A/N: I apologize in advance if it is hard to follow. I was inspired while watching Moulin Rouge the other night on tele. This line caught my attention "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" but that kinda fell to the wayside.
Dedicated to all those at OTKH. Tyka rules^^
LIGHT AND SHADOW
When I was younger my life was consumed with petty things. I wanted power and fame; I wanted to be respected. Which in itself is not a petty thing, but all that I went through in order to obtain it was. I was this arrogant brat; so full of my own self-importance. I had no dreams of my own, only goals and I fulfilled those goals. I performed to my utmost and I became all that I could be. I became the best.
Then one day, out of the blue, my whole structured world came crashing down upon me. I met a boy. A boy that was even more arrogant than others believed me to be. He was rude and obnoxious and he got under my skin. He did not respect my name, my reputation or me. He did not cower in front of me; in fact he stood against me. And in the ring, where it counts the most, he beat me. I failed. I was no longer the best and I felt miserable.
This boy, how he intrigued me so. Though I would never admit it I felt awed when I watched him fight. He was an oxymoron. He was completely trustworthy and forgiving and so predictable on one hand and so wild and free on the other.
I was afraid of him.
I was afraid of what he did to me.
This boy, he made me care for him and I did not like it one bit. Not in the least. The way that he made me feel; I found that in his presence I could not breathe. I tried an innumerable amount of times to turn him against me but the fool only turned the other cheek and offered me a hand. But though he has slowly ebbed away at my resistance he will never free m from the shadow that surrounds me. Because to take away the shadow one would only be left with nothing but light and I am not of the light. I was taught that I was created for one specific purpose. I was trained to be the best, to conquer and not to make my self vulnerable by dabbling in things that made me care about anything more than myself.
I was punished when I showed any kind of emotion. I quickly learned not to cry. Soon enough I mastered my silence. I created a mask, armor so thick that for most of my life no one had ever penetrated it. Until that one day when this small brash younger individual crashed into my life and broke through all of my carefully constructed defences without trying.
I don't think he was aware of how much he affected me. I tried so hard to remain silent. But he invaded my personal space and made himself comfortable; which in turn made me supremely uncomfortable. I tried not to look at him but my eyes had a mind of their own. He just demanded that you look at him and I, of course, watched his every move. I coveted him and I wanted him to be mine alone. But I knew that while I knew that I was the shadow he was completely the light and never the two shall meet.
Shadow can not exist without the light but in the same instance once a shadow is flooded with light it ceases to exist. So although I felt that I could not live without my light I knew that I could never be with him for the same reason. With him by my side I would cease to exist. I would lose my way.
I struggled through years of being around him, but when I turned eighteen I used my new found freedom and I moved as way away from Takao and the others as I could manage. I moved to America; finished my schooling and I took over from my Grandfathers company from there. I turned it around and buried myself in my work, in an effort to leave my infatuation behind. But I never managed to be free of it. No matter where I traveled, it didn't matter where I went because he haunted my every waking moment and plagued my dreams at night. Every time I closed my eyes at night I could see his own shining back at me with warmth and hope.
I pushed him away. The night I left I lashed out and I yelled and screamed at him. Not because of something he had done but rather something that I refused to let myself submit to. I slapped him the day I went away and I regret it more than anything else that I have done in my entire life.
I do not know what they others thought of me when they came across Takao with a purple bruise on his cheek. I do not know because I did not wait around to find out. I know that they would have been disgusted with me. I knew that I could never forgive myself. I didn't want to forgive myself for he was truly perfect and I had marred him with my very existence
I am twenty three years old now and I am still hopelessly infatuated with the boy and I haven't seen, spoke or heard of him for five years. I am returning to Bay City within the next couple of days. And I don't even know if he still resides there or not. But every time that I think about him and what would happen when I meet him face to face again after all this time; I get a whirlwind of butterflies in my stomach and my head pounds and my knees feel weak.
And I am once again afraid. He is the only one that makes me feel this way and I don't like it. I didn't take a shine to it when I was a hormonal teenager and I certainly don't like it now.
He makes me weak.
On the plane ride my hands shook the entire time. I was so nervous. I felt like I was reading to puke but reminded myself that I was Hiwatari Kai and I did not vomit from nervousness. The very large woman beside me kept asking me if I was all right for I looked ill. She won't take no for an answer and in the end convinced herself that I was airsick. I for one knew better than that. I know that it wasn't the turbulence or the pressure changes it was because of him.
It was always because of him.
When the plane finally docked I slowly dragged my feet to the exit, mumbled a quick thank you to the air hostess and made my way through customs and finally I went to carousel to retrieve my luggage. I felt faint. I don't think I had ever been so nervous. I was finally back in Japan. As I walked out into the sunshine my stomach heaved. It was just as I remembered; the outside of the airport had not changed one bit in the five years I was away. I wondered what else had stayed the same. But was concerned me was that I had no idea what had changed.
I hailed a taxi and gave him directions to my estate. When we arrived I paid the driver and hauled my stuff out of the trunk and meandered up to my home. As I slotted the key in the lock and twisted the handle the door protested loudly as it was wrenched open. I dumped my things on the floor in the foyer and wondered through to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and was satisfied when I saw the little light flick on. I nodded to myself and continued on into the living room. My associates here had taken care of reinstalling the power back into the manor.
Everything was where I left it years ago. Nothing had been touched in this house for over five years. I pulled the white sheet off the couch and sniffled as the disturbed dust reached my noise. Years of dust blanketed the place. All of the furniture had been covered in sheets but still the place was filthy. I sighed as I suck back into the chair. I knew know how much work I had to do before this place became human friendly again.
I took my stuff up to my room and then made my way back downstairs again. I locked up and headed out. I had some errands to take care of. Not only did I need food but I had to find the others. I had to know what had happened to all of them. I wanted to know about Takao.
I followed the path I had always taken as a child, weaving in and out of the streets on my way to the BBA headquarters. I did not take notice of where I was going but I found myself outside the stone building nevertheless. I made my way inside and approached the counter.
"Excuse me, I would like to see Mr. Dickinson."
"Do you have an appointment?" she asked bluntly, never once looking up.
"No, but I believe that he will want to see me."
"Listen Mister, if you don't have an..." she trailed off when she looked up. I saw her cheeks flood with colour. "Just one moment Mr. Hiwatari, I'll let him know that you are here."
I watched bemused as she scuttled off only a few moments she returned and beamed me a smile, Mr. Dickinson will see you now."
I approached the heavy wooden doors and knocked once before entering without waited for an answer.
"Why hello Kai. It is nice to see you again, what brings you back to Bay City."
"Hello Mr. Dickinson. I have moved back here Sir, I am staying this time."
The older man just watched me through the lens of him spectacles and I felt most uncomfortable under his scrutiny.
"Why did you come back Kai?"
"I do not know exactly," I replied.
"Why did you return Kai?" he queried again, his voice softer this time.
"I felt it was time Sir."
"Okay then. Why visit me?"
"I wish to know what happened to the others."
"Ah...well...Max left to go to American not long after you disappeared but he returned two years later and finished his schooling here. He is now a teacher at the local primary school, though I must say he knows how to keep in contact with his friends a tad better than you do."
I couldn't help the heat that spread across my cheeks at his words.
"Rei lives here in Bay City but travels back to China on most breaks. He joined the police force and rose in the ranks and is now a detective. Kenny, well he attends a university in Tokyo and travels here to spend his breaks," he continued.
I was almost on the edge of my chair in anticipation about what Takao had been doing.
"And Takao, well he runs his Grandfather's dojo now."
"Oh," was all I could say.
"Yes, he is the one that will surprise you the most I think Kai. He is no longer the bubbly teenager you once knew. He is more withdrawn, quiet and timid almost."
"Oh," I repeated.
"I don't know if he will want to see you again Kai."
I saw red at that.
"Don't get me wrong, he has forgiven you for hitting him Kai. But I don't know if he ever recovered from you hurting him."
I could feel my anger deflate. I never wanted to even consider the fact that he might not want to see me. I didn't expect him to welcome me with open arms but still...
I thanked my elder for his time and excused myself. I walked away with a heavy heart and a feeling a dread seated in the pit of my stomach. I found my feet taking me towards Takao's home. I didn't know if he would be there but I just had to see the place that I spent so much time at when I was younger. I rounded the corner and I heard the squeals and yells or childish laughter way before I saw the cause of such an uproar.
I closed in on the gates and I peeked around the corner. I saw children, maybe six or seven running around the courtyard. They were soaking wet. I glanced up as the spray of water fell across my line of sight. I say Takao then, for the first time in such a long time. He was just as I remembered. He held a hose in one hand and was whirling it around, splashing all the children with the spray. His lips were curved in a smile as he watched their antics. I do not know how long I stood there and watched them play.
I was just staring at Takao, he captivated me. They was something different about him, that was true, I could tell by just they way he held himself; but that didn't stop me from wanting him. I hadn't always desired him. There was a time where I found him irritating but that was so long ago and for such a short space of time. When I grew older I knew that what I felt for him wasn't part of admiration, no, it was something quite different altogether. And might I say that it freaked me out.
I can accept it now. I know that I want him. I want I want to be with him; only him. No one else measures up. I want so much to just be able to tell this to him, but I know that the innocent that he isn't, just wouldn't understand.
I refocus on what's real after my inner monologue fades away and he senses my presence and glances up at me. His smile fades and his jaw goes slack. His beautiful stormy eyes widen and his whole body goes ridged. I jerk away from the gate when I realize that he has noticed me. I quickly turn and walk as fast as I can in the opposite direction without actually appearing like I'm running away.
As soon as I could no longer hear the children's squeals I slowed down. I chanted over and over in my head, 'Stupid, so stupid...' I couldn't believe that not only had I watched him like some pervert but I had gotten caught as well. I took a deep breath and enter the shopping mall. I figured there was no point starving to death.
I bought the necessities; some milk, bread and some instant noodle snacks. I would buy more later but I was way too preoccupied to think straight. As I put my purchases on the register I heard the attendant's forced welcome. I greeted him with a half smile. I glanced up as I handed over my money.
Recognition flooded across the teenager's face. I almost groaned with despair
"Oh wow! You're Hiwatari Kai. Wow! I can not believe it. Where did you disappear to man? Why are you back in this little city?" the boy asked of me.
I shrugged my shoulders in response.
"I used to watch you all the time on tele when I was a boy."
I sniffed indignantly at that. What a backwards insult, the nerve of the insolent being.
"Oh – uh – not that you are old or anything man. Just...I mean..." he stuttered over his words in his effort to get back in my good graces.
"I thank you for your excellent service. Bye," I dismissed him and gathered my parcels and went on my way. I could hear the checkout operators sigh of relief as soon as I turned my back and at that I smiled. At least I know that I still have the ability to make people nervous. Too bad I can't get rid of my own anxiety.
I returned to my home and placed the things on the countertop and put the milk in the fridge. I sat down on the dining chair and placed my head in my hands. How was I ever going to survive living here? People are just too complicated; they ask too many questions, they demand too many answers. People weave themselves into your lives and make themselves comfortable, so then they become part of you and you then feel like you can't live with out them.
Oh man I think I just gave myself a headache. My head feels like it is about to explode. I rummage through my carryon bag and find my toiletries. I retrieve two panadols and fill a glass with water.
I was just half way through my glass of water when I heard the doorbell ring followed by a lot of banging. I made my way to the front door and pulled it open. I gasped and almost dropped the glass at the sight of the one person I just couldn't deal with right at the moment standing on my door stoop.
"Hello Hiwatari. Can I come in?"
Without waiting for my approval he pushed past me and walked into the kitchen. I just stood there, one hand grasping the cup, the other still on the door and my mouth hanging wide open. I snapped out of my daze and closed the door with a soft click. I turned to follow him but that's when I realized at he called me Hiwatari and not Kai. I gulped in reflex. I had a feeling that Kinomiya Takao was very very angry with me.
As I entered my kitchen I did not acknowledge the seraph glowering at me from his place at the table. I placed my cup in the sink and slowly turned to him.
"Hello Takao. How are you?"
"How am I?" he questioned, "I'm pissed off that's what I am Hiwatari."
"Why is that?"
"Why? Why? I'll tell you why you bastard. You left in the middle f the night, with no warning, no note. And then you were gone for five years. Five very long years and never once did you contact me. I mean us, you never contacted us. I was...I mean we were worried sick about you."
I didn't trust myself to speak.
"For all I knew, you could have been dead."
"I said that I am sorry Takao."
"No...no," he stuttered, "That isn't good enough. I have spent five years wondering and worrying about you and you saying you're sorry isn't going to bring my five years back."
"Cause you can't turn back time."
"No," I almost sniggered at his childishness but I didn't dare in his presence, "I mean why did you care about what happened to me."
"What?" I asked, completely confused. Why was he denying that he cared when he previously stated that he did?
"I don't care what happened to you, Kai. I only ever cared about you. Only you."
I was once again stunned into silence.
"I always admired you damnit. You were perfect and always so in control and I wanted you to acknowledge me, I wanted your friendship."
"I can't give that to you."
"I know that now."
I always believed that you would come back to me. I mean you had disappeared before but you had always returned to me and the others. But after the first couple of years I began to lose hope. I was haunted by the things you had screamed at me that night you left. I thought that I had truly pushed your limits because never before had you ever lost your control like that, never had you raised you voice at us; never before had you raised your hand against me."
I hung my head in shame.
"Do you have any idea who I felt this afternoon, when I looked up and saw you there; as beautiful as I remembered, as strong and as alluring as ever? All I ever wanted was to be with you Kai. I just wanted to be acknowledged and accepted by you."
"But you were."
"Do you really think that I would have put up with Kenny's whining, Max and Rei's crazy antics and your bullheadedness if I truly did not want to? Sometimes everything became a little to much for me and I couldn't blow of steam but throwing a tantrum or meditating or analyzing stats. I had to be by myself, because that was what I was raised as. A loner. I was comfortable on my own. Sometimes I just needed that."
"Oh...but that still doesn't explain why you hit me or why you went away for five years."
"When I hit you, I was angry with myself and I took it out on you."
"Because I was confused and you were the source of all of my worries."
"And I went away to America because I needed my freedom, from my ties here, from my responsibilities here and mainly I just needed to be away from you."
He looked up at me then, his eyes shining with tears.
"No I didn't mean it like that. I was confused. When I looked at you I felt so lost. You see my grandfather taught me my path and all of my life I had stuck to this one path because without it I would be lost. If I lose myself than whom do I become?"
"Oh...I think that I understand Kai."
"You do? Good, because I don't. Can you explain it to me?"
"Sure. You view yourself as the darkness, am I correct?"
I nodded in agreement.
"And you see me as the light."
Again I nodded.
"And in your head you think that the darkness and the light can never be joined because then the darkness; the shadow disappears."
"Yes," I whispered. How could he read me like that?
He took a step closer to me until he was so close that I could feel his warm breath dance across my cheeks.
"Come into the light, Kai. And we will be one together. You will not lose your way – simply follow a different path. A path in which joins you and me together."
I took a step closer and he wrapped his arms around me and my shadows melted away.
I was flooded with light.
A/N: Oh man, finally finished. I cut out so much stuff to make this a oneshot. I hope that you like it. It is straight fluff – I tried my hand at angst but I don't think that it worked all that well.
Thanks to Blackout12 who helped me with the names of some things.^^
Anyways. Got lots of work to do. So many assignments O.o