Author's Notes: *Jiyuu - Free

Disclaimer: Clover belongs to CLAMP.


Chapter 3 - Free

By Lissa




Somewhere in the distance, a voice called to the three-leaf.


'Wake up, C.'


With that, Ran was suddenly awake. He blinked.

'.....come back...'

A's words in his nightmare were repeating in his head over and over again. First, A had pleaded for them to be together. But then...then his brother had threatened to kill Gingetsu.

'Nii-san, please..' He had cried desperatly. But it was no use. And then A looked dead serious. And Ran knew he was.

It had woken him up in the middle of the night, but even though he was shivering, and broke out in a cold sweat, not to mention scared to death, he dare not go into the Lieutenants room and disturb him...

Sighing, Ran walked out into the living room, where Gingetsu was sitting, reading the newspaper. A plate of breakfast lay on the table, waiting for Ran.

"You're....awake," the boy said, standing there.

Gingetsu didn't bother to look up.


"Why aren't you at work?"

The man pointed to a briefcase in the corner. "I took it all home."


Ran noticed the plate.

"Is this for me?" he questioned hesitantly. He was already ashamed of putting Gingetsu through so much trouble. Ran didn't want to make him mad. He really didn't. But sometimes, it just couldn't be helped...

"If you want it."

Picking up the plate, Ran went back to standing in the middle of the room, looking like a fool. And feeling like one, too.

"Uh...thank you....I'm sorry I overslept; I would have made breakfast..."

"Don't worry about it."

Biting his lip, the three-leaf decided to ask something that had been on his mind for a long time. But he never meant for his voice to be that hoarse.

"...Are you mad at me?"

Gingetsu frowned and looked up. "Excuse me?"

Ran stared at the floor. He spoke softly.

" know," Ran paused. "...Being stupid."

"I never said you were stupid. I never said that." Gingetsu's tone wavered, and his eyes never left the trembling black-haired boy. He went to walk over to him, but Ran forced an empty smile and started to retreat. He didn't notice his plate was shaking in his hands.

Gingetsu did.

"I...I think..I'm just going to my room now, if that's okay with you....Gingetsu.."

Hearing this, Gingetsu stopped a few feet away from Ran. He had never thought about it like this...Ran thought he was...mad at him? No.... He could never be mad at Ran...but did Ran know that?

"..If that's what you want to do.."

Ran favored him another weak smile and headed into his room.


The vibrant red glow burning into Kazuhikos closed eye was what had woken him up. He pushed the recieve button without opening his eyes.


"Agent Kazuhiko Fei Ryuu." The voice on the other end was stern, and it was not one he was looking forward to hearing, especially at this time of night. It did, however, make him fully awake.

"General Kou? Why are you calling me?! At three in the morning!?"

"...I have something I need you to do for me."

Those words that had haunted him all his life.

"...No. I'm retired now; I told you before. Or are you so old you're losing your memory?" Kazuhiko snapped.

"I'll see you in one hour."

Kou was gone before he could object.

Throwing off the covers, Kazuhiko cursed through clenched teeth.


Somewhere a boy sat with his knees folded up to his chest, his head resting on them. "C...." he whispered softly, "...I'm sorry...." Needless to say, there was no answer. "What's so great about it out there?!" The boy shouted. "Out there..." his voice grew soft again, "'ll die..."

' But I'll die free. '

The words burned his memory, over and over again. A lay his head back down and closed his eyes.

"No, C," the small voice carried throughout the vast, prison-like area.

" won't..."

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