Mini-snippet of an upcoming fic:
Yumemi: "At that time, with what happened to me, what happened to us... What happened to us?”
Munto: “We crossed space-time and there was consequence for it.”
Yumemi: “But with what I saw and I felt... Was not mine."
Castles In the Sky: Chapter 1,A Munto Fanfiction: Castles In the Sky © RedWingedAngel002Disclaimer: Munto; Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai © Kyoto Animation; Yoshiji Kigami and Tomoe ArataniGenre: Angst, Drama, Fantasy, Family, and Hurt-ComfortSummary: The curse of crossing space-time was a process to grieve.—A/N: This fic is my personal headcanon between episodes three and four, involving a bigger role of Yumemi’s family support. Granted, there will be time skips, but not as large of a jump as the eighteen months. I’m planning for this to be somewhat short, only five chapters long.Yumemi may be a tad OOC, but remember she’s going through a lot of emotional and mental adjustments. Being a teenager is overwhelming enough as it is. (ಥ﹏ಥ)—Songs: Metamorphosis by: Blue Stahli, Control by: Hasley, In My Arms by: Plumb, Breathe Me by: Sia, Rest in Pieces by: Saliva—Japanese Index:bento: Japanese lunch box-chan: Honorific: Can be used with either a diminutive or with those who are grown; an indicate of affection—“Talking."‘Thinking.’ Memories/Flashbacks.—Chapter 1: AftershockNozomi woke with a start. It felt as if she had just closed her eyes, but the clock read 2:47. She patted away Shigeru’s mumbled concern and he quickly drifted back into a lull of snores.She had been restless all day, understandably so. Kotoha Jr. High had called her three times this week. Twice yesterday as an emergency contact of Suzume’s fleeing whereabouts with her boyfriend, and then another to replace her daughter’s torn uniform. The reason was never answered, despite her stern prodding. She did not expect such an expense only two months into the new semester; each uniform cost a hefty amount, since the seasonal garb was estimated to last all three years. However, today’s call from the nurse’s office caught her by surprise. *1The light from under the door motivated her to rise and investigate. It took her a blaring moment to adjust from the dark, as brown eyes then spotted an empty bed and floral sheets. She peered over the railing to see Yumemi watching TV curled up on the couch. Flickered shadows danced the walls as they illuminated the first floor, while the kitchen exhaust was dimly lit. Stepping soft, she padded down the wooden stairwell.The girl’s profile watched hypnotically at the screen, unacknowledged to her presence. Yesterday’s boggling events were shown through the muted newscast. She feebly changed to a similar channel once the report was over.“How are you feeling?” Attenuate hands placed atop the beige chair.“Mmm,” she responded quietly.A whistle keened and both turned to the crying kettle on the stove.“I’ll get it.”She made a cup for them both: two spoons of honey for Yumemi and one for her.Setting the tea mugs down, she folder her legs under and took at seat.“What’s this, are you still cold?” she asked when noting the peeking pink flannel from beneath the wrapped quilt. A nod was her reply. Leaning forward, she tested her temperature and pushed pale bangs back with a gentle touch, “Chills but no fever…”Green eyes cast down to her toes in shame.“Don’t worry, sweetheart, I said you could take off tomorrow. You are obviously not feeling well. Here,” the steaming drink was passed onto her.“Thanks.” Taut shoulders eased from the confirmation.A pocket of silence settled over them."We are still uncertain how these island-like structures appeared," the newsman showed various angled shots of the diamond mass, which was witnessed by thousands that day before, “However, due to the heat wave conditions, it is plausible that a reflective mirage could be the cause of such an abnormal phenomenon. Research is still in process of..."She took a glance at her daughter, careful with structuring her words, but wanting to bring up what Ichiko had mentioned earlier.“How nostalgic. I don’t know if you remember, but you used say there were floating islands in the sky just like this, ever since you were little.” Yumemi turned to her, waif faced. “I’m not sure if I understand how or if they really are real, but somehow, seeing them made me very happy. It makes me feel a bit closer to you and what you used to see back then.”“…Did you believe me?”There was a breath of hesitancy.“Well, it is a child’s story…” She looked down to caress the curved ceramic with her thumb and returned her gaze with a warm smile. “But yes. You put your whole heart into it, even when you didn’t say. I couldn’t deny the passion behind it.”Twin emeralds stared agape and slowly brimmed with tears; a shaken exhale was released at their waning. Her smiled relief was then hidden behind clad knees as she held herself close.“Thank you,” mumbled a watery laugh.Nozomi petted her silken crown until the sniffles subsided. Puffy-eyed and a bit embarrassed by the outburst, she took a sip of her tea. She followed suit in quiet understanding.“This feeling… This sounds really weird, Mom, but,” her left hand opened and closed into a fist, “It feels like static.”“Static?” A knit at her brow formed.“Yeah. Like, when your foot falls asleep and you try to move it, but different. It doesn’t hurt but… It’s hard to describe. There’s this noise in the back of my head. What’s it called? Where you make that ringing music with the wine glasses?”“Glass harps?”“Ah, that’s right. And when I close my eyes,” she trailed off, dazed, “Am I really dreaming when awake?”“Yumemi…” Angst bubbled in the pit of her stomach. That particular wording brought her back many moons ago during the early days of her elementary, when the young blonde would come home, teacher’s note at hand, and hurtful cries caused by peer bullying. “When did you start feeling like this?”“Yesterday, for the most part, heh,” a weak laugh hiccupped and the grin on her lips dwindled. She slumped back after placing her drink down and looked up at the tall ceiling. “What should I do? I’m so tired but my brain won’t shut off.”“Well, you were sleeping most of the day from that migraine.”She seemed fine this morning, too. Perhaps a little more cast out in her daydreams—hardly touching her breakfast—but that was normal.“No, this is different. It’s heavy in my head and chest,” she shook lethargically side-to-side. “I keep getting dizzy and it’s hard to focus.”“We’ll go to the hospital tomorrow if you still feel the same,” Nozomi reasoned.Silence was her answer. Pushing herself up, neck rolling, long lashes peeked between the web of her fingers, which cradled her aching temple. Perhaps another wave was surfacing.“Is that all right? We don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”She was so firmly against it this afternoon, too. When her pain was severe, in muttered confusion—the lights too bright—from exiting the hot bath.“I don’t know. What if there’s something really wrong with me?”“The doctor is there to help you. There’s nothing to worry about; that’s their job.”“No, I mean,” her voice cracked and bundled shoulders lowered in defeat. “Never mind.”“Yumemi?”“What does it mean to feel a feeling that isn’t yours?” she changed topic to avoid worry.“Can you give an example?”“Remember when Grandpa passed away?” Nozomi’s breast lurched cold at the mention, but it was a dulling pain soothed with time. “We all were really sad. But I’m sure how I felt and how you felt is different, right? He’s your dad, and I can’t imagine you and Dad being… gone.”“Oh.” Knuckles caressed her right cheek in affection. “That’s empathy. It’s a way of connecting with people by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their experiences.”“Empathy… Is that was this is?” Her breath became ragged as she clutched her pajama collar. “I don’t understand what’s happening to me. It’s too much. I can’t—! Can I do it? Am I strong enough?”“Is there something you want to talk about?” With her whimpered confirmation, she steeled herself to bear and comfort. It may have been the curiosity of boys and early marriage just the other day, but this seemed heavier. She scooted close and rubbed soothing circles at her back. “Right. I can handle it, whatever you need.”“I… I keep feeling s-so sad and hurt. Angry! A rage that burns in my chest! But I can’t piece together why?” she sobbed, “It’s crazy, because I don’t think it’s my hurt, and I’m really scared! It’s like I’m bigger than my body!”“What do you mean, bigger than your body?”Rounded nails scratched her left hand and tweezed the reddened middle pad.“I feel like something inside of me is stretching too much too fast and will break. N-No, that’s not it. It’s too small, not right in my skin. Like I’m bursting at the seams,” her voice escalated, as she wiped away tears in frustration. “I don’t understand! I don’t get it! Jeez, I’m so messed up! I just—! I just want to stop crying and feeling all of this! It won’t be quiet!”“Yumemi, try to calm down, you’re starting to panic. You need to take deep breaths. Deep breaths, alright? With me.” The shaken girl struggled to follow sample due to her hyperventilating. “In and out. You’re all right. It’s safe. Good job, honey.”“Here it is again, I-I’m…!” Quivering hands splayed and flung over weeping sockets, pulling at the roots as she braced for mental impact, “…Falling!”“Breathe—““Wait! Don’t go! I can’t do this alone—!” She reached out. Yumemi looked at her, yet not, and cried in such a wave of desperation, “Please don’t disappear! Please! I need you!”“I’ve got you. I’m right here, shh!” She grappled her close to her chest and held her tight, briefly losing collect. What else was there to do? “Shh…!”Stay calm. Keep it together.“P-Please,” she begged. “Make it stop.”The couch rasped at Nozomi's right ear. The cloth strained under hand mirrored the twist at her sweating brow. Mournful eyes were peeled shut, flickering under rapid movement, while her flushed face turned a purple hue, seemingly having the wind knocked out of her, despite strangled protests.“Keep breathing, Yumemi.” Heart in throat, mother instincts jumped quickly in remembrance: cyanotic breath-holding. She would fall under this same involuntary spell as babe, too. She snapped her back with some patted force until air returned. “Come on, you can do it!”Coughing, saliva dribbling, her chest heaved, gulping sharp and deep and then dropped heavy into her embrace, utterly exhausted.“Yumemi!”Did she pass out? She was no longer a toddler; hauling her up stairs would be a tad difficult. Waking Shigeru may be necessary.“M-Mom?” came a weak mewl.An exhale of relief, her pulse hammered so.“There, there,” she rocked and kissed her temple. “Hush. Just relax.”“Mama?”A new voice emerged from above. She turned and luster brown stared down in concern.“Ah, Chikara…”“Is Sis okay?” the six-year-old asked. A frown shadowed under sleep-tussled locks.“Yes, it’s all right, dear. Sorry for the noise. Go on back to bed, alright?”“…’Kay,” his hesitancy was apparent but he did as told, fingers tapered the hand railing.“Yumemi?”She said nothing. A sigh caused her shoulders to rise and fall.“I don’t want to go to the doctor tomorrow, Mom,” was her plea, voice raw.“That’s fine. You did your best and I’m so proud of you.” She hugged her. “Don’t worry; we’re going to get through this together.”“M-hmm.”“Now, if there’s anything you want to talk about, Papa and I are always here for you, and of course Ichiko-chan and Suzume-chan, too.” They were her only support, after all. “However, if there’s something you don’t feel comfortable sharing, or if it gets too overwhelming like this and you’d like to organize your thoughts, you should do something to help let it out. Maybe write? Oh, or play the piano—like Grandma’s lessons from elementary, remember? I’m sure you can pick it back up again. You don’t have to keep it locked up inside.”“Alright…”“I love you, sweetheart. Thank you for telling me. Tomorrow’s another day.”“M-hmm.”They sat huddle together until their tea became cold.“It’s getting late,” she patted her dozing and turned off the TV. “Shall we head up?”“Yeah.”However, Nozomi did not retire. Instead, she continued straight and took a right to the computer room. With a click, the monitor hummed with life and she closed the door quietly to not disturb her children down the hall.Opening a new search engine, she researched the symptoms told and witnessed well into the morning.Answers resulted in: stress, delirium, shock, PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks… The list was endless. Trauma continued to show into the equation. That in itself concerned her greatly.What was it that Yumemi could not trust her with? There were pieces of her story, which she was certainly not being told. She reminded herself to be patient.Soon enough, the clock read 5:05. A distant bird warble confirmed the night’s turn.Groaning, she rubbed her stiff neck and decided to resume later on. Chikara would need to be up soon; breakfast and lunch bentos were not going prepare themselves.…Perhaps she could fit in an hour nap.The blues and oranges of her son’s Ultra Montaro figures contrasted bright against the dim greys of pre-dawn, drawing eye across the wide room onto red, a mere bud of it against pink. Her rabbit doll had fallen over in the night, up-faced and staring void out past gossamer curtains. It lay motionless at Yumemi’s feet.Rooted after a moment of uncertainty, her back straightened with determination and she took action, steps at a time. She rummaged the linen closet to find one of the comforters used for winter. Fanning it out from the zipper storage bag, she tested the odor—not too dusty—and folded it over her arm.Upon closer Nozomi’s inspection, the girl was in fetal under the thin sheets. Careful not to wake her, she placed the heavy blanket, pulling it from corner to corner and fixed the plush toy upright. Smoothing the silent hazards. Then she sat and stroked her hair until the hinge in her position loosened.Yumemi sighed, curled into the provided warmth, and a tear fell. Her heart quelled at the sight.“Don’t worry, sweetheart. Mama’s got you. Everything is going to be all right, I promise.”—A/N: Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy? ಥ⌣ಥ- Ari [3.17.21]—*1: Kotoha Jr. High is actually a real place in Kyoto, where Yumemi’s school is modeled off of.
Disclaimer: Munto; Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai © Kyoto Animation; Yoshiji Kigami and Tomoe Aratani
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