I do not own Shiki. Fuyumi Ono, Fuji TV, and Funimation do. Hiroshi Kaneko belongs to me.

It was that simple back then.

In the village of Sotoba, a lonely outcast of a boy, Kaneko Hiroshi, age 15, tried to do something that many of the village considered as blasphemy.

That something was to disrupt the burial of one Shimizu Megumi, the only person Hiroshi considered a friend.

It wasn't always like that. Hiroshi used to live in the city of Osaka five years prior to the incident, but two particular events had caused the boy to move in with his uncle in Sotoba.

One, the boy was born an albino, and considered a freak by many of his peers at the middle school and elementary schools.

Two, his parents were slowly going bankrupt, as their respective jobs were not making money. At the rate they were going, they would not be able to pay for Hiroshi's schooling.

So, in order to give the boy a proper education away from all the discrimination and hatred of modern life, Kaneko Taro and Ayame sent Hiroshi to the mountain village of Sotoba to be homeschooled by the mother's brother, Kamikawa Souji, a part time substitute teacher and grocer.

When the boy arrived, he hated the intense sunlight and the heat of the village. He kept to himself, his uncle delivering him schoolwork from the nearby High school, permitting him to do as he wished as long as he helped out around the small house. Hiroshi usually slept during the day to avoid the intense heat, and when awake he would study, do a few chores, and eat at night. He slept from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon, staying up all night.

Hiroshi got bored of his lifestyle, even though the boy was content. He decided to look up on a subject that always fascinated him ever since he went on that one trip to the United States, to Salem Massachusetts, at the end of October on a business trip.

That subject was the occult.

Hiroshi loved the monsters that went bump in the night. He was intrigued by paranormal activities that occurred in households throughout the world. But one subject of the occult the albino always found arousing.

Vampires. The undead that awoke at night and took slumber during the day, who drank the blood of humans, fascinated Hiroshi the most. The female ones he found incredibly arousing, even masturbating to playthroughs of Bloodrayne. He even compared himself to a vampire a couple of times, dressing up as the famous Bella Lugosi's interpretation of Count Dracula and going out on the end of October within Sotoba and do what the Americans called "Trick or Treating".

The holiday might have caught on in the cities, especially Tokyo, but it was unknown in Sotoba. The villagers, seeing an oddly dressed boy at their front doors, declined to give him candy, calling it "childish rabble" or "fancy dreams" or "religious nonsense." The Yuuki household just slammed the door in his face the moment the patriarch opened it, by far the worst reaction.

Not that Hiroshi cared, for it wasn't about candy, or even acceptance. He got what he wanted just by doing it. By being himself. Their bewilderment was infinitely preferable to what he had endured before back in the city.

Some took it very differently though. The Ozaki house and clinic was happy to oblige, the staff seeming almost relieved that someone was breaking the norm. When Hiroshi visited the temple upon the mountain, the priest, Muroi Seishin, was intrigued by someone dressing up as a vampire. He enlightened him and even gave him some candy, with a blessing.

But one visit had changed the albino's view of life altogether. He used Halloween as a way of escape to happiness, knowing that with his appearance, people would think that he was wearing make-up. Even if only a few took it with good humour, he at least knew who his friends were, so to say.

But one visit to a house on the far side of the village gave Hiroshi meaning, in a way he never would have thought possible.

He had visited the Shimizu household, and while trick or treating, he had encountered their 13-year-old daughter Megumi. Slim, pink haired, and dressed in PJ's.

He would never forget how the irked look on her face as she opened the door shifted in an instant to one of intrigue and curiosity. After a moment's awkward silence, she had all but dragged him inside, wanting to know all he could tell her about the American holiday called Halloween. He was happy to oblige.

With her parents out on an errand, the discussion went smoothly. Hiroshi described how the Americans did Halloween and Megumi became fascinated. They eventually went on to talk about other things such as school life, and their dreams and goals.

"My dream is one day leave this village. I am so sick and tired of the old ways of this place. I wanna go to the city one day and be a model!" she declared.

"I was actually born in the city," replied Hiroshi. The pinkette's eye's widened and went over to the boy in fascination.

"You were! Tell me what it was like!" she asked, firing off eager questions.

But Hiroshi had faltered, assailed by the bad memories her questions brought up. Megumi had seen his expression, and asked him what the matter was. Then, to make matters worse, she asked to see the boy underneath the makeup. Hiroshi had panicked, fearful of what his almost-friend would say when she learned that his deathly complexion was not powder, and his red eyes not contacts.

"Well! I'm waiting!" she demanded. The boy sighed, knowing that it was best to be truthful than to lie to a possible friend's face. He removed the cape and fangs and ruffled his hair.

"That's your costume?" she asked. Hiroshi nodded.

"This is not makeup. I was born with this," he said sullenly. He waited for the disgust to come onto her face, like those of all of the city kids from Osaka…

But it didn't come. Not at all.

There was surprise on her face, but also fascination, and even understanding.

"So you came here because of your looks huh? City treat ya badly?" she asked. Hiroshi looked to her in surprise.

"This doesn't frighten you?" Megumi shook her head.

"Not at all. I actually think it looks pretty cool!" she beamed. This made the boy's heart soar. A friendship had been made on that Hallows Eve night.

Over the next two years, Megumi would visit Hiroshi to study, hang out, watch horror movies and such. She even came to him for advice whenever she was saddened. Most of the time her sadness was due to Yuuki Natsuno, another boy who was born in the city, who refused to acknowledge her existence and would either outright ignore or insult her whenever she asked him to hang out with her and Hiroshi. She even admits that before she met Hiroshi, he considered asking Natsuno out on a date a couple of time but whenever she asked, he neglected to even answer with a "no". Whenever Hiroshi thought of the violet haired boy, his teeth would grind. How could such a man be this cruel to kind girl like Megumi is unthinkable.

Eventually, Megumi went out with Hiroshi on Halloween as a mummy and Hiroshi as himself.

"You could pass as a vampire you know! You really don't need that gawdy cape or the plastic fangs," said the girl.

"I do?" asked the boy.

"Of course!"

This would be the one Halloween the two would spend together. As the months passed, the two grew. Megumi developed supple, ample breasts, not too big not too small, her hips widening to give her wasp waist. Hiroshi would get a little bit taller and lankier. His uncle and his parents were happy that Hiroshi attained a true friend, much so that when his parents businesses bounced back, they allowed Hiroshi to stay there as long as he liked, visiting on holidays.

Eventually, this happiness for Kaneko Hiroshi would end. It would end abruptly, on the day that a family moved in on the Kanemasa land.

The movers developed a European-style castle for the incoming family, causing much talk around the village. What was more, a few people had also died under strange circumstances a few days before. But the real tragedy struck when Shimizu Megumi went missing on her way home from school, and was found later that night in the forest unconscious.

Ozaki Toshio, the head doctor of the village's only clinic, had Megumi stay in bed as she displayed signs of anemia and blood loss. She requested that Hiroshi visit her.

When the boy did, the image would forever be engraved in his mind.

The only friend he had ever had lay on the bed, her face ashen, her pink eyes lifeless, her body motionless. He clasped her hand, wondering what could have had such an effect. He had asked her, yearning to know, hoping that she could give him an answer.

She gave no answer. She merely reminded him of her promise, that she would bring him to the High School dance as her date. Then, as if her time was short, she told him that it was no longer Yuuki Natsuno that she admired, but him.

The tearful boy had nodded yes, saying it over and over even as Ozaki escorted him out, bidding him let her rest.

A few days later, Shimizu Megumi would pass away, to the utter bewilderment of Ozaki, and the desolation of Hiroshi.

The boy descended into an endless river of despair. His parents called to offer their condolences, and his uncle was almost as sad as he himself was. But they could never truly understand his sorrow, the sorrow of losing one's true love.

No one could.

When the villagers decided to proceed with the burial, something they revered as tradition, the boy came scrambling, delirious, deranged, and delusional, to stop the burial, crying out Megumi's name. He was held back by Mutou Tohru and Murasako Masao as the burial went on, the villagers snapping and hissed at him. To his surprise Tohru came to his defense, and the good-natured priest halted the ceremony, glaring imperiously at the villagers until they behaved themselves.

But it was too much for Hiroshi to take. His beautiful Megumi was being imprisoned in the earth, and all they could do was scorn him. He had lost it, running away, wailing like a tortured spirit, just as he had in Osaka as a child.

It was simple then, and it was simple now.

Hiroshi had tried and failed to bring Megumi back. Sotoba wasn't home to him anymore, and nowhere ever would be. His true love and died, while he could do nothing, and whereas he had once merely been an outcast, an oddball, he was now the village pariah, condemned and disgraced by many.

His parents asked him if he wanted to come back to Osaka, but he declined. At least Sotoba had nice people such as Ozaki Toshio, Muroi Seishin, and even that boy who held him back, Mutou Tohru. Seishin visited him after the burial to consult him, and even Tohru came after, offering to be his friend. At least Sotoba would be tolerable, there was nothing for him in Osaka but bad memories.

He knew that Megumi was dead. Back then, in his madness and desperation, he had been in denial, thinking her only asleep. It had cost him dearly.

And so Hiroshi was walking in the forest at the dead of night, ignoring his uncle's warnings. He wore a black t-shirt, jeans, and shoes. The albino found solace whenever he walked, surrounded by the darkness of the trees, the moon as his only light. It made him feel welcome. This was the first time he went on a night walk in two years. He had stopped after visiting Megumi and socializing with her.

His face fell in sad nostalgia. The very name of his dead girlfriend brought him bad memories.

He continued along the dirt path, worn into the ground by his regular use over many years, though moss and shrubs had since encroached. As he made his way through the rustling trees, he came upon a large flowerbed, his secret spot, known to no one else. The Tsubaki flowers glistened white, yellow, and red in the moonlight.

"And they say that Tsubaki stands for waiting, love, and longing, probably everyone except me..." he said sourly, to no one in particular. He made his way into the flowerbed, stepping carefully over the flowers, until he reached the grass mound in the center. There he would lie under the glittering night sky, and count the innumerable stars and constellations.

He had thought of showing Megumi, but had decided against it. She had secrets that she kept from him, and likewise he kept it from her. He respected her privacy, and she his.

He realised all of a sudden that he was not alone. Hiroshi paused for a moment as the sound drifted across the clearing, listening intently. It was the sound of a child humming cheerfully.

Then he saw her, sitting in his spot on the mound. It was a little girl, younger than him by many years, with wild dark hair and very pale skin. She wore a long, expensive-looking purple dress, in a style Hiroshi had never actually seen except in pictures.

She noticed him, turning her head to smile at him. By all rights he should have run from her in terror, for in place of eyes she had only twin voids, blacker even the night sky above. But he didn't run. Instead he smiled back, strangely soothed.

"Konbanwa," said the girl, with a courtesy that Hiroshi was unaccustomed to. "I didn't realize I was alone. You know of this spot as well?"

"Yes. I used to hang out here a lot," the albino replied, curious as to her apparent self-assurance.

"You do not feel curious of my looks?" he asked.

"Why would I?" asked the girl, cocking her head.

"I'm an albino. I get annoyed during the day due to my skins pigmentation," explained Hiroshi. The girl stood up and walked towards him, with a grace and finesse that matched her courtesy. It was then that he saw just how pale she was, easily as pale as he was. Only the eyes and her wild hair truly set them apart.

"We share something in common then," the girl said, manner-of-factly. "I have a condition that keeps me from going out during the day. What is your name by the way?"

"It is more polite to give your name first," Hiroshi admonished mildly, entirely unafraid. "But it is Hiroshi. Kaneko Hiroshi." The girl smiled, a very serene smile that belied her other-worldly eyes.

"My apologies. My name is Kirishiki Sunako, and I just moved in".

I think I may be trolling you guys. I mean, I promised Words update, Darkmask update, the second chapter to CMM and now you get this?

Well rest assured, this is a two shot. The reason it is rated M is for next chapter.

I originally designed this to be a full-length fic but decided against it, as I have enough on my plate with Words, Darkmask, and CMM.

Hope you all enjoy my first Shiki fanfic and first non-Megumi-bashing and first Natsuno-bashing fic. Lol.

Edited and Beta'ed by Juubi-K.