Sometimes I wonder what goes on in his head, as he sat there, looking pensive, scribbling down words and silently passing a note to Hikari. Glowering, he plopped his chin on his knees and watched as she opened it, read it, then dissolved into giggles. A smile melted the angry look; it was all fake.

How does he do that? Convinces me of his frustration, then kills it all in one swift blow with something as simple as a smile. He'd be a good actor. All he does is act; seals away the pain and anger, making everyone believe that he's okay. But he's not okay. He's in anguish, living hell, torture.

I think a lot of it has to do with his pride. His stupid pride, it's all bullshit. Prevents him from showing anything that even hints at hurt. Sure, he never cries, but the bastard is being eaten up from the inside out. He pays for it. Sealing away everything until he overflows, reacting with anger and viciousness.

And it's me he turns to, crashing and raging over weeks of agony, swearing he'll never put himself in that position again. And then the next moment there he is, going through it all over again.

But still, he'll never cry. The stupid bastard. I hate him for not crying. He needs it. He really needs to cry, to release everything, to release 17 years of hurt. He's too stupid to realize that, though.

I love him to death. He's like a brother to me – even more. And if anything happened to him I'd probably fling myself off of a bridge because it would hurt way too much to go on. He'd do the same if something happened to me, I know. But nothing ever happens to me.

Fuck. Nothing would ever happen to me because I'm a lucky fucking bastard. I wish that even once I'd have something happen to me. Something happen to make my life less perfect so that I could relate even in the very least to the pain he feels, so that I could be tempted to axe myself, too, just so he wouldn't feel so bad.

It hurts me when he hurts. I feel it, though not as acutely as he does. It hurts. I'm always the one who cries. Somehow I believe that if I cry, it'll take some of the tension off of him, but it never works like that.

But it's time for him to show something other than anger.

So that day after school, while we walked home and he was talking to Hikari, I tackled him, slamming him into the brick wall of some store.

"Whoa, TK, what are you..." My fist smashed into the side of his face, drawing a gasp of pain and surprise from his mouth, cutting off his sentence.

Hikari stared at me, begging me to stop. But I'm not going to stop. "Cry," I growled at him through clenched teeth.

"TK," he whimpered as I slammed my fist into him again. Over and over and over again until he's bleeding and my hand hurts.

"Why are you doing this? Stop it, TK, stop. You're hurting him," Hikari screeched at me. I should have stopped. She was right. I was hurting him.


I could see this weird expression in his eyes. It was like he couldn't believe I was hurting him, why I was doing this to him. It was fear.

"Fight back," I hissed, pulling him up a few inches and slamming him back against the wall. "Hit me. Go on, fight back. Fight back, you little shit."

He should have fought back. I wish he had. Then I would have felt a little more justified for the last punch I threw, catching him across the face. But instead he just fixed this look of complete and total hurt on me, the look of someone who had been betrayed.

And then he cried.

It took me five years of friendship and one hell of a beating, but I finally got him to cry. He literally fell forwards into my arms, getting blood and tears all over my shirt. Of course I don't care, though. The only thing I care about is that he's a little heavy and if I'm strong enough to hold him up or not. But I slid my arms around him anyway and held him while he cried.

I don't feel guilty. He needed to cry, even if I did beat it out of him. So I'm glad.

And he cried.