Outlaw Star Fan Fiction ❯ Gift of New Beginnings ❯ Chapter 1

[ A - All Readers ]

If you haven't read “Gift of the Rose” by Inuyatta, which can be found on fanfiction . net, I wouldn't recommend reading this yet.

Disclaimer: In no way, shape, or form do I claim ownership to Outlaw Star or other franchises set in the Toward Stars Universe.

Gift of New Beginnings

The first thing I noticed after waking up was what smelled like pancakes. Gradually, I opened my eyes before I proceeded to sit up in my bed and stretch, letting out a large yawn afterwards. The next thing I noticed was how quiet it was. As early in the day as it was, usually I'd at least hear Aisha watching the TV. Even so, the lights were on, and the smell from before was still wafting in the air, so it was clear that there was at least one other person here, and that they were cooking breakfast. Still groggy, I got up out of bed and made my way downstairs. To my surprise, I found Jim in the kitchen, placing about a dozen pancakes onto a plate. “Jim?”

“Good morning, Hanmyo!” Jim greeted me cheerfully. Like me, he was still in his pajamas, but I got the feeling that he'd been awake for a while already. That wasn't good. For at least the past week, he'd been working even harder than usual, getting up early and going to bed late, taking on several jobs a day, and really only taking quick breaks to eat and go to the bathroom. And whenever he wasn't out on a job, he was constantly typing away on his computer.

“Jim, you shouldn't be up so early, let alone working in the kitchen. You haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and I'm getting worried,” I scolded him.

Jim smiled apologetically. “I guess you're right. Even Aniki and Mel were getting on my case this morning.” He then snorted. “Never thought I'd see the day Gene would be lecturing me on working too hard.”

“All the more reason for you to go to sleep early tonight!”

“If that's what you want, Hanmyo, then alright.”


“Promise!” Wow, Jim's serious! Satisfied with his response, I asked about something else that had been bugging me this morning.

“By the way, where is everyone?”

“Out doing errands.” His answer didn't make any sense to me. If it had just been Melfina, or even Suzuka, I'd understand, but Gene and Aisha as well? And at this hour? I looked at Jim, and I saw no trace of dishonesty in his eye. But I couldn't shake off the feeling that there was something he wasn't telling me. This wasn't like him, but at the same, I knew I could trust him. So I just let it drop. I took a seat at the table and Jim put a plate with half of the pancakes he'd been preparing in front of me.

“It's been a while since I cooked something like this without any help. I hope they still turned out alright, though.” I could tell Jim was worried, but I knew better than to sugarcoat things like this with him. Fortunately, one bite was enough to know that I wouldn't have to.

“They're a bit gooey, but still pretty tasty! Thank you, Jim!” Blushing slightly, Jim finally relaxed enough to take a seat and join me.

Once we had finished eating and put our dishes away, Jim had another surprise for me. “Hey, Hanmyo? Do you feel like going to the park today?” I blinked in shock, not sure I'd heard him correctly. He'd been working himself to the bone for the last week, only to now want to take the day off and spend it with me?

Unfortunately, Jim misinterpreted the look on expression. “Well, I guess if you'd rather do something else, then…” I didn't let him finish. Grabbing his hands and pulling them to my chest, I looked him right in the eyes, making sure he wouldn't misunderstand my intentions.

“Jim, I'd love to go out with you today. It's just…you've been so busy lately, that it's really surprising.”

This appeared to his mind at ease. “True. But I wanted to make sure that I would have today free just for you, and I sure didn't feel like taking any chances.”

“Just…for me? Why? And why tod-” My eyes widened. “Today's the day?”

Jim nodded his head in confirmation. “One year ago today, you and I met by the fountain in the park back on Symka 5. Even though we're on Sentinel right now, I still thought we should celebrate somehow.”

At this I threw my arms around his neck and pecked his cheek. “That's so sweet of you. Thank you, Jim! Thank you!” Jim just smiled his adorable smile as he wrapped his arms around me. Eventually, we broke out of our hug and went to get dressed before we left on our date (Jim couldn't help but blush when I said that).

(Gift of New Beginnings)

We got to the park right around noon, and for several hours, we just sat on a bench, watching the clouds and chatting, only stopping when the sun began to set. It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun enjoying such simple pleasures with someone you love.

But on our way back to Starwind and Hawking Enterprises, Jim had one last surprise for me. Instead of going straight back to the shop, he drove to Clyde's Bar. Gene and Jim have known the owner for quite some time and introduced me to him not too long after I started living together with them. Clyde's a pretty nice guy altogether, as well as the waitress Iris. I could do without some of Iris's teasing of me and Jim, though. According to Clyde, she's trying to come to terms with her unrequited feelings for Gene, but even so, I think she gets a little too much enjoyment out of tormenting us.

Still, I had no idea why we were stopping here, and Jim wouldn't say anything about it, either. Even so, after parking the car, he grabbed my hand and smiled softly at me. I decided to once again just trust him and let him lead me inside, though I admit I hesitated for a moment when I saw that there was a sign on the door indicating that the bar was closed for a private party.

The inside of the bar was pitch black. I turned to Jim for answers, only for the lights to come on then and there. This was followed by a popping sound and Gene, Melfina, Aisha, Suzuka, and the pink Gilliam bot jumping up from behind the bar. But it was the three words they all shouted that rendered me completely speechless.

“Happy Birthday, Hanmyo!”

I could only turn to Jim in shock, who was still smiling, only somewhat more bashfully now. “For some time, I have had the idea of throwing you a surprise party, but I realized that you probably never celebrated your birthday before, so I was pretty nervous about how you would react if I organized one for you.”

Seeing that I still wasn't quite ready to talk yet, Jim continued. “Even so, I really wanted to do this for you. I know you still blame yourself for some of the things you've done in the past, but I wanted to show you that there are still people who are glad you were born. I know I sure am.”

“Enough blabbering, Jim!” Aisha snapped, getting impatient. “Let's get this party started already!”

And what a party it was! Clyde, Melfina, and Iris pulled out all of the stops and had whipped up a spectacular and delicious feast. Gene and Aisha got into a karaoke battle, only calling for a brief cease-fire in order to get Suzuka to sing at one point. I don't think I'll ever figure out how they pulled that off. In addition, shortly after the party had first started, a few other guests appeared. First was Fred Luo, who I knew was on good, if somewhat awkward, terms with Gene and Jim, despite the large debt they owed him. Personally, I found him fairly harmless and quite amusing. Next were the two people responsible for rescuing me from the empty vacuum of space: Kenji-kun and Nakao-sensei. Apparently, Jim had contacted them a while ago and invited them, knowing how important they were to me and my survival. The two of them had been all too eager to take a leave of absence from their work to attend my party.

Sometime later, I stepped outside just get a breath of fresh air and look at the stars. After they had arrived, Nakao-sensei sat down at a table with Suzuka, and the two had just been quietly sipping their drinks, watching everyone else enjoy themselves. Meanwhile, Kenji-kun and Fred had joined the karaoke battle, and between the two of them and Gene and Aisha, it was hard to say who was enjoying themselves the most, let alone winning. But little did I know that one last guest was going to make an appearance.

“Nice party, kiddo,” said a voice from behind me. I turned and went pale as I recognized the face illuminated by the light of the moon.

“S-Sh-Shimi…” I stuttered. “I-I thought all of the Anten Seven had been killed off by Gene and his crew.”

“You and me both, kiddo,” was his answer. “As far as everyone knows, the mercenary Shimi did indeed perish in a duel with Gene Starwind. In reality, after meeting them, I started to get some weird ideas in my head, and decided to change professions.”

“So you faked your death…And Hazanko never found out…” I was amazed. I had always known that Shimi was a skilled fighter, even amongst the Anten Seven, but I would never have guessed that he was capable of deceiving the entire universe into thinking he was dead.

“Apparently not,” my former colleague confirmed. “By the way, Shimi was just a trade name I used, and Shimi is supposedly dead. I'm an outlaw now, just like you and Gene. So call me by my real name, Leilong.”

“Alright…Leilong,” I tested out the new name, surprised by how easily it came. “You know, I think I prefer that name. It suits you a lot more, too.”

“Glad I have your approval, kiddo,” Leilong chuckled. He walked next to me and stared up at the sky along with me. “Got to say, the life of an outlaw suits me quite nicely. Far more freedom, and far fewer regrets.”

“I feel the same way,” I agreed. At this, Leilong began walk away. “Huh? Where are you going?”

“Tonight's your night to shine, kiddo, not mine,” he shrugged. “If I poke my head in now, well…that wouldn't be very fair to you.” I was initially perplexed by his comment, but it didn't take me very long to figure out what he actually meant.

“They don't know yet, either,” I stated.

“No, they don't. But I will tell them…later. Like you, I owe them for giving me a chance for a new beginning, and at the very least, they deserve to know that. But you beat me to it, fair and square. I'll be back soon, but don't spoil the surprise, alright?”

“I promise,” I said without even thinking. Then again, even when he went by Shimi, he'd always had an odd effect on people.

“Thanks, and I'll see you around.” Before he was completely out of sight, he added, “Oh, and happy birthday, Hanmyo.”

About a minute or so later, Jim came out to get me. “Hey, Hanmyo, are you doing alright?”

“Of course I am, Jim. I just felt like getting some fresh air,” I reassured him. “Jim, thank you for everything you've done for me.”

“You're welcome,” Jim stood next to me, right where Leilong had just been, and joined me in stargazing. Suddenly, he gasped and brought his palm to his forehead.

“I completely forgot to get you a present! Aw man!” Jim moaned. His comment made me burst out laughing, much to his confusion.

“What are you talking about, Jim? You didn't forget to give me a present!”

“I didn't?”

“Jim, earlier you said that you had guessed that I had never celebrated my birthday before,” I started to explain. “And you were right. Hazanko had abducted me when I was just a baby, and had been trained as a pilot and assassin ever since. He never told me what day I had been born, and honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't know himself, let alone care.”

Seeing that he still didn't quite get it, I shook my head and smiled before wrapping my arms around his neck. “Jim,” I said, staring lovingly into his eyes. “You gave me my birthday.”

I leaned in and pressed my lips against Jim's, closing my eyes as soon as I made contact. Seconds later, I felt his hands on my back, and we remained in our embrace for what felt like a lifetime in paradise. When we finally separated, I grabbed his hand and together we walked back into the bar and rejoined the festivities.

Fate had brought me and Jim together, and fate had allowed me to join his wonderful family. I have no idea what else fate had in store for us, but I have faith that where it takes me, I'll have Jim at my side.

(The End)

As I state in the summary, this is intended to be a sort of sequel to Inuyatta's “Gift of the Rose”, one of my favorite Outlaw Star fan fiction stories of all time. I first found “Gift of the Rose” back in the summer of 2010, and it had a tremendous impact on me. It's actually what inspired me to start writing Outlaw Star The Flower of Fate in the first place.

I wrote this all in a single sitting, pretty late at night, so there are probably some spelling and grammar errors I overlooked. If you notice any, don't hesitate to point them out to me. Even so, I hope you all enjoyed this story, and Inuyatta, thank you once again for writing “Gift of the Rose”.