Title: Wildflower (Part 6 of Torrent) - Chapter 1

Author: Befanini
Website: http://www.fanfiction.net/~befanini

Disclaimer: Not mine. Just another piece inspired by Kazuya Minekura's delicious boys.

Rating: M

Summary: "Bloom where you're planted." A long-overdue songfic of random ruminations by four souls bound by fate. Part 6 of the Torrent series.

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A/N:

A few things:

First, this fic has been patiently waiting its turn for over a year now (as some of you may know) – I've had the rough plan for it since July 2005. XD The muses decided it was high time to finish it, before we get totally immersed in TMD4Ever (Now up at mediaminer dot org!). So if I'm absent from FF for a while after this, you'll know I'm deep into the last part of the parody, which I'm bound and determined to finish before year's end. LOL

Second, the inspiration for this fic is the hauntingly beautiful song "Wildflower", as the title suggests. Part of the reason I kept procrastinating is because the song is in the feminine; and yet I feel so strongly that it describes the Saiyuki boys so well. So dear readers, there's nothing else for it but to ask you to "suspend reality" yet again, to just overlook the feminine pronoun used and simply absorb the spirit of the song instead.

Lastly, I'm adding this to the Torrent series for the angst element, which has no part in the more light-hearted and playful Barely Breathing.

Dedicated to Ditch Gospel, who inspires me to "continue being me": controversial, strong, unafraid and free-spirited, in her words. XD Look! I finally got around to this fic!

And for Daxzia and ShyMagical, who've helped me "keep the faith" (heh), and kept this silly soul from the loony bin. LOL Thanks, guys…

On with it!

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i. Ruby

Is this the real life

Is this just fantasy

Caught in a landslide

With no escape from reality

Open your eyes

Look up to the skies and see

I'm just a poor boy

I need no sympathy

Because I'm easy come, easy go

Little high, little low

Anywhere the wind blows

Doesn't really matter to me

To me…

XxXxX

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

XxXxX

Have you ever wondered how is it possible to love somebody so much and hate them to hell at the same time?

I mean, I know I'm not your normal kid – seems like I've heard that all my life – but even I know that you either have someone who means so much to you you'd be willing to die for them; or someone who you just can't stand that you want to kill them sometimes. But surely it can't be both. And more than that, surely you don't feel that way three times over.

I don't kid myself about how people feel about me – that I'm only too clear on. People stare at my hair and my eyes. The kids at school make fun of me, or else avoid me like I have some kind of nasty disease. The teachers pretend I'm not there.

My own mother wishes I were dead. Well, to be perfectly honest I'm not really her kid, after all. Just a goddamn half-breed brat that her cheating husband dumped on her. I guess in a way I can understand the poor woman's revulsion for me.

… But I still want her to care for me, even a little bit… you know? I mean, a kid's gotta be able to know his mother loves him no matter what, right? Even if I am only her "stepson".

Jien, on the other hand… now, Jien she loves. A lot. She loves him more than anything. And why shouldn't she? Jien is her true, full-blooded, pure son, after all. It sometimes seems like she can't breathe without him by her side. I'm no innocent fool, I've had to grow up fast given my shitty life, and I can see something there that's just a little too disturbing. But what the fuck do my opinions matter, anyway. I'm just a filthy taboo child.

Don't get me wrong. I love Jien a lot. He's a bully sometimes, acting all superior and thinking he's the boss, like all big brothers do. It annoys me when I sometimes just want to be left alone and he insists on getting in my face, he insists that I eat right, he makes sure that I go to school, like it or not.

He always finds me, somehow, when I've had a really bad day and I've wandered alone into the forest, and it's way past bedtime. He refuses to believe that I just fell asleep there, under the trees, with the river singing me to sleep and the stars for company. It's quiet there, peaceful, and I like it. But Jien always thinks that I'm running away from home, and he shows up to "bring me back" with such a worried look on his face. Baka. As if I'd ever run away from anything.

As if I'd ever let anything defeat me.

As if I'd ever cry.

But I let him carry me home, riding piggy-back with my arms around his neck like I was a stupid five-year-old. And I let him think he's rescued me. He feels warm, and solid, and strong, and dependable.

And if my face grows wet, it's just the mist thick in the woods. And if I fall asleep while he carries me, it's because I'm so damn tired of chasing rabbits and foxes into their holes. It's not as if it's because I feel secure and protected… It's not as if I finally feel safe enough to let go, and let someone else be strong.

When I was younger, six or seven years old, I used to tag around after him all the time. He didn't mind much – and he taught me a lot about hunting, and fishing, and how to climb trees, and how to read animal tracks. We played a lot in the woods, and he always had to bandage me up whenever I hurt myself running too fast or climbing too high.

He also taught me how to fight. Not that I needed to learn any "basics" – I was born a fighter, I think – I guess all outcasts have the consolation prize of being born stubbornly strong and with the instinct to survive. You gotta fight for every last scrap you can, if you want to make it in this rough-and-tumble world. You can't just bow your head and quietly swallow all the shit that people throw at you. Because nothing will change if you do.

And I certainly don't intend to quit just because my hair and my eyes happen to be red.

Red is the color of blood.

The color of life. That's what I choose to believe.

And maybe, if I keep believing hard enough, Mother will believe it too.

Anyway, I was saying that I'm no sissy. I already knew by instinct how to use my fists to defend myself. But Jien taught me I don't need to depend on my fists alone.

He told me that all youkai are gifted with the ability to call up a weapon out of thin air. He preferred a curved, heavy sword himself. He said it was about time I started to figure out what weapon worked for me best.

It took me a while to conjure up anything, let alone a heavy, clumsy broadsword. But Jien was patient with me, and finally I was able to come up with something. And it turns out that my first successful effort remains my favorite.

I call it the Jakujou.

I just got so tired of being beaten up by Jien – he was a lot bigger than me, for one thing; and for another I wasn't skilled enough with the sword to do more than parry, let alone attack in the next instant. While I was struggling just to block his attacks with my own heavy sword, he would swing his sword-arm around and it would be all over for me, with the tip of his sword pointed at my throat.

So one day, I had the idea of calling up not another great sword that I was too clumsy to handle, but rather a long, lightweight staff. Jien grinned and swung at me at once, and I used my staff to block him – while a swift, curved blade sliced at him from one end of my weapon.

I laughed my ass off at the sight of him sprawled down there on the ground, blinking stupidly up at me. I certainly earned his respect that day, but it was a whole lot more satisfying just wiping the smug smirk off his superior face. Hah.

Of course the rule whenever we "dueled" was that our weapons were supposed to be blunt; but even so that crescent-shaped blade flying out at him from a long chain attached to my weapon's pole just about knocked him down flat.

And after a few more adjustments (Jien got his revenge when my raw weapon proved a tad too unwieldy for me to control properly, and I somehow ended up with my neck wrapped up in the damn chains) – I finally balanced the Jakujou off with another permanent, heavier blade at the other end.

I like it a lot. I'm proud of my weapon, in fact – Jien himself tells me it's one-of-a-kind, and I thought it up myself. But Jien has made me promise not to ever use it unless my life is on the line.

Feh. Spoilsport. Those brats and bullies at school deserve a good scare, if you ask me. But what the heck, I gave Jien my word.

I listen when he talks seriously to me, and I take his advice to heart. Because he's a pretty decent big brother, and I respect him.

… Except sometimes, when he shuts me up in my room. This happens when Mother is in another of her moods, which is almost always.

Then, I sit alone on my bed and reach under the mattress for the stash of cigarettes I keep there – and the noises begin, soft at first, just murmurs from her and low words from him, and then he grows completely silent while she gets louder – sighs and moans and choked cries, and I hear her bed creaking, creaking, until it's practically banging against the wall, and I can't get away from her voice, now sobbing and screaming his name – Jien, Jien, oh God yes, love me Jien, love me, I love you so much, Jien – and the sounds of the bed and her vulgar noises and his low, guilty grunts whirl around and around me as my floor grows littered with cigarette butts and my mouth opens in a silent scream –

I hate you, I hate you, I hate you –

I hate you for loving her

I hate you for not loving me

I hate you for not being here, for forcing your son to commit such a dirty sin with your own wife

I hate you Jien for being so weak

I hate you Mother for being so vile and wanton and blind and insane

I hate you Father, all of this is your goddamn fault, all of it

I hate Jien for doing this for me, and I know he only does it for me –

I hate Mother for not loving me as a mother should love her child –

I hate myself for wanting her love –

I hate myself for being a burden to my brother this way –

I hate myself for hoping that tomorrow will be different, always bloody hoping –

I hate myself for making Mother cry.

If she didn't cry, Jien wouldn't have to make her feel better.

And I wouldn't be sitting here, drowning in their joyous cries of ecstasy while I try miserably to melt into the walls of my prison, trying to get away from the revulsion and the loathing and the sickness I feel at hearing my brother making love to our mother.

And when I've run out of cigarettes, I pry open my window and disobey Jien and forget his warnings about the dangers of the woods at night, and I jump out and I run, deeper and deeper into the forest, trying to run away from her screaming

-- I love you Jien, God YES, my darling Jien –

And I wake up to find my big brother bent over me, his face hard and his jaw set, only his eyes are full of remorse, and self-loathing – and he picks me up to carry me back home, and I try to ignore how he still smells of her.

I want to kill her sometimes. I hate her that much.

But I want her love even more. She is so beautiful, my mother. So graceful, so delicate, so pretty when she smiles.

I wish she would smile at me. Just once.

I wish I knew how to make her happy.

I wish she won't cry anymore.

XxXxX

TBC…

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