Part 2 'Like Fallen Stars I Die'
"There are days,
when I look at the sky and I see, clouds passing by.
There are days,
when I look at the sun and I think, of fire.
And there are days,
when I look at the night and instead of seeing stars,
I see every happy ending I will never have.
I am already burning down,
like a shooting star that's already dead."
This thing called happiness, was fleeting, Kaneki had realized, a bit too late, but just at the right time, to survive. Kindness was a weakness, and weakness could get you killed. It was also right then, he decided it was easier to isolate himself from everybody he cared about.
Uta' words that night would have made the old him feel warm and fluttery inside, all it made this Kaneki realize, is that he needed to get away before he'd drag Uta down with him. The goodbye he'd told Touka would've made the old Kaneki feel guilt, but he was different now, and caring too much could get someone killed. He needed no one else's death on his consciousness. So he cut himself off, taking with him only Tsukiyama, Banjou, and Banjou-san's followers. No one else needed to get hurt, not Touka, Yomo, or even Nishiki. He needed to get away from people others could use against him.
He could still feel the pity and understanding that had surrounded Yomo's eyes that night, when his gaze had met Kaneki's. Yomo had never sounded that sad before, uttering Kaneki's name like everything in the world had gone wrong, and the guilt that Kaneki could hint was odd. Because, honestly what could Yomo have done. What's done has been done. To win over fear, one must become what he fears.
Kaneki had feared ghouls, like they'd been the bane of his existence, and in a weird way, they were, but it hadn't been just ghouls. This whole world was warped in such a twisted way that it wasn't even at fault, they were. The things that crawled all over, trampling whatever they touched and creating the ugliness that distorted the world, from its natural beauty. They were the wrong things that needed to be gone.
It was a kind of sad fact, not one that Kaneki liked to admit, but one he preferred to ignore. He thinks, the saddest fact out all of this, is not that he may never learn happiness again, but not seeing Hide. Hideyoshi, who stayed with Kaneki through thick and thin, through his mother's funeral, and even now, worried about Kaneki, like he wasn't a flesh-eating monster who's all messed up inside his head.
He wanted to cry, and laugh altogether, and so, he did both. His tears cool against his warmer skin, and his laughs manic and hollow. He could never have another lunch at Anteiku with Hide again, he'd never eat human food, he'd never listen to Touka berate him for being clumsy, see Yoshimura-san smile kindly at him, hear Nishiki whine about how hard it was to make coffee, train with Yomo, Komo-san bragging about being the Devil Ape, or even the rare smiles that Uta tended to show Kaneki at times. He knows that he chose this, this isolation, his loneliness, and its suffocating desolation. He's just glad that Hinami had decided to stay with him, she's the only person that makes him feel like maybe if he tries hard enough, this world will show him some of hidden joy. He thinks that if he keeps her under his watch, maybe, he can protect her, more than he could for himself, or Kei-san and Kouta-kun. He'd let them die because he couldn't choose, even as Kei-san was begging him to choose her, and instead due to his foolishness, they'd both died in such a gruesome way that Kaneki couldn't take it anymore.
He'd snapped then, ripped off his binds and gave into the whispers of his mad mind. He decided to eat his torturer who'd murdered two innocent people who'd done nothing, because Kaneki was weak, too kind to do anything useful, and let rage fill his mind instead of fear as his eyes watched the corpses in front of him look so empty and bloody.
That night, he became a killer, but he doesn't consider himself one, he'd only fought to protect others from monsters, and to do that, he had to become one himself. And no monster, thought of itself as a monster, or even a killer. To monsters, their choices were simply normal choices, like how a fireman would choose to save a man in a burning building, or how a policewoman would shoot to prevent the murder of innocent life. They were all choices, and monsters killed to protect themselves, because the world already thinks they are murderers. And well, who is he to prove them wrong?
When he watches the skies tonight, it feels all wrong, like his skin is not his own, and there's too much wind hitting his face. His tears have already dried, and his laughs silenced by his too-loud thoughts. The stars are too bright, and the darkness of the night almost makes him feel like he can be swallowed whole. He kinda wants that to happen, to be swallowed and lost in darkness until he cannot hurt anymore.
And when a shooting star passes by, he cannot help the his heart as it skips a beat in excitement, before it fades as he thinks sadly 'There you were burning bright, but now you're falling, and while you die, people make wishes that will never bring you back just so they can believe in something.' It is rather ironic, Kaneki thinks, his lips twisting to form a sardonic smile, as he places his mask back on.
'We make wishes out of something dying; maybe, there's a point to all of this.' It's almost wistful, as he hears his heart thudding loudly against his chest, thinking, 'Maybe one needs to die, so that they can become reborn anew'.
This time when he looks up, his ghoul eye gleams in the dark, and he tries to erase the feeling of glee, when he remembers the words "Your mask is starting to suit you. It's...gentle". He cannot comprehend why Uta-san would even think so, he was a monster, a ghoul who ate ghouls, killed other ghouls, and tortured the rest. He sighs, and ignores his confusion over the words, instead, lets Rize's voice murmur to him, almost sounding kind, "That's right Kaneki-kun, fight, and eat, until there's no one left to eat." the purr in her tone makes him feel nauseated, though he does note the fact that her voice is much lower than it always is, probably cause he wasn't hungry enough for her to start screaming obscenities at him, until all he craved was flesh to satiate his deadly-hunger.
He decides to head back to the 6th ward, while silently murmuring, "Goodbye." to the 20th ward.
He ignores the tiny part in him that enjoyed seeing Uta smile that forsaken day, because it had been the first time seeing Uta smile. Kaneki jumped off the rooftop, to head back to Banjou-san and Hinami, before his thoughts wandered too much. After all, he still had to fight; Aogiri's Tree didn't seem to be waiting for someone to stop them, so Kaneki decided he'd stop them before anything else could go wrong.
He also needed to find that doctor of his, who suddenly went missing, which Kaneki thinks is no coincidence. Maybe this time, his nightmares will be of him turning into a monster without feelings, instead of being eaten by them, and snorts to himself, before beginning to run.
I don't know what happened with this chapter, really, it was meant to be just a simple night out with Kaneki thinking and watching the stars, and maybe later on, stumbling upon Uta somewhere, on the way back. But things took a darker turn, and here we are. I promise there will be more UtaKen in later chapters, I just don't want to rush those two, or ruin any of their characterizations so I can get to the romantic feelings. If you spot any typos, please tell me.