Searching for peace
The police got an expert to look over the letters. They were, in fact, written by Yakusoku. But they already knew that, but what they didn’t know is that their son left them a message that thankfully wasn’t picked up by his captor. It seemed that the pen had a tendency to trace over the first letter of certain words and do the same at the last letter of other words. The letters were also numbered which means they were to be looked at in that order. In the end, the letters hidden message came out that Yakusoku was taken because of something he did. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but his own, and he’s staying with his captor because he’s protecting them. And he’s sorry.
When Reeve asked what it meant to the investigation. Asked what they were going to do. He got an answer he wasn’t prepared for... Nothing. Yakusoku’s address couldn’t be traced back. He said nothing about who took him, undoubtedly because he was sure he’d be found out over the rest of it. Their only course of action... hope. Hope that he can get away. Hope that someone sees him and alerts them. Hope that he remains alive. It was funny, they didn’t say safe. They didn’t say OK. Simply. Alive.
Things changed then. People changed. It was like their worlds had grown quiet in wait. What would happen next? No one knew. It made them edgy. It made them irritated. It had them fighting through arguments and silent treatment. Then it had them come together over worry that their son is taking the pain to keep them safe from someone whoever's taken him and threatened their lives to keep him. Yakusoku would never let harm come to them, and now... He’s stuck. Stuck in two kinds of fear. Fear for their lives, and probably his own.
Ai became quiet. Pensive almost. Like he was hurting so badly he couldn’t even bring himself to speak anymore. He just shut off.Quinn poured herself into her work, she felt off-balance and sloppy. Constantly found herself getting band-aids and such to stop the bleeding from being pricked.
Reeve grew angry, angry and threw himself into his own work.
The family is broken up, the cracks to wide to leave them whole. They simply co-exist with each other. Each wondering where the blame should go. Whose fault should it be? Theirs? Yakusoku’s? Quinn even stopped dress making believing that her small out of home business is what brought the sickos attention to her son in the first place. How many times has he helped her in the shop? Holding this and moving that, and doing register whenever she had to do fittings.
Her husband told her that she was being ridiculous, but she wouldn’t listen. Her spirits dashed she let the business go. Slowly, very slowly, she slid into depression. She and Reeve argued from time to time. Ai shuts himself away in his room to avoid listening to it. It's really all he can do. The only time his mother does anything other than cry is when she’s dropping him off at school and picking him back up. His friends all have to come over to see him, and he can’t go out. It's a terrible life. It feels as if he’s been kidnapped as well, in his own home. Nailed in behind a door made of fear.
Yakusoku’s friends. They were no better off. And through January they searched, not about to let their friend be in pain to protect them. But when February reared its frosty head; and the attending of school had resumed, the small group began to lose hope. They saw no victory. No miraculous comeback. Yakusoku was simply gone. And he seemed to wanna keep it that way, according to his letters.
Gev thought it was a lot of bullshit that he was staying with some lunatic in order to protect them. He could protect himself. His inner anger grew and grew until he lost Clark and Nono from constantly lashing out at them, both verbally and physically. Ludwig stayed maybe from fear of his secret being told. Maybe he just needed someone from the group of friends he’d only just made. It was hard to say, but he wasn’t going anywhere; he could tell, that despite how angry he’d become Gev really needed that.
Nono only hung out with Gev whenever Ludwig was with them, but the conversations were never anything spectacular. It always bordered on nothing. It was hard being around people who used to pal around and be goofy and carefree, then go to treating each other like they either don’t exist or they wished that that person didn’t exist. It was kind of scary.
So much so that Ludwig found himself in his room one late night in February trying something he only ever explored once. He lay on his bed, closed his eyes and thought hard about Yakusoku. If his missing friend is asleep, it may work. It's never worked any other way, at least, not that he knows of. It had to work, though, because since the Land teens leaving... since his admitting his feelings about the missing teen to his best friend... Ludwig can’t get Yakusoku out of his mind. He sees him in his dreams, he sees him standing around across the street, looking just miserable. And he would call out to him, reach out for him... just to have him disappear.
That’s why he’s here now. Laying in bed, with his eyes closed and his mind clear. He sucked in a breath and let himself drift away...