Author: Jax Creation PM
Evelyn White was born with a gift—or rather, a curse; when she touches someone she sees when and how that person will die. Unfortunately, her meddling has been screwing up the Shinigami Zephyrus's reaping schedule. To do his job in peace, he'll have to convince her to stop saving people, and he's not going back to the Spirit Plane until he does! [Romance / Comedy / Action / Drama]Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Romance - Chapters: 9 - Words: 26,284 - Reviews: 134 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 37 - Updated: 04-24-13 - Published: 10-06-12 - id: 3063556
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Small Price To Pay
I frown at the hospital bill. "Really," I say to Tat-chan's mother, "Masao-san, you didn't have to pay for me. It's expensive and I have insurance." There's a sling around my neck and my left forearm is stuck in a cast. It had swollen to about the size of my thigh after I fell and the station employees wouldn't let me go until the paramedics had looked at it.
She grasps my uninjured hand and shakes her head fervently. "If you were not been there, then Tatsuyuki would not be alive. This is but a small thing in comparison. There is no way we could ever fully repay you. So again, thank you, Howaito-san." She glances down at Tat-chan who is clinging to her skirt and gives him a gentle nudge. "You too, Tatsuyuki, what do you say?"
He beams up at me. "Thank you for saving me, oneechan! I'll be real careful at train stations from now on, I promise!"
I get down so I'm level with him and hold out my little finger. "Promise?"
"Yup, I promise!"
I smile as he hooks his pinky with mine. He's a good kid. A fractured wrist is a small price to pay for saving his life.
"Are you sure you don't need a ride home?" asks Masao-san as we exit the building.
"It's fine, my house isn't too far from here."
"Well, if you're sure." She bows slightly. "Take care on your way home, Howaito-san."
Tat-chan waves. "Bye, oneechan! Let's play together next time!"
I ruffle his hair. "Definitely."
I get home and the first thing I see when I open the door is Ryo's face.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" he yells. "Where the hell have you been!?"
I stare at him for a few moments, mouth opening and closing as I register his presence. His face is red, and I'm pretty sure I can see a vein pulsating near his temple... but that's not the weirdest thing about this situation. "Ryo? Why are you—how did you get in here?"
"Does it matter? Just answer the question!"
I raise an eyebrow at that. "Uh, yeah, it matters. I don't want random boys breaking into my house while I'm not home."
"I didn't—" He stops short and his eyes grow wide. "Wait… your arm… what happened!?" He grabs me by the shoulders and gives me a shake. "Idiot! Did you get involved in another accident? You did, didn't you!?"
I pull a face at him. "It was a near-accident. No one got hurt."
"You're hurt, stupid!"
Ugh... for real? Why is it that when he comes home after getting into a brawl with delinquents from other schools he doesn't give a damn, but when I get hurt saving someone from death the guy has a fit? "I meant, except me, you moron. Just be thankful that it wasn't my dominant hand otherwise I'd be a completely useless person for the next few months. Now will you let go already?"
"NO!" I grit my teeth as he shakes me harder. "Do you have any idea how worried I get when you just jump in and save people!? Last week you almost got run over by a car saving some woman!"
Tsk, he's starting to make me angry. Without thinking I snap back, "Well I wasn't just going to stand by and watch her die again!"
He opens his mouth to retort—then does a double take. "Again? What?"
So he still doesn't believe in my visions... well, I suppose that's fine. Taking advantage of his confusion, I escape from his grip, kick off my shoes and dump my bag on the couch in the living room. Absent-mindedly, Ryo follows me around the house, still trying to make sense of what I'd just said. I think the little lightbulb in his brain is going to explode if he thinks any harder. Time to change the subject.
"So, how'd you get in, Ryo? My dad still hasn't come home, so what'd you do; climb out your window and jump over to my balcony?"
He shrugs at that. "Why ask if you already know? I've been doing it since middle school."
"Yeah, but how'd you get inside? There's a lock on the door."
He beams widely at me. "Your dad gave me a key, just in case I needed to save you from some pervert in the middle of the night."
I scowl. Of course he did. The old man never thinks anything through. "He should be more concerned about the perv who has a window that faces his daughter's room," I mutter, making sure that Ryo can hear me, but all he does is scoff.
"Relax, Rin-chan, you're not busty enough for me to—"
"Finish that sentence and I'll beat you."
"Now, now, is that something you should be saying in front of your mother?" He points at the small shrine in the corner of the living room where a picture of my mother is smiling at us. "I bet she's up in heaven, crying over how cold and violent her daughter has become!"
"I think it's more likely that she wants to hit you for sexually harassing me." I remember her whacking him over the head with a broom more than once for being an idiot.
"Ha!" he laughs. "This isn't sexual harassment! Allow me to demonstrate what real sexual harassment is—"
I give him my coldest glare. "Take one more step closer to me and you're dead."
"It was a joke, Evelyn, yeesh. As if I'd ever stoop so low that I'd resort to doing things to y—"
Oh, for goodness sake...
Without another word I kick him out of the house.
"Awwww... wait, Evelyn, come on! I was just kid—" The door slams shut in his face.
Finally, some peace and quiet.
Time to think about how to save Miyakawa Ai...
It's day two.
My arm is sore and my head is pounding. It feels like there's a tiny demon armed with a hammer attacking the inside of my skull. I spent all night trying to think of a way to prevent Miyakawa-san from getting killed, and in the end I came up with absolutely nothing. My brain feels like mush. There's a screeching sound as Fujihara-sensei writes some English phrase on the blackboard. It makes my head throb.
I groan and smack my head against the desk. Okay, that was stupid. My headache's just getting worse…
"Is something wrong, Howaito-san?"
I look up and everyone's staring at me. I must have hit the table harder than I thought. Well, since she's asking...
"Sensei, may I go to the infirmary? I'm not feeling very well."
She frowns. "Well, you do look a bit pale. Is it your hand? Do you want someone to go with you?"
I hear a few disgruntled murmurs from my classmates. A couple of them shoot me dirty looks. Yeah, right. Like anyone's going to volunteer to go with me. "No, that's okay. I'll go by myself," I say as I sweep my things into my book bag.
As I walk down the hallway and turn into the stairwell I hear a voice drift up from the floor below. "Please, Andrew, think about what you're saying…" I pause. It's a girl's voice—soft, whispery… and she's speaking in English? "I know, but y-you can't. Y-you mustn't…"
Her voice sounds familiar, and her English is flawless. She's a got a British accent. It can't be…? I tiptoe down the stairs and peek over the railing. Auburn hair. I blink. That's Miyakawa Ai, right? Sounds like a serious conversation… who's she talking to? I lean over a little more and my bag slams into the railing.
I yank my head back as the sound reverberates off the walls.
"Someone's coming, I have to go." There's a pause. "Ok, after school. Yes. Bye. I-I love you too." There's the snap of a mobile phone being shut, followed by the echo of footsteps as she hurries up the stairs.
Dammit, she's coming this way. I scramble to my feet just as she rounds the corner and walks straight into me. "S-sorry," she whispers in English. Then her eyes widen and she says, "I-I mean, gomenasai."
Without thinking I respond to her in English. "No worries. I should've been looking where I was going." She doesn't recognise me, not that I ever expected her to, but she looks taken-a-back. Dammit, I hope that my face isn't betraying the fact that I overheard her conversation.
"You… speak English?" she finally asks.
I want to turn and smack my forehead against the railing. Idiot! Now she definitely knows that you were eavesdropping!
"A-are you also a transfer student?"
Oh... Never mind. Looks like I'm still in the clear.
She stares at me a little longer then shakes her head. "Oh, s-sorry. That's a stupid question. Your eyes are grey. You… you're obviously not Japanese. Um, where are you from?"
"Australia. Moved here five years ago." It feels downright strange talking to her like this. I want to ask her who she was talking to, but that'll just scare her off. If I'm going to work out a way to save her, I'm going to need her to trust me and she's not going to if I pry into her personal life. Might as well start by introducing myself. "I'm Evelyn White, by the way, Class 2-4. I'd shake your hand but y'know." My bag's in my right hand and my left arm's stuck in its sling.
The corners of her lips twitch up in the hint of a smile, and her brown eyes light up with laughter. She takes the fingers of my injured arm and gives them a small, but gentle shake. "Ai Miyakawa, Class 2-1. It's nice to meet you, Evelyn—I mean, White-san. Sorry, I'm still not used to using honorifics."
"Evelyn's fine. White-san just sounds weird."
She lets out a little giggle at that. "Okay. Oh, and um, you can call me Ai." The corners of her eyes crinkle as she smiles. "Well, um, I have to back to class, but it was nice meeting you, Evelyn."
"Yeah, you too," I murmur as she brushes past and heads up the stairs. I stare at my feet as I listen to her footsteps disappear down the corridor and tighten my grip on the handle of my bag.
I should have said something; I should have warned her about tomorrow. But she'll never believe me if I tell her outright. She'll react like everyone else, she'll cry, or hit me, or call me a freak, and then walk away and die in the manner I've already foreseen.
A memory works its way out from the deepest, darkest depths of mind.
I don't want that.
I won't let it happen again.
"I-I'm dead? B-b-but, it can't be! I-I'm so young, I-I still have so much left to do in my life!"
Zephyrus rolled his eyes as the spirit before him let out a wail of distress. He hated it when they were all emotional. Why couldn't humans just die and go to the Middle Plane to be judged quietly? He patted her on the back with feigned sympathy, "Yes, yes, it's all rather unfortunate, but what can I say. Everyone dies at some point. Your time just came more quickly than most people's."
"NO!" He lurched as the woman seized him by the throat. "My sons, my daughter, I can't leave them alone! Please, just send me back! You're a Shinigami! Put me back in my body, you can do that, can't you!?"
"No," he sighed, "I can't. And strangling me isn't going to do you any good, Yukimura-san, I can't die."
"Then I'll stay here! I'll watch over them as spirit! I won't let you take me to the afterlife, I won't!"
The Reaper scratched his head. "Well, you can if you want, but I don't advise it. Being a ghost is—" He froze as a hand tapped him on the shoulder.
"Zephyrus," said Gabriel's voice from behind him.
He let out a yelp and spun to face her, momentarily forgetting that the spirit was still latched onto his neck. "Gabi, h-how long have you been…?"
"Not long. I have orders from Azrael."
Zephyrus raised an eyebrow. "Eh, for me?"
"Yes." Gabriel turned her amber eyes onto the spirit attached to her colleague. "Your Vessel has expired; you cannot return to the Real Plane," she said curtly. "Hurry up and move on before I make you do it."
"And I thought I was insensitive…" muttered Zephyrus under his breath as the spirit swallowed and quickly released her grip on his neck; there was an aura rolling off the female Shinigami that made her essence run cold. Zephyrus smiled at her with fake reassurance. "Don't worry, it's easy, just follow the light and you'll get there."
"I-I…" The spirit looked down meekly as Gabriel glared at her once again. "Yes… okay…" Her image shimmered and slowly faded away.
Zephyrus nodded with satisfaction as her name crossed itself off of his Schedule and vanished. "So…" he said, "what does the Boss want from little old me?"
"The Fate-Changer needs to be found."
He waited for her to elaborate but she didn't. He shrugged lazily. "And you expect me to do what exactly?"
"All Reapers whose Schedules have been affected by the changes have been ordered to stay on the borders of the Real and Spirit Planes and keep an eye out from the perpetrator. Find him, and stop him; those are Azrael's orders."
Zephyrus stared at her for a few moments. "You're kidding, right? More work?"
Gabriel's eyes flashed dangerously, there was no trace of her usual teasing manner in her voice. "Don't complain, Zephyrus. Azrael's orders are absolute. Disobedience will not be tolerated."
"Fine, fine… I'll do it."
"Good." The air rippled as she vanished from sight.
Zephyrus sighed resignedly. "Well then, I guess I'd better keep an eye out…"
Thank you to everyone who reviewed/followed this story! Sorry for the double notification to my followers! I can't decide if I want the prologue and first chapter separate or not XD I'm really indecisive... (-3-)
This chapter seems short... don't know why, it just does. Bit of a filler, I reckon...
What do you guys think?
In the next chapter: It's the third day. Evelyn has reached her deadline for saving Ai. Will she succeed?