Oh,I really liked that!
You guys have inspired me to put together one of my own.
This isn’t necessarily for the commemoration project (which I’m certain I’m late to), but it is AIR related. This fan fiction tells a story of a generation not too long before Yukito and Misuzu’s story.
I’ll be moving this to fanfiction.net once my account is verified.
Maybe I’ll supplement it with pictures as well, since I didn’t really describe what anybody looked like in this. Also, some of the developments were a bit rushed. I’ll likely edit it later to fix up some of the issues. This is somewhat long… “Print preview” from Wordpad tells me about sixteen pages or so. Sorry if this is unreasonable for fanfics.
Despite its problems, I hope you’ll enjoy this.
A curse. That’s what she has. But it’s not just her curse. I know it’s selfish, but it’s my curse too. So please… let me share it with you.
[Three months ago.]
I’m a musician. The outside world is… it makes me anxious. There are so many people. I need an escape. The sounds of these notes hide the world outside. No, they create a new world. One that’s comfortable. One where nobody can hurt me. One where nobody else exists.
But… it’s so lonely here.
The outside world is big. Can I take a step out?
"Yes Yuu. You can’t be afraid anymore. It’s time to experience the world."
My mother, Kuroki Ayako. To put it bluntly, she’s probably tired of me being a shut-in.
“I’m not ready yet,” I told her nervously. "Let me… umm. Maybe tomorrow, okay?"
She sighed in an exaggerated manner. Suddenly, a mischievous smile appeared on her face. I have a bad feeling about this… "Then, play me a song in exchange for letting you stay inside today."
What!? No, I can’t… If it’s in front of other people it’s no good. I mean, that makes me way too nervous! My fingers get all shaky and I can’t keep my timing right. Plus my heartbeat increases to critical levels and I get all sweaty and then I can’t… I just can’t.
“Then I guess you’ll just have to go outside,” she let out with a smirk. Are you trying to kill me, mother? (Well, not like I’d ask her that.)
She picked me up!? Just how strong are you? Ah! No no no no no! F***!
It’s bright. I’m on the ground. Run for the door! … It slams shut in my face. I try to open it, but I hear it get locked. This is it. This is how I die. Mother, why?
“Oh don’t be so melodramatic. Here, I’ll bring you your guitar.”
… How’s that supposed to help, exactly?
No wait. Chance! I can barge through the door as soon as she opens it and-
The guitar gets swung at me. That’s dangerous! Oh no, don’t scratch it- Aha! Catch! … The door is closed again. (When did it even open?) … I give up.
“I’ll just sit here until you open the door mom.”
"If you do I’ll pour water all over your guitar~"
"Then I guess you’d better move, huh Yuu?"
Ring ring ring.
“If you’re not gone by the time I’ve answered this phone, I’ll do it~”
… Fine. I get it. I’m going. I barely hear her answer it as I’m walk away.
As soon as I looked up I noticed there were so many people gathered around. Oh no, this isn’t good. Dash!
I catch my breath and take in my surroundings.
Nobody is around… good. There are trees all around, and a small lake in front of me. It feels comforting here. Maybe, maybe I’ll play.
I look at my guitar. It’s an old off-brand acoustic, but it sounds well and feels comfortable when I play it normally.
So let’s play it normally for now. I play a small peaceful phrase and repeat it a few times. I move on and try something more energetic. My fingers start to hurt though.
There’s nobody around so it’ll be okay if I play it that way, right? I let go of the guitar but it doesn’t fall. My mother explained it to me before, but it’s still hard to believe. Just holding my hands over it, I think of what I want to play. More specifically, I think of which strings to pluck and which frets to restrict vibrations on.
When I do it like this, it doesn’t hurt anymore. But it does drain me a little bit. Regardless, I keep playing, mesmerized by my own performance. It’s magic, I guess. Mom called it Houjutsu. Same difference though.
I’m improvising now. I’m playing just whatever comes to mind. It’s calm, but sometimes I show off to myself a little bit.
I hear the wind.
The image of the sky comes to mind.
Hmm… I have this indescribable feeling. But I keep playing.
“Woah, that’s really pretty.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“How are you doing that?”
“Hou ju tsu? What’s that?”
“Magic, I guess.”
“Woah! Does that mean you’re a magician?”
“I wouldn’t say so. I’m playing guitar so ‘musician’ seems like the better term to me.”
“Hmm. Wouldn’t guitarist make more sense?”
“I suppose, but it didn’t have to be guit- wah!?“
Wh-who the hell is that!? When’d she get here!? No no no no no, what have I done? Agh!
“Oh my, that’s a really impressive response.”
”… Thank you,” I said while trying to convince my heart not to run away from my chest.
Just as I was worried about how I must’ve looked, I noticed that the girl was shaking.
“Are you okay?” I asked, in a strangely calm manner.
Actually, she looks frightened. What’s wrong?
“To tell you the truth,” she said with a slight tremble in her voice, “I’m actually really nervous right now. I just… I heard your playing and thought…”
She’s starting to back away.
"Umm, sorry! I gotta… Sorry, bye!"
She took off running.
… She tripped.
“Hey, are you okay?” I asked while running up to her.
“Ah!!!” she let out a scream. Do I look dangerous to her? I instinctively backed away as well. She went to get up by herself. I walked closer to her, slowly.
"Here, let me help you up."
She looked at me immediately with an anxious expression. Then she looked away and timidly said "Please."
I reached out and pulled her up. She just stood there, looking off to the side somewhere.
"Weren’t you in a hurry?"
She looked a little further away before looking back at me.
"No, I was just nervous. I’m not good around people. I just… I heard your music and I thought…"
“I thought that maybe we could be friends.”
I can see tears in her eyes. Could she be like me? Was she a shut-in too, inexplicably thrown out into the world like I was? Just someone else looking for refuge in a secluded place?
Despite the strangeness of the situation, I felt that maybe… Yeah, maybe we…
“Le-… Let’s be friends!” I shouted unintentionally, and deeply bowed my head. I stayed that way for what felt like forever. Why am I feeling so nervous? What if she had a look of disgust on her face? How would I deal with that? Well, I’d have to run away.
“Really? You’ll really be friends with me?” she asked. I looked up and saw a kind face decorated with a bright smile.
That’s the day we became friends.
“And then she asked if we could be friends!”
“And of course there was no way I could refuse, so I said ‘of course!’”
“So then she asked if I could play something on my guitar again,”
“because she said it was really soothing and nice to hear.”
“And you know, it didn’t bother me. I don’t know why, but I was able to play for her.”
We’re eating dinner. Normally it would be something homecooked, but it’s just convenience store food tonight.
I only just noticed, but… What’s wrong with mom? Her eyes look clouded and she’s barely touching her food.
“Are you okay?”
“Mm- huh? Oh, I’m sorry I’m just…”
“Are you sick?”
“Ah, no, it’s just…”
“That’s no good mom. Go rest. I’ll tell you more about what happened when you’re better, okay?”
"I’m sorry Yuu. Yeah…"
She got up and went back to her room. I hope she gets better soon.
It wasn’t long before I started thinking about the day again though. We’re supposed to meet tomorrow. Have I been cured from my shut-in syndrome just like that?
The next day.
I walked outside. Woah, that’s a lot of people… I’ll do my best to walk there at a normal pace like a normal person would normally do!
(I’m not completely cured yet.)
"Huffff, … hahhhh, … huffff…"
I see the girl from yesterday.
“Did you run all the way here too, Miu?”
"Hahhhh, … huffff, … hahhhh…"
A couple of moments later.
“Yes… I did,” she said, still slightly short on breath.
“You sound like you don’t run much…”
“I got nervous.”
“Oh. Umm, do you want me to play you something else?”
“Yes please!” she said through a radiant smile.
Smiling back, I took out my guitar.
“What would you like to hear?”
“A song about flying in the sky!” she said happily.
"Like the song you were playing yesterday. It’s like the musical version of my dreams."
She dreams of flying in the sky? Well that doesn’t sound too bad. I smiled again and started playing a tune similar to what I played before. (I’ll be honest though, I don’t really remember it. I’m also not really sure what she means by a “musical version of my dreams,” but I’ll do my best.)
Shortly after starting to play (using my Houjutsu), I had the image of the sky in my head, and I could almost feel the wind blowing against me. Before long, I finished the piece (though it was mostly an improvisation).
I heard the sound of clapping and looked up at Miu. She was smiling but…
“Why are you crying?”
“I’m not…” she said in an effort to deny what was plainly visible. I could see tears roll down her face as she tried to keep her smile.
“Did I do something wrong?” I asked dumbly.
She shook her head and managed a smile with tears rolling down her cheeks. “No, it’s… it’s fine” she said with her voice breaking slightly.
I don’t know what to do. What do I do? She’s crying. It’s silent but I see her crying… I reach out to her, but she says. "Will you play something again?"
If I would’ve looked at the reflection in the lake, I’d have gotten to see what I look like when I’m dumbstruck.
“Please?” she pleaded. I fixed my expression into a half-hearted smile, unsure of myself, and nodded my head.
And so I decided to play something that I thought might make her happy. After a little while she was fine again.
This continued for several weeks.
Each time I played for Miu, she would cry. I’d play again, and she’d feel better. Sometimes she would dance. (I think you’d call that dancing anyway.)
She once asked me “Is it really true that I’m your friend.”
“No. We’re friends,” I said with a smile. She smiled back with tears in her eyes.
Sometimes she would explain her dreams to me. Then she’d ask if I would play something that sounded like that dream. While the requests always seemed difficult, they’d always turn out a bit easier than I expected.
One day, I asked her… “Is there something I can do to help you?”
“Huh?” she said with a look of confusion.
"I mean, when you cry like that…"
She gave a sad smile.
“There’s nothing that can be done. I… I always cry like this when I get close to someone, or when someone gets close to me.”
"But then, what can I do to help you? I don’t want to see you like that. And they’ve been getting worse lately. You look like you’re in pain… Isn’t there anything?"
She shook her head with the same expression.
“Just keep playing your guitar, Yuu. Please,” she said with a somewhat happier tone.
Maybe there’s something else I can do. I want to do something else to help her.
“I’ll find more ways to make you happy!” I said, determined to make sure she would be happy forever. She seemed surprised.
I found an old doll. It had been in the family for years, I think. Something seems comfortable about it. So I started to think of ways to make Miu happy. What if I have the doll walk around? Oh, it would be a puppet then, right? A puppet without strings. Ha… maybe I am a magician.
After practicing for awhile I gained confidence in my ability to use the doll. No, the puppet. I was pretty proud of myself. As I was thinking of Miu’s smile, a sudden pain came to my back. I fell down and passed out. I couldn’t take that pain.
When I woke up again, I was alone in my room. Did mom bring me here? The puppet was by me.
“You’re finally awake, Yuu,” my mother said to me.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Ah… I’m okay now,” I said honestly.
She gave a displeased look. Shortly after, she smiled and nodded. “Okay.” Mom left the room, leaving behind some advice to rest.
It’s pretty late anyway; I might as well.
Miu was at the lake earlier than I was. She was standing there looking at the water.
"Miu! Hi Miu!"
She turned around and smiled. “Yuu!” she called out to me while waving. “I had a new dream!”
“Oh, really?” I asked, suddenly curious. All of her dreams prior to this had been of her flying in the sky.
Miu explained to me how this time she was watching a festival take place from a nearby hill. She had some friends with her, and they watched the fireworks go off.
This sounds like a good dream.
“No,” she gently refuted. “It’s a sad dream.”
"We couldn’t go to the festival."
I smiled and told her "That’s not a problem."
She looked surprised. Before she could ask why, I explained: "You were with your friends, and you got to see fireworks. What is there to be sad about?"
Her response was a smile. The kind that’d make you a millionaire instantly if you could sell it. But I’d keep this one for myself.
Satisfied, I took out the guitar (as was our usual routine) and asked her what she’d like to hear now.
Completely expecting to hear something related to her dream, I heard “A song about the ocean!”
"The ocean! Before you got here I was looking at my reflection in the water… and I thought that it would be really fun to go play at the ocean."
What are you, six? Not that I’d say that, of course. Actually, isn’t that what I… like about her? Oh crap I can feel my face getting hot, I must be blushing.
Looking away quickly, I nodded and started playing the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of the ocean.
She cried a bit, and I played some more. She was better by the time I was done.
“Okay, now I’ve got a special surprise for you.”
“A surprise? For me?”
"Yeah, it’s a surprise just for you, Miu."
I took out the puppet. Her eyes went wide.
"Ehh? What is that?"
Ouch! I’m not sure why, but that hurt.
"Anyway… just watch."
Tap. Tap tap tap. Jump. Spin. Tap. Tap tap tap. Jump spin. Tap.
She started clapping with a mesmerized look. Naturally I continued.
Tap. Tap tap, jump. Jump. Spin. Tap tap tap, slide! Jump. Tap. … Flop.
I lost control of the puppet, from the pain returning to my back. I’m in pain again… Why?
Miu looked up at me. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“It’s nothing,” I said. “Let me just rest for a moment.”
"Wait, let me -"
She fell over. What are you doing, Miu?
No, something’s wrong. Ignoring my pain, I went over to Miu.
“Miu, are you okay?”
“I… I can’t move,” she said with a frightened expression.
This is bad.
“I’ll carry you to a doctor, just hold on!“
She looked like she wanted to protest, but soon looked away and blushed.
”… Okay, Yuu,” I heard her say faintly.
This pain is killing me. I am, in part, using my Houjutsu to help lift her up to reduce my pain. But if it keeps up much longer I might pass out here.
We made it to the doctor’s office safely.
“Oh my. But, Dr. Tenma is seeing a patient right now…” the receptionist responded after I explained the problem.
“If there’s a free room I can see the patient.”
“Dr. Kirishima, are you sure? Sir, aren’t you on vacation right now?”
"I’m a doctor dammit; this is my duty. Come on, bring her with you. Let’s go."
The man (apparently a doctor) lead us to an empty room. I was still carrying Miu.
“Please wait outside,” Dr. Kirishima said.
I complied, not really sure what else I could do. Although I was worried about Miu, I decided to ask the receptionist about Dr. Kirishima instead.
"He’s a friend of Dr. Tenma. It seems Dr. Tenma has a son, also a doctor, in Germany who has gotten into a bit of trouble it seems. Dr. Tenma was asking Dr. Kirishima for advice. They normally communicate by mail, but Dr. Kirishima was on vacation anyway and decided to stop by. Dr. Tenma was just seeing a patient, so Dr. Kirishima decided to wait."
I don’t really need that much detail. You could have answered that in one or two short sentences. Not that I told her that. Maybe I’m just feeling anxious.
“Anyway, your friend will be in good hands with Dr. Kirishima,” the receptionist said assuringly. I’m not sure how she knew so much. Just as I was about to ask her, she changed the subject.
“Meanwhile, I’ll need you to fill out these forms as best as you can…”
Oh, but my back isn’t hurting anymore. Well, I guess this is fine.
As I was filling out the forms I heard a door open. Miu?
That wasn’t Miu.
“What’s that Mrs. Kuroki?” Dr. Tenma said to my mom.
Mom didn’t respond, she just looked at me.
"Mom, why are you here?"
Suddenly the doctor asked with a face full of shock, "Yuu? Your child! You haven’t told your child yet!?"
Tell me what? What’s going on?
In the end, Dr. Kirishima wasn’t sure of what the problem was with Miu. She was still able to walk, but the doctor recommended a wheelchair just in case. Dr. Tenma had given her one in response.
She told me that she’d go home now. If her aura could talk it would have said “Don’t follow me.” In hindsight, maybe it was saying “Please, don’t ever let me go.” I was too confused to hear it though.
I haven’t seen her at the lake since then.
I haven’t played my guitar since then.
I haven’t moved the puppet since then.
[Two weeks ago.]
My mother is in a hospital bed. She’s telling me about a journey, to find a girl in the sky. Miu came to mind. Crying alone in the sky, where nobody can reach you. What should I do? My mother is explaining, with painfully strained breaths, that the girl has always been there. That she has been cursed, since nearly 1,000 years ago.
I’m just one girl. How can I help her?
What can a worthless daughter like me, who can’t even help her own mom… what can Kuroki Yuu do?
My mother’s final words were "Save the girl in the sky, Yuu… or forget about the girl in the sky and find your own happiness."
Her final words…
I got up and walked away. Nurses rushed in. I just kept walking. There has to be something wrong with this reality.
Fifteen minutes later I found myself at the lake, enclosed by forest.
I sat down, and stared at the water.
Miu. If Miu were here, would I feel better?
My vision blurred as I saw ripples in the water.
Hot tears streamed down my cheeks. I could feel them. My throat was now swollen, and I couldn’t hold it back anymore. Hugging my knees closer, I lowered my head. Somehow even the small world of this lake was too big.
[One hour ago.]
I’m now living on my own, looking for Miu. I’m convinced she’s the girl in the sky that mother told me about. And… I’ve found her. Completely by chance, but… I can’t say that these are good circumstances.
“Can you feel the breeze, Yuu? It’s like we’re flying…”
“It feels nice, Miu,” I said while playing my guitar. “But, why don’t you come closer? You’ll be able to hear it better,” I continued nervously.
I realized the reason for the pain in my back. It was Miu. She’s inherited something powerful that affected both of us. It prevented her from making friends. And now, she’s feeling impossible pain…
[Two minutes ago.]
The sea breeze hits our hair.
"Please Miu… you’re too close to the edge."
Miu is crying. She’s in pain. She moves her wheelchair closer to the edge. It’s a cliff. Below us is ocean.
I dropped my guitar and ran toward her.
A curse. That’s what she has. But it’s not just her curse. I know it’s selfish, but it’s my curse too. So please… let me share it with you.
She turned her wheelchair around to face me. The sun is setting behind her.
“Thank you, Yuu, for everything. But… I can’t let you share this with me,” she said with a smile and tears in her eyes.
“Farewell,” and she rolled backward.
Run! Catch her! Go! I reach my hand out and…
[Ten years later.]
Since then I had met a man. I had a boy. The man wanted to name him Tabuchi, but I told him a name like that wasn’t fitting for a man. He disappeared after that. I can understand his irritation though. Kunisaki Tabuchi was his name after all. We didn’t really get along together anyway, so it was for the best.
I left the boy somewhere, so I could go and look for Miu. Rather, so I could find the girl in the sky. But lately I’m missing my son. Lately I’m thinking that maybe I should find my own happiness. I wonder if… I wonder if you would forgive me, Yukito.