Hatsu Shoujouhi

Chapter Eighteen: Truths

------Kiril------

The only thing I can remember after that salary man threw me out, thoroughly beaten and only half-conscious, was the singular thought that the café had never felt so far away.

I can't remember ever reaching it, can't remember stumbling in through the back, can't remember what I said, how Kisa and Keitaro reacted. Kei would later tell me that there was a lot of cursing involved.

I remember waking in the hospital. Kisa stood over me with suspiciously red-rimmed eyes and a frown.

"Kiril?"

"Ow," I replied, in my opinion, quite fittingly.

Her expression broke into a mixture of relief and playful annoyance. "Jerk. We were so worried."

"'M sorry." I tried to give her a sheepish smile, but my face hurt too much to get more than a twitch. "Ow, though."

Kisa helped me sit up a bit more. Not much to see just the pale hospital room. "Where's Kei?"

She gestured behind her to where Kei was curled up in a plastic chair by the door, fast asleep. Just as innocent as ever. I sighed.

"Kiril." She sounded angry, never a good thing, when you had as volatile a temper as she did. "Keitaro knows."

I swear, I stopped breathing when first the words hit. And then all the implications followed. 'Kei knows how trashy you are. Kei knows about your impurity. Kei knows. . .and now he can't possibly love you.'

"You told him?" I hissed after the silence had dragged out appropriately.

"He pretty much guessed when you came in clothes torn, bloody, reeking of sex!" Kisa all but yelled. "What the hell happened?"

"We had a fucking tea party," I said, dryly, not caring that behind Kisa, Kei was waking up. "What do you think happened?!"

"Kiril?" His voice seemed so small coming from the other side of the room. "You're awake. Are you alright?"

"No!" I answered, maybe just a little too loudly. Kei flinched, seemed to shrink into the chair. "No, I'm not alright, it fucking hurts." I whisper it, not knowing whether I mean physically or emotionally, and hide my face in my hands, feeling like a goddamn child. Kei and Kisa are both silent for a long time.

------Keitaro----

I wake to screaming.

Kisa and Kiril arguing like siblings—normal siblings, not the type I've grown up around—and feel out of place, like an unwanted third wheel.

"Kiril?" I ask tentatively, worried at his anger, at his hysteria. I know that tone, that feeling; it's the type used when you feel like the world is crowding in around you, poking and prodding where it doesn't belong and the very last thing you want is to be touched. Yeah, I know that feeling. "You're awake. Are you alright?"

More hysterics, more screaming. Kiril hides his face in his hands. Kisa looks over to me and her expression tells me just what to do. Like at the café when we'd worked in sync to open the door, without saying a word. Only this time she's not asking for back-up, she wants to handle it alone. I head for the door, seeing no other option.

The halls empty. It's late, or early rather, almost four in the morning. We should have been kicked out ages ago, except the nurses seem to know Kisa and Kiril. Because they spend so much time her. Because their mother is two floors down from where I'm standing right now.

I sigh, and it seems so loud in the silence of the hall.

Kisa told me. She told me the whole sordid tale. She told me what Kiril is. . .what they both are.

"Prostitutes," I whisper to the silence.

So we're both scarred.

Imperfect.

Crimson.

He saved me. Now, its my turn to save him.

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AN: Uh sorry? ;;; Sorry its so short but hopefully it'll get me back into the swing of things...