Notes: A quick little fic to thank the minds behind season 2, episode 6 for using my mold joke (which can be seen in my fanfic, "Marry Me, Mugi-chan!"). I don't know why they chose THAT particular joke, but it made my day. And at least now Ui has confirmed that Yui eating mold is not beyond the realm of possibility. Oh, and this is set before Azusa joins. Not because I don't like her, but because I don't see her handling a bully any better, due to her smaller size.
Summary: Yui encounters a bully at school, so her friends take action. Ritsu has a plan, but Mugi's backup plan may be even more effective...
A K-ON! Fanfic by
Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)
Hirasawa Yui was a gentle, kind, loving soul, who would willingly give the clothes off of her back to a friend, a sometime associate, or even a perfect stranger.
There were two problems with that, however.
First, Yui would then be naked for all to see (which would not specifically bother her, except that Ritsu, after sneaking a lengthy peek at Yui in the locker room and becoming rather jealous, had threatened serious bodily harm if she ever heard that Yui was going around naked; Mio and Mugi had more or less agreed for modesty's sake, and Sawako had just been miffed that she'd missed out).
Second, Yui often forget that some people were mean, simply for no other reason except that they could be, and that such people would be content to simply take whatever clothes, money, accessories, and doodads she might have on her person at the time.
Oh, and then they might do something completely unreasonable, like give her a black eye as proof that she'd lost a fight (although "fight" implies that Yui fought back, so "encounter where only one side attacked," or "caught a beatdown" were perhaps more accurate phrases).
In any case, Yui was no more a gifted fighter than she was a rocket scientist. In other words, the only way she could have lost worse was if she'd tripped over her own feet and somehow miraculously slammed her face into the bully's fist. And really, the only reason she hadn't been able to do that was because she'd been pinned against a locker at the time.
To describe the encounter in greater detail would only serve to humiliate Yui further, so let us instead focus on the events that followed the beatdown...
Something was definitely wrong.
There was cake in the music room, and Yui wasn't eating it. In fact, Yui wasn't even there at all, which was even stranger. She had the curious ability to smell cake from anywhere else in the school, so she definitely knew that her friends were eating it without her (although people who eat cake without you are severely testing that friendship, so perhaps "somewhat selfish bandmates" is the better term).
Of course, it wasn't like they planned to eat without Yui. But as Ritsu was quick to point out, even if they did wait for Yui, Sawako definitely would not once she showed up, and it didn't make any sense for the three of them to miss out on cake just because Yui was late (Ritsu had the uncanny ability to make perfect sense, but only when she was scheming to cut somebody out of eating sweets which would otherwise have to be shared among more people).
Oddly enough, as good as the cake was, it just wasn't quite as good without Yui, and even Ritsu had to stop a couple of bites in and loudly complain, "Where IS she? I don't like feeling guilty when I'm eating cake!"
Mio had just opened her mouth to inform Ritsu that she more than deserved any guilt she might be feeling, but was cut off by Mugi's alarmed cry of "Yui-chan!"
Ritsu and Mio turned towards the door, and were equally concerned when they saw the state that Yui was in.
Yui laughed weakly and waved at them, which in no way hid her black eye, the torn sleeves of her jacket and shirt, or the generally rumpled state of her clothes. Also, she was missing a shoe, though that was understandably not a major concern at the moment.
Mugi reached her first, guiding Yui gently but firmly towards the bench. "Yui-chan, you lie down right now. Since we don't have a pillow, you can rest your head in my lap."
"But, Mugi-chan, I don't need-" Yui began to protest, until she caught the rather stern look in Mugi's eyes. "Okay," Yui sighed, doing as she was told.
"So what happened?" Mio asked once Yui was comfortable.
"Isn't it obvious?" Ritsu snapped. "Yui's got herself a bully!"
"Well, you never know," Mio disagreed hesitantly. "She might have just run into a door, and then fallen down the stairs..."
Ritsu blinked and blushed, realizing that as clumsy as Yui was, this was entirely possible. "Hey, Yui, you didn't really do that, did you?"
"No, no, it's a bully," Yui confirmed. "Suzuki Hiroko-san, the girl in our homeroom with the really big arms."
This was being rather kind: nearly everything on Hiroko was bigger than normal, though since Yui had a black eye, of course she would have paid special attention to Hiroko's upper body.
"Well, there's only one thing to do," Ritsu decided. "As President of the Light Music Club, I declare war on Suzuki!"
"You can't do that!" Yui cried, startling them all. "I don't want you to hurt her, Ricchan!"
"Why not?" Ritsu demanded. "She hurt you!"
"Well, if we did manage to hurt her, there's no guarantee she'd even feel it," Mio pointed out reasonably (though she was more frightened that Suzuki would flatten them all, and then proceed to floss her teeth with Yui, assuming girls that mean even bothered to floss at all).
"Since she is in our homeroom, there is one other option," Mugi offered.
Yui shook her head. "We can't tell Sawa-chan. She'd just go overboard."
Ritsu grinned wickedly. "That's perfect! Yui, just make sure you're wearing one of Sawa-chan's costumes the next time Suzuki roughs you up, and our problem is solved! Knowing Sawa-chan, they'd never find Suzuki's body, or at least not all of it at once."
"NO!" Yui wailed, bursting into tears.
"Ritsu, you're just upsetting her," Mio growled as Mugi hugged Yui and stroked her hair.
"But we can't just let Suzuki get away with this!" Ritsu practically roared. "Yui's one of us! What if she moves on to you next, Mio?"
Mio paled at the thought. "You're right, we have to get rid of her!" she shrieked in fear.
"But we can't hurt her," Mugi said firmly.
Ritsu frowned and thought for a long moment. "Okay. What if we scared her into leaving Yui alone?"
"How would we do that?" Mio asked.
"Easy! I'll just think of what I'd normally do to scare you, then amp it up by a million!" Ritsu cackled.
Mio had trouble resisting the urge to hit her. "Will that really work?"
Ritsu grinned at her. "It always works on you."
Mio glared and stuck her fist under Ritsu's nose. "Then this had better work, or the next one to get a beating won't be Yui or Suzuki."
Ritsu laughed nervously as she backed away. "Don't worry, Mio! I've already got a plan in mind! All we need is a few things from the Drama Club, a little time to set up, and we can put the plan into action tomorrow! Really!"
"And you promise you won't hurt her, Ricchan?" Yui asked, still sniffling.
"I promise," Ritsu agreed. "Anyway, Mio's probably right. Even if we had a rock big enough to hurt her with, we probably couldn't lift it in the first place..." Her gaze slowly traveled to Mio's bass in the corner. "Hey, Mio, what if we-?"
"You are not going to hit her with my bass!" Mio shouted.
Suzuki Hiroko was no stranger to dark classrooms. They were, in fact, some of her preferred bullying locations. She was used to dragging people into them, however, so it was quite a shock when a hand reached out and yanked her into one the following afternoon.
Hiroko regained her balance quickly, and was prepared for a fight when she heard the door slam behind her rather ominously. More than likely several of her victims had banded together and decided on a bit of revenge. She was more than confident that they would soon learn never to make that mistake again. As Hiroko had no friends, she had learned (through a combination of sheer willpower and experience) how to defend herself against multiple attackers (assuming most of them were, as her victims tended to be, weak and on the skinny side).
Unfortunately, Hiroko was not prepared for psychological warfare.
Her first clue that something was very wrong was the eerie music that suddenly began to play. It was almost as if she were a hapless, soon-to-be-dead victim stuck in a horror movie.
Then came a loud scratching noise behind her. Hiroko spun around with her fists raised, and her jaw dropped in a silent scream.
Someone was slowly but surely crawling out of an old TV set on the floor. Someone wearing a simple white dress. Someone with long, dark, stringy hair that completely hid her face, dragging herself forward with pale, dripping wet hands.
Hiroko forgot all about fighting as she leaped backwards, trying to put as much distance between them as she could. But then she felt cold, clammy hands closing around her arms, and she was spun around roughly, only to stare up into the single, bloodshot, quivering eye peering out of the black strands of hair, its fearsome glare fixed firmly upon her face.
In her terror, Hiroko did not notice that this phantom was significantly taller than the first.
"Suzuki Hiroko," the phantom whispered in a raspy growl, "you will never bother Hirasawa Yui again."
By this point, Hiroko had turned completely white, and was on the verge of blubbering. A good shake from those clammy hands helped her find her voice, though. "I-I'll do anything you say, Sadako-sama!" she wailed.
"Good," the phantom whispered, her hands moving up to close around Hiroko's neck. "Then... DIE!"
Hiroko panicked and knocked the hands away. "NOOOOOOO!" she screamed, bolting from the room. Her screams could be heard long after she'd gone.
"Sadako" cackled evilly and slipped her glasses back on. "I think that's a wrap, girls. Congratulations on a job well done!"
"That was so EASY!" Ritsu laughed as she pulled herself out of the TV set and yanked off her wig. "If that was all it took, we could have scared her off before she ever got to Yui! I just knew your creepy voice would be perfect, Sawa-chan!"
"My voice is NOT creepy!" Sawako snapped, sounding irritable but unable to suppress a hint of pride in her tone. "Anyway, where's Mio-chan? Why isn't she out here celebrating with us?"
Ritsu snorted. "Are you kidding? She fainted ten seconds after we started." Both she and Sawako collapsed into giggles. They had actually chosen Mio to be the crawling Sadako first, except that she took one look at herself in the mirror after the makeup and wig were on, passed out, and couldn't be revived until five minutes before the plan was set to begin, so she'd been demoted to lighting while Mugi provided the eerie keyboard effects.
Yui was never troubled by Hiroko again.
In fact, no one at Sakura High was, because after that day, Hiroko refused to come to school anymore, though no one but certain members of the light music club knew exactly why.
What only one of them knew, however, was that Hiroko's parents soon lost their jobs to mysterious budget cuts (that only seemed to impact the two of them). Combined with Hiroko's refusal to go to any school in Japan, as well as every local school's refusal to accept her (her record was against her, and aside from that, they'd all been instructed, and handsomely paid, to do so), this put the family under a great deal of pressure.
The offer from Kotobuki Unlimited, a famous software developer, to ship the entire family overseas, where cushy jobs and a private school famed for turning out model students (no matter how bad they started off as) awaited them, was a godsend. And because Hiroko never bothered to learn the name of anyone she hadn't victimized, she never made the connection between her parents' new employers and the sweet blond girl in her homeroom.
All of this made for an odd scene the next day in the music room, because when Hiroko didn't show up for school, Yui was convinced that Sawako had disposed of her body in some gruesome way, and wouldn't calm down until Mugi revealed that she'd "heard" that Hiroko's family was moving away. No one questioned this any further, at the time.
Mio, on the other hand, worried it was too good to be true, and made a point of getting Hiroko's address from the school office that afternoon, with the excuse that was she was going to drop by and wish Hiroko good luck in her new school. She never quite got that far (not that she'd ever intended to), largely because the moment Mio spotted the moving truck with Kotobuki Movers on the side, she didn't need to see anything else.
What she did do the following day was ask Mugi what exactly what had been done to Hiroko's family to convince them to leave the country.
Mugi simply looked at her in mild concern and said, "Mio-chan, you almost sound as if you thought someone had hurt them."
Mio bit her lip and replied, "Mugi, just tell me what you did, please?"
"I made a phone call," Mugi answered, which was perfectly true.
"And then I hung up."
"You shouldn't worry," Mugi said patiently. "I made sure to look into her parents' fields of expertise before I took any action. The jobs waiting on them in America should be a perfect fit."
Mio stared at her blankly. "You mean you shipped Hiroko's family across the world just so she couldn't bully Yui anymore?"
Mugi smiled and reached up to pat Mio's cheek gently. "And I'd do the same for any of you."
At first, Mio was horrified. But after a moment's thought, she asked, "Could your family really afford to?"
"Well, it's fortunate that most of you are fairly popular, so bullies aren't a common problem," Mugi explained. "But if they were, it would probably be less expensive to ask you all to withdraw from school, and then buy you each a private tutor."
Mio felt a smirk forming on her lips. "But you'd still ship the bullies away instead, wouldn't you?"
"Well, of course. What good is having money and power if you never use them to help your friends?"
"You're not going to tell Yui, are you?"
"I don't think there would be any point in that. Do you really think I want anyone to like me just because of what I can do for them? That's why I never told any of you that I was rich right away. It isn't something I brag about."
"No, you just uproot entire families if you don't like them."
Mugi arched a thick but perfectly maintained eyebrow. "I'll buy you a whole box of left-handed accessories if we never speak of this again."
Mio scowled at her. "Didn't you just say-?"
"I know what I said, Mio-chan. I don't buy my friends. But I do treat the ones I do have rather well, and when I feel they're deserving of it, I have no problem with spoiling them a little. Now, do we have a deal?"
"Fine. But only if you promise to never to ship Ritsu away, no matter how annoying she gets."
Mugi laughed softly. "Oh, I wouldn't. I'm rather fond of her. And besides, I'd never do that to you, Mio-chan."
"W-What's that supposed to mean?" Mio demanded, her face growing red.
"Nothing at all," Mugi replied, smiling and giving Mio's hand a little squeeze.
The lesson here is simple: a bully is no threat... to a gang, or the wealthy, or anyone armed with a decent-sized, weighty string instrument that they don't mind breaking (just ask El Kabong). Anyone else, um... get yourself about ten friends to walk around with. But be faster than at least three of them, just in case.