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Pieces


light…

Had she ever woken up to that before?

darkness…

That was something she knew very well. The darkness of being alone. The darkness of having lost so much, of having it taken away from oneself. It was numbing and terrifying and horrible and it drove you to insanity.

But for some reason the darkness wasn't there. Everything was light. Not white, but light. There was nothing but warmth and a feeling of finally being home – of belonging. She felt like she could relax, like all the pain of the world had finally disappeared. Had she finally died? Had she finally left that horrible place called life?

Was she finally able to find her way back to them? To the Hoshos? To Sachi… to her real parents? To… him?

But she had done too many horrible things to ever deserve to be with them again…

wind…

grass on her cheek

warmth…

Everything was green and blue. A strong wind blew and hit her face and then died. Where was she? She couldn't see anything but grass and a few stray trees. Flowers seemed to appear out of nowhere. She felt clean, as if every sin she had been part of was slowly flowing from her body like water.

The air smelled clean. There was no stench of blood … no sound in the air. No screams, no nothing.

She looked down at herself. She was sitting on her knees in the grass, her hands were her own. No mutation. Her arm was as it should have been all along. Had she really died? Was she finally free?

"… Aiko?"

She felt herself flinch.

That voice couldn't possibly be…

Something hit her back and arms embraced her from behind.

warmth…

"They told me to go pick someone up who had died a terrible death, but I didn't think…" he stopped himself. His arms squeezed her tighter. It seemed he didn't quite know how to say anything to her.

He had protected her with his life, like she had protected him. But she had survived that… she had survived almost everything, become a monster. She had sought the light she was never really able to get. Every time she received a speck of light, it shattered in her hands. But now… would this really last…?

"…Sudou-san?" Her jaw clenched and tears fell on his arms. "Am I really…? Are we really…?" she couldn't finish her sentence. What if the illusion shattered?

"Hey. I know this sounds a bit weird, but you are dead. There is nothing to fear anymore."

"But I've… but I've…" her hands reached his and she broke down. She wasn't meant to be here. She had killed too many people! She had become a monster who craved it.

"It wasn't your fault, Aiko," he whispered, but his voice broke too. "It was never your fault. They used you. They used your parents. Who are – by the way – waiting for you. No one without intention to do evil will ever be punished for it. The Fates knew what torture you have gone through. They had prepared for it for many years."

The tears still sprung from her eyes for a while, but he was patient and kind and he would wait until she had calmed down. It was good for her to get it all out. He had cried, himself, when he had woken here. It had been his mother who had met him here.

"Can I really belong here?" she finally whispered.

"Of course," he said and slowly let go of her only to grab her hand and force her to stand. "Everyone belongs here. We meet the people we love here. The ones we lost. How can we not belong here?"

He frowned as he looked at her. She was older now, probably in the end of her teens or beginning of her twenties. It had taken them some years to kill her it seemed. She was still wearing that terrified expression. She was still looking as sad as she had the last time he had seen her.

"Come on, Aiko," he sighed. "You promised me a smile, didn't you?"

Her eyes widened and she met his gaze. She was shocked that he had remembered, but he had. That kid had said that she would look cute if she smiled, and he was sure she would. If she would just…

"You remembered?"

"Of course."

"Why?"

"'Cause I want to see it."

"Why?"

He laughed. "Does it matter?"

"Yes."

"It's a secret."

"Will you tell me some day?"

"If you smile."

It was funny to see how she didn't realize it, but her face was slowly brightening. She was starting to believe him. Good.

"What's that I see on your face now?" he said and smirked.

She looked taken aback, but she had felt it too. Her eyes widened a tiny bit and her shoulders relaxed. "You'll have to tell me."

"I don't know," he started to walk and she seemed to follow him easily. "It hasn't developed completely yet."

"Did you get to meet Nana?"

He stopped and stared at her. "Why? Are you jealous?"

Her cheeks reddened and she looked away. "N-no- not at all! Why would I be jealous?" She turned to glare at him. "And stop teasing me!"

"Oh! So she can be other things than terrified and sad!" he exclaimed and laughed at her horrified expression.

But then her face brightened and she laughed along with him.

Warmth filled her and she almost wanted to cry again. It had been so long since laughter had bubbled from her stomach. Everything fell into place then as if the pieces of her heart had finally been reattached. She felt like she could finally breathe freely. She could smile and be happy.

He caught her in another hug then. He held her so tightly that she couldn't even move in his grasp. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"I should keep my promise too," he continued, and then he whispered his secret in her ear.


It has been a LONG while since I cried because of a manga, but I did with this. I seriously hope that she dies. Not because I hate her, but I feel so sorry for her and I just KNOW that whoever is responsible for everything that happens will give her a better second life.

That's all I have to say.

Bye for now

- Pen