Chapter 2 - Nostalgic
He walked around the street, undoubtedly excited about something. He has never been this excited ever since the Japanese soccer team won against the British team in the world cup championships last year. This year, he was excited about something. Or rather...SOMEONE. He has never felt this way about anyone before, not even to Shia who had become his number one fan in his love life for the past three years. If he had stuck to that, he would still be very much in love with her, but...things change. People change. It was only a year ago did Takashi Ayanokouji had feelings for a certain blond haired, short girl whose sights were always on his best friend, Kotarou. He was the only one who ever wrote to her about what's been going on in Japan. She would reply with certain enthusiasm, though Takashi could tell she was still hesitating to talk about Kotarou no matter how badly she wanted to. Sometimes it hurt him to imagine her crying in her sleep, thinking about Kotarou and Shia. Indeed she had a thought that Kotarou was dating Shia at this time, but he was scared for her to know that Shia had finally returned her feelings towards Kotarou and were ACTUALLY dating now. For some odd reason though, Kotarou kept it a secret from him, but Takashi was more than happy to know about it from his best friend instead of from other people. He was just more than glad that him and Kotarou have resolved their differences.
"Oi! Kotarou!!! Kotarou!!!" He bent down to pick up a pebble from the ground and threw it against Kotarou's window. Takashi glanced at his watch, which read, eight thirty in the morning, but Takashi couldn't care less. Koboshi was arriving in the afternoon and it would take hours to get to the airport if they didn't leave now. Plus, he would rather have him and Kotarou only to be meeting Koboshi. It seems Koboshi still has problems hanging around with Shia and Misha. ESPECIALLY Shia, even after these years.
Takashi waited for a few more minutes, until he decided to throw another pebble, but it ended up bounding over the top of Kotarou's head when he opened the window. It nearly missed his eye, but Kotarou was far too sleepy to care at this point. "Oi! Kotarou! Rise and shine!!! Uematsu will be arriving here any minute!" The blond grinned as he noticed Kotarou giving him an evil look, before saying, "I'll be right down." Normally, Takashi didn't need to throw anything through the window, otherwise, it would land on top of someone else's head one level below them in the apartment, but now, since his father remarried, they had moved to a nicer house just a few blocks down from where the Higuchi lived before. Higuchi Miine-san was a very nice lady, very beautiful, who had a little daughter named Minako. Minako immediately became attached to Kotarou, just like how Kotarou's little cousin was attached to him. She was also attached to Takashi and he to her. She reminded him of a smaller version of Koboshi, yet a bit quieter.
A few seconds later, Kotarou was immediately downstairs to meet up with Takashi, all dressed in his casual attire. With sleepy eyes, he yawned and followed his best friend out the front steps and into the car. They were just about to step inside, when a loud, booming voice woke up Kotarou's tired self altogether, startling him. "KOTAROU-KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!" The noise was then followed by a loud smack on the ground as Kotarou's body and the source of the voice came stumbling down. Takashi shook his head. The pink hair belonged to none other than Misha and the blond was quite relieved that Kotarou was alive after that whole display of affection. "Ne, ne, Kotarou-kuuun! Ten-chaaaan! Are you going to pick up Koboshi-chan????"
Takashi smiled and nodded. "Hai. She's on her way here, but we figured we go now so we wouldn't have to be stuck in traffic!"
Misha jumped up and down as usual. "Can I come too, Ten-chan?"
The blond hesitated for a while and was about to say something, when Shia came into view. "I think Kotarou-kun and Ten-chan should just go on their own, Misha-san... You can stay here and help me prepare lunch for the party tonight for Koboshi."
Kotarou smiled. "That's very kind of you Shia-san..."
Shia blushed. Takashi was much surprised at that. He rarely saw her blush. "Iiee, I just do what I think is right. She is our friend after all, ne?"
"Hai," Kotarou replied.
"HAI-SU!" Misha replied, stepping back to give Kotarou room to get inside the car. "Be back soon, ne?"
Both boys nodded. They were finally able to get inside the car without anymore interruptions. Takashi started the car and drove towards the direction of the airport. However, they were unaware of the flying figure with wings floating above the car, following wherever they go. Shia just watched, unnerved by Misha's sudden decision to chase them, nor the fact that she was going to be seen in broad daylight by the public.
"How careless can you be?" came Nyaa's voice.
Shia looked down at the black cat rubbing itself against her leg. "Nani, Nyaa?"
"Shia... don't you know yet that demons and angels aren't suppose to be seen in broad daylight? They are suppose to be spirits, watching people on Earth. When will you ever learn??? I give up..." Nyaa turned and left, giving Shia alone time to think about what he just said.
She was lucky to be greeted with the beautiful night sky overlooking the ocean as she stepped down into her old home. She was officially in Japan and after five long years, it was a unbelievable feeling. Koboshi was quite nervous of meeting her friends again, wondering what they would think of her when they saw her now. Truly, she could guess that they might see her a whole new person. Her hair was no longer curly in the ends, but had gotten straight since she turned thirteen and she was no longer honey blond, but more like a golden blond with little streaks of light brown in some areas. Her eyes, however stil held that pure, Asian color of dark brown. Koboshi had grown much taller over the last five years and was now in the total height of 5'6 to be exact, but she was still very much a tomboy, rarely wearing any makeup because she believes that makeup are just a way to hide the real beauty inside. Indeed, she wore fashionable and dressy outfits, but she still enjoyed wearing anything from army type clothes to cargo pants. Koboshi joined a crowd of people who were also with her in the airplane walk down the platform and into the actual building of the airport, dragging along her two suitcases worth for at least two months. She adjusted her backpack on her back and looked around. The lady who sat beside her, who told her she was meeting her brother for the very first time in thirty years, was embracing a young man in his early twenties. When she saw them, she felt a pang of jealousy. The blond wished someone was there to do the same thing.
And...her wish was granted when Koboshi was suddenly knocked down by a huge force. She fell on the floor, narrowly missing her suitcase and suddenly found herself squashed in between a tall figure and the ground. Koboshi looked up into the eyes of a VERY happy Misha. "Misha....san?"
"Koboshi-chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!" Misha yelped, damaging Koboshi's ears. She hugged her again, then quickly got up on her feet. She lifted (I mean LIFTED) Koboshi back on her feet and apologized, before hugging her fiercely again. "I missed you soo much Koboshi-chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!"
Koboshi didn't know how to react. She was beyond shock, yet glad at the same time that someone FINALLY greeted her. However, she was not really counting on THAT kind of greeting. Speechless, the blond just hugged her back and smiled. "I missed you too, Misha-san..."
Misha stepped back and suddenly her eyes started to water. The pink haired girl looked at her up and down and smiled. "Waaaiiii! Koboshi-chan! You're sooo kawaii! Look at you!" She hugged her again, but much tighter this time.
"Uggh! Misha...san...you're....I can't...."
"Misha-san...You can let go now..." came a soft voice from behind the pink haired girl. Koboshi thanked the voice in her head as she was released reluctantly by the enthusiastic girl. She allowed herself to breathe for a couple of seconds, before looking up at her savior. It was none other than Ten-chan.
"Ten-chan!" Without even giving herself a chance to look at him, she hugged him and smiled.
Takashi hugged her back. "Wow, Uematsu! I never knew you could grow up into a hottie!" Indeed, she had grown quite beautiful the last time he saw her. Now taller and had straight, golden blond hair, one would wonder if she was a model or not. "Are you sure that's you in there?" He knocked on her head playfully and laughed.
Koboshi blushed. In reaction to his comment, she pushed him away from her and glared at him, but all she received from him was a simple wink, which made Koboshi blush harder. "Stop it!" she said, punching him playfully in the arm. Then, it suddenly dawned on her about what she had to do. Smiling, evilly, she jumped up and grabbed the tall blonde's neck, catching it with her arm and started rubbing her knuckles against the top of his head.
"HEY! Itai! That hurts! Let go!" Takashi yelped, struggling to let himself free from her surprisingly strong grasp.
"Hah hah! That's what you get for being fresh with me!" Koboshi laughed, letting go of Takashi. "I'm still the same Uematsu you know, Ten-chan! Remember that!"
"All right, all right. I guess I underestimated you!" Takashi said, grinning.
"Hello, Koboshi-chan..." came a second voice which she hasn't heard from a long time. Takashi moved aside to give Koboshi a chance to look at who was talking to her. The blond girl gasped in surprise at Kotarou standing there, nervously stuffing his hands in his pockets.
"Hi..." she breathed.
Kotarou took a step forward then, unsure of what to do, held out his hand towards her. "Welcome...back..."
"Oh..." Disappointed, Koboshi shook his hand awkwardly. "Yeah, thanks...."
They stood there awkwardly, until Misha finally said, "Ne, ne, Koboshi-chan! Let me help you with your bags!" She grabbed one of the handles of Koboshi's luggage, but, with Misha being clumsy, she was unable to hold on to it long when the luggage fell foward, sending her forward as well. She stumbled, sending other luggages flying around her. Koboshi, Takashi and Kotarou watched in horror while this was happening. Those whose luggages were part of Misha's 'domino' screamed in fright as the girl tried to grab one of the luggages to keep it from falling, but it ended up breaking open, forcing the contents of the bag to fall on the ground. Ladies underwear flew around, panty liners, clothes and shoes came jolting out of the bag. It ended with Misha sprawling on the floor, only able to save one bag from disaster...which was Koboshi's. Kotarou, Takashi and Koboshi decided to grab Misha, along with Koboshi's luggage quickly and bolted out the door.
As they neared Takashi's car, Koboshi couldn't help but laugh. She really did miss that part of being friends with Misha, no matter how ridiculous it was getting. Kotarou, Takashi and Misha all looked at her strangely, wondering what had gotten into her, but Koboshi just grinned at them and said, "I really missed you guys...especially you Misha!" Uncharacteristically, Koboshi hugged Misha.
For the first time that day, she couldn't stop laughing as they drove towards Shia and Misha's new house. She completely forgot what had drove her to come to Japan quickly and ended up thinking about it when they arrived at the house.
Takashi took a long deep breath. He was going to see Koboshi after five long years. He thought about what to say to her, but decided against saying anything at all. There's a possibility that she was probably more excited of seeing Kotarou than he was of seeing her. He wasn't hurt or anything. He was prepared for that to happen anyway. "What do you think she looks like now, Ten-chan?" came Kotarou's voice. Takashi looked behind him at his best friend and shrugged, looking around for her amongst the crowd who had disembarked from the airplane she was suppose to be in.
"I guess she might have changed a little, who knows. We have yet to find out, ne?" Takashi replied after a few seconds of thinking what to say to Kotarou.
Kotarou nodded, sighing.
More people disembarked, but still no sign of her. Takashi searched frantically, feeling a little bit nervous now that he was going to see Koboshi soon. Finally, he saw her. At least, he thought it was her. A figure stepped into the light, with long blond hair and chocolate brown eyes. He was probably dreaming because it couldn't be her. The Koboshi he knows wouldn't wear tight jean pants or tight sweaters that shows off her figure. But before he could figure it out, something pink came dashing from out of nowehre, pushing him out of the way.
Takashi sighed. He recognized the voice very well and it was none other than Misha's. He had a feeling she was going to follow them to the airport. He watched Misha hug the attractive blond very fiercely that they ended up falling on the ground with Misha on top of her. Takashi was now sure that the girl he just was indeed Koboshi. Deciding on that, he walked up to them and stopped a few feet away to let them converse first before he would interrupt.
"Waaaiiii! Koboshi-chan! You're sooo kawaii! Look at you!" Misha wailed. She helped the poor girl on her feet and Takashi was finally able to see her face clearly now. Koboshi Uematsu had indeed changed. She WAS much taller and had straighter and shorter hair. Takashi watched as Misha hugged her again, but this was also his opportunity to help the blond girl out from being squeezed to death.
"Misha-san... You can let go now..." Takashi gently removed Misha's arms from around Koboshi and couldn't help but laugh when he noticed Koboshi frantically trying to bring back air into her lungs. She looked up and her eyes held that beautiful glow when she finally recognized him. All he heard from her was his name and before he had a chance to say something else, she had wrapped her arms around him into an embrace. From what he had observed about her, Koboshi had grown into a beautiful young woman. "Wow, Uematsu! I never knew you could grow up into a hottie! Are you sure that's you in there?" He couldn't help but tease her a little to stop himself from getting a lot more nervous than he already is.
"Stop it! " Takashi laughed, but he was shocked to realize that Koboshi was almost his height and was able to reach around his neck with her arm and drag her down with him. The shorter girl suddenly started to give him the noogie.
"HEY! Itai! That hurts! Let go!" The blond quickly moved away from Koboshi and grinned.
"That's what you get for being fresh with me! You still have to remember that I'm still the same Uematsu that you know, Ten-chan!"
Takashi grinned, stepping back away from Koboshi. "I guess I underestimated you!" He stepped back to give Kotarou a chance to look at her and when he did, he could see his best friend glow in surprise at the sight of Koboshi all grown up. Takashi noticed the longing in Koboshi's eyes as she neared him. There was sudden awkwardness between his two best friends, but there was definite longing in Koboshi's part. The tall, blond young man couldn't help but feel jealousy towards Kotarou and had a mixture of anger towards his best friend as well. Could Kotarou really JUST notice Koboshi now? For a long time, Takashi always knew the woman inside Koboshi and he has always helped her to be with his best friend, but now... HE was the one who wanted to be with her and yet, no one was helping him to it. He was on his own now.
They arrived at Shia and Misha's small home an hour later, greeted by the smell of Shia's cooking and Nyaa's constant nagging about Shia not being 'demon' enough for their underworld council. Koboshi was quite surprised that the black cat STILL stuck by Shia's side even though she was no longer working as a demon. She appreciated the loyalty in the cat, even though she didn't get along with him.
"Ah! Koboshi-chan!" Shia spoke with her soft voice. She approached the blond girl immediately and gave her a kind hug, which Koboshi found rather discomforting at this moment. Misha had volunteered to put the luggages inside, but Takashi and Kotarou insisted on doing it themselves, because he was afraid that the same thing might happen in the house like what happened in the airport. After much arguing about it, the two boys were finally able to drag the heavy luggages inside the living room. Shia invited Koboshi to look around the house, while she finished cooking food. Misha also volunteered to show Koboshi around, but the boys did not complain. At least this was something that Misha COULD do that didn't require any accidents. Takashi and Kotarou decided to turn on the t.v. to see if there was any soccer games on and when they found out there wasn't any, they decided to join Misha in showing Koboshi around, no matter how reluctant Kotarou was at first.
"This is our bedroom! This is where I sleep! Over here is where Shia sleeps! This...is where you're going to sleep, Koboshi-chan!" Misha was saying as the two boys approached them. Koboshi was trying her best to be attentive to what Misha was saying, but with Kotarou around, it was impossible for her to do now. Her eyes kept wandering towards the purple haired young man, now with shorter hair and was now even taller from the last time she saw him. "Koboshi-chan?"
"Nani?" Koboshi whirled her head around at Misha, who was looking at her with dissatisfaction. The pink haired girl opened the door behind her and gestured for the blond to go in.
"I said this will be your room, are you listening?" Misha giggled. "Ne, ne, Kotarou-kun! Ten-chan! Bring Koboshi's luggages in this room!" she told the boys. Kotarou and Takashi both nodded and went back downstairs to fetch the blond girl's luggages.
Koboshi stepped inside the room and looked around. It was a small room, which consisted only of a bed, a closet and a window, but it was better nonetheless. At least she didn't have to worry about paying for a hotel tonight. But, where did this spare room come from? She remembered Takashi saying in one of his letters that the house only had two bedrooms. She approached the window and opened it, looking outside the beautiful view of the park. At this time, the two boys stepped inside, bringing in her luggages with them and putting them beside her bed. Koboshi smiled at them and thanked them softly. Shia appeared a few seconds later, announcing that lunch was finally ready. Misha was the first one to leave the room, followed by the two boys, Shia and then Koboshi. They each filed themselves in their respectible chairs. Koboshi sat in between Shia and Misha. Across from the girls, sat Kotarou and Takashi, leaving a spare chair to Takashi's left.
"Ooh! Everything looks delicious, Shia-san!" Takashi commented, his mouth watering from hunger. He grabbed his fork and lunged for the first thing he saw on the table, then put it on his own plate. It was German sausage, one of the foods Koboshi noted that he liked ever since he visited Germany when he was just ten years old. Kotarou went for the rice cakes and so did Misha. Shia sat there, waiting for the right moment to sneak in food for her plate, while Koboshi just watched it all happening and as she watched, she felt nostalgic. And she was beginning to feel like she was going to cry at this moment.
"Koboshi-chan? Is something wrong?" The blond girl looked up. At her question, everyone's eyes were suddenly on her and she felt like being interrogated. Koboshi shook her head and smiled, swallowing the tears from her eyes.
"Iiee, nothing's wrong, Shia-san... I was just remembering something from when we were children..." Koboshi grabbed the last German sausage from the plate and began eating it quietly. Koboshi avoided everyone's eyes as much as possible. She didn't want to do this. She shouldn't cry. She had to be strong and...too late. Tears suddenly surrounded her eyes. Large beads of tears all streamed down her face, evident that she was holding them in for the longest time. All eyes were suddenly turned from curiosity, to worry.
"Koboshi-chan!" Misha turned to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Is something the matter? Why are you crying? Why are you sad?"
The blond girl laughed. "Oh, I'm not sad." She wiped the tears from her eyes. "I'm just happy!"
Misha looked around at everyone, confused. "Why would you cry if you're happy?"
Takashi smiled at Misha, then glanced at Koboshi, who was now being comforted by Shia. "Well, sometimes Misha-chan, the way to express happiness is through tears."
"Why?" Misha stared intently into Takashi's eyes, waiting for the very right answer.
"It's just how some people are. We can't really question why they feel these things," Kotarou suddenly answered.
Koboshi looked at Kotarou. Takashi glanced from the blond girl and then to Kotarou. It seems Koboshi was trying to tell him something through her eyes, yet Kotarou didn't seem to understand it. After what seemed like forever the two stared at each other, the blond girl was the first one to break contact. She stood up and looked around at everyone, except at Kotarou. "Well, I'm quite tired. I think I'm going to head off to bed. Thank you so much for the welcome party, Misha-chan...Shia-san..." With that said, she turned and left for her room, leaving the two girls stunned by her action. Takashi glanced at Kotarou, who didn't seem to be unnerved by Koboshi's actions and the blond felt really angry with that. Why didn't Kotarou say anything to stop Koboshi from going anywhere? Didn't he get it? Suddenly, he didn't feel like staying anymore. Takashi stood up and nodded towards the two girls. "I'm going to head out too. See you girls and...Kotarou." He nodded at his best friend and quickly left without another word.
Misha looked around, confused. "Um... did I miss something?"