Episode Three: Ame no Aijin

*Scene changes to Hana wearing his black and blue school uniform and looking down at the ground, walking by the trees. Suddenly, the wind picks up. He looks up briefly as the leaves begin to fall, then keeps walking. Suddenly he steps into a place where it's raining. He looks down at the ground, which is very damp, then behind him, which is still dry. He looks between them, confused.*

Voice: The ame no aijin.

*Hana looks behind him in the dry area. Taru is standing there, wearing the same school uniform.*

Hana: Who?

Taru: You'll see. Come on.

*They walk into the rain. Hana (who is much shorter than Taru, about shoulder-level with him) looks up at Taru.*

Hana: Since when do you go to my school?

Taru: I went to Ginkawa Jinja just like you said. Nice people. But they already have two Ginmetsuki living there- both very nice as well, I might add- and didn't think there was enough room for me, so they sent me back this way to someone who was willing to take me in as long as I went to school.

Hana: So you met two other Ginmetsuki?

Taru: *Nodding* They don't go to our school. The boy goes to a private all boy school and the girl goes to the other public school in town, so you've never met them.

Hana: So why are you skipping school?

Taru: Why are you?

Hana: It hurts too much to go for a full day. I am skipping more and more often lately. I think my Migime abilities are getting worse. I would quit, but then Mom would cry.

Taru: You didn't seem to care about that yesterday.

Hana: *Sighing and looking down at his feet* I do love her. She's a good person and she really does try. But she hurts me when she gets near me, because all I can feel is anger, regret, and shame. All very negative emotions. Most of those emotions she guides toward herself, but every once in a while it's toward me. I don't mean to be so rude to her, or anyone else for that matter, but when negative emotions are bombarding me, causing me so much pain, it's difficult to be nice. So I push her and everyone else away. As long as people stay away then I don't hurt and I can't hurt others.

Taru: Your brother cares about her a lot.

Hana: He does. He thinks I'm cruel to her. He thinks that the reason she suffers is because I was born. And perhaps that is true. I also think Izumi is jealous. When we were younger my mother gave me more attention because I got picked on a lot and she felt she had to make it up to me. I couldn't feel what she was feeling then. Then after I lost my eye I became the only thing my mother thinks about and she became depressed. She is closer to Izumi because she can't hurt him by being close to him, but she has always thought about me and probably always will, and that makes Izumi jealous.

Taru: How did you lose your eye? If you don't mind me asking...

Hana: I do mind. I'm sorry, but I don't want to discuss it.

Taru: I understand.

*They stop in front of a building. It's raining very hard now, and the windows are boarded up. A sign on the door reads "Open", but the name of the place or the type of business it is is no where to be seen. Taru examines it for a few moments, then looks at Hana and smiles.*

Taru: I don't know if this place will hurt you, but it's where the ame no aijin is. It's why it's raining here and no one else. And our uniforms make it obvious we don't belong here, but as long as we don't sit down no one will care.

Hana: How do you know about this place?

Taru: *Shrugs and walks toward the door* I was in a travelling sideshow. The owner approached this place to ask for the ame no aijin once. That's also how I know who and what it is.

*Taru walks up to the door and pushes it open. Inside it is very dark with smoke hovering in the air, and a few people are scattered about, sitting at tables. Taru leans against the wall near the entrance, and Hana follows suit. Someone singing blues-style music is heard, and suddenly the scene goes to a shot of the stage. Standing in front of the microphone, singing, is a young woman with burgundy hair. It's drawn up in a fancy hairdo, and she's wearing a floor-length black dress and black sunglasses. We go back to where Taru and Hana are standing, watching her.*

Hana: So she's the ame no aijin?

Taru: The one and only. *Examines his fingernails* She's blind. A Shitsumeisha. You'll never see her without her sunglasses, but I doubt you'd really want to. But whenever she sings it rains. That's more of an attraction than her singing is.

Hana: That explains the sideshow's interest in her.

Taru: I think when they approached her they knew I was losing my novelty and were looking for my replacement. Her parents didn't want to sell her, though. Guess not all parents are like my father.

Hana: Your father sold you?

Taru: More like rented me out. As long as he got the profits then they could do what they pleased with me.

Hana: Why didn't you just go back to him when the sideshow let you go?

Taru: *Laughs* My father probably would have killed me. If I'm not making him money then I'm useless. No, I'm fine where I am now, thank you.

Hana: Where's your mother?

Taru: Romania. Where she's from. The mystery of my blonde hair is solved now, right?

*Hana shrugs and looks up on stage. The ame no aijin is stepping away from the microphone. Someone hands her a red-tipped cane, and she uses it to get down off the stage. She then heads straight for Taru and Hana.*

Ame no Aijin: I feel somewhere familiar here.

Taru: That would be me. Tokoyonokuni Taru. My owner tried to buy you last year and I was with him when he came in.

Ame no Aijin: Ah. That explains it. And who is next to you?

Taru: Hana Shikaze. A-

Ame no Aijin: Migime. Yes, I can feel it.

Hana: "Feel" it?

Ame no Aijin: *Nodding* My blindness gives me the ability to determine people based on the feeling that they give off. Sort of like reading auras.

Hana: And you're the Ame no Aijin?

Ame no Aijin: That's what they call me. My real name is Fuyuzora Awaremi.

Taru: My friend was wondering where the rain was coming from. I wanted to show him.

Awaremi: *Nodding* Yes, an unfortunate side effect to me being originally a Ginmetsuki. One of many, I'm afraid.

Hana: I have a few questions.

*Scene changes to show Ani. She is standing in front of a school. Izumi walks out of it and notices her.*

Izumi: *Looks at her* Are you lost or something?

Ani: No.

Izumi: *Gives her a strange look* Then why are you just staring?

Ani: I have an order.

Izumi: To do what?

Ani: Wait for Hana Izumi.

Izumi: I'm Hana Izumi.

Ani: I am supposed to bring you to my father, no matter what you try to say or do. You have something that interests him.

Izumi: Like what?

Ani: I don't know.

Izumi: And what if I refuse to go with you?

Ani: *Points her gun at him* Then I have orders to destroy you and take it from you. I do believe it is advised that you comply in this situation.

Izumi: *Backs up a step* I have nothing. My brother is the freaky Ginmetsuki with the powers. You want him!

Ani: No. I am not looking for a Ginmetsuki or their powers. I am looking for you. Once again, I believe it would be wise if you came with me without a fight.

Izumi: Where are you going to take me, anyway?

Ani: To see my father.

Izumi: Who is your father?

Ani: I can't tell you. I have orders.

*Scene changes to the club. Taru and Hana are sitting at a table with Awaremi.*

Hana: So you see what a different Ginmetsuki sees in your dreams?

Awaremi: Unfortunately.

Hana: Unfortunately? I'd think you'd welcome the chance to see if you're blind.

Awaremi: I wish to be totally blind. I don't want to see the cruelty in this world. It's just like how many people would assume being able to tell what people think about you and how they feel about you with be a good thing. We both know that it's not. You are in pain because of it.

Hana: *Looks down at the table* That's true.

Taru: When did you go blind, anyway?

Awaremi: When I was two my parents paid a surgeon a great deal of money to remove my eyes illegally.

Taru: *Looks at Hana* Is that what happened to you?

Hana: *Reaches up to touch his eye patch* Not hardly. How I lost my eye is much messier and much less planned, but as far as I know it was legal. Besides, who would want to make a Migime? You can't do anything with us. We are rude, we are always in pain, and we can't function in normal society. Most of us end up killing ourselves. The only things keeping me from doing that are the thoughts that my mother would be sad and my brother would be thrilled. At least you can use Hidarime.

Taru: *Shrugging* Stranger things have happened. I'll figure out what happened to your eye someday.

Hana: Perhaps.

Awaremi: I am sure how you lost your eye was quite unfortunate. I would not wish for anyone to be a Migime. And now you've waited too long to become a Shitsumeisha so if you try to remove your other eye then you and your Hidarime counterpart will die.

Hana: Yes, I am already well aware of this. I tried rather unsuccessfully to remove my other eye when I first lost my left one.

Awaremi: I don't consider myself unfortunate to be a Shitsumeisha. I think you have worse conditions then I do. I can feel people's presence, I can tell a human from a Ginmetsuki, a Ginmetsuki from a Hidarime, and Hidarime from a Migime, but other than that I am blissfully unaware of others.

Taru: I think it sucks to be both of you.

*Both Hana and Awaremi turn to face Taru (though obviously Awaremi can't see him.)*

Taru: What? It's true! Life's not a picnic for me but I have both my eyes and the cool powers that come with them.

Hana: Yes, I guess it is wise for you to be grateful for your eyes.

Awaremi: I agree. I've met Ginmetsuki who wished they were Shitsumeisha like me. Though I don't mind being blind because I don't know anything else, if I had my eyes I don't think I'd mind. If for no reason other than I am curious about what kind of powers I would have had. At least something to do with weather, it would seem.

Hana: How is it you and Taru have both met other Ginmetsuki and I haven't?

Taru: *Shrugging* They're kind of scattered. Most don't go to school or go to private schools. If you look hard enough you can find him. You can always do what I did and put out a message in a bottle looking for one.

*Taru looks at his watch and stands up.*

Taru: Come on, Hana. We still have enough time to make it to school for a couple classes. I don't think either one of us is in a position where we can miss any more. *Looks at Awaremi* And it was nice meeting you. Again.

Awaremi: *Nodding* Likewise. I hope I can see you again soon.

Taru: Well, we've met twice so far. I think it's a pretty safe bet that we'll run into each other again.

Awaremi: And Hana-san, I hope someday you'll tell us what happened to your eye.

Hana: *Nodding* Maybe someday. I'm just not ready to talk about it just yet.

*Hana and Taru leave the club. It's stopped raining, but as they start to walk it begins to rain again.*

Taru: She's really something, isn't she?

Hana: *Nodding* We all are. But I really like her.

Taru: You meet interesting people if you just know where to look.



Ame no Aijin- Mistress of the Rain. The word "mistress" means "lover", however, which suggests Awaremi doesn't control the rain, but rather has some sort of relationship with it.