Important Author's notes!

First of all, this is a semi-AU. The background to our leads is a bit confusing, so you'll have to read this carefully.

Kaoru and Ganko are the same age, for story purposes.

After Fuuko rescued Ganko from the mansion, Ganko never went with the Hokage to the UBS (based on the manga), and she has never seen Kaoru since.

For story purposes also, this story takes place in an American high school. (can someone tell me how many years there are in high school? I seriously have no clue…).

Kaoru, after joining the Hokage, never meets Ganko (for some strange obscure reason), then when he went back in time and came back again.

So, in nutshell, I've transplanted Kaoru and Ganko into an American high school, erased their memories of each other outside of the Kurei mansion, somehow, someway, brought Kaoru back from the past, and of course slightly altering their characters.

Semi-AU much?

Number two! This is the second installation to the Loving Trees series!

Read on! My friends!

Loving Trees: Kaoru and Ganko's story

There was a particular period of her life that she remembered in amazing detail yet seemed fuzzy and unclear.

It was time of great confusion for her; when her heart and mind was at it's weakest, perhaps because of her terribly young age but also because of the loss of her mother.

She remembered being taken in, and having lessons with a cold hard man. Sadness, aloneness, fear, confusion, longing, she remembered them all.

But most of all she remembered a boy. Perhaps her only friend and companion during those dark times; she had seen him as her protector, her guardian angel. They were the same age but he seemed so much older.

She had been crying that day, not unlike the other days. It was routine, after all, the tears. Kurei was harsh with her, with her incompetence in controlling the madougo. And also because she was still alone, still without a mother. The mannequin with her rather inept use was still a lifeless doll.

He had come out of nowhere and put his little arms around her, a steadying presence in her whirling world.

"It's okay. I'm here," he said.

And that was how their friendship began. Children are simple creatures after all; an offering of sweets, a hug, a smile, an invitation to catch worms together, are all potential friendships in the making. In this case it was kindness offered unasked.

She remembered dusty, lazy afternoons spent in glee, running around, playing hide-and-seek. They never knew each other's name.

The times they shared were too good to last. Changes came. He became a bit withdrawn; and then there was the appearance of a new handkerchief around his wrist that he seemed rather touchy about.

It was not long after that he was sent to another department of the training facility. She never saw him again. But by that time, she had already mastered the basics of her weapon. She had her mother; she didn't need anyone else anymore. And so, the memory of her little friend slowly slipped away.

But sometimes, every so often, she would wonder what had happened to him.

________

She had overheard once someone who said that, "Ganko could have ruled the school if it were not for that incident two years ago". And it was true. Her looks, if she had spent the same amount of time as the other girls, could have surpassed the present residing queen of her high school. And indeed, in her first year there, it looked to everyone that she would be the reigning princess of Lyotte High if all went well.

Unfortunately however, a particular incident occurring in that same year put a stop to all that. She was like a blooming bud cut too soon for her to blossom; like an eagle whose wings were clipped. Not to say that she became horrendously ugly, but her striking features dulled, and she became just one of the many. Average, passable, tolerable but nothing spectacular.

The only time she could be considered pretty, or even above average, was when she smiled. Sadly, she rarely did so anymore, or if she were forced to, she would smile a small smile that didn't reach her eyes.

So her high profile in her first year was slowly buried and forgotten, a new princess was chosen. And she was glad.

________

She was stuck in the rain when the new transfer student arrived. By the time she had reached school dripping wet, soaked to the bone, the obligatory fuss over the new student had passed. Nobody bothered to fill her in on the details and truth be told she wasn't really interested because they did not share classes.

Perhaps she should have been.

________

AN: I told you it was an AU, so no flames please! And also, the "incident" has nothing to do with UBS or SODOM, but is another part of Ganko's past that I created (as usual for story purposes).

So what did you think? Ganko, too ooc? Tell me!