A/N: Oh my, f0r the sec0nd time, I've revised this fic. Tsk, tsk, tsk... C0uld y0u say 'inc0nsistency'? Anyway, I just h0pe this 0ne w0uld turn 0ut well. A wh0le new series. Same pl0t, by the way. Anyway, read 0n. ü

Disclaimer: I don't own Gate-keepers and all of its characters. They are owned by GONZO. (Hey, am I right?) All other characters are owned by me, of course.


/.../ - thoughts


By: Yuki

I felt the sunlight against my closed eyes, waking me from my sleep. It was warm, yet it hurt my eyes. I sat myself up, sub-consciously raising my hand to shield my face from the sun's piercing rays. It was time to get ready for another day. I carefully stepped down from my bed, covering the window with the silk curtains and afterwards opening my huge closet.

/ Shirei would be meeting us today, after almost a year of seldom communication. It had been a year since the last battle with Kageyama, the battle that changed almost everything.../

I entered the bathroom, clothes hooked neatly on my arm. I closed the door and hung the garments on the metal rod behind the door, just beside my towel. I then stripped myself from the nightgown that I was wearing, throwing it carelessly at the clothesbasket. I opened the shower, feeling the cold water against my skin.

/ Tategami High School was destroyed, that's why the last battle was the end of our second year in high school. Anyway, our third year started after renovations were made to the building, and an extra year was added, so Reiko was still in school.../

I soaped my whole body, inhaling the aroma that had spread out in the bathroom. I washed my hair with shampoo, combing my fingers through my hair as bubbles formed. Afterwards, I opened the shower again, rinsing the bubbles and soap off my hair and my body.

/ People were living normally again, although there were some differences.../

I turned off the shower, feeling the slow change of temperature take place. I reached for my towel and dried myself up. Eventually, I got my clothes on. I stepped out of the bathroom and took my place in front of the mirror. Brushing my hair, I picked out accessories that would suit my attire. I then kept everything in the drawer and picked up my handbag.

/ Our families were proud of us gate-keepers, because of the power that we had, and because we used our gate powers to save the world. On the other hand, those who followed Kageyama were doubted by their families, yet were still accepted.../

I said goodbye to my parents and went out of the house, the loud chirping of the birds welcoming me. I smiled at them as they continued their song, and after a while I headed on to Reiko's house. Along the way, I met Isogai and other girls who had been the followers of Kageyama. As usual, they threw me glares and deadly glances, indicating that they still despised us gate-keepers. Ignoring them, I continued to walk.

/ The AEGIS base was destroyed, but fortunately, some things were still usable. Because of the mess, Shirei and Miss Ochiai looked for a house to live in. For a while, Reiko offered to let them stay in their house. Even when the school was already renovated, they still stayed at the Asagiri residence because the headquarters was still unwell. Anyway, they have hired engineers and workers who could renovate the underground base secretly. At the meantime, all the equipments were moved at Reiko's.../

I arrived in front of the huge mansion, admiring it for the nth time. I knocked at the door and a smiling Reiko welcomed me, wearing a pink apron and carrying the sweet salty smell of food. I stepped in and sat myself next to Ukiya-kun, while Reiko headed for the kitchen.

/ Almost everybody changed.../

Ukiya-kun smiled at me and mocked me because I was late, calling me a sniveler again. Eventually, Shirei scolded him, making him shut up. I stuck my tongue out and smeared at my childhood friend. At the corner of my eyes, I could see him smirking. I pouted even more, much to his amusement.

/ Ukiya-kun...He had become more mature in mind now, and in looks, too, although he still called me a sniveler. Occasionally, he'd revive the same naughtiness that he'd always displayed before. Anyway, I didn't mind that at all. What's important to me was that he managed to survive the fight with Kageyama.../

Reiko then came out from the kitchen, placing a plate of sweetened nuts on the table. Mmm, it smelled good, definitely. After removing her apron and setting it aside gently, Reiko sat herself down.

/ Reiko... she had grown into a very lovely lady. She clamped her hair up, making her bloom like a pretty flower. By now, she gave up her dream of becoming a witch, and instead, she dreamt of becoming a great pianist. She took care of everyone like she was our mother. She's really caring and thoughtful... /

Kaoru and Bancho grabbed the plate at the same time, quarreling over it. Because of their childish behavior, all of the plate's content was thrown at Shirei's face. Uh-oh, goodbye to the delicious treat. I giggled, and Ukiya-kun burst into laughter. He fell on the floor, holding his stomach, and I started to laugh. Kaoru and Bancho clapped their palms together as they laughed out loud themselves.

/ Kaoru-chan... She's still jolly and kind, both at the same time. She said that she already gave up on Ukiya-kun, but who knows? Anyway, she also denied the fact that she and Bancho were developing something more than friendship, and that made her love life a mystery. Her hair had grown longer, probably shoulder-length. And because she hated it when her hair was loose, she always tied it up on a ponytail... /

Megane and Ms. Ochiai cleaned the mess up. Fei, who had gone to the kitchen after the incident, then returned with another plate filled with nuts. Bancho just apologized to the annoyed-looking Shirei, while Kaoru was still holding her stomach and laughing. Sakimori-san just sighed silently beside me.

/ Megane and Bancho were staying at Reiko's house, too. They usually worked at the basement because it was the right place for mechanical work. And besides, that was where most of the equipments were kept.../

/ On the other hand, Fei and Misao forced their AEGIS Branches to let them transfer to the Far East Branch. At first, their branches wanted to keep them, but since because there were no Invaders left, they were allowed to transfer anyway. Well, having the Invaders back would be a very big surprise, right? /

/ Well, as for me, I've removed the big yellow ribbon from my head. I could say that I'm still quite the best in studies, although almost half of the class hated me, mostly girls. But still, I tried and would try to do my best... /

/ Kurogane-san? No one knew where she went, although some said that they met her roaming the streets of Tokyo. None of us talked about her now, but sometimes, if we did, we talked about how she was so pitiful. It seemed like we fully understood her now, although it was too late. Ukiya-kun asked us to make a promise about accepting Kurogane-san if ever she decided to come back, and we whole-heartedly made our pledge. Ukiya-kun's such a nice person.../

After the last piece of nut was eaten, Shirei then cleared his throat and started what he wanted to say. His speech was all about a promise, a promise never to use our Gate Power again, except for when it was strictly needed. All of us hoped that the promise would be kept forever, so that peace would remain...


Part 1

Cars and other vehicles passed by the streets of Tokyo. All of them were traveling carefully, except for a white taxi.

The taxi moved from left to right as if it was on a winding road. Inside the taxi, the driver and two schoolgirls sat.

One of the girls remained seated at the backseat of the vehicle, strolling her blue eyes outside and running her hand through her blonde hair every once in a while. Her hair was wavy and was remarkably long, and she had a very fair complexion, making her nationality identifiable. She was obviously tall, being an American, and she acted very ladylike.

The other girl was seated at the front, beside the driver. She had bright purple hair that piled up on her shoulders, and her eyes sparkled a girly pink. She was smiling and facing the driver, who was confused on what to do because the childish girl kept on forcing him into conversation. In addition to that, she would accidentally lean on the clutch or intentionally shake the driver's shoulders in excitement.

"Ei, ei, it's been a very long time since I last saw the family who adopted me. Oh how I missed my uncle and big brother. Hurry up, okiez? Okiez, okiez?" Said the purple-haired girl with her cute childish voice, shaking the driver's shoulders again with enthusiasm.

"Stop it!" The driver continued to shout. He couldn't see what's in front of them because the purple-haired girl was blocking his sight. He was also having difficulty in controlling his arms because the girl was shaking him so much. For the hundredth time, he cursed the young lass silently.

"Hey, Aya..." The blonde girl at the back called out. "It's so beautiful here in Japan..." She said in fluent English with a soft accented voice. Her eyes never left the view outside the car's window.

"Yup, yup, Alyssa! That's why I took you here with me! Japan is really very beautiful, right mister? Right, right, right?" The girl shook the driver's shoulders again, causing the car's side to crash to another car.

"Oh my..." Alyssa sighed, watching the driver of the damaged car turn teary-eyed. "Calm down, Ayami."

"Yup, yup!" Ayami replied as she sat herself down. Yet, even with her calm position, she didn't seize to bother the poor man beside her. "Ei, ei, mister, are you taking a long-cut? We've been riding here since an hour ago." She said, studying the man's angry face.

"You know, miss, it's because you were bothering me." The driver explained with a bit of annoyance. He felt no regret for answering Ayami quite frankly.

"Eh? What do you mean?" Ayami asked. The driver was about to respond when she quickly added, "Oh never mind. Anyway, hurry up, okiez?" The old man let out a sigh when he saw that she had sank deeper into her seat. She turned to her side and watched the scene outside her window.

"By the way, are you sure that your family lives in there?" It was now the driver who started the conversation. Ayami turned to him slightly, while he continued, "You know, the place was deserted for a very long time. About 10 years, approximately." Ayami didn't detect the seriousness in his tone. All she knew was that she was very excited to get there.

"Yup, yup!" Ayami replied nonchalantly. "My brother even sent me a letter last year. He said he was doing fine." The driver nodded slightly. He raised an eyebrow in confusion when he sensed that the lively girl had suddenly switched moods.

"But you know, he spoke differently in his last letter. I couldn't figure out what was different, but something definitely was." Ayami was staring blankly at the blue sky as she spoke. A mild smile then formed on her lips. "Well, I sent him a letter, too, saying that I'd be home today. But, he hadn't replied since then." The tinge of sadness in her tone made the driver regret bringing the topic up. She watched Ayami as she opened her wallet and pulled out a picture.

"Anyway, look, here's a shot of us when I arrived at their house for the first time." Ayami then handed the picture to the driver, who accepted it, still slightly pitying the little lass. In the picture was a man, standing behind a little girl and a little boy.

Ayami was surprised when the taxi suddenly came to a halt, almost causing her to fall from her seat. She looked at the driver with a big question mark in her eyes. The man pushed the picture back to her with a scared expression painted on his face.

"Ei, mister, are you okay?" Ayami asked. It seemed like something really scared the aged man, but Ayami couldn't figure out what.

"Get out! Get out of my taxi! Get out!" The driver shouted. The two girls who were both surprised and afraid quickly stepped out of his taxi with their baggage. The driver hurriedly closed the door and drove away, not even taking a final glance.

"Hey, wait! We haven't paid you yet!" Alyssa called out. But the taxi just continued on its way. Alyssa was confused; her instincts told her that the driver had found out something that was totally surprising... and frightening. Still dazzled, Alyssa raised her hand in front of her and three pale yellow rings appeared. After an explosion of light, the taxi slowly came to a stop.

"Ei, ei, Alyssa, did I do something wrong?" Ayami asked, confused as her friend was. "And why did you do that?" She added to her classmate, who was almost more than 20 centimeters taller than her. Alyssa subconsciously shook her head, her eyes still fixed on the motionless taxi.

"I think there was a problem." Alyssa spoke with a soft voice. "Something really scared him. I'm sorry I hadn't managed to figure out what it was." She picked up her baggage and ran her hand through her wavy blonde hair. "Anyway, I think doing 'that' to him would take us farther from trouble." Alyssa added, giving her friend a reassuring smile. Ayami smiled back. "Anyway, why don't we just walk to your house? I think were already near, somehow." Ayami picked her things up as well, hopping excitedly.

"You're right, it's just a few steps away. Let's go!" Ayami shouted as she marched on. Alyssa just walked behind her, looking around at the quiet place. The place surely did brought her goose bumps.

"Oh, I hate this place..." Alyssa whispered to herself, still feeding her eyes with the sight of the huge old mansions along the way. She swallowed hard and bumped to Ayami who suddenly stopped walking in front of her.

"Whoa!" Alyssa exclaimed, her heart racing inside her chest. "Hey Ayami, don't surprise me like that." She scolded the smaller girl, wiping the sweat from her forehead. Surprisingly, there was no answer.
"Huh? What's the matter? Aya?" She asked her jolly friend who was quiet all of a sudden.

"Wha-what happened?" Ayami gasped, looking at a deserted haunted-looking mansion in front of them. She was very sure that they were in the right place; that was where her childhood home was. But still, the place was very different from what it was when she left her family. "Oh no... Oh no..." Her bewildered expression had already told Alyssa what the problem was.


A/N: Yey, it's finished! Was it g00d? Was it bad? Or maybe t0tally bad? G0 ahead and leave me a review...G0d bless... Watch 0ut f0r part 2 0f epis0de 1, and f0r the upc0ming epis0des... Thank y0u... ü


PS: If y0u haven't n0ticed, I 0mitted the Japanese w0rds fr0m bef0re... Well, just trying t0 write in pure English... see ya ar0und... ü