Kudo wakes up, only it isn't Kudo! Someone else is in Kudo's body.
"Saiga, no!" Rikuo reached out his hand to stop him.
A look of shock crossed Kudo's face as Saiga's arm encircled his waist. Then Kazahaya's mouth tightened and his eyes flashed. He grabbed his fist with his other hand and pushed, slamming his elbow into Saiga. The cigarette went flying with Saiga's breath. Kudo stepped forward and turned, the back of his fist coming around.
Rikuo hurriedly stepped forward and blocked it. Kazahaya shot him a dagger-like look. "That's enough. Kakei won't like it if you rearrange Saiga's face."
"Like I care?" Sandy growled.
"You should care, Kudo-kun." Kakei walked down the aisle toward them. "You only get one free hit. Any others will cost you. And you won't like my prices." Kakei's eyes gleamed.
Kudo looked at Kakei, taking in the willowy blond. The owner of Green Drugstore looked harmless, but that smile was out of place. Kudo moved toward the door, positioning himself so he could see the others. It didn't escape Rikuo's notice that he was also poised to run.
Kakei tapped his finger against his lips. "What have we here? This isn't our Kudo-kun." He glanced at Rikuo, who just shrugged. Kakei half turned, beckoned to Kudo with a crooked finger and waited.
Rikuo sighed. "Come on," he guided the other youth toward the office. Once inside, Kudo remained standing beside the door. Rikuo sat down on the couch. Kakei and Saiga sat facing him and Kudo.
"Come on, Kudo-kun," Kakei purred, gesturing at the space next to Rikuo. Rikuo looked over his shoulder at Kazahaya. Kudo leaned against the door, his arms crossed. Except for the wariness in his eyes, there was no expression on his boyish face. He did not look like a child, standing there.
"I can hear you just fine from here."
"Come on, Kudo-kun." Kakei still smiled. "I'm not going to hurt you."
Kudo snorted. "And I should trust you because -?"
"Why would I hurt you?"
A moment passed. Sandy took a deep breath, letting it out in a long sigh. "I keep getting memory fragments every time I look at you. You seem to be responsible for a lot of weird things my - host - has gone through."
Kakei leaned forward. "What kind of things?"
"I-." Kudo looked uncertain. His eyes unfocused as he searched within. "Fish that fly through the air. Invisible bugs that glow. Furniture flying through the air." Sandy shot an look at Rikuo the other couldn't read. "Sounds like a bizarre dream." Kudo shook himself. "And now I'm trapped," he tapped his chest, "in someone else's body."
"And who are you?"
Kudo took one step forward. "My memories tell me that you already know. You're the answer man. So," Kudo shrugged, "you tell me."
Kakei leaned back, tapping his lower lip thoughtfully. "Very well. You are Sandy Johnson, a 43 year-old woman from America."
Rikuo started. "Woman?" He turned to stare at Kudo.
Sandy stared back.
Rikuo glared at Kakei accusingly. "You knew about this?"
"What's the last thing you remember?" Kakei asked Sandy. Rikuo stirred. Kakei shot him a quelling look.
"I - was driving home. From work. It was a nasty, rainy night."
Sandy glared at the back of Rikuo's head. "Being woken up by having ice water poured on me."
Rikuo smirked. His back was to Sandy, so she couldn't see the expression.
"There was," Kakei recaptured Sandy's attention, "an accident."
Kudo's body stiffened. Sandy stared at Kakei in shock. The owner of Green Drug store made some gestures at Rikuo that Sandy couldn't see. Rikuo got up and went to Kudo.
"Am I - dead?" Sandy whispered. She looked up at Rikuo with a lost expression. Rikuo gently took her arm and led her in Kudo's body to the couch.
Kakei looked at her kindly. "No, my dear. You're not dead." He turned to Rikuo. "And no, I did not see this coming. I had a dream about that accident, though, last night." He turned back to Sandy. "Your body is in a coma. The trauma of the accident was enough to jolt you out of it.
"Tell me, have you ever had - visions?"
Sandy frowned. "I used to, when I was a kid. I haven't had any since I turned eighteen." She looked Kakei in the eye. "That doesn't explain what's going on. Or why I'm here."
Kakei nodded. "After you - left your body, you got confused. Instead of returning to your own body, you took over Kudo-kun's body."
"You and Kudo-kun are very much alike. He's very much like you were when you were his age."
Sandy snorted. "I doubt that. He's not pissed off at the entire world like I was."
"We won't be getting into that," Kakei said hurriedly. "No, what I meant is that your abilities and personalities are very similar. Both of you were very sheltered."
"I suppose." She sounded doubtful. "So, what happens now?"
Kakei smiled. "It's time that Green Drugstore opened. Have you ever worked at a drug store?"