Reaching for a Memory#FanFiction in 7/97 to fill in a small spot the TV series left blank ^_^ There's just a little bit of shonen-ai tension..C&C welcome at email@example.com and my web site could always use visitors -- http://www.pipeline.com/~monica
Reaching for a Memory
by Monica Shin
Marron looked up from his book for a moment, distracted from his reading by the stray cherry blossom that had landed on the page. Gazing out at the park, he smiled and decided to stop for a moment to admire the beautiful spring day. As he contemplated the cherry trees around the bench, Marron stood up, hearing the sound of a basketball game nearby. Turning, he saw that boy was there...
Shaking his head, Marron tried to turn back to the book, but his gaze kept wandering back to that person -- to the boy that somehow, he knew. Marron wasn't usually a fanciful person. He was a scholar, and liked to have all the facts before doing anything, feeling anything. But this feeling was indisputable. Somehow, through all impossibilities, he knew that person. That person whose name that he didn't even know, who he'd never met.
"Perhaps... perhaps I should go and ask-" Ask what? Marron shook his head ruefully, knowing full well what it would sound like if he went up to that person and asked such a thing. What _would_ happen if he dared to go up to the blond and ask whether or not he had known the other in a past life? Most likely, he would be laughed at, his sanity questioned. After all, who would believe such a story?
But... Marron sighed and closed his book firmly. Somehow, he could feel it. Something... as if from a far, long universe and life away, he recognized a friend. "So." He stood up, and turned toward the game, which was wrapping up. So, he was going to go and make a total fool of himself. And somehow, that was all right. "I'm not acting like myself at all..."
Marron shrugged, and tossed his long hair behind his shoulder as he started to walk toward the court. He found himself smiling, as if something good was going to happen now that he had started to move. It was almost as if he was on his way to finding something that had been lost for a long, long time. Too long...
When he reached the small basketball court, Marron saw that all the others had left, leaving that boy sitting on the bench, with a towel over his head and the ball by his feet. Not really knowing how to approach him -- after all, what would he say? 'Hi, nice to meet you. By the way, do you happen to know me, even though we've never met...'
Marron just decided to stay silent, and watch. Maybe if he looked long enough, he would remember why this person looked so familiar. He stared, somehow drawn in by the form of this person, as if he had seen it, felt it before. Marron felt himself flushing, and started to turn away. He'd never, ever felt so- Resisting the urge to run, Marron forced himself to walk away slowly, naturally. After all, it wasn't as if there was anything to run away from. That person hadn't even seen-
"Leaving before asking your question?"
The pleasantly low voice made Marron start and turn to see that boy watching, towel in hand. Marron blinked, and then straightened. Smiling, he held out a hand to the person sitting on the bench. "My name is Marron Glaces. Nice to meet you."
The blond boy looked up at Marron for a moment, and then dropped the towel onto the bench. Taking Marron's hand, he shook it, and replied, "My name is Gateau Mocha. Nice to meet you too." Gateau stood up and picked up the ball and towel, before turning to face Marron. "So, what'd you want to talk to me about?"
Marron shook his head, and smiled faintly. "It was nothing... just somehow, I had this feeling-" Marron paused, and then gave Gateau a puzzled look. "Well, it was- it seems rather silly now."
Gateau frowned, and asked quietly, "Sorta like deja-vu?" Gateau shrugged at Marron's surprised expression, and started walk out of the court, bouncing the ball. Not looking at Marron, Gateau said in a distant voice, "It feels like I should know you, which is strange, because I'm not usually that kind of person, getting premonitions... I'm a straight-forward kind of guy, you know? Don't usually daydream- I leave that kind of thing to other kinds of people. I just go, do my thing, and let other people worry about all of that."
Gateau shrugged, and then turned abruptly, tossing the ball at Marron. Marron caught the basketball, and then smiled back. Gateau nodded once, and then asked, "Does it feel like there's something missing?"
Marron replied, "As if someone's lost..."
Gateau caught the ball as Marron tossed it to him, and added, "As if we should be doing something else-"
Marron laughed a little as he stopped. At Gateau's rather puzzled expression, Marron noted, "Well, it is a bit odd, just meeting like this and yet acting as if we're..." Marron trailed off, and then continued in a wondering voice, "As if we've been friends for a long time. No, not just friends: comrades."
Gateau looked off into the sky, and grinned. "Feels right that we've found each other, doesn't it?"
Marron looked at him for a moment, and then nodded. Marron whispered, almost to himself, "But we're not complete. Somehow, it feels like there are ones missing, as if there is something left undone..."
As Marron frowned, looking around almost as if to try to find those missing ones immediately, Gateau tossed the basketball at him again. Marron's head snapped up as he barely managed to catch the ball, and he looked at Gateau with a slightly shocked expression on his face.
Gateau said with some humor in his voice, "Did you know that you're altogether too serious? Relax a little... Somehow, I think if we had to act, we would know when. Feel it, you know?"
Marron bounced the basketball for a moment, and then tossed it back to Gateau with a grin. "I suppose..."
"Happy Birthday, Marron." Marron looked up from his book to see Gateau standing over him, hands behind his back. He smiled and stood up, motioning Gateau to sit beside him.
Gateau shook his head and remained standing, to which Marron shrugged, and nodded. He placed the book onto the bench, and then asked, "How did you know?"
Gateau smiled and answered in a mysterious tone, "I have my ways..." At Marron's threatening expression, he grinned and added, "I asked your mother, if you really want to know." Then, he said in a mischievous tone, "Close your eyes and hold out your hands." Marron looked at him for a moment, and then did so with a faint smile.
Marron opened his eyes as he felt something soft start to move in his hands. Looking down, he saw a pure white kitten, purring softly. Looking up at Gateau, he nodded his thanks, before placing the kitten on his lap. Marron smiled down at the kitten as he started to play with his long black hair. "What should I name him?"
Gateau didn't answer for a moment, caught by the sight in front of him. Marron's long, black hair was loose and covered part of his face as he leaned over to the kitten. As the wind teased his hair, Marron's light button-down shirt seemed to blend in with the cat's fur, making both of them blindingly bright in the summer sun.
Marron looked up at him questioningly, and Gateau tried to recover his scattered thoughts. "Name? Well, this little sucker..." Gateau paused to sit down and stick out a finger at the little kitten, who promptly latched onto it. "I hear from his mother's owner that he loves carrots, for some reason... odd, isn't it? You'd think vegetables would be the last thing a cat would want to eat. So, how about Carrot?"
Gateau looked up at Marron, who was looking at him strangely. "Don't you think that's an strange name for a cat? Almost as strange as a person being called-" Marron trailed off as he felt something tug at his mind. Looking at Gateau, Marron asked faintly, "Did you feel that?" Gateau nodded, his brows converging as he frowned, trying to catch the whisper of memory that danced at the edge of his consciousness.
"Damn." Gateau looked up at Marron, who had said that one word with a passion and anger beyond the normal frustration both usually felt when trying to remember. "We were close- I could feel it... damn."
Gateau could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on, and closed his eyes. "Me too. I have a feeling that if we only could remember one thing... one person, maybe-" Gateau sighed, and raised his head toward the sun, leaning back against the bench. "Maybe we could discover why we both hadthe same dream..." That one dream, that both had had since childhood. Not so often as to cause alarm, but enough to be remembered.
There were four standing strong, of which Marron and he were two. Looking out, he could feel that there was someone missing, someone who they needed to protect, or prevent... and there was a darkness was around them that pushed them away, down, until it felt like he was being crushed. The darkness was only dispelled as a sharp pain pierced his heart, making him lose grip of the dream, to awaken...
Gateau shook his head again, and opened his eyes to the bright sun. He noticed Marron looking at him, to which he gave a weak smile. "I'm ok... just-" Marron nodded, understanding. Gateau was about to drift off again, when he felt a small, sharp sensation. Looking down, he saw that the cat had attached himself to his hand, and was on the verge of snacking on his finger.
Marron laughed at the expression of consternation on Gateau's face, and gently disengaged the kitten from Gateau's person. As Gateau sucked on his ravaged finger with a comical look of dismay on his face, Marron sighed, and then asked quietly, "Gateau, do you remember anything at all?"
Gateau shook his head. "Nothing... all I get is the dream, and weird glimpses... glances, really. Nothing substantial -- it's almost as if I'm drifting in and out of someone else's thoughts... How about you?"
Marron looked out, seemingly musing, and replied, "The dream, like you... and something else. I just remember... strange laughs. Not soft giggles or anything, but really, really frightening female laughter, and-"
Marron paused, and took the opportunity to disentangle the kitten from his hair. Gateau blinked, and asked, "And what? You're the more in tune with this kind of spiritual stuff, you know... I'm practically useless, so you have to tell me-"
Marron looked up at him, and asked, "Do you really want to know?"
Gateau frowned, and shot back, "Should I know?"
Marron shrugged. "How much of this weird past-life stuff do we really need to know?"
Gateau replied fiercely, "As much as we can find out, of course. We have unfinished business somewhere-" Gateau straightened up, his mind racing. "That's it! That's why -- there's something we have to do- I can feel it!" Gateau took Marron's hand, and looked at him with a kind of desperation. "Come on! There has to be more-"
Marron looked at him, then at his hand, and blushed a bit. Marron pulled his hand away, and then focused inward. After a moment, he said, "I remember bits of a conversation like I'm there hearing it -- but distantly, as if from far away. But it's really not important to what we have to do. Trust me."
Gateau looked at Marron's pinched face, and nodded slowly. "All right, Marron. But whenever you think I should know, tell me, ok?" Marron nodded, and then sighed. Seeing Marron about to get a bit melancholy, Gateau placed a smile on his face, and then said in a jovial tone, "Come on, get up. We've got to get little Carrot home."
Marron's raised his head and looked at the kitten with a bit of worry. Gateau grinned and added, "Don't worry- I asked your mom first, and she has a little cat-box waiting at your home." At Marron's surprised look, Gateau placed Carrot into the basket he'd brought the kitten in, and started to walk on ahead. He turned and shrugged. "Lucky I'm always prepared."
Gateau waved to everyone after the soccer game was over, and then jogged away from the teams to where Marron had been watching. A little breathless, he asked, "What'd you think?"
Marron replied, "Well, you all looked like you were having fun... there was a lot of pain involved, that I could see."
Gateau grinned, and flexed his muscles. "Only for the other guys, Marron. I'm too good to get hurt."
Marron raised an eyebrow, and then gave him a sharp poke on his side. At Gateau's wince, he replied, "Too good to get hurt, or just too stubborn for your own good? Come on- my house is closer, and I have a feeling you'll need something for that."
Gateau looked like he was about to complain, before wincing again. "All right... You didn't have to poke me that hard."
At Gateau's grumbling, Marron gave him a whack on the head, followed by a strict look. "Then quit acting like you're indestructible." Gateau gave him a woebegone look, which Marron pointedly ignored. Instead, he walked a little quicker through the street, forcing Gateau to break into a run to catch up.
Ignoring Gateau as he caught up, Marron opened the small book he had been holding in his hand, and started to read. Gateau peered at it for a moment, before giving up trying to decipher the decidedly esoteric terminology on the page. Instead, he contented himself with walking through the piles of fallen leaves that punctuated the road.
Marron had started to read as an excuse to supposedly disregard Gateau's antics, but he soon found himself drawn in by the spiritual concepts that the book presented. As he got more interested, he drew his attention away from the world into the words and thoughts that the book encouraged in his agile mind. Marron became so wrapped up that he failed to see the protruding step in front of him-
Marron looked up at the warning, but tripped over the step anyway. He stumbled and started to fall, but Gateau managed to snake an arm around Marron's waist fast enough to prevent any damage. "Thanks..." Gateau grinned, and said, "Marron, maybe you shouldn't be the one telling me to be more careful."
Marron pulled away quickly, and then looked up to see that they had stopped in front of his house. Unlocking the door, he said, "Come on in. I don't think anyone's home now, except for Carrot, of course." As Marron held the door open for Gateau, he looked around for his cat. "Carrot-!"
Marron closed the door firmly after Gateau had entered and sighed as he looked at the deserted house. Then, Marron commented in an exasperated voice, "Did you know that present of yours is absolutely incorrigible? He chases all the female cats to distraction, and he doesn't get it, even after they all beat him up... I don't know how he gets out of here so easily."
He led Gateau into the living room, sitting him down on the couch while going to look for the first-aid kit. Finding it, he brought it back and set it on the low coffee table. As he rummaged through the box, Marron asked, "Would you mind taking off your shirt?"
Gateau sat up a little straighter, and gave Marron an inscrucable, quiet look before nodding. Realizing that Marron obviously could not see his nod, he sighed quietly and then removed his shirt, wincing a little at the slight pain stretching his arms over his head gave his side.
Marron turned back toward him with iodine and bandages in hand, and then looked away quickly. Marron realized he was blushing for some reason, and forced himself to look back. After all, it wasn't anything he hadn't seen before... All of that flew out of his mind as he saw the scrape that decorated Gateau's side, as well as the multitude of other scratches and abrasions.
Marron looked at Gateau with a serious expression his face. Then, the annoyance showed through and without any warning, he gave Gateau a crack on the head before shaking his head and reaching for the cotton balls.
"He-hey! That hurt!" Gateau rubbed at the sore spot on the top of his head, before gazing back at Marron, who just looked at him.
"Hold still -- this is probably going to sting a bit, Mr. I'm-too-good-to-get-hurt. Honestly, what attraction do those kinds of games offer, anyway? All it does it get you dirty and-" Marron was cut off by Gateau's loud hiss as he touched the iodine to the large scrape. He gave Gateau an apologetic look, before he went on with the doctoring. "Anyway- Gateau, don't be such a child! If you keep squirming like that, it'll take even longer!"
Marron gave him a exasperated glare, to which Gateau sighed, and then held still. Trying to take his mind off the subject, Gateau replied, "Why do I like that kind of thing? Because it's fun, because -- well, because I'm not like you." Gateau shrugged and lifted his arms as Marron started to bandage him up.
"I'm not equipped with the kind of intelligence you have, so I make do with what I've got. I'm strong, and fast, and I'm good at sports, so I play them." He laughed in a deprecating tone, before sighing. "But I kinda wish there was something I could do, beyond this. Somehow, I get the feeling that we're not really doing all that we could be-"
Marron stood up, and placed the bottle back into the kit. Closing up the box, Marron tossed his hair back and gave Gateau a keen look. "You too? I keep feeling that there is something unfinished..." He straightened up, and cleared his mind, trying to keep the slight depression he felt away. The depression both of them felt whenever they discovered something about their connection, because it somehow was never enough -- there was always something missing
"Well, it's not as if we're not trying." Gateau nodded, but he still had a pensive look on his face. Marron put a hand on his shoulder, and they both stayed silent, comrades. Finally, Marron sat down, and asked, "Do you remember what I wouldn't tell you before? Because it wasn't important?"
Gateau gave Marron a surprised look. "Yeah... you're going to tell me?"
Marron shrugged. "It's really not that important, but you seem to need to know more, so..."
Marron closed his eyes, and concentrated. Soon, he began to speak in a low, intense whisper, as he recalled the faint bit of a dream that he had had only once. "It's a moonlit summer night, and two people are talking. Very faintly, I can hear them talking about someone-"
/Where is he?/
\Still being... punished, I think.\
/I can't understand that perverted idiot sometimes. Ah- sorry.../
\I can't deny that, can I? He wouldn't be who he is, if he were any
different. He might, be a pervert, but-\
/Just wouldn't be the same without him, would it?/
\Without him, Tira and Chocolate would never have any fun...\
/So, what do we do now?/
\Wait for them to come back?\
/I suppose... All right. I'll take first watch-/
/What do you-/
\Shh... I never said anything about sleep-\
"That person that they're talking about -- he's the one that we're looking for. I can feel it..." Marron opened his eyes, to see Gateau staring at him. Suddenly a little self-conscious, he turned his gaze away, and asked quietly, "What is it?"
Gateau shook his head, and slowly lifted a hand toward Marron's unbound hair. The other reached for Marron's chin, lifting his face to look straight into Gateau's. "What- what are you doing..." Marron pulled away slightly, looking at Gateau for only a moment before his gaze darted away.
Gateau asked in a rough whisper, "You and me, right?"
Marron looked at him in surprise, and then nodded. Flushing slightly, he replied in a carefully casual tone, "Not important, right? After all, it doesn't have anything to do with finding-"
Marron stopped and became very still. Then, a small, almost sad smile appeared on his face as he leaned his cheek against Gateau's hand. "I knew... but that was in another place, another time. I didn't know if-"
Marron stopped as Gateau put one finger to his lips. Then, Gateau tipped Marron's chin up, and smiled into his eyes. "Such a silly thing to say... I think I'll always want you, no matter who we are. I still remember you coming up to me in that spring day, and my thinking that I knew you from somewhere, so well that-"
His warm lips descended onto Marron's, and touched down lightly. As Marron's arms went around Gateau's neck, he suddenly cried out. Gateau let him go, and looked at him with panic in his eyes. "What- did I-" Marron laughed at Gateau's frantic expression, and then winced. Sighing, he reached one hand down and pulled up a rather unhappy kitten by the scruff of the neck.
Gateau's expression was a mix of helpless annoyance as he contemplated his renegade gift. Finally, he grinned and took the kitten into his lap. Holding a finger out, he gave the feline a stern look, and then gave Carrot a gentle tap on his head. The cat gave him a look full of disdain, and meowed. After that one acknowledgment, Carrot started to wash himself, totally ignoring the person who owned the lap he was sitting upon.
Marron snickered at Gateau's exasperated expression, and then placed the kitten on the coffee table in front of the couch. Carrot meowed again, and then seemed to settle down onto the table. Then, his ears stood up as he heard a distant meow of another cat, and he was off the table in a blur. Marron just shook his head, and let out a long-suffering sigh. "Like I said -- totally incorrigible..."
Marron winced again, and pulled up his foot onto the sofa to look at the scratches that Ninjin had managed to place onto his ankle. "Well, these aren't too bad, I guess-"
Marron looked up in surprise as Gateau leaned over to grab a cotton ball and the iodine. Gateau shrugged, and said, "I'll take my turn as doctor now, okay?"
"Marron, how long are you going to take!" Gateau sighed as he saw Marron through the store window, waving at him to calm down, before he turned back to the clerk. Leaning against the wall, Gateau looked up at the gray sky and hoped that it would be a light snowstorm...
"Sorry it took so long." Gateau turned his head toward the door, where Marron was standing, bag in hand. "I just wanted to get this for my mom..."
Gateau shrugged, and pushed himself off of the wall. "Why? You've still got two weeks until Christmas... Actually, it's kinda weird. I got everyone their presents already, too."
Marron said in a tense voice, "It's time. I can feel it."
Gateau began to grin, and replied, "I knew it -- come on! Drop that off at your house, and tell me where we're going."
Marron nodded, and then asked, "Are you sure I know where to go? I don't know if this is just-"
Gateau leaned Marron's shoulders against the wall, and kissed him on the forehead. "I trust you to lead me -- so don't screw up. Okay?"
Marron smiled, "All right, you idiot. Come on. I'll take this home, and then I think I know where we have to be. To find that person... that person who I know we should remember..."
Marron raised an eyebrow, and replied, "Then we finish what we have to do."
Gateau leaned against the wall again, and turned toward Marron. "Think we're coming back?"
Marron looked up at the sky, and caught the first gentle snowflake that had started to float down. "I don't know... But somehow, we're going to win. Because if we don't, we would have failed that person..."
Catching another snowflake, Marron started to walk toward his house, and looked back at Gateau. "Come on. Someone's waiting for us."