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The Weakest Link (Part 5: Yuri)

Yukan Club
The Weakest Link
Part 5, Yuri

 

She’d voted him “Most likely to be married in a wedding dress.” There were solid reasons for this. The first one being, Noriko, come hell or high water, would have a shrine wedding. Karen, if she had her way, would have a Western ceremony, but would hardly settle for a color as plain as white, if she were to avoid a kimono. (In fact, she was likely to wear different dresses to the wedding, the reception and the after-party, and none of them needed to be white.) Yuri, if she married, would marry for food, and would want to wear casual clothes she could fully enjoy her buffet in. That is, if she got her way; her father would give her a Shinto wedding, her mother would book the Vatican and by the time they were done arguing, either the wedding would be off or she would elope and get married in Vegas in an Elvis costume. Seishiro and Miroku would wear suits- (Although Miroku had proven to have odd tastes when it came to formal wear,) but Bido... with Bido, one could never be sure.

If he didn’t show up in a dress, Yuri was confident, his suit would at least be bright pink.

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She remembered the days when Seishiro was tiny and weak. Vaguely, in passing. Yuri never remembered anything for too long. She remembered beating him up, all in fun (she was a bored child) and Noriko coming to the rescue. Noriko’s slaps hurt just as much back then as they did now.

She remembered the day the Student Union, the Yukan Club, was formed, and the shady looks they had all given each other. Though, Miroku, Bido and Karen almost passed under her notice, so surprised was she to see Seishiro and Noriko there. They, in turn, were not pleased with the development either.

Not that they still held grudges against each other, (as far as the girls went, no one could truly be sure about Seishiro,) but when the history exists, and six bored people with unlimited resources are in a room... well, now and then, things got out of hand.

So she and Miroku invented the Rock Club, to be renamed the Music Club, renamed the Guitar Club, and eventually became the two of them attempting to actually find the will and drive to play something. Meanwhile, Bido and Karen started ballroom dancing, showing slight promise, and Seishiro and Noriko took up games like chess, and go, and shogi. In the end, they didn’t have to talk to each other if they didn’t want to.

(Although Seishiro and Noriko tended to have icy moments where they were frosty to each other for days, and Karen and Bido fought tremendously and she and Miroku had arguments involving food and expensive musical equipment, but these hardly made life exiting.)

Then came Jenga. Who knew they all had something in common?

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She liked to eat. Bido liked... not eating with Yuri. But he was fun to tease, so she grew to like his presence. It was fun to toss her used wrappers at him and ask him to put them in the trash for her, and watch his appalled face, offended that anyone would imply he’d ever be anywhere near garbage. It was hilarious to stuff her mouth full of food, then go leach herself to his arm while he was trying to flirt with a girl. She’d driven off many a high class lady that way. Even Seishiro agreed that her antics were humorous- he didn’t try to stop her, anyway.

There was always something to tease him about. It was so easy, and the others were so much harder to poke fun at. Moreover, they usually got angry about it. Bido was never angry for long. Sure, he hated actually being teased, and usually whined and contradicted and generally pouted until the subject changed, but he never held a grudge about it. It was safe to tease him. He teased her back of course, but it was always playful, nothing like Seishiro’s put-downs that left her cross and with less of an appetite.

“Well it’s your fault!”

“Don’t talk to me like that, you playboy!”

“Don’t call me a playboy!”

“Narcissist!”

“Over-eater!”

And so on, it continued. It was a fun existence.

But there was never anything substantial to it. She and Bido were superficial, as was every one and every thing in the Student Union, and their relationship was one dimensional. (Occasionally, she would push too far and feel pricklings of something painful that might be guilt, and sometimes he would yell at her and she'd feel pricklings of something that might be a hurt feeling but it always went away quickly. Went away, left to simmer on low heat and only be noticed in those rare moments where she had nothing to do and wasn't bored by it.)

Until the one day they were able to share something together.

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She spent time with all the club members, but the ones directly in front of her were usually Miroku and Seishiro. Sometimes she socialized with the girls, yes, but often Noriko and Karen seemed embarrassed by her. Bido was often preoccupied with his own reflection, so the other two boys shared most of Yuri's attention.

But, when someone was missing, whether it be Bido, Noriko or Karen, Yuri felt the loss acutely, whatever Seishiro might say to the contrary.

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She sometimes wondered what life would be like if one of them weren't around. If one of them moved away. Got married. Got arrested. If one of them were kidnapped or missing. Or shot.

She'd had a lot of opportunities to think of things like that, recently.

What if Noriko fell in love and got a steady boyfriend? Would she hang around the Yukan Club less, or bring the boy along? Would she and Seishiro continue to hold their positions in the Student Union if they were married and running Kenbishi Corporation?

If she or Bido were shot in the clubroom, would they be missed?

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Waiting to be interrogated, they were hesitant to talk to each other. Mostly because they couldn't form words to what had happened. Not that they actually believed Miroku wanted them dead, not really. Not really. Miroku had looked as shocked and scared as them. Like he was about to launch into one of his barely concealed fits of tears.

Yet, it was in the short time it took to incarcerate Miroku and have themselves carted off to the police station as witnesses that they realized that Miroku had never said he didn't meant to hurt them. And slowly, Yuri realized that there were a lot of things between her friends that never went said.

Never needed to be said, they had always assumed, until the moment came where there was no opportunity to say anything.

Suddenly, Yuri was aware of all the opportunities that had gone by, where she had thought to say something that someone needed to hear, but passed. Because she couldn't be bothered. It would have been too troublesome.

Thinking of that, it began to look as if their lives really were as pathetic as everyone accused.

“Hey,” she said aloud, wanting at least one person to hear something she should have said. Something he had probably never heard from her, or any other member of Yukan Club. “I'm glad you're all right.”

Because if their clubroom disappeared, and they all went to college, and Miroku accidentally shot a few of them, it would be far too late to say what needed to be said.

“You, too.” Bido's smile seemed more genuine than usual. “You promised to go to my college, remember? Can't go without you.” There were very few things Bido could do without help from a member of Yukan Club, but Yuri didn't say that. Instead, she smiled that she was the one who could be with him this time, and for a moment, she felt like the members of the Student Union were the kind of friends they should have been all along.

 

 

 

 

 

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