Millions of Dreams
Chapter Five - The Over-Cheerful Dog-Lover
By Aikawa Fuuko
“Hi, Sakura-chan! I’m Sakurazuka Seishirou. I hope you still remember me.” Seishirou smiled gently at the young girl in front of him, though his mind was absently worried about a possibility that she didn’t remember him. After all, at that meeting under the sakura trees, maybe he had only been a passer-by to her, hadn’t he? And that had been quite long ago… No, maybe only a year or so. She didn’t seem very different to the day they’d first met…
Seishirou was about to be sure that he’d been right about her not remembering him when Sakura stared at him strangely for a good minute. However, only a fraction of second after that one minute, it seemed like her beautiful face was lit up by hundreds of candles. She immediately stood up and bowed towards Seishirou enthusiastically.
“Oh! Oh… I… can’t believe that we met again, Sakura…zuka…-san!!” The girl stuttered, not in a blushing way like Subaru usually did, but in a mixture of surprised and happy way. Seishirou just looked at her, feeling a bit confused. Something was not quite right about this... She was too much more cheerful and…childish than she had been… Those amber eyes of hers that day had been cold, distant, and… empty… not full of heated emotion like this…
“You two… have met before?” Hokuto blinked, asking in a surprised voice. Actually she was not the only one who blinked, Subaru and Fuuma and Setsuka did too, but it seemed that she was the only one who was shocked enough to ask.
Seishirou waited hesitantly, not really wanting to answer that question. After all, he himself did not actually understand all that meeting anyway, and he also wanted to hear Sakura’s explanation about what she’d said that day. Fortunately, Sakura chose to answer for him. The girl pushed her long dark hair backwards and smiled gently.
“Yes, we’ve met before. About one year ago, I think… Oh, it’s exactly one year ago! I remember that day was also my birthday! My fifteenth birthday!” Seishirou was really amused to see that her already bright face could actually become brighter and brighter by minutes when she continued on with the story. “After school I thought that I could go for a pleasant walk before joining one of your infamous outrageous parties…”
Hokuto coughed really loudly. Subaru’s lips curled into a smirk. Seishirou, Fuuma and Setsuka exchanged meaningful glances. Sakura completely ignored all of those things.
“… And there at the park I met this handsome stranger!” Sakura grinned mischievously at Seishirou. Okay, now Seishirou realized that he had seen this familiar mischievous grin that day. “… It was April, the sakura was in full bloom. It was very beautiful. So I thought I could have a little fun on my special day!”
“What is ‘a little fun’, Sakura-chan?” Subaru asked suspiciously. She was a Sumeragi, for god’s sake. ‘A little fun’ with a typical Sumeragi, especially when that one had been raised by the queen-of-evils Sumeragi Hokuto (aka his dear twin sister), could be very… disturbing. Subaru was really curious to know how Seishirou had dealt with a fifteen-year-old Sakura at that time.
Much to Subaru’s worry, Sakura’s smile widened. But this time before she could answer, Seishirou had decided to add to the story himself.
“Nothing much, Subaru-kun. I think she just decided to be a beautiful fairy who told horror tales instead of sweet bedtime stories.” Was it his imagination or did Sakura actually blush? The girl just didn’t seem the blushing type to Seishirou, even though her own brother was the very other way around. Oh well, maybe she took after Hokuto. Realizing that Hokuto and Subaru were staring and Sakura didn’t seem to like explaining anymore about that, Seishirou added playfully.
“She just told me some tale about corpses being buried underneath the sakura and that was why the petals were pink.”
Seishirou, Setsuka and Fuuma blinked as the three Sumeragi reacted in their own different ways.
“WHAT???!!” Subaru exclaimed with disbelief, gasping and staring at Sakura as if she’d grown another head.
Hokuto, after a little gasping and stammering, burst out laughing like mad for some unknown reason to the confused guests.
Sakura, now Seishirou was sure, was actually blushing, though it was only a very light shade of pink on her cheeks. She muttered something under her breath and looked quite annoyed with the fact that Hokuto wouldn’t stop laughing.
“Hey! I was just joking, okay? So stop laughing already! It’s not like I suddenly fell flat on my face the first time I met him or something!” Sakura’s voice rose at the last sentence and she looked directly at Subaru. Her brother’s eyes immediately widened and he stared at her with shock. But unfortunately, that only caused Hokuto to laugh harder.
“Umm… Can anyone please explain why?” Fuuma waved his hand in front of the laughing Hokuto, trying to sort out the weird reactions. Seishirou frowned. Was that story she’d told him some sort of jokes between them?
“Ah… that…” Hokuto stopped herself from her laughing fit, though still had a bit of difficulty. “Sei-chan, remember Subaru told you about my first story ‘Tokyo Babylon’?” Seeing Seishirou’s nod, Hokuto continued. “When the sakura assassin first met the eight-year-old Subaru…” Subaru choked when Hokuto used his real name. He knew it was a bad idea. “… he told the kid the same story about the bloody sakura and all. Then he made a bet with the kid, about…” Hokuto smiled evilly, turning at her sister this time.
“Sakura-chan? I hope you didn’t also end up making a bet with Sei-chan here? Because if you did, Subaru would be very disappointed that he has to be his sister’s rival in love this time!”
“Hokuto-chan!” Both Subaru and Sakura grimaced. But though Subaru was blushing, Sakura was not. In fact, she seemed quite amused about something.
“What was that bet about?” Fuuma asked curiously. In the script Seishirou had given him, there was a part about him talking to the sakura assassin about some ‘pointless bet’, but it was not into details much. He assumed that the bet they were talking about had to be this one.
“Well…” Hokuto’s evil smile widened at the blushing Subaru. “It was a deal. The sakura assassin should have killed the kid at that time, but instead, he made a bet. When they meet again in the future, if Subaru is able to make the man love him in one year, then he will live. Other else, after that one year, he’ll be killed.”
“Oh. So…in the end, the sakura assassin lost, didn’t he? Subaru is still alive in 1999. But then why is Subaru so angry at him?” Fuuma asked again, feeling more and more confused. He couldn’t imagine a cheerful girl like Hokuto could write a bunch of angsty problems like this. Hokuto meanwhile started to giggle when Fuuma unconsciously used the name ‘Subaru’ while talking about the movie. It would be real fun in the future.
“No, Subaru lost. But Hokuto was killed instead.” Sakura answered nonchalantly. She also thought that using real names in the movie was really a good idea. It would be so much fun this way.
“Oh. Thank god she didn’t make a bet with me. But I think she made a very good sakura assassin there. At that time, I really thought that she was creepy. If the sakura assassin had been a woman instead of a man, I would have invited her to the movie immediately.” Seishirou smiled, feeling somehow more relaxed. So that story was only a part in her sister’s book. Maybe she’d read too much of that…
“I don’t really have interest in movie making and all. That time it was just that I’d just finished reading Tokyo Babylon and I thought I could have some fun…” Sakura shrugged. She really loved that story of her sister’s. It was wonderful. She really didn’t understand why Hokuto never wanted to publish it.
“How about interest in music then? You were so great!” Fuuma smiled broadly. However, Seishirou looked quite annoyed that Fuuma had cut him off while he was having a ‘career discussion’ with Sakura. Setsuka felt terribly amused because of this. Those two always took interest in everything that was related to their job. Everyone, everywhere.
“Yeah, I love music! I really hope that someday I can become a composer!” Sakura smiled cheerfully at Fuuma. They went on chatting with tons of random topics about music, leaving the four others standing there staring. Finally it was Hokuto who dragged them back into the house, leaving those two a little more time to ‘discuss’.
“They get along really well!” Hokuto smirked at the enthusiastic Sakura and Fuuma.
“Fuuma looks as if he has found a diamond or something!” Setsuka looked over her shoulders when Seishirou pushed her into the house. She was really amused to see Fuuma hovering over the young girl like this.
“Sa… err… Seishirou…-san, it’s really a surprise to have you in my sixteenth birthday party like this. I didn’t think I would ever meet you again. You know, I only discovered that I had rambled to a famous director about the whole bloody sakura thing two weeks after that!” Sakura smiled gently at the older man. They were having a nice little family birthday dinner. That was a tradition. In fact, the real outrageous party would be tomorrow, with all the colorful stuff Hokuto always loved and tons of the Sumeragi’s friends. Even so, Seishirou still felt lucky that he was in this one, not the one tomorrow.
Setsuka raised her eyebrow. She was sure that Sakura wasn’t shy that much around Seishirou to stutter his name all the time like that. She really thought that the girl had some problems with her brother’s name. Especially Sakura didn’t seem to be very easy at using the suffix. Setsuka wondered if maybe Sakura had some friend also named Seishirou and she was having a hard time adjusting her habit.
But soon Setsuka realized her theory was wrong. Hokuto had also noticed her sister’s strange behavior and was looking at her weirdly. Sakura realized that she was being stared at and asked hesitantly.
“Umm… something’s wrong, Hokuto-chan?”
Oh, another strange point. Setsuka also noted that Sakura always called her brother and sister ‘Subaru-chan’ and ‘Hokuto-chan’, though they were a lot older than her.
“No, actually it’s just that you’re having some difficulty saying my name, I guess.” Seishirou smiled. So he also noticed. Sakura’s eyes widened for a moment, and then she smiled apologetically.
“Oh, sorry about that. But… can I call you just ‘Seishirou’? I know it’s a bit rude, but I just can’t seem to be able to remember adding the suffix… No, sorry, maybe I should try to remember…” Sakura trailed off miserably. Seishirou was surprised. So she had problems saying his name, but she didn’t give the reason why. The girl was definitely good at keeping her motive secret.
“No, it’s okay, Sakura-chan. It would sound friendlier anyway.” Seishirou decided to go along with her request. If they could become friends, then maybe someday Seishirou would be able to understand her. The girl was a real mystery to him.
Fuuma looked at Sakura curiously. She seemed a lot different to the twins. True that she was also the joking type like them, but something about her just… didn’t fit in. She was more distant in her own way. Though she was cheerful and all, she always kept a definite distance to the others. She preferred music, not movie, although her two siblings were actors. Not to mention the fact that she didn’t look like the Sumeragi twins at all. Her eyes were a strange shade of amber, not emerald green. But that amber color was familiar to him…
Fuuma’s eyes grazed past the table and suddenly stopped at an almost exactly same shade of amber eyes. He blinked, realizing that it was Setsuka who he was looking at. Now he noticed Setsuka and Sakura were alike somehow…
“Thank you, Seishirou!” Sakura said happily at Seishirou’s agreement. Subaru frowned. He was her older brother and he still called the older man ‘Seishirou-san’. Now Seishirou was twice her age and they were addressing the others as if they were very close friends. That was just…not fair. But he really couldn’t leave the suffix out. Subaru sighed. Old habits die hard. Strange, Sakura seemed a lot more comfortable at calling the older man just plain ‘Seishirou’…
“Oh, Sakura-chan, that melody you were playing when we came in this afternoon, I’ve never heard it before. Where did you learn it from? It’s really good.” Fuuma came back to his interest in music. Sakura seemed a bit flustered at the mention of her music skills.
“Umm… actually… I composed that song myself… That’s one of my first attempts at composing…” Sakura answered hesitantly.
“Really? You’re great! I’m really gonna invite you to work with me in my next album! What’s the name of that song?” Fuuma enthusiastically asked. He really loved the girl’s music. She really had talent. Meanwhile, Seishirou looked quite annoyed. In fact, he was also about to start convincing Sakura to give a try in his movie, but then Fuuma just had to jump in before he could say anything.
“Err… its name is ‘Yakusoku’…” Sakura smiled weakly at Fuuma. She had noticed Seishirou’s annoyed face when Fuuma kept jumping in his mouth. She knew that Seishirou also wanted her to take a role in the movie, but Fuuma also…
“I have an idea.” Seishirou cut off Fuuma mid-sentence this time. He was not going to say nothing about this anymore. “How about you and Fuuma work together in the movie soundtrack album? I’m sure you two would do a wonderful job, right?” There, at least he could drag her into the movie making, and then he would convince her to take a role later.
“That’s fine.” Fuuma smirked. Playing with Seishirou was so much fun. Subaru smiled and shook his head. Seeing those two fighting over his sister was really amusing.
“I think I’m gonna use your songs a lot, Sakura-chan, especially that ‘Yakusoku’ song. Maybe I’ll make it into an image song of some character… Hmm, ‘Promise’…” Fuuma pondered for a moment, reviewing the characters he’d known about, choosing who would fit the meaning of the song.
“You know, she wrote it when one time her boyfriend failed to keep his promise to her about something. She threw a fit and slammed her room’s door in front of his face, locked it, stayed in there for about five hours. Finally came out with the song.” Hokuto shrugged, completely ignored the looks Subaru and Sakura were giving her. Unfortunately, Fuuma missed them and asked the wrong question.
“Oh, your boyfriend. It seems that every time you two fight, you will have music inspiration, right?” Seeing Sakura’s eyes widen, Fuuma added. “Your sister said that he couldn’t come tonight and you were moping in the garden when we came. And there I found you drowning in your music…” Saying that out loud was a bad idea. Immediately Sakura threw an icy glare at Hokuto, just like Subaru had this afternoon.
“Hokuto-chan? I was moping because of him? And since when has he become my boyfriend?” Hokuto really had the need to disappear right now. She knew too well that her sister was a lot scarier than her brother. Argh, she really shouldn’t have said that…
Fortunately for her, Setsuka suddenly stood up, causing everyone to startle.
“Oh my god! What time is it? Ahh! It’s 6:45 already! Damn, I have a date at seven!” Setsuka hurriedly bowed at the others.
“Sorry, but I have to go now!”
“Wait, Setsuka-chan! Let me drive you there. I’m faster.” Fuuma also stood up next to her. Subaru widened his eyes. Let a man drive her to her date with another man? That was weird. But to Subaru’s surprise, Setsuka quickly agreed and dragged Fuuma out, after saying apology and goodbye to all of them. Surprisingly, Fuuma still managed to give Sakura his phone number before they rushed out.
Seishirou was amused to see how fast they disappeared. Suddenly his mind wandered about yesterday when he’d met Yuuto, his friend had also been talking to someone about a meeting at seven…Oh well, his sister’s love life was none of his business anyway. She was old enough to decide the person she went out with.
“So, open the presents now!” Hokuto cheerfully announced, glad that the boyfriend issue was completely forgotten. She made a mental note to thank Setsuka later about this…
“Here it is, Seishirou-san.” Subaru gave Seishirou the Tokyo Babylon script with a shy smile. He sat down with the older man on a bench in the large garden. It was nine already. Hokuto was cleaning up inside. Sakura was in her room, doing god-knows things of her own. So he was the only one left with Seishirou. Subaru really had a feeling that this was done by purpose, especially with Hokuto giggling the whole time when she’d suggested them to read the script in the garden because it was nicer outside.
But it was really nice outside. It was spring, and most of the flowers were in full bloom. Faint fragrance was being scattered gently in the cool breeze. The moon was full tonight, bathing the garden in its mysterious silver light, like silver threads weaved on the night dark blue velvet…
Subaru darted his eyes towards Seishirou. The older man was flipping through the pages with an interested expression on his handsome face. Subaru curled up on the bench comfortably, peering over Seishirou’s shoulders to see what part he was reading. He smiled slightly when his eyes caught a sentence…
“You idiot! What couple hasn’t gone to Tokyo Tower? Rather than returning at high speed via the MZA or the bridge and run into major traffic, you should stay up all night and be intoxicated by the night view from Tokyo’s highest point!!”
Seishirou chuckled and turned to Subaru with an amused smile.
“That’s really typical Hokuto. I can imagine her saying that to-“ Seishirou was hesitant for a fraction of second, but then immediately continued without Subaru noticing. “-you in real life very well.”
Subaru looked at the smiling man for a moment. He was a little taken aback by the way Seishirou had finished his sentence. He had a feeling that Seishirou had been about to say ‘us’ instead of ‘you’, but it seemed that Seishirou had changed his mind in the last seconds…
Subaru blushed, shaking his head. Why the hell did he have to think of them as a couple? They were not. They were just partners, friends, that was all. He might have a crush on the older man or something, but he definitely didn’t think that he would tell Seishirou about that. He wanted them to be friends…
Subaru sighed. It was hard for anyone to not have a crush on Seishirou. The older man was always so nice, so gentle, so… Subaru’s thoughts trailed off as he leaned closer Seishirou. He had been peering over Seishirou’s shoulders, so now his head was resting perfectly on those broad and warm shoulders. It was like a pillow for him… Subaru smiled at the thought, feeling his consciousness start to drift off. The soothing breeze didn’t help it either…
He looked around the garden absently, while realizing that Seishirou had a very nice and unique scent with him. He snuggled closer to that scent; the last thought in his mind was Seishirou saying something…
“…should really try to go there sometimes, Subaru-kun.”
“Subaru-kun?” Seishirou turned his head and was surprised to find Subaru’s head resting on his shoulders. The young man was sound asleep. He smiled slightly, feeling Subaru’s soft cool hair brush against his neck and his cheek. Such a nice sensation. He couldn’t help but brushed his lips through the dark hair…
“He’s asleep.” Sakura announced to Hokuto. She had been holding the binoculars and watching every move of the two men in the garden since the beginning. Of course, Hokuto was standing with her too.
“What do you mean ‘asleep’??” Hokuto groaned in frustration. She had created for them such a wonderful and romantic situation to talk, and her dear brother just fell asleep?
“Stupid Subaru…” Hokuto grumbled, feeling the need to harass him when he woke up.
“But isn’t it so cute, Hokuto-chan? Subaru-chan fell asleep on Seishirou’s shoulders!” Sakura smiled, one hand cupped to her cheek. Hokuto widened her eyes for a moment, and then started to giggle.
“Okay, that’s also romantic!”
“Finally, we’ve almost done the preparation! There’s only some missing in the cast now. I’m sure we’d start filming the first scene soon.” Yuuto sighed happily. He and Seishirou were sitting in a bar, discussing the last problems and checking through the actors the other had found. Yuuto was pleased with Seishirou’s choice on Shirou Kamui and Monou Fuuma as two main characters. Those two were perfect together in his opinion. Hey, no pun intended in that.
“Yeah, we only need the girl at the Mitsumine Shrine and the water caster now.” Seishirou nodded with satisfaction. He wondered if he should ask Yuuto if his sister had gone out with the blond-haired man last night, but finally decided not to. Their love life was none of his business, Seishirou reminded himself.
He stretched on his chair and looked around the bar. His eyes wandered absently, till a young waitress caught his attention.
She was quite young, about twenty or so. She had long brown hair and sparkling eyes. She was walking around, asking for the customers’ requests in a very strange enthusiastic way. It seemed that the as-cheerful-as-the-sun smile never left her face a single second. And she had to be a good joker. A group of teenagers was giggling interestingly at something she’d just said. But that was not the only reason she caught his attention. He was sure that he’d seen her somewhere.
“What is it, Seishirou?” Yuuto asked his friend curiously, realizing that he was staring at someone.
“Hey, do you think that girl is familiar?” Seishirou pointed the young girl to his friend. Yuuto looked at her carefully, trying to recall meeting her somewhere.
“Oh, I remember! She studies at a movie-making school! Last year when you had a talk there, she was the one who asked you if you had ever fallen in love with the lover of your character!” Yuuto smiled broadly, remembering that strange question and how Seishirou answered it.
“Oh yeah… That girl, her name is Nekoi… Yuzuriha something, right?” Seishirou recalled the blushing cheerful girl at that time. He was suddenly reminded by a fact that she studied in the movie-making school.
“Hey, we can invite her to take the dog-lover girl role!” Seishirou turned to Yuuto enthusiastically.
“But her name is Nekoi…” Yuuto stared, somewhat taken back by his friend’s sudden decision.
“So what?” Seishirou ignored the bewildered Yuuto and waved the girl. She immediately bounced towards them with her usual cheerfulness, but skidded right on her heels when she recognized the two men.
“Oh, Sakurazuka-san! Kigai-san! Umm… what would you like to request?” She politely asked with a little hesitation. The sudden appear of two celebrities definitely gave her a shock; it was only because of her many years of training in acting skills that taught her how to hide it. But it definitely wasn’t able to hide her joy. She kept pondering at the two men, smiling a more-than-usual over-cheerful smile. She wondered if they still remembered her and her stupid question that time…
Yuzuriha blushed as Seishirou kept staring at her as if he was assessing something. Yuuto smiled kindly at her.
“Nekoi-san, we would like to invite you to take a role in our new movie X/1999.” Yuuto went straight to the point without hesitation. The girl was suitable for that cheerful girl role, Yuuto totally agreed with Seishirou at that point.
Yuzuriha gasped at the sudden invitation. She was dreaming… She had to be dreaming… They remembered her name! Two of the most famous directors in the movie industry even invited her – a newbie in it – to take a role in such a big movie like X/1999…
“You… You are joking, aren’t you?” Yuzuriha asked with a somewhat awe voice.
“No, of course not. You would do it well. Don’t be afraid, Nekoi-san. Your role is a cheerful young girl just like you.” Seishirou laughed, reassuring the young girl.
“Oh my god! I can’t believe it! A role in X/1999! Oh, I’m the happiest girl in the world!!” Yuzuriha squealed in excitement, and Yuuto couldn’t help but laughed. “Wait.” Yuzuriha frowned. “That girl often goes everywhere with a dog, but my name is ‘Nekoi’…”
“Don’t worry, it’s not really a problem.” Yuuto was amused to see that she repeated exactly the same question what he had asked earlier. But Seishirou caught what Yuuto wasn’t able to realize.
“Wait, how do you know about X/1999?” Seishirou asked curiously. The girl seemed to be quite aware about how important this movie was to be happy like that.
“Oh… My boyfriend also has a role in it. He told me.” Yuzuriha blushed slightly.
“Who is your boyfriend?” Seishirou raised his eyebrow in surprise. Before the girl could answer, another waitress had called her from across the room.
“Oh, sorry, I have to go now!” Yuzuriha turned back to her part-time job, after Seishirou had given her his phone number and told her to call him tomorrow.
“So, one left to go! You really are fast, Seishirou.” Yuuto happily said. Suddenly he realized that Seishirou was looking at him strangely.
“What’s wrong, Seishirou? There’s something on my face?”
Seishirou smiled kindly at his friend and spoke up after a few more minutes staring.
“You know, you can be the water caster!”
“I am the sakura assassin, so why aren’t you the water caster?” Seishirou’s smile widened. Yuuto thought for a minute, and then nodded.
“You are a real opportunist, Seishirou.” Yuuto smiled back at his friend. “But you know, we’re still missing someone.”
“Who?” Seishirou asked with confusion. They had finally finished the casting. All the actors were invited. So who was left?
“The kids.” Yuuto said matter-of-factly, grinning at the stunned Seishirou.
“The kids??” Seishirou echoed, still not completely understood Yuuto’s meaning. What’s with the kids here?
“Yeah. We still need a ten-year-old Kamui, Fuuma, Kotori, Arashi, and etcetera. We still need to find some kids for those roles.” Yuuto smiled as Seishirou’s face fell.
“Oh dear… the kids… Where the hell am I supposed to find them?” Seishirou groaned. Just when he was about to think that he could relax a little…Now that he had to start dealing with kids!!
~*~*~*~*~*~End Chapter 5~*~*~*~*~*~
A/N: Poor Seishirou. I’ll have some fun with those kids…
And the next chapter will be:
Chapter 6: The Family Reunion!! (I hope this time it won’t be delayed anymore!)
Prepare for the appearance of everyone in it!
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