Crossover Fan Fiction ❯ Bitter And Murky ❯ The False Democracy ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The False Democracy


“Hey,” asked Komachi at breakfast a day after I’d returned from Kyoto. “Did something happen?”

I considered smiling. I considered lying, and then discarded the impulse. This is my pure little sister.

“During the culture festival Yui and Yukino both confessed to me. At the same time. While singing a song to the entire school. While staring at me.”

“Wasn’t that three weeks ago?” she confirmed.

“Yes. I was struggling how to answer. You know my philosophy on this matter. I was trying to come up with a way to be polite and not hurtful. They are nice girls, after all, even if they did put me on the spot in a very public and humiliating way that the entire student body witnessed.”

“When you put it like that, I think I see why you took so long. So what happened?” Komachi asked. Sometimes when I’m talking to Komachi I feel like she’s way older than 14, like she’s lived an entire lifetime as a war veteran, or maybe been a magical girl betrayed by her best friend, or maybe served as an apothecary in Ming China, though that last one feels even more strange than the others. It doesn’t help that as Japanese we all believe in Reincarnation, and consider it to be a curse.

“We had a service club request to help a couple confess, however two of us rejected that idea, and only Yui wanted to help. Worse, one of the two approached me privately asking for interference on the grounds of insanity.”

“Whose sanity?” Komachi asked curiously.

“Hers. She likes BL.” Komachi stuck her tongue out.

“Gross. One of those.”

“Yeah. She fountains blood every time she decides something in life is BL. This includes male disagreements. In the classroom. I fear she draws manga about us,” I admitted uncomfortably.

“Wow. Isn’t that sexual harassment?” Komachi inquired.

“If it were a man doing it to women, then yes. Since this is Japan, a woman doing it to men is considered comedy,” I answered. I feel a creeping chill. Like someday such criminal abuses will spread to trannies abusing children in public libraries and getting praised for the rapes they commit, only it will happen in America rather than Japan. That thought made me relax again. Good thing I live in Japan. We may get many things wrong, but at least we don’t let pedophiles tell stories to small children in public libraries.

“So there was a confession, then a rejection, everyone involved cried… so how does this tie into you?” Komachi asked.

“Oh, not very much. Yui was slightly disappointed and cried on me, so I took her and Yukino out for ice cream. Then we talked about divorce statistics again, and the importance of timing,” I answered.

“What do you mean again?” Komachi asked.

“Ah, sorry. I’m getting this out of order. The day before the confession mess I rejected each of them, privately, as nice as I could. Yui cried, and I think Yukino used some strong language after I excused myself. But they’re still talking to me.”

“Don’t tell me you Friend-Zoned your girlfriends… you did. You did Friend-Zone them!” Komachi exclaimed.

“Well, part of the issue is I’m going to be applying to CIT, because I’m up for a short listed scholarship with living expenses, so I can keep looking after you while I’m in college and not have to get a part time job, so I won’t be sacrificing my study time. This went back to the culture festival, which is when they confessed to me.”

“While singing in front of the school.”

“Yes,” I admitted.

“And you rejected them both? Is Yui destined to get fat or something?” she asked me. I’d met her mother once, and she was still trim. I shook my head no.

“And Yukino is following in her sister’s footsteps? And her mother isn’t fat either?” Komachi asked. I shook my head no, again.

“Dummy. You aren’t holding out for Saki, are you?” she questioned.

“No. She’s pretty, but I think she has big plans that don’t include marriage,” I denied.

“So what happened after you ate the ice cream?” she went back.

“We talked about divorce, and the importance of timing, and how high school romances end in many kinds of failure, but college has a better chance for success, and that I’d still be living here, which means they still have a chance in a few years.”

“Do you think they’ll wait?” Komachi asked me.

“If they do stay in touch they might have more reason. If they drift away after high school then it would have ended in divorce anyway, and I’ve effectively doubled my income in the future.”

“Sometimes, niichan, I think you abuse math for your own purposes. Thank you for not lying to me,” Komachi said, admitting that she’d spotted my hesitation.

We went to school separately.

“I’m coming in,” announced Hiratsuka-sensei, as usual, sliding open the door without waiting. Yukino glared impotently at the intrusion. Sensei stepped aside and Fluffy Sempai came in. Fluffy is actually named Shiromeguri. She is the student council president, who would drop in on our culture festival committee and see how things were going. She generally smiled in satisfaction, though I suspect vague smiles are her preferred method of non-verbal communication. As a leader and female at a school filled with Alphas, she needed great charisma and judgement to communicate with the students and retain her dominance without aggression. So like Haruno, only more subtle. Haruno was never subtle.

“Hachiman, are you thinking something rude about my sister?” Yukino asked.

“Yes. You’ve apparently developed the ability to read minds. Have you recently spoken to some kind of floating space weasel or are your Pan-San dolls speaking to you?” I asked, curious at the response. She started to throw her cat book at me then thought better of damaging the limited edition hardcover book, deciding to glare instead.

“Strange you mention Haruno-san. She was my sempai,” said Fluffy sempai.

“So you’re the understudy? You’ve mastered a skill she still fails at,” I said.

“Oh? I suspect that any skill Haruno has tried to master she succeeded. Not using a skill would merely indicate deliberation rather than failure,” she explained mysteriously. She stepped aside from the doorway.

“In any case, I bring you a Service Club request. This Kouhai needs your help,” Fluffy said, stepping back and vanishing into the woodwork as well as I do. I quietly clapped my hands in appreciation, then turned my attention to the small redhead looking pensive.

“Go on, Iroha-chan. Tell them,” Fluffy sempai’s voice wafted across the room.  

“Sempais! Big trouble. I need your help!” she began her tale of woe in a series of squeaks and gasps. I will describe this as excruciating and wished for it to stop. I wonder why someone so annoying still lived.

It seems that this dramatic girl had annoyed her classmates. Mainly by being the team manager of the soccer team. She spent time with Hayama, and the first year girls were jealous. So they hatched a plan. They gathered their signatures and nominated her to be the new student council president on the ballot. Fluffy was going to graduate, so it was time for others to take over. Others like us, basically.

“But I don’t want to be the student council president. I think they did it so I’ll lose and it will shame me.”

“Yes, that is what this sounds like,” agreed Yukino.

“That seems to be the reason,” agreed Yuigahama.

“I think so too,” I agreed.

“That is why I brought her to Hiratsuka-sensei,” said Fluffy-sempais’ voice from the woodwork. I concentrated against her SEP field and found her lounging near the windows. I wondered how she’d managed to get there, but her stealth skill was higher level than mine.

“And I’ve brought her to the Service Club to resolve this problem peacefully,” sensei said.

“Right. So you withdrew the nomination then, right?” I asked with a big smile on my face.

“Ah… well, no,” answered Fluffy, returning to the foreground with a conflicted expression.  

“Are you being obtuse?” I accused Fluffy. “This is an obvious prank. Nobody would follow this girl. She’s so… annoying.”

“Hey!” complained Iroha.

“So what’s the problem? Deny the nomination on some technical excuse. Problem solved,” I ordered.

“Well, there’s another issue. Nobody else has been nominated to run for Student Council President, and they had the correct number of signatures and got it validated by the council before the deadline to withdraw,” admitted Fluffy. Shiromeguri Meguri was playing stupid games with stupid prizes.

I thought something very rude about Haruno then. Yukino swatted me with her book this time, without me saying a work. This telepathy of hers is very annoying. She swatted me a second time.

“This is very simple. You can literally solve this by cancelling the nomination, but you won’t,” I confirmed.


“Did you study so hard you lost your sanity, Meguri-san?” I asked gently. “I realize that losing first place to me came as a shock, but this really doesn’t excuse your little prank. You’re still a very good student, and still the student council president. You do have the power to refuse such nonsense. So what is this really about?”

Fluffy-Meguri-sempai looked very directly to Yukino and stared in a slightly encouraging way. Ah… I see.

“You want Yukino to replace you,” I announced. “And this is your not-very-subtle attempt at social blackmail. Sensei, is this also something you prefer? It would mean the end of the Service Club.”

“I prefer to think of it as you graduating out of a small room and to running the school as full-fledged successful people with minions and lots of useless paperwork, social obligations, and an opportunity to learn advanced skills in manipulation,” sensei suggested smugly. I thought something rude about Haruno again. Yukino swatted me with her book once more. Yui looked perturbed at this action.

“I do not have much in the way of motivation to run the school, though it has certain advantages. Yukino, you have political ambitions?” I confirmed. She blushed but agreed to this.

“Did the summer events provide enough of a taste to get you interested?” I asked. Yui clutched my hand under the table. This small movement drew the eye of Iroha, looking somewhat mystified at the three of us. Her eyes narrowed in deduction. Yes, very annoying, this girl. I recall vaguely that her father is a police detective, a foreign one assigned to Chiba City. And she speaks French fluently, which shouldn’t be very useful in Japan but apparently runs into others who speak it, too. There are aspects of her backstory that are mysterious, and these mysteries are annoying.

“I… yes,” Yukino finally answered. I looked at her face directly, wondering if Haruno would cheer or threaten, and how this would also be a manipulation, another hard lesson on the nature of people, and possibly to protect this fragile girl from her naïve ambitions, and the filthy waters her family swam through. Tokyo Bay is a dirty place, and Chiba City is the source of a great deal of that filth. The politics of our city are far from clean. There are bribes, back channels, insider deals, illegal bids, crooked judges, hundreds of people with secrets to keep and big money behind them, and all of it gently massaged and organized with the help of the Yukinoshita seat on the Diet. Serving Chiba Prefecture by making it all run smoothly. This is the Big Leagues, or a step in that direction. I’d sometimes mentally compared Yukino to a princess in a tower, hiding in this sunny room, avoiding the hoi-polloi commoners. Why did sensei thrust me in here to stir things up? Was I meant to rescue her by challenging her comfortable fictions?

“Well, I suppose I can be your enforcer, when the male gaze is required to move things forward. I won’t get tattoos, though. And I’m not founding a gumi, no matter what that Shrimp Ebina keeps saying,” I warned.

“Does that mean Yukino gets to be the legal one after all?” teashed Meguri-sempai. I glared at her presumption. She tittered gaily. Yui’s hand tightened with worry at this brash accusation.

“Let’s get started on the paperwork. You can have a nice clean race and Iroha can gracefully lose to the rising star of Chiba politics,” decided Fluffy.

The actual election and speeches were not terribly complicated. It didn’t even take that much time away from studying. I learned a great deal about the election process in the real world, and made some assumptions I would need to confirm later regarding who actually runs the various business factions in Chiba. CIT is looking even better, in that light. It is closely linked between the heavy industry, military, and national interests. Todai is largely a distraction. CIT gets projects done. True, some of those projects were useless like Missile Trucks, but they also got the contracts to manufacture the Japanese Space Program rockets, for launch in JAXA facility in Tanegashima. Being this far north, launches cost extra fuel to maneuver into useful orbits, but being close to Japan, only 40 km south of Kyushu, shipping launch vehicles to the islands was considerably more easy than the distant Solomon Islands that a private company had been struggling to turn a profit on for decades. Their one success repairing satellites using high school girl astronauts had still run out of money, and the girls in question had grown up, gotten married, and moved on with their lives. I was getting distracted again.

The important thing is Yukino won the election, and she asked me to be their Vice President. Or president of Vice, as Ebina joked. I received notice that my application to CIT had been provisionally accepted, and if I passed the entrance exam at the appointed time, I would have a place there. Hard work doesn’t betray you.