Human clad Monsters sidestory
Once, Kohta used to have a normal life. Once, before his life changed forever, before everything changed.
He used to be an ordinary kid, he was from an unremarkable family, living with his parents and an older brother. They were neither rich nor poor, just somewhere in between, but life had been kind to all of them, once, so long ago.
Once, life had really been kind to them, although his family had faced difficulties from time to time but none of them was truly damaging to them. Being a child who was raised in a peaceful neighborhood, with nothing to worry about outside of schoolwork, grades and friendship, life had once been good and so, so simple.
But then years passed by, they all grew older as time passed...Kohta was still a boy then, barely old enough to enter secondary school, yet he could sense it: something seemed to be...off within his family. No one had ever said it out loud or make any complaint, but he could still sense it, the feeling just wouldn't go away.
Eventually his older brother was the first one to leave. He left home even before he managed to finish high school, he said he was going to Tokyo to chase his dream. Their parents weren't happy about it, but they couldn't see there was anything they could do, for they knew how stubborn their first born son could be. Plus they had always seemed to have difficulty making connection with their child soon after he dropped out from high school.
Perhaps it is for the best. They reasoned with themselves, better let their son go so he could see a bit more of the world, then...perhaps their son would learn more about how things worked in the society, then he might one day come back home when he learned dreams didn't always carry a person to success and happiness so easily.
When his older brother left, Kohta felt lost, Kohta wondered had his older brother also sensed something was missing in their family and in their lives? He wondered whether this empty space in their daily life......this void was the true reason his brother leaving.
For as long as he could recall, he and his brother was a team, they did almost everything together, the older boy had always been the one person he would look up to, but now he was gone; leaving him to fend for himself. It was like learning how to stand on his own two feet all over again.
Their parents had thought in the end their older son would come home, but one year passed, then two years and then three, there was still no sign of Kirito's returning.
As years passed, their parents became increasingly worry, but what could they do? Their son was by now an adult, if he chose not to come home, no one could force him to. The best they knew was the fact that their older son was still alive and was working in some big city far away from home, that was as far as they got to know. They didn't like it.
Throughout the years, Kohta kept in touch with his brother as much he could, there had always been a few phone calls, letters and messages between them; enable the younger one to know more of the life his brother was leading. Supposedly his older brother had gotten himself into some music business and formed a band. This details had captured his attention and curiosity so much that Kohta had paid close attention to the music programs on TV, still he had never seen his brother's band showed up on any of those television shows, nor did he find any CD bearing the title of said band within the few music stores in the local area. So he figured things must not have yet been working out well for his brother.
Sometime he wondered why did he still care that much about how his older brother was doing, he hadn't seen the older one for years, Kirito hadn't come back for visit in those years neither...so why did he still matter? Why he couldn't put the thoughts about his brother behind him and get on with what he had in his daily life?
But deep down in Kohta's heart, he knew his brother did matter.
Still life had to go on, he still needed to manage to get by on his own, without his brother's protection. Year after year, he learnt to make do, and actually found he could survive on his own. In his school, he managed to make friends, he passed most of the grades, he didn't cause trouble so the teachers more or less left him alone.
Then it was time for him to enter high school, and by chance Kohta managed to befriend one of the popular students, later the guy then in turn introduce him to his own friends, and then the next thing he knew, Kohta was in; becoming a member of the popular circle.
Almost at once, his school life turned for the better after he was accepted into the circle of popular kids through the friend he had fortunately made. For the first time in his life, his peers seemed to take him seriously, they reacted to him like he really was one of the 'cool kids'; even though deep down, Kohta himself knew he was anything but. He wasn't the good looking one in the bunch, nor the smartest, nor the most athletic, nothing about him could manage to stand out. However, only because he was now among the cool kids, his peers took a new-found interest in him and paid more attention on what he did and said.
Deep down, Kohta wasn't an ambitious guy, he was fine with being just 'the average guy' in the cool kids' group, he didn't need to stand out. All he needed to do was to try his best to stay friends with those popular kids, keeping them happy so they would continue to accept and befriend him. Saying something nice at the right moments, wearing the 'right' outfits to make himself fit in with the crowd, throwing a few jokes when necessary, keeping his status as the average guy without making himself look like a threat. Yes, everyone feel safe and easy around Kohta, he was friendly, he could offer a few clever-sounding remarks but at the same time he just was not too smart, he was not a threat.
This should be the golden days of his school life, he should be glad people who were popular in school and more important than him had ever bothered to take him under their wings, be grateful that he was within the popular circle other than outside of it. Normally kids like him could easily fall prey to bullies but due to the fact that he was with the ingroup, most bullies in school knew better than to pick on him. However, for the whole time when he was around his pretty and popular new friends, Kohta couldn't enjoy any of his good fortune.
Who could believe all his fun and fortune would be laid ruined by a spoiled pretty girl?
She was introduced to the group as an upper-schooler's new girlfriend. She was from another school, but said upper-schooler seemed to like her enough to always bring her along to the 'in group''s activities, so she got to hang out with the rest of the crowd.
Kohta couldn't pinpoint what was so special about this particular girl, couldn't tell why she attracted his attention so much more than any other girls did. She was pretty, there was no denying that, but her prettiness was only a shade above average, she was not as outstandingly beautiful as you might imagine.
Still, Kohta's palms were coated by a film of sweat whenever she walked within five feet distance from himself; his tongue seemed to automatically lock in his mouth every time he made attempt to open a conversation with her, to impress her.
All of these felt very much like some cliches from a soap opera.
Yes, for so many times the young and inexperienced Kohta tried to impress her, to at least get her attention, his attempts had been met with little to no success.
There wasn't much he could do. His position in the group was to be the joker, the guy who posed no one any threat, to be the funny yet harmless guy. It really wasn't his place to try to charm the cool guy's girlfriend.
The young Kohta didn't even dare to show his feeling. For if he tried anything too obvious, it most likely would endanger his position in the group.
From time to time, Kohta tried to reason with himself, To convince himself that this girl was not as special as he thought.
First thing, she wasn't that particularly beautiful, and secondly she wasn't so smart after all. Like many other people with good look, she wasn't known for her passion of learning and schoolwork neither.
She wasn't even bright enough to understand she wasn't all that smart.
She was probably going to get dumped by her boyfriend by next week, when said boyfriend got tired of her.
But none of these flaws of hers could change what Kohta knew he was feeling inside.
He wanted to see her, he took secret delight at the sight of her. Whenever she was around, whenever her glance fell upon him, even it was only for a moment, he felt his heart was going to burst.
He wanted her, despite reason, consequences and everything else.
Was it love? It probably was, but in the end it wouldn't matter much.
Looking himself up in the mirror, sadly Kohta couldn't even convince himself he could be the guy to win the girl he fancied. He didn't have much good look to be charming, and he certainly didn't know how to act around her, which always resulting in him looking like a fool.
Kohta was all too painfully aware of that he was just the 'funny, harmless guy' in his friend's' eyes, he was such a joker. This girl wasn't any different from them, she liked laughing with him and at him, but nothing more.
Kohta was so easygoing with his friends, to a point he had allowed himself to be bossed around often, to a point he was ordered---requested to help escort the girl from one place to another by her upper schooler boyfriend; and the girl he fancied only treated him as such, just an escort who could be dismissed after his purpose had been served.
Sometime, Kohta wished he could walk out of his life too, the same like his older brother had done.
The worst blow was dealt to him when Kohta went with his friends for a night out.
It was the very first time he got invited to go with the rest of the crowd to a pub, in order to attempt this nightly activity, he had to find some excuse to trick his parents into agreeing to let him leave the house after dark. It was the first time someone shoved a glass of liquor to his hands, he accepted it.
It was first time he got drunk. The liquor tasted bitter and hot in his mouth, he couldn't say he liked the bitter taste, but at least he was having a good time with his friends, or so he thought.
It all changed when he turned his head and saw the girl.
She was sitting at the laps of her boyfriend, and they were kissing.
They did more than just kissing. The guy sat with his back resting on the backrest of the bench, his hands were all around her body, she was humping herself against her boyfriend's torso. If they hadn't had their clothes still on, they would very well be fucking
The next second, Kohta made some excuse to leave, he went to an alley at the back of the pub, and puked his guts out.
On the outside, Kohta was doing okay, he was getting on with his life, he was surrounded by friends, he wasn't a top student but his performance was a decent one and he never caused any trouble so the teachers left him alone, he didn't have it all, but what he had was still more than many people would have ever dared to dream about. But inwardly Kohta felt lost and unsatisfied, as lost as the time his brother walked away.
He felt trapped, unable to find reason any longer, until he received a phone call. From his brother.
He picked up the phone in the living room, never expected it to be anything out of ordinary, until his brother's voice reaching him through the phone. It took Kohta more than a few seconds to recognize this voice, to recall his brother's tone when the latter spoke. And his brother was telling him he was about to come home.
At dusk, Kohta hurried to the park at the outskirt of their neighborhood, he and his brother had agreed to meet here. It would be the first time the two brothers met up, after years of not seeing a glimpse of one another.
His brother had promised he was going home, after so long; yet it still bugged Kohta why would the older man chose not to go directly to their parent's' home upon arrival. Strangely enough, his brother had made him swore, through the phone, not to breath a word to their parents. As a result, Kohta had to make up some lies to his parents so he could go out after dark.
Plus it also bothered Kohta that the older man only agreed to meet him in the park, far away from any place where people might see them.
What was problem here? Was Kirito afraid of being seen? Was he in some sort of trouble?
Kohta shrugged off his thoughts as he headed toward the park where they had arranged to meet each other. In his memory, his brother never used to be afraid of anything.
As expected, the park was empty when he arrived, Kohta stood at the entrance for a long moment, before walking into the park and took his seat on one of the rails. He had chosen his seat well, if someone entered the park, he could see their arrival in where he sat.
Kohta wouldn't admit it aloud, but being able to see what was likely to come his way made him feel safer, especially when he was out there in the open, and alone.
With his hands shoved into his pockets, Kohta sat on the rail and waited, there wasn't anything else to do but wait, and boy, there also wasn't much to look at neither. Before Kohta, there were just some trees, a small piece of grassland, a sandbox for children and other facilities painted with bright colors. He wished there was something to distract himself though, to put his mind off from the fact he was going to see his brother face-to-face after years of absence and disconnection. If he could be honest with himself, he would have admitted he was nervous.
He waited and kept watch, but no one came, the longer he waited the uneasier he felt. As the night deepened the temperature was also dropping as well. Damn Kirito for making him wait.
Throwing his head back in annoyance and heaving out a loud sigh, Kohta told himself he wasn't going to wait any longer. His parents would soon start wondering what was keeping their son so long, and he would very well be in trouble---
When he swing himself and looked back down again, and was shocked to see someone standing not ten feet away from where he was sitting.
Instantly Kohta's breath caught in his throat, he swore he had heard nothing of another person approaching.
The streetlamps couldn't quite reach into the park and the moon had been veiled by thick rain clouds for the time being, so the figure in front of him was half hidden by the shadows, from where he sat, Kohta could only make out the outlines of a dark haired man.
At last the gray clouds above head was parting and the moon was revealed from the night sky, with the vague moonlight Kohta could finally made out the feature of the silent man before him...
But what caught his attention almost at once was the face of this man: face of the grown up, hardened version of his older brother from his memory, with eyes of a haunted man who had seen too much from this world and beyond.
There he was, your brother in the flesh.
Back in the past people had always commented on how alike Kohta was with his older brother, but now........something was different about him, something had changed your sibling to a point now he looked like someone else entirely different from how Kohta remembered him to be.
Someone whom he couldn't even begin to believe and recognize as his own flesh and blood.
Kohta was surprised to notice the one before him was not taller than him, instead he was seemingly a few inches shorter; yet for some reason the one before him seemed large and towering, it took Kohta a few seconds to realize it was his presence that made him seem larger than his physical being actually was. the latter reasoned with himself it had to be normal too for he hadn't seen Kirito for years; it was only natural for the latter to have some changes on appearance.
"you...Kirito?" He tried to call out
"Kohta," The man spoke quietly. "You've grown up."
At first Kohta didn't even know how to respond. It probably was normal, words like this coming from a man who hadn't seen his younger brother for years.
"And you've changed." He tried to come up with some kind of response, just so they wouldn't fall right back to the still silence, and that was all he managed to comment, but his voice dry like the dead leaves on the ground.
His brother didn't say anything in reply.
"So, where had you been?" After a pause, Kohta decided to get straight to the subject matter. Darn, the temperature must be dropping around him as the wind started blowing, and he didn't have all night to dance around the important subjects.
His older brother shook his head. "It doesn't matter."
"Doesn't matter?" The younger one could hardly believe his own ears."You'd been gone for years and you don't even think it's important to tell me where had you been?"
The older one merely shook his head again, slowly. Emotions flashed through his orbs for a brief moment, something very close to sadness. "I'm only here to see how have you been."
Which meant he was coming back here to see him for the last time.
Kirito didn't say the 'for the last time' part aloud but Kohta still instantly got the unspoken hints. They were siblings, they had once known each other like no one else had ever managed to. Kirito could fool others, but certain not him.
"Wait...what do you mean? Does it mean you are leaving again?"
If Kirito was surprised by his younger brother's counter, he never showed it.
"I can't stay here." The older man didn't even acknowledge his brother's question, he merely announced the decision he had long made even before coming to this meeting.
"Why are you leaving again? So soon?" At this moment, Kohta felt...betrayed. He knew it must sound childish, but he was hurt by his older brother's uncaring words. "Are you even going back to see our parents!?"
This time the response he got was a shake of the head. The answer was no, Kirito wouldn't stay long enough to visit their parents.
For a moment Kohta was entirely speechless. In all the scenarios of his older sibling's return he had pictured in his mind, he had never expected something like what he was facing.
Kohta realized with a sinking feeling that if there had once been some affection or connection between Kirito and the rest of his family, it was nearly gone by now.
In the end it really didn't matter much where his older brother had been in those years, the older man had come back but he only came back as someone who was entirely different and estranged from any of them.
The wrongness of it all hit Kohta like a bucketful of ice cold water.
Something was wrong here, where had his brother gone? And who was this man who had replaced him?
Who was he?
This man......this....thing that looked very much like his brother, still Kohta couldn't feel from within himself that he was talking to a person. For the whole time of him being in this creature's presence, he could feel a deep and unsettling sense of wrongness hovering around him.
For the whole time, his brother had fixed his eyes on him, and Kohta must admit the other man's stare was nearly unbearable.
"What's wrong with you!?" Dropping all formality and politeness, Kohta demanded.
"What's wrong with me?" For the first time, the man laughed. His laughter was like nails falling on top of hard steel, the sound of it sharp and icy and raw, humorless.
"What does it look like is wrong with me, brother mine?"
"You...you're not the brother I knew!" That was all Kohta could come up with as he yelped, the lurking dread becoming too much for him to keep them at bay.
"Then let me go." The dark haired one suggested with an emotionless, matter-of-fact voice. "Forget that I ever exist."
For an instant, the suggestion sounded entirely sensible and sane, he should forget about his older sibling and finally get on with his life, problems solved. Their parents and him had been doing just fine on their own in the past few years, so there was nothing to prevent them from carrying on with their lives and daily affairs. He could have just walked away at this moment, never turning a backward glance and went back to his life. He wouldn't lose anything if he did just this.
So what was keeping him here?
"No," The word left his mouth before Kohta ever realized what he was thinking. "It's not how things should end."
He didn't speak aloud, but his voice seemed to carry weight of its own, hanging heavily around them.
He might have imagined this, but Kohta swore he could see Kirito's shoulders went stern, his words must be hitting on a raw nerve.
"Take me with you, " Once the words left his mouth, Kohta came to understand those were words he should have spoken all those years ago when his older brother said he would go away. "show me what you had seen, what had changed you!"
"You don't know what you're saying." Words of refusal were uttered by the older man's hollow voice.
“I want to.” Kohta knew what he was saying, he wanted to know what could transform his brother from his former self into something else entirely.
He wanted change, wanted transformation, wanted to shed off his old self like a layer of unwanted dried skin. That was what he wanted all along...or so he thought.
Kirito did something completely unexpected then.
He stepped back, something wavered in his dark eyes as he looked away. For the first time in this meeting, the man showed sign of hesitation and uncertainty.
He rubbed his hand against his forehead, as if the situation and Kohta's words had suddenly become too much for him.
"Kir---" The younger one tried to speak.
Out of the blue, Kirito's hands fell to his sides, his eyes fixed once again on his younger brother. "I tried hard not to do this, but you made me."
Those eyes changed then, crimson hazes lit his orbs as they remained fixed on the younger one.
”You said you want to.”
Kohta didn't even see how his older sibling moved but within the next second his brother was right in front of him. Holding him down with deathlike grips.
He could only watch as Kirito threw back his head, his mouth dropped open as if in a silent scream, then for the first time Kohta beheld the sight of those sharp, piercing fangs before his brother seized him and sank those fangs to him.
Sharp pain exploded across his vision like white hot stars but it was only for a moment, after that everything went black.
to be continued.
I know, I guess not many people want to read this continuation of the Human clad Monsters series, but I just need to get those stories off my chest somehow. Kohta’s backstory will be finished by the next chapter.