Author's Note - This was originally posted as a sequel and completely separate story, but it fits much better as a second chapter, and i figured since i am making it all shiny and well formatted, i might as well make that change. And so, here it is!
Disclaimer - I own nothing. Short blue haired people, and slightly less short purple haired people belong to whoever they belong to, but i own none of them.
The Fury of an Otaku
It had been three weeks since Konata and I had started dating. And the thing that surprised me most was how little things changed between us. We still argued and teased the same as ever. We still hung out and played games. We still spent all of our time together, and a lot of it with my twin and Miyuki.
Honestly, only a few things had changed at all. First of all, when we were alone, our teasing had about a fifty fifty chance of turning into a make out session. Second of all, I had noticed after the first week that Konata had started changing.
It didn't seem like the sort of change that should have happened because of me, though. She just seemed a lot more worn out. She was usually lazy, but energetic. Now, after a three week decline, she is usually lethargic, and our arguments are few and far between.
I've asked her about it a few times, but she says she's fine. Miyuki thinks she's stressed about college entrance exams coming up, but that just doesn't seem like her either. I've been pretty worried about her, but I can't really ask for too much help on the matter since we haven't told anyone about our relationship yet.
If I had to be completely honest, I'd have to say it is because I'm embarrassed. Not of Konata, just of the sudden change in the way people will see me. I'm comfortable with the way people look at me now. I've spent a lot of time making sure people knew who I am and what to base their opinions on.
I know it sounds petty, but I like my reputation, and I was worried about it being altered, even if it wasn't in a bad way. Konata had agreed to my wish to keep it a secret as soon as I asked her to, and she didn't even press the issue. She knows me so well, she could probably guess my reason.
Maybe I was just oblivious to what should have been obvious. Well i'm not now. My little otaku made things perfectly clear.
We had been eating lunch, as usual. The four of us had pushed desks together and were eating and chatting about next to nothing, when a guy from our class, a junior who had managed to jump into a couple of senior classes, came over.
"Hey Kagami, why don't you come hang out with me and my friends?" He put his hand on my shoulder, and let it slide down a bit too low for my comfort. One look at his smug face told me it was no accident.
"No thanks." I pushed his hand off my shoulder, and expected a tease from my short friend about my tsundere-ness. Instead I got an arm around my shoulders and a persistent guys breath in my face as he leaned in, talking only slightly quieter than before.
"Come on! We're tons of fun! Way more than these weirdos. How do you ever expect to get a boyfriend if you don't put yourself out there some?" I growled, but tried to keep calm. I shoved his hand off my shoulders a bit more forcefully and tried to make myself understood.
"I have absolutely no interest in having you or anyone you hang out with as a boyfriend, and if ditching my friends is what it takes to get one, then I don't want a boyfriend at all. Would you please leave me alone?" The guy straightened up and gave me a nasty look.
"Suit yourself. Not like I can't do better anyway." As he said this he turned to walk away, flipping me off casually over his shoulder. I was ready to forget the moron and get back to my lunch when Konata stood up.
"You are pathetic and if you ever touch her without her permission, or speak to her like that again, I will put every last ounce of my effort into making your life hell, and I will not stop until you are a pennyless, homeless, friendless, unemployable pile of rags and slime living off rats in the sewer!"
The guy stared, open mouthed, at the short girl who was now shaking with rage. He stepped back from her slowly, hands raised as if she were going to hit him. Then I saw that she had a death grip on the back of her chair as if she may throw it at him. In three years of knowing her, this was only the fourth time i'd ever seen her lose her temper.
If looks could kill, the guy would have been turned to ash on the spot. My sister and Miyuki were shocked, and the rest of the class was staring at the two, wondering which would give in first. Even our teacher was sitting patiently, waiting to see if she would need to intervene before bones started breaking.
"I'm sorry. It won't happen again." The boy was pale and bowed politely before walking quickly to the far side of the room. Konata glared daggers at his the whole way, then finally let go of her chair, and slumped down onto it again.
"Konata... Thanks. That was sweet." She gave me a funny look, then her cheerful, mischievous grin made an appearance for the first time that day.
"Friends look out for each other." The tired, melancholic look slowly came back and we ate in silence after that.
Tsukasa and I were on our way out the doors of the school when she suddenly stopped and pointed. The guy from lunch was walking over to us. I balled my fists inside my pockets and glared at him. He held his hands up in a gesture of peace and stopped at a respectful distance.
"I'm very sorry for what happened earlier today. I didn't know that you were actually that close to those guys. I thought you just spent time with them out of habit. Do you think you could ask Konata to forgive me?"
I raised an eyebrow.
"Doesn't one usually ask the person they groped and insulted for forgiveness before asking her to intercede with her best friend on your behalf?" He gave me a sheepish look.
"Yeah, but you know, she sorta has a reputation for coming through on her threats." My eyes widened a bit. I hadn't heard anything about that. What threats had she made and carried out?
"I'll tell her not to kill your family, alright? But I'd like it if you just stayed away from us from now on." He nodded and walked away quickly. As my sister and I walked along, I began to think about what the guy had said.
A couple of incidents came to mind, and all of them corresponded to occasions where Konata had snapped. The first, only a month after we had met.
"What's wrong you baby? Did I hurt your little feelings?" A girl I didn't really know, but recognized as a classmate of ours was looking at my sister, who was currently crying quietly. She had just shoved her aside as she was coming out of a class room, causing her to drop her books.
"Why'd you shove my sister?!" I snapped at her.
"She was in my way, daydreaming in front of a door. She deserved it! Now get out of my way." The girl made to walk past me, but stumbled when she ran into a short, blue haired girl. I looked at my friend to see a glare on her face that I had never seen before. Even after only a month, I thought I knew her pretty well, but this proved there were still sides of her I didn't understand.
"Apologize to my friend now, or by the end of the day, YOU will be the one crying." She said it so calmly and clearly, that even I was a bit scared. The girl, however, was unimpressed. She pushed past her and snapped back at her over her shoulder.
"Screw off kid. Go pick a fight with someone your own size, if you can find one out of grade school." That was a low blow, and I felt that only her friends should be allowed to make comments about her height, but she didn't seem to be fazed by it. I had an arm around my sister now, as she pulled herself together.
"Th-thanks Konata... Thanks Kagami." She sniffed and went to pick up her books.
"Konata, thank you for standing up for me and my sister. You're a good friend." She relaxed and gave me her familiar grin.
"It's no problem Kagami! People like her need to have their egos deflated from time to time." I could only wonder what that meant, until I walked out of class after school and saw the girl from that morning sitting in the hall crying.
Despite myself, I walked over to her.
"Hey, what's wrong?" She looked up at me and stifled her tears.
"What do you care?" She snapped at me. I stood up and started to walk away.
"Fine. I just thought you looked like you might need someone to talk to."
"I got kicked from the cheer team, and my boyfriend dumped me." I stopped in my tracks.
"Why did that happen?"
"That stupid little friend of your went and tried out and took my place on the team. My boyfriend was only dating me cause I was a cheerleader and dumped me when he found out." She sobbed again. I couldn't help but smile a little in my head that that crazy otaku had pulled that off.
"Well i'm sorry to hear that, but if you hadn't been such a jerk to my sister this morning, that wouldn't have happened." I knew it was harsh, but hey. You don't screw with my little sister and get away with it.
"I'm sorry. Tell your sister too. You're right. I was a jerk." She sniffed and stood up, then walked past me and out of the school. My sister and Konata stepped out of their class room a few moments later.
"Hey, sorry we're late. Tsukasa got clean up duty this week, and I had to help cause I was tardy to class." Konata had her smile fixed firmly on her face and a spring in her step, as if she hadn't just brought a bully to her knees.
I stepped up to her and hugged her, then related what I had just seen and heard.
"Wow... She really apologized? That's nice of her. I guess she just needed a push to realize she was wrong." Konata seemed genuinely surprised by the result of her actions. The next day, she resigned from the cheer team and the girl was readmitted. She never said an unkind word to any one I knew after that.
I realized I was at the bus stop and shook my head. How long had I been day dreaming? Konata was sprinting up the sidewalk and skidded to a stop beside my sister and I, panting.
"Jeez Kagamin, I didn't think you'd take off so fast! Doesn't Tsukasa have cooking lessons today?" My sister's eyes widened in panic and she took off sprinting toward the school.
I couldn't help but laugh as I patted my girlfriend's shoulder.
"Sorry, I had my head lost in the clouds and got here on auto pilot." She grinned at me and sat down on the bench. I sat next to her.
"Do you want to talk about lunch today? The guy came and apologized again, by the way. Let him go, okay?" I looked at her thoughtfully.
"I'll leave him alone as long as he leaves you alone. I'm sorry I lost my temper. I'm just feeling a bit... overstretched recently." She leaned her head back and stared at the clouds as they passed.
"Will you tell me why?" A look of irritation and sadness crossed her face.
"Maybe later. Our bus is here." She dodged the question and hopped up into the vehicle quickly.
"Want to come with me to the store? I've gotta pick up a couple new manga. I finally finished my collection." That was the Konata I knew and loved.
"Of course. I am coming over to your house anyway, right? It's be silly for me to get there before you." She giggled and claimed a seat that had room for both of us.
She remained in relatively high spirits until we were finally alone together in her room. Then she slumped down on her bed and looked up at me.
"Kagami... Can we talk?" My heart sank. Was she going to break up with me? What had I done? Why hadn't she said anything before? I forced myself to answer.
"O-of course..." She took a deep breath.
"I want to tell our friends and family that we're together. Please... I'm no good at hiding things, and the stress is killing me Kagami." I stare at her. The wave of panic that had swept through me moments before receded and was replaced with embarrassment.
"That's what has been bothering you?" She nodded her head and stared at the ceiling.
"Why didn't you say anything before you otaku idiot!?" She sat up and looked at me in surprise.
"I've been worried about you! I thought you might be sick or something! You've been acting so differently lately, it scared me..." I looked away and blushed. Well I guess that was my deredere quota for the day.
"Kagami, I wanted to respect your wish to keep it a secret until you were more comfortable with it. I thought I could handle it, but I can't. Every time I want to hold your hand, or mention one of our dates, or compliment how pretty you look when you put your hair in one ponytail instead of two, or just be able to talk to my friends about the girl I am dating, it makes it a little harder." I was staring at the worn out looking girl now, and sat down next to her, hugging her close.
"Konata, lets start telling them. We'll tell Miyuki and Tsukasa at lunch tomorrow, and we can even tell your dad and your cousin tonight." She looks at me with disbelief, then her face melts into a relieved grin.
"Thank you Kagamin. I know you don't want people to think differently of you, but I think they'll all still know you're the same girl they already know." She rolled over and kisses me gently. "Will you stand with me when we tell people? I don't think any of our family and friends will take it too badly, but I'd be more comfortable if you were there too."
I couldn't do anything but nod.
We went downstairs and stood side by side, hand in hand, as we told her father that we liked each other and were pursuing a romantic relationship with each other. He hugged me and said "Welcome to the family!". I'm not sure Konata's cousin was even surprised. I had the feeling she might be struggling with similar feelings.
When Konata slipped into unconsciousness beside me that night, she looked as relaxed and peaceful as she had ever been.
I lay awake for a while, thoughts running around my head like a playground. I kept wondering how different people would react. As I lay there thinking, another buried memory floated to the surface and made me squeeze the girl in my arms a little closer.
It was the school sports festival during our first year of high school. It was nearly the end of the year, and I had been spending a lot of time in the company of the short otaku I now called my best friend. Our arguments and conversations ranged from deep and meaningful, to trivial and petty, but we enjoyed it.
The four of us were sitting together at a picnic table watching the competitors go through their various activities. Miyuki gasped and pointed across the field at a boy who was being harassed by some older students. There were no teachers around, all of them either inside grading, or up at the competition area acting as judges.
Konata was the first to walk over, her playful smile still on her face.
"Hey, why are you picking on him? It's Minoru, isn't it?" She looked form the three older students to their victim. The younger boy nodded.
"What's it to you?" The biggest of the three responded, sounding unsure as to whether he could do anything to such a small girl without risking hurting her and getting in very big trouble.
"Well he's in my class, and I don't like seeing three people take on one. It just doesn't seem right. At least have the courage to go one on one." The guy no longer seemed to be in any sort of mood to play nice with her now.
"Oh yeah? Fine I'll pound him by my self, then." He raised a fist to knock the poor boy silly, when Konata grabbed his wrist and with a neatly preformed twist and pull, sent him to the ground, completely winded.
"How about you give me a reason first." Konata was no longer smiling. I had no idea where her hand to hand fighting ability had materialized from, but it seemed that she was confident she could take care of herself if they lost their tempers with her.
"The punk wouldn't let me copy him on the test, and I have to retake the class because of him. We're just gonna shave his head and rough him up a little bit." The guy was an absolute moron. I could only snort at what he seemed to think was a valid response. He glared at me.
"What the hell do you think you're laughing at? You want your head shaved to cupcake?" My mouth dropped open and I put my hands over my head as his two friends took threatening steps forward.
"How about this. If you can get to your feet in under a minute, you can shave my head instead of either of theirs. If you can't, the three of you will be coming to school bald tomorrow. Is it a deal?" I couldn't believe what Konata had just said. Apparently, neither could anyone else.
"All I've gotta do is get up?"
"Yeah. But your buddies can't help you. And all three of you have to agree. So boys, how confident are you in your big strong leader here?" She gave them all a glare. They glared right back, not ones to be daunted by someone smaller than them, much less a girl.
"Fine by us!" All three of them agreed. The guy on the ground started to push himself up, but Konata delivered a quick punch to his arm, and he crumpled back onto his face. He rolled onto his back and tried to sit up, but the small girl just pulled his arms out from under him with her toes. After a minute, he was still laying flat on his back.
"So, who's first?" She picked up the pair of hair clippers and flicked them on. The three boys ran. She ran after them. She tackled the one who had been acting as their leader and wrestled him to the ground, and as we watched, shaved his head bald.
The boy, Minoru, had picked himself up and was now staring in awe at the scene before us.
What really surprised people was when the other two came in clean shaven as well. Apparently their friend had taken it upon himself to be sure that he had company.
As I remembered how passionately and reliably the girl had stood up to anyone she thought was treating someone unfairly, I began to realize why that guy had been so terrified of her. She really did have a pretty good track record of delivering the punishments she promised.
She mumbled in her sleep.
"Kagami... Stop being a tsundere, you're supposed to be moe on Tuesdays..." I couldn't help but giggle. Even when she was dreaming she was a hopeless otaku. She was my hopeless otaku. I snuggled closer to her and closed my eyes.
"I'm always a tsundere, Konata. You should know better than that." I hated to admit she was right about the way I acted, but hey, even she could be right sometimes. Of course, she'd never hear me say that when she was awake.
The next day, we came out to our friends. They were all about as surprised as Konata's cousin had been. Apparently, our friends knew us pretty well. My parents, on the other hand, were a little more surprised. But not in the way I had expected. They both thought it was wonderful they had at least one daughter that they knew wouldn't end up going too far with the wrong guy.
I suppose they have been a bit worried about my two older sisters off at college. I'm fine with that. They accepted my girlfriend, who is no longer exhausted or lethargic, but once again as happy and hyper as ever.
"So Kagamin..." I look over at her.
"Can I copy your homework? I slept through class today." Yeah, she was definitely back to normal.
Some minor corrections, but essentially the same as before, just in a different place.
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