Scene XV: Lust
Kanagawa, Yuugen. Japan. 2014, February
It took nothing more than the heavy clatter of swinging doors to fill the air and lift Yoku’s attention from the clipboard she held. Light streamed in from the morning sun and she smiled, moving to meet the young man who stood in the doorway of Yuugen’s academy foyer. Her lips parted to speak, but she was interrupted by the raised hand that silenced her before she could even begin to talk.
“Stay there,” Chini ordered, keeping a distance between himself and his aunt. “Give me the cure.”
“Now, Chini. That is hardly the way a nephew should greet family after all these years.” Yoku chuckled, waving a finger to and fro.
Chini raised his chin. His red eyes glinted in the light and he matched Yoku’s presence of sharp and threatening. He held out a hand, as if it would be that simple. “Cure. Now.”
Yoku could only chuckle. Her painted lips were cruel when she smiled and her hand moved, plucking a vial from inside her lab coat pocket. “You truly are my brother’s son.”
Chini’s eyes had widened. He felt himself tense as Yoku swayed her hand, gripping the vial so tightly her knuckles turned white. No way could it be that easy, could it?
“Poor Chikai came looking for the real one and I happened to be a tad naughty and replaced it with a fake. Oh, but he seemed so sure of himself.” She looked to the side with a distant look, as if she were speaking of a favoured, departed pet as opposed to her own Match. Cool eyes snapped back to Chini’s face. “I shall hand this over on one condition.”
Chini’s red eyes kept darting left and right, keeping the vial in his sight. His hands curled to fists, knowing it would be foolish to reason with the woman. But what choice did he have? It was hardly as if he could barge into The Parasite’s room after all these years and force him to make a cure. That would surely be game over.
“Fine. Name it.”
Yoku could only smile. “Make a deal with me.”
Kanagawa Hospital. Japan. 2014, February
Tsumi had never looked so concerned in all her life. She stared intently, multi-coloured eyes shifting from Yujin’s face and up to his monitor. The hand she held was as still as ever. For so long now he had been still, quiet. Asleep. Then something happened. A twitch of pale fingers against Tsumi’s palm and she nearly cried.
“Yujin?” Tsumi whispered, leaning forward, pressing her ear against the man’s chest. His heart had never stopped beating, but she was desperate to do something, find anything which could tell her what was happening. “Yujin?”
Tsumi’s head shot up to see Yujin’s face. His eyes were open; only just. A glazed pair of crimson peered up at her and the corner of his pale lips twitched from behind his oxygen mask. He raised a hand from the mattress and Tsumi reached out, grasping it with care as she led his cold fingers to her cheek. She could only smile, eyes full of tears that would perhaps never fall. But the relief was there.
“Thank God.” Chini appeared from the door and he smiled, hurriedly sitting on the opposite side of the bed to take Yujin’s spare hand and squeeze it.
“Ugh… I don’t do this…” Yujin grumbled, shifting his weight upon the mattress. He winced at the pain. “The whole affection thing isn’t really me.”
Tsumi and Chini exchanged a small smile before their expressions faltered. They looked one another in the eye with a mutual understanding. Sure, they may never like each other, but they both adored Yujin. Tsumi was the first to look away and make conversation with the man between them. Chini could only stare ahead before he moved away from the bedside.
“I’ll go tell the doctor you’re awake.” Chini announced. He may as well have kept quiet since neither Tsumi nor Yujin seemed to notice his departure as he left the room.
Closing the door behind him, Chini stared at the corridor’s floor, taking a minute to think. He knew this peace would only last a short time. He supposed he should be thankful for even that much, but the continuous reminder as to what he had agreed to in order to make this happened played on his mind like a broken record. To make a deal with the devil was one thing, to make a deal with Yoku was a whole other story.
He could only sigh, push away from the door and find a doctor to review his best friend before the truth could spill and all peace would be lost once again.
Kanagawa, Yuugen. Japan. 2014, March
A soft tap at the door of his bedroom rang out, echoing off the high walls around him. It should have been enough to make Yokubo turn and face his visitor, but he found no point in moving. He could already smell the perfume that wafted through the door as The Enchantress walked in.
“I really thought things would have stayed calm for a while, especially after Okui.” Yokubo murmured around the lip of his glass as he sipped his whiskey. His eyes were dull as they stared out the large windows in front of him. “After everything that has happened in the past, I wondered when you would make your little show, sister.”
From behind him, Yoku smiled and laced her arms around her brother lovingly. “After all you have sacrificed for us, I think it would only be fair if you stood down now. You have been leading us all for too long.” She whispered, pressing her cheek to the man’s back.
“I suppose it was only a matter of time.” Yokubo sighed. He pressed a hand over the woman’s arms across his chest, looking across the city lights in the distance. He was tired, fatigued. The circles under his eyes had been hard to remove since Chini had left all those years ago. “I just never imagined you would be the one to do it.”
“No, dear brother. You knew it would always be me to do it,” Yoku’s eyes were dead, void of emotion. She slunk back and moved her hands into her pockets. “Like always, you just chose not to see it.”
Yokubo tensed when a sharp pain erupted in the base of his spine. He had only grunted in response, dropping the drink of whiskey he had been cradling. The strike was agonising, and he lost the feeling in his legs. Trying to stand his ground was pointless and gravity took over, pulling him to the floor with a harsh thump.
Yoku wrenched the scalpel from her brother’s back as he fell. She watched his face, the way he looked back at her. He did not look as shocked as she would have liked. He looked… disappointed. It made Yoku sigh and she knelt, wiping the blood from her blade onto Yokubo’s robes.
“Not even trying to fight it. Shame. I do hope you sleep well while I take care of things while you are away.” She whispered softly, bending forward to press a warm kiss to Yokubo’s forehead before she turned to leave. “I shall return for you, I promise.”
Chiba, Japan. 2014, March
Heavy raindrops hit the rooves of passing cars as Yoku walked. Her lap coat swayed beneath the heavy pressure of every drop of rain until she reached a theatre. She had received looks of shock from a collection of people during her journey to Chiba. It was to be expected, she supposed. She had been covered in blood after all. Blood or not, Yoku moved with the same pace - the same motive.
The theatre street did not hold many occupants at night. She supposed that made things easier as she moved through the heavy doors. They creaked loudly on their hinges, allowing a warm waft of air to hit her cold, wet face. She smiled, inviting herself inside. A small, box room with a reception desk to the left and a small door to the right was all she could see, save from the red curtains hanging in front of her through a large archway. She pulled the curtains back, revealing a large, round room.
Seats filled half the area, surrounding the stage below. It was similar to the inside of a circus tent, with makeshift wallpaper that resembled flowing curtains and glittering lights above. It was dim now, with only lights spewing across the stage and the dancefloor at the base of the stairs. It was big enough to perhaps set up dining tables in front of the stage; should there be a show on.
As she moved, taking slow steps down and past the lining chairs, Yoku was faced with a young teen. Their ginger hair fell over their left eye and their skin had been blessed with a cluster of freckles. They were tall, broad, and lanky. With only a baggy shirt and shorts on.
“Oi, Ma’am. We ain’t open yet-”
Yoku’s glare was enough to silence the redhead and they turned, hurrying down to the stage where a man sat, tampering with an old cuckoo clock on his lap. He had let himself go over the years; his blond hair no longer framed his face in a perfect shaved cut, but instead hung loose over his eyes and neck. He wore that same colourful cardigan from before and the glimmer of his wedding ring hung loose around a piece of string at his neck, tapping against his chest when he turned to look up. Foxy features pulled into something of distaste when he noted Yoku’s presence.
“Hokori.” Yoku hummed, stopping at the bottom of the stage. She looked up, narrowing her eyes through water-stained lenses.
Hokori offered Yoku a mere glance, noting the blood stained upon her clothes. He nudged the redhead beside him. “Tell the others to start dinner without me, Kin.”
Kin raised a brow, looking between Hokori and Yoku before complying. He moved away, ducking behind the stage and out of sight. Yoku clicked her tongue loudly in Kin’s departure and moved, climbing the short staircase to face her fellow councilman.
“I see you have finally done your worst.” Hokori tutted. He tugged the hanging fan from his hip, opening it to hide the sneer on his face.
“Yes, I suppose I have made myself quite apparent.” Yoku chuckled, glancing over her bloodied coat and shirt. She tilted her head, flashing a grin. “The spotlight is on you now, Hokori. The show must go on.”
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