Friday, April 29, 2011

MMF: Now It's Time To Say Goodbye

I've been in anime and manga fandom far longer than I've ever been a blogger, and still look at Rumiko Takahashi through the eyes of a fan. And, though I haven't for years, I used to write a LOT of Takahashi fanfics as well, and thought about posting one here for the Manga Moveable Feast. I looked over my collection of Ranma fics, but my jaded eye doesn't regard any of them as good enough for posting. I like the UY ones better, but they take place in a shared fanfic universe, and explaining it would take longer than the fics itself.

That leaves the one Maison Ikkoku fic I wrote. MI tends to get a lot less fanfic than any other Takahashi property, mostly due to its closure and realistic setting. This fic was something my 24 year old self wrote after reading the manga and getting very, very frustrated over the antics of everyone in the cast who wasn't Godai and Kyoko. And so, as often happens, I wrote a fanfic to express my frustration. One might argue it's shallow and petty, which is certainly true. And that it's grotesquely out of character, also true. But I dunno... I still like it. It's just so gleefully nasty.

If nothing else, it's an object lesson in how fandom can take a source material and abuse it for their own purposes.

Here we go.

Maison Ikkoku - Now It's Time to Say Goodbye
by Sean Gaffney


Yusaku Godai sighed as he took another look around Maison Ikkoku. It was hard to believe that, after 8 years, he and Kyoko were finally leaving. It was hard, but they felt a need to get away from their past, to try and start a new life.

He walked past Room 1, frowning as he passed. The room reeked of alcohol, and looking inside he could see that bottles had been smashed all over the floor. He saw a vague shape lying in the middle of the floor. Frowning slightly, he went in, picked up Kentaro, and put him to bed. No sense in leaving him lying on the floor. Godai always had a soft spot for the kid. Maybe it was the little ways that he reminded Godai of himself.

He walked back out of the room, turning off the light as he did so. Mr. and Mrs. Ichinose were lying on their futon, surrounded by the scent of alcohol, obviously not about to wake up anytime soon. Godai smiled. Mrs. Ichinose usually slept like the dead anyway.

Walking up to Room 4, he pondered just how much of his life had been spent here. He'd met Kyoko, gotten through college, gotten a job, and gotten married. It was hard, just abandoning the place like this. But he'd gotten a better offer from a place in Kansai, and he and Kyoko both agreed that Maison Ikkoku was *no* place to raise their daughter.

Walking into Room 4, he took note of the decor. He'd never been in this room very often, and was intrigued how much it fit its owner. Yotsuya was certainly one of the people he'd probably miss the least. Blackmail had kept Godai almost bankrupt for 7 years, and had kept Yotsuya in meals that, Godai suspected, were his only source of sustenance.

Godai sighed as he picked up the remains of the meal on the floor. Godai had decided, as a final treat, to treat Yotsuya to one last big meal. No one had been more surprised than Yotsuya himself, who quickly scarfed down the meal without a second thought. Typical, Godai thought as he cleaned up the rest of the room, no thoughts for others at all. Even Mrs. Ichinose and Akemi *occasionally* noticed my feelings...even if they used that to their advantage. He stuffed the remaining contents of the room into the crawlspace between his old room and Yotsuya's. It was a tight fit, but Godai wanted everything to be nice and neat when he and Kyoko left, so he ignored the occasional snap.

Turning off the light, he headed down to Room 6. Kyoko would be getting back soon, and then they would be on their way. Akemi was in here, since Godai had no way of getting her back to Cha Cha Maru by himself. He went into her room, noting that she was lying on the bed completely naked. Another typical aspect of Maison Ikkoku life that he wouldn't miss. Akemi was probably the worst of them, since she knew exactly how Godai has felt, right from the start, and just used him. He didn't know what the manager saw in her, really. He sighed as he rolled her out of bed to change the sheets again, ignoring the mess that was made on the floor. He picked her up gingerly, tucked her back into bed, and left the room.

He heard Soichiro barking outside, and his spirits rose. Kyoko must be back! He ran downstairs and greeted her as she came in.

"Hi! Did you get everything at your parents?"

Kyoko turned from the sink where she had been washing her hands. "Yes, everything's all set. I've just put Soichiro in the car. Are we ready here?"

"Yup. I've got almost everything sorted out. Why don't you change and check on Haruka-chan, and we can get going?"

As she left the room Godai smiled again, all his previous melancholy leaving him. They'd been married two years now, and he was even more in love with her than before, if that was possible. Godai once told Kyoko that she was his heart, and that he would die without her. Kyoko responded that Godai was her soul, and that without him she would crumble to dust.

They'd never been this overemotional before, but it was as if, after six years of Kyoko's denial, a dam had broken. They both felt as if they had to pour their hearts out to each other all the time. It was rare that they were not together anymore.

As Godai finished reminiscing, Kyoko came back, changed into a new outfit, and carrying a sleepy Haruka-chan with her.

"How'd your talk with your parents go?" Godai asked.

"Oh, pretty much as you'd expect. There wasn't much they could say in the end, though."

Godai gathered up their luggage and began moving it out to the car. As he got back, he saw Kyoko looking around, her eyes watering.

"I invested so much of my life into this place, Godai. It's hard to let go. All the memories, the good and the bad."

Godai put his arms around her. "I know, Kyoko. This is where we fell in love, after all. But we've got to move on sometime. Our lives are just moving in different directions. We'll always have our memories, you know."

Kyoko smiled, leaning back against him. "I know. And now it's time to say goodbye. Are we ready?"

Godai smiled, fishing out a packet of matches. "Of course." Smiling, he lit a match, then lit the entire pack, tossing it into Room 1.

As they left, the place that had once been Maison Ikkoku lit up the night sky.


1 comment:

  1. Oh Sean, Sean, Sean. Thank you so much for being a good sport and posting this. Please don't hit me if/when we finally meet in person, ok?