Title: 9066 (Prologue)
Genre: Historical, AU, School, Romance
Pairing: OT9, YutoYama (main), TakaInoo, YabuHika, others to follow
Summary: It's America 1942, and it's wartime. Everyone of Japanese ancestry has to be moved and relocated away from their homes and lifestyles. Everyone seems to be losing hope, especially for a group of high school boys who suddenly feel like enemies in their own homeland. Could this terrible situation possibly bring some light into their lives?
A/N: Comments are love! Thank you so much for reading my first HSJ fanfiction!!
“I’m telling you, Hikaru! There is absolutely no way in the world that Batman could be better than Superman!”
“Yabu, would you stop arguing with me! Batman is obviously better than that alien!”
“No, he isn’t!”
“Name one reason why!”
Yabu hummed, kicking up some dust from the dirt road as he tried to think of a reason. “He’s a reporter!” he finally said.
Hikaru laughed at his best friend. “That’s all you got?” he asked jumping over a huge rock in the middle of the road.
“Then tell me your case!” Yabu said. “Why is Batman so special?”
“Well, for one he’s still in the magazine, unlike your silly comic strip!” Hikaru explained.
The boys came over the little hill and could see the small farm that they worked on finally come into sight. “It’s not my fault they cancelled it!” Yabu continued arguing as they continued walking down the road. “If it’s anyone’s fault, I blame the Japanese.”
“Sure, blame people on that tiny island for everything,” Hikaru said, gently pushing his best friend. “You know, I still have family there. I think I have like… a great uncle or something? I don’t even know but I know I have family there!”
Yabu pushed back. “That doesn’t count though! You don’t talk to them or anything.”
“How can we? The US doesn’t let letters go out there anymore.” Hikaru smiled his little mischievous smile before nudging his best friend. “Last one to the Aiba house is a rotten egg!” he called before he took off running. Yabu didn’t even have time to say anything before he ran to try and catch up to his best friend.
For Hikaru and Yabu, the best part of going to work after school was the speed they could get from running down the hill to the little green house at the bottom. Next to the house were bright strawberry fields as far as the eye could see, and they could see their families and friends out there picking the berries and making sure that it was a good harvest. If it was a good harvest, then the more money their employer, Mr. Tarou Aiba, could afford to give everyone. Both boys loved working in the fields, and every day the excitement of going to work never got old.
Hikaru and Yabu made it to the bottom of the hill and sprinted as fast as they could to the white porch. Yabu was close, but like every other day, he was beaten by an inch. “Yosha!” Hikaru beamed as he jumped up and down. “I’m still the winner! Yabu, for a string bean, you sure are slow!”
“String bean?” Yabu laughed. “If I’m a string bean, then you’re a twig!”
“Hey, this twig just won! I wouldn’t be calling me names if I were you. I might just trip you next time!”
“Kota! Hikaru! Good day!” a sweet voice called. Both boys looked up and saw Mrs. Aiba come walking out of the house. “Who won today?” she asked.
Hikaru held up his hand. “I won again!” he smiled.
Mrs. Aiba smiled then looked at Yabu. “Well, perhaps tomorrow you can win, Kota.”
“I will someday, ma’am,” Yabu grinned back. “How are the fields today, Mrs. Aiba? Did all the berries get picked?”
“I think we just finished, actually,” Mrs. Aiba answered. “Mr. Aiba went to town with the berries about an hour ago, but don’t worry, I still have a basket of the sweet berries for you two to nibble on. Looks like you two get an easy day today.”
Hikaru frowned as they walked up the stairs up the porch. “That’s too bad,” he said. “I actually really liked picking the strawberries.”
“Here comes Mr. Aiba,” Yabu said, seeing the familiar black truck coming down the road. “Hikaru, let’s say hello before going inside.”
However, almost immediately, they could tell that something was wrong. As soon as the truck stopped, Mr. Aiba got out and marched up the steps to his wife. “Where is everyone?” he asked her. “The workers and Masaki, are they still here?”
Mrs. Aiba was taken aback but nodded. “Yes, they’re all inside—“ Before she could finish, Mr. Aiba rushed inside and didn’t even take off his shoes before going into the living room, which was very unusual.
Both Hikaru and Yabu felt rocks in their stomachs before they also walked inside.
Before Yuya could even say a word, his sister was scolding him as he rushed in through the back door. “You’re late,” Yui sighed. “Dad isn’t happy.”
“When is he ever happy?” Yuya frowned as he searched for his work apron. “What needs done today?”
“The carrots need put out into the main storefront, and Papa said you need to go through all of the onions to make sure they aren’t rotten.”
Yuya quickly tied the white apron around his waist and put his school books on top of a shelf before he looked around for the carrots. Before he picked them up to take them to the front of his family’s grocery store, Yuya stopped and looked over at his big sister. “Nee-chan,” he said. “Did you ever think about going to college?”
Yui laughed before looking over at him. “Me? Go to college? What on earth for?”
“I don’t know. To be something other than a housewife.”
“Yuya, there’s not many jobs for women unless I become a nurse or a secretary. Why are you asking so much about college?” Yui stopped and turned away from the bucket of apples she was sorting through. “Don’t tell me you’re actually thinking about it?”
“I didn’t say I wanted to go!” Yuya defended. “Kei was talking about it today. He was debating about what he should go for. He asked what I was going for….”
Yui sighed again and looked at her brother with a sort of pitiful face. “Yuya, you know we can’t afford college.”
“Besides, what would you do in college? You’re the most unmotivated person I’ve ever met.”
“It sure would beat working here forever.”
“Yuya!” Mr. Takaki yelled into the back room. “I need that crate of carrots now! Mrs. Hanada is waiting!”
“I’m coming, Dad!” Yuya called through the door. He sighed, but quickly thanked his sister and picked up the wooden crate of carrots and walked to the front of the store. “I apologize, Hanada-san,” Yuya bowed to the elderly lady. “I’m so sorry for keeping you waiting.”
“Oh, it’s quite alright really,” Mrs. Hanada waved. “I just thought if I’m going to make some of my husband’s favorite sweet carrots, I might need some actual carrots. Don’t you think so, young man?” She winked at Yuya.
Yuya couldn’t help but smile back at her. “Yes, ma’am,” he answered. “I’m sure your husband will love them. They sound delicious.”
Mr. Takaki cleared his throat, getting his son’s attention. “Go ring her up, please,” he said.
Yuya bowed. “Yes, sir.” He turned back to Mrs. Hanada. “Right this way, please.”
As soon as Mrs. Hanada handed Yuya her money at the cash register, he looked up and saw Kei rush in. “Have a good day, Mrs. Hanada,” Yuya told the lady as she walked out of the store. Kei looked over, saw him, and quickly walked up to the counter, his eyes looking panicked. “Kei, what’s wrong?” Yuya asked. It was very clear that his best friend was upset, or at least very nervous. It took a lot to make Kei upset. “What’s happened to you?”
“You didn’t hear yet?” Kei asked surprised. “It’s all over the place! The telephone posts, the papers, the radio even had a goddamn announcement—“
“Sorry, I came straight to the store after school so I didn’t see the papers.” Yuya rushed around the counter and took his friend by the arms. He could feel just how badly Kei was shaking, and it startled him. “Kei, calm down! What is it?”
“That Inoo boy better be buying something!” The two boys heard Yuya’s father from the back room. “This is a store, not a place to idle!”
Yuya rolled his eyes and looked back at his friend. He could see tears coming from his eyes. This was serious, and Yuya’s mind started to race at all the possibilities it could be. “Kei, calm down…. What’s going on?”
“Ryosuke!” Chinen bounced on their way home from school. “For our book report! We should do something classical, like Shakespeare or something.”
Ryosuke laughed. “Seriously?!” he said. “Why do we have to read something so boring?”
“Hamlet might be fun!”
“Talk about a snore fest.”
“Besides,” Daiki spoke up next to him. “It’s too hard to read!”
Chinen pouted. “Well, what are you and your partner doing yours on?” he asked.
“Me and Nakajima decided to do ‘The Wizard of Oz’,” Daiki said proudly.
“What?!” both Ryosuke and Chinen exclaimed.
“We just finished reading that!” Chinen said.
“That’s not fair that you pick a book we read in class!” Ryosuke accused.
“Mrs. Robertson said that we could choose any book we wanted!” Daiki told them. “She didn’t say anything about books we couldn’t write about.”
Both Ryosuke and Chinen groaned. “Why didn’t we think of that?” Ryosuke asked.
Chinen’s pout got bigger. “We aren’t very smart Ryo-chan.”
“Well, come over tomorrow and we’ll figure out a book, okay?”
“Nakajima is coming over tomorrow too,” Daiki said. “He wanted to come today but something about work?”
“Nothing. It’s just… why does he have to come over? Why can’t you go to his place?”
“Just because you don’t like him doesn’t mean he’s not allowed to be my friend,” Daiki explained.
Chinen jumped again, trying to divert the attention away. “Tomorrow! Let’s have a party!” he declared.
“No thanks,” both Daiki and Ryosuke told him.
The three boys stopped at the crosswalk and waited for the light to change before crossing the street. “I hate book reports,” Ryosuke frowned, still thinking about the dreaded homework. “Why is that we always get stuck with a stupid report before the last week of school?”
Chinen shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe to make us suffer.”
“That’s got to be it. It’s just so tedious! What’s the point? Right, Daiki?” Ryosuke turned around and saw his cousin staring at the wooden telephone post next to them. “Oi, Daiki! Run out of gas already?”
“We bored him,” Chinen teased.
Ryosuke walked over to Daiki and saw that he looked absolutely horrified. It was a much different expression than what he had just a few moments before. “What is it?” Ryosuke asked before he and Chinen looked over at the flyer Daiki was reading.
As Ryosuke read it, he felt like the ground had disappeared from underneath him.
TO ALL PERSONS OF
Pursuant to the provisions of Civilian Exclusion Order No. 33, this Headquarters, dated May 2, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above area by 12 o’clock noon, P.W.T., Saturday, May 9, 1942.
“Evacuated? What does that mean?” Chinen asked in almost a whisper.
Daiki cleared his throat. “I…. I don’t know.”
“But… they don’t actually mean us, right? We’re Americans. We haven’t done anything!”
“Chii, I don’t know!”
Ryosuke turned to his friend. “Go home,” he said. “Go talk to your parents, and make sure your sister is okay. We’ll go over to your place tomorrow to see you, okay?”
Daiki grabbed Ryosuke’s arm, and he could feel him shaking. “Let’s go.”
A/N: So this is a sequel/spin-off/IDon'tEvenKnow to my Arashi story called 'Poston'. It can be read independently though, because I'm not planning on having too much Arashi interaction here. I hope it's okay for a start! Comments are love! And thank you so much for taking the time to read it!