The Strong One
by kbk

"He needed my help, but I was helpless..."

Nobu never needed my help before. I had thought he would, he looked so young and innocent when we first met, but he was always the strong one. He was the one who looked after me. He was the one who defended me in the home and he was the one who held me after my nightmares, but he was still a child in so many ways, such a kid, Nobu was, so juvenile... little boy, Nobu... such a kid...

He didn't trust adults. Ever. There isn't a one of us in the homes that does, but he really didn't. Really, truly didn't. I never asked, but I figured maybe that was to do with why he was there. Such a pretty little boy.

He had a crush on Noriko. So did I, for that matter - just a little - but he spoke up first so I was happy to sit back and let them talk. She was so nice to him, to both of us - cookies, indeed. I had thought she would come between us, take away my one true friend, and so I woke up yelling again, the night before, my nightmares again... in the night, I hear him again, telling me, "go Shuya! you can make it, Shuya!" - I hate him, I hate him so much for doing that to me - but it was Nobu, there, hanging there... I hate my father.

I woke up yelling, sobbing, hurting, and my Nobu was there, so sweet, climbing down into my bunk and holding me against the darkness, kissing my hair like he would for a girl, sliding his hand down my chest and under the waistband of my trousers, driving out all thought with pure, simple sex... my dear Nobu, my friend, my better-than- friend, my one true companion... and now... I couldn't help him. I never could help him. I was never any good to him.

I could never protect him.

"I'll protect you to the end in this place, Noriko."

I'll protect you in his place.


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