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Private Towards the Dawn

Discussion in 'Ark City' started by Hime Yarizakura, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Hime Yarizakura

    Hime Yarizakura Yozakura Quartet

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    January 26th, Year 108
    @Danny Fenton
    (Briar Street, evening)

    Hime laced her fingers together and reached for the sky, indulging in a full-body stretch as she followed the street leading back to her apartment. It was relatively quiet, her neighborhood, but the district of Saenghu itself was never satisfied with peace. Around her, the noise of the city echoed, a distant song of vehicles and chatter, the horn from a passing train fading into the night as Hime wove between puddled lights from the street lamps.

    She was used to this place by now, after a few months. What she still wasn't quite used to was her job at the Amethyst Tower. Not the workload; compared to what she'd had to do as mayor of Sakurashin, the workload here was light in comparison. No, what she was still getting used to was the sheer number and assortment of people who came by the Tower looking to partake of its services. All sorts of non-humans, many of them so different than the hundreds of youkai back home that Hime was familiar with. All of them cool and fascinating in their own ways, and always so grateful to have the kind of help that the Tower offered.

    Improving lives. Being a guiding hand. It was exactly the kind of impact Hime had hoped to leave on her old hometown, before getting dragged into Pandora. In a way, it was comforting that even though she was so far from home, her greatest purpose in life was still within easy reach.

    But what she really wanted to reach for right now—her stomach gave a gurgle of complaint—was a nice hot bowl of dinner. Maybe udon. It felt like an udon kind of night.

    Humming to herself at the thought of thick noodles and delicious broth, Hime entered her apartment and shut the door behind her.
     
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  2. Danny Fenton

    Danny Fenton Danny Phantom

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    Danny remembered everything in vivid, excruciating detail. All the things he did and thought. All the people that he hurt. It haunted Danny.

    Before it all, Danny didn't have a lot of friends. But the one he did have, he'd hurt so badly he doubted she'd ever forgive him. Hime wasn't Sam or Tucker. She probably thought that what he said to her were his real feelings. Heck, he'd basically tried killed her and that alone was bad enough. He nearly succeeded too. All he could think about was how badly he needed to apologize to her, not that he excepted to be forgiven. He just... it needed to be done.

    If he remembered correctly, he once saw Hime while possessing Ren. Danny hadn't approached her or anything. He didn't really see the point at the time. Something the uncorrupted version of him was really grateful for. Two attempts at murder were a lot harder to explain than one.

    Danny spent weeks trying to find Hime again. Ark City wasn't exactly big and he had to do it while invisible since just about every authority in the city hated him. Eventually, he found her. Danny almost cheered when he finally spotted her. Almost. He was still invisible. He floated above the streets in ghost form, following Hime quietly until she finally went back home. Hime seemed to be in good spirits. She hummed to herself and smiled. It didn't seem like he'd injured her permanently. That was good at least. Something positive.

    Once Hime was inside, it was go time. Danny took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. His hands were shaking. Did ghosts sweat? It felt like he was sweating. Man he was nervous. If he had a beating heart, it would have been flying. Calm down, Fenton. You got this. Danny phased into her apartment and dropped his invisibility.

    "Hi Hime." He said softly, his green eyes cast towards the ground and one hand clapped wrapped around his arm.
     
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  3. Hime Yarizakura

    Hime Yarizakura Yozakura Quartet

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    With the salt, sugar, dashi stock, and rice wine set out on one counter, and four packets of frozen udon noodles set out on another, Hime was in full kitchen mode, her mind wholly focused on preparing what promised to be the most delectable of dinners. The last thing she expected was for a voice to speak out suddenly from behind her.

    Naturally, Hime squeaked and sprang back like a startled cat. She whirled around, a pack of frozen udon in hand, arm wrenched back and ready to throw, the other arm raised in a hasty defensive position.

    Then she noticed, really noticed, who was in her apartment.

    Danny.

    The last time Hime saw him had been near Windjammer Cove, the beach torn up by the fury of their battle, her offering him a hand up, immediately before his fist knocked her into the land of unconsciousness. The physical wounds from that day were long gone—youkai always healed quickly—but the emotional ones? Those tended to stick around longer. Hime felt their effects now, vision going narrow and sharp, heart pounding painfully against her ribs.

    The problem wasn't that Danny had hurt her. Hime had been hurt plenty of times before, mostly by fallen youkai who didn't mean it. Hime didn't hold grudges.

    No, the issue was that, back on that beach, she'd tried to stop Danny and failed. Failed her friend. He'd left, and she could only assume that whatever dark force had gripped him meant to play for keeps.

    So, why was he here now?

    There was a prolonged beat of silence in the kitchen as Hime studied Danny's face, trying to figure out if that forlorn look he was wearing was genuine. She'd thought she'd gotten through to him before, on the beach, but it had only been a trick. Was this also a trick?

    Though, if it was, Danny could've just struck while her back was turned. No need to announce himself, give her a chance to fight back.

    Hime lowered her arm, but didn't let go of the udon. She tried to keep her voice even, her face passive, even as hope and dread churned together in her gut.

    "Why are you here?"
     
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  4. Danny Fenton

    Danny Fenton Danny Phantom

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    Danny flinched, ready to take the full force of the frozen bag and anything else Hime wanted to throw at him. But she didn't. Instead, a long and awkward silence stretched between them. Danny remained still under her searching gaze. Was she looking for signs of betrayal again, some hint of corruption, or maybe the real him? Danny honestly wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer. Any option hurt.

    Hime's arm finally lowered and she asked him a simple question. It felt like a slap in the face. Danny flinched again. He glanced away. The hand on his arm shook badly and he had to grip it tighter to try and stop it. Danny took a deep breath.

    "I just... I really owe you an apology." He started. Danny still couldn't bring himself to look directly at her. "What I did to you... I'm really sorry. I know that's not nearly enough to pay you back, but I didn't... I didn't mean anything I said or did... back then." Finally, Danny raised his gaze to Hime. "I'm really, really sorry. You can hit me or do whatever you want to me. I honestly deserve it after what I did to you."
     
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  5. Hime Yarizakura

    Hime Yarizakura Yozakura Quartet

    Posts:
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    Female
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    Age:
    17
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
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    It all seemed genuine enough. The regret, the fear, the apology.

    Hime liked to think she was pretty good at reading people, what with running a small town with some measure of success for several years, but apparently even her mood meter wasn't 100% accurate, as the fight on the beach had proved. Boy, had she been fooled good back then.

    This felt different though. Maybe it was that look on Danny's face. Something about it stabbed at her, pinched at her heart and put an uncomfortable pressure behind her eyes. There was no anger in her, only sadness. A deep, echoing sorrow for what her friend had been through.

    If ever Hime had a fatal flaw, it was empathy. If this turned out to be another trick, then she deserved the next punch to the face, because Danny's acting chops were fooling her good even now.

    She set the frozen pack of udon on the counter, then approached him. Carefully, each step measured and slow, like she was coming up to a cornered animal. Hime stopped within arm's reach, giving Danny one more thoughtful look up and down.

    "I get to hit you?" She curled her hand into a fist, her inflection neutral. "Okay, then."

    Hime swung—and tapped her knuckles lightly against Danny's forehead. She kept them there, smiling at him. It was the smile of someone who was glad to see a friend after missing him for so long.

    "Now we're even!"