Beautiful Mind
A/N: All right then, this is Ting Ting again. (For those of you who read The Prince Diaries in the Lord of the Rings section… thank you, you're my hero- for those of you who didn't… it's a funny read, I personally think. Go read it. Now. D) Anyway, this is my second FF on here, and it's a one shot… though, most of the time, I suck at one-shots cuz my stories always end up being the longest thing in the world. But oh well, here's to giving one-shots a try.

This story is to the beautiful song Collide by Howie Day (I'm currently obsessed with that song—the lyrics are so enchanting!) so as I was listening to it, I thought, what a marvelous opportunity to make it into an Aki fic! So here's my take on what Aki was thinking… as he was going through his fearful transformation. Bon apetite x)

I didn't let them hook me up to the machines because I had any hope for my own future. I knew I was doomed—permanently scarred if that—and would probably never make it out of this encounter of our fucking tangled family affair alive. I just wanted to see Aya smile again… one last time, before she and I were torn apart forever.

And if it meant I had to remember something that had never happened to me before, I was willing to do it. So I submitted to Kagami's wishes… and became what they wanted me to become: a robot.

I wished I were at home again before this whole thing started, just listening to my headphones as I looked out the window and was able to enjoy the simple pleasures of the day. Aya would be in the living room, complaining about our load of homework. Mom would be cooking dinner, the simmering sounds of the stove so comforting in the background as Dad filed out the bills. Now… the sun slowly rose over the horizon into the little window that my bed was under. But I found no pleasure in it anymore. My thoughts were now consumed with finding out where the hagaromo was, because if I did, maybe that… that thing…inside of my sister would go away and leave us alone.

The dawn is breaking...
A light shining through...

As the dawn caused the sleepy birds to wake and Alec came into my room, I prepared myself for another day connected to the endless tubing that could spark my unconscious memory. Alec chattered endlessly but I heard nothing as I wordlessly got dressed—and suddenly, a pang of images struck me like a lightning bolt.
Bleeding hands, a girl crying, white, white robes, the touch of her skin as she begs me not to do what I know I will take pleasure in—
I found myself at the foot of my bed, pathetically trembling as my hands fearfully clutched the bedpost. My shirt was not yet on. As Alec asked if I was all right, I took a deep, shaking breath as I finished dressing myself. That was one of the things I was still able to do these days… but not much else. I had to constantly remind myself that Aya wasn't the only one with a beast inside of her, slowly coming into consciousness. And for me, not being able to be there for her and tell her it was all right…

You're barely waking...
And I'm tangled up in you.

Alec told me today they were going to scan a series of images across my minds eye to see how I reacted. I shrugged as if I didn't care, but in actuality, I hated the images that flashed across my eyes. They were things that had never happened—but somehow, they had, or how was I able to remember details so vividly… Like your woman's flawless body struggling underneath yours? I almost cried out, instead biting my bottom lip until it bled. It wasn't just images that I would suddenly find caused me headaches. Sentences that I had no idea where they'd come from would abruptly strike me. And they were all perverted… they made me hate myself so much. So much that I was almost ashamed to face Aya if I ever did find her… but I was moved by the determination I had to get her through this.

I'm open, you're closed.
Where I'll follow, you'll go.

As I lay down in the flat machine and Alec connected my veins and temples to the machine itself, I concentrated on something happier instead: this once when Aya had tried to sing an impossibly high song in the karaoke place we went to often. Her voice had cracked in the middle, and I had laughed myself senseless until I'd received a sock in the face. Then Aya had been the one to laugh. It all seemed so far away, but I found myself smiling as I reopened my eyes. I was being reeled into the black of the machine, and my brief, flitting grin disappeared as I faced reality again. Aya hadn't smiled for a long time… and neither had I… except for just then.

I worry I won't see your face
Light up again.

Kagami reminded me to clear my mind. Easier said than done. I had so much on my mind these days, just clearing my mind was an almost impossible task for me. I had to rely on Tooya as a substitute for me—I only hoped he was doing a good job with Aya's fragile emotions. She was my silly little sister who bugged me to no end—but I couldn't imagine life with her in pain. Before I was ready, Kagami started the series of images that could trigger my never-done-before memories. They were the same every day, but today… they were different. More vivid. Laughter. Black, silky hair. Child's hands, bleeding. Swishing of water. Pine needles. Bed. White…white robes. Transparent, white robes, which didn't do much to conceal the perfect body underneath—

I could almost hear Kagami smile as I recoiled from the sudden feeling I had, as he told me what I already knew. Yes, I was aroused. But why? She was my own sister… this being inside me was sick. Yes… but he's a part of you.
Clenching my teeth, tasting my own blood, I managed to yell out for Kagami to stop. Alec told me it wasn't over, now I had to tell them what I saw.

Even the best fall down sometimes.
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.

That night, I stumbled into my room, barely able to lock it even though I knew the Mikage could get in anyway. Another slur of gory images brought me down to my knees, whimpering more out of shame and embarrassment than pain. Oh, if only Aya could see her big brother now! I wasn't myself anymore. The images were occurring more and more frequently, out of my control. I couldn't let her see what I was now. All the determination to see her flowed out of me as I faced the facts: if I saw Aya now, I couldn't trust myself to only be her brother. A part of me saw her as a man sees a woman… and to my disgrace, even though I wasn't willing to admit it to myself yet, I liked what I saw. Yea… it was proven. I wasn't the Aki Mikage I was a month ago.

As I dragged myself to my desk, my gaze fell on pen and paper. Well… if I couldn't see her… I would write her. She didn't have to see the demented shell of myself that I was now. Through words, I'd still be what I always was to her.

Out of the doubt that fills my mind,
I somehow found you and I collide.

Hi, Aya. How are you? "Pathetic," I muttered to myself as my pen shook in my head. Nothing seemed right to say at the form I was now, but no matter what, I had to tell her that I was still here for her—although I didn't know how long that would be. As I continued in the lightest tone I didn't know I still had in me, the words faded in and out of view as the images grew more consistent. Gritting my teeth again, I concentrated on every word, on every letter I penned, resolute to finish the letter. As I told her I wasn't sure who I was now, I promised myself I would never give in to whoever… whatever, was inside me.

I'm quiet, you know,
you make a first impression.
I've found I'm scared to know,
I'm always on your mind.

There. It was done. Sealing it, I kissed it for good luck and waited for Tooya to come so he could give it to her. From me. You used those same lips to kiss the poster of Ceres, you know. "SHUT UP!" I cried, unknowingly voicing the words. Besides, I promised I wouldn't give in. I only hoped that I was stronger than I proved myself to be now. But even though I almost convinced myself, I wrote the end I knew one day I would come to: I must die by your own hand…Aya.

Even the best fall down sometimes.
Even the stars refuse to shine.

The days passed without my knowledge, for I had lost all sense of time, focusing on the sole thought of not giving in. It was getting harder… headaches were constant… the images… oh god, the images… I even saw him—me—and Ceres…becoming one.

Out of the back you fall in time
Somehow find you and I collide…

Then, one day, I was invited to see Grandfather. Tired of the monotonous lifestyle I was leading, glad to get out, if just for a few minutes, I enthusiastically went. What I hadn't expected was that he wanted to take me to see something special. I assumed it was a family heirloom of some sort. As he led me past the double doors, I started to get a chill, as if something was rising from within me. I almost told Grandfather to stop, almost ran away from the dark hallway. Look at yourself, Aki. Scared of everything, everywhere, and everyone. Even yourself. How do you expect to face Aya if you continue on like this?

So I followed. Grandfather had them reveal something under a curtain… and the last I ever saw as Aki was a mummified… her. Ceres. A searing headache split my head, and I fell down, hazily watching the blood stream from my veins. I was getting weaker, and yet something else was getting stronger at the same time… I weakly heard myself promising Aya that I wouldn't give in.

Don't stop here...
I lost my place...
I'm close behind…

Aya… I knew I told you I wouldn't give in… and I tried so hard. But this thing is too powerful for even me, even the bond that we share as twins… I probably won't make it out alive. No… I know I won't.

Even the best fall down sometimes.
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.

I don't have any more hope to see you again, or to see mom again, or dad. All of us together… that's an impossible dream now. I cherish the time I had with you, Aya… but I know that wherever I'm going, I'll always be me: always be nothing but your big brother, ready to hug you and tell you everything will be okay.

Out of the doubt that fills your mind
You finally find, you and I collide.

I felt myself disappearing into nothing, curling up into submission. I hoped that Aya would remember me as I once was. Even as I tried to fight one last time against the surge of darkness in me, I felt a tear coming from me, from Aki Mikage, amongst the blood that wasn't mine. Aya… I'm sorry.

You finally find…
you and I collide…

A/N: tear I was listening to Collide as I was writing this, and I almost cried. When I read the 5th book where Aki transforms, I did cry. My heart goes out to Aki Mikage. Please RR.