Note: I kind of messed up the geography of the last-night stuff in this, because I hadn't gotten to that part in the game. As much as I think that you can write fic without having played the game, I really suggest at least checking a map. *facepalm*

The Rocks for the Cave
by Estirose
c 2012

“Mom?” Hinasaki Tomoe asked softly as she saw her mother. “What are you doing?”

Her mother jumped as she was pushing a panel open in the backyard shrine. “Tomoe? I’m just checking something.” But Tomoe had never seen her mother look quite as guilty. “Something I saw here, a long time ago. I want to make sure it’s still there.”

Tomoe shook her head. “A long time ago?” Her mother was a famous novelist, though they lived a humble existence. Hinasaki Miku had apparently saved up her money to buy the place, a run-down old mansion. That was supposed to be haunted, but Tomoe knew that she hadn’t seen any ghosts in the place since they’d moved in the week before. “What happened here, mom?”

Sighing, her mother shook her head. “Something that is very hard to explain.” She looked at Tomoe, though, and motioned her through the door. “But I think you should know anyway.”

The room was brightly lit, though Tomoe wasn't sure how. “And what’s that?”

“Maybe I should start with just after I left this place, twenty years ago, and go from there,” her mother said finally, turning on a flashlight before pressing something in place on the shrine. The shrine rumbled back to reveal a hole.

“I was tired, I was hungry, and I’d just seen my brother disappear behind a rockfall….” Her mother seemed ready to tell her a whole, rambling story, and Tomoe wasn’t in the mood.

“That was Uncle Mafuyu, wasn’t it?” Tomoe asked. She’d heard stories about him, but all she knew was that he’d died years ago, before she was born.

“Yes.” Her mother checked the flashlight before heading to the ladder. “Here, we’re going down.”

Tomoe wrinkled her nose, but there wasn’t anything to be done about it. She’d rather get her things torn and dirty than lose out on whatever her mother was doing. She followed her mother down the ladder, wishing her mother would move faster. “It’s dirty here.”

“We’re going underground.” Her mother didn’t really appreciate her clothes, staying in style. “It’s only going to get dirtier. You’re welcome to stay upstairs, if you want.”

“No.” Tomoe shook her head. “So, what happened to him?”

“I presume he died. I want to see for sure. I don’t think he’d be alive, but… I have to see.”

But wouldn’t she know? How couldn’t she know? Tomoe knew that her mother had the same sixth sense that Tomoe herself had.

“Oh.” They finally reached the end of the ladder and then her mom inserted a small object into something. The door rumbled open, and they followed a pathway until they came to an area full of rocks in front of a door.

“Maybe you can help me,” her mother said, holding onto a handle.

For what seemed like an hour, Tomoe helped her mother move rocks. It was hard work , but finally they were able to move things enough to open the door in front of them. Navigating around rocks in the chamber, Tomoe was brought up short by a scream. Her mother tensed up, speaking a name. “Kirie.”

Tomoe didn’t ask who that was. Her mother would tell her in due time.

Her mother moved over and around the rocks faster, and Tomoe had to rush to keep up with her. They both picked their way through the rocks into a larger chamber, where a woman looked at them, face full of pain. A man was standing almost in front of her, dressed in more modern clothes than the woman behind him, standing there as if to protect her.

“Mafuyu,” her mother called. “Kirie!”

The woman looked at her. “Miku,” she said gently, through obvious pain. The man was staring at her mother, who was past the rocks and rushing towards him.

“Big brother,” she said to the man, who seemed completely flabbergasted by her appearance. “I’m back. To visit, anyway.” She gestured Tomoe forward. “This is your niece, my daughter.”

Tomoe remembered her manners, and bowed at the ghostly man. “Miku… I….” he said, looking from her to her mother. “I didn’t think anybody could get down here.”

“I now own the mansion. I’ve been clearing rocks while the crews were repairing the mansion.” Her mother was shaking her head. “It took a while, big brother.”

The woman, Kirie-san, was smiling benevolently at them. “So, Mafuyu, you get your family back.”

Tomoe shifted from foot to foot and looked down… only to see a bony leg half-covered in fabric near where she stood. “Um.”

“Mafuyu,” her mother said after a moment of looking at the leg, “Did you walk into the rockfall?”

She could have sworn her ghostly uncle – for that was the best way to describe him – blushed. “It seemed like the quickest way to die. I decided I didn't want to starve to death."

It hit Tomoe after a moment that her uncle had committed suicide.
 
“But why?” she asked, the words slipping out of her mouth.
 
Her mother, Uncle Mafuyu, and Kirie-san – or should that be Aunt Kirie? – all stared at her.
 
Eyes brimming with tears, her mother said, “I’ll tell you later.” A deep breath later, she told Uncle Mafuyu, “I’ll be visiting you often, and I’m sure Tomoe will, too.”
 
“Tomoe,” Uncle Mafuyu’s smile was bittersweet. “You named her after Takamine-san’s assistant?”
 
“Yes,” her mother said. “I… it seemed the right name to give her.” She ducked her head.
 
“Mafuyu,” Kirie-san – Tomoe decided that she was now Aunt Kirie – said to her uncle. “Maybe you should go with them. Be with your family.”
 
“My place is here with you,” her uncle said firmly.
 
“Make me happy,” Kirie said, “Spend some time with your family while you have them. Then tell me all about it, later.”
 
It sounded like a command. Uncle Mafuyu sighed, but stepped over to join Tomoe, his ghostly form passing easily through the rocks. “I promise I’ll be back with a lot of stories.”
 
Aunt Kirie smiled. Then the door slammed into her, causing her to screech. Uncle Mafuyu started towards her, to be rewarded with a glare. He quickly stepped back to stand beside Tomoe.
 
Her mother looked between her uncle and aunt. “Of course we should go upstairs. But will you be okay?”
 
“I promise that I will be fine, as long as Mafuyu returns,” the woman told her.
 
So, she, her mother, and her Uncle Mafuyu headed upstairs.

-end

Fatal Frame fics