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28 April 2014 @ 12:53 pm
Theme #18 Cold  
Title: Glutton for Punishment: The Third Judge
Fandom(s): Yume Nikki/ Ao Oni
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Takeshi, Urotsuki
Rating: M for violence and  suicide.
Theme: Table 2 theme #18 Cold
Words: 1,826
Summary: The Trial of Takeshi
Note: This is actually chapter 22. This is part of the second story arc. A list of chapters for the first arc is here The list for the second arc is here.


Glutton for Punishment: The Third Judge

When Takeshi awoke, he was alone; wherever he was, it was dark and cold. Had he wandered into a tunnel somehow? All he could recall was that his neck had hurt for some reason, but he couldn't remember why. Despite this, he wandered the darkness; he groped for something to balance against, keeping his pace slow and steady. He hated the dark. He always had, ever since he was little. Monsters came out of the dark. Hiroshi was always telling him that monsters and ghosts weren't real, that it was childish to believe in such things at his age.

The ghost in the boy's bathroom? Not real.  It was just a loose hanging door that needed fixing.

The monster in the supply closet of their classroom? Also not real, just a bunch of supplies that looked menacing in the dark.

That's why he asked Hiroshi to come with him that day. Hiroshi always had a logical reason behind everything strange and unnerving.
Hiroshi wasn't with him now. First he wanted to see if anyone else was around him. He took a deep breath, ready to call out, but a voice beat him to it.

"Hello?" the darkness cried. "Is there anyone else here?"

Takeshi nearly jumped out of his skin. "W-who's there?" he asked.

"Oh gosh, Takeshi, is that you?" It was a voice he knew.

“U-chan?” he asked. "U-chan, where are you?"

“I'm... I'm up somewhere really high. Takeshi, I can’t get down!” she cried. “I really don’t like high places! I'm scared!”

Takeshi clenched his fist together. It would be alright. He wasn't alone any more, even if she was just a voice, U-chan was with him. A tiny pale light broke through the darkness. They appeared to be in some kind of cave. He saw U-chan sitting on a large ledge high above from where he was standing.

Takeshi assessed his surroundings. The wall looked climbable. Getting to her would be hard, but not impossible. Yeah! He could do this!

“Hold on, U-chan! I’ll come to get you!” Takeshi said as he began to climb up.

“Aren’t you scared?” she asked in a panic. She wanted to pull herself forward and watch him climb, but she quickly jerked backwards "Please don't hurt yourself!"

Takeshi laughed, but continued his slow and steady pace up the cliff. “Yeah, honestly, I’m terrified. I mean, I could slip and fall then die, but I… I can’t just leave you! So I'm going to... I'm going to help you.”

"Thank you, Takeshi. You're a really good guy. U-chan doesn't deserve a friend like you."

"Don't say that! If anything, someone as nice as you doesn't deserve to be burdened with a coward like me."

“It’s all your fault,” a little voice whispered in the darkness.

"U-chan, did you say something?" Takeshi asked.

"No. Just hold on a little bit longer. You're almost there!"

When he reached the ledge, Takeshi couldn't help but smile. "Come on, U-chan, let's go back down." he said as he reached out his hand. "If you fall, I'll catch you, okay?"

"Okay."

"Just don't look down, U-chan."

"I-I'll try."

"You can do it, U-chan. I know you can. Just a few more steps"

Once they hit the ground, the darkness returned.

“It’s all your fault,” the little voice said louder than before.

 “It is my fault, isn’t it? If I hadn’t said that I wanted to check out the haunted mansion on the outskirts of town… if I hadn’t tried to prove to my classmates I wasn’t a wuss, then we wouldn’t have….” Takeshi muttered to himself.

"Takeshi, are you okay?" Urotsuki said as she grabbed his hand. "You don't look so good. Oh, you wore yourself out after all the climbing didn't you? Come on, sit down and rest. It'll be okay. I'll protect you this time."

"Thanks U-chan. I'm sorry I'm so weak."

"Don't say that."

It was a dare. That house had been haunted for years, not even the bravest kid in their class would go near it. It was all because of what had happened at the test of courage a few years ago. Four students never made it home. He knew the stories and yet…

He wanted to prove he was stronger.

“Nobody would miss you if you disappeared.”

“That’s probably true. I’m a weakling who clings to those who are stronger. I’m sure they’d be glad to be rid of someone like me.”

"Takeshi, what's wrong? Who are you talking to?" Urotsuki felt herself beginning to panic. She'd seen something like this before when she was younger. Episodes like this never ended well in the past. It was how Chie got called a demon. Something else seemed to posses her when she got like that. Was it happening to Takeshi, too?

In the distance Takeshi saw a single chair and a rope suspended from the ceiling.

“Just die, you worthless coward!”

“Would that… make everything right? If I die, could I save everyone else?” He felt his body move towards the chair, tired, defeated.

"No, Takeshi, no!" Urotsuki said as she grabbed hold of him with all her might, but something seemed to pull him forward. "You absolutely cannot die! I won't allow it! Please don't leave me alone! Please!"

Beyond the chair, Takeshi could see that a child was in the room with him. He couldn’t have been more than eight years old. For being such a small thing, he had a gruff face. The boy smoothed back his hair as their eyes met.

“You didn’t think about anything did you? You just wanted the glory for yourself!” the child accused.

Yes, but…

“I just wanted the bulling to stop! Mochida and I… we…” Takeshi began.

“But you couldn’t come alone, could you?" The boy continued. "You had to drag your friends with you, down into this place.”

“Because it was haunted! I was scared! Hiroshi was so sure the ghost didn’t exist, so I wanted him to help me prove it!” He felt his legs climb up onto the chair, despite the added, struggling weight of Urotsuki. He stared at the noose.

"No! Don't!" Urotsuki cried.

“And what of the other ones, why were they there?” the child asked.

“Because… because…” Takeshi began.

Mika had wanted to follow Takuro, but why had Takuro joined them? Probably to prove he was too cool to be scared.

"No, no, no!" Urotsuki screamed as she tried to pull him off the chair. No matter how much she pulled, his feet stayed firmly on the chair. "What is this chair, magic? Takeshi, get off!"

“You trespassed to a place you knew was dangerous. You knew the rumors, yet you went in anyway, to my house!"

“Your house?” Takeshi repeated.

Standing before him was a tall humanoid figure with blue skin and mismatched eyes.

“N-n-n-no! Not you!” Takeshi cried as he fell backwards off the chair. He scrambled to run away as fast as he could.

The blue demon smiled at him as he chased him. He dared not look back, but he could feel it breathing down his neck.

Is this my fate? Am I going to die here?

He heard a small thunk and the hot breath stopped. When he turned he saw Urotsuki was missing a shoe.

"Hey, you!" she snapped, glaring at the monster."Yeah, I mean you! Leave him alone! You're nothing but a bully!"

"U-chan!" Takeshi cried. "Don't! You can't win against him!"

"You're just like all the other bullies I ever met! Only this time, I'm not going to hide." Urotsuki summoned a nail bat into her hand. Takeshi paused. How had she done that? Urotsuki began to beat the monster over and over again. She was holding her own against something so huge?

But the monster cheated. It changed its shape into a glob of blue goo; it rose up like a tide, and crashed down onto Urotsuki. When Takeshi peeked through the spaces between his fingers, U-chan was gone. In her place was the monster, it was wearing a sweet smile. It had grown a head of short blond hair.
Her hair. Her smile. Seeing that smile on that thing. It made him sick, a different kind of sick. He wanted to throw up, yes, but he also wanted to....

 “You-you-you-you YOU GIVE U-CHAN BACK TO ME RIGHT NOW!” Takeshi cried.

As he ran forward, he nearly tripped over something. The chainsaw. What was it doing all the way down here? He grabbed Urotsuki’s chainsaw and ran for the demon. He swung wildly and the blades caught the demon in the stomach. He listened to the ripping of its flesh, it didn't matter that blue blood was spurting all over him. Once opened, Takeshi reached inside the hole hoping beyond hope that the small hand of his friend would grab his. He felt his heart jump when something latch onto his hand. With all his might, he pulled up. Urotsuki gasped for breath as she burst out of the monster's stomach; once she was out the monster crumpled to the floor, seemingly nothing but skin.

"Takeshi?" Urotsuki asked weakly between coughing up blue bile.

"U-chan! You're alright, thank goodness!" Takeshi said. He hugged her tightly.

“You were pretty cool, Takeshi,” Urotsuki said with a smile. "I could hear you, even from inside its belly."

“Heh, I was, wasn’t I? Thanks for stopping me earlier, U-chan, I almost did something really stupid." Takeshi jerked, realizing they were still hugging. "Oh, sorry! I'll let go now.”

Urotsuki leaned back into him. "No, you're warm. It was so cold in there, like I was drowning a river. When I was inside that thing, I saw a bunch of flashes of my sister in my head. I found out that she's been suffering just as much as I have since we were separated. She's lonely and confused, too."

"What's your sister's name?"

"Usotsuki. She always protected me. Before we were split, we got into a big fight. She was really paranoid about something, and it was scaring me. I thought for sure that she hated me, and that's why she never contacted me after I was adopted. I didn't know she was sick. Sis, I didn't mean for us to be like this for so long. I promise when I get out of here, the first thing I'm going to do is find you, okay? I'll find you and say I'm sorry!"
"I'll help you," Takeshi said with a smile. "I may not be much help, but I'll do what I can."

"You will?" Urotsuki asked. "Thank you! Takeshi, it's so nice to not feel alone anymore!"

They heard a sound like cracking glass.

"Congratulations," said a gentle voice. "Please come into the light."

"U-chan, should we go?" Takeshi asked.

Urotsuki took Takeshi's hand.  "Yeah, let's go!"

It would be okay. As long as they were connected, he could be strong.