Tomodachi ni AuSecondary Title:
A series of stories set in the Onigiri Slayer Universe. Dawn's 'family' meets Tohru's...and they meet others.Disclaimer:
I own nothing but the idea.Author’s Notes:
One of the many off-shoots of the OS ‘Verse. WARNING:
Stories are not necessarily in chronological order! Some will allude to events that have already happened, but have not yet been written about!
The day after their memorable meeting with the Sailor Scouts, Buffy and Willow (Xander had decided to renovate Dawn's apartment to make it more weapon friendly) took Dawn over to the Sohma house under the pretence of taking her shopping. Still somewhat exhausted from her ordeal, Dawn fell asleep on the way, and so the destination was a complete surprise to her.
"What are we doing here?" she asked, as the car pulled up in front of Tohru's house. How had they even known the way?
"I thought now would be as good a time as any to meet the rest of the gang," Buffy said calmly, though her hands tightened on the steering wheel. "Tohru obviously agrees, since she invited us, and gave us directions."
"Now, come along, and introduce us to all your friends, Dawnie," Willow's eyes gleamed with enjoyment at her adopted sister's discomfort. "You know you want to."
Poking her tongue out, Dawn got out of the car. There wasn't too much to be worried about, Buffy and Willow had already met the older Sohma boys and Arisa and Saki. The main worry she had was how they would react to Hiro, and to Shigure.
Still, there certainly wasn't anything she could do about it now, and so she approached the Sohma house reluctantly.
She had barely knocked on the door when it was flung open, and Momiji jerked her inside.
"Dawn! Hi! Did you have a good time yesterday? Come into the kitchen, Tohru is preparing the yummiest food for you!" He dragged her through the house, and into the empty kitchen, ignoring her protests.
"Momiji, there's no food, and no Tohru in here," Dawn said rather indignantly. "What are you playing at?"
The blonde boy smiled shyly, drawing her into his arms. "This," he whispered, before bestowing a chaste kiss on her mouth.
"Well, that's just not good enough. If you're going to drag me through the house, you can at least kiss me properly," she retorted, and, tugging him closer she proceeded to kiss him very thoroughly.
Eventually, Momiji pulled away. "Let's go into the garden, I have a surprise for you." With these words he covered her eyes, propelling her out the door.
"What?" she asked in confusion, as he took his hands away.
"SURPRISE!" Everyone yelled. Well, everyone but Shigure and Hatori. The former waved a hand languidly, and the latter smiled a little nervously, obviously dreading the welcome - or lack thereof - he was going to receive.
Dawn gazed around the garden in amazement. There was a huge banner strung from two trees proclaiming in both English and Japanese 'Welcome Home, Dawn!' There were paper lanterns strung from the trees, and a picnic table was almost physically groaning with the weight of all the food Tohru had cooked. Moreover, there was a stereo system set up for dancing.
A delighted smile bloomed on the brunette's face at the thought of all the work her friends and family must have put in for this. Xander must have volunteered to stay back so as to keep her from being suspicious, for she never would have expected him not to come.
"You guys...this is amazing," she choked, eyes filling with tears. "Thank you. I...just...thank you all so much."
"There's no need to thank us, Dawn. We were happy to do it," Saki replied, stepping forward. "When Tohru informed us that she wanted to have a small party for you, we all wanted to be a part of the proceedings."
Dawn's laughter contained more than a hint of tears.
"And now, we party!" Momiji whooped, turning on the stereo. "C'mon, Dawnie, let's dance!"
Willingly, Dawn complied, leaving her sisters - both in blood and through love - to find their own amusements. While Willow elected to go and speak with Saki, whom she desired to know better, Buffy decided to introduce herself to the dark, handsome stranger by the picnic table.
"Hey," she said, casually taking in his tall form.
"Hello, Dawn's sister."
"Buffy." Her smile invited him to use her given name unreservedly. "And you are?"
"Shigure Sohma, at your service." He affected a gallant bow.
"Ah, so this is your beautiful garden I find myself in, then."
"Indeed it is, although I cannot take credit for its charms. I am but a humble novelist, trying to make my way in the world." He placed one hand on his forehead dramatically.
Buffy giggled. "Well, I'm not much of a reader, Shigure, but I always find that books are of mucho interest to the people I chat with. What do you write?"
"My stories are a delightful collection of the inconsequential and the ridiculous. And yet, they are also very serious. Oh! How hard it is to describe my life's work to the uninitiated."
"I would gladly initiate myself, Shigure, could I read Japanese," Buffy said smilingly. "Unfortunately, I can't."
"I would not call that unfortunate," a quiet male voice said. "Most of the subjects Shigure writes about are complete rubbish."
"'Tori you wound me!" Shigure clutched his chest melodramatically. "How could you say that about your closest friend?"
The man's grey eye levelled on Shigure, and he calmly said. "Quite easily."
"Um, I don't believe we've been introduced," Buffy smiled. "I'm Buffy Summers."
"Hatori Sohma. The man responsible for this party, in the most unfortunate way."
Buffy's eyes narrowed. "So you're the one who hurt my Dawnie. I'd sleep with one eye open if I were you."
Hatori nodded. "I wouldn't expect anything less, Miss Summers."
"Ooh, the tension is rife, but can I please beg you both not
to ruin my lovely garden? I have enough trouble keeping the house in one piece what with Kyo and Yuki living here, I don't need the garden ruined as well."
"I promise I won't harm a single delicate flower," Buffy smiled. This guy was amusing, and might even be worth passing some time with...but she'd sworn off dating since that Immortal Fiasco. And she was here to get to know her sister again. Dawnie wasn't going to let her in if she knew Buffy was having Lusty Thoughts.
"So, Shigure, you were going to tell me more about your books." She pointedly turned away from the Good Doctor. He wasn't going to ruin her day.
"Ah, I was. And what a pleasure to have such a golden goddess as my audience. Let us adjourn to my study."
Dawn watched her sister flirt with Shigure over Momiji's shoulder, a little worried. That particular Jyuunishi wasn't someone to be trifled with, and Buffy, smart as she was in the ways of love, didn't know as much about his character as her sister did.
"What's wrong, Dawn?" Momiji asked. "You're distracted."
"Buffy's chatting with Shigure. D'you think she should? I mean...he's a great guy, but Buff's been real unlucky in love, and I don't need a mopey big sis on my hands."
"Hmm...well, she seems to be doing all right. Did...did you want to talk to Hatori? I mean, I know he wiped your memories and all..." Momiji frowned.
"I think...yes, I think I do want to speak with him, if only to find out why, y'know?"
The blonde nodded. "Well, do you want me to come with you?"
Dawn considered the question. "...No, I don't think so. I...I think I need to do this myself. Is that okay?"
Momiji smiled brightly. "It's fine, Dawn. I understand. I might go chat with Kisa, she looks a little bored." Giving her a gentle hug, he wandered off towards his cousin.
Shyly, Dawn approached Hatori, noting that Buffy and Shigure were heading towards the house. "I hope you know what you're doing, Buff," she muttered, before smiling a little hesitantly at the doctor. "Hey."
"Hello, Miss Summers," Hatori said nervously.
"Uh...I just wanted to know...well...why'd you do it? Why did you take my memories?" She shifted from one foot to the other, a little nervous herself.
"Akito asked me to. What he asks, I must do. It's the way we were brought up. But more than that, it's what we want to do. Our bond with Akito...it is such that to do something which displeases him hurts us."
"So, it's not something you could help?"
"Not really. But at the same time, that's no excuse. I knew it was the wrong thing, and I did it anyway."
Very carefully, Dawn pushed aside her personal feelings. This was no longer about her; this was about Hatori's very low self-esteem. "It seems to me," she said calmly, "that you
want me to upbraid you, more than I do."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Well, here I am offering you unconditional forgiveness, and you're doing your darndest to make sure I don't give it to you. It's like you want
me to hate you. Which would be silly...wouldn't it? Why would you want me to condemn you?" She tilted her head to one side, feigning innocence. "Could it be that since you can't punish yourself, you want me to do it for you?"
"I don't think that's the reason, Miss Summers. I betrayed your trust, and my Hippocratic oath."
Dawn shrugged. "My trust has been betrayed by people far closer than you, and I don't really give a flying bazooka about your hippo oath.
"So build a bridge, learn to deal, and stop expecting me to flog you. So far as I care, you're forgiven. I won't be coming too close to you any time soon, but that's moot. You're the closest thing Momiji has to a real father, and don't even give me that crap about his actual dad, he hurt Momiji too badly for me ever to give him that distinction."
"Is that all you had to say?" Hatori asked, amused.
Dawn thought for a moment. "That pretty much covers it, yeah."
The doctor chuckled. "Very well. Thank you for your insight, Miss Summers."
Dawn smiled. "Y'know, pretty sure you can call me Dawn. Now, I'm gonna go have me some of that cake. You coming?"
"Why not."End House Party