This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. To top of Derien's Trivial Little Place
Title: Meeting Again For The First Time
Fandom: Daegaer - FJS
Notes: Written 10/8/04 for MizzMarvel's First Lines meme, because Cygny wanted more Fluffy Japanese Schoolboys. The FJS (Chojiro and Akinari) belong to Daegaer. I just want to play with them a little.
The distance between us isn't much, and before my brain can tell me what to do, my body is reacting.
I had heard the conflict from around the corner as I approached, and recognized Akinari's voice, even though it was different, now. I didn't recognize that of the boy who was threatening him, but heard him say something about Tanaka being toothless, and then Akinari's gasp as he'd been hit, probably in the stomach. And then I had rounded the corner, and he's right there, the beefy kid I remember beating up last year. I remember, but, as with all my memories from the past two years, it seems almost like someone else did it. I don't know how I did it, I don't know what I'll do, now, but he's beating on someone who my strange, distrusted memories tell me is supposed to be a friend of mine, and who's obviously much smaller than him. I'm moving. He's bigger than he was then, a lot. Two of his friends see me, but barely have time to register the recognition on their faces.
It is an unscientific attack - I land on him with fists and knees and take the bully down before he realizes what hit him. His friends scatter.
"Never assume the snake has no fangs."
I punctuate this statement with a few more kicks to the rolled up bug, to implant the lesson on his mind. Then something leaves me and I feel drained.
Akinari is still on the ground, and I turn my back to the bully to help him up. That's a mistake. His foot hits my achilles tendon, hard. I fall and he rolls to his feet, laughing.
"You have lost it, Tanaka!"
He goes to kick me as I did him. Akinari bowls himself into the back of the beefy kid's legs, so that he comes crashing down - on top of Akinari. Who is small and slender - that has to have hurt. The next thing I know the three of us are rolling as one tusselling ball, only breaking apart when we hit the nearest tree. For a moment we're all stunned, and then there's an adult approaching, yelling at us to break it up. Akinari bounces up with more energy than I've ever seen from him, and I struggle to my feet, although the ankle hurts like mad. I limp quickly, though, and he moves much more slowly than he could.
"Thanks," he says. He's looking at me out of the corner of his eye.
I don't know what to say. I shrug. "You did your part."
We're at the school, now, and in full view of the windows there's very little chance we'll be set up again. He slows.
He says my name almost as if he's not quite sure of it, or not sure he should be addressing me by it. Maybe I'm not the only one who's having memory problems.
"I've been wanting to talk to you," he continues. "You seem different since...we were sick."
"Different? How?" I don't know how much I should say. I feel like a freak. But at least he said we.
"From what I remember you would never have turned your back on someone who was down. I expected you to keep kicking him until you decided to let him crawl away. I can remember..." He trails off, deep in thought. "Yes. I remember you saying you weren't some dumb samurai wanna-be with stupid notions of honor."
"Do you ... have some problems with your memory?"
He nods. "Holes. In the past couple of months, especially. And the past couple of years feel... distant." He's looking at me - hopefully?
"Me too. The way the doctors and my Mom have been treating me, it's like I'm a mental case."
He flashes his teeth in a quick grin, nothing like the shy smile in my distant memories. "Yeah. Hey, at least we're both having the same kind of mental case."
I don't know him, and it's uncomfortable remembering the feelings I think I remember and looking at someone who looks the same as the person in those dreamlike memories. He's a stranger. But at least he's a friendly stranger who has a similar problem.