(I don't own the Saint Tail characters, but I own everyone else. Enjoy!)

Case of Meim's Cousin, Alex

"Hello?" Meimi said, answering the phone.

"Meimi, is that you?" the voice asked.

"Yes, I am Meimi. Who am I speaking to?"

"Don't worry about it now. I'll be over your house in one week."

"What!?"

"Don't tell your mom just yet, either."

"You know my mom?"

"Of course. I know your father, too."

"Who are you?"

"Like I said, all will be explained in one week. I'm looking forward to seeing you again."

"Again?"

"You really are clueless, you know that?" 'God, he's starting to sound like Asuka Jr...' she thought. "Who's Asuka Jr.?"

"What the--did you just--"

"What are you talking about? You mother mentioned a boy in your class by the name of Asuka Jr."

"Oh, well, he's..."

"Your boyfriend?"

"NO!"

"I'm sorry, Meimi. I have to go now."

"Um...ok."

"See you next week."

"...Right." She hangs up. Her parents just came back from whereever they were. "Mom! Dad! There was some strange boy on the phone! He says he knows us!"

"Oh. Him? Don't worry about him, Meimi," her mother said, "he didn't exactly say when he was coming, but he is coming."

"Who?"

"Sorry, Meimi, he told us not to tell you. Once you see him, you'll remember him."

"Is he...an old boyfriend of yours?"

"Meimi, that's none of your business," she said with a smile.

"Whatever. I'm going to bed."

"Night, honey." Her father said.

"Yeah. 'night." She goes upstairs to her room. 'Who was that boy?'

Next morning...1 day...Nothing out of the ordinary...school, home, sleep.

2 days...

3 days...

4 days...all were routined. Until the 5th day...

"Haneoka," Asuka Jr. called. She goes to him.

"Yeah?"

"I was wondering if you cold teach me a new trick."

"Did you have anything in mind?"

"How about hypnosis?"

"Hypnosis?"

"Yeah. That thing when you stare at something for a long time and start doing silly stuff."

"I'm sorry, Asuka Jr., but I don't know how to do that."

"Oh. Well, thanks anyway."

"Of course." Asuka Jr. left, but as he came around a corner.

"You," a voice said. Asuka Jr. looks back and sees nothing. "Asuka Jr., was it?"

"Where are you? Show yourself!" He said. A person appears behind him.

"Do not be afraid, Asuka Jr. I overheard you and that girl talking about hypnosis."

"So?"

"If you want, I can help you with that. Hypnosis is very powerful."

"No thanks. I don't take advice from strangers."

"Very well..." A medallion lies before him. It moves left and right, left and right, left and right. "Asuka Jr...you are getting sleepy. Very sleepy. When I say 3 you will sleep. 1...2..3!" He's knocked out. "Now, listen carefully..." While the shadowy figure is telling him what to do, he just nods. "Good. When I say three, you will wake up and will remember nothing today, but what I told you to do. 1...2..3!" He wakes up.

"Huh? Where the heck am I?" He said to himself. He heads home.

The next day...day 6...

"Good morning, Seira," the girls said as she approached them.

"Morning, everyone. Meimi, could I speak to you for a moment?"

"Sure." They step away. "Yeah?"

"We have another one."

"All right. I'm ready."

"We'll meet at our usual place." Then, Asuka Jr. comes in. Meimi looks at him. He seems...different. She walks over to him.

"Asuka Jr.? Are you Ok?"

"I'm fine. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you just seem different, that's all."

"You can tell just by looking at me?"

"Huh?"

"Haneoka, meet me after school. We need to talk."

"But I'm meeting up with Seira."

"It won't take long. I promise."

"..Ok."

After school, Meimi goes to Asuka Jr. first.

"Ok. You said it would be short."

"It will. Close your eyes."

"Why?"

"It's a surprise." She closes her eyes. "Don't peek. Keep them closed."

"Yeah, yeah. Get on with it."

"Ok." He holds her face. This made her eyes open.

"Huh?" 'He's trying to...kiss me! Am I dreaming? Should I let him?' His lips got closer. 'No. Something's not right...' She pushes him away. "I can't let you kiss me. What was it you wanted to talk to me about?"

"Haneoka, I...l--"

"Meimi!" Seira said, calling her from the chapel.

"Sorry, Asuka Jr. I gotta go." She runs off to Seira.

"What happened?"

"He tried to KISS me."

"Oh, my. That's wonderful!"

"No, it's not. Something's wrong with him."

"How can you tell?"

"I just can."

"Let's get to the lost lamb. Selena is an art dealer with a very high reputation. She takes her artwork very seriously and protects all of her work in a titanium vault. One day, when her masterpiece, the Rings of Great Art, was on display, the lights went out and her painting was gone. She thinks it's one of the rival art dealers, she mentioned a Melinda Hartbrake. She used to be her best friend in college, until she stole her artwork and claimed it to be hers. Unfortunately, Selena couldn't prove that it was hers since they drew a lot alike."

"So this Melinda is the one who stole it?"

"Well, since there were other artists there, she's not completely sure, but Melinda is #1 on her list of suspects."

"Hmm. So I can't exactly take this mission until something comes up about the picture. Do you have a picture of it?" She gives her the paper. "Wow. It's beautiful."

"Yes, it is. By the way, what do you think is wrong with Asuka Jr.?"

"He's not acting like himself, so I'm guessing he's been hypnotized."

"But you can't--"

"I know. I'm hoping he'll break from the trance." She went home. Her door was locked. She forgot her keys this morning! Now, she was locked out the house, so she did a little Saint Tail trick, tossing a card at the crack of the door. It opens. When she goes inside, she's shocked to see a stranger in her house. "Who are you!?"

"Meimi, long time, no see. You still look the same."

"You're that guy who called here a few days ago..."

"Yep. That was me. Meimi, what are so afraid of?"

"I don't know who you are, for one. And second, where are my parents?"

"They went out somewhere. They told not to let anyone in and keep the door locked. I guess they forgot that you were still in school at the time."

"Now you're really starting to act like..."

"Asuka Jr..?"

"Yeah."

"Glad to see you've calmed down. I'm no stranger. You just haven't seen me in years."

"Um...Ok..."

"You...really don't remember me, do you?"

"No."

"Meimi, I am your cousin, Alex."

"Alex?"

"Yeah. Still don't remember?"

"Nope."

"What if I did this?" He disappeared. Her eyes went wide. 'He...he can disappear like dad!' she thought. "I didn't disappear, Meimi. I'm right behind you." She turns around. There he was.

"AH!"

"Sorry if I startled you."

"So you're my cousin?"

"From America, yes."

"No wonder I don't remember you."

"Right. I came here to Japan once before to meet my uncle, your father, who had a small, shy, 3-year-old child. Since then, we've kept in touch, but not often. Maybe once or twice a year."

"That was over 10 years ago..."

"Yeah. Time flew by pretty fast."

"How old are you?"

"18."

"What!? You're OLDER than me?"

"Is that bad?"

"Well, no." Then, her parents came in. "Mom! Dad!"

"Oh, so you two have met again, huh?"

"Dad, could I speak with you?"

"Sure." She grabs her father. "What's up, Meimi?"

"Why can he disappear like you? You haven't even taught ME that trick yet!"

"I'm sorry, Meimi, but just like you, he asked at an early age and he's been practicing ever since. Just like you."

"Oh."

"Come on, Meimi." Her cousin said.

"Where are we going?"

"To Asuka Jr.'s house." She blushed. "You Ok?"

"Why are we heading there?"

"Well, you keep saying that I act like him, so I wanna see him for myself."

"Um...Ok." They walked out and headed for Asuka Jr.'s house.

"You sure you're Ok?" her cousin asked again.

"Yes."

"How long have you known him?"

"A few years."

"Oh. So you know a lot about him, then."

"Actually, no."

"Really? Weird."

"It's not as weird as you."

"I'll take that as a compliment." They approached his house. "So this is it, huh?"

"Yeah."

"Well, let's go. Introduce me to him." She knocks on the door. His father answers it.

"Yes? Oh, you're Asuka's friend."

"Yes. Is he here?"

"Yeah. Just a sec. Son, your friend is here!" He comes down seconds later at the front door.

"Haneoka? What are you--"

"Someone wanted to meet you."

"Ok...and he is...?"

"Oh! I'm sorry, Alex, this is Asuka Jr. Asuka Jr., this is Alex."

"Nice to finally meet you," he said, shaking hands with the detective. "Meimi has told me so much about you."

"Has she?" She blushes. "What brings you over, Alex?"

"She said that we act alike."

"Really? How is that?"

"I don't know. Ask her."

"Haneoka?"

"Well, it's just that you two seem to like...figuring things out."

"Well, I guess we do have something in common." Asuka Jr. said, agreeing.

"Hmm. Meimi, let me speak to him alone."

"Um, Ok." She leaves them alone.

"How long have you known Meimi?"

"A few years. Why?"

"Well, since you've known her for so long, I was wondering if you could give some advice on her likes and dislikes."

"Well, she wouldn't like it that I was giving off information about her. How long have you known her?"

"A few years. Just like you."

"So, you two have been--"

"She didn't tell you? I had went to America throughout grade school and middle school. Now, I've come back to take her with me to America."

"WHAT!? And she agreed to this?"

"You seem pretty upset, Asuka Jr."

"It's Daiki."

"Ok. If she left with me right now, you would miss her?"

"Of course I would. She's my friend."

"Hmm. And if I...let's say...KISSED her..." Asuka Jr.'s really flared up. "Would you punch me?"

"If she didn't seem like she wanted it, yes I would."

"You like her, don't you?"

"I don't need anyone butting into my personal life. Especially someone I don't know."

"I'll take that as a yes. Should I tell her?"

"What? You wouldn't..."

"Why not? I think she should know before we leave for America, don't you?"

"..."

"Don't worry. I won't tell her...under one condition..."

"What?"

"You have to tell her yourself. She's means more to me than anyone. So, if you even hurt her in any way, you'll regret it. Got that?"

"Likewise, pal."

"Good. Nice to have met you, Asuk--Daiki."

"Right." He meets up with his cousin.

"What did you two talk about?"

"Meimi, tell me something."

"Sure. What?"

"How would you feel if Asuka Jr. liked you?"

"What? Why would you ask that?"

"Just a question. C'mon, Meimi. You can tell me anything. I will never tell a soul. If you want, I'll share a dark secret about myself. A secret for a secret."

"...Ok. If Asuka Jr. liked me..." Then she remembered Asuka Jr. trying to kiss her. "Alex, he tried to kiss me today."

"Oh yeah. That's right. My fault."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Well, I kinda came earlier this morning and overheard you two talking. So I..hypnotized him."

"You did that to him?"

"I'm sorry. Truly sorry. But it didn't take much for him to agree with what I asked for him to do."

"You told him to kiss me?"

"You didn't want him to kiss you?" She blushes. "So what was the problem?"

"You were controlling him! If he's gonna do it, I want him to do it without any help."

"So you do like him?"

"Yes, Ok?"

"Well, how do you think he feels about you?"

"I don't know."

"All right. I guess it's my turn. Ask me anything."

"I don't what to ask."

"Ok. I'll just let you know something. Come close." She leans her ear towards his lips. "Closer." They're ear to lips now. "I can read people's minds." Her eyes went wide at that response.

"Really?"

"Yeah. Cool, huh?"

"How?"

"Well, I meditated for a year straight. Hearing everything around me. Then my hearing got so well, I could hear people from Japan. It has been improving and now, I can hear people's thoughts."

"Wow."

"Anything else you'd like to know?"

"How long are you staying?"

"Oh, they didn't tell you? I'm living with you all now."

"WHAT!?"

"Yep. I've got my own room and everything. You don't want me to stay, Meimi? 'Cause if you don't, I'll gladly--"

"I didn't mean it like that. I was just surprised. That's all."

"Glad to hear it. While you're at school, I'll be at work."

"Work? Where?"

"Some telemarketing thing. I don't know. All I have to do is answer phones and give information."

"Sounds pretty easy."

"Yeah. I know."

"One more question."

"Shoot."

"Why are you here? Why now?"

"Parents kicked me out."

"Oh. I'm so sorry."

"In America, your parents expect you to have a job and, at least, an apartment to live in. Or a car."

"Hmm."

"Meimi?"

"Yeah?"

"At your school, I saw this girl dressed in white by that church next to your school."

"Huh? White...oh! You mean Seira?"

"Seira. Even her name is beautiful."

"I'm sorry, Alex. One, you're too old for her and two, she's not interested."

"Shimatta."

"You wanna go meet her?"

"No. Let's go home." They went home.

"Well, how do you like your cousin?" Her mom asked.

"He's weird, but he's my cousin."

"Glad to hear it...I think." Meimi runs up to her room.

To Be Continued...