Description: Not only does Daisuke not make Mitsuru cry that much, but he meets Mitsuru's best friend Kaicho. Could there be some romance in the air as the two bond over their combined friendship with Mitsuru?
The day after holds a certain... akward tone to it, for certain.
The pain from both the bruises and the guilt is still present.
But let it not be said that Daisuke is put off from responsibilities by pain -- be it lingering or the threat of future ones.
... That doesn't stop the hesitation from being present, however, while he stares at the imposing gate of Seijyun High. The nagging feeling that he should just give up and turn away.
But no. That wouldn't be the right thing to do. Some of the students inside might have already noticed the red-haired boy in the open light-gray and black jacket standing there, holding onto a... transparent bag that clearly has a bento box in it. It's the kind of thing that charges gossip, and Daisuke is *all* too conscious of it.
He already texted Rei while he was just coming up the street. There was a certain acknowledgement that he could never in a million years just... walk up to Mitsuru. Especially not while she was still on the school grounds.
So he has to rely on Queen Tokugawa's friends, now, to help faciliate this handing over of a peace offering.
Everything was carefully arranged.
Rei and Asuka were actually eager to work with Daisuke on it, detailing what he needed to do. Sure, there were threats, but what's wrong with threats? He did make her cry. And even though there was a -scene- at the gate with a boy lingering there, which was not an uncommon problem, nobody was telling the teacher yet. It might have something to do that his hands weren't stuck in his pants while staring in, which was not an uncommon problem either. Or maybe more specifically, it was the evidence of gifts, a bento box. It wasn't long before someone was coming to the gate now, after the message is texted to Daisuke.
It's not Rei.
It's a young lady, dressed in the plain blue schoolgirl uniform of Seijyun High. The pleated skirt is well past her knees, and she was wearing glasses. She had a very serene presence, as she approaches, arms behind her back, her upper body and head slightly leaning forward. She comes to the gate, just short of it. She tilts her head to one side, and then, to the other, inspecting him carefully. In the corner of her mouth was the faintest smile. And her voice almost sounded smaller and softer than even Rei.
"Excuse me, are you Daisuke?"
This was unexpected. Daisuke was expecting at least one of Tokugawa's two friends he met earlier to show up, even if not her herself. Not this unknown quantity here.
"Er... Yes... I am Daisuke," he offers in confirmation, and his stance instinctively jolts up straighter with that. But it's immediately followed by his brows knitting together while he considers the girl, herself. Does she seem vaguely familiar...?
"Uhm. Who are you, exactly?" He asks of her bluntly after a short moment of hesitation. There's actually some wariness rising up in him, now. "I was looking for Mitsuru-san?"
The strange girl would be a stranger to Daisuke, of course.
But maybe not the Blazing Panther. As he gives some wariness, the other students continue to pass, now ignoring the girl greeting the intruder. She is asked, and she shuts her eyes and she meekly stops, looking down at her feet with her arms behind her. "I'm Kaicho, because I'm the head of the Fight Club here at Seijyun High. I'm Rei's, and Asuka's, and Mitsuru's friend. We all have little nicknames we pick for ourselves." There is a pause. "Except for Mitsuru, but she's been gone for so long. She still needs to find her nickname." She brings her arms behind her back. She was holding a phone. She is tapping something on it. "Rei and Asuka are both really busy with classes, but they told me everything about your wonderful idea! Mitsuru hasn't told me anything, she hasn't talked to me about it at all! She's been so upset about it. " A message pings over to Daisuke. It says 'see? she let me have her phone!' Her expression has not changed so far. She comes closer to the gate, peering at the bento box.
"Is that the gift you are going to give her?"
Kaicho, she says. President of the Seijyun fight club.
Daisuke's eyes narrow upon hearing this. He did hear her mentioned by Mitsuru herself yesterday during her tirades, but... indeed, it was as the Blazing Panther that he actually saw much more of her. He wasn't really sure what to think of her at the time of the fight, beyond there being... a clear strain in the relationship between her and Mitsuru.
But right now? Right now he's getting a *chill* running along his spine. And that chill just gets *worse* when he pulls out his phone and sees the contents of the text message she just sent him.
"Why would she..."
With her step closer to the gate, he finds himself suddenly taking a step back by instinct alone, and his grip on the bento box bag tightening.
"... It is," he offers in honest answer, regardless. "I was... Hoping to give it straight to her."
"That's very confident of you."
Kaicho's voice doesn't raise up much, remaining a flat, lukewarm tone. She was touching the gate now, holding the bars as she peers through at Daisuke. "You are a confident boy! I heard about all those things you said to her. I was surprised that anybody could say these things to her! About how you called her a princess. How you called her an uppity bully that... that didn't deserve your kisses." She blinks her eyes twice. "About you called her a weird pervert."
She shakes her head in disbelief.
"I couldn't even imagine saying such things to her. About how much you hurt her, how much you took all her strength and power, all her anger, and totally nullified it. Made her a sobbing, weak kitten, by hitting weak points that none of us even knew about. And after all this horrible pain you inflicted on her, after how badly you practically flayed and tortured her very spirit, you came here hoping to give it straight to her! Give it straight to her. Yes! Where I, or Rei, or Asuka could have convinced her to come here. Oh! Or have lied to her! We could have lied to her, so she could come here, and then to her surprise, she would have seen you! Her second least favorite person in her entire life right now. More than her lecherous, lying father. More than her cruel, rotten honorary grandfather who kidnapped her. Even. more than that awful demoness that kidnapped her, and humiliated her." She gives a little chuckle. The most lifeless, artificial chuckle that Daisuke had properly heard. A plastic disposable laugh that would best fit haunting any lonely alleyway.
Her expression has not changed yet.
"I think, Daisuke, you should be grateful that she hasn't come." She nods at the boy. "You should be grateful she has friends like me, and like Rei and Asuka to take care of her, and help people like you make amends. What did you get her?" She leans back, lifting up the phone. "I'm supposed to take pictures. I'm supposed to take pictures of what you have gotten for Mitsuru, so we can always keep a face and a memory of who brought it." She readies the camera, her expression still unchanged.
"Can you show the camera, Daisuke, what you have done?"
Daisuke's fingers grip tighter at the bag. He's not able to bring forth any kind of protest however, no, not while his sins are laid down right at his feet. All he can do is listen, while his head subtly slumps forward, just enough for his perpetually-messy hair to shift to hiding his eyes underneath it's shadow.
It's not as if he didn't feel bad enough about it already, damnit.
But something else becomes clear under the weight of all that. Something that makes his fingers tighten about the bento bag enough to whiten his knuckles.
"...Tell me something first, 'Kaicho'," he murmurs, as he slowly lifts his head up again -- and rather than holding any despair or shame, his bright green eyes instead move to stare right at the girl on the other side of the gate, sternly, with crimson brows subtly knotted towards each other.
"Are you really Mitsuru-san's friend?"
"Yes I am."
There is no sense of lying in that voice. She begins to take pictures of Daisuke. Looking into the screen. Looking over that white-knuckled reaction. Terror? Was it terror? Kaicho seemed to be getting some kind of reaction on her face now, taking in Daisuke's stern gaze. "I am the one who helps her the most when she fights. I share in every failure of Mitsuru, and every success. Even the ones she doesn't open her heart to. Even the fights where she doesn't talk to me, and doesn't let me plan things out for her. Mitsuru has so few friends here at Seijyun High. Every one treats her so badly. Everyone treat her like you did. It's important that Mitsuru has friends, especially when so many people hate her. Mitsuru is so grateful to have a friend like me, and Rei, and Asuka. She doesn't say it. Because she's just so broken. But that's what friends are for. To build her back up, and do all the hard thinking for her." She stops taking pictures, looking at Daisuke directly now in the eye. There is nothing there. The faintest emotional ripple behind those glasses. Just that neutral, calm warmth, as she stares back.
"What do you think I am though?"
"I don't know."
The answer doesn't hold any shame or disappointment in it. The truth is, he can't get a read on this girl at all. As far as he can tell, it would take an actual psychic to truly, properly suss her out. And a psychic he isn't.
...As far as he knows, anyway.
"But," he adds in, with a slow shrug, keeping his eyes firmly on Kaicho's own still. "You don't really talk like a *friend*."
With a sigh, the red-haired boy takes one step back. And another. ANd a third-- until his legs bump against the rail fence seperating the pedestrian pathway from the driveway, and smoothly, he slides himself up to sitting upon the metal fencing.
"Tell her the boy from Taiyo has come to apologize," he tells the be-spectacled girl. "Tell her he's ready to get on his hands and knees if he has to. That he's ready to be beaten up for his sins if such is deemed just."
There's no shame in his voice when he says any of that. Like he really is fully prepared to embarrass himself completely on the path to... saying sorry.
"No, I won't."
Kaicho says calmly, as she looks over the pictures. She comes to the gate, as her expression does not change. "Because I don't need you to apologize to her. I need her to hate you, to hate you and your Blazing Panther thing. Rei told me about that. She tells me so many things, that she practically can't help herself, always clucking and clucking, like a noisy little hen. When there are people like you around, Daisuke, it helps Mitsuru realize how much she needs me. How much she needs her friends. To protect her from awful people like you. So I need you to stay awful. When Asuka and Rei told me what they were going to have you do, I was so shocked! Because Mitsuru doesn't need someone like you in her life. She needs someone like me." And then it comes. A smirk. A true smirk breaking across her face, as she is unable to hide her expression anymore. A tremble comes over her. "But maybe you can change my mind."
She aims the phone camera towards Daisuke.
"Can you get on your hands and knees for me, Daisuke?" She asks so sweetly, it might infect you with diabetes. "You'd do it for Mitsuru, but could you do it for me? Just for the hope that if you made me happy enough, that I would tell her to come? Plead to her? Trick her. Lie to her. I'd beat you up too, if I knew how to fight, but I think I'll be satisfied if you treat me like you want to treat Mitsuru. Come on. You want to redeem yourself?" Her smirks flashes her teeth, as she transfixes on the camera. Now, her voice was cracking, as she begins to sound excited.
"Get on your hands and knees, and bark like a dog for your Mitsuru!"
The boy stares back to the girl at the gate. The scowl on his face deepens only momentarily at the mention of that particular name. And the demand.
After a few seconds of silent stewing, the student from Taiyo rises up from the fence, and slowly steps back towards the gate. Step by step, closing in on it, until he's so close his face is nearly brushing up agains the metal bars.
The two words are dropped like an anvil. He's conscious about the presence of the camera phone and the fact that it is no doubt filming, but he stares right past it, at Kaicho herself.
"Especially since you definitely will not change your mind. You probably won't even show that video to her, would you? Because that'd be too much. She might realize what you are doing. No, you'll just take the pictures and the video and the sound of me debasing myself and touch yourself in your room over the thought of how well you have people wrapped around your little finger. But you know, Kaicho? I still have a card left to play."
Daisuke's foot suddenly SLAMS against the gate, with enough force to jostle it, and send a loud, metallic sound to echoing throughout the yard. It might seem like an attempt at scaring the girl off, but-- no. That's not the purpose.
It's to get the attention of everyone else on the other side of the walls.
"Oooooi," he calls out thus towards the students inevitably turning to look from the sudden commotion, leaning to the side just so that he's looking past the girl with phone camera now. "Can you bring a teacher or someone else from faculty here? I need to talk to one of them!"
Straightening out again, he turns his head to settle one emerald eye on Kaicho again. "...You seem to be mistaken. It's not about you or me. Neither of us gets to decide what Mitsuru-san needs."
Slowly, he turns his head to fully facing her. "You still have that recording? Be sure to keep it somewhere safe for the memory then. Because there's one thing I can tell you about Mitsuru-san. I might have known her only for a very short while, but there's one thing, one single thing, I can tell with absolute certainty, just by having looked at her."
A slow lean towards the bars of the gate again, with eye contact maintained.
"She will never love someone like you."
That smile fades when he refuses.
Kaicho loses that toothy smirk, going back to that neutral warmth. But her hand was trembling on the phone, and the phone was groaning. Almost like if she was a little stronger, she would have snapped it. If she was Mitsuru, should have fallen apart in an embarrassed heap of shame. But Kaicho was shameless. She never had any shame. She was never ashamed of herself. She didn't really feel a lot of things herself. So the pressure on the phone relaxes. Instead, she goes to the phone, and pushes some buttons. She doesn't flinch when the kick comes to the gate; she was cold. But it was getting the attention of the Seijyun High students, who looked at Daisuke and... started to actively ignore him and Kaicho, averting their eyes as they make distance. "Whoops, I deleted it." Kaicho said softly, possibly to herself.
"This is not Taiyo High, Blazing Panther."
Kaicho is not losing that false warmth, as she continues. "This is not a place where teachers will help a boy because he wants to impress a girl. This is a place where boys do not exist. You do not exist. You only exist if nice girls like me let you exist. Mitsuru is a very smart girl, when she is guided into learning. She can do so many things, if I teach her." She lowers her voice to the softest whisper, pressing her face against the gate, almost daring another kick. "I will teach her how to love, Daisuke."
"She will learn how to love..."
She lets the words trail off, as she forces a smile. "I hate it when people disobey me. I really don't like it! I am going to get you a teacher, Daisuke. I hope you feel confident when I come back with her. It's your word against mine. But I'll never let you see Mitsuru without me in control of her. She will see you as what I want you to see. I will break her spirit if I have to. Make her completely broken, so I can build her up. It's like breaking bones, in order to reset them. I've fixed a few naughty girls already. Gave them cute names, like my favorite anime." She nuzzles against the bars, tilting her head as she looks so intently on Daisuke.
"I could try breaking boys too, if you'd like to get closer to my friend Mitsuru."
That was... unexpected. No matter how uptight, how isolated a school may be, how much of a cultural measure there may be of ignoring people from outside... surely the students wouldn't just ignore that?
At least Daisuke seems to think so, judging from the scowling look he sends at the crowds of Seijyun students acting for all the world like the entire vicinity of the gate might as well just not exist at all.
This girl. THere's something terribly wrong about her. Just being close to her seems to make his skin crawl, like there's pins and needles getting slowly driven into each of his pores, one by one. Why does he feel like that? Why does it *hurt* to be near her?
But he knows, deep inside, even if that strange sensation wasn't overtaking him, he would inherently hate this girl. Because when his green eyes stare into her, look straight into her own eyes?
He sees something much too familiar. And he *hates* it.
"And what comes after that?" He asks when he leans in to the bars. No, he doesn't strike the gate, no. But he does grab onto one of the bars she's practically pressed her face into, hand grasping on just above her head. "After all that... Will what you have really still be Mitsuru? Or will it just be a mockery?"
Fingers grip tighter around that metal bar. Even tighter than his hand had gripped onto the bentou bag before -- he doesn't have the strength to break metal, no, but the skin begins to whiten, and anyone watching might well think he's about to snap his own fingers from how hard they're tightening into the iron.
"And is that really enough? Her and all the other people you break, will all that really bring you to what you want?"
A heavy, purposeful pause, one where anger and disgust gathers in nearly overflowing quantities within his irises, so dreadfully close to her now.
"Will they fill the empty hole in you?"
That's it, isn't it? He would recognize something like that.
Because there's a hole inside him, too.
Her eyes almost shimmer, as they press against the bars.
Twisting, turning like beasts in cages. Snapping, biting. And yet, the flow of emotion was almost romantic. Daisuke was trying to claw at the weakness of the girl, tear it open to drive at the hollowness. And yet, while there was pain, it wasn't -real- pain. It was going through her, but it wasn't tearing her apart. It was a mirror of pain, she should experience the same suffering. But when Daisuke challenges her on her God hole, she smiles that awful smirk again.
"Friend do, Daisuke."
She grips her chest. "Friends who never can betray you will always keep you filled. And I'm always going to be filled. I know how to make friends. I know what parts to leave, and what parts to throw away. I'm experienced at not being lonely anymore, Daisuke. It's not about hurting people's feelings and apologizing afterwards with grand gestures outside of schoolyard gates. That's what lonely losers do." She nods her head at the bars. "See? I'm helping you, Daisuke! I'm helping you learn to be a better person, and you'll decide how much you'll hate me afterwards, whether you decide to keep making your mistakes, or learning how to make friends. But I won't let you fix Mitsuru. I won't let you make her yours. She's your enemy now. She will hate you now, and thank me for helping her hate you. It'll be a beautiful hatred, and you will either learn to feed off it, or you won't. I don't care! I only care about my Mitsuru. And I won't share with you." She pulls away from the bars. "I'm going to get that teacher now, Daisuke. She will come, and she will make you go away from this place forever once I tell her everything. It's your word against mine." She pulls away from the gate, turning her back to Daisuke.
"And I have the best words."
The pins and needles keep getting worse. It's bad enough that the lid of Daisuke's left eye visibly twitches. Bad enough he almost considers checking if he's *bleeding* anywhere. But that couldn't actually be the case, could it?
It doesn't help that she speaks of such things. Makes all her intents so clear with such confidence.
"... Yeah, I'm a lonely loser," He declares, still, without any hesitation, while his fingers maintain their too-tight grip on the metal bar.
"But I'd rather be lonely than turn people into dolls like that. That's not what friends are. They're not just toys you build and play for your own sake."
Without even realizing it, he briefly grits his teeth together dangerously tightly -- something he only notices once his tongue gets the telltale taste of blood upon it.
"What you're feeling, Kaicho. It's not love. It's greed."
Once she turns away, his hold on the gate is finally released, too, and he takes a single step back. But as much as he may scowl after the girl with visible disgust -- it's not something he follows up with into a full retreat.
"So be it."
The backing away he makes after only brings him as far away as to the same fencing he had chosen as a momentary seat earlier, placing himself there once more as he now, indeed, makes the choice to wait for a teacher to be brought over. If whatever she is going to say would see him forbidden from coming to the vicinity of these schoolgrounds again, then he may as well see it through, he figures.
... And while he waits, dig through the inner pocket of his jacket to bring out a small notepad and a pencil. A message to scribble upon one small slip of paper to be, in turn, slipped into the bento box. On the off chance that it may, in fact, find it's intended recipient.
"There's nothing wrong with being greedy for love"
The words are like a whisper, as Kaicho makes her escape. It doesn't take too long, before she returns. The woman is older, late middle ages, and she is dressed in the plainest example of a teaching uniform there can be. Clean. But simple. her face is like iron. Every motion is like the shrugging of a great golem, a mechanized automation of matriarchal instruction. Thump. Thump. Thump. The stoic-masked woman approaches the gate. Her face is as still as Kaicho.
But Kaicho is no where to be seen.
There are no other students to be seen. Daisuke could have had the front seat view of every student in the vicinity actively clearing away as the teacher approached. The woman giving a low growl of disapproval as she comes to the gate. Cold, grey eyes study the boy, study the box, the area. Her jaw loosens, as she unleashes what could very well be a death rattle. And then, a voice.
"L I A R"
Her eyes roll in her head, as there is a hideous slurping sound, as she draws in her tongue back within. She lurches once more, lowering her head down at Daisuke. "Her discipline will be legendary. I will not. Have. GIRLS. L I E." The acrid hiss sizzles the air, the very gate groaning at the tones of the teacher. Her body softens, as she leans forward. "Boy. Daisuke. You are not here for the seduction of women, the seduction of girls. You are not here to corrupt The Tokugawa Student." She hangs there, lip curled in disgust as those grey eyes burn into Daisuke. "But the box... is true. No boys allowed on the premise, or near the premise. You will take this rule to your heart, and you will avoid forgiveness. The box. It has -food- in it. Precious delights. IS THE BOX FOR HER!?" She howls, the voice echoing across the Seijyun High grounds.
"Leave the offering. Remove yourself." The roar becomes a hissing whisper, growl. Her long fingers curling.
"If I see you near these grounds agains, the full... penalty shall pale in comparison to the lying child."
When Kaicho takes her leave, one thing becomes clear to Daisuke while he's writing his message. It's a... strange, somewhat unsettling realization, for him. His head lifts up from the little note he's scribbling, and his eyes narrow at the back of Kaicho, steadily shrinking further and further while she excises herself from his presence.
The pins and needles are fading away, slowly, with the distance that grows between them, until they're gone altogether.
That... wasn't normal, right? Feeling anxious in the presence of someone unpleasant is one thing, but that was something else entirely. Maybe it was some kind of strange power Kaicho had, afterall?
... Unless it was something wrong with *him*...?
The note is slipped into the box before the teacher emerges, and Daisuke lets out a low sigh. Well. All or nothing. The boy draws himself up from the street fencing and steps towards the gate again to face--
What... is this...?
Why does he feel even stranger now?
And what's with this--
The absolutely blood-chilling noise that comes from the teacher actually makes Daisuke jump back before he jolts up to straightness. Eyes wide as they stare at...
Whatever this *creature* is.
Is the box for her?
"AH! Y-...y-y-yes! F-f-for Tokugawa-san!" The answer comes practically on autopilot. Oh god. He can feel his legs shaking underneath him. Nervous sweat beading along his face. A nervous swallow when the command comes.
Without even fully realizing his feet had set into motion, he steps closer to the gate. BUt not too close. Just close enough that when he bends the knee, he can set the box in the transparent bag down to the ground just before it, in easy range to be taken and pulled in htrough the bars. Like a sacrifice left at the altar of an angry god in hopes it will stay divine wrath for one day longer.
The offering handed down, the red-haired boy straightens up and takes one step, two steps, three steps backwards, before dipping himself into a deep bow.
And without a word, turning to walk away. At a steady pace at first. But it takes no time at all, nearly, for him to speed up -- just get himself away from those gates as quickly as he can.
"What... was that...?"
Nervous sweat, bloody chills still run through him. He was right about there being something weird about that school. About something being *wrong*. But it's so much more than Kaicho, clearly, so much more than he had thought.
Whatever it is, it makes him forget about whatever is wrong with *himself*. For now.
The creature clutches its fingers on the box.
"Filthy gifts from the men folk." The teacher growls, knuckles cracking as she inspects the box. "It's not love, it's not lusts. It's apologies."
"I will tolerate men prostrating themselves before our girls."
Mitsuru asks the question in the Fight Club headquarters. It wasn't much of a club room. It was, well, the area outside of the incinerator for burning garbage and trash. Sometimes they would get these girls here that would be burning suspicious things, but that kind of stopped after a while. Mitsuru was sitting on a garbage can, arms crossed. Rei shrugs nervously. "I'm supposed to have my phone." She states in a tiny voice. "But she, she's not around." Mitsuru huffs. She didn't like Kaicho that much. But they couldn't have a club meeting without a club president. Asuka waddles her way up to the incinerator, holding a box. "Hi! Hiiiii!' She calls out. Mitsuru huffs again, even grumpier. "What is it, fatty!" She barks cruelly. Asuka counterhuffs herself! "Well excuse me! But I have something for you!" Rei's eyes widen. "You do?" Asuka nods. Mitsuru shakes her head. "Well I don't care, we can't start without Kaicho, so I guess we can't have any membership stuff-" "Oh!" Asuka adds quickly. "She was caught by a teacher. She's in..."
"She's in detention duty."
Rei looks at Asuka, and then at Mitsuru, sweating a bit. Mitsuru takes the box. She looks at the note, and then the box. She opens it. She looks at the note again. And then, the girls. She was blushing furiously. Asuka and Rei look away, get up, and leave. Mitsuru trembles furiously as she stands up, lifting the box up high. "Yare yare daze- I" She seems ready to throw it away. She doesn't, as she pulls out a piece.
"BAKA!" She seethes furiously a she bites the chocolate bitterly.
Log created on 15:24:26 03/31/2021 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 22:28:03 04/04/2021.