The aloof girl was joined by two of her companions; the meek and doe-eyed Mikuru and the boisterous bundle of energy that was Haruhi. Together, they had gathered at an outdoor café. That in itself wasn’t unusual; at least in this small circle. Neither were the bunny girl outfits – tight, form fitting black and red corsets with dark pantyhose, wrist cuffs, heels, cottontails and fake bunny ears complimenting it - that the brunette and auburn-haired girls sported. The biggest difference, this time, was that the interface found herself adorned in matching attire as well. The corset, heels and ears were white; a fitting match for her creamy pale skin, Haruhi had proclaimed earlier that day.
“We’ve been searching high and low for mysteries, but we keep coming up short! We need a new, aggressive approach! Something that will get people to bring the mysteries to us!”
Haruhi turned her attention to the club’s resident maid.
“Mikuru! Do you know what today is?”
“No – well, yes, but it’s Easter! And this year, we’ll be celebrating it!”
“We…we are?” Mikuru eyed the small closet containing her cosplay outfits warily, as Haruhi opened it up. A bunny girl costume was pulled out, but much to Mikuru’s confusion, it wasn’t hers.
Haruhi handed Yuki the bundle of clothing. “Mikuru is our club’s mascot, but for this plan to work, we need to try maximizing all of our inherent cuteness and sex appeal! Yuki, that means you’ll be helping us today! Here, I picked out an outfit for you that will go great with your complexion!”
Yuki silently took her word for it. Gone unnoticed by her friends, Yuki’s eyes did linger slightly on the corset and tights she was handed. ‘Interesting,’ she thought simply. The interface began to slip out of her school uniform and into the outfit without a fuss.
Mikuru’s outfit was pulled out next. The auburn-haired girl took a hesitant step backwards, realizing where this was going.
“Wh-what about Kyon and Kozumi?” Mikuru asked, trying to delay the inevitable. The two boys hadn’t shown up for the impromptu meeting, the doe-eyed girl noted.
“They’ll be joining us for a different operation immediately after we finish enacting operation “Bunny Blitz”, naturally! This is a multi-tiered plan, and we can’t have them mucking up the first phase by distilling our charming girlish appeal!”
Mikuru couldn’t help but wonder what kind of crowds Haruhi was expecting to bring in. “B-but, what are we actually going to be doing – EEP!” Haruhi had finally thrown herself onto the hapless girl. “We have no time to waste, Mikuru! Now, let’s get you changed!”
Ignoring her companions’ antics, Yuki meanwhile finished slipping her pantyhose-clad feet into her white heels one after another. The heels seemed to add an extra 3 inches to her height. Overall, entire ensemble was a comfortable fit, the slim girl noted. She felt mildly curious about the implications of Haruhi knowing her measurements.
Even more curious for the alien was the pair of bunny ears, attached to a hair band. Yuki had observed Mikuru and Haruhi don the outfits, but the particulars of accessories such as the bunny ears eluded her. ‘Are those traits of a rabbit seen as desirable amongst humans?’ Yuki pondered, slipping the white ears over her purple locks. ‘Curious.’ Yuki wondered if experiencing the phenomenon herself, rather than playing observer on the outside, would aid her in solving this mystery.
When all three girls had finished changing into their outfits, they headed on out to embark on their baffling quest…but not before Yuki made it a point to bring a small book with her.
Their ringleader sat down the small duffle bag she had been carrying onto one of the tables lining the outdoor café.
“Alright girls, let’s get this show on the road!” Haruhi cheered, finger pointed dramatically in the air. She held her pose, as though expecting something. Yuki merely blinked. Beside her, their auburn-haired companion fidgeted nervously. “Um…Suzumiya, what exactly are we supposed to be doing?” Mikuru hesitantly asked.
“Weren’t you paying attention?” Haruhi sighed. Shaking her head, she sauntered over to Mikuru and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “A-ah!” Mikuru yelped. Haruhi continued on, as though nothing was amiss. “It has come to my attention that limiting our promoting to the school isn’t doing the SOS Brigade justice! If we want our name to become the stuff of legends, we have to expand our influence!”
Haruhi opened up the bag and dumped its contents onto the table. Several copies of the movie they had made spilled out, along with signs with brightly colored words and elaborate designs on them. Haruhi began to hastily organize the DVDs into piles. Yuki watched silently as Haruhi set a sign reading “Free Stuff!” set up in front of them.
“Alright, we are officially set!” their leader cheered. With a pleased smile on her face, she passed out signs into Mikuru and Yuki’s hands before taking one for herself. Quickly glancing them over, Yuki noted that they all said the same thing; “The Greatest Club in the World – SOS BRIGADE!”
“Look sharp girls,” Haruhi continued, “Our goal is to draw in as much attention as possible to get our message out there, but to do that, we need to look as sexy as possible!”
Mikuru shifted about, clearly uncomfortable with having to stand in public in the bunny outfit again. “U-uh…Suzumiya, surely there is a better way we could be doing this…?”
“We need to strike with an all-out attack by utilizing our sex appeal to the fullest!”
Yuki largely tuned out her companion’s conversation. Holding up the sign, the creamy-white bunny stood quietly, unsure of what to do.
“Yuki, you should strike a nice pose too!” Haruhi fussed, her attention shifting away from Mikuru. Haruhi pulled out a chair from the table. “Here, try propping your leg up on this.”
Blinking, Yuki did as she was told, bringing her left leg up onto the chair, her heel resting against the seat.
“Great, now hold this position for a little bit!”
Yuki brought her left arm onto the propped up leg, resting her elbow on her soft thigh. Her book, gripped in her left hand, was flipped open. In her other hand, the sign she had been given was raised higher into the air. Silent as ever, Yuki began to do what she did best; multitask.
“That’s the spirit, Yuki!” Haruhi cheered. Clapping her hands together, she turned herself back at their borrowed table. “I think everything’s in order, then – oh!”
Haruhi began to glance around the street frantically, before grabbing Mikuru’s hand. “S-Suzumiya?!”
“We should offer some refreshments too! C’mon Mikuru, let’s go buy some drinks real quick!”
“I don’t think the café would be too happy about us – eep!” The redhead found herself getting dragged along towards the building’s entrance. “Yuki,” Haruhi called back, “Man down the fort while we’re gone! We’ll be right back.”
Yuki glanced up from her book and nodded minutely. As she continued to read in silence, her ears perked up; people were passing by. The interface glanced up once more, unsure of what she was meant to do. She held her pose, as she had been instructed. ‘Based on prior observations, the objective is to draw attention with what would be considered ‘outlandish’ attire and poses.’ With a small frame of reference to work with, Yuki resolved to retain her position and let the curious flock to her naturally.
The passerby’s spared her a brief glance, continuing on their way without breaking their stride. Yuki didn’t seem to mind; it meant that she could continue to read her book uninterrupted.
Time passed, and Yuki dutifully held her pose. Idly, the purple-tressed interface wondered what was taking her companions so long.
As if on cue, Haruhi came bursting through the café’s entrance. “Gah! Hey, Yuki, there’s a bit of a delay – wait, have you been keeping that same pose this whole time?”
Yuki nodded. “…isn’t that starting to get uncomfortable?”
“It is bearable,” Yuki voiced softly.
“…oh. Well, keep up the good work, then! Did anyone stop by yet?” The smaller girl shook her head this time. “Drats. Look, uh, there’s been an incident; Mikuru accidentally spilled some soda all over her pantyhose! It’s a disaster! We can’t go all out if we don’t have our mascot looking her best, so…I’ll figure something out. Just keep watch until I get Mikuru all cleaned up, okay?”
“Atta girl!” Haruhi cheered. “Don’t worry; we’ll be back before you know it!” Yuki nodded absentmindedly, thoroughly engrossed in her novel.
Though it appeared that the snow-white bunny was completely lost in her own little world, Yuki was still keeping tabs of her surroundings. It was how she knew that somewhere, someone was keeping tabs on her.
‘I am being watched,’ Yuki noted. She paused momentarily from her reading to give a cursory scan of the street. No one was in immediate sight. It implied that whoever was watching over her did so from afar. Considering their current objective, coupled with the avoidance Yuki was receiving from most people, the interface pondered if it was someone curious about their promotion, but too shy to get a closer look.
Yuki mulled it over, silently contemplating whether or not they were akin to Mikuru in demeanor. If they wished to take a closer look, they would. Until then, Yuki was more than fine with waiting patiently.
If there was one word that Reiko Matsuoka hated more than anything else, it was “tomboy”. All of her life she had been slapped with the label one way or another, despite her best efforts. Being a rough and tumble woman through and through, however, saw that her efforts went largely ignored. She wasn’t ugly; far from it. With black, wavy hair pulled into a small ponytail and a decent, well rounded body, Reiko certainly had something going for her. It was the combination of being a tall and toned 5’10, coupled with her easily angered nature that saw Reiko getting typecast. The fact that she was prone to reacting dramatically – and sometimes even violently – when angered did her little favor to endearing herself to others. Her face, always touched up by makeup, was constantly marred with a sneering frown or narrowed eyes. Rarely did she ever smile, and when she did, it always had a snide bent to it.
With an attitude and demeanor like that, it was only natural that she found herself getting involved with the wrong sort of crowds. Whenever a string of bad fortune came down upon her, Reiko was ready to place the blame on others, no matter how much the fault rested on her. She could never seem to hold a job for more than a year at most, always letting her anger get the best of her in any setting. At 32, one would have thought that she’d have learned how to deal with it better. Instead, not only was she without a steady job once more, Reiko also found herself behind in rent.
Frustrated beyond belief, Reiko made a desperate bid. She turned towards gambling, hoping that her luck would finally turn around. Instead, she lost what money she had left. Refusing to back down for all the wrong reasons, Reiko had attempted to take a loan from criminal elements – unbeknownst to her at the time, the very same people she had lost her money with gambling from previously - and had placed it all into even more gambling. When those funds ran dry, Reiko’s foul mood only worsened. Somehow, in the space of a week, she had racked up a debt of four million yen.
“Ugh, I’m telling you, I’ll have a way to pay you back in no time, so stop breathing down my neck, would ya?”
She slammed her cellphone down onto a table. “Lousy no good loan sharks, thinkin’ they can do whatever they want…” Reiko muttered darkly. Earlier that day, a couple of men had paid her a visit when she was out sleuthing for a cash fix. They had attempted to “persuade” her into coming along for a private chat with their boss – an encounter that ended with several broken noses and a confiscated bottle of chloroform. She met with their boss anyway – the man she owed – but made a point to do so on her own terms.
Pacing around her apartment in a white tank top that bared her midriff and a black denim miniskirt that showed off her long, toned legs and bare feet sporting black nail polish, the fuming woman wondered how she would dig herself out of this latest predicament. “Don’t have too many options left…damn it!”
Stopping before her living room window, she stared outside, lost in thought. “Gambling didn’t work out…need to pay back the debt and the rent…tch.” Reiko was down to her last yen. Whatever she did next she would have to think it over carefully.
Reiko’s eyes wandered around inattentively. Blinking, the distracted woman finally noticed an odd, out of place sight. Across from her apartment was a small café; one that Reiko made a point in staying away from after being kicked out. Squinting, Reiko could make out a small girl, dolled up in a bunny outfit. “…the hell is up with that girl?”
The girl was posing in a mildly suggestive manner, with a sign held up in her hands. Reiko couldn’t quite make out what the sign said from her angle, but it mattered little. Her focus was directed solely on the girl; and the outfit she sported. “…brats these days will strut around in just about anything, huh.” She groused. A part of her scoffed at how absurd and idiotic it was, dressing up in such an outfit in public.
The longer she stared, transfixed by the out of place sight, the more Reiko felt an all too familiar emotion bubble up within her – jealousy. “Standing around in a cute outfit like that and flaunting her appeal in everyone’s face like that…just who does she think she is?” She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the incising sight.
“Girls like her probably have it easy if she can just strut around like that.” Idly, Reiko wondered how she might have looked in such an outfit. ‘Ridiculed, I’m sure,’ came the easy answer; one that only served to annoy her further. ‘Besides, the only types who would be into that kinda outfit around here would be people like those creeps who…think they can walk right in and do whatever they want…’ Pausing, the woman turned abruptly, glancing at the bottle of chloroform she had lifted from her would-be assailants.
Lips pursed, an idea slowly formed in Reiko’s head. “This…this probably isn’t the best idea I’ve had, but at this point, what do I got to lose?”
Reiko glared at the snow-white bunny for a few minutes. There were likely better ways of paying back her debt, the rationale part of her mind whispered. But between the back-to back failures of trying to play by the book and the vast amount of pressure she was feeling in her current situation, Reiko was anything but level headed. The veil of anger that so often plagued her once again served to cloud her judgment, topping off the cocktail of catastrophe. Verdict reached, the rowdy woman decided to shoot for another shortcut. “Yeah, alright. I’m doing this, I guess.”
She waltzed over to her phone - thankful it didn’t break when she slammed it down moments prior – and made a call. “Hey, about that debt? Can we talk about…alternative methods of payment? No, no, wait! Hear me out on this, damn it! Y’see, there’s this girl…”
A few minutes later, Reiko grabbed her jacket and slipped into her black, knee-high boots and headed out the door. Ambling out of her apartment with a thick, rolled up carpet slung over one of her shoulders and a purse over the other, the rash woman made a beeline for the café. She stalked towards the purple-haired girl, walking as casually as she could.
Getting a closer look at the girl, the first thing Reiko realized was that she had never moved from that pose she had spotted her in from the window. The fuming woman also noticed that the tiny girl was thoroughly engrossed in a novel all the while. ‘Tch, look at her showing off all nonchalant,’ Reiko groused. ‘So you’re cute, big deal! No need to rub it in!’
Glancing at the sign only further soured her mood and opinion on the dressed up teen. “’The greatest club in the world – SOS Brigade?’ Really?” ‘This brat’s got a huge ego.’
Reiko came to a halt a few paces away from her prospective target. This close, the tall, leggy woman easily towered over the diminutive girl. ‘She can’t be any taller than 5 feet! This should be easy enough…’
Despite her close proximity, the purple-tressed girl only spared her the briefest of glances. ‘And she doesn’t have the time of the day to talk to someone like me? Why that…’
The girl didn’t even seem to be intimidated by her physique or height. Under different circumstances Reiko may have been elated. Then and there, she found herself annoyed by that reaction. ‘She probably thinks the same thing as everyone else…but also thinks I ain’t worth note! What a no good snooty brat!’
Grinding her teeth, Reiko forced herself to continue. “Hey, kid. What’s your deal?”
This time, the pale bunny focused her attention on Reiko entirely, craning her head back to peer up at the taller woman’s face. “…promotional material,” the girl answered vaguely. Gesturing with her book towards the table and the DVDs piled onto it, the soft-spoken girl added, “You may take one free copy.”
Seemingly satisfied with her lackadaisical explanation, the girl resumed reading, left arm settling back onto her raised leg.
“Hey! What kind of promoting was that?!” ‘Can’t spare the time of the day for me huh, you stuck up haughty punk?’ Reiko grabbed one of the DVDs with her free hand, quickly looking it over. It had a homemade quality to it, with a hastily drawn logo serving as cover art and a few still images of a movie on the back. All in all, it screamed low budget. The purple-haired girl was depicted in one of the pictures, dressed in a school uniform with a witch hat and cape draped over her. A list of names of the cast involved was even included.
“Say, you were in this movie? Which one are you?” Reiko asked, pointing at the names. The seemingly mute bunny girl glanced up again, tilting her minutely. “Nagato Yuki,” she intoned softly.
Now Reiko had a name to put on her bunny-eared head. “Yuki? Heh. You definitely have the whole Snow White thing going down there…” ‘Makes me want to puke!’
“You know what? I think I’m pretty curious about this little flick and club of yours. But…well,” Reiko fidgeted in place, feigning nervous glances around her. “I’m a bit shy, and talking to you when you’re dressed up like this out in public might give people the wrong idea or something, s-so, could you maybe come with me somewhere a bit more private to talk more about your very interesting looking film here?”
Yuki blinked. The woman had a figure that some might have considered imposing. Despite this, however, the intrepid girl wasn’t concerned. Based on the woman’s skittish demeanor, Yuki pieced together that she had been the one the brigade member had felt watching her. Yuki was faintly reminded by how Mikuru was oft known to act. She also knew better than to judge a book by its cover.
‘Our primary objective is to distribute promotional material with a secondary objective of obtaining further acclimation and renown for the club. This coincides with both objectives.’
Delicate gaze shifting to focus on the café where her companions had retreated, Yuki came to a conclusion. “This is acceptable.” The towering woman bowed her head slightly; a stiff, awkward gesture, Yuki noted. “Thank you for your consideration. Right then, I know this area pretty well, if you come with me over here I know of a spot no one will see…” The woman abruptly spun on her heel and walked toward a nearby alleyway, the long carpet in tow. “C’mon, times a wasting!”
Heeding her, Yuki finally lifted her leg from its position on the chair and returned it to the ground. Seeing no use for the sign at the moment, the interface carefully placed it onto the table with the other goods. Yuki was unconcerned about the possible risk of theft; the area where they seemed to be headed to was deemed as an acceptable distance for her to still be close enough to keep tabs on it. Tucking her book under an arm, she trailed after her guide, white heels clicking faintly against the pavement.
“So, uh, Nagato…, we haven’t been properly introduced yet,” the lady suddenly spoke up. “Name’s Reiko – “ Reiko cut herself off. Unbeknownst to Yuki, her “fan” was suddenly realizing that she had just supplied her real name. ‘Crap, this is cloak and dagger stuff, isn’t it?’ “Er, Reiko is just a…nickname. Yeah.”
The girl simply blinked once in response. If she had thoughts about Reiko’s poorly disguised slip, the seemingly aloof teenager wasn’t showing it.
They reached a small alcove in the alleyway. The black-haired woman ushered Yuki into it. “Here’s the spot.” Yuki wasted no time, stepping into the space with measured steps. Reiko took the time to glance around, surveying both ends of the alleyway. “Okay, good, no one in sight…” Yuki heard her whisper. The large rolled up carpet was placed delicately against the wall adjacent to the alcove. Stepping into the space after Yuki, Reiko cleared her throat.
This close to each other, Yuki observed just how much taller the woman was in comparison to her; the purple-tressed bunny had to tilt her head all the way back to peer up into those pitch-black eyes.
“I want to…learn more about this club of yours. But, er…I get the feeling that, uh, I’ll really like whatever I hear, so in advance, I’d like a…signed copy of this no doubt delightful movie of yours?”
Yuki could hear the impatience and insincerity laced in the tall lady’s voice. ‘What ails her to such a degree?’ the interface pondered. Individuals such as Mikuru often confused her with their frantic responses. ‘Perhaps she wishes to conclude this interaction as swiftly as possible so as to divert unwanted attention from the general populace?’ Considering the fact that the passerbys up until then had gone out of their way to ignore the quietly posing girl, Yuki concluded that this, too, was a curiously formed manifestation of shyness. However, there was still a prudent matter to address.
“I am ill equipped for such a task,” Yuki responded, eyes shifting to the DVD case Reiko held. “Ah, no worries, I have something in here you can sign it with.” The case was shoved at Yuki, who took it delicately with her free hand. Reiko turned around, digging through her purse. “Now, where did I put that… thing,” Yuki heard her mutter. “Oh, here it is – whoops!”
The purse fell to the ground. “Oh dear, clumsy me.” With her back towards Yuki, there was no way that the interface could have known that Reiko’s hands had purposely let go of the purse. Nor that a bottle and a rag had discreetly been pulled out from it moments prior.
“Could you be a dear and pick that up for me?”
Yuki’s eyebrow rose a fraction of a centimeter – a gesture only one person in the world could have recognized as Yuki expressing more confusion than usual. The woman hadn’t even turned around when she had asked that. Images of Mikuru displaying moments of clumsiness and the scarlet blushes and stammered apologies came to mind, putting the strange behavior exhibited before her into perspective.
‘Shyness is a most perplexing condition,’ Yuki concluded. Deciding to humor the surely embarrassed woman, the petite bunny bent down to fetch the fallen purse. As she did so, Yuki observed two things simultaneously; the purse was, curiously enough, sporting a roll of orange duct tape. The second observation was Reiko’s legs suddenly pivoting around in an about-face and a brown bottle falling down, back into the purse. Before Yuki could make out what the bottle was for, a strong, firm hand gripped her delicate, bare shoulders suddenly, hoisting her up and spinning her around. Yuki’s book fell to the ground with a soft thud.
“Whhmmph?” Yuki’s quiet response was cut short when a strong hand gripping a rag was shoved over her mouth and nose. Reiko’s hand took up much of Yuki’s face, it and the rag it pinned down covering the bottom half. Forced to inhale the foul rag’s sickeningly sweet scent, Yuki’s intellectual mind scrambled to identify it. ‘Carbon, Hydrogen and large traces of Chlorine detected – CHCI3. A compound used for chloroform.’ Recognizing the chemical knock-out agent for what it was, Yuki was now rightfully alarmed. Her slim arms began to shoot up, poised to grip at the hand pressing the dour rag into her face. They were intercepted when Reiko wrapped her other long, toned arm around Yuki’s delicate stomach, pinning her arms to her side.
She began to wiggle around in her assailant’s grip. With the rag pinned firmly over her mouth, Yuki was unable to intone any of her reality altering abilities. She was effectively operating as a baseline female adolescent of her stature – and was utterly helpless for it. ‘I have been deceived,’ Yuki had realized. ‘This “Reiko” was not displaying divergent expressions of shyness.’ “Mmphh…” ‘I have made a miscalculation.’
Meanwhile, Reiko was smirking ferociously. “Hah, this was so easy!” ‘Why would I ever want a body like this twerp’s? I was able to fight off a bunch of thugs no problem, but she just walks right into my hands? Man, I’m awesome.’
“I know your type. You took one look at me and labeled me as some riffraff you were above, yet you were too high and mighty to ever consider me as a potential threat.” Reiko squeezed Yuki’s torso harder. “Thought you were untouchable, invincible even? Had to be, wearing a number like this!”
Sneering, Reiko concluded. “How’s it feel, knowing that the woman you dismissed so haughtily turned the tables on you like this? Not so untouchable now, are you? Mull that over as you fall unconscious!”
Reiko paused for dramatic effect, expecting her captive’s body to slacken. When Yuki remained as rigid and alert as she had been since Reiko had placed the petite bunny girl into her hold, the tall woman couldn’t help but grunt in confusion. “…huh. I thought this stuff would work faster than this.”
Several moments passed by, and the purple-haired teen continue to squirm around within Reiko’s firm hold. “Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re somehow resistant to this. Or is this a bad batch? Were those guys really that incompetent?”
“mmm…” Unbeknownst to Reiko, the interface wasn’t unaffected by the dosed rag. Yuki could feel the soporific’s adverse effects slowly working their way through her system. ‘Its continued presence will lead to an undesirable outcome.’ Powerless as she was, Yuki’s best hope was to worm her way out of her assailant’s grip – a task that was proving to be surprisingly difficult. Reiko stiffened, hearing people walking nearby the alleyway. ‘Crap, if I get spotted like this…’ “C’mon, hurry up, damn it!” Reiko hissed. She clamped her hand around Yuki’s mouth even tighter.
“Mmph…” Yuki mumbled reflexively. “Shit, keep it quiet, brat!” Reiko waited a few tense seconds, wondering if they had been heard. She let out a breath of relief when no one came to investigate. “You were trying to get their attention, weren’t you?!”
‘Alright, maybe this girl needs a higher dosage! Have to play this just right…’ Reiko eyed where the bottle of chloroform had been dropped. She carefully lifted one of her legs and hovered one of her boots above it. Gently placing the heel of her boot against the bottle, the would-be kidnapper began to roll it backwards, out from the purse. Carefully, she began to kneel down, dragging Yuki with her. Now squatting on her knees, she sat the bunny girl down onto her lap, still clutching her torso and face with an iron grip. With her left arm wrapped around Yuki’s torso, Reiko’s hand was close to where the bottle of chloroform had been moved. ‘Here comes the tricky part…’
Reiko groped for the bottle with that hand, managing to roll it closer. Scooping it up, she began to move it around to twist the lid off with her thumb and index fingers. The fluid almost spilled out of the bottle, much to Reiko’s dismay. “Guh!” She managed to right the bottle again before it could happen, much to her immense relief. Next, she slowly slid her arm up Yuki’s body. Reiko loosened her grip on the small girl’s mouth. Maintaining a firm grip on the bottle, Reiko suddenly brought her index and middle finger forward, latching onto the rag and pulling it free from Yuki’s face. Her other hand clamped down tight against Yuki’s mouth once more.
Awkwardly, Reiko began to attempt to dose the rag with more chloroform with one hand. “C’mon, c’mon…!”
She tilted her hand and fumbled with her fingers until the bottle’s contents finally spilled out onto the rag. ‘Huh, that’s more than I wanted…’ The rag had been doused with half of the bottle’s contents, and was now soaked and dripping. Timing the next part proved tricky – Reiko wanted to minimize the amount of time Yuki had to speak, least she let loose a call for help. She unclamped Yuki’s mouth for a split second and crammed the rag back into place, more of the bottle’s contents flying out from the jerking motion.
Yuki had opened her mouth, but in a stroke of misfortune, her reaction time had been delayed just enough by the fumes she had already inhaled. Just before she could finish her intonation, Yuki was cut off. The sickeningly sweet scent hit her harder than before as the heavily drenched rag made itself home on her face once more.
“mmm…” Yuki mewled. The vague tinge of sluggishness was finally beginning to make itself known. To most, the faint onset of fatigue was something that went largely ignored. But to someone like Yuki, it took great lengths to put her into such a state. Already feeling as though she was being pushed that far – with so little effort on the part of her assailant – was concerning to the alien girl.
Reiko was completely ignorant to Yuki’s plight. “This is seriously still not working? Ugh, even I’m startin’ to feel a little bit light from over here!” She shook her head, the fumes from the soaked rag strong enough to marginally affect anyone within a foot of it. “Just what’s your deal, brat?”
Yuki stirred in her captors lap, feebly attempting to escape Reiko’s grasp. When it became apparent that it would not work, Yuki sat back, at a loss. The besieged teen found, much to her dull alarm, that her body and mind’s functionality and cognitive capabilities were plummeting. ‘I am in need of assistance,’ she realized.
Noticing Yuki slow to a stop in her struggles, Reiko peered down at the bunny. The schoolgirl shifted minutely within the tight embrace of Reiko’s vice-like grip, but offered little more resistance. “Huh…I guess this junk is finally starting to work on you? Heh. For a second there you had me worried that you really were some kinda untouchable super girl or something...” Pausing, the woman groaned. “Which is pretty stupid to even consider. Ugh, what’s wrong with me lately?”
Yuki’s eyelids began to slowly flutter, her consciousness eroding further with every passing second. “mmph…” she weakly mewled. Her movement had been reduced to shifting her legs, the sheer fabric of her pantyhose rubbing up against Reiko’s bare limbs. Losing herself further to the powerful fumes and helpless to stop it, the doll-like girl’s body began to still. Gradually, Yuki’s golden-brown pupils began to roll up. The last vestiges of consciousness were slipping away from her.
Reiko wasn’t sure how long it took, but several minutes after initially grabbing Yuki, the doll-like girl finally grew limp. Just to be sure, Reiko kept the drenched rag applied to the petite girl’s face for a few minutes more.
Cautiously, Reiko tilted her head down, staring at Yuki’s face upside down. Yuki’s delicate features were relaxed and her eyes were closed. Clearly, her captive-to-be was at last in the throes of slumber. “Geez, that took forever!”
Head jerking up, the wavy-haired woman went rigid at the sound of a girl’s voice in the distance. ‘Someone’s nearby.’ “…ki! Where are…isn’t like Yuki to…disappear!” Blood running cold, the toned woman realized she had made a rookie mistake; she hadn’t scouted the area properly. ‘So the little bunny here had an entourage with her, huh? Damn! I have to work fast then…’
Reiko removed her hand from Yuki’s mouth, but the rag remained affixed to the dainty girl’s face. With how utterly drenched the rag had become after spilling more of the bottle’s contents onto it, the cloth had clung tightly against Yuki’s smooth skin. Reiko peeled the damp cloth off, revealing the slumbering beauty’s delicate, but sopping wet face. Only the upper half, from her eyes up, remained dry.
Reiko sloshed the bottle of chloroform experimentally, noting that there didn’t seem to be much of the fluid left. Screwing the lid back into place and depositing it back into her purse, the woman pursed her lips in thought.
‘I’m no expert, but this really can’t be the normal amount of chloroform needed to knock someone her size out…’ Reiko didn’t like the implications. ‘Just smelling the fumes from here is making me feel uncomfortable…ugh, either she’s more resistant to this stuff, or I’m hypersensitive to it…’ Neither option sounded appealing to the woman. Yet again, a small wave of jealousy overcame her. ‘Great, another thing that this brat is somehow outclassing me in. What kinda crappy karma is this?’ Huffing softly, she tossed the heavily scented rag aside, and went to fetch the duct tape from out of her purse.
She paused again, hearing footsteps nearby. Whoever was looking for Yuki, Reiko realized, was about to pass by the alleyway. She held her breath for a few tense seconds, waiting to see what would happen. “…no, I don’t see her anywhere, Mikuru! Where could she have gone…?”
“M-maybe she went home early? Something could have come up, Suzumiya.”
“But it isn’t like Yuki to just leave like that! Something must have happened! Like – like – what if she saw some mysterious activity going on and rushed to go investigate without us?! C’mon, maybe there’s a clue back at the table!”
“But it isn’t like Yuki to just leave like that! Something must have happened! Like – like – what if she saw some mysterious activity going on and rushed to go investigate without us?! C’mon, maybe there’s a clue back at the table!”
The pair of voices – a loud-mouthed girl and a meeker sounding one by the name of Suzumiya and Mikuru, apparently – eventually drifted away, along with their footsteps. They had turned around and walked in the opposite direction, much to Reiko’s immense relief. “Alright, let’s just get this over with…”
Reiko tilted Yuki’s limp body forward and rolled out a strip of tape. Grabbing Yuki’s slim arms and forcing them behind her back, the taller woman began to wrap the adhesive material around her captive’s wrists. Both of the unconscious girl’s wrists were tightly ensnared.
Reiko worked on winding several strips of tape around Yuki’s arms and torso, just below her breasts. Though she had never done this sort of thing before to a person, Reiko had worked several packaging jobs before and figured she had a decent idea of what she was doing.
Yuki’s pantyhose-clad legs came next, which proved to be awkward with the girl sitting on her lap in the cramped alcove. Reiko didn’t want to risk moving the bunny out into the alleyway yet, least her friends happened to walk by again. Taking great care, she managed to loop several tight circuits around Yuki’s ankles and thighs, tying them together with the strips of orange.
“Heh, not too shabby…” Reiko mused to herself. Blinking, she shook her head violently. ‘What the – I shouldn’t be proud of something like this! Even if this brat probably deserves this treatment, that ain’t no excuse to feel boastful about displayin’ the same kind of know-how those lame brains I owe cash to do…’
Reiko glanced at Yuki’s partially wet face. “…oh crap, I gotta gag her too.” With Yuki’s face wet from the chloroform, she wasn’t sure how well the tape would stick to her face. “Ugh, guess I have to use my handkerchief…”
Riffling through her purse, Reiko found one of her handkerchiefs. It was unusually thick, compared to most; in fact, Reiko was pretty sure it wasn’t a handkerchief proper. She couldn’t recall ever using this one yet, but the thought of staining it with the disgusting liquid didn’t sit well with her. With hesitant strokes, she began to wipe at Yuki’s lips, removing the traces of chloroform coating it. ‘Her lips feel pretty soft,’ Reiko couldn’t help but note, feeling them even through the cloth as her fingers traced along Yuki’s mouth. A flash of annoyance sparked within her. ‘Y’know what, I think I can just use this handkerchief to help keep the tape down,’ Reiko ultimately decided, ceasing the motions. She suddenly didn’t feel too inclined to keep prolonged contact with the girl’s face. ‘Besides, this handkerchief is already a lost cause.’
The handkerchief was carefully stretched out and folded once. Its length extended from cheek to cheek, stopping at Yuki’s ears. Reiko pitched the bunny’s head backwards and pulled either end of the cloth backwards. It pressed tightly against Yuki’s mouth, her lips visible underneath it. If it had been longer in length, it may have served as a typical cloth gag on its own. Since it could not, it would merely reinforce the tape gag.
Grabbing the roll of tape again, Reiko began to carefully wind it across Yuki’s mouth and around her head, pinning some of the purple locks down in the process. Not sure how much she should use, Reiko continued to wrap several strips of tape around and around Yuki’s head, obscuring much of the handkerchief in the process.
“Alright, I think that’s good enough…” Reiko told herself, making sure she still had tape left over. Yuki had been tightly gagged, with several layers of tape wound around her mouth and head. Her wet, soggy cheeks were pressed inward very slightly. Reiko poked the girl’s gagged cheeks experimentally and tried to tug at the edges. Confirming that it wasn’t about to slip off after all of that, Reiko set about the next part of her plan.
Poking her head out of the alcove, Reiko cautiously glanced both ways down the alley. Her eyes lingered on the direction they had entered from, warily expecting her captive’s friends to pop out of nowhere at any moment. When nothing happened, Reiko quickly pushed Yuki forward, off of her lap, and gently laid her down against one of the alcove’s walls.
The next part would prove to be the riskiest, Reiko realized. Grabbing the carpet she had set aside in the alley proper, Reiko began to hurriedly unwrap it. Double checking that no one was near either entrance of the alley, she scooped Yuki up into a bridal carry. ‘What a lightweight,’ Reiko scoffed, depositing her captive onto one end of the carpet.
When Reiko had decided she was going to capture the bunny girl, the desperate woman had wondered just how she was going to transport the girl without arousing too much suspicion. An idea had presented itself when she went into a closet in search of duct tape; an old, beat up carpet she had received as a freebie from one of her old jobs. As Reiko began to roll Yuki up in the carpet, she couldn’t help but reel at the surrealism of it all. ‘I’ve had this carpet sitting around all this time, and THIS is what gets me to finally open the dumb thing?’ The only reason Reiko had even kept it was in hopes of finding someone to pawn it off to, but no one ever expressed interest in it.
Yuki’s body was flipped around on her sides as she was rolled around the carpet. It encircled her, the petite girl disappearing within. Her captive was now wrapped up, but Reiko wasn’t finished yet. She grabbed the tape, sparing frantic glances towards the street all the while. Reiko wasted no time straddling the cocooned Yuki, with her knees on the ground on either side. She began to wind a strip of tape around where Yuki’s shoulders would be. The toned woman paused long enough to push her off the ground with her bent knees so that she could flip Yuki over, when she needed to reach the other side to continue wrapping. Finishing up with the shoulders, Reiko slid herself backwards. She repeated the same gesture across the center of the carpet, where she estimated Yuki’s torso would be. Reiko tried to make it as uniform and innocuous as possible, snaking around tape wraps along Yuki’s hips, thighs and ankles. Thanks to the carpets relative thickness, it wasn’t blatantly obvious that there was a person hidden inside. Reiko’s roll of tape had been a big one, but it was nearly depleted.
Unfortunately for her, there was still one more issue to work out; the two ends of the carpet. Reiko crouched down and examined one end, just spotting Yuki’s white bunny ears and even some of her purple locks. Frowning, Reiko ripped off one last strip of tape, depleting the roll. She tried to tug the end of the carpet down with the tape, to seal up the tiny opening. It worked – but only just. If one were to peer close past the tape, a glimpse of purple hair was still visible. “Ugh, nothing more I can do now…” Reiko mused. Worse, the other end of the carpet was still unaccounted for. She inspected it, noting that Yuki’s white heels were slightly visible; anyone who inspected it with close scrutiny would likely spot it.
The trek back to her apartment was a short one. ‘As long as I manage to avoid attracting the attention of those other brats, I should be in the clear.’ Reiko picked up the spent tape roll and the small book Yuki had dropped and deposited both into her purse. Eying the doused rag, Reiko wrinkled her nose. “Yuck, no way am I putting that thing in my purse.” Instead, she tossed it lazily over at a grouping of nearby trash cans, not even bothering to see where it landed.
Bending down, she scooped up the carpet and its hidden surprise within and slung it over one of her shoulders. Once again, the athletic woman noted how light the girl she carried was. After adjusting her package slightly, Reiko found that she had no problem at all hauling the weight. ‘Such a small, frail thing trying to strut her stuff like some hussy, what a joke,’ she couldn’t help but think. Reiko took a deep breath. “Well, here goes nothing…”
She stepped out of the alleyway and immediately bit back a curse. Reflexively glancing to her right, Reiko saw that someone had noticed her – a girl with red hair, dressed in bunny outfit identical to Yuki’s, barring the red coloration and a lack of pantyhose. Next to her stood a girl, also clad in a black bunny outfit, with her arms crossed, ranting about something. ‘Suzumiya, then.’ Reiko thought absentmindedly, ‘and that meek brat must be “Mikuru”, I guess.’
Haruhi and Mikuru had indeed been standing around their table, the former pacing around and thinking aloud while the other had been fretting in place. Mikuru had been facing towards the alleyway, and saw Reiko immediately. Haruhi, catching her friend’s gaze, turned around to see what she was looking at. “Hey, you!”