The Color of Passion

Birthday Failure

I’ve noticed that usually in a story of a great hero they only show the hero showing up suddenly to save the day, but rarely how he actually got there. Well, today I came to realization as to the reason why.

Most of the time Anna and I stay back with Tatara whenever Mikoto and the guys go out to deal with business, but today was different. They needed Anna by their side to find the target with Tatara close behind to make sure she’s safe. Then there’s me… well I didn't want to be left alone at the bar so I made a big fuss and convinced Kusanagi to let me go rather than hold down the fort.

I assumed that everyone in Homra walked everywhere, since everything they needed was in our little district. But now I see that sometimes their targets are more than a few blocks away, so they have to use the train.

Talk about a let down.

We all squished our way into the packed train trying to fit in before the doors closed.

I hate the train.

I was squished up against the doors with Mikoto right in front of me.

I tried to hide my beet red face, but there was nowhere to cower. I glanced over and saw that Anna had snagged a seat. I looked up at Mikoto who kept his attention away from me. I guess he was trying to make the situation a little less awkward, but honestly it wasn’t helping.

The nostalgic scent of cigarettes filled my lungs and my mind flashed back to the fireworks festival. I closed my eyes as the memory of Mikoto’s warmth filled me up and I forgot where I was.

Suddenly I was starting to fall back. I opened my eyes in panic to see Mikoto reaching out to me. He pulled me into him as if it was no trouble at all. I grabbed onto his shirt from the adrenaline and stared up at him in surprise.

“You should pay more attention in these situations, you almost cracked your head open.” He grumbled as the doors closed behind me, but he didn’t let go. He let out a sigh, “there are a few more stops…”

A smiled tugged at the corners of my mouth as I loosened my grip and held my head down to hide my red face.

I knew the boys of Homra weren’t all that innocent; I knew that they were rather violent at times… but I guess I just never realized the cold hard truth until I witnessed it myself.

I stood behind Mikoto as he sat on the half burned couch, smoking his cigarette while Kusanagi questioned the bloody businessman. The place was in ruins. I was afraid that at any moment the ceiling would collapse on us, but I stood my ground. I kept myself glued behind Mikoto, the safest spot I could think of. Yata came bursting through the door with Ana and Tatara close behind.

“There doesn’t seem to be any more drugs around here.” He stated.

“Although, we found all the money they earned from selling them.” Tatara smiled as he lifted the pile of money in his arms.

“Then I guess we have no choice.” Kusanagi said. “Well then, how about we collect all of the dirty money and use it for good?”

Tatara turned his camera on and started to film the frightened businessman.

“Since I’ll be filming please answer honestly.”

“First tell me where the rest of the drugs are.” Kusanagi said as he waved a small packet of cocaine in the man’s face.

“Not here… we immediately sell them after buying them from a trader.” He confessed.

“Ahh… I’ve heard about this trader, many times. I heard he’s a strain. Is that true?”

My eyes widened in surprise.

Another strain? Another person like me…

“Oh? Refusing to speak?”

“…Should I burn him?” Mikoto asked as he took another hit of his cigarette.

“No.” Tatara said. “If King burnt him there will be no blood, bone or ash left.”

“Eh!?” I looked over at Tatara and then back at Mikoto.

‘Was he really that strong? If I weren’t a strain… would I have been burnt to ash that time…?’

It bothered me how little I knew about… everything. It was like I was still a newbie despite being around for almost a year now.

Kusanagi threatened the man with his flames instead and instantly was able to obtain the information about the trader. His codename was “mole”, but the man didn’t know where his hideout was.

The businessman made fun of Homra and Yata got really angry, claiming he would find “mole” and skated off.

Everyone else searched for more information on the trader. Meanwhile, Anna, Mikoto and I stayed back at the bar with Kusanagi.

I stood behind the bar polishing some glasses as Mikoto and Anna sat on the couch. I looked over towards Kusanagi who was on the phone in the kitchen.

“Yeah, it’s a shame this is all happening right around his birthday.” I could here him mumble. I cocked my head to the side in confusion as I began to run through everyone’s birthdates through my mind. We had already celebrated everyone’s for the rest of the year except for King’s. My eyes widened in surprise. I looked over at Mikoto as he smoked a cigarette.

‘Mikoto’s birthday?! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME!?’

Kusanagi came out from the kitchen as he hung up on the phone with Tatara.

“We found a couple of Mole’s hiding places.” He told Mikoto. “They are going to split up and try to guess.” Mikoto didn’t say anything as he let out a sigh. “What will you do?”

Mikoto tilted his head back and closed his eyes.

“This is troublesome.” He said. “If you really need me, tell me.”

“You’re such a lazy person.” Kusanagi said. “On the other hand, if you suddenly got pumped I would be worried.”

I started to get all flustered as I tried to think of a present for Mikoto.

What does he like? He doesn’t have any hobbies… he just does what he wants. He sleeps and smokes and eats and burns things; that's his existence… reduced to four words.

Yata ended up going missing and it really got me worried, as well as the rest of Homra. Everyone went out looking for him all night, except for Mikoto, who seemed to have faith that he was alright and was, “just being an idiot somewhere,” which were his exact words.

I meant to stay out longer looking for him, but I needed to get Mikoto a gift so I abandoned my duties early and went shopping; though with the little amount I had I couldn’t get anything very glamorous. I got home at around 1 in the morning and after searching for hours I finally found a somewhat decent gift. I quietly unlocked the front doors, careful not to wake anyone up, when suddenly the lights flipped on. I looked around in panic until I noticed Mikoto leaning against the wall on the other side of the room by the stairs.

“You were out late.” He stated as he lit a cigarette.

“Um… yeah.” I said as I tried to recover my breathing from the small fright. “Were you… waiting for me?”

“No.” He started to head up the stairs when it hit me; I had no idea when exactly his birthday was. For all I knew it was today. This was the perfect chance.


He stopped and looked down at me. I stumbled for the bag I bought and staggered over to him, holding it out.

“It’s for you.” He paused for a moment before taking the bag from me. I straightened up and nodded my head at him. “I didn’t have all that much money and… I know you don’t need it cause of your fire powers… but I just… I didn’t know what to get.” He reached in and pulled out the small lighter with the Homra symbol I had painted on it. “Happy birthday Mikoto!” I smiled.

“… It’s not my birthday.”


“My birthday was in August.”


He walked over to the coffee table, put out his cigarette in the ashtray and relit it with the lighter. He patted the top of my head and I could feel the heat rush to my face as I watched him blow out the smoke. And with that he trudged upstairs and into his room, leaving me behind in awe.

‘He… liked it?’

Yata came back safe and sound, covered in wounds, after finding the “Mole” and defeating him. I tackled him in a hug and he was really shy about it.

“I’m so relieved you’re alright. Everyone went out looking for you all night long!”

“Is that so…?” He mumbled.

“…Did something happen?” Tatara asked.

I let go of him and looked up at him in confusion, waiting for his answer. For a moment he really looked distressed, but he pulled his hat over his eyes and said,

“Nothing… happened.”

‘What a bad liar…’

I smiled and grabbed onto his face, healing his wounds.

“It’s alright Yata, we’re here for you.” I smiled and he looked at me in awe.

‘That’s right…

because Homra is like one big family…

and I never want to leave.’

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