THE REAL FOLK BLUES
HOW TO REFORM BULLIES : 101
"Here," Tai offered a coffee mug to Yuki, who was sat on his couch, regally scanning over his apartment, "it's not much, but it'll heat you up quick enough."
Yuki barely glanced at him as she grasped the mug, taking a ginger sip, "So this is a boy's apartment… wonder if the boys dorms are clean after all."
"Don't get your hopes up," he laughed, sitting on the other side of the 'L' couch, "I only got here this morning, after all. Plenty of time to crash and thrash the place; if you catch my drift."
Taking another lady like sip, Yuki gazed over at him as he leant forward.
"So, why were you walking in the middle of the night in your school uniform and with your bag? Didn't you know there are perverts and thugs around at night?"
"W-well," she stammered, pushing her mug away from her like acid, "I needed to see you as soon as possible… Matt said you could help me with my money problem; the truth is, I'm not poor like I said. I just have my money extorted from me…"
"Extorted?" Tai said interestedly, leaning further in on his seat (he had no idea what extort meant, in truth), "That's horrible."
"I was taking a huge risk getting out of the Academy… they're probably at my dorm right now, looking for me since I didn't pay them today… the deal was that I got them Matt's tickets and they'd leave me alone… but they didn't, even though they thought I'd gotten them."
Tai raised a brow, "You told them you had them?"
"It bought me a little time to get out and come see you…" she bobbed her head down, avoiding his eyes. He felt a little concerned when she giggled lightly, "Stupid, really… I didn't even know if you could help, but I heaped my hopes on seeing you like it was my last chance… I'd heard from my roommate, Sora, that you were from the Natsu District, but then I ran into those guys while looking…"
Those thugs…, Tai rubbed the tip of his nose, leaning back into his couch seat, "So, you couldn't wait until morning like Matt said?"
Yuki grabbed the mug, and with shaky hands, took a sip, "T-the girls that take my money… Charity Urumi and Mizuho Kanada, they come every day to my room while Sora's at tennis practise, and they demand 2000 yen from my bank account… if I don't pay… I don't want to say it to a boy, but let's just say make-up alone doesn't cover it, not to mention they take photos… they use them to keep getting money from me…"
"I see…" Tai breathed in true Holmes Fashion, a low 'hmm' coming from him, "show me who they are tomorrow, I start as a special Council member then. I'm in charge of reforming bullies… to certain extents…"
Strangely, Yuki seemed to beam at this insinuation, a smile curling on her mouth, but keeping her eyes focused on her mug of coffee held atop her lap.
"But first," Tai intercepted Yuki's blissful silence, the girl looking blankly at him, "I want you to tell me everything; like how this started, what they do and if they have any weak spots."
"You know, like they did something before that they got into real trouble with, they're doing something against the rules in secret or are bullying more people than you."
That was weird…
Sora had flashed before his eyes, sitting where Yuki was sitting, with the same hapless look as she had in Home Ec. The same look, as if a replica, of Yuki's current expression of helpless fear.
Could that mean she also…?
Shaking his head, Yuki re-appeared to his eyes.
The girl leaned toward him, patting his shoulder, "T-Tai?" she asked in a shaky voice, "Are you alright? You sort of spaced out."
He softly pushed her hand off, "I'm fine, sorry. Just thinking about how best to teach a bully a lesson… since it's a pair of girls, I can't exactly overpower them or anything without serious consequences… so that means it'll have to be a plan… anyway, tell me about them."
Yuki prepared to confide her tale, breathing deeply, "It all began about half-way into the first year, so last year, put simply. They came across as so nice… I mean, they were both smarter than me, and helped me with homework and stuff back then. But then, they came to my dorm room one time for a get together and-,"
SEVEN MONTHS AGO
There was a thunderous, obnoxious rapping at Yuki's door. It couldn't be Sora, as she had gone for tennis already. It had to be Charity and Mizuho- Yuki had said they could come for get togethers anytime, after all!
"Coming!" she whimsically called, walking across to the door and opening it, "Oh, you guys! Something wrong?"
Charity was the taller of the two, a full head over Yuki as well with short blonde hair and half opened green eyes, while Mizuho looked far more vibrant, her chestnut hair in a twin set of ponytails, and a large crescent smile across her face.
"Hey, Yuki… listen, we really need to talk in private, so… can we come in?" Mizuho asked sweetly, Yuki looking baffled by the question, allowing them both instant admission and closing the door behind them.
"What's up? It couldn't have waited until the morning?" the raven haired girl gingerly asked.
Charity's voice was dulled, but had the stingy tang of a blade, "Well, Mizuho and I are putting a plan we always do when we're low on money into action… we're going to make a bit of money, do you want in on the process?"
A plan? Yuki was deposed, but slighted her head a little, "I… guess so?" she slowly said like a question.
"Good!" Mizuho jittered, rummaging through her desk, locating her wallet and retracting her bank card, flashing it to Yuki, "Can you withdraw about 3000 yen for us? We need a little extra to buy some killer clothes!"
"I… don't understand… what's going on here?"
Suddenly, Charity used her height to her advantage, grabbing a clump of Yuki's hair and trying to hoist her up by it alone, rendering her immobile on her tip-toes.
"OW! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" she shrieked, coming near to crying in pain. This wasn't funny at all.
"Go to the bank and get our money, loser. You see, our game is that we move in on friendless, brainless skanks like you, and get our money's worth." To affirm her point, she began dipping and tugging on the hair clump, some of it coming loose within her bony fingers.
Yuki looked back into her eyes with fright, writhing against the hold on her hair, "W-what are you talking about? Why would I do that? Guys, we're friends, this isn't funny at all!"
"FRIENDS?" Charity gave a foul, lingering chortle, "Why would we, actually successful members of society and schooling, be friends with an idiot like you? You're just the latest in a long line of chumps that need our help to stay here with decent grades."
Dancing with the card in her hand, Mizuho chirped, "Of course, we could give your daddy the real results you've been getting… the ones where you barely scraped in with D's should suffice. Of course, from what I've heard, he's expecting a lot from you, what with being a divorced parent. Imagine the shock he'll get; that his daughter's an even greater failure than him."
She was getting blackmailed?
Charity giggled darkly, Mizuho looming in front of Yuki, "Of course, you think we're kidding. Well, here's a little hint of what's coming every time you don't pay us."
And with that, Charity punched her in the back, Mizuho going for a sternum shot.
Yuki rubbed her stomach where she had been hit, jolted by the memory, "They weren't kidding… I met several girls in our year later who were being bullied by Charity and Mizuho… they were stupid like me… they needed those two to falsify papers for them. I need those two to stay in the school, and to make sure my dad keeps on thinking I'm doing well… he's always concerned, saying that I shouldn't turn out like him…"
Tai stood up, walked over to her and knelt before her seat on the couch, looking her dead in the eyes, "Listen, Yuki… those bitches are blackmailing you, plain and simple. So what if you have poor grades; look at me! I'm going there, and I don't even have anything over D besides in my Phys Ed. class."
"That's the problem… even if you help me," she felt water build at the bottom of her eyes, "what'll happen? Sure, the pain and financial stress would be gone, but… my grades would be revealed, my dad would be ashamed and it'd be even harder to find real friends if they always look down on you as being the stupid one."
Tai grabbed her arms, looking into her eyes kindly, "You forget; you're talking to a new friend, Yuki. Look at me today; I'm a total idiot, and according to one very pissed off girl, I'm a pervert for a bun I made. Yet I've already made a lot of friends, even though I was clearly stupid on my own in that class of smart kids, I still managed to make friends because I was honest with them and myself about who I was… if you want, I can help you make some friends as well. It isn't brains people admire; it's how kind and gentle you can be, and trust me, you've got that in spades; I can tell."
"Really?" she hesitantly asked in disbelief, almost crying in euphoric happiness when Tai nodded.
Standing up, he led her to the door, "It's time you headed back; carefully this time. I need to think up a plan. Come to the Council Building and talk to Rose at the front desk."
She blinked thrice, "One of the mega-geniuses of the entire Academy?"
Tai shrugged, "I don't know. Although it seems crazy, I am the new kid."
The next morning came rather quickly after that. Yuki had already left to place herself back into her bed at Tenchu Academy grounds, leaving Tai the full night to consider plans to teach these girls a lesson. And boy, did he think of one.
If he got Rose's permission at the Council building, he could teach them a lesson, and keep Yuki from harm or extortion again, with the threat only being turned on him. Although he doubted they would talk after it happens.
He had made sure to get at least three hours rest, the last two he spent in front of the TV, flicking occasionally through channels as a sort of mediator for his thoughts.
He was disrupted from this as a vibration rummaged the inside of his uniform pocket, Tai pulling and flipping his mobile open, "It's from Matt… guess the time's here already."
Heading down in the elevator and sauntering to the front entrance, he found Matt parked a few feet away, gesturing for Tai to come inside his car.
Closing the door behind him, the Kamiya grunted, "I'm so tired… I don't think I'll survive today…"
"Don't worry, it's Tuesday; they always go by fast."
Matt was going at the speed of slow like an old driver all the way! It's a sports model car, for Buddha's sake! Use some of that speed!
Anyways, Tai had been deposited at the front gates, and made his way to the Council Building as quickly as possible to avoid being late.
"Mornin', Rose!" he panted, jogging through the entrance and walking across to the desk the girl was sat at, "I need to ask you something."
"I already know; it's been shuffled already, and Mizuho and Charity are the ones you need to deal with today." She explained without looking away from her computer, indicating a small file on her desk, "Those are the reported and assumed breakings of the rules they have commited."
Opening the file, he found a single sheet of paper, reading like this;
'CHARITY URUMI & MIZUHO KANADA
Reported instances of physical assault x3
Money assumed to be extorted from 12 bullying victims estimated at 20,000 yen in the last 6 months
Note: Only bully those in their year classes
Data gathered by ROSE KOBAYASHI'
"Wow," Tai released as he scanned over the paper and focused on the difficult words like 'extorted', "you're like a detective, Rose. How did you get all this? Yuki said that she and the others were quiet about it."
"I know what to look for," she put simply, leaning back into her chair, "also, Yuki came and spoke to me in my dorm a few hours ago after seeing you. She was quite hysterical, to be sure. She said that she entrusted you with it completely."
He laughed, still looking the rapsheet over, "No pressure."
"Look at the flip side of the sheet," she suddenly said.
Flipping the page over, he found a little text on the back, his eyes widening as he read it.
"Really?" he chuckled, "You've done all the work for me. So, where are these exactly?"
"I put them in the Observatory. Take them down when you're done."
"Are there any copies, or do I have to bluff?"
Rose inhaled through her nose, looking half-heartedly at him, "I can make copies… if needs be."
The second day's lunchtime came rather fast, and it was rather docile, as Kai had to be absent with badly swollen cheeks and many lacerations and bruises from his whole 'Kai against the female population' thing yesterday.
Charity and Mizuho were around the shadowed side of the gym, a smaller girl from their year with long, chestnut hair pulled back by three hairclips, a broad pair of glasses shining and blotting out her fearful eyes; she was pushed against the wall with no escape.
"Well, Michelle?" Charity pushed her nose into her face threateningly, "Where is our money?"
Mizuho added, pushing a bony finger into Michelle's chest, "Or do you have to have bruises when you see that boy; Yuichi?"
"N-no!" she squealed, her hand trembling as she pulled a small bundle of notes from her handbag, "H-here's the 2,300 yen… please, just leave me alone today."
"You have no say in that, you ugly moose." Charity flitted through the notes quickly; counting 2,300 yen exactly, "What's this? Only 2,200?" she lied, faking a vile look of contempt.
Mizuho picked up on this, adopting a disgusting look as well, Michelle withdrawing in on herself between the pair and the wall of the gym.
"No! T-that's really 2,300! I swear!" she cried, terror in her watering eyes.
Charity slapped her hard, her head jerking in recoil and a welt on her face, "You lying whore! You were trying to short-change us! You owe us for faking your tests so you can stay here, so you can see that Yuichi kid every day, and yet you try a stunt like this?"
Rubbing her welt, Michelle felt her heart fall inside her, "B-but… it really is…"
"Your word is as valuable right now as your tuition fees!" Mizuho snarled, jabbing her in the gut and making her crumple to her knees, "Your mom and dad work like slaves for a failure like you, who has the audacity to not pay us, the ones keeping you here, and even dare try to love a boy way out of your league! Are you just out of your depth," she kicked her in the gut, drawing a small cry, "you failure? Why were you even born?"
"I-I'm sorry! Don't get me kicked out, please!" Michelle's face was sopping with tears as the pair kicked her in the arms and her gut where undefended; anywhere covered by her clothes above her skirt, "PLEASE, STOP!"
"HEY!" a male's voice howled, footsteps rapidly approaching. Running up to the bully duo, who backed away from Michelle like she was a bobcat, was Tai, who helped Michelle to her feet, eyeing the pair to ensure they didn't flee from this.
"Th-thank you…" she sniffed, wiping her nose and eyes with both her sleeves, grasping at her stomach where they had been kicking. She looked at him gratefully, "Um… do I know you?"
Her voice was strained, showing that she was withholding much emotion in front of the two bullies.
"That doesn't matter right now," he put it, short and sweetly, turning to Charity and Mizuho, the pair 'sweating bullets', as it might be said, "I know about you two. You're the bullies all the girls fear across campus; I can see why, unlike Mimi, you two aren't that pretty; you look like a gorilla's rear."
Charity's left arm winced, Tai preparing to dodge a strike, "Who do you think you are, insulting us like that? You're getting in the way of our business with Michelle," she flashed a violent glare at a behind-Tai retreated Michelle, "why should we care what some poor idiot thinks?"
Fantastic, an elitist megalomaniac, Tai recalled the term from when he looked for a Mimi descriptive word, "I'm with the Council, and I will throw your dumbasses in the cell."
Mizuho snorted, an imperial sneer on her face, "Like anyone would take a boy's word over ours; Tenchu keeps everything under wraps in that cell room, but it has a soft spot for thin girls with money, connections and good bodies."
And she thinks her gender makes her capable of anything without problems, Placing a hand back, he swatted it, signalling for Michelle to leave, but she shook her head, apparently to scared to move anywhere alone, "Fine… if I can't touch you for what you've done, how about I pay you to stop? Stop bullying anyone?"
"As if!" Charity cut him off, pointing at Michelle like an example, "do you know how profitable dumbass bitches like Michelle, Yuki and the others are? We just make C grade, barely scraping in grade papers for them, meaning minimum effort for plenty of shopping money! How could you possibly beat that?"
Mizuho giggled, "Plus, the bonuses are great! Like the fact these stupid girls will do anything we say! Be a punching bag, have sex with a band member to get us tickets for their concert, anything! If I threatened to rat out Michelle, she'd do you on the spot, she's so desperate to stay here so she can just stare at some boy instead of finding the stones to do anything about it!"
Looking back at Michelle behind his back, he saw that her cheekbones had become a crimson red, and she looked down at the heels of his shoes.
These bitches, he scowled, considering consoling Michelle, I'm going to enjoy bringing them down.
"T-that's…" her voice was brittle, almost inaudible, "I-I-I…"
"Why don't you do it, Michelle? Right here, right now," Charity snickered, "or we send in an unsigned letter, and you get kicked out. Even better, we can go and tell Yuichi about your little soft spot, and introduce you with a few less teeth."
She cracked her knuckles menacingly, Mizuho leering forward, causing Michelle to pull back a little.
The chestnut haired victim still looked at Tai's heels, but slowly raised her hand, grabbing Tai's sleeve pitifully with her thumb and index finger, not looking him in the eye.
"P-please… just… don't tell him…" she worded weakly, Tai's eyes vacant of all but pity when he looked back at her.
"Told you~!" Mizuho sighed.
Tai felt his blood boil inside him like a kettle, but had to keep calm and cool…
"24, 000 yen." Tai put simply, surprising the pair, "I will give you that much to leave the girls alone for one month."
He saw interest in their eyes, and went on when they straightened up, listening.
"I have been storing money away for a rainy day, if you catch my drift. I keep it in the Observatory, but if it will spare all of the girls like Yuki and Michelle for at least a month. What do you say?"
"Take us to the cash." They both said almost instantly, "But Michelle comes too; we still need money, even if you're lying." She hissed like a foul, vile sceptic.
Boy, were these bullies dim.
On the roof of the main Tenchu Building, there was a two story tall Observatory with a closed viewing hole on the side and a curved, dome ceiling.
Michelle held onto Tai's sleeve in exactly the same way, following him like a soulless doll, trembling what with Mizuho and Charity strolling behind them, following him to his lump sum of cash as promised.
Opening the door on the first level of the Observatory, Charity and Mizuho barged past him and Michelle roughly into the unlit darkness of the room.
Closing the door behind them slowly, Tai rubbed Michelle reassuringly on the shoulder before heading off to the staircase to the second level, Matt approaching with a key in his hand as Tai left, locking the Observatory and leading Michelle away gently.
Looking back at the direction of the door in the darkness, Charity and Mizuho grew worried at the click, knowing they were sealed in the dark room.
"H-hey!" Charity barked back through the dark, "This isn't funny! We'll report you!"
"Charity, I knew we shouldn't have followed that asshole! He tricked us!" Mizuho deflected her own fit of stupidity a few moments ago. Lunch would end soon, and that meant that they would get in trouble themselves.
Suddenly, the lights of the Observatory flashed on, revealing Tai snickering on the second level walkway, looking down at the pair like it were podium.
But that was not all that was in the room.
Plastered on the walls of the Observatory were a variety of blown up photos of the pair bullying girls with their faces pixelated out to spare shame. How he obtained these photos when they carried out their extortion and bullying activities in dark corners… they were all computer lightened, making it clear what they were doing.
"These are-!" Charity felt a shudder, "You bastard!"
Mizuho went for the door of the Observatory, but found that it was, as they had feared, locked, looking up at Tai evilly, "DID MICHELLE LOCK US IN? OH, WHEN I GET OUT, I'LL MAKE HER REGRET BEING BORN!"
Tai upheld his smile, knowing this would be fool-proof, "Oh, that wasn't Michelle; I could tell she was too scared to do such a thing… so I got a friend of mine to lock that door and console her. Not that she'll be having any more problems."
"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Charity jeered, tearing two of the poster sized negatives of the wall next to her, "AS IF WE'D STOP BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT SOME PHOTOS HERE!"
"Oh, not just those," he shook his head, looking rather zen and omniscient, "several copies. I have several, not to mention others, ready for copying. Even if you did discount them, they are the genuine article, and you'd just waste peoples time by trying to discredit the photos. And not just that," he pulled his phone from his pocket, sifting through and opening 'RECORDINGS', "I have this, and I should thank you both for being so stupid that it actually worked."
Pressing play, the voice recordings of Charity and Mizuho recounted everything they had so openly announced back at the gym; ever sordid detail of their activities and belief they were untouchable.
Flicking the phone closed and pocketing it, Tai smiled, "Now then, since I have the photos and the voices admitting it, should I send it to the Dean first… or your parents?"
Mizuho and Charity flinched.
"Yeah, I know. I am a Council member, and I've seen your files. You both have perfect families, and your dads are business leaders, making you feel high class. However, they didn't pay much attention to you, making you like this. Imagine how angry they'd be if I send this off. They'd disown you for sure, which is worse than what they're doing now, right?"
"W-what do you want…" they both growled lowly, anger and tears in their eyes, their shoulders slumped in defeat.
"You'll repay everyone what you owe them, and then you'll leave them alone; also, you'll stop bullying. But… you'll also need to go to the Council Building and let Rose deal with you. No arguments."
First case, resolved without incident.
A/N: Good on you, Tai!
He's not doing a bad job, considering all the strange circumstances and familial problems, eh?
Don't forget to review.