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Constrict: to make narrower, especially by encircling pressure.




He didn't like coming here-- And, yet, he had to. If he didn't, who knows what that bas- Kano shook his head at that thought. No, bastard wasn't a good way to describe that damned snake. Son of a bitch was more like it. Besides, ‘Sis hated that word. It was best not to use it, even if she wasn’t around anymore. Either way, Kano slowly made his way down the staircase, heading deeper and deeper underneath the high school-- It, honestly, shocked Kano that no one had found this damned place and shut everything down-- And, yet, by some miracle, that hadn’t happened.

Not that it was really a good miracle that it hadn’t been. Or, at least, it wasn’t as much a miracle to him. No, it was more like some kind of dumbass curse. Then again, at the same time, it could very well be a strange miracle. Because, more than likely, if anyone found out about this damned place, Kano would get the blame for it. He always got the blame whenever something would go wrong. And, just like always, the threats would start.

If he didn’t straighten up, then it’d kill them. That’s what it always said. That’s what the snake always threatened to do. And, while it had never moved to do so… Kano knew, very well, what that damned snake was capable of. He’d been hurt by it too many times to count. And, while that damned thing took residence in his father’s body… There was no way that the man he was coming to meet today was his father. The two were nothing alike. He would never want any of this to happen.

And, deep down, Kano knew that was the truth. He knew that the man who had become his father didn’t want any of them to be hurt. He didn’t want for them to die-- For what? His wife’s return…? As much as all of them missed her, Kano knew that there was no way that he would have agreed to this if he knew what it would cause for them-- If he knew that it would cause Ayano’s death, and so much pain and suffering for him. But, he could put on a brave facade for his siblings, even with everything that he kept hidden from them.

It was pathetic, really. How he let someone like this damned snake push him around. He felt so pathetic-- Because he couldn’t do anything to change things. If he told Tsu- Kido and Seto…? They’d surely try to find a way to stop this. And they’d just get hurt. It’dd kill them, just like it had promised it would so many times when Kano had managed to step out of line around it.

As he continued down the spiral, metal staircase, Shuuya pulled his phone out of his pocket. The memory of the day he had gotten it making him legitimately smile just a bit. All four of them had gotten a cellphone from their dad-- So if they ever got lost, they could call each other, or even him-- But, now, out of the four people that he had originally been able to contact with the device, there were only two that he really could talk to. And, even then, most of the words that would come out of his mouth would be some kind of lie. They’d ask ‘Where are you?’ And he’d respond with some kind of lie-- They’d ask ‘Are you okay?’ And he’d tell them he was fine. If it weren’t for where he was right now… Even he would have started to believe his own lies.

Of course, as the light from the phone’s screen illuminated things a bit more-- Kano’s eyes widened as he looked at the time that his phone displayed- And, soon after his heart was starting to pound. He was running late. That wasn’t good-- No, he couldn’t be late-- … But, at the same time, he couldn’t just not show up, either. With the thought of what might happen if he was even more late than he was already going to be… Kano, more or less, ran down the stairs, almost tripping over his own two feet right before he reached the bottom.

He had expected to have a few more moments of freedom when he reached the bottom of the staircase… But, instead, he froze as his own eyes locked with those oh so familiar red eyes. Kano was almost completely frozen in place by the sight of them-- The snake had really come looking for him, when he was only a few minutes late…? That idea intimidated Kano on so many levels. And, even when he tried to move- When he tried to say something, he couldn’t. He was completely paralyzed in fear.

“You’re late.” He- no. It’s voice was so stern and strict in tone. That familiar figure moved closer, stopping right in front of Kano and looking down at him. “I was starting to think that my most precious helper had left!” It added, before letting out the most disturbing laugh.

Dad doesn’t laugh like that.

After a few minutes, the snake stopped its laughing, a rather bored expression coming on the familiar face. And, without a single second of hesitation, the snake grabbed onto Kano’s bottom jaw, forcing the boy to look up at it. “I think you owe me something, boy.”

At first, Kano had tried to jerk away from the snake-- But, when he felt a sharp pain in his jaw, from where it was holding onto him tighter to keep him from fleeing, he stopped trying. It’s not worth it. He remained silent for a few moments, before, finally- “... I’m sorry for being late,” he apologized, legitimate fear in his voice. And, from the expression that his d- No, that the snake wore, it seemed to be eating that fact up. “... I lost track of time and left too late--”

At that last part, the snake seemed to sneer. “I don’t care about your excuses.” Finally, it let go of Kano, and the boy quickly brought a hand up to his face, to try and ease the soreness that it had caused him. “Nonetheless…” The snake trailed off, before allowing a malicious smile to form on its face. “I believe that something should be done to deter your being late again, don’t you think?” As it spoke, there seemed to be some kind of sick… amusement in that all-too familiar voice. “Don’t you think so, Shuuya?

As the snake continued to speak, Kano became even more stiff, his fear very noticeable. There was no point in even trying to use his power here, honestly. Either way, the snake would still get its way-- However, quickly, the boy shook his head. “I’m sure that won’t be necessary! You’re getting a bit ahead of yourself--” As he spoke, his voice quivered, though he tried his hardest to keep that confident smirk. He would do anything to make it seem like he wasn’t as afraid of it as he was--

However, that didn’t change the fact that the snake seemed to feed off of Kano’s fear. As much as he tried to hide it, the snake could still easily tell from the way the boy acted that he was terrified. That he was afraid of what it might do to him… Or to his precious siblings. The idea of watching the boy squirm as he made those threats that it would, eventually, fulfill… It made the snake’s mad grin grow even more.

Every little second and action led them closer and closer to the snake’s desired ‘end--’ That August 15th where it would kill everyone that the Queen cared about, just to force her to reset the timeline again. Just to force her to extend its life even longer than it should have been-- And, yet… What stopped it from killing this pathetic morsel that was just frozen in terror…?

… It enjoyed playing with its food. That was the only reason that it hadn’t killed Kano off instantly, along with the boy’s siblings. It was all just a game. It was fun to just sit and watch all of them suffer. Every time it would reset, the delicious face of pure fear and terror that Shuuya would make when he watched his sister jump from the rooftop… The desperate attempts to keep it ‘happy’ so that his, oh so precious, siblings would be safe-- The thought could make the snake laugh so easily.

Of course, with all the threats it would make to Shuuya… They weren’t completely false. But, it knew that those threats would keep the mouse in line-- So that it wouldn’t try to escape when it came time for the hungry snake to claim its meal. It was almost like a python with the way it killed them-- It would watch them, stalk them-- Make sure they stayed in line… and then, almost suddenly, it would have them all wrapped around its finger… And then, before they could even say anything, they would be tortured and killed in the most slow and agonizing ways that the snake could think of.

“Ah, but you see, why should I not go after the delicious prey that happens to be frozen right in front of me, like a mouse who can hardly move after its spine has been broken!” As the snake spoke, it let out yet another cackle-- It was so disturbing to hear that damned laugh. “You know, as well as the mouse, that your life is to eventually end in the jaws of the starving snake!”

Kano was silent, not knowing how to argue with the snake-- Not that he wanted to. He knew that if he stepped out of line anymore, what would happen. … Nothing had happened to them yet, but the snake had done plenty to hurt him. And, if the snake was so easily able to hurt him, for such little things… Kano knew that it couldn’t be trusted to not his siblings. Which was the exact reason that he would cooperate with the snake, as much as he hated it. “... Just don’t hurt them-”

“Ah, it’s so pathetic, really! How you care so much for the pathetic, short lives of your so-called siblings!” As the snake spoke, it could tell that it was already starting to strike a nerve. Then again, it was one that it had struck several times before-- The entire reason that it was bringing up this point, even now. “You don’t even have any blood relation to them! The only thing that makes the three of you siblings is the fact that you were all brought into the same house because a family wanted to study your powers--”

And, just like the snake wanted, it finally led to a reaction from Kano. It’s gaze was met by a harsh glare from the much shorter blond-- And, to be completely honest, the snake found it quite pathetic. Hilarious, even. How did he think that he even stood some kind of a chance against it? It was pathetic. Not that it wouldn’t mind watching the boy try, only to fail and receive even more of a ‘justified’ punishment-- Not that the snake really needed a reason to do anything to the boy. He was his for the taking, after all. It wasn’t like Kano would tell anyone about what happened here. It’d figured that much out several loops back--

The boy cared too much for his sibling’s safety. To the point where he would put his own on the line… What kind of creature, in its right mind, would do something like that? That was, most certainly, one thing that the snake didn’t understand about humans. Shouldn’t they care more about themselves than the lives and safety of others? Not that it really mattered. It just mean that, despite the boy’s utter stupidity, the snake could have so much fun toying with him.

“What are you going to do, Shuuya? Try and stop me because I talked bad about your precious ‘family?’” the snake taunted, taking a few steps backwards, away from the blond. “Because I would absolutely love to see you try to lay a hand on this body! You know that you wouldn’t be able to do it!” As it spoke, another smirk came across its face. This was just too much fun. Taunting him-- It knew that, even if he did manage to make himself land a blow on it, he wouldn’t hit very hard at all.

That fact had been proven many timelines ago. Of course, just as the snake expected, Kano stayed put, not even making a move towards it. Just like I had expected. “Ah, but I guess I was right! You’re just like the scared little mouse- Full of fight, but when it really counts… You freeze in terror, allowing the starving predator to devour you! I can taste your fear, boy. No use in even trying to hide it.”

“... Just do whatever you’re going to, damn it!” Kano finally exclaimed, his voice filled with nervousness and fear… But also irritation. Of course, almost as soon as the blond had managed to speak up, he seemed to shy away, knowing that he had stepped out of line once again.

“Ah, eager to see what I have in store, eh?” The snake turned away, not allowing the boy to see its face as it spoke. “Perhaps I’ll make you wait for your punishment. To teach you to be patient, and not to rush me.”

And, even though Kano couldn’t see its face… He knew that there was still that damned smirk. It was so disturbing to see the man who appeared as his father smirking like that-- Laughing at his own pain and anguish-- How could he allow this to happen to the children that he had, supposedly, cared so much about? Who knew.

Of course, Kano also had to remind himself of the very real possibility of the fact that he had no idea. Why would the snake inform him of what it was doing to his youngest son…? Of course, Kano’s thought process was cut off when the snake, finally, spoke up again.

“I no longer need your assistance today,” it stated, turning back to face him. “Leave.” There was a short pause-- And, for a moment, it seemed as if the snake was going to go completely silent-- Would Kano be able to flee without any sort of punishment for being late…? “And just remember, your punishment for today’s fuck up will be delivered to you in due time, my loyal assistant.”