The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
A new friendship is forged, no matter what Baku suspects. No winners yet.
A quick in-between before I announce the winner.
Chapter 31 - Chapter 32 - Chapter 33
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
32. The beginning of Zero's subplot
Zero was trodding the long path back to his room, his footsteps clomping heavily on the shag carpet. He was still weak; he knew all he needed was a good, long nap to recover, but each he took each step with dread, as if the pain would never go away.
“Would you just go?”
The words were soft and muffled, but clear enough to hear. They were coming from a door just a few feet away… it sounded like Bakunetsumaru.
“I-I-I don't know what to say-”
“That's never stopped you before!”
Zero's attention perked a little, waking him up a little more.
“Just get it over with!”
Aneko fell into the hallway, the obvious victim of a hard shove from her brother. She shot Baku a warning glare before noticing Zero… and blushed.
“Um, hi, um…” She put her hand on her knee and pushed herself up. Baku stepped into the hall and pushed Aneko towards Zero, undoubtably angry but doing it anyway. “Hi, um… I don't know your name, really…”
“It's Zero, m'lady.” On a compulsion, he held out his hand. He waited for her to take it, ready to kiss her fingers like any noble knight would.
Baku lightly slapped it away. “Don't make this harder, Zero.”
Zero chuckled at Baku's indignation, and his energy levels rose even higher. He was standing up straight again, which only scared the usually infallible Aneko even more.
“I, um, heard you talk, and, um…” Aneko rubbed her arm. “And, I, uh, really liked it. I can't, um… I can't talk like that.”
The compliment was thinly disguised, but it was still there. The knight smiled. “Thank you, Aneko.”
“Come on, you said it, let's go.” Baku grabbed Aneko's shoulders and began to push her away. She dug her heels into the ground.
“Let me go, octopus head! I was not done yet!”
“Yes you were!”
“You cannot tell me when I am done talking!”
“Yes! I! Can! Now come on-”
It would have erupted into a wrestling match if Zero did not push the siblings apart. “Bakunetsumaru, if she wasn't finished, she wasn't finished. Let her speak. Aneko?”
Aneko paused, twiddling her fingers. After a second, she knocked on her throat like a door and coughed. “I… want to be your friend, Zero-san. Would you let me?”
She held out her hand. Bakunetsumaru groaned and hung his head, sweat pouring from his brow. Zero smiled again and kicked himself into the air, taking Aneko's fingers. For a samurai, they were surprisingly dainty, and her hand felt very small in his.
“I would be honored, m'lady.”
With that, all of the nervousness melted away. Aneko's fierce and determined eyes sprang to the forefront, and she seemed to glow with an energy comparable to her brother's. “Whoo! That is a relief!”
She leaned sideways slightly. “Baku-kun, your friend has a wimpy handshake.”
Baku popped his head back up, shaking the sweat off. “I know, doesn't he?”
“You're supposed to grab my arm like a sword, Zero-san. Like this!”
Her hand was quickly gripping the pit of Zero's elbow. He winced in pain and grabbed the matching spot on Aneko as a reflex, and she gave his arm a quick tug before letting go.
She grinned approvingly and shook her head. “That is a handshake! Come on, Baku-kun, Charon-san is making more of that ma-cu-ro-ni stuff.”
The Gundamess turned on her heel and disappeared through the doorway. Zero rubbed his elbow softly, trying to soothe the pain. Baku took the knight by the shoulder and turned him towards him.
He only said three words. “I trust you.”
Nothing more needed to be said really. Zero tried not to laugh; it was actually quite cute how worried his was about his sisters. “I won't turn into Cobramaru on you, my friend.”
Baku sighed in relief. Zero slapped him on the back and ran for cover as roses began to bloom over Baku's shoulders.