Going Under

Chapter 1. Deal

"Amu-chan!" Ran whined as Yoru tugged at her ponytail with an evil grin on his face. The Guardians were holding our usual meeting after school and since all we were doing was checking files and writing reports on how many X eggs I had cleansed over the last few months, the Chara's were getting restless.

Kusukusu was painting little flowers on Diachi's face as he slept while Pepe and Su giggled about something that Miki had drawn on a tablet while Miki was scowling at them with the tablet pressed against her chest.

I rolled my eyes at Ran and lifted a finger to flick Yoru away simply.

"Oww-nya!" Yoru said flying backward before stopping and rubbing his stomach while Ran stuck her tongue out at him spitefully. I laughed along with Tadase-kun who had witnessed everything. I smiled at him lightly and he smiled back as Miki floated over to try and helped a ticked Yoru.

Miki had always had a crush on Yoru and I didn't see why, he was just like Ikuto, who we were still trying to find at the moment. But back to Miki's crush on Yoru. Yoru was just like Ikuto; selfish, rude, lazy, arrogant and mean to others. I mean Yoru had a sweat side that I had never really seen Ikuto revel fully. Maybe that is why he has Yoru…his kind side.

The more I thought about it the more I didn't want to think about it. I shook my head clear and went back to helping Rima track my cleansed eggs. She asked questions, I replied tiredly.

I yawned widely and I heard Yaya giggle lightly from her seat next to Nagahiko. I looked up to see her pointing at me as her other hand covered her mouth to silence or muffle her giggles.

"What?" I asked confused. She giggled once more and I felt my face to see if I had a zit or something.

"You yawn really wide, I swear I could have seen straight down your throat." she said lightly. I scowled at her fiercely and she went back to work sheepishly.

"Maybe we should call it a day, you're tired Amu-chan and I know so are a lot of us. We can finish this pile of work on Monday." Tadase said standing from his chair gracefully and put the huge stack of paper work he had been working on back into a safe filing cabinet.

Yaya lurched out of her seat and Pepe followed willingly as Su, Miki and Ran floated over to be by my side while Yoru trialed along behind silently. He was still scowling at me for the flicking thing.

I stood up with Rima as Tadase and Nagahiko stayed behind to talk for a while about guy stuff.

I gathered my book bag and slung the strap over my shoulder while Rima stayed close beside me. Yaya had already sprinted off home probably.

I waved good-bye to Nagahiko and Tadase before Rima and I left the Royal Garden finally.

"Are you walking home today?" I asked Rima as Ran and Miki were drawing something on a tablet together and Su chattered with Yoru lightly.

"No, my father is picking me up today. He said he has to go on a business trip as well as my mother so they are leaving me at my grandmother's for the weekend." she said pulling at the strap of her bag silently.

"Oh, well I hope you have a nice weekend." I said as we neared the gate where I could see her father's car parked silently. She smiled up at wryly and then jogged over to her father's car waving. I waved back as she got into the car and then drove away.

I stood there for a moment just thinking. I sighed heavily and Su came up quietly.

"Amu-can, what's wrong-desu?" she asked worriedly. I smiled up at her sadly and shook my head as I began walking the path home.

"Nothing, I was just thinking that this is going to be a boring weekend." I said as Ran and Miki started to pull on Yoru's ears. He moaned angrily in pain and tried to claw at them with no avail.

"Oh." Su said as we walked.

"Nya!" Yoru yelped in pain. I coughed as I tried to hide my laugh foolishly. It was so funny to see my little chara's picking on Yoru.

"Amu-chan..." Su said as we rounded a corner that was only three blocks away from my house.

"What?" I said looking up at Su. She was staring at a black car with tinted windows parked on the side of the road. I didn't think anything of it until Yoru yelped and not in pain this time.

"It's Ikuto's stepfather-nya!" Yoru said floating to hide behind Miki. She blushed but I had stopped dead in my tracks. I thought about character transforming with Ran or something but what would that do? He had like twenty guards and even if I did Character transform, I could still get hurt.

I decided to walk on and pray that he didn't notice me. I let my hair fall over my face lightly so no one passing or driving by could see my face. I knew my hair and my uniform were still obvious but I had to try. I kept a steady pace but quickened it slightly when I noticed the car was slowly following me.

"Amu-chan, I'm scared-desu." Su said trying to hide in my bag.

I didn't reply and just kept walking. I looked up and rounded the corner, only two more blocks to go.

Right as I thought that the car darted to be next to me and I gasped in shock.

The back window rolled down slowly as I stayed frozen on the road when I saw the old man's wrinkled face appear from the now open window. He didn't speak for a long moment and then his deep voice shattered the long silence.

"Hinamori Amu?" he said smiling smugly at me. I was still frozen in shock and fear but some how I gulped down my fear and put on my 'cool-and-spicy' exterior. I crossed my arms over my chest and put all my weight on my left leg. I stared at him daringly and nodded without a word.

He chuckled as if I amused him and opened the door.

"Get in." he said softly. He didn't seem threatening at the moment but I just stood there a moment before stepping forward.

"What are you doing Amu-chan!? He's the enemy!" Ran whispered in my ear. Yoru was clinging to my shoulder fiercely as Miki and Su hid in my bag.

"Maybe if I can talk to him, he'll let Ikuto go." I said stepping into the darkened car. He shut the door once I was in and looked me over.

"Aren't you a little young to be in possession of the Humpty lock?" he asked raising an eye brow at me and pointed to the little egg case that had the Humpty lock hanging from it along with the little heart, clover and spade charms.

"I mean how old are you, nine?" he asked smugly.

"Twelve." I snapped at him harshly. He huffed out a light laugh and shook his head.

"You're very…fiery. Just what my company needs." He said grabbing a crystal cup full of a foul smelling drink from the little bar next to him. Probably some kind of alcohol. I didn't get what he was talking about but the tight grip on my shoulder from Yoru was tightening quickly.

"What?" I snapped again. He took a sip of the drink in his hand and spoke clearly as the car slowed.

"You know we have Ikuto and quite frankly I think he has no more use to us. We are willing to let him go." he said gulping down the rest of his drink and setting the glass down.

"Really?" I asked in a matter-of-fact tone.

"For a price." he said lifting an eyebrow. I didn't like the way he was staring at me.

"What's the price?" I asked stunned. Was Ikuto's stepfather a big perv too?!

"I want you to work for my company." he said folding his hands and setting them in his lap comfortably. I could hear all the little chara's gasp but I didn't show any emotion.

"As what…secretary or something?" I asked mockingly He scowled at me and shook his head.

"No. You will be a model, singer, spokes person, actress….whatever we want you to do dealing with fame. You will be replacing Utau practically." he said staring off into space silently. I couldn't believe this.

"So if I replace Utau than you will release Ikuto from Easter?" I asked to get a clear picture. He nodded silently and I sighed as I thought of more questions.

"What about my parents? School? Friends?" I asked with no emotion behind it at all.

"We have already spoken to your parents. They agreed quite quickly when we said you could be quite famous, which you will be. As for school, we will get you private tutors or you may go to a private school. Friends, the guardians as you may say. You will not be allowed to see or speak to them. You we be our property Amu. But Ikuto will not." he said quietly.

I felt my heart breaking internally as I thought of Tadase, Yaya, Rima and Nagahiko. I could never see them again or even talk to them. But Ikuto was forced into a life he never wanted and I knew if I had to give up my happiness to give Ikuto just a little bit I would do it. I took a deep breath and nodded.

"All right. I'll do it. Will I be able to see Ikuto though?" I asked firmly. He chuckled and shook his head.

"In order to protect him, I suggest you stay far away from Tsukiyomi Ikuto." he said pouring himself another cup of the foul drink and took a deep gulp of it before pulling out what looked like a contract.

"You sign and I give the order to let Ikuto go." he said holding out a pen and his cell phone. I took one last deep breath and grabbed the pen before scribbling my name on the line at the bottom.

Hinamori Amu