Disclaimer: I do not own the FoR characters and half the story belongs to our dearest Ailene, my bestest friend who's been with me through four years…also, we've had quite a similar history. Also, the special appearing characters from RK don't belong to me either.
Author: Okay…this is a parody of a story originally written by Ailene and me during our Art period as a little assignment. It's fairytales and nursery rhymes weaved together to form a nonsensical story. I'm not going to provide you with original, as it won't be as funny as when you know the people used. Read and enjoy…and review.
Jade sat the rowdy mass of 1/13 pupils down as her partner, Ailene, got the refreshments. The group of 19 (excluding herself and Ailene) gazed up at their storyteller with wondrous eyes as she began to tell her tale…
"Listen, children of my age, as I tell my story of a young prince in his journeys. Once upon a time, in the Eastern world, near the provinces of China, in the suburbs of…"
"Will you cut the crap and get on with the story already?" An overly irritated Gab rolled her eyes as she told her classmate off.
"Yeah. I agree with Gab," piped up Sarah.
Fire flickered in Jade's eyes as she glared at the two.
"Fine, whatever you want. Our story begins in Japan…"
Faraway, in the suburbs of Japan, there was a ninja clan by the name of Hokage. The chief of Hokage and his wife were highly respected leaders. Hanabishi Recca, the chief, had the well-known power to cast flames from his right arm and his flame was the mightiest one could ever own – the eight fire dragons. Sakoshita Yanagi, his wife, had the to power to heal, which was extraordinary and essential to the people of Hokage.
Now, the chief and his wife had two children. Mifuyu resembled her mother remarkably whilst Tokiya had beautiful silver hair. The chief, being an all-caring father, knew that there were assassins after him and that they were bound to attack his precious, defenceless and innocent children. Thus, their births were unknown to the people and they were given a different surname – Mikagami.
Their fake identities were that of the chamberlain's nephew and niece, who needed to work alongside their aunt, Kagerou, for money. Since nobody actually knew Kagerou's full name, they ignored this little detail. Tokiya and Mifuyu, however, knew fully well that they were the 'royal' children. But their father told them to take their current situation as it is.
Yanagi, however, had no concern whatsoever for these irritating little brats of hers, as she was more interested in being the most beautiful chieftess ever. And also partly because those tiny monsters had made her gone through hell during childbirth.
On a beautiful spring's late afternoon, Yanagi had a lovely tea with her husband only to find out a shocking piece of news.
The brunette had asked her ninja a simple question, "Hon, what do you think about our darling Mifuyu?"
The chief, of course, was rather taken aback by this question, since she had never much cared to help them out in case she broke a nail.
"Well…she's certainly a caring and loving sister towards Tokiya, and she's grown to be as beautiful as you," he smiled softly back at his wife.
Yanagi flinched. Did he say what she had just heard him say?
"Is that so?" she asked coolly.
"Yeah. You two could walk in the streets together and be mistaken for identical twins," the brainless fool replied.
His remark, meant to be a compliment to his dearest wife, had very much upset the vain woman. However, Yanagi acted as if she let the remark pass, showing no care whatsoever about the conversation they just had as she proceeded onto a different topic. Deep in her mind, though, she had already begun plotting her evil plan to destroy Mifuyu. Also, she decided that if Tokiya ever grew too beautiful as well, he would be rid of too.
At the end of their tea session, she got up and bowed to her husband before taking her leave. Recca had stayed behind to take in the sights and sounds of the near evening.
Yanagi carefully walked down the dark staircase that had moss growing all over it. Grabbing on to the rusty stair rail leading to her private chambers, she quickly made her mind up on which plan to use.
At last she reached the bottom of the merciless stairway and proceeded to a huge door, which was, like the stairway, old and rusty. Cobwebs could be seen at its hinges and green growth was gobbling its surface up.
She scanned the door for an untouched area before lifting her hand to give three gentle knocks. Almost immediately, the door creaked open and a passageway large enough for her to pass through was formed. She slid through the open area and found herself in room that was…sparkling clean. Its walls were white with rose designs carefully printed onto them. Also, there were about twenty bookcases, filled with books, lining the walls. In the middle of the room, was a long table with a metal tabletop. Behind it, were large, wooden cabinets made of polished wood.
Yanagi did not stop even for a second to take a look at this breathtaking sight. She had been in here far too many times, and was beginning to get sick of it. Her chamberlain was already there, dressed in white and awaiting orders.
She reported to her chamberlain, "Kagerou-san. Adios-Mif about to take place. I've decided that we will use the stalk method."
Her words were responded with a curt nod and the woman walked over to the cabinets, where bottles and bottles of wonders were carefully placed.
Yanagi smiled evilly as she hauled a heavy book out of a bookcase. Mifuyu, get ready to say bye-bye.
"Arigatou gozaimasu, Hanabishi-sama, Sakoshita-sama," Mifuyu waved goodbye to her parents. She felt terribly uncomfortable with the fact that she could not call them Otousan and Okaasan.
Sighing, she began her journey down the lonely path that led deep into the forest and straight to where her little brother awaited her. It felt so unfair to be born a royalty yet not be known a royalty. She stopped for a moment and gazed at her clothing – a simple pair of jeans and an old shirt to accompany it. They were more like rags to her. Oh how she wished she could wear those beautiful gowns like her mother did and have everyone admiring how strikingly similar both mother and daughter looked.
Her eyes travelled further down to her little basket. In it, was her little money pouch which contained the precious gold which both Tokiya and she depended on. Sure, the chief often invited them over for meals and bought them huge amounts of gifts, but that was all. The money in the pouch was just enough for their entire daily needs. The chief had explained simply that having less money in the pouch would keep thugs off her trail. She had, of course, tried to persuade him to give a little more by assuring him that Tokiya's madougu would protect them. But the chief had refused.
Forget about it, she told herself, he won't risk it. As long as you two are safe, he'll keep it that way. Besides, if you save up enough, you could buy that expensive gown on display at the Imperial Parlour
Her thoughts wondered back to her little brother. Tokiya. Now no older than seventeen, he was indeed growing to be a refined gentleman. If only he didn't reflect coldness in his eyes, he would look a whole lot better. With silvery hair that he took great care of, and a well-built body, he had dozens of the village girls trailing him every time he entered the place.
He's so vain, spending half our money on his hair products and always getting Otousan to buy him branded clothing.
Indeed, everywhere the lad went, he was bound to be wearing either Armani or Gucci clothing. The young man was also a madougu wielder. Heck, practically all who lived in Hokage were madougu wielders. A sword that grew longer by the element of water, Ensui protected the two of them from every danger they had ever gotten into.
She moved her gaze on to the shiny red apple beside it. Okaasan had given it to her and said that it was the juiciest one she could find in their garden. Indeed, it did look juicy and tasty, but a slight suspicion hung over the girl. The woman had never bother even as to lift a finger when it came to the siblings. She was always bossing them about, as if they really were working in the premises. But why the sudden niceness?
Ahhh forget it she brushed the thought away.
Besides, I'm getting kinda hungry
She settled down the basket and grabbed hold of the red apple. Saying her thanks, she said "Itadakimasu" to no one in particular and took a bite out of the accursed apple.
That's right…accursed. The evil chieftess had mixed her little substances about and spiked the apple with a potion…that would turn Mifuyu into the ugliest thing the world had ever seen.
The girl's eyelids slammed down shut as she hit the ground. Soon, her body began transforming. And after a full twenty minutes, Mikagami Mifuyu was no longer there. In her place, was a…durianstalk?!!
Tokiya began his daily walk through the woods. Oneesan hadn't been back earlier as she had promised, and since he didn't like the idea of waiting, he decided to go on without her.
Just a normal round would do he mentally noted, Neesan would be upset if I returned late. Or worse still, if she can't find me and gets lost
While walking in the quiet woods and enjoying the peacefulness of the place, he stumbled onto the most curious thing he had ever seen in his entire life. A durianstalk.
"A-a durianstalk?! What in the world is that?" Mikagami exclaimed as he did a quick check to see if he was thinking right.
Sure enough, it was a stalk-like thingy that had durians hanging from a vine that had twirled itself around the big pillar mass of green. Some of the durians had already fallen off and hit the ground.
"Whoa. Someone could get seriously injured if he didn't watch his head," remarked the lad whose focus remained on the giant that was overshadowing him and blocking the view of the setting sun. "This is literally Jack and the Beanstalk come alive…except that a durianstalk is being used."
Tokiya scanned the area a second time and reflected on what he had just said. He knew the fairytale very well. In fact, it was one of the first few bedtime stories Mifuyu had ever told him. Jack and the Beanstalk fascinated him more than the rest.
Wait a minute he thought, Jack and the Beanstalk ain't Jack and the Beanstalk if there ain't no Jack
He looked around for people who had strayed from the village but found none, to his dismay. He gave a casual shrug as he told himself Well, Tokiya, guess you've gotta be the Jack. And that makes this story Tokiya and the Durianstalk…What's wrong with me? I must be going senile…but at this age?
He hauled himself onto the stalk and began his climb up high above the clouds.
Guess I've gotta find out what happens and be the hero of it all. I hope there ain't no mother hen laying golden eggs though. Hokage's currency is strictly yen
But Tokiya had no idea that he was climbing up his beloved sister, as he had not checked the area properly. For if he had, he would have found a basket with a money pouch and other assorted items crushed underneath a large root and an oversized durian.
His tiring climb came to an abrupt stop when he found himself at the tip of the durianstalk. Nothing but clouds surrounded it for miles and miles.
"I guess that's it then," a disappointed Tokiya said, scanning the area for a source of hope. He certainly didn't want to climb all the way back down now. Even images of his dearest sister did not come into mind.
Suddenly, a house covered with all sorts of goodies appeared on a cloud not too far from where the boy was standing. Tokiya was amazed at the sight. The house seemed to be made out of gingerbread and had all sorts of chocolates on it. From Hershey' Cookies 'N' Cream to Mars Bars. Candies from Willy Wonka's factory could be seen clearly on top of the chocolates. Nerds, Dweebs and Gobstoppers. This was a child's paradise.
Tokiya, however, was more interested in getting a proper landing to be on, so he leapt into the air and fell through the chimney. Now, that was the silliest thing to do as after going through a black, sooty darkness, Tokiya found that his ass was being fried, much to his annoyance. Without much a do, he immediately took out his precious madougu and used it to cool his red-hot butt.
Quickly, he stood up and brushed the soot off his precious, branded shirt that he had taken great pains to clean. He took a look at his surroundings. Cupboards and cupboards around him were filled with delicious goodies and there were a few large kitchen stoves. At one of these kitchen stoves, was a figure in a black hide.
The figure's concentration on the broth she was making did not linger on for too long as it had turned around to face the young, handsome lad. She was rather shocked to see this young man, but also rather pleased. She had been dying to meet a human being for so long and wanted to gobble him up. But she way preferred children. In her mind, wicked thoughts began to arise, He looks pretty old, but that will soon be taken care of. I just need a little secret ingredient
"Why, hello," the lady greeted him. "My name is Mikoto. May I know who you are? And also how old?"
The lad's eyes reflected a kind of annoyance at this woman. But since they always held coldness, this little detail was well hidden. He answered the questions calmly, "I'm Mikagami Tokiya, seventeen this year. Glad I spotted your house, Mikoto-san, or I would have made my way back down that spiky and most idiotic durianstalk."
"Seventeen?" the woman asked.
"I see. Well, you must be hungry after your erm…climb. What would you like to eat?" She spread her arms out wide to show him the various goodies. And always, a smirk remained on her face.
Little did the woman know that Tokiya didn't like candies and such, as he had always considered them a factor to blemishes. He didn't know, of course, what he was allergic to. Yet his stomach was grumbling. The climb must have been a long one, for he had just taken a snack before his walk – Musli bars, of course. So he decided that he might as well get a little something to fill his empty stomach.
"Do you have fruits?" the young man asked, hoping very much to receive a positive answer.
Mikoto was shocked to receive such a question. It seemed more of an insult to her. She opened her mouth to say, " Of course I do not!" but resisted the urge and slammed it shut, remembering the later purpose of the boy.
"I'll check and see if I can find anything," she replied, turning around, pretending to fulfil his request. She had other plans swirling about in her mind. Devious plans to roast the young lad and get a great feast out of his meat. Strolling over to a pot of steaming hot, melted chocolate, she eyed the boy and made sure he was not going anywhere while she prepared her dinner.
Tokiya took a closer look at his surroundings. It was obvious to him that there probably weren't any fruits in this place. The only things that existed here were mounds and mounds of candy. It seemed, however, all so familiar. Like he knew the place, or even heard of it.
Gingerbread house… his mind began scanning through the unbelievable information stored in that thick skull of his. That's it. This is Hansel and Gretel. And Mikoto's the witch He felt triumphant in being able to solve this mystery. But something was really wrong with the picture.
*splash* Tokiya was caught off guard as thick, brown liquid oozed down from his head and onto his shoulders.
"Ewww! Gross!" he exclaimed and glared at the scheming woman. Thankfully for him, his bangs had prevented the chocolate from even touching his gorgeous eyes. "You are a terribly disgusting woman. You know that?"
She just smirked at his remark. "Yeah, sure I do. Plenty of people tell me that. In fact, this is about to get a little more disgusting."
She headed back to her kitchen counter to grab a chopper as Tokiya began to wash the gooey chocolate of him and his expensive clothing. "Oh don't do that, you stupid boy!" The witch scolded when she saw only a spot of chocolate on him. "The chocolate took such a long time to prepare."
Feeling extremely irritated with the fact that this woman had planned on skewing him, and more so because she poured creamy chocolate over him, Tokiya decided that it was time to put an end to all of this. He drew Ensui out from his jacket pocket and a full sword with a transparent blade of some sort was formed not too long after that. Quickly, he made an Illusion and the room began to fill with a hazy mist.
Without further a do, he slipped out through the front door and ran as far away as he could from the gingerbread house. It was a long run before he stopped to catch his breath. The night had already begun to fall and he needed a place to take refuge in. All around him was luscious, green grass…and nothing more.
*sigh* "Now I expect another house to pop up in front of me," the lad exclaimed as he scanned the area. And sure enough, a plot of land with lots of tiny houses appeared not too far away from him. He groaned as he headed towards the area. "This has got to be the looniest story I've ever participated in."
-There is a short break here. The characters would like to converse with the storyteller for a moment-
Jade hushes her classmates and leaves them to eat the aromatic food while she talks to the characters.
Jade: Yeah. Waddaya want?
Tokiya: This is so way out of the contract.
Mifuyu: Yeah. You mercilessly turned me into an ugly…durianstalk. Ever heard of having a corny sense of humour?
Jade: Look. I said it's a parody. And I cut out the part where Mikoto turns into a stupid cow with tiny blue wings, flying over the moon. (Whisper: I sure don't want her to poison me with those killer objects of hers…)
Recca (fuming): How dare you change my Hime to a nasty, evil witch and make her go through childbirth.
Jade: I didn't make her a witch. And the childbirth, look on the bright side…you get to be the daddy.
Recca turns into a bright shade of red and walks away wordlessly. He definitely knows how babies come about.
Fuuko: When am I, the beautiful Kirisawa Fuuko, going to make my dazzling appearance?
Domon: Yeah. I want my part of the deal.
Jade: Relax, it'll be out soon. After…well…you know…
Fuuko: Oh…I see. I'll go dress up first.
Domon: I'm going with you, Fuuko my love. *rolls eyes*
Both characters leave the classroom.
Jade: Are you all quite finished?
Mifuyu: I'm going to eat my ice cream. And while I do, don't you dare hurt my little brother in any way.
Tokiya (lifts an eyebrow): I suppose I'll meet up with a family of three in there?
Tokiya (snarl): You owe me big time…
Our main character plodded to the houses. He was extremely tired and needed rest. Also, it had been hours since he climbed the durianstalk. As he neared the area, he could hear distinct swings of a sword of some sort.
"Jyu Ichi! Jyu Ni! Jyu San!" Sounds of a young boy practising kenjitsu could be heard.
"Kenji! Your posture is wrong. Do another 90 strokes, and do it properly."
Tokiya stopped at the gateway of the place. He could see a wooden board to his right and began to read off it, "Kamiya Dojo."
Just as soon as the words escaped from his lips, Tokiya found himself drowning into a deep darkness as he dozed off.
-Mifuyu: Didn't I tell you not to hurt him? *glare glare*-
Kenshin eyes traced the movements of the bokken swinging up and down with incredulous force and smiled.
A redheaded boy who resembled him had sweat dripping down his face as he made yet another smooth stroke with his wooden sword. After having been corrected by his trainer, he practised more determinedly than ever.
"San Jyu Ichi! San Jyu Ni!" he cried out as he counted his strokes.
Kenshin could have sat there forever, just listening to the sound of his son's bokken moving swiftly through the air. And just focus his gazed on the beautiful woman who was instructing the boy. But even in the middle of the night, a noise and an unfamiliar presence disrupted such peace.
Warily, his grabbed his sakabatou and left the dojo quietly, taking care that he didn't alert the two of them and stepped out into the dark surroundings. Keeping his right hand on the hilt of his sword, he crept slowly to the presence, which led him to the gateway of the Kamiya Dojo grounds.
"Oro?" he oroed as he saw a figure slumped onto the ground, exhausted. Keeping still for a minute or two, he made sure that there was nobody else in the premises. After doing so, he picked up the person and brought him (her?) in to the dojo where his son had just finished with his lesson.
Tokiya opened his eyes to find his surroundings unfamiliar. His bed seemed a lot lower than it usually was. In fact, it felt like he was on the floor. The bamboo floor, to be exact. Everything around him told him that he had probably been transported back in time to the Meiji Era. Of course, as much as I would like that to be true, the story will not permit it.
He tried to push himself up, but he was sore from head to toe. His limbs refused to co-operate and sent a searing pain through his body each time he tried to move. Oh come on now, it couldn't have been that bad
"Oh, you're awake already," an unfamiliar voice surprised him. He turned his gaze towards the young lady who had spoken. She had dark blue hair that was neatly tied into a high ponytail at the back of her head. Tokiya tried to push himself up again to get a better look at this woman. Failing yet again, he winced and plopped back down into the comfort.
"Ah. Daijoubu ka?" she asked worriedly as she rushed to his aid. "You really shouldn't try to move yet. I'll prepare a hot, soothing bath for you right now. Kenshin will be here shortly to assist you."
"Kenshin?" he asked.
"Hai. He has bright red hair. You can't miss him," she explained. "After your bath, we can settle down for breakfast and then you can tell us how you got here. Okay?" she winked at him and left to the bathhouse.
"Hey…" he began, a second too late. "Arrgghh…Now what?"
He checked out his room once again. This place looked really, really old. Good thing that our dear boy here had always paid attention during lessons to know enough and name most of the items here. The comfy thing he was lying on was undoubtedly a futon. He shifted yet again to sit, if not get, up and out of here. This time, locking on the urge to scream, he made it. He managed to sit up and was on the verge of falling straight back on the futon, but his aching muscles told him that he'd better not.
The first thing he wanted to make sure of was, of course, that his clothes were still in tact. Yanking the blanket off with an arm screaming for mercy, he found that he was wearing something quite different to his daily clothes. He was clad in a yukata.
Y-yukata?! T-that means… a horrified Tokiya checked twice or thrice to be sure that his suspicion was affirmed. Indeed, he was covered by nothing except the yukata. If only early Japanese weren't like that. Must be a little more sanitary, you know
"Eh?" A young boy of about four or five peeked into the silver-haired man's room. What's he doing here? I thought the dojo was nicely concealed… Quietly, he slid open the shoji, but not soft enough for the man not to notice. Cold blue eyes turned to meet the violet one's of this boy.
"Ahh," his eyes softened. "You must be Kenshin." He looked closely at the boy. He was just a young lad with a mop of bright red hair. How could he possibly assist him?
"Oro?" came the shocked reply. Such eyes…remind me of Aoshi-san's… "The name's Kenji."
Tokiya was confused. He was sure he had heard 'Kenshin', but then again, his ears might have developed a bit of a problem. Anyhow, he needed to be sure. "Well, if you're not Kenshin. Then who is?"
The younger boy grinned as he ran out of the room and left Tokiya alone yet again.
What an odd response. Extremely rude too
"Hey Kenji, what do you think you're doing? Orororororo…" voices from outside the room broke through the peace and silence.
It was no sooner than a few seconds that the boy returned. This time, he was with another man…with exactly the same bright red hair and wide, violet eyes, an exact mirror image. Only difference was, this man had shoulder-length hair, unlike that of the boy's, which was allowed to be left long.
"O-Oro?" the man looked up at him with a confused expression. After which, he gathered himself together and greeted this stranger with a bow and a kawaii rurouni smile. "Ohayo. I see you're awake so soon. Boku wa Himura Kenshin desu." He looked down at his exact twin who grinned back up at him. "And this little twerp here is my son, Himura Kenji."
Tokiya nodded his head in acknowledgement before introducing himself. "Aa. Boku wa Mikagami Tokiya desu. Pleased to be of your acquaintance. A young lady came in earlier on and said that you were…erm…well…supposed to give me a hand."
The redhead returned yet another confused look. "Ohh…you must mean Kaoru-dono…I mean, Kaoru. Yeah, she told me to come and help you out after I was done with the laundry." He gazed back out of the opened space. "But since I've been wrenched away from my assigned work, I guess its time for your bath."
"Arigato gozaimasu Himura-san. I really appreciate the help," Tokiya added gratefully as the older man, who supported him on the way to the bathhouse, helped him up.
Tokiya couldn't help but let out a satisfied sigh. The water was so warm and soothing, curing his aching muscles. So many weird things have happened and all of them seem to be out of a storybook. So many familiar bedtime stories, familiar characters. And heck! Even he was part of the stories all together.
Hmm he thought. What story could I possibly be in right now? Goldilocks and the Three bears?
Family of three…check
Deserted living area…check
Inhabitants of same species…check
Tokiya and the three humans? I don't think so. Sounds too…normal.
Let's see…the Papa would be Himura-san. Or Kenshin, rather. The Baby was obviously Kenji-chan. So the Mama would have to be…what was her name again? Ah, yes, Kaoru-san
Wait a minute…That's it! Kenshin, Kaoru, Kenji…All start with K! Tokiya marvelled at his ability to spot patterns and silently applauded himself. Then again, he groaned. Now it's Tokiya and the Three Ks. Or even worse…Silver locks and the Three Ks. How bad can this get?
This was absurd. …Yep, I'm definitely losing my mind
Wait till 'Neesan hears about this. She'll laugh out loud and tell me that I'm probably losing my mind and ought to stop wearing all those expensive, branded clothes before I go totally loony
'Neesan. That's right. How could he have forgotten about her? Of all things to forget, this shouldn't even be amongst them. Even in a wacky world like the one he was in now. 'Must return as soon as possible before she starts worrying about me,' he mentally noted. And find the tip of the durianstalk. That's gonna be rather difficult…
"Mikagami-san! Breakfast's ready!" A voice rang out from the hallway as Tokiya reluctantly left the comfort of the hot, soothing bathtub of water and grabbed a towel from the nearby rack and began drying himself and his shaggy mane of silver.
Oh bother. I'll deal with the getting-back-to-reality later. He unfolded the set of spare gi and hakama (courtesy of Himura-san, even though the hakama was far too short for his lengthy legs) and slid them on, carefully tying the knots where they were needed and smoothening out the ugly creases. Rolling up the right sleeve of his gi, which was distastefully fuchsia, he reached into the far corner of the bath and unplugged the drain, allowing the water to swirl down into nothing. Regaining his composure, he picked up the soggy towel and wrenched it dry and threw it effortlessly into the wash-basket. He flung his partially dry hair back and carefully picked up the jade comb, which Kaoru-san had so kindly allowed him to use, and began running it through his long, tousled hair. Laid out beside where the comb had initially been, was a long, thin strip of satin. A ribbon – which she had thought, would suit him most nicely if he intended to tie up his hair and dress up more like a lady. He glared down at it as it stared back at him, mockingly.
Kenji-chan, however, had been such a good host as to give Tokiya one of his many elastic bands to neaten up his long mass of hair. He was most grateful that the boy had at least spared a thought. Swiftly, he tied his hair up into its usual tight ponytail and smoothened out the newly formed creases before leaving the warm cubicle.
"You mean…you too?"
"What do you mean 'you too'?"
"You…you…you came from somewhere else?"
"Well…I guess you can put it that way…"
"Mikagami-san, this is a rather big shock, de gozaru."
"Why do you say that?"
"Otousan! I've finished the rest of them. Can I come in for breakfast now?" a voice from outside the dojo cut Kaoru's words off. Kenshin tilted his head towards the voice, "Aa. Demo, your okaasan says that you have to wash your hands first. I've set a bucket of water there."
"Hai~!" In a few seconds, the young kawaii redhead stepped into the large room. Donned in a baby-green gi and plain hakama, his face held the same goofy smile, as did his dad's. A questioning look fell on his face when he saw the trio deep in conversation.
"We were not originally from this place too, you see."
"Hai. The mirror that Kaoru-dono bought kind of sucked our house in. It was a terrible experience de gozaru yo."
"It wasn't entirely my fault! You were the one who tripped on it and got it activated. Besides, how was I to know that such a thing would happen…And stop calling me Kaoru-dono! It's high time you learned to drop the 'dono'."
"Orooo!"(Kenji and Tokiya sweatdrop)
"So you all aren't from here either…and something transported you here, is that what you're trying to say?"
"Where were you originally from?"
"Japan. We came from the Meiji Era. What about you?"
"Also from Japan. 20th century, I think."
"NANI? Our time gap is so wide!"
"Yeah. I know. I didn't come here through a mirror though. It was some kind of…this may sound weird but I came here by climbing a durianstalk."
"A durianstalk? What's that?"
"Must be some kind of morphed beanstalk de gozaru."
"I have no idea de gozaru yo."
"Anyway, I need to get back home. My sister is waiting for me, you see. And I'll need your assistance."
"Hai, Mikagami-san. Demo, this world is strange and if we leave the dojo we may never be able to find our way back."
- *sigh* "That means that I may never find the durianstalk again."
"Iie. You will find it again de gozaru yo. It's only where you'll find it that will bother you.""So you're not coming?"
"Like what Kaoru said, we cannot leave our home."
"Demo, don't you want to go back to the real world?"
"The time difference, Mikagami-san! Even if we head down the stalk, we still wouldn't be back in our own world."
"Kaoru-dono is right. Demo, we won't entirely be unable to go back home."
"What do you mean Kenshin?"
"I know a way of going back."
"NANI? You mean you knew it all along and you never told us for two and a half long years?! KENSHIN NO BAKA!"
"Su-Sumimasen K-Kaoru-dono! I didn't mean to…ororo!"
"HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU? DROP-THE-'DONO'!"
Tokiya pondered over what he was to do now that the samurai turned down his request. If what the woman had said was true, he might never be able to go home again and see Mifuyu. He will never be able to see his parents again. And most importantly, he will never be able to take such good care of his hair as he used to and never again will he be able to buy branded clothes. *sigh* This was so depressing.
He glanced out the dojo's wide-open shoji, past the young lad and to the clothesline. There, hanging limply and dripping wet, were his clothes. His branded clothes. So that's it huh? He's got to go off alone and find his way home. "Himura-san, Kaoru-san…"
The rurouni who was being heavily attacked by his wife was not able to respond. Kaoru, however, had heard her name being called and stopped to look at the man, who now had a rather big sweatdrop appearing on his forehead.
"What a violent woman…" he muttered to himself such that she would not hear. She just blinked and let go of Kenshin's gi before regaining her composure and knelt on the cushion when she heard her name being called, looking intently but not unkindly at the silver-haired man as if nothing had happened. "Nani?"
"I've decided maybe I'd better leave soon so that I can return earlier."
"Tokiya-niichan, you're go back so soon?" a whiny voice came from behind him.
"Demo…aren't you going to even stay for lunch?"
"Kenji is right. You should stay for lunch."
"Aa. I will then. But it will have to be quick. I think it'll be rather unpleasant if I were to wander about when night falls."
"Hai Mikagami-san. I'll go make lunch now de gozaru yo." The rurouni stood up and gave a short bow before hurrying off to the kitchen to prepare lunch.
Kaoru's turned her wide, bright eyes to Tokiya. "So…Mikagami-san, what would you like to do now?"
His eyes turned cold again for that day. "I'd like to wait for my clothes to dry off properly and be alone now…thank you." The last two words were painfully forced out of his mouth. He obviously hadn't forgiven her for the ribbon incident.
Now dressed snugly in his usual clothes and out of those uncomfortable garments, Tokiya was thoroughly pleased as he waved goodbye to The Three Ks. Lunch had been wonderfully made by Himura-san and his amazing culinary skills. He was fully energized now and sure that he would definitely find the durianstalk in no time at all. Reaching into the far depths of his coat pocket once again to ensure that Ensui was safely in place, Tokiya said a last goodbye and turned on his heel, leaving the premises.
As soon as he had reached the top of a hill, sure enough, the dojo disappeared from sight. He shrugged. Himura-san had said that there was a way for them to get back to their own world, so they must have left as soon as Tokya had departed. But he was wrong. Sure Kenshin would have left this world sooner. But he hadn't, not yet at least. Tokiya had failed to understand Kenshin when he said that finding the durianstalk would bother him. He had also ignored Kaoru pretty much when she had explained that they might never find the dojo if they left it. What they had truly meant was that places in this world appeared and disappeared as and when they wanted to. What had really happened to the Kamiya dojo was that it had been transported to another area in this world. The durianstalk remained at where it had originally been. But the candy house, which had been near the durianstalk, had been transported over time and brought Tokiya along with it to where luscious green grass was. This too was something Tokiya hadn't observed.
Tokiya walked on for hours and hours, trying to retrace the path by which he had gotten here. The surroundings were all different now. The grass didn't go on and on like it did just yesterday. Instead, there were trees all around him, casting shadows where he went, allowing no daylight to shine through in their pursuit of being the tree most exposed to sunlight. The grass was damp and dead leaves cover them, shielding the tiny communities of insects from their predators. Long vines twined themselves round the trees, some of them sucking nutrients out like leeches, others in a race to reach the very top.
By the time night had already begun to fall, lethargy had begun to take its toil on Tokiya. Tokiya himself was barely awake to support himself and had taken out Ensui to use as a walking stick. He plodded on for what seemed like an eternity before finally giving up and deciding to spend the night in these woods. He came into a clearing with five or six trees surrounding an empty plot of land with a lonely stump and sat down for a rest before he made his sleeping quarters for the night livable. Using his trusty sword, he jumped as high as he possibly could and swung his sword at the tree branches, natural firewood provision. Then, using Ensui to suck out all the moisture within the wood, he made proper firewood and split all of them easily into a reasonable size with his elemental weapon. He arranged the firewood and began to rub one of them into another to create a fire. Sure enough, insignificant smoke rose from the wood and Tokiya blew gently at an angle, causing the red glow to become a tiny fire. He added some dried leaves and sticks to build up the fire before adding the larger pieces of wood. This process did not take up too much of his time as the fire grew strong and warmed the tired man.
[I have no idea whether sucking out moisture exists within Ensui's use. But just ignore it anyway]
Tokiya was exhausted. The preparations for the night had used up the very last ounce of his strength. Alas, he could bear it no longer and slumped against the tree stump, hugging his coat tightly around him, hoping for a peaceful and fruitful sleep.
It wasn't long before dawn came when a huge burly animal nudged the sleeping figure.
Tokiya mumbled a "Just five more minutes. I promise to do the housework after that. Five more minutes…please neechan…just five more…"
His words were replied by an unexpected grunt, which caused him to wrench his eyes open. No sooner had they opened then did his eyelids part as far as they could. Hovering above him was a…a gorilla! Ensui… was his immediate thought. But that was of no use, the madougu had shrunk back to the tiny dagger and wouldn't stand a chance against this big ape. He tried to squeeze his way out of the gorilla's corner, but his legs were numb and cold.
This is it. And in a place like this…I'm not even next to neechan, not even near her. What a horrible way to…
"Lay off him, you great big ape!" a new voice rang out and warded the gorilla off. It had, too, heard the voice and obeyed instantly. It backed off and revealed the owner of the voice. It was…a monkey?
Oh great. Just what I need, another monkey which can actually command apes
Daylight had already begun to seep through the tiny gaps of the treetops as the sun's warmth fell on Tokiya, breathing life into his stiff limbs. He pushed himself up and brushed the earth off his clothes. By that time, a young girl had already taken the monkey's place and in the gorilla's place a man…who looked like a gorilla anyway. He stared questioningly at the two of them. I must be dreaming… "Erm…are, were you the monkey that saved me?" he directed at the girl.
She looked, for a second, as if she was going to pulverize him into tiny bits and pieces but turned around after that and called out to her partner. "Come on Domon. If we don't leave soon, it's bound to fly off somewhere again." The gorilla-man nodded and followed her lead. She stopped for a moment to face Tokiya. "You can come along if you don't wanna stay around here in these woods. But you'd better make a move fast or we won't get there in time."
Tokiya glanced around at his surroundings before deciding to take refuge with these morphing monkeys rather than living out in the wild and getting his clothes all dirty. He shrugged and trudged along behind gorilla-man, whose proper name was Domon. Or least he thought so, according to what the girl had called him.
Tokiya stared at the sight before him. All seven of them, living under the same roof. They definitely weren't blood-related in any way and didn't look or act like each other. Likes and dislikes differed very much. But basically, the females, the overruling party, decided everything that went on. All were as violent and abusive and as vulgar as the other. Except maybe Raiha, the Sensitive New Age Guy of them all and Ganko, who was far too young to be bothered by these words. It was evident that the two monkeys had gone out earlier to hunt for food, but came back with yet another human. He had tried making conversation with the males went the ladies had gone to make breakfast.
"So…you guys are all madougu wielders?"
"Who are you?" a boy who resembled Recca demanded.
"Yeah. It's not like Fuuko-han brings back guys everyday you know."
"Oh. Gomen. I totally forgot about the introduction. Boku wa Mikagami Tokiya desu."
"I am Koganei Kaoru. Glad to meet ya," Chibi-Recca introduced.
"Yup. Is there a problem?"
"It's just that I met a woman earlier on with the same name."
"See you little brat, I toldya it was a gurlz name."
"What did you say you great big dummie?"
"Maa maa…Kaoru-chan, Domon-san. Please…we have a guest. Mikagami-san, boku wa Raiha desu. Just Raiha will do." The purple-haired man had a constant smile on his face as he spoke.
"Boku was Joker desu. Like Raiha-han, just Joker will do," the one with braids and a baseball cap introduced himself.
"And I'm Domon. The strongest one around here," the gorilla piped up.
"Yes, I'm sure. So you all aren't from here either?"
"Yeah. We used to live in Hokage. Until Sakoshita-sama decided that we may overrule."
"H-Hokage? O-Okaasan?""Eh? Mikagami-han, you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah. Waddaya mean by 'Okaasan'?"
"Hokage…I came from there too…and I'm Otousan and Okaasan's son."
"Of course you are your otousan and okaasan's son. Who else can you be?"
"No…I mean…I am the son of the chief of Hokage. Otousan just made it seem as if we were the relatives of Kagerou-san."
"…So it's true then…the rumour that was spread about the chief's children. What are you doing here then, Mikagami-han? This place is one where a heir should not be."
"Unless, of course, the chieftess has something against you…"
"I'm not sure…all I know is, I came across a durianstalk and wha-la I'm here."
"A-A DURIANSTALK? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! THAT'S GOTTA BE THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD OF! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Domon and Kaoru howled in laughter as they fell on the floor, clutching their stomach and begin rolling about in laughter. Kaoru, of course, was first to get out of that ridiculous state. Forcing a serious face, which he failed to do miserably, he gave unending apologies to the slightly irritated man.
"Forget it. It doesn't matter. In a weird would like this, strange things do happen," he responded to the child's continuous 'sorry's. This is so embarrassing…
"How did you all get here then?"
"Oh…that. Sakoshita-sama gave us a weird looking table. She gave it to Fuuko-san, actually. We were going to her house for this party you see. All of us here together with Kurei-sama were celebrating 2 years of great friendship. And something happened so we got sucked into it. Good thing Kurei-sama picked that time to go to the washroom."
"Kurei-han may have also come here, but I seriously doubt so. It looked like it can only be used once anyway. Sakoshita-sama's hocus pocus don't last very long."
"Poor Fuuko-neechan and Domon-niichan here accidentally ate some of her jinxed food."
"Hai. And we don't know how long we're all going to stay here. Probably for the rest of our lives. There doesn't seem to be a way out of this place…You have a way out, Mikagami-han?"
"Oh. Uh…yeah, I kinda do. You see, I came here by the durianstalk and now all I gotta do is get back to it and climb back down."
"What did the place look like then, when you first arrived?"
"That's easy. We'll be transported there in a week or so," a new voice arose. All heads turned to see the purple-haired girl who was leaning casually against the wall just in front of the kitchen.
"Fuuko-han? Aren't you supposed to be helping them out?"
"Hai. But they say that I'll probably blow up the whole place, so I came here and overheard Mikagami's current problem."
"But how can you tell where and when the house will appear in Cloudland?"
"This place goes anywhere everyday. We've already been to Grassview, Forestness and Goldmine in the past three days. I'm sure we'll get to Cloudland soon enough. We were there just about a month ago. *sigh* so many places to go and see. This is a dreamland."
There wasn't much to do at the house. The guys just lazed around a lot, except Raiha and Joker of course. Kaoru was constantly playing with his Rubix cube or going into the garden during the afternoons to practice with his Kougan Anki. Domon ate and ate and ate while trying to figure out how to get rid of the silly spell that was on him and was forced to spend his 'gorilla nights' in garden. Fuuko, the purple-haired woman was rather tomboyish, it seemed. Short tempered and turned into a monkey at night, she spent days lazing around at times or practicing with Kaoru. She also had 'monkey nights' like Domon, but spent them in the living room, as it was her assigned area to clean. Neon had long flowing auburn hair and pretty much took charge of the house alongside Fuuko. All meals were prepared by her with the frequent help of Ganko and the food which Fuuko and the guys brought back. Fuuko used to be in the kitchen until realised an annoyance, so she got chased out constantly and began taking to it after a while. Ganko was a young nine year old little girl and was easy enough to get along with. She spent her nights together with her 'Fuuko-neechan' in the living room and was never allowed out for food hunts.
It was so easy to get along with these people. Living with them made Tokiya feel as if he had another family. Daily quarrels over the bathroom and stuff like that made them all seem like one big family of siblings and he began to drop the formality. After Tokiya had arrived and told him his current situation, Fuuko and Ganko would look out of the window early every morning and checked to see if they were in Cloudland yet. It was even agreed that on the day they arrived at Cloudland, all would pack up and leave the house forever in order to find the beanstalk and go home.
On this very day, Tokiya had been dragged of the comfy sofa and forced by Neon to "go with Fuuko and Kaoru to find food". The two had brought along their weapons - Kaoru with his Kougan Anki and Fuuko with her Fuujin and kunais. Since they had landed in Plantation Haven, food was easily available. Everywhere they went, there were dozens and dozens of vegetation. His two companions had brought along a large bag each and filled them with all sorts of fruits and vegetables.
As they walked on through the vast land of edibles, Tokiya began wondering about his new companions, especially the two 'Monkey people'. The reason why the spell was on them was already known, but how to get rid of the annoying fact was a bit of a problem. Domon had clearly spent his time pondering over how turn back into a normal human…but Fuuko didn't seem to be bothered, at least she didn't act it. He glanced at the Fuujin-wielder and then to the boy beside him.
"May I ask you something?"
"Have you guys found out a way to get rid of the spell?"
"Huh? What're you talking about?"
"You know…the monkey thing…"
"Oh…that…well…we don't know about Domon-niichan's solution, but Fuuko-neechan definitely knows how to break it."
"I don't know. Neon-neechan, Fuuko-neechan and Ganko used to talk about it secretly, but they stopped a year ago. Musta found out how…"
"WHAT? You guys have been here for over a year!?"
Oh boy…in a place like this? That's gotta be awful. But then again, Himura-san's been here for more than two years…
"So you don't know?"
"Are you nuts? Of course I don't. None of the guys would anyway…what the girls do is none of our business."
"If you really wanna know, why don't you go and ask Neon-neechan or Ganko. But don't ever question Fuuko-neechan directly, you'll get badly bruised, you know what I mean?"
Signs of dusk making its entranced prompted them to leave the abundant land and retreat back into the house.
Fuuko opened her eyes drowsily as her stomach growled yet again. Teme. Always bothering me at the wrong time. Darkness beyond the other side of the window told her that the sun hadn't begun to rise yet. Dragging herself into the kitchen where the remains of last night's supper were scattered, she rubbed her watery eyes and stretched.
*YAWN* her mouth opened as wide as it could. While popping a single juicy round cherry into her mouth, she drew the curtains and pushed open the windows as her daily routine. Fresh morning air floated through the open window. The breeze seemed awfully good today. Newborn streaks of light gave her a clearer view of the world outside. It was white. Not the flaky kind of white, but sort of wispy. Then she knew that they had reached their destination.
Immediately, she dashed into the males' room without thinking and came upon a repulsive sight. The white sheets of the joint twin beds were crumpled under Tokiya and Kaoru's weight. Both were shirtless and had the blankets drawn up to their waist. Legs were poking out from underneath those blue sheets of silken cloth. Raiha and Joker were both on the floor. Raiha slumped against the wall in his everyday ninja clothes with purple hair strewn across his face, and Joker stretched out on the floor with (as always) his baseball cap on, hiding his eyes. His braids still stuck out from underneath the cap, and just like Raiha, he was fully dressed as well.
Joker was the first to wake up as she gawked at them. He expression turned from a sleepy one into a highly embarrassed one. "FUU - FUUKO-HAN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
His outburst was, of course, loud enough to awake everyone in the household and even the gorilla in the garden. She was already beginning to transform back into a human when Neon, Ganko and Domon hurried in to the room.
"Mi-Minna…Domon…did you see it?"
"Huh? Fuuko, what are you talking about? See what?"
It took awhile before these dodos' brains could translate the meaning of Fuuko's words. And in the blink of an eye, the guys were fully dressed and the women packing food into backpacks. It took them about thirty minutes before they could bound out of the door and say goodbye to their safe refuge for more than a year. The clouds were strong footholds even though they were supposed to be made up of water particles.
A hazy mist obscured their view, but that was soon dealt with when Fuuko used Fuujin to clear the mist. Even in the horizon, wispy white still rolled on and on, never ending. There were no dangers in this area of the large world. None at all, except for thunderstorms. Bolts of lightning would flash and if one was not careful, you could kiss your ass goodbye. Having Raiha around was very useful for this matter, and Fuuko could easily calm the winds.
They carried on walking for days and days, only to rest in chilly nights without a single source of light. Silken blankets were tightly bundled round everyone during those cold hours. Joyful were they when time came for them to thaw a little and continue their journey.
One unfortunate evening, however, just before the monkey natures were about to pop out, Fuuko slipped on the white mist and banged her head against the clouds. Now, this was a terrible mistake for as soon as her head had plunged into the fluff, she fell into a deep, deep sleep, never to be woken for another ten thousand years or so.
Neon, Ganko and Raiha dashed to her side and pulled her head out of the fluff and began shaking her vigorously in hopes that her lids would pry themselves apart.
"Fuuko-chan! Wake up! Please, you're scaring me."
These wake up calls carried on for over an hour, but she never woke up. She just laid there, dead-still.
Tokiya stared off into the darkness as soft snores erupted from the mounds all around him. One particular one made no sound, just the gentle rise and fall of her chest. Curled up next to it was a tiny ball with telltale strands of yellow hair protruding from the sheets.
Fuuko had been asleep for five days straight now and had been traveling with them at the same time. All agreed that to find the durianstalk was their first priority as the food was running short. But now with Fuuko down, their supplies could last longer. The men took turns to carry her on their journeys. Only Kaoru did not have that particular responsibility, as he wasn't as well built as the rest. However, that meant that he would have to carry the extra load alongside Neon and Ganko. In a few hours time, he would have to take another turn and carry her.
The green tip of the durianstalk had been easily distinguishable and the party was now heading towards it. Foreign objects appeared from time to time and wells were provided every few miles. Water bags were prepared for those special occasions when they came across one of these lifesavers.
Rays of light began to appear as the pitch-blackness slowly turned dark purple. Just beside him, Kaoru was already getting up and rotating his head around and around, trying to get rid of the stiff neck he had gotten overnight. One by one, the madougu wielders got up from their night's rest and soon, all were ready to continue their journey back to Hokage. Tokiya checked her temperature yet again before gently picking up the blue bundle and led the rest to the small green object in the near distance.
It took them no longer than three days to reach the tip of the durianstalk. A glance downwards revealed large spikes of the durians' shells, green and almost impenetrable. Carefully, they loaded their luggage onto their backs. Sadly, the food supplies had to be left behind as they were only extra load and unnecessary. Joker was the first to set off down the green stalk. He was followed by Raiha, who had Fuuko in his arm and made his way carefully down the durianstalk, making sure of footholds and hanging on tightly to the defenseless being. The rest proceeded after these two, also making sure that their safety was assured.
Once down the long, winded stalk, Tokiya quickly led them to the cottage that he was currently living in. Mifuyu wasn't home as expected, so he hurried and head towards the palace of his dear parents. He passed by the durianstalk as he did so and met Yanagi and Recca there.
"'Kaasan, Otousan, what happened?"
"Hime, look at what you did to her."
"Go-gomen ne Recca-kun. I'm so, so sorry. I didn't expect it to last for so long. I-I got jealous," Yanagi sobbed in a pitiful state.
"Ah, Tokiya. We've been wondering where you went."
"Hime, hurry up and pour the antidote over her."
"Over her?" Tokiya was confused and looked around for another female being. His mother reached into the folds of her kimono and pulled out a tiny clear bottle filled with a dark purplish liquid. Popping open the cork, she titled it slightly so as to allow a single drop to land on the roots of the durianstalk. Almost instantly, it began to mutate and shaped itself into a female figure. [Fully clothed of course, all u hentais…]
Tokiya's jaw dropped open. "'Neesan?"
"That's over. Can we go now?"
"Nope, not until you find back my loyal guards. All seven of them."
Tokiya began to take interest in their conversation. "Your loyal guards…do they all own madougus."
"Hai. Kurei-niisan will be wanting my head off soon with a battle if I don't return Neon to him."
"Do their names happen to be Neon, Fuuko, Ganko, Kaoru, Raiha, Joker and Domon?"
"Hai…how did you know that?"
"Because they are currently in the cottage…one of them is…in a bad state…"
"Hime, quickly!" Swiftly, the chief picked up his daughter and slung her over his shoulder as he sped off to the cottage. [Whoa, what a violent dad…didn't even pick her up gently…]
"Gomen ne, Domon-kun. I'm terribly sorry you had to stay a night gorilla for so long."
"Hn. Sakoshita-sama, youre are over the people-being-in-greater-power business, aren't you?"
"Demo, Sakoshita-neechan, Fuuko-neechan still hasn't awoken and we can't do anything about her until she wakes up, right?"
"Un. I'm afraid I can't do anything about the effects casted on her due to the clouds Sleeping Fluff."
"…Hime, are you very sure?"
"Um. There is one solution to this, though."
"WHAT?" All shouted eagerly, the guys especially.
"But you can't do it unless you really know Fuuko-san really, really well."
"Never mind about that, just tell us please, Okaasan."
"But how would we be able to know who Fuuko-neechan dreams of?"
"That's what I was trying to say…"
"Any other alternative, Yanagi-sama?"
"I'm afraid I know not of any other solution."
So they placed her in a beautiful glass casket in the middle of the palace. And she was never ever woken up by the man of her dreams. Tokiya passed by her glass casket everyday as Mifuyu and him were brought back to the palace to be Hanabishi Mifuyu and Hanabishi Tokiya. He always wondered who the man of her dreams was and sadly, he never figured that it could be him. He kept waiting for the one to come and wake her up, in hopes of being able to snatch her away. He even got Kagerou to teach him Hokage's method of gaining everlasting life, for as Fuuko ner woke up, she never grew old. Thus, they stayed that way-Tokiya waiting for her to be awoken, and Fuuko waiting for him just to break her spell.
And here, minna-san, is where our story ends. They lived waitingly ever after.
"Kaoru-dono, Kenji-chan, are you all ready?"
"Let's go then. San! Ni! Ichi!"
The three K's saw an electric blue flash and felt as if they were being suffocated. Soon, they landed back in safe Tokyo. But they remember seeing a queer sight before that…
Fuuko watched as yet another spaceship flew past her head. She glared at the silvered-hair baka and screamed at him, even though she knew he could not hear. 'BAKA, WHY DON'T YOU JUST WAKE ME UP, FOOL. IT'S ALREADY 5009. AREN'T YOU GOING TO DO ANYTHING?'
Did you enjoy it, minna-san? I had a great difficulty in finding a proper ending. *shrug* Hehz. Cya!