Mochizuki was beginning to understand how his friend must have been feeling for all this time as he himself was beginning to withdraw from everyone, the pain of losing his family overwhelming. After having believed that the Calamity had finally ended it came as a huge shock to realise that it may not have, that he could be next, that Teshigawara and his family may be next.

The dull-haired boy was curled up in the blond's bed, his eyes staring blankly ahead of him. He blinked every now and then, trying to return to reality, but it was easier said than done.


Mochizuki was still for a few seconds before he shifted, rolling over to glance at Kagome. His lips were curled downwards, the acknowledgement that he had to replace his mother with someone else's hurting like a physical wound.

"Mochizuki-kun, Naoya has made lunch for you," the woman explained as she stepped into the room to sit beside her child's best friend. "He wants to apologise for everything he could possibly have done to cause you hurt."

Mochizuki sighed before he replied in a lifeless voice. "...I can't... I can't help this... My... My sister is dead, and... My own mother doesn't want me now... Can't he... get it...? It's too much..."

Kagome reached out, wrapping her arms around the reddish-brown haired boy. She placed a gentle kiss on his forehead, trying to decide what she should say. "...I understand that it must hurt for you for this to have happened, but... you've helped Naoya understand that... he's been hurting everyone he loves, too... He doesn't want you to go the way he had, and... if you would let him, he'd... help you as much as he can..."

Tears welled up in Mochizuki's eyes, unable to reply to these words. It was true that he had been trying to help Teshigawara, but did he really deserve the help he was given? He was being a terrible friend, pushing everyone away and caring only for himself. Even when Takabayashi had died, he had tried to keep it all together, his sanity slipping slowly every day. But now... He felt too far gone.

"...Please..." Mochizuki's voice was dripping with agony, tears sliding down his pale cheeks. He carefully pulled away from the woman's kindness, wanting to be alone. "...Please, just... leave me alone... I... I want to be alone..."

Kagome was silent for a few seconds before she nodded, knowing that she could do nothing for the boy. Pulling her hands away from him, she stood up, leaving the room after uttering a soft apology – an apology she had no idea on what it was for.


The brown-haired boy had lost track of how long he had been in the kitchen for, trying to prepare the best lunch he could for his friend. He didn't have Kazami anymore and the thought that he could potentially lose Mochizuki as well broke his heart.

Brown eyes glanced towards the entrance of the kitchen as footsteps approached him, hoping with all his being that the slighter boy had decided to come out and accept his offer. He was disheartened to find his mother walking in, her heels clacking against the floor tiles.

"Kaa-san?" Teshigawara frowned at the look on Kagome's face, knowing in his heart that it was because Mochizuki had pushed her away. "Kaa-san, how is... How is he?"

Kagome shook her head, her eyes half lidded; all she wanted was to be able to help the poor boy, give him the love he deserved, but instead he was probably deeming himself unworthy of what her family was trying to give to him.

"I think he..." Kagome wiped at her blue eyes, " in a lot of pain..."

"...I know..." Teshigawara looked down at his feet, just wishing he could do more; after all the patience the boy had given him... He turned his attention back to the dango he was preparing, unwilling to give up so soon. "...I'll... just bring him the food..."

Kagome offered a weak smile. "Good idea, Naoya. I'm sure he'll appreciate it."

"I'm almost finished now." Teshigawara left the dango, attending instead to the ohagi he had next to him. "I'll leave some for you."

"Thank you, Naoya." Kagome's arms extended and wrapped her son into a tight hug. "I'm glad he has you."

Teshigawara returned the hug before he went back to cooking. His mother left and, just fifteen minutes later, he found himself carrying a platter of different snacks up to his bedroom.

Knocking on the hardwood door, the brown-haired teenager waited for a reply before he entered his own room. When one wasn't given to him, he became worried; what if Mochizuki's depression was overwhelming him faster than ever?

"Mochizuki?" Teshigawara opened the door slowly, backing into the room as to not disturb the foods he was carrying. He kicked the door closed behind him before he turned back to his friend. "Mochizuki? Are you – Mochizuki!"

Teshigawara's eyes filled with tears as he dropped the dish he was carrying. Food and drink splattered all over the room, but he paid no heed to this, instead rushing forward towards his friend. There were no coherent thoughts running through his mind; everything was jumbled, feeling as if he were about to lose his best friend – just like he had lost Kazami.

"Mochizuki, no!"

Grey eyes met brown ones as a razorblade was pulled from Mochizuki's hand, droplets of blood dripping down onto the white bed sheets, staining the thin material. The dull-haired boy's eyes filled with tears as the clang of metal being thrown away resounded heavily against the quiet environment. He was pulled against his best friend's chest, soft pleads being whispered over and over. Tears dripped down onto his purple shirt, leaving a wet puddle against his collarbone.

"Don't you..." Teshigawara pulled away, staring into grey eyes as tears overflowed from his own. He choked on a sob before he continued speaking, sounding as if he were struggling just to make a sound. "...Don't you think... We all suffered...? I know... I know that I made my mistakes... but I never once thought of doing this to myself... You can't leave me alone... Please... You're... my best friend... I've already lost Kazami... I... I-I can't lose you, too..."

"...It hurts..." Mochizuki whispered, the pain in his wrists throbbing as blood splashed against his skin. However, he didn't know whether he was talking about the physical or the mental pain. "...It hurts so much... I..."

"I'm still here, aren't I?" Teshigawara whispered. "I'm still here, and so are Sakaki and Misaki... Please... Even if... even if your family is gone... You... You still have us... I need you... I can't lose you, too... I can't imagine what you're feeling, having lost your family, but... if it's like losing Kazami, I... I'm here for you... And I need you to be there for me, too... I can't... do this alone..."

Mochizuki's eyes flooded with tears as his hands came to grip at the yellow jacket his friend was wearing. He buried his face against the older male's chest, sobbing quietly. Was he truly being selfish? Stupid, even? But... Teshigawara was still here with him... He still wanted him... Maybe his mother didn't, but... his friend did.

"...Teshigawara..." Mochizuki coughed softly, "...Teshigawara... I'm sorry..."

"It's okay," the brunet whispered, running his hand through reddish-brown hair. "It's okay... I'm sorry, too... Let's forget it, and... be there for each other now. Does that sound fair? We'll get through it together."

Mochizuki nodded slowly, his grey eyes half lidded as tears streamed from them in a now-steady flow. "...Okay..."

Teshigawara smiled gently as he rested his chin on the younger's head, his hands making soothing strokes against the other's back.



"...You're my best friend."

"I know. You're my best friend, too."