Sekirei is owned by Sakurako Gakurakuin. Wolverine is owned by Marvel Entertainment, LLC.
Starry Starry Nights
Chapter One – First Night
His awakening impression was that he was laying on his back in a very big city, and his whole body was lightly clutched by being in a deep indentation in the turf of a wooded lawn. His body ached all over, and his head was pounding painfully as his physical senses sharpened somewhat and began to function a little more normally.
No heat or light on his closed eyelids. Night time? Slight cool, floral filled breeze on the exposed skin of his upturned face.
A very dim echo seemed to sound from within the fog enveloping his thinking. Had he been in a similar situation before with a woman he loved? If so, when? Where? With who?
His senses heightened further, and he rapidly cataloged every input. Cherry blossoms. Grass recently cut. A nearby pond with blooming water lilies fed by a waterfall from a small stream. Heavy smells of vehicle exhaust amidst cooling asphalt and various types of plastic polymers. Was he in a city park?
Nearby were combined yet distinctive stinks of sewage, strewn trash, garbage, and sweaty, musky, too crowded humans. Feral cats and dogs were roaming the immediate area from the scents they were were emitting. Rats were scavenging around here also.
There was a sharp waft on the breeze of hot oil, boiling noodles, and cooking beef, shrimp, chicken, and pork from a restaurant that must be close and making him feel hungry. Smelled like a fast food udon joint somewhere near. How did he know that?
There was also an overall and subtle background atmosphere of salt laden air, dead fish, rotting seaweed, and ozone from maglev train coils somewhere not too far away and above him. A major city with an ocean port?
There was no mistaking any of these scents, nor the sounds of heavy vehicle traffic nearby and sirens echoing from several directions in the distance. Closer, a few slow walking pedestrians were chatting amiably as they passed. A couple had paused, their voices coming to his sharp hearing from a slightly lower angle. Had they sat down on a wall or a park bench maybe?
He had experienced most of these sensual impressions before. When? Another elusive wisp of an old, old memory from somewhere deep in his mind was triggered for comparison. Tokyo at night? A spring night? In a city park maybe? It certainly felt like springtime Tokyo, or at least, a very close simile of the Tokyo he had known, loved, and left so long ago. Why?
There came a sharp pang of heavy grief and long lasting sorrow over a great love lost. Who had she been? Matter of fact, who was he? What was his name? How long had he lain here? Better yet, WHY and HOW had HE gotten here? These questions immediately made his headache worse.
With a Herculean effort, he opened his eyes and immediately noticed only a very few stars were visible through the darkened, lightly swaying, and rustling tree branches directly above him. He dropped his attention to let his eyes gaze at a forty five degree angle.
There was a city skyline visible through more trees in front of him. The symbols of the multicolored neon signs glowing and blinking on nearby buildings were Japanese kanji. A closer street sign said "Shiba Park Maglev Terminal ". This was Tokyo then. He could read Japanese? Yes, and speak it well he realized suddenly, but he was still thinking in English. Odd.
Odder still was a sense of approaching danger, because he got a strong whiff of dried blood. He weakly tried to turn his head but couldn't. The earth clasping his whole body was stopping him. He could smell a human female was coming toward him slowly from the right. She stopped.
He shifted his eyes sideways and tried to focus. The glare of sidewalk lights behind made her figure appear shadowy. No. Something wrong.
She was not human. The infrared bandwidths of his vision clearly indicated that her inner body temperature was radiating much higher heat than normal, but there was also a definite aura of cold surrounding her that no human woman could produce. She felt like a much younger female version of Iceman. Now who had he been?
He narrowed his eyes to cut down on the light glare. Except for what looked like a too small lab coat only partially buttoned, the female looked naked. She took a small and hesitant step towards him. The dried blood was definitely on her clothing as its scent shifted with her. Her hands were coming up and crossing before her as she seemed to cock her head sideways and peer at him more closely.
There was an increased sense that her cyrokinetic aura was rapidly building around her for what? Attack or defense? It didn't matter. He had to move. Now! He had to MOVE!
Some kind of wild power surged through him as his lungs forced a loud feral growl past his gritted teeth. Suddenly, he found himself crouching a few feet further away from where he had been, his own arms crossed before him and with three gleaming, foot long metal talons extending from each of his tightly clenched fists. Now how had he done that? No normal human could. What was he?
He frowned in concentration as he assessed the inhuman female's imminent threat to him. In addition to the dried blood, she smelled slightly of stale sweat, cheap soap and shampoo, and recent urination.
She also had an overall trace of musky female pheromones that reminded him of french vanilla flavored ice cream. She had bare legs and feet, short and sort of shaggy cut light brown hair, a pink, bird shaped tattoo peeking out of the bangs covering her forehead, and dull, sleepy, expressionless gray eyes that had opened slightly wider in surprise, curiosity, and fear from his leap away from her.
He also duly noted that she was about five foot seven inches in height, weighing maybe 105 pounds, and having almost impossible Barbie doll measurements of 36/22/36 along with the flawless complexion and the perfectly symmetrical, oval facial features of a top international model. She was a stunning beauty and as sexy looking as anything he could ever remember seeing.
He blinked as he frowned anew at another oddity. He couldn't remember ever seeing a female before, let alone an inhuman one. What was a hottie? Setting all that aside, this one didn't appear to be too intent on attacking as her hands were dropping and her cold aura began fading slightly.
The scantily dressed alien female, now giving every impression of being extremely tired, suddenly dropped to a half sprawl before him. She still eyed him curiously before mustering the effort to speak in slightly accented Japanese.
"Uhhh, you fell. From the sky."
Her voice was a low contralto. He could tell from the scent of her exhaled breath that she hadn't brushed her teeth lately, nor taken a bath from the amount of smudged dirt on her arms, feet, and legs.
He also noted with narrowed eyes that there were small scraps of skin under her fingernails, and she had been scraped and scratched. There were bruises about her arms and legs, especially around her wrists and ankles.
She had fought free of some kind of bondage perhaps? While injuring whoever had bound her? An escapee then, and not much of a conversationalist.
"I fell?" He heard himself reply while not relaxing his wary defensive posture. And apparently he wasn't much of a conversationalist whiz either.
"You hit very hard." She nodded before frowning slightly in puzzlement, her head still cocked sideways.
"From the sky?" And apparently his mouth wasn't capable of keeping up with either of their brains in this fast paced exchange. He shook his head in an effort to clear the cobwebs and pounding headache that was clouding his thoughts and reactions.
"Ahhh, you're very, very heavy. Why are you not dead? No Sekirei could live through that."
He stared back at her in silence. There were two observations and one question he had no idea of how to address. Why was he so heavy? Why hadn't he died? Better yet, why had he fallen in the first place. What was a Sekirei?
Was that what he was? No. Sekirei was a passerine type of songbird, genus Motacilla, common name wagtail, a small, ground nesting, colorful insectivore with long tail feathers that move constantly for reasons no one exactly knew why, yet hence the name.
Now where had that come from? At any rate he wasn't any damn bird, that was for sure, and this weird looking female at least seemed to be in the mood to talk rather than attack. Maybe it was time for a mutual exchange of helpful information.
"Who?" He blinked as the one word came out of his mouth. He had meant to say who am I. Just call me Zippy, he thought in disgust, because he was really zipping along here on his end of the conversation, now wasn't he?
"Akitsu." She finally responded after a very long pause of her own.
Akitsu was her name? Dragonfly? Who would name their kid dragonfly? His foot long metal talons suddenly retracted back into his wrists as he felt his body relax slightly and then almost tumble sideways in weakness. He done that too? How? He squeezed his hands shut again but got no response. Huh. No conscious control of the blades?
"Who are you?" The alien female named Akitsu asked suddenly.
Oh just great. He was now two down in the response department of oral communication, and she had already anticipated his trying to repeat his previous question. He swiveled his head slowly to look around for some clue as to how to answer her.
Something metallic clinked below him when he moved. He strained to pull his chin in and look down. He was wearing dogtags on a silver chain around his neck? Why? Would it tell him who he was?
He reached to grasp one tag and held it up to see it better. It had "Wolverine" engraved on one side.
Wolverine, a solitary carnivorous mammal, largest of the weasel family, genus Gulo, Latin for glutton, sometimes called a skunk bear from its heavy musk smell for marking territory and attracting females, also a very ferocious nature in fighting them off and everything else after mating. Nope. Didn't mean a damn thing. What was he? A damn zoologist?
The other one just said "Logan" with some numbers below it. Military ID? Whose military? Still meant nothing, but Logan, a Scottish name meaning small hollow. That meant even less, but at least it was a recognizable male name.
He slowly rubbed his chin in thought as to just who he was, surprised that he had a curly and soft beard, thicker mutton chop sideburns, and a mustache as if he hadn't shaved for a few weeks. Matter of fact, he smelled pretty gamey as if he hadn't bathed for the same length of time too. He looked back down to see that he was dressed in old blue jeans, a dirty, white singlet undershirt with ribbed texture, and well worn and scuffed, black leather motorcycle boots.
Hey, now this was interesting. Along with those wild metal talons that sprouted all by themselves, he seemed to be in damn good shape physically too. Was he some kind of poster boy for body building and fitness? Wait. He better say something before this whirlwind of a conversing female got too far ahead of him. Okay, Logan. Name of Logan. He could go with that.
"I'm Logan. Maybe." He said diffidently, trying the name out in his mind as he voiced it. Nope. No response from back there either. He did a quick pat of his jeans. No wallet. No keys. No money, and there was no use asking Akitsu to loan him a few yen either. She wasn't even wearing panties.
"Logan Maybe-sama," Akitsu repeated slowly as if she was trying that name out in her mind also, nodding slightly to herself as she did so.
"Uhhh, just Logan." He caught himself before he added "I think" so as not to confuse the obviously slow thinking alien woman any further. He had other more pressing problems to contend with here. He was feeling extremely weak and tired. He was thirsty, cold, and hungry. He had no clue as to who he was, what he was, and how in the hell or why he had fallen from the sky and yet lived. He was totally broke with no place to stay. He had a pounding headache, and he had to relieve his bladder soon, very soon.
He was also talking to one incredibly sexy, beautiful, young inhuman female with bad breath that looked in little better shape than he was, except she at least knew her own damn name.
Now that he thought about it, maybe she even knew of a warm place that had some food, a bath, and a couple of futons. And some warm beer. Now he was thinking better! No. If she'd known any of that, why would she be here in the shape she was? She was obviously on the run after escaping from somewhere, and probably close by.
Matter of fact, whoever might be hunting for her might be looking for him too. Hell, the bastards that had dropped him out of the sky might be looking for him! After all, guys just don't drop out of the sky on most normal Tokyo nights, right? Would they know he could survive the plunge?
He quickly cast a worried glance around for possible pursuit. Nothing looked wrong, still, they were too exposed and sitting ducks out in the open like this. They had to move. They? Since when had he adopted this Akitsu and her problems? On the other hand, that cyrokinetic talent of hers could possibly come in real handy if it did anything as powerful as it felt, like really cool some hot pursuit. A temporary hook up to get safely through the night together wasn't unreasonable, was it? There was nothing long term in anything like that, right?
All they had to do was steal some food, get her some better clothes, and find a place to hole up to eat and sleep and maybe even clean up. And beer. Don't forget the warm beer. The thought made his bladder ache so he hurriedly turned to modestly relieve himself while on his knees before turning back around and zipping up.
"Akitsu, come with me?" Logan croaked out slowly then stopped. Now why wasn't his vocal chords following what his brain was telling them to say? How come his body functioned better in other spots? There was another whole sentence that should have been said about them teaming up for filling their immediate and temporary needs.
"I'm broken," Akitsu replied even more slowly, but her eyes were intently focusing on his as if critically measuring his response to that ludicrous statement. Hell, if she was broken, then what was he? She certainly didn't look broken at all, just in bad need of some intense personal hygiene, food, clothing, and sleep. Besides, if she could throw her cold powers around for them like he was pretty sure she could, then she was actually perfect for his immediate needs too.
"Perfect for me," Logan grunted as he staggered to his feet. "Cold, hungry, tired. Need warm bath. Get you clothes, toothbrush. Thirsty. Want warm beer. No money. Head hurts. Let's go."
All right! He had managed to stand up, and he had almost put a long coherent sentence together. This communication and conversation gig was a snap! Now all he had to do was remember how to walk. Whoa! Maybe balance wasn't quite as easy as verbalizing intentions or peeing on the grass.
"Uh," Akitsu grunted as she appeared suddenly by his side and tried to take part of his weight. "You are heavy."
"Yeah, but not your brother," Logan replied automatically as he eyed the buildings across the street from the park's entrance.
Now where had that glib lounge lizard line come from? Any fool with a pair of functioning eyeballs could see they weren't related, but at least he had improved to five words in a thought. Damn. She didn't look it, but this Akitsu was one VERY strong gal.
Things were looking up. Now all she had to do was point them towards the udon noodle joint across the street and next to the alley in the middle of the block. With any luck they'd be able to walk over, waylay the delivery boy, and steal a big meal before he even knew what hit him. The rooms on the top floors of an adjacent love hotel appeared unoccupied too. The curtains were open and the windows dark. Now how could they get up and into one with no money?
"Ummm," Akitsu purred suddenly in female approval as she took a deep sniff of his shoulder, blushed deeply at her forwardness, and then experimentally licked his bare bicep anyway. "Perfect."
"Not on the menu," Logan growled irritably at orally being sized up for a fast meal by a possible alien cannibal. He pointed at the fast food udon restaurant. "Go there."
Seconds later, Logan was huffing heavily to get his breath back. Akitsu had literally squeezed the wind out him by grabbing him around his chest and bounding them both into the air. They had dropped heavily just back of the alley's entrance.
Logan turned his head to silently give an impassive Akitsu a contemplative look with one eyebrow raised. She must be from a heavy gravity planet, have kinetic powers other than those dealing with cold, or she had some kind of invisible wings tucked away somewhere, he groused internally. On the other hand, there was no telling what kind of mutant talents were available on alien worlds, just like here on Earth. Now how had he known that? Was he a mutant?
And just exactly how did he know that she wasn't a mutated human but a true off world alien? Did it really matter? Besides, she had very nice, firm, large boobs. They could make up for a lot of potential shortcomings as long as she wasn't a cannibal.
A large delivery boy exited a door some distance behind them, started his motorbike, and roared off down the alley while carrying a big bag of packaged, hot, and delicious smelling goodies. Logan and Akitsu stared stupidly at his receding figure for a few seconds before it registered that a golden opportunity had just slipped past.
Damn! Logan fumed internally. What kind of lousy thieves were they anyway? Man, they had to have better planning! He turned to punch the restaurant's concrete wall with his right fist in frustration. The whole building shook and rattled as large cracks radiated out from where he had struck.
Loud screaming came from people inside, and a second later several burst out the front door to run helter skelter in total panic across the busy street. The kitchen door behind them burst open and several overweight males in dirty chef clothing ran down the alley screaming "Earthquake!".
Logan blinked at his slightly pained right fist and then at the panicked response he had just created. Now how had he done that? Never mind. The fast food joint was empty.
"C'mon!" Logan growled over his shoulders as he jumped for the kitchen door. Akitsu leaped right behind him. "Get some food!"
There were several pots of already cooked beef, chicken, and pork in various flavored stocks being kept warm on a large steam table. Beside that was a large pot of steamed sticky rice and another large pot of noodles. Logan quickly grabbed the smaller meat pots and summarily dumped them all onto the sticky rice. He grabbed the big pot's handle on either side and nodded at the noodles.
"Grab the noodles! Follow me out! Then jump us up to the roof!" There! Now that was a good plan! The old brain was finally coming around nicely.
Seconds later Logan was bending over the top of the love hotel roof peering down at Akitsu who had jumped back down for her stolen pot of noodles. She grabbed it up, and then paused before heading back into the restaurant. Now what in the hell was she doing? Those idiots still running around yelling "Earthquake!" would return soon when they realized that the ground beneath their feet wasn't moving!
Long and agonizing moments later Akitsu reappeared with a large cloth bag slung over her shoulder and carrying her large pot of udon noodles. One bound up and she was touching down lightly beside Logan. He then turned to peer into her hot pot of noodles to see several big cans of Sapporo beer thrust down into the udon. He looked up to see her giving him a neutral, unreadable look, but there was a trace of smugness around the corners of her mouth.
Akitsu then held out her big cloth bag. It was filled with unwashed clothing, a lot of cash, and a used toothbrush along with a small crinkled tube of mint flavored fluoride toothpaste with whitener added. Whoa! There was even two big wooden bowls, a big wooden ladle, and two pairs of chopsticks.
Logan blinked in appreciation. Now here was one really useful and very civilized female! Even if she was a world class thieving alien.
"Eat!" Logan grunted as he sat down cross legged on the roof, put a bowl on his lap, grabbed up the ladle, and reached for the rice pot.
"Eat," Akitsu agreed while kneeling beside the other pot without bothering to ladle anything. She then proceeded to use her chopsticks to happily begin shoveling large wads of udon into her mouth, slurping and smacking her lips in satisfaction as she noisily ate.
Okay, so she wasn't all THAT civilized, Logan shrugged, and well, neither was he. He dumped his small bowl's contents back into the big rice pot, scooted next to her, and offered her the ladle to take alternate scoops out of his rice mixture while he also started snagging udon right out of the big noodle pot.
It was soon apparent Akitsu could pack away the groceries at a rate nearly double to his, but he hung in there while chewing and swallowing as fast as he could. He only paused a minute or so later to open two cans of warmed beer and offer her one.
He blinked again when she drained the can in one gulp. Man, if anyone deserved the Latin title of glutton, he had just found one. Matter of fact, with her natural athletic strength, animal like eating habits, and potent knack for scavenging, she should be wearing the wolverine dogtags.
Logan finally reached a point where he could eat and drink no more. He sat back with a satisfied belch and heaved a huge sigh of satisfaction. He rummaged through Akitsu's sack, yanking out the clothing. It had three, front button plaid shirts of dubious quality and smell, several pairs of dirty boxer briefs in various sizes, two pairs of patched, torn, and faded blue jeans, one small, stained jock strap, and several pairs of some really gamey smelling athletic socks. The usefulness of the used toothbrush and toothpaste was a given, and the cash totaled a little short of 330,000 yen, about 4,200 dollars as Logan somehow did a quick conversion.
Now how had he known the conversion rate? He shook his head in frustrated confusion. He still didn't really know anything about himself or how he had come to be here. He glanced over at Akitsu, still going strong and actually scraping the bottoms of both pots.
"Good." She announced moments later while leaning back and cranking out a belch much louder than his. Then she drained the last two beers, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand after tossing all the empty cans back into the former udon pot along with the bowls, ladle, and chopsticks.
All right, Logan nodded in approval. She did at least possess a small sense of tidiness amidst her overall uncouth dining and dress habits. Now to get them both cleaned up and some badly needed sack time.
Listening to the rising angry furor coming from more yelling people in the alley down below, perhaps it was time to put some distance between themselves and all the excitement. There had to be hotels on the other side of the city. They could travel by rooftop, and it would be better to take the evidence of their crimes with them until able to safely dispose of them somewhere non incriminating.
Not a bad beginning to their temporary partnership, Logan smiled internally. He turned to nod his approval at Akitsu only to get a downcast, embarrassed, and blushing response in return.
"Why are you embarrassed?" He asked with a small frown of puzzlement.
"Blue eyes," Akitsu finally replied after taking several long moments to think about it. "Never saw them before. They're … interesting."
"I see," Logan shrugged in acceptance, although he didn't. He stood up to stare at Tokyo's skyline around them. There appeared to be several garishly advertised love hotels to the northwest. "Let's jump to one of those. I'll carry our stuff."
Roof hopping several hundred feet at a time by Akitsu Express proved to be fairly efficient, Logan decided, but why didn't it bother him as high up as they were and as far apart as her roof top targets had been? Several leaps had looked impossible at first to him, but she had handled his and her weights almost effortlessly, only grunting in effort when landing and taking more of his unnatural heaviness on her smaller frame.
In any event, little time had elapsed since their impromptu picnic on stolen food and their entrance to a marginally clean, love hotel room with a large bed, decent bath, and plenty of mirrors on the walls and ceiling.
Since he had no razor, Logan forsook shaving and concentrated on getting clean after Akitsu vacated the bath and began brushing her teeth at his insistence. He then washed, rinsed, wrung out, and draped all their apparel to dry. Wrapped in an oversized bath towel, he headed back into the bedroom to find Akitsu already under the covers.
Shrugging in silent acceptance, he went to the closet and pulled out a spare pillow and blanket to make a simple pallet on the carpeted and slightly rank smelling floor below the room's only window. He let out a huge sigh of weariness after fluffing his pillow, covering up, and settling in for some sleep.
"G'night, Akitsu," Logan yawned sleepily.
"Goodnight, Logan Maybe-sama," was her muffled reply.
He came awake suddenly a short time later in alarm. He relaxed as he realized Akitsu had joined him and snuggled her totally nude body up against his. His left arm had literally been captured between her large breasts as she had grabbed onto him with both hands. Conventional morality didn't appear to be one of Akitsu's strong suits either.
Just before she started to snore gently, he heard her murmur sleepily, "Ummm, big, warm, ummm."
Now fully awake and keenly aware that naked Akitsu was a very disturbing bed partner even if she was a slow thinking alien glutton, he stared up at the night sky while trying to regain some kind of memory of who and what he was as well as how and why he had dropped into Tokyo. Their room was on the back side of the hotel so that the building's shadow cut the city's light glare. The spring breeze must be blowing most of the smog out to sea too because there was an incredibly clear sky above, simply filled with stars.
An old sad song suddenly surfaced from the heavy fog obscuring all of his memories. He began to hum as the lyrics came to mind too.
"Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and gray, look out on a summer's day, with eyes that know the darkness in my soul."
He stopped suddenly as he felt a chill wash over him. Yes, although he couldn't actually remember anything, he could feel that there was a vast darkness somewhere deep inside of him, one filled with centuries of war, blood, violence, assassinations, betrayal, needless death, and great love torn from him.
He turned to look at Akitsu's serene face as she began lightly licking his bicep in her sleep. Maybe it might be better if he didn't remember. Tomorrow he would get Akitsu safely settled in a better place to stay, and then ease on out of Tokyo to go, where? There was a yearning inside him to go where a not-human like him could feel at home and avoid any unwelcome pursuit from his past.
North, he would go north into the cold woods growing on snow capped mountains. He had a feeling he had lived there long ago in solitary peace. It would be good to go back. Maybe then he could look at starry starry night skies without wondering about how many he had killed.