Author's Note: This story is based sometime during the latest of the light novels, as such, there are possible spoilers for anyone who hasn't read up to there.
Chapter 1: Familiar Things Are Not Always Safe.
We as people associate things that are familiar with safety. If you live in the same building long enough it becomes your "home" and you feel safe there. If you travel the same way to school over and over again you feel safe walking alone. There are endless examples of this in every part of our lives, but the solid truth is that the danger; what ever it may be, is still there. You could have the same chance of a wall collapsing and crushing you in your home regardless of if you've lived there a day or a decade. Walking down the same street over and over just makes your pattern predictable and leaves you more susceptible to thieves and other low characters. In other words, sometimes being familiar with things can leave you more defenseless then you would be with something new.
But I for one love patterns and familiar things.
Its a loners natural instinct to find the patterns of their life and of those around them and sink into them, possibly never to be seen again. So I, as a master level loner, could be thought of as someone who lives life on the dangerous side. For example, I just crossed the intersection on my bike when the crossing light was red. Truly I am wild and untamed. I looked both ways three times and no one was coming but still!
As I muse to myself with these thoughts I'm reminded of how I got on to this subject. I was currently on my way to the local community center, which is something I've done many times before hence sparking my thoughts on patterns and repetition. I was being sent there by the very person that made me familiar with the place to begin with. Isshiki Iroha.
She had once again been staying at the service club with us seemingly just to pass the time. I don't particular care and Yuigahama seems happy to have another person to mindlessly chat with. Yukinoshita on the other hand would stare daggers at me anytime Isshiki did something not to her liking. If there was anything to prove that being hit with something repeatably did not necessarily lessen its damage to you, it was the glare of Yukinoshita Yukino. So cold.
To sum up the start of my "mission", right before we started to leave for the day Isshiki casually mentioned that the community center had gotten in contact with her and informed her that some documents regarding our usage of the room there for the Christmas fiasco still needed to be sighed by a representative of our group. The other school's student council had passed the task on to ours and Isshiki in turn was trying to pass it on to me. Outsourcing at its best. At first I firmly refused, explaining that she could have easily done it during the time she had spent with us but as always her slyness knew no bounds.
I've just been so busy with the student council AND the soccer club you knooooooow? Be a good Senpai and do it for me alright?
Having had trouble denying her larger request and with no help coming from Yuigahama or Yukinoshita (I don't blame them), I reluctantly agreed. Thus here I was in the almost abandoned streets of Chiba watching the sun give its last rays of light to the Earth before retiring for the day. It really wasn't a big deal, but I had mentally prepared myself for a nice relaxing time at home and yet here I was in the still bitterly cold outdoors. I started to wonder if I was going to be responsible for everything Isshiki does for the rest of my life. The image of her on her wedding day riding a carriage appeared in my head, but of course a horse would be to expensive so naturally she'd use me. Come on Sennnnpai, pull harder your going to make me late! The thought alone made me shudder. The mental image made me gag.
Then as if an answer to my prayers the community center came into view. I slowed my pace and hopped off my bike. As I had done many times before I parked and chained it in the correct place. I shouldn't be long but you can't be to careful, especially with a tool that lightens your work load. As I turned the corner on my way to the entrance I pulled my scarf snugly around my neck. As I pictured myself snugly covered up at home the real scene in front of me pulled me out of my day dream.
At first all I saw was a man's back covered in a green jacket. I thought nothing of it. He was a few steps away so I simply moved to the left until my shoulder brushed the wall. With my view changed by my movement I noticed that he was slightly hunched over and looking down at something. After two more steps I could see that the something was a someone.
It was a little girl. Her hair was a shade of silver and it was being held up in two ponytails. She was wearing overalls with a yellow shirt underneath and strangely enough no winter wear despite it being as cold was it was. The overwhelming feeling that I had seen her before come over me. Something about going with Isshiki to a place with kids? Ahh yes that's right. I had meet this girl before...and I know her older sister? Yes! Her name was...I can't remember. I can picture her face scowling at me clear as day and yet all I remember about her name is that I have trouble remembering it. I know I thought of something to help me remember, something about motorcycles maybe?...and even though this isn't the time to think of such things an image involving black lace was stuck in my brain.
All of these thoughts pounded away in my head as I came to a stop. I could now see them both clearly. Neither of them seemed to notice my presence. Not surprising. The man was in his thirties if I had to guess. His hair was starting to thin and what was left of it was a mess. He was sweating profusely and his eyes were wide and starting down at the girl. I know I'm the last person who should judge anyone else by their appearance alone, but he looked like he was the living embodiment of a creep. Having sized him up my eyes looked down at the girl and that's when I noticed it.
She was absolutely terrified.
Her eyes were wide. She was holding her small hands in front of her and was gripping the clothing at her legs. Her whole body trembled beyond her control making her hair bouncing a little with every small movement of her head. Her mouth would open a little and then close again as if she was trying to say something but nothing would come out. It appeared to be a very primal fear. A lot like when a dear sees a human for the first time I imagine. She didn't know what she was looking at but her instincts were screaming at her that this new thing was dangerous and that she had to get away. But she just couldn't will herself to move.
The whole sight made me feel kind of sick.
"Listen...its...its not that far away. It'll be fun I promise!" the man half muttered and half screeched out. Even his voice was dripping with creepiness. He evidently didn't like her lack of a response so he took a step forward and raised his voice.
They both followed the sound of my voice and looked at me. I stared back at him with a look I intended to be at least somewhat intimidating but I was never really good at such a thing. The three of us stood their motionless for a few seconds before his and my eyes where drawn to a quick movement below us. Before I knew what was happening I felt two small arms wrap around my left leg. I looked down to see that the girl now stood behind me with her head buried into the back of said leg. She squeezed harder and I winced in pain. Hey she was stronger then she looks. It was then that she looked up at me from her little hiding spot. Her turquoise eyes were full of tears as she gave me a pleading look. Oi Oi, I'm pretty much a stranger to you. Don't be so trusting. I thought, but I tried to give her my best reassuring look. I'm not very good at those either but I think she understood as she again hide her face in the black fabric of my pants.
I looked back up to see Creeper-san was still there. He had turned around and was facing me. Allowing me to see that he was now practically drenched in sweat. Gross. His face was contorted with a strange mix of what I can only describe as anger and surprise. He clinched his fist as his eyes darted all around a looking to see if anyone else was there I think. Having found no one his eyes again fell on me. For a moment he bent down as if to get into some sort of charging stance but then he stood up right and angrily raked his hand through his hair. I stared blankly at him through all this with the same face I had tried to do when he first looked at me. His eyes darted up and down as if he was sizing me up. At this point I was tired of looking at him. I took a step forward with my free leg and the sound seemed to echo in the empty street. Having seen me do this the man instantly jerked back. His eyes made one more quick look around before he turned and ran down the sidewalk.
I remained frozen for a few seconds before letting out a sigh. The gravity of the situation was not lost on me while it was happening but it now felt very surreal. I looked down again at the head full of silver hair and the fog around my memories of her began to clear.
"Keika? Kawasaki Keika?" I asked softly. After a few moments she corrected me.
"...Kei-chan" she said barely above a whisper.
Having little experience with kids other then Komachi and with no experience in a situation like this I was at a loss as to what in the world I was suppose to do. She was still shaking but this time I was pretty sure it was from the cold as small puffs of white were coming from my leg. I knew what to do from there.
"Inside. Lets get inside."
The door to the community center was about ten steps in front of us. I stared to walk thinking she would instinctively let go but she didn't and I stumbled after I took a step. I sheepishly looked down at her and tried gently pushing on her shoulder to pry her off of me only to be meet with the saddest look of betrayal I'll likely ever see. Alright, so that's not an option, and picking her up would be weird to so...
I then began to hobble my way to the door while swinging my right leg farther out to give me the needed balance to keep both of us up right. When I reached the door I turned us around so that my right side entered first. This was done to protect the cargo on my left from possibly being damaged. As I entered the building I could feel that the heaters were doing their jobs and I let the bliss of their warmth wash over me. Having no idea what else to do I immediately began to make my way to the receptionist. Her eyes went to me and we shared a glance of recognition between us. Isshiki had called ahead and told them I was on my way. I doubt she would have remembered me otherwise. As I got closer she turned and grabbed a stack of papers before wheeling around again.
"I have everything ready right here for you!" she said cheerfully once I reached her desk. It was evident she had yet to notice the "package" I was carrying. But the look on my face must have revealed that I was in a predicament because her cheerful expression changed to one of worry.
"Are you..." she began but then her eyes went to the silver hair sprouting from my leg.
"I uhhhh...think we need to call the police?"
Well what can I say? I love this series to death and I was so inspired by all the great fanfics that are popping up that I felt I had to give it a try. I hope to update this story at least once a week and I plan for it to have about five chapters. After that I have other ideas for stories that I want to try but we're get to that down the road. Oh and I tried my best to match the style of the light novel and I'd be really interested if you could tell me if I got close or not. Other then that if you feel like leaving a review then by all means do so. I'd appreciate it. :)