Disclaimer: If Flame of Recca was truly mine, Recca would stand up to Yanagi and Kurenai would still be alive and Mori Kouran would be dead by the first book and the setting would most likely have been in Hokage Village with a Playstation and fridge and television somewhere…
Disclaimer for the Disclaimer: I must admit that I got some of it from darling Sansele ^.^
I'm so so so so so so so so so so so so so sorry that I took so long just to get this done up…the truth is, all my files were completely lost and I only found out about it like…last week?… *sniff*and I had some crap I wanted to post up back there…
Oh well…I guess that doesn't do very much for how long you guys hadta wait…I'm terribly sorry…
Note: I figured that Koganei probably met and knew Kurenai because Kurei didn't yet have the scar when he found Koganei.
Fuuko's scream jolted me awake.
On the bed which my head was once lid upon, Ganko had evidently wasted no time. She was gripping the sheets, hard. As though she had just got a bad nightmare.
"Fuuko-nee..." was all that passed through her lips and she shook me. Prompting me to go and see. Well, I would have…no, I was going to…but…
But she's with Raiha and Joker and even Koganei's in there. And she trusts all of them, even bed-ridden Kurei, my mind replied. I brushed it away immediately. I was just being an ass sitting here and doing nothing.
I got up and pulled Ganko along with me. She wanted to go anyhow. I could tell. And if anything, Fuuko would want her newly adopted little sister to be there – whatever had just happened. I doubted it could be seriously dangerous; Fuuko did have her Fuujin with her.
So we hurried over to the next room, observing that there were some nurses heading there too. Expected. What was Fuuko thinking when she let out such a loud cry? The whole hospital must have heard her scream.
The moment the door was in front of me, I grabbed the doorknob and headed into the darkness within. The door slammed behind me and I locked it, wanting no interference from those nurses outside. I sudden thought struck me and I wondered how that heated head nurse was going to respond to all of this. First, a demand to stay over from Raiha and Joker. Then, a nice little confrontation with me that most likely embarrassed her. She would be so happy to be able to get back at us. I certainly wasn't looking forward to that.
The light switch was on, but I still could barely see anything. Bits of black were swirling all over the room and oozing to the center of it. I had seen this before, and I knew what was coming. But I thought it was real stupid of that moron to pick such a time and place for this. And he probably didn't even know where he was going to land anyway.
Fuuko looked as though she had been brutally beaten onto the ground as she stared in shock and wonder. I doubted that it was at the fact that Kagerou-san was just using her madougu. I vaguely remember them calling her out in the dark old warehouse when Yanagi-san had first been taken hostage by Kurei, or Koganei and that detestable Mokuren rather.
Speaking of which, Mori Kurei himself was already awake and propped against a pillow, not at all surprised, it seemed, that dark colours were swirling about his room, giving it an ominous feel. In fact, his bodily reactions make it seem as though he were enjoying it, like it was his entertainment.
Ganko's hand had tightened into a fist in my palm and she clung on tightly to me. I understood fully what she was trying to get at. She didn't care about Kagerou-san's arrival or Kurei waking up at that particular moment. Her 'Fuuko-nee' was more important.
As I brought her nearer to Fuuko, the shadows formed into a single circle. Soon, a cheery, annoying ninja, sweet-looking girl, and rather old (but didn't look it) lady were dropped unceremoniously onto the ground.
"Hey everybody! Missed me?" Somebody should whack him soon. Fuuko seemed to have seen the light as she got up real fast and kicked Recca hard on the butt.
"Baka! Where do you think this is? This is a hospital, not some Urabattousatsujin where you can drop your ass as and when you want to! There are other people about in this place yannoe?" She delivered a swift punch to his head and then noticed Yanagi. She had the graces to help the clueless girl up.
Speaking of other people, the nurses were still probably buzzing angrily themselves. Hospital policies told me that they were holding back the urge to bang down the door and shoot a needle at us.
"Oh, you're awake," Recca had remembered his purpose of visit as he strutted up to his half-brother, cockily. "I thought they told me that your eyes were shut close and wouldn't open no matter how much they willed them to." Neon, who had by this time awoken, shot him a very dark look. It reminded me of the time when we had injured Miki in the fight, but this one had a bit more dislike in it.
"Recca," Kurei's voice was slightly crack, but nonetheless still as deep as before as he regarded the younger boy that stood before him, "You are an idiot."
Great, tell me something I don't already know.
Raiha and Joker seemed to be more alert as they stepped forward, completely ignoring the moron. Raiha greeted his master with a bow and a "Kurei-sama". Joker grinned (fang hanging out) and said, "Oi, Kurei-han, was wondering when you intended to wake up."
Koganei was fully awake and Ganko too.
"Ganko, Koganei," Kurei had realized their presence even though they were in the shadows. He motioned for the two of them to go to him. They did, reluctantly. Kurei screamed 'authority'. "Raiha, Joker, Neon." Each Uruha ( and ex-Uruha) came forward as their names were called.
When they were all surrounding his bed (the moron kinda peeved for being ignored), his voice turned to a low whisper. I couldn't hear what he said, but it must have been unexpected, even Raiha nearly gasped.
Mmm…dreams of Kurei-sama, Kurei-sama and no one else filled my mind. He wasn't half-dead and asleep on a white, alcohol-smelling hospital bed. No, he was right beside me in the rose garden where he used to live. Where we used to live, with Kurenai-sama.
Life was sweet, pleasurable. Everything was perfect and happy, except for occasional quarrels and violence between acclaimed father and son, nothing else was wrong. I watered the garden of roses, tending to them as if they were my own children, and Aki and Miki alongside me. Raiha would pass by and greet us with a smile, sometimes even bring back gifts from town. Kurei-sama and Kurenai-sama had their private moments in the garden, laughing and chatting about any and everything under the sun.
Yes, those were our sweet memories. Kurei-sama's smile is really a prize. You don't see it often, but it can cheer up your day by just one glance. Even if he wears those strange earrings or that purple lipstick that he's fond of. I never thought that it was a wonder that Raiha, a seemingly innocent ninja who wants nothing more than to make people happy, would be with him and follow his every command. It's no wonder that he has, had his Uruha Jyushinshu.
Then it came.
It was inevitable.
Kurenai-sama's death was bound to come.
Kurei-sama, denying that he felt anything towards her, doing everything in his power to keep her safe, even if it meant denying his love for her and hurting her, hurting himself. He would do anything to make sure she was alright: getting abused by Mori Kouran, calling her names in front of his "Father" that even I cannot bear to mention.
But alas, Mori won. He won with that slyness, that heartlessness, that evil that resides within him. It was so cruel, the way he made Kurei-sama suffer. Very cruel indeed. Torn from his foster mother at ten, unable to see her, forced to be Mori's dog, and even when he met the special someone he could love, Kurei-sama was banned from what was so right. Both the women that meant so much to him had a tiny bomb placed near their hearts. Their lives were in that monster's hands. They stood no chance.
I watched, horrified as Kurenai-sama freed herself from Mori's henchmen and ran to Kurei-sama, who was being badly beaten up. She held him close and said if they needed to fight, then beat her, not him. He flung her aside, coldly saying that his emotions no longer existed. I was completely stunned when Mori challenged Kurei-sama to kill her. Not only I, I could tell that restrained Raiha and Kurei-sama had the exact same reactions.
'Well, go on!" His evil laughter rang in the place. Kurei-sama was trembling, eyes wide with shock. My heart racing, wishing badly that all of it weren't true a bad dream that would go away soon. Then Mori spoke again: 'Even if you can't do it, it still has to be done…"
A click of a mechanism.
A flash of light.
Blood splattered all about in an instant second.
My eyes shot open to a sound of someone screaming. It wasn't a horrified scream…it was…crazy…?
There were dark colours swirling in the air, somehow reminding me of that dark, cold night… I reached for Kurei-sama's hand, but it was no longer there. Kurei-sama is awake!
There he was, propped comfortably against the headboard of the bed, hands folded in his lap, watching the strange array of colours as though it were a show for him. Cool and confident, that's my, erm, our Kurei-sama.
"Kurei-sama," I managed to gasp, watching his features in dark room. He noticed that I was there, even though he didn't turn to face me. I could tell. I think he knew even before I spoke.
"Hn. What a grand entrance for an idiot," was the first thing he said. I giggled a little; it was rare that Kurei-sama quipped. The shadows were disturbing though, even if Kurei-sama was right beside me. I watched as Hanabishi Recca, Sakoshita Yanagi and Kagerou were flung out of the gathered shadows, plopped onto the floor.
"Hey everybody! Missed me?" Annoying as ever, I could see. That smirk constantly on his face, smug as ever. I briefly wondered why Kurei-sama never got down to giving him a good whipping. If anything, I always believed that he got too much fun in his life. But I kind of envy his kind of life. His life, not him.
I was glad when Kirisawa Fuuko got to kicking him hard on the rump. A glance at Kurei-sama told me that he was enjoying all this, totally. Then she started to shout at him. Not a good thing. For Kurei-sama, for the other patients and for herself. Even if Hanabishi deserves it.
"Baka! Where do you think this is? This is a hospital, not some Urabattousatsujin where you can drop your ass as and when you want to! There are other people about in this place yannoe?"
My head grew a headache while she was ranting, giving him swift punches to accompany her point. I began massaging my temples, wondering whether she realized that she was being just as considerate as that baka was. The loud voice and constant sounds made by both Recca and the healing girl were almost enough to make me go completely mad. Kurei-sama watched, amused.
Finally, when the noises had stopped, I squinted my eyes open to see what happens next. I wasn't pleased at all as the ninja-wannabe approached to confront my…erm, Kurei-sama himself. I eyed him warily as he neared, cocky as ever.
"Oh, you're awake, I thought they told me that your eyes were shut close and wouldn't open no matter how much they willed them to." Fighting back the urge to throw a knife at him, I clutched the sheets tightly and sent a death-glare to him. If only looks could kill…
Kurei-sama didn't seem the least bit offended. In fact, a small grin was on his face as he regarded his younger brother and leaned back even more. He was treating this so lightly, and settling to be comfortable in the meanwhile.
"Recca," his voice, it was the same deep, husky voice with an irresistible edge to it. A slight hoarseness told me that he probably required some water, so I released grip of the sheets to pour a glass of water. While I did so, I listened to what else he had to say. It wasn't very enlightening, but proved that Kurei-sama wasn't in the mood to talk much, or the situation rather. The rest of his sentence went like this: "You are an idiot."
I think everyone in this room knows that, but just doesn't know the extent of the idiot that Hanabishi Recca is. I wish I could give them some clue of how real what Kurei-sama said was.
The creases between my brows faded as I saw Raiha step out of the shadows to meet his master. Faithful as ever, I knew that Raiha must have been up the whole time, just watching over Kurei-sama. I felt a tinge of guilt, knowing that I had fallen asleep whilst the ninja had not failed to protect our master. A smile graced his lips as he bowed, now relaxed at the fact that Kurei-sama was alright. "Kurei-sama," he murmured. There was a lot more to those two words than anyone could ever imagine. It said that the ninja was overjoyed to see that his master was in no current danger, that he had done his job for the time being, and many other pleasant meanings behind it. Kurei-sama gave a curt nod, as was his custom, but his pleased expression showed that he bestowed favour upon that lucky Raiha.
"Oi, Kurei-han, was wondering when you intended to wake up." I had not noticed the clown's presence. And upon hearing his court jester-like voice, I scowled. There were a million and one things I couldn't stand about Joker. One was his chivalric ways, another was the way he almost always never took anything seriously, even if it meant facing death. He was always grinning like a fool, just as he is right now, fang showing itself to the whole wide world. The third thing that pissed me off horridly was the fact that he never greeted people in the appropriate manner. Instead of a formal extension, he adds his annoying 'han's everywhere, using his heavy Kansai accent. And to top it all, he called Kurei-sama 'Kurei-han', making our master drop to his low level.
I glanced over to Kurei-sama to see his response to Joker's ways, he wasn't perturbed, at all. I know very well that Kurei-sama favours Joker a lot too. Although I don't know why and how he could do that ( not to mention feeling a tad bit jealous along the way), I let it go. One day, one day I'll question Kurei-sama and find out why. And before that day comes, and maybe perhaps even after it, I'll dislike Joker to no end.
Kurei-sama nodded at Joker, and then his focus was no longer on either of his Uruha, or his brother nor his visitors, it wasn't even on me, it was on someone else. Following his line of sight, I saw little Ganko huddled up next to the wind girl and Mikagami Tokiya. I hadn't noticed the presence of the puppet-wielder nor the Ensui-wielder. And only now had I realised that I hadn't known Kirisawa Fuuko was about, apart from her crazy scream that flung me straight out of my dream. Exactly how long had I been asleep?
He gazed at her, thoughtfully, whilst playing with something in his hand. It was Kata Kugutsu – Ganko's madougu. A puppet animator that would allow the wielder to control almost everything, including dead bodies. I peered at it curiously, wondering what could have possibly made the child do such a thing. I vaguely remembered the times when Ganko was still about. Back then, she was better known as Ganko-chan, and Katashira Reiran was her 'Kaasan'. She was a very sweet girl back then, I don't doubt she still is now. Constantly playing with her dolls and Reiran, so much so that it became kind of freaky. Although Ganko was a real crybaby and whined a plenty lot, she was extremely tolerable when in a good mood. She and Koganei were always together. In the garden, in the playroom, sometimes he would even put her to bed with an out-of-synch lullaby. They were truly brother and sister. And they still are, though now in Hokage instead of Uruha.
Kurei-sama's voice brought me out of reverie as he called her name. "Ganko." He motioned for her to near him, and she did so, very reluctantly. Kirisawa Fuuko eyed Kurei-sama cautiously before relenting her grip on Ganko and giving her a little push forward, muttering words that I could not hear from such a distance.
Once again, Kurei-sama was looking n another dark corner of the room. "Koganei." Of course, how could the boy not be here? Wherever Ganko went, so did Koganei. Same concept with Hokage. He was a living, breathing part of the now, and would probably be so, forever.
I watched as he stood up, clutching his Kougan Anki with white knuckles. He neared Kurei-sama with less reluctance then Ganko. It was easy to guess why. I heard that Koganei shared a very special bond with Kurei-sama before. I also heard that Kurei-sama saved his life – that was how Koganei came to join us, the Uruha. The training sessions that Koganei had with Kurei-sama as often as possible grew entertaining as the boy got better. At first, Koganei was so lousy that he was found on the losing side. After many tedious and physical straining training sessions did he get better, and cockier. Soon, he could defeat just about every other Uruha member. In fact, he could have become a Jyushinshu himself if he wasn't underaged.
I still remember what Joker said to me once during the final match of the Urabattousatsujin. 'That man is the most dishonest one. Always keeping his real emotions tucked away.' 'He did tell me to do away with Koganei, but he didn't tell me to kill him.'
"Raiha, Joker, Neon." I looked up quizzically and saw Raiha and Joker step forward beside the two younger ones. I felt awkward being the only one sitting down in such a relaxed manner, so I rose, only to be stopped by Kurei-sama's hand. I guess he knew that I was still tired. Giving him a slight nod, I handed him the glass of clear liquid that would hopefully do him much good.
As we gathered around him and waited for him to drink the water, I strangely remembered how Kurei-sama got into the hospital in the first place. It wasn't like he was ill or anything. No way, Kurei-sama is too strong for that, and his fighting spirit would have never gotten him into such a state.
Raiha, Joker and I had just returned from a very eventful grocery shopping. That baka had been wasting time by picking out plenty of unnecessary things. I would have whacked him hard if it wasn't for Raiha. So I hit the ninja instead. The moment we stepped foot into the house, the only thing on my mind was reporting back to Kurei-sama and getting to see him again. But the only thing I saw when I stepped into his study was his form slumped on the couch, rather peaceful.
I had thought nothing was wrong, the possibility that he was just taking a doze. But he never woke up, even until evening. I had thought it strange because Kurei-sama isn't always that tired and any normal person wouldn't have such a long period of sleep. I got real scared and called for Raiha to come and take a look. The baka ninja said to leave him alone and if he didn't awake by tomorrow, call for help – be it mortal help or not. He never woke up, so I called the ambulance, shaking with fear. That's how we all ended up here.
I snapped out of everything when I heard of soft slink of the glass against the wooden surface of the table. Kurei-sama sat up a little straighter as he addressed all of us.
"Kurenai came to me," he began, and I gasped. So did Raiha and Koganei. Nothing was heard from Joker nor Ganko. Naturally - they had never known Kurenai-sama. Raiha, and even Koganei were around when Kurenai-sama was still alive. "She wasn't in her flame form. No, she was in her real form."
"Ganko, Joker, you two have never met her before, nor seen her in her natural form. The flame image of Kurenai is nothing compared to her true form. Perhaps you might like to see her. She would like to meet you two too." Ganko and Joker nodded, not knowing what to say, I suppose. Frankly, I wouldn't know what to do either. I mean, if a dead person wanted to meet you, you'd be freaked too, right?
"But that would only be after your lives have ended." Phew, that sure is relieving. Kurei-sama managed a small smile as he saw Ganko's expression change. " She told me that she will leave me now, as I no longer need her. Jisho appeared later, telling me the exact same thing. He is proud of you, Raiha, Neon. And he says that you have done well in oath. Everything will be left in your hands now." As he mentioned our names, Kurei-sama gazed briefly at Raiha and I. "Koganei, Jisho sends his best regards to you." The Anki-wielder bowed a little. Jisho and he had been on extremely good terms before the betrayal. I suppose it's because Kurei-sama often called upon Jisho to train with the boy, as the Anki-wielder got more skilled.
"The Uruha and my Jyushinshu – they need not exist now. I have settled that with Kurenai in those long hours. From this moment onwards, the Uruha is disbanded. My Jyushinshu – I only have three now, no longer ten. And unless Raiha is willing to find another seven to complete the circle, I see no other reason for it to be around."
I swallowed hard. The Jyushinshu, disbanding? What was going to happen to us now? Our lives were spent solely on serving Kurei-sama. Now that the Uruha and Jyushinshu were going to disappear, what do we do?
"Neon," Kurei-sama brushed his hand against mine. I could feel a blush creep across my face as I stared back up into his purple orbs. "I merely said that Jyushinshu was to disband. I never said that you all had to leave me." I nodded understandingly at his soothing words. Kurei-sama nodded at both Raiha and Joker; they seem to fully understand him, unlike me. I bit my lip.
"Ganko," the little girl came forward as she was called. Kurei-sama played idly with the glass orb in his hands, and Ganko watched it curiously. "Arigato, I will not be needing this," he said as he handed the Kata Kugutsu back to its wielder. "Send Reiran my regards. The Uruha house, or my house rather, will always be open to you two."
Ganko took the orb, quickly yet gently. Muttering a word of thanks, she quickly retreated. I smiled understandingly; Ganko had never really had an intimate relationship with Kurei-sama. She was always with those dolls, even during training sessions or mealtimes. She was really fond of time, though I doubt she's that obsessed with dolls any longer.
"Koganei," the Anki-wielder stepped forward and grinned a little a Kurei-sama. He mouthed a 'Kurei' and fell silent. Kurei-sama expression became real gentle. He leaned over, just a little past me, and opened the last drawer which held his garments. His normal garments I mean. Like his cloak and belts and all. Finally, he fished out a cube-shaped thing. It was covered with squares of assorted colours. "You left this back in the mansion," said Kurei-sama as he held it out for Koganei to take. The boy took it, of course, and even set it back into place before we even knew it.
"Looks like I haven't lost my spark, ne, Kurei-nii." I was slightly taken aback at the brotherly name Koganei used on Kurei-sama, but was pleased all the same. So this was the bond they held. A brotherly bond held secret between them two.
Kurei-sama nodded and added, "You can always return to the mansion if you like. Some of your other toys are taking up unnecessary space."
Koganei grinned widely, imitating Joker.
"Arigato. Hontou ni arigato, Kurei."
~REALLY, THERE AIN'T ANYTHING ELSE~
~OH FINE. GO ON AND WASTE YOUR TIME. NOT LIKE IT'S MY PROBLEM~
Phew…finally. After thinking about this for so long, finally finished this story. How did you enjoy it, minna-san?
Flame me if it sucks, review if you possibly can, okay?
All reviewers. Gomen, I'm not the type who would specially type in a reply or two to you.
Other inspiring fanfic authors – you guys really make me wanna write better…if I could do so.
My brother – he is getting a PS2 today. Or so he hopes. Yesterday was his birthday, see? I can't wait to get Kingdom Hearts to play. His com is really fun to work with; it has got all sorts of cool stuff in it. Like anime for a start.
My sisters – for not being at home most of the time so I can hog the com. Oh yeah, my second sis wants to become an author too. But she doesn't know what to write about. -_-;;
Triggerhappy Maniac – did you guys know that she's my schoolmate? She hasn't finished her fanfic yet and apparently isn't about to finish it. I thank her for that. Gets me pretty pissed to see that she wasn't continuing it, thus giving me the will to press on and finish this one.
My kitchen – the food supplies are just great.
My telly – watching the World Cup is fun ^.^ anyone saw the match Brazil vs Belgium? I'm looking forward to England vs Brazil.
Cya soon!…mebbe not…
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