Ever had a dream that was so flippin' cool that you couldn't help but think about it constantly? If you haven't; sad for you. If you have, let me just say that this story is based off of one of those dreams. This is one-shot for now since I'm currently working on Pink Gender and I don't even want to get into how much I still have to do for Lab Partners and Stop the Wind along with the series I plan to write for But nonetheless, I had to get this out of my system. Enjoy!
I don't own any of the copyrighted names and song lyrics mention here, they belong to their rightful owners and NOT me. Yadda yadda yadda…
"Long ago, in the days of feudalism and the sword, there existed much corruption within the nation. Bandits ran wild in the lands pillaging villages and attacking innocents, power-hungry warlords waged brutal wars across the country to feast upon the spoils of the hard-working villagers, and the people were treated with the utmost disrespect. It was inevitable that we would arise in such moral turmoil. One thousand years ago, a clan of benevolent ninjas of the Cat Clan took up their blades and fought to bring justice to the world gone sour. Their impact on villages as well as their reputation spread across the lands, even into the mainland of China itself.
"Leading this troupe was a single warrior by the name of Masashiro Onuki, the first of many clan leaders of the Cat Clan to be known as 'Cat-Face.' Masashiro ruled his clan with the strictest discipline yet was as caring as any patriarch would be to his family and relations. He brought much peace to the eastern lands of Japan by disposing of marauders and returning unfairly taxed goods to their rightful owners, until one day he grew too old to wear the Mask of the Cat, his sign of authority that was said to give him supernatural powers of speed, agility, and lightening-quick reflexes, and passed it on to his first-born son, Katsumoto. And for many years, the Cat Clan aided in maintaining peace and preserving life wherever and whenever they could.
"However, when the emperor Meiji took the thrown over a century ago, the Cat Clan was hunted to near extinction by the new regime to make way for such 'modern' times. Still, a small handful of the Cat Clan, our ancestors, survived and lived in secret, helping the modern Japan when they could; the new Cat-Face of every generation taking charge of the clan and bringing good to the people. Now we are down to only 4 members of our bloodline: you, your mother, your sister Ai, and myself. Once you become old enough, Kenichi, you will inherit the Mask of the Cat and become the 34th Cat-Face as Clan Leader," Grandpa Miojo finished recanting our family's history while pointing to the wooden Noh mask of a cat's face to my 10 year old brother.
Then he yawned.
"Gramps, can I go play my ZBox now? This is like the umpteenth-jillion time you've told me this boring story," he whined.
"Kenichi! You cannot run from what is your destiny!" my grey-haired grandfather rambled on. "You mustn't waste time playing those useless video games when you could be practicing to-"
"Gramps, he already left," I told him as I slouched at the doorway to our family's library room. I was in my black boys' school uniform, since I had just come home from school an hour ago.
"Grr…That little brat is our clan's future, and he has the gall to just brush off his responsibilities and duties as first-born male to be some game-playing slug. Ai, why can't you talk him into doing what is right?" he turned to me then looked at our family's swords and other display items from earlier eras.
"Hey, I'm currently dealing with enough crap as it is. And besides, I think it's sexist enough that you don't give me jack-squat even though I'm the first-born," I humphed.
"Over the past millennia, not once was Cat-Face a woman. We can't break tradition, child."
"Why not?!" I asked him for probably the millionth time in my life since I was told of this story when I was little.
"Because," Grandpa Miojo turned to me again, smoothing out his handle-bar mustache. "Women lack the strength and will-power to wear the Mask of the Cat and lead the clan as the men of our tribe have done for ages. So quit asking me!" he snorted.
"Fine! Stupid sexist family tradition…" I mumbled as I went off to my room, where I took out my cell phone and called up someone to go do something fun with: Amaro Unogamni. Amaro is my cousin from my dad's side of the family, so he's not blood related to the Cat Clan like my mom's side is, you see. As I waited for him to answer the phone, I tried to think of what we could do and who we could bring with us. Hoshi and Midori were probably not busy today, so they would probably be up for an outing.
(Hey, Ai,) Amaro answered. (Wassup?)
"I'm bored as hell. Wanna catch a movie and do some karaoke?" I asked.
(Sure. We gonna bring Hoshi and Midori along for the ride?)
"Yup! I'll get Midori, you get Hoshi."
(Where are we gonna meet?) He asked.
"Cineplex 21. We'll decide what to see when we get there, mkay?"
(Hai!) I could almost see him salute since he had a thing for military stuff. Knowing him, he was probably going to wear his camouflage shirt and pants with his army boots with those stupid dog tags dangling around his neck. The totally funny thing is that he has long brown hair that goes down to his shoulders, which is so NOT military-like. Still, gotta love his enthusiasm.
I hung up with my cousin and speed-dialed Midori's cell.
(Hello?) She asked in her usual quiet voice.
"Midori-chan! How ya doin'?" I asked in my usual spunky way.
(Oh, hi there, Ai. I'm doing great. How about you?)
"Just spiffy. Say, want to catch a movie and do some karaoke with me and the gang?" I asked.
(Um, sure. Where are we meeting?)
(Ok. I'll be there in a half-hour, tops. Bye, Ai,) she hung up.
"Ok! Time to hit the closet!" I cheered as I looked for something for me to wear. I guess I should introduce myself a little so you all know who I am. My name is Ai Nagase, high school sophomore at Fushibura High School. Let's see, I'm pretty tall for my gender (about as tall as most boys my age), I have short bleached hair, and I'm proudly a tomboy, to the point that I wear close to nothing but boys' clothes (school uniform included). This pisses Grandpa off since he thinks women should be subservient, girly, and all that other crap that only the older generations are still delusional about. Screw them, I'll wear and act how I want! He he he he he!
I pulled out a white shirt, some straight-leg jeans, and my black hoodie I got from a rock concert last year. The only articles of girls' clothing I wear more than occasionally are panties and a bra (though I have been known to wear boxers once in a while), which the latter doesn't really matter since my breasts aren't that big and my body is pretty plain. Sometimes I think I was really a boy born in a girl's body, save the fact that I only like guys in the intimate way.
After throwing on my outfit, I grabbed my wallet and cell, then headed out of our traditional-styled home (complete with a small dojo and Zen garden in the back) and headed to the theater just a few blocks away. It was another nice crisp autumn day in our city, the kind with the smell of colorful leaves is usually matched with the nice smell of food stands' hot dishes. As I made my way through town now, I ran into Hoshi…literally.
-WHAM!- we went as she came out of a corner just as I came up to it, the force of the impact knocking us down on our butts.
"Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow…!" I hissed as I felt my throbbing forehead. "Watch where you're going, bitch!"
"Same to you, you stupid- Ai? Is that you?" Hoshi asked me as we made eye-contact.
"Hoshi? WOW, sorry about that! Hahahahahaha!" I laughed as we helped each other up.
"I thought you were some stupid boy, but it was just you! Hehehehehehe!" she giggled. Hoshi was a little shorter than me and was also an extremist in her tastes like Amaro and I were. Hoshi is into dark colors and sorcery of the West, so it was no surprise to see her in a black tank-top, a black miniskirt with fish-net stockings, and knee-high boots. That and her originally black hair with red-dyed highlights is what classifies her as a 'Goth'.
"So, whatcha been up to, girl?" I asked as we made our way to the movies together.
"Ah, same stuff as always. I found a new book on spells along with some sacred incenses and a little bronze idol of a gnome, so I'm getting close to learning some intermediate-level magic," she explained.
"Hey, you think you'll be able to make my Grandpa Miojo rethink his decision to not let me be head of the clan?" I asked like I always did.
"Would you like that with or without turning him into a hedgehog?" she giggled as she always did when I asked this question. The two of us exchanged laughter for a few moments until we made it to the theatre, where Amaro (dressed like he just came from an army base) and Midori (clad in her red jacket, yellow turtleneck, and orange skirt, adjusting her glasses) were waiting for us.
"Yo!" Amaro waved to us, his stupid dog tags jingling as he did so.
"Hey, guys," Hoshi and I said as we met up with our friends.
"So, which movie are we seeing?" Amaro asked first.
"Ooh! Let's see The 3rd Warrior!" Hoshi cheered. We had all heard great things about this action flick and no doubt even Midori was anxious to see it.
"I've got no problem with that," I smiled.
"Neither, um, do I," Midori said meekly.
"…and my vote makes four," Amaro replied.
"Okie-dokie, then. The 3rd Warrior it is!" I proclaimed as we all bought our tickets and snacks to see our movie.
The movie was GREAT, as we had figured.
"Dude! Remember that part with Hyuuga when he was using his arm-blades?" Amaro asked, still buzzed by the entire movie like the rest of us were. "That was so awesome!"
"I liked how Onisha used those tonfas to beat the crap out of those bandits," Midori smiled happily. "It's nice to see a female warrior in movies these days that can totally beat up a guy," she laughed.
"But the best part was Banzetsu's fight with Ryuken at the end," Hoshi nodded with an air of superiority.
"Yeah!" we cheered as Amaro and I took up the same defensive positions as the two characters in the movie did while Midori and Hoshi watched and cheered us on.
"Prepare to suffer from the Light of Death!" I said in a deep voice trying to imitate Banzetsu and pretending to hold a katana.
"Fool! You are but a blind and arrogant has-been. I will finish what I was too reckless to finish last time. Hyah!" Amaro yelled as we pretended to parry and strike at one another with invisible blades for a few moments, then ending in mock slow-motion as Amaro tried to bring his sword down on me, but I immediately spun off to his rear and struck his back,
"Ka-Chink!" I made the sound effect for my character's blade slicing his opponent's back.
"Aauuurggh!" my cousin groaned as he fell on his back, pretending to breathe hard. "It seems…That only a blind man can withstand the Light of Death…Ungh…"
"You were a worthy opponent, Ryuken. May your spirit find rest one day," I said as I gave a fake Buddhist prayer to end the final scene.
"That…was f--king AWESOME!" Hoshi laughed with Midori as Amaro and I got up and took bows in front of our friends.
"Ok, now that we've had our fill of action, who's up for some karaoke?" Amaro asked pleasantly.
"Woo-hoo!" we raised our fists into the air as we set out for the local karaoke place of our town.
Karaoke has always been a favorite among the four of us since before middle school, especially to Midori and Amaro. 'Sing Sweet Nightingale' is where we've always gone for doing karaoke for the past four or so years, to the point that we're classified as 'Regulars' by the working staff. As we each pitched in to pay for our room, Hoshi and Amaro practiced their scales like professionals would before doing a concert, which was pretty funny no matter how many times you hear them. Midori ranges from Soprano 1 to Alto 1 in her voice while Amaro is a Tenor 2 to an astounding Bass 1!
As for Hoshi, she's a Soprano 2 while I'm an Alto 1. But still, it's fun to just sing songs with each other. Our room was complete with a 30 inch TV screen with the karaoke machine and a little stage for the singer or singers to stand at. Hoshi and I figured we should let Midori and Amaro go first since they were so riled up. After a quick game of Janken, Amaro won the right to sing first. He chose the opening song 'Through the Night' for the anime show Outlaw Star as his selection.
"Don't make fun of it! Don't destroy it! Don't cheapen it!
That one thing everyone has that they won't give up.
Only love! Only dreams! Only you!
Those are the only things I won't let go, ever.
On nights when I can't settle down no matter what,
I just want to throw anything and everything away.
Don't bitch and complain, just open the door, ya know.
I don't have time to quibble with you.
I want to fly all over the place.
I wanna throw caution to the wind.
It isn't because I've lost anything
It's because nothing's even started yet.
Don't make fun of it! Don't destroy it! Don't cheapen it!
That one thing everyone has that they won't give up.
Only love! Only dreams! Only you!
Those are the only things I won't let go, ever.
What do you want? What do you wanna do? Where do you wanna go?
Cut through the darkness and run to grab what you want all through the night!"
His song done, we waited for the score to come up.
"Boo-yah! Beat that, Midori!" my cousin cheered as he threw his brown locks behind his shoulders with a charismatic swish of his head.
"You just wait, I've been practicing a lot lately," Midori grinned as she took the microphone and selected her song: 'Daisuki' by the pop idol Ryoko Hirosue.
really love you, darling
I like you, darling
I love you darling
I love you darling
It's our second time
out driving, my heart is pounding
Under the big blue sky, it's great isn't it
It's fun to be with you
We split a can of juice
It seems like I'm too happy
I want to kiss you on your cheek
But you're driving
I'll just stare at your profile
really love you, darling
I like you, darling
I love you darling
I love you darling"
Then the score came up: 1241.
Amaro's jaw hit the floor.
"Wow! Nice work there, Midori-chan!" I congratulated our friend as she stepped down from her stage in victory.
"Keep this up and you could be a pop-idol or something, girl," Hoshi patted Midori's back as she took a seat and had a sip of her ramune soda.
"Really, it's nothing, you guys," the starlet blushed.
"You beat me by over one hundred points and you say it's nothing?!" Amaro fumed. "Why you-"
"My turn to sing!" Hoshi interrupted at the nick of time, distracting my lunk-head cousin enough to make him forget about what he was mad for. Hoshi picked a western world song that none of us knew the lyrics to or who the heck even wrote it, but she still gave it her all, her voice running smoothly most of the time, and landing a score of 780.
"Nice job, Hoshi. You've gotten better since the last time we were here," I smiled as I went up and chose a song of my own. I found a song by the rock band known as The Pillows titled 'Blues Drive Monster' from the weirdo anime Furi Kuri (someone please watch it sometime and tell me what the f--k was going on!). The REAL humor in this was that this song was sung by men, which meant that I would be singing in my fake boy's voice, which was like the opposite of a guy singing falsetto.
"It's as though I've got something on my glasses,
No matter where I look
Today, too, unchanging landscape
What the heck kind of system is everyone using
To control their emotions
I felt as if I was going insane, and started crying
But I'm sane, I'm sure
I couldn't board the packed train
The era of boys locking themselves away in rooms
Littered with keys
Slipping out from the radio,
An electric monster
The speakers only whisper out
What you shouted at the top of your lungs
I saw the era's chosen hero
Vanquished before my eyes
I'll give you as many volts as you want
Blues Drive Monster
Can't you just smash up this melancholy world of ours?
I'm forever waiting! Nah-nah-nah!"
"And the magic number is…" Amaro and everyone said as we all looked at my score. It came up, and there was an awkward silence. Then came the hurricane.
"1300?!" we all gasped in total shock and bewilderment; heck even I did too!
"Wow, Amaro, I sing better like a boy than you do!" I cackled.
"Come 'ere, you!" He pounced me and started tickling me.
"No! Hahaha! Please…Hahaha! I give up! Hahahaha! Hoshi, Midori! Help me-hehehehehehe!" I cried in laughter.
"Oh, we'll help, girlfriend…" Hoshi gave a sly smile as she came closer to me.
"…Just not you," Midori gave the same insidious smile as she and Hoshi aided my cousin in the barrage.
"Noooooo! Ahahahahahaha! S-Stop!" I protested, but couldn't do a single thing about my situation as my whole body surged with laughable sensations. "S-Stop! Seriously! Hahahahahahaha! I'm gonna pee!" I squealed just as my trousers became sodden and everyone stopped the attack.
"Damn," Amaro laughed as he and everyone else stepped back from me to give me room to breathe. "A tickle-attack always does you in, eh cuz?"
"Hah hah…Shut up…" I laughed in between breaths. "That was…hah hah hah…no fair…I didn't stand a…chance."
"That's what you get for beating even the best of us, though," Hoshi snickered.
"Besides, it's not like it was painful or uncomfortable," Midori reasoned humorously.
"It's…painfully EMBARASSING that I now have to…walk home with wet pants…" I said as I started to catch my breath. "And THAT is uncomfortable."
We all left the karaoke place and decided that it was getting late, so we all told each other goodbye. Of course, Hoshi was staying out late on the town.
"Just what do you think you're going to do all night?" I asked her with an inquisitive look. "Tell me you aren't going to try getting into bars again."
"How can she? She's only 16," Midori wondered as she played with her own long ebony hair. We then looked at Amaro, since he was 18.
"Don't look at me!" he put his hands up in defense. "Us seniors have an exam coming up, so I have to get home early to study like crazy tomorrow."
"Then…how…?" Midori and I looked at Hoshi, who only gave a sinister grin before presenting a small leather-bound book and opened it to the middle, where a text was written in Old English letters in a language that definitely WASN'T English (I should know, I'm taking English right now).
"I present to you Incantament Persuasionis: the spell of persuasion," she beamed.
"Are you sure a magic trick is going to work?" Amaro asked.
-WHAM!- Hoshi slammed her little book hard on my cousin's brown head.
"Serves you right," she humphed. "This is some high-grade stuff here, nothing like those good-luck charms I was doing last week. These things work!"
"How do you know?" Midori questioned.
"I've tried them on strangers to make them do things like slap themselves or act like a monkey for a few seconds, and they work! If I can do that to people, I'm sure I can convince a bar-tender and a bouncer or two that I'm 18. 'Sides, I've got the boobs for it anyway, don't I?" she laughed.
"Yeah, to be a cow," Amaro snorted.
"You just don't get how rare breasts like mine are on Japanese women. Well, if you'll all excuse me, I'll be off," she said as she skipped downtown out of our sights.
"You ok there, Amaro?" I asked my cousin as he rubbed his head repeatedly.
"I've had worse…Besides, if I can survive her beatings, I can survive anything, including gunshot!" he suddenly beamed triumphantly.
"Careful, Amaro, your ego is showing…" I sighed.
"Huh?! But I thought I zipped them up this time!" he panicked for a second and realized what I meant. "Cute..." he scowled at me.
"I hate to interrupt, but I have to get going," Midori smiled to us.
"Ok, Midori. See ya later."
"Yeah, Midori-chan, I'll call you about that study group we were talking about the other day," I said.
"Of course. See you guys!" And thus, our studious friend left Amaro and me alone. But this was short-lived as we soon hugged and parted ways to our respected houses.
When I got home, it was already dark, and Mom and the others were having dinner. Needless to say, I got quite a stare from my family as I tried to have some grub.
"And where were you, Ai?" Dad asked me with a twang of anger.
"Just seeing a movie and doing some karaoke with Amaro and the gang, nothing out of the ordinary," I calmly responded as I served myself some of my mom's stew.
"I see," Dad nodded and took a bite of beef, then said, "Did you even read or hear about the news recently?"
"Huh? No. Why, what's today?" I asked as I took a bite of a carrot.
"Today is just another day, Ai. However, recently, there have been reports of women being raped left and right in our very city," Dad told me without even looking at me.
"We were worried sick, Ai!" Mom blurted out.
"Sorry," I said, a little taken back by how distressed Mom sounded. "I'll be careful next time. Nothing happened anyway."
"There won't be next time, Ai," Dad said in his usual serious tone. "Until they catch this serial rapist, your curfew is five o'clock sharp. Not exceptions."
"WHAT!?" I demanded as I stood up and slammed my hands on the table.
"Ai, we're only looking out for your safety," Mom sighed.
"Even though you will not be the heir and leader of this clan, you must still not be so careless and thoughtless of your own safety." Grandpa, obviously. "Besides, you can help me more now in training your brother to be this clan's future leader. This is your duty just as leading the clan is Kenichi's."
"Pff! Like I'll help!" I huffed as I glared at Grandpa.
"We all already decided on it, Ai," Dad said.
"Uuurgh! Why should I do anything for Grandpa! He hasn't given me anything as far as being the first-borne goes! All he cares about is Kenichi and using me as a means to an end that I'll get no credit for!"
"Ai!" Mom glared at me.
"Seriously! It's like he never even wanted me to be born! That's the truth, isn't it, Gramps?!" I looked at my grandfather, who sat and ate calmly the entire time this was going on.
"It is encouraging that you have more spirit and interest in our family's history and pride than your brother does, Ai. Too bad you were not born as a boy," he said without even looking at me.
-KCH!- my hand slapped his face, leaving a reddened mark on his cheek.
"Screw you!" I fumed as I ran out to my room and covered myself in my futon. "God I hate him! I wish he was dead! He has no respect for me in any way, and it's just because I don't have a Y chromosome! I'd bet even if I was stronger, smarter, and better than Kenichi, he'd STILL shun me! Bastard!"
I suddenly went quiet as I heard footsteps to my room's entrance, the door sliding open a crack.
"Sis?" Kenichi asked with hesitation.
"What do you want, twerp?" I grumbled.
"I just wanted to say…" he trailed off.
"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you have to deal with Gramps and his stupidness."
"I'll see if I can make him leave you alone or not make you do anything just because it's to help me be the next Cat-Face."
I started to cry at his words.
"Sis, are you crying?"
"N-No…I just…um…Have something in my eye. -Sniff!- And I think I'm just having some allergies. Yeah, I'm not crying."
"That's good then," he said with optimism. "I don't want to see you cry. Um, if it will make you feel better…"
"What now?" I asked as I looked up from my bed into his brown eyes.
"When I become the leader of the clan…Um…I'll change the tradition so you can be the leader instead. I don't want any of that stuff anyways."
"Aw…Come here, Kenichi. Give your big sis a hug; that'll make me feel better," I smiled to him.
"Yech! I don't want your cooties!" he stuck his tongue at me and giggled.
"Why you…" I laughed as I got up and grabbed his smaller form and began tickling him. We Nagases are VERY ticklish, you see. Dad always said that Mom was always ticklish and even my late grandmother used to tell me when I was just a little girl that Grandpa was so sensitive that she could make him laugh hysterically just by rubbing behind his shoulders and ears.
"Ahahahahahaha! S-Stop, sis! Bwahahahaha!" Kenichi lolled in place as I continued to touch him under his arms and at his neck playfully.
"Gitchy gitchy!" I cackled as I got to take out my anger in a less harmful way on my little sib.
"P-Please! Hahahahahahaha! Uncle! Uncle!" my brother began tearing in delight, so I let him go to let him catch his breath.
"That's what happens when you deny your family a hug, remember?" I reminded him. We did this to Kenichi ever since he was a baby; we would tickle him to the point of tears when he wouldn't give us a hug or kiss, and the tactic usually worked with good results.
"Ok," he smiled as he gave me a warm and tight hug; just the thing I needed. "So…I'll talk with Grandpa tonight and tomorrow. But I won't tell him about my promise to you, mkay? It's a secret," he smiled happily at me.
"Yup. Pinky-swear, ok?" I asked as I held out my little finger.
"You got it!" my brother wrapped his finger around mine before he left me alone. I went back to my bed and went back to sleep, drifting into dark slumber…
I awoke slightly with the sound of a hushed voice calling for me somewhere in outside of my room.
(Ai…Ai…Ai) it whispered to me continuously.
"Mrmrm…" I mumbled as I tried to drown out the voice with my covers, but that made it louder.
(Ai…! First-born of the Cat Clan…! Awake, young one…!)
"Gramps…I so do NOT want to talk about how useless I am to keeping this clan alive…" I grumbled.
(Miojo Nagase is not the one who beckons you, child…There is not much time for your friend…The one who takes interest in the sorcery of the West is in danger…!)
Now whoever this was had my attention.
"Hoshi's in Danger?"
(Yes, and only you can save her…)
"Ok, this better not be a joke, or heads are gonna f—king role…" I grumbled as I got off the futon and headed to my door and opened it, only to see nothing other than the dark hallway. "Um…Where the hell are you?" I asked the air around me.
(I am within the confines of your…our family's history room…Follow my voice, and do not worry, as no one can hear it but you…)
"Um…Don't know how that exactly works, but ok," I shrugged as I made my way to our family's library and saw what answered my first question. "Who are you?" I asked as I saw the Mask of the Cat glow a piercing white light. The old Noh mask which was originally white with lavender stripes on the cheeks was now shining with such intense luminosity that I was hypnotized by its beauty.
(I have no real name that I chose for myself, my child…I am known by our family as the Mask of the Cat…)
"So you're the thing…one that makes the head of our family turn into Cat-Face?" I asked.
(Correct…Now, you must don me in order to save your friend…) he instructed.
"Fine, whatever…God, Grandpa is gonna flip if he finds out I touched you…" I mumbled as I took the wooden mask from its glass encasing put it up to my face and strapped the leather band around the back of my head. "I can't see anything through this mask since there aren't any eye-holes…" I said to the mask.
(Please, allow me to help…) he said as suddenly my eyes saw through the mask and more, like the mask wasn't even there, but as I felt it, my hands still felt the wooden plate in front. I was soon seeing the room like it was still the afternoon! I looked at my arms and saw that my biceps hadn't grown any thicker or anything.
"I don't feel any different…"
(The abilities I offer you will come to you soon enough…Now…we must find something that you own that has the scent of your friend…)
(An article of clothing will do just fine, my child…)
"I don't- Wait, yes I do!" I said as I ran to my room and rummaged through my drawers to find a pair of jeans Hoshi had loaned me last week. "Now what?"
(Smell their scent…)
"Ooookay…" I shrugged as I sniffed them, only to have my nasal passageway flooded with the scent of… "So Hoshi smells like clovers and sweaty socks?"
(You needn't worry about her scent, save that you must follow it…)
"Right, gotcha! I have to save Hoshi. I have to become strong. I have to…change into something other than my shirt and underwear," I said as I ran into my closet and pulled on my boys' uniform from school since it was in the middle of fall, and I didn't want to catch a cold. After I zipped up my pants and put my shoes on at the entrance of our house, with greater quietness and grace than I thought possible, I left my home into the chilly night.
And thus I was off, smelling the air as air currents brought a cornucopia of strange and familiar scents all into my head at once (I thought my brain was going to explode or something from how much information I was trying to process at once). I smelled the flowery and salty smell straight ahead as I ran to the source. I noticed that as I ran, though, that things were passing by faster and faster, then I realized that I was running faster than I was originally able to.
"Um, is speed a power I get from wearing you?" I asked the mask.
(Yes. As well as great grace and nimbleness…Try to save time by leaping up buildings and using your claws…)
"Claws…?" I wondered as I checked my fingers, and was soon astounded that my nails had grown longer and sharper, just like a cat's! "Ok, here goes nothing…" I said as I came up to a convenient store and leapt up a good twenty feet into the air and landing softly on my own two feet. "Cool! I even have the whole 'landing on my feet' ability!" I cheered as I continued my quest to save my friend. The scent was getting closer as I hurtled up to a small apartment building and dug my newly-formed claws into the brick slits to climb my way up to the top.
Normally, I would be more than just a little scared of how high I was up, but as I looked down, I had little to no fear of falling, because I WASN'T going to fall. My body seemed so powerful, like liquid steel, and moved so fluidly as I hopped up to the rooftop and looked at the adjacent building just ahead of me.
"Can I make that?" I asked.
(Yes…Follow through with your movements and you will succeed…be sure to follow the scent, though…)
"Ok. Here we go!" I called out as I ran at top speed and sprang into the air, soaring above the space between the buildings and landing delicately on my feet once more. "Oh, I could get used to this." I grinned as I sniffed the air for a moment and turned left to get closer to the source of the scent. I hopped from roof to roof, making me closer to my friend to save her from whatever would threaten her, and then I heard it…
"HELP! RAPE!" Hoshi cried from an alley to my right, so I leapt down from a good five stories and landed in the shadows without making a sound. My new, enhanced eyesight could clearly make out the scene of a handsome-looking man trying to fondle my friend.
"Hey, come on, babe," he said as he licked her ear and nibbled on it while he held her arm high above her head in a painful manner. "You said you were interested in doing some fun stuff, so why not relax? Don't be like the other girls were…Heh heh heh heh…" he snickered as he groped my friend's breasts, then took out a switchblade knife
"Hey! What are you gonna do with that?!" Hoshi cried in fear as the man sliced down the middle of her shirt and then tore off her bra to let her breasts out in the open air.
"God, what wonderful tits you have…" he drooled as he was about to sample them, until he stopped in place from a lone claw being slowly being dug into his throat.
"Hey, didn't your mama ever tell you that you need to respect women?" I snarled at him as I threatened to cut his throat. Then, the freakiest thing happened: everything slowed down but me. The man slowly let go of Hoshi and spun around, attempting to use his blade to slit my throat, but at the rate he was moving, it didn't take much for me to avoid him, as I grabbed his hand and dug my claws into the back of his wrist for a second. Instantly, time moved back at its normal pace and the man dropped his knife and cradled his bleeding hand.
"Stupid bitch!" he fumed as he used his other hand to pull out a revolver and fire at me. Time slowed down again as I ran from side to side as each shot missed me by several centimeters from my quickened actions. I then ran up to his face before he could react even in this slow-motion state, and brought my hand into a fist to upper-cut his chin with such power and precision that it sent him flying up and back a good 10 feet to the back of the alley, giving him a bloody mouth and leaving him unconscious.
"Whew, that was certainly a good fight. And I didn't even break a sweat! Hahahahahaha!" I laughed triumphantly as I turned to Hoshi, who sat at the ground covering her exposed bosom and staring in shock.
"Who ARE you? WHAT are you?" she stuttered. "Your moves are, like, incredible!"
"Who, me?" I pointed to myself. "I'm uh…" I searched for a name that would work. 'Hey, Mask, what should I be called?'
(Cat-Face will be sufficient, as you are the wearer of me…)
"My name is Cat-Face!" I beamed.
"Cat-Face? What kind of name is that?"
"Grrr…Look it's a traditional name, mkay?!"
"OK, sheesh," Hoshi sighed. "Geeze, you're like this girl I know…Hm?" she said as I presented her with the rapist's jacket that I took off him.
"Here, you don't want to catch cold, right?" I smiled, but she couldn't see it behind the mask.
"Thanks," my friend said as she put on the coat and buttoned it up. "So, we should probably take this guy to the police station, or something I take it?"
"Um…" I thought as I decided to be heroic and speak in my boys' singing voice. "Yes, citizen! We must turn this offender into the proper authorities so that he cannot do any more harm to society! Hahahahahaha!" I beamed.
"Man, you're one screwy person…" my friend shrugged as we carried the knocked-out man to a police station, where the cops rushed to help Hoshi out and took the man into custody. When they approached me and asked who I was, I simply said,
"I'm just a fellow citizen that wants to see justice done in this city. But if you want to know my name, it's Cat-Face!" I proclaimed as I leapt off and away from the station before the police could ask any further questions. I made it home in a few minutes and put the mask where it rightfully belonged and went to bed, satisfied with what I had accomplished.
The next day, or rather a few hours later, I was awoken by my brother rushing into my room and shaking my shoulder saying,
"Sis! Sis! You gotta see this!"
"Urmrmrm…." I mumbled, still dead tired from being up so late, and looked at Kenichi. "What is it…?"
"Just follow me!" he commanded as he ran out of my room, so I followed him. He lead me to our living room and I saw it on the news.
"…this character called Cat-Face defeated, according to witness and near-rape victim Hoshi Tanaka, the man who has been proven to be the serial rapist that has been plaguing this city for several days now," the news-anchor reported. "Semen samples from the past victims were shown to be identical with that of the man brought in early this morning at around midnight. Sources say that there once was, in feudal times, a band of ninjas that helped people in need and were led by a man known as Cat-Face…"
I looked at Grandpa and started to sweat as he looked at me.
"Ai, do you know what this means?" he said with much intensity.
"Uh…What?" I faked innocence. 'Please don't find out it's me… Please don't find out it's me… Please don't find out it's me…'
"It means that your brother has taken the first step to becoming our clan's leader!" he smiled happily as he grabbed my brother in a loving hug. "I'm so proud of you for stepping up to the challenge and accepting your duties, Kenichi!"
"But I-" he began. "I don't remember doing any of that last night. Besides, how could I beat up a guy bigger than me?"
"My son, the Mask of the Cat works in mysterious ways."
'I'll say…' I thought happily to myself.
"And besides," Grandpa continued. "There were times when I would wear the mask and would accomplish things with the great and mysterious powers the mask offers and not have any recollection of it. We must tell the police that you are willing to aid them in whatever investigations they may have in the future and-"
"NO!" I yelled.
"Hm? Why not, Ai?" Grandpa looked at me strangely.
"Because…Uh…Well you know why super-heroes keep their identity a secret? It's so that enemies don't hear of it and find out who's close to the hero and…um…use them as hostages to harm the hero. Yeah, that's it," I made my save.
"Hm, you have a good point there, Ai. It seems that you will make an excellent wife with your counseling attitude," Grandpa nodded.
"Now then, Kenichi! As a reward for your valiant efforts, allow me to make you my famous sweet hibachi-styled squid that you like so much!" he smiled as he went off to the kitchen and began to gather the necessities to make the food items. I then felt a tugging on my night shirt as I looked down at my brother.
"Hey sis? Cat-Face, is he really-"
"Ssshh…" I winked at him. "Let's just keep it our little secret for now," I smiled.
Well, you like? You no like? I want some serious comments here with as much detail as you need to tell me what I did right/wrong in order for me to decide on if I should continue this as a full-fledged series. Like I said, my primary concern is Pink Gender, but I am willing to make this into a series as well if enough of you support what I've written so far. Well, until next time, sayonara!