CHAPTER 5: ALTOPHOBIA

By: HACHiMiTSU-KAWAii

Disclaimers: You get the idea…

A/N: DUM DUM DUM! It's me again! Sorry for the very, very late update! I was so caught up with my summer vacation that I didn't notice time pass by… hehehe… My good news? I BOUGHT COBWOY BEBOP AND WITCH HUNTER ROBIN CD's! I was supposed to buy the Get Backers CD collection but I ran out of money… sigh… Why does this keep happening to me! OH! And before I forget, I would like to thank all those people who reviewed! I forgot to thank them last time… My mind is not working properly, as always, and I often forget things… HOHOHO! Well? Shall we get on with the story? Ehem…

Dedication: This story is dedicated to ALL BAN X HEVN FANS out there, to my fave author MZ-KITTY-KAT, to my friends Faye-faye, Cha-cha, and Ju-ju, to my FILIPINO reviewers (MGA KABABAYAN! NOYPI DA BEST!), to Bado-san, and to Mr. Tiger JK…

PS if you happen to encounter some incorrect grammar here please try to understand that I'm not that good in English… I get confused often…

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LET's JAM!

I THINK I'M GONNA TRY FOR THAT POV TYPE OF WHATEVER IT IS… HOPE IT TURNS OUT GOOD… BAN's POV

Wow! I never knew that this was possible. I mean, having a vacation in Hawaii with the daughter of the richest man in the world and a very sexy, and at the same time obnoxious pretend girlfriend. This is great! I get to have all things for free without even working for it! Pinch me I must be dreaming! I thought as I slowly entered the humongous plane with Hevn beside me. I looked around the inside of the Jet to get used to where things are: where the bathroom is located, where I would be sitting in, and things like that… Finally, Crystal directed us to where we would be sitting, my 'girlfriend' beside me of course. We settled in.

After some emergency and safety tips from the stewardess we ate our snacks and carried on with completely updating each other about our current lives. Although I felt OP because Hevn and Crystal would do all the talking and I would sometimes cut in, I still found a way to entertain myself thanks to the laptop that was assembled in front of my seat. I browsed for something to play and after a few minutes I was in the world of video gaming. Unfortunately, not long after I started my game we heard a voice which seemed to belong to the pilot. I was somehow relieved to hear his rather monotonous voice. Yup! I am definitely excited, no doubt about that. Actually I can feel my heart pumping really hard as if it was about to pop out from me anytime now.

"This is your captain speaking. We will be leaving in about ten minutes. Please fasten your seatbelts in time for the take off to avoid any accidents. Thank you and good day." We heard him say on the speaker. We did as he ordered and fastened our seatbelts. As stubborn as I am, I decided to follow him, not that I'm being too cautious and all but because I didn't want anything to ruin this vacation. I know I'm that type of guy who seldom gets hurt that easily but, hey, you'll never know what's in for you in the next minute or so.

Hevn and Crystal went on with their conversation and I went back to playing my interrupted game. And just like the captain said we were off after 10 minutes.

I felt scared during the take off. I've never told anyone about this, not even Ginji, but I'M SCARED OF HEIGHTS!

I couldn't continue my game anymore since I felt nauseous. I wanted to puke but in respect to the two beautiful ladies on my right, one much, much richer than the other, I kept everything in. And when I couldn't take it anymore, I removed my seatbelts and ran as fast as I could towards the bathroom, leaving a confused Hevn and Crystal.

END OF BAN's POV HEVN's POV

We were off. I decided to catch up with Crystal's current life so I started a conversation with her. And as usual she was doing all the talking leaving me to listen to her blabbing. We were cut off by Ban when he suddenly stood up and ran towards the bathroom. HE'S MY HERO! Thank God! I was starting to feel sleepy with all of Crystal's stories about her life, of course.

"What's wrong with him?" I unconsciously blurted out, shocked by Ban's course of action.

"I'll go check on him." Crystal offered already pulling her seatbelts apart.

"NO!" I exclaimed before she could actually go after him. I also pulled my seatbelts apart and stood up. I looked at Crystal. "I'll go check on him. He IS my boyfriend" I stressed out putting another point on the scoreboard for me. Half of my mind was laughing hysterically as I caught a glimpse of Crystal's reaction to what I said. For the first time, I saw her actually get hurt with what I said! Well what do you know… She is human after all! The other half? I found myself actually worrying about Ban more than I would normally do. I rushed to the bathroom and knocked on the door. I knocked three times, but there was no answer. I knocked again, still no answer. I was beginning to really get worried.

"Ban! It's me! Hevn! Are you alright, honey?" I said in a sweet tone. Still, there was no answer.

"BAN! HONEY! OPEN THE DOOR PLEASE!" I pleaded as I pounded on the door. The door slightly opened and I pushed it to fully open wide. I was shocked to see Ban, all pale and weak. I wanted to laugh seeing him like this but I didn't because besides him looking ridiculous my body had a mind of its own and I was forced to be caring because of how vulnerable he was right then. I entered the bathroom and closed the door. I could tell that it wasn't any ordinary plane comfort room. The room was wide and when you're in it you feel like your still stuck on the ground but in reality you're miles away from the earth's surface.

"Ban, what's wrong with you. You don't look, okay." I told him, worried. He didn't speak and instead he ran towards the sink and there he was vomiting already. I felt pity for him, seeing him like this is unusual since he rarely gets sick. I don't know what got into me but I found myself beside him in the sink patting his back lightly. Well, maybe I was just concerned about his well being.

Ban lifted his head and looked at himself in the mirror. I was surprised when he ironically grinned.

"I know what you're thinking." He said looking at my image reflected on the mirror. I stood there bamboozled. To be honest I didn't exactly get what he meant by that so I just kept my mouth shut. He took my silence as a gesture that he should continue what he was saying. "You think I look ridiculous and you're trying your best not to laugh right now."

How could he have possibly read my mind? "Oh, so you're psychic? I'm kidding. What's the matter with you? Feeling nauseous?" I asked him.

"Yeah… Hevn… I… Can you keep a secret?" Ban asked looking innocently at me. Oooooooooh… I knew then that this was going to be interesting. I giggled at that thought.

"Of course… you can trust me."

"I'm a little doubtful about that" he said with a wide grin, the widest grin he could possibly make. And at lighting speed I punched his head. How dare he! Do I look like a traitor? I was about to speak when he puked again and so all my anger vanished and I found myself babying him. This is not happening! Me? Babying him? I'm too good for that job. And after a while of puking and patting I let him rest on the couch that was placed near the bathroom entrance and let him use my lap as his pillow. That's right! His pillow! It's the least I could do, instead of standing around doing nothing to help. Although his eyes were closed I could sense that he was still awake. Afraid to distract him, I refrained from making too much movements. He looks so peaceful when he sleeps. He's like a baby, so innocent and pure when he's like that even though when he's awake he acts like shit. Baby… Baby Ban… sounds nice… I wonder what he looked like when he was young. He never tells me anything about himself and I doubt if Ginji knows a thing or two about his past. His past… Is it as horrible as Ginji's? Even his so-called best friend doesn't know him that well. Well, maybe Ginji knows a thing or two about him but not much. How mysterious can a guy be?

I watched him as he squirmed a little positioning himself into a more comfortable position. His muscular chest falling and rising as he breathes. His eyes shut hiding those pair of beautiful sapphire eyes. I adore those eyes of his. They're two pools of blue filled with magic stardust… and when you stare at them you find yourself hypnotized by his liquefying gaze. I unconsciously brushed a stray strand of hair away from his face. And what surprised me most was when he suddenly started to talk.

"You know what? You remind me of my mother." He told me.

"Oh yeah? Then You must've had a beautiful mother." I smiled at him although I knew from the start that he couldn't possibly see it. My smile faded away when I saw a frown pasted on his face. It broke my heart for some reasons I didn't know to see him so lonely.

"My mother… My mother… never liked me." He said in a low and sad tone. He started to slowly open his eyes and I met his lonely gaze. I wanted to comfort him at that point. But I guess my stupid pride took the better of me.

"May I ask why?" I asked him matching the softness of his voice.

"My eyes…" I was shocked by his answer. Those eyes… those magnificent eyes… no matter how pleasing and magical they may appear… it was the reason why his mother didn't like him. I never knew it hid a forlorn tale.

"You have beautiful eyes, Ban. Has anyone ever told you that?" I told him reassuringly.

"Ginji did. So did Yamato and Himiko… and Natsumi, Paul. My grandmother used to tell me that too. But it's nice to hear it from you." He smiled at me ever so sweetly. I smiled back. Is this real? His voice which was a nuisance back in Japan was suddenly music to my ears.

"Then why do you despise them?"

"These… these were the reasons why… why my mother disowned me." Disown… a very wounding word for a person, especially when that person is a little boy searching for comfort in her mother's arm but his mother wouldn't let him.

"Disowned you?" I asked to be sure that I heard it right.

"When I was a little boy I used to get beaten up all the time."

"I'm… really sorry to hear that." I don't know whether he was telling the truth or everything is just an act but somehow his story drove me to a point where water started to gather in my eyes and blur my vision.

"I've never told anyone about this but… I'm scared of heights." He became silent. And afterwards he started again.

"Mom, used to threaten me whenever I wouldn't follow her that she would push me at the top of the building so that I'd land real hard on the ground and die. At some point she really wanted to do it but I guess her conscience took the better of her. And instead of doing that she just locked me in a closet. Hnn… I was lucky"

"That's awful!" I commented. Really… every human being even the most stubborn kind needs love. This is too much.

"She treated me like an animal. And one time when I finally couldn't take it anymore I just looked at her straight in the eyes and I didn't realize that I've already used the Jagan on her. I inherited the jagan from my dad. We were warned then but we didn't put that much interest on it. When she was finally out of her nightmare and back to actuality she didn't even want to be near me anymore. And… and no matter how much I apologized and told her that I love her she wouldn't listen. Instead she kept insisting that I wasn't her son."

"Your dad?"

"My dad… died when I was two… He was killed in a car accident and since then my mom was always in grief."

"Oh…"

"And you know what's worse?"

"What?" I asked impatiently.

"She… My mother called me Satan's child."

And at that very same moment I hugged him just like a mother would to her son. I wanted to ease his pain. I never knew that his past was something as bad as this.

"Then… if you let me… I'll be your mother for a while…"

"I don't mind at all…" He snuggled closer to me.

"It's okay, Ban. I'm here for you. I won't treat you like she did. I promise. I would never hurt you."

Ban is strong but still, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Yes, I was deprived of a father at birth but my mother raised me with her heart and soul. That's why having her to be my mom is more than enough for me. Slowly, like the sunrise and the sunset, the real Ban Midou was starting to come out from his thick shell.

Ban was the first one to brake the hug. He sat up and fixed himself. I just looked at him dumbfounded by what he had revealed earlier.

"Let's get back to our seats. Crystal is probably worried." He said as he went towards the door.

"It would take a miracle to finally get her to worry about somebody." I said as I let out a smirk. He giggled. I did too. Ban turned around to face me. He extended his hand at me.

"Shall we go, my lady?" he cordially asked, smiling. I accepted his hand with a smile and he pulled me up so that I could stand. I wrapped my arms around his arm and we started our way back to our proper seat.

At last we were seated again. And after a while of convincing Crystal that Ban was okay Ban whispered something to me.

"You promised not to tell." He reminded.

"I promise." I replied, crossing my heart and putting my right hand up.

"Good." He said and went back to his video game. I think he enjoyed his game this time because he had finally let something that was bothering him loose, even though it was just a small part of him that he had set free.

END OF HEVN's POV

Everything was going smoothly, Ban with his game, Hevn and Crystal with their chatting. The three thought nothing else would go wrong… but I proved them wrong! NYAHAHAHAHA! Ehem… hohoho…

Crystal's and Hevn's conversation was interrupted by the ringing of someone's cell phone. Crystal quickly brought out her phone to answer her awaiting call. It was her dad calling. She knew for she could see the word "Daddy" blinking on her cell phone screen. Hastily, she pressed the receive call button.

"Hello daddy!" she answered in the sweetest way she could. Kiss up! Hevn thought as she secretly listened to the father-daughter conversation that was taking place.

"Oh, nothing. My friends and I are on our way to Hawaii and… oh… but why? Does it have to be now? No… Yes… Okay daddy… anything for you. Bye-bye! I love you! Kiss kiss…" Crystal hung up. Hevn had no idea what the conversation was all about even though she was eavesdropping. One thought occurred on her head… There's a change of plan.

"Hevn, I'll just go talk to Mr. Pilot about some stuff okay?" Crystal excused herself and stood up to go to the cockpit. She didn't wait for Hevn to say anything anymore.

Again, the two were left alone. Hevn looked at Ban and then to the laptop screen. Ban seems to be enjoying himself. Hevn was starting to get bored so she thought of a great way to entertain herself while Crystal was busy with something else. She turned on her laptop and joined Ban's game.

"Can I?" she asked him.

"Sure thing. But don't blame me if you cry because you lost." Ban joked.

"Feeling! Bring it on…" Hevn squished her balled hands and it made a crackling noise. Ban stopped his game and put it on two player mode and the two was lost in the digital world.

AFTER 30 MINUTES…

Crystal returned to a bickering Ban and Hevn. The two seemed to be having fun. Crystal was starting to become jealous of them again. Oh, how she wanted Ban so much. It just makes her want to become a fiend for Hevn.

"What did I miss?" Crystal interrupted.

Hevn who was laughing hard awhile ago straightened up. "Not much" was her answer. In her head was the chibi Hevn again and the chibi Crystal with the scoreboard. Chibi Hevn puts a point on hers, laughing evilly while chibi Crystal cries with jealousy.

"Well then" Crystal said while fixing herself as she sat down on the chair beside Hevn's. "I think I should tell you the news now."

Ban and Hevn grew serious as Crystal slowly but carefully told them the news.

"You see daddy called awhile ago and he was asking me to help him fix a minor problem in our company branch in the Philippines since there seems to be some political scandal going on there. Daddy feels that I should go check just in case. I also received a call from my manager and she was asking if I could go to Manila to have a photo shoot for the new releases of "FAD". What I'm trying to say is that we have a change of plans…"

The two was quietly listening to every word Crystal had said.

"The thing is… instead of having a vacation in Hawaii we'll party in the Philippines. Is that okay with you?" Crystal looked at them. Both were still quiet.

"That's okay… as long as we're on vacation…" Ban answered. Hevn looked at him with a questioning gaze. Ban shrugged.

"Great! I'll contact my friend there to meet you. We have a rest house in a place called Tuguegarao and you could stay there for a while. You'll appreciate it there. Our house is on the country part of the province. Instead of going to the beach let's enjoy the peacefulness of the country for a while. Try new things… you'll just never know…"

Country? God I miss my home… We used to live in the country too… Hevn reminisced.

Everybody was finally okay with the idea of staying in the Philippines instead of Hawaii.

AFTER HOW MANY HOURS…

"This is your captain speaking. Please put on your seatbelts and prepare to land anytime soon." The pilot said in his usual monotonous voice. It irritated the hell out of Ban but still he managed to keep his cool. They did what they were asked to do and in no time they were on land again. Ban and Hevn were surprised when they glanced out the window. It was a different kind of airport. Unlike the airport back in Japan, it was rather small and a bit low-tech. But when they stepped out of the stuffy plane they were riding on just minutes before, they were relieved to smell the freshness of the country. It wasn't as bad as they thought. In fact, it was better. After they got their luggage they proceeded to a small store beside a nearby tree. It wasn't that much of a place but it was enough. They ordered their snacks while Crystal excused herself to go and call their guide for the whole vacation. And later she joined the two.

After eating Crystal excused herself again. "Hey, if you don't mind I have to go now. I'm going to Manila for my photo shoot. But don't worry I'll be back in a couple of days… or weeks maybe…"

"S-sure… Happy trip!" Hevn assured.

"By the way, my friend is on her way to come and pick you up. Do feel at home, okay?" and with that she was off. All the two could do was watch her leave in her private plane.

"So… What do we do now?" Hevn asked.

"I don't know… Suddenly I'm regretting that I ever agreed to come with you on a supposed to be vacation in Hawaii not in… in.. Tug… whatever the name is… Damn it! Can you please tell me… HOW DID I END UP GETTING STUCK IN A PLACE CALLED T… FUCK! I CAN'T EVEN SAY THE NAME!" Ban exclaimed in his usual cantankerous tone earning stares from the old lady managing the store and some other customers.

"It's TUGUEGARAO" Hevn cleared as she took a sip from her bottle of ice cold sprite.

"How the hell did you know that?" Ban asked. Hevn pointed to a billboard. It said: "TUGUEGARAO CITY AIRPORT, PENGUE".

"It's called reading."

"So I didn't see that. BUT THAT DOESN'T REMOVE THE FACT THAT WE'RE STUCK HERE IN A PLACE COMPLETELY FOREIGN TO US!"

"Will you just relax, Ban. That's why we're called Foreigners, get it? Tone down will you? There're children over there… they'll hear you cursing." Hevn told him. He was raging mad, regretting everything, cursing the place, and getting irritated by Hevn's bossy tone.

"Tone down? Dammit! They don't even understand a word I'm saying!" Ban commented.

"You're scaring them." Hevn said calmly, which really irritated Ban to a point where he's about to blow up.

Ban sighed in defeat. "You're hopeless." Ban said and went on finishing his unfinished food, a half filled bottle of coke and an almost finished bag of "Oishii" prawn sticks. Hevn was finished and was waiting for Ban. Not soon, a white crosswind van parked in front of the store. A girl went out of it. The two also turned their heads to look at their guide. Upon seeing each other all were wide eyed…

"YOU!" They all cried in unison.

A/N: Well? Wadya think? THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO REVIEWED! I REALLY AM GRATEFUL! MARAMING SALAMAT PO! ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! GRACIAS AMIGO! Who's the girl that is to be their guide? Got an idea? Want a clue? I don't know who… hehehe… actually, I know who she is… but I don't think that it's a great idea to reveal her true identity now… Be patient my children and you shall see… Stay tuned for the next chappie! WOW! THAT RHYMED! I really hope you enjoyed this one… RR! By the way… Altophobia (I think) is the fear of heights… that's what I've been told though… BABUSH! Isn't it ironic… it's like rain on your wedding day. It's a free ride when you've already paid. It's a good advice that you just couldn't take. And who would have thought, it figures… LOVE THAT SONG! YA SEE!