Takako No Hibi: A Different Love Story


A Midori No Hibi Fanfiction

By Cheshire Grin


Disclaimer: I might own Midori no Hibi…I might not…I'll never tell!


Days Seven: Acquaintances


"Achoo! Achoo!"

"Hey…you catch another cold or something?" Seiji frowned, looking down at the girl on his arm.

Takako looked up pensively and rubbed her nose. "Maybe." She laughed. "Maybe someone's talking about me?"

Looking worried, Seiji cupped her body with his left hand. "Your body's freezing!" He exclaimed, frowning all the more.

She sighed, cherishing the warmth of his hand wrapped about her and blushing at his tenderness, then remembered herself.

"I guess the cold is getting to me a little." she said, shivering as Seiji's hand released her.

Seiji looked down at Takako and his brows tightened. She was wearing the sundress he had bought her all that time ago. Come to think of it, it was the only clothing she had. And for this kind of weather, a sundress was not nearly warm enough. No wonder she was freezing.

"Guess it's time to go shopping again." he said, smiling down at Takako.

"Huh?"

"We gotta get you some winter clothes."

Takako smiled at his concern. She had been feeling a little cold lately. Some warmer clothes would be nice. That was when an unpleasant thought occurred to her. She looked up at Seiji.

"Not back to that shop?" She asked nervously.

Seiji looked shocked, as if the thought had just occurred to him.

"Hell no! There's no way we can go back there." He said, looking anxious. The figurine shop where he had bought the sundress was a place he wanted to avoid at all costs. Besides, Takamizawa might be there.

"Then where?" Takako asked, wondering.

Seiji thought for a few moments and then it hit him.

"How about a department store?" He said. "They sell toys."

Takako grinned. "Good idea."

Seiji grinned right back at her. "Yeah. Let's go."


Slightly flustered, Sawamura Seiji walked through the toy department of Ozumi Department Store. It was a little embarrassing walking around a toy store amongst all these kids, but if it would make Takako happy… He blushed a little, imagining her grateful smile then shook his head. Why was he thinking such things. Seeing a sign that read 'Dolls' he hurried forward when disaster struck.

"Hand it over kid. It's mine!"

"No fair! I saw it first!"

"Don't touch! A brat like you could never understand its true value."

Seiji's blood ran cold. That was Takamizawa's voice. He turned to see Takamizawa triumphantly holding a doll above the reach of a little girl. This was not good. Why on earth was Takamizawa here? Seiji groaned and turned around quickly. Maybe God hated him after all. He shook his head. This was no time to dally. He had to get out of here before Takamizawa spotted him. He crouched and turned toward the isle and shuffled forward a few steps before bumping into something. Looking up, he saw Takamizawa raise his hand.

"Hey there. I thought it was you Sawamura."

"Wha? When did you…" Seiji sputtered, nearly dying from shock. He hurriedly shoved Takako behind his back.

Takamizawa laughed. "No need to be so surprised." He said, smiling. "Still, I didn't expect you to be so well-rounded."

"Huh?" Was all Seiji could manage, wondering what the hell this weirdo was on about.

"The specialty stores may be the only place you can get rare items but you can't beat this place's low prices!" Takamizawa continued, oblivious to Seiji's distress. "Of course, you'd only know about it if you lived here." He went on.

Seiji stood, wondering what to do as sweat poured off him. However, Takamizawa didn't notice.

"Are you looking for something too?" The weirdo asked.

"You could say that." Seiji forced himself to smile. "I'm looking for doll clothes." Looking around, Seiji sighed. He'd play along for now, that's what he'd do, but when he saw an opportunity to escape, he'd be outta here.

"Clothes huh?" Said Takamizawa, snatching something off a nearby shelf. "How about this Planeteer Ultra Marine outfit. The design's quite good. I really like it myself. It's the same one I put on my figurine." He groped about in his bag and pulled out a doll wearing the same dress as the one he had been holding up. "See?"

Seiji stood speechless. He just didn't know how to talk to this guy. Especially about something he wasn't the least bit interested in. Yet this weirdo seemed to think he was. He'd have to show willing somehow. Seiji sighed and wondered how.

But Takamizawa didn't seem the least bit fazed about Seiji's speechlessness. "But y'know…" He continued. "Lately I've had more fun with these."

Reaching into his bag once more, he pulled out a puppet. Seiji nearly fell over.

"I'm really into puppets now. I've completely fallen for them. You can do a lot more with them. You can manipulate them like this, see?"

Grinning madly, he made the puppets arms move up and down. Seiji watched dumbstruck as he had a conversation with it, filling in the doll's voice with his own. This was beyond bad. This guy was dangerous. If he caught sight of Takako, the world might come to an end.

"This one, Mommy. I want this one." Dumbfounded, Seiji felt arms grab Takako from behind him. He turned to see a little girl grasping her tightly. Takako's eyes were bulging. Seiji groaned inwardly. Things couldn't be worse. Takamizawa couldn't help but notice Takako now.

The little girl's mother had appeared beside her and was trying to dissuade the girl. "Now now, Mika. You can't have that one. It belongs to this nice, young man."

"But I want it." The girl howled.

Takako was almost fainting in panic. She held herself perfectly still and tried hard not to gasp for breath when the little girl squeezed her. Takamizawa was staring at her. She could only pray that he'd mistake her for a puppet.

Gaping in surprise, Takamizawa snatched Takako from the little girl, who started crying and was lead off by her mother, and held her up before him. For a moment he seemed lost for words and just stared, his mouth wide open in surprise. Finally his voice came to him.

"This is…"

"This is…"

The sweat poured off Seiji as his panic increased and blood flew to his head. He felt almost dizzy. Had Takamizawa found out?

"This is the cutest puppet I've ever seen!" Said Takamizawa, finally. Seiji almost fainted with relief.

Takamizawa smiled down at Takako. "Wow, you're good Sawamura." He said. "You're really into this hobby." His grin turned suddenly sly. "So…where'd you get it?" He asked. "I really like it. I absolutely must get one!" He continued, looking at Seiji with starry eyes.

"Uh…well…" Seiji stammered, thinking desperately. "My dad sent this to me from overseas."

Takamizawa looked suddenly downcast. "It…it's a foreign model…" The he brightened. "Well at least let me look at it one more time?" he begged.

Seiji looked down at Takako who nodded minutely. She was getting very frightened under Takamizawa's scrutiny but if she held perfectly still it should be okay. Takamizawa would mistake her for a toy. Still, she hoped Seiji would hurry up and find an excuse to leave. The situation was getting dangerous. She could feel a sneeze coming and held on desperately.

Up above, Seiji scowled at Takamizawa. "Well okay. Just one look." He said grudgingly.

"Wow, this is a really great doll." Takamizawa said, examining Takako. "Is it made of silicon?"

Takamizawa grinned. Seiji had impressed him with his knowledge of this place and his fellow love of puppets but he was still too green. It was cute that he seemed to want to keep the make of his doll a secret but Takamizawa couldn't let him. The design was too good. He just had to have one. And he knew a way. All figures had the manufacturers name printed on them somewhere, usually on the back. If he could get a look at that, he could find out the make of the doll by himself. Trying not to smile, he looked up over Seiji's shoulder and pointed.

"Oh my! Isn't that Aikawa Shou?"

"What?" Seiji turned. Aikawa Shou was his favorite action hero. He didn't know what he'd be doing in a store like this but he wasn't going to miss it. In a flash, Takamizawa snatched Takako's dress and pulled it over her head, revealing her breasts and stomach.

Not seeing Aikawa, Seiji turned back to his companion in confusion only to see Takamizawa gaping at Takako's body.

"There's no joints!" He gasped. "This can't be a doll."

"What the hell are you doing!" Anger took over. Seiji's brain raged. How dare that Takamizawa defile Takako like that! The rage sped through him, casting conscious thought aside. There was only anger and the sudden need to punish. Before Takamizawa could blink, Seiji had grabbed him by the waist and heaved him off his feet with startling ease. Takako could only gasp as Seiji, with a frightening look of rage on his face, backdropped the startled Takamizawa and stood gasping over his unconscious form.

As the rage bled away, Seiji looked around to see customers and shop attendants alike staring at him. Sudden fear shot through him as he realized what he'd just done. This was bad. He had to get away. Turning, he bolted through the shop. Behind him, a shop attendant finally came to his senses.

"Hey! He's getting away! Stop right there, you!" He shouted after the fleeing Seiji.

Completely and utterly dumbfounded, Takako could only stare, uncomprehending at this turn of events as Seiji sped away.

Behind them, a small girl who had been watching the action snuck over to Takamizawa's prone form and wrested the doll from his numb fingers.

"Mommy, I want this one!"


Seiji rounded a corner and stopped. The pursuit was nowhere to be seen. As he regained hi breath, he looked down at Takako to see if she was okay. His heart wrenched itself in his chest as he found her crying gently into his sleeve. He watched, heart breaking, as the sobs racked her small body. He found himself not knowing what to say. After all, she had just had her shirt pulled up by that freak Takamizawa, who had gotten a pretty good look at her…her…yeah and then Seiji had responded with violence, even though he knew she hated it when he fought. All in all it had probably been pretty traumatic for her.

"I…please…please don't cry." He said, desperately. Her sobs lessened but didn't stop. She was obviously very upset. His heart ached for her. Not knowing what else to do, he cradled her in his arms.

"I…I'm sorry."

She looked up startled and a flush came over her cheeks. Her crying stopped. "I'm okay." She said in a small voice. "I guess…I guess he just caught me by surprise."

Seiji smiled down at her, relieved, then frowned. "I…I didn't get you any clothes. I'm sorry." He said, looking downcast.

"It's okay." Takako, wrapped in the warmth of Seiji's arms found that she suddenly didn't care.


"I just can't believe you stole this!" said Takako, grinning a little despite herself.

Seiji blushed, suddenly embarrassed. Takako looked comfortable in the thick dress with long sleeves and wasn't shivering at all. "Shut up already. How else was I supposed to get it? That freak is stalking me I swear it."

Takako smiled at the idea of Seiji having a stalker. Still at least she was warm now and that was what counted. She looked down at her dress. It was a pleasant blue-green and very comfortable. It was in fact the Planeteer Ultra Marin costume that Takamizawa had so admired. The day after the incident at the store, Seiji had gotten up during class, pretending he'd had to go to the bathroom. In fact he had snuck down the hall and opened Takamizawa's locker, discovering the outfit within. Luckily, Takamizawa hadn't seemed to notice. Come to think of it, he'd been acting a little weird since Seiji had backdropped him, running around with a cheery sort of hyperactivity, even flirting with girls. He didn't seem to remember the previous day at all. Takako supposed she was lucky but hoped Takamizawa would return to his normal self soon. It was too creepy watching him flirt with his classmates.

"So what do you wanna do now? Seiji asked, shaking Takako from her thoughts.

"Wait a moment. Let me put away this sundress first." She replied, taking up the sundress from where it was lying on Seiji's desk and folding it.

"Where are you gonna put it?" Seiji asked, sitting down on his bed.

"Under here." Takako reached down under Seiji's bed and stashed the sundress behind his bedpost.

"Hey! Wait. Stop!" Seiji yelled desperately.

"Huh?" Takako muttered, suddenly noticing the huge stash of magazines under Seiji's bed. It had been ages since she'd flicked through a magazine, she mused, smiling. Although Seiji's magazines would almost certainly not be the kind she had usually looked at. Probably about cars and motorbikes and such things. Curious she picked one up.

Seiji was in a state of panic. Takako had just discovered his stash. Still, maybe he could stop her before too much damage was done. Grabbing his right arm with his left, he heaved.

Takako suddenly found herself shot out from underneath the bed. Unfortunately for Seiji, she was still holding the magazine, which she lost hold of as it rocketed upwards. It dropped from her hands and landed with a plop on the floor in front of them, opening to the month's centerfold. Both Seiji and Takako stared at the naked girl on the magazine before them.

"You…you…" Takako found herself stammering in her shock. So this was the kind of magazine Seiji looked at.

"You… you PERVERT!" she cried, hurriedly averting her eyes.

"I…I…" Seiji found himself suddenly not knowing what to say. After all, what do you say when a girl discovers your stash of porn?

"I don't believe this." Muttered Takako.

"Hey…it's just…I mean…well it's like…crap." Seiji finished, scowling.

Takako, over her initial shock found the edges of her mouth turning up. She just couldn't resist the opportunity to tease Seiji.

"Ho ho ho… you dirty old man Seiji." She grinned at him.

"Hey…I'm not… I mean… Come on, all guys have stuff like this. It's normal."

"Oh…So all guys a perverts?" She asked, grinning all the more.

"Oh shut up." Growled Seiji, picking up the magazine and throwing it back under his bed and out of sight.

Takako smiled. It was fun teasing Seiji. Yet she couldn't help but feel a little guilty at the thought of a similar magazine with a slightly different type of model lying at the bottom of her sock drawer. Maybe she was a pervert too. Still, she couldn't resist the urge to needle Seiji a little more. Served him right for stealing the dress.

"Come on, let's go get dinner." Said Seiji, anxious to change the subject. Frowning a little he stood up and moved toward the door.

"Sure thing Mr. Pervert." Answered Takako, grinning nastily.

"Oh for God's sake…" Seiji muttered.

"What was that, Mr. Pervert?"

"Oh shut up!"


"Ahhh… it's so nice to be warm again." Takako sighed happily.

Seiji just harrumphed. They were sitting together on a bench in the park. The weather had been getting even colder lately. He found his exposed neck getting chilly and wished he had a scarf.

"Hey Seiji?"

"Yeah?"

"What would you do if I sewed some really embarrassing logo on this dress? Something like 'Seiji is a pervert'?" Takako asked, grinning.

"I'd shave your head while you slept." Seiji replied, grinning himself. It seemed she was never going to let him forget about the pervert thing. Still, at least she hadn't flipped out.

"You wouldn't…"

Seiji only grinned nastily. Suddenly a voice called from behind them.

"Hey Onii-chan!"

"Huh?"

Seiji suddenly found himself gasping as a small girl catapulted herself at him and flung her arms around his neck.

"Ugh." He groaned. The girl smiled up at him.

"I've been wanting to see you Onii-chan!"

"Shi…Shiori?" He managed to gasp. She grinned and released him, sitting down on the park bench next to him. From his other side, Takako sidled up to his ear.

"Who's this?" She whispered.

Seiji turned his head slightly toward her and mouthed "It's Shiori. She's a kid who lives in the neighborhood."

From his other side, Shiori grinned hugely.

"So, you got a girlfriend yet Onii-chan?"

"Hmmph. Kinda nosey aren't you" Grumbled Seiji.

"I'll take that as a no." Said Shiori, laughing. "I've already had six boys confess to me. It's hard being so popular. Of course I told them I wasn't interested in boys my own age."

"But you know…" She continued, looking up at Seiji with a sickeningly lovestruck expression, "If you asked me, I'd be your girlfriend."

"Oh wow… I'm soo flattered." deadpanned Seiji, scowling.

"Hey! Don't make fun of me." She cried, pursing her lips. She latched herself onto Seiji's left arm. "But you really are my favorite."

"Alright, alright…I get it…sorry." Seiji mumbled, flustered.

From her vantage point in Seiji's right sleeve, Takako smiled. Seiji really did act like the little girls big brother. It was kind of cute. She smiled up at an oblivious Seiji who was trying to pry Shiori off his arm with little success.

"I remember it all." sighed Shiori. "You were fighting ten guys. Even though they were really big you took 'em out with one punch. I knew from that moment…that you would be my future husband." She smiled up at Seiji who shook her off and stood up.

"I'm outta here." he grumbled.

"Heeey! Why don't you take me seriously?!" Shiori shouted at him.

"How the hell can I take a kid seriously?!" he shouted right back.

"How rude." Shiori sniffed. "I'm not a kid, you know. In eight more years you'll be twenty-five and I'll be a stunning eighteen year old. I'd be way better than a girl your own age." She smirked.

Takako started. She hadn't considered that. Come to think of it, wasn't it every guys dream? While the thought of Seiji going out with a ten year old seemed ludicrous, it was suddenly becoming disconcertingly apparent that the girl had a point. But…Seiji wouldn't would he? Takako felt the beginnings of worry settle in her gut.

Oblivious to Takako's discomfit, Shiori looked up at Seiji. "Hey Onii-chan. Lean down so I can tell you something."

Frowning, Seiji obliged, wondering what was up with the little girl. Grinning a little she leaned in and kissed his cheek. Unseen, Takako felt her eyes start to pop out of her head. Still frowning, Seiji bopped the girl's head.

"Dumbass! I don't need kisses from little kids."

"Oh come on. I see you blushing." smirked Shiori.

"Who's blushing?" Muttered Seiji, indifferently.

He looked down at Takako who was staring at him with wide eyes and an indefinable but sad expression on her face. He started.

"What's with you?" He whispered.


"Aww… He got me again. I'm really starting to hate that guy."

Seiji watched absently from across the room as Shiori played a fighting game on his playstation. She showed no signs of giving up any time soon.

"Hey Shiori. Isn't it about time you headed home?" Seiji called.

"No. I…I don't wanna go…" Shiori seemed suddenly downcast.

"Huh? It's already after six. Your parents will be worried." said Seiji, wondering what was up with the girl.

"It's okay…I don't…think of them as my parents."

"Did something happen?" Asked Seiji, getting a little worried himself. Shiori was not acting like herself.

Shiori smiled a sad little smile. "My dad just…got remarried." She said sadly. "She's a really sweet person and she's trying hard to be my mom…really…but that just bugs me." Shiori stared blankly at the floor. "No matter how hard she tries…she'll never be my mom. I only have one mom and she's in heaven."

Seiji stared sadly at the little girl, not knowing what to say. Suddenly she seemed to cheer up.

"Hey Onii-chan. I wanna live here with you. Can I?"

":Huh!?" Seiji stared. She wanted to live here? She didn't want to go home? Something was seriously wrong with Shiori and he didn't have a clue how to put it right. Before he could muster a reply there was a knock at the door. Sighing, he went to open it.

A pleasant looking middle aged woman stood in the doorway. "Um…Excuse me… I asked the neighbors and they said Shiori might be here?" The woman asked.

"Yeah she's right here." Replied Seiji, pointing at Shiori who stood behind him, clutching at his arm.

"Shiori. It's time to go home. It's already very late. I even made your favorite hamburger steaks." She smiled down at Shiori.

"I'm not going."

"Eh?"

"I'm never going back to that house! So just hurry up and leave!" Shouted Shiori, glaring at the woman.

"But…Shiori"

"Don't talk to me like you know me! Quit pretending that you care! You just want to be with my dad!" Shiori yelled, striding in front of Seiji and glaring at the woman.

"But... but…that's not…"

The lady in the doorway looked as if she was about to cry. Seiji stared helplessly between the two of them. Unfazed, Shiori continued.

"It makes me sick to see you pretend to be happy with my father! I only have one mom. And you're not her!" Shiori shouted, her face contorting and tears leaking from her eyes. "You're not my mom! You'll never be my mom!!" She screamed as the tears made tracks down her cheeks.

Without warning the woman suddenly slapped Shiori resoundingly across the face. She glared at the girl for a moment then burst into tears.

"Why…why don't you understand? I'm…I'm just" she couldn't continue and knelt in the doorway, crying. Finally without saying another word she stood and left.

Shiori stood, her hand pressed to her face, wondering as the woman left. Finally she moved over to the sofa and slumped down on it, more downcast than ever. Seiji came up behind her and bopped her lightly on the head.

"Geez…You say all that and now you're depressed?"

"But…I didn't think she'd cry like that." Shiori said sadly, amazement in her voice.

"That's because she was really worried about you. If she wasn't then she wouldn't cry or get angry, would she?" He looked across at her to find her watching him intently. "Even if you're not related by blood…you should still try to get along with her." He continued. "I mean, my parents basically abandoned me. You're really luck y'know."

Seiji stood up and walked to her side. Lowering his left hand he gently ruffled her hair. "You should never, ever make your own mom cry like that." He said. "I mean, you're not a kid anymore, right?" He tipped her a wink.

Shiori stared up at him in amazement, her eyes brimming. Suddenly it was too much and the tears escaped. As she cried, Seiji gently ruffled her hair and smiled down at her.

Takako, silent throughout the whole episode, found tears in her own eyes. If she had never seen it with her own eyes she would never have suspected that Seiji could be this gentle. She smiled as she watched him ruffle the girl's hair and wondered anew at the amount of her heart this boy was occupying.


Several days later, as he and Takako were out shopping, Seiji heard a familiar call.

"Hey! Onii-chan."

"Oh. Shiori. What are you doing here?"

The little girl smiled up at him as her mother hurried over. "We were on our way to the department store."

Seiji leaned down and grinned at her. "Looks like you and you mom are getting along pretty well now."

Shiori smiled a brilliant smile. "Yup!'

"Anyway" she continued, blushing just a little. "There's something I have to ask you. What's your favorite color?"

"Why do you want to know?" Asked Seiji blandly.

"Come on…Just tell me!"

"Well…I guess it's blue."

"Hehe…thanks."

"Why did you need to know that?" He asked, wondering.

She grinned up at him. "Isn't it obvious? I need to know what panties to get if I'm going to seduce you. Bye!"

Seiji stumbled and almost fell over as the two left and made their way to the department store. He and Takako could only stand staring at the departing pair in shock.

Finally Takako spoke.

"Umm…Seiji?"

"Yeah?" He replied, still shell-shocked.

"Please don't get seduced."

For a moment Seiji could only stare at her.

"Like that could happen!!!" He finally shouted.

Shoppers around him suddenly started and moved away, whispering to themselves.

His face down and cheeks blazing, Seiji stomped off on his way to the grocery store, trying to ignore them.

END CHAPTER SEVEN


Author's note:

Well here's chapter seven… the longest so far. Guess what? Takako no Hibi is now the longest Midori fic on ff dot net. At least until starah updates 'Firsts'. Lol. Anyways, having the longest midori fic isn't that much of an accomplishment. There's not much competition Lol. Anyways… I have a question to pose you, my dear readers. I'm getting to a new stage in the storyline where many new characters come into the story. I'm wondering whether I should include them. The ones I'm thinking of are the mad professor and Nao and also Lucy Winrad. So what do you guys think? Should I include them? Let me know what you think.

Thanks go out to Linbean for editing this. Sigh…what would I do without her? Lol

Anyways, that's about enough outta me. Please let me know what you think. I just love getting reviews. It makes me want to write more.

Ja ne,

Cheshire Grin :D