Glad you like it! I think it makes more sense that people might realize at first. Hopefully, I'll do a good job of showing that through the story, but at some point I'll probably post my own OOC thought process about it as well.
Chapter 7: Rescue
Misha heard a strangely familiar voice as she approached the Student Council room. The door was ajar, which was odd—Shizune’s sense of neatness would never allow such a thing. Pushing the door fully open so she could enter, she found herself completely confounded by the situation that confronted her. Misha recognized the owner of the voice, who was standing on one side of the room yelling at Shizune and gesticulating wildly: what was his name? Kanzi Satou? That couldn’t be right, he wasn’t related to Lilly... in her head she just called him “scarf boy” anyways.
“Give it up, she-devil! The silent treatment isn’t gonna get you out of this. I know all your tricks! I’ve trained for YEARS for this moment!” scarf boy proclaimed.
Shizune was not taking such wild behavior quietly, metaphorically speaking. She stood on the other side of the room wearing a death stare and a fierce scowl even by her standards. Her own gestures nearly matched the intruder’s in frequency and vigor, arms moving with cold precision in contrast to his random flailing. There was no way he had any idea what Shizune was saying, which was probably for the best, as her frustration drove her to call him some pretty vulgar things.
“You can’t hypnotize me with those arm movements! My mind is protected by these state-of-the-art scrambling goggles!” scarf boy said, holding his thick glasses by the frames to indicate that they were the “scrambling goggles.” Shizune seemed to interpret this as a mockery of her own trademark gesture, further fueling her own anger. Both combatants were too engrossed in the conflict to notice Misha, who watched dumbfounded for a bit longer than she probably should have, entranced by the absurdity of it. If this were happening to anyone but Shizune at any other time but this, she’d be on the floor rolling with laughter already.
“The tyranny of the Student Council ends today! I, Kenji Setou, will finally have my revenge!” he said, pointing at Shizune while striking a dramatic pose. “I’ve picked you all off one by one, biding my time carefully, until it’s finally come down to this final confrontation. When I saw your recruitment propaganda, I knew you must be getting desperate!”
Seeing him point to the RISK adverts, Shizune seized upon this as a possible way to get through to whatever he was trying to tell her, picking one up and offering it to him in hopes that it would make him go away.
“Aha! Raising the white flag already? I won’t fall for such an obvious trap!” Kenji said, swatting the poster onto the ground. “I know what those things really are—subliminal messaging! They represent your feminist hordes overrunning the school! That’s why I had to sabotage them!”
Shizune did not react well to the rejection of her offer, looking nearly ready to slap Kenji. She settled for making a rude gesture at him instead, one which anyone could understand without needing to know sign language. Out of all the things she’d done, this one somehow drew no reaction from her opponent; whether he was truly unfazed or simply couldn’t see it was anyone’s guess. This exchange finally snapped Misha into action. She charged into the fray, taking up her translator’s position between Shizune and Kenji.
“Hey, hey, hey~! What do you think you’re doing?! That was you that wrote on our poster?” Misha asked, jabbing an accusatory finger of her own at Kenji. He jumped back at her sudden appearance with a yelp like a frightened little girl but quickly seemed to regain his composure (or what passed for composure with him).
“Jeez, an ambush! Spreading rumors to the whole school that you quit, just to lure me into this trap?! You feminists are darn crafty, I’ll give you that. So—” Kenji paused to strike an over-exaggerated crane stance out of some old kung-fu movie, wobbling as he barely managed to hold it “—I’ll just have to take you BOTH on! C’mon, bring it! Yahh, woo, haha, kachow—oof!!”
His “fighting moves” ended abruptly as Misha marched up to him and brought an open hand down on his head, fairly hard.
“Stop being a doofus~!” she commanded, stance wide with hands on her hips. “That’s enough horsing around. Don’t you see you’re upsetting Shicchan?”
Kenji’s antics faded away instantly, arms dropping limply to his sides. He looked at Misha like a computer trying to reboot.
“Now~! The president’s translator is here, so she will hear you now. And~! Then you will have to pay a fine for vulgarizing Student Council property~!”
Misha turned to Shizune next. Both were too concerned by the immediate problem to address her return, not while there was a lunatic still standing in their Student Council room. Even with that hanging in the air they fell seamlessly into their speaker-and-translator pattern, the routine coming back as naturally as riding a bike.
“Shicchan says… Who are you, and what excuse do you have for such shameful behavior?”
“Well, uhh, I… I’m here to overthrow the Student Council?” Kenji asked, as if trying to remind himself what he was doing. “Yeah, that’s right. Don’t try to distract me! I’m here to end your reign of terror once and for all!”
“Okay, okay, okay, slow down~! Let Shicchan talk before you get carried away again!”
[He says he’s here to overthrow the Student Council?]
Shizune’s anger faded for a moment as she tried to wrap her head around this. She repeated the signs to make sure Misha had translated right, then stood dumbfounded for a moment, truly thrown for a loop by such audacity. Once the statement fully sunk in, a familiar spark came to her eye, amusement replacing anger.
“Is that so~? Well~! Shicchan says, you can’t overthrow the Student Council unless you make another one to replace it! Have you done that?”
Misha beamed expectantly at Kenji.
“Um… no… drat! I hadn’t even thought of that!”
“Wahaha~! That’s right, that’s right. Every school needs a Student Council. If you can’t do better, then you have no right to complain~! If you want to overthrow Shicchan, you’d have to vote her out in a fair election. But~! Only members of the Student Council can vote for the council president! And you’re not in the Student Council, sooooo…”
“Gahh! You feminists might have won this battle, but I’ll still win the war. I have all the time I need. All the time in the WORLD!” Kenji said, looking to the heavens with his final statement.
Then he made a break for the door. Misha was ready, throwing herself in the way before he could touch the knob.
“Excuse me~! Where do you think you’re going? You haven’t paid your fine yet!”
“What fine?! This is extortion. You can’t do this to me! I’m a sovereign citizen, dammit!”
“Watch your language in the presence of the Student Council, young man! You owe us, hmmmm…”
[…Shicchan, what should the fine be?]
[Something weird. Just to annoy him. How about 369 yen?]
“You owe us three hundred and sixty-nine yen for the poster you disgraced. Pay up, bucko~!” Misha demanded, planting herself firm.
“Sheesh! Fine, fine. Take your ill-gotten cash! This is a strategic retreat, you hear me? A necessary sacrifice!”
After fishing around in his pockets and handing over what appeared to be all the money he had on him—more than twice the amount requested—Kenji was allowed to leave, but his voice echoed back down the hall as he walked away.
“This isn’t over, feminist harpies! You’ve only postponed the inevitable!”
As soon as he was gone Shizune doubled over in silent shaking, unable to contain her laughter any longer. Misha gave it sound to match.
[What was all of that about, Shicchan?]
[How would I know? He just showed up and started yelling at me!]
[Even if he knew sign language, I’m pretty sure he’s in the vision-impaired class. Why were you making signs at him?]
[I tried to give him a note to write with but he ran away from it like it was poisonous and kept yelling. So then I started to get angry and just yelled back.]
“Ahaha~! What a funny boy!”
[I thought Yamaku didn’t accept mentally disabled, but maybe that was just a rumor.] Shizune said.
[Shicchan! That’s mean… but maybe you are right, maybe!]
Things lapsed into the sort of silence that came all too easily with sign language. Neither one of them knew what to say from here. Misha began to hum as a distraction but it wasn’t much help. She couldn’t bring herself to look straight at Shizune, glancing around at various objects in the room instead. She realized that now she knew exactly how Hanako must feel before fleeing from a social situation. It was sounding like a better and better option as the seconds dragged on.
Shizune’s finger entered her field of vision and tapped her on the knee.
[You came back.] Shizune said. [I’m glad.] she continued, smiling.
Seeing her smile lifted a considerable weight off of Misha’s shoulders. She gave a measured smile of her own in return.
[Yep. I came back.]
[Why wouldn’t you answer your door?]
[That was you who was knocking?]
[Yes. Who else would it be?]
[I don’t know, Shicchan. I just didn’t think…]
[The lights were always off in your room so I didn’t know if you were ignoring me or actually hiding somewhere else. I was worried.]
[Why did you keep looking for me?]
Shizune looked hurt by the question.
[Because you’re my friend.]
Shizune’s hands shot up and took hold of Misha’s wrists, stopping her from finishing the signs. Carefully, she lowered Misha’s hands back down, folding her own over them for a moment.
[You’re my friend, Misha.] Shizune repeated. [That’s all there is. That’s all that matters to me.]
[You’re too nice to me, Shicchan. I’m sorry I left you without a translator. I didn’t think about how much trouble I put you through…]
Shizune gave Misha a stern look.
[No talking like that. You’re here now—that’s what matters. You came back. You made a promise to me, remember? You promised that you would be my vice president. I think… I would like it very much if you could keep that promise.]
[You’re right, Shicchan. I did promise. Okay, I’ll be the vice president, just like I said.]
Misha’s expression lifted slightly.
[I don’t just want it because you promised, or because I need a vice president, or because I need a translator, okay? I want my friend back.]
[I want that too, Shicchan. I don’t want… I just want to go back. Can we start over?]
[I hope we already have.]
[Okay then. Okay! It’s decided!]
Misha suddenly jumped up onto a nearby desk and pointed a finger dramatically into the air, mirroring the commander’s pose she had used in some of her RISK illustrations.
“Shicchan! Let’s work hard so that Setou and everyone else knows to take the Student Council seriously ag—whoa-hoaa!!”
She began to lose her balance and half-fell, half-jumped back down to the floor, only just managing to stay on her feet. Shizune tried half-heartedly to rebuke her for improper treatment of council property but was laughing too hard to finish the signs.
[That Kenji boy. We’ll show him not to mess with us! If he tries something again, we’ll say, the fine just got a hundred yen higher!] Shizune said.
[Oh! I’m hungry! Can we get takeout? I’ll pay!]
[That sounds good. You’re not paying, though.]
Shizune indicated the scattered collection of currency they had confiscated from Kenji.
Student Council work had piled up quite significantly in Misha’s absence. Between playing catch-up and eating Kenji’s takeout, she spent a lot of time in the council room that evening. She even agreed to play Shizune in another game of RISK before leaving, although Shizune couldn’t even finish the set-up before Misha declared that the official rules were boring and that she would make her own. Her “rules” seemed to consist of arbitrarily pushing pieces around or smashing them together while saying dramatic things, then declaring that she was victorious with a mighty “Wahaha!” It was already dark outside by that point, so Shizune decided to simply concede rule of the world over to Misha and call it a day.
Misha returned to her room tired but happy, feeling like she could breathe clearly for the first time this week. She had planned on flopping straight into bed but a little scrap of paper stood in her way, apparently having been slipped under the door sometime during the day.
Do you want to hang out in the library again tomorrow?
Misha turned the note over and nearly put her pen’s tip to its surface before she paused and frowned, remembering: she had promised Shizune that they would catch up on the rest of their council work tomorrow. It was definitely going to take up her whole evening. That was unfortunate…
I’m sorry, Hacchan, but I have Student Council tomorrow! We’ll do it again some time though. For sure!
Chapter 6 | Chapter 8