Memory 08 - The Endless Dream
by Midori Kou
It's dark here...
I am blinded by black...
Where am I? Am I alone here?
What's this bitter coldness I feel?
I heard a voice...So gentle... So beautiful...
Why do I feel suddenly relieved?
Who was that? Who thanked me?
It is so familiar...
It makes me alive...But why? Why?
Tossing around in his sleep, Takeru could not allow his mind to drift in the middle of the night. Mumbling and groaning, he struggled to find his calm so he could finally rest. It had been like this for quite some time although he had yet to confess his sleeping disorder to anyone. He had held the fact solely to himself despite he perfectly understood that his condition has worsen with time. Droplets of cold sweat leaked out of his damped forehead as he turned once again. Was there no end to his troubles? Couldn't he sleep? What was it that had disturbed him for so long?
The Bearer of Hope winced as he buried his face into the depths of the sofa. His head began to throb with every passing minute. The pounding... It echoed in his mind in a percussionist pattern. Thump... Thump... Thump... His headache grew and grew, piercing his nerves and his thoughts. It was like a thousand needles were shot into his brain and hammered in with a striking force. It hurt... It was tormenting... Was it supposed to be this bad? Was it normal for his mind to quake in result of his medication?
The blond teen tried to ponder the idea, but he was not able to hear his thoughts clearly. Unable to endure the pain in his head, his sapphire eyes flashed open as he gasped. Sitting up, he raised his hand over his forehead to wipe off the beads of sweat upon his forehead. Each droplet fell down his face and bled through the back of his hand. As he rubbed his temple, Takeru rested his elbows onto his knees and slouched over. He noticed that his black trench coat slipped off his body as he eyed it on the couch. Staring at the thick coat, he blinked in response. What's this doing here? He wondered. I gave it to-- The Bearer of Hope paused at the thought and a smile crept upon his face. Was this what you meant by 'Thank you', Ken?
He softly chuckled in the darkness of the living room. That raven haired teen certainly was engulfed by kindness. After all that had happened, he still was able to display such a gentle attitude. Even with his own pain hanging in the balance, he allowed himself to aid others before himself. He was like Hikari and yet somewhat similar to him as well. A part of him... Takeru pondered. Am I a part of him? Is he a part of me...? The blond teenager shook his head in doubt. Why did he always assume such ideas about the Bearer of Kindness? Why did he focus only on him recently? Why...? Why is he so flabbergasted by the boy's presence? He had been asking himself this so many times in a day.
"Then, what about you? What am I to you?"
His conscious recollected those particular words that Ken had said earlier. Takeru's cerulean eyes became dull and distant as his mind drifted concerning the other boy's question. What did the Bearer of Kindness mean to him? What about him caused him to be perplexed by his existence? Lowering his eyes, he felt empty. A dark void grew in his heart as he became concerned about the issue. How do I know? How do I know what he means to me? Do I care about him? Do I worry? There's something I cannot find in others that exists in him? But what is it? I don't know what I'm feeling but it feels confusing... I can't put it into words. It's just confusing that it hurts.
He wanted to seek the answers, yet he was also afraid to. What if he was to discover his feelings once again, then what? What would he do after that? How would he use this information? What will happen afterwards...? Releasing an inaudible sigh, he did not want to dwell on the idea. He was alone. He was better off by his lonesome than in the presence of others. The golden haired angel did not want to hurt another person or himself. It should be that way... It should be...! But why? Why do I not feel contempt about being alone? Do I really want others' company? Do I really need them? What do I want? What do I need? Am I able to be satisfied just with nothing? I want them to notice the real me... I want to be recognized not as who I appear to be. Yet there's something else...There's something more than I want than acceptance of my true self and nature. I just don't know what...
Looking over his shoulder, Takeru focused on the hallway of the Ichijouji residence. Silently, he rose upon his feet and carefully tiptoed across the room to the hallway. Within the golden haired boy's view was a bedroom door at the very end. Pacing ever so quietly, he reached the front of the raven haired teenage boy's room. It was closed. Glaring at the knob, the Bearer of Hope stood there idly. His fingers twitched as he felt more drawn to what lie behind it.
Extending his arm, he reached the doorknob carefully. As he turned it ever so gently, the blond swung open the barrier that existed between Ken and him. His ocean blue eyes wandered in the direction of the other boy's bed. Seeing him sleeping pleasantly, Takeru did not was to interrupt the Bearer of Kindness's rest because of his intrusion. Even so, he looked so pure and innocent. He was like a small child tucked in tightly with a contempt face spread across his face. Not even the troubles of the world could ruin such a delicate expression. His elegant, pale complexion and his streaming dark hair... Each strand flowed over his eyes like stokes of black paint. The blond pallid angel devoured the raven haired boy's irresistible beauty. How can he not feel drawn by this marvelous moment? If only he could stay to find out what he felt about the Bearer of Kindness. Before he shut the door on his way out, he whispered breathlessly, "Oyasumi, Ken..."
Returning to the living room, Takeru picked up his black trench coat as he let out a small yawn. As he slipped the thick, warm over himself, he checked the VCR nearby to discover what time was it. In a bright, neon green, it glowed 2:57 PM. Sighing, he tried to relax despite the time of day. The golden haired teen considered that his older brother, Yamato was worried about him at the moment. I should head back before Ichijouji-kun wakes up. Ni-san is probably still up because of me. Damn, I should've called.
Shaking his head, the blond teenager reminded him that he was not at fault. After all, wouldn't Yamato feel more comfortable knowing that he was at a friend's house than lying around on the streets because a gang member bombarded him with the stranger's crew? Yeah, telling him that would really make him feel calm... He reminded himself in a sarcastic tone. Frankly, he had no other reason to stay here. He was awake -- perhaps not entirely, but awake at most.
There were no windows within the room as far as he knew. Regardless, he perfectly knew that outside would still be night. Risky as it was, he knew that the streets should be less crowded. Then again, this was Tokyo. It was always busy no matter what time of day. Before he was about to depart, he flicked on the kitchen light. Grabbing a pen and notepad near the telephone, Takeru began to jot down his thoughts onto the coarse paper. Ichijouji would probably wonder where I have disappeared to if I've just left...
With due time, the golden haired boy completed his short letter to the Bearer of Kindness. As he hanged the letter on the refrigerator with a star-shaped magnet, Takeru rubbed his temple as he felt an excruciating shot of pain thundering in his head. He groaned as he grabbed a glass cup. Filling the clear, fragile cylinder, the blond teenage boy took quick gulps of the icy water before placing the cup into the sink. At that very moment, the blond exited the Ichijouji residence and headed back to his father's and brother's apartment by his lonesome. Why did I bother writing to Ichijouji-kun? Why was I concern if he would be worry? Would he be worried? Do I care about him that much than I thought? I really don't know what I'm feeling...Maybe... Just maybe, I can find out...If I know him better...
Pacing home with haste, Takeru became incredible flustered by his actions. While Ken had his moments of unexplainable responses, he also had them as well. Sighing, he tried not to be disturbed. He had school within a few hours and should not allow himself to be bothered furthermore. He cannot allow himself to behave in a way that causes others to question. He cannot afford that. Although he wished to destroy the veil over the eyes of his peers, he would rather hide his personal feelings at the moment until he has a strong understanding. One step at a time... People aren't going to accept something in one day. Time... Time is against me...
He calmly continued to stroll in the direction of the train station, burying his hands in his coat's pockets. His eyes of sapphire crystals blinked as he was unaware that there was a note in his trench coat. Pulling it out, Takeru unfolded sharp flaps of the paper and read the letter out loud.
"Takeru-kun... Whether you realize it or not, I think you care. I think you really care about me if you kissed me. There's something between us and I hope you'll find out what it means to you..."
That was all that was written on the gray designer paper. It was not even signed, but Takeru had a pretty accurate idea who wrote the letter to him. Placing the letter back into its original location, the golden haired boy gazed blackly at the concrete ground as he cupped his half of his face with his hand. He simply replied, "Something between us, huh...You noticed that, too..."
Rustling in his bed, Ken did not want to get out of bed despite his alarm clock was blaring for over five minutes. Slamming his hand over the snooze button, the raven haired boy turned to his side and went back to sleep. To wake up now after such a good rest would destroy the endless dream he had in the last week. Groaning, he finally managed to get up after reasoning with himself. After all, school is school and the sooner he finish, the sooner he can explore the possibilities that lie in this world. Even so, this was reality. It's easier said than done.
Once he's within the school walls, it's just a reminder that the entrance exams are approaching soon as well. If only he could run away from it all. As he climbed out of bed, the raven haired teen quickly headed to his closet. Sliding it wide open, Ken pulled out his black ebony school uniform and laid them on his chair. While he was unbuttoning his pajama shirt, his amethyst eyes were fixated on the deep groove on his desk. He had forcefully scraped the tabletop the other day, he reminded himself. He almost forgot that he did. He was that stressed before he found that time to speak with his friends, especially Takeru.
For some sort of reason, Ken became more relieved by the pallid angel's presence and advice. It was what he really needed at the time. Even so, the dark haired boy was not able to feel satisfy after realizing the Bearer of Hope had been hiding his emotions for so long. After such a long span of isolation, the blond had become such an automaton towards others' wishes. To simply comply to them before himself was unheard of. But then again, he had done the same only because he feared that the public's view would discard him. Surely, Takeru-kun feels that same way. He thought as he picked up his schoolbag. After all, he wants to rid himself of the fašade he had created.
Suddenly, the Bearer of Kindness realized that Takeru was here last night. He had almost forgotten his presence over his personal thoughts. How selfish of him for not responding sooner. Takeru's probably awake already! His mind screamed. Hopefully my parents don't mind him spending the night...
As he stepped out of his bedroom, Ken noticed that Takeru was nowhere to be found in the Ichijouji household. Slowly walking into the living room in a daze, he could have sworn he was sleeping on the sofa. Was it all a dream? Did it even happen? Heading into the kitchen, he sat at the dining table silently. Resting his head on the smooth, glossed table, he wondered where he could have gone. When did he decide to leave? Turning his head to the side, Ken noticed a letter was posted on the refrigerator door. Pushing his chair back, the raven haired boy headed towards the electrical appliance.
On the paper, it was addressed to him. Could it be...? Flipping the paper onto the back, the other side was filled with kanji and hiragana characters. And so, the Bearer of Kindness carefully read it, making sure he does not miss a single word.
I apologize for leaving without saying anything, but I did not want to disturb you. I headed home so don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Although I have yet to understand my feelings, I do know that you mean something to me somehow. I don't know why you suddenly became so important to me, but I don't want to lose this feeling...I don't want to lose you, Ken. That's how much you mean to me.
"That's how much you mean to me," Ken echoed at his violet eyes clung onto his words. His delicate face softened as his lips curved. Placing his index finger onto the note, he traced Takeru's name as his lips parted. "You answered my question after all...," he uttered under his breath as he continued to stare at the other boy's name.
Checking the clock, he noticed the time and grabbed his bag. As he did, the Bearer of Kindness carefully placed the letter into his leather schoolbag on his way out.
That means a lot coming from you, Takeru-kun. It really does...
Beep-beep de beep! Beep-beep de beep! The alarm wailed enormously loud, breaking through his eardrum. Pulling over the blanket over his head, he forcefully tried to sleep with the clock blaring that awful, annoying sound over and over. It continued still. Throwing the pillow over the alarm clock, it dulled out the siren disturbance although it did not stop until thirty minutes later. The daily morning routine of Takeru Takaishi - despite where he was sleeping. Gritting his teeth, the blond teenage boy slammed his palm over the clock and yanked the plug from the socket. Finally, silence... The beautiful sound of nothingness...
Turning his body, he laid on his back, staring at the blank ceiling. It was plain, flat and pale colored. The dull neutral color was so intimidating - empty and blank. It certainly reflected the winter weather outside. Gray clouds blanketed the sky, eliminating all the colors. Nothing but blank and white painted the city outside his window. It was terribly depressing.
Pushing off the sheets, Takeru rose to his feet and prepared himself for school. His shadowed cerulean eyes were weary as his head drooped. His limbs felt incredibly limp and numb. Aching in every part of his body, the golden haired teen stretched his body to awake himself. As much as he would like to sleep for entire day, he cannot allow himself to fall back in his studies, especially as such a critical moment. Sure, he had an easy time studying and such, but he shouldn't let his guard down no matter what.
Slipping on his school uniform, he quickly headed outside the room to do his common routines - brushing his teeth, combing his hair... He can do it under thirty minutes. As he spread some gel into his hair to maintain his bishounen look, the blond rushed out of the bathroom to snatch himself a small meal before leaving.
His older brother, Yamato was already in the kitchen, cooking up an omelet with ketchup streamed across complemented with some jasmine tea and toast. Although the Bearer of Hope wanted to gobble up his breakfast within a minute or two, Yamato requested him to eat with him. Without complaints, Takeru complied and sat across from him. Picking up the spoon, he slowly devoured the meal in respect towards his brother.
"Takeru...?" Yamato uttered as he clamped his fingers lightly together.
"Hmm?" the younger brother mumbled with the spoon protruding from his mouth. Slipping the silver utensil out, he rested it onto his plate as he eyes the older Ishida sibling.
"Are you okay?" The Bearer of Friendship simply asked as he lowered his sapphire eyes. His concern expression was quite questionable. Why would he ask such a thing? In such a serious tone as well, it was very frightening to hear. Was it because of last night? Was he that worried about him within several hours?
Takeru was lost for words. He perfectly knew that his brother cared for him, but he did not realized how much. As far as he knew, his attention towards him was equivalent to their parents. They were always busy and had spent little time with him. Ever since his brother had become a band member of the Teenage Wolves, the blond teenager felt so empty and alone. He felt so neglected over the years. I wonder if they noticed...
"Takeru?" Yamato asked again.
"Yeah, I'm alright," Takeru answered in a flat voice. "Why shouldn't I be?"
"It's just that..."
"Look, I'm fine. There's no need to worry, okay?"
"Are you sure about that?"
"What?" Takeru raised a brow as his face was somewhat surprised. Staring at his brother, he crossed his arms in suspicion. Yamato was not joking around the matter. He was dead serious. The younger brother could definitely see it, so why was he hiding his true feelings away yet again? Did he like living a false life?
"You changed, Takeru. Over the years, you've changed."
"You too, Ni-san. Your point?"
"You're no longer happy. I can tell. Maybe because what happened a couple years back..."
"Ni-san..." Takeru felt irritated. He didn't want to reflect on the past again. He wanted to forget it, to erase it. He was better off not remembering what occurred. That dreadful memory... "We went over this before..."
"Yeah, I know... I know you told me not to talk about it. Despite that, you buried it in your heart and now it's affecting you. Can't you see that?"
Takeru held his breath as he glared at his brother. His ocean blue eyes widen by his accusation. Was the past psychologically hurting him? He turned away as gazed blankly at the glossy floor. Keeping his silence, he was trapped and there was no scapegoat to allow him to running away. How cunning the older sibling was to barricade him into a corner - a dark, damp corner.
"You have noticed, haven't you?" Yamato claimed.
"The past is the past," Takeru shot back. "Can you drop it already?"
"Stubborn, aren't you? Whether you like it or not, Miki Akatsu's suicide--"
"Enough! I don't want to hear it, alright?" The blond teenager roared as he shot out of his seat. Pulling his chair away from the table, he grabbed his schoolbag and gave his older brother an evil glare. "I should go to school now."
Quickly, he stepped out of the apartment and slammed the door so powerful that it shook the cabinets in the kitchen. Yamato stared at the door silently and he stood upright. Clearing the table, he uttered, "Akatsu's suicide... It changed you, Takeru."
Classes flied by quick, but the clouds remained. Drifting slowly to reveal same pieces of the sky blue atmosphere, it was clearing up. Even so, there was a shroud of gray growing. It looked like the rain would come. The letter that Takeru wrote certainly lightened the Bearer of Kindness's mood in contrast to the appearance of the environment. Sure, there were some parts of the day became harsh, but just remembering those words written by him seemed to be worth it. Despite that, he still had to studying for his exams and thus, it means he shouldn't be fooling around. Besides, it's not Takeru and him have an actual relationship.
Pulling out the note from his schoolbag, he stared at in during his free study period. The angel's delicate hand strokes were so perfect and slick, nothing compared to his sloppy writing. Sure his own writing was legible, but it was only legible to him. To think, even when he was a child genius, he could have perfected his writing style. Sighing, he laid it onto his desk and stared it in a daze.
Suddenly a tap on his shoulder woke him up from his daydream state. Turning around, he saw one of his female classmates smiling carefree before him. He blinked as she nudged beside him. "Oh, hey Ryuzaki-chan..."
"What do you have there, Ichijouji-san?" Looking over his shoulder, she noticed the letter on his desktop and snatched the paper as fast as light. Ken tried to retaliate by trying to retrieve it back, but it was of no avail. She kept spinning around and dodging him - as expected from such an athletic student. "Oh, is this what I think it is?" She giggled as she passed it to her friends.
"What's this? Is this an attempt to write a confession of love?" One of the girls uttered.
"Ne, Ichijouji-kun!" Another female classmate replied in a loud, obnoxious voice. With a smug look, she inquired, "Who's this, Takeru?"
The male students joined in response to hearing his angel's name. It was all fun and games for them apparently. Poking around his personal life, they were getting on his nerves. All these absurd questions that do not even concern them became frustrating and annoying. How nosy they were!
"Oi, Ichijouji!" One of the male students exclaimed. "Is this for real? Do you have some queer bastard tailing ya? What that makes of you? Are you some gay freak too?"
The other students laughed by the boy's insult, which made Ken terribly furious. They had no right to talk to him in such a disrespectful way. Is this how people really think of him? As some worn-out toy to be tossed from side to side? The Bearer of Kindness slammed his hands onto his desk fiercefully. The loud pound certainly made them silent and crawled back in fear.
Giving them a tremendous merciless stare, the raven haired boy stood out of his seat and confronted the group of students who crowded in the back. Silently, he got his letter back and slipped it into his back pocket. "How dare you talk to me like that in my presence," he growled.
"Hey, we're only fooling around...," one of the students countered.
"Fooling around and putting someone down are two different things. I suggest you figure it out," Ken murmured coldly.
"I would like to thank you on your attempts on picking on me, but you should try a lot harder than that!" The mood within the classroom was so intense. Ken had never before showed his fangs to these primitive peers until now. The girls were shocked and appalled to see their gentle classmate evolve into this ferocious beast. With such angry eyes, an arrow of hate pierced their souls as he stared at them. Turning around, he picked up his belongings and excused himself from the room. As he closed the door, the students willingly returned to talk behind his back.
"Who does that guy think he is?! Talking to us like we're his servants and crap!"
"Ichijouji is so arrogant!"
"What do you expect from a guy who's a boy genius?"
"You mean 'was'. Ichijouji became retarded or something after the sixth grade. His mom probably took drugs and screwed him up."
"Nah, he's probably the one who took the drugs. Probably became a drug dealer too!"
"And what's with this Takeru?"
"Hey, isn't that Yamato Ishida's younger brother?"
"You mean Yamato Ishida of the Teenage Wolves?"
"Yep, apparently Ichijouji and Ishida are tight if I remember correctly."
"That means Ichijouji-san and Takeru are close too!"
"And that letter!"
"Yeah, sounds like Takeru Ishida as this thing for him."
"And notice how Ichijouji-kun acted!"
"He obviously wants to screw with him!"
"Heh, I wonder who's the bitch. Him or Ichijouji..."
"My bet is on Ichijouji.
Overhearing his, Ken felt incredibly disgusted by their words. To be betrayed by those of his own age made him wonder how many other people look at him this way. If it wasn't about his own life, it would definitely be about his intelligence. What had happened to him in the past was not the present and yet people wanted to look upon that to attack him any way possible. Despite that, he was not reassured by the fact that there are people who continue to do so. That Ken Ichijouji died long ago. Why can't they see that? He did not decide to disappear from his parents for no apparent reason. He had issues too. He wasn't supposed to appear almighty, but this is how it was. All because what happened in the past... True, the past had affected the present, but it was up to him to defeat it.
Even so, he was only one person while in that room, there were over twenty. Their thoughts conflicted with his and his voice was nothing but a whimper. They could not hear him. Perhaps, they refuse to. Were they too incompetent to understand what he had to go through? Were their minds only focused on themselves? The world had become so cynical and selfish. Everyone fought to be better, he knew that. How can kindness rule them when the voice of greed and power was much louder and stronger?
As the raven haired teenager headed home, he passed by the train station. Remembering what occurred the day before, the thought of Takeru cleared his mind somewhat and eased his soul. The clouds grew darker by the minute as he stood idly at the steps that led to the station. Hesitant at first, Ken wanted to talk to the blond pallid angel. Perhaps, it could bring him some comfort after what he had to endure. Maybe Takeru would like to speak to him as well.
His amethyst eyes searched the ground as people strolled passed him. Clinching his fist, he courageously headed down to the train station to meet with Takeru once again. I want to see you, Takeru-kun. I want to see you! Please be there, waiting for me...
Running out of the train car, Ken tried to break free from the crowds of people flooding in and out. It was terribly humid in the station with the numerous individuals present. The air was thick and hard to breath, despite the cold weather outside. Pushing people away from him and squeezing through, the raven haired boy finally reached the flight of stairs. Panting heavily, he slouched over to catch his breath. The cool breeze from outside flowed down the steps and revitalized the Bearer of Kindness.
Suddenly, an orange container was knocked against his shoe. Apparently someone hit it when they were walking pass him. Gazing at the plastic container, Ken gently picked it up and analyzed the object. "Someone dropped their medication...," he stated aloud.
Turning the orange plastic cylinder around to check if the address was placed on the label, something caught his eye indefinitely. Reading the label with stunned eyes, he uttered, "Takeru Takaishi... Paroxetine..."
His mind became filled with questions as of the moment. His complexion became blank and dull as he was lost in a daze. Standing there silently, he realized that the Bearer of Hope must have lost his medication when he broke their fall. Looking at the container once again, Ken wondered if the golden haired boy even noticed he lost it in the first place. Frankly, he wouldn't know until he talked to him. Even so, what was it for?
What are you hiding from me, Takeru-kun? What is this? Is there something wrong with you? Please tell me when I see you... Please, Takeru. I want to know.
END OF CHAPTER EIGHT
What a way to end the chapter! Ken found Takeru's medication! Whoo! Of course, that's highly impossible considering how many people DO travel by train in Japan. O.o Eh, oh well. XD Ken got lucky, that's all! Hehehe... Well, now this chapter reaches the climatic part of the series. Now that you have been exposed to Ken's school life, it's going to follow him a lot more. His classmates are evil, I tell you! EVIL!!! What the heck am I saying? I wrote them that way! ^^; Anyhoo, because of what happened in this chapter, lots of things are going to happen to Ken, Takeru as well as the Teenage Wolves! Yamato is really going to get involved in this to the point which Daisuke gets dragged in by Jun and because of Daisuke, Hikari gets pulled in and then Taichi and well you'll see... ;)
Oh, originally I was going to have Ken talk to Takeru about his anti-depressants in this chapter, but I decided to put it off until the next chapter since Ken had to find them in the first place in order to question it. XD I noticed I didn't talked much about Ken's life and his stress after all the Takeru's party stuff, so it's his time to shine! So Kenny-boy will definite see to it in chapter 9. ^_^ Also, Miki Akatsu -- our mystery character is definitely an important person in this story and to why Takeru takes his anti-depressants. The only thing you know was that he committed suicide. Why? It will be touched in chapter 9 or 10.
If anyone was offended by the use of language during the scene with Ken's classmates, my apologies. I would rate this R, but this series doesn't have hard-core sex, violence and profanity. >_> That's why it's PG-13. Anyhoo, R&R everybody and check back for Memory 09: Rumors soon!