A Munto Fanfiction: New Beginnings © RedWingedAngel002
Disclaimer: Munto; Sora Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai © Kyoto Animation; Yoshiji Kigami and Tomoe Aratani
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Hurt-Comfort, Longing, and Romance
Summary: He promised he would return. She would wait forever, if need be. MxY.

A/N: So it has begun! Yet another multi-chaptered story! Yaaay~! I've been planning on this for a long time, now. I'm not quite sure if I'm going to fully claim High-strung as the prologue, however, this may be read by itself.
As stated in my previous fics, this originally was gonna be the previous intro to Waiting For You, but I decided to write it as a separate story all together. [If you really want the story summary, read the long time-lap sequence in Smother Me.] ^^;
Please enjoy yet another interpretation of this wonderful series.

Song: Perfect Girl, Do What You Have to Do, and I Love You by: Sarah McLachlan, and Bird by: Yuuya Matsushita

Japanese Index:
Onee-san (when talking about/to someone's sister), Ane-san (when talking about one's sister), 'Nee-san/-chan: (Older) sister, sis, sissy
Otou-san, 'Tou-chan: Father, Dad, Daddy (Towards father)


Chapter 1: Departure

Yumemi cast a yearning glance out into the clouded skies, watching as Munto's clad, lone figure gradually disappeared. A chill ran up her spine and she pulled the cloak tighter around her slumped shoulders. For a long moment, she watched the slush-filled porch of her home.

She has been gone for three days. What would her parents say?

Her own words echoed within her mind:

"You told me once that I have the power to create the future I desire." Her voice cracked within the confession, "I-I don't want to be alone anymore. I want you to be a part of it."

The way he cast a wry smiled down at her, quietly stating he would return, and how he departed with a gift… The cherished parting would never escape her thoughts. Simple was the ring on her finger, bullion and warm within her grasp; it hung idol on the attenuate limb of her left hand. Just like the cape around her, it was the same garment he wore in their first meeting.

Now, as she inspected it further, the signet held foreign engravings within the inner loop: his father's name, a rare, family heirloom. Just as he, she offered the only removable item on her: the jeweled pendant on her neck.

The exchange was quiet, heart wrenching, and sincere. However, that was not all, which was exchanged between the two torn lovers: a kiss, soft and chaste, along with the whispered confessions of romance.

Munto promised he'd come back, after reconciling the sparring nations, which both understood this would take time. He would return to court her and to introduce the Heavenly world with hers…

Yumemi would have to be patient.

"Go back to your friends and buy those t-shirts you mentioned with your paychecks. Cherish and return to the family that is waiting for you…"

She would do as he gently bid and await his return.

With that, the girl's dazed thoughts were brought back to the present, to the family who was waiting for her.

It was then that she heard a gasp. Yumemi looked up, away from her numb, bare toes, to see her younger brother, gaping and wide-eyed at the open door. His lips moved, yet she was too far away to hear him what he whispered.

The eight-year-old looked so forlorn and dejected in that moment, then, his child features bloomed and he wailed, "'NEE-CHAN!"

Her bated chest heaved as she welcomed the running boy with open arms. She winced when he roughly bumped into the swelling bruise on her hip, but she did not care. Both siblings held one another tight and sobbed.

"Yumemi?" her mother hesitantly inquired. Looking up, she saw Nozomi stand at the entryway in disbelief, a hand at her trembling lips. It took her a long while for reality seep in. Once she accepted it, though, she called out to her husband, "Honey! Honey, Yumemi is back!"

Shigeru ran to join his wife, visage in awe and relief. Both hurried over and embraced their children.

"Oh god, Yumemi! Are you all right? We were so worried! Where have you been?" Her mother pestered as she petted her pale locks. *1

"I-I'm okay. I was with a friend," she blubbered. "He kept me safe until it was over and brought me home."

Yumemi's father wiped her damp cheek, exclaiming, "Thank goodness you're alright. Where is the lad? I'd like to properly thank him."

Her heart ached and she struggled to keep her lower lip from trembling. However, she promised herself that she was going to be honest with them.

"He had to leave…"

"At least he didn't leave you shivering in the cold," her mother sighed and took note to the cloak on Yumemi's petite shoulders. "Come now, let's go inside."

Both of her parents gradually released her, but managed to keep some means of contact with their daughter: her mother eagerly pulled at her hand, while her father kept a supportive palm at the small of her back, and Chikara refused to let go of her waist.

Yumemi swallowed, cherishing the intimate moment, and was curious to how her friends were doing. Ryueri, the royal Prophetess of the Magical Kingdom, graciously informed her that they had been safely taken back to their homes.

She felt horrible for leaving them alone again. They were so worried about her… But she could not—she could not have them that close to death's door! She promised to protect them!

As the four made their way inside the welcoming house, she felt warmth encompass her chilled skin. The details she had missed beckoned her, even though her absence was so short: the wafting smell of their afternoon meal, the mumble of the news reporter on the television… This home had always cared for her throughout the fourteen years of her life.

Yumemi felt a gaping cold when her mother departed and released her palm, briskly claiming she would get her something warm to eat. The girl leaned into her father's sturdy grasp for a small moment, just as she once did as a child, and contently ran her hand through Chikara's brown locks. One would probably think it was odd to be standing there, in the doorway, but neither cared.

"Yumemi?" Shigeru started with a worried tone.

The blonde simply gave a negative, claiming she was tired. He chuckled and replied that she could eat later. However, her uncharacteristically quiet brother was reluctant to free her waist.

"Chikara, let your sister rest."

The boy just nuzzled closer and hid himself at the under-swell of her bust.

Yumemi sighed and nudged him closer, whispering, "Hey, later we can play that new Ultra Montaro game you got for Christmas, okay?" *2

"Promise?" was his muffled reply, and she smile in reassurance. Finally, his hold lessened, but did not release.

"I promise."

It was then that the boy let her go and she slowly dragged herself up the stairs. *3

Shigeru tentatively crept his way to the children's room, careful to not wake his sleeping daughter. The early rising moon caused the girl to be illuminated with contrasting shadows and gossamer beams of soft light, highlighting the dips and curves of her figure.

Bundled and tightly curled into herself, Yumemi was swathed within the red garment she brought back home. The man sat at the edge of the bed, its mattress bowing under his weight, and he brushed a handful of locks aside to view her peaceful face.

"Yumemi?" he whispered.

The said girl curled further, mumbling a foreign name, and sighed sleepily.

"Yumemi, Mama has dinner ready. Would you like to eat now or rest some more?" Shigeru smiled warmly in affection.

For a single moment, it was as if the sands of time had reversed, bringing them both to a quiet moment they shared years ago. As her eyes opened to reveal the lustrous peridot of her gaze; he found his daughter looking so lost.

Dazed irises searched his concerned visage. "Papa?"

A lump enclosed in his throat, not permitting him to properly swallow. She had not called him that in a long time… "Yes, Princess?"

The recessive girl was quiet and the seconds slowly turned. Gradually, he could see the innocence in her gaze fade with acknowledged maturity. "Is it time to get up, 'Tou-san?"

Shigeru mentally sighed and the corners of his lips pulled upward. "If you'd like."

She nodded and slowly rose into a sitting position. "I'll be down in a minute," the blonde reassured with an unspoken request to be alone.

Yumemi descended down the stairwell in a haze, finding that she had managed to sleep the whole afternoon away. So many thoughts plagued her boggled mind as she dreamt: haunting questions, hopes, and fears… She knew it was just the beginning.

However, her cluster of anxieties un-bottled themselves slightly with the smell of their awaiting meal; it was as if things were normal again. Slowly, she climbed up to her customary seat next to her mother, who was scooping portions of rice into each of their bowls.

Tension lingered in their taut silence; only the news-casting monitor and clanking of their utensils could be heard. She could taste it, the questions lingering at the tips of their tongues, but did not know how to start. Neither of them did.

With a reluctant sigh, Yumemi gathered her wits and initiated a conversation, "Did Ichiko or Suzume call?"

"Yes. They were very worried about you," Nozomi started.

Her chest deflated, knowing that fact all too well. She was about to continue on, until a particular caption caught her interest:

"Just in: The current reports of counted dead have totaled to be 48. Injured 187. Unfortunately, this is without the inclusion of the estimated 97 missing. Currently, the city is in an uproar to find the missing, and can only hope they're found alive… Next—"

Yumemi did not register her befallen pair of chopsticks, which managed to slip out of her trembling grasp, only the coursing numb, which flooded within her raging mind.

He warned her about this, saying, as they flew down and viewed the baring chunk of land that rose kilometers off the Earth, there would be casualties. She did not imagine this much, though. Unbeknownst to her, the numbers would continue to rise.

The girl continued to watch the screen in horror, even when her worried family members called out to her. She couldn't get enough air into her lungs and started to hyperventilate.

This was her fault. So many had lost their lives and were hurt because—

She could have run faster. She could have gotten there sooner, right?

Yumemi needed a moment of composure, knowing she had to accept the reality of the situation without panic.

'No,' she reassured herself, taking deep breaths and shakily cradled her crown, 'I ran as fast as I could. He needed me. I tried my best and protected all that I could. Scrapes and bruises show my efforts. Don't close your eyes. You can't change the past, but there is a future.'

Gradually, the roaring heartbeat in her ears slowed in pace, she came to realize the concerned hand at her shoulders. Another fulfilling sigh expelled out of her chest.

"Yumemi," Nozomi attempted once again. "What wrong?"

"I-I…" she tried to explain. A simple reassurance would not be able to draw off her pestering mother. "I'm… The news… They're all…"

'All those people…' Yumemi felt her heart constrict with empathy.

She tried to shield herself from the overflowing sea of sadness and pain, however, no avail. Her vision distorted as she watched tears silently drop on the sleek surface of the tabletop. Sobs of their misfortune tore out of her lungs.

"It's because— I—" she choked.

"Yumemi…" the woman attempted to soothe her with consoling rubs.

Sniffling, she drew her gaze at the screen again; finding the blurred images scrolling over the debris of Montaro Park, flicking over the rubble of various parts of their city, and several aerial views of the overall chaos and the remaining talons of Gntarl's Union Floating Island Fortress.

'Remember his words: As long as we yearn for tomorrow, the future will never close. As long as we don't give up, there is hope…'

There was hope.

With that thought, the girl became determined and pushed her weak moment aside. Her eyes hardened, kindling with emerald fire. She would change this, one step at a time. Their sacrifices would not be taken in vain.

"Once dinner is done, I have to tell you something important," she whispered.

Yumemi saw her father glance at her mother, as if telepathically speaking with their locked gaze, and all started to pick up their plates. They could eat later, if hungry.

The blonde helped with the dishes and intensely contemplated with how she would begin. She caught Nozomi glance at her a few times, however, she kept her eyes locked with her busy, soap filled hands. There were only a few minutes in time, which allowed some means of composure…

She watched each member stare at her expectantly on the couch and made her way to the lone, unoccupied seat. *4

Even when her family was so close, there was a small separation about them. Just like the nations above her head, she planned on reuniting their relationship as well.

"I'm sorry for making you worry earlier. But I didn't know… I…" Yumemi wrinkled her nose in displeasure, frustrated that she was already faltering with her words. She took a deep breath, in attempt to ease her frayed nerves.

"You don't have to apologize for that. There was nothing you could have—"

"There is," she interrupted her father. After a long stare, her green gaze softened in plea, "That's what I'm trying to tell you. I'm having a hard time, though."

Yumemi glanced at the newspaper laid upon the wooden tabletop. There, in large, bold font, the header of the front page held: ALIEN ATTACK, alongside a massive picture of the Admiral's ship. She leaned forward to pick it up, skimming over the article.

As she read, the girl quietly confessed, "This happened because of me." She turned to drink in each of their shocked expressions.

"W-what do you mean?" her mother stammered.

A compassionate, sad smile tugged at her lips. "They tried to take me away…"

"You mean aliens tried to kidnap you, 'Nee-chan?" her brother cried in disbelief.

Her mouth pursed. "They aren't aliens, Chikara, but yes…" She sighed at their concern. "I'm sorry, this is probably really confusing. Maybe I should start from the beginning…"

A/N: And so it finally begins, yet another fanfiction. I love how productive I get when I'm supposed to be doing something else. I'll try and keep juggling all of these stories on a regular basis! Until next time! Cheers and best of luck with finals, everyone!
—Ari [12.13.11]

*1: I didn't put this in there, but they probably weren't permitted to scout the area, and were ordered to remain in their homes for means of precaution. Sucks, huh?

*2: I've finally figured out the day to when Yumemi was taken away in the second OVA. After doing some research, I found that Japan starts their holiday break, or 'closing ceremony,' after the Emperor's Birthday, which is on the twenty-third. This ceremony was mentioned at the beginning of episode four, and one day passed, so, she was taken on the twenty-fifth.
Although they celebrate the holiday differently than us, that's quite the gift, Santa. *sarcasm* Merry Christmas, Hidaka family, a red, lolicon elf-king kidnapped your daughter.

*3: I remember when my sister used to be like this, when I'd go to my dad's house. She'd be so clingy that I'd be annoyed and yet take pity for her, reassuring that I'd be back in one week. She obviously grew out of that. To be honest, I sometimes miss it. ;v;

*4: It if wasn't very clear, I was trying to create some symbolism. Kinda lame, I know, but if you take a good look at their furniture arrangement, they have a couch, and then a lone seating chair. Take that, and apply it to their family relationship. She definitely holds some distance between.