" Going somewhere, little boy? "
" Outta my way Mokuren. "
Kaoru said it with a bored huff standing casually in front of Mokuren. But his eyes were narrowed and the grip on his Kougan Ankhi was tight. His muscles tensed, ready to spring into action at the first sign of movement from the plant freak.
Mokuren gave a low bow of mock importance to Koganei before standing aside to let the young Madogou wielder by.
" After you ".
Shiny were the steel doors of the mansion's elevator, opening to accept little Koganei eagerly into their cold, synthetic embrace. He stepped in, gave Mokuren a fang toothed grin of triumphance, and pressed the button to reach the penthouse. His Kougan Ankhi leaned faithfully on the wall beside him. It would still be a slow climb up to greet the lovely Yanagi currently being held for Mori Kouran's merciless experiments.
He took out his Rubik cube, a ready instrument for reliving boredom, and started to switch it around, randomly moving the rows and the columns of the cube this way and that. It was the only children's toy he had ever possessed. He had found it disposed of in a trash bag, forgotten and a little dented. Apparently that person had thrown it there out of frustration. Kaoru had immediately grown fascinated and never tired of solving it. There were more than 100 ways for it to be solved, with different combinations and it was his goal to find as many solutions as possible.
The ground floor had been passed. It would still be a long way up.
He tried to smoothen a wrinkle out so he wouldn't look so messy when Yanagi saw him. His clothes were still rumpled and dirty, having had slept in them for the night… having no other clothes to sleep in nor having anyone tell him to change into nightwear. It didn't matter. He at least had clothing. He started to work on the Rubik cube.
It was no big deal, really. No one might have been there to iron or wash his clothes, but he could always get new ones at the times he rarely asked Kurei. Maybe he could ask for pyjamas the next time he talked to Kurei. Who else was he supposed to ask for that sort of stuff? Mokuren? Neon? What a laugh. He could ask Raiha. Raiha was nice…
He checked the faces of the cube. Blue, black,white,red,yellow,green. Yep, all the colors were in the right place. He jumbled it up.
Raiha was nice… but his first loyalty remained with Kurei . If Kurei ordered it, Kaoru wouldn't get any new clothes. Oh, why was he thinking about clothing at this time?! It must be because Yanagi suggested it…
The elevator whirred and whined. It had passed yet another floor. He got to work on the cube again.
This worry of clothing reminded him of t.v. shows with people constantly changing costume. He remembered there being a program he had watched with Ganko once. It was a lame program. It showed a family sitting down to dinner and discussing what they did for the whole day and what they were going to do after eating. Having some nice family chat and looking so happy together. A lame family discussing trivial, lame things, talking in lame, false tones of cheer…He wondered what it was like. Ganko might have known . Must be why she cried herself to sleep after seeing it, calling out for her mother all the time.
Blue, black, yellow, green, white, red. He had solved the cube again. He jumbled the square faces it possessed.
A mother. The first image that came to his mind was of Yanagi, and not of his own paternal one. Yanagi had been so kind to him. Even after kidnapping her and all. Kinder than his own mother… She was the mother he never knew existed. She was probably the sort of mother Ganko missed.
Blue, red, white… No, two sides of the cube had different colors mixed in their squares. He jumbled it up with a cricht, crucht, click.
He wished he had made friends in school like Yanagi. He had never attended school back when he was still living with his parents. Found it too slow. Too boring. Unchallenging. And no other student would talk to him, afraid of his intellect, jealous at his easy going nature in taking any form of tests, never handing in homework. At 10 he was put out in the streets, branded a problem child. His father forever cursed his luck for having an abnormal, his mother had cried and moaned, lamented for ever having conceived this child.
Red, yellow, green, black, white, blue. Finished again. He jumbled the faces up.
Fine. He didn't need anyone anyway.
Cricht, crucht, click! went the sounds of the cube being moved. The brief jolting of the elevator reminded him of a horse.
He frowned. This thought of horses made him think of knights. And knights reminded him once again of Yanagi. It reminded him of the knight Yanagi would always mention, the one who would take her away. He hated that mysterious figure. Who was this certain knight that Yanagi constantly talked so much about? To give her such courage, to make her face Mori Kouran and Kurei with renewed strength. Who was it she spoke about? To give her such hope, to make her face light up with glowing joy… It wasn't fair. Where was HIS savior? Was it really Kurei? Would Kurei always be there for him?
Yes, Kurei would take good care of him, just like he had in the past two years…
Kurei was his elder brother! A guardian he had always dreamed about! The only person to realize Kaoru's potential! His intelligence!
Kurei would never abandon him! Never laugh or moan! Never call him names. Kurei had accepted him for who he was…
The game of the cube was finished. Again. He jumbled up the faces.
Raiha was devoted. Neon was too. They would give their lives if need be, for Kurei. Kaoru should feel that way too, shouldn't he?
Yanagi was such a kind person…
Yanagi didn't deserve to be tortured.
But she was… Kurei had lied. Did he lie too about saying he would take care of Kaoru like an elder brother?
Red, green, yellow, blue, white, black. . All the colors matched on their correct sides. He had finished it again.
JUMBLE THE FACES UP!!
MIX THEM ALL UP!
MESS UP THE FACES OF THE CUBE ! Forget the cruel laughter of children! Forget being a child! Forget and be a man! Forget- !
TING! The small sound of the elevator went off, signaling to it's sole passenger that he had reached the desired floor. Barely audible, but not missed by his keen hearing. The doors opened to let Kaoru set foot on the newly vacuumed carpet leading to the spacious penthouse. Kaoru blinked and reached for his madogou. His feelings and questions of where his loyalty lied would still needed to be sorted out. But for now, he would walk down the hallway and greet the pretty Yanagi, fang toothed grin in place, Rubik cube toy in pocket, Kougan-Ankhi by his side.