Author: Rabid Lola PM
Exactly how much do Natsumi's friends value her? One-shot, a random idea.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 2,488 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 3 - Published: 06-04-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1893350
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Get Backers Fanfic by Rabid Lola
Disclaimer: I don't own Get Backers. I'm happy enough watching it. :D
A/N: Rated PG for language. Mwahaha.
Three crows shot up, into the sky, and sped off in three different directions.
One, brave bird, went to get a tall, gothic looking man, clothed all in black, a wide-brimmed hat pulled low over his forehead.
One tapped at the window of a cheap apartment. The green-haired, tanned occupant looked up from what she was doing, grabbed a helmet, ran out, locked the door, and sped downstairs.
One flew in front of a cruising 360 Ladybug, zipping past the windshield and into the window, and causing the blond occupant to exclaim and the urchin-headed one to curse.
Moments later the door of the Honky Tonk crashed open. The three crows sped in, followed by Akabane, Himiko, Ban and Ginji, in various states of disarray.
Ban voiced what the four were collectively thinking. "Monkey trainer, you'd better..."
He fell silent, for once. So did the others, when they saw the looks on Shido, Kazuki, and Paul's faces. Hevn and Madoka were also there, equally solemn.
"Shido? Kazu-chan? Master?" Ginji asked tentatively.
"I think you should listen to this," Kazuki said softly.
It wasn't his usual soft, gentle voice. It was soft and dangerous, and angry.
They'd never seen his calm face so clouded before.
Shido and Paul held the same stormy anger.
Hevn's arms were crossed, and even Madoka was obviously incensed.
Before them, lying on the counter, was a disconnected speaker. The four newcomers crowded around, curious.
Suddenly, a female voice came clearly through the speaker. "Bitch!"
They reacted. "What the..!." Ban exclaimed.
Kazuki lifted his hand, and in it lay one of his strings. Following it with their eyes, they saw that one end was connected to the speaker while one ran out the door.
He spoke. "Has anyone noticed anything about Natsumi-san, lately?"
"Natsumi..." Himiko said slowly.
Ban raised an eyebrow. "Why?"
Akabane's cool, soft drawl followed. "Nothing that I know of."
"Sometimes," Ginji said slowly. The eyes of the others turned to him. "Sometimes, she seems sad."
"Right," Hevn nodded.
"I asked her about it, once," Kazuki said. "She didn't answer."
"Once, she reported for work and I noticed a bruise on her arm," Paul said grimly.
"I remember that," Himiko said. "She said she got caught on the wrong side of the door."
"But then just yesterday, one of my strings lying around the city picked up something," Kazuki continued. "I thought I heard Natsumi-san's voice, but I wasn't sure. So I connected a string to her today, and waited."
"She might not like that." Ban remarked.
"Some people are bullying Natsumi, now," Shido said in his deep voice. "From the way they've been talking, it seems like they've been cornering her, and bullying her for some weeks now. They're her schoolmates. So far, they've made her drop her groceries, accused her of being high and mighty just because she has a job. I heard several slaps, and a punch, all on Natsumi" The others gasped.
"Shouldn't we go help her!" Ginji said angrily.
Madoka spoke up. "Wait," she said quietly. "Listen."
Laughter, cruel and sadistic, came thorugh.
"Hah! Where are your customers now?" This was a male voice.
"Probably at the café, right now, waiting." It was Natsumi. Not cheerful, as the others normally heard it. Not bouncy. Cold. Steady.
On the other side of the string, Mizuki Natsumi was calmly setting down her school backpack, bending to pick up the fallen groceries. She was surrounded by eight teenagers, five girls, three boys, all schoolmates of hers. All were rumored to be bad, delinquents, several part of different yakuzas.
One of the girls spoke now. "Waiting? Waiting for dear little Natsumi?"
"Exactly what kind of service do you give?" another sneered.
All on the other side of the line stiffened.
"What. Is she. Implying?" Ban asked, a hint of outrage in his voice.
Laughter. "You little slut, do you know how many times your name has been passed around with those regulars at the café?"
Eyes wide, Ginji turned to Kazuki. "Kazu-chan, is that true?"
"I've never heard it until today." the annaiya admitted sadly.
"The regulars," Natsumi said, in the same, cold voice. "Are my friends. Better friends than you could ever find, anywhere. They've never hurt me, or harmed me."
"Of course they wouldn't if you give your services willingly." someone cut in.
Natsumi exploded. "They are more honorable than you'll ever know! How dare you think that they are those kind of men, or that I am that kind of girl?"
"Who's a regular client, Natsumi, is it the guy you call Master?"
Silence. Natsumi chose to ignore them, cheeks flaming, as she bent to pick up the fallen stuff.
Someone snatched a wrapped loaf of bread out of her reach.
"Is it that guy who likes killing people? You always were a little morbid, Natsumi."
"Idiots," Akabane said, irked.
"Give that back," Natsumi said.
"I think we should go," Ginji said softly. No one heard him.
"Is it the Beastmaster? Have you become a boyfriend-stealer as well as a slut, Natsumi?"
A feral glint entered Shido's eyes. Madoka laid a calming hand on his forearm, but her expression, too, flashed anger.
"Maybe she likes the feminine one! The bisexual!"
"I am not. Bisexual," Kazuki said tiredly.
"Guys..." Ginji started.
"Or maybe she's aiming for a female! How about the Poison Lady?"
"Or that Hevn woman!"
"Or Madoka! Then Shido would be mad!"
Vials appeared in Himiko's hands, scalpels in Akabane's. Ban's right arm began to twitch, and Kazuki's hands involuntarily reached for his bells. Hevn's voice dripped scathing rage. "How DARE they talk to Natsumi-chan like that!"
Ginji leapt from his seat, crackling electricity.
"Let's go," he said angrily, power infusing his voice. He strode towards the door...
Ban's arm stopped him.
"Ban-chan, we've waited too long!"
"Natsumi might not like it if we all burst in on her. She'll know, for sure, that we've been eavesdropping." He stood. "Where are they?" he asked Kazuki.
"In the parking lot behind their school."
"Can no teacher hear them!"
"They were only half the day today. Natsumi was supposed to come in for work early," Paul said.
"They called her phone, pretending to be one of her friends and saying they needed help in something. The teachers left an hour ago for a citywide school meeting," Kazuki said.
Meanwhile, the taunting continued.
"Is it the Snake Man?"
"Is it the Thunder Emperor?"
"How far is the school?" Ban asked next.
"Far. We can't walk, but I know where it is." Kazuki replied.
"Leave me alone." Natsumi.
A ripping sound, the thud of heavy books on cement.
Natsumi cursed softly, only loud enough for the string to pick up. "My bag!"
This time, when Ginji ran for the door, Ban followed. "Kazuki, bring that thing."
Akabane, Himiko, and Kazuki raced after them.
Shido turned to Madoka, Hevn, and Paul. "You three, stay here. In the café. We can't leave it empty, and we're bringing Natsumi back here."
He was already out the door, a series of whistles issuing from his lips.
Himiko and Akabane on the motorbike followed Ban, Ginji, Kazuki and Shido in the Ladybug. Kazuki had attached two other strings to the speaker, the other ends finishing in small bells that acted as amplifiers. One was in the Honky-Tonk, the other in Akabane's hand. As they sped on, they listened.
In the parking lot, Natsumi stood and faced the teenagers angrily. They took involuntary steps back, as her eyes blazed.
"I am not a bitch. Or a whore. I do not sell my body, to anyone, for anything.
"Master Paul," she said, seething . "Respects me. And I him. I have no desire for him, nor he for me.
"Akabane-san is a friend. Frightening, but he will not violate me either.
"Shido-san is Madoka-chan's. I would not steal him for anything, even if I wanted to.
"I have no preference for females, or the feminine. And Kazuki-san is only feminine on the outside; he is more a man than your sniveling boyfriends could ever be."
"Go Natsumi," Ban said softly.
"There!" Kazuki cried.
Ban screeched to a halt, in front of the school. Himiko stopped inches away from the Subaru's rear. They leapt out of their vehicles, and ran for the parking lot.
"Midou Ban-sama would kill you for talking as you just did, and I never held any romantic thoughts for him.
This was odd. Natsumi usually called Ginji 'Gin-chan.' Ban looked at Ginji and saw that he was listening intently, and that his cheeks were a little pink.
"Whether I like him or not, you'd better remember that he's more than just a Thunder Emperor..." her voice faltered a little at the start of this, but gained strength. "And you'd better respect Gin-chan for it."
Just at this moment, they all reached the parking lot, yet were still hidden by a wall. They stopped; they'd come up with something on the way.
Ban nodded to Ginji, and Ginji tried to calm down, to look normal.
Then he and Ban stepped out from behind the wall, just as one of the girls shrieked, "It's the Thunder Emperor, he's the only one she didn't have a definite 'no,' for!"
Ginji stiffened. But it was now or never.
"Natsumi-chan!" he called cheerfully.
Natsumi's eyes opened wide with horror.
Ginji pretended not to notice as he strode forward and placed a friendly hand on her shoulder. She looked up, and saw that his warm brown eyes held not the usual amity, but a smoldering, barely contained anger.
"Why are your things all over the floor, Natsumi-chan?"
Ban blew out smoke, then stuck his cigarette back in his mouth.
"Master sent us to pick you up, Natsumi-chan." Natsumi-chan? He never called her Natsumi-chan, unless... he was trying to point out to the teenagers that she was his friend. "He was getting worried."
Suddenly, several monkeys appeared and began picking up Natsumi's books. Shido came. One of the girls stepped back with a slight scream. Several snakes were coiled around his arms, and the lion was padding softly after him.
Himiko appeared, and she and Shido began to pick up the fallen groceries. "Why were you delayed?" she asked. She picked up Natsumi's bag, and handed it to...
Kazuki, holding the speaker.
Natsumi understood, especially when he made a subtle tugging motion and she felt something detach from the back of her collar.
"What happened to your bag, Natsumi chan?" he asked, bringing out strings, preparing to repair the damage.
And lastly, Akabane stepped out of the shadows, scalpels drawn. "Are these people bothering you?"
Two boys and two girls turned and ran.
The remaining boy and girl stood their ground, the obvious leaders of the group.
The boy took a step forward.
Upon reflex, Ginji put a protective arm around Natsumi.
"Who are you?" the boy asked Ban boldly.
"I," Ban said. "Am Midou Ban-sama. By your descriptions, you know me and my companions well."
"How often does Natsumi give you people service?" a girl blurted out.
They all lost their temper, in varying degrees.
"Listen, girl, of all you want to do is spread trash about Natsumi, then you can scratch the idea and get out," Shido snapped.
"Don't talk to my girl that way!" the boy declared.
Kazuki stepped forward. "Never. Ever. Talk about Natsumi," he said icily. "The way you just did."
"Let's get this straight," Akabane drawled. "Natsumi is not a prostitute."
"Nor is she a slut," Himiko said.
"She's not a bitch, or a whore, either," Ginji spoke up.
"And she's never tried to seduce any of us in any way," Ban finished.
Electricity crackled in Ginji's free hand. Himiko's vials appeared, and Kazuki set down Natsumi's bag and drew out his bells. Ban made no move with his arm. He only took one step forward.
The teenagers all turned to flee.
"Stop," Ban said.
They stopped, but did not face them, tensed, ready to run.
"Never gossip about Natsumi-chan, or abuse her, again," Ginji said.
"We have spies everywhere," Shido added.
"And they all know, who are our friends," Kazuki said.
"And who are not," Akabane finished. His scalpels rang softly against each other.
The teens ran.
Silence filled the parking lot, and the others looked at Natsumi, keeping their various weapons. They had only been for show anyway. She couldn't meet any of their eyes.
"How much did you hear?" she asked softly.
"All of it," Ginji replied, equally softly. He removed his arm from around her shoulders, not noticing the slight blush on her cheeks.
Kazuki handed Natsumi her schoolbag, while Ginji took one of the bags of groceries from Himiko. Shido and Ban took the others.
Natsumi glanced up at them and smiled wanly. "Thanks."
Himiko stepped forward, grabbed her hands, and looked her in the eye. "Natsumi, next time, tell us."
"We're your friends," Kazuki said quietly.
"We care." Everyone but Ginji jumped, or stared. This came from Ban, albeit gruffly.
"You're not such a snake bastard, after all." Ginji heard Shido mutter.
Natsumi's lip trembled, and she swept the nearest people--Ginji, Kazuki, and Himiko--into a hug.
When she let them go, there were no tearstains on her cheeks; only a few drops on Himiko's shoulder.
She smiled warmly at the rest, her happiness and cheerfulness back.
"Thank you all...I'm so lucky to have you as friends."
"Can you treat us to coffee?" Ban asked.
He just grinned. "Come on, I'm taking you all back to the Honky Tonk."
It ended up with Himiko taking Akabane again, Shido in front with Ban, and Kazuki, Ginji and Natsumi at the back, the groceries stuffed in with them.
Under the noise of Shido and Ban arguing, Kazuki heard Ginji. "Natsumi- chan..."
A pause. "I heard what you said to those people. About all of us, about me..."
Another pause. Kazuki had to lean forward to stop Shido from pummeling Ban.
Sneaking a look back over his shoulder, Kazuki saw that both Ginji and Natsumi were blushing.
The annaiya smiled...and decided to keep that information to himself.