(A/N)- Tari! What the heck are you doing outside the Teen Titans section? You have two unpublished WIPs and at least three unwritten stories in the TO DO bracket and you need to update your "Fire and Ice" collection sometime! The heck are you thinking, veering off into a strange new baby fandom like this?
Well to be honest, I've been in a Bryce/Keiko mood lately. Two ideas just sorta popped into my head a while back and sat there looking at me begging me to write them. So I worked on one of them in between the spats of writer's block on my Script Frenzy.
So uh... yeah. I think this may be the only Bryce/Keiko fanfic in existance. Surprising, given how epically cute they are. But someone had to write about them eventually and I guess it just happened to be me. Here ya go. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Much as I'd love to own Flash Forward (or maybe just Keiko 'cause she's adorable and I love her), I do not, at this time, possess in my knowledge the rights to said show. Though my dad does haunt the blog of the guy who wrote the book.
She gazed out the window in awe, taking in the strange unfamiliar cityscape of Los Angeles, her new-found home as of that morning. It was pre-evening now, the sun hanging low in the western sky and splashing everything with a warm, radiant orange light.
A wide, excited smile graced her lips. She turned, shouldering her guitar, and made her way down the hall. Even though she'd managed in the hours between her arriving flight and now to find a small relatively cheap place to stay, it wasn't where she wanted to be right now.
She wanted to be at the restaurant. The place where she would meet... him.
Her feet practically flew as she slipped into the stairwell, descending the stairs that would lead her the to street outside.
She wandered, disoriented, straining her eyes to pick out the familiar landmarks from her flash forward. Throngs of people crowded her, traffic rang loudly in her ears, the snippets of a dozen different conversations she couldn't understand floated around her head. It was... dizzying. It almost gave her vertigo. She actually had to stop for a minute and squeeze herself into the nook of a storefront to quell the sudden flood of homesickness and the small panic attack that threatened to overwhelm her. Breathing heavily, praying for the strength and will to calm down, she managed to regain her composure. She'd shut her eyes to block out the myriad of sights and when she opened them again her heart gave a joyful leap for before her was one of the street signs she recognized from her vision.
She stepped back out to the sidewalk, looking around eagerly. There was the red neon sign with the leaping fish. There was the small shop with the green and yellow striped awnings. There was the empty lot filled with garbage and loiterers. She followed the landmarks, traced the path she recalled from her flash forward. Her heart pounded with excitement when she found she could read the shop-signs; she'd reached Little Tokyo now, and the writing was in her mother tongue.
She peered ahead, searching. She gave a happy gasp and sprinted forward now at the sight of the sushi restaurant from her vision.
She'd found it!
She breezed past the other people walking around her, brushing past without regard and slipping her petite frame through small spaces in-between them. A few may have made annoyed exclamations at her, but she couldn't hear. All her attention was consumed with getting to that fateful place that destiny had called her to.
She darted up the single step and flung open the door. Her eyes searched anxiously, hoping he was there, hoping to see-
Her face fell, disappointed. The door slid slowly closed behind her. She scanned her gaze over the tables and seats once more, craned her neck to get a glimpse in the corners.
He wasn't here.
For a split second her heart felt stabbed through to the core. Then she straightened, collecting herself. Well of course he wasn't here, she told herself. Silly. You cant expect him to find him on the first try. Maybe he didn't know where the restaurant was yet. Maybe he needed some time to piece together the clues from his flash forward. After all, he'd been sitting in the booth for the whole duration of the flash, not running through the streets getting signs and names like her. Maybe she needed to wait a bit...
Holding this thought in her head, she strode forward confidently and took a seat in the booth where she would meet him.
And she waited.
The waitress came by eventually, and offered her a menu. She shook her head politely to decline. The waitress insisted, though, becoming slightly annoyed and saying something to her in English. She took the menu hesitantly. This seemed to satisfy the waitress, who moved off to attend to other customers.
She thumbed listlessly through the menu, her eyes sneaking up to watch the door. People passed on the street beyond, but none of them were the one she came for, had crossed the Pacific on wild impulse for. The one she thought she might love. She set the menu aside, not interested in food, replaying her vision in her head.
He looks up at her in awe, as if he can't believe her presence, and he says something to her in this gentle voice that makes her heart thrill, even though she can't quite understand the words. She looks at him, anxious, as if he might vanish, as if his next words will be an angry demand for why she took so long, or worse, a rejection. But he stands up and smiles at her, switching to Japanese.
"Please, sit with me."
It sends such bliss through her to hear her mother tongue come from this man. It feels like a jolt of warm electricity when he touches her arm and guides her into the seat across from him. She cannot help but give the widest, most genuine smile she thinks she's ever given in her life as he looks into her eyes, his gaze holding such pure sincere emotions. Hope. Contentment. Joy.
The waitress interrupted her memory with a polite inquiry, ostensibly about what she wanted to order. She stared cluelessly at the woman, unsure what to do or say. The waitress repeated her question.
She struggled with how to explain. She gestured across the table and fumbled over her words. The little English she knew sounded clumsy and awkward to her. Finally the waitress picked up that she couldn't understand and repeated herself in Japanese.
Do you want anything, Miss?
Relieved at the solved communication problem, she waved the older woman off.
I am waiting for someone, she told her.
Should I give you another ten minutes then?
The young lady bit her lip. I... I don't know when he'll be here. Seeing the waitress's skeptical look of criticism she hastily added, It's not like that. I saw him... in my vision.
Before she knew it she was telling this stranger her story, about the man she'd seen, about how much her heart had filled with happiness, happiness she'd never felt before, so much that she was laughing and crying at the same time when she awoke, right there on the floor. She described the feelings she'd had, feelings that freed her soul, moved her spirit and her inner being as though up until then it had never known what life was. And she described him; his eyes, his face, the way he'd smiled...
The waitress listened patiently and attentively while she rambled on. At the end, she cracked a smile.
Your pursuit... it inspires me. I wish I had the courage to do what you have done.
Keiko tilted her head, surprised. You don't think I'm foolish?
Not at all. What you saw, what you felt... it is worth taking risks for, the waitress assured her. I think you and this man are destined for a beautiful love. She winked. You are very lucky to have something so happy to look forward to.
She blushed and averted her gaze. In gratitude for the woman's time and encouragement she picked out something from the menu to eat. The waitress thanked her, took her menu, and left.
Keiko sat alone at the booth, too early for her destined meeting, too late to leave and pretend she'd never been in here. She had come so far, risked so much, and she couldn't just give up. This was destiny, and it was the most wonderful thing she'd ever experienced. She would keep coming here, keep searching for him, for years if it meant feeling like that again.
So she sat in her booth, her eyes on the door, steeling herself to be patient.
And she waited.