Greetings to all!
Did you know that there's an urban legend that's floating around on the internet? It states that if one runs into a stagnating community of KamiKoto fanfiction that is abundant on FFnet, one need only to shout, "Help me, Comrade Ferret!". For a person named SilverFang88, captain of the Touma/Mugino ship, will come and aid those who are in distress.
If you never heard of it until now then its because I just made it up.
Spread the word.
Taking a moment, just one moment, to view the environment that was Academy City during its evening hours was something few who lived there did. It was a similar case with most folk who happen to live in concrete jungles much like it in various sections of the world.
Similar in its view, the lights, the movement of traffic, the entertainment venues that only opened their doors after hours. Much like how a person who grew up in the country-side all their life could be left in awe upon seeing how alive and lit up the city was when under the veil of darkness. Yet, at the same time, that same country boy would not view his own environment to be all that impressive since he had lived there most, if not all, of his life.
Such appreciation was rarely displayed by those who come to inhabit such places, but there were times where even those who lived in such a place their whole life could find themselves being struck by a sense of beauty.
Mugino Shizuri was not one of those people.
Beautiful as she was, the lights she created with her powerful ability were not something that left people in awe.
For when one saw light coming from #4's Meltdowner the common emotion to grip a person's heart was fear.
"Tch, honestly, this is such a waste of time." Mugino's visage, in that moment, was contorted in a less than pleasant manner that stood between irritation and boredom. The heels of her boots clacked and echoed as she stalked through the large parking garage as a brilliant green light burst forward towards her next victim. "If you pieces of shit were just gonna run away then you could have at least made it more enjoyable than this."
Which brings us to the other factor that makes Academy City mildly similar to other cities like it. The night life was not always safe, it did not always ensure the protection of the evils that existed in the hearts of men and women. No place could ever claim to be perfect or had absolute safety as tragedy was as a part of life as breathing.
This particular young woman was just one among many who had long been ensnared in such a lifestyle. She had even made a living on bringing ruin to those who stood against her and it was a profitable one as well. That was who she was, that was how she was known to be, and that was the life she had chosen for herself.
But was that all?
Was there more to her character than just another individual who thrived on creating tragedy?
The rhythmic beep from her pocket was what could be described as uplifting in some way. After retrieving the device from its confines several emotions flashed through her eyes at such a rate that it was difficult to distinguish them all. While deciphering those same emotions would be a chore in the heat of the moment, her expression told a much simpler story.
"You three can take care of the rest, I have an important appointment that I can't miss tonight."
The three other young women didn't even get a second glance from her as the Level 5 that was Mugino Shizuri began dialing a number on her phone. Likely calling for a pickup from the subordinate organization that usually took care of the clean-up after ITEM's jobs were completed. While this wasn't something many would call odd behavior, the girls present were far from satisfied with the Meltdowner's casual dismissal of herself.
This wasn't the first time either, in fact this form of departure had been an recurring theme for the better part of a month now. And between Frenda, Kinuhata, and Rikou, it was starting to become concerning.
"Basically, I'm starting to wonder if this 'appointment' is the same one as the one from last week."
Unsurprisingly enough it was Frenda who voiced her thoughts first among the three remaining members of ITEM. She already knew that, whatever it was Mugino was doing, she wasn't looking to have anyone accompanying her. A fact made painfully clear the first time Frenda had tried to tag along only to receive a fist to the head courtesy of the #4.
"...it is...I think...probably."
Rikou's statement, while indecisive, did receive a few nods from the other girls in her company. By all accounts it was too coincidental for it to not be the same thing. The likelihood that it was a person to which the Meltdowner was meeting was not an elusive thought to any of those present.
"I think tonight super confirms that she's been meeting someone these past couple weeks." Again two ladies present nodded in agreement to the statement made by one of their own. Saiai may have only voiced what each person present had assumed, however she was not for the notion of just leaving it at that. "I say we check it out and see what, or who, this super secret appointment is all about."
"B-b-basically, are you out of your mind Kinuhata!?" Said girl proceeded to violently shush her due to the abruptness and volume of the response. She almost failed to heed the girl's warning, the keyword being almost, but her tone did become more hushed than before; albeit it was still fierce. "You saw what she did the first time I tried to go with her! That had been my first offense, it hurt too I'll have you know, so what do you think she'll do to us if she catches us snooping into her business!?"
Sure, Frenda could admit that she was curious and had amused the same thought herself. Although thinking about something and actually doing it were two completely different things.
"Well, technically, it would be me and Takitsubo's first offense. We would get off lightly if that's the case and that's on the super assumption that we get caught."
"You're basically throwing me under the bus for the sake of your own curiosity!"
"True, but that just means you would have to be super sneaky."
"Do you not see the danger I'd be putting myself into!?"
"...her signal is below us right now..."
"See, even Takitsubo is curious." Saiai said this whilst hooking one of her arms around the track-suit wearing esper in what could be considered a one-armed embracement. While the gesture of thanks was appreciated, Kinuhata couldn't have been more wrong about Rikou's thoughts on the matter. Not that it mattered since Saiai was adamant about the subject of their leader's off-duty activities. "Come on Frenda, we won't stick around any longer than we need to. I just wanna see who Mugino's meeting up with and after that we can just leave; simple as that."
"Sure, right, because things are just that simple." Was the snarky yet surprisingly astute statement from Frenda who was showcasing a great degree of foresight on this particular matter. "I mean, basically, it's not like your neck is hanging on the balance here."
Again Frenda could admit to herself that she was curious about the mysterious escapades of the Meltdowner. Yet, each time she thought about it, she had to question if the pros for such curiosity were worth the cons if she were to proceed with what Kinuhata was currently suggesting? The nagging urge to find out more was a tempting avenue to explore in her mind, but to go through with it? To shadow the same woman who could turn her into a charred mess if she so pleased.
The mental imagery that was conjured always did carry a de-motivating vibe with it and this instance was no different.
"Come on, don't be a such a super bitch, besides it's not like we all have to leave as a group or anything. If you feel like skipping out at the end, then I won't stop you."
"Basically, stop trying to make me submit to peer pressure!"
"...I think it's working...probably."
"Ye—I mean no, no it's not!" Frenda's arms raised in a cross out in front of her to help further emphasize her claim. "Basically, I'm not going to risk putting my life on the line here. Nope, no way, I won't go and there is nothing you can say that will change—"
"You know, it would be super surprising if it turned out to be something like a secret boyfriend or something."
Something then immediately broke.
"Basically, she's just sitting there."
"Well, obviously, whoever is meeting up with her is super late."
Following the conversation in the parking garage, the three young women made their decision to pursue the woman known as Mugino Shizuri. Of course finding her would have a major hassle if it wasn't for Takitsubo giving them an accurate location of the #4's current location. They had to wait until she was a good ways ahead of the three of them before waving down a taxi to drive them the rest of the way.
Granted they could have done the same thing as Mugino and gotten some subordinates to act as their chauffer but Frenda had advised against it. Her reasons were justified since she didn't want any word getting back to their leader that they were sticking their nose into her private life.
It was a good call on her part and it could be attributed to her self-preservation instincts. Unfortunately she was the one who had to pay the taxi fare as it was her idea in the first place.
"Basically, I still can't believe the price for just a thirty minute drive down the road."
Kinuhata pointedly ignored the grumbling blonde to her right as she continued to keep her eyes peeled on the Level 5's visage.
They were in District 7, their home district, and Mugino was currently seated on a bench outside of a local park. It was almost 7:40pm and the lamp posts that made up the area had long since been on; casting the woman in a yellow glow thanks to the overhanging post she was sitting next to. As far as the shadow group was concerned, they were on the opposite side of the street inside one of the many chains of common convenient stores.
Specifically, they were at the book and magazine rack which was positioned right by the window. It was an added bonus that, since apparently people frequently came inside to read the manga, none of the employees bothered them.
"I think she's starting to get super pissed. Whoever it is she's waiting on must really be running late."
"Eh? How can you tell she's mad? Basically it's hard to see her expression from this side of the road. Plus this window hasn't been cleaned thoroughly enough."
The three of them had already come to conclude that Mugino was indeed meeting with someone, based purely on where she was currently sitting. Out in the open, under the light, and where she could not possibly be missed by someone who was looking for her. As far as expressions go, well, that was admittedly hard to gauge from their current position. Shizuri did have her eyes focused on her phone and her free hand had risen to cup over the lower half of her face.
If there was to be a 'tell' that gave the woman's emotions away it was how her eyes seemed to be narrowed as she stared down at her phone on the bench. Whether or not that was the case was something that could not determine with one hundred percent accuracy.
"Basically, do you think whoever she was supposed to meet stood her up?"
"If so, I almost feel sorry for the idiot."
Takitsubo, unlike the other two girls, was currently more interested in taking a swig of the bottled beverage that she had bought while the other two girls were busy staring out the window. She of course still gave fleeting glances in that direction as well, but only for a few moments before her gaze shifted towards the rack of literature. There were still plenty of students out and about, some doing last minute shopping before heading home as well as a few groups all clustered together likely on their way back to the dorms.
Having said that it wasn't easy to read who it was that the Level 5 was waiting on. However, in her latest fleeting glance, something caught her attention.
"...Is that him?"
Two simultaneous 'huh?'s escaped from both Frenda and Saiai as they followed the path that Rikou was pointing at. And indeed when they finally saw what, or more specifically who, she was pointing at the person had gradually started to slow down from what they could assume to have been a full sprint. It was a boy, no surprise there, and by the looks of it he appeared quite out of breath since he was currently hunched over while raising one hand in a very lame gesture of greeting.
His spiky hair black head of hair combined with his form being hunched over made very difficult to make out his appearance. So far all the three of them could gather from base appearances was that he hadn't changed out of his school uniform, which almost made them all dismiss him immediately.
"...basically you have got to be kidding me."
"...I super can't believe this."
Rikou just took another swig of her drink as her eyes continued to look off into the distance with no particular focus.
Frenda and Saiai's reaction did not stem from the boy even though his arrival had played a role in it. No, it was expression on Mugino's face that placed the two girls in a state of complete and utter disbelief.
For Mugino Shizuri, the 4th ranked Level 5, was currently gazing at the new arrival with an expression they had never seen on her face before. It was a look of pure contentment, a look of warmth usually reserved only for those who were considered precious, and a look of genuine excitement. Difficult as that may sound but the three girls present here were all aware of Mugino's murderous and malicious nature.
They knew what sort of monster she could be and yet not once had they ever seen this sort of expression on the woman's face.
A truly frightening experience.
"Huh!? W-w-w-wait a second, b-b-basically this isn't right at all!"
The boy adjusted himself a bit to face the girl whom was waiting on him and thus put his back to them during the process of standing upright. Mugino for her part was putting away her phone whilst glaring up at the face of the boy who had kept her waiting. But even then she did not appear nearly as angry as she normally did when directing at someone who annoyed or irritated her. Based on mouth movement and a few hand gestures, Mugino was saying something to which the boy responded with some of his own.
Those came to a halt when he apparently brought both hands up in what they could only speculate to be the universal sign used when pleading for forgiveness of one's misgivings.
Initially Mugino's annoyance remained steadfast but eventually his efforts were rewarded. Said reward came in the form of a smile so filled with affection that it could not possibly have been fake.
"...I don't know why, but this is super pissing me off."
Seemed she was just teasing him with the silent treatment as she eventually said something whilst giving a dismissive gesture of her hand. The boy relaxed, brought his left arm up to the nape of his neck while extending his free hand for the girl to take. Mugino did not refuse his offer, took it as she joined him in standing, yet did not remove her hand from his. Instead she interlocked her fingers with his own and pushed herself as close to his arm as possible as the two turned to begin moving along with the rest of the crowd.
"Shit, they're on the move!"
Saiai was the fastest among the group to regain her bearings and thus the first to make a move towards the exit. Frenda was only in a state of shock a full second after hearing those words before following her fellow ITEM member out the automated doors. Takitsubo, however, wore the same unfocused expression that she had maintained since she first caught sight of the boy and thus hardly reacted at all.
What she did do, however, was pick up a few magazines from the rack before walking up to the cashiers' counter.
"Thank you for your business young lady~! Please tell your friends to buy something next time ~!"
Between the three of them, her departure was the most leisurely paced one.
"Why is it that I've never been to this place?"
By 'this place' Saiai was referring to a rather plain looking restaurant that was not part of the mass of other chain restaurants scattered about the district. It seemed like one of those hole-in-the-wall eateries that were surprisingly scarce when one considers just how many food chains existed in this district alone.
"...these are good..."
Takitsubo, having been feeling the strain from their latest job, was currently in the process of regaining some much needed energy. Which was why she was currently nibbling on a small basket of french-fries set out in front of her.
"Shhh, they'll hear you!"
Frenda, on the other hand, was in danger of having an anxiety attack at this particular moment and for very good reason as well. After meeting up, Mugino and her unknown companion had traversed at least a couple blocks whilst skirting along the border of the park. From there the boy led them to this place; which meant that in order to further sate their destructive curiosity the three girls had to go in as well.
It had been a tricky endeavor and for a moment the blonde had thought Mugino had spotted them, but they managed to secure a seat.
She had to thank to the interior decorator for making the cushions for the booths much higher than they usually would in other eateries.
"—so I didn't expect you to be a burger fan."
The only negative about this situation was that they were literally two booths down from where Mugino and her mysterious companion were sitting.
"Mn, usually I'm not, but I'm not really one to be picky as long as what I'm eating is decent."
Two people at the Stalker Trio table had to refrain from shouting out 'Bullshit!' to the very notion of Mugino eating a burger. Not that it was unheard of, surely she had consumed one at some point in her life. But for as long as they had known her not one of the members of ITEM seen her do so. She was the type of girl who would bring a bento to a family restaurant just because she didn't like the selection on their menu.
Yet, here she was, eating at some hole-in-the-wall diner with a guy who they knew absolutely nothing about.
For fuck's sake they had yet to even see his damned face!
"Well, none of the ingredients are artificial, so I guess that plays a part in why the food here is so good. It's cheaper, better tasting, and not too far from the dorms."
"I can partially agree with you there, the lack of artificial crap mixed in to 'enhance the flavor' is a benefit. But cheaper doesn't always mean better, sometimes the more expensive dishes are worth the money."
This was all so painstakingly irritating to listen to.
What made it so was that the two were so deep in casual conversation that they hardly noticed much outside of their own little world. That part in itself should not have been so bothersome but it was for several key reasons.
The main reason was because, outside of ITEM, the girls didn't really know how Mugino associated with other people or the topics in which she discussed. When they usually met up it was purely business and the occasional casual subject thrown in here and there. Only when they were out shopping together did Mugino seem to discard work for pleasure and even then she treated it like it was a business.
But in this instance Mugino was completely casual, the subjects innocent in nature, and a stark contrast to how she interacted with the members of their group.
"Maybe sometimes but, then again, I wouldn't know too much about that. So long as it doesn't break my wallet I'm willing to test that theory of yours next time. I mean it is your turn to choose the place anyway."
"Oh? You really think it's smart to say something like that? You do know you'll be putting your precious bank-card at risk over a taste test. What happens if I decide to eat at, say, a five star restaurant?"
Frenda could practically imagine the sweat dripping down the boy's brow at this particular statement. Given his state of dress and overall normal visage, it was safe to assume he could not afford such a thing. Even if he could it would likely be at the cost of all his living expenses just to pay the bill. Not to mention that he would need to dress accordingly for such a lavish establishment; to which he also was unlikely to have access to or the funds to attain.
Such a daunting scenario would have put her in a stressed state as well, so to the mystery boy's credit she didn't think badly of him on the matter.
Then she heard the faint sound of laughter.
"Hehe, you dumb shit, do you really think I'd want to go to some place that's overpriced with small food proportions?" All present in the Stalker Trio booth could picture Mugino smiling in their minds' eye, as well as picture her absentmindedly toying with her hair. "I told you already I'm not picky about what I eat, it doesn't matter to me if it's a five thousand yen or a fifty thousand yen meal, as long as its decent. All I'm saying is that cheaper isn't always better, some expensive places are worth the money, which I'll prove to you next time."
Next time, clearly that meant another 'appointment' between herself and the unknown male she was sharing the evening with. A fact that the girls had already come to expect given how Mugino was acting whilst in the presence of the boy in her company. If it hadn't been clear to them what this 'appointment' really was before then it sure as shit was now.
"...I'm gonna end up broke aren't I?"
There was a loud 'Thunk!' as something heavy made impact with the table a few booths away. It was hard to tell what had happened or what was said, but the three had their assumptions. But apparently something was said shortly there afterwards as Shizuri's laughter soon followed. It wasn't the malicious or callous sort that the girls of ITEM had come to know and be wary of.
No, this expression of hilarity was a something belonging to a good humored individual and not a monster Level 5 who could blow a man's head clean off with a smile on her face.
"...I still don't know why this is pissing me off but it's getting super worse."
"Basically, I think I'm starting to feel the same way."
Rikou, ever thoughtful and supportive, pushed the basket of french-fries closer towards the two girls silently fuming for reasons they did not know.
Takitsubo was right, both girls later admitted, the fries were good.
Takitsubo could not help but comment as the two individuals were seemingly in the process of trying to burn holes into one of two people with their eyes. Whether or not that it was the boy or the girl to whom the Stalker Trio had been tailing was anyone's guess. It was now 8:28pm, not quite an hour but all the same curfew would be coming into effect within the next hour in a half.
That gave them roughly another half hour to wander around until both had to go their separate ways to avoid any trouble from law enforcement.
That included them as well.
"Basically they're just wondering around at this point."
"Mhm, yup, nothing super special about this evening stroll."
Indeed, there really wasn't much that could be classified as 'special' about this date. Having left the diner the two had taken to the streets once more and were just idly walking around with each other. Avoiding the two as they passed their booth was a bit of a hurdle but again made possible once they took to going under the table and rolling under the seats to avoid being spotted. Only Takitsubo had remained in place at the furthest corner of the booth.
Annoyingly enough that seemed to have worked since she was overlooked by the couple due to her overall lack of presence. At least she didn't get her outfit dirty or receive strange looks from the owners of the place for such childlike behavior.
Saiai also had to hustle the waiter for the check before they could leave, which likely set a bad taste in the mouths of the staff that worked there.
"...basically, Kinuhata, are you—"
"Super pissed? Yes, still super pissed, only now I know why."
"Good, the same goes for me too."
What was the cause behind Kinuhata and Frenda's ire?
The answer was in how the two were conjoined at the moment, with Mugino having wrapped one of her arms around the spiky haired boy's own while casually leaning her head onto his shoulder. Their pace was steady, easily keeping up with the flow of people along the walkway, and most people either got out of their way or were moving to bypass them. It was like the two were making a show of it, letting everyone known that she was with him and he was with her.
Worst of all was that the girls still did not have a face or a name to attach to the boy Mugino was with!
It. Was. Aggravating!
"Basically, I didn't think there was someone out there that could turn that Mugino into something as docile as a kitten."
"...that's not a nice thing to say Frenda."
To some extent Takitsubo had a fair point and it was wrong to think that there wasn't someone out there the Meltdowner could go all 'dere dere' over. So yes, Rikou was right, she shouldn't have said that about the #4 since it was a widespread belief that there was someone out there for everyone. It was just hard to imagine it, seeing the Level 5 acting like this. She was right there in front of them and she still had a hard time believing it.
"I've got to know who this super boyfriend is before it kills me."
And that was where the source of their ire could be best directed at. Throughout the time they had known the Meltdowner, they hadn't once heard her express any particular preference in regards to boys she found attractive. They assumed that, if such a guidebook did exist, the label of 'needs to be strong' had to be at least somewhere in it. Yet, here she was, with some common looking high-school student who looked no different from any other boy in the crowd.
Excluding the spiky head of hair of course.
That only raised the question as to what was it about him that had drawn their leader to be attracted to him? The had nothing, knew nothing, so the best that they could do was theorize.
"Money isn't really an issue to Mugino, so it can't be that. Plus he basically looks like the type that's barely scraping by."
Up ahead, a certain boy suddenly felt as though someone had run him through with a pike.
"He also doesn't look to be strong to me. He'd be super forgettable if Mugino wasn't clinging to him right now."
Once more did the boy feel as though someone had stabbed him with another Spear of Harsh Truths.
"Hm? You okay?"
"...I feel like I'm being harshly criticized for things beyond my control."
Hearing that, Shizuri seemed to finally take notice of her surroundings and thus shifted her head around to take in everything. When she eventually cast her gaze over her shoulder, nothing was found to be out of the ordinary as people shuffled along behind them. Shortly after her head once more found itself back in its proper place on the boy's shoulder, seemingly satisfied with her perimeter sweep.
Good thing too, people were really starting to wonder what the deal was with the two girls who had abruptly took to cover behind a vending machine. Fortunately Takitsubo's presence went virtually unnoticed once again thanks to having 'disguised' her presence by reading one of the magazines she had picked up earlier.
On that note, did you know that the more casual you seemed the less conspicuous you looked?
"Let 'em talk, let 'em be jealous, I obviously don't give a shit what people think so you shouldn't either."
"It's not so much about that, really it's not, it's just that I'm still not used to gartering so much attention."
While the girls were only able to make out that minimal amount of detail in their discussion, such information was still a benefit for the Stalking Trio. At least now they knew that the two hadn't been dating for an extended period of time. The fact that Mugino had only recently started meeting with him earlier this month served to further prove it. They still didn't have an answer as to how the two had met or how they ended up turning into an item.
"Three months of dating and your still not used to it?" Shizuri had to remove herself from her shoulder pillow to stare wirily at the side of the boy's spiky head. She still didn't unhook her arm from around his own though. These things were duly noted by the girls, but the shock was still present in two of their faces when they realized that their original theory had just been shot down. "I know you're not the type to show off but I'd have thought you'd be more—"
"Um, before you finish that line of thought, I'll have you know this Ka—" Here the boy had been shoulder checked by a pedestrian walking the opposite way, making his body jerk slightly. The Stalking Duo had to refrain from gutting the idiot on the spot for interrupting before they got out a name. " —anyways, what I was trying to say was that I get enough attention at school, specifically my classmates. Once my friends found out they've been doing nothing but pestering me about some pretty stupid things that I'd rather not talk about."
"...what kinda things."
Frenda, Saiai, and Rikou could all see the beginnings of the darkness start to creep onto Mugino's face in that moment. The only person who didn't seem to notice or care was the boy himself, who merely shrugged indifferently.
"It's nothing bad, it's more like them getting a laugh at my expense. It happens a lot more than you think but it's just their way to make my typical misfortune-filled life a bit more embarrassing."
Now the girls had one more reason to be pissed off than they previously did. For it seemed that, while the boy was more open about it, Mugino had not been inclined to give them the details regarding her affair with the still nameless youth. If this too turned out to be another case of false evidence then it was uncertain precisely how two of these girls were going to react.
But that was irrelevant since, back with Mugino, she was still unsatisfied with his answer and it showed since her gaze had yet to wander away from the boy's face.
"That doesn't answer my question."
"...hey, why do you look so upset? You just told me not to worry about what others think, right? Besides, misfortune follows me around like a stray, so I'm used to it at this point."
Here the girl let out a audible 'Tch' before harshly jabbing the boy in the ribs with her elbow. He surely felt it, the grunt of pain was indication enough, but Mugino's head once again found itself back onto his shoulder regardless. And unless the Stalker Trio's eyes had deceived them, the girl's expression appeared to have been set in a state of irritation mixed with displeasure.
"I'll let it slide this time, but I still say you shouldn't have to be used to that sorta thing."
"I know, I know, but there isn't much I can do about it. Besides, um...well, ahem, my misfortune did cause you to meet this Kam—"
Twice now did something occur that served as an interruption that prevented the boy from giving them a name. The form it took this time was Mugino herself, who had once again jabbed him in the ribs only this time with her free hand. It may have been a bit harsher than the girl had intended it to be as he did end up coughing and briefly leaned his body to the left.
Frenda and Saiai, however, were glowing with so much feminine rage that they were on the verge of ascending to a higher state of power. What followed after this only added more fuel to the Feminine Flames of Eternal Envy.
"Don't start saying stupid shit like that, it's fucking embarrassing."
Takitsubo, being the only one not fueled by negative emotions, made but one comment that nearly caused her comrades to turn against her.
"...Don't worry, Mugino, I still support you."
9:30pm was quickly making its approach as the Stalking Duo + One continued to shadow the couple as they made their way towards the student dorms. It wasn't just one building, several of them were scattered about in this area, so it was hard to pinpoint precisely which one they were going to or which one belonged to the boy.
"I can at least walk you to your apartment. Isn't that something I'm supposed to do when escorting a girl home?"
"And I said that you don't need to worry about that sorta thing. Last time you ended up getting chased across the city by a group of punk-asses who wanted your wallet."
There wasn't much student traffic coming through this area thanks to it being close to curfew. Most people would have been at home by this hour and those that weren't were on their way back to the dorms or just rebellious. That left most of the roads in this area vacant barring a few stragglers and some people making a quick run to or from the convenient store.
Overall it was a quiet section of the district, at least as far as settings were concerned, and that was what made it that much easier to make out what was being said. The two were more or less alone as they traversed through the area, but that was if one excluded the Stalking Duo + One.
Speaking of which, with the increased vacancy on the sidewalk, the three girls had taken to being as far back as possible and were dashing behind cover to cover as they progressed. They were still close enough to hear everything, but just the same the three could just as easily be heard by their targets as well.
"I told them I didn't have any money for them to take! It's not my fault they mistook what I said as an invitation for a fight! Anyways, this still feels backwards to me, so can I at least walk you half way?"
"If it bothers you so much, you can wait with me as I call a cab, and no you don't get to pay the fare."
With his efforts to be a gentleman denied, the boy's shoulders sunk as he proceeded to sulk; making the exchange all the more lame. This was all out of context, they still knew next to nothing about the boy, so perhaps it was just them not knowing as much about him as Mugino seemed to know. Irksome as that was considering they have been dating for at least three months now and yet not a single other member of ITEM knew about it.
"Basically, what does she even see in this idiot!"
These words were hissed out even as Frenda was busy grinding her teeth into the fabric of her sleeve.
"I dunno, but I'm not leaving 'til get a super name from this guy."
Kinuhata was no better, the harsh whisper escaping as she continued and the blonde continued to glare at the couple from afar.
"...it's not good to grind your teeth like that."
Takitsubo could only tilt her head cutely at her two companion's increased hostility. They didn't even give her the courtesy of saying it directly at her, having placed all of their focus on the couple as they rounded the corner.
The Stalking Duo wasted little time in moving up from their previous cover and just as quick in approaching the corner the aforementioned couple had turned on. When the two peaked passed to track the distance between them and their target the two froze. Takitsubo, being the + One, was the last to arrive on the scene and also peered down the narrow street. She too was left frozen, not out of fear, but for a completely different reason entirely.
Now she understood her why Frenda and Saiai were frozen stiff. Because in the time the three took to catch up, Mugino had decided to let her impulses take over. That was what they could assume anyway as it was the boy's back who was pressed against the wall while her lips were clashing against the boy's own. It made perfect sense to choose this place actually, the dim lighting between the main and back streets allowed for a bit more privacy thanks to the veil of darkness that surrounded them.
Since they were at about the half-way point that separated the narrow street from the main roads, the Stalking Duo + One could not make out much more than their silhouettes.
They could see that Muigno's arms were crossed behind his neck as she tried to press as much of her body against him as she could. The boy himself was far from against it as one of his hands could be found on the girl's waste while the other slowly worked its way up along her side. Again, they couldn't see too well thanks to the lack of light, so they couldn't tell whether or not this session of mild intimacy was safe for them to be intruding on.
Such a thing answered itself when one of Shizuri's arms had moved itself from behind his neck. Taking the hand traveling up her side, she brought back down to waist level before raising it back up and under the hem of her violet dress.
This act inflicted some form of panic because the boy backed off a bit from the action. Shizuri wasn't having it and was seemingly providing approval by pushing her lips back against his so he that couldn't speak against her. From there she guided his hand further up, let him feel the exposed flesh underneath her clothes, before removing her hand to have it return to its original placement.
Normally this would have been a dangerous sight to stumble upon. But the girls of already knew that Muigno was wearing shorts underneath her dress today. So there was no danger of indecent exposure to be had here.
As for the boy, after being given her consent, took to exploring the new lands that were previously hidden beneath the surface. They could see the outline of the #4's dress bulging as his hand slowly traversed along the soft pale flesh beneath the fabric above. They watched as it slowly raised along her side, over her ribs, up to the certain strap used to secure something, then make its decent back down. But it did not traverse down the same path, rather it moved to her back and appeared to be following the path of her spinal cord.
It came to a stop at the small of the girl's back, which is where it proceeded to stay for the time being. Throughout it all not once during this did his lips or tongue cease in activity as they clashed together with the beautiful young woman.
Soon, however, the idle hand joined its brother in feeling the smooth texture of the woman's skin as it moved along her body.
By this point Saiai and Frenda were too captivated to notice that the pace of their breathing had started to increase. They were, however, well aware of the fact that their faces were burning from embarrassment. This time Rikou was guilty of being no better than them. She too felt the burning on her cheeks yet, by comparison, she was still far more composed than the other two.
When the couples' lips finally parted from one another, all that could be heard was the ragged breathing of two out of breath teens. That did not mean that the boy's hands had left the confines of her dress but they did lower back down to her waist in the meantime. But just when things appeared to be calming down, the spiky haired teen moved his position abruptly, which erected a startled yelp from the Level 5 as she quickly realized that the tables had turned.
It was her now with her back to the wall and it was at this point that the Meltdowner's lover went into action himself. Pulling her closer towards him by the waist, the teen's lips met her's once more, whilst the girl began to comb her hand through his spiky hair. The other soon re positioned itself as well as she dragged her fingers down along his school uniform before finding reaching the bottom and slipping it underneath his shirt.
Obviously this heated and heavy display of affection was not something suitable for the general public. Even in the darkness, even in this dimly lit area, one could clearly see flesh getting exposed as the two's hands moved aimlessly. Having said that, by most people's standards, it would have been appropriate to allow the two their privacy. Most people would have already vacated the area to do that so as to avoid any awkward confrontations or unintentional disturbances.
Then you have the assholes would tell the two to get a room and thankfully such a person was not here. If such a person was there and brave enough, or stupid, to say that he or she would surely come to regret it.
Frenda and Saiai could be mistaken to not be like most people and viewed as being the types to care little about the usual norms and customs. The truth of the matter was that they simply forgot themselves in the heat of the moment. But it was hard not to be absorbed by such a sight and that went double when said sight was focused around the personal life of ITEM's leader. It was like a moth to the flame, the bigger the fire the more that were attracted to it.
Sadly, as the male teen had previously admitted, misfortune followed him like a stray animal.
The light hum coming from the vibrations of a cell phone normally would not have given away one's position. Normally anyway, but the streets were dead and it wasn't like there was much noise being created elsewhere, so the disturbance was distinct enough to hear. Anyone who heard it would know what it was and it is for that reason that both Mugino and her date suddenly stopped all activities to find the source of it. And between the two of them, although both were flustered, one was not too pleased with this disturbance.
"You super didn't turn off your phone!?"
"B-basically, I have to keep it on, my sister has a habit to call me when she's scared!"
It sure as shit didn't help that the two teens could hear the broken hushed words coming from around the corner.
Hard as it was to tell, but one didn't need to see his face to know that his complexion had paled considerably.
"S-Shizuri, hey now, just breathe and stay calm! There's no reason to get overly upset about it, al-alright!?"
It was at this moment that he knew that, whoever it was around the corner, was completely and utterly screwed.
It was at this moment that the Stalker Duo + One also knew that they were completely and utterly screwed.
"Oi, whoever you are, run! Run for your life!"
And that was precisely what they proceeded to do.
No longer having been forced to rely on cover meant they could freely move and traverse at a speed that would ensure their own survival. It was still unknown whether or not Mugino knew who it was that had been eavesdropping on their moment of intimacy. But all the same it didn't matter since, one way or another, they would eventually have to meet with her again for the briefing of their next job.
That said, if she didn't know it was them, then they could not allow themselves to be caught here and risk losing a limb or three to an irate Level 5.
Speaking of which.
"I swear to whatever god exists I will turn you into fucking paste! Do you hear me you pieces of shit!? When I'm done with you they'll be able to fit what's left of your corpse into a fucking can!"
"Shizuri, calm down! This Kamijou really doesn't want to have either an Anti-Skill officer or a noise complaint brought up to his door!"
Kamijou Touma, a Level 0, was on the verge of perhaps losing a few limbs himself tonight. As he was currently in the process of trying to restrain the violently thrashing woman by means of a full nelson hold. To some degree it was working, but that didn't stop her from trying as her unyielding rage made for an impressive muscle enhancer.
Hello boys, I'm baaaaaaaaaack~!
I wrote this purely for the sake of seeing if I've still got it. I'd like to think that I do and I'd like to think that I was able to convey Mugino in a believable way to make it feel less OOC. I may have achieved that here, I might not have, so here's hoping that those of you reading this can let me know if I pulled it off as well as I hoped. Depending on how this turns out, I may add more chapters to this. I'm not sure, it might make for a good remedy whenever I have writers block, so we'll see.
On another note, I want to say that my little *ahem* make-out scene here may not have been too impressive. Its a field I'm not particularly skilled at, mainly due to a lack of practice in writing out scenes of its nature. I'm not one to write lemons, mainly because I never get that far and have no actual want to write them. So, um, I guess it counts as an experiment for me. If any of you romance writers out there see this, throw me your thoughts and maybe a few pointers here and there.
Lately, and most importantly, my current status. Yes I'm not dead and neither is A Certain World of Darkness. I'm not done, I'm not out, and my return is coming. I have a lot of new material in the works, lots of stuff planned out, and hopefully I can get back to work on the next chapter soon. I promise nothing in regards to when an update will happen. I say that only because I want there to be a lot of content waiting in reserve so that, when I reach certain points, I don't get struck with writers block again. I have a lot to make up and a lot to apologize for, this I know, but I do swear to update that story in the days to come.
As usual, if there are any inquiries, thoughts, or concerns that arise in your mind, feel free to address them to me and I'll do what I can to answer them. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed my little piece of work.
Goodbye for now.