Note: For Fic_promptly, prompt "Any, Any, I lost my faith in the world / When you disappeared."
Quietly Stirring The Dirt
She felt like she was the ghost the first time she was around living people.
The taxi driver who dropped her in front of their place said nothing,
but she had to wonder if he was going to turn around, face ghostly,
hands reaching for her to drag her into the afterlife. It was only when
he accepted her money with warm, solid hands that she was able to shake
off the sense that she hadn't died in that place with Mafuyu.
Miku wondered if he'd felt pain when he died, if he was dead. He might
still be alive in there, but she doubted that, because he would have
known he'd have to die to keep Kirie company.
Nobody had been there for her when Mafuyu went missing. She'd left a
message with his friend Aso Yuu, but the man hadn't called back. And of
course, nobody else had come with her to the supposedly-abandoned
house. She wouldn't have if she'd had a choice. But it had been up to
her to find and rescue Mafuyu, and now he was gone, and she'd failed
him. She'd abandoned him as he had abandoned her.
No, he hadn't abandoned her, really. He was kind and sweet, and he
hadn't known what she'd gone through to find him. That's what she had
to think. He saw a person in pain - Kirie - and he'd made a decision to
relieve that pain, even if it killed him.
But with him gone, who would be there for her? Sure, she was almost an
adult, but she felt so adrift. She knew eventually, she had to do
something with Mafuyu's things, but she wasn't able to.
Who would she be able to ask? Who, besides Mafuyu, could she trust?
She thought about going back to the Mansion. Digging through the
rubble, crawling back into the chamber. Joining Mafuyu and Kirie for
There was a light on the answering machine, blinking steadily. She
rewound the tape, steeling herself to listen to the disembodied voice.
She'd listened to so many tapes back there, last words from dead
people, and she wondered if the person calling was dead, too.
But that was ridiculous.
"Hi, this is Aso Yuu. Miku-chan, I'm sorry I didn't call you earlier
and I hope you're home. Let me know what's going on, and I'll help you
find Mafuyu. And if something's happened to him, give me a call too."
She touched the phone tentatively, as if her fingers would go right
through it. It remained solid, and she forced herself to dial Aso-san's
"Hello?" It was a woman's voice.
"I'm looking for Aso Yuu?" Miku wished her voice sounded less
tentative, but she wasn't completely assured that she'd dialed the
"Just a moment." The woman was calling for Aso-san, by his given name,
and Miku realized after a moment that this was Rei-san, Aso-san's
girlfriend. She wondered if Rei-san had been why Aso-san had been away.
"Miku-chan?" Aso-san's reassuring voice came on the line. "Are you all right?"
"Mafuyu… Mafuyu's gone. Under Himuro Mansion." There was a hiccup in her voice, and she tried not to cry.
"He…." There was silence on the other end. "I'll be there as soon as I can. Rei, too. Are you okay until then?"
She wondered how he could be so calm, and where he had been, and why
hadn't he been there for her and Mafuyu. But the words, the
accusations, wouldn't come out.
"Miku-chan? Are you still there?"
She wished she was a ghost, and didn't have to deal with this. Not
Mafuyu's things, not Aso-san, not anything. A sob erupted from her, and
she couldn't answer her brother's friend. Instead, she let the tears
out, thinking of how to get back to Himuro Mansion and its underground
passages, how to escape from all of the pain.
"I'm coming, Miku-chan. Don't go anywhere." Aso-san sounded worried,
and she wasn't sure why. She wondered if she could leave, if she had
the energy to do that before Aso-san and his girlfriend came, and
didn't think she did.
He hung up, and she replaced the phone on its base. She wasn't sure how
she could face Aso-san, knowing that her brother was dead. But did it
really matter? She'd survive, and she'd go back, and she'd be with her