Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Unlost ❯ Baby (prompt 76) {Kenji & Enishi} ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Unlost, a Rurouni Kenshin fanfic series by Raberba girl for the 100_situations community on LiveJournal
Baby (prompt 76, table one) [rough draft]

Summary: Bad as it's been for Kenji ever since he lost his parents, Enishi has had it worse. Modern AU.

o.o.o

'This is a mistake.' The thought kept looping through Kenji's mind as he trudged up the stairs to his uncle's apartment. He hadn't seen or heard from Enishi in two years; he'd only found this place at all because of Saitou's help. 'This is a biiiiig mistake.'

Kenji reached the door behind which Enishi presumably lived. He stood there for a long time, procrastinating. Finally he sighed and knocked loudly.

After a while, he knocked again.

He finally tried the knob, felt it turn, stared at the unlocked door for a minute, then shook his head and walked inside. "Enishi," he called. There was no answer.

The apartment was disgusting. Trash and empty bottles littered the floor, the air smelled bad, Kenji kept stepping in sticky patches.... None of the light switches worked when Kenji tried them.

Despite the mess, the apartment was empty. There was almost no furniture, nothing of value in sight. Even if someone did take advantage of the unlocked door, there was apparently nothing to steal.

An emaciated figure was curled close to one of the dirty windows. Enishi's tall frame didn't seem to have enough flesh to cover it; his bones were too easy to see beneath grimy, thin layers of skin. He made not the slightest sound or movement to acknowledge his nephew's presence.

Kenji moved close, holding his hand in front of Enishi's face for a minute to see if he was dead. He felt breath ghosting across his palm. He couldn't muster up any emotion in response, neither relief nor disappointment. "...Enishi, it's Kenji. I came to see you," he said dully. There was no response.

Kenji began moving around the apartment. He found a blanket, which smelled and felt dirty but would still offer some warmth. He laid it over Enishi's body, which was barely clothed. There was nothing edible in the kitchen, and no water came when Kenji tried the knobs on the kitchen sink. He finally returned to sit by his uncle, picked up a skeletal, ice-cold hand, and rubbed it between his own hands to warm it.

At last, Enishi stirred. Very slowly, he shifted his head, his eyes taking a long time to focus. "...Kenji?" he finally whispered with chapped, peeling lips.

"It's like you're already dead. You weren't nearly this bad when I left." Unexpected tears stung Kenji's eyes. "...I feel like I'm looking at a dead person, Enishi."

Enishi stirred again, seemed for a moment as if he was trying to sit up, to speak. Then he gave up. He sank back against the wall, his eyes resuming their vacant stare out the window.

"...You really did die when Mom did," Kenji said softly. He had lost both his parents when he was six years old. His uncle had taken him in, but the fights and the living situation had been so bad that Kenji had run away when he was thirteen, living with friends or on the streets for two years until he was old enough to be legally emancipated.

Now he was eighteen and had a decent job and a tiny apartment of his own and, at least up until three weeks ago, a girlfriend. He had a life. It sucked, but it was still a life.

Yet for Enishi...what little life that had remained, the spark of rage at the world that had kept him going, his sense of obligation to the only person he had ever loved that had motivated him to provide for her child as best he could...even that was gone now. "How long have you been like this?"

There was a long, long silence.

Just when Kenji was about to give up and call Saitou, Enishi squeezed his hand weakly. "Kenji." His voice was little more than a whisper, as fragile as the rest of him. "I remember...when you were a baby."

Kenji listened quietly.

"She was...so happy when you were born...." A frown slowly drew his eyebrows together, a pulse of emotion flickered briefly in his face. "Those idiots couldn't tell...no one could tell, just me and...him." In his tone was a suggestion of lingering resentment toward the man, Kenji's father, who had 'stolen' Tomoe's attention away from her brother. Yet there was no longer any force behind it, none of the venom Kenji remembered from his childhood. "We knew.... She didn't smile, those idiots thought she wasn't happy. But me and him, we could still see it."

Enishi squeezed Kenji's hand again, and his eyes slowly came to focus on him once more. "She loved you," he said. "So much." A tear slipped down his cheek. "I loved her...so much...."

"Yeah," Kenji said softly.

"...But I'm not going to see her again when I die."

After a while, Kenji finally said, "I don't want you to die."

Enishi gazed silently at him.

"Enishi...you're-- I hate you." Tears stung his eyes again, memories of so many fights. "I hate you, but you're...family. The only family I have left. I...I wouldn't really be sad if you died.... I've done just fine without you all this time, I--" His shoulders sagged. "I just...." It suddenly occurred to him what he was trying to say. "This isn't love."

Enishi's expression remained unchanged.

"This...letting yourself rot...wanting to die...it's not love. Mom would be mad at you if she saw you like this."

"...She would," Enishi finally whispered.

Kenji squeezed his hand again. "...I don't like seeing you like this."

"...."

"You used to be so strong. You'd freak out a lot for stupid reasons, but you were still so...strong. I don't like seeing you like this."

Enishi looked at him. It took a long time for Kenji to interpret his expression, because he couldn't believe what he was seeing: regret.

"My life has been so worthless," Enishi murmured.

"Well...you kept me from dying for seven years," Kenji grumbled. "I guess that counts for something."

"I wish she could see you."

"What?"

"I wish she could...see you. Grown up. Strong."

"I'm not strong," Kenji whispered. "I'm just less of a loser than you."

"I wish she could...." Enishi's eyes slid toward the window again. "She doesn't want me to die. What else am I supposed to do?"

"...If I go out and buy a hamburger for you, will you eat it?"

Enishi stared at him, uncomprehending.

"Food, Enishi. Water."

"...Don't take care of me. I'm not worth it."

"You're not worth anything," Kenji snapped. "You don't deserve my help, you didn't deserve my mom! It doesn't matter! You got to have Mom for a sister anyway, and I'm gonna help you anyway. If you'll let me. If you...." He looked away.

At last Enishi said, "I'll eat it. If you bring it."

"Okay," Kenji whispered. "Wait for me."

o.o.o

Author's Notes: I still think about Rurouni Kenshin off and on. The fandom is so depressing and makes me not want to write RK fanfiction, but tonight I randomly felt like taking a shot at it anyway.

Wish I could have thought of something more original, but this ended up just being yet another rehash of Enishi angst. -.-

Complete: 11/100