Title: Those Were the Memories [Prologue]
Author: Kikiam-sama
Rating: PG-7
Description: Those were the memories of a girl called Kaori, the memories of a man named Raife, and the memories of a certain spider who could never forget them. [Shalnark x Shizuku x OC]

Notes: Raife is an original character. Kaori is Shizuku before she joined the Ryodan. I haven't written a 'real' fic for some time now, so please bear with me. At the same time, this is my first Ryodan fic [since really don't like them that much]. Comments are highly needed and accepted.

Disclaimer: Hunter X Hunter belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi. The characters are only being used for fun. No profit is being earned. Please don't sue me.

» Aniki - another way to address your older brother in Japanese

Prologue » Today

The night was beautiful despite the moon's absence. There were no clouds in the sky and the stars were laid out beautifully like gold dust on a soft blue velvet carpet. Around me, the air hung softly and momentarily reminded me of its presence with a cool breeze. I looked at my surroundings. The wooden crates and the barbed fences stood menacingly, and anyone would have run away upon the sight of the scene: An abandonned warehouse with thirteen not so normal looking people hanging around. We wouldn't have treated anyone who would come here that nicely, either.

This is the Genei Ryodan, the Phantom Brigade, the Spider. We are one of the most fearful gangs in the world. We are thieves who, though we really don't mean to, kill for the grub and the money.

And sometimes, just for the pleasure of it.

Our actions have made us famous throughout the world. Many have tried to catch us and bring us to justice, but so far, all had failed miserably. We are invincible, unstoppable. That is today, but five years ago, the Ryodan was a totally different picture. It consisted of a bunch of teenagers from the outcast village of Ryuuseigai. From our humble beginnings, we rose to the heights of infamy and treachery.

But someday, I want to break away from this hazardous lifestyle I'm living. Someday, I want to spend my Saturday evenings at home with a family of my own watching TV, rather than running away from a bunch of policemen on the streets of Yorkshin.

A voice suddenly interrupted my thoughts.

"Shal, the Danchou wants to speak with you."

The small, soft voice spoke with the innocence of its owner. It was Shizuku, standing there with her usual aloof aura, looking at me through her big eyeglasses.

"Sure," I said and stood up from the wooden crate with he usual smile on my face.

I was about to walk away, when I noticed that she was still looking at me.

"Is anything wrong?" I asked.

"Well, nothing. It just seems that you smile all the time."

"Oh." I smiled even more. "Well, I don't see anything bad about smiling."

She remained silent and continued to stare. I sighed to myself. Shizuku was like a little sister to all of us. She asked all the questions, and we answered all of them. She forgot every single moment, and everyone did his or her best to make her remember.

But there was one memory we we never want her to remember. And I, myself want to bury this into oblivion. Seeing Shizuku pained me enough, and the past made it worse.

Ÿ Raife... no, Aniki... Ÿ

I left Shizuku and headed for the warehouse where Danchou was waiting. I continued to smile to hide the shadow that had been cast upon me five years ago.

~Tsuzuku de gozaru yo~