Story: Himeko and Chikane: Their Story (chapter 22)

Authors: mandygirl78

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Chapter 22

Title: Starting All Over Again

“Oh Himeko, are you alright?” the woman asked liked a concerned mother.

At first, Himeko was puzzled at who the lady was, but as she studied her facial features, she realized who she was.


It brought a warm feeling to Noriko that her daughter still knew who she was, despite all those years of separation.

"Yes, it's me!" She elated.

Himeko was speechless for a bit, stunned that she finally met her mother. She had been searching for so long, and now she finally meets her, though not in the best condition.

"Mama!" She cried in joy. Himeko was quite surprised how much she and her mother looked alike. She tried to get up to hug her, but she was still in pain. Instead, Noriko reached down and hugged her. Tears were flowing from both of their eyes.

“I thought this day will never come.” wept an emotional Noriko.

“Same here, mama. Same here.”

There were smiles coming from everybody in the room, and a few tears, especially from Keroshi, as he felt jubilated for uniting the two. Just yesterday, Keroshi found the mother and told her about Himeko. They were planning to meet Himeko on that night after she came from work.
After they finished their hugging, Noriko told her, “I was going to meet you at the temple tonight, but when I got word from Keroshi-san that you were at the hospital, I had to immediately leave work and come here.”

“So how did you find her, Keroshi-chan?” Natashi asked.

“I did a search for her on MySpace and saw her page, so I contacted her, telling her that I knew her daughter and that she was looking for her.”

“At first, I thought it was a prank until he sent me a picture of her with that Hana-chan guy and that blue-haired girl.” Noriko informed. “But I’m glad that she’s alright.”

Then Chikane started moving in her bed. Everybody took notice. She rubbed her eyes and opened them, to the surprise to seeing all those people looking at her.
“Oh my God. I’m still alive.”

The room turned their focus to Chikane.

Himeko was the first to speak. “Chikane-chan!”

“Himeko…” Chikane replied weakly. She tried to turn her body towards Himeko, but she felt a sharp pain in her ribs.


Girochi told her, “The doctor said that you have two fractured ribs.”

At first, Chikane was discouraged, but she quickly got over it, realizing how lucky she was. “Well, it sure beats being dead.”

“I’d say. You two are very fortunate that nothing more serious happened.” Kazuki stated with both firmness and concern. “What were you two doing out there in the middle of the night?”

“Well, Corona-san came to our place earlier today…” She went on to explain how Corona approached her at the shrine and told her to meet her at the alley, only to be attacked when she got there, and how Himeko saved her.

“Yeah! Those bastards jumped me and Corona-san was a part of it!”

“I see.” Kazuki mused.

“Then I need to go find Corona-san. She’s now considered a suspect.” Girochi noted.

“Yeah, I want to have a word with her.” Kazuki answered plainly, while hiding the anger that was burning inside.

“I think all of us do,” Natashi fumed. “I knew that she was scrupulous, but I didn’t think that she would do something like this.”

“Let’s not worry about that for now. I’ll get to the bottom of this. She can’t hide forever.“ Girochi fumed.
Then Chikane noticed a woman who looks similar to Himeko. “Himeko, you didn’t tell me anything about you having an older sister?”

The people laughed in the room. Amused, Noriko answered. “I’m not Himeko’s sister, I’m Himeko’s mother!”

“And I’m the one who has the misfortune to live with her,” Reiko joked in her sarcasm matter. Noriko just lightly punched her on the shoulders. She was used to Reiko’s sarcasm and rebuttals.

Chikane’s eyes widened when she heard that. “Really?”

“Of course! My name is Kurusugawa Noriko, and this is my partner, Ota Reiko.”

“Nice to meet you.” Reiko responded in her usual deadpanned tone.

“Her partner?” Natashi whispered to Kazuki. “You mean that they’re also…?”

“Possibly?” Kazuki shrugged.

“So… How long have you been here, Kurusugawa-san?” Chikane asked.

“Only fifteen minutes. So you’re Himeko’s best friend?”

“Ano… You could say that.”

“I’m glad that she has a friend like you!”
Chikane smiled and tolder her, “I’m glad to have a daughter like yours. She saved my life.”

Noriko smiled, “Yeah, my daughter is a hero!”

Himeko blushed a bit. “It was nothing really. I had a bad suspicion about her meeting with Corona, so I followed her behind, and when I saw her being attacked, I grabbed the nearest thing I can use as a weapon.”

“Yeah, but you still saved Himemiya-san’s life! You’re still a hero!”

“Yeah, she’s right!” Girochi added to back her up.

Then the nurse came and told them, “I will have to ask you guys to leave soon. They will have to go to sleep in about ten minutes.”

“No problem, miss.” Kazuki replied. “We’ll get ourselves ready.”

“Thanks.” And the nurse left the room.

Souma ended with, “Well, we’ll come back tomorrow and check up on you guys.”

“Thanks.” Chikane smiled.

They left the place and then the nurse came back and turned off the lights.

“Good night you two.”

In the dark, Chikane had a talk with Himeko.

“I’m amazed that you are willing to put your life in jeopardy for me.”

“Of course I would, I love you Chikane-chan! You’re the most important person in my life. After all, you put your life at risk when you saved me from the Snake Clan, and you didn’t even know me back then.”

Chikane smiled in the dark, satisfied of the answer. “You’re right. I couldn’t let those bastards attempt to rape you.”

“And I thank you very much for that.” Then Himeko yawned. “I’m getting sleepy. Have a good night.”

“You too.”

They went to sleep, thankful that they are still alive and that Himeko finally met her mother.


The next morning, while they were still in the hospital, a purple-haired, brown-skinned woman came into the room. Chikane was stunned and frightful to see her.

“Hello Kurusugawa-san.” It was Sister Miyako. “Sorry I couldn’t come yesterday; I was at my job during the time.”

“Oh no…”

“You have nothing to fear from me. I am glad to see that you are okay.”

“So that you can take me back to the orphanage, like hell you are!” Chikane protested. “Just because I’m in the hospital with tubes in me doesn’t mean that you got me in your clutch!”

“No, it’s not like that! Please listen to me!”

“Yes, please listen to her Chikane-chan.” Himeko pleaded for Sister Miyako.

Chikane saw the honesty in Himeko’s face, then she looked back at Miyako and told her, “You better make it quick.”
Miyako didn’t budge. “It won’t take long. I want to tell you that I helped save your life in the orphanage.

Chikane was surprised. “Huh?”

“Let me explain…”


“On that day, Sister McGlade came to the room and saw you two on the floor, with a small pool of blood underneath you two.”

“Oh my God,” screamed Sister McGlade.

“’What’s going on?’ I asked, hearing her scream from the hallway.”

“Call 119! Chikane-san and Otoha-san slit their wrists!”
I came into the room and saw you two lying on the floor, with Sister McGlade trying to stop the bleeding. “Oh my God! I’ll call them immediately.”

“So I quickly grabbed my cell and call the ambulance. Thanks to Sister McGlade’s being a former registered nurse, she was able to stop your bleeding and Otoha’s as well. The ambulance came and was able to stabilize you, but not Otoha.”

“After the funeral, Sister McGlade and I complained about what was going on in the orphanage, and threatened to take it up to the higher-ups, but then we were released from our duty. Sister McGlade went back to New Zealand, working as a nurse. However, thanks to some strings my brother’s boss pulled, I was able to get work with the Tokyo Catholic Foundation.”

Chikane didn’t say a word, but her silence told Sister Miyako everything.

“So you see, you have nothing to fear from me.”
Chikane still wasn’t sure. “How can I be so sure? How can I believe that you won’t turn around and still send me back?”

“This is how...” MIyako proceed to call Kazuki. “Moshi-moshi Oogami-sensei, how are you? …I’m fine too. Well I’m here with Chikane-san and I told you that I might need you to back me up when I meet her. …Good, I’ll let you talk to her.”

Then she handed over the phone to Chikane and she listened.


“Chikane, it’s me, Oogami-sensei.” Chikane slowly swallowed the lump that formed in her throat. “It’s all true that Sister Miyako is saying.”

Chikane was stunned for a bit, not saying anything. Neither Miyako nor Himeko didn’t say anything either, letting Chikane think things over. It was completely silent until Kazuki spoke up in the phone.

“Himemiya-san? Are you still there?”

“Oh yeah, I’m still here Oogami-sensei.”

“Ah good. Yes, Sister Miyako won’t send you back, and you should thank her for saving your life.”

This gave something to think about. Chikane was always someone who didn’t trust people, but at that time, she was in the room with two people who saved her life. It got her thinking more about how she treats people.

“You’re right Oogami-sensei. I will do that. Thanks.”

“No problem. So did you get word from the doctor when you are coming out?”

“Yeah, it will be tomorrow. I’m a very much looking forward to getting back home.”

“I understand. Well you’ll be back in no time. Until then, I wish you a wonderful recovery and good day.”

“Good day to you too, Oogami sensei.”

Chikane then handed the phone back to Sister Miyako. She sighed a bit and then apologized to Miyako.

“I’m sorry about how I acted towards you. If anything, I’m thankful for what you’ve done for me on that day.”

“That’s okay. I’m just glad that you are still living.”

Sister Miyako stayed for a while, then she went back to the cathedral. For the rest of the day, they explored the hospital, as weak as Chikane was. The rest of the time, they were in the room, watching TV and chatting.


The next day, the doctors gave them the clearance to leave the hospital. When they were about to leave the hospital, they were surprised to see Noriko and Reiko waiting in the guess room.

“Mama!” Himeko quickly ran over and hugged her.

“Hi Himeko. Sorry we couldn’t visit yesterday. We had to take care of our rent money.”

“That’s not a problem. I’m looking forward to seeing your apartment.” Himeko stated. It made Reiko uncomfortable when she said that.

“Himeko, can I asked you something?” Noriko asked.


“How do you feel about moving in with us?”
Reiko was shocked when Noriko asked that.

“We can’t just accept that like that, we don’t have enough room or money to support them.”

“Sure we do.”

Before Reiko was about to protest, Kazuki and Souma arrived.

“Are you ready to go back home?” Kazuki asked.

“Yeah, very much so.” Chikane replied.

“Oh hi there, Kurusugawa-san.” Kazuki greeted to Noriko.

“And… what’s your name again?”

“Ota. Ota Reiko.”

“Ah yes, Ota-san. How are you both doing?”

“Great! Now that Himeko is out.” Noriko elated. “I know that we have a lot to catch up.”

“Yes, I can imagine. Do you want to come to our shrine? We have some lunch already prepared.”


“Great. Just follow us. We’re glad to have you join us.”

As they left the hospital, Himeko was already starting to bond with her mother. While she was walking with her, she had her left arm around her mother’s waist and head on her mother’s right shoulder.


An hour later, they arrived at Kazuki and Souma’s place. They had a nice lunch, consist of sushi and teriyaki chicken. As conversions were going on, Kazuki and Himeko found out that Noriko was an office lady by day and a musician by night, while Reiko was a commercial artist. What the elder couple didn’t know was that Kazuki and Souma knew where they lived.

After they were done, Noriko wanted to see Kazuki privately, so they went to his office. While they were in the office, Noriko talked to Kazuki.

“Could you please let Himeko stay with me for a while?”

“I don’t know. Souma checked out your living area the other day, and it is not a very desirable area. Also, how would I know you won’t go back to your old ways?”

“I won’t. I’ve been doing fine for over seven years. There’s no record of me. I haven’t been arrested since those days. I know you care a lot about Himeko, but you can trust me with her.”

“But Kurusugawa-san just came from a similar situation. She was homeless.”

That took Noriko by surprised. “What? You’re kidding?”

“I don’t do much kidding, and I wouldn’t kid over something like that.” Kazuki deadpanned. “Kurusugawa-san and Himemiya-san were living in those makeshift tents at the park. I decided to ‘adopt’ them, so to speak, so that they can have a normal teenager life. I don’t want them to struggle again.”

“They won’t. I will take a good care of them.”

“How can I guarantee that they will be okay? What guarantee can you give me that their grades will still be good, especially Himeko’s, who is even lucky to be attending Hanayaka? She’s finally doing well academically for once.”

“It will do them good to stay with us, since we are only a few blocks away from the school. We will make sure that she stays on top of her schoolwork.”
Then a knock was heard from the door. Kazuki opened it and saw Himeko.

“Hey Kurusugawa-san, what’s up?”

“I was just wondering where mama was.”

“I’m glad you’re here, Kurursugawa-san. I would like to ask you one question.”

“What is it?”

“Would you like to move in to your mother’s place?”

Pure joy came from Himeko when she heard that. “Absolutely! I would love too!” Hiemko quickly hugged her.

“Thank Kurusugawa-san. I need to talk to your mother privately for a bit.”


Himeko left the office. Kazuki saw that Himeko really wants to be with her mother, and it wouldn’t be wise to prevent that, so he gave it, until one condition.

“Okay, she will stay with you, but if anything serious happens to either Kurusugawa-san or Himemiya-san, they are coming back here.”

“Himemiya-san? The blue-haired girl?”

“Yes. Your daughter and the ‘blue-haired girl’ are a couple. They love each other very much and they are not going anywhere unless you take both of them together.”
That really changes things for Noriko. She wasn’t having much luck convincing Reiko to take in Himeko, but now she has to convince her to take in another person.

“I see… So maybe they were right, it’s part of genetics.”

That brought a small smile to Kazuki. “Apparently yeah, but since I see that you have a female partner yourself, you have no problems with your daughter’s homosexuality. That was my other concern.”

“Absolutely not. In fact, I’m glad to see that she got herself a hottie!” Noriko giggled. Kazuki smiled and shooked his head.

“That she does. However, more than likely Kurusugawa-san will want Himemiya-san to move with her. You can’t separate those two. I will check up on those two constantly. If I find out if anything of these things are occurring such as not enough food, always in danger, their grades are slipping, or that you are having a drug relapse, then I will immediately take them away from you. Understand?”

Noriko swallowed a lump in her throat. “Yes, I totally understood.”

“Good.” Kazuki simply ended as he left the room and Noriko followed.

While they were walking back to the living room area, Noriko was thinking, “I hope nothing backfires on us…”


For the next two hours, the mikos, along with Kazuki, Souma, and Makoto, who came during Kazuki and Noriko’s meeting, were still getting acquainted with Noriko and Reiko. When Reiko checked out the time, she told Noriko that they had to leave.

“Honey, it's time for us to leave.”

“Okay thanks.” They she looked at Chikane and Himeko and said, “I think I need to tell you two something.”

“Sure.” Himeko replied.

“Yeah what is it?” Chikane asked.
She cleared her throat, and then asked, “Oogami-sensei has allowed you two to move in with us. I know Himeko is okay about it, but how about you, Himemiya-san?”

“I’m fine with it. You can call me Chikane-san by the way.”

“Great Chikane-san! We’ll be here next week to pick you two up.”
Reiko wasn’t happy about it and whispered it to Noriko.

“I thought it was just her.”

“We’ll talk about it in the car.”

“This will be great mama!” Himeko elated as she hugged her mother, nearly squeezing her. “I’m very much looking forward to it.”

“So am I, baby.” Noriko replied.
Chikane smiled and saw how happy Himeko was. Seeing her partner being happy was good enough for her.
After the couple left, they had the discussion in the car.

“Chikane is Himeko’s girlfriend. They are very close, so she has to move in with us.”

“No she doesn’t. She can come and visit her if she wants, but she’s not moving in with us.”

“Yes she is. Himeko won’t go without her, and I waited over ten years to have my daughter again! She’s staying!”

“Well if she’s staying, then you’ll be the one who has to pay for food and clothing!” Reiko shouted back.


For the rest of the trip, they didn’t speak to each other.


The next week, Noriko arrived with an old 1994 Honda Accord. Immediately the two girls knew that Noriko and Reiko didn't have a lot of money. It didn't matter to Himeko however, because she finally gets to be with her mom.
As they were in the car, Himeko noticed that Reiko wasn’t inside.

“Where’s Reiko-san?”

“Oh she's at work right now. You'll see her later on today.”
Kazuki was busy cleaning up the main area, but Souma was there to say his good bye to the two girls.

“I have to admit, it was nice having you two around, especially you Himeko.”

Himeko shyly blushed. “Don’t mention it.”

“I hope everything turns out fine for you two over there.”

“It will. Just like what Himeko said, don’t worry about it. We’ll be fine.” Chikane told him.

Yet deep down inside, he wasn’t so sure. Nevertheless, he didn’t bring up how he felt. Instead, he continued the discussion as-is.

“Well take care of yourself, Himeko-san.” He then hugged her.

“You too, Souma-san.”

Then he came up to Chikane and looked at her, eye to eye. The history between the two was anything but rosy, and he knew that he had to bring up their past animosity to each other. He took a deep breath before speaking.

“I know that we had our issues in the past, but I am still thankful for staying with us. Here, I want to give this to you as a symbol of my forgiveness.”

Souma handed her a piece of candy, but it was not just a regular piece of cany.

“Chonmage Yookan. You really mean it?” Chonmage Yookan is a type of candy used when someone is asking for forgiveness.

Souma answered with a bow. “I really do.”
Chikane didn’t say anything for a bit, instead she bowed back as well.

“I’m sorry too. Please accept my forgiveness.”


Then she hugged them. Himeko shed a tear, finally seeing a truce between the two. She was shocked to see Chikane doing something like that, even though she was becoming less cold and distant then in the past. The incident left Norika smiling from ear to ear.

After the hug, Chikane turned around to face Noriko. “We are ready.”

“Alright! Just bring your stuff so we can get rolling!”


Finally they got to the place. They noticed that the apartment looked a bit runned-down. Himeko and Chikane looked at each other, wondering if they made the right decision.

They took the elevator and arrived at their section. When Noriko opened the door and turned on the lights, the mikos noticed how small it was. The kitchen and living room was basically one, plus there was a small TV and a futon in the main room. It was quite apparent that there was only one bedroom and that Himeko and Chikane had to sleep on the futon.

“Well, this is home.” Norkio said.

“Not much of it…” Chikane cynically muttered.

Himeko asked, “So how far are you from our school?”

“Only six blocks away. That’s about 15 minutes.”

“Oh I see.”

“We don’t have a room for you two, but we do have a Futon, so you have to use that for your bed, and you can use our room to change if you have to.”

“…Thanks.” Chikane hesitantly responded.

“This place may be small, but we have a lot of thing to do in the area. We got a park, an arcade, and a clothing store, and that’s just on the other block.”

“Oh thanks.” Himeko responded.

“Do you two want something to eat?”

The two looked at each other and shrugged.

“Sure. Why not?”

“Okay, come to the kitchen with me.”

The two followed Noriko to the kitchen. As she turned on the light, Himeko saw some critters crawling on the counter.

“Roaches!” she yelped.

“Oh my God…” Chikane sighed.

Noriko quickly got nervous. “The landlord was supposed to get someone to take care of it.”

“Ano… I’m not hungry anymore.” Himeko said as she went back to the Futon.

“Same here…” Chikane replied as she went back as well. Noriko sighed and had her head down as she went back to her room.

“Please Kami, help me out here.” she quietly pleaded.


For the next few hours, the mikos were in the room watching TV. Reiko arrived and had a talk with Noriko in the bathroom, about having the two staying.

Reiko came out of their bedroom and saw the mikos sleeping while the TV is still on. She went up to them and woke them up.

“Let me set up the Futon so that you two can sleep properly.”

“Oh thank you, Miss.” Chikane thanked.

“Just call me Reiko-san.”

“Well thank you, Reiko-san.” Himeko thanked with a small bow at the end.

Reiko had the Futon set up so they can sleep on it.

“Well here you go. I hope you two will have a good night.”

“I think we will.” Himeko replied assumingly.
Reiko headed back to the bedroom and the two girls got themselves ready for bed.

Twenty minutes later while they were asleep, Himeko and Chikane heard some squeaking noise.

“What’s that?” Himeko asked.

“Oh it sounds like rats.”

“Rats! Oh my…”

“What? You never had rats in your area when you were in the park?”

“No. I think because Nekoko’s cats took care of them.”

“Oh I see.”

Himeko then hugged Chikane tighter as she tried to go back to sleep. Chikane was now wondering if this was a big mistake. It was almost like when they were homeless, but they weren't going to turn back now. Chikane knew how important was for Himeko to bond with her mother. Little did they know was that there were going to be more than just a bad place to overcome…


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