Title: Hey, Stranger

Author: xiaou-xijiang

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Nothing has changed since the last time I had to write this. I still do not own MARS.

Reviews:

Archangel Rhapsody: yeah, it's been awhile, but remember I went on vacation. So Internet use was kinda out of the question. Anywhoos and a bag of chips, thanks for the review!

Kayleigh: Thanks again! Yay! You're happy! I'm happy! No threats of death or stinkiness, so yay to me! I'm glad you liked chapter 5, I didn't know if Rei was in character when I wrote it, so I'm happy that you're happy! I'm happy that I'm happy! Hell, I'm just happy! ((does happy dance))

LatinaChick4life: I'm glad you liked it! Thank for another spectacular review! You make me smile!

ArcherofDarkness and Callie: I'm glad that you like chapter 5, and I hope this one doesn't disappoint. Thanks for the suggestion; I'll definitely look into it! A little fluff is good for me. A little fluff can make the world go round. Hell I'm seeing a little fluff floating around me right now. Thanks for another great review!

Kelkie: glad you liked the chapter! You'll just have to wait and see about the Rei thing. All in good time my friend, all in good time.

cc04sweet: thanx, I'm glad you like this fic!

Blueseedfan: here's the next chap as promised.

Nancrez: I try to make it funny, but sometimes I don't know if it's just corny or actually good humor. I'm glad you like this fic and that it tickles your goat!

Mini Nika: I'm glad you enjoy it! Thanks for your review.

Kuronekosama1990: thanks for your review, and I'm glad you like this story!

Nezumi: will do!

Gumgumsan: "God boning Satan"? Where do you come up with these things? Anyway, I'm glad you like this story. When I edit I try really hard to correct any grammar mistakes I might find or anything that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Sometimes I miss a few things, so I'm glad you approve! Thanx for an awesome review!

lil-blu-penguin: Hey thanks a million for your review! I'm glad you like this story!

Lana: thank you much!

Sourlemon76: Thanks for the review!

Manga-lover123: thanks for the review, it was uber sweet!

No need to know: um…thanks...! Glad you like it.

Marlene: thanks!

Thank you guys for the reviews! (Wow, 50 already!)

Author's note: I'm sorry for the super, unbelievably long wait, but with school and never ending homework it took me a while to get myself balanced. But here it is and I hope you enjoy!


Chapter 6: catch me when I fall

Rei's feet crashed against the stairs as he raced up the stairs. Is heart was pounding in his chest so hard it's a wonder his ribs didn't break from the pressure. A million and one things were going through his head.

What was he going to do? It's all my fault…wait for me…please just----

He burst through the door; the boy's body blocked the afternoon sun. Rei's breath was coming out in panicked thick breaths. Sei turned to his brother, his feet dangerously close to the edge of the building. Rei stepped forward, slowly, as if any sudden movements would have pushed his brother over the edge. Sei just looked at him, his face unreadable; a small, mocking smile on his lips.

That smile said a lot.

Sei's eyes stared at him, beckoning him, mocking him. Look what you've made me do, they said. Are you happy now, Rei?

Then he was gone. Frozen in place, Rei could only listen as his brother's body hit the pavement.

Are you happy now, Rei?

Rei didn't know how long he stood there watching the ledge his brother left behind; all he felt was an emptiness that was swallowing him up whole. His mind was blissful blank, but his heart had slowed from its galloping pace of before. Now it was slow, it's beat a whisper inside his chest.

Look what you've made me do.

Some one was behind him, he felt the ghost of a familiar touch against his arm. He didn't want to look behind him; he didn't want to see who that hand belonged to.

But he did, he turned around, his eyes filled with unexpected pain. No one was there.

Rei.

She stood on the ledge, her feet precariously close to the edge. She was looking at him, with large haunted eyes. She looked so sad.

Look what you've made me do Rei.

Rei shook his head in denial; his mind racing, his heart beating so hard it was all he could do not to collapse right there. His stomach was rolling rejecting what he saw.

Not her…no…anybody but her.

She gave him a small smile. Will you catch me Rei?

And then he was running towards her, his hands outstretched to catch her, to pull her into his arms; he'd never let her go.

But he was too late, and like silk she fell through his fingers, that sad smile still on her lips.

His heart ripped in two, as he stared at where she should have been his arms still outstretched to catch her.

Are you happy now?

People were screaming and he was left standing there.

Are you?

This wasn't real. Tears were falling. Not her…no. Not her. Never her.

You promised you'd protect me.

He looked down, and there she was, her limbs outstretched in odd angles, like a broken doll. Her hair was darkening with her blood; her lips set in that sad smile. Her eyes stared up at him, mocking. Lifeless.

Are you happy now?


Harumi drummed her fingers against the lunch table, her manicured nails tapping against the wood in her irritation. She watched as Misha laugh her annoying laugh, she watched as she flipped her ugly hair over her ugly shoulder. Her fingers drummed harder; faster.

What does Rei see in her? Ugly bitch. Harumi growled under her breath and threw her head back in frustration. Okay, Okay, Harumi…think, think, think. She gave an angry sigh and rested her head in her hand. Ignoring her plate of food. Tatsuya gave her a quizzical look, (one she ignored) and turned back to his food, shoveling his face in for all he was worth.

Harumi's hawk like eyes spied Rei setting his plate of food beside his "girlfriend" and slipping into the empty seat next to her. Misha's friends erupted into giggles as, being the whore that she is, Misha draped herself across his lap. Harumi's nails were tapping so hard they were digging into the wood.

What we know: 1.) Rei…is a dumbass. 2.) Rei and Kira belong together. 3.) Misha, the little whore-bitch, needs to get a clue…and a good ass kicking. So we have the facts. Now all we need is for Rei to get them implanted in his small, good-for-nothing brain, then we can all live happily ever after.

Harumi's eyes narrowed. But how…? She glanced around the lunchroom hoping to find some sort of inspiration, and woe and behold she found it. It hit her, like fat, naked, baby angels floating around her head singing Hallelujah with trumpets and orchestra in the background.

Tyler what's-his-name, just walked through the double doors. His raven hair was wind blown and his mouth was curved into a mischievous grin. He held the door open for Kira to quietly slip through.

Harumi's head whipped around (so fast her neck almost broke in several places) in search for Rei and saw him sitting there with that thing still draped around him like an accessory; acting like it was nothing! He was ignoring his "girlfriend" and her friends as the talked in his ears. But the thing that really, really caught her attention was the fact that his eyes were trained on the raven haired American. And if looks could kill… Harumi's lips formed into an unholy smirk.

Oh-ho, Rei. Watch out, cause Rumi's gonna make you regret the day you ever broke up with Kira. Just you wait.

She leaned back in her chair and grinned a conniving grin. A grin that Tatsuya saw, and immediately knew that the beautiful girl had something going on in that head of hers; something that usually ended badly for him.

Just you wait. Harumi's deviant mind quickly hatched up a plan.


"So…where do you want to sit?" Tyler asked jovially, his eyes scanning the crowded lunchroom for an empty table. It was only the second day of school, and he was lucky that he didn't have to eat alone. He was on display enough already.

Kira mumbled something and slouching her shoulders as if she could hide with in herself, she moved through the sea of ravenous teenagers. Tyler looked after her, wondering at the change of mood. Just a moment ago she had been (not quit smiling) but she had looked…cheerful at least. Before they had entered the lunchroom she had been showing him through building, giving dry half-dead giggles to his jokes.

Tyler shoved his hands in his jeans and followed her retreating figure. She was like night and day sometimes; one minute she looks…approachable. The next she's a brick wall.

Kira slid into a small table and set her notebook on the surface. She placed her brown paper bag in front of her and began taking out its contents. She never looked at him. Tyler felt the distinct impression that she was ignoring him.

Kira began to eat her rice.

Sighing, Tyler pulled out his chair and sat down, watching her. She's blocking everyone out. Why?

Kira glanced behind his left ear. Tyler watched as her eyes mirrored an inner sadness before the hardened like stone and slid back to her rice. Tyler raised an eyebrow, and turned to look behind him.

That blonde guy that everyone talked about was sitting a couple tables away from him, with an extremely hot girl draped over his lap, purring in his ear. But the guy didn't seem to care, which was a little odd. No normal guy would just sit there doing nothing, while a chick that sexy was doing naughty things to naughty places. It just wasn't done. He's breaking all the sacred rules that guys abide by.

The boy spotted Tyler and raised one eyebrow. Tyler raised his own in answer, and watched as the boy narrowed his eyes. Tyler turned away with a sigh. Second day, and already I've got to watch my back. That look was just deadly.

Kira looked up at him, as if just seeing him for the first time. Tyler gave her a sardonic wave. Welcome back, princess. He thought bitterly. Tyler hated being ignored.

"I'm sorry, do you want any of this?" Her voice was small as she pointed to her rice with her chopsticks. She looked vulnerable as she looked at him, as if waiting for him to get up and walk away.

Tyler's annoyance slipped out of him in one breath. Those eyes could melt a man on the spot. Kira placed her chopsticks down with a small sigh. "I'm not being a very good host am I?"

Tyler regarded her for a minute before slipping into a carefree smile. "Sure you are," he reassured her. Stop giving me those eyes! "I think I will have some of that rice." Kira gave him a grateful look and fished an extra pair of chopsticks out of her lunch bag. She handed it to him.

Taking it from her he clumsily fit them to his fingers. "So, who's that guy you keep staring at?" His voice was teasing her, like he knew her shameful secret. He picked up a chunk of rice only to have it fall from his chopsticks to his lap. He tried again. The rice in his lap suddenly gained a new playmate.

Kira's eyes hardened and her back stiffened. "No one." Her voice was foreign, cold and flat. Tyler leaned back in his seat and regarded her. He'd like to think of him self as a good people reader. And right now, he'd just stepped into enemy territory. Better to retreat for now. But I will get to the bottom of this.

A wave of concern rushed through him. What if he's the reason why she's like this? What if---what if he' s the reason she's so sad? He should have been surprised at the wave of protectiveness he felt towards Kira. But he wasn't. Kira was the kind of girl that just screamed for a need to be protected. Maybe it was because she got this wounded look in her eyes whenever they landed on Blondie Boy. Or maybe it was because he'd been the one to jump after her in front of a car that day.

Tyler didn't know which was which. All he knew was that Kira was hurting. And all he wanted to do was make her smile. Was that a bad thing?

Was it?

Sighing, Tyler leaned forward to say something but was interrupted by Kira. "Look, let's talk about something else." Her eyes were pleading. Tyler regarded her for a moment, before ultimately giving into defeat.

He gave her an innocent smile. "Actually, I was going to ask you if you could help me with these chopsticks. I seem to have a growing collection of rice in my lap," He confessed. Tyler tried to pick up some more rice and failed miserably.

Kira's eyes lit at the change of conversation and she tried to fit his fingers in the correct position.

I'll let it go Kira. She leaned farther over the table to try to bend his fingers in the right way. For now.


Kira looked out her window, studying the sky as it's stars, barely visible through Tokyo's sky scrapers, shone unmatched compared to the fluorescent light of the city. The night was dark, the sky a blanket of deep blue velvet.

Kira's pajamas swamped her, until she was swallowed up in the fabric, but she was still cold. Cold with an emotion she'd grown familiar with for far to…

Loneliness. Rejection.

She wanted to cry. She wanted to so badly. But she felt too hollow to cry anymore. So all she could do was stare at the sky. She hated feeling this way. She wanted to hate him for making her feel this way. But she couldn't bring herself to. Sometimes she'd feel herself waiting for him to turn back to her, smirk, and say "Just kidding!" but he never did. He probably never will.

She loved him. And he turned away, right when she needed it the most. Kira shuddered and locked towards her door, checking again for the fifth time that night that it was closed and locked. She hated living here with...him, but she figured, that if Rei were there protecting her,acting asher shield, that she could get through this. That she could live with her nightmare for just one more year.

But Rei wasn't here anymore, and she was terrified. Kira closed her window and slipped in between her sheets;trying to push away thehurt, the humiliation, and the fear. She wanted to feel nothing. She wanted to be empty and far away, like the stars. Kira closed her eyes tightly, wishing the blissful emptiness carried by sleep would have pity on her and her breaking heart.

Why does love have to hurt so bad?


Will you catch me, Rei?

Rei was running faster, his hands outstretched to hold her; catch her. But she slipped through his fingers, and started to fall.

Her body hit the pavement below, and all he could do was stare at the empty spot where she used to be. He could still smell her. Like oils and paints. And something apple.

He didn't want to look, but he did. And there she was; fallen angel surrounded by a pool of her own blood. Silky blond hair darkening to crimson. She was looking back up at him, with a mocking smile on her face.

"Rei." He turned, his face twisted with grief. His own reflection stared back at him. His other half. His twin.

"I couldn'tsave her," Rei lamented, his voice a raspy prayer for redemption.

Sei smiled that same mocking smile. "Did you really think you could?" Sei moved towards him, soft silky strides that mirrored his own. Rei's brother stepped onto the ledge, his long coat blowing slightly in the wind.

The sun setting behind him set a golden hue to his short blonde strands. Sei's smile grew softer, contemplative.He turned to look at the broken body lying down below, before turning back and giving Rei a sardonic grin.

"What made you think you could catch her, when you were the reason she fell in the first place?"

And then Sei was falling too; falling to hit the pavement beside Rei's broken love.


Rei woke up with a jerk, his stomach half way up his throat. Dammit, Sei! He growled, throwing back his sheets and sitting at the edge of his bed. He ground his fist into his temple, as if to pound the lingering images out of his mind. Stay out of my head.

He staggered tothe bathroom, barely making itto the sink intimebefore his stomach emptieditself.His liquids swirled into the cool metal bowl, and he watched it in a disgusted fascination. That same dream, every night; haunting him. His hand moved to turn on the water, and he rinsed his face.

"Will you catch me, Rei?"

"Dammit!" Rei shouted, frustrated with the way he kept hanging on to her image. He hated this. He hated waking up every night from nightmares of losing her, he hated watching that American hotshot walk around with his girl and be unable to do anything, he hated watching that look cover Kira's face everytime he walks into a room.

Rei looked at himself in the mirror, hating the reflection looking back at him. She says she can handle living with him again. She needs her family. She doesn't need me. I'd just…complicate her life. She deserves better than that. She deserves better than me.

He wanted to see her. He wanted to just hold her, to feel her. But he couldn't, he was poison. He'd ruin her, taint her. And he'd rather die than to see that happen. Rei moved from the bathroom to sit again on his cold sheets; resting his head in his hands. He wanted her…hell, he loved her. But he'd promised to protect her from anything, from anyone.

Even from himself.


Author's Note: This chapter was the hardest by far to write. I'm going through a cryptic dream phase, so I just had to put those in there. The story in Italics is Rei's dreams. A note on Rei: I wanted to just to kind of put some light on how Rei was feeling with the whole staying away from Kira thing (and obviously he's not handling things very well.)

I don't know if this chapter is any good, (it's definitely not one of my favorites.) I didn't really know where to go with this, but I needed to find some way to squeeze in Rei's double meaning dreams and Harumi's secret plan formation.

Again sorry for the long wait! You guys are such a great inspiration for writing this, so please don't hesitate to tell me what you think in a review! You've been very good to me, even through the month long wait and I'd like to say thanxs and the next chapter is already under way!

Don't forget to review!

-Xiaou