Under the Right Circumstances…
Disclaimer: FoR does not belong to me etc, etc.
Note: I was in the middle of a Fuu+Mi fic when I decided to take a break and write something different. It's turning out to be longer than I expected, though. I'm hoping to finish this ASAP (which is why it might seem a bit rushed) and then get the Fuu+Mi fic done in the next few months. Not promising anything though, with my own pile of assignments to do and all :)…
On another note, I'd like to thank those who took the time to read and review my other fic, especially Kitsune-Megami for giving me my first ever review and Kaze Yurei again for telling me to turn off that signed review thing *embarrassed laugh*. I might be interested in writing a continuation of "A Moment's Reflection" (thanks for that idea Kurei) but I dunno when tho. Anyway, have fun reading.
Chapter 1: The Assignment
Ganko found her big sister Fuuko having a snack in the kitchen when she got back.
"Hey! How was school?" the older girl asked as she munched on a sandwich.
Ganko grinned back as she dumped her bag on the floor and pulled up another chair at the table. "It was great, Fuuko-neechan. I beat up a boy for laughing at me when the teacher wasn't looking, and another one at lunchtime when he tried to bully this little kid."
"Wow! Good job, Ganko!" Fuuko said in admiration, "At this rate, you'll be even stronger than I was at your age."
The little puppet-master turned pink with delight at the praise. There was no way she'd ever be stronger than her big sister. Nor did she want to. To her, Fuuko would always be the strongest female fighter in the whole world.
"Got any homework?" Fuuko asked, breaking into her thoughts.
Ganko's smile disappeared. She'd completely forgotten about it. "Our science teacher gave us an assignment today…" she said slowly.
"You got an assignment?!" exclaimed Fuuko. "I never heard the word until I was in junior high! When I was nine, all we did in science was cut out paper skeletons!" She was genuinely outraged, but managed to control her temper to ask, "What on earth do you have to do?"
"We have to perform an experiment and then write a report on it."
"Oh," Fuuko said, relieved, "well there are tons of books on that sort of thing in the library. We can just pick out a simple one no prob."
Ganko shook her head. "But I want to do something different, Fuuko-neechan. Something nobody will think of."
"Oh… do you want some help thinking up one?"
Ganko looked down at her lap. It was her first assignment and she really wanted to come up with an idea herself, but at the same time, she didn't want to hurt her big sister's feelings.
Fuuko sensed the little girl's internal struggle and smiled. "Hey," she said, "it's okay to say no. I understand."
"'Course! I remember wanting to do stuff by myself when I was little. You know I'll always be here if you do need help." Then she winked, "Just don't do anything illegal, okay?"
The next day, Ganko still didn't think of anything. She was so worried about it that she got into trouble six times for not listening in class and didn't even react when Kenji (the boy she beat up for teasing her yesterday) made a jibe about her name [ganko = pigheaded/ stubborn in Japanese].
Her panic level went up a hundred notches more when she was walking home. She had to think of something now! Then she could plan it out for the rest of the day to be prepared for tomorrow and Sunday, if needed. And when Monday came around, she would be one of the first to hand it in to the teacher personally. The trouble was… she couldn't think of anything!
Ganko turned as a high voice called out her name. A brown-haired boy around her age ran up to her, panting slightly. It was Kenji.
"What?" Ganko said in an unfriendly tone as she balled her hand into a fist. "Come to tease me again?"
"No," Kenji said, shaking his head vigorously, "I was just wondering if you thought up something for the science assignment yet."
"What's it to you?"
"I'm just wondering."
"What if I haven't?"
"Then would you like to pair up with me?"
Ganko looked at him, surprised. "What?"
Kenji shrugged. "You know, sensei said we could do it individually or in pairs. Just thought we could do it together."
Ganko eyed him suspiciously. "Why?"
"Well, we're both smart, so if we combine brain power we'll definitely think up something great!" Kenji replied, grinning. "I promise I won't tease you while we're working together. Deal?" he stuck out his hand.
Ganko weighed up her options. There was the library with the thousands of experiments she could choose from or she could still try to produce an original assignment... with a little help.
"Deal," she said, shaking Kenji's hand.
"Wow, he's pretty cute," Fuuko whispered to Ganko as they waited in the living room.
Ganko went red. "He's not my boyfriend, Fuuko-neechan," she insisted, "he's not even a friend. We're just…"
"…here on business." Fuuko finished for her teasingly, "I heard you the first time."
"Could you make sure Kondo doesn't come and disturb us?"
"Already done," Fuuko said brandishing a key, "I locked him under the staircase."
"My mum said it was alright," Kenji said, suddenly emerging from the kitchen, "but I have to be home by six."
"That should be enough time," Ganko said.
"Now, you two go on and do what you have to," Fuuko said, smiling, "I'll be out of the way down here. Don't be too shy to yell if you need anything."
"Come on," Ganko said, quickly hustling Kenji up the stairs before Fuuko said anything embarrassing. She slid open her bedroom door and threw down her school bag.
"Neat room," Kenji said, looking around. He sat down on the seat she pulled out for him. "You know, that's a pretty neechan you have."
Ganko smiled. "Yeah, I know."
"So… does she, you know, have a boyfriend?" he asked, a bit embarrassed.
Ganko scowled. "What if she doesn't?"
"What?!" Kenji almost yelled. "But she's so cute!"
"I know," she agreed, "it's just that Fuuko-neechan doesn't seem interested."
"My butt she's not interested! If she had them all banging on her door you'd be surprised at how interested she'd become!"
Ganko sighed. "It would be interesting to see how she'd react…" she stopped as a thought struck her. "I wonder if human experiments are legal?" she said slowly.
Kenji stared at her silently for a while. "If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then it'd be more like an experiment to study human behaviour, and I think that's alright."
The two looked at each other.
"It'd be hard…"
"But with the two of us, not impossible."
"Let's do it."
Author's note: Hmm… seems a bit unbelievable how they both thought of the same thing at once, but hey, I'm trying to get to the good bit :). So how'd you guys like it so far? Great idea? Bad idea? Please speak your minds by getting those reviews in.
On the next chapter, a little something on Fuuko's past…