Disclaimer: I do not own Zetsuai 1989 and Bronze or any of the characters. They belong to Ozaki Minami-sensei. I am not making any money from it either so please do not sue.


Notes: This is set after Kouji came back to Izumi in the last book of the manga. It contains hints of the treatment he had given Izumi before he left.

Forlorn Soul In The Night

The passage of two months is like a dark stream, bearing deep scars, flashing by right before the eyes.

Six hundred days and nights. My heart was dominated by feelings of happiness and fear. Until the moment when I took in a fresh breath of oxygen, the moment when I felt the soft chill of the wind upon my body through the thin fabric of my shirt. Only then did the comprehension of "time" dawn upon my mind yet again.

Autumn has already come and gone.

In order to avoid the hordes of reporters plaguing me, Shibuya specially chose to pick me up late at night. He let me stay over for that one night, before urging me to follow him out the following morning. Because there were still procedures to be done with the lawyer, he told me sternly to stay in the car while he swung close the car door without looking back. The winter cold threatened to infiltrate the car through the thick windows. Shibuya's face was not any less cold. The reason for his anger, I can totally comprehend it… Because I hate myself more than anyone else. Because I am more aware than anyone else of what I have done.

In those wavering days, I could vividly recall… The night which tears at my soul and makes me want to send myself to hell. Izumi's trembling lips, his two outstretched hands pleading for salvation, his tortured gasps for air, and most of all… Those hopeless eyes. I thought he would die. First time in my life, I hurt my most loved one so cruelly of my own free will. And I immediately regretted it. Looking at Izumi as he lay almost dying, unconscious, how I wished that was only my overactive imagination, how I wished that was only a nightmare, how I wish that was… As long as it was not reality.

But I know that was not to be.

When I was sure that he was still alive, I dared not be there a moment longer. I did not have the courage to even clean up the mess after that most cruel act to my Izumi. I left that place. I cannot imagine what I would see in those eyes when they reopened once again. Hatred? Loathing? Aloofness? Or will it be nonchalance towards the me who has hurt you so… No! No matter what it may be, I will not be able to take it!

…This is my "selfishness" and "pride"…

That is for his sake. If I had been gentle, I would have only destroyed him. Reasons and excuses are not at all persuasive when you can only explain it to yourself.

For the next few days, the image of that woman continues to plague my dreams. We are standing at the top of a high building. She looks at me with infinite sadness and hatred.

In the end, you still erred.

(Did I… Really do wrong…)

In the end, you still chose the same path as me, chose the worst possible option.

(No… I am different from you…)

That is why you will suffer the same pain and retribution as me…

I am unable to move. I can only feel my body dropping, falling. In my unease, I see Izumi's face. He is clutching the steel wires tightly. He is screaming something. But I cannot hear him.

…Who is that behind him? …Is that me?

I… Am laughing… Cruelly laughing…

No! …Do not touch him! …Do not use your hidden claws to hurt him!

Izumi's back… There is blood on Izumi's back…

He is crying… He is calling my name… My name…

…But I cannot help him. I only fall faster, the darkness slowly swallowing me, until I can hear no more, until I can see no more…

I wake up in cold sweat yet again. It has happened so many times now. I have already come to hate myself.

But, should I say that I am fortunate? At the airport, in front of so many people, facing the numerous ugly charges and rumors, yet what I saw were eyes filled with such clear determination. Compared to the first time I laid my eyes on those spheres. Those sharp eyes rejected the world then. Yet what I saw now was a warmth that encompassed all.

He told me.

We cannot return to the past, but the future is still very long.

He told me.

I will not give up, be it soccer…

(Or you)

Feeling a little fatigued, I lower my eyes. I silently gaze at the cross hanging from my neck. Shibuya had gone to a specialist shop to restore it to its former glory as a necklace and had wordlessly handed it to me the previous day when he picked me up. I really owe him too much.

Izumi gave me two blood-red crosses. He paid for the first with his flesh and blood, and upon the scar that he had bore for twelve years in his heart. And this cross in front of me, he almost paid for it with his life. These are what Izumi has given to me; I will never throw them away. No matter how heavy, I will still bear them, until the end of my life…

I will bear them, until the moment when my life ends…

…For the countless sins I have committed upon you…

…For the endless love I promise you…

- Owari -


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