Chapter Twenty Six
The Onigiri SlayerSummary:
When Dawn is sent to Japan to be the Watcher of a very special girl, she doesn't realise this girl is perhaps the strangest Slayer she'll ever meet.Disclaimer:
I own nothing but the idea.Author's Notes:
Just a little idea that popped into my head one day. I am taking all my Furuba info from the anime only, although some elements of the manga have hijacked their way in, due to my lovely sisters devouring the manga and then hiding them so I couldn't finish, lolFor those who read both this story, and Magical Mutations, you'll be wondering why I haven't updated that as well, since I usually update both together. The reason is, no one has been reviewing, and I'm tired of putting in all that work for nothing. I won't update until someone does review, as I've said many times before.
That said, thank you to those who DO review this story, you're the only reason it's still continuing. Writing is therapy to me, so I'll probably still continue to write, even when people don't review. However, there's a large difference between writing for my own enjoyment, and writing for other's entertainment, the difference being my own enjoyment is a heck of a lot less work.
Dawn, Tohru and the Sohmas gasped in horror as the beads rolled to the floor, releasing their protection on Kyo.
But nothing happened. No foul smell, no roar of pain and rage, no sudden change from human to demon form. And Dawn knew that's what the spell should have done. It was supposed to reveal hidden forms, for one thing, and it had destroyed Kyo's bracelet. He should be in full on monster-form now.
"What did you do that for?" she yelled at Willow. "Kyo's my friend!"
"Sorry, Dawnie. Instinct," Willow apologised.
Dawn snorted. "Bad ones that I thought vanished after the whole crayon episode," she snapped. "And you!" she turned on her sister. "Judge not lest ye be judged, Buffy Anne Summers!"
Buffy blushed, her hazel eyes narrowing dangerously. "Don't you talk to me like that! I came all the way out here because you got hurt by this family
! I came out here because I love you, and because you were hu-urt!" The last word was a wail, as she threw herself at her little sister. "Oh Dawnie I was so worried!" she sobbed.
Dawn hugged her back, her own eyes tearing up. "I know you were, and I'm sorry!" she sniffled.
Xander exchanged looks with the four Japanese teens. "Women," he sighed. "Can't understand 'em, but they give good hugs." He ducked the pillows Dawn and Buffy sent flying his way.
"You didn't turn into a monster," Momiji said softly, forgetting his anger at the in the simple amazing fact that Kyo hadn't transformed. That one thing...it was awe-inspiring, astounding, and wonderful. "And...and I didn't transform when I kissed Dawn." With a few short strides he was over by Tohru. He threw his arms around her, and hugged her so hard she squeaked. Nothing. He was still human.
"Oi!" Kyo protested. "Get your hands offa her!"
"You don't have any rights to her, dumb cat. You haven't claimed her," Yuki said icily, his purple eyes wide with amazement. "The curse..."
"WHOOPEE! IT'S GONE, IT'S GONE, IT'S GONE!" Momiji whooped, punching his hand in the air.
"What's gone? What's going on?" Willow asked.
Yuki looked at Dawn and rose one eyebrow, silently asking her if Willow could be trusted with their secret, with the secret Momiji appeared to be doing his best to spill anyway.
Dawn nodded wearily. "They can be trusted," she said. "Honestly, if you can trust anyone, it's these guys."
"Very well," Yuki said in his slow, clear voice. "Do you know the story of the Chinese Zodiac?" he asked without any inflection in his tone whatsoever.
"Oh, yes," Willow said eagerly. "It's so interesting, and such a nice way of looking at it-"
Buffy had put her hand over the redhead's mouth. "For those of us who don't know?"
Quickly, Dawn gave them the low down on the Chinese Zodiac animals. She wanted to get this over and done with, even with all the sleep she'd gotten recently she was exhausted, and sore all over. Buffy was pretty much sprawled all over the bed, and she didn't have much room for herself. "It's a long story, this curse. Maybe you guys should make yourselves comfortable?" she suggested, wincing.
"Oh!" the blonde Slayer exclaimed, moving so that Dawn could drape her tall body across her. "Better?" She smoothed Dawn's hair out of her eyes.
"Mmhmm," Dawn sighed, leaning her head back against her older sister's breastbone.
"Thirteen members of the Sohma family are possessed by the 13 animal spirits of the Zodiac Story, three of whom are in this very room." Yuki said softly. "And the Sohma Head is God. It is a great honour to have a Zodiac member in your family, but a great horror for those of us who are born cursed. We transform into animals when hugged by the opposite gender, or when we are under a great amount of stress, and this almost guarantees that we have to be kept within the main compound, separated from the rest of the world.
"This time, however, things changed. For whatever reason, Kyo, Haru, Momiji and I were allowed to go to a co-educational school, instead of a single sex one. Through that, we met Tohru, and Dawn. Tohru discovered our secret first, and for whatever reason, was allowed to remember it. And...well, Dawn discovered it in a similar way." He shrugged. "But as you saw just before, nothing happened when Momiji hugged Tohru. And nothing happened when Kyo's bracelet snapped, either." Dawn understood why he didn't mention Kyo's cursed form. Her family hadn't exactly shown themselves in a stellar light.
"Hmm...and you say this is a family curse?" Willow asked, her brow furrowing.
"Why would that make a difference?" Kyo asked, now standing by Tohru's side. He'd moved after Yuki had pointed out he hadn't laid claim to the young Slayer, obviously wanting to keep anyone from getting ideas. He also wanted to protect the girl from these Americans as best he could, even if one of them was a Slayer like Tohru. They'd proved that they didn't have her best interests at heart, or any of their best interests, by trying to transform him. Just because Dawn and Tohru didn't think he was a monster didn't mean he wasn't one. And he had no doubt that if he had transformed, the small fierce blonde one would have tried to kill him.
"Well, family oriented curses, specifically ones that are handed down through the generations, often require a specific set of circumstances to be broken. So, it stands to reason that your curse is gone because someone did something different, something no one had ever done before, like kissing the princess, or saving a specific animal from a terrible fate. Generally, it's something very dramatic, but also obscure, something no one would think of, something their normal behaviour wouldn't be predisposed to. Have...have any of you done anything different lately?"
Kyo and Yuki shook their heads. Momiji started to, then gasped.
"Yes! I had a fight with Akito, and I told him I'd never be a part of his family again. I said that I'd never admit to being related to someone who would wipe the memories of the people I care about. Especially..." he trailed off, blushing. "Especially Dawn."
"That'd do it," Willow nodded. "It even makes sense, if the Family Head was like God. It's a dramatic, yet completely obscure act, and one you would have to mean for it to actually work."
"So...this Akito is the reason Dawn is here, correct?" Buffy asked innocently, too innocently. One hand was stroking Dawn's hair, the other one resting at the pulse in her left wrist.
"Yes. He's always had a vendetta against Tohru, but he never hurt her, not like this. This is the sort of thing he generally does to us," Yuki said disgustedly.
Xander's dark eye narrowed. "Oh really," he said, disgust evident in his tone. "And is he human? No...with the curse he wouldn't classify, would he Buff?"
"No, definitely not. In fact, as soon as Dawnie's better, I think we should have a talk with this Atika Soora. No one hurts children on my watch. And if they hurt my
family, well...they're gonna pay big time."
"Akito Sohma, Buffy," Willow corrected wearily.
"Whatever. I think he needs to be reminded that the Watchers Council shouldn't be messed with."
"NO, Buffy!" Dawn yelped, sitting up straight. She struggled to remain upright, then had to slump back down, the pain too much for her. Even with the Slayer blood working on her injuries, she still wasn't strong enough.
The Slayer growled. "I can't believe you're defending him!"
"I'm not," Dawn said quietly. "But he's already lost his family. What he was trying to stop has come to pass, and that's punishment enough. Anything else you do will hurt the others more than him. We can't let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel, Buff. The Sohmas are my friends."
Buffy sighed. "All right, if you say so," she grumbled. She knew she had to make up for her little faux pas earlier, and that meant bowing to Dawn's demands, however much she hated to do so.
"I do! You can't hurt my friends, Buff. They're safer if you don't anger him...please, Buff. I can't protect them if you piss him off."
Buffy turned to Willow. "Damn, she's making me be responsible and not kill things, Wills," she whined.
Willow laughed. "It'll probably do you some good. You sure you don't want me to curse him, Dawnie? I could get him good..." Her eyes flickered black for a moment, before returning to their gentle merriness.
Dawn grinned wickedly. "It'll gall him far more to know that I somehow managed to keep my memories, and that his family has still abandoned him. And I'm not saying no revenge, ever...just until I can make sure the other Sohmas are safe from retribution."
Everyone laughed, and Tohru stood up slowly. "I hate to say this, Dawn, but Uo and Hana have been really worried. I should go and tell them you're okay. Do you mind if I leave for a while?" She wrung her hands, obviously worried that Dawn would take it the wrong way.
Dawn smiled wearily. "No, honey, go right ahead. Tell them I said hi."
Kyo jumped up as well. "I'll go with you," he mumbled, cheeks going red.
"You don't have to unless you want to," Tohru blushed.
"Are you kiddin'?! Who knows what kinda mischief you'll get into if I'm not there! You bet I'm going!" Kyo snapped.
They left, and Dawn grinned. The curse was out of the way now...Kyo and Tohru could have a relationship, and nothing was going to stop them. She'd make sure of it.
"I'd best go tell the other Sohmas, as well," Yuki said softly. "Momiji, you come with me."
"But...aww, Yuki..." Momiji whined. "I wanna stay with Dawn!"
"No. You need to apologise to Hatori. He might not be as strong as you, but he's still a Sohma, and you upset him a lot." Yuki shot the rabbit a look that said plainly 'they want to be alone, idiot.'
The blonde pouted. "Fine." He allowed himself to be dragged out by Yuki, and closed the door behind him, shooting Dawn a soft look as he did so.
"I'm sorry we couldn't be here sooner, Dawnie," Buffy sighed.
"Things aren't okay between us, Buffy," Dawn warned, belying the statement as she snuggled deeper into her sister's arms. "You hurt me, you hurt my friends...you overstepped your bounds as a Slayer, and acted without consulting a Watcher...you're gonna be in so much trouble with Giles when I tell him!"
She felt the blonde Slayer press a kiss to the top of her head. "I know, Dawnie, and I'm sorry, really. But it's a start. And...I'm going to try and be a better sister from now on, you know. I might even stay for a while. After all, I have to get to know your boyfriend, and any Slayer who commands such amazing respect and loyalty from her friends is someone I should know."
Kureno had listened quietly as Akito ranted and raved, screaming his anger about Momiji's defection, and that the curse had been broken.
Wait...the curse was broken? He got up, walking towards the door.
"Where are you going?!" Akito snarled. "You're supposed to stay here with me."
The rooster turned around, looking the head of his house over from top to bottom. His hand crept into his pocket, where Arisa Uotani's number was safely hidden, the scrap of paper read so many times that the digits were almost embossed on the back of Kureno's eyelids. "Out," he said evenly. "I have a date."
"NO YOU DON'T! YOU HAVE TO ASK ME
IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE THIS HOUSE! AND I FORBID IT!"
"With all due respect, Akito, go to hell." And he left.The End