A/N: This is my first story so please be kind ๑´ ▽ `๑) I'd really appreciate reviews so please do if you read! And…that's it for now eeepp~
Aoba was missing.
One day. Fine.
Four days. Okay…
A week. Something's up.
Three weeks. Something's very, very wrong.
When he checked in Aoba's room the morning following his departure (a departure he was unaware of until he read the note on the fridge) and saw that he and Ren were gone, he felt his stomach turn, his body already telling him that something was wrong. He looked for Ren, wanting to ask if he knew where Aoba had gone to, but he couldn't find the Allmate. He turned the house upiside down, looking to see if maybe Aoba had come home late and fallen asleep in some arbitrary place, but he couldn't be found. He though of asking the other occupants of the house if they had seen Aoba the previous night, but he didn't want to share this with them.
At least not yet.
So he took his search else where.
As the days passed, Koujaku searched every place he could think of and asked anyone and everyone, but he couldn't find any traces of his childhood friend.
He eventually contacted Tae-san, asking if he could speak to Aoba, hoping that the bluenett had perhaps made his way home without saying anything, but she seemed confused, and he felt his heart drop. Aoba left a note saying that he left with Koujaku, so why wouldn't he be there. She asked him what he was on. Perhaps he drank too much. Tae-san told him that he and her stupid grandson better not be hitting up any clubs. She said she wanted to have a word or two with her baka grandson. Her subtle way of asking if everything was alright.
Her way of unconsciously asking if something happened to her grandson.
Koujaku laughed into the phone and apologized, telling Tae-san that he and Aoba had indeed been drunk last night and that Aoba wanted him to get into contact with her so that she knew they were alright. He told her that Aoba was currently getting over a hangover but he would call her again in the next couple of weeks. Maybe a couple of months. Depended on how busy they were. Glitter was a fast-paced place after all. But Aoba would be fine.
He then hung up after a quick goodbye, not wanting to lie anymore than he had to.
After five days of avoiding he got in contact with Clear (well, more like Clear got in contact with him) whose presence could be summed up in one word: despair. He couldn't find Master. Master had gone into hiding and wouldn't come out he said. If he wasn't there to watch him, Master might fall asleep and never wake up. Looking at Koujaku with those eyes hidden by the mask worn on his face, eyes that Koujaku assumed were full of tears, he asked him to tell Master that he was sorry for whatever he'd done. He didn't like it when Master hated him.
After calming Clear down by assuring him that Aoba by no means hated him (or really anyone for that matter), Koujaku told Clear that Aoba wasn't hiding anywhere. He just went on a trip without telling them and ended up getting lost.
They just needed to find him.
Noiz (the bastard) ended up making an appearance around the eleventh day mark, absent-mindedly stating that he had been patient enough as Koujaku and Aoba had their time together, and demanded that Koujaku release Aoba from his imprisonment. After a few choice words and a couple of thrown fists (only to be intercepted by Clear) he told the usagi that Aoba hadn't come back to Glitter since he left that night.
That night almost two weeks ago.
Although he hated the kid, Koujaku felt a wave of relief when he saw the kid's almost nonexistent eyebrows raise a couple inches in a worried arc.
And so they searched together.
Because they all hoped that together they might find him.
But they didn't.
It was like Aoba and Ren had just disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Clear had searched almost every corner of the island. Noiz tried checking all the street cameras. Koujaku tried talking to as many people as he could, sending out other gang members to talk to as many people as they could. Even Mink, who just grunted when Koujaku had informed him of Aoba's absence, seemed to be doing what he could to gain information.
Even when he was gone, Aoba could bring people together.
It was day upon day of searching, asking, hoping, praying.
Upon passing the three month mark, though, their resolve was gone.
No amount of people would be able to find him.
Their seach was pointless.
They had nothing.
That's just how it was.
Aoba was gone.
And that was that.
It had been six months.
Six months since his disappearance.
And things had gone back to normal.
Or as normal as things could be without him.
Noiz was still playing Rhyme, and occasionally visiting the Junk Shop as if hopeful that one day, his blue haired angel would be behind the counter, smiling and laughing that they had all fallen for his joke.
Clear had decided to take residence with Tae-san, at least for now. However, she welcomed him with open arms. His days were spent wandering and sitting on the roof, swapping recipes and cooking tips with Tae-san, and, at the end of the day, curling up on Master's bed until he sung himself to sleep.
He wanted to keep his bed warm for when he returned.
Mink seemingly dissapeared after they called the search off. There was no point to him sticking around any longer than he had to. He only put up with them for Aoba's sake. And with no Aoba, there was no reason for him to care.
Koujaku had (reluctantly) gone back to his job. Cutting hair. He would occasionally visit Clear and Tae-san, though, and after Noiz (and once in a blue moon, Mink) made an appearance, they would eat together. Leaving his spot empty of course.
It was hard, but they had to move on.
Not look back, but forward, cause that'd be what he wanted.
So they did.
Until Mizuki woke up.
Mizuki's voice pierced through the white calm that had established itself in the room, his concern tinting it a dark red.
That was the first question he asked, and after month's of silence, Koujaku was unprepared. Saying his name was like a taboo now. And he had no answer for his question. After six months, he had no answer for his question. So he replied as honestly as he could.
A blank stare. Head slightly tilting. Fists grabbing at the sheets.
Hands found their way into his kimono sleeves.
"No. He's not dead Mizuki. At least, I'd hope not. He's just…gone."
But Mizuki would not accept it.
Dry Juice would search, he told him. They would find him. They would do what Aoba's so called 'friends' failed to do after so long.
Koujaku took his comments like a blow to the chest, but didn't have the heart to tell him that there was no point. That Aoba had left zero trace.
He was gone.
But they did find him.
Koujaku didn't bother to ask who or how or why, why they were able to find him while he couldn't. He didn't care at the moment.
A house. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Two guys, named Trip and Virus. Part of Morphine.
Aoba, looking for parts for Ren. Taken by these two guys.
In their captivity for the past seven months.
Still with them.
But not for long.
The inside of the house was almost completely silent, save for their soft footsteps on the carpeted hallway floor and Koujaku's occasional murmur into the darkness. His right hand ran along the hall's wallpaper, feeling for any sign of a door, while Noiz did the same with his left hand. It was dark though, and they didn't know which room held Aoba. So they resorted to checking every room they could find.
When he felt the dip in the wall, followed by the feel of wood underneath his fingertips, he reached out to get Noiz's attention.
"There's a door here," he whispered. "I'll check this room, but you should go check to see if you can find any others."
Even in the dark Koujaku could see Noiz's silhouette nod and continue down the hall.
He then slowly opened the door.
And the air in the room felt like it was suffocating him.
He had to blink a few times when entering, his eyes weren't yet used to the light. When his eyes had adjusted, he saw the room. Almost everything was black, quite plain actually, with the only noticeable things including the massive bed in the middle of the room, the side table filled with various different kinds of wine, and, in the bathroom, a suspicious metal box. He walked around it a couple times and looking on the inside, he saw small insignificant scratch marks on the inside of one of the walls. Maybe an animal was kept in there.
Perhaps Ren was here...
Upon further inspection, he saw a couple things in the room that he found…disturbing.
Going through closets and checking in every space he could see, he found there was a large variety of things underneath the bed. Restraints, blindfolds, bottles of pills and 'other' things, and…some things that shouldn't be mentioned. Close inspection of the top of the bed showed that whoever resided in this room obviously forgot to clean some stains that were on their sheets.
He looked away.
The scream came from down the hall.
It was the brat.
But even so, he ran as fast as his legs could take him.
Stumbling through the dark hallways, making twists and turns as the walls changed in direction, he found the room with the open door, light spilling out into the hallway.
"What is it?! What-"
His eyes widened.
And his heart stopped.
Noiz was there on the floor of the room, reaching out under the bed, his face flushed and hands shaking. He eventually pulled out an arm, pale and limp.
Noiz then looked to Koujaku, face stoic but eyes wavering. "I need help," he said, turning back to the arm and gripping it, careful to avoid the bruises that covered it.
"We need to get him out, but I don't want to hurt him."
Koujaku stared for a couple seconds but somehow made his way to the side of the bed, where the two silently and carefully pulled the figure from underneath the bed.
The whole arm.
Then his leg.
His head soon made and appearance.
And then he was out.
Once he was removed from under the bed, the restraints and the blindfold were removed from his body.
And he was free.
Noiz immediately got up and started looking around the room. Koujaku first thought that maybe he was searching for the guys who did this, maybe he forgot that they came while the guys were on a trip, but he ended up pushing the table that was next to the bed, a loud clattering sound as the bottles of wine and metal plates holding sweets were dropped onto the floor.
Koujaku felt the little body in his arms jump.
So he ignored the raging usagi and started gently running his hands though his friend's hair.
With his azure locks sprawled out on his lap, Koujaku could clearly see where they had cut his hair, half of his hair ending in rough, jagged lines at his jaw line. His silky ivory skin and rosy checks were gone, replaced with the pale emptiness of a carcass. It wasn't natural. It wasn't right. Obvious malnutrition made it seem like there was only paper covering his bones. You could count everyone on his body, and almost see them quake as his body quivered and shuddered with every breath he took. His body was littered with marks. Cuts. Bruises. Fucking animal bites. On his arms, his wrists, on his neck, on his waist and thighs. No part of him was left unmarked.
And he was filthy. There wasn't a single portion of his naked body that looked unscathed. Dried around his mouth, there was something pink and sticky. On his chest, unwashed blood from the cuts and scrapes. And coated on his thighs and stomach...
Koujaku looked, looked for any sign of life besides the pulse that he got from putting his fingers over the lines that ran across his wrist. There was no movement. There was no sound. And even though his eyes were open, there was nothing there.
Golden and beautiful he remembered. Even when he cried when they were younger, they sparkled. They were luminescent. They were the sun to his moon, and kept him forever grounded. But now they looked right past him. Void. Empty. Lackluster.
Koujaku felt the weight on his lap lessen and saw Noiz hoist Aoba onto his back. He didn't look down at him.
"Get up. We need to go."
He began walking out, leaving Koujaku still sitting there in the floor.
"Dry your tears, stupid."
He hadn't even realized he had started crying. But they wouldn't stop.
They wouldn't stop.
"He needs our help."
Clear and Mizuki turned from their place at the front door when they heard the sounds from behind them. They tensed and got ready to defend Koujaku and Noiz from whoever may have entered the house from behind them, but when they saw it was them, with Noiz carrying someone on his back, they ran up to them.
And stopped dead in their tracks.
Noiz continued walking forward without a word, and Koujaku followed close behind him.
"Come on guys," he said. "We can leave now."
Clear stepped forward, trying to smile. "B-but, Koujaku-kun, what about Aoba-san?"
Mizuki stared intently at Koujaku.
Clear's smile was beginning to metastasize regardless of his will.
They were waiting for him to say it.
Koujaku continued walking out and didn't turn back.
"Noiz has him, Clear, and we're gonna take him home. We found him."
A/N: Welp, that's all for now (don't kill me plz) Please review cause I'll love you forever and I'll see you when the next chapter goes up • v •