Chapter Four ~ Return to Society
AUTHORESS NOTES: Woo hoo, after countless of weeks waiting, here's the 4th chapter to my cliffhanger in the last chapter! Thank you all for waiting, no da!!
The woman stared back at Yumiko nervously as she carefully looked at the woman.
Ayeka tried to smile. "Konnichiwa, oneechan..."
"What are you doing here?" Yumiko asked.
"Maa, if you let me go, I'll explain," Ayeka answered.
Yumiko quickly released the pressure points, letting Ayeka fall off balance. Enishi walked towards the, a bit confused on what just had happened.
"Oh, gomen ne, Enishi," she apologized. She pointed to Ayeka behind her. "This is my younger sister, Ayeka. Ayeka, this is Enishi."
Enishi acknowledged Ayeka with a slight nod. He was being polite, but Ayeka looked at him in a way that made him feel a bit uncomfortable. It was clear to him that Ayeka didn't like him or men in general, but Yumiko seemed to be oblivious to that fact.
"What are you doing here?" Yumiko asked again. "I thought you were still training in China."
"I was and I finished," Ayeka replied, blowing back a wisp of her black hair. "But uh..." She looked at Enishi again.
Yumiko turned around and smiled at him. "Gomen, Enishi..."
Enishi smiled back at her and nodded in understanding. "I have to help Gen with the fishing supplies, anyway."
When he turned around and began to leave, his smile had faded. Ayeka's look of contempt and disgust had bothered him when it shouldn't have. Back in Shanghai, everyone and anyone he passed by gave him that look but he didn't give a damn because they would not dare do anything to him or else risk their lives. But that was what power and fear held over the people in Shanghai; it was a bit different in Tokyo and what Enishi had become.
She's Yumiko's sister. They probably were close before and haven't seen each other for a long time which is why she looked at me funny. Enishi thought.
At least that was what he kept on telling himself, but his heart was telling himself something different.
<in the...er...guest room, I guess>
Yumiko set down the cup of tea, giving it to her sister.
"I'm surprised that otousan let you visit," Yumiko began as she poured herself a cup of herbal tea.
"He didn't. Otousan and okaachan separated three years ago," Ayeka replied, sipping her tea.
Yumiko froze. "When was this?"
"About two months after you were kicked out. Okaachan didn't like the fact that you were disowned by otousan when it wasn't your fault to begin with."
"Sou..." Yumiko murmured as she finally took a sip from her cup. "How's the fabric business going, then?"
"Actually, after okaachan got enough money, we moved back here. She just reopened two days ago," Ayeka informed. "Just wanted you to know so you can at least visit now. Akito's been taking care of okaachan while I was away."
"He's sixteen now, isn't he?"
"Yeah, and he's damn arrogant and hard-headed, too."
Yumiko looked at her younger sister suspiciously. "What do you want to tell me?"
Ayeka looked back in question. "Nani?"
"Your eyes are always looking either at your cup or past me," Yumiko said. "It's like you want to say something, but you don't know how I'll handle it. Is it about Enishi?"
<later that afternoon>
Enishi was treading back home, a bit stressed out. Lifting boxes full of God-knows-what and working up a sweat helped distract his mind for a little while. Ruri's older brother, Gen, worked at the fishing docks in Tokyo Harbor to make a living. Although he didn't understand at first, Gen explained that because of the Rakinunmura's inhabitants, Ruri charged her patients at a low cost or by bartering when they didn't have the money.
He was too busy to remember the events that had happened early in the morning, but now, alone with his thoughts, Enishi started to brood again. There was just something, something about that look that Ayeka gave him that haunted him. He searched through his memory bank to figure out what, but two little voices snapped him out of it.
He looked up and smiled. It was becoming instinct to just smile after no warmth in such a long time. Ran and Rikku were running towards him, apparently just set loose from Ruri's clinic.
"Ah, Ran, Rikku," he greeted the twins, lifting them in his arms. "So, what did you guys do today?"
"We helped Ruri-sensei," Ran answered. "She wanted us to find some herbs in her garden."
"Oh," Enishi said, half-listening, half-thinking. "What did she want to make this time?"
Ruri loved to experiment new medicines and was determined to find a cure for the many diseases that were afflicting the people today.
"Uh...ojiisan was sick with a really really bad thing," Rikku explained. "He was snifflin' and coughin' and stuff."
Enishi chuckled at the girl's explaination, knowing quite well what the three year old was talking about. He paused when he heard Yumiko's voice in a very unusual tone that he hadn't heard before.
"Ayeka, why do you always judge a person by the rumors that you hear? You've only just met Enishi and you're already hating him??"
"Oneechan, that's exactly what you said about Youji!" came Ayeka's reply, just as loud. "And look what he did to you!"
"'Touchan, who's in there?" Ran asked.
"Just a friend of okaachan's," Enishi replied, setting Rikku down. "You two don't bother okaachan right now. Play around a little while and I'll make dinner if okaachan's not finished, okay?"
Usually, one wouldn't let a three year old go off on their own, let alone two, but Yumiko was able to show her children how to take care of themselves to an extent and not to depend on others too much. Anyways, Enishi kept a careful eye on them, just in case.
He silently crept to the porch, making sure that his shadow didn't peer through the thin screen, and listened.
"Ayeka, I do regret blindly going after Youji," Yumiko said as she calmed herself down, "but I don't regret having Ran and Rikku. They mean so much to me; they changed my life around. And ever since Enishi's been here....I've never seen them so happy. You don't...know him, Ayeka."
"And you don't know---"
"I damn well know about him as much as I should know," Yumiko replied firmly. "Little by little, we learned from each other." There was a pause, then quietly she said, "He saved me once."
"Nani?" Ayeka asked.
Enishi held his breath for a moment, remembering the incident when he had just started living in her home. She was awake then?
It had been about two weeks since Enishi lived in Yumiko's home, and she had left on an errand in the city, leaving Enishi alone to take care of the children. She had left in the afternoon, and she hadn't returned since then.
"'Touchan, is 'kaachan coming home soon?" Rikku asked mournfully, pouting her best.
Enishi was still trying to get used to be called "otouchan", but he didn't mind being called the name, just as long as Yumiko was fine with it. He wrapped his arms around the small child for comfort. Ran had fallen asleep after a while, but Rikku insisted on staying awake with Enishi until Yumiko came home even though sleep was slowly taking control.
"Aa, 'kaachan's coming home soon," he replied, smiling cheerfully at Rikku and ruffling her dark hair. "She'll be home soon."
Although the words comforted the young girl so that sleep could finally overtake her, it did little to comfort him. He sighed and gently carried the twins in his arms, taking them over to Ruri's home.
As soon as Yumiko slid the door behind her, she was glad that it was over. Working at the Akabeko was something that she wasn't fond of, but it was because the owner, a close friend of hers, had run out of helping hands and quickly sent out one of her waiters to fetch her for help. Being the nice person that she was, Yumiko couldn't refuse. What she didn't expect was the restaurant becoming a full house. It wasn't until well into the night, after driving out the last few customers and cleaning up, when Yumiko was finally finished.
"Why do I do this to myself?" she asked herself while walking through the alleyway that led quickly to the outskirts of town.
She snapped out of her thoughts when her senses felt that she was being followed.
"What do you want?" she asked coldly.
Two figures in front of her appeared, chuckling sinisterly. Yumiko could smell the sake from their breaths.
"Oh, we just want a little fun, Jou-chan," one said. "Why would a beautiful woman like you be out in the streets at night, hm?"
"I'm not a whore," Yumiko replied, her voice still like ice. "If you want some pleasure, then go to the Red Light district. You'll find plenty there." She started to walk again, casually sliding passed them. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go home."
One of the two men grabbed her shoulder. Yumiko stopped.
"Let me go."
"Sorry, Jou-chan, but we're too lazy to walk over there," the man said. "And you seem to be the perfect choice for fun."
As the man drew Yumiko closer to him, she instinctively grabbed his elbow and twisted his arm. He groaned in pain, but she didn't give him any chance to recover and took out his knee in the process.
"You bitch!" the other man shouted and took out a small tanto hidden in his robes and charged.
Yumiko quickly stepped aside and roundhouse kicked him in the ribs, cursing herself as the button that held her kimono tightly together at the bottom popped. As soon as the other man was down, she ran.
Enishi's head snapped up as soon as he heard a yell nearby and quickly ran towards the sound. He had been walking throughout the empty streets of the vast city, being careful to not go near the area of Battousai's home, without a sign of Yumiko. That yell had given him hope.
She ran for dear life. She could have been able to take them all out herself, but narrow alleyways hindered her movement, and the men that were chasing after her were drunk. The alley was too dark for the moonlight to seep through, so she didn't see the puddle of water in front of her and slipped. Her head bounced on the ground as she fell into unconsciousness.
"Heh, heh, heh, found her, aniki," the man said as soon as he reached Yumiko.
The other man walked towards her unconscious body, smiling evilly. He roughly lifted her head, taking a look at her, and then took some of the blood that dripped down her face from the fall. He grinned, glancing at the blood on his fingers.
"Serves you right, bitch," he said and was about to begin the process of ripping her clothes when:
"Don't you dare touch Yumiko."
Without giving the men a chance to react, Enishi quickly dispatched them in one single blow of his broken nihontou. Blood stained his face a little and he looked down at Yumiko who was still unconscious. Glad that she was still alive, he gently lifted her in his arms and carried her back home.
<End of Flashback>
"If he didn't look for me, then I would have been in exactly the same position three years ago, maybe even worse," Yumiko finished. "Do you think that Youji would do something like that?"
Ayeka didn't respond for a while. Then she said, "You do really care for him, don't you?"
Yumiko nodded. Ayeka sighed heavily. "Fine, you're my sister anyway."
Enishi decided that it was time to interrupt. "Tadaima!"
Ayeka stood up, gulping down the remnants of her tea. "Maa, I better get going. Okaachan wants me to help out with the supplies."
"Where is the store now?" Yumiko asked.
"Same area. Tokyo district, a few stores away from the Akabeko."
Ayeka said her goodbyes and actually smiled at Enishi as she left. He returned the smile and closed the gates before entering in the guest room where Yumiko was cleaning up.
"You were listening, weren't you?" she asked him.
Enishi winced a little, wondering how in the world did she know he was there. He had kept his ki down low, but somehow, she knew.
Feeling like an idiot, he scratched the back of his head, the rush of blood coming to his face.
"Aa...how did you know?"
Yumiko giggled at his embarassment, not in a mocking way, but more child-like.
"You can be so predictable at times that even the children would see," she said.
They shared a laugh together. Once their laughter subsided, Yumiko smiled at him.
"Sorry if my sister was a bit cruel to you," she apologized. "After what had happened to me, she didn't trust men all that well. It's only around the guys that she's not used to is when she's like that."
"Ie, daijoubu," Enishi reassured. Ran and Rikku came in just then. "So...when do you want to go?"
"...I'm not sure."
"Where's 'kaachan going?" Ran asked.
"Nowhere," Yumiko answered. "'Kaachan and 'touchan aren't going anywhere."
"Who was that man over there?" Rikku asked.
Enishi had to stifle his laughter. "That wasn't a man, Rikku-chan, that was your aunt."
Rikku's eyes widened in absolute disbelief. "Honto???"
Yumiko and Enishi looked at one another, shared a small look, and nodded. They secretly decided that the next day they would go to Tokyo.
<the next day>
It was just a normal day for Myojin Yahiko. Finally free of Kaoru's lessons for the day, he was able to work at the Akabeko and try to earn enough money to buy that sakabatou he had been eyeing on. Like it had been nowadays, the restaurant was unusually packed, even on days when the majority of the population of Tokyo would be working.
"Yahiko, would you be kind enought to get Yumiko again for me?" Tae asked.
Yahiko finished wiping the last bowl clean. "Sure, Tae."
He'd seen Yumiko once or twice befor eduring those times he had been ordered to fetch her off at the Rakinunmura. The place still creeped him out due to memories so recent from Jinchuu. He shook off his memories as he stepped outside, but was soon haunted by them when a familiar face stepped into view. There was Yumiko all right and her children tagging along. Ran's hand was in hers, but Rikku's hand was in somebody else's. That somebody was the one person that ten year old Myojin Yahiko hadn't even imagined to see ever again.
AUTHORESS NOTES: *dun dun dun* One part of the Kenshingumi has found Enishi's whereabouts! ...Er...well...sort of. Yes, I will be adding the Kenshingumi in this fic, but they won't play a very big role, for I want to stay within the boundaries of just an Enishi fanfic. Anyhoo, I hoped you enjoyed this chapter! Sorry for taking so long. Laziness, Final Fantasy X, and school are to blame. But don't worry! Since I'm done with Final Fantasy X, I'll be able to work on my fics more freely than before! ...Sort of anyway. Do you know how hard it is to write seven fics all at once? I'm amazed at myself how I'm coping with this... R&R!