Duran-kun and Kiyo-chan's Omake Theater

(featuring the Higurashi family pet)

"Get 'cher hands up! Get 'em up!"

The convenience store clerk shivered in fear as he obeyed. There weren't that many street thugs in Japan waving guns around, and it was entirely possible the blued-steel automatic being shoved in his face was the first one the middle-aged man had seen in real life. Even the thug's partner, otherwise an identical model with buzzcut hair, bandanna over his mouth, sunglasses, and leather jacket, only had an aluminum baseball bat to poke at an elderly lady waiting in line.

"Alla you!" Batboy roared. "Gimme yer money, now!"

"Open the register, old man!" his gun-toting friend barked at the clerk, perhaps forgetting that he'd just told the man to raise his hands. Trembling, the clerk fumbled with the register.

"Hey! You kids!" The thug waved his bat towards the two high-school students that had just emerged from behind the ice-cream cooler when the robbery began. "Lemme see your wallets!" His eyes then fell on the female half of the pair. "Hey, yer quite the cutie! Just my type!"

He reached out to cup her face with his free hand, but she jerked her head back with a look of revulsion.


"Now, that ain't nice, girlie!" he sneered, grabbing her by the upper arm and pulling her towards him. The boy stepped forward at once.

"Leave her alone!"

"Back off, 'less you wanna get hurt!" the thug sneered.

"I said to keep your hands to yourself." The boy shoved the punk back a step.

"Hey!" the thief with the gun barked, swinging the pistol's barrel over towards the kids. "You wanna die, hero? You want her to see you bleed?"

The boy stopped, unclenching his fists and raising his hands.

"Yeah, hero boy. Know yer role," Batboy laughed, then rammed the end of the bat like a lance into the boy's gut, making him double up, retching.

"Kazu-kun!" squeaked the girl.

"You don't want him to get hurt any more, you play nice with me, get it?" the thief sneered in her face. He expected her to cower and whimper in fear, something he got off on, but he was doomed to disappointment. Unlike in the clerk's past experience, a petty thug with a baseball bat wasn't the scariest thing Akane Higurashi had seen. After assorted Orphans, MIBs, a killer android, Midori Sugiura drunk and bearing cosplay costumes, the odd evil deity, and Kazuya's mother, he didn't even make her top ten.

"Don't you lay a hand on him!" she snapped back, glaring up at him.

"What, have you kids got a death wish or something?" the pistol-packing thief asked in disbelief.

Akane shook her head sharply, then cried out, "Hari!"

Unlike in the days when she'd been a HiME, a giant metal panther as tall at the shoulder as she was did not materialize out of thin air in front of her. But a hundred-pound metal panther springing over the cooler and crashing into the gunman, carrying him down to the floor, knocking the gun from his hand, and closing his mouth gently on the back of the thug's neck in a persuasive suggestion that the thief should stay very still was quite spectacular enough for the occasion.

Batboy stood gaping in shock. Well, probably gaping; because of the bandanna no one could be quite sure, but it looked like a moment for a gape. Certainly, slack-jawed gaping was the kind of expression one commonly found on people who were so stunned by circumstances that a high-school girl could reach out and pluck a baseball bat right out of their hand.

Akane wasn't like some of her fellow HiME. Unlike Mikoto, Natsuki, or Akira, she hadn't trained in the martial arts or to fight with weapons other than her Element. The bat, however, was similar enough to her oversized tonfas that she was able to snap a backhanded blow across the thief's chest, then spin it around for a strike behind the knees that whipped him up off his feet. He crashed onto his back on the linoleum floor, and she pinned him there with the bat pressed against the base of his throat.

"Akane, that was so cool!" Kazuya cheered her wholeheartedly, being the kind of guy who thoroughly enjoyed displays of gratuitous awesome from his girlfriend (and her cat). This time, though, he was not alone in his praise.

"Indeed, young lady, I've never seen anything as amazing in all my life," the clerk gushed.

"Yes, yes," agreed the elderly woman, nodding vigorously. "Why, I can't imagine how you ever got that cat to come when you called him."