Hey, so you may have noticed that this fic disappeared for a few days. Here's what happened. I've been working closely with an actual survivor of childhood sexual abuse on this project and a mistake on my part led to her asking me to take it down. However, I've received permission to put it back up and continue writing. Thanks for your patience!
Ryuko Matoi looked up from her watch just barely before her best friend tackled her to the sidewalk. Ryuko was usually able intercept the excessive gestures of friendship but things had changed drastically. The Life Fibers in the world and in herself that gave her extraordinary strength and speed had begun to fade since she destroyed the Original Life Fiber and defeated Ragyo Kiryuin.
'Ragyo Kiryuin…', the knowledge that the remarkably villainous CEO of REVOCS clothing company was her birth mother all along did not really bother Ryuko in the heat of battle, but now that Ragyo was dead and the world was safe from the threat of Life Fibers there was nothing left to do was think. And the more she thought, the more she was disturbed by what she was put through; and now the very thought of her mother sent a shiver down her spine.
"Ryuko-chan!" The calling of her name brought her back to the present.
"Ryuko, let's go! Satsuki-chan's waiting for us!" Mako grabbed her hand and started dragging her down the street.
'Satsuki Kiryuin…' Ryuko smiled warmly at the thought of the stern-faced girl. She came to Honnouji Academy carrying a single scissor blade on her back, convinced that Satsuki had killed her father and had the other half. It turned out that that could not be farther from the truth. Satsuki was not just innocent of murdering her father, she had been planning Ragyo's assassination for years… and she was also Ryuko's biological sister.
"…Eh, Ryuko-chan?" It suddenly occurred to Ryuko that Mako had been talking to her the entire time.
"Um, yeah…" Thankfully Mako did not notice that Ryuko had spaced out and carried on talking. Ryuko decided to stop thinking and just enjoy her date with her friends.
"What do you want to do today, Ryuko-chan?" Ryuko was about to reply when Mako froze in her tracks, cocked her head to the side, and pointed to a woman down the street. "Isn't that Satsuki-chan?" Ryuko opened her mouth to dispute this but stopped herself when the woman gracefully tucked a strand of short, black hair behind her ear. As they approached her it became certain that it was, indeed, Satsuki.
"Satsuki-chan!" Mako called to her as they closed in. Ryuko swallowed hard as the young woman turned her head in their direction. There was no doubt it was Satsuki but she looked very different from what Ryuko was used to, and it was not just the short haircut. She was wearing a white blouse and a long blue skirt; she even had a purse slung over her shoulder. This was drastically different from the long-haired, kamui-clad, sword wielding Satsuki that Ryuko was familiar with.
"Satsuki, your hair!" It seemed as though Mako was just as shocked, as she began poking and prodding at Satsuki's hair and clothes. Ryuko just looked her up and down, still in disbelief. She was taking in the girl from bottom to top until she looked up at her face and their eyes met. Ryuko quickly looked away and buried her hands deeper in her pockets, hoping that Satsuki had not noticed her staring, even though she most likely had.
"Yeah, I figured it was time for a change…" Satsuki ran her hand through her freshly cut hair and all Ryuko could think about was how badly she wanted that to be her own hand in her hair; then looked away again when she realized how creepy she was being. This was her sister, after all (something she had to keep reminding herself of); the fact that they were not raised together, or even knew they were related until recently, did not excuse… Excuse what?
"Let's go eat!" Ryuko and Satsuki fell in side by side behind Mako as they made their way down the street. Mako was monologuing loudly about the food vendors that lined a particular street of the city, which Ryuko assumed they were heading towards.
"How are you, Ryuko?" She looked over to see Satsuki glancing over at her with the faintest smile. Mako was talking more to herself than anyone else so she did not notice the conversation starting behind her.
"Um, I'm okay…" She could feel herself starting to blush, so she pulled her red scarf up a little higher. "How are you?" Satsuki's faint grin turned into a very visible, warm smile.
"I'm good…" This only made Ryuko blush more and she turned her face away, hoping that Satsuki would not notice, when she caught a glimpse of an unmistakable group of people duck behind the wall of a building a block to her right.
"We're here!" Mako took off down the street of vendors. Ryuko looked over at Satsuki but her focus was down the street in front of them. Though Ryuko was sure she saw them, too, she shrugged it off and spent the afternoon with her friends eating, laughing, and taking pictures together (and trying to ignore the familiar figures ducking behind walls, bushes, and other obstacles). The sun was setting as the trio descended one of the city's many staircases.
"Uwa! I'm so full!" Mako exclaimed, patting her stomach with her free hand (the other hand carried a large bag full of food). "I don't think I'll ever eat again!" Ryuko laughed louder than she meant to. If she knew anything about Mako, it was that that statement could not be any farther from the truth. Ryuko was mid chuckle when she walked into a pole and fell backwards onto her behind. Though when she opened her eyes, rubbing her buttocks and gritting her teeth, she realized it was not a pole, but rather Ira Gamagoori's enormous, muscled leg.
"Hey! Watch it!" Ryuko barked, but it did not seem like he even noticed her bumping right into him. He was blushing and looking down at the flowers, wilting from being crushed in his giant hand; his hair was combed back and he was dressed in a fancy white suit. Ryuko looked down to see that he was accompanied by the other three members of the Elite Four.
"Well, what a surprise…" Satsuki greeted her long time friends as Ryuko picked herself up off the ground.
"What are you talking about? They've been following-" Ryuko gasped and froze mid sentence when Satsuki suddenly slipped her hand under Ryuko's jacket and placed it on the small of her back. She looked up at her sister with a redding face but Satsuki was looking forward and smiling as if she was doing nothing.
"M-M-M-Mankanshoku…" Gamagoori stammered, his face becoming increasingly red.
"Come on!" Nonon Jakuzure whispered harshly as she jabbed him in the shin with her elbow. Ryuko was not sure he even felt it.
"Gamagoori-san!" Mako rushed over to hug him but was blocked by his outstretched hand, gripping the flowers in a nervous stranglehold.
"M-Mankanshoku! These plants are for you!"
"Wow, I had no idea his game was so weak…" Uzu Sanageyama leaned to the side to whisper to Jakuzure with a sad grimace on his face; Houka Inumuta's face was buried in his hand. Mako, of course, was oblivious to the awkwardness of Gamagoori's display and his obvious nervousness (he never looked up from the ground).
"Gamagoori-san! Thank you!" Mako happily took the flowers from his firm grip and help them to her chest.
"Mankanshoku!" Gamagoori bowed as low as he could, his arms plastered straight to his sides. "Please have dinner with me!"
"Eh? But…" Mako looked back at Ryuko, furrowing her brow in uncertainty.
"Go ahead," Satsuki encouraged, sliding the hand she had on Ryuko's back farther onto her hip, "I'll take care of Ryuko." Ryuko swallowed hard, the unusual affection leaving her speechless. Mako did not seem to notice Ryuko's predicament because she smiled and turned back to Gamagoori.
"I'd love to! I'm starving!" She took one of his enormous fingers into her hand and Ryuko finally found her voice.
"Didn't you just say you were full?"
"Oh Ryuko," Mako waved her hand dismissively, "You should know that Mankanshokus are never full!" Ryuko felt silly that she had forgotten but she was very distracted by Satsuki's touch. "Bye, Ryuko-chan! Bye Satsuki-chan!" Mako waved goodbye as she walked down the street with Gamagoori, still being followed by the other Elites whispering dating advice to him. When they were out of sight Ryuko managed to come to her senses and pull herself out of Satsuki's embrace and glared at her sister with narrowed eyes.
"You're behind this aren't you?" Satuski grinned in the direction where her friends disappeared.
"I have no idea what you're talking about…" She turned around and made her way back up the stairs with Ryuko in tow. "Gamagoori has strong feelings for Mako-san. I'm happy he gained the courage to pursue her…" Satuski stopped at the top of the stairs and turned around to find Ryuko gritting her teeth and clenching her fists. To her surprise, Satsuki chuckled at her, "I haven't seen you look at me like that in a while." Ryuko blushed and relaxed before Satsuki continued, "But I guess this does work for us… We've never really gotten the chance to talk."
Ryuko looked down at her feet, climbing the stairs beneath her. She was right, they had been through so much together (finding out they are sisters, killing their mother, etc) and yet they hardly knew anything about each other.
"Yeah…" They walked in silence until they came to a tall apartment building in the upper level of the city. Satsuki led Ryuko into the elevator and pressed the topmost button. They exited the elevator to a fancy door directly in front of them. Satsuki slid a key into the lock and opened it.
"Where are we?…"
"I got this apartment in case anything happened to the Academy…" Ryuko grimaced sadly for her sister's sake as she recalled the tower, where Satsuki lived, at the Academy falling over after their final battle against Ragyo.
"Welcome back, Lady Satsuki." Satsuki's elderly butler greeted them with a tray of tea. Satsuki nodded in greeting.
"We'll take that in the living room, Soroi." The butler led them through the hallway and into a large room with walls painted the lightest shade of blue possible and was decorated with white furniture. He placed the tray on the coffee table between a love seat sofa and two armchairs. He took Ryuko's jacket and beckoned her to sit on the love seat before pouring two cups of tea and handing one to each of the girls.
"Is there anything else I can do for you, Miss?"
"No thank you, Soroi," Satsuki smiled warmly at her butler, "Go home and try to convince your nephew to stop working for once." The butler smiled back and bowed.
"Thank you, Lady Satsuki. Miss Ryuko, your jacket will be hanging in the the closet by the front door." He bowed to Ryuko, too, before leaving, closing the living room door behind him. Ryuko looked back to Satsuki who had already finished her cup of tea and was pouring herself another. Ryuko felt like she should say something.
"So… You live here now?" Ryuko tried to take a sip of her tea but burned her lip on the scalding liquid. She wondered how Satsuki was able to down a whole cup in seconds.
"Only until Honnouji Academy is rebuilt…"
"You're rebuilding the school?" Ryuko looked at her with disbelief.
"I know things at the Academy were harsh-"
"That's an understatment." Ryuko recalled how her brief time at Honnouji Academy was primarily spent fighting various clubs and rescuing Mako from crazy club presidents and their strict rules and tendencies to take her hostage.
"I know things were harsh…" Satsuki started again, "But it was necessary… Remember, I was trying to build an army capable of standing up to Life Fibers. However, it did fill a niche for many students who would have been nothing otherwise. Yes, the previous system only filled this niche only for the strongest and most capable while leaving the weak to suffer but the new Honnouji Academy will be different. It will be an actual school, not a military academy."
"Are you ill or something?" Ryuko was so used to the Satsuki that referred to people as 'pigs in human clothing', she was having a hard believing that any part of her actually cared about education for the masses.
"I know what it's like to not have a childhood, Ryuko." Satsuki briefly glared at her sister over her teacup as she brought it to her lips. "Young people need a place where they can explore their interests. That's why we have schools." Satsuki got up and went to the window. The apartment had an impressive view of Honnouji Academy, now in ruins. "Young people need a place to get away from the adults at home. How can children become adults if they never get to be children?…" Ryuko shrugged and looked down into her cup of tea.
"I never really liked school…"
"That's because you didn't have someone like Ragyo waiting at home…" The image of the nightmarish woman standing in the doorway of her father's house sent a shiver down Ryuko's spine. Satsuki came back to the table and sat down on the couch next to Ryuko, finished her tea, then set the empty cup down on the tray. "I never really liked going home…"
"Yeah, I guess I can imagine…" They sat in silence for a minute as Ryuko held her cup to her lips so she wouldn't have to be the one to continue the conversation. She kept peering at Satsuki in the corner of her eye, waiting for her to say something but she just stared directly forward at the large painting of a white snowy mountain on the wall behind the arm chairs. Ryuko almost choked on her tea when she felt something on her thigh. She looked down with wide eyes, surprised to find Satsuki's hand sliding up her thigh. "O-Onee-chan!"
"Ryuko!" She looked up in time to be met with Satsuki's lips against hers. Ryuko was frozen in place, her eyes stuck wide open staring at Satsuki's tightly closed eyelids. It felt like hours had gone by before Satsuki pulled away just enough to whisper against Ryuko's lips, "I'm sorry, Ryuko… I don't want you to be my sister… I want…" She was interrupted by Ryuko pressing her lips back against hers. She wrapped her arms around Satsuki's waist and pulled her closer.
'What am I doing?…" The question repeated over and over in the back of Ryuko's mind as she pulled Satsuki tighter to her and deepened the kiss, letting herself slide onto her back. 'What am I doing? She's my…' Satsuki's hands had found their way under Ryuko's white t-shirt and were delicately caressing her waist, while Ryuko's hands had found the top button of Satsuki's blouse.
'What am I doing? What the hell am I doing?…" Ryuko had her blouse unbuttoned and sliding off her shoulders when Satsuki started kissing and licking her neck. Ryuko buried her hands in Satsuki's freshly short hair. She had been waiting all day to do so and she was not disappointed. It was so soft in the back and very satisfying to touch, like running her hands through flour.
'What am I…' Satsuki unzipped Ryuko jeans and Ryuko tightened her grip on her hair. 'What am I…' Satsuki slid her hand gracefully into Ryuko's underwear. 'What am I…'
"How is it? The pleasure of being worn by Junketsu?"
"Stop!" Ryuko bolted straight up and shoved Satsuki off of her. The memories that she had suppressed were flooding her consciousness all at once.
"You and I are the only people in the world who can feel this pleasure." Ryuko curled up in the furthest corner of the couch and held her head in her hands. She could still hear their voices and feel their lips on her skin, their hands on her body.
"Enjoy it to the fullest." Ryuko was shaking and her breath caught in her lungs. She could feel herself starting to slip.
"You should be able to understand how I feel now." Her vision was growing dark.
"Hey Ryuko! Hurry up and show us! We want to see you looking your best." She could faintly hear a panicked voice calling her name as she fell unconscious.
"Ryuko? Ryuko?" Ryuko slowly opened her eyes to find Satsuki hanging over her, her expression dominated by worry and sadness. She must not have been out for more than a few seconds because someone as logical Satsuki would not have sat there on the couch waiting for her to wake up if she were out for much longer than that. "Ryuko?" Satsuki slowly extended her arm to brush her face with her hand but Ryuko quickly pulled herself up and away.
"I- I'm okay! I'm so sorry! It's not you! Really! It's-"
"Ryuko!" Ryuko had never seen Satsuki look so panicked before. Ryuko swallowed at the thought of breaking her heart. "Ryuko, I need you to listen to me and I need you to answer truthfully…" Satsuki's blouse had finally fallen off her shoulders and was hanging on by her arms. Ryuko had never seen her look so vulnerable but at the same time she could see anger beginning to show in her eyes. Ryuko took a deep breath and prepared for the worst. "When you were captured… Ragyo… she…" Satsuki looked Ryuko up and down, she was fighting back tears and so was Ryuko. "She did, didn't she?…"
Ryuko could not hold back any longer. She hid her face in her hands and sobbed. She had no idea what to say or do or even if she was real. At that moment, she sincerely hoped she was not real, so that she would not have to deal with the fact that she was raped by her mother and half-sister. As depressed as she was, Ryuko's heart sank even further when she came to a sudden realization.
"Wait… How did you know that… that…" Satsuki looked away from Ryuko and let a single tear fall to her lap.
"I was ten when it started… After I came home from the boarding school… I was to conquer Japan for REVOCS and she wanted to make sure I would stay… loyal… I'm sure she'd already been doing so with Nui for years… So… every time I was summoned home she…" Ryuko did not think her heart could sink any farther.
"S-Satsuki…" Ryuko threw her arms around her and held her tight, resting her chin on her shoulder. "We'll move on. We'll get strong together. We'll move on…" Satsuki wrapped her arms around Ryuko and pressed her face to her ear.
"Ryuko… Moving on is the hardest part…"