Author's Note: Hi minna! It's me, Yuki (again!). Here is another fic from me. Sorry if the title doesn't fit the story so much. ^_^. Well anyway, please read and review! BTW, if you have a better title suggestion (Yeah, my title doesn't fit the story too much), feel free to tell me and I'll look at it (Actually, I'll read it and decide). So anyway again, I know you're getting quite bored of what I have to say so I better stop bragging. Last one na lang, PLEASE REVIEW!!!
Disclaimer: None of the GK stuff belongs to me. They belong to GONZO/Hiroshi Yamaguchi.SUMMER TROUBLE
A bus stopped near a port where ships are leaving and arriving; carrying thousands of people to different destinations of their choice. Seagulls continued to fly above the ships, glancing down at the huge water vehicles as they passed by.
The door of the bus opened. A girl stood inside; ready to step out. She covered her eyes from the sunlight, which was trying to find a way to go inside the bus.
Ruriko stepped out, the wind carrying her soft brown hair, making it as wavy as a flag. She walked on closer to the only ship that was not crowded. It was huge and clean; sparkling because of the sunlight.
/He really took good care of it…/ Ruriko thought to herself. Before she could still think more, she was pushed from behind and a running Kaoru apologized to her.
"Gomen, Ikusawa-senpai!" Kaoru apologized, gaining a smile from the older girl. Ruriko stood up and dusted her clothes. Afterwards, she picked up her baggage and went to her father who was calling everyone's attention.
"Okay, is everyone here?" Mr. Ikusawa asked with an old male voice. The group glanced at each other and, after making sure that no one was missing, they nodded to Ruriko's father in perfect unison. The old man then cleared his throat, attempting a continuation of what he has to say.
"So, let me introduce to you the ship that you will be riding." Mr. Ikusawa started, motioning to the ship behind him. Everyone smiled in amusement, admiring the water vehicle. Not wanting to waste anymore time, Mr. Ikusawa continued. "That ship is NOT in the Ikusawa's property. My friend, who is currently at America, owns it. He left the ship to his son, who was the one who really took good care of it. The boy loves the ship very much so you better take good care of it, okay?"
"Sure." Shun replied, and a lot of affirmation followed from the group. Mr. Ikusawa smiled at them and called someone from the ship.
"Shinda! Will you come here for the moment?" Mr. Ikusawa called out. There was a reply from the ship and a lad came running down from it. His silver white hair bounced as he ran, also because the wind was playing with it. His ruby red eyes looked so kind, and everyone noticed one thing about it. He was looking at Ruriko.
Shun glanced at his childhood friend. The girl was obviously trying to avoid Shinda's glance. But still, Shun knew that it was something personal, so he decided not to question Ruriko.
"Okay Shinda, please give an introduction about yourself." Mr. Ikusawa told the lad, calling everyone's attention. They didn't bother to ask Ruriko now; that wasn't the right time.
Shinda seemed to be quite shy to give an introduction. He seemed to be a bashful type of person; yet, he didn't remove his eyes from Ruriko. He simply stared at her as he spoke, while on the other hand, the girl tried to avoid his glance.
"Good afternoon." Shinda started, greeting everyone and at the same time, calling their attention. Almost everyone was trying to take a glance of the ship, really admiring it and unable to believe that they were going to ride in it. Anyway, after Mr. Ikusawa cleared his throat with meaning, everyone behaved themselves, now listening to Shinda. And so, Shinda continued to speak.
"My name is Shinda Otoko. I don't think I need to say more because uncle has told you about my ship. Anyway, I hope everyone has fun on the beach. Don't worry, I'll always be at the control room, so you guys can have fun with each other." Shinda paused, or probably stopped, indicating that what he said was everything that he really wanted to let them know. Mr. Ikusawa then took over, saying his final farewell to the group.
"Okay then, I know you know that I'm not going with you. Don't give Shinda a headache, okay? So, have fun, and don't forget to take home some seashells for your parents. So long." Ruriko walked to her father and kissed him on the cheek, waving him goodbye. The rest of the group then thanked him again, and immediately ran to the ship with Shun and Kaoru, who seemed to be racing, in the lead.
Mr. Ikusawa just smiled, simply standing there and waving his hand until the ship was out of sight.
The whole day was spent. They toured around the ship the whole afternoon, which resulted to fatigue for everyone. By that time, the sky was already black, and everyone was in their room already, craving for rest. But still, even with all the weakness, they probably had the time to chat, since because a night with friends is not complete without midnight bragging.
"Ayayay, Bancho was really mad when Ukkieya jumped on his head. His face was smashed to his soup, and he came jumping to the bathroom!" Fei exclaimed, laughing after her sentence. They have been talking about their lunch last time. Kaoru and Ruriko were not present when the incident that Fei has just told happened, because they went to the bank with Ruriko's father.
Kaoru's laugh finally faded away. The girl then started another topic of interest, or probably, HER interest.
"Umm, Ikusawa-senpai, is there something between you and Shinda? Who is he anyway?" Kaoru asked, shifting to a serious state. Ruriko was obviously surprised to hear the question. She remained silent for seconds.
Ruriko, after taking a deep breathe, replied. "Actually, there was nothing between us, and there will be nothing." Ruriko replied. She looked very uncomfortable, as if there was something that she wanted to spill out, but yet, she can't do so.
"Senpai, don't worry." Kaoru told her senior, trying to comfort her. "If you need someone to tell your problems to, I'm always here." She added with a friendly smile. Even if Ruriko was her rival for Shun, she was also her friend; one of the closest friends she could have.
Ruriko returned the athletic girl's smile. "Okay then, I guess I'll let you know." Ruriko said, closing her eyes, as if she was trying to recall everything from the past.
"Shinda is the son of my father's best friend. Since grade school, when Ukiya-kun left, Shinda served as my best friend. He was with me through our grade school and junior high years. He loved to experiment. Sometimes, he would show me his masterpieces, as he called them. He made poison gases, some other kinds of gases and knives. He kept the first knife that he made. The knife looked totally expensive; it was always clean and sparkling. And also, Shinda took care of this ship, which was given to him by his parents when he passed the exam to an expensive and wonderful high school in… umm… sorry but I forgot where it was." Ruriko grinned, although it was somewhat forced. After sticking her tongue out, she added a continuation.
"He courted me during junior high, but I, treating him only as a best friend, rejected him. I explained to him, and he said he understood. But yet, he just won't leave me, that's why sometimes, I'm feeling guilty because I rejected him." Ruriko paused for long, twenty seconds, her eyes fixed on the floor. She then glanced at the group of girls who were listening to her and said, "It's getting late. I think we should sleep now." After her sentence, she hid under the blankets of her bed, and the others went on to their own sleeping places.
Kaoru, thinking that Ruriko wasn't just a friend but also a rival, had a plan in her mind. She was very determined to get Shun that she decided that she shouldn't let the chance pass her by. Smiling at herself, she clicked the light off, making it flicker until the room was in complete darkness.
Shinda was in the control room as usual. The group was probably eating their breakfast now, while he hadn't eaten even a crumb of bread. But yet, he thought that he shouldn't interfere with the group's fun. He should ask Shun to replace him at the control room for some time so he could eat breakfast.
/Shun Ukiya… / Shinda thought, the name making his heart beat faster. The owner of the name was his greatest rival for Ruriko; he was the hardest to beat. Completely drowned by his thoughts, Shinda didn't hear the door opening, nor did he smelled the aroma of newly cooked breakfast.
"We're in a deep thought, aren't we?" A female voice said behind him, making him leap off his chair. He quickly calmed down when he saw who it was.
"Kaoru Konoe, right?" Shinda asked, hoping that he was right. He was familiar with the girl; the one who was trying to take Shun Ukiya away from Ruriko. She would be perfect to make a deal with, but the problem is, the girl might not want to have a deal with him.
"Yeah, right." Kaoru replied, a big grin crossing over her face. "Well anyway, I brought you some food, obviously." She added, laying the tray on a nearby table and pulling it closer. She sat on the couch beside Shinda almost in a jumping manner, making the couch bounce under her bottom.
Shinda took the food and started his meal, not paying attention to the door, which was left open and has begun to make noise in the room. Kaoru just stayed put, watching the white-haired lad as he stuffed a spoonful of fried rice in his mouth.
He looked at her, his eyebrows knitting together in wonder. He grabbed the glass of water beside his plate and gulped the liquid, letting it push down the food that he has crushed. After wiping his water stained lips, he turned back to the athletic girl. She just sat in there, as if waiting for him to finish up his meal so she can take the utensils to the kitchen and wash them up. But still, Shinda knew that she was waiting for a chance… a chance to say something.
Shinda put down the spoon and fork, releasing the utensils from his grip. After another intake of water, he motioned to the other person in the room.
"Do you want to say something?" He asked, waiting for a reply. The girl giggled, standing up and walking to him. She stopped behind him and leaned down, her lips brushing against the curve of his left ear.
"Listen here," she whispered. "I know you like Ikusawa-senpai, and I heard that you're still obsessed with her." She added, her hot breath making the somewhat bashful guy shudder.
Shinda knew that this was the only chance that he has to take Ruriko. So, what he thought was right; the girl was there to make a deal with him.
"So, you want me to take Ruriko-san so you can have Shun Ukiya?" Shinda cleared things out, his voice loud, yet hoping. Kaoru straightened her posture and walked in front of him leaning against the table. The glass tripped over, sending the water to flow on the table.
"That's not what I meant." Kaoru said, surprising Shinda, yet he doesn't look surprised at all. The water on the table dripped at the edge, making a tapping sound on the floor beneath the table.
"So, what do you mean?" Shinda asked the girl, standing up and walking closer to her. The brown-haired girl pulled him by his collar and whispered to his ear. "Tell her what you feel."
Shinda sat alone at the control room, thoughts flying through his mind. The unattended utensils are still on the table, the messy water reflecting the light from the setting sun.
He paused for a while, recalling what Kaoru had told her just that morning…
"Tell her what you feel." Kaoru said, her sentence bringing silence to the room. After several minutes of silence, she continued. "I know how it feels when you are not loved by the person that you love so much." She paused, her stare dropping to her feet. "But still, I always tell my feelings to Ukiya-senpai, and now, I haven't given up on him yet. One day, he might love me, too, just like the way I love him. But… but… I already know that he… loves Ikusawa… senpai…" She paused again, her eyes sparkling. She felt soft male arms wrap around her back, and she leaned close to his chest.
"Okay then, maybe I shouldn't give up, too." Shinda said with a very comforting voice. He ran his hand through her short brown hair, and whispered, "Thank you, Kaoru-chan."
And so, the room remained in silence, with only the sound of the dripping water to echo through the room. The silence was never broken, not until the door swung open with a lad on the other side, his presence making Kaoru leave.
End of Flashback
/She loves him very much…/ He thought to himself, remembering the scene where Kaoru tried not to let Shun see her in tears, tears that were caused by lad himself.
Shinda checked the water current, and afterwards, the map. After assuring that it would be just fine to leave the controls unattended, he walked to the room and left, heart thundering in his chest.
A brown-haired girl stood by the deck, the wind playing with her long hair. The ribbon tied on her head played with the wind, too, dancing as the invisible force pulled it backwards. Totally drowned by her thoughts, she didn't hear the light footsteps that emerged from the control room nearby.
The setting sun cast shadows of the two figures that stood at the deck. He walked to her, running his hand through her hair and smelling the sweet scent of it. Surprised by the motion behind her, she turned back, sighing at the sight of her father's best friend's son. (A/N: Hey, what was that again? ^_^)
"Oh Shinda, what is it?" Ruriko said between her sharp intakes of breath, holding her chest in surprise. The lad walked and set himself in a comfortable position beside her. He rested his crossed arms on the cold metal of the deck, staring far at the ocean.
"Ruriko-san," He began, eyes still fixed on a faraway distance. Even without a reply from the girl that he admires, he continued. "I know that you already know this, but I love…" He paused, turning his head to face her. The girl dropped her glance on the ground, trying to avoid his gaze. He knew that she already know what he wanted to say. But yet, she tried to refrain him from saying it.
"Yes, yes, I know that you love poison gases very much. You even made a very strong poison last time in junior high when we had an experiment. I was totally shocked when-" Ruriko's sentence was cut off by the lad's words.
"No, that's not what I meant." The white-haired lad said, staring at the girl with deep eyes. He saw the girl catch his glance, and obviously, she avoided it again. She smiled and tried another set of words.
"Oh, umm, yes, you love your knife that you made. You also used it in a school presentation back then and everyone was totally surprised with your exhibitions!" Ruriko paused, looking at him in the eyes. Seeing that he was getting quite pissed off, she tried another sentence, hoping that he will leave her when he gets totally angry.
"Oh, maybe, I know you love this ship more than anything else. Right, you've been taking care of it for a very long time, and I know how much you love it. Don't worry, we would also take good care of it." Ruriko smiled at him, bravely trying to take a look. The lad looked pissed off, but yet, he kept his gaze on Ruriko. There was a tinge of desire on the way he looked at her, and, when he examined the girl's body with his deep red eyes, she realized that he was so firm to tell her what he felt for her.
"I love you, Ruriko-san." Shinda said, his gulp after his sentence audible to the girl in front of him. He stared at her bowed head hopingly, yet, with pain stinging his heart. He was sure that she loved Shun, but yet, he can't take it, and he doesn't want to.
"Shinda-san," Ruriko called out, raising her head slightly to meet his gaze. He waited calmly for her reply, trying to stop the tears, which threatened to flow from his ruby red eyes. A pain inside of him, a pain caused by Ruriko's rejection of him when they were in junior high, caused the tears. Now, he was probably questioning his mind.
/Will she reject me again? /
"I'm sorry, Shinda-san." Ruriko said, her sorry bringing a pain deep inside Shinda's heart. And so, she continued. "I know you know that I don't love you. I… I just treat you as a friend." She forced a comforting smile on her face, still trying to keep her eyes on her rubber shoes. "Please understand." She ended, finally taking the urge to look up. Shinda's eyes were pooled up with tears, which were threatening to fall down any time during that moment. He stared at her lovingly, caringly… and with hatred and desire.
"I want you to be mine!" Shinda shouted, pulling Ruriko by the girl's shoulders. He pulled her closer, causing his lips to brush against hers. She tried to pull herself away, screaming for help. Tears started to flow from her eyes as she felt his hot breath on the skin of her neck.
"Shinda-san, stop it! Help! Help!" Finally after so much struggles, she heard heavy footsteps from somewhere nearby. Unable to take a look at her rescuers, she tried to push Shinda away. Opening her eyes, she saw a fist bury on the lad's face, sending his head to crash to the metal of the deck. The sound of Shinda's skull crashing to the metal made Ruriko scream much louder, and so did the blood that drip down from his head, staining his long white hair.
Shinda stood up, clenching his fist. He glared at his opponent, who was totally enraged by his lustful acts. Not wasting anymore second, he charged at Shun, attempting to deform his face with a punch. But, unfortunately, Shun blocked his attack, using his right arm to shield his face. Even with Ruriko's endless screaming for them to stop, Shun was totally determined to fight until one of them falls.
"You'll pay for trying to hurt my Rurippe!" Shun shouted, burying a heavy fist on Shinda's face. The usually calm lad was unable to block his attack, since because he wasn't a good fighter. Lacking fighting skills, Shinda was still unable to block the next four punches. He swayed like a dummy used for practicing, with blood streaming down from his mouth. He tried to keep his balance, but, after Shun's final punch, he lost it. He leaned towards Ruriko and held her arms tightly, so that when he fell from the ship, she was with him.
Kaoru, who was the first person to notice that the two were already on their way to the cold ocean, grabbed a bundle of rope that was resting beside her feet. She immediately threw the end of the rope to the water, making it fly down side by side with Shun and Bancho who jumped to rescue the two.
Megumi was snapped out of shock just in time. "Wall of Shock Buffer!" She demanded, and a wall appeared at the surface of the water, making Ruriko and Shinda's fall less hard as possible. And also, it gave them the time to reach the two before they are carried over farther or probably deeper in the strong waves.
Shun caught Ruriko's arm just before the green barrier disappeared. Catching a glimpse of the rope through the corner of his eye, he tried to grab the blurry object. After feeling the rough texture of the rope in his grip, he pulled himself upward, still hugging Ruriko closely.
"Are you all okay?" A male voice from the ship asked. It was Kageyama, who was peeking from the deck with a flashlight. Things went by so fast that darkness was already spreading over everything.
"Rurippe's fine, and I am, too! Pull us up now!" Shun shouted, trying not to let the cold water choke him. He heard a reply from Kageyama and moments later, they were being pulled up by Kaoru's strong hands. Shun shivered as the wind crash against his wet body. He hugged Ruriko tighter, and was shocked when a shark jumped from the water to bite his left foot. Fortunately, in his surprise, he pulled his foot up, causing the shark to bite nothing but air.
Ruriko stirred, half-unconscious because of what had happened. She could hear a lot of noise; Shun shouted about the sharks; Kageyama echoed his scream, warning Bancho who was unable to find where Shinda was. Ruriko half-opened her eyes, and, after seeing Shun's warm and comforting smile, she let herself drift into a deep slumber.
Ruriko's eyes popped open and she quickly sat up from bed, sweat rolling down from her temple. She looked beside her and saw everyone with smiles on their faces. Somehow, she could recall what had happened the day before. Right at that moment, 30 minutes have passed since midnight, indicating that the day before was over. And then, a question formed in her mind.
"How is Shinda-san doing?" Ruriko asked. There was no reply. Everyone lost their smiles and bowed their heads with a sad frown. She felt her heart thundering in her chest. Could her guess be right?
"We were…" Shun began, his lower lip trembling. "… unable to save him." He squeezed his eyes shut, causing small droplets of tears to drop from them. He knew that it was his fault, but yet, they tried to accuse Shinda himself, saying that he shouldn't have attempted to do 'that' to Ruriko.
Ruriko covered her mouth, breaking into sobs after several seconds of silence. They cried altogether for what seemed like eternity, until Ukkieya, Fei's monkey, suddenly jumped from his master's lap, running outside the door. Fei excused herself and quickly followed her pet monkey, afraid that the animal might break something.
Back inside the room, the sorrow slowly, but surely left the group, who started to talk about what they think would happen on the next day. Shun caught the duty of controlling the ship in exchange for Shinda. He left for the control room, with Ruriko following him because she needed someone close to talk to.
Even with a smile on her face, Kaoru can't forget the morning yesterday. She encouraged Shinda to tell Ruriko his feelings for her, so that she could get Shun for herself if Ruriko would accept Shinda. And so, the lad did what she told him too.
Squeezing her eyes shut, she shook her head, trying to tell herself that it wasn't her fault.
/Well, I didn't tell him to attempt to harass Ikusawa-senpai, did I? It's his fault all along…/ She thought to herself, walking out of the room. Megane had just asked her why she was looking uncomfortable, but the girl didn't reply, as if she was never asked.
Fei lost sight of her monkey, and have checked almost every room available. She opened the door to the last room, which was the basement.
"Ukkieya! Ukkieya!" She called out, knowing that if the monkey heard her, he'll surely come out. But that is if he wasn't hiding on purpose.
"Ukkieya! Come out now!" She called out rather frightfully. She felt cold, somehow. She was about to run outside in front when he saw a monkey leaning against a large box. With a smile on her young face, she approached her quiet pet, thinking that the animal didn't notice that she was already there behind him.
Fei grabbed him with two bare hands and was surprised because the monkey didn't even tried to escape. She turned him over, and her eyes widened in horror. Her monkey was bloodstained, probably stabbed by a sharp object. Its eyes were wide open, showing no signs of life.
Fei trembled, but before she could let go of the dead body, she heard the sound of running water behind her. She quickly turned to her back and saw a giant wave, ready to crash her.
Taking the opportunity to run, Fei didn't thought twice. She scampered on the floor, heading towards the basement door. Funny because she didn't even took any turns but she can see the door already. Anyway, she forgot all about it already, and also about the monkey, which she still held with her left hand. She reached out her right hand to reach for the open door's knob. The next thing was, the basement door shut tightly and the giant wave crashed against it.
Bancho was taking a stroll at the bottom floor of the ship. He heard the water crash, and was about to hurry on to the basement. But suddenly, an explosion echoed from the engine room. Thinking that the sound of the crashing water was just from outside the ship (since because he was at the bottom of the sea craft), he hurried on to the engine room, saying to himself that the engine might be damaged. He thought he could fix the problem, somehow, because he was familiar with machines and engines. Well, who wouldn't after working with the little genius Megane?
At the control room, Shun was busy, not just with taking care of the controls, but also with trying to cheer Ruriko up. He has been telling countless of corny jokes for hours, making Ruriko laugh. But, at that moment, joking around is over. Serenity crept over the place after Ruriko thanked Shun for all that he has done for her.
"It's nothing, really, Rurippe." Shun said half-comfortingly. He was then quieted down, knowing that it wasn't the time to tell some corny jokes. He knew that Ruriko needed someone to talk to; she need someone close to her, and that was him. He also felt that that time was the right moment to say what he felt for his childhood friend: Ruri the sniveler.
"Uh, Rurippe…" He called out, his face blushing furiously. /What's the matter with me? I'm just going to make a little confession! / He shouted in his thoughts, but quickly resumed back to reality when he saw Ruriko's hopeful eyes staring deeply into his'.
"Yes?" Ruriko asked. She seemed to be trying to stop a smile, but her lips just kept curving upward. She waited hopefully for what he has to say. Somehow, she felt that he wouldn't joke anymore this time.
"Umm, you know, I think we're getting closer than before. You know, we used to have some quarrels back then, and then-"
"And then?" Ruriko quickly asked after Shun stopped for just a second. He scratched his head, trying to look for the right thing to say. Ruriko giggled at his childishness. He was way too different from the cool and manly Reiji Kageyama, but still, she liked him more than the popular lad.
"Okay, what I mean to say is…" Shun paused again, this time to let his cheeks blush redder than before. After taking a deep breathe, he finally said Ruriko's most awaited words from him. "… I think I've fallen in love with you… err… yeah, I love you."
Ruriko was so much overjoyed. "Really?" she asked, eyes sparkling. She saw Shun nod slightly, and felt her cheeks redden. She edged closer to him and slowly closed her hazel eyes, waiting for his actions. Shun gulped; he knew what to do. He slowly bent down to kiss her, his eyes slowly closing. He waited for the finally meeting up of their lips in a kiss-
-which never came.
Both of them were surprised when the door suddenly opened with a crash. A little figure stood by it, her shadow cast by the moon, which hung in the velvet sky behind her.
Reiko was looking for Fei for minutes, her search bringing her to the swimming pool. Seeing a time of relaxation, she stood by the pool and stared at the calm water. The liquid was shining because of the moonlight that it reflected, and it was as clear as a mirror that Reiko could see a perfect doppelganger of her in the water.
Unsurprisingly, the childish girl smiled at her reflection, and of course, it smiled at the same time. Remembering her worry about her friend who was unseen for hours, Reiko turned to leave, her smile not leaving her face. She said goodbye to her reflection, and it did to her, too, although there is no voice from it.
Reiko decided to walk on, but before she could make a first step, she heard a giggle from behind her. As she turned around she caught a glimpse of a shadow in the pool, which went by quickly. Reiko thought that it might be just her imagination, so she decided to leave with a fast heartbeat. But suddenly, she stood frozen at the spot when she noticed something very odd.
Her reflection in the pool was gone.
Ruriko stood up, trying to stop herself from blushing because of the romance that was just taking place before the door opened. She walked to the new person in the control room, knowing who it was.
"Fei-chan, is there something wrong?" Ruriko asked, trying to see the younger girl's face, which was covered by darkness. She walked towards her, and when she was just inches away, the child suddenly fell on her, making her fall down. Ruriko sat herself up and looked down at the Chinese girl in her arms. She was pale… and cold.
"Fei-chan…?" Ruriko called out once again, fighting the thoughts in her mind. She shuddered when she felt something wet on her legs. Taking the urge, she took a peek. Blood was still streaming down from Ukkieya's body, staining Ruriko's smooth legs.
Ruriko screamed, kicking continuously until the two lifeless beings were away from her. She cried like a child as she hugged Shun tightly, almost crying her eyes out. After a split-second, almost everyone came rushing in one by one. Kaoru jumped inside the room, leaping over the dead bodies on the floor. Megumi, who was totally shocked and disgusted, covered her mouth and turned away, trying to stop herself from vomiting. The others tried to calm Ruriko down, and soon afterwards they decided to clean the mess up.
Reiko, after hearing Ruriko's scream, decided to run to the control room. But, before she could do so, a hand splashed out from the pool, grabbing her left foot and pulling her out of her balance. The hand was pale, and it was covered with wounds and seaweeds. She should have wondered where it came from, but she was too confused that all she can do is try to save herself. She managed to hold on to the tiles, which were arranged neatly around the pool. The girl screamed for help, still trying her best to hold on.
Kaoru quickly ran out of the control room, running at the speed of light. She heard Reiko's cries of help, fortunately, even if the pool was on the other side of the ship. Knowing that everyone will arrive shortly, she didn't hesitate to go on first, since because she felt that Reiko was in desperate need for help.
/Don't worry, Asagiri-senpai, I'll be there! / Kaoru shouted in her thoughts. After a turn, she saw Reiko who was trying her best as to not to be pulled to the pool.
"Oh, Kaoru-chan desu! Help me desu!" Reiko screamed with her usual childish voice and accent and with her usual 'desu'. (A/N: Hey, I shouldn't be joking around in a serious time like this. ^_^)
Kaoru ran with no response. Her eyes could only see Reiko's hand, which she raised for the athletic girl to hold on. Kaoru reached out her hand and caught Reiko's hand perfectly. But, maybe because of the tiles on which the older girl held on just moments before, her hand was wet. It slipped through Kaoru's grip, but still, the shorthaired girl held on to Reiko's ring finger, which was the only finger that she managed to grip still.
The current on the water pulled harder, causing Kaoru to crash down on the water. Before she fell with a splash, she felt a male hand grab her free hand, stopping her from being carried away. But unfortunately, Kaoru was unable to hold Reiko's ring finger any longer. It slipped from her strong grip.
Kaoru rose up to the surface of the water for air. She shivered when a breeze past by. The breeze felt cold because of the water, but Kaoru didn't care. She looked at the middle of the pool, and could only bite her lower lip when Reiko's dead body floated at the middle of the water. She was probably wounded deeply, because seconds later, fresh blood started to fill the pool.
Kaoru broke into bitter sobs, tears flowing freely from her eyes. She blamed herself from being unable to save the older girl. Kageyama, who was the one who managed to rescue Kaoru, can also feel the pain of losing another friend. He pulled Kaoru closer and felt the girl's hot tears on his wet chest. Nearby, he could also hear sobbing from the others, especially Ruriko, who didn't want to let go of Shun because of fear that she might die, too.
Another bang echoed from the engine room. Inside, Bancho was desperately pushing the door open. Some kind of poisonous gas was filling the air in the room, but he was unable to find where it came from.
Bancho squeezed his nose much harder, but still, the gas entered his body. His pushes are becoming weaker and weaker, until he weakly fell on his feeble knees. He looked at his hand; it was turning green already.
/What kind of poison is this? / He asked himself. His hand dropped, and when he tried to move it, it wouldn't move. His whole body was paralyzed.
The GK party, after cleaning up the mess on the pool and grabbing some towels for Kaoru and Kageyama, headed back to the control room altogether, in fear that someone might die next. All of them were scared, even Shun and Kageyama.
Shun opened the door, and, he smiled when he saw Bancho seated in front of the controls. He walked to him, with Ruriko's arms wrapped around his left arm.
"Thanks, Bancho." Shun thanked the bigger but younger man, tapping his shoulders. His smile brought some comfort to his friends, somehow.
As Shun tapped the big guy's shoulder, the chair turned around. Bancho's eyes were lifeless, and his face was green. His saliva is bubbling down from his mouth, flowing together with his poisoned blood.
Shun leapt back, and Ruriko came into endless screaming again, falling on the floor. Megane rushed to her side to comfort the crying girl.
To everyone's surprise, Bancho was still alive. His feeble hand slowly raised; his fingers were pointing at the door.
Kaoru felt her heart pounding in her chest. She and Kageyama, who were wet because of the incident in the pool, didn't step in the control room in fear that the water might affect the controls.
The next thing she knew, Kaoru was pushed by Kageyama to lie on the ground. There was a silhouette outside the door, the lightning casting the figure's shadow. He raised his hand and threw something sharp at Bancho. Megumi screamed as she avoided the flying knife. The knife struck Bancho perfectly at the heart, sucking the remaining life out of him.
Ruriko screamed again, her screams being drowned by the loud tapping of raindrops on the cold metal ship. Kageyama quickly stood up and launched an attack.
"Shadow Edge!" He commanded, and a black force exploded from the three black rings in front of him. But, the shadow easily avoided his attack, running outside. Without much thought, Kageyama followed him, getting soaked in the rain.
/Where is he?! / Kageyama asked in his mind, throwing his glance in every direction to look for their intruder.
"Look out, de yansu!" Megane shouted from the control room. He ran outside in panic, not minding the wet floor.
Kageyama quickly turned his head behind him. The only things that he saw were bloody red eyes, glaring at him with deep hatred. Before he could move, Kageyama felt cold rough arms surround him, and a second later, he and the shadow were falling from the ship, heads ready to crash to the cold and angry waves.
Megane, who was the first person to rush outside next to Kageyama, ran to the deck and looked down on the water.
"They're being carried to the side of the ship, de yansu!" He shouted, motioning to his friends. When he looked back at the water he was surprised when a figure suddenly jumped out, knocking him out of his feet. His glasses were thrown inches above his head. He stood up and tried to look for his glasses. With everyone busy on saving Kageyama, there was no one to help him.
Kaoru immediately jumped to the water without hesitating, taking a tight grip at the rope that Shun had thrown to her. She crashed to the water, forcing her eyes to keep open. She caught sight of the floating body of Kageyama, and immediately swam to him. With strong feminine arms, she carried him to the surface of the ocean for air.
Above the ship, Shun saw Kaoru waving her hand. He slowly pulled up the two from the water, and, after so much effort, the two were saved. Shun gasped for air, taking sharp intakes of breathe.
"He's wounded!" Kaoru shouted, wrapping her handkerchief around a bleeding wound on Kageyama's arm. The boy stirred in unconsciousness, coughing every now and then. Kaoru carried him in her arms, but, because of fatigue, she wasn't able to rush him quickly to the room. She almost lost her balance as she stood up, but she knew that she was the only one who could carry him at that time.
Megumi ran to Megane, after being snapped out from being shocked. She picked up his glasses from the ground and handed it to him.
"Here." She said, handing the spectacles to the little genius. He put on his glasses, thanking her in the process. The two of them stood up, but suddenly, a lightning struck from the sky, hitting Megane directly and sending bolts to his body.
Megumi, in surprise, quickly leapt away from him. She covered her ears and screamed, trying her best not to hear Megane's cries for help. She was in fear that a lightning might strike her, too. She felt male arms carry her from the floor and carry her inside. It was Shun Ukiya, and running beside him was the tear-streaked Ruriko.
Megumi was sitting in front of a bed, taking care of the unconscious Kageyama. Shun went to check the controls, together with Ruriko, because she doesn't want to let him go. Kaoru, after all the bandages were used up, went to get more bandages, since because the bleeding of Kageyama's wound won't stop. Actually, a shark almost bit his arm off, but fortunately, the creature's sharp fangs had just managed to cause a wound.
The radio stopped the music for news. Megumi listened half-consciously, trying her best to stay awake. And so, the reporter continued to speak alone.
"In a private ship at the middle of the sea, a lad was bitten by a shark. It was confirmed that he would die in ten seconds. And so, the countdown begins…"
Megumi was snapped out of her nap. Wait, she was playing the soundtrack of Linkin Park, which was brought by Kageyama. How could there be a news?
Megumi was in panic; she didn't know what to do. Kageyama was jerking roughly in his sleep, as if having a nightmare. Megumi stood frozen at the spot. She could hear the countdown…
Kageyama suddenly dropped dead on the bed, without even the slightest signs of life. Megumi was about to cry, but she was surprised when the door suddenly opened. The figure that stood outside stepped in, and the door closed behind him. Megumi could hear the thunder roaring in the sky, but still, the sound from the radio was still audible. The song 'One Step Closer' started to play.
The figure stepped closer, and, due to the flash of light from the sky, Megumi was able to know who it was.
"Shinda Otoko…" She whispered rather sternly, taking a step backwards. Her body was shaking in fear, especially because she knew that the lad in front of him was already dead.
His mouth opened, and Megumi thought that there were fangs inside. But no, he wasn't going to bite her. He started to sing with the tape, and Megumi noticed something weird.
"Everything you say to me, takes me one step closer to my prey, and I'm about to kill!" He sang, with a devilish smile on his face. Megumi felt hot tears as they stream down her face. She noticed something sparkling in Shinda's hand. Narrowing her eyes, she could see that it was sharp, and pointed. She have seen it just moments ago…
It was the knife that was thrown at Bancho last time at the control room. She knew that it was it, because it almost hit her if she didn't dodge.
But, there was no help knowing. Shinda raised the knife and threw it skillfully on her. She screamed as the cold and sharp metal buried to her stomach. Blood dripped from her lips, and she was unable to keep herself up. She fell back on the wet floor; it was wet with salt water. Baby sharks started to make her their meal, but she can't feel their sharp fangs anymore. Slowly, she can't feel anything. She started to leave her life, slowly drifting away.
Kaoru banged her fists once again on the door.
"Megumi! Megumi! Open up!" She shouted. She felt that something bad was happening inside, but she can't just leave. What if Megumi was still alive and she needed help?
Kaoru crashed her left foot on the door, and finally, it opened with a low shriek. Kaoru heard Shun and Ruriko's footsteps from nearby as she ran inside the huge room. She dashed at the end of the room where Kageyama's bed was and checked his pulse, but he was dead. She needn't check Megumi, who lied at the middle of the room, because, judging by all the blood in the floor, Kaoru was sure that the girl was dead.
"How are they?" Shun shouted from outside. He tried to catch his breath, and was almost choked when he saw the two dead bodies, even with the darkness that was flooding the wide room. Eventually, Ruriko screamed and cried again. In her fear, she asked Kaoru to hurry on outside. Kaoru nodded and ran immediately. When she was halfway to the door, it suddenly closed, to the three's surprise. Kaoru felt her inside make a leap from its place, and her heart was thundering in her chest. At the door stood Shinda, clothes wet and covered with seaweeds. Blood was still dripping down from his head, and his eyes were bloody red. But yet, she could see the pain in it.
Shinda stepped forward. "Kaoru-chan, it's so painful to be rejected." He said, taking another step. A tear rolled down from his left eye, and he wiped it eventually. Kaoru felt pity for him; she knew how hard it was to be rejected.
"But then, you showed me how to take the risk of being rejected, just to let her know my feelings." Shinda added, but this time, he didn't come any closer. He looked up at her, eyes pooled up with tears, "Thank you…" he whispered before broking into sobs.
Kaoru felt hot tears roll down from her brown eyes. She thought that Shinda would despise her because she told him to tell Ruriko his feelings. But instead, he thanked her, and he took the positive side of Kaoru's plan for granted.
Kaoru walked to Shinda and hugged him. Eventually, he cried on her shoulder for what seemed like eternity, until there were no more tears left. He moved back and stared at her in the eyes.
"Kaoru-chan," He called out. Kaoru raised her eyebrow in reply, and he spoke up. "I love you."
Kaoru was surprised that she quickly removed her arms from around his neck. Her heart started to beat faster, and she stepped back from him. "No, Shinda, I…" She whispered, still taking continuous steps until she tripped over Megumi's lifeless figure.
Shinda walked to her, tears starting to flow from his eyes again. He knelt in front of her and swiftly pulled her for a kiss.
Kaoru's eyes widened. His lips were cold, and he felt so lifeless. Right, he was already dead.
Kaoru pushed him and moved back, goose bumps climbing through her spine. She was shaking in fear, especially when Shinda's face suddenly showed deep hatred. He glared down at her, with a desire for blood shining in his eyes. With angry hands, he pushed her to the wet floor, her body welcomed by baby sharks.
"I thought you would accept me! You're like her all along!" Shinda shouted, turning his back on the girl and walking away.
Kaoru felt thousands of sharp fangs on all part of her body. It was so painful; they were starting to eat her up. Somehow, she felt that Megumi might be luckier than her, since because the baby sharks just bit her, not like what they are doing to her now. She screamed as she felt sharp fangs ripping of her skin. Others followed suit, slowly eating her life out of her.
Shun continued to bang his fists on the door, calling Kaoru's name continuously. He stopped, catching his breath.
"Ukiya-kun, I don't want to stay here anymore! Shinda is going to kill us all!" Ruriko screamed, pulling Shun's arm continuously. She stopped when suddenly, the door opened. She covered her mouth at the sight of shreds of skin and muscles scattered on the floor. In the middle of the room next to Megumi was a skeleton, with only few muscles still attached to it.
Ruriko screamed, huge drop of tears falling from her eyes. She screamed again when suddenly, Shinda appeared from inside the room and grabbed Shun's neck. He raised the lad's feet from the ground, squeezing his neck in an attempt to kill him.
"Run away, Rurippe!" Shun shouted forcefully, trying to put up a smile. He intently kicked Ruriko, urging her to run away. In her fear, Ruriko did as Shun told her. She scampered to her feet, heading for the deck.
Shun was unable to free himself, even with so much struggles. Life slowly drained out from his eyes, and, moments later, he fell dead on the floor.
Ruriko was confused on where to go. Her vision was turning blurry because of the rain, and because of her endless crying. She heard footsteps behind her, and she quickly turned around. She saw a blurry white color, and knowing who it was, she screamed again, her scream only to be engulfed by the deep and angry ocean. She covered her ears, and continued to scream like crazy while shaking her head.
"You rejected me…" She heard Shinda say. She opened her eyes and saw that he was walking closer and closer to her. She stepped back, her lips trembling and her body shaking. Everything was spinning, and all that she could hear was the loud pounding of her heart, and the footsteps, which are growing louder… and louder… and louder!
The next thing she knew, she has jumped from the deck heading fast to the waves. She committed suicide in fear of Shinda. She felt the cold water as she crashed against it, and it swallowed her rather welcomingly.
She blinked her eyes open, without difficulty even if she was under the water. Funny because she didn't drown, and now, she is breathing like normal, even under the ocean.
Ruriko removed the lock of brown hair that was covering her eyes, and was amazed by the sight in front of her. Beautiful mermaids swam past her; their tails were glistening with different colors.
She continued to stroll her eyes around, and as she turned around, she was surprised to see someone familiar; a lad with white hair and ruby red eyes.
He swam near her, and in her fear, she swam away.
Ruriko looked down at her feet, or probably tail. Her tail was golden yellow, and it was sparkling because of a light from somewhere.
Ruriko covered her mouth, and with her eyes pooled up with tears, she screamed.
Ruriko jolted up from bed. Her shirt was soaked with sweat, and a drop of perspiration rolled down from her temple. She glanced at the clock and the time said '1:24 am'.
Wiping the sweat from her forehead, she glanced beside her bed. Seated on the floor were Reiko and Fei, sleeping back to back and leaning on the side of Ruriko's bed. On a bed nearby was Megumi, silently staring at her with a book on her hand.
The door silently opened and Kaoru stepped in, trying to balance herself as she carried the bowl of hot water and placed it gently on the table beside Ruriko's bed. The athletic girl looked at Ruriko with a smile on her face.
"So, it's good that you're awake already. Seems like you're okay, I guess." Kaoru said rather cheerfully as she wrung the towel that she had just soaked in the hot water.
"What's the matter with you?" Megumi asked from her bed, still staring at her brown-haired rival.
Ruriko paused for a while. So, is everything just a nightmare?
"Where are the others?" Ruriko asked Kaoru worriedly. Kaoru giggled. She pulled a chair beside the bed and sat on it.
"Why do you look so nervous? Oh yeah, I know. It's because of what happened yesterday." Kaoru said, pushing Ruriko lightly on the shoulders to make her lie down again. Afterwards, she placed the wet towel on her senior's forehead.
"Well," Kaoru began, trying to make Ruriko feel much better. "Megane and Bancho are in the control room. They should be taking control of the ship, or if they aren't doing that, they must be sleeping." Kaoru paused, and Ruriko giggled. Kaoru gave a smile and continued. "Well, Shun and Shinda are settling things out, with Kageyama's help. Yeah, everyone is safe and sound, so don't worry too much." Kaoru managed a smile, but it faded away as she remembered her conversation with Shinda just before. Shinda forgave her, and even thanked her for her encouragement. She thought that he would despise her, though.
Ruriko noticed Kaoru's sudden silence. "What's the matter, Kaoru-chan?" She asked, concern showed by her face.
"No, it's nothing, really." Kaoru replied. "So anyway, take a rest now. We'll be there tomorrow." She added, walking on to her bed. Before closing her eyes, she remembered something. "And by the way, we found out that the water had some magical effects on girls. We'll explain it tomorrow."
Ruriko heard Megumi giggle. The girl kept her book and lied down on her bed, too, closing the light before completely shutting her eyes.
Ruriko sat up. /I need to say sorry to Shinda…/ She thought to herself. It wasn't dark even with the light closed, but she didn't even noticed.
Ruriko tried to drop her right foot from the bed, but it won't move. She threw the blanket away and was astonished on what she saw. She doesn't have legs, but instead, she has a tail, a golden yellow tail.
~ OWARI ~
Author's Note (again): Umm, actually the word 'shinda' means 'dead' and the word 'otoko' means 'boy'. So, Shinda's name means dead boy. ^_^
Sorry if it's not too thrilling, and if there are some not-so-nice parts. Whew, it's good that it's over already. ^_^ Anyway, if you have some better suggestions for the title or the rating (again), just tell me. So anyway again, I guess this fic is my last update in this section before going back to school, except for if I could write another fic or chapter before June 17. So last one again, PLEASE REVIEW, I BEG YOU!!!