Author's Notes:

-grins and winks-

Quite nice to hear from you lovely HaruZuke fans.

Glad to know you enjoyed the previous chapter, hope you like this one as well.

Oh, and do forgive me, I'm not very good at describing fighting scenes, but I'm working on it.


The owner of "Fists of Power", the Suzushiro dojo, is a proud full-blood German man. He stands at above six feet (six foot seven, to be precise), with broad shoulders, and a tough, yet kind attitude. His birth name being Adalard von Swithin, or one who is very high in bravery.

In his early twenties, Adalard convinced himself that he was destined to fight, plain and simple. Wanting to participate in a fighting style quite unlike that which his homeland had to offer, he immersed himself in Asian Studies. Soon after, he moved to Japan and was taught under a master in Tae Kwon Do for five years. While there, he fell madly in love with his Sensei's third daughter, Hiromi Morihara. They married within a year of meeting. Introverted and reserved, Hiromi was at first quite taken back by her future husband's behavior. He was, and still is, a reckless man, one to easily get high on adrenaline. Yet he had a certain charm, one she was vulnerable to. On the night of their marriage, they had agreed to have a child together, and the brunette was impregnated that very evening.

Shortly afterwards, Adalard found it necessary to change his name, for he hadn't wanted his wife, nor his oncoming child to bare such bizarre titles. His master suggested Ryuken Suzushiro. The kanji written were the symbols for "heroic strength" and "noble and just". It was a fine combination.

On August 3rd 1992, at 12:38 AM, (A.N: Judging if she hasn't aged since the '05 release. Well now that I think about this, this is AU… So ignore this, yeah? –Midori ramble-) Haruka came barrel rolling out just in time for lunch. Their daughter had short blonde hair, pasted down by placenta, and a scowl on her face, eyes shut tight in what appeared to be anger. To their worry, her facial expression stayed that way for an hour straight, her lip only quivering every few minutes or so. After some careful rocking and singing from her mother and some pleas to just open her eyes from her father, a single amethyst eye gazed up at the ceiling. Feeling that it was safe, the other followed.

The young couple were astonished by the eye color, for neither of them possessed it. The infant stared them down for a short moment before gracing them with a victorious smile as if to say "I made it, now award me for it."

At age four, she enlisted in Tae Kwon Do, taught by her own father, who had just opened "Fists of Power". Even though poor Hiromi pleaded that they not have her participate in such a thing, Haruka herself insisted that she do so. "I wanna be strong!" She shouted as loud as her tiny voice could go.

Unfortunately, by age six, they had discovered that their only child had supposedly suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Her father saw it as a blessing; she could focus all of that pent up energy into her fists. Her mother, on the other hand, became anxiety-ridden.

"She just… She won't sit still." Hiromi mumbled into the telephone, her voice cracking from the stress as a bead of sweat, or a tear, tumbled down her cheek. "She'll shout out answers to things before I'm done telling her something and she gets in trouble at school for not waiting for her turn… I don't know what to do…"

Dark, almost black locks clung to her forehead from the sweat as hazel eyes darted about the room, searching for her child. She could have sworn she was nearby a moment ago. The woman was exhausted from chasing her around the living room, the blonde tumbling over sofas, laughing. She was so much like her father. Maybe that was the problem. One was hard enough as it was. Ryuken was tough on you until you got something right, and then he would switch to a loving mood.

"I know, Mrs. Suzushiro, I know. And as you know, there is always the option of medication. Such as Methylphenidate, Ritalin, or Adderall." The doctor spoke, his voice monotone and purely business. From the other line, he sat in his three legged chair, phone between his ear and shoulder as he spoke and typed onto his computer with his left hand while his right signed his name on a dotted line. The forty-six year old man was finding retirement to be impossible once more this year.

Hiromi gulped back some collected saliva at this information as he spoke. Yes, she was well aware of it. But what would become of Haruka? It would sap her of her personality. Even though she was having a hard time dealing with her, she loved her very much, and only wanted what was best for her. "Could there possibly be anything else?" She talked before a flash of blonde interrupted.

"Mom! Mom, look!" The little girl was hopping back and forth on each foot as she looked up at her mother.

"Give me one minute, Haruka. I'm on the phone."

At this, the girl stuck out her tongue, and that was when she noticed. There was blood on her mouth. The phone slipped from between her fingers as she crouched down quickly, gently taking her daughter by her shoulders. "Haru-chin! What happened?"

She grinned widely, revealing a red stained gap where her left canine tooth used to be. In between her index finger and thumb lay the tooth. She said nothing, simply watching her mother for a positive reaction.

The woman's face took on many emotions, such as fear and grief, before settling on a worried smile. "Let's wash you up, shall we?"

Two weeks later, she left. She slid out of Ryuken's tight embrace on December 12th, before the sun could even adjust itself in the sky. Leaving behind all of her belongings she crept into Haruka's room before taking off. The blonde lay eagle spread with her stomach showing and a dab of drool on her lips. Choking back a sob, Hiromi tucked a stray wavy lock behind her ear and kissed her on the forehead.

The rest of the next few days, for Haruka, were spent going in and out of her parent's room and her mother's study. Going through clothes, sniffing the perfume, flipping through books too difficult to read. Her father became unusually cold, directing most of his anger on her. Being the person that she was, she never stood for it, and always yelled right back.

It took the two until she was fourteen to repair their relationship. After six years away from Tae Kwon Do, she one day knocked on his door, asking if he would take her on as a student. Their emotions were taken out on the punching bags. Now on every twelfth of December, the two spend their day having as much fun as possible, trying their best to forget. At night they grieve alone.

In middle school, Haruka had fought to become President, enforcing strict rules. Order became her obsession, next to fighting, and she worked hard to make sure that everyone knew so. Unfortunately, she was not popular by many. Her loud, booming voice swallowed up all other sounds, commanding attention, and she stumbled upon her words often. Though anyone who dare poke fun at her sought her wrath. It was never clean, either. She would fight publically, as a show of strength and as a warning.

She had gone unopposed for years, and she knew that her upcoming senior year would be the same.

But, she was unaware that after summer, she would have a competitor. And that person was now standing next to Natsuki on the other end of the dojo.

"I'll be your partner for kicking." A husky voice spoke as crimson eyes watched the owner's lips. They quirked into a smile as she continued speaking. "Between you and me, I'm the best kicker in here. Hence why we're partnered."

Shizuru felt her heart go a flutter at this. Natsuki Kuga, as she had previously introduced herself, was gorgeous. No, that may be an understatement. Drop dead gorgeous is more precise. Up close gave an even better look at shining ebony locks, mainly due to sweat, and sparkling emerald eyes. Her jacket was thrown aside and she wore a tight tank top, easily showing off the exact shape of her breasts and how flat her stomach was.

"Before we begin…"

Cherries darted back up to grassy greens; not being the type to get caught openly checking someone out.

"As my personal protocol states, I must inform you that I'm asexual. If that's too big of a word for you, that means that I hold no attraction towards anyone, so if you're gay, no, I'm not being homophobic." She spoke with a hand on her hip and the other up towards her hair to comb through it. Her eyes were closed during it all.

Shizuru held back a small frown at this. Oh why did the good die young? Regardless, she told herself to respect this person's decision and not hit on her. Teasing, however, is allowed.

"Ara, how unfortunate. And here I thought I could get lucky."

Her reward was the deep coloring of Natsuki's pale cheeks before she turned away.

"Yeah, right. Anyway. We're going to start off simple. I'll get the targets."

Before any more could be said, she walked past her to the bin in the back. Of course, Shizuru watched this action with little discretion. But her eyes soon drifted over to the others. Haruka, who had left quite the impression, stood poised before Miyu, who had her palm out. The blonde brought her fist back before smacking the outer side of it into the other's hand. The slap, plus the movement, caused the brunette to momentarily, and uncharacteristically flinch. Miyu on the other hand didn't bat an eyelash.

When Natsuki returned, she held a tear drop shaped black target. "Now turn to face the flags."

Prying her eyes away, Shizuru did as she was told.

"Alright, now kick the target when I count."

Honey strands of hair casually drifted about as she nodded.

"One."

Pulling her knee up to her stomach first, she kicked with her foot angled to the side, hitting the target with enough force to cause a sound. This seemed to brighten her mood.

"Two."

Repeating the action gave the same reaction. With a small smile, she finished ten on the left leg, and then on the right.

"Now you hold the target for me." Tossing it over, Shizuru caught it and held it in the same way the blunette had.

"Word of advice: hold it until your knuckles turn white. If not, it will slip between your fingers and the target will go flying." She had blushed a bit as she eyed the far wall. "You don't want to know what will happen if you don't hold on." Ending it there, she began her kicks.

They were swift, and had enough force to push her arm back, sometimes almost painfully. When she was finished, Shizuru had to give her wrist a small twirl and her shoulder a roll to knock out the knots.

"Switch partners!" Ryuken shouted as he was prying Mikoto off of her brother, who looked as though he were on the verge of passing out from the pummeling.

"Don't worry; he wouldn't pair you up with her just yet." Natsuki pointed to the pigtailed girl with her thumb. Even though her facial expression was one that looked as though she could care less, Shizuru saw the good there. They could make excellent friends.

Their conversation was soon interrupted, however, by the prodding of someone's finger on the brunette's shoulder. Turning, she met eyes much like her own.

"I will be your partner for punching."

"Ara, I appreciate it."

Even though she put on a smile, there was something… unsettling about this Miyu person.

"Place your left hand at angle with your hip while thrusting your right arm out. Keep it straight." Feeling as though she were reading a manual instead, she did so.

"That is an insufficient punch. Do it again."

After the third try, Miyu let her continue.

"Very well. Now punch my hand, do not worry, it will not hurt."

Lifting a lone brow, the brunette squeezed her fist tight and hammered it against the open palm. The android like girl did not spare her a blink.

"That was very good. Now again."

However awkward that was, they had completed the basics within ten minutes.

Now was when things were going to get tough.

"Final switch!"

"Now listen, white belt." A stern voice growled, gaining her attention. "We're just going to spar. Put on your gear and fright for your life, alright?"

"Ara… I believe you meant 'fight'." Due to her paying so much attention in class, she had taken up the habit of correcting one's mistakes.

Everyone stopped moving and Shizuru could have sworn she heard the Sensei groan.

"That's what I said!" In a moment's notice, Haruka had the newbie up against the wall, her left hand on the uniform's collar. Not liking this one bit, red eyes narrowed at her opponent.

"No, I'm afraid you did not."

Gritting her teeth, the blonde moved to strike, but was thwarted by a foot firmly placed against her ribs. Lavenders widened in surprise as she was pushed back a few feet. Once the obstacle was out of the way, she wrapped her arms around her stomach.

It had hurt.

Two years ago, she had stopped wearing protective gear for she was good enough to dodge attacks. And for once, someone hit her, and it actually hurt. Her spine ached from the contact as her lungs tried to suck in too much air.

"Ara! Kanin-na!"

What had happened?

Something had snapped within her, and she had suddenly attacked. She seemed blind for a split second.

"I see the Princess likes to play it tough."

The smell of tobacco smoke was apparent as the crimson haired woman pressed her form against Shizuru, a smirk on her face while she held a handful of her hair in a painful coil.

"That's fine by me, cause I don't play any other way."

But now she was paying for it.


Authors Notes:

XD I don't even know where this chapter came from. I got back from practice and just wrote all of this, none of it was planned.

Note:

Exactly what happened to Haruka, happened to me earlier. I'll be sure to explain the pain later. –chuckles-