Returns

A Natsume Yuujinchou fanfiction where Natsume is sent back in time

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1. Chapter 1

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The sun blazed up above, setting the sky alight. A gentle breeze swept through the land, relieving some of the stifling heat that always accompanied such days in summer. A boy with golden eyes and dark blond hair rested in the tall grass, happy to get some peace for once. The boy, Natsume as he was called gazed at the passing clouds. A strange creature leaned over him suddenly. It had the face of a badger and its huge, hunching body was covered in a blue yukata. Natsume yelped in surprise and swung at it. The thing, a yokai Natsume decided, staggered back and clutched his aching head.

"Reiko?" It mopped.

"Ahh sorry." Natsume rose to his feet. "Are you okay?"

"It is okay Reiko, I am certain that it was accidental, it was wasn't it?" The yokai asked.

"Yes of course," Natsume said horridly, knowing how unwise it was to upset any yokai. "I'm not Reiko, I'm her grandson Natsume."

"Not Reiko?" The yokai stared.

"No...she's gone, has been for a long time." A sad, almost longing look crossed Natsume's face.

"But I have to return what was taken."

"Taken?" Natsume asked.

The yokai nodded, "Yes, I am Hoshini, I knew Reiko well. A thieving yokai stole something from her and I went in search to retrieve it from them. At long last I tracked the yokai down attained the object from them but now..." It sighed. "I cannot."

"Thank you for caring so much for my Grandmother," Natsume smiled, bowing his head.

Hoshini looked down at the boy. The yokai was unable to fathom how the human could look so much like Reiko and yet not be her. The yokai felt deep regret for being unable to meet his promise to return the object. Human lives were simply too short.

"Natsume!" A voice yelled. "Oi Natsume brat."

Said boy wore a look of annoyance.

"Over here Sensei," He sighed.

A round pig thing...no it seems a cat appeared. He was the boy's self proclaimed body guard. Natsume referred to his as Nyanko Sensei.

"Natsume what are you doing now? Get me some sake." The cat leapt onto the boy's shoulder.

"Sensei..." Natsume mumbled.

"Here Natsume." Hoshini gave him an old, worn wooden box. "I know of a way we can return it to Reiko."

"Really?" Natsume asked.

"Yes, I will send you to her using your connection."

"Wha-"

The yokai tapped his forehead and all went dark.
     

 

~~Natsume's eyes fluttered open, his vision was blurred. He could vaguely make out the form of a girl who was near him.

“What are you?” She all but demanded.

Natsume rubbed at his eyes, trying to get them to focus.

“Are you a yokai?” The girl inquired.

Natsume felt a weight against his chest as the girl held what appeared to be a bat with talismans to it.

“I’m human,” He made clear.

The girl seemed to consider this before raising her bat from where it rested.

“Natsume!” They both turned to the source of the sound.

Natsume’s eyes finally cleared in time to see the round form of Nyanko Sensei barrelling towards him. The cat came to an abrupt halt once he spotted the girl.

“Sensei?” Natsume asked, confused.

“What’s your name?” The girl asked.

Natsume turned back to face her. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped. He must have dreaming, at least that’s what he told himself. Unsteadily he rose to his feet to get a better look.

“Well?” She wondered.

It dawned on him that he had been staring at her for some time without answering her question. He considered lying however decided against it.

“Natsume Takashi,” He said cautiously. “I think I’m a relative of yours.”

The girl looked somewhat surprised at his response.

“I guess it’s nice to meet you then, I’m Natsume Reiko.”

 

 

~~Natsume followed Reko as she walked, he carried the box Hoshini had given him under his arm. Sensei was sat on his shoulder staring at the girl.

“Sensei what’s going on? She can’t be here,” Natsume whispered.

“Stupid brat,” The cat mumbled. “That yokai sent us back to when Reiko was still alive.”

“How?” Natsume asked.

“He used your family bond to send us here, very few yokai can do so.”

“What are you whispering about? And why is that pig talking?” Reiko had stopped walking and was facing Natsume.
The boy gulped and came to a halt. He eyed Sensei warily.

“He’s…my cat,” Nastume struggled to come up with an excuse.

Reiko simply stared. “Why are you lying?”

“Umm…” Natsume didn’t know how to respond.

“I’m his body guard,” The cat said proudly.

“Bodyguard? You’re a yokai right?” Reiko asked.

Sensei nodded.

“Want to play a game? If I win you give me your name and if you win you can wat me,” Reiko smiled.

“Insolent brat, you dare challenge me, don’t go comparing me to those worthless weaklings your used to dealing with,” The cat huffed indignantly.

“Sensei,” Natsume sighed.

Reiko smirked. “Why afraid I might beat you?”

Sensei bristled with anger. With a puff he changed into his true form of a powerful wolf spirit. He prepared to attack.

“Sensei!” Natsume shouted.

The boy punched the spirit sending it flying into the nearest tree. It groaned and with a puff changed bat into the cat form. Sensei lied flat on his stomach, nursing the lump on his head.

“Sorry about that,” Natsume said.

“I’ve never met another human who could do that,” Reiko told him, her eyes narrowed. “Are you sure you’re not a yokai?”

Natsume smiled and nodded. He really enjoyed spending time with his Grandmother. He wanted to get to know her better.

 


Reiko and Natsume wondered through the forest, Nyanko Sensei trotted behind, the cat sporting a large bump on his head. The trees all around towered high into the sky and swayed in the oncoming breeze. Sunlight shone through the branches, lighting up their way. A soft chirping sound could be heard in the distance. Natsume had walked through the same paths many times in his own time but had never felt such…he found it hard to describe but with Reiko walking along beside him he felt a warmth in his chest that he often only felt when he was with the Fujiwara couple. It made him happy and he would cherish the memory.

“Reiko how long have you been able to see yokai?” I asked.

She considered for a moment, a fond smile on her lips. “Ever since I was young I have been able to, at first they terrified me but now I guess you could say I’m on friendly terms with a lot of them.”

“That’s good,” Natsume said. “I-it was the same for me.”

His expression became more sombre as he recalled the experiences from his childhood where he was called a liar for what he saw.

He jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Natsume looked over to Reiko.

“Natsume you can’t let that stuff get to you, it’s in the past and should stay that way,” Natsume informed.

He nodded, Reiko had faced similar things in her past, those who couldn’t see would even throw rocks at her. Natsume had seen such things when returning names. He admired her for being able to be so strong despite that.

“Thank you,” He told her. “I know this might sound a bit odd but I think you’re really strong, I’m glad I was able to meet you.”

Reiko stared at him curiously. They carried on walking. The sun was beginning to sink into the horizon, the sky turned a light shade or orange and pink. Touka-san would be worried if Natsume didn’t return home soon. He supposed that he should be trying to get back. As much as he wanted to stay longer and spend time with his Grandmother he knew he couldn’t. Since coming back the boy had felt something in his pocket. He slipped his hand into it and took the object out.

“Reiko do you know of a yokai called Hoshini?” He asked.

She looked thoughtful for a moment before saying, “Yes he went to look for a yokai who stole my ring, why?”

He held up his hand, revealing her ring. She looked at him in surprise before taking it from his outstretched hand.

“Hoshini wanted me to give it back to you, he-”

Reiko brought him to an abrupt stop by embracing him in her arms. It took him a second to be able to process what was happening then hugged her back.

“Thank you,” The girl whispered, tears trailing down her cheeks. “This was my mother’s; I-I didn’t think I’d ever see it again.”

Natsume felt a surge of Hoshini’s spiritual energy around him. It was time to go home. He stepped back from his Grandmother, breaking from their hug. Nyanko Sensei hopped onto his shoulder.

“I have to go back home now, goodbye,” He said.

“Bye, I hope I’ll see you around, thanks again,” Reiko replied.

The last thing Natsume saw before blacking out was his Grandmother’s smiling face. When he awoke he was back in his time. The cat was resting on his chest and he petted him affectionately.

“Let’s go home Sensei.”

The End

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