(Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Fixed the narrative, it's from Kiyone's POV. This is a revised rough draft, and I'll likely change some other things but for right now I like it. As I work on it more, I hope to keep the characters really true to themselves.)
Three hands in circle; Not secured tightly they spin together slowly. A slow dance, a waltz in a dark area, trees all around. Branches rustling in the wind, the moon above.
Adorned in golden masks covering just the eyes; Two sets of blue and one a hazelnut brown. The masquerade has started.
Dark hair matching his eyes, one of them speaks.
"Everything you know is about to change.."
A blonde woman to his left continues, in a shriek. A pure glistening tear on a tan cheek.
"But why must it change?"
"That"s life! Life becomes death as friends become enemies!" she is answered by the other blue eyes; In the woman's other hand a small skull with a lit candle; Wax dripping. A shadow over half her face, she turns away.
"Who will prevail through this chaos?" she adds, as the spinning ends and they part ways. All fades to black but the moon and stars.
::Tenchi Universe: Chaos Saga::
The last time any of us had seen the aurora borealis this far south, in Japan of all places, was after Kain folded time and space to reach Tenchi's mother. Residents from Tokyo to where I was temporarily living in Okayama claimed to have seen the spectacle.
Nearly a year later, everything from that adventure was still fresh in Tenchi's mind; Travelling back to 1970's Tokyo, watching his mother when she was around the age he is now, seeing the first moments when his father and mother fell in love. I'm sure, as with all of us, he will never forget.
Turning around, the earthling matched the voice to Lady Ayeka"s face. She looked at him peculiarly, dressing in light purple pyjamas, and then at the running projector.
"Oh, Ayeka," Tenchi spoke, pausing the silent sepia-coloured film.
"The film of your mother? Why so late at night, Tenchi?" she wondered.
Rubbing the back of his head, Tenchi answered, "Well, I was having trouble sleeping."
They were interrupted as the ground shook violently, making the floorboards creak beneath their feet.
On the other end of the city of Okayama, we felt it too. Mihoshi was fast asleep as I wrote in my journal that night of earlier events and how much money we had spent. Nothing to note really. She only dropped one dish today.
Then the light above me flickered, and as I watched it, Mihoshi suddenly sat up. She whined, placing her hands over her head just as the first jolt rattled our apartment. Japan does receive many earthquakes a year, sometimes a few minor ones a day that one would shrug at, but there was something different about this one. It was the most intense I had witnessed in my two, off and on, years of living here.
Plates and glasses from our kitchen crashed to the floor, sending shards of glass and ceramic all over the place. The contents of our closet rattled, items falling from shelves inside. I made it over to Mihoshi carefully and wrapped my arms around the woman, still half asleep. It probably seemed just a bad dream to her.
"It"s alright, it will end soon," I assured her, though the quake would last another fifteen seconds. When it did stop, our fire alarm suddenly began sounding. I helped Mihoshi up and to the door, making sure she had a coat on.
Outside, other residents of the apartment complex had gathered below, a few feet from the complex; Faces we both saw on a weekly basis either coming or going, but nobody we really talked to. They don't need to know who we are, we need a low profile here after all.
I sighed at the night it had been and at the fact that she was now just rubbing her eyes. Then I was shivering; I hadn't even grabbed my own coat.
There was smoke; one of the apartments underneath ours was mildly ablaze. Fire sirens neared the area, flashing red and blue. Evidently there were a few other fires in the area, as brilliantly coloured smoke clouds joined the otherwise clear, moonlit sky.
"That was some earthquake," I told the blonde, "I just hope our apartment will be okay."
She simply nodded, watching the flames before noticing me, "Kiyone, are you cold?"
"Oh... No, I"ll be fine. As soon as they put this out I'll grab something," I insisted, though it was true, and she could sense that. Mihoshi removed an arm from one of her coat's sleeves, offering it to me.
"This coat is twice my size," she pointed out.
I wanted to say no; to turn down her sleeve, but as my teeth began to chatter I accepted it. Now we were both in the same coat, and she giggled.
"We look funny."
I conceded to that fact, since she was right, and we laughed together.
A female voice from behind us, another resident or possibly a passerby; I didn't recognise them either way, spoke with excitement in their voice, "Look at that sky! Isn't that..."
"Aurora Borealis? In Japan?" said a man I assumed had relation to the woman, "How cool!"
Upstaging the smoke, purple and green filled the sky but at the time I thought nothing of it. I just enjoyed the show.
Due to the fire, we wouldn't be allowed back into our apartment that night, and we made the trek to Tenchi's house, only being allowed to grab a couple possessions. I now had my own coat, as we hurried through the path in the woods.
Tenchi was just putting away the films of his mother when the doorbell rang. Blinking wide, there was curiosity in his eyes as he wandered toward the front door.
"I wonder who it could be?"
Sliding it, a smile crossed his face when he noticed us standing there.
"Tenchi, we"re sorry to bother you but.. well you see, the earthquake caused a fire in our apartment complex. We had nowhere else to go," I explained with a sigh.
Lord Tenchi rubbed the back of his head, "I'm just glad you're both okay then. Of course, we always have a place for you two to stay."
And so we ended up sleeping on the L-shaped sofa in the Masaki's family room, turning the couch into two beds. All finished with the transformation, sheets and pillows, I realised how quiet my partner had become, as she wandered over to the glass sliding doors enclosing this corner of the house. Just as before the earthquake, she again brought her hands to her head, however this time in front of her mouth.
"What's wrong with you now?" I wondered, feeling the floor begin to sway as I made my way over to her. This quake didn't last nearly as long as the other one, yet sent the blonde to her knees. I reached her, "Mihoshi?"
I placed my hand on her shoulder gently. As if startled, she faced upward but couldn't meet my eyes.
"Kiyone?" she asked with confusion, her eyes a pale shade of blue, "I feel really dizzy..."
Watching her movements, I caught her just as the blonde fell sideways. As the Earth had, she trembled briefly, at some point wrapping her arms around my torso tightly. I felt a brief fright in her breathing, and then she became still.
"Mihoshi..." I tried to rouse her, then yelling the same to no avail. Shaking failed as well. With frustration, I pulled away; tearing myself out of her arms. She fell to the ground without my support, simply laying on her side. I noticed that, whilst she was breathing her own eyes weren't blinking.
I guess Tenchi had heard the commotion from upstairs, as he made his way down the stairs. He met my eyes with curiosity.
I didn't let him finish speaking.
The genius scientist simply shrugged, studying my partner.
"She probably just isn't used to this planet's seismology yet," Washu explained, after the blonde had been laid down on her temporary bed, now fast asleep.
I bit my lip; That really couldn't be the explanation.
Shaking my head, I said, "In all of the time we have lived here, she's never reacted like this. There's something different about these past two earthquakes."
"I don't know what to tell you," Washu replied, "How are they any different? I would have picked up on it."
I gazed out the glass doors again, "I can name one thing."
She was about to roll her eyes at me, but then followed my fingertip to the bright sky.
"That would be different."
"Tenchi!" called the young princess from the door, waking him from deep sleep, "Breakfast is ready!"
Sitting up, he rubbed my eyes; Perhaps he had been more tired than he remembered.
"I'll be right down, Sasami," Tenchi replied to her.
Tossing on a shirt, he exited his room, making his way down the stairs.
For me, it felt like I was waking up really late; Had being Mihoshi's partner done this to me? With a sigh I stretched my arms as I heard Tenchi's footsteps on the stairs. I turned around and smiled.
"Good morning, Tenchi," I greeted the earthling.
"And to you too," he spoke kindly.
Looking up, I now noticed Ryoko on the rafter above. I know she hadn't been up there the entire night, at least I thought I would have noticed. Hearing Tenchi's voice she phased in front of the boy, hugging him.
"Tenchi!" she exclaimed, a smirk crossing her face, "After breakfast, let's go somewhere private."
A sweatbead appeared as Tenchi struggled out of her arms, "I would but I have chores."
"Hey now, Ryoko!" Ayeka shouted with a glare as she entered the room, wearing her usual attire, "Why would he go somewhere private with a monster like you?"
"Well you're far too much of an annoying princess brat for him to go anywhere with you!" Ryoko insulted back.
Again with this? I thought. Then I reminded myself, this is something I should consider normal. Poor Tenchi can't have five seconds of quiet without the most-wanted space pirate and the Jurain princess fighting over him. There would likely be a war, followed by a debris field and then a peace treaty; Tomorrow would be the same, and the day after that. I rolled my eyes, turning back to where I sat on the couch. It was then I noticed that my partner wasn't there; The blanket I had covered her with lay disorderly on the floor. I looked at Tenchi with confusion.
"Is Mihoshi already awake?"
He shrugged his shoulders, "I haven't seen her..."
Without effort I stood, and exclaimed just loud enough, "Sasami, is Mihoshi with you?"
The blue-haired princess poked her head out of the kitchen, Ryo-Ohki attached to her shoulder, and shook her head.
"No she isn't."
Bottled together with the excitement of last night, an uneasy feeling crept from my mind to my stomach. No... maybe she's just upstairs, or using the bathroom. The Masaki house was quite large, and the blonde did have a knack for randomly disappearing into places such as Washu's laboratory. Hoping to reassure myself that nothing was wrong, I hustled to the hallway and yelled her name up the stairs.
With no reply, just silence, I faced the door to the outside world. I sighed with relief that her pink shoes were still at the foyer, but oddly enough, my signature pair of white faux leather boots were missing. That was when my mind began racing, first stupidly about my boots being gone and secondly, realizing that for whatever reason, Mihoshi had probably taken them. Third, and what I should have noticed earlier, that the door was slightly ajar. Nearly tripping over the wooden foyer step, I quickly flung the front door open and ran a few steps to the end of the veranda of the home.
"Mihoshi!" I shouted, noticing the slight fog which I could see was much thicker in the surrounding mountains. What I didn't see, as my eyes traced the ground, was any sign of prints in the soil.
That was merely the beginning, when my partner disappeared. We had no idea what was to come.
(AN 20/5/2012: I will begin on the next chapter shortly.)