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It was a little after lunch hour when Takeshi found Kaito over at the rooftops. A few days had passed since he offered to help with his escape, and Takeshi still stood by his words.

He only wondered if it were something the Human considered.

“You come here regularly,” he said. Greetings were pointless to his eyes: a waste of time and an easy way to snap his patience. He preferred being direct — small talk was unnecessary. Takeshi settled himself by Kaito’s side, his back slumped against the wall behind him. “Something wonderful you must be looking at.”

The Human did not even look his way. He said nothing at first, as if considering. “Sort of,” he replied. “There are mountains in the distance, a forest below. There’s even the city that surrounds it. It’s a beautiful sight now but wait till you see it at night while the lights are turned on.”

Takeshi gave it a thought. His gaze trailed following his line of sight and there rested the city, yet what beauty was there, but only the home of the wretched Humans that locked him in his cellar? All he saw were simple buildings, trees and the mountain — nothing important nor aesthetically beautiful to his eyes. Apart from that, the Human had no reason to love the city. “Your friend was hunted endlessly through the city like a rodent was with a predator. It hosts the territory of your greatest enemy. You should be scowling at so terrible a site.”

Moreover, it was the home of people that once spoke such ill lies; annoying, detestable words claiming that they loved, that they cared. Yet where did those declarations go, he wondered, when it turned out that beings like him were Ajin? That they were not Human, but ‘monsters’ (or so they said), simply due to the IBM festering within them? The irony was nearly close enough to have him laugh.

Nevertheless, Kaito shrugged. Takeshi raised an eyebrow. “What's wrong with that? I don't really care. I still like it.”

He scoffed, giving up on prolonging the conversation. This boy truly was a fool.

The pair remained quiet, neither one saying a word long enough for others to deem awkward but it was nothing out of the ordinary for Takeshi. Silence was normal. Sure, he was usually bothered by irritating pests like the brats he knocked out that day in the cellar, but if he were surrounded by cowards that knew how to mind their own businesses, he would be left alone for as much as he liked — and Takeshi did appreciate that silence. At least the Human seemed to respect his preferences; or understood him because he seemed to adore the silence as well. Either way, it welcomed him the chance to ease up and relax.

…Though there was something he wished to know more about: a persistent thought that had been bugging him off for days ever since he offered Kaito a chance to escape that day after putting his incessant jailmates to rest. This fool certainly could not be serious over wanting to carry on sympathising with an Ajin. Every other human regarded them as monsters; something to be tortured and experimented on daily, no less. What exactly was it about Nagai Kei that bloomed that indestructible loyalty within this thick-headed Human? Why couldn't the boy just surrender and turned the Ajin in? A huge bounty rested on the head of Nagai Kei for the one that did. All the odds were in his favour, if only he would take that knife and thrust it into Nagai Kei’s back.

He would be more than glad to give him a shove in the right direction.

Takeshi’s hand reached out for the pocket to his right, a smashed box of cigarettes he swiped from the guards earlier that day rested. “So,” he said as he reached for his other pocket, his lighter within. It was half empty: he needed a new one soon if he wanted to keep up with his smoking habits. “That offer of mine that day.” The lighter flickered, a small glimmer of fire came to life. Smokey entrails wisped into the air from the end of the cigarette and silently he watched as it trailed upwards.

Kaito cocked his head, curious. “What of it?”

“You never told me what you thought of it.”

“Ah,” he said. His tone implied that the question was somewhat expected. “Well, an offer is what an offer will be. I thank you for offering.”

His eye twitched. Ashes fell from the tip of his cigarette onto his lap unnoticed. That was not what he was asking for. “I meant what do you want to do about it? What are your thoughts about it? Your thoughts, your perspective. I wasn’t asking if you were thankful or not.”

“Well, of course I will go through with it,” Kaito said. “If it is a guaranteed method on getting out of this place, I will go through with it no matter what. Kei needs my help so I'm going to help him out. So, thank you for helping me out.”

Well, that was a quick answer. Although, Takeshi couldn't say he was earnestly surprised. Dare he say it, this boy would probably even fire a bullet to the heads of several people if it meant saving Nagai Kei’s life so going through with an escape plan was probably no surprise either: further proof that the Human was an idiot for doing such reckless actions.

“Fucking moron,” he laughed. “You've really got yourself shit for brains if you think Nagai Kei there's gonna give you a pat on the head for helping him out. Look where you are now: he dumped you aside, remember? You shouldn't be bothering with the idea of helping someone that tossed you out. What kind of good would that bring you?”

Still, Kaito’s eyes never left the scenery beyond. He stared for a long time, as if waiting and thinking, lost in his mind and not truly with them as they spoke. And Takeshi couldn’t help that slight curiousity that came to life — desperate to know what it was that the Human was thinking about. “Kei was my first friend. I think I’ve told you this before. I’m not leaving his side until he himself tells me he doesn’t want me around anymore. Even if he does, I’ll always come to his side if he needs me.”

An idiot. This kid is an absolute idiot.

Yet what was that feeling in his chest that would not stop bothering him…?

“Come with me.”

He nearly choked on the smoke from his cigarette at Kaito’s words. Takeshi wasn’t even certain he heard what he just heard. His head turned to his direction, staring at him like he had gone insane. “ What?” Offering a person he barely knew to run away with him — what on earth was he thinking?

But as shocked as he was, the Human did not rest. He thought he was joking, or just messing around — and how awfully wrong he was to think so. Leaning forward from his initial position, Kaito shifted his sight his way, eyes alight, extending out a hand for him to hold. And then he fixed him with that long, powerful gaze. “Both of us can get out of here together. You and me. You don't have to stay here. We can get out there, find Kei and then we can all find a better place for the both of you to be. Come with me.”

Come with me. The words rang in his head like a siren, bringing a fog of mist  about within. He couldn't remember the last time he heard a sentence alike. He couldn't remember the last time someone didn't push him away. When was it, he wondered. Perhaps…

It was before he died the first time. Just a day before. Back when…

That was the reason why he escaped to begin with. He wanted to be free. He wanted to see them again. It was so long ago, during the days he did not know he was an Ajin. It all seemed so distant to him now, but Takeshi remembered. He remembered it well.

Right at that moment, he knew what that feeling in his chest was. It was a strange sensation, but it was not unwelcomed. Far from unwelcomed.

The kiss that followed had been unexpected for the both of them. Takeshi didn't know what he was thinking when he leaned forward. All he knew was that he wanted this. That he wanted nothing but that short moment between them. His eyes were closed as he moved forward, and only for a second did he hesitate before feeling that warm brush of lips against his own.

His eyes opened, and little could he do to stop the cunning smirk that followed at the idiot’s baffled, shocked, yet bashful face.

“I'll think about it, dumbass.”