Kaoru was shook gently awake; his eyes fluttered and his vision settled to see his mother's concerned eyes. "Mom?" Kaoru mumbled, moving his stiff limbs in a wide stretch.
"Oh, Kaoru. Thank God," Mom gushed, bundling Kaoru into a warm hug. "I was so worried."
When she pulled away, Kaoru sat up slowly, looking around. He was sitting on the maroon leather couch, covered in two heavy comforters, with Mom kneeling at the edge of the couch in her nightgown. A single lamp was on in the living room and no sun had yet appeared through the windows. Kaoru glanced over at the opposite couch.
"What happened?" Kaoru questioned, seeing his twin passed out. Hikaru was still on the couch, his face completely relaxed.
"You jumped out the window, honey," Mom responded quietly, patting and rubbing his hand affectionately.
Kaoru looked up at her with wide eyes. It was all coming back to him. He'd jumped, all because of that damn ghost girl. Kaoru glanced around the room, suddenly feeling fearful for his family. She could still be a threat.
"Hikaru went outside to check on you and…" She glanced over at her oldest son with a weary look on her face. Kaoru followed her gaze and watched Hikaru breathe softly into his blankets. "He just fainted next to you. It was the weirdest thing…"
Kaoru watched Hikaru for just a moment more, trying to figure out why that could happen to Hikaru, but he couldn't. Turning to back to his mother, he was surprised to find her looking at him expectantly. He tilted his head, raising an eyebrow.
"Kaoru," she addressed him, stilling playing with his hand, "Did something happen with Hikaru?"
His eyebrows quirked in surprise. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, that, uh… did he do something to you?"
Kaoru gaped, not understanding what she was trying to get. "I don't…"
"Never mind, never mind," she interrupted quickly. "I guess I was just seeing things."
They faltered into silence after that with Kaoru looking at his hands, while Mom went over to check on a still unconscious Hikaru. "How did you get us in the house?"
"Carried you," she said flippantly, adjusting the pillow underneath Hikaru.
Kaoru laughed. "What? Are you serious?"
She turned with a smile. "You aren't as light as you used to be but I'm stronger than you think."
"Apparently you're Super Woman," he joked.
Mom laughed with him but stood and crossed the room to the connected dining room, disappearing out of sight. When she came back she was holding a glass of water and an orange pill bottle. "Oh good, my meds," Kaoru said fleetingly.
Yuzuha dropped to her knees again by Kaoru and looked at him seriously this time. There was no more humor in her eyes. "You haven't been taking your medication have you?"
Kaoru looked down but then looked up again with a smile. "What are you talking about? Of course I have."
"I know when you are lying," she whispered. She placed the glass of water in Kaoru's hands. "And what else would possess you to jump out a window?"
Clutching the water until his knuckles turned white, Kaoru looked up at his mother. "It didn't help Mom. I could still see them… the people. They won't be going away anytime soon either."
Yuzuha sighed. "I understand Kaoru, but what you don't understand is that these things you are seeing are not real." Kaoru opened his mouth but Mom put her hand up to stop him. "They aren't," she insisted. "Just think about it Kaoru. Couldn't these people be just extensions of your mind? Don't they only tell you things you already know?"
Kaoru frowned, considering. She had a point there, maybe. Dad had never told him much of anything. "Then how did I know that a girl hung herself here twenty years ago?"
Mom gave him a look of complete sadness that caused Kaoru to suddenly feel empty. "Honey, I told you when we moved in."
He dropped back against the couch, completely stunned. Could it really…? Was he really crazy?
His eyes snapped to his mother, set in determination. "Give me the pills," he said, holding out his hands.
"Alright!" she cheered, opening the bottle. She grabbed out a single, large pill, and paused to say, "Just so you know, these are new pills. They should work better."
"Give it to me," Kaoru reasserted. If everyone wanted him to be normal, he would be normal. She placed the pill in his palm and he immediately downed it, washing it back with a large gulp of water. "Thanks," he murmured, giving the glass back to her.
"That's my boy." She kissed him lightly on the cheek and stood. "I'll be back in a bit."
"Okay," he said as he settled back into the blankets.
She left the room and her steps sounded softly into the kitchen. Immediately after, Dad appeared above Kaoru, taking Kaoru by surprise, and he didn't look too happy. "Dad!" Kaoru gasped, sitting up again. "Where have you been?"
"It doesn't matter. What I want to know is if you seriously just tried to jump out a window."
Kaoru paled but glared at his father. "It wouldn't have happened if you just came back to check on me once in a while."
"Well it isn't a problem now. I got rid of her," he growled back.
"You got rid of her? How?"
It's not important," Dad said, turning away and pacing to the other side of the room, near Hikaru. He glanced down at his other son almost longingly, and reached down but stopped, his hand hovering just above Hikaru's arm.
Kaoru huffed and stood; the blankets fell from his lap. "You know that you never tell me a damn thing. Never!"
Kiyoshi turned on Kaoru. "Only because I want to keep you safe!"
Kaoru shook his head. "I don't know anymore. Maybe Mom is right. Maybe I am just thinking I can see you."
Dad's eyes widened. "Kaoru…"
Suddenly Kiyoshi's ghost form flashed out of view, completely gone. Kaoru looked around in surprise. "What the-"
But then he was back, still standing in the same spot. "What just happened?" Dad asked.
"You just disappeared. Where did you go?"
"I didn't go anywhere…" Dad frowned. "You didn't. Tell me you didn't."
"I did," Kaoru replied with a smirk. "I took the anti-psychotic."
"You are going to regret this Kaoru! DO YOU HEAR ME?" His father roared. His ghostly voice rattled through the walls, shaking the house.
The sharp grip of terror snatched at Kaoru's heart and he took a step back. It was the first time he's ever been afraid of his father until now. "It's too late," Kaoru murmured and suddenly his father disappeared from sight once again.
Kaoru dropped down onto the couch and gripped the arm rest. "What the hell was that?" he whispered. He's never seen his father angry before…
Hikaru's eyes widened as he watched Kaoru yell at the man in the middle of the room. Who was this man? He had awoken to the guy standing above him but turning away to talk Kaoru…
Kaoru was yelling back and suddenly the two of them dropped into silence, staring at each other. And then…
"What just happened?"
"You just disappeared. Where did you go?"
The yelling continued until suddenly, Kaoru dropped down onto the couch. He didn't seem to notice the man still trying to yell at Kaoru, reaching for his neck. It was like he was invisible to Kaoru… But Hikaru could still see him.
Hikaru closed his eyes again. Willing it all to be a dream.
Hey guys! I also started a new OHSHC story called Sanity's Edge. It includes Evil!Kaoru for those who voted for it.
I also have one of my stories up on Kindle! WOO! It is a romance story. You will find it under Kindle books on Amazon by searching "For The One I Love" by Anna Plekkenpol.