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Hello! My faux name is Qiana King! I enjoy drawing, and even though I'm not 'Core' I would love my art to be critiqued!
I'm late in everything, from school assignments to my own funeral, and it's probably gonna stay that way for a while. I love to draw, (mostly manga) like to write, and have many different hobbies.
Everything I do, I am able to do because of two things: One is God, who has gifted me with the talents, ability, and passion for what I love. The second is practice.
Also, I write for my OTPs here (Most of them are from Shakugan no Shana): www.fanfiction.net/u/4866575/
Below is where I usually am.
Her mother married a man with hair the color of chestnuts, who smoked and kept stubble on his chin. It was a hopeless marriage from the start, because they were both stubborn enough to make mountains move first—that was what Kazumi's grandmother said, anyway.
He was an unyielding an angry man, who insisted on getting his way and would lash out when he didn't. Even before the marriage, her mother had known he was wild, that he could break her. But she just thought he was a troubled and wounded man, one that only she could help. She loved him with the kind of love that burned a hole in her chest, the kind of love that made her excuse every wrong, the kind of love where she gave up her dreams simply because he wanted her to.
It was into this marriage that Kazumi Yoshida—then Kazumi Suzuki—was born.
As far as she could recall, the man never hit her or Ken. But he would hit their mother when she got fiery, and then he would scream at Ken to be quieter. Kazumi had learned quickly that silence would stop his yells. Ken, however, was naturally loud. From his happy gurgles to his sobs, he was like a thunderstorm. And so the man would yell, and her mother wouldn't interrupt for fear of making it worse, and Kazumi would play in the corner, her eyes wet, while her father would scream at her brother until he cried. She didn't realize until much later that defending him was even an option.
When she was three and a half years old, the man came home drunk. That itself wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the drunk friend he brought with him, and how, when the man hit his wife, that friend stared at him. Then the friend moved, fast, and punched Kazumi's father in the nose.
That friend, who was probably not as drunk as he looked, was named Haruto Yoshida.
In less than five minutes, he had convinced Kazumi's mother that she needed a divorce. She'd been a fiery and stubborn woman, and she still was, but she'd been beaten down for years. Even so, Kazumi would later wonder at how quickly he'd managed to convince her, much less with her current husband lying out cold on the floor.
However it happened, her mother dug up an old phone-number and called it. Kazumi never remembered much from back then, and they never discussed it, but she always remembered how her mother burst into tears when her grandmother showed up on the doorstep less than two hours later. She'd wondered why until she was in junior high and had calculated it: given the distance, her grandmother must have dropped everything and immediately gotten on the train.
After their father was kicked out, their mother left once a month to attend a divorce meeting. When she wasn't gone, she was discovering how deeply she'd been hurt, how entrenched she'd become, and she often reacted poorly. But their grandmother was there to pick up the slack. She stayed with the two children, taught them to be fair and gentle, and how to stop being stubborn when the situation called for it. She was wise, so she taught Ken how to use his loudness, and she saw how Kazumi was the opposite, preferring to stay in her chair. So her grandmother brought out the cutting board and the pots and the celery and the carrots, and made dinner at the table where her quiet granddaughter could watch.
Finally, Kazumi's father relented and gave his consent. To everyone's surprise, he didn't fight for anything, and disappeared into the wind with only the clothes on his back. With the divorce ended, their grandmother had to leave. She kissed them all goodbye. Later, Kazumi learned that she had also stopped by the residence of the bachelor Haruto Yoshida and proceeded only to narrow her eyes at him, look him up and down, nod to herself, and then leave.
Kazumi Suzuki was much happier with her father gone. Her mother decided to become a daycare worker, and then she took her children with her. It was a bit tricky, not putting other children down by paying special attention to her own, while at the same time making sure her children knew she loved them. She managed it somehow for the brief time the arrangement lasted—and no, it did not last.
Ms. Satou and Mr. Yoshida had a whirlwind romance, one where most of the dates consisted of taking her children out to parks. He was as tall as a tree, with smooth hair the color of crows that he kept his chin free of. He didn't yell at either of them, and he didn't yell at or hit their mother.
Ken, ever noisy, disapproved loudly at first. But he warmed up quickly, while the much quieter Kazumi, even though she remembered the punch Mr. Yoshida had delivered, was more reluctant. But he didn't smell like smoke, so eventually, he won her over as well, and it became as though he had always been the person they called their father.
When their mother asked them what they wanted their last name to be, Ken was still so young that didn't understand the question. But Kazumi understood, and she looked up at her mother with huge, hopeful eyes.
"Can I be Kazumi Yoshida?" she asked softly.
At the time, she had misunderstood the order of things, and so she thought that her name would change the moment they were married. Despite her natural stillness she was nearly bouncing, and had to be reined in once or twice by her grandmother. She held her breath for a moment, watching them exchange vows, and when they were married she let it out.
She now had a new father and a new name.
Their grandmother—who was still their only grandparent—had Kazumi and Ken over for a week. She seemed happy, and the only moment she lost that was when Kazumi asked why she'd never seen her before the night Mr. Yoshida had arrived. She stroked Kazumi's hair and looked at her solemnly, and finally told her.
"That man didn't want your mother talking to me," she said. Kazumi frowned, but her grandmother wasn't finished. She added, "But Mr. Yoshida wants me to come over often. He is happy to see me. Now tell me, which man has your mother's best interest at heart?"
And so Kazumi promised her grandmother she would only marry a man who was unafraid of her friends and family.
When their parents returned, they took Kazumi and Ken home. It wasn't their old house, and it wasn't Mr. Yoshida's. It was a new home. One for all of them.
Mr. Yoshida didn't drink anymore. He didn't smell of smoke, and he never did. When they moved to the new house, there was no smell of cigarettes, and there never was.
Her mother eventually ran a business from home. She would occasionally have to go out, and then she'd leave them with a close friend, but most of the time she was with her children. When they both went into school, she spent more time out.
Despite the rough start, Kazumi Yoshida had a happy childhood. She spent good time with her parents and little brother and made friends easily. It was such a sharp contrast, she sometimes barely remembered she'd once had another father.
There were times, though, that she remembered. Once, her family was on a train, heading out to the park. Her mother was holding Ken's hand, while her father held hers. Ken looked around with wide eyes and made a few sounds, but he was getting old enough to realize that it wasn't appropriate, so he was mostly quiet. Kazumi was smiling to herself when it happened: the train came to a stop, and someone ran into her mother. Ken toppled and immediately began to cry. Someone almost stepped on him—her mother pushed them away with her shoulder, then helped Ken get up. Had it been any other day, the man likely would have apologized. Instead, clearly stressed, the man lashed out. In a moment, his attack was blocked and he had a bloody nose.
Kazumi didn't remember a lot about the moment. But she did remember how she thought about another time she'd seen him punch someone, and she remembered looking up at her parents and thinking, 'I want to marry a man who protects me like daddy protects mommy.'
Years later, she would wonder if those sorts of thoughts had spurred her crush on Yuji.
Her grandmother came to visit often and would smile as she watched their family. Since their mother was out doing business much more than she had before they entered school, their grandmother sometimes showed up to keep them company in the evening. As they got older, she became strict, making them do their homework before play. But when they were done she would show Ken how to do origami and Kazumi how to cook.
While Kazumi did want to get good grades, she was much more interested in cooking, and her grandmother's bribe worked perfectly.
Hanging out with her friends was nice, but nicer still was hanging out with her best friend, Yukari Harai. Yukari was a quiet and somber girl, who told Kazumi that she liked how cheerful and sweet she was. Kazumi liked how serious and thoughtful Yukari was, and so they stuck together. As the years went on, Yukari became more cheerful, and Kazumi became more thoughtful. They had other friends, but they were most likely found together.
When they got into junior high, they started talking about boys at their sleep-overs. Yukari giggled over Ike, while Kazumi softly admitted to liking one of the quieter boys in the back of the class. He was nice when she talked to him, and tall, with dark hair that was much longer than was allowed at school. But even then, the Crimson World moved under her feet, and so the quiet boy in the back of the class faded away and she forgot ever having a crush. She and Yukari stopped talking about boys, and instead talked about schoolwork, and their families, and what television shows they liked.
It was a little strange when Yukari stopped inviting her over, but Kazumi couldn't think of why. After all, Yukari lived on her own. She always had. Kazumi wondered where her friend's parents were, and then wondered why she'd never thought of that before.
When she was two years from graduation, her grandmother passed away. She stared at her ceiling after hearing the news, then turned onto her side and stared at the wall. She felt numb. When she woke up the following morning, she felt the same, and reached for her phone to call her grandmother. She caught herself, but that just made her feel even more strange. Even more numb.
She'd never lost a loved one before.
It was nearly lunch-time when it hit her. She was sitting there, listening to the teacher, when he said, 'carrots.' Carrots. She suddenly hated carrots. The word was ridiculous, and so was their shape, and so was the fact that she suddenly began to cry. Her grandmother had taught her how to cut carrots when she was just little, how to wash and peel and chop them up. She remembered every detail and wished she'd asked for her favorite recipes. Her grandmother had a few favorites, right? Tears rolled down her cheeks as the teacher kept talking, and she swallowed each of her sobs until it became too much.
Yukari was immediately by her side, along with Ogata. They led her out of the classroom.
In the teacher's office, she finally let it out, clinging to her two friends. Yukari stroked her hair while Ogata patted her back, albeit a bit awkwardly.
Kazumi thought carrots were stupid. But the feeling didn't last long, and when she went home she pulled out a few, then washed, peeled, and chopped them.
Going back to school was hard. She didn't want to face her classmates after breaking down like that. It wasn't that she thought they would all mock her, just that they would be awkward around her. She also feared that perhaps, there were people in the class that were just waiting for anyone to show weakness.
Her fears were founded.
Akane Nakayama was a tall girl with long black hair and dark brown eyes. She wasn't a beauty yet, but it was easy to see she would become one. During lunch, she was generally found behind the school, smoking cigarettes she'd stolen from her father's supply, and she'd give you one if you had enough money. Her vice was ambition: she wanted power more than she wanted to be kind. She had two friends: one of them knew how to avoid the teachers, and the other knew how to use the grapevine of gossip to gather what would sting. Together, they began to torment Kazumi.
They were subtle in their methods, never confronting her directly. They'd steal her slippers from her shoe-locker, or put mean letters in with them. Most of the words were cruel reminders of her grandmother's death, and they had the desired effect; they wore her down, piece by piece, until her eyes shone and she wished to cry. At the time, Kazumi didn't even know it was them. To her face, they were friendly enough.
Yukari had her suspicions. She told Kazumi that she thought it was Nakayama, but Kazumi quietly answered that she doubted it. Nakayama seemed too busy.
Nakayama's crowning achievement was the writing on the desk. Kazumi had helped clean the classroom the day before, and she had arrived early that day, so she knew it had to have been done by someone already in the classroom. As she stood there, staring down at her desk, she slowly, bit by bit, broke down into tears. There were times she was able to forget about her first father, and then there were times where she remembered him and realized that she didn't think she could ever forgive him.
On her desk, inked viciously with a black sharpie, was the word 'Suzuki'.
"What is it, Ms. Suzuki?" Nakayama asked. She sounded innocent—concerned even. Kazumi didn't even turn to look at her. She just ran out of the classroom, and was only convinced to return when the teacher changed out her marred desk for an old, creaky one. She sat there silently, motionless as to not make it groan, and barely heard any of the words her teacher said.
Sometime during lunch break, Nakayama and her two friends acquired an impressive collection of bruises and scrapes. In a rare act of favoritism, Kazumi quietly told the principle that she didn't know who'd done it.
She knew. Yukari and Ogata hadn't joined her for lunch. But as far as she was concerned, her last name had never been Suzuki, and Harai would have broken several fingers if she punched anyone.
When they left the office, the two girls who had been called in walked side by side in the quiet. When they turned a corner, Nakayama stopped Kazumi and glared at her, her eyes set in the kind of stubbornness Kazumi had only ever seen from her mother. Besides that, Nakayama looked angry, like she hadn't gotten her way yet she was determined to get it in the end. She told Kazumi she was going to haunt her, and then she walked on ahead.
When class ended, Nakayama walked to her two closest friends, and Kazumi walked to hers. The brunette told them what had happened. Ogata's jaw set, her eyebrows coming together in anger, while Yukari looked equally angry, yet thoughtful. Then she asked Ogata if they could have a sleepover at her place. They stayed up all that night, talking. They spoke of the future, of grades and teachers, and of a scheme that would unfold over the next year and a half.
The next day, as the bullies continued in their subtle way, they all began to speak of high school. Specifically, the high school located in Tokyo. They spoke of it rarely, as to not arouse suspicion, but they also focused on their grades. Kazumi was still affected by their taunting, but less so. In just a few months, she had the acting down pat—she was quiet around Nakayama, and got quieter when Yukari and Ogata couldn't protect her. She had always been both quiet and shy, but the bullying and acting drove her further into her shell. Ogata didn't notice, it was so slow, but Yukari did. She demanded that Kazumi become more proactive the second they got into high school.
"Come on," she said gently, "Your grandmother wouldn't want her passing to destroy you."
As the time drew near for the final exam, they spoke of the high school in Tokyo even more, specifically within earshot of Nakayama or anyone in her little group. And it worked. Nakayama and her friends studied harder, and the day after the deadline for choosing their high schools, they revealed to Kazumi that they were going to the one in Tokyo. Nakayama was smirking, as though she'd won a fight. Kazumi stared at her, and found it easy to look surprised and horrified; the fact that the girl was so stubborn she had shaped part of her life around tormenting another was horrifying. Kazumi honestly couldn't imagine doing something so vile.
Nakayama wasn't any wiser until the day she entered high school and discovered that Kazumi, Yukari, and Ogata were nowhere to be seen.
And so began Kazumi Yoshida's high school career. She had no idea that within the year, she would be in love, learn the truth of the world, and lose her best friend without even noticing it.
Within three days, her memories of Yukari would be skewed, twisted to fit in a harsher person—the sharp attitude would make her wonder if her best friend hated her. Within a month, that friendship would be destroyed as she finally found her backbone and fought against someone she'd thought was her best friend.
But that first day of school, she didn't know that. All she knew was that it was a fresh start, one she wished she could tell her grandmother about.
Archive of Our Own
This is my general head-canon for Kazumi's backstory. (Yes, I know I should be working on A Light in the Underworld, I'm sorry!) Some OOCness is to be excused due to this being pre-canon, but certainly not all of it! Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you would be so kind, feedback is greatly appreciated.
Many thanks to my beta-reader, the Dragon!
For those of you that don't know:
Canon=a term for the works that are part of the official story (the light novels, manga, and anime). Head-canon=a term for an idea that a fan or number of fans are particularly fond of, and use as part of their stories.