The fireworks are loud and they burst in the air with the finality of the overwhelming fact that the apocalypse has come. Rin watches with wide eyes as the greens and the reds and the yellows burst in the air and it fills his heart with so much dread and so much regret that he has to look away.
He looks at a man, a man who has to be in his late sixties and watches as the man brings an arm up to his face and wipes away tears. Or maybe it's sweat. Rin watches as the man watches the fireworks for a few more seconds before bringing his head down to watch the ground. The ground is an ocean of dirt and trash that's been stepped on too many times.
Rin can't even bring himself to care.
He pockets his hands and turns away, fireworks still bursting and the people around them could be the definition of chaos. It's all chaos.
Everything has gone to Hell.
Rin finds himself in a grocery store, crowded and pushed around as the people around him rush about grabbing at things such as water bottles and axes. Why is there even an axe in this grocery store?
"I saw it first!" A loud voice screams and Rin turns, curious. It's a lady who looks as if she's already gone insane, clutching at teddy bear with wide, terrified eyes. Another lady is pulling at the teddy bear with determined force.
"You didn't grab it! Give it here!" she exclaims, tugging the bear harder. Rin just shuts his eyes and looks away. If he doesn't see it, he doesn't have to believe it.
(He briefly wonders where Gou is. Is she fighting with someone else right now?)
"Hey! Pretty boy! Get out of the way!" Rin turns, on extinct, and it turns out the man was talking to him. "I said, move it will you?"
Rin steps aside. He came here for some food. He doesn't want to deal with people like this. He's dealt with them enough to know how to deal with someone who calls him "pretty boy" in situations where he's not getting paid. Rin coughs. Anyway.
Rin ends up sidestepping two more fights and grabs some potato chips from an aisle. It's an American brand. Rin figures it's probably greasy. He doesn't find it in him to care about that as he grabs some bananas.
He just wants to get out of here before the main wave hits them. They said it'll arrive in a few days. After that, there's going to be a few more waves, but they don't know how strong. Japan's supposed to get hit pretty badly considering it's an ocean and really, it's not even the rolling tsunamis to come. It's the people.
They're all destroying everything. Going utterly insane and Rin doesn't know how to—can't—deal with it.
He used to deal with things. That was him. He was the person who dealt with everything in the group, but that was before he ran away and couldn't find his way home. That was before he completely lost himself.
That was before a fucking apocalypse was announced to come on the morning news as if it were just another news story. The way it was said so casually enraged the people, but Rin found himself just blinking up at the television screen wondering how people in the future would have reacted to this.
Not like they'll get to.
Rin just clutched his several food items and walked out, trying desperately to ignore the screams of the ladies behind him. He wondered who got the teddy bear in the end. He wondered why it was so important if they were all going to die anyway.
His mother hasn't returned yet. But then again, Haru expected that. She only returned the first time to pay the rent and then stuck around when she realized that Haru didn't spend much time at home anyway. She claimed it was because she wanted to bond with Haru. Haru figured it was because she had gotten in another fight with his father.
This time, she went out, hair fizzling up and sticking out in all the wrong places and that scared look in her eyes, just like that time Haru caught her pressing a knife into her arm when he was ten after his father screamed particularly loud and left with the slamming of a door. She said she was going to pick up food.
That was two days ago.
Plus, they had food.
When Haru heard about the whole apocalypse thing, he immediately went out and bought matches, mackerel, and jugs of water for food in fear that everyone else would buy all of the specific fish. He didn't actually believe it when they told the public, but he knew others would, but it's been days now since they've announced it and the whole world has gone crazy.
It's just a relief that he has his food. They say the first wave will hit in a few days, but Haru can't bring himself to believe them. Why didn't they tell the public sooner? Were they afraid that the chaos would happen sooner? Well, maybe, but at least they'd get to be in chaos longer, knowing their doom.
Haru didn't believe it and shrugged, figuring it was probably time to get up now.
"I brought water," Makoto announced as soon as Haru opened the door. And he did. He brought tons of it, on a little wheel cart and everything. Haru just peered up at Makoto.
"Why?" he asked, stepping aside to let Makoto roll his wheel cart in. He also got to watch Makoto roll his eyes.
"Because knowing you, you probably don't believe in all of this hype anyway and will have drowned yourself in glasses of water before the first wave even hits," he replies, smiling slightly. Haru throws a brief smile his way.
"Well, shouldn't you be saving it for the twins then?" he asks. Makoto makes his way into the kitchen; Haru follows.
"No, they're fine. We have at least five closets filled with water and necessities if this is all actually real," Makoto explains. Haru cocks an eyebrow.
"So, you don't think it's real?" he asks. Makoto purses his lips and is silent for a minute.
"I don't want it to be," is what he finally responds with. Haru simply nods.
"Thank you." Haru means it when he says that. He's only been sincere with a few people, Makoto being one of them. Nobody else really gives him the chance to be sincere.
His house is cold, the vents ahead filtering out all warmth and spreading cold air all around. Haru should probably change the setting, but he decides that he can just change it later. Makoto gives a slight shiver though, but he doesn't say anything about it. Oh Makoto. Always sacrificing the small comforts in life in order not to trouble anyone else, but he supposes that Makoto's a good person to have around in a situation like this, whatever this situation is.
"You're always welcome, Haru," Makoto says, softly, but loud enough for only Haru to hear. Not like anyone else is here, but if someone were, he knows that it was just for him. He smiles once more at his long-time best friend.
"So, I take it the university is closed as of the moment?" he asks, referring to Makoto's college. Makoto nods sadly.
"Yeah. Apparently, the apocalypse warrants for a full system shut down," Makoto jokes. Haru rolls his eyes.
"Schools are stupid," he finally ends up saying. "There are too many people who try to tell you who you're supposed to be and what classes you're supposed to take to become something that you might end up hating."
Makoto smiles again, albeit sadly this time and doesn't say anything for a long moment.
"Well…I guess we don't have to worry about that anymore," he says, his voice echoing throughout the empty and cold house.
Haru just shrugs.
Rin closes his eyes for the sixteenth time that night with a long-drawn out sigh. He can't go to sleep. There are too many people, running around, crying, and breaking into stores just because the world is ending. There are too many lost children and Rin gets it. He does, but he can't see how he could properly help them.
Rin eventually pulls himself up from the cold ground, almost tripping over the man passed out next to him. He's in some random hotel that he stumbled in to try to sleep, but look how well that turned out for him. The air is humid with sweat and tears and Rin needs to get out. He can't sleep and he's already eaten his two bananas and bad, greasy American potato chips.
He walks down the street and acts as if it's deserted, kicking at an empty can he sees. He wants to ignore the kid in the corner, watching his every move or the old woman who's holding a photo up of what is probably her lost daughter.
Rin wonders if his mother is doing that before shaking his head. No. She probably isn't, but Gou would. That is something that Gou would do. It's something she did do, walking around, going from door to door after Rin ran away. She looked for almost two months and Rin almost got caught a few times before he decided that maybe he had to go even further away. Maybe, he wasn't meant to stay in the same town.
Then again, maybe he was supposed to go back as well and actually find them. They were gone though, no trace of them and only the whispers of their names were still there, carved into the wall like a bad memory.
Or maybe he was never meant to find them again. Rin sighs and kicks at a bottle this time, ignoring the screeching sound it makes as it skids across the cracked sidewalk.
Everything is wrong.
There's some kid that's following him around. It's the same kid that watched him last night with piercing teal eyes and a mop of dark brown hair. Rin didn't say anything about it at first, hoping that it was some random kid who just happened to be going in the same direction, but after Rin made some rather unconventional turns, he realized that the kid was following him.
Rin stopped walking and turned around to meet the gaze of the kid. "Why are you following me?"
The kid looked surprised at first, but quickly regained his impassive expression before replying with, "You don't look afraid."
"And that means what exactly?" Rin asks, a little irritated for reasons he didn't know. He loves kids, just not in the middle of apocalyptic worlds.
"It means that you'll survive," is what the kid responds with, holding himself up higher as if to prove that he's a fighter too. Maybe he is. Rin just frowns.
"What's your name?" he finally asks, stuffing his hands in his pockets. People have told him that he does that when he's uncomfortable. Rin knows he does it when he just doesn't know what to do with his hands. Maybe that means the same thing. He doesn't know.
"Sousuke," is what the kid says.
"So, you want to survive?" Rin asks, eyeing the kid. "How old are you?" Sousuke looks a little startled with the sudden questions but hey, the kid has been following him all night. He deserves some answers.
"I'm twelve and yeah, I want to survive," he says. Rin just eyes him again.
"I'm Rin," Rin finally offers before turning around again. He can hear the footsteps of Sousuke following him.
"Wait. So does this mean I can still follow you?" he asks from behind him. Rin doesn't turn to look. He wonders where the kid's parents are, but decides that maybe it's not so wise to ask. Like he could around preaching after all the shit he's done.
"Well…I never said you couldn't, did I?" is all Rin says in response.
And even though Rin isn't looking behind him, he knows that the kid is smiling. Rin just shoves his hands down his pockets even more, squeezing at the fabric.
Everything is just too much.