Bring on chapter three! I don't want to say much up here, so just read and enjoy. :3

xxx

Broken Like Me

Chapter Three

Broken Spirit and Racing Hearts

XXX

The sky was a bright blue, a major contrast to the way it had been for days before. It was refreshing, and it allowed true sunlight and warmth to spill over Ginji's dark skin.

Ginji was sprawled on the rooftop of his school, staring at the sky, lost in his own thoughts. His mind was cloudy, and he could not get himself to quit sighing. A bird flew into his vision, his bright brown eyes following it till he could no longer see it.

Ginji heard the door open, then a voice right after. "What are you doing up here all by yourself? Where's your friend?" A friendly voice spoke toward Ginji,who appeard to be a lump piled on the roof.

Ginji pushed himself up to his elbows, then looked over to see who had talked to him a few moments before. The person had long brown hair, pulled back in an odd ponytail. A loose white shirt was draped over feminine shoulders. "He's...not here today. Why are you up here, Kazuki?"

Kazuki allowed himself to shrug, then walked toward Ginji. "I figured you would be up here. You always are, but you generally have Midou with you." He looked at Ginji, slight concern welling in his eyes, but for Ginji. "Why isn't he here?"

Ginji turned away from Kazuki, focusing on the fence. "I don't know. He didn't tell me why." His voice was unusually quiet and seemed a little bit off somehow.

Kazuki knelt down to a sit beside Ginji, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Are you alright?"

Ginji continued to study the fence, not even slightly moving to Kazuki's touch. "I'm fine, Kazu-chan."

It was an obvious lie, and Kazuki could tell. Not only was Ginji being strangely quiet, he also had not attacked him with a hug as he usually did. An instant sign that something was wrong. "You can tell me, you know."

"Tell you what?"

"What's wrong. I won't judge you for whatever it is." Kazuki said, his voice trying to be as honest as he could sound.

Ginji knew that Kazuki would never say anything bad to Ginji about something that was truly bothering him, and he could trust him. He just did not know how to say what was wrong with him. It was too embarrassing. "It's really nothing, Kazu-chan. I'm probably just lonely cause Ban-chan isn't here." That most certainly was not a lie.

Kazuki pulled his hand away from Ginji, sighing a little bit. "You two have been attached since you've met."

Ginji let out a small chuckle. "Yeah, I guess so. I just haven't seen him in about four days, and he hasn't said anything to me. I guess I'm just a little concerned is all." More like worried sick. When Ban was not at school for days straight, it was never a good thing.

Kazuki let out a tiny sigh, standing up and brushing the dirt off of his slacks. He looked down at Ginji, who's expression was that of a small child about to cry. "Maybe you should go and visit him after school today?"

Ginji looked up at Kazuki, with bright brown eyes. "I can't." He turned to look down at the concrete once more.

"Why not?" Kazuki rose a slim brow, not seeming to understand what Ginji was saying.

Ginji wrapped his arms around his knees, speaking into his legs a little bit. "Ban doesn't like it when I go over to his place for some reason." He poked his lips out, letting out what had to be the thousandth sigh of the day.

Kazuki stood, staring at Ginji for a long while in pure silence. The sound of someone yelling in the courtyard below broke the silence, so Kazuki spoke. "How odd. I apologize for my nosiness, but do you happen to know why?"

Ginji yanked his head out of his knees, raising his voice at Kazuki. "I said for some reason, Kazuki. I don't know, okay?" His hands were clamping together so tightly to the point they turned white.

Ginji was frustrated, and angry, and confused. Normally he would not mind Kazuki being around him, but for some reason, he just did not want anyone around except for Ban, who was no where to be found. He wanted to punch something. Ginji wanted to punch someone. It was so unlike him to have the urge to do so, but the anxiety and panic that was forming in his stomach from Ban's absence was starting to do crazy things to him.

It had only been four days, but to Ginji, it felt like a year had gone by. He was unbelievably dependent on Ban. He did everything with him. It was hard for him to do anything without him by his side. At times, even breathing was difficult to do.

Ginji wanted to see Ban again. He needed to see him. It was crazy, how insane his withdrawals would get without him near. It was like a part of him was gone.

Ginji shook his head, shaking his loose blond spikes. He was being stupid. It was only four days after all. Only four.

An image of Ban soaking wet, and standing on his doorstep flashed through his mind in an instant. Ban appeared so...broken a few days ago. He seemed so helpless. So...desperate for something.

Only four days.

Suddenly Ginji let out a loud scream, his hands ruffling through his hair violently as he leapt up and ran through the door back into the school. Kazuki remained on the roof, a miniscule smirk upon his face.

Ginji gave in. It was final. He had to go and check on Ban, and the inconvenience of school and Ban's request to never go to his home were no longer relevant. Ginji skipped every other step to get down to the first floor and out of the school. He did not care that he would get marked absent for his last few classes, it was not like he never sluffed to begin with.

His heart was pounding out of his chest as he finally reached the front door of the school. He saw one of his friends, Shido, watch him and heard a faint voice calling to him, but Ginji refused to stop. He was going to see Ban that day, even if it killed him.

Ginji's heart hurt. His head hurt, and his body hurt, and...he just needed to get to Ban's house faster. He got off campus eventually, and took a quick right. His legs were beginning to burn, but it was alright, he could handle the minor pain. Trees and people wooshed by him in a long blur. His breathing was fast and heavy.

After reaching a spot somewhere deep in the city, Ginji finally stopped to catch his breath. He was pretty fit, but all of his panic was causing him to breath strangely and tire faster than usual. As soon as he could breath again, he looked up to capture his surroundings. Tall buildings and busy streets surrounded him.

He knew he was in Shinjuku...but he did not exactly know...where.

Ginji threw his hands up in the air. "Aaaaw craaaaap!" His voice was loud and desperate, and had that usual playful tone he usually held, but with a side hint of worry. "Where am I?" He slumped his shoulders, and looked around spastically, not recognizing the area. "Aw, if Ban were here he'd know where to go..."

He pouted as he began to walk across the street anyway, just letting his feet take him wherever. Sometimes they knew where he was going, while his mind really just did not. Ginji was the worst when it came to directions, and he had only been to Ban's house once or twice. It was no wonder why he had gotten lost.

Ginji mumbled to himself as he walked aimlessly through the streets. "Aw, man. I have no idea where I am." He lifted his head to look at the sky. The sun was still up pretty high, so he must had not been out for too long. It still did not help the fact that he had no idea where he was, though. "Baaaan. I don't remember where you live." He poked his lip out, and made strange noises as he passed by a large building.

When he lifted his head up once more, he noticed a few houses. A neighborhood. Ginji's feet began to move at the speed of lightning. Houses were a good sign. The place did not look super familiar to him, but there were houses. He had to be getting close.

Ginji glanced at each house that he passed by. They were not incredibly nice houses, but they certainly were not bad. They sat somewhere in the middle, a lot of them with decently kept lawns, and the occasional garden. It seemed homely enough.

He spotted an old lady doing some gardening and decided to call out to her and see if she knew anything. "Heeey! Hey! Granny!" Ginji trotted over toward her lawn, stopping on the side walk, waving excitedly, with a worried look on his face.

The lady turned slowly to see who had been shouting toward her, a gentle smile on her face. She placed her shovel down, and walked over to Ginji. Hands behind her back, she spoke to him in a quiet voice. "What is it young man?"

"My friend! I don't remember where he lives!" Ginji began hopping up and down. "I need to find him. Do you know someone named Ban around here?! He's about this tall," Ginji held his hand up to the side representing his height. ", and he has dark brown hair that is over his eyes. He sometimes wears bright purple shades that are rounded like this..." He cupped his hands around his eyes, making circles. "So have you seen him? Have you?"

The old lady stared intently at Ginji, trying to take in all the information at once. She chuckled lightly before she spoke. "Ban? What an unusual name your friend has. I don't know about the name...but I have seen a boy that seems like how you described your friend." She smiled a squinty smile.

Ginji's eyes went wide. "Really?!" He leapt up and placed his hands gently on her shoulders. "Do you know where you saw him? Around here? In this neighborhood? Which house? Do you know? Do you know Ma'am?"

She shook her head lightly. "I'm afraid I'm not sure which house, but I know that I have seen a boy like that around here sometimes."

Ginji's head dropped, and he let his hands slide off her fragile shoulders. "Oh." He smiled up at her a little bit, before turning around to look around the place some more. "Thank you anyways Granny!"

She waved lightly toward Ginji before shaking her head and smirking. "Kids sure do have a lot of energy..." She laughed as she picked up her shovel to get back to gardening.

Ginji let himself smile slightly. The lady did not know where Ban lived, but at least Ginji knew he was in the right area then. He sighed as he observed the houses nearby. Ban just had to be in one of them.

Most of the houses had no cars in the driveway, or had people on the lawn that Ginji did not recognize. He had looked through the neighborhood for a good thirty minutes since he had talked with the old lady, and he still was not sure which house could possibly be Ban's.

Growing tired, Ginji sat down on a curb, staring at his feet. He felt a bit defeated. He had tried as best he could so far to find Ban, but he just could not manage it. Ginji grumbled and crunched his hands together tightly against his knees. He was frustrated with himself and how he could not do something as simple as finding his best friend's house. Sure, he had only been there a few times, but he should at least be able to remember what it looked like.

"Maybe Ban is mad at me..." Ginji found himself talking to no one. "...or maybe I freaked him out a few days ago." His fingers traced his lips as they tingled in foolish remembrance. "I'm so stupid." He sighed once again, slumping over to lean his head on his legs, staring straight toward the gutter.

A few minutes passed with Ginji staying like that. He stood up eventually, and intended to look around some more, but was stopped cold with a loud shout nearby. It was too muddled for him to understand, but it was definitely an angry shout.

Not entirely sure why, Ginji began to run toward the shouting. His heart began pounding with anxiety once more. He ended up stopping in front of a slightly more worn down houses than the ones he had been looking at before. A slim woman was standing in the door, hands on her hips, and leaning over. She had light brown hair that flowed down her back like a calm river. A sight quite drastically opposite of what Ginji was hearing.

"Get out of my fucking house!" The voice seemed to belong to the woman in the door, as she had moved in a way that one would while yelling. "Get out now!" Ginji watched as she slammed her foot, in what had to be painful force, into the floor.

A sudden sound of glass breaking caused Ginji to jump and back away from the situation a bit. A strange sensation of fear began to crawl up his spine.

The screaming continued. "Listen to your mother, damn it! I didn't raise you to be so damn disrespectful! Now get the fuck out of my house, you piece of shit!" The voice was loud and booming, and probably more angry than it should had been. Ginji found himself begin to shake.

"Get outta my way then!" Ginji froze at the sound of that voice. The strange high pitch and stubbornness were extremely familiar. "If you want me out so bad, then move."

The deep loud voice began shouting again. "That is exactly why I want you to leave! That is no way to speak to her." Ginji had the sudden urge to turn around, and pretend he had never been there.

The familiar voice spoke once again, not nearly as loud as the other two, but still a good volume. "Move." Silence ensued for a brief moment before the same voice spoke with more intensity. "I said move!"

The slim woman in the door was violently pushed aside by someone, and it was exactly that someone that had caused Ginji to let out a small whimper he tried so hard to hold back. "B-Ban?"

Ginji was officially shaking then. He could not stop it, his body was doing it on its own. "Ban? Is-is that-why are you-what's going-" Ginji stuttered out of utter shock. He could not even slightly comprehend what had just happened in front of him. Ban did not just come out of that house. Ginji refused to believe it.

A tall man walked through the door, leaning to help his wife off of the ground. He lifted his head, piercing Ginji with his bright blue eyes. Something about the look was absolutely horrifying, causing Ginji's head to start spinning.

Ban was standing in the center of the lawn, hands braced into tight shaking fists at his side. There were dark marks all along his left arm, and his lip was bleeding. He focused on the concrete below Ginji's feet, and licked the blood from his lower lip.

Ginji's eyes went as wide as humanly possible at the sight. He had seen Ban bad, but never had he seen him that bad. Ever. Ginji's feet could not move, he was frozen stiff, too shocked to even think properly.

The tall man broke the silence. "Who the hell are you?"

Ginji actually shrunk down a bit at the man's voice. He looked over at Ban, then toward the man again, answering hesitantly. "Uh-um...My name is Ginji. I'm Ban's...friend."

The man actually scoffed at Ginji's response. Scoffed. "Friend? How could that low life of a son have friends?"

Son.

Ginji was stuck on that word. Did that man really just refer to Ban as his son? As in..that man was...that man was-No! There was no way in hell.

Ginji looked over at Ban again, who was still in the same position he was earlier, only more blood had fallen over his chin, and dripped on to his shirt. Ban appeared not to care about it, though.

Refusing to deal with the situation any longer, Ginji found the will power to run toward Ban, grab his hand and make their way away from the house. Ban showed little to no protest at Ginji's actions. The loud man shouted a few choice words as they ran off, but Ginji pushed them out of his mind best he could.

Ginji's mind was running at a thousand miles an hour, trying to get a grip on what he had just seen. He just could not believe anything from the past few minutes. He refrained from believing any of it to be the truth.

After they ran a few decent blocks away and ended up in a park, Ban tore his hand out of Ginji's grasp, and began screaming at him. "What the fucking hell Ginji?! I thought I told you to never, ever come over to my house! Why can't you listen to something so simple!?" He let out a loud grumble as he smacked Ginji hard on the shoulder.

"Ow! Ban! That really hurt!" Ginji held his hand up to his now throbbing shoulder, and looked at Ban with wide eyes. "I'm sorry, but you didn't come to school for so long! And...and...you didn't tell me anything! I was so worried about you! Why...why didn't you...just..." Ginji could not find the words. He was relieved he found Ban, but he still did not understand what had just happened.

Ginji's eyes were beginning to water as he stared at Ban, desperately trying to not burst into tears as he did so. Ban avoided Ginji's eyes, his bright blue orbs darting from side to side. "...Ginji..." His voice was shockingly soft and full of sudden concern. "Ginji...what you saw just now..." Ban's voice trailed off. He still could not bare to say anything to Ginji. Even though Ginji had seen part of it, Ban could still not say anything.

Ginji's voice hiccuped as tears began to roll down his puffy cheeks with none of his consent. He sniffled loudly, trying to make the crying stop, but could not. Ban was in so much pain. Ginji could hear it in his voice, and see it in his eyes...and see it on his skin. Ginji had always seen signs of suffering and anguish from his best friend. He had always wanted to hold him close and whisper in his ear that it was alright. That he could get through whatever it was. Ginji always had.

But it was impossible. Ginji could not do anything for Ban. That reality had haunted Ginji's dreams for years, and he hated it. Loathed it. But what was Ginji to do? He could not change the way it was. Ginji could not just magically make everything all better by whispering some meager words into Ban's ear. It was never that simple.

A soft hand was placed atop of Ginji's shaking shoulder. Bright brown eyes connected with blue ones. A slim finger flicked a salty tear from Ginji's face, and Ban spoke in a low voice. "Don't cry for me, you idiot. I'm not worth it." He smirked sadly.

Ginji shook his head rapidly. "Stop putting yourself down, Ban!" Another loud hiccup escaped Ginji as the tears continued to roll. "You-You always do that! I hate it! I hate how you always put yourself down like that! You-" Ginji sniffled, and stared intently into Ban's eyes. "You are worth it, Ban! You're worth it to me! So-so-just stop keeping secrets from me!"

Ban blinked a few times. His heart felt as if it had stopped, and a large lump was in his throat. He tried to shake it off. "Stop lying, Ginji!" Ban's voice was loud and demanding, but it had a strong sorrow to it. "Why the hell do you hang around me, anyways?!"

Ginji gasped inwardly at Ban's comment. "Stop doing that!" He yanked himself away from Ban, rubbing at his own eyes sloppily. "I'm not lying to you, Ban-chan!" Ginji stared at Ban's feet for a moment before his eyes slowly met with Ban's once more. "You're important to me. I don't want to see you be hurt anymore." His voice was quiet and sounded tired.

Ban slowly averted his eyes away from Ginji's, staring to his side. His heart was pounding profusely, and his left arm would not stop throbbing. He tightened his jaw, quietly listening to the sound of Ginji's sobs.

Ban was not sure what to say. He was never good at feelings or speaking in general. Never felt like he would ever need to be, but this moment made him feel like he should at least try. Someone was crying for him. No...not someone. His best friend was crying for him. Ginji was crying for him.

He brought his calloused hand up to Ginji's cheek once more, managing to calm him down a little bit. Ban softened his eyes as much as he could and began speaking. "Listen Ginji...I," His throat tightened more trying to get him to stop speaking, but he continued on anyway. "I never wanted you to see that." His jaw went slack. "Ever."

Ginji's watery eyes focused entirely on Ban's swirling blues. Ban's hand was starting to relax him, soothing his crying to a near stop. "I don't understand, Ban. What-what did I walk into?" Ginji's lips were in a tight frown, trying to figure everything out. "...and why-" He let his sentence hang, not feeling the need to actually state it out loud. Ban's wounds could speak for themselves.

Ban sighed loudly, sitting on the nearby bench. He folded his arms, his attitude beginning to come back slightly. "Hey, Ginji..."

Ginji looked down at Ban on the bench, deciding to sit beside him. Ginji scratched the back of his neck, feeling a sudden awkwardness as he looked at Ban with his peripheral vision. "Yeah Ban?" His voice was sort of quiet and he sniffled again.

Ban cocked his head to look at Ginji straight on. Their eyes locked instantly. Ginji's eyes were staring at Ban's confused. "You know..." The last word was barely even spoken, and Ginji's ears began to ring.

Ginji had his hands resting on the bench at his sides, arms stiff and strangely positioned. His crying had completely halted, but his heart began to pound rapidly. "What is it?"

"It's...just..." Ban just could not seem to finish a sentence suddenly, his eyes not breaking contact with Ginji's even once. A pale hand slithered its way over a dark one, nervously. The mood had taken a complete one eighty suddenly.

Ginj held in the urge to make an odd girlish squeal, the sensation of Ban's hand on his own causing a thousand emotions to run through his already buzzed mind. "B-Ban?"

Ban bit his lip, causing the blood to start slowly dripping down once more. He moved in closer to Ginji's face, stopping a mere inch away, allowing a small chuckle to escape him before landing a gentle kiss on Ginji's trembling lips.

Ginji pulled away in a start. The taste of blood was prominent on his lips, but he could not care less. He stared at Ban, who was now facing away from Ginji and scratching at his cheek in a nervous manor.

"I..." Ban started, voice trembling ever so slightly. "...Don't know why I did that." A very light hue of pink was spreading along Ban's ears. He laughed unevenly.

Ginji simply could not manage to get a hold of anything that had happened in the last hour or so. Nothing was making sense. He cleared his throat. "...That's okay, Ban. I'm not sure why I did that last time either..." Ginji scratched the back of his head, laughing lightly.

Ban turned and rose a brow at him. "Oh yeah, I was going to ask about that." He smirked.

Ginji threw his hands in front of his face, waving furiously. He was suddenly incredibly aware of himself. "No-no reason." Ginji abruptly stood off of the bench, and began to walk away. "We-we should go take care of your wounds, Ban."

Ban coughed into his hand, then wiped some blood off of his chin, shocked at how much there really was. He patted his hand onto his pants, the blood coming off on them. Standing up, he walked toward Ginji, and pulled at his arm, forcing him to turn around. "Ginji." His voice was stern, but not angry.

Ginji winced away, trying to avoid eye contact, but Ban forced him to face him with his other hand, Ginji refused to open his eyes however. "Ginji." Ban repeated. "Why did you kiss me last time?"

Ginji peaked at Ban with one eye, instantly shutting it again when he saw Ban's serious face. "But-but Ban, you just kissed me!" He once again waved a hand excitedly at his side, as if trying to make some childish point.

Ban made a weird noise, going silent for a moment, then gripping slightly tighter on Ginji's jaw as he tried to turn away from him. "That-That was just-" He stopped speaking for a moment, trying to figure out his reasoning. "That was to thank you."

Ginji opened his eyes to glower down at Ban a little bit, forcing himself out of Ban's grip, and throwing his hands behind him childishly. "You don't do that just to thank people, Ban!"

Ban turned his face away from Ginji, covering his mouth with his hand, then mumbled. "But, you were crying, idiot."

Ginji leaned in toward Ban. "What? You kissed me because I was crying?" Ban's face turned a shade of pink, and he turned away more.

"Sh-Shut up! Let's just forget the damn thing happened! I want to leave this park!" Ban tossed his hands into his pockets, then began to angrily make his way out of the park.

Ginji stood where he was for a moment, then trotted to walk beside Ban. For some odd reason, he was all smiles. He really should not be, as the situation not too long ago was pretty extreme, but he could not help it.

Ban did not come out and say it, but suddenly, Ginji just knew he was important to him. Perhaps, what Ban lacked in vocabulary, he would make up for with his actions. Even if they were near impossible to translate.

XXX

...aaaaand chapter three is finished. Yay for the super angst. Did I do the angst alright? I hope I did.

I really hope I didn't leap into the cute too suddenly...I just figured it seemed...well...Ban and Ginji like. They don't seem the type to want to dwell on depressing things for too long, and I figured Ban would be the first to change the subject in that sort of situation, since it directly involved him.

Don't worry, this is NOT the last chapter. If all goes well, this is only maybe half way through. Maybe. I found it hard to stop this chapter from getting any longer, actually. XDD

Anyways!

Review please! I want to know how I did with my angsty skills. *serious face*

Till next time...

~AkemiKae~