Shinken Reunion Party, Let's Go On!
I'd been intrigued by the idea of the Go-ongers and Shinkengers getting together for a party at the Shiba house ever since Saki and Kotoha expressed interest in the idea towards the end of Shinkenger VS Go-onger, and I know I've been beaten to the punch at writing such a fic. However, I still wanted to write my take on how such an event would go down, so voila.
The timeline is after the conclusion of the Shinkenger series, and references my fic "I Like Your Type," so Chiaki and Kotoha are together here. Other pairings may or may not happen.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Engine Sentai Go-onger, and all characters and references therein are the property of Toei of Japan. As much as I would love to own these properties, I do not, and my usage of them in this fanfic is not meant to infringe.
Chapter 1: Gather
Takeru surveyed the courtyard in back of the Shiba house. Strings of lights stretched overhead, from one end of the house to the other. Long tables with assorted arrangements of food were set up on the left and right borders of the lawn, with Genta's sushi cart positioned at the end of the right column. A lighted gazebo had been set up at the far end of the courtyard, with an entertainment center installed inside. Several kuroko were busy setting up tables and chairs all about the lawn.
"Hey, Take-chan," said Genta cheerily, marching up to Takeru and resting his forearm on Takeru's shoulder. "What do you think?"
"It's awfully showy, don't you think?" muttered Takeru.
"Hey, come on," whined Genta, "this is a festive occasion! Everyone is coming back to the house, and the Go-ongers are coming, too!"
"That's right," said Hikoma, who had come onto the porch. "I've been looking forward to this day. I have sure missed having everyone around here."
Takeru couldn't help but let out a bit of a smile as he turned his attention back to the preparations. Hikoma was right. Tonight was going to be a special night for everyone. It had been nearly a year since the Shinkengers had repelled the Gedoushu and sent the Sanzu River back into the underworld, and it was the first time since then that everyone would be gathering at the Shiba house. Takeru had been surprised to discover that he missed the quintet that had served as his vassals more than he thought he would, and that he considered them much more than vassals; they were his friends… his family. He kept in regular contact with Kaoru, and he was able to meet with Ryunosuke and Chiaki on several occasions because they were in Tokyo. He had even accompanied Chiaki to Kyoto once to visit Kotoha, but he hadn't seen Mako and Genta since they had left for Hawaii and France respectively.
When the time was right for everyone to reunite at the Shiba house, Takeru remembered that Kotoha had mentioned to Saki of the Go-ongers that if they were all in town, she hoped to have a party at the mansion for everyone, so he decided to check in with Sousuke and his group to see if they were available. Ever since the Shinkengers had helped the Go-ongers take out Gaiark Chairman Batcheed, the threat level in the different Braneworlds was at a minimum, so everyone had once again gone back to their regular lives. Upon hearing that Takeru was inviting them to a party, complete with a weekend stay at the Shiba house, all of the Go-ongers enthusiastically accepted.
Now, with the party preparations nearly complete, all that was left was to wait for everyone to arrive. Ryunosuke and Chiaki were the first, and had already unpacked for the weekend. Kaoru, with Tanba in tow, was next, followed soon after by Genta. Takeru sent Ryunosuke to Narita Airport to pick up Mako, Chiaki went to the train station to pick up Kotoha, and the Go-ongers were apparently all coming in something called the Ginjiro-go.
At the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack, Ren called out, "Sousuke! The bus is here! Where are you?" The bus that would bring Sousuke and Ren into Tokyo from Motegi pulled into the general parking lot of the racetrack.
Sousuke burst from the clubhouse, in his Go-onger racing jacket and carrying a red duffle bag. "Sorry to keep you waiting! Let's go at mach speed!"
Ren, dressed in a blue oxford shirt, paisley-patterned skinny tie, and black jeans, looked Sousuke up and down. "Is that what you're wearing to the party?"
"Why? What's wrong with this?"
Ren shrugged. "It's just that we're not on duty right now, so you can wear something else besides that. Surely, you've got other clothes in your bag besides your Go-onger stuff?" Sousuke's sheepish silence told Ren what he needed to know. He smiled and patted Sousuke on the shoulder. "Get on the bus," he said. "We'll have to see if Hiroto will lend you something for the party when we get to the villa."
Kotoha stepped out from the train that had pulled into the Tokyo station. She looked around; the last time she had been on a train that brought her to Tokyo, she seemed to have exited on a different platform, so she felt somewhat disoriented. She was about to start for the street when her vision suddenly went dark, obscured by someone's hands over her eyes, and a voice called to her, "Guess who?" Her heart beating a rapid staccato, Kotoha grabbed her attacker's wrists, lifted them over her head, and, as she pressed her thumbs hard into the offending joints, whirled to accost her attacker.
"Ow!" Chiaki was dropped to one knee, face scrunched up in pain. "Kotoha! It's me!"
Kotoha was surprised and relieved. "Chiaki! I'm sorry! Are you all right?" Loosening her grip on Chiaki's wrists, she crouched down to rub them. "I thought you might have been one of those perverts on the trains!"
"Oh, crap. I'm sorry. I hadn't thought about that. Pretty stupid of me, huh?" said Chiaki sheepishly. He stood up, bringing Kotoha up with him. "I'm sorry." He hugged Kotoha tightly before reaching behind himself. "Here, maybe this will sort of make up for that." From his back pocket, Chiaki withdrew a small bouquet of chrysanthemums and held it out to Kotoha. "Welcome back."
Kotoha's eyes widened at the sight of the flowers. "Wow," she gasped. "They're beautiful." She took the bouquet from Chiaki and beamed. "I forgive you. Thank you." She raised herself up to hug him once more.
"Thank you." Chiaki held Kotoha close. "I've missed you so much."
Kotoha closed her eyes, taking in the comforting scent of Chiaki's body spray as he held her. "I've missed you, too. I've missed everyone!"
"Well, let's not keep them waiting too long," said Chiaki. He took Kotoha's backpack from her and slung it over his own back. He held his free hand out to Kotoha, who took hold of it, interlacing their fingers. Together, they rushed to leave the train station.
Miu dabbed a little perfume behind her ears. Smiling at her reflection, she set her perfume bottle down on her vanity, and called, "Ani, I need help with my suitcases!"
Hiroto appeared at the doorway of Miu's bedroom. "Miu, what do you need with all of that? We're only going to be at the Shiba house for the weekend."
"True, but you never know when a few extra cute dresses could come in handy," said Miu.
Hiroto had to chuckle. "You are such a princess." The doorbell rang, so he went to answer the door. "Ren, Sousuke," he said, greeting his visitors.
"Hello, Hiroto," said Ren, carrying his suitcase and a medium-sized cooler into the villa and setting them inside the foyer. "Nice suit."
"Thank you." Hiroto looked over at Sousuke and raised an eyebrow. "Is that what you're wearing?"
Sousuke threw his hands up. "Will someone tell me what is so wrong about me wearing this to the party?"
Ren smiled pleasantly and simply said, "Hiroto, will you let Sousuke borrow an outfit for tonight?"
"Hmm. All right. Unlike some people," remarked Hiroto, tilting his head in the direction of Miu's room, "I didn't pack half my closet for just the weekend." He pushed a weakly protesting Sousuke in the direction of his own room.
Ren took a seat on the couch, but no sooner had he sat down, Miu entered the room. "Miu, hello! You look just beautiful." Ren stood up in greeting.
"Hi Ren, and thank you." Miu twirled slowly to show off her black slipdress adorned with crystals. "I love this dress." She smiled sweetly. "Will you help me bring my suitcases out?"
"Sure," answered Ren. When he got to Miu's room, his eyes opened wide. Hiroto wasn't kidding! Miu had three large suitcases and two smaller ones packed and ready to go. Neverthless, he obliged Miu, lugging out the suitcases two at a time.
"Thank you." Miu looked around. "Where are Ani and Sousuke?"
"Sousuke's borrowing some clothes from your brother. He was actually going to wear his Go-onger uniform to the party."
"Really?" Miu was about to laugh when she saw Sousuke emerge from Hiroto's room. He wore a dark gray V-necked T-shirt, black vest, and artfully torn blue jeans. Miu drew her breath in sharply, and she felt her face growing warm. "Um, hi Sousuke," she said in an uncharacteristically meek voice.
Sousuke was still grumbling about why Ren and Hiroto had been making a big deal about his clothes when he looked up, saw Miu, and was dumbstruck. My gosh! Is that Miu? Wow… "Uh, hi Miu. You, uh, you look nice." He stood rooted to where he was until Hiroto nudged him. "What?" he said, shooting a glance at Hiroto before his feet guided him to the couch where Ren had seated himself once more, all the while still staring at Miu.
"Well," said Ren, "I guess now we just have to wait for Gunpei to get here with Saki and Hanto."
Hiroto nodded in agreement, looking over at Sousuke, who was now trying not to look at Miu, whose face was now quite flushed. Hiroto made a mental note to keep an eye on Sousuke that weekend.
Gunpei pulled the Ginjiro-go in front of the Golden Bear Cake Shop and Café. Saki stood outside, holding a cake box; a small suitcase sat next to her on the sidewalk. She waved at Gunpei.
"Saki, where's Hanto?"
"Umm, I haven't seen him yet. He's late." Saki's brow furrowed as she climbed aboard the Ginjiro-go.
"That guy," muttered Gunpei. He squinted and saw a figure dressed in a green jacket, blue jeans, and white sneakers running frantically down the sidewalk, dragging a rolling suitcase behind him. "There he is." When Hanto reached the open door of the Ginjiro-go, Gunpei simply said, "You're late."
"I'm… sorry…" Hanto puffed. "I was… picking up my… paycheck…"
"You idiot. What did you go do that for? We're set for the weekend. If there's anything Takeru's not paying for while we're there," said Gunpei exasperatedly, "Hiroto and Miu will have it covered."
"I just thought that having a few extra yen, just in case, would be nice," Hanto protested. He pulled his suitcase up into the Ginjiro-go, slamming the door shut behind him.
"Hey," Saki piped up. "Smile, smile!" She reached out to first Hanto, then Gunpei, grabbing their cheeks and pulling them upwards. "We've all been looking forward to today. Let's all smile and be happy."
Gunpei's eyes softened and he grinned. "You're right, Saki." He looked over at Hanto, who wore a slightly wounded expression on his face. "Sorry. I'm just excited about my first day off in a long time. You know how exhausting my work is. Let's go on and pick up the others."
Ryunosuke looked around the international terminal of Narita Airport, unsure of where to go. Aside from the one time when Mako's parents had visited briefly, he had never set foot in an airport either before or since. He looked up at a schedule board that read "Arrivals" and began to scan it. "Hawaii, Hawaii," he mumbled, trying to find the location on the board. "Sydney, Beijing, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Zurich, Dubai… where is the flight from Hawaii? I can't find Hawaii!" he wailed.
"That's because you apparently don't know that Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii," a soothing voice chided.
Ryunosuke turned slowly to see Mako smirking at him. "Mako!" He crushed her to his chest in relief. "Welcome back!"
Mako's "Good to be back" was muffled in Ryunosuke's jacket. She extricated herself from his grip. "You're looking well, Ryunosuke. Looks like the world of kabuki is being good to you. Where is everyone else?"
"Tono sent just me to meet you. He and Genta are staying behind at the house to help Jii and the kuroko-tachi prepare for the party. Hime-sama and Tanba-san are at the house, too. Chiaki is going to the train station to pick up Kotoha, and the Go-ongers are all coming to the house together." He took a closer look at Mako. "Something different about you."
"Really? Do I have something on my face?"
"No, but you look... different somehow. Hmmm. I'm not sure what it is." Ryunosuke kept peering at Mako's face, trying to figure out what was different about her.
"Ryunosuke, you're creeping me out," said Mako. "Figure it out later." She grabbed his arm. "Come on, let's go get my luggage and get to the house."
Chiaki helped Kotoha off the city bus that stopped two blocks from the Shiba house. They walked, hand in hand, Kotoha looking all around her. "It hasn't changed much, has it?"
"Not really, except that the Gedoushu aren't coming to rip up the city every freakin' day," said Chiaki. "I don't get much of a chance to come up here these days because of class, though. This is my first time in a while. You know, I actually miss being here."
Chiaki and Kotoha approached the gates of the Shiba house. Kotoha felt her heart beating faster. "This is so exciting!"
Chiaki laughed. "Isn't it, though? I mean, yeah, I'm totally amped that you're here with me, but I'm almost as pumped up about getting to see everyone again."
Once they got inside the gates of the Shiba house, Kotoha noticed the shiny red Ford Mustang convertible parked off to the side. "Is this the car that Tono-sama bought?" she asked.
"Yeah. Pretty sweet, isn't it? He had it imported from America." Chiaki looked at the sports car with envy before he called, "Hey, Takeru! I'm back with Kotoha!"
Takeru emerged from inside the house, followed by Kaoru, Hikoma, and Tanba. "Chiaki, I swear that I don't know who's louder sometimes, you or Genta." Seeing Kotoha holding onto Chiaki's hand, a small smile appeared on his face. "Kotoha, good to see you again." He patted her gently on the shoulder. He nodded in greeting to Chiaki.
"Hello again, Tono-sama," said Kotoha, bowing deeply. She turned to Kaoru, Hikoma, and Tanba and bowed. "Hello, Hime-sama, Jii-san, Hime-sama no Jii-san."
Hikoma was smiling broadly. "Tono had told me that you two had started dating. I'm happy that you finally got the opportunity!"
Tanba whispered to Kaoru, "Hime, are you sure they can be this way?"
"Be quiet!" hissed Kaoru to Tanba. "If Takeru sees no problem with Chiaki and Kotoha dating, then I'm not going to argue with him, especially now that we can once again live normal lives." She turned to Kotoha and said warmly, "Kotoha, welcome home," and nodded at Chiaki and smiled. "You two really look good together."
"Thanks," said Chiaki, looking at Kotoha and smiling at her. "Come on, let's get your stuff inside. Our rooms are still as we left them."
Before anyone could move, Ryunosuke and Mako came walking through the gates. "Ryu-san! Mako-chan!" said Kotoha excitedly. She practically dragged Chiaki behind her as she ran to greet the new arrivals, with Takeru and Kaoru a few steps behind them.
"Tono!" said Ryunosuke. "You sent me to Narita Airport, and I have returned. I had a little bit of difficulty at first, but I have brought Mako back with me just as– "
"Too long." Takeru looked to Mako and his smile returned. "Mako, you look fantastic. I like your tan."
Mako grinned, a slight blush on her cheeks. "Thank you. I see you're still doing well." She turned to Kaoru and nodded. "Good to see you again, Kaoru-sama."
Kaoru nodded in return at Mako. "Welcome home. Takeru's right. Your tan looks good on you. You must be enjoying life in Hawaii."
Ryunosuke's eyes suddenly opened wide. "That's it! Mako! You've gotten a suntan! How did I not see this before?"
"Kotoha-chan! Mako-chan!" Genta came running from the house, arms spread wide. He made a bit of a flying leap to try to bear hug Kotoha, but Chiaki steered her out of the way, and Genta ended up flat on his stomach in front of Mako.
"Gen-san! Are you okay?" asked Kotoha, looking concerned.
Genta leaped up. "I'm more than okay! I'm magnifique! And forgive me for being so forward. I'm just excited that we're all back together again!"
Suddenly, a horn honked outside of the gates of the Shiba house. Everyone scrambled out of the gates to see what was making all the noise. They came face to face with a large silver motorhome with red and white checkerboard accents, red lettering, and a stylized silver "G" stenciled on the side. Part of the red lettering was covered up with a black and white decal that made the lettering read "Gunpei-GER." Gunpei rolled the window down. "Hey, everyone, we're here! Where can I park?"
Hail, hail, the Shinkenger VS Go-onger gang are here! Let's get the party started!