Memory 12 - This Is What I Feel
by Midori Kou
I know I love him...
I know how he feels...
But something seems missing.
I don't know why...
But when I see him,
My heart aches.
Why does it hurt?
Why it that...?
Why can't I feel pleased with my life...?
Takeru leaned against the door effortlessly as he exited his bedroom, leaving Ken to recuperate. Taking in a deep breath, his cerulean blue eyes stared at the vast colorless ceiling. Those distant, saddened eyes were lost to the blank top. It was plain eggshell white, nothing more. If only that ceiling were filled with colors. From an energetic, beaming yellow to a calming blue, he needed something there to show him the liveliness of reality. But alas, it remains a pale, empty color like the missing pieces of his thirsting heart and soul. Why can't he see these colors instead of the monochrome tones of the dark side of the world? Why could he create a brightness in which he could enjoy? He had the power to if he desired to, but something held him back... Something he could bring himself to overcome. That something was death.
Death, separation, hardships... These factors seemed to get the best of him. Why couldn't he forget about it or at least deal with it? For that matter, he couldn't determine the reason. Perhaps that's the reason he couldn't get close to anyone because he refused to. To be seen like everyone else... To not be forced into a fate in which he himself does not approve... To become more courageous and break through the cage that he trapped himself in... He wanted to do that and yet, all this time, he had failed to do so. Perhaps he was afraid to. Afraid to change for the better, afraid that he might forget what had happened to him... But to stay in one place while everyone continues to flow along their own paths was not worth staying the past.
Funny, how his ideology was altered since yesterday since he spoke to the raven haired angel. There was something about that other boy that wanted him to move on and yet not forget. A young boy who wishes to prove to others that he was no longer his old self... Maybe that's the reason he wanted to change himself even more so because of him. If Ken is fighting other people's personal views about him, I should at least try to. I should try to prove that I want to decide my own life... That I don't want to follow this woven path everyone expects me to go by. Why can't I just say it?
Frustrated, he went into the kitchen and grabbed a tall glass from the cupboard. As he filled the transparent cup with icy, cold water, his thoughts fell into a complete daze. His body became stiff and numb, remembering that time. If only he could relieve himself of this emotional scar.
"If he loved her, why did he abuse her...? If I love my parents, why did I kill him...?"
Takeru's mind winced at the thought of his decreased friend's voice. He couldn't understand the fact how that came to be. With Miki dead along with his parents, he may never know. The unanswered question that's buried in his heart of hearts...
"I want to forget all of this... I want to disappear... Will you do that for me, Takeru? Will you help me disappear from this world...? Because I tired of it all..."
Taking a sip of the cool liquid, the pallid angel was still tortured by that part of his past. Why did he stay...? Why didn't he run away? Did he really care about his best friend that much? To not abandon him... In a way, he did. He didn't stop the boy from killing himself or help him out of that horrible situation. How could allow himself to be his best friend if he didn't do anything for him? Perhaps that's what hurts him the most. He just did nothing but watch. Maybe his body was in shock that day, to see such a gruesome scene. If only he could change that day, but that part of history has become permanent.
If this is the case, how can he desire to protect Ken from the awful darkness of society if he himself couldn't have done so before? If only he felt more reassured... To know that he could be there for his fallen angel... To care for him... To protect him... If only he had the confidence to express himself that way instead of running away from it all.
Running away... That's what he really did when he left the café. Sure he had no problem starting a relationship with Ken, but what's been bothering me is everyone's impression of him. Everyone sees him so differently through their own perspective and if this gets out, would it improve his situation or worsen it. Why does he feel so selfish now? Shouldn't he worry about other things other than himself? Maybe because he hadn't been selfish since he was little. He had always wanted things and believed otherwise. He wanted to be with Ken and that's a fact. It's up to him accept it if he desires. It's up to him to do something about it. The same goes for Ken and the other boy made it clear that he wishes to be with him. "I guess I'm just afraid what the future will hold for us..."
Grabbing the cordless phone, Takeru set his glass upon the coffee table before he dialed the number for Ken's apartment. Taking another gulp of water, he carefully pressed the buttons. As the phone rang on the other end, the Bearer of Hope waited for someone to pick up the telephone.
"Hello...?" A female voice spoke from the other end. "This is the Ichijouji Residence."
"Ichijouji-kaachan... This is Takeru Takaishi," he calmly replied.
"Oh, hi~!! How are you?" Mrs. Ichijouji remarked enthusiastically.
"I'm fine, thank you."
"If you want to talk Ken right now, he's not home at the moment, I'm afraid," she informed him sadly.
"Well, actually...," Takeru murmured as he rubbed his head. "He's here with me at my place."
"Oh, I was kinda getting worried there...!" she exclaimed as her voice sounded incredibly relieved.
"Sorry...," The Bearer of Hope apologized.
"Oh, Takeru-kun. Don't worry about it. I'm glad that you did call."
"Well, I'll get straight to the point. Ken asked me to tell you that he'll be staying here for tonight. Is that fine with you, Ichijouji-kaachan?"
"Yes, that's fine with me... Although, I want to ask you something..."
"What is it?"
"How come you're calling on my son's behalf?"
"He's taking a nap and I didn't want to wake him."
"Is that it?"
"Yeah, don't worry. He's in good hands."
"Sorry for sounding so worried."
"You are his mother after all. It's understandable."
"Well, I'll let you continue doing whatever you were doing. Tell Ken-chan to call me tomorrow before he heads home, alright?"
"Sure, no problem."
"Take care, Takeru-kun."
"You too. Ja ne...!"
Pushing the off button, Takeru released a wearily sigh. As he sat himself on the sofa, the blond teenager leaned his back and stared back at the plain ceiling. Placing the back of his hand upon his forehead, he slowly closed his eyes. Ken, your mother really cares about you unlike mine... With no one here, it does get lonely. Even when Okaa-san is here, I feel the same. But you seem to fill that void. It's you I need, Ken... To prove I'm alive.
Opening his eyes with caution, Ken awoke on his side, facing the gift he had given Takeru the other day. Smiling, he couldn't help thinking what made the other boy place the star-engraved orb next to his bed. The raven haired boy was certainly curiously why he didn't put the present at his desk instead. Was it intentional or just unconsciously done? Whatever it was, he was glad that the pallid angel left it outside. For some sort of reason, it means so much to the dark haired Chosen. To him, it was somehow important and symbolic. Although the gift itself seemed insignificant, for it was a paperweight, it gained personal value.
As the Bearer of Kindness sat up, the raven haired boy realized he was completely nude. With the sheets covering him, he did not notice until now. Perhaps it was because of his fever he couldn't feel the difference. "When did Takeru...?" Then it hit him. It was the pallid angel was the one who completely undressed him when he was unconscious. Blushing at the thought, he didn't know if he should be furious or thankful. After all, if he were to stay in his amp uniform, he could have gotten much more ill than now. But that's be sides the point. Right now, he needed to find some clothes. Unfortunately, his school uniform was nowhere to be found in Takeru's bedroom.
Trying to roll out of bed, the fallen angel only had enough strength to push off the blanket over him. Still, he wanted to get out of the room for the time. To get some air perhaps... As he slipped his feet away from the sheets, the door opened carefully and Takeru entered in quietly. Quickly, Ken grabbed the pale green sheets over himself as the pallid angel eyed him.
"T-Takeru...!" the raven haired boy stuttered as his face glowed a bright red.
"Shouldn't you be resting?" The Bearer of Hope inquired with concern as he sat himself right next to him. Although the raven haired boy was shy and embarrassed at the moment, Takeru was quite indifferent.
"Well, I just wanted to...You know... Go outside of this room for the time."
"If that's what you want, then for what reason?"
"I had my reason, but he walked into this room a couple of minutes ago," Ken teased truthfully.
"Oh really, did he?" The blond teenager chimed. "Why him?"
"Because he can keep me company... And I could talk to him. I mean, it'll be strange for me to talk to myself, here.... Alone... In the dark...," The Bearer of Kindness trailed as he mumbled the details.
"Sounds like this guy is very important to you."
"Of course he is... For some sort of reason, he means a lot to me."
Takeru nodded to himself, remembering that the other boy does feel that way as well. Standing up, he gazed at the ceiling of his room once again. That vast emptiness seemed much smaller now. Unaware of the pallid angel's thoughts, Ken stared at him carefully... His distant eyes became suddenly warm and that stiff expression softened. He certainly seemed much different now in his eyes.
Kneeling before his nightstand, Takeru adjusted the lamp to aim its light upon the star-engraved orb. Confused, Ken looked over the Bearer of Hope's shoulder, observing what he was doing. Once prepared, the golden haired teenager turned the switch on, igniting the room with various tones of blues painted upon the walls and ceiling. It gave the room such a nostalgic ocean effect. These calming shades of blue... Where the paperweight was place... Was it because of this? To have such a pleasant atmosphere...?
"A blank ceiling...," Takeru uttered. "...Is only beautiful if it has character. When it's different and unique from the rest, it's more alive, don't you think...?"
"Yeah...," Ken replied as he leaned his head upon his back tenderly. "That's what makes us alive, isn't it? Because we're different."
"Because we're different...," The golden haired boy echoed as his eyes were lost to the deep blues covering his walls. "I suppose that's true."
"Ne, Takeru...?" The fallen angel murmured softly.
"Is that what you like about me? Because I'm different now?" he asked innocently.
Gazing at him at the corner of his eye, Takeru gave him a reassuring smile with those soft sapphire gems. Turning around to face the other boy, he extended his hand out Ken and stroked his cheek gently. Looking at the Bearer of Hope with a stunned expression at first, that warm touch of his angel certainly answered him. "It doesn't matter how much you change because you will always be the Ken that lives in my memory. You can never change that... We are different people from before but still you're still that gentle person and I'm always wishing..."
"Wishing for what?" he wondered.
"Wishing that one day that I can finally enjoy my life..."
Ken held his breath once he uttered those words. Somehow, the pain that was apparent to the pallid angel bleed into him. It made his stomach feel twisted in all ends and his throat dry and tense. Is this the pain he feels? Why does he suddenly feel it too? To enjoy life... Maybe because he can sympathize... For it's the same thing he desires as well. Perhaps that's why it hurts so much.
"I want the same thing. Maybe that's why I'm here with you... Because I want to enjoy my life and be happy with you..."
"That's why I want to be with you. It's not only because of your actions, but also your presence that I hold dear to me."
"My presence, huh?"
"Because you're here with me, I feel more than I could from others. This is what I feel about you."
"I think that applies to me as well. I act different when I'm around you for some sort of reason and I think that's the reason..."
Cupping the other boy's face carefully, the blond teenage boy leaned over and let their lips meet. That same warm sensation from before danced in his mind as everything around seemed to suddenly disappear. As Takeru pulled away, he gently placed his hands upon Ken's shoulders. "When I'm around you, I feel alive... When I'm with you, I don't feel lonely... When I touch you, I feel no pain... This is what I feel about you, Ken..."
The raven haired boy breathed as he and the other boy fell softly backwards onto the cushioned bed. Their lips melted together once again, more passionately this time. Slipping his fingers through the fallen angel's silky-smooth, ebony hair, Takeru gently combed it back as he slide his tongue to his opposite's mouth. Moaning, Ken followed the pallid angel's action. Their tongues intertwined and played as the golden haired boy's hands flowed upon his back ever so smoothly.
As Ken's saliva crept out of mouth, the Bearer of Hope pulled away and licked it away. Kissing the side of his neck, Takeru held his fallen angel close to his body harder. The other boy's fingers clinched tightly as he felt the other boy's tongue cooling his skin. That fact he had a fever slipped his mind at the moment. Just to feel Takeru touching him like this... To have that burning, pulsating feeling through his body... To feel that with his angel... He didn't want to escape it. He gave him what he wanted to feel and his heart ached for more and more as he continued.
Takeru pulled away for a moment of air and gazed upon the gorgeous physique of his other under him. He swallowed as he managed to utter, "Sorry... I shouldn't have..."
Those words surprised the Bearer of Kindness as of the moment. Then again, Takeru did veer away from going on earlier today because he wasn't himself. But, was that the true reason behind his words or did he really meant something else? Still, the raven haired boy did not comprehend why the other boy seemed so aggressive to hold onto him. It appeared that the pallid angel cared for him and yet he keeps pulling away every time they get closer. Was it that? The gentle touch of his lips upon his... The way his hands searching his body... Why, why doesn't it feel real somehow? This relationship of theirs... What was it based upon? Was it just triggered by a rush of emotions or hormones?
They had only been together for a day. Has it really been that long since they have been together? It felt like forever. Maybe because they knew each other for so long... Knowing each other... Did they really? As far as he knew, he knew little about the blond teenagers likes and dislikes and vice versa. How did they turn out this way? For this question, he could not answer. Maybe he was using Takeru after all in order to cope with problems. Or was it the other way around? As far as he knew, he only came to Takeru to talk. Sure he wanted his company and such, but he didn't imagine it to go this far. It was that mysterious pallid angel who kissed him the other day without question. Did the Bearer of Hope loved him or was confused and lost as much as he is? That blue-eyed bishounen's actions were so complex and unexplainable. Who is he without his mask? The two-sided Takeru... What an interesting enigma he is.
"Do you love me, Takeru?" the Bearer of Kindness asked abruptly.
"Yeah, I do. I did say it, didn't I?" he answered with a confused look upon his face.
"I know you did, but I'm not sure you know what you're getting into." Looking away, Ken gripped onto the sheets tightly. Frustrated, he didn't know how to tell him what he was currently thinking. Taking in a short breath, he became fearful about what was next.
"What do you mean?"
"I feel like the Takeru I'm with is the other one...," he shuttered.
"Ken..." The Bearer of Hope whispered gently.
"I really don't know anything about you, now that I think about...," Ken said immediately. This doubt between them suddenly made felt a cold chill done his spine. Unaware about where this conversation would lead to, he leaned in more to give his undivided attention.
"Well, we hadn't talked in a long time."
"That's the thing. We hadn't talk. No... We hadn't talked directly to each other until yesterday. In that one day, you listen to me, my every word. I know you did give me advice I needed, but that's not what all you did. You held me, touched me, kissed me..."
"You know why I did that...," Takeru uttered.
"Do I? I don't know why you've been so affectionate to me since then," the raven haired boy noted. "Why are you like this? Why do you touch me the way you do...? Why are you with me? Why do you help me? Why do you want me so badly? I just don't know what's becoming of us. Maybe I'm lying to myself... Maybe I want to believe that this is love... Please could you tell me, Takeru?"
"Why I've been like this...?" he laughed uneasily. Brushing his bangs back with his hand, his face seemed to be filled with anguish. Sighing, he replied, "Actually I have always been like this."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you really want to know why?"
Nodding in response, Ken placed his hand over the other boy's and gripped it tightly. With a gentle smile, that beautiful cheerful gaze somewhat relieved the pallid angel. "I'm willing to hear you out, Takeru."
"If that's what you want...," he said hesitantly. "I'll tell you then. The way I'm affectionate to you is kinda like how I'm with other people, if you know I mean."
"Other people?" The Bearer of Kindness was confused about where he was getting it. He felt it in his nerves what he was referring to, perhaps he didn't want to believe it. Still, he wanted to make sure.
"Yeah, other people... Sleeping around, y'know," Takeru said straightforward.
He answered the fallen angel's instinct indefinitely. For some sort of reason, he hurt him to hear the blond teenager boy say such a thing. Maybe because he told no one about it... No, because he told him now. To hide such a thing... Why...? Why did he continue to hide away? Realizing this, maybe the Takeru he knew was all a dream.
"You mean...," Ken murmured.
"Yeah, that's what I mean," he confirmed. "Just one of the traits of borderline depression."
"That's what my condition is called."
"So... now you know." There was thick silence between them. It was nerve-wrecking to sit in the dark with such an uneasy atmosphere. Unexpectedly, Takeru chuckled. "Not even Ni-san knows much about this." Clearly his throat, he reverted back to that solemn persona. Always covering his face away from everyone... He has the tendency to do that when he feels uncomfortable and agitated, it seems.
"That's why some of your actions seem unexplainable and elusive," the raven haired boy responded.
"Yeah, if you want to called them that... I suppose..."
Veering his face away from the fallen angel, Takeru shifted his vision towards the wall. It was difficult for him to tell the other boy this type of information. After all, it's very personal. But seeing that Ken was attempting to abide to his birthday wish, it was hard not refuse to tell him. The Bearer of Kindness knew about his promise to himself. To aid him such a way... Is this the path to finding yourself?
"When did you started...doing this...?" The raven haired boy managed to say.
"Since Miki's death...," he found himself replying automatically. "Ever since then..."
"Are you still...?"
"No... I'm not," Takeru reassured. "But I'm afraid I may return to it if I get hurt."
"You're as sensitive as me...," the Bearer of Kindness reflected.
"When I get hurt, I do stupid things too... Like running away and such..."
Clinching tightly onto the sheets, the Bearer of Hope felt a slight tremble from the other boy. Apparently, that incident still ate him away for he hurt his parents' feelings greatly. Returning his attention to the fallen angel, he stared into his amethyst eyes. They were filled with regret.
Trying to calm the raven haired angel, Takeru uttered, "Yeah, like that... I ran away too... Not exactly what you did, but something like that..."
"I know what you mean...," Ken complied as he nodded to himself.
Looking at his alarm clock next to his bed, the golden haired teenager noticed that it was getting late. Carefully, he helped his fallen angel back into bed. As he tucked him in, he muttered, "You better get back to sleep. Sorry for intruding."
"You don't need to apologize, Takeru," he noted with such innocent eyes. "This is your room after all."
With a light chuckle, a soft smile gleamed upon his handsome complexion. "That's true." Rising to his feet, the pallid angel paced towards the room. Ken's lucid violet eyes followed his movement. Reluctant as first, a part of him didn't want him to leave. Gathering his courage, he managed to retort, "Ne, Takeru...?"
"Yeah, what is it?" The other boy replied as he stopped in his tracks as he eyed the fallen angel.
"Could you sleep with me...?" he asked abruptly. Looking away after a rush of embarrassment filled his system, Ken blushed as he quickly tried to elaborate. "I mean, the literal kind not the--"
Suddenly, the Bearer of Kindness felt Takeru's finger placed over his lips. He didn't even notice the other boy had even moved, let alone was facing him. The pallid angel beamed as he replied, "Yeah, I know what you meant. Just get to sleep... And I'll be right beside you."
The sunlight burst into the room, bathing the two angels in warm amber light. The sparrows from outside sung a harmonious melody, waking the golden haired teenager. Groaning as he rubbed his eyes, his sat up as smiled in the direction of the sunlight. Yesterday's rain had finally died out. All for the better... Funny how their emotions seemed to reflect the sky. Perhaps Heaven weeps when they suffer and beams the warm rays of light to smile. Is it Heaven's wish for them to be together? Perhaps it was meant this way.
Glancing to his side was that beautiful angel who had stop falling into darkness at last. Placing his hand upon Ken's forehead and his other on his own, he checked his body temperature. Cool... The raven haired boy's fever seemed to vanish along with the rain. Smiling, Takeru felt as if a great weight had been lifted.
Wrapping his arm over his love, the pallid angel brushed his lips across his forehead ever so tenderly. As he rested his head over the other boy's, he gazed at raven haired boy's complexion. Like a child exhausted after play, Ken slept in his arms. I want to protect you... Forever... So I don't lose this feeling...
As he was lost in thought, the bedroom door opened unexpectedly. There was the doorway was Takeru's mother with shocked eyes. She couldn't find herself yelling at her son at this monstrosity. All she could hear herself was, "What have you done...?"
Quietly, he escorted his mother outside his room and into the hallway. Rubbing his head, Takeru sighed restlessly. He had expected this to happen, but he didn't know it would this soon. How could he explain to his mother about his situation? How could he tell her sincerely? If only he could find the words, but that's impossible now. After seeing that, she wouldn't want to believe that had occurred.
"Takeru, what was that just now?"
"What about it?" he replied in a mellow tone.
"Did you really... Did you really sleep with Ken Ichijouji?"
"Yeah, so what about it...?"
"What about it? What about it?!" Ms. Takaishi was outraged by his son's attitude. It surely made her blood boil along with entering that scene. "How can you say that so calmly? Don't you know what you did? You slept with a boy, not only that, but one of your closest friends!"
"I know that I did."
"How long are you going to keep this up? How long will you continue sleeping around?"
The question shot at him hard. No one knew about that except his mother. No one else, not even Yamato knew about that fact. Ms. Takaishi was ashamed about it and dare not speak about it ever. But after what she saw, she had to bring it up. It hurt him, but not as much as that fact that his mother was using his past against him. What was she hoped to prove? That he was wrong...? There is not right and wrong, only strong beliefs.
"Okaa-san... For your information, I slept with Ichijouji-kun... I didn't had sex with him."
"Then why was he practically naked?"
"Actually he is," Takeru stated. "But only because he got all wet and sick from the rain."
"Is that it?"
"What's up with you attacking me like this? I didn't do anything wrong!"
"Okaa-san, you're not listening to me!"
"Stop talking back to me. Listen to yourself...!"
"No, you listen, 'Kaa-san...! All my life, I've been following the path that you made for me without saying anything. All your plans and dreams were in me, but I never told you what I wanted... What I dream about... I'm tired of holding everything in so you can be happy and carefree. As much as wish for your happiness, I don't want to live my life hidden forever."
"Takeru, just please understand where I'm coming from. The world is hard and cruel. I want you succeed!"
"I want to succeed too, but not under your shadow, Okaa-san. I want to live my life... Make my choices... I don't want to be a puppet acting upon your wishes. I want to be alive, Okaa-san. How can I survive this world if you don't let me grow? Birds have to fly one day and start anew. So when are you planning to free me, Okaa-san?"
"Please let me choose my life. Let me live. That's all I ask. This is what I feel and now you know after so long."
END OF CHAPTER 12
Okay, I changed the ending for this one because I have something interesting planned out chapter 13. For those of you who reading the original chapter 12, you really can tell the difference. One thing for sure, Takeru and Ken literally slept with each other not the other kind like the first. ^^; Since the relationship seemed rushed in the original, in this version, I wrote the ending to Takeru still a bit distant yet somewhat accomplishing his wish to be more open in order to reveal his true self. Also, I wrote the ending to have Natsuki, Takeru's mom unable to believe and trust her son anymore, which is pretty natural after what Takeru did in his past. The original version seemed less reasonable since that's such a normal reaction from anyone and doesn't reveal much about Takeru and his mother's relationship at home.
Most of the original dialogue between Takeru and his mom remained the same, especially the one which I wrote based on my own life experience. I believe by writing Takeru based on me that it helped develop the anger he feels when he follows everyone instead of deciding with his will - which his actual personality is similar to.
Well I hope those of read the original find this more reasonable to follow. Those who didn't, I hope you enjoyed it for that matter. J Anyhoo, watch out for chapter 13 in the couple of weeks! Now go on and review, please! ^o^