Hazel-chan at your service!
If you knew me, then I know that you know I'm the last person on earth you would expect to write a fanfic. Well, being an avid fan of Flame of Recca, I kind-of made this story in my mind earlier (starring my favorite character--Kirisawa Fuuko, of course) and decided to type it down and send it to the Fuuko Kirisawa shrine ^^. Here it is…
"Yanagi's plane should be arriving at any minute now..." Kirisawa Fuuko said, rather impatiently. "It should be, anyway." she added violently, as her patience wore off.
It had been a day since Fuuko and Morikawa Ganko arrived at the airport from the crazed-out but popular university on the other side of the country (Ganko had enrolled at a high school nearby; Ganko is fifteen). Yanagi and Domon should have arrived around the time she had but the flight was always being delayed due to typhoons which had struck in their area.
"Damn those cursed typhoons." Hanabishi Recca said, worried and impatient that he hadn't seen Sakoshita Yanagi for the past three years, except in photographs. And he couldn't bear think that ishijima Domon was in the same American state she was in.
"What course is Yanagi-neechan taking, anyway, Fuuko-nee?" Ganko asked Fuuko, brushing a few strands of her long, blond hair away from her face.
Fuuko had been dreading that question and she flinched, pretending not to hear Ganko.
"Ha, Fuuko-nechan?" Ganko asked again--and Fuuko yet again pretended not to hear.
Fuuko was in deep thought... And what she had been thinking was deeply related to what Ganko had asked her. Her impatience and temper to the situation made her ignore even Ganko.
"Two, actually." Recca replied, glaring at Fuuko for not answering. "Yanagi's going to graduate from her education course this year... and she's also taking up her first year in nursing..." He glared at Fuuko some more and cursed her silently.
"And Domon-niichan?" Koganei Kaoru asked. Koganei had now grown to an amazing resemblance of Recca (down to the bandage because he had accidentally scraped his cheek on a bicycle accident three days ago). In fact, when Fuuko first saw him, her first reaction was, I thought the Hokage clan died out, who is he?
Now it was Recca's turn to flinch. "What do I care about that pig with a ringworm on his nose?" He muttered. "I swear if he's decided to even *touch* Yanagi even once these past three years, I'm going to..."
"Drinks anyone?" Kagero asked, interrupting Recca's cursing. She placed four coke-in-cans on the table in front of them and opened one herself.
(Yanagi had decided to continue her courses in teaching, as well as nursing, in New York City, the same city where Domon was starting off his career as a professional *wrestler*.
Kagero-san had now looked a bit older since the curse had been lifted from her--though she still looked only a bit older than Fuuko herself.
Hanabishi Shigeo-san also came in at that moment, also holding a coke-in-can. "The plane from New York hasn't arrived yet, darling?"
Fuuko nearly choked on her
Coke... Since when did Hanabishi call Recca, 'darling'…. Or who was he
Everybody looked at her as though she were crazy.
"Why are you so surprised?" Koganei asked, puzzled, scratching his bandage--reminding Fuuko of Recca five years ago.
"Can anyone refresh my mind?" Fuuko said, irritably.
"Oh, that's right, she hasn't heard." Ganko told them. "I was going to give her the letter on the plane but she was in a bad mood, sorry."
"What letter?" Fuuko asked, confused.
Recca groaned. "Do I have to say this utterly humiliating thing to her in person?" he snapped.
Kagero-san and Hanabishi-san glared at Recca. Koganei looked remarkably like an angry cat (that looks like Recca)
Recca slumped back on his chair, bumping his head on a table behind him.
"Owwww!" then he looked at Fuuko. "Fuuko-chan." He said, through a humiliated expression. "Meet my mom." he gestured towards Kagero. "...And my Dad" he gestured towards Hanabishi-san.
"Wait, of course they are..." Fuuko said, confused... "Wait a minute..." She burst into laughter for the first time since she got the letter from Recca about the Hokage reunion, not noticing that Kagero and Hanabishi had looks that meant to kill. "Sorry." Fuuko said as she mantained control of herself. She turned to Kagero. "What about Ohka?"
Kagero looked out the window at this and seemed quite distant. She was about to reply when the speaker announced the incoming of a plane from New York City.
Author's Note: he... he... I really shouldn't have done that to Kagero and Hanabishi. But what's writing a fanfic without a little fun in it? Ahem... anyway, I hope you don't come over here and kill me, which I *think* you are about to do… I think Ohka-san is cool. I just wanted to have a bit of fun in writing.
"Hooray!" Recca yelled jumping out of his seat and running towards the entrance of passengers.
"Recca!" Kagero called out.
"It's OK." Hanabishi said, "Let a plane run over him just this once so he'll get to know the meaning of pain."
But, in Fuuko's opinion, Recca knew more about pain than he did. After all their misadventures against that cross-eyed, no-brained maniac, Mori Koran seven years ago, she knew very well that Recca knew pain as if it were an old friend of his.
Right now, security guards were trying to keep *Recca* from running over the *plane*.
"When will Mikigami be arriving?" Fuuko asked.
"Now, about an hour after Yanagi and Domon" Kagero replied.
"How the Kuu team?" Fuuko asked.
"They won't be here 'til another day." Kagero said. "And it's only Saicho and Misora who are coming. The rest of the team needs to train a lot more. Besides, Fujimaru is still afraid of getting beaten up..."
"Funny for a guy who starts a Fan Club of you." Koganei said, his 'vampire tooth' sticking out of his mouth (the only way of distinguishing him from Recca)
"Hm..." She had bumped into Saicho last winter, he hadn't changed much... But she had never seen Misora before. Yanagi had once but she, never. As for Mi-chan. She hadn't seen him since he ran off to that law course in a renowned university.
"Hi!" Yanagi said, shyly as she approached them, with Recca keeping pace beside her, carrying a big which Yanagi owned. Domon, on the other hand, was carrying all the other luggage as punishment for "being in the same zip code Yanagi is in".
"Yanagi-nechan!" Koganei yelled out, approaching her.
Recca shot Koganei a poisonous look as Yanagi hugged him. Koganei stuck out his tongue.
"Kaorin-kun." Yanagi said, rather affectionately. "You've grown so much. You're so cute. You look like Recca-kun." (Yanagi doesn't call Koganei "Kaorin" in the manga or the anime but I just thought it would be fine)
At this, Recca turned as red as an overripe tomato.
Yanagi also gave Ganko a hug. "You're so grown-up now, Ganko. You look like a young lady."
"If only she'd act like one." Recca complained silently remembering the argument he and Ganko had over the last serving of sushi the other night. And Fuuko, impatient to get out of the restaurant, made Koganei eat the Sushi instead.
Domon dropped all the luggage
in front of them.
He looked more muscular than Fuuko remembered.
"How's my darling Fuuko-chan?" Domon said, puckering up his lips, expecting Fuuko to miss him very much.
Actually, Fuuko did miss him mostly because she wasn't used to not having him around--and partly because she liked him a lot better than Yukio Kawahara, the arrogant boy in one of her classes who reminded Fuuko significantly of Soukakousai--only without the cauldron. Even though she had beat Yukio up in three years more than she had punched Domon ever since she had met him, Yukio was still perverted and still after Fuuko.
Speaking of punch, Domon
was now on the other side of the room, over the service counter, His face
in front of the bewildered man at the counter.
"I see nothing's changed much." Yanagi said, a bit cheerfully. "How's your Mass Communications Course, Fuuko?"
Fuuko flinched again. She never did want to take Mass Communication--and it was obvious to the teachers--but she answered in a sheepish smile and said, "yeah."
"Yeah right." Recca said, behind Yanagi, still flushed and happy.
"So an hour until senpai arrives, huh?" Yanagi said.
Recca frowned and slumped back into his seat. "Yes, an hour more until senpai arrives." He pronounced "senpai" rather irritably and Fuuko could almost read his mind: He was wishing that Mi-chan's plane would crash somewhere in an isolated area where nobody would find him. At this, she let out a snort.
Unfortunately for Recca, Mikigami Tokiya arrived exactly an hour later and muttered his hellos to all of them. He didn't seem to be very happy about the Hokage reunion. He seemed quite glad to see Yanagi, though.
And while he said "hi" to Yanagi, Fuuko could hear Recca wishing that all lawyers *did* go to hell.
And so the Hokage team went back to the hotel where Fuuko and Ganko were staying.
"Are you sure there will be enough room for all of us in your house, Hanabishi-ojisan?" Ganko asked Mr. Hanabishi as she and Fuuko packed up their bags.
"Heh." Hanabishi said. "We've extended a bit after Kagero moved in... And don't call me ojisan."
Author's Note: ^^ I hope you know the basics of Japanese name-calling. "-chan", "-san", "-sama"... and nechan means elder sister (short for oneechan), nichan means elder brother (short for oniichan) and ojisan means grandfather, I think
Mikigami muttered something about making reservations in the hotel and Recca looked pleased--until Kagero told him it would be alright and they had an extra room which he didn't have to share.
Fuuko sighed as she finished packing. She looked around her. These people were living out their dreams. Kagero and Hanabishi were happily married (at least she thought they were happy),
Tokiya was only a few steps away from being a certified lawyer (it was virtually impossible for him not to pass the bar exams),
Yanagi was almost a teacher and a nurse (though Fuuko thought that she really didn't need a nursing course to be a nurse),
Recca had already been an assistant in Hanabishi's fireworks business (although Hanabishi still convinced him, somehow, to take an engineering course, which was unthinkable as Recca hated Math),
Koganei was also thinking of being in the Fireworks business ("in case you and Yanagi-nechan don't get married and have kids to take over the business--besides, everybody says I look like you so nobody will know that we're not related" [when Koganei said this, Fuuko almost thought that he would be changing his last name to "Hanabishi" to match])
Ganko also had a pretty good idea of what she wanted to be--a vet. Ganko had asked if there was an animal brain surgeon so she could make Kondo smarter--even though he *was* a stuffed toy brought to life.
Fuuko recalled dreaming to be a doctor once when she was very young (though that had subsided because of her short temper) but as far as she could remember, she had never really made plans of who she wanted to be.
"Who am I?" She asked herself silently. And she got no answer. At this, her temper got cut even shorter as she yelled at Recca for stepping on her toe.
"Noodles, anyone?" Kagero said, the next day after dragging them all out of bed.
"She acts more like a real mom every day." Recca whispered to Fuuko.
"Shut up." Fuuko said, still thinking.
"Ohh..." Recca said, menacingly. "Something's bothering Fuuko-chan is there not?"
Fuuko glared at him. Recca, sensing that Fuuko was not in the mood to be disturbed (and that annoying her would only result to an early death), shut up.
Hanabishi was already fully dressed. "I'm going to pick up Saicho and Misora from the airport today."
"Say 'hi' to Misora for me." Yanagi said. she turned to Fuuko. "You know, Misora resembles you a lot--but she acts very differently."
Making sure, neither Fuuko nor Domon could hear, Recca muttered with a grin, "I don't blame her. If Misora acted like Fuuko then Saicho wouldn't even have taken a second look at her."
From behind him came a breath which sounded remarkably like a snort of laughter. He looked behind him, still grinning, and saw Mikigami eating some noodles with a very odd expression on his face (maybe he was trying to keep from laughing out of respect of Fuuko)
Domon looked at them and laughed (quite wickedly). "Are Recca Hanabishi and Tokiya Mikigami sharing a moment of laughter for the very first time?" he said. (in Recca's opinion, Domon's grin was rather provoking, as he glared at Domon with a venomous glare). Tokiya, on the other hand, shot Domon an icy look which had no sign of laughter whatsoever.
Yanagi was quite amused and smiled.
"It's not funny." Recca said, blushing red. Obviously, he did not want Yanagi to think he was getting along with Tokiya--which he was not.
Fuuko temperamentally ate up her breakfast and excused herself early.
"Rotten college." she muttered as she entered the room she and Ganko shared (soon Misora would be sharing it too). "I didn't even want to get a course like Mass Communication. I don't even want to take a course. I wish I could fight for a living instead… Who am I, anyway?" she got no answer. "I wish I had an answer to that!"
"Hmph." said an icy tone behind her. "So this is it? Fuuko's having an identity crisis?"
Fuuko turned around. It was Mikigami. "Mi-chan, what are you doing here?" she said, bewildered. Then she remembered how she acted at the table. "If you're here to cheer me up then..."
"Cheer you up." Mikigami interrupted, still icily with a slight tone of bewilderment. "Phone call. Raiha."
At once, Fuuko dashed out of the room and grabbed the phone.
"Hi, Fuuko-chan!" said a cheery voice from the other line which was, unquestionably, Raiha's.
"Where have you been?" Fuuko asked, "I haven't heard of you for almost six months!"
"Sorry, Fuuko-san" Raiha
said. "I didn't mean to get you all worried."
At once Fuuko was annoyed at the cheeriness of his tone... Even her "identity crisis"--as Tokiya called it-- had blown up on Raiha.
Author's note: ahem! I would like to state that Raiha and Fuuko here are not material.
Fuuko wanted to snap at him, 'would you stop being so happy?' but instead she asked, "Where have you been?"
"Kurei was in a bad condition due to--you know..." Raiha said, rather seriously (which made Fuuko rather pleased that he had stopped being so cheery, but then she wanted to kick herself for being selfish)
"There's no phone where Kurei is... I just happened to be in the city to get him some--you know--medicine from this pharmacy… Yasuo Pharmacy--I think and... (Fuuko could almost see him turning SD at that instant) I just decided to call. I really haven't seen Fuuko-san for a while." his voice had reverted to his cheery, SD state.
Fuuko said nothing, getting rather annoyed again.
"Ummm... Is there something wrong?" Raiha said, sensing something hidden in her silence, growing serious yet again.
"Yeah. Sure." Raiha said, slowly, also sensing that she was still hiding something. "Would you want to hear the good news?"
"Kurei's almost well. And to make up for it, I got this... job as a teacher and..."
"You're a teacher now!!!" Fuuko was surprised at the tone of her voice.
(Raiha flushed at the other end of the line) "Well, I guess. At a small school in the village Kurei is in. It's not like we have any source of money... and then how will we eat (in a rather cheery tone again but since Fuuko was silent, he let his cheeriness subside)?"
"Besides," Raiha continued. "the kids here are great. I don't really mind work if it's for Kurei-sama. But as soon as he gets well, I'll be going back there."
Why is everyone picking on me? Fuuko thought, angrily. "Well, that's nice." she said, anger in her voice.
"Are you mad?" Raiha asked. He hesitated but decided that Fuuko needed a little cheering up. After all, Fuuko never got really mad at his antics even before they got to know each other well. "I could send you a plushie..."
Obviously, Fuuko didn't see it as a way to cheer her up but, rather, an insult.
"Isn't it obvious I'm mad? And no, I don't want a plushie." Fuuko said, and she immediately regretted what she said.
Raiha, who was not easily provoked especially by Fuuko, sighed. "I guess this isn't a good time, huh, Fuuko-san? Call you later."
Before Fuuko could stop him, the line was cut. Raiha had hung up… NO, by the looks of it, she had hung up on Raiha.
She wanted to kick herself at first but, instead she punched the wall beside her. "Stupid Fuuko." She scolded herself.
"Hello everybody." Came a girl's voice from the entrance.
It was Misora. With Saicho and Hanabishi-san.
"Back so early? You haven't been gone five minutes." Kagero said, surprised.
"Well, Hanabishi-san was late so we decided to take a taxi instead." Saicho explained. "Fortunately, Misora had opened her window for fresh air… and Hanabishi-san recognized us, somehow."
"Dad has seen photos." Recca said, greeting Saicho and Misora with a big grin.
Fuuko turned around. Misora did look a lot like her--only that Fuuko was a bit taller. Misora saw Fuuko and smiled. Fuuko smiled back, rather weakly, still thinking of Raiha.
Domon was looking at Misora, then at Fuuko, rubbing his chin. Hanabishi glared at Domon mouthing "hands off."
Fuuko helped Misora with her luggage almost the whole day and rather got acquainted with her. Night was falling when they were folding the last garments from the big bag.
"It's really hard." Misora said, after an awkward silence that had developed when she mentioned Saicho's--uh--condition. "He's a lot stronger than I am but… I feel that I have to protect him." She smiled in a way that reminded her of Raiha. "You know--it's really strange. Saicho sometimes seems very heartless in battle. I'm surprised few can see right through him--he's really a kind and gentle type of person."
Fuuko felt a pain on her forehead. She touched it, making contact with the stone on her band, in the process. Something was very familiar--she just couldn't put her finger on it… She rubbed her band.
"Mmm…" Fuuko said. She didn't know what to say next. "Uh.. It must be hard."
Misora just smiled her Raiha-like smile.
She held out a package.
"Made it myself. Snacks on the plane. I guess we weren't that hungry--I guess" She said. Inside the package were several cookies. Some of them a bit burnt. "Saicho thought we might get along very well." Misora blushed a little "Fuuko-kun, do you have someone you like?"
Fuuko was caught off guard. She had never expected a question like that. She stared at Misora for a while.
"Hn…" Misora said. "Maybe not. That's too bad, you know, you're a nice person."
Again, Fuuko was taken aback. It was too familiar--she just couldn't remember where she had heard such things before. Maybe from Yanagi. Misora and Yanagi were the almost the same type--gentle and caring, though Misora was obviously more courageous than Yanagi.
"I'm sorry, I really don't think I'm so nice…" Fuuko said, remembering how she treated Raiha and the others the past days. But that sounded familiar too. She touched her band again, feeling a sort-of pain there. "Hnn…"
"Oh." Misora said, suddenly. "I have to go talk to Saicho for a while… I think we forgot something."
"Mmmmh!" Fuuko said, folding some more shirts and putting them in the drawer.
Misora had been so nice to her that she felt even worse about herself.
"For as much as you two look alike, you sure act different." Tokiya's voice rang from behind her. Fuuko threw away all her regret and glared at Mi-chan. It seemed that he has been sneaking up on people lately--remembering how he overheard Recca say something over breakfast and they both--well--laughed. She never was easily angry at someone for… for a very long time. Back nine years ago? Her forehead hurt some more. But now she was angry at Mi-chan for--well--being there at the wrong times.
"Don't get me wrong." Mikigami said, coldly. "Left something here the other night." He picked up a pair of eyeglasses that Fuuko hadn't noticed on top of a drawer.
"You wear glasses now, Mi-chan." She said, annoyingly.
"Ah…" Mikigami said, rather arrogantly, as if he'd proven a point. "Out of your Identity Crisis now, Kirisawa?"
"What are you talking about?" Fuuko snarled.
Mikigami calmly walked out of the room with what would have been a dramatic exit had Fuuko not grabbed him on the collar and nearly choked him.
"Identity Crisis." Mikigami said, thinking Fuuko would let go once he'd defined that. "Identity means individuality or selfhood or what makes you 'you'. Crisis means 'trouble with'. So put together, you have trouble with defining you identity."
"I know what it means! But Fuuko-chan? Have an identity crisis? There is no way in the world."
"For someone who's been away from Recca for seven years, you think a lot like him nowadays."
Fuuko felt annoyed, thinking of how often Mikigami thought Recca used his brain-- Every once in a while
"Honestly, Kirisawa." Mikigami said. Fuuko wasn't annoyed anymore--more like pissed off--the way he said it arrogantly. And Tokiya never usually said very much unless he was so sure or he had a point. "Part of being a lawyer is studying how people act. Like, for example, why some people don't have an answer to the question Who am I anyway?"
Fuuko was distracted. And loosened his grip.
But Mi-chan had proven his point. Fuuko's grip had loosened enough for him to easily escape.
He was halfway out the corridor when she called him. "Oy, Mi-chan!"
He didn't take notice.
"Darn you, Mikigami--I'm talking to you!" Fuuko yelled at him.
Mikigami didn't take any notice until a big book about ninjas came flying towards his head. He looked back at her, and threw the book back. Fuuko caught it.
"Do you want to know the answer to your question, Kirisawa Fuuko?" Mikigami asked, still icily
"Yeah." Fuuko said. "I must be getting desperate because I'm asking you."
"Everybody knows the answer, except you." He said.
"Get to the point, Mi-chan!"
Surprisingly, he laughed. But it was more of the evil type of laugh that Mori Koran would do--only Mori Koran didn't have half the brain Tokiya had. (not even a sixteenth of it, in my opinion)
"I already said it."
"What!?!" Fuuko yelled, thinking Mikigami was annoying her. She pulled out several ice picks. "That's it, Mikigami. You've never tasted the full wrath of Kirisawa Fuuko yet! Prepare to be…"
"Aha!" he said, rather arrogantly through his icy tone. "You said it too."
"Gr…." Fuuko was fuming.
"You still don't get it?" Mikigami asked. "No matter what you do become, you will still be Kirisawa Fuuko. " he said this rather quickly as if he really was afraid of 'tasting Kirisawa Fuuko's full wrath'.
In her head, his voice echoed. But it wasn't anymore Tokiya's ice-cold voice but what Raiha had once said…
"What are you doing?" Fuuko had demanded of him. "Stop following me. You don't even know me?"
"Oh I know perfectly who you are… You're Kirisawa Fuuko!" he said, cheerfully.
"Heh." Tokiya said, shortly and icily as he turned around and walked away, satisfied that he had made the ever-confident, ever-present Fuuko Kirisawa stare into space for once…
"Kirisawa Fuuko? That's just my name."
"Your name.And your personality--at that."
"Where did Mi-chan go?" she stuttered.
"Ah… he just left. Didn't you see him? He was right in front of you." Misora said from behind her.
Fuuko turned around.
"Oh, sorry, if I startled you." Misora said. "Cookie?" she offered a box.
Suddenly, the sight became very familiar to Fuuko. "Thank you so much, Misora." Fuuko said in a pleasant way which startled even herself. "I'll just make a phone call now."
She ticked off some numbers on the phone. Please work… The first ring sounded.
"Maya! What do you want? Do you want to fight with me? In our whole school, I think only Recca Hanabishi is capable of that!"
"I'm sorry. Here. Lunch."
Misora taught me to fight to protect others. She pulled me away from my prison which was my selfishness. I forgot that. She's always known who I was. She said I was gentle and kind when nobody else thought that. She saw through Kirisawa Fuuko--that's me. She rubbed her headband. Maya will come back. I can't wait to see her reaction when she finds out that once upon a time, Fuuko Kirisawa doubted who she was!
"Hello--Yasuo Pharmacy… Yasuo Ayame speaking."
"Yasuo-san? Is there a long-haired guy in there with a headband?"
"Uh… yes." Yasuo Ayame-san said, puzzled. Yes!
"May I speak to him?"
There was a pause then…
"Hello?" said a rather puzzled Raiha.
"Hello Raiha! I'm so glad you're still there."
Unaware that someone was watching her from the shadows, Fuuko went on with her phone call--apologizing, congratulating…
"heh." Tokiya Mikigami said silently from the shadows. "I'm surprised she couldn't figure it out by herself."
"Is there something we should know right?" Kagero said, stepping out of the shadows, for the first time in seven years, wearing her black garments, holding the ekkai ball… The same clothes--even the expression--she had on when Mikigami first saw her years and years ago…
Mikigami looked at her, satisfied with himself. "What you know right now is all you need to know."
And he walked out of the Hanabishi household, struggling a little with his luggage. He had to admit, his stay was rather amusing--not to mention mind-wakening.
Kagero--the woman of the shadows--watched as the young swordsman walked away (and imagining the happy look on Recca's face in the morning). "You will be back-- Mizu no Kenshin."
"You'e always been Kirisawa Fuuko." Said Raiha from the other line. "How could you have denied that?"
"Don't get smart-aleck on me!" Fuuko snapped at him, rather cheerfully. "So this means you forgive me? Friends?"
"'Til the end, Fuuko."
Hopefully I won't be getting
any complaints from the Fuuko-Raiha side nor the Fuuko-Tokiya side. I don't
plan to make a sequel for this but if you bombard my email with suggestions
what to write, maybe I will. I'm not quite sure which I would pair up if
I did write another fic.
Maybe someday I will.