Disclaimer: This story is a product of the twisted mind of one Don Johnson, better known as MadPanda...that would be me, by the way. My idea, my story, my characters. Okay? Now, go read already!
(WARNING: The following chapter contains coarse language and scenes of violence. Reader discretion is advised.)
"Choukuko's Dog" by MadPanda
Chapter 4 - "Heaven and Hell"
"Crazy old crow," Pirika muttered to herself.
"Come on, Piri-chan, she wasn't that bad." Yukiko hailed a taxi and they both got in. "In fact, I think she was very sweet."
"Yeah, but you don't have to live with her. It's just one folk tale after another, or the dances, or that whole bit with the albatross head. It gets annoying after awhile." Pirika looked out of the window as the city moved past them.
"Piri-chan!" said Yukiko in mild shock. "Here you are looking for information about the Ainu, and there's a living, breathing database in your own home!"
"It's not the same, Yuki-pe,' Pirika sighed. "I want documented proof, not ancient animal fables. I want dates, names, places..."
Yukiko leaned against Pirika's shoulder, and took her hand. "Piri-chan, history is a lot more than sheer statistics, especially in your case, where there isn't a lot of written material. Your history is passed down from generation to generation, and eventually those who can write it and decipher the true meanings of stories will do so and put it to paper. I'm sure she can remember some people or places, or knows people who can. You just have to ask." She freed Pirika's hand and snuggled closer. "She wants to teach you, Piri-chan. Let her do that."
Pirika enjoyed the feel of Yukiko next to her. She liked it so much, she wrapped an arm around the white-haired girl's shoulder, holding her close. "I guess you're right, Yuki-pe. Maybe I just take her for granted. Or maybe it's a bit of resentment, being it's her taking care of me and not my parents."
"Yeah, she told me about that," Yukiko said calmly. "She cares deeply for you, Piri-chan, just as she did for your mother. I know you love her too, but she needs more than that. Listen to her, Piri-chan. She has much to say, and not a lot of time to say it."
"You sure you weren't an elder in your previous life, Yuki-pe?" Pirika laughed.
"Could be! I just don't want you to have any regrets about her if something ever happened to her."
"Okay, Yuki-pe, I'll be a good girl and pay more attention." Pirika gave Yukiko's shoulder a squeeze as the taxi slowed to a stop in front of an impressive apartment building.
Yukiko paid the driver and sent him on his way. "Here we are!"
Pirika looked up at the tall building, at Yukiko, and then back at the building. "You're kidding, right?"
Hiroko had gotten as much information from the folders as she was going to need. She picked up the scattered documents, placed them back in their respective folders, and put the folders back in her bag.
"I wonder if he's home...or out with that stupid rat pack of his." She flipped open her cell phone and scrolled through the entries. She found the one she wanted, and made the call.
"Hey! Hiroko! How ya been baby!" The voice on the other end was laid-back and lazy.
"Yeah, like you really care, Kyousuke!" Hiroko disliked the rough boy, but he had his uses, and he was easily manipulated.
"Aw, come on! Don't be like that! Don't tell me you're still mad about the pool thing? We were just havin' some fun with you!"
Hiroko didn't want to be reminded of the incident. The two of them and a couple of his friends broke in the school's pool center late one night, when the outing somehow turned into a near gang-rape. To this day, she won't go near a pool. She hated him for that, but she found a way to deal with it: by taking advantage of his brutishness and stupidity. He would do anything to make up for what happened, and Hiroko was going to take full advantage of that.
"Just shut up, Kyousuke!" she yelled into the phone, before taking a moment to calm herself down. "I need you to do a favor for me."
"Is it like the last 'favor'? That was fun! That pale little bitch was screamin' like a monkey! If it wasn't for--"
"Yeah, yeah...something like that." Hiroko knew he'd go on bragging forever, and thought it best to cut him off. "She's got a friend now, and they've both become a pain in the ass."
"A friend, huh? A -girl-friend? Hey, maybe we can watch them make out before we rough 'em up! Or better yet, force them to--"
"SHUT UP!" Hiroko was about to slam the phone into the ground, but checked her temper. "Damn it, you stupid perv! Just shut up and listen! I'll give you an address, and I want you to go there and wait for her. When she shows up, give her the same treatment you did Choukuko, okay?"
"What does she look like? Is she at least hot?" Giggling could be heard on the other end.
"If you're into dogs, maybe!" She retrieved Pirika's file from her bag, took out the picture and took a photo of it with the phone's camera. She then sent the picture to Kyousuke.
"Well, she's do-able," he said half-heartedly. "What'd she do to piss you off so much?"
"That's not important. What is is that you take that bitch out. You hear me? I want that dog so scared of me, her ancestors will be crying for help!"
"Should be fun! Alright, so when do you want it done?"
Hiroko gave him all the details. "Make sure she's home when you do it. She lives with some old bat, so you won't have a problem."
"Whatever, as long as we get some fun out of it!" Kyousuke's twisted laugh made Hiroko cringe. "See ya later, baby?"
Hiroko snapped the phone shut without a response.
Pirika sat nervously in the spacious living room of the Hitsuji apartment........... 'Yuki-pe's family has great taste,' she thought to herself. The brass-and-glass tables and cabinets; the plush sofa and loveseat; even the deep carpeting told her the Hitsujis weren't exactly your typical working-class citizens.
She was distracted by Yukiko's voice calling from another room. "How do you like it?"
"It's beautiful!" Pirika's eyes landed on a set of crystal harlequins, their colors dancing in the light. "Some of the stuff you got here must've set your parents back quite a bit."
"You could say that. Mom's an art dealer, so she gets some of the stuff you see as bonuses for her work. My father's a vice-president of a big car company. They do make a lot, but they're the material type."
"I see...and yet, they send you to a public high school. That's just wrong!" Pirika turned and walked over to the window, which took up an entire wall and led to a balcony.
"Just goes to show how much they think I'm worth, huh?" Pirika heard the sourness of Yukiko's tone, and shook her head. 'If they only knew what they have in her,' she thought, cursing Yukiko's parents' ignorance.
The city's harbor spread out before her, and the sun setting in the bay made the whole scene look like a postcard. "Wow! You've even got a lovely view! The only place better than this would be on a movie set." She didn't think she'd see anything more beautiful, until she turned and saw Yukiko.
Pirika took a breath, and scanned every inch of the angel before her. From the deep red sling-back shoes, to the knee-high dress that started out red, but faded in gradients to a strawberry pink. Yukiko's white hair was done up in a twin pony-tail style, with pink ribbons keeping her hair in place. Pirika was most surprised at how the dress gave Yukiko slight curves more definition than she thought possible. Even Yukiko's face, near-featureless save for her glasses--had hints of make-up, with pink the dominant color.... The whole image made Yukiko look like a porcelain doll.
The sunset over the bay was soon forgotten, as was just about everything else in Pirika's mind at that moment.
"Is everything okay?" Yukiko tilted her head to the side, and that added just the right amount of cuteness.
"Yu...Yuki-pe...you're..." Pirika stammered.
"Too much? Maybe I should change." Yukiko turned on her heels, but was stopped by Pirika 's sudden outburst.
"NO!--I mean, no...you're beautiful just as you are. I'm sorry, Yuki-pe.............it's just, I'm not used to seeing you like this. It's amazing!"
Yukiko smiled brightly. "I'll take that as a compliment! Now, we'd better hurry, or we're gonna miss the show!"
Pirika was still dazed. "Right...wait a minute - a show? Didn't you say we were going to eat?"
"Yes," Yukiko nodded. "It's a cafe, but they also have a great floor show at dinner. I'll leave a note here and we can go." She took out a pad and pen and scrawled a note, leaving it on the living room table.
As the two began to walk out of the apartment, Yukiko stopped and held Pirika's hand. "Before we go, I want to get something out of the way first........... Actually, I don't believe I'm going to ask this of you, but I want to enjoy this night, and I don't want to spend it worrying about something as silly as this." She was rambling now, and the color in her face was starting to match the gradients in her dress.
"What is it, Yuki-pe? You can ask me anything." Pirika turned to face Yukiko, and saw a look in her eyes she had never seen before--a look of pure desire.
"Well...I was, er, I was wondering..." Yukiko lowered her head, and started fidgeting with her hands. She was beginning to lose her nerve. "Wondering what it would be like if you would...um, if you could..."
"'If I could' what?"
Yukiko took a deep breath and raised her head, her eyes looking straight into Pirika's. "If you would kiss me."
Pirika looked down at the expectant young woman in front of her, and took her in her arms. "Let's find out." Her lips pressed against Yukiko's, and the smaller girl could've died happy never taking another breath. Her body had other ideas, and forced her to break the kiss and exhale.
Yukiko was so lost in her bliss that she almost didn't hear Pirika calling her name. "Yuki-pe! Are you...are you alright?" Pirika watched as Yukiko eyes dreamily opened, and tears came out. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Oh no, silly..." Yukiko said, her voice barely above a whisper. "Your kiss is...it's so...." She threw her arms around Pirika's neck and kissed her deeply. Pirika returned the kiss with full fervor, and the two almost drowned in their passion.
"Grrrrrrwwwllll!" The sound came from somewhere between the two girls.
"I..I think my stomach has other plans, Yuki-pe!" Pirika blushed, and the girls laughed.
Yukiko sighed as she leaned into Pirika's body.
"Thank you, Piri-chan."
"Anytime, Yuki-pe, anytime at all." Pirika leaned down and gave Yukiko a soft kiss, and they headed out into the night.
Patience wasn't Hiroko's strong suit, so when three hours passed with no word from Kyousuke, she called him back. She snapped at him as soon as the connection was made. "What the hell is taking you so long?"
"Hiroko! Hey, I was just about to call you! You know, that girl never showed! I don't know what happened, but we've been watching her house all night, and she ain't been here yet!"
"WHAT?" Hiroko's shriek caught Kyousuke by surprise. "What do you mean she hasn't been back yet?"
"It's just like I said, baby," the guy said. "We were all ready to do a number on her, but she's still not here. You want us to get the old lady instead?"
Hiroko had that thought in mind as soon as she saw Pirika's folder, but fought against it. 'It would've been better to take out that stupid dog instead, but now she's forced my hand.' She yelled into the phone, "Just wait until I tell you to, alright?"
Kyousuke was starting to get antsy. "We're bored and hungry, Hiroko. Pretty soon we're gonna clear outta here, ya know?"
"Don't worry...I'll make it worth your while, trust me." Hiroko had no intention of doing anything for Kyousuke, and she didn't care. "Just wait, dammit! It won't be long." She snapped the phone shut, and sat on a nearby bench. She was in a small park, which had a good view of Yukiko's apartment. "If I can't get the dog, at least I can get her master. And if they're together, then hell, all the better for me!" She stretched her legs out and waited, knowing Yukiko had to come home sooner or later.
"That was fun!" Pirika's voice was light and full of laughter.
"Told you so," said Yukiko happily. "Like I said, it's my favorite place........ I hope you'll come there with me more often."
Pirika extended an arm so Yukiko could wrap herself in it. "You can count on it! Although...I won't have to dress up next time, do I?"
"Of course not, Piri-chan! Sure, it's a cosplay cafe, and a lot of the patrons do it, but as you saw, it isn't required."
"And singing is?" Pirika was happy to be taller than Yukiko, so the shorter girl couldn't see the embarrassed look she wore.
"You were wonderful! They just wanted to make you feel at home...and I'd say it worked." Yukiko smiled and held Pirika's arm tighter.
"Nah, I just think they wanted to see who the competition was. I mean, you're so popular there! How did that happen?"
"It just did. I walked in the door one day and one of the waitresses started hitting on me. When I turned her down, they all started. It was quite embarrassing. I don't know why they do it."
Pirika stopped their pace and turned her face to Yukiko. "I do. They do it because you're beautiful. And in that place, where people can be anything they want, they don't have to worry about hiding their emotions...they can play out their fantasies, and see what happens. Luckily for me, I don't have to fantasize...I have the real thing right here."
Yukiko was about to thank her new girlfriend for her compliment with a kiss, when she felt a sharp tug on one of her ponytails. She turned around, and was harshly slapped to the ground, her glasses flying off into the front of the apartment building.
Hiroko ignored the sprawling girl and glared menacingly at Pirika. "Bad dog!" She shook her finger scoldingly. "You didn't show up for your reprimand, Inu! You and Choukuko here thought you cou--" Her sentence was cut off by Pirika's fist hitting her square in the mouth. Hiroko staggered back and leaned against a parked car, spitting blood from her mouth. "As I was saying, you thought you could just blow off the principal--Hey! Look at me when I'm talking to you!"
Pirika had already ran to Yukiko's aid, helping the shocked girl off of the ground and on her feet. She made sure Yukiko could stand on her own, then turned her attention towards Hiroko. "One more word out of you and I'm gonna rip out your tongue!"
"Hmph!" Hiroko wiped the blood from her lips with her arm, then strode defiantly towards the two girls. "You're not paying attention," she said smugly. "I've come to train you, like I did your master!"
Pirika charged at Hiroko, but the tomboy dodged her. As she passed, Hiroko stuck out her foot, tripping Pirika and sending her skidding on the sidewalk.
"Piri-chan!" Yukiko wanted to run to help Pirika, but that meant going through Hiroko. She ran to get her glasses, calling out to her friend. "I'll get some help!"
"You'll do no such thing, Choukuko!" Hiroko grabbed Yukiko by one of he ponytails, and then by her neck. She dragged the helpless girl over to her dazed companion, and threw her to the ground beside Pirika.
"Akiyama-san!" Yukiko cried out. "What have we done to you! Why are you attacking us like this?"
"You've embarrassed me, that's what you've done!! I tolerated you just being in my class, and I even let you keep your pet. But when you both got out of hand, and even had the gall to blow off the principal, well, that makes me look bad!"
Hiroko's rant gave Pirika time to gather her senses. "Blame your parents for that, bitch! The fact that you're an ugly whore has nothing to do with us!"
"Like I said, you're not paying attention!" Hiroko went to kick at Yukiko, but Pirika grabbed her leg, twisting it outward and pushing against Hiroko, sending the girl to the ground.
"Are you alright, Yuki-pe?" The two girls helped each other off the ground this time.
"My face hurts, and I think I'm bleeding down there..." Yukiko pointed at her right knee which had a pretty nasty scrape on it. "How about you?"
"Not nearly as bad as she's gonna be!" Pirika nodded to the still-prone Hiroko. "Go upstairs, and take care of that. I'll deal with her."
"But Piri-chan, I--"
"No 'buts', Yuki-pe! I can't watch you and fight her at the same time! And you certainly can't fight her. So let me protect you - go upstairs!" Pirika saw Hiroko rise to her feet, shaking the pain out of her head. "Go up, now, Yuki-pe! NOW!!"
Yukiko hesitated for a moment, then kissed Pirika on the cheek and ran for the door. Hiroko went after her, but Pirika cut her off.
"Well, well!" Hiroko sing-songed. "Looks like you two are a lot closer than I would've imagined. Seems that whole bestiality joke wasn't so far off, was it Inu?"
Pirika charged Hiroko again, this time making sure to get the tomboy before she dodged. She grabbed the girl by the front of her blouse and slammed her against a car, setting off the alarm.
"Now look what you've done, Inu! You've drawn a crowd!" Sure enough, quite a few people had gathered to watch the fight, much to Hiroko's delight.
"What are you talking about, you stupid bitch! You started this...and I'm gonna finish it!" She punched the class rep in the jaw and watched as she slid off the side of the car onto the sidewalk. Hiroko opened her mouth to make another smug remark, but Pirika was on her like white on rice, smacking and punching for all she was worth.
A couple of men emerged from the crowd and pulled Pirika off of the other girl. "Stop it!", one of the men yelled as he pulled Pirika by the waist. The other jumped in between the two girls. "Yeah, you'll kill her if you keep that up! You don't want to do that!"
"You wanna bet?", Pirika yelled, trying in vain to free herself. "Let me go!! You don't know what she's done! I have to stop her here and now!"
A very bloody Hiroko struggled mightily to get to her feet. "Oh, Inu...haven't you learned anything in class? It's not what I've done, it's what I'm going to do!" She reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone.
"What are you talking about, Akiyama? You've already attacked Yuki-pe! What more do you want?" Pirika continued to struggle against the two men, but they wouldn't let go.
Hiroko pushed a couple buttons on the phone, and waited for the connection. "What do I want? To make you obey, Inu! To keep you in line! And if I can't do that, to be rid of both you and your cursed bitch!"
"Leave her out of this! This is between me and you, and you can't take me!"
"Oh, but I don't have to! I know what hurts you, Inu...I know about how your mother gave up on you, tossed you aside like the garbage you are!"
"Stop it, Akiyama, or so help me I'll--"
"You'll what, Inu? Kill me? Oh no, I'm far from done! I know about that crazy old lady you're living with! I can hurt you, Inu, without lifting a finger against you...and you can't do shit about it!" Hiroko heard Kyousuke's voice on the phone, but paid no attention to what he said. "DO IT! DO IT NOW!" she screamed into the receiver and then snapped it shut....
Pirika's eyes grew wide with recognition with what Hiroko had done. "I'LL KILL YOU!" She thrashed herself free from her restrainers and lunged at Hiroko, the two of them tumbling to the ground. Hiroko's sick laughter only managed to further enrage Pirika. So deep was Pirika in her lust to wipe Hiroko from the face of the earth, she didn't hear the police sirens approaching, nor did she feel the officers tackle her, pulling her off the now-unconscious Hiroko. She didn't feel the handcuffs they snapped on her as they dragged her away. All she wanted was to make Hiroko pay for what she had done.
Yukiko ran into her apartment building and waited for the elevator to take her home. She felt the blood on her cheek, and cried. She cried even harder when she realized the position she was in. 'I'm so helpless! I could've at least tried to help you fight her, Piri-chan!' She tried to reassure herself with the fact that Hiroko could never beat Pirika in a fair fight, but Hiroko didn't play fair, and that thought almost took Yukiko's breath away...literally.
The elevator arrived, and Yukiko entered it, gasping for air. She had begun to panic, triggering her asthma. She tried desperately to get herself to calm down, but images of Pirika and Hiroko fighting kept her in a panic state. The elevator finally arrived at her floor, and she walked along the wall to get to her apartment. In no state to fish out her keys, she rang the doorbell.
Yukiko's mother was all prepared to give her daughter a sermon about being out so late, but the thought died on her lips when she saw Yukiko clutching at her chest.
"Souichi!! Get the nebulizer! Hurry!!" Akiko screamed at her husband, who moved with the haste of a slug. She led Yukiko to her room, and helped the girl onto her bed. "Just wait here a minute, I'll be right back!" Akiko disappeared, and Yukiko heard her screaming at her husband.
'This isn't the time, Mom!', she said to herself.
Akiko returned with the small battery-powered air pump. She poured a small vial of albuterol into the receptacle, attached it to the hose, and then attached the mask which she then put over Yukiko's mouth and nose. While her daughter took in the medication, Akiko took a damp cloth and wiped the blood off of her cheek and her knee. "What the hell happened to you?"
"Hi...ro...ko..." Yukiko managed to get out, muffled by the mask.
Akiko knew of her daughter's troubles with the class rep. "Oh, Yuki-chan......what did you do this time?"
Yukiko wanted to scream at her mother's ignorance, but then another thought came to her--"Pi...ri...chan!" Her mother stared blankly at her, so Yukiko removed the mask. "Piri-chan! She's fighting (cough-cough) Hiroko downstairs!"
"Who is 'Piri-chan'? And why is Hiroko fighting with her?"
"Please, Mom, call the police!" Yukiko's frightened expression worried Akiko, but she still wanted an explanation before getting involved. "Mom, Pirika is my friend (cough!). She stopped Hiroko from attacking me...and now she might (cough) be in trouble!"
Her mother was satisfied. "Fine. I'll call the police, but you have to rest here! Take the whole treatment, and stay in bed!!" She went off to make the call.
Yukiko tried to lift her head, but it was still spinning, so she let herself fall back onto the bed. "I have to help somehow..." A terrible thought crossed her mind. She remembered the time Hiroko's friends had attacked her, and threatened to get to her family. Then she thought about Pirika's aunt Sirno, and how she was unaware of what was going on.
'Oh no! I don't have her number! I don't know if she even has a phone!' She reached for her cell phone and called the police, telling them Sirno might be in danger. She was shocked when the operator told her a car was already on the way there, as someone else had made a complaint. She thanked the operator, closed the phone, and returned the mask to her mouth... She tried to breathe in the relaxing mist, but her crying made that difficult.
'All this is my fault!', she thought to herself. 'If I had never gotten involved with Pirika, never gotten her mixed up with Hiroko, this would never had happened. But what can I do now? How can I help them?"
End of Chapter 4