A product of insomnia.

Standard disclaimers apply.

Swimming in the Dead of Winter

- Glimpses

No one believed in the curse. Perhaps there never was one. Perhaps it was all a series of coincidental yet unfortunate events that were unstoppable. Just like a falling block of perfectly lined up dominos.

It was ironic that the healer of the band couldn't save her own life. The whole miraculous cure ability that she was blessed with must have finally taken a physical toll on her.

Seven months into the marriage, they discovered that all those flurrying vomit trips to the bathrooms in the mornings and evenings weren't the joyful signage of parenthood for the Hanabishis. Yanagi was dying from a chronic blood cancer of the strangest kind. It drove Recca almost to the brink of delirious insanity when he realized that there was nothing he could do to save her.

Things then went downhill thereafter.

Without her madougu, the girl who had genuinely believed and once convinced everyone that she was a human orphan, returned to her life as a doll. They should have been alarmed when her hair wasn't growing even a single inch, a year after the tournament.. But now, Ganko is just like her implanted memory of her mother. Sitting forever pretty on the shelves, forever young. Inanimate.

On the night of his seventy-seventh professional wrestling match, well-loved and celebrated heavyweight champion, Ishijima Domon, suddenly collapsed in the brawling ring a minute and fifteen seconds after his seventieth career victory. He died that night from premature coronary failure, witnessed by a crowd ten thousand strong.

Gripped by the terror of desperation and despair, it only felt right then for the rest of them to escape. Flee to save themselves from adding on to whatever inopportune fate, ruthless destiny might hold in store.

Six years later, Mikagami found himself studying his evening companion, eyes prolifically accessing every detail that had changed and hadn't, feeling a tad surreal.

A million thoughts raced through his mind. He wanted to ask her a thousand questions but he could not think of a good way to start. He did not think a simple "How are you?" would have made the cut. It sounded too clinically pretentious even to his own ears. Yet, he really did want to know how she has been.

'Beautiful', his mind had decided. 'Breathtakingly so,' both his eyes and his lack of breath earlier had reminded him thus.

"You look great, Kirisawa."

The old Fuuko would have snorted and laughed at his pathetically uncharacteristic attempt at making conversation. Mikagami Tokiya simply does not do small talk.

Instead, he was greeted with an elegantly refined arch of a brow, an almost familiar, albeit brief, glimpse of amusement twinkling in her eyes and a whiff of the most alluring feminine perfume he had ever smelt, as she slowly leaned in closer to whisper in his ear, "Why, so do you.. Mikagami."

Oh my. Since when had Kirisawa become so irresistibly seductive?