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 RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]

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princess_jime
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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:36 am

"Hi-ya!"
"E- oh, hi." Mokomichi was a little taken aback, he didn't need this right now, he wanted to get away quickly and not hurt Aya's feelings.
"Michi, how do you like my new hat? see, it has these cute rabbit ears, adorable, right?" she played with the hat's ears while stealing glances at him. "And... and... also, I'm wearing new lip-gloss, it's called scandalicious, isn't it great?" she shoved her face in front of Mokomichi, anxiety clearly visible all over it.
"I... guess... I don't know."
"It's such a beautiful morning today! do you wanna take a walk down the lakeside?"
"What?"
"It'd be awesome! we could have a picnic and everything!"
"I... I'm sorr-"
"I can cook all your favorites! I know it all by heart! let's go!" she grabbed Mokomichi's arm, but he swiftly got himself free of her hold. A moment of awkwardness left them both without knowing what to do. Just for a minute.
"I have to go." Mokomichi was clear, he left decisively, and didn't look back.

Aya looked at his back, tears making her vision blur and give his image a dream-like air, no, get a grip Aya, he's not a dream. But she couldn't help to mumble to herself:

"He didn't tell me not to call him Michi..."

When Aya turned to go home, she noticed a shadow lurking behind a big stone, the shadow seemed to not want to be seen, but she already had spotted it. She thought it might be a spy, or some pesky curious neighbor wanting to get the latest gossip, and if that was the case, she would never be the source of laughing material for the wolves, no sir; she managed to trick whoever it was into thinking she'd gone and tip-toed her way to the back of the stone. The shadow moved forward but at the last second shifted, so that by coincidence, Aya and the shadow ended up facing each other up front.

"You?" asked Aya, "What the hell...?"

Total embarrassment made Ryo want to be swallowed by the earth right then and there. But an instant later gave him back all his dark cool manner.

"What? you want to make fun of me?! well, have a good laugh at the dumped girl's expense! This will make you really happy, right?" Aya needed something to vent her anger with, and what better than Ryo.
"Idiot."
"I KNOW I'M AN IDIOT! you don't need to remind me that!"
"No... I meant..."
"Whatever! you know, I always thought that even though you were never supportive of my love for him, you'd at least keep your opinions to yourself, but boy, you really butt into my affairs... you're the worst."
"Oe, don't be like that."
"I'll be however damned well I want to be! who are you to tell me how to be?" she poked at him, actually hurting him.
"I'm just the only one who's always been there. That's all."
"Eh... always... been... what?"
"You've always tried to deny it, ever since our fight back in school, but I'm still your best friend, and so is my sister."
"I..." Aya was flabbergasted.
"You know what I mean. You must know what I mean." Ryo kept coming closer and closer, making Aya a little uncomfortable.
"Get away." the words spurted out of her mouth before she noticed, she immediately covered her mouth regretting what she just said.
"Right." even though Ryo tried with all his might he couldn't hide the hurt he felt. He turned to go away but then changed his mind. "NO! not right! you're gonna listen to me now! whether you like it or not!"
"Ryo... I-"
"I didn't meant to call you an idiot, I meant he's the idiot, but you know what? you ARE an idiot as well! You must be, if you haven't realized why I've never been supportive of you crawling after him all these years, or you just don't want to acknowledge it, because it doesn't suit your plans for the future that you've treasured since you say you fell in love with him!"
"You're not me, how can you presume to be so sure after all these years that I'm not in love with him? what more do I need to do to prove it?"
"Don't change the subject now, we're here finally talking about it, don't make this about him."
"But... it's always about him, he's all I think about! I can't get him out of myself!"
"That's obsession! It's not love at all! it was never real!"
"What do you know?"
"I very well know what real love is! I know it better than you!" the puzzled look on Aya's face made him furious, "I love you."

Aya couldn't believe her ears, her eyes, all her senses were telling her he was serious, this was for real. She was so stunned she couldn't move, not even when Ryo gently grabbed both her arms, and ran up his hands to hold her face in between them.

"I love you. I always have. I always will."

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:37 am

CHAPTER 2.



How important are childhood friends? somehow that question kept crawling into the back of all Mokomichi's pack members, ever since they met Akai. How can bonds so strong be formed in just a few days? but they could, just like little kids can be complete strangers one day and the next be as thick as thieves, adults as well can develop such relationships, the only difference is how much life interferes in the process, because adults are not the blank page kids can be, they have baggage, external forces acting upon them and preconceptions.
Mokomichi's pack weren't all childhood friends, but they became inseparable, as only wolf packs can be, in the coming years. Aya, Maki and Ryo were a close unit when cubs, their parents had been close friends and had their kids do everything together, and were happy that the little ones seemed to like each other immensely. Maki always came out as somewhat of a silent, reclusive girl, but when she was with the lively trouble-maker Aya she seemed to come out of her shell and become luminous as well, Ryo always followed them, he said because he wanted to look out for his sister, but he also enjoyed all the mischief the girls would get themselves into and he especially loved to play the hero and get them out of trouble whenever he could.
As the kids grew up and their personalities developed they continued to be friends, but not as close as they once were. Each one started to look for their own tastes, their own experiences, their own little world, and they would share their new found discoveries when they got together, to play, to hang out.
At his wolf fighting class Ryo met Toma, but they didn't talk to each other, Toma was very popular with everyone, especially the ladies, he seemed to be able to do everything right, even though he always came second best in combat because Ryo was always number one, he was funny and witty, and people hang around him like moths to the fire, so Ryo found it almost a duty not to succumb to the guy's charms, and steer clear of the likes of him. He started to actually dislike Toma when he began to pay little compliments to Maki, like open a door for her, give her his seat when she wanted to sit or open a window when she looked flushed, Maki looked like she didn't notice nor welcome all these little things that Toma did and that made Ryo feels proud of his sister's discerning ability. But the last drop came when Toma had a thing with Aya, it didn't last long, maybe two weeks tops, but it made Ryo wild.
That's when he realized he was in love with her.

It turned out that Toma wasn't as lucky as Ryo thought. When the community found out that Toma's father was a good for nothing, a decaying wolf, weak, a sheep in wolf clothing, everyone started to ostracize Toma, since his father was so far off the wagon nothing could be done to him to keep the wolf community healthy and strong, qualities necessary for survival, so the next best target was Toma, the offspring of such a character couldn't have fallen far from the tree. Toma's father died shortly after, the running rumor was suicide, another bad mark for his motherless son to bear.
Toma became the omega wolf, but that somehow made him look even more cool to his peers, the young ones didn't understand the old ways, wolf traditions practiced by their elders, and sympathized with Toma.
Ryo and Maki also felt sorry for him, but they didn't express it like everyone else did. When people would leave the room at the sight of Toma, they would remain put; when people would have pity rallies for Toma and crave his attention, they would stand by the sidelines, to let him do for himself. Aya also remained friends with Toma, and because Ryo saw that was all there was, he felt at peace with Toma's presence near her.

Then tragedy struck brother and sister. Their parents died in an accident, and they became the victims of wolf tradition, just like Toma was, but much stronger, because they had been in a high position in the wolf ranks of society. And they had a big fight with Aya. Aya's parents didn't want her to get involved with the whole thing, so they did everything in their hands to try and keep her apart from Maki and Ryo, one loser friend is enough Aya, we're sorry for Maki and Ryo, but we won't let their misfortune affect your future, cruel, cruel words, but she was a filial daughter, and she did as she was told, she caused a fight with her friends so that the separation would be easier, but it wasn't. Till this day the three of them regret their actions, and secretly wish they could be as they once were.
Maki felt betrayed by Aya, she turned her back on them at the most crucial time in her and her brother's lives. She would never forgive her for that. And then there was the matter of Ryo's love for Aya, that dimwit never got a clue about it, and treated him as her lapdog before, and ignored him after. How could Maki let that go as well? no way.
Ryo did everything he could to stop loving Aya, but it was all for nothing, that feeling was rooted inside him, it had melted into the very foundations of his soul, there was no getting rid of it. But he couldn't be like he was with Aya before, basic principle and pride forbade it. So the three of them separated. Maki and Ryo became the kuro brothers to Toma, and Aya didn't know what to do with herself, until he came.

Mokomichi's family came into the settlement, driven away from their homes by humans they said. The actual Wolf King family came to live with everyone. Amazing. Aya fell in love with Mokomichi at first sight.
He was perfection, he was the best, he was kind, he was intelligent, he was tough, he was good looking, and most of all, he didn't care about what other people thought. He became tight with Toma, and through him Aya met Mokomichi. Mokomichi never showed interest in other wolf girls, but he treated Aya as a close friend, she felt extremely flattered, and her romantic hopes and dreams started to develop. But it was a fruitless battle, because everything she tried never worked with Mokomichi.
Ryo became the sworn enemy of Mokomichi, family issues, as well as very personal issues, triggered their relationship. Mokomichi always beat Ryo, and now he became second best; Mokomichi was to be the leader, and Ryo was to watch his cousin shine on the sidelines.

But Mokomichi turned out to be an odd one, in the public eye. He rebelled often, never respecting his father's authority, some people tried to defend him stating that was a good thing for a young one, he wanted to test his own strength they said; others saw it as impudence where there should be deep respect for his parents, his elders, tradition. How he might turn out remained to be seen. Then one after one members of the royal family disappeared, first was the daughter, then the King and subsequently his Queen, leaving the eldest son to rule. People suspected more than one thing was wrong with the family, but they never tried to even voice their suspicions.

How did this band of misfits came to form a pack? it was only a matter of time. Mokomichi and Toma had become the best of friends, Aya stuck to them like glue, and right after came Maki, driven by Toma (and Aya secretly trying to rekindle their friendship) with a reluctant Ryo to close the door.

Until a certain human girl appeared and caused havoc in wolf land.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:38 am

CHAPTER 3.



A knock at Toma's door. The day was a splendid one, but he didn't feel like getting out of bed at all. Ever since the scandal the hazing Toma had to endure everyday got worse, such was the life of the omega wolf, and he didn't have his friends to console him, not much, since everyone in the pack seemed to want a little space to think or whatever...
He pouted at the ceiling, cursing his luck. Another knock at the door.
He thought it was probably more people coming to pick on him to vent their anger, so he rolled over his bed, covering himself with the blanket, and hoped they would go away thinking no one was home.
But the knocks kept knocking.

"Toma-kun, open up, I know you're there." A low female voice said, coming from outside.
"I must be still half asleep, or daydreaming..." He thought.
"Don't be such a lazy ass and get up, I have a question to ask you."
"Eh?" Toma jumped. He hastily put on some pants, heart racing, and went to open the door. "Maki-chan?" He couldn't believe his eyes.
"Yes, it's me-" she covered her mouth and looked away, her shoulders shaking.
"What? what? what?" Toma was too bewildered with this new occurrence to think straight.
"mmmm...ahahahahahahaha!!!" Maki burst into laughter, still facing away.
"What is it?" Toma vehemently wanted to know, too enchanted with the sound of her laugh.
"I've never seen you like this..." Maki composed herself and faced Toma again.
"Like this-?" He realized, just gotten out of bed, all stinky, pants half fastened, no shirt, bed hair, pillow and bed sheet marks all over his face, torso and arms, and blear-eyed. How incredibly un-cool. This will be a difficult one to make up for "Hold on... wait... don't go anywhere... I'll be right out."

Toma came and went and closed the door. Thank God he had a vase filled with water just in case, he cleaned himself, put on a shirt, took a look in the mirror, and deciding it was as good as he would get went out again. Maki was sitting alone on a log near the door and the morning sun was shining on her black hair, making it sparkle with reflections. She was feeling the warm light with her eyes closed, deep in thought. Toma's heart skipped a beat, and he had to make an actual effort to regain his breath for a second, Maki's image always had that effect on him, ever since the first time he saw her, all broody and antisocial as she was.

"Good morning." Toma said, cursing himself for not greeting her properly just now, better late than never.
"Oh, wide awake, are we now?" Maki looked at him with a reluctant smile dancing on her lips.
"Yes. All shiny and better." Toma gave her his killer smile and attempted to sit next to her, not sure of that move since the log was kinda small for two people. But since Maki didn't seem to mind, he sat.
"It's gonna be a hot day today."
"Looks like it." Toma looked like a fool, starring directly at the sun and cringing "Um... I'm really happy today... getting woken up by Maki-chan's voice is the best."
"Is it? I wonder..." there was Maki again, responding coldly to Toma's advances.
"Um... so... you wanted to ask me something?"
"It's really no big deal, I don't know why I even came."
"What is it?"
"Have you seen my brother around? by any chance?"
"Ryo-kun? is he missing or something?"
"Well, not exactly... I mean, from time to time he goes away on his own, for like a couple of days, then comes back good as new, normally I wouldn't worry or anything... It's just that this time the circumstances are different."
"I see... well, I'm sorry, I haven't seen him... actually, I haven't seen much of anyone this past few days." He pouted again unconsciously.
"Oh." Maki glanced at him. It was incredible to her how only by looking at his childish gestures she felt good again.

But she will never tell him that.
"Maki-chan... are you hungry? did you have breakfast?"
"Eh... I'm fine. Why?"
"It's just that I got this great pickled veggies yesterday, and since I know you like sour food..." he beamed at her.
"Oh... as opposed to ginger cookies you mean?" Maki laughed inwards.
"Ah! don't mention ginger cookies ever again please!" he shivered all over.
"I wonder why every time you want to please me you invite me for food."
"Ah! it's just... I mean... as to why... I have no idea." he was defeated.
"Where did you get the pickles from?"
"This big-chested girl I kno-" he stopped mid-sentence, damn, what was with him this morning? it was blunder after blunder!
"I see..." Maki glared at him.
"Eh... I did her a favor! that was all! I swear! nothing more! she's just an acquaintance, or rather... an informant! her tongue is very loose!"
"Oh... her tongue... I wonder what kind of favor you did to her." Maki really liked to be mischievous and put Toma on the spot. He was such a womanizer.
"Nevermind." Defeated again. There was just no way to get out of that one.

A small interval came, when both of them didn't speak, each thinking about their own things. It's a rare thing to find someone with whom you can be silent with and not feel awkward, but because both Maki and Toma were so inexperienced when it came with meaningful romantic relationships, they didn't know such a fact, and so they had no clue as to the necessity of holding on to such a person. While Toma kept cursing his luck, Maki started to philosophize...

"Toma-kun."
"Yes?"
"What are we doing with our lives?"
"Eh?" he was bewildered, she always surprised him.
"I was just thinking about the future... I have no idea what will become of me, I have no plans at all."
"I don't have plans either."
"You don't?"
"Nope, but it doesn't bother me, I live day by day, enjoying myself, that's the best way."
"That doesn't surprise me... but... don't you think that's kind of irresponsible?"
"Not at all, see, there's no way we can guess what the future holds for us, we could all die tomorrow, so I say make the best of what's right in front of you, and live with no regrets."
"No regrets..."
"Exactly."
"But sometimes, one can't help but make mistakes, and regrets come inevitably."
"Then you just go and make up for the mistakes you made, don't leave things for later."
"You make it sound simple, but it's hard."
"I guess..." Toma got a puzzled look on his face "What exactly are we talking about now?"
"Nothing in particular, don't worry."
"Oh..." he looked at her feeling there was much more to this conversation than she was letting him now, but it didn't matter, this moment with her was too rare and precious to care about anything else.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:38 am

They were enjoying all the gifts that morning gives after another interval of silence came and went, the breeze ruffled tree leaves from time to time, making sweet music combined with the birds singing, Toma liked to scrub his feet onto the fresh grass, making its smell stronger, and Maki brought out the big knife she usually carried around and started to carve a piece of wood she found on the way to Toma's hut, since she liked to keep her hands busy.

Suddenly a brushing sound, a very small one, came from the bushes, a cute little rabbit came about, munching on the grass.

"Oh! what do we have here?" playfully said Toma. He got up and slowly went to circle the little animal "are you lost, little one? or are you brave? coming into wolfland like this..."
"Leave him alone." Maki didn't look up from her carving, but from her tone of voice Toma knew she was giving him an opening to play around.
"I think I just found my breakfast!" he hopped after the little rabbit mimicking his movements.
"Weren't you going to gorge on pickled veggies?"
"Ah! that's not funny..." he glared at her for a second, while Maki twisted her lips trying to suppress a smile.

Toma kept hoping after the bunny, sometimes lolling his tongue, and shaking his tail playfully, all his efforts in trying to get Maki's attention where cute bordering on the corny, but Maki was always secretly comforted by that. Toma gently grabbed the bunny and kneeled in front of Maki, pushing it in her face so that she would look at it, and him as well, and just when the situation was turning to Toma's advantage someone came to ruin it. A nasty woman that always got on Toma's nerves came with her posse to pick on him.

"Ha! look at that boy! he's more like a lapdog than a wolf!"

Toma put the rabbit down and let it hop away, but he kept his position.

"You should hurry up and leave our settlement, we don't need wolves like you, bringing humans among us!" said another nasty woman that came with her son "Be sure to never be like him, my son." she said to the little cub.
"And he's accompanied by ghost-girl today... freaks." said a third woman.
"Fuck off, now." Toma got up and threatened them all, no one will insult Maki in his presence.
"Eh-" they all cowered, but they weren't satisfied yet "Ooo.. he's trying to be mighty now... too little too late!"

But the group retreated in fear, the sight of a vengeful Toma, ready to spring into action, was frightening to them, but not as much as the aura of bloody murder the girl behind him was giving off, they actually saw her intent in the air around her, flashing her big knife dangerously at them, blinding them with its reflection.

"Trash." said Toma, then turned to see Maki, who was as she was before, carving her wood piece "Well, I have no breakfast now... you'll have to cook me something!"
"Some rice to go with the pickled veggies?"
"Ah!" Toma will never hear the end of it "have your laughs then... but I'm really hungry" he said almost to himself while rubbing his stomach.
"I'll make something." she said while getting up without looking at him. Toma was too stunted to reply.

Inside Toma's hut there was a sight to be seen. Maki had an apron on and was very busy making all kinds of food and putting the dishes on the table while Toma was sitting on his chair, gawkingly starring at her with a blank mind, should he be happy? worried? what was going on today?

"EH?" someone said at the door, which was open, while looking in on Toma and Maki.
"Moko-kun?" said Maki looking back "How are you?" she had been finding it was really amusing to shock people lately, not that anyone would notice her joy though, since she always did everything with a poker face.

Mokomichi slowly went inside, eyes wide open and locked on Maki, while Toma turned his head to look at him, then at her, but still unable to move his body at all. The two guys stared while Maki finished everything, took off the apron and sat down herself. Now that she was back to normal, they both snapped out of their trance and regained control.

"How's everything?" asked Maki.
"The same." replied Mokomichi.
"This is delicious!" said Toma while stuffing his mouth full of food "Where 'e 'ell haf 'ou been 'an?"
"I had to do some official stuff... and put up with aniki's bitching."
"Sh..." Toma had to pound on his chest to make the food go down "sorry for you, what a drag."
"And you guys?"
"Every one's been awol lately! this is the first time some of us get together since-" he stopped abruptly.
"Since Akai-chan left." Maki wasn't afraid to dive right into the subject.
"Right..."Toma glared at her.
"Well... about that..." Mokomichi looked beat down "I was going to ask you... your opinions."
"Even if she was a spy..." said Maki after a moment of silence and careful consideration "ultimately, she became our friend."
"True, and what proves it is that the human forces continue the same, which means she didn't betray us." said Toma.
"They may just be waiting to attack." Mokomichi looked miserable.
"That's Naohito-sama talk. Not yours. Anyway, I'll never believe that someone as cute as her would sell us that easily."

Mokomichi smiled a little while Maki glared at Toma and took the food away from him.

"In any case." Maki said "you have to make sure."
"Of what?" asked Toma.
"Check if she went home, what happened to her, how's the situation over at her village."
"It's what I thought as well..." replied Mokomichi.
"Ah... but we know the real reason... right?" Toma was giving him a shifty look.

"Real reason of what?" asked Aya while walking inside followed by Ryo.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:39 am

CHAPTER 4.



The pack had gathered again at last, Toma's hut seemed to revive at the sight of them all, if inanimate objects could do so.

"What's this? we're all here! The sky will fall down for sure today!" Toma joked, a vain attempt to divert attention.
"You came together?" asked an ice-cold Maki.
"Eh... we ran into each other earlier..." Aya turned beet red and gazed at the floor while Ryo suddenly looked away being careful not to be seen blushing too.
"Ehhh?? why blush so much? did something happen?" Toma was too amused to let it go.
"Mind your own business." Ryo hissed at him.
"Nothing happened, nothing at all!" Aya said, unconsciously stealing a glance at Ryo, who for just a second gave her a reproachful look, events that did not miss the eyes of Maki "What were you talking about?" innocent-eyed Aya asked.
"We were talking about Akai-chan." Maki responded a little too quickly and strongly.
"Oh..." Aya's spirits seemed to drop.
"What we talked about the other day?" Ryo asked Maki.
"Yes."
"So, what do you say?" he asked Mokomichi.
"I agree."
"What? what? what?" Aya asked.
"Moko-kun is to go check on Akai-chan." Toma responded.
"Eh- wait.. why him?"
"Because! isn't it obvious? oh... sorry... not to you..."
"He's the one that picked her up." Ryo said.
"Right, he's the only one that might know where her home is." Maki said.
"That's not what I meant..." Toma murmured almost to himself.
"I met her in the woods up north the big river, you remember Toma? you told me about them..." Mokomichi said.
"Oh... oh! right! the one where you can pick up humans and... never mind..." he shut up while they all looked at him wide-eyed, each for their own personal reasons.
"There's two villages near that forest. All the townspeople use the path that crosses it, that's where I spoke to her in the first place. So she has to come from one of the two."
"Well, what are we waiting for?" said Toma.
"Eh... that... I'd like to go alone."
"What? but what if you need reinforcements?"
"I won't. I'll just look around. I won't go into the villages."
"Is that going to be effective at all?" asked Maki "what could you find out by doing just that?"
"Plenty. Anyway, it's what I decided."
"I see." said Aya with a sad look on her face "well, if that's how it has to be then so be it."
"I'll be back soon. Don't get into trouble with aniki while I'm gone."
"What do you take us for? you idiot." Ryo replied.

After a moment, Mokomichi got up and left. A sudden uncomfortable silence came over the remaining wolves.

"Sooooo... it's just us couples now..." Toma still wanted to joke.
"Shut up." Ryo smacked him over the head.
"Say... dear brother-in-law... have some food, it was deliciously made with loving hands."
"What?"
"Maki-chan made it for me." Toma declared triumphantly.
"You did?" Ryo addressed Maki bewildered, but she didn't respond, she just rolled her eyes.
"I won't approve of this... I warn you." Ryo said to Toma.
"There's really nothing you can do about it, ha!" he stuck his tongue out making faces at Ryo, who just couldn't stay put and chased Toma around the hut.

Maki looked over where Aya was sitting, she was giving off such an aura of defeat it was startling Maki, she didn't know what happened but she guessed by Aya's words that she probably gave up on her obsession with Mokomichi, on the one hand it was a good thing, on the other... Maki was surprised that she felt for a moment the want to comfort Aya, as friends would do, but she quickly brushed off that momentary lapse, it was no good having those kinds of feelings towards her. Plus, what was up with Aya and her brother? did he actually confess? she wondered...

"Sis, tell me the meaning of this!" Ryo shouted at her while choking Toma with a lock-hold around his neck.
"Oh my God! there's no meaning! I just cooked! can't I cook without raising so much speculation?!" she shouted back.
"What? you mean..." Toma had tears brimming his eyes.
"Ha! I knew it!" Ryo was satisfied and let go of Toma.
"Maki-chaaaaannnn..." Toma rushed to grab her but she stopped him with a kick.
"Don't you dare."
"M..a..k...ch...nnn..." he struggled to with her, unsuccessfully.

Maki and Toma got into a playful fight while Ryo laughed evilly at the back. They didn't notice Aya looking out the window in the direction Mokomichi had left. She sighed.

Mokomichi's mind raced as he ran cross-country to find where Akai was. That's what he needed right now, run and run, let nature clean him inside, work off all the useless worries he had been harboring these past days. He had been reluctant to take action, lest his brother might suspect he knew more than he had admitted to him, but he had wanted to follow Akai almost desperately the minute she was out of his sight.
He hated the way he had been forced to let her go. He was sure she must have been hurt. He hated to have caused her any pain at all. Why did things had to be this way? it was all so stupid.
He wasn't kidding himself though, he knew there was a real possibility that Akai was in fact a spy, but deep inside he suspected she wasn't an enemy at all, she was an ally, she had to be, he couldn't feel the way he felt if it was otherwise.
Yes, he was in love with her, so deeply in love it surprised him tremendously. He knew it the moment she left. I wasn't just physical attraction, of which there was plenty, after all it was only natural, she was a hottie. But there was more, it was like he knew her from forever, they shared an understanding deep and strong, it came naturally and without asking.
So what if she was a spy? she must have her reasons, he remembered she told him she was an only child, that her family fell apart when her grandma was killed. There had to be more to that.
And the way she got wolf fighting, yes it was suspicious, but didn't that make her all the more interesting? cool? attractive?
She helped them so sincerely with the whole Nana kidnapping thing, she had to be good. He wanted to believe that so badly it was hurting him inside.
But still, doubt had settled in his heart, specially after hearing his brother.
There's was no denying the weight of the world, and how it can change and mold a person's heart, he knew it perfectly, by example, he had seen how life's blows turned good men into mush, good women into shells of their former selves, and he was afraid something like that might happen with Akai.
He had to look into things more deeply, otherwise he won't be able to protect her. He felt she needed protection from unknown forces that worked against her. A mad idea, he didn't have any foundation to base that at all, it was just a gut feeling, and he had been trained since infancy to follow his instincts.

But most important of all was the fact that he wasn't able to function correctly without looking at her face. Did he miss her? did he yearn for her? did he want her by his side every day for the rest of his life? Yes, yes and yes.

As Mokomichi continued to run the cold air that surrounded him felt like a cooling blanket that appeased his limbs, and his soul. The exhaustion his mind had experienced ironically was beginning to be lifted the more physical exercise he did. Soon he found himself searching for the right path with a clear head, full intent on the task at hand, all concentration directed towards his immediate goal. That way through the woods, this way near the river, follow the straight line up north, take a right at the big rock until the funny tree formation shows up, cover the clear meadow and continue to climb. Soon the familiar forest came into view.
There, the old path that humans use, there, the tree branch on which he first saw her. From here, just follow the path to were the villages are, and snoop around until, if you're lucky, you get her scent and can detect her home, careful not to be seen.
As the first village came into view he retreated to the safe cover of the surrounding trees, his eyes shined in the dark like a hunter stalking his prey.
A group of little kids came running out of nowhere, playing with hoops and chasing each other, they didn't see Mokomichi and kept running around. A little girl that looked fed up with the rest was yelling:

"Come on, let's go to the meeting, mum will punish us if we don't go!"
"Aw, you're no fun misaki-chan." said one of the boys "fine, fine, let's go... the last one is a rotten egg!"
And so they left running again.

Mokomichi was struck... that little girl had his sister's name... a coincidence, surely... but something told him he needed to go their way. He spotted some clothing hanging left to dry at the back of a near-by house and took it.
He put on his disguise, which made him look like a granny. How embarrassing, he'll have to act his guts out, and off he went, to the middle of a town meeting.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:40 am

People were gathered around, but comfortably spread so that he could stand around and not look too suspicious, what luck. A person that looked important stepped up into a small stage at the center. And he started his speech:

"Family and friends, we've gathered today to discuss our stand-point in regards to the wolf situation."

Mokomichi's ears pricked up.

"There seems to be a state of calm at the moment. No movement coming from their turf has been reported. And we've suffered no attacks as of late."
"That's good, right?" said a young woman.
"We still don't know yet. It could be the calm before the storm."

Mokomichi thought how incredible that enemies think so much alike.

"And Akai-san?"

This was it, thought Mokomichi.

"She hasn't returned yet. Which could mean a bad omen for us."
"Maybe they discovered her?" asked an old man.
"We doubt they would, she's our best asset, and the most capable one among the troops, but if in fact they had, some kind of movement would have been detected, so we still have our hopes for her return."

As everyone started to whisper and speculate, Mokomichi had turned pale. A small ball rolled under his feet. One of the little kids from earlier came after it and noticed Mokomichi.

"Grandma, could you pass me my ball, please?"
"Sure, sure." Mokomichi said in his best granny voice, being careful not to expose himself.
"Grandma, what big hands you have." said the little kid as he received the ball.
"Um, I can grab things better with them, so I thank the Lord for them."
"Grandma, what low voice you have."
"Um, because I smoke 3 packs a day, don't you smoke when you grow up kid. It's bad."
"Grandma, what big feet you have."
"Have some respect for your elders, where are your manners, little one?"
"Grandma, what rotten personality you have."
"Why I outta..." Mokomichi put up his fist and so the little kid ran away laughing.
Soon after he rushed out of town, not too quickly so as to not raise suspicion, and while he was on his way out Mokomichi saw a shadow flee, it was clear to him that shadow was also spying on the humans, could it be another wolf? or someone else? he wanted to find out so he followed the shadow, but right when it got on the outskirts of the village it disappeared, and Mokomichi lost all track of it. What the hell was that? it couldn't have been another wolf, for sure.

Mokomichi waited till the sky turned dark to leave the village's perimeter. If the humans were on the lookout, waiting for Akai to return, then it had been mere coincidence that they didn't detect him earlier. What had he been thinking coming all this way alone? but he knew what he had been thinking. He knew what he wanted. He wanted to reunite with Akai, alone, he wanted her all to himself, he wanted to look like the bravest wolf in her eyes, so that she would swoon over him, he wanted to show to her that he too could pass unrecognized through enemy territory, that he wasn't anything less of her, that he was her equal.
Well, he did it, didn't he? only she wasn't there to see him. To be amazed.

She... was a spy after all.

"The best asset, the troop's most capable one" they called her.

Was she that good? how good was she? what was the truth? what was a lie? Did she lie about... everything?

The night had fallen all around Mokomichi, it was pitch dark, and his state of mind was making him blind, on a regular night he, as a wolf, would have been able to move about the forest with ease, but tonight he was fumbling about, almost crashing into trees as he ran back home.
It was as if the world was laughing at him. Making things difficult for him. Why was everything so difficult?
All the people that he loved lied to him. Always.
Since he was a cub, he had thought his dad was the best wolf, he was the King after all. Mokomichi had to grow up and see for himself that wasn't the truth. Because no one would tell him, the King was a selfish bastard that lied on a regular basis to save face in front of the wolf nation.
His mother lied to him, telling him his father loved him, that he was the greatest, why was she so afraid of him knowing the truth? no, that's not it, she was afraid of father. She was terrified of him, not of Mokomichi knowing anything. And that's why he didn't understand her reason for leaving after the bastard. She said she wanted to follow him, to change his mind, to save him, what was there to be saved? nothing at all, that man didn't deserve anything.
Mokomichi resented his mother for not telling him her real reasons, which she had to have, he never bought what she said before she left for even a second.
Then was nee-chan, Misaki, he was also mad at her, she always received him with a smile, saying that everything was gonna be alright, that she was happy, but he knew that was not the case, why didn't she trust him? why didn't she share whatever it was that was going on with her? but he didn't realize she never talked about her own life before, only after she left did he figure it out. He should have paid better attention to his sister, instead of acting like a self-involved brat, maybe if he had known something... some little clue that could tell him what happened with Misaki, maybe he could have gone look for her, done something, anything.
Aniki was full of lies, he became an actual expert when he took the throne though, of what Mokomichi remembered, Naohito wasn't that bad before... but being King meant learning how to lie apparently, it was as if unwanted power had corrupted him, and it was all father's fault.

Lies, lies, all lies. And now, Akai... but what did he expect? he didn't know anything about her. Only that he fell in love with her like a fool. Maybe that was the problem, he was an unreliable fool that everyone took for granted.
Maybe he was too naive, as aniki would have said.

Mokomichi felt the rage growing inside him stronger and stronger. He was mad at everyone, at the world, at himself. He felt impotent in front of the punches life threw at him. He felt like a little kid in an adult cruel world. Frustration making his soul its playground.
He kept running around, landscapes passing by fast around him, he waited for his body to feel exhausted, but the ire inside him only fuelled him more.
At the top of a cliff, Mokomichi's anger finally came out, in the form of a howl.
Loud and clear wolf howling, he called for the world to face him, to give him its best shot. It was challenge howl. Bring it on. I'll take it all and win. Let the final battle come, there will be blood flowing, and it won't be his.
He couldn't stop. The howling was coming out of him like water through a broken pipe. With a force he didn't know he had.
But after a while it wasn't a cry for battle anymore, it was just a cry, all his resentment, his insecurities, his loneliness, manifested in sound.

And then it stopped. The howling went away, diffused like mist.
Mokomichi found himself kneeling down on the ground, way too close to the cliff's border. The moon was shining on him full blast, when did it come out? he didn't see it. But he felt its light caressing him, like an angel's wings caress the soul, or so they say. He finally understood the feeling behind that phrase.
He slowly moved his now heavy body away from the edge and sprawled under a tree. He felt tired at last.
Mokomichi went to sleep a dreamless sleep, a warm breeze enveloped him, making him forget everything, if only for just one night.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:41 am

CHAPTER 5.



Daybreak found Mokomichi slouching. He sat leaning his back against a tree, not really wanting to go back home.
It was a hot day, and the vegetation was uncommonly thick and great. Was he south? he must be, this territory was kind of new to him. He thought he must have run farther than he realized. He was actually very much away from the settlement.
Sun rays came down hard, making Mokomichi's eyes hurt, squinting, he reluctantly got up and shoved off his laziness with a good shake. As he huffed, all his problems came back into his mind, but now he was more cheerful about things, somehow.
His heart had decided, if he was lacking in knowledge, he would get it. If he was lacking in bravery, he will face everything head on. If he was lacking in cunning, he will damn well learn to mistrust until proven innocent.
And he will make Akai his. It really didn't matter to him anymore if she had betrayed, if she was a spy. He wanted her for himself, and he will get her. By any means necessary, no matter what the outcome will be.

So he headed back home once again. After all, the pack was waiting for him. The pack. Shit, he has forgotten about them. Again being a self-involved brat. It was easy for him to forget that he now had friends he could depend on, wolves to back him up no matter what. That was the only good thing he had from coming to live in the settlement. He found his pack.
That weird group of misfits, social rejects that were more precious and valuable than anyone else. Mokomichi wondered how he made such good friends, since he never had any before them and had no experience on that subject. Well, to be honest, he didn't make friends with them, they came to him.
Toma-kun was the first. It was uncanny how much in common they had. Toma-kun had been abandoned by his parents, so he understood Mokomichi's feelings better than anyone, even though his situation wasn't exactly the same as his. Toma's mum had died in giving birth to him, it hadn't been a surprise death, she knew she would have serious problems while giving birth, she had had several natural abortions before Toma and her health had never been good to begin with, but she wanted desperately to give her husband offspring, sacrificing herself wasn't too much to ask for her.
In that aspect, she and Mokomichi's mother were alike, they became obsessed with a definite goal and forgot about the children they left behind.
Toma's dad was a dead beat good for nothing wolf, he didn't deserve the wife he had, and only realized it after her death, he wrapped himself around his own misery and forgot he had a son to take care of. He drank himself to death.
Mokomichi only wished his bastard father had done the same.
But Toma-kun was a good guy, he was loyal, resourceful, funny. Mokomichi liked to watch him shine in all the things he couldn't. He wondered how Toma got so many girls, well... there's another thing they have in common now, Toma-kun persued Maki-chan, the only girl he has liked for real, and never got her. Now Mokomichi knew what that was like.
Mokomichi had lots of respect for Maki-chan, she was intelligent and a good fighter, he somehow knew he could trust the person behind that cold black facade.
Her brother was another character, Ryo was the best fighter, after himself. And even though he hated Mokomichi, he always came through when the time demanded it. Mokomichi knew why Ryo hated him. If Mokomichi's family didn't exist Ryo would be the one next to the throne right now, and he coveted that position, God only knows for what reasons, he hated that Mokomichi didn't want it, but was going to be given it in the future. And the most important thing, Mokomichi knew how Ryo felt for Aya-chan. There's no greater force than jealousy.
But it wasn't his fault that Aya was so obsessed with him. He never did anything other than treat her as a friend. He even felt sorry for her. On the one hand, it was flattering to have that wolf girl whimpering after him, on the other, he wished she'd leave him alone. Now more than ever. Mokomichi hoped she understood his feeling for Akai.
If it wasn't for her obsession, Aya-chan would be a sweet heart, Mokomichi saw her as the younger sister he never had, he felt he wanted to see her grow, happily and content.

And that was his pack. Unlikely friends brought together by the circumstances. He was a lucky wolf to have found them. Mokomichi's speed wasn't up to par this day. He had exhausted himself the day before, and today he was feeling the consequences, plus he hadn't had anything to eat and his stomach was growling for attention.
But still, he was enjoying running cross-country like this. He had never gone so far south before and the new surroundings were very interesting.

Around mid-day he stumbled on a field of red poppies, he didn't stop to watch the view, mainly because that deep crimson colour only reminded him of her. And it was a good thing he didn't stop, because, wolf or not, he would still have succumbed to the poisonous scent of those flowers.

Near the flower field he saw a male cat sobbing next to the road. When the cat saw him he stopped Mokomichi almost desperately, wanting to have a word.

"Excuse me! Wolf-kun! excuse me!"
"Yes?" Mokomichi stopped, he needed a break from running anyway.
"Are you a traveler by any chance?"
"Um... I'm traveling now, if that's what you mean."
"Have you seen a female cat around? she's pretty, with lovely yellow and brown spots and dazzling eyes..." he looked dreamily at the sky "goes by the name of Miki..."
"I'm sorry, I haven't seen any female cats."
"Oh! my bad luck!" he cursed at the sky "My love has left me, only because of a retched misunderstanding!"
"I'm sorry for you."
"Aren't I pitiful? mourn with me for a little while my brother!" he grabbed Mokomichi suddenly.
"Eh! um... right... just... let go..." Mokomichi was getting uncomfortable.
"Love can be such a dreadful thing! and such a glorious thing at the same time!" the cat said very dramatically.
"I... guess."
"Oh! I see by your response that you too have suffered under the cruel hands of fate!"
"My response? when did it-"
"Lady luck had left us to roam greener pastures! just like my Miki!" he punched himself in the stomach, groaned since he did it too hard even though he didn't meant to but quickly went into drama mode again "You see... my sweet Miki, she saw me drinking milk out of this siamese beauty's bowl... which she offered so elegantly to quench this poor stray cat's passing thirst, and my Miki, being the jealous type which so becomes her, assumed I cheated on her! Is that bad luck or what?"
"Um... I suppose..."
"I admit I've roamed the way of many female cats before, I mean, I have a reputation to maintain... but I would never cheat on the love of my life!"
"Doesn't sound like it..."
"I should have never told my Miki that I thought she looked a bit haggard lately! that her freshness and colour seemed to have abandoned her!"
"Maybe that's the real reason she left...."
"But she can't blame me for being truthful, can she? truthfulness is an admirable quality! I should be praised!"
"How about having some tact..."
"I shall die a thousand deaths! I deserve to be beaten and maimed!" he pulled his hair and beat himself, this time very lightly.
"Well..."
"Brother! If you see my Miki, tell her... tell her that her Romeo will wait for her for the rest of his life! that he will wither and rot waiting for her to return to him!"
"Eh... o.k.... and your name is..."
"Romeo of course."
"Oh! I thought... never mind."
"Farewell oh friendly wolf-kun! may the gods bring you fortune and much happiness!"
"Thank you..." Mokomichi bowed and quickly set off while the cat waved dramatically at him from the distance.
"What a character" Mokomichi thought "I hope he finds his Miki though."

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:41 am

Mid-afternoon found Mokomichi searching for food near a human village he passed by. There was a restaurant that was getting rid of their leftovers, and even though Mokomichi didn't want to do it he grabbed the food as soon as the clerk was out of sight, it was a degrading thing to do for a wolf but he didn't have a choice this time. He didn't have time to hunt, nor to cook something for himself.
"If only there was some onigiri... and sake..." he thought "But I can't be picky." he wolfed down the food and continue his way.

It was early night when Mokomichi arrived at Toma's hut.
There was no light or sign of movement, but he still knocked on the closed door.

"What's the password?" whispered a voice from inside.
"Green gnomes for sale." Replied Mokomichi.
"Come in."

Mokomichi had a flashback and smiled to himself, it was so childish, that whole password thing, but it was still fun, and gave lightness to his heavy heart. The whole pack was there, hunched over a single burning candle, like kids in a camp telling ghost stories.

"You took your sweet time." Toma nudged him.
"I had a little detour. Sorry."
"So what did you find out?" asked Ryo as Mokomichi sat down inside the circle.
"She... was a spy after all. The best, apparently." the look on Mokomichi's face warned everyone to choose carefully their words.
"Then... did you see her?" asked Maki.
"No. She hadn't arrived yet."
"What? but if she's so good then... it wouldn't have been a problem to return quickly!" said Aya while everyone looked at her with amazement.
"What?" she blushed.
"You're right. Maybe something happened to her?" said Maki.
"I don't know." replied Mokomichi with a blank face.
"You don't know... then what the hell did you go there to begin with?" Ryo hissed at him.
"I..."
"You should have traced her steps or something! did you catch her scent? did you check her home?"
"I..." realization caved in Mokomichi, old feelings of not being up to the task, of making hasty decisions and not finding out basic information came back with a rush "there wasn't much I could do there... and... I wasn't the only one spying on the humans."
"What do you mean?" asked Toma.
"There was someone else, I tried to follow him but he disappeared, without a trace."
"That's weird." said Aya.
"Even so, I wonder why you're still our leader." Ryo was again pissed at Mokomichi.
"I'm sorry." said Mokomichi, the first time he ever apologized, making Ryo feel even more uncomfortable.

After a small pause, when everyone was mulling things over in heir heads, Maki said:

"Whatever the case, you have to go back and do a proper investigation."
Everyone agreed.
"And you won't go alone" she said "we'll stick together, I can't just sit here and do nothing any longer."
"I'm with sis, if I don't go and step up you will never get anything done." said Ryo.
"I'm in too, anything to get away from the bullying." joked Toma.
"Well, I'll go too the-" said Aya until she was rudely interrupted by Toma.
"You can't! we'll be totally discovered by the storm!"
"I'll... I'll be like a ninja! I swear! just... don't leave me behind..." she begged with sheep-like eyes.
"Alright. I'll need a disguise. I'll have to go into town and ask around." said Mokomichi cringing after remembering the granny outfit.
"Um... I have some human clothes around... lemme check..." Toma got up and started rummaging around the place "here, just your normal male outfit... there's no room for the tail though..."
"I'll just cram it inside the pants."

Aya and Maki blushed at the thought, both unable to speak their minds.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:42 am

CHAPTER 6.



The sun was setting down that day, and while Mokomichi ran back home to meet the pack, Akai was facing hers, a totally different home, one where there was one too many people.
She couldn't move. The mere sight of her father talking and moving was shocking enough. Miki looked at her, waiting for a sign or something, but since it never came she decided to act, she made some noise and waved at the happy people having their picnic outside the door.

"Um... Hello there! Hello!" she yelled.
"Someone's inside the house!" said the boy.

Akai's mother looked over and froze standing up.

"Akai." was all she said.
"Someone you know mum?" said the boy "are they friends? or maybe relatives? Hi!" he waved back.
"Help me get the stuff back inside. I'll push dad's wheelchair."
"You didn't tell me you had a brother..." whispered Miki.
"I don't." said Akai with a cold voice, but Miki saw the hurt underneath.

Inside the house, while Akai's mum and the boy fussed with the stuff, helped by a very curious Miki, Akai silently kneeled in front of her dad and looked at him straight in the eyes.

"Father?" she somehow managed to utter.
"M...my...li..ttle...girl." he said with difficulty.

Akai's eyes broke into watery streams as she hugged his legs, while he patted her head lovingly. Miki saw this and couldn't help to get blurry eyed as well. Akai's mum was in the kitchen, her hands trembling with emotion, but she hid it well. The boy was silent. Miki went into the kitchen, mainly wanting to give Akai and her dad some privacy, so she made the boy go after her and started a conversation next to Akai's mum.

"Um... my name is Miki, I'm a friend of Akai's. Very nice to meet you."
"Likewise." said Akai's mum.
"And you are..." she asked the boy.
"Oh! my name is Tegoshi! but everyone calls me Momotaro." he smiled the sweetest smile.
"Momotaro?"
"Yeah! you see... I was born inside a peach!" he looked so innocent.
"Really? well, you look peachy to me." Miki smiled coyly at him.
"Thank you." he said with a quizzical look.
"She looks fine..." said Akai's mum almost to herself.
"Your daughter went through some difficulties, but managed to come on top, she's strong like that, I admire her a lot for it."
"Daughter? so she's Akai-chan? my sis?" said Tegoshi, unable to hide his excitement.
"Is she?" Miki asked Akai's mum.
"Yes."
"She didn't tell me she had a brother."
"She didn't know... Tego-chan came to us after she left."
"Oh?"
"Oh! oh! I'll explain! you see... I was brought up in an orphanage on another village, and like, they always told me I was born from a peach, ne! so then, when I was of age they gave me this letter, ne! it was from my grandma! saying that she had spent a lifetime looking for me ne! and that she had found me at last! and she said I had a family and gave me the address and everything so I took my belongings, left the orphanage and came here! but grandma had already passed away... murdered... and I never got the chance to meet her in person..." he looked really sad.
"I see! what an incredible story!" said Miki.
"It sure is..." said Akai leaning on the kitchen door frame "Dad said he was tired and wanted to rest so I took him to his room." she looked directly at her mum.
"Good, he's had enough excitement for one day." Akai's mum replied.

They were all sitting in the living room. The atmosphere was tense to say the least. Akai stared coldly at her mum, while she stared back. Miki looked at them with apprehension while Tegoshi finally got there was something more going on here.

"I'm fine by the way, thanks for asking." said Akai.
"I can see it." said her mum.
"How's the situation here?"
"Calm, no movement from either side."
"I see."
"The situation..." Tegoshi was attempting to talk.
"The war between humans and wolves." Miki whispered to him.
"There's a war?" he was genuinely surprised.
"You're kind of a bird-brain, aren't you?"
"Eh... sorry." he blushed.

An awkward silence ensued. There was so much that was screaming to be said, but not a word came out. Finally, Akai ventured:

"How did father...?"
"It was Tego-chan." her mum replied "It seemed you grandma knew his presence here would be miraculous."
"Right."
"Um... I just talked with him, and played with him, and then he started to come around." Tegoshi said very humbly and apologetically.
"We thank you for that." Akai's mum said to him, her expression softened a little, enough for Akai to notice, turning hers even more stern.
"Yes, thank you brother." Akai said to him.
"You're welcome." he blushed.
"How old are you?"
"I'm 20 years old."
"I'm 21, that makes me your elder sister."
"I'll call you nee-chan! I feel like I know you already!" he said excitedly while Akai just bowed her head a little making him feel insecure.
"Are you sleeping in the spare room?"
"Um... yes..."
"It's his room now." said mum.
"I see. Then, Miki, you'll sleep with me."
"Yes." said Miki.
"I'll prepare your futon." said mum to Miki as she got up and went upstairs.

The three of them watched her and didn't speak a word until she was out of sight.

"Wow! A-chan... is it always like this?" asked Miki.
"Do you even have to ask?" Akai looked at her with impatience.
"Sorry." Miki stole a glance at Tegoshi and Akai did the same.

A smiling Tegoshi looked back innocently, until he shouted.

"Oh!"
"What? what?" asked Miki.
"Nee-chan! I have something very important for you!" he got up and went upstairs "I'll get it right now! Don't move! wait for me!"

When he was gone Miki and Akai relaxed a bit.

"How is this possible?" asked Miki.
"I don't know, all I know is that he can't possibly be my real brother, I don't remember mum ever-"
"But no one remembers stuff when they were that young, you were just one year old, right?"
"Eh... right... but still... there was never even the slightest hint..." Akai was confused.
"Still, your father..."
"Yeah..."
"That's good news! that's a good thing!" Miki wanted to shake Akai but held herself.
"Yes..." Akai felt such a mixture of feelings at the same time she didn't know what to do with them. Still, she was happy. "It's a good thing."

Tegoshi came right back holding a little wooden box. He very ceremoniously gave it to Akai and sat beside her.

"It's for you, from grandma. It came with my letter."

Akai was surprised, she looked at it for what seemed like the longest time, her emotion was evident in her gaze, she then tried to open it while Tegoshi made a motion to say something, but she couldn't open it.

"Um... nee-chan...I'm sorry, how idiotic of me, in my letter it said that... it won't open until the right time comes."
"Eh?" Akai looked at him confused.
"Um... that's all it says, here, read it." he gave her his letter that he had been holding in his hands.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:43 am

Akai read fast but didn't miss a word, he was right, that was all it said apart from the story he had told earlier of his origins and family, still, reading that letter was like having her grandma back for a second and seeing with her own eyes how warmly her grandma had addressed Tegoshi made her feel more at ease with his presence, it was as if her grandma was also speaking to her through Tegoshi. Akai knew now that there was more to all these events than what met the eye, perhaps even more than what even her mother knew, so she resignated, all will come in due time.

That night, while everyone was sound asleep, Akai went outside to meditate, needing to set her emotions straight. She sat on the lawn out back and then lay down watching the stars above. The cold night air seemed to ease her spirit, cooling her mind.
First things first. Her dad was recovering and she was so happy it filled her soul until she felt she would burst! She thought the day would never come, until now she hadn't realized she had actually lost hope, or to be more truthful, she didn't want to realize, because that would have meant a sort of betrayal to her father, to his memory, but now everything was different!
It was so very different.
Tegoshi. She was truly grateful to him, but at the same time, she couldn't help but feel jealous of him. He had somehow managed to do something she never could. Something she had always felt was her responsibility to fix, maybe it was that cheerful nature of his that did the trick, God knows she wasn't cheerful, nor her mother. Maybe that's what the family needed.
And her mother had acted so sweetly towards him. More jealousy. She never had that kind of affection shown at her, Akai had even thought her mother was naturally incapable of showing loving emotions like that. Why not with her? did she make it harder for her mother acting the way she was? was she too manly or something? it was as if she was the elder brother and Tegoshi was the young sister.
Whatever, she wasn't about to apologize for who she was, nor change. Not at all. Fine, so that's how it was gonna be with her mother, forever and ever, fine, so be it.
Now she felt like she wanted to go away again. Since her home, the one she knew since she was a little girl, was like dead and gone. But that's the way life moves along, that's what always happens, her grandma always told her: nothing is static, everything changes, all the time.
Now Tegoshi was there, he could take care of mum and dad, fill her position and even do a better job at it. Yes, she should be grateful to Tegoshi, to grandma for sending him to them.
Now that everything at home was settled she could work on ending the war without restriction, without looking back, without regrets.
Akai's mind now wandered to her time in wolf land. The pack, and Mokomichi. A sting in her heart. All she could do for them now was... what could she do? She had to announce to the officials she was back, give her report.
Her mind was blank.
Then, she came to a resolution.
Yes, she will do that.
It was the only way.
If she can't change one side, she'll change the other.

Dawn came, sunlight silently sneaking through every window inside the house. Akai's mum got up to make breakfast only to find Akai had already done so, she had set the table all nice and was busy keeping the food warm.

"Good morning." Akai said.
"You made breakfast?"
"Yeah!"
"Thank you." Akai's mum was floored, as this was the first time this happened "I'll go get your dad then..." she said as she went back upstairs, not catching the sly smile on Akai's face.

Everyone had gathered around the table, the food looked delicious and an overall atmosphere of happiness was palpable around them all. Akai's dad could only eat liquids for the moments, his wife was feeding him slowly the soup Akai had done which she remembered was her dad's favorite, he was delighted to eat it. Tegoshi was experiencing something he never had before, a sister's cooking, he was so emotional he took a long time eating, savoring each bite like it was his last meal, Miki hadn't tasted Akai's cooking in this kind of situation so she enjoyed it as well, while Akai looked at everyone with joy in her eyes.
Suddenly she got up and went to get prepared to go out. She went back to the table and standing there her mum asked her where she was going.

"I'll be right back, enjoy the meal, minna!"
"Hey! wait up. I'll go with you." Miki told her while swallowing some bread.
"No need, just... take care ne?"

Miki couldn't answer because Akai was already gone, she was fast. Miki felt apprehension, just like Akai's mum.

Akai walked inside the officials' headquarters after readying herself for what was about to come. She was received with enthusiasm, wonder and amazement. They all seemed glad she was back. Until she started to talk.
She was changed, they all thought, just like what happened with all the other people that had been abducted by the wolves. But her case seemed worse, because sooner than they could understand what she was saying they noticed she was actually standing up for the enemy, saying they were innocent, they were the victims.
What the hell was wrong with her?
She was actually refusing to continue to work with the human resistance.
She was saying the war was useless and there was no need to continue at all.
Useless? no need to defend ourselves? the words of a traitor.
Only a traitor would dare. They didn't remember Akai's grandma used to say the exact same thing, for some reason.
The nerve this girl had.
The ungrateful little vixen.
But they knew they wouldn't be able to stop her if it came to action. So one of the officials sent for royal reinforcements on the sly, being careful not to raise Akai's suspicion.
They debated with her, making time. She argued back, she felt she was trying to talk with a wall.
Until the royal army came.
Like a storm they took her by surprise, they held her down and cuffed her.
She was dragged outside the village, the official didn't want the people to know of this, it would be a huge blow for morale, that wasn't advisable.
If the traitor wanted to side with the enemy, she would have to tell that to the State Lord himself. Let him deal with her. They didn't want anything to do with her anymore.
Akai was immediately place in a wheeled caged and was sent to the Palace, at once.

Meanwhile, in wolf land, the pack had gathered once again after a good night's sleep. They were getting ready to go.
Provisions, check. Small weapons (which is all a wolf needs against humans), check. Toma had a big pack filled with stuff only he knew, check that as well.
They had to be careful and go out one by one, they didn't want anyone to notice their absence right away. So it took them more time than they had planned last night.
At last, away from the settlement, they all met up and set off at full speed, on to Akai's village. Just as she was getting miles away from it.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:43 am

FOURTH PART.


Getting to know you.


CHAPTER 1.



The afternoon found the pack catching their breath hiding behind a thick tree formation at the edge of Akai's village, where Mokomichi had hidden when he was there before. This was the first time Aya was near so many humans so she was excited, but was doing incredible efforts to keep herself in check lest "the storm" label was again thrown at her, after all she did promise to be as stealthy as calm air.
They hurdled together to make the plans.

"Right. I'm going in then." said Mokomichi, who was already in disguise.
"Wait my friend, hold your horses!" said Toma.
"What now..." mumbled Ryo.
"I brought something..." Toma grinned maliciously as he reached for his backpack and pulled out lots of clothing "More human clothes!" he laughed "how about that?" he said triumphantly.
"These are all... for men." said Maki while checking them all out.
"Eh?" Aya was disappointed. "How come?"
"Well, I did some rounds at dawn today... this is all they could give me."
"Your contacts?" asked Maki with disdain.
"Yes." he replied apologetically.
"Right. Let's get them on then." Ryo didn't like wasting time talking, but stopped. The boys looked at Maki and Aya with expectant eyes. Maki sighed loudly and made Aya turn around with her so they couldn't see them change.
"Sooo.. we have to wait here? alone?" asked Aya slyly trying to take a small look while Maki held her tight.
"You'll be fine, Maki-chan will be here." said Mokomichi, hurting Aya's pride.
"I'll do what I can." said Maki, hurting Aya's pride even more.
"So what's our cover story?" asked Toma.
"We're guys from the south, we need to find Akai cause we want to join the army."
"Why the south?" asked Ryo.
"I.. just have a feeling about it, trust me." replied Mokomichi while Ryo huffed but didn't say anything more "O.K. we're off, remember, use the whistle if anything happens and we need to regroup."
"Got it." said Maki.

They boys walked inside the village acting like they belonged. Mokomichi sniffed the air, instantly he knew, he felt Akai's presence all over the place.
"She's back." he whispered to the boys.
They walked around until they stumbled on a pair of human girls.

"Watch i-" girl 1 began to say "I mean... hello there."
"Oh my God..." said girl 2.
"Sorry, hello, Um... I wonder if you could help us..." asked Toma with the player switch on, leaning close to the girls.
"Anything." girl 1 said catching her breath.
"We're looking for someone, a girl."
"I'm all you need right here..."
"Oh my God..." said girl 2.
"Very nice offer, but it's a girl in specific..."
"Her name is Akai." ventured Mokomichi while Ryo was keeping his distance looking gloomy.
"Akai? well... sorry boys... I don't think she's back yet..." girl 1 replied with a little jealousy.
"You see... we met with her in the south, that's where we come from, and we wanted to join the army so she told us to come here and look for her..." Toma grabbed the girl's chin slightly.
"Oh! I see! you want to live here!" girl 1 was happy again.
"Oh my God..." said girl 2.
"Um... you could go to the officials' headquarters, it's the big house in the middle of town, or you could go to Akai's house, just take a right here then go 10 houses west, it's the last one... the one with the field in the back..."
"Thank you soooo much." Toma gave her a little kiss in her cheek.

They boys were off while the pair of girls giggled to themselves.

"Did you see?" asked girl 1.
"Oh my God!" said girl 2.
"The bulges! I really hope they stay!"
"Oh. my. God!" said girl 2.

Meanwhile Maki and Aya sat under the trees waiting for news. There was an uncomfortable silence between them and both were hesitant to be the first to break it. A moment passed when, at the same time, both spoke.

"You go first." said Aya.
"No, you."
"No, please, you go first."
"Fine. I'll tell you right now, I know something happened with my brother." Maki glared at Aya.
"Ah... well... I mean..."
"You better not hurt him anymore. I will not stand for it."
"I... promise..." Aya was very uncertain of promising such a thing, but deep in her heart she meant it.
"So, tell me."
"What?"
"What happened with you."

Aya took her time, she was happy because this seemed like Maki was finally showing signs of reconciliation, but then again, it could all be because she wanted to protect her brother and nothing more. For Maki, it was both. She wanted to comfort Aya ever since she saw her actually giving up on Mokomichi, or so Maki thought, she wasn't sure, she wanted to find out more, and also learn information on where her brother stood.

"It had to happen one day, right?" said Aya with questioning eyes "I have to accept reality, I can't live in fantasy land forever..." she was incredibly sad, but at the same time she felt lighter.
"Right." was all that Maki could say.
"He's never gonna be in love with me. But I actually feel better now, it's like a burden was lifted off my shoulders, like I can breathe now, you know? he took my breath away, but now I have it back." she said with brimming eyes.
"I guess."
"But... I still feel like a loser, a quitter, like I should have stuck in there, persevere or something."
"We can't force this kind of things, when it comes to love, you can't make your heart, or other's, act the way you want to."
"Right."
"And my brother?"
"He... said somethings... I never noticed before."
"So he said it... good for him." Maki looked at Aya, who was blushing profusely. Aya remembered, and her heart started to beat fast. Why? this was all so weird.

... Ryo gently grabbed both her arms, and ran up his hands to hold her face in between them.
"I love you. I always have. I always will."

Suddenly Aya was scared; such real, strong feelings presented right in front of her, she didn't know how to react, she made as to free herself, but Ryo held her tighter, forcing her to look at him face to face, she was frozen on the spot.

"It's the way you hurt me, it makes me realize I'm alive."
"I hurt you?" she was starting to involuntarily cry.
"Don't cry... it's a good thing you see, after my parents died... only you and Maki kept me alive."
"I... I'm so sorry... I didn't know... I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so-"

Ryo stopped her with a kiss. Quick and strong, it then got soft, he let go of her face and grabbed her waist, one hand holding it, the other holding the back of her head. Aya's eyes opened with surprise but then they closed on
their own, she felt Ryo's body draining all her energy, making her lose control over herself, powerless and small.

For a brief moment, all there was in the world was both of them and nothing more.
Aya lost track of time, she didn't know for how long she stayed there, letting herself be kissed with such love. Ryo just wanted that moment to last forever. He was reveling, savoring each and every thing, her body heat getting mixed up with his, the feel of her hair in his hand, her small graceful waist, her surrendering, yes, this was it, this is the way it should be forever and ever, he holding her in such a tight embrace nothing would break them apart.
After a moment Aya recovered her will, Ryo felt her body stiffened and gently let go of her, he delighted in the flustered look on her face, she avoided his eyes and just walked away, but her body just wasn't listening to her, she would turn around every second to look at him, he was following her from a close distance, like a hunted rabbit by a hungry wolf.


Maki was looking at Aya and laughing to herself, she was like an open book these past few days, and was glad for her brother, "So he has a chance after all" Maki thought.

The boys stood in front of Akai's house. Mokomichi was really nervous, he sensed Akai all around, how did he miss this when he was here before? Unforgivable, you self-centered brat, but he will change, even if it costs him his life.

"Shall we?" said Toma.
"Go." said Ryo, since Mokomichi wasn't moving.

They knocked on the front door. A female cat opened it.

"A-chan?" she asked hurriedly "Oh! who are you?" she fixed her hair and stroke a sexy pose.
"Is Akai here?" asked Mokomichi.

Miki looked closely at the three boys, and realization dawned on her, they weren't human, plus, there was a certain smell... what was it? her senses told her they were creatures of the forest. They must be... wolves?

"Um... come in please." she moved to the side and let them pass.
"Who was that at the door?" Akai's mum came out of the kitchen drying her hands when she saw the boys.
"We're sorry to intrude..." said Toma.
"We're friends of Akai." said Mokomichi.
"I think I know who they are... please have a seat" said Miki while Akai's mum looked puzzled "Mokomichi?" Miki pointed at the tallest one.
"Yes! Um... yes, that's me, this is Toma-kun and that's Ryo-kun over there."
"Mmmm... A-chan didn't do you justice boys... you're all so handsome..." she winked at them.
"Thank you." they all blushed.
"This is the love of A-chan's life, mum" Miki said to Akai's mum "You're future son-in-law."

The look on Akai's mum's face was priceless.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:44 am

CHAPTER 2.



"Is that nee-chan? nee-chan! are you back?"

Tegoshi ran into the living room from out back only to find his mum looking like a statue, Miki looking really amused, one unknown guy bowing down, one guy half sitting-half getting up and another one standing far off looking gloomy.
"Eh? visitors?"
"This is Tego-chan, A-chan's long-lost-recently-found younger brother." Miki said "Say hello to your nee-chan's friends Tego-chan!" she was really liking this.
"Ah! friends of my nee-chan are also my friends! Nice to meet you!" he was so happy-go-lucky it was almost startling.

They were all sitting facing each other. Mokomichi didn't know where to start, the female cat seemed to know all about them, but not Akai's mum, nor the so-called brother. He was spared though by Miki, who started to talk on her own.
"We're waiting for A-chan to return, she went out this morning and hasn't come back, meanwhile let me introduce myself, my name is Miki, I met Akai in the south and we instantly became the best of friends."
"In the south?" asked Mokomichi, while Toma and Ryo exchanged looks.
"Yes, I kinda helped her when she needed my help. We traveled together here. It took us some time but we made it faster than I thought. Um... if I may ask... how come you're all here?"
"Eh... yes... that... we have... unfinished businesses to sort out."
"Oh, is that how wolves call it?"
"Wolves?!" asked Akai's mum, again surprised.
"It's what they are." said Miki matter-of-factly.

The boys got really nervous now but didn't move. Akai's mum looked at them with intensity, Tegoshi with utter amazement. Akai's mum took her time to think, to absorve information and make decisions.

"I assume you helped my daughter get away, didn't you?"
"Sort of." said Ryo.
"If that's the case then... you're welcomed here."
"Get away from where?" asked Tegoshi.
"From wolf land, you birdy bird." said Miki playfully scratching him with her cat paws "she was there spying and got caught."
"What? nee-chan is a spy?"
"And much more you don't know about." she whispered to him.
"My daughter... she's bent on ending the war you know, she'll do anything. That's her ultimate goal."

The boys took this information in, after a while Mokomichi resolved:

"I want to help her. I agree, the war is futile."

Akai's mum looked at him with approving eyes. At the other end of the room Akai's dad was struggling to wheel himself in, she saw him and immediately got up to help him.

"Darling! did you hear?" she asked him while he nodded with his head.
"Sh..she..ss..t..tak..taking..t..tt.too..long." he was tired already.
"You're right, Tego-chan, could you go ask around, look for Akai? she probably went to headquarters to give her report." she said to Tegoshi, who got up and was gone in a second.

Akai's dad was looking so tired Akai's mum asked him if he wanted to rest, he nodded and as she was beginning to take him upstairs Toma and Ryo went to help her, they took Akai's dad in their arms and carried him while she pushed the empty wheelchair. Miki and Mokomichi were left alone for a moment.

"Do you love her?" she suddenly asked him.
"I do." he responded with such conviction Miki had no doubt about it at all.
"She suffered a lot you know, having to leave the way she did."
"I'm responsible." he was truly troubled and saddened.
"It's not really your fault."
"Still... "
"What do you plan to do now?"
"I just want to see her again, then... I won't leave her side, ever."
"That's so good." Miki fanned her eyes with her hands, trying not to get emotional.

Akai's mum and the two wolves came back and sat down. Then, Akai's mum started to tell them their family's story, how grandma died, and what Akai decided to do with her life after that. Toma's and Ryo's respect for Akai grew immensely, while Mokomichi's love took root inside his soul, like the rocks that form the earth, it was there to stay forever, without which there was nothing at all.
Likewise, Mokomichi explained to Akai's mum all that happened in wolf land, and she couldn't help but notice in his words how much he considered, cared for, loved her daughter. She was amazed at life's paths, that her daughter would find love in the most unlikely of places, and she was glad. She had been afraid her daughter would throw her life away with her cause, praiseworthy as it were, that life's trials would slowly mar her soul and that she couldn't do anything to help her daughter. But she found love, and great friends. There was nothing to worry about. Her daughter was going to be fine.
Tegoshi came back at that time, looking as pale as a ghost. They all watched him with apprehension.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:44 am

"They took her! she was arrested!" he said between breaths "I heard them talking about it, they don't want people to know, they think she's a traitor!" he was growing angry, a side of him no one had seen before.
"Where did they take her?" Mokomichi asked vehemently.
"The Palace! the royal guards took her cause no one else would dare."

It took no longer than a second. They boys knew they had to go after her. Miki ran up to Akai's room and came back instantly.
"She didn't take her weapons. She's defenseless."
"I'm going with you!" Tegoshi said "wait for me!" he went up and packed his stuff.
"Wait! Tego-chan! you-" Akai's mum said.
"I'm going!" he was determined.
"We'll take care of him. Don't worry. He's her brother after all." said Mokomichi.
"Bring her back safe, please, she promised to help me, remind her she has to keep her promise." Miki said in between sobs.

They left to reunite with the girls while Miki held onto Akai's mum. Mokomichi suddenly remembered the strange shadow he saw before, but he couldn't detect it at all this time, so he didn't think about it again.
When the pack got together again under the trees the boys quickly told the girls all of what happened. Maki and Aya got really nervous.

"I didn't want to say this in front of Akai's mum... but I've heard the royal guard is pretty merciless, with everyone." said Toma.
"Even humans?" asked Aya.
"Even humans."
"And so we have to go." said Maki.
"Um... I know the way!" ventured to say Tegoshi.
"You... how?"
"Well, they taught us at the orphanage... they taught us everything about the Palace, its ways, and such... I don't know if it's taught in all orphanages though..." he shrugged like it was nothing.
"Not completely useless then..." said Ryo.
"Hop on my back, you'll travel with me." said Mokomichi.

They set off at full speed again. Mokomichi was the strongest one in the pack so he was fine carrying Tegoshi and didn't slow down, in fact, he was running faster than the rest, pumped by his need to get to where Akai was. Tegoshi was having a blast in the midst of all the serious things that were happening, riding on a wolf's back was an awesome thing. While running, the wolves talked with each other in wolf language, which to Tegoshi sounded like huffs and growls and such.

"Are we gonna be o.k. with this human boy tagging along?" asked Aya.
"And you're asking that?" said Toma.
"Hey! I'm making an effort here! anyway, it's not the same, he's a human boy!"
"Does he even have training?" asked Maki.
"I don't think so." said Ryo.
"Give him a break, he just found his family and wants to help his sister, plus he's telling us the way!" said Toma.
"You all, shut up, you're making too much noise, we're trying to be discreet, remember." said Mokomichi.

They did as they were told and concentrated on the path. They were half a day behind Akai and it was imperative that they catch up with her.
Meanwhile, Akai was already arriving at the Palace, it was so weird to her that the trip took so little time, it was as if nothing had crossed their path, no batches on the road, which felt smooth as silk, since she couldn't see at the outside from inside the cage. She had heard all kinds of weird stories about the royal guards, and had seen one or two from a distance, so when they took her captive she was so truly surprised she didn't have time to react at all.
They had felt so strong it was worrying, and she couldn't see their faces no matter how hard she had turned her neck around.

The wolves were fast though, faster than they've ever been before, the imperative sense of purpose that reigned over them pushed them harder than anything else before.
This is where they showed how young and inexperienced they actually were. This was the first time they moved powered by something else than joy-riding, this time duty, friendship, love, was more important than having fun. The usual way with wolves was that of surviving back in the day, but sometime along the way, wolves became... domesticated, they settled for too long, they forgot the dangers that were intrinsic to their very existence. Wolves were meant to be predators, hunters, they were animals to be feared. Now they had turned themselves into pastorial weaklings that cowered at the sight of humans. Humans had become the bigger species, they slowly took control of everything, and before the wolves knew it, they had to defend themselves instead of attack.

In this state of things was when the war started. Circumstances demanded that wolves turn back to how they were before. They had to re-discover their inner power in order to survive the human threat.
Most of the wolves that got involved with the war did exactly that, but there were exceptions, as not all wolves were destined for violence. Mokomichi's pack had not experienced first hand the toils of war, so they didn't exactly know what was ahead of them. But this is were their worth is tested, because real bravery is not that one that has infinite power and looks with disdain at the danger ahead, but the one that, overcoming the fear and anxiety, breaks through with courage and unselfishness.

It was mid-afternoon when the pack came near the Palace grounds. Now they had to slow down as safety measure, but not too much, because they knew time was precious.
It was difficult to hide because all around the Palace the vegetation was planned, cared for, systematical, so there were limited spaces wild enough to give good shadow to a pack of wolves carrying a human boy. But they eventually found a nice crook to step into and began to form their breaking and entering plan.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:45 am

CHAPTER 3.



The Palace was more magnificent than anything Akai had seen before. She only could get a little glimpse of it though, because she was being dragged through the back doors.
As the royal guards man-handled her corridor past corridor, she felt a chill down her spine that was very hard to describe, was this more than fear? she asked herself but to no avail, the more she was carried inside the Palace, the more dreadful she felt. She lost track, her sense of direction was lost, were they purposely going around circles? could be. The shadows lurking around every corner started to spook her.
Finally, she was thrown inside what looked like a mirror room. While the guards walked out, the last one turned before closing the door and said:

"You will wait here until we get further instructions." and closed the door.

It was the strangest room she had ever been in. With the door closed it was as if it disappeared. She felt like she floated while standing in the middle of it. There was a sense of being-watched that she thought could only come from all the eyes reflected in the mirrors, her eyes.
How much time passed she didn't know.
Suddenly, a shadow appeared around the corner of her eye. She moved about, but it seemed to elude her. By now she was really freaked. But she kept moving, hoping to catch a better look. Until, just for a second, she thought she saw a figure running, a male figure, all dressed in dark colors, with sharp, striking features; defined eyebrows, long black hair, a half smirk that made her angry. It didn't matter that it was gone in a second, for as long as she lived she will never forget that face.
More time passed and then the door opened again and more royal guards came in and dragged her about again.
This time, the corridors started to look more splendorous as they went along, but with a certain tackiness Akai found almost laughable.
They stopped in front of a huge engraved metal door. One of the guards knocked three times with a pole, and after a while the doors began to open, revealing a luxurious room.
Drapes covered all the walls, making it seem as if there were none. Akai saw the floor had three levels, one for removing shoes and such, another tatami covered for sitting, and lastly, a higher one at the back, with a single royal-looking chair, all very japanese, all very grand.
The guards forcefully removed her shoes and threw her to kneel on the second level floor. They held her down by her shoulders, and they waited.
Then, a figure walked inside from behind the drapes, followed by two more. The Lord of the Land himself, it seemed, with two maiden servants bidding his every wish.
He was eating sweets from a tray one of the girls was holding up, while the other one attempted to clean the white powder off his clothes and face, with little results.
The man himself was tall and slender, his face was girlishly handsome, his lips plump, there was a certain air of contempt in his countenance that immediately told he was used to feeling dissatisfaction with everything and every one.
He sat on the chair and shushed the servant girls away, then addressed one of the guards:

"Is this her then?"
"Yes, Milord."
"Right, right..." he wasn't even paying attention, but he looked at Akai's direction nonetheless and his interest was lighted. "Release her shoulders you brutes, that's no way to treat a lady, even if she is a traitor".

Akai was let go as the guards stepped back, she massaged her shoulders trying to ease the stinging pain while wondering who it was this guy was trying to kid, of course it had been his command to treat her badly, and now he was trying to pass as a gentleman? give me a break.

"Will the lady please step a bit forward so that I can see you better." he said, licking his lips.

Akai was a little repulsed, such a lascivious guy the lord had turned out to be, what a disappointment. She hesitated to step forward for a second, and the guards at her back had moved to force her, but the lord stopped them.

"Wait, let the lady advance on her own, go on, you can do it..."

And now he was condescending. Ugh. But Akai did as she was told and sat closer to him. He took his time to asset the prisoner. Very beautiful, he thought, awesome body, well built, toned, wonderful hair, yes, she was a looker, his appetite wetted while he anticipated what was to come.

"You understand the accusations that have brought you to my presence, right?"
"Yes, milord."
"Do you have anything to reply?"
"I'm innocent, milord."
"Hahaha! That's what they all say... but I'm inclined to believe such a yummy little girl as you..."

Ah! maybe this was the angle Akai had to work in order to convince him of her plea.

"Milord, if I may... speak."
"Oh, please do, and call me Jin-sama." he said while he winked at her.
"J... Jin-sama..." such a weird thing to call a lord, but whatever, Akai didn't feel any respect for this guy.
"Ah! music to my ears!" he said.
"Jin-sama, as the Lord of this State of ours, you must be aware of the raging disturbances that ail our communities, you must know of the heavy toll that weighs on your people, all because of the war with the wolves."
"Eh- yessss...." he didn't expect her to go straight to the point.
"I have been accused of being a traitor when in reality... all I have ever done is speak for peace."
"Riiiight...."
"I will boldly grab this opportunity to speak with milord, to plead for his kindness, his good nature, as all who show such a handsome look must feel, one so beautiful cannot be void of heart..."
"Hehehehe... you wish for something in particular?"
"I wish for the war to end."

All the excitement in Jin's face went away. He was sure she meant for her pardon or something like that, it was what they all pleaded for anyway, this was the first girl that asked for something like this. Bold indeed. This wasn't your normal village maiden. He will have to use that this time, he thought as he reached for his pocket and slid a ring on one of his fingers. It was going to be a challenge to subdue such a fire-cracker, and the result will be tastier.

"Girl, what is your name?"
"Akai, milord."
"Akai-chan... didn't I tell you to call me Jin-sama?"
"I'm sorry... Jin-sama."
"Akai-chan... It is I who should be sorry... I won't grant your wish." he said as he slowly got up and slid closer to where Akai was. She looked up, startled.
"Please, don't move little girl, let me come to you, I feel so obliged to be courteous to you, in view of my inability to fulfill your wishes..."
"But... Jin-sama is all powerful..." Akai began to say, trying to be shy and cute.
"There are things, problems, considerations, that that cute head of yours will not be able to comprehend you see, matters of State that are not known to you, nor will they ever be, which prevent me from ending the war. The struggle must go on, all the wolves must be eradicated, and that's final."

By this time he was sitting right in front of her.

"I can do something for you though..."
"Yes?"
"I will give you a pardon, if you promise not to get mixed up with this whole ugly business again, and give me something in return."

Akai was experiencing fear now, because she just realized she couldn't move her body. She was frozen on the spot by an unknown force.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:46 am

The wolves were gathered around tightly and whispered.
"So what's the plan?" asked Toma.
"We gotta get a way in, find Akai, and leave as soon as possible, we can't afford to risk a direct confrontation with the royal army as we are now." said Mokomichi.
"Could we wait until night settles in? it will be soon..." asked Aya.
"No, there's no telling what they might do to Akai-chan." said Maki.
"Um... there's a back door that usually lacks with guards, right over there." Tegoshi pointed left, to a passage way almost hidden if not correctly pointed out.
"Good. Look, there's only one guard outside." said Toma.
"But there's more inside, I can smell them from here." Ryo's sense of smell was famous.
"Alright, here's what we're gonna do. Maki-chan will go over there and flirt with the guard." began Mokomichi.
"Eh? why me?" she asked, while Aya looked disappointed.
"Because you're the hottest of course!" said Toma.
"Because, when he blinks, you'll put him out, that's why. It has to be quick, smooth and silently done."
"Got it."
"Then Toma-kun will climb the wall and open the door from inside, we can count on your abilities on that."
"You bet! I'm better than those ninja humans!"
"When the door is opened, Aya-chan will storm in and make a distraction, so Ryo-kun and I can run inside and look for Akai."
"Don't I go in as well?" asked Tegoshi "You'll need me to find the way, the corridors inside are designed like a maze you know, if you don't know the way you'll lose time before you can find anything at all."
"He's right." said Ryo.
"Then, Tegoshi-kun will ride on my back. we'll find Akai, then... Ryo will take you, I'll take Akai, and we'll get out."
"Fine." Ryo answered reluctantly, he was desperate for a fight, not for being someone's horse ride.
"Yoosha!" Tegoshi was happy.
"Afterwards we'll disperse the usual way, and meet up at Toma's hut. Whoever carries Tegoshi-kun will drop him off first at the edge of Akai's village and then get to the hut directly."
"Hai!" they all said.
"Ne, before we start, let's all eat a little... I'm kinda hungry, I have kimi-dango!"
"Why would you...?" asked Toma while eating, alongside everyone else.
"It's my favorite snack, plus it re-enforces me every time I need energy."

They all agreed, they had spent plenty of it while running cross-country and were hungry themselves. While they quickly ate, Tegoshi started to ramble, as he usually did, it was cute, but sometimes it got a little annoying.

"So the beautiful Maki-chan will be agent pheasant, Toma-kun will be agent monkey, Aya-chan will be agent dog, and we will be fighter 1" he pointed at Mokomichi "fighter 2" he appointed himself "and fighter 3" he looked at Ryo.
"You'll be dead meat 2 if you continue." said Ryo.
"Alright, alright, you can be fighter 2 then..."
"That's not-" he stopped and sighed "never mind."

Just as they planned, they did.
Maki took the first guard out, Toma opened the door, Aya stormed in, Mokomichi, Ryo and Tegoshi ran inside.
Maki and Toma handled the guards that were inside, they made a great fighting team, Aya fought too, but not too much, she wasn't as good as Maki and Toma and she knew she'd get in their way if she got involved too much. They cleaned out the enemies there and all that was left to do was wait for the others while guarding the way out.

Tegoshi was right all along. The inside of the Palace was like a huge maze that not even wolves could get out of without help. They ran and ran sometimes stopping to hide from passers-by, one dreadful moment though, they feared discovery, as Tegoshi had slipped down from Mokomichi's back and happened to be seen by an old maid that was cleaning inside a room.

"Milord?" she asked.

But Tegoshi had moved quickly and was gone from her sight in a flash. A young maid that was cleaning with her said:
"Milord's in his quarters now, obaachan."
"Ah... you're right... I thought I saw... never mind, this old woman's mind plays tricks on her... I thought I saw a ghost."
"A ghost? but, didn't you say Milord?"
"Yes, I wasn't referring to the current one, I thought I saw the previous lord. Now, there was a good lord to be seen... not like this one we have now... the old master would never do the hobby this one has..." she said very angry.
"But what can we do? things turned out like this... we have no power." the young maid replied very sadly.
"Ah! for the good old days to come back! How things have deteriorated! you know, when I was young..." the old woman started to preach while the young maid sighed.


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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:46 am

CHAPTER 4.



For just a second, Akai's mind had gone blank.
But then rage filled her inside. To not be able to control her own body was something she had never experienced before and hoped never will again. Something was forcing her to stay as she was. It was a horrible feeling. For a moment she thought of her father, did he feel like this too when he fell sick? She felt she knew so little of the world, she felt small and impotent.
Meanwhile Jin was settling down right next to her, or rather, too close to her. He reached out his face and started to whisper in her ear.

"You may have found out that you can't move, right?"

All Akai could do was move her head, she looked at him with flames coming out of her eyes.

"Ah! don't look at me like that... your pretty features get even more appealing to me."
"What have you done to me?"
"Eh, just a little magic, no big deal."
"I'll scream."
"Go right ahead, no one will come to rescue you, remember where you are my dear."
"What do you want?"
"But, what's this? no more Jin-sama? aw, and I like to hear that coming out of your lips so much..." he pouted.
"Well..."
"You're such a spit-fire. I like you a lot, you should feel grateful that I've taken such notice of you, well, to be fair, your are special, all the other girls just gave into their fate and that was that."
"You've done this before."
"It's my favorite hobby of course!"

Akai was trying desperately, with all her power, to regain control. But all she managed to do was move a finger.
Because Jin had been getting a good view of Akai's entire body he noticed this little movement and was startled, but decided to not pay very much attention to it, he came to the conclusion that because he didn't take this long time to enjoy the view with all the other girls before he probably just hadn't noticed it.

"I see you try, but you must surrender Akai-chan, there's no way you can go against my wishes."
"What makes you so sure?" her disgust was almost visible.
"I'll tell you, since you ask so nicely, see this ring? it gives me the power to command another person's body just like I please, great ne?, the only draw back is that I have to concentrate."
"You... PIG!"
"Oink!" Jin snorted and immediately composed himself. "Don't ever call me that again." he was actually angry now, it took him a little while to get back to his former mood.
"You'll scream my name with pleasure once I'm finished with you."
"I'll scream your name when I get my revenge."
"Oh! You dare threaten your lord? you are a traitor after all!"
"You're a lord as much as shit is edible."
"How poetic, very becoming. Now shut up."

Akai couldn't speak anymore.
Jin slowly started to touch her, he ran his hand back and forth Akai's legs, then began to caress her arms. He took her head and made her lie down on the floor, then started to get his hands under her clothes.

Mokomichi, Ryo and Tegoshi arrived at a central point inside the Palace.

"From here, if we go to the right we'll get to the dungeons, if we go left, we'll get to the royal quarters." said Tegoshi.
"Let's go right, if Akai-chan's imprisoned she's probably at the dungeons." said Ryo.
"No." said Mokomichi.
They looked at him puzzled.
"We'll go left. I'm sure she's there." he said this with such seriousness Ryo and Tegoshi just had to believe him.

Mokomichi was getting desperate, he could feel that Akai was in danger, he smelled her all over the place, and stopped in front of Jin's door. They got there just as Jin was getting Akai on the floor.
Mokomichi put Tegoshi down and stared at the door. He knew. She was there. He began to pound the door with all his might. Ryo joined him. They quickly knocked it open.

The scenes that followed happened in a flash.

The door flew open, the wolves began to fight the two royal guards that were standing near, it was a close fight, but Mokomichi's desperation, and Ryo's longing for a bloody fight were stronger than they themselves realized, with some effort, they began to win. Tegoshi ran inside and spotted Akai and Jin.
Jin had been so surprised he lost concentration, and Akai regained control of her body again. She grabbed his neck, pinned him down and started to choke him, murder in her eyes. Tegoshi saw her and all he could do was say "Don't!"
She came to her senses, and while Jin gasped for air she took his ring.

The fight was won, Mokomichi finally looked at Akai again.
She ran to him, he grabbed her up and put her on his back. Tegoshi got the clue and went to Ryo.
They began to run faster than lighting, out of the Palace.
There was no time to lose.
Tegoshi's directions got them to the passage way, where Toma, Maki and Aya saw them coming.
The entire pack ran out and dispersed, just like they planned.

It was a move they always did when being followed, as a group they were an easy target in a chase, as separate moving objects the chances of getting away doubled.

A wolf's endurance is put to the test when circumstances make them use their physical levels to the max. The Pack had been running all day long, but they were agreeably surprised to find out they still had lots of energy left after everything was coming to an end. So the training really was top notch.
Ryo had taken to the forests and zigzagged all the way to Akai's village to drop off Tegoshi. Outside the village he let him go, while a very reluctant Tegoshi protested:

"But I wanna know if she's alright!"
"Just go home and tell them we got her out."
"You don't understand... she was... when I saw her, she... " Tegoshi couldn't put into comprehensible words what he saw at Jin's quarters, but he had his suspicions.
"Whatever it was will have to wait, don't worry too much, she's with Hayami now."
"I guess you're right." said a defeated Tegoshi while Ryo nodded and was gone a second later.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:47 am

Some time later he arrived at Toma's hut.
Aya, Maki and Toma were there.

"Yo." said Ryo.
"Yo." Maki said back.
"Tegoshi-kun..." said Toma.
"Safe back home."
"Cool. What route did you take?"
"The forests, it's the best way for blending and blurring with a load on my back."
"I thought you would. I took to the rivers."
"I went through the caves." said Maki.
"Um... I ran round the bushes, it's more suited for me." Aya said with an embarrassed look while everyone said good decision, well thought, no other way for the storm and made her a little angry that all her efforts are not recognized, not realizing that they were just teasing her.
"So Moko-kun must have taken to the mountains with Akai-chan." said Maki.
"I suspect they won't come back here for a long while." said Toma winking before he glanced at Aya apologetically.
"Why do you look at me like that? it's nothing to me! it's obvious they would want some time for themselves! Jeez! Whatever!" Aya snapped.
"In any case, we need to think about what's gonna happen next." said Ryo, trying to change the subject.
"For sure. Today won't go unnoticed. It will have big repercussions on all. Humans and wolves." said Maki with a very serious and worried look.

Mokomichi had energy to spare. With the love of his life on his back, there was nothing more to worry about, at least for the moment. He thought he was being very unreasonable and selfish, but there was no helping it, feelings come and go and there's nothing the mind can do about them.
As he ran through the mountains, breathing in the cold fresh night air, he felt elated. The warmth her body exuded was making him realize the joy of just being alive. How lucky he was for having this moment to live!
Her arms were tightly bound around his upper body while her legs, wrapped around his waist, felt like they should be there forever and ever. Such intimacy was priceless. Skinship rocked, he thought. His body started to react, but he put all that energy into running, for the time being it was all he could do, but it was such sweet pain, there was no trading it for anything in the world.
He had saved his lady at the nick of time, he knew she was unharmed, at least physically, and it made him proud.
So much so that he felt like howling. And before he knew it he was. It was a very thoughtless and dangerous thing to do, given the situation, but his senses were telling him it was safe, no one had followed them, and if they did, they soon lost track of them. The mountains were giving him shelter as he thought they would.
Akai giggled when he howled.
His heart melted.
She was feeling so incredibly happy there was nothing like it. It was like all the joy she had felt in all the happy days she ever experienced were combined into this moment, and more.
She never thought she would see him again, she never thought... but here he was, carrying her like the first day they met. No, this was better, much better.
She will pray to the Gods and give the best offerings the next time she can. Akai didn't feel she deserved so much happiness.
He had come to her rescue. Such an impossible thing had actually happened. She had thought herself the kind of girl that was independent, she had thought herself different from all those silly helpless maidens that desperately wanted to be rescued by a prince charming. And now she laughed. Because some part of her was like that too. Even if her prince charming was a wolf. It was such a lonely feeling she now realized, to depend only on one's self, but now that she had someone, she felt the luckiest girl in the world.
Against all odds, he had come. And now she was riding on his back, feeling all his physical power against herself.
Feeling his soft yet manly and wild hair on her face, the sheer volume of him. Her heart was pounding in her chest.
How can she contain her feelings now? Just focus on something else Akai. Like where they are. Where were they anyway?

"Where are we going?" she almost whispered in Mokomichi's ear, sending shivers down his spine.
"You'll see when we get there." he said playfully as they both smiled.

Just enjoy the ride.

The moon was shining down on them, it was a beautiful night.
Some time later Akai noticed, the surroundings were faintly familiar to her.
They got to a clear in the middle of a forest. Mokomichi slowed down and when they were in the middle of it he put her down.

"This is... " she was getting emotional.
"Yeap, our meadow."

She beamed at him. He couldn't take his eyes off her. Their figures illuminated by moonlight, their feelings raw on the surface.
There was just no taking it anymore.
He grabbed her and kissed her so forcefully he literally took her breath away. She responded so passionately she even surprised herself.
The heat emanating from them could have powered a roaring fire for a whole week. Akai jumped on him, making him lose his balance, since his legs were shaking anyway, and they both stumbled on the soft grass. Their mouths locked, they rolled around, finally laughing so hard that the kiss was interrupted.

"I love you" he said.
"Not as much as I do!" she laughed.

She nestled on his chest while he covered her with his long arms.

"Let's sleep like this from this day on." he said while she just nodded in response, too overcome with feelings to reply with words.

Mokomichi then caressed her head, slightly moving her hair away from her face and Akai looked at him with adoring eyes so beautiful he just couldn't resist. They kissed again, more sweetly, longer.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:47 am

CHAPTER 5.



Jin was furious.
This was not what he had demanded. Not at all!
Chaos had ensued at the Palace right after the wolves escaped, no one had seen them actually go in, but everyone saw them going out. To think the Palace had been so easily infiltrated was more than upsetting, but opinions ran wild all over, depending on where loyalties laid. The majority took to the opinion that it was all the lord's fault, since they didn't like him anyway, so they grabbed the chance to throw dirt on him. He was all about his hobbies and cared not for the State nor the people at all was the reigning argument, others thought that it was bound to happen sooner or later, given the wolf situation, but everyone agreed that this was not something to be endured.

When Jin had composed himself, at least on the outside, he ran to the mirror room and ordered to be left alone. He closed the door, making it seem like it disappeared, just like how Akai had experienced before. It freaked him out every time, but he put up with it, he had to. He looked at his own reflection reflected millions of times back at him and walked to the middle of the room. He mustered courage and said:

"Come out." the anger clearly visible underneath his voice.

A dark figure started to emerge, running past his eyes with the speed of light, he waited, and the dark blur started to diminish its velocity until it came to a halt. The figure of a disturbingly beautiful man with sharp features, long silky black hair and defined eyebrows appeared in front of Jin before he even noticed, making him jump back a little.

"You rang?" the guy said, half smiling.
"You! You promised!" Jin screamed.
"Of what are you talking?" the guy said condescendingly.
"Don't act like you don't know Kame! you know everything that happens inside the Palace!"

Kame sighed and sat on what seemed to be air until a chair magically appeared underneath him.

"You mean the wolves, I suppose."
"Yes, the wolves! bloody, violent, impudent wolves! inside my quarters!"
"Well, of course they were violent, given the situation."
"Whatever! You promised me that if I came here I'd be protected!"
"My little one, but it was all your fault to begin with..."
"What?!"
"I've told you plenty of times before, that hobby of yours would turn troublesome in the future."
"You told me that I could do whatever I wanted if I became lord!" Jin said grabbing Kame by the collar of his weird but beautiful attire.
"I never meant to give into your desires so blatantly, you pig!" Kame snapped back at him, releasing himself and smoothing his clothes.
"Oink!" Jin grunted, really furious. "Damn you! don't say that!"
"Just a little remainder of your true nature, little one, don't forget who you owe your current situation in life." Kame always sounded deadly when he talked without looking at the other person's eyes like this, making Jin back off.
"But... the wolves took the girl... I don't understand..."
"Clearly, they knew her, so much so that they risked coming to rescue her, you idiot."
"I thought my time had come for sure... " just remembering gave Jin cold shivers all over.
"That girl was really interesting though, I wish I had had more time with her."
"What? you saw her?"
"Yes, I sent for her to be brought here before she went to you." Kame said matter-of-factly.

Jin wanted to yell at him again, but he knew it would do no good, since Kame was the one that made the royal army to begin with, he controlled them. Being Kame's puppet was not something Jin had signed for when he accepted the proposal a long time ago.

"Well, it will be fun to see what happens next anyway, don't you agree?... piggy?"
"Oink!" Jin could only look back with resentment.


Morning came, a new day broke forth, and the sun interrupted the sweet spectacle that a couple of lovers showed in a certain meadow, deep inside the mountain's forest.

"We should be getting back" Akai yawned.
"Yes. I told the pack to regroup at Toma's." Mokomichi said, stretching his legs.
"I gotta go home too."
"Ahem! excuse me, but your home is wherever I am!"
"What? please, don't be so full of yourself!" Akai said with a wry smile.
"You... mean to leave me again?" Mokomichi was half hurt half joking.
"I... no... I mean... you know... my family and all..."
"Tego-kun probably told them everything already, you don't need to worry so much." Mokomichi smiled and grabbed her by her waist, pulling her close to him.
"Tego-kun, I still can't believe he went with you." Akai was a little emotional talking about this subject.
"He's all right."
"Yes... I will have a long talk with him later on."
"Sooooo... " Mokomichi gave Akai a telling look.
"You perv. Let's just go back to the hut, we'll sleep there... " she said trying to sound cool but blushing all over.
"If you kiss me I'll recharge and ride you to the hut in no time."
"What kind of language is that?!" Akai was half mad half amused now.
"I haven't said anything inappropriate! it's you that has all the dirty thoughts swimming inside your head!"
"Don't try to turn it on me mister! I know perfectly well what you mea-"

She was cut off by Mokomichi's passionate lips.

"That's the stuff!" he said while putting her on his back. "Don't get off, my darling!"
"Just shut up and go..." was all that Akai could reply since she loved his double meanings.

They traveled all the way to Toma's hut, enjoying this now well-known path, the morning dew fresh on everything delicately made the vegetation sparkle under the sun.
It was amazing how the world changes its look when you're in love!

Back at Toma's, Maki and Ryo were already there, pondering on the current situation. Toma wasn't in so they waited for him outside.

"Did Nana ask where we were yesterday?" Ryo questioned Maki.
"Mmmmm, well, she seemed like she wanted to ask, many times, but she kept it to herself, at least to me."
"So she knows this time it's different than before..." he sighed.
"Yeap, I was already getting mentally prepared for her scolding and drilling like she always did when we went missing and you'd leave me to take on everything alone..." she casted a side glance at her brother, undoubtedly still mad at him for that, while Ryo just looked away. "But now she seemed... like she was walking on eggshells."
"Let's hope she won't say anything to anyone."
"She won't, you ungrateful ass, she's not a blabber mouth." Maki was more attached to Nana than Ryo.
"All right, all right..." he tried to make peace.

They gazed at the sun coming up.

"I had an interesting conversation with the storm the other day..." Maki said, half smirking.
"Oh? you did?" Ryo tried to keep his cool, a useless thing to do in front of his sister.
"It looks like she gave up."
"O... on what?" his eagerness was really funny to Maki.
"I wonder..." she kept teasing him, waiting a while to give her words more dramatic tension while Ryo looked at her expectant "yeeessss... I think it might be on Moko-kun."
"Oh! o-oh... really? I wonder what changed her mind?" Ryo couldn't contain his happiness.
"It's a mystery." Maki looked at him smiling.

They saw Toma walking fast towards them.

"Bad news people, I've been investigating and-"
"All night?" Maki asked with a knowing look that said it all.
"Eh- yes, ahem!" Toma looked away making Maki wonder why all the men important to her always looked away, the cowards "... and there's all kinds of trouble set into motion as we speak."
"Tsk! I could have told you that, it's obvious." she replied.
"Really?" a light bulb went off inside Toma's mind "last night?... all night?"
"I also could have told you that." said Ryo while smacking the back of Toma's head.
"Well, I have detailed information, thank you very much." Toma snapped at Ryo and they confronted each other.
"In any case, we have to wait until Moko-kun and Akai-chan come back." said Maki.
"You think she'll come?" Ryo asked.
"For sure."

And just as she said those words they saw them approaching. Mokomichi and Akai almost passed them and went inside the hut hurriedly, and the rest just followed them inside.

"Toma-kun, lend us your bed, we're exhausted and in dire need of sleep." said Mokomichi.
"Eh- sure sure, go ahead." was all that Toma could reply.

Akai waved at them while snuggling beside Mokomichi in the bed and both fell asleep immediately. The wolves could only look in surprise and walk out, Toma closed the door gently.

"O.K.... now what?" asked Toma.
"We... wait until they wake up?" said Maki still with her eyes wide open.
"What are you so surprised with..." Ryo told to her "you were the one that was sure she would come too." he said arching his eyebrow.
"I... well, I thought at least she'd greet us properly or something" she said, a little hurt.
"They must have been occupied all night too..." Toma thought, and said aloud.

The kuro brothers looked at him and the three of them couldn't help but chuckle.
That chuckle went immediately away though at the sight of Aya coming near them and waving good morning.

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:48 am

"Hiya!" Aya greeted them while they greeted her back and instinctively blocked her way to the hut "What? what?" she asked, it was absurd to think she wouldn't notice their behavior.

"Nothing, nothing! It's just that..." Toma couldn't find what to say.
"Oh! Is Michi back? he's in there? lemme go in."
"Um... he's totally asleep you see, we don't want to disturb him right now, I mean, he probably ran all night." now it was Maki's turn to look away while she said this.
"Oh, o.k., I see..." Aya was a little thrown back.
"It's gonna be a while, so why don't we go do something else?" Toma said.
"I'm starving" Ryo mumbled.
"Yes! you guys go eat!" Toma jumped at the idea "actually, y'all could go eat at your house Aya-chan! your mum always has plenty of delicious food, right? right?" he gently pushed everyone on "I already had breakfast anyway so I'll stay here" he then whispered to Maki "I gotta tell Moko-kun my news as soon as he wakes up."

Toma waved goodbye to the three of them with a totally fake smile on his face that made Maki cringe, Ryo roll his eyes and Aya feel perplexed.
Sudden realization hit the trio as they walked towards Aya's house, this was the first time the three of them were alone together after their separation. Even after they became Mokomichi's pack, they had always avoided moments like this in dread of it being too uncomfortable, but after Akai's barging into their lives everything had changed, and now they walked along almost like in the old days again. Aya was secretly enormously glad this was happening, although she was getting fidgety thinking about what her parent's reaction will be, and also she was getting nervous with Ryo's presence, so much so that she suddenly blurted out to him:

"So you're coming too?"
"A wolf's gotta eat, I can't pass on free food." he replied after a look of self-conscious surprise and a pause.
"I see..." was her face showing... disappointment?
"And I want to say hello to your parents too." Ryo mumbled.
"Oh!" Aya blushed against her will.
"Is it o.k. though?" asked Maki.
"What?"
"That we go there." Maki glared at her, she could predict now that this girl would get even more spacey if she gets with her brother in the future.
"Sure! it's o.k.! I mean... I'll talk to them... no worries!" Aya replied with a nervous smile.

Their mood was anything but all right when they got to Aya's. Her mother was surprised to see her back so soon, but even more surprised when she saw her daughter's companions coming in after her. Aya's dad was smoking a pipe and reading a book which he promptly dropped on his lap.

"Good morning." both kuto brothers said, in a rather low tone.
"Good morning to you." said Aya's mom not knowing what to do with herself, she grabbed her cleaning cloth then let it down, then grabbed it again and looked at her husband then at the kids.
"Please come in and make yourselves at home." said Aya's dad taking the initiative his wife didn't seem able to take.
"Thank you." both kuro brothers said again in unison.
"Ummm... we'll go to the kitchen mom, we need to eat breakfast."
"But you already ate- eh... sure, go in, help yourselves."

The three of them disappeared inside leaving Aya's parents to gossip on their own.

"That went better than I expected." happily said Aya.
"Way to go, telling them off." Maki teased her.
"Shut up." she replied, both girls smiling wide while Ryo shoved all the food he laid his eyes on into his mouth so as to avoid having to comment at all. Seeing him munching away, Maki couldn't resist but to ask Aya out loud:

"So, have you told them about your decision?"
"About what?"
"About Moko-kun."
"Eh- no, not yet." she stole a glance in Ryo's direction, who just choked on his food.
"Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today, they say..." suggested Maki, making Ryo even more nervous.
"I might as well..." Aya philosophized, and after mustering up the courage she said with a determined look "Yes!, I will, you guys can wait here."
"Good luck!" said Maki for both herself and Ryo, who was now turning blue.

Back in the living room, Aya's mom immediately pulled her close to where she and her husband were and whispered to Aya:

"Daughter of mine, I've told you before that we're fine with you fraternizing with them as long as you can be in Mokomichi-kun's pack and fulfill our dreams for you, but is it o.k. to actually invite them into our house like this? what will the neighbors think?"
"Oh my God, mom! Stop it already! listen up, I will not let you ruin my friendship with them again, o.k.?"
"I did not-"
"Yes we did." said Aya's dad looking apologetic at first then very serious "and I for one am glad that you've taken this action. It shows that you've matured, my little pup."
"Thanks dad." Aya looked at her mom "and another thing... I just thought I'd let you guys know that... I'm no longer going to obsess over michi."

A loud cry was heard coming from Aya's bedroom, followed by hissing sounds. Everyone got spooked and ran to her door, deep in amazement and momentarily forgetting everything else. Aya held the doorknob and opened it with a quick move. The nastiest smell hit everybody's delicate wolf nostrils making their eyes water.

"What in the world...?" cried Aya's mom.
"There's smoke coming out of your closet, my dear." said Aya's dad.

Aya looked on frozen, she couldn't move. She suspected what it was, but didn't believe... no, it couldn't be...
Ryo, seeing her like this, took his chance.

"Allow me." he said as he went in, positioned himself in front of the closet and opened it before Aya could say no.

The culprit of all this? something that looked like a square package that quickly changed form as its contents rotted away at lighting speed.

"Oh God! The stench! Please take it outside Ryo-kun!" said Aya's mom as she grabbed Ryo like a damsel in distress.
"Yes ma'am!" he happily obliged.

In the trajectory from Aya's closet to the back of the house the package became smaller and smaller, and after a little while every trace of what was rotting inside disappeared. All that was left was a white bed sheet. Everyone looked at Aya, silently demanding and explanation. She just wanted the earth to swallow her whole.

"Well?" Aya's mom tapped her foot on the ground.
"I... I don't... I mean... just... " Aya stuttered.
"What was in it?" asked Maki.
"What was that?" asked Ryo.
"Speak this instant!" demanded Aya's mom.
"Talk, my child." said Aya's dad.
"It... it was a portrait! O.K.? a painting I bought from a traveling elf artist a long time ago!" she snapped back.
"A picture? but how can a picture scream and rot like that?" Aya's mom was beside herself.
"It must have been magic." said Maki.

They all pondered on this while Aya was turning red all over, from embarrassment.

"A picture of what, exactly?" asked Aya's dad.
She mumbled something while crouching and poking at the ground with her finger.
"What was that again?"
"Mokomichi-kun." Aya said.

Inside the mirror room at the Palace, the image of a young Mokomichi slowly faded away while Kame looked on with interest.

"So the wolf girl officially repelled the spell, how interesting. This proves without a doubt that my elf magic isn't as strong with wolves as it is with other creatures. I'll better be more cautious from now on. Maybe the pig's fear of wolves has a reasonable base after all."

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PostSubject: Re: RED (a fairy tale fantasy) [frozen]   Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:56 am

CHAPTER 6.



It had been a terrible night for Jin.
He often found himself waking up in a sweaty frenzy, tormented by a recurring nightmare he hadn't had since he became lord of this place.
He had thrown himself into enjoying pleasures in the hopes of forgetting. And he had nearly succeeded when... this whole fiasco with the girl and the wolves occurred.
The dream was always the same. He's running away from danger, has been running almost all through the night, he's the last one because he's the youngest, both his older brothers running before him.

"Hurry up Jin!" whispered Ken, the middle one.
"Wait for me!" Jin pleaded, eyes watery.
"Shut up you two, he'll hear you!" warned Shin, the eldest.

Just keep running, don't stop for anything, if you trip and fall pick yourself up and continue, your life depends on getting away.

Why them? was all Jin thought at first, they never hurt anyone, they lived a peaceful life in the forest, his brothers were hard-working and nice, they didn't allow him to work for the moment because he was too little but he was going to follow their footsteps one day, he admired his brothers.

Why were humans obsessed with eating them? They had to retreat to the forest just to avoid all the hungry stares people gave them.
It was disgusting and scary!

And not only that but they kept slandering all pigs, saying they were filthy creatures, in every sense of the word.

Jin had come to despise humans and with every right he thought, but his brothers often told him not to, because if he started to discriminate against them all, he would be acting just like the people he hates, and that could be an awful thing.
So they continued to live their lives as best as they could, and when they finished the straw house (it was the only free material they could use since they were poor and people didn't want to sell construction material to "pigs") it was a very happy occasion.

Jin had managed to make human friends though, and they often got together to play midway his house and the human town, so when his friends didn't come one day he felt it was strange but didn't think much of it, as kids often go from one thing to the other without much thought.

That night a knock on their front door woke them up.
It was one of the human boys. He was drenched in blood and had a blank stare in his face. Something horrible had happened in town.

"The wolf... he... my parents... " was all the poor little boy could say before he died in front of their eyes.
He had escaped with the sole purpose of alerting his friend of the imminent danger lurking in the shadows.

And right after that he came.
A huge blood thirsty wolf, with evil eyes and abnormal strength.

"Little boy, come out, come out, wherever you are" the malice in his voice was soul shattering "You can't hide from me... I can smell your sweet blood, calling me..."

The three brothers looked at each other silently agreeing. They had to flee.

"Are you hiding in this feeble straw house?" a sinister laugh could be heard "I can even blow it down in one go..."

The brothers knew he could, there was nothing to pack, nor to regret having to leave their house. The only important thing right now was to get away.

"I smell death now" he relished on it "are you dead already little boy? that's no fun of you... but wait... is there someone else in there?"

It was now or never, they stealthily got out the back door of the house and ran into the woods, just as they could hear the sound of their house tumbling down in a heart beat.

"Where could we go, Shin?" asked Ken.
"Let's head to the hunter's cottage, it's deep inside the forest and we could ask for his help in killing the wolf if we find him there."

So off they went, conscious of being followed, aware that it was all like a sick game for that horrible wolf.
When they got to the cottage no one was there, so they went inside and locked themselves in.

"Shin, I'm scared." said a crying and tired little Jin.
"Don't be, Ken and I will protect you."
"Yes, it's gonna be fine Jin, maybe the wolf didn't follow us here, maybe he knows this is the hunter's house and doesn't dare to come..." said Ken.
A ray of hope illuminated the brothers, but it was cruelly snuffed away when they heard the beast approaching.

"Little piggies taste so much better than humans." his mocking voice said "I think I'll have myself a yummy pork barbecue."

The brother's blood froze.

"There's even wood here, all the better to feed a nice roasting fire with, your straw house was cute little piggies, but don't be mistaken, one made of wood like this isn't going to stop me."

Ken and Jin looked at Shin waiting for a decision on what to do, they had lost all hope and when in dire situations they had decided long ago that it would be the oldest the one to say the last word, Shin thought it was his duty too, as he was the wisest and had taken the role of parent after theirs had died.
A minute later he had decided, gloom covered his face as he said:

"Get ready to run when I give you the signal."
"What do you plan to do?" asked a worried Ken.
"Don't question me and do as I say."

Jin could only look at them and follow instructions, he was a good little brother and never thought for a moment to disobey. The three of them stood up and bravely went outside.

"Well, how surprising, brave little piggies."
"Shut up you bastard." said Shin.
"And with attitude, this is going to be fun."
"You'll be more surprised in a second" and as Shin said this he ran forward while shouting to his brothers "GO!"

The big bad wolf was surprised for a second but soon regained his wits when Shin, with all the fury of a wild boar attacked his throat. Jin had darted away, with Ken right behind him, but Ken slowed down and made his decision too. He went back to fight with all his might, he had to help his brother.
Both pigs gave the wolf a good run for his money, but it wasn't enough. He was way more experienced and even though he was old he was still incredibly powerful.
When Jin realized he was the only one running away he looked back, but he might as well not have done so because the sight he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.
The wolf was cruelly dismembering his brothers, blood splattered all around, bits and pieces of flesh covering the ground, while their squeals quickly died away.

Suddenly, out of the woods at the back, came a female wolf. She shouted at the wolf and told him to stop. He sniveled and said he only wanted a bit of bacon.

Jin's body moved on its own, because his mind was completely shut down.
He ran and ran until his legs gave way. And then he ran some more, moving pumped with pure adrenaline. He didn't notice that the day had turned into night, then day again, then night again.
He found a little niche to hide and crouched inside. The realization of what happened finally hitting him. He grabbed his head and blankly stared at the ground while tears overflowed his soul. He started to weep uncontrollably and in a moment his weeping turned into a full on cry.
His whole world had changed. No. It had ended. There was no point to anything anymore.

A twig broke, he heard the sound near and his whole body froze with fear. He didn't want to die, he didn't want his brothers' sacrifice to be for nothing; if the wolf came after him, at least he would fight till the end.
But it wasn't the wolf, it was someone else.
Long straight black hair, uncommonly shiny and strangely woven could be seen near outside. A soft voice spoke to a hidden Jin:

"Little one, come out, I'm not going to hurt you."
But Jin wouldn't go out.
"Is fear holding you back? the wolf is not here."
Jin was startled, how did this person know about the wolf?
"I'm an elf. My name is Kamenashi Kazuya, but you can call me Kame. I can help you, little one. The mistake your brothers made was in material. Straw and wood cannot hold a wolf back, but brick can. You have to hide inside a brick house and I happen to know the perfect one."

And thus Jin came out and the relationship with Kame began. The deal was that Jin will hide in a place called palace, pretend to be the lord's descendant while assuming human form.
The wolf will never find him there. In exchange, he will help Kame with whatever he wanted in the future, and give him a place inside the palace.
Jin had thought at first that he and Kame had become friends, but as time passed he realized they were just partners, and even less than that, Jin was Kame's pawn; but there was nothing to do about it now, he was in deep with whatever Kame's master plan was, and the wolf was still out there.

The fear inside Jin gave way for an unreasonable hatred for all wolves. Now that his brothers weren't there to teach him otherwise he forgot to follow their example, he forgot their lessons in avoiding discrimination, in striving to be better, in living with dignity.
When Kame suggested getting rif of the wolf threat, Jin took him on his word in an instant.
And so they began to plan the war.
Kame would provide a special royal army and the only thing Jin would have to do was carry everything on as the State's lord.

When Jin woke up the morning after the wolves had taken Akai with them, the first thing he did was look in his special mirror, a gift from Kame, it had a square shape and its frame had engravings all over that depicted vines growing wildly and without control, they were covered with mist, and they enclosed what looked like a moth inside them, keeping it from flying. The almost exact replica of Miki's mirror.
Looking at his magnificent human image reflected back at him made him forget everything, even for a minute, and the peace he felt was intoxicantingly addictive, his ego stroked, his vanity intensified, the good side of him shriveled inside him, lost. In turn, Kame looked at Jin from inside the mirror room and laughed heartedly.

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