Notes: Thank you for the reviews. I always appreciate them.

Flipflopfloop – Some of my older stories are not on the site anymore mostly because I didn't like how I wrote the story or I totally directed the story onto a different path, away from the plot. Another reason is I lost interest in the story itself. So, that's why I decided to delete them.


Burden

There were some things that Sui could do nothing about, and one of those unstoppable things was watching his older brother, Kagaho, fight to gain some bags of silver to survive. His burden of being rather dependent on his brother put a strain in their relationship. They hardly spoke; hardly had the time to spend with each other when Kagaho was too busy getting in fights. Sui knew his brother actions were entirely his fault for being so overly-dependent on him.

It all started when he spoke of a silly dream that he purposed one day to experience with his brother – a dream to walk under the sunlight, far away from the corruption their hometown held. He should have kept his mouth shut to save himself from watching his brother coming home with torn knuckles and a bloody lip.

He could still stop Kagaho from fighting. All he had to say was two words and that was it. But his stubbornness to say, "No more" was lodged between his throat and lips that he gaped at his older brother with wide eyes. By the time he gained some amount of courage, it was already too late as his brother sprang from his seat and bolted out the door, presumably heading toward his next battle.

His guilt didn't leave him in peace. And it didn't help his guilty conscious that he cradled a bloody cloth on his lap. He gripped it with both hands, twisting it absentmindedly, and listened to the blood drops hit their wooden floor.

His eyes strayed toward the wooden door, waiting for his brother to come home at night.

xx

They were at it again.

Two teenagers, Dai, the leader, and Hiro, his partner, never seem to leave him alone. Dai with his dark, short-hair and black eyes wore a loose blouse and breeches, accompanied with brown shoes. His partner, Hiro, had the same length of hair as his leader, except it was red and messy. His green eyes sparked with mischievous thoughts. He crossed his arms against his white tunic and looked at Sui with his infamous smile.

All he wanted was to walk around town and enjoy the breeze against his skin, but every single time, they would appear, poking a dirty fingernail harshly against his chest. He wanted them to stop; wanted to have the strength to beat them up. But he couldn't deny that he was nothing like his older brother, who was strong and viscous when it came to battles. He could never be like him when he was viewed as the weakly, getting pushed over by bullies. Kagaho would never stand for this. He would fight back and demand respect. That is why he didn't understand what motivated him to pull back his fist and punch Dai in the face.

At first, euphoria hit him at full blast at overriding his fear, but when it finally registered that he had punched a boy stronger than him, he was terrified of the outcome. He slid closer to the wall behind him, trying to gain much disparity from the teenager. He was about to run when his partner grabbed him by the collar and tossed him to the ground. He landed on his rear and gradually met their devious eyes. A snicker escaped Dai's lips.

"Good shot, kid." He rubbed his bloody nose. Disgust was evident on his features when he looked at it. "You'll pay for that."

The dark-haired teenager grabbed him by the shirt and stood him up on his feet. He swayed back when his bully let him go. The moment he gained control of his legs and firmly stood up, he watched as the impending fist went directly to his abdomen. The impact of his punch left him struggling to breath. He cradled his stomach, his back hunched to his movement. He didn't have the time to avoid the second punch aimed for his jaw.

His body hit the ground. He coughed and began to vomit his morning breakfast. Embarrassed by the sight, he covered his face, hearing the teenagers laugh and kick at his legs, anything to get a reaction from him. He wanted them to stop; wanted them to leave him alone so he may hide in shame. And as if the gods had answered his prayers, he heard neither laugh nor felt their shoes kick his legs. Sui turned toward his bullies and watched as both boys were pulled by the collar of their shirts, trembling at the malicious expression Kagaho carried.

He wiped the vomit from his mouth and tried to stand on his wobbly legs. One hand cradled his stomach, the other reaching for his brother to stop him from doing the appropriate deed that an older brother should do: protect their sibling. He never had the chance to stop him when he watched as both boys were hurled toward the ground.

Hiro had hit his head against the cement, his vision in a daze. The other, the one Sui had punched, was straddled by his brother and was gripped by the throat. Kagaho did not waste a moment to deliver a blow to Dai's face. Punch after punch, he did not stop, not even when his overused knuckles began to bleed. He continued with a smile, morbidly fascinated by the way the teenager's nose cracked under the pressure of his incoming fist and watched as the blood mar his pale flesh.

"Kagaho, stop!"

His plea went ignored. He watched as Hiro lifted himself up and knocked Kagaho's body to the ground. His brother blocked his face from the partner's sloppy hits. Hiro looked insane with an eyebrow shot upward in satisfaction of being able to punch his older brother.

"Leave him alone!"

Sui attempted to push Hiro off his brother's stomach, but the teenager turned and knocked him over. He looked back and watched his brother's eyes narrowed at the teenager above him. Taking Hiro's distraction, he punched him hard across the cheek, watching as the blood was forced out of his lips. Immediately, he straddled Hiro's torso and began to pound his face, while ignoring the cries the redhead emitted.

Sui couldn't bear it any longer and shouted, "Stop!"

That was all it took for Kagaho to slide off the redhead's torso and turn to meet his brother's teary eyes. Without portraying any concern toward the duo's moaning, he approached his brother and helped him on his feet. He led him away from the alley, never looking back to see a man approach the batter duo and accuse his brother of being a monster. It pained his heart hearing the people judge his brother for his actions to protect him. He never wanted his older brother to interfere with his problematic issues, but Kagaho always knew when he was in danger.

"Are you alright?"

He met his eyes; a trace of concern was caught in his dark orbs. He appeared exhausted from his fight, noticing a trail of blood coming from the left side of his eye. It seemed the redhead had managed to hit his brother. His stomach churned at the sight, turning his eyes away to look toward the solid ground.

"I'm fine."

His older brother never suspected the turmoil he was experiencing.