Ikkimaru woke up to see the bed beside him empty. He looked around before he saw a note at his bedside. He opened it and began to read it,
Sorry! I had to get up early and leave for a family matter! I really did enjoy staying the night with you! Tell Hakama Happy Birthday for me, okay? See you at school tomorrow!
He smiled before he folded up the paper and put it in his pocket. He then stood up and folded the bed back into the couch. As he put the cushions back on Hakama walked into the room carrying the long box from the closet, “Um, Ikki,” Ikkimaru jumped and spun around to face Hakama,
“Oh! It’s just you!” He said as he began to catch his breath,
“What is this?”
“That?” He then looked at the box in her hands before saying, “Well, you found it, I guess I may have to explain myself.”
“Would you like to sit down?”
“Okay.” Hakama walked over to the couch and sat down before Ikkimaru sat beside her,
“Anyways, I was doing some thinking, and I thought about it when I asked you about your birthday. You said you didn’t know so I decided on a day. I figured today would be a nice day as it’s been nearly a week since we met. So I went out and got you a present.”
“Yeah,” he said as he pointed to the box, “I got that for you.”
“This is for me…?” Hakama asked as she looked down at the box, “What is it?”
“Well, open it up and find out.”
“Okay, how do I do that?”
“Oh, here,” he then pulled off some tape from the outside container before he slid it off the glazed wooden box underneath. “There you go.”
“Hm,” Hakama then lifted the lid of the box before her eyes widened with a gasp.
“Well, I realized how much Zetsuketsu means to you, as you wouldn’t leave the apartment without him. Even so I still barely managed to pull you away from the apartment. This is a-“
“Wagasa…” Hakama said in disbelief as her heart began to race,
“Yes, but you can take the bottom off, and you can put Zetsuketsu inside of it, and you can carry it around without people worrying you’ll cut something up. Is that alright?” Tears formed in Hakama’s eyes before they fell off her face and onto the umbrella, “Oh no! Hakama, are you okay?”
“….I….I’ve always wanted one…” She said as she began to cry, “Even when I had been summoned in the past…I had always wanted one even if it wasn’t a place I could keep Zetsuketsu…no one ever brought one by the shrine, and I’d always either put these away or hold them for someone…I never got to hold them for long…”
“Well this one is yours, you can hold it as long as you want.”
She sniffled as she made fists before she started to wipe her tears, “Ikki…!” She then began sobbing into the palms of her hands as she said, “Thank you…! Thank you so much…! I’ve always wanted one…!”
“Don’t mention it,” he said, “If it means you’ll be less of a pain to get out of the house, then I’m all for it.”
“How can I ever repay you…?!”
“Oh, well, uh-“ He then paused as he sniffed the air a bit, “Well, when was the last time you bathed…? You kind of stink,” he then turned and sniffed his shoulder and said, “Wow, I stink too.” He then looked at Hakama before saying, “Hey, there’s a bathhouse across the street, how about we go there and get cleaned off?”
“Okay…” Hakama said as she started to calm down a bit from sobbing. She then closed the lid of the box before she ran into Ikkimaru’s bedroom. She leaned against the door before she slid to the ground while holding the box against her chest. “Oh, Ikki, you don’t know how much this means to me…how much you now mean to me.”
Ikkimaru sighed before he took out his phone and sent Ryuko a text,
Ikkimaru: Hey! Hakama LOVED her present!
Ikkimaru: She was practically in tears!
Ryuko: That’s good! I’m glad she liked it.
Ryuko: So…do you have plans for the summer?
Ikkimaru: Well, sort of, I wanted to go on a trip with Hakama.
Ikkimaru: I reached out to someone who might be able to help out with her
Ikkimaru: You’re more than welcome to come with!
Ryuko: Oh, uh…does she want me to?
Ikkimaru: I’m sure it’ll be fine
Ryuko: Alright, I’ll think about it!
Ryuko: By the way, does Hakama have a boyfriend?
Ikkimaru: No, I don’t think she does
Ikkimaru: I’m not even sure she knows what a boyfriend is
Ryuko: I was thinking of setting her up with one of my friends
Ryuko: If that’s alright
Ikkimaru paused for a second. He was rather curious as to why Ryuko wanted to get Hakama a boyfriend. He then responded,
Ikkimaru: I don’t know if that’s a good idea.
Ikkimaru: I don’t think Hakama would waste her time with a relationship
Ryuko: Oh! Well that’s alright!
Ikkimaru: Why did you want to set her up with someone?
Ryuko: Oh, no reason, my friend is just single and I’m wondering if Hakama would be interested
Ikkimaru: I seen you’re fine
Ikkimaru: However…I could ask her if you want me to
Ryuko: Would you?! That would be great!
Ikkimaru: Of course I’d have to know what this guy is like
Ryuko: Oh! He’s a real sweetheart! I promise!
Ikkimaru: That’s promising
Ryuko: By the way…
Ryuko: What’s Hakama’s bra size?
Ikkimaru: Uh…I don’t know
Ryuko: She wasn’t wearing one this morning, and she told me she doesn’t have one.
Ikkimaru: Wait! You saw her this morning?!
Ryuko: Yeah, just as I was leaving, she had gone to the bathroom!
Ryuko: I think you should take her bra shopping.
Ikkimaru: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BRAS!!!
Ryuko: Well she is your sister.
Ikkimaru: Yeah, but you’re a woman!
Ikkimaru: You’d have better luck than me!
Ryuko: Just ask her if she wants to go! I left her some money for a few bras, so don’t worry about paying for them!
Ikkimaru: You WHAT?!
Ryuko: Anyways! I should get going!
Ikkimaru: Yeah! See ya!
Ikkimaru then sighed before he turned to Hakama who walked out of his bedroom in casual clothing. He swallowed heavily at the realization that she wasn’t wearing a bra! He assumed she came with one! “Are you ready to go?” She asked,
“Y-Yeah! Just a second!” He said as he raced past her into his bedroom.
Hakama sighed as she walked over to the couch and sat down. She then remembered the conversation she had with Ryuko this morning. Ryuko had come into Ikkimaru’s room and spoke to her,
“Can I ask you something?” Ryuko asked,
“What is it?”
“What are you to Ikkimaru?” She asked as she folded his arms, “Look, I’m not blaming you, or him, or anything like that, but you’re clearly not his sister. So what are you?”
“Oh…” Hakama said before she took a deep breath and said, “I’m a House Spirit. Ikki told me to lie and say I was his sister because he didn’t want you to think he was weird.”
“Yes, a majority of families in Japan have one, if not a personal one like me, then they believe in the other Shinto Gods and Spirits.”
“Okay, so what are you doing?”
“I’m supposed to help Ikki through life and find him a girlfriend. As per his grandmothers' prayer. However, now that he’s found you, I’ll be disappearing soon.”
“Okay,” she said, “What if I told you that…well, I think Ikkimaru likes you…”
“He doesn’t, he’s tried to get rid of me before.”
“No, I mean…” She sighed before saying, “When I was with him last night, he seemed to bring you up every so often. I mean halfway through our activities he went out of his way to get something expensive for you. He even told me about the aquarium and how he got that shark.”
“That was because it was my first time there.”
“Yes but…” she sighed before saying, “I’ve been on lots of first dates to the aquarium…none of them got anything for me, and when they did it was usually something small like a trinket. When I eventually had a boyfriend he never left his friends to go and get something for me.”
“That does seem odd…”
“Let me ask you something. What do you think of Ikki?”
“Yes, what do you like about him?”
“Well, I really like his manga that he’s working on. The artwork is very good and I get to watch him work very hard on it. I’ve also enjoyed everywhere I’ve gone with him. He’s a really good person.”
“I know, he is.” Ryuko said, “It’s why I don’t want to hurt him. I know he’s had a rough past with women, and honestly, I’ve had my rough fill of men. I just want him to be the happiest he can be.”
“He’ll be happiest if you’re his girlfriend. He told me about how you stand out to him, you make him feel like everything will be alright. He’s always telling me about how beautiful you are. I feel that he wants to feel normal and accepted.” Her eyes softened as she said, “Which is why I now see why he lied to you about me.”
“Hakama, do you like him?”
“I-“ she then paused to think, “I like certain aspects about him.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Fine,” she said with a huff, “Are you in love with him?”
Hakama swallowed nervously as she knew what that meant, “I-I well…no, I don’t think so! Are you?”
“I don’t know yet,” Ryuko responded, “I know I really like him, and I want to see him happy, but…I don’t know how happy he’d be with a woman like me.” She then shook her head before she huffed, “Nevermind, enough of that!” She then turned to Hakama and asked, “So what all has he bought for you?”
“Clothes and the shark.”
“Oh, I see, what kind of clothes?”
“He called them a sweater, a t-shirt, a skirt, leggings, and panties.”
“He bought you panties but not a bra?” She asked with a snicker,
“What’s a bra…?”
“W-Wait! You mean you don’t have one?!”
“I don’t know what it is.”
“So you don’t know your bra size?!”
Ryuko sighed before she reached into her purse and grabbed her wallet. She then took out some bills and handed them to Hakama, “Here, have him take you bra shopping.”
“Looking at you, I’d say your size is-“ She then swallowed heavily as her eyes nearly bulged from her head, “H-Holy crap!!!”
“My size is what?”
“U-Uh, n-nevermind.” She said as her face started to turn a bit red and she began to panic, “Just make sure to get one that fits!”
As Hakama’s memory came to a close she looked down at the wadded-up money she had taken out of her pocket. She also thought about the present Ikkimaru gave her and how it made her now feel about him. Whether she liked it or not, the gift he gave her made Hakama begin to fall in love with him. She knew she couldn’t stay for much longer because he had found Ryuko, but all she could think about was never leaving Ikkimaru’s side. She looked up at him as he walked out of his bedroom in casual clothes. “Ready to go?” He asked her,
“Yeah,” She responded with a nod. She stood up and followed him out the door before they walked down the stairs and they made their way over to the bathhouse. She put the wadded-up cash in her pocket before following him across the street to the bathhouse. Before they stepped inside Hakama grabbed onto the back of Ikkimaru’s shirt,
Hakama’s face boiled a bright hot red as she was now on the spot. She took a few moments before she said, “Will you...take a bath with me…?”
“Wh-What?! A bath?! With you?! Like in the same tub?!”
He then looked at her expression to which he answered, “What’s wrong?”
“I need to talk to you...and I don’t know where else to do it but in the bath…”
“I-I see…” He sighed before saying, “I’m sorry Hakama, but they’ll be separated, I can’t just-”
“Ikki, please!” She said as tears formed in her eyes, “I don’t know what I’m feeling, and I just need to talk to you.”
“Hakama, we’d need to find a Konyoku, and even so I don’t think this is one of them.”
“Can you at least ask?”
He then sighed before the two walked into the bathhouse. Ikkimaru walked over to the man behind the counter as Hakama found a bench and sat down on it. Her face continued to burn red as thoughts bounced off the walls of her skull all racing to be in the first place. Eventually, Ikkimaru walked back over to her and said, “Hey, so I asked, they don’t normally do intersex bathing here, but they normally aren't busy around this time, so you’re welcome to come and bathe with me.”
“I’ve already paid,” He said as she stood up and followed him to the changing rooms. Hakama came down an aisle before she came to a locker. Her heart began to soar as she began removing her clothes.
“H-He’s really going to be seeing me naked…” She thought to herself as she put everything in a locker. She took the key from the locker before she walked over to a wall in the back. She wrapped a towel around her body before she grabbed one of the smaller towels. She then turned and noticed Ikkimaru undressing. Her eyes widened at a few burn marks as well as cuts and slashes on his skin. She then looked down as she noticed him come towards her. He grabbed a small towel and wrapped it around his waist before he said,
“Come on, let’s go.”
“Okay.” She responded as she followed him to the bath. As he headed to the bath she quickly stepped behind him and wrapped her arms around his body before resting her forehead on his back.
“Ikki...are you truly happy with Ryuko?”
“What do you mean…?”
“Please, just answer me…”
“Well, yeah, I guess she makes me happy. She said you needed a bra right? I can take you shopping after this.”
“Do you love her?” Hakama asked as tears fell from her shut eyes,
“Do I...love her…?”
“Answer the question…”
“I-” He then looked down before he said, “Truthfully, I don’t know yet,” he rubbed the back of his neck, “I’m still getting to know her, but, we’ve kissed twice now. So that counts for something, right?”
“So you’re happy?”
“Yeah,” he said before he looked over his shoulder, “Hakama, are you okay?”
“I don’t know…”She said as she began to shake, “I don’t know, Ikki, I really don’t know!”
“Oh, hey, it’s alright.” He said as he spun around and wrapped his arms around her. Hakama gave a soft gasp as Ikkimaru pulled her closer. Her face now became an even brighter red, and it would go a shade darker whenever she heard his heartbeat. “Don’t get upset, I mean, you like Ryuko, right?”
“See? Then there’s nothing to it.”
“But there is…”
“What is it?” He asked before she went silent. “Wow...I’ve never realized just how big Hakama is until I held her this close….she’s not fat by any means, but she’s just really big overall…she’s also very soft.”
“It’s you…” She then looked up into his eyes as tears streamed from her own, “Now that you have a girlfriend, and you’re happy, I have no more use. So I’ll vanish soon.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your grandmother prayed that I’d help you have a good life and even get you a girlfriend. Now that I’ve done that, there’s no more use for me.”
“So...you’ll leave me?”
“Yes, I have too…”
“That-” He then paused as he clenched his teeth, “After all the money I just spent on you?!”
“You didn’t have to do that!”
“If I didn’t then you would’ve become difficult to live with!” He said as he backed away from her, “I got you that damn umbrella so you wouldn’t get caught and arrested for carrying around that stupid sword!”
“No! I don’t want to hear it Hakama! You came into my house uninvited, became a pain in my ass, and now you drain my bank account, and all you tell me is that you’re leaving?!”
“No, that’s not it at all, Ikki please-”
“Tell me, are you REALLY a House Spirit then?! Or are you just some teen admirer of mine from across the country!”
“I-I’m really a house spirit, I am!” Hakama said as she began to tear up,
“Really? Because you nearly killed me your first night here!”
“I-” She paused as she thought back before she said, “N-No, I didn’t! You told me it was a-”
“I told you it was the shapeshifter from the T.V. but I lied! I lied to save your feelings because I wasn’t fully sure if you knew you had done it! There is NO shapeshifter out there Hakama, it’s just your reflection on the screen!”
“I…” She began to shake as she wrapped her arms around herself, “N-No...I’m supposed to protect you...I-”
“I don’t think you’re a spirit at all! If anything you’re a demon! When you snore you shook my entire apartment! I tried to get you to stop but you grabbed me by the throat!”
“I-I’m sorry...I-” She then began to hyperventilate s she tried to choke out, “I-I’m sorry…” She then fell to her knees and placed her face into the palms of her hands as she began to sob, “I-I’m sorry! I’m sorry Ikki! I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” Ikkimaru looked down at her through clenched teeth and a glare. His eyes widened as for a moment he saw Hakama as himself many years ago. He had a burn on his shoulder and was on the ground in front of his ex-girlfriend, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” Ikkimaru sighed before he walked over to Hakama and knelt down,
“Hey, Hakama,” he reached out to her and placed his hand on her shoulder. In an instant, she then latched onto him and gave him a tight hug,
“I’m sorry!” She cried, “I was having a nightmare! It happens all the time! I get ready to defend myself! I didn’t mean to hurt you in the process!”
“H-Hey, it’s alright,” he said as he patted her on the back, “It’s alright.” He sat her back and looked her in the eyes, “I have nightmares too, it’s alright.” She wiped her tears as Ikkimaru asked, “What was your nightmare about?”
“It was about you…” She said, “We were in your apartment, and suddenly something came in and started to attack. I did my best to defend you, but I just couldn’t, and it got to you. That’s when I attacked and-”
“So that must’ve been when you grabbed me,” He said piecing things together, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It was just a bad dream…”
“Yeah, it was,” he said, “When I first started having nightmares, I found it helped to talk with someone about them.” He then sighed as he turned slightly and pointed to his side, “You see this?” Hakama then looked down at a small burn mark on his side, “This was the first mark my ex ever gave me. It was from one of those cigarette lighters that people put in their cars. After that she gave me this one months later,” he then pointed to one on his chest over his heart, “She said, that her love for me burns forever, and then she put her curling iron on my chest.” He then pointed to other scars and said, “I have a few cuts here, some scratches, and she even bit me once, however, the bitemark went away, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I had nightmares for weeks, months, hell even to this day I still have nightmares about her. I always talked to my parents about them, but since they died I had no one. So you’re not alone when it comes to having nightmares.”
“What’s got you so upset?”
“I don’t want to leave you…” she said as she hung her head, “You’re the nicest anyone has ever been to me...you took me to the aquarium, you bought me that large fish, and then today I found out you bought me something I’ve always wanted...not only that but...I think about you all the time. I’m always worried about what’ll happen to you, and if I’ll be strong and fast enough to come and save you….but now since you’re happy, and you have a girlfriend, I’ll disappear...and I don’t want to because-” She then stopped dead in her tracks. Ikkimaru tilted his head and said,
“...” Hakama then moved a bit closer to him. She hesitated for a second, before she then swiftly leaned in and kissed him on the lips. Ikkimaru’s eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat before soaring. He had kissed Ryuko before, but at that moment, in that brief little moment that Hakama kissed him, he felt like his life now had meaning. As she pulled away from him her blush-decorated face turned before her honey-colored eyes met his, “I’ve fallen in love with you, Ryubami Ikkimaru.”
Normally I don't do an author's note for this story, but it has a lot more reads than I thought! Anyways, with this Hakama is officially halfway over! Once it's complete I'll be taking the chapters and publishing them as a book at Barnes and Nobles! It'll be filled with some extra content that I wasn't allowed to share here! Now for some interesting thing's about the characters!
Hakama is 5'1" and in human form weighs about 190lbs! Her bust size is 110 cm which is a 75 J in Japan, I have no clue what size that would be in America or in other countries, but that's her bust size in Japan. The dinosaur she's supposed to be is a T-Rex, when the University of Texas reconstructed a T-Rex skull they stated it would've made a low-frequency sound. So to get an idea of what Hakama's roar/growl sounded like when she had her nightmare, watch videos and clips of the sounds Cassowaries make as that's what I imagined her sounding like. Hakama is a metaphor, and she symbolizes a therapist that a victim of abuse would go and see. In my experience, they don't mean much to me at first, but over time I grow and begin to care about them. Although Hakama being in love with Ikkimaru doesn't mean that therapists fall in love with their clients, I just like to write romance.
Ikkimaru is 5'7" and weighs 175lbs! His manga Chanbara! is the in-universe equivalent to Naruto! However the story is like a mix of Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball all put in one! Despite seeming a bit grouchy don't he outside from being stressed, depressed, tired, and overworked, he actually deeply cares about things and his favorite activity is karaoke!
Ryuko is 5'5" and weighs 120lbs! Her bust size is 132cm or a 105 G in japan! G for Gal! I really like to write Gal characters, and I love to read manga about them! I've written stories about them before, and each character is inspired by a different Gal from manga! Ryuko is inspired by Kitagawa Marin from My Dress-Up Darling (Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru) however, I don't really see much of Marin in her...Marin likes to cosplay and dreams of sewing meanwhile Ryuko likes manga as well as baking, and her current goal in life is to become a professional baker, or perhaps one day a wife and mother.