--Hi there. This is my second EscaFlowne fanfic. I hope you like it.--

Summary: Van and Hitomi have been best friends since she moved into town their freshman year of high school. Now, three years after college, Van works in a very big company and promised his boss that he could hook him up with a beautiful girl so Van could get a big project everyone's dying for. Van goes to Hitomi for help and after making her more like a lady, does Van really want to let her go through with this? V/H

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my idea and any characters I make up.

"blah" talking

'blah' thinking

(blah) author's notes to make you laugh or shake your head at.

Chapter One: One Week to Go

The cafeteria was full today, everyone in their separate social groups chatting away while occasionally stuffing food into their mouths. If you could call it food anyway. The day had been long and stressful, but not that much longer to go for the seniors. Graduation was just round the corner, or rather next week. They were all so excited and nervous for the finals coming up. All that was heard lately was "Which college are you going to," "I'm so going to miss you," and "We totally have to hang out all summer."

One girl was sitting off to the side with two others, a girl with red hair and a boy with shoulder length brown hair. They were just smiling and chatting away peacefully. Suddenly, the girl shrieked as something very wet came in contact with her back. Furious, she spun around and saw a certain male laughing his head off. "You losing your touch, Kanzaki?"

Ever so slowly, the girl stood and tossed something lightly in her hands, grinning a what had to be called evil grin. "Now whatever gave you that idea, Fanel?"

The two then ran off to the middle of the quad and so began the seniors' water fight. It was a tradition at the school that a week before graduation all the seniors would begin an all out water war with each other and any brave underclassmen who dared try to participate. It was decided that the school's most popular guy and a not so popular girl were to start the war. It had been a challenge other years to get people to be the initiators of the war, but not this year. Not when the most popular guy was Van Fanel and the not so popular girl was his best friend, Hitomi Kanzaki.

Now that story is an interesting one. The day Van and Hitomi met was rather… interesting…


"Van! You better come quick!"

The said boy looked up at the girl running towards him. "What's wrong, Lin?"

The little red head took a few breaths for she had been running around trying to find him. "It's Merle."

Van didn't think twice. "Where is she?"

"The quad."

With that, he sprinted off in that direction, hoping to get there in time. Merle had been his friend for a long time, so when her parents died in a horrible accident, his family took her in. He had always viewed her as his little sister and the job of a big brother was to protect her. People would always pick on her and sometimes beat her up. That was usually when Van came and kicked their butts. No one was going to hurt her. She had been through enough.

When he got there, he saw some girls and a few guys already run off, but one female stood over a curled up Merle. Van came full force and grabbed the girl's shoulder, spinning her around to face him. He was pissed off beyond compare. The girl's emerald eyes looked at him in shock, surprise and this 'excuse me?' look. "What the hell do you think you're doing to my sister?!?"

The girl's eyes narrowed. "What the… I didn't do a damn thing but help."

"Help?? You call beating her up like that help?!? Why don't you try fighting me instead?" His anger was building up by the second. This… girl had the audacity to say she was doing Merle a favor?!? 'I think not!'

"Calm down there Sparky. I wasn't doing anything. I saw this girl here getting beat up so I came over to stop it. Then you come over here to attack me?"

"Ha! I don't believe that for a second. You were standing over her!"

"To see if she was alright, you macadamia nut!"

Right as he was about to do what he had never done before, hit a girl, Van heard a tiny voice. "Van?"

Both turned to look at the girl who was now sitting up a bit. To Van's surprise, there weren't that many bruises on her at all. Merle looked at her "big brother" and then at the emerald eyed girl. "She's telling the truth, Van. Those guys came up to me and started to call me names and such. Then they… they started to hit me. This girl here ran up to them and began fighting them, saying for them to leave me alone or she'll be back. That's why they ran away."

Van looked from his sister to the other girl before him who gave him this look that clearly asked "satisfied??" He looked back at his sister and she just looked at him with eyes that said she was telling the truth.

The girl sighed with frustration. "Whatever. I only wanted to help. Later." With that, she picked up her stuff and began to walk away.

Van mentally smacked himself and after seeing if Merle would be alright, he ran after the girl. "Wait! Hold up a minute." The girl stopped walking and looked at him as he caught up to her. "Listen, I'm sorry about that… misunderstanding. Thanks for helping her."

Seeing the girl raise one eyebrow, he continued. "I really am sorry. It's just…"

"I get it, Sparky. If I see her in trouble again, I'll help out. No big deal." As she was about to turn away, Van saw a small but noticeable bruise on her cheek. "Hang on a minute." He grabbed her arm before she walked away. She turned to look at him with cold eyes. "Oh, you so want to let go."

Taking the not too subtle hint, Van let go of her arm and started to defend himself. "I only mean you got hurt. Maybe you should get an ice pack or something."

"Is there blood?"

"Well, no."

"Then I'm fine. Now if you excuse me, I have to get to class. Well, I have to find it anyway."

Van raised an eyebrow at that. "Wait, so you're new here?"

"Yeah, what's it to you?"

Shaking his head, he pulled her schedule right out of her hands. "Let's see here…"

Snatching her schedule back from him, the girl looked him straight in the eye. "I don't need any help. I'll find it on my own."

With that, the girl started storming off in one direction. Van took a look back at Merle to see she was fine and those friends of hers finally showed up. Knowing she was okay now, he went off after the emerald eyed girl. She wasn't too far away so Van easily caught up. This girl amused him for some reason.

When he was only a few feet away, the girl spun around and glared. "Okay, what part of 'I don't need any help' did you not understand?"

With a smirk on his face, he answered very calmly, "The 'don't' part."

Rolling her eyes, the girl turned. "Smart ass."

"Come on. You're new. You don't know your way around. It's a rather big school. You can either get so very lost or you can let this smart ass show you around so you actually make it to a class on time. Your choice."

With a small smirk on her face, she looked at him. "Well, if those are the only choices I have… I'd rather get lost. Better yet, why don't you get lost? It would make me a whole lot happier."

"See I would, but I'm afraid of the lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!"

The girl just blinked at him. "I think you watched the Wizard of Oz one too many times."

"Possibly. But enough about me. What about you? Tell me a bit about yourself… maybe starting with your name?"

Shaking her head, she just walked away from him. "You gotta work harder then that, Sparky." With that, she entered the building and took off in one direction, leaving Van standing there with an amused look on his face. 'Okay then. Let the challenge begin.'

Throughout the day, Van would find some way of finding that girl and smiling at her a big smile. She would just roll her eyes and head in the other direction. Finally, lunch came around. Van walked in and began looking around not only for his usual table but for the emerald eyed girl. He clearly saw his friends sitting together, but today he was on a mission.

He put his tray down, said hi to everyone, then quickly looked around for the girl. Just then, she walked out holding her tray. 'Bingo.' She started to walk over to an empty table and was about to sit down when her favorite person of the day sat down across from her.

"So, how's your first day going? Finding your classes alright?"

She glared at him again, but sat down. "Don't you have better things to do then torment the new kid on their first day?"

Van pretended to think for a minute then shook his head. "Nope."

"Why doesn't that surprise me?"

Van made himself comfortable as just watched her try and ignore him, a smile on his face. '3…2…1…' The girl snapped her head up with a very annoyed face. "What is your problem?"

'Gets them every time.' "Problem?"

"Yeah. Why are you following me around, causing me to get very aggravated and currently regretting helping your little sister?"

"I just want to find some way of paying you back. That and I would like to know your name."

A sweet yet scary smile formed on her face. "You really want to pay me back?" When he nodded, she motioned for him to come closer. "I know one thing you could do," she said in a rather seductive voice, sending a chill up and down his spine. She leaned in closer to his ear, then shouted, "LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!!"

She quickly got up and left the cafeteria, leaving poor Van with this ringing in his ears. A smirk came on his face. 'Two can play at that game.' With that, he went back to his table of friends who were staring at him. He sighed. "You don't want to know." Van sat down and ate the rest of his lunch quickly. He had to make sure to follow her.

For some reason, he couldn't really find her after lunch. A bit confused, Van looked around after school to find this mystery female. Suddenly, a noise caught his attention in the gym. Curious, the black haired male went over to the gym and found a certain female surrounded by a rather large group of kids. 'What the heck's going on here?'

One of them came forward and grabbed the girl by the chin. "No one makes a fool out of my kid brother."

The girl slapped away the guy's hand. "Well, then he shouldn't make it so easy to do."

The guy was obviously less then pleased. "You bitch! I'll teach you not to mess with-"

"Hey!" Everyone turned their attention to the door. The girl groaned and placing a hand on her forehead began to shake her head. "Problem here, gentlemen?"

The guy then replied. "What's it to you, Fanel? This is none of your concern."

"Tsk tsk. What kind of gentleman would I be if I let you team up against this poor, defenseless girl here."

Oh, her head snapped up and a fire was in her eyes. "Poor defenseless?!?!? How dare you!!!!"

Van looked at her directly. "I'm just saying these guys are out of your league."

"I'll show YOU who's defenseless!" With that, she slugged the guy who had grabbed her chin so hard that he doubled over in pain. The other guys ran towards her, fully ready to attack. Van was all set to run in to save her when he saw the girl punch and kick her way out of the fight. It didn't last long either. The group was on the ground in pain. Only a few guys were left and were debating whether or not to fight this… girl.

Van was a bit more then impressed. These were guys even some teachers were afraid of, and here comes some new girl to show no fear and knock them all out. One came from behind at that moment and grabbed her, setting another up to hit her. Oh, Van was not having that! Not to the girl that saved his sister. As he was about to move, the girl slapped her foot on top of his, brought her arm down to smack him in the mouth, then flipped him. And he just happened to land on the other guy who was charging.

Blinking a few times, Van stared at this girl who was sending daggers at him with her eyes. "I would run if I were you, Sparky."

He just grinned. "Glad to know you like me enough to give me a nickname. I think I could get used to it."

Just then, a guy came from behind and hit her hard in the back of the head. Not expecting that, the girl fell to the ground, the hit being hard enough to knock her out. The guy grinned while Van's eyes began to narrow. "That will cost you, buddy."

The guy looked up just in time to have his face come in contact with Van's fist, sending him back quite a few feet. The other guys knew of Van's reputation, so they did the wise thing of just running away. Looking down at the girl, he sighed and picked her head up slowly. 'Well, that's going to sting for awhile, but no bleeding.' Gently, he picked her up into his arms and began his long walk home. 'I am sooo looking forward to senior year when I can drive.'

A few hours later, emerald eyes opened to look into maroon orbs. "Morning sunshine."

The girl groaned and sat up, causing Van to sit back. "What the hell happened?"

Van grinned. "You should really watch behind you instead of glaring at me. One of them hit you from behind. There's no blood, but you should have a headache for a bit. Here, take these." Van handed her some Advil and a glass of water. She reluctantly accepted them and took them, then handed back to him the glass. "Thanks."

He smiled at her as he went into the kitchen to put the glass in the sink. He came back soon with an ice pack. After placing it on her head, he held out his hand. "I'm Van Fanel."

She looked at his hand and after thinking about it for a moment, she sighed and took his hand. "Hitomi Kanzaki."

He smiled again. "See? Was that so hard?"

"Apparently it was if it's giving me this much of a headache."

After letting go of her hand, Van sat back a bit. "So, am I allowed to ask you questions now or are you going to tear my head off or scream in my ear again?"

"Oh, but I so enjoyed that." A small laugh escaped his lips as he saw her relax and smile a bit. "Go ahead. I guess I owe you anyway."

Waving his hand, Van shook his head. "We're even. So, Hitomi, where are you from?"

"Mystic Moon. I just transferred."

"That's a really good school. Kind of far away though. What brings you to our town of Gaea?"

"My mom got a new job. She works at Astoria."

Van's mouth practically fell open. "Astoria?? That's a really big company."

"Jee, you think?" Hitomi rolled her eyes. "Well, that's why I'm here."

They soon talked well into the night, Hitomi shooting her sarcasm at Van every chance she got, which he was starting to find very amusing. As she was getting up to leave, he offered to walk her home, which she didn't like at first, but he threatened to come anyway and keep her up all night with his so called serenading. So, they walked to her house, just talking. By the time they reached Hitomi's house, they were friends. Hitomi walked up her steps and when she was at the door, she turned and waved at Van. He smiled and waved back, then made his way home. It turned out she was only about eight blocks away. Not too bad. On his way home, he was thinking of his new found friend, Hitomi.

-End Flashback-

"Gotcha Van!" Hitomi flung a huge water balloon at the blacked haired boy, getting him soaked from head to toe. He laughed and turned to face her. "You know that won't go unpunished, 'Tomi."

"Oh that's it, Sparky. You know I hate that name." With that, she brought out her secret weapon she was saving for him. The huge water gun was aimed right at him.

Van put on the most innocent face. "You wouldn't do that to your best friend, would you?"

To answer his question, Hitomi pulled the trigger and hit him dead on. He just kept laughing and throwing the water balloons back at her as she ran after him, laughing as well. Suddenly, Van disappeared behind the corner. Hitomi followed and to her surprise got hit with a huge blast of water, making her scream out. Van came out from the side holding the gardening hose.

"Oh, you are soooo dead, Fanel!!"

"Ah, but the look on your face will make me die a happy man."

The water war continued until the end of the day. The lower classmen had to go to classes and were able to watch the water war, anticipating senior year when they could go out and have that much fun. Merle was one of those people. She just smiled as she watched her big brother and his best friend have so much fun. Since she met Hitomi, no one ever picked on her. Hitomi was always there and even taught Merle had to defend herself. Van had tried to help, but only ended up being the "dummy" to try the moves out on. For the longest time she thought Van secretly had a crush on Hitomi. In fact, by watching them now, Merle still thought that. 'Hmm… Hitomi Fanel. Has a nice ring to it.' With that, she went back to her math class, which was just ever so boring.

The day had ended and a very soaked senior class all headed towards the parking lot. Van was sitting on his car when a towel that was thrown at him landed on his head. "Gee, Fanel, you really went all out today."

He smiled and rubbed the towel against his hair. "I could say the same to you, Kanzaki." Taking the towel off, he looked over at the emerald eyed girl was had a towel around her shoulder. She was smiling at him and shaking her head. "Ready to go home, Hitomi?"

"Sure. What about Merle?"

"She told me she was hanging out with some of her friends today. What, don't want to be alone with me? I know I am sooo irresistible and all." He ran a hand through his hair and put on this adorable face that would have a lot of girls drooling.

Hitomi just laughed and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that's it Van. I just don't know how I can control myself. Let me get myself under control so I don't pounce on you right this second." She rolled her eyes again and hit him playfully on the arm.

Van laughed and got in his car as Hitomi got into the passenger's side. After turning on the car and backing out, he threw it into drive and began the journey towards home.

"Hey Van. Want to go see a movie or something? It's so boring at home."

He smiled. "Sure. But I better take you home first. You look like a drowned rat. Don't want to ruin my reputation and all." She smacked him in the arm as he laughed. "Hey, be nice to the driver. Besides, that one hurt."

"Aww, poor baby. Did I hurt you?"

Van began to pout. "Yes you did, you big meanie."

"Then you might want to grow up."

"But I don't wanna grow up! I'm a Toys-R-Us kid!"

Hitomi shook her head. "You really need to stop watching TV."

"Never!" Hitomi laughed as he smiled. He always did like to hear her laugh. It was better then when she was pissed at him. Then she just got very scary.

Soon, they came to her house. Hitomi hopped out of the car then turned to him before going inside. "So should I see you in a few? I'm assuming you going to change too."

Van looked at himself. He was soaking wet, his hair still plastered to his head. "Nah, I think I'll go like this."

Hitomi threw her towel at him. "Go change! See you in a few."

"Bye 'Tomi."

"Later Sparky." Hitomi headed up to her house and waved to him as she reached the door. He waved back then took off when she was inside. It had become a tradition since that first night that Van walked or drove Hitomi home. And it was also a tradition for her to wave from the door and him wave back.

When he got home, Van headed upstairs, took a really quick shower, then changed into a dark red t-shirt and jeans. Heading back downstairs, he poked his head into the kitchen. "I'm going out mom."

Varie turned and looked at her son. "Where and with who?"

"Just to the movies with Hitomi."

"Okay. Just call if you end up sleeping over like you usually end up doing. And you are sleeping on the floor like you usually do, right?"

Van just laughed. "Of course, mom. Cya!"

"Have fun!"

Shaking his head as his mom's comment filled his mind, Van got back into the car and drove over to pick up Hitomi. He parked the car in front of her house and went up to the door. He rang the doorbell and it soon opened. He smiled. "Hey Kenji. Is she ready yet?"

"Oh, hi Van. I'll go get her." The boy ran over to the stairs and shouted up to his big sister. "HITOMI!!! VAN'S HERE!!!!"

Soon, he heard the sounds of Hitomi running down the hall and to the stairs. She soon reached the bottom and smiled at him. "Hey Van. Long time no see."

"I know. It's been ages." He smiled back. "You ready?"

"Of course." Hitomi was wearing a regular light purple t-shirt and jeans. She called out to her mom that she would be back later and then left with Van to his car. "So, want to see Pirates of the Caribbean?"

Van looked at her as they climbed into his car. "Again?"

"Why not?"

"We've already seen it about ten times now."

Hitomi looked at him with these big eyes and her bottom lip began to quiver. "Pretty please, Van?"

Van kept trying to look away. "No, not the puppy dog face. That's not fair."


"Damn it, Hitomi! You know I can't say no to that face."

"Yay! Thank you Van."

Van just shook his head. "One of these days I will be able to say no to you."

"You just keep thinking that. You might also want to start the car."

Sighing, Van started the car and began to head to the movies. They easily found a parking spot and got out to wait on line. Soon it was their turn. Van went first. "One for Pirates please." The man gave him the ticket and Van paid. He got out of the way for Hitomi.

"One for Pirates please." The man was about to give the ticket when Hitomi reached for her wallet. Her face went very red as her mouth dropped open. "Err, Van? You want to do me a favor?"

Shaking his head, Van paid for her ticket and they went inside. "Sorry. I'll pay you when we get back."

"Don't worry about it. What are best friends for?"

"You know I'm going to pay you back."

"True, but instead of money, you can pay me back later tonight. I'll just have to plan for a bit."

Hitomi rolled her eyes as they found their seats. "I didn't know thinking was your strong suit, Van."

"Ha ha, very funny."

The theatre then went black and the movie began.

After the movie ended, Van was shaking his head and smiling while Hitomi frowned. "It's not funny, Van!"

"I think it was. How can you still get freaked out by that monkey when you've seen it so many times?"

"Oh cut it out!" Hitomi shook her head and stared out the window while her friend was smiling at her little scream in the theatre.

"Ooooh, did I hurt my little 'Tomi's feelings?"

They were at a red light and Van was looking at her with this sympathetic face. Hitomi refused to look over. "Oh be quiet."

"Awww, my poor little 'Tomi. Come and let me make it all better." He reached over and took her chin in his hand, turning her to him.

"What are you doing, Fanel?"

"Trying to make it up to you."

"Back off, Sparky. It's a green light."

Van turned his attention back to the road and headed towards Hitomi's house yet again. When they got there, Van parked in his usual spot and walked inside with Hitomi. She opened the door and walked into the kitchen. "Hi mom. We're back."

Maaya turned and smiled at the two. "Hi you two. Dinner will be ready in a few. Oh, and Van, your mother dropped off some clothes for you in case you stay over tonight, which I assume you are like you usually do?"

Van nodded. "Arigatou, Mrs. Kanzaki."

Hitomi pulled Van up to her room while Maaya smiled. After Hitomi closed the door, she flopped onto her bed. Van flopped down next to her, both staring up at the ceiling. "Can you believe it, Van?"

"Believe what?"

"We're graduating next week. I mean, we're leaving here soon to go to college."

"Yeah. So?"

"Well, aren't you a little… well…"

"A little scared?"

Hitomi looked over at him. "Well, yeah."

Van smiled at her. "I can't believe that my best friend Hitomi Kanzaki is scared of going off to college. I remember when she was new at school and took down the biggest bully on her first day."

She smiled at him while punching his arm. "You know what I mean. It's a whole lot different than high school." Her head rested on his shoulder as he put his arm around her shoulders.

"You'll do fine, Hitomi. I have no doubt about that."

"Aren't you scared, Van?"

"A little bit. I'm just wondering how I'm ever going to survive without the quick wit and sarcasm of my best friend everyday."

Hitomi brought her head up to look at him fully. "Van, I think you'll be fine, but I don't know about myself. You and Merle and the rest of them were really my first true friends. I didn't really have any before I came here."

Van brought his hand up to place her head back on his shoulder. "I know. You just have to let them get through that tough outside and let them see the real you. You let them see what I see, I guarantee they'll love you."

"I don't know, Van."

"Trust me. Have I ever lied to you?"

Hitomi raised her eyebrow. "Do you really want me to answer that?"

Van looked down at her. "What are you implying?"

"I distinctly remember a certain time someone claimed to see a chicken practicing yoga on the kitchen table."

"Hey, it's not my fault the damn thing ran off before you could see it."

A laugh escaped the female's mouth. "Sure Van. Whatever you say."

"Hitomi! Van! Dinner's ready!"

Both teenagers got up from the bed and headed downstairs to eat whatever wonderful food Mrs. Kanzaki made. Not only was she a great business woman, but a really great cook, which is what Van discovered the first time Hitomi invited him over for dinner.

(---I always skip the meals… don't know… I just do…---)

After dinner, Van and Hitomi ran back up to her room where they proceeded to flop on the bed again. It was just a very flopable bed!

Hitomi looked over at Van. "So, what do you want to do?"

"Let's just talk for awhile."

"About what?"

"The future."

Hitomi sat up a bit. "Like what?"

Van also sat up to look at but was more on his side then his back. "Well, we're both going to different colleges and all. I guess I'm afraid I won't see you again after we leave."

"Van Fanel! Of course we'll see each other again. How can I not see my very best friend in the entire world?"

"You think that now, Hitomi, but you'll meet new people at college. What if you forget about me?"

Shaking her head, Hitomi looked at him fully. "There is no way I could forget someone like you… what's your name again?"

With that, Van quickly took one of her pillows and hit her with it in the head. She laughed and soon grabbed the other one to hit him as well. And let the pillow fight begin. About ten minutes later, Van did a brave thing during the fight. He threw down his pillow and proceeded to tickle Hitomi. She began to laugh as he continued the torture. "No…. fair… hahahaha"

"All's fair in love and war, Hitomi."

All of a sudden, Van found himself under Hitomi, who was looking down at him with this evil look in her eyes. "Two can play at that game." And so, she reached out and began to tickle him as well. Poor Van tried so hard to get free, but Hitomi had him pinned down. Eventually, he grabbed both her wrists and brought her down so she was mere inches from his face. She struggled to get out of his grasp, but failed. "Van, could you let go? I don't like having black and blues on my wrists."

With a smile on his face, he asked, "Are you sure?"

Hitomi then realized what position they were in. Her face got very red as she did her best to sit up, Van sitting up as well. "That was cruel."

"I don't think so. Just playing my cards right."

"Is that why you keep losing at Poker?"

Van sent a playful glare at her as she smiled. He eventually got up and took the clothes his mother sent over. "Might as well change. Be right back."

"Okay. You know the drill. Knock first."

"Duh." Van then left her room to enter the bathroom just a little ways down. After changing into his other t-shirt and plaid pajama pants, he went back over to her room and knocked. "Are you decent?"

"Yeah, come on in."

Van turned the handle and opened the door. Hitomi was sitting on her bed wearing a tank top and boxer shorts. Van quickly set up the mattress on the floor and laid down on it.



"Did you ever have a secret you kept from someone because you were afraid of their reaction?"

That caused him to sit up. "What do you mean? Is there something you haven't told me?" He already knew about how her dad had died and that her mom had dated this abusive guy for awhile. That was why she was so tough now. She had trained herself so she wouldn't be a victim anymore. Then what else was there?

"Will you make me two promises, Van?"


"Now don't agree until you hear them."

"Go ahead."

"The first one is that we constantly stay in touch throughout college and stay friends after college."

"That one I have no problem agreeing to."

"The second is that we tell each other our deepest, darkest secrets to each other the day before we leave for college. You know, something we haven't told each other."

Van had to think about that. Did he really have a something he kept from Hitomi? Shaking his head, he agreed to the promises. He could tell Hitomi smiled.

"I'm glad. Good night, Van."

"Good night, Hitomi."

With that, Hitomi reached over and shut off her light, surrendering both Van and herself to slumber.

--I can almost guarantee that the other chapters won't be this long. What do you think so far? Reviews are wonderful. Ja ne!--