"You don't get it, aru! I…" Yao bit his lip.
Kiku frowned at him for a moment before staring in surprise when Yao's face became so red, he could see it clearly even under the dim light.
"I love you, aru!" Yao looked meaningfully at him, although it was with the slightest trace of a glare.
Kiku was rooted to the spot, the confession catching him off guard.
The tray of cups and tea Yong Soo had been holding crashed to the floor in front of the room, his numb hands unable to hold on. His eyes widened as Yao's words echoed in his ears. His whole body trembled as sweat ran down his jaw. No… no way… this can't be… happening… right? His legs gave out and he slumped in front of the open door. He gritted his teeth, heedless of Hong who had come running to him and had kneeled down beside his clumsy brother.
"What the hell are you doing?" Hong hissed, trying to keep his voice down as he stared at the broken cups and the spilled tea. He looked back at Yong Soo and stopped himself from scolding him when he realized something wrong with his younger brother.
"Yong Soo… are you alright?"
Yong Soo blinked upon hearing his name. He found Hong staring at him in concern. His gaze was searching, until he heard a voice from the porch. He slowly peeked into the scene outside.
Both Kiku and Yao kept on looking at each other until they heard a crash from the next room. Yao turned his head at the door; it must have been one of their brothers, either Yong Soo or Hong. He bit his bottom lip; Kiku thought it was fast becoming a bad habit.
"Yao-nii…" Kiku finally found his voice, ignoring the crash. Yao quickly remembered him, their situation, and began fidgeting and blushing.
"Kiku… I mean… I…" He waved his hands in front of him. Kiku watched him for a moment before surprising Yao with a smile.
"I love you too…" Yao stopped his gesticulations, dumbfounded. Kiku could see the hopeful look in his eyes, but he knew he couldn't answer Yao the way his brother wanted him to.
"I love you too; after all, you are my brother," Kiku continued.
Yao was silent for a moment, before he forced a smile and laughed. To Yong Soo and Hong, who were listening on the other side of the door, it was a laugh they knew to be fake. They shared a worried look between them.
"Of course, aru! I know you love me too, aru! That's why I don't want you to leave, aru! Can't you make that consideration… please, aru…" Yao put his hand on top of Kiku's.
Kiku gave a small nod.
"I won't leave, then. But can I get together with Arthur-san?" Kiku asked, seeking approval. Yao stiffened and looked away.
"I… It's not like I don't approve or anything… But…"
"If that's the case then, I'm glad!" Kiku's big smile was of relief, and it made Yao stop.
"Uhh alright then, aru. But if he hurts you, I will kill him, aru!" Yao clenched his hands, cracking his knuckles. Kiku sweat dropped at him.
A clock chimed inside the house; glancing at his watch, Yao saw that it was midnight. Kiku decided to go to sleep and Yao bade him goodnight. Hong and Yong Soo scrambled to their feet and tried to run away unseen but Kiku had already spotted them.
"Can you please clean this, Yong Soo?" Kiku said in amusement.
"How did you know it was me?" he exclaimed.
"Hong is not as clumsy as you are," Kiku replied. Hong couldn't help but smirk. Kiku walked towards the stairs but stopped to add, "And please… accompany Yao-nii for a while… Yong Soo… you love him, don't you?" He smiled sadly, much to the Korean's surprise. He left both of them and walked to his room.
After a moment of silence, Hong looked at Yong Soo and gave him a nudge.
"Go to Yao gege; I'll clean up for you…" Hong said.
Yong Soo nodded and went off to find him. He stopped upon finding Yao hugging his knees, sniffling. He knew his brother was trying not to cry his eyes out. Yong Soo approached him from behind and hugged him. Yao began to get offensive but softened when he realized it who it was.
"Yong Soo…" Yao muttered.
"Why did my heart hurt so much right now… I wonder… Kiku is my brother…but…"
"Hyung… I love you… never forget that…" Yong Soo embraced him tightly. Yao let his tears slide and buried his face in Yong Soo's sleeves. Yong Soo leaned his forehead on the back of Yao's head.
Arthur's cellphone was ringing when he came out of the bathroom. He put the towel on top of his wet hair as he picked up his cellphone. He didn't recognize the number. Who would be calling him at a time like this? He flipped his cellphone open and pressed it against his ear.
"Hello?" he answered impatiently.
"Arthie, it's me! Don't you remember me?" Arthur's breath stopped for a moment. That voice… and the nickname… who else would be calling him that other than him…!
"Alfred…" he mumbled as he gripped his cellphone tightly.
"Of course! Who do you think this might be anyway! How are you?" Arthur could hear the over-enthusiastic tone as usual. He went to his bed and wearily sat down. What did he suddenly call him for? Arthur had been ignoring all his calls since the past year, and now he had been caught off guard by the different number.
"What do you want?" he asked coldly.
"I'm here, in Japan. I think we can meet somewhere tomorrow? Where's your university?"
'What?' Arthur shouted inside his mind.
Kiku rolled to his side and sighed.
'I love you, aru!'
He frowned. If only he had said it that time, when they had almost been a couple… but Kiku had already gotten over his possessiveness years ago. He had promised himself never to act that way again. He was with Arthur now, so everything should work out fine. He rolled on his back and stared blankly at the ceiling.
Years ago… he had been living with only Yao… Their parents had divorced, and both had their own separate life from each other. Since then Kiku had been raised by his oldest brother and was taught by him many things. Yao even taught him Japanese, a language his brother was fluent in because of their father, as well as Chinese, because of their mother. Kiku loved him with all his heart, always clingy and knowing his brother will never love anyone other than him. He believed in this until one day his father came home with a certain child.
"Yao-niiiii!" A ten-year-old Kiku ran to his brother who was just entering the house.
"Kiku, are you doing alright, aru? I'm glad that part time job ended earlier." Yao circled his arm around Kiku's back as he was hugged by the exuberant child.
"Look at the teacup I made for you," Kiku said, pulling Yao towards the kitchen.
"Teacup, aru?" Yao repeated, letting his brother drag him in. His brother's hands were so skilled, he wouldn't be surprised if the teacup ended up terrific.
"Yes, I made it in school today. I made it for you!" Kiku said, and pointed at the teacup on the table. It was nicely carved, with cherry blossom petals around the brim. Yao picked the cup with both hands.
"Thank you, Kiku…" he whispered and hugged the boy tightly. Kiku smiled in his embrace and clung to him. He knew Yao would love the teacup he had made; after all, it was especially for him.
"I love you, Yao-nii… very much…!" Kiku said cheerfully. Yao chuckled at his words.
"I know, aru…"
"Yao-nii… you will not love anyone other than me, right?"
"Of course, aru! You are my beloved brother, aru!" Kiku stopped smiling. It wasn't the answer he had wanted to hear. Of course Yao was oblivious of his disappointed face.
"Now, I have to take a bath, aru. You wait here, okay… I will make you dinner afterwards." Being the good child he was, Kiku could only nod at him. Once his brother was out of sight, he frowned.
"I don't love you as a brother…" Kiku clenched his fists as he watched Yao's retreating back. He wondered if he really should show him how he really felt.
Two years had passed since then, and Kiku continued to hide his feelings. He was not sure if he should let his brother know about it. He decided that he would just keep it inside other than letting it out, for fear of losing the bond he had with his brother. Kiku mulled over the thought that maybe if he was old enough to live on his own, he would admit his feelings to Yao. He munched happily on his yamcha which Yao had made for lunch. It was Sunday, so he had the whole day to enjoy his time at home with his beloved brother, who was currently doing chores.
Yao entered the kitchen at the same time Kiku set his chopsticks down. Just when the twelve-year-old boy was about to call Yao, the door bell rang.
"I wonder who it is, aru…" Yao went to the door while Kiku made the dinner table clean. His ears perked up at the voices from the main door.
"Yes, aru?" Yao opened the front door to be greeted by none other than his father. The surprised look quickly became sour.
"What are you doing here, aru?" He glared at his father, his eyes taking in the box he was holding in one hand and—then came the surprise—the hand of a little boy in the other. His eyes were brown with weird curly hair strands sticking out of his bangs. A sudden realization dawned on him.
"Yao, I need your help… with these kids…"
"Kids, aru?" Another boy, an older one, peeked at him from behind his father's back. He had thick eyebrows and his eyes were full of questions. He was probably no more than ten years old, and the younger one would be seven at most.
"I have too much work to do lately. I can see that you are taking good care of Kiku. Please, take in Hong and Yong Soo as well, while I'm here." He gestured at each boy as he said their names. "Yong Soo's mother… she…"
Yao stared at him in disbelief; his father, who had left just the two of them, Kiku and himself, right after getting divorced. He had been lucky enough to be able to do some part-time jobs while studying and take care of his brother who could barely speak any Japanese. It had been when they were just moving to Japan that their parents got divorced. Their mother went to Korea and they hadn't heard any news from her since then. His father went to England and met a woman from Hong Kong whom he had ended up marrying. And now his father came back here for business and asked him to take care of his little brothers who can barely speak Japanese? Yao groaned at the thought. He was lucky that he learned literature and knew many languages.
"Fine, aru… but what happened to Yong Soo's mother?" he asked in worry, watching the Korean boy as he struggled to free himself from his father's hand. Hong looked at him sadly, even if he tried not to show much emotion. Yao took the box of cake that his father brought with him.
"Yong Soo's mother is yours as well…" Yao chewed on his lip; he knew full well that it was their mother, who had gone to Korea.
"She got into a car accident along with her husband. They were going on a trip to Taiwan when the accident happened." Yao's eyes widened.
"What, aru? Then where is she now? Is she okay? Wait, Yong Soo is Korean, right?"
"I'm afraid… they died in the crash. I know I shouldn't have come here again after I had left you like that… but… I need help with these children. I'm going to Korea to take care of things with Yong Soo's parent… Meanwhile, please take care of them while I'm gone. I will take Hong back to England after I have finished with these matters and cleaned things up." Yao's heart almost stopped when he heard him. Their mother had passed away, leaving another sibling to take care of. He would have to be a lot stronger for all of them.
"I've taken care of Kiku… so I'm sure it won't be different with the two of them. Don't worry father, I'll help." The older man let out an obvious sigh of relief.
"Thank you, Yao… and I'm sorry…" His father gave Yong Soo's hand to Yao. Yao wrapped his hand around the tinier one of his Korean brother, then gave him an encouraging smile. walked towards them, letting Yao pat his head.
"Let's go inside, the two of you…" he whispered in English, hoping they would at least catch something. He could understand that Yong Soo might only understand Korean; it was his father's native language after all, with maybe a little Chinese from their mother. Yao hoped that the boy knew some English or Chinese, else he would have some difficulties with this boy. His Korean language was still messed up. Hong on the other hand had been raised in England, and of course understood English very well.
"Father, do you want to come inside?" Yao said, noticing his father lingering outside.
"I just want to see how Kiku is doing…" he said, and walked inside.
"Kiku's just finishing his lunch, aru…" Yao smiled, leading his brothers into the kitchen with their father right behind them.
"Have they eaten something on their way here?" Yao asked.
"They have, but they only eat a little…"
"I see. I still have some yamcha, do you want to eat, aru?" Much to his surprise, Yong Soo's eyes began sparkling at the word.
"Yamcha… yamcha…." He squealed and Yao couldn't help but laugh.
"Alright, aru. I knew you were hungry… Let's meet your brother first then…" No sooner had he spoken then Kiku appeared at the entrance of the kitchen, having heard the strange sound which had been Yong Soo's squeal.
"Yao-nii…?" He eyed them in curiosity, before gasping at the sight of their father.
"What are you…" Yao quickly neared him and put his hands on Kiku's shoulders.
"Hear me out, aru: you have to be polite, Kiku. These are your brothers…" Yao stopped him in time from shouting at their father, whom he knew Kiku had come to hate after they had been left alone. Their father had continued to support them from afar, but even then the child did not grow to love his father. Yao felt relieved when Kiku's attention was turned to the two children before him, who could only look back in confusion. They couldn't understand what Yao and Kiku were saying.
"Brothers, Yao-nii?" Kiku frowned when Yao nodded.
"Yes, aru. They are our brothers, aru. And from now on, they will be staying with us, aru."
Kiku glanced back at his two new brothers, wondering what would happen next.
"So, you are leaving now, aru?" Yao asked his father from the front gate of their house.
"Yes. Please take care of them. I will send some money as well…" Yao sighed and ran his hand through his hair.
"Alright, aru… please take care of yourself, father…"
And he left… the old man left. He looked so much older than the last time he saw him. It wasn't the face, but the way he moved and looked, as if things were moving so fast he could barely keep up. He had probably never expected things to turn out this way… Yao hoped his father would not overwork himself… he turned around and went inside the house to see if his brothers were eating or not.
He would need more part-time jobs to do…
"Are you my brother, da-ze…?" the Korean boy asked in his native language, much to Kiku's dismay. He eyed the boy tiredly.
"I told you I can't understand what you are talking about…" he muttered as he looked away.
Yong Soo was persistent, however. "Are you my brother, aru…?" he asked again, this time in Chinese, and was met with Kiku's frown.
"I don't remember having a little brother…" Kiku continued to reply in Japanese, for some reason refusing to talk in Chinese even if he understood it. That language, he used it only to talk to his Yao. Kiku eyed the other boy who continued eating with indifference towards the two of them. Such a strange pair… one noisy and the other too silent. They are his brothers… and Kiku winced at the thought. Meaning they are also Yao's brothers… and he was not his… number one anymore… His shoulders grew stiff and he glared at them.
Kiku was about to wake his brother up when he spotted the young Korean sleeping in Yao's arms. He blinked in disbelief.
"Hmm? Kiku, aru? Morning, aru…" Yao mumbled as he roused himself awake.
"Yao-nii… what is he doing over here?" Kiku almost demanded.
Yao slowly sat up, shaking away the sleep. "Him? Oh you mean, Yong Soo? It seems he got a little scared last night and asked if he could sleep with me, aru. Aah that reminds me, you've never asked to sleep together with me again when you were his age, aru… You mature too quickly, aru." Yao chuckled at Kiku's blushing face. "Let him sleep, aru. He was so tired and he's still grieving over his parents… well, including our mother…" Kiku shuffled about uncomfortably.
"It's been more than month…" Kiku muttered, feigning apathy. That's no excuse to sleep with Yao-nii…! Before turning for the door, he added, "Breakfast's ready, ni ni." The abrupt appearance of Yao's grin made Kiku smile himself. He rarely called him that anymore, but he was glad that Yao seemed happy to hear him say that.
"Alright, aru! I'll be ready, aru!" Yao quickly circled his arms around Kiku to give him a peck on his left cheek. Kiku flushed and pushed him away.
"Don't do that, Yao-nii!" Kiku said, although his heart started beating twice as fast. Yao gave him a chuckle.
"You are blushing, aru. So cute, aru!" The amount of red in Kiku's face provoked Yao into pinching his cheeks. He just couldn't pass up the moment.
"S-stop, that, Yao-nii…" Kiku said, trying to evade his brother's hands. Yao laughed, then stopped when he heard a muffled sound from Yong Soo. He immediately let go of Kiku and walked over to his other brother.
"Yong Soo. It's morning already, aru. Are you awake, aru?" he greeted Yong Soo, who mumbled good morning in Korean.
"Remember what I told you about speaking Japanese, aru?" Yao said, patting his brother's head in front of Kiku who began glaring at the sight.
"Good morning…" Yong Soo muttered, switching his language.
"Good, aru… now let's get you ready… Ah, Kiku…" Yao stopped when he found Kiku had gone from the room. He rubbed his head, not sure when his brother had left. He had been going to ask Kiku to wake up Hong in the next room, then just decided he would do it himself.
"It's already past 7 o'clock," Kiku said in frustration as he paced another circle in the living room. Six months had passed ever since his two new brothers started living together with them. Kiku had never liked them, especially Yong Soo, whose constant clinging to Yao left not much time for Kiku to talk with his older brother.
They were waiting for Yao to come back home. He had too many part-time jobs to do lately, much to Kiku's worry. He had never seen his brother come home this late before, and he knew Yao was tiring himself out. Hong and Yong Soo could do nothing but watch helplessly as their brother circled the living room for the ninth time. Before long Kiku began biting his nails.
"I wonder where he is…" Hong said, hugging his knees.
"I know!" Yong Soo sprang from his seat and ran to the kitchen, ignoring Kiku's questioning look when he spoke those words in Korean.
"What are you up to?" Kiku asked in annoyance. He wished that the boy would be smarter this time, instead of just messing around and making a mess. Much to his surprise, Yong Soo crouched down to open a cabinet and took out a teacup; the teacup Yao always used.
"What are you doing?" Kiku almost shouted, coming towards Yong Soo in a hurry. The younger boy had just pulled out a tea bag and straightened up, setting the teacup on the counter in preparation for some tea. As he reached for the cup, his hands knocked the item over, clumsy as he was. Kiku could only look on in horror as the priceless object dropped to the floor with a loud of crash. His breath hitched at the sight of the broken cup, shattered to pieces. That cup… the one he had made for Yao… it was the only thing that connected him to his brother since nowadays Yao paid more attention to his younger brothers than to him. He felt his heart breaking at the same time as the cup. Now even that was lost.
"Oh no… I dropped it…" Yong Soo paled at the sight of the broken cup. Upon hearing the sound of breaking ceramic, Hong quickly got to his feet and made for the kitchen, arriving in time to see Kiku backhanding Yong Soo. He gasped when his brother flew to the side of the cabinet with a loud yelp from the force of Kiku's hit.
"Gege!" he shouted, trying to hold him in place when Kiku punched Yong Soo on his nose this time. He placed himself before Yong Soo, trying to shield his brother from another attack.
"Stop it… Gege… he was just trying to prepare some tea for Yao gege…" Hong said, once again acting as their translator. It wasn't enough to make Kiku stop though.
"Move aside! It's his fault if something happens to ni-ni! I've never seen ni-ni work this hard before, he's tiring himself too much! It's because of the two of you!" Kiku tried to hold back his tears when Hong finally managed to pulled him away from the bleeding Yong Soo. His Korean brother started to cry when they heard a sound from the entrance of the house. Yao had come home, much to Kiku's relief, but his anger was far from cooling down.
"I'm home, aru… Man… who knew the queue would grow that big just for some cake, aru. I'm glad I managed to cool down my customers… Hmm? Where are my brothers, aru… I'm bringing them cake and they aren't even greeting me…" Yong Soo's unexpected cry from the kitchen made Yao dash towards the sound in a hurry. He was torn between agitation and panic at the sight of his brother's bleeding nose, while on the side Kiku and Hong were struggling against each other.
"Yong Soo!" Yao exclaimed dropping the box of cake on the table and running over to his brother who jumped into his arms. "What's wrong with you? What happened to your nose, aru?" Yao kneeled down as he examined him more closely.
"Kiku-nii!" Yong Soo cried. Behind them, Kiku tore himself away from Hong. Both were breathing heavily; Hong fixed his shirt and watched as Yao comforted Yong Soo. As soon as the youngest had stopped crying Yao fixed a glare on Kiku, which took the boy by surprise.
"Kiku, you did this, aru? I've never raised you to be so violent, aru. What happened? Hong, explain it to me," Yao said. Hong looked between his brothers and gulped a little.
"Yong Soo broke the teacup, Gege. The one you usually use to drink tea from. And Kiku got angry, so he hit him," Hong explained, eyes on the ground as to avoid Kiku's glare for telling Yao the truth. Yao frowned, then rose to his feet, yanking Kiku's arm so harshly, it made Kiku flinch.
"You hit him because he broke a cup, aru? I've never done that to you when you broke one, aru! That's no way to treat your brother, Kiku!" Yao raised his voice at his brother, who was staring at him in shock upon being scolded.
"Yao-nii… how can you forget? That cup, I made it for you! Don't you remember?" Kiku asked, his voice laced with hurt.
"That cup, aru… Ah I see, aru… but that's no reason why you should hit your brother, aru. Go to your room and don't come out until I tell you so, aru. I will bring your dinner to your room," Yao said with a stern look, letting go of Kiku's arms. He scowled when Kiku didn't move, still numb with disbelief.
"Don't you understand me, aru?" Yao waved a hand towards the general direction of Kiku's room when the boy did not move.
Kiku hung his head and left dejectedly. Yao shook his head; what had he done wrong in raising him? He turned around to tend to Yong Soo's wounds and asked Hong to bring a medical box.
Yao entered Kiku's room with a tray of food for dinner. He set the tray on the table and walked back to the door to close it. Kiku was sitting on the floor with his back to his brother, facing the half-open window. Yao watched him for a moment before approaching him and patting his shoulder. Kiku slowly raised his head and looked at him with a sour expression. Yao gave a small smile nonetheless.
"Go eat your dinner, aru," Yao said softly.
"Why were you late, today? I was worried…" Kiku asked while his eyes trailed on the food Yao had cooked.
"I was actually waiting in line to buy you guys a cake, and then I came home to find you fighting at home, aru. Seriously, Kiku. What's gotten into you? You can't go hitting someone like that… especially Yong Soo, he is your brother, aru. I don't remember ever hitting you myself, aru," Yao said, eyeing him seriously. Kiku looked away from his brother's golden eyes.
"You never pay attention to me anymore, so why do it now?" Kiku grumbled.
Yao stared at him for a moment before lifting Kiku's chin, facing him fully, eye to eye. "Kiku… your brothers need more attention since they have never lived in Japan before. The languages, their surroundings, their new school and all of that… I need to give them my attention because they need help learning these things, and they need support. They need me to live, aru. Weren't you in the same position as they were when we first got here, aru? That time you could barely speak anything, aru. I placed so much of my time on you back then, aru. Think about it, Kiku," Yao said.
Kiku didn't say anything; his eyes were full of sadness when he looked back into Yao's golden eyes. He was surprised when Yao pulled him into his arms, hugging him lovingly.
"They are your brothers as well, Kiku. Can't you help them and be nice, aru?"
"I'm not your number one anymore, aren't I?" Kiku whispered loud enough for Yao to hear.
Yao felt confused and pulled away.
"Of course I love you, you are still my beloved brother, aru," Yao reassured, but Kiku only felt more dejected.
"Now, eat your dinner, aru…" Yao coaxed.
Kiku remained silent and picked up his chopsticks. He was beginning to feel uneasy around his brothers at home.
"I don't want to go back, Gege," Hong said when his father came to pick him up. Yao looked at him sympathetically.
"We'll be able to meet again soon, aru. You should really study abroad; at least one of us has to, and that's what father said. Don't worry, aru. I'm sure you will do great." Yao put his hands on Hong's shoulders as the boy gave a small nod. It had been two days since Yong Soo and Kiku had fought; he was a bit worried about Yong Soo actually. Hong looked at his younger brother who was crying on his sleeves. He brushed his hand against Yong Soo's, and for the moment the Korean stopped his sobbing upon feeling his brother's touch.
"Be good… I'm sure you'll do fine here, Yong Soo." Hong gave him a little hug and let go of him just as quickly as it had started. Yong Soo looked mournfully at him. Hong turned to Kiku who was wearing a small smile.
"It's nice to be able to meet you, Kiku-Gege…"
"Same here. I hope your study in England goes well…" Kiku said with a slight bow. He had to admit that he didn't really hate the boy; after all, Hong was always independent and not too clingy towards Yao. Hong nodded at him.
"Hong, it's time to go," their father called from the entrance of the house.
Yao waved at both of them, a little put out that the boy was leaving. He had grown attached to his brothers after living together with them, even if it hadn't been that long a time. If only Hong could stay a bit longer… but then the longer he stayed the harder it would be to let go. Yao sighed and turned around, walking inside the house and closing the door behind him.
"Okay, aru. Now I will have to go to work, so be good, okay…?" Yao said to both of his brothers. He was a little bit worried now that Hong was nowhere to defend Yong Soo if Kiku started to beat him up again. So it was with much suspicion when both nodded in agreement without so much as a fuss. Hoping it meant things were now alright between them, he decided to leave them alone; maybe some time together would ease the tension between the two brothers.
Right after Yao closed the door behind him, both boys looked at each other.
"What?" Kiku asked in an annoyed tone. Yong Soo glared at him.
"Nothing…" he muttered, turning the door handle and running back outside. Kiku scoffed in nonchalance; it would probably be better if he didn't put a hand on that boy before Yao was completely out of sight. He didn't even care where the boy was going, and hoped that he would just get lost.
"Hyung Nim…" Yong Soo called out when Yao was already at the gate.
"Yong Soo… what are you doing following me, aru?"
"Can't I go with you?" Yong Soo asked, hugging his brother's legs. Yao faltered. It was obvious why he didn't want to be left alone with Kiku. Yao kneeled down and patted Yong Soo's head.
"I can't allow that, aru. Don't worry, Kiku will not do that again, aru. I'm sure of it, unless he wants to be scolded like last time, aru." Yong Soo frowned.
"You love him more than me?" he suddenly asked, and Yao couldn't help but chuckle at his question. He wondered why both Kiku and Yong Soo were so possessive over him.
"I love you, aru… very much…" Yao said.
Yong Soo felt his heart swell and smiled from ear to ear.
"Stay home and be good, aru," Yao reminded. He was relieved when Yong Soo nodded.
It was almost sunset when Yong Soo found Kiku training in the backyard. He knew his brother was aware of him watching but Kiku did not bother to even talk to him. Yong Soo sat on the porch, studying his every move.
"Can you teach me, da-ze?" he asked when Kiku made swift with his sword, cutting the air. Kiku stopped for a moment and glared at him.
"Go away…" he muttered, trying to pass him so he could leave. He stopped when Yong Soo stood before him, blocking the way.
"Why do you hate me so much?" Yong Soo said, glaring back at Kiku.
For a moment, Kiku did not say anything, the dark look in his face making Yong Soo frown. Then he noticed with trepidation the sword still clenched in Kiku's hand.
"You wouldn't hit me again. Hyung will be very mad at you," Yong Soo warned, although his voice shook slightly at the end.
Kiku gritted his teeth. This kid is testing my patience… He walked past him, not saying anything.
"I love Yao Hyung. Don't you love him too?"
Kiku froze, surprised when Yong Soo suddenly said those words. Love… He loves him too…?
"You think I will let a kid like you take him away from me?" Kiku faced him, his whole body trembling with rage.
"Why? You love him too, don't you? We are the same… Can't we be friends?" The words he blurted out were childish, but they were spoken from innocence. And they only served to make Kiku angrier.
"You don't understand anything! Stop saying those things as if you understand me!" Kiku was now shouting. The sword shook in his hands.
"I understand. You are not Hyung Nim's favorite anymore, now that I'm here. You think I don't know that? You are so childish despite the fact that you are older than me! You want to get rid of me, don't you?" Yong Soo said recklessly.
Kiku stared at him; he opened his mouth only to shut it again. He couldn't think straight anymore, this kid in front of him was sure annoying as hell. Kiku's grip on his sword was so hard his hand had turned red. He looked first at his sword hand, then back at Yong Soo, a smirk forming. Yong Soo took a step back, terrified. The dangerous look on Kiku's face told him what would happen next.
"Y-you wouldn't…! Hyung Nim will hate you for sure if you hit me…"
"You think I will care about that now… You do know why I hate you, why bother to ask? And I'm not going to hit you, no… I'm going to slice you in half!" Kiku raised his sword.
Yong Soo was too frightened to scream. "Kiku-nii! Don't!" His voice cracked, feet rooted to the floor.
"I'm not your nii-san! I've never had any other sibling other than ni-ni!" Kiku shouted as he raised his sword high in the air, eyes as cold as ice. Yong Soo shrieked and crouched down, ready anytime to feel the blade against his back.
The sword swung down.
"Kiku, no!" A voice that both of them knew very well shouted at Kiku. It jerked Kiku's hands, but it only slowed down the movement. A second after that, Yong Soo felt a push and he landed hard on the ground.
"Omph!" He yelped and quickly crawled, rubbing his nose. From his peripheral vision he witnessed a terrible sight. There had been no time to stop the swing of Kiku's blade, and Yao had no other choice but to receive the attack. There was a sickening sound, and Yao winced from the pain in his back, grunting as he slumped on the ground near Yong Soo's trembling body. Kiku felt frozen, the reality of what he had just done crashing down on him. A second after, he let go of his sword. The blood of his brother leaked on the grass.
Both shouted almost at the same time as blood pooled on the ground.