A Notes: This fic was deeply inspired by the anime Fushigi Yuugi. Although the plot and characters are original, any similar elements that you may recognize belong entirely to that anime. All other contents that you do not recognize belongs to me and my lousy unused brain. Despite that, however, please do not take any contents without asking. Not like any of it is worth taking really ^^

This first chapter is more like a prologue than a chapter, a slight introduction to the story. Please enjoy.

 

Chapter 1: Heat

 

Dina Kayama trudged through the scorching heat, as the raging sun burned on her exposed neck. Her heavy school bag weighed her back down so much that she had to bend forward as she walked. With her hunched up appearance and her messed up strands of hair which had somehow worked its way out of her high ponytail, she could have been easily mistaken for an old hag. The only indication of 'teenage schoolgirl' was her school uniform, which was hanging loosely on her skinny body.

Almost in despair, Dina began to silently count the steps her heavy-boot enclosed feet took. One, two, three, four...ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred. Why is the simple stretch of land from the train station to her house proving so long today? The numbers began to come out in a loud whisper, causing a few strange looks from passerbys.

She knew perfectly well why.

Yesterday, she had come home to a blazing yelling match between her parents. She couldn't really decipher just what they were yelling about, something about the electricity bill being too high. She had dropped her huge school bag on the hallway floor and ran into the scene of the battle. There they were, her 'loving' parents, standing in the middle of the kitchen, pointing and yelling abuse at each other. Her younger sister, Kira, sat crouched in a corner of the dining room, her head in her arms. When she heard Dina's footsteps she looked up, green eyes filled with tears.

It had taken a hell of a long time to calm her father down, and an even longer time to calm her mother down. For the whole night they stared loggerheads at each other, making sure that they sat at the opposite ends of the tables, and always kept at least three metres apart. Dina had worked deep into the night on her overpiled schoolwork, delayed by her parent's fight. She had woke up the next morning, bleary-eyed, dry-mouthed, to find that she has slept in for more than she could recover. In her haste to leave her house, she accidentally tripped over her father who was sleeping in the hallway, locked out of his own shared bedroom. He'd woken up, and started roaring at her, while she hastily shoved her shoes on and ran for the train. It was only until she had reached the front doors of her school did she remember that she had forgotten the assignment she stayed up to three to complete on her desk.

Dina wondered when her 17 year old life had taken such a downturn.

She turned into a short side-street, her bag straps cutting painfully into her shoulders. She hated heavy-bag days.

Her unkempt hair blew into her eyes, making them water. She blinked rapidly, not daring to lift her hands from her shoulder straps in case they snap. A figure suddenly appeared at the end of the deserted street. She blinked even harder, trying to make out the appearance of the approaching person. It seemed to be a young girl, judging from the height and size, wearing a strange type of traditional robe, dashing for her life. Dina wondered if she was late for a costume party or something. She looked quite fearful. 

Tentatively, Dina lifted a hand to dash away her fly-away hair, and regreted it immediately, as her strap detached itself from the rest of the bag with a resounding SNAP.

"Argh," she muttered, and bent over to examine her broken bag. Not a good idea. The approaching female was just about to swerve to avoid a collision when Dina bent over. As a result, the collision was unavoidable.

Dina felt the wind knocked out of her as the tiny figure rammed straight into her side.

Flailing her arms hopelessly, with all the forces of gravity pulling her down, and the help of the struggling bundle at her side, she landed on the concrete ground with a painful "Oof!!".

 

*~*~*

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