Chapter 3

Loss

AN: All Japanese words will be translated at the end in chronological order, so write down any you are not familiar with, and look them up at the end. Names are in Japanese order; family name - given name. (Also, a big thank you my friend Was Abi)

The next morning, Minoru had vanished. His sleeping arrangements had been in Taro's room, since Taro had a collection of futons left behind when his friends made the mistake of spending the night there. The only thing they found was a note saying "Thanks."

"Well, we'll probably never see him again," Taro said grimly.

"Yeah," she sighed. "Well...Let's get ready to go to school."

"Alright." The two went back to their rooms to put their uniforms on. Yuuka was glad to be able to change without interruption again. Taro was glad he wouldn't have to yell at anyone, especially since dad was home. When they were done, Yuuka made breakfast for the both of them, and since they had plenty of time, they ate.

When they were done, she saved some food for when dad would get up, then they went up to get their bags. Wordlessly they got their shoes on, and walked out the door, not bothering to inform dad that they were leaving. The street was empty, as usual, and so the siblings walked in silence. After a block, Yuuka felt a tug on her hair.

"Stop it, Taro!" She looked over at him, his face innocent.

"Stop what?" He asked, confused.

"You know what you - OUCH!" This time she saw that Taro hadn't done it.

"Okay, I'll guess again; Daisuke-san, is that you?"

"H'yep!" Daisuke came out from behind her, wearing a white zip-hoodie over his navy blue uniform. His hair was spiky like an anime character's, and his grin covered his face.

"Jerk," Yuuka mumbled.

"Huh? What was that?"

"Nothing!"

A few blocks later, Taro had to split from the other two. He still hadn't gotten all the way over Minoru's "accident," so it took him a while to get the courage to leave. Daisuke saw his face and read it well enough to understand.

"Don't worry, little guy, nothing'll happen. I'll protect her." Reassured, Taro left, and Daisuke and Yuuka watched him till he disappeared.

"Okay, let's go," Yuuka said. "We'll be late otherwise."

"Yeah, okay."

They started walking. Silence filled the air, so when the ambulance passed by a few blocks over, it was loud. Yuuka wanted to say something, but her mind was blank. She wished Daisuke had something to say, but had the feeling that he was in the same boat, so they walked in silence. Yuuka finally realized that she could talk about Hayate, and thought of the best way to bring him up.

"So...You know there are doppeliners...Er...Doppelgangers, ne?"

"Hai..." Daisuke said, unsure of where Yuuka was going.

"Well, you have one in the area. I've met him."

"What?"

"H-his name is Hayate-kun, and he looks EXACTLY like you."

"Well, wanna introduce me?"

"Eh...not really..."

"Why not? I'm sure he'd love to meet me!"

"Eh...Either you or him will die if you meet, and I'd rather you both live."

"Oh, I guess I do see the problem there."

That last sentence, spoken tentatively, was the close to the rest of conversation, so they walked the remaining distance to school, which was when school started.

The school day was long, and Yuuka felt so glad when it was finally over. Walking home, Daisuke was silent. Finally, he asked, "How do you know one of us will die?" Yuuka was surprised, and wasn't sure what to say back. "With the doppleganger. How do you know one of us would die?"
"Oh yeah, I just had an angelic being in my house last night" only worked on certain people, and Daisuke wasn't one of them. Finally she said, "I have my ways. Are you sure you want to question them?"

"When you say it that way, I guess not."

"Good. Now shh, Taro's coming, and he doesn't know about the doppel...gangers."

"Okay, okay."

"Hey Yuuka, How was school?"

"Extremely boring, like always. How about for you?"

"More or less the same."

"Awesome." She said, sarcastic tones dripping from her words. Another ambulance went by. That was the third one she'd heard all day. She wondered what had been going on lately. There weren't nearly as many ambulance calls on normal days, where maybe a far off ambulance would be close enough to faintly hears its sirens. She shrugged it off and turned back to the two boys waiting for her.

"Alright, let's go home!"

"Yeah!"

They started walking, chatting about the down and dirty stuff they had actually done at school. Taro had dissected a frog for biology. Yuuka remembered doing that...well, at least, almost passing out because of that. She was never good with dissections, or Biology for that matter. In fact, Daisuke had helped her in that class more than once. She was in his debt, and in more ways than one.

She looked at him, and unwittingly smiled. He saw her, and returned the smile with his own. Her heart fluttered a little. Taro, oblivious, kept chattering about everything in his day. Of what he said, the only thing that stuck in Yuuka's mind was that one of the girls in his class had died.

"Hold up, Taro. How did she die?"

"What?"

Yuuka realized that the girl who died was earlier in the conversation, and that she hadn't been paying much attention. She tried to play it cool.

"The girl in your class; how did she die?"

"They say she was hit by a drunk driver."

"Oh yeah, I thought I heard about that," Daisuke said. "Her name was Riko, right?"

Taro nodded. "Yeah. She was a friend of a friend. But in my class, that's basically everyone."

Both Yuuka and Daisuke nodded, understanding perfectly. That was basically how it was in middle school - everyone was a friend of a friend. If you didn't know someone personally, you knew a friend of theirs.

"So...when will they have the shrine up?"

"Next week."

"Well, yeah...I figured that."

"Wednesday of next week, then. The teachers told us that we all had to be there."

"Well, I'll make sure you're there on Wednesday."

"Yeah, whatever."

"I will! The only thing that will keep me from doing that is death itself!"

"Well, according to the number of ambulances lately, it's pretty possible..." They all stopped. Yuuka turned to Taro.

"You've heard a few ambulances today as well?"

Taro nodded.

"How many?"

He thought for a second.
"I'd say...four."

Yuuka started moving again, trying to get them home.

"We've heard 7 ambulances total. Something big is going on around here, I can feel it." The trio arrived at Daisuke's turn. He wanted to follow them a little further, just to know that they would get home safe, but knew that his parents would worry about him.

"Sorry guys, I gotta get home from here. See you tomorrow!"

"Mata, Daisuke-san." Taro said. Yuuka was still lost in thought. "Sis," Taro prompted, and she muttered a "Later."

The siblings kept walking home, Yuuka still lost in thought. When she finally stopped, she realized she had left Taro behind. She stopped at a crosswalk with a red light telling her to not walk there. A few seconds later, Taro caught up from far behind her.

"Hey sis, I just saw a boy that looked exactly like me!" The crosswalk light turned white, telling them they could cross. Taro ran out into what should have been an empty street.

"Taro, wait!" Yuuka yelled seeing a moving object in the corner of her eye. Taro turned around just before a truck slammed into him.

Ne (nay) – right?

Hai (high) – Yes, correct

(Oi, lack of Japanese words in this chapter)

Yuuka and Taro: O_O

Yuuka: Wait, aren't you dead?

Taro: Yes, but I can still appear here...

Yuuka: Oh.

Me: I told you that you wouldn't like this chapter...

Yuuka: I hate you...

Me: Sorry. Anyway, readers, please review! Was it a surprise? Did you see it coming? Do you want giant bedbugs to be killed with fire?

Junpei: HEY! THAT"S NOT NICE!

Me: Stay tuned!

(Seriously, tell your friends...and, you know, review!)