Do not own. Do not sue.

Paint It Black

They left me.

After all this, they left me. My beloved Jyunishi, gone.


All of them. From my Rat to my Boar, gone.

Even my loyal, beloved, devoted Rooster.


Why? Why me, and why us? My Jyunishi and I are meant for an endless round of feasts and celebrations, to reenact the circumstances of our creation until the end of time. We are supposed to follow the same dance forever, until it is time to pass our roles on.

That's all I want. That's all I ever wanted, to be together. To stay together, the way it should be. The way I know we were meant to be.

To be together, without anyone on the outside. Without Ren, without that wretched, horrible Tohru, and especially without the awful woman who stole my Rooster, my beloved Kureno, away from me.

All of my Jyunishi, where they should be. They should be at my side, rejoicing in the bond that has tied our fourteen spirits together for time untold. My father's Jyunishi celebrated! They had known the power of our bond, and hadn't fought against it.

My father's Jyunishi would never have betrayed me the way my own Jyunishi have. My father's Jyunishi loved him, loved him as much as I loved him. I loved him the way only a daughter could, but they knew, and they shared that love.

My Jyunishi are all traitors. They betrayed themselves; they betrayed our bond; they betrayed me.

Mother was right. I despise admitting that, but Mother was right! I was never supposed to exist- a female God. It is because of my weakness, my disability, that my Jyunishi left me. How can a lowly, pathetic woman ever hope to channel the spirit of the Jyunishi's god?

I am a failure. My father is turning in his grave, pained by my dishonor. I have failed him, failed my Jyunishi, and failed the sacred trust in our bond.

I failed.

One other though circles through my mind regularly, and that is what Kyo – my Cat – said to me the last time I saw my Jyunishi.

"My god, you really are pathetic."

He didn't say it to me, though. He wasn't allowed to. My Cat is the most volatile of my Jyunishi, and so had to be controlled. My father was right to lock his Cat away; he was a troublemaker. No, my Cat said it under his breath where Shigure, my loyal, special Dog, could hear him.

And, like a well-behaved Dog, mine reported it to me. My Dragon, my Hatori, heard it first from him, but I soon found out. My Snake really is too talkative.


Am I, really?


The word has hollowed itself a niche within the fabric of my being, forcing me to question everything. My whole life, turned upside down, because of that word.


Am I, then, pathetic to want what has always been there for us? When he was younger, my Snake once told me of the thrill he felt when he danced in the rain. I cannot dance in the rain, but I did recognize the feeling he told me.

It is the same feeling I had felt when I had my Jyunishi around me. It is the feeling I felt when my beautiful bond was satisfied at last, and the stress it placed on my frail body eased.

It is the feeling of joy. Pure, clean, unaltered joy, that's what Ayame felt in the rain.

Did they think it was easy?

As God, my bond was never at ease unless I was surrounded by my Jyunishi. It pulled and ripped at me, until I required my Dragon, my own doctor, to live with me.

None who carried the mantle of God ever lived past twenty-nine. Did you know that? Not one of the men who were entrusted with this most heavy of spirits made it to thirty.

My own father, my Akira, did not make it to even thirty. He was supposed to teach me more before he died. I was never supposed to be thrown into my role the way I was.

Ren hated me. She sometimes almost had me convinced that the bond I had with my Jyunishi was fake; that I was pretending something that meant the world. She never gave up, either. Any time she was around, my life was being torn apart. The only solitude I had away from her was in my Jyunishi, until she took even that away from me.

It is in the nature of a couple to break up, to go their separate ways, am I correct? If that is so, and I believe it is, then breaking off a relationship with my Dog should not have ended the way it did. My Rooster, my Kureno was there to comfort me when my first relationship shattered, and thus was my second relationship born. But Shigure did not end there.

He had to sleep with Ren.

My mother.

MY Dog slept with MY MOTHER.

To hurt me. To tell me that I was never good enough – that the true holder of the spirit of the Jyunishi's god would have been able to hold him.

Which makes him gay, by the way.

What? If he wanted to sleep with the true holder of the spirit of the Jyunishi's god, then he wanted to sleep with a man, which makes him homosexual in nature, which means he's gay.

Hatori explained that one to me.

All of them.

They all betrayed me, and our bond. They betrayed themselves, and they don't even know it! The hardest betrayal was my Rooster, my Kureno. He was the first to lose the bond, but he stayed. He stayed, you ungrateful Jyunishi! He could have chosen to leave, like you all did, but he stayed.

And then, he betrayed me. All my Jyunishi betrayed me, even the one I thought I would have forever. He left me for dead, just like the rest of them.

Now I'm here.

I remember when they brought me here – it was Friday afternoon. The bond that held my Jyunishi together had shattered, and my mind might have gone with it. I was babbling incoherently, I'm sure, in the utter shock of the aftermath.

They came, and put me in a coat that held my arms close to my body, like I was hugging myself, and then they loaded me up into a big van with rubber cushioning on the inside.

Yes, I am in an asylum.

Once, I was a goddess. I had my Jyunishi, and my Rooster, and my Dragon, and my dignity. Everything, in comparison to now.

Now, I'm the crazy woman in Cell 5923E, talking to herself and painting everything black. Black as my life has become since my Jyunishi betrayed me.

They left me.

Authoress' Corner – Different? I got the idea the other day in Barnes and Noble walking past the manga section. I noticed that the series was finished, and all my dissatisfaction came back with the ending of the series. So, I wrote this to fix Akito's ending to one more consistent with her character. Hope you enjoyed!