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The Phoenix Chronicles Chapter Three: Getting Settled. Itís Tough When Youíre A Kid.

Opening Theme: Thesis of a Cruel Angel

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As for Yui, she was very kind, and tried to spend time with Mousse despite her schedule as a student that kept her from being home a lot. Mousse really felt better when she was around.

Later, Yui announced that she would be marrying Gendou Rokubungi, and Mousse chose to distance himself from her because she loved Gendou. What she saw in him, Mousse would never know.

He remembered that day she took him to the park. That was where she told him.

"Really? Youíre going to Marry him?

"Yes, weíve been seeing a lot of each other, and I think heís great."

Mousse could barely hide his surprise. Heíd met Gendou when she invited him to dinner on a few occasions. As soon she left the room, he gave Mousse a slight snarl. At one point, he even told Mousse, "Listen, you little brat, if you spoil my chances with Yui, I wonít be so forgiving. Remember, I know where you live."

Reflecting on that, Mousse, didnít think Gendou was the right person for Yui. She had been his light since his family died in that gas main accident. He did not want someone like Gendou to put it out.

"Itís just a little hard to imagine you and him together."

"Heís really very nice. People just donít know him. Weíll get to know him together."

In this case, I think not knowing is better. He thought, walking a little faster.

She pulled on his shoulder so he could face her. He had that same look on his face when he first arrived at her house. It wasnít fair, she thought, if she wanted to be with Gendou, she would be sacrificing her relationship with Mousse. No matter what, Mousse was a perfect gentleman about many things, but she understood if he was a little angry at her for making this decision.

She thought, if only Mousse knew what kind of person Gendou could be, how kind he was, how kind he could be if given the chance. Maybe, once Gendou got used to Hikaru, he would treat him just as kindly. She really thought that Mousse hadnít seen how Gendou really was.

"Hikaru, do you love me?"

"You know I do, Yui-sanÖIf he makes you happy, then do it. My opinion shouldnít matter."

"It does to me,"

"Even if I tell you that I donít like him, youíll still marry him. Wonít you?"

She hesitated.

"Donít listen to me. Iím just a kid. Iíve been on my own before, soÖ"

"Youíre leaving?"

"Knowing Rokubungi-san, heíll probably send me to Clamp to live at the dorms. But I wonít be alone there. The guys are there."

"I know," She said, in her best controlled voice. She really didnít like the Clamp boys, they got into a lot of dangerous situations, and Mousse acted as on of the bodyguards, to insure the safety of that Nokuru brat.

"Listen, Hikaru, I love you, too. For me, please try to get along with him."

She didnít realize how big a favor she was asking, but Mousse nodded, and strained to smile.

She hugged him tightly, "Great! I promise you, Hikaru, weíll make this work. Iíll talk to him about keeping you at home. I love you too much to let you get hurt."

"Me too, Yui-san," he stayed for her, but the understanding relationship she hoped for never surfaced.

(2000)

After the wedding, Mousse distanced himself from Yui. It got to the point where he barely saw her anymore. He would come home from school, in the limousine that Yui sent.

On the lighter side, he did meet a friend at Clamp, besides Nokoru and the others.

He went into science class, and found it empty. Except, there was one kid in the class besides him. The other kid looked at his book intently, and didnít seem to notice Mousse had come in. The boy had the same uniform as Mousse, and seemed to be a tad older than he was. Also, the boy had a crop of wild black hair. Mousse was about to leave when he heard the boy speak.

"The silence is good. Donít you think?"

"Well, it depends." Mousse replied uneasily.

"Depends on what? Is it not better to have silence than the rambling of other noisy children around you?"

"Actually, I wouldnít know."

"Where did you grow up? A secluded village?" the boy almost snapped.

"Actually, yes." Mousse told him, flatly.

"Ah, I see. Youíre Hikaru Teníou. Am I right?" the boy asked.

"How do you know my name?"

"Everyone knows your name. Youíre the new transfer student. I suppose youíll want to know my name, now. Wonít you?"

"That would be nice." Mousse muttered.

"Donít mutter. Itís a bad habit." The boy told him, standing out of his seat, and coming over to meet him. He bowed slightly, "I am Kamui."

"Really? I havenít heard that name before."

"I suppose you find it unique. Well, I am Kamui Shirou. Iím pleased to meet you. By the way, where are you going from here?"

"I usually go home, but I really donít feel like going home these days."

"At least you have a home. Say, I want you to meet some friends of mine."

"Iím not sure if theyíd accept me."

"Come now. If you know me, then theyíll welcome you as well."

"Well, okay."

-----------

Kamui had his hand on Mousseís shoulder while he introduced Mousse to his two best friends. One of them was a girl, about Mousseís age. She had light brown hair, which was shoulder-length and wavy. She also had blue eyes, and long lashes. She blushed somewhat when Kamui looked to her. The boy standing next to her was taller than Mousse. He had black hair, which was combed back, and he was taller than Mousse.

"This is Fuuma," Kamui said, referring to the boy, "and this is Kotori Mono. The two are brother and sister. Weíve known each other since we were kids. Weíre sort of a club."

"You want in?" Fuuma asked.

"Yeah," Mousse smiled, "Thatíd be great."

"We might be going to the festival this weekend. You want to come with us?" Kotori asked.

"Sure,"

"Kamui, youíre going too, right?"

"Of course, Kotori. Iíve got to be there to show our new friend around."
She frowned at that, somewhat. Mousse noticed that, and quickly added, "Hey, I might have to do something this weekend."

"Well, postpone it," Kamui said, "You canít live your whole life buried in a book, Hikaru. Besides, this will be good for you. Now, where do you live?"

"I live at that building thatís a block away from the academy. Itís the Takaya building, in apartment 1C."

"Weíll be there Saturday morning, around nine, and pick you up."

"You really donít have to do that, Kamui."

"Why not?"

Mousse couldnít answer, and felt accepted with Kamui, Fuuma, and Kotori. He was beginning to love Clamp Academy. Since he arrived there, he had met Ritsuko, and now Kamui. He had also found friends in the Clamp boys, or they found him. He was beginning to think of Clamp as a second home. The first home he found was with Yui, of course.

"Hey. Thanks."

"Thatís what friends are for. Hikaru."

"Friends?"

"YeahÖOf course."

--------------

Yui woke up, and walked around the apartment early Saturday morning. She went into the kitchen, and was about to start up breakfast. She saw that Mousse was already making breakfast.

"Hikaru, why are you up this early?"

"Well, Yui-san, I thought I should at least do this before I leave."

"You do enough. I wouldíve let you sleep in."

"Itís all right. Anyway, Iím just waiting for my friends."

"Not Nokoru, and those others?"

"No, Yui-san. I donít see what you have against them."

"Just the fact that they get you into trouble is enough for me."

He added the last four pancakes to the stack of ten, which were already piled on the large plate. Beside that was a plate of sausage, and bacon.

"Where did you learn to make all this?"

"Akira-san taught me. This is what they call an American Breakfast."

"Iím not sure you can eat all this, Hikaru."

"Itís not for me, Yui-san."

They both fell silent as soon as Gendou came into the kitchen.

Mousse didnít meet his cold glare, he just faced the stove, turning everything off, and muttered, "I made it for you, Yui-san, and Gendou-san."

"What makes you think weíll eat that garbage, brat?"

There was a knock at the door, and Mousse went answer it. He ignored whatever Gendou had told him, as usual. He opened the door, and saw Kamui standing there, clad in black, like Fuuma. Only Kotori wore a light, flower-patterned kimono."

"Are you ready, Hikaru?"

That was when he realized he was still wearing the dark blue apron. He took it off, and went into the kitchen to put it back. He saw Yui watching Gendou angrily as he tipped the plates of breakfast into the garbage.

Mousse put the apron away, looked at Yui, and signaled he was leaving. She inclined her head, and gave him an affectionate gaze. After flashing his thumb up, he went out of the kitchen. After a moment, she went to catch him before he left.

She saw him standing at the door, with his friends, putting on his shoes at the foyer. As soon as he stood up again, she put her hands on his shoulders. He looked up at her, then he looked at Kamui and the other two.

"Hikaru, would you introduce me to your friends?"

"Uh, sure. Guys, this my guardian, Yui Ikari."

Kamui bowed respectfully, along with the other two. Then, Mousse turned to face her, "Yui-san, This is Kamui Shirou, Fuuma Monou, and his sister, Kotori."

"Pleased to meet you, maíam." Kamui said humbly.

"How very polite. Well, I trust you two will take care of Hikaru." Yui said warily, and looking them over.

Kamui couldnít help wondering how comfortable Mousse seemed with Yui. He figured they were pretty close, but they just seemed a little too close. He dismissed it, and looked up at Yui.

"Leave it to us, maíam."

"Good. Take care, Hikaru." Yui said gently.

---------------------

A few months later, Mousse hadnít seen Kamui at school for a whole week. He got so worried that he went to Kamuiís house, although he regretted it soon afterward.

He knocked at the large wooden gate three times, and no one answered. He tried it again, four more times. He turned to leave, and heard the large gate creak open. There stood a tall severe woman with a mane of long black hair, and her face was twisted into a sort of scowl.

"What do you want?"

"Iím looking for Kamui. Are you his mother?"

"Indeed. What do want from my son?"

"I was just wondering if I could talk to him."

"Why would my son speak to the likes of you, orphan?"

"Iím sorry. I really didnít mean to disturb you. I-"

"Is that all, boy?"

"Well, just tell Kamui that Iíll see him when he gets better."

"And who said he was ill. He does not wish to speak to you. Go home, boy."

"Yes, maíam."

"Also, donít bother him with such nonsense, anymore."

----------------

Mousse went home, not knowing if he had done anything wrong, or if he had said anything to Kamui. He just felt as though he was some sort of animal. Kamuiís mother was disgusted with him.

He wanted to cry, but he didnít want Yui to see that he was upset. He didnít want Yui to confront Kamuiís mother, either. So, he took a deep breath, and stepped into the apartment.

"How was your day, Hikaru?" Yui asked, smiling. Gendou was sitting next to her.

"Fine, I guess." he muttered, heading for his room.

"Listen, Child. When Yui speaks to you, you must address her in the proper manner." Gendou barked.

"I heard her." Mousse said, without facing him, and it caught him completely by surprise when Gendou grabbed his arm, and punched him in the jaw.

"Listen to me, you little brat," Gendou seetheed. "When Yui speaks to you, you listen. If you-" He felt Yui snatch Mousse from his Gendou's grasp.

"Don't you touch him! Do you hear me, Gendou?"

"The boy just needs a little discipline, Yui."

"Not like that, Gendou. If you touch him again, you will be the one leaving."

Mousse tore out of her grasp, and faced both of them. "You can stay together for all I care!" he yelled, holding his bruised cheek. "I don't want to stay here, anymore." with that, he ran out the front door. Yui looked at Gendou, angrily.

"I will go look for him. If you ever touch him again, I will hate you. Do you understand? I will want nothing to do with you."

Yui went out the front door, calling Mousse's name.

She found him in the playground at the local park. He was sitting on top of the slide, his knees held to his chest, crying. She went around, and stood beside the ladder.

"Hikaru,"

"I understand if you want me to leave." he sobbed.

"I don't want you to leave, Hikaru." Yui told him, climbing two steps up, so she could see his face.

"I told you it's OK. I hate that man. I want nothing to do with him. Why would you? No, I shouldn't ask you that."

"Hikaru, I'm beginning to ask myself that."

"Really?" he asked, looking up. She nodded, smiling.

He hugged her, and she felt so relieved that he didn't hate her. Then, she held him out so she could look at him. She saw his face, streaked with tears, and took out a handkerchief so she could dry his face off.

"Hikaru, listen to me. Gendou will be going to Antarctica for the next six months. Maybe we can spend some time together then."

"Really?"

"Mm-hmm."

He hugged her even tighter. "Thank you, Yui-san." he muttered, and thought, {When I catch up to her, Iím gonna marry her.} for Mousse could never think of her as a mother. He knew who his mother was, and although Yui was kind to him, he could only think about her as a teacher. She was a teacher he now had a crush on, and his years with her would prove to be harder, because he would have to share her with Gendou.

Not too far away, Gendou watched all this, and swore to make little brat suffer as much as he could.

-----------

Mousse heard some knocking on his window around midnight. He went to the window, and saw Kamui standing outside. Mousse opened up, let him in, then closed the window before the wind took over his room.

"Kamui, do you know how late it is?"

"I heard what my mom told you. Iím sorry about that."

"Itís alright."

"No, Hikaru. Itís not ok. Sheís a little protective of me. Sometimes, she gets really strange."

"I understand. So is Yui-san."

"Yui-sanís a little more than that, Hikaru."

"Whatís that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing. Hikaru, I also came to tell you that sheís sending me to my auntís house in Tokyo 2. So, I wonít be able to see you guys anymore. Take care Kotori for me, alright?"

Mousse inclined his head, and muttered, "So, youíre leaving, too."

"Hikaru, buddy, itís not because I want to. I have no choice. Meet me at Fuumaís house, tomorrow. We can put something together, maybe. Go to a movie, or something."

"Sure."

Kamui went over to the window, and climbed out. Right before he jumped to the ground, he whispered, "See you tomorrow, alright?"

"YeahÖ"

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"Hikaru-kun," Kotori said as Mousse arrived at hers and Fuumaís house, "Kamui isnít here, yet."

"Heíll make it, Kotori. Kamui doesnít make a promise he canít keepÖespecially to you." Mousse said, still breathing hard from the run he made there.

She blushed at that, "Oh, youÖ"

"Well, Hikaru. I guess we wonít be seeing much of each other, either."

"What are you talking about, Fuuma?"

"Weíll be moving to another house."

"In Tokyo 2?"

"Well, no. Itís pretty far from Clamp Academy, though. So, weíll be transferring to another school."

"So, this is goodbye."

"Hikaru, we donít want to leave. Our parents want to leave."

"Yes Fuuma, I knowÖWell, you guys take care."

"Hey, Hikaru-kun, weíre not leaving yet." Kotori giggled.

"Thatís right. Kamui called us here so we could go out, and have a good time, right?"

Mousse inclined his head when he heard Kamui calling to them. "Hey, guys, sorry Iím late. I was packing the last of my things."

"Itís alright, Kamui."

"Well, letís go, then."

---------

They were in front of Fuumaís house again. Kotori was crying as she hugged Kamui, as he looked to Mousse who just shrugged.

"Kami-chan, canít you come with us?" she sobbed.

"Look, weíll see each other again, Kotori."

"It doesnít look like it!"

"Sure we will." He told her, putting his arms around her. She let go of him, and went over to Mousse. "Take care of yourself, alright?"

"Iíll try to."

"No, youíd better Hikaru-kun. Iím serious." she hugged him, holding him tightly, and kissed his cheek.

He blushed at that slightly, hugging her back.

"Well, you guys take care, alright?" Kamui told Mousse and Fuuma, who only nodded. He looked to Mousse, and said, "You try coming out that shell of yours. You spend too much time worrying about what others think."

"I know," now it was his turn, "Youíve been a good friend, Kamui. Fuuma, itís been good to know you. Take care of Kotori."

"You know I will, Hikaru. When Iím old enough, Weíll come back. Right Kotori?"

"Yes." she sobbed.

"When Iím grown up enough, Hikaru, Iíll come back too."

"I might not be here by then, you guys."

"Youíd better be, because Iím coming back to keep an eye on you, to make sure youíre alright."

"I appreciate your concern, Kamui."

"Donít give me that. You keep forgetting that Iíve known you for some time. That means I know when your moods. Cheer up. Weíll be back."

Mousse left the three standing there, and looked back to see them looking at him. He waved at them one last time.

(2000)

Those next few months after Gendou left, he supposed, were the best months of his young life, with Yui. He couldnít have wished for anything better, and didnít.

However, Gendouís impending arrival was a shadow that loomed over him. That didnít matter, now. He loved Yui, heíd take twenty beatings from Gendou if it meant spending time with Yui.

June 17th

He was putting some sun-tan lotion in his backpack, getting ready to go to the beach. Yui was wearing a two-piece swimsuit, and some sandals. She caught Mousse looking at her a couple of times, and although she gave him a hint of a disapproving look, she smiled inside. He was so shy sometimes, he looked like he would just fold up and blow away, but it was good to see him get a little bold.

"Did you put the beach chairs in the car?" Yui asked.

"Yes, Yui-san."

"Did you get the three towels I asked you to get?"

"Yes, but why three?"

"Youíll see."

Mousse heard someone knock on the apartment door. When he went to the door to answer it, he saw a tall girl with brown hair, wearing a one piece blue bathing suit Her brown hair was short, and she had two bangs on the front. Yui came to the door, and saw Mousse let the girl in.

"Hikaru, this is Ritsuko Akagi. She also goes to your school."

"Hello," Mousse said, meekly. Yui put her hand on his shoulder, making him look up at her. He didnít know what Yui, wanted him to do with Ritsuko. She seemed nice, but Mousse always hesitated when it came to talking to anyone he didnít know. Yui wished she could have taken him in sooner. She wondered how badly he must have been treated for him to shut off like that. {If I ever meet the ones that did this to you, they will have a lot to answer for.} she thought.

Ritsuko looked at the younger kid and thought, {He reminds me of those children that would be in that foster assignment program, and he sure doesnít look like her.} Finally, she decided to speak up, and asked, "Whatís your name?"

"I am Hikaru Teníou. I am in seventh grade at Clamp Academy." He told her.

"Hey, I just asked your name, not your life story." She replied, making him lower his head. That earned Ritsuko a scolding look from Yui.

"Thatís okay. Why donít we get going?" She quickly added, putting a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her, and he was still a little embarrassed, but he was able to make a small smile. Ritsuko looked at Yui over his shoulder, and saw a trace of that scowl fade little by little.

It was the best summer of his life. Yui smiled while he took the beach gear out of the van.

"Is that heavy?" Ritsuko asked.

"Not really." Mousse told her.

"Okay. Just wondering."

"Ritsuko, help him." Yui almost snapped.

"Yes, maíam." Ritsuko replied, grabbing two of the bags he was carrying, and playfully stuck out her tongue out at him, making him look down somewhat. She nudged him in the side. He looked up at her, and managed a smile.

"Geez, cheer up. You look like youíre ready to dry up, and blow away."

"Sorry."

"Donít apologize. Thatís your problem."

"Sorry."

She went to his other side, and put her arm around him. "Itís ok. We all make mistakes, kid. We all have our little dilemmas. Itís just a matter of getting a grip on them, so they donít surprise you."

"You donít know my dilemmas." he muttered.

Then, he looked at the ocean, and remembered, {Oh no. I just remembered. Wait, thatís why I bought the wet suit for.}

"Yui-san, listen. I have to go to the restroom to change." Mousse told her.

"Ok, weíll meet you at our towel."

He took his sports bag, and went to the restroom. He grabbed two tee shirts, and wrapped them around his upper torso.

He came out, and joined Yui at the towel site. He sat down, next to Ritsuko, who was digging her feet into the sand. He sat down next to her, and buried his own feet in the sand. He saw a bottle thrust into his face, and found that it was Yuiís hand holding it in front of him.

"Here, put some on." she told him.

"Iíll be fine, Yui-san." he told her, a little too quickly.

"Youíre sure?"

"Of course, Iím sure. Ha, ha, ha." He chuckled nervously.

Then, Ritsuko stood up next to him, and bent down to take his hand. "Come on, kid. Itís time to get your sea legs."

He took his sunglasses out of his sports bag, and put them on. "See? Iíll be fine."

Ritsuko looked to Yui, who pushed him to stand up.

"Yui-san, Iíll be fine. You and Ritsuko should go and swim."

"I want to make sure youíll have fun, too. Otherwise, thereís not much point to us being here, is there?" she winked.

Ritsuko pulled him up, and took his arm once he stood up, "Hikaru, letís try to have fun. Okay?"

"Okay." he sighed, allowing her to pull him towards the ocean. He could feel his heart beating faster as they approached the shore. {If she finds out about me, she might not want to be with me. What can I do?}

Then, he thought about silly kid games he never got to play. Then, he remembered one of those chasing games. He carefully slid his arm out of hers before they reached the wet shore. Then, he put his hand on her shoulder, and said, "Tag. Youíre it."

Then, he went running into the shallow water, and dove before anyone could notice the change. Ritsuko followed suit, and swam after Mousse, who was now in female form.

Ritsuko could only see Mousseís wet suit, which gave him away. She was able to swim faster than her, though. So, Ritsuko didnít actually get to touch her. She swam a little faster, and finally grabbed onto Mousseís neck. That made Mousse dive deeper, and wanting to stay on the surface, Ritsuko let go.

Mousse began to swim towards the shore, and swam into someone. She quickly placed her feet on the ocean floor, and stood in the water, which was now shoulder high.

She bowed several times, and said, "Iím so sorry. I didnít mean to. Really."

Then, she looked up to see Yui looking down at him.

"Itís alright. You know, girl, you seem to be wearing the same suit as a kid I know."

"Well, I wouldnít know about that." Mousse chuckled.

"Well, whatís your name?" Yui asked.

"Hikar-" then she brought both hands to cover her mouth. Then, he dove, and began to swim away. Yui swam pretty well, so she caught up to Mousse pretty easily.

"You swim pretty fast, Hikaru."

"Thanks, I- Yui-san!"

"Hello, Hikaru. Weíll have to talk about this when we get home, you know."

"Yes maíam." Mousse groaned. Then, Yui splashed her, and she began to paddle the water at Yui. Ritsuko saw them, and splashed both of them, and Mousse dove again.

"Was it something I said?" Ritsuko wondered. Yui shrugged.

Mousse came up behind her, and dove backwards, pulling Ritsuko with him. The two popped out. That was when Ritsuko noticed that Mousse looked a tad thinner.

"Sorry, I didnít tell you sooner." Mousse sighed.

"Itís cool. Friends try to understand each other. We are friends, right?"

She looked at Ritsuko, and smiled.

-----------------

They had gotten to Ritsukoís house, dropped her off. Yui, and Mousse waved good-bye to Ritsuko, and Yui headed for their quarters.

"Hikaru, why did you wear that body-suit?"

Mousse went completely red, and turned to face her slowly.

"Well, I usually wear a body suit to the beach."

"On a hot day?" She asked, glancing at him.

"You know about my curse, donít you?"

"Just tell me how it happened, Hikaru?"

He explained how he jumped into the Spring of Drowned Woman to save a drowning little girl, and how he got stuck with that form thereafter.

"Is that why you kept your distance from Ritsuko, and I at the beach?"

"Yes."

"Donít be ashamed, HikaruÖI may not know what youíre going through, but Iím more than willing to help you with your problem. Also, if you have physical problems with your female form-"

"Yui-san!"

"Just kiddingÖLetís go home." She told him, almost lovingly.

"YeahÖ."

---------------

Gendou arrived a month later. Yui met him at the airport, and looked at him warily. He looked back at her, a little hurt. He had hoped sheíd forgotten about what he did to the little brat. He would never hurt her, no matter what she said or did. It was Hikaru he hated. So in that moment, he made a decision. He wanted something to solidify their relationship, something that would make her unable to leave him, no matter how much she loved that little brat.

"Yui, How would you feel if we had a baby?"

"Really?" she asked, perhaps too excitedly.

"You want a baby?" he asked tentatively.

"Yes, of course I do!" she said happily, and reached over to hug him. He smiled as he felt her holding him, and it was a feeling he wanted only for him. Not Hikaru. Feeling her close was the only thing he would ever want from her. He began to think of how to tell Yui that he was planning to send Hikaru to stay at the dorms at Clamp.

---------------

ContinuedÖ

Ending Theme: Fly Me to the Moon.

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Trailer

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