Chapter 7:

Chapter 7


Ikkimaru sat beside Hakama on the bus. He swallowed nervously as he occasionally looked over at her. She had just confessed her love for him in the bathhouse and now he was taking her bra shopping?! He cleared his throat before saying, “S-So…um, h-how long have you felt this way…about me?”Bookmark here

“It’s a bit strange, but I honestly think it started the day we met. I just didn’t know it yet.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“I know I wanted to protect you, and take care of you. However…it was on the bus after Ryuko got off and I finished reading your manga. I really liked the hard work and passion you had put into the manga.” She then smiled and said, “I remember the day after. you asked me what I wanted from you, and I said I wanted to watch over you. No one had ever asked what I wanted.” Bookmark here

“I see,” he said as he looked away, “So…um….are you happy?”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“Are you happy with your life right now?”Bookmark here

“I have you in my life until I disappear tomorrow, so yes I’m happy.”Bookmark here

“Hakama…” He then placed his hand on top of hers before turning her palm and interlocking her fingers with his. She blushed before she looked over at him to see his eyes hiding in the shadow of his bangs, “I…I don’t want you to leave…” Bookmark here

“But, I have to-“Bookmark here

“No, you don’t…” He responded, “When you…I kissed Ryuko before….but it didn’t feel the same as when you kissed me….it was different, I don’t know what it was, but I want to find out. So please…stay with me.”Bookmark here

“Ikki…” She said as her face turned dark red. She then looked down at their hands being clasped together. She had known what love was for the longest time, however the modern terms for it confused her. She never thought she’d ever fall in love, let alone with a member of the house she was supposed to be protecting. Were humans and spirits even allowed to be in love? She touched the tips of her fingers to the back of his hand and said, “….I’ll do my best to take care of you…” Bookmark here

Ikkimaru’s heart skipped a beat before saying, “Y-Yeah…okay…” He then cleared his throat before he said, “So, why’d you name your sword Zetsuketsu?”Bookmark here

“It’s a combination of the words Extinction and Blade.”Bookmark here

“Ah, makes sense…and what about Dekaiana…?”Bookmark here

“It just means big fish.”Bookmark here

“Oh, okay, that makes sense.” He said with a soft smile before he snickered. He then gave a soft chuckle as Hakama said,Bookmark here

“What’s so funny?”Bookmark here

“Just the way you name things. It’s cute.” Hakama blushed heavily as she walked away, “What’re you gonna name the bra you pick out? Hakayu-sha?”Bookmark here

“H-Hakayu-sha?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, a combination of your name Hakama, and holders because it-“ He then took notice of her large breasts before he turned away.Bookmark here

“Hmm, Hakayu-sha does sound nice.”Bookmark here

“I was joking, I swear!”Bookmark here

“Okay,” she said with a smile before she looked out the window. Bookmark here

“Hakama?”Bookmark here

“Yeah?”Bookmark here

“I…I want to take you somewhere, but, I want to know if it’s alright with you?”Bookmark here

“I’ll go wherever you go.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, but, this place is a museum.” Bookmark here

“What’s that?”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s sort of like the aquarium, only it has lots of dead things, like skeletons and stuff like that. It’s the dinosaur museum in Kukui.” He sighed before saying, “I talked with this professor, because I wanted to know how to better take care of you, because you were really getting on my nerves and I needed to find some way to keep you busy.”Bookmark here

“Oh…well, will there be others like me there?”Bookmark here

“Well…sort of,” he said, “They’ll all be dead. And I didn’t know how you’d feel about something like that.” He then sighed before saying, “And you don’t annoy me anymore, but…I do want to learn more about you.”Bookmark here

“Well, if you really want to go, then I don’t mind going.”Bookmark here

“It’s up to you,” he said as he turned and looked her in the eyes, “What do you want Hakama?”Bookmark here

And there it was, the main reason why Hakama fell in love with Ikkimaru. He had asked her what she wanted, the same way he did at the aquarium. In her lifetime no one ever asked her what she wanted. Hakama then smiled as she said, “I want to go!”Bookmark here

Ikkimaru blushed as he was taken back a bit. He didn’t think he had ever seen Hakama smile, and it was pretty cute. He then took a deep breath before he nodded and said, “Yeah, let’s go!” Hakama’s smile remained before she turned and looked ahead of her. Ikkimaru turned as the bus gave a soft chime, “Ah! This is our stop! Let's go!” He then stood up with Hakama and the two walked off the bus as it came to a stop. They walked down the sidewalk before they came to a boutique where they walked inside. Bookmark here

“Hello!” A woman said as she greeted them, “What brings you in today?”Bookmark here

“We need a bra,” Ikkimaru said as she scratched the back of his head, “Uh! For her! Not me!”Bookmark here

“That’s alright! Do you know her size?”Bookmark here

“No, I don’t. We were hoping you could tell us.”Bookmark here

“Of course! Come to the back and we can get her measured!” The two followed the woman to the back of the store where she grabbed a measuring tape. “Alright, are you willing to take off your shirt?” The woman asked Hakama as she unrolled the tape, “If not, you can just need to lift it up, I need to get around your bust.”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh-“Bookmark here

“G-Go ahead!” Ikkimaru said as he quickly spun around and shut his eyes.Bookmark here

Hakama sighed before she said, “Alright,” she walked over to the woman and lifted up her shirt. The woman then wrapped the tape around Hakama’s bust and under her armpits.Bookmark here

“Hmmm, let’s see,” when she pulled the tape together she looked at the numbers and said, “Alright, looks like you’re 110 cm! Which would be a 75 J!” She removed the tape and Hakama put her shirt back down, “I think we have a few of those, want to come take a look at them?”Bookmark here

“Yes,” Hakama said before she reached in her pocket and pulled out the money Ryuko gave her, “Ryuko gave me this to buy one, can I get one with this?”Bookmark here

“Let’s see,” the woman said as she looked over the money, “Looks to be about ¥7,500! You should be able to get a few!” The woman took Hakama through the store to look at some bras. As she did, Ikkimaru then wandered around before he found a bench near the changing rooms and sat down. As he did, he pulled out his phone and dialed Ryuko's number. After the phone rang for a while Ryuko eventually picked up,Bookmark here

“Hello?”Bookmark here

“Hey, it’s me,” Ikkimaru said softly,Bookmark here

“Hey! Are you okay? I can barely hear you.” Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine, just bra shopping with Hakama.”Bookmark here

“That’s nice! Is she picking something cute?!”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, I’m not with her. There’s a nice woman here is helping her out.”Bookmark here

“That’s nice, so what’s up?”Bookmark here

“Well uh…” he then cleared his throat before leaning forward, “Listen…I uh, I need to tell you something.”Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“Well…I just…I really enjoyed having you over last night. I was a bit sad that I missed you.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m sorry, I really had to go.”Bookmark here

“You’re fine,” Bookmark here

“Was that all?”Bookmark here

“Well, no not really…I just…” he sighed before saying, “I’m a bit nervous….I really don’t know how to tell you this, and my anxiety is just telling me that you won’t respond well to this, and I really don’t want things to change and-“Bookmark here

“It’s okay! It’s okay! Just take as much time as you need!”Bookmark here

“Okay,” he said as he took a deep breath, “I just…” after a pause he said, “I was just wondering, if you still wanted to spend summer with Hakama and I. We’re going to Kukui to see the dinosaur museum.”Bookmark here

“Oh! That sounds like fun!”Bookmark here

“Would you want to come with us?” He asked as he dragged his hand across his face. How could he not tell her the truth?! “Hakama-“ he then paused before correcting himself, “I’d really like it if you went with us.”Bookmark here

“Hmmm, well I’ll have to check my calendar! I’ll get back to you when I find out!”Bookmark here

“Okay, cool.”Bookmark here

“Yeah! I’ll talk to you then!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, for sure.”Bookmark here

“Okay well, I’ll talk to you-“Bookmark here

“Ryuko, wait!” He said before he looked around, when he didn’t see Hakama he then hung his head and said, “I love you. I-I’ve loved you for a long time now. Even before we became acquainted you always made my day better. Just seeing you, every day at school, it made me feel like everything would be alright. I’ve had issues with women, trusting them, getting close to them, and even wanting to talk to them…call it what you want, hell you can even call it misogyny…but, Ryuko, it’s different when I’m with you. When I see you I don’t feel hate or fear…I don’t see a woman who might hurt me, I see a woman who makes me want to be better for myself and for her as well. I really…I really love you.”Bookmark here

“….I um….” Bookmark here

Ikkimaru swallowed heavily as he realized what he just said. He quickly hung up before he panicked and out his phone in his pocket. After sitting there for a few seconds his phone buzzed. “Crap!” He took out his phone to read a text from Ryuko,Bookmark here

Ryuko: I like you too! I don’t know if I love you yet! But I honestly feel the same! However…I feel you can do better than me, isn’t there someone else you like?Bookmark here

“Hakama…” Ikkimaru unknowingly said to himself,Bookmark here

Ryuko: But, if you’re serious about your feelings for me, then I’d be willing to be your girlfriend (^。^)Bookmark here

Ikkimaru: Yeah! Let’s talk more in person.Bookmark here

Ryuko: Okay! :)Bookmark here

He sighed as he put his phone in his pocket. He leaned back and clasped his hands on his face as he groaned, “What the hell did I do…?” Bookmark here

“Ikki,” Hakama said as she walked over to him with a few bras in her hands,Bookmark here

“Hm?” He asked as he looked at her,Bookmark here

“I'm going to try these on, will you let me know what you think?”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, sure.”Bookmark here

“Thank you.” She then turned and walked into the dressing room. After a few moments Hakama walked out wearing the first bra she had picked out. It was pink and had a black band. “What do you think?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh, u-um…w-well…” He said as his face turned red. He tried his best to look at the bra and not Hakama’s large boobs. “I-If you like it, th-then you can get it.”Bookmark here

“I want to know if you like it.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh, w-well, it’s very nice.” He said as he turned away from her, Bookmark here

“You think so?”Bookmark here

“Yes, you should get it.”Bookmark here

“Okay,” she then turned and walked back into the dressing room. The woman then came over to Ikkimaru with a smile,Bookmark here

“You’re a very lucky young man,” she said, “Your girlfriend speaks very highly of you.”Bookmark here

“Oh, no, she’s not my-“ he then paused before saying, “She told you that she’s my girlfriend?”Bookmark here

“She sure did!” Bookmark here

“O-Oh, well…”Bookmark here

“We didn’t have many bras that would fit her, we normally have to order them, but we were able to find a few.”Bookmark here

“They won’t cost too much will they?” Bookmark here

“I don’t think so, depending on which ones she picks she’ll be able to get two or three of them.”Bookmark here

“That’s good, I didn’t know she wasn’t wearing a bra until a little bit ago.”Bookmark here

“Well it’s a good thing you came in!”Bookmark here

“Ikki,” Hakama said as she undid the lock on the door,Bookmark here

“I should leave you two to it!” The woman said before walking away. Bookmark here

Hakama walked out of the changing room and over to Ikkimaru. This bra was neon green with blue frills on the band and straps, “What do you think?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh, w-well, it’s very…uh…” He swallowed heavily as he said, “V-Very bright.”Bookmark here

“Do you like it?”Bookmark here

“I-I mean, sure, you’ll have clothes on over it, so yeah, sure.”Bookmark here

“Hm, okay.” She then turned and walked back into the dressing room. After a few moments Hakama then said, “Ikki, can you come here?”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, sure.” He stood up and walked outside the door of the changing room, “What is it?”Bookmark here

“What does sexy mean?”Bookmark here

“S-Sexy?! Wh-Why are you asking?!”Bookmark here

“Just tell me what it means.”Bookmark here

“W-Well, it means sexually attractive or appealing. Like, y-you want to have sex with that person.”Bookmark here

“I-I see…” She said as her voice slightly cracked,Bookmark here

“Why…?”Bookmark here

Ikkimaru looked down as the lock to the door of the changing room opened, “Come in…” Ikkimaru swallowed heavily before he closed his eyes and opened the door and walked inside. He turned and shut the door and looked down at the lock as he tried to figure it out. “Hey…” Hakama said as she grabbed his sleeve. He turned to look at Hakama only to turn bright red and have blood come from his nose. She was wearing a strapless bra which had red silk and a layer of see through black floral fabric on top of it. “She said this bra would make me look sexy….do you think I’m sexy?”Bookmark here

“H-Hakama…!”Bookmark here

“Am I sexually attractive…?” She asked as she came closer to him. She then wrapped her arms around him and pressed her breasts up against his body. He swallowed nervously as he looked down at Hakama. She was looking slightly downwards and her face was just as red as his, “…do you want to have sex with me while I wear this…?”Bookmark here

“H-Hakama, I-I c-can’t-I mean, no! W-We can’t, n-not here-“Bookmark here

“What about at home…?”Bookmark here

“W-We’re not even m-m-“Bookmark here

“Not what…?” She asked as she looked up into his eyes, “Ikki, I think we should….I mean….when we get back home, you did make today my birthday after all.”Bookmark here

“Wh-What happened to Hakama?!?!!! This isn’t like her at all!!! Why does she want to have sex with me?!?!?!!!” He then placed his hands on her shoulders as he said, “Hakama, I don’t think it’s a good idea. We’re not even married, plus what if you find someone else you love and-“Bookmark here

“I only love you,” she said, “Don’t you love me too?”Bookmark here

“I-I-“Bookmark here

“You always ask me what I want, you’re not like anyone else I’ve ever been summoned for.” She stepped closer to him and wrapped her arms around him again, “What I want is you.” Ikkimaru swallowed heavily as he looked away with a blush, Bookmark here

“N-No ones ever said they wanted me before…” He then looked back to Hakama only to see her getting ready to kiss him. “Hakama, I think…” He then gently pushed her away from him before he turned and unlocked the door, “You look very sexy, now please just hurry up and finish.” He then left the changing table room and closed the door behind him. He placed his hand over his mouth as he tried to slow down his breathing. Once he calmed down he took a deep breath before Hakama came out of the dressing room with the bras. “You ready?” She nodded and they went to the counter and Hakama paid with the money Ryuko gave her. The bras were put in a fancy paper back with braided rope handles. Hakama took her bag and the two left the store.Bookmark here

They didn’t say a word to each other until they were back home at the apartment. Ikkimaru sat at his desk drawing the next chapter for the manga. Hakama walked into the bedroom and looked over at him. With a saddened expression she looked down and said, “Did I do something wrong?” Bookmark here

He sighed before responding, “Yes…I mean…no, I mean…” He then stopped drawing before he said, “Sit down.” She walked over to the bed and sat beside him, “Hakama, I-“ he then turned to her and said, “I don’t know what to do.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what to do about you.”Bookmark here

“…I’m still confused.”Bookmark here

“Damn it, Hakama!” He stood up as he began to pace. He ran his fingers through his hair as he said, “You…you came into my life so unexpectedly. And after that Ryuko came into my life, and I’ve been in love with Ryuko for years. Then suddenly you kissed me, and told me you loved me and-“Bookmark here

“I do love you.”Bookmark here

“I know! I know that!” He said as he turned to her with tears in his eyes, “The worst part about it is, I know you’re not lying to me. However I can’t afford to be distracted from Ryuko and my work.”Bookmark here

“…I’m a distraction?”Bookmark here

“No! You’re not! I just-“ he wiped his tears with his hand before he pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers. “When you kissed me…it was the most real thing I’ve ever felt, and it was the most normal I’ve ever felt, and the most at ease I’ve ever felt, and it’s just not fair.” He looked at her as he said, “I want to feel those things for Ryuko.” He then fell to his knees and began to cry into the palms of his hands, “Hakama! I’m so sorry, Hakama!!! This isn’t fair to you! I’m just a broken person! I’m sorry! And right now I’m just so torn!” Bookmark here

Hakama frowned before she then knelt on the ground and wrapped her arms around Ikkimaru, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have told you…I just…I didn’t want to go, you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met. Unlike other people I’ve met, you care about me, and you care about my feelings, you want to know what I want instead of using me to get what you want.” She then looked him in the eyes as tears rolled down her face, “If you really want to be with Ryuko I won’t stop you, however, this means I won’t be able to stay for much longer.”Bookmark here

“No…” he said, “Hakama, please stay! My life is still a mess, there’s more that you can do-“Bookmark here

“There’s not,” she said, “I know how much Ryuko means to you, and it honestly makes me happy…but I’m not sure how long I can stay here knowing that the man I love doesn’t love me back.”Bookmark here

“Hakama, I don’t know what I feel for you, but I know I don’t want you to leave! Please, stay with me.”Bookmark here

“It’s just not fair,”Bookmark here

“I know, but…” He sighed before he looked down and said, “What can I do to convince you to stay…? Please, I’ll do anything…”Bookmark here

“I just want you to be happy.”Bookmark here

“I can’t do that without you…please stay for a little longer…” Bookmark here

Hakama frowned before she reached over and touched his hand, “I’ll stay here, but once things get better, I have no choice and I’ll have to disappear.”Bookmark here

“Why is it different if you love me or not…?” He asked, “It sounds like black mail…you want to be my girlfriend or else you’ll leave…” He then pulled his hand away from her as he clenched it into a fist.Bookmark here

“Ikki, no, that’s not-“Bookmark here

“Then what is it?!” Ikkimaru snapped as he got to his feet, “What is it then?! Huh?!”Bookmark here

“If you and I became lovers then-“Bookmark here

“Yeah! Then you’d stay! If we’re not, and if we’re just friends then you’ll leave!”Bookmark here

“Only if you get a girlfriend-“Bookmark here

“What does that mean?!?!!! Do you not want to see me be happy?!?!!”Bookmark here

“I do!” She said as she got onto her feet and clenched her fists, “Your grandmother asked me to help you out in life and find you a girlfriend! Once those things are done then that’s the end of our contract! If you want me to stay longer then you’ll have to talk to your grandmother!”Bookmark here

“Why can’t you just stay?!”Bookmark here

“Because then it’d be a violation! If you really want me to stay then talk to your grandmother!”Bookmark here

“Why should I do that?!”Bookmark here

“Because you CLEARLY want me to stay!!!” She yelled. Ikkimaru swallowed heavily as he stopped talking to see the anger in Hakama’s eyes, “Which is really the first time you’ve EVER wanted that!!! You NEVER cared this much before today!!! Why?!?!?!! I’m usually met by warmth and happiness, but when I first came here you’ve been nothing but cold to me!!! You’ve lied to me, and you’ve had me lie to others and you did it all for yourself!!! You are the most SELFISH man I have EVER met!!!”Bookmark here

“Why you little,” Ikkimaru growled as he stepped towards Hakama,Bookmark here

Hakama didn’t flinch, instead she said, “Go on! Do it!” Ikkimaru breathed heavily before Hakama screamed, “HIT ME!!!!” Ikkimaru then paused before he turned and realized he had his arm reeled back to slap Hakama. “DO IT THE WAY YOU DID WHEN RYUKO LEFT FROM YOUR DATE NIGHT!!!! THE DAY YOU MADE ME LIE!!!” Ikkimaru calmed down with a sigh before he placed his hand on the top of her head and gave her a gentle pet. Hakama growled before she grabbed his wrist and shoved it off the top of her head before storming out of the apartment. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.