A/N: When I noticed that fanfiction had added the characters of Setsu and Cain to the Skip Beat! character filter there weren't any entries with those two listed as the main characters. Now there are, but I was hoping to be "Inb4 bad grammar and pointless lemons"!
(Let me know if any of my grammar is wrong. I'll be mortified, but I'd rather know and fix than present it to the people of the internet for ridicule.)
Disclaimer- I do not own anything Skip Beat! related.
They left in the middle of the night.
The sky was overcast and a warm breeze brought with it the smell of rain.
It was quiet, too quiet to start-up the motorcycle so close to the house; they walked, silently, down the driveway to the road, Cain pushing their vehicle.
Setsu had promised herself that she wouldn't look back. She didn't want to see the prison that had held her captive for two years. She didn't want to think of the lonely months that had passed when her elder brother left with no word of warning. She didn't want to remember the deep, throbbing pain that came with the knowledge that the person who meant the most had abandoned her.
In the last few hours she'd come to understand that his actions had been necessary. She wouldn't have been able to lie convincingly if she'd known of his real plans and it had been imperative that their parents believe his absence to be permanent.
The slumbering adults had feared the relationship shared by their son and daughter. It was entirely improper. They had been relieved when their eldest child left home. They kept Setsuka in the house, bringing in private tutors, as well as psychologists, to work with her, hoping that her strange obsession with her dangerous sibling could be altered. However, it had soon become clear that there was no helping her. She was devastated by his disappearance and locked herself away in a distant corner of her mind. Nothing they did, no one who came to see her, made a difference. She refused to respond.
The children had always preferred the company of one another over that of others. In their earlier days it had been endearing, sweet to see the big brother taking care of his little sister, but as they grew older the admiration and adoration became disturbing.
The concerns began when Setsu, at the age of nine, declared that she would one day marry nii-san. She'd done the same before, when she was very young, and at the time it had been acceptable, but no longer. She'd been stunned by the reaction of her parents who'd shouted, demanding that she outgrow her childish way of clinging to her brother. They yelled at Cain, who was thirteen, for encouraging her behavior, for never telling her that it was unfitting of a girl her stature and for allowing her to continue to seek his companionship when she ought to be spending time with children her own age.
Setsuka's anger at the accusations, and her resolution to remain steadfast, were absolute. She didn't like people her age, didn't want them for friends. Cain was the only person she needed. No one would keep her from him. It didn't matter what anyone thought. He was her most important man. There could never be anyone else for her.
When he began to shun the middle class lifestyle of their family she did the same. As he grew into a dark, cold, brooding teenager she followed after him.
Her mother slapped her when she returned home from school with pink highlights in her long, blond hair.
Her father lost his mind when Cain kissed her on the lips in full view of the neighbors.
They were never allowed to leave home alone, never permitted to go anywhere unaccompanied or together. Every effort to keep them apart was made and yet they seemed to be growing closer than ever. It was in the way they looked at and spoke to one another. It disgusted their parents who often spoke, in condescending tones, of how the grossly inappropriate behavior would not be tolerated by society.
"You are looked upon with revulsion by your peers," their mother yelled at Setsuka after she had failed to be invited to the party of a popular classmate. "You are shunned and hated!"
"Neither of you will get a thing when we pass," warned their father, anger blazing in his eyes. "Cain has already been written out of the will. I refuse to have our family name polluted in this way!"
The night Cain turned sixteen he left home without informing a soul of his plans.
No attempt to find him was made. Mr. and Mrs. Heel were glad to be rid of him and the control he exerted over his impressionable sister. Even when it became apparent that she was damaged beyond repair they thanked their lucky stars that he was gone. She would have to be sent away of course, but that was a small sacrifice and easily explained when compared to the direction things had been heading.
There was no contact from him. No letters, no phone calls, nothing at all to indicate his whereabouts or safety and the adult Heels didn't care. It broke Setsuka's heart to be left in the dark this way. She spent the hours thinking of him.
His bedroom had been transformed into an office space only days after his departure, all the things he'd left thrown out. He hadn't taken much. His wallet was gone, as well as a few changes of clothes. He'd left his pictures of her behind; they were sent through a paper shredder and burned.
She wondered if he'd thought this would be good for her. Perhaps the accusations of their parents had finally gotten to be too much for him to handle. Maybe he didn't love her the way she'd thought he did.
Whatever the case he'd been gone and she'd been despondent.
Now, in the inky blackness that came with the early hours of a new day, she was with him once more. She had so many things to say, so many questions to ask and yet found that she was incapable of making a sound.
He'd broken into the house, come to her bedroom and woken her from the living nightmare.
She hadn't believed it. It had to be a dream. He wasn't really there, sitting on the edge of her bed. He wasn't really there, pulling her into his arms as she sobbed uncontrollably. He wasn't really there, kissing away the tears, stroking her hair and telling her that he loved her.
It was a dream, she told herself. Even as they walked away from the house she refused to believe that it could be true. She would wake and find herself alone. She couldn't be happy because it wasn't real.
And yet she was. How could she not be? Though she was convinced that this was a product of her imagination it was worth the sadness that would come later. It felt real. The gravel on the ground. The light mist that had begun to fall. The houses that were growing further and further apart as they continued walking. It all seemed like reality.
She glanced at him. His strong jaw line, dark hair, perfect nose and beautiful lips were all the same. His eyes though, they seemed different. Darker then she remembered. Angrier.
"Ni – Nii-san," she stuttered, looking to the ground. "I—I mean, I just... Never mind." She didn't know what to say. It had been so long and if, by some miracle, this wasn't a dream she didn't want to ruin their reunion with a silly comment.
He was so grown-up. Already eighteen. He'd been on his own for two years. What had she been doing? Soaking in misery and living in her mind. She had done nothing with herself. She hadn't even continued her studies. She was still a child.
Her hair had been cut and she'd lost weight during their time apart. Missing from her blue eyes was the sparkle that he loved so dearly and she'd yet to speak a full sentence.
Seeing her so obviously hurt brought Cain profound sadness.
Leaving her had been the hardest thing he'd ever done, but it was necessary. He couldn't take care of her. He'd needed to establish himself before he could return. It had taken longer than he'd wanted it to, but less time than he'd thought it would. Two years. Two years to work his way to the top in an underground fighting ring so that he could afford to give her everything she deserved while trying to find a way into the acting world.
She hadn't known of his objective and it was clear that the secret had taken its toll.
Upon his return he'd gone first to the safe in his father's study where he knew Setsuka's passport was kept. After retrieving that vital piece of luggage he'd moved to her bedroom to find his imouto fast asleep.
He'd watched her for a time, taking in her cropped hair and sunken appearance. At fifteen, nearing sixteen, she should have been a beauty beyond compare but, though there were hints of the potential, her hollow cheeks and too thin limbs left much to be desired.
Truly he had wanted to kill their parents. Cain was violent by nature and in the last two years had found himself in situations calling for intense actions. He did not shy away from challenge nor was he prone to forgive offense, but this was not the time. Setsu had to come first.
Her reaction to his return had not been unexpected, but when her grip was not as strong as it once had been, when he noted how badly cut her hair was, he found himself fighting to remain sane enough to get her out.
Once she'd filled a backpack with general necessities he'd led her from the house. They didn't leave a note, no contact information or hint of where she'd gone. He couldn't have cared less about whatever worry their parents might have; it was likely they wouldn't even report her missing. She'd been regarded as a burden and he knew they would be glad to be rid of her, just as they had been of him.
They reached the main road, far from the development that their childhood house had been built in over a decade ago. Neither mourned the loss; the building had never been home.
He placed a helmet, black with delicate pink swirls, over his sister's head and, once seated himself, helped her onto the bike, securing her arms around his middle.
As they sped off down the road, turning onto the highway and headed in the direction of the airport, Cain breathed a sigh of relief. Setsu clung to him as night drifted into day. Time was passing, already they had been together for an hour, and would continue to do so. They would have days, weeks, years together. There would be no one to separate them, no one to berate them for emotions they held no control over. Everything he did would be for her and she would know, without a doubt, that he could never love another.
They weren't where he wanted them to be yet, but he would do his damnedest to get them there.