Hangman

III

It is burned into my eyes and painted on my body of what sinful deeds I have committed. Most feel shameful of such acts of self-pity and torture, yet I find nothing but sweet relief every time this sharp edge makes its mark. For the first time in these elongated months of sorrow and loneliness, I have found joy.

I clearly remember my excitement, tingling excitement, every time that stinging sensation burned my wrists. Something so simple it was, yet so fulfilling compared to the rest of my existence.

People I've met, people who also do as I, want a savior someone to stop them. Others do not want to be saved, or doubt. Do such angels exist?

I know not—and care not—which.

—Hikaru Hitachiin


If the maids were worried before, they were terrified now. It was no secret of what Hikaru was doing to himself, and the maids were usually the ones who had to clean up the mess. Near all Hikaru's sheets wore the unconcealed evidence, his carpet also shared those bloodstains.

Hikaru wouldn't have tried to cover his scared arms, except for the fact that everyone stared at them and wouldn't leave him alone. So he wore wristbands to hide them, even though they rubbed and chafed, stinging the cuts. Nevertheless, he was all smiles as he sat with some guests at club time, in contrast to his previous apathetic frame of mind. Kyoya didn't object much to Hikaru's change. An emo in the club drew in more customers, but he was, like others, concerned for his friend.

"Hikaru, doesn't it hurt?" a guest asked, eyeing his wristband.

"Haha! Of course," he laughed. "It's my penance, it's supposed to."

"Hikaru! You don't have to do that! I'll forgive you!"

"I will too!"

"Oh, me too!"

Hikaru chuckled, but almost immediately turned somber, "I thank you, but there is no forgiving my sins."

"What did you do?" they asked, leaning in eagerly.

Hikaru's head dipped and a tear formed in his eye, laying it on thick, "It... It's too painful to talk about."

"Oh! We're sorry! We didn't mean to upset you!"

Kaoru stood away from them with Hunny and Mori, his arms crossed. "Humph! He's completely shameless," he growled, glaring at his twin.

"He can't help it, you hurt him deeply," Hunny explained, thinking how ironic it was that the twins had been playing "lovers" for years, and Hikaru actually did fall in love. And more ironic still how Kaoru rejected him.

Kaoru turned away from his small sempai. He wasn't about to apologize to his dramatic double.

Hikaru, making a quick recovery, sat casually with his arm slung over the back of the coach. Things were going fine, until one of the guests caught him off gaurd.

"Why isn't Kaoru joining us?" she asked, peeking at the other Hitachiin twin.

Hikaru smile faded. "It's... complicated," he said after a long silence.

"We have time," they pressed.

"I... I think he hates me now," he said simply, the girls' "oh's" came immediately after.

Kyoya stepped in before any further questions could be asked, preventing, or at the very least dampening, any forthcoming emotions that could lead to dangerous actions. "Time is up, girls," he announced.

"Aw... Bye, Hikaru." They left.

Hunny ran up to Hikaru. "Here, you wanna hold my bun-bun?" Tamaki came in with instant coffee, Haruhi spouting out line after line of comfort from random commoners' shows. If there was one thing that the hosts, excuse Kaoru, worked together on, it was trying to keep Hikaru alive. They were afraid that their suicidal friend could go at any moment. Hikaru was well aware of their efforts, though they were not what kept Hikaru alive. No, it was his own misfortune, his own damnation that kept Hikaru chained to this plane of existence.

Hikaru, having not moved so far, lifted his skeptical gaze to them. "Seriously, I've told you before, don't make a fuss over me. (It won't do any good.) But thanks." He grinned, but they easily saw through the facade. How long would this game of open/concealment last?

As they departed, he overheard Kaoru mumbling to Hunny, "I hate people like that. If Hikaru was serious about killing himself he would've done it already."

* * * * *

Sure enough, that night the clear, sharp cracking of a gunshot broke loose in the Hitachiin mansion. Hikaru cursed, picking up the gun he'd dropped by accident. It had been hard enough getting a hold of the weapon, yet alone sneaking it up to his room. He wasn't about to let this mishap stop him. He deftly reloaded the barrel with a single shot, hearing the fast approaching footsteps. He didn't have the key this time, and the butler came running into the room just as the barrel turned on the eldest son's head. He quickly pulled the trigger, giving it no second thought, but his loyal subordinate slapped it away. The bullet grazed Hikaru's shoulder, splattering his too often spilled blood on the floor and wall. The ever faithful servant disarmed the young boy. Hikaru fell to his knees, clutching his bloodied shoulder as pain ripped through it. He grimaced and let out an agonized moan before snapping a glare of pure hatred upon his rescuer, or more to Hikaru's standards, his condemner.

Kaoru stood at the door, horrified. This was the furthest Hikaru had taken his suicide attempts. Kaoru couldn't contain it; he cupped his hand over his mouth and fled down the hall to his own room, where he collapsed on the bed. Guilt. Unforgivable guilt raked his being, as it had so many times since his brother's confession. Kaoru wished that he could love him like he wanted him to, if only to end these ridiculous tries at felo-de-se. But how could he? It was his brother! That's incest! And gay! He remembered how often his parents and mentors had commented in disgust against both, was his brother deaf to it all?

Then he recalled how more often they had said that love was a powerful, strange, unpredictable thing; and love's rejection was ten times more intense.

* * * * *

The next morning, after thinking for most of the night, Kaoru awoke with a change in heart. A blush graced his cheeks as he thought of his new awakening. He was in love with his twin brother, he had always been. He knew not why he hadn't realized it till just now or why he had reacted the he had. But it didn't mater. He would apologize, confess, and then maybe they could be together, they could be happy.

Like he couldn't contain it any longer, Kaoru bolted down the hallway. He yanked Hikaru's door open excitedly. "Hikaru, I'm sorry! I was wrong. I love you!" he said, breathlessly nervous. After receiving no answer, Kaoru opened his eyes, only wanting to shut them again. Horror tore through him like lightning would a tree, every morsel of him quivering as he took in the scene in before him.

Hikaru's feet dangled a few feet above a littered ground. His shoes were placed neatly to the side. Sticky scarlet liquid dripped lazily into a growing pool of blood. With a tight knot looped around his neck, head rolled limply to the side, Hikaru hanged from the ceiling fan, dead.


(the paper is bloodstained)

Does anything force a greater burden upon one's shoulders than that of guilt? Though rationally I knew it was I who wore the blame, I tried to convince myself of my false innocence. As you have probably guessed, I failed.

This is my final farewell. By the time you find this it will be too late.

And Mom, you were right. Love is a powerful, unpredictable thing.

—Kaoru Hitachiin


(cowers) Please don't hate me!

In the end Kaoru went to join his beloved with a newfound love. I think it was sort of a happy-ever-after! How 'bout you?

Please review!