A/N: Here we go again, folks. Cizzymac coming at you with something brand-spanking new! This is an original work by Lunar Knite that I offered to write for him since he's in a state of perpetual hiatus. This is his story, not mine. Enjoy!
My Angel - Prologue
Love, it's all I wanted ever since that promise.
The promise that would forever bind my heart.
After feeling this love for her for so long,
I truly thought I could never love again.
Love was just a painful memory for me.
It happened two years ago…
~3:00 AM, February 12, 1999
Keitaro Urashima sat glumly at his desk with his face buried in his hands, salty droplets falling from his face onto the hard wooden surface. He watched as the drops came together, forming a small puddle. There was one that did not merge with the others, like a lonely wanderer. Ruffling his hands through his disheveled hair, he gazed out of the window and into the starry sky. He rubbed away the last of his tears from his puffy, bloodshot eyes and sobbed. "I can't take this anymore."
Unbeknownst to Keitaro, his soft revelation was overheard by a tenant in an adjacent room, who was also unable to find the respite of sleep. "What could he be doing up this late? Studying?" She laughed at the sound of her own impossible words. It couldn't hurt to take a peek, she decided, and she could use some company to ward off her bout of insomnia.
Keitaro's attention turned to a drawer in his desk, his mind caught in a steel trap of heartache and desperation. Day after day, all he received were endless beatings and countless accusations. Even worse, the very people he cared about most in his lonely world carried out those evil deeds against him. Even the one he loved more than himself.
He pulled open the desk drawer that held his attention, his tired eyes locked upon something within. That was why he had to do this, he convinced himself. Though he could not imagine the pain it might cause them, he was certain they would be happier after he was gone. He reached for the object that inside the drawer and drew a small, loaded revolver.
The other resident saw the spectacle in its entirety unfold before her eyes. The sight of the gun in his hands froze her limbs and stole her breath. He wouldn't, she thought. She could change. All of them could change. Causing him to go this far was too much. She instantly regretted every terrible thing she had ever done to him. She would do anything to take it all back; anything to take away his pain.
When Keitaro cocked the firing hammer on the pistol and raised the barrel of the weapon to his temple, Naru gasped in horror and leaped through the hole in her floor, landing with cat-like grace on the floor below. "No, Keitaro, don't!" she begged of him.
Keitaro whirled around, facing the sudden intruder without lowering the gun from his was she doing in here, he wondered. He looked up at his ceiling and noticed the light shining from her room through the portal. She must have seen everything. But there was no backing down now. If he failed here, there wouldn't be another chance. He closed his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Narusegawa," he cried pitifully and squeezed the trigger.
Strangely, he felt no pain from the bullet. At least he was able to die painlessly. But more perplexing than that was the warmth he felt on his hand. If the bullet had truly killed him painlessly, he should not feel anything, much less something so wonderfully peaceful. Upon hearing the sound of his own breath as the ringing in his ears dulled, it suddenly dawned on him: the bullet had missed him.
Keitaro's eyes snapped open. He saw Naru's smiling face in front of him, but there was something terribly wrong. Her face was quivering with pain, and blood seeped from the left corner of her mouth and down her chin. He lowered his gaze to her chest, and his heart sank in tandem with his eyes. Her nightgown was drenched in her blood where the stray bullet had pierced through her torso. She held within her hands the weapon that pierced her that remained in Keitaro's grip. "No…" he murmured, looking back into Naru's eyes, whose life was quickly draining away.
Sucking in a blood-filled breath, Naru strained to speak, "Keitaro…you…baka…"
Keitaro's limbs lost their strength, and he watched in horror as Naru's grasp of his right hand loosed, her eyes dulling completely as her lifeless body slumped to the floor with a hefty thud.
As he fell to his knees before Naru's body, blindingly hot tears streamed from his eyes. Before his numbed brain could process what exactly had just happened, his door opened with a sickening crash, Motoko standing where the door once was, her sword brandished in an offensive posture. "Urashima! Explain what all of this noise is abo-." Her voice and whatever malice she had was stolen away when her eyes fell upon the fallen Naru. "Naru-sempai?"
"Naru!" Kitsune exclaimed, shoving the swordswoman out of her path as she rushed to her friend's side. She lifted Naru's body in her arms and shook her body. "Are you all right? Speak to me! Naru!" Her body stayed limp in Kitsune's arms. "What are you doing standing there, Motoko? Call the paramedics, for God's sake!"
Motoko, entranced by the sight before her, was shaken back to reality with Kitsune's words. "Yes, right away," she said as she dashed out of Keitaro's room towards the nearest telephone.
Kitsune turned her attention to Keitaro, still holding Naru's corpse in her embrace. He had a horrified expression on his face, but she started when she noticed the pistol still in Keitaro's hand. "Keitaro! What did you do to Naru?"
"I didn't…I mean I didn't mean to…" Keitaro said, looking down at the offending weapon still resting firmly in his grip. As if the pistol was as hot as a stovetop, he released the gun with a yelp, yanking his hand away from it as if it were something alive trying to chomp off his hand. The gun clattered as it bounced on the floor, eventually coming to a stop next to Kitsune, who was staring at Keitaro as if he had a second mouth protruding from his forehead.
"No," Keitaro said, repeating the word again and again as he shook his head slowly and took several shaky steps backward. His breath became shallow and rapid, the room spinning around his vision like a top before he swooned, his body crumpling to the floor in a heap.
When Keitaro awoke, there were two paramedics kneeling on either side of him, tending to him. "Whoa, there," one of them said. "Don't move around too quickly. You had a pretty nasty spill according to your friend."
With a gasp, Keitaro looked to the side. "Naru?" he called out, but there naught there but a large pool of blood.
"Just take it easy, buddy," the other paramedic ordered Keitaro, pushing him back down flat.
"Where is she?" Keitaro asked.
"Don't worry about that right now. You need to stay calm," the first paramedic explained.
"Where the hell is she, goddamnit?" Keitaro asked again with hysterical rage, kicking and screaming in an attempt to loosen from the grip of the two men.
"Get the sedative, will ya?" the first paramedic ordered the second as he held down the frightened and enraged young man. The second man nodded and retrieved a syringe and a small vial of clear fluid. With a practiced hand, the man quickly filled the syringe and injected its contents into Keitaro's arm.
After a few seemingly endless moments of struggle, Keitaro could no longer fight the effect of the medicine, and he fell unconscious. "Finally. Let's finish checking his vitals while he's out."
Neither of the two men noticed the single tear streaming down the side of Keitaro's face.
The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon when the police finally left the premises after a lengthy questioning session of all of the residents and a now-calm Keitaro. There was enough evidence to suggest the shooting was purely accidental based on the evidence found at the scene and the testimony of the witnesses, so there was no need to take Keitaro into custody at the time. All there was do to at the moment was wait for the call from the hospital to see Naru one last time and to properly say goodbye.
The whole of the residence was gathered in the main living room just inside the entryway. A pall of silence lingered over the group for an inordinate amount of time, the veil finally lifted by the least likely of sources.
"Sempai…" Shinobu hesitated, "did…did you…kill Naru-sempai?" Her voice was dry and cracked, sure signs she has been crying for a while. "The police said you had something to do with it."
Keitaro remained as a statue with his face buried in his hands.
"Urashima! You will tell us what transpired or suffer the consequences!" Motoko threatened the poor form of the landlord, her voice hoarse and her eyes weary. Though her voice was firm, she lacked the strength to put those words into action.
Keitaro lifted his head and stared at his hands as if the answer was written on his palms. "I'm sorry," he said stoically. "It wasn't supposed to happen like this. She should be sitting here, not me."
"What's that supposed to mean, dork?" Sarah rudely asked, with a slight tint of concern for the landlord colored in her voice.
If it was from having explained what happened several times to the police already, or from his physical and mental exhaustion, he could not be sure, but Keitaro was able to offer his version of the event without losing his composure. "That gun…that bullet…wasn't meant for her. It was meant for me."
A moment of stunned silence later, Su asked, "Why would you even think of doing that to yourself? Do you not like playing with me?"
"That's not it, Su-chan," Keitaro said, shaking his head one time.
"Was it something I did?" Shinobu asked, beginning to sob once again from Keitaro's revelation.
"No, not at all," Keitaro replied evenly. "It was me…from the very beginning. I was getting in the way of everyone's happiness, and I figured that everyone would be happier if I just removed myself from the equation…but it happened again. Why did she have to hear me? Why did she pull the gun away from my head? Why couldn't she have just let me die?"
Kitsune, who had been silent until then, rose to her feet and stormed over to Keitaro and bellowed, "Because she loved you, idiot!" Rearing back, she slapped the ronin hard across his cheek, the sound echoing off the walls.
Kitsune's words made Keitaro impervious to the pain caused by her blow. Unflinching, he looked at the fox with awestricken eyes and muttered, "Wha?"
"That's right, she loved you, even though she would never admit it! Hell, she didn't even tell me and I'm her best friend! But it was obvious to anyone that didn't have their head up their ass! The arguing and the hitting were just cover-ups!" Kitsune yelled at the top of her lungs, emptying the bitterness of her pain onto Keitaro.
"But…why?" Keitaro asked. He could not understand. What would possess someone as beautiful and as brilliant as she to fall for someone as lowly as he?
"Because she's…she was Naru," Kitsune said, correcting herself. Unable to keep her tears at bay, Kitsune collapsed to her knees and buried herself into Keitaro's lap, grasping onto his shirt with all of her might as she wailed.
"I'm sorry," Keitaro apologized. That was all he could offer to her. Nothing else he could say or do would bring her any comfort. Mere words could not replace what had been lost. "I'm so sorry, everyone."
Two years. Two long years of grief and suffering. Two years of heartbreak and despair. Two years without her. I miss her so much, even to this day. Not a day passes that I do not think about what I did. I would give anything to take it back. I would grab that pistol and throw it into the stream behind the apartment. I would give anything to have her back in my life.
Sometimes I dream about seeing her at school, or at the market or some other random place. But those dreams only bring me more pain. There is no solace in seeing something that is not really there.
I resigned as the manager of the Hinata House, handing over my duties to Haruka for now. I'm still there, mind you, though the others hardly ever see hide or hair of me outside of my room. I simply cannot bear to see their faces.
Today's date is… It's her birthday! I had nearly forgotten! Now if you'll excuse me, I have somewhere to go…
A/N: And there's your prologue. Thanks for reading. Go review now and tell me what you all think. If you're gonna flame, be aware that it gets a LOT better as the story progresses, I promise you that. See you when the first chapter is posted.