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Chapter 23.0- Thankfulness

Kira opened her eyes when she heard the door swing open, not really caring for what she may find. Her life became a cycle of pain since the last time she saw Rei. In her sleep she saw Rei's pain stricken face. When she woke doctors were poking and prodding her. Every now and then her stepfather would visit when he needed his 'fix'. Once a day her mother would stop by and tell her how sorry her stepfather was., not knowing that her pleads fell upon dead ears.

"Kira!" shrieked Kira's short blond haired friend. "It feels like it's been ages since I've seen you last!"

A smile formed on Kira's face, it's been so long since the last time she smiled that it felt unnatural. "Harumi!" Kira attempted to sit up in her bed without the aid of the adjustable bed, but stopped short when a sharp pain shot up her spine.

Harumi read the pain etched on her face and ran to Kira. "Oh no, are you okay?" she asked, worrying herself to tears. "Kira please talk to me!" she cried, reaching out but not touching Kira in fear of furthering her pain. "Should I call a nurse."

Kira shook her head immediately. "It's... It's okay," Kira said when the pain finally subsided. "I'm better now," she said, cracking a smile to convince Harumi that she was really okay. Kira laid back in her bed and used the remote attached to the side of her bed so that she'd be on eye level with Harumi.

"How have you been? How are you holding up in here? Tatsuya told me what happened," she said with a pause. "I'm really sorry."

"You're not the one who should be sorry," Kira told her, an icy tone taking over her voice. "So how are things at work?" she asked even though she knew she'd probably never be able to go back to work there.

Harumi shrugged. "He's an ass as usual. Hey, your father has he done anything to you since you got home?" she asked in a hushed tone.

Kira nodded, her eyes glazing over with unshed tears. "I can't go back there Harumi. Some people don't change, my stepfather's one of them. If I go back..." she stopped, no longer able to hold back her sobs.

Harumi reached out and held Kira close. "If there's anything I can do to help just let me know okay."

Kira nodded and then leaned back into her bed. "Thanks anyway, your visit meant a lot to me."

"Think nothing of it. Oh before I forget, I brought something for you!" she said as she pulled the sparkly gift bag up from the floor and onto her lap. "First, a teddy bear. Everybody in the hospital needs a teddy," she said as she handed Kira a small white bear with wings.

"Aww, thank you Harumi. You shouldn't have," she said as she turned it around in her hands. She gasped when she spotted a name embroidered in gold on it's bottom. "Harumi! If they see a bear with Rei's name on it they're going to think it's him and-"

Harumi let out a giggle. "I thought of that already. That's why I got you these," she said, taking the bear from Kira and pulling on a pair of boxers specially made for the bear. "Tada!"

Kira smiled and held the bear close. "Thank you."

"That's not all. I got you magazines for incase you get bored and-"

"Five more minutes. The doctor's coming to see Ms. Aso soon," said a nurse as she walked past the door.

"Well I should get going. I'll come by and see you soon," Harumi said, stacking the magazines in a neat pile before getting up to leave.

"Wait before you go there is one thing you can do for me," Kira said, reaching out to Harumi to grab hold of her before she went too far.

Harumi nodded.

Rei smiled to himself when he heard the doors of the court room open and the sound of footsteps pitter patter down the pathway. Although he was far from happy about being in court he was more than happy that Kira was finally out of the hospital after such a long time.

The bailiff said his piece as he did every day he was in court, both parties, the jury and onlookers did as they were told and the trail was well on it's way.

Apparently The Kashino's lawyer wasn't half as experienced in the field as he said he was because the Aso's lawyer crushed each and every argument raised by small old man. Things were looking very bleak. Things got worse when the Aso's lawyer presented the lawyer with visual evidence of Rei's 'crimes.'

"This tape was provided to us by the security guards at Kira's psychiatric ward. It occurred on April twenty-first and several times afterwards. If you'll play it for the jury I'll be able to point out Kira's obvious unwillingness-"

Rei blocked out the rest of what the lawyer said. He still was in disbelief, how could they make up such things. Why was it so hard to believe that they were truly in love and simply went about it the wrong way.

The judge took the tape from him and popped it into the vcr at her desk. Everyone in the room focused their attention on the television that had been rolled in by the bailiff.

Kira's stepfather's face contorted in horror when instead of Rei kissing Kira, Him climbing on top of her in the hospital bed showed on the television. "No, no it's not me! This is one sort of joke, a prank!" His face turned a deep shade of red and a vein popped out of his forehead.

"Silence Mr. Aso," the judge said, cutting him ff quickly.

His face paled and he sunk back into his seat. He knew that there was no way to weasel his way out of this.

Rei's eye's became watery as he watched er stepfather unfasten his pants and shove Kira's legs apart. On the television she grimaced and fought the urge to scream for help or to yowl in pain as he plowed into her again and again. Rei covered his eyes with his hands, not being able to take any more.

The judge apparently couldn't take any more of it either and pressed stop. "It appears we have another case on our hands. The suit against Mr. Kashino has been thrown out, you're free to go. Mr. Aso on the other hand..." police officers walked from the back of the room to the front and handcuffed Mr. Aso.

Kira watched as her stepfather walked to with the police officers, his head hung low in shame. It felt like she was watching a dream. She never thought that she'd ever be able to get herself free from that evil man. Her heart sank when she saw her mother run up to the judge and then back to the lawyer, trying to work out some way to keep her husband's prison stay to a minimum. It seemed that her mother would always have problems accepting the truth and reality. Kira glanced over at Rei and they made eye contact and they exchanged wordless emotions of thankfulness.

A/N- By the way this is only part of the 23rd chapter. The rest will be up shortly. I'm sure that most of my readers will be happy that the stepfather has finally been put away. As to how the whole tape thing happened it will be explained in the next chapter, so no complaints! I don't want to hear 'there's no way that would happen.' My new story Wrong Way is up, please read it!