Fall in Love
My master seems to know many women. They all stared at him like they haven’t eaten for days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as day where he wasn’t hit on. I even had a crush on him when we first started traveling together. But, he was quick to kill any hopes of that ever happening.
“You and I are not happening,” he said. “I hope you know that. You are cute and all, but you and I will never work. So please, put it out of your head.” He didn’t have to say it like that. I won’t lie to you, it hurt. The way he said it too harsh. Eventually, I got over it.
Still, more women are quite fond of my master. He just has this strange charm to him. I can’t quite figure it out myself. He looks like an average man. Mikado chain smokes. I rarely see him smile. He doesn’t interact with people. Sometimes, he will try and leave me behind. He doesn’t seem interested in the girls that hit on him. Oh, there guys that hit on him too. He just that popular.
“Why do they like you so much?” I asked in Meguro two years ago.
“They made me this way,” he said. I tilted my head.
“The people who turned you?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. The flash of rage in his eyes made me shiver. He looked out the window of the hotel room. That was my cue to stop asking questions again.
Still, more women fawn over my master. He stayed true to his word about us not becoming a thing. Not once has he ever made a pass at me. For the longest time, I believed that he would. Nobody wants to do anything for free.
“Not all of us are like that, you know?” Mikado reminded me three years ago. “There still good men out there.” I looked up at him, sneering.
“Why do you always have to hear my thoughts?” I asked. My master shrugged on the bed.
“That’s just how I am,” he said. He gets close to me without trying, but I can’t get close to him? I still don’t get how that one works.
Cheri called me for another job. It never ends. I seem to be the horse to deflower her virgin kittens. I got a call from the room.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Mikado-kun!” a raspy voice said on the other line. I frowned as I narrowed my eyes.
“What is it now, Cheri-san?” I asked. Even now, she still calls me to break in her kittens.
“I have a new kitty for you to play with,” she said. I rolled my eyes.
“I’m not the mood,” I said.
“Please?” Cheri-san asked. “This one is rather difficult to work with.”
“Oh? Attitude problems? Hates men?”
“Not really… It’s kind of hard to explain in words.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ll have to come and see for yourself.”
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Fine, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
I sighed as I stared at the phone. Even when I say no, she still manages to talk me into this. Heh, I guess there are still pieces of the old me around somewhere. It kind of makes me sad in a way.
I looked up when I heard my master sighing. Mikado frowned as he shook his head.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. He hung up the phone.
“I have to go out,” he said.
“What?” I asked. “Where are you going?” He rose to his feet and snubbed out his cigarette.
“Out, on a job,” he said. I narrowed my eyes.
“What kind of job?” I asked.
“Just a job,” he said.
“Somewhere you cannot go.”
“When are you coming back?”
“How long will it take?”
My master gave me a cold look and I drew my mouth closed with big eyes. Mikado sighed and rubbed his forehead.
“I will be back,” he said. My master turned and walked out of the hotel room. I sat on the bed. There he goes again. It’s just going to be Akira and me again.
I lay back on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
I am back here again. This is turning into more of an addiction than I care to admit. Still, I go to Purgatory. Sometimes, Cheri summons me. Sometimes, I go on my own.
I made it up to the front desk. Miiko smiled when she saw me.
“Good evening, Mikado-san!” she said. “So good to see you again.” I’ve known Miiko back from my days in Chou Mori. She, like the other women in Purgatory, are rather fond of me. Before my augmentations, Miiko just saw me as another living human who lingered between life and death during those experiments performed on me in Chou Mori. She didn’t hate me or adore me. In fact, she and Uzuki were pretty helpful. Now, Miiko seems to light up when she sees me.
“What brings you by tonight?” she asked.
“Cheri has another job for me,” I said. The words felt so bitter coming out of my mouth. Miiko had a dreamy look in her eyes. She’s not as aggressive as some of the other women that I’ve encountered in Purgatory and the Living World. But…
“You doing anything after this little job Cheri has you doing?” she asked.
“No…” I said with my eyes narrowed. Miiko broke into a huge grin.
“I’m free this evening,” she said.
“Right…” I said. She stood on my tiptoes and leaned in close to my ear.
“I’m not wearing any underwear today,” she whispered. My old self would’ve turned bright red. Now, I don’t even blink.
“Heh,” I said. Miiko pulled back and winked. I happened to look towards the hall and see a little girl poking her head out in the doorway. I smiled when I saw the little pink flowers in her wreath.
“Hello, Momoki-chan,” I said. Little Momoki-chan blushed and hid away. She another resident in Purgatory. I do visit her from time to time. She’s a sweet little girl once you get to know her. Momoki-chan turned and ran away. I wonder why she doesn’t come out and greet me. It’s not like this is the first time we’ve met. I’ve had several tea parties in her room. Crushes with little girls work in a strange way.
“Why don’t you just go to her?” Miiko spoke up.
“Hm?” I asked.
“Just go to her room and pay her a little visit,” she said. “She really wants to see you again.”
“I will keep that in mind,” I said.
“I really mean it. Just go and see Momoki-chan sometime.”
“I will, I will.” I rubbed the back of my head. “I’ll see her when I’m done on this job.” Miiko narrowed her eyes as she picked up the phone.
“I will hold you to it,” she said before turning her attention to the phone. I forced myself to as I chuckled in discomfort. She still tries to ride my ass on how I interact with these girls here. Come on now, I thought. Go easy on me. I do want to see you guys, it’s just…
Miiko put her hand on mine. I looked up to see her eyes locked on me.
“I understand,” she said in a low voice. “This whole thing isn’t your fault.”
“Oh,” I murmured. Miiko perked up again.
“Cheri-san will see you now!” she said.
“Thank you,” I said. I bowed and walked down the hall. I passed Momoki-chan on the way. She tried to stay hidden out of sight. I stopped and patted her on the head.
“I will come by and see you later, I promise,” I said. A smile spread across her little round face. Seeing her smile reminds me that I am not completely dead inside. Maybe I could get her and Akira-kun to play together some day. I drew back my hand and headed further down the hall.
As expected, Cheri sat in her chair, waiting for me. She flicked out her cigarette.
“You’re late,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “I’m here, aren’t I? What seems to be the problem?” Cheri sighed and rubbed her forehead.
“It’s this new girl, I have,” she said. “She keeps freezing everything in the room and the men as they try to sleep with her.”
“Freezing as in…?”
“Turning everything into ice. It’s a pain to defrost everything and clean it up afterwards. She’s costing me so much money. I had to call her Korihime because of her little problem.”
“Why did you take her in?”
“You know how I am. I had to take her in. She arrived here days ago after dying in Aoyama. She looked attractive enough for me to groom into one of my kittens.”
I tilted my head. “So, what are you asking me to do?”
“Isn’t obvious?” Cheri asked. “I want you to seduce her and see why she keep freezing people.”
“But won’t she freeze me too?” I asked.
“Not if you don’t try to sleep with her,” she said with a wink. “You’ll find her in the Blue Kitten room.” I rolled my eyes and took off my shoes. Cheri smirked as she snubbed out her cigarette.
“Good luck, Virgin Whisperer,” she said as I walked by. She smacked me on the ass and giggled. I gritted my teeth. Heh, Virgin Whisperer. I am really starting to hate that nickname.
Waiting in the hall to see me were Niki and some of the other kittens. They all crowded around to see me.
“Good evening!” a buxom blonde said as she twirled her curls between dainty fingers. I could see through her pink babydoll gown.
“Hello, Momo,” I said.
“Good evening!” a slender woman with long dark purple and black hair said. Her long white dress made her skin look paler.
“Hello, Fuyuko,” I said.
“Good evening, Mikado-kun,” a beauty long light brown hair dressed in a flowery kimono. The little flowers held back her hair in a ponytail.
“Hello, Choco,” I said.
“Good evening, Mikado!” a woman with long blonde hair and green eyes said. The green and white cocktail dress hugged the curves of her body like a needy little child.
“Hello, Rin,” I said.
“Good evening, cutie,” a woman with long blonde pigtails dressed in a pink and gold cheongsam. She twirled about when she saw me.
“Hello, Emi,” I said.
“Good evening!” a slender woman with long brown hair said. Her heavy chest looked ready to pop out of her pink gown.
“Hello, Maron,” I said.
“Good evening,” a woman with her long brown hair pinned up like a geisha’s. I could see through her seductive red “rope” dress.
“Hello, Masumi,” I said.
“Good evening, darling,” Niki said, blushing.
“Hello, Niki-chan,” I said. The kittens all crowded around me as I walked up to the Blue Kitten Room. I could hear the whispers behind me. When I turned around, they all looked at me with their thumbs-up.
“Good luck,” Rin whispered.
“Good luck,” the girls repeated. I nervously chuckled.
“Thank you for that,” I said. I opened the door and walked inside.
“Hello, I’m coming in,” I whispered. I slowly walked into the room. She lay on the bed glaring at me. I had to admit, she was pretty cute. Her skin looked so pale compared to her long black hair. The top of her blue dress was unbuttoned to reveal her black and gold satin bra. Her silver pendant necklace drew more attention to her breasts. Her dark, frozen eyes matched up to her pet name. She would’ve looked cuter if she smiled. She sneered and clicked her tongue at me.
“Oh, another one,” she said. “Did Mama send you to tame me or something?” I closed the door behind me.
“Yes,” I admitted.
“Figures,” she grumbled. She could already see where this was headed. She expected me to make her undress and spread her legs. I smiled and shook my head.
“I’m not going to have sex with you tonight,” I said. Korihime looked up at me with a strange look on her face.
“What?” she asked. I slowly approached the bed. I sat down in front of her.
“I’m not going to sleep with you tonight,” I repeated.
“You’re not?” she asked. I shook my head.
“So… what do you plan to do with me?” Korihime asked.
“Well, first,” I said. “I am going to give you a little kiss.” I leaned in and kissed her on the lips. I lingered there for ten seconds before pulling away. Korihime had such a confused look on her face. I don’t think she knew what to think.
“Now what?” she asked. I leaned back on the bed.
“Tell me about yourself,” I said.
“You’ve gained quite the reputation here. Why do you keep freezing your clients and everything around you?”
Korihime snorted. “What are you, my therapist now?”
“You’ve got me curious,” I said.
“Whatever,” she muttered. I lowered my eyes.
“I lost someone dear to me,” I said. “She was going to be my wife. Did you have someone close to you when you were human?”
“No,” she hissed.
“Well, that can’t be right. We all have someone that we were close to at one point.” I studied her face as I tried to get her to open up. Her lower lips trembled like she wanted to come out and say something. She may act all tough and cold, but she seems like a scared and vulnerable woman at her core.
“Do you want me to guess who it was?” I asked. “Was it a man or a woman?” Korihime gave me a cold side eye when I saw “man”.
“Man or woman?” I asked again.
“Man,” she muttered.
“I was really close to the woman I was in love with. She was the mother of my son, in fact.” I tried to shake Anri-chan out of my head. I needed to be focused on this job.
“You really miss her, do you?” I heard someone ask. I lifted my head. Korihime had a curious look on her face.
“Yes,” I said, sighing. Korihime crawled over to me on the bed.
“What was she like?” she asked.
“Really nice. Shy. Smart, timid but determined. Kind and has a strong moral code she holds herself and others to. Really pretty. Wants to be to others what she lacked.” My eyes started to well up with tears.
“Excuse me,” I said. I wiped away my tears. Korihime’s icy demeanor seemed to have softened.
“I had someone too,” she said. “He was older than me. I didn’t care about the gap between our ages. He didn’t treat me like a sex object. He treated me like a person.”
“Was he married?” I asked.
“He was trying to get divorced. He had already signed her name on the paper, but she wouldn’t sign.”
“Did you know that he was married?”
“Yes. He told me everything. He wasn’t in love with his wife anymore.”
“So why did you stay?”
Korihime shrugged and shook her head. “I don’t know. I guess because I felt something for him, I guess.” I looked and saw tears welling up in her eyes. The room began to feel slightly colder.
“Are you alright?” I asked. She didn’t respond. The room started getting colder. As if on instinct, I rushed forward and kissed her on the lips again. This time, I lingered there for fifteen seconds before pulling away. The room’s temperature returned to normal. Korihime gave me a blank stare.
“What did you do that for?” she asked. I put up my hands in a shrug.
“I just don’t like seeing girls crying,” I said. “Heh, oh dear.”
“What?” she asked. I looked her in the eye.
“I kissed you twice,” I said in a low voice. “If I have to kiss you again, I will have to see you again.” Korihime blinked at me.
“I don’t get it,” she said.
“Get what?” I asked. The new little kitten tilted her head.
“Who the hell are you?” she asked. I leaned back on the bed and shrugged.
“I’m just a lonely little virgin whisperer,” I said. Oh my, that just sounded so lame even coming out of my mouth. Korihime giggled.
“What?” I asked. She pressed her lips together as she tucked some of her hair behind her ear.
“That was so lame,” she said.
“Yeah,” I said. “Cheri gave me that dumb nickname and you can guess why.”
“You do this for all of the girls here?”
“Yeah.” I glanced up and noticed the intrigue in her eyes. I’ve seen this look before. She’s about to ask me many questions like Jessie does. I brace myself to shut her down when she was about to get close.
“Go on,” I said. “Spit it out.”
“Wha?” Korihime asked. I looked up at her.
“Get out all of the questions you want to ask about me,” I said. “You look like my companion does when she wants to ask questions about my life.”
“Your companion?” she asked. I waved her off.
“I’m not sleeping with her,” I said. “She’s like a daughter to me.”
“What’s she like?”
I rubbed the back of my head. “Damaged, like me. She stays by my son and I because she has nothing else. I rescued her from being raped six years ago.”
“What is it now?”
“Are you always recusing damaged women?”
“Not on purpose.”
“So, am I your latest pet project?”
“It’s not like that.”
“And this girl you loved. Did you try to save her too?”
I lowered my head. “I couldn’t.” I began to have memories Anri-chan before she died. She looked so pale and wasted away. She could barely speak above a whisper. The tubes in her arms made my stomach turn. She didn’t even get to hold Akira-kun one last time.
“Mikado… -kun…” she said hours before she died. I couldn’t be there when she died. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I had proposed to her before our son was born. Anri-chan didn’t give me an answer until they finally allowed me to see her.
“Yes,” she murmured.
“What?” I asked. Her face looked so sullen and her eyes so dead.
“I will marry you,” she said. It tore me up inside to hear her say that. I took her by her frail, boney hands.
“Yeah,” I said, nodding with tears in my eyes. “We’ll have a lavish wedding. We’ll invite my parents and all of our friends. You’ll look so beautiful in a wedding kimono…” The more I spoke, the more it stung in my chest. Every word that came out of my mouth sounded so hollow. I already saw what her future was. In three weeks’ time, Anri-chan wouldn’t make it. It hurt more when I saw the tears forming in her eyes too.
“Come on, don’t do that,” I said. “I can’t have you crying too. Please stop.” We couldn’t stop crying that day. I would be the last time that I would ever see her alive. She didn’t deserve to be used to death.
“Oi!” I heard back in reality. “You okay? Oi! Oi!” I looked up to see Korihime staring at me with a worried look on her face.
“Are you okay?” she asked. I don’t know why did what I did next. I rushed forward and kissed her on the lips again. She didn’t even push me off. I don’t know how long I kissed her that time. When I pulled away, I was panting. Korihime stared at me just as confused.
“What was that for?” she asked. I slowly shook my head.
“I don’t know,” I said. I quickly recovered as the gravity of the situation hit me. I sat back, smiling.
“I kissed you three times in one night,” I said. “It looks like I have to see you again.” I slid off of the bed.
“Wait, you’re leaving?” Korihime asked.
“Yes,” I said. “I think we are done for tonight. I have to get back to my son and my companion.” I walked over to the closed door. As I touched the door knob, I glanced over my shoulder.
“I will see you again like I promised,” I said. “Good night.” I turned and bowed before I left the room.
I found the other kittens standing around in the hallway with heated blankets in their hands.
“Oh, you didn’t freeze?” Rin asked.
“No,” I said, shaking my head.
“How did it go?” Niki-chan asked.
“It’s a start,” I said. “I’m going back now because I’m tired.” I walked past the kittens as they started asking more questions.
Cheri looked up when I walked back into the made part of her room.
“Well?” she asked. I lit up a cigarette and took a smoke.
“She’ll need work,” I said. Cheri leaned forward.
“So, can it be done?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “But, I am going back now. I’m tired for tonight.” I walked past Cheri, not making eye contact with her.
“Wait, so did you…?” she began to ask.
“No,” I said at the door. “We just talked. I did kiss her three times, though. I will have to see her again because of it.”
“What?” Cheri-san asked. I waved her off and walked out of the room. As promised, I stopped by Momoki’s room. I didn’t stay long, but I did read her to sleep with one of her favorite books. Heh, maybe I should just spend an evening in Purgatory just to visit her. There I go again, getting all soft. Well, what do you know? There are still pieces of my former self still lying around. He’s not still not dead after all.
I looked up when I heard the door open. My master leaned against the doorframe.
“Oh, you’re back,” I said.
“Yeah,” he said.
“Did you finish work?”
“How was it?”
He sighed and dropped his shoulders. “Okay. I’m not done. I will be back later. This job will probably take many sessions. Right now, I’m just tired.” Mikado walked over to the bed and laid down beside Akira-kun who was sound asleep. I sat there, blinking.
“Okay then…” I muttered. I leaned back in my chair. Where will we be going next? I have learned not to ask questions and just follow wherever the boys go.