I remember…I remember that day…The day he left. The day he left the school…the day he left our lives…the day he left…me. Eighteen year old Fuko Kuzuha stared out the window to the setting sun. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my last year here…then, I'll leave my last link to Hibiki-sensei behind… As she dressed for bed, Fuko let out a rare sigh. He's never had any contact with any of us since that day…not even Lulu-san knows where he is. Fuko let her mind wander back onto the well-worn path to that day years ago, recalling Hibiki-san's face as a man, and mentally conjuring Hibiki-sensei's face next to it.
It's so odd…I was so worried about being thought of being twisted back then…and we were all so quick to condemn him…he looked so ashamed of himself that day as well. How did we all miss the pain and shame on his face when we accused him? When he lied to us, did we even think it could be just as painful to lie to us as it was to find out he was lying? Were we already so poisoned by the Principle and Vice-principle that we automatically believed the worst of Hibiki-sensei without even asking? Fuko sighed again, noting how often it happened when thinking about her old sensei.
I wonder if I'll ever see him again? Fuko wouldn't say she hadn't tried to forget her first love and move on, but it seemed impossible. She'd tried dating other guys, but she always found herself comparing them to Hibiki-sensei. She found that Hibiki-sensei had set the bar for her ideal man pretty high, and most boys her age were hard-pressed to reach it. Only one so far had come close, and even he hadn't been all he seemed to be.
He had been a player of the worst sort, cheating on her and insulting her trust behind her back. She giggled softly, remembering how THAT turned out. Fujio had been far less trusting of him than Fuko had been, and had followed and spied on him as he went to "visit" one of his many "female friends". The following fight would have been funny, had she not been so upset at the time. Fujio had been livid as she brought him to Fuko and demanded he admit his wrongdoings to her. He had refused, saying that Fujio was just trying to break them up, but of the many things Fujio was, unprepared was not one of them. A few pictures later, Fuko was in tears, and he was on the ground, covering his face. He broke Fuko's heart, so Fujio broke his nose. Akira Fukae had made his life in school miserable when he found out from his girlfriend what the arrogant bastard had done.
It had taken some time, but Akira had managed to shift Fuko from crush to little sister. He tried not to show it, but Fuko could see there was still a little bit of attraction to her. It didn't matter though, as Akira was a loyal boyfriend, even if slightly aloof and silent. He had made his peace with the fact that Fuko didn't like him like that.
Fuko yawned as sleep approached her, tempting her to slumber and waving tempting dreams of her first love tantalizingly in front of her eyes.
…Elsewhere, in an undisclosed location…...
A man and a woman ran frantically, hearing the moans and scrapes of their pursuers falling behind. "Come on, Yuna, we have to seal the facility and get out of here!" Panted the man, his long black hair tied in a ponytail and flowing behind him as he ran. The woman, Yuna, growled at him.
"I'm not stupid, ya know! We'll need to report this as well, in case this escapes the facility!" The woman sniped back. The two could have passed for twins, with a little make up, and maybe some colored contacts. Dodging a blood-soaked arm trying to grab her, Yuna reached a large door before her male counterpart and hit a button marked "Contamination Airlock Control" the moment the man made it through the entryway. With a loud hiss, the door behind them slammed shut as they moved through the sterilization checkpoints, airtight doors sliding shut and sealing behind them. Leaning back against the sealed doors, and hearing the very faint hammers of something trying to break through the first blast door, the two let out a simultaneous sigh of relief as they caught their breath.
"I'm all for some excitement in theory, but I think I'd rather not have to do that more than necessary…think they can escape?" The man said conversationally.
Yuna elbowed him in the ribs, making him hiss in pain. "Oh, shut up, you big baby…as for escaping, I don't think so. Barring the possibility of further mutation, or increased intelligence, which, may I point out, should be impossible, the only things that could breach those doors and safeguards are locked deep in the lowest levels, which have so many redundancy locks and safeguards that it'd take a miracle to escape without the right keys. That is, provided that the contamination safeguards didn't lock into place the moment I hit facility lockdown. No one gets in without admin or CEO approval, and no one gets out, even WITH approval. So anyone or anything inside there isn't getting out without us letting them out. So, little boy, what do YOU think? Do you think that those slow, weak, and soft things are getting out?" Yuna said sarcastically at the man, who wrinkled his nose at her nickname for him.
"Well…if this were a movie, our higher ups would be idiots who'd open it up to observe the effects of the contamination without the proper protection and such. Since we have smarter bosses, that's not likely to happen. They'll probably try to flash sterilize the entire facility if they don't get stopped by THEIR bosses, who report to the government. So that leaves further mutation. Say they mutate and get stronger. Those doors are nigh impenetrable to all but explosives, massive firepower, or very large and strong BOWs. That leaves us with the gift of time to find a solution."
"We aren't sure if it's airborne, only that we aren't showing signs of contamination. We could be immune, or it could be that we haven't had contact with the contagion. If it is airborne, then a breach in the final airlock could cause an incident with the contaminant leaking into the air and spreading. If its not, then we sure as hell better be careful NOT to let it out. We don't know enough about what we've created to be sure. Say they get more intelligent I don't see them suddenly becoming proficient in technology after the level of intelligence they show without some sort of catalyst. So they get some caveman like reasoning skills. Still not enough to escape. Some memory skills? Still useless, as they can't get out without outside help."
The man shuddered. "That leaves my final, and scariest possibility: It has already escaped. We were too late to prevent its escape, and by this time tomorrow, the world will be infected with an experimental virus we know little to nothing about. We need to tell our boss to alert the other facilities to the possibility or the virus mutating like ours did, and to be ready for lockdown in the case of a contamination breach and further the research on the antivirus in mass-production. Once we've done that, it's out of our hands. We've done our jobs; all we can do is let them do theirs. You did back up our research, right?"
Yuna smirked. "What do you take me for? An idiot? I'm smarter than you, remember?" She reached into her pocket, withdrawing three heavily encrypted flash drives. "Antivirus/virus findings, our experimental healing cream, and our files on BOW development. It's all I had time to get, but it's the most important stuff."
The man smiled. "What would I do without you? Let's report this, go home, and scare the shit out of my nephew. I'm starving, and I need a bath." The two walked to their car, neither noticing a blood-soaked rat scampering off…
…Elsewhere, a certain man sneezes…..
"ACHOO!" Hibiki Amawa wiped his nose with a tissue as he sat down with his dinner at his uncles' house. He had gotten a job at a nearby school and remembered he had family nearby. Calling a number he hadn't called in ages, he contacted his uncle, who was about the same age as him, to see if he knew any good apartment complexes. His uncle had told him the address to a place, telling him he'd like it. It was nice and cheap, with good people. He'd showed up, only to find out the address was to his uncles' place. Upon calling his uncle, he learned that they spent more time at work than at home, and that he needed a house sitter. He never knew what his uncle did for a living; only that it was top secret government stuff. As such, he was wealthy, but not rich by any means. The house was pretty big, with a few locked doors which he assumed held sensitive information for his uncle's eyes only.
Hibiki's family was almost all like that; successful, and loved their jobs. His uncle had been a very curious person, so it was only right that he decided to try for scientist. He struggled every step of the way, but loved to learn and experiment. It was a while, but he was eventually picked up for government research. He was paid well, but rarely had any free time for outings. As far as Hibiki knew, his uncle would live a lonely life if he didn't learn to socialize more than he did.
Hibiki, however, chose to be a teacher, and his family loved the idea. Teaching people had a certain appeal to it when Hibiki was a child, and he loved to help people solve personal problems. He also loved the physical arts as well, so when he had to decide what he wanted to teach, he had decided to be a gym teacher. He was good at convincing people of the importance of physical fitness, and had even convinced his scientist uncle to see the benefits to a powerful body as well as mind. It was one of the things that convinced him that his calling was to teach.
Hibiki took a drink of his water. Teaching…I wonder how Fuko is doing? He had left Sannomiya Private School with a mixture of shame, pride, love, and regret. He felt shame in the way he had lied to them, his students…shame that he had hurt them, and shame that he had broken one of the biggest rules of teaching. Do NOT become romantically involved with a student. Well, I screwed that one up royally, didn't I? And he DID become romantically attached to Fuko, didn't he? He could deny it all he wanted, but it didn't change the fact that he had. I hope she's doing well…He couldn't even bring himself to send a letter to them. He was too ashamed to contact her, and afraid he'd ruin her life. He was her teacher, and she was only fourteen to boot. Not anymore, she's not! An annoying little voice nagged, sounding suspiciously like Lulu-baachan. Hibiki sighed in resignation. Four years…its been four years since I smiled at her through a window, trying not to cry…maybe she's forgotten me? Maybe they all have? "Yeah, right. I'm not that lucky." He groaned. He had cried, much to his embarrassment. He'd cried like a baby. Maybe he wasn't cut out for being a teacher? Surely teachers don't all cry when their students graduate!
"Thinking about Fuko-chan again?"
Hibiki responded without thinking. "Yeah, just wondering if she's forgotten me yet-ACK!" He jumped, realizing he was no longer alone. "Uncle Koji? When did you get back?" He asked, looking up at the door.
The man shrugged, grinning widely at his nephew. Long black hair seemed to run in the family. Idly, he contemplated cutting his. "About five minutes ago. You're really easy to read. I'm not new to the expression of lovesickness." Koji smirked. "And call me Koji. Uncle Koji makes me feel old."
Yuna stepped in the doorway behind Koji, eyeing Hibiki closely, as if he were an experiment that that reacted outside the expected perimeters of what it should. "So this is your…teaching…nephew. He does look like he could pull it off."
Hibiki squirmed uncomfortably. "Pull what off?" he queried, dreading the answer before it was given.
Yuna pretended not to notice. "Cross-dressing, of course. Seems to run in the family. Slim body, silky hair that girls would kill for, a feminine face…just the breasts are missing to complete the illusion." Hibiki paled.
"Cut it out, Yuna…I mean, it's not like you haven't seen me cross-dress before." Hibiki stared at Koji. "It was a bet. One of my co-workers invited us to a poker night. I lost a bet and had to dress in womens clothes for the next day. The men were…amazed." Koji chuckled. "If only I had that little choker of yours. It would have been the most EPIC prank."
Yuna allowed herself a smirk. "Sorry, I couldn't help it. I still think you should visit Sannomiya to see her."
Hibiki was flabbergasted. He'd lived here for two years, but he'd never seen this girl before.
Noting Hibiki's pensive look, Yuna introduced herself. "I'm Yuna. I work with Koji on…stuff. We're both high up in…government research…stuff. So that's why he's never talked about me. You understand, right? As for how I know about your past, Koji told me. We're good friends, and he tells me everything. I'm actually the one who erased the Sannomiya complaints so it wouldn't go on your records. We don't exist, and they couldn't track us if they tried. Trust me, I know…Don't ask, and I won't have to kill you, Hibiki-san."
Hibiki blinked. "Okay..? Well, what are you doing home? I thought you would be there for the next two months?"
Koji and Yuna looked at each other. "Should we tell him?" Koji asked. Yuna nodded. "There was a…accident…at the…my workplace. Suffice to say, it'll be a while before we can return." No need to say everyone else there is dead, right..?
"Because of it, we may be going on a road trip should it be decided that we can be transferred." Yuna stated, sitting on the couch.
Hibiki heard a phone ringing, and Koji took his cell phone out of his pocket and answered it promptly. "Hello?...Yes sir…We sealed it as soon as we became aware of the problem…yes sir…No sir…we got ourselves checked at the nearest facility…no sir, we were not contaminated…yes sir…yes sir. We'll make our way as soon as we get…okay, sir, right away." Koji hung up the phone. "Get ready to leave, Yuna. We've been called to facility 3431. You too, Hibiki. I don't think we should linger any longer than necessary. Pack only some clothes, and we'll replace anything else once we're out of the city. I've been told that we have to leave immediately. The government has declared a quarantine. It's been deemed that the city is in danger and they'll be checking everyone leaving the city." Hibiki looked at Koji, who had lost all mirth and seemed slightly pale. "What are you waiting for, Hibiki? GO!"
Like a bullet, Hibiki rushed off to obey. Koji turned to Yuna. "They've pulled the security files and reviewed them. Its blood transmitted, but can also be contracted by way of tear ducts, the mouth, and open wounds exposed to infected blood. They've tried the antivirus, but we can't get it mass produced efficiently. They're going to make as much as they can, and give us some extra for the other facilities. If made incorrectly, it could kill people instead of saving them. It's also not always effective. It doesn't seem to work on everyone, but we can't figure out why."
Yuna's eyes widened. "All these people…will any of them survive?"
"They're doing all they can. Anyone that passes the tests will be allowed to leave. Those who don't…well, they will be put into quarantine, and given the antivirus. If it doesn't work…we can't save them. Yuna…they don't know if they can contain it. A single rat escaped after being contaminated. It bit a homeless man, and it spread from there. We could be looking at a city-wide contamination in a matter of HOURS!"
Yuna seized a vase from the side table and threw the vase at the wall. "DAMMIT! We may well have just doomed the world, Koji…we were too slow!"
"Calm down, Yuna! We don't know that…the army is sealing off the city. Nothing gets in or out. Sewers, pipes….they're sealing off all ways out. Unless you can fly, you-oh shit. The birds, Yuna…any of them that eat any kind of meat can be infected…"
"Fuck…how could we let this happen..?" Yuna groaned, covering her eyes and trying not to tear up. "Once we tell our boss, or they think of it…they'll sterilize it. The entire city, and everyone here. Containing the contamination is all they can do. Sacrifice a few for all. We've just doomed an entire city…"
"We can try to have people kill any birds that leave..?" Yuna snorted at Koji's feeble suggestion.
"Yeah, right. I can see the army now: 'Alright men! Today, we're killing something that threatens all of Japan! Today…we're shooting BIRDS!'"
Koji began to laugh. It was a hollow, slightly insane laugh, which Yuna joined in a moment later, as a few tears escaped her eyes. This is the sigh Hibiki saw when he got back. "I've got everything. Where are we going?"
"Away. We've got a new workplace, and we're coming with us. Get in the car; we're getting the fuck out of here yesterday."
…many scares and crazy driving later…..
The trip out of the city had been….odd. People were all packing up their cars, as if everyone decided to go on vacation at the same time. Hibiki looked on confused at the officers and army people checking those passing through and asking if they had been bitten by any animals lately, or even strange people. Koji had approached one such officer, showed him a card, some paperwork, and submitted to a blood and DNA test, before being given a briefcase and being allowed to pass. On the out and away, no one spoke, save for a phone call for Koji, who turned white upon answering, and hung up without a word. They drove for a few hours hours, before pulling over as Koji turned to Yuna and said two words, sounding like he was about to break into tears. "Do it."
Yuna got out and took out a syringe and a small medication bottle. She glanced at Hibiki several times, gauging his weight and getting an appropriate amount. "Hibiki, we need to give you a few shots, okay? One is…an antibody, and the other will make you sleep a while, ok? Please be still, ok? Your arm may feel odd for a bit, but that's normal." Hibiki looked at Koji, who nodded, but said nothing.
Hibiki closed his eyes as Yuna approached with the needles, having a slight fear of them since he had been a child. He felt a small sting the first time, and his arm felt slightly numb. He never felt the second prick, but he felt drowsy. "Get some sleep, and don't worry, okay? We'll wake you when we get to where we're going." Hibiki fell asleep.
"It's for the best, right..?" Koji said in a soft voice. "In about thirty minutes, they're going to sterilize the city with a tactical nuclear device. It should destroy everyone and everything that is still inside the city…and hope it hasn't escaped the city. If it has…" Koji trailed off. "They've given us pretty much free rein to chose where we go. Our boss decided we should take a few weeks off to deal with, and I quote, 'emotional trauma'."
"A week my ass. We may have just condemned hundreds of innocents to death. It'll take more than a few weeks to get over that."
"He said as much, actually. Said off the record, that it wasn't our fault. We did our best. How could we know it would suddenly become contagious without a catalyst? Sure, we could have discovered it eventually, but not without experimentation, which is just as dangerous. The animals mutated faster than expected, and developed complicated new organs and defense systems. We couldn't have known that they would be able to spread the virus like fucking plague! All our research indicated the the virus needed a catalyst to even SURVIVE. We couldn't have done anything about it. I chose the nearest facility to...we owe it to Hibiki, I think, to see that he is happy in his last few months, in case we HAVE doomed Japan…no, in case we doomed the world."
Yuna smiled softly. "Never thought you'd ever willingly play matchmaker, Koji. Well, at least for not family."
"I haven't seen or talked to Hibiki in ages, Yuna. Ever since my older brother died, his mother hasn't been the same. She still loves him, but she rarely talks to him. He's my favorite nephew, and I may have just killed his class!"
Yuna placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You don't know that, Koji. The bomb may take care of the contamination. All his students may have escaped. The virus may be contained completely. You don't know that they won't get everyone out before sterilizing the city. All we can do is hope, and live our lives for those we failed."
Koji let out a hollow laugh. "Fine…but if an onryo comes and kills me, I'm so haunting your ass."
"Hey, if it kills you, it's coming after me next. And if not, I doubt you'd kill me. You know you just adore my ass."
Koji snickered. "It IS a nice ass…"
Yuna smiled back, the sober mood temporarily lifted. "So…Sannomiya Private School?"
"Sannomiya Private School. Think we should apply without his permission? I've heard that the principal is allowing EXCEPTIONAL male teachers…think Hibiki-chan here is exceptional enough?"
"Wonder how he'll react?"
"Tears of joy, no doubt."
"Too ashamed of himself to face them?"
"Probable. He'll likely try to get out of it."
"Yep. Boss said he'd pay for anything we want and write it off as business expense, as long as we're doing something productive."
"He'll be hard pressed to avoid Fuko-chan then."
"Damn straight. Think we should rent a lab nearby?"
"Affirmative. We'll have to have one to keep ourselves busy."
"Back to Hibiki. We apply for him, get him accepted, and move into Gochiso. He'll not slip out of our and Fuko-chan's grasp."
"…that's creepy, Yuna."
…Hours and many hackz later…..
Fuko blinked. An odd, unlabeled email had popped up. The virus protection had marked it as hazardous, but the label had caught her attention. The fist day of school had been unremarkable, as she had expected. All of the teachers were still females, but the boys were no longer used as servants, though the Vice Principle still discriminated against them. Most of the teachers tended to follow the Vice Principle's lead, however, so they were still not equal.
She had just logged on her new computer to check her email before going out with her friends, when she had gotten mail.
"Come ON, Fuko! The ice cream shop will close soon!" Fujio whined, entering the room. "You're on the computer? You knew we were going out tonight!"
"…Fujio…look." Fuko managed to whisper.
"Look at what?" Fujio looked at what Fuko was pointing at and gasped, turning slightly red with anger. "Who's sick idea of a joke is this? Just delete it, Fuko."
Fuko found herself moving to open the email. "It can't hurt to look, right..?" She said in a small voice.
"Fuko…" Fujio said in a softly sympathetic voice. They had all been hit hard when Hibiki-sensei left, but Fuko had taken it hardest, being in love with her…HIM, she corrected herself. Even now…Fuko still loves him. He doesn't deserve her. Fujio decided. "Fine, but I'm staying here when you open it."
Fuko clicked on the email, opening it. The title had read: "Open for a picture of your beloved Hibiki-sensei, and a link." Instantly, the screen had gone dark. Fujio was about to turn the computer off and restart it when a large picture took up the screen. In it was a man with long black hair, kind eyes, and a brilliant smile, one that promised everything would be okay.
"I-it's him…its Hibiki-san!" Fuko didn't know if she should be giddy, or sobbing, so she opted to do both. The picture wasn't done, however, as the hair turned brown and make up appeared, leaving the same face, but different. "Hibiki-sensei…" The picture vanished, the desktop retuning to normal. For a moment, Fuko panicked. What if the picture was gone now? A note was enclosed in the email, along with a link.
"Dearest Fuko-chan, (and class, should you chose to share.) I come bearing an important question. Click the link to reply and confirm that you wish to hear it."
Fuko couldn't click the link fast enough. What if Hibiki-sensei is in trouble? The screen went black yet again. A single question appeared.
"Do you want to see Hibiki-sensei again? Y/N?"
Fuko instantly hit yes.
"That's good to know. Would you and your class like him to teach again? Y/N?"
Fuko hit yes yet again, her heart beginning to pound as hope rose.
"Then you may need to help convince him. In a few days tops, He will be moving back into the Gochiso, along with two others. He does not yet know, but I have applied him for a position as a gym teacher at Sannomiya Private School as a gym teacher. I leave it to you and your class to convince him to come back."
A moment later, some text was added: "I have taken the liberty of adding some…stuff…to your computer. Hope you like them~"
The screen returned to normal, with the exception of the background shoing a pink heart with a picture of Fuko and Hibiki together, the Hibiki picture alternating between male and female. There was also a new folder, which Fuko promptly opened, revealing several pictures of Hibiki when he was younger, like when he was teaching, and even a few of him as a teen.
"That's so CREEPY! How'd he get all those pictures? And how does he know so much? We need to be careful Fuko, just in case he-FUKO!" Fuko had fainted, a smile on her face as she mumbled.
"Hibiki-sensei…is coming back…"
…..Outside, and laughing her ass off as she spied on them…
Yuna grinned as she watched them. It was a little over the top, and needlessly dramatic, but it was worth it! Things were going to get interesting…and when things got interesting, there was FUN to be had. She refrained from laughing evilly. But in the back of her mind, she worried. Things were calm now…but was it here to stay?
This anime…intrigued me. It was so funny…and so CUTE! *squee* And somehow, Hibiki can REALLY wear womens clothes to the best effect. T'was epic.
I'm slightly saddened by the lack of fics for this one, however…oh well, all the more reason to write for it.