|And after all these years
Author: starshards PM
After a fleeting vision of a woman who seems familiar, Rei struggles to remember the truth about his young life. But sometimes, memories are too bad to allow you to remember. [a little bit KaRe] Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Ray/Rei K. & Dr. K - Words: 2,438 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-05-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2567248
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Written for mah lovely Mourir, since she reminded me of this. Let's imagine shall we? Alas, I cannot remember much of the episode, so if some details are… wonky… well forgive me TTTT
...Oh, and another thing. Many of us believe that Dr.K is Rei's mom... that's all...
It wasn't that Max and Takao made him feel on edge or anything; it was just that he usually felt some strange desire to constantly watch out for them. He didn't mean to be cruel, but he believed that without someone looking after them, they would probably end up in some sort of trouble.
He sighed as he sat down on the porch and leaned back against the doorframe. Mao was right. He really was a mother hen.
The word struck him- mother.
He couldn't help but frown as he recalled the events of earlier that day.
As if it wasn't enough launching not one, but two blades at him, Rei felt more than slightly offended when the ship anchored just off the cliff they were standing on began shooting at them. The match itself was tough enough. Only his new upgrades and Zo's last minute rally had helped him overcome those disgusting squid. He had fought because he had to, and despite the fact that he was terrified of loosing Byakko again, in hindsight it really was best that he had been the one to battle. He was fairly sure that not even Kai would have stood much of a chance against those two blades without modifications. Besides, if a tiger found it hard enough in the water, how would the fire bird have found it?
And then those idiots on that boat had started firing at them. That had been annoying. He had gone to all of that trouble and they had resorted to trying to kill them. Whatever, no harm had been done. It probably wasn't their intention to be fair. They more than likely trying to cover their little creep of a blader's escape.
The match should have been what his mind dwelled on the most, but all he could think of was a brief flash. A fleeting glimpse he had caught in the chaos as the boat fled.
She was, what looked to him like a Doctor. He had asked casually after if anyone else had noticed her, but they had all responded the same way: They were too busy running at the time to notice.
Rei had no idea why he couldn't get that image out of his mind. She was just like many other women he'd seen- long dark hair, slim and medium height. She was attractive, from what he could tell, disguised as she was with a pair of oversized pink goggles on. He couldn't tell what exactly it was about her that tugged at him so much. Perhaps it was because he hadn't expected the enemy to be so beautiful. If he was honest, he hadn't even expected her to be a woman.
Perhaps that was it. But…
But something seemed off. For some reason, her presence today had stirred up vague memories.
He shook himself and bought up his knees, curling his body into his thighs.
He could barely remember those oldest memories buried deep inside of him. He could only remember feelings and random words.
It had been dark. Or at least it had seemed so. He really wasn't sure. He knew that it had, however definitely been cold.
He had shivered as water had dripped from his sodden hair and down his back.
He felt his teeth chatter as his whole body shook. The woman finished straightening his clothes and stood back up. Her eyes narrowed in thought, and for a moment Rei fretted that he had done something bad.
"M-mamma?" He stuttered, wrapping his arms about his small frame, hoping that it would warm him up a bit. Mamma didn't reply. "M-mamma, w-what are we d-doing here?" He tried again.
Mamma sighed. "We're sheltering from the rain, Rei."
Rei nodded. That made sense. Mamma knew everything, after all.
He still felt cold though. He held his arms out, hoping that mamma would hug him. Mamma didn't hug him very much, but sometimes if he hurt himself and cried; she'd rub his arms to calm him down.
Seeing that mamma was looking away from him, Rei tried wrapping his arms around her legs to gain her attention.
She reached down and batted his hands away. "Not now, Rei." She sounded annoyed. She sounded annoyed a lot of the time. Sometimes it made Rei worry that he was being bad, but mamma told him that he was a good boy and very well behaved. Rei was proud to have mamma say nice things, so he behaved as best he could.
But still… he knew that mamma wanted to be left alone, but he was cold and wet and hungry. Home was cold, but at least there he was dry and if it were really cold, mamma would put the fire on and leave him to play with his toys.
He couldn't understand why they'd left. Mamma was a busy lady, so he was used to her travelling, but usually she left him with someone to look after him, not take him with her. He liked the idea that maybe it was because he was becoming a big boy and mamma wanted to spend more time with him, but he couldn't help but wish that they could have stayed in another hotel. At first it had seemed like an adventure, travelling through the forest, but now he was tired and felt miserable.
"Mamma." She looked at him from where she had been staring absentmindedly before. "Mamma… I'm c-cold. C-can I have a c-cuddle, mamma?" He asked.
Mamma looked at him and for a brief moment, she almost looked like she would comply. "No, Rei. I need to go and get us some food." And with that, she began to move towards the door, mind made up.
Rei stumbled after her, gripping at her trouser and almost getting tangled in her legs. "Mamma! D-don't go. It's scary outside. Stay with me, please." He begged. Of course he was frightened for mamma, but more so, he was frightened of being alone with the wind and the rain pounding at the walls of the hut.
She reached down and detangled him from her. "Stop that, Rei! You want to eat don't you?" She asked angrily. Rei nodded meekly in reply and her eyes softened just a touch. She raised a hand to his cheek. "Wait here for me, Rei. I'll be back soon, not be a brave boy and behave." Rei nodded again, leaning into the affectionate touch. Mamma really was the most beautiful lady in the world. A lot of people said that he looked like her, but they said that he got his eyes from his papa. He'd never met his papa, but he loved mamma very much, so he didn't need him. Mamma did. Mamma needed for him to be a big boy and wait for her.
"Y-yes, mamma." He replied.
She smiled once, very briefly before she stood up and walked out into the wild weather without a backwards glance.
Rei waited. After a while, he got very tired of waiting for mamma and fell asleep on the floor. He was surprised to find that the sun was shining when he woke up and he sat up quickly looking around the room for mamma. His heart sank when he saw that she still hadn't returned. He was still damp from the night before and very hungry. He pushed himself to his feet and walked to the door, going to open it when he remembered what mamma had told him. If he were to open the door and leave he would be being bad and mamma would be angry with him for not staying where she told him.
So he sat down on the floor in the corner and waited for her.
The sun went down and everything went dark. The candle which mamma had used before had burned down last night. Rei curled up in a ball and tried to sleep. Tried not to think that mamma might be hurt. Tried not to think about how hungry he was. He tried very hard not to cry, but he wasn't big enough to stop his sobs.
Rei didn't sleep that night. He was frightened of the dark and of all the noises that came from outside. During the next day, he drifted, finding it hard to keep his eyes open. He was thirsty, having finished off his carton of fruit juice last night. He decided, as night fell once again, that tomorrow he would go and find something to drink outside. It was raining again, so there was probably a lot to drink and eat.
What if mamma was gathering a feast though? What if she came back and he wasn't here? She'd be very angry. He decided it best to see what he thought in the morning.
He dreamt a lot that night. He kept seeing strange things that seemed so real, but would then disappear. He had a friend named Andlei who kept visiting him, but just when he thought that he was really there, he would vanish on him. A lot of the time he would be eating, but he wasn't a very nice friend and wouldn't share.
The weirdest of all was when a couple of men walked into the hut, speaking a strange language. They were stout and had scary expressions, though their eyes reminded him faintly of his own.
One of them picked Rei up. He tried to fight back and be a brave boy for mamma, but he fell asleep.
When he woke up again, he was warm. There was a strange lady that wasn't mamma looming over him and touching him. He tried to back away, but he felt very, very weak. The lady spoke to him in with strange words and Rei burst into tears. He didn't know what was going on. He wanted to be at home with mamma. He didn't mean to be childish, but he was just so frightened and besides, mamma would be so angry with him for leaving the hut.
Rei smiled at him. "Yeah, sorry. I was just thinking."
Kai looked away to stare out across the lawn. "About..?"
Rei's smile turned genuine when he detected the worry in Kai's voice. "Nothing much. Just thinking about the past."
"The past?" Kai pushed.
"Yeah, someone I saw today reminded me of someone I knew once. I'm trying to remember something that's pulling at me like I should but… I can't. A few fragmented images and a few snatches of feelings, but asides from that… nothing. My first clear memories are playing with Lai and Gao." He explained.
Kai shrugged. "Maybe you're not meant to remember." Kai supplied.
"Maybe." Rei sighed and shivered once, feeling a little cold. Kai's words did make sense, but his reply was lost as Kai went back inside with a whisper of movement. Rei closed his eyes, suddenly feeling melancholy as a frightening thought struck him. It was true that he could barely remember his past before the village, but he did remember his mother leaving him and telling him to wait. It was the one thing that was clear, but ever since he had been old enough, he had accepted that his mother had likely died on her search for food.
But… what if she hadn't died at all.
"What if she left me on purpose?" He whispered. The thought left him feeling a little sick.
"What if who left you?" The voice startled him, as did the sudden feeling of something draping around his shoulders. Looking up, he found Kai looking down at him curiously and when he reached up, his fingers met the material of Kai's jacket. He smiled a fraction and curled his fingers into the smooth, purple material.
"It doesn't matter, Kai." He replied. Kai looked ready to speak when he shrugged and let it go.
Rei felt touched by the affectionate gesture and looked out across Takao's garden, a small smile upon his face.
The image of the woman flitted through his mind and he frowned.
It was stupid to associate her with his mother. A stupid fantasy that he wouldn't give the dignity to come to fruition.
But there was a moment… a single moment when their eyes had locked onto one another.
Had Rei seen a spark or recognition in her eyes?
Of course not. It was nothing more than a pathetic delusion.
He had to keep telling himself that.
"Kai." He said suddenly, driven by compulsion. Kai looked down at him questioningly. Rei suddenly felt stupid. "Never mind." He muttered.
"What?" Kai asked softly.
Rei blushed, feeling awkward. "Not- not to sound weird, but would you… erm…" Rei cleared his throat. "Would you hug me? Just for a little while at least?" Rei felt moronic for his request and stared at the floor, sure that Kai would ignore him.
And then, to his surprise, Kai wordlessly dropped to the floor beside him and put his arms around him.
The image and the unanswered questions evaporated from his mind as Kai held him close. As long as he had at least one person who cared about him and would hold him when he needed it, he'd be okay.
And he knew that as long as he had his way, he'd be the best damned stand- in mother in the world.