Understanding among the Forgotten
Disclaimer: I don't own Scryed.
A/N: Scryed was the first anime I ever was devoted to and even after several years I'm still a fan. And since I've had this story forever on my computer I wanted to finish. It seemed like a good on to launch myself into project retirement with.
Kanami grows up in the shadow of the farm. It doesn't happen over night not like it does in the fairytales. Instead she makes a life with Mimori, Tachibana and the others. She watches them mourn those who are gone.
There will be no return to Holy for the Lost Ground has finally made its separation from the mainland.
She learns not to be afraid anymore. There are monsters in this world but she can no longer rely on the memory of Kazuma to stop them. She has faced horrors in the form of Kyouhi Mujo and she knows that no matter what she does she must not forget her dreams.
Kazuma. She thinks of him daily. His absence reminds her of what it is to suffer loss. In her dreams she feels his spirit linger but he does not come for her. He never comes.
Her hair which was long to begin with grows longer still. She no longer ties it up with a bow but instead braids it and pulls it up off her neck. Her eyes which were once bright with innocence have not lost their shine but she has grown up. She no longer believes that her dreams will be her deliverance.
At night she dreams of Kazuma. She sees his face but at a distance and it is unclear like looking through running water. He is always walking away never toward her. His back has become the most defined object in her memories.
She watches as those around her move on. Cammy leaves Tachibana in a fit of rage. She cannot stand Lost Ground or alters or the fact that her own hands are being marked with the calluses of hard labor. She goes back to the city and heads to the mainland. There is no goodbye, no whispered words or shouts of anger. She leaves like she came, a shadow, a memory of a foreign world.
Tachibana's world crumbles and he finds himself alone. It is Mimori who pulls him out of his grief. She makes him live again and in helping him she forgets Ryuhou.
Childhood love fades and a true attachment forms. Mimori can not remember a time when Asuka Tachibana was not her friend. She had trusted him when she first joined Holy and now she trusted him enough to patch up her heart. With Kanami it is not the same. She can not forget Kazuma and even though she watches Mimori and Tachibana grow to love each other she can not forget Ryuhou.
Kanami never whispers her fears for Ryuhou. She never mentions his name for fear that it will open old wounds for Mimori. Instead she allows herself to wonder about him in the secrets of her heart. She knows he is still alive for Mimori's metal is still warm.
In dreams she can see the crimson of his eyes and the details of his face. She can hear his voice but she cannot make out the words and it frustrates her. She can see him as clearly as she cannot see Kazuma.
So when he comes to the village Kanami is not surprised. In her dreams he is always walking towards her.
"Why are you here?"
Ryuhou is not used to Asuka Tachibana questioning him. Tachibana has never been his equal and while they are friends, Ryuhou cannot equate Tachibana to himself. Only Kazuma is Ryuhou's equal and it is not an equality born of friendship but of bitter dislike.
"You have no right to block my way."
Tachibana spins his eternity eight. He cannot stop Ryuhou but he can detain him if only for a split second.
"I thought you had forgotten this place. It would be like you to forget the promises you made."
Ryuhou's breathe catches in his throat. There is no longer friendship in Tachibana's gaze. Ryuhou had not thought himself the enemy.
"I am not here to wreck anyone's life. I wanted to come home and no longer be a dog in the city."
"What of Kazuma? Is he dead?"
"I don't know."
She runs from the farm the moment she knows he has come. Her legs speed across the field as she shoves past Elian and Urizane as they tend their watermelons. Her feet ran quick across the grass and she drops the basket that was in her arms.
They stand at the entranceway to the village. Tachibana clearly attacking as village guardian with his eternity eight spinning in countless patterns. Ryuhou remaining on the outside his glare not having an effect on Tachibana.
She doesn't care. She runs past Tachibana and slams into Ryuhou. Her arms reflexively wrap around him as she pulls him into one of her classic hugs.
She feels the warmth of his hands as he pulls her closer. They are flesh not the ghostlike material she had always imagined she would feel should she ever see one of them again. He seems alone like he was the first time she met him covered in a long black cloak hiding who he was. She could still make out the blood crimson eyes. They are still metallic, devoid of all emotion but Kanami knows him well enough to know he is happy to see her.
His loneliness is a bitter pill for her to swallow. She does not ask of Kazuma. Ryuhou is too sad and too tired for her to ask him many questions. She can sense the tension between him and Tachibana. It is a pressure pushing on them all.
He does not recognize her at first. She has grown too much. Her eyes still smile but it is dimmed somehow.
Kazuma. She must still miss him.
He expects her to hate him. He always has for he is the one who took Kazuma away. Yet Kanami smiles and she clings to him tighter. For the first time he feels like he is home.
Days turn into months and the village becomes Ryuhou's home. He no longer wishes to die. It has been the first time he can remember that he has had hope. Kanami only smiles. She is no longer alone.
In her he can see everything that she came to be to Kazuma. The calming aura that draws the ones who do not trust to her side, the loyalty she nurtures even in the most selfish of people, the desire to make her happy above all else pulls at his very being. He has never lived for another. Even as a child he was selfish ruled by fear and knowledge that he alone would protect himself.
He had grown up in a house full of riches. There had never been the worry of how he was to get through the day. Food, clothing, the very roof over his head had all been taken for granted. He had been raised in a soft world unlike Kanami and Kazuma who had to scrap for everything they had. A soft isolating world where he was the prince in the ice castle with no kindness except for that one summer with Mimori and distant memories of a mother long dead to keep him company.
How he hated Kazuma! Kazuma was just as hard and jaded as he was but Kazuma hadn't been alone. Kazuma had fought his way up to the top. He had managed to protect himself and Kanami in a world that didn't care whether they lived or died. Kazuma had been loved and he had no reason to be bitter.
But Kanami doesn't allow Ryuhou's wounds to fester and poison him. She takes his bitterness upon herself. From her, he only receives peace. While Mimori no longer loves him and Tachibana no longer respects him, Kanami only offers him comfort. He had forgotten what it was like to be loved.
Kanami bandages her hand after a bitter day in the fields. It rained and the hay must be gathered in before it becomes wet. She worked at the same frantic pace as the others. She does not notice her own bleeding until the work is done.
She pours the iodine on the wounds wincing in pain. It is sharp and iodine causes the cuts to sting like hell.
Ryuhou takes the bandages from her and wraps them around her hands. He pulls her close.
It is their beginning.
Kazuma stared from a distance. He had waited for too long.
He had watched from a distance. He had seen the shy smile from Ryuhou. Kanami never went anywhere without the other alter user. He was her constant companion and the two were often seen laughing.
It was how his relationship with Kanami had once been. Before he had left and tried to find more meaning in the fight. To Kazuma the fight was how you defined existence. It was only in using your alter that you were alive.
He could not go back to the village.
He could not be Ryuhou.
"So you understand."
He glared. "Honestly Tachibana could you have at least told me all this before I made it to the village. Watching them is rather sickening."
"Like you would've believed me if I had told you."
Kazuma only grunted in response.
"So what will you do now? You don't seem to be too upset. I half expected you to attack Ryuhou and that I would have to use eternity eight to restrain you."
"Like you could. Kanami would kill me if I hurt Ryuhou and knowing that she would never forgive me makes me hold back. But if he ever—"
"I know call you if something terrible happens or if he hurts her. I can do that."
"Take care of yourself, Tachibana."
Kazuma To was never good at goodbyes and Asuka Tachibana never desired to say any.
She had known he was there. She had felt the familiar presence and while part of her longed to reach out to him she knew better. Kazuma would leave again. He always did.
"Do you want to speak to him?"
She gazed at him the doubt crystal clear in his eyes. It hurt him to ask her that question.
Kanami could hear the unspoken words. "No. The time when I would have loved Kazuma and he would have loved me is passed. He is nothing more than my brother now and whatever could've happened will not."
Where she once could not see a world without Kazuma she now knew that it was Ryuhou's loss that would destroy her.
"Even though he is here now I still choose you."
She remembered when she had first seen him outside of a dream. He had so aloof so quiet that she had been afraid but he had protected her. He had been so different from Kazuma more like water than fire. In Ryuhou there had always been depths that hid anger and pain while Kazuma hid behind bravado.
Ryuhou had kept her safe though there had been no bonds between them. It was then she had grown to love him. It hadn't been the same type of devotion she had to Kazuma. It was quieter, more peaceful and less explosive much like Ryuhou himself.
"When I was a child I knew I had two protectors. I was like the princess surrounded by knights and while there were many others who would have kept me safe I knew that in those two I did not have to fear. I was loved. When they took me for the experiments and tied me up to those machines I knew you both would come. I knew and so I was not afraid. You both rescued me. You all and Cougar and I knew that no one would ever hurt me that way again as long as you two were around.
"Afterwards when you both didn't come home I knew you were safe. I waited. Even when Mimori married Tachibana I still waited. I knew my protectors would one day come. I missed Kazuma. I did but my dreams were full of you. I saw you as you clawed you way out of the fight. I saw you as you went back to your father's house and tried to make sense of your life. I tried to see Kazuma but I could only see and feel you. I know about the days you spent wishing yourself dead and my heart ached for you. I wanted you to come home. You were lonely and even though my friends surrounded me I was lonely too."
She brushed the green bangs from his face so she could stare to the ruby eyes once more. She had seen the emotions flash in the crimson depths but still doubt remained.
"I love you."
It was then that he believed her.