Warning: End of Series Spoilers

Pairing: Kanae x Saito
Genre: Introspective, Drama.

Obligation

Kanae. So this is what I have become.

She shifts beside me and I realize I should leave her side. To stay the night would mean there was trust between us, or at least would be an outward admittance. That is something neither of us can afford to admit. It would mean we were weak, or that one of us had bent to the will of the other. Not that it matters in the end. Everything is obligation between us. I obey her whims, because that is my burden. One that I accept completely.

Ryuko Saito, to her I have given everything, if only to fulfill my own selfish desires. Her pet dog to command, and to lick at her heels, that is who I am. Maybe who I have chosen to be, maybe I had lost myself along the way. Best laid plans of mice and men, after all. But then, I always knew it would be like this.

I will not deny that there was always an attraction. For even when we were first introduced, she was a challenge. She matched my intellect and stood her ground fiercely, and I was ready for it. She was, a mountain, so to speak, that I would conquer. For my pride as a scientist, and my pride as a man. This was the desire of Kanae, slave of a manipulator and contradictory yes-man.

As Suzuki Koji, this should have been merely an obligation. A means to an end where I could correct my own mistakes. I play the part of a servant to undermine her trust and turn it against her to save those I love. For Gawl, and for Ryo. For them, Koji should have found this to be a burden, a torture for which he must endure or everything they have fought for would fail.

But as Kanae, I find myself forgetting the obligation and drowning in everything that is her. Her commanding spirit, and my own passion. I find this hardship, as something I can claim, desire, and embrace. There is no anguish over this obligation, only acceptance.

I think I loved her, in those moments alone. It's hard to hate someone that you've spent so many years beside, inside of their being. I know everything about her, save for perhaps her motivation. I think at times, she may even love me, too, despite how she may talk.

Nekasa reminded me of my obligation, but then again, Ryo was always my conscious. If not for him, I doubt I would have ever felt guilt over what we did to Gawl. Nekasa's empty eyes would stare at me and search for recognition, never to find it. But I knew, and I could see it all. My sole reminder that I couldn't get lost in the dream that I never knew I had yearned for. His broken spirit and body was the cold shower I had been avoiding.

And it hurt to realize what I had become. A traitor? No, I know in the end I will choose someone other than her. Though, that too hurts to know that I will betray what I have worked so hard to obtain. I shut the door behind me and lean against its cold frame. It is only cold because my own flesh is still burning.

Koji would call me a fool, and call me selfish and illogical. But I'm no longer Koji. Koji is dead and has only recently been brought back into this world.

And as Kanae, I can love Ryuko Saito. Serve her, own her, and relish this part of me that wants only to be selfish. I can devour the best of both worlds, as I play this game of fire.

But I was once Koji. And I can now watch myself as I once was, and my feeble attempts to challenge this woman of power. I laugh, because Koji could never have her. She belongs to Kanae.

I often wonder what will become of us when she realizes the truth. Learns that the garish youth that held no chance with her, is now her partner. Would she hate me I wonder? No, she can not hate Kanae. He's all that she has.

And for now, she is all that I possess, save for the broken man consumed by his screens. Though, I feel the obligation to wait for him to wake-up to the truth, if he ever does. Until then, I work for Ryuko Saito as Kanae. She trusts me and lets me control from the sidelines so that when the time comes I shall be ready. I love her.

However often I lie to myself, it is only my obligation to be here. And in the end, that's all that will matter.