Memory 11 - If Only...
by Midori Kou
To be in such a situation like this...
To be seen like this...
I never thought I would be troubled.
Here we are, together
Yet I feel I need to hide the truth about us.
Should I do such a thing?
Should the lies continue?
What should we do?
Surprised, Ken gazed at them with such a stunned expression upon his face. His body gradually became numb and nervous by the presence of Daisuke and Hikari. Gripping his slacks as a method of security, he would never have thought he and his pallid angel would have run into the two on this occasion. Even so, Takeru didn't seem distressed by their arrival. It was like he was expecting something like this to occur one day. But why this day...? Why today...? Why couldn't it be further into the future instead of the presence? Sighing, the raven haired boy tried to gather all his courage to tell the two the reason why he was here. After all, Tamachi is pretty far from Odaiba and his presence was quite questionable.
As he took in a deep breath, Ken was on the edge of spilling the truth about him and Takeru until the blond teenager interrupted and replied for him on his behalf. "Ichijouji-kun came to visit us at school, but only found me there at the time," the blue-eyed young man lied innocently before he took another sip of his coffee. Glancing at the Bearer of Hope, Ken was certainly amazed how casually he lied to the two with such an easy-going expression glossed over his fake self.
What was truth? What were lies? Takeru had certainly covering up every bit of his true self. Surely they had noticed it by now, but were they planning to stop it from continuing? To stop Takeru from hiding away behind that façade... Ken reminded himself. That's what he wanted, right? So why is he still lying? What reason do you have to cover this up? Will Daisuke and Hikari-chan believe it though, the lie that Takeru created?
"Visiting us?" The goggle boy echoed as he buried his hands into his pockets. Giving his best friend a confused look, he questioned former rival's reasoning. Directing his attention only towards Ken, Daisuke asked, "But don't you have cram school or something?"
"Yeah, but..." The Bearer of Kindness uttered hesitantly, looking down at the table. It was difficult to lie to the spiky haired teenager when he could practically see through all his doubts and frustrations in this conversation. Still, he was in no place to take immediate action at the time.
"But what...? Did they cancel the class today...?" Hikari wondered.
At that point, the Bearer of Kindness felt cornered but the long haired brunette's question. Daisuke and Hikari knew about the other boy's schedule quite precisely despite the fact he no longer could find the time for them. Sad to say, he regretted ever telling them in response to the situation. But he did tell them, he couldn't change that. What's done is done. But can he counter this? How could he manage to avoid an extended conversation? With the lie Takeru had created hanging in the wind, the best he could do is play along to avoid any more conflicts in the facts.
"Yeah, they did," he confirmed forcefully.
"Oh, in that case, mind if we join you two?" Daisuke politely inquired, though still suspicious.
"Go ahead, but I got to go." Takeru replied.
Shocked, the dark haired teenage boy couldn't believe what his beloved pallid angel had just said. Was he really going to leave Ken by his lonesome? To leave him with Daisuke and Hikari...? What was the meaning of this?
"Now? Oh, come on, Takeru-kun...!" the auburn haired girl protested. "It's been a long time since we hanged out together."
"Not really. Remember we did hang out yesterday," he remarked coldly as he grabbed his belongings.
"But..." Ken said gently, catching the pallid angel's attention. An awkward silence grew between the two teenage boys, causing Daisuke and Hikari to be suspicious of the situation. What did they walk into?
"Guess we'll talk some other time, Ichijouji-kun," he replied calmly. "Well, I'll see you guys around. Later." Throwing his school bag over his shoulder, the Bearer of Hope departed from the group. Hesitant, he did really want to leave his fallen angel like this. Standing idly at the café's entrance, he glanced at Ken temporarily. That endless gaze of crystal sapphires locked onto the raven haired teen's eyes. Forcing himself to leave, Takeru pushed open the door and exited the café silently.
The rain hadn't died out yet. The icy, chilly drops of water pierced through the blond's clothes, wetting his entire body. As the pallid angel walked passed the window where they had sat, Ken quickly rose to his feet.
"Ken?" Daisuke muttered, unaware about his best friend's actions of the moment.
"Sorry, but there's something I need to do!"
"Ichijouji-kun, what's going on?" Hikari asked.
"I'll tell you guys when the time is right, but now is not the time. I'm sorry, but I have to go. Ja ne!" Quickly grabbing his school bag, the dark haired boy rushed out of the room and dashed in the direction where Takeru headed.
"What was that about, I wonder...?" The spiky haired teen replied as he seated himself.
"Who knows..." Hikari joined him.
"Maybe..." Daisuke said under his breath.
"Maybe what...?" the brunette girl curiously asked with such innocent eyes.
"Maybe Ken had found that person...," he pondered as he clamped his hands before his face.
"That person? What do you mean?"
"Erm, nevermind," Daisuke replied, drawing away from the subject. "Say, we should order something."
"You know something, don't you?" Hikari accused as she pointed her index finger between his two copper red eyes.
"Wh-what?! Me?" he denied as he grasped onto her hand to move it out of his view.
"Oh, come on! Spill!" The Bearer of Light groaned.
"You wanna know what I know...? I think Ken finally found his special person, someone who he holds dear," the goggle boy uttered uncomfortably.
"You mean, he's in love with someone...?"
"I believe 'that someone' was the blond who rushed out of here."
"Ehhhh~!!" cried out Hikari with an explosive surprised expression across her face. You mean-"
"Bingo! Looks like it..."
"When did you know?" she wondered.
"What...?! Right now, but how?"
"Ken made it a bit too obvious when he kept eying Takeru and chasing after him when he left. Plus, when asked why he was here, Takeru covered up for him, probably to protect their relationship or something."
"That's some detective work."
Daisuke chuckled solemnly as the waitress gave them their menus. "Well, I learn from the best."
"And who would that be...?"
Flicking his finger on Hikari's forehead for her lack of realization, the spiky haired teenage boy grinned. As she rubbed the area where Daisuke smacked, the auburn haired girl noticed he placed his index finger upon her nose.
"Kimi wa," he carefully enunciated as he winked at her. Giggling shyly, Hikari blushed, covering her face with the menu. Daisuke laughed as returning back to skimming through the choices of drinks available.
Running through the rain as fast as he could, the cold rain blinded the Bearer of Kindness's vision. The pouring waters did not calm down any further which made it difficult for him to search for his pallid angel. Where could he have disappeared to so quickly? He was following him for a second and suddenly lost him in the crowds. Dashing down the streets and through stairways, Ken wandered the city, trying to find Takeru. Still, there was no trace of him. With the growing frozen air, the raven haired boy's endurance towards the rain gradually weakened.
Minutes grew into hours. Coughing, the chilly weather had certainly got to him. This didn't stop him from proceeding further on. He was completely drenched and numb, but he could not allow himself to be defeated so easily. Why did you leave all of a sudden, Takeru? Are you afraid too? Are you afraid of what will become of us...? Unless it's something I don't know about. Are you still hiding from everyone, the true Takeru? Where are you? Where are you when I need the answers from you...?
Exhausted, he found himself at the park near the Rainbow Bridge. In the end, he failed to find that golden haired bishounen. Have he returned back home? If he did, he no longer had the energy to go look for him once again. He was on the verge of collapsing to his knees. As he attempted to search one last time before heading back to Tamachi, Ken heard his name being called out.
Turning around, he saw a teenage boy in an Odaiba Junior High uniform with that very blond hair and deep ocean blue eyes from afar. That face... Could it really be? Weakly, he smiled and muttered softly, "I finally found you... Takeru..." At that very moment, the raven haired boy lost consciousness and fainted in the winter rain. With cold water pounded his body, the Bearer of Hope paused. His deep ocean blue yes widened as his mind was filled by shock.
"KEN~!!" The pallid angel cried out as he rushed to him immediately. Cradling his fallen angel, the other boy felt as if he was lifeless. He showed no evidence of energy expect for his beating heart that burned through the golden haired teenage boy's senses. Takeru tried to shake him awake, panicking about the situation. "Ken, come on. Wake up!"
Placing his forehead against his own, raging warmth emerged from the raven haired boy. "A fever...," Takeru told himself. "Not good at all." Shaking Ken once more, his fallen angel appeared like he would never wake. Still, he got no response. Quickly, the Bearer of Hope kneeled to his knees to toss the dark haired teen over his shoulders. Grasping onto his legs tightly, the pallid angel carried him away from the rain.
Stupid Ken...! Why did you pushed yourself to look for me? Am I really that important to you? Do you feel the same about me? Is that why you did this to yourself? Ken, why? Why couldn't you wait for me? You are such a reckless idiot, you know that...
Pulling the sheets over Ken, the pallid angel carefully tried not to disturb the raven haired boy from his deep sleep. As he placed one hand on his forehead and the other on the other boy's, he sighed softly, relieved that Ken's fever slowly died down. Still, the Bearer of Hope was certainly bothered by the idea of the fallen angel walking in the rain carelessly. The other boy could have gotten pneumonia, fortunately that wasn't the case.
Grabbing his chair from his desk, he rolled it beside the bed and seated himself. As he rested his elbows on the mattress, the blond teenager noticed the other boy groaning groggily. Takeru backed away for a moment, trying to wake the dark haired Chosen. Luckily, the blue-eyed young boy didn't.
Cautiously, Takeru let his hand caress his cheek softly. Noticing his locks of ebony shielding his angel's eyes, he carefully stoked it aside and stared at the boy's beautiful pale face. When asleep, the Bearer of Kindness appeared more gorgeous and pure. God, he wished his sapphire eyes won't stop gazing upon his handsomeness. When Ken murmured once again, Takeru pulled away quickly.
"Takeru...?" the raven haired boy mumbled as he tried to sit himself up.
"Hey, you should lie down," The Bearer of Hope suggested as he gently pushed him back into bed.
"Where am I?" he asked as he rubbed his eyes.
"In my room," Takeru replied hastily.
"Yeah... You're lucky that I was able to carry you all the way here. After a while, you get heavy, you know that."
Ken laughed gently, avoiding coughing. "Where's your mother?"
"Okaa-san's out working again so..."
"Oh... Is it always like this?"
Looking at Ken blankly, Takeru did not comprehend what he was referring to. Perhaps he did understood what he meant clearly, but he rather not want to talk about it. Still, the fallen angel didn't mention it. As of the moment, he was more bothered by the idea of Ken reckless behavior. Is it supposed to be this way? Is life supposed to be hard? Is there no easy way out? Perhaps that's why he felt affectionate towards the fallen angel. The other boy supports him through life somehow. Just his presence seems intensely significant... Perhaps that's the reason why he feel he should speak to him. Looking at him once again, the blond teenage boy inquired, "Like what?"
"You being alone... Are you always alone?"
"Yeah, with Okaa-san always working like this... Of course I am," he replied in a cheerful tone.
"Aren't you lonely to return to this every day?"
Takeru paused for a moment in response to Ken's question. Was he saddened by the idea of coming hone to no one? Was he depressed not being able to talk to anyone or have anyone respond back? Was it lonely? How can he say he's not? It's obvious, yet he didn't want to utter such a thing. His mother had to work and with her always preoccupied, that's how it will be. There's not way to change it. It just can't be helped. "Not really, I'm pretty much use to this."
"Yeah... I am...," he replied in a stern, cold tone.
"You don't seem like it..."
"How can you tell? You're here, aren't you?"
The raven haired boy peered at him surprisingly. Blushing, he turned to his side so his reddened complexion does not show. Takeru smirked by his childish action and chuckled softly to himself, inaudible to the fallen angel's ears. "Yeah... That's true," Ken answered.
"So how can I be lonely?" he countered.
"Takeru... So if I'm always here, you wouldn't be lonely, right?"
"Yeah, of course..."
"But what if you're not here for me?"
"You told me that you'll listen to me... But you just rushed out of the coffee shop when Daisuke and Hikari-chan came. You left me there alone to fend for myself..."
"Ken, I didn't mean--"
"Were you afraid to stay there?"
"That's not it..."
"Then why? Why did you abandon me back there? Why did you lie to Daisuke and Hikari-chan about me being here in Odaiba? I came here for you. I came here so I could see you. I thought I heard correctly today when I heard you say that you love me. Because I feel that way too... I love you too, Takeru."
"Is that what you really feel or is it because you're lonely, Ken?"
"Of course this is how I feel. Sure, I'm lonely... But that's not why I love you."
"Then why? Because my being here for you just seem like you only need my comfort."
"Do you think I'm using you?"
"Are you?" Takeru wondered.
"No, I'm not!" The Bearer of Kindness resented.
"Because you mean something to me... For some sort of reason, you do everything to help me or feel better about myself. Yeah, it's comfort... But there's something about it that's so different... I don't know why, but it does."
"Is that love?" he inquired in return.
"I guess it is..."
"Strange... I have yet to feel all of that..."
"How can I help you feel free from your worries if you don't talk to me? If only you talk to me, then maybe you could feel that... To shatter that fake self..."
"Talk to you, huh..."
"Yeah, just talk about anything..."
"Anything on your mind... Just say it."
"How can you change yourself? Your character so others will think otherwise...? I want to do that...," The pallid angel uttered. "But no one knows the real me..."
"Maybe you should show them the real Takeru who is talking to me... The one who doesn't hide his past and feelings... The one who suffers like everyone... The one who isn't invincible...Then they will know."
"To reveal that isn't that easy..."
"Yeah, I know... I have the same trouble as well."
"All this time, I thought no one understood me... But really I keep everything to myself. Maybe that's why they don't know that I suffer along with them."
The raven haired boy nodded in response as he turned to the other side to face his beloved. Throwing his arms over the sheets, he sighed. "Maybe because I believe they already knew... Assuming that they understood me... I guess I screwed myself over for thinking to highly about them."
"That may relate to me as well... Everyone knew about Miki's death. Although they knew I was hurting, they had no idea that I witness it... Touched his blood... Saw him dying... I guess I wanted them to know what I was feeling, how tormented I was... But just couldn't say it. I suppose I lost myself that day, the true me..."
"Is that it? Is that the main reason why you take anti-depressants...Because of emotional withdraw or trauma?" Ken asked.
"Yeah, that pretty much sums it up."
"Then, what about your headaches?"
"Just some side effect I get... That and tiredness."
"That makes sense then..."
There was a dead silence between them. A dark sadness emerged in the atmosphere by the subject of Miki Akatsu. It was a serious topic they seemed to touch today. Funny, how the golden haired boy was exposed this truth so easily without any hesitation. He uttered the words so freely to the fallen angel yet cannot find himself to speak about it amongst others. Why is that? Why only to him? Perhaps he believed that Ken would understand, for Death ruled his life as well.
"You know I didn't mean to leave you behind, right?"
"I believe you. Whatever reason, I'll respect it."
"You mean, you don't need to know?"
Shaking his head, the Bearer of Kindness smiled gently to the other boy. Takeru blinked in response, unable to find words of gratitude to say. "No... I really don't need to... Because you listened to me and talked to me... That's good enough for me."
"Thank you for being so understanding."
Rising to his feet, Takeru stretched his weary arms carefully. As he headed towards his bedroom's door, the blond teenager heard the other boy murmured, "Where are you going?"
Looking at his dear angel, he released a reassuring grin. "Just going to use the phone. I have to inform your mom that you're at my place and going to head home a bit late, y'know..."
"Could you tell her that I'm staying here for the night? There's no school tomorrow, so she'll let me..."
Seeing the raven haired boy in this condition, it's understandable why Ken would request such a thing. He looked terrible and exhausted. He was in no condition to return home on his own. And even if he escorted the fallen angel to his apartment complex, he may collapse once again. With a calm and sincere gaze, Takeru nodded. "Sure, I'll tell that..."
"Just take it easy and rest, okay?" the golden haired teenage boy suggested as he stood by the door.
"Mmm...Yeah...," he grumbled as he covered his face with the blanket to keep himself warm. As Takeru left the fallen angel by his lonesome, the raven haired boy gazed at the nightstand beside the bed. There, within his view was the star-carved orb paperweight that he gave Takeru the other day. Lying under it was that note that slipped into the other boy's trench coat as well. He kept them close to him... The dark haired boy's lips curved as he drifted to sleep. Thank you, Takeru for being so kind...
END OF CHAPTER 11
Man, this was a late chapter update. Stupid job of mine makes me had less time to write. I have so many fanfic ideas in my head and I just want to write them all! XD Anyhoo, I hope you guys like this chapter. I kinda flaked off on the descriptive language in this one, but hey you get more dialogue this time. I'll probably revise this in chapter in the future because it feels rushed.
It took so much time to plan out how to go about the Hikari and Daisuke scene. I mean, I had to have them figure out the relationship somehow. And since I made Daisuke an observant character, I used him to reveal that he knows what the heck is going on. (Fast relationships = Fast realizations.)
In case you guys are wondering how the heck all of Takeru's presents, including the one Ken gave him, were in his room at the Takaishi Residence, it's rather simple. Yamato dropped them off there. I'm going to make a side story about that with chapter 12 about it. You guys will totally laugh about it. :p Hehehe... He had to have chores despite the fact he's a rock idol, you know. Well enough blabbering, go R&R! ^o^