Kinda a break chapter so it’s quite short.
Focuses mainly on Maeda, Black and Gekikara.
Continue on to the story…
Attack of the Revered Joker
~ VI ~
A figure skipped along a dimly lit alley softly humming to an unidentifiable tune. . As she reached the street she was bathed into the street light from a nearby lamp. She stopped once she reached the street then brought her left hand up to press a finger on her lower lip. Her head tilted to the left, then right. She looked perplexed for a second unable to decide which way to go then as if a clue just hit her, her face lit up then turned to the left and headed down the street towards a familiar route. She twirled an opaque umbrella that she seemed to carry around all the time even if there was no chance of rain. The crazy humming resumed as the girl made her way down the street.
The small face with two horizontal scars above and below the left eyebrow burst into a sudden smile as the girl reached an intersection. 70 metres or so to the left, there was a railway running just above the road. The girl in a dark short skirt, black high socks, military boots and a black jacket with a soaring silver dragon on the back turned left and headed for the bridge. This was the way to their school and almost all those who lived on this side of town would pass through here to go to and from the school everyday.
Once she reached the railway pass though, the smile quickly disappeared to be replaced with worry and no little shock. The umbrella was discarded to the side as the worried girl swept on her knees near a still body laying front up on the ground. The girl’s head was tilted to the side and her eyes were open as if she was just having a nap. A feeling of relief washed over the new arrival’s face and went to get the laying girl’s attention by silently slapping her right shoulder.
She was ignored.
Instead of carrying out the same action, this time she capped the other’s chin and forced their faced to be eye to eye. It was then that she knew the depth of the situation. The other girl had fallen unconscious with her eyes open. Her heart beat picked up as the worry started to build. She looked around them as if looking for something then her eyes fell on two objects in succession.
First was the accessory that the kneeling girl had never seen the laying girl without even since their first meeting. Over her shoulder lay a large sized rosary that the laying girl never seemed to part with. The thread between the beads was broken.
The girl frowned.
On her left a few feet away from the laying girl’s head was the Book that even if not as often as the rosary, followed the other girl around like she wouldn’t get through a day without it. The book had words ‘The Holy Bible’ on the cover and it laid gracefully there looking to the world as if it was not in the dirtiest place around. Where as all around was junk and rubbish around with the walls all painted over, the only clean place was where the book lay. As she looked, a car went by and some light reflected off the metallic ends on the covers giving the book a surreal glow.
The girl looked away to save her eyes.
She studied the girl laying there in front of her. Her face had red blotches and some were turning purple. Scanning the body from the face to the neck then lower, she noticed that one piece of cloth was missing. All four Queens had a special jacket that was given to them by their leader. They had the same basic design but differed in colour and decoration. The black jacket the kneeling girl was wearing was one of those four. The girl lying down before her had one that was a mix of black and white in colour. It also had Dragons as the main decoration but hers was a Slumbering Dragon compared to the kneeling girl’s that Soared over Mt. Fuji.
The Jacket was missing.
Someone was responsible for what had happened. Someone had done this. The kneeling girl’s eyes burnt with fury. She was going to find out who was responsible and give them Hell. Suddenly a strong wind blew from out of no where and the furious girl was brought back to her senses when something hit her on her right hand. She blinked as she looked down. The rosary was now suspended on her wrist. She brought her left hand and scooped it up then gazed at it in her hand. After a few seconds she placed it in the jacket pocket then stood up to pick up the book as well. First she would take care of the hurt girl then there would be blood.
After a few tries and fails, she finally was able to securely piggy the unconscious girl. She wasn’t who one would call athletic so the task was not an easy one but she would do what it took. She struggled to reach the book and her umbrella which took a lot of effort but she soon found herself standing upright once again. Taking a few breaths she began the walk to her place.
The journey was not an easy one to say the least. In order to take her mind off the body strain, she started to think of what could’ve happened to the put the girl on her back in such a state. First of all, the thought that the girl could ever lose in a fight had never crossed her mind. Even their leader was very awed by the girl’s ability. In the fights she had seen the girl fight, she had never lost even once and when she got injured, it was only because she allowed it. It was as if she enjoyed being hurt which was one of the things that was attractive about the girl.
To think she would be defeated just like that! Did it have to do with what their second in command had discussed with her the other day? Was the new girl the one responsible for this? Somehow the thought of one girl taking ‘her’ out on their own was incomprehensible. But at least now she had a suspect. She shook her head and in doing so she disturbed the girl on her back.
A groan then a few sharp breathes.
The walking girl stopped in her tracks and turned her head back to the source of the sound.
“You are awake!”
She said dumbly, caught off guard by the sudden waking.
“…Gekikara? What’s…Oh! My head…!”
“Is it bad? Should we go to the hospital?”
“N-No. I will be fine. I think I just need some rest and ice.”
“Okay then…Hang on, we are almost at my place.”
The girl, Gekikara, resumed her walk with relief fuelling her on.
The other girl said softly as she rested her on the small back. There was no reply but it wasn’t needed.
The rest of the journey was spent in silence and only the passersby and the engines were the only sources of noise.
A few minutes later found Gekikara closing the front door and walking farther into the apartment. Reaching the bedroom, she turned around and gently lowered the other girl on her bed. She turned around to find that the other girl had fallen into sleep once more. She let her upper body fall flat on the bed then went to remove the girl’s boot. Once that was done she lifted the feet up on the bed and positioned the sleeping girl to lay parallel on the bed.
Gekikara got up then went to the fridge and pulled out a frozen pack or peas. She wrapped it in a face towel then placed it one the sleeping girl’s forehead. As she did so, she was reminded of the blood of the beautiful sleeping face. Gekikara fetched some equipment and proceeded to clean the girl up.
How unpleasant her evening had turned out to be! She had originally planned to go to school and spend the evening messing with her fellow Queen of Rappappa, BLACK – the girl that now lay in her bed. She did not know why but BLACK spent most of her time at their school. Even after all the other students had left, she would just sit there in their club room and it wasn’t that she was doing something. Sometimes Gekikara stayed to see just what the other girl did during those times but unless it was only in the case of there being observers, BLACK always just sat there, sometimes reading from that one book and other simply sat that with her eyes closed. And sometimes no matter how much Gekikara tried to get her attention, she was completely ignored as if the other girl was alone.
But after a given amount of time, BLACK would then give Gekikara her attention and ask her what she wanted. They would then play through the night (well, Gekikara would play while Black only watched) until Gekikara left. BLACK would still remain there though. The thought that the girl was living at the school crossed Gekikara’s mind at one point but that was proven wrong soon after. Why was the girl taken with their school so? There were many things that Gekikara didn’t know about BLACK and frankly, were it anyone else, she wouldn’t have given a fuck but for some reason the other girl was that much of an interest to her. The only other person of whom she had given some thought was their leader Yuko when she had come up to Gekikara that one fated meeting. That interest had long died though to be replaced by a much more interesting one in the form of one Kashiwagi Yuki.
That was her real name. Everyone in Rappappa had real names but their leader had decided to give them nick-names that in time over-shadowed their real ones.
It was after their first fight, herself and BLACK, when Gekikara wanted to see what had been so special about the new girl that she had been recruited as the fourth and last Queen. It was after that fight that she had learned of the other girl’s real name. It was also during that fight that her interest in the girl started. Gekikara hadn’t been in company of other people as long as she was in with BLACK in the two years they had known each other.
BLACK joined the school in her second year.
It was because of that that Gekikara was very much so pissed at the ones responsible for hurting the girl. She knew that it was to be expected to fighters like themselves but still…Seeing the other girl beat up and then having the nerve to steal from her really rubbed Gekikara the wrong way.
Gekikara dropped the cloth in the bucket of water when she was done cleaning Black’s bloody hands then went to dispose of the utensils in the bathroom.
She would find out who ever was responsible tomorrow and make them pay. She knew exactly who to ask for, who was best to ask for information than the gossip group of the whole school…
Takahashi Minami sat there in the hospital bed. The lower part of her body was still covered by the white sheets and duvet that were too clean for her liking. Despite the feelings that enveloped her body, most of which were of the unpleasant kind, Minami couldn’t help the goofy smile that was plastered all over her masculine face. To tell the truth, she didn’t know how, well, apart from the surprised Doctor expressing their opinions of how it was impossible for her to wake up at this time. He had made it sound like she wasn’t supposed to wake from her coma, apparently, and Minami was kind of starting to get annoyed with him until two other training Doctors came to her rescue. They were both girls and they looked so young Minami couldn’t help expressing her surprise. True they weren’t full-fledged Doctors yet but all the same difference.
The taller of the two who seemed like the ‘nice and quiet’ type was called Dr Shiraishi Megumi. The shorter, who was the energetic and loud kind of person, was called Hiyama Mihoko. Though they came off as oil and water, Takamina could see that they were close in the three days after her waking. Dr Hiyama was helping Minami with her recovery therapy and she swore Dr Shiraishi came over to them almost every other hour. And though Dr Hiyama played it off as annoyance at first, there was a glitter in her eyes whenever the other Doctor came by.
But she was really getting off track here. Minami was happy there in her bed even though her muscles still ached from the long sleep because her friend, no, her best friend was talking non-stop excitedly about her new school. She was having breakfast in bed but it wasn’t as romantic as it sounded. Hospital food wasn’t made by the greatest of recipes. She wondered what the use of it being super healthy was if those who ate it did so with a kind of disgust! If the brain didn’t want it, sometimes the stomach agreed as well. The thought robbed her of her appetite and so she let the chop sticks rest on the tray to give her talkative friend her full attention.
“A lot has been going on this past year I tell you. I haven’t had a moment’s rest.”
“It sounds like you have been having a lot of fun without me.”
Maeda Atsuko paused in her walk to stare open mouthed at her friend.
Takamina winked at her.
Maeda went red and quickly looked down in embarrassment.
“It wasn’t as fun as you think it was. From the first day I set foot into that school I have been forced into one fight or another. My body has had more injuries in this past year than all my previous years combined.”
“You still sound happy about it though.”
They shared a look.
Maeda put on a serious face as she spoke.
“I promised you that I wouldn’t start any more fights and I kept that promise but as I told you yesterday, there were circumstances…”
“It’s okay Acchan. *Sigh*. I guess I was wrong too back then – I still can’t believe I’ve been asleep for more than a year!”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, thinking about it now, leaving the fact that you are a fighter first and foremost, there are many reasons for fighting and not all of them are bad. And really, who am I to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing? It looks like I’ve even caused you more trouble than worth actually.”
Minami looked into Maeda’s brown and intense eyes. She saw it now. She saw the reason as to why she might have asked that of the other girl. In those brown eyes was something….There was something lying there as if waiting for the right moment to spring forth and devour you. Minami was afraid of what that meant. It scared her even now but she knew now that she was wrong. If anything, she saw it all the time in movies that denying someone of their existence or part of it always ended up badly.
“What do you mean Mina…Are you okay?”
Minami swallowed the fear that had started to build up. She didn’t know what awaited her friend but instead of denying it of her she decided she would be there for the other girl when that time came. If Maeda got lost or got swallowed by that what she saw in those mesmerising eyes, Minami would be there to bring her back. She put on a firm look as she raised her head to the other girl.
“I am sorry for trying to change you Atsuko. Even though it doesn’t need to be said after what you have told me, I have to say it. You don’t have to change yourself Atsuko. In fact now that I think about it, it was the way you looked as you fought back then that attracted me more to you. You looked happier when you were fighting. I am sorry for not seeing that and trying to change you. “
Takamina looked down at her hands above the covers in shame.
Maeda walked over to the side of the bed and took the smaller girl’s hands in hers. She squeezed them to get the girl’s attention. When Takamina finally looked up, she spoke.
“There is no need to apologise, Minami. To tell you the truth, back then I was just like you had said. I only picked fights randomly without a reason at all to fight. I just wanted to fight somebody. It was after meeting you that I started to think of the reasons of fighting. And it was after getting into Majisuka Gakuen that I discovered the reasons for fighting – My reason for fighting.”
Atsuko let go of Minami’s hands and stood up straight again.
“Some students from our school are getting attacked on their ways to and from school by other schools and I am trying to sort things out but it doesn’t look like the others agree with me.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, nobody exactly say it out loud but they don’t have to.”
“Well, what are you doing about it that they don’t approve of?”
“I am going to the neighbouring schools and talking with their leaders to stop them from attacking or students.”
Minami stared at Atsuko.
“I know of Majisuka and it had many enemies, my school included so I can see how your ‘mates might disapprove.”
Atsuko looked at her friend inquisitively.
“Well, I think that they probably think you are wasting your time. All the high schools around here are all full of fighters and gangs so you could say that it’s almost natural for them to pick fights with each other. Talking it out is all fine but there is no guarantee that they will keep their word. I bet your friends know this too.”
Atsuko furrowed her brow.
“So in other words you are saying that I am doing something unnecessary and just wasting my time?”
Maeda sighed before she eased herself down of the bed.
“What should I do then? Not all of our students are fighters and it is mostly them that are being targeted.”
“I don’t have an answer for you at this moment. Did you talk to these Rattatta members? What did they think?”
Maeda laughed a little.
“That’s ‘Rappappa’ not Rattatta and it’s really very difficult talking to them. I am not a leader type as you know.”
Minami raised her left hand to ruffle the shoulder length dark hair.
“Oh do I ever. But you did accept the responsibility so there is nothing you can do but try to be a leader that they can look up to and follow.”
Maeda turned and sorted herself to lean against the other girl’s shoulder.
“But I don’t think I will ever be what Yuko-senpai was to them. You should have seen her Minami she was so…I could never be like her.”
Minami put a hand around Atsuko’s shoulders and pulled her closer.
“You don’t have to be her. In fact I don’t think your friends would want you to as well. There has to be a reason why this Yuko picked you of all people to succeed her. I don’t think that the others followed you these weeks just because their previous leader appointed you in her place. Nothing stopped them from quitting whenever they wanted yet they are still there with you.”
“But I don’t know what to do. How can I get them to acknowledge me?”
“Sorry Atsuko but you are going to have to figure that one out yourself.”
“Come on Minami, you used to help me out even when I didn’t ask you to before.”
Atsuko pouted at her friend. Minami laughed heartedly at her.
“Well, I guess some advice won’t hurt. First, how about you have the first general meeting? You know, like a get to know each other kind of meeting? You can then bring up the subject and get their opinion on it.”
“The thought crossed my mind but I was too scared to go thorough with it.”
“Are they really that scary, these girls of yours?”
“You have no idea…I really wish you would be there with me. I know it would be much less intimidating.”
“Well, there is nothing stopping me from applying to Majisuka for my High School. But because of the circumstances I will have to be a year below you.”
“Really? You would really come to Majisuka?”
“Well, I doubt I will find a fight-less school any where in the neighbourhood so I might as well go to the one you are attending. Someone has to keep you out of trouble. Though from what you told me I think I got replaced!”
Minami tried to look like a hurt puppy.
Atsuko enveloped the smaller girl in her arms.
“No one would ever replace you Minami – No one.”
“You really scared me you know. You have no idea how much everyday hurt not knowing when or if you will ever wake up. I …I…”
The tears that had built up over the course of the year finally broke free of the strained dam as Acchan finally let herself cry. She cried for her friend that had she finally been re-united with. She cried for Yuko, the friend that would never be yet had thing gone differently, they might have been great friends. Maeda also cried for hers self.
Takahashi Minami could do nothing but hold Atsuko as she cried her worries away. She had thought the girl far stronger than she actually and that gave Minami all the more resolve to be there for the other girl. She didn’t know what the future had in store for them but she knew that whatever it was, she would support the other girl with every fibre of her being.
. . .
Black turned her gaze away from the full moon then continued to walk the dark alleys of Shibuya. To a third person’s view it looked more like blending than walking. The girl was to darkness what chameleons were to jungles. Sometimes it looked like the darkness itself was drawn to her like metallic dust was drawn to a magnet. She was the Darkness itself. Yet despite all that, maybe it was exactly because of it that Gekikara could not help but be drawn in by the girl walking in front of her.
For the past three days it seemed that Gekikara had taken it upon herself to not let Black out of her sights. Actually since they met Gekikara seemed to take a liking to Black which she found odd since she usually put on an air that scream ‘beat it’. Black was one of those people who felt more comfortable and best when she was alone. The quiet girl did not seem to mind the company of Gekikara much as time went on though. In the beginning whenever Gekikara tried to follow her around after school, Black would not waste a breath before she disappeared from the other girl. As the two now walked on in the early night together, Black wondered for how long she would keep up with the disappearance act.
Even though Gekikara didn’t show it, not that Black looked, her disappearing all the time might have hurt the other’s feelings, logically thinking. And really Gekikara was not such bad company to keep with. The girl was usually docile when there was no one to cross her wires. In fact when Black thought about it, Gekikara would be the first choice of company within Rappappa. If it weren’t for the fact that Torigoya usually required super attention, that girl would get into an accident with a bicycle that was being pushed by a walking person as she was easily distracted, she would’ve been Black’s first choice since she was the quite type as well.
Glancing briefly at her side to the other girl, black figured that it was the best company she would ask for. And really, Black was indebted to the other girl and not just once. It wouldn’t kill her to show some appreciation. It then hit her that she hadn’t even thanked the girl yet for looking after her in the wake of the Joker business. Feeling somewhat guilty, perhaps for the first time in her life that she could remember, Black stopped to get Gekikara’s attention. When the other girl turned to her with an inquisitive look, Black spoke.
“Do you want to come over to my home?”
Gekikara looked surprised.
“You mean now? You aren’t going to run away again?”
“Yes I mean now. That is if it’s okay with you.”
Gekikara lowered the hand that was usually around her neck. She then proceeded to fiddle with her fingers that were decorated with black nail polish as she sometimes does when in thought. She looked everywhere but at Black.
“You don’t mind?”
Black would’ve smiled.
“Not at all.”
. . .
…To Be Continued…
NB: No action this update and only had time for AtsuMina and some Black/Gekikara.
Who knows though what next chapter will hold…
Oh wait…I do!