Secrets and Lies

"The plane will soon be taking off. All passengers please take their seats and fasten their seat belts," the voice over the intercom said politely.

The girl jamming her keyboard into the overhead compartment tried to hurry up but she wasn't doing too well.

She was standing on the top of two of the blue first class chairs as she tried to heave her beloved instrument into the compartment while holding her ticket in her mouth.

"Here I'll help you," someone behind her said politely in Japanese.

The girl jumped off the seats and held onto the man's guitar as he crammed her keyboard in and closed the hatch.

He had long red-brown hair and was standing with two companions.

"Thanks a lot," the girl said gratefully and handed the young man his guitar.

"No problem," he said with a smile and turned to his friend with pink hair, indicating to the seat next to the girl. "This is your seat Shuichi."

"Huh? Then were are you and Fujisaki sitting?"

"Well, actually, the travel agent couldn't get us all seats together. Imagine that! How extremely unlikely!"

'That guy's a terrible liar,' the girl thought as she fastened her seatbelt.

"Hey Hiro, that's what you guys said on the plane over here. And on all the buses and trains we took too. Hey wait a minute!" the man known as Shuichi said with a frown. "Gotta go," Hiro said quickly, heaving his guitar over his shoulder before he and Fujisaki dashed down the aisle.

"You guys suck," Shuichi grumbled under his breath and sat down in the seat opposite the young teenager who was now reading a heavy textbook.

He tapped her on the shoulder and she pulled her head up out of the book, her short brown ponytail slapping the back of her neck a bit as she turned to him.

"It's gonna be a long flight so we might as well get introduced. I'm Shindo Shuichi and I'm on my way home. How about you?" Shuichi said holding out his hand.

"Hi I'm Lily Barton, nice ta meet ya!" the girl said taking his hand with a smile. "I'm heading to Japan to start my second year of middle school."

The plane started to move just then and Shuichi's grip on Lily's hand tightened considerably.

"Oh really? Your Japanese is excellent. I could have sworn that you were in America as a tourist," he said breaking out into a sweat.

"You're overestimating my skills Shindo san," Lily said blushing slightly as the plane sped up.

"No way, your pronunciation is perfect," he said brightly with his hand still clutching Lily's. "Do you have family in Japan or something?"

Before she could answer, the plane took off and Shuichi's grip got a whole lot tighter.


"Here you go Miss," the airline hostess said as she handed Lily a bag of ice.

"Thanks," Lily said and placed the ice on her bruised hand.

"I'm so sorry," Shuichi said for what must have been the thousandth time in the past ten minutes.

"Relax Shindo-san," Lily said with a smile as she nursed her hand, "your nerves just got the better of you. Nothing to stress over."

Shuichi smiled and relaxed back into his seat. Now that the plane was in the air, he seemed to be coping well.

'No wonder his friends don't sit next to him,' Lily thought, 'this guy has some serious flying issues. Maybe they were showing 'Horror on Flight 964' in the airport waiting lounge?'

"Anyway," Shuichi said bringing her back to the moment, "are your parents Japanese?"

"No they're both American, but my Dad's lived and worked in Japan for years. I used to live with my grandmother on her cattle farm in the countryside, but now I've saved enough to continue school in Japan. So now I'm on my way," she said brightly.

'She's really got some determination and direction in her life if she saved all of that money just to put herself though school. I quit school to be a full time member of Bad Luck, but it seems that she wants to learn more then anything,' the rock start thought to himself.

"Are you going to be staying with your Dad in Tokyo?" he asked in order to keep the conversation flowing.

Lily went really quiet and looked down at her runners. Slowly her uncrushed hand reached up to her ear, her fingers running over the small silver earcuff that was clipped there.

"Um, no actually," she said softly. "Work keeps Dad really busy so I've never really seen him much. I'll be staying with one of his friends while I'm at school."

"Oh I see," Shuichi said uncomfortably. It was as if this area of conversation wasn't a particularly good one for Lily. She almost sounded sad when she spoke.

"Well anyway," he said brightly to try and lift the new mood on the conversation. "I'm sure you'll love Tokyo, there's this ice cream place I go to and it sells..."

"Could all passengers and cabin crew please take their seats, thank you," the pilot's voice interrupted over the intercom.

"That's a little odd," Lily said as she tightened her seatbelt a bit. "They never usually ask the cabin crew to sit during the flight."

"Oh I'm sure it's nothing," Shuichi said, trying to sound confident and failing miserably.

He lifted a cup of water to show that he was relaxed and Lily shouldn't worry, but all the water spilt on his clothes due to his shaking hand.

"You'll be Ok," Lily said with a reassuring smile and patted his arm.

He would have been too if the plane hadn't decided to drop 300 feet at that very moment.

"Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!" Shuichi's scream could not only be heard loud and clear through the entire first class section, but all passengers in business and economy got a full blast as well.

'There he goes,' Hiro thought from the other end of the first class section as he continued to flick through his in flight magazine. 'Knew those lungs wouldn't fail him.'

"Poor girl," mumbled Fujisaki and took another biscuit.

"We're all gonna die!" Shuichi screamed and jumped up in his seat, busting his seatbelt buckle as the plane continued to act as a yo-yo.

"Shindo san!" Lily yelled grabbing hold of his arm.

"How the hell can you be so calm?" he screamed at a couple sitting opposite who were helping themselves to another glass of champagne as if they were at the racetrack.

"Shindo san please clam down!" Lily begged, pulling on his sleeve.

"Are you all right sir?" an air steward asked, looking at the young man jumping up and down in his seat.

"No I am not!" Shuichi yelled at him. "I spent an entire week working eighteen hours straight every day on the new album and three weeks making a video clip where no one spoke a single work of Japanese! And to cap it all off my English speaking capability is zero! Yaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!"

"Shindo san you're scaring the other passengers," Lily cried and stood up.

She grabbed him by the shoulders and tried to wrestle him back into his seat, but Shuichi continued to kick and scream like a cornered rat.

"Give me something sharper then this plastic cutlery damn it! I wanna slit my throat before we're all blown up in a blazing inferno!"

'This is gonna be a long trip,' Lily groaned mentally.


Lily spent the rest of the flight lifting cups of water to Shuichi's mouth and fanning him to with bits of paper she'd torn out of the in flight magazine.

Shuichi had refused to calm down so having to resolve to violent measures, Lily had bashed him over the head with 'JAPANESE VOCAB FOR PROS BOOK FOUR.'

Ruthless yet, effective.

It had been very embarrassing having to listen to the other passenger's and their snide remarks.

"Surely there must be some kind of medication he could be taking," one had said.

"Reckon he escaped from somewhere?" another asked.

"Wonder what that idiot's trying to smuggle into the country?" one guy had said. "Looks like he sampled some of it."

At that last comment 'JAPANESE VOCAB FOR PROS BOOK FOUR' had gotten airborne and the chosen victim had said a few things that weren't listed in Lily's Japanese dictionary upon impact.

When the plane landed at Tokyo airport, Lily slung the shoulder strap on her keyboard case over her head so her keyboard was strapped to her back and helped Shuichi walk off the plane.

"Does he need a wheelchair or some medical attention?" one of the air stewards asked her.

"Nah, but some Valium would have been helpful when he was bouncing off the walls," she muttered.

"So Shuichi, how was the flight?" Hiro asked brightly as Lily and the half concious Shuichi met him and Fujisaki at the luggage terminal.

Shuichi gave a low groan that sounded suspiciously like "You bastard" before he let all of his weight fall on Lily.

His full weight was too much for her to handle and she started to fall with a yelp.

Hiro grabbed Shuichi and Fujisaki caught Lily before she hit the ground.

"Thanks," she said gratefully to the youngest of the three companions and started searching for her luggage.

Lily grabbed her two suitcases off the conveyer belt and was about to say her good byes to Shuichi when a shot rang out.

People ran around screaming and a few were even crying for their mothers. The entire airport was in uproar as everyone was pushing past one another to hide under seats or just simply get out.

"Clear the way, clear the way!" someone yelled clearly as more shots followed the first.

Lily whirled around so fast her sunglasses that had been propped up on her head fell off and she dropped her luggage.

"K san! This is a high security area! How'd you get that thing in here?" Hiro demanded as Shuichi hung off his neck.

"An old Secret Service title still has some pull in places like this," the maniac gunman said as his smile covered his entire face.

K put his gun back in its holster and pried Shuichi off of Hiro.

"Shu-chan!" he cried, tears swelling in his eyes, "I've missed you so much! It's been ages since we last communicated!"

"What do you mean?" Hiro asked with a frown as Shuichi hung limply in K's grip. "You never left us alone when we were gone! You sent us e-mails, text messages, called every four hours, sent letters and even a telegraph!"

"Don't forget the two messenger pigeons as well," Fujisaki chipped in. "They dropped dead from exhaustion after we go the notes by the way."

"Well none of that is the same as actually seeing you," K said waving his hand. "By the way, what happened to Shuichi? His hug seems a bit empty."

"Air turbulence," Hiro said with a sigh. "But thankfully this girl did a great job looking after him."

Hiro placed his hand on Lily's head and K looked up.

He looked at Lily with amazement for a second before he dropped Shuichi on the floor and smiled.

"Gee you've grown," he said brightly.

"Huh?" Lily, Hiro and Fujisaki said in unison. Shuichi let out a low groan.

"Well best be off! Work to do!" K said cheerfully and pulled his gun out again. Lily cringed at the sight of the Cougar Magnum.

"Let's go!" he said in English and grabbed Shuichi off the floor.

Hiro and Fujisaki said good bye before they followed K out of the airport, who had Shuichi tucked under his arm.

"I'm really having second thoughts about coming here," Lily groaned.


"What was that about K san?" Fujisaki asked from the back seat as K weaved in and out of traffic.

"What was what about?" he asked brightly in a clueless tone.

"You saying that that girl had grown. Do you know her or something?" Hiro asked from beside Fujisaki.

"Lily," Shuichi groaned as whatever mental stability he had had before his breakdown (which wasn't a hell of a lot) slowly came back to him. "Her name is Lily."

"Lily Barton to be exact. Or as she will now say since she's in Japan, Barton Lily," K said as he steered with one hand, the other holding a cigarette.

"Eh? How'd you know?" Shuichi asked as he rubbed his head. He could feel a migraine coming on.

"I know her dad," K replied flicking some ash out the window.

"And who's her dad?" Shuichi asked.

K pulled up to a red light and looked at his passengers with a grin. 'This reaction was gonna be priceless' he thought with glee.

He told them.



'Suguchi san sure is late,' Lily thought as she looked at her watch yet again.

Shuichi and his friends had left about two hours ago, and since then she'd been sitting on her suitcase in the arrivals lounge.

She'd been making trips to the can machine down the hall every twenty minutes or so, but that wasn't even vaguely interesting any more.

Therefore needing a new source of amusement, Lily dug into her suitcase and brought out a bag of jelly snakes that her grandmother had packed as part of her emergency sugar supply.

She placed one in her mouth and started to think about her encounter with Shuichi's trigger- happy friend.

'What does he mean I've grown?' she thought with a frown. 'I don't even know that guy! Is he some kind of sick stalker?'

"Lily chan!" she heard someone yell.

Lily spat the jelly snake out of her mouth and looked up. Across the arrivals lounge she could make out a blonde man wearing a hat and long coat hurrying towards her.

"So sorry I'm late," he gasped when he reached her. It was obvious that he'd been running to meet her.

"I got caught up at the office and Mika called. Have you been waiting long?"

He then saw the jelly snake tied in a perfect knot sitting in her hand.

"I guess you were," he said with amusement.

Lily laughed nervously and put her hand behind her back.

"It's a talent," she said sheepishly. "It's nice to see you again Suguchi san."

"We're not strangers Lily chan," Tohma said regaining his composer. "Although I am your senior."

He thought for a minute before shrugging.

"Tohma san is fine. Just Tohma is even better. But never mind that now, I'll bet your starving."

At the mention of food Lily's stomach started to rumble. The in flight meal seemed ages ago, and the roll it had been served with had been rock hard.

"That sounds pretty good actually Tohma san."


Sunlight streamed into Lily's bedroom window the next morning.

Last night she'd thrown her suitcases in the room Tohma had said was hers from now on and had eaten dinner with him and his wife Mika before going to sleep.

With a loud yawn she sat up and rubbed her eyes. All that jet lag had made her sleep like a log.

Lily looked around for a minute and the large red digits on the alarm clock read 10:30.

That was pretty late for her since she'd lived the past ten years on a cattle farm, but a good sleep in every now and again doesn't go astray.

Lily got dressed and walked towards the kitchen. The entire house was silent since at that very moment she was its only inhabitant. Both Tohma and Mika were at work.

On the kitchen bench there was a bowl and a box of cereal. On the box Tohma had left a note. It read:

Good Morning Lily chan, I hope you slept well. Help yourself to the cereal and anything you want to eat during the day. Make yourself at home today and I'll be home at about five this evening. Tohma. P.S Be sure to check out my CD collection, it's probably the best in Japan.

"Thanks Tohma san," Lily said and poured herself a bowl of cereal.

After breakfast she did as Tohma recommended and had a look at his CD collection. He hadn't been exaggerating either, his collection covered an entire wall in the living room.

Lily grabbed a chair so she could start at the top and make her way down. She couldn't help but notice that one section of the rack was completely empty. The gap was quite large, it was almost like someone missing a tooth.

'Maybe he went off that particular band,' she thought with a shrug.

After another moment or two of browsing, she came across a CD with Bad Luck written on the spine.

"Interesting use of the English language," she said chuckling to herself and pulled the CD out of the rack.

She took one look at the front cover and dropped it like a ton of lead.

"Un-be-lie-va-bl-e," she gasped.

From now on Lily Barton's life was about to get a whole lot more interesting.