Shigure recalls the memory in full. She remembered walking along the sidewalk. It was dark out. Her hair straight down with a headband. She wore a pair of jeans sat just down enough on her hips for her tail, and a plain pink shirt. The next thing she knew, she was blindsided. Someone was smacking her with something heavy. A blunt object of some sort.
???: Dirty beastkin!
That was the only thing she heard them speak. She could make out two figures in the darkness, and just as quickly as they had ambushed her, they had vanished. Her whole body ached as she lay on the ground. She could see blood on her hands. Whatever they had done, they had hurt her badly enough. She had been hit enough times that her vision was hazy. She could make out another figure coming towards her; she worried that it was someone else coming to hurt her. To her surprise, the person lifted her up into her arms.
???: Poor thing, come on, I'll help you.
She could feel the person running as she carried her. Only fleeting glances of her face underneath the light showed that it was Miwa. She felt safe in her arms. Miwa was part of the six pillars, and she helped beastkin everywhere. Makoto and her were champions for beastkin rights. She let herself drift to sleep, her body forcing it upon her, she couldn't stay awake any longer. When next she awoke, she saw a pink glow, she turned her head enough to see Miwa standing there with her hands on her body, healing her wounds. She turned the other way to see the other person, Makoto Nanaya, watching over her. The squirrel beastkin hopped out of her chair seeing the young girl awake.
Makoto: Oh good you're awake...was a bit worried there.
Shigure: Huh? Where am I?
Makoto's brown ears move a bit as the fuzzy tips adjust. Her eyes look at Shigure as her big chestnut tail bobs a bit. The glow fades from Miwa's hands.
Miwa: Our home.
Makoto: No need to worry, you're safe with us. You took a heavy beating back there.
Shigure: Then you must be Miss Nanaya
She says looking at Makoto. Makoto gives a quick smile.
Makoto: I am in fact, and proud of it.
Shigure: Oh, I meant no disrespect Miss Nanaya.
Makoto: None taken.
Shigure seemed incredibly nervous around them. These two people were, as some might call them, champions of the beastkin races. Herself a dog beastkin, she couldn't help but be a little nervous and tense around them.
Miwa: Do you feel any pain?
Shigure: Yes, there's still some pain.
Miwa: That's to be expected.
Makoto: It'll take a little bit to fully heal. By the way, take it easy, you don't need to be all nervous around us.
Shigure: I'm fine, really.
Shigure tried to sit up, and was immediately forced to lay back down by her own body. Both her stomach and back both reacted to her sitting up.
Miwa: You shouldn't be moving around, just relax.
Shigure: urgh...so how'd I get here?
Makoto: You were attacked by some crazy people. Completely unfair too...more prejudice.
Miwa: And I stumbled upon you while I was out and carried you back here.
Shigure: I really should call my father...
Miwa: I've already alerted him that you'll be staying here for the night.
Shigure: Oh no no no no, I couldn't impose on you like that.
Makoto: Really its no problem though.
Shigure: But, it wouldn't be fair of me to...
Makoto: What wasn't fair was the way you were attacked like that. You're not imposing on us, promise.
Shigure: No please, surely you must want something in return for my treatment.
Miwa: I won't accept your money.
Makoto: We don't ask for anything in return, we helped you on our account.
Shigure: You would just help a complete stranger?
Miwa: There's no law against it, now is there?
Shigure: Well, no, but...
Miwa: Then there's no reason why I can't help you.
Shigure: But you can't make a living if we don't pay you...
Makoto: We get by, and besides money can't purchase happiness as they say. It wouldn't feel right to us, asking for payment for helping when we'd do so anyway.
Shigure: Then can I ask you something Miss Nanaya?
Makoto: Of course you can
Shigure: Isn't it tough? I mean, we're beastkin after all, we're not placed in powerful positions...
Makoto: No its not tough at all. You just have to stand up for yourself, take your pride in stride as they say. You can be strong, get any position you want. We deserve just as much as others, we're all people after all. That's what Miwa and I are trying to prove.
Shigure: So, a beastkin and a human can live together? I never see it happen...
Makoto: Of course you don't, its because people can't accept it. But it can happen, and its just like any other form of love, it brings us all together. Peace with that lays hidden with the acceptance that we can be equal. It's a long hard fought war, but I hope to see it won someday.
Shigure wouldn't realize the weight of her words until much later.
Shigure: Then can I ask you a question, Miss Suzuki?
Miwa: Please, call me Miwa.
Shigure: Miss Suzuki, why would you marry a beastkin?
Miwa: Because I love Makoto.
Shigure: You love her?
Miwa: Yes I do. Makoto is a beautiful person the inside and outside. She's gentle, caring, and kind, and can be strong when she needs to be. She's taught me so much about the world, and I owe her my life many times over.
Shigure just lies there and listens to Miwa gush about Makoto. She could tell her words were sincere.
Shigure: Miss Suzuki, one last question.
Miwa: You don't have to be so formal, Miwa is fine.
Shigure: Miss Suz...er...Miwa...
Shigure: What is love?
Miwa seemed stunned by the question. There was no easy answer to it.
Miwa: Well it's like...no, um...it's kind of like...no, that's not right...it's like a warm fuzzy feeling you feel in your chest.
Shigure: So you felt Makoto's tail in your chest?
Miwa blushes immediately at her response.
Miwa: No no no no no no no, you've got it all wrong...I mean yes, I felt Makoto's tail...ah! That's not what I mean at all! Makoto's tail is warm, fuzzy, cute, and...no that's not what I mean at all!
Shigure seemed confused.
Shigure: So love is a warm, fuzzy, cute tail?
Miwa: Love has nothing to do with tails!
Snickering across the table can be heard as Makoto is enjoying the scene that Shigure has caused.
Shigure: Did I say something funny, Miss Nanaya?
Makoto: Love is impossible to explain...its something you just feel with someone. You'll know when you're in love, its the person that became part of you. You feel pain together and happiness together.
Shigure takes in her words. Shigure already did have someone she loved, but they could never be together.
Shigure: One last question. What if you love someone, but they love someone else?
Makoto rubs her head and tilts it for a moment, it wasn't an easy question to answer. Lots of complexities were involved with it.
Miwa: Be happy for them.
Shigure turns back to Miwa.
Miwa: Do not let your jealousy interfere with their lives. Be supportive of them. Don't let anger and hatred take the place where love and kindness once lived.
Shigure listens quietly to Miwa.
Miwa: The worst thing you could do to yourself and them is sabotage their love.
Shigure takes those word to heart and nods quietly. The next moment, a young girl's footsteps can be heard scurrying towards them.
Makoto takes notice of the little girl at her feet and picks her up and holds her in her arms.
Miwa: I suppose introductions are in order, this is Izumi, our only child as of now. She's two years old.
Izumi sits in Makoto's arms. Shigure just looks at her and notices that she doesn't look much like Makoto.
Shigure: She...doesn't have a tail, or ears like yours Miss Nanaya. Is she not a beastkin?
Makoto: She has beatkin blood in her, just not the tails or ears, but it doesn't make her any less adorable.
Makoto mentions it as she muzzles the young Izumi. Izumi's laughter fills the air.
Izumi: Mommy, you're so funny!
Shigure: (A human with beastkin blood insider of her...how rare...)
Shigure waits a moment.
Shigure: How is that possible?
Miwa: That's because of our genetics.
Shigure turns back to Miwa.
Miwa: While it is very possible she could've been born with a squirrel ears and tail, it looks like she was born without them. We made an agreement that I would give birth to our first child. During that time, it may have happened where my traits became dominant.
Shigure seemed astonished that Miwa was able to explain that.
Shigure: That's...amazing...you can explain that, Miwa?
Miwa: Actually...Kokonoe was the one who explained it to me.
Miwa: She's a grimalkin who's a sector seven scientist. She helped us with the process.
Shigure: Ah, I see.
Shigure turns back to Makoto, who held Izumi within her arms, and waves. Izumi immediately digs her face into Makoto.
Makoto: Sorry about that, she's a little shy sometimes.
She remarks with a small chuckle trying to get Izumi to turn her face back to Shigure.
Shigure: Then per your agreement, would Makoto be the one who'd give birth to your second child?
Miwa: That was the plan, yes.
Shigure: Well, I would like to meet all your kids one day.
Makoto: You're more then welcome to.
She remarks with a smile.
Shigure: Maybe when I'm older I'll find a chance to come visit. And repay you for your kind deeds.
Makoto nods in agreement.
Miwa: You are welcome here at any time.
Shigure nods. As she returns her mind to the present, Shigure can't help but remember how warm and welcoming they were. Something she wanted to be. She looked up to the two of them after all. They had saved her life.
Shigure: I should pay the two of them a visit, and see how they are, maybe Izumi will be more inclined to speak with me now.