Author's Note: This story starts at the bridge scene, where Touka beats up Kaneki. Rip Ken.


"Kaneki is back"

The moment those words left Hinami's mouth, she ran. Ran as fast as her legs could go. She could go faster in ghoul form, but it was in a public area.

Dashing out the library, she shoved past everyone, ignoring their curses evidently directed at her. In her mind, she was formulating a way of approaching the man, one she missed so dearly, yet loathed for leaving. Which side would she show? The caring or the angry? She kept running, not stopping for a moment...


"Thank you Yoshimura"

"No problem Kaneki"

The white-haired figure left the manager's room. Walking down the steps, he checked his watch.

"It's seven already huh?"

Its time to leave. The cafe was silent. It was closing time for Anteiku, thus the absence of customers. Walking past the staff, he put his hood on and lowered his head, yet he could still sense their stares.

"Serious as ever." Kaya.

"That asshole can never look happy huh." Nishiki.

"The Devil Ape finds him to be too serious..." Koma.

"He's soooo cute!" A new voice? He took a peek. 'Roma', that's her name. "He looked at me!..."

Yomo is absent. He saw Hinami run off just now, and Touka... Where is she? Probably studying for the upcoming exams. He shook his head. "Kamii huh. Good luck then." The door bell chimed as he exited the cafe. He pondered about his conversation with Yoshimura.

"I'm not returning,"he said. "I am just here to update you on certain Aogiri activities." Yoshimura looked disappointed, but he nodded anyways.

"Ok Kaneki, if you say so. Nevertheless, Anteiku will always be open for you."

"Thanks," Kaneki smiled. It has been some time since he smiled. In his heart, all he wanted was a normal life in Anteiku with his friends, but being a half ghoul, half human hybrid, it was kinda his duty to 'Bridge the Gap Between Ghouls and Humans'. That was the operation name, a life goal for him and his band of faithful followers.

He continued walking, still deep in though. He reached the base of an overhead bridge and climbed up...


Out of breath, Touka got to the overhead bridge. She had to hurry, catch Kaneki before he disappears again. Have to. Want to. Need to. She got onto the bridge itself. Then she froze...

Their eyes locked. Touka stopped to catch her breath. Kaneki just stood there with his hands in his pocket, looking dead ahead.

"Touka." He wanted so much to hug her, to tell her he was sorry, yet being Ken Kaneki, he refrained from it. He could think, you know, and considering the fact that meeting him may put her in a REALLY bad mood, he decided against it. He wanted his face to be intact, after all.

"Kaneki." She felt happiness course through her body, but was quickly replaced with sorrow. Then it all got fucked when she thought about how he left them, claiming to be willing to 'protect them'. That selfish bastard. He probably left to become stronger on the pretence of protection. That darn voice in her head. It was wrong, yet she could not help but agree.

"You selfish asshole," she uttered. She chose her pissed side over her kind side.

She leapt forward. Right onto Kaneki, with full force...


"Well shit," was all he could think before he got slammed to the ground. For a normal human, it could kill them instantly, but since when was Kaneki normal? It stung, and quickly numbed. He felt some blood behind his head, but chose to ignore it, instead focussing on the devil on top of his body.

"YOU SELFISH BASTARD," she screamed at him, simultaneously throwing punches at his face. "YOU PIECE OF SHIT," she continued. "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA THE EFFECT ON US AFTER YOU LEFT?"

Punch.

"PROTECT? WHY DO WE NEED PROTECTION?"

Kick.

"YOU THINK YOU'RE SO PERFECT? SO GOOD WILLED? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO BE, A HERO?" She lifted him into the air and landed a few hard hits.

Kaneki gasped.

It hurt. Not just physically, but emotionally.

"So this is her opinion of me now huh," he almost teared up. "I lost her trust, didn't I?"

She jumped on him once again and grabbed him by the collar, her body weighing him down. "If I knew this was going to happen, I would have killed you in that alley. DO YOU KNOW HOW THE PEOPLE AT ANTEIKU FELT? THEY WERE YOUR FAMILY, AND YOU ABANDONED THEM. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW THEY FELT? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW I FELT?"

He choked back tears.

"Never let me see your face ever again, you filthy piece of shit. Understand?" The underlying threat in that sentence was too obvious. She got off him, and he noticed tears welling up in her eyes too. She covered her face and ran off, back to Anteiku. He finally let his tears flow. So this was her, no, their opinion of him now eh? He got up. Wiping his tears, he put his hood on once more. There were a few blood stains, but he didn't care. Putting his hand into his pockets, he walked off, back home...


Back at Anteiku, in Touka's room.

"So the first thing I do when I see him is beat the crap out of him? How clever of you Touka." She was in her room. Her tears dried up, she thought over what she just did. "Sigh, no use thinking about that now, might as well study. Exams are coming soon..." She lowered her head, burying her face into the chemistry textbook. "What the fuck is dichromate anyways..."

Behind her room door, Hinami was listening. "At least Onee-chan saw Onii-chan..."