Author: Kohaku Minamoto PM
Set in Venice, Italy, this is the story of Daisuke Niwa and Satoshi Hiwatari, an aspiring artist and a cursed young man inevitably brought together because of life, family, and fate's cruel humor. AU, nonyaoi.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,647 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-10-06 - id: 3036826
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chappie two! I think I'm starting to like this story.
DISCLAIMER: At the moment, still no.
By Kohaku Minamoto
It's My Own Business
The elder Hiwatari steepled his fingers and rested his chin on top of them, surveying his adopted son through his glasses. "Oh, but Satoshi, your artwork is so beautiful, and I thought that it would be a pity for them to stay locked up in the basement forever," he replied in a benevolent tone that Satoshi didn't buy.
"Either way, Father, my artwork belongs to me, and I will have the final say in its whereabouts. From now on, don't put any of my artwork on display, or I may have to burn down this entire building." Satoshi's tone was light and casual, but his eyes betrayed the fact that he would go through with the threat, and more, if necessary. His father glared slightly.
"Very well, Satoshi."
Without waiting for a dismissal, the blue-haired young man opened the door and departed from his father's office.
Who does he think he is? he thought grumpily, stalking down the street. The excited calls of tourists, comparing prices of their purchased souvenirs, swirled around Satoshi like a comforting blanket that beckoned to him to allow him to drown his troubles in it. He resisted, as usual.
There was a violinist standing at the side of the street, playing some kind of fast, lilting song. He was quite good, so Satoshi stopped for a moment to listen as the older man's fingers danced across the fingerboard of the old, battered violin. It was like artwork in itself, and when the violinist was finished and looked expectantly at Satoshi, the young man threw a couple coins into his case and walked on.
"Hey. You there, young man."
Not this again. It was one of the many streetside fortunetellers with their so-called mystical crystal balls and other miscellaneous trinkets that never worked. Satoshi had never set much store in the ones that called out to him, and ignored her.
"You're angry, aren't you? At your father. For doing something you didn't want him to."
That stopped him in his tracks. "What?" he asked harshly, turning around. Underneath her hood, the fortuneteller smiled slightly.
"Sit down for a minute."
Reluctantly, Satoshi did. This woman probably wasn't any different from the rest, anyway, rattling off anything she could think of and seeing if it drew out a reaction. "All right," he challenged her. "Tell me what you know."
It was then that he noticed the absence of a crystal ball on the fortuneteller's table. She pulled a small bag from underneath her cloak. "I can tell your fortune for you," she said. "And don't worry; this won't cost you anything if it doesn't work."
Strange answer, but Satoshi went along with it anyway. That is, until he saw the seven feathers she drew out of the pouch. Three were white, three were black, and one was the color of purest gold, bright and shiny. "What are those?" he asked, suddenly hit by a memory of that portrait he'd done of Krad.
The feathers resonated with power. He could practically feel it.
"Angel's feathers," she said promptly. "You can believe me or not, but these are accurate. More accurate than those fools who still use crystal balls, anyway." She twirled them around in her fingers. "The way that they land is what shows your destiny. Do you really want to go through with this?"
Part of Satoshi was telling him to just stand up and walk away, but he was already intrigued and couldn't follow that tiny whisper. "Yes," he said firmly.
"All right, then." The fortuneteller muttered something under her breath and cast the feathers into the air. They swirled in gentle circles , landing perfectly, one on top of the other, in the center of the table. The fortuneteller leaned forward. All of the rest of the world seemed to fade as Satoshi watched her examine the feathers. He was already ensnared by the haunting spell of the feathers and couldn't look away.
"Okay." The fortuneteller leaned back. "It's quite interesting." She plucked the top feather from the stack and held it up for him to see. It was white with black kanji on it, the word for "arrival." "Someone is coming, or perhaps has already come. Or both. Either way, this is the start of your destiny."
"Why are you using Japanese kanji when this is Italy?"
She tilted her head to the side, smiling. Her mouth was the only thing that Satoshi could see beneath the cloak, but it conveyed a lot of emotion in just one smile. "I'm half-and-half. And for some reason, I've always had a sort of attachment to kanji. Probably because it's just so complex."
She laid the feather aside and picked up the next one – white, just like before, with the kanji for "decision" on it. "The one who is coming is one you can accept or push away." The next feather was black, with the symbol for "family." "Your family, at this moment, is the most dangerous part of you."
Satoshi resisted the urge to snort. "I already knew that, thank you."
The fortuneteller smiled, holding up another white feather, which said "half". "The one who you can accept or decline is part of your family. This is, perhaps, the only clear one of all of them." She picked up another black feather. "The next two are more confusing. See, this one says 'enemy' on it, but 'friend' is the feather that comes right after it. My closest guess is that the one you assume to be your greatest enemy is actually the one who will be your closest friend."
The fortunetelling was proving to be rather interesting, and Satoshi looked at the last feather – the pure gold one. "This one doesn't have kanji on it."
"I know. That's because it could go either way." The fortuneteller leaned forward and spoke directly to Satoshi's face. "I rarely see this feather at the bottom. It means that you will be tricked, lied to, and used, but ultimately you will be the one to decide your destiny."
There was silence for a moment, while Satoshi's mind struggled to decide whether to believe the fortuneteller or to dismiss her last words as playacting. "Thank you," he said with an effort, standing up and handing her a few hundred lire. "I should go."
"Wait a minute," she said, stopping him. "I'm interested in your fate. It's not my business to pry, but in case you'd ever like to talk…" She handed him a business card. "Give me a call, okay?"
Satoshi nodded, fully intending to just throw the card away once he got to a trashcan. "All right. I'll think about it."
She waved cheerfully. "See you."
Satoshi looked back at the end of the street, glancing back at the fortuneteller. She had lowered her hood and was now fanning herself and leaning back in her chair. She had been much younger than Satoshi had expected, probably his age, perhaps younger. At this distance, he could only see that her hair was jet-black, but couldn't identify the color of her eyes.
He glanced down at the business card. It was plain white, with angels' feathers adorning each corner. In the center of the business card, a phone number and address were listed, but it was the name that Satoshi was interested in.
Now he had a name to match to that face that seemed to know a lot more than it let on. Smiling quietly to himself, Satoshi returned the card to his pocket.
And bypassed a trashcan by the side of the road without giving it a second glance.
Perhaps, on a day when he was feeling sullen and angry at the world, he would take her up on her offer. He would really like to find out where she learned to tell fortunes like that – even if it turned out to be all a fraud.
It was bad enough that Risa was the one he liked. It was even worse that Dark was his handsome second cousin.
And the worst thing was that Risa was completely infatuated with Dark after only half an hour in his company.
Riku seemed to be feeling the same way, but for different reasons. If looks could kill, Dark would've been burned to a crisp by now and Risa would be half-dead. Daisuke sighed out loud and looked up at the sky. Give me strength, he pleaded to whatever god was listening.
"You guys hungry?" he asked.
"Sorta," Riku replied, still glaring at Dark and Risa, who seemed completely oblivious and were now talking about what Spain was like. "Do you want to go get something to eat?"
"There's supposed to be a really good café a little ways from here. You want to go?"
"Sure." Riku tugged on Risa's arm. "Hey, we're going to get something to eat. You coming?"
"Oh…uh…sure!" Risa said, coming down from her giggling fit. Daisuke sighed again, trying to ignore the jealous feelings rising within him.
The café was relatively empty, with only a few occupants inside. Daisuke, looking around, recognized a head of light blue hair almost immediately.
"Whoa. Is that Hiwatari-kun?"
Riku followed his gaze. "Oh my gosh, it is! I haven't seen him since…since high school, I guess."
"Do you think he's going to a university?" Daisuke had always wondered whether the young genius, who had already graduated from a university when studying abroad, would retake classes and graduate from the local university.
"I don't think so," Riku answered, shrugging. "Maybe."
Satoshi seemed to notice that they were there and looked up, raising one hand in a gesture of welcome. Daisuke returned it hesitantly, then turned back to Riku. "Should we go say hello?"
"Maybe," Riku muttered. "You know how he gets. And plus, look at those two."
Daisuke knew who she was talking about without asking. Abandoning his friends, he walked over to Satoshi's table (where he was sitting alone) and sat down across from him. "Buongiorno, Hiwatari-kun," he said politely. The other young man looked at him and chuckled.
"Now really, is there any reason to converse in Italian when we can always speak in Japanese?" he asked. "After all , it is our native tongue."
Riku, Risa, and Satoshi had all moved to Venice from Japan when they were younger, so Daisuke was the only native. Even so, his mother and grandfather had always drummed Japanese into his head, so it was exactly like second nature to him to lapse into it. "Oh. All right."
"So how have you been?" Even after all these years of living in Venice, Satoshi's Japanese was still as good as ever.
"Getting along, I suppose."
"Hey, Niwa-kun," came Riku's voice, sounding annoyed. "You know, it's not okay to just ditch your friends like that." She came up to the table, Risa and Dark still conversing behind her. "Mind if we join you?"
"Of course not," Satoshi said, getting up. "I was…just about to leave anyway."
"You should stay for at least a little bit," Dark spoke in Italian, looking Satoshi in the eye. The younger man didn't visibly flinch, but his shoulders stiffened slightly as he recognized the purple-haired man who had spoken to him in the museum. "Catch up with your old friends."
"I wouldn't want to intrude on your double date," Satoshi replied smoothly, making Riku and Daisuke blush at his implication. "Have fun."
He left. Risa pouted slightly at his retreating form. "That was so rude of him! Leaving without so much as a 'goodbye'."
But Daisuke simply watched Satoshi leave, a lot on his mind. He hasn't changed, he mused, standing up and walking over to the cashier to order. Not one bit.
"Phoebe? What took you so long?"
A light was turned on, casting the arriving young woman's features into sharp relief and glinting off jet-black hair. Green, slanted eyes blinked in the sudden brightness, a hand brushing over an oval-shaped face. "Geez, Elena. You're going to blind me someday."
The light was turned down slightly. "Sorry."
Another young woman stepped out from the shadows. Her hair was also black, but with strands of purple that hinted of a reckless past life on the streets. Brown eyes that looked older than her face – in her early twenties – watched her sister out of a face slightly sunken in from a recent sickness.
Elena Konekuro looked at her sister, sighing. "What have you been doing this time?"
"Fortunetelling," the younger sister replied promptly, dropping her bag by the door. "I actually found a customer worthy of the feathers today."
Elena sighed. "Phoebe, you know it's not a good idea to flaunt those on the street."
"But he looked like he had so much on his mind. And his fortune was interesting, to say the least." Phoebe moved over to the stove and put the kettle on. "What did the doctor say?"
"Well, the tumor's stopped growing," Elena said wearily, sinking into an overstuffed armchair by the unlit fireplace. "He says they might be able to remove it, but the surgery will cost a lot."
"Money we can handle," Phoebe informed her sister, sitting beside her. "I think one of the cafés has a job opening as a waitress. Maybe I'll take on a couple shifts there."
"I don't want you to overwork yourself, Phoebe." Elena exhaled heavily, running her hands over her own pale face. She still worried about her appearance, and whether she would ever return to her normal self after recovering from cancer treatments and side effects. Phoebe sighed.
"Elena, stop that."
"I can't help it," Elena wailed quietly. "Even after all this time, I'm still vain. I feel bad about it, but I still am."
"You're still beautiful, no matter what," Phoebe soothed her sister, patting her hair. "It'll be okay, Elena. We'll both be okay."
For some reason, Elena didn't believe her, but it felt good to have a shoulder to lean on. The older girl, feeling tired, sank back into the pillows of the armchair and fell asleep.
"We will be landing shortly," came a pleasant female voice on the intercom, speaking in English. "Please stay seated until the plane has come to a complete stop and the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign."
The message was repeated in Italian and Spanish, but the young man paid no attention. His eyes narrowed like those of a cat who knows he's got his mouse cornered and wants to make it squirm a little bit longer.
I'm coming, dear cousin,Krad thought, his smile widening. I'm coming to see you, and you won't be happy about it.
All right. I was reading my stats page, and it says I got about six hits on this. And how many reviews did I get? NONE. You hear me? Zip, zero, nada. You guys had better review.
-kun: Endearment, usually used for male friends
Buongiorno: Good morning, good afternoon