Although some small piece of me knew that it wouldn't work, I chose to deny that logic, and I closed my eyes, and counted to five as slowly as was humanly possible, hoping that he'd magically disappear. Then, almost fearfully, I opened my eyes.
Noooo! He's still here. Why is he here? He's not supposed to be here! He hates me! Or at least dislikes me in the extreme. So, if he's here… it must be because he has to be here, which means that he either needs me to do something, and he'll blackmail me into it, or it has something to do with Umeko, although I guess those are kind of the same thing…
I dawdled around the corner, really, really not wanting to talk to him, but at the same time knowing that I needed to get to Kouki as soon as possible. Because, frankly, I was surprised that their weren't any police sirens or smoke billowing out of the dorm at this point.
It's only a matter of time before something like that happens. The dorm has a back entrance, right?
Unfortunately, at that moment, the choice was taken out of my hands, because Koji looked up and saw me.
"You!" he growled, somehow managing to make the word an accusation.
I contemplated running.
"Don't you even think about running."
"Man…" I whined, and shuffled forward.
How did he know I was thinking about that?
I sighed. "Koji, what do you want? Didn't I do that acting thing? And why do you look like you want to disembowel me? What did I do now?"
I didn't even bother to try to protest that I hadn't done anything. In his mind, I obviously had, and that was good enough for him. Guys…
"You- You… Why do you plague me?" he demanded, going to poke me in the chest, and then apparently remembering my gender and thinking better of it.
Plague him? That seems a little harsh.
"Koji… I really need to make sure that my room doesn't blow up, or that my brother doesn't become incarcerated due to his retarded actions."
He just stared at me.
I sighed again. "What do you want?"
His confused look at my description of my brother merged back into a glare. "You…"
"Me?" I asked innocently.
He opened his mouth again, probably to yell or curse at me, and then stopped suddenly, clenching his jaw and seemingly trying to get a hold on himself. Of course, he didn't stop his glaring at me.
That would be too much to hope for. I think I can hear his teeth grinding…
"I really hate you right now," he finally muttered.
What is it with people today? I didn't do anything! I mean, I didn't do anything that I know of.
He stomped his food almost like a petulant child, although I didn't tell him that, since he was obviously trying not to cause me physical harm, and muttered. "Argh! I can't even hate you as much as I want to right now, because I know it probably wasn't your idea!"
I really don't like how this sounds. I shifted the bundle of clothes in my arms, glancing up at my window. No smoke or flames were shooting out of it yet. That's a good sign.
I looked back to Koji. "Koji… Maybe if you explain, I can understand why you're mad at me, besides just on general principles of course."
That earned me another glare. But, then again, he glared at me so much that I sort of lost track. "Don't act like you don't know!" he shrieked, one eye twitching.
Wow. I've never seen him this out of sorts. I'm actually kind of worried. I stepped forward slowly. "Koji. Just take a deep breath and tell me what's going on." I felt like nothing so much as a wild animal trainer confronted with a scared, feral, possibly rabid, giant owl-bear.
He paused mid-screech, and then collapsed down onto the front step of the building, head in his hands. His voice was muffled, but still pissed and I could make out the words. "You don't know. You actually don't. You know what, I think it might be even worse that you can ruin my life without even trying or being aware of it," he muttered darkly.
I sat down a good distance away from him and waited.
After a few moments in which I was pretty sure he was plotting my death, he said, "You know that whole thing that Minato Arakaki is doing? The whole retarded, 'whoever can win her heart will become the heir to my company' thing?"
I really don't like where this is going… "Yeah…"
"Well, my father saw it, of course. And he's not about to let an opportunity like this go, but since 'Umeko' is so much younger than him, he's not going to pursue her himself. Instead..."
I knew what he was going to say before he said it. My stomach twisted itself in horribly tangled knots and I felt understandably nauseous.
"And he knows that I actually know 'Umeko', so he wants me to…" He took a deep breath and turned to face me. "He wants me to marry you."
There was a choking, hacking sound, like a wombat that was trying to breath in a vat full of toxic waste. And then I realized that I was making the sound.
"He wants you to what!" This time, I was the one shrieking.
He nodded grimly. "You heard me. He wants me to marry you."
But… But… Oh, god. This is so incredibly wrong. It's so far worse than the time that Kouki had to make love to that lamp pole, and I thought that scarred me for life. This was so much worse, that there wasn't even a comparison. Okay, Yui just calm down. Think this through logically, and try to ignore the horror here.
Koji seemed a little annoyed that I seemed so appalled by the prospect.
What? Like I don't find the idea just as distasteful as he does?
"But… Koji… Just tell him no."
His eyes widened. "What? I can't do that! He'll cut me off… or kill me. Or just generally make the rest of my life miserable. Or something! You don't understand; you couldn't possibly with your normal parents… My father is a demon. He just looks nice and normal on the outside."
My parents? Normal? Hah! A hysterical giggle burbled up. Have I not told him about Ayano and Hayate? Or is he just being melodramatic? But fine…
"Okay, then tell him you'll do it, and then just fail horribly at it. He can't blame you if I – Umeko, chooses someone else, can he?"
"Of course he can! I'm an Oonishi and his son. Failure is not an option! Besides… he knows that if I really try, then I would be able to do it."
Okay, then… Wait, what? His last sentence replayed in my head. What exactly does he mean, "If I really try, I would be able to do it." Because that sounds like he's saying that he could win me over if he actually wanted to, which is so not the case here. Maybe I'm reading into that too much.
"So… he doesn't know how much you hate Umeko? And how much she loathes you as well? And that you could never, in a million years, hope to win her affection?"
Okay, that might be going a little far, but… I thought about it. No, actually that's about right. And it's getting really weird to talk about myself in the third person.
He clearly didn't appreciate my honesty. "Yes, he does know that I don't like you, but he believes that people can learn to love, or tolerate each other. And he fully believes that I could make 'Umeko' fall in love with me." He looked away from me, cheeks turning the faintest of pinks. "Besides, I can be quite charming when I want to be."
The gears in my head refused to turn and try to connect the words "Koji" and "Charming".
"Right… So…" I could feel a headache coming on. "So, besides the fact that your father is completely wrong about that, what are you saying? That you can't not try to win 'Umeko's' heart, because your father would severely decrease the quality of your life to the point where you would become a hollow shell, but you don't want to win 'her' heart, thankfully. But you have to try because your father will know if you don't?"
Even if it's strange talking about myself in the third person, it's still better than saying that he's trying to win my heart. That's just far too disturbing, perturbing, horrifying, weird, alarming, disconcerting, and just plain scary to think about.
He nodded glumly.
Why does it sound like he's only left himself one option? Which would be to try and win me – her –I mean her! Over.
"So, that leaves me with one option," he continued, in the same voice that one would use for talking about various distasteful things, like slugs and dirty laundry, "To win your heart… Or pretend to."
My pulse, which has spiked in horror at the first part of his sentence, slowed at the second. "What do you mean, 'pretend to'?" I asked, really not liking where this conversation was headed.
He turned to face me completely, moving close enough that I probably couldn't run before he could catch me, something that didn't escape my notice, and said, "Exactly what I said, idiot. We're going to pretend to be in love."
And… I think the rest of my brain just collapsed into a pile of flammable goo and spontaneously erupted into flames.
I waited for the punch line, or for him to start laughing or something.
"That is the worse joke that I have every heard," I declared finally.
A vein ticked in his forehead. "It wasn't a joke."
It wasn't? Then… I pressed a hand to his forehead. "Are you sick?"
He slapped my hand away. "No, I'm not sick, you – " With what was clearly a monstrous effort, he cut himself off. "No. I'm saying that we're going to pretend to be in love. It's the perfect solution."
"The perfect solution? In what alternate dimension?" I demanded.
He shot me a look, which I ignored. "Just shut up and listen, will you? Look, if we pretend to be in love, then my father won't decide to kill me, I won't tell everyone that you're Umeko, and guys will stop chasing you, or at least the ones chasing you because you're Umeko. Okay, so it won't stop all of the guys, but it will put off a lot of them, I know it will. Certainly any man or woman who works with or for any of my father's companies, and any companies which wish to keep our business, and any people who actually believe that we're in love. See? It's a win-win all around."
"Yeah," I muttered, "Except for the part where you're blackmailing me and we have to spend time together being civil."
"Just think about it for a moment, if you have enough brain power," he snapped.
I glowered, but actually did as he said. It sounds like a horrible idea. He hates me. I hate him. And… Maybe that's why it would work? Okay, let's think about this. There are hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of people out there right now who are gunning for my heart, which means Minato's company. I have no doubt that a lot of them would give up, like Koji says, but… certainly not the two that I'm most worried about. Akira and Ryo. On the other side, Koji's sort of blackmailing me into this, too. And… Wait a minute. If he's so against me and the idea of trying to win me over, then why doesn't he just tell everyone who Umeko is?
And so I asked.
His response was to shoot me another glare.
Hey, I think I'm getting immune to them! Is that a bad thing or a good thing?
"You don't think that I thought about that? It was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind. But… even if I did that, I have the feeling that you'd… get even more popular. I mean, yes, it would ruin your whole cross-dressing gig that you have going on, but I think people would love that you're hot, actually lived as a guy to pursue your dream, and like sports. Plus, I'm pretty sure Minato Arakaki would still offer his company to anyone who could make you fall in love with them. In fact, I'm sure of it. And… It's not like I want to tell everyone your secret. You did help Suki with the whole acting thing."
Okay, two things with that… Once, did he just admit that he thinks I'm hot, and two… wow. He's not a complete jerk.
"Not that I was saying that you're hot or anything like that. But the general public does, which just shows that they don't have any taste."
And… I retract that previous statement. He's a completely and utter jerk.
A sudden thought struck me. "What about Suki?"
"What about her?" he asked, eyes narrowing.
"Why couldn't she pretend to be in love with me? It would be so much more pleasant spending time with her than you. Would your father really cared which one of you got me to fall in love with you? Or pretend to at least?"
"Jeez, you're stupid. That's the whole problem. Do you remember when Suki kissed you? And she's sweet and… she'd probably wind up actually falling in love with you, and you probably wouldn't and she'd get hurt. So, it's better to do this sort of thing with someone you despise."
Aww… If only he was an eighth as sweet and nice to other people as he is to his sister, he wouldn't be such a jackass.
"I hate you," I said abruptly. For several reasons, actually. Because what he's saying doesn't exactly not make sense, but he's practically forcing me into this, and… I would so much rather it was Suki. At least she's cute and sweet.
"Excuse me?" He sounded homicidal.
Oh no… I just said that out loud. I jumped up and backpedaled quickly. "That wasn't what it sounded like!"
"Yui… If I ever hear you say anything like that again, I will-"
I interrupted before he could continue with his no doubt gory and creative death threat. "Right. I've got to go make sure that everyone's still sane and not missing any limbs or sanity."
Faster than I thought possible, he lunged forward and tried to grab my arm, missing by a fraction, and grabbing the clothes I'd gotten from Shiro instead. "What about what I said? Pretending to be-" he grimaced, "together?"
You know what? I could have really stood without the face there. I hesitated. This sounds like the worst idea that I've ever heard. But…
"We'll talk about it later, okay?" I yanked on the uniform. "Let go!"
"I said no. I'm not leaving until you just agree."
He's nuts. Or really, really scared of his father. Or both. I'm not agreeing to this right now, though.
And then it came to me, the perfect thing to make him leave me alone, or at least startle him long enough to let me go.
Lowering my voice to a purr, I said, "You know, Koji, you seem awfully eager to get me to agree to this… I have to wonder if there's another reason you want me to go out with you."
It worked like a charm. His face turned pink, from anger, embarrassment, or annoyance, and he was startled enough to let go of the uniform, fingers momentarily gone slack.
The second he let go, I took off running. "Sorry, Koji, but I have more important things than you to deal with, namely… everything." I called over my shoulder, sprinting up the stairs.
Unfortunately, I didn't count on him chasing me, which is exactly what he did. "Yui, get back here!"
"No! Leave me alone, darn it!"
I zipped past several guys from my class, and the response was immediate. They jumped up off of their chairs and grabbed Koji, effectively stopping him.
"Hey! What are you doing! Get off of me."
I slowed to a stop, glancing behind me. Oh my…
Three guys had Koji completely trapped, one holding each arm, with another, a rather large guy who I remember was on the wrestling team, who was holding Koji by the back of his neck.
The big guy was glaring down at Koji, who actually had the nerve to glare back up at him. "Let me go. Now." It was almost like a Chihuahua facing off against a mastiff.
The big guy looked towards me. "Yui?"
Wow. I have my own bodyguards. That's awesome.
I smiled at him sweetly, projecting every ounce of cuteness that I possibly could into it. "Thank you. Koji was just leaving, I think. He just forgot which direction the door was in."
"Aw…" It was slightly weird to have three rather large and muscular teenaged boys "awing" at me, but I didn't question it.
That's it. I shall harness the power of cute and use it for evil! I mean, good. At least I think I meant good.
And it was a sign of how powerful cuteness was that they didn't even question what I said, no matter how little sense it made.
Koji, on the other hand, was glaring and very clearly knew what I was doing and didn't appreciate it.
"I'll see you later, Koji. I'll call you. Bye, now!" I gave a cute little wave, and then quite deliberately skipped to my room.
Koji's totally going to kill me for that, but I have bigger… or at least more urgent problems to deal with right now.
I halted outside of my room, listening for any odd sounds coming from within. There was nothing.
It's quiet. Too quiet. Something's just got to be wrong.
I pushed open the door, only to come face to face with… Kouki sitting calmly on my bed, eating chips and talking to Shouta.
Wha… The whole situation looked completely and utterly normal. I… I was wrong? Oh. I was wrong. Maybe I don't trust Kouki enough.
And then I noticed something else. I sniffed. There was the distinct smell of something burnt in the air. My eyes narrowed. I knew it.
"What happened while I was gone?"
Shouta looked away shiftily while Kouki started whistling innocently.
Someone should really tell him that that just makes him look even more suspicious.
"Nothing to worry about, Yui. I got it under control," Shouta said, still not looking me in the eyes.
I peered around the room and then stopped. "Shouta… Where's the television?"
There was now a large, empty gap where it had been, not to mention scorch marks on the electrical outlet on the wall.
"It's fine, Yui. There was just… an unfortunate accident. Really, could have happened to anyone. Don't worry about it."
He's just trying not to make more work for me. Such a nice person. And he's right. I don't really want to know what happened.
Kouki was still looking at the ceiling and whistling innocently.
"Kouki, stop that. It makes you look more suspicious. Now, I got the uniform. Go to the bathroom and try it on. And don't mess it up! I had to sell part of my soul for this."
The last comment earned me an odd look, but, thankfully, he obeyed and disappeared into the bathroom.
I collapsed into the spot he'd just vacated. "Why is everything so complicated, Shouta?" I asked, voice on the verge of a whimper.
"Probably because you're trying to keep up the persona of a male by cross-dressing at a prestigious school while also having a secret life as an internet idol," he said honestly. I whimpered, and he patted my shoulder reassuringly. "It'll be fine… probably. Maybe. I mean, with a lot of luck it-" He stopped when he noticed my eyes becoming hollow and dead looking.
Thankfully, Kouki chose that moment to come back. I gaped and felt a sense of hope. The uniform fit him almost perfectly, just a little long in the legs, and he looked….
"He looks just like you," Shouta said in a slightly awe-filled voice. "I mean, if you grew a few inches and gained some weight, but still. The resemblance is kind of freaky. Even people you knew would have trouble telling you two apart."
This could actually work. I might be able to get through this without anything horrible happening.
I launched myself at Kouki, hugging him. "You look perfect!"
"Thanks… Now can I take this wig off? It's kind of itchy."
I nodded, and ten minutes later, I had my brother back, dressed his own clothes and face makeup free.
"Great. You'll stay here tonight, and then tomorrow morning, I'll reapply the makeup, and you can go and take my place at the physicals. After that, come right back here, and I'll get you out of the outfit. We'll dispose of the evidence of our deception and then you'll be free to go, Kouki," I said, making up a bed on the floor for him.
He glanced at the bed I'd made, and then lay down on mine instead. "You made that sound really shifty."
"Kouki… I'm a girl who's using her older brother to not be found out cross-dressing at an all boys' school. How can that not sound shifty?"
He thought about it. "Fair point."
"Now, bed. I want you rested for tomorrow. There can't be any mistakes."
After a brief battle trying to get him off of my bed and only the floor, I gave up and took the floor instead while he giggled like a five year old who'd gotten the last piece of candy.
I still seriously doubt that we're related sometimes. The fact that we look so much alike is just a coincidence. Or maybe the aliens who left him here genetically altered him so that we'd look like brother and sister, even if we aren't.
Finally, the light was turned off, and the room plunged into darkness. I snuggled into the blankets surrounding me.
Tomorrow just needs to go well, and everything will be fine. That's just one little thing. That's not too much to ask for, is it? I shivered at the sudden cold breeze that washed over me, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Why… do I have the feeling that a cloud of inescapable doom is hanging over me?
I drew the blanket over my head and closed my eyes, trying to block out both the feeling that the next day would bring my doom and Kouki's snores.
Morning came slowly, way too slowly, since I'd been up before the sun had risen. I'd come up with approximately seventy-two different ways that something could go wrong.
These are not happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Like kicking Koji, or eating pocky or something… Kicking Koji probably shouldn't be a happy thought.
I glanced at the clock again, and then stood up, moving to stand over Kouki. "Kouki, time to get up."
No response came, other than him continuing to lie there like a log.
"Oi! Kouki! Get up! Do not make me give all of your ex-girlfriends your new phone number… and home address!" It worked even better than dumping cold water on someone.
His eyes flew open, and he fell out of bed, trying to scramble to his feet but instead getting his legs tangled in the sheets, cocooning himself. "I'm up! I'm up! There's no need to do that!"
I refrained from snickering… barely.
Half an hour later, after I'd worked make up magic and Kouki had put on the uniform and wig, I was once again staring at my taller and marginally more muscular doppelganger.
I took a deep breath. Okay, this is totally going to work. Totally. Because there's no reason that someone would be cheating on a physical anyway, so the doctors wouldn't really have any reason to be suspicious. Sort of.
I smoothed down Kouki's uniform one more time, saying, "Okay. Now, just follow Shouta's lead, okay? I can't go with you, since it would be really weird if there were two Yui's running around, but Shouta should be able to take care of everything."
Hopefully. I have faith in Shouta.
Kouki waved away my worries. "Relax, Yui. It'll be fine. I'll see you in a little."
Why do I immediately get worried when he says that it'll be fine?
He ruffled my hair and stepped out the door, while Shouta gave me a reassuring hug and followed him, and then I was alone, staring at the door and wondering how badly everything was going to do wrong.
What am I thinking? Nothing's going to go horribly wrong. Or at least, not everything is. I can totally put my entire future in Kouki's hands. It'll be fine… I'm doomed.
Whipping back around, I grabbed a hat off of the floor and tucked my hair up under it before racing out the door.
I really need to keep a disguise with me at all times, but this will have to do for now. Hopefully, no one recognizes me.
Thankfully, there weren't many people out and about, and the few that were there paid no attention to a lone person shiftily wearing a base-ball cap, and running, AKA me.
Okay, we were all supposed to report to the infirmary for the physicals, so that's where I've got to go, without anyone seeing me, which means that I can't really take the hallway to get there. Umm… What on earth do I do? I really should have thought this out more.
Maybe I should just go back to the dorm and believe that Kouki can get through this on his own… Not. That only leaves one option.
I trotted around to the side of the building and looked upwards at the infirmary. It was on the third floor, for some reason that I couldn't fathom, since what if someone had a broken leg or something? The window was open. Glancing around in what was probably a highly suspicious manner, I made sure that there was no one around, and then began to climb the drainpipe.
What on earth am I doing? Something completely and utterly retarded… but I have the horrible feeling that something even worse and stupider than what I'd doing right now is going to happen.
I pulled myself up farther, wincing as one of the metal struts cut into my hand uncomfortably.
Just a little more…
Catching the edge of a ledge with the toes of my shoes, and curling my fingers around the windowsill, I managed to at least semi anchor myself in place. The window was already open, and I could hear faint voices from within the room.
Slowly, I raised my head to look over the edge of the sill. My eyes widened, and I made a choking sound as I squeezed my eyes closed and pulled my head back down.
I'd caught one of the boys from school right in the middle of an examination. It wasn't like I hadn't seen guys mostly-nude before, because of the changing rooms, but I had somehow managed to learn to keep my eyes fixed on the locker the entire time, and to almost always manage to change when no one else was there. This… wasn't like that.
I pressed my too warm cheek to the rough material of the building.
That wasn't good. Uwaah! I feel like a peeping tom now. Okay, I just need to listen for Kouki's voice. That's all.
Unfortunately, that wasn't nearly as easy as it sounded, and I would up poking my head up over the sill twice more because they sounded like Kouki.
I don't think my blood pressure can take much more of this. And do they really need to be that thorough in the examinations? I don't think I'll ever be able to look at those guys the same way again.
My ears perked up.
Now that really sounded like Kouki.
Slowly, I peeked up again over the window ledge. This time, I was met with the sight of a fully clothed, thankfully, Yui-look alike, AKA Kouki.
The doctor peered up at him. "You look awfully familiar. Have me met before?"
Say yes, Kouki, say yes!
"Yeah, we have."
"Ah, yes. You're that extremely girly looking boy who cross-dresses in feudal era women's clothing. My, you seem to have had quite the growth spurt. Good. You look less like my niece now," the doctor said, reaching for a pair of gloves.
Kouki just stayed silent, confused looked and apparently unsure what to say.
Probably best that he stays silent. I shook my head slightly, trying to ignore the bead of sweat dripping down my cheek. It was abnormally hot, and hanging on the side of a building in the sun wasn't helping.
Then, the door of the infirmary opened, and a woman who looked vaguely familiar poked her head in the door. "Doctor? There's a call for you, and Dr. Matsuda will be here in a moment to relieve you."
The doctor's hand reached mid-grab for the gloves and he blinked before shuffling to the door. "A call? It's probably my bookie… Thank you, my dear." And, then, without another word to Kouki, he left.
The woman gave a little exasperated look, and said, "Another doctor will be here in a moment to continue your check up."
Kouki just nodded, still looking slightly confused.
Nooo! Noooooo! Why is this happening? The doctor is so out of it that he actually thought Kouki and I were the same person. He didn't even look at my chart. But this other doctor might actually be sane. I don't like this at all.
"Pst," I hissed from the window. He didn't hear me. "Pst!" I hissed, louder this time.
His head whipped around in my direction, and green eyes bugged out. "Yui? What are you doing?"
"Keeping an eye on you," I said.
He whistled. "I don't know whether to be insulted that you don't trust me at all, or admiring for your dedication to this farce."
Before I got a chance to warn him to be careful, he grinned and said, "But don't worry. I've got everything under control." He stepped back, leaning his arm casually on the wall.
And then everything went to hell. There was a slight swishing noise, and then I watched in horror as Kouki's wig was pulled off of his head from behind, a grinding noise filled the air, and then a sputter. He clasped his hands to his head a way that would have been comical, if my entire future didn't depend on what was happening, and whipped around.
My heart sank through my stomach and down my right leg onto to fall onto the hard concrete meters below and turn into a pile of useless, squishy goo.
It was painfully obvious what had happened. When Kouki had leaned back, his long fake hair had gotten caught in the blades of a fan, becoming wound around and entangled with the motor. The fan had broken, apparently, and the now mutilated wig was hanging limply from the fan. The whole thing was smoking slightly.
I whimpered, and I felt the remainder of my sanity shatter into itty-bitty pieces.
I'm doomed. I'm so totally doomed. I don't have a back up plan for this… and why does life hate me? I swear I didn't do anything bad! I didn't really. I think this just must be a case of mistaken identity. Someone out there has my name or chakra signature or something and they're completely evil, and I'm getting all of the retribution that should be theirs. And…
Kouki turned back around slowly to face me, and gulped. He looked scared, terrified, and generally extremely worried, but, to be fair, I probably looked crazed and livid with a touch of insanity and weepiness.
"Don't worry, Yui. I can totally fix this," he said quickly, tugging on the wig to try to get it loose.
It didn't budge.
He tugged again, and the entire fan went crashing to the floor, quite possibly more tangled than ever.
He stared at it. "Shit."
Indeed. What do we do now? I mean, he can't take the physical like this! Okay, Yui, just calm down and try to think about this disastrous mess calmly. He doesn't look nearly enough like me. We'd need to go get a new wig and then come back. Do we have time for that? Maybe. But it's the only choice, besides just giving up and telling everyone that I'm a girl.
I opened my eyes, not realizing that I'd shut them in the first place, and said, "Kouki, the fan. You've got to get it out of there. If someone sees that, they're going to know something's up. Get rid of it."
"Okay, I can do that!" He grabbed the fan and, after stalking over in my direction, threw it out the window, over my head.
I yelped, almost losing my hold on the windowsill. "Are you nuts?"
He blinked at me. "But you said to get rid of it."
"I mean hide it in a closet or something!" I shrieked quietly. I glanced behind me. The fan had landed in a tree, half hidden by leaves, and looking extremely out of place.
This is just going from bad to worse. Okay, now I need to get Kouki out of here.
And then I heard one of the scariest sounds imaginable, given the current situation. Footsteps, and they were coming closer.
Okay, this is no time to panic. Keep calm, keep calm… Panic! This is definitely time to panic.
"Kouki, get out of there!"
He scrambled out the window, keeping a tight, white knuckled hold on the windowsill, and then hung there next to me, looking more than a little panicked and quite upset.
I didn't even consider that this plan could go this badly wrong. I mean… wow.
The door opened, and a middle-aged man who looked exactly how a doctor should walked into the room. "Mr. Suziki? I'm sorry for the delay, but I'm here to-" He stopped abruptly upon seeing an empty room, and looked around. "Hello? Is there anyone here?"
Not unless you count the two people currently hanging from the window. Okay, now we need to get down from here, get a new wig, come back before physicals are over, and come up with a really good excuse for why he… I… whoever left.
And then, to my ultimate confusion, the door opened again, and someone answered. "Right here." And it was me saying it, even if it wasn't. It was my voice at least.
What the… But… I'm right here. So, how am I answering the doctor?
But there was no mistaking it. It was my voice I was hearing.
Kouki apparently agreed, because he was staring at me. "Yui, what's going on?" he whispered.
I have absolutely no idea. The only reasonable thing I can think of is that I've finally gone insane, but that doesn't really work, because Kouki hears the voice, too.
Slowly, ever so slowly and carefully, I poked my head up to see what was happening in the room. Two figures came into view. One was the doctor, and the other was… me. There was no mistaking it for anyone else. It was most definitely me that I was seeing, same slender build, same long black hair, same face.
What on earth is going on here? It's a… changling! My life has been taken over without my knowing, and now I'm going to be replaced by an android… or maybe there's a more reasonable explanation for this? I tried to think of one and failed completely.
The other me was speaking again. "Sorry, I just stepped out to go to the bathroom. So, time for the physical, right?"
He… it? Even sounds like me!
Kouki's eyes, if they had been wide before, now looked in danger of popping out of his head. "Yui… what is going on?" he asked urgently. "I swear I didn't eat any of those special brownies, so why am I hallucinating?"
He… what? I am so going to have a talk with him about this.
"I have absolutely no idea. But I do know one thing, we need to get out of here. If anyone looks out the window, we're doomed. Come on, Kouki," I whispered, slowly moving my toes from their perch and moving over to the drain pipe, muscles protesting loudly.
Ow. Ow. Ow. I'm never doing this again.
I shimmied down the pole with jerky movements before landing on the ground with a muted, "oomph."
Kouki followed me with a much less graceful landing that involved a lot of arm waving and somehow winding up on his butt.
I tugged on his arm. "Come on. We've got to get out of here."
He let me drag him, probably not wanting to question me because of the crazed look in my eye, back to the dorm.
A couple of minutes later, he was once again devoid of make up, and dressed back in his regular clothes from the day before. "Yui…" I knew what he was going to ask and answered.
"No, Kouki, I don't know what happened."
"No, I'm pretty sure it's not an alien."
"No. There's nothing more than you can do. You can go if you want to."
He stared at me. "How-"
"How do I know what you're about to say? Because I know you."
He just stared at me a moment more before muttering, "You so got mom's genes."
I… I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not.
Still shaking his head, he stood up and hugged me before stepping back. "Right. That was… really, really weird. Is it like this all of the time in your life? No, wait. Don't answer that. I don't think I really want to know. I think I'm going to just go, but…"
I signed, grabbed a piece of paper from my desk, and scribbled a phone number on it before stuffing it into his hand. "Yeah, yeah. Here's Nanami's number. Now, don't say I didn't warn you that she's totally going to eat you alive. And if you tell her about me, I'm totally going to murder in the most painful and torturous way that I can think of." I paused, and then to soften the death threat added, "And... thank for helping me, Kouki."
He walked to the door. "No problem. You can call me again if you need help. I'd say try to keep out of trouble, but that doesn't really seem like a possibility. Bye, Yui."
For the second time that morning, I stared at the door blankly, wondering what the heck had just happened. I glanced at my watch. It had only, surprisingly, been around ten minutes since I'd seen the other me.
What should I do? I want to know what on earth is going on, but at the same time… it might be better if I didn't question why I have a doppelganger walking around. A doppelganger who's apparently actually a guy. But… I grabbed the baseball cap off of the bed again, twisted my hair up, and crammed it on my head. He's probably still there.
Determined, I set off, once again, for the building.
Okay, but this time, I'm not going to climb up the side of the building. I'll just wait for the imposter to come out.
I eyed the front of the building and then areas to hide around it. There wasn't much, except for the bushes and trees that made up the beginning of the miniature forest that seemed to surround part of the school.
I stepped closer to a particularly bushy… bush, and then paused. It was groaning.
Please tell me I haven't started having auditory hallucinations. That's going to be the last straw.
The bush sighed.
Slowly, and ever so carefully, I crept closer and peered over the top of the bush. I seemed to be doing a lot of peering over things today.
Lying on the ground, back propped against the trunk of one of the trees, was a guy. He had delicately curling reddish gold brown hair that was just long enough to pull back into a ponytail with bangs swept to the side, pale skin, a strong, if pointed, chin, and a nose that was just slightly too short to be called elegant or regal, but it was close. He also had grey eyes, which were surprised and looking right at me.
He's… so pretty! And obviously foreign, but… just really, really pretty. I think I'm looking at the definition of a pretty boy. I can't even call him handsome.
Then, another thing caught my attention. He wasn't wearing Seikou's uniform, but instead a pair of jeans, a white shirt, and a vest over that.
Not a student, then?
"Hi…" I said slowly, "Can I ask why you're hiding in the bushes?" It seemed like a reasonable question, considering the situation. I decided not to mention that I had been just about to do the same thing.
"Erm… Well, I was walking by this school, not this one, but the one next to us? And then all of the sudden I was surrounded by all of these girls and they started squealing and trying to hug me and it was quite possibly one of the scariest things that's ever happened to me, so I ran, and… wound up here." Even his voice was soft sounding and kind of pretty, but accented.
And… Fan-girl's strike again. I can totally see why they jumped him, though.
He spoke again, this time voice slightly suspicious. "Why were you looking in the bushes?"
"Because I was wondering why the bushes were groaning and sighing," I replied bluntly.
He let out a sigh of relief. "Oh. Good. I was afraid you might be one of those fan-girls."
I feel extremely insulted. "Do I look like a girl to you?" I demanded.
He stared at me. "Aren't you?"
"No! I'm a dude!"
More staring occurred, and then finally, "Seriously?"
I refrained from gritting my teeth. It think my psyche must be really warped if I'm actually getting annoyed at being mistaken for a girl when I actually am a girl. I should be happy that I don't actually look like a guy. I think. Does that logic even make any sense?
"Yes, I'm a guy. See the uniform? Seikou's an all guys' school. And like you're one to talk! You're almost as girly-looking as I am! Maybe more so, actually."
He wasn't really, but it was a close thing.
Now he looked annoyed. "I am not! I – Wait, this is Seikou?"
I blinked at the sudden change of topic, but nodded anyway.
Suddenly, I heard a familiar sound, a sound that send shudders and shivers down my spine. It was the chirping, chattering, squealing sound of… fangirls.
Before I knew what was happening, the guy had pulled me down to the ground behind the bushes and clamped a hand over my mouth. "Shhhhh!"
I obeyed, holding absolutely still and resisting the urge to bite his hand.
"Well, that was certainly worth the effort," a girl giggled.
A dreamy sigh answered her. "Totally. It was a good idea to bring that ladder. There's no way that we would have been able to get those shots without it."
"I know," a third voice, one that was far too familiar, said, "I love physical day. All of those boys taking off their clothes and…"
I paled. It was Miyo's voice.
She continued. "It's too bad that other boy got away. He was super cute!"
Oh, god. Hide me. Hide us! I'm so afraid her super bishonen ESP is going to point her in our direction.
"I know! I really hope he lives nearby. I haven't seen him before, though… He's not as cute as Yui, though."
Thank you? I think…
Another disagreed. "I don't know, Yui's really sort of beautiful, and Yuuki's super cute, but this guy had a certain something-something, too. I mean, just… wow."
There was a chorus of dreamy, and yet somehow definitely deranged, sighs that made me want to run for the hills screaming.
Then, suddenly, to my horror, they stopped.
"What's wrong, Miyo?"
"I don't know… but it's like I can sense someone's nearby…"
I knew it! She does have bishonen ESP! We're doomed, doomed I tell you!
"You're just imagining things. Now, come on! I want to get this pictures developed as soon as possible."
"Yeah, so you can drool all over the pictures," the girl who had first spoken joked.
The voices were getting fainter now, clacking heels and giggled disappearing into the distance. When the final sound of their depravity faded away, I slumped forward in relief.
That was too close. Running into one is bad enough, but a group of them is just asking for trouble.
"That was too close," I tried to say, only for it to come out more as a pile of jumbled mumbles.
Pretty-boy still had his hand over my mouth. I tapped his hand, and raised an eyebrow.
Can you please remove your hand from my mouth?
He flushed, embarrassed, and drew his hand back. "Right. Sorry about that. I just really, really didn't want to get caught by them. You said this is Seikou, right? An all boys' school? Are they even allowed to be here?"
"No, not really."
There was silence as we stared at each other, and then I said, "Well, now that we've bonded over this life threatening drama, what's your name?"
"Niel. And you?"
It was his turn to raise an eyebrow. "Yui as in… the Yui that they were just talking about?"
"Well, I can see why. You are pretty."
I… is he coming on to me? In any other circumstance, I would have said yes to that, but the manner in which he said it was just so straightforward that it didn't seem right. It was like he was just stating a fact.
And then he seemed to realize that he said and waved his hands in front of him furiously. "I didn't mean that!" His face turned horrified when he realized that now he was implying that I wasn't pretty. "I mean, I did mean that, but I didn't mean anything by it!"
I stifled a snicker. He is so incredibly cute. This is better than TV.
Several babbling sentences later, he ended with, "Do you know what I mean?" in a desperate tone of voice, as if hoping that I wouldn't take offense and throw him to the fan-girls.
I nodded. "Yep. I knew what you meant in the beginning."
His worried look morphed into a glower.
I ignored it. I glanced at my watch. Whoever had been playing me had probably left the building by now, escaping while I was distracted with groaning bushes, pretty boys, and fan-girls. Great. Just great. Well, at least this means that "my" physical is over, so I don't really have to hide or anything.
I pulled the cap off of my head, letting out a happy sigh as my hair fell free, loose and cascading over my shoulders. That's so much better.
Niel was looking at me again. "Yep. No wonder you have fangirls all over you. You can't blame me for thinking that you were a girl, though."
No, I guess I can't. Especially when I actually am a girl.
"Fair enough. So…"
He seemed to realized what I was curious about and said, "Oh. Yeah, I'm a student here. Sort of. I mean, I will be. I'm a transfer student."
A transfer student? At this time in the school year? That's a little weird. I had the distinct feeling that I shouldn't ask about it, though, so I didn't. I really didn't need my life getting even more complicated. Right.
I peered through the bushes, and, seeing no fan-girls in sight, stood up. "Okay, the coast is definitely clear. If you're a transfer student, then you probably need to go see the student admission office, right? Do you know where it is?"
He stood up, too. He was quite a bit taller than me, although that wasn't really saying much, maybe about the same height as a certain idiotic, if good hearted brother of mine, and slim, almost delicate looking. He scratched his head sheepishly. "Ummm… No. And I have a really bad sense of direction. It's a complete fluke that I found the school. Do you think you can point me in the right direction?"
I pointed two buildings over at a large one made of white-washed bricks. "It's right there."
He blinked, and then smiled. "Right. I think even I can manage to get there without getting lost."
I smiled back automatically, "Good. Then maybe I'll see you later? I've got to go find out why I have a doppelganger." I held up a hand before he could ask. "Don't ask. You seem like a nice, normal person, and… you just don't want to know."
He actually snorted with laughter when I said that he seemed normal, but nodded and gave a half wave. "Alright. See you later, then."
Should I be worried that he seemed to find it funny that I thought he seemed normal? Naw. Not like it could affect me. And… I feel like I just cursed myself now. No. I don't want to think about it.
I shook my head furiously, stopping in time to see Niel disappear into the aforementioned building.
What type of name is Niel, anyway? And how can he speak practically flawless Japanese? It's only slightly accented. I mean, it's so obvious that he's not. Eh. None of my business. For now… I need to go and see the one person who knows everything that goes on in my life and might know what's going on.
Three minutes later, I found myself in front of Yuuki's door.
Before I even knocked, Yuuki's voice called out, "Come in!"
Uh huh. So, either he heard my footsteps, or he's using his demonic powers, or he's got some sort of camera installed that shows who comes to the door. I'm voting for the second, although I suppose the third could be an option, too.
I opened the door and inside found Yuuki, dressed, to my consternation and surprise, in a suit. It was a soft grey and looked expensive enough to pay someone's mortgage for a month or two. Not only that, but his hair was… blonde.
I stared at him for a while longer until I realized that I was staring. And then I blinked and stared some more. "Yuuki, what's going on?"
The shifting of someone on the bed caught my attention, and I glanced over, only to find my eyes widening even more at the figure on the bed, now waving jauntily at me, and all thoughts of why Yuuki was blond and dressed like a businessman flew out of my mind.
It was me, or the other me, the doppelganger.
"You!" I yelped, pointing at him.
"Yep. Me. Hi there. It's nice to finally get to meet you, Yui," the other me who wasn't really me said, except this time, while he still looked like me, he didn't sound like me. His voice was much lower.
I… I… I have absolutely no idea what's going on, and I think my brain's melting, and…
I turned back to Yuuki. "Yuuki… please explain before I do something drastic that will need police intervention and possibly anti-psychotic drugs to fix happens."
He had the nerve to giggle and beam at me. "Isn't it obvious?"
Maybe to your twisted and highly complicated evil mind, but certainly not to mine, no.
He continued. "Well, I knew that the physical was happening, obviously, and when you didn't come to me for help, I knew that you were going to take care of it yourself, or attempt to. And, of course, I knew that was going to end up being a complete disaster, so I arranged to take care of everything. Yui, meet Motoki Mifune, aspiring actor."
Aspiring… actor? So… My head was throbbing as I tried to figure out what had happened. Yuuki had everything planned out the whole time, so it was completely unnecessary to do anything that I did. Buying the wig, getting Kouki to help me, clinging to the side of a freaking building, all of it was for nothing? Because he… had the foresight to realize that I would fail in a horrible way. I'm not sure whether to be angry at him for not telling me that he had everything taken care of, since I'm positive that he only let me continue for the pure pleasure of watching me fail, or to hug him for being the evil little demon that he is and knowing what would happen and taking care of it. It's sort of a toss up, but…
I reached out and wrapped my arms around him, hugging him tightly. "Thank you so much, you evil little bishonen."
Being mad at Yuuki doesn't do any good anyway, it's kind of like trying to stay mad at a kitten who just scratched your curtains. It just doesn't work.
He just grinned. "You're welcome. And, really, what sort of friend would I be if I let you get caught?"
I nodded, but the more I thought about it, the odder it seemed.
I know Yuuki's almost all-powerful, but… he couldn't have had very long at all to find someone who looks exactly like me, unless… He's had someone who looks like me on speed dial for a long time?
"Yuuki... Why do you have an actor who looks just like me?"
He just giggled. "Well, for occasions like this, of course. You know, just in case something went terribly wrong."
"Uh huh… And how long have you had someone who could probably pretty easily take over my life in your employ?"
"It's been about three months now," Motoki offered, immediately falling silent at a glance from Yuuki.
I feel… extremely perturbed. Yuuki's smile wasn't making me feel any better, either, and neither was the fact that there was a half-packed suitcase on the bed. Okay, you know what, I'll grill him about the fact that I don't really find it comforting that he has a double of me just waiting around to step into my shoes in a minute. Right now, I want to know why he's suddenly blond and looks like a different person.
"Yuuki, why-" But I didn't get to finish my question as the door opened, and an oddly familiar person walked in.
It was Niel. He seemed just as confused as I felt. "Yui? What are you doing here? And… Yuuki, why are you blond? And… Yui… why are there two of you?"
Well, that just about sums up everything I wanted to know, too.
Since I didn't have an explanation, we both turned to Yuuki expectantly.
Motoki continued to lounge on the bed, expression showing only mild interest in what was going on.
Yuuki sighed as if he was disappointed, if not surprised, that we couldn't figure out what was going on, and then brightened up. "Oh, so you two have already met?"
"Yes, we bonded over escaping from fan-girls."
"Great! That'll make this even easier for me."
I… really don't like how that sounds. At all.
"Yuuki, explain," I demanded.
"Yes, yes. I was getting to that! You see… A business venture of mine sort of… Let's just say that there are a few complications, and I need to leave Japan for a little bit while it cools down. But, I promised my good friend Niel's parents that I'd look after him while he was in Japan. Unfortunately, I can't do that, so, Yui, I need to ask you a favor. Not a very big one, but it's important to me. Could you please look after him while I'm gone? I shouldn't be gone very long, just a month or so. I mean, it probably won't even take that long for the lawyers to find loopholes and patch up any legal problems. Plus, by that time, my… associates… should have sufficiently terro – I mean, discussed any remaining problems with the people I'm doing business with, and everything should be back to normal," he said, ending with a smile and the loud "snap" of his suitcase closing.
I, meanwhile, was trying to figure out what on earth he was talking about.
First of all, there were way too many pauses in his little speech where he was trying to find more politically correct and less violent words to use. Second, this is extremely sketchy, and I'm getting progressively worried, and, third… I really don't think that it's a good idea for me to be "looking after" Niel. My life is too weird. It will corrupt him, I swear! And I'm still confused as to why Yuuki's now blond. Oh… New identity, right. This doesn't really sound like a minor thing. What on earth did he do?
He cut me off with a sudden hug. "No asking me what happened. It's not that I don't want to tell you, but it's for your own good. So, will you look after Niel for me?"
Probably seeing that I was about to refuse, his eyes widened and started to glisten and he pouted. "Please, Yui? Pretty please?"
That's no fair! He can't use the puppy-dog face to win any argument like that! This has got to be illegal or something.
"I… Fine," I catapulted, slumping. "But don't blame me if he's mentally scarred when you come back."
Niel just stood there, looking worried and a little confused. "Do I get a say in this?"
Yuuki smiled, "Nope."
Motoki laughed from the bed. "This is so much better than television."
Hardy har har. You wouldn't say that if this was your life. Although, he is kind of involved in it. Why is it that people think it's funny when they realize how messed up my life is? Maybe, deep down, everyone is just slightly sadistic. Yeah, that would make sense. I can totally see it.
Then, suddenly, the Imperial March, Darth Vader's theme, filled the air, and Yuuki whipped out his cell phone.
That is so incredibly fitting…
After a moment of listening intently, his expression turned serious, brows drawing together into a frown. "Thank you for informing me. Do you have the airport covered? Good… No, don't worry about it. I can manage. Mhm. I'll see you there." He sighed. "They really are being annoying about this."
And then he turned to me. "Yui, I don't suppose you have anyone with a car who could arrive at short notice?"
My something-disturbing-is-about-to-happen senses are tingling.
"Yes…" I answered hesitantly.
"Great! Could you call them and have them meet us as soon as possible in front of the school?" He raised an eyebrow when I didn't move to get out my phone.
"Yuuki, what is going on?" I asked quietly.
I'm actually getting really worried.
He flapped a hand at me, and said flippantly, "I already told you! And don't ask for details. I told you that it's better if you don't know."
I didn't move, and then he sighed, grin slipping slightly. "Yui, just call your friend, okay? Please?"
Slowly, I nodded. I really don't like this.
I punched in a very familiar number on my phone and waited.
It was answered immediately. "Yui? What's up? Please tell me you don't need help again already," was Kouki's answer.
"I'd tell you that, but… then I'd be lying, so, yeah. I need help again. Or, rather, a friend of mine needs help, and he kind of controls my life, so that means that I need help. How quickly can you be in front of the school?" I asked, ignoring the groans on the other side of the line that made it sound like he was dying.
"I don't know… ten minutes?"
"Great, you do that. I'll see you in a little." I hung up before he could protest again, and turned to Yui. "Okay, done. What now?"
"Now, I put my back up plan into effect. I thought they might do something like this," he said, and then turned to Motoki, "You see that bag next to my bed? Take it and go to the bathroom. You'll know what to do." Motoki obey with a sloppy salute and disappeared into the bathroom, leaving Niel and I looking extremely confused and Yuuki dialing another number on his phone.
"Hi? Can I have a taxi brought to Seikou Academy in like five minutes? Perfect! Thank you so much!"
A taxi? But… didn't he just ask me to ask Kouki to give him a ride? I opened my mouth to ask and then paused. Do I really want to know?
Yes, you do, Metoo answered.
But… Yuuki said that I shouldn't know any details.
True, true. Maybe it's best just to stay his oblivious little puppet. After all, if you actually knew anything, you might get kidnapped again, like what happened with Masao but without the odd love triangle-octagon thing you have going on this time.
How… do you get from me asking Yuuki why he needs a taxi to getting kidnapped?
Because it's your life, came the rather unflattering answer.
Great. I sighed and glanced around.
While I was talking to myself, Yuuki and Niel had moved off a little bit and were now talking in low voices in the corner.
Yuuki didn't look too happy, but he was obviously the calmer of the two.
Niel looked like he was starting to freak out.
What on earth is going on? I strained my ears and was only rewarded with a few partial sentence fragments.
"… can't do it! You promised the…"
"… Get caught…"
"… Won't happen. Yui will…"
The door to the bathroom opened, and Yuuki walked out.
I did a double take. Wait a minute, Yuuki's talking to Niel, so who… Are you serious?
It was Motoki, but now he looked like Yuuki. His features were still more like mine, but since Yuuki and I looked a bit alike, it really didn't matter. He might not be able to fool Yuuki's mother, but it might have fooled Shouta. Motoki now had shorter light brown hair and was wearing a pair of grey skinny jeans with a shirt that had the image of a skeleton bunny on it.
He beamed at me in a distinctly Yuuki fashion and chirped, "Hi, Yui!"
I shivered. He sounded exactly like Yuuki. This is just getting creepy. And weird. Or weirder, at least.
"Perfect," Yuuki proclaimed. "You look more like me than I do!" He glanced at his watch. "Okay, just let me change, and we can get this show started!"
Feeling apparently no shame or self consciousness whatsoever, he slid out of his suit, jacket, shirt, and pants, giggling when my face, and Niel's, turned red.
Motoki, on the other hand, wasn't affected. I was beginning to wonder if he was actually human.
I choked as I saw what Yuuki was putting on. It was a dress. In fact, it was a very pretty green dress that went to his knees with a prim white collar and buttons down the front. I watched in morbid fascination as he tied a ribbon in his hair and then did a twirl.
"How do I look?"
Like one of the students from Seisui, and not like a boy at all.
Niel seemed to be frothing at the mouth with confusion and embarrassment.
I patted him on the shoulder. "It's okay, I have no idea what's going on, either."
"But you're taking this all so well!"
"That's because I'm broken inside."
He didn't look particularly reassured by my answer.
Yuuki grabbed a purse from his desk, an actual purse, and slung it over his shoulder. "Okay, let's do this. Niel, you stay here and get settled in. I'll contact you when I can, and stay out of trouble. Yui? Motoki? You come with me."
And that was how I wound up walking down the hallway with a smiling cross-dressing Yuuki hanging off of my arm.
I think I must be insane. There's no way this is actually happening. I pinched myself as hard as I could and winced. Okay, I'm awake. This is not good.
As we walked in front of the common room, a guy whistled, "Wow. Nice going, Yui! 'Bout time you got a girl. Although, I can't say that Kaito's going to be happy about this. Or Professor Arakaki… Or that delinquent guy. Or that actor… Or any of the members of your fan-club…"
Yeah… nice going, Yui. You know, if I was really a guy and I didn't have a guy wearing a dress pretending to be my date. And… why does he know so much about my extremely messed up love life?
I ignored him and Yuuki's far too feminine and natural sounding giggle.
Once we were outside, I asked, "Yuuki… Please, for the sake of the small amount of sanity that I have left, please tell me what's going on. Or at least what's about to happen."
"Well," both Yuuki's, the girl one and the fake one, answered and then exchanged glances and baby-shark like grins.
"We're just going to have a little bit of a diversion," the real one answered, or at least I thought it was the real one.
Right, because that clears everything up.
I looked towards the front of the school and saw two cars waiting there, one taxi, and the other a very familiar car with Kouki sitting in the driver's seat.
I glanced around. Shiro, along with Kaito, were walking towards us.
No! No no no no no no no! I cannot deal with this right now.
"Sorry, I can't talk right now," I yelled back as Yuuki pulled me towards the cars.
As we got closer, I could see that Kouki wasn't alone in his car. In fact, it was full.
What on earth…
Nanami sat in the front seat, with Miyo, Shizu, Noriko, and Leah in the back seat, somehow all squished in together.
How exactly are we supposed to fit in there?
I stared, and he shrugged non-apologetically. "What? I was taking them out, and you called me back." His eyes shifted over to Yuuki, and his jaw dropped. "You have a girlfriend?"
Idiot. Really? He's my own brother and he thinks that I have a girlfriend?
Yuuki, on the other hand, didn't seem at all put out at the fact that there was no room for us, because, at that moment, two more cars pulled up. One was driven by no other than Takumi sempai, and the other by… Hayate?! And Ayano was with him, looking resigned, if fond, while he babbled cheerfully.
He caught sight of me, and beamed. "My baby!"
Oh, good lord…
Meanwhile, Shiro and Kaito had caught up with us, and Kaito was frowning. He'd caught Kouki's words. "You have a girlfriend?"
I feel like crying. No, I don't have a girlfriend! And, since he was talking about the person currently hanging off of my arm, then technically it would be boyfriend anyway, and…
Real Yuuki grabbed my arm again and hauled me, with surprising strength, off towards the car that Takumi sempai had driven up in.
Less than a second, or so it seemed, later, I was in the back seat, but, somehow, so were Shiro and Kaito. Yuuki was in the passenger's seat, and I was pretty sure that at some point Motoki had gotten in the cab.
"Alright! Yui, get your brother on the phone, now!"
I obeyed without question. There wasn't enough of my brain functioning at this point left to question him. "Kouki?
"Yui, what the heck? You call me back, and now you get into a different car? What are-"
"Shut up," I mumbled tiredly and then glanced at Yuuki questioningly.
"Tell your brother to follow our car."
"Kouki, just follow our car, okay?"
"…okay?" he answered, only it sounded more like a question itself.
And, with that, Takumi sempai started up the engine and drove off with a squeal of burning rubber. There were several more squeals after it. I glanced through the back window. Kouki was indeed following us, but then so was the cab… and Hayate.
What is he doing?
I must have spoken out loud because Yuuki answered. "Of course he's going to follow us. He just saw you get into a car driven by a boy with two other boys and me."
Kaito, who had been staring at Yuuki this whole time finally said, "Yuuki?" in tones of disbelief.
Yeah, now I'm not the only one confused. How do you like it?
"Why are you wearing a dress? And blond?"
"It's necessary. Don't worry about it. I look good, huh?" He struck a pose and I just managed not to choke.
Kaito and Shiro were just staring at him, apparently not sure what to say to that.
He pouted. "You're no fun. How insulting. If a lady asks you that, you say yes!"
This has gone beyond the realm of disturbing and now is somewhere between "I think that I might have possibly ingested several dozen different types of hallucinogenic mushrooms or someone spiked my tea with psilocybin, mescaline, and LSD" and "Oh, god. Everyone's gone insane, and my nightmares are coming true. It's just a matter of time until the giant blue mole appears". He just referred to himself as a lady. I don't care if he's joking or not. It's just not right. Now when he looks so much like one right now.
Finally, Shiro turned to me. "Do I want to know what's going on?"
I hesitated. "I don't think so, but I don't know what's going on either for the most part, and the parts that I do know I wish I didn't."
Takumi sempai look an abrupt right, and I somehow wound up in Kaito's lap, causing me to turn pink, Kaito to grin, and Takumi sempai to scowl and turn suddenly to the left, which only resulted in me being tossed to the other side of the car, directly onto Shiro.
Yuuki was outright cackling by now, and Kaito looked annoyed while Shiro looked, even with his minimal facial expressions, undoubtedly pleased.
Furious honking came from behind us, and I recognized it as Hayate's.
Takumi sempai turned around, around a corner that should probably have been taken at half of the speed, and Yuuki nodded to me. "Tell your brother to split. He's free to take the girl's wherever he wants."
I obeyed him, too tired and confused to either argue or ask what was going on anymore, earning a "what!" from Kouki.
I glanced out the bad window again. The taxi and Hayate were still tailing us.
Kaito spoke up. "Takumi, take a right up here." He did, and suddenly I found myself back on top of Kaito, who was once again grinning.
"Left," Shiro said simply, and I was back on Shiro's side as Takumi sempai obeyed.
Takumi sempai glanced in the mirror again and finally seemed to catch on to the fact that he hadn't been being ordered to turn left or right because of the route to wherever we were going, but because of me flying around the backseat, and scowled.
I'm getting dizzy somehow.
Yuuki was still giggling, and it was made even more disturbing by the fact that he was dressed as a girl. I heard him mutter something that sounded suspiciously like, "This is so going to become a new chapter."
Right. Evil. That's the only word for it. I'm starting to think that if I look up "evil" in the dictionary, I'll see a picture of Yuuki smiling.
I glanced behind us again.
There was only one car now. At some point, Motoki had split, and now we were just being pursued by a very angry looking, and apparently wailing, Hayate.
What is he even doing here?
Takumi sempai jerked the wheel to the right again, and I wound up, not just on Kaito's side, but actually on his lap. Before I could get thrown to the other side again, Kaito wrapped an arm around my waist, securing me firmly in place. In his lap. I could feel warm, firm muscles against my back, and counted slowly to ten.
I will not blush. I will not flush. I will not turn pink or red or anything like that.
Then, Kaito slouched down slightly, resting his chin on the top of my head, and his other hand came up to wrap around me possessively, too.
I felt heat spread across my cheeks. No wonder that people think that we're a couple.
From across the seat, I could see Shiro looking at us, face blank, but somehow looking vaguely annoyed when Takumi sempai turned left yet I stayed in Kaito's lap.
"Kait-" My voice decided that it was the perfect time to crack, and I tried again. "Kaito, what are you doing?"
I think it's been so long, that I'm not actually used to him doing this anymore.
"Just making sure that you're not tossed around back here," he murmured back, sounding far too pleased with himself.
"I could just put on the seat belt," I pointed out.
I could feel his lips spread into a grin from where they were pressed against my hair. "I like this better."
My breath hitched. Breathe, Yui. Don't forget to breathe.
Thankfully, I was saved from answering, or trying to, because the car came to a sudden halt.
"Okay! We're here," Yuuki said, sounding slightly relieved.
I looked out the window. We were at the airport.
He was really serious. He's actually leaving Japan. I felt a little numb as the thought soaked in.
He continued, scowling cutely, somehow, as he saw that Hayate had almost caught up with us. "Yui! Why is your dad so determined? How did he even keep up with us?" he whined.
I sighed. "I have absolutely no idea. I think it may have something to do with the power of fatherly love… and the fact that he saw me get into a car with two guys and a girl clinging to me. He's probably thinking the worst right now."
Not probably, definitely.
Yuuki almost looked impressed, but then he shook his head, grabbed a bag from under his seat, and hopped out of the car, gesturing imperiously and impatiently for me to follow. "Come on, Yui!"
Me? Why? And am I really going to question him right now? Nope.
I scooted over off of Kaito's lap and out the door, away from an emotionless Shiro, smugly grinning Kaito, and scowling Takumi sempai.
"Kaito, Shiro, Takumi, stall Yui's father and anyone else who you think might be after us as long as you can, okay? And, Takumi? I'll call you when I touch down."
Before Takumi sempai could say anything, Yuuki bent down and pecked Takumi sempai on the cheek through the window before turning around and saying, "Onwards!"
I followed him, although, honestly, it was odd to think about him as a him when he looked so much like a her, into the airport.
Oddly enough, the first place we stopped was the women's restroom. I didn't say anything. It wouldn't have done any good, and this was probably the most normal part of my day anyways.
He vanished into a stall, and I was left standing by the sinks, listening to the sound of sliding fabric, and Yuuki's humming.
I can finally say that I have absolutely no idea what's going on. I mean, usually I know a bit about why people are chasing me or why craziness is going on, but… this time the craziness doesn't even have to do with me. Sort of. Okay, it does, but indirectly. The thing this morning certainly did, but apparently Yuuki keeps a double of me around just in case of emergencies, so… yeah.
My thoughts were interrupted by something hitting me in the face. Sputtering, I stared at it and then yelped loudly, dropping it to the floor. It was large, hair, and…brunette? It was like the wig that Yuuuki had just been wearing, but longer and more feminine.
How many wigs does he have?
"Put that on. And this," he said, tossing a rather short red dress over the top of the bathroom stall. The material was gathered over the bust and had short puff sleeves.
I hesitated, and then, grumbling, grabbed the wig and dress off of the floor before slipping into the stall next to him and repressing a sigh.
What am I doing?
Helping a friend in need, Metoo suggested.
I think this is a little beyond the realm of what friends normally do for each other. So far beyond. But, if Yuuki really is in trouble… he's always helped me when I was. I mean, granted, it's been in his best interest to, but still. I'll do whatever it takes.
Hello everyone... I survived finals. It was a horrible quarter, but I'm alive! Note to everyone in college who's a science major. Never, EVER, take organic chemistry, physics, biology, and a four unit history class at the same time. EVER. Sorry it's been so long since I've posted a chapter, but hopefully you guys like this super long one!