Disclaimers, etc.: See chapter one and/or Disclaimers Page.
Opening Theme: Hanabi by Ikimono Gakari
Ending Theme: Life by Yui
Across the Dimensions
Another Shinigami Part 1
White Princess Rebirth
Chapter Two: His Name is Zangetsu
AMERICA — SAM’S APARTMENT
Again, she walked into an empty apartment. Day after day, this was normal for her. No more family left to greet her. She stopped in front of her hallway mirror, eying her disheveled appearance. At work, she kept a top-notch appearance, but on the drive home, she let her emotions loose. The black roots of her hair began to show, a sign that she needed to add more bleach. Keep highlighting, keep smiling. Look your best and conceal your worst. Sigh. Cover up the worry lines beginning to show in her tan face. The only thing she did not hide was the determination in her emerald eyes—determination to prevent the tragedies that had occurred in her life.
She picked up the photograph sitting on top of the table in front of the mirror. It was a picture of herself and her former fiancé, Kenny Jacobson. She touched his picture, and a frown returned to her lips. Try and forget.
The light blinked answering machine next to the photograph. She pressed the play button.
“Hello, dear, it’s your Aunt Muriel. I know how good you are at everything, and, well, little Mikey’s falling behind in school . . . Well, you know how smart my precious special boy is . . . They just don’t understand . . . He only needs a little catching up . . . So, dear, you know I can’t afford a tutor. And I know how much money you make at that—.”
She pressed the stop button. Damn female vulture. Who did she think she was, trying to get money from her? The whole reason why Mikey’s the way his is that’s her fault. Medically speaking, the statistics were there. She had a baby at age 49. She should have known. And it was not an accident. Not that she had cared to know, but Muriel had volunteered how happy she was that all their “tries” finally worked. The doctors could have told her – and she should have known herself – that her DNA was too degraded to have a healthy baby. Though, Sam thought, they probably none would use “healthy” as a description. Yes, let her decouple her mind from scientific speak for a moment. The statistics had been there. Confirmation with genetic screening would have likely confirmed it. Muriel was happy she had him, but she could have planned better for his needs. Instead, she had been in denial until the point where the school had pointed it out. Mickey was better off in the traditional method of dealing with children like him. It seemed everyone either forgot – or was incredibly ignorant – that 100% inclusion could not help every child. Some of them still needed the tradition. Call her cruel, she did not care. But she would be a better teacher for believing that a separate class was necessary – sometimes all separate classes. It was not fair to either the student in need or the other students. Muriel lived in a bubble of denial – if only she would move to a state where inclusion to the max mess was not the norm. Mickey was never going to learn mainstream. He was the exception.
Great, she’d lost all her family, but her greedy Aunt and Uncle and their kids. She worked so hard on this cover life, now a copy editor instead of the genetics researcher she was once going to be. Kenny’s death changed all that. He had already been in the field, but he discovered something the financial backers didn’t want public.
Yet, she wasn’t the only one in hiding. There was a professor somewhere teaching education classes, Mrs. Mitchell, she was last called. Just how much did she know about Kenny’s last project?
She opened the table’s drawer, ready to check the number of bullets in her gun. Ready for anything. She drew it out, and as she saw herself in the mirror, she held a sword.
AMERICA — SAM’S COLLEGE
“What the . . .?” She turned around, sword in hand, nearly crashing into a thin, solitary man with dark sunglasses and a black cloak.
“Remember where you are,” the man said, “don’t turn away from your opponents.”
Her eyes widened, seeing those same two strange creatures again.
As the ape one dashed for her, she brought her sword down, clipping its back. The lizard came next. She leaped out of its way and cut off its tail. It howled, but she did not flinch. Both the ape and lizard attacked at once, and she darted away. She would have been too slow, but the man took hold of her and leaped into the air. The ape and lizard crashed into each other, snarling at each other and biting at each other.
Perfect, she thought.
The man grabbed her arm holding the sword. “Can you use me?” he asked.
“I don’t even know your name.” She looked into his face for a moment. As if someone spoke into her mind, she repeated the name, “Zangetsu.”
The man said nothing.
“Let’s do this, Zangetsu,” she said. Pointing the sword straight out, tip aimed at the two monsters, she shouted, “Moon Ribbon Spike!”
A white blasted hurtled down towards the monsters from the tip of the sword, filling the whole area with a blinding white light.