by

Everlasting

by: Reiko-chan

*Standard Disclaimers apply.*

*********************

Chapter 1: Dreams

The sun's rays peeked through the window, past the blinds, resting on some sleepy eyes. Suddenly, the alarm clock rang. Another day has arrived, another school day, another chance to see friends, another time to work and play. Slowly and reluctantly, a senior high school student woke up, stretching her limbs, taking her time, not wanting for the day to start. She heavily laid her palm over the ringing digital clock, and rubbed her eyes. She stayed in bed for a few more minutes, until she heard a voice.

"Kate! Wake up! You'll be late for school!"

"I'm up mom!" the girl yelled in reply. She rose from her bed, and headed to the bathroom to take a shower.

*****

After taking a refreshing shower, she changed into some jeans and an Old Navy shirt, grabbed her jacket, socks and sneakers and ran downstairs. Halfway through, she stopped, tossed her shoes and socks to the bottom of the stairs and ran back up to get her bag. She quickly ran down again, picked up her sneakers and socks, and went to the kitchen. She saw her dad drinking his coffee while clucking over the day's paper. Her mom was setting down some pancakes and syrup on the table. She sat down on her usual spot and put on her sneakers.

"Good morning mom, dad," Kate greeted while putting on her shoes.

"Good morning," her parents chimed in response.

"How's my girl?" her father asked, folding the newspaper and returning to his coffee.

"I'm fine Dad. I just stayed up late last night studying for that algebra test," Kate replied grimly, slouching over her pancakes.

"Eat them now or they'll get cold," her mom said, setting some pancakes in front of her husband. "Now, what do you like hon, milk or juice?"

"Juice," Kate replied, handing the glass in front of her to her mother.

"Juice it is then," her mom replied, going to the fridge and retreiving some orange juice. After pouring some amount in her daughter's glass, she returned it in the fridge and sat herself in the table.

"Kate, you've got bags under your eyes," her mom observed as Kate sliced her pancakes.

"Yeah, I do. I've been staying up late for so many days cramming on that algebra test," Kate mumbled. Suddenly she brightened up. "But at least the fair's coming up on Saturday! Are you guys coming?"

"I can't hon. I've got a bank account to settle with the company," her mother replied. "Maybe your father would go."

"Sorry sport. I can't too. My boss and I are going for golf to talk with this Japanese dealer to talk him into investing in our company," her father replied.

"It's okay. I can just ask the gang to come with me," Kate replied soberly returning to her original mood.

"Aw, cheer up sport. We'll make it up to you somehow," her father patted her shoulder, smiling at her. "I promise. On Sunday, we go malling. My treat."

"Oh really honey?" her mom suddenly brightened up. "I've been dying to buy that new suit at Northridge Mall! It's so gorgeous! I'd have more appeal to my customers if I wore it!" Kate suddenly giggled.

"Mom, you're married aren't you? You've got a kid!" Kate laughed.

"So? That doesn't mean I can't dress up!" her mother replied smiling. "Your father is too... conservative you see. He won't let me wear those stuff you kids wear these days. He's such an old timer."

"Hey, hey wait a second there!" her father turned to his wife. "I'm conservative? Oh c'mon. If I didn't warn you about your clothes, you'd be wearing backless blouses like a teenager!"

"I am young you know," her mother retaliated, raising a brow at her husband while grinning slyly. Kate giggled harder.

"I gotta leave this place before I go nuts!" she laughed. "I'm gonna be late. See you mom, dad. I'll be home the usual time!" She picked up her backpack by the kitchen door, took her jacket from behind her chair and left with a wave.

"Bye hon!" her mother called.

"See you sport!" her father waved. "Now, where were we? Oh yes, the suit..." Then, the front door shut close.

******

Kate walked leisurely on her way to school, reciting the formula she had memorized last night. She was trying to recall some more pointers she had studied when somebody pulled on her hair from behind.

"Gotcha!"

"Oh my god! Mikki!" Kate exclaimed turning around to see a girl her age giggling. "What were you doing!"

"Pulling your ponytail," Mikki replied patting her head. "I just love doing that.... It's just a joke!" She hurriedly added that last sentence seeing her angry face.

"Well it's not funny," Kate scoffed adjusting her ponytail.

"What were you doing anyway?" Mikki asked, as the two started walking to school.

"I was trying to recall that formula on equations..." Kate was interrupted by Mikki.

"You mean the quantity of a plus b multiplied by the quantity a minus b?" Mikki spat out. Kate turned to look at her.

"Exactly! Mikki! I never knew you were such a genius at algebra!" Kate's eyes bulged in wonder as she turned to look at him.

"Oh, not really. You see my grandfather's really sharp at it, even though he's like seventy years old," Mikki replied innocently, her hands behind her back. "Grandpa's really into algebra. You should try make him solve the ones in our book. He'd finish twenty numbers in ten minutes. Of course he writes slow, but steady."

"Sounds like I should hire your grandpa for tutoring," Kate replied. Her gaze suddenly shifted as Mikki started waving to someone past her.

"Hey Kevin! Over here!" Mikki was waving to a red haired guy across the street, talking to a brown-haired guy, a bit taller than him. "You too Sean!" Kate turned and saw the two. She too waved at them, motioning them to come.

"Hey guys!" she greeted as the two came beside them.

"Hi guys," Sean replied as he finished giving Mikki a high five.

"How are we today?" Kevin asked smiling.

"Oh, fine," Mikki replied. "Perfectly confident about the upcoming algebra test."

"Woah, are you sure weasel?" Sean teased. "I wouldn't be too confident if I were you."

"Oh yes I am chicken-head," Mikki returned, her eyes slits.

"Now now guys, wouldn't wanna start another fight right in front of the whole world," Kevin quickly stepped in between them.

"Oh my gosh! It's ten minutes to eight! We'd be late if we won't hurry!" Kate exclaimed and broke into a run. The other three followed, as alarmed as she.

They reached school just in time for the bell. Students were already entering their classrooms by the time they came. They panted for breath in front of their own room, tired of running. Just then, a fairly tall girl with long black hair approached them, clutching her books.

"My my, aren't we a bit tired today?" she frowned. "What's wrong with you guys? Why were you late?"

"We... slow... walkers..." Mikki panted in between words. "Man, that was a long run." She sighed, and leaned against the wall behind her.

"Hey, Meg, what's our first subject?" Sean quickly asked.

"It's History. We have two more subjects to go before Arithmetic," Meg replied, knowing the answer to why he asked that question.

"Oh, good," Sean replied, still panting.

"You kids better get inside," said Mrs. Thompson. "Or else you're going to be late."

"Yes ma'm," they all chimed in chorus, entering the room in a single file.

*********

History passed smoothly, so did Chemistry, Grammar and Mathematics, and now the students were having recess. They all filed out the classroom neatly and orderly, and quickly ran too their lockers and stuffed their books.

"Gods, I never thought I'd get out of there alive," Sean wiped his forehead, leaning onto his locker. "That algebra test almost killed me."

"It was quite easy Sean," Kate remarked. "You did study didn't you?"

"Of course he didn't," Meg replied, stuffing her bag inside her locker. "I mean, look at him. He's almost crying."

"Shut up fox," Sean snapped at her. Meg remained quiet. "That's better. I say we now got to the cafeteria and eat!"

"Yeah!" they all agreed, and walked leisurely to the cafeteria, eager to find the usual macaroni and cheese, burgers, and fries.

"You know guys," Kate started over her burger. "I've been having some strange dream lately."

"Hmm? Strange dreams? What do you mean?" Kevin asked, setting his fork down.

"Go on," Meg said.

"Okay. The setting's Japanese I believe, and there's this girl, who looks strikingly like me, with the same hairstyle and all, only she's wearing a kimono. Well, surprisingly, you guys are all in that dream," Kate whispered.

"What?" they all exclaimed.

"Yeah.. and you guys all had strange japanese names," Kate mused. "I remember names like... Misao, Kaoru, Megumi... Sanosuke... Aoshi..."

"Megumi? Kate are you out of your mind?" Meg raised a brow. "You just added -umi to my name!"

"Well, maybe I am... it's just all too weird... then, a name I really couldn't erase from my head was this 'Kenshin'," Kate sighed. "I don't know who he is at all. But he looked like Kevin, only that this 'Kenshin' had longer hair than Kevin. His hair was up to his waist I believe."

"Kate, you really are out of your mind."

"Kenshin..." Kevin whispered, drawing everyone's attention to him. "Why do I feel like I've heard that name somewhere?" Kate was still absorbed in her thoughts. She was constantly mumbling names.

"Then, people called me 'Kaoru'," she murmured, but Kevin heard her.

"Kaoru? I heard that name before," Kevin said. Kate looked up at his purple eyes. "It's always been in my dreams... To tell you the truth, I've been having dreams similar to hers."

"What?" Kate jolted out of her reverie. "You mean..."

"You're both nuts! You probably watched some Japanese movie with all those names and started having dreams about it!" Meg exclaimed. "Now, let's all go back to class before I catch that disease that infected the both of you!"

********

"Hey Mikki," Meg called. "Where's Kate and Kevin?"

"Well, they decided to go home together, to talk about Kate's nightmares," Mikki replied, sipping some juice.

"Honestly, that girl, why does she keep on looking for attention?" Meg sighed. "She's such a kid."

"We are kids," Mikki returned, raising a brow. "Teenagers are still kids. You can't help it. We're not yet adults. Besides, we're only turning seventeen next year."

"Okay okay. I get your point," Meg sighed, shaking her head. She suddenly smiled. "Honestly Mikki, I never knew you had such deep thoughts going through your head." Mikki blushed.

"Hey, Meg, I gotta rush back home, since I still have to clean the garage," Mikki said.

"What?"

"I have to clean the garage. I broke mom's vase yesterday, and she ordered me to clean it," Mikki mumbled.

"Why did you break it in the first place?"

"I accidentally knocked it over."

"Okay then. Go. I'll just go home myself."

"Alright. See you tomorrow! Bye!" And Mikki ran off to her home, leaving Meg alone.

*******

At home, Mikki was solemnly cleaning the garage all alone. She didn't mind anyway, since she found some cool stuff occasionally, like some old discs from the 70's, some flare pants, a few bulbs and lampshades, and all the other 'cool' junk. She left the garage door open so she could have some light. Her mom warned her of using the light at the garage, since it was very faulty. She was too absorbed in her task that she didn't notice Kate park her bike in front of their gate.

"Hey, Mikki!" Kate called from the door. "Whatcha doing?"

"Well, I'm cleaning the garage," Mikki's muffled voice came from behind a few boxes and crates.

"Why?"

"Punishment."

"Oh, the vase."

"Yeah."

"Can I help?"

"No. Mom would get angry."

"I"ll just say that I ran into you and wanted to help you since I was bored."

"Would that work?"

"Worth a try. And besides, I was thinking of inviting you over to Swirly's."

"Swirly's?" Mikki jolted her head from behind the boxes. "Really?"

"Yeah. After you finish. But you're going to take long right?"

"Kate, do me a favor and clean the other side. I want to go to Swirly's."

"Okay." Kate moved over to the rows of shelves to the left side of the garage and started to sort the boxes. Mikki tossed her a rag and a feather duster, since it was awfully dusty. Kate dilligently wiped the dust off the boxes, and did as Mikki told her to. She removed the contents from the boxes and set them neatly on the shelves.

She cleared 3 boxes, and opened a fourth. She opened it, and noticed a medium-sized black book, that said "Binding Spells".

"Ooh, Mikki," Kate said. "I never thought your family was into spells and witchcraft." Mikki looked over at her at once.

"What do you mean?" Mikki asked.

"Check this out." Mikki went over to Kate, and saw the book.

"I never saw that before."

"It's a book of spells," Kate said, and opened a page. Surprisingly, there were some Japanese characters written on it.

"Those characters look very familiar," Kate murmured. Mikki traced her fingers around each character. Her eyes narrowed, as she read, "Kamiya Kaoru and Makimachi Misao."

"Hey, those names are from my dream!" Kate exclaimed. They looked at each other. Mikki opened another page of the book, and saw more Japanese characters.

"These are all Japanese," Mikki curled her brows. "How am I supposed to read them?"

"You read those characters on the front Mikki," Kate said. "Of course you can read these." Mikki's face turned serious all of a sudden as she glanced through the characters written on the book, turning over the pages.

"They're incantations," Mikki whispered in awe. "Misao and Kaoru must've fooled around with these before. Look at this spell. It's called..."

"Binding of Two Hearts," Kate finished for her. Mikki, astonished, stared at her.

"You can read them too!" Mikki exclaimed.

"It just came to me," Kate answered, not taking her eyes off the book. "This spell is for two people who wish to become connected with each other even past lifetimes." Suddenly, for a brief second, a vision flashed in her mind. She saw two girls seated in front of each other, in between them a book. Their right palms were pressed against each other as they chanted the incantation. Blood was dripping from their hands, dripping onto the book.

"Did you see, what I just did?" Mikki asked quietly, breaking the silence. Kate nodded her head in reply. She was dumbstruck. "I can see the traces of blood still on the book... They cast a spell to bind their hearts together as sisters, even though they were not really related by blood."

Kate was silent. Her eyes never left the book. A few moments later, she turned to her friend. "Mikki, do you believe in reincarnation?"

"Sort of," Mikki replied, staring at her friend queerly. "Why do you ask?"

"I have this strange feeling about this book," Kate uttered. "It's like I've lived before." Mikki curled her brows a bit, and took in a deep breath.

"Now that you mention it, I have been thinking about it too," Mikki exhaled, taking the book. "Let's not look at this anymore. I've had enough excitement for one day." She closed the book, and clutched it to her chest. "I'll be keeping this in my room Kate, so that if you want to look at it anytime, it'd always be free for viewing." Kate smiled.

"You sound just like the museum curator!" she giggled. At once, Mikki's eyes grew big.

"There's no way I am sounding like that nerdy four-eyed girl with lots of thingies around her neck and..."

"Now now Mikki, let's not get too hasty in judging people," Kate warned. "I think I'd rather go home now. I had too much excitement in one day. Maybe we could just go to Swirly's tomorrow since it's Saturday? I won't be going to the fair anyway."

"Okay. I'll see you then tomorrow. I'm not going to the fair either," Mikki replied, seeing Kate off. "Bye." Kate rode on her bike and went home. All the while, she kept on thinking about the book.

I have a strange feeling about this. Why do I feel as if I've known that book all of my life?

Author's notes:
How did you like it? Well, the book part was inspired by an angst fic I read that described Kaoru and Misao chanting an incantation that absolutely changed their lives forever... That fic was absolutely beautiful, although it had to end sadly. I really loved it! Anyway, please send me your comments via email. Thanks a lot! Expect more of this! I really believe I've got a cool plot going! (snigger)