And, at long last, it's finally here - Clover Bunch. You'll have to forgive me; I'm unwell right now, so the notes will be a little shorter than usual. As I mentioned in the notes for the second chapter of Maple Leaf, I'm going to be uploading a couple of new stories so I can save some space on my profile, and I thought I might as well start with this one. The concept of this one is rather simple - Bouquet fell in love with Shu because he was the first boy to show her kindness, correct? So if a different boy was the first to show her kindness (Jiro), it's reasonable to say that she would fall in love with him. As such... This is a little experiment, so to speak, to see how truthful that is. If all goes well, I'll manage to keep everyone in character and make it seem plausible. If not... Well, I'm sure you guys will let me know. XP Oh, one more thing: Much of the text is straight from STAR's fansub, with some grammar corrections. And there are some obvious changes to the storyline to give it more Jiro x Bouquet - hence the "alternate storyline" on the summary. :P With that, after the disclaimer, read on to your heart's content.
Disclaimer: I do not own Blue Dragon, and I do not claim to. This is onlya what-if scenario that I thought up, and have presented to other fans for reading (and hopeful enjoyment).
Beginning of Part One
Opening Theme: Friend (sung by Keita Tachibana)
Credit to STAR Fansubs
It was a pretty normal day. The lunch crowd was an even number, and were mostly easy to serve. There were two customers that seemed like they might be trouble. There wasn't anything particular about the duo, but she had a feeling in her gut that something was wrong. She usually was able to read people well, so she took the utmost care to stay away from the two men.
And then she saw him.
She didn't see him right away. Rather, she saw the people around him. They had a strange air about them, like they weren't quite the ordinary crowd. The first one she saw was a white-haired woman with piercing eyes the color of ice. The second one she saw was a small yellow person, whom seemed to be a Devee (her minuscule schooling had come in handy after all). Then she saw a boy and a girl, that seemed to have a kind of familiarity to each other, though what it was couldn't exactly be identified; from their appearance, she guessed they were both from some small village. And then the icy woman moved. And then she saw him.
The first thought that popped into her head when she saw him was "handsome". His short hair was a brownish-silver, with a stubborn lock from his parted hair that was constantly falling into his line of vision. His eyes were the color of her sleeves, the color of the ocean. He wore a white turtleneck, a green tunic, black pants, and brown boots. A dagger with a curved handle was hooked to his belt. His attitude was cold, and he exuded a strong impression of wanting to be left alone. However, after seeing many different people, she could tell that the boy had a heavy burden to bear.
She was snapped out of her thoughts by a customer calling her. Yelling out a cheerful reply as she hurried over to them, she kept an eye on the group, and the even more mysterious boy.
邂逅 (かいこう)/Kaikou (Chance Encounter)
Jiro tried to block out everyone's chatter as they sat down. Except for Zola, of course.
As Legolas complained of the lack of gourmet food, Jiro scanned his own menu from its spot on the table. They seemed to be picking up more and more members to their mismatched group, and it was driving him out of his mind.
"Welcome!" a cheerful voice interrupted everyone. They all looked over to see a lighthearted, pigtailed... busty waitress. She seemed like the kind of person who could always find something to smile about, but this was just a first impression. Upon closer inspection, despite her chest size, she didn't seem much older than Shu and Kluke. Jiro supposed she was kind of cute, even if he did find her cheerfulness a little annoying. "What would you like to have?"
Of course, Legolas had the nerve to ask for beer. Jiro had to hold back a snort. Fortunately, Zola was quick to ignore him and order water for everyone.
"Yes! Thank you very much!" With that, she was off.
While Legolas did a swell imitation of a fish opening and closing its mouth, Jiro focused on more important matters. "Why are we going to Jibral? Our goal shouldn't be delayed by this officer."
Zola smiled, her eyes closed. "There is a relation."
"A relation?" Jiro's eyes widened.
"Well... Frankly, I didn't think about it that much."
But Zola didn't get to finish what she was saying.
Glass broke. "No... Customer, please stop it!" She knew that these guys would be trouble.
"Isn't it ok?" The guy, probably three times her age, reached for her. "Give me some more service here."
"Isn't it included in his check?" The other one joined him.
She'd never be able to turn invisible with them crowding her like this; not nearly enough room. She needed to think of something, fast.
He'd had it up to here with those guys.
Jiro had turned around when he heard the glass break. He'd been met with the sight of the nice waitress from before being felt up by two jerks. And he couldn't take it anymore.
He saw Shu start to get up, but he stood so quickly that the bench would've fallen over if Zola and Legolas weren't sitting on it.
"Hey." His voice was cold, like when he'd first met Shu. But he hadn't been this angry back then.
"Huh?" The stupid adults looked at him in confusion.
"Knock it off. She doesn't like it." Jiro almost smirked; his attitude had made them visibly nervous.
One of them gulped. "What's up with this kid?"
"Y-you'd better get lost if you don't wanna get hurt. Y-you don't know who you're messing with." The other one was shaking.
"You're going to threaten me?" Jiro took a step forward. "You guys are the ones who don't know who you're messing with." Now, he did smirk. These two would be easy to handle.
She looked on, her eyes filled with wonder. The handsome boy from earlier had come to her rescue. It was like the fairytale books she had read as a young child. Had her prince finally come?
Everything had been going great. He was just about to beat these two to a pulp...
Then Legolas showed up.
"Now, now, calm down. Violence isn't the answer." He didn't seem to notice how the two were approaching him. "Why don't we deal with this argument like civilized men? Everyone will prefer it."
About five seconds later, Legolas was having his wits kicked out of him near the restaurant entrance, crying for mercy as the two men stomped him into while shouting uncomplimentary remarks and names.
Jiro had come over and stood next to the waitress. He was honestly amused by the whole ordeal, and happy that he wouldn't have to waste time fighting those two losers. He knew Zola was walking up behind him before he even saw her, but he didn't see Shu until he was standing next to him. What he found strange was that Shu kept staring at him strangely; his rival's eyes were void of the usual hostility, filled with curiosity and interest.
"What?" Jiro glared at him.
Shu looked away quickly, not responding verbally.
"Done yet?" Zola said to the two men pulverizing Legolas. "Just stop it."
"Huh?" they stopped for a moment, looking at her with annoyance.
"He's traveling with me. If you're going to keep on behaving like this..." She flicked her sword out part way with her thumb. "I won't let you go so easily!"
Jiro stood next to her, pulling his dagger out a little. He hoped they dared to mess with Zola; after all those boring hours spent cramped in the wagon, he was eager for some action.
"Well... that would be all."
"Let's leave it at this."
Jiro repressed a sigh; cowards after all.
"Thank you very much!" The waitress bowed. "Thank you too." She turned to Jiro, something flickering behind her eyes. He thought he heard Shu snort, but it might've been the wind.
Jiro folded his arms. "It's nothing."
They all turned when Legolas moaned. The Jibral agent was in rotten shape; he was covered in bruises and scratches.
"Don't worry about it." Zola said. "Aside from that, can you quickly prepare our meal please?"
"Yes!" The girl ran off cheerfully, like nothing had happened.
"You should be more careful, Jiro." Zola said when they sat back down.
"I know. I'm sorry."
"What are you laughing at?" Jiro snapped at him.
"You make fun of me... but you can't control yourself."
"This coming from the one who couldn't release his Shadow? Don't think that makes you any stronger than me. I can beat you any day."
That snapped something in Shu. "Shut up!! What did you do that was so great?!"
"What?! I'm the one that went there in the first place!"
"But Zola and I had to come and finish things up!"
"You're the one that didn't do anything!"
"I was going to completely kick those guys' a-"
Zola noticed as the waitress ran off to another customer, observing the girl with narrow eyes.
"Listen to me. I can handle myself way better than you will ever be able to."
"Marumaro's body is stronger than yours!"
Zola's eyes sharpened further as the girl took a customer's order.
"Marumaro doesn't have anything to do with this!"
As she tended the customers, thoughts of the boy filled her mind.
He'd come to save her. A boy had come to save her. It was like a dream come true. She had to do something to thank him...
And the lady, of course. She was icy, but she had scared them off in the end. So she would have to do something nice for her, too.
And the other boy... Even if he hadn't done much, he had still been there. She could find some way to thank him.
When she turned around to see how her heroes were faring with their meal, she was shocked to find that they were all gone, dirty dishes left in their wake.
She turned her head back and forth, searching the restaurant for the group. Where were they?! Where had they gone?! Why hadn't she been paying attention?!
There - she found them! They were leaving; maybe she could stop them.
"Hey! Wait a minute, please!" she ran out of the restaurant, following them.
The icy woman turned. "Do you want something?"
"Well..." she smiled. "I'm Bouquet. I'm really grateful because you saved me earlier. And for that... Well... I want to pay you back. If I don't... I won't feel relieved."
She could only hope they would accept her thanks.
Jiro eyed Zola, wondering how she would respond. Honestly, he thought they should leave her be.
But Zola chuckled. "I'm leaving for a bit to go look for something. If you wish to return the favor."
"Hm?" Jiro stared at her in confusion; she never said she needed to look for something.
"Then Jiro is the one that tried to save you at first. I'll just count on Jiro to decide what to do."
Jiro stared at her incredulously. "What?" She was kidding, right?
The waitress, Bouquet, seemed to be overjoyed at this.
"Why isn't it me?" Legolas blocked the view of Shu, Kluke and Bouquet.
"What about me?!" Shu piped up angrily.
Kluke knocked out Legolas, unintentionally clearing the view. "What do you mean 'what about you'?"
"I tried to save her, too!" Shu argued.
Kluke turned around. "Do something, Jiro!"
"Why do I-"
"Because Zola said that you're supposed to decide! So hurry up and decide." She turned away from him.
Why was Kluke so mad at him? He hadn't done anything to her. Wait... was she...?
No. Not in a million-
"Bouquet." Jiro turned to her.
"Yes?" she was practically standing on her toes.
"Letting me touch you, maro!"
He was promptly punched by Kluke. "Idiot!!!!"
"Maro. Idiot." Marumaro's words were muffled by the fact that his face had become a crater.
"Well..." Bouquet seemed lost for words.
"Do whatever you want." Jiro cut in.
"How about a meal?"
"We've already eaten."
Bouquet giggled, seeming a bit embarrassed.
"Why don't you give us a tour around the village?"
"Yes! With pleasure!"
She commenced with showing them around. She showed them two houses, belonging to Ajimofu-san and Kurimoto-san respectively, and the park and the post office. But they didn't seem to want that kind of tour.
"Can you show us a nice cheap inn?" One of them asked; the other boy who helped. She thought his name was Shu.
"Yes! With pleasure!"
After a moment of thought, she brought them to the place she'd thought of. "Here we are!"
"Uh..." Shu pointed to the pipe in the clearing. "That's a..."
"You see, many people stop by this tube. So it looks like its free." She thought she'd done pretty well. But they still weren't happy. What was she doing wrong?
And then... That horrible, perverted little Devee! He wanted to touch her, her chest in particular... And she really didn't know what she would do if someone hadn't done something, since obliging him would be considered returning the favor. But luckily, she didn't have to worry about that, since the girl in the pink dress punched him, hard enough for him to go unconscious.
"We're wasting time." The man with the golden afro said. "I'm so busy, you know." With his nose high in the air, he walked off.
"Well..." She stepped forward, trying to think of a way to make him come back.
"The old man's got a point you know." She was shocked that the one who said this was the boy that rescued her. A little less coldly - was that regret in his voice, or just wishful thinking on her part? - he said, "See you later." He walked off, following the man with the gold afro.
He tried to keep his face a mask as he heard her tentative "Well..." from behind him.
He hadn't wanted to do it. But he knew that he had to. From the moment that he'd met her, he knew that he couldn't become close with her. So it was better to cut ties with her altogether, before anything had a chance to start.
Yes - this was for the best.
The girl in the pink dress held up her hands. "Ah, it's not that big of a deal. Well, those two have problems with expressing their feelings. It's nothing against you; they're like that with everyone."
"True, true." The boy chimed in. "But I understand your feelings. And even though he isn't showing it, I think Jiro does too."
"Huh?" She looked at him in surprise as a chill wind blew through the area, ruffling everyone's hair and clothes. No one... No one had ever understood her before. And now, here was this boy, saying that not only he, but another person understood her.
The boy continued with, "So, you returned the favor. You don't need to feel obliged anymore. And don't try to search for us, please."
She was still in shock from the last part when they both said, "Okay, bye!!!" With that, they ran off, leaving both her and their knocked out friend. Or whatever he was.
"She's kind of stupid." Shu sighed.
"Not to be mean or anything..." Kluke added.
"But she's sure got a HUGE chest, maro!" Marumaro grabbed at the air.
"Is that all that's in your head?" Jiro opened his eyes as he spoke, his voice fairly calm. He wouldn't admit it, of course, but it bothered him that the only thing Marumaro cared about was that. And he was mad at Shu, too; there was more to that girl than what they mentioned, but neither of them seemed to see it. Jiro didn't know what it was exactly, but he knew that there was just something about her...
"Surely if we didn't have time to waste-" Legolas was cut off, though.
"Hey, hey!" They all looked up when they heard her voice. "How's everyone? Everything fine?" Everyone just gaped at her. "I feel fine, at least," she raised two fisted hands in front of her. "I came to help you all out. So let me try to make you rest."
That seemed to have worked, since everyone in the room - except for the girl in the pink dress - smiled when she lowered her arms. Even the boy who had saved her. A success indeed!
The Devee raised a finger. "Okay, so first of all, that chest..."
The girl punched his cheek. "Not allowed!!!"
"Sweetie," The man with the golden afro started. "How about rubbing my shoulders a little bit?" He turned around.
"Who does he think I am? A spa attendant?" Bouquet thought, irritated. "Well, that's okay... I'll teach him." Aloud, she said, "No problem!" she winked, raising her hand in a mock salute. Jumping down from the ledge, she produced a large mallet. She would have gotten him, too, if he hadn't been quick enough to dodge her strike. She did send him rolling, which was almost as good.
He pushed himself up, teary eyed and furious. "Are you trying to kill me?!!!"
She stuck her tongue out cutely, poking her cheek, attempting to feign innocence. "Oh, well... That might've been too much. He did try to help, after all. Let me see if I can make up for it." A moment later, she came in carrying a tray with steaming cups. "I brought you green tea." Surely this would work. Right?
"Is she going to do it?" Shu whispered.
"She will surely do it, maro." Marumaro took a step back.
"She'll do it for sure." Kluke agreed.
Jiro simply folded his arms, watching as Legolas made an unwittingly comedic pose with his arms, obviously knowing that whatever the girl did would likely effect him. "Let her do it," Jiro thought. "It'll probably be a good show."
The waitress girl tripped, falling towards the ground, the tea going flying. Landing right in Legolas' hair.
"It's hot!!!!" he yelled, jumping from foot to foot as the tea completely soaked his afro and clothes.
"She did it again." Shu, Jiro, Kluke and Marumaro said simultaneously.
The girl hopped up. "Sorry!!" she ran off, returning in a moment with, offering a cloth in her hands. "I'm sorry, use this please."
He snatched it away from her. "Well, that's why the world... Huh?" he unfolded it, then held it away from him, pinching his nose. "It smells... smells like milk! What is it? A washcloth? You're making me wipe my face with a washcloth that smells like milk!"
She bowed. "I'm so sorry! I'm careless."
He lowered his hand, closing his eyes. "I understand, careless..." Then he suddenly opened his eyes, throwing the washcloth at her as he said, "Stop fooling around with me!!"
It fell at her feet. Her face was an expression of complete stun.
"Seriously, what's wrong with your behavior?"
She looked down. "I'm sorry."
"No problem at all." Shu said, his arms folded behind his back.
"I guess it's okay..." Jiro shrugged. Honestly, he was about five seconds from strangling Legolas for yelling at her like that. What was the point of saving her if they were going to treat her like that?
Marumaro slid over. "That's why you should've let me at her chest..."
As Kluke started kicking Marumaro into the floor, and the girl looked at her feet, Legolas continued, "That isn't a joke," he pointed at her. "If this girl keeps on being near me..." He pointed with his thumb at himself. "My life will be in danger. Get out of my sight, now! And I'm not talking about those..." He gaped at her chest for a moment, before resuming his angry stance. "I don't want to see your face again!"
She continued to stare at her feet, then bowed slightly, saying, "I'm sorry." She turned and walked out.
Jiro turned to Legolas. "That was rude of you, old man."
"I'm not old. And I wasn't rude!"
Bouquet was still staring at her feet as she stepped off of the stairs leading to the inn. But then she cheered up. "Oh well! I'm not what you think I am!"
She walked a little ways away, stopping in front of a dark alley. She held fisted hands in front of her, saying, "Times like these are times I should show my courage!" She continued inside. "Guts! Guts!"
Once it seemed like she was far enough inside, she looked around to make sure no one was looking. "Don't think I'm just an ordinary waitress."
End of Part One
*eyecatch of Bouquet*
Credit to STAR Fansubs
Beginning of Part Two
She kicked off her shoes, continuing by pulling the string of her apron. "Alright. Here I go!" She pulled off her apron sleeves. "I'm one of the Ra Clan and I have super powers. Time to sneak in!" Eventually, she got all of her clothes off. "Alright! I'm going to disappear! Kiekie~!" Pink smoke erupted from where she stood, and then Bouquet was gone. To most people, at least.
She chuckled. "Using this appearance enables me to get close... Then I can find out what everyone wants."
A minute or so later, she'd managed to get back inside of the inn without being detected. She stood behind a pillar. "Here I go! First, I'll make everyone say what they want."
The front door opened. "It's her." The icy woman she'd seen earlier walked inside of the room. Even though she was invisible, she hid further behind the pillar. The woman seemed like there was more to her than met the eye, and Bouquet didn't want to take any chances. Not yet. Soon, though.
Kluke looked up when she saw her coming. "Zola, are you done with your investigations?"
"Yeah," Zola looked around the room. "What happened to the girl?"
Jiro narrowed his eyes a little. "The old man made her leave."
"He wasn't nice about it, either." Shu added.
"Looks like those two feel bad about it." Bouquet lifted a fist in triumph.
Marumaro sighed longingly. "She's got a great chest."
"It seems like you've changed your mind." There was a bit of an annoyed edge in Kluke's voice.
Legolas snorted. "I'm the one who was in danger. I had the right to complain."
Bouquet closed her eyes angrily. "What's wrong with you, old man?"
Zola turned to Jiro. "And how did she return the favor?"
Jiro shrugged. "We did some... stuff, I guess."
Legolas sat up. "We spent half a day with her and that's what happened. It was an awful day!" He waved his fists in the air angrily, then folded his arms, eyes closed. "Seriously!"
"It wasn't that bad." Kluke said sheepishly.
"If it wasn't that bad, then tell me, what was the good thing she did?" Legolas put a hand to his ear. "SO? Was it good?" He stood. "Next time I meet her I'll shake her!" He motioned with his arms.
Bouquet couldn't take it anymore. So she punched him in the face.
Legolas looked around in confusion. "What... was that?"
Bouquet had her fist still raised, her eyes closed, satisfied with the results. "I understand for sure now that this man is bad." She turned around."But I still don't get what's more important." She looked down. "Huh?"
She saw the perverted Devee boy, lying on his stomach. "Time to ask them about what they want." She knelt down so she was at his level.
"So, everyone... What did you want the cute girl to do for you, mazo?"
Marumaro lifted his head. "Did someone just say 'mazo'?"
"I didn't want anything." Shu laughed a little as he said, "Don't ask a question with such an obvious answer."
"Well! This boy is actually good." Bouquet was glad; while the other boy had done most of the rescuing, this boy had helped a lot too, so it made her happy to know that he wasn't like the old man.
The boy who rescued her had his arms folded, his eyes shut. "Zola and I are the ones who saved her."
"What did you say?!" The other boy yelled at him, sliding forward so their faces were only a few inches away.
He snapped his eyes open, and the two boys stared each other down. She could practically see the electricity between them.
Bouquet waved desperately as she put her voice back into an imitation of the Devee boy's. "Hold it! Hold it! Wait a second! Stop fighting, mezo!"
Shu and Jiro's eyes simultaneously widened. "Mezo?" They spoke at the same time, turning to look at Marumaro.
"NO! I didn't say anything, maro!" He waved his hands in the air.
She couldn't help but yelp as his fist bumped her chest.
"Maro!" Marumaro turned around.
"Is something wrong?" Kluke asked him.
Marumaro felt around. "I touched something that felt good."
Bouquet backed away from him as he continued to feel thin air, holding her arms over herself so he couldn't get to her again. "Pervert!"
Zola chuckled. "Well... making you both satisfied is kind of hard. At this point what would make you two happy... Is only fighting, right?"
"You've got that right." Jiro said.
"Yes!!" Shu smiled up at her. "I want to be stronger!"
"Those two... Want to be strong."
"Hey, Zola!" Shu pointed to himself with his thumb. "Can you train us right now?"
By the time that Bouquet had managed to get her clothes back on, the sun had already started to set.
She was running by the riverside, having heard that they were going to train there, and was desperately hoping that she wasn't too late to see them. She arrived just in time, though.
The two boys were swinging at each other with wooden sticks; the woman watched them from a short distance away.
Bouquet, who was now watching from behind a tree, flinched as the boy who rescued her got pushed back by a particularly hard strike. She felt a blush spreading across her face as he landed easily. "Finally, they're happy!"
The next day, as the morning sun shone brightly, it was time to leave. "Alright, let's go." Zola said.
They set out from the village in the wagon. Things had been going pretty well. Until a Poo Snake stepped in the way.
Once it had finished laughing, the lower mouth said, "When travelers... want to pass through here... they have to take our test."
"What is that thing?" Shu yelled as he jumped off.
"Surely it isn't a Shadow, maro."
"You don't have to worry at all!" Despite Jiro's words, Legolas continued to look terrified.
"Let's do it!" Shu charged for it, Marumaro and Jiro at his side.
"Hey!" Zola called to them.
"To see me and not get afraid... tells me that you're kind of brave," the lower mouth commented. "Yet I'll tell you this... I'm very strong!!!"
Shu stopped a few feet away from it. "As if I care!" he started to bring out Blue Dragon. "When I say 'I'll do it!', I'm going to do it!"
Marumaro started to summon Saber Tiger. "I'll say this! We're stronger, maro!"
Jiro didn't really say anything - he only started to summon Minotauros, yelling his usual battle cry.
Both mouths of the Poo Snake gasped as they saw the Shadows coming out. It seemed like they were afraid.
At almost the same time, Blue Dragon, Saber Tiger and Minotauros came out. The lower mouth squeaked.
"Hey, boy! Did you call me out for that?" Blue Dragon didn't sound pleased at all.
"I'm not going to do this!" Minotauros complained.
Saber Tiger simply sighed; he was used to this kind of thing with Marumaro. And worse. Much, much worse.
"Shut up!!!" Shu yelled at them. "Stop complaining!" he looked towards the Poo Snake again. "Whenever there's an enemy, you fight!"
"Don't be that sure of yourself!" Blue Dragon glared down at him. "I still didn't accept you completely."
"Then I'll make you accept me!" was Shu's response. He started charging up an attack.
The lower mouth of the Poo Snake wailed, and the Poo Snake itself fell into a sitting position.
"Hold on a second, Anego!" the upper mouth said. "That's different than what we talked about! Aren't their fighting abilities kind of strong?"
"Even if you say that..."
"We really can't do it! It's dangerous... and we might die!"
"This is kind of bad." The lower mouth agreed.
"Hey!" Jiro yelled at them. "What are you talking about all by yourself?" It sounded... odd. It seemed kind of stupid to him to contemplate a monster he was about to destroy, but he couldn't help it. Most Poo Snakes were a single entity, but not only did this one have two different-sounding voices, but it seemed like it had a split personality.
The lower mouth stuttered a bit before returning to its regular voice. "Nothing at all! Well... uhh!" It started making different poses of contemplation. "Hmm... Well... Aren't you guys making a mistake?"
"Huh?" All three of them gaped at it. That had even shocked Shu enough to stop charging his attack.
"I did say a test..." it continued, despite the fact that the snake-ish head was breaking out in a sweat. "But I never mentioned fighting!"
"Huh?" Shu's shoulders dropped a little.
"Are you saying you changed your mind, maro?"
"Stop fooling around!" Shu yelled at it. To Marumaro and Jiro he said, "Let's finish them off!" As soon as he'd finished, the three of them all began to charge.
The lower mouth cried out, going back to the high voice as it yelled, "This is the worst!!!!"
"Let's go!!" Shu and the others started running towards it. Saber Tiger moved towards the Poo Snake, past Marumaro, followed by Minotauros, and then Blue Dragon.
Minotauros punched the ground in front of the Poo Snake, sending it flying.
"That's enough!!!" it cried, hurtling through the air.
Saber Tiger followed up the attack by launching fireballs at the fleeing Poo Snake. The monster barely dodged them, jumping from left to right while running.
Blue Dragon finished the assault by using Fire Crisis - the Poo Snake was launched into the air again, tumbling after it landed.
When the Poo Snake had stopped rolling, a pink, white and yellow smoke puffed up around it. Once it had cleared, it revealed Bouquet, and what looked like a purple hippopotamus Shadow. She sat up, crying, "That hurts!!!"
Marumaro, Shu and Jiro gaped at her. "What?!!"
Kluke and Zola also looked on, stunned. Legolas cowered in a corner of the wagon.
She continued to cry, her Shadow finally upright.
"Bouquet." Shu and Jiro said her name simultaneously. Jiro continued by looking up and saying, "And... that's..."
"It's a Shadow." Zola said as she approached, Kluke next to her and Legolas behind her.
"What's this?!" Jiro turned for a moment when he heard Kluke speak.
He looked back at Bouquet and the Shadow as the hippo began to speak. "I'll explain instead of Anego... My name is Hippopotamus. Anego calls me Hippo-chan." He glared a bit as he said, "Call me that as well, please."
"Huh?" Shu was a little stunned by it all, and couldn't get out much more than that.
"I'll explain everything right away," the Shadow continued. "In short, this girl is an Ongaishi."
"Ongaishi?" Not only was he not able to say much, but Shu was getting completely confused.
"I think I've heard of them..." Jiro mumbled under his breath. An Ongaishi... One who must return the favor.
"And you knew that she wanted to pay back your help. May I ask you two over there? Didn't you two want to fight?"
Shu and Jiro turned towards each other. "Now that you mentioned it..." Shu started.
"We might've said something like that." Jiro agreed.
"But how did you know about what we talked about?" Shu asked him.
"She has the Ra Clan's ability," Hippo-chan said proudly. "She can turn invisible," he looked down, and prompted her by saying, "Anego."
Bouquet stopped crying for a minute. Sparkles appeared, swirling around until they completely covered her. The pink-yellow smoke appeared, and once it had cleared, all of her had disappeared except her clothes.
After the group gasped, she made herself visible again.
"That means..." Kluke started.
"That earlier..." Marumaro continued, making those clutching movements with his hands again. He didn't see how Kluke was getting angry behind him, so he wasn't prepared for the three-hit punch she struck him with.
As Bouquet started to cry again, Hippo-chan put his hand in front of him in a gesture of crying. "Isn't it so mean? She tried so hard to return the favor." He dropped his arm, glaring at them a bit again. "And... she thought that she could be a weak opponent for you."
"So does that mean that the monster was a Shadow as well?" Jiro asked, wondering absentmindedly how she could control two Shadows at once.
"You're absolutely right!" Hippo-chan seemed more cheered than a second ago. "In spite of the fact that I can transform, I can't fight very good. Oh, and by transforming... I mean..." Hippo-chan turned into a bright blue, yellow, and pink light, then swirled around Bouquet until she was completely covered.
When the light faded, Kluke stood in place of Bouquet and Hippopotamus. As they leaned forward a bit and winked, Hippopotamus continued by saying, "I can even do this!" The transformation, however, was not entirely exact - Kluke's chest was the same size as Bouquet's.
While Shu grinned and Jiro's mouth hung open, a hair sprung up from Kluke's ponytail as she looked on in furious outrage.
The light covered the transformed Kluke, and disappeared again, leaving Bouquet and Hippopotamus standing there.
"Seriously, everyone has his limit!" Legolas complained. He folded his arms, tapping a finger. "So what is she going to do about it?"
This only served to make Bouquet cry again. "Why?!" Her eyes were closed, so she didn't see Marumaro start moving towards her. "Why are you so mean?!" she fell to her knees.
Everyone finally noticed Marumaro's approach, and Kluke grabbed him before he could do anything to Bouquet.
Jiro gazed at her while this was going on, remembering what he'd heard Shu say while he was walking away.
"But I understand your feelings. And even though he isn't showing it, I think Jiro does too."
Jiro walked towards her. She looked up as he stopped in front of her.
He cleared his throat nervously. "Thank you."
"Huh?" She was... shocked. The boy who had saved her... he was actually thanking her.
"Like Shu said earlier," he continued, sure that Shu would bug him about this later. "I completely understand your feelings. Thank you."
"WHAT?! I'm... fired?!"
"Yes, fired!" her boss shouted at her. "With no return! Sayonara, bye-bye, forever!"
She smiled a little, innocently. "Uh... but why?"
He moved so his face was in front of hers. "Wouldn't it be strange if I didn't fire you... For skipping work all of a sudden?! Don't be so sure of yourself just because you've got big breasts!" he snorted, then walked away.
"Bouquet." Jiro started.
She started crying before he could say anything else. "Why did I get fired!? All I wanted was to return the favor!"
"But even though you say that..." Jiro tried to cut in through the crying.
Bouquet turned around. "Hey, Jiro."
"Y-yes." he said nervously.
She leaned forward, her hands clasped, eyes tearful and shining. "Will you help me find a job, please?"
Save for Bouquet, they all simultaneously said, "Probably no one will hire you."
"Or will you hire me?" she smiled then. "If you agree to pay me 800 golden coins then it's OK!" she made the "ok" sign with her hands. Then she went back to her previous pose. "I'll try really hard to show the best of me."
Again, they all said, "That's why no one would hire you."
Jiro coughed. "Well..."
"What do you say, Zola?" Kluke asked angrily.
Zola chuckled. "I'll let Jiro decide. Do what you want."
"I should get to decide, too!" Shu yelled, but no one was listening to him.
Jiro looked at Bouquet carefully. "Alright. I'll only say this once... From now on..."
Bouquet smiled hopefully. "Do you mean...?"
"NO WAY AM I SAYING YES! EVERYONE, RUN!"
They were all out of the restaurant in a second, and into the wagon a second after that.
"Hey!!! Wait a second!!!" Bouquet started chasing after them.
"Not on your life!!!" Jiro shouted back.
"What's wrong with you?!" Bouquet stopped for a moment, raising her arms in the air, her eyes scrunched shut. "If this is the way it's going to be... Then I'll chase you to the end of the earth!" She started running after them again. "I won't ever let you escape! Wait!!!"
"ZOLA! HURRY! SHE'S GETTING CLOSE!"
Lightning crashed in the sky over Grand Kingdom's castle. Inside of the throne room, a man knelt before the king. "General Rogi reporting - I just arrived from Toureki... Nene-sama."
End of Part Two
*eyecatch of Jiro*
Credit to STAR Fansubs
Ending Theme: Fly So High (sung by Yuu Yamada)
Next Episode: N/A
And it's done! *sigh of relief* Hopefully I didn't mess it up too badly... Again, I'm not feeling very well, so I might have forgotten to edit out some things. XP I'll try to do better with the next chapter... Anyway, I'm sure that you noticed the "N/A" for the "Next Episode" above - this is because I'm still deciding whether to have the next chapter Episode 7 or 8. Bouquet doesn't reappear until Episode 8, and while I might be able to fit in some Jiro x Bouquet thoughts on Jiro's part, there isn't much that's changed about Episode 7. So... If you like, you can let me know your opinion about that; it would help a great deal. :) And... That's pretty much everything I need to mention. Though I am uploading several new stories and catching up on ones that are incredibly late, I will try to update after 10 hits. Please review if you can and let me know what you thought. Hope everyone's feeling better than I am, and I'll try to see you soon! :)