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A Sea of Flames and Loneliness

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The streets of Yokohama were bare, cold, and painful to live off of, and just being a child didn’t help it. This is where Shōhei Ōoka found himself, alone on the streets of the big city. He had been left behind, more so kicked out of his family’s house, and left to die. He couldn’t control his ability, but that didn’t mean he was a bad kid, was it? The honey-colored hair being dirtied from the mess of the alleyway he had taken to hiding in. It had been two weeks since he had been left alone, he didn’t go to school, which meant that no one even knew he was gone. He didn’t have friends, most of the kids he had ever met were scared of him. Scared of his ability. It left him here, on the cold, wet streets, fending for himself. No money, no job, no place to stay. The sun had set, and the moon was coming, rising from the sea. Sitting near a dumpster, which smelt of rotten food, and sadness. No one was looking for him, no one would find him, he would die here. At least, that’s what he thought.

Ōoka from a young age had been able to destroy the simplest of things with his fingertips, even his own skin. Though he had found a way to control it a little bit, it could only last for so long. When he felt overwhelmed, the barriers, gloves, would be destroyed as well. It all only could last so long, like a dam overflowing with rushing water, he was consumed by it. The scars of handprints were all over his body, from himself. All it took was a simple touch. Any contact, he could end a whole life. It scared the pale-skinned boy. That’s what got him here, in the dumps of Yokohama, with the moon rising to bring out robbers, and criminals. Ōoka’s gloved hands held tightly onto himself, scared beyond belief. He didn’t even realize he was crying. Sniffles that were more of a child’s, than a sixteen-year-old’s sobs.

That must be what drew a man in, towards the small alleyway. The scar riddled teen kept curled onto himself, not noticing a male had come from the side. The blonde did, however, notice him, when he heard the small gasp of sorts leave the mouth of the other. Jumping back towards the wall, and hitting his head lightly into it. Whining in the sharp pain that went through his skull, the teen looked up at the person who had found him.

“Are you okay?”

A soothing voice came from the long-haired man who was kind, strong, and slightly rough from what seemed to be yelling. Though, he wasn’t yelling now. Shōhei bit his lip, his hands now away from his body, but also not touching the ground. The baggy hoodie that settled on his body moved with him, as he tried to scuttle back towards the end of the alley. “I… I’m fine, sir…”

The dirty blond man didn’t seem to buy it, his glasses shining in the moonlight. His whole aura made him feel safe, that nothing bad would happen. It was late, and the teen ability user was confused, his question of why the man was out so late, was cut out by the other’s voice. Another question slung his way, glancing up towards the suit wearing male. “Why are you out here alone, don’t you have somewhere to be?” The hair of the taller, and older man moved down his shoulder, as the other bent down to his height. His hand drew out towards the scared teen. The dark eyes glanced up at the long-haired man, fear-filled his iris'. The gloved hands went to take the others, he was pulled up by the stronger, and taller man.

“I don’t… I was recently kicked out of home…”

That seemed to tick something off in the older, that’s what Ōoka could see in the dark, how his blue eyes widened at this. Shaking his hair, the blond man seemed to think something over, for a second before he spoke once more. “ That’s horrible… My name is Kunikida Doppo, what is your’s, kid?” Someone was asking him his name? “My name is Shōhei Ōoka, it’s nice to met you, Kunikida-san.”

Nodding along, the other male- Kunikida pulled something out of his back pocket, a notebook? It was green, and had a word on the front, Ideals, it said. Watching him scribble something down, before placing it back into his pocket. “Alright, Ōoka, I know this seems fast, but I think it’s best if you stay with me for the night, to get you off the streets. Tomorrow I can help you find somewhere else to be, but it’s forecasted to rain later tonight…” The other spoke with concern, as the honey-colored hair teen looked so happy. Somewhere he could stay for the night? Even if it was only for a night, he would take it!

“Yes please, that would be amazing, Kunikida-san.”

The quick response didn’t surprise the man, Ōoka smiled at him, as he went to go towards the entrance of the alleyway. Kunikida followed behind him before he started back down the path of his apartment. Glancing around, the light-haired teen seemed so interested in where he was. He hadn’t been down this way in Yokohama, he wasn’t allowed to leave the house a lot when he was with his parents. He didn’t, however, expect the man to ask him so quickly the question he was scared of. “Why are you out on the streets, Ōoka? You look around Sixteen, and no sensible parent would kick out a child that young.”

A deer in the headlight look crossed his eyes, should he tell the man? He probably wouldn’t ever see him again. Then he shouldn’t worry, right? Speaking up as they walked towards an apartment complex. “I was kicked out because my parents hated me… I have a special ability, that lets me destroy anything I touch… be it friend or foe…” The lonely teen explained, it seemed to stop the man in his tracks. An ability that destroyed anything it touched, it seemed outlandish, but not impossible. “I swear I’m not lying, I swear that’s the truth, if you don’t wish to let me into your house that is fine, I’m sorry I should have-” The rambling of the teen seemed to be stopped when Kunikida placed a hand on his shoulder. He spoke with kindness and no harshness behind his words.

“Kid, calm down, it’s fine. I have an ability as well. I’ll explain more, but just calm down. I might have a place for you to stay now that I know this. Thank you for being honest.”

The blond-haired ability user looked up at the other, he felt like crying. Nodding light, before following him like a lost puppy. He was mad, Kunikide wasn’t mad. Thank god. Walking quickly behind the tall man, and moved easily through the sidewalks. That was until they made it to a well-worn apartment complex, it was lit with lights from other apartments, and if you listened closely, you could hear the others within the building. Kunikida opened the door with his key, and ushered both of them in. Glancing about the whole area, Ōoka was amazed by how clean it looked. The owner of the apartment they were in, all but pulled the boy towards the coach. They needed to talk, about his ability. The light-haired boy kept his hands away from any items, even if his hands were gloved, he still ran the risk of destroying things. “So, do you mind explaining your ability more?”

Taking in a deep breath, the young boy explained. “Okay, My ability is called Fires on the Plains. That’s what I’ve been calling it at least, of course, anything I touch is destroyed, making it be turned into useless thread or scraps of its original material, I can only control it a little bit by wearing gloves-” Showing the older his hands, that were covered in thin, clothe gloves. “Though It can only hold for so long, if I get too anxious or get overwhelmed it seems, they will just dissolve altogether,” Ōoka explained it fully, keeping his hands from touching his body. Looking up at Kunikida, worried. What would he do? Would he just throw him out after tomorrow morning? Was he just meant to be a destructive monster?

“Okay, now listen to me kid. I have a way to help you get your power under control? You have to listen to all I have to say though, alright?”

Shōhei Ōoka was willing to do anything if it meant he could get his power under control. “I’m all ears, Kunikida-san.”