Pairing: Sho/Yoko, Takki/Ryo (The pairings themselves are not that much the focus of the story, but don't worry, they will be here^^)
Genre: AU, mystery, romance, bit angst
Disclaimer: I don't own them or anything else JE-related. But the story is mine of course^^
Summary: Out of a sudden Yoko wakes up in the middle of a wide desert, white sand all around him, just a lake and a single tree next to him. After freaking out and panicking he has to give in to this situation. Is it a nightmare? Is it reality?
When Sho, a mysterious man, suddenly appears, Yoko’s questions grow even further. But then, out of a sudden, he can’t remember it anymore. What is he fighting for? What is reality, what dream? Is Sho an enemy or his friend?
He starts to forget about the fundamental questions of his being: Why is he here? What is this place? Who is he? But then out of a sudden another young man appears, different than Yoko and still the same… remembering Yoko that he is supposed to fight - for something that he can’t remember anymore. The path between reality and dream is a small one… and a dark one. And the price Yoko has to pay might be more than just his life.
Dedicated to: Happy Birthday to yukitsubute!!!!!!
Yoko blinked when Sho led him to the sea. “What's happening now?”
Sho smiled sadly. “This is a good-bye.” he answered silently. “You decided.”
Yoko shook his head in surprise. “You are showing me the way back?”
“No.” Sho smiled. “You found the way yourself. And since you found it, I can take you back.” He smiled slightly. “That’s what I meant yesterday with only we know the truth. Just you and me.”
“Like Takki and Ryo.” Yoko mumbled sadly. He remembered Ryo’s fragile and weak body, knowing that he wouldn’t have been able to fight like Yoko did. He sighed sadly, tears filling his eyes again.
Sho wiped the tears away, leaning his forehead against Yoko’s. “I’m so sorry for that.” he admitted. “This here, this place, is a place where everyone has to fight on his own. Ryo had to do that on his own, there was no way you could have changed anything.”
Yoko sighed sadly. “I know…” he admitted. “But still… I will always feel guilty because of that.” He looked up at Sho. “Will I remember this here?”
“Do you want to remember?” Sho asked in return.
“Yes.” Yoko answered. “I need to have this memory about this place and also about some other things. You. And also Ryo. I need to remember the pain, the surprise, the anger… the love.” He leaned into Sho’s arms tiredly. “Even if it will be painful to remember it all, but it’s important not to loose it. Dying is easy, living is difficult.”
Sho nodded his head. “I knew you would say that…” he smiled slightly. “So, this is it. Our good-bye.”
“Will you be sad when I leave?”
Sho’s smile faded. “I am sad when you leave… I am also sad when you stay with me. For me there is no happily ever after.”
Yoko looked at Sho directly now, taking his hands into his. “What happens when someone stays with you?”
Sho stayed quiet at that, wincing a bit. Yoko blinked in shock. He had already guessed it, but this was the first time he actually realized it for real. “The person dies?” he looked at Sho in surprise, in shock… and in pity. “When you let go of me… you let go of your love, right? And when the person stays, you know that he or she is heading towards his or her end?” Yoko’s eyes teared up at that realization. “Until you are chosen by someone new… and again you will let go of him and loose your love.”
Sho grabbed Yoko’s face out of a sudden, kissing him softly, putting all his feelings into it. “You don’t need to cry for me.” He chuckled out of a sudden. “I’m not real. Every time when one of you goes back, I’ll be born new, by someone else’s mind. I will fall in love again and become someone’s dream. As for you… From now on, you don’t need me anymore. I’m just an illusion. Go for the real one, alright? For a real person. Don’t worry about me, I’m a guardian. This is what I’m doing since thousands of years.”
“Still, it’s sad…” Yoko mumbled, before he looked at Sho warily. “Why a desert?”
Sho laughed slightly at that. “I was surprised myself. Normally it’s a beach or a forest, something romantic, something idyllic. But you chose a desert. I should be the one asking why.”
“Eh?” Yoko’s eyes widened. “I chose this place!?” He frowned. “Why would I choose a desert?”
“Only you know the answer.”
Yoko sighed. “If I got a penny for every time you said this…”
Yoko stayed silent for a moment, then he nodded his head, taking Sho’s hand. “Let’s go…” he mumbled. “Please take me back.”
“He is awake!! DOCTOR!”
Yoko felt his eye-lids moving heavily, he could see some gleaming light around him. But the noise and the voices around him were so loud, almost hurting him.
Yoko could feel and hear the fuss around him, people rushing in and out, hands checking on him, then it got a bit calmer. He could hear the low voice of a man. “I’ll check on him…please leave the room for now.”
Yoko felt relieved, it was calmer like that, more soothing. “Yokoyama-san…” the voice pulled him out of his trance. “You can hear me, am I right?”
Yoko nodded his head tiredly, his surroundings becoming a bit clearer. He could see a face in front of him. A man he didn’t know. Apparently a doctor.
“Don’t push yourself.” the man told him softly. “You had an accident. It’s alright now…”
“What did you say?” Subaru bent forward a bit, grabbing Yoko’s hand. “Damn Yoko…I’m so glad you are awake… I was going crazy here.”
“Sorry.” Yoko mumbled. He turned his head a bit to look at Subaru. His sight was still blurred, because of his exhaustion and the meds he had to take, but he could make out Subaru’s frame. Definitely. “Where is Ryo…?”
Subaru drew back a bit, eyes twitching in shock. “What…”
“Ryo? Where is he?”
“Kimi…” Subaru bit his lips, feeling tears burning in his eyes. He took Yoko’s hand, holding it against his cheek and rubbing his palm soothingly. “Ryosuke is not here…”
“Yes he is.” Yoko mumbled tiredly.
“No, Kimi, he isn’t.”
“I saw him.” Yoko mumbled. “All the time while I was away. He was there with me. I can still remember it.” He frowned. “But he went away.”
The doctor blinked when he stepped into the room, hearing Yoko’s last words. “What did you see, Yokoyama-san?” he smiled reassuringly. “You were dreaming?”
“It wasn’t a dream…” Yoko mumbled, his head still hurt whenever he was thinking of something, whenever he tried to move. “There was a lake…and a desert… and an angel. You remember when we made up our first love’s face, Subaru?”
“He looked exactly like it.” Yoko coughed. “But I had to leave and come back. Ryo needs me…”
The doctor shook his head a bit. Yoko had just recently woken up and he knew that he was still feeling confused. But when he saw Subaru’s worried expression, he frowned. “What is going on, Shibutani-san?”
Subaru felt tears burning in his eyes, he grabbed Yoko’s hand tighter, almost desperately holding on it. “Your brother Ryosuke, Kimi? He is not here anymore… he went away…long ago…”
“Because I let go of him.” Yoko mumbled. “I swore to protect him and I didn’t. I wasn’t able to save him.” He recalled Takki’s face again and how he had brought Ryo away. “I handed him over to…death. It’s my fault because I broke my promise…”
“It’s not your fault!” Subaru told his friend firmly, holding Yoko's hand in both of his hands now. “You listen, Kimi, it’s not your fault! It never was! It was an accident, you couldn’t do anything.” He paused. “You need to let go…” he whispered, burying his head in Yoko’s blanket. “It’s been one year since he died. Please, let go…”
Yoko’s eyes widened out of a sudden, like scenes out of a movie it passed before his eyes. Everything. The accident his brother had one year ago. His brother’s smile. The days in hospital. The funeral. The dreams he was having at that time. About a wide desert, where he had been lost. He wasn’t able to find the way out of it again. His brother had always wanted to see the desert and this dream hunted Yoko for weeks. He had wished for his brother to come back, all the time. The guilt, the pain. The way he had lived from then on… doing his job, smiling when others were watching, crying when he was alone. He had been living like a shadow.
“You are the most important!”
“I am sorry.” Ryo mumbled, letting go of Yoko.
Yoko drew back in shock when he saw tears glittering in Ryo’s eyes. “You need to let go.” he whispered. “Please, let go…”
Yoko coughed. “An accident…” he pressed out, his voice sounding hoarse, unusual to his own ears.
Subaru blinked, stroking over Yoko’s sweaty hair. “What accident, Kimi?”
“The doctor said it. I was in an accident. What happened?” Yoko tried to remember, but whenever he did, the images in front of him got blurred.
“Well...” The doctor told him softly. “You saved a young boy...”
Yoko was just handling this information when he fell asleep again, this time a real sleep, not a struggle with his mind. When he woke up he felt better, glad… though also empty. He could remember it clearly. And he saw it clearly, after months of living the life as a shadow of himself, he felt it and he saw it… the loss he had felt one year ago. How he struggled with the pain. And how one day he got into an accident himself.
The doctor smiled at him, realizing that Yoko’s gaze was clearer now. “We are glad to have you back.”
Yoko coughed. “How long did I sleep?”
“Two months.” he explained to him. Then he smiled. “You were lucky. There are still bruises and fractures that have to heal, but other than that… you might be able to leave the hospital soon.”
“I’m glad.” Yoko didn’t even try to smile, he was tired of faking everything. Subaru was right, he needed to let go… he needed to handle his problems. But he also needed to remember the things that were worth it to live on. “I wanted to die…” he mumbled.
“I know.” The doctor’s eyes grew sad. “I know when my patients try to live on with all their might. But you weren’t. You were just sleeping.”
“I wanted to stay there.” Yoko admitted. “At this place, with the person I loved, with the boy who was looking at me through my brother's eyes. Where I was in my dream. It was easier. Everything was easier. Dying is easy.” Again Ryo’s picture popped up in his mind. But it got mixed up – he couldn’t remember his face clearly. It was a mixture between his brother and someone he didn’t know. Still, it had been Ryo who made him struggle to live on. And Sho. It was a lie when Sho said that it was all about Yoko’s decision. Sho had pushed him and forced him to think and wonder and fight. In the end it hadn’t been him finding the way, it was his angel who had helped him through it. Yoko coughed a bit, his thoughts wandering to the life he had been living before he got into an accident, an accident he still couldn’t remember. “I miss my students. And my friends.” he said out of a sudden.
The doctor had swallowed when he listened to Yoko’s words, but now he smiled warmly. “They are all here… I had to send them away for today. But tomorrow you have to be prepared for a bunch of visitors.” He paused. “Just Shibutani-san wouldn’t leave.”
“Yes, he is like my…” Yoko paused here, a pained glance appearing in his eyes. “… my brother.” He finally breathed out, deciding to face the truth. Subaru had always been his closest friend and he had been the one looking behind the surface, the one who had known that he wasn’t alright when he smiled. The one who knew that he was still full of guilt and grief after his brother’s death. He had helped him through every dark time, trying to convince Yoko to not loose to the pain and sorrow he was feeling. Ryosuke died because of an accident, he was a bit younger than Yoko, already working too. He had loved it to race – car races, motorbike races. At the edge of his life, every day. Yoko felt like it should have been his responsibility to stop him doing what he liked to do.
Yoko looked at the doctor through absent-minded eyes. “What happened?” he asked out of the blue, asking the question he had wondered all the time, but couldn’t ask till now.
The doctor looked at him in concern. “Are you sure you want to know?”
Yoko nodded his head. “I need to know the truth.”
The man sat down next to him, looking at him warmly. “You saved someone else, a young boy. There was an accident before, a ship was crushing against a pier. It broke. That’s where your fractures come from. He was almost drowning, because he couldn't swim… you saved him…and got caught underneath the wrecks.” He paused. “Poor boy, in his life he has lost almost everything.”
Yoko walked through the hospital’s corridor slowly. He was still feeling weak and tired, though he tried to regain his life. Step by step. He had missed a lot during the last year… he had been living, but he hadn’t been there completely. The pain had been eating him up. Today Subaru had been at his place the whole time. He smiled a bit when he remembered that he had almost forgotten him. And also his students. All of them had already visited him and promised him to learn well. They were waiting for him. All of them.
Yoko yawned a bit, deciding to sit down on one of the benches at the hospital’s park. He patted down the path towards the park, when his eyes suddenly caught something. A young guy, sitting on one of the benches, obviously tired and still going through the process of healing. Just like Yoko.
And then there it was. Pieces and questions flying together, becoming one big picture. The answer to the question why they had been at the same place together, the strong feelings of protection. And the reason why he couldn’t see his face right in front of him – he had been there with him as Ryosuke, but also as himself.
Yoko rushed towards the bench as fast as possible and when he reached it, he put a hand on the other’s head. “You are here.” he breathed out. “You are alive. I…” he broke over the last sentence, feeling tears burning in his eyes. “But you are not my brother…”
“I’m so sorry.” Ryo mumbled, grasping Yoko’s jacket and holding on to it. “I’m so sorry. But he was there with me, that’s how I was able to come to you. He had been waiting for you…all the time.” he paused. “You wanted to die, am I right?”
“He knew…” Yoko mumbled, his whole body feeling numb. “And now?”
“He finally can move on too…” Ryo paused. “That’s what he had told me.”
“But…I don’t understand!” Yoko breathed out. “That’s impossible.”
“It is.” Ryo smiled sadly. “It was a coincidence, nothing more. A one-in-a-million-chance. That we shared the same name, the same eyes, the same place. And his first love he dreamed of, looked exactly like mine…”
“Wait…” Yoko pressed out. “Takki had been Ryosuke’s guardian?”
“How is that possible!?” Yoko breathed out. “How was he able to stay? I thought there are only two ways for us, dying or coming back to life.”
The boy shook his head. “The way back to life is a straight one, the way to death opens up different paths.” He looked at Yoko shyly. “He wants to become a guardian.”
Yoko stared at Ryo in utter shock, listening to his voice, without completely understanding him. “What about you?” he wanted to know.
Ryo’s eyes grew sad. “I couldn’t die, not when you were still sleeping. I needed to make you wake up. You saved me after all…That's why I agreed to...him...and let him take me away from Takki.”
Ryo’s voice felt like rain drops on Yoko’s skin. The memory of him was so far away and still it was present. He hadn’t forgotten. None of them had. Ryo had been at the same place because the feeling of gratitude and guilt was stronger than the feeling of pain and sorrow. And because his brother had grasped the only chance he had to make Yoko move on. These two boys with the same name and the same eyes…and the same love they had dreamed off.
Ryo had been telling him the words his brother had always wanted to tell him. He had been forgiven, indirectly, because his brother had been waiting for him.
He looked up at the sky. It was too early. One day he would meet him again, but for now he needed to take care of the things around him. Of the lost boy in front of him and of the people around him. He had to comply with his brother’s wish.
And for a moment, when Yoko looked into Ryo’s eyes, he was sure he could see it… Takki’s eyes in Ryo’s. As if the missing piece inside Ryo, the piece that had formed Takki, had come back to him.
Did Sho come back to him as well? Yoko let out a soft sigh. Who Sho really was? He might never get to know that. But he would live to his last advice. Living in the real world, with the most important present he had ever got. Something Sho had given him… love and life.
A/N: To be honest, this ending is...the light version. I actually had planned something else, but since this is a present to yuki, I wanted her to like it. *HUGS* That's why I changed some things.
Aannnnd...I was so unsure with this. I redid this chapter around 10 times ><
And honestly, this was really a difficult topic for me to write, so for my next story, I'll write about butterflies, fairies, daisies and lots of sunshine. :DDDD Lots of butterflies and fairies!! And the flowers will all have cute faces and lovely names like 'Princess' and 'Daisy' and 'Sweety'. The only dark thing that's aloud is the night - and even then I will add lots of silver moon-light and cute fireflies. :D
Or I could write about Eito-Rangers.
I could really do that ^_^
Just kidding...or maybe not?
Note: Hey dear friends and readers! Thanks so much for all your support!! So, I wanted to tell you that my Request Post is open. If you feel like requesting a specific pairing or situation you can do so HERE