"Ugh!" Rin spat, loudly, when she was sure her brother was out of range and couldn't hear her. She scrubbed the back of her hand across her mouth. Len hadn't said goodbye, but given her a large, wet peck on the lips, which had been completely unexpected and extremely cold and slobbery, not to mention sloppy. Afterwards, far from apologetic, he'd tweaked her nose with a smirk and she'd heard the words as clearly as if he had voiced them aloud: You lose.
Enraged at the twist of his lips, yet entranced by the sparkling sea-eyes and still shocked by the kiss, all she could do was stare at him as her emotions mingled on her unwilling face. He watched her languidly—everything disinterested but his eyes, which were bright and cool—absorbing, learning, knowing her. A cool blue flame, to soothe my secrets out of me, she thought, discerning his intent and shielding herself from it. His face darkened and he took an abrupt step backwards before stalking away.
A disgusted snort escaped her as she made her own exit, and at hearing the quick smattering of footfalls, Len glanced back, but she was already gone—to where he didn't know. He hesitated. Maybe I should wait for her. But he decided against it, knowing that in their respective states, they were as good as toxic to each other.
He kept walking, but wasn't able to muster the haughty anger and energy he had felt a moment ago. His eyes widened as the distant sounds of coughing and—heaving?—reached his ears, along with echoes of his sister's familiar voice. Was she talking to him? An image of Kaito's pallid face filled his mind. He had honestly looked terrible, and it hadn't even crossed his mind that he could actually be ill; all he had felt was his own sense of satisfaction . . .
He felt strangely weak, and managed only a few more steps before he had to stop and rest. He was grateful that nobody was around and that he at least had privacy. As he lowered his face into his hands and slid down the wall, praying that it would pass, his mind was assaulted.
". . . how . . . beautiful," he heard himself whisper. Tender words that had been turned away, words he'd fought to release, and their rejection smoldered not in his face, but in his heart, so that he wondered how he could ever have loved this man at all.
"No, Len." He flinched at the harshness of the voice, as he had the first time.
"I should never have told you."
"No more. No more."
"You're not who I thought you were."
"I'm not just some kid!"
"People would think I was a pervert!"
"Promise me . . . you won't laugh."
"You're just confused . . . mixed up."
"—I thought I was crazy . . ."
"You're like the little brother I never had."
"I think about you all the time."
"You don't fully understand . . ."
"Like Gakupo loves Luka—"
"—I love you."
"I always have . . ."
"What about the age gap?"
"I can wait."
"Like a rainbow . . ."
". . . waits . . ."
"You love me too."
". . . for the end of a storm."
His phone went off, startling him, and he yelped involuntarily and tore the device from his pocket in a fit of rage. Through the threatening blur of tears, he glared darkly at the number on the screen, one he'd never seen before in his life. "What the hell?" he panted, stabbing at one of the buttons before crushing it to his ear. "Hello?" he said, doubtfully.
". . . I saw everything," breathed the deep voice on the other end.
Len's heart immediately began to hammer, his anger forgotten as he sat up straighter, glancing around as he did so. There was no one in sight, and even the noises from before had ceased. "Wh-who . . .?" He swallowed, forced strength into his voice. "Who is this?"
There was a long silence from the other end, which increased his paranoia until he couldn't stand it anymore and cried, "Kaito, is that you?"
His only answer was the sound of his own harsh breath in his ears. "You're scaring me!" he confessed, feeling too overwhelmed to continue concealing it. "Kaito, if it's you, just tell me," he begged, feeling pathetic for letting his emotions get control of his once again. It was so much better when he was cold, calculated, as he had been with Rin—it made him invincible. But this . . . no, there was nothing worse than this—this weakness.
"I can't tell you that," the voice shot back, purringly, "because it's just not true."
He swiped at his eyes.
"It really is pathetic how attached you are to him, how he's reduced you to—to this." Disgust was evident in the voice which matched his own. He felt his mouth fall open, but before he could continue—"I know you don't know me, Len, but I'm much different than he is."
"Who are you talking about?" he hissed in annoyance. "How do you know my name?"
"Oh, I know much more than that," the voice said, easily. "I know everything. You'll find I'm not half as dull as Kaito—oh, yes, I know him, too. Small game, that one, and not complex at all, nothing of a challenge—simple motivations, boring personality, predictable emotions and actions . . . Frankly, he's a bore. I don't know how you can stand him, much less love him. I certainly never did."
"Who are you?" Len demanded. "How do you know—about us?" He couldn't bring himself to say Kaito's name, or to openly identify the status of their relationship—not when he didn't even know who this stranger was, what their intentions were. "Nobody knows about that."
"You can call me Cain. Although—" The stranger laughed, and the sound was not unpleasant. "I never could quite bring myself to do anything as drastic as murder my little Abel. I prefer to leave that to Taito."
"What?" Len let out, his confusion thickening.
"You still don't get it?" the stranger said, impatiently. "Fine, I'll lay it out for you: I'm Cain, Kaito's Abel, and you . . . " There was a pause. "You're not merely the angel he imagines."
"Who imagines?" he said, desperately, but the voice ignored him.
"You're God," he asserted, calmly, "and you're to judge the quality of our offerings, choose the one that best pleases you—what aroma delights your senses, satisfies your altar. So what will it be, Lord? His slaughtered animals and bloody meats, or my freshly-ripened fruits and tender leaves?" The voice in his ear was enticing and arrogant all at once; needful.
He swallowed dryly. "I—I don't know what you're talking about," Len blurted, uncomfortable, his trembling fingers finding their way to the wall behind him as he laboriously pushed himself to his feet.
". . . Hello, God."
He jumped, startled by the sudden proximity and volume of the voice, and ended up dropping his phone. It clattered to the feet of the man who stood in front of him. He didn't dare bend down to retrieve it, so instead straightened slowly, which gave him time to take in the stranger's height. His eyes lingered on the rich, reddish hair that reminded him eerily of Kaito's after he'd run his fingers through it—disheveled. His skin was just as pale as Kaito's, if not moreso, but he held a very un-Kaito like smirk on his Kaito-like lips.
He locked gazes with the stranger and felt instantly his ability to consume those who dared to gaze into him too deeply, an intensity that bordered on madness flickering in the red fires of his eyes. At last, the flickers of familiarity he felt coursing through himself were undeniable.
"Akaito . . ." he murmured, without knowing how he knew.
The man's smirk only widened. ". . . Took you long enough."
A/N: Like I said, guys, I doubt there'll be any updates this summer until towards the end, when I will likely spam you with the remaining chapters. I'm sorry about the wait, but if you're still reading, THIS HAS NOT BEEN ABANDONED. Thanks to everybody who's stuck with it and reviewed; I love you guys!