himself with these mingling thoughts that plagued his consciousness. He took his seat and laid his head over the glossy wood.
There was someone tapping his shoulder, but Ken keep his eyes close, relentless to give his undivided attention to whomever was bother him. The finger poked again. How bothersome was this. Couldn't he find a moment's peace for the time? His groaned as he turned around to view how was annoying him. There, before him was the least liking person who would have done such an act. It was neither Daisuke nor Hikari; it was the older Ishida brother himself, Yamato.
"Hey...," he whispered as he sat next to him. "Tired?" The older blond wondered as he poured himself a tall, ice-cold glass of sparkling apple cider. Silently, he carefully took in small sips of the bubbling drink as he awaited the other boy to respond.
"Yeah, you can say that."
"You seem to be out of it..."
"You're mistaken," the raven haired boy answered coldly as he looked away from the older Ishida brother.
"Oh really...?" He inquired as he raised his brow. "Here you are... All bummed out at a party, trying to keep yourself away from everyone else and refusing to talk to your best friend about what's up with your life. Don't tell me that I'm mistaken. Your actions are as clear as day."
Ken held his breath as this mere young adult has been keeping track of his actions. He was completely oblivious that the brother had done so during this party. His amethyst eyes glared at him in pure surprise as he was expecting him to continue. "Am I that obvious?"
"Yeah, pretty much," Yamato lightheartedly replied. "If I can figure it out, that says something."
"So, you have been observing me the whole time, haven't you?"
"Of course!" he exclaimed loosely. "You and everyone else... I have to make sure everyone is having a good time, y'know. But seriously, as one of Takeru's closest friends, I would have believed you would be having fun... At least, smiling or laughing for a moment. But here you are...Not even once you seem to be enjoying yourself."
"You really take your job as Takeru's brother quite seriously, don't you?"
"Absolutely!" The Child of Friendship boasted. "Takeru's my younger brother and I would like to keep him out of any certain trouble. And besides, I won't be able to see him for a while."
"Oh yeah, you have that Teenage Wolves tour coming up, right?" The Bearer of Kindness recollected.
"Yeah, so I would like Takeru to have one of the best birthdays ever."
Surely the dark hair boy could understand his strong concerns about his younger brother. After all they had gone through, it was their bond that allowed them to endure the pain of separation. If only he could feel that, but it was beyond his reach. He no longer had a brother. He no longer had a connection with anyone. If his brother, Osamu was alive, perhaps he wouldn't agonize so much. But Osamu was no longer living on this earth. He died. The raven haired boy perfectly knew that, but somewhere in his heart, the pain was still embedded in his heart. He wanted that feeling again. The feeling of enjoying life with another... If only he could reach that height of emotion. At that moment, he thought of Takeru for some apparent reason. "Hey, tell me something, Yamato-san."
"What is it?" the older male blankly stared at him.
"What is Takeru hiding from everyone? Why is he so secretive? Why does he act so different? It's like there's numerous versions of him brewing through his body. Why is that?"
The dark haired boy's quirk made the cerulean eyes of the blond to widen. He gazed at the boy's stern, yet passionate complexion in pure amazement. Clasping his hands before his chin, he addressed the situation quite seriously. "So you noticed it too? Takeru's behavior..."
"You mean...You were aware of it too?"
"Perfectly," he simply said as he took another sip of chilled sparkling apple cider. "It's been like this for quite some time. I believe all his actions changed when he entered junior high."
"I think that whatever happened at school caused him to act this way."
"Do you think it would have been caused by his peers?"
"Maybe..." Yamato sighed. "With how the school system is structured, I don't see why it wouldn't be. Teenagers nowadays strictly rebel against their teachers and pick on the students who they believe are weak. But I don't see Takeru being that type of person to do that. So it must be something else."
"He must be pushing himself to avoid that kind of influence," Ken stated.
"To avoid that and perhaps even more..." The Bearer of Friendship searched the table as his face grew pale for assuming the possible problems of his brother. He was terribly worried about him that his body grew weak and weary. Because he could not keep a strong communication with Takeru, knowing about his younger brother grew difficult every day. He felt an untouchable gap in their relationship. His cold expression, his quietness, his inability to interact with others very well... These characteristics surely reminded Yamato of himself when he believed he was alone. Loneliness... Is that what Takeru believed in? Did he think he was alone in the world, that no one could understand his problems and what he could be possibly going through? Was that the true problem behind his behavior?
"Yamato-san?" Ken glared at the older boy as his daze was apparent to him. The older boy blinked to the Bearer of Kindness's stare and gave a deep sigh. "What could Takeru be going through other than whatever he enduring at school? What is it?"
The older Ishida brother remained silent as the raven hair boy continued to pester him. His curiosity grew more as the minutes pass. Still, the golden haired teen uttered nothing in return. Frustrated, the dark haired male moaned. "Why won't you tell me?"
"When did you grew so focused about Takeru, Ken?" he finally responded. His deep stare along with his expressionless face made Ken wishing to back away. He wasn't playing around with their conversation, he could see that. This overly protective brother was not going to let his guard down anytime soon. Trapped by this one mere question, what could he possibly say that would not offend the older male?
"Well, he's my friend..." he uttered shyly, being cautious of his words.
"I want to believe that, but my guts say otherwise," Yamato replied as he leaned his head over his hands. Glaring at the dark hair boy, a feeling of incredible fear grew in Ken's heart. What was he going to tell him? What could he possible do to him? What could it be? The suspense emerged as the silence grew. The raven haired boy took a deep breath as the older teen continued. "One, you two say little to each other and about yourselves. Two, personally, I would be wondering my best friend had been up to lately and reminiscence, which you had not. So, the real question is how much does Takeru mean to you, really?"
This question made Ken pondered as well. Why did he want to know Takeru more? Was it because it had been bothering him? But why it was bothering him? Why was he so concern about the blond angel hiding things about himself from him? It was until now he had realized it. His lips parted as he wanted to utter an answer. If he did, it would have been an empty response. He did not know and the older male already comprehended that as well.
So why...? Why was he so driven to know everything possible about Takeru? When did he truly care about him? What was about him that lured his unquenchable curiosity? What exactly about the golden haired boy was so appealing to him? At that moment, he finally realized what it was. That strange feeling that always arose in his soul when he is around him... The unexplainable relationship between them... The possibility that they are quite similar each other although he is unaware of its existence... It was because of these reasons that he wanted to learn more about the Bearer of Hope.
The desire to know him seemed to dissolve his worries about his own life. Although he was dwelling on his own pain, he did not consider Takeru's. If Hikari was correct, then the blond birthday boy surely is suffering like him. "I believe he's not happy at all..." The brunette's words echoed in his consciousness. Her impression sounded agreeable, but then would that mean his comments about the party were all lies? Was he truly surprised? Did he really care if anybody came? Did he want me here at all?
"Are you coming?" Takeru's voice was clear in his mind as he shut his eyes. He could accept that fact that he could do such a thing to him. To cause him to feel gullible to his simple words...
"It's your birthday, isn't it?"
"Yeah... Pretty much."
"What are you hoping to get today?"
"I don't want anything."
Ken recollected their conversation earlier. Remembering this made his heart turn. Furious, he clinched his teeth, realizing that may not have been true either. He should have known that he had lied. Why didn't he? You did want something, didn't you? What is it? What could you possible want in the world?
"Ken-kun?" The older teen broke his train of thought, snapping out of his daze. Concerned, he wanted to ask if he was feeling alright. Although if he did, Yamato perfectly knew he would avoid answering the question to of worry him. "So, are you going to answer my question? What does Takeru mean to you?"
The raven hair boy wanted to dodge this inquiry, but how? This older blond could read his actions like a book. Even he lied, Yamato would know. Shaking his head, he did not wanted resort to such an action. There was enough lies in their midst and if he wanted to understand himself as well as the Child of Hope, the lies and false identities must stop. Releasing a sigh, he finally replied. "Takeru is my means of salvation from the troubles in my life. For some sort of reason, I feel that, even though he understands me, there's more to him... Who is this person with different attitudes towards everything? His different personalities...Why do they exist? He's so mysterious to me and yet I had told him more things about myself today than I ever had to anyone else..."
"That's why I want to know more about Takeru... I want to know."
END OF CHAPTER FIVE
YAY!!! I finally gave Yamato some dialogue this time. Not only that, he gets to play the suspicious brother. XD About the background of the Teenage Wolves in this series... Well, in this scenario, the Teenage Wolves hit Japanese stardom during Yamato's second year of junior high. By the time he was in his third year of junior high, they got their first record deal and thus at age 16, Yamato became an official J-rocker when their first single was release after his junior high graduation. So Yama-kun didn't go to high school, but he had been part of the Teenage Wolves for about three years. That's something to be proud about! XD
Oh, about the Japanese school bit. In the conversation Ken and Yamato discussed how the students act. And believe me, Japanese school bullying is way more extreme than here in America. There are some really cruel kids out there who, not only put down others who are struggling, beat the crap out of their peers literally. The victims are kicked around on the ground, locked up somewhere or maybe even worse. Their belongings are vandalized or destroyed. Things like these do occur and may drive students to become suicidal or terribly violent. Sadly to say, counseling students isn't a strong point of the Japanese school system, especially when radical students revolt against the faculty. Personally, I'm glad in some aspects that I live here in America. That'll be too scary for me to go through.