Title: By Any Other Name
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Prompt: Forced to Participate in Illegal/Hurtful Activity
Word Count: 585
Summary: Once, there was a little boy named Takatori Mamoru. They took him away, but not everything lost is forgotten, and not everything forgotten is lost.
A/N: Written for hc_bingo. Masterpost with my game card is here.
Omi, they tell him when he wakes up. Your name is Tsukiyono Omi.
But my name is Mamoru, he says.
No, your name is Omi, and it always has been, they tell him. Mamoru was just a nightmare. Mamoru wasn’t wanted, but Omi is. Isn’t Omi better?
But he is Mamoru, not Omi. No matter which one is better or worse, he is still Mamoru. He tries to tell them that, but they refuse to listen. Just wait, they say. You’ll see. You’ll remember.
He thinks they’re wrong. He wants to tell them why, but he finds he can’t remember. He knows he doesn’t belong here where he woke up, but he doesn’t remember where he should be instead.
You’re Omi, they say. Of course you won’t remember Mamoru, because you’re Omi.
He still thinks they’re wrong.
We’ll teach you, they say.
He doesn’t know what they want to teach him, but after spending days alone and bored in the tiny room they say is Omi’s, he’d be happy to learn almost anything if he was learning it somewhere else.
We’ll teach you to help people, they say. Wouldn’t you like to help people? To save people?
And he does have to agree that it would be nice. Saving people especially sounds like something he’d like to learn. He doesn’t know why, but he thinks it’s true.
So he goes, and he learns everything they can show him about how to help people. How to save people. He learns all about computers, how to put them together and how to take them apart, inside or out. He learns about first aid and leadership and survival skills that he’s sure he’ll never need, but just in case, they say.
He also learns things that he doesn’t think can help people at all. He learns how to shoot, with a gun or a bow or anything they hand him, and how to fight with his hands. He learns how to kill a person bigger than him. He learns things that give him nightmares at night, when he’s back in the tiny room that belongs to Omi, not Mamoru.
He learns to follow orders and to give them. They give him tests and physicals and have him read books and watch movies. He needs to be well-rounded, they say. He needs to be a normal boy, they say. He wants to ask why, but they don’t like questions. If he needs to know, he knows they’ll tell him. All they’ve done is to help him, to make him better.
When he can pass all the tests and follow all the orders, they look at him proudly. Mamoru couldn’t save anyone, they say, but see? Omi can. Isn’t Omi better?
He doesn’t remember who Mamoru is, but he agrees, because they’re always right, somehow.
The day he leaves to move into an apartment above a flower shop, a little confused but knowing it’s for a good cause, they show him a picture of a family. It’s his last test, they say, pointing out the small boy, smiling brightly in his mother’s arms, surrounded by three men who they say are his brothers and father.
It’s a happy scene, he thinks. People he hopes he can protect, the way they’ve taught him. He wonders who this family is, but idly, the way anyone might wonder about a stranger on the street.
They smile, happy, as if he’s just passed the test. No one, they say. No one at all.
This entry was originally posted at http://envious-muses.dreamwidth.org/1933