Disclaimer: ...don't own furi kuri....;.; it's so tragic lol

Authors Notes: Well its another chapter again. To clear up a question on chapter 3, the fifty cents America cents Naota was carrying, I have no justification for. I simply don''t know the money system in Japan, so unless someone can correct me, all I can do is apologize and hope that you can still bare to read a story with a mistake as such. So to everyone else who hasn''t abandoned this fic, on again on again jigity jig!

"And Then I Met You"
chapter four
Shocked Faces and Sleepy Stares

In a rotating moment I was staring blankly and hearing things with extreme detail again, like I''d suddenly become more aware of my surroundings. That seems to happen when you go into shock.

I was still standing there with the same dead pan expression while the woman before me held out that dumb drink. So nonchalantly, like nothing had happened. It was definitely Haruko, she hadn''t changed a bit. Her hair was the same length and style, her eye''s that fluctuate dull yellow-green, and sporting the outfit she left in - she was unaged with a three year old smirk.

And there were about a million different way''s I could react. So many things I could say or do to express exactly how I felt about her leaving, what I thought about her coming back and acting like she''d been gone three minutes not years, So many possibilities!

But as always, I never do what seems practical.

"You have dirt on your nose." I hadn''t noticed it really till I''d said it. She used her other hand, licking her four-finger and rubbed the bridge of her nose inexpressibly. She dropped her hand and gestured with the drink in the other. "Gona take it?" she asked mildly. I thought about making a flippant comment, But just swiped the drink after all and looked at her while my fingers clung to the cold beverage that I didn''t want to drink.

A very intense silence passed. "Haruko," She shifted with a little warm acknowledging tilt to her head. "Yep." It was less of a sarcastic tone. I lowered my gaze. "Where did you go?" I could feel her eye''s on my head. "To find what worlds were worth living for."

I looked up. "I was looking for some things." She used to not clarify. I was a little surprised that I got an understandable answer at all - and I half expected her to whip out that bass guitar and start knocking me over the head.

But one last thing bothered me. "Why did you come back?" For a moment she seemed caught of guard by the question, and looked at me strait and serious for once. "I wouldn''t leave forever without saying goodbye, Naota."

Somehow that was an answer I didn''t expect and I just sat there staring quietly while she retained her seriousness that was eccentric for her, and then she cracked a smile. "So," I looked expectantly. "You want a ride or what? Cause I could always leave you here!" I gave her a distant look as I noticed the yellow vespa behind her, and against my idea''s to be stubborn I climbed on.

Surprisingly she handed me a helmet. "Off like old time''s, right?" I took it in bewilderment as she turned and revved the engine ahead. "Right."

I''d nearly forgotten what it felt like to ride with her. It felt like, flying.


Coming to a sharp halt, we pulled in at the bakery some short manner of minutes later. Amazingly still alive, I stepped off the vespa dropping the helmet back on the seat and unveiling my electrically static hair.

I looked back to Haruko as she turned around. It was a pictorial moment when she turned back to look at me. I more than a little expected her to have dropped me off and took off ridding, not to be seen again for another three years - but she was still standing there.

She was unpredictable, dangerous and rough on more than just the edges. But to make up, she was……real - and more of a reliable figure than some guardians that I know. And to sum it, I didn''t want her to go yet.

"Do you want to stay for a while?" She smirked. "Get right down to it don''t ya? Don''t beat around the bush." I blinked, and shrugged turning toward the shop. "Maybe I''ve grown up." She paused and followed. I knew she was making a skeptical face. "Maybe."

I kept walking. "Kamon will be glad to see you." She made a big show of stopping dead and I turned around when she scuffed her boots to make a noise. She was clutching her heart in mock horror. "That was cold, Naota! You insult me. Maybe I should just turn you into a mouse!"

Ah, the norm of the past. "Come on.." She flung her head into the air and reached back for her bag before walking forward. I watched her as she walked up acting high and mighty with her nose turned up and eyes closed. "Furi Kuri." She said. And it was like some kind of finality - A Suggestion that finished it all and proved her somehow right.

……were we arguing? I brushed it off and followed her in.

As we stepped into the living room things were calmer than I ever remember them being. Kamon and Mamimi were playing checkers while Grandpa listened to his old records in the armchair and Miyu-miyu sat in Mamimi''s lap. Mamimi seemed to be engrossed in the cat but winning the game, and Kamon seemed awfully accomplished at the idea of commencing in some sort of activity with the opposite sex. (fact of her being less than half his age having NO intrusion what-so-ever.)

And then WE walked in. Like a hot glass hitting ice, we shattered the picture. Mamimi looked up and stared in blank shock, which caught the attention of Kamon who knocked the board and Grandpa who slammed the record to a halt causing a violent screech.

And then there was us, at the full attention of three shocked individuals, because it never occurred to me at all as I walked in, that they hadn''t seen her in three years too. In a painful awkward silence, I wallowed in my idiocy. Thought Haruko seemed unaffected.

"It''s so wonderful to see YOU all again TOO!" With ever present cynicism. I stood rigidly in about the same amount of shock that everyone else was in a moment earlier as my father recovered from his lapse.

"Oh, Haruko-san forgive me! It''s such a surprise to see you!" My frame stiffened more as he jumped away from his previous victim up to the next prospect. "Oh how it''s been so lon-!" As he reached close range Haruko cut him off shooting her hand up. "Nah-uh." Kamon arched an eyebrow. "So-" "Nah-uh!" she gestured her hand forward as she shook her head.

Putting it down slowly she offered, "One moment." And reached into her bag as the shock grew around the room - And then it spiked again as she pulled out her bass guitar. Holding it by her side she looked content and told us, "Commence."

Hoping against the worst, and the stupidity of some, I watched the events unfold. Proving to the world that once again he had misplaced the better part of his brain, Kamon spoke. "It''s so wonderful to see-!" Before the end of his sentence Haruko wound back and swung, smacking Kamon right hard in the gut and jettisoning him into the back wall by the stairs.

As well as leaving the occupants of the room, dumbstruck.

Unfazed, Haruko slipped the bass back into its case. Here for nearly two minutes before knocking the house hold owner unconscious……

Grandpa was the first to recover. "That''s EXACTLY what we need on our team! Haruhara-san, won''t you walk with me so we can discuss a nice contract or two?" Well he seemed impressed. Haruko shrugged. "If I get free pancakes." Grandpa nodded several times. "Sure, sure. Now lets discuss living terms and working hours……" always about baseball.

As they walked off I suddenly remembered Mamimi. I looked back to find her watching them too still holding the cat, but when I turned to her she looked at me. Her expression was dull but she was looking strait into my eye''s. My face became warm.

"She came back too." She offered. I blinked and nodded. Still not looking away she watched me in that dull face. "Are you happy?" I thought as my eye''s widened slightly. Was there a right answer she wanted from me?

"Yes." Her eye''s glazed out of focus and then back in. "That''s good. I''m glad you''re happy Naota." With that she stood up and walked around toward the hall without passing me. I almost called out to her, but didn''t for some reason as she passed Kamon and went down the hall to the guest room disappearing inside.

Just then, she had acted so odd, it was nearly frightening. Was there something wrong? What did she think? Is she sick? A lot of options, so I chose the less complicated one to ease my mind. She must just be tired.

And with that decided, I went upstairs to rest up for what would undoubtedly be an unorthodox day tomorrow.


well I''m worried that I may have gone completely off topic or out of character with this chapter, so if anyone finds this chapter somehow wrong and not doing justice to FLCL than please let me know why.

And for the soundtrack link, its in my profile so click on my pen name and scroll down to the notes in my bio about ''And Then I Met You''

Love much!

~tl snow