Thiis is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
Miki, Risa and Izumi were still at the entrance of Deep Field Weaponry. As they did not have anything to do, time seemed to be passing extremely slowly for them, and soon they were bored.
“What takes them so long?” demanded Miki, as she kept pacing around. “It must have been an hour since they entered this building!”
“It has been 15 minutes only, Miki!” said Risa after checking her watch. “Calm down.”
“But it is so boring here…” said Izumi with a yawn. “Let’s go back. If Fukada-kun is going out with Hina-chan, we have a lot of chances to film them.”
“OHHH! For once, Izumi said something which made sense!” said Risa, clearly impressed.
“What do you mean, ‘for once’?” protested Izumi.
“Let’s go, Miki!”, said Risa, ignoring Izumi.
“No, I am staying here!” said Miki firmly. “You can go if you want to.”
“What are you doing, you three?” said a voice from behind.
Miki, Risa and Izumi all jumped and looked around.
“Yukiji, don’t speak so suddenly from behind,” said Miki as she sighed. “You scared us.”
“Ah? Sorry about that,” said Yukiji, who did not sound like she was sorry at all. “So what you are doing here? It doesn’t look like you are doing anything at all, by the way.”
“How rude!” said Miki, Risa and Izumi together. “We are doing something very important, Yukiji! And it is something important to you as well!” added Miki.
Yukiji did not look like she cared. “What? This is about me? What could that be?”
“It is not about you, Yukiji, but your sister!” said Miki. “She is on a date with our new boy Fukada!”
“What?!” said Yukiji, suddenly alarmed. She had heard that many boys in Hakuou liked her sister, but so far no boys – other than one certain Azumamiya Koutarou – had had the guts to ask her out. Somehow she was impressed by the courage this new boy had shown, but then…
“Are you really sure they are on a date?” she asked. “It might be that they are going to somewhere together merely as friends.”
“But he held her hand,” said Risa.
“And she did not reject him!” said Izumi, who blushed.
“It can’t be wrong, Yukiji!” said Miki. “How could we, the expert on love and gossip, go wrong with this?”
“Well…” began Yukiji, who was still very unconvinced. Luckily for her, the entrance door of Deep Field Weaponry opened at that moment, so everybody turned their attention to the door.
It was Hinagiku who came out of the door. She was covering her face while running very fast, so she did not see her sister, who was also moving towards her, and they bumped together.
“Ouch! Hina, watch out when you walk!” said Yukiji. She found it quite odd – it was one of the very few times she lectured Hinagiku. She found it even odder that Hinagiku did not retort. She looked down at Hinagiku and found that she had begun to sob in her chest.
“Onee-chan! Onee-chan!” cried Hinagiku like an injured child. Nobody but Yukiji knew that Hinagiku used to cry like this before, when she was very small.
“What happened, Hina?” asked Yukiji soothingly, as she was touched by this distant but familiar bonding with her sister. “Is something bothering you?”
When she was small, Hinagiku would begin speaking out loud what was bothering her. This time, she only kept nodding, and cried even louder than before.
“Hey… hey…” mumbled Yukiji. As it was a relatively new situation for her, Yukiji had no idea how to handle. She looked over Hinagiku’s head, and mouthed “What do we do?” to the other three.
Miki sighed. “Well, we can’t stand here forever,” she said. “Let find somewhere we could sit down, and maybe talk with Hina if she is… ready.”
“But where could we go?” asked Izumi. “We need a warm, comfortable and quiet place to do our girls’ talk.”
“I know one place,” said Miki.
Ayumu and Nagi were on duty at Cafe Donguri this day. Unfortunately there was not even a single customer. Kaga would say it was “one of those days”, but Nagi had the feeling that it was everyday.
“I want to go home now!” moaned Nagi, who was laying her head on the table. “It is so boring here, I don’t want to work any more today!”
“Don’t be like that, Nagi-chan!” said Ayumu, who was keeping her guard on. “Customers could show up at any time, we have to be ready! You can’t let customers see you being lazy!”
Nagi snorted. “What are you talking about? I don’t see any – “
The door opened. “Welcome!” Ayumu greeted the arriving customers at once.
“Oh, no!” whispered Nagi as she jumped up from the table, and hurried to join Ayumu. “Welcome – What? It’s you.” She had adopted a much more disinterested tone when she saw Miki, Risa and Izumi entering the coffee shop.
“What do you mean ‘It’s you’, Nagi-chan?” asked Miki, annoyed. “This is not the way to treat customers, especially when you know them!”
Nagi ignored the lecture. “What brings you here today? I have never seen you, customers.”
“Well… it’s her,” said Miki as she pointed at Hinagiku, who was entering the coffee shop with Yukiji. Hinagiku was still crying in Yukiji’s chest, although not as hard as before.
“Hina-san!” exclaimed Ayumu as she rushed towards Hinagiku. “What happened? Is there something wrong?”
“Well, we would want to know too, but – “ said Yukiji, but she stopped as she turned to Ayumu. She had an impression that she had seen this girl before. “Hey, you are…?”
Ayumu also looked at Yukiji, and after a moment’s thought she realized whom she was. “Kazami-sensei! It’s you!!” said Ayumu joyfully. “Long time no see!”
“Oh! You are Nishizawa, right?” said Yukiji, finally remembered. “Look at you! You have all grown up!”
Ayumu giggled. “So, emm… you are Hina-san’s sister, right? It’s a small world, after all.”
“Yes,” said Yukiji thoughtfully. “It is.”
Miki cleared her throat. Ayumu and Yukiji realized that it wasn’t time for their gathering, as Hinagiku needed their attention.
They all sat down at a table. Hinagiku buried her head in her arms on the table. She had stopped crying and become very quiet. It did not seem like she would talk in this state either.
“So…” began Yukiji, who felt that it was essential for Hinagiku to say what actually had happened. “You must have had a very bad time in that building, Hina, but I need you to talk. There is no way we can help you if you say nothing.”
Hinagiku shook her head, which was still buried in her arms. “I – I can’t. He – he warned me not to ca – call the police, otherwise… otherwise…” she began sobbing again as she imagined what could happen to her parents if they called the police.
Ayumu held her arm around Hinagiku’s shoulders. “It’s fine, Hina-san, we won’t call the police,” she said soothingly. “But you have to tell us what happened. You see, everybody is worried about you, so you have to let us know.”
Hinagiku looked up very slowly, and saw that everyone was looking at her. “Re – really? You won’t call the police?” she asked helplessly.
Yukiji hesitated. Depending on what exactly happened, it could be necessary to inform the police, but the most important thing at the moment was to have Hinagiku to speak out. “Of course we won’t,” she said with a smile. “Trust me, Hina. I am your sister.”
Hinagiku looked at her sister. “Onee-chan,” she began, and took a deep breath before she continued. “I – I …” she paused. Everyone, especially Yukiji, desperately wanted the answer, but they did not hurry Hinagiku. They knew that it needed time for Hinagiku to gather enough courage to speak. After about half a minute, Hinagiku finally finished her sentence. “I saw… our parents.”
“What?!” said Yukiji, who was both relieved and alarmed. She was relieved that Hinagiku did not give the expected answer which she feared most, but she was alarmed that Hinagiku gave the most unexpected answer. “Wh – what do you mean, our parents?”
“Our real parents, Onee-chan,” said Hinagiku. “I don’t know how, but – but Fukada-kun managed to capture our real parents.”
“Capture?” asked Nagi. “You mean he kept your parents in that building?”
“Th – that’s right. I – I saw them. They were very thin. They seemed like dy – dying. Mom touched me, and s – she was so c – cold. I – I wanted to save them, but – but I couldn’t!” said Hinagiku, and she could not contain herself anymore. She buried her head in her arms again and began crying.
“Oh, my God!” whispered Yukiji. Cold fury suddenly rose within her. “How could he have done this? What is wrong with this boy?!” She felt that tears were filling her eyes. Suddenly, she understood why Hinagiku was crying so hard, and something came across her mind. “I am sorry, Hina, but I have no choice. I must call the police. I must call the police!”
“Don’t do it!” shouted Nagi, as Yukiji had stood up. “Don’t unsettle Hinagiku even more! You promised her, remember?” Yukiji did not move as she was having a fierce battle in her mind. Risa and Izumi helped her to sit down.
Hinagiku did not seem to have heard anything. She had almost completely lost control, and said anything which came to her mind. “I – I don’t know why it happened! I thought… I thought Fukada-kun has grown up! A – Athena asked me to – to try to go out with him. I went and – and he showed me my – my parents!! He – he held my hand and I – I did not reject! I was so – so stupid!! I am so u – useless!!” With that, she began crying again, and said nothing more.
“Hina-san, don’t say things like that, it’s not your fault!” said Ayumu, who was almost close to tears. “There must be a way to save them! There must be a way!” She then began to cry as well.
Kaga, who had been watching the girls talking, sighed and shook his head. “It really is very bitter, Hinagiku-chan.”