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Imprisoned

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Chapter 01

 

He felt cold. His body was numb. He couldn’t move a muscle. The thought of being paralysed scared him. The light that was constantly switched on and off hurt his eyes. The lids were shut tight. He wanted to open them—needed to open them. He couldn’t. His chest felt tight. It was hard to breathe. The thick air was suffocating. He was afraid...of dying.

 

With a jolt, Sakamoto Takashi woke up. His eyes were almost in the shape of saucers; cold sweats dampening his brown locks, making them look darker. The neon light was blinding him. It was hanging right above him on the ceiling. Everything around him was too bright. The brunette found himself lying on a white mattress in a very small room with four walls that reminded him so much of a padded cell for mentally ill patients. From his position, he couldn’t spot a door; but he did find the ventilation up on one of those padded walls.

 

Takashi tried to sit up; it was when he noticed that his hands were tied, resting painfully beneath his lower back. He then began examining himself. He wasn’t wearing his own clothes. Instead, a plain white and oversized cotton shirt clad his lithe body. The hems of light grey sweat pants he was wearing were covering his heels. He didn’t recognise the clothes.

 

A surge of panic ran through his veins when his brain had fully awakened and started to work. He couldn’t remember how he could end up in this sickening cell. Struggling to untie the rope that bound his hands, he forced his brain to dig into his memories some more. Although what he could recollect was only a memory of him talking to a stranger after work. Then, the rest was forgotten. No matter how hard he tried to remember, he just couldn’t.

 

Angry, Takashi stomped on the mattress. That action alone made him more exhausted than before. Which confused him…...how could his energy feel completely drained like this? Once again, he had no clue.

 

The light was switched off again. The sudden blackout startled him and he let out an inaudible gasp. That was when the brunette realised that his voice had become hoarse.

***

Takashi let out a strangled cry of shock when the light bulb on the ceiling was switched on again without warning, filling his prison cell with strong white light.

 

He was forced to roll onto his side in order to avoid the blinding light, which pierced his eyes mercilessly. After being forced to endure the impenetrable darkness for what felt like hours—he had no way to pinpoint the exact time because his watch had been removed and there was no clock to mark the passing of time, his eyes had become too sensitive to strong lighting. How strange it was! When the light went out, he yearned for any source of light; but now the much-needed light hurt his eyes.

 

Takashi snapped his eyes shut, groaning in discomfort as he clung to himself amongst the mattress, waiting for his eyesight to return to normal. He was almost drifting off into sleep before the light bulb suddenly came to life again; but now he was fully awake, and once more, the reality of his absurd situation hit him with its full force.

 

The return of light and his vision gave Takashi a chance to examine himself and his surroundings.

 

Taking one glance at the rest of his own body was already enough to clarify that he was a mess. There were wrinkles on his clothes; sweatdrops seeping down his forehead, his shirt was equally soaked by cold sweat. His wrists had long become bruised and sore due to wiping against the ropes, which held his hands together. He also had other bruises on various parts of his body due to his fruitless struggle. He had shouted for what seemed like hours, even when he knew there was no one else neither within the cell...nor without. No one had come to his aid even after hours of shouting and pleading. Then, he could only come to the unwelcomed conclusion that there really was no one nearby to hear him scream.

 

Just how much time had passed? For how long had he been trapped? And what were his parents doing in the mean time? Did they notice he was missing? Did anyone notice!?

 

Where were his family and his friends? Where were they when he needed them?

 

Although he hated to do it, but Takashi forced himself to look around his prison closely, he didn’t want to look at his prison because the windowless cell, its grey-white walls and the locked iron door reminded him too much of his imprisonment; making it all too real.

 

But he did his best to calm down as he forced himself to scan the tiny cell, taking in as much details as he could. Then, realisation hit him when he noticed this cell looked to similar with the ward you could find in an asylum.

His own discovery sent a shiver down his spine as a fearful thought seized him. Was he mad but didn’t know it? He had heard that insane people always failed to acknowledge they were out of their mind. Could it be the reason for him being put in this miserable cell?

No, it couldn’t be. He wasn’t insane, he didn’t remember himself doing or saying anything out of ordinary in his recent past. He had done nothing to make those around him send him to an asylum. Therefore, he wasn’t here for something he had done; he didn’t bring this upon himself. There was no reason for him to be treated like this. Someone had intentionally brought him here, someone who meant him ill, someone who wanted to make him suffer.

Suffer? Yes, he was suffering now, and he didn’t have the slightest idea of why he would be held captive. He had done nothing wrong, he didn’t piss anyone off—at least not enough to hold him captive like this, he did nothing but minding his own business. His family was not rich; and usually, kidnappers would only target well-off families, right? Therefore, it was impossible for someone to have him kidnapped in exchange for a ransom.

There had to be some reasons for this imprisonment…...but if it weren’t for money, then why else would someone bother to kidnap him?

Takashi was getting even more confused; desperately he tried to think of something, which would help him to explain his condition. He opened his eyes slowly, blinking to adjust to the pale white light. He thought long and hard, trying to recall what exactly was the last thing he could remember.

Yes, he remembered talking to a stranger, who stood next to a van with the driver’s door half open. The man came up to him and asked him for direction, seemingly lost his way. Out of compassion, he had stopped and helped to study the map in the stranger’s hands. And then…...he remembered nothing. It was as if someone had pressed a ‘Pause’ button in his brain, resulting in his memory turning blank.

The stranger wore a pair of sunglasses, which covered most of the upper part of his face when he first saw those extravagant huge sunglasses were just part of the other man’s fashion statement. But now when he thought about it again, he couldn’t stop wondering could there be something more into it?

Did the man wear the cap and the huge sunglasses so his face would be less recognisable?

He thought this man was just a driver who had unluckily gotten lost in an unfamiliar area, but could this be more? Did the man…...do something to him?

The brown-haired youth was trying to recall more details about the driver’s feature when he noticed the light from the light bulb above head was diming.

Takashi looked up at the ceiling, only to see the ring of light from above getting smaller, the shadows around him spreading steadily as the light turned duller.

When Takashi realised what that meant, his eyes widened in shock and horror, “No!”

Despite his panic-struck cry, the light went out completely.

 

-TBC-

Chapter Text


Chapter 02

 

“In our country, mental illness is still the leprosy of the 21st century,” the raven-haired student opened his presentation with a rather strong statement.

The student known to his peers as Tora was a 3rd year psychology major in the university. He knew a lot about mental illness. He knew how patients would fall victim to delusions and false belief, and how these delusions they suffered would affect their daily lives. As a student, he was requested to know his subjects. In fact, all of his fellow classmates were requested to learn about mental illness, the many psychological theories, about how human brain worked, amongst many other topics.

Behind the raven-haired young man, who stood in front of his large roomful of classmates, a series of newsflashes started to play on the huge screen. News about a high school student committing suicide due to schoolwork-related pressure, news about a mentally ill mother strangling her children to death before killing herself, news about a male pop star having to step down from his leading-role after suffering a nervous breakdown, news about ex-mental patients being forced out of their jobs; news about town people protesting bitterly against a state-owned asylum opening in a place very close to their community……all of these news provided a seemingly endless supply of evident to show how the general public reacting negatively against mental diseases and the patients.

“Why would so many of us react to mental diseases and those who suffer with them in such a strong and defensive manner? Why would mental patients be always related to violence, disorder and so many other scary, negative things? Why would many of us associate the patients with those negative images even so quickly, with hardly any hesitation?”

“Because of discrimination?” One of the students, who sat at the front row with his friends, spoke up to offer his own conjunction.

Tora gave his fellow student a small nod in agreement, but he clearly had something of his own to add, “Discrimination is obviously part of the problem, but at the bottom of hatred and mistrust, there’s something deeper, more primitive, and it’s...”

In here, Tora’s voice dropped as his last words stretched into nothingness. Many of the students subconsciously leant their upper bodies forward, waiting.

“It is fear,” Tora didn’t continue after he offered the audience an answer to his own question. Instead, he let the quietness sink in, letting his words sink into them fully; before he picked up again.

“Fear, one of the strongest, the most primitive emotions possessed by humankind. As we all know, fear is one of the human’s innate emotions. We are born to fear, it’s in our very nature.

Tora paused again, and he saw some of his classmates nodded their heads.

“Fear is what keeping mental patients from the rest of the society, from the mass. Our fear towards them,” he knew it was time to bring his points across, “Our fear towards mental illness and disorder draw a huge gap between the confirmed mentally ill people and those who are considered ‘normal’. To a point of cutting the patients off from their much-needed social and emotional support.”

“Amano san, I see that you have come up with a rather...impressive point. So, would you explain this part to us with more detail and example?” The lector, who stood on the left side at the front of the lecture room, steadily suggested.

“Sure,” Tora was ready for a request like this, so he responded to it with confidence.

Next, he started to give examples to back up his claim, also backing it with classical theories and finding of past researches.

By now, most of the students were quiet and concentrating. When the 3rd year student’s presentation came to an end, everyone was clapping with appreciation.

Then, Tora went back to his seat, and the lecture continued for some time, with other students presenting their own presentations. Eventually, the lector drew a conclusion for their lesson, and then today’s lecture came to an end.

Before the lecture ended, the lector reminded his students, “Next week, there will be more students coming up with their own presentations. I hope you guys would bring in something as...finely constructed as Amano san has offered today.”

At this point, many students turned their heads towards Tora, admiration clear on their faces; the raven-haired student smiled politely in response.

After the lecture, a group of students came up to the front of the lecture room and greeted Tora. The raven head chatted with them causally. After a few rounds of small talks and laughter, one of the female students from the group seemed to randomly come up with a question, “Why are you so good at your study, Amano-san? What’s your secret?”

“I guess having a strong interest in the subject helps me focus better on my study,” Amano smiled patiently at the young woman as he answered.

“But why would develop such a strong interest?” The female student questioned again, instead of accepting what she was told and got out of Tora’s sight.

Tora felt his patience wearing thin; but outwardly, his smile didn’t fade. He couldn’t show his true feeling when he was amongst his classmates, “My subject...let’s just say the more I study on it, the more it helps me to satisfy some...personal curiosity.”

Thankfully, this time the young woman was satisfied by the answer she got. She even thanked Tora for sharing a piece of his mind and his helpful hints on study with she and her friends, everyone was smiling. Soon, Tora excused himself from the group.

He had something so much better, waiting for him.

 

“Tora...hey, Tora.”

The raven head turned on his heel, facing an equally tall young man who had called out to him earlier.

“Miyavi-senpai,” Tora smiled, waiting until his senior in college arrived before him.

“Tora, I thought you’ve forgotten about our appointment,” said Miyavi between his pants.

“No, of course not. In fact, I was about to head to the coffee shop.”
“Great. Let’s go then!” Said Miyavi cheerfully.

~*~

It didn’t take long for them to reach the coffee shop, not far from the train station. Yesterday, Miyavi had requested a meeting to Tora. Due to their activities, the two of them had not been hanging out together lately. So today, when they finally had some free time, they decided to meet up.

Miyavi unexpectedly changed the topic, “You know, isn't someone in our college has recently gone missing?”

“I’ve heard about it,” Tora replied, “We all have seen the flyers.”

The raven-haired student wondered what had made his senior mention this missing person case—although the case had attracted a lot of attention amongst the student body, still Tora was certain Miyavi didn’t know the missing student personally.

Miyavi smiled a bit, and then gestured the younger man to turn his head. Tora turned around and saw a poster on the wall behind him. The poster showed a picture of a young man, there were a huge HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PERSON? printed above the photo.

When Tora turned back to face his senior again, their order had arrived at the same time.

“Poor kid, I wonder what had happened to him,” the older man commented, as he picked up his cup of coffee, “Do you know him?”

The raven head raised an eyebrow, “No, I don’t think so. Why?”

“Nothing. It’s just that I heard the police didn’t get much information about him.”

“Really? I thought police would get to the bottom of what is there to know whenever they do their job,” Tora asked sceptically.

“They’re still investigating. I think I heard they’ve informed this student’s parents too.”

“I feel sorry for the parents, though.”

Miyavi nodded in agreement, and then he added thoughtfully, “I noticed the other students are a bit shaken up too. It’s disturbing to know a case of disappearance can hit so, so close to home.”

Tora nodded. Miyavi did have a fine point here. Bad things happened all the time, horrible things happened to the most innocent victims with hardly any reason. As harsh as it might sound, it was just how life worked.

As adults, all of them understood as much; but on the emotional level, most people tended to turn a blind eye on the harsh reality. They used to think: ‘Bad things just can’t happen to me, can’t happened to someone close to me, someone I know. Bad things can only happen to people who live far, far away from me, who have nothing to do with me.’

This kind of thinking might sound selfish and heartless, but if people were being honest, they would find it was what many, if not most, people did live by those kinds of false beliefs.

Tora just had to wonder whether Sakamoto Takashi and his loved ones had also lived by this false belief and fake sense of security, until it was too late.

~*~

He was in his flat again. Hanging out with his senior had made him relaxed. Miyavi had said that they should do it again next time they had the chance, before they parted at the station.

Tora toed off his shoes and hung his jacket on the door hanger, proceeding to his bedroom afterwards. He threw his bag onto the bed and lay down on it, only to sit upright again when he remembered something. Grabbing onto the strap of his bag, the raven head dragged it towards him and opened the zipper. Fumbling through the contents, it wasn’t long until he fished out a flyer from inside his bag.

The said flyer was none other than the one about the missing person, which happened to be a student in his and Miyavi’s college. The dark-haired young man had carried it back home. His senior had seemed interested in this case, although the older man didn’t seem to know this Sakamoto Takashi person. However, considering that it was one of their college mates, it was pretty understandable that Miyavi showed some concern.

Still holding the flyer in his hand, Tora moved to his desk and opened his laptop. Sitting on his chair, the raven head waited until the device finished starting up and the internet was connected. His fingers moved swiftly over the keyboard, as he entered in the URL of his university’s website. First, he checked the forum. His guess was right. The news about Sakamoto Takashi’s disappearance had spread so quickly, and the thread discussing it was on the very top. He clicked on the thread and scrolled down slowly, summing up the comments people had posted. Most of them, the same as Miyavi had done, showed their concern towards the case. Some even bothered to make speculations of their own. Although the most recent comments sounded too unlikely that it even made Tora snort in amusement. The raven head wasn’t really into detective-play, but people’s thoughts on some cases were what made him interested.

Having enough browsing the forum, Tora then went back to top and searched for the link that would bring him to the students list. Although the website didn’t provide full profile of the students due to privacy, the raven head still found it helpful, for what he needed to check was only the students’ status. Specifically, Sakamoto Takashi’s status.

As he arrived on the page he was looking for, Tora typed in the kanji of the missing student and in a few seconds, the result was shown. Sakamoto Takashi’s photo appeared on his laptop screen, followed by his profile. His eyes narrowed at what he read. He leant back onto his chair, rubbing his chin in thought.

“They’ve sure moved fast, haven’t they? Even his status has changed to ‘missing’,” muttered Tora.

His hand moved to the flyer again. The raven head picked it up and examined the picture. Miyavi’s voice resounded in his head, “Do you know him?”

-TBC-

Chapter Text


Chapter 03

 

It was about a year ago. He was an intern at Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital . His professor from the faculty of psychology had recommended him to the said hospital; and for three weeks now, Tora had been doing fieldwork in the hospital’s psychiatric department as part of his assignment.

It was a work of patience. You couldn't just walk in and expect the patients to express themselves like open books. You had to approach them with care; you had to get to know the patients as people, to build up trust, one step at a time.

The raven head was interviewing one or two patients when his gaze wandered outside the large open windows. It wasn’t as though he had never seen such a person before, but he couldn’t explain either why he was drawn to the sight.

It was a brown-haired young man who had gotten his interest. The brunette was sitting on a stone bench in the hallway, gazing down on the floor, Tora supposed. He seemed to be deep in thought. Was he a patient?, Tora had thought.

He had to shift his gaze away from the brunette when he felt a tug on his coat sleeve. One of the patients he was talking to was grinning at him and Tora had no choice but to smile in response. It was an elderly man. The information and background of the patient was complete in his hand, yet Tora still found it sad that a man as old as his grandfather—if he had one—had to be put in a psychiatric ward.

By the time Tora was done with his tasks, he quickly went to the hallway, but the brown-haired young man he saw before was nowhere to be seen.

***

Flyers were posted everywhere, asking for information about a missing person: Sakamoto Takashi. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PERSON? Each of those flyers and posters were asking the same question. Police had begun their investigation in reach for the missing person; but so far, nothing had turned up.

The police had thought of a few possibilities to explain Sakamoto’s disappearance: runaway, accident, suicide, and kidnap.

According to eyewitnesses’ testament, Sakamoto Takashi was last being seen leaving the workplace of his part-time job. Before he left, he didn't mention anything about planning to leave. He was supposed to go back to his flat and spent the night alone, since there had been no appointment made between him and his friends that evening. After that, no one had seemed to neither see him nor know of his whereabouts.

However, according to Sakamoto’s family and friends, the missing young man wasn’t having much trouble in his life. He moved out of his parents’ home and lived on his own when he started attending college. He had a part-time job to support himself. There was no known gambling, drinking or drug-taking problem on the young man’s part; his criminal record was clean.

After going to college, the young man had made a handful of friends, but he seemed to make no enemy at all. In fact, most of the people, whom the police had interviewed, seemed to have positive opinions about Sakamoto. In their opinions, Sakamoto Takashi was a nice person. He was quiet and kept to himself for most part; but it didn’t mean he was neither misfit nor anti-social. Instead, he seemed to get along with people.

The problem was that no one seemed to know Sakamoto’s private life so well. Even his friends had problem offering information about the missing young man’s private life and thoughts.

So far, the police had received no report about a person whose feature could match the description of Sakamoto Takashi being involved in an accident or being sent to a hospital due to injury. Nor did they receive any blackmail or report of death, which might be connected to the disappearance.

Could it be possible that Sakamoto had committed suicide, but his body had yet to be discovered? The police didn’t share their suspicion with Sakamoto’s parents, but they had already feared for the worst. Even though Sakamoto seemed to have no visible problem in both his private life and social life; still, if the young student turned up killing himself, it wouldn’t be the first time a seemingly perfectly normal, well-educated young man snatched himself for seemingly no reason.

***

Soft sound of footsteps seemed to echo along the lone, narrow path through the pinewood forest. Dried leaves were crushed underfoot with every step you took. Aside from the sound of your own breathing, these were the only sound to be heard in this deserted hillside forest.

There was neither bus nor any other public transportation. To get this far into the forest, you needed to have a vehicle of your own just in order to get to the edge of it. If you were to start your journey from the urban areas, then you must drive along the main road. All the way from the outskirt of the city to the countryside; before you could reach the edge of the woodland.

After leaving your car behind, you still had to walk for a good 20 to 30 minutes to reach your destination. At the end of the path, there was a fence surrounding a piece of woodland. This area was marked as ‘private property’. Therefore, it was off limit to outsiders. In the middle of this piece of land, there laid a small, ordinary looking wooden-made cabin.

The log cabin was hidden deep in the forest, very far away from general public’s view. From the outside, the entire building seemed to be shrouded entirely in darkness, with no light bulb being switched on. If anyone happened to walk past it, they might mistakenly think this cabin had been left uninhabited for a long time.

However, unbeknownst to anyone, life and human activities had once again returned to this lonely cabin in the middle of nowhere.

You walked along the dusty path towards the cabin with no hesitation. In fact, you couldn’t wait to get there. Then, you unlocked the door with your keys. You were also pleased that on the outside, nothing seemed to be disturbed since you last visited this place.

You wanted everything to be in order. You wanted to keep away from the general public, their peering eyes and their endless gossips. They did no good to anyone. You would do anything to be left alone…...with him being here, you had all that you wanted. Right here, right in this humble cabin.

You had him right here in this middle of nowhere.

No one should step in and start peering and asking questions. You would do everything within your power to keep things that way.

***

The night had arrived, hiding the pinewood forest under its shadows. During the ungodly hours when most laws-obeying citizens slept, leaving only beasts of prey to stalk the land. Ironically, signs of life quietly came back to the log cabin in the middle of the deserted forest.

Being so far away from any main road and highway, there were no lines of streetlight running through the forest. As a result, the log cabin was left sitting under the cover of full darkness; even the moon was hidden by the heavy clouds.

Most of the rooms in the cabin were shrouded in the dark, and the light within the cabin had not been switched on. However, on the ground floor, there was one single room located at the far end of a cabin. It was the only place where signs of inhibition could be found. In this room, a flickering emergency light was on. Although because of the heavy curtains, no one could see the cold, bluish light from the outside.

Once, this room served as a study; but now things had changed greatly within its four walls. Most of the bookshelves were gone. In their places, a long spacey table was put against the wall with peeled back wallpaper. On top of the table, there were several screens and devices that looked curiously like a close-circuit TV system.

More surprisingly still, there were also many different electrical wires spreading all across the floor like a spider web. All of those wires were linked to the CCTV system and the computers nearby. All the devices were plugged on, and both the computers and the CCTV system had been running around the clock.

Less notable was the wires connecting to a security system. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, this humble-looking cabin was wired up with a tight security alarm system. If anyone tried to break in through the windows or enter through the doors without using the correct keys, not only alarms would be set off to alert the house owner, also the cabin itself would be locked down.

After unlocking several of locks—a few locks too many for a room with no secret to hide, he was able to get back into his safe haven.

He entered the room, switching the light bulb on as he went, closing the door behind him. Then, he took off his coat and placed it on a worn out sofa near the door, and moved to sit down on a chair before the long table, facing the screen of the CCTV system.

All the screens showed three set of underground cells down in the basement below the cabin, and the corridor outside of them.

Back then, there were no cells down in the basement. When this cabin and the land around it first coming into his possession, the basement was supposed to serve as a spacey storeroom for smoked meat, supply of wine and dried up herbs from the forest. Later, he had changed that with a thoughtfully done decoration. The worn out wooden door was replaced by one made of heavy iron, completed with a reliable, decent set of locks. The darkened walls were repainted, so now they had the colour of pure white snow. Hidden cameras were installed; the cells were completed with a lighting system, which could be effectively remote-controlled. He had even made sure that the cells were soundproofed, although he knew he didn’t have to worry about neighbours hearing any suspicious noise because there wasn’t any neighbour around in the area.

Two of the cells were empty; but the one in the middle was currently being occupied, and there was where most of the activities had been recorded and stored into the computer system.

He leant his upper body forward, watching the particular screen closely.

The little cell where the young man known as Sakamoto Takashi had been trapped in appeared on the TV screen. None of the prisoner's move would escape notice.

The prisoner had no clue that his every movement was being merited and recorded. Even in this movement, his struggle was being recorded.

He reached a hand out towards the TV screen, touching the screen with the tips of his fingers. Those fingers traced the outline of Saga’s silhouette lovingly. Right now, he could only look at him through the camera, touch his silhouette against a layer of the TV cold, smooth glass screen. His Saga was down in the basement, where no one else could reach him.

It was just the way he would prefer for the brunette. No one other than him knew the young man was here. Saga was safely away from their reach, no one could touch him, no one could lay eyes on him; no one but him had the authority.

There was a hidden camera within the cell; the device had enabled him to moderate the cell and everything that happened there. The secret camera was working around the clock; therefore, nothing would escape his notice.

The recording system that was attached to the camera could record sound as well as it did with images and movement; therefore, not even the sounds being made within the cell could escape his attention.

He continued to watch the screen. Soon, he noticed Saga’s lips were moving whilst he struggled amongst the mattress. It seemed like his captive had something to say.

Next, he turned up the volume of the sound system, so he could hear what the brown-haired youth was saying.

“Please...is somebody here?”

Once the volume was turned up, a pleading voice could be heard through the speaker.

“Just...let me go...”

The youth seemed to be crying, his voice thick with desperation.

“I promise I wouldn’t tell anyone...”

“I want to go home...”

“Please...just...”

“Please...”

“Let me go…”

Through the sound system, his lovely Saga sounded so weak, so frightened. His voice was barely above a whisper.

How much he longed to run all the way down the stairs to the basement right in this moment, throwing open the door to the cell and then gathered his precious Saga into his arms, giving the latter all the comfort in the world, and then waited for the brown head to calm down. To bring a smile back to his tearstained face? But sadly, he could do none of those things; simply because failing to keep Saga entirely isolated in these very critical first few days and revealing himself too soon would ruin his plan.

He had watched in different movies and TV dramas about psychopaths holding helpless victims captive, torturing them to satisfy their twisted pleasure. Back then, he wondered why anyone would ever would want to do such things, but now…...he thought he could understand.

No, he wasn’t a psychopath; he definitely wasn’t doing it for his own pleasure. He knew what he was doing. What he had done so far wasn’t some meaningless acts to satisfy some mindless impulse. In fact, he was very much in control. He was doing what was necessary, even when it pained him to put his beloved through so much…...discomfort.

Currently speaking, Saga was too…new to this situation. He had just woken up from the reality of his captivity a few hours ago. He knew little about the situation he had suddenly found himself in and he knew even less about the meaning of his captivity.

For the time being, he would have to keep things that way.

Saga needed to be kept in the dark, as much as possible. He needed time to adjust to his new life. Before he could adjust and be happy with this new life.

For the time being, he alone would control what Saga could know about this new situation of his; he alone would decide for how long Saga should be separated from the things which would likely to remind him of his old life and the outside world.

For all Saga knew, he was cut off entirely from the outside world, with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide; his arms were bound so he could barely protect himself. For all Saga knew, no one knew where he was, he might very well be left alone in this cell to rot; still, no one might find and rescue him on time.

He could even guess what had been running through Saga’s mind in the past few hours, ever since he woke up: at the very beginning, Saga’s mind would be filled with confusion. Once the situation had fully sunk in, fear would quickly seep in, and then survival instinct would kick in. There would be many attempts to escape. When eventually it became clear that he couldn’t get away, anger and denial would come into play.

The whole progress might very well took days, and Saga’s state of mind would most likely be running in circle: confusion, fear, longing to escape, failure, surge of rage, dental, hopelessness, repeat.

The lack of real daylight and proper sleep would not help his situation either. It was a well-known fact that if the rhythm of a person’s body’s clock was messed up, if a person couldn’t tell day from night for too long, they would become disoriented, which would also lead to mental stress and confusion.

To bring up the desired result, he had chosen to switch the light within the cell on and off in total random, just in order to disturb Saga's sleep so he became more tired.

…...and during the progress, Saga’s physical well-being would fall victim to increasing exhaustion, and with his mind being constantly filled with dread and desperation, his body under extreme pressure like this, his mental well-being would sooner or later snap.

He would comfort the sobbing youth at the end of it all. He didn’t want to see his beloved suffer; but for his sake—for Saga’s sake—it had to be done. Therefore, he needed to steel his heart and suffered the same pain, alongside with his beloved.

Saga was kept there for a reason, even though the brunette hadn’t yet become aware of it.

He needed to know more about his beloved, needed to keep watching when the brown-haired beauty endured the first few days of his captivity. These first few days were critical; he must keep a close eye on the other man as much as possible.

One wrong move, his plan could easily be shattered. His fragile beloved might also be shattered beyond repair. He meant to drive his beloved to the edge. He meant to throw the brown-haired youth completely off balance, but he would never intend to inspire full-on insanity.

He only wanted Saga for himself, and to have his love being returned; just the same like everyone else would have wanted for themselves. No one could say he was too greedy, right?

Plus, this plan wasn’t only for his own gain. He knew in the end, Saga would be happy too. He would make Saga become happy too.

He wasn’t foolish though, he knew Saga would not react well to being taken to stay with him—at first, but he was certain that the brown-haired beauty would return his feeling in the end. No one else cared about Saga as he did. In the end, Saga would come to see it as well.

-TBC-

Chapter Text


Chapter 04

 

Takashi stirred on the mattress; his eyes snapped wide open to be greeted by nothing but darkness. The light bulb had remained switched off when he passed out, and all around him, silence.

Groaning, he trashed on the mattress, his muscles ached due to being bound and put into the same position for too long.

At first, he couldn’t tell what had woken him. His mind was still confused, not even knowing where himself was and why there was no light. He could only recall having a horrible nightmare, and then...something startled him too much that it was enough shook him awake.

He was now awaken...only to be sent back to the equally nightmarish reality.

Blinking, Takashi tried to look around himself, trying in vain to find any object to look at, but his tired eyes could find none so far. Still, he couldn’t put his guard down. Something was wrong......The thought kept him on edge. He could sense the wrongness; it was spreading from deep within his marrow.

Struggling to keep his trembling limbs under control, Takashi held very still and listened. Soon, his ears seemed to catch some noises. Noises that sounded suspiciously like…someone else’s breathing.

Who......?

He struggled to keep looking into the darkness, hoping to find some hint. Until eventually, he spotted the darkness seemed suspiciously thicker. It looked like...a human shape.

It was true! Someone was there!

Within the next second, he felt a thick piece of damp cloth being pressed against his face, and wouldn't let go.

His mouth and nose were blocked as the hand clamped even more tightly against his face without letting go. The fear of suffocation overwhelmed him. Desperately, he thrashed violently from side to side, trying to escape. He wanted to ask who was there, he wanted to scream for help; but once he opened his mouth and inhaled the strange smelling damp scent from the damp cloth, his voice died in his throat, and there was nothing he could do to save himself.

Now, darkness wasn’t only surrounding him from all sides, it also seeped deep into his mind like slow, icy droplets of poison; engulfing whatever thought he had tried to hold onto.

***

You removed the damp piece of cloth from blocking your captive mouth and nose after the latter passed out. You did not dare to hold him down for too long for fearing your fragile beloved would suffocate.

You knew it could be dangerous...giving chloroform to Saga like this, to put him into unnatural sleep. Nevertheless, this had to be done. Despite having the CCTV system to monitor Saga’s trends; still, it wasn’t as if you could stay here all day to watch over the brunette and step in when unexpected things happened within the cell.

How much you wanted to spend every waking moment to be with your beloved! But you couldn’t. As sad as it sounded, you had duties to fulfil outside of this cabin. You had certain roles to play and maintain in order to avoid suspicion and unwanted questions. For this plan to work out, you needed to tend to businesses of the outside world. You couldn’t afford anyone to guess that something unusual was going on with you…...

For this plan to work out, you needed to maintain your double life. As much as you wanted to spend every second of the day with Saga, you still had to go back to play your part in your ‘public’ life. The outside world and the meaningless, stupid humans populated it—as irritating as they both were—just could not be ignored so easily.

It made you worry that if Saga were left staying conscious for too long during your absence, he might end up hurting himself. Your Saga was no fool. Despite being bound, he surely would try to struggle and get free. He could easily get himself hurt if he struggled too much, becoming too desperate to escape.

Therefore, you reasoned that it would make things easier for both yourself and Saga if the latter’s time of being awake could be...shortened.

You knew the upcoming days would be...tough for the brunette. So perhaps he would be better off not spending those times in perfect wakefulness. Perhaps it would be less...painful for Saga not to be fully awake, aware of what was happening to him.
The thought of what was to come for your sleeping captive made you feel uneasy. You couldn’t avoid the fact that Saga would be put through a lot of physical discomfort and even…...emotional pain. You were going to be the cause of his torment.

You looked back at the brunette, who was now sleeping peacefully on the mattress. Your sleeping beauty.

Gently, you flipped him to sleep on his side. At least, he wouldn’t crush his arms under his own weight if he slept in this new position.

“Soon…it will be soon.”

That was all you could promise, for the time being.

***

The brunette stood before the main building of Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital. Time was ticking by and he knew he had an appointment with his doctor. Still, even with this thought in his mind, Takashi found himself reluctant to walk into the building, and did what he must.

The young man had an appointment with his doctor—to be more particular, his psychiatrist.

Takashi didn’t want to meet the doctor, but he also knew failing to show up for appointments would not do him any good.

Once more, he reminded himself he was only there so he could get his parents off his back. Then, he walked into the hospital before his courage faded. Although he really did want to turn back and chicken out; still, he told himself it was silly for him to be so worked up by an appointment.

The rational part of him knew that seeing a psychiatrist wasn’t equal to being psychopath or mentally ill. Still, his appointments with Dr. Camui were not something he would look forward to.

It wasn’t that he disliked his doctor. Dr. Camui had always been friendly towards him and he was very easy to talk to; but the fact that whatever he had told his doctor, whichever feeling he had expressed before the other man, would eventually be used and analysed, made him feel very uneasy. Like many others, Takashi didn’t enjoy having his thoughts and emotion analysed.

When he was walking towards the doctor’s office, Takashi couldn’t suppress a sigh. He wouldn’t have been forced to see a psychiatrist if only he was more careful with the company he kept, if only he was more careful around his parents.

After graduated from high school, Takashi started attending a college that was away from his hometown. His parents weren’t particularly happy about him going to a college so far from home and having to move out, but they still agreed to let him go because the college in question had a good reputation and being successfully graduated from this well respected college also meant Takashi would have a head start in the future.

In the end, Takashi got what he wanted: a chance to study in a fine college, living away from home, all with his parents’ blessing; and like any other good son, he took effort to give his parents no reason to worry too much for him.

The brunette had always been careful. Ever since he moved out from his hometown, Takashi had regularly written back to home. Each letter was filled with details about how smoothly he had gotten on with his school life, how he fitted in with his schoolmates and making friends. He wasn’t foolish, he didn’t try to convince his parents everything was all rainbow and sunshine in his life, but he did try to make them believe there was no serious problem and worry in his daily life.

He used to tell himself he wasn’t lying; he just didn’t want his parents to be overly worried about him. That was all.

Plus in a sense, he wasn’t having any serious problem, only that……as time passed, Takashi started to feel something was missing in his life. A sense of incompleteness.

However, how could he talk about it to his peers when outwardly, he wasn’t having any difficulty in his daily life? It would only make him look like a whiny. It was so not cool.

All of his effort backfired when he agreed to join his college friends for a night out in one Saturday night.

Everything started innocently enough. Takashi went with his friends to some bar near the campus, planning to enjoy an evening of beers and chatting. Unlike many of the students, Takashi wasn’t a night creature by nature. He had nights out with his friends now and then, but he was by no mean a party animal. He tended to sip a drink, sitting back and having small talks with a couple of friends whilst the rest of the crew went out of their way doing some other more daring, exciting stunts. Like pulling up all kind of crazy pranks in public, shamelessly chasing after girls’ skirts, heavy drinking and finally yet importantly, doing drugs.

Takashi wasn’t comfortable with some of his new friends’ hobbies. He certainly had never joined his friends in some of their activities whenever drugs were concerned, but he went along with it because none of his friends seemed to be worried about what drugs might do to them in a long run. Instead, they acted as if it was no big deal. So, the brunette figured he also shouldn’t care too much about it. He figured that if he didn’t touch any of the drugs himself, it should be all right for him.

When he first joined those outing, he was in a bad mood and in need of some activity to distract himself from all the worry and stress. What had been bothering him was hardly anything special. Like many other first year college students, Takashi started to realise he couldn’t adjust into college life as smoothly as he wished to.

Like many other young adults, Takashi was living away from home for the first time in his life. That alone would take a lot of getting used to. Plus, college was in fact a lot different from high school. So, it shouldn’t be such a surprise that the brunette found himself struggling to catch up. Also, having to compete with so many outstanding students from all over the country; the results of his first semester’s exam had been less than ideal.

With so many things happened all at once, he did need the distractions.

Takashi thought he liked hanging out with a bunch of friends like this, even though he didn’t know many of those friends quite well. But so what? Everyone was having such a good time, it wouldn’t hurt to go along with the ride; or so it seemed for the time being.

Then, things went out of hand.

In their last outing together, a couple of guys from their group became heavily drunk. It was much later that Takashi realised they were at the same time also snipping drugs, again.

As if things weren’t bad enough, by midnight, a fight broke out among his college friends and other equally drunk customers of the bar. Eventually, it turned into a full-on fistfight.

Takashi didn’t recall much of the detail about the fight. By that time, he had already become rather tipsy with the few drinks he sipped. All he could recall was a lot of glasses breaking, girls screaming whilst running away from the site, glasses and random items being thrown overhead, people shoving and pulling at each other roughly, locking together in heated conflict, and the sickening sound of bones being broken.

Someone must have called the police at some point, for the next thing Takashi knew, cops had rushed in and effectively separated the fighting crowd from one another, putting a stop to the chaos.

After that, everyone in the bar—those who wasn’t smart enough to make a run of it when the fight first started—was all stopped by the police and questioned. Those who had been involved with the massive fight or being suspected in possession of drugs and other illegal items were soon arrested on the spot; those who were injured were later sent to hospital. Takashi was also being questioned; but in the end, there was nothing to prove he was involved with neither the fight nor the drug-taking. Therefore, he was off the hook.

Although Takashi had narrowly escaped arrest and punishment; still, it didn’t do him much good. Thanked to internet and social medias, the news about the incident was spreading all over the campus overnight. Unfortunately for Takashi, his schoolmates weren’t the only ones who had noticed the incident in the bar. Eventually, his parents also caught wind of it.

Before he could say anything to explain himself, Takashi’s parents had already travelled all the way to town, and he was then being questioned by his own parents as thoroughly as he once had by the cops. To make things worse for him, Takashi was never the type to be cunning and willing to lie in front of his parents. Therefore, it wasn’t long before his parents found out about his dropping grades and his finding his stress-release by hanging out with a bunch of students who engaged themselves in…highly questionable behaviours.

Like all responsible parents, the Sakamotos were alarmed by the recent turns of events concerning their son; and like all good parents, they were anxious to give their son help. Even when their child might not entirely agree with their methods and concerns. They had soon decided that Takashi needed to get help. Especially, after hearing their son’s confession of having difficulty to adjust to college life and feeling pressured by the demand of schoolwork. They warned that if Takashi didn’t go finding himself some ‘help’, they would come and take him back to their hometown. That would be the end of everything he had worked for, for so long. College, independence, privacy, freedom, a fresh start. Bye-bye.

Takashi wouldn’t have any of this being taken away from him just because he was unluckily involved with his friends’ incident and the fact that he was having some...stress problem. He would rather endure a weekly visit to the hospital and chat with his doctor than being sent back to his parents’ house.

It wasn’t as if he didn’t love his parents, or he hated living with them; but……there was something Takashi could never tell them nor discuss with them. His parents simply wouldn’t understand.

So, Takashi was on his own.

 

Now, he was standing in front of Dr. Camui’s office. He knocked on the door and then he heard a voice, requesting him to come in.

When he entered, Dr. Camui had already taken a seat behind his desk. If he noticed Takashi had been late for their appointment, he didn’t say anything about it.

“How do you feel, Sakamoto-san?” Dr. Camui greeted his patient, flashing him a welcoming smile.

The psychiatrist was a handsome man in his early thirty; his eyes were an unusual colour of icy blue. Every time Takashi met his doctor’s gaze, he could almost feel those eyes piercing through his façade, peering deeply into his soul.

Shivering slightly, Takashi tried to shrug the unpleasant thought away.

“I am feeling okay,” Takashi whispered, his eyes drifting across the empty spots in front of him—his eyes focusing on everything other than the doctor.

“Is there anything you want to discuss?”

For a moment, Takashi thought of sharing his mind with the doctor; but eventually, he shook his head.

Dr. Camui gave him an understanding smile, and tried another approach, “How is college then?”

Takashi was quite ready for this question. Therefore, he told his doctor about his schoolwork, about the stress he had experienced. Those were just ordinary events for an ordinary student, who had understandably gone through ordinary stress and worry. Nothing too alarming or uncommon for a young man his age. Normal.

He hoped he could convince the good doctor what had happened in the past was just an outburst, and now he was cured from it. He wished he could let the doctor to believe him. Then eventually, he would be off the hook, going back to his old life, and everyone would be happy.

“What about your love life?”
“My what?” Takashi was taken aback.
“Your love life,” the doctor calmly repeated, “Relationships.”

Don’t react to his words. Takashi repeated the sentence in his mind. Don’t show any reaction. Play it cool.

“I’m not seeing anyone at this moment,” he replied with a neutral tone.
“You are still young and rather...good looking. I imagine you would get some attraction from the opposite sex in your college,” the doctor raised an eyebrow, but his tone was light, almost as if he was chatting with a friend, “Sakamoto san, I hope you would understand that in here, you can speak your mind freely. You have my word that everything you say here would remain only between you and me, not even your own parents would catch any wind of it—not without your permission, that’s.”
“I know you wouldn’t say anything to anyone else, Doc,” Takashi replied dryly, “But there’s nothing to talk about. Right now, I’m more focused on my...schoolwork.”

The doctor didn’t look entirely convinced, but he was willing to shift their conversation into other direction.

Takashi relaxed after Dr. Camui directed their topics to something less sensitive, such as his relationship with his parents, what he had in mind for his future career planning. To be honest, he couldn’t recall most of his conversations with his psychiatrist shortly after he left the office, but strangely enough, the young man did happen to remember the suggestion Dr. Camui had given him.

“As you and I both know, you can always talk to your friends, or anyone else you trust. But if you don’t feel ready to share your thoughts to anyone yet, then I suggest you write down your thoughts, as part of the therapy.”

“Okay,” Takashi agreed effortlessly—just a bit too effortlessly.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 05: Reminiscence

 

Sakamoto Takashi worked part-time at a small restaurant nearby his college. This part-time job had been supporting his personal income for months. Even though his parents routinely sent him money for tuition fee, the young man still wanted to help them lessen their burdens. He was an adult now, after all.

It was rush hours on the weekend, and Takashi was overly busy taking and delivering orders from and for his customers. His co-worker, Nao, was pretty much as busy as Takashi was on his own post in the kitchen. Nao was older than he was. He was a kind, wise man who had come offering a job for Takashi when he was searching for one, months ago.

Takashi was working at the main hall of the restaurant as usual. Nearly all of the tables were occupied by customers and more were flowing in. Like all of his co-workers, Takashi was busy moving from one table to another, making sure everyone in his area was enjoying their food.

Finally, the flow of customers slowly began to thin as the rush hours drew near the end. Takashi slowed his pace, as he scanned the restaurant only to find everyone was sitting comfortably around their tables, having their meal. Takashi smiled to himself; there was no more order to be delivered.

However, just when he was thinking about it, he saw a customer waving at him from across the restaurant.

The brunette hurried towards the customer’s table; now he saw that said customer were sitting with two of his friends around the table.

Getting his smile ready, the brunette waiter began, “How may I help you?”

“Let’s see…” This customer flipped open the menu and examined it before he added, “Just be at ease. Why don’t you stand closer?”

Before Takashi could react, the blond customer had already pulled him by the wrist; Takashi nearly bumped into the table. Those two friends of his watched on, but didn't say anything.

Then, a word of apology came out of the customer’s lips, but it didn’t sound like he meant it at all. In fact, the blond man had a little smirk on his face as he noticed that Takashi was becoming uncomfortable. The brunette was still holding onto his notebook and ballpoint pen when the blonde looked up at him, his left eyebrow rising suggestively.

Now, it became clear that the man was staring right at him. Unlike other customers who mostly stared at their menus, this man seemed to have more interest in him than what were on the menus. It made Takashi uncomfortably self-conscious.

He suddenly remembered when he saw this man, and who he was. It was a third year student from the same faculty of his, Akira Suzuki, who was also known as ‘Reita’. As a matter of fact, the blond man counted as Takashi’s senior, although the younger man didn’t recall actually talking to this senior before.

“I’m Reita,” the older man introduced himself.

For a brief moment, Takashi wondered if Reita had recognised him as a fellow schoolmate, but he soon banished the thought. It wasn't like it mattered that Reita recognised him.

“I’m Sakamoto, nice to meet you.” In order to make his speech looked more business-like and distant, Takashi intentionally used his family name to refer himself. Though it was part of his duty to be polite and responsive towards customers, he was still under no request to be buddy-buddy with all of the customers.

At that moment, he didn’t feel like he should encourage this particular customer to spend even more time chatting with him. He didn’t even know why Reita would bother to introduce himself.

After the greeting, Takashi was all ready to leave and get on with his other duties, but it didn’t end here.

“May I take your order, please?” Although it was obvious Reita was taking his sweet time to fool around instead of ordering food, still Takashi tried to shift the conversation to business at hand.

“I want a hamburger, regular size; a coke and—” then Reita suddenly lowered his voice and leant forward to say his last words, “—how much does it take for you to suck me, huhh?”

The ‘huhh?’ in the end was heavily laced with fake sweetness.

Takashi let out a deep breath, his pen nearly dropped out of his hand. He was outraged by the blond man’s suggestive words, but he couldn't yell at the man because after all, he was a customer. The brunette waiter had only heard about waitresses complaining about asshole customers harassing them verbally, but he could never guess it would happen to him.

“You can’t have it,” Takashi spoke his mind with a hiss, before he could stop himself.

“What are you saying? Isn’t it a restaurant? Why can’t I have what I like?” Reita raised his voice in completely faked innocence. Beside him, his two friends started laughing in a disgustingly knowing way.

Takashi stared at the blond man in disbelief. The nerves of this guy! How could he make verbal abuse and humiliation as if it was just some harmless joke?

“Regular hamburger and coke, right?” Takashi forced himself to write down Reita’s order, only skipping the last one, “They will be on the way.”

Then, he took orders from two of Reita’s friends. Thankfully, they only gave normal orders; although their staring at Takashi predatorily as if he was a piece of meat instead of a person, kept the waiter from warming up to them.

~*~

Takashi sighed as he walked back to Reita’s table. He didn't particularly want to go anywhere near the blonde after their previous encounter, but he had his work duty to fulfil.

Soon, he was in front of Reita and his two friends, and saw that they were about to finish their meal.

“You guys want anything else?” Takashi asked as cheerfully as he could.

Those two other guys gave Takashi a faint nod but Reita had chosen to ignore his question entirely, “When will your shift end?”

Beside him, Reita’s friends burst into another fit of laughter.

Takashi could almost feel his cheeks heat up. Some of the costumers were jerks. His fellow waitresses had warned at some point, those jerks always thought waitresses were easy targets, thinking they were all stupid and loosed creatures because they were paid minimum wage and had to parade around the restaurant in tight skirts when they worked. Now the brunette began to think Reita was one of those jerks, and the blonde had, for his twisted reasons, decided to mess with him.

He recalled Reita acted all nice and friendly towards his peers in college, but now when he was facing a waiter whom he thought was beneath him, the blond man showed his true colour. What would their schoolmates have to say if they knew Reita was like this in his private time?

Once again, Takashi forced himself not to react to Reita’s remark, “So you guys don’t need anything?”

“Perhaps your phone number?”

Some girls would probably be flattered by a pickup line like this, but Takashi was starting to feel annoyed. He still remembered what Reita had whispered to him when he gave his order; the brunette had no desire to give his personal information to a guy who suggested him to give blowjob the first time they chatted.

“Maybe later,” Takashi forced himself to smile, and then turned around and left before Reita and his friends could response.

~*~

One hour later, Takashi’s shift finally came to an end and he was ready to leave work. He changed out of his uniform, said goodbye to Nao and then exited from the restaurant’s back door. After working hard and dealing with jackass customers, the brunette wanted nothing but getting back to the comfort of home as soon as he could.

He was walking down a sidewalk, on his way to catch his train, when he looked upward only to find his way being blocked by a tall figure. The sidewalk was so dimly lit that it took Takashi a moment to realise who was there in front of him, just about five or six feet away.

Reita.

Takashi’s breath caught in his throat, he really didn’t expect to see Reita there, why was he here? Shouldn’t he have left more than an hour ago with his friends? The blond man wasn’t supposed to be here! It looked like the other man had purposefully been waiting for him here, waiting for his shift to end.

Swallowing hard, the brunette was starting to feel uneasy. His own thought was creeping him out even before anything actually happened.

Yes, he felt as though something was going to happen. He didn’t know why Reita was here, but it just couldn’t be good.

“Hey, Sakamoto-san,” Reita smirked at him, “Or should I call you ‘Takashi’ now that you’re off work?”

He must have seen the nametag he wore when he was at work. Takashi told himself.

“What do you want?”
“Hey, don’t be a stranger!” The taller man pouted, “We had a nice chat in the restaurant right? And you said to we can chat later.”

The guy was shamelessly twisting his words to make it sound like he had invited Reita to wait for him when in fact he didn’t. Most people would have picked up the hint when Takashi turned away without a backward glance but clearly, it wasn’t the case with the blond man. Takashi sighed again, the wheels in his mind turning fast to think of a way out of this situation.

“You’ve mistaken,” that was the only thing Takashi could think of saying, “Now would you please let me pass, I have nothing—”

He tried to shoulder pass the taller man and slipped off but he couldn’t predict Reita would grip his wrist instead.

Takashi writhed, trying to free himself but the other man’s grasp kept him in place. Panic started to rise as he was roughly pushed against a nearby wall, with Reita physically blocked his escape with his larger body.

“Let go of me!” Takashi cried out in alarm, he could barely keep the dread out of his voice. His back was aching due to the impact of being thrown against the brick wall behind him; the brunette feared something even worse was on its way.

“Hey, don’t be shy,” the blond-haired man replied with a casual tone, as though there wasn’t anything wrong with what he was doing.

“I said let go!” Takashi yelled again but his breath caught in his throat as he saw Reita leant in even closer, trying to kiss him. In the end, he had to duck his head whilst using his arms to block the attack.

Thankfully, Reita did stop; he pulled back a bit, looking down at Takashi, who was trembling.

“What’s wrong? I just want to have some fun.”

Everything is wrong!Takashi protested in his mind. He hated the way Reita was treating him. He felt he was being treated like something less than human. This kind of...fun was not for him.

“No,” Takashi shook his head, “I don’t want it.”
“Come on~” Reita whispered as he pressed his body against his prey, his hands slipping downward to snake down beneath the younger man’s shirt, “You don’t have to act so uptight when no one else is here.”

Takashi could feel Reita’s hands grasping at the flesh around his waist roughly. Those hands were now working around his waistband, trying to push it down.

“No! Stop! I’m not like this!” He was protesting loudly, but he didn’t know who he wanted to convince the most, Reita or himself.

He was really struggling now, and there was no way for Reita to mistake his reaction as a ‘come-on’. Still, the blond man refused to listen and stop.

“Don’t be silly,” Reita hissed between his harsh, heavy breath; his hands still busy groping Takashi’s flesh, “I know you like it. You want guys to take you, be rough to yo—”

His sentence was cut off when Takashi delivered a really hard kick at his nuts. Reita doubled over in shock and utter pain, giving Takashi enough time to free himself.

Takashi ran to draw a short distance between him and the blond man, and then he took a moment to look back behind himself, afraid that Reita would be after him at any moment.

To his relief, Reita was still doubled over; his hands went to cover his groin as he groaned in pain.

Nevertheless, at the next second, Reita looked up and his gaze fixed right up at Takashi’s. Now those eyes were filled with anger and hatred, “What’s wrong with you!?”

Wordlessly, Takashi shook his head and slowly backed away. With tears burning his eyes, he broke into a run, didn’t dare to look back again because he could hear footsteps chasing after him.

“If I were you, I would be very careful with who you’re talking to! No one mess with me!”

He could hear Reita yell from behind him.

“It’s not over! You little punk!”

Those threats only made him run even faster. Eventually, he had escaped to the open street; he didn’t dare to stop.

On the street, bystanders were staring at Takashi curiously, as he hurried past them. The brunette felt his face flushing; his heart was hammering against his rib-cage. Although he tried to remind himself Reita was the one being rough and immature, still he felt guilty, as though he had also done something wrong.

If men were all like Reita......if gay men were all like him, then Takashi didn’t want to have anything to do with them.

***

Takashi woke up at once in total darkness. At the back of his mind, the brunette had a strange, dreadful feeling that he should have known darkness would be what awaited him once he woke up, but when he opened his eyes and realised what he feared was in fact his reality, he was still caught off guard.

He had had dreams, but he had difficulty trying to remember what his dreams were about. The lack of strength made it difficult to concentrate on his own thoughts.

In his dreams, he had seen someone he knew. It seemed to be about someone he had met before...someone who had tried to help him.

Someone who said that he wanted to help him. His doctor...

Dr. Camui?

Now, a piece of memory floated back to the surface of his consciousness. He recalled meeting with his psychiatrist during one of their appointments. Dr. Camui had suggested him to do something…but what was it?

Although Takashi had no idea exactly what the doctor suggested in the past, no matter how hard he tried to remember. It had to be about a year ago, when he first started meeting with Dr. Camui. Back then, the doctor used to give him simple assignments and practices whenever they met.

Sighing, Takashi tried to move his arms, only to confirm his wrists were still bound together behind him. The ropes showed no sign of loosening despite his entire painful struggle. Nothing had been changed about his awful situation.

Once the realisation of his imprisonment seeped in, he began to feel very much like crying. The half-recalled memory of his meeting with Dr. Camui and the outside world created some sort of escape from his current situation, but it couldn’t last long; especially not when his empty stomach insisted on making itself be known.

He had long lost all trace of time, there was no way to tell day from night.

It felt as though he had been sleeping all the time; but at the same time, his slumber seemed to be cut off too frequently by the randomly switched on strong light, keeping his mind and body from resting fully.

He didn’t remember for how many times he had cried after waking up in this hellhole. He didn’t care about self-image anymore; no one could see him crying like a baby anyway. He felt more and more out of balance.

He also remembered…...Reita and their brief encounter in the restaurant.

He hadn’t seen Reita again after their ill-fated encounter, nor did he want to have anything to do with the senior. So why had he dreamt about the older man now? Reita was a bastard, he didn’t want to remember what had happened between them, and he didn’t want another bad memory to haunt his tired mind, as though his current situation wasn’t horrible enough. Why couldn’t he be dreaming about happier events? Why couldn’t he be seeing his family when he slept?

His parents...could he see them again?

Back then, he didn’t have a perfect relationship with his parents, but it wasn’t as if they couldn’t get along with each other. It was just...they had become distant since the last five or so years. It wasn’t as if anyone was there, or cared.

The thought nearly shattered him to pieces. He was left here to rot, still no one cared. If any of them cared, they would have come to his rescue already.

He tried to figure out why he always felt so tired; his exhaustion seemed to be caused by more than just lack of food and water. It couldn’t be normal, when even thinking seemed to exhaust him.

Was he drugged?

This would explain the dizziness and the weight on his limbs. The thought shook him, but before he could think more clearly, sleepiness claimed him. The dark figure hovering above him, he had thought it was just a bad dream.

Maybe it wasn’t a dream after all. Someone else had been here within these four walls of his cell; someone had been actually here with him.

He could barely keep his eyes open. It couldn’t be normal. The tiredness made it difficult even to think. Within seconds, he tried to keep himself awake, but his eyelids drifted shut.

***

Almost two weeks later, Tora was back to the hospital to finish his assignment. He had taken Dr. Camui’s suggestion and added a questionnaire as part of his research. Once the fieldwork was done, he would have to go back to the university. Still, the raven-haired student knew he would miss this place. Spending time doing fieldwork and spending time to help with the patients had taught him so much.

This brown-haired man again. It had to be the same person. Tora was certain.

The young man was walking out of Dr. Camui’s office.

 

“Dr. Camui?”
“What brings you here today, Amano san?”
“I was doing a questionnaire with the patients as part of my assignment, and chatting with the patients,” the student explained.
“Do you want me to discuss about your progress?”
“Yes, I would love to,” the raven-haired man nodded, grateful of the older man’s offer.

Then, he sat down and discussed with the psychiatrist about the progress of his assignment. He mentioned a few of recent finding after spending time to get familiar with the patients. In turn, Dr Camui listened to Tora’s report, and then gave the younger man a few suggestions; pointing out a few more things the younger man should pay attention to in the future, when he furthered his study.

“I saw someone out there.”

Tora didn’t know what had possessed him to bring this up in front of Dr. Camui, but once he spoke, there was no holding back. He suspected he didn’t really want to hold back, either. As a matter of fact, he realised that he actually wanted to bring up the topic of the brown-haired youth he had seen today. Dr. Camui raised a fine eyebrow, but he waited for the younger man to continue.

“It’s a young man,” Tora explained, “Brown hair, thin, pale skinned, good looking. I saw him sitting in the garden, right outside of the psychiatric ward. Does it ring a bell?”

Tora didn’t expect the doctor to come up with any proper answer. He didn’t know how many brown-haired young men would pass through the hospital in any given day, but his guessing was, there were too many for Dr. Camui to remember them one by one.

“Perhaps it’s one of my patients, who were from a college nearby,” surprisingly, Dr. Camui replied, “I have just ended my section with a young patient, whom just happens to match your description. Do you mind to tell me why you are asking about him?”

So it’s possible that this guy is also from same university as mine...

Tora took a mental note to himself. His university, Tokai University, was only about 30 minutes away from Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital. It was also the closest university from the hospital. There was a fat chance that a fellow student had come to Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital for treatment.

However, the young man quickly shifted his attention back to Dr. Camui’s question, “I’m just thinking...this guy doesn’t look like the other patients. He doesn’t seem the type,” Tora explained, “Plus, shouldn’t there be counsellors in campus if a student wanted to get help?”

Instead of answering immediately, Dr. Camui gave the younger man a strange look. The look instantly made Tora realise how stupid he had just made himself seem in front of the good doctor. The most basic principles of psychology being: you could never, never judge a person’s mental state and his or her mental health by their appearance.

“I myself don’t find this patient to be so different from the others. As you and I both know, many people do tend to become mentally unstable when they reach teenage or early adulthood.”

Dr. Camui’s kind reminder only made Tora blush. He was really embarrassed to be careless and forgetting all those basic knowledge, even for a moment.

“As to your question about counsellors, let’s say not everyone feels comfortable about meeting with counsellors in campus, in which other students might easily notice the fact they are seeking professional help. Many of my patients tend to seek help from places far away from their schools or workplaces,” Dr. Camui replied carefully.

Tora nodded. He understood even amongst the educated circles, people were still always reluctant to admit they were in need of mental support. Many of them were still afraid that the fact that they needed to seek professional help at the first place would make them look inferior to their peers and employers.

“It shouldn’t be that way,” the younger man commented with a slight frown between his eyebrows, “People shouldn’t be ashamed for the fact that they need to get help.”

“Public’s opinion is difficult to change, but we should all do our parts,” Dr. Camui nodded, “Professional concerns aside, I do care about this young man, he has become a regular recently.”
“I’m glad for him to have you to be in charge of him,” added Tora.

As long as he could recall, every single patient of Dr. Camui liked the doctor. The psychiatrist was always so patient, always talking to everyone with such a smooth, calming voice. He also possessed an air of confidence, and this confidence was backed up by his years of experience. It was no wonder that most of the patients found the doctor trustworthy.

~*~

“Tora, you’re surprisingly quiet today.”

The raven head snapped out of his short reverie and turned his head to the voice. It was one of his college mates who spoke to him just now.

“Ah, I’m sorry. I kind of have lots of stuff to think about. If you’ll excuse me,” replied Tora as he then rose from his chair, grabbed his bag and left the library.

As he strutted along the corridor, his mind was still racing. Earlier in the library, the memory of his conversation with a psychiatrist from the hospital where he used to spend his internship days came back to him all of a sudden. He hadn’t seen him again for months. Even when Tora paid his former patients a visit, the psychiatrist was either busy or out of his office.

However, now might be the right moment for the raven head to specially meet the psychiatrist. Tora fished out his iPhone and checked his schedule. He sighed as he found out that he would be busy for the next couple of days. He would need to spare some time for another visit to Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital later.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 06: Preface

 

When Takashi opened his eyes, there was only darkness to greet him. First, he thought it was the light being switched off when he was unconscious; but soon, he noticed what he was experiencing was different. All he could see now was pure darkness.

He couldn’t see.

For a panic-struck instant, he thought he had turned blind; but once he felt the thick piece of cloth wrapped tightly around his eyes, blocking his sights, he finally realised he didn’t go blind. He was only being blindfolded. Someone had taken his sight away.

Someone had taken him captive, and now they had even taken away his sight. Why would this happen to him? He couldn’t even see now, how could he survive this nightmare?

Through the blindfold, he saw light through the haze of his vision even though he still couldn't see anything. Only the haze of light to indicate the light-bulb had once again being switched on.

But the question was, the light had been switched on automatically or......?

Takashi tried to sit up, struggling to get closer to the source of light, only to find his body could no longer support his own weight.

Groaning, the brunette fell back with his weakened arms crushed painfully beneath him. Once again, his bound frame was sprawling amongst the mattress. Takashi’s head started to spin.

He knew what starvation could do to people—he had watched some documents on Discovery Channel long ago. He vaguely recalled survivors experienced light-headedness, delusion, loss of substantial fat and muscle mass, dehydration; before the body’s normal function would be shutting down.

Was his weakened state caused only by starvation? Something was also off. He recalled that he had been drifting in and out of sleep repeatedly for far too long and far too many times than normal. He always felt dizzy; his head felt as though it had been stuffed with cotton. His mind had become so clouded; it was difficult for him to be aware of anything else other than the all-consuming hunger he was experiencing. Still, he was aware of the fact that whenever he floated back to the wakefulness, he only became weaker.

Something other than starvation was eating his consciousness and wakefulness away. Was he drugged? By now, the answer had become obvious to him.

Did someone sneak into the cell and drug him? With a shiver, Takashi recalled the dark figure he thought he had caught sight of before losing consciousness completely. Why would anyone do such a thing?

If someone wanted to leave him here to rot and suffer, he...or she would not have bothered to drug him at this point. After all, he had already been bound and unable to fight back. Therefore...could there be something more about the situation he had found himself in, more than what met the eyes...?

However, he was then faced by the same question: Who would want to do that to him? For what reason? Takashi still couldn’t think of anything; not a single past event which could land him into this cell.

Nothing made sense, and all the reasoning and trying to form coherent thoughts had worn Takashi all too quickly.

His strength was failing him, and so was his mind and willpower in a rapid speed. How close was he from dying?

Takashi didn’t know how much time he had been left with, but he knew there wasn’t much left for him.

The progress of suffering and starvation might be slow, painfully slow; but it was still really happening to him. It wasn’t much longer before Takashi broke down. The only question was, his mind or his physical well-being, which would be broken first.

He once heard some people had been put into extreme situations and managed to survive, but Takashi didn’t think he was one of those people. He wasn’t ready for such ordeal. His mind and body was utterly ill-prepared to endure hardship like this. He didn’t want to die but at the same time, he had not a single clue about how to steel himself and fight back.

How could you fight back with your hands tied behind you? It was a losing battle.

Still...Takashi started trying to twist amongst the mattress. He needed to try getting away from this spot he had been lying on for God knew how long. With the darkness before his eyes drove him mad, he felt so suffocated and afraid that the urge to get away was impossible to suppress any longer. If he had to crawl blindly all the way across the tiny cell, he would.

Something at the back of his mind told him it was his last chance. Perhaps it was only desperation driving him on, but Takashi had to try. He refused just to lay there and wait for death. He would do it before his body became entirely immobile. Even if he might harm himself during the process.

Turning to lay on his own stomach, the bound young man began to struggle his way away from the soiled mattress. It seemed to take forever for him only to get to the edge of said mattress and touched cold floor outside of it. With his hands still bound together and his sight took away from him, he couldn’t walk or even get himself up right. All he could do was crawl.

Takashi could hardly tell which direction he was going. He inched his way forward; at this point, he was almost glad he couldn’t see himself in his degrading position. Crawling on the bare floor like some kind of wounded dog. A thin film of sweat had already been formed across his forehead, his nape, and his clothed back as he struggled his way forward. He would try to make his way towards where he remembered the door should be and—

When he was the least expecting it, Takashi heard a male voice speaking out of nowhere.

“Don’t move.”

He stopped on the spot, startled beyond words. It was the first time he heard someone else’s voice and he could hardly believe his own ears, but the speaker was within the cell.

His heart nearly stopped as the realisation hit him with its full force. Someone else was really there within this cell.

With great difficulty, the brunette did his best to rise his head up from the ground. His face turned towards where he last heard the deep male voice came from—somewhere ahead of where he was lying, a little to the left hand side.

“.......” As he raised his head, Takashi also tried opening his mouth to form words, but his throat was as dry as sandpaper. It was painful for him to even try to talk.

Then, the man spoke again.

“I will loosen the ropes now, but don’t you ever dare move.

Takashi was almost sure he had never heard this male voice before, and he didn’t miss the warning underneath the other man’s words. This man was here with him in this cell, and from what he had said so far, it wasn’t likely that this man was here to get him to safety. Therefore, Takashi could only conclude that the person who was talking to him now, was none other than the one who had kidnapped him.

But the promise of being free from the torturing ropes that hurt his wrists made his heart leap for a moment. So, Takashi stayed still as the other man moved behind him. He could hear the man’s footsteps every step of the way before the unknown man finally came to stand still in somewhere behind him.

Then, a pair of hands grasped Takashi by his waist, pulling him up to sit on his heels. The brunette was surprised both by the fact that he still had strength left to sit upright, and by how cautious the other man had treated him when he got him to sit.

Takashi sat on the floor, not daring to move a muscle when he sensed the mysterious man stood close behind him, working the ropes around his wrists loosened slowly, with the same carefulness he had displayed before as he freed Takashi’s hands from the painful grip of the thick ropes.

However, before the brunette could even let out a sigh of relief, his captor’s hands had found his wrists again, bringing them to his front. The other man’s hands felt strong, holding him in place. But thankfully, he avoided touching upon the cuts and bruises around Takashi’s wrists.

They stayed like this for a moment, Takashi could swear he could sense his captor eyeing him, his gaze focused on his bruised wrists, before the man finally let go of one of his hands, and started to bandage his wrists, one by one. Takashi hissed in pain when medical cream spread over his wounds, but then he felt the other man slow his movement, as though he really didn’t want to make him feel pain.

When both his wrists were bandaged, Takashi had expected—had hoped his mysterious captor to loosen his hold on his wrists, but this hope was shattered when he felt something heavy and thick wrapped around his left wrist, and then locked itself together with a click.

“What—?”

Before he could even finish his stunned question, his other wrist was secured in the same manner. It took the brunette a few seconds to realise his captor had bound both his wrists together with what seemed to be a pair of leather-made handcuffs. He tried to move, only to find there was only a short chain between the two handcuffs, keeping his movement limited.

Takashi panicked as the frangibility of his situation was driven home: he was blindfolded; he hadn’t eaten so he could barely keep himself upright, let alone trying to escape nor fight back. His hands were once again bound and useless to protect himself; although now he didn’t have to endure the painful position of being bound with his arms crushed under his own weight and the roughness of the ropes rubbing against his tender skin.

He was still trying to make sense of his new situation as a hand came down to angle his face upward. Takashi gasped at the sudden movement before he felt something smooth, curved but hard being pressed against his bottom lip. The sensation of this object cold to the touch. It took him a second to realise a glass had been held to his mouth.

“Drink.”

The command came just mere seconds before water sloshing past his dried lips. The cool water had arrived so suddenly that the bound man nearly choked. Then, the glass was moved away from his mouth for a second, giving Takashi time to catch his breath. For that, the brunette was thankful, but once he was given a taste of a tiny mouthful of water and then was forced to stop in the middle of drinking, it suddenly felt like his throat was on fire. Every single cell in his body was screaming for more of the lifesaving droplets.

Subconsciously, he cocked his head up towards where he guessed the glass was. His bound hands reaching blindly upward, trying to grasp it. But he was held down by a strong hand pressing firmly against his shoulder.

“Patience, my pet.”

What did this man just call him?

At the back of his mind, Takashi sensed something was off, but this thought was quickly drowned by his unbearable thirst for water. The bound man gave out a desperate small cry, but he didn’t try to fight against the hand, which held him.

Eventually, he once again felt the edge of the glass being pressed against his lower lip, and once again, he was fed the cool, precious water. This time, he was more careful. He didn’t drink too fast. Instead, he swallowed each mouthful of it, letting the much-welcomed moist spreading in his mouth, seeping blissfully down his throat. After consuming some needed water, his throat felt a lot better.

Then without any warning, the man swept him off from the mattress. Takashi gasped in shock. Instinctively, he used his bound hands to grip onto the front of the man’s shirt, fearful of falling. “What are you doing!?”

“Taking you to the bathroom, you need a bath,” the mysterious kidnapper answered matter-of-factly.

Those words made the brunette become self-conscious instantly. Although he couldn’t see himself, he still knew how badly he did smell. Not only his clothes and hair were soaked with sweat, they also had been unwashed for too long. There were stains on his body in places he didn’t even want to think about. He knew he had wetted himself for a few times during those dark hours of his imprisonment. Shameful, but there was nothing he could do to help himself.

Takashi sensed the other man moved again. This time, he hooked his arms under Takashi’s shoulder and knees, and then carrying him up bridal style.

“Wait! I can walk—” feeling startled and embarrassed at the same time, Takashi cried out in protest.

The other man only chuckled, “No, you can’t. And you know it.”

Takashi bit his lips. He had to admit the man’s words were probably right. After all, he hadn’t eaten anything in what seemed to be days, and his legs felt like they were made of soft jelly.

Once he heard his captor open the door to the outside, Takashi tried to stay focus. He was still clinging to the hope of escaping at this point. He even struggled to count the kidnapper’s footsteps in order to learn the distance between the cell and the exit. But soon, his concentration drifted away and he lost count. One thing he did notice was that they were still somewhere indoor; and the kidnapper had definitely carried him along some sort of hallway, with seemingly no more doors to block his path.

After a while, he heard another door being slipped open slowly, and then he was being carried up a staircase. One, two, three, four...this time, Takashi counted more than 15 steps of those staircase before his unnamed captor reached even floor again.

Takashi tensed in his captor’s hold as the later carried him further inside the interior structure of a house, or building which he still had no clue about. He had to admit to himself that he had no idea where the kidnapper would take him. He did mention the bathroom but......what if he was lying? What if the man lied to him and intended to bring him to somewhere else, in order to bring him even more harm?

The brunette shivered at his own thoughts, but there was no time to think. Now, his captor was turning yet another corner, and then the man finally came to a stop.

Moments later, Takashi was carefully let down and placed to sit on top of some flat surface. From the cold sensation beneath his touch, Takashi figured he was sitting on top of a tile-made toilet with its lid shut. His bare toes touched the cold, smooth tiled floor. Takashi guessed it meant they had arrived in the bathroom.

The air around him felt stir and slightly moist; and he couldn’t sense any wind, which he guessed it meant the room he was now in was windowless.

The brunette was still trying to figure out more of his new surroundings when he suddenly felt his captor’s hands on the either sides of his waist, slipping the hem of his cotton shirt upward.

The brown-haired man cried out in shock, “What are you d—?”

The male voice hissed, “Do Not Say Anything before you’re allowed to talk!”

Takashi’s body tensed up, the man’s tone effectively stunned him into submission.

“I’m sorry, I—”

The voice went softer, “It’s okay, and I forgive you.”

Although he hated to admit it, Takashi still felt a bit more secured after hearing he was forgiven. The brunette froze in his place, letting himself be stripped. It was humiliating for him to sit there and allowing another man to see him fully naked, but there was not much he could do.

As the last pieces of his clothes dropped softly to the floor, Takashi was so ashamed that his head was bent low; his fringes fell forward as though it could hide his burning face. The kidnapper had stripped him of all his clothing, saved the blindfold and the handcuffs. The brunette felt more exposed and helpless than he had ever been in his entire life.

Then, Takashi heard the sound of the other man standing up, but he didn’t say anything. Takashi couldn’t even seem to catch the soft noise of his breathing anymore. Still, the blindfolded man was painfully aware of his captor’s presence. He was somewhere close to him; he could take in his fully exposed self—

Takashi nearly jumped out of his skin when he sensed the same hand took hold of his upper arm.

“Let’s clean you up then,” the man said almost cheerfully, before he guided his captive to move slowly forward.

He was guided to stand up and climb into a bathtub and being instructed to sit down with his back leaning against the bathtub.

Next, a shower was turned on and Takashi soon sensed warm water drifting along the length of his body, from head to toes. The sudden sensation startled him; but before he could react, his captor pressed a hand against his chest, warningly. Swallowing his anger of being treated like this and dreading what might come if he disobeyed, Takashi could only force himself to lay back.

Once he was entirely wet, Takashi could hear the shower being turned off. Then for a moment, nothing happened until the brunette’s breath caught in his throat when he felt a pair of hands start rubbing creamy shower gel all over his body.

Out of fear, the brunette kept quiet, allowing his captor’s hands to brush along the curves of his neck, his shoulder blade, upper arms, and then to his bare chests. The touch sent shivers down his spine even though the captor’s touch didn’t linger. But when those hands when further and further downward, getting closer to his thighs, Takashi finally snapped.

“No!” He jumped away from his captor’s touch with a cry, turning his body away from the other man. His legs clamped tightly together as if it could save him.

“No! Please don’t do it!” Now, he was hugging himself as much he could with his bound hands, begging for mercy. The fear was strong enough that he had forgotten the fact that he wasn’t supposed to make noise.

“Why are you doing this? Do you want to get clean or not?”

The question was uttered in a perfectly calm, neutral manner. But to Takashi, it was more frightening than the man started screaming at him in anger.

“Please...no more…I don’t like it—”

Part of him knew it wasn’t wise to refuse his kidnapper, but the brunette sensed that something in him would break if he let this man continue to touch him and control him.

Much to his shock, he heard the man sighed.

“It isn’t about what you like, it’s beside the point,” his captor answered as though he was reasoning with a foolish child, “It’s about what is good for you.”

What was good for him? Takashi could sense a surge of anger. This man had been keeping him captive, tying him down, stripping him not only of his clothes but also his dignity, and he was talking about what was good for him?

In the darkness created by his thick blindfold, Takashi could feel the same pair of hands holding onto his shoulders, trying to turn him to face his captor’s direction. He struggled weakly trying to crawl away from his captor, only to meet with the cold, tiled wall. He had nowhere to run.

Eventually, he was forced to turn back to lie on his back; both of his captor’s hands pressing onto his shoulders to keep him immobile. He could sense the other man hovering above him, his breath brushing hotly on his cheeks.

“Let me finish it, will you?”

Takashi turned his face aside, refused to answer.

However, his resistance was short lived. A hand caught him from under his chin, bringing him to turn to what he guessed was his captor’s direction.

“When I ask you a question, you answer. Is that clear?” Upon speaking, the man steadily added pressure beyond his hold on Takashi’s chin.

“I...I understand!” Having no other choice, Takashi was forced to response.
“Good.”

The brunette could swear he could hear the smirk beyond this simple one-word reply from his kidnapper.

Water was being turned on again. Soon, it gathered around Takashi’s soaked body into a pool, the water level was rising bit by bit. The bound young man forced himself to relax in the warm pool of water, trying to forget what he knew was going to happen.

It wasn’t long before he felt the same pair of gel-soaked hands touching him at the top of his thighs that were still clamped together in refusal. In fact, Takashi also tried to raise his legs up to his chest, hoping so his captor couldn’t touch him on his...intimate places.

Another sigh.

“I thought we had been through it.”

Takashi didn’t reply; he lowered his head so that his chin almost touched his collarbones, trying to make himself look smaller. At this point, he finally realised he was sobbing, and his entire body was shocking uncontrollably.

“If you let me finish it, we can have dinner afterward.”

Dinner…? The simple word seemed to be the only thing, which managed to pierce through Takashi’s misery. Did it mean…food!?

Once again, he felt the other man’s hands resting on his upper thighs, “You know what to do.”

With another sob, Takashi gave in and opened his legs just a bit; but it was enough for his captor. First, he cleaned his captive’s thighs one by one, and then the rest of his long legs. Then, he went back to the brunette’s inner thighs, working slowly up to parts where no one else had ever laid hand on before.

Long fingers wrapped carefully around Takashi’s manhood as his captor cleaned him with a piece of soaked soft cloth. The experience was so humiliating, Takashi wanted to cry, wanted to scream and struggle against such violation; but his limbs were still too weak to fight back, and his kidnapper’s promise of food effectively kept his resistance at bay.

“Shuuh...it isn’t so bad, right?”

His captor said when he helped Takashi out of the bathtub and started drying him off with a towel. Takashi could barely stand; he was weighted down not only by physical exhaustion, but also drained of what little left of his mental strength.

The kidnapper had done a quick work getting Takashi dressed through. After he was finished, he once again carried the bound man out of the bathroom. Takashi was almost thankful for this treatment, for he was certain at his weakened state, he couldn’t handle any kind of walking.

Now he was bathed, properly dried off, helped changing into fresh clothes. He was now cleaner than he had been for as long as he could recall; but at the same time, he felt unbearably dirty, violated.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 07: Darkness Falls

 

Takashi was carried out of the bathroom. His mysterious captor had to pause to open a door before walking down to what Takashi guessed was a hallway. The air felt different from the still, suppressing air back in his tiny cell. It was also different from the moisturised air within the bathroom. In here, he could catch the light breeze brushing past his skin. Could it mean there were windows alongside this hallway? That he was somewhere above the ground? If there were open windows, then it meant there was at least a chance for him to escape.

The thought about escaping made his heart leap, but he told himself to calm down. It wasn’t a movie; he couldn’t just make a run of it no matter how much he wanted to. All he could do was to keep his hope alive.

The sound of another door being opened jolted the brunette out of his thought. Then, the scent of cooked food hit him. It must be the kitchen, or a dining room. Takashi thought tiredly.

His captor carried him to go further into the room, and then they came to a stop. From where they now stood, the scent of food became thicker.

Without any warning, he was lowered to a chair; and to his surprise, the kidnapper had unfastened the short chains between his handcuffs, only to tie each of his wrists to the back of his chair.

Now, fear and hunger had bitten deep into his consciousness. Takashi was only getting more confused. How was he supposed to eat with his hands bounded behind him? Was the man going back to his words?

The thought of starving filled him with dread. He had no other choice but to plead, “Please release me, you said I can eat—”

“I know what I’ve said,” the other man replied firmly, “Don’t worry, I will feed you.”

He didn’t know why the idea of being fed by his captor startled him so much. It wasn’t the worst thing the kidnapper had ever done to him. However, the thought of being fed as if he was a baby, it was degrading. For it would clearly indicate that he had no control over anything, not even his most basic needs. However, it wasn’t as if he had any other choice.

A hand snaked under his chin to tile his head upward, “Open your mouth.”

He obeyed the order by parting his lips. Just as every toddler would do when their parents gave them food to eat.

The metal edge of a spoon was pressed to his bottom lip. First, he caught a spoonful of cooked rice. He chewed on it and then swallowed it down carefully. Despite his hunger, his mouth still felt too sandy to try swallowing the food down in one go. Once he was finished with the first few bites, another spoonful of vegetable—chopped small in shape—was being put into his mouth. The progress was repeated slowly. Takashi kept taking the food bite after bite, but he could barely taste it. He merely swallowed the food down because his body needed it. Who would have guessed eating could become such a joyless task?

The kidnapper fed him very slowly; making sure his bound captive had finished each mouthful before he fed him more. He even scolded the brunette when he ate too fast, as though he wanted to make sure his captive wouldn’t choke on his own food.

After Takashi was finished, a piece of napkin was pressed against his lips, carefully helping him to wipe his mouth clean.

Then, the man drew back without a word. Takashi could hear him walking away; he knew his captor was still inside the same room with him but the brunette had no idea where he was and what exactly he was doing.

What would happen next? Takashi thought to himself nervously as he sat with his hands still bound to the very chair he was sitting on. He was first bathed, and then fed; so...what did the mysterious kidnapper have in mind?

At first, the other man kept quiet. Takashi could only hear the man coming back to him. The brunette tensed when he heard the movements, not knowing what to expect.

Next, he heard the sound of plates and bowls being removed from the table and then placed somewhere further away. Probably, they were being put into the sink.

The man stood still for a moment, before he turned on his heel and walked to another direction.

“I have to get something. So you stay here, and don’t do anything stupid when I’m not around, okay?”

At first, Takashi didn’t know what to think. However, as the kidnapper stood there waiting for his reply and the stretching silence thickened in the room, Takashi knew it wasn’t wise to object. Therefore, he nodded.

Although the bound youth could not see his captor, the latter had to be watching him like a hawk for the whole time. Because as soon as he nodded, Takashi could hear the man chuckle as if he was pleased by his obedience.

“Stay put and wait for me. I know you’d learn fast.”

Takashi bit his lower lip and said nothing.

~*~

After the mysterious man’s departure, Takashi was left with nothing but his own worried thoughts and dreads to accompany him in his misery.

Despite having been fed just recently, the brunette wasn’t feeling much stronger. His limbs were still sore and heavy with tiredness. What he had experienced in the cell had damaged his physical well-being and his body was far from recovering from the trauma. Takashi doubted his hands could be put into some good use even without the handcuffs.

What should he do now? The evil kidnapper was not around anymore, but he might come back in any moment. He needed to calm down, and think of something, fast.

Perhaps the absence of his captor had helped lessen the all-consuming fear, which had taken roof in Takashi’s heart, making it a bit easier for him to try to think. Still at the same time, he needed to fight off the growing somnolence.

For an instant, millions of escape plans flashed across Takashi’s mind. Nevertheless, none of them was practical given the fact that Takashi was still bound to a chair and his sight taken from him. Blinking, Takashi fought to keep his eyes open, keeping his mind focused on escape.

He focused on recalling what he had seen right before he was abducted, he forced himself to recall all the small details of his horrid prison cell. Images started to resurface and they floated before his vision in utterly chaotic orders.

Many things came back to him at once as a great flood after the dam broke down. He began to see various things. Places and events were spinning before his mind’s eye, like whirlwind.

The lane he used to take going to college almost every morning. The meetings with Dr. Camui. The smell of coffee from the restaurant’s kitchen. Reita’s silhouette in the dim alley before he pushed him against the wall. The all too familiar streets of his hometown. Nao’s voice, greeting him cheerfully—

Takashi stirred, eyes snapping open as though he was waking up from a dream—he didn’t even know when he closed his own eyes.

Shaking his head, the brunette tried to gather himself up. He knew if he lost focus now, his thoughts were wandering to somewhere too far away. He struggled to keep his thought on figuring out how to get himself out from his horrible situation.

Plus, even if he somehow managed to loosen the handcuffs, he still had no idea what his surroundings might actually be. He might be miles away from humans’ residence and he knew he was still too weak to try to escape.

So, all of his ideas eventually turned out to be a dead end.

As Takashi exhausted his escape plans and realisation slowly sank in, the brunette crumbled back against the wooden chair he was sitting on as hopelessness took over.

He was entirely at a stranger’s mercy. There was nothing he could do to escape. No matter how hard he tried, there still seemed to be nothing for him to do aside from resigning to his fate.

With the reality of his helplessness drove home, Takashi found worry and dread whirling in his mind like mad. He didn’t know what to do with himself anymore. There really was nothing he could do now. His fate was no longer in his hands. All action had been denied from him. His will and opinions no longer mattered. He could only wait.

Yes, there was only one thing left for him to do: wait. Waiting for the unavoidable to arrive.

It made the experience of waiting purely unbearable to him. His mind turned into chaos.

At once, for Takashi time seemed to tick by all too slowly; but at the same time, time couldn’t be flying by any possibly faster. It was difficult to tell what he feared the most: the moment of his kidnapper’s return, or the possibility of the other man not returning at all.

~*~

Just when Takashi was drifting off once again to sleep, he heard footsteps start approaching once more, getting closer and closer to where he was being held. At first, the bound man could hardly believe his own ears. Was it again a delusion? However, the sound was getting nearer, and then Takashi heard a door being opened and then closed. Someone had doubtlessly walked into the room.

Takashi’s heart leaped in his chest at the sound of someone walking back into the room. Had the mysterious kidnapper finally returned just as he said he would? Or was it someone else?

So far, his captor had acted alone; but he still couldn’t cross out the possibility of partners in crime.

A chair nearby was being pushed closer towards Takashi and then the bound brunette heard someone seat himself down on said chair. Without a word, Takashi shifted in his seat; his body leaning forward within the limit of his bondage, as he tried to catch the tiniest sound made by the other person’s movement, trying to detect where exactly the other was. The brunette wanted more than anything to speak and ask ‘Who’s there?’ but he didn’t dare to speak first under this circumstance.

Eventually, the other man spoke first, breaking the silence.

“I know you have many questions, and since you have behaved well so far, I’ve decided you deserve a reward: now you may talk.”

The voice was the same. Instantly, he knew it was the same man who was already there when he woke up and found himself blindfolded. Now, the man had offered him a chance to ask questions.

Trembling, Takashi struggled to find his voice. He was still too weak, his voice was barely above a whisper when he tried to speak, “I...why am I here?”

He recalled the news he had watched back then. News about young girls falling preys to sickos who imprisoned them and used them for sexual pleasure. Could it be...?

He dreaded what answer might he receive, but he still had to ask.

“You will know it in time,” it was all his captor said in response.

It wasn’t the answer he wanted.

“You have to have something in mind. Do you want to hurt me?” Takashi dreadfully recalled what he had watched on the news: sadistic kidnappers tortured their victims half to death. Years upon years of imprisonment for the poor victims, unwanted babies being born to raped female captives, unimaginable suffering of many sorts. The young man shivered at his own thoughts.

“What kind of nonsense is that!?

Takashi was shocked to find the man actually sounded offended by his question.

“But I don’t understand…”

“There’s nothing to understand. Behave well, and you will be rewarded,” the man finished his sentence with a firm finality.

Now it sounded like this man believe in rewards system; but did he also believe in punishment? Takashi decided to pull his luck. He asked another question, a daring question.

“Will you…...release me?”

There was another long stretch of silence.

“Don’t ask me that.”
“Why?”

Another long silence.

The brunette could hear his captor pacing back and forth slowly across the room. Only because of that, he knew the other man was still here. Nevertheless, Takashi hadn’t received an answer for his question.

The brunette could actually feel the air thickening around him, “Who are you?”

The unknown man went silent and then he answered with, “I’m afraid I have to bring you back to your cell now.”

“No!” Once again, Takashi felt like he was going to cry, “Please don’t send me back there!”
“I’m sorry, but it has to be done.”

This man clearly didn’t care about him. He didn’t view him as a human being, so he didn’t treat him like one. At best, he was like a small caged animal to him. He would lock him up for days, only when he felt like it, he would be clothed and fed.

Only one thing was more than clear: his life was in the hands of a mad man.

Takashi felt his captor once again unfasten his handcuff and then he was pulled up to his feet. If not because the other man held him in place, Takashi would have lost his balance and fallen onto the floor.

“Please don’t…” the brunette pleaded in a weaker tone.

However, he was taken by surprise when he felt the other man scooped him up and flung his lithe body over his broad shoulder. Almost in an instant, Takashi felt his blood rush to his head for he was now positioned upside down. A pair of strong arms held him by the back of his knees, so he wouldn’t fall.

As soon as his captor moved—most likely to exit the kitchen or perhaps the dining room, the brunette had no idea—Takashi began hitting the other man’s back with all his might.

“Put me down! Please...I don’t want to go back there!”

He kept screaming, struggling until he sensed his captor halted, and then he heard a door being opened. He realised now that his captor had brought him back to his cell.

“No! No, please no!” Screamed the brunette again.

However, he was then put down to stand on his own two feet, at last. Despite unable to see, Takashi spun around, believing that his captor was behind him; before he lunged forward to reach the door. Nevertheless, both of his hands were captured and he was forced to step backward.

“You are going to stay here until—”
“I don’t want to stay here! Let me go!” Takashi desperately tried to free his hands from the other man’s tight grip.

He managed to free one of his hands and reached out blindly for the door. However, he struggled too much; it made his captor suddenly fall into silence. Takashi heard himself gasp. It took him a few seconds to realise exactly what he had done. He had accidentally scratched the man’s face when he struggled against the other man.

“Do you realise what you have done!?” The man’s voice was filled with anger.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it to happen!”
“Apology accepted, but you are still staying here, in your place,” said the other man again, hinting to the windowless cell he had kept Takashi in.

Takashi froze. It was not his place; there was no way for this miserable cell to be ‘his place’.

“From now on, you should learn to know what’s best for you, Saga.”
“That isn’t my name,” said the brunette as he gritted his teeth, trying to suppress his anger.
“From now on, it is,” his captor corrected him; “You’re mine, my Saga.”
“I’m not—”

He knew it wasn’t wise to anger the kidnapper any further, but he couldn’t stop himself. He couldn’t just let the other man change his name; he didn’t want to be...claimed.

The panic had slowed his brain from reacting, but when finally he thought of protest, the door had already been slammed.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 08: Interlude

 

“Shou, are you even listening to me?” Hiroto snapped, at last. The short brunette wouldn’t accept being ignored by his own boyfriend any longer.

The young man before him folded the newspaper he was reading and put it on the table. These two were students in Tokai University, as well as the popular Amano Shinji from Department of Psychological and Sociological Studies. The taller blonde namely Kohara Kazamasa who preferred to go by his alias, Shou, was in fact in the same course as Tora. Hiroto—his boyfriend—was younger than Shou was; the brunette was a fresh student of Department of Arts. Despite taking different courses, Shou and Hiroto still managed to find some quality time for the both of them. To tell the truth, the two young adults had been together since high school.

“What’s it, Hiroto?” Shou asked, sipping his tea afterward. He was aware of the brunette being annoyed by his attitude, but he pretended to be oblivious.

“I was talking to you about my group project. We are going to perform as a band. I’ll play guitar; but did you even listen when I asked you to assist me in practicing?!”

Shou was about to answer, but Hiroto interjected him first, “No, you didn’t! You were too busy reading newspaper. What’s in it, anyway?! News about Sakamoto Takashi again? Don’t they have other topics to cover?”

“Hiroto,” the blonde’s tone was firm, “He’s a student from our college too. Don’t speak like that.”
“Like what?” Hiroto was actually rolling his eyes, “Why would you pay so much attention on some stranger being missing anyway? It isn’t like we know him or something.”

Shou had never said anything to his boyfriend about him actually did know Sakamoto Takashi, and he wasn’t going to change it now, “It’s not that I pay attention to this missing person, Hiroto.”

The brunette waved his hand, not wanting to hear any more excuse from Shou, “Let’s just drop it. I...don’t want to fight with you.”

Shou took Hiroto’s hand in his and smiled, “Me neither.”

Slowly, Hiroto’s lips curved upward. His handsome boyfriend was still holding his hand when he continued, “You’re going to assist me, aren’t you?”

“Yes, of course,” answered Shou, bringing Hiroto’s hand up to his lips and kissed it. It made the shorter guy blush.

“Shou…” Hiroto stole glances around him, “We’re in public.”
“So?”
“It’s embarrassing.”

The blonde only laughed, but he let go of Hiroto’s hand afterward.

“By the way, are you going to tell me how you got that scratch on your face? Did your cat do that?” Asked the brunette all of a sudden.

“Oh, this…” Shou touched his cheek, “Yeah...it was my…...cat’s doing. I was kind of late on feeding it.”
“That’s bad...Huh, I told you dog is much, much better than cats.”
“I’m not a dog person, remember?”
“Yeah yeah, I remember. But hey! Class will resume soon. Gotta go now. See you later, Shou!”

Then, the hyperactive brunette left the canteen without turning back. Shou took a deep breath before his gaze wandered back to the picture of Sakamoto Takashi on the newspaper. His fingertips touched the outline of the missing young man’s face, his expression was unreadable.

***

It had been a while since Tora last visited Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital. There weren’t much changes, it even felt as if it had only been yesterday when the raven head did a research in the said hospital. He remembered walking along the path in-between flowerbeds and how the breeze felt so relaxing. It indeed hadn’t changed much; the thought made Tora smile.

Ahead was the west wing of the hospital, where the psychiatric ward was located. The raven head wondered if the patients he had taken care of about a year ago would still remember him. Would they even be there still? Some of the patients were already old enough, as far as Tora recalled. They could have passed away by now. The raven head shook his head at the bitter thought.

Today, his purpose wasn’t to pay a visit for his former patients. He had meant to meet a psychiatrist he had known. Tora hadn’t seen him again either after he was done with his research. Although the said psychiatrist had told him to come by anytime when the raven head bid his farewell.

He was here now, and he was going to meet Dr. Camui. There were certain things he needed to discuss with Dr. Camui. Things that only the psychiatrist had information about.

It wasn’t long before he spotted the said man exiting his office and walking in his direction. Dr. Camui’s eyes were focused on the documents in his hand as he walked, he didn’t notice Tora’s presence until the raven head called out to him.

“It’s been a while, doc.”

Dr. Camui halted, adjusting his glasses before he scrutinised Tora’s face. Then, the older man exclaimed, “Amano-kun!”

Tora smiled widely when Dr. Camui finally recognised him. The handsome psychiatrist pulled him into a one-arm hug, before he drew back. He looked pleased.

“Amano-kun, what a surprise!”
“I’m sorry I didn’t inform you beforehand that I was going to visit,” Tora bowed a bit, but Dr. Camui quickly patted his shoulder.
“Still so polite as ever. So, what brings you here, if I may ask?”

Tora was going to answer, when the older man added, “Oh, let’s talk on the bench over there. You’ve come in the right time, Amano-kun. I have some spare time now.”

“Yokatta,” replied the raven head, as he followed Dr. Camui towards the stone bench.

Both of them sat on it. Tora watched as Dr. Camui put his clipboard beside him and turned to face him afterward. Crossing his legs, the raven head opened the conversation with casual talk at first. He asked his former mentor about how his life had been, about the hospital in general, and even about his former patients. As he had thought, Dr. Camui then told him that some of them had indeed passed away not long after Tora left.

“I feel so sorry for them...but at least, their suffering has ended,” commented Tora once Dr. Camui finished talking.
“But you haven’t answered my question, Amano-kun. Surely, you came here not merely to kill times. Is there anything you need from me?” Asked the older man.
“As the matter of fact, yes…” Tora straightened up, “There’s something I have wanted to ask you, doc.”
“Well, ask me, then.”
“Actually, doc…” Tora cleared his throat, “Do you still remember the thing I asked you a year ago?”

Dr. Camui raised an eyebrow.

“I’m afraid I need you to remind me, Amano-kun,” said the psychiatrist again, now looking curious.
“Well, it’s...about a young man. I believe he was your patient. About a year ago, I asked you about him.”

Dr. Camui’s forehead creased in concentration. Until he finally remembered the person Tora was talking about.

“Yes. I remember now. What about him?”
“Does he still come here regularly?”

For a moment, Dr. Camui looked reluctant to answer, but then he did, “...He’s...skipped an appointment or two in the past week. But perhaps he’s just getting busy.”

“Are you certain, doc?” Tora didn’t want Dr. Camui to get the wrong idea, so he quickly added, “I mean, I wonder if you’ve read about this or not.”

Then, the raven head fumbled through his bag and fished out a folded newspaper. He handed it to the older man.

“It’s on the front page,” said Tora again.

Tora watched carefully as Dr. Camui read the front page of the newspaper in his hands. He heard the psychiatrist whisper something under his breath, although he couldn’t actually catch the words that Dr. Camui had uttered. The older man folded the newspaper again and put it on his lap. He looked troubled.

“Doctor, this person who’s missing. Sakamoto Takashi. He’s your patient...isn’t he?”
“I…” the older man stuttered, “...I can’t tell you, Amano-kun.”
“I recognised his face, doc.”

Dr. Camui averted his gaze. Tora tried again.

“Doctor Camui...I assure you, this will stay only between the two of us.”

The older man closed his eyes for a few seconds before he heaved a sigh. He propped his chin with his fingers as he spoke, his blue eyes staring ahead into the distance.

“Sakamoto-kun had improved well in about half a year after he started getting therapy from me. But I must say that, on the contrary to my first impression about him, he’s...different, just as you thought. Not that I’ve never had a patient like him before, but he’s indeed one of a few patients of mine who’s so...hard to reach.”

Tora nodded at the knowledge.

“It wasn’t easy to make him open to me at first. It’s as if he’s living in a shell inside a shell. To this day, I still wonder what makes him so defensive and protective of himself like that. His parents are not abusive either. In fact, he seems very loved by the people around him. But when I talked to him and see him in the eyes, there was a hint of...emptiness in his being. Whether he notices it himself or not, I can’t be sure.”
“So, doctor...How was your approach? What kind of method did you use?”

Dr. Camui was thinking, and then he answered, “I gave him the liberty to break down his wall all by himself. To open up to someone, to other people, you need to accept who you are first.”

“I understand,” Tora nodded in response.
“It can be done in a simplest way, such as writing in a diary.”
“A diary?” Tora sounded intrigued.

At this point, Dr. Camui’s eyes widened, as if he had slipped something important and private that he shouldn’t have said in the first place. He cleared his throat and shifted his gaze elsewhere. The raven head noticed that, so he tried to switch to another topic.

“I’m sorry, but...have you, by any chance, been questioned by the police regarding this case?”
“I beg your pardon, Amano-kun?” Dr. Camui sounded a bit offended by the raven head’s question.
“Forgive me, doc. I mean, how many people know that Sakamoto Takashi is your patient? If the police finds out—”
“I’m not comfortable about where this conversation has gone, Amano-kun. I have already told you much, much more than I should,” the older man convulsed.
“Doctor. Camui, I didn’t mean—”
“My time’s up, Amano-kun. I must return to my office now. It’s a pleasure talking to you.”

Then, before Tora could prevent him from leaving, Dr. Camui had already gathered his things and headed back to his office.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 09: Undercurrents

 

Takashi lay lifelessly on the mattress. He hadn't moved from his position since the mysterious kidnapper brought him back here and slammed the door shut. With some of his strength restored, he could sit and probably crawl with his bound hands if he had to; but right now, he didn't seem to have enough willpower to do even those simple tasks mentioned above. He had already tried fighting back, but what did it bring him? He was still bound, blindfolded, and locked up in a tiny isolated cell. Nothing had been changed. He was still not any closer to get his freedom back.

Silence surrounded him from all sides; all he could hear was his own sobs and the noise of his own heartbeat. There was no sound to interrupt his thoughts from running in an endless circle of fear, desperation and doubt.

Now, his worst fear was confirmed. During their encounter, the kidnapper (Takashi kept calling him that in his mind due to the lack of alternative) had mentioned nothing about demanding ransom, which meant the man wasn't keeping Takashi here for money. Instead, judging from what little the man had told him, it felt a lot more like his captor meant to keep him here for indefinite time.

“Why am I here?”
“You will know it in time,”

If it weren't about money, then why was he being kept here?

He still remembered how the kidnapper had refused to communicate with him when Takashi asked if he would release him. Slowly, Takashi had come to a disturbing conclusion: the kidnapper was not willing to answer the question of whether he would let him go; therefore, he had chosen to cut off their conversations then and there. Which in Takashi's mind could only mean one thing...

The kidnapper didn't plan to let him go.

He meant to keep him here for as long as possible.

He meant to keep him.

Takashi once again felt his head started spinning.

If what he was experiencing was a nightmare, then by now he knew this nightmare wasn't going to end in any foreseeable future.

“Will you…...release me?”
“Don’t ask me that.”

Maybe, Takashi had already guessed at the few possible reasons for his kidnapping; but at this moment, he was still in denial, unwilling to face the twisted fact: He was still being held captive by a complete stranger, a total madman as far as he knew, and there was nothing he could do about his horrid situation. So technically, his captor could do whatever he felt like to him.

“Why am I here?”
“There’s nothing to understand. Behave well, and you will be rewarded,”

The kidnapper did not say much after he finished feeding Takashi. Still, the man did reveal part of his intention to him. Basically, he had told Takashi he should do whatever the former wanted him to, also the brunette would only be allowed to do what his kidnapper desired, and nothing more. His own will and desire didn’t mean anything to the other man. It was as though he was some kind of a toy, only to be played when its owner had time to pay attention to him.

“From now on, you should learn to know what’s best for you, Saga.”

Perhaps, he should have done whatever his captor ordered; regardless how much it would humiliate him......

Somewhere at the corner of his confused mind, panic once again seeped in like an icy wave of liquefied poison, for he had realised he had no idea when the kidnapper would allow him to eat again.

The man had said that he would be rewarded for good behaviours, but did it mean he would also be punished if he failed to behave? Was his captor angry enough to leave him starving for days all over again!?

Takashi groaned loudly at the mere thought of starvation. He could not...he wouldn’t survive another round of starvation. He knew it with a depressing certainty. His body was hopelessly weakened and he still hadn’t had the chance or the time to recover...if he was starved again, he wouldn’t survive this second round.

Therefore, he must long for his captor to come back to him, even though he dreaded what he would do to him almost as much as starvation and dying.

He was experiencing the same paradox again, just like the time he was in the kitchen. He was once again tormented by both the kidnapper’s presence and absence.

Still...he must believe that his captor wasn’t so cruel and heartless, no matter how crazy it sound, Takashi knew he had to believe that.

Takashi’s hands subconsciously touched the mattress beneath him; his fingers stroke across the soft surface of the fabric. He was lying on a clean mattress now, thanked to his unnamed kidnapper; instead of the soiled, dirty old one he was forced to use before.

At the back of his head, Takashi knew it was his captor who had changed the mattress. Now, he also knew why he had been left alone after being fed. Apparently after the feeding, the mysterious man had gone away to remove the soiled old mattress he had laid upon for days and replaced it with a fresh one.

The brunette didn’t want to admit it, but this act of consideration did improve his condition a bit. It was a great relief to be able to have a clean mattress to sleep on. It was a small comfort in his miserable situation. He was still bound and blindfolded, but at least he didn’t have to lie upon his own filth for the time being.

Takashi hated himself for thinking like this, though. It almost felt like he was giving the kidnapper his gratitude when the latter didn’t deserve any from him.

Anger and worry, hope and hopelessness, fear and gratification. Everything was twisted tightly together.

He turned to lie on his side. In this new position, his legs were touching the edge of the mattress. He really should put himself back together...

However, he had already known that all of his personal belongings were removed by the kidnapper, and he was certain he would find nothing within this cell, which could be used as weapon or tool.

Shortly after waking up in this cell, Takashi had already crawled blindly on the floor in total darkness, hoping to discover any object, which might be left in this cell: a rusty nail, a pen, a piece of paper, a rag—anything, which could be put into some use, anything to let him know he wasn’t being put into an empty cage with nothing to grasp onto, nowhere to hide behind; but none was found. So why would he think this time it would be any different from before?

Despite the hopelessness of the situation, Takashi still found himself rolling himself out of the soft mattress; he was still stubbornly clinging to the hope that there was something he could do.

If he stopped believing he could do something to save himself, he knew his will would soon be broken. Nothing was worse than the loss of hope, so he had to cling to the every last bit of it. If his captor wanted him to be reduced to some mindless doll, Takashi would try his hardest not to give him that, regardless how difficult it might be to resist.

Therefore, he searched the floor with his hands, fingertips pressing against the cold smooth floor, hoping to come to contact with anything—

He didn’t meet anything as he spent an agonisingly long time feeling his surroundings blindly. Until eventually, his hand came into contact with a padded surface; he knew he had just reached the wall.

Pressing his side to the wall, Takashi moved forward. Now, he knew he was going on a straight line by using the surface of the wall as his guideline. He was certain that he would meet the door to his cell if he kept going—

Suddenly, his ankle came into contact with something. He gasped as an unknown object was knocked over and then he could hear something rolling away from him. He still couldn’t see anything, but Takashi still knew what he had felt just seconds ago: something had been knocked from his path.

Taking a deep breath, Takashi bent even closer to the floor and started searching to relocate the unknown object again. Now, he could only hope the object hadn’t rolled too far away from him. If so, only God knew how long it would take him to relocate the item again.

Perhaps, his silent prayer had been answered, for it took the blindfolded youth a moment of searching before he managed to get a hold of the object again.

He gripped the object with both of his hands and felt for it, trying to detect what it really was. The touch of it, the weight it carried; the cylinder object made of soft plastic...it felt like a bottle of water.

Now, Takashi got up to sit on his heels, hesitation starting to seep in after the excitement faded. Why would there be a bottle of water? Was it another trick? Or was it really what the object appeared to be, a bottle of water? Could anything be so simple around here?

Should he...take a sip?

The thought of tasting clean, cool liquid again made his mouth water instantly. Therefore before he realised what he was doing, his hands had already unfastened the cap as if they were in autopilot mode.

Once the cap was removed, Takashi lifted the bottle closer to his face carefully and sniffed at it. There was no suspicious smell coming off, so the youth experimentally took the tiniest sip from the bottle. The liquid that slipped down his throat was cool and it tasted...normal. It tasted just like...water, nothing more and nothing less.

Before long, Takashi was gripping the bottle with both of his hands and swallowing one mouthful of water after another. He didn’t realise how thirsty he had felt before he drank. Still, he didn’t dare to finish the entire bottle. Instead, he forced himself to stop and fastened the cap on again before he could empty out everything within the plastic bottle. He knew he must leave some water for later use.

He simply didn’t know how long he would have to wait before he could get his hand on other source of water or food again. He had to store what he was offered.

With the half-emptied bottle gripped tightly in one of his hands, Takashi rearranged himself to sit on the floor, with his back pressed against the padded wall. After drinking, he finally had the mind to question why there would be an unopened bottle of water on the floor. It couldn’t possibly go right where it had been by itself; someone must have placed it there at some point.

If the kidnapper had gone back into the cell after he was thrown back here, Takashi was certain there wasn’t much chance for the noise of a full grown man entering and leaving the cell to escape his notice; then the bottle must be placed here before his captor sent him back here.

Did it mean the kidnapper had purposely left the bottle here for him to pick up and...drink his fill? Was it left here on purpose, was this bottle of water meant to be left here as a treat?

He cared enough to give him those small favours. His captor cared about him, even though he was very angry with him before.

Takashi soon took a note that his stomach was groaning again. The kidnapper didn’t feed him so much food when he brought him upstairs. His stomach was only half-full when he was being sent back to the cell.

He suspected the kidnapper intended to keep him weak, unable to help himself by not allowing him to take his fill in the kitchen. Still on the other hand, Takashi remembered hearing if a person had been denied food for too long, then s/he shouldn’t stuff her/his stomach when s/he was first being offered a meal right after her/his period of starvation came to an end. Otherwise, her/his stomach would be hurt by the overfeeding or it might even result in death.

Perhaps, it was a small kindness from the kidnapper to be mindful of his physical well-being; but right now, it felt more like the other man was trying to weaken him with the mean of denying him food.

Although it would sound weird, but Takashi began to see perhaps, his captor wasn’t all evil and violent. When he was around, he clearly had showed a small amount of kindness towards him once or twice.

What did he know about this man who had held him imprisoned?

“I know you’d learn fast.”

Judging from what he had said to him earlier, the kidnapper wanted him to learn, even if it was only to learn his place; from what he had said to him, Takashi was under an impression that the other man didn’t like to use violence before he had no other choice.

However, Takashi had already learnt that if he disobeyed the kidnapper, the latter still wouldn’t hesitate to punish him.

The kidnapper wanted him to give up and accept his role as a mere possession. He wanted Takashi to obey him......no, it was far from that; the kidnapper seemed to want Takashi to have no will of his own.

Whenever the kidnapper got angry, it happened right after Takashi demonstrate his wilfulness or tried to ask questions.

Takashi shivered at his own thought. What would happen if the kidnapper succeeded? What would become of him if the kidnapper won?

The kidnapper winning would mean only one thing: the breaking of his will.

He couldn’t let this happen. Whatever the kidnapper might try to mould him into, Takashi would resist. For his own survival, Takashi would have to pretend to be cooperative, to submit.

Just when he was so deep in thoughts, a noise broke his concentration. The brunette almost couldn’t believe what he was hearing...but his ears still managed to capture the noise of a door being unlocked from the outside.

At first, he could not tell if the sound was real or not; but eventually, the realisation dawned in, someone was about to enter the cell.

Takashi did what he could to back himself against the nearest corner of wall. He wasn’t ready to face his captor once again, not so soon!

Trembling wildly as he sat at the corner of the cell with his back pressing firmly against the wall behind him, Takashi realised with a sinking feeling that perhaps, he would have to start sooner than he had ever guessed...

He waited, barely dared to breathe as he listened to the sound of the door being opened wider from the outside.

Then, he heard footsteps approaching. The footsteps were unhurried but careful, as though every step had been mindfully measured beforehand. Takashi realised the other man was approaching him in a manner perhaps not unlike people’s approaching a scared, wounded wild animal.

Was that how the man viewed him now? Some caged, weakening animal needing to be tamed?

“Saga...” The kidnapper was calling out to him. At least, he didn’t sound angry.

Instantly, Takashi’s body tensed up. He couldn’t trust this outwardly calm voice; he knew what this man was capable of: impulsive outburst of anger. Aside from fear, fury was still burning in his chest.

It’s not my name, it isn’t me. I’m not Saga.

However, the male voice wasn’t going to leave him alone.

“Are you going to listen and be reasonable now, Saga?”

Takashi didn’t move a muscle, anger once again boiling up from within when he heard the kidnapper call him ‘Saga’ again.

It’s not me, it’s not me. I’m Takashi, Sakamoto Takashi. I know who I am.

Nevertheless, he was defenceless now. He couldn’t risk letting his anger show, at least not now...

Slowly, the brunette raised his head a bit, and with great effort, he made himself nod. It was a sign of submission, and he knew it.

“Good,” the mysterious man replied, seemingly pleased with the fact that he hadn’t been met with any resistance, “It’s good to know you have calm down, Saga.”

It made Takashi sick to his stomach to recognise the satisfaction lacing at the man’s tone; but outwardly, he kept himself still, remaining as calm as he could.

“Can you get up?”

Takashi stirred at the unexpected question; but finally, he nodded after taking a brief moment to weight his options. In fact, he wasn’t sure whether he could get up, but the kidnapper must be asking for a reason, so he had to seize the chance, and see where it would take him.

I wouldn’t lose. I will find a way out.

He recalled those poor kidnapped victims he had watched on the news, hadn’t many of them managed to escape and got back to safety in the end? He couldn’t give up yet.

“I need you to get up and follow me back upstairs, no more argument, no more fight. Can you do it for me, Saga?”

Once again, Takashi nodded. He would have agreed to a lot of things for the chance to get back upstairs.

As he was being led out of the prison, Takashi struggled to keep one thought in his mind:

I know who I am.

***

After Amano left his office, Dr. Camui tried to focus on his own work. The good doctor had always prided himself as an effective, collective professional; but this time, half an hour passed by, he still found himself staring at a blank piece of paper on his desk. He was supposed to get some paperwork done in this afternoon, but he still hadn't penned a single word. In fact, Dr. Camui had failed to pay attention to the tasks at hand from hours on end. Something had been distracting his thoughts.

Ever since Amano left his office, a certain patient named Sakamoto Takashi had been haunting his thoughts. Instead of thinking about his chores, Dr. Camui kept thinking about Sakamoto and the time he had spent with the patient, the many episodes of their appointments...

He cared about this young man and he had told Amano as much, but the psychiatrist did not mention what had happened—or what nearly did happen during the last episode of...therapy he had set up for Sakamoto. He had also told Amano he thought Sakamoto was living in a shell within shell, but he did not tell the younger man what he had done to try shattering those shells.

In his opinion, Sakamoto was a patient who could in fact get better, if only he could face his own demons honestly and break out from the shells he had always been cocooned himself in so tightly. The last time he saw Sakamoto Takashi, Dr. Camui had finally tried his hand on forcing the young patient to break out from his shells. Although the ending result was not what he had expected.

Dr. Camui had never told anyone about what happened in this last appointment. Because regardless his best intention, the psychiatrist was very much aware of the fact that what he had done to Sakamoto this one time had gone a bit beyond his work ethic. Although Sakamoto had agreed to keep quiet about what had taken place during this last appointment; still, the good doctor knew he just couldn’t let anyone else know what had happened.

Judging from the newspaper Amano had brought to his office, the disappearance of Sakamoto Takashi had already drawn enough attention on the media. If anyone found out about what he had done when he was in charge of Sakamoto...it would definitely draw negative light upon his career, his good reputation...

He couldn’t let this happen.

Dr. Camui began to gather documents and reports he had about Sakamoto Takashi. He needed to do something to protect himself. At this moment, the idea of keeping all documents related to Sakamoto in a hidden place was a tempting one.

So tempting to a point that his hands had subconsciously opened one of the drawers of his desk and he skilfully pulled out Sakamoto’s file amongst many other documents. He was about to put the whole file into his briefcase in order to whisk it away out of his office, only to catch himself moments later.

Just what had he thought he could avoid by taking the major evident to prove his connection with Sakamoto Takashi out of his office?

Just what was he thinking?

Instantly, his hand stopped the motion of slipping Sakamoto’s file between the thick layers of documents already in his leather briefcase, at the very last moment.

Dr. Camui was no fool; a second thought was enough to remind him that he couldn’t completely hide the fact that Sakamoto was his patient, not even by stealing the younger man’s file. The hospital had its own system of storing patients’ information and records. Even if he stole the file, there would still be enough digital records in the computer system to link Sakamoto back to him. In addition, it would also be too risky for him to try erasing Sakamoto’s entire record from the computer system. He was aware of the fact that sooner or later, police would come after him asking—or even interrogating him for information; and it would be extremely suspicious if he had no document of his own patient coming in handy when they arrived for a routine questioning.

Therefore, the file of his patient had to stay in his office; but perhaps there was still something...something he could do...

He didn’t lie when he told Amano he cared about this young patient named Sakamoto, still...he needed to protect himself first.

Amongst the thick layers of page, Dr. Camui caught sight of a piece of wrinkled paper, which was different from the rest of neatly printed documents; said piece of paper was covered by Sakamoto’s handwriting.

The doctor’s eyes scanned the first few sentences at the top of the paper. Immediately, he recognised those familiar words:

Dear me:

It feels rather strange to write a letter to myself. I mean, who would do that aside from teenagers? But I still need to write something down—

He knew what Sakamoto had written in the following sentences; and by now, he had also realised how foolish he was to ever mention his methods of treatment to a certain person...

Stupid! Why must he ever mention to Amano about the diary and letters he had encouraged Sakamoto to write down?

He knew the brunette wrote from time to time, he also knew his patient kept most of those writing to himself. Still, Dr. Camui had heard the young man reading some of his writings aloud in his very office for a few times. The young man had written his thoughts down on his notebook now and then just like Dr. Camui suggested him to do. Moreover, he did have a few of Sakamoto’s writings in his possession—either in the form of letter or ripped from his diary.

The blond-haired psychiatrist stared at Sakamoto’s letter hard, he knew none of these writings of his missing patient should stay anywhere near him.

One by one, Dr Camui carefully removed every piece of his patient’s writings from the file. He gathered them and brought them towards the shredder in his office. Without hesitation, he fed those pieces of paper into the machine.

He kept watching until the last piece of paper was fed into the shredder only to reappear latter at the bottom of the machine as long tiny ribbons before they fell into the bin below. All he had to do now was to wait for the cleaner to remove the rubbish by dusk. It was lucky aside from a few specific cases, the hospital didn’t request patients’ writings to be scanned and stored into the computer system. Who would have guessed this loophole would help to create an opening for the doctor to cover his own track?

After it was done, Dr. Camui sank back to his armchair. He should have felt relieved that he had finished some damage control with his quick thinking, before it was too late. Nevertheless, what he was feeling right now was quite far from relief.

He was fine now, the evident had been destroyed, nothing to worry. Or so Dr. Camui kept telling himself.

In a moment of rare helplessness, the psychiatrist buried his face in his own hands. Just what had him gotten himself into?

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Façade

 

Tora had been working late in the university’s computer lab. He was glad that his work was finally over and now he couldn’t wait to go back home. After such a long day, what a bless it would be to be able to change out of his clothes and then go lazying around on the worn sofa of his flat!

It was 10:30 at night and the hallways within the building were empty for most parts. Most students either had left or gone back to their dorms. Therefore, Tora was surprised to catch sight of a lone figure appearing at the end of the corridor he was about to walk into.

Out of instinct, Tora quickly jerked himself backward to hide beyond the wall next to him, hoping that he had hidden himself fast enough so the person at the other end of the corridor would not notice him.

The raven-haired man didn’t know why he would react like this, why he would suddenly sense it was necessary to keep himself out of sight from whoever was approaching. It was something out of pure instinct; his gut feeling was telling him something wasn’t right...

Fortunately, the corner he was standing in was poorly lit enough that he believed there was a good chance the person at the opposite side would fail to notice his presence.

He waited until he could no longer hear any footstep, indicating that whoever was on the other end of the corridor didn’t walk any further. Then, Tora silently looked out from his hiding place, hoping to find out what was going on.

What he could see was the silhouette of a young male facing a row of lockers. At first, it was easy to mistake the person in question to be merely trying to open his own locker to take something out like most students would do when they wanted to pick up their things. But curiously enough, Tora soon noticed the blond-haired male wasn’t using any key to open any of those lockers.

Thankfully, the other person still hadn’t seemed to notice Tora’s presence since not only he was facing away from Tora’s direction, he currently was also busy checking something amongst the lockers before him. Tora kept watching; and finally, the raven-head third year recognised the other man.

Tora knew the person standing in front of the lockers was Kohara Kazamasa—also known to his friends as ‘Shou’—one of the star-students from the same faculty of his. They were not friends, but Tora definitely knew who the other student was. Whenever he saw Kohara in the campus, the latter seemed to be forever surrounded by a bunch of friends and classmates, which was the opposite of Tora himself: he only hanged out with a few close friends and didn’t go socialising around unless he had to.

Therefore, it was a bit surprising for Tora to find the star student all by himself, sneaking around on the corridor, acting suspicious as though he was picking locks.

Tora was surprised by his own thoughts. Locks-picking and sneaking around secretly so late at night at the school’s corners, as though he was worried that someone else might see him. That really wasn’t the Kohara Kazamasa he knew.

Then, Tora saw the blond student focus his attention on a certain locker at the top. He stopped, stared up at it, and did nothing but watched it for a long moment; before he grasped the handle of said locker and then began to push at it.

The raven-haired student was even more bewildered, but now there was no mistake: Kohara was in fact trying to open a locker, which didn’t belong to him. However, why would he do this? As far as he knew, Kohara had no criminal record and wasn’t known for behaving suspiciously in the past.

The third year student continued his silent observation as his blond classmate kept on trying to pull the locker’s door free from its frame, without much success. Eventually, Kohara sighed and slowly letting out of the handle, giving up.

Then, as if he was suddenly getting nervous, Kohara rapidly turned his head from side to side, checking his surroundings. So sudden was his action, Tora barely had time to duck beneath the shadow, hiding himself from the other student’s sight.

With his back pressed against the wall behind him, Tora could no longer see Kohara, once again had nothing to do but wait. Eventually, he could hear footsteps—this time it was walking away from him.

Slowly, the raven head turned until he had his left side pressing to the wall, and then he tiptoed to the edge of it and peered out, just in time to see Kohara’s silhouette disappearing from the far corner. Still, he waited until the footsteps faded away completely before he left his hiding spot.

Walking as unhurriedly as he could, Tora made his way to the lockers, and then he stood in front of it to gaze up at one particular locker, the one he thought Kohara had previously tried to open.

This locker was just like the other ones, and like all the other lockers, there was a nametag on the steel-made door. Upon the half-faded nametag of this locker, Tora could read the name printed on it: Sakamoto Takashi.

Why on earth would Kohara try to open the locker belonged to Sakamoto Takashi?

His train of thoughts was broken by the sudden noise of engine starting. The noise pierced through the quietness rather sharply, and it was coming from outside of the windows.

Rushing to the side of the hallway towards where the windows stood open, Tora looked down to the car park outside of the building. What he saw was a black vehicle moving out of the car park before it disappeared behind a line of trees. There was no way for Tora to be certain that it was Kohara Kazamasa driving his car away; still, something told him it was.

Slowly, Tora retreated from the windows. He still didn’t know what he should think. He could only try his best to gather and summarise the very few facts he had just discovered.

His classmate, Kohara Kazamasa, had been lingering on Sakamoto Takashi’s locker when no one was around. He tried to open it, but failed.

Why would Kohara do this? Why would he ever try to do such a thing? Was he just one of those busybodies who got the thrill by lingering around the belongings left behind by a missing person?

None of it was adding up.

***

Takashi could hardly believe it, but now he was walking upstairs again, leaving the horrid little cell behind. He could only wish he would never be sent back down there again. He knew he would do anything within his power to make sure he wouldn’t go back there.

Wishful thinking; but right now, he would rather believe things were turning for the best, instead for the worse.

His hands were still bound in front of him, with only the short chains in between the cuffs to allow him some freedom of hand movements, and he was still blindfolded. Both of these facts had made walking impossible without aid. Much to Takashi’s chagrin, he had to rely on the nameless kidnapper’s support to climb up the stairs without falling face first to the ground. Plus, he also needed his captor whispering direction to him so he could know when to mind his footsteps, when to stop, when to expect the stairs and when to expect even floor to walk upon.

In fact, he didn’t dare to let go of his captor’s hand the whole time, nor did he have any strength left to walk on his own without having to lean onto the other man’s shoulder for support. It was when he realised the kidnapper seemed to be slightly taller than him and more solidly built. Takashi was once again being made aware of the fact that he was probably no match in strength against his captor, especially not in his weakened status.

In Takashi’s mind, the kidnapper was a freak, a madman, a monster; but ironically, at this moment he would be hopelessly lost without the other man’s guide.

Plus, the man was guiding him away from his prison cell. Therefore, the brunette knew he must follow, and kept his rebellion at the minimum...for the time being.

Despite being supported, Takashi still found himself sweating. His legs weakened on the knees, his footsteps echoed heavily around him with every slow step he took.

Next to him, the kidnapper slowed his pace, allowing the blindfolded captive to catch up; before he came to a rather rapid stop. Takashi was confused and before he knew what was going on, he was once again being lifted and carried by his captor.

A small cry of surprise escaped his lips, but he was hushed by the man who was carrying him in his embrace.

“I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have made you walk up the stairs. I forgot you haven’t gotten better yet.”

The man now talked as if Takashi was only falling ill due to natural causes, instead of being starved half to death; which Takashi knew only too well it wasn’t the truth. However, there was nothing he could do but to keep himself still and clung to the front of his captor’s shirt; gripping the fabric so tightly that the shirt had to be wrinkled, but if his captor noticed, he didn’t say anything. Therefore, Takashi guessed it was allowed for him to cling to the other man in such a manner.

It was difficult for Takashi to sense his surroundings when he was being carried. Still, the bound youth could tell his captor was carrying him as he walked along a corridor of some sort without passing through any door.

Just when he was thinking about it, the kidnapper made a turn and came to a stop, opening a door and then stepping in.

Takashi tried not to react but he couldn’t stop his head from turning from side to side, as though he could scan his surroundings or at the very least, sense where he was even when he couldn’t possibly do that, given the fact he was blindfolded.

The kidnapper didn’t pause. He didn’t even slow his pace. The man seemed to know quite certainly where he should go. Eventually, Takashi found himself being lowered from the other man’s arms and then—even before the brunette had time to panic—placed on a soft flat surface.

Despite the man’s careful movement, with his hands still bound together, Takashi still nearly fell to lay flat on his back when he was released. However, he was soon caught and righted before the impact. In the end, his captor helped him to sit on the bed with his back against the headboard; with what felt like a few pillows cushioning his upper body from behind.

Takashi should have been relieved, but the uncertainty he was feeling right now had eclipsed whatever comfort he felt by the change of his treatment.

Then, he felt the edge of the bed sank next to him as a weight was being added upon it. He knew what it meant: the kidnapper had sat down on the bed next to him. He held his breath, still not knowing what to expect his captor to do to him, but his doubt was soon answered as he felt someone took his hands; causing the bound man to tense. Instantly, he tried to back away, but once again the other man caught his hands and held them in place.

“Don’t move.”

Those same words again, ordering him not to move. The kidnapper didn’t raise his voice but the icy voice froze Takashi’s movement instantly.

“Come on,” the other man spoke again, this time a bit more softly, “Relax.”

Takashi wanted to plead the other man to let him go, but only strangled gasps left his parted lips. Then, the brunette heard his captor sigh.

“Don’t be so frightened, I only want to change your bandage.”

For a long moment, neither of them moved; but eventually, Takashi willed himself to release bit by bit.

He knew he was doing something probably unwise: trusting a kidnapper’s words. But what other choice did he have? He could only trust his captor wouldn’t try to harm him. He had to. At least, the other man so far had always done what he said he would. He could only wish it would continue.

As Takashi held himself as still as possible, he could feel the kidnapper slowly relaxing his grip on both of his hands. Then, the brunette sensed a slight pressure being added to his handcuffs and then with the faint noise of key turning within keyhole, his hands were freed from the cuffs for the first time.

“Now, don’t do anything stupid. Don’t even think about it. Or I will put them back again; understand?”

Takashi knew what ‘them’ referred to, so he continued to keep still. He was almost glad that he didn’t try to fight back when the kidnapper cut the used bandages off with what seemed to be a pair of scissors. Not only the man could see, he might also had weapons coming in handy. It probably would be wiser to hold still.

His captor worked slowly; the wounds around Takashi’s wrists were treated with care. The old bandage was removed and replaced by new ones.

However, his relief was short-lived because once the kidnapper finished bandaging him; he also fastened the handcuffs back up.

Takashi bit back a groan, he had hoped that somehow the kidnapper would let him be, or even forgetting to put the handcuffs back on. But now it seemed he had been too naïve to wish that his captor would let his guard down so easily.

So here he was, sitting on an unfamiliar bed with his back against the headboard. He was bound and blindfolded just as before, with his captor sitting casually next to him on the same bed. Now, the other man wasn’t doing anything and it was getting onto Takashi’s nerves. What was the man going to do? What should he do now to save himself?

He could only hear the other man’s breathing. It was close to him as though the man was sitting close by. Takashi couldn’t detect any movement, so he guessed that the kidnapper was simply sitting there at the moment, doing nothing. Why would he do this? Why wouldn’t he leave? Why wouldn’t he say something now? Why wouldn’t he just...do something?

As if his captor could hear his thoughts, the next thing Takashi heard was the soft sound of the other man shifting his weight on the bed; and it was no mistake that he was inching closer towards him.

His breath caught in his throat when he felt the kidnapper landing a hand on one of his shoulders. Takashi’s whole body tensed up instantly, but it didn’t stop the kidnapper to place another hand at the side of his captive’s head, brushing the locks of hair he had found there.

Slowly, the man was combing through Takashi’s hair by using his fingers, whilst his other hand rested on Takashi’s shoulder, a reminder for the latter to hold still.

It took a while before the mysterious man seemed to become satisfied with the state of Takashi’s hair. When the kidnapper was finally done, Takashi heard the man straighten himself and move back, still sitting next to him but not so close anymore.

“You must be hungry, right?”

Takashi was startled when his captor asked him out of the blue. Was he imagining things, or was it really a slight note of concern in his captor’s words? Takashi’s response was a hesitating, careful nod. Despite the hint of concern in the kidnapper’s voice, this question could still be a trap. He knew, with a sinking feeling, that he would soon find out whether his captor’s question was a trap, soon.

The other man didn’t speak, simply stood up and moved away from the bed. Takashi could hear him walking further away, and then there came the sound of something, an object being lifted. If only he could see and learn what it was—

Next, he heard the sound of footsteps walking back towards him. Seconds later, a warm, sweet smelling scent hit him. The scent was getting closer with every step the kidnapper took towards him.

The scent of it...it definitely came off from some kind of cooked food. The promising scent of it made Takashi’s mouth water. His nails digging deep to the flesh of his sweaty palm out of desperation. Goodness, he had no idea he had somehow became hungry again before the scent of cooked food hit him. His captor was bringing him food when he was blindfolded and helpless, just like the last time. For a brief moment, the brunette wondered why he couldn’t catch this welcoming scent after he was carried into this room. Then, he guessed his captor might have covered the food entirely with some kind of dish-cover in order to cut off the scent.

Once again, a weight was added to the bed; making Takashi know his captor had sat back down. With the man being close, the warm scent of whatever food he carried was now coming off towards Takashi so strongly like it was thick, wet invisible ribbons.

Out of instinct, Takashi blindly reached his bound hands forward, to no avail. But his reaction only earned him a chuckle from his captor.

“Tsk. What have I told you before, dear Saga? Patience. Patience is the key.”

Takashi let his hands to slowly fall back to lay flat on the top of his laps. Without a word, he sat there and waited for the kidnapper’s next move. He didn’t like how there wasn’t anything he could do than biting the inside of his own mouth.

Finally, the order came.

“Open your mouth.”

Again, Takashi obeyed, feeling uneasy to find this time it took him faster to do what his captor had ordered. However, the discomfort was soon brushed aside as he once again felt the edge of what appeared to be a spoon pressed to his bottom lip. Then, at the tip of his tongue, he could finally taste warm thick liquid seeping down. He figured it must be some sort of heated up soup, and it tasted just...wonderful.

He quickly sipped his first mouthful down his throat. Then, he opened his mouth again, eagerly waiting for more; and his captor didn’t deny him from getting nutrient.

In between sipping the warm liquid with his tongue, swallowing and waiting, Takashi had no idea how much time had passed. Still, given Takashi’s situation, it was still a small pleasure to feel slightly full in the stomach.

He had never known what a blessing it was to be able to simply eat; to simply grip some kind of food and consume them whenever you felt like it, before this happened. There were many things he didn’t know before. How important it was to be able to see things. How terrible it was to lose your ability to simply use your hands. How much of a bless it really was to wake up in your own bedroom, safe and sound. How precious the freedom you enjoyed really was.

Now, everything was taken from him. He had nowhere to go. He couldn’t even take charge of his own survival anymore. All he could do was to rely on the man who had kept him captive, and wished he wouldn’t harm him again.

All of these facts could be summed up into one simple, awful conclusion: he needed the kidnapper in order to survive. Takashi hated it.

Eventually, his captor let him sip one more spoonful of cooling soup before withdrawing the spoon. Then, came the faint noise of the man standing up from the bed. It was followed by the sound of a bowl being put down somewhere. Instantly, Takashi straightened himself up to sit fully on the bed, slowly moving blindly forward to where he thought was the center of the bed. What was the kidnapper’s next move? Was he leaving or was he staying? What did he intend to do?

If the kidnapper noticed Takashi’s movement, he didn’t say anything. Instead, Takashi could hear the man was now walking around the bed to another direction. Next, he could hear a ‘click’ as if something was being pushed open. Only the brunette couldn’t figure out what his captor had just done in the room… But soon, he could hear it: the many different tiny sounds from outside; it was unmistakable.

All of a sudden, he could also feel it: fresh air pouring into the room, wind blowing softly through...the window? Could it be that the kidnapper had just opened a window?

Takashi’s heart leaped rapidly in his chest at the thought. There was a window in this room. He had never dared to even wish for that......unblocked windows...an escape to the outside.....

Thousands of thoughts filled Takashi’s mind at once, to a point that he nearly missed his captor’s new sentence.

“It’s late now, so you should rest, Saga.”

Takashi couldn’t help but turn his body towards where the kidnapper’s voice came from. The way he uttered those words, commenting how it was late; it was like how a person would normally chat with his friends or family. It sounded all too normal for the captive brunette not to fear there was some hidden meaning behind this seemingly harmless commend. But at least, now judging from the other man’s words, Takashi knew it had to be nighttime by now.

“It’s nice to lie down and rest, right? You want to spend the night here…” The voice came from somewhere close, from somewhere behind him; but Takashi couldn’t tell where his captor stood.

“It can be your room if you like. So...do you like it?”

It felt strange to hear this man talk. First, he seemed to be asking Takashi some questions, but in his next sentence, he was answering his own questions.

Still...there was great temptation in what the nameless kidnapper was offering now. A room to himself, with an actual bed to sleep on; a room...with windows. It definitely was an improvement. But why was he still feeling so scared when it came to giving his response? Was it because deep down, Takashi knew although now he had the chance to be relocated to a room upstairs with actual pieces of furniture, it didn’t change the fact that he was still imprisoned?

“I said, do you like it?” The kidnapper repeated his own question, his tone sounded almost neutral. Still, there was a note of anticipation underneath. Like the question itself was some sort of bait.

Takashi knew not to make his captor ask the same question for more than twice. Now he could only take his chance, and then hope for the best. “...Yes. I do.”

“Do you want to stay here?”

Another question.

Takashi found it becoming more difficult to form words. As though there was a thick layer of sands wiping against his tongue, “Yes...I’d love to.”

“...Surely you can stay here, for as long as you like…”

Takashi stirred when he felt a pair of hands land on either of his shoulders. The grip he played on him was not a forceful one, but it still sent shiver down his spine.

“But you must behave. Only good boy gets to stay in his room…”

Takashi nearly jumped when those words were whispered right next to his ear.

“Be good, so I won’t have to remove you back to that little padded cell.”

The sentence was uttered casually, in an off-hand manner; but Takashi still shivered at those words, he recognised the threat underlined.

“Saga, I also need you to do something for me.” The kidnapper said quietly, whilst his fingers caressing the lines of his captive’s shoulders.

Takashi did not know what to think about his captor’s request, but he didn’t dare to refuse either.

“I need you to hold every still. Will you do it for me?”
“...Yes.”
“After I’m done, I want you to count from one to ten before you do anything. Do you understand?”

Takashi repeated nervously, “Yes.”

Shortly afterwards, Takashi sensed movements from behind him, and then he felt a pair of hands tagging at the blindfold wrapped around his face. Then within the next second, the piece of cloth was loosened and then it was slipped off suddenly.

Takashi could not help releasing a loud gasp of shock as his eyes were freed from the tangles of rags being fastened upon them. Even after the thick, heavy piece of cloth had been removed, he didn’t even dare to open his eyes. Instead, he covered his face with his palms as though he needed some kind of protection. Beneath the tips of his own fingers, the skin around his eyes felt moistened, raw......moistened with tears; he needed to calm down, he needed time to get used to not being blindfolded...

He could feel a pair of hands come back to rest on both his shoulders, as though wanting to offer him some comfort. Although the mere thought of comfort was absurd. Takashi didn’t look up, didn’t try to turn back to see his captor’s face; still, he could hear the kidnapper’s voice speaking to him again.

“You’ll be fine, Saga. Now I want you to start counting, slowly.”

Calm down......Takashi repeated these two words in his mind like a prayer. Then, still burying his face in his hands, the brunette forced himself to start counting.

“...1......2.....”

In painful slowness, the kidnapper’s hands slipped off Takashi’s shoulders.

“...3......4......”
“Sleep tight, Saga.”

Takashi didn’t dare to move, didn’t dare to say anything; and his captor didn’t seem to mind. A moment later, the bound one could hear tiny noise of movement behind him, as though the other man was truly exiting from the room.

“...5......6.....7......”

Could this ‘click’ sound he thought he had just heard indicate that the kidnapper had closed the door behind him? Still, Takashi kept counting. Although part of him wanted to believe the kidnapper was gone, the other part of him wasn’t so certain, didn’t dare to disobey.

“9......10…”

After his own voice faded into nothingness, there was only silence surrounding him. The only sound he could hear was his own heartbeat and every harsh, shallow breath being drawn out from his lungs. Both sounded so loud in this eerie quietness.

His upper body was still doubling over. His arms drew so tightly to press to his chests. He waited until his breathing came back to as close as normal. The sound of his own heartbeat reduced to allow him to hear sounds from his surroundings more clearly.

This time....he heard nothing. Not the soft noise of another person’s breathing, no footstep, no movement. It seemed like he was left alone by now.

One by one, Takashi removed his quivering hands, raising his head and took in his new surroundings for the first time. He turned back; fearful of what he might see when he opened his eyes. At first, he needed to blink to let his eyes adjust to the light and being able to see things again. No one was there; he was alone in this room.

The room was dim; the light was switched off; the only light being the fading rays of the pale moon outside of the window. Takashi paused, his eyes fixed on a pair of windows, which he now saw was setting at the opposite side of the bed.

At first, Takashi could hardly believe what he was seeing. He couldn’t believe there was a pair of windows, standing open before him from across the dim little room, revealing the night sky and the tall trees underneath it.

There were open windows in the room, a mean to escape!

With a surge of excitement, the brunette rushed towards the window as fast as he could. He was still cuffed, but at least he could still make a run of it to the outside if he was careful...

However, once he got close enough, Takashi realised something he had failed to notice before. The windows were fenced carefully with at least three layers of thin wire. They were in fact both barricaded.

Mindlessly, Takashi raised both his hands towards the fences, trying to do something—he didn’t even know what he was up to. Out of desperation, did he really believe he could shake those fences off, or tear them apart with his bare hands?

He didn’t know what he was thinking; his mind had seemed to go bland. He didn’t pause to analyse the situation logically, he could only act. The fences were his enemies now; he had to get them down—

He tried again and again until his nails broke and his fingertips started bleeding around the edges. Still, the fences couldn’t be torn down. As thin and breakable as they seemed, they were made of stronger material than they looked.

When finally Takashi collapsed, sinking onto the floor, he felt exhausted all over again; his fingers and arms were both aching. He felt defeated, knowing his effort was in vain, he wasn’t closer to salvation than before. His captor was too clever to leave his captive in an unguarded room.

There was still no escape, no hope.

Mustering whatever left of his strength, Takashi got up to his knees once more and took another look outside of the window. Beyond the fences, the entire world seemed to be shrouded entirely by darkness. Takashi could see neither streetlight nor lamps; the only source of light was the pale moon so far away on the cloudy night sky. It took a while for the brunette’s eyes to adjust to the darkness and made out more of the scenery. All he could make out was the shadow of tall trees beneath the pale moonlight.

Takashi kept looking, trying to find something else, but he couldn’t see anything other than the shades of towering trees. It looked to the brunette they seemed to be going for miles after miles, without ending.

Could he possibly manage to walk out of these woods, given his weakened condition?

At the back of his mind, Takashi knew the answer, but it would kill him to allow himself to acknowledge it. He wanted to scream despite he knew it was useless to even try shouting in order to catch some passer-by’s attention. Because there simply was no passer-by; not so deep in the woods. He also knew it was useless to even go to try to unlock the door. It had to be locked from the outside, his captor was no fool. All the routes to escape was blocked even before he had a chance to fight back, Takashi was too drained and disappointed that he couldn’t even cry.

Takashi didn’t remember how he managed to stand up and leave the window, but he must have somehow managed to do it because the next thing he knew, Takashi had stumbled back to the lone bed in the middle of the room. His thin frame hit the mattress as he felt his lids shutting with exhaustion.

Before long, Takashi was pushed under the heavy weight of a dreamless sleep. This time, he didn’t have enough energy to suspect whether he had been drugged again.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 11: Midnight

 

Walking downstairs, you soon found yourself back to the empty former study with the screens and CCTV systems. Now, you had time to sit down alone and do some thinking. There were other rooms on the ground floor, but you mostly kept to this study. The extra locks and the blocked windows always made you feel secured.

You sat down before the desk, just a few feet away from where a sleeping bag was spreading on top of another chair. If you wanted to take a nap, said sleeping bag could always be put into some good use. Under the desk, there was also a box of packaged food, and you would always make sure the box got a regular refill after you consumed some of the content.

You had always taken care to make sure you only needed to leave this study as little as possible. The rest of the cabin was cold and frozen in lifelessness; but in this study with its blocked windows and heavily guarded door, you felt secured. As to the rest of the cabin, they were in most part left empty or sealed off. You only needed to keep a few set of rooms functional for your daily use.

You could have crawled into the sleeping bag and prepared for sleep, or you could have helped yourself with some canned food before you rested; after all, it had been a long day and the time had now gone well past midnight.

However, despite the tiredness brought by an entire day worth of workload, you knew you still had a few small tasks to finish before you could get some real rest. Therefore, you moved yourself towards one of the chairs and sat down before the long table by the wall. There was a set of computer and different set of TV screens being placed on the table. You switched one of the monitor’s screens on.

Once it was on, the screen showed a certain room and this room was occupied at the moment. Through the screen, you could see the small figure of a young man sitting on top of a bed; his head turning from side to side, scanning the surroundings in obvious alarm, as if he didn’t know where he was. You knew that in fact, the young man didn’t, he wasn’t supposed to know where he was.

However, it didn’t take long for the brunette to spring up from the bed suddenly. Then, you watched Saga through the monitor, you watched him ‘exploring’ the room you had prepared for him. You watched him checking the few items within the room—items, which you had thought was necessary and placed them in the bedroom for him. Things that would make him more comfortable than before.

Despite everything you had done right to this point, you had never intended for Saga to suffer; not really, not when it wasn’t for the absolutely necessary. You had even arranged for Saga’s wrists to be bound at the front instead of the back, so the latter would no longer had his arms twisted in painful position. You had cared enough for your beloved to do that.

However, it didn’t take long for you to notice that Saga wasn’t interested in the things you had prepared for him inside his room. All he seemed to be interested in at this moment was the windows, what the brunette clearly thought was a mean to escape.

You saw him made his way to the windows with unsteady steps—nearly threw himself against said windows in desperation once he got close enough. Then, you saw him trying to open those windows, even trying unsuccessfully to break the fences. Much to your relief and satisfaction, the fences covered the windows had remained intact, Saga couldn’t break himself out.

Saga didn’t know it yet, but he was never meant to be able to escape from your control.

You had done everything within your power to possess this beautiful being, Your Saga. You would not let him run loose so easily, not after all the planning and the hard work. You had worked very hard to make sure Saga to be relocated in a room on the second floor, despite the comfort it could offer, was still tightly and perfectly secured enough that it was inescapable for your beloved, to make sure whatever attempt of escape from the brunette would fail.

What you had intended to do was to make Saga feel more comfortable, but you certainly did not intend to let the brunette have anything more than that.

On the screen, you could still see Saga tearing at the fences fiercely, he had tried so hard......to a point you realised at this rate, Saga would soon damage his hands, if he hadn’t already.

Poor Saga. Tomorrow, you should find time to get into the locked room and tend to whatever damages Saga had influenced upon himself.

You saw that Saga didn’t show much interest in the comfort you had offered, which you had found disappointing, but you were not surprised. You kept telling yourself you had to be understanding for Saga’s sake. He needed time to adjust. It certainly would take time; but once Saga came around, things would be better, for both of you.

Still, how much you wished Saga would soon come to realise how unwise his action was so he would just stop doing things, which could damage his well-being, the sooner the better. How you wished Saga to realise his attempt to find an escape would be fruitless. Once realising it, he would give up these attempts, wouldn’t he? That was what you were waiting to see.

However, you didn’t intend to stop Saga from struggling—if you wanted it, you could have simply bound the brunette to his bed, making sure he couldn’t move an inch; but you were smarter than this. Instead, you intended to allow Saga to struggle so he would be worn down in the end eventually. Therefore, you kept watching and waiting patiently. It took a long time but it did happen.

Eventually, you saw Saga stopped. His body went absolutely still for a moment before it collapsed. Saga fell soundless to the floor as though something in him had been broken rapidly and there was nothing left to keep him upright. His arms fell numbly to his sides. He knelt motionlessly on the floor for a long moment.

Now, you were shifting to the edge of your seat, holding your breath. You knew that was what you had wanted to see and you were about to see it happened. That was what you were waiting for...

Slowly, Saga struggled up to his knees. This time, he no longer tried to tear at the fences; this time, he merely stared at the window before him wordlessly. He didn’t move, he did nothing other than gazing at what was outside of the window, and he stared at it long and hard, until...

A visible wave of shiver shook down Saga’s lithe body, and you could see him lowering his head in defeat. Then, he struggled to his feet before crossing the short distance between the windows and the bed, and then he dropped right on top of the mattress.

Within seconds, the brunette fell asleep. You could tell from how Saga’s limbs relaxed so slowly as he was being dragged deeper into an exhausted slumber. You knew what you had just witnessed; to you, there was no mistake here. Saga had become exhausted by his struggle, so he gave up.

You were not surprised to see Saga would try to escape, you had never expected him to throw his old life away and surrender himself to you so soon. It wasn’t as if you didn’t expect as much, your beloved only needed some...adjustment to make him see things in a new light.

Although the brunette had been rather cooperative when he was with you; still, you understood it was too soon to tell what the reason of his obedience was. Saga might fear you, he might become obedient out of fear but you knew better than to expect surrender so soon. You always knew it would take time for Saga to see what was meant to be. It was unrealistic to think he would just give up fighting so easily—not even for you.

You had long been prepared to patiently wait for your beautiful Saga to come around. After all, wasn’t it what love was about?

People were not likely to accept imprisonment without any struggle, Saga’s reaction had showed as much. It was widely acknowledged that in everyone’s heart, there would always be a strong need for freedom; but a few people were willing to admit there was an equally powerful yearning to be bound. It was up to you to exploit this hidden urge to be bound to your advantage.

If you wanted your plan to work, you would need a few tools...something to break down Saga’s defence. It shouldn’t be so difficult. Although human’s mind could be unbelievably strong, but under certain planned conditions, a mind could still be shattered.

You took a moment to turn the thought around in your mind. Once more, you acknowledged to yourself what you had planned to do to Saga. You knew what you had planned was wrong in other people’s eyes. Still, you believed it was what had to be done.

You planned to break something, and then out of what you had shattered, you would rebuild something out of the broken forms. Something that was beautiful, brand new, and perfect. Something that would belong entirely to you.

With a small smile, you sank back to your chair, relaxing your sore muscle; it had been a long day, and you also had an equally long night. It was no easy task to look after Saga like this, placing him in where you wanted him to be. It had taken so much concentration, so much work; but it was still a burden you were more than glad to accept.

Fortunately, you were making progresses. Your Saga had been placed nicely into his room; you could expect the brunette would grow fond of the scenery outside of the windows in the future, when he could put his mind into it. You had already expected Saga’s progress would take time, and beside Saga, you knew you still had something else to consider…

You had to make people stop from reaching for Saga. You had some ideas about how this goal could be achieved, but you still needed to be as careful and well prepared as possible.

Averting your eyes from the monitor, you glanced at a leather-covered notebook at the corner of the desk. The notebook itself was nothing special, just the type you could pick up in nearly every bookstore in the city; but no one could have guessed how important this particular item was to you, and how much this item meant to Saga.

Even Saga himself was oblivious to exactly how important this notebook was to him...More important still, was the fact that no one had ever known this notebook was currently in your possession.

You had discovered this leather-covered notebook from Saga’s backpack. At first, you didn’t know what it really was, mistaking it as just a random notebook with schoolwork and footnotes written within. However, after you sat down and turned the pages carefully, you finally realised you had an amazingly useful tool.

By then, you had long realised you were in possession of a notebook, which contented many of Saga’s private thoughts, it was almost like...some sort of diary.

You soon found out your Saga wasn’t a regular writer when it came to filling his diary. He didn’t add dates on the pages he had written upon, he didn’t write every day nor did he fill the notebook with his day-to-day affairs as many people did when they wrote in their diaries. Instead, he wrote in a rather incoherent, unorganised manner; as if the brunette was merely talking to himself by writing his thoughts down from one page to the next. The sentences weren’t well constructed and many parts of the writing seemed very disjointed. It seemed like Saga was only dropping down whatever crossed his mind without much planning beforehand.

Disorganised as those writing were, you still saw that they could very well serve your purposes. For you knew that a person’s true feeling would usually be the most revealing when they didn’t plan their writing or speech beforehand.

You wanted to think about how to put this notebook and the contexts within it into some good use. It was too good a chance to miss. You read through the lines and between them. After the countless re-reading, by now you knew most of the texts by heart. Still, there was so much to learn from.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 12: Vogel im Käfig

 

Takashi woke up with a start. For a second, his mind seemed to be as blank as the ceiling he was currently staring up at; for he could hardly recall exactly where he was. For a brief second, it was easy for Takashi to believe everything was normal and he was safe, but this moment of false sense of security was shattered as soon as the youth felt the cold grip of the handcuffs around his wrists.

Jolting into full wakefulness, Takashi struggled to sit up; taking one glance downward at both his bound wrists. His state of imprisonment was once again driven home: He wasn’t safe, everything was not all right. He was still a captive.

It took him a few more seconds to notice actual daylight was slipping into the room. Automatically, his eyes fell upon where the daylight came from: a pair of windows from across the room. Instantly, what happened in the previous night rushed back into Takashi’s mind: How he was relocated to this room with an actual bed and pieces of furniture, with windows opened to the outside world. How the kidnapper had removed the blindfold, giving him back his vision; and how he had rushed towards the windows, only to find them to be fenced. How he had beaten against those fences with his own bare hands, but in the end the fences held still, making escape impossible.

Staring at the fenced windows, Takashi allowed the rage from within him to rise up. It was rage towards himself and his own failure, his inability to escape. Under this layer of anger, there laid the deeply rooted fear. It was unbearable to imagine what might be in store for him in this new day of imprisonment. He didn’t know if he would be abandoned for hours, or his captor would decide to pay him a visit. Takashi couldn’t tell which possibilities he dreaded more.

He didn’t know what to do. Back then, there were different tasks and obligation awaiting him in his daily life; but now during his imprisonment, all of these tasks had long been stripped from him. He no longer got to decide anything, he no longer got to do anything by himself. Everything was given to him by his captor, the mysterious man had come to have a final say on what would become of him. Now in the man’s absence, Takashi realised he didn’t know what to do with himself. Needed not to mention, this was a deeply troubling realisation. It reminded him once again, although his condition had been improved, but he was still caged; with every decision being taken from his hands.

Judging from the daylight streaming through the windows, it had to be early morning by now. He must be sound asleep for hours during the night, but instead of feeling refreshed, the strange dizziness from the previous day was still lingering within his head. Throwing his legs over the edge of the bed, Takashi sat facing the windows, thinking what to do next. He wasn’t hungry at the moment, but there were still other needs he must attend to, if only he could use the bathroom—

Cocking his head, Takashi scanned the locked room again quickly, only to confirm the room wasn’t attached to any bathroom. Why didn’t he notice this fact last night? Anxiety rushed up. Although men could always make do with pissing at the corner of the floor; still, it was a degrading action. Right now, it was also the last thing Takashi would want to do in this prison room. He must hold out.

The captive youth closed his eyes. He knew he could hold out for now, but it was still dreadful to think of how much longer he might need to hold in order to avoid humiliating himself again. Although the youth told himself he would be fine, but having nothing else to do, Takashi embarrassingly found all he could think of was the urge to release himself. Throwing himself back to the bed behind him, Takashi groaned in frustration. Perhaps it would be easier to endure such discomfort if he lay down—

“Good morning, Saga.”

It was the by now familiar male voice, which belonged to the kidnapper. The voice seemed to echo within the four walls. Takashi shook himself upright when he heard this unexpected sound. His heart nearly leaped out of his throat out of shock. The voice had come so, so close; as if his captor was right beside him—

But how could this be possible?!

With his eyesight flying across the room in anxiety and fear, Takashi researched for where the voice had come from. There was no one else in the room, right? How could it be possible to have someone else speaking within these four walls?

“I see that you’re fully awake, pet.”

Once again, here came this horrible voice that came from nowhere.

How would he know he was awakened or not? Could the kidnapper be hiding somewhere, spying on him? Takashi stirred, but this time he swore he could detect the vague direction of where this voice came from. Although the kidnapper’s voice still sounded strange, as if it was mumbled by something—

His glance fell upon the long curtains that hanged next to the windows. He was almost certain that the voice was coming from behind the curtains...but how could it be? The tiny space between the wall and the curtains couldn’t be wide enough to hide an adult.

Takashi stood up, and then using the surface of the wall as support, he slowly inched towards where the windows were. He had expected the kidnapper to speak again, but now he was surrounded by silence, as he made his way across the room, to where the windows stood.

The walk seemed to take forever but Takashi knew in reality, it must take no more than half a minute for him to reach to the windows, which were opposite of the room. Now here he was, right next to the long curtain in question. The silence around him seemed to become heavier, thicker as he waited, but there was no more sound coming from behind the curtains, it was as if...

As if the kidnapper was waiting for his next move.

Takashi gasped at his own thought. Then, before he could think about what he was doing, he had already reached out a trembling hand and pulled the curtain aside—

Only to find there was no one hiding behind the curtain. Takashi had expected as much, but he was still stunned to find a sound device being tagged to the wall behind the curtain.

“So you find out about my little trick.”

Takashi was so frightened by the kidnapper’s voice that he jumped away from the device.

“Satisfied now, pet?”

The captive shivered at the question, although there was no threat or anger in the man’s voice. Still, he was scared and confused. Did his captor expect him to discover the device? Was that why the man didn’t even sound angry when he talked again?

Takashi had no idea whether the sound device could transmit his voice back to where the kidnapper was, so he could only move to stand close to the wall, his cheek pressing against the wall’s surface, and brought his face next to the device, hoping it was enough to work.

“I...where are you?” He didn’t want to sound weak, but his voice was trembling.

Another long pause of silence before Takashi heard the kidnapper’s voice coming through the device.

“The way you talked...it almost sounds like you miss me.”

At once, Takashi was terrified, “Of course not!”

He was replied by a chuckle from the kidnapper, “Are you sure you don’t?”

The bound youth wanted to shout back, but he bit back his words, “Just...what do you want?”

“It’s not about me, though. It’s about you, Saga,” instead of answering Takashi’s question, the kidnapper only threw the question back at his captive, “What do you want to do for today, Saga?”
“I...” Takashi hesitated, caught between the urge to make a demand and the fear of angering his captor again. But the other man seemed to be in good mood today......perhaps it was still worth a try?

“Please...would you please let me go?”

Then came another long, deadly moment of absolute silence.

Takashi was close to panic before he finally heard his captor heaving a breath from the other side, “I thought we have been through this already, Saga. I thought you should have understood your position...”

“But please! I just want to go—” The bound youth was depressed now.

The other man interrupted him with a firm voice, “You have one more chance to make a request. That’s all you will be given for today.”

“No, please you can’t—”
“You know I can, my pet. You have been given one request, so use it wisely.”

The kidnapper’s voice was still outwardly calm, but Takashi could hear the threat underneath: if he once again demanded to be let go, he would end up getting nothing. What should he ask? Aside from freedom, there were still many things he would need. Which one should be requested first...?

When Takashi was taking too long to answer, his captor spoke again, “Is there anything else in your mind? You can talk, you know.”

“I...” Biting his lip, Takashi whispered, “I need to use the bathroom.”
“Of course!” The unknown man replied quickly, almost light-heartedly, “You’d need to get freshened up.”

Takashi’s breath caught in his throat. He hadn’t expected the kidnapper to grant his wish so soon.

“As you may notice, you will have to walk a bit to get to the bathroom.”

Takashi didn’t know how to answer, so he had no other choice but to keep quiet. The urge to use the bathroom became even stronger; he could feel the muscles on his body tightening just in order to suppress such urge.

“I want you to go to the door first, my pet. Can I trust you to do it?”
“Yes...” Takashi replied, “...you can.”
“Good. Now, go to the door.”

Takashi moved towards the door as fast as he could.

“Are you there now?”

The kidnapper’s voice sounded fainter now from a distance, but Takashi could still hear it clearly enough.

“Yes.”
“Good. Now, bend down and pick up the piece of cloth on the floor.”

Takashi was confused by this order, but as he looked down, he saw a thin narrow piece of black cloth being pushed passed the gap between the bottom of the door and the wooden floor. Takashi could only pick the piece of cloth up, just as he was told.

“Now, wrap the cloth around your eyes.”

This order made the blonde look down at the narrow piece of black cloth in shock, “But—”

“Do as I say.”

Takashi bit back what he was about to say. The thoughts of being stripped of his sight again terrified him; but once again, there didn’t seem to be another choice.

“You’ll be well looked after, Saga. Trust me.”

Could he really trust his captor not to do something awful to him again?

Sighing, Takashi brought the blindfold closer to own face. It was difficult to wrap the cloth up around his head with his bound hands, but Takashi struggled to manage it with the knot tightened awkwardly next to his right ear. However, the result was just the same, he couldn’t see with the blindfold tightened over his eyes.

Now, despite the daylight streaming into the room, he was once again lost in darkness.

“Are you done?”

Once more, the kidnapper’s fainted voice came through the device, from across the prison room.

“Yes......Yes!” Takashi replied in a whisper, but he repeated his answer louder, afraid that his captor might fail to hear his reply.

Much to Takashi’s surprise, the kidnapper didn’t respond. There was no more voice coming through the sound device, and he couldn’t hear movement from beyond the locked door. It was as though there was no one else in the entire building at the first place. He pressed a hand experimentally on the wooden door, anxious thoughts whirling in his mind. Did he miss something? Was the kidnapper really lurking outside in the corridor?

After a long stretch of silence, Takashi could hear the noise of locks being unlocked, one by one. Then finally, the sound of the door slowly being opened from the outside. For a brief moment, Takashi instinctively wanted to make a run of it, but then he heard the sound of a person stepping into the room. Next, he felt a hand gripping him by the wrist. Takashi wanted to draw back, but the firm grip around his wrist left little room for struggle, he could hardly even take one-step backward.

“Don’t worry, it’s me,” here came the undeniably, familiar deep voice of his captor, this time not through the sound device but in person. Takashi shivered at the kidnapper’s words, how could he not feel worry when now he was within a kidnapper’s grasp?

If the other man noticed how tensed Takashi was, how his hands were trembling right now, he didn’t show it.

“Come with me,” with that, he half-dragged the blindfolded youth out of his prison room.

Lacking the strength and will to struggle, Takashi allowed himself to be dragged through the corridor. Soon, they came to a stop. The kidnapper then whispered for Takashi to turn left before the bound youth heard the sound of another door being open.

“Come on, get inside.”

Then, Takashi felt a hand pressing against his back. With a gentle push, he was guided to walk through the door.

“You go ahead, I will wait outside.”

The door was closed behind him when the blindfolded youth didn’t even have time to turn around. Takashi inhaled deeply, and then releasing the breath he was holding, only to hear the sound of his own breathing echoing into the space around him. Once again, he couldn’t hear anything. There was no other sound, no other movement from another person.

So he was alone again.

Gasping, Takashi made a quick work to remove the blindfold—at the back of his mind, he was indeed worried how his captor would react if he ever knew Takashi had taken the blindfold off without permission. Nevertheless, the thoughts only brought a stab of self-hatred to pierce through his consciousness. Clenching his teeth, Takashi ignored the feeling and tore the blindfold off before throwing this long piece of cloth to the floor. Then, he quickly scanned his surroundings, discovering he was indeed inside an ordinary looking bathroom. One with a bathtub, a toilet, a sink, a mirror and a few toiletries. There was a small window above the bathtub, but it was tightly fenced, Takashi wasn’t even surprised.

The first thing he did was to use the toilet, sighing in relief as he finished. After flushing the toilet, he put on his trousers and stood up; he needed to think about what to do next. He knew his captor must be outside of the bathroom, somewhere nearby, waiting. But he wasn’t ready to face the kidnapper yet. This tiny bathroom would be his sanctuary...for the time being. It would have to do!

His captor had allowed him to use the bathroom to freshen up, which meant he would be able to spent a short period of time inside this tiny space alone, undisturbed.

He needed to think, and then acted quickly.

He turned on the water, and once it started running, he threw cool water over his face. At the corners of his eyes, he caught sight of a toothbrush and matching toothpaste amongst a few other toiletries. He thought for a second before gripping both items and started cleaning his teeth with them.

The kidnapper had wanted him to ‘freshen up’; and so far, Takashi was doing exactly what the former had allowed and requested. Takashi hated having to follow the other man’s orders, but the larger part of him had recognised that he needed what his captor had offered and allowed: the right to use the bathroom, the right to clean himself up.

Part of him craved these new privileges given to him, though. The needs to satisfy those basic needs overwhelmed his pride. If Takashi allowed himself to think deeply enough, he would be truly frightened by how fast he had given in to the kidnapper’s whims, how low he could sink, when he had no other choice.

Then, without turning off the water, Takashi sat down at the edge of the bathtub. He had let the water keep running in hope to create a façade he was still actually using it when in fact he wasn’t. An attempt to buy some more time, when he knew very sure that for him, time was running out. His captor could unlock the door and walk in if he stayed here for too long. The man would surely grow suspicious if he took too long to finish.

Tools. It was the first thing coming into his panicked mind. He needed to find something useful and secretly take it out of this bathroom for later use. Something that could become useful, something that could be...weapon?

Next, he scanned his surroundings in a desperate attempt to find any small object that he could hide beneath his clothes or inside his trousers’ pocket, but he could fine none. Much to his frustration, he found not only there weren’t many items to be found in this bathroom; there also was no sharp or breakable object in sight. Even the small mirror above the sink was built into the wall, so there was no way he could remove it, break it and use the broken pieces as weapons. His captor must have thought things through before he let him come into this bathroom. Takashi knew he was defeated, once again.

What to do now...? Takashi struggled to think of an answer, but his mind seemed to turn blank.

“Are you done?”

The kidnapper didn’t wait for Takashi to figure out what to do; he simply spoke to remind Takashi the time was up.

Having no other choice, Takashi turned off the water, and then replied as calmly as he could, “I’m done.”

“I want you to put your blindfold on.”

His captor didn’t ask him whether he had taken off the blindfold in the first place, he probably knew his captive couldn’t resist the temptation of freeing himself from the blindfold, so he just ordered his captive to do as he said, and fully expected the latter to follow his command.

Takashi swallowed nervously. Part of him had been hoping for the kidnapper to allow him to remove the blindfold, but now it had become clear that he was not allowed to regain his vision yet. He briefly wondered, why did it seem to be important to the kidnapper for Takashi to have the blindfold on? Knowing he wouldn’t get any answer, Takashi bit his lower lip, braced himself and tightened the black piece of cloth back on, hoping that would be enough to satisfy his captor.

“Are you done?” Again, the same question.

His sight was by now blocked by the hateful wrap of cloth; once again, he could no longer see. Takashi replied, “...Yes.”

“Saga, listen carefully. I need you to turn around.”
“.......” For a moment, Takashi didn’t know how to react. It was unmistakable that the kidnapper was taking extra steps to ensure himself to be remained unseen.

“You can do this for me, right?”

Despite the question tagged along the end of the other man’s sentence, Takashi could still tell it was an order.

“...Yes.”

So again, the answer was still ‘yes’, because the blindfolded youth knew there wasn’t any safe answer.

Not daring to hesitate any longer, Takashi carefully turned himself away from the door. It took him a long, silent moment to wonder why his captor was still taking so long to do something...and then finally, he heard the door being swung open from the outside.

Instantly, Takashi held his breath, doing his best to listen......and he didn’t fail to hear the soft sound of movement from behind, the unmistakable presence of another person, the faint sound of breathing, a footfall. Someone had taken a step and now he was close behind him, close enough that Takashi could sense the body heat radiating from the other man’s body.

The weight of a hand landed on his clad shoulder, causing Takashi to shudder, and he couldn’t stop himself from reacting like this.

“Saga, come with me.”

Although the words were uttered quietly, whispered next to Takashi’s ear; still, the blond youth knew it was a command, and he had no other choice but to obey. His body was so tensed, Takashi had thought he wouldn’t be able to move an inch, but when his captor took his hand—without loosening the hold upon his shoulder, Takashi allowed himself to be guided out of the bathroom, and walked once again, blinded by unsettling darkness, into unknown.

***

Still blindfolded, Takashi lost all sense of direction when he was led to walk through a set of seemingly endless corridor, make a plenty of turns and change direction, before his captor finally guided him to the destination the latter had in mind.

It was highly likely that the kidnapper was deliberately leading him to walk in circles and taking more turns than necessary, just in order to confuse him. But the result was still the same: Takashi felt more at loss than before; all he knew was that he was being guided to enter a room and then placed to sit upon a wooden chair. Then, both of his hands were once again cuffed to the legs of the chair. Maybe the kidnapper had brought him back to the same kitchen in where he had first allowed him to eat, or maybe it was another room altogether, Takashi had no way to tell.

Takashi could hear his captor moving about nearby, another chair being dragged across the bare floor towards where he was sitting. Seconds later, there came the vague scent of cooked food and the dull noise of a plate being put down on something with a flat surface—there must be a table nearby.

The bound youth thought he more or less knew what might come next; still, he tensed as he heard the sound of another person sitting himself down on the chair placed close to him. He knew his captor was now sitting in front of him, watching him.

“Time to eat,” the kidnapper announced unceremoniously.

Takashi held very still, although he should have been glad that he was about to get some food to eat; but with his hands still bound, he knew only too well he would have to endure the routine of getting fed by his captor once more. He heard the tiny noise of plate being lifted from the table; he knew what the kidnapper was going to do—

“Wait!” Desperately, he called out; and much to his surprise, his captor’s movement seemingly came to a halt.
“What’s it, Saga?”
“Would you let me eat by myself?” The words burst out before Takashi could control himself, “...Please?”

There was a pause before the kidnapper replied, “I’m afraid I can’t let you.”

“Why?” Again, Takashi spoke before thinking the better of it.
“Because you aren’t allowed to use your hands, for the time being,” instead of getting angry like he did in the previous time, this time his captor actually bothered to offer an explanation; although said explanation made absolutely no sense to Takashi.

The bound youth almost wanted to ask another question, but he soon heard the faint sound of his captor leaning forward, and then came the same order to open his mouth, Takashi knew the time for conversation had come to an end.

Time didn’t seem to exist when your sight was taken from you, your hands were cuffed and useless and your mind was trapped in infinite darkness. It was also difficult to keep track of what was going on when you were bound to a chair, couldn’t do anything other than opening your mouth when you were being fed, and then closed your mouth to chew and then swallow. Like clockwork, the kidnapper kept spoon-feeding Takashi one mouthful of food after another. Takashi received the food slowly, taking one mouthful down and then repeated. They worked in silence. Takashi didn’t know how long the entire progress had taken, but eventually, he heard the sound of the plate being put back on top of the table. A sign that the kidnapper had done with feeding him.

In addition, he wasn’t wrong; it wasn’t long before he felt the feather-like sensation of soft napkin touching his lips carefully when his captor used it to wipe his mouth clean. So it was done, Takashi thought to himself dimly.

His captor had removed the napkin and he was now doing nothing, and it worried Takashi instead of putting his mind at ease. He could barely hear any sound made from the other man, aside from his soft, even breathing. The blindfolded youth didn’t know what to expect.

Aside from his captor’s unsettling silence, Takashi had something else to worry as well: there was something he wanted to say but now he didn’t dare to speak without permission, out of fear of the consequence that might come afterward. However, the kidnapper must have noticed his uneasiness, for eventually, he was the one to break the silence between them.

“Anything you want to say, pet?”

At first, Takashi was almost too afraid to speak, but he forced his voice out nonetheless, “Can...can I take this off?”

“Take what off?”
“This.....” The captive swallowed uncomfortably, “...the blindfold.”
“Why should I allow you?”
“...because I’ve been behaving well?”

Then, he heard the unknown man chuckle, “You’re bold today, I cannot say I dislike it from you.”

A small relief washed over Takashi, the kidnapper really was in quite a good mood this morning...

“But sadly, what you’ve asked is not something I can allow you. Not now.”

Takashi knew he shouldn’t be surprised. Still, disappointment surged through him nonetheless.

“When will I be allowed to see things properly?” Takashi had to bite back another of his question: When will I be allowed to see you?

There was no way for him to admit it to the kidnapper. He would never say even a word for he knew how weird the question would sound once he uttered it. As much as the thought of laying eyes upon his captor terrified him, the longing was there, at the darkest innermost corner of his mind, the ominous curiosity was there. It was the same like you couldn’t help yourself from licking a rotten, loosened tooth inside your mouth, even though you knew too well you shouldn’t be doing it.

“In time. You will get this privilege back in time.”

In time. Takashi groaned inwardly, the kidnapper was giving him the same answer, which didn’t answer anything at all.

“You must be tired.”

The bound youth heard his captor comment, entirely out of the blue. Before he could react, he felt a hand come up to rest on the side of his cheek, caressing it with gentle fingers, “...very tired indeed.”

Tired? What was he talking about? Takashi was puzzled. He had just woken up...

But this voice...when the unknown man told him he must be tired, it had an effect on him...as though the voice had the power to hypnotise, Takashi began to feel his head spinning.

“Yes, you’re tired. You should have some sleep, poor darling.”

Panicked, Takashi struggled to stay awake but the darkness formed by the blindfold was making the task difficult. But no! He didn’t want to fall asleep! He wanted to speak but his tongue suddenly felt thick, making it impossible for him to form words. The edge of his vision was also darkening in an alarming speed, and then everything went blank.

***

You watched as Saga slowly sank back to the chair you had placed him on, his mouth slightly opened and his muscle relaxed in slumber. The latter was sound asleep now, the sleeping powder you had seeped into the food had seen to it. Sighing to yourself, you stood up and walked behind Saga’s chair before you unfastened his cuffs one by one. Both hands fell numbly next to either sides of his waist after they came free.

Sleeping pills...you didn’t want to do this to him, at least not too often, for you knew there was the danger of drug addiction, and it was the last thing you wanted for your beautiful, fragile Saga. You were a selfish person; you didn’t want Saga to crave anything other than you. Sadly, you must drug him in this morning, for you just needed to be...away for today, and you couldn’t risk Saga being awaken for too long without you there to monitor him.

Gently, you peeled the blindfold off Saga’s face, the blond-haired youth’s eyes were closed—just as you’d expected. You bent down to brush a few locks of short hair away from the sleeping youth’s face. You stood before your unconscious captive, once again finding yourself unable to tear your eyes away from him; once again, you were unable to believe this beautiful creature was in your possession, helpless to deny you from taking what you wanted from him.
The mere thought of possessiveness sent a shudder to pleasantly shake down your spin. But now wasn’t the right time, you needed to leave the cabin soon and before you must leave, you would have to take Saga back to his room, making sure he would be comfortable even in his sleep.

With this thought in your mind, you picked the youth and carried him back bridal style. It didn’t take long for you to reach the room you had prepared so carefully for Saga. Placing your sleeping beauty back to the centre of the bed, you sat down next to him, taking in the sight of your delicate possession...

Bringing Saga’s arms up above his head with one hand, you fished a pair of rope from your pocket with another. Next, you tied the rope to the handcuffs that were fastened around the unconscious youth’s wrists, and then you fastened the other end of the rope to the headboard. Once it was done, you reached down and wrapped the blindfold back around Saga’s face, hiding his closed eyes from view. For what you had planned for him, you couldn’t risk him seeing your face, not yet.

After Saga was securely bound and blindfolded, then you pulled the blanket back on to keep him warm. Everything was done according to plan, Saga wouldn’t wake up for most of the day, giving you the much-needed time to go back to the outside world and attend some...passing matter. You should be leaving now, but something was holding you back.

Staring down at Saga, his peaceful sleeping face; you could feel blood rushing through your veins, your throat tightening. Unable to resist temptation any longer, you leant forward, covering his thinner body with your own and placed your lips upon his, all in a desperate, all-consuming need of a kiss.

This first kiss between you and Saga didn’t last too long. It came to an end when you made yourself draw back. You still couldn’t take your eyes away from Saga, especially those lips....although his plush lips were cool, unresponsive under your touch; still in your mind-eye, you could already envision Saga, fully awake and responsive to your caress, kissing you back at his own free will. Oh, how much more you would want to do to him...

“Soon,” You uttered the word quietly as though making a promise to both yourself and Saga.

Very soon...

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 13: An Unexpected Invitation

 

Tora yawned. He was tired and he could feel how sore the muscles across his shoulders were, and how stirred his nape and his lower back had become. Having so much to work with in the past few days, staying up late and falling asleep on his desk obviously didn’t agree with his physical well-being.

It was late into a weekday afternoon. Tora was in the same café he and Miyavi had gone to together not a week ago; the café near their campus, but today he went there alone. After his classes came to an end, the raven-haired student had stationed himself at the far corner at the back of the cafe, sitting on one of the comfortable, spacey armchairs, typing with his eyes hardly leaving the screen of his laptop, which he placed on top of the low wooden table in front of him. He had been typing with an opened book balancing on his laps and a cup of cooling coffee placed next to his laptop for close to two hours. He still had one fortnight to go before he had to turn in his assignment and he must focus on finishing the last few paragraphs, and then he would have to do the final checking...

The third year student stopped keying in words after the last paragraph was finally settled. Looking up from the laptop’s screen, Tora allowed himself to sink back to his seat and close his tired eyes. It had taken him so much work, and now he was glad that the ending of his hard work was finally in sight. He would have a small break before he had to start doing the checking.

“Mind if I take a seat?”

Out of the blue, Tora heard a voice asking him a question. Instantly, the raven-haired man snapped his eyes open, only to find a familiar face looking down at him, smiling. Slowly, Tora straightened himself to sit more properly than before, replying, “Sure...”

The other man’s smile widened as he took his own seat across the low coffee table, at the direct opposite of Tora. The other student was holding a cup of coffee in one of his hands, which he chose to place at his side of the table after he sat down.

“Shou-san...what a surprise.”
“Drop the honorific, if you don’t mind,” replied the blonde quickly with a smile.

Tora merely shrugged, for he didn’t expect to run into the other student near the campus. In fact, he didn’t expect to see Shou so soon after that...strange encounter in the corridor just the other night.

The raven head still didn’t how to make of what he had witnessed in the other night. However, there was no reason for him to be aloof or unfriendly towards a fellow classmate when he was merely requesting to take a seat around the same table.

For a while, they just sat there, with Shou sipping his freshly poured coffee, whilst Tora staring at his cooled one without touching it. Sometimes, he could feel Shou’s eyes on him. He had to retreat himself from looking up. At the back of Tora’s mind, he was almost certain Shou was looking at the first aid tape tagged to the side of his face, near his neck. His minor injury had drawn a bit of unexpected attention amongst his peers, and he had to tell his concerned classmates that he had an accident shaving whenever one of them came up with the question.

The third year student almost expected Shou to bring the topic up just like everyone else, but when Shou made his move to open a conversation, he said nothing about his injury.

“You look quite worn, Tora-san.”

Tora shrugged, “Schoolwork, you know how it’s. And just Tora is fine.”

To that, Shou gave a nod in acknowledge.

The raven head noticed that Shou didn’t carry any book or folder with him, and so far, the other student hadn’t mentioned anything about how he was doing with his own assignment. Therefore, Tora guessed that the blond student might very well be done with his schoolwork. Whilst the rest of the students were still struggling to finish before the deadline approached.

Tora didn’t know Shou so well, but he figured his conjunction would suit the latter just fine. The other student always carried himself with so much confidence, as he always had everything under his control. Like he was so used to things going his way, and people listening to what he had to say.

Throughout the school years, Tora had observed that Shou could be arrogant at times, but goodness; he must at least admit his classmate had reasons to be prideful. Shou was good-looking, smart, popular amongst his peers, always managed to get good grades; finally yet importantly, it was rumoured amongst students that he also came from a well-to-do family. So yes, Shou could be full of himself at times, but for most parts, he had managed to avoid making himself look like an offensive prick.

“I must admit I’m a bit...shocked,” Shou chuckled lowly, “For I’d never expected to see our fearless Amano Shinji being weighted down by an assignment!”
“Well actually, I’m just like everyone else, struggling to keep his head above water,” Tora shrugged at Shou’s remark, his eyebrow twitching at the use of his full name. Moreover, he was by no mean ‘fearless’ whatsoever, “That’s life.”

At the back of his mind, the raven-haired youth was a bit surprised to see Shou being talkative and...friendly towards him today. They were never particularly close; they nodded at each other when they ran into one another on the hallways. They would also talk when they were having their classes or doing group projects, but the interaction between them more or less just ended here. Tora was certain today it was the first time he and Shou had ever sat down together and engaged in an actual conversation, outside of class and schoolwork.

“But you never strike me as just an ‘everyone else’ person, Tora.”
“What do you mean?” This time, Tora slipped his books off his laps and straightened himself. He could sense something was coming up...
“You’re not like the others, are you?” Shou replied calmly, “In fact, you always strike me as someone who can grip complicated concepts, and has a deeper understanding of how things actually work.”

Was he being praised by Shou, of all people? Tora frowned; he wasn’t sure what Shou was getting at.

“If by ‘complicated concepts’, you meant our schoolwork—”
“We both know how good you’re at schoolwork,” Shou interrupted him in a flat tone, “But I meant more than that. I meant the concepts they have taught us in classes, and beyond that.”
“Huh?” Tora did not enjoy making himself look dull in front of the other student. Still, he was painfully aware of how idiotic his responses must have sounded so far. He couldn’t help it. Because so far, he still had not a damn idea about what Shou was trying to get at.
‘Having a strong interest in the subject does result in better understanding on the subjects’, right?”

At first, Tora didn’t realise it; but seconds later it, dawned on him that Shou was quoting lines from his previous presentation during class. The blonde was definitely saying it on purpose.

“You know, I’m very impressed about what you have said about fear in our class, Tora,” Shou said with a smile.

The blonde flashed him another smile. Was it only him, or was it Shou smiling way too often than necessary? Although the other student didn’t seem to notice the slightly sceptical expression on Tora’s face.

“I think it will be great if we can meet up outside of classes and share what we’ve learnt so far. I really think...”

Then, Shou paused and licked his lip. He looked almost nervous as he continued, “I actually believe it will be...beneficial for both of us.”

Tora moved his hand to close his laptop all together. On a subconscious level, he sensed that Shou was going to reveal his intention—regardless what it really was. Therefore, he would better pay full attention to the rest of the conversation.

“What I am trying to say is, what our lecturers are teaching us in classes, those materials they give us for studying. They just look not...challenging enough.”

Tora kept quiet. He had always known Shou could be arrogant at times. Still, it was a bit startling to hear the blond man indirectly state that he thought schoolwork was...beneath him. Although if Tora were to be absolutely honest, he would have to admit sometimes he did feel the same way.

“Strange to find so many people actually think psychology is all about mysteries and excitement, when in reality, what they are teaching is, all so ordinary.”

Tora understood what Shou was referring to. Whenever he told people he was a psychology major student, people tended to react in bewilderment. In the mind of the general public, psychology seemed to be the mixture of magic, mind reading and fortune telling. Therefore, it was easy to believe those who studied this subject were some kind of mind reader or witch doctor. As though psychology students all went to college to learn how to read minds, or do other magical tricks.

However in reality, students of psychology faculty normally would be guided to study the basic principles that formed what we knew as psychology, its history, different theories of the masters, etc. Basically, the students were expected to learn to know how a human’s mind would likely to work under different situations and emotion.

In addition, some of the students would soon find out how a human’s mind would work seemed to be in fact a lot more predictable and…boring than any of them would have expected. When a student managed to come up with this realisation, it was usually when the teaching of his study became...uninteresting. If they were to move up to learn about complicated ideas in the field of psychology, they would have to reach outside of the limitation of their schoolwork, reaching out for the larger territory outside of lectures.

“What they are teaching us in classes, they are kind of dull when you think about it, right?”

Eventually, Tora allowed himself to give a small nod, “What word you suggest as the alternative?”

“Let’s say...I suggest we do an...in-depth group study outside of classes? Looks like we can learn a lot from one another.”

Tora couldn’t help raising an eyebrow. As unexpected as Shou’s suggestion was, the idea of studying together with the blond star student still had its own appeal. If only Tora could figure out what Shou was really after...

“You have said group study...then, how many more students are you going to invite? What subject do you have in mind?”
“What I want to investigate is fear, Tora,” Shou replied slowly, his voice barely above a whisper, as though he didn’t want anyone else to hear what he was saying, “And there won’t be any more student in this project.”
“Only the two of us?”
“Only you and me,” the blond one answered without a pause.
“Why?” The raven head couldn’t help asking.
“We’re going to act as researchers, and we will invite other people—other students to take part in this project, as the test subjects. We will interview them and learn from them.”
“Just like we would learn from each other, right?” Tora shifted on his seat subconsciously, the way his fellow classmate referring other students as ‘test subjects’ made him feel a bit strange.
“Correct,” Shou answered without hesitation, and he almost looked pleased due to the fact that Tora was catching up so fast.
“You said that you are going to use fear as your subject—”
“That’s why I need your help,” Shou cut in smoothly, “We all know how knowledgeable you are on this particular subject, especially after hearing your presentation.”

The raven-haired student must admit these words were ego-stroking enough to hear. Here was Shou, a straight As student of his own right, sitting in front of him, praising (though subtly) him for his knowledge, asking for his assistance. However, the only problem was that at the back of his mind, Tora couldn’t believe Shou was coming up with his suggestion for the reasons he had previously mentioned. Something was telling him there was more to Shou’s offer than the latter had let on. He must be up to something...but what? If Shou wanted something from him, why wouldn’t he just ask instead of coming up with such kind of unusual proposal?

Running a nervous hand through his hair, Tora said, “It’s great to hear you are also interested in what I’m studying and you want us to cooperate in order to further our study, Shou...”

“There’s nothing surprising about it. Fear is an intriguing subject in our field of study,” Shou shook his head slowly, “…and great minds think alike, do you agree?”
“...I suppose so?” Moistening his lips, Tora replied, not used to Shou’s manner of speech.
“So, what do you think about my suggestion, Tora?”

The raven-haired student then replied, “First...thanks for your invitation, and if you were interested in doing a project together, I’m in.”

Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to play along for the time being, and try to find out what Shou was really up to later. A smile spread across Shou’s handsome face when he heard Tora’s reply. Next, he reached out a hand and offered it to the other student for shaking, which Tora accepted, only after a brief moment of hesitation.

“So...” After they finished the hand shaking, Shou’s smile only seemed brighter as he spoke, “When do you think we should start?”

Before Tora could reply, his mobile phone started to ring without warning. Apologising under his breath, Tora stood up and moved away from the table to answer the call.

“Hello?”
“Amano-kun!” The unknown caller shouted through the phone in a panic voice.

It took a second for Tora to recognise the caller’s voice, “Dr. Camui!?”

He was utterly shocked by the psychiatrist’s call. He knew Dr. Camui had his phone number, but the doctor had never used it to contact him before. Usually, it was Tora who made the contact, back when he was doing research under Dr. Camui’s wing.

“Can you come to meet me, now?”

The third year student was also shocked to hear the doctor speaking in such a rushed, panic-struck tone; as if he was in shock and could barely think straight. Something must be very wrong...

“I am not sure...” Tora then glanced back at Shou, who was staring at him from where he sat, the casualness and the smile had gone out from his face, “I’m with someone else at the moment—”
“Okay, forget about what I have said, I shouldn’t have called—” Suddenly, Dr. Camui’s tone changed, his voice peaked in frustration and the disappointment was clear in his voice.

Turning his back towards Shou, Tora asked under his breath, “What’s wrong, doc?”

Over the phone, the third year student could hear the doctor suck in a deep breath before speaking again.

“Can I trust you, Amano-kun?”

Tora closed his eyes briefly before reopening them and said, “You can trust me.”

“Say you are not going to tell anyone else what I’ve said to you up to this point. Tell me you won’t!”
“I won’t tell anyone about the conversation between us. I’m not going to tell on you.”

Since Tora did want Dr. Camui to keep talking, so he also knew it would be best to reassure the older man as much as he could.

“They’re after me—”
“Wait, who’s after you?”
“The police! They...What you said is true, the police...they showed up and started poking around—” All at once, Dr. Camui started speaking in a rather incoherent manner.
“What? Why would they do that?”
“They think I know something about the disappearance of Sakamoto-kun, but I swear I don’t know anything!”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t know what have become of him after I last saw him! And for goodness’ sake, he disappeared only after he stopped showing up for appointment weeks ago! I swear I don’t know anything that will help to find him! I don’t know anything useful to the police!”
“Wait, Dr. Camui, please calm down!” Tora could hardly believe he would be the one to tell the older man to stay calm. Whatever the police had done or said, it must have frightened the good doctor.
“Perhaps the police...” The raven head dropped his voice when he uttered the word ‘police’, “...was only doing some routine questioning—”
“No! You don’t understand! They meant it—”

In their previous meeting, Tora had wondered aloud in front of Dr. Camui that the police might pay the good doctor a visit in hope to uncover some clue about the disappearance of Sakamoto Takashi. By now, he knew that his prediction had, unfortunately for Dr. Camui, come true.

Though a newfound sense of doubt began to sink in as soon as he spoke those words. At the back of his mind, Tora wondered was Dr. Camui truly an innocent bystander, who only happened to unluckily attract attention from the police? Why would the psychiatrist react so strongly if he really had nothing to hide?

His mind lingered back to his last meeting with Dr. Camui in his office. Could he really believe the psychiatrist hadn’t held something back during their conversation? Tora knew he would only be kidding himself if he believed the doctor had been entirely honest with him.

Perhaps the police thought just the same when they chatted with Dr. Camui, perhaps this was the reason why they kept asking questions even after the doctor insisted that he knew nothing of his patient’s whereabouts. Perhaps Dr. Camui did know something about Sakamoto and the reason why he had winded up vanishing, but he was keeping that information secret.

Tora was shocked by his own thoughts. He would not want to believe Dr. Camui, his mentor, an older man whom he thought he could call a friend, was a shadowy character, with some muddy involvement with a missing person case. Hadn’t Dr. Camui always been kind and attentive to his patients and co-workers? Hadn’t the doctor always been fiery about his profession, and had always been willing to share his knowledge?

Running his fingers roughly through his hair, Tora tried to think of something soothing to say to the older man over the phone, “Doc, please calm down. If you have no valuable information to offer to the police, just tell them so. They will come around in the end when they can’t find anything—”

“Of course they won’t find anything! I’ve already gotten rid of those notes—”

Alarm bell rang through Tora’s mind, “Gotten rid of what?”

Then, there was an awful stretch of silence expanding through both sides of the line. Finally, Dr. Camui spoke again, “I shouldn’t have called.”

“Doc—”
“Sorry for bothering you, Amano-kun. I overreacted.”
“But—”
“I’m sorry; please forget everything I’ve just said. Please.”

Before Tora could response, the line went dead. Dr. Camui had already hanged up the phone. The line was cut off so rapidly to a point that the conversation he had with his former mentor felt very surreal, but after lowering his mobile phone from his ear, Tora reminded himself he didn’t hear wrongly, he did hear what the doctor had said in a rush, out of impulse.

Dr. Camui had mentioned some notes, and police was questioning the doctor over the disappearance of Sakamoto Takashi. In the end, the doctor had let it slip that he had ‘gotten rid of’ those notes.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 14: Suspicion

 

When Tora finally headed to Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, hoping he could get to Dr. Camui’s office and find the psychiatrist, it was near closing time. The building seemed quieter as dusk drew near. As the raven head walked down the hallway, there were only a few patients sitting on the benches, waiting for their turns to meet their appointed doctors.

As before, Tora knocked on Dr. Camui’s door, but there was no answer. He listened carefully but couldn’t hear any sound coming from behind the steel door.

Not giving up, the third year student tried knocking for a few times but he was once again met by total silence. He stopped as soon as he realised that it might look suspicious if he kept lingering outside the doctor’s office for too long.

Eventually, he decided to change his approach. He left Dr. Camui’s door and went over to the registration counter. Tora saw there was a middle-aged nurse sitting behind a computer screen, doing whatever paperwork she was requested to do.

Tora walked straight to the counter, and without waiting for the nurse to notice him, he called out first, “Excuse me, Miss.”

There was a pause before the nurse looked up from the computer screen, stopped typing and asked, unsmiling, “How may I help you, Sir?”

“Do you know...where I can find Dr. Camui?” Then the raven head added, self-consciously, “Dr. Camui is my mentor...”

Dr. Camui was his mentor, but Tora did not see the need to clarify this little detail to the nurse.

“Dr. Camui?” There was a hint of surprise in the nurse’s voice, but her face didn’t soften.

Taking one gaze at the direction of the doctor’s office and the closed door, she replied, “I think he’s already off work.”

As soon as she finished her line, the nurse lowered her gaze, her focus once again set on the glowing computer screen before her.

However, Tora wasn’t giving up so soon, “When will Dr. Camui be back tomorrow?”

Slowly, the nurse looked up again before she replied, “Dr. Camui has taken a vacation.”

A vacation? Tora frowned, this was so sudden. The doctor had not mentioned anything about going on vacation during their phone call.

“Then, when will he return?”
“I’m sorry that I have no information to provide,” her flat tone indicated that she felt their conversation was over at this point.

***

You parked your car on the side of the narrow road between the tall trees, before you got off from your car, flinging your backpack over your shoulder and headed towards the lane, which was barely visible beneath the overgrown grass.

As usual, you had to start the last leg of your journey on foot, with a flashlight switched on to guide your steps. You had to admit the walk was time consuming, and there wasn’t anything convenient about it. Especially, not in such a cold night of winter. Still, the secrecy the woodland could provide was just what you needed. On the outside, no one would have thought there was any habitation located that far away from the main highways, hidden under the cover of the forest.

Tonight, there were stars on the night sky, but the tall trees above head had blocked out most of the starlight. You had to walk slowly and used the flashlight to light the way. You also had to be careful not to leave the path and then get lost. In a cold winter forest like this, getting lost could be deadly.

Still, you were speeding up despite the potential danger. You had been walking back and forth on the same lane frequently enough that you were confident when it came to direction, and you would do whatever you could to reach him...

Most people would have been frightened by the darkness, the eerie silence within the forest, but you were not afraid. According to your own experience and the materials you had read, you knew there was no large wild predator in this region. Moreover, you had always known this woodland well. You had spent time in this area, especially during holidays; taking time to know its landscape, to find all the hidden paths in and out of the woods; before you set your plan into motion.

At first, all you had ever wanted from this woodland was only a place to escape from your daily life, for a while. But later on, it had become something quite different to you. The more time you spent in this place, the more you longed to separate yourself from the outside world.

Stepping around yet another mass of overgrown bushes, the dark shape of the cabin finally came into view. After such a long walk, you were finally there. Back to your secret hideout.

You walked faster, covering the short distance between you and the cabin with quick steps; it didn’t take long for you to get to the front door.

With your fingers gripping onto the hidden key in your pocket, you almost wanted to unlock it right away; but instead, you retreated yourself for a second, turning your head back to scan the woods behind you. Under the dim flashlight, you saw there was not a soul around. Your secret was still safe.

Relaxing a bit, you finally jammed the key into the keyhole and turned it.

The door was unlocked though it took some effort to push the heavy door to open wide enough for you to step in. As always, you carefully put the key back to your one of the inner pockets on your jacket as you closed the front door. You didn’t miss the ‘click’ sound when the door atomically locked itself behind you.

It was dark within the cabin. Therefore, you had to keep the flashlight on in order to see your way through the darkened entrance. Although you could have simply switched on the lamplight, but you knew only too well you weren’t going to linger on the ground floor for too long. So, using the flashlight would also do. You knew this cabin like you knew the back of your hand, and you couldn’t wait to get to the second floor.

You hoped you would be on time to wake up your sleeping beauty.

***

You had to unlock yet another heavy door before you could enter Saga’s room. You were glad to find the heater, which was built into the wall, was still working fine. Therefore, the temperature in Saga’s room had remained warm despite the cold weather outside. The room was dim with no light on, and there was also no movement.

You turned the light on—a small lamp on the low table near the door, enough to provide the most basic fainted lighting but not enough to light up an entire room, but it suited you just fine. Naturally, your glance fell upon the sleeping figure on the bed.

Saga didn’t seem to have moved despite many hours had passed by, or perhaps it was the handcuffs keeping him from moving? Anyway, Saga looked exactly just the same when you left him this morning. Lying on his back, his face slightly turned leftward, with his eyes closed. If it weren’t for the fact of the visibly bound hands above his head, he could have been a picture of a peaceful sleeper. His even breath indicated that he really was still unconscious. The drug most likely hadn’t yet worn off from his system.

You were glad to see Saga was fine. During the long day away from him, you had been worried sick although you had done what you could to mask your worry so those who were around you would not notice. You really, really should avoid leaving Saga for too long in the future, if you could help it.

Dragging a chair near the bed, you took a seat next to where Saga was sleeping. You didn’t have the heart to wake him. Therefore, you decided you would sit there and waited until Saga woke up on his own.

Whilst you were waiting, you thought it would be good to read the remaining part of Saga’s notebook. With this thought in your mind, you reached down to fish said notebook out of your bag, which had been previously placed on the foot of the bed. You hadn’t finished reading Saga’s writing yet; and tonight, you would go to the parts that you knew would be related to his recent day-to-day life.

On one of the page, Saga mentioned his visit to his psychiatrist, Dr. Camui; but the visit itself was uneventful. So quickly, you turned to the next page; the first thing you noticed was Saga’s handwriting. The words looked messier and the sentences seemed to be more broken and incoherent, as though the writer was in great distress.

The more you read, the more you realised your concern was confirmed. In this entry, Saga recorded a bad experience he had whilst waiting table at the restaurant in which he had a part time job.

No, to call it a ‘bad experience’ was an understatement. In this entry, Saga mentioned that he was assaulted by a male customer after work. Saga made a narrow escape, but obviously, the damage was already done.

During the reading, you gripped the notebook so hard that the paper became wrinkled.

Although being physically unharmed, Saga expressed how hurt he was and how frightened he had been left by this experience. He was angry with the assaulter, but you were surprised to see Saga also wrote how ashamed he was of himself, how confused.

Sighing, you looked back down at your sleeping Saga, so fragile. Why couldn’t you be there when Saga needed your protection?

“...that won’t happen again.”

You whispered softly, your eyes never left Saga’s face. It was a promise to both yourself and Saga. From now on, it was your responsibility to shield him from harm.

You really did want to tear this entry down; tossing it into pieces if this meant it could wipe both yours and Saga’s memory of this incident clean. However, you forced yourself to calm down to read the rest of the entry.

You read the text, and then re-read it again. There was something in Saga’s writing. It felt as though some of the assaulter’s harsh words had left an impact on poor Saga, making him really confused and hurt.

That needed more looking into. You gave this mental note to yourself; but now, you had found something else...

Saga did mention the name of this assaulter, someone named ‘Reita’.

Who was Reita? A surge of suspicion rushed through you. You had done some checking on the people around Saga, and not once did this name surface.

You wondered if you could find more clues about ‘Reita’ from the entry. If only you could figure out how to find this man...

***

Takashi came to slowly, his eyes opened to stare into darkness. Once again, he had no memory of how and when he fell asleep; but judging from his surroundings, it must be nightfall already.

His body jerked as it hit him that he could not see, and it took him a few seconds to recall he was blindfolded.

Soon, he discovered not only his sight had been stolen from him once again, also he couldn’t move. His hands had been pulled up above his head when he passed out cold.

Gasping, he tried to move his hands; but his wrists were trapped by the handcuffs, which he slowly started to realise were attached to some sort of ropes. After a few pulls, it was confirmed that said ropes were also attached to something made of steel and said object was flat but unmovable. It must be the headboard of the bed he was currently lying on.

He was tied down to the bed, and he knew he couldn’t wretch free from neither the ropes nor the cuffs. Still, he tried to pull at the handcuffs; but all his struggle achieved was causing the metal edges of the cuffs to chafe his skin. He was trapped and he didn’t even know how it happened.

The last thing he recalled was being cuffed to a chair and got fed by his captor, and then something strange happened...it felt like he had lost consciousness in the middle of it. At one moment, he was fine; but in the next second, his mind seemed to simply shut down.

It could not be normal. Takashi thought; suddenly he felt sick as he realised he had really been drugged. It must be something inside the food to make him pass out. Therefore, his captor could tie him up once again...and what else had he done!?

Breathing hard, Takashi’s body jerked again at his own thought. He tried to focus on feeling his limbs and the rest of his body. There was no suspicious pain or soreness over his body, so perhaps the kidnapper had left him alone this time...?

His relief was short lived as he heard the unmistakable noise of someone rising from a chair nearby.

“Saga.”

He knew this voice. He knew he was there no matter how much he wished he wasn’t. Nevertheless, there was no escaping from reality because the next thing he knew, his captor had taken a seat at the edge of the bed. He was so close; his presence could no longer be denied.

“I hope you have slept well, pet.”

His voice was soft and low, almost loving; but there was a hidden edge in this voice...something that made Takashi uneasy. Takashi didn’t know how to answer, and there was something more urgent in his mind...

“Why...why am I...tied?”

His question was met with silence. Instead, Takashi felt fingers landed themselves along the side of his face, stroking.

“Untie me...it’s uncomfortable...” Too scared to move away from the kidnapper’s touch, Takashi whimpered. He was begging now but he didn’t care, “...untie me.”

Still, there was no answer, but Takashi soon felt his captor shift a bit on the bed. Then, he also sensed a pair of hands moving among the ropes that tied his hands down and slowly, the ropes were undone.

Relief and disbelief washed over Takashi at once. He could hardly believe his captor had unfastened the ropes, which enabled him to bring his still cuffed hands down a bit and rest them on top of his clad chest. However, his heart sank as he felt his captor climbing onto the bed. The mattress beneath Takashi sank as the kidnapper straddled him by the hips, his upper body hovering above him.

Takashi flinched when he sensed the other man was leaning closer to him, close enough he could feel the latter’s breath on his face.

“No! What’re you doing—?”

He struggled but soon, his wrists were caught, pulled back once again above his head and pinned down to the mattress. Now, the unknown man was pressing against him so he could no longer try to thrash away.

“No please—”

Takashi tried to scream again, but his words were cut off by a pair of lips pressing firmly against his mouth.

As this happened, the blindfolded youth was so shocked he felt as if air was knocked right out of his lungs; his captor took advantage of his shocked state to deepen the kiss, slipping his tongue in to explore his captive’s mouth beyond those sweet lips.

Now, his captor was practically lying on top of him, their bodies pressed together. Takashi felt trapped; he couldn’t do anything to stop the larger man. He tried to stay still, hoping everything would soon be over, but his captor wouldn’t give up. Instead, his lips pressed so forceful against his captive’s; his tongue quickly found Takashi’s and tangled with it, seeking domination.

Takashi felt like he would pass out, he couldn’t believe this was happening to him, it was like nothing he had ever experienced nor expected—

In the last minute, his captor pulled back. There was a pause between them; nothing could be heard aside from their own laboured breathing.

“Who is Reita?”

Takashi’s eyes shook open beneath the blindfold. The mention of this name came as a total shock to him. Why would the other man know about Reita?

“Reita, you know who he is, right?”

Biting his lip, Takashi struggled to think of how to answer.

“I’ll ask again, who is Reita?”
“He...he is...he’s nobody!”
“Don’t lie,” the kidnapper replied in a dangerously low voice.

The captive youth knew it was a question he couldn’t tell lie or avoid, but he had no idea what the safe answer would be, “He really is...ah!”

Takashi couldn’t even finish his sentence because his chin was grasped roughly all of a sudden.

“Did he touch you?”

Takashi could feel his muscles going tensed. At the back of his chaotic mind, he could still sense this question was even more dangerous than the previous one.

Reita had done...things to him, so Takashi couldn’t say no to this question; but to his dread, he sensed the kidnapper could tell once again that he was lying even if he denied it.

“He...he did,” Takashi could only hope this answer wouldn’t put him in more danger.
“Did he touch you like this!?”

In the next second, the front of Takashi’s shirt was roughly pulled upward under his armpits to reveal his lithe upper body.

“Don’t be silly, I know you like it. You want guys to take you, be rough to yo—”

Reita’s cruel words echoed in his mind.

“No...stop!” Takashi nearly screamed, “Please stop...it’s not what you think!”
“Then, what was it?” His captor hissed, whilst still holding down both of the youth’s wrists with one hand. The man’s free hand was traveling downward, groping the bare flesh he found along the way with his strong fingers, and then the hand snaked even further before cupping the latter on the hip.

“Or did he do this to you?” His captor whispered hotly next to Takashi’s ear as he began to squeeze the clad thin hip beneath his palm, not forceful enough to cause pain, but in a way that was clearly violating and sexual.

“Should I get rid of this Reita? He’s violated my dear Saga after all.”
“Please...let go—”
“Do you want me to punish him, Saga? Answer me.”

Takashi’s pleas soon turned into gasps of horror as the unknown man’s hand was moving to the front of his trousers, trying to pull his waistband down from his hips.

“No!” Takashi struggled harder to free his hands but it was useless.

With his hands pinned, Takashi could do nothing as his trousers were yanked down to rest around his thighs. Much to his fear, the same hand was now reaching up quickly to his crotch, palming him roughly through the fabric of his underpants.

“Stop! Don’t touch me!” He was truly crying now, his entire body shook uncontrollably. Something within him had just broken, his self-control snapping.

At first, he was in too much shock, too lost in his misery to feel the body atop him pulling back. In the haze of panic and dread, Takashi kept sobbing. Until he vaguely felt his captor slowly letting go of his bound wrists, allowing him to slowly rolling away. Takashi lay on his side, cupping his face with his still bound hands, curling himself to a ball on the mattress and cried harder.

For a moment, the kidnapper remained silent behind him. Takashi didn’t know how much time had passed before he felt the other man lying down as well, taking hold of him from behind. This time, his movement was gentle; but Takashi still shuddered as he was softly pulled to rest against his captor’s clad chest.

“Don’t cry, Saga...” Burying his face carefully amongst Takashi’s short tresses, the man whispered, “I’m sorry. I’ve gone too far...”

Takashi kept crying, letting out another loud sob, “Why are you doing this to me?”

“...I won’t tolerate anyone laying their hands on you, Saga.”

Another unwanted kiss, this time softly placed upon the corners of Takashi’s trembling lips; but thankfully, the unknown man didn’t do anything else after this.

“I don’t want this...I...don’t want anyone, leave me alone—”
“You know I can’t do that, pet. I will never do that.”

Tightening his grab slightly, his captor held him until he fell asleep out of exhaustion.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 15: Decisions

 

When Takashi came to, the first things he noticed were that he was no longer blindfolded but his wrists were still bound together, and he was still feeling weak. His head was aching and his thoughts were hopelessly out of focus, it took him a long time to become aware of his surroundings again. All he knew was that it was once again daytime, though he couldn’t tell whether it was morning or noon. The sky was covered with heavy clouds, so it was difficult to tell, and he didn’t care whatsoever.

Then, Takashi stirred as fear surged through him. For a panicked moment, he feared the kidnapper was still inside the room with him. Still too afraid to move, the bound man lay very still on the bed, listening to any suspicious sound within the room, but he heard nothing other than his own faint breathing.

Eventually, he felt secure enough to slowly sit up with one elbow supporting his upper body. Once again, he scanned his surroundings, only to be confirmed he was really alone. However, this discovery didn’t bring him as much relief as he had hoped.

The last thing he remembered before slipping into unconsciousness was himself being still blindfolded and cuffed, crying in misery after being assaulted by the unnamed kidnapper. He was lying on his side, crying uncontrollably. His captor was there too, he had lain behind him, holding him regardless whether he wanted it or not whilst murmuring words of apology next to his ear; empty words that Takashi didn’t bother to listen.

The kidnapper had hurt him. His action from last night had also demonstrated that there wasn’t anything Takashi could do to stop this man, and there was nowhere for Takashi to hide from him. Therefore, it should have been only natural for him to feel relieved that his captor was gone now, but there was no such luck for him. Beneath the blanket, Takashi hugged himself tightly, curling into a ball. He knew he was shivering, but he couldn’t make himself stop. It was sickening...this mixture of helplessness and violation. If he weren’t feeling so weak, he would have rolled around and puked.

It was when he allowed his tear to fall.

This man...he had touched him, in various places; pressed his lips against his own, pinned his arms down, his body pressed against his whilst forcing him to answer unwanted questions. He could feel those unwanted touches, as if the imprints of those touches had already gotten under his skin. It felt as though he couldn’t escape from it.

He had cried, begging the kidnapper to stop, but the latter didn’t listen to him. He just did whatever he wanted to; putting his hands on places he wasn’t supposed to touch, asking Takashi all those questions, forcing him to face those horrible memories.

The unknown man had asked about Reita. No one else had ever known what had happened between them that night, so how would he know about Reita? Takashi didn’t even tell Nao anything about this incident. Could it be...?

Takashi buried his face deeper into the pillow beneath him; he was trying very hard to figure out who could possibly know about the incident with Reita, and where the kidnapper might find clues about it. For so long, he had guarded this unpleasant memory so carefully that it was impossible for any detail to be slipped from his own mouth. No, he wasn’t foolish enough to mention it to anyone else. Not to any of his friends from college, not Nao, not Dr. Camui, absolutely not to his parents. He didn’t tell anyone, even though he had come so close to tell this secret, but he always hold himself back in the last minute. For a few times, he did long for a person whom he could talk to, but moving away from hometown and living alone seemed to make it impossible to find a friend trustworthy enough for such kind of confession...

Moreover, the kidnapper had demanded him to reveal who Reita was and what kind of connection he shared with the other man. Then, it meant his captor couldn’t possibly know who Reita really was, at least not all the details, right?

He didn’t tell anyone about Reita and what the latter had tried to do to him, but he did write about the incident, in his journal.

The realisation made his body shake. How could he have forgotten about this journal? Although it wasn’t really a journal, it was only a plain notebook; and Dr. Camui had encouraged him to write down what was in his mind. Takashi had followed this advice, but now...what had happened to his notebook?

One thing was certain: his notebook wasn’t with him now. His captor must have taken everything away from him when he was unconscious. Did he have the notebook with him when he was taken? Was it inside his backpack when he tried to go home in this fatal night when he was captured?

Did the kidnapper read the entries in his notebook?

Heat rushed up to his pale cheeks when Takashi imagined his notebook, with so much of his private thoughts and details of his daily life written across each page, now being in the possession of the unnamed kidnapper. All those thoughts, all those secrets that he had never told anyone, now laid open for the kidnapper to read through...

However, what should he do? Would the kidnapper admit stealing his notebook even when he asked? Could he really confront the unknown man over the matter?

After what had taken place in the past, after what had been done to him, Takashi had no confidence left for himself.

He felt threatened and unsafe even more so than before. He knew nothing about the situation, he didn’t know how to protect himself, and he knew absolutely nothing about his captor. On the other hand, his captor seemed to know so many things about him, so many intimate details.

Dragging himself up to a sitting position, Takashi rested his back against the headboard, pressing his knees up to his chests so he could encircle his bent legs with his bound arms.

As if by doing so he could protect himself from harm, but Takashi wasn’t foolish enough to believe this sort of wishful thinking. The threat from the kidnapper wasn’t just physical. Yes, he knew the unknown man could overpower him, but aside from this, the kidnapper was also doing something to him...something more than just physical threat and damage. What his captor had done to him had marred Takashi mentally, making him feel as though he was about to lose his mind.

Was it possible that it was also part of the kidnapper’s plan? To break down his defence?

He had heard about awful things being done to kidnapped victims before, he was also aware of how torture and imprisonment could affect the captive’s mentality.

Takashi wasn’t a person who was interested in true crime or gross details of criminal activities, but in the age of television networks and Internet, even an uninterested citizen like him had his good share of exposure to those shocking, sensational cases of kidnapping and/or murder. Hadn’t there just been a kidnapping case took place in some foreign country, which had caused such an international sensation across the world, due to the terrifying nature of the crime and its sickening details?

He recalled the case in question had taken place in Russia...or was it some other Eastern European countries? Takashi couldn’t recall the exact country but it didn’t seem to matter. He remembered that the female victim was kidnapped when she was only a little girl not older than ten years old. She was stolen away by a middle-aged man who had a few criminal records of sex crime. The man imprisoned the girl inside his own house, had kept her captive for years. It was believed that the victim was tortured and sexually abused during her imprisonment. Then, a much-unexpected thing seemed to take place: after the first four or so years, the kidnapper had let his guard down, allowing the girl a bit more freedom, even taking her out for trips, pretending she was his young girlfriend. During those trips, there had been times when the girl actually had chances to try to escape or call out for help, but the girl didn’t do anything.

Most people believed the victim was too terrified to seek help, but there was always a lingering sliver of doubt that perhaps at some points, the girl didn’t want to escape, the tiny possibility that the victim had grown too mentally dependent of her kidnapper, making escape impossible. Moreover, after she finally managed to escape, people were startled that she didn’t express too much hatred towards her kidnapper. It almost felt like on some levels, she couldn’t bring herself to hate him, nor pinning the blame on him, despite all her suffering.

“He wasn’t always cruel, he was not a monster. Not always...” With a haunted expression on her young face, the kidnapped victim even defended her kidnapper like this during a television interview.

This kidnapped girl, now a young woman who barely reached 20 years old, had finally been freed and returned to her parents. When she appeared on TV for her interview, she was dressed in fine dress, make-up had been carefully put on her young face and her blond hair neatly combed. Nevertheless, what had always stayed the most clearly about this girl was how expressionless she was throughout the whole interview. Her experience must have robbed her of many things. A normal childhood, schooling, her innocence, and something even more than these things.

It didn’t seem to be an isolated case; Takashi could also recall a few similar cases in recent years. There also was a name for this syndrome......wasn’t it called ‘Stockholm Syndrome’?

It was frightening to think instead of being angry with someone who imprisoned and physically harmed you, you ended up defending the kidnapper on his behalf, even becoming attached to him. Like the kidnapped foreign girl had seemingly done.

He wouldn’t let himself become like one of those poor girls, right? Many of those victims were too young when their kidnappers stole them from their families, so they were helpless to fight back. Nevertheless, Takashi wasn’t the same, right? He should be able to at least keep himself rooted to reality, and think of an escape plan, right?

He shouldn’t...shouldn’t just sit around and wait for the worst to happen, right? Even though he wasn’t strong to fight back, it still didn’t mean there wasn’t anything he could do.

***

It must have been near noon when something finally happened, breaking the stillness within the room.

Kneeling at the far corner of the room, Takashi cocked his head and looked at the door; he could hear movements from outside of his prison. He knew it must be his captor returning, only he didn’t know what the latter was here for; and the suspense of what was to come made his body go tensed instantly.

Illogically, the first thing that came across Takashi’s mind was to run and hide himself, even when he knew only too well in this small room, he had nowhere to hide.

He could only watch as a trap door was being opened from the outside, and a tray with plate of steamy food placed atop it was smoothly slipped into his room. After the tray of food was pushed entirely into Takashi’s prison, the trap door was closed once again from the outside.

Takashi didn’t move, he was still trying to analyse what he had just seen. His kidnapper had brought him food to eat but he didn’t try to enter the room. Perhaps he didn’t do it simply because Takashi wasn’t blindfolded so he couldn’t risk his captive seeing his face?

Funny how he had never noticed the existence of a trap door. It was designed the same way like those entrances that were designed for pets to enter and exit their master’s house. Then, the captive youth noticed how said trap door was also designed to look like it was part of the doorframe, with no visible lines to differ the normal doorframe and the hidden trap door.

His groaning stomach reminded him he hadn’t eaten even since he woke up; reminding him he should get himself some food, when his captor still bothered to get him anything to eat at all. It was a terrible thought, to think the kidnapper might leave him without supply, might very well leave him to starve to death, whilst no one was around to help.

Still sitting on the bare wooden floor, Takashi drew his legs up further against his clad chest, hugging himself with his thin arms.

He didn’t know what would happen to him next, so many things were still uncertain for him...but one thing was clear.

He needed to resist.

If his captor wanted to break his will, then he must resist, in some way.

It would be foolish to think he could physically fight against his captor. He simply wasn’t strong enough, hadn’t recovered enough to do this.

The nameless kidnapper had already robbed so many things from him, his freedom, his dependence, even his privacy......Takashi suspected that the unknown man would not even stop at just these. The man would demand even more from him...far more than Takashi was willing to give in any consequence.

Instead of allowing the kidnapper to steal more of him, this time Takashi had made up his mind to call it a stop.

Taking one last look at the food tray on the floor, not so very far away from him from across the room, then Takashi let his head drop heavily atop his crossed arms. He would not let himself look at the food again.

This time he would resist.

Even when struggle and fight could get him nowhere, even after his captor had already done stripping him of his dignity, even despite his nearly unbearable fear to starvation, Takashi knew he could still choose to starve himself, and let his captor deal with the outcome.

***

What to do next...?

You were back into your study once again, but you couldn’t relax. What had just taken place between you and Saga...how things had turned out.......

Frustrated, you lit a cigarette and took a long draw. Only within the four walls of this study inside the cabin, you could allow your mask of confidence and control to slip off. Things had turned out badly, to say the least.

You knew you had lost control and as a result, you lashed out your anger at Saga. In the end, he was frightened and crying in misery and you regretted it. You had been foolish to let rage overtake yourself and mess up your original plan.

Due to the fact that he was blindfolded, you couldn’t see Saga’s eyes at that time; but if you could, you knew you would have seen fear glistening within those orbs. Moreover, wasn’t Saga’s cries and struggle, and the way his body shuddered, enough to signify how scared he was when you took your anger out on him, forcing him to relive the memory with Reita.

Certain degree of dread would benefit you, but you had never wanted things to get like this between you and Saga, just......not like this.

Shouting, angry words and threats would not bring you love and affection in return, and you should have known better. You should have kept your anger at bay. It wasn’t how it was supposed to work.

A man was supposed to learn from other people’s failures, right? Therefore, you should have known better. After all, hadn’t you grown up watching those around you making one mistake after another, messing up their own lives whilst making other people just as miserable as themselves?

Hadn’t you already sworn you would not repeat their mistakes?

Everyone you had ever met...all of them were putting on such a bold face, putting up so much confidence, as if they were really all so smart; as if they knew what they really wanted with their lives. All of them had spent so much time and effort chasing after things that they believed were important but in fact were more or less meaningless.

However, you are unlike them. See? Hadn’t you successfully managed to do what other people couldn’t, or didn’t even dare to imagine doing? Hadn’t you gotten what you wanted, after working so hard to get your heart’s desire? To get him?

Other people...everyone you had ever met, even the people you’d once lived with, people whom you had associated yourself with, they always wanted so much from their lives. They believed wrapping themselves up with money and fame and all sort of material gains would make them happy, making their lives complete; but you knew better...

For a moment, you allowed yourself to recall the life you had left behind, to be dragged back to the past memory, your past...

Your father was someone who was known as a successful businessman, but his ‘success’ laid more on inheriting what had been established by his own father than creating his own fortune. Although you had little to no complain about it, after all your parents had given you and your siblings every material comfort you would ever ask for.

Although your father might be a capable leader to his company and his employees, but as the head of his family and as a person, there was one major fault in your father: he demanded perfection from those around him, and he refused to accept people were born with flaws. In his mind, he and his wife had afforded the best for their children, so in return their children not only needed to prove themselves worthy, but perfect.

Your father had always liked owning objects of the finest quality, he also liked to show his possessions off to the rest of the world to see; his attitude towards his own family wasn’t so different.

He wanted a perfect wife, so he married a beautiful and privileged young woman from a well-respected family. Soon afterward, she had given birth to his children. In turn, said children would grow up, live according to the rules he had laid out for them, and become the people he wanted them to become. That was how he saw things.

After all, his wife and children were the same like his other personal possessions—something he owned and should only behave in certain ways, which suited his liking.

Still, in many respects, your father valued his own family greatly. In your father’s mind, what he had done for his family should very well be defined as ‘love’: wasn’t giving your loved ones the best you could afford and making the best decisions for them the very sign that you valued and cared about them above all things else?

Back when you were still living under the same roof with your father and the rest of your family, your father’s words were Law. Within his household, no one dared to breathe louder than necessary, let alone saying something aloud without your father approaching. You recalled the time when you were too young and ignorant to know what your father had demanded from you wasn’t quite...normal. What your father had done was to strip you and your siblings of your choices and model you all according to his liking.

However, despite everything your father had done, still no one within your family really loved him in return.

Your mother, a weak-willed woman that she was, was no match against your father and his demanding nature. Soon, she withered under her husband’s iron grip and became not much better than a beautiful marionette that could barely excise any will of her own; a woman who found her escape in designer clothes, beauty salons, social events and parties, at the same time leaving her children on the hands of babysitters and housekeepers. She was too lost in her own world to make much effort on child caring.

Your siblings, growing up under your father’s shadow and living constantly in fear of his wrath, had learnt to hide their true feelings from the rest of the world, how to bend their own will and adjust themselves to suit your father’s demands. Everyone was obedient towards your father and they had all grown up according to your father’s expectations. Nevertheless, you also knew that deep down none of your siblings harboured much in-depth feeling towards the older man. They weren’t foolish enough to give their love to a man who was too blind to see them for who they really were. Therefore in return, they all gave him no true affection.

You had long sworn to yourself you would not repeat your father’s mistake.

Perhaps you weren’t so different from your siblings. You also knew how to build walls around yourself although outwardly, you seemed to have no problem interacting and associating yourself with people. You could also skilfully made friends as well whenever you needed to. Everyone seemed to like you well enough although no one seemed to know you had always been keeping people at arm length. In addition, it wasn’t just to people outside of your family, you also failed to feel much of a deep connection with any of your family member. As mentioned above, your father was far from an ideal caring and loving daddy, your mother was too far gone to care, your siblings were all too busy living to your father’s expectations and dealing with the pressure shoved to them. Within your family, no one seemed to have the time and energy to support each other.

However, it wasn’t as if you wanted to complain about your family life. Your father, being stern and demanding that he was, was not an abusive person. In a sense, the man was almost...reasonable and fair. He was willing to give you and your siblings a generous amount of material comfort; he was equally as generous when it came to his children’s education. All he had demanded in return was all of them to live up to his expectations.

Your father perhaps had never ever expected any of children to rebel against him, but in the end you did, after a fashion.

Your father had always believed you were his obedient son, someone whom could be shown off in front of others like a prized pony. Until one day, he caught you fooling around with another boy at the corner of his house.

Looking back, you knew what you had done was foolish and impulsive. You shouldn’t have done this with that other boy in where your family member could easily walk in on you, but back then you didn’t care. You didn’t really care whether your father found out. Back then, it wasn’t an entirely conscious choice of your own making, but now you could see that perhaps you did want your family members to find out about you. Perhaps it was your indirect way to protest against your father’s treatment.

Once your father discovered the truth, you were no longer the ideal son of his. Unsurprisingly, he refused to accept you as who you were (you had no illusion about it at the very beginning), for in his mind being attracted to other men and fooling around with other male teenagers were just not acceptable.

“You are a disgrace to us all!”

In a fit of anger, your father had yelled at you like this. In his mind, what you had done was more than just a disgrace. You knew the older man felt he was personally betrayed by you, by you just being who you really were.

Your father cared about his own good name much more than the happiness of his children, and having a gay son under his roof was certainly the last thing he would accept. Therefore once you hit age 21 and became socially and lawfully acknowledged as an adult, your father asked you to leave his household, and in exchange for your absence from the family and your silence, your father were willing to hand you a large sum of money, and then he sent you packing. That was it.

The money given to you was more than enough to get you through your study at university. You figured that you probably don’t need to work after the first few years of your graduation.

Ironically, the fallout between you and your father was the reason why you had come into possession of this cabin in the middle of woodland. As part of the bargain, you had asked your father to give this cabin and the small piece of land around it to you, like a bonus of some sort; you had half expected your father to say no, but in the end, the property was transformed to be under your name.

Your family hadn’t been to this cabin for years, and this piece of property was too remote to be of much value. It was nearly impossible to develop it into something profitable that might expect why his father didn’t care much about giving the cabin to you.

You didn’t miss your father, or the rest of your family. You didn’t hate them, but there was nothing left to make you long to come back to them either. In fact, for most of the time you were glad that you were now a free agent, free to make decision for yourself, doing things as you saw fit without having to answer to anyone.

If you had never met Saga...perhaps you would live a less complicated life. You were having your education, you had more than enough money to go by; and if things went according to plan, you would have a bright future waiting for you. You knew you had a far better chance to make a good, comfortable life for yourself than many other young people in your own age group. However, you would also live as if you were still living according to what your father would have expected from you. All you would get was this seemingly perfect, yet empty life. A life, which would be just the same like your father’s own life, even with all the familiar patterns.

However, what good did your father’s lifestyle and choices bring to him? You knew better than anyone else how the older man had never managed to get what he truly desired, even though the older man probably would never admit this. The same like you, your siblings could hardly wait to escape from your father’s tight grip, although they might not be courageous enough to show their true feelings. If having any other choice, even your weak-willed mother would choose to leave your father’s side.

After you met Saga...you had finally seen your father’s error, and you had sworn you would not commit the same mistake. His method was a failure, you could not make someone else yours by making demands or forcing them into listening to your orders. Human beings and their mind simply couldn’t work like this.

Instead, you would have to work more subtly, you would be patient, you would look after Saga with care, you would wait for him to slowly learn from his mistakes, you would wait for him to see the error of his own way and then realise what actually was best for him. When the time was right, you would let Saga eventually make his own choice.

If you still wanted to make your plan work out, you needed to be resourceful. You must be level-headed, more than ready to face difficulties and challenges in any given situation whilst carrying out your plan. You also needed to excise a perfect degree of control.

You had already failed to maintain control around Saga once, and it wasn’t really acceptable. You didn’t want to fail, and you should work harder to ensure something like this wouldn’t happen again.

You had to make sure when you faced Saga again, you would be collective and calm, instead of acting like a schoolboy overridden by jealousy and rage.

Would there be any other better method to lighten your mood, wipe your anger clean by eliminating the very source of your problems?

You were wrong to take out your anger at Saga...you could see your error now. Your anger was misplaced. Someone else was to blame, someone else needed to be punished.

You had previously told Saga you would not tolerate anyone else laying their hands on him, you had made a promise for retribution.

You smiled as you recalled your own words, and started planning how best to go through your very own promise to Saga.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 16: Crisis

 

There was no clock inside the prison. Therefore, Takashi could not tell what time it was. Outside of the fenced window, daylight was fading so the captive knew it most likely was closing to dusk.

Another day had passed, and the kidnapper didn’t show himself. Takashi was glad that he didn’t. He knew he couldn’t endure the presence of the other man, nor his closeness. It had been nearly two days; his captor had merely slipped tray of food through the hidden trapdoor. He did it without once trying to enter Takashi’s prison, without even once trying to make any conversation. Takashi had no clue why the kidnapper would change his approach, but he was grateful for this fact nonetheless.

On the rational level, Takashi knew there wasn’t much he could do to stop his captor from entering the room and forcing his company on him. Therefore, he could only hope the other man would not change his mind and make his entrance any time soon.

He didn’t want the other man’s presence. He wished the man would just...go away and leave him alone, even when the rational side of him was telling him how unlikely it was for the kidnapper to do as he wished. Their past encounters had taught him the other man just wouldn’t simply leave him alone. It would be wise to expect his captor was lurking somewhere and planning something against him, than assuring the latter had simply given up.

You couldn’t expect someone who had already done so many things, even committed kidnapping, breaking more than a handful of laws by doing so, to simply give up. It was out of the question. The kidnapper was merely waiting for the right moment, bidding his time. He had to be.

The kidnapper wouldn’t give up easily. On the other hand, Takashi had decided not to give in. Despite his helplessness, the brown-haired youth had still decided to resist his captor.

If he could not escape, than he at least must try to keep his captor from getting what he wanted.

If the man walked into the room and tried to talk to or interact with him, Takashi would try his best not to respond.

In addition, he would no longer accept food from his captor. It was difficult, for his body did need food, and it was even more difficult for a person to deny himself food after he had already experienced starvation so intimately and painfully in recent time. In fact, it was nearly unbearable to deny himself. Takashi nearly lost his mind just by being exposed to the scent of cooked food, taking in the sight of it...whilst trying to steel himself against temptation.

It looked nearly impossible but in the end, he managed to hold his own. Even if he must retreat to the opposite side of the room, clinging to himself at the far corner just to resist giving in to his own urge and survival instinct.

It was so, so hard. Reason told him a grown man could survive at least a couple of days without food, but when you were slowly undergoing the process of starvation, every minute could feel as though it had been stretched to an agonising eternity; but Takashi forced himself on because this was the last line of his defence.

Sound of movement from the door drew Takashi’s thoughts back to reality. Looking up, the youth saw the trapdoor at the lower part of the only door being unlocked and slipped open. Then, a new tray with a bowl of food and a plastic spoon was carefully pushed into his prison.

After the assault, the kidnapper had declined to show himself in front of Takashi. However, the unknown man had still been bringing food to his captive. Not once did the man try getting in, neither restraining Takashi again nor feeding him against his will. Since then, food had been brought into his prison room three or two times a day, regularly.

Takashi couldn’t help trying to analyse the kidnapper’s motive. Perhaps the latter was bringing food to him as a peace offering, perhaps the latter thought it could buy his forgiveness.

Nevertheless, Takashi wouldn’t have this. He didn’t even touch the food given to him. He barely drank from the bottle of water given to him either. He had suspected drug had been slipped into the food and water given to him. Therefore, refusing them might be the only way to keep himself awake and alert.

Moreover, it seemed to be working. Once he stopped eating and reducing the amount of water he consumed, his mind seemed to be clearer, although he still felt weak, even more so due to the lack of food.

For a long time, Takashi remained seated on the bare floor. He had been avoiding making any movement or changing his position as much as he could, just to save up what little left of his energy. He only left his spot once to empty himself into a used water bottle after he slowly drank up the water within.

He still felt gross over by what he was forced to do for the ‘nature calling’. After all, he still needed to attend to his basic needs; but it was so difficult to do it by himself. The kidnapper had deliberately made him dependant even on matters that were so basic and intimate. Takashi could only comfort himself by thinking it was still better than having to ask for the captor’s help to use the bathroom again, or pissing on the floor.

For the entire time, Takashi had been doing nothing but staring out in front of him and he should have noticed the arrival of nightfall; but when he finally noticed how dim the room had become, he was still caught off guard. Night had already fallen; a whole day had gone by with no incident...or so it seemed.

Perhaps he should get back to bed not far from him, to lie down and save some energy by sleeping the whole night away—dreams seemed more preferable than his horrid reality anyway. Perhaps he might forget the hunger when he wasn’t conscious enough to feel it. It really wasn’t as if he had anything better to do.

Just when Takashi was about to try moving from his spot, he heard something. Immediately, he stirred. What was the faint echo of suspicious sound he thought he had just heard? It came from somewhere; it seemed to be...sound coming from within the room.

Just when he thought he must have misheard, the noise came again.

“........”

This time, Takashi knew he wasn’t mistaken. There was white noise coming from the sound device.

“Saga...”

Someone calling his name; the kidnapper calling. But...it was wrong......no...not his name. This name wasn’t his, never.

Still...an entire day had passed, and finally the kidnapper made his first attempt of communication. What did he want this time? Takashi couldn’t just ignore it, could he?

Slowly, with heavy steps, Takashi moved towards where the sound device was placed. Putting himself upright and walking proved to be more difficult than he had remembered when he was intentionally starving himself.

He tried his best to move forward without making noise, but at the back of his mind, he suspected the kidnapper probably could still hear him; it would be foolish to think the kidnapper was oblivious to what was going on inside his prison.

This sound device could work both ways. Whilst the kidnapper could speak through the device, he must also be able to hear Takashi’s movements and the sound he made within the locked room. This could also explain why the other man seemed to know what he was doing, even when Takashi was locked inside, all by himself.

Now with his palms and upper arms pressed slightly against the bare wall, he stood in front of the sound device, waiting for the kidnapper to speak again.

Takashi didn’t have to wait long before his captor started speaking through the device.

“Saga, can you hear me?”

Takashi knew he was meant to reply, like an obedient, scared prisoner should, but he kept quiet.

“Listen......”

The brown-haired youth swore he could hear the hint of worry in his captor’s voice.

“Saga, you need to eat somethin—”

This time however, Takashi was ready.

Without hesitation, he yanked the device from its place on the wall, crushing it against the back of a wooden chair nearby with as much strength as he could. The small, round sound device made contact with the hard wood of the chair with a dull noise, and it was all it took for it to break apart into useless pieces of plastic.

It all happened too quickly. The device was crushed even before the kidnapper could become alarmed or made any protest; but after that, the mysterious man would not be able to speak to Takashi through the sound device again.

Moreover, it was just fine with Takashi, for he simply couldn’t bear to hear this male’s voice and listen to him telling him what he should do any longer. It reminded him too much of how he was caged and at his captor’s entire mercy even when the latter was not psychically presented.

With feeble movement, Takashi moved back to his old spot at the corner. He had nothing to do now, but at least...he knew he had a purpose.

He would resist his captor, for as long as he could take. He didn’t care what would become of himself anymore.

***

You must admit, you were not entirely surprised by how...strongly Saga had reacted; but you were still caught a bit off guard when the latter broke the sound device so suddenly and unceremoniously. You knew you should expect anger, but you had hardly ever suspected that Saga could be the type to use...force when he was upset.

You had made your Saga very, very upset, and now you would have to figure out how to make him stop rebelling against you.

You knew how anger could drive a person to do things that were totally out of character. You also knew how under the influence of rage, people tended to do things they would regret later. You figured this time, you should wait longer, giving Saga more space until he could cool down. Only after that, you might......put some sense back to him.

This time, you wouldn’t be forceful. Still, you were quite certain that eventually, you would teach Saga to submit his will to you, and you would let him realise how good it was to be yours. Then surely, Saga would forgive you and he would no longer be so angry.

***

Once again, daylight arrived as night slowly faded away. Takashi lay on the bed, his head netted amongst a couple of pillows under him. His eyes fixed on the narrow fenced window from across the room, impassively watching the dark blue of the dying night melting to lighter colours.

He didn’t know for how long he had laid there watching the piece of open sky framed by the fenced window. He only knew he had been spending more and more time on the bed. He knew his strength was wearing thin, so he didn’t bother to use more of it by trying to move.

His mind had once been sharper and clearer than it had been for days after he stopped taking any of the drug-stained food. He was able to think more clearly than he had been for days, but now his clear sense became dull once again due to the sharp hunger, and there was something else bothering him.

Aside from the always-presented hunger, as he lay there, Takashi noticed he had been sweating rather uncontrollably despite the coolness within the room.

The feeling of cold sweat covering his skin, soaking both the back and front of his clothes, it felt gross. Takashi wanted to wipe the sticky droplets away from his temple and his neck but…...he was alarmed to find he couldn’t lift his own hands.

Takashi was scared. At the back of his mind, he wondered why he would feel so unwell. It couldn’t be as bad as what he had suffered after waking up to find himself locked in a windowless cell, bound and then blindfolded. Nevertheless, why was he feeling so weak, his mind so clouded?

What was going on? Why couldn’t he move properly? Why did he feel so...hot all of a sudden?

As he lay on top of the mattress, becoming increasingly unwell, Takashi felt uncomfortably hot even when his limbs started to shudder out of control.

“Hot...” Lying on his side, Takashi tried to make his limbs move, to close his fingers around a corner of the blanket so he could push it off. He didn’t want to be covered. It felt like he was on fire, so he tried to do the first thing came to mind: he tried to pull the blanket away from his body.

“No, Saga! You are freezing!”

However, his attempt to free himself from the heavy blanket was interrupted, as a pair of strong hands putting him firmly back to the bed, tucking his body under the blanket again.

Takashi wanted to struggle, but strength seemed to be slipping away from his body. Who was with him in the same room? When did the other get there? Who was this person? Why was he stopping him...? Too many questions his overheated brain could barely keep up with.

“Saga...don’t move so much...you need rest...”

Takashi ignored those words, but those hands wouldn’t leave him alone until he had no other choice than to lie down.

He could vaguely see a figure hovering above him, peering down at him in what seemed to be concern, but it was strange for Takashi to realise he couldn’t see the man’s face properly. It was so hard just to keep his eyes open, and even when he managed to open them, everything within his vision seemed to blur together.

Why did this guy keep calling him ‘Saga’? It wasn’t his name...or was it?

“Who...”

Takashi tried to form words, but nothing louder than a whimper managed to escape pass his trembling lips.

“Don’t say anything, you’re burning up!”
“I...what’s goin—”

Before he could finish, he was put into a tight hug.

“Oh dear,” the man whispered against the crook of his neck, “Saga, you have a fever.”

***

He was ill. Your Saga had fallen ill. His body was feverish under your touch, and you knew how dangerous it would become for him if the fever didn’t break. You started panicking, for you didn’t know what to do.

You couldn’t take him to a clinic or a hospital; that was totally out of the question. Even when you were certain that Saga could not possibly identify you or direct the police to this cabin—your hideout—still, taking Saga to the hospital would certainly mean sending your precious captive back to the outside world, which would also mean you would forever lose the chance to keep Saga to yourself. You would not allow something like this to happen.

Without caring whether Saga might still be conscious enough to see your face or not, you rolled him to lie fully on his back, speaking softly to him, pleading him to respond, to open his eyes. Even though you knew fully well that once Saga did open his eyes, he might still be conscious enough to see your face and memorise it, and he might still be able to recall what he had seen after he recovered. Still, you didn’t care. Now, Saga’s safety and recovery meant more than protecting your identity and secret.

It seemed to take forever before Saga finally opened his eyes. He blinked for a few times as if to clear his vision. You held your breath, not sure how Saga might react. Now, he was looking directly up at you, but his eyes were glassy and unfocused. You figured that he might be too far gone to know what he was seeing. Though you really didn’t know whether you should feel relief or be troubled by this fact.

“Saga, can you hear me?”

Saga made a small moan, turning his head away as if in discomfort. Then he writhed, trying to pull off his blanket.

“Don’t, I said you’re freezing!”

You quickly got a hold of him and pulled the blanket right back in a hurry. Saga protested and tried to fight you, but he could barely raise his arms up and couldn’t do much to resist you. He was weak, even more so than you had expected. You knew the reasons why his health had become so fragile, oh you did know...Not only Saga had refused to eat in the past two days, so it was most likely that his weakened state had made him vulnerable to illness. Beside this, you had done your fair share to weaken him.

Starting from the beginning, you had always made sure not to give Saga too much food. Instead, you intended to give him...just enough, sometimes barely enough. He wouldn’t starve, but he shouldn’t get enough to allow him regain his strength fully. This strategy had seen to work before...but what you hadn’t expected was to Saga to become so ill all of a sudden.

Furthermore, under the influence of rage, you had forgotten to change the bandages around Saga’s wrists. You hadn’t even provided him with anything to clean his wounds......and now, when you unwrapped the bloodstained old bandages, you could see the old cuts around his wrists were bruised. Out of anger, you had forgotten Saga’s wounds and how they might affect his physical well-being. Was it also part of the reason that Saga was ill? You were afraid the answer was most likely positive.

If it was your fault that Saga had fallen ill, then it was solely your responsibility to make Saga well again, whatever it took.

After nursing Saga’s wounds with care, you hurried out of the room, going downstairs to the kitchen, taking a glass and a kettle filled with warm water with you and going back upstairs. It was common knowledge that a person who had gone down with high fever would need a lot of water. It was what Saga would need at the moment...

You quickly poured the warm water into the glass, and then you sat down next to Saga, gathering him into your arms so now he was sitting with his upper body leaning against you. Saga’s overheated body felt limp and boneless. You knew at this point, he was unable to support himself without your help.

You watched him slowly swallowing tiny mouthful of water, one sip after another. He didn’t choke, but he only managed to finish 1/4 of the glass before he turned his head away.

“Drink more...please?”

You pleaded, but Saga’s lips remained pressed tight into a stubborn thin line.

You sighed, putting the glass aside, and then went back to cradle poor Saga as the latter continued to tremble, struggling to draw in breath.

“Don’t worry, you will be fine.” Kissing his forehead in apology, you moved his head a bit so he could have a more comfortable spot for resting. If he heard what you were saying, he didn’t seem to have enough strength to respond.

Soon, Saga was thrashing again, whispering something under his breath.

“What is it, Saga?”
“...it’s too bright...”
“What’re you saying?”
“...hurt...it’s too bright...my eyes...”

You realised what must be bothering Saga. It must be the light in the room. Although you had taken care to make sure the lighting in the room would always remain dim, but somehow in Saga’s weakened state, the dim light in the room must still be hurting his eyes.

Straightening up, you quickly drew the curtains shut, took the lamplight from the desk, and moved it as far away from the bed as possible.

Once again, you went back to Saga’s side, wiping the newly formed thin film of sweat off his forehead. You had noticed Saga’s hair and the front of his shirt were both damped by sweat.

That wouldn’t do. You needed to keep Saga as comfortable as you could, you knew you must prepare to wash him and change his clothes...

 

***

For an entire night, you kept watching, changing the ice bag, replacing the damped clothes with the fresh one, wiping cold sweat away from Saga’s skin, helping him swallow medicine and drink what little water he could manage to consume. You were alert for the whole night; you did all you could to keep him safe and comfortable.

You didn’t even dare to think what would happen if it turned out your effort was still not enough to help Saga recover.

For hours on end, Saga didn’t wake up. His face was still alarmingly pale, but the shiver had stopped at some point. His breathing had slowly become steady again. You felt his forehead, and it appeared to be cooler than before. Thankfully, he was sleeping now; truly falling asleep instead of being helplessly trapped in feverish delusions, unable to wake up, yet unable to truthfully rest either.

Could you dare hope this meant the worst of the fever had passed and his condition had become stable?

Brushing a damp lock of hair from Saga’s temple, you sighed, realising once more how much it was a burden to keep constant care over someone when the latter was entirely depending on you.

However at the same time, the thrill of complete control was also undeniable.

You were not going to give this up.

Placing the used cloth on the chair near the bed, you crawled into bed, lying down next to Saga, and pulling the blanket up over the two of you. It was time to rest, although the night had long crept in and you had lost counted how many hours had passed. Only one thing you were certain of: you were exhausted. In order to continue looking after Saga, you needed some rest. Just a few hours should be enough...

Saga gave out a soft moan as you settled next to him. Perhaps he was dreaming. Still, he did not resist when you carefully wrapped your arms around his thin body, drawing him close.

It was so different from how he reacted around you when he was conscious. You could always feel Saga going tensed whenever you put your hands on him, regardless how gentle your touches were, he just couldn’t seem to relax. You had promised you would be understanding and patient, but his reaction still hurt.

However, now things were different. Not only Saga wasn’t resisting, he had remained relaxed, wrapped up in your embrace, breathing warmly against you; one of his hands resting against your clad chests. It felt so surreal.

Even though you knew you shouldn’t take advantage of Saga when he was so ill, but you still felt a surge of joy. After all, you now had gotten the rare chance to cuddle with your beloved.

“I’ll take care of you.”

You whispered sweet nothing into Saga’s ear; though you knew it wasn’t likely that the unconscious one could hear you. “You’ll be fine.”

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Chapter 17: Awakened

 

It took a long time for Takashi to heal.

His memory of being struck down by the unexpected high fever was a great blur to him. However, Takashi could still recall the fragments of it: the painful moments of constant vomiting long after he had nothing left in his stomach. How he could hardly eat whenever he was fed small amount of watery food. How his inside felt as though he was burning but his skin felt like it was chilled by invisible frost, of waves of cold sweat clinging to his skin. Those fragments of memories would leave Takashi gasping whenever he remembered how worn, how helpless he had become.

Takashi did not want those memories, but they sometimes came back to him in flashbacks, and he was always unprepared to face them. He was held up to sit on the bed in order to receive food or medicine. Sometimes, his clothes had been removed and his body left bare for washing. He was carried out to the bathroom, helped to empty himself when he was too unwell to get there by himself. For most of the time, he had to be told what to do; to perform the simple enough tasks of drinking, eating, taking medicine or even pissing. He was too weak and worn to resist, or even to feel embarrassed. When you were so sick, it was difficult to feel much of anything outside of your own misery.

Since he was too weak to leave the bed, he spent most of the time lying under the blanket, drifting in and out of troubled sleep. However, he continued to feel worn no matter how long his slumber had been, and his senses had always seemed to be disorientated. More days had passed; Takashi didn’t feel he was gaining his strength back. Instead, it felt like he had become even weaker.

He desperately wanted to heal, but his body seemed to be unable to catch up with his wish. Thankfully, he was now conscious enough to be aware of his surroundings and be alert for most of the times. Still, he could barely sit up without support, let alone leaving his bed and walking.

Before, he was a prisoner trapped by the thick walls, locked doors and windows. Now, his sense of entrapment had been deepened. Takashi felt suffocated. Now, it wasn’t only the walls and locked door keeping him from his freedom. Now, he felt as though even his own weakened body had become his prison, trapping him within himself, trapping his whirling thoughts inside his overheated brain, throbbing within the cage of his skull.

It was torturous; but once again, there was nothing Takashi could do.

Ever since he woke up from his feverish slumber, there was only dimness to greet him whenever he opened his eyes. All he could see was the semi-darkness cloaking everything in shadows within his prison. He missed seeing the sky, the stars and the woods through the fenced windows, feeling the fading warmth of sunlight upon his skin when he stood next to a fenced window; but now, even this was taken from him. There was barely any light left in the room now, the curtains had always been drawn, blocking most of the daylight from the outside.

His captor was quite determined to keep him in the dark, or so it seemed.

At the back of Takashi’s mind, he guessed his captor must have been doing it on purpose. His vision was still poor after the illness. In addition, with the curtains drawn and the light constantly being switched off or dimmed, Takashi was never able to see his captor’s face clearly, when the latter snake into his room; even though he was no longer blindfolded.

The semi-darkness that shrouded the room left him with barely anything more than shadows and blurry shapes to stare at, whenever he looked around him. Colours seemed to be wiped clean from his surroundings, leaving dim greyness and shades to dominate his world.

He used to have a life of his own. His world used to be filled with so many things...this life, this world he took residence in was in fact not perfect, but now...it seemed like his entire world had crumbled down right before him, withering, losing shape and being reduced to emptiness and mere shadows.

Before the fever, there had always been a surge of desperate energy in Takashi’s being, an impulse urging him to keep trying despite his fear and suffering; but now this energy had gone, and he felt hollow...from the inside.

***

Saga was recovering, but something was still amiss. You were nervous, confused if only you would admit it to yourself but you could only hope you know what had gone wrong. You kept watching over Saga for as often as you could manage, but he had remained impassive. He used to be jumpy, so shy about being touched. Your presence and touches used to make him stir, but now...Saga seemed to have shut himself down, to a point he failed to react at everything you did to him.

Saga had also become so quiet. He merely let himself be fed, washed and handled in whatever way you saw fit. Despite the obedience and passiveness he had displayed, you still didn’t forget to watch him through the monitor system after you slipped away from his room. You knew your beloved needed spaces. He also needed time to rest and heal. You would give him spaces and alone time when he must, but you were not going to leave him unguarded and unmonitored.

Each time you watched Saga through the screens, you had expected him to try doing something on his own when he was left alone and left to his own devices; but to your surprise, you found your conjunction to be wrong. Even when you were absent, Saga—still looking so fragile, so weak—didn’t do anything more than lying on his bed, staring blankly into space, or fixing his eyes on where the fenced window stood.

The sight of him stirred a sense of guilt deep in your chest. You thought you could understand how Saga was feeling right now: after days of staying in locked rooms and being sick, it was natural for a person to long for open space, the touch of sunlight and fresh air. Sadly, you couldn’t grant Saga’s wish for the time being. You had yet to trust him to be released outside of his room without him trying something foolish, like running away. He would only get himself hurt if he tried this.

Therefore, you drew the curtains, hiding the scenery from the outside from his view, hoping it would make him forget the outside world...for the time being. For now, you could only focus on nursing Saga back to health, other things else just needed to wait.

However, you still wished you could think of a way to make Saga feel better.

***

Something was disturbing Takashi, slowly pulling him up from the depth of dreamless slumber. He felt hot, an unknown heat seemed to circle him, his dreams were troubled and confusing; his limbs twisted amongst the mattress as he tossed and turned in his restless sleep. His muscles tensed even when his eyes were still closed.

Caught between dreams and semi-consciousness, Takashi instinctively wanted to cling to himself for protection, but something was stopping him. He managed to throw an elbow across his face, it was only then he became faintly aware of tiny droplets of sweat seeping down his temples. Once again, he tried to turn but his lower body felt strangely heavy, making it difficult to turn to his side. His breathing was uneven, with each breath he took there was a low gasp escaping his mouth. As more time passed, he became more aware of someone touching him in a way he had never experienced before...

Then, he felt something: unfamiliar fingers touching his waistband, the tips of the digits slipping beneath his pants, touching his manhood experimentally, which was enough to shock Takashi straight out of the state of slumber.

Brown eyes shook open, staring into the semi darkness before him, Takashi struggled to his elbows, but before he could do anything more—like, backing away from the threat he knew must be there—someone caught him by his forearm.

As the dark form before him shifted, Takashi could make out the outline of the shade of a grown man, he knew who it was although the room was still dark and he couldn’t see more than an outline. He knew who it was even before the other man ever breathed a word. With one hand holding Takashi in place, the man let his other hand lingered just below his captive’s waistband, caressing Takashi’s half-hard length with slow, teasing touches.

Takashi’s face burned in shame as he realised he had been aroused even before he was awaken. His breathing came out as sharp gasps as he tried to thrash away, helplessly he tried to push the larger man’s hand away from him, but his strength was no match against his captor. The next thing he knew, he was trapped beneath his captor’s weight, his hands caught immobile between his own body and the kidnapper’s. He gave out a small cry when his legs were forced further apart to make room for the unknown man to settle himself between them.

“Please...” Takashi could hear his voice breaking, “…please stop...!”
“Tsk, don’t move too much, Saga.”

The frightened youth could hear his captor’s low voice, whispering as the latter pressed his forehead on his own, his hot breath ghosting upon Takashi’s face.

“You were tossing and turning in your sleep, I...wanted to make you feel good. Let me take care of you.”

Much to Takashi’s horror, he could feel the kidnapper gripping the top of his loose pants again, this time pulling it completely down his hipbone, freeing his aroused length.

“No! You can’t—” Takashi cried out in shock.
“I can. And I will.” The voice was low, but the warning was clear, leaving no room for refusal. Takashi found himself being pressed to the mattress below him, his captor bent down without hesitation to claim him by crashing their lips together.

***

The kiss was long and deep, filled with hunger and the urge to dominate. However, unlike the first time, there was no anger and malice beyond your touch. Only the need to claim ownership; an urge to satisfy your captive’s need.

Now, you had no reason to be angry. Even the thoughts of Reita had faded to a far corner of your lust-clouded mind.

You had dreamt of it for so long, for a chance to see your Saga to be driven wild by desire. To be the very reason Saga lost control.

You could hear Saga moaning into your open mouth, as if he was still trying to cry out some words. Although at this moment, it was impossible to tell what he was trying to voice out. The sound Saga was making now...it only fuelled your determination.

You didn’t stop, nor did your hands pause from stroking Saga’s heated flesh, not even for a moment. Your beautiful captive was shaking beneath you, the muscles of his smooth thighs clenching against your waist as you toyed with his arousal, which was about to be fully erected between your fingers.

“Saga...” Finally, you drew back; giving both of you a chance to catch your breath, “You’re so beautiful.”

The room was dim, you could hardly see your captive’s feature in the unlit room; but the semi darkness only made you become more aware of the lovely shape of Saga beneath you. Those graceful long limbs, the smooth skin beneath your touch, the way his body trembled ever so delicately against you, the scent of your captive’s hair... All of these were driving you crazy.

***

Takashi turned his face away as soon as the kidnapper drew back, droplets of hot tear stained the corners of his eyes as he bit back a cry.

He bit his lower lip as he sensed the man above him bent down once again to plant kisses along the side of his exposed neck, sucking the sensitive flesh there as his hand worked mercilessly around his length, driving him to the brink of no return.

He didn’t want it...he wanted to hold back, not giving the kidnapper what he wanted, even though he knew it was impossible.

Shame welled up from inside him with a newfound force. Guys did have their physical needs; Takashi was no exclusion. Nevertheless, for the whole time as a young adult, he had only ‘tended to’ those physical needs alone. His release always arrived with a sense of shame during the aftermaths. He knew many men found their release by hooking up with women and getting laid; but he had never felt comfortable to reveal his needs in someone else’s company...

The handful of male friends he managed to make in college all believed Takashi was the shy type and thought nothing more about it. Even during the old days of him frequently clubbing with his friends, Takashi had never tried very hard to hook himself up with someone else, or looking for one-night-stand like some of his friends did. He thought casually chatting, dancing and flirting a bit with the girls was okay; but getting in too deep with any of them...the thought made him uneasy. Therefore, whenever an offer came up, he would turn it down as politely as he could, and no one seemed to mind. No one had bothered to press him into doing anything he hadn’t been prepared for in those days. Now, to have someone else’s touching him, to have a man putting his hands on him, it was Takashi’s undoing.

Now, there was no escape for him. With his captor’s hand wrapped so firmly around his undeniably aroused manhood, Takashi had nowhere to hide.

Then, those sinful fingers pressed down on him again without mercy, particularly hard and demanding, the force sending Takashi off the edge, white hot stars seemed to explode across his vision, he was arching off the bed as he came messily into his captor’s hand.

He must have screamed aloud, though the voice failed to reach his ears as he reached his climax. Seconds later, his captor’s mouth was on him again, kissing him deeply as the larger man continued to stroke his softening member, helping him to ride off the orgasm he had just experienced. Takashi felt himself sinking back to the mattress below him; his body felt numb despite the simulation. Dully, he became aware of his captor still kissing him, but he had no strength left to stop the man from taking what he wanted.

“I can’t help myself...Saga, you’re gorgeous...” After they broke away, a hand reached up to stroke Takashi’s hair gently. He didn’t notice the silent tear dripping down Takashi’s cheeks.

Slowly, the kidnapper withdrew his other hand from between his captive’s legs. Takashi sensed his captor shifted his weight for a moment before he came back, this time straddling his hips, helping to clean the sticky mess of semen off his abdomen and between his thighs with what felt like pieces of thick tissue. After it was done, the man pulled the loose pants around Takashi’s ankles back up to his waist with consideration.

***

You stretched your body to cover Saga’s thin form, taking care not to add your weight on him as you balanced yourself with the support of your elbows. You framed his face with your hands, frowning when you noticed his cheeks were wet...with probably traces of tear. Saga murmured something under his breath, but his voice was so faint it was impossible to tell what he had said.

Unable to resist temptation, you kissed the corner of Saga’s mouth, “I love you...”

You didn’t plan to say this. You had told yourself you would be patient and take things slowly for Saga’s sake. Again, your feeling had overwhelmed you and made you do things out of plan. Still, you didn’t regret saying this, even though you knew you shouldn’t reveal your feeling yet, it was...too early.

Saga’s body tensed beneath you. You had no doubt he had heard your words, but how would he react...? With a sinking feeling, you realised you didn’t know. You were caught unprepared when your fantasy was going to touch ground to reality.

“You’re lying...” Saga’s voice was small, but it seemed to ring so loud in your ears, piercing your heart.
“But it’s true!” You insisted, helplessly.
“Get off me...I don’t want you here...”

With that, Saga rolled to his side, turning himself away from you. He brought his hands up to cover his face as he started sobbing, “I’ll never want you...ever.”

It was the first time you revealed your deepest feeling to your beloved, but you were met with rejection.

-TBC-

Chapter Text

Imprisoned part 18: Tests

Inside the darkened study of the cabin, a television was switched on, at first its screen was blank due to the fact there wasn’t any television signal to be picked up so deep in the woods, but then the screen came to life, flashing with images as someone switched on the tape player.

Now, a small room appeared on the screen, the room was bare and windowless, there were a table and a chair being placed at the corner, plus another chair---an armchair covered by leather of plain light brown color, was placed at the center of the room, nothing else.

On the screen, a young man could be seen sitting on this armchair placed at the center of the room. He was sitting upright, his face tightened with nervousness, he was staring at the space before him as he sat there, not moving a muscle. Only the gentle rise and fall of his clad chest, his blinking eyes indicated any movement.

At this moment, outside of the camera’s frame someone had moved the machine, adjusting it, and instantly the camera started to zone in.

Once the camera began to focus again, small white letters appearing at the bottom of the screen:

 

Session 14

(Note: Patient agreed to record the session on video.)

 

You pressed the 'Pause' button, letting the images of the video frozen in place for a moment, you stared at those white letters for a moment, before finally pressed 'Play' to get the tape running again:

Once you pressed the 'Play' button, the images on the television screen unfrozen at once. The young man was still sitting on the chair, as if he was nervously waiting for something. Then, a man, clad in white coat typically worn by doctors from hospitals or clinics, walking into the frame of the camera.

Unlike the tensed, nervous looking youngster, this man seemed a lot more at ease, more certain in what he was doing, you could tell from his manner.

You gazed at the screen without once taking your eyes off it and you were waiting, wanting to see what the white clad man would do next. Unconsciously you were leaning even closer to the TV.

 

"Good afternoon, Samkamoto san."

It was the older man who spoke first.

"Good afternoon, Dr. Camui." The young man replied, wanting to stand up to greet the doctor, but the latter stopped him with a hand gesture.

"No need to be so formal today, Sakamoto san." The man who was referred as 'Dr. Camui' said.

Hearing the doctor's words, the young man sat back onto his armchair. He simply watched as Dr. Camui also took his seat, which was placed about six or seven feet away, opposite of him.

"Today we are here for our fourteenth session, and this time we will try...something new."

The young man called Sakamoto nodded.

"Before we can begin, I will need you to confirm your identity in front of the camera "

"Okay..." Sakamoto replied, but his eyes were downcast.

"Let's start by telling me--and the camera, your name."

"Sakamoto Takashi." The young man replied dutifully, but he wasn't facing the camera just as Dr. Camui had instructed him to do, instead he quite obviously avoided making any eye contact with the camera placed across the room, on his left hand side.

"Are you comfortable, Sakamoto san?"

"Yes"

Despite his answer, the young man seemed to still look uneasy.

"Sakamoto san, would you speak to the camera and clarify to anyone who may be concerned that you have given your consent to record our conversation? "

The young man must have already heard this question before the camera started running, for he seemed to be ready for this.

Taking a deep breath, the young man spoke.

"I, Sakamoto Takashi, am fully aware of this session will be recorded, And I agree to it."

He uttered those words in such a dispassionate way as though he was reading them from a textbook.

"Very good, now Sakamoto san. Please make yourself sit more comfortably. I want you to be more relaxed."

The young man did as he was told, leaning back to the leather-made backrest behind him, placing his hands on both of the armrests of the armchair he was sitting. Although the small frown hadn't yet left his face. Outwardly he looked calm enough, but if you watched closely you would notice his hands were shaking even so slightly as they rested on the armrests.

"Now, I'm going to ask you a few questions, Sakamoto san. Free feel to answer them as honestly as you can, take however long you have to in answering them. But on the other hand, you are also free to decline to answer if you found yourselves not feeling comfortable to answer some of those questions.Is that clear?"

"Yes."

The brunet gave a shrug.

"Shall we begin?"

"Okay."

Another shrug from Sakamoto as though he was trying to show it was no big deal, but the small frown between his eyelashes was still there.

"Now, tell me how is your day?"

"I hadn't done much today...but I did go to a barbecue with my friend yesterday."

"Nice." The doctor replied. "So you had been relaxing for today instead?"

"I had."

"So, do you mind to mention who had gone out with you yesterday, Sakamoto?"

On the screen, a visible change had applied on Sakamoto's feature, his shoulders were relaxing, perhaps the brunet had felt less nervous by now since the doctor had asked him normal questions. Effortlessly, Sakamoto brought up a handful of his friends' names, all of them were either his classmates from college, or coworkers from the workplace of his part time job.

"Sounds like you have some good friends, do you?"

Something in Sakamoto's eyes changed, as though he was not certain how to answer this question properly.

He paused for a moment, before speaking again. "That's true, I'm lucky to have them."

"But how do you feel about them, those friends of yours? Especially after what had happened to you? The incident in the bar?"

Sakamoto knew what the doctor was referring at. ".......It wasn't their fault."

"Do you really believe that? You said they had brought you there at the first place. They had always encouraged you to go clubbing with them...sometime they encouraged you to do something even more...reckless than just clubbing."

"Eh...Doc, it's strange for you to say this, you makes it sound like my friends....they are in the wrong."

"I'm not here to judge them, Sakamoto san. What's important here is: how do you feel toward them, after what had taken place?"

A long pause dropped heavily between doctor and patient.

"...it is not what you think, Doc." Eventually the younger man spoke again. "Those friends of mine, they are good people. You have to believe that."

" Are you really talking about me? Or are you talking about yourself?" The doctor pressed. "Are you saying you just have to believe those friends are good to you?"

"It isn't like this..."

"Do you trust them?"

"It's hard to say..."

"Do you, or don't you? It should be quite simple."

"...then I don't."

"Then who do you trust, Sakamoto san?"

"I...I'm not really..." At this point Sakamoto started to look nervous and slightly frightened at this point."I don't really know".

"Do you trust me, Sakamoto san?" The doctor asked.

The younger man closed his eyes for a moment before reopening them and replied. "I...I think I do."

"That's good, Sakamoto san, I do want to be someone you can trust."

The brown haired young man didn't say anything, he only gave out a faint smile.

"You have nothing to be nervous about here, no one is going to judge you here. Certainly not me."

Sakamoto nodded, looking a little bit less nervous.

"All I want is for you to relax and be honest to yourself. Are you confident that you can do it?"

"I...I can."

End of session 14

****

Tora was walking on one of the main hallways in the Tokai University's campus when he suddenly felt a hand gripped him by his right shoulder.

"--What?" Tora tensed, whirling around sharply to see who was behind him, but he relaxed once he realized it was one of his classmates, Shiroyama Aoi, standing behind him.

"Wow, take it easy, Amano san." Aoi said, removing his hand from Tora's shoulder. The guy was obviously taken aback by the raven head's reaction.

"Sorry, you...surprised me." The third year student apologized.

"It's okay." The other student shrugged. "Anyway, I'm here to ask you whether you would join us to go to a party this weekend?"

Tora paused for a moment before replying: "I can't join you guys, sorry about that. I...have something to do."

"What's with you lately, Amano?” Aoi threw his arms up rather dramatically. “It has been a while since the last time any of us managed to get you to be social."

"I would have loved to go, pal. But I need to work on my project."

"Ah, always the good student! But don't work yourself up too much, okay?" Aoi commented in amusement, eyeing the books Tora carried with his both hands.  "You just seem a little bit...stressed recently?"

"I'm okay..." Tora answered, hoping he had managed to convince his classmate he was fine.

He didn't expect his friends to notice, there had been too many things in his mind, so many things to look after. It must have worn him down enough for the others to become aware of it.

"Anyway, I gotta go. See you around in classes!" With a wave to him, Aoi took his leave.

"See you later." Tora waved back and got on his own way.

***

 

Session 16

(Note: Patient agreed to record the session on video.)

"I had thought about what you had said before, Doc."

This time it was the brunet young man who opened the conversation first. Once again, you could see sitting on the same brown colored armchair, once again he and the doctor was in the same windowless room. Another round of therapy, recorded on video.

"How so? I'd love to hear it."

On the screen, you could see the doctor smiling in encouragement.

"What you had said about my friends...they...at least I have someone I think I can trust..."

"Who is it?"

"Nao. He's a friend from my part time job."

"The guy who is a manager at your workplace?"

"Yes, that's him. He is a nice person, he has always looked out for me."

"You had mentioned Nao a few times during our different appointments before, but now would you tell me more about him?"

"Nao...he's older than me, as you might still remember, Doc. He is also a manager of the restaurant I worked for."

"Tell me how did you two meet?"

"I was wandering on the streets near the campus, looking for a part time job. Then I walked by the restaurant Nao worked for, I saw there was a sign for part time workers tagged on the front window. I was looking at the sign, debating with myself whether I should go for it when Nao walked out of the door. "

"What was he doing at this point?"

He was moving some chairs out, then he saw me standing in front of the sign, and he stopped to chat with me for a bit.

"So that's how you ended up working at the same restaurant too?"

"More or less, in fact Nao actually encouraged me to apply for the job. I'm glad I'd listened to him."

"Then how did you two become friends?"

"At first I wasn't used to work as a waiter, it was Nao who came to my rescue during my period of adjustment, for many times."

"Nao sounds like such a great guy, right?"

"He is a great guy, Doc."

Dr. Camui nodded. "How long have you and Nao known each other?"

"Almost right after I entered my university. So it has to be...two years?"

"How do you feel about Nao?"

"I like him as a friend, of course! Nao is nice to everyone. Everyone likes him."

"You have befriended Nao for two years, Sakamoto san. So would you tell me more about him, as a person?"

"Do you like yourself?"

A long pause, Takashi seemed unable to answer. Eventually he spoke again.

"I don't want to answer this."

"Do you like yourself?"

The young man's face changed.

"Look, doc. I said--"

"Just answer, Sakamoto."

"You said I can---"

"Just answer me! You can do this, Sakamoto. I know you are better than this."

"I don't know what to say---"

"You must have something to say, everyone has something to say about themselves."

The young man stared at the doctor in shock, like he , all of a sudden, did not know the doctor anymore.

"You're wrong---"

"What do you think of yourself? Why you're so unwilling to mention things about yourself? Are you hiding something?"

"I don't really like myself! Are you satisfied now!?"

”...”

This time Sakamoto’s reaction left the doctor  speechless.

"Don't act as if you cared! No one cares!"

The younger man in the room shouted again.

Running a slightly-unsteady hand over his perfectly combed blond hair, Dr. Camui asked carefully. "Why would you think that? Did something happen to make you believe it?"

The psychiatrist wasn’t giving up so soon.

"I..."

"Are you ready to talk about it? Talk about what had happened to make you think no one cares?"

The young man was burying his face into his palms, as though it was painful for him to face reality any longer.

He was shaking his head now. " I can't show my true feeling to them..."

"To whom? What makes you think you can't do it?" Dr. Camui continued to press the issue on. Judging from his body language, you could tell he was feeling confident again, in control of the situation whilst as Sakamoto becoming even more emotional, and unstable.

"Because they would be angry at me if I did that!"

"Who? Who would be angry with you?"

"Them! My parents! Those who called themselves my friends!"

"But you like them and trust them, do you? You told me they are dear to you---"

Sakamoto did not reply, only continued to shake his head from side to side, now more slowly than before. As if all those conversations, as if his sudden emotional outburst were wearing him down.

Standing before him, Dr. Camui watched his patient carefully, now his expression had changed into a worry one, Sakamoto's reaction might begin to make him feel uncomfortable about the outcome of this session.

Taking a step forward, Dr. Camui tried to call out to his patient. "Sakamoto san, relax----"

Suddenly Sakamoto shook up from the chair he was sitting and yelled. "Do you not understand, Doc? It's all lie!"

"You want to know the truth, huh? Then let me tell you that! It's all lie! My life is just a lie!"

Then the video footage snapped shut without warning, no image could be seen before bright white letters once again appeared at the bottom of the dark screen:

Session 16 failed to end according to plan

 

***

Tora made his way to the study hall close to the dorms, he and Shou had arranged to meet there, they had a meeting to attempt.

It didn't take him long to see Shou was already there, but to Tora's surprise he wasn't alone. There was another student sitting beside him, a student whom Tora hadn't seen before.

Once he realized Shou wasn't alone, Tora had slowed down his pace, now he walked even slower, trying to buy himself some time to study Shou and his unknown companion before he had to greet them. Judging from their interaction, Tora guessed these two were friends. Strange that Shou had said nothing about bringing his own friend in during their previous conversations.

The one who was sitting with Shou was a smallish brunette young man. He was sitting next to the taller student, appealingly chatting with the latter. Tora had no idea what they might be talking about but he could see both their faces were set, serious looking.

Though, it was not possible for the raven haired student to keep himself from not being noticed for too long. Soon enough he had gotten close to where Shou and his company was sitting, and now he must greet them to get their attention.

"Hi. Shou san."

Tora's words got both men attention almost at once.

Shou was the first to reply. "Oh, Tora san, you're here. I didn't notice."

"Shou, who's he?" The blond guy asked his company, looking slightly confused and not very pleased with having a third party suddenly joined in.

"Let me introduce you two." Shou turned his attention back to the shorter man, smiling at him patiently as though he was dealing with a pouting kid."Hiroto, this's Tora. Tora, Hiroto."

"Hello here, Hiroto san." Out of politeness, Tora greeted the smallish student as cheerfully as he could muster.

"Good to see you." Giving the raven head an one-over, Hiroto returned the greeting, but his tone is flat, empty. Even when he smiled back, the smile failed to reach his eyes.

The three students stayed like this for a moment, none of them moved or speak again, none of them knew what to say to one another after the polite introduction came to an end. Eventually Shou spoke the awkward silence.

The tall blond student turned his attention to the one sitting next to him. "Hiroto...I need to speak to Tora for a bit, would you...?"

"Yes, " Hiroto blinked slowly at first, before he replied still using the same flat tone he had previously used with Tora. "see you later, Shou."

Then the shorter student stood up, picking up his belongings and then left without a word.

Shou had a small frown knotted between his fine brows as he watched Hiroto left. Only after the smaller student disappeared into the crowd, then did Shou seemed to recall Tora was still standing there.

"Oh, do take a seat, Tora san."

Tora did as he was told, taking a seat across the table.

Then again Shou spoke first. "Have you read my email?"

Tora nodded, leaning forward so now his elbows were on the table. "I read the files you sent me, with words and informgraphic and all. You've covered a lot of details."

It showed how attentive Shou had been with this project, he had done his homework even before Tora agreed to join...to a point Tora had to ask himself why would the other student put so much effort into it, when he obviously had schoolwork and social activities to look after.

"I thought it would be best to explain what I have in mind in details before we meet each other again."

"Yes it does help."

"So...let's start, shall we?"

Tora nodded again, shifting on his seat to get more comfortable.

"Shou san, I'm impressed you had mentioned to think about the subject of human's condition and how to use...fear as a catalyst to provoke a certain kind of reaction and responses..."

Shou seemed to be pleased to hear that. "To be honest, I was inspired by what I'd learned during my fieldwork trips."

"Oh?" Tora raised an eyebrow, what . "Pardon me, but I don't think I know where had you been assigned to. I remember we had been assigned to different clinics and hospitals. Where did they send you?"

"I was assigned by my mentor to follow a group of rehabbed patients."

"So your experience with them had...inspired you?" Tora asked.

"It kind of did." Shou nodded in agreement, but there was hesitation in his voice. "To be frank, the group itself and those patients are not very interesting."

At this remark, Tora could only give a smile. "It couldn't be so bad...You must have learnt a lot from your experience with them--"

Although at the back of his mind, he wondered why would Shou refer to patients with words like 'interesting', for some reason it sounded off.

"I did learn from them, and nothing bad had happened during the time we spent together." Shou replied, looking thoughtful. "But I suspect I would have learnt even more if I were assigned to do my field study with actual mental patients."

There was a pause before Tora managed to reply. "How so?"

Tora understood the desire to learn more, to get the best out of their opportunities, but to hear Shou expressing his desire in this tone...

Shou was still speaking, seemingly oblivious to Tora's look of disapproval. "In my opinion, rehabbed patients are people whose condition had been stabilized, whilst actual patients...they would have reacted more ideally, because of the unstable states of their mentality."

"You think they would react more ideally? But you do remember it's viewed as immoral to do things on mental patients? Anything outside of trying to cure them?"

"I know, that's why I want you to help me out on this project."

"How so?" Tora repeated.

"I know you had been assigned to Dr. Camui and his patients, that's why I need you, your experience. "

Something in Shou's words didn't seem to add up, if he wanted advances from someone else, he should have seek it from their mentors, or any of the professor, even writing letters to psychologists from other colleges to seek their expert-knowledge. Not seeking aid from him, another student---yes, Tora might be doing a better job than their fellow classmates, but he knew he still had much to learn and Shou would be foolish to count on him.

Or perhaps...Shou was looking for something else from him, something other than his knowledge.

However, before Tora could utter any question, Shou changed the direction of their conversation. "How was it? How was your experience with Dr. Camui, Tora?"

Tora replied carefully after a pause. "Dr. Camui is a great mentor."

"You are so lucky." Shou commented. "Tell me more about it."

Taking a slow, deep breath, Tora continued. "Dr. Camui had to meet many patients on a daily base. What I remember the most is how he'd advised me to talk to the patients, to listen to what they have to say, with patience and consideration. To understand their needs and their...fear."

Shou rose an eyebrow. "So Dr. Camui thinks fear is one of the key elements to mental stability, too?"

The raven head didn't know how to reply. He and the doctor had never discussed it directly, still...more of Dr. Camui's words found their way back to his memory.

"Once he commented it's likely that the patients had mentality much more fragile than us, which makes them fall prey to unstable emotion and nervous breakdown more easier than most people. Makes them more vulnerable to fear than most people, making it easier for fear to overrun their rationality and reason."

"I bet the doctor was speaking from his experience, do you agree?" Shou commented.

"I guess so. And you'd have to agree, what Dr. Camui had said does make sense."

"It makes a lot of sense." The blond student highlighted. "Do you believe in what the doctor had said, Tora san?"

The raven head sank slowly back to his seat, after a long moment of pause, he replied. "I do."

Upon hearing that, a grin spread across Shou's face. "It would be nice for us to work together to put this notion into both practice and theorize it, but it won't be easy anyway."

"That's what you're interested in? How fear could affect human's mind?"

"It's only part of it. To be more particular, what I want to find out is how far fear can drive a person into changing the patterns of their behaviors. How far and deep their mentality can be affected by  fear."

So now Shou's intention was out in the open, although Tora must admit he felt rather uneasy listening to Shou's revealing the goal and purpose of his pet project, but at the same time...the raven head still found himself intrigued.

"Do you remember what our professors and mentors had told us about mental illness, Tora san?"

How could he not remember? "Mental illness is the result of human's mind unable to cope with their surrounding and the situations they have to face."

"Yes, we are taught the very basic at the very beginning of our study," Shou commented quietly. "but have you ever wondered: can the environments which breed mental illness be created and conditioned?"

Hearing those words, Tora felt air had just been knocked out of his lungs.

Shou continued to speak despite of Tora’s lack of response, his eyes glimmering. "Have you ever wondered if mental illness, nervous breakdown and disorientation be intentionally created?"

Had he ever wondered? Had any of the questions Shou brought up ever crossed his mind, even just for a second?

Should he be honest to himself about it and share some of his most inner thoughts with Shou?

In the end, Tora decided to take his chance and gamble on it.

"I did, I did think about it before...but it's just out of curiosity..."

"So have you ever tried to discuss it with any of the professors?"

"No, of course not." Tora replied. "They won't allow it to be discussed among students. Mind control...it has always been a forbidden subject in the field of modern psychology."

"Oh, now you're making it sound like seeking more knowledge from outside of the guidelines set by our mentors is something so very bad, Tora san. You're sounding like them."

Tora knew whom the blond student was referring to, their professors would never allowed the subject matter of mind control being brought up to the table; but would he braced the chance to experiment on this forbidden subject, wandering off and away from their mentors' well intended guidelines?

Did curiosity and ambition worth the try and the possible danger? If he wasn't careful and subtle enough about it, he would run the risk of getting caught, exposed, even being dropped out of college.

He had said yes, because he still wanted to know what Shou was really up to.

to be continued.

Chapter Text

When Takashi came to again, the only thing he was fully aware of was the pain over his whole body; especially his head and chest. The rest of his body was no better, his muscles seemed to be aching all at once. Then he became aware of the fact he was lying on some kind of mattress, covered by a thin blanket, but even the touch of those soft fabric...they seemed to send dull pain across the surface of his skin in whichever parts his body came into contact with the cloth.

He knew he had to be a mess, he was so weak that he could hardly move, he could do nothing more than lying helplessly on the mattress. He didn't know for how long he had been without food and water, his memory was still blurry but judging from how heavy and useless his limbs currently seemed to be, it had to be days after he last consuming any proper nutrition.

He groaned out of discomfort, but the pitiful sound barely managed to escape his dry throat, it felt as though his throat was swollen, burning from the inside, leaving no trace of moist behind.

Mustering up what little left of his will power, Takashi tried to focus on the memory of what he had last recalled before he woke up to find himself drowning in this sea of misery.

Something bad had happened to him, then he remembered himself hiding in the corner as if trying to escape from some scary bogeyman, in vain. Then he recalled the anger and hopelessness he felt, the misery, the fear; then he remembered the desperation which drove him into hurting himself.

He had thought it would be his escape, he couldn't control him any longer if he was out of his reach, right? So he had starved himself, hoping to find a way out of his miserable situation, a way out of his grip.

But now it looked most likely he had failed, because he was still here.

He had failed even this. He couldn't even end this, end his own suffering.

He was still alive, and whose fault was that?

Takashi knew exactly whose fault it was, he...that person had dragged him back even from the brink of death and oblivion. If the brown haired youth still had enough strength left, the bitter irony would have made him laugh.

His captor had managed to steal him back even from death.

It was then he understood not only he had failed, he was also in trouble. Trouble which was so bad and hopeless that he didn't even want to open his eyes and face them. Opening his eyes to face reality had already proved to be too painful for him.

He was alone now...but what about the next hour? After nightfall? The next day? His captor was bound to come to him at some point. Takashi could hardly bear to think about it, but there was no escaping from the panic and the questions eating at him.

His memory was still blurry, but there was no mistake that his captor had done...something to him. The details were lost to him...but at the far corner of his mind, Takashi swear the ghosts of the kidnapper's touch on his body...were still very much here.

Where was he? This nameless, faceless kidnapper, where was he now?

Despite the great fog filling every single space of his exhausted mind, Takashi still knew his captor had been there with him when he was ill and delousing. Checking on him, making sure he was surviving, making sure that he was recovering. His captor must have done everything within his power to make sure that he couldn't even die. Takashi thought bitterly to himself.

Takashi still had vague memories of the time of his fever, his captor had always fed him and made him swallowed the medicine down, he had tried to resist but his resistance just couldn't last. Although his mind was set on wanting this misery to end, yet his body had betrayed him, sucking in whatever nourishment he could receive. Despite of his wish for death, his body still wanted those nourishment given to him by his captor. At the brink of death, his survival instinct had decided for him that he needed more strength, he needed to survive, regardless of the price or the consequences.

Bit by bit he did recover, recovered enough to know there was going to be a price to pay. Deep down, he had a feeling that he would very soon come to know the consequences awaited him.

Because his captor would make certain of it.

Though he had tried to suppress the growing dread and the memories which were slowly returning to him, Takashi still knew he  was even more helpless than he had previously been, his body had been weakened to a point he could no longer function and support himself on his own. When he was so ill and barely hanging on, he had relied on his captor to feed, bath and cloth him, got him changed, made him release himself when necessary. All of the private activities must be done in the presence of the person who had kidnapped him, a person who he supposed to hate and fear, but still, the thought of resistance failed to cross his mind.

Once again, he must depend on his kidnapper to survive; and his dependency had given power to the latter, even more so than before. When his ordeal first began, Takashi at least had some strength to tend to himself to a degree, he could at least talk on his own behalf, but now...he tried to will his lips to move and form words. but nothing came out.

Plus, back when he was sick and delousing, he couldn't even take charge of his own mind, neither. Back when he was trapped in his feverish trance, he could still dimly recalled how his captor was treating him like how people would treat a pet under their care, or like a fragile china doll which needed to be maintained with the utmost consideration.

How he had...taken care of his needs when he was helpless to resist.

That was hardly how you would treat a human being with his own rights and a will of his own.

Despite of the gentle treatment he had revived during his recovery, Takashi knew his captor was treating him like he was a mere possession.

Takashi's captor had been given a taste to what it could be like to have complete control over him; and the brown haired youth had a growing sense of panic that the nameless kidnapper wasn't going to just forget the thrill of it.

He must have drifted off into sleep once again at some point, for when he was snapped awaken again and back to reality, someone was there with him, wiping his temper with a damp piece of soft cloth. Takashi struggled to make his eyes focused, but failed. As usual, he couldn't see the other man's face clearly. When his captor came for him, he would always make sure Takashi was blindfolded, when he wasn't, then the other man would always be hidden in the shadow.

Barely conscious, Takashi tried again to speak. "Let me go..."

At first the youth couldn't even be sure whether he had truly uttered those few words aloud, until he thought he saw the person before him shook his head.

"You are not going anywhere now, Saga." His captor replied in a soft, concerned voice, his tone one would use when talking to a beloved yet foolish child."You had make yourself sick. Don't you know that?"

Takashi's overheated mind couldn't form any coherent reply to counter this statement.

"You need to rest, recover."

That was how Takashi realized nothing had been changed for him, nothing ever would change when he was still in this man's control. He was still very much the same prisoner, just like before. The thought sent a shiver to shook down his spine.

His action had only weakened himself, but it failed to give him the escape he seeked.

What should he do now...?

He didn't know, he couldn't even begin to think and reason out a solution. He was still so weak.

Takashi could barely bear to look at his captor, who was sitting on the mattress next to him, his shadowed face hovering at the edge of his vision, he didn't see it coming when the other man lifted up a delicate long glassy tube with one hand. Takashi only realized the kidnapper's intention only when his arm was seized and pulled firmly up, then he felt something sharp and pointy piercing through his skin.

A needle.

Panic impaled him at once, the captured youth wanted to cry out as his captor injected him with god knew what, but nothing but a whimper escaped from his dried lips.

Perhaps Takashi was delousing, but he could swear he could feel something rushed into his blood system. Was it...tranquilizer....or sedative...or something even more ominous?

But there was nothing more left to do. Within seconds Takashi sank into thick, restless slumber.

***

You hadn't left Saga’s side, you didn't dare.

Under your palm, his temper felt far less feverish than before. You took that as a good sign.

You didn't want to leave his side. You would be there, nursing Saga back to health, you would see to this.

Still, as much as you distaste it, you still needed to leave his side...from time to time, in order to tend to other...necessaries, to tend to your own...needs.

Exiting Saga’s locked room, you quietly let yourself into a closeby bathroom.

You knew it was wrong for you to do this, you felt sort of guilty every time you had to go to the bathroom to release yourself after looking after Saga, touching him, undressing him and handling his weakened body during the process.

Still you needed this release, you must handle it by yourself if you didn't want to lose control. Saga was still too weak, for most of the time he wasn't even conscious enough to know what was happening around him---

The last thought was drowned out the moment you hit oblivion, emptying yourself into your fists in a form of a white hot mess.

And it was pure bliss---even if it only last for a moment before the familiar emptiness seeped back into you.

You could never get enough. Saga was an addiction you couldn't quit, he had been your addiction for too long.

Afterward, your hands balled into fists as you recalled how he kept rejecting you. Even when he was weakened, trembling with desire brought by you, he still rejected you.

You didn't want to feel...rejected, but as the thought surfaced, a twitch of anger was worming its way into you.


***

Takashi woke up to feel he was being held into place. His eyes were open but darkness filled his vision, almost at once he knew he was again blindfolded and bound.

It wasn't the first time he was blindfolded and bound, but nothing could prepare him for a situation like this: he was still feeling weak and he was bound so thoroughly that he couldn't move a muscle. On top of these, he had absolutely no idea where he was.

He felt there were a pair of leather cuffs around his wrists, holding them down to what felt like the armrests of the chair he had been placed upon. He tried pulling at his arms to try to see would the cuffs come loose, but to no avail.

As to the 'chair' he was currently sitting on, Takashi could feel the thick leather backrest against his clad back,  the seat he sat on was made of the same leather and it felt almost comfortable, expected of the fact that the strap attached to the seat was also holding him firmly to the seat, keeping him immobile.

At least he wasn't gagged so he could at least try to scream.

Drawing in breath, Takashi was about to scream when suddenly, he felt the chair under him was being moved forward.

His scream was cut short instantly, only managed to squeeze past his throat as scared whimpers. The sudden movement from beneath him catching him off guard, It took him a moment to realize he was being wheeled forward instead of being moved.

A few other seconds ticked by before Takashi could hear light footsteps from behind him.

How could he be so stupid? Shouldn't have the past experience taught him never to so easily believe he was alone and unwatched before he could make sure no one else was in the same room? Someone was behind him, probably wheeling him to god know where, which could only mean someone had tied him to some sort of wheelchair and was now using it to transport him.

But it isn't just any normal wheelchair, a normal wheelchair wasn't supposed to have cuffs and straps that held his limbs down, nor should his ankles be bound by the thick straps which were seemingly attached to steel-made footholds. He was being wheeled to somewhere he had absolutely no clue what might be awaiting him there.

"Where're you taking me!?" Takashi demanded as fear finally kicked in. Not able to know where he was and what was going to happen to him only intensified the fear.

Much to his horror, silence was the only answer he got. He could hear another person's footsteps, he could hear the other man’s breathing, but so far the other man had no desire to talk. Leaving Takashi nothing but his imagination to conjunct what would happen to him next. This was much worse than an angry kidnapper howling in rage and threatening him with different kind of punishments.

In total silence Takashi sat helplessly as the unknown man wheeled him toward a destination entirely unknown to him. The captive youth only know they were still indoor and his captor had made a few turns without running into any staircase. Were they on the upper floor or the ground floor? Or...was he now in somewhere below ground..back into the basement his captor once kept him?

All of a sudden, Takashi couldn't breath. It couldn't be......his captor couldn't be sending him back to that horrid cell!

His mind was screaming in terror, he wanted to cry out but no sound louder than a whimper could come out, Takashi started to twist in his bonds but they kept his struggle at the minimum just as the blindfold kept him from finding any clue of his where about.

Even when Takashi was panicking and thrashing wildly on his seat, his captor remained quiet.

In his state of despair, the bound youth almost failed to notice they had come to a sudden stop. The kidnapper had let go of the handles and stopped wheeling the wheelchair.

In the suppressing silence, now the only sound to be heard was the sound of Takashi's breathing as he tried once again to struggle weakly against the straps tied around his wrists.

Takashi's head bent heavily, hanging so low his chin nearly touched his collarbone, his clad chests were heaving with each sob tossing out of his throat. He didn't know where his captor had taken him, he didn't know what was going to happen to him, and this fact alone was enough to scare him out of his mind.

The sobbing youth nearly jumped when a hand reached up from behind him, pressingly firmly on his forehead and pulled his head back, not so gently, against the leather-made headrest.  

"Why you are crying, Saga?" Finally, came the unmistakable voice of the kidnapper.

"...please..." Being forced to arch his neck backward in this new position, Takashi must struggle for breathing whilst trying to form words, he knew how pathetic he must now look but he couldn't control himself. "Don't hurt me..."

"I'm not going to hurt you, pet."

When he said those words, the man sounded nothing less than sincere but Takashi knew too well what the other was capable of.

The hand placed on Takashi's forehead now traveled downward, his palm smoothed along the youth's blindfolded eyes for a moment, before moving further down to touch his captive's trembling lips, before finally running tips of his fingers over Takashi's well shaped chin and eventually took hold of the brown haired youth's fragile neck.

Takashi didn't even dare to breath, the hand on his neck didn't cause pain but the hold was firm with a certain strength beyond it. The youth had a feeling that if he now made a wrong move, his captive would not hesitate to snap his neck in half.

"What should I do with you now, Saga?" His captor used his free hand to comb gently through Takashi's hair repeatedly as he spoke. "You had been nasty, you know it, right? No one can get away with damaging what is mine."

His fingers spread among Takashi's hair before gripping those short tresses by a handful, causing the bound young man to grasp.

"Not even you."

"......stop..." Takashi pleaded weakly, his voice barely audible when the kidnapper was still gripping him by his neck and he felt as though he was choking.

"You're going to be punished for trying to hurt yourself, Saga."

The word 'punish' made the youth whimpered in fear. There were too many things his captor could do to him, he knew too well how much the other man could hurt him, and he could do nothing to protect himself.  "...No..."

"It is your fault."

The accusation came so suddenly, Takashi could hear the kidnapper's voice raising.

"Do you know how much I hate to do this? Sadly I now think it was a mistake to give you too much freedom..."

"Please don't do this to me...please!" Takashi was shaking his head in denial.

Even since he woke up from the fever---even since he tried to die but failed, somewhere deep in his mind, Takashi had always known something bad was going to befall him...for the whole time his captor had been too kind. Such kindness was uncharacteristic when it came to his captor. Somehow he knew the other man must be planning something against him. He knew, deep down his dread-filled heart, he knew; yet he were powerless to do something to save himself.

Helplessly, Takashi continued to plead his case. "Please! I will behave..."

"You'd promised me once already."

"I mean it! I will do anything you say..."

"Anything? To make things up to me?"

Takashi hesitated, but in his situation he didn't have anything else to bargain. So he had no choice but to reply. "...anything."

"Then you better start showing me what you are willing to do, my Saga..."

"I will show you! I promise!"

The last few words were high pitched with dread and desperation. However, Takashi had enough sense left in him to keep still as his captor placed both his palms on either sides of his shoulders---the other man must have been kneeling before him in order to do this.

Takashi was still crying behind the blindfold, his body still quivered with the waves of shiver shooting through his limbs.

Without any warning, his captor bent down to place a kiss on Takashi's mouth.

Instantly the bound captive wanted to draw back from the unwanted kiss, yet he still possessed enough retrain to force himself to stay still and let his captor do what he wanted. He had promised obedience, and he would have to behave in order to convince the kidnapper to get him off the hook.

So Takashi steeled himself and stay impassive as his captor deepened the kiss, tasting his lips for a brief moment before drawing back.

Takashi held his breath until he felt the kidnapper's hands on one of his cuffs, unfastening it and then doing the same with the other, next the straps around his waist and ankles were also removed, though the blindfold still remained. Before Takashi could stop himself, he sighed in relief, he couldn't help this, he could move again and it was a huge relief already, even when his mind was telling him the danger he was in was far from over.

His relief was short lived when he was picked up bridal style from the wheelchair and carried to a flat surface covered by soft mattress and was laid on top of it. Takashi was startled, he couldn't have guessed there was some kind of bed nearby.

Shivering, Takashi tried to roll to his side but a hand pressed on his shoulder, preventing him from moving.

"Be still," The unknown man commanded. "you'd promised."

Recognizing the threat beyond those seemingly calm words, Takashi forced himself to lay still on his back. His breath caught as the mattress beside him dipped due to another weight being added upon it.

His captor crawled to lay next to Takashi, his closeness indicated that he must be laying on his side, facing his quivering, blindfolded captive.

A hand landed softly on Takashi's forehead and smoothed his tresses back from his temper.

"You don't need to do anything."

Takashi kept quiet, willing himself to stay very still as the same hand traveled downward to caress the side of his cheek, lingering briefly along the curve of his neck and collarbones before finding the top of his shirt's button.

Takashi fisted the mattress to keep his hands from trying to stop his captor from doing what he knew the latter was going to do. It was no use to resist.

The captive youth could hear his captor's calm breathing brushing the side of his face lightly, clearly the other man was in no hurry.

With maddening slowness, his captor unbuttoned Takashi's shirt, one button after another, when he was finally done, he paused for a moment before pulling the shears aside and out of his way.

Takashi struggled to control his own breathing but there is nothing he could do but panting in fear as his upper body was exposed to his captor.

"I've always wanted to see you like this, Saga." The male voice traced off slowly. Then a finger landed atop Takashi's exposed chest, dangerously close to his nipple. "...to touch you like this."

Takashi shivered at those words and the touch, but he kept quiet, not allowing himself to make any sound which might make his dread known.

The same finger lingered around the nipple, encircling it teasingly for a few times, Takashi was utterly unprepared when he sensed his captor's mouth around his hardened bud.

Heat engulfed the sensitive flesh at once and the captive youth cried out in shock, his body arched up automatically to the touch. He tried to wriggle away from the sensation but he could he his captor chuckled, then Takashi sensed his other nipple was seized as well, his captor's thumbs  pressing down on it as he played with its twin with his hot, devoting mouth.

"I'm not going to stop, love." With that he pushed at his captive's waistband and slipped the pants all the way down below his knees.

Instantly Takashi clamped his legs together as cool air hit his bare flesh, but it hardly stopped the man above him to get hold of his underpants and slipping them down as well. Pulling them downward to where his pants pooled around his knees and forced them both all the way down and away the captive's slim legs.

Knowing what was likely to come, Takashi panicked and tried to cling into a ball for protection, but his attempt was in vain because soon his captor pressed his weight against Takashi to force the latter to lay flat on his back, nudging his thighs apart.

"Remember what you had promised." The kidnapper hissed as he hovered above the helpless captive beneath him. Hands moving to the back of the blindfolded youth's thighs, guiding those legs up to rest alongside his sides.

Knowing now his captor could see almost every inch of his exposed flesh, Takashi turned his face away in shame. He wanted nothing more than rising his hands and cover himself but he couldn't for fear of angering his captor.

Out of desperation the youth tried to reason that this wasn't the first time this man saw his body, but the thought did nothing to lessen his shame. Plus, in the past the unknown man had never made his intention so clear, now Takashi had nowhere to run or to hide. The kidnapper had had him trapped, even more so than before.

This time the man had successfully cornered him into surrender.

A kiss was placed on Takashi's abdomen before the man did what the captive was least expected.

In a smooth move, he got hold of Takashi's erection and took him into his mouth.

to be continued.

Chapter Text

Imprisoned Part 20

Breaking Point

 

A shocked gasp tossed through Takashi's throat when he was engulfed. He had heard his friends talking about being sucked off by their girlfriends, a few had hinted at giving blowjob to their partners as well. Takashi was aware of the fact this is one of the sexual things people did to one another, still he had always found the act itself a bit...outlandish. He always had difficulty imagine himself engaging in an act like this.

But now he had no choice, now the act was being forced upon him.

Like before, Takashi tried to back away, his elbows working against the mattress trying to drag himself backward; but in his weakened state, his strength was no match against his captor.

"Stop! You mustn't!" When Takashi realized he couldn't get away, he tried to plead to be released.

His pleas fell into deaf ears as the man quietly ran his tongue over the tip of the captive's arousal, which was slowly but surely getting hard due to the attention it was receiving.

Tear soaked through the cloth around Takashi's eyes as he grip the unknown man's hair by fistful. "Please stop..."

Annoyed by the distraction, his captor actually stopped and sat back on his heels. "Why should I stop? You want it as much as I do."

"It's wrong! Please don't do this!" Takashi sobbed. There was no way in hell he would want it, not having some stranger's hands on him, not being touched by someone whose face and name he didn't even know.

"Your body wants this even when you're saying no." The unknown man highlighted his words by stroking Takashi's half-hard length with his fingers playfully. "It isn't wrong to feel pleasure."

With that his captor caught Takashi's wrists by one hand and went right back to what he had started.

The youth threw back his head as the kidnapper deep-throated him, tongue working under his length to caress the highly sensitive flesh, driving him crazy. It seems to go on forever, Takashi wept as orgasm hit him, his back arched off the mattress. The kidnapper actually had to tighten the grip on his hips to keep him in place.

When Takashi climaxed, instead of withdrawing his captor calmly received his seed, swallowing the thick cum until his captive was spared, then he lingered to lick the blindfolded youth's groin. It was as though the man didn't want to be separated from Takashi after giving him release, as if he didn't want this experience to end.

Whilst it means only the opposite to Takashi. Once his hands were let go of, he buried his face in them and sobbed.

****

Still blindfolded, Takashi managed to pull himself onto a sitting position, his back against the headboard of the bed, his legs drawn up against his chests. He was clinging to himself as if it could save him.

Like the previous time, after his captor finally let him go, the man had stayed and cleaned him up by using some tissue then put his clothes back to their place. Too drained and ashamed of himself, Takashi didn't resist when he was being cleaned, but when it was over, something twisted in the youth's heart, making it impossible to stay silent.

“I knew you’re lying.” Takashi stated with a flat voice. He wasn’t certain where he got the courage to say this to his kidnapper, whom he heard was getting off the bed. He was being suffocated, his captor had forced him into a corner, he had had enough of this.

There was a pause before Takashi could hear the unknown man answered.

"What do you mean?" His tone was also flat, the words carefully uttered.

“You said you love me,” Takashi continued, sensing the sudden stillness from his captor, “If you really do, you wouldn’t have done this to me.”

“It’s because I do, I wanted to do this to you! Don’t you understand?!” His captor reasoned in disbelief.

Takashi straightened himself then, feeling a surge of anger rush to his head. Although the words that came out of his mouth after that still sounded calm, “You’re sick.”

He balled his fist up in order not to burst. He looked up at where he believed the other man was, before he continued, “Even if it is true that you love me, I still wouldn’t accept you. I wouldn’t want you. Never. I told you this before. You’re……mad. You should’ve just die—”

His cheek stung. For a moment, Takashi felt like as though he had become deaf. Everything just went silent around him. Then, the stinging sensation reappeared and it was when the youth realized his hand had flown up to caress his reddened cheek as soon as his captor slapped him hard across the face.

Before he even knew it, he sensed the kidnapper’s movement and then he found the other man was pinning him onto the headboard. Takashi lifted his chin up in surprise, believing that his captor was exactly a mere inch away from him now, for he could feel his breath ghosting over his own face.

“I’m getting tired of your bullshit, Saga.” The captor hissed every word to him.

Then all of a sudden, Takashi felt a his hair being gripped so roughly as the other man repeated himself, “I’m so fucking tired.”

He couldn’t deny the fear that crept up his spine, filling him up from within, which resulted in him shivering slightly. He had provoked the man, he knew. He was well damn aware of it, and now he would reap what he sowed.

He gasped when he heard the kidnapper whispered something in his ear, “I had so many chances to end your life in the cruelest way you could possibly think of, do you know?”

Takashi felt his eyes widen beneath the piece of cloth around his head. Had he really angered his captor this much? Had he overdone it this time? He let out a squeak when the other man moved closer to him.

“Do you know why I didn’t take those chances?”

The youth shook his head in fear.

“I know you know why, Saga. Answer me. Now.

This time though, Takashi opened his mouth but a sob came out first. He didn’t even realize the sudden change in his captor’s behavior had frightened him so much.

“Answer me, Saga!”

“B-because you love me! Please, don’t hurt me. I’m really sorry!” He couldn’t bite back his sobs anymore. He even felt warm tears start moistening his blindfold.

“Do you think just by crying and pleading, I would forgive you?”

The captor’s question was answered by his captive shaking his head again.

“Your only chance of survival is to please me, yet you spoiled it.”

Much to Takashi's horror, his captor's hands found their ways around his throat.

"No...!" Takashi tried to plead but his words were cut off when the hands squeezed tighter around his fragile neck mercilessly, adding pressure.

He couldn't speak now, panicked, he couldn't only try to suck in breath but it was a struggle. His air was cut off, he could only claw blindly at his captor's hands in a vain hope to get those hands off him, to no avail. He wanted to plead to be released but with sinking fear Takashi thought it might be too late---

Suddenly the kidnapper let go, letting his wounded captive to sink to the mattress, gasping for air.

Sweet air rushed back to Takashi's lungs as he choked violently to catch his breath, his hands pressed on his sore throat, knowing bruises must be forming there.

"Never makes me do this again, you hear me!?"

Takashi buried his face among the mattress and sobbed anew as the kidnapper got off the bed, rushing out of the locked room before smashing the door shut behind him.

to be continued.

Chapter Text

Imprisoned Part 21 Humiliation

The night deepened as the clock ticked near midnight, shops had long been closed down and the crowd on the streets had been thinning out. With much fewer vehicles and people on the streets, the city seemed to have gone quieter.

At the corner of a narrow alley, there was an entrance to a local pub, with music pulsing behind a closed wooden door. Then all of a sudden the door was pushed open from the inside, a group of young men stumbled out of the door. They were laughing as they made their way to the alley, a few of them even had beer cans in their hands as they walked.

You kept yourself hidden in the shadow, keeping watch from the corner you stood, eyes scanning through each face of those men. You had to make sure your target was there.

Luck seemed to be on your side tonight, for without much difficulty you found the person you were searching for. As the group of drunken young men walked further down the street, you decided to move from your corner and followed Reita and his friends as they walked away from the pub.

Even from where you were, you could still see how drunken all of them looked. They laughed some more, chatting loudly, throwing silly jokes at each other as they tumbled along the sidewalk. One of the men even tossed an empty beer can to the ground without a care. Passerby threw the group dirty look as they walked past them, frowning at their loud voice and their obvious drunkenness, but all of those passerby quickly walked away, no one wanted to get too close to this group, no one wanted to get into problem with those drunken men.    

Even when you were on the move, you continued to keep yourself hidden among shadows, you didn't come any closer to them than any of those passerby, you only followed them from a distance, keeping them in your sight but at the same time making sure no one would pay you any attention. At that moment you were only a nameless passerby hurrying his way home, people would see you walking past them, but at the same time they wouldn't really take notice of you.

You knew you must wait for your chance. You needed to wait until Reita separated himself from his petty friends. None of those friends should feel suspicious enough to keep Reita company and escort him home, they mustn't.

You knew you had to be patient, but at the back of your mind...you didn't mind if you also had to 'take care' of Reita's friends. If any one of them happened to be so stupid to a point of accompanying the blond man tonight...then they would only have themselves to blame.

Fortunately for you and for those friends of Reita, eventually they had gone their separate ways. Reita waved at his friends for a bit before going off on his own. His pals didn't linger, they kept walking in group toward the opposite direction. From the direction of where they were going, you could tell most of them were heading back to their dorms, and it suited you just right.

Now the street seemed to be even quieter than before, you followed Reita on his way to his apartment building. You had already checked, although it did take some time and yet you had eventually managed to trace down how to find Reita, which faculty he was studying in and where did he live, and even his schedule. You always prepared yourselves for what you had to do.

You walked into the building, keeping your head down so people wouldn't see your face so easily. For tonight, you had dressed differently so if someone were going to recall you after tonight, you would rather them to recall you merely by what you were wearing: baseball cap, ill-fitted long sleeved T-shirt and a pair of boring grey long baggy pants.

You readjusted your baseball cap to an angle that it hid the top of your face and most of your hair away. Then you traced behind your target. You don't want any misstep, you would need to follow your target to exactly where you want him to be before you struck.

You had also checked that the locations of the few CCTVs in the apartment's lobby and you avoided looking up at them as carefully as you could. It was a huge apartment building so it was nearly impossible for the residents to know everyone else by their names and faces; therefore even when some residents happened to see you passing through, they still wouldn't think too much of a stranger walking past them.

You walked straight to the staircase, knowing it would be where you could find Reita; for you had already known there was no elevator in this seven storey apartment building, so Reita would have to take the stairs.

Keeping yourself as quietly as possible you climbed up the stairs, from the sound you heard from ahead of you, Reita was walking much slower than you, humping to himself with every step he took.

Reita's room was at the sixth floor, you scanned the surrounding, again luck was on your side, not only there was no one else on the staircase, the corridors connected to each floor of the building also happened to be empty as well. For you it was good news, no eye witness to be worried about.

Keeping yourself close to the wall, you walked as fast as you could without letting Reita become aware of your presence. Slowly you were beginning to catch up with him.

You were now on the narrow staircase between the fifth and the sixth floor, ahead of you, Reita was about to ascend the top of the stairs to his floor, just a few more steps and he would be on the corridor. You knew you must act now, and fast.

You ran up the stairs, putting a hand on Reita's shoulder the moment he ascend the stairs.

Startled, Reita looked back, and finally noticed you.

"What do you want!?" Reita asked in a drunken voice, then he tried to brush your hand off, but you wouldn’t let him.

You did not bother to reply, no need to waste your breath on a man who was already condemned to death. Wordlessly, you tightened the grip on his shoulder.

You had previously thought of a handful of methods to finish Reita off without him even knowing what was coming his way, but in the end, you decided it was only fair the man should know what was coming for him.

"Let go of me, you weirdo!" Reita hissed angrily at you, his voice rising as he tried to push you away.

Thinking quickly, this time you chose to let go of him.

Your action must be a surprise to Reita, for he was stumbling backward, confusion written all over his face as he stared at you for a brief moment. Perhaps he saw something on your face and it frightened him, because in the last moment you could see fear creeping into his expression before he turned away from you, probably Reita was thinking to get away.

That was his first mistake. If this guy was a bit smarter or if he valued his own life more, he would have known better than turning his back to you.

Without hesitation, you ran after him, you ran as fast as you could, storming toward Reita and pushed him as hard as you could.

You hit him right on his back, throwing your entire weight in this one single push, in the last second Reita seemed to sense the danger and he was slowly turning his head back. For you it was already too late to retreat, so you threw yourself at the blond haired man, hitting him with all the strength you could muster.

Reita tried to step out of your path but it was too late, you crashed into him before he could escape and with the full force of the impact, you sent him flying down the stairs before he could even scream.

So, off Reita went, rolling down the long narrow stairs. Just as you had expected.

Knowing your task was still far from finished, you quickly looked around, making sure no one had seen what you had done nor heard the noise of a heavy body falling, no sound of doors opening and concerned neighbors rushing out to check what was going on. You walked down the stairs and carefully peered at Reita's fallen form once you were close enough.

Reita's eyes were still open but those eyes were lifeless and glassy; his neck and limbs twisted at odd angles, dark red blood soaking the floor around his head, tainting those light blond hair of his.

The poor bastard didn't survive the fall, what a fucking horrible accident.

It was easier than what you had expected. You had thought you would need to do something more to ensure Reita didn't survive...but in the end, one single push was enough.

What a job well done! You know it was about time you make your exit.

****

 

Takashi felt numb all over, for more than once he wondered was he already dead and was suffering some sort of eternal punishment for some evil deeds he didn't know he had committed in the past. Otherwise, how to explain why he was suffering like this now?

Being forced to act like a plaything, a mindless doll, a slave. That was what he now was, that was all he was allowed to be.

A person was allowed to feel and think and act at his own rights--which was the exact opposite of Takashi's current existence. Right now he was too afraid to even progress a thought of his own.

He was ashamed of himself for being so helpless. He was getting weak, he was beat, he no longer could recognize himself, he was losing himself.

He was paralyzed, the fight seemed to have left his body long ago.

This time, Takashi had been blindfolded and led out of his cell, then he was guarded to walk through a corridor, taken to climb up a staircase.

At least this time he was not bound, his captor had allowed him this bit of freedom.

The kidnapper was behind him, guarding him every step of the way, saying nothing; and his silence was even more unsettling to Takashi than any of his threats.

In his blindness, Takashi could hear a door being pushed open, then without warning his wrist was gripped as his captor dragged him through the door.

Takashi stumbled forward, walking blindly into the room, but quickly stopped himself from walking further ahead for fearing that his action might displease his captor. He stood very still when he listened to the movement from behind him: faint sound of footsteps as the unknown man moved somewhere behind him, and the door was closed and locked with an ominous echo.

Still blindfolded, the brunette could hear the kidnapper approaching, the latter didn't stop until he was right behind him. Takashi stern when he felt the front of the other man's body pressing up against his back.

Out of instinct, Takashi nearly jumped away from the kidnapper's touch, but as always, the kidnapper was faster. In no time the captive's arm was being gripped tightly whilst his captor's free hand took hold of the top of Takashi's head, bending his head uncomfortably backward.

"No more running away from me, Saga." The man ordered coldly, impatience laced his tone.

Not daring to move, Takashi swallowed hard, trying to steel himself for what was to come.

At first the kidnapper didn't speak, simply running his hands through Takashi's hair before palming his captive's face, caressing the latter's eyes through the soft fabric of the blindfold. Feeling the pressure of the hand, Takashi snapped his eyes shut in fright.

The kidnapper kept his hand there right on top of Takashi's blindfold as he finally spoke again.

"Are you going to behave?"

It was the same question from before and Takashi nodded quickly, fearing hesitation would bring him more punishment.

"Will you do as I say?"

Before that, his captor mostly used words like 'I need you to do this for me', as if Takashi really had a choice, like the other man was merely asking for him to behave and be cooperative; but after their last confrontation, this facade had slowly been peeled off. Right now his captor was being much more commanding.

"......"

"I don't think I can hear you, Saga."

"yes...Yes!" Having no other choice, Takashi bent to the kidnapper's demand.

"Good."

Takashi could sense the smirk on his captor's face even when he couldn't see it. The smirk was there, radiating from the man's clad body as he held onto his captive; knowing too well that the latter was at his mercy.

The kidnapper then took his captive's hand, guiding him to walk a little further into the room. Then the next thing Takashi knew, his captor had stopped and dragged him sit down...right onto his laps.

The action carried such intimacy that it scared Takashi, at the same time he felt humiliated because he was once again being treated like a child by his captor.

Takashi had half the mind to push away seconds before he heard the kidnapper's voice near his ear. "You said you are going to behave, Saga."

Biting his lower lip, Takashi forced himself to become still.

His obedience doubtlessly pleased his captor, for the brunette could feel the other man relaxed below him, sinking deeper into the armchair they must be currently occupying; taking Takashi with him so the slim youth had no choice but to widen his thighs, straddling his captor's laps, his back was made to press against the clad chests of  his captor. Whatever attempt Takashi had in mind to draw some distance between himself and the kidnapper was put into rest as soon as the man wound an arm around his thin waist tightly and possessively, a reminder that any more mischief would not be tolerated.

With little strength left to hold his defense up, Takashi kept still, it was true that his hands were unbound so theoretically he could have fought back but emotional exhaustion had robbed him of the will to fight against his captor. Takashi knew something must be coming up, his captor wouldn't have taken him here for no reason, but the same like before, the captive youth knew nothing about the other man's motive, and it terrified him.

Then, Takashi felt his captor moved, his hands moving upward. For a moment the youth dreaded that the other man was going to touch him in some sexual way, but seconds later, much to his shock, the kidnapper did nothing other than reaching behind the back of his head and untying the piece of cloth which wrapped around his eyes.

So the blindfold was untied all of the sudden and Takashi could only blink rapidly as the cloth slipped off from before his eyes. Now he wasn't blindfolded anymore and like before, it took him a few more seconds to adjust to having his sight back.

Still trembling, Takashi tried to observe his surrounding while not making his intention so obvious but the room was poorly lit and the curtains had been drawn shut he still couldn't see much of anything, much less his captor's face. For all he could tell, he only knew he was in some sort of living room.

For an instant Takashi wanted to turn his head back and finally, see his captor's face. He was no longer blindfolded or bound at the moment, fear was the only thing kept him from trying.

However, before he could take action, his captor beat him to this.

"Don't be so tensed. " The kidnapper whispered again to his ear, the grip he had around Takashi's waist tightened considerably.  

Takashi closed his eyes, taking in small, slow breath as he willed his muscle to relax; as he did so he became unavoidably more aware of how his body came into contact with his captor, how he could feel the other man's lean muscles as he sat on the man's lap and engaged in this unwanted embrace, how the man’s body heat was radiating to him through the few layers of clothes they wore. His cheeks heated up as he was forced to recognize the intimacy of their current position.

A hand once again snaked up to the back of Takashi's skull, stroking the soft brown colored hair before strong fingers taking hold of those locks by a fistful, arching the captive's neck so the latter had no choice but to look up.

Having his head bent back like this, Takashi was forced to look in front of himself---this time his gaze fell upon an object he had previously miss. In front of him, just no more than ten feet away across the room, was a small square-shaped television, sitting on an unremarkable low desk, which was placed against the wall.

Before Takashi could figure out what the television was meant for, the kidnapper whispered again, making his next command be known. "Watch."

The corner of Takashi's eyes caught sight of hand movements from his captor as the latter used the remote control he was holding; then the television was switched on.

It had been too long since Takashi last saw any TV program on a television screen, still it didn't take long for him to realize they weren't watching any normal TV channel with normal programs, shows or advertisements. Although the television had been switched on, still it didn't show what Takashi used to see on any TV program, instead Takashi found himself looking at a screen which was blank, then a line of words appeared at the center.


Session 15

Takashi frowned, growing even more uneasy, what did those words mean? Was he watching some....video tape?

Then the line of words were gone in a blink of an eyes, in a flash new images appeared on the TV screen: it showed a room, almost bare aside from a few pieces of furniture, the color appeared to be so washed off that the video almost seemed to be in black-and-white, the image quality not very different from what you could expect to see on some security camera.

Takashi shifted uncomfortable on the man's lap. There was something unsettling about what the TV was showing. The look of this unremarkable looking room, for some reason he still couldn't pinpoint, it frightened him.

Before Takashi could give a name to his fear, he saw lines of letters appearing at the bottom of the TV screen.

Name Of Patient: Sakamoto Takashi

(Note: Patient agreed to record the session into video.)

Takashi's breath caught in his throat at once, he must be in some kind of nightmare...it couldn't be! It just...couldn't be!

On the screen, he saw a man, dressed in long white coat, walking into the room, followed by a younger man, who was in casual t-shirt and jeans.

Despite the poor quality of the video, Takashi recognized at once who those people in the video were, he knew who he was watching, these two people in the videotape were no other than Dr. Camui and himself.

How could this be, how did his captor manage to get his hands on this videotape?

Takashi wanted to turn away, but a firm grip at his nape prevented him from averting his eyes from what was happening on the television screen.

"Watch it." Another command from the kidnapper.

"Where did you get this tape?" Takashi questioned desperately, but his question was ignored entirely.

Seeing the kidnapper had reacted to his question with aloofness instead of outrage, Takashi braced himself to ask another question. "Does it mean you know who Dr. Camui is? What had you done to him?"

"Don't worry about Dr. Camui, I have much to thank him in fact. If it wasn't for him, I would never find you..." The kidnapper replied calmly, patting his captive's head gently, but soon the same hand got hold of the captive hair and gripped onto it, angling his captive's face toward the television. "Enough of your questions. Now, watch."

Like being trapped in a nightmare, Takashi could only watch helplessly as the videotape continued to play, showing him the private conversations he once shared with Dr. Camui, back when he was still the doctor's patient.

For a few times, Takashi struggled to turn his face away but his captor would have none of it, gripping his nape even more tightly as his other hand wound securely around the captive's waist. He watched helplessly as Dr. Camui chatted with him on the screen, starting on topics which were casual and cheerful to an extend. Takashi watched as his past self replied to the doctor, and the doctor really was good at opening a conversation and keeping people talking to him, soon more and more words were slipping past the patient's mouth, without much hesitation.


"Sakamoto san, would you mind telling me how do you feel about...relationship?"

"...relationship...as in romantic relationship?"

Takashi could heard himself countered the psychologists question in a small voice, for the first time in this conversation, his tone became tensed and careful.


"That's what I'm talking about."

"Hadn't I already told you? I am not seeing anyone at the moment, I don't have time to even think--"

"Everyone has time to think about relationship, everyone has time to think about sex, Sakamoto san." Dr. Camui cut in.

"I didn't know it is...sex you want to talk about."

"I'm merely reminding you it's normal to think about relationship, and sex is always part of it."

On the screen, Takashi shook his head.


"Doc, let's not go to this area---"

"Why not? Why don't you want to 'go to this area'? What's preventing you?"

"Nothing. But I'm not comfortable---"

A shiver shook through Takashi's body as he felt a hand pressed against the bare flesh of his stomach, he had no idea when the hem of his shirt was lifted and his captor had snaked a hand beneath it. Takashi had been too taken in by what was going on on the TV screen to notice his captor's hands had wandered somewhere else when he was distracted by what he was seeing and hearing from the television.

His body stiffened immediately, although the video was still playing and there was still sound coming from the television, the conversation between Dr. Camui and his past self was still continuing, but by now they had become the last things in Takashi's awareness; his mind came to focus entirely on the warm touch of the kidnapper's hand against his lower stomach.

Again he tried to push away, but the arm still around his thin waist prevented him from escaping, frustrated tear welled up as Takashi sensed the hand on his stomach slipping downward, playing along his waistband.

From behind, the kidnapper placed his chin atop one of his captive's  shoulder, adding the weight of his head on the slighter built man, making it even more difficult for him to thrash his body.

"Please don't..."

Ignoring the brown haired youth's pleas, the kidnapper bent down to place a small kiss on the base of the captive's exposed neck, sending a shiver down the captive’s spine.

"Saga, go on and tell me what is preventing you from answering Dr. Camui's question."

"I..." Takashi's mind was in chaos, incapable of make sense of his captor's question when the latter's hand was still on him, touching him teasingly.

So many questions whirling in his mind, how could this man came to possess this video tape? They were supposed to be kept safely in Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, off-limited to everyone else other than himself and Dr. Camui.  Who was this man? How could he manage to find out so many things about him when Takashi was entirely unaware of what was going on?

"Your body is heating up, can you feel this, Saga? Is your heart speeding when I touch you?"

Those words made Takashi become aware of his body's reaction to the onslaught. He hated to admit it but the places his captor had touched him...felt as though they were on fire, his breath coming out short, unsteady and shallow. Aside from fear, something very similar to excitement was rushing rapidly through his veins, pulsing with his every heartbeat.

"Do you feel...aroused when a man touches you like this? Answer me, Saga..."

Every rational thought left Takashi's mind at the same time as he felt the kidnapper’s hand snaked beneath his waistband and cupped him through the thin fabric of his underpants.

Takashi would have started struggling anew if his captor didn't bite down to the base of the brown haired youth's neck in warning.

"Is that why you couldn't talk to Dr. Camui about what you need? Were you shy to mention to the good old doctor what you had dreamed of at nights?"

The question was uttered before the kidnapper flicked his tongue over the bite mark he left upon the crook of his captive's neck, causing the latter to shiver again.

"......." Between unsteady breath and wordless groans, Takashi struggled to say something.

"I can't hear you, Saga."

"No..." In the end Takashi managed to whimper a single word of denial weakly.

This only made the other man chuckled, his hot breath ghosting against his skin. " What do you mean by 'No'? Does it mean you don't believe you are free to admit your own needs?"

"It...is not normal!" It had become all too much for Takashi, he was still trying to pull at the kidnapper's hand but to no avail.

"There's nothing wrong about feeling pleasure." His captor corrected him, yelping his underpants down to wrap his fingers directly around the brunette's half hard length, teasing its head.

He wanted to tell the man to shut up, he wanted to yell and tell the latter he had no right to say such things to him, but in this reality of him being a captive, Takashi knew his captor thought it was within his right to say this to him. He hated that, he also hated the fact his body was reacting to the violation regardless how his brain screamed in protest and outrage.

Takashi could feel the muscles on his inner thighs tightening, tension building up at his lower stomach ready to burst as his captor continued to toy with him.

"Why must you do this?" The question was choked out of the brunette as he trembled with needs.

"Because you're mine." The kidnapper answered simply. "Say this, say you're mine, Saga."

"......" Takashi had nothing for a reply. Despite his fear and arousal, he could not bring himself to say the words he knew would please his captor so greatly.

His captor kept quiet, probably waiting for Takashi to finally give in and tell him what he wanted to hear, but when it never arrived, he heaved a sigh as if giving up.

Takashi could hear this deep sigh next to his ear and he was startled when the television was switched off without any warning.

Once the television was switched off taking the cold electrical white light from the screen with it, the shadows within the room seemed to deepen. At the back of Takashi's mind, he knew it was be a signal, his captor must be going to say or do something---

Takashi didn't even have to wait long for the unknown man to begin.

Almost at once, the kidnapper withdrew his hands from Takashi's body, then in one smooth movement, he pushed the slim form of his captive away from his lap, causing the latter to slip to the floor.

Takashi gasped as his knees hit the hard wooden flooring,  once he managed to balance himself with his both hands, he looked back behind himself in shock, it frightened him to not have any clue what the kidnapper was going to do next.

For the first time he braced himself and allowed his gaze to look up in search of his captor's face, but much to his disappointment in the dimly lit room he could barely made out the outline of the man sitting in front of him. He could make out some vague details of the clothes he wore, but not the details of his face.

"Saga,stay there."

Takashi had no choice but to stay put, remaining kneeling in front of his captor.

"Unzip my trousers, and I'll let you try and do the rest."

Takashi felt as though someone had just knocked the oxygen right out of his lungs, his mind was still trying to deny what he had just heard but the meaning of his captor's command was still crystal clear to him. This man wanted him to...to...

"I think I had given you an order, Saga." The kidnapper pressed.

Having no other choice, Takashi obeyed, fingers working clumsily to unzip his captor's trousers as ordered, then pulled the waistband a bit lower around the other man's upper thighs. He was close enough to see there was a visible bulge beneath the man's underpants.  

The brown haired youth could hardly control his trembling fingers as he pulled said underpants down as much as he could, averting his eyes to look else where when he did so, his palms were wet with sweat so it was difficult to control his own hand movement. Takashi felt as though he would faint for merely thinking about what he would have to do next.

The youth tensed as a hand was placed lightly on the top of his head. " Go ahead."

If it were supposed to be an encouragement, Takashi could not feel it, all he could feel was shame and nausea.

Obediently, he took the other man's erection to his hands, and forced himself to bend his head down, running his tongue experimentally over the tip of the man's shaft.

His captor let out a small sigh, his hand stroking Takashi's hair in encouragement, so the brown haired youth thought he must be doing okay so far. Truth be told, Takashi had never done this before, giving blowjob is something he had never considered in the past, and now he only had one past experience to draw from: the one time when he received it from his captor.

He kept licking, the salty taste on the man's heat skin tasted strange in his mouth, but it wasn't entirely unpleasant and Takashi knew he must endure it, until his captor found his release and only then he would be allowed to go.

He tensed again when his captor gripped Takashi's hair tighter, not enough to be painful but the memory of their previous encounter stirred the dread pooling within his belly.

"Take me deeper." The kidnapper ordered.

The captive had no other choice but to do as he was told, he opened his mouth wider, taking the hard shaft to his mouth, as deep as he could go. The other man's cock felt too big and heavy in his mouth, he nearly choked.

For a moment his captor didn't move, only ran his hands along Takashi's brown tresses, caressing the back of his head before he pulled the captive's head forward, forcing him to swallow more of his stiffened length, without any warning.

Takashi groaned in surprise and discomfort as the shaft hit the back of his throat. Out of instinct he wanted to back away but the hands on the back of his head wouldn't allow him to withdraw. The youth wanted to protest but didn't dare to try speaking because he knew only too well what would happen if he accidentally bit down on the kidnapper's shaft when doing so.

Unbeknownst to Takashi, the kidnapper was looking down at him, his half lidded eyes clouded by lust as he watched his captive keening before him, his head pressed between his own bare upper thighs, the beautiful sight of his captive wrapping his lips around his manhood, his cheeks swollen due to the thick length stuffing his lovely mouth, brought a smirk of satisfaction upon his face.

"Now, move for me, Saga."

Takashi didn't need to be told twice. Under the command he started to bob his head up and down, his captor's length slipped out of his mouth with a wet sound only to be taken back in once more. The action was repeated again and again. Above him, Takashi could hear his captor groaning with desire.

"...feel so good...Saga..."

The man gasped as he once again tightened his grip on either sides of Takashi's head. "Your pretty mouth....feels so good around me."

A single drop of tear seeping down Takashi's cheek as he felt the heated shaft in his mouth grew larger, hitting the back of his throat with each thrust it made.

"...Saga...need you so much...!"

Throwing back his head in abandonment, the kidnapper gripped his captive's hair with a firm grip as he thrust his hips forward, the man knew he was about to cum and he wanted his Saga to take his seed.

His words were squeezed out between clenched teeth as he uttered his next order. "...I want you to swallow, my pet."

A small cry was the only answer he got as he felt his length grew into its fullest in his captive's mouth, then ribbons of hot cum shot right down the latter's throat.

Takashi was quivering violently as he received another man's cum for the first time. The kidnapper took his time emptying himself into his captive's mouth, then finally he loosed his grip.

Falling back to the floor, the youth coughed trying desperately to catch his breath, traces of semen seeping down his chin as he struggled to swallow his captor's release as ordered.  

"You had done so well for a first timer..." A hand reached down to pet his soft brownish hair.

Stilling coughing and out of breath, Takashi had no response for it.

"You'd made me so happy, love."

Now his captor was helping him to his feet, before dragging him back to the armchair again, putting him right back to sit across the man's lap.

"You'll get used to it, Saga." The kidnapper assured, smoothing a lock of damp hair back behind his captive's ear.

As emotionally drained as he was, Takashi didn’t react to it.

"You'll learn to give pleasure as much as receiving it. And you will learn to find pleasure in it."

With that the kidnapper leaned in to kiss his captive on the lips, tasting his own release at the corners of the brunette's mouth. The man flicked his tongue along those soft lips, asking for entrance, and those lips parted for him almost instantly, allowing him to deepen the kiss.

Takashi moaned into the kiss and realizing, a second too late, that he had just granted his captor's entrance mindlessly---almost automatically, without even having to be forced.

After he drew apart from his captive, the kidnapper whispered next to the youth’s ear. "See, it isn't so hard to obey me, my pet."

Takashi felt sick to his stomach. This man, he was a fucking kidnapper and he had obeyed him and given him a blowjob.

"You'll learn."

Takashi wanted to die.

to be continued.

Chapter Text



Chapter 22:
Nightmare Device

 

In the afternoon Tora walked across the campus on his way to the main library. Today he had an appointment with Shou again, they had agreed to meet up after they finished their lessons. This time they agreed to meet in the library.

Stepping through the library's entrance, Tora couldn't help thinking about how curious it was for him to have spent more time with Shou than any of his friends or classmates recently...

He walked to one of the elevators and got himself to the fourth floor, where the two of them were supposed to meet. This part of the library seemed to be nearly empty so it wasn't difficult to find Shou sitting alone behind a long table at the far end of the hall. His eyes were on the laptop before him, and a few books spread around said laptop on the table. Once again Shou had arrived before Tora did.

Shou looked up when the raven haired student walked into his line of vision. "You made it on time."

"Been waited long?" Tora sat down on the other side of the table, taking a seat opposite of Shou.

"Not at all." Shou replied, since they were in the library, his voice was low, not much louder than a whisper.

"Are you still busy? I can walk around in the library a bit if you aren't ready yet." Tora offered.

"No need for that, I'm about to finish up some research for my other lecture, will end to hand it over after the school break."

Yes, they all had a school break ahead of them. Strange that for a moment Tora really did forget about the school break if Shou hadn't brought it up.

"So you are finishing your school works even before the break begins." Tora commented in wonder.

"One less thing to worry about," Shou replied in a matter-of-fact tone as he closed his laptop. "How about you? Do you have any plan?"

"Not exactly. I think I will just stay home and...relax." Tora shrugged. "And you, Shou?"

The school break was merely a few days ahead of them. It wouldn't be a surprise for Shou to have already made plan for it, given the fact that the latter seemed to want to take care of his schoolwork so quickly.

"Not much, most likely I'll spend time to study during the break." Shou answered causally.

"So we are on the same page here."

Shou grinned at the remark, nodding. "On the other hand, the break will definitely provide free time to work on our pet project."

This time it was Tora who was nodding in agreement. Now it made more sense why would Shou want to meet with him, the blond haired student obviously wanted to discuss their progress before this semester ended and they all went into holiday.

Tora suggestion. "Let's talk about what we have found for our...'project', then."

Once again opening his laptop, Shou spoke. "After going through the materials I have in hands, I must admit there is an unforeseeable flaw in what I'd originally planned."

"How so?" The raven haired student raised an eyebrow, he did not explain Shou to admit defeat so early on.

"Remember I mentioned about involving our fellow students to be volunteers? Now I realize it might not be the ideal way to work on the plan."

"Why?"

"Because...it may be better if we can find our volunteers among mental patients."

For a moment Tora couldn't say anything. He had never expected Shou to say that, working a project with mental patients as their targeted subjects? That was far too ambitious! It was simply something beyond the reach of a mere student.

"...why would you think that?" Tora questioned. "If we still wanted to use fear as our main topic, we can do the project by getting volunteers within our campus. Normal volunteers would be enough, don't you think?"

This time Shou blinked. "I...it may have something to do with what I'd learnt from my experience with Dr. Camui, but it is...hard to explain."

"What's hard to explain?" Tora pressed on the issue. He would definitely get to the bottom to understand why would the blond student ever thought about using mental patients as the subjects. That was a bit too unusual.

"Because there's so much to learn from them."

Tora was taken aback. "What makes you think this?"

"Remember what I'd told you about the time I was doing my fieldwork? Like many others I was sent to a mental ward, and the patients I had seen in there...so many of them got themselves there due to their fear of so many different things and their inability to face the world they live in, it just makes me wonder..."

Unconsciously the raven haired one held his breath.

"It makes me wonder what had possibly caused their fear and phobia, and I have always been wondering...Can fear be the catalyst of their conditions? Can the mental conditions of those patients be intentionally created?"

Tora felt like someone had hit him right on his guts. He knew what Shou was asking, the blond student was asking could a person be deliberately driven mad, by fear.

The answers of this question could only be found by reading between the lines, no one would sgin himself or herself up to go through any experiment that might turn a sane person into a madman, and there was no university in the world would allow its students to run such an experiment or a project, no professor in his right mind would allow a pupil to go anywhere near this topic.

"Don't talk like this, Shou." Tora tried to stop his fellow classmate from continuing. "We are not supposed to set in a direction such as this, what would people say if they found out? What would our peers say? What about our mentors---"

"Why can't we? I bet every psychiatrist out there has secretly thought about this question! Even your good mentor Dr. Camui.."

Tora was once again taken aback. He shook his head in denial"Dr. Camui has never..."

"Don't be stupid, Tora-san. You really think we are the first individuals to ever question these things? Of course we aren't! Had anyone before us ever wondered about these things and asked the same questions? Of course they had! Had experiments been performed in secret? Again yes! So many governments have always been at it even since the Cold War but everyone just likes to keep it all hush-hush. Had anyone questioned how memories can be confused and blurred and even...faked; and how a human's mind can be affected by it? Yes, people had always been wondering about these things and they wanted to find out the answers as much as we do! Even your beloved Dr. Camui isn't unfamiliar with these topics, either!"

"How do you know?" Tora questioned under his breath. As far as he knew, no one had heard from Dr. Camui after his 'disappearance', therefore it was entirely unexpected when his name was mentioned.

Shou's eyes were glittering when he gave his answer. "Because he told me."

This gave Tora quite a shock, he never knew Dr. Camui had ever chatted with Shou personally.

***

Takashi snapped his eyes open, springing awake he thought some kind of noise had jolted him awake. Fortunately, this time he didn't wake to something awful and terrifying, for the time being he wasn't blindfolded, his hands were still bound but at least he was alone, waking on the bed within his prison room...at least he was alone and nothing truly bad had befallen him, this was a small mercy.

Instead it was a noise that woke him, a strange sound which reminded him of......thunders from a distance.

...but not quite like thunder.

He corrected himself as his mind getting a bit more into focus. He was laying on his side, wrapped up by a thick blanket which he had dragged from the bed and laid out on the wooden floor. He didn't intend to fall into slumber but in the end he still had fallen asleep on it all the same.

Takashi sighed as he leaned on his elbows,dragging his upper body up while remaining lying among the blanket, physically he still wasn't in a good shape, but the period he could manage to remain conscious and alert had doubtlessly stretching longer.

Despite his traumas, Takashi still preferred wakefulness over drugged-up slumber and unconsciousness, at least when he was alerted he would have manged to react if something were to happen.

Silence surrounded him and as the throbbing of his own heartbeat slowed, he became increasingly aware of the subtle sound which seemed to seep into his room from somewhere down below, through the floor.

As though someone was working on something with a hammer from downstairs, from a far distance.

This faint noise, Takashi now realized what it did sound like, it sounded just like someone was beating at some metal with a hammer, one two three four...with a rhythm.

There couldn't be someone else within this hellhole...so Takashi could only guessed it was the kidnapper and the latter was...building something?

But what was he working on? What was he trying to build? Why would he did it all of a sudden? Takashi could only wished he would never find out.

***

Nailing the last piece into place, you smoothed a layer of oil on top of the now-flawless surface of your newly completed device, a finishing touch.

On the floor, pieces of steel in different shapes, unused nails were lying on the bare floor with other tools.

You had done bolting up some windows within the cabin for further security measure; but it wasn't the only task you had at hand.

Your work was completed.

Putting the heavy hammer aside, you eyed your handiwork, studying it, looking for flaws or incomplete parts which you might previously overlook, but found none. So it was completed, inescapable.

Just enough for one person to be slipped in. Once the lid is closed, the person would not even be allowed to sit up, he would even have difficult trying to turn.

On the outside, it looked like some kind of box, a rectangular shaped, narrowed box, or a coffin.

You had crafted this device on your own, in the secrecy of the basement below ground of your hidden cabin.

And you must say the ending result was even more ideal than what you had imagined or what you had sketched on the few pieces of paper.

Now thinking about it, you would have to destroy those sketches of yours soon, just to be on the safe side...

Locking the door behind you, you exited from the basement, knowing you must go upstairs and destroy those sketches before you forgot to do so. There were still so many things to tend to, better finishing one small but necessary step before you lost trace of the order of things.

***

Watching those sketches burnt and the ashes fell silently to the kitchen's sink, your thoughts once again drifted back to the newly completed device of yours. Your had taken inspiration from what you had studied, similar device had been used during and after Cold War, and also the recent War of Iraq, used by the USA army, by CIA and also by KGB and...so many others around the world, the list went on and on.

Simply put, it was a device designed to help breaking someone's will, and history had proved such devices were in fact quite…effective for their purpose. To many people who had laid eyes on it and experienced it during wartime, this very device was nothing less than staff of nightmare.

It always amused you how little the general public were aware of what the governments and their agents had done under the shadow of secrecy.

Brainwashing, mind control, re-education, maring a person’s mind to a point of no return, all in the name of peace, national security, war on terrorism...and justice.

According to popular belief of the mass, brainwashing was something done by mad evil scientists, but in true, mind control had taken place a lot more frequently than we would have guessed. Many studies had been carried out, many details had been collected, men and women had been subjected to different tests and experiments...either voluntarily or involuntarily.

There had always been records about war prisoners, terrorism suspects and the likes being forced to endure mind control under governmental orders. Still there was a significant difference in motivation between what you were trying to do and what the governmental units had performed: those governmental units had merely wanted to make their suspects confess, breaking down their defense and squeezing information out of their mouths. You couldn't just copy their methods directly, you would need a softer approve, the ways used by the other...organizations to re-educate people.

Or reprogramming them.

You had built a torture device, though you wished this device would never be put into use. You never really wanted to put this thing into use......but at the same time you felt that you must always prepare for what was to come.

-TBC-

Chapter Text


Chapter 23:
Discovery

 

Sitting in his rented apartment, Tora started to skim through the various articles he had just printed out by using his laptop and printer.

As an university's student, like all of his schoolmates, Tora had been taught the skills of research, data collection and sorting at the very beginning of their freshman year. Though Tora hadn’t thought that those skills would, one day be used on such an unusual cause: this strange pet project he had agreed to work together with Shou.

Can fear be the cause of their conditions? Can the mental conditions of those patients be intentionally created? Shou had asked in their previous meeting.

Now, after days of looking through the details and studying through a number of articles, Tora thought he knew the answer now: the fact was, fear could be the reason of mental breakdown. Although he barely noticed this before, Tora came to realize this particular topic had been discussed in different books, there had also been experiments and tests to prove it.

However, many of those past experiments and studies had also, directly or indirectly, pointed out that fear alone wasn’t enough, the elements of confusion and disorientation also needed to come into play for the maximum effect.

Once a person’s mind became disoriented, adding with the powerful feeling of dread, then a person might become easier to be…affected and manipulated.

One of the key factors of manipulating a person’s mind, was the manipulation of memories.

The general public tended to believe in the consistence of one’s self and mind. People tended to believe the personality of a person--especially an adult, should always be consistent, with an unbreakable continuity. Still, this kind of blind faith toward one’s consistence of personality and self made people easier to overlook one simple fact: human’s brain was an organ which had always been constantly affected by the different chemistries surging through the mass of brain cells and the complicated, delicate webs of nerves; and strong, overpowering emotional impacts might also change how a brain worked...even in subtle ways, which in turn, might change one’s personality.

For example: the famous experiment done by Pro. Loftus--Professor Elizabeth Loftus. She and her students had performed a study on false memories, to learn how likely or unlikely false memories and false experience could be inserted into humans' minds.

Pro. Loftus and her team invited a group of civilians to do a one-on-one interview, but the true aims of the interview would not be revealed to the interviewees until much later, though.

The interviewer would at first chat with the interviewee, mostly they would chat about the interviewee's childhood and their childhood’s memories, the conversation would stay causal for most part, until the interviewer started asking them about a past memory the interviewee was supposed to recall.

"Do you remember you had once gotten lost in a shopping mall when you were eight years old, according to your parents, you had once experienced this." They would ask.

The interviewee would be surprised, for he or she possessed no such memory; because such an incident had never happened in their past.

But the interviewer would insist upon this: Yes, the interviewee had once gotten separated with their parents by accident and lost in a shopping mall. They would insist they had the interviewee’s own parents or relatives to prove it: They got once lost for a while until the security guards of the mall found them and returned them to their parents safely.

The conversations would go on for a while, until something quite unexpected taken place.

Under the strong suggestion, the pressure of conformity and/or the subconscious desire to please the authoritative-looking researchers, one third of interviewees would end up agreeing they did once get lost in a shopping mall, that they had once gotten lost in a mall before security guards found them and returned them to their parents.

Some of the interviewees even developed vivid but nonexistent details about this 'childhood experience' all on their own. Even when at the very first place, this 'memory' was merely a false claim and suggestion being inserted into their minds.

None of the interviewees had ever truly experienced getting lost in a shopping mall when they were children, but through skillful suggestion, many of them did end up believing it was part of their childhood memories.

A few of them even protested when the researchers told them none of this 'shopping mall experience' was real. They insisted they could recall the details of said nonexistent experience, all the details seemed so real and vivid in their minds, how could those memories be untrue and artificially inserted, instead of being part of their natural memory?

In the end, Pro. Loftus' experiment showed how easily people would fall under the spell of suggestions and false memories.

Still, her experiment still left a few questions behind: a false memory about getting lost in a shopping mall as a child and then being safely returned to the parents was as harmless, non-frightening as it could get, but could people insert false memories which were stronger, more determined and more frightening than this?

Plus, how much would it take to create an entirely false personal history and identity and inserted this artificial identity into someone's mind and made a person believe in this false, inserted past?

***

Shou didn’t said anything for a long time after he finished reading the materials Tora had prepared for their ‘pet project’. Today the pair had chosen to meet up at a quiet corner of their campus again, to once again share what the researches they had performed during their spare time.

"People can be deliberately confused and disoriented, am I right?" Only after such a long pause, Shou asked thoughtfully.

Tora did know the answer, but he wasn't sure he wanted to utter this answer out to the open."According to past studies and...experiments. People can be confused and disoriented."

"Therefore, mental illness can also be a man-made condition, am I right?"

Tora exhaled slowly before he spoke again."To an extent, yes."

“Incredible! To think you can change the mentality of someone else in such a way! So many different methods...and approaches....” Shou commented, amusement clear in his voice, and Tora thought he could also detect a...note of excitement in the other student’s tone?

"But we are not going to try any of those…methods which may...get people to become disoriented, not seriously, right?" Tora asked hesitatingly, his throat suddenly went dry.

Shou fell silent and watched the raven haired student for a moment, before replying in a matter-of-fact tone. "No, of course not."

***

Today was the day for you to introduce a new element into the conditioned environment you had set up for Saga.

Although it might sound strange, but you know both you and Saga needed...new simulations. So you would do the necessary thing and hopefully Saga would react as you had predicted. It was part of the plan, if your plan worked, Saga would come to realize how far you were willing to go for him, the things you would do...for him and him alone.

Everything was ready. It was about time. You stood up and moved out of the study.

It was time to prove to Saga how much you value him and how willingly you would protect him from harm. To show him the very evidence of how much he meant to you.

Through this step, hopefully your...influence over Saga might also grow stronger. Hopefully...

You knew forcing Saga to obey would not be enough...not in a long run. Something gotta give, and this time it was your turn to prove what you were willing to do to remove threats from Saga's side. By doing so, you hoped to woe Saga over to you, slowly getting him to see your side of things.

Aside from the most basic ‘rewards and punishment’ system, you wished to build up another kind of bond between you and Saga, this time through the exchange of favors. To slowly make Saga see things through your viewpoint.

A gentle sort of mind control.

Mind-control, you chuckled as the term popped up in your mind. Even just the mere mention of it usually brought up sinister feelings out from members of the general public, sending waves of shiver down people's spines. In most people's mind it was something forbidden and evil to deliberately control someone else's thoughts and emotion. Yet, who would have guessed mind control could be something very common, that it could be found almost everywhere in our daily lives?

From what you had learnt and also from the information you had gathered so far, you had long known that subtle ways of mind control could be found around us on a daily basis, in the forms of religious cults, organized crime activities, domestic violence, advertisements, political propaganda...and so many more.

Many of those methods of thought-control and conditioning would take years to change a person's mind and habits. However, some of those other methods...it worked a great deal more faster. Those methods were far more forceful and usually more...intensively violent in nature.

Those methods usually requested isolating the victim, cutting him off with the general society, uprooting him from his old social networks and support system. It also requested breaking someone's mind with force, beating down his defenses, breaking him in. Only after that one could hope to insert a new set of belief system into the victim's mind.

All of the preparation you had done in secret, all those examples and knowledge you had gathered...they were so useful, no one else could have guessed this...even when those knowledge had always been considered as bad, twisted and immoral.

 

You could only hope those preparation and steps would continue to help you. Everything would depend upon them to work out, depending on your careful planning and the tough but necessary steps you must carry out.

Time to let him see for himself what you would do for him...

***

Today Takashi was escorted out of his prison. He was still bound by the wrists but was allowed to walk on his own, down along the corridor outside of his cell, and he was blindfolded, just as usual.

As soon as the last thought flashed through his mind, Takashi bit the inside of his cheek out of anger, an anger which was directed at himself. How could he thought of being blindfolded and bound part of his 'usual' life?

Shortly afterward, Takashi found himself once again being led to where he believed to be some sort of living room or common area, then he was requested to sit down.

Sitting down wasn’t a easy thing to do when you were blindfolded and your hands bound. So slowly, with painfully careful movement, Takashi lowered himself just as he was told, only after taking his seat did he realize he was now sitting on what appeared to be a sofa. He sat with his bound hands placed on top of his laps, his back straight as he waited quietly for what was to come next. At the back of his mind he knew something was up, but once again, he could not imagine what was awaiting him.

He heard the kidnapper walking behind him and then without warning, the latter untied the blindfold which blocked Takashi's sight.

Takashi could not help gasping in shock as the long piece of cloth slipped away as his captor withdrew his hands. He didn't expect the other man to remove the blindfold so suddenly, it took him a long moment to steady his heartbeat and glance at best he could at his surrounding, only to be greeted by yet another dim surrounding. The light wasn't on, the curtains were drawn, only the vague outlines of furniture, the bare wooden flooring and nearby walls could be seen; but at least Takashi could tell he was indeed in some sort of a living room.

“Keep your head down. Don’t get too curious...yet.”

The demand was uttered from behind him, and Takashi could do nothing but following the order. He understood that his captor most likely didn’t want him to look at his new surrounding too closely and noticing too many details, more importantly, the kidnapper seemingly still wanted to hide his face from his sight…?

If it were what this man wanted, Takashi figured he must play along.

Why was he here? Takashi desperately wanted to know, but today his captor didn’t seem to be in any hurry. He let Takashi to remain on his seat, then a bowl of creamy, steaming soup was brought to him he was allowed to finish the soup which was to serve as his meal, thankfully this time he was also allowed to use his hands instead of being fed so humiliatingly.

Takashi ate his simple meal quietly, the short chains between his bound hands allowing him just enough hand movement to sip the soup down bit by bit; although he could barely taste what had passed through his mouth due to nervousness. Only out of obedience and fear could he be able to finish eating what he had been offered.

Dreading what might come next, Takashi sat absolutely still and kept his head bent as his empty bowl was removed. Previously eating had at least given him something to focus on but now he had finished his meal, then he had no idea what would happen from this point onward. He could only hope his captor was not angry with him. So far, the man hadn’t been rough toward him, today the man had allowed him to feed himself. His captor also didn't demand anything from him. He didn't even hint that he wanted Takashi to serve him in any...sexual way.

Takashi could only hope these could be counted as a good sign.

 

The brown haired youth was still tensed with fear when he felt movements coming from his right side, the sofa sank a bit as another weight was added upon it, right next to where Takashi was sitting.

Takashi’s breath caught in his throat as he realized what was going on: his captor was now sitting next to him. Then a gasp finally escaped his mouth as the kidnapper soundlessly caught hold of his hand, he did it like it was the most common action in the world. Like it was something he did everyday in his life, sitting next to Takashi, holding the latter’s hand like they were on friendly term.

They sat like this in silence. Takashi didn’t dare to move whilst his captor didn’t let go, the latter might probably enjoying himself and the closeness he had forced upon his bound captive. Takashi shifted uncomfortably in his seat, but didn’t even dare to move away. Now...now it felt like the man was acting like they were just friends...lovers... who just happened to be spending time in each other's company. It made Takashi feel sick.

Slowly, the unnamed kidnapper ran the tip of his fingers across the back of Takashi’s hand. As though he was marking his captive’s skin in some way by touching him intimately.

Even when the man was touching him like this, Takashi still didn’t dare to move, didn’t dare to look up.

"I have something for you, Saga.”

Takashi tensed up once more as the kidnapper announced unceremoniously, breaking the silence between them.

“Something I’ve been wanting to show you for some time."

Takashi was still confused when the man finally let go of his hand. It didn’t take long before something appeared within the brown haired youth’s line of vision, next he realized what he was looking at was a piece of newspaper, in black-and-white printing. The item was being held up in front of him by his captor.

"I want you to read it."

Even before the kidnapper could finish his sentence, Takashi's hands had already taken hold the newspaper eagerly, the first thing he noticed was the date of publishment on top of the page. He wanted to---he just had to know how many days had passed since his imprisonment and he hoped the date on the newspaper would tell him this. Takashi did a quick calculation in his mind. From the date he had read on the newspaper, and keeping in mind that this newspaper could be out-of-date for at least a few days if not weeks; then it looked like he had been kidnapped for more than two weeks.

The discovery startled him, two weeks! It had already felt like an eternity in this hellhole.

Only after confirming the date, he could bring himself to avert his gaze to scan the rest of the newspaper, in hope of learning what the kidnapper had intended for him to know.

At first Takashi didn't get what his captor would want for him to read from this wrinkled piece of newspaper, all he could see were ordinary articles of different local news, nothing of significance or interest.

Until his eyes fell on a small article about a death by accident, at the very bottom of the newspaper he was looking at.

According to the article, a man was found dead falling from the building he lived in, the newspaper had provided a small photo of the victim as well. The black and white photo was so small and blurry, Takashi could still recognize the face within the photo was no other than Reita.

Suddenly everything---the meaning of this piece of newspaper and its presence and the reason why it was showed to him, had became crystal clear to the youth.

Takashi's hands shook, the piece of newspaper slipping from his fingers. He nearly jumped out of his skin when without warning, the only light in the room soundlessly went out, leaving him and his captor to sit together in the semi darkness.

The youth’s heart was beating so hard it took sometime for him to calm himself down enough to realize his captor must have somehow switched off the light, on purpose. Another move to ensure Takashi wouldn’t accidentally catch a glimpse of what he looked like.

Takashi stirred again when he heard the kidnapper speaking again. “So, what do you think?”

"You......it can't be..." This new development was too much to take in, there was no masking the fear and disbelief from his voice.

"Can't what be?" The kidnapper asked in the same casual tone as before. His upper body was leaning more toward the shivering form of his captive to a point the sides of their bodies were slightly pressed together.

"You...you......did something..."

"Why can't you just say it?" Now the man was trying to corner him into acknowledging his handiwork.

"What had you done!?" Unable to deal with the tension, Takashi finally snapped.

"I did it for you." That was the quietly uttered reply from the kidnapper. "I removed him, for you."

"You are crazy."

Takashi regretted saying those words almost at once for he still remembered too well how badly his captor had reacted the last time he called him 'crazy'.

"Yes, crazy for you."

But this time it was different. The kidnapper didn’t react with anger, he only offered another calm, matter-of-fact reply. Fingers reaching up to gently take hold to a tuft of hair at the side of Takashi’s cheek, then a soft kiss being placed atop said captured tuft.

"I'd never asked you to do that!" Takashi cried out miserably, turning his face away sharply to avoid the kidnapper’s touch.

"But you're not sorry to see him gone, aren't you?" This time there was ice underneath his tone.

Had the thought of Reita's elimination ever crossed his mind before? Had he been wishing for the other man to just...vanish? So he didn't have to worry about running into the older man whenever he walked in the campus? So he didn't have to look over his shoulder to make sure Reita hadn't crept in on him from behind whenever he left the restaurant he worked for after night shifts?

Deep in his heart, Takashi knew he wasn't sorry to see Reita gone, but it was still wrong...it surely didn't justify what the kidnapper had done!

The bound youth had already retreated to the very edge of the sofa, yet his captor still kept moving closer.

Encircling his captive with one arm, trapping the thin form between himself and the sofa, the unnamed kidnapper whispered right next to his captive’s ear."At least you can thank me. At least you can let me know you're happy."

"I can't." Takashi shook his head weakly. "How can you expect this from me? To thank you over something like this?"

“Why shouldn’t I? Are you saying you aren’t happy about it?”

“......”

Takashi wanted to say ‘No’ but somehow his voice died in his throat. He shouldn’t feel, even the slightest bit of joy, over the murder of someone else, right? But why he couldn’t just say so?

He shook his head weakly. “...No, I...I’m not like this...”

“Deny it all you want, I don’t believe you are sorry to see Reita gone.” The kidnapper suggested with a dark tone. “Be honest, don’t hide it from yourself, Saga.”

“No! It is not me!” Takashi cried out. At the far corner of his mind, he wondered why his captor sounded like someone he knew...it wasn’t about his voice...but the way he talked, the way he made demands...it just sounded familiar to Takashi, somehow.

This conversation he was now having with his captor, somehow it felt like the conversations he once had with Dr. Camui. Even when the voice of the unknown man had nothing in common with Dr. Camui’s, still his manner of speech, his tone...reminded him strangely with his former psychiatrist’s.

Before Takashi could turn this new realization over in his mind, his captor startled him out of his thoughts by running a hand softly down his jawline.

“There is nothing for you to feel ashamed of, Saga. You’re too self-conscious, too filled with worries; always wearing yourself out over people who didn’t bother to know you! Not like I do. It saddens me to see you being upset with yourself...so often.”

At this moment Takashi wanted nothing more than to block his ears from the other man’s poisonous words, but he couldn’t. As much as he tried to deny it, part of him....a small part of him still couldn’t help agreeing with what the kidnapper had said, about not being understood, about always feeling unfulfilled. Hadn’t he had always been haunted by this sense of hollowness, ever since his adolescence?

He had never complained---hadn’t even thought of complaining since his life was going just fine without much problem---at least not any problem which could be detected, he had behaved like everything was normal when he was around his peers, he should be happy with how his life was going, he had already had better luck than many other less-fortunate people....but why...why something was still amiss? Did it mean he was...greedy for wanting things to be different?

“No one...no one loves you more than I do. How can they ‘love’ you when they don’t even understand the first thing about you?” Once again the kidnapper reached out for his captive, but this time as soon as his fingers touched upon Takashi’s cheek, the later swayed, stumbling away from his seat despite of his bound hands.

“Saga, don’t---” Now the kidnapper had also stood up, moving forward in an attempt to get closer to the bound youth.

Reacting out of sheer instinct, Takashi struggled to back away from his captor, doing his best to keep his balance as he went. In his quivering voice, the youth continued to deny the kidnapper’s claims.“How can you claim to know me so well? I don’t know you! You aren’t anyone I know!”

“Of course I know you, I know many things about you that hardly anyone else is aware of.” Still slowly moving in on his trembling, frightened captive, the kidnapper stated, confidence layered in his voice. “No one else know you better than I do.”

“You are lying! It can’t be!” Takashi was depressed, when would the kidnapper finally see reason and realize what he was doing was wrong?

"Please believe me, I do love you."

This time, the way the kidnapper pleaded to him, nearly made Takashi falter. But he quickly told himself that this man, the man who had kept him captive for at least two weeks already, didn't deserve even the slightest of his sympathy.

Now, he needed to shatter this facade of love, before all was lost.

Putting his fear aside for the time being, Takashi fired back. "It's not love! Love isn't supposed to be like this!"

"Then what do you think love is supposed to be!?" The other man hissed. "Hadn't I done all these for your sake proves I care about you? What more do you want me to do?"

"Let me go. "Takashi pleaded, desperation bleeding into his voice. "That's the proof I want!"

I love you...

Takashi had heard people saying these three words, to express love toward their own families, to express friendship, using them in the term for expression of romantic love and passion. However, he had never heard anyone saying that to him...not in this sense, nor did he ever expect to find himself reacting with disgust and dread when hearing those very words.

 

"At least you can thank me. At least you can let me know you're happy." The kidnapper braked, once again he ignored Takashi’s plea completely.

"I can't." Takashi shook his head weakly. "How can you expect this from me? To thank you over something like this?"

The newspaper was now crumpled in Takashi’s hands. The youth's gaze hadn't left the raven head who stood before him, a mix of anger and disbelief glistening in Takashi's eyes. Of which, Takashi was certain that he could see it.

"Saga..." The unnamed man started after a painful silence.

He took a step forward to his captive, arm extended; but Takashi sensed his movement and stepping backward to avoid him as soon as the other man came close.

"Don't touch me, you murderer......rapist."

The words came out as a hiss, but full of venom.

"Saga, you must listen—"

"I must not!"

Even Takashi himself was surprised that he had shouted. He eyed the other man’s shadow-shrouded form, seeing the length of the latter’s extended arm fell to his side. Judging from his tensed figure, the kidnapper almost looked like he was restraining his own anger.

For a moment, it seemed like his captor was about to strike, that much Takashi had been expecting. He had expected his kidnapper to get angry like the last time, he had provoked the other man after all. However, he didn't expect it would be like this. He didn't think by being equally angry right now, that he would still feel so, so threatened.

Suddenly The blonde felt weak on his knees, and he ended up dropping to the floor. His kidnapper was by now towering over him. The man was still mostly shrouded by the dimness in the room but Takashi could still feel the man’s gaze upon him; those mere gaze was enough to make Takashi feel so small. He was aware of his lips trembling. He was scared.

After a tensed, silent moment, the kidnapper took a step back, then slowly, another. Takashi could do nothing but to watch the man stormed out of the room before locking the door from the outside; leaving Takashi alone in his darkening prison.

Long after his captor had left, Takashi remained on the floor,unable to even get himself up as if he was paralysed. He still feel so frightened. And this time his captor didn't even do anything harmful to him. Only after his captor left, Takashi realized that he was actually bone-shattered by the turn of events.

***

Once again you left Saga locked in a room, you knew he wasn't going anywhere but this knowledge gave you no peace of mind. This time you felt...frustrated and defended instead, as if this time you were not walking out by your own account but fleeing from him and from a situation you didn't want to face.This time...you couldn’t deal with him now, not without doing something you would regret later.

Gritting under your breath, you turned to face the closest wall, your forehead pressing against the cold wooden board, then out of frustration, you started to punch it with your fist; one, two, three and counting.

Each punch hit the wooden made wall like a hammer despite the pain it caused you, despite traces of blood seeping down your knuckles, leaving dull echos to ring through the empty corridor you were in; until the material gave in, leaving a hole behind after you finally made yourself stop.

Still facing the wall, with your fists and your forehead still pressed against the flat, smooth surface, you tried to get your bearing, catching your breath.

""Is this the game you want to play, my Saga?"

You knew you were talking to yourself and it was kind of silly, but you couldn't care less at the moment. You needed to give voice to your thoughts before they suffocated you from the inside, and none of the things in your mind were suitable to be uttered to any other living soul but yourself. So you might as well getting those thoughts off your chest now.

"All these questions, all these demands. Do you want to play game? You want to see the proof of my love for you? Oh...you just wait and see!"

"If it is the game you want to play, I'm willing to play with you."

-TBC-