I'm back... with this... thing...

It's not my favourite... scratch that, it might be the most painful thing I've ever written.

But I hope you like it, anyways.

This was done for a challenge on SHINE, using the prompts Feudal Japan + Rich/Poor.

...Don't kill me.

And I'm sorry about the way the characters are portrayed... especially Kuze. Don't mob me, please. There just aren't any evil characters in Host Club.

I tried sticking to this tone, but I couldn't keep it up. I'm sorry... ort

AU. Violence.

Kandi completely failing at life. Read at own discretion.

Oh, and the head hurting thing? Yeah, I made that up.


Hot. It was really hot. My mouth was dry. My stomach rumbled. I knew what they meant because mommy had taught me. They meant that I was hungry and thirsty. And when I'm hungry or thirsty, I had to find food and water.

Someone pushed me over, and I fell down onto the gravel road. A sharp pain on my knee – that meant I had hurt myself. Mommy told me that if I hurt myself and my wound was dirty, then I had to wash away the bad dirt. Or else something scary would happen. But for once, I knew mommy was wrong. I had been hurt many times before, and nothing scary ever happened, except for some red 'blood' coming out of me, and later on it would dry and turn brown, or yellow. It hurt a lot, but I was used to it.

I ignored the pain, and got up onto my feet. I was hungry, so I had to find food. Food will take the nasty tummy pain away, and water will make my throat feel better, mommy said.

I brushed some dirt off my clothes, careful not to get any red water on the soft, blue cloth. Mommy had made it for me. She had told me it was called a kimono, and had told me to take good care of it. Which made my heart feel really sad, because it had gotten so dirty since she left. And that meant that I was being bad, because I hadn't listened to mommy.

But thinking about mommy made me really mad, as well, because mommy had abandoned me. She left almost a year ago, when the moon was full and bright, and smiling down at us. But mommy was crying. Before she left, she told me not to worry, that she will be going to a better place now. And that she couldn't take me along. She was holding my hand, talking to me really quietly, so quiet that I couldn't hear her unless I leaned my ear in really close. Then she fell asleep and wouldn't wake up, no matter how hard I called.

And she also told me something else. Something that was really important, that I had to keep secret. That, and my name. I couldn't remember ever having a name. Everyone I knew always called me 'Kid'. The ones I didn't know called me 'disgusting little shit'. A name felt really special to me. But I couldn't tell anyone, she said. Not unless it was him.

Looking around I saw a pile of red. 'Apples', mommy told me once. They were really tasty, and had water in them. Which meant they would take away my thirst and my hunger. I walked up to them, but they were piled inside a bucket, a really big lady selling them at a stand. Taking things without permission was bad, I knew, but mommy said it was okay if my stomach was really hurting. And it was.

"What do you want, you filthy kid?" The lady spoke. Her voice was really husky, not like mommy's at all. It scared me, and I was afraid that she was going to hit me with that mean-looking stick she carried. So I didn't speak, reaching out a hand towards the pile of red apples. But the stick got there before me, hitting me really hard on the hand. The lady spoke again, this time in a louder voice, almost like the one mommy used when she was angry at me. "Get your filthy grubby hands away from my apples!" she yelled, waving the stick again as if to hit me. I stumbled back, tripping over my own foot and landing on my butt a few paces away.

Eyebrows all scrunched up and lips parted in an ugly frown, the mean lady threw the stick hard, hitting me on the head. I felt a sharp pain on my forehead, heard the hoarse lady mutter something like, "You useless kids should just die, it's better than starving on the streets."

And then everything went black.

The nasty blare of horns woke me up, and the first thing I felt was the sharp pain on my head. My vision was blurry, hazy, blacked out along the edges. And my stomach hurt even more than before.

A man, shouting along with the horns. Mean-sounding voice, as if he were scolding a dog. Were people the same as dogs?

"Make way for the young Hitachiin lord! All those who dare stand in the way shall be KILLED, to teach you worthless peasants a lesson."

And then all the people were running, pushing, to get to the edges of the narrow road. A few stepped on me, their heavy weight and hard wooden shoes crushing my body. I felt so small, powerless, as I tried to get up. A sharp sharp pain on my leg. It hurt so much. I had never felt anything like it before. I held my breath as I hauled on it, ignoring the searing pain coursing through my entire body. I would not cry. I promised mommy that I wouldn't. Because crying only made people despise me more, she said.

There was only one other time that I could remember, when people acted this way. And that was exactly 365 days ago. Only two days before mommy died. Except back then, no one had stepped on me. They stepped on mommy instead, because mommy protected me.

That day, I remembered seeing a sadness in mommy's eyes. A sadness that I couldn't put into words. I had never seen mommy that sad before. It made me want to hug her, cuddle her head in my chest like she often did for me when I was upset. But I couldn't, so I put my head in hers again, hoping to remind her that I was there for her.

And through the entire chaos, she held my face close to her body, patting softly on the back of my head and murmuring happy words into my ear. And, because of that, I never got to see why everyone was running.

Mommy said that the next time people started rushing, if she wasn't around to protect me, I had to look at the carriage. She said that the person in there would see me, and he would know me. She said that I couldn't let anyone else see my face. Only the boy in the carriage.

Right before mommy left, this boy in the carriage was the only thing she would talk about – and time and time again she told me to make sure the boy noticed me. Then she told me my name: Hitachiin, Hikaru... light. Mommy said that if the boy asked for my name, I had to answer Hikaru. And she apologized again and again, saying that she hoped I wouldn't hate her if I remembered.

Then she left.

The mean-sounding man seemed to have spotted me, and was walking my way in large, angry strides. As he got closer, I realised that he might see my face. If mommy said that it was a bad thing, then it definitely was. Mommy never lied.

So I quickly scraped some mud off the ground, covering all of my face with it. I rubbed it in my hair, as well, in case the man was tempted to yank it. During the last year, I learned that mean adults like him never yanked on dirty hair.

'Just make sure you meet the other boy's eyes.' mommy had told me, 'If you do, he'll take you home with him. I promise.'

A sharp pain in my ribs as the mean man kicked me, almost as strong as the one that echoed in my limp leg. I cried out in pain, couldn't stop the tears from springing to my eyes. No, I couldn't cry...