Welcome to my first like serious-ish drama/romance fic! You may have seen me post a oneshot and two, but you probably know me for my fic ‘Except Me’. Well, if you enjoyed my writing there, please give this fic a go too!
SUMMARY: After being isolated for many years of his childhood, Reiji manages to break away from his family, the Meiryoku family. He leaves behind a younger brother who suffers from a curse that had been handed down amongst various members of his family for generations. Reiji meets the Kiyohina family and thus, he meets a girl named Hikari. Hikari agrees to help Reiji free his brother from being isolated into the Meiryoku household, but she is yet to learn the deepest secrets of the Meiryoku family, and its curse...
SHIPPINGS: Ikarishipping, onesided Heiseishipping, Advanceshipping and probably others to come. I’ll end up updating this list, I’m sure! *guilty multishipper*
So yeah, I hope this fic goes well and I’m dedicating this fic to the Ikarishipping Family! <3 Plus, I wanted to do a more dramatic fic for ages. So I hope you follow this fic and read my other fics!
I’ll probably tidy up this first post a little later, but this will do for now. And for those who don’t know: Hikari – Dawn, Shinji – Paul, Reiji – Reggie. And those three are the main characters of the fic! =D
Er, anywho, enjoy!
Chapter One: Meiryoku
Saturday night. Around 9pm on a long, stormy night. Most families were inside, avoiding the chill of the outside weather, finding comfort and warmth within their own homes. Some would be at the dinner table, enjoying a delicious dinner. Others may be huddling around the heater. Overall, the families within this neighbourhood were in a warm environment.
But not the Meiryoku family.
This family lived down at the end of a winding road, mostly covered by trees, almost cut off from the neighbourhood. The house was surrounded completely by a tall fence that blocked sight of the house. Trying to get a bird’s eye view wouldn’t work well, with the many shadows that overcast the place and the black paint that covered the outside of the building.
Without a doubt, this was one family who were totally set on being separate from the world. Nobody was really sure what the deal was with this family and why they only ever saw the parents. They knew that they had two children. That was all they knew of the family.
Sometimes, neighbours would try going over for a visit but they couldn’t get past the fence. They’d see a little machine at the entrance where you’d have to press in an enter code to get inside the Meiryoku household. There was also a button to activate someone in the household of a visitor but not once were they answered to.
There were many rumours about the family, but none could confirm any to be true. They just knew so little.
Inside the house, a boy of age fourteen was sitting by the window, looking out at a dying tree, watching it get battered by the harsh wind. He yawned, choosing to ignore what was happening to behind him.
“I can’t live here!” shouted an older boy, the sibling of the fourteen year old. He was clutching at a slash on his arm. It was bandaged up, but it was still causing him to groan in pain. “He was hit by the curse, half an hour ago. But you weren’t there! Sure, you’re protecting the world from his true self, but you’re not protecting me!” He crouched to the ground in front of his father, who stared down at him with an emotionless expression.
“Can’t take it?” the father asked. His ice blue eyes averted towards his youngest son, who didn’t care what was happening. This was a normal situation in their household. It just didn’t matter to them. The father knew that the older son was only kept around to be the new curse vessel for when the younger one died.
The role of being the new curse vessel wasn’t that important. Anyone could take the older son’s place. The older son was aware of it too, but he was still forced to stick around. It confused him though. Why couldn’t they get someone who was willing to serve the Meiryoku? A curse vessel has to like the original curse holder.
The father sighed. “It’s too bad. You’re supposed to like your younger brother. You’re supposed to accept him as he is. Even if you get beaten around, you and he are brothers. Family are meant to accept each other,” he spoke in a monotonous voice. The words felt too forced, not genuine.
“But he partially transformed just because I wouldn’t do something for him! I can’t like that monster! I want to accept my brother, but I can’t, the way he is!” the older brother cried out, trying to get up to his feet.
For a seventeen year old, he felt so weak. This family was destroying him to the point where he felt like he didn’t belong. He wanted to be on the outside. He wanted to be an outsider. He wanted to be anyone in the Meiryoku family. He didn’t want to be Reiji Meiryoku.
“If that’s the case,” the father said coolly, “then get out. If you’re able to find life outside, then you can stay. We’ll manage without you. And if you come back, then you’re welcome back. You know perfectly well what’s here for you.”
Reiji’s eyes met his fathers, unsure how to react to what he just said. There’s no way his father could be saying this. “Wha...What... How...?” he couldn’t think of the words to say. He had never been on the outside. “I’m no expert on how to live life – ya know, out there!”
“You said you can’t live here.” The father approached the younger son and placed a hand on his shoulder. Reiji’s younger brother tore his gaze away from the howling wind and thunderous rain outside and stared coldly at Reiji. “Shinji-sama, Reiji said he couldn’t live here. He wants to get out of here,” the father told him with a twisted smile.
Shinji glared at Reiji as he stood up from the velvet seat. Lightning from outside lit up his shadow cast face, causing Reiji to back away in fear. “You said to me that you wouldn’t leave me. Was that a lie?”
He tried to take a step closer towards Reiji. The older brother rushed to the door. “Shinji-sama, I’m sorry! But there’s been a new arrangement! I have to go!” he yelled out with the last of his breath. He left the room, slamming the door.
The father smirked at Shinji. “Aren’t you angry that Reiji has left you?”
Shinji grabbed at his father’s neck and pulled him in close. “Don’t think I’m completely ignorant. I heard your talk with him. Find me a new curse vessel, got it? Don’t you remember what happened generations ago when a new curse vessel wasn’t found and the curse container died?”
“Y-yes, Sh-Shinji-s-s-sama...” the father stuttered as Shinji freed him. Bowing down to his son, he mumbled, “What n-now?”
Shinji smirked. “If my brother isn’t back in three days, go out and find him. Then, once you find him, order him to find me a curse vessel. After all, this new curse vessel has to love me and it’s obvious that my brother can’t,” Shinji ordered his father, before returning to his seat to continue looking out at the storm.
Reiji ran out into the roaring storm. The temperature was dropping but fear of going back was enough of a reason for him to press on. He couldn’t believe what he was doing. When he was younger, he used to wonder what it would be like to escape the house and go outside for once. The feeling of wind blowing against his skin was only one of many new experiences for him.
He unlocked the fence door and ran out onto the road in front of the Meiryoku family’s land. This is it. He was finally in the outside. Reiji stared up at the trees over him and then looked forward to see more trees and the occasional glimpse of a house ahead of him.
‘I must be going crazy...’ Reiji thought as he pressed further, sprinting down the winding road. He saw a light coming around a corner towards him, getting bigger and brighter as it approached closer.
A screech of brakes was heard as the car halted in front of Reiji. He was so taken aback that he fell backwards, almost scratching his wounded arm against the rough concrete. The jolt of slamming against the ground sent a sudden pain through his body, which he never expected. A man got out of his car and rushed over to Reiji.
“Hey, you okay?! What the hell are you doing, walking on the road like that?” the man asked, grabbing at Reiji’s arm, trying to haul him up. Yanking Reiji to his feet, he glared at him. “Honestly, I could’ve hit you! What are you doing in a place like this at night, anyway? Stay on the footpath and go home! I’m amazed that in this weather, I could just barely hit the brakes in time!”
Without another word, the man got back in his car and waited impatiently for Reiji to stagger off the road. The car drove off, taking away the bright lights that lit up the road ahead of Reiji.
‘I thought... that all cars were the same. Oto-san’s car is big and could fit tons of people, but that one could probably fit five at the most...’ Reiji observed, almost out of it. He struggled onwards, forgetting the rain and harsh winds. All he knew was that this environment was so much different to the isolated, shadow-cast, cold place he was brought up in.
On sunny days, Reiji was always much calmer. He was sure that somewhere within him was a happy, easygoing personality but he never seemed to have time to be himself. “That’s right; I’m no longer the curse vessel... So I wonder what my family will do... They said that if a new one couldn’t be found, something terrible will happen,” Reiji mumbled to himself, thinking back on his family at home.
He stood in silence, half considering the thought of going back. For about five minutes, he was in denial. His mind was struggling to choose between the options. “Something terrible will have to happen. No one could love Shinji-sama the way he is. It’s impossible.” Having spoken his final thoughts, a volt of energy surged through him and he dashed onwards.
He was in the centre of town, almost outside a shopping mall on one of the main roads. His body feeling week, Reiji felt like he couldn’t press on further. He was soaked to the bone and while he was under shelter at a bus stop, the occasional wind and chill managed to find its way in.
Feeling almost at his limit, Reiji sprawled his entire body along the seat at the bus shelter in the hopes of getting some rest. “I have nowhere to go...” he whispered to himself, hoping to get comfort from talking. “It wouldn’t be asking too much... for a miracle to happen?”
“Hey, you okay?” a teenage girl’s voice asked him as she attempted to shake him awake. Eventually, she was successful as Reiji slowly opened his eyes. He stared up at her, realising this is the second person to talk to him that wasn’t a relative of his. Reiji was left speechless as the girl called out for her mother.
“Hikari-chan, why are you over in the bus shelter? We’re waiting for our taxi!” the girl’s mother rushed into the bus shelter, clutching an umbrella as she stared at her daughter with a stern look. Her eyes widened at the sight of Reiji, almost staring in horror. “Sir, sir? Are you okay? You’re bleeding through the bandages, and you’re completely soaked! What on earth do you think you’re doing?”
Reiji opened his mouth to speak but instead let out a raspy sound that couldn’t be interpreted by the mother nor her daughter. The mother hauled him to his feet and examined carefully with a suspicious look in her eye. Reiji also took the time to examine these people who were easily distinguished by their dark blueberry hair.
The mother had quite a big hairstyle that was kept tame by small pink hairclips, while the daughter had long hair that was tied back in a ponytail with strands in the front kept in place by yellow hair clasps. Once Reiji had finished studying the daughter, he found that he couldn’t take his eyes away. He could tell she was younger than him, but he couldn’t help but stare.
“Uh... Miracle?” was all Reiji could say, which took the others by surprise. Realising the others heard what he said, he quickly apologised. “I don’t mean to not make sense. I’m not exactly adjusted to this new setting. My name is Reiji Meiryoku and-”
“Meiryoku?!” the daughter was amazed and grabbed for his hand. “Wow,
you’re from that really mysterious family that everyone’s been making rumours about and whatnot! I’m Hikari Kiyohina, nice to meet you!” She shook his hand eagerly and turned to her mom. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Meiryoku son. I’ve only seen the father about and that’s it, I believe.”
Reiji’s eyes widened, not having realised that their family was actually quite well-known. The mother was nodding as if something had been confirmed. “Meiryoku-san, normally you would be at your house, correct? I heard that the sons of Meiryoku had been kept within their homes and haven’t ever been exposed to conditions like these. Shouldn’t you be at home?”
“I’ve left my house out of my own free will. I made an agreement but it’s true, I haven’t a clue where I’m going. Could you lead me to somewhere I could stay? I’ve heard about hotels or something...”
A taxi pulled up beside the bus shelter and the mother looked up. Standing in thought, she seemed to be trying to make a decision. Hikari grinned at Reiji and said, “Just so ya know, my mom is named Ayako Kiyohina.”
“Reiji-san, if you want, you can stay at our house. Come on, get in the taxi! Tomorrow, I’ll see if I can contact your parents and let them know your whereabouts.” Without another word, she got into the taxi. Hikari followed also, while Reiji was watching, stunned.
The storm was dying down but the weather stopped mattering to Reiji ages ago. ‘I didn’t think that people out here would be hospitable. Not once did I even reach out to these people for help, as I’m too used to not getting anyway and still, these people are offering their kindness!’
“Reiji, come on!” Hikari called out to him. Reiji snapped out of his slight daze and sat inside the taxi as well.
The taxi drove off, travelling down long and winding roads. Reiji would’ve been staring out the window, checking out everything he saw with curiosity but he was too tired to. Instead, all that was on his mind was his family back home.
‘I want Shinji-sama to escape the Meiryoku household too,” Reiji realised silently. He glanced across at Hikari and Ayako and smiled. ‘I want Shinji-sama to meet people who’ll help others. Sure, to others, this might not mean much but should that matter when they’re looking from a different perspective to me? Why should others’ opinions matter when they aren’t seeing the world with my eyes?’
Hikari thought it was unusual to see Reiji act so happy, especially from what she’s heard about the Meiryoku family. She heard the children were completely isolated from the world. Noticing the bandages wrapped around his arm soaked in blood, her cheerful expression faded.
Looking outside the car, she saw a shady figure walk along the road beside them as they waited at a traffic light. She could eventually see his face through the car’s window, which was beginning to get misty from her breath. Touching the misted up window, she felt a chill down her spine as she examined his eyes.
‘He has this look about him that says, “Back off”,’ Hikari thought, as she quickly glanced back and forth from the man to Reiji. Reiji looked out to where Hikari was looking and turned away immediately. Hikari made a quick observation, managing to draw a link. ‘They have the same purple hair...’
The traffic lights flashed green and the taxi started up, instantly capturing Reiji’s fascination. He wondered why cars stopped and went again just because of a colour of a light. “Hey, if a traffic light goes purple, what happens?” he asked, grabbing Ayako’s attention. “Oh, don’t mind me asking, Kiyohina-sama!”
“Sama?” Ayako was confused as to why Reiji addressed her so formally. “Please, I’m not of such a high status that I need to be referred to as Kiyohina-sama!”
“Sorry, I’m so used to referring to everyone as ‘sama’, even my brother, Shinji-sama,” explained Reiji, bowing his head with an apologetic look on his face. “I’ll try and break the habit.”
Suddenly the pain of the slash wound returned but Reiji did his best to conceal how he felt. ‘I think I’ve grown up too long being taught that it’s a bad thing to show any sign of weakness...’
Hikari leaned towards Reiji’s wound with a worried expression on her face. ‘He’s been isolated from the world for almost all his life, right? So why would he have such a giant wound? It looks surreal.’
Leaning away, she gazed outside the window, half expecting the man she saw before to be following them. She could still remember that glare, which penetrated into her thoughts, as if he knew about how she was about the Meiryoku family. She was sure that man was the father of the Meiryoku family. Despite how much she wanted to question Reiji about him and his family, that one glare was enough to make Hikari not want to.
And the feeling disturbed her.
And there we go, the first chapter! Yeah, it’ll be a little while before Hikari and Shinji actually meet and this first chapter isn’t the most shippy, but I hope you liked it and will want to read more!
Plus I really wanted to write a fic with a proper plotline rather than ‘Except Me’ where everything that happens generally bops up on the spot.
And so, review ya fools or Shinji will unleash his curse on ya! XDDDDD Kidding, kidding. A review would be nice though.