The Name

"Raito. Raito. Sonozaki...Raito," Philip repeated to himself. He frowned a little. "I don't think I like it."

He wasn't sure what to think about anything any more. Just a day ago, he would have been ecstatic to learn that he was a Sonozaki. That he was Wakana's little brother. That he had any family whatsoever. But now, after everything that had happened...

Wakana. He couldn't blame her for being mad at him for standing her up - but it didn't seem like that was the case at all. He didn't like the look in her eyes, or the way the mirth was gone from her voice. But most of all...the fact that she had called him "Raito". It sent chills up his spine. It was a name that was distinctly his, there was no mistake about that - but he just didn't like it. He wanted to go back to when she would call him "Philip", with affection in her voice. Their promise to leave the city together had been a foolish one. In truth he had suspected that it would fall through somehow, some way - he hadn't really been thinking when he'd made that promise with her. Once they left the city, what were they supposed to do? What could he do alone to protect her, especially from someone as powerful and dangerous as Sonozaki Ryubee?

He sighed, rolling over to flop onto his stomach instead of his back. He didn't suppose he hated the name "Raito", he just hated all of the confusion and sadness that the name brought to the surface in him. Shroud called him that. One of the officers of Museum had called him that as well. He had always been confused by the name Raito. But he had to accept it...it was his name. He had to accept the "Raito". He had to accept the "Sonozaki" too, as much as he didn't want to.

The Sonozaki family...they were responsible for the production of all of the Gaia Memories that were making people go on rampages throughout the city. They were responsible, both directly and indirectly, for countless deaths and the sadness of many of the people in Fuuto. They were the Museum, the organization that he'd spent so much time running away from. Sokichi Narumi had been hired to rescue him from the Sonozakis...though now, now that he knew that he was a Sonozaki, shouldn't it be considered "kidnapping" rather than "rescuing"? Was he no longer "hiding" and now a "prisoner"? Seen from a legal standpoint, wasn't Shotaro a kidnapper? Wasn't he being kept away from his family...from the Sonozaki family? And...didn't that make him one of them? Wasn't he also responsible for causing so much death and sadness throughout the city?

But he...fought against them. He was half of Double, the masked savior of the city. He was Philip, half of the detective team that was carrying on the legacy of Sokichi Narumi. He was the somewhat reclusive bookworm, the brains of the operation, Shotaro's mysterious partner who rarely showed his face.

It wasn't as simple as having two names, he had two lives. And his two lives were too different. Sooner or later, he would have to leave one behind to embrace another. Until he and Wakana had made their foolish promise to leave the city together, he had never thought he could have left behind Shotaro and Akiko. But he'd made that promise with no hesitation or regrets, knowing that Shotaro would understand, hoping he could go on without him. It had been so easy. Perhaps leaving behind the name "Philip" and everything it stood for would be easy as well...certainly, it would be easier than leaving behind his real name, his real family...perhaps even his real purpose. As much as he didn't like the name "Sonozaki Raito", he would just have to come to like it.

"Phi~lip~kun!" Akiko's singsong voice interrupted his thoughts and slowly lifted his head from where he'd buried it into his pillow, blinking to allow his eyes to adjust to the light. She was grinning cheerily down at him, and holding a tray of cookies that looked, and smelled, like they had just come out of the oven.

"What is it, Aki-chan?" he asked, sitting up and still blinking at her. She plopped down on the bed beside him.

"I can tell you aren't feeling well, so I made your favorite!" she said, plucking one of the cookies off of the tray and handing it to him. "Here!" Philip cracked a little smile, taking the cookie.

"Thanks," he replied, starting to take a bite. But before he did, curiosity struck him.

"What do you think of my name, Aki-chan?" he asked. She paused, and then sighed.

"Do you want the truth?" she asked, leaning just so that her eyes were obscured by her bangs. Philip nodded, a solemn look on his face.

"Yes." he replied.

"I hate it," she started, still not looking at him. "I hate the Sonozaki family. They're the ones making everyone suffer, and causing all of these horrible tragedies, and you two are always putting yourselves in danger and even my father..." she trailed off, now physically facing away from him, her shoulders trembling a little. "I don't want Philip-kun to be a Sonozaki."

"...I see," was all he could think of to say. He knew that Akiko knew perfectly well that he wasn't responsible for any of that...but she had a point. While it had been Shotaro's foolhardiness that had put him in a bad position, it had been the Sonozaki family that had killed her father. And before their Begins Night, he had been producing Gaia Memories for them.

"But you know," she continued, finally looking back at him with a little giggle, "It can't be a coincidence. "Raito" and "Hidari"...seems like you two were destined to be partners, huh?"

Huh. Somehow, with all of the thinking he'd been doing...he hadn't thought about that.

Akiko stood, leaving the tray of cookies behind and taking a few steps away, before stopping and turning back to him.

"Oh, and I don't care what happens, I'm still going to call you "Philip-kun". No matter what. Okay?" she asked, skipping off without even giving him a chance to answer. Philip sighed, finally taking a bite out of the cookie she had handed him.

As much as he'd been through in the past day...Shotaro had probably been through a lot, too. When he'd decided to leave the city with Wakana, Shotaro hadn't even batted an eyelash. He'd driven him to the train station. "It's Philip's decision to make", he's said. He had refused to say goodbye. Letting your own partner go without even protesting...it must have been hard.

He had wondered, for a while now, if he was really supposed to be here with Shotaro, fighting as Double. If Shotaro really was supposed to be his partner. The driver and Memories would have allowed him to become Double with anyone, really. Shotaro was a bit weird, throwing around odd English phrases as their attack names, insisting that he was living a "hard boiled" lifestyle when he was really a kind, soft-hearted person who just wanted to protect Fuuto and everyone in it...and for a little while, it seemed that Shotaro wasn't up to the task of fighting as Double, when Philip's power had surpassed his and made their transformation unstable. But if there was one thing that could be said about Shotaro, it was that he didn't give up on things so easily.

It was silly that something as simple as their names... "Raito" and "Hidari"...made him believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that they were supposed to be partners. That he belonged here, with Shotaro and Akiko, in this detective agency, carrying on the legacy of a man that for all intents and purposes was his kidnapper. But at the same time, it made it impossible to discard one name in favor of another. He belonged here with the name that Sokichi Narumi had given him on that Begins Night that seemed like such a long time ago - the name "Philip". But the reason he belonged here was because his name was "Raito".

Sonozaki Raito.

Maybe he didn't belong here. And maybe he didn't belong with the Sonozaki family either. Maybe he didn't belong anywhere - but for now he was going to stay here, and he was going to keep going by the name "Philip", and he was going to eat Akiko's cookies, and he was going to...apologize to Shotaro. Because he really had put his partner through a lot in the past day.

He grabbed Shotaro's undivided attention pretty easily when he grabbed one of the nearby chairs and dragged it to sit in front of him at his desk. He rarely sat anywhere near Shotaro's desk, instead preferring to be in another room or in his research space in the back of the detective agency. And when he did sit anywhere in this room, he was always tucked away in a nearby corner, reading. So the mere fact that he was sitting across from Shotaro was distracting enough that Shotaro abandoned the book he'd been reading without a second thought.

"About what's happened today...I'm sorry. And...thank you." he started. Shotaro just nodded and opened his mouth to speak, but Philip beat him to it.

"Ne, Shotaro," he interrupted, before Shotaro could get a word in edgewise. "What do you think of my name?"

"What do you mean? Oya-san gave you that name. It has character, and it's mysterious and very hard-boiled. It's a good name," Shotaro replied, swiveling his chair around with a grin to pluck a book off of his shelf. It took him a second to realize that he was talking about the name "Philip".

"No, no, not that name, Shotaro. My real name," he replied. Shotaro turned back to him, his eyes serious for a moment, before he shrugged.

"It doesn't matter. You're still Philip to me. You'll always be Philip to me." the other detective replied. He found himself grinning.

"Of course." Philip replied.