|Here it is! The Sequel to "The Cursed Bonds"!
||[Sep. 14th, 2006|06:27 pm]
The Society for the Appreciation of Rhino Cultists
Well...the first part at least. It's divided into a few chapters (I'm not sure quite how many yet). And, because events in GX haven't fully played out yet, this will take a while to write. I also may have to revise parts of it.|
Oh yeah, and it has even more spoilers than the first one did.
Rating: about the same
Changing of canon events: Not really much...I hope. Don't want to make any canon Sues here.
A note about Taro: Taro is not an OC; he's an NPC from Episode 22 of Pokemon. He was the guy with the long brown hair who confronted Ash. In the dub, he had a funny accent. It was made clear that he was very loyal to Sabrina.
Of course, since not much is known about this guy, I had to improvise a lot. That even involved making up a name for him.
“Natsume-sama...it isn’t good for you to worry so much ”
Natsume had to restrain an eyeroll as she looked at the man sitting across the table from her.
Taro had been both her best friend and her loyal lieutenant for a decade now. Yet, there were still times when he could be utterly exasperating
What did he think he was, her babysitter? Natsume was twenty-four, and perfectly capable of caring for herself
Still...Natsume had no clue just how she could get through life without him. Therefore, she tried to do as he said and not worry so much. Besides, he was treating her to lunch at this rather nice restaurant, so she really had no reason to complain.
Taro then added, “You haven’t been out of the gym for weeks. I order you to enjoy this outing, you hear me?”
Natsume couldn’t help but crack a smile. Just then, however, she remembered something.
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times...don’t call me Natsume-sama anymore.”
“As you wish, Natsume-sama.”
Taro would never learn...
Well, at least when he was around, Natsume could forget the premonitions that had been growing so much stronger since...
But she shouldn’t be thinking about those things. They could always be dealt with later. Or so she reassured herself.
Taro really wished he knew what was going on to make Natsume be so serious lately.
He thought it had started that time she went on that mysterious “vacation”.
Natsume had left the gym early one morning a couple of months ago. She had written a brief note saying that Taro was in charge of the gym and the training of the students of the gym’s “mind dojo”. She did not say where she was going, nor how to contact her.
Natsume was gone for several days.
Then, just as people were starting to worry, Natsume had returned as abruptly as she had vanished.
She had just barged in the front doors of the gym in the middle of the day, complaining of a headache.
She had then gone up to her room, and not come back down until the next morning.
And after that...Natsume had definitely changed.
She had always been prone to headaches, but now she was experiencing such severe ones that the gym had to be closed half the time.
Even when Natsume was healthy, she was more subdued and serious than she had been since what she liked to call her “dark years”.
Oh, she was never quite as severe as she had been back then. But she hadn’t really been herself for quite some time. She spent a lot of time in her room, making mysterious lists and sketches. When she did venture down, she was silent and dressed mainly in dark, plain clothing. She never laughed and rarely smiled.
However, she was now honestly seeming to make an attempt at being like she had been before her mysterious voyage. The new setting seemed to be doing Natsume a lot of good. They had hardly been away from the gym for half an hour, and she was already displaying her sense of dry humor.
“Don’t tell my mother about this,” she was saying. “Because if she hears about this, she’ll be making wedding arrangements in no time at all. You know how she is.”
Taro laughed, albeit a bit nervously. He saw Natsume as more than a friend-he had for years-and she knew it. However, Natsume showed no inclination of settling down. She had never been one for those sorts of relationships, anyway.
Natsume was obviously teasing Taro with this, so he decided to play along.
He raised an eyebrow and remarked, “I’m not sure your father would approve of that. He’s very protective of you.”
“Actually, he doesn’t seem to care who I marry, as long as I don’t do anything stupid like marry my cousin.”
There was just a second of silence, and then both of them started cracking up at this idea.
There. Now THAT was the Natsume that Taro had grown to love. Um...he meant “like”. No, wait, actually he HAD meant “love”.
Hey wait a minute. Since when did Natsume have a cousin? As far as he knew, neither of her parents had siblings (just like Natsume herself).
Apparently, Natsume was doing that thing where she read Taro’s mind without warning him she was doing so, because Natsume abruptly said, “Yeah, you wouldn’t know about them. They’re on my dad’s side of the family, and he has issues with his relatives, as you know.”
Taro wasn’t sure what to say. He tried to disguise his curiosity at this new development.
Natsume added briefly, “Second cousins. Two of them. Can we change the subject now?”
Taro was more than willing to do so. Anything to make Natsume happy.
For the next hour, they had quite a pleasant time.
Natsume seemed to be putting aside her worries for now.
It was when they were finally getting ready to leave the restaurant that things started to get weird again.
Natsume had been in the process of collecting her things when she suddenly bolted out of her chair. Her eyes intently scanned the whole room.
“Did you hear that?” she whispered.
Taro had heard nothing unusual, and he said so.
Natsume insisted that she had heard someone shouting for help.
She eventually accepted the fact that no one else had heard such a thing, but continued to be on the alert.
Several minutes later, when they had walked almost all the way back to the gym, Natsume seemed to have a revelation of some sort.
“Of course...no one else heard it because it was a telepathic transmission. But that doesn’t explain why you didn’t hear it, Taro. I know your powers aren’t as strong as mine, but that shout was pretty loud...”
Taro suggested, “Maybe I didn’t detect it because it was directed just at you?”
“Yes, Taro-kun, but why would someone do that unless...”
Natsume then trailed off. Her facial expression slowly turned from confusion to shock and horror.
Okay, this was DEFINITELY not good! Taro didn’t need telepathy to figure that much out.
Natsume was now muttering things to herself.
“Of course...how could I have missed it before? How could I have been fooled so easily?”
She then seemed to remember that Taro still existed.
She snapped at him, “Pack your things. We’re going on a little trip. No, hold on. There’s no time to pack anything.”
Taro asked her if this had anything to do with the time Natsume had disappeared for a few days.
Natsume frantically said, “No time for questions. Now let’s move! I might explain when we get there. Taxi!”
Said taxi pulled up to the curb.
Natsume hopped in and demanded that the driver reach the airport as quickly as possible. All Taro could do was bemusedly get in the cab after her.
END OF PART ONE
EDIT: Et voila! Parte Deux!
During the whole taxi trip, Natsume occupied herself by making hurried cell phone calls to the gym. She was setting up who would be in charge of which aspects of the gym while she and Taro were gone.
Last of all, she called her father. It was clear right off the bat that he strongly disagreed with Natsume’s plans. He was shouting so loud and frantically, Taro could hear it.
“No, this is COMPLETELY my business!” Natsume was currently exclaiming into the phone indignantly.
There was a pause, then Natsume said, this time more quietly, “Fine. Be that way. If you don’t want to prevent the world from being destroyed, so be it.”
Natsume’s dad was most likely disagreeing with this claim that the world was in imminent danger, but Natsume cut him off, saying that they had reached the airport.
And so they had.
Natsume hung up the phone.
Well, here they were in the airplane, getting ready to take off, and Taro had no idea why they were doing this. Heck, he didn’t even know where they were going!
He finally worked up the courage to ask Natsume what the whole purpose of this was.
When Taro was done talking, he cringed slightly, fearing another angry outburst from Natsume.
Fortunately, that did not happen. As Natsume explained it, “The flight will take a couple of hours, so I might as well tell you some information.”
Taro forced himself to be polite and not interrupt with more questions.
Natsume then explained, “We’re flying to a place called Domino City. Don’t try to remember if you’ve heard about that place, because you probably haven’t. It’s pretty far away.”
As if that weren’t surprising enough, Natsume continued, “Then we’ll teleport to our destination from there.”
Taro wondered aloud why they had even bothered taking a plane when they could have just teleported.
Natsume replied briefly, “Out of range. We have to take a plane to get close enough to teleport there accurately.”
So that more or less explained where they were headed off to. But it didn’t explain WHY they were going there.
Just then, the plane started taxiing, so the conversation was cut off for a few minutes until the plane was safely in the air.
When everything had settled back down, Natsume said, “Okay. This will be a long and possibly boring story, so don’t fall asleep on me or anything.”
Taro promised that he would do no such thing.
Natsume began with, “Well, you know that trip I took a few months ago?”
How could Taro have forgotten?
Natsume paused for a moment, and said, “Well...I left to go see a certain someone. A person whom I most likely should have left alone. I just made him mad...and now I have to try even harder to stop him.”
Wait a minute...this wasn’t a boyfriend, was it? Because if it was...he would have one angry Taro to deal with when they got to this place!
Natsume rolled her eyes and said, “I knew you’d think that, Taro. No, it’s not a boyfriend. It’s one of those cousins I mentioned earlier.”
Taro had been wondering if these mysterious cousins had anything to do with this.
Natsume paused some more, and then, in a quite pained voice, said, “What happened there is not relevant. All you need to know is, we did confront each other, and I failed to divert his path. But now I realize...that it was never even my cousin I was talking to! It’s a clever impostor, perhaps a spirit possessing the body of the real Saiou Takuma.”
Wait a minute. Had she just said SAIOU? That was only the surname of the oldest and wealthiest family in Japan apart from the royal family!
Most psychics, including Taro himself, had a Saiou ancestor or two from several centuries ago. It was the only major family line in the whole world that had ESP as an inherited trait, after all. But Taro had had no clue that Natsume had more recent ties!
Natsume recoiled slightly from the mental storm that was stirring up all Taro’s thoughts.
“You didn’t know? I was sure you would have guessed something. Perhaps you aren’t quite as gifted with telepathy as you let on...”
Of course, they both knew that Taro could have read Natsume’s thoughts and found this out long ago. He was just too polite to do so.
Natsume leaned in a bit closer and whispered urgently, “That’s all you need to know for now. Except for one thing. I am going to be relying on you during this mission. So you must do exactly as I say. There’s no room for any mistakes here. But I have confidence in you. I know you’ll try your best.”
Taro vowed that he would.
The two were quietly absorbed in their own thoughts for the rest of the flight.
As soon as the plane landed, Natsume and Taro worked their way through the crowds until they were standing in the corner of the airport’s waiting room.
There was really nothing more to be said. Taro took Natsume’s hand, so she could teleport them both to the correct place.
And, in almost no time at all, they had teleported out of the busy airport.
The next thing Taro knew, he was in a jungle of some sort; apparently in the middle of nowhere.
He heard Natsume-who had arrived here just an instant after he had-swear under her breath.
Then she turned to Taro.
“Looks like I was a bit inaccurate. But it doesn’t really matter. This is a relatively small island, and we can most likely sense the place before we see it.”
Aha. So this was an island. Not that that explained too much.
However, there now seemed to be a problem. The foliage was so thick, even Natsume’s powerful seeking and divining abilities were blocked.
So Natsume and Taro had no choice but to choose a path and start walking.
Taro thought they must look awfully silly out in the wilderness like this. Natsume was in a short-sleeved black dress and heels. Not exactly appropriate attire for a jungle expedition.
Taro had decided to offer to carry Natsume (to spare her feet) when Natsume suddenly said, “I see something up ahead. I think there are people there who can help us!”
And with that, Natsume ran off as quickly as those high-heeled shoes would allow her.
It turned out to be a helicopter, of all things.
A helicopter that had crashed in the middle of the jungle! What sort of place WAS this?
Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any people here. Unless...
Taro and Natsume sensed it at the same time. There was a person walking near here, and he or she was walking right towards them!
Well, right now there was nothing to do but stay where they were and hope that this person was friendly...
END OF PART TWO
Okay, I think I can get another part in sometime soon-maybe even tomorrow.
When this is done, I’m going to combine all the parts into a one-shot and put it on ff.net. Just so you know ahead of time.
A/N: Well, I’m really mad at how they continue to ignore Misawa. And I tend to write my best fics when I’m really mad about any subject. So I’m giving this a shot.
Could that be a hint about what’ll go down in this chapter? You’ll see...XD
This part probably won’t be as long as the first one, since the first one was two parts put together. This chapter will wrap up the rest of what happens at Duel Academia, and then there will be an epilogue later on.
Note: Pokeballs are called Monster Balls in Japan.
Disclaimer: I don’t own GX. But I do more or less own what Misawa does in this fic, because he wasn’t even IN 102-104 (one of the few benefits of his absence).
Taro and Natsume were in battle stance.
Automatically, Taro reached for his belt, where he kept his Pokemon in their Monster Balls.
He belatedly realized he had left them all at the gym. And even if he had them with him, they probably wouldn’t work here-it didn’t look like there were any Pokemon at all in this place.
At any rate, the mystery person was still approaching them. Taro and Natsume could both sense that this person was walking slowly, with no real destination in mind.
A short time later, they smelled it. Cigarette smoke.
“Really, who in the world is dumb enough to smoke in the middle of a forest? Something could catch on fire ”
Taro replied as he pointed, “Apparently this person is dumb enough to smoke in the middle of the forest, Natsume-sama...”
For when they had been chatting, the mystery person had finally shown his face.
Natsume had an instantaneous and rather baffling reaction to seeing this person. She glared at him while shouting, “Not you again ”
Taro bemusedly asked if this was the infamous cousin.
Now it was Taro’s turn to get glared at.
“Of course he’s not my cousin, you dimwit He’s just an extremely annoying guard who works for my cousin.”
This guy didn’t look like an extremely annoying guard. For that matter, he didn’t look much like a guard of any kind.
He just looked like a guy who had wanted some alone time, cigarette or not. And now he was shuffling away.
This wasn’t good. They needed him to help them get out of this forest.
Taro would have to work quickly to repair the damages that Natsume’s short temper had caused. He was used to doing similar things back at the gym, so he knew the routine by now.
Taro rushed over to block the young man’s path away from them, and immediately began a long-winded apology.
“Please excuse Natsume-sama’s words. She likes being blunt, and she means you no real harm. In fact, she knows very well that we could use a guide such as you. We are new to this place, and very lost indeed. We need you to show us to our destination.”
At this, the kid perked up somewhat.
“Someone needs me? That’s new...” he said flatly.
The apology was working. They just might get their guide after all
Taro decided to cement the deal.
“Of course we need you,” he said. “We are hopelessly lost in this jungle, like I said before. You, on the other hand, look like you know your way around these parts. And don’t worry about Natsume-sama...she just needs time to get accustomed to new people.”
The guy turned around.
“Okay, then...if you’re that desperate for help, I could show you around. It’s not like I have anything else to do.”
The person started walking towards where Natsume was, but Taro stopped him.
“Put out that cigarette first-those things annoy Natsume-sama to no end.”
The stranger rolled his eyes, but did as he was told.
A few minutes later, they were on their merry way.
Natsume just didn’t seem to get along with this person. As soon as they headed off, she dove into a lecture of all the diseases that smoking caused. Taro finally had to walk between them to avoid any conflict.
Their guide (who had said his name was Misawa) really didn’t have much to say, unlike Natsume. He just kept on leading the way to something called “Duel Academia”.
Interesting name for a school, Taro thought. They didn’t have Pokemon here, so what could the “duel” consist of?
Taro got more and more curious as to just what this Misawa person was thinking. It had to be something important if he wasn’t talking.
So Taro activated his telepathic powers as furtively as possible.
He was nowhere near as good at masking the fact that he was reading minds as Natsume was, so he hoped that Misawa wouldn’t notice the intrusion.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the foremost thought was longing for another cigarette.
Apparently, this was a new habit, because there was also a lot of guilt lying around. Misawa knew it was horrible for his health, but it was the only way he could take his mind off things.
Taro wanted to know what these things were, but managed not to look too closely.
It was obvious that this guy was not happy here. There were hints that he had once been happy, but now he just wanted to go home.
The name “Captain Fluffball” kept surfacing. Taro deduced that this was the name of a family pet of which Misawa was quite fond.
If only Natsume had thought to read his mind...maybe she wouldn’t have been so harsh on the poor guy.
Out of respect, Taro switched off the telepathy.
It was just as well, because they had apparently reached their intended destination.
They found themselves in front of a large building.
People were present by the hundreds. It looked like some kind of important event was taking place.
Occasionally, some of the bystanders shot curious glances at Natsume and Taro. No one looked at Misawa.
Taro was about to call them on this, but Natsume was beckoning to him.
So he followed Natsume to where she was arguing with what looked to be a teacher.
“I need to know where he is I’m family ” she was exclaiming.
“Ma’am,” replied the teacher, “I’m sorry, but you can’t see him. It’s too dangerous. And besides, we’re in the middle of the deciding duel of the Genex tournament. We can’t spare any teachers to go with you.”
“Look...um, what’s your name?”
“Look, Kabayama-san, if you aren’t going to help me, I’m doing this myself.”
“Well, all right...you’re not a student, so I can’t control what you do. Just don’t sue us if you get hurt.”
“I won’t sue you, and I plan not to get hurt.”
This Kabayama person still sounded very skeptical, however.
And with that, Natsume walked off again. Taro had no choice but to follow.
Misawa had apparently wandered off to be by himself again.
They were soon in front of yet another building.
This one was painted spotlessly white. Taro had to look away from it for fear of being blinded.
But it didn’t seem to have any effect on Natsume. She marched up to the front doors, confident like always.
At the door, she turned back to Taro.
“No annoying guards this time ” she said in a voice that was almost cheerful.
The cheer faded quickly as she tried the door handles.
“Damn...locked...should have expected as much.”
She then tried unlocking the doors via telekinesis. But that was just as futile.
“Looks like he foresaw my arrival again. There’s a mental lock put on these doors as well as a physical one.”
Taro thought of jokingly saying, “Oh well. We tried,” but decided it was too insensitive.
Suddenly, Natsume paused.
“It can’t be..can you sense that? If I didn’t know any better...”
Sure enough, Taro had sensed it too. A distinct aura was emanating from the building. It was remarkably similar to an aura they had both sensed before, many years ago.
But no. It wasn’t him. It was close, but a different person who happened to have a similar personality to Satoshi.
Natsume seemed to calm down a bit.
“Seeme like this Satoshi-like person has things under control,” she said. “So all we need to do is wait and hope for the best...WHOA ”
For a psychic shockwave of epic proportions had just cut through everything. And just as it had appeared, it was gone.
“Well, it looks like they didn’t need our help after all. Ironic, isn’t it? Still...we should stay and see if everything is all right.”
Natsume and Taro hid behind some trees as a group of people emerged from the building.
That person in red had to be the Satoshi-like person. They could just sense it.
And that had to be the cousin. He did look a bit like Natsume.
Natsume was smiling for the first time in a while.
“Taro-kun, that really IS him this time ” she pointed out.
The news got even better as a stranger arrived via helicopter. Natsume informed Taro that this was the OTHER cousin, Mizuchi.
Natsume decided that this was finally her cue to reveal her presence to those people.
And so she did, and there was even MORE merriment.
Taro felt a bit left out, seeing as he had only found out about this a few hours ago, and was still confused.
So he went off by himself. He knew Natsume would summon him when it was time to leave.
At first, Taro didn’t know where he was going.
But then he realized that he was intentionally looking for that Misawa person. The kid probably needed someone to talk to.
It actually didn’t take him long to find Misawa. He was standing rather morosely on a cliff. No cigarette accompanied him this time.
Taro joined him, but there really wasn’t much to say.
Misawa did mention that he was going home for a bit.
“I might be back, I might not,” he said. “I just don’t know if I belong here anymore..”
Taro really didn’t know how to reply.
And anyway, Natsume was sending him a telepathich message that it was time to leave, so he did.
The flight back to their native city was a lot merrier than the flight leaving it. Natsume was busy making plans for training sessions and renovating the battle arena.
“It’s so gloomy and intimidating, Taro-kun. I want to get better lighting so I’m not always sitting in shadow.”
Taro agreed that better lighting would be an excellent idea.
Natsume’s dad was waiting at the airport.
When he saw them, he raised an eyebrow and wryly said, “So did you two save the world?”
Natsume thought a minute before replying, “No, but we had an interesting time. It was so interesting, I never want to go there again ”
Natsume’s father laughed and said, “Now there’s the Natsume we were all missing Good to have you back.”
Then he turned to Taro.
“Thank you for making sure that my daughter didn’t kill herself. My wife does have a point-you would make a great son-in-law.”
“Father, I’ve told you before, Mother is hopelessly sentimental. Don’t listen too hard at what she says about those things.”
But everyone knew she wasn’t really angry at either of her parents.
And it was thus that they got into the taxi back to the gym, where things would return to normal.
THE END (of the regular story)
Like I said, there will be a short epilogue, where the real Saiou makes another appearance.
Captain Fluffball may very well have a fic of his own soon. I mentioned him as a sort of teaser. I’ll think about writing the fic if people are interested.