The Lemonade Stand

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Chapter 2: Consequences and Repercussions





“Sakura, no.  Don’t make me go out there like this.”


“How else are you going to get home?  Teleportation?”


“...uh, well, I could...”


“No.  NO way.  You have to get there sooner or later, and you know darn well that you can’t teleport like Kaoru can without going all... nuts..., so don’t even think about it.  I hate having to do this to you, but this is the only way...”


I frowned.  “I... I still can’t believe this.  I look ridiculous!  I can’t even tell if I'm African or Asian!”


“Look, all you have to do is act casual...”


“Act casual?  How can I!?  I just went over a complete sex change in a matter of hours!”


“Look, I understand that.  I could at least help you out.  You don’t want to catch any unwanted attention, do you?”




“Ok.  Just try to calm down and relax...  We’ll think of something.”


That... would be hard to do.  I stuck out like a sore thumb.  I mean, here I am, a girl in a boy’s school uniform which obviously was too big for me, looking quite a mess, and I got to get from here to home, which, since the both of us found ourselves at an old abandoned factory clearly a good 5 miles away from Tamagawa, and even farther from our house.  The worst part is that there WAS a shortcut... but it involved us going through Gedo High and the last time I checked, Gedo was pretty tough.  Now, if I was my old, boyish self this wouldn’t be much of a problem.  Go through, beat up a couple of gang members looking for a confrontation, board the buss at the corner of the school before anyone really high up there in the boss rank showed up, and ride home... but this time there’s one little issue...  I’M A GIRL...


I heaved a sigh as I stared outside of the factory entrance, Sakura occupying across from me.


“Ok,” I surrendered, my new timid voice lowering in defeat, “I’ll try to act as normal as I possibly can.”  I grimly looked at my watch.  “Perfect...  It’s 12.15...”


I bet you’re wondering why I was so ticked about the time.  Well, most schools around here break for lunch from 12 to 1, and we were, by the looks of it, smack dab in the middle of the Gedo High Work Site where most of the gangs hang out at.  So do the math, Darrell...  Two Tamagawa girls in the middle of a construction site with 5 miles plus some change to travel to get home, but first you got to cross the desert, where 100+ Gedo students are first going to wonder why two pretty ladies just like ourselves are on their turf, then probably wonder if they wanna ‘play’, for lack of a better term for it.


“I think we should get a move on before I get second, third, and fourth thoughts,” I told Sakura.


She gave me a nod in reply then looked out on the junkyard herself again.  “We shouldn’t run.  We’ll attract too much attention, plus if we get into a scuffle, we’ll be at a huge disadvantage with all those guys roaming around.”


“Right.  Let’s get a move on.”


The two of us peered out the factory door to see if the coast was clear.  Then I caught a glimpse of Sakura running off ahead.  Instinctively I followed... but it wasn’t easy.  As Sakura stopped behind a junk pile nearby, she looked back at me and twisted her mouth.


“What’s the matter?”


“Let’s just say I’m lucky that were in this junk field.  My pants won’t hold up, even with my belt on.”


“Seriously?  Did you have that problem when you were trying to find me?”


I blushed.  “I was too busy thinking about you to notice...  Even then, I didn’t have that issue...”


“Well, I guess you’re going to have to wing it.  It’s quite a while from here to the bus stop.  Once we get on the bus it should be smooth sailing.”


“Yeah, I know.  Let’s keep going.”


I then moved my right hand to my side while reminding myself that our book bags were back where this whole ordeal started, and grasped onto my pants.  Sakura got the message and moved forward.  As we made our way through the Gedo Work Site I got the opportunity to think about what I was going to do with myself.  No one I know is going to recognize me.  Hell, I don’t even recognize myself.  The thing that escaped my mind, despite all that happened within the past 4 hours, was how I got like this in the first place.  I just couldn’t remember that point... or what caused it.  I would’ve liked to say that I could be calm about all this but really I was freaked out beyond belief.


“Sakura?” I whispered as we snuck behind a rail for a building frame.




“I just thought of something...  If I’m a girl then I’m going to need a name...”


“Hmm...  You’re right about that...”


“So, what do you think?”


Sakura turned around to face me and gave me a look.  “Um... do you?”


I shrugged.  “I don’t know.  I mean...  I really don’t know...”


“I’ll think about it as we go along.”


We both looked forward, finding ourselves at the edge of a building going under construction.  As she looked around I looked up and frowned.


“Sakura, look up,” I whispered again.


“Uh...?  OH...  Gedo kids...  Let’s sneak around.  As long as we don’t get in sight, then we’ll be fine.”

As you probably guessed, this was a Gedo hideout.  Some members of Gedo, either in uniform or wearing rough street clothes, were sitting on the rails handing above our heads.  Luckily they were just talking, so they didn’t notice us as we hugged the rail under them and tip-toed forward.  Once we were a safe distance away we ducked behind a large support rail and kept going at a regular pace.


“How about Ire?” Sakura blurted out of the blue.


“Huh...?  Oh.  No, I don’t think I like that name.”


Sakura put a hand on her chin and looked at the ground as we walked through the building frame, our sneakers kicking up dust as we took step by step.  I looked into space for a few seconds, feeling my newly formed moderate length hair with a hand, then a mane for myself hit me.




“No way.  Doesn’t suit you...  How about Tiara?”


I let that one sit in my mind for a while before I shook my head.


“Akari?” the blossom kept suggesting.


“Hmm... no...  SNK would sue for sure... but I feel like we’re getting close...”


Sakura smiled at me and then gave it one more thought.  I did so, too.  As I looked up to the sky again I thought of my mother, the first female that I knew...  Her name was Lisa...  And when Akari was said it almost molded...  Maybe...


“How about...”




After a few moments I was sure... and I guess Sakura somehow was thinking the same thing.


“Arisa,” the both of us chimed at the same time.  We then looked at each other, startled at first, but then nodded.


“Arisa it is then,” I announced, “ but then there’s the family name...”


“Well, you could use mine and we can pass you off as a cousin of mine.”


I shook my head.  “I'd rather not.  Once they do a family history check its all over for me.  Um...  It’s got to be original so that no one notices and links between me and my old self...  Er...”


“Hoshi?” Sakura smirked.  I merely gave her a blank look.


“Now don’t you think Ryu and Capcom have enough troubles with that name...?”


She giggled.  “I know.  Just kidding with you.  Mari?”


“I... don’t think so...”




“Nice, yes...  Maybe a bit too nice...  I’ll sit on that.”


Sakura went on for a full minute jump through family names that I could use and it wasn’t until we reached the end of the metal field where she hit it.


“Er...  Kyubei?”


My eyebrows rose when that name reached me.  “Kyubei, Arisa...  A. K.  K. A.  Now that I like enough to use.”


“So are we settled?”


“Sure looked like it – oh, crap...”


“You’ve got to be kidding!”


If bad luck could have a picture, this was it.  At the other end of the huge building frame, we ran to an open field with no remote hiding places in sight and about 65% or so of it Gedo occupied.  People were on the left and the right of us, doing actions from eating to showing off strength.  Needless to say, it would be impossible for us to go through and not be noticed...  At that point I was convinced.  Either I was dreaming this whole thing, or this is some great master’s way of playing a joke on me.


“Well...” Sakura mumbled, “got any bright ideas?”

”Hardly,” I mumbled.  “Looks like we don’t have a choice.  Might want to ready yourself for a run for it.”


For once in her life, Sakura found herself denying a run.  “And get ‘pulled over’?  I don’t think so.  There’s got to be some way to not get noticed...”


“Hmmm...  Maybe we could—“


“Well, well!  What do we have here?  Two schoolgirls have lost their way!”


The sound of that voice behind me made me cringe and made my heart stop from the sudden surprise.  Sakura and I turned around and came face to face with Ei... er... Edge, just one of the main Gedo lords that run the school.  As of height he was only a little taller than us... minus the huge blond hair he had standing on end.  Add that, and he seemed to be a good 6 inches taller more and honestly, that fact bugged me... or was it the face that his punk smirk was constantly on his face whenever I looked at him?  I don’t know, don’t want to know.  Edge really does get me edgy.


“Edge...” Sakura whispered.  “Look, today’s been a long day...”

“Ah, but the thing is, you’re on Gedo turf, and when you’re on Gedo turn, you’re on my turf, and my turf is the big boss man, Daigo’s turf.  I think the matter of why you’re here in the first place needs some attention, little world warrior.”


Sakura’s mouth twisted.  “Well... I’d rather not talk about it.  It’s sort of personal...”


Personal is quite the understatement... I found myself thinking.


“Anyways,” my friend continued, trying her best to be calm about this confrontation, “could you do me a favor and... you know... let us thr—uh!?!”


It was sort of obvious that Edge wasn’t paying much attention to Sakura.  He does have a weird sense of an attention span.  The thing is that he wasn’t listening because he didn’t want to... or that he’s just that dumb.  It was because his eyes were on ME...


I instantly stiffened up as Edge’s eyes lay on my body.  The way he was looking at me made me sweat in nervousness.  I don’t normally spend any time around him, but I knew this had to be out of character right here...


“And you’ve got a new friend with you, too,” he went on, his eyes rising up to meet mine.  “A surprise...  That other kid’s always tagging with you... but this is definitely an improvement over that little firefly pest.”


I twitched.  I was always quick to take things like that personally and this was no exception.”


“Gee... thanks...” I muttered, my voice hiding my sense of sarcasm.  I then loweved my voice to give a silent, “...broom head...” under my breath.


“What was that?”


I gasped and held my mouth shut with my hands.  “Nothing!”


Edge’s smirk just grew a little.  “Hmm... I guess you must be REALLY new.  Don’t you know you’ve got on the wrong... version of a school dress... or is Tamagawa going under some alterations through those pansy sailor suits they have their girls wearing, eh?”


That quote really got both Sakura and me riled up, but the two of us tried our best to not lash out on him.  Before I could respond, Edge slightly bent his head over to give me a closer look.  As he did so, I took a step back, growing a bit wide-eyed as I could literally feel his eyes on me.  I felt my head tuck down a bit, not making direct contact with him, just barely looking up from the top of my eyes.  Little did I notice that my cheeks started to tingle a bit and give off a slightly rose tint...


“Oh... so you’re one of those... shy types.  What’s your name, girl?”


“A... Ari...  Arisa...” I responded weakly.


“...Arisa what?”




“Well, then, Arisa, you’re new around these parts, so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to... lay down the law of Gedo.”


Uh-oh...  Edge giving a speech?  Spare me... please...

“Uh, actually...” my soft voice cut him off, “I’ve heard quite a lot about you.  Second in command behind Daigo Kazama to run the school’s gangs.  Master of knives and other stuff.  I think that’s pretty cool.  I personally like the way you got your hair, too.”


Edge cocked his head back a bit and gave me a slightly confused look.  “Oh, you think so?”


“Uh-huh,” I nodded, moving my head a little slowly.  “I also heard you were quite strong for someone of your stature.  You fought against Justice High when they kidnapped the Big Boss.  Anyone who could do that must be quite brave.”


Aww... look.  Big bad Edge is blushing.  I flashed a shy smile and he put his hands in his pockets and looked to the side in response.  I wish I had a camera.  This was a Kodac moment for sure.


“Darrell...” Sakura whispered in my ear as she leaned over to me, “What are you doing?”


I smirked.  “Just give me a second...” I wiped it off my face as Edge looked back at the two of us.  I couldn’t quite get why, but I enjoyed messing with Edge.  It was a rare opportunity to see him as a softie...  My boy self would have never seen this.


“Well... yeah.  I’m like the main man around here.  If anything is gonna happen, its gotta run through me first.”


“Oh... so, do you think that maybe you can let my friend and I pass through this big yard?  I mean... there are so many gang members over here and there is only 2 of us...  I don’t want any trouble...”


“Don’t think nothing of it.  You’ve got clearance.  Go on and get out of here.  Just watch where you step.”


I smiled.  “Thanks!  Come on, Sakura!”


I looked over to her and noticed she had the biggest look of shock and surprise on her face.  I found myself giggling as I grabbed her hand, gave Edge one last look, and confidently went forward.  As we crossed the yard of bullies, Sakura looked back at me and asked, “Are you SURE you’re Darrell again?”


“Why would you ask a silly question like that?”


“It’s just that... I never, ever saw you act like that before...  If it had been any other time you two would’ve started fighting.”


“Yeah... yeah, I guess I would’ve...”


“So why?  Why did you act so... so... girlish back there?”


I just shrugged.  “In all honesty... I don’t know...  I mean... I... I just looked at him and... well... the words just started to spill out...  I’ll be honest.  The outcome was smoother than fighting, that’s for sure.”


“Well... you’re right...  For a second there, I thought you were really serious about--”


I instantly shook my head.  “Are you nuts?  I mean... Edge?  No way.  In case you haven’t noticed, Edge and I hate each other.  There’s no way I’d...”

I trailed off as I found out that the people to our side stopped whatever they were doing and stared at us.  Sakura noticed it, too, and stayed close to me, the both of us looking right back out there...  I felt my heart start to pound.  What’s their deal?


“Let’s... just try to watch our backs...” Sakura warned.


“No kidding...”


I looked again to the side of me to sport another group of Gedo students.  Two of the guys from the group gave me this look, raising their eyebrows while smiling slyly.  Oh, boy...  I just ran through this...


“Hey, kid!  Why don’t you come over here and get to know me a little better?”


I just looked at him and gave a nervous smile but didn’t respond.  I looked up and sighed in relief.  I looked up and sighed in relief.  I could see the roof of Gedo High from here...


“Let’s get out of here,” I whispered.  “Not much farther.”


Sakura just nodded and the two of us began to scamper across the field.  As we steadily saw more and more of the high school, I felt more and more at ease as I could start to see the street grow in our view.  Once I could get a good view of it, I broke into a run.  Was that...  Ah!  Yes!  There’s a bus coming right up the street!


“H... hey!” I heard Sakura shout from behind me.


“You got any bus fare money, Sakura?  The bus is coming!  Let’s hurry!”


“Yeah, I got money... but just slow down a second!  You’re going to—“




I skidded to a stop just as I almost ran past the school, a sudden body standing in my way.  I almost ran into him, barely stopping in time, but my upper body still had momentum, so I struggled to catch my balance... only to be disrupted by a pair of arms wrapping around my back and pulling me close.  The strong smell of cologne filled my nostrils immediately, and I coughed a bit.  Just great... Now what!?


“Hey, why don’t you watch were you going you little cross dresser?  There’s no rush... is there?”


“Well, I was trying to get to the bus stop...” I replied, my head rising to look up to the face of a Gedo gang member up close and personal.  Compared to my... er... 5’ 3” height or so, this guy looked a good 6’ even and built...  BUILT.  I mean... the muscles that surrounded me almost seemed to crush me as he held me.  I could barely look over his mass to the street... and I let out a yell, noticing that the bus was RIGHT THERE at the bus stop, some people coming off of it right now...


“HEY!” I shouted out, struggling to break free, “WAIT UP!  UGHH....!  YOU MIND HERE!?”


“Well, now!  Look, guys!  This girl’s rather fussy, isn’t she?”


“Hey!  Let my friend go!  She didn’t do anything to you...!  AH!  Uh... oh....”


Just what I needed...  By the time the guy finally let me go, the bus’s doors already closed and it slowly pulled away from Gedo and out of sight behind another building.  It was then that my blockade threw me backwards, making me stumble backwards and tripping over my sneakers.  I let out a yelp as I fell on my butt, rubbing it slightly.  It was then that I noticed that Sakura and I were totally surrounded...  All around us, Gedo students gazed at us, roughly 15 or 20 in all, all male (typical) and with the look of...  Well... I rather not say.


“Well, if you want to head on over to the bus stop, then by all means... that is... if your cute little ass will head over to my way first...”


As the group around us gave light chuckles to that, I felt my forehead twitch.  Geez!  What’s up with today!?  Its like everyone’s out to get me all because of this whole change!  I was REALLY getting tired of all this!


“Well,” the big man of the group said again, “what do you say?  Should be... fun.”


“Man, you have no idea who you’re messing with...” I grumbled, my face starting to show disgust as my body tensed in anger.  I just dealt with two rapists before.  I wasn’t in the mood for 20.  I wasn’t in the mood for 1.  Dammit, all I wanted to do was go home and just TRY to wish this was all a dream, but WHY!?  Why this!??  Why now!


“Hey, look at this!  Little princess here seems to have an attitude problem!” another voice from the small crowd.


“Oooooh...  I like that...” a third shot out.  “I got first dibs on her!”


“I second!”


“Third right here!”


With each new voice I could feel my anger start to peak...  I closed my brown eyes, feeling that same boil of my blood from earlier...


“Damn hentais...” I muttered, feeling myself about to blow.  Just what was going ON with these guys?  Its like everyone’s freaking attracted to me like flies to a zapper.  I definitely think Sakura could feel how I was feeling, for she simply whispered to me in my ear...


“Whenever... you’re ready...”


I didn’t respond.  I was too busy ready to let loose on the whole Gedo population if I had to.  I was NOT the guy... er... I mean... girl, to mess with today!


“Look, girl...  We can make this easy or hard on you... but honestly... I think I speak for the group when I say that I always liked my bitches rough...”


A hand grabbed onto my left arm... and bam!  I snapped.




A quick whip of the wrist to break away... and in 0.4 seconds flat, the first victim was put in his place.  With a sickening crack that could’ve been mistaken for a baseball bat hit, the person directly to my left was a good 3 feet away, on his face in a curled position, down and out.  Before anyone could pick up what was going on, I stuck again like lightning.  My left leg whipped around as I spun and took out the guy next to him... then my fist caught on fire and decked the member behind me as he tried to sneak me.


The next 2 minutes was like an all out brawl; me and Sakura against whoever came close to us.  I didn’t pay any attention at all to the sheer numbers that seemed to rise as we took down one gang member after the other.  All I knew was that each attack I threw blasted each and every thug around me.  There was no need for me to even charge up my flames at all.  I was fueled by something even stronger; utter rage.  I don’t even think anyone laid a hand on me during that duration.  Whatever took over me... I made sure to take full use of it.


Hmmm.... a pause in the rush.  After kicking the last person away from me, I started to pant heavily, my body beginning to come over its adrenaline rush.  I blinked as I noticed that a majority of the Gedo population was down and out around us.  The area was littered with bodies like a post war zone.  After a few more pants, I heard movement and threw my head over to its side, getting the chance to check out the other people who fortunately didn’t get into the scrap, merely looking on with wide eyes, shocked.  My eyes hardened and I held my fist in front of my face... then threw it back down to the ground, a flame sparking off it and burning an unconscious gang member that lay at the side of me.




Instantly jaws dropped as the remainder of the Gedo students stayed frozen in their positions.  I made sure I got the message across.  This girl was ticked off to the point of no return, and if you favored your well-being, you best stay the hell away.  After a few moments of quiet, I told myself to calm down and took deep breaths.  I felt an arm gently wrap around my shoulder and I closed my eyes in relief.


“Sakura...  Let’s... just go home...”


“I’m well ahead of you on that, Darrell.”


As I turned around along with my friend, I made sure I made my first step towards the street a hard stomp onto someone’s abdomen, a loud shout shooting out in response.  Turns out, it was the idiot who grabbed me in the first place.  As we finally got to the street, luckily in time to meet an approaching bus, my head hurt.  The adrenaline in my system fully vanished, now my body was just tired and my mind agitated.  I hung my head wearily and my eyes stayed closed until the bus screeched to the stop.  The two of us stepped on and Sakura paid the fare with yen from her pocket.  We took a seat towards the middle of the bus, Sakura taking the window seat, and we both heaved sighs.  This was quite one tiring day...


“Finally...” the blossom whispered.  I simply gave a confirmation noise.


“Thankfully this bus will drop us off close to home...” I added.


“Look, for the rest of the day, we’ll just say home.  I’ll go off and get our bags from the alley in a few hours.”




After that Sakura grew quiet.  I just stared off into space, finding myself staring at the window closest to me to the gray sky.  It didn’t rain yet even after all of this mess...  It might as well had.  Go on and make this day even worse for me, why don’t you?  As the bus approached a bridge heading towards the center of Tokyo, I felt really, really tired.  All this fighting off rape really took it out of me.  With a yarn I closed my eyes and let my head rest on Sakura’s shoulder.  She simply accepted it and snuggled next to me, and together we caught some much needed rest.  As I drifted off, I just couldn’t help hating this.  I never asked to be a girl, and even then I never asked to get raped by almost an entire school.  Why me?  Just... why?


But at the same time, I remembered who was next to me throughout it all...


Sakura Kasugano...


...and I knew that I was truly blessed to be with her.  I was fully convinced that whatever happens... we’d be there to fight it together...


...whatever it was...

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