Turn Around and Cry
October 29, 2005
Disclaimer: "Flame of Recca" belongs to Anzai Nobuyuki, Studio Pierrot, and VIZ, none of which are me.
Kurei had always been tough, Koganei told himself. It was Koganei who couldn't keep up with the training. Kurei had not changed.
But Koganei remembered days when after a particularly heavy hit that sent Koganei sprawling, Kurei would walk over, kneel down, and wrap his arms around Koganei, apologizing for being too harsh. That was how Koganei knew this was better than the orphanage.
In those nights, Kurei would walk a tired Koganei to his room and say good night. If Koganei asked him to stay, he would. He'd leave briefly and return with another blanket. Then he'd lie down next to Koganei. Koganei remembered how warm he was.
Nowadays, Kurei was cold. The training was much more rigorous, and when night fell, Koganei would find himself both exhausted and bruised, but the training went on. Often times, Kurei wouldn't dismiss Koganei until early morning. When Koganei finally got into bed, sleep would claim him immediately.
Koganei reminded himself that Kurei was there until morning with him. This was all to help him. He was sure Kurei had a good reason for ignoring him otherwise, too.
There was one problem. Koganei was not an idiot. If he were, he might actually believe all this, but as it were, Koganei was a genius. It was not difficult for him to figure out that all these changes occurred when Kurei got that burn scar on his face. When Kurenai disappeared. When he started wearing that mask all the time. When Kaoru suddenly became Koganei.
Koganei knew something had happened, and he wanted to know what. So he asked Raiha.
Raiha told him he hadn't noticed anything. Koganei didn't believe it. He kicked and screamed and demanded that Raiha tell him what was going on. Then he passed out, already having been low on energy from that day's training.
When he woke, he was in his bed. He turned over and sobbed.
For now, he would pretend it was Kurei who had carried him there.