Black Water

Disclaimer: I do not own Skip Beat.

She closed her eyes against the light streaming in from the window and tried her best not to think of what happened on the stage. As her conscious slipped away she dreamed of that little boy she used to know.

Chapter 5

Knocking woke up Kyoko, she opened her eyes and the room was filled with golden light from the setting sun. Yukihito opened the door and peaked in.

"Kyoko, how are you feeling?" Kyoko sat up and wiped the sleep from her eyes. Yukihito entered with one of her freshly cleaned dresses and laid it on the bed.

"The funeral is soon, are you up to it?" Kyoko nodded and a blush colored her cheeks.

"I think I'll have trouble dressing, can you ask Ms. Woods if she'll lend me a hand." Kyoko said her eyes focused on the dark blue dress laying at her feet.

"Ah, of course give me a minute." Yukihito said leaving, within a minute Ms. Woods was beside her, fussing over her cloths and her appearance.

"What are we going to do with your hair?" Jelly asked the girl as she brushed the long black locks. Kyoko looked at herself in the mirror and shrugged.

"I usually just put it up in a bun, it's quite troublesome having all this hair." Kyoko said to the woman behind her who laughed lightly.

"Let me have some fun with it, I pride myself in being quite good at hairstyles. You know appearances are important, it's what makes you, you." Jelly leaned in close to her ear and with a smile from ear to ear whispered.

"Your life will change in ten minutes with my magic."

Kyoko was lost in la-la land with the last word surrounded by fairies, castles and princess. In exactly ten minutes Kyoko stared at herself in wonder. Her hair was curled and grouped together in a ponytail down her back with some long loose curled strands outlining her face.

"Amazing, Ms. Woods thank you." Kyoko said tears streaming down her face. Jelly was shocked the girl was crying and couldn't restrain herself from asking.

"Why are you crying Miss Mogami?" She asked the girl who's shoulders were shaking from sobs.

"T-this is the n-nicest thing anyone h-has done for me." Kyoko told her through her tears. Jelly smiled and feeling happy that the girl was so pleased she was moved to tears but curious as to her life thus far that made this simple thing a highlight.

"I'm glad you're so pleased but please wipe your tears for now. It's time for us to go." Jelly said as she helped Kyoko to her feet and got the crutches underneath her. Kyoko struggled to walk at first, everything was stiff and awkward. Positioning her leg to get less pain as she moved proved difficult but with Ms. Woods help she managed to get to the door. Jelly opened the door exposing the rest of the house to Kyoko for the first time.

The room opened up right away with windows giving the place lots of natural light. There was a wood paneled bench with maroon cushions sitting on top of a large detailed area rug. It faced the largest fireplace Kyoko had ever seen. She counted five other doors that lined the walls and a hallway opposite her that led to the rest of the house. Ms. Woods led the way into the adjacent hallway with Kyoko clumsily following behind. As they cleared the end of the hall more windows and another fireplace, only two doors were in this common area. The first was to her left and looked like a swinging door since it had no handle. The second was in front of her with window like panes showing the outside world. Ms. Woods walked to the door in front and opened it waiting for Kyoko to clatter through. Everyone she had met so far and a few new faces were waiting on the porch. Yukihito, Ren, Mr. President and the young girl from before. Along with five others she didn't know, all dressed in dark funeral worthy attire. The President nodded his approval of Kyoko's appearance to Jelly and she smiled brightly at him and ran to hug his arm.

"I'm glad you like it, darling!"

There was a small loading wagon waiting at the edge of the porch which Kyoko assumed Mr. Childers' body laid, since she could see the top of the newly built coffin. She struggled slightly with the crutches and she misplaced one of the legs. As it flew out from under her a strong hand held her up from falling, she glanced up into an unfamiliar face. He was around the same age as The President with short cropped hair and a small nicely trimmed mustache.

"T-thank you." Kyoko said as she was able to get the crutch under her again. The man smiled slightly and replied.

"Not a problem, Miss."

The President takes charge.

"Miss Kyoko Mogami everybody." He gestured to her and she bowed her head as low as she could without to much pressure on the crutches. He then started with the man who just caught her.

"This is Mr. Sawara Takenori, foreman to the youngsters." Sawara bowed slightly.

"Behind him are the three Ishibashi Brothers: Shin'ichi, Yuusei, and Hikaru; they help with the horses and do odd chores around the ranch." Shin'ichi removed his hat and nodded, Yuusei raised his hand and Hikaru just stared at Kyoko until Yuusei elbowed him in the ribs then he just blushed.

"This man who you will come to notice is always by my side is my loyal servant, Sebastian. He is under my employment and I assure you is in no way a slave." The President says with a smile and claps the man on the back. Sebastian tucks in one arm across his stomach and the other down his side and bows politely.

Next he stands behind the little girl Kyoko had seen before and gently places his hands on her shoulders.

"This charming little princess is my granddaughter, Maria. She is staying with me while her father is busy with some business affairs." Maria flinches slightly at the mention of her father but otherwise shows no new interest in Kyoko.

"I believe you've met everybody else. Ms. Jelly Woods, my girlfriend and she helps me with Maria's education and rearing." Jelly beams under his words, she latches back onto his arm with her twinkling eyes staring up at him adoringly.

"Mr. Yukihito Yashiro, helps around the ranch and is more or less a substitute doctor." Yukihito smiles at her.

"And finally your savior and our best ranch hand Mr. Ren Tsuruga." Ren takes off his hat and stares into Kyoko's golden orbs.

"Miss Moga..." he clears his throat and starts over.

"Kyoko."

"Well, now that everybody is acquainted lets give Sam a warm send off." Lori claps his hands together and that gets things rolling.

"Kyoko, you should ride up front in the wagon, the less stress right now would be best." Yukihito says as he leads her over and helps her up.

"The rest of us are going to walk, it's right over that small slope." Yukihito pointed straight ahead. Sebastian took the drivers seat and slowly they all made there way to the grave site. All the men hauled Sam out of the wagon with Ren leading the way, as The President helped Kyoko out of the wagon and led all the women to their rightful places. Then they laid him over some rope and lowered him down respectfully. Once Sam hit bottom they all laid the rope into the hole and stood quietly waiting for the prayers to be said and goodbyes to be given.

Everyone bowed their heads as Lory began.

A/N: So ends this chapter. Please look forward to the next, coming soon. Also R&R it'd give me inspiration and drive to complete it faster. :)