Hello! YellowWomanontheBrink here! This is a brand new story, and my very, very first time at romance. I'm very green at this, tell me if anything seems unrealistic, cliché, or just plain stupid. (I'm very nervous about posting this!) This is freshly typed and unedited, so if anything doesn't make sense, alert me! I don't edit fanfiction. I don't want to go on and on, I know some people are turned off by that. Make sure you read the Author's note at the end, it's the only one where I really say anything important! *Sigh* I have a tendency to ramble, so I'll just start.
Art the funeral of Nura Rihan, Nidaime of the most powerful yokai clan, only three people did not weep.
The first was his father, Nurarihyon, who had to keep strong, as he would act as regent for the clan until a different heir was picked. It was only expected. No one had ever seen Nurarihyon cry…with maybe the exception of his wife. But Youhime had taken that secret with her to the grave.
The second was Kubinashi, as he had expended all his tears he could afford over his master's bleeding and dead body the night of its discovery. The neckless yokai was merely numb, yet kept a firm hand on Little Rikuo's shoulder, the other around Kejouro's silent, sobbing form. They stood next to a solemn Wakana.
The third, and probably most surprising of the dry-eyed people in attendance was Nura Wakana. She simply stood in abject silence, her hand gently holding onto her son's, who was trembling uncontrollably. His wails tore through the air the loudest of the entire clan, broken only by the occasional gasp for air. Perhaps some of the other yokai though tit disgraceful for a young boy like himself to sob like so, but Wakana wasn't going to stop him. She knew the only thing that could make one feel better a was a long hard cry, and it was healthier for Rikuo to have it now.
To her, it was like a dream.
And it sort of was.
That her husband of seven years going strong was dead. She had always intended to live longer than him, but not like this. Not so young, barely forty. She wanted to be with him until she was bedridden and frail; that's how long she wanted him to stay. Subconsciously she tightened her grip. Perhaps she was merely destined to be alone. It seemed fate was determined to isolate her.
The night before the burial, she had lain in her bed with Rikuo held close to her chest and thought of herself, her life, and her marriage. It had occurred to her rather violently, slamming into her like a harsh punch—that she was a widow. It felt strange, needlessly said. She was also the single matron of a yokai clan, and she was human.
She felt more than a little sad. Mind-crushingly sad didn't even describe it. Amongst the extravagant, and fabulous ayakashi, she felt…forgotten. Unneeded.
When Rihan was alive, she had felt needed. And even if she wasn't really needed, she felt his love envelop her like a warm blanket. It made her smile, for herself, and it was so unusual to smile for her own benefit. For as long as she could remember, she had always tried to stay upbeat and optimistic for other people, never for herself. And she had been given that privilege in those short eight years.
It was petty, but she always had so much love to give, and had always worried she'd be one of those sad people that would never receive. She wanted it, had got it, and watched it slip away through her fingers.
So the evening before, when she'd collapsed into bed early with her son in her arms it was like a dream…
Okinamachi Wakana was a city girl, and proud of it. She lived in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city above a corner store with her younger sister and single mother. Her father was dead, dead before the birth of her sister. She was fourteen, her hair long, almost down to the middle of her back, and grew painfully slowly; in all her thirteen years she'd never cut it. Her little sister Aiko's hair was even longer, despite the five years age difference between the two. Her mother sold flowers on the street corner. The small family grew them in enormous window boxes. Flowers of every kind grew out of the boxes, flowers dangling off the edges and roots dangling in the air.
Wakana herself was not particularly interesting, at least in her own opinion. Brown coarse hair, not that tall, and she didn't earn the best marks in school, though she proudly managed to keep her grades in the top hundred of the 2,000 students that attended her school. She was as average as average could be, at least fro m the outside, but in a city where you barely knew the shop owners that you lived above and where every person ignored every other person, she got very little attention.
Her mother peddled most of the morning and afternoon, and vanished in the evenings and stayed away for most of the night. Okinamachi Kokoro was oftentimes semi-concious when she came home, that, or just…sad. Aiko was an invalid, with her limited use of her body, and slow, shaky speech. It was an unarranged agreement between Wakana and her mother; Kokoro would bring the bread, and Wakana would keep it all stable at home. She was never particularly unhappy.
But it was after Aiko's birth that Wakana learnedto smile through anything.
Kokoro had changed, she had been in constant pain, phantom pains the doctor had called it, and she had been exhausted. Oftentimes she would stay in bed for days, before leaving to peddle when the on the barest of food was available. Even that routine changed. Sooner or later, their mother's lack of work caused the money to stop coming in, and with that, food, clothes, and other basic necessities needed human welfare. Her mother was depressed.
So Wakana took it unto herself to smile; smile for her sister and shake off her fragile mother's worries. She worked herself to the bone to keep the threesome in the tiny tenement above the store and restaurant. When her sister cried because their mother snapped at her, Wakana would be there, comforting her sister with a smile, telling jokes and tickling her and laughing and laughing…
Until that day, when she came back from her city-wide trek home (she couldn't afford the bus) and found the store, and consequentially the apartment in flames. Needless to say her mother wasn't home,; she didn't worry about her. But Aiko was. So when Wakana ran past the police line and their abrasive hands into the unstable building, up rickety burned stairs, down a hallway that used to be filled with a line of stuffy closet, but was now an empty building frame and open air, down to the last door, which was still mostly intact and still smoking, to find—
A fiery monster, a demon—the word was slipping her mind at the moment, with its grimy face sucking on her sisters, overwhelming the small head with its wide mouth. The loud slurping was all she could hear, and the trickle of blood at the corner of its mouth all she could see. Barely, just barely, she could hear the stairs collapse, and the police outside shouting her name. She fell hard on her knees and suddenly, green stripes filled her vision. She was puzzled as pain filled her legs as the badly burnt floorboards splintered and cut her legs.
It was fairly easy to ignore the battle between the two figures in the corner of her vision and focus only on the dead eyes of Aiko, who was tossed carelessly in the corner. Dying bits of flame were catching on her clothes, those thin, deformed legs splayed open at impossible angles, the burns on her arms from that…thing's grip, her mouth—no, Wakana couldn't bear to look at little Aiko's mouth. So she looked away, just in time to see exactly who had been wild enough to barge into a burning building.
"Shit," Rihan cursed loudly, stabbing Nenekirimaru into the weak floorboards as the yokai that had been eluding his grasp, escaped once again. It had been running and hiding, all the while devouring humans and gaining power all throughout Nura-claimed lands. IT had a preference for young, gifted girls, pregnant women, and babies. Rihan had just managed to get a glimpse of the victim this time; usually it was burned to ashes in a 'home fire' like this one.
He ran a hand through his hair and looked around the room, flicking his gaze on the girl in the room, and was surprised to see a large pair of piercing brown eyes staring at him intensely. Her hair was long and plain, and her mouth slightly open, drinking him in. Rihan quickly considered just leaving her there, but at the ominous crack that resulted in half the floor collapsing, he ran over and shoved her out of the way. She screamed and dug long nails into his neck. Rihan dutifully refrained from wincing and she began wailing, leaving her in the somewhat stable hallway. Only one word tore itself from the girl's throat—Aiko.
That must the dead girl's name, he thought. He vanishd when he saw the firefighters enter the building and carry her out.
Rihan refused to linger on it, though her voice and face kept echoing in his mind.
Wow! Hope you liked that chapter! It's only the first one. I'm actually writing this on paper, but I have a sister in highschool, and she's got honor's English, and Mythology. Do any of you know what that means? An essay almost every night…and there's only one computer. So that mean I won't be one of those incredibly awesome weekly updaters—maybe one every other week, if I'm lucky. Not to mention that she doesn't like fanfiction and she's always looking disapprovingly over my shoulder's if I'm not editing my original story, The Realm of Oblivion, Part 2. (I love writing that, but I hate editing! Oh god, editing is the bane of my existence…) It sorta freaks me out. So that means it's really hard to get on the computer when she's not there T_T…wish me luck.
Thanks to Saperia for alerting me as an Author!
Oh, and Shayna-18, if you're reading this, let it be known I will b using your ideas, but later on the story I will incorporate them. They are very good. :) Not really feeling the title though… don't take any offense, I just think that there's another story called that…not sure, I'll have to check.
As a result, I'll take suggestions for titles, pick my favorites, and maybe if there are enough suggestions, put up a poll…? If there isn't any, I'll just leave as untitled…
I really need help with that.
YellowWomanontheBrink, out for tonight!
(P.S. Just said this, but don't forget to suggest! Otherwise I'll get confused on what's what.)