"Did you hear you hear what happened?"
"...This can't be!"
"I heard the SHE escaped!"
"N-No way! Profesor Hatake was MURDERED!?"
"This...This must be a lie! You can't sit here and tell me that SHE killed my husband!"
"EVERYONE CALM DOWN!" boomed the village leader, Okami Hikari. Everyone began to quiet down, looking up at their beloved leader with expacntant gleams in their large frightened eyes, demanding answers. "Now, I understand that the rougue bounty hunter Unwanted Higiraku has escaped her confinment, leaving with lives of profesors Ritchi Hatake, Nagashiri Arimaru, Kami Eehannaah, and Souna Gakuron."Okami took in a large breath and continued "The Hyogi-kai* and I have come to the conclusion that anyone brave enough may go after her. The bounty on her head is seven million dollars. This amount will rise for every month she goes uncaptured. Oh, and she is wanted alive." Okami then turned away from the crowd and began conversing with the Hyogi-kai* about funerals for the four deceased profesors.
"Hehe...a bounty for a bounty hunter, eh? How ironoic... I like it." Unwanted said, loud enough for anyone to hear. She was only slightly suprised that no one looked up at the tree she and her little brother Unnecessary were sitting in.
"Ne*, Rain? You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?" a rather tall rabbit-hybrid asked the even taller cat-hybrid next to him.
"That we're gonna collect that huge bounty, right, Usami?" Rain asked while rolling his eyes.
"Oh my! You must be a mind reader! Its not like its written all over my face or dripping off of every word I speak, at all!" Usami said sarcastically, snickering at his best friend. "Lets go home and get ready for the long trip ahead of us alright Ame-kun*?" he said in a discustingly sweet voice.
"Ugh, Usami! I told you not to call me that in public! And whats with that nasty voice? You tryin' to scare every mother, teenager, and child in the village or somethin'? 'Cuz let me tell you, it would work if you had a megaphone." he said, slightly backing away due to the fright the sickly sweet voice had caused him.
"Come on you big baby, lets go already! I have something extra special waiting for you today!" Usami drew the entire sentance out, turning around and walking back towards their shared apartment, motioning for Rain to follow.
"Fine, fine. I'm comin', just wait up idiot!" Rain screeched as he jogged to catch up to his friend. "But... what do you mean you have something 'special' for me? WOAH! You're not going gay on me are you? I mean, just 'cuz I dress the part and act it too, doesn't me I'm acctually gay!" Rain began to freak out next to his friend because he was only getting a creepy smirk and an occasional 'You forgot, didn't you?' as his answer. Suprisingly no one was aware of the figures lurking in the treetops, silently begining to follow the duo to thier place of residence.
As the boys were walking home, Rain caught an unfamiliar scent on the breeze, but thought nothing of it. As they were unlocking the house Rain asked his best freind if he would like him to cook dinner, since Usami made it last time, although it was only left over carry-out.
"Un*, but only if you want to." Usami said, finally getting the old rusty door to unlock. "We should probably get a new door. One wrong move and one -or both- of us will get Hafoshu*..." Usami muttered more or less to himself. As soon as they got into the apartment, Rain bolted for the kitchen and screamed in a rather shrill voice
"SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSHHHHHHHH HHI TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMM MMMMMMEEEEEEE!". Usami watched with wide eyes from the kitchen entry way as his best freind began to furiously make the most delicious looking sushi and onigri he had ever seen. 'But looks can be deceiving' Usami thought to himself and grimaced, remembering back to the first -and only- time Rain had cooked for him and their former other best friends Unwanted and Unnecessary. He remebered how good it looked and smelled, but how terrible it tasted. He didn't even think it was possible to screw up the taste of maceroni & cheese, but now he thinks twice before eating anything, even the things he makes himself. Rain felt eye's starring at him so he turned around only to find Usami with his eye's glazed over, starring right at him.
He shivered and goosbumps apeared on his arms. 'So creepy... I really hope he didn't go gay on me and start fantasizing about us or something...' he thought to himself. He slowly washed his hands and then waved them infront of Usami, but got no reaction. He poked Usami everywhere, tickled him, even tried to push him over -which failed horribly- but nothing worked. The last thing that came to his mind was to slap the silly rabbit man, and he did. About a good minute or so later, a very late reaction erupted from Usami, a look of anger and pain sliding across his face.
"OOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW! DUDE! WHY ON EARTH DID YOU SLAP ME!?" he screamed out at Rain.
"'Cuz you were starin' off into space and it was starting to scare the living catcrap outah' me. Thats why." Rain stated, very matter-of-factly, as if it were the most normal thing ever.
"Oh... sorry. Just thinkin' back to when Okami, 'Wanted and 'Necessary, and you and I ate that god awful mac n' cheese that you had made for us back when we were kids. Man how I wish those two hadn't gone insane. We were all going to buy a big six bedroom twelve bath house with that big gormet kitchen, huge living room, extravigant dining room, gigantic pool and backyard, and rooftop jacuzzi... It would have been so much fun... But now we have these low level jobs, and we live in this small, old, reletivly crappy apartment. Why did they have to go crazy and kill half the village, and almost all of the villages across the land on the last hunting mission they were given? Why? They...they were such good people when they were younger! Why! Tell me why, Rain! TELL ME! IT WAS MY FAULT WASN'T IT?! IT WAS ALL MY FAULT! MY FAULT! MY FAULT!"
Usami bagan to shake and convulse vilolently, spluttering and screaming the same thing over and over again. He was on the floor holding his shoulders, trying to protect himself from whatever it is he was seeing. His eye's were open so wide and streaming so many huge tears that Rain knew it must have hurt, physically and psychologically. Rain instantly ran over to his friend and scooped him up into his arms, while walking over to the couch in the living room not far away. Rain sat down and began to stroke his back, his hair, and his cheek soothingly, almost as if he were trying to calm a child.
"It wasn't your fault, Usami. It wasn't your fault. It was they're parents fault. It wasn't your fault. Don't blame yourself, blame them. Hate them, not yourself. It wasn't your fault." he crooned into Usami's ear. Eventually, Usami began to quiet down, his breathing evening out, and his tears began to dry up. His eyes had long since closed, and his hand was gripping the front of Rains shirt rather tightly, but otherwise Usami was completely calm. Rain got comfortable because he wasn't sure how long Usami would be in his lap. About fifteen minutes later his eye's fluttered open and he looked around. Seeing as how he was in his own home, he relaxed a bit, but he still held fast to Rain's shirt. He looked up and noticed he was sitting in Rain's lap like a little kid. He quickly realized his position and squirmed out of his legs, eye's widdening with shock.
"S-sorry..." he mumbled, scratching the back of his neck and looking away, uncomfortable with how close he was to Rain, who was apearently oblivious to his embarassment. "Ne, why was I in your lap?"
Rain cracked an eye open. "You were in my lap 'cuz you had one of your truama moments again. But aaanyways, lets eat! Dinner's been ready for a good 15 minutes or so, and I'm starving!" Rain said, just as his stomach began to rumble. "See? I've got rumblin's in my tummy that only food can satisfy."
"Idiot, its "I've got the rumblies in my tummy that only hands can satisfy!". And, un*, lets go eat before you start snivivling at my feet begging me to let you eat." Usami said in a tone that clearly said she was trying to act like he was the boss.
"Peh, so says the one who was clutching onto my shirt and crying in my lap like a little girl." Rain said as he went into the kitchen and put the food on their little table. They ate in silence until Usami insited that he go make something extra special for dessert. "Why? There's seriously nothing special about today! It's just another day like every other, as far I know." Rain said to Usami, a confused looking marring his rather pretty and fairly feminine face.
"You really did forget, didn't you?"
"Meep, you'll see. It's kinda funny that you forgot though, silly kitty."
Usami left the room before Rain could come up with some snarky retort, and started making Majikarusuu~Itorein Danshi*, Rain's favorite dessert. About 20 minutes later Usami returned with six sticks of the Majikarusuu~Itorein Danshi* and a large birthday cupcake -red velevet at that- with cocolate frosting and the words "Happy 18th Birthday Ame-Kun!" written in white, pink, and red sprinkles. Rain looked up and froze, eye's growing wide. Then a giant cheeky smile broke out onto his face. He got up and hugged his best freind, getting him in a death grip.
"R-Rain! Your choking me! And I also don't wanna drop what I worked so hard to make! Let gooo~" Usami choked out, ending his sentence on a high pitched note. Rain relized he was hurting his precious friend and let go, looking away with a slight blush of embarassment coloring his cheeks.
"Sorry, Usami. I just got so excited and happy that I had to hug you. I totally forgot it was my birthday! Is this what you meant by 'you have something 'special' for me at home'?"
"Yes, baka*. Yes it is." Usami said in generally happy tone. "Here, lets sit down and enjoy your birthday! You're finally qualified as an adult now! Another three years and you can drink!" Usami shouted out, laughing as he sat down.
"Un, un! I know! I can't wait till I'm twenty one, but, that also means I'm getting ooooolllllllddddd! Gross!" He said, face twisting up in a joking manner.
They ate the Majikarusuu~Itorein Danshi* and the fairly large cupcake together, speaking of how theyre jobs were, and if they had anyone special in their heart yet. "Oh, you wanna know how work went? It was so long today! I had to interveiw thirty six people today, and of those thirty six, only twelve made it in. My guess is that by next week we'll only have about three or four permanent employee's. Ugh, I hate being the manager of that wretched business!" Rain stated, his eye's narrowing ever so slightly at the mention of his job. "How did your day go? Hopefully better than mine?" Rain asked, looking to his friend for the details of his day.
"It was..." Usami paused, searching his brain for the right word. "It was... It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." He sighed, and continued "It's just that kids these days don't want to learn anything anymore. I had to give out at least eighty nine detentions today, if not more. Only twenty nine kids did their homework. Twenty nine! Its so frustrating!" Usami stuffed a peice of cake in his own mouth to stop himself from ranting on and on about how kids should care more about their education.
"Trust me, I know how you feel. I know. Anyways, want me to grab something to drink?" Rain questioned, postioning himself to get up and go into the kitchen and grab a few beers.
"Nah, you wait here. I have to grab a few thing from my room." Usami said, waving a hand in Rains direction, telling him not to get up.
"Whatchya gonna go get?"
"Oh my gosh Rain, you'll see!" Usami sighed and got up walking toward his room. "I swear your like a big puppy sometimes, wich is weird seeing as your a cat!"
Usami walked into his rather small bedroom and opened his closet door with a smile. Inside of the closet was a four foot box covered in rainbow and unicorn giftwrap, a smaller box that was black with white letters that read "Neko no Piasu"* and a cat covered gift card. He gathered all the items in his arms, and stumbled down the hallway back to the living room. He set the pile of presents in front of Rain, whose eyes grew large and child like, shimmering with happiness. "Happy Birthday again, Rain." Usami said warmly as he sat down next to the neko. Rain looked to the presents, then at Usami, then at the presents, and then back again.
"Did you do all of this for me?" Rain asked, voice cracking.
"Yes, yes I did. It's your birthday, and I think you deserve something much better than what I could afford, but this will have to do until we finally get rich and buy that big house we always wanted, even it takes us a thousand more years to do it." Usami stated, looking to his best friend with small tears threatening to flow down his cheeks. Rain began to cry tears of joy as he embraced his friend once more. Rain eventually let go and turned his head towards the presents in front of him. Out of the corner of his eye he could have sworn he had seen two figures dart past the window, but thought it was just his imagination playing tricks on him due to being over stimulated. Rain picked up the small box with white letters and opened the lid, a small gasp escaping his lips and his eyes widening a little. Inside the box were three pairs of earrings for his kitty cat ears, some snake bites, and three tail bracelets.
"U-Usami! You knew I wanted to get these, didn't you? You must've seen me eyeing them, huh? You know you did-" he was cut short by a hand covering his mouth.
"I know I didn't have to, Rain, but I wanted to, and thats what matters. Now go on, open the other one!" Usami ushered his friends arms in the direction of the four foot present. Rain looked at the present, eyeing it cautiously, then, assuming it was safe, tore into the gift wrap like a little eight-year-old kid opening his gifts from Santa Clause on a snowy Christmas day. He then unwrapped his bandaged hands and let his index finger drag along the masking tape. As he dragged his hand down the box, the tape was cut by his long cat-like claw(s). As soon as the tape was cut all the way, the box flaps sprang open, revealing dozens and dozens of designer clothes. Rain's eyes grew to the size of large saucers, taking in everything he was looking at. Then he looked at Usami. "What... Why... You... But... How...These..." Rain was at a loss for words. Not once had Rain ever received such wonderful gifts, not even while his parents were alive and well."Like I said earlier, you deserve more than this, but I can't afford it. Do you at least like what I could get?" Usami asked his only true freind, a worried look slipping onto his face.
"Don't make that face, it doesn't suit your personality. And, dude, 'liking' doesn't even begin to cover this. I freaking LOVE these gifts! They're the nicest things I have ever gotten! But, why did you get so many clothes?" Rain asked his friend excitedly.
"I got so many clothes because you don't have very many and the ones that you do have are way to small for you." Usami said as he picked up a rather revealing shirt and held it up to Rain's torso. "I knew this would be the right size," he said as he held a pair of pants out to Rain's lower half. "And these, too."
Rain was so overwhelmed and happy that he passed out. Usami panicked, not knowing what to do, so he picked Rain's body up and laid it down on the couch. He checked Rain's forehead for any sign of a fever, but found none. He looked his friend over, realizing that he really did just faint because he was over excited, and waited patiently for him to wake up. It didn't take long for Rain to recover from his momentary fainting episode, in fact, all he did was breath in the wonderful scents of cake and new clothes and he was back in action.
"Sorry about that. Well, lets go get ready for our big Bounty Hunting trip. Don't wanna go to bed to late or we will be to tired to start the day off right tomorrow." Rain said calmly, as if he had never fainted in the first place.
The two boys walked to their rooms and began to pack all the necessary things they would need, like guns, clothes, dried goods, knives, and other essentials. Rain walked over to his window to grab two of the guns that lay in the window sill everyday incase of an intruder, and looked out the window. There, just outside of their apartment, was Unwanted Higiraku and her little brother Unnecessary Higiraku, Rain and Usami's ex-best friends. Rain grabbed a gun and looked behind himself to make sure that Usami wasn't in the door way, which he wasn't. He turned back to the window, gun aimed at the spot he had seen them earlier without even looking, but realized that the two had vanished. 'Maybe it's just paranoia...' Rain thought to himself as he put the two guns into the remaining gun holisters located all over his body.
"USAMI! I'm going to bed! Thank you again for the wonderful birthday gifts! I'll have to do even better for your gift(s)!" Rain screamed out to his rabbit-hybrid friend.
"Okay, good night. And your welcome. And don't worry about it till its finally here. I don't really know what I want so a cake or something should be alright." Usmai said in a much less loud voice.
'Well thats not very helpful.' Rain thought to himself as he drifted off to sleep. Ten minutes later Usami went to bed as well. Neither of them were aware that the duo that they would be hunting the next day was lurking right outside of their front door, smiling mischeaviously. Unwanted ran off into the night, her little brother in tow behind her. They ran across the large village, all the way to the village meeting area. In that meeting space was a giant HolloScreen. She turned the machine on and it floated up, asking for a password. She uttered the words 'And then there were none, all was silent' to the HolloScreen, and it went to the starter page. "Open Hollo Note Maker, HolloScreen." she said in a rather robotic voice. She then asked the HolloScreen to copy everything she said until she said stop. "Dear Okami, I realize now that I truly have nothing to fear. I have seen the majority of your so called Bounty Hunters, and I must say I am rather disapointed. I have no idea what your going to do to try to get me back to that wretched, horrible, disgusting, rotten place you call a shack, but I can assure you it won't work. Im not afraid of your little meaningless pawns, nor will I ever be. Even little Unnecessary agrees. He says that this a pathetic attempt at trying to get us to return, and that it's funny that you think it'll work. This game will be fun. Love, Unwanted and Unnecessary H." as she finished the note, the two ran off into the forest once more. They didn't know that a somewhat short, blonde fox-hybrid had been watching them. She read the note that had been left on the HolloScreen and smirked. "She hasn't seen me..." the fox woman whispered out to the cold dark night. "She hasn't seen me."
*Hyogi-Kai = Council
*Ne = Hey
*Un = Yeah
*Ame = Rain
*-Kun = endearing term for little boy, or friendly term for the word friend among boys
*Hafoshu = Tetanus
*Baka = Idiot
*Majikkarusuu~Itorein Danshi = Magic Sweet Rain Dango
*Neko = Cat
*Neko no Piasu = Feline Piercings