Hi Arashi no Rekidaishi: The Firestorm Chronicles
Ugh... I feel like shit, the girl said, rolling over as she attempted to recapture sleep by squeezing her eyes shut even more tightly. However, this plan was quickly foiled by the itchy surface on which she slept. She moaned again as she sat up, rubbing her eyes with one hand while the other remained behind her as a support. What--? This was not where she had fallen asleep. Internally, she started to panic as her eyes widened and she desperately looked around at the surrounding trees that made up what seemed to be a very dense forest. What had woken her was the fact that she was sleeping on pine needles which had begun to irritate her skin. Her panic soon turned to mortification as she realized she was also wearing the exact same thing that she had been in when she'd gone to bed- Only her underwear. Just when she was starting to think that things couldn't get any worse -by her standards, waking up in the woods wearing nothing but her underwear was pretty bad- she heard a sleepy groan from behind her. Drawing her knees to her chest in an attempt to conceal herself as much as possible, she scooted around to see who it was, wincing at how itchy the pine needles were on her legs; maybe it was the person who'd brought her here. As soon as the figure registered in her mind, her expression changed as though someone had dumped a bucket of cold water on her head.
Anna! ANNA!! She jumped onto all fours as she shook the blond girl's shoulders frantically, forgetting her modesty. Anna was rather short with wavy blond hair and lovely blue eyes beneath the thin, pale lids rimmed in long, curved eyelashes, highlighted perfectly by arching eyebrows that were usually in a cynical position like her mouth. Actually, when she slept, she looked quite beautiful. More than likely, that beauty carried over into her waking hours before it was canceled out by her self-proclaimed desire to rule the world.
Anna moaned and rolled over, stretching and rubbing her eyes before readjusting her clothing by pulling up a white laced spaghetti-strap tank top patterned with black hearts and resettling black cotton sophies on her hips. Panda...? she mumbled sleepily. I'm hungry... Anna groaned again, curling up into a smaller ball.
ANNA! Shut up! Where the hell are we? Why are you here? What's going on?! Panda half yelled, shaking the girl even more violently as a panic attack began to creep up on her.
Ugh... Leave me alone. I'm hungry... Hey, where are we? Anna said, sitting up for the first time and scratching her head.
UGH! Panda smacked the other girl on the back of the head, only half playfully. You're just now noticing this?! You're not helping at all!! What's going on?!
Ow... What was that for? And I'm hungry... Wait, where's your hat?
You're just now noticing this too?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! We need to figure out where the hell we are and who brought us here!
Ugh. Can't we get some food first? Like bacon bits maybe?
Or a Vault... I'm sleepy... After rubbing her eyes and scooting back a bit so that she could lean against a tree, she cocked her head again and looked at the brunette funnily. And Panda, why aren't you wearing any clothes?
Fuck. Just KILL ME NOW will you, Captain Obvious? You dolt! Do you even realize the situation we're in?! she shouted, on the verge of tears and hysterics.
No. I just woke up... Do you have any-
NO, I DON'T HAVE ANY FOOD, BACON BITS OR OTHERWISE!! NOW WILL YOU SHUT UP AND LOOK AROUND?! We're in the middle of GOD-knows-where, which is NOT where we fell asleep, with no way to tell how we got here or who brought us! AND I'M IN MY GODDAMN UNDERWEAR!! I MIGHT HAVE BEEN RAPED WHILE I WAS ASLEEP!!!
You're not being very panda-like, you know. If you were really a panda, you wouldn't be so friggin' violent... And you would be hungr- Anna stopped herself, shaking her head as the other girl's look continued to become increasingly homicidal. And anyway, no one would rape you. Chill out. And even if they did, there would be... blood or something! Now anyway, where are we? Last time I checked, I was in Welcome-to-no-where, Texas with a bunch of screaming kids. How did you get here too? You live halfway across the country from me anyway.
Panda's head drooped and she let out a long sigh- It had taken her companion this long to even raise two of the questions she's been asking the entire time? With a sweatdrop almost visible and another sigh, she replied, Well that's what I was asking. I don't know where we are, I don't know how we got here, and the only thing that I really do know is that I went to bed with a stomach ache. She sighed again, sitting on her heels with her palms on her knees, hunched forward a little as she tried to draw comfort from her friend's presence; the situation would have been surely much worse if she were alone. There was an awkward moment as both of the absorbed the solemnity of the situation.
Anna broke the depressing silence with an ADD moment. Hey, what's that? she asked, scrambling to her feet as she pointed at something high up in a tree at the other end of the clearing. Panda looked up to see what the other girl had indicated, only to find the blond scrabbling for a grip on the limbless lower portion of the tough bark, gaining many scratches on her bare legs as she attempted to shimmy up the tree by hugging it and scooting upwards, reminding Panda of the boy in The Jungle Book. Shifting her gaze, she spotted the desired object; from so far away she couldn't tell what it was, only that it was most likely metal by the glint and seemed to have some sort of point protruding into the air. Much to her surprise, Anna's blond head poked into her field of vision.
Ha! Anna exclaimed triumphantly as she stuck her hand out to reach it before crying out as she tumbled down.
Anna! Panda gasped, jumping up as she dashed over to where her friend lay awkwardly on the ground, her arm twisted beneath her as she moaned and whimpered in pain. Anna, Anna you idiot, are you okay? What's wrong? Are you hurt? Did you break anything?! Panda's rising panic and flood of words returned as she crouched, terrified, over Anna's crumpled body.
Shit, shit shit... My armmmm... Agh... She moaned and tried to roll over, only crying out in pain again.
Anna, Anna darling, we have to get you onto your back so you can breath. I'm gonna have to move you, so just hold your breath. Even as Anna started to protest, Panda had already slipped an arm under her and began counting. One... Two... Three! Anna cried out again, tears springing to her eyes as her crushed arm was freed and a new wave of pain washed over her, her chest exposed so that her lungs didn't have to endure quite so much labor. In addition, her other hand was revealed as it fell open at her side. Her palm and fingers, heavily bloodied, contained the metal form which she had seen up in the tree. The points of the shuriken were buried in her hand and a headache began to pound at Panda's temples. Oh no, oh no, oh shit, oh shit... No way, not really... Panda made an unconscious attempt to move away, only kept in place by Anna's urgent state. Looking back up at the tree, she saw many cut and slash marks, as there were on many of the other trees. Oh shit... No way... Slowly, the surroundings, taken in with more detail, began registering as more and more familiar. Without realizing it, she's begun to hyperventilate, and she attempted to calm herself and her breathing, trying to slow down the sudden influx of information and events that were going on, as well as this new epiphany. Looking around, there was no doubt about whether or not she was right about where she was, despite the fact that an invisible pressure on her temples was making the world spin and heave. Looking back to her friend who almost unconscious with the pain, her eyes began to tear up as well. Oh Anna... This can't really be happening, right?
The world around her blacked out.
Panda's eyes fluttered open at the sound of another voice, and for the second time, the leafy roof of the forest met her gaze, although this time it was dark and starry, and the temperature seemed to be below freezing as goosebumps rose on her arms. For a moment, she felt like crying again, but held herself together as she turned to Anna, hoping that the girl was in a better state.
Hey, the blond croaked, her voice either hoarse from lack of use or crying so much earlier.
You alright? Panda asked, hugging her knees as she refrained from reaching out and touching the other girl to assure herself that she was real, and in fact still breathing.
I'm okay. I can't feel a thing. My arm's totally numb, although this little bitch in my palm here is still throbbing. Gently so as not to wrench her other arm, she nodded towards the hand covered in dried blood where the shuriken still lay buried in her flesh.
Panda smiled slightly. I'm glad it doesn't hurt. Do you want me to take the shuriken out? As she said the last part, she winced slightly, although she wasn't sure herself whether or not it was because of the prospect of possibly hurting her friend more, or the fact that she'd just admitted to herself that this object was real.
Yeah. I guess we really ought to. Anna grimaced.
Okay, Panda said, biting her lip as she crawled over, laying a cold hand on the girl's wrist and squeezing slightly, trying to stem the blood flow so that it would hurt less. After a few moments, she suddenly jerked it out without any warning.
Damn it!! Anna gasped, almost sitting up with surprise.
Panda bit her lip. If there was something that we could wrap it in, it would better but I don't really think that leaves would be very sanitary... she muttered, worried about infection.
Panda, what did you do to yourself while I was asleep anyway? Anna said, wincing as she spoke in an attempt to take her mind off of all of the blood.
Huh? What do you mean?
Your face. It's all black and stuff... and for that matter, so's the rest of you.
Panda looked down to see what the girl said was true; it looked like she had been covered in ash. In fact, she felt a bit more sore than she had when she'd first woken up, but she attributed that to sleeping on the ground in the cold. You're not looking like the picture of health yourself, she replied cynically with a smile. Come to think of it, Anna seemed to have the same ash-like substance all over her. Hey... You've got it all over yourself too. Panda frowned, musing. The weight of the knowledge of where she was almost certain they were began to press down on her temples again, and she massaged them, trying to alleviate the gravity of the situation that she felt.
I knew you were clumsy, but not that clumsy! Anna's jest brought a bit of a laugh out of her as Panda sat up straighter and hugged her knees tighter.
So you got a hair cut? Panda asked, trying to make conversation. She should be trying to figure out where they were or something of the nature, but the more she thought about, the more she seemed to stress and become less competent. Maybe it would resolve itself, she though wistfully, knowing in the back of her mind that it was extremely unlikely.
Huh? No... I haven't had one since like... January, before camp, Anna said, giving her a funny look.
That can't be true. At camp your hair was like... this long. Panda indicated the length with her hand, a few inches below her shoulder.
Maybe it's how I'm laying right now. It's grown a tiny bit longer than that. Anna continued to give Panda the same 'you're-insane' expression, or more accurately, 'you're-more-insane-than-even-I-thought-you-were' expression.
No, darling, it really isn't, Panda said, shooting her a worried look before crawling around to her side and gingerly taking a handful of the other girl's blond hair, which looked a bit more white than she recalled. Stretching the strands as far as they would go, Panda tried to show Anna the tips of her hair, which were much shorter than either of them remembered.
Waiiiit... Is the rest of it that short? Anna's brow wrinkled as her eyebrows came together, her expression concerned.
Yeah, Panda said, nodding as she tried to repress an 'I-told-you-so' look.
Anna flipped out, almost jumping up again . OH SHIT!! THE PSYCHO WHO BROUGHT US HERE CUT MY HAIR!!
Panda rolled her eyes with an exasperated air. Why the hell would they do that?
Who the hell knows why crazy people do anything?! Anna continued to spazz, jerking her head this way and that in the lea of not being able to full out flail around the clearing.
Panda began to laugh, as the irony hit her. We're really ones to be talking, you know.
Anna calmed down a bit, the joke bringing a crooked smile to her face.Who knows why we do anything. She paused. Unless it's yaoi. Then you don't need a reason.
Anna, you IDIOT! Panda raised her hand to smack her on the back of the head before she realized the back of her head was on the ground. She narrowed her eyes. Shit. Well pretend I smacked you on the back of the head, okay?!
But you like me being an idiot! Anna whined, giving Panda her puppy dog eyes and voice.
Oh shut up. Panda crossed her arms and tried to stay mad, but Anna kept up the puppy look until Panda was forced to ruffle her hair. You really suck, you know that?
And I'm very proud of it too. Anna grinned, a smug expression on her features.
Panda glared at her, very irritated at the fact that the blond was so lovable. Dammit.
Speaking of hair, did you dye yours? Anna said, trying to avert further violence by changing the subject.
Uh, noooo... Panda gave Anna the look that she had previously received, the 'you're-more-insane-than-even-I-thought-you-were' one that seemed to be picking up momentum. Soon it'd have to be added to the dictionary, Panda though idly before she realized how ridiculous the thought was and almost smacked herself for it.
Really? 'Cause that part's all... purpley, Anna said, wrestling with her vocabulary as she raised her hand to make an elaborate motion before the blood from the shuriken cut started flowing again. Shiiiiit! Anna complained, starting to shake her hand to try and get rid of the feeling before realizing that it was only exacerbating the problem.
Panda tried to stop a laugh, only half succeeding as she grabbed a bunch of her hair to shake at Anna. And whatever. It is not- Her eyes bugged as she looked down and found that her hair was indeed purple mixed in with the copper-brown. HOLY SHIT THE PSYCHOS WHO BROUGHT US HERE DIED MY HAIIIIR! Panda wailed in despair, before making a quick comeback. Actually, that might not be a bad thing. I've always wanted purple streaks...
Luckyyy! All they did was cut mine! Anna laughed, playfully pouting.
Clearly our kidnappers are make-over wannabes, Panda said, nodding with mock seriousness as she explained her conclusion that was obviously right.
Just as Anna opened her mouth to say something, Panda's vision began to swim and she tried to put her hands to her temples, only to find that her muscles felt like jello. Anna seemed to be in the same condition as she mumbled a garbled phrase that was reminiscent of an expletive.
Their world went black again.