AN: This is more of scrap than a fully finished piece of work, but I'm posting it to see if there is any interest in Forbidden Siren on , since the game doesn't have a category here. If you're interested in the game and/or my fic, please drop me a comment! I'm always looking for people with whom to discuss this game!

"Identical," by IngridSarah

Kei Makino had been looking straight ahead of him ever since his twin had disappeared into the hospital stairwell. He knew that the woman following him was still following him only by the soft sound of her slippers and the occasional crunching of a shard of glass behind him.

There was no immediate danger in sight, but his heart pounded erratically underneath the small silver pendant he wore anyway. He couldn't get the image of that nurse—that monster—out of his head. Perhaps that explained why he couldn't look back at her twin. It was ridiculous, of course. He knew better than anyone how different twins could be, no matter how alike they looked, and if her twin was a monster, it meant nothing.

He made a conscious effort to relax as they continued down the hall together like one large, strange, uncertain organism. Then he began to hear her sniffling behind him and froze in his tracks, nearly kicking a board that had been leaning against the wall.

He turned back abruptly, staring at her in unmasked distress as the sniffle became a strangled sob. Tears ran freely down her face as she looked up at him, making him wonder how long she had been crying silently behind him.

What was he to do? Even under normal circumstances, he had never been good at comforting others. That had been Sister Hisako's role. Now the sound of the woman's weeping drove him almost mad with fear. Quickly, with a desperation that surprised him, he reached out to take her hand.

"Please," he offered, trying not to look at the abject misery on her face, "We need to find a safe place to hide, at least." Her thin, trembling fingers curled around his as she sniffled brokenly in acceptance. He thought of Tomoko and felt sick. A place to hide was all he could offer now, and perhaps he was deluding himself by believing he could offer even that.

Briefly, he wondered when it had all spun out of his control. Had he ever convinced himself that any of this had been under his control in the first place? It was often that he had thought upon his terrible duty, wondering how he would get himself through it—how he could bring himself to help kill an innocent girl.

It would have been easy now, knowing what he knew.

He forced himself to remember that the hand in his was not Tomoko's, but that didn't stop him from pulling it tightly against his side. With the new connection between them, Risa was forced to keep better pace with him, and now she did not escape his field of vision. He made sure to look at her unfamiliar shape every so often to remind himself of where he was.

He could see several crawling figures through the door to the courtyard, and with only one rusty pipe between them, he knew that going outside now would mean certain death for both him and Risa. Feeling as trapped as he ever had, he turned in to the heavy metal door on his right, pressing inward with his free hand.

The room was small, but empty, and the window was too large, but they had little choice. He locked the door behind them.

"Y-You're not like him." Her voice was thick and heavy in the air, and for a moment, her frightened tone kept him from understanding the words.

"What?"

"Dr. Miyata. I thought you were like him, when I saw you both together, but now... You're not a bit alike, are you?" Her tear-streaked face was almost calm as she regarded him, but her eye twitched strangely. She still hadn't let go of his hand.

He considered the subject, retreading familiar ground. Since he could remember, everybody in the village who had known them both had been fascinated with him and his brother, or more accurately, with the difference between them. Kei remembered wondering at it himself when he first saw Shiro strutting through the halls of his hospital. He couldn't ever remember moving like that, and he'd been shocked to see that with what was essentially the same body, Shiro could.

"We grew up separately. From birth," he told her, as if it would explain everything. It was his stock answer to all questions of this nature.

"It must be so strange for you. I was away from Mina too, when I was in Tokyo, but only for a little. She wanted me to come home. She'd written me a letter, but I didn't need it. It was like I could feel..." It was even more unnerving to feel the shaking of her fingers as the sorrow in her voice swept through her again, clogging her throat. He watched her gurgle quietly to herself, struggling to keep silent as she seemed to lose control over the rest of her body.

It was then that he remembered Sister Hisako's soothing voice; her hands. He wished with all his being that she was here now. She would know what to do.

But she wasn't, he reminded himself, and approached the young woman himself, trying to remember exactly how Hisako had...

She was so upset now that it didn't require any true effort. At the first sympathetic touch, her body crumpled against his.

Risa gasped against him like a fish who had had run out of air. Her face was pressed against his heart, the Mana cross falling into the waves of her dark hair. Her arms wrapped tightly around his waist, and he felt suffocated suddenly, as though he were the one who was choking. He spread his fingers out over her slender back, trying to get her to relax; to loosen her hold, but she clung to him as though he were life itself.

"I can still hear her sometimes," she whispered desperately to his ear, "She's calling me, just like when I was in Tokyo. She needs me..." Her voice had taken on a terrible, hitched quality as though it were resonating in sympathy with her sister's. It was all he could do not to shudder against her.

"She isn't your sister anymore," he bit back almost angrily, grasping her tightly as if to fortify her against the intangible, "and you musn't listen to her." He was surprised by his own vehemence. He could not remember sounding so certain of anything in his life.

She pulled away from him as though something he had said had only just struck her.

"How do you do it?" she asked, tilting her head to one side.

"Do what?"

"You must have seen—even if you grew up separately, you must've seen—felt something!"

"You mean Shiro?" When he closed his eyes, he could almost see blood running out of hers. Would they look the same? He felt terror rip through him at the thought. "My brother isn't a monster."

"She's not a monster!" Risa sobbed. It was as bad as if she had thrown something across the room. As he blanched at the sharp sound, she seemed to realize what she had done. Her eyes opened in horror, and he thought for a moment that the tears streaming down her face might have been worse than blood.

Awkwardly, he pulled her to him again, smoothing his hands out over her back in what he hoped was a soothing motion. He could feel her shoulders shake against him, but now she was making a great effort to be silent. Her face pressed against his chest warmly, and he suddenly felt ashamed when he realized that she could hear how his heart was throbbing. But why should he be ashamed of being frightened?

How could he live, and not be frightened?

"I'm glad that you're afraid," she whispered. For a moment, the words sounded so ominous that he nearly shoved her away from him. How could she know what he had been thinking? She wasn't his twin! But she continued before he could manage to do much of anything. "You're still human!" Her eyes, still brimming over with tears, squeezed shut with the admission, and then she pressed her face against him tightly, her cheeks coloring a warm rose. It made him wonder how he had ever pictured her in the deathlike mask of her sister.