gendo's decision

My chest heaved up and slowly back down under my crossed arms as I gave off a deep sigh.

I was inside the Shinogiba Shrine, surrounded by a troop of bored police officers. Among them was another boy about my age, fear dancing all along the lines in his face. He had his hair up in a Mohawk, and the only color of clothing on him was black. He was "my species", as the police sergeant so lightly put it.

He has just been arrested, right off the street, and already, he was here in the shrine. At the moment, they were trying to see if he could make any contact with the Purity Light, mentally or physically, which was the main reason for him being here... sort of.

They brought any kid under eighteen who got in trouble with the law here to the shrine, or sometimes they even just randomly took any kid wearing black right off the side-walk, only to appear here a few hours later for no reason.

I'm such a liar.

There was a reason, like I said there was. They were brought here, as the shrine monks had so stupidly informed the police, to find another priest. A Grand Priest.

That's a title I have the misfortune of bearing.

I am the Grand Priest of Tokyo.

The shrine I'm in belongs to be. I must protect it and it's contents with my life, no matter what the cost… like I want to.

Supposedly, there was another one of me out there somewhere in Japan, as the writings in certain parts of the shrine depicted. At least, that's what the monks translated.

Anyway, the point is that my time was being wasted here. I wasn't really needed, so I don't really want to be here. Not that I would want to be here even if I was needed.

There was a flash, and the next instant, the kid was on the other side of the shrine, laying on the floor against a wall, a dazed look in his eyes.

My prayers had just been answered.

"Well, I'll be leaving now then." I politely said, picking up my backpack and turning to leave. I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder just as I was about to walk away, which prevented me from doing so. I turned back around to face an angry looking Sergeant Kaigi.

"Not yet. I want you to touch it before you leave." he growled in his deep voice, his hand still on my shoulder.

Baka. He's never believed it that I'm Grand Priest.

"I see no rea-"

"Serg! The juvenile! He's getting away!" yelled one of the lower ranking officers. The Serg gave me a sharp look.

"Alright, boy, use your little skills. Don't let him get away, understood?" I felt a warm anger prickle at my brain. He couldn't order me around like that, I was of a higher rank… and because of what happened last month. He owed me.

" They're not skills." I answered calmly.

"What?" He barked. I took notice that his temple was beginning to throb, and tried as best as I could to repress a smirk.

"Skills are something you can learn. You can't learn to do what I can."

"What's that supposed to mean?" he roared, obviously trying to keep down his voice.

"Can YOU stop time? Heal the sick? Touch the Light?"

"Well… no." His temple slowed, and eventually loss obvious movement. Instead, his mustache began to twitch, as was it's usual fashion when he was flustered, which basically meant when I had rounded him into a corner.

"Alright then. I'll be on my way." I turned again and started walking toward the blood red double doors. He didn't try to stop me physically, like last time. As if shouting had any effect on me.

"'Ey, you can't walk out on me like that!" I didn't answer, or even bother to take a glance at his facial expression. The other officers stared at me with disapproval as the Serg kept on shouting.

"What about the kid?! We can't let him get away! He's charged with shoplifting! GET BACK HERE."

"You had the sense to leave officers downstairs, didn't you?" I asked sleekly. The Serg seemed to have been caught off guard by this.

"Well… yes…" Apparently, this factor hadn't occurred to him in his attempt to use me to his advantage out of hate. I stopped in the middle of the doorway, still not turning around.

"Well then, why not just bother to try and communicate with them with your little walkie-talkies, and ask them to prepare to catch the guy, instead of bothering me to do it?" I stepped out of the shrine and moved over to the edge of the first step, staring down a mile below me where the ground was. "At least SOMEBODY thinks… I guess he thought he would be caught… he's already given up… didn't even make it halfway down the steps… oh well. Later, Serg."

I started descending down the steps at a quick pace, jumping as many as I could, when I could. This was another hassle about me having to be there when it wasn't necessary… climbing all these stairs.

Shinogiba Shrine was located on a sort of flat topped pyramid, with a flight of stairs on each of it's four sides, and trees in the spaces between the stairs. The whole thing had risen from the ground a little over half a year ago, knocking down a couple of empty office buildings in the process. Either way, it was taller that the office buildings had been, and by the time you either got to the top or bottom, you were sweating pretty badly.

The last step.

I jumped it, and ran off, through the trees which surrounded the shrine inside a sort of concrete hole that had formed around the base. I climbed another flight of steps to get out of the hole, and made it onto the sidewalk, chose a route to take, and set off.

By now it was a little after five, and my legs were already sore from climbing the steps, so I was pretty tired by now, now to mention the struggle of carrying my backpack, full of so many books.

I would've gone elsewhere, but since I had gotten dragged to the shrine…

As I walked slowly down the street, I passed an alleyway and heard by name called out in a sort of whisper.

"Pssst… Motoki!" I stopped and turned my head to the alley. Aboshi was standing there, crouched behind the wall.

He was the same still. A sort of creamy white color to his skin, still a little less than a foot shorter, and his messy brown hair in every which way… his hair suddenly reminded me of my own, the way it was messy, and how today I had dyed it green with the temporary dye…

I moved into the alley with him. "What do you want?"

"We're all over here, down on the other street in that empty hotel building. We knew you'd be coming through here, so Toji sent me here to ask you if you wanted to come?"

Toji… His black hair naturally combed by itself to the front, his skin a light golden color, and his eyes, filled with an dance of innocence and a slight touch of rebellion at the same time. It wasn't that much though. He might seem dark on the outside, but he still wasn't inside. He had always been so much fun, especially with me, always understanding me… Everything was the same.

"Who else is there?"

"Just a few of us." I considered going home… Today, I wasn't in the particular mood to deal with my uncle, Gendo.

"Alright." I finally agreed. He led me down the alley, where he opened an old wooden door, that let to an old wooden room, filled with dust and cobwebs, and loose floorboards that were taken out and left on the ground amongst empty boxes. In the mess of it all, there was a set of stairs, which we climbed, to a room exactly like the one below, only with a hall that separated into four separate rooms. I instantly walked into the first door, Aboshi following right behind me.

Toji was sitting against the wall, wearing blue jeans and a black shirt. A cigarette was lit, and to my shock, in his mouth.

I was so surprised, I hadn't even noticed his current girlfriend, Hizuru, standing beside him, also leaning against the wall. In the corner, Kensuke was sitting against a box, his short black hair covered in dust, as well as his blue jeans and shirt.

Apparently, Toji hadn't realized we had arrived.

"Oh, hi." he said after I had been standing in the doorway for almost fifteen seconds. He put out the cigarette and threw it aside. I didn't really care right now… it was his decision I suppose.

"Hi." Hizuru and Kensuke said simultaneously.

"You asked Kouichi-kun to wait for me?" I suddenly felt another jolt of surprise, for using such proper Japanese… we never did those sort of things. No one seemed to have noticed though.

"Yeah, I wanted to know if you were going to K-K's party this Sunday?"

"Kopa Kaigi's?"

"Who else would it be?"

"Well, I dunno if I can go. I can't remember if I have plans already… I feel like I do…" It was an odd feeling… it didn't feel real, but I knew it was somehow.

"Find out then. Or just don't try and remember your plans." Aboshi suggested in his usual manner.

"Fine. I'll go. Are you guys going?" Aboshi was silent.

"I am." Kensuke answered quietly.

"You know, Tsuke Sashike will be there." Toji said. Tsuke was a girl, not just any though, Aboshi's latest crush. He had gotten over Reika Shinozawa, and nothing had ever happened there. Nothing was happening with Tsuke either, except her saying nice things about him sometimes, in a somewhat embarrassed fashion. She was another of…

Her friends

A deep wave of depression rushed over me. All this talk about girls… Girls… I turned to Kensuke.

He never had anything with them. No crushes he talked to us about like Aboshi, no girlfriends like me and Toji…


I always forget I'm considered by everyone as single… though to me and my friends, I know I'm not single.

If only she hadn't left… I miss…


"Ok, I'll go." Aboshi said, bringing me out of my trance. No one had noticed I had become distant, and better that they didn't. I don't want questions.

"Is Kyoto going?" I asked, to make me involved in the conversation.

"If you want her too. I still don't know why you go around with her thoug-" Toji began.

"Shut up. I'm not dating her."

"I know you're not, I just think it's-"

"We're friends, and that's all."

"Dude, you lost your virginity to her, and that's no-" Aboshi began.

"SHUT UP, IDIOT." This time, red hot anger filled my face. "JUST SHUT UP." Next thing I knew, I had pushed shoved him to the ground.

Kensuke and Hizuru looked shocked, but Toji seemed angry. With Aboshi.

"Stupid…" he muttered under his breath.

"I'll see you all Sunday," I growled, walking out of the room at a fast pace.

"Hey, wait up, Motoki. Mind if I sleep over tonight?"

"Sure thing," I yelled back as I went down the stairs, "Gendo's pretty upset this week. If you're there, it'll probably agitate him summore."

"Alright, I'll see you guys later." Toji said to the others as he came down the stairs after me. I was waiting for him at the door where we had come in. He caught up, and we started walking. As we reached the side walk, we turned right.

"You wanna walk, or you wanna take the bus?" I asked in a cross-tone.

"Umm… the bus."

"Good, either way, we would've taken the bus. I don't wanna walk." I heard him laugh lightly behind me. A few seconds later, he spoke again.

"How do you do that?"

"What?" I snapped. I was still add, and my head was crowded with thoughts. I had slid into a depressed mood now.

"Be so you even when you're mad? Everything you say is just… it just suits your personality so well. You're so… you."

"Who else would I be?" He laughed lightly again.

"See? Like that. You're always you, no matter what."

"I'm not focused on trying to be something or someone people like, like lots of other kids our age. Like Aboshi. That's all. I just do what I want, and say what I say without even thinking. This is who I am."

"But that's because you're already somebody people like. That's what's so cool about you. It's like… honesty. All you, and you can see it in the way you talk that you're not lying. It really is all you."

"Uhhh… thanks I suppose." We ran for the bus, got on, and sat down, not talking the rest of the way…

It was night by the time we got home. The door was unlocked and we walked in. There was a light in the kitchen, which I decided to go into, Toji following right behind me.

Gendo was standing behind the counter, preparing a sandwich for himself.

"Where were you?" he asked, almost without any real interest.

"Out." I replied, taking a can of Pepsi out of the refrigerator and handing another to Toji.

"Out where?"

"The shrine." Our relationship had really gone on a downslide. When we were first out in this situation, we both hated each other, and I had put in much effort as I could into provoking that hate. Slowly though, he had begun to except me, and I became less rebellious for his sake, up until a little over six months ago that is… from there we went from yelling, to shouting, to eventually, just whatever.

"You chose to go?"

"Of course not."

"Fine." He grabbed his plate and left the kitchen, not even looking at Toji. This seemed odd to me… normally, he would have done some shouting. Toji hadn't noticed.

We stood there a bit, sipping our Pepsi's. I stared at him, and then to the square shape in his pocket. I expected it was his cigarette pack.

"Dude, what's with the smokes?" I asked calmly, as if it were an everyday thing. I didn't really mind him smoking… my dad was a smoker. Not that I miss the smell of the smoke of course… or him.

"Nothing." Toji answered, a little apprehensive.

"Then why'd you start?" He took his time in deciding whether or not to tell me.

"Stress," he finally answered.

"About? It can't be school… You're never stressed about school. Even though you could have come to Banmotsu."

Banmotsu Academy was the High School I went to. It was a private school located somewhat far from my house, and I had to take a bus just to get there. The classes were decent, and there were no uniforms, so I was ok with it. Kyoto went there too.

she could have gone there.…

"I told you already, it's too late for that."

"You've always had the potential, Toji. I told you that years ago. You could easily pass all your classes if you just put more effort into it."

"I don't want to. I'm fine at Koushu," Kosuhu Yoron was the public High School. "With Aboshi, Kensuke, and Hizuru…" Toji slowly stopped as Gendo returned to the kitchen through the sliding glass doors, carrying his plate with a large smile on his face. He still refused to move into my parents' room, and lived in the house in the back. We at least got our privacy that way.

Gendo set his plate in the sink, and turned to stare at us, still smiling. I suddenly noticed the phone was in his hand, and the papers all over the counter.

"Well, guess what."

"I don't feel like it. It's probably not even interesting." I said dully, taking another sip of Pepsi. On the other side of the counter, Toji was staring. I moved over to the sink, and turned on the tap just to see the water pour out. I loved water.

"I'm afraid it is interesting. It concerns you and me, and your life." I turned off the water abruptly. I turned and stared at him with a harsh look. Toji looked down at his Pepsi can, apparently uncomfortable.

"Alright then, tell me what's so important." In the next few moments, my life would spiral, and my hate for Gendo would multiply infinitely. Everything would be ruined.

Gendo's smile widened, and he stared at me with a happy look. Toji had looked up in mild interest. I was still giving Gendo a death glare as he began to speak, inhaling deeply to dramatically reveal his news.

"We're moving to Hong Kong."