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lay beaten and bruised. He’d never given up on her; even after all she’d done to him over the last five years. “Mou…. Tensei, I …” “Shush, someone’s here to see you.” “Baaaka! Tetsu-chaaan!” A familiar tone of voice rang past Tensei and Reiko’s ears, even though Tensei knew who this was – he wasn’t familiar with words like this out of the young man’s mouth. “Not telling me where you were! I could’ve kicked your brother’s butt from here to Los Angeles!” “…Hide?” Reiko’s scraggly sounding voice meant she was waking up a little more, but still unable to move much. “… Of sorts.” Tensei bent over to whisper in the young man’s ear, “Kazu-kun … are you going to explain it all to her?” “In time, I don’t know everything myself yet …” Kazu sighed and pinched Tensei, watching as Reiko was about to speak. “ Hide, can I tell you and Tensei about my nasty dream I had last night?” She paused, “I’ve had a couple of dreams since I don’t know about two weeks ago, that you passed away hide, and well another dream I had was that I was older and that I stopped visiting your grave because my brother filled my head with lies?” “Reiko… you’re 24 now. That did happen.” Tensei sighed, and looked over at Reiko with a reassuring smile. “What do you mean?” Reiko became confused, unable to understand exactly what Tensei meant. Tensei rolled his eyes and then smiled, “If you really must know this is how it went...” Five years earlier: Reiko stood at the gate of the very place five years ago she watched a very good friend of hers be laid to rest. Something inside her told her to keep going, but she was starting to get the societal picture that talking to a grave wasn’t so cool anymore. Nineteen years old, a cashier at a bookstore she’s probably read every magazine by now on this friend of hers. Tired of the same old social visit, with getting nothing in return, she will swear today is the last day she’s ever going to go to visit his grave. Swearing that nobody will break her decisions on this, she never calculated that her other friend would get in the way. “Hide, here I come.” Reiko said as she walked forth through the gates to the same place she’d been going to every year at the same time, sometimes she’d go other times
of the year – but this was the ritual every time spring was about to end she’d go. Walking up the path, her wedge platforms clunking against the cement as she walked further and further along. With a final stop of the sounds, she noticed she was there, but not without noticing that Tensei was standing in her way. “Souji, do I have to keep fucking chasing you everywhere… if I don’t find you soon I’ll start having to keep coming here and looking like a moron! And god knows Reiko looks more like one than I do!” Tensei obviously wasn’t serious, he knew exactly who was behind him—he planned on this happening. “What?!? … Excuse me!” Reiko piped up and smacked Tensei in the back, “ Don’t you dare say that of me!” “Touchy aren’t we?” Tensei responded, turning around and grinning at Reiko. “Excuse me, move it I have to say my goodbyes.” Reiko growled, she wasn’t exactly on the best of terms with Tensei anymore, things were becoming more and more heated, frustrating and anger filled with them lately. It was no longer as it was seven years ago when they first met. “Goodbyes?” Tensei furrowed his eyebrows for a moment, and sighed looking Reiko straight in the eyes. “What do you mean by goodbyes?” “This is the last year I’m coming here. What’s the point, he’s not listening… he’s gone.” Reiko scoffed. “Have you not listened to a word I’ve taught you in the last seven years?” Tensei questioned lightly, he’d noticed a change since she’d turned eighteen last year. She stopped respecting most of what she’d been told by him and her parents even. He hasn’t understood yet what caused it, but it’s caused a rift no matter what it is. “Gone, poof.. left this world.. not coming back.. what parts of dead have you not understood moron?” She snarled at him, and tried to push him aside to kneel down and put flowers there. “You’ve lost all respect.” Tensei grabbed her by the shirt and pulled her to meet his own eyes. “You try being abused verbally and physically by your own brother for fifteen years and expect your parents to help you out, and then getting nothing but that it’s my fault.” Reiko growled and looked back in his eyes, “You didn’t even get any of the hints I’d been dropping the last six years, you never even asked when I had a fucking black eye my last year of high school. DO I LOOK LIKE I get into fights at school?” “You aren’t stupid, you could’ve told me…” Tensei rolled his eyes and let her back to ground level. “Maybe my brother was right… maybe I deserved it.. maybe that’s why I was so easily lead into your stupid theories.” She began to walk away, privately lighting a cigarette hopefully without Tensei’s notice.
“You can’t just walk away from him, he was a part of your life just as much as mine … past or no past.” Tensei growled as Reiko walked away. “Watch me.” Reiko was being cold as ice, trying to use every excuse in the book (despite most of them being the truth), to get away from this without a fight. It was beginning to look like she was winning. “You just want me to leave you in the dust just like that?” Tensei raised an eyebrow and casually caught up behind her, “Like that, no regrets no nothing.. ignore you even existed?” “Why not? I’m about to do that to you either way. Cut all ties, it’s the simple way to recovery my family said when I started work last year and I had to move out. I have no family, why should I keep you as well?” Reiko kept walking at a heavy pace. “Baka!” Tensei growled, stopping her and walked in front of her. He slapped her across the face and began to speak once again. “Do you not understand your own words? You make no sense!” “Good. Let’s keep it that way.” Reiko snarled, and walked off. “Reiko… STOP this, Hide wouldn’t want this, and nor do I. Stop walking away from me!” Tensei tried to follow but he eventually lost her around an unknown pathway out from the graveyard. “Gah, what.. what has gotten into you lately?” Reiko moved quickly and swiftly back to her own car, only to notice Tensei back in front of her at her own car. “W-wwwhat … How’d you do that?” “Easy. I gathered you took the long way to your car. I memorized what kind of car you had, and the liscence plate, and took the short way back to find you. Now tell me what is up with you.” Tensei waved the keys in front of her too, not mentioning a word in how he knew how to get her keys off her either. “What do you mean, by this.. what is up with me? There is absolutely nothing wrong with me, I’ve said ‘goodbye’ and now I’m leaving now give me my keys I’m late for work.” Reiko growled, and tried to grab at her keys, batting her shorter arms despite being nearer the older man’s height due to her platforms. “You don’t get it do you, baka.” Tensei held onto her wrist firmly, and took a deep look inside the younger woman’s eyes and stood his ground. “There is something wrong with you and you’re not admitting it. You would not have just sat there and told me that hide is dead and gone if something wasn’t. You’ve been acting strange for the last five out of seven years, the percentage of strange getting larger every year.” “Let me go.” She hollered. “No.”
“Let go.” “No, you’re coming with me and you’re going to talk.” Tensei sighed, and loosened his grip a little, but kept a firm comfortable grip on her hand safely. “About what?” Reiko sighed and looked away for a moment. “About everything, things you have hid from me that you know damn well not to.” Tensei was seriously unhappy, here is this young girl that is like his sister and has many connections to him for various reasons… and she is hiding almost everything from him. A man that dislikes lying for all the wrong reasons, and upholds honesty whenever possible… Tensei found this the hardest to bear coming from Reiko. “Why should I? There is nothing to hide,” Reiko sighed and lied through her teeth and looked at him straight in the eyes. “You’re being mistreated, controlled by someone in your own family without your consent. I have actually known about this for sometime, and have been trying to help you and all you do lately is push me away.” Tensei let her go but pocketed her keys, holding his hands in his own pockets to prevent her from getting her car keys. “You don’t get it, and you need to start realizing what’s going on before it gets too late.” “I don’t want your help.” “Fine, you said it.” He took off with her keys, and dropped the young woman’s hand to her side. Sighing, he began to walk away toward his own car knowing someday soon she would need his help in a very big way. “Good, go away see if I care…” Reiko didn’t even notice he’d gone with her keys, until it dawned on her two minutes later. By then, Tensei had already left for his own car and gone. “You…. took my keys with you!!! What the fuck!!!” She grabbed her cell phone and tried to dial his phone number, realizing she didn’t have it. “Oh for fucks sakes, how do I get my keys back from someone I deleted their phone number from my phone database?” Over the next five years, things became so bad that she never bothered to get her keys back and began to change her look completely. She saw Tensei here and there, but never bothered to say much to him. She managed to get fired a year later from the Bookstore, only to take up cosmetics school under her brother’s decision making skills. Learning the ranks in makeup and hairdressing she got lost in a job that was all about image and looks. She lost weight and became increasingly thinner, and dyed her hair blonde, working at a department store Makeup counter. One day, nearly five years after she said goodbye to hide something happened… something unexpected.
“Masa, what are you doing home so early?” Reiko said as she began getting her things ready for a party she was about to attend with friends she’d gained from her brother, Masa’s circle. She was no longer believing in what she once believed in, and stopped associating herself with Tensei period. Under the assumption that he was filling her head with lies she cut it off with him, and hasn’t spoken to him in months if not almost a year now. “I got fired from my job..” Masa stumbled around the room a bit, getting closer to his younger sister. “Neh, what’d you do this time moron?” She rolled her eyes and snickered, “Show up drunk to work again?” “You know me so well, I think I love you..” Masa shoved Reiko against the wall and tried to feel her up a bit. “M-m-m-Masa!!! STOP IT!!!” Reiko tried to push him away, but got smacked in the face for touching him back. “Masa, stop!!” “You deserve what you get for not listening to me all these years, associating yourself with someone that you thought was better than me. I control this family you know, this is my territory and this is where you belong.. with me.” He stood up and shoved her to the floor. “MASA!!” “That’s right, scream it. I want it loud as the neighborhood can hear it.” Reiko lay there in absolute fear, she didn’t know what to say next or do. She knew that if she tried to fight back she’d get in trouble with not only him, but her parents as well. Masa was the pride and joy of the family, and what he knew was best, so he was able to control his family with an iron thumb nearly. Until Reiko came along, and spoiled the fun with her inquisitive mind, it was now his duty to completely snuff the flame out and make her his drone. Masa quickly removed his belt, and noticed her struggling and in fear without him even doing anything yet. “Stop struggling Rei-chan, you’re not going to help it when your big brother needs to fix you.” He said with a soft but yet un-matching sardonic tone to his voice. “Masa….” She softly whimpered, and tried to back away. “Rei-chan, listen to me you must not struggle.. this is for your own good..” He said, taking his own hand and outstretching it to undress his younger sister. “Sit nicely and you’ll be rewarded later… good girl, that’s it hush now.”
Reiko’s tears began to fall as her brother started to reach for her clothes, practically tearing them off rather than slowly undressing her. She sniffled, and received a large blow to the face… “I SAID stop struggling – this isn’t about your needs Rei-chan.” Masa’s eyes were fixed on his younger sister’s now frail frame. Scars from his graced ‘blessings’ or ‘sessions’ showed from previous years. What he was about to do was going to blow that all out of the water, and fulfill his every desire in one spot. Reiko tried not to scream, but the pain was not subsiding not only did her physical features hurt, but her soul cried for something to happen. Something to make this stop before it was too late. She let out a yipe-like yell after being hit, and with that her brother began to feverously rip the rest of her clothes off and begin doing his duty to her. “Louder Rei-chan, louder!” Masa fiercely moved his hand between Reiko’s legs and shoved his hand inside of her. “Scream louder, only for me.” Watching his sister scream louder, his eyes became fixated at her tight pale skin that rippled over her ribs. “I’ve made you so perfect haven’t I Rei-chan?” “H-hai Masa-sama…” Reiko shied away a little, receiving a hand up into her sending very painful feelings up her frail frame… “Perfect just for you brother.” Masa scraped his teeth against her sides and removed his hand and his own pants and shoved straight into her, and bit the side of her neck severely hard. “Nobody else is allowed to have you, not even our parents… you are my prized perfection and everything in life was made for you and me.” “H-hai…” She shivered wildly and cringed, receiving a few thrusts… she clamped her muscles down on him and tried to make him pull out. “yamete…” she whispered, tears rolling down her face. He pulled out and picked her up and threw her halfway across the room, knocking her out in the process. “Don’t talk back to me, be quiet and be my doll. My perfection, the more you disobey the more this will hurt.” Reiko’s body lay there unconscious ready for Masa’s preparation, ready for all of his plans to be laid out on top of her. Moving closer with small steps, he noticed she was still moving so he kicked her a few times in the ribcage and growled, “I told you to listen!” He noticed she was bleeding from where he bit, and he began to kneel to suck on the side of her neck while trying to choke her. “You aren’t allowed to bleed on my watch woman!” A knock on the door was heard, and then a clicking noise came afterward.. “How the hell did you get in here?” Masa retorted. “Lost car keys, I guess.” Tensei shrugged and walked into the room, raising an eyebrow he noticed the state that his young friend was in. “Reiko…” he sighed, and looked at the man that sat on top of her half naked. “I gather you’re Mizuno, Masa… Reiko’s brother.”
“Tensei?” a voice called out from the corner of the apartment. “Reiko?” Tensei slowly walked over to what seemed to be a crumpled heap of broken furniture and a bloody and bruised naked body. He took his own shirt off, and put it over Reiko’s body gently and smiled at her. “I’m here, let’s get you out of here and to a hospital.” “W-where’s Masa?” Reiko shifted her head a little, trying to keep consciousness and nearly failing. “Shhh, let me just get you up and out of here to the hospital, I’ll find you a sheet to wrap in.” Tensei smiled again, and got up. “Don’t go.” Reiko began to cry, and without understanding a thing she was actually saying due to the amount of pain and injuries she’d amounted to, began to try and apologize for the way she’d been treating Tensei and Hide. “G-g-gom…en.” “Shhh, don’t talk let me wrap you in one of these sheets and let’s get you to the hospital.” Tensei tried to walk away once more when he realized she was slowly losing consciousness. “Shit… Reiko, don’t .. no stay with me.” He growled, “No. Don’t Go.” He shivered a bit, and tried to fumble through his pockets for his cell phone. Taking it out of his pocket, he realized in the fight it’d gotten broken and obviously was not in working order. “Rei…. BAKA DON’T GO. I lost Souji twice I’m not losing you twice either!” “Neh, you never lost either of us we…” Reiko lost consciousness, and her words trailed off. “Shit!” Tensei got up and ran to find the phone in the house, so he could call the ambulance. “I told you NO GO. Do you listen? No.” He growled, and dialed the emergency number and called for an ambulance. He took the extra time to grab a sheet from the linen cupboard and noticed that all of the white ones had similar stains on them, as well as the other light colored sheets. “You bastard. To your own sister?” he ripped every single light colored sheet from the cupboard trying to find one that was unstained and/or dark. Failing at that, he ran to find a blanket he could set on top of her for dignity reasons. Success means bringing the blanket over and trying to wake her up before the lack of anything in her body starts to take its toll. “Come on Rei, wake up… Reichan, wake up please.” Reiko’s eyes fluttered, but her conscious state was unable to stay afloat. “I’ll give you a kiss if you wake up?” Tensei’s face was becoming filled with worry, regret and sadness. He wasn’t afraid of death, but he was sick and tired of death taking people from him. If death came and took her now, he’d have nobody else left in his life. He knew the amount of time it would take for the ambulance to get there, and he inwardly sighed at his situation. He loved her like a sister, as a sister and nothing
more – his heart only wanted one man and now that he was gone his mind had been filled with a bit of confusion on what path love was throwing at him now. He’d always tried to ignore the attractiveness Reiko had brought on in her later years, and he’d always thought there was no way this could happen at all. His heart was for hide, his Okita Souji. Seeing her like this brought nothing but pain to his heart, he wasn’t someone with a savior complex… he was someone who saw people with genuine need of his help. Souji and Tetsu were not going to leave his side again if he could help it. He normally didn’t show that much emotion to her at all, but right now he was feeling tears welling up in his eyes. The amount of damage her brother brought upon her was so intense, he wasn’t sure if Reiko could survive this. He leant over, bringing his face less than an inch from her face. Closing his eyes once, he moved to kiss her gently on the lips. “Wake up Reichan, the ambulance is coming to help you..” No response. The ambulance came, and the explanation of the situation became apparent. Selfdefense, rape was all counted as the police followed inside to take a look at what was now a crime scene. The paramedics took the limp but not dying or even dead body of Reiko, and placed her on a stretcher and moved her into the van. Offering to let Tensei in with her, with an offer to do police questioning later … the Police gave out contact details and let him on his way. Tensei followed in the van, holding his arms together and sighing as the future was going to be much different than he’d first anticipated. The paramedics noticed a bit of blood on him, and attended to the wound that was quite deep. Lucky for Tensei that it hadn’t gotten any deeper or it would’ve managed to hit some important spots. As the days went by, the Police and forensics had been through the apartment and all of Reiko and Masa’s things to percolate up a proper diagnosis of what really happened. Gathering that the death of Masa, was indeed self-defense they decided not to lay any charges against Tensei. Reiko’s health after the damage caused by her brother’s attempts to rape her slowly climbed into a positive state. After three days she finally woke up, but the doctors mentioned it could be at least another week before they’d let her out of the place. Tensei needed a break to clear his head, rest assured that she was going to be ok he took a drive to the old library that he first met Reiko and Hide at. He gulped, he usually came here every Saturday and Sunday of each week, it was regular thing he did even after Reiko stopped and Hide had passed on. Now was different, it was always different without Souji and Tetsu bantering on about something they didn’t agree on. Sighing, he sat down on the chair he’d always sat on, like any other day before it. He looked down the Aisle, and envisioned Reiko in her younger years chasing after hide between the other Aisles of books. They’d always banter on about something, and
chase each other like mad between each row of books. Insults were thrown, money was given and she’d usually run off to go play video games. Something was different about the book Aisle he’d met hide in for the first time. It was always usually empty when he was there, except the times when Reiko was in they’re trying to find a book to read. Yet now there was someone in there, and it was almost as if he was drawn to this person. He couldn’t tell if his eyes were playing tricks or not but it was someone the same height as hide and similar colors in the man’s hair. They had an air of youth to them, so he carefully walked up to him and tried to talk. “Stop right there.” “Neh?” “Kazu Tomohide desu, someone told me you know about Reincarnation and it’s effects on the human mind.” He turned around and grinned at Tensei, he looked surprisingly a lot like Hide. He in fact had black and magenta streaks all through his hair, and wore similar jewelry. “Let me guess, you’re Tensei?” he smiled, and coughed a laugh “Going to press me against the bookcase and take me as your own like nothing has ever happened?” “Hide?” “Of sorts.” Tensei’s eyes lit up, but he soon dimmed them.. “If you’re hide and you know this about me then why bother being in this aisle?” “I wasn’t sure where to find you, and I heard about Reiko.” Kazu replied, sighing “I could’ve told you years ago he was doing that but you didn’t listen.” “… You’re shitting me, you can’t be hide…” “Initial reactions.” “Not because hide’s dead but .. it’s .. almost like I should…” “Feel something?” “Yea…” Tensei sighed, and looked at the floor shuffling his left foot. “Don’t worry, connections take time to heal after people have been gone this long. Plus I’m not sure how much of hide I actually am… just enough to remember who you are and Reiko is. Even that’s a blur.” Kazu shrugged, and put the book in his hand back. Tensei grabbed Kazu’s hand and pulled him closer into a deep and meaningful kiss. He didn’t care if his instincts were wrong, he was lying through his teeth to test the
younger man. He felt the connection from the chair like it was two inches in front of him. Kazu pulled back, “Whoa…” “Souji….” “Who?” Kazu’s memories of his past only went so far, he wasn’t sure exactly who or what Tensei was talking about. It wasn’t that he was a misbelieving sort, he just hadn’t had the time to be educated on everything quite yet. “…Nothing.” Tensei sighed and turned away, feeling a cloud of doubt storming within his mind, his heart told him it was Souji, hide and everything in-between but his mind wasn’t calculating the puzzle pieces very well. Kazu re-picked up the book, and showed it to Tensei, pointing to the cover. His face showed that of confusion, and innocence which only added to the confusion and doubt surrounding Tensei’s mind. “You, mean… this Souji…?” “H-hai… Okita Sojirou …” Tensei had the feeling Kazu didn’t realize anything about the life of being the first squadron captain in the Shinsengumi. Nor did Kazu realize that Tensei’s feelings for Hide were not just carried forward from the life before. “And how do you…” “Kazu, I was Hijikat … ….. I am Hijikata Toshizou Yoshitoyo.” Tensei scratched his head a little and looked at Kazu for a moment. “I apologize, I should’ve told you sooner.” Kazu blinked for a moment, and smiled at Tensei… “That explains it all then doesn’t it?” His innocent smile looked straight toward the older man as his eyes glistened from the fluorescent lights. “No wonder you want me… I’m Souji.” “w-want?!? … Nandesho….” Tensei was blinking, and beet red by now. “Heh. As I figured” He grinned and walked off with the books, leaving Tensei high and dry to deal with the words just spoken. “Kazu.. hide… WAIT!!” Tensei tried to dash through each aisle to figure out where the black and pink striped man had walked off to. He was surprised already at the reactions given by Kazu, and wanted to know more.
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