My Cherryblossom.../Sherinda-san

The Snake's Shop/Chapter 9

Ramblings: 'Sup, all? Sorry this thing's late...It's almost time to start school already...that means I can blow all of the $115 dollars I got on new school clothes! Yay! I'll probably go to Hot Topic and get a few anime-related things, like FMA...Yay! Wow...I'll be starting my freshman year at the local high school...only four more years until graduation! O.o...scary...I don't wanna go! Lol! j/k...It'll be nice to find a house and live on my own...well, not really...me and my friends plan on moving in with each other and raise a gargantuan amout of animals! We'll find someplace close to our college(s), and...well, I'm sure you're tired of listening to my excuses and ramblings, huh? On with the story!

"Wow, Hatori-san, I didn't know you could run so fast!" Shiko said from the back seat, panting heavily from her escape. They were in Ayame's car, driving to his shop. Everyone was breathing heavily from the break they made. Hatori swallowed more air into his lungs.

"Whew...I didn't either." He looked over at Ayame. "You know we shouldn't have done that, right Ayame?" he said.

Ayame smiled winningly at him. "She had a clean bill of health and she needs to be properly groomed. No one should have to suffer at the hands of Akito's hairstyling ability!" Shiko smiled at his cheerfulness.

Ayame pulled into the small parking space reserved for him and they all filed out of the vehicle and into the shop. Shiko stared in awe at all of the dresses and outfits. Pretty black and white French maid dresses, nurse outfits, flowing wedding gowns, lacy evening dresses, leather, buckles, belts, silk, and (imitation) fur; a huge selection for any costumer. Ayame walked to the back of the shop.

"Mine! We have an emergency. Pull out all the stops; it's make over time!" He said from in the back room. Shiko, Hatori, and Hatsuharu stood with blank faces as Ayame and his assistant, Kuramae Mine, rushed out and dragged Shiko to the back room. Shiko shrieked out in surprise from the attack and tried to pull away from the two designers' clutches.

"Kyaaa! No, wait! What are you gonna' do to me! Heeelllllpppppp!" Hatori and Haru stared at the sight with mild surprise.

"Shouldn't we do something?" Haru asked Hatori without letting his gaze stray from the door that had been slammed and locked behind the two torturers and their victim.

Hatori smiled mildly. "No, she'll be fine with them. I trust Ayame enough to let him take Shiko and meddle around with her looks." He said sitting in a lavender color-cushioned couch. Haru sighed and sat beside him.

"Haa-san, why was Shiko kept away from the main house? I don't even remember seeing her at any New Years." Hatsuharu asked Hatori, slight concern showing in his voice. Hatori furrowed his brow.

"I'm not one-hundred percent sure on that, Haru. I believe it had to do with Shiko's mother, Miyako's, fear of her husband discovering her family's dark curse. Akito never liked that she never showed up and he reached a breaking point when Kibaru took her in and had me erase her memories of the curse." Hatori said, sadness crossing his usually stone-like face.

Haru clenched his fist, anger beginning to boil at the sound of Akito's name. "Why did he have to beat her within and inch of her life? He could have been less brutal...And you let him do it." he said, pointing an accusing finger at Hatori. The doctor stared hard at the younger Sohma.

"Now Haru, you know I wouldn't have left that room if I thought Shiko would have been hurt. I had no idea Akito would do anything to harm her." he retorted.

"Liar!" Haru said, snapping into Black mode. He stood up swiftly. "You knew he was going to do that to her! Or do you think I'm the 'stupid ox' everyone thinks I am! Well, dragon? What the hell do you have to say for yourself!" Black Haru said, his dark eyes menacing as he glared down at Hatori.

Hatori rose up with his anger and stood, face-to-face with the mad bull himself. "Haru, I did not know that that would happen to Shiko! Now calm down! You do not understand. Aki-"

"Don't say that bastard's name around me! I don't care if he's the 'God' or the god damned Emperor of frick'n China, he can go to fucking hell!" Black Haru yelled, wild eyed. Hatori did something he never thought he'd do at that moment: laugh. Hatori sat back down and laughed as if what Haru said was the most hysterical thing in the world, his anger dissolving. Black Haru stared at him in shock and disbelief.

"Haru...heheheh...I think you just said the truest thing in the world...hahahaah!" Hatori laughed. Haru stood over the laughing doctor. He put a hand on Hatori's forehead.

"Hey! You're not sick are you, stupid dragon? Or are you drunk? What's the matter with you? Are you listening to me? Hey!" Haru asked, waving his arms in front of Hatori. The dragon was oblivious. Finally, Haru smacked Hatori across the face. Hatori looked nonetheless shocked at being hit and stopped laughing and started rubbing his face slowly.

"Ahem...I'm sorry...I shouldn't have laughed at such a foolish thing. You were wrong to say that, Haru, no matter how angry you are. I would never put Shiko-chan in any kind of danger...I...love her, like a daughter..." Hatori said, becoming sad again.

"Is that so, Hatori-nii?" The two feuders looked up in shock, Haru turning White instantly at the voice, and Hatori his usual unemotional self, as they saw the speaker.

It was Shiko. Her hair had been cleaned up quite a bit; it was just long enough that it could be pulled back into a loose bun. Black ornamental sticks were stuck into the bun, and her hair had clearly been washed. Her face was smooth and there was a fresh application of make-up on her pretty face. Dark violet eye-shadow was patted onto her eye-lids and some soft red lip-stick was on her lips, making them look like plump cherries. If her new hair-do wasn't enough, her stunning outfit sure was.

A single strip of black lace was tied around her throat with a small fabric pink cherry blossom in the center. Thin black straps on her shoulders and upper-arm held up the main body which had a low-cut collar. The main torso area was like a corsage, shaping her waist and hips perfectly, but not to tight and very comfortable. Black fabric appeared to sprout out of the bottom of the corsage, and flowed around Shiko's thighs, where it was cut and hemmed at just above her knee-cap. The bottom portion of the dress had small pink fabric -what looked to be- cherry blossom petals, that swirled around the dress's lower section. Under the bottom hem and up her calf, large black lace-up combat boots could be seen. Black mesh stockings were visible where the boots cut off at just below her knees.

Shiko looked at Hatori and Haru as they stared, awe-struck at her. She smiled and giggled at them. "Well, Ayaa-nii, Mine-chan, looks like you out-did yourselves! They look like statues!"

Mine put her hands on her hips and smiled. She was wearing a pretty mahogany college-girl uniform today, with a matching pleated skirt. "Well, boss, I think another fantasy has been fulfilled!" Ayame came up behind Hatori and a now calm Haru.

"What do you think, Tori-san? Shiko-chan looks just plain stunning, doesn't she? What about you, Haa-kun? Don't you think she looks so beautiful? A warped princess out of a fabled legend?" He said, asking the obvious. "Well, don't just stand there! Give her some much-deserved praise!" He said, patting Hatori's shoulder.

Hatori smiled at Shiko. "For once Ayame, I really do think you pulled off a piece of beauty." he said, causing Shiko to blush slightly. The group started laughing at her reaction, but failed to notice Haru leaving the shop.