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It was his fault. He knew it. This meant it was his responsibility to fix this as the one guilty for buying them sweets from that new food truck and as the older of the two. Anyways, Jyushimatsu is lying on the floor, panting out of exhaustion from trying to tear down the door.

 

Still, he couldn’t help being terrified despite knowing he needed to be courageous for his little brother. He knew that Jyushimatsu was scared as well and he had to be the strong one for once. As he took a few deep breaths to bottle down his fear and anxiety, he carefully browsed the room, and it was so small and bare he didn’t need to move to do that.

 

There was a toilet and a sink and the only furniture is a pure white double bed.From the lack of windows, he had to assume they were underground. The walls and floor are a surprisingly clean white and the door made of metal. While there is no outside window, one of the walls is nothing but a thick Plexiglas sheet, making them feel like a weird exhibit. What is on the other side of the glass however is what is truly terrifying.

 

Just as white as the cell itself, Ichimatsu can smell a vaguely familiar scent of disinfectant with a hint of formaldehyde. In the center of the room is what looks like an operating table, though if the metal cabinet encased in the wall, which looks exactly the same as he has seen in many an American horror movie, he has the feeling its main purpose is autopsy.

 

Clashing with the morbid undertones are some large surgical lights hanging over the bed, as well as some machines that would probably be useless on a corpse as Ichimatsu can identify them as the type that can read signs of life. The wall by the stair is lined with cabinets and a long counter, the cabinets lined with strange metal tools as well as jarred specimens, a few containing deformed fetuses and other only some just as deformed organs.

 

What scares Ichimatsu the most however, is what should be the most benign item in the room. By the stairs stands a regular medical grade skeleton replica. Well, two skeletons replicas, each color coded, both missing a significant of bones and both attached in the middle. What makes Ichimatsu’s stomach churn however, is that one of the skeletons is purple and the other, yellow.

 

“What is it Niisan?” Jyushimatsu asks, his usually cheerful tone showing a hint of worry.

 

“Oh n-nothing, I was just thinking about how to get out of here.” Jyushimatsu nods at the answer, apparently satisfied. He sits up and starts pulling at the sleeves of the jumpsuit their captor put them in. Ichimatsu shivers at the idea that they were changed into them by some maniac that also knew to color code them properly.

 

The older lets himself fall next to Jyushimatsu with a sigh: he doesn’t see a way out of there for now. The only thing he can think of is the possibility of negotiating with or of manipulating their captor. Seeing his little brother trembling, Ichimatsu gently threads their fingers together, giving his brother’s hand a squeezing.

 

They both startle when they suddenly hear footsteps coming down the stairs, and a few seconds later, the door leading up to them opening on a middle aged man. Ichimatsu squints, feeling like he has seen him somewhere and tries to remember so he can maybe get clues on how to escape.

 

“Awww, look at you. You boys are always so cute!” The man coos from seeing the two holding hands before turning his back on them to lock the basement door. Ichimatsu sneers at the comment and is about to let go of his little brother when he notices Jyushimatsu is trembling slightly and squeezing his hand harder.

 

“Seeing you two at the park is always such a highlight of my day! It reminds me of when I was young...” He smiles dreamily before letting out a saddened sigh. “But with age, even twins part. It’s rather pretentious to break a set made by mother nature herself.” The man scolds to apparently no one.

 

“What do you want? Just get it over with!” Ichimatsu hisses, which makes the man laugh as he open a cupboard to grab a lab coat.

 

“Oh, the feisty one! I’ll start with you. You’re getting an examination and your shots today.” The doctor explains, the word “shots” making Ichimasu’s face drain of color. Jyushimatsu jumps to his feet and stands between the man and his brother as the stranger approaches the Plexiglas with a strange device. The man smiles, apparently charmed by the younger’s protective behavior. He plugs the machine to a tube feeding into the wall and it’s as he is passing out that Ichimatsu realizes that they were being gassed.

 

When Ichimatsu wakes up, he find himself still in the cell with his little brother gripping him tightly in his sleep and feeling his arm and thigh being significantly sore. There is no relief at the idea that he didn’t need to be conscious for his shots. He buries his face in Jyushimatsu’s hair, hugging him back and doing his best not to cry, repeating to himself the mantra to be strong. They will be okay as long as they are together.

 

Despite the fear, the first few days in their cell are relatively quiet and predictable. They are given generous meals and a remote to watch a television the man wheeled in on the other side of the glass, but they have to wash themselves using the sink. Every time, they find themselves hurrying, worried they might be watched.

 

The man had made sure there is no way for them to escape: everything is bolted on tightly and even the chopsticks he gives them are too flimsy to use as screwdriver. It feels like he had planned something like this for a while. Ichimatsu shivers, disgusted a man like that could be thinking about them so much. He hasn’t even given them any clues of who he is or where they are, only talking to tell them that it’s time to eat, sleep or wash or to talk about how much he likes seeing them together.

 

In a strange way, he appreciates having to sleep by Jyushimatsu’s side every night, a nostalgic happiness bubbling inside of him at being able to comfort each other and at spending this much time together. It doesn’t keep him from wanting to escape however.

 

As much as some dirty old feelings try to bloom in their present situation, as much as he wishes he can be his little brother’s hero and make him return those feelings, he knows he must focus on fleeing. Or at least on setting Jyushimatsu free: he’s the one with the most hope in his future and who deserves to live the most after all.

 

Ichimatsu guesses about a week has passed since their capture when the man comes back wearing his lab coat again, approaching with the gassing machine. The brothers brace themselves, knowing they won’t have a choice but to pass out.