They were very young the day their parents died. Yuuhi and Kasumi Kurosachi had become orphans,Yuuhi was five and Kasumi only four. They were pulled out of school early that one day, it had never happened before. The teachers acted strange not looking the children in the eyes as they lead them down the hall with tiny hands in their own. Men in uniforms with shiny badges sat in the head masters office, sour expressions on their faces. They shuffled about the room quietly. A puckered faced old woman asked them questions about their ride to school, their morning activities, and finally their parents.
"Did you see your mother this morning?" The woman asked, adjusting her coat hem. The children shook their heads. The woman's breath was foul like rotting fish. "Your father then did you see him?"
Again a no. Yuuhi began to sniffle, worry shadowed his tiny brow. The men in uniforms exchanged nervous glances, one produced a teddy bear. Yuuhi grasped the bear tightly in his arms. The old woman continued asking more questions. "Did anyone pay a visit last night?"
Silence for a few minutes. Yuuhi said no. Kasumi blinked eyes like tinted blue glass at the woman a few times then spoke very softly. "The dark men, they came. I wasn't supposed to see, the shadows danced with mommy. Daddy seemed angry but then he didn't say anything anymore. Mommy danced and danced, she laughed a funny way. Daddy called it her devil laugh once, like the minions of evil do, it only happens when Mommy is strange like the people daddy writes about. The purple ones with horns and stuff..."
The old woman shook her head, nonsense she thought. The ranting of a child raised in a fantasy world provided by parents who spent their time painting pictures and writing stories. "Your parents, "She paused and took a deep breath. "have passed away, I'm so sorry." Yuuhi began to cry loudly, fat tears rolled out from deep green eyes falling on the plush bears fur. Kasumi stared at the ground and said nothing, hair fell in her face as she trembled silently. Yuuhi called the woman a liar, the woman tried to calm him. Teachers hovered into the room, grave sadness in their eyes. They hugged the children tightly, Yuuhi cried more. The teachers told him the woman wasn't lying, that she worked for the government as a child well fare agent. They told them the woman would find them a new family, a new home, that they wouldn't be alone.
The puckered faced old woman sits in a room with four shadowy well dressed figures. They discuss the future of the children in hushed voiced under dim yellow lights. A pen is tapped against the table. A figure speaks. "How are we splitting the money between them? "
"We keep twenty percent of current funds, they split the rest. Future earnings will be credited only ten percent to us, but those children will be well taken care of. A Mrs. Hatake wishes to take them in, her husband passed two years ago leaving her with two young daughters about the same age. She's originally from America and is one of the key stock holders in one of our most profitable weapons conglomerates."
"Mrs. Annette Hatake? Didn't her husband pass under suspicious circumstances? "
"She was not charged with anything. We must ignore that rumor. This decision must be based on fact not fiction. It is our sworn duty to make sure these children are looked after properly and as such I met with Mrs Hatake and her lawyers. I believe, after meeting her charming girls this would be a good placement."
"Her daughters are something to be admired, she has educated them, far beyond what other children of that age have experienced. Top notch perhaps. Mrs. Hatake's personality is a bit sour though, her methods harsh, and her demeanor cold. However much education these children lack will be made up for immediately but the easy going environment they'd been in up until now doesn't exist there. The change may be to great a shock."
"Nonsense, " The puckered faced old woman spoke. "This placement has already been approved by the department. This meeting was called only as a courtesy to the lawyers who represented the family and so it could be made clear to all involved what was being done with the Kurosachi's wealth, nothing else. Now that those two things have been accomplished there is no point in us continuing this meeting any further. Gentlemen I hope this has been educational for you all. Thank you for your help and your free to contact the children once they've graduated from a university or career training school as per department policy. "
The puckered faced old woman's fingernails dug into the crying boys smooth pink fleshed wrists as she drug him along behind her. A younger girl followed quietly on her own, having not said a word to the old woman since the day they'd been forced to meet her. They marched forward footsteps drown out by Yuuhi's weeping. Before them a stern faced woman in a long black dress, white grey hair pulled tightly up into a bun. Two small red headed girls peeked out from behind her skirts edge. The puckered faced old woman yanked Yuuhi forward suddenly, the surprise caused his incessant weeping to stop. His large deep green eyes blinked away fat droplets and he gave a embarrassed yelp as he spotted the two small girls behind the smooth stiff woolen black skirt edge. His wet pink cheeks turned a darker shade of red, he wriggled free of the puckered woman's grasp and ran to his younger sister, throwing his arm around her neck and hiding behind her.
The stern faced woman shook her head and frowned. She cleared her throat and spoke with a cold callous tone. "These are the Kurosachi's children?" The puckered faced old woman nodded in ascension, "They are indeed, it was quite a tragedy what happened."
The stern faced woman let out a cackling laugh. "No more than what dreamers deserve..." She stepped forward leaving the two small girls standing stiffly, clinging to each other. The stern faced woman cocked a crooked smile and stared down at the two orphan children. "I am Mrs. Hatake, you can call me Madam or Mrs. Hatake, none of that nonsense that you'd call your real parents. You will be living with me from now on." She motioned towards the two girls. "These are my daughters, Ichigo and Kaki, my late husband named them, foolishly. Ichigo is six, Kaki is five. I will teach you everything you'll need to survive this cruel world, unlike your parents. You will be expected to behave at fancy dinner parties and business meetings, you will be expected to learn how to entertain and you will be expected to marry well. It is what I expect of my own children and so is what I will expect of you."
The little black headed girl scowled at Mrs. Hatake, her frightened brother clung to her back tightly. The puckered faced woman reached for the two but the four year old with the icy blue eyes swatted her hand away. The child nodded at the stern faced woman and made a swift but awkward curtsy, the boy followed in suit and bowed, finally releasing his little sister. The small boy fought back a sniffle as he spoke. "Thank you Madam, for taking my sister and I into your home."
Many years passed. The two orphans did not see the puckered faced woman after they were moved into the Hatake household. Madam Hatake home schooled them for the next fourteen years. Math, Science, History, and Geography, they learned it all. Art and Literature were all they were allowed for fun, social gatherings forced them to learn manners and grace. The woman told them terrible stories about failed romance and lustful trysts every night as they prepared for bed. They grew up.
One night Mrs. Hatake called them all into her room, the four shuffled in quietly and sat before her. The woman was frail, her voice wavered as she spoke. "I met my husband long ago when we were very young, I must have been nineteen or twenty, like you. Of course we didn't marry until fifteen years later when we met again, after his first wife had passed away suddenly. It took another five years for us to have children, and then Ichigo was born, a year later Kaki too. Then three years later my dear husband passed away, drowned in our bath tub. Tragic. But when we met those many years ago I knew he'd be mine one day. I worked hard to plant the seeds that later budded into coexistence and perhaps even love for him, who knows. The fact of the matter is, now is the time for you to find the one you should coexist with. A wealthy family, good press, beauty, it's what you'll get, the very proof you are my brood. You will be all going to a very elite University in the next month, you will return in six months with a conquest worthy of my teachings, a trophy on your arm for the yearly ball, this will be practice for much bigger games. I will tell you if your on the right track. My wealth, this estate, my vacation homes, the whole of the Hatake empire will be given to only one of you. On the fifteenth you will arrive at the Sakura Henge University, a school for the richest of the rich to make contacts and partnerships that will last a lifetime. They only accept students every three years, you will attend for at least four. At the end of those four years this game will end and one of you will win it all. you each must find a mate, and make them love you. This mate must fit certain guide lines of course. Influence, power, beauty and net worth will be the method you are scored with. Don't fail me, don't fail yourselves."