Every day was something new from Subaru. Sometimes photos of his younger brothers and sisters. Sometimes cards made by the children. He felt better with every gift.
Ohkura looked the presents over yet again.
"Look at all the cards," A nurse said when she brought Ohkura some medicine. "From a fan?"
"No, from my children."
"Your children?" She repeated. "Aren't you too young to have children?"
"My younger brothers and sisters." He explained. "I have a big family."
"Oh yes I see." She left the room.
Ohkura looked at the photos again. He had called his siblings his children again. He felt as if he was their father in a strange way. He missed taking care of his siblings.
"Ssshhhh." He heard someone say outside of his door.
Ohkura looked towards the door.
Yoko came in, and looked around. "It's clear!"
Subaru came into the hospital room with Ohkura's latest present. He was holding the toddler. In front of him were Midori and Aoi. They quickly came into the room and shut the door.
"We brought Tacchan a present." Midori said.
"Us!" Aoi said.
"I don't understand." Ohkura said confused. "Kids aren’t' allowed to visit in the hospital."
"Well, Shota and Maruyama are charming the nurse’s station." Subaru told him. "Giving the kids enough time for a visit."
Ohkura felt tears sting his eyes. He couldn't believe the group was doing this for him. Subaru put Hiro in bed with Ohkura. It hurt a little to share the bed with his brother, but Ohkura didn't mind. The visit by his siblings had made him feel much better.
Ohkura could get around a bit. It' was the agency that kept him in hospital to make sure he's well. He was told to lay back and enjoy the rest. But he couldn't. He worried about his family.
Another week passed, Subaru stayed at Ohkura's side taking care of him. Subaru had Ohkura back, and he wanted to make sure that his lover had been taken care of.
"Tacchan!" Rena came into the hospital room.
"Hello Rena." Ohkura groaned.
"What do you want?" Subaru stood between Ohkura and Rena.
"I just wanted to visit my husband." Rena went around Subaru as if he wasn't there. "How are you feeling?"
"A lot better." Ohkura admitted.
"When are you getting out?"
"In a few days."
"Then you can get back to work." Rena smiled evilly. "Can you believe it? Your group's trying to run the cafe."
"That's all right, I trust them." Ohkura said firmly.
"I need to talk to Tacchan alone!" Rena ordered Subaru.
"That is out of the question." Subaru declared.
"I am Ohkura's wife!" she reminded him. "I can have you thrown out of the hospital if you push this!"
"It's all right," Ohkura told Subaru. "What can she do here?"
"I'll wait out in the hallway." Subaru told Ohkura. "If you need me, just yell."
Ohkura watched as Subaru left the room.
"Mari wants us to have a baby." Rena told Ohkura as soon as the door was shut.
"Yes, I know." Ohkura sighed.
"There’s a doctor here. He can help us get what we want." She said. "In fact, both of us will be able to have babies."
*What if I want you dead?* Ohkura countered.
"That would be a very bad idea." She smiled evilly. "Besides, you don’t' have the courage to kill me."
"That's what you think." Ohkura said levelly.
"Come on, you're a good boy. You always do as you're told."
"I don't want to father anyone's child." He insisted.
"Do this and I won't go to the press." Rena threatened. "The press would love to hear how a member of Kanjani 8 abuses his wife."
"I don't abuse you."
"Mari will be my witness." She snapped. "By the time the Johnny's agency can stop me, it will be too late. The damage will have been done. You're group would be destroyed."
"You wouldn't do that!"
"You want to bet? I have photos of you and Subaru together." Rena gloated. "Do you really want that to get out in the press?
"Of course I don't." He admitted.
"Not only that, but child protective services will become involved. As the innocent one, I'll get the children." She snorted. "I would like to cut the children. Do you want scars on the little ones?"
Ohkura's blood ran cold. He knew that his sister's threats weren't empty ones. Rena had a history of cutting herself. She had even stabbed an ex girlfriend when she was fifteen.
"Well? Want Midori and Aoi's face to have scars?" She demanded. "What about the baby or Hiro? They could loose a finger or two."
The children, Ohkura had to protect them from his wife. "What do you want me to do?"
"Simple," she smiled wolf-like. "A fertility specialist will visit you today. All you have to do is donate sperm. Enough to get both Mari and I pregnant."
"If I don't?"
"I'll hurt the children."
Ohkura didn't have to think twice. "I'll do it."
"Just be sure not to tell Subaru. He doesn't need to be involved." Rena told him.
"How could I tell him about this?" he agreed.
"You're such a good husband." She said sarcastically.
It was a secret. Ohkura didn't want to do it. He felt as if he was betraying Subaru. But he had to, to protect the children. His sister has slipped back into insanity. Ohkura hated himself every time the nurse came with the cup. He closed his eyes and thought of Subaru. It was the only way that he could do what he was asked.
There was a knock at the door, and then a nurse came in. She smiled at him.
"This will be the last time Ohkura-kun." She said cheerfully.
"Thank you." He told her.
The nurse handed him the cup and closed the curtain. He hated that she had to wait for him.
Ohkura took a photo out from beneath the blanket. It was of him and Subaru. It was his favorite photo, taken when they where still together.
He looked at the photo as he loved himself. Thinking that the hand was his lover's. That they were back together. He bit down on his lips; he didn't want the nurse to hear him.
Finally Ohkura came, his seed spilling into the cup. He felt hollow as he came down from his orgasm.
It wasn't like the real thing. Subaru wasn't clinging to him, giving him small love bites. Ohkura wasn't whispering he loved Ohkura the way he always did after they loved.
Ohkura told the nurse he was finished. She opened the curtain and took the cup. She wished him good luck about the baby as she left.
Ohkura didn't care about a baby. The only thing he cared about was Subaru. The one he loved the one he betrayed.
His lover visited an hour later. He went to Ohkura, kissing his lips gently. Ohkura kissed back. He never told his lover that with his own hands he made it so they would never be together.
Subaru wasn't with him, would never really be with him. That is, unless he divorced Rena.
Divorce, he hadn't' thought of that before. He wouldn't be free of Rena until they were divorced.
He knew the next time he saw Rena he would tell her that the farce of a marriage was over.
Rena came to visit again. Ohkura felt empowered by his decision. She had thrown out Subaru, but by the look in Subaru's eyes Ohkura knew he would be waiting for him.
"I did what you said," Ohkura told her. "Why do you have to visit?"
"I'm your wife." She reminded him. "I have a right to visit."
"I want a divorce." He told her.
"Great, as soon as I have your baby, I'll divorce you." She agreed.
"What do you want?" Ohkura demanded. "I know you too well to know you won't just give into a divorce request."
"I'll divorce you, but I want everything." She decided.
"Everything..." Ohkura couldn’t believe what she was suggesting.
"The cafe, all of your inheritance. You're income from Johnny's." She told him. "As I said everything."
"There is no way that you would get all of that." Ohkura told her. "No court would agree to it."
"Why wouldn't they?"
"We've only been married six months." He reminded her.
"We've been married seven years!" She shouted. "I couldn't even date when I was in high school because I was married! I am sick of saving myself for you! I should cut your fucking face off for even suggesting we divorce!"
Ohkura finally realized that his sister was insane. "You shouldn't hate me, you should hate our parents."
"Aren't you even the little bit curious to know who killed our parents?" She asked.
Ohkura hadn't even thought of who killed their parents. He had always assumed that they died because of a robbery in the cafe.
"I was only planning on killing mother. She wasn't my real mother after all." She shrugged. "But my father had to walk in while I was stabbing her. So I had to kill him too."
"You killed our parents?" Ohkura couldn't believe his ears.
"Of course I killed them!" She snorted. "I wanted their money, but then I found that it had all been left to you."
"So you made my life a living hell."
"It's just a matter of time until you're usefulness is over and you fall prey to robbers." She threatened.
Ohkura realized that it was true, that Rena had killed his parents. He couldn't stand to look at her one more minute. "Get out!"
"What did you say?" she mocked.
"I said get out!" Ohkura picked up his lunch tray and threw it against the wall.
Rena went to him, punching him hard in the eye. Instead of shrinking away from her, he pulled himself up out of bed and punched her hard across the face. It felt good to see her fall to the floor.
"Don't you dare hit me!" She tried to get up, but Ohkura kicked her in the stomach.
"Leave me alone, Bitch!"
Suddenly Subaru was in the room. He went to Ohkura's side. .
"Subaru help me! Tacchan's beating me up!" Rena played helpless. "I need to call the police."
"Not this time." Subaru decided. "Ohkura has a witness. If you dare go to the police, I'll say you attacked him."
"You wouldn't do that!" She screamed.
"Not only that, I'll tell them the truth about what happened to your parents!" Subaru promised.
"I'll cut you!" She yelled.
"I'm not Tacchan! I have nothing to lose! Now get the hell out!" Subaru bellowed.
"I'll see you both dead!" Rena stomped out of the room.
"Bitch!" Subaru told the door.
"Thanks," Ohkura looked at his lover.
"I didn't do anything." Subaru paused. "You feel okay?"
"For the first time in a long time, I feel wonderful." Ohkura smiled.
"Let's get you back to bed," Subaru said gently. He helped his lover to the bed. Ohkura climbed back on.
"She's gone insane." Ohkura told him. "Please, go back to the cafe and protect the children."
"What about you?" Subaru asked concerned.
"I'll be all right. I can care for myself."
"What if she comes back with a knife?" Subaru couldn't keep the worry out of his voice.
"Even a better reason why you need to protect the children." The drummer insisted.
Ohkura could tell that Subaru wanted to stay. Subaru kissed him perhaps for the very last time. Then just like that Subaru was gone.
For the first time in a long time Ohkura realized that he could care for himself. He had to because Subaru would take care of everything else.
Subaru had called Hina. He explained Ohkura's problem. He told Hina that Ohkura wanted Subaru to leave and go back to the cafe, but Subaru couldn't. He had to stay at his lover’s side.
Hina knew that the group would have to act fast to help both Ohkura and the children. So he called a group meeting.
."We have to do something." Shota decided. "We can't just sit here and let Tacchan be destroyed."
"Go upstairs Yoko and see if you can find any papers dealing with Tacchan’s marriage." Hina ordered his friend.
"I'd feel like a criminal breaking into Ohkura's living quarters." Yoko told Hina.
"We'll be helping Tacchan." Hina looked at his lover. "Please Kimi."
Yoko thought for a moment, and then nodded. "All right, I'll do it."
"I'll help too." Ryo decided.
"Good idea," Hina decided. "But the rest of us work as if nothing is wrong. Shota, you take care of the children."
"Would love to." Shota said.
Ryo and Yoko went to the living quarters. Ryo began to go through things in the living room.
Yoko went into Ohkura's bedroom. He didn't know what to expect, but it looked like a normal bedroom.
There was a bedside cabinet. Yoko opened a drawer. Inside were Rena's things. He looked through them, but he found nothing except endless love notes from Mari.
Yoko looked beneath the bed. There was a loose board hidden under some things. He was able to move the board. He found a locked box. Yoko used the combination that Ohkura always used. The box opened. There were photos in the box. All of them of Subaru. There were things that Subaru had given Ohkura beneath the photos. Things that Ohkura wanted to keep without Rena finding out.
Yoko put everything back, and then replaced the box in the hiding spot. Shoving the bigger box on top of it. He would keep Ohkura's secret safe.
Subaru stepped outside of Ohkura's room to get himself a cup of coffee. That was what he told his lover, but in reality, Subaru needed a smoke. He stood in the car park near a drinks machine taking long drags on his cigarette. He was trying to finish it as quickly as possible so that he could get back to Ohkura.
Suddenly Maruyama's car pulled into the car park. He stopped in front of Subaru. He then opened the window of the car. "It's good that I found you.”
"It's past visiting hours." Subaru reminded him. "You’ll have to visit in the morning"
"By then it will be too late." Maruyama said in a rush. "Tacchan will be in jail, and we won't be able to help him."
"What do you mean in jail?" Subaru asked.
"One of my grandfather's police contacts called. The police have a warrant for Tacchan’s arrest!"
Subaru put out the cigarette. "What for? What did Tacchan do?"
"Someone killed Mari." Maruyama explained.
"Mari's dead?" Subaru couldn't believe his ears.
"It gets worse; Rena says that Tacchan did it." The bass player paused. "He's wanted for murder."
"What can we do about it?" Subaru asked.
"My grandfather's people are going to arrange something. To get Ohkura out of the hospital." he said. "They'll tell us where to meet them."
"I don't understand."
"They'll get Tacchan out of the hospital. We meet up with them, and take Tacchan into hiding." Maruyama said matter of factly.
"Are you sure we can trust them?" Subaru asked concerned.
"Of course I can trust them." Maruyama smiled almost evilly. "But you can't go back to the room. Come with me. We'll meet up with him later."
"I can't just leave him for your people to pick up."
"My people have this bad tendency to kill witnesses." Maruyama admitted. "Get into the car, now!"
Subaru got into the car. He didn't look back as Maruyama drove off.
Ohkura was lying in bed watching TV. He knew he should be asleep, but he wasn't tired. Then the news came on. The headline was the murder of Mari. Ohkura knew Rena must have killed her. She had tried to kill other girl friends in the past.
Ohkura suddenly was very afraid. Not for himself, but for Subaru and the children. If Rena killed her lover Mari, then he knew that he was next.
Ohkura looked around for Subaru. His friend had been gone too long for just coffee. He realized Subaru must have needed a smoke. He just hoped that Rena hadn’t gotten to him.
Ohkura had protected his children, his lover from Rena for six long months. But now he knew that time was over. They were all in danger, and there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
Three male nurses came into Ohkura' room. One was pushing a wheel chair. "Ohkura-kun, you're needed in x-ray."
Ohkura thought it was strange that he would get an x ray this late in the day, but he did as he was asked. Getting into the wheel chair.
"It won't take long," The second nurse said. "Then you'll be able to rest."
"Thank you," Ohkura told him.
He was pushed to the elevator. As soon as the door was shut, something was put over his mouth. It smelled sweet, sticky. Suddenly everything went black.
Ohkura woke; he could hear a car engine. He could also feel that he was moving. In the background someone was playing Elton John's "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds." Ohkura knew that Maruyama was an Elton John fan.
“I want to listen to the news.” Someone sounding like Subaru said. “We need to know if they are after Tacchan yet.”
The person turned the radio back on. There had been more murders. A neighbor of Rena’s had been found dead. Also a regular at the cafe was found stabbed to death.
Ohkura could feel someone stroking his hair. The fingers so familiar. His head was on the person's shoulder. He pretended to still be unconscious as they drove on. He was trying to figure out who this strange person was. The only clue was the scent, All Spice. An old man's scent. The scent of his lover.
"I thought you said that that stuff was only supposed to knock him out for thirty minutes." The voice of his lover asked.
"My grandfather’s boys sometimes get a little over enthused." Maruyama said.
Ohkura snuggled closer to Subaru, as if he was just waking up. Then he pulled away from Subaru a bit. "Baru-Chan?"
"It's all right," Subaru tried to reassure. "You're safe."
"But I was in the hospital." He said confused.
"You’re wanted by the police." Maruyama said from the front seat. "They think you murdered Mari."
"I didn't kill anyone." Ohkura told Maruyama.
"I know. That’s why we're going to get you to safety." The bass player told him.
"Where are the children?" Ohkura whispered.
"They're in hiding." Subaru explained.
"I can’t tell you." Maruyama told him. "They are safe. It's just a matter of time until Rena gets to them."
"You're right it is." Ohkura agreed.
"Are you sure the police won't find Tacchan?" Subaru asked.
"I told you, I have connections." Maruyama told them.
They were taken to a European style bed and breakfast. It was part of Maru's underworld connections. No one really talked about the fact that Maru had some very dangerous relatives.
"This is your room." Maruyama's grandmother told the pair.
"It looks nice." Subaru looked around the room. It had a bed, chest of drawers, a wardrobe.
'In the morning fresh clothes will be sent up to you." She told them.
"How do you know what size we wear?" Subaru asked.
"My grandson told me." She smiled. "I'll leave you to rest now."
Ohkura who hadn't spoke since arriving at the inn gave the woman a short bow. "Thank you."
"All part of the service." The woman left.
Ohkura went to the door. "I can't believe that she's in the Yakazuka."
"It's a cover industry, to make them look good." Subaru said.
Ohkura locked the door. Subaru went to him. Subaru kissed Ohkura. His lover stiffened against him. Subaru couldn't understand why was Ohkura fighting him? He knew that they both wanted to love. But his lover was terrified.
Ohkura pulled away from him. "This isn't a good idea."
"Just tell me you don't want me to kiss you, and I'll stop." Subaru told him.
"I can't do that." The taller man looked close to tears. "All I want is for you to love me. It's what I’ve missed the most. You could be arrested."
"The police aren't here, you won't get caught." Subaru tempted. "We're safe here."
"You'll go to jail if you're caught with me." He said concerned.
"I know." Subaru rubbed against him. "We're in this together."
Subaru kissed Ohkura, pushing him against the door. He began to work on Ohkura's neck. His lover moaned and put his hand on his head.
Subaru knew that the neck was the best way to seduce Ohkura. He bit on his gently as he kissed. He could feel Ohkura's knees buckle. His hand went to the front of Ohkura's jeans rubbing him, smiling as he felt him harden.
"Do you want me to stop?" Subaru pulled away from him a bit.
"Don't...please." Ohkura's eyes were glazed over from passion. "I need your touch." He moaned as Subaru began to bite his neck again. His body all ready had a thin sheen of sweat covering it. "I'll never forgive myself if we don't love."
Ohkura lay in Subaru's arms. Subaru's fingers stroking his hair. His lover giving him small love bites as he whispered he loved him. It felt good, right. Ohkura had missed his lover's touch. It didn't feel the way it did with Rena. This was what he had been longing for so long.
Soon Subaru eased Ohkura's head to his shoulder. The younger man lay, listening to his lover's heartbeat. He had even missed this. He vowed to always cherish every touch of Subaru's.
"I'm afraid," Ohkura confessed.
"There's nothing to be afraid of." Subaru tried to soothe.
"I can’t' believe Rena killed Mari." Ohkura told his lover. "I thought she loved Mari."
"I think your sister is insane."
"When we were kids, she was hospitalized for trying to kill herself." Ohkura said. "She would try to kill herself when she didn't get her own way."
"Is that why you stayed with her?" Subaru asked gently.
"I was afraid that she would try and kill the children." The drummer admitted. "Usually she would stay sane if she got her own wants. She always said that made her the winner."
"She will never get what she wants. She won't win." Subaru told him. "There can be only one winner, and that's us."
Ryo had been working hard at the cafe. He enjoyed helping out his friend. In a way it was almost like a holiday. He was tired of having to work in two groups. The chance of working at the cafe gave him the break he so needed. He took a sack of trash into the alley. He threw it in the bin then turned around to go inside.
Ryo didn't feel the first stab, but felt the second, like fire piercing his soul. He collapsed to the ground.
"Die Subaru!" Rena spat. "How dare you steal my husband from me!"
"I'm not Subaru," he groaned. "I'm Ryo."
"Liar!" Again, fire coursed through him as he was stabbed yet again. "I'm taking away the one thing that keeps Tacchan away from me!"
Ryo could only watch helpless as Rena disappeared into the night.
He couldn't move. It hurt too much for him to move. He lay on the ground, the cold pavement pressing against his cheek. He could feel the warmth trickle out of him. He knew it was his blood.
"Ryo-Chan!" He heard his lover Maruyama scream. The one that had taught him how to love again after Uchi had left him.
Ryo opened his eyes, to look at his friend. "Ruihei."
"I'll get you help." Maruyama promised. "I have to move you. We can't risk her coming back."
"I trust you," Ryo felt his lover pick him up in his strong arms. He was being carried, he wasn't sure where. His whole body hurt.
Ryo felt himself being set down on something soft.
"It will be all right," Maruyama promised. He looked into his lovers eyes.
Ryo knew the truth. He knew that it was his time. He could feel it. "I think I'm dying."
"You'll be fine." he promised. "I've called for an ambulance."
"Please don't hate Tacchan, it isn't his fault. Please forgive him." Ryo gasped.
"I don't understand. Why must I forgive Tacchan?"
"Rena stabbed me." Ryo could feel cold overcome him. He could see a bright light behind Maruyama, it beckoned to him. He had to go to it, though he wanted to stay with his lover.
"For your sake, I'll forgive him." Maruyama promised. "I love you so much."
"I love you." blackness overcame everything and Ryo's eyes flickered shut for the final time.
Ohkura hid with Subaru in a bed and breakfast. He didn't dare come out of the room even to have a bite to eat. They couldn’t risk Ohkura being seen by the public. Someone might call the police. His lover would always bring something to him from the dining room.
As the days passed, Ohkura watched the news almost constantly. Ohkura was being called a person of interest, not a suspect. More people had been found dead. A total of fifteen had been found stabbed to death.
"Why do you stay with me?" Ohkura asked.
"Because I love you." Subaru reminded him.
"I just wish....." He looked away from Subaru.
"What Tacchan?" Subaru asked gently.
"Nothing," Ohkura looked at the TV.
"What's bothering you?" Subaru asked.
Ohkura looked at the TV, which was on, but the sound was muted. It was yet another report about the murder spree. All of the victims were people who had gone to high school with Rena. The news made Ohkura even more terrified. Ohkura knew that if Rena found him, she would kill him.
. Ohkura didn't want to let Subaru go. He wanted to spend his life with him. Now he realized to save the life of his friend, he would have to put his own needs aside.
Ohkura felt tears sting his eyes. "It's time for you to go."
"I'm not going anywhere!" Subaru said firmly.
"It's for your own good." Ohkura tried to fight the tears. "She wants you dead. It's because you're with me."
"Where would I go?" his lover asked. "Rena’s looking for both of us, its better that we stay together."
"But my wife has killed so many," Ohkura said. "How many more will die because of me?"
"You didn't kill anyone." He took Ohkura's hand. "Rena is the murderer."
Ohkura looked away from his lover. "We have to break up; it's for your own good."
"I let you break up with me the last time, after you found out you were married." Subaru kissed his hand. "I was wrong to let you go. If I had stayed with you, none of this might have happened."
"She could have killed you." A single tear rolled down his cheek. "She still might kill you."
"That's why we have to stay together. The two of us are stronger then her." He reached out, wiping the tear from his lover's cheek.
"I'm going to turn myself into Rena." The guilt of all the murders began to overcome Ohkura. "Rena's killed so many. If I give myself to her, she'll stop killing everyone."
"Why? Why would you do something as insane as give yourself to Rena?" Subaru demanded.
"It has to end." a tear rolled down his cheek. "We can’t' hide here forever."
"It won't be forever." Subaru promised.
"You don't know that." Ohkura began to sob. "I'm afraid she'll kill you. I love you so much."
"I'm afraid too." Subaru admitted. "But I won't let you go."
Subaru took his lover into his arms. The taller man was so thin against him. When Ohkura was finished crying, Subaru was kissing his lips. Subaru was desperate make sure his lover didn't do anything rash like looking for Rena.
Subaru hoped that his lover would start to feel better. Someone knocked at the door. It was a special knock that Maruyama had made up.
Subaru went to the door and answered it. Maruyama's eyes were red rimed from crying.
"Can I come in?" then without waiting for an answer, Maruyama shoved his way in.
Subaru shut and locked the door. "Something's happened hasn't it?"
"It's Ryo...that bitch thought he was Baru." Maruyama sank down on the bed. "I tried to save him, but it was too late."
"Oh no," Ohura gasped. "Ryo, oh god, not Ryo."
"He died in front of me and I could do nothing." he wailed.
Ohkura sat down beside Maruyama; he took his friend into his arms. Maruyama went willingly. Ohkura too began to cry for his friend.
"I don't hate you Tacchan, it wasn't you fault...." Maruyama sobbed.
"It's all right," Ohkura tried to soothe. "I would understand if you hated me."
"He wanted me to forgive you, so I do."
Subaru didn't cry, he was too angry. He paced around the room, trying to contain his temper. He wanted to find Rena, to hurt her for hurting Ohkura, for killing Ryo. He wanted to lock her away somewhere and have to live her life alone.
The three friends grieved together for an hour. The entire time the bass player clung to the drummer. Finally, Maruyama pulled away from Ohkura.
"I've never used my grandfathers' connections until now. But I need to use the Yakazuka" Maruyama wiped his tear stained face. "They will make sure there is a full confession signed."
"You're going to kill her." Ohkura realized.
"The word is execute." Maruyama corrected.
"Are you sure?" Subaru asked.
"Rena's insane, she has to be stopped." The bass player said firmly. "I have to pay her back for killing Ryo."
"We couldn't lock her away for life could we?" Subaru suggested.
"Even in jail she could kill someone else." Maruyama said. "I won't have anyone else having to go though what I am going through now."
"She's insane, she needs help," Subaru insisted. "Perhaps we could have her hospitalized."
"She could charm her way out of it." he countered.
"I can't condone murder." Subaru spat.
"But she's a killer!" Maruyama countered.
"That doesn't matter!" Subaru picked up the trash can and threw it. "All you are doing is making someone else die! You can't make yourself god!"
"Baru-Chan, I agree with Maru." Ohkura interrupted.
"She's your step sister, your wife." Subaru reminded him.
"I know," Ohkura said softly. "But she is also a cold blooded killer."
"It has to end. She has to die." Ohkura decided. "Perhaps we wouldn't be so afraid if she was dead."
The call finally came. Maruyama-sama's men had found Rena. They had kidnapped her and brought her to a warehouse on the edge of the city.
As family law dictated, Maruyama had to be the one that punished her for what she did to Ryo. He would have rather have others do the actual killing, but there was no choice.
The security guards let him in. He found Rena sitting in a chair; her face was a mass of cuts and bruises.
"She has signed the confession." one of his grandfather's men told him.
"Good, very good." Maruyama told him. He handed the confession to the lackey. “Send this to all of the press and the police.”
“Of course sir.” The man put the confession in his pocket.
“Leave us." Maruyama ordered.
"Sir?" The assistant asked.
"I said leave us!" He ordered. "All of you!"
Reluctantly the men left the room. Now that Maruyama was alone, he knew what he had to do.
"So you’re the bitch that killed my lover." Maruyama said.
"I killed Subaru!" Rena looked up at him. "That asshole deserved it long ago!"
Maruyama slapped her hard across the face. "You killed Ryo! You didn't kill Subaru."
"No, not Ryo." She looked a bit shaken. "I like Ryo, he was nice."
"He is dead because of you."
"What if he is?" Rena snorted. "You wont' kill me. You're not the type."
"I was only three when I saw my first murder." Maruyama told her. "I killed my first man when I was nine. I was taught to kill by my family. I am Yakazuka."
"I would have liked to join your family." She said. "I love to kill. It's such a turn on."
"I hate killing!" Maruyama spat. He took out a knife. "You killed my lover with a knife that is how you're going to die."
"Then stab me, it will be quick." she said.
"No, your death won't be quick, that I can promise. By the end, you'll beg to die." Maruyama stabbed her through her hand. She screamed in pain.
Maruyama hated killing. That was why he had ran off to join the Johnny's when he was a teen. He didn't want to be a yakazuka. He had to remind himself that what he did was an execution, not murder.
He looked at the body of Rena. It looked like a dummy from a horror movie. Her whole body covered in stab wounds. Blood had run out of her body and pooled on the floor.
Rena's death had been very slow, very painful. Every cut, every stab a punishment for what she did to Maruyama's friend, his lover. Still, her screams of agony haunted him. When she began to beg for death, he gave it to her.
Rena had killed so many that Maruyama knew she deserved it. But still, inside he realized what he had done was very wrong.
The bass player looked at his clothes for the first time. They were coated in blood. Her blood, the evidence of Maruyama’s guilt.
Maruyama went to the staff showers. That was one good thing about this place; the family could kill some one and then clean up on the spot.
The assistant came into the room. "I brought the clothes."
Maruyama took off his blood soaked clothes. "You will burn these."
"Of course prince." the servant picked up the clothes and left.
Maruyama turned on the water and got beneath it. He washed off Rena's blood. Let the water wash away the horror of what he had done.
The water couldn’t' wash away the pain he felt from Ryo's death. He knew that Ryo wouldn’t have approved of his killing Rena. He said a short prayer for Ryo. Asking him to forgive him for what he did.
After taking a shower, Maruyama put on new clothes.
The assistant returned as he was finishing dressing. "What would you like us to do with the body?"
"Dispose of it. Put it some place where it will never be found. Hide all evidence of who committed the crime." Maruyama ordered.
"As you wish my prince." The assistant left again.
Maruyama knew after this he would leave the Yakazuka forever. He would never kill again.
Maruyama left the warehouse. He didn't look back. He didn't need to. One chapter of his life had ended, but another had just begun.
Time passed for the group. The press found out that Ohkura was married. So Johnny-sama’s men spun it as Ohkura being the grieving widower who had loved his wife. The children would stay in hiding until after Ryo’s funeral. Then Ohkura would raise them as a widower.
Once the letter from Rena had been found to be legit, the charges against Ohkura had been dropped. Life went on almost as normal.
New quickly replaced Ryo with a junior. Kanjani 8 voted and decided that they would only allow a replacement if it was Uchi. So Uchi returned to the group. Their tour was sold out, as was the CD released with it. The group mourned for Ryo. Maruyama had withdrawn into himself. Not letting anyone into his hard shell. That is, until someone came knocking and no matter how much Maruyama resisted, he fell in love.
A long eighteen months passed since Ryo died. Things had changed in Maruyama's life. He found a new family in the group.
The new family led to new things, such as love. He had fallen in love again. But had kept his new lover at arms length. They had barely even shared a kiss.
Shota had suggested that they visit Ryo's grave. They went to the grave yard. Maruyama found that there were leaves on the stone. Maruyama brushed them off. It was a warm April day. Ryo always loved days like the one they were experiencing.
"What are you thinking of?" Shota asked.
"How much Ryo used to love days like this?" Maruyama admitted.
"We don't have to go through with this if you've changed your mind." Shota offered. "I would understand."
"No, I can't stand this loneliness any longer." Maruyama told him. "Every day with no one beside you. Waking up to know that nothing will ever change. There is only the longing for your lost love to embrace you."
Shota put the flowers he was holding on the grave stone. "Ryo, Ryuhei is afraid to ask you something. He's afraid you'll tell him no and he will stay alone forever."
"Why did you tell him that?" Maruyama asked.
"It's the truth." Shota paused. "Can't you feel him; he's here all round us."
Maruyama tried not to sigh. His friend was a dreamer, one who believed in miracles. But then he realized he could feel Ryo. It was such a strange feeling that he knew it had to be his lover.
"Ryo, I died when you did. My heart felt like it had turned to ice. But I avenged your death. I went on from there trying to live my life." Maruyama began. "But around Christmas, I realized that I could love again. He was right there with us all along. But I am so afraid. I won't even let him kiss me. I feel like I'm cheating on you."
"I promise to love Ryuhei the same way you did. I'll try and make him happy. Please Ryo, show us a sign." Shota told the air. "Please give us your blessing to love."
"What do we do now?" Maruyama asked.
"We wait." Shota told him.
"I do love you Ryo, but I love Yassan too." Maruyama told Ryo.
A few minutes passed. Maruyama was about to give up hope, when a yellow bird flew by and landed on the grave stone. Maruyama had never before seen a bird like the one that was on stone. It was carrying a twig. It dropped the twig at Shota's feet.
Shota picked up the twig. It had two ribbons wrapped around it. One ribbon orange, the other blue.
"Our ranger colors." Shota gasped.
"So a bird came by and dropped a twig." Maruyama tried not to care. But in reality it frightened him a bit.
"It was a yellow bird. Ryo was the yellow ranger. The bird was like nothing we ever seen before, just like he was." He insisted. "The twig is wrapped in our colors. It has to be our sign."
Maruyama took the twig from Shota, looking at it carefully. Embossed on each ribbon was eighto ranger. It was the sign they had asked for.
"Thank you Ryo," He said humbly.
The bird flew off, flying towards heaven and disappearing.
Shota smiled at him "Let's go home Richey."
Maruyama took Shota's hand, kissing the knuckles. It was the beginning of his new life.
The alarm chirped. Subaru turned it off and rolled out of bed. The floor of the bedroom he shared with Ohkura was cold against his feet. He quickly dressed. He reached over, shaking his lover.
"Darling, its' the first day of school. We've got to get the kids up." He told his lover.
"You do it." Ohkura rolled back over.
"I can't, you're the papa." Subaru told him. "I'm just the hired help."
Subaru opened the windows letting in the bright morning light. He knew that Ohkura would wake up soon enough.
Subaru had a job which demanded his full attention. He went downstairs, turning on lights as he went. Even though they could never make their relationship legal, Ohkura had given him half ownership of the cafe.
He looked at a woman's magazine that a customer had left. It had a story about Ohkura being a single father to his four siblings. Johnny-sama had been able to spin the story into a positive one. Johnny-sama had spun something that could have destroyed Ohkura's career into something that had made him even more popular. Johnny-sama had even arranged it so that the law saying that a parent had to be 25 before they adopted was waved because of special circumstances.
Midori and Aoi came down the steps to the cafe. It was the first day of school for the New Year. Aoi was wearing her new uniform of a first grader.
"Today's the first day we use our new names!" Midori sat down at the counter. Aoi sat beside her.
'You're new names? Subaru asked.
"I'm now Ohkura Midori, and Aoi is Ohkura Aoi." She explained. "Tacchan adopted us, so we have his name now."
"New names for a new year." Aoi agreed. "I even know how to write the kanji. Papa Tacchan taught me."
"Hush Aoi," Midori said. "He doesn't want us to call him that."
"I think Tacchan would like it if you called him papa." Subaru set the girl’s breakfasts in front of them and they began to eat.
"But you’re our papa too." Midori pointed out.
"We should call you papa." Aoi agreed.
"Papa Baru." Midori decided.
"That sounds like Papa bear!" Aoi said.
"I'm not your papa." Subaru corrected.
"You are! We say you are!" Midori said. "You live with papa Tacchan, you care for us. Isn't that what a papa should do?"
Subaru felt tears sting his eyes. He couldn't believe that the children on their own decided that he was just as much of a papa as Ohkura.
Ohkura came down to breakfast. He was carrying the baby, now a toddler and Hiro walked with him. He was dressed in a smock of a preschooler.
"Sorry it took so long." Ohkura apologized. "I had to get the boys ready."
"It’s hard work to be a parent." Subaru told him.
"I wish we could have let you adopt them too."
"That's all right. I'm still their parent." Subaru smiled at his lover. "What does a little piece of paper mean?"
"Sometimes everything." He looked into his lover's eyes. "I would love to have one that says we're married."
"We don’t' need a piece of paper for that." Subaru told him. "You and the kids are my family."
"Baru has a new name!" Midori told Ohkura. "We're calling him Papa Baru from now on."
"Who decided that?" Ohkura asked. "Was it you Papa Baru?"
"No it was us!" Aoi told her father.
Ohkura dropped his son at the Pre School, stopping in briefly to meet the teachers. The teachers all seemed to know about the situation. Ohkura realized it probably came from reading the press.
Ohkura then took the girls to school. Almost every parent seemed to be coming the to school on their first day. Ohkura had to park a block away. He walked the remaining distance to the school with the girls. He wished that Subaru could have come with them, but his lover insisted that someone had to stay with the baby.
He couldn't help but notice the cameras from the press. They had been following him for quite some time. He ignored them. This day wasn't for him, it was for his daughters.
They dropped off Aoi, who was happy as she saw her new name on her desk.
They went to Midori's room. Ohkura began to chat with her teacher.
Midori ran to where her desk should be. But it wasn't there. She went to where her desk was. She looked crestfallen.
Ohkura went to her. "What's wrong?"
"They have my old name on my desk." she said softly.
Ohkura went to the teacher. "You've made a mistake on Midori's desk."
"What do you mean?" The teacher went to the desk. "It has her name on it."
"It has her old name." Ohkura told her. "Midori was adopted over the break. Her name is now Ohkura Midori."
"Oh honey, I'm so sorry!" the teacher went and got a new nametag. She changed it.
"See, all you had to do was ask." Ohkura told his daughter.
"So where is your new papa?" The teacher asked.
"This is my papa." Midori told her teacher. "Isn't that right papa Tacchan?"
Ohkura felt tears sting his eyes. "Yes darling, that's right I'm your papa."