A/N: Uh… I don't know what to say… I haven't finished Faye Valentine yet, but I assure you that Chapter III is coming up…
Anyway, here's a new multi-chap from me… I couldn't get it out of my head so I'm gonna upload it now… It's an AU fic, somehow, by the way…
"Mother, where are we?" asked Fuuko in a tired voice.
"We're still in the forest, honey." Kagerou said, offering a smile to her eldest daughter.
"Mother…!" Fuuko protested, but still too weak to argue.
Kagerou chuckled warmly before giving out the needed information. "We're in Mizugakure no Hayashi."(1)
"I see. How long have we been here?" came another curious inquiry.
"We've been here our entire lifetime, so why bother asking mom, Fuuko?" piped in Recca, who just came in carrying a handful of supplies through one of the cave entrances to their home.
Fuuko's eyebrow twitched as she shot back hotly, "Why bother lying to me, when I already knew it a long time ago?"
"You mean, you knew?" Recca asked bewildered, his eyes almost bulging out of their sockets.
"Fuuko…" Kagerou said, a warning tone etching her voice.
"Mother?!" Recca inquired, almost horrified, as his gaze landed on their mother.
"She came to know it on her own accord, Recca."
"Since when?" Recca asked, his gaze falling down on his little sister, eyes narrowing to dangerous slits.
Fuuko evaded his gaze to control her temper, and she replied nonchalantly, "Since five years ago."
"Five years ago?!" The loudness of the repeated answer that needs confirmation seemed to double. Fuuko landed her gaze on the other person who echoed back her answer.
"Yes. Why?" Fuuko asked with no interest.
"But I thought you just knew it 2-3 years ago!" Domon said, baffled by the little misunderstanding between the members of his family.
"You knew?!" Recca and Fuuko looked at their eldest brother incredulously.
Domon scratched his nape, now that the interest was on him. He answered sheepishly, "Yeah. I was the one who always carries Fuuko every time we transport through the Shadows. I can hear her breath hitching, feel the rapid breath of her heart and see her almost-lidded eyes move every time we pass through the tunnel. I wasn't aware of it when we were younger but I came to know 2-3 years ago that she already knows that we move once in awhile. I asked mom what to do of it, but she said that it was alright because somehow, the truth would reveal itself in moment's time. Mom also asked me to not tell it to you because you would confront it early, and it would be best that the secret reveals itself when we are much older, and hopefully more matured. Mom knows that if you knew it bro, you'd probably go to the extent of putting herbs that would make our sisters sleep 'til 2-3 days."
"You knew yet you still kept it from me." Recca muttered under his breath, his voice sounding hurt, yet still loud enough to be heard by every occupant in the room.
"Now you know the feeling of being left out." Fuuko said in an angry and hurt tone.
Before Recca could comment further, Kagerou stopped the squabbling of her children. "Since everyone, minus one, already knows about it, there's no need to discuss the issue further."
"Fine." Recca bit out. "As long as Ganko won't know about this."
"What will I not know about?" a little girl's cute sleepy voice came.
"Hi, princess." Domon said kindly.
"Hello, big brother." The girl answered back. "So, what will I not know about? Is it a surprise?" She asked animatedly. "'Coz if it is, then I'm afraid your plan already backfired." (Wow. Big words from a little girl.)
Bothe Recca's and Fuuko's face faultered nd paled. They do not want their sister to know the whazzits and whazzats that have been going around.
'Did she already know?'
"Awww… I guess the plan really did backfire." Domon said, his voice sounding sad, but there's still another emotion that laced his words… excitement? It sounds sugary sweet… too good to be true.
Nevertheless, as soon as his words came out of his mouth, Recca and Fuuko had their eyes bulging, jaw dropping, cold sweat trickling, and hands shaking. 'Is he gonna spill the beans?' But before the two could even voice out their concerns, they saw their eldest brother smiling…rather 'fatherly', perhaps 'brotherly' is more appropriate. Sweet as he could be, he offered their little sister a… plushie?
"Here's a present for you, princess." Domon said, handing out a doll… more specifically, a weird-looking fox strewn out of soft materials.
"Wow! It's cute! And it's soft too! Thank you, big brother!" Ganko squealed, taking the said toy from her brother's offering hand.
She snuggled the toy to her chest, when suddenly, it spoke in a mocking manner. Ganko squealed upon hearing it. "Hey girly! You're killing me! Can't breath!"
Ganko held the toy in an arm's length, inspecting it with her scrutinizing gaze, before beaming a jolly face and squealing in delight. Once again, her new toy is speaking…human language. It looked like it could even fly when he would rotate his tail. And there's also this wonderful feeling that fluttered in her stomach that says this new toy is much more durable than her previous dolls that easily breaks and snaps when she would play with them.
In a spur of moment, she almost forgot to apologize. "Ah, ah! Sorry, sorry, Mr. Fox." She openly admitted sheepishly, before she held the talking fox in her arms once again, as if cradling the toy like a newborn baby.
"Mmmmmmmm… Call me Kondo, girly."
Ganko giggled childishly (Well duh, technically, she's still a child.) and said curtly, "I'm Ganko. Can we be friends, Kondo?"
"I'll think about it."
Ganko pouted in tears brimmed at the edge of her eyes.
"Ok! Ok! I'll be your friend. Just don't cry. Sheez."
Instantly, Ganko's face lit up and her eyes held a remarkable sparkle that children always have. "Can we play then?"
Kondo regarded the girl for a moment, and in a moment's hesitation, he groaned and finally said "Yes."
Ganko squealed again in joy and hugged the toy in her chest, muffling his cries of protests and colorful words.
Meanwhile, Recca and Fuuko breathed a sigh of relief. Seriously, hiding something from someone takes a lot out of you, pretending to be cool, calm, collected, and all that.
Anyway, Domon's cover was really good. 'Where'd he got that weird-looking toy anyway? Ah well… it doesn't matter… as long as he solved the problem.' Recca and Fuuko thought.
Both teens watched the exchange of conversation between their sister and her new toy. Since it is problem solved, they decided to part ways and do their own thing. Fuuko decided to go through the cave entrance her older brothers just entered awhile ago, when a firm grip on her arm held her back.
To be Continued…
A/N: Not much happened but the next chapter will say it all… Hope to hear from you!
Mizugakure no Hayashi: supposedly means hidden forest of the Kingdom of Mizu.