Author's note: Any dialogue in Bold is said in English. Any dialogue not in bold is translated from Japanese.
Japanese-American Airways Airport, 3:00
"Thank you for flying Japanese-American Airways." The flight attendant said politely to each person that left the plane. She then looked down as a girl walked by her.
"Thank you for flying Japanese-American Airways."
"Thank you very much. But I know Japanese." The little girl said.
"Oh, aren't you so smart?" the flight attendant said with a smile.
Chiyo walked out from the plane. She looked outside the huge windows that were at the airport. "I'm so glad to be home," she said.
She stopped outside, got in a taxi, gave her address, and the taxi drove away.
Although Chiyo looked the same, 4 years had really changed her mentally. She was now 16. She now kept her hair down, and never tied it up. Some of the American culture had passed on to the way she dressed, but she had felt slightly awkward when she got off the plane.
On her way home, she thought about the 4 years she had spent in college in America. It had been an interesting 4 years, and now she had come back to Japan. She remembered a friend that had been there since day one.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for the Science wing." Chiyo said.
"Excuse me," someone said. Chiyo turned.
He had huge glasses; blonde hair in the shape of a bowl cut, and was approximately 5'11''. He had blue jeans on, with a shirt that said "I M A GMR".
"Did you just speak Japanese?" Chiyo asked.
"I did. You must be Chiyo-chan. I'm very pleased to meet you." the stranger said, and bowed.
He's so well cultivated, thought Chiyo
Chiyo thought about her friend, whom she had spent the last 4 years talking, helping, and overall enjoying college with.
The taxi swerved, snapping Chiyo out of her gaze.
"What was that?" She asked, and tried to catch what the taxi just missed.
She looked out the rear mirror, saw it, and it sent a chill down her spine.
It had been a silver car, with all sorts of dents and dings in it.
Chiyo arrived at her house at about 4:00. She paid the taxi driver, walked up to the front door, and opened it.
"Surprise. Welcome home, Chiyo-chan!" Everyone screamed.
Chiyo-chan just stood there with a big smile on her face, on the verge of tears. She couldn't have been any happier to see all of her friends from high school.
"So, Chiyo-chan, how was America?" Yomi asked.
"America was cool. American's ask for a lot more personal space, though." Chiyo said.
Chiyo, Tomo, Yomi, Osaka, Kagura, Sakaki, and Kaorin were around the table in Chiyo's room.
During the four years that Chiyo had been away, Kagura had become a professional athlete. She had competed in the Olympics once, and had gotten a gold medal in all of the events she participated in.
Yomi had become a dietitian, training people on how to lose weight, and even writing a few books.
Tomo had become a teacher (most likely to follow in the steps of Yukari-sensei).
Osaka had also become a teacher, although it was because Chiyo told her she could. Some of her class time was often her suddenly staring into space, wondering about who knows what, and then suddenly snapping back into her lesson right where she left off. Many of her students had gotten used to this though, making Osaka a very good teacher.
Sakaki had become a veterinarian. She had just finished up vet school, and was going to start looking for a job in two weeks, after she took a small break. Kaorin had found out about Sakaki going to a vet school, and had followed after her. Kaorin was, of course, taking two weeks off with Sakaki.
"So, tell us about this American friend of yours" Tomo said. "Have you two been dating?" She nudged Chiyo suggestively.
"Tomo, Chiyo-chan isn't even old enough to start dating yet." Yomi said. "Besides, he's probably 20, and she's 16."
"He's 24 now," Chiyo told her. "Oh, speaking of which, do you guys have any boyfriends?"
"Nope" Yomi replied
"No" Osaka said
"That's a negative," Tomo said
"No" Sakaki replied in her quiet voice
"Never had," Kaorin replied.
"I do" Kagura replied.
Everybody looked at Kagura in amazement.
"He's German. I met him at the Olympics. We've been dating for almost a year now."
"Do you even know how to speak to him?" Tomo asked.
"Of course I do. German was a lot easier to pick up than English." Kagura responded.
"You are weird" Tomo said.
Kagura spouted something off in German, which left Tomo just sitting there with her arms crossed, pouting.
"Oh, by the way, what happened to Tadakichi-san?" Yomi asked.
Chiyo turned silent. The smile on her face disappeared. She looked down at the table. Severe sadness was on her face.
"I see." Yomi said.
Moment of silence.
"But," Chiyo said, as a smile once again appeared on her face "Thanks to Joe, my American friend, I was able to feel better. Besides, he got me a new dog just like Tadakichi, and we called him Tadaichi. I left him in America with Joe, as a going away present."
"Oh, that was nice, Chiyo-chan" Yomi said.
"Chiyo-chan, besides your hair, you haven't changed a bit," Osaka said.
And it was true. Besides the fact the Chiyo now always wore her hair down (she believed it made her look more mature) she continued to look exactly like she had 4 years ago.
"Yeah, you didn't gain any height at all, shorty," Tomo said as she patted Chiyo on the head
This made Chiyo grab one of Tomo's fingers and bend it backwards, while still wearing her smile.
"OW, OW OW!" Tomo yelled
Yomi closed her eyes in content. "Seems Chiyo has learned to stick up for herself. You better watch out, Tomo-chan" Yomi said, looking over at Tomo with a grin.
At the airport, where Chiyo had just been an hour earlier, a man stepped off the airplane. He looked at the sky through the see-through windows. A tear ran down his face.
"I've always dreamed of coming to Japan. And now that dream is a reality. All thanks to a little kid genius. Speaking of which, I should call her."
He whipped out his cell phone, and speed-dialed Chiyo's house.
The phone rang. This snapped Osaka out of her staring, and she went over to answer the phone.
"Hi, Chiyo-chan's house, Osaka speaking" Osaka answered.
Some jabbering on the other side
"OK" Osaka went and handed the cordless phone over to Chiyo-chan. "It's for you"
Chiyo-chan took the phone
"Hello?" Chiyo asked
"Hello there, Chiyo-chan"
"Ah, Joe-san!" Chiyo responded.
"Guess where I am right now?"
Osaka responded on the corded phone "Outside the airport?"
Silence for a minute
"How'd she guess?" Joe asked.
"Wait, you're outside the airport? Why?" Chiyo continued
"I'm in Japan right now" Joe answered
Chiyo got a ridiculous-happy look on her face.
"Sorry, Chiyo-chan. But I had plans to come to Japan too, and I wanted to keep them a secret. Oh, hey, I've brought someone who's going to be happy to see you. Say hi!"
"He says hi," Joe said
Chiyo got a tear down her face. She would get to see Tadaichi-san again. "I'm so glad you brought him with you." Chiyo said as she wiped away the tear.
Now there's something that will melt your heart, Yomi thought.
"No problem. I've got my cat here too. Oh, wait, hang on" Some distant yelling.
"Ok, some guys are going to deliver them over to your house later. Pets apparently aren't allowed in taxi's in Japan."
Chiyo laughed a little. Chiyo heard two honks on the phone.
"What was that?"
She heard some muffled talking. Joe had put his hand over the bottom of the phone.
"Well, I guess I won't be taking a taxi, but the animals are already on their way to your house."
"What do you mean?" Chiyo asked.
"Well, this nice lady pulled up, honked her horn at me, and asked me if I was a friend of Chiyo-chan. I said yes, and she said she had come to pick me up. She apparently knows where you live."
"Oh, really. What's her name?"
"Hang on, I need to buckle in." Joe clicked his seat belt, and Chiyo heard him ask what her name was.
"She says I can call her Yukari-sensei" Joe said.
Chiyo's face turned a pale white.
"Well, I'll be there shortly. Bye, Chiyo-chan!" And he hung up.
The phone was still sitting by Chiyo's ear. She had completely frozen up.
"Oi, Chiyo-chan, what's wrong?" Tomo asked.
Osaka hung up the phone, came back to the table, sat down, and said "Joe-chan is coming over."
"Really?" Tomo said.
"Wow, that's great!" Yomi said.
"Yes. And Yukari's driving him here." Osaka said.
Yomi and Kagura looked completely shocked. Tomo looked at Osaka.
Tomo closed her eyes, and clapped her hands together in the praying position.
"Well, he lived a good life" Tomo said.
Osaka did the same.
"Too bad he died young" Osaka said.
It was now almost 5:00. Chiyo was beginning to worry. She had had to drive for an hour in Yukari-sensei's car before, heading out to her summerhouse. Traffic wasn't all that bad, considering it was the country. But this was the city that they were going to be driving through. Chiyo started shaking again.
"Oi, Chiyo-chan, it will be ok" Yomi said. "Look on the bright side, at least the pets got on a nice, safe truck, away from Yukari and her driving."
"Yeah, I guess you're right", but Chiyo still seemed troubled.
The door came flying open. Standing in the doorway was Yukari-sensei.
"Hello, everybody" Yukari said
Chiyo went zooming out the door, and stopped a few feet from Yukari's car. It had been 6 years now since she had ridden in the car, and she still couldn't even bear to touch it. Yomi had to come up and open the door, and they both stared at the poor soul that had now that fun of riding in Yukari's car.
He stared straight ahead, completely white. His breathing was long, hard breaths. He was grabbing on to both sides of his seat as if they were his lifelines.
"J-Joe-san?" Chiyo asked.
"C-C-Chiyo-c-c-chan. I d-d-don't want to d-d-die." Yomi undid his seat belt, and tried to pull him out. His hands would not let go of the seats.
"It's alright, now. The ride is over." Yomi said
Very slowly, he let go of the seat. Yomi helped him out of the car, and set him down on the ground. He was on his hands and knees, and trying to slow down his breathing.
Chiyo bent down. "Are you going to be all right?"
"Yeah, just give me a minute."
Then a wave of nausea his Joe as the full impact of what he had just been through hit him.
"Where's your bathroom?" He asked.
"First door on the right." Chiyo responded.
"Thanks." He ran as fast as he could toward the door to the bathroom.
"Glad to meet…" Kagura started, but never finished.
Joe ran into the bathroom, and threw up.
"It might be awhile before we hear from him again," Yomi said, walking back into the house. "His hands had a death grip on the seats."
"That's not good." Kagura responded.
Every person there heard Joe throw up again.
"I hope he didn't ruin anything in the interior," Yukari said
Everybody looked at Yukari, and sweat-dropped.
Chiyo walked into the bathroom.
"Are you alright?" Chiyo asked.
"I'll be fine. Could you please go and get my stuff out of that car?" Joe responded.
Chiyo started shivering.
"Oi, don't worry, Chiyo, I'll get it" Yomi responded, and whispered to Kagura. "Maybe you had better go explain to Joe why Chiyo is afraid of Yukari's car. Although it shouldn't need much explaining."
As Yomi walked out to get Joe's stuff, Kagura went over to Chiyo and Joe.
"Maybe you had better make some tea for him." Kagura said.
"That's a good idea," Chiyo said, still slightly sweating.
As Chiyo left, Kagura went over to the slightly sickened Joe.
"Hi, I'm Kagura. Sorry for the way Yukari-sensei drives."
"Heh heh. I'm Joe. I'm guessing by the way Chiyo reacted, she's ridden in Yukari's car."
"Heh heh. She was emotionally scarred in it 6 years ago."
This scared Joe a little bit.
"That long ago, and she's still afraid to even touch it?" Joe asked.
Kagura nodded her head.
Joe felt another wave of nausea.
"You may want to clear the room."
Just as Kagura left, she heard him throw up again.
Yomi had also come in with all of Joe's stuff.
"Good job, Yomi. Took you a while though." Tomo said.
"It would have been faster if you would have actually helped!" Yomi yelled.
Everybody heard a meow, and looked at the door. Tomo flinched, and started stepping back. Sakaki got a happy look on her face.
Mayaa came running in the door, and jumped into Sakaki's open arms.
Chiyo ran into the kitchen, made some tea, and ran into the bathroom, and put it on the floor next to Joe.
"This will make you feel better" Chiyo said.
Still has an innocent heart, Kaorin thought to herself.
"It might be a while before he comes out of there," Chiyo said, walking out of the bathroom.
Yukari seemed completely unaware of what all the fuss was about. "I thought he enjoyed it. I mean, he was screaming the entire time we were going."
"Um, excuse me," a man said, ""I've got two pets here that are said to be delivered to this house."
"Yes, they were" Chiyo said.
Tadaichi came running up, jumped on Chiyo, and started licking her face.
The cat was still in a kennel. Chiyo took it, and let it out. The cat was a light brown, with black stripes. It looked around, and sniffed the air.
Even though Sakaki was holding Mayaa, she still blushed at the sight of this cat. The cat suddenly ran off in the direction of the bathroom, stood in the doorway, and let out a big "meow".
"So glad to see you made it safely, Neko-san" Joe said. He sounded better. "Can't say the same for myself though"
What a way to start off a trip to a foreign country, Yomi thought
Please review! Next Chapter: Hangover from the day, and a walk from Sakaki
P.S. Uchiha Itachi makes a surprise appearance in the next chapter!