"The Answering Machine: A Fairytale"

By DarkCyradis
Edited: 12.14.2010

Disclaimer: Soukyuu no Fafner, its trademarks, names and wonderful characters do not belong to me, sadly. :( This is just a fanwork for fun.
Warning: extreme silliness and a bit of shounen-ai. Fluff abound. No real spoilers (takes place somewhere between episode 17 and 18, and is pretty AU).

Once upon a time, in a not-too-distant future, a fairy tale began in a most improbable way.


Makabe Fumihiko turned from the sinkful of warm, sudsy water he was doing the after-dinner dishes in to find his son standing sheepishly in the doorway of their small kitchen. He took in the fidgeting posture and the eyes averted in chagrin and set the dish he was holding securely down before turning around to face him fully.

"What is it?"

"Well, I…" he stammered, looking more and more like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I was just trying to play the messages on the new answering machine and I…" He paused, his voice getting softer, "I sort of..." and softer still, "broke it."

Fumihiko sighed. "Kazuki, what on earth…" Looking more resigned than upset (Kazuki had the sneaking suspicion that he had been expecting something like this to happen), Fumihiko wiped his hands on a dish towel and followed his guilty-faced son out to their comfortably cramped, little living room.

I knew I shouldn't have volunteered to do the dishes, Fumihiko thought grimly to himself. Kazuki had been poking curiously around the new answering machine all week and he had been careful to always be nearby whenever his son was within reach of it. But tonight, it had been such a nice dinner—Kazuki had been getting more involved and creative with his cooking lately and, as the primary benefactor of these endeavors, Fumihiko had thought to make a mild comment expressing his support. This had launched a much more animated and involved conversation than was normal of Makabe dinner table chit-chat and had ended with such a mutually satisfied atmosphere between the two that Fumihiko had offered to do the dishes. Naturally, this had given disaster just the opportunity it had been waiting for.

Father and son gathered solemnly around the sleek, little box-shaped contraption. It looked impressively high-tech beside the old rotary phone mounted on the wall that it was attached to. Since he had been a child, Kazuki had never been able to resist fiddling with mechanical contraptions; it was, perhaps, the result of living in a very spare, traditionally-styled home, Fumihiko thought. Kazuki's little hands had always managed to grip onto whatever shiny, metallic object was nearby—usually to some disastrous end. It was also because of this bumbling but never-discouraged fascination, perhaps, that Kazuki had used to follow an eight-year-old Minashiro Soushi around everywhere—the child had had an incredible knack with gadgets, much as he'd had an incredible knack for just about any type of intellectual skill. Such prowess inspired jealousy in many of the other children, but Kazuki had just been genuinely impressed. If nothing else, Fumihiko thought, glancing at his crestfallen son out of the corner of his eye, Kazuki had always been a sweet-natured child—and as a result, had grown into a rather naïvely sincere—if clumsy— young man.

Well, whatever he's done, it can't be that bad, he thought, leaning in to examine the answering machine. After a brief but careful examination of the machine for broken or misplaced parts, Fumihiko flipped it back around and set it down, frowning.

"What, exactly, is broken, Kazuki?"

"Um…" Kazuki looked hesitantly at the machine. "When I pressed a button, it said something like 'message deleted' and it kept saying 'error, error,' again and again and it wouldn't stop so I pressed another button and it beeped in a… a really bad way…"

"Ahh," Fumihiko said, pressing the button to check the recorded message. An error message began flashing on the machine's screen, and Fumihiko sighed inwardly in relief.

"It's all right, Kazuki," he said at last, pulling out the instruction booklet and flipping to the section on recording greetings. "It isn't broken. You just somehow deleted the recorded message. We just have to record a new one."

"Um…!" A hopeful little sound from the direction of his son had Fumihiko smothering a grin. He cleared his throat.

"Yes, Kazuki, you can record the new message." Just as Kazuki's brightened face was about to burst into "thank yous," though, Fumihiko added quickly, "But I'll do the set-up. You just speak when it's time to record the message."

Looking quite as though he knew he deserved it, Kazuki nodded sheepishly. "Okay, Dad…"

And thus…

"Hello, you have reached the Makabe residence. We're not in right now, but if you could leave a message after the… uh, tone, we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you! Have a nice day!" Beep!

Click. A conflicted pause, and then the electronic beep of the redial button followed by the chirping sequence of tones that made up the eight-digit number. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

"Hello, you have reached the Makabe residence. We're not in right now, but if you could leave a message after the… uh, tone, we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you! Have a nice day!" Beep!

Click. Beep. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.

"Hello, you have reached the Makabe residence. We're not in right now, but if you could leave a message after the… uh, tone, we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you! Have a nice day!" Beep!

Click. Beep. Ring, ring. Ring—click. The bleeting dial tone filled the receiver ominously.


With a rather guilty expression on her face, Maya slowly lowered the receiver from her ear and let her gaze travel upward to her sister's annoyed face.

"Ah… Onee-chan…" Maya said nervously. "Um, did you want to use the phone?"

Yumiko shook her head. "At CDC today, Commander Makabe was complaining that he's been getting a lot of prank calls lately."

"Prank calls?"

"Yes. Someone keeps calling, again and again, and never leaves a message on the machine." Yumiko's eyebrow arched a bit further. "I thought it might have something to do with their new phone message so I came home to check."

"But… but I was just…"

Yumiko sighed. "Maya, this is just too unreasonable. It's one thing to call them while they're at Alvis in the afternoon, but calling in the morning…! You know Commander Makabe is home making pots, don't you? That's why he bought an answering machine—so he wouldn't have to pick up the phone while his hands were dirty."

"No…I didn't know that, but…" Maya paused with a frown. "I've never called them in morning. I'm usually at practice in the mornings."

"That's…that's true, actually…Hmm…" Yumiko pondered. "I thought it had to be you since you're so in love with Kazuki-kun but…" Ignoring the outraged look on her sister's face, Yumiko turned her steps toward the staircase to her room, still looking thoughtful. "Who else would do something as silly as calling to hear an answering machine recording of Kazuki-kun's voice rather than just talking to him…?"

"Minashiro-kuuuun?" Kondou Ayane called, poking her head into the staff lounge. "Ah, you're here so early again! Thank you for starting the coffee pot!"

"It's not a problem. …You're here early as well today."

"Ah, yes. I was supposed to meet with Toomi-sensei about a report on Kenji's health this morning, but she's taken sick today. I was trying to call you on my way over here to let you know I could make the coffee this morning but the lounge phone was busy."

"I… just had a call to make…"

"Ohh?" Ayano giggled. "It must have been a very long phone call, because I tried to call you several times. You're not having a virtual date with a secret girlfriend, are you?"


"Ohh? You hesitated, Minashiro-kun!" Giggling a bit more as she gathered her coffee mug, Ayano waved and made her way out of the lounge.

Soushi sighed and slumped against the cold, white wall. That was much too close a call, he thought. He'd have to find a different place to make his calls from now on.

Just as he was about to exit the lounge with his own cup of coffee, the door slid open to reveal a surprised Kazuki.

"Soushi!" he exclaimed. "Are you always here this early?"

"Ye-yes," Soushi stammered, a bit thrown by the sudden, live appearance of his daily "virtual date."

"Wow, you wake up early," Kazuki said, coming into the lounge and stifling a yawn. Spotting the cup in Soushi's hand, though, he perked up a bit. "Ooh, is there coffee in here? Can I have some?"

"It's… over here…" Soushi said, still feeling the unreality of the early-morning meeting as he led the flesh-and-blood Kazuki to the coffee counter. "So… why are you here so early?"

"Someone keeps calling our house in the morning and the ringer is really loud." Kazuki yawned again as he poured half a cup of coffee for himself and then reached for the sugar. "I couldn't sleep anyway, so my dad asked me to come get something he forgot in his locker yesterday."


"Yeah, we've had a lot of prank calls lately," Kazuki continued, seeming to liven up a bit to the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee. "Always really early in the morning, too… It's really annoying for us, of course, but I'm surprised a prank caller would get up so early just to play a joke."

"Why would you say that?"

Kazuki shrugged as he finished ladling several spoonfuls of sugar into his cup and then reached for the milk. "It's probably some kid, right? I'm surprised kids would get up so early."

Soushi made a non-committal sound of agreement. Now that he thought about it, it had been rather stupid of him to call repeatedly at the same time everyday—he had chosen it because it was early enough to give him some privacy in the lounge. Perhaps at night, then? he wondered. There were many times during his long, solitary evenings in the quiet depths of an after-hours Alvis that he had wished he'd had someone to talk to—Kazuki, in particular. But that would be much too dangerous, he decided as he watched his companion pour liberal amounts of milk into his mug as well. In the evening, both the Makabes would be home, having dinner together, watching television, unwinding from the day. It would be both wrong and foolish to try calling then. I'd better just give it up entirely, Soushi thought in resignation.

"Hey, Soushi," Kazuki said so suddenly that it was all Soushi could do to control the guilty look that sprang automatically onto his face.


"I just remembered—my dad wanted me to ask you what you were doing for dinner these days."


"Yeah, dinner."

"Well…" Soushi paused, rather thrown by the change of subject. "I… just have some instant noodles or a sandwich from Nishio-san's shop."

"I-instant noodles?" Kazuki sputtered, choking on the sip of coffee he'd been drinking. "Every day?"


"No, no, definitely not good! Soushi!" he cried suddenly, stepping close enough to make Soushi's breath catch in his throat. The shorter boy reached up to clutch his friend's shoulders. "You can't keep eating like this! Think how bad it is for your health!"

"Well, but—it's not like I have a kitchen—" Soushi stammered, willing the blood to keep from rushing to his face. "And even if I did, I don't know the first thing about cooking—"

"That's it," Kazuki said, looking very determined suddenly. "You're going to have dinner with us every day from now on!"

"H-huh? Every day?"

"Yes!" Kazuki declared, and then, smiling a bit apologetically, added, "Well, if you want to, that is."

"I-I'd love to," Soushi sputtered before he realized what he was saying. He was on the verge of scolding himself mentally for appearing much too eager, but the beaming look on Kazuki's face immediately snuffed out the thought (and all other thought along with it).

"Then we'll see you tonight!" Kazuki said, looking pleased but suddenly a bit shy as well.

"R-right," Soushi said stiffly. After a slightly awkward half-second, Kazuki waved a cheerful farewell and excused himself. Soushi all but slumped into the nearest chair, grinning a bit idiotically.

The day continued as unassumingly industrious and hectic as usual at Alvis. But several things changed from that day, and from the peace of mind Commander Makabe had in making pots in pre-dawn quiet again, and the healthier and fuller glow of Soushi's face thereafter, and the eventual diminishing of Yumiko's somewhat unfair teasing of Maya over her answering machine phone dates, one could say it was a change for the better.

It wasn't an entirely perfect ending, of course—poor Ayane now had to make her own coffee every morning in the lounge. But for all that was gained in merry evenings shared at the dinner table over warm food and friendly chatter and heartfelt laughter, it was, at least to Soushi, as perfect a happy ending as he could have hoped. And then, on the first night Kazuki offered to walk him home and stopped him as they turned a starlit bend with a kiss, it truly did end, most improbably and well-deservedly, "they lived happily ever after."

The End

Hey, my first Fafner fanfic in over 2 years! :D I know it's very different from what I had posted up here before, but I actually did write the majority of this little crack-fic back in my Fafner heyday. I hope you liked it-seemed to me that the boys deserved a little levity (however AU it is) after everything they go through. If you liked it, I'd really appreciate a review! :D