|Wolf and Cub
Author: Jax Creation PM
Cursed with girlish looks, zero physical strength, and the same amount of spine as a jellyfish, Mayuuki Yuuki has suffered daily since he transferred to Tengoku High. Then he's saved by Cub. Inspired by his heroics, Mayuuki decides to change himself... by becoming Cub's apprentice. Problem is, "Cub" is actually the new girl next-door and she's determined to NEVER let him find out!Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,297 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 01-26-13 - Published: 12-12-12 - id: 3082514
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Wolf and Cub
(Ookami to Kabu 狼とカブ)
[N.B. This story uses honorifics. Glossary provided at end of chapter.]
WARNING: Heavy slapstick humour ahead.
"My brother used to say that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who harmed, those who saved, and those who simply stood by and did nothing.
In this age of growing violence and corruption, there appeared a man whom the public called a hero…
The Blue Wolf.
He was a vigilante, a champion, a white knight in black coat who protected the innocent and the weak from their corrupt oppressors...
Until one day he vanished off the face of the Earth…"
Mayuuki Yuuki, Second Year Dog
Mayuuki gasped and coughed as Akira Tsurada's fist slammed into the side of his jaw. Pain seared across his face, and the salty, metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. If it weren't for Tsurada's lackeys holding him up by the elbows, he probably would have keeled over from the sheer force of the blow.
—Of course, if they hadn't been holding him in the first place, Mayuuki probably could have tried to dodge the punch, but that was beside the point.
"What the hell is this, Yuuyuu-chan?"
Tsurada used his toe to nudge the small collection of notes and coins that he'd turned out of the other boy's pockets. "I ask you for ten thousand yen, and instead all I can find a measly eight hundred and twenty yen. You got an explanation, Dog?"
Mayuuki swallowed and stammered, "Y-you never asked me to—" He grunted as Tsurada hit him again.
"I'm sorry, did you, the Second Year Dog, just bark back at me?"
"L-look, I'll get you the money, Tsurada-san. I swear."
Tsurada thought about it for a moment and then patted him on the head. "Well, I'm in a generous mood today, Yuuyuu-chan. I'll give you until four, how does that sound?"
Mayuuki spluttered. "Four? It's almost one thirty! How the hell am I supposed to get ten thous—?"
With perfect timing, the two guys holding Mayuuki's arms let go as Tsurada punched him squarely in the stomach. He flew backwards several feet and hit the dusty floorboards with a ringing thud, where he curled up into the foetal position and groaned.
"Dogs aren't supposed to talk," said Tsurada, spitting on the ground beside Mayuuki's head. With that, he let out a little laugh and led his friends out of the room.
The bell signalling the end of lunch rang, but Mayuuki stayed on the ground, resting his cheek on the cool ground.
He could go to class and waste his time telling his sensei what happened to explain why he was late, but even with all the blossoming bumps and bruises on his skin as evidence, he knew that they wouldn't do anything about it and just tell him to take his seat.
Teachers… students… everyone knew who he was; Mayuuki Yuuki, the Second Year Dog—Akira Tsurada's little bitch.
Before Mayuuki had come along, Tsurada had spent his time making life hell for students, teachers and locals alike, and no one had dared to oppose him.
Rumour was that he was heir to a yakuza syndicate. No one knew if it was true, but they all figured that it was better safe than sorry.
Banchou was what his gang called him. 'King of the Devil's Nest' was the local's name—a pretty apt one in Mayuuki's opinion. The son-of-a-bitch was Satan incarnate.
He wiped some blood from the corner of his mouth with his sleeve.
He'd transferred to Tengoku High two months ago, desperate to get away from his parents until they finalised their divorce.
On his first day he'd gotten lost and stumbled into an abandoned clubroom. It had taken him a single glance at the smoke-filled room to realise that he'd accidentally walked into the central hold of the Devil's Nest. He'd bowed deeply, stammered an apology and turned around to walk out…
Only to find himself face-to-face with the King of the Devil's Nest himself.
Maybe it was his small stature, or his girly face, or his stupid, stupid name…
No, it didn't really matter what it was, but from that day on, Akira Tsurada had stopped wreaking general havoc and turned his attention onto Mayuuki instead.
People were sympathetic, but not one of them was willing to lift a hand to help him; so long as Mayuuki was Tsurada's dog, they didn't have to live in fear of the King and his Nestlings turning their attention on them.
They were cowards, but Mayuuki was the same.
Silently, he picked himself up off the ground and staggered towards the door.
Better find a way to get that ten thousand yen…
Current balance: ¥4258.
Mayuuki stared blankly at the ATM receipt in his hand. He was screwed. How the hell was he going to come up with another six thousand yen in two hours?
He barely had enough in his account to pay for this month's groceries despite the fact that he'd asked his parents to increase his allowance for the third time since he'd become Tsurada's dog.
He'd even pleaded with his manager at his part-time job to be paid upfront, and beg his landlady for an extension on his rent just to keep himself off the streets.
At this rate he was going to starve, get fired, evicted, and beaten to death by Tsurada and his gang—and not necessarily in that order.
Mayuuki wandered aimlessly down the street, eventually coming to a stop outside an electronics store with a nine-by-nine TV display in the window:
"Today marks the one-month anniversary of the Blue Wolf's disappearance.
"Called a 'modern day hero' by the mayor, despite the authorities disapproval for his unauthorised actions, the young vigilante is said to have been working with private detective Kurisu Hanta in conjunction with Officer Shinichi Nakajima of the Metropolitan Police in investigating a string of kidnappings before he mysteriously vanished.
"Officer Nakajima has stated that he doubts that the Blue Wolf will return to us alive, but the vigilante's fans remain hopeful… "
"So he's dead, huh?" muttered Mayuuki.
He knew of the Blue Wolf; hell, the man had been his hero back in middle school—still was. He'd never openly admit it, but on occasion he'd even fantasied about the Blue Wolf clad in his trademark black cap and leather jacket with a blue wolf embroidered on the back, coming to his rescue and paying back Tsurada and his gang double what they'd dealt.
But it looked like that dream was never going to become reality…
He jumped as his phone buzzed in his pocket and broke through his reverie.
A text message:
4:00pm. Don't forget. You know where to find me.
He didn't need to look at the sender address to know who that was from.
Mayuuki closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the glass.
Where the hell am I going to get that money?
He stood outside apartment 202. Hesitantly, he rapped twice on the door.
He knocked again, only this time he didn't stop.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" yelled the room's occupant.
The door was yanked violently open and Mayuuki found himself looking up into the irritable face of his next-door neighbour.
"Oh, God, what do you want?"
The teenager looked the older man up and down. There was a dusting of dark stubble along his jawline, his shaggy, bleached-brown hair was unkempt, and he was dressed in a crumpled nightshirt and track pants.
Mayuuki blinked. He was used to seeing Takamura-san in a two piece suit with his hair slicked back and a gold chain around his neck. "Did you just get up? It's like three in the afternoon."
"I was working all night, you idiot. If I want to sleep until three in the afternoon, then I'll sleep until three in the afternoon. Now what do you want? Spit it out before I slam the door in your annoying face. I have other things to do than wait for a snot-nosed brat to stammer a request."
Mayuuki took a deep breath. Here goes nothing...
Takamura jumped as the boy flung himself to his knees and bowed with his forehead against the floor. "Please lend me ten thousand yen! I'll do your laundry, your cooking, whatever you want! So please le—"
Mayuuki looked up. Well that was over before it had even begun. He hadn't even finished begging yet. "What? Why not?"
Takamura inspected his nails. "I've already got someone doing my laundry and cooking."
"Who? Don't tell me you actually got a girlfriend."
"That's none of your bus—ah, crap..." He trailed off and scowled at something behind Mayuuki.
The teenager turned around to find a girl around his age staring at him. She dropped her grocery bags to the floor and tilted her head to the side questioningly, locks of shoulder-length brown hair falling across her face. "Um... what's going on here?"
"Nothing," said Takamura and Mayuuki in perfect unison.
"Right..." said the girl, sounding completely unconvinced. She glanced at Takamura frowned. "Jin-niichan, you're not trying to extort money from a high schooler or something, are you?"
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Do I look like I'd do something as low as that?"
Jin looked at Mayuuki. "Do I really...?"
"Uh, yeah, sort of... She's not your girlfriend is she?"
The older man smacked his hand to his forehead. "What kind of impression do you kids—? Oh forget it." He sighed. "Yuuki-kun, Ren-chan. Ren-chan, Yuuki-kun. Make friends, ignore each other, date each other—do whatever, I don't care."
Ren rolled her eyes and offered her hand to Mayuuki, who was still kneeling somewhat awkwardly on the floor. "Hi, I'm Ren Aoiro."
She giggled and helped him to his feet. "Well, Mayuuki Yuuki, do you mind if I ask why you're prostrating yourself in front of my brother-in-law's apartment?"
He glanced at Jin sceptically.
"Someone actually married you?"
The older man scowled at him. "What do you mean, 'actually'? I'll have you know that women love me."
"That's because you work at a host club and they like your face..."
Ren giggled again and quickly interjected before Jin could sputter a reply, "Jin-niichan's sister is married to my oniichan."
"I see..." said Mayuuki thoughtfully. "So, are you just visiting or something?"
Ren's face dropped.
There was a long, awkward pause.
"No," said Ren finally, forcing the smile back onto her face. "I'm going to be living here for a while."
Jin hastily clapped a hand over Mayuuki's mouth and shoved some notes into the boy's hand. "Okaaaay, I think that's enough getting to know each other. Here you go, take twenty thousand yen. You can pay me back later."
"Twenty!? I only asked for ten—"
"Oh, look at the time! It's almost 3:40. Shouldn't you be going or something?"
"3:40!? Shit, I have to get to the arcade!" He was about to sprint off, but paused long enough to say, "Uh, it was nice meeting you, Aoiro-san. Sorry, but I have... an appointment to keep."
Ren watched him run off and let the cheerful, bubbly facade drop. She glanced at her brother-in-law. "What the hell was that about?" she demanded as he came over to help her take the shopping inside.
"Oh, so now you stop being cute. Do you always fake your personality in front of teenage boys or is Yuuki-kun special?"
"Just tell me why he needs the money."
Jin shrugged. "No idea. All I know is that the kid has been desperate for money since he moved here. He's probably being bullied or something."
Ren dropped the bag she was holding.
"Please don't tell me that was the eggs..." said Jin with a groan.
"You think he's being extorted and you're just throwing money at him to give to the bullies?"
"Don't look at me like that. Hell, I wasn't going to give him the money in the first place. Kid just needs to grow a pair and they'll leave him alone."
Ren just shook her head and headed for the door, grabbing her jacket and a cap off the coat rack as she did so.
"Where are you going?"
"To buy more eggs."
The door slammed shut.
Jin sighed and began loading the refrigerator.
"Like brother, like sister..." he muttered and shook his head.
Mayuuki stood at the end of the short backalley behind the Strip—the short arcade street frequented by Tsurada and his kind—his back pressed against the brick wall that cut the alleyway in half.
He glanced at his wristwatch.
15:58, read the digital face.
"No, I'm not," he said without thinking.
A smirk spread across Tsurada's face.
He knew it was coming, but there was no way for Mayuuki to steel himself for the pain that rushed up from his abdomen as Tsurada kicked him in the stomach. He hit his head against the wall and dropped onto all fours on the dirty flagstones, coughing and wheezing.
"The only thing I should hear from you is 'woof." Tsurada placed his foot on the top of Mayuuki's head. "Go on," he hissed. "Say it, Dog."
"W-woof," gasped Mayuuki.
"Good, boy. Now, you got the money?"
He opened his mouth to say 'yes,' then quickly snapped it shut and nodded. He was reaching into his pocket to retrieve the wad of cash when a shadow fell across him.
"Seriously?" asked a light tenor voice from somewhere behind him. "You're mugging the poor kid in broad daylight. Have you people no shame?"
Mayuuki turned and looked up at the silhouette blocking out the sun. The speaker was crouched precariously on the narrow ledge offered by the dividing fence. He wore a zipped up leather jacket over a t-shirt and jeans, and there was cap beneath his hood, the visor strategically tilted to hide his face.
Mayuuki was getting a sense of déjà vu; how many times had he imagined seeing that image after being beaten down by Tsurada and his gang?
This guy looked exactly like him—the Blue Wolf. But, it couldn't be. The Blue Wolf was gone, most likely dead. So who the hell—?
The stranger grinned widely and cracked his knuckles through fingerless leather gloves. "So... whose ass should I kick first?"
A/N: Had this in my head for a while...
Finally got it out in writing...
Next chapter: Fiiiiiiiiiiiight! *runs around chanting 'oo' noises*
Yeah... I like writing fight scenes.
naming conventions and honorifics explained (courtesy of Tanoshima Manga books)
family name vs. given name: The way in which a name is used in conversation depends on the circumstances and the speaker's relationships with the listener and the bearer of the name. Typically the family name is used, with given names largely restricted to informal situations and cases where the speaker is older than, superior to, or very familiar with the named individual.
-san: This is the most common honorific, and is equivalent to Mr., Miss, Ms., Mrs., etc. Used with people you are not very close with, and when being polite.
-sama: This is one level higher than "-san". It is used to confer great respect.
-dono: This comes from the word "tono", which means "lord". It is an even higher level than "-sama" and confers utmost respect.
-kun: This suffix is used at the end of boys' names to express familiarity or endearment. It is also sometimes used by men among friends, or when addressing someone younger or of a lower station.
-chan: This is used to express endearment, mostly towards girls. It is also used for little boys, pets, and even among lovers. It gives a sense of childish cuteness.
sempai/senpai: This suggests that the addressee is one's senior in a group of organisation. In this story it is used by younger students to address their upperclassmen.
kouhei: The opposite of "sempai", used to address underclassmen in school, or newcomers in the workplace.
sensei: Used for teachers, doctors, or masters of any profession or art.
-[blank]: Usually forgotten in these lists but perhaps the most significant difference between Japanese and English. The lack of honorific means that the speaker has permission to address the person in a very intimate way. Usually only family, spouses, or very close friends have this kind of permission. Known as yobisute, it can be gratifying when someone who has earn the intimacy starts to call someone's name without an honorific, but when that intimacy hasn't been earned, it can also be very insulting.
yakuza: Japanese mafia
banchou: Boss, gang leader
-niichan (derivative of oniisan): "big brother"—"chan" implies closeness or that the user is trying to be childish/cute... in Ren's case it's the latter.