‚³‚悤‚È‚ç ƒJƒGƒf (Farewell Kaede)

A fanfic of ƒuƒ‹@ƒV[ƒh
by ÷“ (Yusura)
For Miaka. ^_^ You know who you are!

    Author's Blurb: Yes, I do like Blue Seed.  Far from one of my favorites, but it was still neat. (Personally, I don't think Megumi H. made a good Momiji, but that's just my humble opinion.).  Kaede being without a single doubt my favorite Blue Seed character, I thought I'd write a humble little fic that kind of centered on her and Kusanagi's relationship before the TV series.  Comments, suggestions, corrections, monetary donations, and sacrificial UFO catcher dolls may be sent to ibuki@jps.net.  This is a lot more serious than my usual fics, just so you know.  I decided I'd had way too much fun with Evaflowne, so I went for serious this time.  You can tell when I was listening to sad music...
Hope you like it!

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    A slight wind...
    The red collar of his coat whipped in the breeze, and he shivered slightly. He sat on the edge of the T.A.C. headquarters rooftop, in a fetal position with his knees tucked up under his chin and his arms wrapped around his knees.  He smirked a bit at the fact that he, a creature that the T.A.C. would not hesitate to blow away (especially Kome, that psychotic trigger-happy girl in the pink suit...), was sitting right on top of them.  He lost the humor quickly, though.  He didn't have much time.  He had to eliminate the current Kushinada, and he had to do it quickly.
    But...
    She looked so much like Kaede.
    The same guileless smile, the same slightly chubby figure he had found so endearing...
    He shook his head and stood wearily, the folds of his trenchcoat cascading over his muscular frame.  He had been stalking Momiji Fujimiya for weeks, wondering if he could kill the sister of the one human he had loved.  He had nearly done it, once, when the child had been sleeping.  Her brown hair disarrayed, one arm thrown over her shoulder; she had made such an easy target then.  He had entered her room through the fluttering sheets over her window.  He had allowed the lethal blade hidden in his arm to unfold, and had been poised to deliver the blow that would seal mankind's fate.  Then, she had turned and murmured something unintelligible and smiled... and that smile made him think of one person.
    Kaede.
    He had fled immediately.
    Damn the girl.  She had to die!
     He clenched black-gloved fists, staring at the 9-shaped seeds that had been entrusted… no, forced  onto him.   They glistened wetly in the moonlight, and again memories of the young priestess that had befriended him swept over him... the way she had run her hands over them admiringly and with such curiosity, those soft fingers that only one so young could have.
    Now, Momiji trusted him.  She shouldn't, but she did, for reasons he didn't understand.  He had been given countless opportunities to destroy the link that would allow the Aragami to enter this dimension unimpeded.  One quick blow, and it would be over, but he couldn't do it.  Not now.
    He slumped, and let himself stagger against the small shack on the rooftop.  He dragged down against it, and slowly he reached into a pocket next to his heart to withdraw a small photo no one knew existed but himself and Kaede.  She had turned eleven that day, and she'd been given a camera.  Her mysterious friend, of course, made an appearance, and she insisted on taking a picture of the two of them together under the oak tree where they played together.
    The fingers of his left hand, the one she'd been holding in the picture, began to tremble, and his right hand raised itself to wipe tears that had somehow begun to form in his eyes.  He continued to swipe at them angrily, but they continued to fall...
    He did not remain long, and later, the Tokyo police were busy with reports from citizens that there was a dark, shadowy figure flying amongst the roofs.  A vampire-aragami, they claimed it was.  The police ignored the calls.
 

    Several days later, Kusanagi paid an unexpected visit to Momiji.  Lurking near her as usual, he had caught a flash of white, and his curiosity was killing him, so he quickly darted in through the window for a quick peek.
    She was wearing a panda today.  He had been correct, and took a moment to congratulate himself on his excellent sense of vision and memory.
    "KUSANAGIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!’
    Oops.  Damn, he'd been caught.  He immediately launched himself to the window for a quick escape, but found himself held back by the hem of his coat.  One could almost imagine a large sweatdrop falling from his forehead.
    "Kusanagiiii..." she ground out, "You... you..."
    The odds were not good for our panty-obsessed hero.  He immediately tried a mulish/sheepish/I-shouldn't-have-done-it-I'm-sorry look, but it wasn't taking.  Momiji was definitely turning a shade of red she normally wasn't.  It was time for...
    The Crouch of the Wild Tiger.
    He immediately assumed the stance and defended himself.
    "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" he yelped, flapping his arms up and down.
    Unfortunately for Kusanagi, Momiji was still mad.  Mad enough, in fact, that she reached for her lamp and swung at him with it.  Fortunately for Kusanagi, Momiji was not the TAC's greatest marksman.  She missed, but managed to tangle Kusanagi's feet with the cord, and they both fell down in a tangle.
    It took a few moments for Kusanagi to realize the position they were in;  Momiji's legs were around his waist, while he had managed to stumble forwards.  Her arms were in mid-clawing action somewhere over his back.  Gulping, he couldn't help but notice that she had a rather shapely waist, and he realized her skirt had been blown upwards, and he could see just the slightest hint of white peeking out from under.
    Unfortunately for the both of them, Mr. Sugishita, the TAC's biggest flirt, came to investigate the noise, accompanied by Azusa Matsudaira, the motherly one, and Daitetsu Kunikida, the fatherly one.
    Daitetsu fainted, while Mr. Sugishita let out a steady stream of incoherent noises.
    "Oh, my." stated Azusa.  "Aren't you a little young for this sort of thing?"
    "Young for what?" asked Yoshiki Yaegashi.  The TAC's computer nerd, he was Kusanagi's brother in the sense that they were both were obsessed with Momiji's panties.  Then, he saw what Azusa was talking about.
    "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!!!" he screamed, and ran back downstairs.  Ryoko Takeuchi and Sakura Yamaziki, the resident spellcaster, passed him on the way up.  When they finally reached Momiji's room, they were somewhat stunned.
    "G-goodness..." stuttered Ryoko.
    "Oh my gawd." said Sakura.
    Kusanagi had by this time had come to the brilliant conclusion that it was no longer safe for him to be in the immediate vicinity, and untangled himself from Momiji's (accidental) embrace.  He made a hasty exit, red trenchcoat fluttering in his wake.
    "Now, Momiji... I'm sure you like Kusanagi, but... well... come into my office, will you?" asked Azusa calmly.
    Momiji sighed and hung her head, then left, passing the still blubbering Sugishita and the rest of the TAC crew.  As Momiji stepped past her, Ryoko reached out and gently put a hand on Momiji's shoulder.
    "Don't worry... I know what you're going through..." she said, and then winked.
    "Oh, no..." mumbled Momiji.  They had it all wrong...
    And yet...
 

    Several miles away, Kusanagi reflected on the day's occurences while he sat on the edge of another rooftop and watched the moon rise.  He hadn't felt such warmth inside and a sense of being happy since Kaede had been with him.  Happiness was not something he was used to, he reasoned.
    There had been very few instances when he had felt happiness before, and they had always been with Kaede.  His normal feelings were hate, anger, and aggressiveness, thanks to the Aragami that had destroyed his life.
    He realized he had been swinging his legs back and forth like a child, and he leaned back on his hands to gaze up at the soft light from the moon... and he remembered...

    They had both been sitting on the edge of a rooftop that day.  Kaede had been afraid at first, but with Kusanagi's gentle coaxing, she finally came forward and plopped down next to him on the cold asphalt.
    "Aren't you scared, Kusanagi?" she had asked plaintively, tossing her head and the blue mop of hair on her it.  Usually well-groomed, the wind had plastered it to her face, making her seem even more childish and innocent as she swung her legs back and forth over the abyss that stretched from the corner of the roof they sat on to the next.
    "I don't really get scared," he replied.  "Just sometimes."  Which was true.
    "What are you scared of?" she had asked innocently.
    He thought for a moment in silence.  There wasn't really anything he was scared of...
    Just someone he was scared of losing.
    "Nothing, really." he said quietly.  "Nothing..."
    She had wrapped small arms around his waist and buried her face against his shoulder.  After a few moments of clinging to him, she had turned her young face up to look at him.
    "So when the bad things come... you'll protect me?" she had asked hopefully.
    He hadn't been able to answer.