Thanks so much for the reviews! :D Here's chapter two - Gen's back. Please enjoy and review!


Chapter Two:


Gen felt pain; a deep agonizing pain, as if he were being torn apart. His limbs screamed with pain, his every cell burned with a terrible agony. He opened his jaws; intending to scream his hurting, but his voice was gone.

Torture was the only word he could think of to describe the hellish pain that had suddenly crashed over him, pulling him into its depths like a hungry wave.

It felt as if tiny hooks had been driven into his flesh and had begun to extract something from his being. Gen shuddered, clasping his head between his hands as if the gesture would offer him refuge from the storm of pain.

Help me…

Then, the agony passed; vanishing as suddenly as it had come. Gen untangled his hands from his hair and let them fall to the ground. He looked about, green eyes widening slightly as he took in his surroundings.

Karasumori had brought him back to life; he was no longer in world of the departed. The sky was black, studded with stars. Grass feathered the ground beneath him. Sakura trees proudly displayed their vibrant blossoms.

Definitely Earth... probably still Japan… Gen stood from his crouched position, swaying unsteadily. There was something vaguely familiar about the place… a half-constructed memory prodded at Gen from the confused mass of thoughts that occupied his brain.

I should remember this place… I know I should. Gen took a few steps. He felt strangely unstable, heavy and awkward.

He shook his head attempting to clear it. His memory was a mess. Snatches of conversation, glimpses of images and flickers of emotions were all he experienced as he tried to recall his Earth life. Whatever Kasasumori had done to restore him had thrown his memories into disarray.

Gen pushed aside his concerns over his broken memories and scanned his surroundings. He blinked, catching sight of the corner of a building in the distance. A large, multi-story building that looked as if it could have been a…

School.

With that realization memories flickered, sorting themselves from the tangled mess of thoughts. Gen recognized this place. He knew where he was.

"Karasumori." The half-ayakashi froze, startled by his own voice. It was too deep… wrong for a human voice.

He glanced down at himself. He was definitely not human. Thick sable fur coated his body. Wicked claws glinted coldly in the moonlight. A fluffy tail swayed silently behind him. Alarm caused his dark fur to bristle.

"I'm an ayakashi." He breathed.

He scanned his torso again, searching for the flame tattoo that was meant to keep his ayakashi side suppressed. It was gone. Gen felt panic slither over him and shut his eyes. He focused his breathing in an attempt to slow his hammering heart. He probed his mind; searching for his humanity. If he could locate it, he would be able to revert back to his human form…

"Over there!" A feminine voice interrupted his meditation.

Gen's eyes flashed open. A figure was running towards him, through the grove of sakura trees.

"I see it!" Another voice spoke, this one male. A second figure appeared, swiftly trailing the first.

Gen reacted on instinct. A growl reverberated within his chest as he leaped upwards, landing on a tree branch. His eyes narrowed as he watched the figures approach. They stopped, mere yards from his tree and looked around obviously confused.

"It was here a second ago…" The female sounded perplexed, she scanned the bushes, tensed as if she was expecting him to leap out at any moment.

"I saw it too…" The male's stance was faintly protective. He stood in front of the female, his hands clenched.

"It's close, Honey." Something else spoke. Gen's ears twitched in surprise. He had only detected the two of them. He focused, his eyes becoming little more than green slits. Ah, ayakashi. Accompanying the humans was two ayakashi. Gen sniffed, his head tilting in confusion. The companions were not fully ayakashi. They're dark nature was being suppressed. Gen was only given the briefest of moments to puzzle over the not-quite-ayakashi before he found his gaze had been met by the male human's.

"There it is! In the tree!"

Gen stiffened.

"Hoi! Joso! Ketsu!" Gen had no time to react; a blue cube enclosed him. He bristled, feeling a rage press down upon him. I will not be captured. The animalistic instinct to avoid capture accompanied the rage that had descended upon him.

Gen howled-a chilling sound that echoed throughout the trees. His claws extended and his lips pealed back to reveal a row of razor sharp canines. I will not be captured. He mentally repeated as his eyes locked on wall of the cube. He struck at the barrier—but his claws bounced harmlessly off. Snarling now, Gen struck again, and again.

"Yoshi! Destroy it!" The female had approached, two fingers held just below her chin.

Gen paused at her voice, his head tilting quizzically. This human… something about her was familiar.

"There's something not right about this ayakashi… it feels too human…" The male gestured downwards with his hand and Gen's cube landed harshly on the ground. The jolt was enough to start up his rage again. He lunged for the boy teeth bared in a vicious growl. Once again the cube contained him, flexing to bounce him back into the center of his prison.

The boy knelt, just outside of Gen's cube. Gen lowered his head; still growling, but with less intensity. This human, like the girl, was familiar to him. The boy looked to be in his older teens with dark shaggy hair that looked as if it hadn't seen a brush in weeks. He wore a strange robe and his left ear was pierced. The boy pressed his hand to the cube and Gen could see a single square on his palm.

The girl approached, cautiously. Her fingers were still poised and her eyes never left him. Something about the way she walked commanded respect. She stopped short, her eyes growing wide.

"Yoshi, that looks like…"

The boy frowned slightly. He ran a hand through his mass of tangles. "Gen." He whispered.

Gen flinched at his name. How on earth did these humans know it? His growling resumed.

"Shut up, Gen. Don't you recognize us? Its Yoshimori, and Tokine." The boy, Yoshimori, spoke softly, soothingly. Gen didn't like it. He snarled and lunged. The cube reflected his attack, and the boy did not flinch away.

"Yoshi, he doesn't recognize us. I don't think that's Gen. Gen's dead." The girl, Tokine, rested a careful hand upon Yoshi's shoulder. "It just looks like Gen. We've seen plenty of ayakashi that resemble him since he died."

Yoshimori pulled away, turning away from Gen to look at Tokine. "I'm sure this is him, Tokine. Just look at him."

Tokine glanced at him again, her gaze traveling over him. Gen felt kneaded his paws uncomfortably. He was unsure. These humans knew his name, and they stirred a hidden memory in the back of his mind. He could feel his mind struggling to free the memory.

"I don't think so. It doesn't look like Gen would at all. Gen wouldn't be trying to attack you." Tokine murmured.

Yoshimori's shoulders tensed. "This is Gen. I know it. I'll prove it."

He whirled to face Gen. Determination was etched into his features. He raised his fingers, his gaze locked on Gen's.

"Metsu."

Gen's cube exploded.