Disclaimer: Don't own Flame of Recca (I wish I did though), never have, never will. Hell, even the plotline for this fic ain't mine. If you have any comments, etc, post them in reviews. I don't care how crazy they are. However, flames (and I'm not talking Recca's type) will be ignored and or fed to my Mexican iguana!!! O_o Fine, I don't have an iguana, Mexican or otherwise, and I won't feed it flames (happy now, SPCA?)!!! But they will be ignored anyway.

Someone Who Cares

By terminal_insanity

            The wind howled, sweeping the thick flakes of snow into a blinding blizzard. The streets were deathly silent, save the terrifying wail of the wind. It had been hours since the deep twilight had darkened to jet. The once coal-black roads had long since been paved with a thick, fluffy layer of ivory snow. Along the side pavement of the covered roads, blanketed with the same pure white flakes, traffic was scarce, non-existent, even, leaving its smooth white planes unmarred…except for a lone path of shoeprints.

            A single path had been trekked, vanishing where the freshly fallen snow had slowly hidden it. A path from nowhere…leading to nowhere… And as the frozen elements raged, a solitary figure staggered, falling to its hands and feet.

            Short, coarse hair the colour of bitter chocolate stuck out from underneath a frosting of snow, in wild disarray. The boy shook his head, trying to rid his hair of the offending crystals. Large gold-flecked eyes blinked, as a light sprinkling of snow fell past them. He wandered into the lonely road, as if daring a car, a vehicle of any sort, to run him down. No such luck. The road had been devoid of life since the evening, and was likely to remain so.

            He scanned the area, looking for the slightest sign of life to stop him from his chosen path. No one. It was so cold, not even the devil himself would be out…not on a frigid night like this… He fell to his knees, suddenly afraid. Where would he go after this? Would he ultimately find his parents? But to take one's life was a sin, a mortal sin… Would he then end up burning in flames hotter than any furnace? It was a gamble he was willing to take. He had absolutely nothing to lose. Nothing could be worse than the hell he had endured for years in the orphanage. Maybe he was already in hell, just that hell had frozen over… It would at least explain his wretched life.

            His numb fingers reached into the pocket of his thinly padded jacket, the slight warmth of his body bringing them partially back to life. Reluctantly, he drew his hand out again, shivering as the frosty air sliced into them…the same way he was going to…

            Bluish fingers moved jerkily, a small penknife in their eager grasp. He slid the blade up slowly, watching as the dim lamplight caught the razor edge. It glinted like the stars sparkling in the nighttime sky, only this time, the sky was too filled with a flurry of snowflakes to let the pinpoint sparks through. The light shimmered as hot tears filled his eyes…eyes that had seen more than its fair share of hate, cruelty, and unfairness. Deep hazel eyes that ought to have been bright and sparkling with happiness and innocence, not angry tears, were filled with sorrow and hopelessness.

Enough stalling. The temperature was falling faster and faster with every bone-chilling gust. It was a slow death, being frozen alive. No. He wanted a swifter way. He held out his right hand and pulled the jacket sleeve back. He sucked in a breath of chilly air as the wind hit his bare skin. Damn, it was colder than he had thought. But he couldn't back out. Not now. He'd had enough of his lonely, friendless existence. Whichever place he went to, it had to be better… Still,…he was afraid…so afraid… Half the blade was already out. That would be long enough. He positioned the glittering edge on his skin, his hand trembling with both fear and cold.

With a sharply drawn breath, he drew the blade across the smooth cream-silk of his wrist. He hissed from the explosion of pain that erupted from the severed skin. A growing trickle of blood made its presence known, as a thin red line appeared and the thick crimson syrup oozed out.

No sooner had he lifted the razor for a deeper, more effective slash, a large hand flashed into his line of vision. He felt the sharp sting of a slap, the force of it knocking backwards. He loosened his grip on the blade, surprise filling his eyes as it was snatched out of his bare hands. He looked up apprehensively, not knowing what to expect. A tall jet-haired man filled his vision.

He could barely see the man's eyes. They were hidden behind a thick fringe of spiky hair. Though the stranger's face was emotionless, utterly devoid of any expression whatsoever, his eyes were filled with disapproval. Not pure disgust and contempt from the pathetic display of cowardice, but just simple displeasure. Two earrings hung from each earlobe; an orb, dangling from a smaller round stud. He had the look of a rich man…or the rich man's son. Wrapped in a long, thick coat that fell just past his knees, and warm, woolen clothes, he had to be warmer than the thin, snow covered boy in jeans before him. Strong fingers gripped the penknife, its blade still sticking half out.

Kaoru touched a frozen hand to his flushed cheek, his wide eyes still staring at the man towering above him. The man, in his late teens or early twenties, bent down and retrieved a scrap of fabric from his coat pocket. Tenderly, he picked Kaoru's bleeding wrist from where it lay limply on the snow, and brought it close. He folded the handkerchief and wrapped it around the wounded wrist, his gentle fingers tying a tight knot just as he ran out of fabric.

Then he straightened up and turned around, his back facing Kaoru. For a fleeting moment, the young boy had the impression that he was going to leave…and leave him all alone again… Then the man spoke.

"Come with me."

Kaoru looked at his bandaged wrist. The pain was dulling, fading away to an incessant throb that beat in time with his heart. Come with me… Had he imagined those words? He looked up once more. The tall man was still there… Waiting for him… He glanced at his bound hand one last time, to make sure what he was seeing was not a mere illusion created by his desperate mind. Tears filled his eyes once again, and trickled down his cheeks. But this time, they were tears of joy, of hope and relief. Someone cared…

He scrambled to his feet, and stumbled towards the stranger. He shivered, but not from trepidation, just from cold.

He was no longer afraid…because someone wanted him to stay alive. Someone cared…

Author's Notes: How'd you like it? Don't know why I suddenly wrote a fic on little Koganei… Just felt like it, I guess… I told you it wasn't original… For those who think it is, or don't know otherwise, that was a scene stolen from the Flame of Recca manga volume 15 (pgs 33 – 35, for those who wanna make sure I'm not lying). Hell! Some of the content (not much, a few lines here or there) came from it too (those two and a half pages of graphic angst were mostly…graphic, just pictures anyway…). That part was so sad… Go buy the manga and you'll see what I mean… Well, if you liked it, say so. If you hate,…SAY SO!!! Just don't stay silent. It's…bad manners?… But please don't flame me (or sue me, no matter how many times I say so)… I'm just a girl (and a broke one too) who loves angst fics… Well, I you have something to say about this fic, leave your brand by reviewing! Click on that little bitty rectangle box there (for the clueless) and type away! ^_^  Remember… Constructive criticism isn't flaming.