AN: Welcome to the sequel to 'The future of Inaba'. If you haven't read that one first, I suggest you do. If you have, I hope you enjoy this one just as much as that one.
Thursday, April 14, 2039
"You should be more careful." My dad scolded me as he slapped a bandage over my elbow. "I didn't raise you to pick fights."
You picked fights in high school. I wanted to point out. Instead, I said "They were picking on a grade school kid. I had to help."
My father gave me a stern look before his gaze drifted down to the plush in my hands. He smiled and shook his head. "You still have that?"
I hugged the little wolf tightly. "Of course I do. You gave him to me." I grinned. "It's been exactly one year since that day."
"Has it only been a year?" My mother said from the door leading from the textile shop to our home. She was smiling, sharing the secret with us.
One year ago, I'd fallen through a tv and ended up in the past. While there, I'd met my parents and their friends as teenagers and discovered my hidden power. Of course, I couldn't tell them who I was, but they all found out after I'd gotten back.
My mom nodded forward. "Looks like you have a customer." My father and I looked up to see a man in his early forties looking at the stuffed animal display.
When he felt our eyes on him, he looked up. "These are well made." He commented. His eyes fell on the wolf in my lap and he smiled. "Yours reminds me of a friend of mine from when I was a kid." His smile looked a bit sad.
"My father makes them." I said proudly. "And I help sometimes."
The man looked at my dad. "You're quite talented." He picked up a penguin and brought it to the cash. "I'm sure my son will love it."
I got up and punched the purchase into the register. "What's your son's name?" I asked, pulling a gift tag from a drawer.
"Shinjiro." He replied. "Amada Shinjiro."
I wrote the name on the tag. "I don't know any Amada's in Inaba. Are you from the city?"
"Tatsumi Port Island." He chuckled as he accepted the gift bag I handed him. "I was intrigued by your shop's name."
I smiled. "It's been run by the Tatsumi family for generations."
He paid with a credit card before leaving the shop, still smiling.
"Your customer service is improving." My dad commented. "Can you bring out the new plush dolls and put them on display?"
"Sure thing." I ran past my mom into the house toward the living room where I'd left the box. Looking down at them, I had to smile. At first glance, one would think they'd all been made by the same person. I really was improving.
I picked up the box and was making my way back to the shop when my brother, Hiro, stepped into my path.
"Hikaru, I know you're hiding something from me." He half glared in concentration. "You know it's only a matter of time until I figure out what it is."
I gulped. In our family, Hiro was the only one who didn't know I'd traveled back in time. For the past year, he'd been trying to figure out why I was suddenly a lot closer to our parents.
"I won't pretend to not know what you're talking about." I sighed. "But, seriously, just drop it. Everyone has secrets." I could feel my discomfort calling up one of mine as I spoke.
Hiro placed a hand on my shoulder as I walked past. "Just be careful. I don't want anything to happen to my sister."
"I'm fine." I assured him before running back to the store. Why does he have to talk like that? I'm not dying. My heart thumped in my ears as if reminding me of all the times I'd come close to losing my life.
I'd been born with a runoff from my heart into my lungs. It had, for the most part, been fixed in surgery. But I still wasn't allowed to do strenuous activities. Although, I had managed to be a soccer goalie in the past.
When I got back to the shop, I saw my mom and dad climbing into our car. My dad looked up and gave an apologetic smile. "Something's come up. Can you watch the store?"
"Sure." I waved. "I can take care of it. If I need help, Hiro's in the house."
Their car had just pulled away when I felt Kuma-kami emerging from my soul. Her bear ears twitched under her veil as she watched me putting out the new merchandise.
After a full year of this happening, it still made me nervous when I wasn't in my room. I suppose it was my fault, since she was just an extension of myself.
"Kuma-kami." I sighed. "If Hiro sees you—"
"Hikaru?" Hiro's voice came from just beyond the doorway. "Who are you talking to?"
Oh, no! I squelched my eyes shut, wishing I wasn't here, that I was anywhere but here. I'd never be able to explain this to my brother. Just as I heard the door sliding open, I felt myself tip forward, a queasy feeling taking over my stomach.
When the world stopped spinning, I looked up at my surroundings. The blood drained from my face when I realized I wasn't anywhere near home. I was standing on a large bridge that glowed a sickly green in the light of the full moon.
A car shot past me before stalling halfway over the structure.
"What's going on?" I murmured. "Kuma-kami, did you do this?" I turned, but my Persona wasn't beside me like I'd thought.
A dark shadow passed over the moon and I looked up. A sinister looking entity was flying through the sky, followed by a girl who looked puny in comparison.
The girl held out her hands and I could hear machine-gun fire. The entity turned as it fell from the sky.
I screamed when I realized its trajectory was taking it straight toward the car. My feet started moving forward before I knew what I was doing.
The entity hit the hood of the car with a sickening crunch. The front windshield shattered and whoever was driving started screaming. The girl held up her hands again and shot at the entity.
"No!" I screamed, knowing there was nothing protecting the person in the car.
The entity jumped away and the girl followed, leaving me alone with the car and its occupant. As I got closer, I realized with a sickening drop of my stomach that there wasn't just one person in the car. There was a whole family.
The father had been driving, but it had been the mother's scream I'd heard. Between the seats, I could see a little girl lying on her side. None of them were moving.
Tears flooded my eyes as I took in the scene. I fell to the ground, hearing glass cracking under my knees. How did I get here? Why am I seeing this?
"Mom?" A weak voice squeaked from the wreckage. "Dad? Hamuko?"
I scrambled to my feet, ignoring the stinging as glass cut into my skin. Pulling the door away from the body of the car, I sucked in a quick breath. A little boy was sitting slumped on the seat. He was reaching weakly toward the girl lying beside him. "Sis, what happened?"
"Are you alright?" I said in a tight voice.
He slowly turned to look at me, tears in his eyes. "Hamuko won't wake up."
I reached in and undid his seatbelt before gently pulling him from the car. His blue hair was patched with red blood and matted against his forehead. Other than that, he looked alright.
Looking back in at his sister, I stifled a gasp. The window beside her had shattered, showing her with pieces of glass. There were cuts all along her side. Her neck was also lying at an odd angle.
"Hamuko." The boy cried.
I carried him away from the wreckage before he would see his parents' bodies. As I sat him down, I felt the world tilt. "What's your name?" I asked, fighting back the fog in my head.
"Minato." He answered as I felt myself slipping away. "Arisato Minato."
Sadness and cuteness.
Comment to let me know what you think.