Kaisei stumbles upon Yajiro, who has just gotten used again to transforming to his human form.

Words: 2,370

what humans might call a date


Set a month or two after the anime ended. Because I wanted Yajiro and Kaisei to interact! >.<) First try writing these characters so… yeah.

Kaisei knew that she had a headstart. Several good meters. Enough for her to transform into something – but nothing seemed to fit here. She knew she could blend in really well, but she also knew that Yasaburo, that idiot, was a fast runner. She could outrun his human form using her tanuki form, but at the odds that he catch up to her, she wouldn’t be able to deny her identity if he ask her as a tanuki. At least right now as she ran, as a human, Kaisei knew that there were chances that Yasaburo wouldn’t recognize her.

It was a joke that they both took seriously. Kaisei pushed too hard on the fact that he’ll never catch her, and he pushed too hard on the fact that if he tried, he could.

He was trying right now.

And somehow, Kaisei was losing, but she was trying too – after all, she swore on him that he’ll never see her. And she didn’t want to be seen, as well.

The bad thing was that he already caught a glimpse of her red hair.

The Ebisugawa heiress came to a quick halt on a familiar street and quickly looked around for a quick escape route.

An alley. It was a common ground for tanuki to transform without anyone noticing. It was a predictable choice, but she also knew that there was a fence in there that led to a shortcut to the woods.

“Perfect.” the girl mumbled, and then darted towards the alley…

…only to bump into a tall figure. She stumbled backwards, but two strong hands grabbed her wrists and steadied her again.


The girl blinked, recognizing the familiar voice and looking up. “Y-Yajiro-san!”

“Hey.” the young man, in his favored human form, greeted with a smile, letting go of her wrists. “Were you going to transform here? I just finished-”

“Y-Y-You’re not a frog!” the girl stammered, looking at the perfect transformation up and down. It has been too long since she saw the older tanuki in any other form except his frog form. She had heard that he transformed to his specialty, the false traincar, back in the Nise-emon elections, but he had quickly gone back to his frog form, saying that he had gotten used to it.

“Yes, I was finally able to transform this morning. Gave everyone a shock. I thought I’d walk around, get used to this form again, it’ll be handy since being a frog in crowded places is kind of risky…”

“A-Ah.” the girl nodded, a smile creeping on her face. “I-I’m happy for you, Yajiro-san.”

“Thanks. So are you transforming here? I can leave-”



“Yasaburo is running after me.” the girl explained.

Yajiro chuckled in amusement, crossing his arms across his chest. “Ehhh, what did you do?”

“I told him he’d never catch me and I think I finally set him off.”

The older tanuki laughed. “So you’re going to the woods, huh?”

Yajiro blinked when the girl stepped forward and gripped his jacket, then looked up at him. “Please help me?”

He had forgotten how pretty she could be, human or tanuki or otherwise.

‘Ah.’, the lazy tanuki thought. ‘How can I refuse?’


Yasaburo stopped when he saw his brother walking nonchalantly by the sidewalk.

“Nii-san!” he called. He noted his older brother’s raised eyebrow as he ran carelessly, donning a sailor uniform with a matching short skirt.

“Yasaburo.” Yajiro greeted. “Yaichiro-onii-san will flip when he sees you running like that.”

“I run faster like this.” the younger tanuki panted. “How about you? Not feelin’ like a frog anymore?”

“I’m safer walking around here human.”

“Ah. Have you seen Kaisei?”

Yajiro blinked. “Kaisei?”

“Yeah. Small girl, red hair and pink sweater. I think. I lost her.”

“You saw her already? She never wanted you to see her.” Yajiro said with a hint of amusement.

Yasaburo groaned. “I just saw her running. Then nothing.” He frowned when his older brother laughed at him, saying, “Yeah, fine. Laugh like that.”

Yajiro finally answered. “I’m sorry, I haven’t seen her today yet.”

“Argh. She’s really trouble.”

“Why were you chasing her, anyway?”

“I just wanted to see what she looked like, and she tells me I’m a worthless idiot and I’ll never catch her.”

“Perhaps you did something to upset her.”

“Did not! I just… kinda called her a weirdo for always hiding from me.”

“There you go.”

Yasaburo sighed. “I’ll just.. keep looking.” Yajiro watched as his brother, dressed in a schoolgirl outfit, started running again. Yasaburo turned to wave at his brother and shout, “Enjoy being human today, nii-san!”

Yajiro waved back, and then kept walking.

“He’s gone.” Kaisei’s voice said in his ear.

“He is.” Yajiro smiled at the backpack he was carrying. He felt the item shifting, then becoming still again.

“He’s an idiot. Didn’t even wonder why you have a bag.”

“I think you just did a really good job, Kaisei.”

“Thanks for helping me lose him, Yajiro-san.”

Yajiro shook his head and shrugged. “Anytime. Where do I drop you off?”

There was no answer for a while. Yajiro patiently kept walking aimlessly around the street, nodding at some acquaintances – tanuki who were in a human disguise – and getting used to the feeling of his human form again. He liked being a frog, but that form limited him too much.

“I… don’t know.” Kaisei finally answered. “I don’t have any plans for today, anyway.”

Yajiro smiled lightly to himself and looked up at the sky. It was a sunny afternoon, that perfect time for a nap.

Despite that, however, he found himself saying, “Kaisei, are you hungry?”

“Uh, not exactly.”

“It’s my treat.”

He didn’t know how, but he somehow felt the smile against his back. “I’d like that.”


They sat on the grass by the riverbank. It was one of Yajiro’s favorite spots back then and that wasn’t about to change. They ate pudding. Snacks, because really – they weren’t all that hungry.

“Thanks for the treat, Yajiro-san.” the girl said, gaze fixed at some children playing on the river, splashing each other with water.

“It’s probably nothing compared to what you usually have.” Yajiro said sheepishly. He was in the presence of the young princess of the Ebisugawa family. He had told her that he would treat her, but that was before he realized that what he had in his pocket was only spare change, nothing more. He was very embarassed that he only managed to give her pudding.

“I like these stuff better.” Kaisei said, smiling at him. “The food at home tastes boring. Father and my brothers always insist that we eat expensive food.”

Yajiro chuckled, watching his young companion eat the snack silently, watching their surroundings. He had already finished his snack, so he stretched, crossed his arms behind his head and lay back on the grass. Kaisei looked at him shortly and then withdrew her gaze.

Yajiro watched the clouds fly by, somehow managing to recognize some shapes. A leaf, a car, a bird, even a little tanuki… In his peripheral vision, he could see long red hair dancing with the wind and a pink cardigan flapping lightly. He smiled and closed his eyes.

“It’s good to have you back, Yajiro-san.” he heard the girl say.

He opened one eye to look at her. She had finished her snack and only held the empty cup in both of her hands. The little spoon was abandoned in the cup, and it stirred slightly due to the wind.

“It’s just… it’s easier to talk to you now. Not that it wasn’t easy when you were in the well… I mean, it’s just… better now. When you were there a day would pass when no one sees you, and we didn’t know what you were doing, or thinking about. It’s… kind of comforting to see you right here.”

“Really?” – a nod. “Why is that? For one, I am usually a lot safer in the well.”

“It’s just… it’s better to see you when we talk to you. I…” the girl paused. He saw her shift the empty pudding cup in her fingers before she continued. “I like talking to you. Yaichiro-san is always so serious and awkward around me, Yasaburo just pisses me off with all his talk about Benten-sama and Yashiro-kun is too young. I like auntie, but I don’t think I can tell her… everything, you know.”

“You can tell me everything, then?”

“Not really everything, but… a majority of things.” she said, then looked at him and smiled shyly. “Yajiro-san is a good listener.”

“I like hearing your voice, that’s all.” he said simply.

The girl paused and then chuckled. “Really?”

He nodded absently.

“Oh, and you give out really good advice, too.”

He smiled. “Most of those advice are stuff I say to make you all go away, you know. Most of the time, I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

“Well, some of the things you say hits home.”

He closed his eyes again and sighed. “Ah, that’s just luck.”

“Do you really want us to go away when we talk to you?”

“Sometimes. When you guys get too sad and I just want you to go and do something else – something fun, because I think that I’m going to make you sadder.”

“You don’t. You help.”

“As I say,” he glanced at her shortly. “It’s just luck.”

She hugged her knees to her chest, smiling to herself. “You remind me of uncle.”

“Father wasn’t as lazy.”

“He was friendly and he listens really well, then gives good advice.”

“Yasaburo does that, too.”

“Yasaburo would have said something that he thinks sounds smart or witty. I hate that in him.”

“It’s his redeeming factor, being smart. To the point of stupidity, obviously, but we’re tanuki. Whatever we do eventually ends up as a manifestation of our idiot blood.”

Kaisei laughed, and then lay in the grass beside him, arms spread wide on either side of her. “I knew I enjoy talking to you more than going around and pulling him out of whatever pinch he gets himself into.”

“You know that he appreciates what you do for him.”

“But he never learns.”

“We wouldn’t be tanuki if we learned too quickly.”

Kaisei looked at the second Shimogamo son. He was looking up at the sky with a faraway smile, and that made her smile, as well.

He didn’t know when he fell asleep, but he woke up to his young cousin’s face looming over him, her little hand nudging him gently. He apologized for falling asleep, but she said that he had only napped for a few minutes. They decided to go then.

Yajiro had the privelege of wrapping his arm around her shoulders while she clung to his jacket as they walked around the busy city streets of Kyoto. They didn’t want to lose each other in the crowd, so they held to each other tight.

He dropped her off in front of the Ebisugawa residence, because she was the young mistress of the house and he was determined to spend as much time with her as possible.

She told him again that she was glad that he’s back.

He said that he felt the same.


That night, Yasaburo came home late. He had to escort a very drunk Akadama-sensei home. He found his mother, Yaichiro and Yashiro all huddled together in tanuki forms, sleeping soundly. By the staircase, Yajiro, in his frog form, was gazing upon the moon.

“Ah, Yasaburo. It’s pretty late.” the older brother remarked.

Yasaburo settled himself beside the frog and stretched, then looked up at the sky as well. “Akadama-sensei. The usual.”

“He never holds back.”

“On his name as a tengu.” Yasaburo chuckled, and both brothers laughed. After a few minutes of companionable silence, Yasaburo glanced at his brother. “Nii-san?”


“Did you spend all day with Kaisei?”

The frog didn’t answer.

“I thought the bag trick was pretty good, you know. Would’ve fooled most tanuki otherwise.”

The frog sighed, slumping down on the wood. “What gave it away?”

“The fact that it was you. And that she was a backpack.”

The older tanuki chuckled lightly and said, “She asked my help to hide from you. That’s all.”


“I bought her pudding. Talked a bit.”


“Escorted her safely home. She’s a young tanuki girl, after all, and I don’t lack manners.”

“That’s what humans might call a date, nii-san.”

Yajiro shook his head. “Well, we are not humans, and it was not a date.”

Yasaburo nodded, accepting his brother’s answer.

That was when the third son asked, “Now that Soun-san is away, Mother wants me to re-establish the engagement, you know.”

“That’s good.” Yajiro said, looking at his brother, smiling. “You two make a great match.”

Yasaburo could never read his brother’s expression when he took the form of a frog. Nevertheless, he still asked the question: “What about you?”

The younger brother watched as the frog simply looked up at the sky and gazed at the moonlight again, and then said, “Whatever do you have to worry about me, brother?”

Yajiro said it as if everything was alright – or will be alright. As if their father was still there to do something – anything – to make the situation better. Yajiro was faced yet again with the dillema that he shared to his father on the night that the mighty tanuki died, but this time, he knew, it was going to be different. Different in what way, he didn’t exactly know, but as was his nature, he shall simply wait and see.

When his younger brother didn’t answer, Yajiro bowed his head and finally hopped away. Yasaburo looked on as the frog stopped before their sleeping family and with a small ‘pop’, transformed to tanuki form before joining the little huddle.

Yasaburo turned back his gaze to the beautiful moon in the sky and thought that things were about to get complicated again.

But then, he also thought that he had always wanted to live as interesting a life as possible — and he was just getting exactly that.



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