"A Sense of Himself"
by Darkfrozenmind

a Kaoru (of Dir En Grey) fanfiction
no copyright infringement intended.

For Razzy-sama, Yuan-nee, NM-chan and Kako-chan.

Note: Small scene that indicates Kaoru+Die, Kaoru/Die pairing.  Hmmm, I guess this is the sentimental, fluff chapter.  If it's too saccharine, pardon me, but i guess in some subconscious level I was aiming for that effect; here's to the Flu and all it's aftereffects*tink, tink*



Chapter 6: Like a circle's center


Like a lone ice cap drifting off to sea.

That's how Die looked as he walked out of the room calmly.  Kaoru could only watch, helpless, wanting to go after him and call out.   A million reasons or none at all; he couldn't find the sense to do what he wanted; letting Toshiya  pull him to his feet and engage him into fixing his belongings, because he was going home.


That seemed to be an alien term to him, now more than ever, Kaoru wondered what home really meant.  Was it someplace you go to after work?  

Someplace ready to receive you?  Or was it where your heart wants to be all the while you are away from it? 


If that was the case...was he really going home?

As they walked to the car, Shinya insisted that Kaoru ride with him and Kyo in his new sedan, it was fair since Kaoru would be staying with Toshiya, and he'd get to see the leader more.  Kaoru poignantly stared at the scenery...cement, cars, some trees, all typical...

"Hey, this is Die's car isn't it?"  Kyo squawked.

Kaoru slammed back to reality hearing Die's name.

"It looks like it...but where's Die i thought he was going home?"

"I don't think so, Die never said he was going home, he just smiled and walked out."

"Maybe he's smoking?"

"Oh well, just call him or send him a message that we've gone home."

Walked out.  That was the only thing that kaoru could remember...where are you...

/Did you really walk out on me, Die...did I drive you away?  Comeback.../



"You look dazed, you okay?"

"Yes, Kyo, I'm fine."



Hakuei couldn't help but notice Kaoru as his car drove a couple of meters behind Shinya's car...Kaoru's eyes were lost, head tilted facing the passing scene, but his eyes were not watching, he just seem fixed on a distant point; mesmerized by a secret thought.

But not secret enough for Hakuei.  Some how he knew why Kaoru looked so forlorn.



"I hope Kaoru's able to rest well at home."

"Me too.  It'd be nice to see him all better, and I do hope he gets his memory back."

"Me too....Haku-chan...?"


"You think I offended Die, I didn't mean it, I just well I just want Kaoru to be comfortable..."

"I don't think you did, you just wanted the best for Kaoru...and he's always welcome to visit, right?"

"Of course!  Though if it was the other way around i don't think he'd want us visiting Kaoru..."

"Oh, Totchi, don't think like that, Die was only trying to protect Kaoru that time...he's a good man..."

"He's unreadable, Haku-chan!"

"He's just in love."


The first night, ina new place...not so new, because he remembered Toshiya's place.  They had been together for quite a while, and coming back was relatively comfortable, but it was far from being defined as a homecoming.

He sat quietly on the bed that Toshiya and hakuei themselves prepared for him.

Staring at the wall before him, he wished to god, that Die would somehow find his way to him.

Realizing that, he wondered about his feelings for him.


Was it really possible to fall for someone, before getting to know them?

That was a bold thought.

That was the truth.

/I didn't even thank you for taking care of me.../

The mantle clock chimed 8 PM, filling the place with melodious symphony, a few minutes on there was a soft knock on his door. It was Hakuei, and in his hand he had the cordless phone, his palm covering the receiver.

"Kaoru...it's for you."

"Who is it?"





A Month.

That was how long they'd been apart, since he walked out of the hospital.

Lying on his bed, he clutched the cordless phone to his chest, it was 7:58 PM, and he'd be calling Kaoru in two minutes.  Same time everyday since Kaoru accepted the offer to stay at Toshiya's place.  Even after he cried his heart out that day and promised himself to distance himself from Kaoru, Die  found himself dialing Toshiya's number wanting to speak with Kaoru.

To talk about nothing and everything, any reason would do so long as they were able to talk to each other.  He found himself smiling after that, but he never once offered to visit...because it hurt.

It always hurt. 

To the point of irrational assumptions. 

To Die it was better this way, a present and a phone call a day, to hear his voice, imagine him smile. 

It was easier to ask Kyo to give his presents to Kaoru, and it was easier to speak through the phone...It made it easier for Die to pretend that Kaoru knew him well.  It was easier not to see Kaoru's face pout in concentration whenever he mentioned the past;it was easier not to watch him desperately try to remember.

It was easier.

He wanted to believe it was easier,  though without Kaoru 'easier' was distant from the truth.

His wall clock chimed 8:00 PM, Die sat up straight and crossed his legs, sat like an indian on his bed and punched in Toshiya's number. And gently played with the protruding pockets of his cargoes.


Never had the phone looked so interesting to him.  

He ran his hand through his hair grateful that it had grown out, almost an inch a week with the help of cosmetic products that were designed to be instant.  The feel of his soft hair, tempted him to look at himself in the mirror - light brown hair, framing his face, his fringes now longer, almost covering his eyes...he smiled a little, he wanted to color his hair Lilac, soon.

He sighed and looked at  the phone again. 

He felt giddy.

He'd gone out with Toshiya, Kyo and Shinya that day, Die came up with an excuse not to go with them.

Everytime they  would plan a day together, a getaway, a small trip, Die always seemd to find a reason to decline.  And at the times that he insisted visiting Die, it seemed that the guitarist found reasons to *not* be home.

Did he not want to see him?

But then again, before each day ended Die would call, and his voice would ease Kaoru's worries, rendering him relaxed...peaceful.

He had found it hard to sleep alone without Die holding him,like he did in the hospital, his phone calls wee precious, to Kaoru it was his only link to Die at this point, distant bedtime stories that lulled him to sleep.

Though when he'd hear die whisper good bye...Kaoru - for the life of him, he felt like crying.

He never once initiated those words.  He never said good bye.  It was always Die.

Today had been an emotional day for Kaoru, a lot of familiar things presented, a void given, he had seen all the places where Die sold have been.  He felt guilty, now more than ever.  He just wanted to see him so bad.

They (with the exception of Die) went to the studio; their studio, filled with equipment rarely touched since his accident. Kaoru felt his way around the the place, going from one side to the other.  He got to see his guitar collection again, play a few tunes...it felt as though he was back in his old shoes, and that little space was a space he called his own.  He felt like a ringmaster, going back to his circus after a leave of absence.  finding that his troop was all ready, and expectant.

It was a perfect day...almost, if not for the absence of Die. 

He'd been smiling, but soon after he laid eyes on Die's guitar stand, which bore the guitarist's name on a metal plate; he missed him.   He let his eyes linger over the spot where Die was supposed to stand, the row of guitars, all tuned to serve die's skills, lined up on the side.  He couldn't help but feel listless with his absence and even after all the excitement; he just wanted to go back to Toshiya's place and wished, wait til it was 8 PM again.  But he kept it inside, Kyo, Toshiya and shinya took pains and effort in planning this day and he didn't want to ruin it...the smile stayed on his face.

The same  mantle clock chimed.  Same time as always... eight o'clock...the phone rang.


"Hi, Kaoru."

"Hi...Die...you didn't come with us today."

"I know I'm sorry, I just wasn't feeling well."

"Are you okay now?"

"Yeah, rested the whole day."

"That's good. have you seen a doctor?"

"Nah, this is just fatigue...Kaoru?


"How are you, how was your day?"

"It was alright.  We went to the studio and I got to see my instruments, it was nice...I-I saw your guitar stand, and it had your dark green Les Paul on it..."

Die smiled and cheerily stated...

"That one, yeah...you named that 'Frog' when I got it last January.  You and I were fighting about the color, I don't like green but you insisted..."

"I did? S-Sorry. "

"Don't apologize.  I liked the name, and even if I didn't like the color, I'll stuck with it..."

Die paused for breath and his voice fell an octave lower, he sounded serious, only to be matched by Kaoru's.


"Because you asked me."


Kaoru swore Die could hear his heartbeat over the phone.  Die shifted and closed his eyes, holding one of his pillows in his arms.


"Yes, Kaoru?"

"Do you hate me?  Are you angry?"

"No, god, Kaoru I'm not."

"Then why won't you come with us, when we go out?"

"Kaoru, please, I have my reasons, but it's got nothing to do with you."

Kaoru could taste the lie.  It had something to do with him.  He just wanted to strip the lies to the bone, and say...hear Die say the truth, but if Die wasn't going to say it, he would.

"I really wanted you to be there..."




"I miss you."

Die didn't even know he was close to crying, until he felt the tears fall. 

"I miss you too, Kaoru."

"I wish I could see you...you haven't seen me, do you not want to see me anymore?"

"I want to see so much."

"Then why are you avoiding me?  Every chance I get I take it, with the hope of seeing you, But you're just never there..."   Kaoru's voice was louder, emotional.

"I-I want to Kaoru, there's nothing else I'd rather do than see you...it's just that, it hurts too much to see you and talk to you as if we're people without anything between us, no history...I-I can't...I don't want to start over - like the 14 years we shared meant nothing.  i'm afraid.  It means everything to me, Kaoru.  And  I feel hurt when you talk to our other band mates and refer to a certain event without even remembering that I was there too...I'm part of you too Kaoru..."

"I hurt you every time I don't remember...I'm trying my best, Die...I'm doing my best...I'm sorry..."

"No...no I just feel hurt but you *never* did it and intended for it to hurt me.  I feel jealous when you talk to them about *this* and *that*..."


"Because it should be me instead of them, Kaoru. It should be me."

Die pined to hear what Kaoru was going to say, but he was silent, a sniffling sound, made Die panic.

"Kaoru?  Are you okay?  Kao, don't cry please?"

After breathing deep. Kaoru found the strength to speak, the words to say...

"Die, I-I don't remember you at all, I can't pin point a single moment in the *past* where I encountered you...b-but I don't care... the time you gave me - two months with me, that's all I'll ever  need to tell myself that you're not a stranger to me...that you mean so much to me..."

Die's choked out Kaoru's name, emotion too strong...

"Kaoru..." his voice was pleading, as if he was imploring his need to be with Kaoru.

"I-I can't be here anymore, Die..."

"Kaoru...what are you talking about?  Kao, talk to me..."

With a soft click the line went dead. 

Die sobbed, and threw the cordless, landing somewhere on the floor, if it was broken he didn't care.  He curled up and hugged his pillow tight; 

He needed Kaoru. 

He wanted Kaoru. 

He loved Kaoru...god knows.

Die didn't know how long he could hold on without him.


Kaoru sat quietly on the sofa, rocking himself gently still holding the phone, his eyes were crying, soft flow of hot tears, reddened eyes that refused to see anything but Die's face...

He couldn't be there, in Toshiya's apartment...he couldn't be without Die.  It was cold without him, he felt lost.  Kaoru knew that he had to be somewhere else, not here.  This home was for two people that longed to be with each other, all the while they were apart.

This wasn't his home.

He didn't notice that Hakuei was looking at him from without the door frame of the living room, sadly looking on, he didn't need to be a clairvoyant to know what had just happened.

Hakuei called out to Kaoru.


Kaoru looked at his direction, not bothering to hide the tears.


"What's wrong?!  Something happened between you and Die?"


Kaoru's voice broke into silent sobs.

"Kao...it's okay..." Hakuei took a step closer and rubbed Kaoru's back.

"I can't be here anymore."


"I need to be somewhere else...I need to go home..."

"Where? Your apartment?"  Hakuei asked, though deep inside he knoew what Kaoru was about to say.

"Hakuei, I need to be with Die.  I want to be with Die."

Hakuei nodded.

"I know, Kaoru."

"I need to be by his side."

Hakuei nodded and offered his shoulder for Kaoru to cry on.  gently rubbing his back as Kaoru let his misery free.

As he cried only one thought repeated itself inside Kaoru's head...

/I love you Die...god knows how much I love you.../


"Whaaat?  It's my cooking isn't it????"

"No, your cooking's fine."

"I snore?  I'm too loud when we have sex?  I don't clean the bathroom???"

"No, no and no!"

"Then why does Kaoru want to leave, I don't understand!"

"Toshiya...Kaoru, he needs to be somewhere okay...not here."

"Hakuei?  Are you jealous that he's here!?"

"Toshiya!  How could you say that?  No. I'm not jealous."

"Then why?! Why!? Why?!"

"Kaoru told me he needed to be somewhere else."

"Somewhere...somewhere...SOMEWHERE...where is this place?!"

Toshiya's voice had gone up and Hakuei pulled him close to a hug, trying his best to calm the volatile bassist.  His mouth close to toshiya's ear as he whispered.

"He wants to be with Die...Toshiya...he needs to be with Die, he's been miserable since they've been apart..."

Toshiya's voice died down to a low whisper...


"I think Kaoru loves Die..."

And Toshiya replied in a shaky voice.

"...as much as Die loves Kaoru."


It was then that he cried, for all the pain left hanging months before...Kaoru, Die and him...the tears found their way, this could be the closure he wanted.

"Oh Hakuie....why does it still hurt?!  Why does it still feel like they cheated on me...?"

Toshiya cried in Hakuei's arms, burying his face in the crook of Hakuei's neck.

"Ssshhh, I love you Toshiya...whatever happened before, whatever's happening now..it'll all be for the better....I promise."   Hakuei answered, keeping his voice steady, if only he could take away his lover's pain...

"Hakuei, what would I do without you?"

"Don't think about that, you'll always have me."


Toshiya had his arm around Kaoru's shoulders as they walked from the hall towards the door.  Hakuei was busy putting Kaoru's luggage - two bags - in the car.

Toshiya stopped by the door and looked at Kaoru.

"You love him Kaoru?"

Kaoru just nodded, eyes closed, head bowed.

"i'm sorry Toshiya, whatever I did before, whatever drove you away I'm sorry."

Toshiya tilted Kaoru's chin.

"Open your eyes, Kaoru. Don't apologize.  I'm okay."

He complied.

Toshiya leaned closer and kissed him on the cheek, that same cheek where a metal plate had been placed, now healing beautifully.

"Thank you for everything."

"That's okay Kaoru, just do me a favor..."


"Don't let him go anymore, you loved him then, you love him now...stop moving in circles, just don't ever let him go again...ever."

Kaoru's mind whirled.

...you loved him then, you love him now... 

He managed a small nod.

There was so much more in Toshiya's words, he put them to heart, whether it was relevant now or later, he knew it meant a lot.  It was a gust of colder winds.

And the next thing he knew he was in the bucket seat of Hakuei's car, waving goodbye to Toshiya.  toshiya waving gracefully with some afterwords thrown at him...

"kaoru don't forget to call me when you want to have your hair dyed okay!!!!"

Kaoru looked at Hakuei, smiling...Toshiya sure knew how to lighten up a sad moment.

"That's why I love him Kaoru, that's why I love him..."

Kaoru nodded and smiled.

As the car drove away, Toshiya raised his head and looked up the starry Tokyo night.  It seemed natural, so right to let Kaoru go.  

Kaoru loved Die.  That was the closure Toshiya needed.

And his emotions were bittersweet, but hopeful.

"I hope the two baka's work it out"  he smiled as he went inside his apartment.


Die's eyes hurt in the dark, his tears have dried, but he couldn't close them, no motivation to move a muscle...his body locked, he lay with his day old sweatshirt and cargos...staring at the wall, willing himself to sleep but failing.


Two loud knocks.

He jolted and cursed...who the fuck would come around at this hour of night.  he got to his feet and padded to the front door, and through the peephole he could see blonde.

Hakuei stood squarely by the door, blocking Die's view of the street.

"Hakuei? What the...Is it Kaoru?  Is he okay?"

"Yeah...just tell me one thing Die..."

Hakuei's voice was direct, his words swift...

"You love Kaoru? Like I love Toshiya."


All masks and denials stripped.  Die was tired, frustrated, left longing for someone who seemed so far away; he just wanted it out, who would care anyway?

"Special delivery, then."


Hakuei stepped aside and then Die saw Kaoru, sitting in the bucket seat of his car, head bowed, solemn...waiting...

Die didn't even look at Hakuei, didn't even care if he only wore socks, he walked to the car, the biting cold of the asphalt seeping to his feet, but still his were eyes fixed on Kaoru; and as if Kaoru felt him near he looked up, eyes wet with tears.  Die wordlessly opened the car door...neither a smile or frown on his face.


The redhead wordlessly took Kaoru's hand and led himacross the walkway, inside the house.  Kaoru's eyes were on the ground as he let Die lead him; passing Hakuei who was heading the opposite direction...

Die let Kaoru in and beckoned him to wait as he went back outside once more, meeting Hakuei halfway taking Kaoru's bags from his hands.

"Thank you, Hakuei."

"Just be with him."

Hakuei smiled and walked away.  A cool revv of the engine and his sleek automobile was gone.


Die could feel the cold bite at his feet as he closed the front door.  He was fiddling with the chain lock when he felt someone's gaze.  He finished securing the door before he  turned to look at Kaoru.  His face unreadable.

"You should have called me, Kao, I would've picked you up..."

Die tried to speak more but no words were found.

Still Kaoru's face remained unreadable...yet his eyes, his eyes were intense.

...do me a favor...

with no past to speak of

...you loved him then, you love him now...

Kaoru covered their distance, he put his arms around Die's neck, a swift gesture- his tongue running over Die's upper lip - welcomed as Die opened his mouth and they kissed.

Their first kiss.

Die lifted Kaoru, so near, hugging him tighter, raising him closer ,their faces so near, pressing together; mouth to mouth.  So close as if there was a fear that fate would tear them apart at anytime.  Kaoru closed his eyes as he pulled himself closer, hands tightening around Die...as close as possible, letting their tongues taste the urgency that each of them felt.  He whimpered between them.

His confession.

His need.

His want.

His love.

He hadn't intended on crying, but he did.

Die could taste the saltiness of the tears, and whether it was his or kaoru's it didn't matter, no - as long as he had him in his arms.

Kaoru's feet weren't touching the ground anymore, a few centimeter's difference from the cold floor...he was in Die's arms, waist secured in Die's grasp, lifted. As they stopped for breath, cheek to cheek, then nose to nose...breathing each other, their eyes met.

No words between them.

And whatever the *past* lost, Die could see in Kaoru's eyes, that the *present* found.

Soft breathing filled the darkness.

Die kissed Kaoru again, the contact was urgent,   Kaoru lifted his face to meet Die's responding in equal force; letting die take whatever he could give.  Hugging Die tighter when the other started to cry and tremble gently, kissing his tears away, he failed at keeping his own tears in. 

/I'm finally home./

...stop moving in circles...


to be continued

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