A Munto Fanfiction: Our Crossroads © RedWingedAngel002
Disclaimer: Munto; Sora Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai © Kyoto Animation; Yoshiji Kigami and Tomoe Aratani
Genre: Angst, Drama, Hurt-Comfort, and Suspense
Summary: "There's a story behind every person. There's a reason why they're the way they are. They aren't just like that because they want to. Something in the past created them, and sometimes it's impossible to fix them." One-Shot IxY.
A/N: I felt like writing something- anything- and the following quote finally got me off my ass and initiated a plot bunny. It's not much, a little rushed, maybe, but it's something.
Also, after five long years, I congratulate us all for getting up to one-hundred fanfictions in the Munto archive! I got to one-oh-one. So close! I tip my hat to WingsOfTheHeart for that honor!
Songs: Mary Jane by: Alanis Morissette, Louder than Thunder by: The Devil Wears Prada, and When She Loved Me by: Sarah McLachlan
…And as the cold air painfully filtered her lungs, she saw a familiar figure settled on the lone, dangling cart.
"Hurry, Suzume!" Ichiko ordered, now running ahead in fear, faster than the clumsy brunette's pace.
"Answer me!" she heard Yumemi's voice echo.
The tomboy made it to the edge of the cliff, not even taking the shocking view of the befallen ferries wheel, and gasped another chilling intake of breath as she yelled her friend's name.
"Yumemi!" The startled blonde turned at the cry. "Don't, Yumemi! Come back! That's far enough! Don't go any further than that!"
She has always been like that; staring at the sky, watching the unseen floating islands…
Running. Always running.
And as Ichiko desperately tried, Yumemi was always out of her reach.
"I don't see them," Ichiko whined.
"But they're there, see!" she pointed, face beaming and bright. Suzume childishly giggled, claiming that she could see elephants within the clouded sky.
"Ichiko…" Yumemi pleaded. "I…"
"No!" she countered, wringing her hands tightly to her clenching abdomen.
"Don't worry, I promise I'll come back," she stated.
It was then that Suzume made her entrance; Ichiko could hear her stumbled footsteps cease beside her.
"What do you mean you'll come back? Don't tell me you're really going to…"
And then it clicked: she was leaving—abandoning them—just like…
'Keep her if you want, Taki, I don't want her.' *1
Even when she constantly protected her from the mean boys at school, with their scorning accusations, she soon realized Yumemi had the power to protect her as well.
"What's the matter, Ichiko?" the young blonde questioned, her luster green eyes wide and curious. A breeze picked up the floral cotton of her summer dress and tossed her pale locks like ribbons.
The tomboy simply kicked the idle rock in front of her as she pouted.
Papa told her not to tell Yumemi or Suzume about Mama leaving, yet.
She saw Yumemi purse her lips in minute annoyance, but then smile.
"Let's go!" she grabbed her hand, coaxing her to get up. "Suzume's mama made us watermelon!"
"If I don't go, our future's will disappear," she tried to explain.
Ichiko shook her head in denial. "You can't do this by yourself!"
It was then that she saw Yumemi falter, wilting ever so slightly.
"That might be the case…" she admitted. Her clover gaze drew downward, her fingers clasping. "But that summer, Suzume told me that as long as I had courage, I'd be able to open up a new future! I want to protect your and Suzume's future!"
Her previous hesitation was forgotten, blooming with strength and love.
The said girl beside her made a noise of protest; yet, she understood the situation with maturity beyond her years. However, Ichiko would not give up—she could not simply let her go—
The years went by, and on that fateful day, she found that there was a frayed end to Yumemi's yielding acceptance. The blond girl finally understood how different she was to everyone else.
But she tried, she really did! Yet, she could not see the islands, and it frustrated her madly, made her cry, even.
Ichiko never saw Yumemi look so defeated…
"Hey, Yumemi, how come you got your umbrella out today?" she asked lightly, knowing the reason of why, but did not want to admit it.
The elementary student simply smiled and told her that it was too hot.
It was then that she started to pull away and tried to ignore her strange ability. She sheltered herself by blinding herself.
"Yumemi, we can all protect it together. So for now…" The tomboy's voice faded. Her throat was so raw and constricting; it was hard to breathe.
She masked that same smile, one, which contained such sadness and humility. Yumemi did not want her to worry.
But she was—she was…! She was scared, dammit! Scared of being abandoned again, of being hurt—
Suzume had Kazuya… Yumemi had her unseen sky.
'Who did I have?' her mind would constantly whisper. What was her purpose if she could not protect her dearest friends?
"When I come back, the three of us should all have fun together. Okay, Ichiko?" The heartache pulled at her lush lips and spilled with a bittersweet taste of compassion. She was saying goodbye…
"I want to go shopping once we get our paychecks." Ichiko's eyes started to prickle with tears. "I found this store on the Internet that sells cute t-shirts. I've been wanting to tell you all about it. You'll come with me, right, Ichiko?"
The query snapped her out of her dazed reverie. Yumemi simply giggled, asking if she were thinking about her foreign crush, John. Ichiko stuttered, denying her accusations…
Knowing she was wrongfully thinking about the blonde again.
"Yumemi, why?" A tear fell down her tan cheek. She was breaking. "You're always like this, looking up at the sky and running… I can't go there with you! I can't protect you there!"
Ichiko sobbed, easing her shaking knees and folding into herself.
She felt Suzume's supportive hand at her shoulder. "Ichiko…"
"Ichiko, it's okay. Don't worry about Yumemi. Because we're always with her." Did she really say that just last night, as they parted at their crossroads? *2
Suddenly, there was a roar and the dusty earth quaked beneath their feet, rattling the unsteady ferries wheel about them.
Within in her coiled ball of anxieties, she heard Yumemi call his name. Suzume's pat gave her courage to look up, finding the blonde reveal a blooming smile.
She had not seen her that happy in a long while…
"Yes!" was her muffled reply, and then slid towards the iron railing.
Ichiko's breath bated.
In an instant, each dearest memory and cherished moment the teen withheld in her heart burst through her throat with a screech, "YUMEMI!"
Everything slowed down in pace. Blood rushed and throbbed in her ears, the air was cold, while her shaking fingers were colder; she could hear Suzume gasp in shock. Second by second, the details of her befalling figure were minute and precise.
Yumemi continued to descend downward and gradually became consumed within the fog.
But then—there—a figure clad in scarlet… The Red Guy flew to break her fall. Slowly, the realization dawned on her: She could see him. Just like the massive, strange ship above her, she could see him.
A burst of light encompassed her vision; so bright and blinding, she wanted to cry.
It was beautiful…
The bursting explosion of sound, the rumble shaking her taut limbs… She fought it all and attempted to gain her footing. Suzume caught her faltering movements. Ichiko had legs; she would use them and continue to stand tall, while she supported the brunette just as well.
And then the light cleared, allowing her to view the wonders of that man she so loathed— and yet did not—embrace and withhold her precious person.
He protected her, when she couldn't. He was taking her away… The tomboy knew this really was farewell.
So, she waved, putting all her emotions into the simple motion as she cried out. Could Yumemi hear her?
'Please stay. Don't go! I love you! Why are you leaving me? Fine, go! Didn't we promise to always be together? I'm sorry. Please, please-! Don't—!'
And then she was gone, shot up with the mystical red king, like a shooting star.
For a single moment, the Earth was still; quiet, like the befalling snow. All she could whisper was her name. "Yumemi…"
Their future awaits, the one she was protecting for them. Ichiko would continue to await her return. It was the least she could do.
A/N: God, I love this scene so much! The drama! Although it's a little annoying, I feel terrible for Ichiko having to let her friend go like that. But then it all the tension got messed up in the last movie.
Chapter seven of Waiting For You should be up by the end of exams. Best of luck, everyone!
— Ari [12.11.11]
*1: I keep featuring this in my fics, huh? For details, look at chapter five of Waiting For You.
*2: Yes, Suzume actually said this, however, it was taken out in the series; it's shown in the second OVA.
* Mary Jane by: Alanis Morissette: youtu. be/xG03_OLsgCk
* Louder than Thunder by: The Devil Wears Prada: youtu. be/GrGt-vZD9XM
* THIS ISN'T MINE, but there are hardly any Ichiko/Yumemi videos out there: youtu. be/x2YN8z3vB5g