Yuki stood outside of Aya's room, watching as Hatori attended his brother. He wanted to step in there, but knowing the truth, he didn't know how to act around his brother. Logic told him to be supportive, but being unable to grasp the concept of what humiliation and pain he must be feeling made it hard to be sympathetic without making it look like pity.
He wanted to refuse to believe that Aya was violated. It couldn't be true! Akito was probably making it up just to set them apart even more. The Soumas suffered enough as it was, something like this couldn't possible happen, could it?
Yuki stepped back as Hatori finally exited the room.
"Oh, hello. You can enter now."
"Hatori-san?" Yuki stopped the doctor from leaving by latching onto his sleeve, a child seeking reassurance from his elder. "I was told by Akito that... Hatori, Aya wasn't... violated, was he?"
Hatori's eyes narrowered. "Akito told you that?"
Yuki nodded, silently pleading that Hatori would tell him it was a cruel joke on Akito's part. But the weariness etched in Hatori's face told him before the man actually answered.
"I wish I could say otherwise."
Yuki shook his head as he stepped back, briefly looking in to where his brother lay curled up in bed. Not Aya-niichan.
Yuki turned and ran.
He needed to get away. Run to where, he wasn't sure. But he couldn't be in the same house, not at this moment. Event hough his head told him to stay and not run away from Aya, his heart was crying in anger and frustration at not knowing what to do to make things better. He ran away from the main house, allowing his legs to lead him to wherever. He ran until he had trouble breathing, causing him to collapse to the ground, coughing.
"Aya... what do I do?"
Aya tensed up as he heard Hatori call out to his brother.
He must have found out. He must have found out and hates me even more.
He heard Hatori coming back into the room.
"I think I may have scared Yuki away."
"Don't cover it up, Hatori-san. Yuki hates me even more. I should have died."
"Aya! Don't talk like that." Hatori gritted his teeth as he thought about how detrimental to his own well being that Aya had become. Talking about death so lightly will not help with his recovery in his mental state. Physically, he was doing better. They had managed to keep infection from settling in, and the stitched areas were healing nicely.
"Yuki will be back. He doesn't hate you. He's just unsure of what is going on and scared."
Aya let out a small whimper and just curled himself tighter underneath the blankets.
Hatori sighed. "I have to check up on Akito. Sleep if you must, Aya. But try not to think about blaming yourself."
Hatori left the room.
Yuki lifted his head as a welcome voice called out to him.
Standing not a few feet away was Tohru, and next to her was Kyo.
The feelings of resentment did not surface this time. His need for familiar faces surpassed the disgust he normally felt. Tears sprung in his eyes and he launched himself towards the two.
Both teens tensed in surprise as Yuki threw his arms around their necks.
A second later, Kyo found himself scrambling for Yuki's clothes as Tohru held Yuki against her chest.
"You crazy rat!" Kyo shouted, ushering Tohru away from the sidewalk, looking around to make sure no one saw Yuki's transformation.
"Yuki, what's wrong?" Tohru was asking, as Kyo pushed her back in the direction of their home.
Yuki didn't answer, small sobs being heard instead.
Kyo looked at him in shock before turning to face where they were going, watching out for the two of them.
"It was much worse than we thought," Yuki finally said, one side of his face still pressed against Tohru's beating heart. Her hands felt so warm covering him up. "They did horrible things to him, and I don't know what to do. Or what to say."
"Oh, Yuki. Maybe you don't need to say anything," was Tohru's response. "I know when Mom died, Hana-chan and Uo-chan mostly just stayed by my side. I liked having them there. It made things less painful knowing that if I ever needed anyone, they would be there to help me. Every once in a while we talked about Mom, but we rarely talked about how she died. Maybe Aya just wants you to be there with him."
Yuki remained silent, contemplating what was said.
Staying away from Aya would only cause damage. That much he knew. He would have to go back. But first...
"Honda-san? Kyo-san? I would just like to be home for a bit before going back."
"Of course, Yuki-kun."
Kyo remained silent but nodded.
Shigure sat at the entrance of his residence in the main household, sipping tea. Hatori sat next to him, looking up at the sky.
"It feels wrong without Aya here, making noise like usual."
Hatori didn't say anything.
"Do you think he'll recover enough?"
"I don't know. I worry for his sanity. Being here isn't helping, but I have to tend to him constantly."
"And that's where the problem comes in. If I ask Akito to allow me to take him to my house, who would be there to take care of Aya, or who would be here to take care of Akito."
"Akito will not release me. Having him stay here is the only way for me to be able to care for Aya. The trouble is keeping Akito from visiting Aya and talking to him."
"Mine wants to visit Aya."
"That is another problem. I think it might do Aya good, but Akito won't let her in."
"Then we'll just have to find a way to sneak her in, won't we!" Shigure said, suddenly standing up and clapping his hands together. "Think of it as an adventure! A spy mission! Oh, how fun!"
"You really are an idiot," sighed Hatori.
But what could he say? The melancholy was threatening to drown them all. They had to find a way to pull Aya out of the depression, face what happened to him, and make him see that he was not to blame.
Mine hesitated as she stood by the door. Boss was in there, and even though she wanted to see him, she was scared to.
"Please be quick," Shigure-san told her. "Hatori can only detain Akito for so long."
Mine nodded and stepped into the room.
Aya was facing the opposite direction, his back exposed to her. She felt her eyes tear up as she saw how his beautiful hair had been cut. It was still long, but it wasn't the same.
"Oh, Boss-san," she said.
Aya whirled around to look at her with wide eyes.
"Mine-chan! What are you doing here?"
"I just came to see you."
There was such hatred in his voice that Mine didn't know if it was directed at her or at himself. "I ... I wanted to report on the shop!" she said in desparation.
Mine nodded. "Yes! It's... it's not doing as well as when you are there, but I'm managing. It really needs your creativity. Ritsu-chan tries, but... he just gets so flustered. Plus a lot of your old customers are asking for you. They just heard that the store was robbed and that the owner had been beaten. They want to know if you are well."
Aya looked away. "I don't know if I want to go back."
"But Boss-chan! It's your life!"
"I was only fooling myself."
"Boss-chan, that's so selfish!"
Aya turned to look at Mine, and was startled to see the girl crying, rubbing at her eyes.
"It's my life too, but only because you made it so! It's not the same without you there!"
The door opened and Hatori stepped in. "Akito is on the way. You need to leave now."
Mine sniffed and nodded. "I'll try to be back later, Boss-san."
She quickly left the room.
Yuki, Tohru, and Kyo ate in silence.
Neither shared a word, just soaking in the presence of each other. For once, Kyo refrained from goading Yuki into a fight. The whole situation was abnormal, and this was the only sense of normalacy that they could muster. He honestly didn't mind. At least now he didn't.
Yuki stood up when he was done.
"I need to go back," he said.
"To the main house?"
"Aya-niichan needs me. What he doesn't need is for me to run away."
"Oh, okay," said Tohru.
Kyo didn't look at him, feeling uncomfortable. "Do you want company?"
Yuki looked at him surprised.
"I'm only saying it because it's getting late. It wouldn't be wise for you to go alone."
"I'll go with you!" added Tohru. "Otherwise, Kyo would be alone coming back!"
Kyo flushed. "I... What can you..." Kyo started.
"I'd like that," Yuki added, interrupting him.
Kyo sighed. "Fine."
The three headed out, providing Yuki with the support that he needed. He allowed himself this moment of weakness, because he would have to be strong for his brother once he reentered the main house.