Chapter 11: Old Friends?
"Why, hello Mr. Yukimura, what brings you here?" Hikari asked politely.
"Oh, just taking a beautiful detour before I check in with my report for the day." He breathed in deeply, as if he were savouring the air.
"Do you work with Mother or Father?" Hikari inquired.
"Your father and I go way back, all the way to high school. He became a millionaire whilst I an English teacher." Yukimura chuckled. Yuri felt the hairs on his back rise, he growled at the sickly calm man. Yukimura's eyebrows raised, and he stuck his hands out in defense.
"Woah, boy, it's all right, er-"
"Victor. I called him Victor." Yuri felt his muscles relax a little, thank goodness Hikari kept him anonymous.
Yukimura gazed around at all the other animals around us.
"My, my, what strange animals. Couldn't possibly be natural..."
"They don't mean any harm! I've just been taking care of them is all..." His words trailed off. Yukimura shook his head.
"I don't mean to take them away, it's quite fascinating actually."
"Oh." Hikari breathed a sigh of relief. It took all of Yuri's strength not to tackle the slim man. "You said you knew Father?"
"Since Grade school. In fact, that's why I'm here. He said he had some business to work put between us, but I know he'll want to talk about anything but. You're more alike to him than you think." Yukimura smiled, and ruffled Hikari's hair playfully.
"I best be off. Good luck with those pets of yours." Hikari beamed.
"See you." He walked down through the trees. Yuri waited several minutes until he was sure Yukimura was gone, then shifted back to his human form.
"I can't stand that guy!" He raged.
"Mr. Yukimura? Why?" Hikari asked, surprised.
"He's a liar, for one thing! I bet the teacher thing is only a gimmick, an illusion to fool us!"
"So what makes you say that?" Hikari seemed a lot more cool about this than he normally would've been.
"Remember when he talked with me earlier? It was a threat, I'm almost certain he works with the scientists and... I just... I don't want to go back. I can't go back." Yuri held his head in his hands, shaking. Hikari scooted beside him, neither embracing or drifting away from him.
"Look," he said. "I know Mr. Yukimura seems like a bad guy, and what he said might've felt like a threat. But trust me when I say he's a good person. My Father has known him for years, and so has Mother. If he really was a terrible man, he would've been exiled from my family ages ago!"
"Exiled...?" Yuri repeated. That seemed a little too high in the extremes, even for Hikari.
"We say exiled, but really their just 'banished' from ever coming in contact with us again, sometimes they have to vacate the town."
"I guess." Yuri said uncertainly.
"Just give him a chance."
"He gets one more." Yuri crossed his arms. Hikari grinned, and taking him by the arm, again, started to walk towards the mansion.
"What about the animals?" Yuri asked quietly.
"If you love something, set it free." He wiped his eyes. A soft mew came from their toes. Seika, followed by Kyo, who couldn't stop chasing after her tail.
"We'll come back tomorrow, won't we?" Yuri said, going Hikari a look, who nodded through a sad smile. Seika shook her head, pouncing onto Yuri's shoulder. Kyo attached himself to Yuri's leg, much to his dismay.
"Ack! Guess we have travel companions." The other animals seemed to wave, remaining in their habitats. Yuri hoped they would be all right, they seemed to have a grasp on what to do, at least.
After a rather difficult walk with Kyo on his heels- literally, Yuri and Hikari arrived out the same door they left from.
"So... what are we going to do about this pair?" Yuri asked, irritated. Kyo kept nibbling on any part of Yuri he could find, any part. Yuri yelped.
"Get off me!" He held the striped cub by the scruff of it's neck. "One of these days..." He growled.
"Seika seems to want to stay by your side, and Kyo... yeah he's a little too attached." Hikari stifled a laugh.
"I think that's the first time you've made a slightly okay pun." Yuri rolled his eyes.
"The first of many!" Hikari took a heroic pose, feeling accomplished.
"Right, so these two just stay with us then?" He smiled, the duo was quite cute.
"Pretty much." Hikari said, shrugging. He opened the door, stepping into darkness, Yuri followed suit. They walked up the stairs, down hallways, parkouring around certain people and things. Hikari crashed on his seat, by now Yuri assumed it was his favourite of all the others lurking about.
A man cleared his throat behind them. Yuri and Hikari stopped conversing about, believe it or not, Kazumi and Chiyo, and whether or not Kazumi would end up dating Yuri. He had been quite flustered when Hikari brought that up, and breathed a sigh of relief when their conversation was interrupted. A tall, skinny man with stunningly blonde hair which stuck out in odd places, making him look like one of those 'mad scientists'. Electric blue eyes studied the two boys with modest pleasure.
"Got some new friends, boy?" He spoke with an energetic voice, and seemed very youthful.
"Father!" Hikari smiled and hugged him, they truly looked almost exactly alike, smoothing aside various looks Hikari shared with his mom.
"How've you been?!" He laughed, a real laugh, not one of those fake laughs many people used nowadays.
"Things have gotten better everyday! First I met Yuri, then Mother gave me Seika, and we- found Kyo." He blushed, embarrassed. His father, however, seemed fascinated.
"Wow, she went all out on this beaut." He held up Seika, grinning from ear to ear. Kyo screeched at him for taking away his playmate, though it sounded more like a whine.
"Heh, all right, you can have her back now." He set her down, and Kyo instantly buried his face into Seika's fur. Now he faced Yuri, whom instantly felt nervous.
"Yuri, is it? Nice meeting you, names Mr. Ricoles, but you can call me Roy." With a smirk, Roy held out a hand to shake. Yuri nodded, shaking his hand hesitantly.
"You seem... Different from your wife." He chuckled nervously. Roy laughed heartily.
"Different? We're the North and South Poles for cryin' out loud! Would you believe she's 10 years younger than me?"
"Ten years?!" Yuri exclaimed. He nodded.
"Yep, but not a day goes by without me thinking about her. Loved her since I first laid eyes on her, and now look at us. Sure, we wed only a couple years after she graduated, but it was well worth it. She wanted a girl, but got stuck with this lad Hikari instead!" They all laughed, and Hikari took over.
"Dad's 42 now, Mom only at 32, but they've never had an argument!"
"Now that's a slight exaggeration. We quarrel from time to time, but so goes married life." Roy shrugged.
"Sounds like you all get along well." Yuri smiled.
"Sure do! But anyway, what about your parents? You seem like a nice enough guy, Yuri." Yuri's grin faded. Parents? He couldn't remember a day when his mother held him tightly, or when his father would tickle him.
"I don't have any." He said quietly. Roy's face lit up into surprise.
"Oh- I'm sorry, I never thought..."
"Don't worry about it. I never met them, so that means they can't be dead, only lost. We all find lost things eventually, right?" Yuri tried to smile, but he felt it only increased the tension in the air. Roy grasped his shoulder tightly, eyes full of a burning passion.
"Stay here as long as you need. Hikari likes you anyway, it would be a shame if you left." He gave a curt nod, and stood upright.
"I don't mean to leave on such a depressingnote, but I have a meeting with an old friend."
"Greetings, Hikari, Yuri." Yukimura waved from the doorway.
"Aito! You know them?" Roy fist bumped Yukimura.
"I teach at your school, Yuri is in one of my classes, and I've known Hikari mainly from all your talk about him." Roy chuckled warmly.
"Do I ramble that much? Ha, I hardly notice!"
"Indeed, well we best be off to business, or you could jibber jabber like last time." Yukimura swished his coat around the corner.
"Oh, come off it, you hardly talk most of the time, I'm just filling in!"
"Mostly because you keep filling in." His voice grew fainter.
"Catch you later, boys. Aito, wait up!" Roy ran after the dark man.
"Great. So he wasn't bluffing when he said he was coming here. How am I supposed to sleep with that nut job prowling around?" Yuri sighed.
"Dunno." Hikari shrugged.
"You're no help."
"That's the point!"