A/N: I'm so glad this is finally coming out. To those of you who've honestly been waiting the year for it to be updated, I apologize profusely. This chapter was not worth waiting so long for and I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am. I strongly suggest going back and re-reading all chapters; they've been revamped.
It will be concluded eventually, and hopefully not even in that many more chapters. I promise it will not just fade into a "Story-That-Never-Was."
Oh; how're you diggin' the new name?
Kouji and I held hands as we sat in the backseat. We sat right against each other with our eyes closed and our breaths coming in time as we allowed our feelings to freely mingle with each other. Our connection was so potent, at such a height that I could practically even hear his thoughts. It was beautiful, and the closeness made me want to cry. Kouji and I had never maintained that type of connection before. He'd never believed in psychic stuff and telepathy and what-not, but even he couldn't deny that there was something powerful, something of great magnitude flowing between us. To feel this after making-love would constitute the ultimate afterglow, I thought. I almost wished we'd have been able to go that far, back there, in his room. We'd have achieved the ultimate Nirvana.
"Both of you; stop it. If I have to, I'll have Satomi switch places with one of you." I struggled to open my eyes. I felt drugged on sensation, and immediately sobered up catching the look my father was giving us through the rearview mirror. We were driving to Yoshimura-san's office. Satomi-san was in the passenger's seat. Kouji and I were in the back, preparing for the moment that would surely come soon. I felt Kouji was about to spit out a nasty protest, but I tightly squeezed his hand, and he bit his tongue. We let go. Breaking our grasp was like ripping off one of my limbs. Kouji immediately made up for it by slipping out of his shoe and playing footsies with me, and I couldn't help but smile. Oh, how I would miss these kind of moments with my brother.
Yoshimura Kaori was a very young and, apparently, very kind psychiatrist. Tou-san had been taking Kouji to see her since his early years, when he first showed signs of some degree or another of behavioral disorders. Apparently, according to Tou-san, Kouji showed signs of Autism when he was just a toddler, and when it was decided that he seemed to be developing like any old child, the problems started. He spent hours with her, every day, every week, for years, and he'd only just convinced Tou-san to stop taking him to her when his fiery personality had cooled down after our visit to the Digital World. Tou-san figured Kouji's 'problems' had stemmed around his inability to see his real mother, and when he and Kaa-san had finally reunited, he must have figured that was the reason his 'problems' had vanished. In Tou-san's words, she was a sweet, playful, and friendly doctor who bonded with her patients very well. In Kouji's, she was an evil, manipulative, hateful bitch he couldn't even stand to look at. She specialized in behavioral problems and childhood disorders, and Tou-san figured our relationship was one such problem.
"Stop it," he called to us again as Kouji's hand found its way to my knee. He returned with his smart-ass smirk, and when he looked away, he took hold of my wrist. I raised a brow at him, and he winked at me. He slipped back into his shoe, and started tapping the back of his seat.
"If he's taking us away anyway," he whispered under his breath, "I'm going to screw around with him."
"You idiot," I whispered back, both affectionately and seriously. He grinned again. He waited until he caught Tou-san's eye in the rear-view mirror again, and just as he was about to tell us off for having Kouji touching my wrist, he led my hand directly to his crotch, and had me rub him sensually. At his look of disgust, Kouji made a low, indecent purring noise, and I saw even Satomi-san look away, though she couldn't even see what was happening. I looked away and blushed; Kouji was hard. He wouldn't have me rub him until he came, would he? That was just be strange. But he kept it up until his little sounds of pleasure weren't forced, but came naturally. I just limply let him use my hand; I didn't contribute to the motion, nor did I resent it. At the next red-light, Tou-san jammed on the breaks, practically throwing us forward. He reached behind him and grabbed Kouji by his shirt collar and tried to drag him through the opening and into the front seat. At first he fought like hell, but Tou-san finally just yanked him over the seats and he sat him down, right in the middle of Satomi-san and himself. It was absolutely ridiculous; but Kouji was so light and slender that took almost no effort at all to pull him through, and he fit quite comfortably between them. He didn't seem hurt in the slightest, unless you were counting his pride. Tou-san resumed driving with the three of them up front, and little old me in the back. Kouji kept looking over his shoulder, and Tou-san glared at him each time he did so. He tried to curl his body up into a little ball to avoid touching either of them, and he especially withdrew from Satomi-san's touch. It was like this the whole way it took us to drive to her office, and knowing what was coming, being separated from my brother just those few inches was enough to pain me.
We arrived. The building was VERY large; obviously, more than a few doctors inhabited it. It was obviously a building made to cater to those with interest only in the finest and most serious studies, and those who had the money to throw around to pay for it. I'd never seen such a building before. Was this really just a building full of psychiatrists? Were there labs and stuff in here? Was this a hospital? I wondered all these things and more, but I got no answers. Kouji withdrew even further upon seeing this building, and even as we exited the car and I managed to give him a passing touch of encouragement, he was still visibly angry at being forced here. He was obviously familiar, as were the other two, and I dawdled along behind them. I was fascinated with anything to do with the medical field, so as we passed through, I gaped in amazement at everything around me. There were serious looking doctors in white coats, professional attire and civilian clothing, expensive ambience where dark wood seemed to be the theme, and it was exquisitely matched. Then there was just the overall cleanness of the place; maybe this was a hospital? But weren't hospitals white and sterile and didn't they smell sort of funny? This place smelled very normal and nice, albeit clean. Did I mention it was clean? Like obsessively? Like not a single person working was disorganized in the slightest and the floors were, literally, squeaky clean?
I had a funny thought: What if all of these people working in the psychiatric field suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder? That would just be ironic.
Tou-san pulled Kouji into a chair. He looked around for me, but I was still trailing several feet behind them and staring at everything. I blushed and hurried to catch up to them, and he purposely sat Satomi-san down beside Kouji, (much to his dissatisfaction) and me next to him. He sat back, waiting, clearly having nothing to say. I cupped my hands, tapping the floor with my toes, uncertainly glancing around. We were near a large and elaborate double desk where two men were typing on computers. One of them glanced over at us, but said nothing. As his eyes caught Kouji, he quickly looked away. There was a sign hanging from the ceiling over them that read: "Child Psychology and Psychiatric Assistance." I felt horribly out of place. What on earth did it cost to be evaluated here? I knew how expensive some doctors could cost for just an hour-long visit, but if Tou-san was going to have us spend hours with this woman, (as Kouji assured me he would) for days or even weeks, dear God, how much money was going into just tearing us apart? Before that, how much money went into destroying Kouji?
We waited, not very long, but long enough for me to get antsy. I guess when normal people visit a doctor, they read paperbacks, flip through a magazine, converse; they do something to keep themselves occupied. The Minamoto plus one Kimura family did not, though Satomi-san looked terribly uncomfortable just sitting there, and she often held her abdomen while leaning over.
Somewhere far off down the hall, I heard the click, click, click of a woman's high-heels coming towards us long before I saw the woman. She was young, if you consider that the rest of the doctors walking around were in their sixties. I estimated thirty-five at the most. She was dark haired and very beautiful; she was possibly an Ainu. She was one of the doctors who wore semi-professional clothing and she still looked suitable in such a habitat, but she was not overly primped to the point of being obnoxious. She certainly didn't look like a monster, but Kouji cringed as he saw her. I assumed this must be Yoshimura-san, and I was right; Tou-san and Satomi-san soon stood up to greet her. At first, Yoshimura-san didn't seem to notice Kouji or I existed. She fussed over Satomi-san and her blossoming baby-bump, and went on for a while about how she was just so jealous, she'd always wanted a baby and she was just so lucky she was going to be blessed with a beautiful bouncing baby girl and etc. Then suddenly, out of no where, Tou-san and Satomi-san left. They just randomly walked away. Neither Kouji nor Yoshimura-san looked surprised by this, and I figured this must be a usual occurrence. She smiled at me, and then directed all of her attention at Kouji. She bent over him like an affectionate aunt, and said, very kindly, "Hello, Kouji-kun."
Kouji looked like he'd just smelled something very rotten.
"It's good to see you again." Kouji did not reply. I wondered if she'd been told about everything involving our relationship, or if Tou-san had just given her bare details. If she did know everything and was disgusted by it, she hid it well.
"Will you introduce me to your brother? You two look so alike- it's uncanny." Kouji looked at me, and I saw his hand twitch. I realized he was aching to hold me, and so without saying a word, I moved the two seats down next to him, and gripped his hand hard. He relaxed, leaning into my shoulder. Yoshimura-san observed, and did not comment.
"My office is just over there," she said, pointing to one of the several elegantly carved doors, one of which sported a gold plaque with her name. "If you'll please follow me, I believe we have the next hour or two together." And she began to leave, fully expecting us to follow, not even considering we might just decide to stand up and run off. I stood up to follow her, but Kouji remained in the chair; he was deadweight.
"Come on, 'touto." I pulled him. "I know you don't like her, but you're going to cause a big fuss by not at least moving."
"She hasn't brain-washed you, has she?" he said miserably. "She's an evil, conniving bitch. She's going to make us feel like we're demon seed from hell for loving each other. She's going to convince us that we're freaks of nature, horribly mutated freaks of nature, and that the way we live is unnatural. How can I sit there and let her tell me it's unnatural to love my 'Nii-san?" I leaned into him, lovingly wrapping my arms around him and kissing his neck. He sobbed.
"Come on, she can't do that."
"You have no idea." We heard the door unlock, and open. She finally looked behind at us, as if surprised we hadn't followed. She didn't look disturbed to see me hugging my brother like I was. She didn't seem so bad.
"What's the worst that can happen?"
Oh, how horribly naïve of me.
She sat us down in her office. Never having been in a psychiatrist's office but having seen movies and TV shows about it, I assumed we'd be lying on a couch, but she offered us to sit in squishy, plush recliners instead. They were all cherry red and strangely matched the dark mahogany woodwork all inside her office, and they were surrounding an enormous and heavy red-wood table with several folders scattered across the top. To complete the colour scheme was a cherry and gold vase that was sporting at least a dozen perfectly sculpted roses. She took one of the recliners, and motioned towards the others. There were three; one for her, one for each of us. I sat down in one of them, and Kouji sat down on my lap, clinging to me protectively. I expected her to immediately suggest that he let me go and take his own chair, but apparently used to Kouji's method of doing things, she let him hang on me. She fussed around in a filing cabinet, and said over her shoulder, "Good gracious Kouji-kun; I pretty much have an entire drawer devoted to you."
Kouji hugged me tighter. I hugged him close, soothingly stroking his hair.
She eventually sat down with a single sheet of paper with a book behind it, and she leaned in to me and Kouji, holding an arm out. At first, I was confused. Then, she said, "Since Kouji-kun refuses to acknowledge me, I'm pleased to meet you, Kouichi-kun. I am Yoshimura Kaori, and please, call me Kaori-san. Kouji just calls me the Bitch from Hell, and I do hope you won't pick up that nickname."
She was very nice. I couldn't understand why Kouji was so against her. I let go of him and freed just my one arm to shake her hand, and Kouji pulled the arm back, unwilling to let me touch her. She seemed unfazed.
"Minamoto-san seems to think that we have a bit of an issue with you again, Kouji-kun." She leaned back in her chair, perfectly comfortable, perfectly at ease, even when Kouji finally snapped back at her,
"What the fuck else is new?" I patted his head, both soothing and scolding. I didn't care if he talked to Tou-san like that, but could he at least be decent to other people?
"Well, having your brother join us is certainly new. You've never previously mentioned a brother."
"Because our fucking father kept him a secret from me, and he lied to me and told me my mother was dead."
"Oh really?" She wrote something. "Guess it has been a while since I've seen you, huh?"
"I hate you," he just said bitterly, to which Kaori-san replied,
"What else is new?"
I wasn't sure whether to be appalled or amused that a doctor would say such a thing to one of her patients.
"And how about you, Kouichi-kun? What have you to say?"
Too shy to say anything at all, I shook my head, trying to convey that I had nothing to say.
"Nii-san is very forgiving. He accepts that our father is a fucking liar and he's forgiven our parents for lying all this time. Nii-san is very kind." Kouji reached up and kissed the tender part of my neck, and I hugged him closer to me. Kaori-san briefly made another note, and switched her legs around. "Nii-san will even talk to you, you miserable plotting bitch. But you won't trick him. You won't."
"When did you two reunite?"
"It doesn't matter," Kouji said, falling into me and nuzzling into my chest.
"Kouichi-kun? When would you say you two met?"
Again, I had nothing to say, and simply continued holding my brother. He was begging for comfort and reassurance, and I was too eager to provide it for him. I didn't want him getting upset again. I could easily forgive myself for being rude to a woman I didn't even know; I could not forgive myself for hurting my brother.
"When did you first realize you had feelings for your brother, Kouichi-kun?" I thought back to the sentence that started it all: My brother is undeniably sexy. To think of my young, premature mind conjuring up such thoughts about my brother for the first time; it was strange to remember.
"You're not going to ensnare us in your nasty little traps," Kouji spat coldly, and Kaori-san nodded.
"If you like. Then, Kouichi-kun, how about you just tell me whatever you like?"
I hesitated, unsure of whether I should answer, but I decided it was no good in me just being silent. "What am I supposed to say?"
She visibly brightened at my speaking. "Anything at all! If you just want to say, 'The sky is blue,' that's fine. Recite the alphabet, count up to a thousand, or, if you're sharing thoughts with Kouji-kun, call me a sly and nastily sneaky rotting little bitch. Say whatever you want."
Though thinking back on it, I feel very stupid for it, (though Kouji chuckled at it for months to come, and in time, I grew to laugh at it too) the next words out of my mouth to Kaori-san were, "My brother is undeniably sexy."
Kouji snorted, digging his face into my shoulder. Kaori-san made a note. Oh, I was so stupid for saying that. Well, she had said, "anything."
I wondered if there really was a mask over her face, and right now, she was disgusted and revolted at us. But she just smiled, like there was nothing wrong in the world.
She DID seem very nice.
"I thought..." I paused; trying to decide how I could possibly tell my story to this woman I didn't even know. Kouji gripped my hand, begging me to be quiet, but I had to say something. I'd always wanted to scream my love of my brother; at the least, here was a chance to say it. "I discovered that I wanted Kouji when I was twelve. It was barely a year ago." A year. Not a year ago, I'd discovered that I was in love with my own brother. A year. So much can change in a year. A year ago, I'd started puberty. A year ago, I realized I loved my brother. And a few, short months ago, my brother and I kissed for the first time. "We were just in love..."
"Why?" she asked, very innocently.
"I...I don't know. We just were." Stupid Kouichi. Why couldn't I get out what I had to say?
"You don't know whether or not you're in love with Kouji-kun?"
"No, no; that's not it. I just...I don't know how to describe it."
Kouji reached up and whispered in my ear; "Give her the 'one person is two' speech. It was beautiful."
"Have you ever been in love before?"
"No, never. I've never felt this way about anyone; I never could. Kouji and I are just so close. We're one person-" I was about to explain my reasoning, but she, very politely, interrupted me.
"Please excuse me, Kouichi-kun, and I hope like nothing else that you won't be offended and that you won't hate me like Kouji-kun does. If you've never felt this way about anyone else, why are you so sure you love your brother?"
"Told you," Kouji whispered smugly. "It's like talking to a parrot." Kouji's distaste of Kaori-san was suddenly very obvious. He hated being tripped up with his own words; it was absolutely the most unforgivable thing that anyone could ever do to him. It completely shamed him and humiliated him to be tied by his own words.
"Because I love him," I said indefinitely. "And that is all." Kaori-san just wrote something down on her little piece of paper, and agreed with me.
Kouji seemed to finally get up his nerve to face her. He slowly picked himself off of me and sat on the plush armrest, hunching over and leering at her venomously. I rubbed his back soothingly, and from the side of his face, I saw him grin. "Ask me a question, bitch."
Kaori-san waved a few strands of hair out of her face, smiled and acknowledged Kouji, and returned to me. "Would you say your father overreacted to his discovery of your relationship?
"Yes," Kouji began immediately, but I cut him off.
"No, not really. I mean, he's a father. He's just a concerned father who's afraid for his sons. We know that what we're doing is wrong and that there may be consequences for it down the road, but we do it anyway. I'm sure he knows that, and is just trying to protect us.
"You fool," Kouji scoffed in disbelief. "You fool."
"So, you aren't angry at your father at all?" I shrugged, a little uncomfortable talking about Tou-san in front of this stranger when I'd barely come to terms with it myself. I was trying to figure out how to answer her when she trudged into another question. "So...you would agree that your father is only doing what he thinks is best for you, right?
"I guess." I was just glad I didn't have to explain my feelings about him. But even then, she made me second-guess myself.
"Your father obviously loves both of you very much-"
"Yeah. OBVIOUSLY. Because he didn't even look at Kouichi until a few years ago, and even now, two years later, he hardly recognizes him as his son."
"Why do you go against his wishes, then? Why do you think that just because you feel this feeling, though your father says it's wrong and it shouldn't be done, you go along with it anyway?
Kouji snarled at her. "Direct your questions at ME, bitch. Don't touch my brother. Stop going in for the weaker kill!"
I lightly pulled Kouji's hair. I barely touched it at all, but he acted as though I'd just flat out slapped him. What else could I have done? I wasn't the weaker kill; I was one brother in a set of two, and I could take care of myself. "Because I can't stop something that I feel is so right just because one man says that it's not. I feel, deep in me, woven into me by sheer instinct that I could love no one more than I love my brother. That man can not just rip apart every fiber of my being and change me so that I think the same as him." And now Kouji looked proud, and beamed in her direction.
"I see. So you love Kouji because he's your brother, not for the person he is?"
Kouji's smile faltered. "Shut up; you have no idea what you're talking about." But I could feel his eyes curving down to see me; to question me. I was a little embarrassed; had I not once thought these same words?
"What do you mean?" I asked, and she nibbled on a nail, staring at me thoughtfully.
"You say that your love for your brother is woven into you, as if by instinct. Instinctually, we all love members of our family. Mothers and sons are especially close, fathers and daughters are especially close, and while they sometimes don't show it, siblings are extremely close. Your love for your brother IS woven into your very make-up, but are you sure you aren't dramatizing it?"
"I love him," I said simply. "I just love him. I would love this wonderful person whether he was my brother or not."
"Are you sure? Perhaps you love your brother because it's a thrill to know you're delving into the forbidden and unknown. Perhaps you do love your brother just because he's your brother, not because you like the person."
"You dirty little-"
"I love everything about him. I love every single aspect of this person right here," and I pulled Kouji off his armrest onto my lap, where he then wrapped an arm around me and glared murderously at Kaori-san. "-and nothing he could ever do could ever make me forget that love." I paused. "Not long ago...he wanted to hurt me. He was so completely enraged that all he wanted to do was hurt me to make me understand his pain. He didn't, but even if he had, I'd still be sitting here, expressing my love for him."
"Can you tell me what you love about Kouji-kun?"
"I...everything. There's not a thing about him I don't love."
"Surely you can be more specific. Do you like the certain ways Kouji-kun does things?"
"Kouji does everything perfectly."
Kaori-san sighed, and crossed a leg over her knee. She laced her fingers and propped up her chin with them. She was suddenly staring very seriously at me. "Why is it that you can't name a single thing about your brother that you love?"
"Because he's afraid that you'll twist his words up somehow!" Kouji snarled. "He'll say I'm beautiful, and you'll say, so you only care about physical appearances? He'll say, because of how close we are, and you'll say, so you do only like him because he's your brother? You'll screw around with him!"
"I love that about him," I said quite honestly, and smiled up at him. "I appreciate how well he handles himself. And with all due respect, Kaori-san, you've been asking me a lot of questions. I think it's only fair that you pay an equal amount of time to Kouji." Her eyes flashed briefly, then she just smiled. "Absolutely. I'm looking forward to 'sparing' with Kouji-kun; he always makes it out to be a boxing match. Isn't that right, Kouji-kun?"
To be truthful, I wasn't thinking of all the bad that could come of this. The worst I was thinking at that particular moment was that Kouji might be a little sexist. It was a useless worry compared to the chaos that followed.
The hateful bitch was eyeing me down and trying to size me up; she was trying to see if I'd built up any more endurance since the last time we fought. Well, guess what whore, I have.
Except, I was tired and out of energy after everything that had already happened. I wasn't sure how long I would be able to take before my body betrayed me. But I had to try; I had to try for Nii-san. Poor Nii-san; he did the best he could, but her questions confused him. He didn't know how to answer these things. But I knew. There was a subtle suggestion in every word that spewed forth from her lying gullet, and you had to be just as sneaky as her to catch it. Fortunately, I was just as slick and just as sly. I would catch her before she caught me.
"So, Kouji-kun," she began, and I snarled back at her,
"Call me Kouji-kun one more time and I'll rip your fucking hair out. Refer to me by my surname."
"That reminds me," she just said inquisitively, tapping a finger against her cheek. "Do you two have the same name?"
Kouichi was about to answer her, but I just growled back at her; "You know perfectly well we don't. Stop asking useless questions."
"Maybe I didn't know, or maybe I wanted to make sure."
"You and I both know perfectly well you're holding a sheet of paper that reads 'Kimura Kouichi and Minamoto Kouji.' You know god damn well our names are different. You have some nerve bringing that up."
"Well, let's start with that topic, then. Are you uncomfortable that you and your brother have different surnames? Do you wish that Kouichi-kun would take on your father's name? Or do you like the sound of your mother's name better? Kimura Kouji and Kimura Kouichi?" I hunched forward again and gripped Kouichi's knees; he rubbed me soothingly on the back, but each touch felt like it was rubbing a patch of fur the wrong way. It was disturbing; I wanted to be comforted by my Nii-san.
"There is nothing to discuss here. Move onto the next topic." The bitch shrugged.
"How do you feel about finding out that your mother is alive? Before you discovered this, you were quite resentful that you even had a mother at all; as far as I got out of it, you wished you'd been born without a mother."
"Untrue," I snapped. She DARED play with my memory? I knew exactly what happened and remembered in near perfect detail everything that went on during that last, fateful trip before I came before my mother again. I never once said I didn't want a mother, but she was hiding behind words like, "As far as I got out of it," and, "The way I remember it." That didn't make it fact: that made it perception. She was clever. Too clever. But I was better than her. "I wanted a mother more than anything in the world. I accepted Satomi as my "mom," my stand-in for a mother figure. If I really didn't want a mother, I never would have even bothered.
"True, but last I heard you were seething in rage at Satomi-san and you were...calling her a whore and throwing glass at her." I caught her eyes scanning the sheet.
"What the hell is on that paper?!"
"Nothing important." As if to emphasize the uselessness of it, she crumpled it up, and threw it over her shoulder. She disposed of her pencil just as simply. I was glaring and snarling at her; if I'd been a wolf, she'd be seeing a massive amount of fangs right now.
She wasn't going to get me. Fucking psychiatrist; she wasn't going to get me.
"Let's talk about the baby, then. Isn't it wonderful that you're getting a baby sister? What do you think your parents are going to name her?"
"They can name it Sweltering Demon Fetus for all I care. I have my own name picked out for it: Little Bitch. Sound good?"
"I like the name Nanami," Yoshimura said dreamily. "It's such a pretty name. If I ever had a daughter, I'd name her Nanami. Nami-chan for short, of course. Has Satomi-san discussed names with you or your father?"
"They haven't even really told me that she's pregnant." I laughed as harshly as I could; it hurt my throat. "But I knew at least a month ago. My father found out I knew while he was in the middle of bullshitting me and my brother. Because apparently I go out and rape people. Maybe if you're lucky I'll just rape you too; I'll give you a daughter."
This was apparently too much for Kouichi; he pulled my hair again. I was growing agitated with him; why wasn't he defending us more? Why was he forcing me to be polite to this...this monster? Every time I got on a roll, he wanted me to shut up. What was wrong with him?
"What would you name your child if you had one? Boy or girl; either or. What's your favourite name?"
"I'm not allowed to have children because I would be a horrible father. And I'd probably rape them."
"Well, that's new, and I'd like to know the person who had the nerve to say that to you. I never took you as a child molester, Kouji. I don't think you're capable of that." I eyed her suspiciously; that was a flat out lie. My father had brought us here because he thought I was raping and molesting my brother. She obviously knew that. She was screwing around with me.
"You think I'm a nutcase and all you want to do is torture me because you know that no one will ever listen to someone that everyone thinks is crazy."
"I think you're extremely intelligent and your intelligence is highly underappreciated. I also think you have problems controlling your anger. As Kouichi said not long ago; once you were angry enough, you almost wouldn't hesitate to attack your own brother, the person you claim to love more than anything else." I turned back and glared at Kouichi; he sunk into the chair. Why did he have to even mention that? It was private! Now she was going to use it as some backbone to try and make it sound like I WAS raping him!
"I didn't touch him," I hissed. "I'd never hurt my own brother. Never. That was a fluke. A fluke. I will never, ever lose control of myself like that again."
"What, may I ask, went on between you to where you almost lost your temper on him?"
"Nothing." It could not be told why. She would take it and screw it up. I was about to go onto another topic, but Kouichi, for what the fuck ever reason, decided to open his big mouth.
"I'd...suggested that we call it off." The bitch looked brightly at him.
"Kouichi." I glared at him. It was my 'Shut-the-fuck-up' glare that I'd once used on him that one day we confessed to each other. It didn't work then, and it didn't work now.
"I knew we would get in a lot of trouble for it, and I knew this would ruin our lives. I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to break us up because I was afraid that Kouji's life would be destroyed. He...he's worth so much more than I am. He's going to do something good with his life that I'll never be able to achieve. But because we're together, he can never achieve everything he's capable of. It scared him, and he got angry. But I realized that...I realized that even if it did hurt us, we couldn't be apart. That was just unacceptable. We had to be together. And I'll never try to leave him again. Kouji never, ever would have struck out at me if I hadn't tried to do something like that to him. It was completely my fault. Kouji was not in the wrong."
I could've cried; I almost couldn't stand hearing my brother saying such beautiful things in front of this whore. Her ears didn't deserve to hear it. Because she would ruin it, and it wouldn't become a beautiful thing; it would become a horrible thing.
"I see," Yoshimura said thoughtfully. "So Kouji won't allow you to break up with him?"
Kouichi shrunk back into his seat. "That's not what I said. He couldn't stop me if I wanted to, but I don't anymore. I was just confused at the time."
"It just seems like, to me," she went on, completely ignoring him. "That you're very well adapted, Kouichi-kun. You sort of see how it is, nice and clear. And you recognize that Minamoto-san is only concerned for you. When he called me, it was not in anger or disgust or revulsion; he was worried out of his mind. He was begging me to find out what was wrong because he was worried you two would take it too far."
"He's an evil, lying chameleon-like bastard," I interrupted, and she just bulldozed right through me.
"Kouichi-kun, I think you were just trying to do the right thing by breaking up with your brother. You're not at fault at all; you were doing the right thing. But you still love your brother in a brotherly way, and it hurt you to see him so upset. Not only that; he started threatening to hurt you when you tried to break up with him. And because you were afraid of what he could do, you retreated. I think it's unfair that Kouji-kun is forcing you to be in a relationship you don't want to be in. I disagree that he raped you, but if he's threatening you and scaring you to remain with him, I think that's just as bad as rape."
Kouichi was almost speechless. "That's not what I said-" But I'd had enough with words. Enough. Words were meaningless; all she did was screw them up and turn them from something beautiful into something ugly. I leapt off of my brother's knee, standing stiffly and with my fist clenched at my sides. I had a flash of clarity; what was I capable of? What could I do when confronted with this spiteful bitch who was trying to turn Kouichi on me?
She acknowledged that I was standing, and ignored me, going right back to Kouichi. It infuriated me. "Kouichi-kun, I want you to look hard at yourself. Look really, really hard. Think hard about the way you feel about Kouji-kun, and whether your feelings for him are brotherly and you want out, or whether you really do love him. It's alright if you want to end your relationship with him. It's alright. It's not wrong. If you don't love Kouji-" I'd had it. That was it. How DARE she suggest my Nii-san didn't love me! The table. That was it. The table that was in between us. I rushed at it and as she ducked in her chair, I turned it over. It flipped in the air and the edge of it hit her legs as she held up her hands to protect herself. I heard her cry out, but only felt satisfaction, not fear. Let her be hurt! No, let her be hurt more! I was frantically looking for something else to throw at her, and as she kicked the table away and started moving to her desk, I saw the vase on the ground. As I picked it up and prepared to throw it at her, I felt Kouichi touch my shoulder. In an instant he was hugging me from behind, and he was whispering calming words in my ears. But I was enraged. Enraged. How dare she say that about my Nii-san! What's worse...what's worse is I was wondering if it was true.
Was Kouichi only staying with me because he was afraid of me? Was he afraid of leaving me? WAS it true? Kouichi hadn't contradicted her or even stand up for himself...and he brought it up to begin with! He knew she would twist his words around and he knew what she was capable of, and he said it anyway!
I jerked out of his grasp, and let go of the vase. She was standing at her desk and talking on a phone; she was calling security. As she was talking, she didn't see the vase fly right at. It hit her, in the shoulder, hard. It was heavy. She went down clutching it and crying out in pain.
"Kouji," Kouichi moaned. "What have you done?" And he ran to her! He ran to her! He was protecting her! What was he doing?!
I quickly caught up with him and forced him to look at me, clutching his shoulders as tightly as I could. He was nearly in tears. "Is it true?"
He blinked his eyes clear. "What?"
"Is it true? Do you hate me? Do you want to leave me and are you afraid that I'm going to hurt you? I would never hurt you, Kouichi. Never, ever, ever could I even possibly conceive the idea of hurting you." I caught him looking at Yoshimura; she was still crawling around. She was smart enough not to come at me.
"I...I don't know." I was stunned. I'd expected him to just hug me and tell me, of course not, you idiot, I'm your brother. I'm your Nii-san. I'll never leave you. I love you too much. I was hoping he'd tell me those beautiful words. Instead all he said...all he would say was that he didn't know?!
"You're scary when you're like this, Kouji. You're ugly with anger and rage and it does terrorize me. I...I love you. But I can't admit that I'm not afraid of you, and I can't say that I'm not afraid that one day, you will lose your temper and hurt me, too."
I let go. I could've said a thousand things to him. I could've said anything. Instead, I just submitted. He was right. I was a monster. I was drunk on my own anger and I had no control at all. I'd prided myself for years on my self-control; the truth was that I had none. I just looked at him, trying to read him, trying to figure out if he was trying to say he didn't love me anymore. He made a move towards me; his arms were wide open. He was trying to hug me? Trying to restrain me?
"Kouji, I love you."
"You're lying," I said flatly. "You just said it yourself. You're afraid of me. You hate me! You're terrified of me!"
"Now look who's turning words around." I couldn't control myself; I smacked him. He was comparing me to Yoshimura; the evil bitch I hated like no one else. I was so angry, so ANGRY I couldn't help it! Suddenly my hand was just out there, floating around, and suddenly it curved in and without warning, it was just making contact with Kouichi's face. I didn't even think about it, and I didn't even acknowledge it until I saw the red mark forming on his cheek. I was struggling to get out an apology, but my throat was totally constricted. He just stood there, never faltering.
"In a way, I deserved that."
I ran. Security would be there in moments; I was done for anyway. I'd be arrested for assaulting Yoshimura. I didn't want my brother to see his greatest fear proven true: that his brother was some kind of psychopath who couldn't control his violent tendencies. I ran away from my brother, who I still loved, but who contradicted everything he'd said to me no more than an hour or two ago. If my brother really was afraid of me, despite as much as he claimed to love me, I really must be a monster. For the first time in my life, I was afraid of myself.
And I scared me.