[FFML] [fanfic][lime][Yotsuba&!] Pretty Neighbor 2nd Visit, Chapter 19: Yotsuba & Yotsublog
mythrilmoth at sbcglobal.net
Mon Sep 5 13:37:56 PDT 2011
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I'll be honest. I've never actually sat on a website in the
process of going viral and watched the hourly hit spikes. So I'm blatantly
pulling numbers out of my ass here. If anyone has experience with website
popularity spikes and can conjure up more logical numbers, I would highly
appreciate it. All the numbers in use at present are just placeholders until
I can plug in something that makes more sense.
YOTSUBA & YOTSUBLOG
by Mythril Moth
based on Yotsuba&! by Azuma Kiyohiko
subsequently based on the "Pretty Neighbor" Yotsuba& doujinshi series
no permission asked or given
"Hey. Look. It's her."
"You know, HER. Look to the left."
"...holy shit she's REAL?"
"That must mean all that stuff..."
"Oh my GOD, that poor child..."
"Should we do something?"
"What could we do?"
"Take her home with us so she'd be away from all that?"
"We can't do that, it's called kidnapping!"
"Oh, like what she lives with every day is any better."
"Hey, check it out! She really exists!"
"Holy crap. I'd hate to be that poor kid."
"I'd hate to be that poor kid's dad."
"I'd hate to be their neighbors."
"You poor, dear child," a chunky middle-aged woman said, leaning down and
patting her on the head. "I hope things get better for you."
Yotsuba blinked at the strange lady.
A girl around Fuuka's age walked briskly up to her and crouched beside her.
"Don't worry, Yotsuba-chan, everything's gonna be fine. We'll get you out of
that hellhole if it's the last thing we do."
"Huh? I'm in a hellhole?" Yotsuba asked.
The girl burst into tears and ran back to her friends, who gave Yotsuba
pitying glances before guiltily shuffling away.
"...I ain't in any hole," Yotsuba decided, looking down at her feet and
seeing a complete lack of any kind of hole. "Oh well, donmai!"
"Hey, look, it's Yotsuba-chan!" someone called. She looked up and saw a
pretty lady with glasses and another pretty lady with short black hair.
"Hey, Yotsu--ah! Look! She's waving back at us! How cute!"
"Yotsuba-chan?" another strange lady said from behind her. When she turned,
the lady who looked about the same age as Fuuka's mom knelt down and handed
her some money. "Here. I know this won't make up for what you have to deal
with, but...you can at least try to buy something that'll make you happy."
Yotsuba looked down and saw a crisp 5,000 yen note in her hand. "Uooh!" she
cried. "I can have this?"
"You certainly may, dear."
"Thank you, strange lady!" Giggling, she ran through the streets with her
All day long it was like this: total strangers would come up to her with
words of wisdom, wishes for her life to get better, and gifts like ice
cream, candy, and money. And so many people knew her name! She wondered how
she got so well-known so fast.
After accepting a free tray of fresh, hot dango and a cool, refreshing root
beer to wash it down with, she was starting to get full and tired, so she
decided to go home. Mommy and Daddy would be soooooooo happy she had so many
"Mommy, Daddy, I'm home!"
"Welcome home, Yotsuba-chan!" Mommy called back. "Daddy isn't home, he had
to go drop off some stuff for work."
"Awww. I wanted to tell him about all the new friends I made today," Yotsuba
pouted, kicking out of her shoes.
"Hm? What new friends?" Mommy asked.
"It's so funny, Mommy!" Yotsuba said. "All day long people I don't know kept
coming up to me saying nice stuff and saying they feel sorry for me and
giving me stuff like candy and money! Lookit!"
Mommy blinked. "You...people just came up to you and gave you stuff?"
"None of them asked you to go anywhere with them or get in a car?" Mommy
asked, growing alarmed.
"Nuh-uh. They just said they hope things can get better." Yotsuba tilted her
head. "Are things bad?"
"Things aren't great, but they're not THAT bad," Mommy said.
"But it's pretty funny so many people know my name," Yotsuba said.
"Yes...yes it is..." Mommy sat down in the living room, looking lost and
"I'm home," Koiwai called. It took him a second to realize Ena was stepping
into her shoes just as he was stepping out of his.
"Hey Oniichan," she said. "I gotta go pick up dinner for everyone."
Koiwai blinked. "Eh? Fuuka-chan sick or something?"
"Oneechan's been in kind of a funny mood all day," Ena said, shrugging. "I
don't think she's sick, just...distracted, maybe? So anyway, I told her not
to bother cooking, we can afford to grab something and bring it home just
"Ah...okay." He frowned. "I'll go check on her."
"Whatcha want for dinner, then?" Ena asked.
"Doesn't matter," he replied. "Whatever you girls like is fine by me." He
paused. "That's not carte blanche to buy cake for dinner."
Ena stuck her tongue out at him and left.
A quick search turned up Fuuka in the TV room, not so much watching some
stupid variety show as distractedly ignoring it. "Fuuka-chan, you okay?" he
"Kotashi!" Fuuka jumped in surprise. "Didn't hear you come in..." She
"It's okay. I ran into Ena-chan on the way out. She said you're kind of out
of it today. Is something wrong?"
"Well, I'm pregnant, but that's not what's bothering me," Fuuka replied with
a sigh. "I'm just worried about Yotsuba-chan. She had a really, really
"Wait, wait, back up," Koiwai said. "You're WHAT?!"
Fuuka rolled her eyes. "Really, THIS surprises you?" She shrugged. "I mean,
come on." She smirked. "Or in. Which you do. Frequently."
Koiwai stared at her. "Fuuka...why are you joking so lightly about something
"Because it honestly doesn't bother me as much as what went on with
Yotsuba-chan today," Fuuka said. "She says a whole lot of people seem to
know her name all of a sudden, and all day long people kept saying kind
things to her and giving her stuff. She's actually buying dinner for
everyone tonight. She came home with damn near 20,000 yen."
"HUH?!" Koiwai spluttered.
"I have no idea what to make of it. Nobody tried to abduct or molest her.
I've been asking her about it all day and she told me the same thing. People
would call out her name, wave to her, walk up to her, say encouraging things
to her, give her stuff, smile at her, tell her to hang in there..." She
sighed. "It's just...on the one hand, it sounds harmless enough, but..."
"No, there's absolutely nothing harmless about any of that," Koiwai said,
frowning. "In fact that actually kind of bothers the hell out of me and now
I see why you're more worried about that than..." He trailed off. "You're
"Yep. I haven't started throwing up or anything yet, but I used both strips
in the test kit and got the same results, so I'm pretty sure." She smiled.
"Our little family's getting bigger."
Koiwai sat down next to her and wrapped an arm around her. "Well, honestly,
the timing sucks, but..."
"Yeah, it kinda does..."
"But who cares? Our first child that's 100% you and me!" He paused. "Not
that I'm saying this baby will mean more to me than Yotsuba, it's just...you
"I think I'm gonna go talk to Yotsuba for a bit. Just about the stuff that
happened today. You okay?"
Fuuka rolled her eyes. "I'm fine, Kotashi. Go talk to Yotsuba-chan."
It had been pretty much exactly as Fuuka had said; Yotsuba was happy she'd
made a whole bunch of "new friends", but none of them had said anything
particularly alarming or disturbing, other than generally wishing her well.
"Oh, but one girl did say something about me bein' in a hellhole," Yotsuba
said with a sudden flash of memory. "That was funny, cuz I wasn't standin'
in any kind of a hole. What's a hellhole?"
Koiwai twitched. "Trust me, there aren't any hellholes around here."
"Oh. That's good, then."
"And you didn't recognize any of these people? At all?"
"Nope. Not one of 'em. I mean a couple of 'em might've been from Mommy's
school, but..." Yotsuba shook her head. "Nope, nobody I knew at all."
Koiwai scratched his chin. "Well, I think you need to be extra-careful if
you go out from now on. Just to be sure. I'd really rather you not go out
alone for a while, either."
"Aww," Yotsuba pouted.
"I'm sorry, but it's just kind of creepy when something like that happens."
He rubbed his daughter's head fondly. "But I bet Mommy's gonna tell everyone
something good at dinner!"
"Something good?" Yotsuba asked.
"Something really good."
Miura had finished up for the day just as Ena had left, and the two had gone
together to pick up dinner. Inwardly, Ena was relieved; she didn't like the
idea of carrying dinner for five halfway across town without help.
They'd decided to get everyone hamburgers from the town's fake McDonald's.
They chatted lightly on the way home, content to be in one another's company
on a warm but not overly hot evening.
As they neared home, Ena saw something that made her slow down, frowning.
"Hm?" Miura asked.
"It's those two ladies. The ones that were gossiping out here that day..."
"The day Neesan got stuck in the window?"
They drew slowly nearer, careful not to attract attention to themselves. And
once they were in earshot...
"And to think something like THAT was going on right here on our street!"
"I know, isn't it a disgrace? Shouldn't we have the neighborhood committee
look into it?"
"Really, I never knew Fuuka-chan was such a completely wicked little..."
"She always seemed like such a nice girl, so honest and forthright and
responsible. Who could have guessed she was that kind of a harlot?"
"Yes, isn't it just terrible? It's so terrible. I'm honestly afraid to live
here now, knowing what kind of deviants--"
"*AHEM*," Ena cleared her throat very loudly and very pointedly. Extreme
anger was painted on her face.
The two ladies jerked back in shock. "Ah...Ena-chan!" one of them greeted
weakly. "And just how long have you been standing--"
"Standing here listening to you old bitches call my sister a dirty slut?"
Ena asked archly. "Long enough."
"Such LANGUAGE!" the second lady gasped, clutching at her heart. "But I
suppose you can't be blamed for that...I feel sorry for you too, getting
caught up in all that..."
"Caught in all *what*, exactly?" Ena asked frostily.
"Ah, well, you know..."
"No, I don't. Enlighten me."
"Better idea," Miura spoke up. "Get the fuck off our block and stop talking
shit about our family."
"Nasty little lesbian freak," the second old lady spat. Highly offended, the
two of them stalked off.
"...okay what the hell just happened?" Miura asked.
"I don't know, but...we'd better tell Oneesan. Fast."
Fuuka was red-faced with both humiliation and anger. "Those...busybodying
"How the hell did they KNOW about that?" Koiwai asked. "I mean okay to
anyone who doesn't have a nest of mice living in their crotch, it was
probably pretty obvious what was going on, but those old bats..."
"They also said they feel sorry for me too, and they were just plain NASTY
to Miura-chan," Ena said. She shook her head. "This...this doesn't make
"Yeah, between the weird day Yotsuba-chan had and now this..." Fuuka sighed.
"I think I'd better hold off on my news."
"No," Koiwai said. "In fact, the sooner you get it out in the open, the
better. We're not letting other people run our lives, Fuuka-chan."
"Yeah, you're right."
"What news?" Ena asked.
"I'll tell you when we're all at the table. For now, just go lay out the
food so we can all sit down and eat."
"Yay, hamburgers!" Yotsuba cheered, noisily unwrapping hers and messily
starting to eat, getting ketchup all over her face.
"Itadakimasu!" everyone else chorused before digging in at a more sedate
"So, Oneechan, what was it you were gonna tell everyone?" Ena asked.
"I'm pregnant," Fuuka said.
"Wow, that took longer than I expected," Miura said with absolutely no
"I *was* kinda wondering what was taking so long," Ena said, shaking her
Fuuka stared dejectedly at the younger girls. "Wow. A complete and total
non-reaction. Thanks, girls, you just totally cheapened this whole dramatic
moment for me."
"It's what we do, Neesan," Miura said with a grin. "Anyway, congrats, both
"Yeah, we're happy for you, it's just that it isn't exactly a big shock,"
Koiwai snorted. "Just so you know, when she told *me*, she wasn't even the
least bit concerned about it, because this other stuff going on today had
her all weirded out."
"Mommy? What's pregnant?" Yotsuba asked, tilting her head.
"Oh! Oh! Look! Look!" Miura exclaimed, pointing in an exaggerated, dramatic
fashion at the younger girl. "See? You DO have ONE mark at the table! Really
sell it, Neesan!"
"Oh, shut up," Fuuka muttered, flicking a stray piece of lettuce at Miura.
Turning to Yotsuba, she began, "It means there's a new baby on the way. A
little brother or sister for you."
Yotsuba's eyes widened. "I get a little sister?"
"Or brother. Could be either."
"...AWESOME!" Yotsuba cried happily. "When? When? When?"
"Well, it takes a while," Fuuka explained. "It'll probably be sometime in
spring. Probably around Golden Week."
"THAT'S TOO LONG!" Yotsuba shouted. "Can't you make it come faster?"
"Sorry, Yotsuba," Koiwai said, chuckling. "There's no rush delivery service
for new babies. We just have to wait."
"Aww," Yotsuba pouted. Ena and Miura giggled.
"But you know, those old hags..." Ena said, thoughtfully. "Now that I think
about it, that one said she felt sorry for me 'too'..." She trailed off.
"People kept tellin' me they feel sorry for me all day today too," Yotsuba
said. "Is it Feel Sorry For Somebody Day or something?"
"I feel sorry for the one who called me a nasty little freak if I ever get
hold of her," Miura muttered.
"I feel sorry for YOU if you don't eat those fries before I steal them from
you," Fuuka said, making a grab for Miura's fries despite having yet to
touch her own. A chopstick suddenly sprouted between two of her fingers,
halting her "attack".
"COOL!" Yotsuba said. "Daddy! Daddy! Did you see?"
"I don't think I've ever seen someone do that in real life," Koiwai said,
"I never even saw you MOVE, Miura-chan," Ena gasped.
For her part, Miura had never even stopped eating. She merely grinned
insouciantly at Fuuka, who shook her head with a laugh and returned to her
"I take it that means the training is going well?" Koiwai asked.
"Eh, Torako-san would've got her before she even moved her shoulder," Miura
said, shrugging. "I'm still pretty slow."
Yotsuba blinked at Miura. "Training?" she asked. "What's that?"
Everyone looked at each other, grimacing.
"Crap, I'm sorry, guys," Miura said, bowing her head. "I totally forgot
that's an off-limits--"
"It's my fault for trying to tease you," Fuuka said, shaking her head.
"Anyway, she was bound to see you do something like that sooner or later."
"True." Miura sipped her drink, then explained to Yotsuba, "You know how
I've been goin' next door to play with Torako-san a lot lately?"
"And you never let me come play no matter how much I beg!" Yotsuba cried,
banging a fist on the table.
"Well, the truth is, we're not exactly playing," Miura said. "Torako-san is
teaching me to be a ninja."
"Eh? A ninja?!" Yotsuba stared at Miura. "Miura's gonna be a ninja?"
"More or less."
"Ooh! Do it! Do it!" Yotsuba explained. "Do something cool! Make a big frog
Miura grimaced sickly. "Even if I *could* do something like that, it
wouldn't be a frog," she muttered. "But no, not the kind of ninja you're
thinking about like in anime."
"Oh," Yotsuba said, sounding disappointed. "So what kind of ninja then?"
"The kind that can make Asagi go away for good and never hurt anybody ever
again," Miura replied.
"Can you make her give back Jumbo?" Yotsuba asked.
"I'll do my best."
Apparently, Yotsuba had yet to run out of questions about Miura's new
'career'. "Are you gonna have a cool sword?"
"No sword. Torako-san doesn't know how to use one and it'd just get in my
way since I'm so little."
"Are you gonna have shuriken?"
"Yep, lots and lots of shuriken." Miura began rattling off a list of things.
"And a couple knives, some needle darts, nunchaku, surujin, smoke bombs,
pepper juice eggs...little bit of everything, really. And a gun if I can
ever get Torako-san's quickdraw down and my aim stops sucking."
The others, who had never been privy to the finer points of just what Miura
had been learning, stared at her in shock. "Holy SHIT, is she trying to turn
you into Rambo?!" Koiwai asked.
"Ninjas don't use guns," Yotsuba complained.
"Evidently *some* do," Ena said.
"Food's getting cold," Miura interrupted, resuming her meal and pointedly
ignoring any further questions or comments about her training.
The next day, Fuuka, Ena, and Yotsuba went out shopping together.
"Is...is anyone else feeling a little creeped out?" Fuuka asked as they
walked down a street lined with shops, passing some people they vaguely
recognized and others they didn't know at all. Every so often, it would seem
as though somebody was watching them, staring at them.
Nobody approached them, but Ena could make out strained snippets of
conversation. She frowned; something about all of this felt familiar...
"Hey look, it's me!" Yotsuba said, rushing up to a shop window. The older
girls followed her.
It was a beefbowl joint none of them had ever eaten at. In the window, there
was a flyer taped up which prominently featured a crude, childish drawing of
a little girl with distinctive green hair. Beneath the drawing were printed
the words [GANBARU YOTSUBA-CHAN!], along with the e-mail address where
donations to a "Yotsuba Relief Fund" could be made.
Ena paled. "That...drawing..."
"Oh GOD," Fuuka gasped. "Oh, please GOD no..."
"Lookit, I'm over here too!" Yotsuba called out, pointing into another shop
With the sick dread of sudden realization, the older girls followed the
excited child up and down the street; they quickly discovered that every
third or fourth shop they approached had the Yotsuba flyer taped up in the
"Oneechan? What...what's going on here?" Ena asked.
"Hey, it's Yotsuba-chan!" someone suddenly shouted.
A dozen shop doors opened along the street, and piles of people spilled out
onto the sidewalks. "It IS her!"
"That must be Fuuka! Wow, they ARE big!"
"Is that other one Ena or the dyke?"
"I thought Ena was the dyke?"
"They're both dykes!"
Ena's eye twitched.
"Forget the dyke, this is our chance! We can rescue Yotsuba-chan right now!"
"Yeah, best chance we'll ever have!"
Ena and Fuuka exchanged a glance. "Um...Oneechan? I think we should--"
Fuuka scooped Yotsuba up in her arms and bolted, her sister barely keeping
up; no less than twenty people gave chase.
"This is insane!" Ena yelled.
"I know!" Fuuka replied.
"What's going on, Mommy?" Yotsuba demanded.
"I don't know, but we gotta hide!"
Ena glanced behind her. "I think if we take a corner now we can lose them!"
"Good thinking!" Fuuka broke right, Ena hot on her heels. "In here!" she
ordered, throwing open a random shop door and ducking inside.
Once inside, the older girls doubled over, panting; Fuuka set Yotsuba down,
and the little girl stared around the place they had entered. "Why'd we come
in here, Mommy?" she asked.
"To hide from the scary people chasing us," Fuuka replied, still winded.
"Uh...Oneechan?" Ena said weakly.
"We're clear, right? They didn't see us come in, did they?"
"Uh...the ones chasing us? No. But, um...you might wanna look around."
Fuuka did so. She paled.
They'd ducked into an Internet cafe.
Half the screens they could see from where they stood were a sickeningly
familiar brilliant, leafy green.
And the whispers and murmurs began.
"*SHIT*," Fuuka hissed. "Right into the fire..."
Neither of them had noticed Yotsuba hop up onto a chair beside one of the
computers. "Hey, it's that picture of me again!" she said. "Cool!" She
looked at it, then noticed words next to it. They were simply written, in
characters she already knew, so she had little trouble reading them...
"Oh GOD no YOTSUBA get DOWN from there DON'T LOOK--"
Yotsuba's eyes grew large enough to eclipse the rest of her face.
Whoever had been using the computer before they entered came back from
wherever they had gone; a portly, short-haired person who could have been
either male or female noticed Yotsuba, and gasped. "Hey, you're real! You're
the real Yotsuba-chan, right?"
"Yeah, I'm Koiwai Yotsuba!" Yotsuba exclaimed. She pointed an angry finger
at the screen. "Why's this thing sayin' it's me? Why's it sayin' that? I'm
Yotsuba, not that thing!"
Fuuka scooped Yotsuba up and prepared to make a break for it. Ena glanced
around; they had of course immediately drawn complete attention.
The whatever at the computer frowned at Yotsuba. "This is your blog, isn't
it? Yotsublog, you wrote it?"
"Nuh-uh," Yotsuba shook her head. "I don't know what that is." She looked up
at Fuuka. "Mommy?"
"It's like a diary, except you put it on the Internet for the whole world to
see instead of putting it under your bed like you should," Fuuka explained.
"I don't understand at all," Yotsuba said, head tilted.
"Hey wait, the Yotsublog Yotsuba doesn't have a mommy," someone said.
"Did you even SEE the noon update, dumbass?" someone else retorted. "The
living sex doll makes her call it mommy now, duh!"
"Hey, I have a paper due, I was working! Sheesh!"
"Wow, she really IS stacked!"
"Hey Fuuka, is it all true? All the stuff she said?"
"Yeah, Fuuka, tell us!"
"Mommy?" Yotsuba asked, panic and alarm in her voice. "I didn't write stuff
about you anywhere! I didn't, I promise! You believe me, right?" Her lip
began to tremble.
"I know you didn't, Yotsuba-chan," Fuuka replied, scowling. Raising her
voice, she spoke sharply to the throng of patrons. "Listen up, you stupid
bunch of net freaks! Didn't anybody ever tell you not to believe everything
you see on the Internet?"
"If it's on the Internet it's true!" someone retorted.
"And who are YOU calling a freak anyway, window buttsex girl?" someone else
Ena facepalmed. Fuuka twitched.
Yotsuba blinked. "Window...butt...huh? What?"
"You see? She's so confused she doesn't remember even writing it! Yotsublog
is a cry for help!" one of the assorted geeks cried. A rallying cheer of
support went up.
"I DIDN'T WRITE NOTHIN' ON ANY 'POOTER! DADDY DON'T EVEN LET ME TOUCH HIS
'POOTER! SHUT UP! THE 'POOTER'S LYIN'!" Yotsuba screamed.
Everyone fell silent.
"I didn't...Mommy, I didn't..." Yotsuba started to cry.
"NOW look what you retards did," Fuuka hissed. Though her voice was quiet,
it carried easily to every corner of the room, dripping ice cold venom on
Ena walked up to a pasty, pimple-faced high school boy with thick nerd
glasses and grabbed him by the collar. "How'd you people all find out about
Yotsublog? Start talking or I will shove every computer in this room up your
"Ulp!" the geek said. "Help! The dyke's got me!"
"The dyke is the other one, with the short hair."
"No, there were two dykes, remember? Dumbass."
"SHUT UP!" Fuuka roared. "You. Zits. She asked. Answer. NOW."
"Um...it's just...the link showed up on like a hundred different boards the
other night. And MySpace and Facebook and stuff."
"And then people started sharing..." someone else said.
"Yeah, it's got 38,000 hits! It's super-popular!"
"And everyone feels sorry for poor Yotsuba-chan..."
"STOP FEELIN' SORRY FOR ME!" Yotsuba cried.
Fuuka sighed. "Drop the geek, Ena. We're leaving."
Nobody followed them this time.
Ena called Torako; they hid in the shadow of a garish pachinko parlor awning
while they waited for her to come pick them up. They had agreed being seen
in public was a bad idea.
Yotsuba was still crying when Torako showed up. They all piled wordlessly
into her car.
"What happened?" Torako asked.
"Asagi happened, naturally," Fuuka said bitterly.
Yotsuba sniffled. "A-A-Asagi wrote...wrote all that bad stuff...an' lied
an'...an' said she was me?"
Torako's eyes widened, and she slammed on the brakes. "WHAT?!"
"Yotsublog's gone viral," Fuuka said with a miserable sigh.
"Nearly forty thousand hits in two days," Ena said.
Torako hissed angrily.
"Oneechan? How do we fix this?" Ena asked.
"I'm not even sure we can," Fuuka said in a tired, numb voice.
Yotsuba sniffled. "I thought all those nice people just really liked me,"
"They DO, Yotsuba-chan," Ena said. "But see, that's the problem. They don't
like you for who you really are. They like you because they think you need
"Well I don't," Yotsuba sulked, sniffling.
"Of course you don't," Fuuka agreed, cradling the child more tightly and
stroking her hair.
There was a car parked in front of the house when they arrived. Piling out,
they went inside, and found Koiwai sitting in the living room across from a
stern-faced man in a charcoal suit.
"Thank GOD," Koiwai said when he heard them enter. "Fuuka-chan, we have a--"
"We know." Yotsuba was still sniffling, and occasionally a tiny sob broke
loose from her.
Koiwai's eyes narrowed. "Don't tell me she--"
"Saw it. Yeah."
The charcoal-suited man stood and bowed to the girls. "I've just been
speaking with Koiwai-san about the 'Yotsublog' website," he said.
"And you are...?" Fuuka asked.
"Police Inspector Ishiyama," the man greeted, producing his badge. At their
pale, apprehensive reactions, he shook his head. "Please relax. Nobody here
is in any trouble. We are aware that your family is the victim of a
particularly nasty and mean-spirited prank."
"A *prank*?!" Fuuka demanded hotly. "Excuse me, Inspector, but...this goes
far above and beyond a mere prank."
"I apologize," the policeman said. "In any event, the perpetrator of this
mess didn't exactly make much effort to cover his tracks." He flipped
through his police notebook. "Ah, yes, Yasuda Akira-san, that's the name of
"Yasuda...?" Fuuka asked.
"Yanda," Koiwai said. "Yanda did this."
"EH?!" Ena and Fuuka gasped.
Yotsuba became angry. "YANDA! I SHOULDA KNOWN IT WAS YANDA!"
Torako frowned. She seemed on the verge of saying something; Fuuka
surreptitiously stepped on her foot to silence her.
"We've seized his personal computer for evidence," the inspector continued.
"He is without question the author of this website, and posted over two
hundred links to it on various websites and chat rooms since two nights ago.
We also found other incriminating materials on his computer. Please do not
concern yourself with the details." He sighed. "I regret that we can't undo
what Yasuda-san has done to your family, especially to this poor innocent
little girl. The most we can offer is that he will face justice."
"You have an injunction to shut down Yotsublog, then?" Torako asked.
"It's being processed as we speak. By sunset, that atrocious website will no
"Thank you, Inspector," Fuuka replied.
The policeman shook his head. "The damage has already been done. I only
"Hold up a second," Koiwai said suddenly.
Everyone turned to look at him.
"Inspector...instead of deleting Yotsublog, could we...possibly have it
replaced with something different?"
"Eh?" Ena asked.
"Something different?" Fuuka wondered, tilting her head.
"What did you have in mind, Koiwai-san?" the inspector asked.
"Well...since someone pretending to be Yotsuba started this mess, it seems
to me the best way to clean up the mess is to let the REAL Koiwai Yotsuba
have a go."
Everyone glanced at each other; the wheels were all turning in unison.
Yotsuba blinked up at everyone. "Eh? The real me?"
"I've got it!" Ena said. "Oneechan, where's that video camera? Does it still
A slow grin spread across Fuuka's face. "That's good thinking, Ena-chan.
Yeah, let me go grab it."
"A video camera?" Yotsuba asked.
Koiwai nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah, that could do it."
//Um...hi...are they really gonna see me? I'll be on TV 'cept it's their
'pooters? OK. Start over?
//I'm Koiwai Yotsuba. I'm the REAL Koiwai Yotsuba. I didn't write any of
that bad stuff that was here before and none of it was true, okay? That big
mean nasty Yanda did all that and made it look like it was me tellin' a
bunch of lies 'bout my family.
//A lot of people were really nice to me and that made me happy, but it's
not nice to lie, and Yanda lied big time and pretended he was me when he
wasn't. So...if you see me, don't be nice to me just 'cuz you think my Daddy
and Mommy are bad people. 'Cuz they're not. An' neither is Ena an' neither
//So um...don't be mad at me neither, okay? An' don't be mad at nobody in my
family. We didn't do nothin' wrong so nobody should be mad at us. It was all
nasty Yanda. Daddy says he's an asshole. ...oh, sorry, I wasn't s'posed to
say that. It's a bad word. Huh? It's okay this one time? Okay, good. Cuz he
is. I think. I don't even know what it means.
//Anyway I'm sorry everyone thought I needed help. I don't. I love my Daddy
an' Mommy an' everyone else an' I'm happy. Well, I'm not happy right now,
but that's only 'cuz Yanda tried to get Daddy in trouble.
//I think that's all. Was that it? OK, bye-bye everyone!//
"Oh my, oh my. I was hoping that would go on a bit longer," Asagi pouted,
closing the browser tab.
"Too bad," Jumbo grunted. "Nice job setting Yanda up to take the fall."
"Why, thank you."
"That wasn't a compliment."
Asagi shrugged, smiling. "What can I say? It's not my fault Yasuda-san made
Koiwai-san so angry he didn't even mention my name to the police..."
"Actually, if memory serves, it kind of was your fault."
"Really? Hmmm...possibly, I guess. But then, if Yasuda-san were not such a
thorough wretch in the first place, perhaps Koiwai-san would have at least
TRIED to tie me to this. Not that he'd be able to, of course." She set aside
her computer, stood, stretched, and pulled a pair of tongs out of the
burning coals in the fireplace. "Now, where were we...?"
"I didn't make that fucking blog!" Yanda declared for the ten thousandth
time. "Someone just e-mailed me the link and told me to spam it!"
"And you did so, just on some unknown person's instructions?"
"Well...I was kinda pissed at Senpai, 'cuz he treated me like shit an' threw
me outta his house. But I just spammed the link, honest!"
"Even for that, you are criminally liable," the police inspector said. "But
things will be far less difficult for you if you can give us a name."
Yanda thought back to the e-mail that started this entire mess. "T_Asagi
something, that's all I remember."
The detective made a note of it, then stood and left. Yanda bowed his head
"I really am an asshole..."
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