All fall down

(by archy the cockroach)

Warnings: Slash, language, extreme sadism & torture in this particular chapter

A/N: note that this story began in december, on kyou's birthday. he was imprisoned upon that date, instead of graduation. because gods are too busy to wait. i increased the rating, due to the torture in this particular chapter. and, aside from that, i had far too much fun with linebreaks in this chapter.

03: Kisa

Kisa isn't a stupid girl. She can recognize screams of anger when she hears them.

It's New Year's, but nobody is celebrating. Hiro sits beside her, ignoring the yelling coming from Akito's room. Hatori is nearly asleep on the table, slumped over with his hair falling onto his arms. Yuki's there too, staring blankly at his lap. Well, the entire zodiac is, of course, at the zodiac banquet. But everyone is too unnerved to say anything. Even Ayame is quiet for once.

There's a loud thump from Akito's room, and the door is pushed open at once, slamming against the sheath that hides it behind the walls. In the dark, Kisa can barely make out a mess of orange and (read: blood) red eyes.

Akito has been hurting Kyou again.

Occasionally, when Kisa is in the main house, she can hear Akito yelling and the sound of weight hitting the floor. It scares her, because she knows that Akito could easily be doing that to her instead of Kyou.

But it frightens her more that Kyou never makes a sound.

Akito makes his way to the head of the table, and slowly sits down, not noticing the slight spatter of blood that sits on his cheek. Shigure blinks at him, holding himself back, attempting not to say anything. Momiji fidgets in his seat, holding back tears. Haru is stone cold beside him.

"Sorry for my… tardiness," says Akito, words dripping off of his lips like poison. His fingers move like snakes onto the table. Akito is thinner than usual, Kisa notes. But she doesn't say anything. "I had a little problem… dealing with the kitty… cat."

Kagura bites her lip. She wants to scream at Akito, she wants to throw things at him, and make him go away. It's her fairy tale, after all. There are no monsters in fairy tales.

Hatori's still sleeping.

After a few seconds of (read: painful) silence, Hatsuharu stands up, and moves to leave.

"Where do you think you're going, my dearest ox?" asks the god, letting the words slowly make their way out. Haru stops. He's shaking, Kisa notices. But when he turns, he doesn't look sad. He's not crying.

"I'm leaving, what does it look like?"

Akito laughs like Haru is a child, and he places his elbow on the table and leans on his arm. His laughter is like nails, scraping down Kisa's neck. "Oh, you really are a stupid cow, aren't you?" says Akito, pure hatred finding its way into his words. "The old story is true. Sit back down, Hatsuharu-kun, or I'll have to make you sit down."

"See, Akito!" says Haru, slowly letting himself fall into the darkness that was Black Haru. "You're an outright creator. That's all you do! Make things. You form barriers, make rules, you make everybody do everything because you're too incomplete to do it for your own fucking self. You're a waste of air, fuck off."

Haru turns to leave yet again. Akito scrapes his nails against the table, gritting his teeth and ready to lash out.

"You take one more step, Haru, and I will see to it that someone pays for your indiscretion. Whether it be you or others-" (read: the kitty that i love to play with so much) "-who suffer from your stupidity."

Yuki looks at Haru wearily. Haru lets out an exasperated sigh, and takes his place back at the table.

Hatori still sleeps.

For the rest of the night, the tension was thick enough to touch at the zodiac banquet.

"The silly ox didn't listen, did he, silly kitty?"

Kyou stares down the sharp point, directly above his eye. His wrists have already been slit by the god, and he can feel the warmth flowing out of his veins and onto the tatami below him. He's afraid, but it doesn't show on his porcelain-doll face. This is the first time he's felt (read: anything) afraid in months.

Thirteen months in the cage.

What a lucky thirteen it is.

"He took another step. He should have just stayed standing instead of coming back to the table," says the god, straddling the cat's stomach, keeping the cat pinned to the floor. As if Kyou would fight back. Kyou's too weak.

"And now, since I'm sick! Sick, sick siiiiick, of gazing into your disgusting, demonic eyes, I think I'll have to take them out!" The god grins wildly, eyes wide and piercing, and at this single moment, Kyou can see the darkness, sickness, the loneliness and insanity echoing out of Akito's irises.

And at that single moment, Kyou can see his former self reflecting in those same eyes.

And Kyou smiles with sympathy and kindness as Akito pushes the nail into his open optic.

Kisa opens the door at exactly the wrong moment.

"Akito-sama? You called… for…"

Her words die in her throat as she witnesses Akito screw the nail into Kyou's open eye. Akito recoils at his own display of (read: self-righteous) brutality, pulls his head into his knees, and hugs himself for fear that his pounding brain might fall out of his mouth.

He doesn't even notice Kisa, who's standing at the door, staring at Kyou.

Kyou can only barely feel pain. He's only half conscious, but he can make out a frightened little girl's voice at the door. He turns his head, towards the door, red hair falling over his working eye. Dark, rouge-coloured tear-tracks run down the side of his face. Kisa covers her mouth upon viewing the morbidity full-fledged.

Kyou mouths 'Hatori'.

Kisa leaves (read: flees) without a second glance.

Hatori has fallen asleep again. Kisa is quite noisy, when she enters his house, sobbing and crying jumbled words, trying to explain. Hatori only wakes up when Kisa falls against his chair, seeking some sort of comfort. Seeing what she did scares her more than anything, more than those horror movies that Haru used to watch or those monsters Momiji used to tell her about.

This is real.

This is happening.

She doesn't understand what could make a person want to do that to another person. Kisa is so afraid. Even a half-asleep Hatori can determine that.

"Kisa-chan, what's wrong?" he says, slowly trying to re-configure his brain. Kisa sobs out something he can't quite understand, but he makes out the words 'Akito-sama' and 'nail' and immediately registers something in his head.

He should probably go find Kyou.

Arms like spiders, he crawls his way down the hall, too weak to stand, but too strong to stay down. Orange hair he fists, dragging the injured kitten along with him, a crimson trail behind him.

He's going to show Haru


what he meant by suffering.

Something tells Haru not to open the door, not to take another step. Momiji rolls his eyes, watching Haru from the table. "Just open the door, Haa-kun!" Momiji tries to keep up his playfulness, since Haru has no emotions left. That's why Momiji tries to spend as much time with Haru as he possibly can. That's why they're at the main house, sitting in the tea room, Momiji forcing cheerful conversation. Momiji loves his mask. "It's not the boogey man, silly."

Unfortunately, Haru's met with something much worse.

A shuddering, dark man crouches before the door, a barely breathing, bleeding boy sprawled before him. Haru opens his mouth to (read: SCREAM) say something, but Akito is on him in an instant, hand clutching at the ox's shirt. Akito pulls himself up, face in Haru's face, and giggles; "…See what you made me do?"

With his foot, he kicks Kyou over, uncaringly, and Haru finds a one-eyed cat staring up at him.

"Oops, his other eye must have fallen out on the way here! I need to be much more careful."

Haru turns, and vomits.

Hatori arrives mere minutes later.

Momiji is hysterical, shouting something at the top of his lungs, waving his arms about and trying to make sense of things. Akito is grinning, hanging over Haru who's shuddering in the corner.

But the thing that bothers Hatori the most is Kyou.

Kyou's still alive, still bleeding, still breathing. Upon seeing his doctor, with his last ounce of consciousness, he smiles, before drifting off into a mock-slumber.

And Hatori falls down, and just…