Hi there, happy New Year. It's been a while since I wanted to write something on UDDUP. Finally between work, Christmas and so on, I was able to. :) Sorry in advance for all the spelling and grammar mistakes so I'm not English. Help me correct it! :)
There is no spoiler for people who have read UDDUP until Haruka's beginning at her new school with Jesus and Co as her teachers. This is happening between her first days in school and the declaration of war of Trumps.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this story belong to me, except for the name of Shinobu's parents and her brother's family. All the other characters belong to Hiroshi Takashige or Nanatsuki Kyoichi.
Hope you'll enjoy it! :)
My name's Toyama Haruka and I'm thirteen years old. Right now, I'm going to high school in an establishment with killers as teachers, but that's how my life has been for more than 6 months now. My parents were killed six months ago, leaving me alone and in danger. To find a way to protect myself, I had to use my visions, my precognitive power. I've found myself a protector and several allies thanks to my visions, and I know I can count on them most of the time to protect me from those who want to use my precognitive power.
I remember the day I understood what it all meant…
All the time, I had visions of Hijikata Mamoru without knowing who he was, except my future husband, and why he was protecting me. I always wondered where my parents were in my future, and ironically enough this was the last point my visions explained. Before, I just thought that they had understood I was in danger and had let me go with Mamoru-san, or that they were with me all the time except that I didn't see them in my visions.
But finally one day… I understood it all…
Toyama Keiichi called after his ten years old daughter who was upstairs in her room.
"Haruka, hurry up sweetie! Mom's on her way, everything has to be ready!"
"Coming!" was the answer of his daughter.
Today was the day Toyama Shinobu turned forty, and her family had organized a surprise party with the rest of the family and her close friends. She was supposed to arrive any moment now.
Haruka went downstairs to wait with the rest of the guests. Her father had invited his mother, Minori, and her other grandparents, Ichiro and Akane, as well as her mother's brother Yutaka, his wife Ishizumi, and their two children Shinji, 13, and Hina, 9, also known as Haruka's cousins who didn't like her. Her father had also invited colleagues from work and old friends. This was going to be a nice party.
Haruka stayed next to her grandmother Minori. She appreciated the feeling of peace that emanated from the old lady, and furthermore it usually managed to soothe headaches she might have, just like this moment.
As if she had read her mind, her grandmother bent a little so that nobody else could hear:
"Suffering from headaches?" She whispered to her granddaughter. The little girl only nodded and Minori looked at her with pity. "Why don't you go ask your father to give you something?" This time, Haruka shook her head. "It's alright", she whispered in return, "it's not that bad, and I don't want others to think that I'm not feeling well… It's Mom's anniversary after all!"
Minori didn't insist, her granddaughter could be very obstinated sometimes. At this moment she heard her son saying, "That's her, she's coming! I want everybody silent!"
Haruka smiled to herself, her headache decreasing a little. She loved those family moments that contrasted so much with what her friends at school lived in their house, at least that's what they told her. She thought of her friend Machiko, whose parents had divorced two months ago, and she really hoped that it would never happen to her.
"SURPRISE!" Everybody in the room suddenly yelled when Shinobu entered her house. Surprise indeed could be read on her face, but after the shock, delight and amusement also appeared. As her mother saluted all her guests, Haruka tried to suppress a yawn.
Last night she practically hadn't slept at all, her visions showing her 'the man' fighting as always, with blood and dead bodies all around him as always. She didn't know if she was still afraid of him or not, but sometimes it annoyed her that all those visions came mostly during the night. Her parents knew she was able to perceive earthquakes or things like that, but they didn't know about the man or about those terrific visions she had about him, but if they kept on appearing like that, her parents would know something was going on and she didn't want that. It was her burden not her parents'.
At this moment, she realized that her mother was standing in front of her with a huge grin on her face.
"Thank you sweetie!" she said as she hugged her daughter.
"It was all Daddy's idea." Haruka said while returning the hug.
"No way!" She heard her father say behind her mother, "Haruka did some good cooking and she helped me a lot!"
Her mother smiled, "I don't doubt it. I can't wait to taste what you made, darling!"
Then she went to say hello to her brother and to her sister-in-law, her husband following her. Haruka suddenly felt the need to sit down, as if someone had just thrown a heavy package onto her shoulders with no reason. I'm tired, she thought, tired that's all. I have to sleep well this night or the next days at school are going to be horrible. Sometimes when she was lucky, visions, after bothering her for several following nights, stopped coming for a few days.
The young girl looked up to see that her grandmother Akane was waving at her from the kitchen. She went after her in the kitchen and her grandmother told her it would be nice of her to bring the drinks in the living room since her mother had arrived. Haruka was an obedient girl, and she was more than happy to have something to do to keep her from drowning herself in her thoughts. She was supposed to stay awake for her mother's birthday after all.
Haruka looked up suddenly and looked around her. Maybe she had imagined it… but she was sure she had heard someone say something.
"Grandma, did you say something?"
Her grandmother who was busy with the drinks didn't even look up from what she was doing, "No darling, I didn't."
"Oh…Alright. Must be me then." Something was pounding forcefully into her head, as if an imagined bull was trapped into her head and wanted to get out by smashing her skull. She knew that sensation, usually it announced a vision, but the pounding in her head had never been that strong before, or at least she didn't remember.
She shook her head. Not now, it's not the time.
Holding the tray with a lot of drinks for the guests, she entered the living room and she presented the tray to the guests.
"What a nice little girl." She heard someone say. She wanted to smile at the person who had just talk however the tray was quite heavy and she knew she could drop it any moment now.
Once she was done, she brought back the tray in the kitchen and went to sit a little on the couch. The headache was becoming more and more unbearable and she didn't want to faint. At the moment she sat, her younger cousin, Hina, approached her.
"Hey Haruka!" Haruka looked at her cousin and smiled a little, trying to be polite. She knew her cousins didn't really like her because she was too weird, as they said. She scared them. They didn't know she was a precognitive however they suspected that she wasn't normal because scary events had sometimes happened when she was with them. Scary events being scary visions of the man, doing his job as always, blood and corpse falling around him.
"Hi Hina. How are you?
"I'm fine! I've got the best grades in my class, and look, Daddy and Mommy bought me nail polish to congratulate me!
Haruka smiled as her cousin extended her hand so that she could admire her new nail polish. Hina wasn't trying to get her jealous, she knew that, she just wanted to talk a little with Haruka to obey her parents who had asked her and her brother -who didn't move from his seat since the beginning of the party- to try being nice with their strange cousin.
Haruka stared at her cousin's nails for a moment, having the sensation that something was horribly wrong, but she didn't know what.
"Well, what do you think?" Hina asked a little impatiently, "Isn't the color beautiful? I've always liked orange!"
Haruka's eyes opened wide and for a moment she thought she was going to faint, her heart pounding so hard that she thought everybody could hear it. At this moment her headache increased again, but the utter terror she felt erased the pain for a moment. She didn't see orange on her cousin's nails, but a fading grey that didn't contrast much with her fingers.
Haruka was breathing hard. Not answering her cousin she looked around her and bit back a scream. No color. Not a single color except for different shades of grey and sometimes white and black. I…It's not possible, she thought, I…I don't understand.
She stood up from the couch and ignoring her cousin's questions, who had yet another argument to say she was scary and weird, she went straight into the kitchen, closing the door behind her. There, in the safety of the kitchen, where no one could see her and ask her what was wrong, she let a few tears roll down her cheeks. What's happening…?
It was a vision. There was no other explanation, but she had never had something like that before. Visions came and left her whenever they wanted, but this time, it was as if the vision was preventing her that it was coming. It was rather strange, and it frightened her because it had never happened before, because she didn't know what to expect and because she didn't want to ruin her mother's birthday. She already was a strange child in her cousins' mind and probably in her uncle's too, and she didn't want other people to question her sanity.
Haruka looked at the floor in the kitchen and realized that she had recovered the ability to see colors. The varnished wood had recovered his brown shade of color. She sighed in relief, but maybe there were going to have other "warnings" as she decided to call them, and she was supposed to stay attentive for the rest of the afternoon.
The door opened at this moment.
"Haruka? Oh, you're there." It was Keiichi, her father. "What are you doing here alone, sweetie?"
His daughter stood up, searching for a good answer.
"I… My headache. I've got a huge headache Daddy, it's awful. Could you give me something?"
"Sure, but don't stay here all alone, it's your mother's birthday. I know there are only your cousins who are about your age but try to support them for the afternoon please. Even if you don't like them." Haruka nodded, not answering. Her parents knew she was different from others child, but they didn't call her a precognitive. She was very instinctive for them and had a lot of nightmares but Haruka didn't want to show them in which state she was after a bloody and difficult vision. It was her secret and her burden.
"Here", her father said, handing her a glass of water and some medicine for her head. She thanked him and promised to go back in the living room after. She waited a bit after she took the medicine, her whole body shaking lightly. She put her head into her hands and waited for the headache to decrease a little. A few minutes passed and the door of the kitchen opened again. It was her grandmother Akane.
"Ah, Haruka. Darling, could you bring more Soja sauce?"
"Ah…! Yes, I'll do it," she said hastily and stood up.
"Are you alright, darling?" Her grandmother asked, a bit worried to have found her granddaughter sat on the floor.
"Y-Yes. It's just a headache, don't worry." Her grandmother returned in the living room and Haruka sighed loudly. It was becoming more and more suspicious that she wasn't feeling well. She had to go in her room, so that nobody would question her.
With a shaking hand, she took the soja sauce on the table and brought it into the living room. Everybody was laughing and not really paying attention at her and she was glad they didn't. Looking around for her father, she found him discussing with her uncle and she almost ran towards him.
"Daddy," she called. Her father looked at her and asked her what was the matter. "Daddy, I really don't feel alright. Can I go lie down for a bit?" Her father raised his eyebrows, but he knew his daughter and she would never lie about when she wasn't feeling well. "Alright", he said, "go lie down. I'll wake you up for the cake."
Thanking him, Haruka went to her room upstairs. The vision was coming, she knew it. The medicine hadn't made her headache decrease, in fact Haruka had the impression that it had increased. She couldn't hear anymore what was happening downstairs, the only sound she could perceive was her heart pounding hard and fast. Her view was slowly fading and she knew her whole body was shaking. The vision was coming.
She didn't even make it to the bed. The vision came over her just like a storm would over a simple tree, but the little girl didn't have the resistance of a tree. She fell to the ground, seeing nothing but darkness.
The EntrANcE DooR iS bEhINd HeR.
"L-leave…! Leave Haruka! Go away…! GO AWAY!
"No… N-No… M-mommy…!"
"Leave Haruka leave!"
"If you don't want me to kill your parents, then follow me now. Or else…!"
"D-Don't listen to him! Go away, go to the police!"
SoUndS of a BEatinG ResoNAte in the rOOm.
"Next time I won't be nearly as gentle. Come with me. NOW."
Sobs CaN be hEarD in the rOoM. Both HeR paREnts are InJUreD, BlOOd is on TheIr FAcE, on thE cArPEt. dAdDY is unCOnscioUs.
"Do you really want to see your parents dying in front of your eyes? Answer me…!"
"… … n-No…"
"Then do as I say and I won't hurt them!"
LiaR. HeaD Is thRobBing. OtHEr vISioNs PlaYIng in HeR HeAD. THeMaN. ThE Man is ThE oNlY PrOtectIoN. The ONLy wAy to sUrvIVe. bUT wHy? WhY nOW? IT… iT iSN't fAiR…
"Come here, I won't say it again!"
HeR SchOOLBag fALls to tHe GrOunD. EsCApe nOW. EscAPE!
The DOoR… the DooR iS sTilL oPEneD.
ShE WaNTs to EscApE. ShE RunS toWarDS thE dOOr.
"BAd idEA… … … …"
ShE tURnS aRoUnD bUT sHe sHoULdn'T hAve. AwFuL NoISEs aRe HeaRd.
DaDdY and MomMy FacE the GRoUNd nOW. EyEs eMPtY. LiFelESs. BlOOd aLl aRouNd thEm.
SoBs. HEr sObS. ShE ScREaMS. It IS OvER. ShE'S tRaPpEd nOw.
Someone was yelling. Her throat, her head, her heart, her whole body were aching. No…
"NOooooOoooo! Mommy!" She realized that she was the one who was yelling. Haruka could feel hands on her arms trying to pick her up, to take her away from her dead parents.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO! Daddy, Mommy! Let me goooo!" She was trying to push them away and after debating herself for a moment, her aggressor dropped her and she fell to the ground. She was still sobbing.
"Haruka, Haruka! Calm down!
Someone shook her but she refused to stop, and it wasn't long before darkness took her away again.
It was the silence of the night that woke her up. Her eyes opened and she saw the ceiling of her room and she realized that she was in her bed. Why…am I here? Memories were dancing before her eyes but she couldn't piece them together.
"Y-You are awake darling…?" Haruka turned her head to see who was talking. "Mommy?" she asked, not really sure since her view was still fuzzy. She blinked several times and tried to focus on her mother's face. Once she was able to see well again, she noticed that her mother had cried. Her eyes were red and there were still traces of tears on her cheek, however she was smiling at her daughter.
"How do you feel, darling?" Her mother asked, her voice full of worry.
Haruka thought about it and couldn't come with a better answer than "I don't know." Her mother didn't insist and stroked gently her daughter's face.
"Mommy… What happened?"
Her mother didn't answer at first and Haruka thought she was going to cry again. Finally her mother said: "You don't remember?" Haruka shook her head. Not really, her mind whispered to her.
"You…You passed out in your room yesterday afternoon. You don't remember? The doctor thought you had… done an epileptic seizure but finally he changed his diagnosis. We didn't want you to go to the hospital so he put you in your bed and we watched over you with Daddy. You… you…" Her mother seemed to be searching for the appropriate words. "We thought you had… a forceful nightmare. Did you?"
Haruka looked at her mother blankly. She knew that her mother referred to the kind of nightmares that herself called visions. Pieces of her vision were coming back at her but she didn't remember it all. She opened her mouth and said "Yes… It was a nightmare." Her mother nodded.
"I thought so. It happened once when you were very little. You passed out for three days."
"What?" Haruka asked, surprised. She didn't remember that.
"You yelled during the whole night. You were four or five at the time, and then you passed out for three days. But they couldn't do anything at the hospital, that's why we kept you there this time." Shinobu smiled tiredly at her daughter. "I'm going to bring you some water. Be right back." Her mother stepped out of the room.
At this moment, her vision came back to her and she remembered her dead parents. Tears rolled down her face. She could see the blood, the corpses. She had seen so many of them with her visions of the man… but now it was her own parents… That's why they weren't with her and the man in the future… But… but when? When would this happen? Why…? It wasn't fair…
She couldn't stop her sobs. She wanted to die. To die and forget what she had seen.
When her mother came back in her room with her father, the two parents found their daughter crying like they had never seen her do before. It wasn't cries of pain, of shame, it was cries of sadness. An insurmountable sadness. Without a word they took their daughter in their arms and hold her against their hearts, whispering tender words to calm her.
Haruka wanted to stay cuddled to her parents forever, to die with them, but visions of the man were dancing in the back of her mind, reminding her that it was her only way to survive.
She understood that she was supposed to survive.
But she only, not her parents…
As the nightmare ends, I open my eyes, glued by my tears, and sit on my bed.
Even though the nightmare reminded me of something that happened three years ago, I am as lost as I was three years ago. It takes several minutes for me to realize that I'm in my bedroom in that apartment of Elements Network where I live now.
It's common knowledge that you don't remember dreams very well once you're awake, but I always remember all my nightmares, every details of them. That's also the case tonight and I decide to get up because I can't stay in that room. I feel nauseous after that nightmare. I open the door and get in the corridor. Maybe I should go eat something to calm me down.
When I was younger, my parents were always comforting me after every nightmare that I had, but not anymore. Now they're dead.
I think again about my nightmare. The day I found out about my parents' death was the worst day of my life with the day they were killed. I had that vision several times after that day. Unlike my visions of Hijikata Mamoru, I never get accustomed to this one and I cried a lot every time. My parents never knew about it, I couldn't tell them, I didn't have the right to tell them.
I don't switch the lights on, the darkness and the silence of the apartment help me relax somehow. Juliet and Ibuki-san are out hunting crime. Igawa is sleeping in the van if I'm not mistaking, and Mamoru is probably sleeping as well in his own room.
Once in the kitchen, I open the fridge and find one thing or two to eat. I sit at the little table and begin eating what I took from the fridge. My mind is wandering there and there, trying to erase the memory of my nightmare.
"You're going to be tired tomorrow in school if you don't sleep at night." A man's grave voice says.
I'm jumping a little, but my mind has associated this home as a more than safer area actually, so Mamoru-san doesn't scare me that much.
"Sorry," I say. "I'll go back to my room in a minute."
He doesn't say anything and comes to sit on another chair. I'm too taken by my nightmare to wonder why he isn't sleeping but I know he wouldn't answer me if I asked him anyway.
We're sitting next to each other and none of us is talking. Finally he decides to say something. "Why are you up? Nightmares?"
I only nodded, knowing he already knew that. Since he has done the effort to ask a question, I ask him one too. "Did I wake you up?"
Just like I did, he doesn't answer with words but shakes his head, meaning no.
I don't say anything else and he doesn't as well. Outside the moon is high in the sky, and its silver light is what lights up the room.
"Do you know from what nightmares come from?" He suddenly asks. I look at him, surprised. It's not like him at all to ask questions just to keep discussing.
"No," I said finally, interested in his answer.
"Guilt," he answers simply. "Someone who feels guilty will think about it a lot, even in their sleep and then it becomes a nightmare."
Of course I feel guilty of my parents' death, but I already knew that. If it wasn't for me and my precognitive powers, Ex-Solid would never have chased me and they would be alive. But no matter what I did in the past, their death was supposed to happen. I always saw my future with Mamoru. I stare at him. He doesn't really surprise me, after all we've been living together for 6 months now, and I'm used to his sharp mind and to his way of thinking. Most of the time. Still, I wonder why he knows that much and why he decided to study the question. Then I remember that behind his harsh behavior, that man does have feelings too.
"Did you have nightmares too, Mamoru-san?" I ask as I stand up. He stares at me, or at least in my direction, for a few minutes. Silence has filled the room once again but I don't feel uncomfortable, far from it. It's so rare to share a true moment with him, he's always trying to be rude with everybody, but sometimes the wall between the two of us disappears for a brief instant, just like now. I keep staring at him as he stares at me. Finally he turns his gaze away from me and keeps his mouth shut, looking now at the ceiling.
I don't insist because I already know the answer. Thanks to Daiba Tatsumi, the boss of Elements Network, I know all of his past in Chechnya and it's not hard to imagine that the death of his comrades and the way he became blind, the death of this woman, Luna, still haunt him. I keep staring at him for a few minute but he doesn't react.
"Goodnight", I finally say, before going back to my room. After all, I've got to go to school in a few hours. My bodyguard doesn't answer me but I'm not surprised.
As I try to go back to Dreamland, or Nightmareland in my case, I realize that sacrifices are also what bring nightmares. Not obligatory the ones you do, but also the ones others did for you. And Mamoru must have done sacrifices to be where he is, at my side, now. I briefly wonder if Jesus and Aegis have nightmares because of sacrifices too. Tate-san probably, after all I heard he had lost his wife and child, his only family because of a madman, and Jesus… I would say yes. There is something in his eyes, and the fact that he searched for all his kidnapped students… It makes me wonder why he and Mamoru-san are so different. Jesus wanted to change his life and disappear from the battlefield while Mamoru-san did the contrary.
I don't realize it but I'm slowly closing my eyes, sleep coming over me, as my thoughts tangle.
And I didn't know it yet, but the nightmare I had earlier in the night was the beginning of a longer one in which new enemies were going to turn my school into a battlefield.
Hope you enjoyed it. It would be nice to leave me a review, telling me what you liked, what you disliked. I'm ready to hear everything! :)
Well, I was also thinking, for my next story, to write something about Aegis or Jesus. If I really do then I'll post it before Monday. However if I finally do this, there will be spoilers about the serie I will write about. I've translated a lot of characters' names and I know the full summary of both series, but I'll tell this in the summary. Any idea of what I could write about them? :)
See you ;)