With this chapter I am doing a lot of bouncing around just to get every POV in there as possible. It may seem a little frazzled but just keep up with me. I believe in you!
Whole Again: Remastered
A black openness surrounded me as I looked on with no ability to move or speak. It was dead silent and I realized that even now, I felt less alone than when I was in Ai Land. I chuckled, or at least tried to, at the thought of hating my own home so much.
After a moment a bright scene appeared. A man with a dark face laughed maniacally as he leaned back in a wooden chair. His hand was swinging back forth at his side and he was staring intently at something in front of him, a poster or a picture of someone most likely. After a moment he stood up and swung his arm quickly in a throwing motion. I ran toward the picture automatically, curious what was going to happen. When I got close enough, though, I really just wanted to turn and run. The image was one of the posters they sold in the store of me singing. I gulped down my fear as I got even closer without really wanting to.
In between my eyes was a glittering golden ninja star. It was imbedded deep in the wall behind my face for only a few short second before the image started to dissolve around it. My stomach turned as I realized what he intended to do.
"Prepare yourself, Princess." He said before the scene was once again covered in blackness.
About 5PM that day…
Thunder boomed outside the glass doors of the Shinjuku University Library. I was leaning against a wall wearing my badge on my shirt proudly…well not really proudly, I guess.
I could hear Daisuke humming one of Ai's songs in the front and I secretly scorned him for not being considerate enough to not mention her or ever bring her up again, even. I missed her so much an she had only been gone for about three months.
The thing that hurt the most, I think, was the thought that I would never see her again. In fact, it was pretty much a given that she didn't have a way to come back to Tokyo even if she truly wanted to.
With a heavy sigh I pushed off of the wall and picked a book up off the floor, flipping through the page as I had so many times since Ai left. It was a peculiar book entitled "The Legend of Princess Ai". Although the tory was disgustingly similar to that of my mysterious maiden, it ended a little more tragically than Ai's did. After all, she didn't die in this version of the story. A great weight filled my stomach as I realized that I didn't even really know for sure if that were true.
I took a moment to glance at my watch and shook my head realizing that I had been starring off into space for a good hour. Daisuke was humming a different tune now, this tie by Ayumi Hamasaki or some other Japanese idol. He seemed to have a thing for pop music these days. I was surprised though that my heart felt lighter just because her music wasn't resonating in the back of my mind.
I placed the book back where it belonged on the shelf and made my way to the front to help Daisuke close up shop. As I was shooing the last of the students out the front door I heard a loud thud from up the sidewalk a way and into the bushes. For a moment I starred hoping to see Ai scrambling out being chased by Clover but she didn't come, not to my surprise but definitely to my dismay.
I waved to Daisuke as he rushed down the sidewalk toward the bus stop. I took in a deep breath and braced myself, ready for the cold to the bone feeling I was definitely about to feel.
Running out of the cover of my workplace, I darted straight for the trees and cowered under the canopy the planted trees provided for a short amount of time. I continued through my short cut quickly, noticing that "Clover's Pad" had obviously been sat on. I sighed and bent over to fix the box up a little bit before finally deciding I would just bring a similar one tomorrow.
I then quickly made my way home.
Around 5:30PM the same day…
It was about that time of day when I always made my way over to Club Cupid. Even without Ai there, it was a regular haunt of mine. It held a number of happy memories with her that I would never forget and just being there made me feel closer to her.
Unfortunately, today I was running a little late for an important board meeting for H.T.A and so I wouldn't be able to make it today.
On top of the downpour, traffic was backed up all over the city. I was sitting in my convertible, the top up of course, and drumming the steering wheel to the sound of Ai's song as it played through my speakers. I came to a complete stop at a red light and watched as pedestrians streamed out into the roads, umbrellas everywhere.
I noticed a few that didn't hol umbrellas. A business who looked like he just forgot, a man using his jacket to shield a woman from the rain, all of them quite regular excuses in my mind. That is, except for that girl. For a moment I just shook my head with a smile as I watched Ai cross in front of my car. It was just like her to forget her umbrella.
Wait, what? I jumped out of the car and grabbed the girl's arm. She spun around, shocked, and I ended up apologizing profusely. The girl, in the end, looked nothing like my beautiful Princess. I wondered how I could have made that mistake, that girl I saw had way too much clothing on the be confused for Ai.
I climbed back into my car, flipping the bird to a mad driver behind me before continuing on my way to work. The dark cloud made it look like it was late at night when it was really only about six' o' clock. I swung passed Club Cupid watched the front door as I always did I as drove by, wishing that I would see Ai standing there again for me to pick up using a crude line that generally made her mad. I often imagined her standing at the entrance talking to the manager with her cute, frustrate little glare on that she always got after a run in with Mika.
When I saw her there this time, starring off in to oblivion, I just shook it off. I thought I saw her earlier and now I'm seeing her again. I figured there must be something terrible wrong with me. A ways up the road, I glanced in the rear view, knowing that she wouldn't still be there but what I saw made me slam on the brakes. The man behind me, already angry after me first complete stop in the road, slammed into the back of my car and jumped out cussing and yelling at me. Unfortunately for him, I couldn't take my eyes off that mirror.
I thought that if a I blinked or looked away, Ai would be gone. But she didn't leave. At the sound of the accident her head bobbed out of the trance she seemed to be in and she widened her eyes and started running toward the door to my car.
The blackness that surrounded me vanished in a split second as I opened my eyes and moved my hand to the bump forming on my head. I felt the drops falling on my legs and noticed in was raining and that I was completely drenched.
I was sitting on something cold and soft and when I looked down I noticed it was Clover's box. I felt so horrible. I looked around for a moment trying to find the cat but I couldn't even remember what it looked like. My head seemed groggy and I felt a sneeze coming on. I needed to get warm.
Knowing for sure I was back in Tokyo, I decide I would surprise Kent later on and stood up, flapping the water out of my wings before making my way to Club Cupid. I thought maybe I would run in to Takashi there and I could beg for my job back.
When I got there, the club was closed. The manager had fallen ill and there was no one to replace him. Heavy with regret for not heading back toward the library instead, I decided to just wait by the door for someone I knew to walk by. I figured it had to happen.
The heat I felt running through my whole body told me I was getting a fever but I didn't really know where to go to avoid it. I didn't want to see Kent for the first time with smeared make-up and drooping wings due at the fault of the rain.
The smashing sound of metal pulled me from my daze and I saw a familiar looking car stopped in the center of the road just up ahead. A smile flashed across my face for the first time in what felt like an eternity and I broke out into a full throttle sprint towards Takashi's car.
The back end was all messed up and a man was screaming through Takashi's closed window. My ex-producer's eyes were glued to a rear view mirror locked straight on me. I slowed to a halt and gave him a wave. He starred for a few seconds longer before swinging his door open, pushing the yelling pedestrian aside and run to stand in front of me.
"You're real." He said quietly, staring in awe as if afraid to get too close.
"You say that like you've seen a fake me." I smirked at him as I felt my heart flutter with joy to be able to return to the playful banter so quickly.
His face glowed bright red but I never noticed it through the rain. A small sneeze escaped my lips and suddenly his heavy coat was thrown over my bare shoulders and he was hurrying toward the passenger side of his car. I sent a wink to the offended looking man who had hit Takashi and the man blushed and climbed back into his car saying there was no serious damage.
It seemed like a mere second before I was snuggling into a warm t-shirt Takashi had lent me. I was huddled under a blanket on his couch and he was in the kitchen. It was completely silent except for the sound of the clock ticking on the wall over my head. I didn't know where to start of what to say to break the awkward silence.
Luckily, Takashi took care of the for me, "I made you some hot chocolate and I'll have some of your old things brought up from storage." He said nicely, placing the mug on the coffee table to my left and taking a seat in the arm chair across from me.
"Storage?" I asked. He nodded in reply.
"Yeah, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of any of your old things." Takashi explained, the red tint returning to his face ,"So I had them put into storage in the basement. You should have a good amount of clothes down there.
"Great!" I said excitedly, sitting up, "I'll be able to look awesome when I go see Kent!"
Takashi smiled and nodded, unable to reply.
The following day…
Ai's hair was put up in a cute little pony tail, tied together with a somewhat large black and while bow. A bright pink stripe followed along the center of the bow. Her dress was short and revealing like her usual attire and she was brushing out the wrinkles nervously as she walked along the side walk. Her dark red wings fluttered behind her and she noticed she was getting stares. They made her feel uncomfortable until she overheard a whisper mentioning that "Princess Ai was back." She realized people must be excited to see her returning to show business.
She stopped and chatted with a little girl who had asked for her autograph. Ai was smiling and giggling until the girl's mom pulling her away and apologizing for taking up her time.
Ai stood still for a moment before rolling her eyes and saying loudly, "How long do you intend to follow me, Takashi?"
He leaned out from an alley not too far away and chuckled, "I'm busted, huh?"
"I'll say." Ai cocked an eye brow at him.
"I just want to make sure you're safe. You are famous after all, don't forget." He reminded her for what felt like the twenty millionth time since she had decided to leave and go see Kent at work.
Takashi was now standing right next to her and their conversation continued until Ai put her finger to his lips telling him to be quite. She could heat Kent' voice around the corner just ahead and she ducked into an alley, pulling Takashi with her. She wanted to surprise Kent at work, not on the street.
"Kent, bro, didn't you hear?" Daisuke's unforgettable voice echoed down her alley, "Ai is back in Tokyo."
Ai smiled, excited to see his reaction to that news.
"Daisuke, just stop it!" Kent yelled, "You know that's not possible and besides, don't care even if she is back. I'm over the whole 'angel' thing." They passed by the alley and instead of popping out and scaring Kent, Ai remained frozen with shock staring out into the sunny road still stained with the rainfall from the night before.
"Ai…?" Takashi's voice rang in her ear, "Are you-" He was cut off by Ai breaking into a sprint out of the alley and down the sidewalk.
Okay so the length was slightly better on this one. I apologize for any misspellings and such, I am having issues with my keyboard at the moment. Hopefully it will be all fixed by the time I start the next chapter…unless I start it right now.