Sitting in the arcade with all the lit screens behind her, the diminutive pink haired girl in the Shishiku boy’s school uniform recalls, “Once Rintarou called me out on the rooftop, I knew my secret couldn’t be kept for long. Not after what he said, with my friends hovering over me asking what was wrong.
Now I see that he was forcing my hand. He knew they’d be with me.
What he didn't know was that Hikaru had secretly had a DNA test done and confirmed we were twins, then asked his father about it. So I know I’m an Onigashima by blood.
But still my deception posing as my twin, Hikaru Onigashima, weighed heavily on me every time I saw my friends.”
“Totomaru? Konparu-kun?” Big violet eyes quickly squeezed tight as her friends came in closer.
“Hikaru, what went down there? Did he just beat you, man?” her bestie asked, with hope in his voice that it didn’t just happen.
“N..No. It’s support, I think. But I need to be sure.” She takes a thought cleansing breath to steady her nerves. “He was my Nii-chan when I was little. We adopted each other, because I was alone then. That was so long ago - I didn’t realize it was him...”
“But..” Konparu interrupts and demands as he and Totomaru assist her up, “he got to you somehow. What did he mean? What was that name?”
Biting her lip for a moment, she realizes there’s no cover up good enough at this point. Gathering her nerves, she lets go of their helping hands and stands clenching her fists at her sides. A bare whisper is all she can manage. “Because he knows who I am and what I’ve hidden.”
Konparu crosses his arms bracing himself, but Totomaru - the loyal puppy that he is - puts a hand on her shoulder and insists it’s gonna be ok, “We’re dachi*. Come on Hikaru. Just spill it so we can move on!”
Gulping, she realizes Totomaru will be the one most shocked. “Well… you see..” She feels their eyes intent on her and almost chickens out. “I just found out I’m an Onigashima. Hikaru’s twin.”
A skeptical eyebrow raises on Konparu’s otherwise passive face.
“That wasn’t so bad. So you’re his brother. So what?” Totomaru slaps his dachi on the back.
Her head hangs, “There’s more…”
“And it’s a doozy…” Konparu deduces.
She nods and forges ahead, her voice just a tad louder than the wind around them. “I’m sorry! My name is really Nakayama… Hinako. I’m so, so, so sorry!”
“See? No prob! You’re his brother.” Totomaru, just wanting the best for his friend, gleefully pipes up, but gets a slap upside the head from his green haired friend.
Konparu scolds under his breath so it doesn’t carry in the wind, “Dumb ass! For being so book smart, you really have no common sense! Hinako is a girl’s name!”
Mid rub of his head, Totomaru’s eyes go wide and he blinks. In a flash of anger he shakes her and shouts - the pitch of his voice rising, “Shit! That means when you fought me, you were a g…” He leaves off in a string of swear words and turns around to vent.
Another nod from her. She wraps her arms around herself protectively and chides inside her head. ‘Get a hold of yourself. Boys don’t cry, and you can’t let the mask down here at school.’
Totomaru is still dealing with the fact that he got beat by a girl, when Konparu purses his lips in concentration as he slides the last piece into the puzzle, “So you and Hikaru traded places. And you chose to attend the most notorious fight school in the country. Do you realize how bad it could be if ...” He leaves off, not wanting to think about what a school of punks and delinquents would do if they found out.
That gets Totomaru’s attention and he whips back around then wipes his hand over his face, “Geeze la-weeze, this is so damn messed up.”
“Three of us at school know. It can’t get beyond that,” Konparu states matter-of-factly as he shoves his hands into his pockets. “And I need some time to deal with this. Minowa, you stay to watch over he….the problem child.” He stomps off. Growling and mumbling under his breath about ‘damned weak girls’, he slams his fist into the wall as he goes by then shakes it out and keeps going.
Hinako just watches him go.
Running his hands through his hair, Totomaru sighs and leans against the fence. “So where do we go from here, dachi?”
Her eyes dart to him in surprise and hope.
Resigned he admits, “Yeah, I meant it when I said I’d follow you. I’ll adjust to the truth. And Konparu will too.”
The next day, Hinako steels her nerves and hunts Rintarou down.
“Kira-Senpai! I need you to hear me out! Please!” she hollers in her most commanding voice.
He won’t face her, but his head turns and she sees his raised eyebrow.
Pointing with one hand, she drops her bag with the other. “It was because of you that I trained and pushed myself so hard! I didn’t come here to be protected! I came here to fight you!” **
Tsking, he crosses his arms. “You don’t have anything to prove. I’ve been watching over you.”
“Didn’t you hear what I said? I can take care of myself, now! Fight me!” She issues the challenge again.
Waving her off, he continues down the hall, “Baka. I’m on your side already.”
Joy filling her heart, she bows quickly. “Onii-chan... thank you. I always wondered where you went after you left.”