az: Pausing on Stay with me for a while. And well... if ever you read me whining about reviews again, it's just be being lonesome. Hahahahahaaa


Contemplations

Written by Izzu alias honou-no-izumi

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He haven't seen the sight of his partner since afternoon. Somehow, he still couldn't let down his guard whenever this happened. Perhaps it was because of those times when he had been acting as Sakisaka AND a crime planner. After finding out the truth about his partner... somehow, he had become a bit more cautious in this line of work. It was already hard enough trying to sift out all of the other men working with Miyamoto under Yumehito's lead.

Kato found him on the roof. He seemed to be doing nothing suspicious, just staring at the scenery in front of him. Kato surprised himself for the sudden feeling of relief he was feeling. To think at one time ago he had thought of punching the guy once his real face had been uncovered. Yet, he hadn't manage to doing it. Because the next moment after that, the man had been lying unconscious in a coma. And even when he had finally awake later, the man had lost his memory. He didn't have any chance to act on his words!

Even when he finally did remember, he haven't had the heart to punch him. Strange, during these short period of time... he had grown attached to this man enough to consider him as a friend. Wonder if this was this man's ability? To make people feel so comfortable with him, enough that they would entrust him with everything they had?

"Oi!", he finally called out. "What are you doing here... Tanaka?"

Yumehito jumped. He did appeared genuinely surprised. Kato chuckled softly. He hadn't expected that he could even startle him that much. He must have been doing some deep thinking again...

Yumehito turned towards him, looking slightly annoyed.

"What do you want, Kato?"

Kato just shrugged.

"I was just wondering where you've gone."

Yume sighed.

"Well, you've found me. So now you can go back to whatever work you had been doing before this—"

"Hey! Can't I just be concerned about my partner?"

Kato exclaimed. Moody Yumeto was annoying... and ever since the man had regained his memories, the man had been brooding too much that it even annoyed him. What's wrong with this guy? Just the other week, the man had been smiling and laughing with Ainosuke... and now he was back to this.

Yume just gave him a silent regard before sighing again.

"Alright, if you're so concerned about it. I was just thinking if I should quit this job—"

Kato made a loud sound as Yume just silenced him with a leer.

"—you don't really think I'm suitable to being a cop? After all I've done in the past? By rights, I should be stuck in a cell like Miyamoto or the others. Or lie dead in a grave somewhere if any of my old enemies that were still alive got their hands on me. I shouldn't be here."

Kato frowned at this outburst.

"Tanaka... you—"

"Just when I managed to get a grip over the old me... and the me when I had lost my memories..." Yume turned towards Kato suddenly. "Do you know something? It came back. Or should I say... he came back. He's a pretty annoying person, do you know that... Kato? Ikeuchi Tomoya... that person. Just when you thought he was just a plain old coward—do you know what he said before he died? I'm sorry. As if I'm gonna accept that so easily. And then later, all he ever said in my head was... Die, you murderer! As if he was any different. If he had killed Ainosuke that day... would he even feel guilty about it? Bloody hypocrite..."

Kato bit his lips as he could sense the heavy burden that had carried over those words. And suddenly he had realised another fact as he remembered where they were standing right now.

"Oi, Tanaka... you can't be thinking—Ainosuke would be devastated if you try to kill yourself—"

"I won't do it. I couldn't do it last time... how'd you think I could do it now? That very thought of causing that kid so much pain—perhaps that was why at some point, I wished Ainosuke would kill me instead. But I couldn't allow him to experience the same thing I've gone through—in the end my hands were tied again."

"Tanaka..." Kato tried placing his hand on Yume's shoulder as the man shrugged it off. "You need some help... partner."

"Don't..."

Yume just shrugged as he turned to head towards the stairs. He paused as another thought crossed his mind.

"Naa... Kato. Just a thought. If something... were to happen to me again in the future, could you tell Ainosuke to let me go? I couldn't tell him myself... and it seemed after everything that had happened, Ainosuke kept clinging onto me like a lifeline. Afterall... I still had so many enemies wanting me dead."

"Yumeto-san!"

Yumehito turned towards him in with surprised amusement to hear Kato calling him by his first name. Then, without a word... he smiled at him weakly before going down through the staircase...

xxx

Kato eyed him from the opposite cubicle as Yumehito appeared to be acting normally again, as if the earlier brooding period had not happened at all. He frowned before turning his attention to the computer in front of him before logging into the internet. He bit his lips as he typed in the search box for 'Multiple Personality Disorders' as well as other things...

xxx

By evening, it seemed that Yumehito had reverted back to his distracted attitude—despite his moods haven't been as dark as during the afternoon. Still, a part of him just had to worry.

When Yume had rose from his seat to go back home, he immediately got up and grabbed his arm to stop him. The man had stared at him puzzled but said nothing as Kato offered to send him home.

The ride home was very quiet. Yume had continued staring into space and ignoring him every time he tried to start another chat. As he thought, he had a reason to get worried. After what the man had said earlier, he was worried that the man would be so distracted that he would get into some accident on the way home. Honestly, he had grown attached to this man after all...

When they reached the apartment, Ainosuke had come out to greet them. Perhaps he had been too transparent when he had called earlier, since the kid had appeared as anxious as he was. Regardless, he had helped Yume out of the car as the man remained in a daze and not even noticing that they were already at his home.

Though, the moment his eyes fell on Ainosuke, something inside him had snapped back into reality as Yumehito stepped forward and embraced his brother tightly without warning. That startled Ainosuke so much but the man said nothing. Kato sighed. Guess it had been the same for Yumehito. Ainosuke... was as important to him as how the younger brother felt for him. Seeing that and remembering what Yume had told him earlier, Kato's heart sank. To try separating himself from the very person that would keep him sane enough to continue living, what had the man been thinking?

"I still had so many enemies wanting me dead."

Kato silently eyed the man as Yume pulled himself from his brother. Ainosuke frowned at him as he sensed something was amiss.

"Brother? Is there something wrong?"

Yume just shook his head before turning around towards him. He smiled tiredly as he bowed.

"Thanks for sending me back," he said before going back into the apartment without a word.

Ainosuke frowned before turning his glance back towards Kato.

"Kato-san... what's wrong with my brother?"

Kato sighed. Well, he had been preparing for this talk anyway. Might as well get it over with...

xxx

Ainosuke entered their room as he found his older brother sitting quietly on the bed. Yumehito pat the spot beside him gently as he silently gestured for him to come over. Ainosuke sighed as he remembered what Kato-san had told him just now. It seemed that he still had a lot to do, to keep his brother safe beside him.

He crawled over the bed as he sat on his brother's lap, much to the elder's surprise. He smiled as he pulled his brother's arms and wrapped them around him.

"I've heard from Kato-san... about this afternoon."

He heard his brother let out a sigh.

"So he told you that, eh? Sorry."

Ainosuke felt his brother starting to hold him tightly before resting his head on his shoulder.

"Was it so unbearable?"

He asked again as his brother slowly nodded.

"...but now, I had you by my side. I guess we have to see how it goes from here. Don't worry. For now... I'll stay with Josai for the time being."

Ainosuke smiled weakly as his brother brushed his face lightly on his cheek. His brother seemed to have calmed down slightly, so perhaps he did the right thing by letting his brother to just hold him close. He wondered about the other thing that his brother had told Kato-san as Ainosuke felt a slight pang of hurt in his chest. There's no way he could ever let go of his brother's hand as long as there was any chance that they could continue being together. What was his brother thinking?

"Ne, nii—"

"How about we go visit the shrine this weekend together?"

Ainosuke felt his brother stir from behind him.

"Why?"

He sighed.

"I thought... perhaps we could pray for Tomoya-san's soul to rest in peace. His body had already been found earlier... but I thought perhaps—"

Ainosuke felt his brother shrug.

"Why not? We could at least try..."

Ainosuke turned around as he faced his brother.

"Are you sure?" he asked as his brother nodded his head to him. He smiled in relief as he returned to his sitting position and started playing with his brother's left hand.

"Then... I'll call Sayama-sensei if she could join us—"

"Why would you call her?"

Ainosuke grinned.

"Because I thought she could cheer you up. Then again... niichan—"

He turned around again as he lifted Yume's left hand high.

"What was this ring on your middle finger for? I remembered you wearing it also during that day."

He could swear he saw his brother blushed as he grinned.

"I also remembered seeing Sayama-sensei wearing a similar ring that day as well—"

"I-idiot! What the hell were you thinking? Me and Sayama—that woman probably bought it randomly during her random shopping spree—"

Still, he could not dismiss the fact that his brother's blush had become even deeper. Ainosuke continued grinning as he dropped the subject.

"Ah, well... then, it's settled. I'll tell sensei about this later to see if she could join us!"

xxx

Yumehito smiled as he continued holding his brother tightly. Honestly, Ainosuke always had been able to change their topic of conversation and cheered him out of his dark moods. Guess certain things would never change...

He eyed the platinum ring that he had been wearing on his left hand as Ainosuke continued to play with it.

Then again, it's not as if she'd remember.

He had after all... arranged it to be like that.

xxx

"Aniki! Over here!"

Ainosuke called out towards him as the three of them walked into the crowd of people. It's been a while since they've gone to any festivals like this, it was really exciting to do this after some time. Ainosuke had also looked very cheerful.

Hitomi dragged him to follow after Ainosuke as they went from stalls to stalls, looking at the things and games featured there... before going towards a clearing for some bit of fresh air.

"Ainosuke!"

He started to call out before a loud bang caused his heart to stop. He hastily caught Ainosuke's body as he turned his attention towards the direction the shot came as his sight fell on Noriko's form. The woman had been smiling before walking away as Yume turned his attention towards Ainosuke. His hand shook as he tried to stop the blood from coming out. His sight became even more blurry as he tried to stop himself from panicking—

Yume gasped as he opened his eyes, to find that it was all just a dream. A nightmare. He looked down to find Ainosuke sleeping soundly on his lap. Seriously, what a scary scenario...

He turned off the lights before putting Ainosuke on the bed properly as he lie beside his brother. He pulled his brother close as Yume tried to make himself sleep, pushing the ugly nightmare away from his mind. Ainosuke had tried his best to cheer him back. He ought not let his dark moods ruin it for them.