az: Done. Since there are some parts in the main fic that would be hanging if I did not set this scenario firmly first.
A Light in the Dark: Part two - Light
Written by Izzu alias honou-no-izumi
Nagisa paused in her steps to gasp for her breath. She glanced up towards the row of buildings around her. Where could he be? Ryosuke's parents had gone to the station to try asking for help, but then again you could not actually make a report of a missing person unless a day had passed—and this was barely a day. Shiho had taken her leave and tried to go looking for her brother around the area of his housing neighbourhood. She had called Shirakawa—luckily today had not been a school day and she had tried looking up her friends to see if they have seen him. But so far... there wasn't any clue as to the whereabouts of one Aoi Ryosuke. Nagisa had even called her subordinates, whom were still searching for Ryuzaki at the dam. Though, it had not appeared that Ryosuke had went to that place...
Where could—Nagisa slapped her head silly. Why hadn't she thought of that place?
Nagisa cursed herself for not taking her car along, but then Chiharu had been using her car at the moment. Well, it was not as if she was wearing heels or something...
She paused in front of the St. Futabazaka Church to see that the place was filled with people again. The church itself was still under restoration, to fix the part of the building that had been destroyed during the explosion. There were still people around. Since the church was the only thing that was damaged; the orphanage as well as the other buildings around the area nearby had not been affected...
Nagisa circled the compounds to look for Ryosuke but it seemed that he was not here as well...
"You shouldn't exist in this world. Neither you and I."
"My power is different than yours. It's the Devil's Hand."
It was really like that. But still... why did he continued to live until now? Why was he the only one to have survived everything? His parents had told him before; his real mother had tried to kill herself with him that day before they had taken me away. They also said that they have not seen where his real mother had gone after they had looked away from her at that one instance after she had entrusted him to them. Then, could his real mother have gone to drown herself alone in the lake?
His real father had refused to be healed of his injuries... and he had died. His brother... had asked him to kill him with his Devil's hand.
Everyone had died. Everyone... because of him. So why was he still alive? Why must he continue living with this curse of the Devil's hand with him?
"Is that really so? Any human being, in order to make a life shine, is prepared to have an ending with death. If that were the case, in reality that power of yours... might be the God's hand."
Ryosuke cried. Why did he say that? If his hand was really God's hand and not a Devil's hand... why was it that he couldn't save the only remaining blood relative of his? If this was really God's...
Sure, he had saved Kumakiri Zenzo's life as well as his son's. In a way... so did Shirakawa and her mother. Even then, it had only been circumstantial. He could not save Pas—his father. If he only knew of that fact earlier...
He could not save his brother... no matter how much he had wanted to do so. He was not strong enough. If he was... both of them would not have fallen into that dam. If they have not fallen, there... his brother would not have asked him to use his powers on him anyway. That time, he thought he would die as well. That was why he had not spared any other thoughts not to do it.
Yet, he still lived...
"There's no way for me to atone to my sins..."
Ryosuke stopped in front of Tatsumi Fumiaki's grave. He collapsed in front of it as he stared blankly at the gravestone.
"...the only one who could save him.... is you,"
It was wrong. He did not manage to save his brother...
"You lied. You lied... father!"
"How do you know for sure of what the truth is or whether it was a lie?"
Ryosuke gasped as he looked up in front of him.
Suddenly he was no longer at the graveyard... but back at the St. Futabazaka Church. His father smiled at him before walking up towards him and kneeled in front of him.
"Why did you push yourself too hard, Ryosuke?"
Ryosuke gasped. Was this a dream... or had he died? His father... was right in front of him, smiling... talking to him. He called his name. His name... the name he had been given with ever since he was born. He thought he had imagined it that last time. But he used to think that he had wanted to hear Pastor Tatsumi say his name aloud again and again. Since that one time. Before he died...
His heart clenched. He never realized how much he had been longing to hear again of his real father's voice...
Calling his name aloud.
As if it had been some buried, deep emotions had suddenly burst out from the very core of his heart.
His father extended his hand towards him as he touched his cheek. Ryosuke cried.
"What's wrong? Ryosuke? Why are you still crying by yourself?"
Tears kept falling one by one but Ryosuke had not bothered to wipe it away.
"I missed you. I missed mother... I missed brother. Why can't I stay here with you?"
The old man smiled weakly. Ryosuke sighed as he felt his father's warmth when he wrapped his arm around his body.
"Silly child. We have never left you, your mother and I. And you still have your other family with you, right? You are not alone, Ryosuke. You are never alone. You'd never be alone... even after we have left this world. Please remember that... and continue to live."
Nagisa stepped into the graveyard compound as the sky gradually turned dark. She glanced up to the sky as she prayed that it would not start raining just yet.
They have searched almost every possible place imaginable! If there was any other place left, this should be it, she thought frantically as Nagisa walked down the hill towards the place. Sure enough, she found Ryosuke lying motionlessly on Tatsumi Fumiaki's tombstone. She hurried to his side, worried that something bad had happened but let out a relieved sigh as he had only been sleeping.
Sleeping? Here, of all places?
Nagisa hastily shook him awake as Ryosuke opened his eyes. She gasped as she pulled him into an embrace.
"Thank goodness... thank goodness you didn't die!"
Nagisa pulled herself away as she glared at him angrily.
"Did you know how worried we have been? Did you know how your mother have cried... worried sick of what could have happened to you? Did you know how Shiho-chan had been going out to every single known place that you used to frequently visit just to find you? Everyone was worried about you! Why did you never tell anyone where you have been?"
Ryosuke stared at her blankly. Concern had been painted all over her face, her voice... her gestures. He could even see it through her words, of how much everyone else had been worried about him.
All of this... because of him...
"Solitude is the most painful thing. Lonely people sometimes end up hurting others and themselves too."
His father's words returned into his mind. It was true. He had been lonely. The thought of losing his remaining blood related family, his brother... had blinded himself from everything else that had been equally important to him. He had forgotten about his foster family, his friends... and everyone else that had cared for him all these times...
Without thinking, he had hurt them all as well...
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..." Ryosuke started saying as he lowered his head towards the ground.
"Let's look for the calling that will be yours from now on,"
"...and that's one way of atonement."
"Is it... really possible for me?", Ryosuke suddenly asked as Nagisa frowned at him.
"Is it really okay for me to continue living my life from now on? Could I really be able to bring some good to this world?"
Ryosuke had stared at her, desperate to hear the answer to the questions that kept troubling his thoughts. Nagisa smiled weakly as she nodded her head.
"Of course! Of course, you can. Aoi-san! You're the kindest person that I had ever known in my life. In these few months of torture, from that moment when I had allowed you to meet Ryuzaki; you had always been strong. If it was you... you certainly can do it. If it was you... you certainly can do something good to this world. No matter how small that can be!"
"... since it's you."
Ryosuke felt his breath catch as his father's words came back in his mind again. His tears started falling again as he reached out to hold Nagisa's hands. Nagisa also felt her tears flowing, but it was not as if anyone could see. Rain suddenly fell down on them, as both of them remained sitting on the ground; not minding how much had the rain had soaked into the fabric of their clothes. It was only when the cold had started to get to them... that both of them finally stood up and left the place.
Unnoticed by the two, a lone man walked out from his hiding place; not far from them. It appeared that the man had been watching them for a while, keeping himself hidden. He let out a long sigh, not minding the drizzle.
"So now it seemed that I don't have to worry about you anymore, Ryosuke. Take care of yourself." he said softly as he turned towards the opposite direction and leave.
Sensing his presence, Ryosuke turned his head around behind him but he saw no one by then. Thinking that he had only imagined it, he continued walking as Nagisa pulled out her phone to call someone to pick both of them up.
A month later, Aoi Ryosuke walked into another high school, a boy's one this time. He had finally decided on his calling. The only thing that he knew he could do. The only thing that he knew how to do best. He would return to be the high school teacher that he used to be.
Certainly, his father would have to agree.
This, was his calling.
The only way that he could atone for the lives that he had taken. For the lives that he could not save.
Even his brother would not deny that this was the best choice for him to make.
Isn't it... Aniki?