A Brother's Tears

"Onii-chan!" Honoka called out, running to her brother.

"Honoka..." Kenichi gasped as she embraced him. Ignoring the pain, he brought his sister close and cried. "Onii-chan...?" Honoka murmured. She knew Kenichi cried, but never like this.

"Kenichi?" Miu murmured. Kenichi did not seem to care if even his teachers were there, just as long as his little sister was safe in his arms. Sakaki and Koetsuji who had been observing the fight.

"Honey, just let him be..." Takeda told her quietly and sent a glare at Niijima as if daring him to taunt Kenichi about this.

"Baby, are you hurt?" Kenichi asked as he pulled away, checking her injuries while uselessly trying to wipe away his tears.

"N-no..." Honoka stammered, he had not called her 'baby' since he started junior high school. He pulled her close again. "What would I do if anything happened to you?" he sobbed, "I was so worried... I promised Tou-san... Kaa-san..." he sobbed then, "I almost thought I lost you... I'm sorry, Honoka, I'm so, so sorry."

It was then, she understood that Kenichi was apologising for his behaviour towards her the day before. "It's okay..." she murmured, "I always know Onii-chan would come save me..." Kenichi however cried harder.

"He still hasn't let her go?" Akisame questioned, observing the slumbering brother and sister in the dojo. "That poor kid," Sakaki murmured. While Kenichi had scared him a few times, he knew he could never be as scared as Kenichi was when his sister got kidnapped.

"Is this... what it's like... having a... big brother...?" Shigure wondered.

"Apa..." Apachai said almost confused, remembering Agaard was at one point like an older brother. But Agaard never held him the Kenichi was now holding Honoka.

"Hmm..." Ma Kensei hummed.

"What are you thinking, Kensei?" Akisame asked. "Nothing," the Chinese Kenpo master told him. In truth, it reminded him of the times Ma Sougetsu used to hold him when they were boys... when he first began to learn martial arts. It was also one of the rare times Sougetsu would cry, especially after they lost their parents to enemies all those years ago.

"I'll go inform their parents that Kenichi was lonely, so Honoka came over and is spending the night," Miu informed them.

"We'll walk you honey," Takeda told her, "Kenichi doesn't need another reason to cry." Ukita only nodded as he walked with them. They both knew Miu could protect herself but after seeing the way Kenichi reacted earlier, it was best to protect one another. For all they knew, as sappy as it sounded, Kenichi would probably see them more than just friends – unless you count Miu, whom he wished to protect someday.

They walked in silence for quite a while when the blue-head thought of something. "Heh," Takeda chuckled, "If I had brother like Kenichi I wouldn't worry about him so much."

"I've never known a big brother to cry," Ukita said.

"Kenichi doesn't like it when people see him cry," Miu murmured, remembering what Sakaki told her of the face he men can never to show the woman he cares about.

"Boys don't cry, Ukita," Takeda told him, "men do. Kenichi's been a man ever since his sister was born. She's the first source of his strength. He just did not realise it until today." The unsaid of growing number of source of strength hung in the air as the three advanced martial artist find their way to the Shirahama house.