Sanctuary

a penny for your thoughts..a million dollars for mine...XP

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[story] Xilenxio
sanzo > innocence
angel_zeruel
Xilenxio
by confissao and angel_zeruel

These are the different continuation of Xilenxio...the one I posted ages ago..the one confissao and I wrote together...now here are three different endings with three different boys....ahe...whatever...just read on...but make sure you’ve already read the first one...if not click here...enjoy...^^



Last time in Xilenxio.....

Collin swiftly crawls out of bed, goes to Claire and holds her by the shoulder. He forced her to look at him. "I told you that if there's something troubling you, I'm always here to listen. I tried to cheer you up but you closed out on me. I know you are worried over Inoue but I'm here!! I'll listen damn it!! And that Mizuhara! Fussing over a simple brushing of lips!? That isn't a kiss!!"

Without a thought he presses his lips on the dumbfounded Water Claimer, even her beast shut up and was shocked.

"THAT is a kiss."

Nothing but the buzz of the aircon was heard.


Xilenxio: Something new to Share

Claire’s tears pushed their way out as she looked at her bestfriend straight in the eye and asked,

“Why?”

Collin’s eyes widened as he realized what he has done. He blushes furiously as he tries to explain but comes up with nothing.

Claire touches her lips and remembers the feeling of her first real kiss, courtesy of Collin of course, as an image of Toki appears in her head. She quickly stands up, utters a soft ‘Gomene’ and rushes out of the Maxwell mansion. Unconsciously leaving her paper contract and her beast behind.

Collin stares at the also shocked Dorimo and mumbles a faint,

“What have I done?”

---

In confusion and in shock, Claire flees the mansion as fast as she could. Running right pass Jedd, Jeff, Meredith, Morrigan, Aya, Lyle and everyone else without a single goodbye.

She runs right out the door and rides her limousine back home. Upon arriving, Claire runs up to her room and bumps on her older brother.

“Doushita no Miko-pyon?”

Claire looks up and sees the comforting face of her dearest brother and so she lets loose of all her cooped up tears and buries her head in her brother’s strong caring arms which surprised the young boy.

“Calm down my angel.” Akira Paolo said in his deep soothing voice.

Claire continued crying and Akira Paolo had no other choice but to carry his bawling sister out of the hallway. Akira Paolo carried her to her room and all the way there, Claire just continued crying and buried her head deeper into her brother’s chest. Once there, Akira Paolo sat her on her bed. Then he went to her in-room refrigerator to get her some water. After a few minutes Claire was finally able to calm down.

“Now Miko-pyon, tell me why you’re crying. Please.” Akira Paolo started.

Claire gulped down another mouthful of water as she started.

“Onichan, Toki, our school’s star football player accidentally brushed his lips with mine and then Collin kissed me on the lips. Now I....I....”

Akira Paolo simply smiled at Claire’s straightforward answer,

‘She didn’t even think twice to hide their names’ Akira Paolo said to himself.

He ran his hand over Claire’s back in an attempt to comfort her as he continued Claire’s sentence,

“...and now you don’t know what to do because you’re not sure what you’re feeling, correct?”

Claire merely nodded innocently.

Akira Paolo smiled gently and continued.

“Don’t be too frustrated and don’t rush yourself into understanding things. You’re still young and too innocent to deal with such things but I also know that this situation bothers you my little angel, that’s why here’s what I suggest you should do.”

Claire wiped her tears away and stared at her brother intently, like some kid waiting for a bed time story to be told.

“Miko-pyon, try not to think, try to just discover and know what you truly feel. To whom do you feel more comfortable being around with to the point that you could share your secrets with him? To whom do you experience happiness and share sweet moments with? Who could cheer you up and make you laugh after being so down? To whom does your heart beat faster to the point that it knocks you off your feet? Who could see right past your masks? Who could annoy you and tease you and actually get a way with it without you being angry or pissed off? Take it step by step my dear imouto and you’ll see, you’ll get your feelings sorted out one way or another. Don’t let your confusion bother you or keep you from being friends with either one of them. They are a part of your life, of who you are. They are special people in your life so take care of them.”

Claire didn’t fully understand what her older brother said but she trusts him so much she just nodded in response. Akira Paolo grabbed his sister in a tight hug as he thought to himself,

‘Those eyes of hers, those innocent eyes of hers, I know she didn’t get me but I know one day she will. You’re growing up my angel and slowly maturing, I’m happy to be a part of it.’

He kissed Claire’s forehead and said,

“I love you Miko-pyon. Don’t dote on it too much, ne?”

Claire smiled her usual smile and nodded.

The next day Collin was absent, leaving Claire wondering where her friend is. Having the memory of a goldfish, Claire seems to have forgotten what had happened the day before. She decides to go to the Maxwell mansion after class to visit her bestfriend and to get her elemental beast as well.

‘Dorimo will never let me hear the end of this, me leaving him behind like that...I wonder how hungry he is right now?’ Claire wondered to herself as she walked down Kitamura’s hallway.

“Ne, Kawaii-hime.”

Claire turned around to see Toki smiling at her.

“Konichiwa Toki-sempai.” Claire said with a bow.

“Konichiwa. So...uhmmm..” Toki stuttered and blushed lightly as he tried to ask Claire something, ”...anou....wannna go and do something with me on Friday, after school? We don’t have any training on Fridays.”

Claire looked up at the tall football player with those big light mossy green eyes and replied,

“Huh?”

Toki sweat dropped and replied,

“Err...I...I...uhh...I thought we might..uhhm..hangout together..watch a movie or something...”

Claire’s heartbeat began to run faster as she replied flatly,

“Like a date?”

Toki’s blush turned into a deeper shade of red as he tried to think of another word than ‘date’ but before he could, Claire replied with her usual perked up ‘yes’ and left without another word.

Later that afternoon Claire went to the Maxwell mansion greeting everyone with her usual smile. She went to Jeff to retrieve her elemental beast and stood there for a good thirty minutes, listening to Jeff’s sermon about leaving their elemental beasts behind. After that she started her journey to Collin’s room, trust me, it’s a long way to go.

While walking around the Maxwell mansion she wondered why her beast wasn’t making any noise or giving out any kind of complaint.

‘Ne, Dorimo, why are you quiet? It’s so not like you.’

There was no reply.

‘Are you dead? Because if you are I’ll dump our contract right now.’

‘Shut up kid. I just don’t feel like talking.’

‘What’s with you?’

‘Nothing. I’m just sleepy okay.’

‘You, sleepy? Why it’s unheard of.’

‘Shut up.’

Claire smiled as she stopped in front of Collin’s room. She knocked once, twice but no one answered. She turned the knob and it opened. She saw Collin sleeping in his bed. Claire approached the bedside as she sat down quietly. She stared at the sleeping young boy and watched as his chest rise and fall. Claire didn’t know what she was feeling at that time but for sure her heart didn’t beat as fast than it did when she’s in front of Toki. She watched Collin’s face as the orange setting sun touched it.

She didn’t want to wake her friend so she just quietly slipped out of the room and went home.

The next day when Claire entered their classroom she saw Collin sitting on top of his desk talking to some of his friends. Claire was excited that he was finally up and about. She called Collin’s name but the other simply turned his head to look at her and then went back to talking with his friends. A frown appeared on Claire’s face as her friend deliberately ignored her. She walked towards him but Collin suddenly stood up and left the classroom with his friends leaving the light blue haired girl dumbfounded.

‘What’s with him?’

‘Doi, he’s probably avoiding you ‘cause he’s embarrassed by what he did to you the other day.’

‘What do you mean ‘he did to me’, Dorimo? What did he do?’

Dorimo shook his head as he replied,

‘Aye aye you and your goldfish like memory. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.....but looks like this time it was a good thing for you....’ his last words almost a whisper.

Claire simply cocked her head to the side and continued to wonder.

Claire had lunch alone because she couldn’t find Collin anywhere. She also went to her classes alone because she couldn’t catch Collin and on the afternoon she went home by herself because Collin had already left. This went on for the remainder of the week and Claire got frustrated each passing day.

Everyday she’d cry in her brother’s arms complaining and whining that Collin is ignoring her and has been leaving her behind lately. She missed her bestfriend.

Come Friday Claire was already very pent-up, so by the end of the day she patiently waited for Collin in front of the main building. When she saw him she waved her hand, Collin looked up and stopped dead on his tracks. Claire smiled and started to run towards him, half way through someone called her from behind,

“Kawaii-hime!”

Claire stopped running and turned to see Toki in all his blonde glory.

“Let’s go?”

Claire remembered her ‘date’ with Kitamura’s king, she turned to look back at Collin who just stood there with a somewhat hurt look on his face.

Claire didn’t know what to do so she looked at Toki and back to Collin, Toki to Collin until she looked back at Collin and mouthed,

“Gomene.”

Then she turns around and runs to Toki. Together they walked out of Kitamura’s gates and rode Toki’s limo.

‘Owner-sama are you....are you okay?’

Collin bowed his head trying to hide from his elemental beast the tear that had managed to escape before replying with a soft ‘yeah I’m okay.’

Toki took Claire to an exclusive movie house to watch Spiderman 3. They went around the mall shopping and looking for books. Lastly, Toki took her to a fancy restaurant where in they talked about a lot of stuff, but mostly about soccer and debate.

To be honest, Claire...well, Claire didn’t have much fun at all. While eating dinner and listening to Toki’s football stories, she remembered when Collin would treat her out, they’d do stuff she loved to do. If she was with Collin they would have eaten in a fast-food chain or a noodle shop or a sweet shop with all the parfaits she could eat. They’d watch a movie at the Maxwell mansion with all the popcorn she could gobble and watch all the Disney cartoon movies she would want to see. They’d watch Shrek the third or Pirates of the Caribbean rather than Spiderman 3. They’d go straight to the game shop to play in the para para machine instead of shopping or whatever. Most of all, she’d do all the talking. Collin would quietly sit infront of her or beside her listening to her intently. That’s right, they’d do kids stuff because Collin knew it was what she wanted.

On their way home Claire was quiet. She realized something and so she asked Toki to drop her off the bus station. Toki didn’t want to but she was whiney...err...persistent so he did anyway. For the first time in her life Claire rode the “commoner’s” bus and the “commoner’s” train, but as we all know her, Claire got painfully lost, she ended up in Osaka for crying our loud! She tried calling her brother’s cellphone but it could not be reached. She didn’t know who else to call and it was already past 10pm. Finally she decided to call Collin,

“Moshi moshi.”

“Anou saa Collin-kun....”

“Claire-chan?” Collin asked quite surprised as he looked at his wall clock, quarter to 11pm.

Claire made herself sound like she wasn’t afraid although Collin knew better.

“What’s the matter.”

“Anou....anou....michi ni mayotte imasu...!”

“Aren’t you with Mizuhara-san?” Collin asked coldly.

“I...I...” Claire sighed as she knew Collin was not sounding happy. She lets out another exasperated sigh and replied “Nevermind.”, Before pressing the end button of her cellphone.

Collin banged the phone’s handset as he went back to his bed and prepared to sleep but as he was already snuggled up under his covers Kana tugged on his sheets,

“What is it Kana?” Collin said quite annoyed.

“Anou sa owner-sama...demou...Dorimo and Claire-chan....”

“What about them?”

“When she called and told you she was lost I immediately tried to know their location as I was certain that that was what you’re going to ask me to do next and....”

Collin sat up and asked angrily,

“And what?”

“They’re in Osaka.”

Claire walked around the streets of Osaka, a place she’s never been to before and stopped at a children’s playground. She sat on the swing as Dorimo floated beside her not saying any word at all, until,

“You should’ve told him we’re in Osaka you dum dum.”

“Gomene Dorimo...demou...I don’t want to inconvenient Collin-kun anymore.”

“And why do you think that you’d inconvenient me?”

Claire turned around to see Collin leaning his back on the tree with his arms crossed in front of his chest.

“Collin-kun...”

“Claire-chan I told you that—“

“Bakka!”

Collin unfolded his arms as he watched Claire’s body tremble and tears slowly falling from her eyes.

“Claire-chan.....”

“Omae wa bakeru! You promised me you’d protect me and catch me whenever I fall but last Wednesday during gym class I fell from the gym horse and you weren’t there to catch me!”

Collin was shocked.

“You promised me you’ll never leave me alone demou...since Tuesday you left me to eat my lunch alone and finish class duties on my own! You promised to be there for me when I needed you and that you’ll always be my support, but yesterday you weren’t there for me when I auditioned for the drama club.”

Claire burst into tears as she continued,

“You....you ignored me the whole week. Avoided me like a plague. And why? Because you’re afraid of what you did to me, you’re afraid that i’ll get mad at you because you kissed me! Well I’m not Collin, I’m not...Hontonii omae wa bakka. ”

Collin took a step forward as he realized how much pain he had caused her, but Claire wasn’t finished,

“You’re the only person that could make me feel comfortable even in the most uncomfortable situation. I trust you so much I could practically tell you anything. When I’m with you I feel safe and all I have is happiness. You’re the only person who could cheer me up. Aside from my brother you’re the only person who could actually tell when I’m really sad, even if I put up my fake happy face. I could never get mad at you even if you try to annoy me or tease me but most of all....”

Claire wiped her tears away as she continued,

“...even though my heart doesn’t beat faster for you than it does for Toki and even though I seem stupid and childish to understand everything, I only know one thing....your the only person who could make my heart beat faster and slower at the same time.

With that, Claire dropped on her knees crying, not knowing what else to say or what the hell is she actually feeling right now, everything...everything was new to her.

Collin’s jaw dropped, then he heard Dorimo whisper,

“Hey gene-bender, isn’t it odd she remembered the kiss you two shared? I mean she tends to forget stuff and trust me she forgot about that other loverboy ever brushing lips with her. But your kiss, she never forgot it. And now she’s trying to tell you she loves you but she doesn’t know how and I bet she doesn’t even know that she is indeed in love. Listen boy, I see you in her dreams everynight, it’s a pity to eat her dreams with you in it but hey what can I say? I’m hungry and a beast has got to eat, but trust me you are in her dreams and in those dreams, she owns you, and I ain’t lyin’ Maxwell-boy.”

Collin’s eyes widened after hearing Dorimo’s words. He rushed to Claire’s side and hugged her tightly. Claire buried her head at the nook of his neck as Collin stroked her long light blue hair. Then he made her look him in the eye, touching her face with his gentle hands and said,

“I’m sorry if I have hurt you this past week Claire. I love you. I’ve always had, I just wasn’t sure if you’d accept it.”

Claire didn’t know what to do, she wasn’t sure what it was she was feeling, and all she knows is that she doesn’t want to lose Collin. She smiled at Collin and touched his face, tucked part of his brown hair behind his ear before moving slowly towards him and finally pressing her lips on his. At first Collin was startled but he kissed her back nonetheless. They spent that night together, sleeping under the tree, in each other’s arms.

Miles away at the Takeuchi manor, a boy with short black hair smiles contently as he closes his book,

“Was it a happy ending master?” a small floating figure asked him.

He simply smiled as he stretched his arms to the back of his head and replied,

“Oh no Hana, actually, it’s a wonderful beginning.”


Owari.



Last time in Xilenxio.....

Collin swiftly crawls out of bed, goes to Claire and holds her by the shoulder. He forced her to look at him. "I told you that if there's something troubling you, I'm always here to listen. I tried to cheer you up but you closed out on me. I know you are worried over Inoue but I'm here!! I'll listen damn it!! And that Mizuhara! Fussing over a simple brushing of lips!? That isn't a kiss!!"

Without a thought he presses his lips on the dumbfounded Water Claimer, even her beast shut up and was shocked.

"THAT is a kiss."

Nothing but the buzz of the aircon was heard.


Xilenxio: Dawn breaks on a new Day

Claire was shocked at what Collin did. She was confused as to why he did it, more importantly she was thinking of the reason as to what led her kind, soft-spoken bestfriend do what he just did. Was it her fault? Was she too nice to let him think that he could just do that to her? Was she that moronic to not see or feel that Collin actually likes her? She didn’t know, all she knows is that she won’t be able to face him for awhile and so she stood up and turned to the door. Collin grabs her wrist and says,

“Claire-chan....I’m sorry.... I didn’t mean to....”

Claire didn’t turn around all she did was take her wrist off of Collin’s grip and say,

“Gomene Collin-san....but I can’t deal with this right now.”

With that, Claire opens the door and runs out into the hallway, leaving her paper contract and her dumbfounded elemental beast behind.

Claire kept on running, running past the other benders without saying anything but with everyone noticing the tears in her eyes. She kept on running until she reached the streets and when she got there she just kept on running without thinking where she’s gonna go. She knew that at this rate she’ll get lost again but she didn’t mind, she didn’t mind at all, she just wanted to get away from everyone for a while.

When exhaustion finally caught up with her she stopped running and when she looked up she realized she was in front of the hospital. She knew visiting hours were over but being a V.I.P. the hospital staff let her inside her comrade’s room.

She looked around the small room only to see different apparatus by Hideki’s hospital bed. She cautiously approached Hideki’s bedside and sat on a steel chair. She looked at him and all her worries about the previous events were somehow erased. She didn’t know why but Hideki has that certain effect on her. She usually nags him or annoys him and Hideki would simply reply with a deep steady sigh, what it meant she never knew, but it makes her feel safe whenever he does that. Actually now that she thinks about it, Hideki has never even spoken to her before and yet his presence and even his simple sigh could make her feel safe.

She looked at his chest rise and fall and she remembers the day when the attack happened. If only she and Meredith were able to come with them, if only she wasn’t that stubborn that day, if only once in her life she had let herself be punished by Jeff for not doing her report.

“Claire-sama....”

A soft voice suddenly said from behind her.

Claire turned only to see Maori, Hideki’s elemental beast. Elemental beasts has a way of healing themselves for a minimal amount, enough to not let themselves die, and besides, with Hideki asleep for a long time, Maori feasts on his dreams 24/7 making her strong.

“Maori, I forgot you might be here.’

“Where’s Dorimo?”

“I left him at the Maxwell mansion when I ran out.”

“You ran out of the Maxwell mansion and left Dorimo? How come?”

Claire opened her mouth to explain but she couldn’t just explain to Maori everything, instead she just smiled and replied,

“Something came up, I just had to leave immediately.”

Maori cocked her head to the side and asked,

“Then why are you here?”

Claire tried to rebut but couldn’t find the right words to say so she simply sighed deeply and decided to tell her everything.

“I see. Collin-sama’s feelings has finally come out but not in a good way.”

“It’s not that it’s not in a good way. It’s just that, I feel like it’s all my fault that he acted like that. I think my actions led him into doing something like that.”

“No, don’t think of it like that Claire-sama. They just think they could take advantage of you because you seem so innocent and pure and....”

“...and stupid.”

“No, no. You’re not stupid. Even Hideki-sama never thought of you as someone stupid. He believes you’re one of the smartest girl he’s ever met, simply because you’re true to yourself. You never let anybody tell you how you should act or what you should say. In addition to that you’re a fast learner, two months with the team, you’re already training in level 6, and Hideki-sama knows you’re the secret 1st honor of Kitamura. So you see Claire-sama, you’re smarter than you let yourself believe, you’re just too innocent and humble to boast about it, unlike some people.”

“How...how did he..?”

Maori smiled and replied,

“Even if Hideki-sama looks like he doesn’t care, he does. He knew about you being Kitamura’s 1st honor through his aunt who’s a teacher at your school.” Maori floated beside Claire and touched her face with her small hand and continued, “Claire-sama, don’t bother with Collin-sama or that Toki, ne?”

Maori and Claire sat in silence as she slowly grabbed Hideki’s hand and placed it on her right hand, enclosing it with the other.

‘Hideki-san, thank you. Even in your sleep you still manage to make me feel safe. Hideki-san, they say I have healing capabilities but I still have to uncover them, if only I was stronger then I could’ve healed you weeks ago. I’ll become stronger for you Hideki-san so I could return the favor. Besides, I miss you giving me those sighs.’

She rubbed Hideki’s hand on her cheek as a tear from her eye fell on Hideki’s hand. She gently places his hand back on the bed and bid Maori farewell.

Maori sighed heavily as she looked at her master’s limp body.

‘Owner-sama...she needs you right now, if only you’d—urk!’

Maori’s thoughts were interrupted when someone suddenly grabbed her like a squeeze toy. When she opened her eyes she saw Hideki slowly sitting up from his bed and taking off the apparatus that gives him oxygen. One by one he took off all the cables that bound him to the machines.

“Go get her.” Hideki said in a low hoarse voice.

Maori immediately floated out of the room and flew towards Claire.

“Maori?”

“Go back Claire-sama, onegai!”

Thinking that Hideki might be in trouble, Claire rushed back to the hospital room only to find the sound claimer sitting at the edge of his bed holding his head, trying to stand up.

“Hideki-san!”

Claire rushed to his side and helped him recline back to his bed. Hideki followed obediently.

“How...why...”

Hideki let out a tired ‘hmph’ as he turned his head to his side, looking out the night sky.

“Hideki-san...anou..”

“Your voice is as irritating as usual and your tears....”

Claire watched as the older claimer sighed heavily and continued,

“...I don’t like seeing those tears of yours. It’s like watching a little kid cry.”

Teary eyed, Claire smiled widely and said,

“You’re well now Hideki-san....subarashii!”

Hideki’s eyes widened as he looked at Claire. He saw Claire smiling sweetly as ever and the corner of her eyes filled with unshed tears. Not thinking, Hideki reached out his hand and with his finger he wiped away her tears.

“Claire...I....I....”

Hideki simply grabbed the younger claimer into a tight hug and kept her there for a good five minutes.

Releasing her, he held Claire by the shoulder and looked at her in the eyes saying,

“I don’t want to scare you like Collin and that Toki dude did. And I don’t plan on forcing you to
feel the same way demou.....”

Claire cocked her head to the side with a questioning look on her face.

Hideki chuckled at seeing Claire’s usual face and he continued,

“That day when I was fighting those reapers, all I could think of is how thankful I am that you were not there. Why? Because one, at least I won’t lose my concentration during the battle by worrying over you and two, I would have lost all my sanity if it was you who was injured, which is, no offense, highly most likely.”

“None taken.” Claire replied with a giggle.

“During my sleep, I saw you in my dreams which is weird because Maori should’ve eaten them...”

“But I couldn’t...I couldn’t rob my master of the only happiness he has in his slumber especially with an indefinite duration.” Maori butted in.

“And a while ago I heard you, from the moment you came into my room to the moment you went out. I heard everything you said and when you touched my hand...I felt it. While I was there in suspended animation you were the one who was able to reach out to me.”

Hideki let out another of his usual sighs and with his head kept low he continued,

“I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I like you, I’ve always had Claire. I’m not the kind of person who goes around telling people I like them and I’m not the kind of person who actually knows how to show people I care but here I am telling you all of this.”

Claire cocked her head to the side and said,

“Hideki-san...this is...this is the first time you actually talked to me. I’m so glad!”

Hideki’s eyes widened as he absorbed what Claire had to say after his confession. He laughed so hard tears came out of his eyes. He grabbed her into another tight hug and said,

“I guess that’s what I get for being oh so straightforward with someone like you Claire. Nevermind everything I said, I’m just glad you’re here.”

Soon Hideki felt Claire’s gentle arms wrap around him and stroking his long dark green hair.

“Hideki-san.....you’re special to me. I just know you are. I’m not sure if I like you-like you but I really know your special to me and I don’t want to lose you. I hope you’d wait until I am able to sort things out. I could be a dummy most of the time and I don’t want to make mistakes with something as important as this. Right now I’m just glad that you’re better now. I don’t need to worry about you anymore.”

Both claimers simply smiled, words need not be spoken. They knew they understood each other better, more than the world could ever understand them.

The next day Jedd and Jeff came to visit Hideki as the head nurse informed them of what happened that night and found Claire all curled up beside Hideki who had his arms protectively around her, both were sleeping so soundly that they chose not to enter.

“I guess she found a way to discover her healing abilities, ne aniki?” Jeff asked.

“Indeed. And who would’ve thought that our snobby ‘sigh’ boy would be the key?” Jedd replied calmly.

Jeff looked up at his brother and back at the sleeping duo once again before replying,

“Yeah, who would’ve thought indeed.”


Owari.



Xilenxio: The missing piece

A little boy about six years old wandered into the far side of the beach in search of shells and small trinkets to bring home. He didn’t mean to wander off but he saw something shimmer by the rocks and was curious as to what it was. When he got there, he found a small piece of glass. When he picked it up it produced a small rainbow when the sunlight touched it, which delighted the little boy. He placed it in his bucket and wandered around to look for more stuff. He didn’t notice the wave that was quickly approaching the rocks. When he looked up the wave was coming at him, ready to swallow him up. He dropped on his knees crying and calling for his mother but the wave never came. He looked up only to see a smaller younger girl standing in front of him. She was holding out her hand and the wave seemed to have stopped on its tracks and dissolved in mid-air.

The little girl turned to help him up,

“Ogenki desu ka?” the girl asked in her squeaky high-pitched voice.

“Hai, genki desu. Arigatou.” He answered meekly.

“Sore wa subarashii.....” The girl said with a contented smile.

“Anou saa Toki-sama, it’s time to wake up.”

Mizuhara Toki opens his eyes to another day. He thanks his maid and prepares for school not forgetting to put on his lucky necklace, the one with a small prism like pendant.

He steps out of his limousine and looks up at the tall bell tower of Kitamura Highschool. He waves goodbye to his trusted driver and walks towards the school in his usual cool way, that is, until he sees her walking down the hall. He immediately remembers the incident that happened yesterday and soon his face was flushed. He didn’t know what to do, whether to run away, hide or stay and say hi, in the end he was pinned on where he was standing, sweating profusely. Although trembling, he raised his right hand and greeted,

“O-ohayou kawaii-hime!”

Claire walked right past him, her head kept low without a single word passing through her lips.

Toki dropped his hand to his side and thought to himself,

‘She must hate me now. I shouldn’t have gotten so close to her.’

Dorimo looked at Toki and sighed heavily as he said,

‘Hey stupid, your other lover boy said goodmorning to you...aren’t you even gonna say “hi”?”

Claire lifted her head and remembered what happened between her and Toki yesterday, it was an incident that led to another unforeseen event. It was weird actually, how well she remembered those two incidents, usually she forgets things right away with her goldfish-like memory.

Claire turned to Toki with her usual smile and said in her usual perky tone,

“Ohayou Toki-sempai. Sorry, I didn’t greet you right away. I was thinking of my math assignment, I think I left it at home.”

Dorimo flinched,

‘liar.’

‘uruhe’

Toki gazed at her eyes and somehow he knew instantly that she was lying, but he didn’t say a word, thinking that it was his fault Claire was so depressed. He just smiled back and nodded his head.

That day Claire was so out of it. She kept her head looking out the window, which gained much annoyance from her teachers, they just fear her father that’s why they never reprimanded her. Collin would look at her every now and then, looking gloomy as she was. When the lunch bell finally rang Collin stood up to approach her but she was already out of the classroom.

Claire spent her lunchtime at the school’s garden, sitting in the gazebo and eating her lunch on her own. Toki usually eats his lunch in the same area as it is quiet and remote letting him eat his lunch in peace. Walking down the stone path, he saw Claire silently eating,

“Kawaii-hime?”

Claire looked and saw Toki carrying his obento wrapped in a light blue cloth.

“Toki-sempai.”

Toki slowly approached the gazebo and sat beside Claire,

“What are you doing here? And where’s Maxwell-san, you always eat lunch with him don’t you?”

Claire’s grip on her fork tightened,

‘Why is she so tense?’ Toki asked himself when he noticed Claire tense up.

“Doushita no Takeuchi-chan?”

Claire lifted her head and brought out her usual bright smile and said,

“Ehh..N-nan de mo nai Toki-sempai!”

One look and Toki knew she was lying once again. This time he couldn’t help himself anymore, Claire’s actions and fake smiles are worrying him and so he clenched his hand into a ball of fist and said,

“Liar.”

Claire’s eyes widened in shock, yet she continued to smile as she cocked her head to her side with an innocent questioning look on her face saying,

“Huh? Nan to osshimashita, Toki-sempai?”

“You’re lying. I can see it in your eyes that something is troubling you.”

Dorimo floated towards Toki and stayed just above his left shoulder and said,

“Hey, this dude’s good.”

Claire was caught unaware, this was the first time anybody else besides Collin was able to see through her smile.

“Anou..uhh...”

Claire stammered not knowing how and what to react.

“Please tell me what it is that’s bothering you. Is it about our accidental kiss yesterday kawaii-hime? If it is I’m so sorry if it’s bothering you. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten closer to you I...I...”

Toki turned his gaze on his unwrapped obento as he continued,

“Hontonii gomenasai kawaii-hime.”

Claire’s facial features softened as she watched Toki, she placed both of her hands on top of Toki’s fist as she said,

“Shinpai nai yo Toki-sempai. I’m not worrying about that at all, it’s just that.....”

Claire looked away as she thinks for a moment whether to tell him what happened or keep it to herself. Dorimo floated near her ear and whispered,

“It would be better if you let it out than keep it all cooped up. It might blow up your heart or something.”

Claire realized that her elemental beast is right so she heaved out a deep sigh and she started to tell Toki what had happened yesterday after they parted, leaving the defeating-evil-reapers part.

“Naruhodo.” Toki said afterwards.

Silence.

Toki was slowly creating images of torture, and the victim? No one else but Collin Maxwell.

“Ne Toki-sempai, are you okay?”

Toki looked at Claire and smiled his knee-melting smile,

“Hai. I’m okay. It’s just that I can’t believe that Maxwell-san feel strongly for you, so strong he’d do something so reckless. So, are you worried how to tell him that you feel the same way too?” Toki asked, obviously fishing for information.

Claire shook her head lightly, making her light blue hair sway.

“Then tell me kawaii-hime, why are you so troubled?”

“I don’t know how to tell him that I can’t return his feelings without hurting him.”

Dorimo snorted and said,

“Stupid girl. NO matter what you do, no matter how you say it, it will hurt that gene-bender. Seriously I don’t know what’s all this fuss is about you dum dum.”

Not thinking, Toki suddenly said out loud,

“He’s right you know.”

Claire immediately looked at Toki,

“Huh?”

Startled, Toki wasn’t able to take back what he said, he simply replied,

“I...uh...I mean he’s right about the ‘no-matter-what-you-do-he’d-still-get-hurt part...not the stupid part.... ”

Claire’s eyes widened in shock,

“Can you....Can you see Dorimo??” Claire asked.

“Oi Oi why are you suddenly asking him that! He doesn’t even know who you’re referring to and what you mean, now he might think you’re crazy!” Dorimo exclaimed.

Toki look up at the gazebo’s ceiling and said,

“So his name is Dorimo huh? Well not really kawaii-hime, I...I could just hear him. Yesterday while we were talking outside our classroom, I heard something hit the wall and then I heard a voice say “ouch!” I thought it was just my imagination but then I kept on hearing him talking and talking and well, I figured he was an imaginary friend of yours, some imagination you have Claire-hime.”

“Nani?! Did this punk just called me an imaginary friend?! Why I ought’a –“

Dorimo got into a fighting stance and started punching the air with his paws...I mean fists.

“He’s a fiesty one isn’t he?” Toki asked with a smile.

Claire grabbed Dorimo and explained,

“Dorimo is....is not an imaginary friend...he’s an elemental beast...kinda like..uhh....uhm..”

“An elemental spirit?” Toki suggested.

“Uh yeah...kinda like that...ahehe....demou...I wonder how come you could hear him?”

Toki shrugged and as he did the pendant of\n his necklace shimmered and it caught Claire’s eyes. Claire reached out for it but Toki grabbed her hand,

“Gomene kawaii-hime demou...please don’t touch it.”

“Gomen Toki-sempai. It just looks oh so familiar to me, where did you get it?”

“It belonged to someone special. She dropped it and I was the one who was able to find it. It’s a part of a bigger prism-like crystal and she gave me this piece before she.....”

“...died?”

Toki sweat dropped as he shook his head violently,

“No, no, no, she didn’t die...she...

/ “Sore wa subarashii...oh you found my crystal! Look Dodo-kun he found it!” the little girl exclaimed, reaching into his bucket.

“Anou...it’s yours?”

“Hai. Well not really, it’s Dodo-kun’s.”

“Dodo-kun?”

“Here touch it, you’ll see him.”

Young Toki touches the crystal and suddenly sees a chibi fox floating beside the little girl.

“Oi oi oi! What do you think you’re doing letting some ordinary mortal touch my crystal and letting him see me!”

“Hush Dodo-kun he found your crystal, the crystal you lost, he deserves some kind of reward doesn’t he?”

The small fox folded its arms and huffed out, complaining how he got the silliest claimer out of all the millions of people in this world.

Young Toki was amazed to see such a cute little thing. He looks at the girl and asks,

“Are you...are you a water fairy?”

The girl giggled and replied,

“No. I’m a water claimer and he’s my elemental partner. I can control water while he...dodo-kun owns the water.”

Still confused, the young boy simply nodded in response. Both kids played by the rocks until sun down.

“Will I see you again?”

“No idea but daddy said we might leave for mommy’s hometown next week.”

Sadness filled the young beautiful face of Toki so the little girl picked up the crystal, conjured a small knife made of water and cut a piece of the crystal.

“WHAT THE?! ARE YOU CRAZY! YOU BROKE MY CRYSTAL!”

“Uruhe dodo-kun.” The little girl hushed. She turned to him and said, “Keep this and one day I’ll go looking for it because Dodo-kun might need it someday...”

“I NEED IT NOW YOU SIMPLE MINDED TWER—!”

The girl covered the beast’s mouth with her tiny hand and continued,

“Keep it, ne?”

Toki firmly nodded as if saying “I’ll even protect it with my life!”. The girl smiled and ran off into the distant leaving the very young Toki clutching the piece of crystal close to his heart./


“Toki-sempai?”

“Gomene. I totally spaced out back there. Uh..where was I?”

“Where’s the owner of the crystal?”

“Oh yeah...I’m not sure but one day I just know she’ll come back. Anyway enough about weird stuff we could talk about that some other time. If you don’t mind me asking, why is it that you’re not able to return Maxwell’s feelings for you?”

Claire’s face softened and finally a genuine smile graced her lips as she said, in a rather soft and careful tone,

“I...I’m not really sure...demou...something’s telling me that he’s just not the one I’m looking for. It’s like someone else was meant for me. I may be thinking of a fairytale ending but who doesn’t want to have one? I’m looking for that one person who could....well actually I’m looking for this someone who....”

“Who what?”

Claire looked away,

“Betsuni.”

“Kawaii-hime?”

Claire simply stared at the rose sitting quietly at one of the gazebo’s wooden pillar. Suddenly the bell tower rang out, signaling the end of their lunchbreak. Claire quickly fixed her obento and rushed out of the area without any other word, Toki just sat there indefinable.

Later that day after class, while making his way to the Soccer field he heard Claire’s voice inside the music room,

“Collin-kun, I’m so sorry, demou...I can’t return your feelings.”

“Naze ka?”

Claire looked away sadly as she replied,

“I....well...my heart belongs to someone else and I know he holds it dearly.”

“Who is he, that Mizuhara?”

Silence.

“Claire-chan?”

“No, it’s not him...at least I think it’s not him...”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m waiting for someone...well I’m more of looking for someone actually...demou..”

“But what?” Collin pressed.

Claire held her uniform’s ribbon tightly as she replied,

“I don’t know where to start looking...but I’ll know it’s him when I see him. I met him years ago and the moment I looked at him I just knew he was the one, I promised him I’ll look for him. Collin-kun, he’s the one who could to see through my eyes.”

“Claire-chan I can see through you! I know your every move, your moods, your favorite things, your—”

“Yamero Collin-kun! It’s hard for me explain this. You should be able to see that right now if you really know me that much...if you really are able to see through me. Collin-kun, I can’t think of any other way to describe what I’m thinking right now or what I’m feeling. I just know he’s there somewhere, waiting for me to find him. He’s that special to me so I hope when I do find him you’ll be happy for us both.”

“So you haven’t seen him yet? That means I still have a chance.”

Claire shook her head and replied,

“He’s close....I just know he is, I just have to recognize and make sure that it is him. Hontonii Gomenasai Collin-kun.”

Toki immediately left the area before any one of them came out.

After soccer practice Toki was finally on his way home, sitting quietly in his limo’s back seat thinking of Claire’s words to Collin. He wondered who the guy is and sighed heavily as he realized he really doesn’t have a chance with his kawaii-hime. Losing all his hopes with Claire, he stared outside the car’s window and contemplates,

‘What was I thinking anyway?’ Toki sighs heavily as he started playing with the crystal hanging from his neck.

‘I wonder, where are you my crystal princess? If only I could clearly remember your face I’d go look for you myself...demou...’

Releasing the crystal, Toki rests his chin on his hand as he continued to look at the passing objects outside his window,

‘...Why can’t I remember her face anyway? and that pet of hers...why can’t I remember what it really looks like?’ Toki held his head as he tried to reconstruct the face of the girl he met years ago when suddenly the limo came to a screeching halt.

“What’s the matter?”

“Young master there’s a commotion going on and the traffic’s jammed.”

Toki went outside his limo and tried to look at the problem. He saw people jumping high above the ground and he even saw a few indescribable ones, they looked like monsters, disgusting monsters. He ran towards the “battlefield” in hopes of finding out what’s going on. When he got there he found familiar faces, Meredith, Morrigan, Collin and most of all...Claire.

Toki hid behind the flipped cars making sure that he won’t be seen by any of them but with no luck at all. One of the monsters, reapers, saw him and rushed to attack him. None of the element benders noticed right away until,

“What the hell is that?!” Morrigan exclaimed referring to a blue light.

“How should I know?!” Meredith replied.

Everybody turned to the direction that Morrigan pointed and saw the same blue light.

“I know this feeling.” Claire mumbled.

Dorimo took form behind Claire and said,

“I know it too....dummy head, could it be?”

Claire’s eyes widened when she saw who was at the center of the blue light and exclaimed,

“TOKI-SEMPAI!”

“Claire!” Collin shouted as he tried to grab Claire’s hand but she had already flown down and destroyed the reaper trying to attack the blue barrier.

Another reaper followed Claire and was about to attack again when thunder suddenly struck it dead. Claire looked up to see Lyle and mouthed a soft, ‘arigatou’ in which the other bender simply shrugged off. The blue light had finally disappeared and at the center of it was Toki, kneeling on the ground with his head looking down.

“Toki-sempai, how did he...?”

Once again the crystal pendant shined and this time Claire recognized it.

“The piece of the crystal! It was you....you were that boy in the beach twelve years ago!” Claire shouted from above.

Toki looked up and as he did he saw a reaper coming down behind Claire. He ran to her, jumped as high as he could and grabbed her just in time, the barrier of water produced by Toki’s necklace protecting them.

Claire, now lying on top of a bruised and dirtied Toki slowly sat up. She looked at Toki who was lying unconsciously on the ground, his blonde hair messily covering his face. Claire moved strands of his hair aside and touched his face with her left hand.

“Toki-kun, please open your eyes.”

Toki’s eyebrows furrowed, his head slowly moving and his eyes slowly opening. When he opened them he saw the image of the little girl he saw years ago. Suddenly, the little girl with small bright mossy green eyes and light blue pigtails was replaced by Claire’s worried face.

Toki slowly lifted his hand to touch Claire’s face and to wipe away the tears falling from her face,

“It was you all along kawaii-hime. You’re my crystal princess.”

Claire held Toki’s hand and nodded softly,

“Hai. And you, you’re the one I’ve been looking for all these years.”

Toki broke his necklace and gave it to Claire saying,

“You’ve been looking for this correct? I guess Dodo-kun...or rather, Dorimo needs it now, huh?”

Shaking her head, Claire closed his palm enclosing the crystal inside it saying,

“Iiye. Dorimo doesn’t need it now, he’s grown enough not depend on his crystal. Besides I wasn’t looking for you because of it...I was looking for you because....because I...”

Claire stammered as she blushed herself to death...I mean...as her cheeks turned bright red,

“Oh sheez! It’s because she loves you, you young-blonde-soccer-playing-bishounen! Gah! I can’t understand why you can’t say it straight you stupid girl!” Dorimo shouted.

Suddenly a girl with very long dirty blonde hair grabbed Dorimo,

“You are a very naughty elemental beast, do you know that? You could’ve at least let her say her feelings on her own!”

“Aya-sama..y-yamero...Aya-sama...I-i-Itai!” Dorimo screamed as Aya Ryoudo twisted his fox-like ears.

Claire and Toki simply looked at each other and laughed out loud along with everyone else, including Collin.

Toki then held Claire’s face in his right hand and kissed her for the first time with Claire kissing him back as well.

Later that night,

“I know you’re happy to finally find him Owner-sama...demou....” Dorimo paused to put cotton in his ear, “...demou....”, he paused again to wrap bandage around his ear, “...demou Owner-sama...” he paused for the third time to put on his ear mufflers, “...TRY NOT TO MAKE ME DEAF WITH THAT STUPID HEARTBEAT OF YOURS! IT’S LIKE DRUMS ATTACHED TO A THOUSAND AMPLIFIERS WITH DOLBY SURROUND SOUND IN FULL HARDCORE VOLUME!

Claire simply smiled sweetly as she continued to brush her long light blue hair.


Owari.
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