Monday, 22 June 2015

Chapter one (segment three), 2016, August, Yukio

Yukio stared at the train of club members who followed him out of Shibuya station. Twenty of them, but thank all gods none in their school uniform.

Surrounded by club members the Swedish giant walked in the middle. Beside him but unseen his girlfriend tagged along with a small tail of admirers of her own.

Yukio gratefully observed that it was busy enough for them to go unnoticed. He had told them there would be a modelling shot at the intersection, and all according to plan both foreign guests had jumped at the opportunity to watch the spectacle in the very centre of Japanese youth fashion.

He had not told them why Kuri was absent though. Urufu said she looked different when she was armed for battle, but he was the only one who had seen her like that. Yukio could only guess at the difference, and he suspected that Urufu had been less than modest in his descriptions.

“Damn he's tall!” Nori-kun exclaimed for the hundredth time.

Motor mouth. For once you're useful. Keep them focussed on Yakobuson-san.

Just when they were about to exit the station a crowd had started to build up, and they had to negotiate their way out of the station.

The camera teams were already there and the shoot had started. They had built a scene and on it a few exceptionally good looking and tall men took turns posing.

Yukio looked around. OK tall is a matter of definition I guess. Ulf is a dwarf compared to them, but that monster is a match. Yukio stared at Yakobuson-san when he cringed as he walked into the brutal wall of heat just outside the station. On second thought he was probably taller than the models.

There were scouts making passes at people in the crowd. If what Kuri had told him was true some of them were even legit. But most of them were there to fleece unsuspecting and over eager teenagers.

“Want to be a model?”

Now that voice came from a shorter distance than he had expected. Of course. It was just a matter of time. Yukio grinned at Yakobuson-san. Oh they are targeting his girlfriend as well. I guess she's cute enough in an exotic way.

It was strangely fun in a chaotic way. Only half of the show took place on stage, but the more interesting stories played out in the crowd.

“Yakobuson-san, they want to take your photo,” he called out to his guest. “I won't promise it's not a scam, but you won't have to pay for any shots unless you sign something.” Kuri should know. She's been here before, in that other world.

Some space opened up around their guests. They looked exotic and striking enough to warrant the extra attention.

“Cool! We have models of our own.”

Dozens of smart phones were aimed at the impromptu shot around them, and Yukio just shook his head. “Kyoko, over here,” he shouted when he finally discovered her guiding the last of their members from the station.

She lit up in a smile and hurried over to him. Yes definitely going to tell her today.

“Shouldn't Kuri be with you?” he asked when she came close enough for him to speak in a more normal voice.

Kyoko just grinned. “She said she's doing this on her own. Promised a grand show.”

Grand show? How can you promise something like that? Then he remembered the festival night in June. You transformed back then. I wonder what you look like when you're prepared for real.


“Huh?” That had been Urufu. Where? Ah there.

Urufu came walking with a woman by his side.

Urufu's guardian? Sato Amaya -san was it? Why is she here?

“Christina hasn't shown,” Urufu said. That was a statement and not a question.

“No I haven't seen...”

“Bloody hell he's a big one!”

Yukio followed Urufu's stare. There was no mistaking what he was looking at. Who he was looking at. “That's Yakobuson-san,” Yukio said. Like he didn't know.

“Yeah, I guessed as much,” came Urufu's rather pointless reply. “I didn't expect him to be that huge. Oh well just like old times.”

Forgot he's used to people being a lot taller. We must look like midgets to them. “Good day Sato-sensei,” Yukio said when Urufu's guardian came close enough for a more polite greeting. Why are you here?

“Kyoko, have you met Sato-sensei?”

Kyoko shook her head and introduced herself. Yukio watched her smile and how her hair took flight when she bowed. He wanted to bury his nose in it. Definitely telling her today!

“Where's Kuri-chan? Didn't she say she'd meet us here?” Sho-kun asked.

Yukio was on the verge of answering when Kyoko's face widened in a mischievous grin. “She'll be here. You'll see.”

OK now I'm really curious.

Three things happened as one. Yukio heard shouts from further back in the crowd, and when he turned to find out what was happening he saw Yakobuson-san stop posing for his photographer and stare over all the heads. On the scene one of the models dropped out of her pose and pointed across the crowd.

What on earth?

Both male models stood staring, jaws slacking in shock and one of the camera crew slowly swivelled, gear and all, to find out what why their shot had suddenly gone south.

“And here she comes,” Kyoko said. She grabbed Yukio's shoulder for support and tip-toed to see better.

Close, you're close! Yukio did his best to pretend he hadn't noticed and that it was only natural with Kyoko clinging to him.

“I can't see!” she complained to him. Her face was suddenly very close to his and he was unable to let go of her eyes. They stood staring at each other.

Close, you're too close! “I love you,” he blurted out before he could stop himself.

Her eyes suddenly went very large and her mouth opened up in a big 'O'.

Oops. I confessed! Again.

“Do you want an answer right now?” Kyoko asked in a voice barely audible.

What do I do now? There was no pretending 'just friends' any longer. “You can answer whenever you want. My feelings haven't changed since I confessed to you the first time.”

Kyoko didn't say anything, but she grabbed his head with both hands and planted a wet kiss right on his mouth. Then she backed away. “Do you want me to explain that?” she asked breathlessly.

Yukio shook his head and hugged her close.

“About bloody time!” Urufu shouted from behind. “You're not getting out of this now,” he continued gleefully. “Guys, look who just got together!” he yelled.

Yukio blushed harder than he thought possible, but when he tried to let go of Kyoko in embarrassment her embrace tightened into an iron grip.

“Don't. Ever. Let. Me. Go!”

And he no longer cared about club members shouting encouraging and vulgar propositions to them both.

“Whoa! Two shows in one!”

Two shows? Oh, forgot! “Kyoko, shouldn't we see what Kuri is doing?” he murmured in her ear.

“Don't want to, but yes. I promised. Just don't let go of me!” she murmured back. “Oh, there she is!”

Yukio looked around. They were still hugging but now they looked in the same direction. Gods!

“And the Red Sea is parting,” Urufu said. “That's my Christina. Just look!”

And the Red Sea was parting, or at least the crowd.

The billion dollar empress. Urufu, you called her an empress, but she really looks like a goddess.

Yukio saw her hair before he saw the rest of her. A golden sun shone above the crowd just before it parted and gave way to her, and he saw her face. By his side Kyoko gasped.

“It's OK Yukio,” Kyoko said. “For now you're allowed to fall in love with her. I just did that myself.”

The shouting had stopped. They watched in silence when a goddess descended from heaven and blessed her mortal subjects with her smile.

I can't see her make-up! But it has to be there! The angelic face approaching them bore very little resemblance with the Kuri they knew and shared stupid jokes with.

And her clothes. Yukio knew very little about fashion, but he had never before seen a girl wearing anything that looked designed for her personally. This was as far from cute as was possible. The dress lacked colour, yet it slowly shimmered in a fruity red and yellow. It followed every movement of hers, and somehow Christina managed to swing her handbag in perfect rhythm with her ever-shifting dress.

She strode to them on high heels as if she had been born in them.

“Am I late?” she asked, and Yukio saw a glimmer of a deliberate grin aimed at him and Kyoko. “Oh finally! I'm so happy for you!” she said and embraced them both. In her high heels she was a full head taller than any of them.

“Hey gorgeous! Wanna party?”

English? Yakobuson-san?

“We should hang out some while I'm in Japan,” he continued. “You look like my kind of girl.”

What the hell? You're here with your girlfriend!

Kuri looked him over. “It was nice to meet you, but I'm looking for my boyfriend.”

English? She could have spoken Swedish instead. She meant for us to understand. Yukio smirked. Urufu, you idiot! Treasure her! You'll never find a better match in your life.

Yakobuson-san blanched nevertheless. Yukio could have sworn he wasn't used to be told off like that. This was an older version of what Ryu could turn into, had he been just a little more ruthless and a little less concerned about how the girls around him felt.

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