Ryohei was running, eating up the distance as he charged up the path he'd covered nearly a hundred times in the last few days. He couldn't stop, he had to keep going harder, faster, until he stopped hurting inside. For as long as he could remember he'd living by the philosophy that any problem could be fixed by training, but he'd been training himself to exhaustion for days now and still every time he slowed down he'd remember his first kiss, how Gokudera had tasted like cigarettes and vanilla, the first time he'd been allowed to hold his calloused hand in the darkness of a movie theater, the first time they'd had sex at his house because Kyoko was at Haru's and his parents were never around, the look on his face the last time he'd seen him, hateful and flushed. He couldn't go home, not with his room still smelling like smoke with the clothing the Italian teen had left still strung around the room. He couldn't eat because the thought of food made his stomach twist.
'Can't stop,' he thought, forcing his legs to keep going. He was tired and dizzy and dangerously thirsty, but he couldn't stop until his legs refused to go on and he could think of nothing else but water and sleep. He'd struggle to the stream, drink his fill and pass out not far from the bank using his hoody as a pillow until the dreams woke him up again and he'd start running.
'Faster' he thought, pushing himself even harder. His chest was tight and on fire. His breathing was fast and harsh. He felt like his throat was ripping and his mouth was so dry his tongue felt swollen and he had to fight to breath past it. His legs were shaking even as they propelled him forward. "Farther. Just a little farther and it'll stop." he thought dazedly, but he only made it another two steps before his right leg betrayed him and collapsed. He hit the ground hard, barely keeping his face from smashing into the ground as he gasped and choked for breath.
Suddenly he felt his eyes start to burn and his gasps turned into sobs. It hurt . . . it hurt so bad and no matter how long and hard he trained it wasn't going to go away. He tried to get on his hands and knees, to pull his face out of the dirt, but his limbs were like lead. They wouldn't move like he told them. He cried hard, curled up in the dirt, wracking sobs that twisted out of him painfully. He couldn't stop, not even when boots appeared before him and he heard a voice above him.
"Well well little lost boy. What are you crying for?" a man's voice called sweetly. Ryohei swallowed hard, but he still couldn't stop. Suddenly gloved hands were lifting him up and he was staring up into the sunglasses and spiky green hair of his Varia rival.
"You are looking a bit rough Ryo-chan. Must be pretty bad if you've fallen this hard," Lussuria cooed, picking the teen up bridal style.
Ryohei stayed limp in his arms calming some but not much. "Where . . ." he croaked, his throat cracking.
"Don't worry Ryo-chan. Lussuria Oneesan is going to take good care of you."