Character: Kikumaru Eiji Age: 19 Trick: Can control Fire, but cannot create it.
Eiji, at first glance, appears to be nothing but a happy-go-lucky kid, quick to smile and with not a worry in the world. He appears to be extremely sloppy, unorganized and without any sense of commitment whatsoever. In fact, he’s a fairly meticulous character... Every day he wakes up and styles his hair, and carries a comb and styling wax with him to touch-up after work out or just work. His room is pristine, down to his chronologically organized magazine collection. These are the habits of an orderly precise person, not someone careless or slovenly.
Eiji’s a stripper, he does pole dance, he hangs out with dangerous people every night, he can’t afford to be reckless. A certain willingness to take risks is a must for his work, but he knows where his limits are, how much he can take on, and never tries to bite off more than he can chew when it counts.
Eiji does tend to speak before he thinks most of the time, but he isn’t stupid, and when he takes his time to really think things through, he’s insightful, caring and can be – all though his readiness to speak points him out as rather selfish – quite selfless and willing to work himself almost too a collapse to help someone he cares about.
Eiji could be described as cute, cheerful, and energetic, but he’s more than that, too; he is dedicated, hard working, and stubborn to a fault.
Another thing about Eiji, is that all though he talks to just about everyone, he rarely speaks about himself. Yes, you often get the impression that he’s talking a lot about himself, but when if you were to analyze it, you’d realize that it isn’t true. Eiji doesn't like being out of control, in other words, he doesn't really like emotions, and his inability to deal with particularly strong ones is a quirky twist in the personality of someone who seems so happy all the time. If one was to ask Eiji about his life, he’d probably grow quiet and coy, What ever training he does, he wants to do it in private, he wants to solve his problems and work on his weaknesses by himself. He has an immense sense of pride. His social skills aren’t like some people, who easily talks about problems, asking friends and family what’s wrong and can tell others what’s bothering them in return, Eiji would rather die than to invade something that private.
In return, Eiji finds it hard to open himself up to people. He loves to gossip, isn’t above spying on fellow workmates, talking about their love life and what not, but he never takes it to a deeper level, never wants to really get involved in the others, or have them coming too close to him. Eiji wants his private experiences to be just that, private. He only talks, or brags about something when he’s trained in secrecy for a long time, perfecting his skills, be it dancing or acrobatics, that he’s been doing for quite a while as well. He never describes his upsets. He never talks about what he's feeling. Eiji is a boy, he’s just recently turned nineteen, and as such, it’s quite natural for him to keep from speaking about his emotions, but he’s more secretive than most, all things considered. Setbacks, disappointments, sorrow… Eiji deals with these feelings internally, if they’re strong enough; he doesn't share them with anyone. As a result of this, Eiji is very private with feelings and unaccustomed to feeling strong emotions and therefore has no control over them.
To sum it up, it can be said that Eiji is a great friend, he’s fun to be around, but he never really deals with the deeper issues in life, at least not publicly. He doesn’t back down from a challenge, rather, he embraces it, and he likes the world to be a chaotic but yet well organized, or he’ll feel uncomfortable. He can get depressed at times, and when he does, he tends to shy away from people, lashing out in anger if they try to help, since he doesn’t want their help, doesn’t want sympathy. Outwardly friendly, talkative, stubborn and easygoing, inwardly likes to keep a distance between himself and others, hardworking, proud to a fault and determined, that’s Eiji in a nutshell.
Eiji was born the fifth child of a rather wealthy family, growing up was a rollercoaster for both him and his siblings. Life happened and the road took Eiji down to where he is today, a stripper at a nightclub. And what happened for a normal middle class boy – from a family large enough to hardly be called normal – to end up like this? Let’s take it year by year, shall we?
When Kikumaru Mariko found out that she was pregnant yet another time, she first wanted an abortion, but the other kids really wanted a little sister or brother that they could pamper, and since the pregnancy seemed really easy on her, she finally decided to keep the baby. Everything went well, until Eiji decided to come out the wrong way. They had to perform a Caesarean section on Mariko, and sadly enough things did not go well at all, resulting in the woman’s death only a couple of weeks later. Kikumaru Hiroki was heartbroken and suddenly left with four young children and an infant to take care of all on his own.
As Eiji grew a little older Hiroki saw it reasonable to send him away to a nursery, wanting as little as possible to do with the child that robbed him of his wife. The same attitude was shared with Eiji’s oldest brother, since he was the only one of the children who had a really clear memory of their mother; the other three tended to themselves and Eiji the best they could.
As Eiji reached six and was ready for school, he was fully aware of the fact that neither his father nor his oldest brother liked him, but he tried his best to keep that from affecting him. He did act out quite a bit in school, getting a lot of friends, but also a lot of enemies, getting into fights and soon turned into a horror for his friends’ parents, since he was always getting into trouble, more often than not dragging his friends with him.
When Eiji was ten, his father’s depression grew worse, as tragedy struck. Both Eiji’s grandparents died, only a few months apart, his grandfather from a stroke and his grandmother after taking a bad fall. Hiroki couldn’t handle this, on top of the loss of his wife – that he had never managed to put behind him – the man took to drinking. It got worse and worse; Hiroki grew violent and unpredictable, and the children walked around on their toes to keep from upsetting him, all though it didn’t matter what Eiji did, he still managed, far too often, to bring the man’s rage down on him. This of course caused a lot of distress and bad feelings inside the boy, but he managed to find an outlet; the dance. He soon realized that he had talent, and in spite of his oldest brother’s objections, that dancing was for girls and queers, Eiji worked hard, moving lawns, babysitting and the like to earn enough money to frequent dance classes.
When Eiji reached Junior High, the inevitable happened; his father died of an overdose, mixing alcohol and drugs, and Eiji and his siblings were placed out in different foster homes. The first home Eiji came to was a disaster from beginning to end. He hit it of on the wrong foot with the woman taking him in on the first day, they fought constantly and she turned her own children against him, soon enough making the environment inhabitable for him. After that he was shipped from home to home, some good, others bad, and one, that marked the turning point in his life, was a paradise that would turn into a living nightmare.
The family was rich, the children all grown up and the woman was warm and caring, taking good care of fifteen year old Eiji, making him feel right at home and safe. She worked as a ballet instructor and soon got word of his talent, and he got to practice in earnest for the first time in years. To keep himself occupied, he also started to do gymnastics, or more precisely, acrobatics, and he was happier than he had been in a long, long time. Happiness wouldn’t last, however.
The man seemed very good and kind, and in most things, he was. He never told Eiji what he did for a living though, not until it was too late. He picked up boys and girls from the street, or through foster care, young souls that no one cared about and no one would miss, and he sold them, sold them to underground organizations that used them for child labor, prostitution or as bait for illegal human hunting. In a few months of time, Eiji was shipped away to an illegal brothel, and the few years he spent there is something he’d rather never think about if he can help it, but nightmares still haunts him.
His stay at the brothel ended with the discovering of his trick. One night, a customer had been careless and left a still lit cigarette lying around, and it didn’t take long for the fire to start spreading over the entire building. The disaster was inevitable, leaving only one survivor; Eiji. And how had he been able to survive? As the fire approached him, he panicked, and did the only thing he could think of; he closed his eyes, hidden away underneath his bed to escape the fumes, and wished with all his might that the fire would stay away from him, that it shouldn’t burn him. And… It didn’t; the fire burned everything in its wake, save for Eiji, his bed and the area closest around him. Another thing was that the heat didn’t affect him, didn’t hurt him.
Social services kicked in again, and soon after the eighteen year old Eiji had gotten himself a place to stay, a mysterious letter arrived at his doorstep.
Not soon after, Eiji found himself employed at a certain bar, working as a stripper and dancer. Feeling independent for the first time in his life, he is slowly starting to piece his life together again, growing stronger at each day, and all the while, he’s trying to come to terms with both his newfound powers and the meaning of that mysterious letter sent to him, while trying his best to avoid the outside world’s prejudice.