Persistance of Memory:
Part Three

Omi felt the warm rays of morning sun hit his face as he lay in his bed, staring dully at the ceiling. He had had a terrible time trying to fall asleep, and felt exhausted. Only a few hours of rest wasn’t going to help matters much. He blew upwards into his bangs, realizing that he should probably clean his ceiling.

"Damn you, Nagi…." He whispered, sitting up. The one bright side of his lack of rest was that his paper on Yellow Fever was done. Omi hadn’t been able to fall asleep after seeing his former enemy. Images of the past kept flowing through his mind. All he could think about was Weiß, Schwarz, Nagi, Takatori, everything that he had tried so hard to forget.

Omi didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. He didn’t have any classes, and he felt terrible, his mental instability reflecting through his tired face and weary body. It had only been twelve hours or so since he had had his fateful run-in with the comatose Nagi, but it had already left Omi feeling beaten, defeated. Omi then remembered that he had promised Kyuu that he would come to visit after the operation. Despite the fact that Kyuu was his friend, Omi didn’t want to go to that hospital again. Nagi was there, the past was there…..

"Fuck," Omi cursed, heading for the shower. Why was he letting this get to him? He was letting Schwarz win, letting Nagi mess with his head. What could the telekinetic do? He was in a fucking coma. Omi shouldn’t have been afraid. After all, there was no sign of the others, and Omi could just as easily smother Nagi in his peaceful slumber…

"What are you thinking?" Omi asked himself, letting the warm stream of water run over his nude body. "Nagi can’t defend himself. If you attacked him while he was unconscious, you’d be no better than they were…." Omi stopped his sentence. He had said were. Why had he assumed that Schwarz had changed, that Nagi had changed? People like that didn’t change. Omi sighed heavily. He wasn’t being fair. Omi himself had changed. Aya, Ken and Yohji had changed, why couldn’t Nagi?

"I don’t even know why you’re giving him the time of day, Tsukiyono…." He muttered, shampooing his hair. He then contemplated telling someone, calling Aya or Ken, warning them that Schwarz was still around, its dark presence never really going away. What was the point, though? Omi hadn’t even seen any of the others, and Nagi was passed out. He didn’t want to have to bring up bad memories for Aya and Ken, and Yohji was an ocean away.

"Okay, Omi… Just forget about it…." Omi then decided that he wouldn’t let Nagi dictate his life. He would keep his promise to visit Kyuu in the hospital, and pretend his former enemy wasn’t even there. As he got ready to leave, he decided to check his mail. Omi genuinely smiled when he saw that one of them was from Yohji. He opened it quickly, needing the cheering up he know Yohji’s letter would give him. Well, it was sort of a letter… More like a taunting postcard.

Hey, Omi

I’m too busy to write in detail. Just want you to know that I’m drinking martinis
and having fun by the poolside. I’ve never seen so many scantily
clad women in my life. Heh, heh, heh. Are you still alone? I
could get one of them to take pity on you, if I’m tired of
her, that is. Don’t even say it. I can see that look on your
face right now, Omi. Only you and old hags make that face. You should
really lighten up. The world won’t end if you stick your dick in a hole
or two. So, honestly, do you have anyone now? Are they as dour
as you are? I’m sure you’d be attracted to someone who was
so boring, they’d be comatose!! Ha, ha, ha. Well, I think I’m
getting a little too drunk to write anymore… Tell Aya and Ken
I said hi. I think they frown upon my ‘floozy’ lifestyle, but they can
suck me. Just kidding! Oi, you don’t have to make that face!!!
Yohji, who is in a bikini clad sandwich right now….

Omi couldn’t help but smile. He didn’t even mind that Yohji had hopelessly teased him. One line made him frown. I’m sure you’d be attracted to someone so boring, they’d be comatose!! Omi wanted to kick himself. He swore he wouldn’t dwell on the fact that Nagi was still around, and look what he was doing. He sighed, throwing on his black hooded sweatshirt. He decided to go to the Kitty in the House to pick up some flowers for Kyuu, and to chat with Aya-chan. It had been a while since he had seen her, and he really wanted his spirits lifted. Omi had always been the one that seemed to lift the spirits of those around him, and being the dour, sullen one was actually a new feeling. It had come on so gradually that he hadn’t even really noticed it. Was he trying so hard to make up for the past life that he had lived that he was killing a chance at a current life? Was his desire for penance causing him to forget what it was like to actually live? He had missed so much of his teenage years, let it slip away under the yoke of Weiß. Was he doing the same thing now, letting his twenties begin to slip away, like meaningless grains of sand in an hourglass, all because he felt badly for something that he could have never really controlled?

Omi hadn’t even realized that he had made it to the flower shop until he was standing directly in front of it. He sighed, pushing the door open. Aya-chan looked up at the cheerful sounding bell.

"Omi!" She cried, running over to him. She gripped his hands with excitement. "I haven’t seen you in a while!!"

"Hi, Aya-chan," Omi said, trying to smile. Her good moods were always infectious, but Omi’s mind was too cluttered with dark images to truly feel her warm effect. "Can I get a bouquet of Freesias?"

"What is it with you and Freesias?" She asked, her voice wafting as she went to the back room.

Omi sighed, waiting patiently for her to return. It should have felt like home to be here, but it didn’t. Too many bad memories. Well, not all of them were bad, but the unpleasant ones warred with the sweet ones, turning them sour. What if Schwarz came here? Aya-chan was just a girl, she wouldn’t be able to protect herself against the likes of Farfarello or Crawford…. Maybe he should say something to Aya or Ken.

"Here, you go, Omi!"

"Huh?" He snapped away from his train of thought, looking down at Aya-chan, who was giving him a confused look. "Oh… Thanks…."

"What is it?"

"Oh, just worried about school, I guess…." He pulled out his wallet.

"Why? You’re really smart. All you do is study, so you should be doing great!"

He smirked. "Yeah, I should be…." God, even Aya-chan thought that all he did was study.

"There’s something else wrong, Omi. Tell me."

He tilted his head. "It’s nothing really. Just thinking about someone…."

"A girl?" She asked, giggling slightly.

"What makes you think that?"

She crossed her arms. "Don’t say it like I’m a little kid! You’ve got a moony look on your face. Kind of like when Ran’s worried about Ken. Are you worried about someone? Is that who the flowers are for?"

"You ask too many questions," Omi muttered teasingly. "It’ll get you in trouble…."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "Well, whoever she is, I hope she likes the flowers."

Omi sighed. "I’ll see you later. Tell Aya and Ken I said hi…. Uh, Ran, I mean…."

She tilted her head. "I know who you meant."

He waved, beginning to walk towards the hospital at a leisurely pace. Why would Aya-chan think that he was thinking about a girl? He wasn’t moony, he was terrified. Or was he? Omi felt very confused at that moment. How could he be worried about Nagi? Sure, a part of him felt badly for the situation that Nagi was in, but his actual worry was probably stemming from the fact that there were so many unanswered questions. The most frustrating thing is that Omi felt as in the dark as Nagi must have been in his state. Despite the fact that they were enemies, Omi was actually fairly curious to know how Nagi got to where he was. He probably wouldn’t have cared as much if it had been Schuldich or Farfarello in the bed, but he felt a bond with Nagi, mainly because he knew that Nagi was his age and had experienced the same stifling effects on his life that Omi had from their line of work. Omi could see parts of himself reflected in Nagi.

Omi walked into the hospital, his footsteps echoing against the floor. It was very quiet today. Omi rather liked it. He felt like being alone in his head. Well, it wasn’t like he could actually stop it. His persistent memory was getting a hold of him, and its grip was unyielding, so Omi decided to let it run its course. He walked very quickly past Nagi’s room, which was empty once again.

Would he be sad to know that nobody came to visit him? Omi wondered. He also pondered if Nagi knew anything about his surroundings, if your internal workings still functioned, trapped in a still shell. Well, what can Nagi expect? He never cared about anyone’s life but his own. Why would anyone come to visit him? Well, Toto’s an exception, I guess. Why hasn’t she come?

"Stop it, Omi!" He softly chided, nearing Kyuu’s room. The warm sound of laughter hit Omi’s ears, making him smile despite himself. He stopped in the doorway, taking in the scene before him. Mina, Kyuu’s girlfriend, was sitting on the bed beside him, arranging a vase of flowers beside his bed. Kyuu was looking at her with adorning eyes, unaware of anything else around him. A missile could have hit the hospital, and Kyuu probably wouldn’t have noticed. Omi looked at both of them silently, not wanting to draw attention to himself, not wanting to interrupt such a happy scene.

He had never noticed before, but Mina slightly resembled Toto, Nagi’s absent love. Except Mina had black hair, and was dressed more simply that Tot would have been. Mina also had a sweeter disposition. She swung her long hair over her shoulder, laughing at something Kyuu said, her laughter made only for him. Omi was glad that they were so happy, but he had never felt more alone in his life. What had he done to himself? This wasn’t any way to live. Omi suddenly wanted companionship, wanted someone to only laugh for him, wanted someone to brighten up at the mention of his name. Why had he neglected his heart like this?

Because you’re afraid, Omi. What if you get hurt again? He sighed, turning away from Kyuu’s room, not wanting to disturb the happy display. He would come back another time. Besides, Kyuu would probably rather see Mina than a dour Omi. He began to walk slowly the way he came, watching his feet as he walked. Blurs of brightly coloured Freesia would bounce in and out of his view. He stopped, looking at the flowers. Omi looked around at the rooms, slowly turning on his heel. He had meant to walk back to Kyuu’s room to drop them off, but wandered into Nagi’s room instead.

Nagi was completely unchanged from the day before, except that his hospital gown looked different. His face was still a mask of life, showing that he was still breathing, but not really. The comatose state reminded Omi of the fairy tale, Snow White, and how she had been dead, buried in a glass coffin for all to see her beauty, but she had actually been alive. Nagi’s hair was as black as ebony, but his lips weren’t as red as blood. They looked pale against his ivory skin. He looked so small, like a child, like Aya-chan must have looked to Aya whenever he came to see her. Omi then wondered who was paying for Nagi’s bills. All this equipment looked rather expensive.

"Must be the government," Omi whispered, looking at the bouquet he held tightly in his hand. There was a jug of water on the table beside Nagi’s bed, and Omi placed the flowers in it, his past habits showing through as he lazily arranged it, making it more presentable. Omi sighed. The brightly coloured flowers made the room look more lived in, more lively. They had far more life in their delicate petals than the person occupying the room possessed. Omi wondered for a moment if Nagi knew he was there, if he could feel Omi’s presence. There was no outer change to give Omi any sign that Nagi felt anything beyond his dark existence. When he was finished messing with the flowers, he propped up his head with the heel of his hand, studying Nagi.

Omi sighed, whispering, "The flowers would have gone to waste. Besides, you need them more than Kyuu does…."

Part 4