Disclaimer: I don't own Scryed.

There's nothing worse in this world than to care.

If you care, you end up trying.

If you try, you end up failing.

If you fail, you hurt.

Its all one big, vicious cycle of trying and failing and hurting.

And Kazuma never really realized just how deep he was in it.

---

He was a scrappy tough boy who was acting like a man when his voice was still thin and reedy and he was needy.

He had needs that wouldn't be filled.

But that's life, after all, full of the unfulfilled and wistful words.

When the world stung him, wounding his fragile heart he bit back with angry teeth and angrier fists.

People spat upon him, cursed him and he cursed them back because that's what he learned from them.

And like he learned to curse, he learned to fight and sweat and bleed.

The one thing he never really learned was kindness.

---

If he had, he might have learned it wasn't all it was cut out to be.

Poor, foolish little boy. He'd have to learn that the hard way.

---

When he met Kanami, she was full of fear and despair, her hands were full of cuts and callouses, her body scratched and frail.

He took a spot next to her, not really pitying but not really not caring, either.

She was afraid of everything.

He found that irritating.

But with a quiet, servant-like smile she offered him a piece of food, the first act of kindness for both of them.

The morsel was tough and hard, and he chewed it with a vigor, never taking his eyes off of her slim, delicate, battered frame.

She looked up and gave him the tiniest of smiles.

It was that fatal moment when Kazuma started to need her.

---

Kazuma hated the weak.

They were always whimpering and whining and crying about everything.

They never stood up for themselves.

They never tried to form their own destinies.

He hated them so much he loved them with all his heart.

---

He was afraid of Kanami sometimes.

It was silly, really, to be so powerful and yet fear a little girl with love like endless sunshine in her bright green eyes.

But he was.

He was afraid that she would suffer.

The mere thought of blood on her calloused, white scratched hands was enough to make him wretch.

He wanted so much for her, wanted her to stand up and face the world with a straight spine and determined eyes.

He wanted her to stop needing him.

And deep down, he was afraid that she didn't need him already.

---

When Kimishima died, he just couldn't believe it.

It wasn't the soap opera, oh-God-the-world-is-ending-because-you're-gone sort of disbelief where someone is sobbing and screaming and weeping, crying because the world is so unfair.

It was a literal, inability to believe.

He wasn't denying anything.

He never knew death.

Death was a variable he'd only known about secondhand.

Death was a lot like kindness to Kazuma. And to him, the two were already drinking buddies who knew when to call the other up because the first was in town.

He never really liked either one.

---

The cycle spins on and on.

---

When Ayase died in his arms, the bitter cold of the water creeping into his skin and his soul, he went ten degrees below frozen.

His soul was full of so much hate that at that moment, he thought he might combust. He wanted to hurt someone so badly he thought he just might hit himself if he was left alone.

He didn't understand death.

He didn't think he ever would.

---

He wanted to run, wanted to scream and shriek and tear his arm off so it would finally be done.

If he had, it might have saved him a lot of grief, he thought once.

What he failed to realize was that, with his luck, his Alter would simply become his permanent arm.

Either way, running was about as good as anything to him.

---

There were days when Kazuma felt like the world had given up and left him to bear the weight. That, if he stopped fighting, the world just might stop turning.

Which led to his belief that the world owed him as much as he owed it.

Nothing and everything was on both their tabs.

---

He was really jealous of Cougar sometimes.

If you kept moving, so fast that no one could touch you, you couldn't really touch them.

If you were never in one place, you couldn't start caring.

Frankly, he was tired of caring.

But doing nothing was just too painful.

---

While he was stuck in that rut between fighting and running in the arena, he realized just how selfish humanity really was.

Grubbing about for every last scrap of food on this accursed rock that called itself a planet beneath a brutally shining sun, humanity was a virus that crawled across the skin of the Earth.

And he was just one part of that virus.

The thought was oddly humbling.

And it really pissed him off.

---

In his head, he apologized to Kanami for running away, and said goodbye to her. It was a sort of wistful thought of something he would never do.

He kept wandering about, but he knew he could not see her again.

If he kept himself in this place where he wasn't quite Kazu-kun and wasn't Kazuma the Shell Bullet, he wouldn't have to make a choice.

Because when it got down to it, he wasn't sure which Kazuma was Kazuma.

If he had ever given it some thought, he might have realized that he was afraid of saying goodbye too.

---

Kazuma never promised anything to Kanami.

At the time, he decided it was because he had nothing to promise and nothing to say.

If he had thought about everything a bit more, he might have grown to realize that it was because he wanted to promise everything and nothing at the same time.

If he promised, he would have to deliver.

If he promised, he'd disappoint.

And Kanami was the one person he wasn't quite sure he could ever disappoint.

---

When Kanami got kidnaped there was a feeling that was mind numbing terror surging through him.

And he hated it.

He hated her for making him so damn angry, for making him hurt like this.

And he cared, he cared about her well-being that the thought of Mujo's filthy gloved hands touching her delicately sunburned skin made him shiver and his stomach turned.

He hated her and loved her at that moment so much that he felt that he might just implode from it all.

---

When that fat bastard who kept yelling "Hammer" died, he though he shouldn't really give a shit anymore.

But God damn it, he did. He still cared and he still tried and he still failed and he still hurt.

He's only human, after all.

---

We suffer, we die, end of story.