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Perishing Little Flame on Winding Road

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[Originally posted on AO3 and ff.net on 2020/06/22 and last updated on 2020/09/01]

Summary: <...>...This imitation frowns and says in sad tone while starring at this Kusanagi ‘‘Hey, big bro, it’s your fault that we are given a life, which we didn’t asked for. How about it’s time to take some responsibility for your actions? So, let’s see who is really a freak and deserve to die or live…’’...<...>
One day clones meets their archetype by an accident. How this encounter end? Read and find out.

Fandom: King of Fighters

Characters: Kyo Kusanagi, Kyo-1(Mero), Kyo-2(Hoki), Kusanagi, Iori Yagami

Genre: Clones, Angst, Drama, Alcohol, Pyromancy, Suggestive themes, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort, Hospitalization

Status: Complete(7 chapters in total)



Chapter 1.



A year has passed since the very last clone of Kyo been dismissed. Finally, this Kusanagi hoped that he would never need to hear a word ‘NESTS’ ever again, because it brings too much of painful memories - his pride stripped-off so easily and being used as a toy in someone’s dirty hands for nefarious purposes, so close of losing Yagami…it was just a beginning of the list why he despised this organization so much and wished that there no traces left of it. However, how naive this brunette was and soon he would pay the price for such a innocent thoughts.

It was an ordinary evening and nothing seem to be standing out. After long time in shower this brunette crashes into bed like a log, quickly fall asleep. However, couple hours has passed and in the middle of the night, Kyo’s vibrating phone awakes him from his slumber. He was still half asleep and didn’t show any desire to roll towards the night table side to see, who was this annoying person, and now just silently curses. He just lies in bed, trying to doze out while this goddamn phone does not give him a rest. Anyway, whatever it is, it can wait until morning, or so this brunette murmured. After awhile of ignoring this pesky fellow it finally was silent. This Kusanagi could finally peacefully sleep.

However, couple minutes passed and this cursed phone briefly vibrates again. That’s it! It was the last drop of his patience. Now he slowly rolls towards night table and with his arm reaches for his phone. Maybe if he removes battery, he can rest, or so hoped this brunette. However, before removing the lid of back side, he checked the screen. It was a missed call from Shingo and couple texts from him. It seems that his disciple was asking to hang out. In the middle of the night? Shingo of all people? It can’t be right and something was very fishy about it…

This brunette double-checks if it is his disciple’s number, but it was. Kyo just deeply exhales and he didn’t like anything about this at all. However, while still having a grain of faith that maybe there is nothing wrong, he texts back ‘What are you talking about? Check the time, idiot. Go to sleep!’. No answer. A minute has passed and he received a sinister reply ‘C’mon, don’t be a bore, Kusanagi-san. There is something I need to show you. So, I’ll see you in 30 mins in arcade, you know which one…’ and then he received a well detailed address ‘See you soon!♥~ PS. Come alone, we don’t want unwanted guests to ruin all the fun, do we?’. Kyo frowns - it wasn’t his disciple and whoever writes him, will pay for this! This brunette didn’t think a second thought and immediately jumps from bed and after switching light on quickly dresses up. There was no time to contact anyone else, even if probably this Yabuki’s life was in great danger. And so, while putting on his white coat, he rushed to towards given address.

After a half hour, he reached the destination point. Kyo was already out of breath after running all this time. However, there were no one around, it was empty street. No sign of Yabuki or anyone else, only cold wind and moonlight were the only company for this young man. Now this brunette nervously looks around and speaks up ‘‘I know that you are here. Show yourself already!’’, but he received no answer, only wind rustles his hair. Kyo could sense how the intense was lingering in the air, even so, he repeats ‘‘If you have guts to go against weaker ones, then have it to face me! You want me, aren’t you?!’’.

However, this Kusanagi’s heartbeat becomes more frequent when the dark silhouette was approaching him. Eventually, he recognizes who it was and Kyo was alerted. While he was in defensive position, this person replies in calm yet menacing tone ‘‘You don’t need to be loud. I can hear you just fine.’’, despite this Kusanagi ignites his hand in front of his foe while giving a furious look. Nevertheless, his look-alike, who wore a certain blue uniform, replies "And this is such a warm welcome from our original for ya...". It was the last drop of Kyo's patience and now he grabs his clone's shirt collar and growls while keeping his burning hand in front of him "Where is Shingo?! I'll make sure you'll pay for everything you have to him!".

Despite being threaten like that, this replica only chuckles and mockingly replies "Calm down, big bro, mmmkay? I have no idea what are you talking about. But you should take care of yourself first~" now this clone bends his knee and kicks into the guts of this Kusanagi. He just fells on his knees and rolls into the ball as his face was twisting in pain. All he could do is hissing at his opponent "You bastard..." now he tried to stand up, however, his effort was in vain. His look-alike stomps on Kyo's back as he was a mere bug and keeps him under his control.

Even so, this Kusanagi tries to get up one more time, despite being crushed several times, this look-alike says between stepping "Hush...you don't need to act like this. We finally met and you're already ruining the fun~ I can't believe that we were made after such a weakling.". This replicate so delightfully picks something from his pants’ pocket. It was a familiar phone, with which this imitation plays in his palm. Of course, Kyo was surprised yet all he could do is groan as he shakily fails to reach it with his hand.

However, Kyo’s clone so proudly as a child successfully pulled a prank claims ‘‘Oh? and this little thingie? Well, that it belonged to one stupid kid. That’s right, I had no problems to ‘borrow’ this for awhile while this dumbass was looking away. But surprise surprise, when I was checking contacts and texts, there was pretty interesting number in contacts saved as ‘Kusanagi-san’. *sigh* Who knew that this precious ‘Kusanagi-san’ is the same one, who gave life to us. To be honest, I never thought that our original would be a lousy idiot as well…’’.

Once he was about to add something, he was interrupted by another similar voice in annoyed tone ‘‘…Then it explains why you are so dumb and lazy.’’. Apparently, it was another clone who was casually walking closer behind Kyo’s back. This one wore a familiar uniform, but instead of blue it was brown one. After carefully observing his original, this other duplicate kneels near him and sighs. He wasn’t really pleased and shakes his head, now he saying in calm tone ‘‘Maybe I was expecting too much of you, but, oh well…’’ and carelessly shrug his shoulders. This imitation frowns and says in sad tone while starring at this Kusanagi ‘‘Hey, big bro, it’s your fault that we are given a life, which we didn’t asked for. How about it’s time to take some responsibility for your actions? So, let’s see who is really a freak and deserve to die or live…’’.

This doppelgander stands up and addresses clone in blue ‘‘Hey, do you think that it was worth? Just look at him…Should we barbeque roast him and take over his spot? At least ruining his personal life should teach a lesson or two.’’, he just impatiently waits for the answer while holding his hands in pants’ pockets.

While the imitation in blue smiles as Cheshire Cat, he answers in nearly singing voice "I don't think so~ How about we figure out how much he is oh-so-original? Besides, maybe the others would like to play with him?". Other clone was alerted when original one was trying to escape by crawling away. Now he rolls his eyes and bends down. After climbing on top of Kyo, he crosses this brunette’s arms behind his back and now while holding his wrists with one hand, he presses this Kusanagi’s face against the cold pavement.

However, the doppelgander in brown uniform lift his one eye-brow and sarcastically points out to other clone ‘‘And letting escaping him first was part of your plan, right?’’. Of course, this spitting image in blue clicks his tongue and backfires ‘‘Do you think that he would run far away? Anyway, let’s give him a nice trip and introduce him to the rest of the family. I bet it would be also a good birthday surprise for big bro ‘Nagi…Maybe then he would finally calm down.’’ and now he removes his headband. After he kneels, the other imitation grabs Kyo’s scalp and yanks his head up and wraps around his headband around this Kusanagi’s eyes. While clone in brown uniform holds Kyo’s wrists together, clone in blue moves his hand on his archetype’s right side of hips and removes the chain from Kyo’s jeans.

After tying up original’s wrists with this accessory, he hears how this look-alike addresses him and passes his headband ‘‘Hey, just in case, if he starts to cry for help. I’m too tired to deal again with one yelling idiot, ‘kay?’’, now he nods and ties his original’s mouth with it. Once he was done, other clone with-draws from this Kusanagi, he throws him over his shoulder and stands up. And thus, these clones departures with their newly found toy. This Kusanagi decided to patiently endure this pain and humiliation of being defeated. After all, if there is more of these pesky clones left, once he frees himself from restraints, he would dispose them and surely, Yagami would own him a good explanation. Heck, he better be preparing him an enormous feast too for all these troubles as a small compensation.

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Chapter 2.


After awhile these clones stopped walking and from what this Kusanagi could tell is that they were far away from the city. First of all, it was so quiet that you could hear how the wind rustled tree leaves, secondly, when clones stopped walking, the banging noise of metal. Probably one of these replicas been knocking into the door and while doing that, asked ‘‘Oi, we’re back! Just open already, ‘cos our hands are full at the moment.’’. From what this blindfolded brunette assumed, someone slightly opened these high-pitched squeaking door. Now the person behind it, who sounded similar, replies ‘‘There is a lot of ‘me’ around in these days, so, which one are you?’’.

However, this doppelganger in blue face-palms, murmuring ‘‘Not again…that stupid nerd.’’ and now says aloud ‘‘Who who…Just open the door so that I could kick your smart-ass! It’s us - Mero and Hoki.’’ now the iron was wide open. It seems that the clone in purple uniform suspiciously rises his eye-brows as he stares at one certain type on Hoki's shoulder. He began to scold these two "What are you up this time? Did you forgot what happened last time when you brought half-dead bro?...You perfectly know that Shiro is too sensitive and seeing someone dying on him makes him depressed! So, hide him in bushes or somewhere else before Shiro notices him. Besides, do you have idea how hard is return him back to normal? So, drop this clone, will you?".

Even so, Hoki gives a mockingly smile and sarcastically replies "Yes, mo~oom! However, don't you think that one of our eldest is an absolute wimp? So, the more you tolerate his behaviour and encourage him to read these stupid poems, the more likely he turn out more and more sensitive to these things, which even humans forget to care or try to understand! Besides, he can't run from harsh reality all the time." now this clone in purple gives indifferent look and back-fires "Well, as far as I know, he has more brain-cells more than you. That's for sure. And instead of picking his finger from nose or ass and puts into mouth like certain someone, he spends his time in much better way.".

Of course, it took awhile for this replica in brown uniform to digest fellow clone’s insult while blue one was trying his best to hold his laugh by loudly snorting. However then, he gives not so smart look on his face and indignantly yells at this fellow "Oi, you know what? Fuck you!", this clone in purple just silently shows his middle finger and he started slowly close the door. Nevertheless, Kyo’s presence was ignored and for now he wasn’t really glad to learn that these clones are just bunch of noisy rascals. However, that one replica got his attention and he wanted to know more about this Shiro. So, for now pretending to be a defenseless victim seemed to be a better option and he listened further how his lookalikes talking.

However, on very last second Mero stretches his leg in the gap between door and door-frame, demanding ‘‘Hold it! Maybe Hoki is not the radiator of intelligence, but he has the point.’’ now he puts his hands into pants’ pockets and trust his chest forward, continuing "To think off, Big Bro once told that Shiro actually is the one who was putted under the most fucked up trials than the rest of us just because he wasn't afraid to show more humane feelings when Doctor encouraged him...Yeah, Shiro was keep craving to understand about such a petite and useless things as empathy, caring and being cared, *sigh* and, of course, to learn about the original and other philosophical mess…’’.

Now he shakes his head before continuing ‘‘That's just mess up no matter how you look at it! From what Big Bro mentioned, even if you chop his leg or arm, he wouldn’t complain or show any emotion, but once you insult or hurt his precious Kyo, which he never met tho, or any of us, he may be even scarier and more dangerous than ‘Nagi ever will be. Plus, he is the one, who insist giving a proper burial to anyone whom he knew…Hell, none of us surely will ever go to all this waste of time, but heck, I saw that once, but after putting a grave stone, he just stands and starts to cry. Surely, I don’t get him. He perfectly understands that no one aside himself would never care about him and if he dies, no one even notice. Stupid Shiro…’’.

It seems that replica in purple was convinced by Mero’s words and he softens his gaze and sighs. He opens the door and let his brothers in. Of course, the doppelganger in blue gives a smug look and now cheerfully says ‘‘See? I’m not just the most handsome lad, but also so smart as most of the time, Sakura-kun. It's such a burden to carry it by myself~’’ and now this fellow clone addresses these two in serious tone ‘‘Don’t test your luck. It’s only your fault that you’ll get into trouble for bringing this corpse.’’. However, finally this Kusanagi tries to lift his head and startled this clone yet he still disapproves his bros’ finding.

Once everyone were inside the storage, Hoki carefully bends down and now makes sure that Kyo leans against the wall. After brushing this brunette's hair with his fingertips, this fellow clone smiles and gently slaps his cheek "Hey, wake up, princess, we're finally here.". However, now the clone from the furthest left corner addresses him "Oi, you two, did you brought something tasty? 'Cos I'm hungry~". This time Mero, who stands near Kyo, turns his head "Close enough, but nope!We brought something better. So, you can't eat this one, 'cos we don't do that to the first things we see, right? This lil fella is either a good actor, either a real thing this time. Maybe even if Big Bro spare him, we could play with him later.", but it seems that couple of clones weren’t so excited anymore. Now Mero scratches his head and looks around. It seems that someone was missing and he asks everyone around ‘‘Speaking of which, it’s more quiet than usual. Hmm…Has anyone seen Shiro? ’’.

However, couple of clones just shrugged shoulders or murmured that don’t have any clue. All of sudden one of these replicas loudly sighs and this clone in blue turn his gaze to see which one of them was. Apparently, it was so-called Sakura, who was leaning near the door. While he was crossed his arms, he speaks up in grumpy tone ‘‘He just went to get some fresh air. So, leave him alone for once, will you? Either you, either that idiot keep bothering him. It’s ain’t funny, you know. Besides, not everyone is like a Big Bro and Shiro is not an exception. For example, Hoki may have strength, but he lacks of brain while you are one of most agile ones, but you can’t use flames. So, even Shiro is the weakest one, but I bet he has his own strength too.’’.

Even so, Mero just rolls his eyes and mockingly replies ‘‘And you’re such a bore as usual! So, you don’t want to look quickly inside what we got for Big Bro? Just come here, mmmkay?’’. It can’t be helped that his curiosity took over control and now getting closer to this duo and their new finding. After Sakura was close enough, this clone in blue gives orders to Hoki ‘‘Hold him from behind, ‘cos we’re not sure what he might be up to.’’ and this fellow doppelganger delightfully smiles ‘‘Sure thing.’’. He makes sure that his arms were around the original and now stands up together with Kyo.

However, Mero gave a questioning look when this fellow clone began to smile like an idiot and chuckles in deeper tone. Now this clone in blue asked ‘‘What’s the matter? Are you freaking stupid?’’, but this fellow replica delightfully replies ‘‘Look at him. How come he is so slim?’’. He just receives another orders from Mero ‘‘Let me see. Just hold his arms.’’ and Hoki gladly listens again. Surely, even if this Kusanagi was blindfolded, he closes his eyes as hard as he could do once this clone lays his hands on the sides of Kyo’s chest and sliding down to his hips.

Of course, he was ashamed being touched like this and it didn’t helped that he could feel how the swarm of clones clones observed him with a such a innocent childish curiosity and awe. Even so, he wanted to disappear at same spot. Mero just smiles and says ‘‘Yeah, unlike us, he is sure different. Maybe having a holiday trip to NESTS and living comfy life before and after that made him lazy. He can’t even fight-back. So, he wouldn’t survive even a day, if he live like us! What a weakling...’’.

However, Mero only frowns and addresses his archetype ‘‘What a hell is wrong with you? Stop acting like I’m doing something wrong! Hell, like you never been checked like this. Jeez, what a hopeless moron…And don’t you dare to kick me, got it?’’, after short pause, he was back to normal and now continues ‘‘Let’s see if you are really the original.’’. Once he masterly slides his hand under this Kusanagi’s shirt, he lifts it until his belly was visible. Now this clone gladly declares ‘‘So, you are.’’ and releases Kyo’s shirt. After this replica in blue places his hands on his hips, he whines ‘‘That’s too bad~ Why we are not based on Big Bro, but this thing?’’.

For the first time in awhile Hoki speaks up and asks this clone in blue ‘‘So, what we gonna do with him? Should we just beat a crap out of him already?’’, but Sakura just calmly addresses this replica ‘‘Don’t you think that it would be still such a pleasant treatment for him? How about we make him plead to be killed first? Yeah, let’s show him what happens when you mess with us!’’ while he fixes his gloves.

However, all of sudden someone aggressively from outside banged the iron door, then for good couple seconds it was quiet. Clone in purple just straightens his back and freezes in same spot, he just told in small, barely hearable voice ‘‘Oh, shit…Big Bro is back.’’. Once again loud banging, but this time everyone on this building heard how this beast growls ‘‘KNOCK KNOCK! OPEN UP ALREADY!’’. After several knocking, the door has flied across the room until it crashed into the wall, making clones instinctively back-off.

Now the mysterious figure stands still while being surrounded by the moonlight. This shadow opened his eyes, which glows in cold crimson red, even Kyo doesn’t need to see that this creature was neither a human being, neither a clone, he could sense it even from a far. But aside being afraid, something felt so familiar about this creature and he didn’t like this at all. Plus, he could swear that this creature was smiling, because he could sense his primal fear. Hell, even Hakkesshus and Orochi compared to him were like a fluffy kittens.

Once he took step inside and revealing his face, he announces ‘‘IT’S KUSANAGI!~’’ and from this moment Kyo knew, he was screwed for sure.

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Chapter 3.


After looking around, this person now addresses clone in purple ‘‘Oi, you! Face me, when I’m speaking to you!’’ there was no way that Sakura couldn’t disobey. Of course, some of the clones already happily whispering between themselves ‘‘Ugh-oh, it seems someone is in deep trouble.’’, ‘‘It seems that in best case he gonna fix the door frame…again.’’, ‘‘Is it the third time in this week?’’, ‘‘Beats me…But it seems that he enjoys, so, let him.’’. It seems that this replica only could stare with his eyes wide-open and swallow his saliva. Now he just listens further ‘‘What a HELL happened? Did you asleep or something, huh?! Why no one is on guard? Do you want another purge?!’’.

However, it seems that something else caught the attention of Kusanagi. After closing his eyes, he deeply inhales and now after opening his eyes, announces ‘‘Something is off~ I can smell a fresh meat here. It's not one of us. Something with much stronger scent…Who is this innocent lamb ready to die?’’. Now as he was approaching Kyo closer, Hoki replies in careless to tone "Oh, this thing? Mero told that it supposed to be original. So, we just brought him just to introduce him to the Big Bro.". While 'Nagi carefully observes this restrained brunette, he scolds these twins "And the first thing you do is tying him up? You know that it's not to how to treat our guest, more so, your all creator."

However, Mero used his acting skills and now he makes a big innocent eyes as he objects with such a passion "Yeah, when he was about to roast us like a madman! He even threaten to kill the rest us just because we found someone's phone! I swear...We just wanted to return it to the owner. At least when he was concentrating his rage on Hoki, I managed sneak behind him. Then, thanks for that, er…baseball bat, I striked behind this bastard’s back.". After deeply exhaling, this clone continues in pity voice ‘‘He is so scary, Big Bro! Even when he was about to stand up, I pressed my foot under him and used that chain to tied him, of course, he was still threatening us, swearing, like I even could know whenever these words were real or made up, so, I asked Hoki to borrow his headband to shut him up a-a-and after blindfolding, we decided to show him to Big Bro…’’.

It seems that this mentioned replica just gave indifferent look while listening to this story and now he told in uncertain tone ‘‘Are you sure? ‘Cos I don’t think this how it went. You just kicked his ass and wanted me to do the rest of the job.’’. Certainly, this clone in blue angrily stared at Hoki and through gritted teeth scolds him ‘‘At least play along, you fool...’’. It seems that ‘Nagi was already fed-off and annoyed, so, while containing his anger, he addresses Mero in quiet chill tone ‘‘Telling lies?’’, and this fellow doppelganger briefly answers ‘‘No.’’. ‘Nagi demands this clone ‘‘Then, swear upon your head!’’, surely after such command Mero just replies ‘‘Yeah, I swear! It’s truth!’’. However, it seems that now his Big Bro smacked his head so hard that it made Mero fell down and after shakily standing up, he rubs his head. Now this clone in blue listens the lecture from their leader ‘‘I’ll give you a credit for creativity. Next time teach him to co-operate, you numbnut!’’.

Now Kusanagi fixed his hair and while he stares at Kyo with these crimson eyes, he comments ‘‘So, you’re the original, huh?…You sure caused a lot of chaos and problems by your existence alone, you know. ’’. However, after he looked at these twins, he orders ‘‘What are you starring at?! C’mon, Mero! Hoki! Bring him to the throne room.’’ without any second thought, these two obeyed and now while this replica in blue was next to Kusanagi, the other clone was dragging this brunette as prisoner, who about to face judgement of this court.

Once they reached so-called throne room, which was in the corner of the right side. However, it seems that it got such a name because there the Big Bro liked to sit in his fancy office chair and either make important announces, either teach the clones about the ways of life. So, not for nothing these replicas as a gift brought this chair to him, which they ‘borrowed’ from somewhere. It wasn’t really fancy - just a cozy as mini black leather couch, but if their leader wasn’t around, clones would use it to kill some time by spinning on it or as vehicle to quick travel across the storage and eventually crashing into wall. Of course, on each side there were placed a large packing box.

After Kusanagi cozily sat in his throne with his legs crossed and resting his chin on his hand, he observed Kyo like a cat, which finally cornered it’s prey. Meanwhile Mero was from his right side and resting on packing box and Hoki holding Kyo’s arm from behind. Now this darker brunette reached his hand towards archetype’s cheek and clone in brown uniform made him bend enough so that ‘Nagi should reach it. However, when he touched this brunette, he could feel how he tried to turn his face away.

Apparently, when this fiend touched him, Kyo felt such a coldness, but eventually it grew into heat. It felt weird and disgusting - of course, he wanted to shake him off so badly. However, 'Nagi with-draws his hand and lit his finger. The tiny orange flame was dancing on his fingertip, now the owner of it speaks in deeper tone ‘‘You quiet all this time. How about you say something nice?’’. As soon as this little flame touches the bandage on his mouth, this white cloth ignites and fells on ground. However, instead of words, Kyo was greedily catching his breath. Every gulp of air was so precious to him. Of course, watching over how this brunette was struggling, amused his lookalike and now he adds ‘‘And NESTS believed that producing mass of copies of such a weakling will help them dominate the world…What a bunch of idiots. Isn’t great?~ they expected to make a massive destruction weapon from a brat who is afraid to use his flame for it’s true purpose!’’

‘Nagi cracks a smile as he starred with piercing gaze ‘‘At least maybe they killed some time by playing god and thus, you gave a birth to the prototype and countless clones. You know, your so-called clones did not ask for such a life in cage and weren’t so glad to learn on whom they were based. Expect Shiro. He suffered the most not only that he was the first clone, but also he was the most accurate copy and wanted to know about his precious archetype. However, even being under doctor’s wing, didn’t helped a bit. So, your existence alone makes people suffer and broke their life completely. You destroy what you meet in your way by using them! You sure are the most fucked up bastard! Even more than these scientists…’’

After Kusanagi chuckles, he brings his ignited finger closely in between Kyo’s eyes. Another familiar heat touched this brunette and now the headband has fallen from his closed eyes. Finally, this dark being brought his finger closer to his lips and blew this little flame away. The smoke line was still lingering in the air as this Kusanagi heir opened his eyes and saw who was in front of him. It wasn’t his clone, neither it was a servant of Orochi clan. That’s for sure, otherwise Yagami would immediately react to blood riot and once again this Kusanagi heir would be the one who would calm his inner demons. In any case, this fellow radiated such a malicious aura and constantly red glowing eyes told alone that he is not from this world. It might be an evil spirit, who just had the same look as him and wielded identical flame like his.

Kyo couldn’t remove his gaze from Kusanagi and just silently starred at him. He knew that he need to escape as soon as possible. However, this leader of the clones roughly grabbed Kyo’s chin and tilted his head up. It seems that this brunette was nothing more than a toy to him and now ‘Nagi speaks up ‘‘You sure look exact the same as Shiro.’’ and continues with mockery ‘‘Is it all you can do? What’s wrong with you?! Hey, say something…Or you need something that would give you more courage?’’.

Now ‘Nagi looked at Mero and ordered him ‘‘Check inside the box. There should be one unopened bottle left.’’ after this command this clone in blue stands up and opens the box on which he was sitting. Like Big Bro told, there was a full bottle of fine whiskey and now he passes to ‘Nagi. However, it seems that Hoki sighs and murmurs while carefully watching over this bottle travels to the hands of Big Bro ‘‘Not fair. I want some too…’’. However, Kusanagi noticed this replica’s unsatisfied look on his face and now he comments ‘‘Did you forgot who is our guest here? So, let’s make him comfortable and warm. ’’.

After Mero opens the bottle for him, he returns to his seat and with curiosity observes what Kusanagi was going to next to the archetype. This dark-skinned brunette now cracked a smile and prompted Kyo ‘‘Please, help yourself.’’. However, this brunette turned his face each time when ‘Nagi tried to bring bottle to his lips, but ending up poking his cheeks. Of course, it was annoying and Kusanagi was nearly on verge of loosing his patience. Through his gritted teeth, ‘Nagi says ‘‘Just open you mouth, goddamn it! You’re gonna waste such good drink, you know.’’.

However, this brunette refused to listen to this lookalike and just angrily starred at Kusanagi. Now 'Nagi complains "Why do you have to be stubborn? Just relax already!" he frowns, he continues "Look, it's not poisoned!". After that this darker brunette chugged down good couple sips like it was nothing. He didn't even blushed or blinked - it was just a mere water for him. ‘Nagi just delightfully licked his lips and innocently says ‘‘See? I’m fine~ It’s only nicely warms you up. Now go ahead and try it!’’. However, Kyo further refuses to listen these orders.

Surely, it only infuriates Kusanagi even more and now he strictly adds ‘‘It can’t be helped then, if you need help even with the most basic things…’’. After taking a good sip of whiskey, ‘Nagi keeps it and once he placed his palm on this brunette’s scalp, bringing his face close to his. Surely, Kyo's eyes were wide-opened when 'Nagi pressed his lips against him. Hell, now he felt how 'Nagi's tongue violently tried to get through his lips and get inside his mouth. No matter how hard this brunette resisted, but soon he was utterly defeated.

Finally, ‘Nagi break through and along with feeling how the whiskey was filling him, Kyo was forced to swallow this burning liquid. He was already dizzy and his cheeks were burning in red. Hell, he even wanted to disappear at same spot once he felt tears running down his cheeks. However, now this darker brunette noticed that the remain of whiskey were running down from the corners of this Kusanagi’s lips. Of course, he savors these droplets by carefully licking around the corners of the lips and on it. There is nothing worse than being humiliated by a spitting-image of himself and this brunette just closes his eyes in disgust, but these silent whims in between only made him feel more pathetic. However, ‘Nagi slowly with-draws his face and observes the hot mess in front of him. This darker brunette delightfully smiles and mockingly addresses Kyo ‘‘And this the original for ya…One shot and you’re already like this. How come you’re so weak? You can even barely do anything. At least try to resist.’’.

However, it seems that Hoki for the first time objected in uncertain tone ‘‘Big Bro, don’t you think that is too much? Is this really necessary?’’, surely, it surprised Kusanagi, who turned his gaze towards this clone and replied ‘‘A riot in the ship? It’s rare for you to speak up like this. Besides, how else you gonna help someone with their drinks?’’, this fellow replica answers "I mean, he is already inferior to us, so, what's the point keeping him, if he can't do a thing? It's nothing different than having Shiro around.". Or at least not screwing around like that, wanted to add this replica, but he kept that in mind.

It seems that now this little phrase got 'Nagi's attention and now he orders in serious tone "Untie him.". After such a command, Hoki removed the chain, however, instead of fighting back, Kyo just felt on his knees. His wrists were still aching, but he didn't care less. Even so, his face was still blushing and with teary eyes and he could barely think straight. This brunette gave a furious look at Kusanagi. However, even when he tried to yell at his opponent, all it sounded like a whim "Why are you doing this?! What a hell is your problem? I'll make you sure pay for this!". He tried to stand up but it seems that alcohol effect was stronger, so, once again he fell on his knees.

After another failed attempt this brunette tried ignite his fist, however, as soon as orange flame shows up, it spread towards this brunette’s elbow. Now he just panicked and tried to dim his fire by other hand. It hurts and this brunette cursed that his own power disobeys him when it was needed the most. While holding his dimmed arm, Kyo growls at his opponent ‘‘Just you wait. I’m not done yet!’’.

'Nagi finally stands up and leaves his throne. After placing his hands in pants’ pockets, this darker brunette looked down on him with indifferent look on his face and kicked this Kusanagi heir into the chest and made him fall on ground. Now the leader of clones addresses him ‘‘You’re so annoying, shut up!’’ after kneeling, this darker brunette makes sure that Kyo lies on stomach, he climbs on top of him. After leaning closer to him, ‘Nagi presses his hand against Kyo’s face while other arm corners him. Meanwhile, Hoki kneels down and with such curiosity carefully observes what was happening.

Surely, being dominated like this only deepens the bitterness of being so easily defeated. More important, maybe this how he gonna die. So, it seems there is finally someone who will kill him. Certainly, if Yagami going to find out that the fuel, which keeps him alive, is gone, probably he will go berserk until he find the culprit and then...Then what? Would he treat this fiend as any clone and instantly finishes him? Or rather get killed by this thing too? wondered Kyo.

But what if he kill ‘Nagi? Will he find calmness and act on like nothing happened? Maybe from first sight no one would be able to tell the difference what has changed inside this redhead. However, outside, he may look perfectly fine, but inside that little flame would be dimmed and eventually even such a fearsome man would become nothing more than just an empty shell, a soulless pretty doll as time would go on - this brunette was so sure and he was afraid that his death would lead to another death. No, he didn’t want this and as long as he alive, he can protect this redhead from being reckless.

But then, why this fearsome man is so obsessed with him? If Yagami so much desired his death, why he can’t do that? He had so much good chances, but it only remain as words. He wouldn’t let even god himself or his blood curse to interface between him and Kyo. However, a week after a clone incident, he had such a perfect change to finish Kyo, but he didn’t. Instead that something else happened on that one rainy night. Something that proved that when this brunette thought that he finally knew everything about Iori, but then he realized that doesn’t at all. That night the moonlight and the stars were shyly hiding behind the clouds, only the relaxing and rhythmic sounds of raindrops tapping the windows dared to disturb the silence.

That restless night, neither Kyo, neither Iori spoke - there was no need for that. This Kusanagi didn’t even minded letting this redhead take a lead or being embraced by him. As long as he is fine, this brunette can be calm too. Besides, he was still strong enough to push him away at any moment, so, escaping wasn’t the problem in the first place. Therefore, Kyo stayed by Iori’s side that night. However, this brunette wanted to know why Yagami is doing, what was his reason. Even through these sighs and lovely whims, he managed to honestly ask in such a innocent way ‘You said that you gonna to kill me, but you doing exact opposite…’ yet this redhead’s did not say anything, his actions explained more than any words…

However, right now Kyo just deeper blushes at such a unexpected flashback and lowers his gaze while murmuring ‘‘You stupid idiot…’’. However, ‘Nagi asked him ‘‘The heck you said? Speak louder!’’ now he lifted the same hand, which corners this brunette and now places on his lower back, now he continues ‘‘You know why you had no chance against me? No, not just because your own clones are more advanced than original. You are doomed, ‘cos you can’t use your flame at full potential, you simply afraid to.’’.

After this darker brunette smiles as Cheshire Cat, he adds nearly in singing voice ‘‘We are the same person. Not only we share same flame, but I know even your weaknesses and darkest thoughts. Have you wondered what happens if you ever stop holding back and show the true nature of your power? Roasting someone until they become nothing more than crisping ashes, messing with internal organs and boiling them up…You simply refusing embrace your true self.’’.

This Kusanagi felt how stomach started to heat up and how that heatwave moved up to his throat. Once his hand stops, this brunette could hear how ‘Nagi adds in threatening tone ‘‘I could mess up your insides until you die nice and slowly or I just could blast your brain right away. It would be such a shame that Shiro would find out that oh-so-precious original is nothing more than like a shitty parent, who ran away.’’. However, after brushing his hand away, something caught this lookalikes attention. He just widens his eyes for a second and now he murmurs ‘‘What a…?’’. Apparently, it was a small red spot on Kyo’s nape, which visibly annoyed ‘Nagi. After chuckling, he says in slightly high-pitched tone ‘‘The fuck is this?! C’mon, let’s see, if you have some more…’’. now he placed his hand again on this brunette’s back and after grabbing a hem of this Kusanagi’s shirt, he quickly lifted up and now he just silently starred at Kyo’s exposed back.

Surely, this darker brunette just furrowed his eye-brows, but his crimson eyes furiously shines. He did not liked these scratching marks all over Kyo’s back and it didn’t helped that there were even couple bite marks near this brunette’s hips and chest. After ‘Nagi closes his eyes, he roughly lowers the shirt down and once he opens his eyes, he says in mocking tone ‘‘Aww, you poor thing~ You shouldn’t go outside when it’s dark. ‘Cos there are too many wild animals lurking and waiting for innocent lambs like you.’’. However, Hoki honestly tells to his Big Bro what he thinks ‘‘To think off, he is pretty much lucky to escape alive from whatever it was…yet I haven’t seen any dangerous animals around here.’’, Kusanagi just gave an fed-off look to this fellow clone and replies ‘‘Your face is not spoiled by intelligence, is it? You see, your original wants to be eaten.’’, this clone only gave a confused look and innocently asked ‘‘But what for? Why would anyone allow to hurt themselves and then ending up dying? I just don’t get it…’’.

It seems that Mero had enough and now he face-palmed and loudly sighed. While sitting on boxes, he scolds this fellow clone ‘‘Shut up and just listen what Big Bro has to say, you idiot!’’. After awhile ‘Nagi finally starts to explain to these fellow replicas ‘‘There is a certain kind of pain and suffering, which some people can enjoy-’’, however he was interrupted by one clone from the left corner ‘‘Does Big Bro can do that as well?’’. Kusanagi just chuckled and made such a suggestive look on his face while starring at Kyo and now answers ‘‘How about we gonna ask our guest about it?’’, but it seems that now he was disturbed by the familiar voice from the entrance door ‘‘How about you leave him alone!’’.

Finally, the clone in platinum walks closer to ‘Nagi. Definitely, only one a prototype of all clones could oppose their leader when he needed. Despite having a serious look on his face, he scolds this darker brunette ‘‘It’s none of your business what he does, neither you have a right to judge anyone’s actions. Have you been following his every single step he made, going through the same pain, grief or happiness? No. That’s why don’t assume that you know everything. It’s not up to you to say who is right and who is wrong. Please, release him.’’. ‘Nagi just mockingly replies ‘‘It seems our little Shiro is sentimental as usual…But I can’t do that. Not only after capturing your oh-so-precious original. First, he need to take some responsibility for his actions and pay with his own blood. Yet if you gonna plead me, I’ll let you to do anything to him for one hour. After all, you wanted to see him so badly.’’.

Once ‘Nagi climbs down from Kyo and forcibly stands him up, he pushes him toward Shiro, who fortunately, catches him in his arms. This brunette was still confused and couldn’t tell this clone’s motives whenever they were bad or good. A clone is a clone, after all, and he shouldn’t trust him. If he is a prototype, then he was the cause of the chaos and destruction. That’s why this brunette should hate him as well as any other clones. Besides, maybe this clone holds so much hatred and grudge against him as well, or so though this Kusanagi. Yet he felt no threat from Shiro, who just now said in gentler tone ‘‘Shall we go? There is something I need to show you.’’. However, ‘Nagi orders to this replica while crossing his arms ‘‘Make you sure that you return him or else I’ll find him and kill both of you on same spot. One hour - no less, no more, got it?’’.

After such a demand, Shiro left the storage while holding the archetype’s hand. Now replica in purple asked their leader ‘‘Do you think he gonna return as simply as that? He might let him escape.’’, however, ‘Nagi chuckles ‘‘No, he won’t. He is too fair, naive and didn’t learned to lie. Whenever he likes it or not, he’ll come back and bring back the sacrificial lamb…’’ and this darker brunette slowly returns to his throne, waiting for this clone’s returning.

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Chapter 4.


After awhile of walking deeper into forest Kyo tries to remove his hand from this clone’s grasp, however, it seems that this doppelganger only tightens his grasp as refuses to let go original’s hand. This brunette indignantly demands ‘‘Let me go! Or else I’m gonna roast your arm!’’, but Shiro stops walking and turns his gaze towards the archetype. He only sighs and ignores the original's harsher words, patiently replying ‘‘Just a little bit. We are almost there.’’. Kyo only frowns and back-fires "Why should I listen to the clone? You all already caused me too much of problems and ruined my reputation! So, don't you think that you also get away by acting all nice. Back-off, before I'll put you in your place!".

This Kusanagi decided to use his other arm into good use, however, this replica catches Kyo’s fist with his hand. Even so, he didn’t say even a single word, just calmly stares. Surely such a gaze scared this brunette much more than anything, because he can’t tell what was going on inside this lookalike’s mind. At least if he would gave furious gaze or threat would be more suiting for a clone, but now?…this brunette lowers his gaze and bits his lower lip. Shiro sighs and replies in gentler tone ‘‘I’m not sure what happened when I was gone, but I’m sorry for whatever ‘Nagi or my bros have done to you. However, you can have faith in me, ‘cos I have no reasons to hurt you. ’’.

After releasing Kyo’s hand clenched into fist, this clone pleaded "Will you listen what I have to say?". For some reason this brunette could not hold his anger for too long and now he just shakes his head. He did not like a bit that a copy orders him, but for now he decided to play along with this lookalike’s rules. After all, if anything would go wrong, he can simply dispose this faker. It's just piece of flesh created to kill and destroy, who has no free will or mind and who just happened to look like this Kusanagi. So, letting this replica to vanish by this brunette's flames should be a proper punishment for this clone existence alone, or so thought Kyo.

However, why it’s so hard to do it? Is it because it was a living creature in front of him, who was in shape of man and shows emotions? These clones, whom Kyo seen in storage, were nothing more than lost children, who just simply strive to survive like any other living creature, but without understanding about the world outside the lab. Maybe it's not their fault that they were "adopted" by someone as Kusanagi. For them, from what this brunette understood, he was their Big Bro and the closest thing to role-model, they just honestly adored him and treated him as a parent.

One thing for sure, now Kyo began to doubt whenever to rise his hand against this clone, because maybe it would be the same as tainting his hands with someone’s blood. Even so, this brunette would never use his flame for merciless killing and now he doubted - Was he afraid of unbearable feeling of guilty for the rest of his life by snatching someone’s life? Or maybe that becoming the same like that nefarious creature, who claimed to be him? Could it be he just become too weak-minded after what happened in lab?

Nevertheless, Shiro noticed how Kyo was shivering and refused to look at him. So, now this lookalike gently took his so-adored original's hand into both of his hands. Surely, it helped to get this brunette's attention, however, the look on this face...Whenever it was still the side-effect of alcohol or not, but Kyo starred at him with such a teary eyes. Shiro asked him in concerned tone "You are shaking. Does something bothers you?", this brunette remains silent, but now this clone continues ‘‘I wanted to meet you for so long, but you are upset and scared. Do you hate me this much?’’, this clone sighs and lowers his gaze, continuing ‘‘Maybe ‘Nagi was right after all. You do see us as -’’.

However, this Kusanagi had enough and interrupts this replica by scolding ‘‘Will you ever shut up about ‘Nagi did that or that’? Or do you want that someone else decide for you what to think or act? You’re not in the lab anymore! So, you don’t have to take orders from anyone. It’s such a shame, because you do look like you would have a capacity to make your own decisions, but you purposely letting someone else to manipulate you.’’, surely, these words surprised Shiro and now he just eyes-wide opened starred at his archetype. He was at awe and simply lost a gift of speech.

Maybe his original wasn’t as bad as ‘Nagi used to depict for him, or so thought this replica. Somehow, it even strangely comforts him. Shiro now speaks up with more confidence in his voice ‘‘Then you need to see this.’’ and now fastens his steps, prompting this brunette to hurry up.

After awhile, Shiro immediately stops and Kyo accidentally bumps into this replica in platinum. Apparently, the moonlight shines upon this field, which was surrounded by forest and scattered by countless flatter stones. From first glance it might even looked like an old and forgotten graveyard. Before this replica takes step forward, he silently nods to the graves. Now in such a calm tone he announces without looking back ‘‘I’m back. However, this time I came not alone.’’ as he takes step by step closer, he continues ‘‘Today we have a very special person here. I promised that one day I’ll introduce him, didn’t I?’’. It seems that once Shiro was nearly the center, he looked like he submerged in the moonlight, which made him look like a wandering guardian spirit. Maybe it was this replica’s plan all along to lure Kyo into his own doom by using such a innocent look.

However, the atmosphere around this doppelganger wasn’t deadly or menacing, contrary, it felt so calm, comforting yet at same time it was sorrowful and melancholic. Now Shiro turned around to face the original and explained ‘‘This where our brothers rest. However, you have no reason to be afraid, they probably wouldn’t want to do any harm to you.’’. Nevertheless, Kyo approaches this clone and asks him ‘‘Why are you telling me this?’’. This replica proudly replies ‘‘Because it’s you. You are Kyo Kusanagi, the one who gave a life for me. I have so many questions about you, but I also want to tell you about so many things. So, will you listen what I have to say?.’’.

This brunette was confused and he just asked "But why me? Shouldn't you hate me that you exist?", even so, Shiro just chuckled and replied in naive tone "Why should I hate you? Yes, most of my life, I spent in lab, but if it wasn't you, I wouldn't able to meet you and Doctor. So, I should be glad for that alone, right?".

This Kusanagi now gave a questioning look for this clone and now asks "Are you sure you didn't hit your head somewhere or are you made to think that way that these freaks have even a grain of humanity left? They only see you as walking meat, you know.". However, Shiro begins to object ‘‘I think you are wrong, cos Doctor Makishima was very kind person. So, let me explain to you from another side. ’’.

This replica exhales as he begin in softer yet melancholic tone "To think off, we are not so different. Maybe the only difference is how we were born. While you been born in, how you call, a natural way, I was born in lab. That's all. Otherwise, we both have a person which cares about you no matter what, who is gentle and forgiving, simply accepts your flaws and just with open-arms wraps in their warmth. That's right, and the Doctor was the closest person, which I could call a Mother.’’.

After leaning closer to one of tombstones and crossing his arms, this replica continues his tale ‘‘Doctor was that person, who helped me to endure countless testing and procedures - be it being putted under extreme heat or cold, countless bullets, needles, being cut and so on, and so on or just being beating down when I did anything wrong…but once it was over, Doctor would remove the chains and just comfort me as I was her child. I-I don’t get how and why, but somehow even listening to her heartbeat and breathing always helped to calm down and survive another day. It just that motherly warmth and embrace…even for that moment, but I felt like I was forgiven and everything going to be okay.’’

This clone lowers his head and shrugs for a moment before continuing ‘‘Of course, I didn’t understand for what reason I was born. Even Doctor Makishima looked so guilty and sad when she observed these tests. Why would you get upset and pity such a creature as am I? Yet other scientists didn’t liked her behavior and maybe that’s why as time went on I was counted as defective and been disposed.’’.

As Shiro sighs, he lifts head up and returns his gaze to Kyo, continuing in calmer tone ‘‘One day I asked Doctor what’s the point of my life and is this what am I good for, why she acts like this towards me and others much different, what kind of person was on whom I was based. What have he done that deserved to be putted under such a treatment? This when after tests, Doctor Makishima would even risk to bring me to her room, where she would teach me how to read and write, about such a things as emotions and how to read and understand them, about the beauty of the nature and how our world is such colorful and wonderful place…It was surely amazing and fascinating. She even brought me as a present the outfit, which belonged to you - that uniform, gloves with crest of the sun and headband. Of course, I was happy, because finally I have something that belongs to person, who gave a life to me! But it seems that other scientists weren’t happy about how she treated me and she received a note to dismiss me.’’.

Shiro bits his lower lip and closes his eyes and after opening his eyes, he continued ‘‘She was afraid to tell me about this and on same evening, she brought me into one of testing rooms. I still remember her saying that it was just a check up, but you could notice that behind her glasses, she looked upset. Of course, I agreed to lie in the capsule and after that, she brought a syringe filled with some kind of medicine. Doctor’s hands were shaking, but she explained that this procedure might be unpleasant, so, she needed to inject a strong anesthetic. All I could do is silently nod and wait. Not sure why, but Doctor inserted the needle into my neck. It was painful, that needle was thick, but I endured, one or two tears fallen, but I silently endured for her. It seems that she was more sad than I am and once this needle was removed - I felt sleepy. I wanted to say that ‘everything is alright, I just feeling tired’, but at that moment I could only smile and look at her. However, as my vision began to fade, I managed to say ‘good-bye’ and ‘thank you’. Yet before losing consciousness, I saw that doctor started to cry. This what my last memory of Doctor Makishima or being in lab..."

However, this replica now addresses Kyo in apologetic tone "Yet I'm sorry that I cannot return Doctor's given clothes. ‘Nagi took them away from me and now uses as his own…" After Shiro rubs the back of his head, he continues "You see, as I regained consciousness, I noticed that the capsule's lid started to open and behind the glass a familiar silhouette were behind it. I thought it was you. I was so glad that I finally going to meet you! But as my vision got more clear, I realized that it wasn't you. That person had same look as you, but that dark skin and hair, these red eyes...He starred at me like expecting something to happened."

"I just sit up and asked him who is he and he told that he is you. But after I said that he is lying, he told me that he is looking for you as well and it would be better if I would join him. However, I didn't understood what he meant by 'for now, you should do', but then he asked me to give your clothes and that cash bag, which were inside the capsule. I gave the bag of cash, cos I didn't understand that these piece of paper have a value or you can get stuff by giving these, if you have them. So, I thought he gonna use it for setting a fire. But when he asked to handle the uniform...I refused to! Once he was about to grab that uniform, I shielded with my body! It wasn't his, so, why he want that?’’.

This clone lowers his gaze ‘‘He just grabbed back of my shirt and throw me out of capsule. Of course, I expected that he will kill me, but all he did only picking the uniform and finding a small note inside of it. I didn't understand why he was so smug when he read that note. He just laughs and said 'So, you got disowned? ', 'what a drag!' and 'you really hope that mistake of god, which is your precious Kyo, gonna treat you as human being while he is ready to roast alive clones like you?' or something like that…’’.

Shiro frowns and with slight indignant tone says "Just what does he knows about you or Doctor? Nothing, nothing at all. That what he does! Of course, I grabbed his leg and as warning, I heaten up. Please, don't worry, I didn't wanted to use my flame to kill or cause any pain, cos it's bad thing to do! I just wanted to warn him and asked to return the note and uniform...However, his eyes began to glow more brightly and he just starred at me. He did not said eve a single word. Just when he bends down, he throws me over his shoulders and began to carry me somewhere. After we arrived, he opened the iron door of some kind of storage and dropped me like a sandbag on ground. I’ve been through worse, so, it didn’t hurt that much…Even so, I had no idea what he gonna do to me, but I couldn’t let him get away because he took something from you and refusing to return it.’’

This replica sighs before continuing ‘‘I wanted to get up, but he stomped on my back and I could swear that I could hear how my ribs cracked! So, if he wanted, I would be dead by his foot…But then he removed his foot and after bending down, he grabbed the collar of my shirt and lifted me with his arm. All he did is starring at me with these glowing eyes and once smiles, he told me to wait until he returns or else he would find you and bring your corpse to me. Then he just dropped me and left the storage. After awhile he returned and thrown at me a white uniform and told me that from now on I’m going to be called Shiro and if this uniform will get stained, he would kill me. Of course, he didn’t allowed me to leave, because outside world would ruin me or so he claims that, and that I should be grateful for getting another life. I didn’t minded this outfit, at least it was better than just hospital’s pyjama.’’

At this moment Shiro looked like a child, who confessed doing what he shouldn’t and hoping that he would be forgiven. As Kyo was getting closer, this replica shakily closed his eyes and waited for harsh punishment. However, no matter how long he waited - nothing, just something gently touched his hair and Shiro shrugged. Later he realized that it was this Kusanagi’s hand and how it gently began to ruffle his hair. It didn’t took even a second to get used to it and now this clone finally started to relax.

However, once Kyo removed his hand, this replica now opens his eyes as this brunette speaks up in forgiving tone ‘‘And you think that I gonna loose my temper because of some cloth, you idiot? But I don’t get it why are you enduring such a treatment for no good reason.’’ as this brunette rubs the back of his head, he continues in slightly embarrassed tone ‘‘Listen, I know it’s a weird thing to say, but…I don’t want to live knowing that someone like you to live in such a dark environment. You just killing yourself and you know that. So, it just happened that you been surrounded by wrong people.’’

After swallowing saliva, this brunette confidently looks at this clone and now requests ‘‘Listen, I have a very good friend of mine, who will help you to get you new identity, proper education and will make sure that you would have a better future( ‘‘of course, it would be hard to convince him tho…’’ thought this brunette.) . From what I noticed, you could go far, if you just simply wish for it. So, all you need to do is use this chance, which you have and go with me. ’’. However, it seems that Shiro got upset by such request and now turns his gaze away. After returning his gaze, this replica replies ‘‘I cannot do that…You should understand why.’’, now he silently stares at his archetype and after brief pause, he placed his hand on his chest while the other hand was on original’s.

Shiro speaks up in more sorrowful tone ‘‘I’m sure that you have people about whom you care so deeply and want to protect. For you it might be a family, friends, anyone whom you hold so closely and dearly. However, for me, I have nothing, but only those, whom I want to protect. These clones become like a family to me and I cannot abandon them because of my selfishness. Who would take care of them? However, I’m grateful and proud finally meeting you, so, it’s more than enough for me. Besides, if I try to leave, ‘Nagi will find us no matter where and kill you. I can’t allow that! That’s why I must return.’’.

Kyo closes his eyes and shakes his head after hearing this confession and now asked this replica ‘‘Is this what you’re afraid of? Then, you have nothing to lose, only your chains. Besides, don’t you think these clones can’t live on their own? From what I saw, they doing pretty well and strong enough to protect themselves. So, should we go then before this faker found us?’’. Shiro doubts again, but it didn’t took awhile to take his decision…

Meanwhile in certain storage~ Apparently, the ruler’s of the clones patience was nearly gone and he murmurs ‘‘The fuck, he is taking this long? Did little Shiro really escaped this time?’’. However, now his further thoughts been disturbed by one clone rushing into storage. This clone in black looked terrified and was barely catching his breath. Now he nervously looks around and yells from the top of his lungs ‘‘Why the door is broken?! Shit… This is bad, Big Bro! We have to run!’’.

After ‘Nagi casually left his throne, he approached this clone while holding his hands in pants’ pockets and asked ‘‘What a hell happened, Kuro? Where is Aoi?’’, this clone nervously answered ‘‘H-he was killed by that man! That man wielding a purple flame mercilessly attacked by him! He is after us and gonna kill us! W-we have to run!’’, Kuro’s knees gave up on him and now he just trembles.

It seems that Mero was now pale as ghost after this mention and now addresses ‘Nagi ‘‘Big Bro, we have to listen to him…That man is living killing machine. He is too dangerous! He is not a human being! A demon! Wild beast! Last time, me and Hoki barely escaped from him. So-’’. However, this darker brunette addresses couple clones in the corner ‘‘Sakura! Sage! You know what to do…Take care of Kuro.’’. The clone in green and purple rushes towards scared Kuro. Lastly, Kusanagi declares to all clones as he smiles as a Cheshire Cat ‘‘ ‘Cos we ain’t going anywhere~ Besides, do you think that your Big Bro is weaker than some cocky roaster? I’ll play with him!~’’.

As ‘Nagi cracks his knuckles, he says to himself in nearly singing voice while his eyes glowed with pure desire to hunt down his opponent ‘‘Purples flames, huh? You remind me of one annoying little fry. So, you better do not disappoint me~’’. It was a time when Kusanagi was about to take his leave, but Hoki’s voice stopped him ‘‘Big Bro, but what about Shiro?’’ and after turning his head, ‘Nagi explains to this replica, who was comforting in a hug Mero ‘‘That big bad wolf will follow the traces of your original. So, he should be getting closer to him and that naive fool. I’ll leave the rest to you two. So, keep your home safe.’’ and thus Kusanagi left the storage with an desire to burn to ashes couple of innocent lambs.

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Chapter 5.


Shiro closes his eyes and deeply exhales. Once opens his eyes, this replica begins to confess ‘‘I want to be with you! But I cannot disappear like nothing happen. So, at least I need to say good-bye to my brothers and ‘Nagi. He wouldn’t be so happy about this, but maybe if I try to convince him…’’. However, all of sudden he widens his eyes and now pushes Kyo on ground.

The second didn’t passed and this brunette didn’t had time to react to this clone’s behavior. It was followed by loud explosion and Shiro painfully groaning. All he could do is watch how this replica fells on ground. It seems that from this clone’s back was covered in dark smoke. This replica was trembling yet he tried to warn his archetype ‘‘Run…the-there is no time..t-to…waste…’’.

Once he tried to reach out his original, he was interrupted by a threatening in cold and unforgiving tone ‘‘Why won’t you die already, you filthy trash?’’. Once Kyo and Shiro looked up, this brunette just says in barely hearable and pitiful tone ‘‘…Yagami…’’, however, it seems that this Kusanagi’s voice didn’t reached this redhead, who was now focused on his current target as he closes his ignited palm.

This brunette was dumb-folded and couldn’t move a muscle. He just silently watched how this fearful man was approaching Shiro. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long enough for this to realize who was this person. Now this doppelganger addresses this redhead in serious tone through his hard breathing ‘‘Purple flame…So, you are the one behind countless and vain deaths of my brothers! They didn’t deserved any of this…All they wanted is to live! What they have done wrong to you?!’’. These words only made Iori crack a smile. After this redhead sighs, he just mercilessly stares at this unfortunate creature.

Brief moment has passed, and now he declares his judgement in harsh tone ‘‘Is this your last words?…Then join them and DIE!’’ now he rises his hand and ignites his palm. The dark purple flame impatiently dances on his palm and just before launching his final attack, Iori was distracted ‘‘Yagami, STOP!’’. Kyo’s voice freezes him in same spot his flame disappear instantly. Now this brunette managed to get closely to this replica and while sitting on his knees, immediately wraps Shiro around his arms.

Of course, even this clone was surprised, but while his ear was pressed against his archetype’s chest, he just concentrated on Kyo’s heartbeat and his breathing. Was he afraid or rather worried about me, or so thought Shiro. However, Iori wasn’t so glad seeing this and now he began to scold this brunette ‘‘What’s wrong, Kyo! Are you been already brain-washed by this thing? Move! ’’.

This Kusanagi gives a flaring gaze at this redhead while replying ‘‘Then you might try to finish me as well, but in this case, don’t blame me, if you get burned! You sure are obsessed with me… And now you’re ready to shred anyone into pieces just because they look like me? You told that I am the only one, who can relieve your suffering and keep you alive! So, prove me and fixate only on me, you fool! Leave Shiro alone!’’.

Surely, Yagami was mad that this brunette was on the side of a pesky clone and now he growls at Kyo "Have you forgot that you were kidnapped so that these clones would be created?! Hell, these bastards deserve to die just from imitating you! Imperfect replicas, soulless dolls…because of them you were taken from me.". Even so, this Kusanagi was speechless at this honest confession and as he closes his eyes, he deeply exhales.

Upon opening his eyes, Kyo calmly replies ‘‘Perhaps so…But I cannot let you to harm Shiro. He maybe just artificial being, but he has what it takes to have a soul and deserve to live a decent life. Besides, if it wasn’t for him, then maybe you would be lucky enough just to find my dead body. So, you like it or not, but he is going with me. If anything, I’ll take responsibility upon him or his actions!’’.

However, such a heartwarming scene was instantly killed, by a familiar yet menacing voice behind Yagami’s back ‘‘So, this where our little Shiro is hiding…I warned you about what happens, if you try to run away. But it’s okay, since you even brought for me another toy to play with~’’. Even this redhead froze in fear upon this being’s presence and could barely breath. Once this creature touched Iori’s shoulder, this redhead turns his head to see what kind of ferocious beast was behind him.

Definitely, this creatures eyes were blazing with pure desire to kill yet his face holds rather a delightful look. ‘Nagi smirks and in playful tone addresses this redhead ‘‘Boo!~ Did I scared ya?~’’, this darker brunette’s chuckle echoed through Yagami’s ears. Even, if this redhead quickly brushes this fiend’s hand away, Kusanagi grabbed his hand, making Iori to face him. Despite this redhead’s furious gaze, ‘Nagi continued with a mockery ‘‘Aw, come on. Don’t be so shy~’’, as he hardens his grasp, this fiend threats ‘‘You know, I can blast your goddamn arm into pieces…But it wouldn’t be so fun, right?…RIGHT!?’’.

However, Iori only gritted his teeth and strikes this darker brunette into his guts. This redhead warns his opponent in cold and harsh tone ‘‘You’re so annoying…Did you fed-off by your pathetic life or what? Just get out of my sight, because I’m not interested in killing such a weaklings!’’ while Yagami turned to walk towards one certain brunette, ‘Nagi just placed his hand on his stomach and he was panting. Nevertheless, this vile being murmurs in pity voice ‘‘Hey, you shouldn’t have done that…you can’t ignore me like that.’’.

Even so, ‘Nagi closes his eyes and calmly addresses this redhead ‘‘Hey…’’. Now he rises his one arm into air while igniting his hand. The dark orange flame surrounded his arm, waiting for it’s master’s orders. Once this darker brunette clenches his hand into fist and opens his glowing crimson eyes, he launches a pillar of fire at his opponent while yelling ‘‘FACE ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YA!’’.

Yagami just widens his eyes. On very last moment he counter-attacks with sending-back a pillar of purple flame at his foe. As these flames clashed together, they tried to swallow one another. However, Kusanagi charges through the mixed fire wall, leaving this redhead’s guard open. His punch to Yagami’s face sends this redhead flying-off good couple meters. As Iori was twisting in air, he crashes into one of the stone graves.

As Kyo tries to stand up, he was stopped by Shiro, who now tightly wraps his arms around the original and refusing to release him with all his might. Now this replica cries out loud ‘‘No! You must not interface! I cannot allow another death…’’, this clone continues with sad whim ‘‘Please, don’t fight where my brothers rest…it’s not the place for that…’’.

Meanwhile ‘Nagi was approaching his target while holding his hands in pants’. His eyes shines with excitement as a wild cat, which about to play with it’s prey before finishing it, even his walking step reminded one of the feline kind. But once he was close to Yagami, he turns his gaze towards Shiro and starts to scold him ‘‘Hey! Stop whining already! Besides, remember who took you when no one needed you. Who’s hand was feeding you?! So, why don’t you wait until it will be your precious Kyo’s turn?’’. After returning his gaze to this fallen redhead, Kusanagi delightfully smiles as Iori tries to push himself from the ground. Kusanagi looks down upon his victim, declaring ‘‘You know, I wouldn’t hit a person, who is lying down…But I didn’t told anything about not kicking them!’’, this darker brunette charged a strong kick into one of Iori’s sides.

This redhead only groans in pain yet he gives a furious look at this twisted person. Now he hisses at him ‘‘…you bastard…’’, even so, ‘Nagi just chuckles as it didn’t affected at all. He just stands and wait. However, Yagami managed to shakily stand up while swinging on his sides. After turning his head towards this Kusanagi heir, he addresses Kyo with such a rage ‘‘Don’t you even dare to interface! One step and I’ll kill you in same spot! I won’t forgive you even if you are dead! Just stay there, got it!?’’

Surely, these words not as much shocked as now hurts this brunette. That idiot and his stupid pride…even at times like this, why he have to be so stubborn? Like heck, he would let Yagami dying on him! Or so thought Kyo as he stared at this redhead. If it wasn’t for being trapped in Shiro’s strong embrace, then…But this clone was shaking and maybe it was his way of showing his concern. That’s why this brunette couldn’t leave his lookalike alone at the moment when he needed a support.

Meanwhile Iori just silently wiped blood from the corners of his mouth while giving a blazing gaze filled with hatred for this darker brunette. ‘Nagi just swooshes his hair as he taunts his opponent ‘‘You ain’t that good as I expected, but I’ll give you a credit for entertaining me for couple minutes. So, let’s finish this quickly, cos I have get rid-off other pesky prick.’’.

As this darker brunette closes his eyes, he cracks his knuckles without any worries. Even if it was a cheap taunt of Kusanagi, Yagami used this as a chance and quickly jumps back. Upon using a battle stance this redhead now launches a wave of purple flame at this ignorant fool. However, ‘Nagi masterly avoids this attack and rolls to right side. Once he about to stand up, Iori slides forward this fellow. Now this redhead sends Kusanagi into air by the upper claw slash.

The dark red liquid was splashing through the wounds left by Iori. However, ‘Nagi didn’t even touch the ground and now as this redhead with-draws his hand, he ignites couple of his fingers and drawing a purple line in air towards his foe. Now he launches a fire ball from left side then immediately repeated same from right side. As finisher, he crossed his arms in air and as bends down uncrosses arms, he releases a diagonal pillar of fire at ‘Nagi.

As he swallowed by the flame, this creature lets out a shivery screech until he falls like a rag-doll on cold ground. The dark smoke surrounded which surrounded Kusanagi slowly submerges into air. Yagami was barely standing and just tried to catch his breath. Was it over? Is he dead? However, all of sudden this redhead widens his eyes and covers his mouth. Blood has began leak out through the gaps of his fingers. Second later and he couldn’t stop coughing in blood. Shit, not at time like this…or so this redhead though.

Just when the things couldn't get worse, the sinister laugh echoed from darker brunette's side. As 'Nagi sluggishly tilts his upper body half, he announces in ecstatic as a madman voice "...It's so niiiiice~ Finally! A real thrill!~ More! I NEED IT MORE!~", now he smiles as wide as Cheshire Cat while giving a blazing gaze to his opponent.

Despite being thrilled, this darker brunette stands up and once noticing that his opponent was barely standing on feet and just shivering, 'Nagi told nearly in singing voice as he approaches Yagami with his spread arms "But that red really suits you!~ I really want to see more of it!...Hey, why don't we dye you in it?" .

However, even at state like this Iori refuses to give up, he was preparing for another attack, even if he might die. Now he charges at Kusanagi with all his might, but this darker brunette sends him off with upper punch. Once again Yagami crashes into ground with leaving splashing blood traces on stone graves. Despite that he gathers his remaining strength to stand up. The outside world was now non-existent for these two. It’s not over yet, not only one of them would be standing alive. Iori was so devoted into this one fight that even his own death would stand on his way and this darker brunette shares this mutual feeling.

Kyo knew where this is going and couldn’t stand watching this anymore. He understood that neither he, neither Iori would ever defeat this creature. However, he can’t let this redhead die just because of his stupid pride. That’s why he had to somehow distract Kusanagi’s attention and drag Yagami out of this fight. After this brunette clenches his hands into fists, he asks Shiro in serious yet chill tone ‘‘When I give a signal, act as quick as possible. Take him to the safer place.’’.

Of course, it didn’t took long to figure out about what person referred his original yet opposing ‘Nagi’s will was nearly impossible for this clone. More so, to help a person who slain countless clones without having a second thought…Yet it was a first and probably the last time when his archetype entrust him to do something or sees his as equal. So, which is the right thing to do? However, there were no time for hesitation and Shiro took his decision.

He releases this Kusanagi and stands next to him. Although, this replica in platinum honestly asked Kyo ‘‘Why do you have care about this person so much? Is he that important to you?’’. However, this brunette avoids this question and without looking back says ‘‘Please…There is no time for that.’’. Now this Kusanagi stands up and begins proudly walk towards ‘Nagi. As he was getting closer, this brunette launches an orange ball of at this creature. On very last second, Kusanagi with his hand brushes away this flame. Now this fiend turns his gaze at Kyo and yells in irritated voice ‘‘The hell do you want?! Just wait for your turn!’’.

This brunette chuckles and mocks ‘‘You left me all alone. Of course, I am bored. So, why don’t you finish me already? I know you wanna piece of me. So, come and get it!~’’. It seems that it helped ‘Nagi forgot about his formal enemy and now he cracks his knuckles while approaching Kyo, his eyes glows with hatred and madness ‘‘So, wanna die that badly, HUH?! Then…GO AND FUCKING DIE!’’ and launches wave of fire at Kyo. However, this brunette dodges this attack.

Meanwhile Shiro sprints towards Yagami, who was also distracted by Kyo’s sudden acting, and now once he was close enough, he grabs this redhead’s arm and throws him over his shoulder. Fortunately, this stubborn idiot was too weak to resist and now Shiro as fast as his strength allows him, drags Iori out of this battlefield.

Even so, ‘Nagi launches another attack again and again yet Kyo manages to dodge each time. Unfortunately, each time he gets more exhausted. Finally, this darker brunette jumps back and now slides forward this Kusanagi heir and now after grabbing him by his throat, ignites his arm. Kyo was sent by an explosion to the ground. He was groaning in pain and panting yet refused to turn his gaze from ‘Nagi. This brunette knew that he might not escape alive yet he mocks his enemy ‘‘…Looks like your opponent already gone…’’. Kusanagi slowly turns his gaze away and after noticing that both - Shiro and Iori were nearly gone out of sight.

Now this vile being grids his teeth and fastens his steps towards them. He swore to himself that he won’t allow these little rats to escape. However, this Kusanagi heir also didn’t planned to give up to someone who just look like him. Through hard panting he managed to get up and now this brunette tries to keep his balance. As Kyo gives a flaring gaze towards ‘Nagi, he says ‘‘I don’t think so, pal…’’.

He rises his crossed arms into air. As quickly he lowers his spread arms, he ignites his fists. After standing in battle stance, he dashes towards Kusanagi. Once he was close enough to his foe, Kyo quickly rises his ignited arm and grabs ‘Nagi by his throat. The explosion sends this darker male into the air and Kyo uses whirling up upper punch. One time, second time - this brunette was wrapped around bright orange line of fire.

After he gracefully landed on feet, this flame disappeared and his opponent fell like a rag-doll. Now it was a chance! Even if it is a temporally moment, this brunette ignored the exhaustion and feeling of having lead in his legs - he runs as fast as he could. It wasn't worth to wait and check if this unbeatable creature has finally lost. Kyo hoped that he may still catch up with Shiro.

Meanwhile, Kusanagi was getting up and about to chase down Shiro and his original, however, he was stopped by a getting closer familiar voice "Big Bro!". Upon looking behind, 'Nagi notices two clones rushing towards him. That's right, it seems that one of clones were in blue uniform and other in brown one. Once these two were next to their leader, Mero said in concerned tone ‘‘Big Bro, what happened? You look awful!’’, now Hoki kneels down to lend his hand, however, Kusanagi brushes this replica’s hand.

At moment he just takes a better look at himself and now he chuckles. One thing for sure, there were nothing left out of his white shirt - it was torn apart, plus the explosion also burned away good part of his vest and uniform. So, scratching wounds left across his chest along with some minor bruises or burn marks concerned ‘Nagi as much as his ruined outfit. At least he had some fun, even if it was for couple seconds.

Once Kusanagi stands up, he looks up to the moon as he puts his hands into pants’ pockets. His crimson eyes began to glow as he hopes that his request will reach that one person ‘‘We’ll meet again…So, don’t disappoint me or else you’ll die.’’ After sighing, ‘Nagi prompts this couple of clones to go ‘‘Are you going or what? You two own me good explanation when we reach home!…Fucking idiots…’’ and this duo gladly agreed with their Big Bro.

However, all of sudden this darker brunette's knees gave up on him. Of course, these twins rushed towards Kusanagi. After both bends down, Mero throws 'Nagi's right arm over his shoulder while Hoki does same, but with left arm. As both clones stands up supporting Kusanagi, they could hear his complains "T'is nothing but a scratch, you idiots.".

Nevertheless, Hoki calmly objects as they carrying their leader "Big Bro, keep this for later. First, let's treat you, then you complain. Besides, everyone are waiting for you.", this darker male lowers his head cracks a smile while he murmurs "...you are an idiots indeed...". And thus, these clones continued on their way to their home.

Upon reaching a familiar storage, they were greeted by clone in purple, who was leaning against the wall. Once he was noticed by his bros, clone in blue orders "Oi, Sakura! Don't you stand here like being kissed! Big Bro is injured!", even if this clone didn't quiet get along with Mero, but this time only he decided to forget their quarrels and now just to help their Big Bro.

Sakura rushed inside the storage. When clones and Kusanagi were inside, they noticed that there was already lying futon in the place where suppose to be 'Nagi's throne. However, on this futon there been already placed a bottle of medical alcohol, cotton and bandages. This replica in purple asks to lay down this darker brunette. Of course, all clones were gathering around to see how is their Big Bro. However, this replica gives a serious look like asking for do not disturb him.

After removing the upper part of ‘Nagi’s uniform, Sakura opens the bottle of medical alcohol and soaks a piece of cotton into it. When the soaked cloth touches the wounds on chest, this darker male suddenly sits up and hisses ‘‘The fuck you’re doing?…ya wanna kill me, huh?’’, however, this clone ignores this comment and now patiently replies ‘‘I need to clean it first.’’ and after couple brushes the clothe were already dyed in bright red and jet-black. It can’t be helped that he needed to get another piece of cotton and clean it properly. Even so, he didn’t liked these scratching marks and he already suspected one certain type - that same person, whom like any clone feared, that legendary rumored man with purple flame. However, this person will pay eventually for what he did to ‘Nagi, that’s for sure.

But for now, once this clone in purple was done with this area, he wraps around bandage over Kusanagi’s chest, making sure that the wound is properly covered. However, this replica sighs as he notices that there couple scratch marks and bruises on ‘Nagi’s face as well. After disinfection, Sakura places tiny piece of cotton and sticks it with medical plaster on this darker male’s cheek. Now Kusanagi asks this clone ‘‘Ya know you don’t need to overdid. I didn’t asked to go this far.’’, however, this replica innocently replies ‘‘Big Bro got into trouble and that’s why we are here to help him.’’.

As this clone in purple finishes with arms, while he wraps the white bandage around ‘Nagi’s arms, he asks in more concerned tone ‘‘But where is Shiro?’’ once he finishes with treating wounds, after short pause Kusanagi answers in cold tone ‘‘He is dead.’’. Surely, all clones were shocked about hearing these news and some didn’t knew how to react or act after that. However, this darker male continues ‘‘When I arrived that man called Yagami already finished him and it seems that your original has been terribly injured as well. So, in the middle of the fight he got scared and fled away. He even took Kyo with him. However, later I burned Shiro’s corpse to ashes. In the end, he died as he lived - being surrounded by misfortune and death.’’.

‘Nagi knew that telling the truth would not only hurt his ego, but these clones did not deserve to learn that Shiro was nothing more than a cowardly traitor. The less they knew, the better, now this darker male bitterly smiles and sighs. One of these replicas went to get a new clothes for him. After taking a dark gray uniform, Kusanagi throws a jacket over his shoulders. As he sits on his crossed legs, he announces ‘‘This is not the end! You may want to avenge our poor little Shiro, but Yagami is mine! He won’t escape from your Big Bro and this time I won’t play nice!’’ and now his loud laugh echoes through the storage while he was cherished by all clones. Now his eyes shines with excitement as he silently says in barely hearable voice ‘‘…When we meet next time, I’ll pull out your pulsing heart and crush it in front you…’’.

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Chapter 6.


Couple days has passed since this battle and finally, it was a momentary peace. It seems that one certain redhead was just waking up from his slumber in hospital. Besides, there was nothing better to do when one nurse changed his dressings. Like heck, he needed these, ‘cos it was just a mere scratch according him. That’s right, this how he calls couple cracked ribs, minor burn marks, having deeper cuts over his chest, back, arms and bruised cheeks. At least Kyo didn’t saw him covered in bandages and medical plaster or even paid a visit for him yet. It would be such a riddance and that idiot would make a fuss out of nothing. It was still a surprise how come Kyo didn’t figured out where was he, or so Iori thought while sitting up.

Now he just stares at his clenched hands covered in white bandage, eventually, he sighs as he unclenched his fists. Maybe he should return back to his sleep. Besides, there is nothing better to do until dinner, or so wondered Yagami as he fixes a sleeve of his light blue pyjama. However, when he was about to lie down, he was disturbed by someone opening the door and nurse’s calm voice ‘‘Yagami-san, you have a visitor.’’.

Surely, very least at this moment Iori wanted to see anyone, but when he was about to ask this nurse that this person should leave him alone, he heard a familiar voice ‘‘Finally, I found you, Yagami…’’, it didn’t took long enough to recognize to whom belonged this voice. Of course, it nearly made this redhead jolt, but he tried to remain chill and turned his head to one brunette’s side. Apparently, Kyo was still standing in between door frame and keeping his one hands behind his back like hiding something while in other he was carrying a small plastic bag.

After politely thanking the nurse, this brunette enters this room. As this Kusanagi was getting closer, Iori asked in slightly irritated tone ‘‘Why did you took so long?’’ and when Kyo was close enough, he placed that small bag on bed table while still keeping his other hand hidden. However, that rustling sound of plastic behind Kyo’s back caught the attention of this patient. Even so, this brunette sighs and calmly explains ‘‘You know, I tried to contact each hospital around here during whole day and night. So, just yesterday’s evening I was lucky to find out that you are in this sector.’’.

However, now he lowered his gaze and continues in with slightly apologetic tone ‘‘Well,…It seems that I couldn’t catch with you two and then I didn’t have a clue where to find you, ‘cos that bastard was too persistent and it took more time to deal with him than I expected.’’, this redhead just carefully listens to this brunette while his bandaged hands one on another. Even so, because of such a curious look which Iori gave, Kyo turn his gaze away as he felt how blood was slowly rushing to his cheeks.

Despite that, this Kusanagi continued ‘‘I-I figured out that you may feel lonely being locked like this. So, maybe this would cheer up you a bit…’’ now he pulled a bouquet of white hyacinths from behind his back and as he turns his head away, handles them to Iori. Of course, this redhead was surprised at such a unexpected gesture, but he accepted these flowers and carefully holds them in his arms. It can’t be helped that he instinctively lowered and turned his head away from this brunette to hide his blushing face too. As paper wrapping rustled, this brunette was able to look at Yagami again yet seeing how he carefully holds and observes these white flowers, somehow comforts Kyo. Apparently, this redhead was even enjoying the scent of this cluster of star-like flowers.

After awhile, this brunette sits down next to Iori on the bed. Now this redhead closes his eyes and sighs. When he opens his eyes, he asks in calmer tone ‘‘What are you up to this time?…and why exactly these?’’, it seems Kyo frowns a bit at this question and now in irritated tone replies ‘‘Well, it’s because, because…*sigh* Listen, if you don’t like it, then give it back.’’. However, Yagami gently smiles and objects ‘‘No.’’ and as he placed flowers on bed table, this redhead takes Kyo's hand and pulls him closely to him.

Surely, this brunette didn't have time to react and how he was in Yagami's embrace. Kyo's face was against this redhead's chest, it can't be helped that he instinctively widens his eyes and starts to blush. It was so soft and comfortable, maybe could be a fine spot to rest his head. More so, it was one of these rare cases when Yagami didn't minded being touched there too.

However, this Kusanagi felt so relieved and calm that Iori was still alive and in one piece. That's right, maybe Kyo was a bit too much glad that he began to slowly slide down while without realizing letting out quiet purring like noises. While his head rest against Iori's abs, he just closes his eyes and wraps his arms around Yagami's waist. He simply wanted to stay like this, even if it is for awhile. This redhead could swear that this Kusanagi was acting like a cat, so, it can’t be helped that now one of his hands was drawn closely to this brunette’s head. However, when he was about to ruffles his hair, Kyo looks up to Iori with such a soft yet sleepy gaze.

Even so, Iori with-draws his hand as Kyo speaks up in gentler tone ‘‘Hee~ Look at you - all covered in bandage like a mummy.’’ now this brunette was leaning up and tried to reach up with his one hand this redhead’s cheek covered with medical plaster. Kyo sighs and continues in slightly concerned tone while brushing away hair from Yagami’s face ‘‘You should know when to stop. At least this time you were lucky enough to buy-off like this. What should I do if your next encounter might have ended worse? You won't be so happy if anyone would defeat me while you're being dead or injured, right? So, at least until one of us would settle a score, you're not allowed to die, got it? ’’.

This redhead just sighs and now he tilts this brunette's chin and as he brings Kyo's face closer to his, Iori replies "You talk too much..." and this Kusanagi gently back-fires with sparkling lil flame in his eyes "And you're a reckless idiot." and now impatiently waiting for his answer. However, this brunette feels how this redhead places his another hand on Kyo's buttocks. As he squeezes it harder, Iori seem to be enjoying this Kusanagi's sudden sweet gasping noises.

Of course, Kyo slightly furrows his eyebrows as he blushes over such a unexpected gesture, but Yagami continued to massage this spot. However all of sudden a soft pillow has been launched at Iori. Of course, it was followed by this redhead’s groan and gladly, Kyo reacts quick enough and more tightly wraps his arms around this redhead. Nevertheless, both of them were dumb-folded at such unexpected attack. However, second later Iori closes his eyes and frowns. It was so hard for him not to lose his temper, but he couldn’t let anyone to interface. Now Iori looks to his left side and scolds his roommate ‘‘What a hell you want?! Why don’t you stay quiet, you stupid annoying brat!’’.

It seems that another familiar brunette was looking through the curtain with not so satisfied look on his face. Shiro just opens this curtain and now in indignant yet calm tone replies ‘‘Just dare to touch Kyo in inappropriate way and next time it will be more than pillow!’’. Apparently, this replica was sitting on his knees on bed and leaning forward while he stares at his opponent. Of course, this clone wore same pyjama yet he wasn't covered with that much of snow-white bandage or medical plaster.

Even so, once this Kusanagi realized to whom this voice belonged and now looked towards that direction. He was nicely surprised and without hiding excitement, Kyo told ‘‘So, you’re alive! ’’, this brunette immediately leaves Yagami’s side and rushes to this replica. After he was close enough to bed, this brunette just stands still, but he clenched his hands into fists yet continued "I thought that I may never see you again. But here you are and no one took you into some lab or anywhere else...Yet how you been? Did doctors or anyone else acts weird around you? And I hope that Yagami wasn't too annoying roommate."

This brunette sighs and continues "Give me a sec." and now he walks towards this redhead's table to get that plastic bag. Despite being traced by Yagami's gaze, Kyo returned to Shiro's side and addresses him while he shyly turns his gaze away "If I knew that you are here, I would have brought you something so that you would get well soon.".

After opening the plastic bag, this brunette takes out mandarins packed in fish-net bag and handles them to Shiro. Of course, this gesture nicely surprised this replica and he just was at such a awe. However, all he could do is silently stare at these mandarins with rather demanding look.

Once he opens this bag, he takes one piece of them and carefully studies it. Surely, this Kusanagi just gently stares at this clone, who seems have no idea what he hold in his hands. However, when he sits on bed next to Shiro, he takes this orange fruit and as he started to peel it, he patiently explains "You know, you can eat this. It's called a mandarins. Have you tried this before? It's good for your health too. So, here.".

When this Kusanagi finished with peeling, he brings one piece closer to Shiro. He hoped that he would eat it, however, this replica takes Kyo’s hand into his hands and brings close to his mouth. Apparently, Shiro closes his eyes as he swallows his archetype’s fingers with given piece of mandarin. Even after pushing away original’s hand, this replica slowly opens his eyes, he gave to Kyo a gaze filled with innocent adoration. Now Shiro asks in calm tone ‘‘…It was nice. Can I have a bit more?’’.

However, all of sudden they were distracted by Yagami speaking up in irritated tone ‘‘Don’t spoil him, Kyo. He maybe not that stupid as he looks like. So, he can do this perfectly fine by himself.’’, once he was noticed by these twins, this redhead immediately changed curious look to serious one. Even so, this Kusanagi chuckles as he in playful tone asks this redhead ‘‘What is it with you? Do you want some as well? So, instead of starring, you can ask, you know...Or don't tell me that someone got jealous~".

However, Yagami counter-attacks in irritated tone "Why the hell I should be jealous of this cheap doll? If it wasn't for the smoke detector, I would have nicely roasted him in same spot. He is nothing more than helluva annoying!" yet this replica frowns and now leans towards this redhead's side while gently pushing away Kyo.

Finally, this clone answers in stricter tone "Well, I did nothing wrong and you just started a fuss over that both - nurses and doctors, were just doing their job and that I did as they told. So, instead of showing a gratitude for what they did for you, you weren't so co-operative, you just complained and weren't a good person! Igniting palm wasn't nice thing to do, cos we ended up soaking wet."

Surely, this Kusanagi tried his best not to crack up and now just snorted loudly. Of course, it even more irritated this redhead, who now addresses Kyo "See?! And this is what I've been putted through all this time. Move, because I need to remind this rascal his place." That ferocious gaze aimed at Shiro made this replica hide behind this brunette's back. While he starred from behind Kyo's back, he fights-back "You are so loud. People trying to rest, so, please, don't disturb them or else I would call the nurse."

Now this clone gave rather a possessive gaze for Iori like scaring off his opponent. That gaze alone warned 'don't you even dare to lay finger on him. Kyo likes me better. So, back-off and don't hurt him.'. Surely, Yagami figured it out that it was a throw challenge at him and he silently growls at Shiro. However, it was the last drop of his patience when this replica wraps his arms around Kyo and rest his head on his shoulder.

Therefore, such a gesture made the original widen his eyes, however, he just gently places his hand on top of Shiro's head and while ruffles his hair, Kyo comforts him "What is it with you? You don't need to be scared at him. 'Cos Yagami ain't that bad." and now he addresses the fellow redhead "Why are starring like that? You have no reason to be mad Shiro just because he is your roommate. At least it seems that he did a good job looking after you. So, that's a relief that you weren't acting so recklessly. However, what should we do with him?".

Yagami was left dumbfolded after such question and in indignant tone asked "What do you do mean 'we'? You alone can dispose him or return to the same dumpster where you found him. He is just a mere clone, but it seems you forgot about what happened when you been in lab and therefore you are already too soft towards this creature.".

This brunette gave a darker look on his face and replied "Rubbing the open wounds with a salt, eh? Once you get discharged from hospital, I'll make sure you that you'll get a special treatment." after returning back to normal and continued "Anyway, I own him helluva a lot. If it wasn't for him, either me or you wouldn't be here. Besides, he made a decision on his own to leave his past and go with me. It was already hard for him release whom he calls a family. More important, now he has nowhere to stay...".

However, Iori gives indifferent look and replies ‘‘And you think it is any of my concern? If you are so kind and generous, then let him live with you or with one of your annoying friends.’’, it seems that this Kusanagi just stares with sour look on his face and sighs ‘‘You know that I cannot do that, Yagami. I would gladly let him stay at my place, but you how much of unnecessary fuss it will cause… So, no, thank you. First, I need to sort out couple of things for Shiro and until then, you need to keep eye on him.’’.

While being observed by such a demanding look of Kyo, this redhead was about to say something, but been interrupted by this brunette ‘‘Besides, at least this what you can do for making up for him. Aaand nope! Don’t try to object, cos you don’t want to be checked daily by someone else whenever you behave or not.’’. It seems that there was no point to argue with this pesky Kusanagi, but one thing for sure Iori will make sure that Kyo won’t get away so easy.

And so, Yagami closes his eyes and shakes his head. After opening his eyes, this redhead declares his decision ‘‘Fine. I’ll let this clone to live for a bit longer. However, remember this - If he does something wrong or test my patience, it’s not him the one, who will suffer for his actions, it will be you. So, you better be prepared to take responsibility for his actions, because I won’t be merciful.’’, nevertheless, this brunette chuckles and jokingly replies ‘‘Ooh~ Should I be scared or not?’’

Now he continues in stricter one ‘‘You better not to try anything funny, ‘cos if I heard even the slightest complain from Shiro, you gonna regret it while picking your teeth from the floor. He already suffered more than enough, so, at least, do me a favor, don’t be a prick to him. I mean it.’’ now this brunette addresses this replica, who looked confused yet clinging into original’s side, in comforting tone ‘‘Shiro, it’s okay. After you’ll get discharged, I’m going to visit you every single day until we find the best option for you. So, until then I would bring you some of my clothes. Then, I bet you still haven’t tried most of nice food, so, I gonna treat you. So, how is it? Deal?’’.

Nevertheless, this clone was not sure about this idea yet since now Kyo looks at him with such a soft gaze, Shiro closes his eyes and nods. Of course, he was rewarded by being have his hair ruffled by his archetype. It was so nice and relieving by knowing that finally this time he found his place in this world where he can be happy.

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Chapter 7.


A week has passed since this replica was discharged from hospital. Even now staying in Yagami’s place didn’t seem as bad as he expected. At least this man isn’t that scary or violent as this clone feared. So, that cold piercing gaze may still remain yet gradually this redhead even started to exchange one or two phrases with Shiro. Maybe Kyo was right that this man isn’t that bad as may sound.

However, today this brunette have planned something different today. It seems that after telling about this, Kyo wasn’t so happy about it yet later on approved his decision. That’s right, Shiro wanted to visit clone graveyard and then telling ‘good-bye’ to his bros and ‘Nagi. So, after putting a pair of snickers, this clone was off. Fortunately, he could still recall the route from hospital to the graveyard. So, the bigger issue now was to find the way to hospital, thankfully for Kyo’s explanation, he shouldn’t get lost…hopefully.

After long wandering this clone reached the cemetery. It took couple hours to find the way yet now it was already a sunset. So, before going further, he wanted to let Kyo know what happened and that there is no reason to worry. After texting a quick message, he putted his cellphone back to the one of pants’ pockets and continued walking. Apparently, the cemetery was tidied up since that encounter. However, who done this? Were it some of the clones or could it be ‘Nagi himself? Or so now wondered this replica. In any case, first, he need to pay a visit for his brothers. Would they recognize him and how they going to react after not seeing after such a long time? This what made Shiro curious as he continued his way.

Meanwhile Yagami was carefully studying some kind of papers on the couch until he was disturbed by a phone call. Whoever was it, it has lot of guts to bother him in such a fine afternoon, or so told to himself this redhead as he lazily bends down towards coffee table to pick the cellphone. Apparently it was Kyo. Now he briefly answers in annoyed tone ‘‘Yes? What do you want?’’, it seems this Kusanagi sounded worried ‘‘Do me a favor, please…’’ after a short pause, Yagami could hear a sigh and this brunette continuing ‘‘Can you make sure that Shiro is fine? He just messaged me that he is fine yet even I can tell that something is fishy. What if he comes across that evil creature? Even if neither you or I don’t have a chance against him, then he may kill Shiro without blinking. So, can you check that no one would harm him during his trip?’’.

Iori only rolls his eyes at this request and backfires ‘‘Why can’t you do it by yourself? Just stop acting as worrywart parent and treating him as he was your child.’’. Of course, after this reply, this Kusanagi was speechless and remained silent. However, this brunette answers in slightly shaky tone ‘‘You know, I would not only kick your ass for this, but also later on I’ll make sure that you’ll beg that I would be merciful and gentler when…’’.

It seems that this brunette couldn’t finish this sentence and now this redhead playfully asks ‘‘When what?~’’. Kyo just back-fires with shyer tone ‘‘You better don’t wanna find out! ‘Cos then you’re screwed.’’ after a second he continues in serious tone ‘‘Anyway, I cannot be here now, ‘cos I have really important business to do. If I’m lucky enough, Shiro may not only have new identity, but also he could go out into public without worries. Finally, he may even get proper education and job.’’.

Yagami only sighs and replies ‘‘Fine. If that will stop you from whining, I’ll go. But where did he went?’’. Kyo simply answers ‘‘The same way where you found me and Shiro that day. He should be somewhere around there. So hurry up and if anything, call me, got it?’’as this redhead stands up, he replies ‘‘You worry too much, idiot. I’ll bring him by his collar and then make sure that I won’t hear or see how you two cuddling. So, if you have nothing else to say, I’m ending.’’, lastly, this brunette says in gentler tone ‘‘…Thanks.’’ and Iori just murmured as he finishes the call ‘‘You idiot.’’. It can’t be helped that even today he won’t have a calm afternoon, so, the sooner he’ll find this stupid brat, the sooner he can rest in piece. And thus, after this redhead puts his usual outfit, he leaves.

In meantime, Shiro finally reached a familiar storage. Even if he have left only for such a brief time, all of sudden he felt nostalgia and missing everyone. So, without waiting any longer, he knocked into iron door. Of course, he was greeted by one of clones asking ‘‘Who is there?’’, this replica replied in calm tone ‘‘Can you open the door? It’s me - Shiro.’’ and now the iron door was slightly opened and it seems one of clones was carefully watching through the gap. After awhile the door was completely opened.

Apparently, behind the door was a clone in purple, who was still at awe yet looked so pale and now started to tremble. This replica’s eyes become teary as he speaks up in quiet yet shaky voice ‘‘Shiro…But Big Bro…He told that you…that you…why? How?’’, poor replica couldn’t continue anymore, it was too hard. Even so, Shiro pulled this clone into hug and told ‘‘It’s so nice to see you again, Sakura. I missed you all. Sorry, but I couldn’t come earlier, because I was sent to hospital.’’, however, there no reply from this replica in purple, all he could do letting be embraced until he gradually stopped trembling.

Now so-called Sakura slightly with-draws until he could see Shiro’s face and addresses the prototype ‘‘So, it’s really you. But then why did Big Bro told that you were killed by that man?…I don’t get it at all. However, what happened then?’’. This clone sighs as he ruffles fellow replica’s hair and answers ‘‘Maybe he was not happy that I listened to Kyo instead of him. I tried to say to him that what he does is wrong. So, I might understand why he is mad at me or why did lie to you. However, then ‘Nagi lied to me about what kind of person our original is and bad-mouthed Doctor. Even to this day he hides that note, which Doctor Makishima left for me-’’.

However, it seems that these two were disturbed by annoyed voice from inside the storage ‘‘Oi, Sakura, what’s taking that long? Or do you want to fix door frame again?’’. This clone in purple was released from Shiro’s hug and asks him ‘‘Come. Let’s quickly go inside.’’ and Sakura takes the prototype’s hand and prompts to go inside. When both were inside, they were greeted by a swarm of curious gazes. One of clones, who wore green uniform pointed out ‘‘Sa-sakura, what a hell is this?! There is a ghost of Shiro next to you! Be-be careful or else he will haunt not only you but all of us!’’, however, this replica in purple pinches both cheeks of Shiro and explains in annoyed tone ‘‘Stop telling that he is dead! See? My hands don’t go through him and I can feel him.’’.

Now Sakura stops once he hears how the prototype began silently whine. After that he addresses this fellow clone in green ‘‘So, I was surprised as well, Sage. But it seems that Big Bro had his own reason to tell us that Shiro died.’’ and thus, this replica in purple addresses all clones ‘‘Everyone, listen! Apparently, our Big Bro doesn’t want to see Shiro again for some reason and we may get into big trouble, if he finds out that Shiro was here, but he has something that belongs to Shiro and doesn’t want to give it back. So, let’s find one note, which suppose to belong to Shiro.’’.

However, one clone in black objects ‘‘Are you going to rebel against Big Bro?’’, but once this replica in purple about to say something, Shiro explains ‘‘Kuro, everyone, this is the last time when I can see you ever again. I really want to be with you all, but there is no way, not after what I have done, I could live with you…So, I beg you, can you listen to my selfish final request and find Doctor Makishima’s note. It’s very important to me, ‘cos it’s like the last memento from Doctor and I sure that ‘Nagi still keeps it somewhere.’’.

Nevertheless, another clone asked with such a concern ‘‘Eh? Are you going to leave us? Where are you going?’’, the prototype softens his gaze and replies ‘‘Our all original is not as bad as ‘Nagi used to tell us. So, even before meeting ‘Nagi, I knew that both - Doctor and Kyo, are nice and very kind people. But since Doctor released me from lab, I hoped to find Kyo and that he would help me…However, ‘Nagi took away Doctor’s last gifts for me - that uniform and note. So, please, help me to find that note and I’ll be forever grateful for you all.’’.

One of these replicas told in disbelief ‘‘But that is completely different from what Big Bro told to us. Shiro, is this really true? If so, let’s do our best and find it! After all, if it wasn’t you, then Sakura and Sage wouldn’t be so interested to learn how to treat wounds.’’, then another one added ‘‘That’s right! Even if Shiro was sometimes reading aloud from his books, it was still nice background sound, isn’t it? Yes, even if for the most of time he acted as nerd, but Shiro is one of us! Besides, if it is the last time seeing him, then doing such a simple thing shouldn’t be a problem.’’.

In the end, Shiro was moved by such a words of his brothers and how they worked together for once. After long search, one of clones found certain piece of paper and handles to the prototype. However, now Sakura orders ‘‘Oi, don’t forget to tidy up! Or everyone wanna listen ‘Nagi’s nagging again? So, at least clean up this place.’’ yet it seems none of clones weren’t so enthusiastic about this request and one of them back-fires ‘‘We did as you told. So, do your part, you lazy-ass.’’.

This clone in purple rolls his eyes and murmurs something before tidying up his bros’ left mess. After all, someone has to be more mature and lower their ego. Just as he starts putting down random items to packing boxes, he addresses Shiro ‘‘What are you waiting? Don’t make me or anyone else over-emotional, ‘kay? Just don’t forget to take care of yourself and don’t let anyone tell you what to do. So, take care, we gonna miss ya!’’. As the prototype hugs tighter that piece of paper, he nods and quickly turns around. He already felt how tears filled his eyes, so, now after closing his eyes, he started to run. When the iron door closed, the replica in purple says ‘‘It wasn’t us who may get so sensitive, you idiot…Be strong and don’t let anyone see you crying...’’.

After running for awhile, this replica trips over the air and fells on cold harsh ground. So, was it really over, isn’t? He already cut all his ties with his previous life. However, what about ‘Nagi? No, whatever Shiro going to say, this darker brunette already have his own version of what happened during that never-ending fight. So, it would only further infuriate this vile being until he would achieve what he wanted so badly - death to anyone who opposes him. Therefore, it would be wiser to avoid him.

And thus, this replica clenched his both hands into fists and shakily stands up. After wiping tears from his face with his elbow, he picks dropped piece of paper and carefully folds couple times. When he puts into one of his pants’ pockets Shiro looks around and walks toward a familiar graveyard and bid a farewell for his brothers’ resting souls.

Once this clone was back on track, it didn’t took long enough to reach his destination place. Shiro sighs while observing a familiar scenery. He could swear that nothing has changed at all and that bloody fight didn’t happened at all. However, this replica could feel such a relief and calmness that this sacred place wasn’t damaged and thanks to whoever it was, the graveyard was restored. Maybe resting up a bit here won’t do any harm, right? With this thought, this brunette wanders around for awhile, either talking to one or another of the graves. And thus, Shiro thought that he done what he planned, so, there was no reason to stay here any longer. Besides, it started to get chilly. So, it was decided - it was time to leave.

However, all of sudden, he realized that something was off. Instead of usual serene atmosphere in the air, his sense of danger began to tingle. Now familiar menacing voice speaks to him, which made Shiro stand straight and freezes him in fear ‘‘Well well well…What do we have here?~ Isn’t our little Shiro got lost? What brought you here?’’. After turning his head to left, he noticed in trees’ shadows glowing crimson eyes and eventually the owner of this shadow figure, who was getting closer, revealed his true face.

That’s right Kusanagi was slowly approaching poor Shiro as he was the prey, who entered into this wild beast’s territory. This burning gaze, revealed white fangs yet calm stance - they already warned alone that this clone won’t escape alive. As ‘Nagi was in front of Shiro, he placed his one hand on this replica’s shoulder and whispers ‘‘You shouldn’t be here…But welcome back!~’’ and strikes this doppelganger into guts. As Shiro’s face twists in pain he fells on ground. While this clone was roughly breathing, he tries to shakily stand up.

Unfortunately, his hard effort was crushed as this darker brunette stomps on his back several times. Now ‘Nagi kneels down and grabs this replica’s scalp and yanks his head up. Once he was facing this cruel male, he could hear that cold and harsh voice ‘‘Traitor…’’. However, there were no time to react and now Shiro’s head was slammed against the ground. After Kusanagi grabs the hem of this clone’s shirt with one arm and as he stands up, he lifts this unfortunate victim into air.

Now as this darker male observes how despite bleeding, Shiro refuses to give up and just silently stares with his one eye. ‘Nagi just mockingly chuckles at such an effort. However, when this clone lowers his head he murmurs in pity tone ‘‘it didn’t hurt…’’. Surely, it annoyed Kusanagi, who now howls ‘‘Eh?…the fuck did you say? SPEAK LOUDER! I CAN’T FUCKING HEAR YOU!’’. As Shiro tried to swallow saliva, he inhales and faces this ferocious being. While giving a furious gaze, this replica declares from the top of his lungs ‘‘IT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL!’’. That’s it, it was the last drop of Kusanagi’s patience and now he throws Shiro into air and sends him off flying by side kick.

This replica crashed into one of trees with agonizing groan. He cough in blood yet wiped it with his elbow’s sleeve. Nevertheless, observing how this clone’s suffering amused this darker male, who’s eyes began to glow with pure passion to kill. Once he was standing in front of Shiro, he noticed that no matter what this replica stares with same stubborn gaze yet that little flame of fury become even brighter. Yes, this brunette was trembling and panting but he didn’t wanted to show even a single tear on his face or beg for mercy.

Kusanagi didn’t liked this gaze at all and he swore to himself that even if it is the last thing to do, but he’ll broke this mindless traitor’s spirit. Nevertheless, ‘Nagi smiles as wide as Cheshire cat revealing again his sharp fangs and now speaks with malice in his voice ‘‘You don’t know when to quit, do you?…yet since you are here, I’ll show you what happens, if you turn your back against us, you disgusting freak. I bet it will suit you the best and you can join your precious doctor and later your Kyo. Don’t try to move or good luck for your precious Kyo to pick up all of your scattered pieces. Hmm~ maybe I should have went for preparing him a nice Easter hunt, don’t you think? Oh well, at least picking your burnt corpse sounds nice as well.’’. Before he turned around and walked away, this darker male gave another stronger kick to Shiro’s side, making him fell and twist in pain.

After looking around, ‘Nagi finds couple of sturdy wooden planks and rope, he ties them so that it would resemble a cross and deeply plants into the ground. Upon finishing, he picks a sharp knife out of his pants’ pocket and cuts unnecessarily rope. It seems he was enjoying himself in a process, but now he was approaching this poor clone and declares his judgement with smile on his face ‘‘Our little Shiro gonna repent for his sins against humanity and us as he burns on cross~ However, no flame, even mine will ever burn away your dirtiness. So, let’s go, you fucking creature.’’ and after bending down, he throws this replica over his shoulder and carries him towards execution place.

When they reached this wooden cross, Shiro’s arms were spread and one arm was tied to left side of cross, other one to right side. Then, his torso and feet were tied up tightly. This replica didn’t bothered to lift his head anymore and kept it lowered. However, now Kusanagi speaks up in gentle yet menacing tone ‘‘Shiro, you don’t need to get upset, cos I’ll be kind this time and just split open your stomach and wrap your insides around you while you burn~ That’s all.’’.

Now this darker male once again revealed that sharp blade and pointed at Shiro’s belly while continuing his vile talk ‘‘It’ll be quick. One sudden cut aaand it’s done!~’’. When he with-draws the knife and aims for a better angle, he was disturbed by couple familiar voices from behind ‘‘Big Bro! What are you doing?! Stop!’’. Apparently, Hoki and Mero were rushing towards their leader and once they were close, both ran out of breath.

Clone in blue was dumbfolded seeing a familiar clone yet in shaky tone asked ‘‘Big Bro! Isn’t Shiro? B-but you told that he was dead! W-what is happening here? Why…’’. However, ‘Nagi just chuckles as he turns around to see these twins. Now he explains in reckless tone ‘‘Can’t you see? I’m making sure that this traitor is dead. So, pay attention, you fucking idiots!’’. Mero couldn’t take anymore and fells on his knees, all he could do is speaking in pity tone ‘‘But whatever he have done, he don’t deserve to die. He is one of us, right? So, please, spare him.’’.

While Hoki kneels down to comfort his brother, he speaks up ‘‘Big Bro, you called him a traitor, right? So, how about instead of barbeque roast him, just let him hang there. He won’t be able to escape, or at least I think so…’’. The clone in blue just something murmurs in pity tone as he presses his head against the fellow clones chest. It seems that Kusanagi’s curiosity was peaked by such a unusual smarter idea of this replica. ‘Nagi asked ‘‘Where are you getting at?’’. While this darker male was getting closer toward the twins, Hoki replies ‘‘If he did something unforgivable, then, leave him to suffer without letting him to die so easily. So, let us guard him and we make sure that he won’t escape…or at least let anyone get closer.’’.

Apparently, this kind of suggestion satisfied the leader of clones as he delightfully smiles. Now Kusanagi addresses this replica ‘‘Maybe your head is not so empty, after all. You do have some brain…Alright, since you shown some initiation, I’ll leave him to you. If you two are bored, I’ll grant you permission to do what you want. So, I’ll see you in a bit and have fun!~ ’’ and now when he putted his hands into pants’ pockets, Kusanagi without looking back left graveyard.

However, once the leader of clones left, Mero complains to his brother ‘‘What a hell are you thinking, you idiot?! It is Shiro, we can’t do this!…that’s it! I’m leaving! I won’t be staining my hands with anyone’s blood! More important, with one us!’’, one he tried to stand up, he was stopped by Hoki grabbing his hand and his calm voice ‘‘Big Bro has already left, right? And we suppose to guard him. So, if anything happens we can blame that man with purple flame, can’t we? Don’t just whine and help me, okay?’’.

When Hoki lends his hand to Mero to stand up, both we getting closer to tied up Shiro. After taking a better look at him, clone in blue gently slaps his cheek ‘‘Hey, are you okay? Shiro? Hey, Shiro, are you with us?’’ it seems that after a couple seconds, this clone reacts and slowly lifts his head, now clone in brown uniform comments ‘‘You look like after train-wreck…Hell, there is even something leaking out of your eye! It look so gross and creepy! Can you see with it? C’mon, let’s remove that rope. *sigh* Don’t worry, even if we don’t have a knife, I can use my flame. So, don’t die on us.’’.

After this replica ignites couple of his fingers, he orders his brother ‘‘Can you catch him?’’ and now he brings his fingers closely towards the rope around the feet, then torso and lastly the arms. Fortunately, Mero was strong enough to catch felling Shiro on him or at least stop him from falling. The prototype groans in pain and whines. ‘‘A-are you okay? Did you broke anything?’’ or so, the clone in blue asked. Hoki kneels down and carefully watches, yet he got scolded by his brother in blue ‘‘Oi, you mister smart-face, don’t you stare, help me to take him to hospital!’’.

However, Mero was alerted when all of sudden Hoki stands up and turn his back. It seems this clone was now in battle stance and ignited his fist. He was shaking as he was facing his opponent. Mero looked towards that side and noticed the man, whom they were afraid all their life - a man with purple flame, was getting closer to them.

Hoki warns him in shaky voice ‘‘D-don’t get close to them! I-I warn you! That bro is injured too. So, get away!’’, even so, this threatening did not affected Yagami at all as he pushed away this clone without telling a word. Mero quickly sits up on his knees and shields with his body injured Shiro while this redhead stares with cold and unforgiving gaze. Despite that gaze, clone in blue speaks up ‘‘You came to kill us, right? At least have some shame on attacking the weaker one…He is heavily injured. Please, leave us now or we’ll make sure that you’ll get what you deserve!’’. However, Yagami felt how something wrapped around his both legs and he growls at Hoki ‘‘Scram! If you have strength and guts to attack me, use it to take this clone to hospital. If he is dead, then you better crawl back and send your prayers to your creator!…For the love of the-…’’.

Neither of these twins expected this move and both were dumbfolded. However, this redhead repeats his request in annoyed tone ‘‘Are you deaf?! Just take him outside while I’ll call ambulance!…you bunch of idiots.’’. Even if they didn’t liked to listen to this redhead, but just for Shiro’s sake, they had to carefully pick up the prototype and carry outside the graveyard. While clones were carrying Shiro, Iori calls ambulance and then no matter how it sounded bothering, he needed to tell news to Kyo. So, after taking a deep breath, he calls him. After Kyo picks his phone, Yagami told in serious tone ‘‘I found him. Come to hospital. I’ll explain later.’’ and ended the call.

After 10 minutes, they arrived at reception department, where Kyo was impatiently and worryingly waiting inside. He felt useless while watching through the window when one of ambulances will arrive. When he noticed how the ambulance stops and couple of paramedics step outside and takes out a camp bed on which lies a familiar figure, there was even attached a stand next to bed with transfusion system. Of course, after that Yagami leaves ambulance as well while, from what this brunette assumed, giving the needed information about this fellow clone.

When paramedics arrived with Shiro, who’s nearly half of the face been covered in medical bandage. While his left eye was completely covered in nearly soaked in red cloth, the other one gave an apologetic gaze to original. However, even that soundless voice calling out for Kyo was more than enough to break this brunette’s heart. Once this replica was taken to examination room, this Kusanagi sits on one of nearest benches and lowers his head. When he leans downward and asks Yagami in sorrowful tone ‘‘…What a hell happen?…How the hell you allowed this to happen?! You told that you’ll bring him back safely. I-I knew I should have followed him, but now…Shit…It’s all my fault!’’, however, instead of words, Iori places his hand on Kyo’s forehead and brings closer next to him.

This brunette was too miserable that even didn’t minded when Yagami was stroking his hair. It only made him want to let out these emotions. As this Kusanagi sighs, he tries to ask in shaky and robotic tone ‘‘Don’t tell me that he got into fight with that vile creature…’’. However, once couple of nurses left the room while carrying camp bed with Shiro, Yagami asks them in serious tone ‘‘Where is he going to?’’ yet one of nurses gave annoyed gaze and replies ‘‘To ICU. Today no visits or disturbing, and tomorrow, please check the visiting times, which are written on board.’’, this redhead nods as showing his gratitude while someone was nearly grieving. With that Iori stands up and prompts Kyo to go ‘‘Let’s go. We have to use taxi, because you can’t walk like this.’’.

Nearly a week passed~ A certain brunette entered the intensive care unit, hoping to find still alive Shiro. After nurse guided Kyo to one of the rooms, he noticed how his look-alike was still resting. Probably, he was still taking a nap, so, this brunette decided not to disturb his peaceful sleep. Shiro was attached by a transfusion system and there were couple of bottles left to transfer, but also there were visible wires and electrical pods through his hospital pyjama. Even if this brunette did not understood these numbers and data on computer panel, he hoped that eventually, this fellow clone will open his remaining eye. It seems that according the doctor, Shiro’s left eye was badly damaged that it was beyond saving it and thus, they had to remove it, so, that’s why now that hollow space was covered with snow-white eye-patch.

It was painful to observe how this clone was calmly resting, while still being covered in medical bandage. Kyo just gently brushed away hair from Shiro’s face and sighed. Why such a innocent creature have to go through such a hardship and suffering? He did not deserve any of this yet this brunette knows that no matter what this clone will be optimistic and will try to comfort him with that warm smile. And thus without realizing, this brunette carefully took Shiro’s hand into his both hands while hoping that his words will reach this replica ‘‘Please, get well soon...I missed you…’’, he could swear that he could feel how weakly this hand tried to grasp him.

Once he looked at Shiro’s face, he noticed how he slowly opens his eye and tries shakily to sit up. However, Kyo calmly says ‘‘Please, rest as much as you need. You don’t need to rush, I’m by your side and I’ll keep visiting you even when you get discharged from here. So, you are not alone. You can have faith in me…’’ and Shiro grasps his precious original’s hand more tightly while giving such a warm, innocent and adoring gaze.


The End.

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