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The Illusion of Peace
by Estirose

Ichijou Kaoru watched Godai Yousuke doze on the grass. He was sure he'd planned something, something *nice* for the Godai siblings, but he wasn't sure what at this point.

Actually, he'd wanted to get to know Godai's sister a little better, but she'd had to cancel, so watch over her brother it was. Keep him out of trouble. Give him the peaceful day he had earned, after all that had happened.

Godai carried the scars of battle, Ichijou was sure. Scars made physically by the Unknowns. Scars carried mentally by the death and by the belt. He was surprised that Godai hadn't gone insane yet, but half the time he was convinced Godai had been insane in the first place.

Not that one could see it as he slept. He looked so peaceful that Ichijou could, if even for a moment, imagine that he'd been untouched by all that he'd seen and done. It was an illusion, of course, even an easy illusion that Godai encouraged everyone to believe.

Even Ichijou sometimes believed. Often believed.

But he wished he could promise Minori that her brother would be safe. That she wouldn't lose him, either to the Unknowns or to his belt. He wanted to, desperately. Wanted her not to worry.

Wanted to care for her, oddly enough. She was so like her brother in some ways, and some ways not. He didn't have to worry about her running into danger, or maybe he did. She had her brother's drive.

But maybe he should worry less. Believe in the illusion of this peaceful day. Believe in the Godais' unwavering belief.

Even on this day, he couldn't.