It's time. It's time for me to write this epilogue and get this fanfiction done with. It's been a long ride, but I'm glad that you have managed to stick with me to the end. Today is the last day of Winter Break so I found it appropriate to write this up now so I can leave the gap in which no writing is done for the time I get back, which will probably be homework overload.
Note: This, naturally, takes place a few years later. In this case, it is twelve years later.
Lunch was normally a very loud time at the school in Hinamizawa, and this day was no exception. The teacher would simply sigh during this time and lean back in her chair, ignoring her students and eating her lunch as she tried to block out the sound as best as she could. Once again, it was no exception today. Yes, it was indeed just an ordinary lunch period, with children shouting and chatting excitedly to each other.
"Man, did you see that giant car outside of the school today?" a young boy asked his friend. "It was huge! I have never seen anything like it!"
His friend laughed. "You know, Hikaru, I think it's from the city or something similar to that! I don't usually go to Okinomiya. I wonder if there are usually big cars there," she said as she leaned back in her chair, having finished her lunch a little while before. With nothing to do, she found herself chatting happily to her friend.
The boy, Hikaru, nodded. "I know! I don't go to Okinomiya either. I think there are a lot of cool things there. My mom took me shopping once, but that's about it." He let out a large sigh. "Man, I wish I lived in Okinomiya! Hinamizawa is sooo boring!"
The young girl shrugged. "I kind of like it here. It's nice and peaceful and there is never anything bad happening around here! I hear stories about the scary criminals who wander around Okinomiya at night." She paused and narrowed her eyes as her friend listened eagerly. "They creep around the city, waiting. And then… they get right behind you. And when you least expect it…" She paused. "They steal your stuff!" she yelled out dramatically.
The young boy gasped. "Now I don't want to go to Okinomiya! Thank you for spoiling it, Chika!" he complained.
The girl, Chika, frowned. "Hey, I did not!"
She frowned. "Well Hinamizawa is still nice! No murder, no nothing. It's all peaceful and it's beautiful!" she cried out.
The boy did not look convinced, though. He looked around the classroom carefully, and then he got up from his seat and leaned forward, so that his mouth was right in front of the girl's ear. "That is… if you forget about the rumors…" he whispered.
The girl's eyes widened. "You mean… the one about… the demons?"
He nodded. "It is said that once, this place was haunted by demons. They would slaughter humans mercilessly and did all these bad things! Then one day, a strong man appeared and he killed all the demons!" she whispered. "But you know how the rumor goes. The demons may not actually be dead!"
"I-Is it true, though? Are the demons really still alive?" she whispered back.
He shook his head. "No one knows, Chika. But…"
"But what?" she whispered.
"…You know the Sonozaki head? How she always wears that hat? Well, some people say that under it is a pair of horns, and that she's really a demon!" he whispered into her ear, though quite loudly. Had someone been paying attention to the two of them, they probably would have easily heard that.
She gasped. "Oh my god! But is it true?"
"I don't know," Hikaru said. "But there's only one way to find out…"
"You shouldn't…" Chika spoke.
Hikaru stood up straight, smiling at her. "Watch." The boy turned around and began to walk off, much to the girl's dismay. She sighed and shook her head and watched as the boy stood in behind one of his classmates, who was currently talking happily to a group of friends. He turned around to face Chika once, nodded, and then turned back towards the classmate.
"Hey, Asami!" he yelled loudly, causing her to turn around instantly.
The girl blinked in surprise. "Y-Yeah?"
"Is it true?" he asked her.
"Is what true?" she spoke, cluelessness in her eyes.
He smirked at her. "Is it true that your mom is a demon, and that under the hat she has a pair of horns?" he asked her.
The girl looked completely surprised by this question, and once that washed away, she just looked plain angry. If the boy had to be honest, it scared him. "No!" she bellowed out right away, loud enough to break through the atmosphere of the classroom. "My mom isn't a demon and she does NOT have horns under her hat! I wish everyone in the class would stop asking about it!" She looked very upset. It seemed like she got this question a lot from her fellow classmates, and she was very annoyed about it.
Hikaru blinked, stunned.
Chika sighed and shook her head. "I knew he shouldn't have," she whispered under breath.
"Sonozaki-san, please lower the volume of your voice," sighed the teacher.
The green-haired girl turned towards the teacher, looking at her with upset blue eyes. "Sensei! He just asked if my mom was a demon!" she cried out.
The teacher stood up and walked towards him. "Katou-san, you know that Sonozaki-san gets mad when people ask that question, and that is a very rude question to ask," she began to lecture him. "So please think about your words and actions more carefully next time. I want you to apologize to Sonozaki-san right away."
Hikaru looked down at his feet, ashamed of himself. "I'm sorry, Asami," he grumbled.
Asami nodded her head. "It's okay. Never again, please," she replied as she turned back to her group of friends, who were all wearing a stunned look on their faces as they looked at the green-haired girl. They all knew that she reacted badly to such a question but never before had they seen her that angry when someone brought it up.
Hikaru felt terrible as he walked back to his desk, sitting down across from Chika. He didn't know what to say to her. Should he admit that it was wrong for him to go over and ask? He had just been curious, though. Was it really that bad of him?
However, before he could speak Chika did.
"I told you so."
Asami sighed as she walked down the paths of Hinamizawa. She swore, she could not spend one day without someone talking about the rumors involving her mother being a demon. She was usually talkative on the way back to school, but today, she just didn't feel like talking to anyone, not even her friends. She was just sick and tired of those questions, of someone going up to her and asking why her mother wore a hat like that when it wasn't considered usual for a leader to do so.
"Hey, Asami, you're kind of down today," one of her friends pointed out.
Asami only nodded at her.
"Well I don't think the head of the Sonozaki family is a demon," she spoke. "I just think that she just likes wearing hats." She paused for a few moments, waiting for her friend to respond. When she didn't, she began to speak once again. "You know what? I like hats. Hats are fun to wear because there are many kinds of hats. There are the serious ones and then there are the silly ones, and then there are the kind of hats that are colorful and the kind that are only one color. You know what I mean? Hats are fun and I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing a hat."
Asami knew that her friend was trying to cheer her up, but for some reason, she just wasn't in the mood. Besides, it was her time to go, anyways.
"Thanks for helping me." She sighed as she looked over to her side. "But I have to go now."
Her friend frowned. "Aw, do you have to?" she complained.
The green-haired girl simply nodded.
"Well then, see you tomorrow at school!" cried her friend.
"Yeah, bye," she responded.
Asami watched as her friend disappeared into the distance, and then wandered further down the paths of Hinamizawa. She let out another sigh as she kicked a stray pebble sitting in the middle of the road, which tumbled and rolled forward in the dust. She kicked it again as she got to it, which caused it to do the same thing as before. She repeated this action over and over again until she got to her house, then opening up the gate and traveling down the pathway through the garden.
She opened the door to her house and wandered down the hallway until she reached her room, dropping her bag off and then laying back on the futon, tired. There was never much to do after school aside from play with friends, and really, she wasn't in the mood for that right now.
Asami buried her nails into the sheet of her futon, which quickly turned into claws and practically began ripping at the fabric. She hated it whenever someone brought up the rumor about her mother being a demon, because she knew the truth and why she wore that knew that it hurt her mother when people outside the village asked about such a thing, and she hated seeing her mother hurt.
The door to her room slid open. She didn't have to guess who it was.
"…Mommy," she mumbled.
Before her was Sonozaki Mion, her mother, staring down at her daughter. She instantly noticed the look on her face, causing her to become rather surprised. She sighed as she sat down next to her daughter.
"Hello, Asami. Did something happen?" she asked her.
"Stupid Katou Hikaru being his normal self again!" yelled Asami. "Why do they keep asking me what's under your hat?"
Mion stiffened at the mention of such a thing. She too was rather sensitive about the topic, for a good reason, though. She reached out and patted her daughter on the head, knowing that such an action comforted her. "It's okay, Asami. You don't need to be worried about them finding out or anything like that. They're just rumors and no one will ever know unless they forcefully snatch the hat away from me. And besides, we're Sonozakis. He wouldn't dare snatch my hat or anything like that, and if he did, we could punish him." She looked down at her daughter, who didn't seem too convinced.
Her daughter grabbed her hat off her head, revealing two, shiny white horns. The rumors were true. Mion really was a demon and did hide her horns under her hat, but the reason why she did so was because she hardly considered herself a demon anymore. Asami had heard stories about her mother's past before and knew that she used to be an unnamed demon, and that she was proclaimed a technical human after they executed every demon in Hinamizawa, or Onigafuchi as it was known at the time, along with her mother's twin sister. Her aunt had horns and wore a hat too, but she wasn't as talked about as she wasn't the head and wasn't as well known.
"I'm going to have to do the same some day, Mommy! They'll find out!" spoke Asami.
Mion looked at her daughter. "…Asami, open up your mouth," she ordered her.
Confused, the girl opened up her mouth. Mion stared into it, at her daughter's fangs. They were rather small, as she was still young, and she knew that her daughter took a lot of effort not to show them when she was talking. No one would notice, though, if she were to open her mouth too wide. At this stage in life, they may just think that she has abnormally long teeth.
"Claws," she said.
Her daughter stuck out her hands, and Mion watched as her nails changed into sharp claws. They were rather small, but they were sharp and could easily cut and hurt.
She sighed. "It's fine, Asami. Don't worry too much about it. Careful with your fangs and don't unsheathe your claws. You'll be fine." She patted her daughter on the head once again, trying to comfort her.
Asami looked unconvinced. "But when I'm older, I'm going to have horns!" she protested.
Mion frowned. Her daughter was often considered about such a matter, and it was rather appropriate of her, she had to admit. "I don't think they'll be very large, Asami. Remember that you're technically only half-demon, so I think that the horns, the claws, and the fangs won't be too long compared to mine. I only got my horns when I was seventeen so you have a while to go."
Asami did not look convinced.
"I'm still a demon," she complained.
"Half-demon," Mion corrected. "So I wouldn't worry about it at all. Daddy is a human so his blood should stop all that. It's not like we're living back in 1983 or anything… you won't get locked up."
Mion shuddered at the thought of such a thing. She still remembered the years of her life she spent in the basement, and in truth, she had spent more years in the basement than out, even at this point in her life. It was close, but still. Her daughter had nothing to worry about, but she noted that she would still get concerned about such things anyways. Sighing, she took her hat back and adjusted it on her head so that her horns were completely covered, and then stood up.
"Daddy is lucky…" mumbled Asami.
"I know how you feel, Asami. But don't worry, all right?" Mion said with a smile on her face. "I'm sure everything is going to be all right for you."
The half-demon just nodded her head.
"Come here," she told her daughter.
Her daughter stood up and went up to her mother.
Mion wrapped her arms around her daughter, pulling her into a tight embrace to comfort the girl. It helped quite a bit, as she could feel her daughter relax in her embrace. She hoped that the warm feeling that she got from this could heal her, much like it did when she was a little girl, trapped in the basement with no one but her twin sister to heal her. She held her there for quite a long time until she felt that her daughter was better, then pulling away.
She looked at her straight in the eye.
"I've forgotten about being a demon, mostly. You should do the same. You're human, not half-demon," she told her daughter softly. "Got it?"
Asami nodded her head, this time a sure look on her face. "Yes, Mommy… thank you… I love you."
Mion smiled back at her daughter. "You are welcome, and I love you, too."
Mion sighed as she lay on her futon, thinking about all that was going on around her. She was the current head at the moment, Oryou having passed away a few years before. It was a lot of work for her, but she had studied it properly and knew what exactly to do quite well, so it wasn't too much for the girl. She still had a lot of work to do, though, and the rumors going around about the horns didn't help. Of course, many, many, many people knew that it was true, that she did have horns. No one ever spoke of it, though, because they knew that she was considered human now. The ones who did not know were young ones, newcomers, outsiders, and people who just weren't paying attention at both executions (which was hardly anyone). The number of people who knew was higher than the ones that did not, but they all made an effort to let no one know that did not know.
Her daughter, Asami, was rather soft about the whole matter, too. She was a half-demon and carried demon characteristics like fangs and the ability to change her nails into claws, and would one day probably grow horns. When she and Keiichi had decided to have a child, both of them were rather unsure about what would happen, or if she could get pregnant at all. Luckily, it turned out that she could and they had Asami, though they were rather surprised by the fact that she seemed to inherit a lot of her mother's demonic traits. She didn't have a few, though, like she didn't have a particularly strong taste for meat like a normal demon would, but there were still quite a few things she did carry.
As for her other family… her relationship with Keiichi couldn't be better. They were getting along fine and there were no problems. The two of them were just happy to be together, and were actually considering having another child. Shion, on the other hand, was also getting along fine. After a while, the girl had managed to accept her feelings for Satoshi, and the two of them got married a few years ago. They had a daughter, a rather young one at that, who was also half-demon. She seemed to get along with her older cousin quite well, and she was sure Asami enjoyed having another half-demon to talk to.
Yes, things had been wonderful since the end of the war a few years back. There had been no signs of violence, and they had gotten rid of the old Watanagashi quick enough. They changed it to a new kind of festival, a festival that was full of fun. Of course, there was still a traditional ceremony, in which the priestess of the Furude family would cut open a futon with a hoe, then allowing the villagers to drift the cotton down the river. It was a reference to the old one, and much less violent. The children enjoyed it quite a bit.
She got up from her futon. There were no matter she needed to take care of right now, so she decided it would be better to spend her free time doing something rather than sit down and think about how things had been over the last few years.
She wandered down the halls of the building and then walked outside, to the garden. Just as she suspected, outside near the flowers was Shion, Satoko, Rika, and Satoshi, along with Shion and Satoshi's four-year-old daughter who was watching them curiously as they tended to the flowers. Shion had taken quite a very big liking to the garden outside, and she would often take care of it. Satoko would often stop by to help as well, and sometimes Rika, who seemed to have decided to visit today.
"You need to be careful when you water the flowers," Satoko explained to her niece proudly. It seemed she enjoyed having someone younger than her to teach for once, as she had been the youngest of the group back then. "You can drown them if you put too much water on the flowers."
She frowned. "Poor flowers. Too much water…"
"Yes, too much water and then they drown. Poor flowers."
Mion approached the group, who instantly turned around when they saw her coming.
"Ah, sis!" cried Shion. "Came to join us?"
Mion nodded her head as she turned around to observe the scene before her. Satoko was holding a watering can in her hand, having stopped watering when the older woman had approached. Satoshi and Rika seemed to have been watching her as she did that, and were now looking at her. Shion was happily greeting her now, probably having been watching before. Her daughter was still looking at the flowers, intrigued.
"How is it going with the flowers?" she asked them.
Shion smiled. "Ah, wonderful. They're all nice and healthy and none of them have died or anything like that. Satoko is teaching Hana how to take care of the flowers. She turned towards her daughter, who was curiously staring at a bright blue flower.
"I like flowers," Hana's tiny voice said bluntly.
Shion giggled. "She likes flowers, in case you haven't noticed," she told her sister.
Mion laughed at that. Just like her mother and father, Hana had taken a liking to the flowers and seemed most interested in them. Satoko smiled down at her niece as she began to sprinkle more water on the flowers slowly, making sure that each flower had enough water, though not too much. Hana seemed intrigued by this action and watched with wide eyes as the plants received water.
"Careful," Satoshi spoke out. "You don't want to over-water it."
Satoko turned around. "I know!" she cried out to her brother, then tilting the watering can a little upwards so that less water was coming out.
"Yeah, because then the poor flowers are going to die," Hana said as she stared at the watering can, watching as water sprinkled down on the thirsty flowers. "And then the flowers are going to be sad because they are dead."
Satoko laughed at the little girl. "Indeed."
"Their mommy will be sad, too, and their daddy. And the big sister will be sad that the little sister died. Poor flowers. Too much water…" she said sadly as she stared at a small flower, one that was currently being sprinkled gently with water. Small drops were rolling off its petals and down into the soil, and Hana watched this carefully.
Shion sighed. "Hana, flowers don't have parents or sisters, and they don't get sad," she explained to her daughter.
Hana turned towards her mother, looking most annoyed. "Yes they do. The mommy flowers spread the seeds and then they grow into baby flowers. And I know the flowers feel sad because they are alive and living things feel sad," she explained to her mother.
Shion patted her daughter on the head. "Flowers are a lot different from humans, Hana. They don't have feelings and they don't have parents."
"Yes they do!" cried Hana again, this time looking very upset. "You just don't understand flowers!"
Suddenly, Rika laughed loudly, causing everyone's attention to shift to her. She was cracking up and seemed to be unable to stop herself, much to everyone's surprise. She had laughed many times before, but never had she laughed this hard. Finally, she stopped, after what seemed like forever, and looked at Shion straight in the eye. "Shion, this whole scene reminds me quite a bit of someone," she said to the younger green-haired twin.
Shion sighed, rubbing her temples. "Oh, I know…"
Hana turned back towards the flowers. "Don't worry, little flower. I understand you and I will be your friend," she told it. "My name is Hana. What is your name?"
The flower, naturally, said nothing.
"Hey, what's so funny?" yelled a very upset Hana. "I was just asking the flower if it needed any friends! Flowers need friends too!"
Satoshi stopped laughing and rubbed her daughter's head, much like how he would rub Satoko's. "Oh Hana, one day, you'll understand…"
Hana crossed her arms, stomped, and said nothing.
That's when they heard footsteps approaching, breaking the remaining laughter, and Mion instantly turned around to find out who it was. Much to her surprise, it was her very own husband along with her daughter, who had probably came when they heard all of the laughter in the air.
"Hey, everyone. What are we laughing at?" Keiichi asked.
"Oh, Hana here just likes flowers. She doesn't understand them as well as she thinks, though," Shion explained to the boy. "Hey—"
She turned around to say something to her daughter, but the girl was already gone. She was running up to her cousin, a happy expression on her face when she spotted her. Asami looked rather surprised as the even younger girl hugged her tightly, beginning to happily cry out her name as she held herself close to her. "Asami! Yay! You came! I'm happy now! Well, I was happy before, but I'm even happier now! Yay!" she cried out to her.
Asami smiled as she spotted her cousin, hugging her right back. "Hi, Hana!" she cried right back. "How are you?"
"I'm happy!" she cried right back. "I was watering the flowers and I learned a lot about them and I'm happy because of that!"
She didn't bother to mention how it had actually been Satoko who was watering the flowers, but no one seemed to really care. Asami seemed to believe her, too. "I want to water the flowers sometime, too!" she cried out.
"Well maybe you can ask sometime, but right now my aunt is watering the flowers so you can't," she said to her. "But we can play!"
"Sounds good! What do you want to play?" she asked.
The younger girl looked puzzled for a few moments, and her face contorted with that emotion as she tried to figure out what she should play. "Uh… I wanna play tag," she decided.
"I love tag! Catch me if you can!" cried Asami.
"Hey, not fair!" complained Hana as she ran after her older cousin.
Mion smiled as she watched her daughter and niece play around in the garden. She had done similar things when she was younger, though of course not as young as they were. In truth, Asami was only two years older than Hana, so the two of them got along very well. Asami found comfort in knowing that she was not the only half-demon in the world, that there was another of her kind. Of course Hana barely took any notice of this and only brought it up rarely, but that didn't stop her from becoming close to her cousin. The two of them sometimes acted like sisters.
"You remember when we used to do that?" Keiichi asked, standing beside his wife.
Mion nodded, recalling memories fondly. "I remember the first time that we played tag. It was a lot of fun."
"I agree. We completely tricked you!" cried Shion.
Keiichi rubbed the back of his head as he recalled such a memory, of how he could never beat the twins at tag or any other kind of game. "Well you know what? I got my revenge. I beat you several times, Mion, even if you beat me several more times," he spoke. Yes, he had managed to beat Mion a few times, but his winning rate was still a lot lower than Mion's. He knew for a fact that he would never be able to surpass that and accepted it, but it didn't stop him from having fun. It wasn't about winning or losing in the end, it was about how much fun you had while playing the game.
"And remember the one time I trapped you all?" Satoko asked. "I set up a huge net in the middle of the forest and you guys fell right into it! It was an obvious trap but apparently not to you guys. Honestly, how did you NOT see the trap?" she asked them.
Rika gently touched her cheek, rubbing it. "…That rock was sharp… I think my cheek was cut for a week."
Satoko blinked at her. "What part about it involved a rock?" she asked.
"When the net fell out of the tree, my cheek smashed onto a pointy rock. It hurt," she explained.
Satoko blinked. She hadn't intended for that to happen, and she didn't recall it happening, either. "Ah, that's confusing. I'm sorry."
"Don't be," replied Rika. "That was years ago, anyways."
"Ah, and remember when Mion and Shion pretended like they were 'it' when we were playing Zombie Tag?" asked Satoshi, a smile on his face as he recalled such a memory. "They were the worst kind of tricksters. I think that would be considered cheating…"
Mion shrugged. "Well, nowhere in my book did it say that it was against the rules. Therefore it was perfectly okay for us to do that!" she cried out.
Keiichi smiled as he remembered those words as the words she had said when she had first tricked him during their very first game of Go Fish, where she had told him that it was not against the rules to look at the back of the cards and therefore her form of cheating was perfectly okay. It was the first time they had played a game together, the first time he had discovered her strange tactics to win games. She had used those kinds of tactics throughout her gaming life, and never once did she fail to come up with some winning strategy, though there were some times where they would fail and someone else would win anyways.
"Oh, it was perfectly okay, all right! So was the time that we switched places when one of us was it, and so was the time where we gave each other our answers when we were playing 'Sympathy', and so was the time where we have each other our clues when we were playing 'Clue', and so was the time where we…" Keiichi had to block out what Shion was saying. There were just too many times and her list seemed to go on forever and ever.
"Those were good times," said Satoshi. "We were able to play and be happy despite all that had happened around us, and we could forget all about that." He turned towards Shion and Mion. "In fact, we were pretty good at forgetting things. I forgot Shion and Mion were demons for a few days until Shion took off her hat one day and I saw the horns. Then I remembered."
"Huh? I'm a demon? Horns? What horns?" Shion said in a faux-oblivious tone, pretending as if she didn't know what the boy was talking about.
"Yeah, I don't know about any horns or demons. What about you, Keiichi?" Mion said to her husband.
Keiichi crossed his arms and stood there for a few good moments before he shook his head. "Nope, I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't recall anything about Mion being a demon, or Shion. And I certainly don't think that there are horns under their hats."
Satoshi just laughed. "Oh yeah, that never happened," he said, knowing fully well that it did but pretending that it did not.
Yes, they were very good at pretending. They pretended that Mion and Shion were human, and now were pretending to forget that their children were half-demon. They pretended like they forgot about the whole dark times, only bringing it up every once in a while. It was hard not to talk about that sometimes, after all.
"…Pretending aside, though. How are things doing with the hat?" Rika asked, her tone suddenly serious.
Mion sighed. "Well, pretty much everyone knows aside from the young ones and the outsiders, but that aside, fine. Asami keeps telling me that people ask her if I'm a demon and she says that I'm not. She gets very upset about it, though," she muttered.
"I have some rumors, but people generally talk about sis more, since she's the head and all that," Shion said as she turned towards her sister, eyeing the hat on her head. "It's not that bad, though. I just pretend they're really rumors but it can be a little hard at times. That aside, things are fine."
Rika nodded. "Just wondering."
"You know, someday, Asami is going to have horns, too," Keiichi spoke as he turned towards his daughter, who was currently chasing around her younger cousin in the distance. "And so will Hana. And then, they'll have to wear hats too. What will people think? Will they think that they are covering their heads because they inherited horns from their mother, which they did, or will they just think they're copying Mion and Shion?"
Shion sighed. "I don't know, Kei-chan. But I plan to give her a hat and hope no one makes rumors. If they do, she'll do something about it," she replied as she watched her daughter carefully.
"…I told Asami not to worry about it. She's a little girl, and she won't have horns for a long time. She's six now, so that means in about eleven years," Mion answered, watching her daughter carefully. "But you know what? When the time comes, I think that we're going to do what we do best."
Satoko smiled mischievously. "You mean…"
"Yes, we pretend they aren't there. We just say we're all human here and be done with it," Mion replied, a grin on her face. "That includes me, Shion, my daughter, and Hana. We're all humans and there are no such thing as the horns."
"Yeah… in fact… why were we even talking about horns?" Satoko asked. "There are no horns here!"
Keiichi laughed. "Yeah, no one has horns!"
They all knew it wasn't true, but that wasn't what mattered. What mattered is that those words had made them believe that it was true, and made them live a happier life. Mion and Shion were better off if they were to just forget that they were demons and all the bad times, and Asami and Hana would be better off if they pretended that they too were human. They wouldn't have to stand out or anything. in their minds, all of this was true, and it was what helped them move forward.
"Hey, anyone up for a game of tag?" Keiichi asked.
Satoshi blinked at him. "We're adults now, Keiichi. Don't you think tag is a little… childish, for us?"
"Ah, who cares?" Keiichi said, turning to the other man. "Listen, we don't need to think about the old times and just remember them fondly! I don't want to just have memories; I want to be able to experience it! So that's why I think that we should play tag, even if it is childish."
Suddenly, a huge smile broke out across Mion's face. "This old man agrees! I'm up for a game. What do you say about that, my partner?" she spoke as she turned towards her sister.
Shion grinned at her sister. "I'm up for that. You guys?"
Satoko suddenly burst out into laughter, to no one's surprise. "Ohohohohoho! Well, I have a few more traps up my sleeve, and we know how much I've improved over the last few years…"
Satoshi blinked at his sister. "You've been practicing?"
Satoko nodded. "While no one is around, I set up traps in the forest."
"That's why a frying pan hit me on the head yesterday…" Rika said under her breath, though everyone heard it.
"Well, in any case, I'm in, too. I'd like to play again with everyone," Satoshi said, turning to the others. "The only one left is Rika."
Everyone turned to the blue-haired girl, awaiting her response. She said nothing for a little while, and everyone stood there in anticipation. Suddenly, a smile broke out across her face, one that reminded everyone of the old times. "Who would I be to say no to such an offer? Besides, I've had this secret craving inside me to go ahead and start playing games with you all again. I'm definitely up for it."
"Then it's decided!" cried Mion out loud, in a way that reminded everyone of how she used to do it when she was younger. "We're going to play another game! Instead of tag, though, I say we play hide and go seek!" She turned towards her husband, a smirk on her face. "And I call Kei-chan for being it!"
Keiichi looked surprised. "Why me?"
"Because!" Mion responded. "Do I need a reason?"
"I agree with Mion!" cried Satoko.
"Same," Rika said.
"It'll be just like old times!" Shion spoke with a smile.
"Then it's decided! Let's go!"
The adults broke out into a run as Keiichi stood behind, covering his eyes and counting. He did not know why, but he was usually the one chosen to be "it" in these sort of games. He counted down from thirty, soon reaching to one, and then to zero.
"Here I come!" declared Keiichi.
Everyone was already hidden by then. Mion found herself in a particularly good hiding space, in a bush somewhere in the forest. She was ducking down, hoping that the little bit of her green hair that was showing would blend in to the bush. It was perfect. The woman watched with narrow eyes as her husband looked about the garden. He eventually managed to find Rika and Satoshi in easy spots, but he was unable to find her, even as she stared out at him.
This is perfect. I'll win once again. Ehehe…
Suddenly, there was a crash, and Mion felt a body ram into her own. She was startled by this, and looked down to find her daughter, who was now rubbing her head.
"Asami?" Mion spoke in disbelief.
Asami blinked up at her mother, surprise in her eyes. "Mommy! What are you doing hiding in the bush?"
Mion held a finger to her lips, silencing the girl. "Mommy is playing hide and go seek right now, and she can't be seen! Your Daddy is looking carefully," she explained silently to the girl.
Asami looked shocked. "Wah… Mommy, why are you playing hide and go seek? You are an adult!" she pointed out.
"Who cares? I can still have fun. Now quiet, Daddy will find us."
She stood there watching as Keiichi came closer, scratching his head as he looked about. He couldn't see her, even though a bit of her hair was sticking out. It seemed that having green hair had its advantages. Keiichi couldn't find her here, that was for sure.
"Daddy!" Asami suddenly cried. "Mommy is right here!"
Keiichi whipped around, instantly spotting his wife. He smirked as he walked over to her, tagging her with his hand.
Mion turned to her daughter, disbelief in her eyes.
"Asami, I said not to say a word!" she cried out.
Asami smiled. "Well, I had to go anyways and the movement would probably make Daddy look this way. So it would be the same if I called out!" she explained. "Now I have to go chase Hana. See you!"
The girl rushed off without another word, much to Mion's dismay.
"Found you. Mion. Now help me find the others. Satoshi has his eye out for Satoko and Rika was looking for you, so you can find Shion. You know her well enough to know where she's hiding, right?" Keiichi spoke to his wife.
However, Mion looked annoyed. "I call that that didn't count! I get to hide again!"
Keiichi shook his head. "No. Nowhere in my rules does it say that getting help form people outside the game is against the rules, and in fact, I think children do it often. Therefore, it's okay for me to do that!" he cried out, mimicing the girl's words.
Mion didn't look too happy about having her own words used on her. "Well then… nowhere in the book does it say that I can't hide again! See ya!" she cried out as she began to run off.
"Hey, wait, it does say that in the rules. Come right back here!" cried Keiichi as he began to chase after his wife.
Mion turned around to smirk at him. "Catch me if you can!" she yelled out.
"Wait, Mion, this isn't tag! Stop!"
"Too bad, Kei-chan!"
But it seemed as if his wife had no intention of stopping, so he ended up chasing after her, anyways. She was too fast, though, and he eventually found himself growing tired. That didn't stop him. He was Sonozaki Keiichi, and he was not one to give up on such a thing. He needed to beat her again! He chased after her, running through the gardens determinedly as he trailed behind his own wife, who was very fast, to say the least.
It was just like old times. Even if they had grown up, and even if there were bad rumors about Mion and the hat, they could still be happy and play as adults. They were best at pretending. They could still pretend that they were kids and that there were no rumors. That was the way they achieved happiness before, after all. Pretending.
And now, even though they were grown up, it seemed as if that didn't change. They were still pretending and playing games. Even if they had children of their own now, they were still acting quite like a child would. But that didn't matter to them. All that mattered to them was that they were happy.
And that was certainly true right now.
Even if it involved pretending, and even if it involved acting like children, even if their past had been filled with death and darkness, they were happier than anyone else in the world. And to them, that was all that mattered.
Crimso's Corner V.2: Final Edition.
…The end. Yup. There's no more. BFB is officially over. Man, I feel like I'm having déjà vu. This reminds me of when I finished GED. In fact, if I ever finish a fanfiction again, which I hope to, I feel like I will be having the same feeling all over again.
That being said, I want to take a few moments to thank my reviewers. Reviews help and they have certainly led me to updating more and continuing with this fanfiction. So thank you if you have reviewed! I can't thank you all, but I can mention a few of you that have been rather consistant with reviews. So thank you Uryuu-Nipaa for being so constant with reviewing and giving me some nice comments, Michael S. Repton for also being so constant with reviews and providing me with helpful criticism (that chapter will be fixed!), triple baka for being rather constant and reviewing several of my chapters, Himewolf398 for also being constant and having nice comments, and Killerbee77 for reviewing constantly, and I can accept the fact that he was busy so he has a reason for not reviewing a few chapters and I respect that.
Okay, so you know I don't like asking for reviews anymore, but here, I really want you to review the whole story. I have an outline for you, but you don't have to follow it. I would prefer if you did, though. It would make me very happy if you did review.
One: Who was your favorite character from the original Higurashi series, and why? This is tricky. I'm not going to ask you for how similar they were to the original because their circumstances make it hard, but instead, just who was your favorite and why in general.
Two: Who was your least favorite from the original Higurashi series, and why? Self-Explanatory. Once again, I'm not talking about how close I was to the original character. Just in general, due to the AUness.
Three: Who was your favorite OC and why? Self-explanatory. I'm talking about structure this time, and not their actions. If you thought Makoto was a pretty cool girl for being king and all (just an example), that's cool, but I want to know which one was designed the best.
Four: Who was your least favorite OC and why? Self-Explanatory. Again, structure. Takeru was a pretty terrible guy for the things he did but that's not what I'm talking about. Of course, you can say him if you think that.
Five: What was your favorite part, and what was your least favorite?Self-Explanatory. Please tell me what I should fix. And I know, Chapter twenty-one. Don't mention that because I am already aware of it.
Six: What did you think of the plot/concept of BFB? I didn't ask this for GED, but since BFB is pretty original and I may rewrite it someday I want to know what level of interest you had in plot/concept and if you like it or not.
Whew, that's a lot to ask of you guys, and I am sorry. Also, talk a little about the epilogue. Not much, just a little. I want to know how that was, too. Once again, you don't need to follow it, I'd just prefer if you did because I need feedback.
And now is my final goodbye. I don't have much to say here besides thank you for reading and reviewing if you did, and I love you all for it. BFB was a huge part of my everyday life staring from when it was published and it is sad to see it go. Moving it from "In-Progress" to "Complete" will be tough, but I have done it before and it is time to do so a second time. Thank you all for reading and hopefully enjoying!
I will be back soon.
~For the last time, Crimso