Twenty Fragments of a Broken Youth
Disclaimer: Kyoya killed the authoress when she staked claim on him.
I wanted to write something deep and dark just because my writing is littered with too much laughs. Of course, this still has a bit of a smile scattered here and there, but it's not as light hearted as my other works. Blame too much alcohol and Linkin Park on this one.
The title is lifted from Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xialou Guo, a truly remarkable book. You will also find mentions of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar in here. Both are highly recommended novels.
I mixed a sexually repressed and confused Kyoya with an angsty Haruhi, and got this. I like to see some characters broken once in a while. Also, as a brief dedication to the wonderful people out there who are shunned, shamed, and mocked by cruel idiots who cannot accept them for what they are. Gay people are still people. This fic is a little thing to show that even they are human, and the reality of their situation.
A bit of Mei-bashing, but it's necessary to make the story go along. I apologize to Mei fans in advance.
Unbeta-ed because I pile too much crap on Kalachuchi and the others. Anyone willing to beta this for me, please contact me. You must be willing to work with a writer with the attention span of gnat and is prone to having meltdowns.
Para sa mga taong sumuporta sa akin, kahit na anong mangyari.
Fragment One : Black
Haruhi slumped down her seat, her face taking a deathly shade of white, a stark contrast against the darkness of her dress.
Why does it hurt? It shouldn't hurt. Whywhywhwhywhy….
The lawyer stared sympathetically at the young girl who was currently having a slight aneurysm in his chair. He hated this part about his job, but what could he do, really? Somebody has to do it.
"Your mother was extremely thrifty," the lawyer said, shuffling around papers in an effort to create sound that wasn't the heavy, restricted breathing of the girl or his low, monotonous voice. "She left quite a sum in your trust fund, knowing that you will need it one of these days. Now, here are the terms of the Last Will and Testament of Kotoko Fujioka…."
Haruhi was barely listening. It just can't be happening. Her mother, her beautiful cheerful, intelligent mother, died a week ago due to cancer. She had it for a while but chose to ignore it, not knowing the full consequences of her actions. Until it was too late. Before Haruhi could blink, one moment she was laughing with her, sharing a joke while they ate sushi, next her mother was in the hospital, pale, thin, and sick.
Fragments. Fragments of mere memories. A white sheet, covering her whole body. She doesn't remember crying. Doesn't remember the empty words of comfort, the brief hugs from well-meaning people.
Everything was in white. The sheet, the walls, the clothes of the humans around her. It was right. It was all such unnatural.
--nothing should be as white as that--
"Miss Fujioka, are you still listening to me?" the lawyer asked. Haruhi looked up. He was as faceless as the other people. Weird. What happened? Why is everyone so goddamned faceless?
Haruhi nodded dumbly, pale hands gripping at the hem of her dress.
"Well, your father is nowhere to be found, I'm afraid," the lawyer continued, clearing his throat. He knew he didn't have the girl's undivided attention, but he still knew that she was still distantly listening.
Drop the bomb, then.
"Your mother has been trying to contact him, seeing as he's your only living relative so far, but to no avail. She's hired a couple of detective agencies, but even they have come empty-handed. Since you are still a minor, you need a guardian. Kotoko-san had a close friend, a Isao Sonoda. He has a daughter who's temporarily staying with him named Mei. You'll be staying with them until you're eighteen, which unfortunately will only happen in a couple of years. I spoke to Mr. Sonoda about this and he says that he doesn't mind at all. He'll explain to you all the details once you've settled in with him."
--who are you to call my mom Kotoko? You don't know her. She was mine. They took her away. You're just like them. I can't trust you.--
Haruhi stood, alarming the lawyer.
"I'm going home," she announced softly, not looking at him. "I need to pack. Please tell Mr. Sonoda that I will be waiting for him in a few hours."
She stalked off without another word.
It was tedious, the packing. Haruhi didn't really care. Get suitcase, dump stuff in suitcase, snap it shut. Clothes. Books. Those are all she needs. As long as she had Mom with her--
--Mom will always be with her--
The house will be sold, added to her fortune. All the things inside will have to be given away.
Haruhi knew that she cannot trust that man. She also knew that he would do his job.
Because she could see it. She knew that that man loved her Mom.
--but I won't let you have her. She's mine. Mine alone. Get away from her--
The memories came. Haruhi lay down on the mat, wanting to sleep, wanting to dream. Mom will be with her shortly, she thought. She always will be.
The floor was cold and hard. But she was exhausted.
Haruhi closed her eyes.
Somebody was shaking her shoulder, asking softly, in a voice she recalled but couldn't quite place.
"Haruhi-chan? Are you okay?" the voice said.
Haruhi sat up, rubbing her eyes. She was still wearing the black dress. She hated the dress. She wished she could take it off. But she remembered. She had to pack quickly. She was tired. She had slept.
The face staring at her was unfamiliar. She didn't look like a lady, much. Too square jaws, nose too big, lips too thick. Long wavy hair, big brown eyes.
"Who are you?" Haruhi asked instead, sitting properly.
"I'm Kotoko-chan's best friend of sorts," the lady said. Her smile was big. She called Mom as Kotoko-chan. Haruhi relaxed. She knew she could trust this man. She loved her, but not in the way that man did. It was a safe love, love for a friend. Haruhi hoped this lady would love her like a friend, too.
"I'm Misuzu Sonoda," the lady said. "The last time I've seen you was when you were around three, so it's no surprise you don't remember me. Well, Mr. Kuroda already told you about me. I'll be the one to take care of you from now on, at least until you're eighteen. We'll have such a fun time together! You'll get to meet my daughter, too. You were friends with her until you and Kotoko-chan had to move away. Yes, that was a long time ago."
"Isao-san?" Haruhi asked, confused.
"Well, that's was my name until I had it changed to Misuzu," explained Misuzu sheepishly. "I've always known that I was a girl, though made as a boy outside. Anyway, please call me Misuzu from now on, okay?"
Haruhi nodded. She already liked Misuzu.
"Do you have everything you need?" It earned a nod from the girl. "Good. If you forget anything, we'll just come back here whenever you want. I live a good few hours from this town, but it shouldn't be a problem."
Misuzu stood up, taking the only suitcase seen in the room. Haruhi followed her outside then locked the door behind her.
"We're not coming back to this house," said Haruhi as Misuzu led her to his car parked a few yards away. "I've asked for it to be sold, and all the furniture given away."
"Oh," said Misuzu. "I suppose that makes sense." She smiled at the young girl. "Whatever you decide, I'm sure Kotoko-chan will approve."
Haruhi slid into her seat while Misuzu turned on the engine.
Haruhi took one last look at the house. The house didn't matter. The memories did. But Mom will be with her always.
That was all that mattered.
The ride was long, though not exactly silent. Misuzu talked about what Haruhi would expect living with her. She worked in a bar, she said. So she would be gone on most nights, but she trusted Haruhi could take care of herself.
"Mei is also there, staying with me for a while because her mother is away on Italy right now for her job," said Misuzu. "You two should get along as well as ever. She's about your age. We'll get you settled in the house tonight, then tomorrow, we'll go to the school and have you take the exams so you can be transferred. You're Mei's age; you'll be in the same grade. This feels like I'm having a second daughter!"
Misuzu realized the faux pas. Haruhi didn't really care. She should care; people are getting something while Haruhi lost. But it was the way the world worked. Some lose, some gain.
The house was small from the outside. But it had three bedrooms. One for Misuzu, one for Mei, and one for Haruhi. Misuzu said that the room Haruhi will be using used to be for storage but they could clean it up quick, at least for the night. If it's not enough, Haruhi could use the living room couch.
Haruhi said that it didn't matter.
Misuzu prepared supper for them both. It was good; it was rice omelette. But the flavour was lost on Haruhi. She couldn't taste it, she couldn't smell it.
But she just nodded, didn't smile, when Misuzu asked if it was okay.
It was time for bed. The dress was gone, bunched in the trash. It was itchy, Haruhi didn't like it. The shower took care of the itchiness.
The bed was surprisingly comfortable. It wasn't soft, yet not too firm. Haruhi burrowed herself in the duvet, the unfamiliar scent filling her nostrils. Mom used a different kind of laundry soap. It smelled of citrus. This smelled of flowers. It wasn't exactly unpleasant, but Haruhi wanted Mom's scent back.
Haruhi dragged out one of Mom's shirts from the over packed suitcase. She held it in her arms, sniffing. It still had Mom's scent. This would be enough for now. She could think that Mom was there with her.
--Mom is always with me--
It was the first time in months that she slept like that.
With a smile.
Mei didn't like a lot of things. She liked clothes, make-up, and boys, all are staples for someone her age. She didn't like another girl coming into her home, though, and staking claim on things that should be hers.
Haruhi was not welcome here, she thought as she stared at the other girl. The girl was going to be a threat. She was cute; boys liked cute. She needed to disappear.
But Misuzu, freak that he is, would not allow that. He seemed happy that Haruhi was going to stay.
Haruhi sat down at the table, staring at the hardwood table. Mei glared at her before idea struck. Misuzu was in the next room, making breakfast.
"I'm Mei," she said, quietly assessing the girl before her. "You must be Haruhi."
Haruhi didn't reply.
"Listen, since we're going to be in the same school, we need to lay a few ground rules." Mei's tone was different; it was no longer sweet. It was hard and cold. Like the floor Haruhi slept on yesterday. "You don't talk to me at school. You will stay away from me. I don't know you and you don't know me. I don't want to be associated with a freak like you. Do you understand?"
Again, Haruhi doesn't reply.
"You're not very pretty. Not like your mom. She was pretty." At this Haruhi looked up. Mei smiled, knowing she was getting somewhere. "I suppose I should offer my condolences, but I don't know her, lest remember her. In any case, just remember what I told you or you'll regret it."
The pancakes were still tasteless on her tongue.
Haruhi stared at the mirror in front of her. People said she looked like Mom. She was happy, because it connected her to her. But this girl said that she was ugly, that she didn't look like Mom.
The scissors were on the medicine cabinet. It was sharp. It did good work on her hair. It was no longer long, reaching past her waist. It was now short, like a boy's.
--do I look like you now, Mom? Do I reach you now?--
Misuzu screamed when she saw Haruhi's state. Haruhi told her that she wanted to be like Mom, yet not be her. They were different yet they were one.
Misuzu could only try to comprehend.
Haruhi said that she wanted to be known as a boy now. Mom always wanted a son. Haruhi knew that if she became a boy for Mom's sake, it would be like Mom had two children at once. Like Misuzu, who was a lady, and a man at the same time. It was nice. It made sense.
Misuzu nodded, knowing where Haruhi was going.
From now on, Haruhi Fujioka would be known as a boy.
The school understood, knew it was part of the grieving process. But Haruhi felt that they really didn't. Agreeing to this made things easier, that was all.
--nobody can understand you and me, Mom. They cannot understand our bonds--
She was given a new uniform, but she always needed to wear a blazer or a vest to hide her chest. It was no problem.
The first day started dull. She was introduced, girls giggled at the cute new boy in 1-E.
Mei, who was in her class, could only smirk. She was winning. Haruhi was no longer a threat.
People thought that they knew Kyoya Ootori, but they didn't. Nobody really knew what he was like.
Girls draped themselves at his feet just as much as they did to Tamaki, the President of the Student Council. Tamaki knew of their love but didn't accept. Because he cannot love just one woman, he announced. He loves all of them, he reasoned. So he was everyone's, yet really no one's. It worked for him.
Nobody owned Kyoya Ootori. He also knew of their love for him, but never accepted as well. Flowers, chocolates, letters. They were thrown as soon as they were received. But he never received them. Tamaki did, on his behalf, without him asking to. Tamaki thought it was plain rude not to accept the confession of those girls. Kyoya didn't care.
Because he didn't like girls. He liked boys better. They were more amusing. Girls were boring. Kyoya liked amusement.
But he liked angering his father more.
He knew that he was the last hope his father had. His eldest brother cracked under the pressure of inheriting their business, and was in the mental institution. His second brother eloped, nowhere to be found. His sister was married, gone in his father's book.
Now, Kyoya was the last one. Kyoya knew that the business was essential for their family, so he agreed to take the reins when his father retires.
Yet he managed to stray away from what is expected of him. He began to chase after boys, though discreetly--a poke here, a grope there, nothing major-- but his father knew.
Yoshio had no choice. He couldn't disinherit Kyoya. It was suicide. He couldn't trust what's left of what his father left for him in the hands of others.
But he couldn't accept it, and made Kyoya's life miserable.
Kyoya made him miserable back, saying that the Ootori line will die with him.
Because he hated the bastard with all his soul. Hated that man who deigned himself worthy of his mother, forced her to give him heirs, and then killed her. It was unforgivable. He needed to pay.
So Kyoya was going to kill him slowly. But he couldn't lay his hands on him yet. That would have to wait. He needed to plan first.
But Kyoya had to hurt somebody. Somebody had to bleed.
--it was what he needed. He needed somebody's pain to assuage his own--
Kyoya saw him, the best target possible. He was short, a first-year, recently transferred.
He had huge brown eyes, brown hair, looked a bit average. But he was attractive in a way. He almost looked like a girl.
Kyoya had to laugh at that. He was desiring a boy that looked like a girl. He wondered how the bastard would take that.
Kyoya could feel the tightness in his pants as the boy walked down the halls, looking for his class. He knew his name: Haruhi Fujioka. The name was sweet on his tongue. He wondered if he tasted that sweet when Kyoya took a bite of him. That was all he knew of him. He had to know everything about him, Kyoya decided.
As Kyoya stared some more, he recognized the deadened look in the boy's eyes. He knew that look: he knew he had the same look, but only when he was alone. Outside, he was calm, cool, unflappable. It was the perfect mask.
This boy had a mask, too. He'd remove that. He'd show him pain. He needed to be hurt more.
Kyoya had a plan.