Rewind / Rewrite

by Yukitsu

Disclaimer: Eerie Queerie is not mine. Nope, not at all.

Thank you for the reviews! I was positively thrilled with them, and I apologize sincerely for leaving this without an update for so long – KuraPC crashed, as I have said in my bio, and college is proving rather difficult to third year students. What's more, a large part of my efforts has been directed at the HxH fandom, because a close friend is a fellow fan and keeps on putting thoughts of Kuroro and Kurapika in my head.


Chapter Three:
Respite.

Mitsuo and Hasunuma, rather unbelievably, had a falling out some days after Kanau's injury episode. They both still went and hung out in the shrine, but neither talked to the other, and would tend to stick close to either Kanau or Ichi, Mikuni being out of the question. Hasunuma usually went with Ichi, however, because even if they were officially at each other's necks, Hasunuma would rather join Kanau in the non-life than give Ichi the opportunity to fill in the position he had just vacated.

That left Kanau with Mitsuo. Sunny-haired, bright-eyed, sulky Mitsuo.

The first day, Kanau put up with it with the thought that the pair would make up that very day. Mitsuo helped him around the shrine enthusiastically enough, so there was some use to the blond boy's company, but once he ended up with a knife in his pot than carrots, and salt in his bucket rather than detergent.

He had, quite obviously, expected too much of the pair.

The second day, Kanau silently let Mitsuo cling to him like a leech and went about his duties with a long-suffering sigh. There were no deadly weapons in their food this time, and no complaints from the priest about his feet getting pricked by rock salt in the bathroom. The ghost, predicting Mitsuo to be in a worse state of mind than the day before, let him touch nothing but the metal pans to be washed.

By early evening, he had just about exhausted his supply of patience – for he never had an extensive one to begin with – and had taken to floating about with the hopes that he'd leave the boy a long way behind. Mitsuo, however, stuck to him like a smiling bloodhound, complete with the sallow skin.

Dinner that night was a trying affair – the pair kept on smiling at everyone but each other, and avoided each other like the plague. Ichi rather piteously shot Kanau pleading looks, knowing that the invisible something Mitsuo was hugging couldn't be anyone else.

Mikuni was probably the only one who gained amusement from any of it.

The third day, Kanau wished Mitsuo hadn't been blessed with the ability to see ghosts. Taking advantage of the fact that he could float, however, Kanau nimbly avoided the boy and looked for Ichi. The soccer player looked stressed and haggard, but was otherwise alone.

Ichi's limited level of consciousness was quickly dealt with; the ghost picked up a stick and poked him with it. Ichi, by this time, had gotten used to him enough not to go shrieking about the place in fear. Instead, he waved dismally at where he thought Kanau was and sighed despondently

"Having difficulties too?"

With the same stick, Kanau drew symbols on the newly turned garden soil. Understatement. Where's your charge?

"He had something to do at school. He'll be around later, probably before dinner. Where's Mitsuo?"

Kanau erased his earlier scribbles and wrote again. Looking for me. He wouldn't tell me what they fought about. Do you know?

A thoughtful expression crossed the taller boy's face, before he shook his head. "Hasunuma refused to tell me."

It must be one of those little things that shouldn't really matter.

Ichi chuckled. "Maybe. Any plans to help our cause?"

Let's lock them up in the closet, Kanau wrote fiercely, breaking the stick in two when he jabbed the final symbol on.

"Crude, but it might work."

If it doesn't, I'll force myself out of the sanctuary until my soul's been blown to smithereens.

Kanau's companion looked horrified at that, though still partly amused. "You shouldn't, really. I'm sure things will work out. It always has, for the two of them."

You sound bitter.

"No, not at all. I'm happy for them, I really am," Ichi said, laughing shakily, "It's just… sometimes, I get this really weird feeling, like depression though not to that extent. I'm sorry, I don't think you understood what I said."

I think I did, Kanau wrote after some time, sitting back on his haunches to muse Ichi's situation over. It's loneliness. I'm familiar with the feeling.

"I have no doubt that you are. It's nice talking to you like this, Kanau. You are just human, after all."

Again Kanau paused to think the words over. It felt… nice that someone who couldn't really see or feel his presence could say he was human, or acknowledge his existence. Only the people of the shrine could do such thing, and maybe that was why he didn't leave yet. Nice meeting you too.

"We're officially friends now?"

He noticed it, the slight tension in the soccer player's voice. Ichi was obviously not used to having friends, just like him and Mitsuo, but wanted to have some.

Of course.

"Kanau! I finally found you! Hi, Ichi!" And that was the end of it. Mitsuo bound up to them with all the energy of a puppy and latched on to Kanau as he was wont to do.

Later that night, Kanau, being strong as he's a ghost, dragged Hasunuma to a closet while Ichi did the same for Mitsuo. Barely half an hour later, the pair crashed out with Hasunuma's face marked red with a handprint, and the front of Mitsuo's shirt thoroughly rumpled. Suffice to say, Ichi and Kanau's efforts were in vain.

Mikuni only smirked through all of this, keeping out of their way most of the time and only appearing for meals.

Things were worse on the fourth day. Mitsuo and Hasunuma showed up, went to their respective partners, and miserably sulked. Kanau would have appreciated the silence if it were not for the crushed expression on his psychic friend's face. So the ghost resolved to ignore it for the moment and wish someone would save him.

In the middle of the afternoon, just before dusk, a worn-out Ichi staggered to the kitchen looking not for Mitsuo, but Kanau. Without a thought for the blond, Ichi instantly went through with a tirade that impressed his new friend. Apparently, Hasunuma was not staying for dinner.

"That idiot!" Ichi started, banging a fist on the table, "Who does he think he is, coming here to terrorize his friends with his pathetic misery and then waltzing out without a care in the world? I shouldn't have gone today, I really shouldn't have, but I thought that hey, you would be stuck with the two of them the whole day, so I did! I have had it with them, I swear!"

Mitsuo angrily rose to his feet, pushed past Ichi, and ran out of the shrine. Kanau hit the remorseful Ichi upside the head with a spatula, but otherwise didn't comment.

The fifth day, contrary to Kanau and Ichi's expectations, both Hasunuma and Mitsuo came by. Not together, but they still came around. Resigned to their fate, Kanau obligingly took Mitsuo to his care, and Ichi dragged Hasunuma to the garden to weed.

Silence hung heavy around the shrine. Even the forest was unusually still. Hasunuma and Mitsuo had done the impossible, and had taken the whole world down with them. Kanau was starting to feel that his earlier threat of committing ghostly suicide was for his own good, but deigned not to tell Mitsuo of this.

It was only expected, then, that when the priest finally stepped in and took control of the situation, Kanau's relief could not be put to words. This relief did not even turn to horror when Mikuni started hanging around him and Mitsuo, and dressing the blond boy in the clothes he made only Kanau wear.

Hasunuma was not happy.

During dinner of the sixth day, Mikuni started spoon-feeding an obliging Mitsuo. Kanau feared for the dinner that took a lot of labor to prepare when Hasunuma rose from his seat. The tall teenager, however, did nothing but march out of the room, barely suppressing his trembling.

The fight had reached its one week anniversary before anything productive happened.

Mikuni had, quite cheerfully, cuddled Mitsuo during dinner. This seemed to elicit a most violent response from Hasunuma, who obviously only kept going to the shrine in order to protect his ex-lover from the lecherous hands of both the priest and Ichi.

"Why are you letting him do that to you?" he yelled, agitatedly clenching and unclenching his fists convulsively beside him.

"Well, why not?" had been Mitsuo's sharp retort, "I'm single, aren't I? And I'm sure Mikuni-san would be able to appreciate me more than a certain someone can."

"Yeah, in bed, I'm sure."

Mitsuo grew red from this remark and also got to his feet. Mikuni lit a cigarette.

"At least he'll be able to, unlike you!"

Hasunuma's color followed suit. "It was a joke, can't you get it? I didn't mean it! You, on the other hand, seemed to think I sincerely sucked!"

"That was no joke!"

Ichi stared between them, aghast. Kanau merely blinked his large grey eyes, tugged at Ichi's shirt with a pair of chopsticks, and tried to get him to interfere.

"So, um… guys?" Ichi started. The pair didn't stop from glaring at each other, but did keep quiet to listen to him. "You fought because you said each other sucked in bed?"

And then there was silence. Apart from Mikuni's puffing, no one moved in the room.

"I'll take that as a yes, then," the priest said, smiling languidly at the boys gawping at him. "I'm sure neither of you meant it. Why don't you just make up and do a test run to decide once again if the claims were true or not?"

Kanau took the opportunity. Without wasting time, he shoved the pair to the door until they were past it and slammed it shut. Ichi altered from paling to blushing.

"If they're still like this tomorrow, Mikuni, I'm going to—" Kanau started, looking very much like the devil, with his features twisted in a scowl. Even if he was a ghost, the past week had been tiring for him and his patience. There was a commotion outside, and then more silence.

"Resign? But this is your life now. Would you be able to leave it so easily?" Mikuni cut in lazily. Kanau stared at him in bewilderment, not because of what he said, but because it had brought back a memory from even before he had died, back to when he had a similar falling out with his Senpai and had tried to leave the Drama Club.

"Trivialities like that make a relationship go nowhere, really." Mikuni paused to take a drag of his cigarette, and looked pointedly at the ghost.

"Because then it would be based on lust and not love," Kanau finished weakly, quoting from the same vague dialogue of long ago.

"Exactly."

Impossible as it seemed, Kanau pitched forward and fell flat on his face in a dead faint.


11:15 PM 8/16/2005