A clicking sound signified the locking of the room. A gasping sigh was heard from the reluctant yet at the same time frenzied Kaneki.
The crimson red adorning his hospital gown wasn’t his nor his companion’s. However, the black eye that was shinning brightly, seemingly mocking the concept of anything seen as ordinarily beautiful. That belonged to him.
The shock and awe, the frenzy and panic. The deep thrumming within Kaneki’s ears. The density of the atmosphere alone seemed to drown the still confused young man.
‘Veel? This is veel right? Rize-san!’ his voice grew to a much more frantic tone ‘please?’
Her smile told him otherwise. However, the human refusal to believe and the power of denial seemed to win out against the truth in his mind.
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‘Then pork? It has to be?’ the second came much slower, more uncertain, almost testing his own psyche if it was ready for the truth.
‘Of course, that is why I locked the door and shut the blinds’ with this biting sarcastic remark, she shut down any and all of his protests.
Walking up to him, she wiped her finger in the blood on the plate, his desperate gasping growing more and more frantic by the second.
‘Kaneki-kun. It appears we are one and the same now.’ Her tone was implacable, yet her expression was amused. Despite his upset expression, when the blood dripped down into his waiting mouth, he swallowed.
——————— Time-skip (2 weeks)
Hide didn’t know where his friend was. He wanted to say he did. He wanted to think he did. He was worried, two weeks without a single message or contact.
The young man constantly roamed the 20th ward and patrolled Anteiku. Religiously. There was not a day when the bright orange haired youth wasn’t acting whimsical whilst ‘hitting on’ the waitress at Anteiku. The facade however was common knowledge, yet it was like an open secret. Everyone at the coffee shop felt slightly responsible for the young man and his disappearance, it was under their watch that the ghoul sympathising human met his end at the hands of another of their kind.
Yet spotting Rize-san was a somewhat lucky occurrence for Hide, each time he would go bug her and ask her about his friend and where he was situated. Each time he would be denied. She didn’t know she claimed. She didn’t care she stated. She forgot who he has she said.
Yet his persistence never faltered. Wasn’t that what friends were for?
On the other hand the staff at Anteiku were worried for the young man, for Rize was not know for her legendary temper and impulsiveness for nothing.
Yoshimura in particular had always given Rize a visual warning to patiently wait out the young man. He knew where Kaneki was. He knew what happened. Rize and her unspoken debt to the ward was slowly being paid off, in part through her tolerance of the perceptive human friend.
In her head however this human annoyance was truly gnawing away at her ability to control herself. She hadn’t even known that it was possible for the kakugan to manifest when not hunting, apparently intense anger or frustration can do the trick.
However, hindsight seems to always be 20/20.
Only one saw. No one caught on in time, Hide managed to hide his surprise well enough to leave. Rize only realised what happened once she saw the shocked look on the manager’s face. This time however, no words were exchanged.
The staring battle between Kaneki and the plate of ‘meat’ on the counter in front of him was progressing slowly. Torturously so.
“I’m supposed to eat this aren’t I” this exclamation was one of the many that filled his head.
“I accept that I am no longer human, but I refuse to be a ghoul!”
“Eat, eat. Eat!” His hands on his temples. His body curled up on the chair in front of the sustenance he needs. 2 weeks without food, a permanently active kakugan and a merciless benefactor. Kaneki Ken has not spoken to anyone but himself for the last week.
Begging for the first week wasn’t working, neither was crying himself to exhaustion and continuously attempting to eat the human food that he was brought. The futility of his action and his mental fatigue simply shut him down, he refused to acknowledge anyone but himself.
Not that he was allowed to see anyone beyond the one taking care of him. The staring match continued. Until a knocking was heard.
Humans rarely went into derelict or old apartment buildings, it was looking for trouble. All ghouls knew this, what they didn’t know was that some humans ignored this unspoken arrangement, this unlucky building safety inspector being one of them.
“Open the door, I am here to inspect the support beams for this apartment, the whole building is structurally compromised. If this door is not opened, I will be forced to seek a permit to breach into this apartment building.
The inspector rattled on, refusing to acknowledge or listen to the insane rumble of voices inside the place he was so desperate to enter.
“Forced to?” the three syllable phrase pierced the sound of his knocking.
“Yes. Forced to enter, this is for your safety as well as for the safety of the other inhabitants of this building.”
“Forced to?” was repeated again.
Suddenly the door opened, but before the inspector could say anything, he died.
A sick squelch could be heard from the door to the apartment, all the way to the ceiling and ground floor. A hungry ghoul seems to temporarily relinquish sanity, a hungry ghoul who has never experienced hunger before could not even think.
The red tentacles and the bleeding corpse were all that was left of this human. Who, like many in Tokyo, died of random ghoul attacks.
Yet even as the man was being devoured, another liquid mixed together with his blood.