I'm not sure it's even worth apologizing... I know I take forever to update!
But find reassurance in that I do NOT plan on discontinuing this as I have done with my other stories (this one is actually GOING somewhere unlike sudden spark ideas that I write on a whim and lose interest in later.)
So, please enjoy! I tried to make this one longer, and there are more Umineko cameos. No worries though, you'll be able to understand even if you haven't watched (or played) it.
Another bonus, song to listen to while reading: Yokan, higurashi OST; can be found on Youtube.
The loud knocking echoed throughout the empty house: a chaotic symphony foreshadowing a hideous fate.
"Maebara-san! Are you there?" Mion's trembling voice lofted into the kitchen and living room.
"Move, neesan!" Shion pushed her sister out of the way and clasped the doorknob in her hand. The metal was warm in the summer heat, and her cold clammy hands were momentarily warmed. She turned the handle and pushed the door inwards. Mion shot her a disapproving look.
"I know it's a little rude, but this is an emergency!" Her sister's panic had begun to rub off on her... She too had begun to remember things she had no memory of. The more she thought about it, the more it became an oxymoron, but the sights had been so real and powerful that she couldn't brush them off as being paranoia. The older twin nodded to her younger sibling and they turned to face the empty room.
Now inside, they felt as though they needed to be quieter; slower. They made their way calmly through the doorway and stepped inside.
"Maebara-san?" Mion asked timidly. No reply.
"Otou-san? Okaa-san?" Shion called waveringly. Silence.
Too preoccupied with worried thoughts to think to take off their shoes before entering, they hesitated before stepping into the kitchen.
"Not here..." The next head of the Sonozaki family hugged herself nervously. The younger green-haired twin stepped closer to the fridge and absently ran her fingers over the tabletop as she passed it.
"There's a note..." she observed. "Out of town for work, be back in a few days. There's ramen in the fridge. Love you, Mom and Dad."
"They aren't here?" It came out as a question although the proof was right in front of her. "Neither are Rena and Keiichi..."
"That's your doing isn't it Lambda?" a young-looking blue haired girl asked her companion.
"I don't know what you mean," a falsely sweet voice chimed in return.
"They are, after all, just children."
"So?" The blond haired young lady kicked her legs up and down over the side of the chair she was seated on. Her blue haired company smiled and waved her hand lazily. A teacup appeared before her, and she picked it out of the air.
"It isn't the only element, but without their parents' guidance, they are more likely to lose themselves."
"So you finally caught on?" Her tinkling laughter would cause an air of unease for those who were not used to it.
"Oh I've known for a long time; I just thought you were done with this game. Satoko and Rika's parents weren't worth saving, they died too long ago."
"Oh, so if Keiichi's parents were to die, they would be worth saving?"
Blue hair fell across a pale white face as the grin plastered on it grew into a competitive smile.
"I wasn't aware you were such a sore loser. Where'd you get these new players? There doesn't seem to be anything special about them!"
"You say that, but have seen for yourself that their arrival alone has caused so much trouble!"
The smile faded back into an emotionless line.
"We'll see the outcome of this bonus round. We both know that I can and have proven the Witch of Certainty wrong before."
"And we'll see just how far the Witch of Miracles will go to prove her powers!"
The two young girls laughed melodiously.
The host club sat, each silently lost in their own thoughts.
"– you been Akasaka?" Rika's voice reached their ears and they all snapped to attention. Said girl walked in followed by a man they hadn't seen before.
"I've been fine," he answered, obviously wanting to get past the small talk. He raised his head as he entered the room and noticed the others for the first time.
"And how is your family? Your daughter should be... how old is she?" Rika continued, catching up as though she hadn't another care in the world.
"Her 6th birthday is coming up soon."
"Oh really? I had no idea she had grown so much!" Rika answered cheerfully.
Satoko and Hanyuu walked in behind them, Akeno following awkwardly.
"I assume you already know what's happened?" the older police officer finally got to the point, sitting down abruptly. Whatever the young girl had been planning on saying was forgotten instantly as her suspicions as to why the police officer was here were confirmed. Silence reigned in the small room.
"Of course; we were there when Rena found it." The man nodded. He knew he had come here to relieve his worries, but he wasn't exactly sure as to why he was worried in the first place, and because of this he had trouble phrasing his next question.
"You... um... any of you..." he looked at the rest of the room's inhabitants. "Are you... If you feel disturbed or scared, you just tell us okay?" The host club members shared nervous looks.
"Heh... well it is a little unsettling..." Tamaki spoke up, voicing all their thoughts.
"Understatement of the year..." Hikaru mumbled under his breath.
"You lot shouldn't worry too much about this!" The detective proclaimed in an authoritative voice. "I can tell you with certainty that there is no danger in this village." This seemed to somewhat cheer up the newcomers, but the villagers didn't seem convinced.
After a few moments had passed in an awkward silence, Akasaka finally decided it was time to go. He rose from his seated position, said goodbye and was walking out the door with a quiet Akeno when a voice stopped him.
"How, exactly, do you know Furude-san?" Kyouya's calculated expression didn't betray how shook up he really was. A nostalgic smile spread on the officer's face as he recalled.
"I met her six years ago." Giving a short moment for everyone's thoughts to process the new information and questions to form in her head, he paused to look at the young girl in question. "She saved my daughter's life."
Mion and Shion practically ran back to the Furude residence, they were near panic. Rena and Keiichi were no where to be found, it was the middle of night, Keiichi's parents had once again left their son in the worst of times and... they didn't know what, but something bad was about to happen.
As they made their way to their friends' house, they passed the Irie clinic and Shion froze in her tracks.
"Neechan! I think I'll... I'm going to go tell Irie-sensei! Just in case..." she spewed the words in a hurried rush. Her sister nodded.
"I'll keep looking on my way to Rika and Satoko's. Be careful!" With that they both parted.
Shion made her way to the small clinic and pushed open the heavy doors. The green haired young woman knew that Irie-sensei wasn't there today, but she had to see him. She knew it was unjustified, but she could feel an unbearable sadness claw at her insides. She was suddenly so worried about Satoshi. She needed to see him and make sure he was alright.
She turned right, left, left; she had it memorised, she came to visit him so often. The doctor had even given her her own pass card. He said he could trust her with it. Was she really willing to destroy that trust in one instant due to an unexplained panic attack?
She swiped the key card and the lock on the door clicked. She pushed it open and sprinted down the hallway, gradually gaining speed until she reached the usual glass pane. Swiping her card a second time, she entered the room. The youth lay down on the bed turned to look at her, shock evident in his eyes.
"Shion?" his voice was quiet. His face was tired. He was still shackled down, still unstable. But he was safe. He was alive. His eyes sparkled with confusion. Shion felt a sudden joy overtake her and tears welled in her eyes. She ran to the bed and hugged him awkwardly. "Shion?" He repeated uneasily.
The green haired teen rose from her position above him and went to the control board. She unlocked his shackles and turned off the speaker. Irie-sensei was very caring of his patients, and had wanted to make sure that if anything were to happen to Satoshi, he would know. So, he had installed a microphone in his room; "Kind of like a baby cam!" Shion had giggled, and Satoshi's response was a pout and a "Mu."
The blond boy sat up stiffly. He had been down there for so long, bound to this room, this bed. Stuck between four walls – he couldn't even see out the glass window panel – and he had grown tired of it. He knew it was all for his own good, so he wouldn't do something he would regret. But he couldn't help but despise it, he couldn't help but – he had guiltily admitted to himself only a few days ago – blame Irie for this. He could find another way! He didn't have to be quarantined here on his own!
"I'm sorry. I know this is sudden... It's just, Rena and Keiichi..." He was away from his friends, unable to have fun with them, only able to hear as Shion retold him the stories of all the amusing things they did together. He hadn't yet met Keiichi, who he heard so much about. The new tourists too; he wanted to meet them! He had been wary of the one that had visited with Shion before, and he wanted to see what they were all like, to befriend them if they were amiable and to protect his comrades from them if they were amiss... to protect Satoko from them. His dear sweet Satoko.
"They've gone missing." His reverie was cut off by her words.
"W-what?" he could barely get the interrogation out. Shion sat down next to him on the white sheets. He absently rubbed his wrists, glad to have them free of the cuffs.
"Well, I can't really say they've gone missing... they've only been gone a few hours..." She glanced at her watch. "...even less. It's just, we're all worried and I dunno what happened and I just needed to make sure you were alright!" she had begun to babble, earning her a kind smile from the sick boy.
Shion. His dear sweet Shion. She always came to visit him. She always took care of him. She loved him with all her heart – even though she hadn't said it out loud. His throat tightened as an idea came to mind, and he regretted what he was about to do.
"Shion..." he said softly. "Thanks, for worrying about me." He smiled warmly. A few seconds of silence passed, Satoshi fighting an internal battle trying to decide whether or not to say what he had in mind. He won... or lost, depending on how one might see it. "I'm sorry."
Jumping out of bed and reaching for the first thing he could wrap his fingers around, he grabbed a heavy clipboard and swung it at her head. It made contact and instantly knocked her out. He dropped the dented metal, and his vision blurred with tears. He wiped his palm across his eyes and shifted Shion's limp body into a more comfortable position, taking her key card when his fingers brushed against it.
Satoshi walked out the door, closing it behind him, the lock clicking into place.
Mion made it back to the house a few minutes too late to meet up with Akasaka. She walked in the door of the house to see everyone sitting around the small coffee table with a cup of hot coco.
"I... I couldn't find them..." she said bitterly. At the sound of her voice, all heads looked up.
"So they're missing?" Hunny asked, much soberer than he usually was.
"Should we alert the police?" Mori wondered, his voice as serious as ever.
"But that officer left just now..." Tamaki pointed out, still bewildered.
"Officer?" Mion asked.
"Akasaka was here a few minutes ago. You just missed him," Hanyuu claimed somberly. The young Sonozaki woman sighed gravely.
"We should probably call it a night... I'm sure they'll turn up tomorrow morning." Mion took a seat around the table. "I know you're all worried, but we can't wear ourselves over this. I'm sure we're just overreacting."
"Did you tell their parents?" Satoko asked.
"We went to both their houses. Found an "out-of-town-for-work" note at Kei-chan's and not a trace of Rena's father."
"Do Keiichi-kun's parents go out of town often?" Haruhi questioned.
"Too often if you ask me."
"So... where's Shion?" Kaoru asked.
"She went to..." Mion stopped in her tracks, realizing that in the hosts point of view, there was no reason why her sister would need to tell the village doctor. "She went to ask a couple of the villagers if they had seen them."
"So... are we all sleeping here tonight?"
TO BE CONTINUED.
I hope that was enough to satisfy you for now! I seriously hope that I update sooner next time. It's sad that it takes me like 3 months to update.
:) reviews please!