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Homeward Bound

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This story is No. 6 in the series "One More Step". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Four years is a long time to be away from home. Ryu/Hayato Shin/Kumiko Mentions of Spike and Xander Buffy/Gokusen Dramas 6th in the One More Step series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > GokusencalikocatFR1511,583005001 Jan 131 Jan 13Yes
Homeward Bound
by: calikocat
Disclaimer: Buffy and the Gokusen Dramas are not mine.

word count: 1612

XXX

"Are you firing me?" Shin asked him, looking at Xander in what he hoped was a non-accusing tone. They were sitting in one of the studies of the London Office, the true Head Quarters of the New Council.

Xander snorted. "That's a stupid question. You know I'm not."

"But this eviction is mandatory."

Xander rolled his eyes. "From what you've told me...and from what Faith has seen, you have a hell of a woman waiting for you."

Shin rolled his eyes. "I think you guys are worse than Yankumi about getting involved in other people's business."

"It's a thing, besides, you don't really mind."

Shin was quiet for thoughtful moment. "I'm not a Watcher anymore, am I?"

Xander blinked at him in disbelief. "What the heck made you think that? Of course you're still a Watcher. Come on Shin, we're gonna have a brand new office in Tokyo, we'll still be counting on you every now and then."

"But not full time."

"No, not full time. You're gonna be too busy for that."

"Say's who?"

"Says Kuroda-san, at least if you're serious about his granddaughter."

He blinked. "You seriously need to stop meddling."

Xander smirked. "Go pack...wait...actually we've got some new recruits that I want you to meet. Giles should be done with the tour by now."

"What are you up to Aniki?"

"Me? Up to something?"

"You're not as sneaky as you think you are."

"Come on, spoil sport."

xxx

"Sugei!" Hayato said again, for what seemed the one-hundredth time...it was beyond annoying.

"Can you stop saying that?" Ryu asked him.

"No I can't." Hayato made a face at him. "Come on Ryu, look at everything here. Even your dad would be impressed with this place."

While true it didn't change much. "Maybe. But I don't think this is what he had in mind when he wanted to send me overseas to study."

"Yeah, but we're still together this way."

Giles-san smiled at them. "I hope you enjoy your time with us...just remember that you have come highly recommended and that we are expecting great things from the two of you."

They nodded...nervously.

"Yo! G-man!"

Giles-san gave a very put-upon sigh. "Xander, please don't call me that in front of the new trainees."

Xander turned out to be a dark-haired young man with laughing brown eyes, there was some scaring around the left eye, but it wasn't very noticeable. "Everyone spoils my fun. Hey are these the new guys?"

"You know they are...oh Shin, have you packed yet?"

Another man...this one was Japanese and he shook his head. "Not yet. Xander wanted me to meet these two...though he hasn't said why." He looked at them, his dark eyes were steady, and his will was strong.

Hayato and Ryu shared a brief glance before introducing themselves and bowing. Shin returned the bow. "Nice to meet you, I'm Sawada Shin."

Again the young men shared a glance, this time with wide surprised eyes. Xander was all but rolling on the floor with laughter.

Shin rolled his eyes. "What have you done Aniki?"

Giles took pity on them all. "These two just graduated from Kurogin Academy. I believe your young lady Yamaguchi Kumiko was their homeroom teacher."

Shin took a half-hearted swipe at Xander who dodged gracefully. "You are worse than her."

"Relax Shin. Visit with the new guys for a bit before you pack. Your plane doesn't leave until the day after tomorrow." Xander grinned and then ran off.

"Crazy Americans." Shin muttered.

"Being English I highly resent that." Giles smiled at him though as he said it. "Well, I leave them to you Shin." He followed after Xander, chuckling.

"Crazy, all of them." He looked to the still wide-eyed boys and sighed. Might as well get to know them...and scold them for all the trouble they'd been to Yankumi, especially Odagiri.

xxx

She was very lucky, Kumiko decided, that the Council had hired her. If it weren't for their offer she'd never have been able to stay home and teach. There just weren't many jobs open for teachers, most were already filled...However this wasn't quite what she had in mind.

The children were gathered in groups in the main room of her grandfather's house, each age group studying something different. Their ages ranged from sixteen to twelve, most of the girls were slayers, though a few of both genders were siblings with no abilities, and the rest of the girls and the boys had some talent in magic.

These were the next generation of the ICG, the International Council of Guardians, and they were in her care until a school could be built for them, complete with living quarters. The Oedo home office had never been so lively or had so many children underfoot. Her grandfather found the situation delightful, and he and the others were helping to train them, at least until other instructors could be appointed.

It wasn't quite what she had in mind, but it worked out quite well.

xxx

As it turned out there was a mini apocalypse scare that delayed his flight, and gave Hayato and Ryu a taste of just what they were getting into. Some little cult had tried to summon an old one, and instead had opened a portal to the world of shrimp and had nearly sucked their world into it. The clean up was not pretty. None of them would be able to go out for seafood for quite some time, if ever again.

The three of them were sitting in the kitchen at one of the tables, eating instant ramen, beef flavored, and enjoying the odd quiet of the early hour. Shin contemplated the young men for a while, both had handled the situation well, not many people can stay calm when cleaning up and disposing of shrimp the size of a panda. But there was something that had been bothering him. The closeness they shared...reminded him...of...he smirked.

"You should let someone know soon." He said casually.

Ryu looked up from his food. "Know what?"

"That you're a couple."

Ryu froze and Hayato started choking on his ramen, Shin grinned in amusement and kept eating. When Hayato could breathe again he glared at Shin. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"If you don't tell them now, the girls will never leave you alone, don't let them get their hopes up thinking they have a chance with either of you."

Hayato continued glaring at him, Ryu however looked thoughtful. "Wouldn't it be safer to keep it quiet?"

Hayato turned his glare to his new target. "Ryu!"

"He already knows Hayato."

Hayato looked down at his ramen and stayed silent. Shin shook his head. "Why would keeping it quiet be safer?"

"My dad." Ryu murmured.

Shin shrugged. "Is back in Japan, and things are different here. You're less likely to be harassed for it. Besides, if you don't tell anyone, you could end up separated when you get your first assignments abroad."

That made them share a worried look, well it looked more panicky on Hayato than worried. Ryu nodded. "How do we tell them?"

"Will it really be okay?" Hayato asked in a whisper.

Shin nodded. "Just make sure you're seen cuddling or making out somewhere, the rumors that will start will take care of everything else and the girls will know you're off limits."

They blinked at him and said together. "Will that really work?" "That's it?"

Shin smirked. "It works for Spike and Xander." He tried not to laugh at the open-mouth stares that comment received. "Although...when they were reunited Willow locked them in the main conference room for a few hours. We're all very glad its sound proofed." Their blushing faces practically made his day.

xxx

Coming back to Japan after being gone for so long was like a cultural shock in reverse, Shin decided. The people he passed by at the airport looked straight ahead, never making eye contact with anyone else. Never varying from their paths or casually greeting those they passed. One would think that spending the last couple of weeks with Hayato and Ryu, guiding them and training them before Xander took over would have better prepared him. However they were more open than most Japanese, and they were fitting into the Scooby family rather well. Spending time with the young men did get him used to speaking Japanese on a daily basis at least.

After coming through customs, he and an equally exhausted puppy made their way to their first stop, his old apartment. Luckily he'd called ahead, before the almost apocalypse, and Minami and Natsume had opened it up for him and aired it out. He was glad of his foresight because the jet-lag was bad and as soon as he had taken Fuji for a short walk he all but collapsed onto his futon. He slept for what felt like days, but according to the clock it had only been a few hours, thanks to the puppy, which insisted it needed to go again. Once that was done and the food and water bowls had been refilled he was out again.

He awoke in the early afternoon, walked Fuji again and put himself to rights in the bathroom; he knew he couldn't put it off anymore. It was time to visit the Ooedo house.

XXX

Happy New Year!

The End

You have reached the end of "Homeward Bound". This story is complete.

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