Author's Note: To all my loyal readers and fans: Welcome back! XD Yes, yes, originally, the Religion and Music trilogy was supposed to end with the last chapter of Religion in Paris, but I got this wicked idea for a bonus story that I just HAD to write! Anybody else ever get those crazy urges? XD Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. The rating and warnings are the same as usual, but this time, the view comes from none other than...Tayuya! And, as usual, your thoughts and feedback are loved! (BTW, "imouto" means "little sister" in Japanese. "Nii-san" means "older brother.")
Bonus Story: Music Returning Home (AKA: Side Story: Tayuya's Story)
By: Gothic Dancer
"Could you please bring your seat back and tray table to their upright and locked positions? We'll be landing in Tokyo momentarily."
I did as the flight attendant instructed and braced myself for the plane's landing. It was so strange to me, as if I were waking up from a dream. The flight from Paris to Tokyo was so long in the beginning. The first four hours were pure hell, as I was so damn anxious to get off the stupid thing and just be in Japan already. I wanted some sort of instant transportation machine like in one of those bad American sci-fi films I like so much. I knew it was impossible, but I wanted to be in Japan that badly.
For the past week, I had been flying through my work at university in Paris. I handed assignments in to my professors days before their due dates, thoroughly confusing those poor teachers and setting myself up for some major gossip from my classmates. I stuck out enough as it was, being a Japanese girl in the middle of Paris, France, studying music and giving performances to the entire college population (Dad has connections with people all over the world, no shit.). The fact that I was working at the speed of light only made me stand out more.
One time, I actually collapsed in the middle of the metro station. I was lucky though, because Yugito was there to take care of me. She took me to the local hospital, where I slept for a few hours. Upon waking up, I realized that I hadn't been properly fueling myself. I had gotten almost no sleep for the past few days, and my body was running on nothing more than a morning croissant and several shots of espresso throughout the afternoons and nights. When Yugito asked me what the hell my problem was, I finally realized what I had hoped to do.
"I'm going home for Christmas break," I mumbled, sipping down a glass of water from the nurse. "I want this week to go by fast, so I guess I'm just trying to get it over with as soon as possible. Damn the fact the week takes so long to go by."
Yugito just shook her head. "You know, getting all your work done super early won't make the week pass any sooner." She paused for a moment and grinned. "I can see why you're acting this way though. Go have some nice, hot make-up sex with Hidan when you get back to Japan."
I shot my friend a dirty look. "Fuck you, Yugito. You're just jealous because I'm getting some, and you're not." Upon saying those words, Yugito's face turned bright red, and her arms twitched uncomfortably. I smirked at the blonde's reaction. She was so easy to piss off.
When the week finally did end, I left for the airport first thing in the morning of break, dragging all sorts of crap with me. Security took almost an hour, and I swear that this perverted cop was feeling me up when I was chosen for a so-called "random" body test. What a fucking bastard. Regardless, I left the security area quickly after that and soon boarded the plane for Tokyo, Japan. Those first four hours, like I said, had been pure hell. Soon enough though, my body crashed due to the week's activities, and I slept like a drooling moron for the rest of the flight, missing two meal services.
Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that was a good thing. Airplane food fucking sucks.
When the plane finally landed at Narita Airport, I left the plane as quickly as I could (stupid people with their mountains of stupid, slow carry-ons...) and made my way to the customs area. I showed the man behind the counter my filled-out forms, and he stamped my passport. I then practically ran to the baggage claim area, and by the time I got there, the bags from my flight had already begun circling the carrousel. When I went to look for my bags, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Thinking it was another pervert (Airports, I swear, are breeding grounds for them.), I turned and went to curse the guy off, but I suddenly lost the words.
"I missed you a lot, Ta-chan."
And then...I don't know why I did it, but I suddenly broke down into hysterical sobs. I fell against my father and clung to his striped, button-up shirt and cried. I'm not exactly sure what I was crying about. Sure, I had missed Dad a little bit, but, for the most part, he wasn't the one I had been looking forwards to seeing the most. Regardless, I kept on crying into his shirt, totally forgetting that we were in a public airport. The old me would have just stood there and probably cursed him off, but I couldn't bring myself to do that. I couldn't say nasty things to Dad anymore. It was so weird.
Dad put his pale hand atop my head and rubbed my scalp through my black hat. His other arm wrapped around my waist and held me close. "I'm so happy to see you, Ta-chan," he whispered. "You have no idea how much I missed you..."
I looked up at him with tears still flowing from my eyes. "Is that just because you didn't have your little maid around to cook for you and clean the house?" I asked, trying to sound aggressive and angry.
Dad just laughed. "No, Ta-chan," he insisted, "I missed you for real."
I leaned against Dad's chest and tried to calm myself. Eventually, I stopped the tears, and Dad set me standing up straight. I rubbed my eyes and hiccuped a few times. Dad just laughed again and pulled my labeled bag from the carrousel behind me. Without saying a word, I picked my second one up, which had been right behind the first one. Dad nodded, satisfied, and led me out of the airport towards the parking lot. He unlocked his car and put my bags into the trunk while I set myself in the passenger seat up front.
We were headed back home in no time. The trip was short and sweet without much talking. I was jet lagged like fucking hell, yes, but I think that Dad didn't want to bombard me with too many questions right away. I could sort of tell that he wanted to ask me a million things though. How had I enjoyed Paris? Did I meet any new friends? Were my studies okay? Had I traveled anywhere of major importance?
That last question in my head stuck with me. "Back in October," I began, quite randomly, "Yugito and I went to Disneyland Paris for Halloween."
Dad perked up. "Oh?" he asked back. "Did you have a good time?"
I nodded. "A lot of characters were out. All the villains came out for a special performance."
"Did you meet any of them?"
"Yeah...I got all their autographs in this lame book the park people gave me when I entered." I held my breath for a second a let it out in a long huff. "I had fun."
The rest of the trip was nothing but an awkward silence, but it didn't last too long. Dad pulled into our driveway mere minutes after I finished talking.
There was something odd about seeing my old house. It hadn't changed at all during the time I had been gone, and I assumed that was because Dad was too lazy to remodel anything. When I stepped out of the car, I noticed that the lights inside the house were on. "Hey, Dad, who else is here?" I asked as my father pulled my bags from the trunk. "I thought you told me in a letter that all my brothers had moved out."
Dad gave me one of those "You can't figure it out for yourself, stupid?" looks. "Christmas is the day after tomorrow, Ta-chan," he sighed, closing the trunk. "Your brothers came back here for the celebration. When I found out that you wanted to come home for the break, I asked everyone to come home as well. I figured that we could sit down and have a real Christmas party like a real family. I invited Hidan, too. You could see if he wants to invite his old friends from Akatsuki as well."
I looked down at the driveway as Dad and I made our way up to the front door. The Sound household had not had a real Christmas party in years. The last one we had had together as a family was the last Christmas before...before Kimimaro died. After his death, we stopped celebrating major holidays together. Kabuto moved out shortly afterwards, and he had decided to live in a different part of the city. Sakon and Ukon were close behind him, deciding to room together in a small apartment in Tokyo's Ueno district. Kiddoumaru began graduate school a year after that, and the school he had decided to attend was in Osaka, so he started living there all year round. Jiroubo was busy with scheduled matches and tournaments, so all the boys moved out. Then I went to Paris for college.
The gears in my head started working overtime. Dad had relied on me a lot while I was away. He tried sending me postcards, e-mails, and care packages as much as possible. He called me when he knew I didn't have class and when the time changed worked for both of us. Suddenly, it all made sense. I felt like shit, like some uncaring bitch who had totally blown off something so simple. It all made so much sense, and I was mentally giving my life a good fuck when I realized it.
Dad was lonely.
"Hey, guys, Tayuya's back!"
I looked up. One by one, my idiot brothers burst from the front door of our house and gathered around me, chattering like crazy. I could barely see their faces in the darkness of the nighttime, but I could tell who was where. Right in front of me was Kabuto, trying to initiate some crowd control. God, he looked so stupid trying to calm those morons down. What I didn't see was Jiroubo behind me, and before I knew it, I was lifted into the air and brought into his tight embrace. I gasped for air as he crushed me towards his large body.
"Hey, little sister!" he laughed, tightening his muscular arms around me. "You got smaller!"
"No, you're just freakishly tall, Jiroubo," Kabuto scolded, smacking his little brother's arms. "Put her down! She's going to pass out!"
Jiroubo did as he was told. He let go of me, and I almost went crashing to the ground. Luckily, Sakon and Ukon were on opposite sides and lifted me up at the same time. I breathed heavily. I never knew that Jiroubo was THAT fucking strong!
"You okay, Imouto?" the twins asked together as I regained my composure.
I nodded. "Let me the hell go." I snatched my arms away from them and grabbed one of my bags. "Dad, let's get the hell inside. It's dark and I'm damn tired." I pushed my way through the crowd of idiots, not wanting to believe that they had actually missed me and were maybe excited to see me. No, they were only being nice to me because Kimimaro had died, those bastards. I totally knew it. If my brother had still been alive, the Sound household would NOT have been that...normal.
When everyone made it inside, I practically collapsed at the dinner table, not caring about the world around me. I didn't want to see my family; I wanted to see Hidan. Dad had to remind me to take my shoes off. Oh yeah. I wasn't in France anymore. We take off our shoes when we enter a house in Japan.
I looked up at Kiddoumaru, who had his cell phone in his hand. "I'll order you some ramen. There's a new take-out place that just opened nearby, and they're open until midnight." He looked at the kitchen clock, which read 10:30. "Anybody else want ramen?"
"Kiddoumaru, it's too late at night for that," Dad insisted, dragging the last of my luggage into the house. "Ta-chan can have something out of the fridge if she's hungry." He looked at me. "Besides, you're probably really tired, right, Ta-chan?"
"I want an extra large bowl with extra pork!" Jiroubo shouted, pumping a fist into the air.
"Give me a miso," Kabuto replied as he sat down across from me. "Extra green onions."
"Seafood for us," the twins said together.
"A vegetarian for me," Kiddoumaru murmured as he wrote down all the orders. "Imouto-chan?"
I just stared at my brother for a moment. Was he serious? He was ordering ramen for me? "Um," I began, looking off to the side to avoid his eyes, "I'll just take a plain one. I don't want anything too heavy."
My brother nodded. "Dad?"
Dad was too fucking funny. He tapped his foot against the cold tile of the kitchen floor, a pissed expression on his face. Kiddoumaru just grinned happily, showing off his teeth. I snickered as I saw Dad give an exasperated sigh. He had lost. "Just an order of edamame," he gave in. "Ugh, I'm getting too old to deal with all of you. It's a good thing I've retired." He shook his head and sat down on the nearby living room couch. I smiled. I had forgotten how funny Dad was when my brothers manipulated him into getting what they wanted.
When the ramen came, we ate very informally. I was starving actually, so I shoved the hot noodles down my throat. Holy shit, it was RAMEN. I hadn't had it in such a long time. I had lived for two years without it! How in the FUCKING HELL had I done it?! It was a mystery even to me. Ramen tasted so good, but, obviously, France didn't have that many stands selling the noodles. Any place that sold anything like it was cheap and crappy, selling the soup to French tastes. God only knows what the hell they threw in there.
After we all finished, we said our goodnights and left for our rooms. I was surprised my brothers complied with Dad's wishes to go to sleep. I guess he wanted me to be rested, but I didn't think about it too much. I walked into my room and first noticed that it was very clean. I wasn't a particularly messy person by nature, but my space just seemed to be still and peaceful. I knew that no one had occupied the room in two years (unless Dad was hiding something from me), but it was still strange to find it so neat. Maybe Dad had been so lonely that he had nothing better to do than clean...
Of course, I was exhausted like fucking hell, but I couldn't fall asleep. I was in my bed for about an hour, trying desperately to rest myself, but my mind was too busy. Soon it would be Christmas. Soon...I'd be able to see Hidan again. Good God, I missed him. I missed his pale skin and silver hair, his pink eyes and his black leather jacket, his toned chest and his warm arms...I missed being in his embrace. Duh, I'm no romantic...and I'm not the cuddling type, really! Damn it, I mean it! But there was something so special about being with him when it was just the two of us. Sure, the sex was fucking awesome, but that was hardly the point. I just liked being near him.
Around midnight, I got out of bed. I knew what I needed to do to sleep. It was down the hall.
Slowly, I tiptoed out of my room and walked past my brothers' rooms, careful not to wake them (The last thing I needed were a bunch of cranky idiots rampaging through the house.). I made my way around the corner until I came upon Dad's room. The light was shining underneath the door, so he was still awake. I wasn't so sure why I had decided to do this. It was just...something.
I knocked on the door. "Come in," came Dad's voice inside. I twisted the knob and opened the door, revealing myself in my nightshirt. Dad looked surprised. "Ta-chan! I had no idea you were still up!" He straightened up in bed, a look of concern on his face. I stole a quick glance at the surroundings. A single light on the nightstand next to him shone along with the light from the television, which was showing a late-night murder mystery movie. Dad was tucked under the covers of his large bed, and he was wearing a purple t-shirt with gray sweatpants. Throughout my life, I had very rarely seen my father so casual.
"I just can't sleep," I finally replied, walking over to my father's bed. "My body and mind won't let me relax. I was wondering if you knew what I could do."
Dad looked at me thoughtfully. "I think there's a fresh carton of milk downstairs if you want to heat a glass up." He suddenly smiled. "Or you could tell me what's on your mind."
Damn. If Dad knew anything, he knew how to read people like books.
I climbed on top of the bed but didn't get under the covers with my father. I just sort of sat there on the empty side, not really looking at anything. "I want to see Hidan," I finally admitted.
Dad nodded. "I know you do. You'll see him tomorrow. I invited him over for Christmas Eve dinner, and I said he could spend the night with us if he wanted to."
I looked at Dad and grinned. He had so planned that, that bastard. I smirked at him and then looked back down at his bed. "You've been really lonely here, haven't you?" I asked.
Dad suddenly grew sad. "Yes, I have," he admitted. "It's been tough not having any kids at home."
I nodded. "You practically raised seven kids by yourself, the oldest and youngest being eleven years apart. I can't imagine how quiet the house must have become when I left." Suddenly, I found myself leaning closer to my dad. I'm not really sure why exactly, but I think some of the loneliness I was feeling was connecting with the loneliness inside Dad, if that makes any damn sense at all. I was eventually lying against the backboard of the bed with my head resting against my father's shoulder. He grinned and turned his attention back to the television.
"It's the guy in the green shirt," he told me, pointing to a character onscreen. "He killed the first two victims, but chances are really good that he didn't kill the third one. I'm putting my bets on the girl in the orange tank for that one." He grinned wildly. Dad had always had a thing for murder mysteries. He liked to make predictions about who did what, and the scary part was that he was almost always right.
"If you say so," I sighed, closing my eyes lightly. "Guess what? I'm tired now."
Dad laughed. "Murder's not so exciting to you, Ta-chan?"
I snorted. "Hey, I'm dating Hidan. Don't tell me that carnage can't be cool."
Dad laughed again as I picked myself up and made my way off the bed. "Hey, Dad, could I ask you one more question?" I waited for Dad to nod before saying anything else. When he did, I let him have it. "Why did you never get remarried?"
Dad let out a long sigh. "Ta-chan," he began, "I could have gotten remarried. I really could have, but I didn't want to. No woman in the would could ever replace your mother. I feel bad about it now, because I know you really could have used a motherly figure in your life, but I couldn't find it in myself to marry another woman. Your mother was the only woman I ever truly loved, and she always will be."
I slept well that night. For once, I knew that my father's love for someone truly was pure from beginning to end.
Now let's fuck that corniness. I don't do sentimental too well, ne?
When I woke up the next morning, my clock read 11:00 A.M. "Not bad for the time change," I muttered to myself as I got out of bed. "Fell asleep around midnight...Yeah, I'll be okay in another night." I cleaned myself up first, attempting to look half-way decent. When I was clothed, I walked out of my room and headed down the stairs to find a note waiting for me on the table. It read, "Ta-chan: Your brothers and I went out to gather some last-minute things for tonight and tomorrow. Kabuto made you an omelet for you to heat up. It's in the fridge. Please call me if you leave the house. Love, Dad." I rolled my eyes. How sickeningly sweet...
Regardless, I heated the omelet and ate it, deciding to keep myself busy until my family returned. For the most part, I cleaned. Good God, it was as if I was living the first eighteen years of my life all over again. Those were some fucking bad times, really. However, this cleaning wasn't so bad. I felt useful for once, not just like some air-headed maid who had no choice in the matter.
Dad and my brothers came back around three that afternoon, and I sent to work cooking the Christmas meal. It wasn't anything particularly special. Technically, we Japanese don't celebrate Christmas the way Westerners do. I was used to going all-out for the holiday because of France's general religious reasons, so I guess I was unimpressed by the fact that my family hadn't put so much thought into the meal. Fuck my expectations. At least it wasn't like they had gotten a bunch of instant noodle bowls. No, at least they had gotten the good soba that actually required some time to make.
I knew I was in the right house at least. God, my family was so fucking weird.
About three hours later, when everything was just about complete, I heard a knock on the door. "I'll get it," I announced.
When I opened the door, I found myself face-to-face with two huge bouquets of flowers. I was fucking confused as hell. What the...?
But when I looked up, I understood.
"Merry Christmas, bitch," Hidan greeted. "Let me the fuck in. It's cold out here."
"You stupid motherfucking asshole..." I muttered. I let him inside. I didn't even let him take his shoes off. I tackled him right there in the middle of the room for all my family to see, not really caring about the moronic remarks my brothers were making. I made out with my boyfriend right there on the floor, smothering him with everything I had. What a dick he had been for leaving me that day in Paris...I needed to make up for lost time.
"Hey, Ta-chan," I heard from behind me, "could you save that for when the two of you are alone?" I stopped momentarily to look up at my father, who had a slightly less-than-amused look on his pale face. I guess seeing his only daughter make out with her long-time boyfriend on the floor in the middle of his house wasn't high on the list of things he wanted to see. Too fucking bad.
"Dad!" I suddenly heard Sakon and Ukon whine together. "Why did you stop them?!"
I looked up. They both had their phones out, and I saw their outer lights flashing. They had been recording us.
"YOU BASTARDS!!" I shouted, jumping up and chasing them around the house. They quickly split up though, so I could only follow one at a time. I chose to go with Sakon first, but before I knew it, Jiroubo, Kiddoumaru, and Kabuto were chasing them around as well. I'm still not sure if they were doing so to help me or if they just wanted to see the action again.
When I finally caught Sakon, I grabbed the phone from him and deleted the video. I heard Ukon curse loudly in the next room over, so I assumed one of my brothers had gotten to him. When I made it back into the living room, my hair was an ungodly mess, and my cheeks were pink from my heavy panting. Dad's eyes were wide with pure confusion, and Hidan was still on the floor.
The Jashinist looked up at my father. "Merry Christmas, Sound-san!" he greeted. "How are you?"
Our soba dinner that night came and went without anything too interesting. I sat next to Hidan, and it took all I had to keep my hands off him. As I had done during my last week in Paris, I finished my meal as fast as possible and prayed that everyone else would, too. While the family did eat relatively quickly, Jiroubo kept asking for more servings, that dumb fatass.
After dinner, Hidan took me out on his motorcycle for a ride. You know, for old time's sake. I slipped my helmet on and took my spot on the back seat. It was cold as hell outside, so the two of us snuggled up as much as we could through our coats. I was just so happy to be near him again. It didn't really matter how we were or what we did. As long as I was close to him, I didn't care.
Both of us knew where we were going on this little trip. Hidan had brought two bouquets for a reason.
"Merry Christmas, Kimimaro," I murmured as I lowered the flowers to my brother's grave. "You didn't miss anything at the Christmas party this year. Dad and the others bought soba of all things, dammit. That doesn't exactly scream, 'Christmas dinner'!" I paused and leaned up against Hidan. "I wish you were here anyway though."
Hidan smiled at me. "He's here," he told me. "We just can't see him."
I looked up at my boyfriend and managed a tiny grin. Hidan, when he wanted to, could say some pretty cool things. God dammit, I was so lucky to have all the people around me. I had never realized how blessed I had been to have this family, especially when people I knew didn't. It must have been tough on Dad to raise seven kids all by himself while still working for the yakuza. Was having a family like that even legal in the yakuza? Whatever. I still don't know. I just know for a fact that Dad had one hell of a time putting up with all of us. I was never really that grateful though, mostly because those idiots I call my brothers drove me batshit insane. And yet, there was something about them even then when they were terrible to me. They gave me attention at the very least, so they must have had some feelings for me. Kimimaro was the best out of all of them, but I never even showed him any signs of thanks. I always assumed he would be right there saving my ass over and over again. I never even got to thank him for finding me at the bar that one night...
"Are you okay?"
I didn't realize that I had been crying. "I'm fine," I whispered. "Let's go." I bent down and kissed the grave. "Thank you for everything, Kimi-nii-san. May you rest in peace for eternity."
When Hidan and I got back to the house, we went up to my room immediately. Neither of us had to say anything in order to get the message.
"God, I missed you so much," I whispered against my boyfriend's bare chest. "I missed your smell, your touches...the way you feel against me...I missed you like fucking hell, even if you are an idiot religious extremist."
Hidan snorted. "I missed you, too." He flung me onto my bed and kissed my neck. "You've got such soft skin and such a pretty face. I missed all of you, even if you are a loudmouthed bitch."
I smirked. "Yeah? Prove it to me, ass."
He did. Oh, HELL YES, he did.
I was the luckiest girl in the world to have Hidan. Sex with him was incredible, and the afterglow was even better.
"I got you a present," I whispered to him as his eyes started to close. I leaned up against him in bed and handed him a wrapped gift. "Merry Christmas. You'll get the Disney DVD tomorrow."
Hidan kissed me and opened the present. "A CD?" he asked. "Cool, thanks." He kissed me again. "What's on it? Good band?"
I shook my head. "I recorded myself playing the flute. Now you can hear it without me having to be there." I stretched myself out on his lap and looked up at him. "You're still the only person I've ever played for real for."
Needless to say, I got Round 2. Hell yes.
The next day was awesome. On Christmas morning, a bunch of Hidan's friends came over, and we all celebrated together. Deidara and Sasori were the first to arrive, the two of them as artsy and gay (well, at least Deidara) as ever. Pein and Konan came together, newly married. When Kisame came, he brought quite the surprise with him. Zetsu was there. Hidan later told me it was a big deal because he hadn't seen his friend outside the mental institute in a long, long time. I was happy for him. Kakuzu even came by, this time not complaining about the price to take the train from his college town to Tokyo. He brought booze, too, so he's pretty damn awesome in my book. Sasuke and Itachi came later that afternoon, claiming they had spent the morning with their uncle Madara. Yeah, right. We ALL knew what they were REALLY doing, but I decided to keep my mouth shut. Of course, I had to pry Dad off the two of them. He had been good friends with the Uchiha brothers' parents, so he was obsessed with the two boys. Still kind of is. It's a bit scary. No sign of Tobi. No one's heard from him since he left for America.
Everyone was having a great time until Hidan left the party to use the bathroom. I don't even need to explain what happened, do I?
"GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, YOU SEX FIENDS!!" my boyfriend screamed at the art brothers. "THIS IS WORSE THAN THE AIRPORT INCIDENT!!"
Oh, God, NO. Deidara and Sasori were NOT having sex in my bathroom.
I went to look in on the scene, and my jaw hit the floor. Yes. Yes, they were doing it in my bathroom. What could be worse than that?
I stared. "Is that my...shampoo bottle?"
Despite that one little incident, the party turned out to be one of the best days of my life.
Today is better though.
"Dad," I whisper as I hang onto my father's arm. "Let's go already. The music is playing." I look ahead and smile.
Hidan looks fucking awesome in a tux.
Author's Note: Long side story is LOOOOOOOOOONG. XD But I got this idea and just HAD to write it!! I hope you enjoyed this side story in the Religion and Music universe!