|The Tomorrow Cases
Author: Athrine Jeanne PM
After an accident at the Bon-Odori festival, Asuka woke up to find that she can see spirits. She must figure out how to help them pass on or risk being sent to the loony bin. However there is a slight problem: 5 spirits are permanently stuck with her.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Drama - Chapters: 53 - Words: 134,185 - Reviews: 45 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 05-07-13 - Published: 04-06-09 - id: 2656519
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Transfer Student
"Can you wipe that grin off your face? It's creepy," Tsuge whined, as I was slipping on my school shoes.
With my grin plastered on my face, I stuck the middle finger at him. No one could destroy my happiness. The day felt great, anew. I felt like anything was possible. All those months of wallowing depression and confusion was leading to this point, to the point when Yuki was finally useful.
Just a few days after I returned from Hokkaido, Yuki said he had something to show me. There were only five people he promised to find for me. And deep inside, I knew from the moment I read his text he had found them.
Practically skipping to school, everything about this beautiful world excited me. The chirping birds, the giggling preschoolers, and the beaming sunshine kept my spirits high. Everything was perfect.
And just like any good momentum, horrible things had to follow. Natori Tsubasa was standing in front of the school gates...in the Odaiba school uniform. Before he got the chance to see me, I turned around and tried to look for another entrance.
"Yamada-san," he called.
"Hey," I greeted him, weakly, "What are you doing here?"
"I've transferred over," he smiled.
"Why," I asked, in awe of his stupidity. Why would he leave Kabushiki Academy for this? Why did his sister leave Kabushiki for this?
"We would have more time to practise-,"
"Crap," the word spewed out.
"Crap. Uh, I forgot about the pre-school duties. Darn. Looks like I have to head in quickly."
Taiki had warned me to not let anyone know of my Sight, especially his brother. Yuki did not matter. He was not a danger to be concerned about. I could trust Yuki to keep my secret. Natori Tsubasa, on the other hand, I was not sure about. I did not want that old woman to find out that I can see the Natori guardian.
What if she sent me into another dimension? Or worse, literally send me to Hell?
Rushing into my classroom, I went straight to my seat. Matushita Asao was the only one in my area. Turning on my seat, I pleaded with desperate eyes, "Please, talk to me."
The usually emotionless Matushita pulled back, shocked by my forwardness. "It's a matter of life or death," I explained. "I need to look busy."
"Um, what do you want to talk about," he asked. Besides answering teachers' questions, I had never heard him speak to a student before. And me of all people? We once got into detention because of a staring match.
"Who's the ginger kid waiting outside?"
Carefully, I tried to do a swift glance. Natori was pacing back and forth in the hallway. "No one important."
"Not according to your face."
Feeling my temper rising, I asked through a fake smile, "How do you know he's here for me?"
"Because your face said so?"
Thank Kami-sama for Amamiya Yumiko. "Amamiya-chan," I smiled, "how was your summer holiday?"
"Great," she looked amused as she sat down. "I take it yours was great too."
"Perfect," I gave her two thumbs up.
Droning in his deep voice, Matushita commented. "You didn't ask about my summer..."
Kawashima was the next one to come in. Jabbing a thumb over his shoulder, he informed me, "Yuki's outside."
"Yuki's here," I cried out. He had horrible timing. Natori was still outside and there was no way I could hide from him. A part of me wanted to stay where I was, but the other part reminded me of a crucial fact: Natori and Yuki have a history of commiserating behind my back. Yuki could easily let it slip about my recent developments.
Running out, I locked my sights on the retreating blond kid. Ignoring my name being called out by Natori, I grabbed Yuki's arm and dragged him into a not-so crowded first year class. Wasting no time in imparting the vital information, I pointed at him. "You cannot tell him anything."
"Tell him what?"
"About who I can see."
"Oh," he said, as if it finally dawned on him.
"Avoid the Natoris like the plague," I tried to ram the idea into his skull. "It's not good for either one of us."
"You mean for you," he corrected as he peered outside. Seeing it was safe, he left me.
Flabbergasted by how easily he ditched me, I ran after him. "Yuki," I yelled out to stop him. His stupid long legs gave him a great head start. The kid was jogging too fast for me.
I picked up the pace and sprinted after him. Being an idiot, I obviously got caught for breaking an important rule.
Shinohara-sensei yanked me back by my collar. "Whoa, there," he said, "Why are you in such a hurry?"
Clasping my hands together, I pleaded for pardon, "I have to talk to someone." With class about to start, every second counted.
"I'm duty-bound to enforce the rules."
Seeing the students looking bewildered by my desperation, he gave in but not before dashing my hopes, "Detention at lunch."
That was his compromise. And I had no issues.
"Thank you, Sensei," I smiled, my heart overwhelmed with happiness. Now, I had a justifiable reason for avoiding Natori Tsubasa during school hours. All I had to do was end the day without seeing him.
Storming into Yuki's home room, I slammed my hands on his desk. When I came in, he was already chatting with seat neighbors. Looming over him, I drilled in my warning, "Avoid them."
Unsure whether he should be terrified or annoyed, he settled on glaring at me. With our eyes locked, neither one of us was going to waiver.
"Avoid them," I leaned forward to the point of wanting him more uncomfortable. With the entire racket I made earlier, there were more students swarming in to see another 'Yamada and Sumiwara' episode.
"Fine," he muttered, losing the war. His dark eyes darted away. "Can you go away now?"
Smiling from ear to ear, I left content. I had my bases covered. I was going to hide in detention and Yuki was going to steer clear of the Natoris.
"You have to be the first student in history to want to be in detention," Murokashi-sensei frowned in disgust.
Looking away from the window, I flashed him a cheerful smile. "I want to spend some time with you."
Grimacing, his hand went straight to his mouth. "Gross."
Into his second year of teaching, Murokashi-sensei was still stuck overseeing detention. Even with a new colleague, he was relegated to stay as the 'rookie' teacher. When Shinohara-sensei caught me, I was expecting to see him here instead. He was the newer teacher of the two, but for some reason he had a higher standing among the staff.
The only reason I could think of was how their levels of professionalism. Shinohara-sensei looked like a teacher, while Murokashi-sensei did not.
While he flipped through his magazine, he caught me staring. "Yamada, I don't like how you're looking."
"Sensei, how old is Shinohara-sensei?"
"Too old for you."
I was the one attempting to mend bridges. He did not have to be rude of my small talk attempts. Ignoring the comment, I went on, "I guess he's around your age. And yet, you're the one in here-,"
"What if it's rotational," he peered down at the magazine.
"-What if it's because of your appearance? That's a ground for a discrimination lawsuit."
"That's what I have said!"
Did he just get a female voice?
"Yamada, even if I wanted to sue the school –which I don't–for discrimination, I would not use that excuse."
No, that's definitely his raspy one. Years of smoking totally destroyed his lungs.
"You're being mistreated, you idiot!"
Suddenly, a young woman materialized. Failing to shake him to reason, her hands kept on swiping through him. If she was affecting him, he did not show it.
Frustrated, she stomped her foot. "Who gave you such a thick-head?!"
In a little voice, I relayed the question. Without batting an eyelash, he bluntly said, "My mother."
"NOT ME," she bellowed, "Your father gave you -,"
The ghost looked my way. Avoiding her piercing red eyes, I started to doodle. But, I couldn't fool her.
"Yamadaa-chan," said, in an eerily sweet voice, "I know you can see me."
For the second time today, Kami-sama saved me. As soon as the bell chimed, I was out the door.
Dazed and confused, I traveled through the halls. The day had started off so well. I was supposed to get news from Yuki. For the rest of the day, I wound up losing energy from hiding. Worrying about Natori Tsubasa was bad enough, but now I had to deal with an angry spirit too.
Resting my head on the desk, I wondered about where exactly things started going wrong. While I traversed through memory lane, I did not realize school was over.
Repeatedly, Amamiya called my name. It took a horrible jab to my side from Yuki to snap me out. Tearfully, I looked up at the already-annoyed guy. "That hurt," I whined, openly searching for sympathy.
"You know what's going to hurt," he smiled, "My foot to your ass."
"See," Sakurako piped up, "Does that sound like a boyfriend to you?"
Amamiya was inclined to agree. "Boyfriends do not say that."
Confused, I looked at all three standing over me. One was mad, one was not amused and one was puzzled. Judging from how they were staring, I knew there would not be any easy answers.
"Um, am I missing something here?"
Slamming his hands unto my desk, Yuki leaned in dangerously close. The suddenness of his actions made my heart feel like it was going to jump out. All I saw in his dark eyes was flickering anger. "Think long and hard on what you did today."
I did not need to reflect on anything. I had done that a lot lately.
"Give me a clue?"
"Are you that desperate to avoid him," he snapped, "Did you have to give them a reason to believe that we are dating?"
. . .
I could not stifle my laugh. How could I when he was saying such a ridiculous thing?
"Pfft," I raised a hand to my mouth when I saw how angry Yuki was becoming. "Sorry- ha ha- but that's absolutely ridiculous-,"
"Well, that absolutely ridiculous thing nearly got me cursed!"
Jumping in, Sakurako explained, "The transfer student was not happy to see Sumiwara-san-,"
"To protect myself," he interrupted her, "I had to give him the first blow-,"
"-So he punched him," she finished the story.
He punched Natori Tsubasa? He punched my former teacher, who also happens to be well-connected in the supernatural business and has an overprotective grandmother?
Was he an idiot?
"Where is he," I shot up.
"The Infirmary," Amamiya informed me.
"Hello, what about me," Yuki said as he followed me there, "I'm the guy who will get suspended."
He should count his blessings. I would give anything to be suspended too. Clenching my fist, I turned around to hit Yuki. Quickly, he stopped my punch and twisted my arm behind me back.
Hissing into my ear, he ordered, "You are going to explain yourself to him. And you better stress the importance of him not cursing me."
Looking to the girls for help, they averted their gaze. I was being forced to clean a mess I did not even cause.
Nurse Mikiyama and Natori Tomoyo were not happy to see either of us. In the end, I was more afraid of his sister. Anyone would be if she was glaring with the intention to decapitate a person. Fortunately, I was only in her line of vision because of Yuki. He was the one she wanted to castrate. My only misfortune was being shoved into the room first.
"GET OUTTT-" Tomoyo screamed. The more I looked at her, the more she looked like a rabid Pekingese trying to protect her master.
Just like any dog, she cowered at the sound of her master's command. Pulling aside the curtain, Natori-sama appeared to be well. No bruise, no blood, nothing.
I doubted Yuki did anything to call for a curse, making me regret the visit.
"Tomoyo," he said, calmly. "Can you leave us?"
"Onii-sama," she tried to say before he cut her off again.
"Nurse Mikiyama, is it? I'm fine. Could I have a second with Yamada-san?"
"Huh," the rest of us exclaimed simultaneously.
Quickly, I blurted out, "I can't. I'm busy. Right, Yuki?"
The bastard shattered my heart into a million pieces. "She's all yours," Yuki smiled, warmly. There was nothing warm behind his smile. He was being selfish. How could he throw me to the wolf like that?
The betrayal was too much for me to handle. Everything was clouded, including the reason behind us coming here in the first place.
Once they were gone, I slowly took a seat on the stool next to him and I waited for reprisals. If only Taiki never said anything...
"Please, don't mention about seeing again," Natori Taiki latched unto my hand. Squeezing it to the point it hurt, it was not hard to understand how serious he was.
"He will tell her. I know he will tell her. This is for your own good."
For your own good, he said.
"Yamada-san, are you listening?"
"Huh," I replied, snapping out of my thoughts to face him.
Before he could repeat himself, I felt the need to ask. "Why are you here?"
He smiled, brushing off my question as ridiculous, "To help you practise."
"We could have just continued on like before."
There was nothing wrong with him picking me after school on Tuesdays. We could have continued on for a bit and eventually, I was going to avoid him. With him being at school destroyed those plans.
"You and I both know that was not going to work."
Feeling slightly ashamed, I looked away. A part of me started to believe he was misusing his powers on me. There were times when I wondered the extent of his skills. He had a knack for coming out of thin air. As far as I knew, he could 'track' spirits and demons. He could summon them and erase them from existence. What if his skills extended to people?
He read me. I was readable to him.
I was always at a disadvantage.
Ever since my accident, everyone knew more than me and not once was anything clarified. My parents, the doctors, the Natori brothers, Yuki.
It did not matter if it involved my health or my supernatural skills; everything was to be kept from me. For my own good, I bitterly thought. Always for my own good.
"Huh," it was his turn to not hear properly.
"I disagree," I repeated, emphasizing my bitterness. "There's no reason for you being here."
"I see," he said, reflecting the bitterness. For a moment, my eyes were playing a trick on me. There was a flash of anger that crossed him. His bitter smile turned into a disturbingly warmer one. "There's no point me in being here."
I did not see the humor behind this. His idiocy was not something to laugh at. I never asked him to come here.
"I never asked for your help," I reminded him. He was the one who decided things on his own. I was curious to know what he could offer me. With my Sight returning stronger, was there any reason to continue on? "All I wanted was my followers to come back and they haven't."
"If you give me extra time, I can." Again, his emotions shifted. This time, he was pleading. Seeing Natori determined for another chance, I was starting to waver.
He did not have to be kind. It was not his place to get involved with my problems, yet he did it anyways. He was willing to help a stranger he had just met only a few times.
"Why do you want to help so much?"
I expected him to think carefully on his answer. As he collected his thoughts, I was thinking of possible rebuttals.
Just because? Not good enough. You're green. I can work things out on my own, thank you very much.
Instead, he said with a straight face, "I think you're fascinating. From what I've discovered, you are the only one in your family with these abilities. You are acquiring skills at an alarming rate. It took me years to get where I am. In a matter of months, you went from seeing nothing to incinerating a demon."
To some, this could be translated as a romantic confession. I could not register it as such. We barely knew each other.
"Now, the barrier is gone. I'd be an idiot to not stick around and get closer. It's rare to meet a person off the grid-,"
It was my turn to become amused by my own thoughts. "Unbelievable."