Standard Disclaimers Apply: Late again I know. But my promise stands, I will finish it.
Kyoko picked up a tiny porcelain leg and sighed yet again. This sad little remnant was part of her favorite Tinker Bell ornament. Moko-san had given it to her for her 11th birthday. She tossed it into the half full trash bag she was holding with all the other victims of her anger from earlier. She was still mourning the loss of many precious knick knacks, many of which had been even older than the Tinker Bell ornament.
Lounging back in Kyoko's chair, Kuu watched as her face slowly grew ever sadder with each broken piece she picked up. "Are you saddened by the loss Kyoko- chan?"
Kyoko stopped and turned, looking at him and both her friends standing near him. No one was helping her; Kuu had said that it was all her doing, so she would be the only one to clean. Kyoko had accepted that as just punishment, it was her fault after all. "Yes… I miss them already. Their presence was soothing."
Kuu nodded, "They meant a lot to you didn't they?"
"Then why did you destroy them so heartlessly?" Kuu pinned her with a suddenly intense gaze.
Taken aback by his words, Kyoko's eyes widened and she took a step back, "I-I didn't! It was only an accident-"
"An accident? You were angry yes?"
Kyoko nodded helplessly.
"You felt the need to vent that anger… yes?"
Once again Kyoko could only nod. She already knew where this was going and she could feel the shame of it burning her cheeks.
"You vented that anger on the things around you, mercilessly shattering your precious ornaments to appease that anger right?"
Kyoko gasped, "No! I didn't do it on purpose, I-"
"But you did, didn't you? You can control that unique ability of yours."
Kyoko hung her head, "Not really…"
Ren's avatar stood with his arms crossed and face unreadable. He could understand what Kuu was doing, and in this at least, agreed with him completely. Kuu glanced his way before returning his unwavering attention to the girl before him, "but you can. Your computer is completely unharmed. Unlike everything else."
Kyoko sighed, resisting the urge to flinch, "I get so angry that I cannot think straight…"
"That anger is a liability. Is it truly worth it to hate a person so much that you destroy your own precious things and place your friends in danger?" Kuu glared at her now, "You could have destroyed Ren in your uncontrollable anger. You could have hurt one of us in that explosion while you were not thinking straight. Is that worth it?"
Kyoko shook her head over zealously, horror clear on her face. "I would never hurt Ren! Even through my anger I tried not to let it get to the computer."
"And what of us? We can still be harmed right? Shards of glass and porcelain can hurt us just as much as shattering the computer could hurt Ren."
Kyoko swallowed, her look of horror growing. "I'd never! I couldn't ever possibly- Moko-san! Chiori-san! I apologize! I never meant to-"
Watching as the girl stumbled over apologies and her face slowly grow more and more horrified, Kuu let out a small sigh and smiled. She was a good girl; she was just a bit… eccentric in some areas. "Kyoko."
His admonishment made the girl freeze and redirect her attention to the man. "Yes, Mr. Hizuri?"
"As long as you understand, I don't think there's any more need to linger on the problem. Finish cleaning up, we have far more important things to worry about than this."
Both Kanae and Chiori decided to help Kyoko to speed things up. The mess was so great they sensed that it would take Kyoko hours single handedly. As Kyoko went about the repetitive and mindless duty of picking up broken pieces and throwing them into a trash bag she let her mind wander to the man in her computer.
His existence never failed to awe her. The ingenuity, the care and the time that went into creating him must have been massive indeed. She snuck a glance at Ren's 'father'; that man had devoted his entire life to bringing Ren into existence, because of that Kyoko was able to meet him and become friends with him. She appreciated him and respected him more than she'd ever admit. She really couldn't imagine a life without Ren at this point. That thought made Kyoko pause, what if she never did get to see him again. She turned to Kuu, fighting back the fear nawing at her gut. "Mr. Hizuri?"
Kuu gave her a questioning look, one eyebrow quirked.
Resisting the urge to fidget, Kyoko took a deep breath and dived in, "Mr. Hizuri when this is done, will I ever see Ren again?"
Kuu looked between the fearful face of Kyoko and Ren's avatar, who was now listening intently. Kuu knew even if he said no, Ren would find a way to see her anyway- he had a look of utter determination on his face again. He shifted in his seat and looked at Kyoko, who had failed in her fight against fidgeting in his prolonged silence. "Kyoko-chan may I tell you a story?"
Thrown off by his odd response Kyoko stared at him for several moments before nodding.
Kuu smiled and gestured at his son, "Have you ever wondered why Ren looks the way he does?"
Kyoko shrugged, her face betraying her complete confusion, "He is the Fairy King."
Kuu smiled indulgently, already aware of her fantastic imagination. He stole a quick glance at Ren who wore a carefully blank expression; he could tell he was fighting not to laugh. "That would be one reason, yes…" He ignored Ren's sudden scoff, "However Ren's original outline was to be more Japanese, in respect to my heritage."
"Half Japanese. I had wanted Ren to reflect that, simply because I love the Japanese culture."
Kyoko looked at Ren, his bright blue eyes and golden hair were not Japanese like at all. "What happened?"
Kuu's gaze turned to Ren; however his sight was far away. A deep sadness leaked into his smile and voice, "Something unexpected happened. I had just completed mapping the programming for his psychological core into the computer he was stored in at LME, my team and I were celebrating the end of the outlining stage and the beginning of activation when I got a call that changed everything."
Kyoko frowned, she could feel the atmosphere become heavy with pain and sadness as Kuu fell further and further into the past.
He cleared his throat before speaking again, "it was my wife's doctor. She had cancer. A very rare and advanced form of leukemia." He cleared his throat again, "She died only three months later." His voice was choked with unshed tears.
Kyoko could barely stand under the weight of his pain. She moved over to him, and forced herself to put her hand on his shoulder and look him in the eyes. She held back sobs of her own as she apologized to him. "I understand now why Ren is so important to you. It's not because you created him, but he really is your son right? He's all you have left of your beloved wife."
Kuu smiled at the brilliant young woman before him, allowing her calming hand to push back the demons of the past rising inside him. "Yes, though it was frowned upon by my boss and other team members, completing Ren became an obsession. I desperately needed to finish the project I had started so long ago for my beloved wife." He looked to Ren, whose shell shocked expression almost made him laugh, "My wife was barren, she couldn't have kids of her own, and this is how the idea of Ren was sparked so long ago. Though originally I'd wanted to name him Kuon.
"Corn? Like my dog?" Kyoko's eyes lit up.
Kuu really did laugh then, "No, K-U-O-N. I guess it would sound like 'Corn' to you in Japanese. In the end I had to change it though. Couldn't find a good acronym for it."
Ren shook his head at that. "So because you couldn't have your own children you created me? Why didn't you do what normal people do and go adopt one then?"
"Julie found it infinitely amusing that we would be trading positions in the world of child bearing. She got to sit back and watch while I struggled through creating him."
"Sounds like a group of lunatics to me," Kanae mumbled.
With that everyone started to laugh, even Kuu managed a small chuckle. "Get back to work Kyoko. We have a lot to do, and very little time."
Kyoko nodded and glanced in Ren's direction before returning to cleaning up her living room. She didn't say anything after that, tuning out the hum of conversation around her. Her thoughts were on Kuu's story, and what that meant for her and Ren.
He'd never answered her question.
A cold and unfamiliar emotion gripped her heart like the foreshadowing hand of doom. She knew that the attachment she held to Ren was stronger than it should be in such short time of knowing each other, but she couldn't- and did not want to- change that. Come what may, she wanted to be by Ren's side, and he at her's.
/To Be Continued...
An Interlude chapter that gave me almost as much hardship as the one that came before, and the one coming up. Ouch.