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“Keisuke? Have you seen Manjirou?” Shinichiro asked Keisuke when he didn't saw his brother all day long.

 

“No, but he could be with his new friend that he's boasting about.” Keisuke looked away angrily, unhappy that Manjirou spends less time with him. 

 

Shinichiro noticed, so he ruffled his hair with a laughed. “I'm sure he'll introduce you soon enough, he probably wants to keep them at his side for a few more days. Anyway, thank you, Kei.” 

 

He stand up and walked away at the kids having their lunch break at the dojo. It was true that he didn't get to see his brother like he used to. Manjirou seems to be all over the place, this days. He kind of missed his annoying, cute brother who likes to bother him.

 

“New friend, huh? I wonder what sort of person they are.” Shinichiro murmured to himself. He made a quick turn, which he immediately regretted because Waka and Takeomi are waiting for him at the door.

 

“Shin, you bastard. Why are you not answering your phone?” Takeomi glared at him, knowing they'll chase him around if he run away, he sighed walking over to them.

 

“I'm sorry, I was looking for my brother.” 

 

“And you can't answer one simple text and call?” Wakasa asked him. Shinichiro winced, looking for an excuse so they stop cornering him.

 

“I'm just worried about Manjirou, I didn't see him all day except this morning. Kei, said that he might be with his new friend.” Shinichiro expressed his worries at his friend.

 

“So? Then good, he's with a friend. What are you so worried about?” Takeomi asked him, hands at his pockets.

 

“I'm worried what kind of person they are.” 

 

“A kid? Worried what the kid might do to your brother?” Disbelief, Takeomi stops himself from strangling his friend.

 

Wakasa merely raised an eyebrow, not at all impressed at his commanders reason. “Are you stupid, Shin?”

 

“Is it wrong for me to worry about my baby brother?”

 

“No, but what would a kid do to another kid? They're not a convict, or some murderer.” Takeomi reasoned with him. 

 

“Maybe throw some toy or whatever.” Waka snickers and Takeomi laughed. Shinichiro looked at him exasperated.

 

“Doesn't your brother train at the dojo?” Waka asked Shinichiro, who nodded at him. “Then, stop worrying, he can protect himself if it's just another kid.” He put an arm around Shinichiro's shoulder.

 

“For the mean time, let's go to the hide out.” 

 

“Hide out? Why?” Shinichiro looked at them confused, the two stops and stared at him like he made a huge crime.

 

“For the meeting you arranged two days ago?” Takeomi looked at him, deadpanned.

 

“I...uh.. it was today?” Shinichiro tried to remember his exact words and the date today.

 

“Why did you think we we're calling and texting you?” Waka sighed, he walked along with Takeomi, pulling him with them to their hide out to start the meeting that was delayed for 30 minutes because of their bickering with one another.

 

“Let's just go and get this over with.”

 

 


 

 

The next day, Shinichiro glanced curiously at his brother, who's eating in front of him.

 

“Manjirou.” Shinichiro tried to call him.

 

“Hmm? Niisan.” Manjirou looked up at his brother, mouth full of food, eyes shining brightly.

 

“Where were you this last couple of days?” He asked him, surprised at his brother's cheery mood, wait let's rephrase that, what he meant is extra, extra cheery mood.

 

“I was with Mitchy! We were playing at the park near her house with another kid.” Pieces of food was flying everywhere. Shinichiro sighed and grabbed a napkin. He gently wiped Manjirou's face to remove the foods crumbs there.

 

“Mitchy? Your new friend, Kei told me about?” 

 

“Eh? Keisuke told you?” Manjirou pouted, “But I wanted to tell you, myself!” he looked away childishly.

 

Shinichiro laughed, “He seems to be jealous that you aren't spending time together like you used to.” he continued to eat after cleaning his brothers face, who is already full of food again.

 

“Then he'll meet her later, she's applying to the dojo to train with me.” Manjirou tells him happily.

 

Shinichiro looked at him surprised. His brother's new friend is a girl? Someone from the opposite sex? “Where did you meet ‘Mitchy’?” 

 

Manjirou stops eating, eyes darkening, and fists balling. “Some kids where bullying her, so I helped her fend them off. She's a bad fighter you see, so after that, I proposed to her that she can apply at our dojo to learn.”

 

Of course she's a bad fighter, she's a kid.

 

You're a middle schooler, but still sucks at fighting. Shut up.

 

Shinichiro ignored his subconscious. He focused on his brother who's mood deflated. Feeling bad, he tried to cheer him up.

 

“Well, at least you're finally introducing her to Kei, and got to spend time with her while training so, she can defend herself better. It's hitting three birds with one stone. So, cheer up, Manjirou.” He pinched his chubby cheeks. 

 

“I can't wait for you to meet Michy, she's so pretty and cool.” Manjirou's eyes become dreamily, he seems to be remembering his friends face.

 

“Pretty, huh?” Shinichiro teased his brother who's face become red. 

 

“She have long black hair, and the deepest blue eye color, I have ever seen. She's a bit smaller than me though.”

 

“Her personality?”

 

“She's kind and compassionate, she sticks to what she thought is right, and believes in. A bit of a  crybaby though.” Manjirou laughs.

 

They spend their morning talking about a blue-eyed kid that is Hanagaki Takemichi. 

 

 


 

 

“Keisuke, Keisuke!” Mikey ran over to Keisuke, arms waving excitedly. Both of them are wearing their dojo uniform and has thirty-minutes before they start.

 

Keisuke turned around, and spotted an excited Manjirou running over him. “What? Finally came to see and play with me?” 

 

“Mitchy's applying to the dojo! You will finally meet her.” Manjirou smiled at him, excitedly.

 

Seeing as Shinichiro and Manjirou are a family with three, with their grandfather, and are ten-years apart, having another friend who's only a year older than him is exciting. 

 

Keisuke felt his initial annoyance, and jealously vanished when he caught a happy expression on his friend's face.

 

“Wait, your friend is a girl?” Keisuke froze. He didn't know how to act around a girl! Him and Manjirou fight each other all the time, he can't possibly do that to a girl, can he? That's assault, especially to a defenseless girl. He'll be sent to juvie, and his mom will surely cry. He didn't want that. 

 

Manjirou, oblivious to his friends internal panicking, nodded. “Her mom is talking to Oji-chan about applying.” he pointed to an older woman, who's talking to his grandfather near the door. But, no little girl in sight.

 

“Eh? Where's Mitchy?” Manjirou whined, “She said, she was coming with her mom.” Keisuke and him looked around, not noticing a small kid sneaking up behind them.

 

“Boo!” Takemichi surprised them. Both Manjirou and Keisuke turned around in shock. Takemichi laughed when she saw the completely different look on their faces.

 

Manjirou looked at her in surprised, and shock that quickly turned into happiness. He hugged her after she sneaked up on them, chatting with her excitedly about the things they can do at the dojo. Keisuke on the other hand, seems to be frozen. (Either shock or in fear, she didn't know) He looked like a ghost appeared in front of him, skin pale, bits of sweat forming around his forehead. He stood at the side, watching Manjirou and his friend, Mitchy talked to one another. 

 

Takemichi is currently wearing a white skirt and a blue sweatshirt. Her hair is twist in a bun in a white scrunchie. All in all, she looked adorably cute. Keisuke felt his cheeks warmed up as Takemichi tilt her head to the side, finger pointed at one cheek.

 

She turned around looking at him, “Hi! My name is Hanagaki Takemichi, you can call me Takemichi. Manjirou talks a lot about you.” she hugs him slowly, careful not to spook him.

 

Keisuke slowly hugged ber back. He caught the smell of her perfume, and it sure does smell amazing on her. Manjirou looked at him, face unreadable.

 

“I'm Baji Keisuke, you can call me Keisuke if you want.” 

 

“Kei-chan, then!” Takemichi giggled.

 

“Ke-kei-chan?!” Keisuke stuttered, heating up. He turned around so they can't see his face. Manjirou especially, he will surely tease him.

 

Takemichi looked at Manjirou, confused. The latter only shrugged at her in response. 

 

“Takemichi.” Her mother called her. She walked over to her.

 

“I am now going to work, okay? Be a good girl and listened to your instructor.” 

 

“Okay, mommy.” Takemichi kissed her mom goodbye.

 

“Bye, bye!”

 

“Everyone, listened up!” the instructor yelled over the screaming children. “Today, Hanagaki Takemichi is joing us. Let's give her a warm welcome.”

 

Takemichi waved at them cheerfully. “Hi, my name is Hanagaki Takemichi, please take care of me. ” She bowed deeply to everyone.

 

 


 

 

“So, how's your first day at the dojo?” Manjirou asked her. The three of them, Keisuke, Manjirou, and Takemichi are sitting at the Sano's household living room.

 

Training classes finished an hour ago. All three of them decided to hanging out at the Sano's. Manjirou is sitting at the table, munching on a taiyaki, Keisuke at the floor, back leaning at the table, and Takemichi at the couch, sipping an apple juice. They are already wearing casual clothes.

 

“It was fun. Who knew that learning just the right form was so hard? I felt like I can't move my arms.” Takemichi tried to hold up her arms, failing miserable, it fell back at her side. She pouted at them.

 

Keisuke chuckled, “That's normal at your first time.” 

 

“Yeah, and on the second, third, and fourth, until your body get used to the feeling. That's why it's important to stretch your muscles so they don't get stretch suddenly.” Manjirou agreed with Keisuke.

 

“Still, You and Kei-chan are amazing!” Takemichi gushed to them, eyes sparkling. Both boys blushed and looked away.

 

“It's nothing, those are just the basics.” Manjirou boasted. Keisuke rolled his eyes at his friend's antics.

 

“What are you looking to improve, or your main strong point?” Keisuke asked Takemichi, curiously.

 

“Hmm, let's see.” Takemichi thinked hard. “I think if I used my fists, my bones will either crack or shatter. So, no, thank you.” Takemichi laughed.

 

“Then why don't you use your legs?” Keisuke suggested. 

 

My legs? Takemichi looked at her legs. A thought crossed her mind, she quickly dismissed it.

 

“It could work. I mean, one of women's strong point is giving birth, you know? So our waist down is pretty strong.” Takemichi slowly nodded her head. Already thinking about what she can do about the power in her hips and legs.

 

“It is? How so?” Manjirou looked at her, confused. Why does women's hips to legs are strong?

 

“Because we literally pushed a human baby there, silly.” Takemichi laughed at them. 

 

Both boys eyes widened, human baby? A baby? A literal baby comes out between girls legs? Is that how babies are born? They shuddered when an image popped up in their mind. Both quickly dismissed the imaged. That seems scary, and truthfully, looks like it hurts. They don't, never want to experience that.

 

Takemichi laughed at them, “You can ask, Shin-chan if you don't believe me.” She hopped out of the couch. 

 

“Ne, ne, Manjirou.” Takemichi skips next to Manjirou, peering down at him.

 

Manjirou merely opened on eye, “hmm?”

 

“Shin-chan have a gang, right?” Takemichi leaned back, when Manjirou sat up.

 

Manjirou nodded, “Wanna check it out?” he asked them.

 

“Eh? Shinichiro-kun might become mad at us.” Keisuke warned them.

 

“It's fine!” Manjirou hopped off the table, grabbing Takemichi's hand, he pulled her along with Keisuke trailing after them. 

 

“Wait!” Takemichi yelp, she tripped over a rock. She cried in pain, as her ankle is twisted in a weird angle.

 

“Manjirou!” Keisuke gasp. He ran next to Takemichi and Manjirou.

 

Manjirou freeze, when he heard Takemichi's cry of pain. He looked over and found out that Takemichi sprained her ankle.

 

“Um... Should we call an ambulance? Head over to an ambulance? Is it even safe for her to walk? Takemichi, can you walk? Manjirou, carry her!” Keisuke panicked. He tried to calm down a crying Takemichi. 

 

Takemichi took deep breaths, she tried to ignore the pain. She didn't notice Manjirou crouching down in front of her.

 

“Keisuke, help me place her on my back.” Manjirou commanded, Keisuke. Who immediately complied.

 

“There, there,” Manjirou looked over his shoulder at Takemichi, murmuring. “You're okay, don't cry. We'll go to niisan and asked him what to do.”

 

Takemichi nodded, sniffling. Next to them, Keisuke stood next to Takemichi, ready to catch her if she fall.

 

“There.” Manjirou pointed at the abandoned warehouse. “That's where their hide out are.”

 

Keisuke nodded at him, before running ahead of them to find Shinichiro.

 

“Oi, what are you here, kid?” 

 

“This is a serious gathering, get out of here!”

 

“A kid? What's one doing here?”

 

Several members tried to stop him, but Keisuke avoided all of them. He looked around trying to spot Shinichiro-kun, Wakasa-kun, Takeomi-kun, even Benkei-kun. So far, he had no luck.

 

Desperate to help Takemichi, he began to yell. “Shinichiro-kun! Shinichiro-kun! Wakasa-kun! Where are you?!” 

 

“Kei?”

 

Keisuke turned around when he heard Shinichiro-kun's voice behind him. 

 

“Shinichiro-kun!” Keisuke ran over to him crying. Shinichiro swiftly caught him and tried to calm him down. Behind him, he spotted Wakasa and the others watching them. He pointed at their members, indicating them to give them space and dismiss the meeting.

 

“What's wrong, Kei?” He looked down at the child he's holding.

 

“Takemichi's hurt.” Keisuke sniffed, “We we're coming here and suddenly, she tripped over a rock, and sprained her ankle. She was crying very loudly.”

 

“Where is she, right now?”

 

“She's with Manjirou. They are near here, since Manjirou's carrying her, they are walking slowly. Keisuke pointed at the entrance. He let down the child before holding his hand and walking to the door.

 

He saw Wakasa and the others already with his brother and Takemichi. Takemichi is sniffing with puffy eyes. Manjirou standing next to her protectively, eyes watching Wakasa's every move to Takemichi. 

 

“Manjirou,” Shinichiro walked to them. Manjirou didn't look at him.

 

As he neared them, Shinichiro noticed Takemichi's features. She have long black hair that complemented her white skin, a blue sweatshirt over a white skirt, and black sneakers. When she looked up at him, deep blue-eyes with long lashes stared at his own dark ones. 

 

Shinichiro's breath was caught in his throat. This kid is a beauty. He's not being a pervert, or what, just stating the truth.  

 

“Shin-chan.” Takemichi made grabby hands at him. A bit pain still left over, even after her ankle was twisted back.

 

Shin-chan? Looks like, Manjirou's been talking about him. Shinichiro complied. He held Takemichi to his chest, hands brushing againts her hair softly. “Shh, it's okay. The pain will go away soon, I promise you.” 

 

“How long?” Takemichi asked him, face hidden at his neck. Keisuke long since calm down and Manjirou still watching Takemichi like a hawk.

 

“Less than a week, don't worry.” 

 

Shinichiro and the others began to walked home. The other black dragon founders already left. Manjirou and Keisuke stuck to Shinichiro's side like glue, still worried about Takemichi.

 

As they neared the Sano Household. Keisuke's mother was already waiting there. 

 

“Mom!” Keisuke ran over to his mother. “I'm sorry, I'm late. I accompanied Takemichi, and Manjirou to go to Shinichiro-kun.” Keisuke avoided telling her mother that the destination was the gang's hideout. He didn't want her to worry about him.

 

“It's fine, sweetheart.” 

 

“Bye, Takemichi! I'll check up on you tomorrow.” Keisuke waved at them.

 

“Bye, bye” Takemichi softly waves as well.

 

“Where's your home, Takemichi? I'll walk you there.” Shinichiro asked Takemichi, yet he didn't get a respond.

 

“Takemichi? Is everything okay?” Manjirou asked her, anxious.

 

“Mom's, not at home, right now, she's at Canada.” Takemichi didn't looked at them. She just tighten her grip at Shinichiro's neck.

 

Shinichiro and Manjirou shared a look. It looks like they're bringing Takemichi at their home to spend the night. Probably until her mother comes back.

 

“There's a lot of spare room at home. I can fixed you up a room.”

 

 


 

 

“Good morning!” Takemichi greeted the Sano's. Three of them are sitting at the table. Their grandfather's at the head, with Shinichiro at the right, and Manjirou at the left.

 

She sat beside, Manjirou. Her ankle still hurts, but not that much anymore. She can limp her way over to her destination.

 

“Good morning, Mitchy!” Manjirou greeted her, placing bread, multiple tamagoyaki, and milk. Thanking him, she mumbled a quick thank you before eating.

 

“Good morning, Takemichi.” Their grandfather smiled at her warmly.

 

“Good morning, Mitchy-chan.” Shinichiro greeted her, mimicking her nickname for him, he added a chan in her name. She beamed at him before shoving a piece of the egg in her mouth.

 

“What are your plans today, kiddos? Shinichiro asked them.

 

“Hmm. I want to go to the playground near my house.” Takemichi swallowed the egg.

 

“And I'm coming with her.” Manjirou added, inhaling all the food at his plate. Takemichi glanced at him and giggled when Manjirou chokes. She handed him her milk.

 

“Well, enjoy yourselves. And this sexy man will go to school.” Shinichiro winks st them. Manjirou faked gagged at him, while Takemichi stuck her tongue out in disgust.

 

Placing a hand on his chest, Shinichiro dramatically gasp. Eyes full of hurt and betrayal. “You two wound me!” 

 

“Stop with the dramatics, Shinichiro and finish your food. You're gonna be late for school.” Shinichiro sits up properly, after he was scolded.

 

The two kids quietly laughed to themselves.

 

“Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want.” Shinichiro mumbled.

 

 

“Bye, Oji-chan! Shin-niisan!” Manjirou walks out with Takemichi.

 

Beside him, Takemichi waves at them, “Bye, bye!”

 

The two walked in silence, hands still holding each other. 

 

“Does your ankle still hurts?” Manjirou looked at Takemichi, worried.

 

“Hmm? A bit, but Shin-chan said that it takes about a week before I'm completely healed.”  Takemichi hummed to herself. 

 

“Do you want me to carry you?”

 

“Eh? No, I'm fine.” Takemichi's steps become quicker as they neared the playground.

 

“Slow down, you might upset your ankle.” Manjirou softly scolded her.

 

Before Takemichi can answer, someone towered over them.

 

“Are you two the one who beat up my juniors, last week?” a bunch of high schooler circled them. They are holding wooden and metal bats. A glint in their eyes showing their intention.

 

Manjirou steps in front of Takemichi protectively. Who stares blankly at them, head tilted to the side.

 

“Touch her, I dare you.”

 

They laughed. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

 

“Idiot, don't tease them, they might cry. After all, they're just a baby.”

 

“A baby!” 

 

Suddenly, one of them went down with a loud thud. All of them stopped laughing, they saw the blonde haired kid standing over him, one leg slightly raised.

 

A cold voice reached their ears, certain that are not supposed to belong to a kid. A shiver went up their spine. 

 

“How do you want to die?”