"Home sweet home!" Haruhiko Takenouchi yelled as he stepped into the threshold of the Takenouchis' new home, grinning from ear to ear.
"Dad" Sora moaned, as she stepped in behind her father, her mother, Toshiko, following, "This place is creepy. No wonder it went for such a low price."
"Now now Sora, this is a perfectly good house" Toshiko smiled, "Just needs to be brightened up a little bit more, and it'll be just like any other mansion!"
"A little?" Sora muttered, "It needs its own sun to brighten it up"
"Why won't you go unpack now, Sora dear" Haruhiko suggested, as he wondered around the room, "Your mum and I will just inspect everything down here, and then make dinner. Remember, you have school tomorrow, honey."
"Yeah yeah" Sora muttered, and headed up the old but elegant looking staircase.
Upstairs, Sora counted a total of seven bedrooms, and picked one for herself that was isolated from the others.
"Weird" Sora said to herself, commenting on the fact that the room wasn't vacant of furniture, but looked just like any other person's bedroom. Only dustier. And older.
She looked at herself in the mirror, and grinned, "Welcome to your new life, Sora Takenouchi"
And suddenly gave a little scream, spinning around. Her heart thumped as her eyes looked around, trying to locate something, anything. But no, nothing was there.
"OK, it was nothing, just my imagination, there's nothing here." Sora told herself, But I swear I saw-
"Sora! Dinner's ready!"
"Coming!" Sora yelled back, looking around her new room once more before dashing out the door.
Only, clear blue azure eyes followed her movements. . .
"Welcome to Odaiba High!" Said a way too preppy girl in Sora's opinion, as she led Sora around her new school.
"Thanks. ." Sora murmured.
"So, I heard you moved into that old mansion on Oakdale Road" The girl, named "Tristy", said.
"Uh, yeah, that's right." Sora replied, surprised Tristy would know.
It seemed Tristy picked up on her surprise.
"Oh, this is a small town, things like someone moving here gets the gossip going, ya know? So anyway, how are you finding your house? Weird? Strange? Do tell"
Sora quirked her eyebrows suspiciously, "Why would I find it strange?"
"I don't know, maybe it's a new surrounding for you" Tristy quipped uneasily, "Well anyway, this is your first class, so.. I'll be seeing you later, ok? Gotta jet to my own class now, cya!"
Strange girl. . . Sora thought as she pushed the door open to class.
It was lunch period now, and Sora had made a few friends, though she decided she wanted to be alone for lunch today, and headed out to the courtyard implying to sit under a tree. And that she did, only, she found another student there with her.
"Hello" He had said as she sat down.
"Oh, hi" Sora replied, not realising there was somebody there.
She looked the guy over, and concluded that he was probably a senior. Who was pretty cute, too.
"I'm Jou." The guy said, "What's your name?"
"Sora" Sora replied, "I just moved here yesterday."
"Ah. You're the girl living in that old mansion, right?"
"You're about the hundredth person to ask me a question similar to that. What's the big deal? Sorry to sound rude." Sora asked.
Jou was silent for a while, before he asked, "You don't know?"
"Know what?" Sora replied, confused.
"Your house. People around here think it's-"
"Let me guess" Sora cut in, laughing, "Haunted?"
Jou looked surprised, "Well, yeah."
"Just 'cause it's old and it's spooky?" Sora added.
"Well, it has history, too." Jou responded.
"Right." Sora said, not believing.
"Hey, I'm serious." Jou spoke, "A guy and his eight sons used to live there a long time ago. His sons were all half brothers, for the most part, and not everybody got along. Then something happened that made the man flee. Only, he left town with none of his sons. They were presumed dead a few days later, and no one ever saw them, or their father, again. And what's more intriguing is, none of their bodies were ever found."
"Oh please. The guy probably left with all his sons to another town or something."
"He was alone in his car when he left town, ask any old folks here, they'd know the story better than anyone."
"Hm, yeah" Sora chuckled, as she got up to leave.
"Hey" Jou said, as Sora began to walk away, "Be careful."
Sora rolled her eyes, and turned back around to look at him, "I-. . ."
No one was there.
"Will. . ."
The school bell had just rung, signalling the end of Sora's first day. She walked past the school's office, planning to exit through their doors, when something caught her eye. It was a framed picture in the school's trophy case, which was on display. In the picture was a good-looking boy holding up a trophy. Nothing special, except his eyes looked familiar. . . yet Sora didn't know where from. She looked at the inscription stuck to the photo.
1943? That was 50 years ago..
Sora thought, as she took another glance at the boy's blue eyes, before heading out the door.
Yamato Ishida, huh?
It was around 7 pm, and Sora was at home, leafing through a magazine. Her parents had just left to see a movie, and so she was alone in the old mansion. Well, she was alone, until there was a knock on her door. "Coming" Sora muttered as the person knocked again, impatiently.
As Sora reached the door, she yanked it open. Only to see a boy around her age standing there. An extremely cute boy, that is.
"Er.. Hey" Sora said as she composed herself.
"Hey" The guy replied in a deep yet somewhat cheeky and childish voice.
He had dark tanned skin, with eyes and hair to match.
"I'm Tai. You're Sora, right?"
"I live down the road, and I thought, I shouldn't be rude and not greet you if we went to the same school and all, and, well, here I am" Tai grinned.
"Oh. That's. . . nice of you." Sora blushed lightly.
Tai just grinned wider, "Er, can I come in?"
"Oh! Sure, sure. . Um, welcome to my home, heh. ." Sora said, faintly embarrassed, leading Tai into the spacious living room.
"Nice, you guys touched this place up. ." Tai commented, as he took a seat.
"Thanks." Sora replied, and then asked, "You've been in here before?"
Tai grinned cheekily, "Yeah, me and the guys used to come in here a lot before you guys moved in. No one's lived in here for about 50 years now."
"50 years?" Sora asked, her mind wandering to that photograph she saw today for some reason.
"Yup. Not since Hiroaki Ishida and his sons. . . left." Tai finished oddly.
Ishida? Sora thought, "Yamato Ishida?"
"Huh?" Tai said, looking up at her from where he sat.
"Nothing." Sora said quickly.
"No. ." Tai said, standing up to tower slightly over Sora, "You said Yamato Ishida. Have you met him? Has he said something to you?"
"N-no. . ." Sora said, backing up slightly at how intense Tai's eyes looked at the moment, "I, uh, saw his name and picture in the school's trophy case today. . . It was dated 1943. . . How could I have met him?" She asked now, curious and somewhat suspicious.
Tai backed off right away, turning around so he wasn't facing her.
"Oh, eh.." He chuckled, "Sorry if I scared you, uh, I was only joking about meeting him and all. . . You know the story about this place being haunted, right?"
"Yeah, some guy told me it today. . ." Sora replied.
"Yeah, well. . . Yamato Ishida was one of the sons living in this house. You know, one of them that died."
"Oh, right. . . poor guy"
Tai shrugged, "It was 50 years ago, who believes that story anyway? I sure don't."
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I can't feel sorry for the guy if he's dead..."
"Oh, sorry, I was being insensitive. I apologise." Tai said genuinely.
Sora just smiled in reply, glad that she at least met somebody in this town that didn't believe her house was haunted.
It was nearing midnight, and Sora and Tai were up in her room. Sora knew she wasn't allowed to have male friends over so late. . . or in her room, for that matter. But Tai was too much fun to be with to tell him to leave. But she realised she should've, as she heard her parents' car pull into the driveway.
"Quick, Tai! Hide!"
"Where?" Tai asked, looking around.
"I don't know! Jump in the closest or something!"
"It's too small"
"Under the bed then! Tai, I'm not allowed visitors this late!" Sora screamed, almost hysterical.
"OK ok" Tai said, and walked towards her bed, though only making it in front of Sora's clock before the door opened.
"Er, mum! Hi!" Sora chirped, "Um, we were just. . . I mean-"
"Sora, you're still up?" Toshiko asked, and looked over at Tai, "It's nearly twelve, go to sleep."
And she closed the door.
"Um?" Sora said aloud, "She didn't. . . care you were here?"
"Maybe she's just glad you have a friend over" Tai grinned at her, "Well, I better be going, you need your sleep and so do I"
"Er, yeah. Um, I'll see you in school tomorrow?"
Tai smiled, "We'll see. Bye."
And he opened her door and walked out.
"That was. . . weird." Sora said, puzzled, climbing into bed.
"We should hook you up with someone, Sora!" Tristy said at the lunch table the next afternoon.
"Yeah, totally! Let's see who's available. . ." Another new friend of Sora's, named Claire (=P), thought.
"I don't know guys, I mean, I hardly know any guys here. ." Sora trailed.
"That's why this will make you know some more!" Tristy clasped, "What guys have you met so far?"
"Well, there was this guy that came over yesterday. ." Sora started.
"Whoa, you're fast." Claire smirked, and Trisy whacked her in the head. (Bwahaha!! :P)
"Continue" Tristy said.
"Well, he was really cute and really kind and fun. . His name was Tai."
"Tai!?" Tristy and Claire squealed.
"Ohmigod! Perfect! He just broke up with his last girlfriend, so he's single! AND such a total babe! We have got to hook you two up!"
"Well. . he did seem interesting. ." Sora smiled lightly.
"That's it, leave it all to me and Claire. We'll get you two together somehow!" Tristy grinned.
After school, Sora was yet again forced to walk home, because for some reason the bus didn't stop near her area. Oh well, she didn't mind the exercise. Soon though, she wasn't alone. Tai walked up to her from nowhere, it seemed.
"Hey Sor!" He had yelled, scaring the life outta her.
"Don't do that!" Sora yelled back, and Tai smirked.
"Sorry. Where ya going?"
"Home, where else?" Sora grumbled, though she smiled at him.
"Oh, well, wanna come to the store with me instead?" He asked.
"I dunno. Just to hang, I need to check something out there too."
"Hm, ok. Sure."
"Cool." Tai grinned at her.
"So, what exactly did you want to buy?" Sora asked Tai, as they walked through what seemed like the millionth aisle looking for what Tai supposedly wanted.
"Oh, doesn't matter."
Sora stopped, "Then what are we doing here?"
"I wanted to show you something." Tai replied, and grabbed her hand towards a section full of books, and looked through them before grabbing one off.
"Mysterious Tales of Odaiba." Sora read off the cover, than quirked her eyebrows at Tai.
Tai blushed a bit, and said, "Well, you know I don't believe in hauntings and stuff, right? Well, that doesn't mean I'm not curious, and well, the story of your house intrigues me."
"What's so special about my place? It's made of wood for gods sakes." Sora said, exasperated.
"Just look. It says some people believe that Hiroaki Ishida killed all his sons, and others think one of his sons actually killed the others and then offed himself. Some people suspected that a few of them were mentally ill."
"Isn't it interesting?"
". . ."
"Oh, c'mon. Hiroaki fled, too. I wonder if he ever came back. . . But what's for sure is, all eight of his sons died 50 years ago. They even went to our school!"
"That I knew." Sora said, "I saw Yamato's picture, remember?"
"So, don't you want to figure this out?"
"Figure what out?"
"What really happened 50 years ago!" Tai shouted.
"If the police couldn't figure it out 50 years ago when it happened, what makes you think we can 50 years later?" Sora rolled her eyes.
"Well, I'm not going to figure it out. You will." Tai smiled.
Sora suddenly felt as if something was slightly off about Tai. Something about him was definitely making her nervous at the moment.
"But you're the one that wants to, not me." Sora finally said, "And I can't do it on my own."
"Sure you can." Tai replied, smiling, "You've been given enough clues."
"Huh?" Sora asked, confused.
Tai just smiled wider, "C'mon, let's head back home now." And walked ahead of Sora towards the store entrance, leaving her there puzzled.
Sora glanced at the other people shopping around her, and realised they were all looking at her strangely, though she didn't know why.
"Er, Tai, wait up!" Sora yelled, and ran after him.
However, when Sora managed to get out of the store, Tai was nowhere in sight.
Sora was still grumbling about Tai leaving her behind when she reached the front yard of her house. The old swing made out of just wood and ropes was swinging in the breeze. That is, until Sora realised halfway up her driveway that there was no breeze. It was a hot summers day. She quickly looked back at the swing, and gasped. There, sitting on the swing, was a young boy with green eyes. What made her gasp more, however, was the fact that he wasn't there, but yet, he was. He was. . transparent. Sora rubbed her eyes, and looked again. Only this time, he was gone. She quickly ran into her house.
Sora ran into her room, and punched in Tristy's number. There were three rings, before Tristy picked up.
"Tristy! It's Sora."
"Oh, hey girl!"
"Hey. Listen, I just saw something weird-"
"No wait, first, you've gotta hear this!" Tristy squealed, "So, I talked to Tai, right-"
"Tai!? What, just now?" Sora asked.
"No no, after school until now. He just left!" Tristy grinned, though Sora couldn't see it.
"Wha- But- How?" Sora sputtered.
"What do you mean how?"
"I was at the store with him after school!" Sora yelled.
". . . I'm pretty sure he was with me." Tristy replied, "Tai Raiden, right?"
"Tai Raiden? I.. I don't know. I don't know Tai's last name, he never told me." Sora said into the phone.
"Well, as far as I know there's only one Tai in this town. Tai's got gorgeous red hair, and green eyes! And oh, dimples!" Tristy gushed.
"Red hair? Green eyes? Dimples!?" Sora yelled, "That's not my Tai! The one I'm talking about has brown hair and brown eyes. Pretty brawny, and he plays soccer."
"But you said he goes to Odaiba High?" Tristy said.
"He does. Well, that's what he told me."
"Well, listen Sora, I know practically everyone in school. Every grade. And there is -only- one Tai in our school, and that's Raiden. There is no one else called Tai, much less one with brown hair and eyes."
"But he told me yesterday he was in the Odaiba soccer team! Said he led Odaiba High to victory in the 23rd annual District Soccer Championships. He was boasting about it, really. Kept telling me what a great team he had-"
"Er. Yeah, that's what he said."
". . . We're up to the 73rd pretty soon, Sora. The 23rd was held about 50 years ago. . . You've been hanging out with an old guy?"
"What! No! He's 16 like us! And he looks it!"
Sora couldn't see Tristy hesitating, but she swore she could feel her doing so.
"I know you don't believe in this and all, 'cause you think it's bullcrap. . . but, well, one of the guys that died in your house 50 years ago. . one of them was named Taichi."
". . . You're saying you think my Tai is. . a ghost?"
"Seems like it."
". . . I saw a kid on the swings in my front yard just before. Looked around 10 or so. Had green eyes."
"Iori. He was the youngest."
". . . Maybe you should tell me all their names? You seem to know quite a bit."
"Everyone in this town does. And sure, I think it'd be better if you know. Well, there's Iori as you know, and then the triplets, Ken, Takeru, and Daisuke. After them comes Yamato. And then Taichi. And finally, the oldest, Jou."
Jou? . . .
". . . This is creeping me out. My parents aren't home. . . you think you can come over?" Sora asked.
"Sure. Be there in a tif. Bye." And she hung up.
Sora put the phone down in it's cradle and looked out of her bedroom window to the front yard below. The so called "Iori" wasn't on the swings or anymore in sight. Sora sighed with relief, and turned around. Only to scream.
There, sitting on her bed, was a boy who was transparent.
"Stay away from me!" Sora yelled shakily, backing away.
"I'm not going to hurt you." The boy said in a soft calm voice.
"Who are you!?" Sora asked.
"Don't you recognise me? From the photo." He replied.
"You're. . Yamato?"
The blonde boy nodded.
"What do you want?" She asked.
"Nothing." He replied simply.
"Then why are you here?"
"This is my room." Yamato smiled wryly, "Or, it was."
Sora swallowed, "Is- is Tai your brother?"
"How come he wasn't- transparent, and you are?" She asked tentatively.
"He can't see me if I'm like this. But if I was just like you-" He suddenly became solid, "Then he could see me."
"Can. . can others see you?"
"No. Only you can."
"So. . today, when I went to the store with Tai, people couldn't see him?"
"Nope, they'd couldn't."
"I- I met your brother Jou yesterday."
"Why were they trying to warn me about this place being haunted, if they were the ones haunting. . ?"
Yamato smiled a sour smile, "They want to kill you."
XD XD XD *cough* Yes, it's true, my writing has gotten crapper since the last time I wrote. =P It's all that chatroom talk I tells ya! :P Anyway, review and you'll get a happier crap writer who just might write that crap Yakari fic she was meant to write ages ago, and that Taito, and that other fic, and oh, finish off my other fics. . . =P *shamless plug* XD
#stray @ irc.blitzed.org
(*Has a Yamato Fanlisting in the works! Except the coding is so screwy.. x.X;; Maybe I should actually sit down and learn HTML to the full extent? :D . . . Nah. XD*)