Sugar Silly String
Quick short-hour fic. Oro's 'Near Fantastica' reminded me that I always associate sugar with Japan after reading an article on twenty-year old men, and I dug up my old ficnotes on Kill Bill. This is the result.

Go-Go is sugar and candy in a bubblegum girl world.

And she loves it. The mass processings of Yokohama have fed into her brain, coupled with Shinjuku's moist back streets where polite political taboos are enacted in their own personal quadrants. Automatic hand behind her ass to cover her skirt while fast-pacing it up the subway stairs. Everything individually wrapped. The Japan that Go-Go knows is chock-full of animated snack food, an entire nation seeking eternal youth through the consumption of sweets.

Pink is everywhere in Go-Go's world, and underage is so terribly in fashion that one girl came to school with a pacifier around her neck. The strap was decorated with press-on silver stars. When the girl started listing the culprits of the teeth marks in the rubber, Go-Go leaned over and bit it so hard that she broke through the surface and tasted inner talcum.

Go-Go considers her passage into adulthood to have come when she stopped caring, stopped flapping that dying dove hand like a warning flag behind her every time she waded through the train stations. Stopped sneaking cheap one-hundred yen glue-sticks with the other girls and running the waxy adhesive around her legs to make the socks stand up straight. Go-Go still bobs her underage weight through the manga sections and overpriced cafes, but she's given up on the innocence routine. Too expensive, in glue.

When she skips class, Go-Go goes somewhere much better than the hairy arms of the sarariimen looking to get vanilla-cookie smiles in exchange for pet prizes.

Her classmates think she's elite in her tastes, that her paid-dating patrons have got some real class from sucking on the teat of NTT or Tokyo Denki. It explains the dry cleaning that leaves Go-Go's clothes perfectly pressed each morning for school. No semen stains--that shows money, they giggle, getting someone who pays to clean up their mess afterwards. Lucky lucky.

Or illegal. But who cares?

That conclusion's both the truth and not. Go-Go gets paid in clean envelopes of yen bills straight from the bank. Her allowance from O-ren is better than what she gets at home. There's enough to live like a girl with ten on-call patrons if Go-Go wanted, with more to spare.

She simply doesn't care about it, except that it helps pay for drinks and sometimes for taxi fare when there have been unfortunate accidents at a bar and Go-Go needs a cleanup, aisle Roppongi.

O-ren lets Go-Go get away with a lot of things. Go-Go gets a pickup special extra-select to what she considers her real life, dressed up with glitter paint eyeshadow between the black business suits. She likes her job because there's nothing else she would have expected, and it makes a strange kind of sense to watch the goofy little-boy antics of the yakuza still young enough to make respectful kaaaachan mewls when their bathwater isn't hot enough.

Go-Go's an apprentice at this whole game and she knows it. She's a girl, which makes it even better, because the rules are just blown out completely when you hit that particular gender button in her cotton-candy patriarchal universe. Go-Go considers it to be her free ticket out, her free pass through go, no collecting $200 USD for her, no way. She's already fucked up by just stepping through the front door.

So, in the traditional overblown defense that make her ikebana tutor weep, Go-Go figures she's got to make up in excess.

Streetwalks says the same thing in Go-Go's strawberry-flavored universe, advertisements dancing as they proclaim extra-large tittie teasers with rabbit ears attached. Independently bouncing. Hand-in-hand with the billboards are neatly typographed posters encouraging students to study harder, study longer, study faster, and then it's back to cartoon noodle-men.

It doesn't get worse when you cut loose, she thinks. It just gets better.

The yo-yo had been a joke at first. One of the Crazy 88's dropped it in her hand when she first ran into a pack of them, completely by accident as she'd been honing her way through the ten o'clock streets. The five yakuza boys had laughed as they watched Go-Go puzzle over it for several long minutes. When she looked up, the expression in her clear dark eyes should have been warning enough--perfect understanding of the nonsensical, seeing nothing perverse with combining motorcycles and gang-masks with little-girl flower gardens, wrapping the entire package up in a sparkle bow.

When she extricated the toy from out of the man's skull, the casing had been cracked into pieces from the force of her blows. The string had started unspooling off the center and mixing with lumps of brain, so O-ren bought her a new one.

A better one.

That was how they met.

Go-Go keeps plastic-shelled bug yo-yos all the time now. Some of them light up. Others whizz. She plays with them during business meetings when she knows O-ren does not really care about what is being said. Lined up with the rest of the bodyguards, Go-Go considers her rival hired muscle and passes the time by picking which one of them she should kill first, in-between automatic wrist motions.

The repeated thwap of the yo-yo hitting the girl's palm is in exact time to the crack of her bubble gum. It's only because O-ren knew Gogo secretly envisions the toy to be a severed head on a string--gauche, predictable, and utterly charming in a schoolgirl way--that keeps the woman from ordering her to stop.

Other bosses are not so bright. They give Go-Go periodic glares. Their bodyguards radiate professional disapproval. But O-ren knows, just like O-ren pays for Go-Go's corpse disposals, which is really fucking good considering that Go-Go never thinks about these kinds of things.

Go-Go's favorite tanto blade is decorated with discarded cel-phone straps she picked up one day on a whim. They were lost on the road between the schoolyard and the train station. Two are half-cracked where someone stepped on them. Go-Go claimed them because they were colorful as ice cream sprinkles, and just as decorative. She put one in her mouth to see if it would taste like fruit, but was disappointed.

O-ren picks the tanto up sometimes when Go-Go is doing the yakuza leader's hair, turning the weapon in her fingers, making the plastic beads dance.

Go-Go, O-ren says and she never sounds impatient. Only perplexed. Don't these ever get in the way?

Which could have referenced morals, or youth, or anything that O-ren's cultured voice might want to mean. Or only flowered jewels.

During these moments when the tension's just tight enough to slip a single stick through without placing strain on the scalp, Go-Go's fingers flash like albino fish. They plait O-ren's hair, quick criss-cross, wicker-weaves, blind eyeless creatures privileged to kneel at the woman's back because their threat is never impotent, only tamed.

Go-Go doesn't answer. She's too busy, her hands are double-full of O-ren's scalp, and the mirror opposite them both shows off the wide-toothed grin on Go-Go's face. There's a smudge of chocolate on her mouth. Seeing it, seeing herself reflected back kneeling behind the woman she guards, Go-Go snakes out her tongue and licks the stain off.

When it is sunset and they are waiting for the reports to come back about the 88's success grandstanding in a quarter Go-Go doesn't care about, O-ren sits by the window and watches the colors go down. This job is late enough that Go-Go will call it a sleepover and probably skip classes again tomorrow. The 88's use this hotel frequently, so Go-Go knows she can get game shows piped in if she wants come morning, when she'll be downstairs asking room service for extra pastries.

O-ren sits like a freeze-frame motion picture in silhouette, her head turned towards the glass while she waits for sign of the motorcycle pack.

Go-Go wonders if she is thinking of the snow monkeys that raid the hot springs. Old, withered, hair falling out in patches, and so similar to the defunct elders of the yakuza that she'd be amazed they could get it up any better than their simian counterparts.

Or maybe O-ren is thinking of Hello Kitty.

Because she is bored, Go-Go uses her tanto to cut out a cardboard heart in the center of her schoolbook cover. The pattern is printed with a helpful blurb on the virtues of dedication, and Go-Go punches the damaged section out with one of her fingers. She rolls on her back and holds the heart in the air.

Using the weapon frivolously will dull the edge, she knows, but O-ren will pay to have it resharpened later if necessary. And Go-Go doesn't care right now to do anything else.

The motorcycles sound like a dozen vibrators in an echo chamber when they finally pull into the back alley. Go-Go sits up, plunging the tanto into the nearest floor cushion, impaling the textbook heart with it. The beaded cel-straps brush against her hand, filtering rainbow color on her skin, and Go-Go smiles at the sugared non-paradox of her perfect candy world.

Bingo, she mouths, repeating back the rallying call of one broadcast competition, nonsense that makes perfect sense for her. Big win.