Disclaimer: Don't own nothing
Chapter 1 – Love story
"Mama! Mama! Look! There are ducks in the pond!" Rize didn't have time to think as the small hand clutched between her fingers started pulling her towards a small pond.
She chuckled at her son's antics, "Just don't fall in Ken-kun!"
"Uh!" He replied enthusiastically as he ran to the edge of the pond. The yellow hood of his raincoat breezed back from his head to land on his back, revealing a cheerful young face with a white medical eye patch slashed over one eye.
Rize sighed at her son's enthusiasm. She never could have imagined that having a child would be so much fun. She always thought of herself as a type of wanderer, travelling around in search of her next meal. The idea of a family had never even crossed her mind. It would have been too much trouble as the CCG were not above killing child ghouls in order to get to their target. Her movements weren't going unnoticed either, with the CCG already issuing out warning flyers about the rising star 'Binge Eater'.
It was on one of her little ventures where she met the love of her life. Of course at the time she merely thought of him as her next meal. It was in ward 20 where she saw him, or rather smelt him. It was his scent that first lured her. A faint passing scent, almost smothered by the overwhelming smells of everything around it, but she caught it. Crisp and refreshing, like the dew you would find on grass after a cold winter's night.
At first she only watched from afar, mildly intrigued by the human.
His name was Hiroki, a lean dark haired librarian with a preference of wearing those brown plaid vests that men decades older him wore. He lived a fairly ordinary life. Wake up. Work. Read. Sleep. Repeat. Wake up. Work. Read. Sleep. Repeat. It was after following the man for a week that finally something different happened in the cycle.
It was a Sunday night when it happened. Just after his dinner, instead of showering and reading in bed like he always did the days before, he changed into a large overcoat and left his shoebox of an apartment.
Rize was curious. What could have occurred that would have disrupted his schedule? She followed him as he walked through the park, easily concealing herself in the trees. It must have been 40 minutes before he stopped at the top of a small hill. Still hidden in the trees Rize watched as the human simply lay down on the grass, gazing at the stars for hours. How strange she thought to herself as she saw him leave.
She approached him the next day. Having already memorised his routine, she entered a small café 20 minutes into his lunch break. After politely asking if she could talk and receiving an affirmative, she easily slid in the vacant seat opposite him.
"So, uh how can I help you Miss?" He asked nervously, clearly not having much contact with girls.
She proceeded to tell him the same story she told all her victims. It was some cheesy tale about him being her childhood crush and with some encouragement from a friend she finally gathered up the courage to talk to her one true love. Of course it was immediately after her 'confession' that Rize realised that this human was different. Instead of eating up her story like others before him, he questioned her. Ordering her to explain exactly how she felt, what appealed to her about him and so on.
You see, she quickly learnt that he was interested in stories. Love stories to be precise. He described them to be inspiring, brilliant, stories where anything can be resolved because of the invisible and indestructible force of love. It was because of his declaration that he told Rize his dream. To be an author: the ultimate master of emotions, to have the ability to paint love onto paper with words.
She smiled and encouraged him to continue, her façade never failing. Inwardly she scoffed at the human sitting opposite her.
He was a fool.
No more and no less.
Love stories didn't help anyone in this cruel world of ghouls.
She never knew when it happened, but when she realised it all came down on her like a bucket of water.
Perhaps it was when he 'protected' her on that spring day from a bee. It must had been attracted to her sweet perfume. Hiroki, her self-proclaimed knight immediately tried to swat the bee away from her – with his hands – and ended up getting stung himself. She of course told him he was an idiot in which he only replied that it was worth taking the pain for her. Even she had to admit that it was somewhat sweet, a human trying to protect her against something so trivial was a first for her.
It didn't happen overnight, but somehow in the two weeks she spent with him, she gained just an inkling of feeling for him.
The notorious 'Binge Eater', feared for her mercilessness and brutality in slaughtering her food, was falling for a human? It was preposterous! Unprecedented! How could she ever show her face to the ghoul community again?
But even the mere thought of eating her Hiroki sent utter waves of revulsion and despair within her. It was just impossible, how could a man ever make her feel this way? She no longer saw his brown locks as a crunchy snack, but rather as soft silk or his eyes as chewy treats but as brown organs that he saw her with.
Her mother always warned her against playing with her food, but Rize never took any notice of the advice. Perhaps this was the price she had to pay.
Hiroki was just simply unlike anyone she had ever met before. He was nothing like the other ghouls: her brute of a brother Shachi for example or that idiotic ghoul from ward 11, Banjou.
To be frank, at times he was a moron. Yet at other times, he was an idealist who believed that the power of love could triumph over all the evil within the world.
Soon two weeks turned into two months. And two months turned into two years.
Rize had to admit, for the first time in her cursed existence, she was happy. Hiroki offered to share his apartment with her shortly after they announced their status as girlfriend and boyfriend and she gladly accepted.
Of course even though Hiroki was a scatterbrain, it was only a matter of time when he pieced the lack of food she ate and her immediate departure to the bathroom whenever she ate a tiny morsel of food together and asked her the big question…
…Did she have an eating disorder?…
Rize had sighed and wondered how she could had ever fallen in love with such an idiot.
Even though he hadn't figured her secret out yet, she decided to just come clean anyway and tell her boyfriend of her status of a ghoul, it would have done no good if he blatantly told anyone of his girlfriend's eating habits. It was as obvious as night and day to anyone who wasn't Hiroki.
As she had predicted, Hiroki wasn't bothered too much by dating a ghoul. In fact, he started yelling out that it would be a good concept for his new romance novel.
Rize only shook her head at her boyfriend's antics.
The couple married in the spring. Her favourite season.
When Hiroki asked her why, she stated that it was when the humans began to exercise and lose their winter fat, therefore giving humans the perfect muscle to fat ratio.
Her boyfriend turned husband started sweating profusely and vowed to never question his wife again.
It was almost a year later when the couple discovered that they were having a baby. The couple couldn't believe it. Babies were rarely even conceived between ghouls and humans. There were tales of a hybrid one-eyed ghoul but these were only considered to be rumours.
Well whether their son or daughter was the first of their kind or not, Rize and Hiroki assured themselves that their child would be loved and cared.
After numerous debates and arguments, the pair eventually decided on Ken for the name. For Hiroki it was because he wanted his son to dream big and by having an English name he would aspire do anything. Rize agreed with her husband, never divulging to him her real reason for approving.
Ken – to be strong and healthy. It was a fool's hope, but perhaps that name would grant their child the strength to be born.
After talking to many other ghouls, Rize had learnt that the offspring of a female ghoul and male human would almost always be identified as a food source and absorbed in the womb.
But perhaps, just maybe her child could survive.
Their little Ken-kun entered the world on December 20th, one eye human and one eye with the kakugan.
It was four years after the arrival of Ken-kun that the tragedy struck the young family. Hikori had been suffering from a bad cough for weeks. The couple hadn't thought much about it until he collapsed on the floor.
Since then the writer had been bedridden, coming in and out of fevers.
The doctors' reports were grim. Saying that her husband only had weeks to live and asked if he was interested in donating his organs. Rize had to restrain herself from ripping them to shreds and stuffing them in her mouth only because of her beloved's weak protests.
Three weeks later Hikori was dispatched to the hospital after blood was found after a painful bout of coughs. Since then she and her little Ken-kun practically lived in the hospital with him.
This time even her ghoulish senses could smell that the end was near for her husband.
Rize walked into Hiroki's hospital room and examined her husband.
His cheeks were sunken with beads of sweat speckling his forehead. His mouth was clenched as if he had just sucked a sour lemon. She sat on a seat next to his bed, careful not to wake him from his slumber, and stared at the bland wall in front of her. Her mind was totally blank.
It was after 10 minutes that Hiroki opened his eyes. "Rize-chan? You're here…"
She affectionately looked down at her husband "Of course dumbass, where else would I be?"
"He's playing with some of the other hospital kids downstairs." His hands slowly reached out from the confines of his blanket to entwine with hers.
"Good, I don't want him to see me like this."
"Che, stubborn old coot."
"Rize-chan can't you at least try to be nice until the end."
"Ha, who says it's gonna be the end?" She said snidely, hoping to bring some life back into her lover.
The ends of his mouth curved slightly to form a semblance of a smile. "I'm glad you're by my side Rize-chan." His hand strayed from their place in between hers and lightly caressed her cheek.
"You…gave…me…faith…in…this...dark…world." His eyes unfocused as his hand dropped from her face to limply hang from his bed.
She stayed by his bedside, her eyes bleak and downcast, never looking anywhere but her lap.
Faith? What was he talking about? She was Binge Eater, an S class ghoul who killed purely for sport. How could she ever make anyone happy? Hardened doves quaked at the mere mention of her name. Did she actually mean something to someone?
These thoughts plagued her mind as the hospital staff took her husband's body away.
She was unmoving, even with the nurses' pleas to get outside for air, the newly widowed ghoul continued to sit in the same position.
Rize rose from her vigil when the sun rose. Her eyes were dull.
It was stupid.
Totally and utterly stupid.
How had she ever been naïve enough to love something as fragile as a human?
The ghoul was jolted out of her memories by a small shriek. Blinking her eyes out of their haze she focused on the source of the noise.
Even in drenched clothes in shallow waters of the pond and with a frown on his face, her little Ken-kun never failed to look so cute.
"Ken-kun what are you doing in there?" She lightly scolded with a small smile on her face.
"I was trying to catch the duckies." He pouted cutely, crossing his arms across his chest.
"Come on, silly, you're gonna catch a cold." Rize squatted down towards her son and lightly pulled him out of the pool. "Time to go home."
"But what about the duckies?"
"Maybe tomorrow, we can even go buy some bread to feed them. How does that sound?"
"Good!" As if forgetting his accidental fall in the pond, with renewed vigour the small boy leapt off the ground and ran ahead with his arms out like a plane, making engine sounds with his mouth. Laughing as he stumbled upon a small rock, "You comin' Mama?"
"Yes Ken-kun," She slowly rose from the ground, watching her little bundle run across the park.
Oh Hiroki, if only you could see him now.
AH YES MY READERS I HAVE RETURNED FROM THE FIERY DEPHS OF HELL. It's been almost a year since I have written anything. I know I know, my absence from writing is inexcusable, especially now that I am starting a new fic instead of finishing off my other ones. But oh well, as the French say, c'est la vie. Maybe starting this new story will inspire me to actually finish off my other stories…who knows?
Don't let this first chapter deceive you, it's not going to be a childhood fic, I'm just putting in a few childhood chapters to set everything up for the main storyline. I hope everyone enjoyed this first chapter, not a lot of Kaneki but next one's gonna be jam packed with him as well as our good old friend Hide. Also, I don't have a set direction that this fic is gonna turn, so if anyone has any ideas, don't be afraid to shout them at me. I'll at least consider them.
Oh yes and please remember to review ^_^