The first thing I noticed was a spinning ceiling fan, moving too slow to be on, but gently rotating in the summer's breeze. I tried to move, but it was hard, and my muscles felt like rocks. I looked down to see that some of my body was bandaged. "Wh-what, what's-" Then, my head gave a massive throb. With my eyes widened and I was holding it, I gave-what I didn't know at the time-was the only time I ever screamed due to being in pain. A few weeks ago, that me would've slapped me for it, but now... Now, was different.

I frantically looked around the room while writhing. I was on a couch in an unfamiliar house. But the confusion only made my condition worse. "Wh-what's going on? Where am I? ...Who-?" Then, I heard a soft voice of a little girl. "Everyone, come quick! He's awake! But I think he's in pain." She walked over to me with not a look of fear or tension, but concern. "Excuse mister, are you-?" I jumped, and started to calm down a bit. "Huh? Wh-who are you?" It looked like I might have hurt her feelings a little bit, but I was too frantic to notice at the time (normally I'd apologize, of course). "Um, that's what I was going to ask you-"

"Is he up yet?" "Ryoko! At least try to act civilized! That poor boy has been asleep for a week! Show some sympathy!" I blinked, and looked into my hands in disbelief. "A week? ...Boy?" I was definitely past six feet tall. "Huh?" "Oh, is that what his voice sounds like? Phew, that's a relief. He looked like it'd be weird." This time two girls came, each in either their older teens, or early twenties (I just came out of a mini-coma, so I couldn't tell). The most recent to speak looked a little rough around the edges. She had her hands behind her head, and looked like she was looking me over. With a slight head raise, she said "Hey." "Hi..." I said blankly.

"That's terrible! How could you be that clueless! He's probably in some kind of shock!" I shrugged a nodded just a little, but no one saw it. The girl called Ryoko said with a smirk and a calm voice "Then why are you talking so loud?" She twitched, and her face was really red. The little one laughed while the mysterious girl regained her composure. "I do apologize for my rudeness. My name is Ayeka. You have been asleep for quite a while." I had my wits about me by then. "You said a week right?" "Yes, that's right. How did you know-?" " 'Cuz he could hear you big mouth from a mile away-ow!" Ryoko was interrupted by a flying coaster-courtesy of Ayeka.

"I hope you're not in too much discomfort." She bowed slightly as I was still taking all of this in. "Not uh, physically, no." "Ha ha! He's showing a sense of humor! Now that's a good sign if I'd ever heard one! Yup!" I felt something cold on my head. "Crack a joke or two, or go nuts. The latter requires WAAAY more energy than I have right now. By the way, who-" "Who am I you ask?" The short pink haired girl said with a grin that was, well-unsettling, "Only the greatest genius in the universe of course!" I could tell by the way she was boasting, that there might be a sliver of truth somewhere in there.

Ayeka had to cover for her. "Her name is Washu. She's the main reason you're still alive." As I looked at her wide-eyed, about to say thank you, she started fanning herself with a folding fan. "Well, I don't know if I'd go thaaat far. Ha ha ha-" "Yeah, don't. We all helped you know." Ryoko sounded mad, but her face showed that she felt left out. "But miss Ryoko," the first girl said with a blink, "all you did was watch television." "Gah! I told you Sasami, I said 'he'll wake up if we give him something good to watch', remember?" I may have been in a state of semi-confusion, but that got through loud and clear. "Now that's reasoning I can get behind! I can't believe it didn't work." Ayeka twitched. Oh great, another Ryoko. That's all we need.

I struggled to get my feet to the floor, and sat up straight. "I sincerely and open-heartedly thank all of you for your kindness." Her eyes widened a bit. Such composure and sophistication... She gave Ryoko dagger-eyes; which she saw Nothing like that barbarian woman. Ryoko stuck out her tongue. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to-agh!" I went to stand, but was forced to lean forward on the coffee table. Washu still had her smug look. "And where do you think you're going in the shape you're in?" Sasami agreed. "Please rest. I can get you something to eat." "Not necessary." "But why?"

"My mind is a swirling puddle of thoughts right now, but I'm pretty sure this isn't my house. The longer I stay here, the more of a burden I'm sure to cause." Ayeka and Sasami were taken aback, and Washu's expression finally changed. He's 'pretty sure'? "You idiot!" Ryoko blurted, "Just how far do you think you'll get the way you are?" It was painful, but I managed to stand. With a stretch, a sigh, and a shrug, I replied, "I'll find out, won't I?" There was a silence. "...Um, where's your front door exactly?" They sighed, and almost fell. Ayeka had most of her composure. "Well, looks like you'll be here for a while th-" I slowly put one foot forward. "I'll... manage... oof..."

"Don't you think it's a bit rude-leaving without thanking everyone for taking care of you?" We turned back to Washu, who had that smile on her face again. "W-well, yeah, but didn't I do that already? Could've sworn I did... Man," I ran my hand through my hair "I really am out of it." "What Washu means, my good sir," Ayeka said with a conniving look on her face. Ryoko had it too, but Sasami had a smile. "Is that not everyone is home right now. It wouldn't be proper to leave in their absence." I sighed. "Yeah, it wouldn't. That's just down right mean. You win, I'll stay."

Sasami clapped. "Yay! I'll get you something to eat like I said." "Hey now, just because I'm going to be here a while, doesn't mean I should eat food that isn't mine-" Just then, my stomach gave what sounded like a cry for help. "Then explain what that was." She had her hands on her hips, while I looked back at Washu. "The sound of a week without food?" "Yup." "Figured as much." And down I went, right back on the couch. After a few minutes, Sasami came back with a tray of food. Some rice, different kinds of vegetables, and what smelled (and later tasted) like good fish.

"Would you like seconds?" My inner voice screamed "Sweet God yes I'm starving!" But I politely refused. "I couldn't eat another bite." I fibbed, "It was really delicious though, I'll say that." That, was not a fib. The flavor was above excellent. The downside was that made me want seconds even more. The little chef bowed slightly. "Thank you very much for the compliment." "Yeah, Sasami can cook alright." Ryoko started to dig in to what was left that I turned down. "If it weren't for her, we'd probably starve. Ow!" Washu bapped her with her folding fan from behind. "So," Washu started to say in a tone that meant she was leading up to something, "what's your na-"

She was cut off by me saying "Wow, I just noticed-this is a really nice home." And it was. Very quaint. As I looked it the glass door, I could see what looked like at least two miles of forest, with cherry blossoms in full bloom. "A beautiful sight. And check it out, a shooting star in the daytime. Don't see that everyday." That got their attention. "That, isn't a shooting star..." Washu said, her smile fading again while Sasami put one on. "Mihoshi and Kiyone are home!" As she ran up to greet them, Washu bit her thumbnail. Not good. Once he says thank you, he'll try to leave again. And he seems like the type that would be hard to stop.

"Wait," I thought about it for a minute "how does a shooting star mean-wait, never mind, doesn't matter." I stood up a lot easier that time "Can't let people see me lounging around, now can I?" Washu saw right through me. "Well, they've already seen you unconscious for a week." My legs almost gave in. "T-t-true... Ah! But I should at least greet my hosts at the door when they come home." Gothca. "Burdening them with introductions before they can even get settled in? Not cool." I took a knee, defeated. "Wow you're good." Washu didn't have her usually boastful grin, but instead gave me a smirk. "Of course."

I gulped. Whoa... As I sat back down, I could hear a door opening, and voices. The first was Ryoko. "Man, what happened to the Yagami? You and Kiyone get into a battle against some pirates?" Second was Sasami. "Or fly through an asteroid field?" I recognized Ayeka's third. "She gave you the controls, didn't she?" There was a sniffle, and a new voice. "Just so that Kiyone could get something to drink, and the next thing I know, we hit a cargo transporter! Now headquarters might take the compensation of our paychecks." She was definitely crying, so as they turned the corner I tried to lighten the mood.

"Lemme guess, sucka said he got whiplash too, didn't he?" The fourth voice said, "Wow! You must be psychic! ...Wait," She turned the corner asking "who are-you?" I raised my hand. "Yo." "He woke up!" Sasami motioned toward me with her hands in a "ta-daa!" fashion. "That's wonderful! I-oh!" She turned around, dried her eyes and adjusted herself, then came back with "Hello, my name is Mihoshi. I'm glad to finally meet you." "Th-thanks. I just hope you didn't get your hopes up. As soon as I thank this Kiyone for helping keep me alive, from whatever happened to me, I'll be out of your way." "You mean you don't remember?" Ayeka was shocked.

And after some thought, so was I. "No, no I can't. What the hell..." I knew it... Washu thought. "Man, I don't even think I know my own-" "UGH! This is the third time this WEEK Mihoshi! Honestly!" Mihoshi hid behind Ryoko. "Hey! What gives?" "Kiyone sounds really mad this time." "The chief said it wouldn't come out of paychecks-since the guy we hit was smuggling weapons, which would've probably got us a pay RAISE but-" As Kiyone was on a rant, Ayeka snapped her fingers. "See Mihoshi? She proud of you." *sniff* "You think so?" "That voice..." I thought I was saying this in my head, but I guess my inner monologue was still out of commission "I knew it. I'm dead. I'm dead, and this is heaven. I'm getting outta here."

This time I jumped up. As the girls were processing all of that, I pointed up, and yelled "I CHOOSE LIFE! I WANNA LIVE!" As I ran, I didn't hear Kiyone coming. "Oh, and did that boy wake up yet?" As I thought Again with the "boy!" *bump* we ran into each other. "Ow, never mind, I can still feel." "I'll say. Mind watching where you're going?" "Yeah, that was careless of me. I'm sor-" If I had ran into her sooner, I'd still think I was dead; because I'd seen an angel. "-ry..." "Well, nothing broken anyw-" She blinked. "Hey, you're that-" "Please, not 'boy'. I've been through enough today. Not that you didn't have it rough yourself."

We stood up and fixed ourselves. "Oh, you heard all that, huh?" She looked a little embarrassed, and MAN did I want to see a smile on her face. "Well, you nailed a smuggler, and you and Mihoshi aren't hurt, so I'd call that a success." I smiled. "Right?" She laughed. "Definitely one for the books alright." She extended a hand to me. "Kiyone. Welcome to Masaki house." I reached for her hand-then I stopped. "Are, you o.k?" "You don't remember, do you?" They all looked towards Washu, but I was still frozen. "You're name? What is it?" They looked back to me, and I heard Sasami and Mihoshi gasp under their breath.

"I... I don't, I don't know... Washu?" I turned. "Just who am I? What happened to me?" She sighed. "Come with me, I'll show you the wreckage."