Summary: After joining the JMSDF, Takeru is sent away for almost 2 years, and when he gets back home, he has a lot of catching up to do with his family. Especially Ikamusume. Takeru x Ikamusume
2 Years Ago
Takeru rubbed the back of his head in nervousness.
"I can't believe you joined! I could see you doing a lot of things, but joining the Navy was NOT one of them!" Eiko exclaimed.
"Takeru, why did you join the Maritime Forces without talking to us first?" Chizuru asked.
"I'm sorry Chizuru, but I knew that everyone would disagree if I did, and I really wanted to, so that's why I decided to join before saying anything." he said.
"I...I see...Well, why didn't you go to Tokyo University? You had a scholarship offer and everything and you decided to join the military?"
"It was a personal choice. I'm really sorry..." Takeru apologized again
Chizuru was a real sweetheart who always sort of 'understood' and he hated to disappoint or sadden her more than anyone else, but he did what he had to do. It was then that Ikamusume had come downstairs, yawning as she did and stretching her arms over her head.
"What's with all the noise? You woke me up Eiko...again -de geso"
"Well why don't we just have Takeru explain just what all the noise is about. Well how about it?" Eiko said as she looked over at him.
Takeru rubbed the back of his head and smiled nervously at Ikamusume.
"I joined the Maritime Defense Forces and I leave today for training." he said to her.
Ikamusume looked puzzled.
"Maritime...Defense Forces? What's that -de geso?"
"It's what you would've fought at sea if you invaded normally all those years ago!" Eiko told her.
A pale look overtook Ikamusume's face.
"D...Does that mean you're going to kill me -ika?"
Takeru couldn't help but laugh at that as he shook his head.
"No no, don't worry, nothing like that. If it makes you feel better, you did inspire me to join." Takeru explained to her.
"I don't know if that's a good thing -de geso..." she mumbled.
Takeru laughed nervously. Chizuru let out a small breath and looked towards Takeru.
"Really though, I really wish you could've said something sooner. Telling us the day you leave for training...it's so sudden and we are not prepared at all." Chizuru said.
Takeru sighed. "I know, and I said I'm sorry, but I really didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily."
"Well we're all worried now!" Eiko blasted.
"I'm just leaving for training Eiko, it's not like I'm going off to combat." Takeru tried to console.
"Combat is the first thing you're going to see afterward though kid! You aren't joining the Navy to go on a joy ride."
"Eiko, how many battles are we currently evolved in right now?" Takeru challenged.
That made her stop talking for a moment and then back down. Takeru reached over and then placed his hand on her shoulder and looked down at her. Over the years Takeru has grown much taller, almost a head taller than Gorou. Ikamusume, on the other hand, hasn't changed one bit and looked exactly the same as the day they first met.
"I understand you're concerned, and I truly appreciate it, I really do. But again, you have to look at it realistically. And just because you join the military does not mean that you will automatically see combat. It doesn't mean that you even have to be a combat troop. You can be a computer tech or something. So while I understand your concern, it is unneeded concern. I'm going to be fine." Takeru reassured.
Eiko's lip quivered and then she wrapped her arms around Takeru and began crying into him. Takeru smiled softly and wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her back soothingly.
"There there. Everything is going to be fine." he spoke softly.
Ikamusume watched as this was all going on and was a little surprised. She rarely has ever seen Eiko cry before and judging by it all, this was the last time she was going to see Takeru for a little while. At least that is what she got from it all. But how long? She hoped not too long. She had began to develop feelings for him though she didn't understand just what it was. All she knew was that she liked being close and she definately didn't like being away from him for too long.
"So Takeru..." Ikamusume started.
He turned his head over and looked at her.
"How long will you be away -de geso?" she asked.
"Well training is about 10 weeks long then I'll be sent on my first assignment; probably at the JMSDF base in Somalia." Takeru explained to her.
Ikamusume already didn't like the sound of the length of time she would be away from him. She swallowed a lump in the back of her throat.
"And...how long is your assignment -de geso?"
"I don't really know. Anywhere from 8 to 24 months. Maybe longer, maybe shorter. It just depends on how bad piracy in the Somali waters are and how short of troops we're on. Less troops means more time while more troops mean less. I would bet on around 12-18 months is pretty accurate."
Her world had just shattered.
"Wh...what -de geso?" Ikamusume said meekly.
8 to 24 months? That was a very, very long time, especially if it turned out to be 24 months. Ikamusume collapsed onto her hands and knees.
"I-Ikamusume?" Takeru said.
"Takeru..." Eiko said.
He looked down at her when she called his name. Eiko looked up at him with wet eyes.
"At least let us take you to the station?" Eiko sniffled.
Takeru smiled and nodded his head.
"Actually, I was going to ask that myself."
Eiko nodded her head and then let go of him and wiped her eyes.
"Well, I'd better go and get some things before I go..."
As Takeru turned around to go to his room, he felt Ikamusume's tentacle reach out and grab his wrist and stop him. He turned around and looked at her. She was standing up, but her head was down and her bangs were covering her eyes.
"Takeru...don't go -de geso..." she said quietly.
"I have to go, I've already..." he was cut off.
"Please don't go Takeru -de geso!" Ikamusume exclaimed as she lifted her head and looked straight at him.
The poor thing looked like she was about to break into tears.
"I...I have to go Ikamusume. I've already signed the papers and they'll be expecting me." he told her.
"Then I'll go with you -de geso!"
"Well you can't join the Navy if that's what you're implying. You're not even a Japanese citizen. And even if they let you in, you wouldn't be placed in the same place as me since you're a girl."
Tears began to form in Ikamusume's eyes.
"I don't want you to go Takeru! I don't want you to go -de geso!" she cried.
Takeru looked at her and then let out a small 'heh'. Not too long ago, he was shorter than her and she looked at him as a kid. Now it was the complete opposite. He walked over to her and then placed his hand on her shoulder. She sniffled and looked up at him.
"Everything is going to be alright, I promise. I'm going off for training, then my assignment starts and then I'll be back as soon as it's over, okay? Please don't cry Ikamusume, you're making it so much harder than it already is." Takeru cooed
Ikamusume then started crying and held onto Takeru, much like Eiko did only moments ago. She really was so adorable. Takeru chuckled softly and comforted her all the same.
Once everyone calmed down and Takeru gathered his things, all four of them had headed off to drop Takeru off at the station. It was really hard for everyone to say their goodbyes and everyone cried except Takeru, who had to fight his tears back. That would be the last they would see of him for a long, long time.
Every day since Takeru had left, Ikamusume had sat in his room and looked out the window and waited for his return. She would look around at his empty room and remember all the times that the two used to play around and have a good time. Those days were long over. Ikamusume pulled her knees up to her chest and continued to look out the window. She had lost track of how many days it has been since she had last seen him. They would get a call or letter from him every so often, and it would make her really happy, especially a call, but those were far and few in between and really, she just wanted to see him again, even if only for five minutes. Even though she had Eiko and Chizuru, and even Sanae and Kiyomi, they just couldn't make her feel the way she did when she was around Takeru. She just did not know why. She had asked Kiyomi once and she explained to her that Ikamusume loved him. It made her shake her head. There was no way she loved him. Like him, sure, but love? No. Ikamusume knew herself better than that. She didn't know what to say or what to think of it. She was soon shaken from these thoughts though when Eiko had knocked on and opened up the door and poked her head in.
"Hey Ikamusume. Dinner's ready."
Ikamusume nodded her head. "I'll be there in a moment -de geso."
Eiko then closed the door and then Ikamusume sighed and looked out the window again, hoping that he would be there, but alas, he was not, and the street was just as empty as it was a second ago. She turned her gaze to a collection of photos of her and him back when he was in high school taken in one of those photo booths found in the shopping centers. Seeing the goofy, funny and happy looks on their faces always brought a smile to her face. If only Takeru was there to share her smiles with her. Her stomach growled and she got up from the bed and stood up.
"Ikamusume!" Chizuru called from downstairs.
"Coming -de geso!"
With that, Ikamusume headed out the door and then closed it behind her. She headed downstairs and met up with Eiko and Chizuru and then took a seat.
"It's about time." Eiko said.
Ikamusume just ignored.
"Takeru won't be back for another couple weeks. I can't wait to see him again -de geso!" Ikamusume exclaimed.
"Yeah, I can't either."
"It's been such a long time since we've last seen him. I wonder how he's doing..." Chizuru pondered aloud.
There was then a knock on the door.
"Coming!" Eiko called.
She then walked over and opened up the door. Who it was on the other side had shocked her silent.