By: Asagi Tsuki
Summary: A mysterious lady appears out of nowhere and claims to be Kantarou's girlfriend, and Haruka is jealous
Asagi: My first Tactics fic. Hope you enjoy. Okay, so this fic is dedicated to my friends Whity and Ravient. Thanks for your support. This fic is finally here because of you guys.
Byaku Ogami: what about me?
Asagi: oh, you're not included. Since you've only been with me for a short while, you're not included. Period.
Byaku Ogami: and that's why you half my share of food?
Asagi: I have a dog too, mind you
Byaku Ogami: I'm not a damn dog!
Asagi: but you come from the dog family
Byaku Ogami: why you- we wolves are proud creatures
Asagi: like I give a damn. Anyway, on to the story oh, and before I forget, I changed the borders into letters since the special characters are missing. Damn obviously KantarouxHaruka, and a bit KantarouxOC
Disclaimer: I don't own Tactics
Chapter One The Mysterious Lady
A girl –though she looked old enough to be called a lady- stood in front of an old Japanese house, holding the sleeve of her kimono close. She was wearing a brilliant blue kimono with blood red sash, and a geta to accompany it. Her hair was silvery and long, and it was left just like that, not braided, not tied.
Although she had the face of a sweet lady, her behavior was nowhere near one. She ran all the way to the house while searching for a supposedly someone –just like a man would- and she even talked like a man. Many people dismissed the strange, disturbing thought, because she was the famous miko from the nearby shrine, and so, they didn't dare to bring up such strange thing.
She smirked when she had made sure that it was the right house –just like a maniac would, and this proved one more of her strange behavior- and raised her right hand up to bang on the door, when she was reminded of something and softened the bang into a knock instead.
"I should really stop doing these things," she sighed and complained to herself though she knew it wouldn't do much. She continued to knock on the door as she heard the voice of a young maiden from the inside of the house, telling her to wait as she came to get her. "Well, anyway, I'm going to meet him today, at last," she smirked, yet again.
"Ohayou!" a girl in red kimono with flower pattern greeted as she opened the door. She looked a bit taken aback when she saw the lady, as she wasn't expecting her, but another little girl instead. "Uh, welcome, do you have any business with Kan-chan?" she asked, stuttering a bit.
"Yes, please, I have to meet with Kantarou," she smiled sweetly at her. "He's home, isn't he?" she asked. True, he was a bit busy because he had two jobs at a time, being a writer and an exorcist while she herself only got one job, as the miko at the nearby shrine. Oh, make it three. He's also a folklorist.
"Yes, he's at home, he's in his study with Haruka-chan," the girl nodded her head and welcomed the lady in, "Please come in, I'll show you the way to his study," she proposed and the lady agreed. She turned around and led the way to the study, knocking the door before sliding it open. "Kan-chan, someone is here to see you," she said.
A man with silver hair sat in front of his desk as he stared at the blank papers in front of him. He was supposed to write an article about the recent exorcism, but he wasn't in the mood to do such thing, and remembering the fact that he lost consciousness in midway during the exorcism due to fatigue didn't help.
He was even embarrassed by it. Sure, his companion had carried on the mission for him and they were both safe and sound when they came home, but wasn't he the exorcist? His editor didn't know this and she made a proposal yesterday. She asked him to write an article about it, but he wasn't sure about what to write.
"Ne, Haruka," he started, taking the attention of his dark haired companion, "What happened after I… uh, well, after I can't go on with the mission?" he asked, trying to lessen the embarrassment as much as he could. "Or should I just tell her that I can't write this one?" he sighed.
Haruka merely opened his eyes to stare at his silver-headed master sharply, before he leant his head on the wooden pillar and closed his eyes again, stating coldly, "Nothing,"
"Nothing? Then how do we finish the mission? I'm not a sleepwalker," Kantarou sighed as his head slumped. He placed his head on his desk and stared at the side, to the bookshelf where he had put many books on folklores. "I've got nothing to do lately too," he added with another sigh in addition.
"Just tell her you can't do this one," Haruka said nonchalantly.
"Easy to say," Kantarou rolled his eyes as he sneered a bit. "We're short on money these days," he got up from his desk, and started pacing around the room. "Hm, what should I do?" he asked himself as he continued to pace around the room, despite his action was annoying Haruka greatly.
"That's right! I can ask him!" he said suddenly and that made the demon-eater stare at him with a look that somehow said 'I don't know my master is crazy'. "Yeah, I'll just have to ask the other about his whereabouts," he took a deep breath, "Now, where would Youko-chan be…"
"Kan-chan, someone is here to see you," came the voice of the aforementioned Youko-chan.
"Another customer?" he asked as he raised one of his eyebrows. This took the attention of the demon-eater that was sitting against the wood pillar too.
"Another customer?" came the reply from behind the paper door. The sound of shuffling feet was heard as the owner walked over to the paper door and carefully slid the door open, as if he was afraid it would be the one from yesterday. He was surprised when he saw the girl in front of him. "A-"
"Kan-chan!" the girl jumped at him, without giving him any time to finish what he was about to say when he first saw her, and hugged him tightly, too tight, even, "I've always wanted to see you!" she exclaimed happily as she beamed as she jumped up and down, bring him with her.
"Yes, yes, I want to see you too, so, can you let go of me now?" he asked as he tried to pry her off of him. He even had to turn his head around whenever the girl's hair went astray and covered his sight. "I really want to see you, so let go of me now," he repeated as he continued to try to pry her off.
"Hey! That's no way to treat someone who hadn't seen you for so long!" she pouted and crossed her arms in front of her chest, trying to look like a pouting child, though she can't do it very well because she looked a bit like Ayame (from Fruits Basket), before batting her hair to keep them in place.
"Is that so? It sure doesn't feel that long," Kantarou racked his brain in order to remember just when he was separated from her. He can't really remember, so he just shook his head. "So, what are you doing here? I was just about to go find you," he asked as he eyed the girl warily. The last time the girl looked for him, she brought trouble. And a big one at that.
"Looking for you, of course," she grinned, obviously stating the obvious, and continued, "You've grown up pretty well, Kan-chan," she smiled proudly at the sight of the silver haired man, "I've always remembered how we're bullied by those kids," she laughed when she remembered the day when they fought with the other kids.
"I'm proud of you too, for being the successor of the shrine and all," he hugged her and sighed, really, he could never leave her alone, someone had to keep an eye on her, or else, disaster would befall upon him, "But you sure hadn't grown any taller," he added jokingly.
"You too," she glared at him, though not seriously. He let go of her, and she straightened up, looking up to look at Kantarou in the eye, "So, have you found the demon-eater you adored so much?" she asked as she smirked her trademark smirk.
He merely stood there for a while, before his eyes start moving, as if asking her to look at the direction where his eyes were looking at. She caught the sign and looked over at Haruka, who was looking disinterested as he stayed in place, leaning on the wooden pillar.
There was silence as she moved her eyes up and down, examining the demon-eater from his hair to his toe. She blinked her eyes several times, as if not believing that the real legendary demon-eater is sitting in front of her, bowing to Kantarou who had broken the seal and had given him a name.
"So you've found him!" she exclaimed happily and suddenly, and this made Kantarou and Youko surprised. Even Haruka who wasn't expecting it was surprised, though he hid it pretty well, "I was so sure you'd find him and broke the seal, congrats Kan-chan!" she took his hand and shook it vigorously, fiercely even, if possible.
"Y- yeah, thanks," he replied, being shook up and down, trying to get his hand out of her grasp. How a girl with such small build could possess such power was beyond him. He had always wondered about that for a long time, since she stood up for him back then when he fought the other kids. And if you didn't know, she won. "And so, what are you doing here, a-"
"What? Don't you want to see your girlfriend again after so long?" she asked as a wide smile began to form in her face. However, Kantarou wasn't the least bit amused. Whenever she showed that smile, it meant trouble.
She threw a glance at Haruka who still looked disinterested, and smirked. She knew what she was doing. She was the most calculative one in her family, and she wasn't going to disappoint the others by letting herself do anything without further calculation and expectation.
"What are you talking about? You're my a-" Kantarou was about to protest, but the girl shut his mouth with her hand. He blinked as he stared at her two sharp ruby red eyes. They told him to stay quiet, and she would be very mad if he didn't comply.
So, he was afraid of her. He didn't dare to not comply, so when she asked for agreement, he merely nodded his head and the girl let go of him. However, he wasn't sure. He knew he shouldn't tell the others about it yet, but why would she do that? Surely she had a purpose to do that.
"Your a? Hm, you're really funny, Kan-chan, you didn't forget me, right? I'm Maki!" she said in an excited tone, though her eyes stayed sharp as they explored the room, and stopped at Haruka once again, who still looked disinterested. She 'tsk'ed before she turned her head back to Kantarou.
"What's wrong with you? Did you bump your head to a pole on the way here?" Kantarou asked worriedly as he started looking for any visible bumps on the so-called Maki's head, brushing her hair back to look around her head. When he found no bumps, he was a bit disappointed.
So the craziness wasn't because of a bump. And that meant that she was fully aware of what she was doing and she had calculated the outcome of what she was doing. This really meant doom for him.
"Of course not," she smiled widely when Kantarou had given up searching for any bumps on her head. "And I suppose this is the youkai you took in as your maid," she turned over to Youko, who was surprised when she suddenly said that. Her smile didn't falter. It even widened as she stared at Youko.
"Eh?" she asked, a bit nervous for being watched like that. She knew that Maki wasn't over to ask for help in exorcising, since she seemed to know Kantarou well. And she did mention the times when they were still little. It meant that she is at least his childhood friend or so.
"How do you do? I'm Maki," she kept her smile in place and held out her hand towards Youko for a shake, "Thank you for taking care of Kantarou all this time," she added with another smile.
"I- I'm Youko," she replied as she held out her hand and shook Maki's hand. She was still a tad bit nervous, but not too much anymore since she thought that maybe Maki's a nice person after all. Maybe. Just maybe.
"Youko-chan ka? I'm pleased to meet you," she said as she let go of the fox demon's hand, then turned over to face Kantarou who was standing behind her, still, thinking for anything that would made her do that. "Now, shall we go on a walk, Kan-chan? My treat," she asked.
"Really?" he asked excitedly, snapping out of his reverie at the first mention of 'my treat'. He was always quick whenever someone offered him something, "Okay then!" he agreed excitedly, deciding that he should just let the subject drop for a while, before asking her later when they were out of the house, "Just don't take long Mako- Maki," he said before he went out the house.
Maki stared at the vanishing figure of Kantarou, and when she had made sure he was out of the house, she turned towards the fox demon once again, "Youko-chan," she started, looking at her in the eye with her sharp ruby red eyes, "I need to talk to you for a while," she added with a sly smile.
"Eh?" Youko asked, a strange expression plastered on her face as she was confused as to why Maki would want to talk to her of all people. It must be something about Kantarou that she didn't dare tell Haruka, but she couldn't jump into conclusion that fast, could she? So instead, she nodded, and let Maki led her to the front door.
A little girl around the age of twelve was walking down the path to the same old Japanese house. She was a girl with short brown hair, and by the looks, one could tell that she originated from a wealthy family.
She was walking down the path when she noticed the owner of the house walking towards her direction with a girl clad in blue kimono. They looked so happy together. They were both talking, and laughing. One could tell that they were sharing stories, as they look like gossiping women.
"Kantarou?" she called out to the owner of the house when he was coming near. She didn't even bother to add anything to address him as she was never too fond of him.
Kantarou turned his head to the general direction where the voice had come from, and noticed a girl with short brown hair coming towards him as well, "Ah, Suzu-chan, did you come over to see Haruka again?" he asked as he acknowledged the little girl who nodded, "He's at home with Youko right now, just come over, okay?" he smiled at her.
"Where are you going?" she asked as she stared at the girl in the brilliant blue kimono warily. She admitted that she was a beautiful girl, but if she happened to like Haruka, she won't be beaten by her. She stared and stared. Somehow she looked… different. And somehow she could tell.
"We're going to a tea shop nearby," Maki, the lady in the brilliant blue kimono, offered a reply as well as a smile. "Would you join us?" she asked as she smiled sweetly at the little girl.
"No thanks, I'm on my way," she declined the offer somewhat politely as she shook her head, though her eyes never let the figure go from their watchful gazes.
"Oh, okay then, we're on our way as well," she smiled at the little girl and nodded, before the both of them continued their walk to the village center, where the tea shops are situated.
Suzu stared at the lady suspiciously. She wasn't a stranger. Yet she wasn't his girlfriend, and she was sure of it. She kept something a secret for a purpose, but what the purpose is, she couldn't really tell.
She decided to shrug the thoughts off and continued on her way to the old Japanese house where Kantarou resided.
"Ah, ohayou, Suzu-chan," Youko greeted as she welcomed the little girl. This time, she wasn't surprised because she was fully expecting her. "Please, come in," she stepped aside and let the girl went in first, before she closed the door, blocking the sunlight from penetrating inside.
"Where's Haruka-san?" Suzu asked immediately as soon as she stepped inside of the house.
"He's at Kan-chan's study," Youko answered, fully expecting it again, but her smile was soon gone, "But he looks like he's in a bad mood now," she commented further as her eyebrows furrowed. She narrowed her eyes and stared at the floor intently, looking deep in thought for a while.
"Bad mood?" Suzu asked as she looked up to see the fox demon's face that looked all scrunched up.
"Yes," Youko nodded, "He's like usual, but I can tell that something is bothering him and he's not too happy about it," she explained, her expression still pretty much the same, "Well, anyway, let's just go see him, okay?" she asked as she led the way to Kantarou's study, even though she was sure Suzu knew the way there.
They slid the paper door slightly and slowly, careful because they didn't want the demon-eater's mood to get worse, only to take a look at Haruka, who was still leaning on the wooden pillar. He seemed to love the wooden pillar, one would say if one didn't know better than that.
"What?" he asked suddenly as he snapped his eyes open and turned his head to the general direction of the paper door. This startled the two girls as they both nearly jumped up in surprise, both letting out a loud 'eep'.
"If you come here to look for Kantarou, he's out on a date," he said coldly, just like usual, as he turned around, facing the window. But the two girls knew he was dozing off yet again.
Both girls kept silent. Youko motioned to Haruka and stared at Suzu, as if asking her if she understood what she had said earlier. Suzu nodded in response, and both closed the paper door, before they walked away from there to the back garden.
'Wow, Maki-san is right,' Youko shook her head as she thought to herself while she guided the little girl to the back garden.
End of Chapter One
Asagi: okay, so it's the end of the first chapter. Let's make things clear. Maki is NOT an MS. See the slip-offs? I'll tell you who Maki is in the next chapter, and why she claims to be Kantarou's girlfriend. Anyway, I'm not one for het, so don't expect any from me, okay?
Byaku Ogami: that's because she's abnormal
Asagi: hey I'm not! Many people like shounen ai, right?
Byaku Ogami: yeah, yeah
Asagi: hey! What's that supposed to mean?
Byaku Ogami: anyway, please leave a review, because my master has some kind of strange symptoms I don't know what, so please have mercy on my crazed master
Asagi: I heard that Ogami. Anyway, those (separator)s are the separators, so please don't think it's part of a story, I can't use hyphens or lines to separate each part, and so, I choose to use these separators, please bear it. Arigatou gozaimasu