"Where are we going?"

"To our new house"

"Our what?!"

"You really didn't think we'd live their forever did you?"

She stiffened. Despite others belief, the 7 years old wasn't stupid. Of course she knew they wouldn't live their forever, they never lived in one place forever. She never questioned why, but every time she felt like she left a part of her behind.

"Hurry up!"

Maybe it was the whispers of the winter, but something about her mother's sharp tone made her shiver. Struggling through the piling snow, the little girl tried to catch up with her mother.

Looking at her mother while walking through the harsh weather, the girl was struck by how old her mother looked. While most children would say the same, the little girl wasn't talking about appearance; in fact her mother was beautiful. With her long, chestnut colored hair, porcelain-like skin, and chocolate colored eyes, her mom was the definition of beauty. Her mother could probably pass for her older, more attractive sister. Except for her eyes. Her eyes seemed old. Like she has lived for 100 years watching humanity fall and fall again. Watching everything she loved crumble down into absolutely nothing.

The thought made the 7-year old girl stop short. What exactly has her mother been through to make her eyes look like that? The little girl always knew her mother was strong, but how strong was her mother, actually? Would her mother break? The little girl already knew the answer.

Her mother would never do that; her mother was the strongest person she knew. Even though she raised the little girl by herself, her mother was still standing. Firm and strong, and looking at her mother one last time before trying to catch up, the little girl vowed to be just as strong. Strong just like her mother.

How wrong was she?

It wasn't the screams of victim or the clatter of broken glass that woke Mikan up. It was the slight tug on her sleeve that made her jump out of her bed, wide-eyed.

"Yōichi, are you alright?" Mikan all but shouted

"Shut up, ugly pig." Was his monotone response.

Mikan calmed down a little, knowing that was his way in telling her he was fine, but she wasn't satisfied. Even if he says he's fine, didn't mean that he hadn't already faced Kyo's wrath.

"Pull up your sleeves"

Sighing, Yōichi reluctantly lifted up both his sleeves, so Mikan could have a good look.

Most people would gasp seeing a little boy's arm 7 different shades, but Mikan didn't even blink an eye. Though Yōichi swore he saw a vein throb. Twisting his arms around to get a better look, Mikan was satisfied. Though Yōichi did have bruises, they were all green, blue, or yellow, meaning they weren't all that new. Mikan couldn't say the same for her though. Coming home at midnight probably wasn't the best idea for any person, but coming home at midnight with the stench of alcohol around you and with a drunk Kyo awaiting you was an even worst idea.

Black and purple bruises littered her stomach, legs, arms and face, a black eye deemed it's way on her face, and scars littered her neck. All in all, Mikan didn't know how she was going to go to school. It was hard enough to cover up the beatings, but last nights fiasco was going to be impossible. The thought of skipping school quickly fleeted her mind, if she skipped school one more time, the principal threatened to flunk her and have her repeat the grade. God knows Kyo's reaction would be to that. He'd probably kill her, and Mikan wasn't so cruel that she'd leave Yōichi alone.

The tap on her knee brought her back to reality.

"It's Saturday, Idiot hag"

Oh. Thank you, God, for bringing life to the person who decided to not give us school on Saturdays. But Mikan was still confused about something. Yōichi wasn't the type to tell her the days, he'd usually wait for her to make a fool of herself, by running all the way to school, only to realize what day of the week it was.

Then it hit her. Oh. The thought of it made her want to cry. Today was the day her best friend and her other best friend were leaving for Gakuen Alice Academy, the school for geniuses. Mikan was happy for them that they got in, but these were the only other people, other than Yōichi who she was actually close too. Of course neither knew of her predicament and neither knew of Yōichi's existence, she was too afraid that they would call the police. Though it may not seem like it, with both of her best friends having such uncaring and cold personalities, Mikan knew they cared, but even so, she was afraid her and Yōichi would be split up. Mikan knew it was selfish, but she didn't want to lose another family member, no matter how much suffering she made them go through, Mikan was too selfish to go to the police and stop it.

With a sigh, Mikan lifted herself off the bed and started to change. Though he never voiced it, Mikan knew Yōichi hated it when she changed in front of him. He didn't like seeing the bruises on her, he felt responsible, for what reason, she didn't know why. Yōichi wasn't the monster that did this; Yōichi was more of the angel, a very anti-social and monotone angel, but still an angel. Because of that, Mikan tries not to change in front of him a lot, but with a monster looming over them, she had no choice sometimes. Today was one of those days. Kyo isn't awake yet, but Mikan knew if he were too suddenly wake up, he'd be in a foul mood because of his hang over. Mikan didn't want to take the risk of sending Yōichi down there alone.

Putting on her last sock, Mikan gestured for Yōichi to go under the bed.

"Stay there till I get back, ok? I'll be back in 30 minutes till an hour"


Sighing, Mikan lied down on her second and turned her head towards the bed. Though her bed wasn't the biggest, it was big enough for a 2 year-old to squeeze in and have enough room to move. Extending her arm, Mikan put her hand in an almost fist with only her pinky sticking out.

"Pinky promise me, you will stay under there till I get back"

Wordlessly, Yōichi stared at her outstretched pinky, before looping his around it.

Smiling, Mikan un-hooked their pinkies, and got off the floor. Brushing the dust off her Brown T-shirt, with a picture of Spiderman swinging off a building, and her ripped jean shorts, Mikan headed for the door.

"Be careful" was the last thing Mikan heard from her brother. The last 2 words she heard before he exited her life.