Disclaimer: I don't own Iria (though I wouldn't mind it….) and I'm not making any money off this. (If I was, do you think you'd see this disclaimer?) The only thing I own here is this story and Shiv. She's mine, do you hear me? Mine! *laughs nervously* Okay…on with the show…..
Rating: PG-13 - language, violence
Ghosts of the Past
Part 1: Knives

Iria ran the brush through her hair for the millionth time. Setting the brush down on the dresser, her eyes drifted over to the invitation. *How the hell did we get one of these things anyway?*, she wondered. Fingering the corner, she read the elegant script across the front.

Hunter Iria and Guest are cordially invited to attend
The Myce Historical Society Gala Ball.
Please arrive at the Myce Historical Museum at 8:00 p.m.
Black ties are required for the gentlemen.

The last line caused her to snicker. Fujikuro? A gentleman? That was something she'd pay good money to see.

Fujikuro picked up the razor, put it down, then picked it up again. "This is for Iria," part of him said. "She got the invite and it's not like Bob can take her. That's why I offered. This is for her."
"Are you nuts?!?", the other half of him screamed. "Iria or no, isn't this taking it a little far? Can't you just bathe or something?!?"
He sighed. "I promised. And I'm gonna do this right." Fujikuro reached for the shaving cream.

Iria reached behind her for the zipper, swearing at her inability to grasp it. "Here ya go," Kei said helpfully, yanking the zipper up rapidly. Iria inhaled sharply as her oxygen capacity suddenly decreased.
"You okay?", Kei asked. "You look blue."
"I'm perfectly happy."
"No, I mean the color."
Iria sighed as much the dress would allow. "I just forgot how snug this damn thing was."
Kei stepped back to appraise it. "Not bad. Not bad at all. It'll be perfect for your date with Fujikuro."
"This is not a date!", Iria fumed.
Kei shrugged. "Whatever you say. I'm gonna see what the freeloader's up to."
She sneaked down the hall to Fujikuro's room. Cracking the door, she shouted inside, "Are ya ready for your date with Iria yet?"
"This is not a date!", Fujikuro bellowed, turning around to face the little imp.
Kei gasped and walked back to Iria, jaw hanging open.
"What is it?", Iria asked.
"All I can say is I can't believe it," Kei whispered.
"Can't believe what?", Fujikuro asked.
Iria turned to face him and her jaw hung open as well. "Who are you and what have you done with Fujikuro?"
He grinned that annoying lopsided grin. Fujikuro was clean shaven and the spikes and green dye were gone from his hair. He tugged self-consciously at the jacket of his tuxedo. "Hope you don't mind. It's been a while since I wore this, so it's a little snug."
Iria gaped for a moment longer. "Um….er…..Looks fine to me…." *Whoa,* she thought to herself. *That can not be…..IS not Fujikuro. I don't know who or what is it, but it's not him. He's too…..too….UN-Fujikuro. He's….He's….Is is hot in here?!? Damn dress….It's makin' me fry …*
Kei looked from one to the other, back again, and snickered behind her hand. "I'm getting a camera. Don't you move!"
"Kei!", they shouted at her retreating form, but to no avail. They sighed.
To break the silence, Fujikuro said, "Um…You look really beautiful in that dress, Iria."
She smiled and kicked her feet so the crimson skirt flashed. "Oh, really? And why, may I ask, do I look beautiful?" *I have to know,* she thought. *I have to know if he said that to be nice or because he meant it.*
Fujikuro studied her for a moment longer. "It brings out your eyes. It makes them stand out, so that when someone looks at you, all they see are your eyes. Beautiful…deep….Drawing you deeper and deeper until….that's all that exists…..Those eyes…." He shook his head, snapping himself out of his self-imposed trance. "Like I said, it brings out your eyes."
Before Iria could demand further explanation, Kei came back down the hall with no camera and a bewildered look on her face.
"Where's the camera?", Iria asked.
Kei scratched her head in confusion. "I went to get the camera….And I know I always leave it on the nightstand…"
"The camera?", Fujikuro asked.
Kei shook her head. "No, the knife. The knife the woman gave me. It's gone."
Iria and Fujikuro looked at each other, knowing.

Guess who's ba-ack...Hehe, knew I couldn't stay away for long, didn't ya? Those of you wondering, this will be considerably longer than the first story. I'm almost done with chapter 12 and the story isn't even beginning to wrap up. Keep your eyes peeled for chapter 2, coming soon. Ja, everybody!
*Kat-chan out* ^_^ \/