Someone was touching me, moving me on the bed so that I was lying on my back, putting his head on my chest and listening to my heartbeat, taking my hand and pressing fingers to my wrist, checking my pulse.

But I didn't care. My head hurt too much to care. It hurt too much to think of anything but the images.

Watching the koi swim around in the giant pond. Lying on the grass, staring up at the sky without any worries for surviving. I remembered the sky that day – pale blue, with lots of puffy clouds. We were trying to find things and animals in the clouds. I remember I won that day, I had found five, and the mirror had only found four.

On top of the images, I kept hearing the word twin, being repeated over and over in Haru-chan's voice. Twin, twin, twin, she said, he's your twin. Your twin. Twin.

Talking to daddy. I remembered daddy now, a tall, kind-looking man. He was teaching us how to play shogi. We were laughing, carefree. I wasn't hungry at all, which was rare. Learning manners, rules, with Haru-chan. She was teaching us the proper way to bow, to eat, to sit, to talk to superiors.

Someone burst into the room, but I barely heard it.

Mommy and daddy together, sitting close to each other at a stone table. Mommy had her head on daddy's chest, and they were both smiling as they watched us play charades. It was my turn to guess, and he was pointing at himself with a goofy smile on his face. Kaoru was the answer... Kaoru. I remembered laughing at how easy it was.

Someone rushing up to the bed, next to me.

Talking to mommy. Crying. She was hugging both of us tightly in her arms, murmuring muffled apologies into our ears. Going to bed immediately after promising not to chase her. Talking to Kaoru. Sad, feeling very, very sad.

Someone crying my name. His voice sounded so familiar as he called me, over and over, sounding scared, worried, distressed.

Waking up again at midnight. Looking over at Kaoru, who was sound asleep. Feeling worried. Wanting to wake him up. Deciding against it. Not wanting to drag him in. That was foolishness. Sneaking out the door, looking one last time at Kaoru. That was the last time I saw him.

Running out the front door of the big mansion, chasing after mommy along the street. Calling her name. Seeing her shocked stare. Remembering that she had told me to go back. She had called me a bad kid. But I refused. Foolish.

Mommy yelling at me. Remembering that I felt scared. Mommy had rarely gotten angry at us. Running back, crying, as mommy watched. Tripping and falling into a puddle of mud. Looking back at mommy, hoping that she would feel bad. Remembering that she had already turned and had started walking away.

Crying. Too loudly. Being found by a guard. Being picked up by the collar. Telling him that I was a Hitachiin. Being laughed at. The guard didn't believe that such a "filthy kid" could be a Hitachiin. Yelling back at him. Foolish.

The feeling of flying as I was thrown. Hearing a loud cry escape my throat, cut off as I hit the wall hard, head first. Hearing the shrill cry of mommy as she turned and saw what happened. Everything going black. Silent.


Someone shaking me, sobs in between frantic cries of my name. That voice, no matter how scared it sounded, was so great to hear. It almost made me never want to wake up, if it meant being with Kaoru for a while longer.

The realization came that I was still screaming. My throat felt sore. I was clutching both hands to my head again, and my eyes were squinted shut.

Then my head pain ebbed away, the only thing left was a tiny sting. Feeling my muscles relax as I lay back into the bed. Feeling a hot breeze on my chest, realizing that my kimono had been parted, exposing my skin.

Realizing that the warm breeze was from someone's sigh of relief. That my name wasn't being called anymore. That the shaking had stopped. I felt my eyebrows rush together in displeasure. I wanted to hear his voice for a little longer.

Feeling my senses returning. The soft sheets of the bed underneath my legs. The pillow under my head. The smell of food in the room. Rushed breathing, probably from me. Sniffles coming from above me. Someone grasping my hand.

No, I didn't want to wake up, yet. I wanted to stay with Kaoru.

I heard myself groan, and I rolled onto my side, toward the hand. I grasped it with my other hand, mumbling a small, "Kaoru." I didn't care if it wasn't Kaoru. I needed to pretend that it was.

But I didn't expect the soft gasp that followed, or the timid reply. "H-Hikaru?"

My eyelids immediately flew open, and I saw the familiar face come slowly into focus. I gasped. Was I still dreaming?

Kaoru's eyes filled with tears. "Hikaru..." he lunged forward, catching me in a tight hug. "H-Haru-chan said... t-that you d-didn't remem-ber m-me..." he managed to stutter out, in between sobs, "I was s-so sad, H-Hika-ru... I didn't know w-what I would d-do if you didn't re-member."

His touch felt so real. Nothing at all like the painful dreams I've had. I could smell him, the sweet smell of sakura blossoms. Sakura blossoms mixed with tears.

Putting my arms around him, I hugged him back, letting myself get dragged into the wonderful, blissful feeling. If this was a dream, it was the best one I've had.

"I'm sorry, Kaoru." I murmured, "I shouldn't have broken my promise. I shouldn't have gone to find mommy. It's because of me that she died. If she didn't waste all that money on curing me, I'm sure she would have survived – made a business of some sort-" I broke off when I felt Kaoru stiffen. "Kaoru?"

A strangled intake of breath, before there was a tiny, tiny voice near my ear. "Mommy's dead?"

I felt the stinging tears rush to my eyes, and swallowed hard. It was okay to cry now, right? After all, Kaoru was crying. And we always did everything together.

The first tear trickled down my face as I replied with a whisper, "I'm sorry."

And many more followed.

Oh godz. I'm never going to write anything like this ever again. D8