Tower of Flames

Takes place in ep. 13

Pairing: Kaito x Rook

Rating: T, I guess.

It was dark and warm, but not enough to make him sweat. The flames from below gave enough light to illuminate Rook's face as he said that he was the one responsible for giving Kaito all the Kenja Puzzles thus far; and they gave enough light for that 'red moon', as Anna would put it, to see the surprise in his blue sun's face.

It was priceless to see it. He had been waiting for this day—when he could tell Kaito that it was his doing all along, when he'd see Kaito solve this much of a dangerous puzzle for him, and when he could tell Kaito finally how truly beautiful he was when he was solving puzzles.

But even behind that sinister smile and that cynical look, it hurt. As Brook stepped on what his friend had called 'Nonoha Sweets', he felt a bit of joy and hurt surging through him—that joy was probably from destroying what this girl gave him, whoever she was; and the hurt from seeing him flinch and back away with such a look of fear on his face.

"You should have abandoned me!" The words came out so naturally, like it had been rehearsed a thousand times for this meeting. And yes, maybe he had been waiting so much for this day that he had almost made a script about it. But the words stung him more, if not as much, as it stung Kaito. It didn't even make any sense to him.

"What are you… What are you saying, Rook!" Kaito asked. He received a chuckle... and the answer that he never wished he heard right.

"You still don't understand? I'm a Giver… A POG Giver."

"You're lying!" Kaito said as flames whirled around them suddenly, but neither seemed to notice or care. "You're lying, you're lying, you're lying!" The words repeated themselves, as if saying them more than once would make it come true.

And oh, if only it would, Rook thought as he gave another chuckle. "You don't believe me? Or you don't want to believe me?" he asked. His voice turned serious. "Daimon Kaito, I have this order for you. Become Phi Brain, unlock the puzzle of gods… for me."

The raven's reaction was expected, but Rook was caught off-guard at the random timing of the question. "What is this…? What the hell happened to you!" Kaito asked him. But he ignored it. Wasn't his primary goal here to rev up Kaito and let him know the truth, or at least a part of it?

But then again, he wanted to ask himself that as well… What did happen to him? Why was he hurting his best and only friend? What was the point he was trying to get across to this stubborn blue sun? He had been jealous, hadn't he—that that man preferred Kaito over him? And Kaito had been given a puzzle like this, too, hadn't he—the one where he was to point out the three nonpoisonous apples from the other four? Though that numerical bit wasn't mentioned, it was still a dangerous one… Yet Kaito had made it through. He somehow escaped the puzzle which that low-ranking idiot thought to be inescapable. He made what was thought to be impossible possible.

That was what triggered it. That was what made him so eager to see Kaito and give him the Fool's Puzzle. That was what made him want to personally see how truly beautiful Kaito was when he was deciphering them. And that's probably one reason why they were right here right now, standing vis-à-vis with flames encircling them, rising the temperature while they stared at each other and talked.

"For this to happen, you must first solve an even more difficult Fool's Puzzle for me," Rook continued. He saw the astonishment in Kaito's eyes once more. He probably had never thought that there would be more. "You are not allowed to refuse. That is because you are currently in the palm of POG's hands."

Then the floor cracked beneath the raven's feet. Worry flooded Rook but he made sure it wouldn't show. And he made his explanation shorter so they would still have time to make it out of here each in one piece.

"If you follow my orders and clear the next stage, you can abandon all else and become the Phi Brain. And when you do, you will meet Jin," he said. Then another cynical smile flashed on his face. "Kaito…"

"You…" Hints of feeling betrayed and disappointment were visible just from looking at Kaito's face, other than disbelief, shock and the thousand unwavering questions of 'why'. His eyes seemed to lose their usual glow and Rook had worried that the other might have been shocked too much and couldn't take any more.

As the blue sun spoke that one word, the chains holding their floor up broke apart, causing Kaito's side to fall. And as the raven tried to find his balance, the cracked floor on which he stepped upon finally shattered. Gravity pulled Kaito down and Rook could only swear before he ran and jumped to save his beautiful solver.

He put the raven down on the cold pavement after he had somehow landed safely and escaped the crumbling structure. He ignored the bug he saw on Kaito's vest and walked away. Luckily, the rain was hard enough and Kaito's first Fool's Puzzle would soon be saved from those flames; and they both could use the cold water to cool off even when one was unconscious.

'A Kaito who dies by the hand of this level of puzzle is not my Kaito. I will rescue him this time... But there won't be a second time…'

The thoughts came to him in a bitter voice, smug at the end. Rook bit his lip once he had walked far enough. He stopped in his tracks and looked up, one eye exposed to the pouring rain. Was it inevitable that he would become the person to hurt Kaito the most? Couldn't fate have given his position to someone else? Couldn't he just be another one of those friends Kaito had been with for the past nine years?

He wanted for so many things—to take care of the other and grow with him, to develop with him as a Giver and Solver, to tell the other how he felt, to love him and laugh with him and give him that promised Kumiki Puzzle and more… But fate, no, god had chosen a different path for them… for him.

Rook let the tears fall from his eyes as he stared at the vast grey sky. He wept along with it. But he choked back his sobs, unlike the sky that roared out its thunder. He was not open to emotions. He had not been trained that way. They never made for him to grow that way either.

All those smiles he had shown to Kaito since they have last been reunited were lies, as he would convince himself. All those times he had called the other's name, all those glances of passion, all those thoughts—lies, all of them were lies, and at the same time, the truth. He once considered their friendship a lie as well, only to realize that he could use it to lure out Kaito, who was coincidentally the Phi Brain, and use it to his advantage.

With the stubborn, silly raven unsuspecting that he could be capable of such business, then it would be easy. And yes, it had been easy. Too easy…

Still, Kaito proved himself today. Clearly, more hardships would stand in his way, more puzzles with no treasures, more meetings for the both of them… more heartbreaking words. Whether the words would apply to both the parties or only on one, it didn't really matter much right now.

What was done is done and Rook can only stare at the grey sky and wish for a better future for the both of them. Be it something that would be worth another nine years' wait or not, he greatly wished for more time for the both of them to be just together like the old times… to forget and to forgive, to play around, to make puzzles and solve them… and to love.

And that's how I've decided to end it.

Forgive me if it's a little inconsistent or if I've left it a little hanging. But I've only been writing this on and off in a week. And I'm not quite contented with it yet… For now, this would do since I'm getting a little too impatient to post it up.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed :D

Reviews are loved.