Chapter 17: Breaking Point

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Firm stance. Fierce eye contact. Monotonous voice. Level head.

No emotion.

That was the recipe to talking down any opponent.

At least that's what he had always told himself. In this world it was either intimidate or be intimidated. Kill or be killed. Those were the rules all intelligent individuals lived by.

This wasn't different to any other scenario. He knew that. But his impatience and reluctance to acknowledge his own sister's existence clouded his mind. He finally had to face her after all those years of ignorance. Nevertheless, he had to remain focused.

Shade's eyes bored deeply into those of Pigtails. "What do you want?"

He couldn't stand looking at her. She was so... Wrong. Wrong in status, wrong in mind. She had stolen so much from him, and now she wanted to waste his time? This had better be worth the breath.

"I need to talk to you." she said. "You're not okay."

Really? "I don't understand what you mean." he responded, stoic.

Pigtails bit her tongue gently to refrain herself from yelling at him as she usually would. "You need to back off of the boss. He doesn't want you."

Her brother snorted in a poorly suppressed snarl. "And why is that any of your concern, tell me? You don't know a thing about me. That is how it will stay."

"You can't pretend we're not siblings forever, Shade," she said softy, "I care about you. I care about our boss, too, and I'm sure you do as well. I can tell."

"If you've got a point I'd rather you get to it."

She had previously intended to talk it out with him peacefully, she really did, but she knew she should've expected this resistance. "Fine." her voice turned cold. "Leave him alone. He doesn't want you and it's about time you accept that."

"So what now? You want to take him away from me too?"

"I want the best for you! You're hurting yourself and I hate it!" Pigtails cried, "You broke up ages ago. Why can't you just let it go?"

He clenched his fists in his pockets. The anger was building up inside him faster than anticipated, yet he desperately kept himself composed. The last thing he wanted was a repeat of his fight with their boss, especially on a night which was meant to mark something so brilliant. "What I do and how I compose myself around others is none of your business. Don't overstep your boundaries."

"That's true but it's not the point. You're my brother and that means I have to look out for you whether you like it or not. Sure, the detective is out of the picture for good now but--"

"I'm not your brother. You're nothing to me! Nothing!" Shade hissed through gritted teeth. Pigtails could only stand frozen in time and look on at him with horrified eyes. "Piss off. I need a drink."

She placed her hand gently on his shoulder. "Well then, just remember if you ever change your mind I'll be right here."

And with that, she swiftly re-entered the room leaving him all alone, just like he knew he'd always be.

-

Chilled to the bone, Shuichi Saihara awoke. Body stiff as a statue, he opened his heavy eyes drearily, reluctant to free himself from where he had nestled his head against the wet bed.

Though the rest of his body remained cold, clothes damp, his eyes held quite the uncomfortable dryness and his face felt taut from the tears, like they had tried to cement his face into a permanent frown. He didn't need tears for that.

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