Haru finally has all the pieces of Rin’s puzzle put together, so naturally he storms off to confront Akito about it.
Haru: Why did you push Rin out a window? Why would you do that…?
Akito first denies the accusation entirely (and tries unsuccessfully to discover Haru’s source), but Haru’s in no mood to be thwarted, so she changes tactics.
Akito: In the first place, Hatsuharu, why are you so angry about anything that’s happened to Isuzu? You’ve always been so nice to her. I wonder why. Out of pity? Compassion? Do you feel sorry for her?
Haru: Because I love her…! You know that damn well, so quit with the cute questions…! Where is Rin? You know, don’t you?
Akito continues to deny that she has anything to do with Rin’s disappearance, and Haru points out that Akito has always seemed to have it out for the female Members of the Zodiac…
Akito: So you know all that, and yet you get in my face and tell me that you love her. Despite knowing that I hate her all too well…you dared to tell Isuzu that you “love” her. Even though you knew…?
Kureno chimes in to actually let us know what’s become of Rin – he got her out of her prison and Hatori drove her to a hospital. Apparently she was being held in the Cat’s “isolation room”.
Kureno: Akito, you mustn’t do things like that. No matter who you are, there’s still right and wrong. You can’t hold people captive like that. […] Akito, listen to me.
Akito: How could you…!? Why…? Kureno, are you betraying me…!?
Haru understandably blows his top at this.
Haru: That’s enough out of you, asshole! You fricking lied to me…! You had her locked up!? You’re not the one who should be crying, “How could you”…! Were you trying to kill her again!?
Akito: Like I said. It’s all your fault, for choosing her over me…! You put the noose around her neck yourself!
My first feelings for her…what were they? My memories of that time are dim, but I think I’ve always been drawn to her. I’ve always loved her, and I could never forgive [her parents]. They never apologized for what they did. They were the bad guys even though they acted like victims. I will never be able to forgive the adults who trampled Rin. I wanted to protect her from those scumbags with my own power, without anyone else’s help. And I wanted Rin to put her trust in me.
Even though you knew…?
He wanted to save Rin, and Rin wanted that, too. But two kids can’t be everything to each other, and Rin came out the worse for it in the end – not just because of her physical injuries, but because she placed so much of her value and happiness on Haru that she lost sight of her own value, wrecking her self-image.
A part of me suspected that I was putting Rin in danger. I knew exactly where Akito’s tenacity and wrath would be aiming. I knew that, in some corner of my mind. The truth is I knew that, and yet, I wanted Rin so badly. I wanted her all to myself. I wanted to make her mine more than I wanted to protect her. In fact, deep down I think I knew the true cause of Rin’s injuries. I just didn’t want to own up to it. The reason I hesitated, the reason I didn’t rush in, was simply because I was scared of having to face head on the results of putting my own desires before anything else.
“You’re here with me, Haru, so everything’s all right.”
It’s not all right. I’m no different than those adults. Even with me there, it was never all right. Something was wrong with me. If Rin got hurt because I pretended to be oblivious, then no matter how much I thought I loved her, it didn’t mean a thing.
Haru hates conflict – that’s probably why Black Haru was born in the first place. So he ignored the many, many warning flags (including Rin’s own protestations) in his effort to avoid conflict. Maybe he’s a bit too hard on himself, but at least he knows where he went wrong.
And then there’s Akito.
Akito: Hatsuharu…? Wait…don’t go. Don’t go, Hatsuharu! Hatsuharu!
Kureno: Go…and don’t come back. Isuzu will probably be able to have visitors in a few days, so go see her then. I’m sure she wants to see you too, because the first word out of her mouth was your name.
This is one of my favorite little moments from Kureno. He knows how manipulative Akito can be at such an emotional point, so Kureno literally steps in to stop Haru from throwing his life away like he did. He’s prepared to deal with the fallout himself.
Akito: Why is everyone trying to betray me…?
Kureno: No one wants to betray you. But at some point, they-
Akito: Why are you betraying me!? Why!? Why!? I was born to be loved! He said everyone was waiting for me! After all! That’s what he told me…! Father…Father…Father…help me…
Akito was never taught what real love is. Real love doesn’t always do as it’s told. Real love hurts sometimes. And now the Curse is slowly but surely crumbling before her eyes.
Also, yes, Akito did hack off Rin’s lovely mane.
Until next time…