"This is really bad Katou! What are we going to do?" Mirai asked me. I looked at him, but I couldn't find a good answer.
"Well well well. It seems the position of Banchou is mine now." Tenshima announced proudly, before looking down at Hayaka. "While I should let you go, I recall something about you hitting me with a bookbag. For that, you will pay." He swiftly dropped her to the ground, and brought back the knife for a fatal stab.
"Tenshima, NOOO!" I yelled as we raced to get to her, but stopped when the knife went flying out of his hand. A boy about our age with red hair dropped to the ground in front of us, and quickly delivered a round house kick to Tenshima, who went flying.
"That's Akio!" Ichiro gasped. "The one who destroyed that gang!"
We watched, awestruck, as the boy quickly disposed of the rest of Tenshima's group. He then casually brushed off his hands before turning to face us.
"Is she your girlfriend?" he asked, gesturing to Hayaka, who was shakily sitting up.
"Yeah, something like that...I mean she's my friend!" I said quickly, still processing everything. He turned to give her a hand up, but stopped when Mirai shouted "Look out!" Tenshima had recovered, and had made one final attempt to get Hayaka. He stabbed at her, only to get it caught by Akio, who had pulled Hayaka aside at the last moment. His hand started to bleed from his grip on the knife. Akio wrenched the knife from his hands, which made his own hands bleed even more.
"Well, you have some nerve to try and stab a friend of mine." The boy said as he bent down to look at Tenshima. He frowned slightly, cocking his head to the side.
"Hey, aren't you the guy I beat up last week?" he asked. Tenshima growled, but stopped when Akio grabbed him by the collar and held him up to face him. "If you ever do that again, I'll make you regret it." He dropped Tenshima to the ground, then picked up his bloody knife and broke it in two. Tenshima and the others quickly left, without daring to look back.
I was still shaking when Katou ran over to me.
"Banchou, you aren't injured are you?" he asked worriedly.
"No, I'm just getting over my fright. I'll be fine." I said, but I couldn't stop shaking and I started crying.
Katou hugged me, rubbing my back. "I'm sorry Hayaka. I said I would protect you." I buried my head in his chest, before I remembered my savior.
"Mirai, did you save me?" I asked, looking over at the red-head.
"No, Akio did." Mirai replied, pointing excitedly to the red headed boy beside him. "Thank you Akio! You saved School Gang Leader!"
When I looked at him, I noticed how similar he and Mirai looked, save Akio was shorter...and looked more frail too.
"Thank you for saving me." I said but stopped when I saw his hand, which was still bleeding profusely. I quickly got up, then grabbed Akio and dragged him back inside the school as fast as possible. The other boy stared after us, but didn't bother to follow.
"Um, what are you doing?" he asked as we ran through the school, dripping blood along the hallway.
"Getting you bandages of course!" I snapped as I pulled him into the nurse's office. I immediately started looking for gauze. "It's the least I can do, you got injured because of me-" I turned to see him wiping the blood off on his shirt. "Don't do that! It needs to be properly cleaned. Wash your hands while I go get you another shirt." I walked out the room, closing it quietly behind me. I returned several minutes later with a boys' shirt.
"I'm back Akio." I said cheerfully as I opened the door. My draw dropped. Akio was still sitting on the cot, but he had changed. Instead of seeing the boy with short red hair, I saw that he now had really long hair. Not only that, but he was wearing...a sports bra?
This turned into a mess of things. I thought as I washed my hands. Now everyone knows that I go to school here. I slipped out of my shirt, then wrapped it carefully around my hand. That's what I get for showing off. I have to get out of here. Who knows what trouble I could get into. I reached up with my good hand, and took my wig off. Now if only I could find my bag. Oh yeah, It's right across the hall. I quickly ran out to get it. Now for some new clothes, I thought as I rummaged through my bag. I slipped on my ponytail wig, but then I heard the doorknob rattle. Before I object, the door opened and she walked in.
"Hey, Akio, I got you a clean shirt." She said smiling, but stopped when she saw me.
She looked at me. I looked at her. "Akio?" Hayaka asked, confused. I nodded sheepishly. We stared at each other for a few minutes, and Hayaka seemed to be pulling herself together. Then, she seemed to get a little excited.
"I know why you had to do this!" she announced.
"Really? You do?" I asked worriedly.
"Your father made you disguise yourself as a girl-"
"No way!" I shouted, interrupting her. "I'm actually a girl."
She stared at me for a while,her eyes widened. "Are you really..Akio?" she asked hesitantly. I nodded slowly. "Why are you wearing a wig and dressing like a boy?"
I sighed. Might as well tell her. I thought, rubbing my head sheepishly. "It's a long story." I picked up my bag, and gestured to Hayaka to follow me. "Let's go to my house. I'll explain when we get there."
I started to walk out but Hayaka grabbed my arm. "Shouldn't you put your boys' wig back on? And a shirt?" I looked down to see my bra, not exactly the most subtle of wears.
"Yeah, that would be a good idea." I replied, as the blood rushed to my face.
As we walked, I noticed that Aiko was getting slightly pale.
"Are you okay? Your face is getting pale." I asked.
She nodded shakily. "It's just because my hand hurts, that's all. Oh, here's my house." I followed her to a huge mansion, trying not to gape openly.
As soon as we walked in, a maid came over to us. "Miss Aiko, how was your-" she started, but stopped when she saw her bandaged hand. "Oh dear, we should get you cleaned up immediately."
She grabbed Aiko and started to drag her off somewhere. "Make yourself comfortable!" she yelled before she disappeared completely. I walked over to a chair in the living room, and waited.
About ten minutes later, she returned. Not only was her hand re-bandaged, but she was also wearing a light blue kimono, and her short hair was replaced with her long hair. She sat down in another chair, then waved a maid over.
"Mochi for the two of us please." she asked. The maid nodded, before walking away. "So, Hayaka-" she started.
"Your family is really Yakuza, you don't want anyone to know, so you have a dual personality!" I blurted out.
Aiko blinked, then smacked herself on the forehead. "No."
"Then why do you wear a wig? I'm not even going to ask about the boys' clothes." Before she could respond, the maid returned with two plates of mochi ice cream. After passing one to each of us, she left.
"I wear boys' clothes because they are comfortable." Aiko replied, as she bit into the snack.
"What about the wig?" I asked. "Do you just like cosplay?"
Aiko looked at me, then shook her head. "Haven't you guessed yet?" she asked, pointing to her head. "I have leukemia."