Darkness. Darkness, and then the voice of a sorrowful angel saying 'goodbye'.

And then...Light. Miserable, grey light.

Shougo awoke with a gasp, clutching his head. It felt like it was on fire. Next to him, he was dimly aware of his mother and the nurses rushing to his side. Where was he? Wasn't he dead? Blearily, he glanced around the room before surmising that he was in the hospital and, ignoring their pleas for him to stay still, he got out of the hospital bed. Forcing aside his confusion, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

"Where is..."

Where was who? A sharp pang of pain flared in his head, causing worried looks from those around him-Especially his mother.

"How did I get here...?"

A moment of silence passed as Shougo struggled to recall what had happened. Up until three days ago, his memory was clear-But after that...After that, he drew blanks. He vaguely remembered some things-A big fight, sneaking into Daisukes' house: but even these things felt...Wrong. Even trying to remember them caused the throbbing in his head to grow worse. Before he could ask that question again, more forcefully, his mother answered, explaining how he had got there-How he had gotten beat up by Daisuke, who was caught in the act and would soon face justice for his actions.

And as she spoke, Shougo knew she was lying. A shamefully consummate liar himself, he could tell that she wasn't telling him even half of the truth. He kept this to himself, however, and merely nodded along with her story (much to her relief). He knew she was doing this because she felt it was for the best-Probably out of some desire to protect him from what he remembered. What Shougo said next, however, caused her to worry.

"I'm going to school."

Physically, he was perfectly fine. There was no reason that he shouldn't go to school; the rationale he had given was that he had already missed out on nearly a week of school as it was, and he couldn't really afford to miss more. Besides, he no longer needed the room and he'd rather someone else who was actually in need of it. His insistence, combined with his argument, eventually caused his mother to relent and allow him to go to school-as long as he promised to come home as soon as it was finished.

__________________________________________________ _______________

And so Shougo found himself at the school gate a full hour early, in new school clothes given to him by someone he didn't remember. Sitting at the gate, he found himself struggling to remember what had happened a few days ago. He knew this place had something to do with it. The stress of it all caused him to gasp for breath, thick beads of sweat rolling down his brow. He needed a smoke. He found his hands reaching for a cigaret-Wait a minute.

He didn't smoke. Never had, and if he had anything to say about it, never would.

What in the nine hells was going on...?

If Tobio walked to school, he'd have found Shougo sitting on a bench near the front gate looking extremely perplexed. Several students went out of their way to avoid him, whispering behind his back. They too had heard the rumours and while they were somewhat worried for his sake, the bruises that he had given many of them four days before had yet to heal.