"Do you like the cherry blossoms?"

He did not give thought to his actions. He did not wonder to himself why he said certain things, or why he chose certain people. He did not ponder the future, or the reasons for his actions. He simply did, and was.

The little boy was such perfect prey, so very innocent.

Perhaps later, when the whole mess was over, he would wonder why he let the little boy live - why he ever started the bet in the first place. But if so, that day was far from now.

This was only the beginning.


There was more to her than first met the eye.

She was nature, the mother, the one who sat and sewed all the pieces together.

She spoke of life, of findings, of rewards, of peace and the pain and the struggle to happiness. She nutured. She sang when she cooked. She laughed. She was the only person fit to take her brother's hand and lead him to what she knew was his fate. She was the overseer.

At first glance, she was the cute to boot lady blowing a kiss in your direction.

Inside, she wisdom beyond her years.


It seemed to take forever to make it to that final step, to figure out what his emotions were pulling him toward.

There so much danger everywhere, so much deciet, but he had always believed there was good beneath it all.

One might think a boy like him would find himself a sweet, loving girl that would always treat him well. He could not explain why what he fell for was the elusive lair, the murderer in the shadows, the man.

He should have seen the blows coming. But by the end of the story, it is already too late.


The first kiss was a stolen kiss, the curling of fingers under his chin and lips that had lied too often meeting lips that had never dared.

It lasted for only a moment. The boy had stared up at him in mute, wide-eyed surprise before turning away and blushing furiously with a embarressed, "Seishiro-san...!"

He did not know what to think of the incident then, as living with Seishiro was a maze of trust and doubt. But later he would look back with mixed fondness and sadness, and touch his lips to try to remember it's warmth.


The last kiss was a kiss Subaru had never dared to dream Seishiro was capable of. Trapped against the Sakura tree, the hands on him had turned sadistic, hungry, as if a year of absinance had driven them mad. The kind, knowing lips he had tasted before were now hateful and bruising. The gentleness he had once caught glimpses of was gone.

Instinctively he thought he should struggle, but he decided against it. If this was the only way to please him, then he'd submit.

He realized there were tears on his face... but that didn't matter, either.


There was no emotion. There never was.

This woman had raised him, taken him into her arms when he was too small to think for himself, too small to know what he was, where he was, who he had to kill. This woman, his mother, lay dead at his feet, and his hands dripped with her blood.

He did not pity her. He did not fear her. He did not love her. There were not tears on his face. His heart was not screaming. He felt nothing, nothing, nothing.

Seishiro wiped the cold tears from his eyes and turned away.


Seishiro knows she senses his dangerousness and takes it into account. Perhaps if he could feel, he would be frustrated with her...perhaps he would only sneer.

Close by, Hokuto's hands are busy with cooking. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Seishiro move, and she smiles quietly as he begins to talk.

The subject jumps from her brother, to work, and back to her brother, but he spins a tale of lies, and she knows it. Still, she sits and nods and smiles. But she is not fooled.

She can smell the blood on his hands.


He kissed the child's tiny hand, ignoring it's small cry of pain as the mark of the Sukarazukamori carved itself into it's skin.

He smiled distantly, examining his handiwork. The child's emerald eyes fluttered and closed, it's soft body falling back against him. He looked down at it's pained expression, to it's tiny, folded outfit, like a mockery of an adult onmyouji costume, to it's delicate mouth, so much like the pink petals of the cherry blossoms.

You are born again... he thought with some satisfaction. Now, you belong only to me.


Her heart ached fiercy, seeing him like this. His emerald eyes stared straight ahead, lost and distant, and no matter what she said, no matter how loud she screamed, he did not so much as blink to awknowledge her.

Her brother was in a different world.

"Subaru..." she sobbed, wrapping her arms tightly around him. This was beyond assassin and victim, beyond torture, or murder, or rape. And she knew, distantly, what her next move would be. What it ihad/i to be.

Blinking slowly, Hokuto reminded herself that she needed to be strong.

Death would be her last goodbye kiss.