Love You, Kill Me

Prelude Final: Alone on the bus with Hyoga

Shun stared through the emergency exit window. He watched as the men attempted to pull Ikki back at the orphanage. He smiled as Ikki gave a good kick at one of their shins just to wave to him; it felt so good to see him back to his usual bravado. He got to see him one last time but also mock the entire security system of Tatsumi. Shun raised his hand and waved back as the bus turned the corner.

The bus driver was strangely quiet. He was also one of the three guards but usually took up menial chores. He had a funny British accent and a giant blonde unibrow that all the kids seemed to make fun of. He was probably the one guard that wore his nametag. No one could pronounce his strange name so they often refer to him as Mr. R.

There was also another one there; the only other guy the kids pick on more than him and he didn't have the luxury that Ikki provided.

"Hyoga, what are you doing here?" asked Shun as he sat by him.

"I heard you were being sent today, so I asked if I could leave early as well," Hyoga replied dryly. He was definitely different from any of the other orphans. He had bright blond hair; a trait that none of the other kids that had. The closest was probably Jabu but his had a dirty tone to it. Grammatically, he did speak very good Japanese, but his thick Russian accent sometimes made him a little hard to understand. There was also another reason many thought he was weird: he also seemed out in his own little world most of the time and yet he knows everything going on.

Even Shun had no idea today was his departure.

Hyoga's eyes scanned the boy. His lips were in his default smile but his eyes had a minute tremble. "Scared about the trip?"

Shun sank into the seat. He wished he could've talked to Ikki more about it but there just wasn't enough time. He looked over at Hyoga and strangely enough, he was looking back and seemed like he was willing to listen. "They told me, that Andromeda Island was like… "

"Hell?"

"Uh huh!"

"So how is it like," Hyoga paused, "that place."

Shun closed his eyes to remember the words of the guard. "Like, it's really, REALLY hot, but then it gets REALLY cold at night, he called it a desert and a frozen wasteland. I think he told me that there would be pirates and virgins too!"

Hyoga smirked a bit at the last detail. He leaned back and turned over to the window and watched as men take out the trash and women sweeping their front porches. "Where I'm going, it's always a frozen wasteland."

Shun leaned forward and clasped his hands. "You're not scared of being away from the warmth of Japan?"

"Scared? I hate the weather here. It's muggy and soccer is hard to play when there are mosquitoes all over the place, besides," he looked over to Shun, "It was where I was born."

Mr. R eyed the mirror and checked on the two boys. He looked over and panicked as the bus rear ended a tiny white van.

Shun and Hyoga lurched forward and grabbed the seat ahead of them.

Mr. R grumbled as he turned the bus off and slapped his hat over his bushy curly hair. Cursing life itself, he slammed the folding door shut.

Shun and Hyoga ran to the front and watched as Mr. R started arguing with a little old lady. Shun giggled while Hyoga smiled wildly at the scene before them. Mr. R was a lot louder and grumpier than they thought. They watched as their bus driver handed the lady a fat Kido check and turned around. The two snickered back to their seats.

Mr.R walked up the steps and turned over to the silent duo. Their eyes were wide as they both attempted a straight face. He lifted his sun glasses up to reveal a pair of tiny golden eyes. He sat back down, grabbed the key, and twisted it causing the engine to roar.

"Mr. R needs to learn to pay attention to the road," commented Hyoga as his tone reverted back to its laid back tone.

Shun turned to Hyoga. While he wasn't as friendly as Seiya, he did seem to know about living in an inhospitable environment. The two had over five hours of travel, it could be interesting to pick his brain and see what he could learn. "How is it like there?"

Hyoga turned his head, "in Siberia?"

"Uh huh!"

"Very," Hyoga smiled, "beautiful." His hands rose into the air as he closed his eyes and attempted to remember his homeland.

"The waters were always clean and clear. Sometimes, if you look down at the right spot during the right season it was almost like you could see the bottom of the ocean. It always snowed so any dirt or mud would always be covered with a blanket of white. People were always friendly. Unlike here where independence is always sought, the dependence on each other was all we had. Mama loved all those around her."

Hyoga partially opened his eyes as he leaned his long blond hair against the window. "She wanted to be a singer too. I and some of the residents would wander over to the middle of the frozen plains where she would perform for us. I remember when she took us out and as she sang, the aurora borealis came into view. She held her arms out and it was like God came down and granted her wings."

He looked down and reached into his bag. He pulled the book that he carried with him and opened it to the eighth page.

Shun looked down; it was just as he described. Various people with coats of fur surrounded a woman in white. Her long hair, oh how he loved long hair, it blew in the arctic wind in such perfect locks. Her voice to God and the lights behind her, it was almost like he was there except everyone else had a very sketchy appearance and some looked a little off color. But the angel in the middle was almost life like. He could see every lash in her eyes, the smaller details in the texture of her coat and fur and even small details like the French manicure of her fingers. Compared to the people around the picture it was almost like two different artists.

"She's… pretty…" Shun commented.

Hyoga turned to another page.

This one had a warmer appearance like it was in a cabin. The scribbled fireplace looked a little off due to the uneven shading of the oranges and reds. However, sitting in the middle of the picture was Hyoga's mother. Her blue eyes looked as if it was staring back and smiling straight back at him. Her skin was so well colored with the gentle light skin tinted with rose makeup. Her hair was braided back, he could see about every strand in her long hair to the point where he could even count the number of hair pins holding all of it up. The diamond necklace sparkled with the letter N in the center. She was so perfect in every way, but why was it that she was the only thing that seemed to be well drawn while everything else wasn't?

"Mama always loved to read "Little Women" by the fireplace," Hyoga blushed. His hand reached over and caressed the image's cheek.

For some reason, Shun was feeling a little uncomfortable.

Hyoga grinned as he flipped the book again. This time, rather than a memory, it only featured his mother herself. Her hands held a Christian Bible in one hand and a rosary in the other. The rosary was wrapped in her hand as she looked straight into his face. Her long hair curled gently in the back like a sea wave while a batch of pink, red and yellow roses made a circular border around her.

Hyoga was a good artist, but now it seemed like he was going off topic.

Hyoga turned another page. He looked down and saw it was a picture of her on a boat, wrapped in her fur coat.

"Where is…." Shun couldn't finish as Hyoga angrily grasped the sheet and ripped it out. He fervently tore it into shreds.

Hyoga grunted once as his face blasted out in anger before he returned to the page of her singing to the people. He smiled once and strangely enough was back to his calm self. "I don't recall ever doing that one."

Shun nodded. He was still a little confused at how someone could put so much work into a picture without remembering it but figured it was best not to question it. He looked over lifted up the page halfway. "What's this?"

Hyoga examined further. "Oh, that's 'Still Fruit'," his finger reached over and began to point out. "This one is supposed to be an orange but I'm not good with circles. It looked a little bit like a pear."

The green haired boy smiled. "Finally, something normal," he thought to himself until Hyoga lifted the rest. A lady like hand was holding a peeled banana as if it was coming towards him.

"Mama loved fruit. It was a rare treat to get. She told me that father would often import the fruit to her from all over the world. Bananas were her favorite; he went to all sorts of countries to ensure she got the best," Hyoga looked at the puzzled look at Shun's face. "I'm sorry, I'll stop," he turned away and started to watch the men working in the fields.

"You don't have to," replied Shun.

Hyoga sighed hard. "Shun, I… I… forget it!"

But he didn't want to. "I like looking at your Mom. She's pretty."

Hyoga rubbed his hand through his hair. "Stop being so god damn nice. If you don't like who I am, there's eleven more seats here, sit somewhere else," he forced his head even more toward the window. All he could see was the reflection of Shun as he stepped away and sat a few seats ahead. He closed his eyes and clutched the rosary under his shirt.

An hour went by. Hyoga looked over at the green haired boy. He quietly slumped in the seat ahead of him with his knees against the backside of the chair in front. He turned to his sketch book and looked at the picture of her by the fireplace. He cried as her eyes penetrated his. Her loving face brought so much comfort to him since living at the orphanage, "Mama, why can't anyone understand how much I love you?" He looked down at her face.

Shun folded his arms on his tiny chest. This was going to be a really long ride as he listened to Hyoga talking to himself. He felt guilty for his actions. He never meant to insult Hyoga. The worst part was that what would he do once he got to Andromeda Island? Who knew what type of people he would meet there? Ikki never really let him talk to the others unless he was okay with the situation. He told him once that he shouldn't be around them since everyone seemed messed up in a way. Of course, what did he expect when crowd control involved firing a gun in the air constantly or bringing out the dogs?

He looked at Hyoga as he cried over his pictures. Then he remembered of when they dragged him on the bus. Ikki was calm, told him straight what to do, and all he could do was cry and scream his name. In a way, was Ikki like the book that Hyoga carried? In the time he spent at the orphanage, Ikki was always there. It really was hard to be lonely at the orphanage. He had no happy memories but he had his brother. Hyoga only seemed to have his memories of his home and his mother.

He hated Jabu and his friends and through them he ignored Seiya, someone that he pretty much grew up with but never really attempted to know despite them being around the same age and growing up in the same bedroom for a couple of years. Then there was Hyoga, always dreaming and seemed like he was alone all the time. Hyoga had one thing that made it difficult at the orphanage; he was only half-Japanese. Even Ikki seemed to look down on him for it. People picked on him, but they turn Hyoga into a scapegoat whenever something awful happened. He never talked to him at all.

They seemed to get along up until he ripped the picture out of the book. Shun sat up and folded his hands. He wanted to try again. The problem is how does he make it back to Hyoga's seat? He thought hard about questions, comments, and the possible outcomes of the situation. Ikki was always good at thinking on the spot; Shun on the other hand needed a little time. In the end, he should just apologize and hope for the best. If he tried to side step what they had talked about earlier, it could only make Hyoga more apprehensive.

He stood up and made his way over to the back seat where Hyoga resided.

"Sit down!" shouted Mr.R from the front.

Shun ignored him. "Hi, Hyoga," Shun spoke quietly as the boy stared at the window.

To his surprise, Hyoga looked over at him. "Shun?"

Mr.R banged his fist on the horn. "DAMMIT! SIT DOWN!"

Shun looked around and was about to take the seat next to Hyoga; but suddenly Hyoga's hand grab his arm gently. Hyoga didn't say anything, but he seemed fine with sitting next to him. This was good. He sat next to Hyoga and looked at him.

"Hyoga, I'm sorry if I made you mad earlier. I really don't know what I did, but I do know that you were showing me something important to you, I think I should've…"

"Shun, just stop," Hyoga looked at him. "You shouldn't apologize, when you did nothing wrong," Hyoga held his book tighter. "You know, when I lived in Siberia, there was someone up there that made fun of me for being half-japanese. It didn't matter to me, because Mama was always there. When Mama was gone and I came to the orphanage, people started making fun of me; for being half-Russian. After awhile, I've always grown used to just defending myself all the time. Different circumstances, same questions all the time."

"What's wrong with you? I can't understand you, talk normal! Hee-O-Ga!"

Hyoga turned to Shun. "The worse was… whenever people masquerade kindness for hatred."

"What's that book! Wow these are good, but what's up with your mother! God, what are you, OBSESSED WITH HER? EWWW IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK OF UNDER THE LARGE TREE!"

Hyoga turned toward Shun. "But, when I think of it; your words, your passion, I thought: Maybe he genially thought she was pretty."

Shun nodded, "I did. I would never make fun of loving someone. I guess I got frustrated; when I knew more about your Mother than I did about you. It felt backwards."

Hyoga opened his book back to the picture of the fireplace. "Could you tell me, what makes her pretty?" He felt guilty opening the subject back on his mother, but to hear someone else talk about her touched him, "if you don't mind?"

Shun shook his head. "No, I don't," he looked at her a second time. Perhaps it was the fact that he wasn't being bombarded with pictures of her or maybe Hyoga was listening to his opinion rather than gushing over him looking at her. For some reason it was easier for him to look at her. "Her hair is so long and smooth; she sings, I like music, I never got to learn since there are no instruments here. Her eyes seem so gentle and kind. It's like she's really looking at me, but I think that's because you drew her so well in all of them."

Hyoga dreamily smiled, but then his smile slipped from a small crack to a chuckle. He then flipped through his book to the far back. He flipped the book toward Shun.

Shun's mouth dropped as he fell back laughing.

Years earlier

Ikki held the bottle at Shun. His thick eyebrows frowned harder as Shun kept spitting the rubber nipple back off. He looked at it and knocked its end onto his hand. Nothing was coming out.

Hyoga leaned against the tree as he quietly sat under its leaves trying to think of something new to draw. He watched as the two kids that arrived a week ago were surrounded by Nachi and Ban.

"Aww, looks like we got ourselves a new Mommy-Tot! So, what did they give you?" snickered Ban as he leaned down to Ikki and eyed the bag of crackers and formula.

Ikki grunted as he looked through the bottle. "What's the point in formula when you have nothing to heat the damn thing," he muttered as he rocked the bottle a little bit, watching it clump back and forth.

"Hey kid! He's a baby, he's allowed all the food he wants till he can walk! Give me some!" shouted Nachi.

Ignoring them, Ikki opened the bottle to look down through it as Shun's hands hungrily attempted to grab it until he pulled it away. "Shun, hold on, you can't have it yet."

"YO! Give it! At least the crackers! He can have the rest of that nasty shit!" grumbled Ban as he reached over.

Ikki looked over and grabbed him by the collar. "Here Shun, looks *whack* like *whack* we need to *whack* shake it some more," mumbled Ikki as he slammed the bottle back and forth against Ban's hard head.

Hyoga watched as Ikki pulled Ban in a chokehold and began banging the bottle against his head some more. Shun clapped as he watched the entire thing on Ikki's legs. Hyoga's pencil began to scribble furiously.

Nachi ran around and attempted to steal the crackers but Ikki grabbed his collar and threw him against Ban. The two were left stunned on the ground in front of the two.

Ikki turned to the bottle, pleased at how nice and smooth the texture looked, he stuck it into Shun's eager mouth.

The two slowly walked away from him until they noticed Hyoga writing something. They turned their attention to the blond boy. Nachi placed his hands on his hips. "What are YOU doing?"

Ban crossed his arms. "You're not going to tell anyone about this, are you?" he took his fist and slammed it against his other arm.

Hyoga placed his signature at the bottom of the image. His cool composure turned to them. "Not at all… I just think it's funny that even though you two act like you own this place, in truth… Ikki looks like he could probably take you both out."

"Pfft, he's a freaking Mommy-Tot."

Hyoga's eyes shifted. "Only until his brother can walk. Of course you know what happens then. He gets to train. Ikki won't have to worry about taking care of him and in a few years that little baby he has in his hands will grow up. THEN," he flipped his book over. "THEN, there will be two of them," Hyoga flipped his book and revealed on one side of the page was two over muscular youths, one that had Ikki's face and the other with Ikki's face but with green hair.

Shun wiped a tear off his face as Hyoga shrugged.

"Yeah, I don't think my prediction came true at all," smiled Hyoga. "You didn't even walk until you were like four; kind of ironic that you'd be the first to leave."

Shun shrugged. His brother wanted him to eat well. The rule at the orphanage was one meal a day except for babies. They were allowed as much as needed. He looked over at the top of the funny picture and saw a smaller picture of Ikki holding Shun as a baby. It was shoddy but it was the first time seeing an image of when he was little.

Hyoga looked at Shun. "You can't have that one," Hyoga reached out and pulled a pencil set and a fresh piece of paper. "Here, I've gotten better over the years, let me redraw it for you. Besides," he sat a knee up, "it'll give me something to do for the rest of the trip."

Shun watched as Hyoga began to focus on his art. "When did you start drawing?"

"Mmm, a few months after I got to the orphanage; it kept my mind busy," he replied.

A couple of hours had passed as the two small talked between each other. Hyoga despite having an accent knew over seven languages, three more than Shun knew unless you count his terrible English. Everyone was required to study Japanese as well as Greek and Latin at the orphanage. Neither one liked the "Greek Weeks" that Tatsumi arranged where all communication must consist of the Greco language or else you don't get your meal for the day. Hyoga also talked about how he's sure that they add something to the food to boost their nutritional needs. It probably explained why everything tasted like sand.

Shun explained what he and Seiya was doing in the room. To his surprise, he didn't even know that he and Ikki liked to sneak out at night into the soccer field to play with the dog and relax under the stars and sometimes would sleep under them until really early in the morning.

He asked if Shun was talking about the German shepherd and couldn't believe it was the same one. Often times Hyoga would pass by the window only to see it snarling and slobbering all over the place. One time its weight even cracked the glass due to how hard it slammed against it. "Mmm, you two like the stars?" muttered Hyoga.

"We do."

"Mmm, then maybe there will be something nice at Andromeda Island after all?"

"What do you mean?"

"If it's as desolate as you say it is, you'll find the sky a little starrier than usual," Hyoga began to put the finishing touches to Ikki's bushy eyebrows. "The pollution here is dreadful and the lights from the city can make it difficult to see the true beauty of the stars. In Siberia, it's the opposite, it's a lot cleaner and the sky is just amazing at night," he raised an eyebrow as his pencil curved around Ikki's arms, "at least if you can stand the cold."

"What do people wear? Is it fur like in the pictures?"

"Mmm, yes but the basic concept is to wear layers. Personally, I just throw something light or just go as I am since fur makes me sweat a lot. However, Mama always got worried when I don't bundle up so I did it anyways to make her happy again. Honestly though," he turned his head up as he stopped drawing. "I think it really has something to do with cosmos."

Shun cocked an eyebrow. "Cosmos, but Ikki said…"

"Let me guess, one of Tatsumi's lies?" Hyoga never really talked to Ikki, but its not uncommon in class for him to argue with the teacher and tell them it was a "Tatsumi/Kido lie".

"Uh huh, although to be honest, I'm not sure if Ikki's right this time either. I don't know," Shun thought hard on all the times he got mad. Something strange happens, something always got destroyed, he's lucky no one ever got hurt, but he got pretty close once.

Hyoga placed the art down on his lap. "I use to believe that too. Nothing ever good ever came out of Tatsumi's mouth. Although, the more I thought about it, it made me wonder, is this why I don't need to wear as much to survive the cold of Siberia? Everyone else is always bundled up but me. Mama told me that God must have his hands around me to provide warmth, because I was special. What if it was something else; after all, five hundred years ago the world believed that the Earth was flat; is it silly to think that it is more than divine intervention?" Hyoga shook his head as he gently pulled the image out. "But Mama is never wrong, I'm sure it is God keeping me warm."

Shun smiled. He never had a picture before. All he had was his mother's pendant and even that seemed to bring nothing but a void of emptiness for him. He almost cried, but he didn't want to get it wet. While it wasn't as beautiful as Hyoga's mother, it touched him. Ikki told him any photos they had were torched when their house caught on fire and their mother died peacefully in her sleep from smoke inhalation.

Hyoga looked over and could see the warehouse men working busily outside. Boats were parked by the ocean. Mr. R looked back and forth trying to find a place to park the bus.

"Thank you, Hyoga," smiled Shun.

"No problem."

The bus halted. "You two, come with me," shouted Mr.R as he kicked the door open. The two boys got out of their seats and grabbed their things. It was time for them to part ways.

Hyoga came out first, followed by Shun. This was probably the farthest he's ever been outside of the orphanage. He looked at the polluted waters. It smelled a little funny and damp. Mr. R marched down the harbor while looking on a sticky note.

"Shun your boat's over here. Get on it and bring this paper. It'll get you where you need to be," barked Mr.R.

Hyoga, familiar with overseas travel looked at it funny. "Mr. R, doesn't he need a passport if he's going to cross…"

"SILENCE! The Graude Foundation does not need such papers."

Hyoga shrugged. "Probably don't want on record where we are going," he thought.

Shun looked over at Hyoga as he approached the wooden crossing bridge. "Bye Hyoga," he smiled again and even bigger than before, "I hope you become a saint too!"

Hyoga closed his eyes. He pictured himself as a little boy as he would spend days staring at the ship below the surface and the thinner patch of ice that blocked him from his mother. "Good luck, Shun however I don't care if I become a Saint. I'll see my Mama and that's all that matters."

END OF PRELUDE

Part One: The Chain Gang of Andromeda Island

Chapter One: Sword and Friendship of Cepheus

Student and Teacher meet for the first time. Cepheus is quite kind to Shun. Why should he, who was born under Andromeda, have to fear from the man who was born under her father?

Can you feel your Cosmos Burn?