Dark Adaptation.

DISCLAIMER: Descendants of Darkness does not belong to me. I know this may come as a surprise to some of you people, but I really do not own it. Honestly. I don't. Really, check the credits if you don't believe me. I assure you, you will not find my name there anywhere.

Note: All new and improved chapter two, ladies and gentleman! (Do any men actually read this, I wonder?) Not much has been added or subtracted from this chapter either, though I have changed much of the conversation between 'Saki' and Kazutaka, to fit what happens in later chapters. Basically, I've just tightened the screws a little. This is my preferred version of chapter two, so if my readers would be so kind as to delete any previous saved versions of Perfect Asylum and replace it with this one, I would be very happy!

Tsuzuki: Oh, come on Hickok! You can't ask em to do that!

Hickok: Why not? I don't want to be contradicted by my previous errors! I need to cover my ass here!

Watari: What was that?! Whose ass is being covered?

Muraki: Not yours if that's what you were wondering. Personally I don't care what version the readers have of this chapter. It's repulsive either way.

Oriya: You do write some appalling shit, Hickok.

Hickok: I know. I love it. ^^ Enjoy the chapter you guys!

Muraki: No sensitivity whatsoever.

Hisoka: Like you've earned it!

~ X ~

I tried to kill the pain

But only brought more (So much more)

I lay dying

And I'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal

I'm dying, praying, bleeding and screaming

Am I too lost to be saved?

Am I too lost?

My God my tourniquet

Return to me salvation

My God my tourniquet

Return to me salvation

Do you remember me?

Lost for so long

Will you be on the other side

Or will you forget me?

I'm dying, praying, bleeding and screaming

Am I too lost to be saved?

Am I too lost?

My God my tourniquet

Return to me salvation

My God my tourniquet

Return to me salvation

My wounds cry for the grave

My soul cries for deliverance

Will I be denied Christ?


My suicide

~ "Tourniquet" ~


~ X ~

"Storms make trees take deeper roots." ~ Dolly Parton

Perfect Asylum


A memory that belonged to a monster I have shared with no one. The nightmare memory that bequeathed itself to me without any warning or preparation, on the nights when I would least expect its' presence. Appropriate I suppose. It was in the very same state of mind that he himself disrupted the happy affair of my life with his presence.

A monster that continues to make a monster quiver even after all these years.

Saki Shidou.

My brother. Or should I say half brother? It is the perpetual scorn I face every hour of every day to consent to the verity that the creature responsible for the despair of my family, shares my blood, albeit in such an insignificant way.

The revival of that nightmare, is what led me to this place now.

I was only fourteen years old when that event took place; the event that tattooed itself into my mind, like the curse I inflicted on that boys' body so many years later. Part of me had been stained by every drop of Saki; a touch on my skin that eternally lingers and can never be washed away. A cruel contact that I despised and yet wanted to better, to duplicate.

To perfect.

It happened the night following my mother's death. No... not her death. That is too placid a word to accurately describe the torment she had suffered in the very moments before I, her own child, had been forced to end her life.

The night following my mother's slaughter. Her cold-blooded mutilation. A brother's gift to his brother, a gift I would never understand let alone accept. Even now, with the stain upon my own hands I still struggle to interpret his unique motive when he presented her to me in that state of delicious bloody mutilation. Eyes eviscerated in crimson sheen of life essence only visible in impending death. Parts of her body severed, her own hair tied in ghastly tourniquets to slow her blood loss and prolong this beautiful and agonizing dissolution that he had allowed me to witness.

It was I that finally allowed her to die. A moment that should have ebbed any hunger within me to ever take another life. Ah... how ironic that it did not stiffle the demon in me, but rather awoke it in an infant stage of ferocity and vengefulness.

I had once felt the guilt as you do now, my dear Mr. Tsuzuki. My guilt broke me that ebony night when I literally felt my mother die inside my own head. Nothing since, save my passion for you, has ever come close to replicating that euphoria of experiencing another's death in the way that only we descendants of darkness can. To have them die inside of us and yet to keep on living... I understood then what true peace, what true pleasure could mean at last. It had taken my mother's death to see it but those few moments of her final withering breaths, allowed me one small window of freedom.

Such as the sublime ambience of orgasm however, such pleasure passes once the life ebbs completely from the body, leaving behind a boy immersed with guilt at the despairing crying of the demon within him. The demon that wanted more, more, more! That constant, insistent cry that would never allow me to rest in my endless pursuit of life in order to sate myself. To reclaim that feeling I had at my mother dying in my arms; at my very fingertips.

I suppose that was part of his objective too. Part of his gift to me, to help me in my transition from light into darkness. Born onward into the secretive future that no longer shrouded me in its' shadow. There is no shadow in darkness after all.

However, I would not realize this until I tasted fully the bitterness of personal suffering, bore into my body through the finesse delicate art of demon energy. In other words, my humanity was not to be cast aside at the pleasure and guilt I took in my own mad mother's death. The way she had lived and ended her life had all been in madness but by the by she had still been a mother to me. I had been her doll and I did not care for what had happened for her.

I had no gratitude for this gift my "brother" had offered me.

It was this event that awoke me to a state I very rarely find myself any more, those few weeks ago. Sweating and uncertain. I would say fearful, but I do not register fear as an appropriate phrasing of the feeling I have at the recurrence of this event. At the time perhaps, but I had been more human then. More childish and vulnerable.

Those many years ago, the night following the night of my mother's death I had mustered the courage to finally confront "Saki". Though I had no evidence to prove that he was the main offender, it was the undeniable expression I saw on his face, when he and my father had stumbled across the body of my mother, secured to me even in death. Something on Saki's features registered within me as being chary. A predatory smile, so slight it was nearly undetectable.

This had been more then enough to effectively assure my inner convictions.

In the dream I could never run fast enough. Even in my own mental representation, I could never escape the reality of what had happened to me that one fateful night...

Saki had been washing his hands in the basin of his en suite, when I confronted him. This meeting was of my own design and I had planned to carry it out singularly, without the assistance of my father. I had arranged it perfectly. He would be out, seeing to the funeral arrangements of my deceased mother and the servants were all in their quarters.

Tonight, I would assure that Saki confessed to me the logic behind his inane actions. It didn't occur to me for one second that he would be able to subdue me such as he had my pathetically weak mother. I was younger than he, but I was still capable and my knowledge of the body lent to me some advantage if he chose to react arduously.

The door to the en suite was opened, but I knocked anyway despite the fact that I had already entered his bedroom without permission. I wanted to gain his attention but keep a safe distance between us, in case he thought to attack me. It was better to be safe than sorry.

My half brother looked up at my insistent knock, dark hair brushing against the side of his face to match his movements. I staved my fist from tapping the wood once more and instead rested it on the doorframe, staring up at my older brother by a few months. The benighted love child of my father's unfaithfulness. His face revealed nothing, his blue eyes as expressionless as ever.

With the exception of the night before... when he had seen her bloody corpse in my arms...

"Is something wrong?" He asked, in that strained tone of voice of haunted nightmares and whispered accusations in the dark. I resisted from assuring him that I had nothing to say and turning around before that voice sought to claim my courage, just as it claimed my captivation. There was no turning back now and the bloodied image of my broken mother, face torn like a china doll dashed upon the ground, hung heavy over my head.

My fist shook in indication of my suppressed fury, trembling at my side. My nails dug deep into the mahogany doorframe, nearly tearing up splinters in my consternation and anger. I forced myself to meet his eyes.

"I know you did it..." I whispered, voice heavy with condemnation. He cocked his head to the side as though he had not heard and took a step closer, ever so slightly closing the gap between us.

"What did you-"

"I know it was you!" I hissed, matching his movements by stepping out into the bedroom. Darkness fell over me, the light from the bathroom no longer stretching out far enough to encompass me. Saki looked like some demented angel standing beneath the golden arch of the heated orbs. A mock representation of our religion, the angel Gabriel. Angel of death. "It was you who did that to mother! I could tell from the look on your face when you found me with her! You were the one... the one who broke her and left her to die like that..."

I found something about the look in Saki's eyes disconcerting. Rather than an expression of indignation and outrage at such a forthright declamation, he in aversion looked positively serene. A lazy smile caressed his features; like a tiny line of blood drawn with the very tip of a knife blade.

"Such a bold statement..." He purred, lustful amusement dancing in his eyes. Again, he further broached the distance and I took another step away, as though we were mimicking some primitive dance. Still that smile sought to reel me in with each word spooling from between those thin, bloodless lips. "And were I to admit to this... atrocity that has aggrieved our family so... what of it? What are you to do with me, my dear Kazu?"

"Don't call me by that name!" I snapped, feeling behind me through the darkness for the security of the door handle. I was starting to believe this whole confrontation to be a mistake. "You have no right to address me as though you know me!"

He ignored me sharply and leaned forward all too quickly for comfort, a widening, maddening grin corroding his young features. There was something mad writhing behind his eyes, something he had no desire to reign in, let alone resist. "What will you do, Kazutaka? What will you do?! Where will you go?" The words became a mocking mantra, sung to the pounding of my heart as he progressed toward me through the dark, teeth shining with a slight film of saliva. I could feel my pulse race.

"I-I'll tell father! And he'll have you sent away!" I babbled, almost tripping over myself in my haste to flee the room. He was advancing toward me with surreptitious ease, rousing my heart as it began to hammer out a warning signal to every pulse in my body. "Somewhere far, far away and you'll be locked up forever! Like a mental asylum and they'll never let you out! Not ever!" My very words were that of a madman, caged between four walls and the man coming ever closer, seeking to silence me of my lunatic cries once and for all. This room was to become my asylum, where I would descend into madness once and for all.

I could detect Saki's eyes as they roved across my body in lust-crazed appreciation and I suddenly felt fey beneath those cobalt twins. I was wearing a silk yukata, tailored to my lean frame but with one white shoulder exposed from where I had allowed the material to fall astray in what I thought to be an aesthetically pleasing fashion. I found myself pulling the fabric back into place as those eyes beckoned enticingly; a demon's lure. A key lock kiss to cage me to his possession. I found myself even more frightened then my initial assumption had led me to. At the worst, I thought he might kill me as he did my mother. In brutality, in morbid precision and delicate appreciation for ailing life, surveyed from over blood caked fingernails.

I was to learn that at worse, that his punishment would not award to me the sweet, forgiving temperateness of death.

A pale hand descended from out of the darkness, cupping my cheek in a false impression of clemency. I could feel the malice beneath those stained fingertips, the air thick and heavy in that abrupt increase of breath from his mouth.

"Tell father?" He asked with insincere innocence. "Tell me... Kazutaka; do you intend to convey my confession to him through prayer? For where is he now? How should he hear you, lest it be in prayer?"

I whimpered as my back hit the wall and I darted a quick glance to my left. I had misjudged the angle! The door was eight feet to my left at most! I wanted to make a run for it, but Saki still had a firm grip on my face and now his fingernails were lightly biting into my flesh, as though I were a fish on a hook. I was secured to him, to be reeled in and applauded as his prize. I had never felt more frightened.

"When father comes back-"

"When father comes back?!" He repeated, his voice an audacious mockery of my own hopeful tone. He started to laugh, his shoulders rising and falling in full richness of both sound and movement. Even those blue shades were sheathed by the curtain of his eyelids; as though this was truly the result of a wonderful joke I had told. Though I had no perception of any humor in what I had just said.

"Just listen to yourself! When Father comes back? I think we both know, Kazutaka, that 'Father' isn't coming back." Saki's jeering laughter filtered away to these few words, spoken over a cruel chuckle. A verification of my naivity.

My eyes widened, as the realization became all too apparent. I wanted to scream an objection, to question how it was possible when I had not even noticed his absence from the house when my father too had left. Saki saw understanding shape my expression and laughed loudly again, his head tilting back as though it were simply too much for his body to handle.

"That's right Kazutaka!" He shrieked, ducking his head down and laughing from between his clenched teeth, still holding me close by one hand. "You get it now, you ignorant little brat! Don't you?! You're all alone in this world now, boy. Now, no one will come for you."

"No..." I could barely hear myself speak the word.

"'Fraid so." He said without the least bit of sympathy. "The car never left the garage. I gave him a quicker death than that stupid bitch, so at the very least you should be grateful for that. It won't be on your poor innocent conscience to bear the responsibility for the death of another loved one. Though I did so enjoy seeing that delightful look on your face when you had no choice but to end sweet Mommy's wretched life! Lovely..."

At this, he moved even closer to me, bringing the other hand up to angle my chin toward the ceiling, studying me fervently. My voice was wracked with tremulations as I felt the heat from his body entangle with my own.

"You... you bastard..." There was little effort in my words. The news of my fathers death had too easily taken its' toll on me. I'm sure Saki had been more than aware of that, had used it to his advantage in order to weaken me for the upcoming ordeal. Those eyes surveyed my body as though I were an expanse of land to the eye of an experienced landowner. In the same manner I could see all too easily the anticipation of what my body could afford him, of what dark arts he could perfect with my essence.

Of how he could use me for his own benefit.

"A child's face is never more beautiful than when it is struck by trauma. That naivety… that pure unadulterated confusion…" Carnal lust and desire punctured Saki's expression as one of his hands fluttered down from my cheek to my neck, where he began to stroke the hallow that rose with every breath. His lips moved to brush against my own bloodless pillars, causing an influx of cold shivers beneath my skin. Saki grinned approvingly.

"Ah Kazu...Isn't this better, though? This is what you wanted, after all." He breathed, using my first name to indicate his intimacy of afforded mercy toward me. Mercy, such as extended by one true savior in exchange for his own life, now offered to me by the man whom had delivered me into the very depths of Hell. I was praying then... Oh Christ, forgive me for my failing faith in you my Lord. I did not want to die that night, not like that. In the name of Saki's mercy I was prepared to offer my faith to that of a false God and worship him in place of Christ. I would have given him anything, if it meant that I would not die there in that room. Anything in place of whatever death luck itself afforded me, as long as it would not be the vile death at his hands.

He appraised me once more, lips trailing up my temple and a slight smile drawn into the very corner of my sight.

"Kazutaka..." Said the whispered deceiver, eyes shining in the dark. "I can see you laying on a bed of roses... a kiss of blood lining the corner of your lips. How beautiful those scarlet petals would look in comparison to your ashen skin. The perfume caressing your body in waves of finger light brush strokes carrying you gently into death." Saki gripped my chin between his thumb and the knuckle of his curved index finger, his expression delighted. "I think that's the way I want to see you dead. You don't have to die like they did you know. Don't be deceived by them, simply because they were your parents Kazutaka. Weak humans, that is all they were! They were nothing compared to me! To me... and to what you could be! I gave you her life to take, because I knew you'd be able to see in her death, the pure resolution in what it is you have the worth and potential to become! Do not cast that away with false nobility and ideas of a humanity you have no right to partake in! Where's the justice in that? It is a stolen life Kazu! Her blood is on your hands now and that is something you can never run from."

I wanted to block out his words, to deny them with the driving force of my delirious passion to stay alive and avenge my murdered family. To avenge myself being left alone in this world with no one but this insane, twisted thing that had been my brother. I wanted to tear his face apart with my fingernails and hear his howls echo within my ears with each strike. I wanted to see him bleed and beg for mercy, to choke on his own vitae. I wanted to severe his limbs and gouge his eyes out and force him to end his life as a pathetic broken doll, the way he had forced me to end my mother's life.

And it was because of this desire, that I could do none of it.

He was right. To live the life of a human was a stolen lie that I could not partake in. Not now. Without even saying a word, he knew the blood thirst in me. That aching desire to sate myself in the essence of that single, incomparable moment of death where I could feel the soul slipping away. Could almost see those slender fingers of death snuffing out the burning wick of that candle.

The monster was right. I too longed to regain that moment, again and again and again. I could see it in him. And he could see it in me.

Yet I would still deny him with everything I had! Whether he was right or not, did not resolve the fact that I hated him with all my heart!

As I turned my head away, he forcefully pulled it back into his line of sight, his expression amused.

"Running, running, running. I suppose you will spend your whole life running, Kazu?"

I refused to answer, to even acknowledge that I had heard him.

A soft murmur. "Yes... I think I will see you dead one day on a bed of roses. I will not give you the death I gave them Kazutaka. No... you will be my most perfect piece of art. Skin supple and pale, outlined by the tender blush of a blanket of roses. Your lips softened in blood... Ah... those that cared for you would grieve at your death Kazu, but you can just imagine the words they would say, can you not? 'How terrible it was for Kazutaka Muraki to die, for he is so young. But oh my, as awful as it was, he did look most beautiful lying amid all those roses. He seemed so peaceful at last.' They will not know whom it was who gave him such a perfect death, but the time will pass when all will come to appreciate the artistic wonder I am able to bestow upon the loved corpses I leave in my wake. Kazu... you will enable me to perfect my art. I will show you death in its' most delicious, its' most seductive form and you will be remembered. You will be my most beautiful design..." I felt his lips there, against my ear. "Through you… I will complete my mark. So that all those that witness your body, all those that fall prey to your madness… will remember that it was I who gave rise to you. It was I who granted you that blood red moon…"

With a soft hiss, he slowly moved his hand down along the curve of my back and onto my buttocks. I exclaimed loudly as he grabbed the tender flesh, almost bruising me in his viscous attempts to manipulate it.

"Saki... that's enough!" I tried to speak firmly but was distracted somewhat by my half brother moving that hand up my back once more, tracing a long finger up my spine. 'Dear God...'I thought, unable to deny that the feeling was obliquely good. "Let go of me! Please, just let me go!"

"Do you want to die tonight, perfect doll?" Saki whispered as he planted feverish kisses across my cheeks. I shuddered at the affectionate application as well as the cruel reference to my mother's prior obsession with me. 'Her perfect doll...' Now I was to be Saki's 'perfect design...' I couldn't handle this. I just wanted to curl up and die.

"Yes..." I mumbled and cried out as Saki gripped my shoulder savagely, pressing his teeth hard against it. "Yes! Just let me die! Kill me like you did her! Let me die that way!" Suddenly I was yelling. Yelling and sobbing at the same time, tears springing outward from my stinging eyes. "Gouge my eyes out! Scar my body and tear off my fingers one by one! Make me ugly! Make me UGLY! I don't want to be anyone's 'perfect' anymore!"

Truly I was as broken as any doll had ever been that night. Saki had succeeded in doing so with barely the minimalist of effort and that is something I would never hope to duplicate, no matter the experience I have since acquired. By begging Saki to kill me, I had given him permission to me. I had handed him the key to all parts of my conscious and subconscious body, inviting him in to whatever part of me he desired access. And despite the lack of light in the room, I saw very clearly how aware he was of my surrender. I noticed the blue pupils in his eyes narrow down to a sliver in the center, the emanating demonic desire to quell the hunger within him the only way he wanted to. By giving him permission, he owned me. Saki's eyes focused intently on me. He wasn't much bigger than me but there was power within him, unyielding even to my most persuasive struggles. The demon in him was surging its' way to the surface, erupting into his consciousness like some deep sea creature rising up to claim him as its' own. And Saki reacted to it, unable and most likely retaining little to no desire to resist that seductive tug.

"But perfect you are..." He almost purred, his voice guttural and primitive. A light seemed to dawn in his eyes. "Kazu... my perfect design. My perfect doll. You deserve nothing more then the perfect demonstration of my power. The perfect hurt, to linger for an imperfect half life of mortal mockery..."

I stifled a cry as Saki drove his lips against mine, bruising them in his mad fit. My hands came up to push against his chest, meeting resistance as hard and unyielding as concrete. Saki smiled maddeningly as he suckled on my resisting lips, pushing his tongue violently into my mouth as I attempted to pull back from this disgusting violation. Anyone forcing themselves on me in this fashion would have been bad enough let alone my half-brother. This fact alone, this incestuous evil he sought to enforce over me, represented a new kind of violation. It was like kicking sand in the face of our religion. Saki had become something abominable and his act of pervasion upon me was for more alone then to simply sate his demonic urges. This was part of his perfection. His perfection in the disruption of all our God stood for. Incest was wrong, as was homosexuality. It said so in the Bible.

My movements became hindered as Saki gripped the nape of my neck, holding my head in place whilst he clutched my hind in his other hand and lifted me off the ground. I sobbed as he pressed me back against the wall, confused beyond all conscious articulation. Not just at his violent actions, but at the simple fact that he seemed intent on kissing me. Why should that have mattered? Kissing is intimate after all and his actions towards me should have been anything but intimate.

"Don't refuse me, Kazutaka..." He growled, allowing his lips to fall astray. He studied my tear stained face for a moment and smiled in adoration. "You are so beautiful child... broken and torn at the seams like that. What a sight... I won't take no for an answer now. Not when you look as ravishing as you do."

"Saki!" I howled, pushing at the fingers on my neck. "You have already condemned yourself from Heaven by what you did to my parents! Don't commit another sin that will prevent you from ever repenting for your crimes! Please... don't test God's everlasting mercy!"

I suddenly found myself tossed roughly to the bedroom floor. Pain flared up my spine as I tried to think of a way to rectify this situation, sobbing at the jarring pain racing along my backbone. What a fool I had been, to think I could have made Saki confess to his sins on my own! I should have made one of the servants come with me. Or taken a rifle out of the cabinet and confronted him with that. Or run far away from the house without a backward glance, putting all the bloodshed and horror into the farthest corners of my imagination, never to be unveiled again.

The only absolution I could come up with at the time, was the idea of screaming for help. The servants quarters were not all that far from the house itself and with any luck, perhaps one of them was taking a walk outside and might happen to hear me yelling. Granted the windows were closed, mother had always assured me that I had a pair of powerful lungs as an infant and the way I see it, you can only improve with age, right?

All right. I will admit that it was a relatively weak hope but in those few moments I clung to it as a drowning man to a bow of driftwood. Floundering in the darkness, this tiny possibility allowed me to stay afloat when my mind threatened to sink into the darkest recess of my mind.

I pushed myself up on my elbows, mouth opened to scream a hearty cry for help, when Saki's hand slapped against my throat. He squeezed so firmly; a strangled squeak was the only sound I was able to emit.

"Do you actually think I give a damn about God?" Saki spat; digging his nails in hard enough to draw blood. "It matters not to me whether I am accepted into this child's dream of divine forgiveness and God's everlasting mercy. If such a being truly exists, then where is he now? Why hasn't he stopped me from doing all these dreadful, evil things to your family? There is no God! God cannot possibly possess the audacity to condemn me, when he has not ever raised a finger against me! What gives Him that right? Nothing! And that's why I will not be bound by the shackles of such hypocrisy that you deign to call religion! A savior who dies to forgive us our sins? Ha! What lunacy! There is nothing that will save me now. Not this stained soul, these stained hands. And I wouldn't have it any other way. That is why I will take you Kazu, whether you want to be taken or not! If Christ truly loves you, he will forsake Heaven and all the grace and compassion of his Holy Father – to stay my hand!"

At that, his lips found mine again and he kissed me with the savage intentions of a rabid animal. Fear overtook my senses when I started to understand some of "Saki's" logic.

There is a quote that I am particularly fond of, that seems to explain Saki's administrations toward me that night. Christopher Marlowe once stated that; "- for where we are is hell, and where hell is, there must we ever be."

This was his act of defiance. To deny Christ, deny the very existence of all I had come to believe in, that restored my faith in humanity and the hope that there may some day be a sound absolution that might save my soul from damnation.

And Saki's plan was to stave this hope out as effectively as he had staved out the eyes of my mother. To take me, his own brother, "Saki" was condemning me along with him. It was a sin to mate with your own blood relatives. And it was an utter revulsion to someone with personal respect, such as I possessed.

This creature had always excelled in distinguishing the frail traits of others.

Panic gripped me and I thrashed wildly, punching at the expanse of chest above me as hard as I was able. Saki leant back, snarling like a deranged animal.

"Dammit you bastard! Get off of me!" I stammered, panting harshly as those ice blue eyes surveyed me critically.

A silence followed, a long torturous interregnum where neither one of us moved an inch. My breaths puffed against my brothers pale cheeks as Saki leant close, his hand weaving into my medium length silver hair. I half expected the onslaught to cease at this point; for Saki to present a plausible excuse to me. That he was sick. He had multiple personality syndrome. He was possessed by the devil and we needed to go for an exorcism right away. Anything that might have excused my brother from the acts that he had committed.

Instead, I found myself yanked up firmly by the hair and slapped across the mouth. I tasted blood and realized that the blow had split my lip from top to bottom. Dazed and disoriented, I barely registered that Saki was screaming in my face until he shook me, the roots of my hair tearing from his dynamism.

"Be silent!" He roared, pressing his thumbs so hard into the crevice above my clavicle that I bruised in seconds. "Lie still and be quiet, you stupid boy! I can make this hurt far more than it has to, Kazu. It is your decision."

"Saki!" I gasped, unable to believe what I was hearing. This couldn't be true. Dear God, this just couldn't be happening. "Saki, you can't do this to me! Not to me, you can't! I'm your brother! Your brother!"

White steam issued out from between Saki's teeth and his breath rasped like a dried corpse. I whimpered, knowing that I was seeing something truly malignant. Something that came from Hell surfacing within my brother's consciousness and snaring his desires for a purpose entirely its' own. This was not my brother. This could not come from the boy I knew as Saki Shidou.

"That mortal name... is nothing to me, Kazu." The voice growled, steam gushing from his mouth as though the temperature had dropped to sub-zero in a matter of seconds. Only the room was warm. His mouth came closer to mine and a thin tongue slid out, licking the blood from my torn lip. Saki moaned as though he couldn't get enough and suckled the metallic fluid greedily. "I could devour you alive... you delicious child."

"Get AWAY!" I screamed, flinging back my fist and striking Saki's face as hard as I was able. I was hoping it would stun him momentarily, allowing me a brief window of opportunity to escape. When it came to strength, Saki had me effectively pinned, nil to one. The only chance I had was tactics. And Saki was intelligent, no doubt about it, but I was indisputably much brighter than he. I had to use my brain to get out of this, rather then rely on my limited stamina. Though too panicked to effectively judge my aim, I thrust my fist at an upward angle, hoping to break the bone marrow. A lucky glance may even have penetrated the brain matter. A mortal blow.

My ploy seemed to have done the trick. Saki's head snapped back and blood trickled from one of his nostrils. Seizing my chance, I wriggled out from beneath the older boy and stumbled to my feet, staggering for the bedroom door, only five or so feet away. I managed to get four steps before I felt a hand grasp me by the back of my yukata.

I was tugged backwards so hard and fast, I tripped and sprawled ineloquently on my stomach. The wind was knocked from my lungs and as I lay there, gasping at the air, I felt those feline hands frame my hips and pull me back, spreading my legs on either side of an anticipating waist. I whimpered as Saki drew the lower half of the yukata over my buttocks, pressing his evident hardness against the thin pair of boxers I was wearing beneath them. The fabric surrendered all too easily to the taunt length, keeling down between the cleft, inviting further access.

"You desire this as much as I do, little one..." Saki said mockingly, grasping my bare thighs as hard as he could, preventing my escape. "Otherwise, you would have made it to the door then. You took your sweet time. Now, what is to stop me from taking my own?"

I clawed at the carpet, tearing up threads in my frenzy to draw myself away from him. I considered screaming again but in my heart of hearts, knew that it was no use. It was too late and the servants were too far away. The walls of our mansion were thick and the rooms expansive. It would be a miracle if a cockroach beneath the floorboards below us could hear me, let alone the servants.

Saki may have smiled then. I am not sure if he did at the time, but I see him do so in my dreams and I knowing his nature, such an exhibition was highly likely. His fingers hooked through the band of my boxers and he started to tug them down my waist. I thrashed, as might a fish when raised from the water, refusing to allow this to happen to me. I would endure any physical or mental pain but I could not tolerate the thought of my own brother raping me.

"Let me go!" I screamed, feeling my eyes tear up from the lack of substance in my voice. I wished I wasn't so frightened. "Saki, don't do this to me! Please don't do this to me!"

"Shut up." Saki snapped, pinching the flesh of my hind into the wall of my boxers, hard enough to dispel a cry of pain from me. "I offer you something dignified and possibly pleasurable to take into death and you dare to beg me for butchery? Your cries bore me. I endure this because it pleases me to see you like this after looking down your nose at me for so long."

I sobbed as he spun me around, onto my back and pinned me by both wrists above me head. He paused in his dismissal of my undergarments long enough to bring his face right up against my own, white teeth shining in the dim darkness surmounting the two of us.

"Ever since I arrived here, you've done nothing but made me feel like an unwanted guest in your perfect little world! None of you tried to accept me. Not him, not her and most certainly, not you Kazutaka. This is more then you deserve! After all your mockery, all your snide remarks and put downs, I am generous enough to give you something exquisite in death and this is the thanks I get! You're pathetic, Kazutaka! Not even your precious God could love something like you!"

His anger spent for the time being, he resumed in his task of removing my boxers, using one hand to keep my wrists pinned. I had nothing to say to his hurtful words. It was true... I had been dismissive of him when he had first entered into our household. I hadn't wanted a brother to contend with, a rival to confront in manner of all things. Be they education or the affection of our parents. My attitude towards him had certainly been abrupt to the point of rudeness. However, once I had grown accustomed to his presence, I had done all in my ability to accept him into my life, as difficult as I found the transition. Saki had been, after all, the result of my father's infidelity. Years later, when I had learnt of his meandering affections from my mother, the admittance of Saki into my life only seemed to me, the permitting of his sexual deviance. His adultery. His sin.

I had simply been unable to accept it.

But I had tried to accept Saki. Now that I was faced with the task of interpreting his own feelings however, I could not deny that perhaps I had been than less concerned with his own personal difficulties. Thinking about it now, it was not as though Saki's opinion was consulted on the matter and that might have led him to such nefarious acts toward the family.

Perhaps in some small way, we deserved what happened to us. We deserved to be punished for our hypocrisy; in that we attempted to rectify and excuse the sins we committed. By bringing Saki into our lives and pretending that he was one of us, we could placate our own arrogant minds and rest easy, thinking that we had done the right thing by him.

And this insincerity was rather unlikely to be resolved by a swift apology.

I squirmed pointlessly and Saki sat on my knees to constrict the thrashing of my legs, rendering me completely helpless. I understand now, how formidable he undoubtedly felt. He must have relinquished that feeling of oppressive sanctity over me, an emotion sweeping through him as potent and intoxicating as the purest of alcohol.

I wriggled and bucked my hips in an attempt to throw the older boy off. Saki moved with the motion and continued to pull at the boxers, until at last he was able to see what it was he wanted. With a fell swoop of his hand, he clasped a hold of the tender appendage and stroked it mercilessly, smiling at me the whole time as it grew firm in his fingers.

I bit my already bleeding lip as I struggled to fight off the unwanted pleasure, twisting my body from side to side, to no avail. My knees ached from Saki's scant weight and my face continued to sting from the previous blow. Yet the greatest insult of all was this gift of ecstasy that I did not want. That was being forced upon me. I tried to imagine that it was my beloved; the dark haired angel I had seen in those pictures of my grandfathers. The unknown creature that had so effortlessly captured my heart and desires all through the simple presentation of his glorious face.

It was no use to pretend however. My angel would have inflected a more sedate pleasure upon me, a gentle seduction. Saki was merciless and self indulgent in his ministrations. His thumb located a sweet spot and I yelped at the purely electric shock it sent through me. My brother crooned devilishly in response.

"You mewl like a cat in heat..." He purred, nipping the tender skin on the underside of my chin. "You have no power to fight me off. You'll be begging me to fuck you before this night is up."

"I've already begged you to take my life... I will not stoop so low as to beg you to take my virginity too!" With a defiant swoop of my head, I slammed my chin down between his eyes. Light pain slapped the structure of my jaw but the effect was much more apparent on my half-brother. He reeled off slightly to the right, neck snapping to one side with an unholy crack and settling back into place. His grip loosened moderately, which was just enough. With all the power I possessed, I clasped one fist inside of the other and brought it down forcefully on the crown of Saki's head.

I didn't even wait around to see if it had any effect. I scrambled away as quickly as I could, kicking off my constricting boxers as they bunched around my feet and stumbling on the trailing length of my robes as I made for the door. My fingers had closed around the gold knob when Saki caught up to me.

He whipped me around by the wrist and pinned me to the door, pressing the length of his body against my own. I couldn't ignore the eager hardness I felt biting into my inside thigh, nor the thread of almost hysterical glee on Saki's face. One side of his face seemed to have developed this perpetual twitch and his eyes kept rolling from side to side, as though focusing on objects that no one else was able to see. I was more afraid than I care now to admit, particularly by the way his eyes roved across my body. It filled me with a kind of fear I never expected once in my life to be submitted to. The fear of a person who was subject to the mercy of a rapist.

There was a sensation in Saki's eyes, like something trying to break free but lacked the strength to do so. Blood mingled about his lips and ran dry rivers down from his nose. Yet he seemed completely unfazed by my last assault on him.

"You fine child..." The voice cooed, cupping my face with both hands and kissing my swollen lips. I tried to press them together to reduce the amount of insipid intimacy but he forced them apart with his tongue. "You fight like a wounded fox, a cornered animal. ... Oh my perfect rosebud, my perfect design... it makes me want you all the more. Every inch of your flesh, every drop of your blood. My delicious doll..."

"Stop it Saki." I pleaded, feeling my strength leaving me in waves. I had no energy left to fight as Saki lifted me up and bore me towards the bed. "You're hurting me. Please... stop it..."

"When you speak to me like that, how can you just expect me to leave you be?" My brother asked softly, peeling the yukata off of my slim form and tossing it aside. I was completely exposed to him, to the utter subjection of his lustful gaze. "Your body wants it. Your body wants to contribute to my perfect design. I want to take you in all senses and drown myself in you. You're mine, Kazu. I'll take you when I want to."

"STOP IT!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, batting those obtrusive hands away. "I have no idea who you are. You're not Saki! You're NOT! YOU'RE NOT!"

Saki roared in primal rage, shoving me backwards' onto the bed and sliding between my legs, pinning me down. Steam issued from between his teeth again in cold volumes, spilling out across my cheeks.

"You're right... I'm so much more than Saki, you stupid boy. And I will have you." His hand descended and slapped me hard across the face, stunning me. A second blow came and almost rendered me unconscious. I clung on though, feeling paralyzed in body and soul as Saki buried his face between my thighs. I sobbed relentlessly, trying to bring my hands around to shove him away but not quite able to focus. Everything was fading, blurring in and out of reality. Saki turned his attention from my erection, lunged upward like some caustic snake and bit my inside thigh, drawing wet spots of blood as teeth punctured flesh. I yelped in response and struck out with my foot, ramming it against hard shoulder bone in an attempt to drive him back. In response, Saki lunged forward and sank his teeth into the larynx of my neck. I screamed, resisting the temptation to thrash around, save Saki tear the skin from my exposed throat. I opted instead to lie still, whimpering quietly as my brother lapped the hot, thick blood as it oozed from the wound.

Saki gripped the front of his shirt and tore it off, the buttons popping as they were strained from the fabric. With some difficulty, he unbuckled his pants, shoving them away in the haste to reveal himself. He nibbled evocatively at my neck, licking up my chin and onto my lips, forcing his tongue inside again. His hand trailed down my thigh awakening a new series of sensations in my perineum. At his attentions, I moaned audibly, a mixture of guilty pleasure and duplicate revulsion wracking my body in twin partnership. Gradually, my senses were coming somewhat back into focus and this enabled me coherence enough to dig my fingernails as hard as I could into Saki's back. I scratched and clawed, drawing long trails of blood, biting against his shoulder and screaming with the vengeance of a wild animal being plucked from the wilderness and caged behind bars. Saki gurgled in delirious appreciation and ground his hips against mine, causing cruel sweet pleasure to ascend my groin. Physical substance such as I had never known before left me writhing in disgust at my own purely primitive pleasure. It was horrifying. Horrifying because of the implications of who Saki was and the strict constrictions of my religion. But even more detestable was the undeniable fact that it simply felt so good.

"Yes... bite, scratch, make me bleed, my rosebud." He purred, sliding his hand down beneath my buttocks. Something inside my head roared in objection, wanted to oppress him in this way, rather than be taken. I didn't understand any of it. Not these feelings that didn't seem to be my own and certainly not Saki's. "I enjoy feeling you hurt me. It makes the situation that much more scintillating, don't you think?"

"You crazy bastard!" I shrieked, using my legs to try and throw Saki off now. "I can't even contemplate what you hope to achieve here! All you will get is my hatred!"

Tired of our game, Saki sat back and gripped my ankles, lifting my legs up to rest against his shoulders. The blood rushed between my ears as I felt him nudge against my virgin entrance. I covered my face with my hands, not wanting to see him rob me of something I had been saving for a love I truly had no hope of finding in this life. I didn't want to lose my virginity this way. Not to this... misshapen wretch of a thing I had once called brother.

Saki battered my hands away. "Look at me you little insect! I want to see your face wrench out of its' loveliness. To see you repent for the sins you committed against me."

He leaned close as though sharing a conspiracy with me. "This will be something you shall take with you until the moment of your death. We're bound to one another. I am your God now and only I can forgive you your sins. Look into my eyes and beg for my forgiveness. Pray to be released from the shackles of sin that bind you. Pray to me Kazutaka. Pray to me..."

I groaned in utter revulsion, my fingers clenched into claws that sought to reach up and gouge my face away so I wouldn't have to meet his gaze. I didn't want this sick thread to stand between us for all time; to bear the knowledge that we were creatures locked together in my virginal obliteration. At that very moment I could think of nothing. Nothing but this pounding, unforgivable hatred of him and all that he was. A hate that should very well have condemned me to damnation.

I did not beg for his mercy.

The act of consummation I shall discretely veil for your benefit. "Saki's" infringement upon me, needs no validation to further extend the memory of his pitiful existence. The torment of my emotional state in regards to the event, even now persuades me to doubt the authenticity of my memories. I would favorably entertain the whimsies, that the whole event only occurred in one of the dark labyrinths of my twisted consciousness.

But it did happen.

The proof of Saki's harried violation was revealed in a series of deep bite marks, peppered across my body in random childlike selection. When he climaxed a primeval roar burst from his throat as he uploaded his seed into my caverns, lifting his hips upwards as hard as he could. I couldn't contain a sob of relief as I felt those warm wet waves flood my canals and the hard pain dissipate. I half panted, half cried at the ceiling as Saki slid from my entrance inch by inch until his limp sex fell away completely. Lines of blood and semen dribbled miserably down the underside of my thighs, my own desire left hot and unfulfilled. Saki paused that way for a minute, apparently waiting for the euphoria of orgasm to pass. After a while, his eyes slowly opened, still very much alive with that fire and he lowered his hand, sweeping it up my thigh in one quick motion, renewing my still very present craving. He examined his hand idly and then lowered it to smear some of the scarlet fluid across my lips, tracing a thin line down from one corner. The smile grew upon his face, even as he painted the blankets framing my head with the traces of my own blood. I simply let him do it, no longer caring enough to prevent his sick games.

"Laying on a bed of roses..." He spoke in a susurration, caressing the right side of my face as though I were one of the porcelain dolls my mother prized. I allowed him, no longer seeing the benefit in resisting. My reason for struggling had long since evaporated.

Saki studied me ardently for a minute or so and then it seemed he lost interest. With a distasteful grunt, he shoved my legs to the side.

"Get going." He said coldly, examining his sex, slick with semen and vitae. "Go clean yourself up."

I didn't know what to make of this. But I was not about to remain around to question Saki's motives, so I obediently swung my legs over the side of the bed and tried to stand.

That's when I felt it.

A burning sensation speared into the base of my spinal cord, spinning in circular succession and reverberating up through my body. It was comparable to a corkscrew being buried into the lower disks in my back, sending a million probes of bolting hot energy fluctuating up through the varying layers of bone, muscle, blood and flesh. My very sinews stretched to the point of snapping, a chasm of fire and shadow ripping through my body in senseless uproar. I heaved a moan as my toes folded over themselves and my knees caved in, sending me crashing to the floor.

For a grim moment there was no rationality, no reasoning for anything. I lay sprawled on the carpet, bleeding from what felt like everywhere as a second rape was bestowed upon me. The cells of my body exploded in heat and I panted in horror as thick black and red lining appeared on the flesh of my hands. As I saw it, I too felt it creeping along my back, chest, shoulders, arms and legs. All over me, this cryptic scripture placed its' mark on me, branded into my flesh.

I started to scream. I screamed as hard as my body would allow, chest heaving with every intake of breath, nails scraping at the piping hot flesh and larva colored lines being carved into it. Behind me, I could hear Saki laughing.

"So now you know what it means to suffer..."

"W-what have you d-d-done to me?!" I sobbed.

Saki chuckled softly, no venom in his voice. He lay on his stomach on the bed; legs bent upward vertical from the knee and kicking back and forth in the manner of a high school girl on the phone to a friend. His expression was marginally buoyant.

"First of all, I would advise you to relax little Kazu and it will make the process that little bit more bearable." He soothed as I continued to twitch about on the floor. "As to what it is, well. This my child, is me." He laughed at my sweat pinched face and brushed his hair back, jovially, licking a little blood from his fingertips. He sighed softly, as though he were a connoisseur approving a world class wine.

"Can you feel it, my dear child? Burning into your skin, deep into the nodes of your bones, flush with the running rivulets of your blood so that it may twist ever downward into the beating heart, the twisted bowels, penetrating ever while further still to rupture the very soul. You can feel it can't you?" His eyes took on a hideous countenance, shining in a light that was not present in this dark, despicable ensconce. It would seem to me at the time that it was the very cruelty of this wretched soul that gave clarity to what the nighttime shadows ought to have veiled. As though, this corrupted essence brought with it the afterglow of the fires of hell, surely from which only such evil could possibly spring. "You wanted this, you know… and as with all things, there is a price. This is the payment I demand in having delivered your most earnest desires in full. And now that you have what it is that you most desire, I sentence recompense in turn." His hand darted down, to cup the curve of my chin and pull it back tightly against the side of the bed, the back of my head striking the iron underside and resonating pain through my skull that I was not yet num to, despite what torturous affliction despoiling the rest of my body. "What you are feeling right now Kazutaka, is a mark that I call The Shukusatsu. For what am I if not a seed, bereft of soil with no place to lay down my roots?" His finger reached out and gently tapped one of those growing lines, depressing the flesh ever so slightly. "This pain you are feeling… are those roots growing, stretching out, reaching their tendrils into the nourishment of your soul, assuaging my incomparable thirst. These branches twine beneath your flesh, seeking, soaking, drawing strength. Like the branches of neighboring plants they have entwined such as we did moments ago and now... you are bound to me. Entangled to my fate, my own motives and hunger will become our motives and hunger. That is my perfect design for you Kazu. I have ruptured the humanity within you. You shall forever keel to the mercy of your demon blood thirst, shall know peace as only I am able to find it. By taking life and feeling that addictive vogue as a soul dies within and without you. You shall have no other way to sate this desire, no comparable satisfaction... no escape. Without sin, your life will inevitably shorten and wither. The demon within alone can now rise to dominance in your blood, enfold and ensnare you in its' arms and give you a craving, a promise to which you can break again, and again and again. So... Kazutaka Muraki; here is your perfect mercy: Live this life, condemned to Hell by this night with me. Obliterate faith in God, do not doubt or hesitate in preventing your internal suffering and take life."

His fingers clenched my hair and I was pulled backwards so savagely I could feel my scalp lifting in several places. I shrieked as my burning back was slammed against the side of the bed and Saki's upturned face obscured my vision. Below me, I could see the lines of that furtive curse stretching out all over my chest in patterns that looked purely random to me. Saki chortled humorously.

"Should you wish to lessen the effect this mark shall have upon you by all means, cast it out upon others. In the manner that I have granted it to you, you Kazu may pass it to others. The damning hunger will lesson the farther you spread my mark. So that all who love you, all that deign to succumb to your body, will become like the geisha; a moving work of art. You shall spread my name, like a brochure to the hands of the unknowing. Do this in memory of me."

And so, he had found some way after all, to continue his dark obsession with his perfection of deaths' design. Just as he denied me of all that I loved and valued in this world, how he would deny me deliverance from Heaven. By taking me, I would be condemned even before committing a sin. For where we are is Hell, there must I ever be. Those lines bound themselves around me and burnt deep into all sides of my consciousness, visible in the Six sense radius of penetration three and up. However, they always become perfectly clear on the anniversary of that night.

Just as he said they would.


I opened my eyes and sat up abruptly, the stain of the dream still fresh in my mind. I shook my head, disgusted that I still entertained the nightmare of long dead boys; one dead in all senses and the other one dead in my efforts to veil his essence, along with any parts of me remotely human.

A doomed human caught in a nightmare from which there was never any escape. A nightmare asylum in which he could never run fast enough.

I suppose you could say my involvement began that night, on the anniversary of Saki's spell upon me. It was a year following the events in Kyoto and I had almost fully recovered from the wounds Tsuzuki-san had inflicted on me. I had returned to my home in Tokyo after flitting from hospital to hospital, hoping to throw off any Shinigami's tracks should they have had the mendacity to pursue me. After some time had passed however, it became all too clear to me that I had been left to my own devices.

Which suited me fine. I didn't have the current interest in stirring up trouble. At least, not until my wounds healed however. Even I had my limits and I am not fool hearty enough to dangle my toe in a wolverine enclosure when the other foot had already been taken. In other words, I kept my head low.

I mumbled a curt complaint, moving my hand away from the knob of the bedside cabinet where I kept a loaded pistol. This reflex had become second nature to me, due naturally to my somewhat insidious lifestyle.

"A gun would help little with a dead man, though," I admitted softly and with a strained mumble, managed to pull myself into a sitting position. Damp lights filtered in from the street below, allowing me to see the throbbing glare of the thick lines upon my bare chest. True as been foretold, the curse had made itself visible once more. Only my back had been ridden of its' particular branch.

That had been the part the boy had been so kind to take off my hands.

I rubbed the heel of my palm into my right eye, relieving the slight irritation caused by the scarring around the socket and glanced at the digital clock on the bedside table. It was earlier than I thought, almost four o'clock in the morning. I had conceded to resting at one o'clock, which meant I'd had three hours sleep, the longest sustained period of rest I'd been able to get in the last three months.

Sleep came sparingly nowadays. After Kyoto, when I'd finally managed to trek my way to a hospital, the lingering paranoia of hot-blooded Guardians of death on my tail meant I spent many sleepless nights simply staring at the ceiling. It was difficult in that condition to anticipate when an attack might come and the extremity of my condition meant that my mental abilities were less than systematic. Even now that 'sleeping-with-one-eye-open' habit has become difficult to kick.

I closed my eyes, thinking of the recurring dream, of what significance it had now in my life. Everything that happened in the visions matched the true chain of events perfectly, with one exception. The ending.

Saki had let me leave his room alive that night, but the very night after he returned to finish the job he had started. I was prepared this time, prepared to end his life and undo the curse he had placed on my body but I was robbed of my rightful revenge.

I have never forgotten that injustice and have spent my entire life, seeking to rectify it.

Strange that it had happened seventeen years ago. It very rarely felt the correct time in reverence. Sometimes it felt like a century, whereas other times it felt like it only happened yesterday. Lack of sleep and the ever constant surge of adrenaline at every sound was starting to take its' toll on me. I desired some absolution with which to enter a new stage of my life, now that Saki's head had been destroyed in the fire that consumed the University those many months ago. What a shame it had been too. I most earnestly did believe that Saki certainly never looked better than he had at that very moment; head wrought verily from body and perched upon the trailing apex of his spinal cord, dead blue eyes staring without seeing through the experimental tanks jar like a feeble minded goldfish. I certainly gained some grim satisfaction from that little terminus.

I smiled faintly and held up a hand to appraise the black and red lines, bubbling across my pale flesh.

I felt dirty.

Conceding to the human nature in me that desired to cleanse myself, I climbed out of bed and made my way to the co-joining en suite, knowing full well that there would be no further chance of rest that night.

Even in death Saki continued to find some way from taking peace in even the most mandatory of activities. What a bitter creature I thought him to be!

As I showered, I put into procrastination the first step of my regime to reconstructing my life. Ultimately, I planned to abort my engagement with Ukyou. In all honesty, I had no interest in pursuing that relationship any further, particularly not into marriage. Whilst it was quite true that I still loved Ukyou, I couldn't imagine my life lived out with her, not after anything that had transpired. It would be a kindness to release her from this debacle whilst she was still young enough to move on with her life. I had no use for her anymore and there was truly no part of me that even desired her; physically or emotionally.

I had... other preferences, in those specific areas.

The hot water effectively dealt with my pale skin, scorching it blush red in a matter of minutes. The color reminded me of an irresistible creature, whom had made my acquaintance more than once over the course of the last year. Three months with only the company of his lingering memory was starting to become unbearable and it made Saki's demonic hunger within me, even more difficult to control.

I wanted to kill; to sate that desperate need for my beloved, my chosen perfect design. It was all I could do to put myself to sleep at night, rather then step into the ebony ink and snatch the soul from any unfortunate whom happened to wander into my gaze.


Almost unconsciously, my hand found one of the scars you gave me. A garish mess of healing skin, a constant shade of tightened pink flesh whereupon you drove that knife into me. In inelegant wound, but then again, that was so very like you. The rawness of the inflection served to only further remind me of your impulsive, unassuming nature and in seconds passing only, I felt the edges of my breath draw as evenly ragged as the precincts of the barely mended tissue itself.

Heavenly Christ...

The utter perfection delivered unto me by your delirious precision. I had wanted to know what it felt like for my victims when I slid that knife blade into the life giving heart. The essence of the blade was cold, impassionate and yet volatile, tearing through muscle and redirecting blood in its wake. I could scarcely believe the true driving force of your aim, your strength, even caged within your bygone state. I wanted to scream at you to stab me again. I wanted to beg you to ruin me, such as I had begged Saki to break my perfection those long, and yet not so distant years ago. But I had never felt such infatuation for Saki's insanity, such as I had longed for your perpetual innocence. Rather then, I wanted to be the one to break you. To tear you apart as Saki did me and brand you as my own, before all others could lay you to waste. It became my right and I sought to claim it with the same austere patience I am sometimes loath to possess.

There were so many instances where I could have simply taken you and met very little resistance in the task. You were certainly never one to voice too great an objection, were you beloved? More often then not, it was my over confidence that got the better of me. I thought I had all the time in the world.

How little I had after all.

When you stabbed me, I wished to draw that blade in further and help you kill me. I was honored to be broken at your hands, to see that blazing brush of delirium behind those beautiful eyes. That lingered at my words and gestures toward you, awaking in you what Saki awoke in me. You proved to be stronger though, didn't you? Or were you actually weaker? Who is to say? I can think of no one who can provide the answer.

By stabbing me Tsuzuki-san, you opened up something in me, something more than external wounds. You awoke in me my internal desire. Originally, I had sought only to use you to exact my long overdue desire for revenge upon Saki. The brother who cursed me with a condemned life. However, something changed in the time that I came to know you and see a little more clearly the person beneath those piercing eyes and delectable body.

In the scarlet regret that wept from my wounds, you released from me the fell desire to take life and sate my unquenchable hunger for that moment of death. The roots and branches of the cursed tree continued to pierce my soul and body both, but the times when I would gaze upon you – there was something you did to me, that dimmed the desire's intensity. A consistent dull roar it remained, but an irritation at best.

Saki had said that there was one method alone to stave off the effects of the Shukusatsu.

He may just be right.

But what he never told me was that there were alternatives to surviving it.

That was the night I decided that you, Tsuzuki-san were to become my asylum.

My perfect asylum.

- EC-

A/N: Chapter three up soon. Tsuzuki and Watari POV's. On this closing note I would like to extend my personal support and sympathy to everyone affected by the tsunami disaster. I have you in my thoughts.