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This page, The Long Ride Home, is coming of age. The current canon and/or the writer's writing has improved since then, making this page relatively obsolete. Please take into account possible plans for a complete overhaul to this page for future use.

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???: We will be shortly reaching our destination.

Miwa and Kiyoko startle awake as they hear the announcement. Kiyoko yawns as she awakes.

Miwa: We'll be going our separate ways soon.

Kiyoko: Yeah, but now that we have each other's address, we can visit anytime.

Miwa: Do you think my mother will...

Kiyoko: I know she won't care, Miwa. She'll just be glad you're okay.

Miwa: If you say so...

The airship quietly pulls into the dock. Miwa and Kiyoko stand up and quietly depart from the airship. As they reach the exit of the ship and get on to the bridge that connected the ship to the land.

Kiyoko: Stay safe going home, alright?

Miwa nods quietly. Miwa departs leaving Kiyoko standing there.

Kiyoko: Not going to find anyone else like her in the world...

Miwa soon approaches the transit that would take her near to where her home was.

???: Ticket please.

Miwa flashes her ticket to the bus driver.

???: Go on ahead.

Miwa notes she's the only one on the bus. She quietly sits in the back as it quietly takes off.

Miwa: (Guess no one else is coming...)

She quietly watches as the aspects of the city slowly begin to drift away behind her. She lived quite a ways away from the whole thing. If it wasn't for the bus, she likely would've gotten lost. Her mother had purchased her the ticket to there and from there so she could get home safely. She sat in silence thinking of what to say to her mother. How was she going to break it to her that the NOL had failed her? The bus rolled along as she sat in the back of the bus.

Bus Driver: You must be real special.

Miwa: Huh?

Bus Driver: You're the only one on the bus today.

Miwa: Yeah...

Bus Driver: So where you comin' from kid?

Miwa: Far away.

Bus Driver: You look like you just lost the world.

Miwa: Feels like it, yeah.

Bus Driver: Buck up kid.

Miwa: Why should I?

Bus Driver: You're healthy, ain't ya?

Miwa: Yeah.

Bus Driver: You got family waitin' for ya, right?

Miwa: Yeah.

Bus Driver: If you got that much, you'll be alright.

Miwa just let the bus driver keep talking.

Bus Driver: You know, life ain't all roses kid.

Miwa: ...

Bus Driver: Us beastkin know that much.

Miwa:'re a beastkin?

Bus Driver: The hat fool you kid?

He chuckles to himself. Miwa comes to the front of the bus and he takes off his hat to reveal his cat ears.

Miwa: You are a beastkin.

Bus Driver: I am. Nothin' wrong with that, I hope?

Miwa: No, not at all.

Bus Driver: That's real good kid.

Miwa: Why did you become a bus driver?

Bus Driver: Not a whole heckuva lotta jobs for us, kid.

Miwa: How come?

Bus Driver: You're not real wise to the state of the world, are ya kid?

Miwa shakes her head.

Bus Driver: Then let me explain the status quo, as they say.

Miwa nods.

Bus Driver: See kid, beastkin like me, we don't get high-paying jobs. We struggle to make a livin'. The world is full of people who don't like us.

Miwa: Why?

Bus Driver: Couldn't tell ya kid. There are people who just don't like people that are different then them. World's been like that since the start o' time.

Miwa: But why does it have to be like that?

Bus Driver: The world can be a very cruel place, kid. You'll learn that lesson soon enough I reckon.

Miwa: ...

Bus Driver: Do me a favor kid, don't lose yer innocence.

Miwa nods.

Bus Driver: The world'll turn a blind eye to ya. It don't care who ya are or what ya are. If you don't serve a greater purpose, it'll swallow ya whole.

Miwa: But...

Bus Driver: You seem like a good kid though.

Miwa nods.

Bus Driver: Keep your head on a swivel and you'll be alright.

The bus pulls to a stop.

Bus Driver: We're here kid.

Miwa: Already?

The bus driver chuckles.

Bus Driver: Time flies when you have someone to talk to, kid.

Miwa nods.

Miwa: Thanks.

Bus Driver: Good luck out there kid.

Miwa steps off the bus with her stuff. The bus driver closes the door and drives off. It would be just a few minutes walk before she was home. The row of flower that led to her house were still quite beautiful. She quietly reached the entrance to her home and knocked on the door. Her mother opened it and a smile came across her face. She hugged her.

Yukiko: I'm glad you're home safely Miwa.

Miwa: Hi, mom.

The two walked into the kitchen. Miwa sat down at the table and her mother began to cook something for her.

Yukiko: So how did it go?

Miwa: Ummm...

Yukiko: didn't get in, did you?

Miwa: .......No.

Yukiko: Well, we'll try again.

Miwa: I'm sorry. You must be so disappointed.

Yukiko: Yeah, with those people.

Miwa: Huh?

Yukiko: Those people can't see talent from a mile away. I swear you're more talented then half of those spoiled rotten rich kids in that academy. Really makes me wonder if those people only want money. I should go down there and give them a piece of my mind.

Miwa remained quiet with a smile on her face. She was happy.

Yukiko: My child is more well behave then most of those spoiled rotten brats. You don't need money to be happy. You need a good education and a good family supporting you.

Miwa: Yeah, mom.

Yukiko: Honestly I should have your father send the NOL a complaint letter complaining about how inefficient their testing process is. You're father is a dang scientist after all. He could tell them a thing or two. Hurl them back into the past and show them himself!

Miwa remembered what her father worked on. He did a lot of experimenting with time. How to circumvent the time stream, how to send things to the past and future, that was his passion. Anytime her mother would get annoyed or unhappy. She'd talk about throwing them into the past or future and seeing how they'd deal with things there.

Yukiko: Either way, its good to have you home honey. We can continue your education here if nothing else. Did you make any friends along the way?

Miwa: Yeah, one or two.

Yukiko: Learn anything new.

Miwa: I learned what beastkin are.

Yukiko: Good people.

Miwa: You know of them?

Yukiko: Figured it'd be better if you met a few in person. They work hard. Know the value of a dollar. Most of them can be trusted.

Miwa: Most of them?

Yukiko: Don't worry too much about it, Miwa. Most beastkin that don't want to be bothered go out of their way to avoi being bothered. Most beastkin are good at heart though.

Miwa nods. She blushes. Yukiko turns to see her daughter blushing.

Yukiko: It was kind of a shocker to you though, huh?

Miwa: Huh?

Yukiko: Seeing people with tails and ears?

Yukiko gets a devilish grin.

Yukiko: You wanted to cuddle with their tails, didn't you?

Miwa: N-no I didn't!

Yukiko: Miwa, I know you better then anyone else. You have a fondness for animals. Not to mention, you like anything cute and fuzzy. Don't you remember your pet rabbit?

Miwa: Yeah I remember fuzzykins.

Yukiko: You would cuddle with him like he was a little stuffed animal. You love things like that Miwa. Its nothing to be ashamed of.

Miwa: B-but-!

Yukiko laughs a little bit.

Yukiko: My little girl is trying to be grown up, huh? Trying to be strong for her mother.

Miwa: I-I'm strong!

Yukiko: Look there goes a squirrel!

Miwa: Where?!

Miwa turns around to look to see nothing there. She feels a hand on her head.

Yukiko: Yep, you're just fine, Miwa.

Miwa: ...

Yukiko: Just be yourself, that's all I'll ever ask of you.

She lets go and goes back to cooking. Miwa turns back in her chair.

Yukiko: Wouldn't even surprise me if you brought a beastkin home one day, told me, 'Mom, I found the love of my life!'

Miwa blushes.

Miwa: M-mom, Its way too early to talk about that...

Yukiko laughs.

Yukiko: I just want you to be happy. If you're happy, I'll be happy.

Miwa nods.

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