Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi Fanfiction: Okami-san and Her Seven Swans - 7. Chapter 7
“So you see, Okami-san is completely innocent.” The President finishes with a smile. The Otogi Bank (sans Ryoko and Ryoshi, of course) stands in front of Headmaster Aragami.
“Hmm. Then, would it be correct of me to assume they she can now testify for herself as well?”
“Yes, she can personally verify what we just explained.”
“Very well. I will call her here tomorrow and if she can give a personal account, then she will of course be allowed to remain at Otogi Academy. Nomagii Umi will have to be expelled should her behavior prove true.”
“Excellent!” The President bows.
“Exceptional work, all of you. You are dismissed.” They bow, and exit.
“So then Ryoko should be alright now?” Otohime asks as they pause outside the office.
“Certainly, my Princess.” Taro murmurs to her.
“It will be a hassle to make sure Hitsujikai has evacuated Otogibana, but I’m sure Alice will handle it.” Alice glares at her cousin.
“Let’s visit Ryoko. I hope she’s alright.” Otohime whispers.
“I sent Ryoshi a text. They’re going to meet us at HQ after all. I guess she won’t need to stay at the hospital any longer, which is a relief. I’ve been so worried!” Ringo sighs.
“Well, let’s get going then! I’m exhausted!”
“Ryoko-chan!” squeals Ringo, tackling me in an embrace.
“Thank goodness Ryoshi took such good care of you!” I blush a little.
“Um, yeah, it’s all good… So how did it go?” I ask, suddenly furious.
“Not to worry, my dear. Hitsujikai will be leaving Otogibana City permanently. Or something extremely unpleasant will be happening to him.” I frown and grit my teeth.
“I don’t like it.”
“What?!” cries Ringo.
“I thought you’d be thrilled.”
“No, that’s not it. He isn’t going to leave.”
“Oh, he will.” The President says lightly.
“Ryoko, please. It’s okay. You can trust us. We’ll take care of everything. You don’t even have to worry about it. Honest.”
Uncertainty settles in my gut, but I swallow.
“Actually, I’m pissed, to be honest.” Ringo makes a sad face.
“Did we do something wrong?”
“Tch, no. I just… I just can’t believe a got a concussion while you guys got to have all the fun!”
They stare at me silently, they begin to laugh at me.
“Hey it’s not funny! I should have been there! And I’m ticked at myself too. I can’t believe I let my guard down like that.” They all keep laughing at me. I growl and glare at them.
“I’m sorry, Ryoko.” Ryoshi says suddenly.
“I let you down. I didn’t make it in time, so you got hurt.” He bows.
“Please forgive me.”
I frown silently at him.
“Hey. Quit being an idiot.” I smile.
“You don’t have anything to be sorry for.”
“No, I do.”
“I just got in the way, and I didn’t keep you safe!” He says, his voice full of shame.
“It’s my fault.”
“Ryoshi.” I say softly.
“You did nothing but protect me that entire time. That thing with the bat could have happened to anybody. So… so… Be happy for what you did do. Thank you for that. It was more than enough.” The whole room is staring at me. Suddenly self-conscious, I look away.
“I’m just saying, you should learn to forgive yourself!” I exclaim abruptly.
“Aww, Ryoko totally loves you, Ryoshi! Just look at her adorable face!” gushes Ringo.
“Ringo! Shut up!”
She giggles. “You say that ’cause it’s true.”
“Ugh, I give up, Ringo. You think whatever you wanna think. I don’t care.”
“Aww, that’s no fun! It’s only good if I can tease you!” She laughs and pokes my side.
“You are so weird!” I say, but I’m laughing too.
Ryoshi smiles at us.
“Guys, we didn’t tell her the best part.”
“What? Even you know more than me?”
“They went to Headmaster Aragami’s office while we were in the hospital, and explained everything to him. You’re not going to be expelled.”
“Although he still needs a personal account, that should be easy now.” The President adds.
“Really?” I allow myself to grin.
“Yup!” Ringo smiles.
“Thank you all so much!” I gush.
“I’ll definitely pay back the favor!”
“That won’t be necessary. You’re our friend, and you didn’t make a request anyway. We just helped you on our own.” Alice says.
I just smile at them. I don’t know what else to do.
“I’m sorry I dragged you into this. I should…. I should have just been brave enough to cut the crap and say something before.”
“It was no trouble Ryoko!” Otohime exclaims.
“Anytime for a cutie like—OTOHIME DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT I’M SORRY!”
“You’re a valuable part of the Bank, Ryoko. It was a pleasure.”
“So see? None of us minded. And you should have said something before, but not to be braver. You should have just trusted that you friends would take care of you, no matter what.” Ringo says softly, gently touching my shoulder.
I feel like I might cry, so I just say, “Okay. I… might… try better. Next time.”
“Hey, wait a minute! What about those stupid swan costumes?” I burst.
“Well… we are still in the play. I guess we’ll just have to wear ’em,” says Taro.
The Bank member groan unanimously.
“Hey at least I finished them. And I worked hard on those, you guys! Show some gratitude.”
They laugh in admittance.
“Okay, I think our day has been long enough, don’t you? The Bank is dismissed!”
“See ya!” I call over my shoulder as Ringo, Ryoshi, and I climb up the secret stairway.
As soon as we get outside, Ringo turns to me.
“How was the hospital?”
“Pretty good. They gave me these pills to take.”
“You know what that means!”
“Yup! You have to take it easy, missy!” she smirks.
“Hey! I’m tough enough to handle—”
*Blah Blah Blah! The wolf struggles but is conquered by her tiny guardian, as usual! They go back home, as does our cowardly hunter. However, he soon realizes that he still has Ryoko’s concussion pills in his pocket, the goofball. So he head back over to Ryoko and Ringo’s place. Little does anyone know, someone else lurks in the shadows of the dark hallways of the dorm room… how terrifying!*
Ryoshi smacks himself on the forehead. Of course—the pills. I knew I was forgetting something.
He turns back and dashes onwards the girl’s dorm building. The sun is dying in the sky, its red and orange draining out into the darkness. Ryoshi knows his Aunt Yuki will kill him for being out so late. She’ll probably make another joke about him and Ryoko. He blushes at the thought.
Finally the building is in his sights. He runs up the stairs frantically. Suddenly, at Ryoko’s door, a figure blocks his way.
“Excuse—” He stops as the form comes it to focus. Ryoshi’s mind blazes as he immediately whips out his slingshot. At close range it will do him little good, but it doesn’t matter. He has to keep what he sees away from that door.
“Hitsujikai.” He growls.
“Get the hell away from here. Now.”
Shiro twists angrily in Ryoshi’s direction.
“Morino-kun. You still find means to get in my way.” He snarls, violet eyes on fire.
Ryoshi says nothing. He aims at Hitsujikai.
“Ryoshi? Is that you?” I open the door.
Oh God. Shiro stands over me.
“Ryoko!” Ryoshi cries, and before I know it, he is standing protectively in front of me.
“What’s going on? Oh my goodness!” Ringo cries.
“Ringo! Get my Knuckles! Now!” Ringo dashes over to me. I slip the Knuckles on.
“Nice try, Shiro. I’m not tied up this time.”
He laughs. My blood runs cold.
“Does it matter, Ryoko?” He chuckles in derision, teeth sharp.
“You’re still weak. Once I take care of—UGH!” Ryoshi socks Hitsujikai in the jaw. He is knocked onto the ground.
“Don’t speak to her! Get out! NOW!” he shouts. The rage on Ryoshi’s usually gentle face shocks even Shiro, momentarily. He slowly stands back up.
“Not until I’m finished, boy.”
Ryoshi shoves me back as gently as possible. The time it takes him to move me causes him to be hit in the gut by one of Shiro’s lightning fast punches, again and again. Ryoshi ducks and upper cuts Shiro. I can see the fury in his movements. And I can feel the fury inside me. Slipping behind Shiro, I slam a punch into his side.
Shiro twists, and slaps me.
The last feeling I have is anger and humiliation. Shiro isn’t even intimidated by me enough to punch me. He just slaps me and I’m down. Wrath sets my bones on fire.
I stand back up.
I slam my Knuckles into his head. That gets his attention.
Shiro’s face is bloody. I was too angry to notice what Ryoshi did to him after he hit me but it must have been something.
“You dare hit me?” he snarls.
“Go screw yourself.” I spit, and throw another blow. He dodges, and makes a punch in my direction, but I’m too fast. The fact that I’m so much shorter than him allows me to easily duck him, and I move faster. Ryoshi helps from behind. He fires.
I picture, with each hit, my thirteen year old self, covering under Shiro’s body, struggling. I picture her crying in the bathroom when she found out what he had told everyone. I remember the humiliation of having to leave the town to run from it.
All your fault! I scream with my fists. It’s all your fault!
My fists crash into him without mercy. I hit him until I can’t feel the impact anymore. I hit him until my arms are a blur and all I can feel is my anger.
I return to myself after a while. Ryoshi is standing by me. We look down at Shiro. He is struggling to sit up on the floor.
“Get out of here. If you ever come back, I’ll kill you.” Ryoshi spits.
With a glare, Shiro stands, and struggles to walk until he is out of the halls, gone into the night. I watch him go. For the first time in three years, I feel the wolf in my heart lie down, and rest.
I turn to Ryoshi. The hate in his face is gone. He looks at me, his face full of worry and love. He sees my face. For some reason, my eyes fill with tears. Without a word, he hugs me to him, and I put my arms around his neck and let a soft sob escape me. My body shakes. The tears spill down my cheeks and into his shirt. Ryoshi’s arms tighten around my waist. He puts one on my back and gently caresses me. I sob again.
“Don’t worry,” he whispers into my ear.
“He’s gone. It’s okay, sweetheart.” His voice soothes me. The tenderness fills me with emotion. He’s never called me that before. I blush. Ringo comes out. She hugs me too, from behind. We stand like that, together, for a really long time.
Finally, I separate from them. Slowly, we walk inside the dorm.
“D-don’t. Don’t tell people I cried.” I whisper. We all laugh softly. They smile.
*Well! That was emotionally draining. It looks like the tale of Okami-san and her seven swans is over, but don’t look away. Especially if you want to see Ryoko trying to be a maid! But no spoilers! All’s well that ends well!*