What the hell? First real walking talking session this year. You arse!
But no matter how much Ryu grumbled he just couldn’t compare what they were doing now to his own attempt just days earlier.
It didn’t help that sis ran Urufu’s errands with a brightness in her eyes that hadn’t been there since Nao cheated on her.
And Nao, you coward, you’ve not shown your face since.
Which technically wasn’t true. His face had shown up more than once. Usually together with Kuri’s, on ads on billboards, television, the Internet and magazines. His fame grew, backlit as it was by Kuri who had stayed the sensation for half a year now.
“Kuri,” Ryu started and glanced at his sister.
As every time before Kuri just shook her head. She grabbed his hand and leaned closer. “I’ll be there whenever she wants a shoulder to cry on, but I’m not interfering directly with Nao.”
“But they should at least talk, or let me punch his face.”
Kuri smirked and tightened her grip. Her hand was smooth and warm, just about perfect like anything else on her body.
Damn, she’s not listening. Ryu flashed his most winning smile at one of the new members from Irishima High, and got the predictable result in return, plus a small bonus. The girl threw Kuri an uncertain smile.
Ryu looked at his girlfriend just to find out what kind of predatory grin she had served the poor girl, but there was none, just an amused and welcoming smile. OK, that one didn’t work. Let’s push her some more.
“What was your name, again?” he asked the girl.
“Ryu, really! It’s Chiyo. She’s so cute so you really should remember her name!” Kuri said in mock exasperation and let out a bubbling laughter. It came to an abrupt stop, and Ryu felt her flinch.
Now what? Oh, of course.
That bell like laughter had rung farther than she planned. Further ahead of them Ryu saw Urufu turn, mesmerised by the sound.
Well, you’re an arse, so why don’t you just hurt a little bit more! Ryu tugged Kuri closer, ad for the first time since they agreed on her boyfriend girlfriend deal she tried to pull away.
Crap, I didn’t mean for you to hurt as well.
The thought barely registered when Ryu saw his sister beelining for Urufu. Some problem or another she hadn’t been able to help a team solve, Ryu guessed. Just as she reached her target she threw him and Kuri a measuring look. It quickly turned into an angry stare.
What’s she up to?
Noriko nestled in all the way under Urufu’s arm, and Ryu saw him give her a surprised glance while at the same time typing out some outline on a touch-pad.
“Is it really that cold?” Kuri’s voice said.
Both Ryu and Chiyo looked at the show playing out around Urufu. Whatever Noriko had planned, it worked in a way. Urufu’s face no longer displayed pain, but instead it showed discomfort with Noriko’s closeness.
“Uh, I think I’ll join Ai-chan,” Chiyo said and made herself scarce.
Ryu followed her back with his eyes until she reached his ex. Damn, goes both ways, I guess, he thought when the familiar lump build in his throat. He wasn’t anywhere near over his former girlfriend. Why did I agree to this stupid set-up in the first place? Ah, yes, Vogue would have forced another boyfriend on her otherwise.
Was that even legal? Ryu doubted it, but then there were a lot of things that weren’t strictly legal, and showbiz, in any of its forms, was infamous for being hard on the girls. Slave contracts his father once explained, and Ryu wondered how he knew. There never was an answer.
“Ryu. Ryu! Idiot bro!”
Ryu shook his head and stared at the apparition facing him. “Yes?” he said somewhat belatedly.
“Don’t yes me,” his sister said. “Urufu needs the two of you to handle the next station,” she continued and glanced at Kuri.
You really don’t like to see Kuri and me together. Hell, I probably wouldn’t if I were you. “Sure,” he drawled and pretended he disliked being disturbed by his sister.
“You,” Noriko said and pointed a finger at Kuri, “had better shape up or I’ll take him from you.”
“Huh?” Kuri said.
“Even if just for comfort, I’ll take him from you, so get your shit in order and make up with him.”
“Language!” Ryu protested.
“Shove it, idiot bro! Fix that station and leave Kuri to me.” Noriko growled at him, and for a moment Ryu played with the thought of disobeying her. “You want to see if I’ve mellowed the last year?” Noriko threatened him.
Ryu caved in and made ready to help out with the next station. After he let go he started walking a bit brisker, but he only got a few steps ahead of the girls before he heard his sister again.
“Kuri, you can ask Ryu about me. Whenever I really put my mind to something things end up the way I planned.”
“What is this? A declaration of war?” And that was Kuri’s voice. It had an edge to it Ryu hadn’t heard for a while.
“Kuri, just trust me on this. If you don’t make up with Urufu in a week I’ll make sure he never as much as looks your way again. Your call.” With those words Noriko caught up with him and sprinted ahead of him all the way to where Urufu longed by a stone wall and helped one team with a problem.
This is bad, Ryu thought. Really, really, really bad. Sis is scary whenever she gets that way. She hadn’t, for two years now. That attempted rape scared her from acting too rashly. In a way Ryu felt happy that side of her had been restored. Still bad. She got that part from mom, and dad always backs down whenever she’s in that mood.
Ryu glanced at his girlfriend. Do you have any idea how scary sis can get? he thought when Kuri returned a quizzical look.