Everything was so dull- it all had been for the last century or so. Mikey was born to a noble family in the Heian period in modern day Kyoto, Japan. He grew up knowing he was different from others. A curse the Sano family carried was sparse immortality that skipped generation with no warning or pattern, only to befall onto Mikey. Mikey was ecstatic at first, wanting to see through the development of many of the beautiful architectural designs he had helped plan and build. He wanted to sail the world- to find every island in every knock and cranny of the wide sea and to meet as many people as he could possibly remember. He wanted to watch Japan flourish and battle, he wanted to witness everything all at once.
He realized, suddenly, as he waited at his older brother's deathbed, that immortality was lonely when he had no one to share it with. He watched his 21 year old brother die from an incurable illness their technology had no hope of fighting. He lay at the battlefield beside a dying Izana- a brother who died and fought for Japan time and time again to die nobly at 30. He polished the grave of his sister, Emma, who lived a happy marriage with 3 little boys and a little girl, married to the love of her life, who lay beside each other after death. He realized then- maybe immortality was not so pleasant when you stayed 26 forever while everyone you loved lived their fullest life before you grew a grey hair.
He continued after this realization, albeit aimlessly for a while. He was distraught and lost at this realization, having broken all the bonds he created with his family and friends as they were long gone. But Mikey woke up every morning, basking in the sun’s heat for longer than he should have, and continued on living. He found joy and love in the smaller things; dorayaki and taiyaki being his favourite sweet treats to munch on whenever he craved. He became involved in the undgrown world of Japan, earning a fearsome reputation for himself. He witnessed the drug epidemics that plagued Japan's red-light districts over the decades, and did the odd jobs he had to. He changed his identity every time things struck too close to home for him. He’d disappear into the wind only to be carted off on a ship to sail the world until his name has been cleaned from the people of Japan's mouths.
In those leap years, he'd take pleasure in traveling the world and sea, not fearing disease or capture, he leapt into the darkest and most beautiful parts of each city. He watched as London's streets were covered with bodies and breathed the air, ridden with disease as he saw it crumble. He truly thought London would crumble as well; the rest of Europe did not seem to be doing well either and he wondered what would come from all this misery. He also witnessed the discovery of the new world, having heard about it from fellow sailors who were eager to learn and spread more about this unknown land.
Most importantly, he met so many remarkable people during his time. During the Kamakura period, he had met Ryuguji Ken. He was one of the first trained samurai to emerge from that period and stood strikingly tall against his enemies. He adored him, and once he knew the man, he was stuck to him, conjoined at the hips and insisted on fighting alongside him though any battle they encountered. They’d go to brothels together after a glorious victory and drink lucrative sake till they couldn't think straight anymore. Mikey had even shared his immortality with him, exposing all his hidden wounds and fears that he kept clandestinely locked inside him. And Ken in return shared that he was afraid of death; not because he would never experience so many things or that he stood on death's door everyday, stoned faced- but afraid that he'd leave Mikey alone. Mikey cried that night for the first time in decades, and Ken simply laughed with him and basked in the glory of the moonlit night on the waters of Japan.
And it was fun while it lasted.
But then reality left him a grim reminder of his fate bestowed onto him at such a young age. He sat with Ken on the battlefield of their latest battle, their battalion nearly squashed by the enemy if it hadn't been for Mikey and Ken. But Mikey knelt down in a sea of crimson, holding on for dear life to Ken. He knew this day would come and yet, so soon everything he held dear was taken away from him before he could have a chase to process what was happening. Ken smiled up at him sadly and he squeezed his hand reassuringly- as if he wasn't the one dying on a cold and muddy field, but he couldn't find it in his mind to care. He had lived and he had seen, and he was grateful he never did it alone.
“Hey, Mikey, promise me something will you?” Ken churned out as he coughed heavily into the night air. Mikey sat there helpless to the wind and the gods as he simply nodded wordlessly, not trusting himself to speak. “Live, and be a good man. Find somebody who fills your loneliness, and don't let me die here knowing that all the memories and adventures we shared were for nothing.” Ken stretched a smile to Mikey, and knew his words had reached him. He knew Mikey would never forget all their battles and all their long nights spent at the beach, talking aimlessly to one another like they were the only people in the world. Ken knew his time was up, and he felt content knowing Mikey would go on, and lead a life of his own after him. Ryuguji Ken died that night, and with him, a part of Manjirou went as well.
Through the centuries, Mikey kept his promise he had made that night. Albeit it was a one sided promise, he took it to heart and knew it was the least he had owed to Ken. He met Baji Keisuke in the underground of Japan in the later part of the Sengoku period and quickly befriended the hot headed boy. He even gave him a European name to match his, ‘Edward’. It didn't stick however but he enjoyed getting a rise out of the boy whenever he would use that nickname. Baji taught him how to be reckless and childish, to be brutish and stupid at times. He’d do whatever came to his mind no matter the legality of it. He had almost been executed once for trying to murder a man while half drunk but stubournly marched out of the law enfourcments hands with a snarl on his face.
He learned, or more so witnessed through Baji, what love could be like. Chifuyu Matsuno was an alcohol smuggler who sometimes smuggled more than he had bargained for with nothing more than a sigh leaving his lips. He and Baji shared long touches and intense gazes that he could never quite understand the fire behind. He had looked curiously at the two and wondered if he had ever looked at someone with such intensity adoring his eyes. Chifuyu would smile at him and reassure him about his times as a smuggler but would also scold Baji like a mother would to her child. Baji would calm his temper and trust Chifuyu with himself and let a guard down he never knew he held up. Mikey saw how entranced they were by each other, but he could have skipped the whole part of hearing them late at night in the room next to his. They trusted Mikey to know about them, and trusted he would not tell anyone.
Mikey wondered in those nights, as he listened to the hushed whispers between them and basked in each other's presences without a care for the outside world, if he could ever have that. He thought back to Ken- each night they spent together lying awake, afraid and vulnerable, the adventures they shared and held the weight of- if that was what he had experienced.
He concluded in the end, after seeing Chifuyus face break into absolute sorrow and mournfulness after holding Baji’s dying form after being stabbed in a trade gone wrong, that it wasn't. Chifuyu, after that night, left without a trace or word and worked an honest life without alcohol or the looming threat of dying every night. He decided if he would be one of the few people who remembered Baji in a favourable way, that he would live as long as he could with the scornful but jubilant memories he had made with Baji. And Mikey watched him grow old from afar and bright flowers to their shared grave after his funeral was held. Mikey knew he could never have this, but he was forever thankful to them for everything they had taught him.
From there, he kept on living. He realized that the world was getting less exciting to explore and muse around, as the mass amounts of people made him feel suffocated but nights alone reminded him of his immortality and forever lonesomeness. Taking a trip to Paris after needing to clear his name in Japan, he met Mitsuya Takashi, an upcoming designer who was making a name for himself. He asked Mikey to model for him and from there they got to know each other. Mitsuya was level headed and calm in his ways, but he'd look so longingly at maps of France, wishing to visit his hometown again.
Mitsuya taught him about how beautiful fabric and fashion could be and how much emotion can be put into this kind of art. Mikey always thought back to his times designing Japanese architecture when he was so ambitious and he thought about how long ago that all was.
Mitsuya taught him to be ambitious again so he began sketching and bouncing ideas off of him. He’d also ask Hakkai and Yuzuha- his other models- for ideas as well and sketch them posing in lucrative and designer fashion that they adorned. He enjoyed his time sketching them and conversing with them about the latest fashion designs. Mikey even got the chance to design a traditional matching set of a Kimono and Yukata. He based it off the vibrant colours that adorned the ocean surrounding Japan and put in the highlights the morning sun would reflect off the sea. Of course it was a one of a kind pair that made it to a cultural festival runway with Mitsuyas help and critiques. He watched in awe as Hakkai and Yuzuha captivated the audience and runway with their unique looks and represented Japan so far across the sea. He found it rejuvenating again to be able to create and enjoy these arts.
He made sure, years later, to only buy the most beautiful and complimenting flowers for their graves.
Going into the twentieth century, he found his love for motorcycles through the streets of Japan. He watched as they roared down the street in all their beauty, the shiny metal looking so spectacular with the afternoon sun shining on them. He bought his first motorcycle, the NS motorcycle, in late 1910, and from there he never let it go. He had spread his way across all of Japan for the 100th time in his life but this time, in style and in the most enjoyable way he had in a long time. But even so, he felt the tiredness seep into his bones once again and looked at the sites he had seen so many times before. He wondered why finding something new and innovative like this doesn't rejuvenate his will of living and his adventurous streak like before. He shifted and looked out to the sea once again and watched it roar back at him so intimidatingly.
He saw the waves sway at him in a hypnotizing way as they assaulted the rock of the coast it lay on. He heard as it roared so loudly only to lull for a minute before becoming louder again and striking just as hard as the first time. He felt little strays of water landing on his face and felt the salty air crash against his chest in such an inviting way.
Majirou Sano jumped into the waves and struck bottom, as he felt a thousand pins and needles pierce his skin all at once. He felt nothing but pain, but he concluded that it was far better than the numbness he carried for the last century. He let the waves strike against him as he was carried out to sea and lulled in and out of consciousness, figuring that if he drowned enough in these unforgiving waters that his immortality would give out on him finally and let him rest and be at peace like so many others he had met. Oh, how Mikey had craved death and the never ending rest is provided to his never ending restlessness.
He washed up on the shore of Japan not even eight days later.
Mikey washed down the streets of Japan aimlessly in his newly brandished Gang uniform. He didn't plan staying in it for long, just enough to gain some money and punch out his frustrations onto the poor living souls that crossed his path. He found he didn't smile as much anymore, and was only calmed and lulled by the ocean despite how unruly and chaotic it can be. He felt relief when riding high on his motorcycle though, so it was a close second. In the middle of a brutal fight, he felt ecstatic and alive even if it would only last for an hour at best. He clung onto that euphoria as he felt it slipping with every passing day. All he wanted was to feel alive like how he felt in his battles with Ken, or smuggling along the sea with Baji and Chifuyu, or designing and under the hot modeling lights with Mitsuya.
He decided to stop into a pet shop one day, late at night, right before closing time. He knew he would be a nuisance but he hoped to find a cat or dog that could keep him company in his hollow eighth floor apartment. It was a cosy, small store that clearly had a lot of time and effort put into it. Handmade treats lined isles of the store in cute paw and bone shapes. Finally he reached the back of the store and stood informed of a few different kennels and a cage surrounding them. He smiled softly as he saw a cat parade around with its slick black hair and piercing hazel eyes right next to a smaller blonde one with shimmering green eyes. They reminded him of Baji and Chifuyu. Finally an employee came out from the back in a dark blue apron carrying a few boxes of stock that needed to be put out for the morning.
This is where Mikey met Kazutora Hanemiya.
Kazutora, with his long dark hair with blonde highlights lightly scolded Mikey for coming in at such a late hour and told him to come back in the morning if he wanted to meet the animals. From there, Mikey would visit his shop from time to time until it became almost a part of his daily routine. Kazutora had less than a favourable past, from parental neglect to killing a man when he was a kid by accident, which caused him to face juvie time. Nobody wanted to hire a barely educated, home broken, juvie convicted kid anywhere. So he built and started his own pet shop that he put every ounce of effort and time into to show them he was worth something. He even hired other convicts to give them a new start.
Mikey was in slight awe of Kazutora and his achievements. He respected him even if they had a rocky start to their friendship due to Kazutor chasing him out of the store whenever he wore his gang uniforms. He eventually left his gang soon after, as he finally found a calming place where he could be himself without the unruliness of the waves or the bloodshed that came with a fight. For once, he found peace where peace was supposed to be.
He realized, after beginning to work there in the new year of 1945, that Kazutora was a lonely person. He always had been as he never really had any true friendships or connections in his life. He became Kazutoras first human friend- he considered all the animals he rescued and sold to be his friends so it wasn't fair to exclude them from his close circle of friends. For the next coming years, Mikey stayed by his side as Kazutora learned what friendship was like, and in turn Kazutora taught Mikey how to bask in a calming, small town life.
They spent years running the pet shop together and Kazutora grew wiser with age, and he didn't mind that Mikey stayed the same. They have their late nights out at bars where Mikey and Kazutora would indulge their violent sides and take up a bar brawl to add some excitement to their small town life. They would go to the beach together to spar with the waves and hopefully, not drown each other in the process. Mikey would always have a good laugh as he watched Kazutora ogle at ladies that walked by, as they leisurely waved at him with blushes on their face. Though he never did gain the confidence to talk to many of them, he did meet one woman with striking green eyes and long blonde hair that put him in his place. Its safe to say he was swooning for her for the next couple months until he finally gained the guts to ask her on a simple date.
The poignancy of his life filled Mikey's hollow bones again when he received a call from a deiner that notified him and a mournful tone about Kazutora’s passing due to a drunk driver colliding with him. At 34, only a woman with a bemoan expression with blood-shot eyes stood beside Mikey who adorned a blank face, witnessed Kazutora’s funeral. It was truly a beautiful day out, with the sun's comforting waves of heat seeping into his skin. Mikey couldn’t find it more unfitting and cruel to bury his lifelong friend on this day, it felt like the god’s were mocking his misery in a way. They buried Kazutora with barely a word spoken between them.
Life was truly so dull after losing everyone that clung to his heart.