Disclaimer: I do not own Gokusen.

By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Hayato knew what pain felt like – it had been all too present in these past few months.

It had hurt when Ryu had betrayed them. Hayato had always thought that Ryu was his friend. Now he knew that, that word shouldn't have been used so lightly. Friends don't betray each other's trust.

It had hurt when he had hit Ryu for the first time, probably hurting him more than it did his friend. He really hadn't wanted to do it but there was nothing else he could have done. He was the leader of their class; he couldn't have possibly let anyone go unpunished, let alone a traitor. Even if that traitor was supposed to be a friend. Besides, Hayato knew that if he hadn't done it then someone else would have, and another person might not have been so kind.

It had hurt when he had heard that Ryu wasn't coming to school anymore, and it hurt Hayato even more than the rest because he knew that he was partly to blame. Ryu wasn't coming to school and had fallen in far too deep with the wrong crowd – it seemed to Hayato that his friend might even have ended up in prison had he carried on that way.

It had hurt when he had heard just how dangerous the people Ryu were hanging around with were. No matter what Ryu had done, Hayato didn't think he could leave his friend like that for much longer, in the midst of gangsters where he was likely to end up dead. He was worried about Ryu, he really was.

It had hurt when Ryu had returned to school and he had hit him again. He hadn't honestly wanted to but it was all he could have done to stop himself from laughing – or crying now that his friend was safe. But he couldn't risk showing any petty emotions other than anger: he was their leader after all.

But what hurt him the most was that now Ryu was back, Hayato couldn't even bring himself to look the other boy in the eye. He didn't know how long it would take until he would be able to trust him again.

Hayato knew what pain felt like – it had been all too present in the past few months but now, slowly but surely, he knew that the pain of betrayal was finally beginning to fade.