* 'CLAMP Campus Detectives' belongs to CLAMP and others who own it. I only own the plot, so please don't sue. This is my first fan-fic. Enjoy!
Did you ever wonder?
When will your loving ones die?
I've lost my mother at the age of seven.
Did you ever wonder?
What will happen after your loving ones die?
My father died yesterday night.
The girl stared and gaped at the woman's face with despair and agony.
Well not actually the woman's face because her face is always hidden with a fan.
"Please forgive me, Kotobuki san." said Rijicou with sorrow.
'This child is carrying so much loss.' thought Rijicou quietly. "I am sorry about your loss...again." she added sympathetically.
"What are you sorry for? It is not your fault, and besides..."Kira started to think about something that might cheer her up. "This is not the first time I lost someone precious." Kotobuki Kira just wanted to cry and crouch down to the floor, but she cannot in front of this rich woman who was her parents' old friends. "I swear. I'm fine Imonoyama san. I'll just pack my stuff since I have to catch a plane for Japan."
"Are you sure you can pack all your stuff all alone? I have brought some maids to help you." offered Rijicou with motherly concern.
Kira stared at her small room with a narrow gaze. 'Damn it, the tears are trying to come out. I've gotta be alone. Fast.'
"Nope. I can do it on my own. I packed all my stuff by myself when I left Japan anyway." Kira muttered those words with cold civility and speed in order to get rid of this kind and gentle lady.
"Then I will wait for you at the living room." said Rijicou when she felt the cold message from the young youth's face.
As soon as she shut the door behind her, whimpering sounds came from inside the room.
'Poor, poor girl.' she sighed and walked slowly up the short corridor.
Kira cried and cried until her eyes hurt like it was filled with blood. Her eyes felt like they were going to pop out with blood and salty water. This wasn't fair. This was just so unfair! How can she lose her father too? He promised! He promised he will come back to her. He swore he will come back.
"Um, Hendrickson san?" a younger, seven year old Kotobuki Kira looked up at her foreigner house keeper.
"Yes Kira chan?" the house keeper looked down at the child with his usual nicey nice gaze.
"Why are we going to Denmark, I mean to your house? Plus, why are we leaving daddy alone in Tokyo?" asked Kira with sincere curiosity.
"Your father ordered all of his maids and helpers including me," Hendrickson quoted 'including me' with great indignity. "Your father told me to go back to our own places. Which for me is Denmark, and he also ordered me to take care of you." He has told this same statement over and over in the taxi and now he was saying it again in the airport. "And as for your father, he decided to stay in Japan."
"But, why? I want him to come with me. I want to ask him where my mom's gone, Hendrickson san!" she exclaimed in her highest voice. "Please, I want to see my daddy, or is he drunk again?" she questioned carefully. She didn't want to touch her house keeper's nerve.
"Look at me Kira chan. Look at me straight in the eye." The tired and old gray gaze met the brilliant and innocent amber ones.
"Your mother passed away. She's gone. She's not coming back. Never. My mistress died and that is why your father who is my master," he thumped his aged chest "keeps drinking and that is why his company failed!" He knew he have gone too far with his young 'could've been' mistress. Why did his gentle and kind mistress have to die? She made him in to a job-less, helpless, and retired old man. Worse, his master just dumped his cute, adorable, and innocent daughter into his care! If Kotobuki san really did care about his daughter, he should go on with his life without his wife and spend more time with his only child instead of closing his great Kotobuki company and hang out at the pub every day and night.
Kira's round amber eyes grew rounder at the old man's stinging words. "So it was true then. The maids told me that, but I didn't believe them. I thought they were just lying and making their own little joke." Kira said with a voice that was no louder than a whisper. Her childish mind just couldn't adjust the fact that her mother did die, and that her life wouldn't be the same again. She would live with Hendrickson san in his homeland Denmark, and leave everything behind. A silent tear rolled down her pink cheeks, and she could feel Hendrickson san's warm, thin arms wrap around her chubby, soft ones.
"I'm sorry," the old man murmured his apologies. 'What will happen now? How was he supposed to take care of this loving child, when he was so old and tired?' Then, he could feel something soft and soothing against his sallow and pale cheeks. It was something that he will call the lips of an angel'.
Kira gave a quick kiss on the aged man's cheeks. "It's okay, Hendrickson san. At least we will have each other, right? Besides, I'll get to see Nokoru kun too. He is a charming friend. You'll like him instantly if you just meet him!" She said these words as if these words were the only cheerful facts she could grasp right now. She didn't introduce herself properly to Nokoru either. He might not remember her because she didn't tell him her name yet, but he was the only best friend she had in Tokyo.
"Listen, Kira chan. I need to tell you this. You won't see the youngest Imonoyama zabitsu anymore." He hated himself going on about this tragic conversation.
"He's not too dead too? Is he?" At her former house keeper's words, her eyes spilled more tears and her pinkish lips were almost parted into a wail. Her hands made a tight fist. If this man was going to say that Nokoru was dead, she might throttle him without control. Her body shook uncontrollably.
James Hendrickson held Kira's arms tight. "No, no Kira chan he is not dead. He is alive and well, so is his family." He could feel Kira's sweet breath sigh with relief, and her body stop shaking. "But." Kira's body tensed again. "Kira chan, he could've been you're fiancé. No, do not interrupt. It means that he could've been you're husband when you two get older. If you're mother didn't pass away you could've had a happy life with him. You loved him, didn't you?" Kira nodded her head vigorously. He liked this part about young children. Their feelings were simple and straight-forward, and not complicated like his own. "Kira chan, when you're mother went to heaven, your father lost all the money he had and the planned engagement between you and the young Imonoyama san broke, and you are in a different social class with him now. Forgive me."
"I'm fine, Hendrickson san, really!" She made a comforting grin on her face and made pouty lips which always made adults coo over her. "I am glad that he is fine. I was so worried. It doesn't matter that I won't get to see him. It doesn't matter that he won't be friends with me anymore because I'm poor now." Kira paused at the word 'poor'. "It doesn't matter if he makes another best friend. It doesn't matter if he forgets me over time," Kira looked straight into her house keeper's eyes, "because I will always remember him."
As she packed her stuff while she tried to brush away her tears away from her long hair, she tried hard not to think about Nokoru. He won't remember her, and she was nothing to him now. She clicked her suitcase with sudden anger and regret. She knew the fact that she loved him so much and that she had to let him go and get on with her own life. Her small and cozy bedroom will be missed so much. The fact that she will go back to Tokyo, the place she never wanted to go back, made a big lump in her throat. Such memories. She thought nobody cared about her in Japan. Why did Rijicou have to come now? Why before? Her belongings were not much, so her suitcase wasn't so heavy. Unlike last time.
"Now, where is that harp?" Kira said to herself as she rubbed the last tear drops away from her cheeks. Her harp was the one who soothed the painful memories out of her when she came to Denmark. It was also the only birthday present she got in Denmark from Hendrickson san. After she left Tokyo, she moved in to Hendrickson san's childhood home, a small cottage in a simple village away from the busy streets and noisy cars in Copenhagen. In the cottage, she have made a lot of freinds in the local country side school, and she was quite reluctant to leave. Still, the thought that she was at least was going to see Nokoru again made her heart full of hopes.
"There it is!" She said it pretty loudly. She reached for the rosewood harp inside her homemade closet. The rhythm it made when she plucked some strings was beautiful. This harp became her best friend when she left Nokoru. She sang a small tune.
Don't claim to know much~
Bout' the turning of the tides~
People they come and go leave a trace~
Oh, but you are certainty, question marks have faded~
"Good that I practiced everyday." Kira murmured with a little smile curling on her lips, as she packed her harp in its' case with her books and letters. 'Clothes can be packed later. Memories are more important,' she thought as she flipped through the photos of her and her school freinds smiling broadly in front of the cottage. I will miss you. She packed the photo album with force as if she didn't want her freinds' smiles get stuffed with all her belongings. "Now the clothes," Kira's slender legs walked slowly towards her plain, white closet. The closet doors creaked a little bit when she opened it. She went shopping very rarely to the local shopping malls with her freinds. 'Maybe that is why they thought I was just a freaky harpist, but I'm just not interested on shopping.' Kira thought quietly as she pulled out her simple and cheap clothes out of their clothing rack. Some of them were too small for her. "I guess I should give these to Rosemary chan." Kira chuckled as she thought of the twelve year old girl who lived across the road of the cottage.
After she packed all her stuff in her black and white suitcase, she placed her right hand on the door knob, and shifted her gaze slowly towards the room. Her redwood desk and a matching chair which was made by a friendly carpenter in the neighbor hood, the large book case that got most of the space in her bedroom, her old closet which was stuffed with memories just minutes ago, and her bed which had covers that matched the curtains, all of them looked so far away. She could've just lived here for the rest of her life if her father didn't die, but she just had to let these go and move on with her life in Japan, where she really belong.
'Creak', and the door opened. Kira's heartbeat ran so fast when she turned herself away from the room and never looked back.
The rattling of the suitcase wheels told Rijicou that Kira was done packing and crying. Rijicou had been sipping her tea slowly with the aged man and discussed about Kira. She wanted to end this meeting quickly because she didn't want Kira to overhear grown-up talk. "Hendrickson san I promise that I will raise Kira like a child of my own. It's just bad that I couldn't find her in the first place after the accident." Rijicou's red lips curved into an apologetic smile.
"I know that you will care for Kira better than me. I won't be her legal guardian because of my health anyway." The old man coughed twice after he sipped his tea. "So, you will take her in?" he asked.
"Yes, that is the original plan, sir. Her father regretted his life at his deathbed, and he asked me and my husband to take care of Kira. You know I will never say no to an old friend's favor. Anyway, she could've been a part of my family," she added softly. "Trust me, Hendrickson san. I am grateful of your parentage for Kotobuki san. My children will welcome her too, I can explain."
"Rijicou san?" The older woman almost dropped her fan at Kira's sudden appearance. "Oh, yes Kotobuki san, the limo is in front of the cottage. "Saku san?" She asked her driver. "Will you help this young lady load her suitcases in the trunk?" "Of course, mistress," come the answer. When Kira followed the burly driver outside of the house, Rijicou quickly turned her fan-covered face towards the elder.
"Well, then I will leave a maid who will help out in the cottage. Please do not worry about Kotobuki san, Hendrickson san," as she assured him, she walked gracefully towards the wooden door. "But it won't be the same without her," Imonoyama san, came the low voice of Hendrickson. "She is a present from heaven, from my beloved mistress, 'Hamasaki Suzuki' san."
These words touched Rijicou's heart. 'This man really did care about Kotobuki san and her family. How touching," she looked up at the full moon that was shining brightly in the night sky. "I'm deeply jealous of you, for you always loyal house keeper and daughter, Kotobuki san." A shooting star flew across the stars and vanished in the blink of an eye. "Thanks for answering," came the soft reply beneath the Imonoyama fan.
Meanwhile outside of the house, Kira was saying good-byes with her Danish freinds, all of them teary eyed. "I'll miss you so much Kira!" a red-hedded girl with freckles exclaimed. "You know that I will come back at summer vacation, so don't cry. It makes me feel like I'm a bad guy in those cowboy movies we watched last week, Janie." Janie dabbed her green eyes with a pink handkerchief and made a muffled laugh. "Yeah, those movies were really funny." "Promise that you'll visit us in summer vacation! If you don't come, we'll fly over to Japan and drag you all the way to Copenhagen," a pretty looking girl with a short height said sarcastically. "I swear I'll come back, Lizzy, no matter what." Kira promised and sighed silently. 'They clearly don't know why I am going to Japan.' "Who will stand up to Kat and her gang at school when Kira is gone? Kira was the only one who never dropped a tear in front of mean old Kat's jeers," said Janie, still weeping in her handkerchief. "If that scardey 'Kat," Kira made sarcastic cat noises at the word 'Kat' "pees in her sleeping bag again, swear you'll tell me right away. "Right, guys?" Kira joked trying to pull back her tears. 'How can I leave my BFFs and survive my new school in Japan?'
Kira's eyes trailed from her freinds to a man with a big belly. "Joseph! You came!" Kira's voice sounded like a high-pitched squeak. "Of course, I came. How am I supposed to get on with my carpenter duties when my favorite apprentice leave? Oh, Kira I will miss you." Then, he embraced Kira into a back breaking hug. Her gray hoody got stained because of Joseph's dirty apron, but she didn't mind a bit. "Thanks for teaching me how to make wood crafts and art. You taught me so hard and you didn't even accept my lesson fee," said Kira politely with her usual friendliness. "No need. I taught you all those skills because I wanted to, and I kind of enjoyed having you around, since I have no kids." Joseph said and grunted his usual happy grunt. "Well, I was and always will be your best pupil won't I? I aced Tech-ed at school because of you," Kira replied his grunt with a snort, "and I'll always keep the harp," she added.
Tears ran down Joseph's bulky cheeks and Kira rubbed his cheeks with her handkercheif. She grinned. They were always like this. Like the relationship between Harry and Hagrid in 'Harry Potter'. After she cleaned all the tears from Joseph's cheeks she spotted a small, shy girl beside Joseph. She looked more tiny than usual compared to Joseph's burly figure. "Oh, Rosemary," Rosemary has been her first friend in Denmark. Even though she was still in middle school and four years younger than her, she still thought of her as her best, best friend in would be so lonesome if she gets parted from Rosemary. Rosemary was especially close to her because she was the first victim whom Kira rescued from Kat's gang. "These are for you." Kira handed her outgrown clothes to Rosemary's petite arms. "Are these really for me?" Rosemary asked, her deep blue eyes stretching wide. "Of course silly, how can I ever wear these clothes when it only fits on a skinny person like you?" Kira said in an amusing manner which made Rosemary's childish smile grow broader. "Oh, thank you. Actually Janie, Lizzy, Joseph, and me prepared a gift for you." Rosemary's usually closed lips opened as she handed a small box wrapped in pink and lavender colored paper. "You shouldn't have," said Kira, but she eagerly stretched her arms delicately towards the present.
She un-wrapped the paper and opened the box. "She is beautiful," was all she could say. In the box, was the most elegant and graceful looking doll made in one hundred percent soft fabric. Her dress was the color of sky blue with with laces on the edges. Kira could tell that the doll was very expensive because of its mouth-watering silk dress and petticoat, and its' face! This doll was fair and handsome enough to be rivals with the prettiest Barbie doll in the mall. The doll had turquoise greenish-blue eyes that were Kira guessed, real emeralds. Its' nose was small and carefully drawn, and the lips made a mysterious curve on the edge of her lips which was similar to the smile of Mona Lisa. Last of all, her hair was the same as Kira's, chocolaty brown color that had a sweet aroma which couldn't be produced by any perfume in the world. Its' wavy hair came down neatly down to its' waist and the hair was clipped in a diamond sparkling silver ribbon.
"This would've cost a fortune!" Kira exclaimed after she thought she gasped and opened her mouth enough. "Yup, it did, but it's worth it," Lizzy's voice sounded so comforting and soothing. "Thanks guys. Thank you so much. I love it. I admire it. I adore it. I just can't describe this gift in any possible adjective." Kira hugged the doll like the way Joseph hugged her. "What should I name her?" Kira asked curiously. "It must be a name that is good enough for her," she murmured with an eyebrow raised as she brainstormed for a perfect name. "Here we go again." Janie, Lizzy, Joseph, and Rosemary whispered to each other. They all knew Kira's intense curiosity and her urge to answer unimportant questions. After a few more minutes of Janie and Lizzy's sniggering, Joseph's shaking of his head, and Rosemary's silent giggle, Kira snapped her fingers which made all of her four freinds jump in surprise. "I know what to name her!" Kira almost yelled out the words and made a fist as if she was speeching in front of the president. "What?" Rosemary asked, full of curiosity in her pearly blue eyes.
When Kira tried to answer Rosemary's question, Kira felt a warm touch on her right shoulder. "Um, Kira chan." It was Hendrickson who was breathing heavily from the cold evening air. "Can I speak to you for a moment, in private?" Kira knew that he wanted to make this conversation very quickly, and looked at Rosemary to see if she was disappointed of the ignorance of her question. However, Kira could only see understanding in Rosemary's innocent expression. "Sure," she replied. The two of them went out into the backyard. The familiar scent of Lilies, Tulips, and Daisies wafted through her, as she gazed at Hendrickson with deep respect. Hendrickson was scenting at the pansies she planted them months ago. "Did you know that you are very similar to these pansies? Pleasant to be with, pretty, and strong even." Kira cocked her head to one side. "Why strong?" She asked the wise old man. "Pansies are usually planted in autumn and have to survive the bitter winter in order to bloom in spring. How can I not call them strong?" Hendrickson answered. "Why do you think I'm strong? I'm just a goofy teenager." Kira retorted. "You had to bear so much pain and agony to survive in such a young age like this pansy flower." Hendrickson said wisely. "I couldn't have survived it if you didn't stay with me all along, Hendrickson san." Kira replied, gently putting her arm around his weak shoulders. "Will you wait for me? Promise me. Wait for me always like you did for nine long years," she pleaded. "I promise," come the soft reply, and then he added. "But I swear, if you come back here in the summer for a visit, you won't need me anymore."
Kira almost burst into tears. "Don't say that. Nobody can make me comforting except for you!" She almost screamed these words. "I love you, Kira chan, but remember. You don't really mean those words. You are thinking of someone else. Someone who you trust so much." Kira again was surprised as she discovered the truth in his words and thought of a blond haired and blue eyed boy she will never have. "Oh, I have a gift for you." Hendrickson suddenly changed the subject when he saw the sadness in Kira's face as he handed her a golden chain that held a gleaming locket. "I should've gave you this earlier, but I decided to give this to you today, and this is actually you're parents' gift. It is a sign that you are a true Kotobuki. Remember who you are." After he finished saying his business, he walked swiftly away from Kira as if he was trying hard not to beg to the young girl to stop her from leaving. Kira stared at Hendrickson's back in a dumbfounded expression. Slowly, she opened the locket that was imprinted in Japanese, 'The person whom I love.' When the locket made a quiet 'click' noise, Kira could feel her childhood memories all around her. The left side of the locket held a picture of herself, her mother, and father, but it was also very odd. The right side of the locket didn't hold any photo. It was empty.
"Kira! The limo will leave without you, if you are just going to stand there!" At the sound of her freinds' loud voices, Kira whipped her head around and ran towards the long, white, and sparkling limousine. Holding her doll in one hand and the locket in the other, she scrambled into the limousine as she yelled good-byes to her freinds. "You'll see them again." Rijicou assured Kira with her fan-free hand. "Arigato gozaimasu, but I'll still miss them." Kira added solemnly as she listened to the limousine's engine starting and the tires roaring into loudly. "You will make freinds at CLAMP school too. Don't worry." Rijicou said with understanding and kindness she usually showed to children. "Yes, I hope." Kira wanted to make Rijicou think she was extremely grateful for Rijicou's kind heart. As she watched Rosemary running and waving at her frantically, Joseph yelling 'Take care', Lizzy and Janie crying, and Hendrickson san weeping like a young man for once. When the figures of them disappeared, Kira shifted her head towards her doll. 'I'll name you 'Memory'. In the behalf of beloved relationships that helped me through so many hardships. How can I have better freinds than Hendrickson, Janie, Lizzy, Joseph, and Rosemary? Nobody in Japan will be able to make a bond with me as you guys, but maybe....' Kira paused. 'Maybe there will be an exception.'