A Boy Named Toshiharu:
By: Natilie Sawada
A/N: This is a one-shot fan-fic, just so's u all no! Okay, so from the very beginning, I've really liked Hana, but it seems she never gets enough of the spotlight. I mean, Tohru and the gang get all the attention, and even when they aren't the focus, at least Uo has her part in the story with Kureno, and Hana doesn't get the attention she deserves, so I've decided to give her the story she's been waiting for! You have my support, Hana-chan! ENJOY EVERYBODY!
"Hana-chan!" Saki Hanajima whipped around in the street, her jet-black hair trailing behind her.
"Oh, Tohru-kun," she said in her barely expressive voice. And then added, "Arisa,"
"Yo, Hanajima! What's up? You going to school early or something? And why, in the first place, are you going to school on a Saturday?" Arisa said, her face holding traces of laughter.
"Oh, ah, no. I just…the waves…" she trailed off.
"Oh," Tohru said, "Its all right Hana-chan. If you sensed something, we'll go with you to help, if you need it!" She looked over at Uo.
"All right. It would be nice to have some company." She said, the ghost of a smile played on her face. They started walking.
"It was earlier this morning when first sensed it." She walked as she explained, Tohru nodding in her wake while trying to keep up with the other two's long legs. "Megumi sensed it too."
"Even Megumi-kun?" Tohru asked, "Then it must be strong."
"Yes," Hana said, looking back to the road ahead. "They were bad waves too. I almost couldn't stand it. Arisa, do you remember what it was like before I learned to control my powers?" Arisa nodded solemnly. "It was like that again. I couldn't block out the voices. All crowding into my head. I couldn't stop it. I was all I could do to walk out the door. The fresh air helped, but it's still too strong for my liking. It's too strong for normal too. They're something strange about it."
"Hana-chan, do you know where the waves are coming from?" Tohru asked, now concerned.
"No," she answered, "but I have a general direction." She walked a little forward, and then turned around to look at them, her midnight colored hair always following her turns. "Are you coming?"
"Ah! Oh, yes!"
"Then come on, you two," Hana said, turning on her heels following the strong pull of the dependa waves only she could feel…sense.
They walked in silence for about five minutes, lost in their thoughts, both obediently following Hana. Soon enough they turned the corner to see…
"Oh, this is where Mom was buried," Tohru said. "If we have time, can we go visit?"
"Of course, Tohru-kun." Hana said, for the first time this morning having something to look forward to and smile about.
"But first, shouldn't we go check out whatever it was you came here for?" Arisa interrupted.
"That sounds like a good plan," Hana murmured. "They seem to be coming from…" she looked up for a moment, trying to find the direction the waves were coming from. The air had a metallic twang to it. Not a good sign "…this way," she continued, pointing with her finger, her nails painted the only color she ever wore: black. She headed down the row of headstones, the other two following her, careful not to step on any graves. That was bad luck. Something none of them needed.
"It's getting stronger," Hana muttered as she continued walking. The voices were even louder now. Waves of the deceased weren't usually this loud. This was beginning to unnerve Hana; something that didn't happen that often. This just seemed…different. This was different then everything she had ever encountered.
"Hana-chan? Are you all right? You're getting pale," Tohru interrupted her thoughts. Ah, Tohru, always concerned about everyone, no matter the circumstances.
"I'm all right," she muttered, turning around. "It's just…I've never dealt with a force this strong before. I don't know how to deal with it. It's too strong for me."
Suddenly, Hana collapsed on the ground, breathing hard.
"Hanajima!" They rushed to help her, even knowing that this was nothing they could help her with. Hana was breathing hard now, her breath wheezed from her lungs. She just managed to gasp:
"Get…Megumi…" Tohru looked at Arisa.
"Uo-chan, can you go get Megumi-kun? You can run faster than me. Hurry! Hana-chan needs help!"
"Don't worry, Tohru. I'll be right back with the little one," Arisa ran out, almost faster than Tohru had ever seen her run. It was a shame Arisa had skipped the day of the endurance run. She would've won it for sure. But this wasn't about school. This was about Hana…and she needed her.
"Hana-chan?" Tohru asked quiet. Hana opened one eye, and looked up at Tohru. Black hair stood out on her pale face, plastered to it by cold sweat.
"…Megumi…" she whispered.
"Uo-chan has gone to get him. It's all right, Hana-chan." Her eyes looked far away. She suddenly was looking, not at Tohru, it seemed, but through her.
"There…so many voices…I can't stand it! I don't want this power! Someone help me! There're all crying out for help! I can't take it! I can hear them, but I can't help them! Someone help them! Someone take this power! I don't want it! I don't want this power!" she was shouting.
"Hana-chan! Hana-chan!" Tohru exclaimed. Is she having a psychic vision or something? Tohru thought. I've got to help her.
"I hear them all! But I can't help them! And I don't know any of them! All of them, crying out for lost loved ones, and I can't bring them back! I can't take it! I can't help them! I don't even know who they a- " Her eyes widened.
"Hana-chan?" Tohru whispered frightenedly.
"I-I'm so sorry…Toshiharu!" Hana cried as a tear slipped down her face
"Yo, Megumi!" Arisa shouted from the doorway, panting, her voice filled with urgency.
"Yes," Megumi replied coolly, slipping out from the shadows. He looked at Arisa with his all-knowing liquid black eyes.
"Saki collapsed in the cemetery! Her denpa waves were going crazy! And she's crying and shouting about 'strong forces' and 'too many voices'. She told me to come get you. We need to get back as fast as we can." Megumi thought for a moment.
"We must hurry," he agreed after a moment of hesitation. "If Saki is responding this much to a certain force, it must be very close to her heart. Something personal…and painful." Megumi thought of the little boy Saki had placed in the hospital with her powers. "Let us go," Megumi continued, drifting out the door like a black shadow.
Arisa saw the middle schooler flinch as his eyes met the intense sunlight. Damn, they are a strange family, Arisa thought as she walked up next to Megumi
"So, do you have any idea what it could be? The thing that's personal or whatever?" Megumi looked her in the eye, not flinching, despite the bright sun beating down behind Arisa.
"I have an idea," he said bluntly, as he turned and walked away.
"Hey! Wait up! What's you're idea?! MEGUMI!" Arisa shouted, jogging to cover the remarkable amount of distance he'd moved down the street. Megumi just kept walking as if she'd said nothing, his mind whirling with what little of Saki's power he had inherited.
"Yo! Tohru! She okay?" Arisa called, jogging up to her, Megumi drifting eerily behind her. Tohru looked up, her eyes confused with what Hana had said. They focused on Megumi.
"Who is Toshiharu?" Tohru asked bluntly. Megumi was silent for a moment. You could practically see the purple/black aura behind his eyes.
"He's the boy Saki put in the hospital with her power." My conclusion was correct, Megumi thought. Tohru's eyes widened, as she looked back to Hana, her eyes looked like they were seeing something that wasn't there. She was crying silently on the ground beside Tohru, shaking her head.
"She's saying something," Megumi pointed out. They all leaned in to hear her barely audible whisper.
"No…" She was whispering, a pained expression on her tear-stained face. "No…I don't want anyone to die…"
"She's having a flash back." Megumi said, concern for his sister shining in his eyes. "She said the exact same thing back when it first happened." Tohru looked up to Megumi, and then back to Hana, who was crying even harder than before.
"I'm sorry…." Hana whispered. "I'm so sorry…Toshiharu!"
It was getting louder. They were getting louder. The voices. She couldn't block them out. Darkness surrounded her. The pain hit her like a wave crashing down over her. The will breaking, soul crushing pain in those voices.
"Help me!" They cried to Hana.
"Someone help me!"
"I don't want to die!" A voice she recognized sounded all around her. The memory rose: one she would have liked to forget. "Please, somebody! Save me!" it pleaded again. "I don't want to die!"
"No…" she yelled, but it came out as a whisper. "No…I don't want anyone to die!"
"Ah! Hanajima! You cursed him!" Her old classmate's accusations rang in her ears.
"Go back to hell, witch!"
"Ah! She really is a scary witch!"
'Be quiet. If I'm a witch, then what are you?' her thoughts from long ago echoed all around her. 'Is it okay for you to do something so terrible? Be Quiet. I hate you. I really hate you. I wish you would die! Die… Die… Die!
The little boy collapsed in front of her in her mind's eye.
"I'm sorry…" she tried to reach the boy, but she couldn't feel his denpa. His waves were dead. "I'm so sorry…Toshiharu!" She shouted.
"I don't want to die…" a little boy's voice cried in her head. "Please, somebody! Save me! I don't want to die!"
"Hanajima, you cursed him…"
I did…, she thought, I really did curse him. He died in that hospital. He's dead. I really killed him. I did. He's dead…because of me.
"Hana-chan…" a new voice rang. Not pleading. Not anguished. Not accusing. But comforting and warm.
"Please don't leave…Hana-chan…Hana-chan….I love you. I love you, Hana-chan."
It was so bizarre…when I looked down…there wasn't just one shadow anymore…
From that moment on…I never walked alone again…
"Hana-chan, wake up." She heard that warm voice again. She wanted to wake up from this nightmare. She wanted it all to end. She needed to wake up…to apologize to Toshiharu. "We're here for you…" Hana finally recognized the voice.
"She's waking up!" Tohru exclaimed as Hana's eye fluttered open and then back closed again. She looked up at Arisa, whose face mirrored her own in concern for their friend, and then she turned back to Hana. "Hana-chan, wake up." She whispered to Hana, pulling a lock of the midnight hair she admired so much away from her pale face. "We're here for you."
"Tohru-kun…" Tohru looked at Hana as she opened her eyes half way. "Tohru-kun…" she said, and actual relieved smile melted away the fear inside the three that stood (and knelt in Tohru's case) beside her.
"Oh! Hana-chan! You're all right!" Tohru quickly pulled Hana into a tight hug. She then looked at Megumi over Tohru's shoulder. Tohru released Hana, who was still looking at Megumi expectantly.
"You know what you need to do, Saki." He said solemnly. She just looked at him for a moment, then averted her eyes and nodded. Tohru and Arisa just looked at the siblings with matching confused looks. Hana just gave them a look saying: I need to do this on my own right now.
"But, Hana-chan-" she was cut off by Hana.
"Tohru-kun. No matter what…" she quickly hugged Tohru, and then drew away, holding her at arms length, her arms on Tohru's shoulders. "You mother herself said: "So someday, when you girls are older…even if you start to take different paths…you'll never have to feel lonely or unloved…because these are the kinds of bonds…that never go away." The memory of her mother brought a smile Tohru's face. Then she looked at Hana.
"Okay, Hana-chan. Whatever you think will help you. I'll be behind you no matter what." Tohru smiled, and Hana looked up at Arisa, smiling behind Tohru.
"You heard the kid," she said.
"Thank you both." She said, the expression on her face telling it was sincere. "But now there's something I need to do." Arisa and Tohru nodded and walked away in silence, but not without Arisa shouting over her back;
"We'll meet you at Kyoko's grave!"
"Saki," Megumi said quietly. Hana tore her eyes away from the retreating figures.
"I know. But first...thank you, Megumi. For everything. From helping me with my power…to making that absurd prayer when we were little."
"It wasn't absurd, Saki. I meant every word of it. Do you remember?" She did.
Saki…do you plan to live your whole life…as if people exist to punish you? Is that all you want out of life? Then I will pray. Because there's no way…that Saki is meant to be alone her whole life. In this world…in this world overflowing with people…I can't believe that there's not one person out there…who wouldn't love Saki. So who ever you are…please come to meet her. If you're in a far off country, then get on a plane. Hurry. Come to Saki as fast as you can…"
"And now…despite everything that's happened to you…despite everything you've done…that person found you. Tohru answered my prayer for your happiness, Saki. And now she's supporting you to make things right so you can move on…so you can live the rest of your life…without any unanswered prayers…without any unwashed stains. Be someone who Tohru can be proud to call her friend." Saki was silent for a moment. "Saki…look at the grave in front of you." Hana looked down at the head stone, which read:
Date of Birth: February 28, 1996
Year of Death: May 24, 2002
Loving son and brother
Only six, huh? And he had a family, thought Hana; I guess I destroyed the family as well.
"Saki…you can't keep blaming yourself." He answered as if she'd spoken aloud. He placed a black clad hand on her arm. "It's time to set things straight." She sighed inwardly.
"You're right, Megumi." She walked a little was to the right, and plucked a single wild growing dark purple violet. She walked back beside Megumi, and placed it, propped up on the stone. Now I can finally, truly apologize. She closed her eyes, and took in a deep breath.
"I'm sorry, Toshiharu." She said, imagining the little boy from her day care, smiling in her mind's eye. "I don't know what I could possibly do to deserve your forgiveness, but I wanted to apologize to you…from the bottom of my heart. I'm sorry. Please accept my apology, and please, rest in peace." She bowed in front of the grave, and as she turned to go, she heard a voice in her head.
"I forgive you, Saki Hanajima…" Hana just closed her eyes, and the slightest smile played on her lips. She turned back to the grave, bowed again, and turned away whispering;
"Thank you, Toshiharu." Hana closed her eyes and looked up, feeling the warm sun on her face for what felt like the first time. "Thank you."