A/N: My first fanfic ever! This is a parallel-universe story based on the second ED "No, Thank You!" This story is quite dark, which was the impression I got when I saw the ED for the first time. The characters' personalities are based from my impression of them from the ED. So they might seem OOC.
This first chapter is actually based on a 16page doujin my friend drew - when she uploads them, I'll post the link to them!
English isn't my first language, so there might be grammar mistakes. Constructive criticism is welcome. Flames are fine too, but do not flame me on the pairings.
Other than that, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own K-On.
In this vast sky, I want to spread my wings
Into the sky, free and without sadness,
I want to flap my wings.
Chapter 1 - Tsubasa wo Kudasai
A lonesome figure slowly walked out of the school yard, her hands casually stuffed in the pocket. There was no uncertainty in her steps; steady and confident steps that exert a certain aura of power – an aura that practically screamed 'do not mess with me'.
The girl's face was shrouded by the shadow of the light purple hoodie she was wearing, making her expression unreadable. Twin strands of long, lustrous black hair flowed out from the hat, reaching her chest. The hoodie jacket was opened until it reached her stomach, revealing a short red necktie which bounced with every step she took. She was wearing black-striped short skirt and knee high black socks, part of the standard uniform of Sakuragaoka.
There was a good twenty minutes until lunch break, yet the girl walked towards the school gates without a single sign of guilt. She always left her class around the same time, and no one ever tried to stop her, not even the teacher. She was a straight-A student, always quiet in class and most importantly, she was the idol of the school population. As long as she still attended class and handed in the homework, she was allowed this one particular behavior.
Well, being best friends with the principal's daughter also helped.
While the girl may seem calm as if she was taking a leisure walk, the tension in her shoulders spoke otherwise. Finally, she stopped in front of a particular part of the school wall.
She clenched her teeth, trembling in anger as she took in the sight before her.
"They've gone too far this time," she muttered, her voice deceptively soft.
Taking her left hand out of the pocket, she aimed the spray paint and wrote down her message with a small but dangerous smile on her face.
At the same time, another girl had also left the class early and was now lying on her back on the school's roof. As another one of the principal's daughter's friend, and as one of the school idol's childhood friends, she was also allowed to leave class early. The girl, however, did not have good grades like the school idol, and she always slept in class until woken up by the student council president.
The brunette, unlike the school idol, was wearing the standard school uniform, with the jacket buttoned up revealing only the top part of the necktie.
Dull brown eyes stare into the endlessly blue sky, at the passing clouds. She took out one of her arms under her head and reached upwards, as if trying to grab the clouds, or perhaps even the sky itself.
Suddenly a familiar shadow blocked her view, snapping her out of her daze.
"Yui-senpai!" A petite girl with long twin ponytails sighed exasperatedly, crouching down beside the daydreaming girl.
Hirasawa Yui lowered her arm, blinking as if trying to snap out of her reverie. Her eyes lit up in excitement, her expression resembling a kid who was reunited with her favorite plushie toy. She sat up immediately and lunged for the black-haired girl.
"Azunyan~" Yui smiled happily, trying to hug the startled girl. The smaller girl blushed in embarrassment, pushing her senpai away automatically.
"S-stop it! Why do you always do this when you see me?"
"Because you're so cute and so huggable~" Undeterred and unaffected by the refusal, Yui stood up and held out a hand to her favorite kouhai, all the while wearing that innocent, charming smile of hers that always prompted the teachers to forgive her for any tardiness.
Nakano Azusa sighed again, but she took the older girl's hand without any hesitation. She was a year younger than Yui, but the two met when Ui, Azusa's friend and Yui's younger sister, invited her over to the Hirasawa residence. Ever since then, the two had been inseparable. It was also Yui who introduced her to the school idol and the principal's daughter – the four formed fast friendship, somehow, as if it was meant to be.
This was also the reason why, once awhile, Azusa had the privilege of leaving class early. Of course, like Ui, she usually stayed in class until the end, but today was one of those days that required her presence. After all, she was the fastest at finding Yui, even faster than the more reliable younger sister.
"Come on, Yui-senpai. Mugi-senpai's waiting for us," Azusa turned towards the door, expecting her senpai to follow.
Once Azusa's back was facing her, Yui's blank expression returned. She tilted her head and looked into the sky once again, gazing at a small sparrow flying under the brightness of the sun.
When will you be free?
When will you be able to fly across the sky freely like the bird?
When will you stop hurting…
"Senpai!" Azusa's annoyed call broke Yui's reverie. The brunette followed her kouhai down the stairs, wondering why Mugi-chan called for them. She wasn't surprised when Azusa led her out of the school yard and past the school gates. She was surprised though, when she saw Kotobuki Tsumugi and her childhood best friend Manabe Nodoka.
"Sorry to keep you waiting!" Azusa greeted the student council president politely. Nodoka smiled lightly, but her serious expression quickly returned. The blonde girl beside her was staring at the wall, seemingly unaware of the two's arrivals.
"Look at this," Nodoka said softly, pointing to the wall.
Azusa hissed in shock and fury while Yui frowned worriedly. Vulgar words and phrases were spray-painted across the pristine school wall, insulting their school – the students, the staff and mostly their dearest friend – Akiyama Mio.
None of them were worried about the graffiti itself though; Nodoka can easily arrange something and talk to the staff, cleaning it up before the students see it. What made them all anxious was the neo-green paint that haphazardly crossed out most of the words, and the one-line reply:
"We'll settle this today."
"Mio-senpai…" Azusa's garnet eyes narrowed, her tiny fists trembling in suppressed anger, "Those guys from Onigaoka are really out of control, Mugi-senpai! Things can't continue like this!"
Mugi, the principal's daughter, only smiled wryly and shook her head. Azusa bit her lips, swallowing her protests. The kouhai knew too well why Mugi, or Sakuragaoka, couldn't do anything about those gangsters from their rival school, Onigaoka. The rival school, whose owner was a bitter rival of the Kotobukis, let their students run wild. The thugs were never caught in their acts – that was why Sakuragaoka could not accuse them without any solid evidence.
But it was getting harder and harder to tolerate their acts. I understand your feelings, Mio-senpai, but can't you wait for us? Don't you…trust us?
Azusa took a deep breath, trying to calm herself, and looked at her senpais, waiting for some sort of instruction. Mugi-senpai was still staring at the wall, deep in thought; Yui-senpai was uncharacteristically quiet; and Nodoka-senpai had already left, probably informing the staff of this latest incident.
"We need to find Mio-chan first," Mugi said finally. "She was too impulsive last time. I don't want it to happen again."
"Yea, good thing we followed Mio-chan last time. Even she can't fight against so many people at once," Yui nodded grimly. She grabbed Azusa's hand and pulled her along, "Mugi-chan, we're gonna go find her. Let's go, Azunyan!"
"Let's go to the warehouse first! Mio-senpai's probably there!"
"I'll stay here, in case Mio-chan comes back," Mugi called out to her friends with a worried expression. She leaned against the wall, feeling incredibly tired all of a sudden.
What are you thinking this time, Mio-chan?
Why won't you tell us anything?
The sparrow, which Yui was observing earlier, was no longer flying freely; it was flapping its wings for dear life, an eagle diving for it with its talons outstretched.
A little girl was cowering beside a tree, her tiny arms wrapped around her legs as if trying to appear as small as possible. She timidly raised her head when someone called out her name, and was met with a concerned pair of amber eyes.
"Ricchan!" The black-haired girl cried out in relief. The sandy-haired girl grinned and pulled her friend up.
"Come on, let's go! Yui-chan, Ui-chan and Nodoka-chan are waiting for us!" Ritsu used her other hand to pat Mio's head, since her other hand was in a death grip by the latter.
"We-we won't get separated again?" Mio stared apprehensively at the sea of people behind Ritsu, not wanting to get lost again.
Ritsu only grinned wider, giving her a victory sign proudly, "Of course not! I'll always be there for you, Mio-chan!" She emphasized her point by raising Mio's hand, their fingers locked tightly together.
Mio smiled, a large, innocent smile, at her friend's confident tone.
Grey eyes blinked sluggishly as the owner woke up from her light nap. Even though she was sitting alone in this empty, spacey warehouse, she was not afraid of the dark as she once did, when she was little.
Yet, that old fear was nothing compared to this constant, horrible void in her heart.
A lone tear slid down her cheek, but Mio didn't seem to notice it. She was sitting on top of a wooden crate, her arms wrapped around her legs. She rested her chin on her knees, sighing shakily.
But you aren't here. You weren't here when I needed you the most.
Where are you, Ritsu?
Mio suddenly shook her head vehemently. She glared at her own reflection from a broken piece of glass in front of her.
No. I promised myself not to think of the past anymore. I don't need her anymore. She ignored the dull ache in her heart resolutely.
I am strong. I don't need to rely on anyone.
The image of the graffiti flashed across her mind.
I will teach them not mess with Akiyama Mio.
"Nodoka-chan! What did Yamanaka-sensei say?"
Hirasawa Ui almost looked identical to her older sister, except for her longer brown hair put in a high ponytail. It was almost lunch time, but she couldn't sit in the class anymore; after all, the two most important people in her life, her sister and Azusa-chan, were looking for Mio-senpai, according to Nodoka-chan's text.
And so Ui left her class early and met up with the bespectacled girl outside of the staff office.
"Sawako-sensei said she will handle everything. Now we need to prevent the students from leaving the school grounds at lunch, not before we can get rid of the graffiti. We don't want to cause unnecessary panic. Everyone is doing the best they can. That's why we need to do what we can."
Ui frowned anxiously, "Jun-chan was absent this morning. She texted me and told me that she will come to school around lunch time."
"Then we will need to find her, in case those thugs find her first."
The two stared into space for awhile, lost in thoughts. Then Ui spoke, almost fearfully.
"…Onee-chan and Azusa-chan will be alright, won't they?"
Nodoka smiled gently, "I think-no, I know they'll be alright. I believe in Yui, and Azusa is with her as well. They will be fine."
Ui smiled back, feeling less worried at her childhood friend's words.
"Ui! Prez!" A familiar voice was down from the hallway. The two turned around in surprise.
"Jun-chan? What's wrong? Is everything ok?" Ui eyed her friend uneasily, wondering why the grey-haired girl had run towards them.
Suzuki Jun panted, clearly out of breath, but she was determined to tell them what she had just seen. "I-I just went past the school gates and saw a bunch of people surrounding Mugi-senpai! S-She told me to go inside quickly…I didn't know what to do, so I came to find you guys right away!"
"Ui, go get Sawako-sensei. I'm going to help Mugi," Nodoka quickly ran down the hallway, her heart thundering in her ears. She knew Mugi practiced Judo as self-defense, but would that help her against those thugs?
I won't be much help, but at least it is better than nothing. If Mugi gets hurt, Mio will- Nodoka quickened her steps, determined to get there before the situation got worse.
Mugi gasped, arms trembling in fatigue as she leaned against the wall. A thug was lying on the ground, unconscious, but there were six more thugs surrounding her, all sneering and ready to fight.
"Look, Ojou-chan, we're only here to talk to this Akiyama Mio. She said she'll settle things with us, didn't she?" The leader of the group gave Mugi an ugly jeer, pointing at the green graffiti behind her.
Mugi tensed at the mention of her best friend, causing the thug to laugh. "No worries, pretty girl. We'd like to 'talk' to you too, after seeing how you treated my friend." The thug glanced at the unmoving one on the ground, and then gazed at Mugi hungrily.
I can't take them on by myself! But I don't want anyone to get dragged into this. I hope Mio-chan doesn't show up now. What should I do then? Did Jun-chan inform the teachers? No, even then, they won't get here in time. I'll just have to hold my own for as long as possible.
Suddenly, someone stood in front of her, back facing her. This stranger was wearing Sakuragaoka's uniform, but Mugi couldn't recall ever seeing this person before.
"6 against 1? That's sad," the stranger chuckled.
Her sleeves were rolled up to her upper arms, and her jacket was unbuttoned. Short, slightly spiky sandy-brown hair gave her a wild, tough appearance. She was slinging a yellow bike helmet over her shoulder, while her other hand was stuck in her pocket. Even though she was shorter than Mugi, around Yui's height, the way the stranger held herself make her seem bigger and taller.
"What did you say, you bitch?" One of the thugs rushed forward in blind rage.
"Look out!" Mugi shouted.
The stranger ducked under the thug's arm and tripped him with a simple swipe at the ankle. While he was stumbling, she rammed her elbow hard into the back of his head, instantly knocking him out. All the while, her other hand still slung the helmet lazily over her shoulder.
The leader was shocked. That was one of his best fighter!
The stranger turned her head towards Mugi, with a confident smirk, "Don't worry. I can handle this. I'll play with them for a bit."
"W-who the hell are you?" The leader yelled, furious over the taunt.
The girl now had a blank expression, a dangerous glint in her amber eyes.
"Your worst nightmare."
A/N: Some background information:
Ritsu and Mio grew up together. They met Yui, Ui and Nodoka in kindergarten and they all attend the same elementary school together. The Tainakas moved away when Ritsu graduated elementary and they were never seen again.
Mugi met the others in high school, that's why she doesn't know about Ritsu.
Pairings: mostly MioxRitsuxMugi, some YuixAzusa and more
Once again, constructive comments are welcome~ I hope you enjoyed this chapter!