After re-watching Ookami-san for the 3rd time or so, I came up with another idea and so felt compelled to write it since there are hardly any other fanfics for this series out there aside from my own. Come on people. Someone else write too! I wanna read someone else's work!
This one's kind of quick, cause I wrote it at like 1AM XD but bear with me. Enjoy :3
Disclaimer: I do not own Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi.
"Good morning, Morino-kun!"
"Ah...G-Good morning, Ryouko-san..."
"...Why is there such a difference between those two greetings?"
The three friends gave their morning welcomes as always; Ryouko somehow still unable to see the difference between Ryoushi greeting herself or Ringo.
They walked together through the campus toward their classroom. Ryouko's jaws parted in a massive yawn and the boy looked her way.
"Are you feeling alright, Ryouko-san?"
"Huh?" She looked up at him, blinking in surprise, even flattered at his concern. "N-No. I-I mean yes, I'm fine. Just tired is all."
"I see. That's good." He smiled and Ryouko found herself doing the same.
"So you remember, right?" Ringo bounced with excitement. "There's only one client today, apparently, so we'll be able to go home early from the Otogi Bank for the first time all month!"
"If that's the thing that makes you happiest, then I almost feel sorry for you." Ryouko mused. Ringo pouted and began complaining to her roommate before Ryoushi cut in.
"U-Um. Do we know exactly who the request is for? Because if it's only for one person, then not all of us even have to show up, right?"
"Oh, you didn't know?" Ringo queried. "It's a request for you, Morino-kun!" she beamed.
"O-Oh...really?" he sighed. "But I guess it can't be helped then."
Ryouko glanced at him from beneath her milk chocolate bangs and fought back an embarrassed blush as she mustered up the courage to speak her next sentence.
"W...Well I'm probably going to go too, just because the gym's always so full on this day..." She blurted out briefly before swinging her bag over her shoulder and marching off toward their classroom before Ringo could say anything. The red-haired girl was obviously taken by surprise at her roommate's sudden showing of emotion, but quickly recovered, squealing "Aw! Ryouko-chan's being honest!" and racing after her.
Ryoushi was left alone in the hallway, no longer dreading the afternoon to come.
Aside from Liszt and Alice, Ryoushi was the only other person present in the Otogi Bank's meeting room when he entered.
Ringo had decided to go home early, and though Ryouko said she would accompany him, Ryoushi was starting to think she had headed home as well. He sat down on the couch before the President and his cousin with a huge sigh and was about to ask about the request when the door opened and Ryouko entered.
"Ryouko-san!" He said, relieved and full of sheer joy.
"W-What's with that tone? You're making it sound like you thought I wasn't going to show up, even though I told you I was going to." She huffed as she crossed the room and sat down on the couch as well; but the proximity between them was not far enough to suggest that she was truly upset with him. She stifled a yawn and he simply smiled.
"Why that sure was nice of you to come as well, Ookami-kun." Liszt smiled.
"W-Whatever! Can we just get on with it?" She growled.
"Right, right." He nodded, sitting back at his desk. "Well now, you see Morino-kun, the peculiar thing about this request...is...well...hm, how can I put this?" Looking to his far more intelligent cousin for help, Alice sighed and bluntly expressed what the President wanted to get across.
"It's definitely a suspicious request because it's for you, and it's a request for advice on relationships." She declared ruthlessly. There was a brief moment of silence as the harshness of the words sank in.
"U...Um..." Ryoushi mumbled
"Now, now, Alice-kun, don't you think that was a bit too much?"
"I apologize. But it was the President who was at a loss for words and therefore it was my duty to get his message across clearly." She bowed to Ryoushi.
"But I get what you're saying." Ryouko broke in. "It's definitely suspicious, considering he hasn't had any experience in relationships whatsoever."
She obviously was not thinking through her words before speaking.
"T-That's because Ryouko-san is the only one for me!" Ryoushi declared.
"H-Huh? T-T-T-That line again?" She stammered, clenching her fingers into a fist.
"Well, yes. Now that the blunt truth is out," Liszt continued as Ryouko took a deep breath and tried to calm herself. "I apologize for saying this Morino-kun, but Ookami-kun is right; it's definitely suspicious because you have no experience in relationships." He repeated.
"Oh, well I don't take any offense at it, since Ryouko-san really is the only one-" He cut off in a grunt as she elbowed him, channeling her confused feelings through violence like always.
"Well then, it may be a good idea to have Ookami-san trail you." Alice interjected sensibly.
"I agree." Liszt nodded in approval. "The client said he would be waiting outside the Academy this evening. He decided to remain anonymous, which is another sketchy aspect about his request so you'd best be on your guard."
"Right." Ryoushi replied as though he were in the army.
"Also, Alice-kun and I have to leave early today as well, so once you're done with the request, you can head right home and don't need to report back until tomorrow. However if anything goes wrong, don't hesitate to call us."
The four of them stood and exited the meeting room, heading their separate ways in respective co-ed pairs.
"I'll hang back here." Ryouko offered, motioning toward one of the corners of the building.
"Thanks." He went on alone toward the front of the deserted school campus and did not wait long before he saw the approaching figure of a person. Immediately, Ryoushi knew it was a trap, judging by the huge build and obvious fact that he was a thug, Onigashima's or otherwise.
"Are you my client?" Ryoushi asked, trying to keep his cool, even though his eyes were already narrowed and his fists clenched. Two more figures soon appeared before the first and trudged slowly toward him.
"Huh?" the first one snorted. "Oh yeah. I'm your client, all right. I need some advice on girls." He said in a mocking voice. "Mainly yours." He growled as he stopped before Ryoushi.
"Excuse me?" the hunter glowered up past his bangs. "What do you want with Ryouko-san?"
"Just what we've always wanted, of course; to tame her." Came the jeering reply.
Quickly snapping, Ryoushi darted forward and punched the first boy upside the chin. The other two moved in, yelling and throwing hits at him, both missing as he dodged aside. This is bad. I don't want to get Ryouko-san involved with these bastards. But if she hears this...
Knowing he had to end it quickly, Ryoushi pulled out his slingshot, which he had been sure to take with him on such a mistrustful request. However, as he fired the pachinkos, many of them missed and he was forced to keep dodging, thankful for his smaller build. Damn. I'm so used to fighting with Ryouko-san from long distances. I'm no good at close-range! He resorted to his fists, but his adversaries had him surrounded now.
"Ryoushi!" At the same time her voice sounded, one of the thugs went down as Ryouko decked him from behind.
"Hah! There she is!" One of the remaining boys cheered before he went down like a bug under a boot.
"Like hell I'd let you near her!" Ryoushi hollered.
Ryouko stood there for a heartbeat, looking at him with a surprised expression that turned to a smile before she turned to face the first one that had fallen and gotten back on his feet. She easily took him down again with a roundhouse kick to the back of his knees and turned to face her next opponent.
Ryoushi had his attention on the last one and Ryouko was about to advance and assist him when she saw a forth figure dash from behind a bush. That's just like them to play dirty! She spat inside her mind.
Despair washed over her when she saw the knife the new attacker was holding, racing straight toward her companion whose back was still turned. No! She thought. No, no, no! Her legs moved her forward but her mind did not know what to make her body do otherwise. Should I push Ryoushi away? Should I block? What if I don't make it in time?
"Ryoushi!" she screamed.
Everything was happened so fast yet so slowly.
When she managed to get close enough, she merely threw herself forward.
Ryosuhi turned around the moment the fourth boy reached him; the same time when Ryouko did.
There was a second where no one breathed, and then the air was filled with a short cry. Ryouko found herself with the knife jabbed into her left arm after having sliced up from her wrist to her elbow. The blade fell to the ground a second later when its holder did as well, a furious Ryoushi standing above him.
"Ryouko-san!" he yelled, panicked at the fine pool of blood he saw. She squeezed her the wound with her opposite hand and hissed out a painful breath; she had gotten many knife wounds before, but rarely got one this long or deep.
"I was just...being a shield." She shrugged unexpectedly.
"W...What? Why? I wouldn't ever want you to do that!" He exclaimed.
"Hmph. Now you know how I feel." She replied, her brown eyes narrowed in seriousness. Then her face was overcome with an expression of pain again and Ryoushi quickly reached forward to support her.
"Q-Quick! Let's get back to the Bank. Here, give me your right arm."
Pulling her good arm across his shoulders, he helped her limp toward the academy, abandoning their unconscious attackers, but the process was painfully slow for the two of them. Ryouko's blood-loss was quickly resulting in anemia, and her balance and vision was quickly becoming unsteady. Ryoushi was soon having her lean fully on him, and at last they entered their safe haven.
He gently let her down onto the couch in the emptied meeting room. "I'll go get the first aid supplies!" he announced, already running off; they were used to these kinds of things at the Bank, but Ryoushi did not have much experience with treating wounds. When he returned, Ryouko was having difficulty staying conscious and she leaned back against the couch, breathing unevenly.
"Damn. It's not even that bad, either." She huffed, as though disgusted with herself for losing out already to such an injury.
"A wound is a wound." He reached into the kit and pulled out a bottle, pouring out some of its contents into a cloth. "This is going to hurt. Bear with me."
"God, I hate this part." Ryouko wheezed, squeezing her eyes shut.
The disinfectant felt like poisonous venom on top of her injury, sending waves of intense pain up her left arm, almost as though attacking her heart. She tried to hold it back, but her lip was now bleeding as well from trying to keep her mouth closed. It was not long before she lost to her pain and screamed out in agony. Ryoushi winced at the sound and apologized several times over until she began to become quiet again; whether it was from the pain subsiding or from fatigue due to blood-loss, he did not know.
Tossing aside the bloodstained cloth, he immediately began wrapping a long strip of bandages around her arm until it was securely treated.
Letting out a sigh of relief, he closed the kit and shoved it aside, unable to bear seeing her blood. Then, he looked up at her and winced again; her face was twisted with pain and her eyes were closed tightly, her shoulders trembling slightly as she tried to no avail to even her ragged breathing.
"Ryouko-san..." he said helplessly.
"What are you sounding so apologetic for?" she sighed, opening one eye.
"It's not your fault so just stop it right now." She huffed before blinking both eyes open, her gaze softening. "Come here." His eyes widened in surprise as she patted the couch beside her, but he obeyed her nonetheless. Sitting down on her left side, she made a small sound of protest and glanced down; he followed her gaze to see dried blood on the cushion. "Don't sit on this side."
"I don't care." He replied, resolved. "I'm here now and I'm not moving."
Ryouko felt her heart skip and she quickly fought for something to say.
"You know, you don't have to stay here-" She said lamely.
"Don't even try." He cut her off. "You're lucky enough that I haven't called the others and had you taken to the hospital already."
"F...Fine..." she mumbled. There was a brief moment of silence between them before she exhaled sharply, unable to hold back her emotions now. "You idiot! Why didn't you call for me from the start? I was there specifically to be your backup!"
"I-I'm sorry." I didn't want you to get hurt. He wanted to say, but kept his mouth shut.
She sighed again, taking a deep breath to calm herself. When she spoke next, her voice was a little softer.
"You know, you've been a part of this team for a while so I'd think you'd know when to trust your friends. Our motto is 'helping each other' after all, isn't it?"
"Y...You're right. I'm sorry." He bowed his head in shame.
"Alright, enough of that now." She snapped light-heartedly and the boy let a small grin flash across his lips.
"You...You really gave me a scare back there." He told her, suddenly finding great interest in the floor.
"I was just repaying you. You think you don't scare me every time you throw yourself into a fight to be my 'shield'?" she spat out the word with distaste. Ryoushi was taken aback, but now understood her upset outburst. He was silent when he heard her take in another breath. "When you first came here to work with us, and you got hurt like that, being hit with a pipe, calling yourself a 'shield', I was so appalled I couldn't even say anything." Her eyes met his then, but he did not waver nor look away; something he had only been able to do with her alone ever since he acquired his phobia. "Do you get it now?" She asked. "Don't just go...throwing yourself into fights for no reason. You've got to cherish yourself more." Because if you can't, then how can I? She held back the ending.
His aqua eyes blinked slowly at her before he nodded.
"I understand. No more 'shields'. Same goes for you." He extended his hand.
"You got it."
She locked pinkies with him to secure their promise, only to suddenly realize how childish it was and they quickly broke apart.
"H-How are you feeling?" He changed the subject.
"Better. Just tired, I think."
"Yeah. You've been yawning a lot all day." He recalled.
"Well if I don't get home now, I'll never make it later." She pushed herself up from the couch with her good arm and leaned against it, but the sudden movement sent a wave of dizziness crashing over her from the anemia. Her body shook for a moment before she collapsed back onto the couch, Ryoushi catching her swiftly.
"D-D-Don't just get up like that so suddenly!" he wailed, concern filling his voice.
"Ah, dammit." She gritted her teeth, closing her eyes so the purple spots flashing before them would vanish. Ryoushi gently leaned her back against the couch and took her left wrist in his hand. Taking care to avoid her injury, he measured her pulse for a moment before speaking up again.
"I think you should rest. Now." He decided.
"Yeah...that's...not sounding so bad actually..." She panted. "I'll just...sleep here for now..."
"And of course I'll be staying." He put in.
"I am a member of this Bank, you know." He cut her off, lying his arm across her shoulders and pulling her in toward him. "I'm making a repayment to the debt I owe you for today. Come on now, rest." He ordered gently.
Ryouko fidgeted for a moment before gradually letting her tense shoulders relax. She hesitated on doing anything more, but then slowly let her cheek come to rest on his shoulder. He felt her exhale a sigh, and with his unoccupied hand, reached across to lie it on top of both of hers, holding them loosely but warmly.
Gradually, he ran the fingers of his other hand through her hair, waiting to see if he got an uncomfortable reaction from her. But it seemed she was finally beginning to come to terms with the fact that her demon of an ex-boyfriend was not going to bother her anymore, and that she was safe with her new companion.
A small smile crossed her lips and remained there as he continued his soothing motions, and he realized that she had probably never been touched so tenderly before.
As if to confirm his thoughts, he heard a small sound come from her lips, and he chuckled.
Then, a tear rolled down her cheek, but before he could begin to worry, he saw the smile still gracing her lips, and he too smiled.
Building up every ounce of courage he could possibly hold in his body, Ryoushi turned his face sideways before kissing her forehead.
She made another adorable sound, followed by a quiet phrase: "Thank you, Ryoushi..." she murmured.
Then, her breathing deepened and became steady again, and Ryoushi too let his eyelids fall shut.
"You're very welcome." He replied.
A/N: Sorry. I think this was too fluffy o.O But what's done is done.