Another Me

Author: Green Phantom Queen

Rated: T

Summary: Gentaro Kisaragi looked at his own reflection, and then...he understood.

Notes: Takes place during II Genesis of "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades". Title is named after the song "Another Me", sung by Jeff Hardy

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver."

-Niccolo Machiavelli

I look at my own reflection in the reflective glass on the door. There, I see everything. I see everything and nothing.

I stand on the rooftop of Amanogawa High, the school I have been enrolled into for barely a year. I notice the color of my skin. It is pale. No, it is more than that. My skin is white, like a bleached skull or even the color of snow. They all resemble death to me.

Death...that word leaves my lips in a silent whisper in the night sky. That's right. I'm dead. Even though I carry no watch on me, I know that I died four hours ago. I feel uneasy in this body, despite living in it for the past seventeen years. When I raise my hand into the air, it feels somewhat lighter. I feels like I'm parading around in a strange costume of flesh, muscles and sinew. It just doesn't feel 'me'.

I throw a punch at the door, expecting pain. I retract my arm back and look at my knuckles. They are slightly bruised, but I do not feel pain.

Ah, that's right. It's because I'm dead.

I look back at my face, and I peer into my reflection's eyes. My eyes used to be brown. My mother and father used to say that they are the color of amber, a gemstone that was said to symbolize courage. Now, they are black. I like them better that way; they symbolize everything that I am.

I am darkness.

I am despair.

I am vengeance.

It is all thanks to my master's blessing. Master Ophiuchus resurrected me from death, and he made me see the truth. My friends were not real—they would not mourn for my death. They pointed fingers at one another, blaming each other and shouting hurtful words while I laid on the ground with a stupid smile on my face.

That's not all. I must not forget the face of my killer—Ryusei Sakuta. Yes, it is because of him that all of this happened. I saw him opened up to me once. He punched me in the face then apologized for his actions. I was stupid to tell him how he reminded me of Kamen Rider Meteor. Who would thought it would be so ironic that I was talking to Meteor that day? I should kick myself in the head for my own stupidity.

No, I shake that thought aside. I should not blame myself for my fate. It is Ryusei's fault. He sided with the enemy—he sold himself to the devil. However, the devil is no more. Yamada Tatsumori met with justice, and now he slumbers forever, a victim of his own karma. Serves him right.

I run a hand through my hair. It no longer holds its shape of a pompadour that I spent twenty minutes every morning to shape with hair gel. It frames my dark eyes like a veil. I like it better this way—it shows the true Gentaro Kisaragi, the one that will not let himself be hurt by things like friendship.

I turn away from my reflection to look at the night sky. I squint to see the full moon. It's scarred, but yet is still filled with radiance and beauty. I am one of the only few people who knows something about it, though. Resting on its surface is the Rabbit Hatch, the old hideaway where I used to hang out with my 'friends'.

I feel a rush of memories in my head. I am on the moon's surface, dressed in an astronaut suit. I am surrounded by my...friends, in front of a white flag that bears the logo of the Kamen Rider Club.

In my memories, everyone is happy. There are no worries. There are just seven kids on the moon, jumping for joy. In the Rabbit Hatch, there are seven kids in a secret clubhouse in space, free from anger and sadness.

I hate them. I hate everything about these optimistic times and how everything was taken away from me.

I grit my teeth, turn my gaze back to the door, and bring my fist back. I punch the door harder, expecting a crater to form when my fist connects. The door is intact, and I still do not feel any pain. Is this a blessing or a curse? I do not know.

I sit down, picking up the book resting on the rooftop. It is an old atlas regarding the celestial bodies. I close my eyes for just a minute, and I feel a thousand voices singing in my head. These are the voices of the stars that call me from light-years away. Did they always do this, or do I hear them now since I am dead? It is hard to tell, but that does not bother me.

I open the book, letting my fingers flip through the pages for an umpteenth time. I lost count of how many times I've read through this tome, but I know that I've had it for the past decade or so. Time feels so strange now since I no longer seem to live in it. I feel more at peace than I ever had in my entire life. I don't feel tired; instead I feel like I want to punch the moon where I stand.

But I can't.

I won't.

I have only been told to stay here while I await my master's commands. Master Ophiuchus is scouring the city, searching for something of importance. Whatever it is, I do not know. It sounds like I should know it though.

Suddenly, I feel something in my mind. It is my master's voice hissing in my ear. I feel as if everything is slipping away, like I'm falling into a sea of quicksand. A sibilant voice echoes inside my head, but I know who is calling me. I smile.