This is a full blown AU, going through the entire season of Frontier with quite a bit extras, so it's going to take quite a while to write up. And I figured since I've done the outline, I might as well get a start or I'll never finish this or any other story I've got my mind on (the ideas are all sitting in a sixty-something page file).
This story is planned to be fifty chapters long, plus a prologue and epilogue, so a total of 52 chapters, but the ending might be extended once I reach that stage back in the human world and feel as though I haven't done enough, so that's not a definite outline. How do I get myself into these again?..Never mind, rhetorical question. Apparently my mind is too wild to settle down. Hate to think what's gonna happen if I ever get married.
I'm using the English Dub version of Frontier as the base reference this time, not the Japanese sub I normally use for longer fics. No particular reason, I honestly just felt like it.
For this fic, the twins are born just before and just after midnight on the first and second of April respectively. This is because the cut-off date in Japan for starting school is the first of April, which means Koichi started a year ahead of his brother and this is in the same grade as JP, while Koji, Izumi and Takuya are in the same grade.
The parents aren't divorced, so the twins live together the whole way through. But as Elizabeth and Jessica say in Sweet Valley Twins, there is a such thing as too much togetherness.
Notes on the events in this chapter are at the end. Don't scroll down and cheat, it'll spoil the prologue.
More specifically regarding the prologue as well, this takes place several years before the events of chapter 1 onwards.
I'll probably finish Butterflies' Flight before I update this again. Five chapters left on that one (4 + an epilogue).
Sorry for that monster author's note and enjoy.
AU. What if the twins' parents never divorced? What if being pushed together was the very rift that divided them? What if envy was spurned from societal influence-and the gate opened amidst?
Kouichi K & Kouji M
Koichi was engrossed in a book, which honestly wasn't anything new. He was quite a bookworm, always buried in some sort of literature, whether that be school texts that went beyond his level of current elementary education (which was, due to a funny coincidence, a year ahead of his twin brother), or novels that were generally only checked out of the local libraries by students at least past fourth grade. He was in first, but that wasn't stopping him...except the difficulty of reaching the higher shelves with the librarian was more than happy to help out with. And when the young boy didn't have his nose in a book, he was either writing or drawing in the comfort of his dark room.
Koji was far more active, and despite not having his brother's docile personality, far more sociable, perhaps because the strong wall others, such as a certain Takuya Kanbara, tended to encounter made them push back harder, or perhaps it was because, closed off as he appeared to appear, he was actually more open than the said twin brother who tended to spend more time on his own than anyone really considered healthy. Of course, not actually knowing for sure where he was for the most part was a major contributor to that assumption, though their parents tended to be concerned as to his health and made sure to at least know his general location at all points of the day, something that bugged both twins on various occasions.
Despite the friends he hung out with (and on occasion over a story-telling session or a board game in which he lost interest half-way through), Koji also enjoyed sports, most specifically martial arts, and picking apart loopholes in various movies while working strategies in video games (he was not admitting defeat to a four year old game guru). While Koichi occasionally joined his brother on the former, weather permitting, the latter two had been ruled out since birth.
Which is why, while his brother read up in his room, Koji plugged in a new edition of Kingdom Hearts downstairs and attempted to bypass the elusive level.
Their parents were out, as they sometimes were, leaving the twins to themselves. Normally, things weren't fine, though Mr and Mrs Minamoto sometimes expected, as kids were, to find the house in shambles. But the twins had kept from destruction thus far, which both adults were relieved about.
What they hadn't expected that particular day was to find the small but cosy house falling apart...literally, and to no fault of the two children inside, firemen having just arrived and attempting to douse the flames.
The first either of the two brothers saw of the fire was the electricity suddenly knocking out Koji's game. 'What?' he asked himself blankly, before yelling for his brother. 'Koichi? Did you switch off the power?'
'How could I?' he asked after a minute, appearing in the hallway and shielding his eyes, before uncovering them when he noted the lights were also off. 'The meter box is outside.'
'Well then, how-' The younger twin stopped talking as he noted the odd scent coming from the open kitchen door. 'What in the world?'
His curiosity sprouted the interest of the older twin. After all, Koji wasn't a big fan of the kitchen in general. So what could possibly in there that-
The thought was immediately cut off as Koji attempted to shut the door...before burning his hand on the knob. 'Ouch,' he hissed, before urgency took over and he backed away.
'What is it?' Koichi asked, now starting to look a little concerned, literally feeling the fear from the other.
'The kitcken's on fire,' the other said tersely, looking at the front door, only to find the edges crumbling as fire knocked it down. In minutes, it had fallen in, showing both twins, now crowded in the hallway, that the flames had started outside.
'Back door,' Koji ordered, covering his mouth and nose with his sleeve pulling his brother's to direct the boy in that direction, before letting go and hurrying away himself. 'Come on, hurry up before that gets blocked too.'
Koichi hadn't moved, already feeling lightheaded and dizzy, two of the signs of his aura stage. They could last between seconds and hours, however awareness could still be lost somewhere in between, giving into repetitive and unconscious behaviour: in his case, shivering. Koji however had forgotten his brother's photosensitive epilepsy, commonly abbreviated as PSE for simplicity's sake, and hadn't considered that a sudden fire would no doubt trigger an attack.
Hence why he hadn't noticed his brother wasn't directly behind him until he had made it outside and into the arms of his mother.
'Oh Koji,' Tomoko cried, cradling her son in his arms. 'Thank goodness you're alright, and-Oh, where's Koichi?'
Kousei from behind looked at the burning house, now the entire outer surface (perhaps so easily spread due to the rose bushes and shrubs circling the building) was aflame, and who knew how bad it was inside.
The lead fireman, noting the new arrival, came over after having finished stationing his personell. 'Is there still someone inside?' he asked, calling a paramedic (who had been just behind the fire squad) over to check the young boy.
'Yes,' the woman sobbed, still clutching her son as her husband's grip on her shoulder's tightened. 'My other son.'
Koji shook in his mother's embrace, memory finally kicking in.
'He's epileptic,' Kousei explained, face tightening. 'I'm-'
'No you're not,' the firefighter snapped, holding the father back and calling someone else over to keep the family at a safe distance. 'Leave us to do our job.'
They had to. They really had no choice.
Satisfied, the man, dressed in his protective gear, plunged to the back door, around which licks of fire-lizards were starting to lick. Looking around the burning home, he immediately noticed the child, perhaps because he was still standing, though apparently not aware of the ashes of death around him.
'Hey kid!' he shouted, carefully making his way over, avoiding the ceiling beams that had fallen around them.
The boy simply trembled, before suddenly jerking sharply and collapsing, shaking violently as something akin to a scream erupted from his throat.
The fireman would have cursed at the horrible, if the fire wasn't still burning with no signs of being quelled. The violent shaking made it almost impossible to carry him (he couldn't even stop the smoke inhalation or the fire licking his skin), but there really wasn't any choice, as the roof looked as though it would collapse at any minute; it was one of the more fragile areas of the roof's foundation.
Luckily, the tremors had stopped into complete unconsciousness by the time he got the boy onto a stretcher, the rest of the family still held far away as to not be on the way. The fire was dosed as the cause was investigated and firefighters frisked by medical personnel before given the green-light to return to base.
Another pair of paramedics leaned over the unconscious victim, assessing the slight burns, carbon inhalation and possible damage from the ill-timed seizure. Somewhere between slipping an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose and strapping him onto a gurney, he came back to, blurrily looking at the masked unfamiliar faces in slight fear.
One, a female, smiled gently beneath the mask, reaching out to stroke his hear gently as tears began to form. He couldn't see the uniforms because they were leaning over him, so he had no way of knowing who they were. They were trying to reassure him though, but he hurt, and he wanted his family there, not strangers he had never met.
He had no way of knowing they were only feet away as he drifted back into unconsciousness.
Post Author's Notes
Many things can cause household fires, but ones that start outside and aren't arson of any sort are generally caused by a faulty fuse box or else faulty outside wiring or overload of electricity in the said wires. That's why it's so important to have these things done correctly and have a safety switch (they cut the circuit when they sense overloads) to prevent such fires from occurring. Once a fire has started in a house, they spread surprisingly fast. Closed doors stop fires from progressing fast, and smoke rises depending on the layout of the house. Not necessarily towards the people inside. But first rule if there is smoke around you: stop, drop and roll.
Smoke inhalation from such fires can lead to death in 50-80% of cases. In other cases (apart from being absolutely fine of course), coughing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, headaches and changes in mental status (fainting, seizures, comas etc.) can occur. Permanent side effects can occur, such as a permanent change in voice or persistent scarring and shortness of breath. Hence the oxygen mask at the end.
Photosensitive Epilipsy (PSE)
A form of epilepsy where seizures is triggered by visual stimuli, in this case, a sudden change in light levels or black/white flashes. Most PSE patients generally experience an 'aura' before actually going through the motions of the seizure, which allows them to move away or warn that a seizure is about to occur. The aura stage consists of déjà vu, light headedness, dizziness, unusual and/or intense emotions and/or altered vision/hearing/other senses. Sometimes, they will lose complete awareness and fall into a simple partial seizure where they undergo repetitive movements such as blinking or shivering, before (perhaps) falling into a grand mal stage. The aura usually lasts between seconds and hours.
The severity of the seizures depends on the patient, but in this case, it's a grand mal call tonic-clonic. In this stage, following the 'aura' stage is the tonic, which is a complete loss of consciousness where the skeletal muscles suddenly tense for a few seconds (this is usually the shortest, unless the aura was extremely short) cause the body to sort of collapse on itself if standing up and fall. People can scream or moan to expel collecting air at this stage. Next is the clonic stage, where the muscles convulse, ranging from exaggerating twitching to violent shaking. They can move around, eyes can roll back and/or close, and the tongue is often bruised as the person accidently bites. Inconsistence also occurs in some cases.
Following grand mal seizure, the person normally falls into postictal sleep where the brain recovers from the seizure and associated trauma. The actual sleep can last between five to thirty minutes, sometimes longer, but other symptoms such as amnesia, nausea, drowsiness, confusion, migraines, regular headaches etc. It is also possible for the person to become sick (eg. Vomiting) following a seizure.
Sodium valproate is commonly prescribed, and there is no current 'cure' for PSE. Most tend to avoid symptoms completely, but things such as power outages, fires and the road tends to make that impossible.
People with conditions such as epilepsy carry a medical identification tag which alerts medical personnel in case of an emergency, generally in forms of bracelets, necklaces or ID cards, even if they are themselves in no condition to say so.
Whew, a lot of information there. Almost as long as the prologue itself. Either from Wikipedia, news clippings from my collection or stuff from the MS readathon in primary school (and yes, I do remember, even though that was over seven years ago). Or biology or chemistry lectures.
Don't worry. The next chapter isn't nearly as...dramatic.