Disclaimer: Clover belongs to CLAMP.
Chapter 5 - I Am
"Hi." Ran stretched his arms and yawned, though still mantaining a smile, and looked up at Gingetsu. Being careful not to collide with the older man, the boy sat up and leaned against the couch. Gingetsu was suprised at how pleasant he looked. "What do you want for lunch today? I think we have some chicken curry left over." Ran stood up and started to walk towards the kitchen, but that was before Gingetsu's arm caught his, turning the three-leaf to face him.
"Ran, about last night..."
Smiling, Ran assured him, "It's fine." His soft gaze focused on Gingetsu, and Gingetsu just stood there, mesmorized, unable to speak or move. How could this boy forgive so easily, after what Gingetsu had done to him? He wouldn't even have forgiven himself...Gingetsu knew Ran was always silently fighting for his approval, or at the very least, his attention, struggling to keep up with the Lieutenants work schedule. And last night, he had robbed
Ran of his self-esteem, which he knew, and he knew better than anyone else, was already far too low.
"Are you feeling better?" Gingetsu realized for the first time that day that he had woken up without a headache. "Yeah..." Ran smiled. "The doctor said some rest might help." Wait. Rest? Didn't that mean in his bed? How could the boy have possibly... Ran seemed to read his mind--And maybe he did.
The smile was his famous I-know-something-that-I-can't-tell-you-but-really-wish-I-could smile, the one he only used when Gingetsu didn't know something that he very well should've.
Kazuhiko fumbled with the heavy chains tied painfully tight around his body, but bit back any comments to try and save energy. He knew these scientists, and he wasn't going to let his guard down for a minute. "Good. You're not in your normal, obnoxious mood today, I see?" one of the scientists hissed at him.
Kazuhiko glared back angrily. "Why am I here? I don't know anything." The scientist drew back slightly and smiled. "Oh, but I'm afraid you do. You already know a lot of things," he drew a hidden needle from under his sleeve, "And now you're going to tell us."
"I won't-" Kazuhiko was interrupted by a bright red light above his head that started flashing and emitted a loud ringing throughout the institute. "The three-leaf!" One of them muttered, and without any furthur hesitation, Kazuhiko was left in the room, alone, with the needle on the floor and the key to his freedom on the minature table in front of him.
The door clicked open and a small boy slowly crept inside, shutting the door carefully behind him. He froze when he saw Kazuhiko. The boy, whose raven black hair was made into a ponytail that hung over his shoulder and bound with a loose white ribbon, studied Kazuhiko for a moment. Kazuhiko blinked. "Eh? What is a kid doing-" and then he remembered.
"There were three three-leaf Clovers."
"Hey," Kazuhiko murmured in a gentle, soothing tone, "I'm not one of them. I promise, I won't hurt you. But I do need you to help me. Can you hand me that key over there?" A glanced quickly at the direction of the mans gaze. It was true, a small silver key sat placed within his reach. "If I help you..." the three-leaf locked eyes with Kazuhiko, "...Do you promise to help me?" With a slight nod of his head, Kazuhiko took the key that was cautiously handed to him and unlocked the iron which pressed so hard against his bare skin he could feel the coldness run through him every time he moved. Finally, when all the chains were off,
Kazuhiko picked up the boy and held him in one arm, while a winged sword emerged from his other.
"You must be aware."
The voice echoed throughout the emptied space. Five people sat with wires coiled around them, every person with their own visual projection screen displayed in front of them. Each screen held the image of a three-leaf clover branding. "He has done nothing wrong." The other voice may have been stern, but this one was more so. Shuu shook his head sadly. "We can't afford to lose another."
"Do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen..."
"...whatever it takes."
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