Ragazza Volpe Magica
~A fox by any other name isn't as rhythmical~
Shouri is a nineteen year old in a small sleepy town just living his life as quietly as possible. That would all change when a girl with no memories fell into his life. The amnesia wasn't the strange part, however. Bearing fox ears and matching tail, Blakki now only has Shouri to rely on while they try to figure out who and what Blakki is. Navigating this situation will be tricky, but more so when magic and Italian are involved.
“This isn’t fair…”
“I haven’t done anything yet…”
“I don’t want to die…”
Was it really that simple? Just don’t die? It was so difficult. Everything was stacked against them. There was no conceivable way they could come back from this. It just felt so easy to curl up and allow the embrace of darkness guide them off to an eternal slumber.
No more pain
No more suffering
No more…. Anything.
No. Giving up meant everything they went through was for nothing. They would give anything to get back up and try again. One more time. One more step. One more breath.
“… …-’s …-ct 2572”
“… … for real?!”
“Yes … these creatures are a … phenomenon. They’re … dangerous.”
“I can’t believe this thing is real. No wonder Mr. Saitou wants rid of these monsters.”
“Agreed. Personally, I feel they may provide some interesting research material.”
“So you’re gonna slice this one open?”
“Yes, we’ll need to gather the appropriate tools. I’ve just gotten approval to begin the dissection.”
“This thing looks like it’s still breathing.”
“No need to worry, that won’t be a problem for long.”
Footsteps as the two participants of the prior conversation left the room. The “monster” in question opened her eyes slowly. White as far as she could see, and an open door. She sat up, processing what she had just heard. Looking around the room she noticed there wasn’t anyone else around. Lowering her head, she saw she was wearing a black jacket and white t-shirt. Poking out from behind her black pants was a fluffy black tail with a white tip.
That didn’t seem weird to her; her mind was on the conversation she had woken up to. Whoever had been speaking previously was right next to her. They were so loud, which is part of the reason she had regained consciousness in the first place. It seemed she was different somehow? While she didn’t understand the exact words they were speaking the feelings behind them hit her like a sack of bricks.
She coughed and raised her head, something was digging into her neck? She pawed at whatever was there; some kind of plastic, she could feel something hanging off of the plastic, what was that?
Before she could investigate that oddity, she felt the ears at the top of her head twitch in response to a sound hitting them. Her gaze slowly met two people – ones with human ears, and lacked tails. They both appeared to be males, older, and wore expressions of shock. “Q-quickly move move!” The man wearing a white lab coat pushed the second man away. “Call security – 2572 is mobile!”
Despite not understanding what the people had said, the tailed girl had a sinking feeling in her stomach. Something was screaming at her: you need to get out of here! Either way, she didn’t want to stick around and find out why they left in such a hurry. She threw her legs off of the examination table she had awoken on and rose to her feet.
She rushed out of the room and looked around. Long white sterile hallways greeted her. No path for an escape. Her ears twitched again, there was a lot of sound coming from her right. She turned and ran to the left.
Running down the halls, she turned wherever she couldn’t hear people from. With every twitch of her large triangular ears, their words began to get clearer and clearer to her.
Alarms began to blare overhead. “ATTENTION! UNIT 2572 HAS ESCAPED! ALL PERSONNEL SHOOT TO KILL!” Boomed through the building’s PA system, causing the girl to wince and grab her ears from the volume of the announcement.
It was just at that time that she had a good grasp on the language they were speaking. Her heart raced. They had referred to her as 2572. They were planning on killing HER.
“Cosa faccio? Cosa faccio?” She finally spoke in a small whimper. The girl was horrified. She didn’t know what was happening and these people were going to shoot her. Before she started to curl up and cry in fear, she saw blue. There wasn’t any physical blue, it was something purely in her mind. For some reason her body was just driven to move, despite not knowing what to do.
Her feet beat against the tiled floor as she ran, avoiding voices and other footsteps wherever she heard them, but what she didn’t realize is they knew where she was at and had picked up on what she was doing.
Then that noise: BANG
Something had been fired at her – they missed thankfully, but it was definitely something that would be lethal if she was hit by it.
So the chase began.
“I’m engaging 2572!” She heard her assailant shout. She ran as he chased her. “Get back here you fucking freak!” She heard him shout.
Another two shots, another two misses. But she saw the bullets embed into the wall she was running at. She trembled in fear as water began to build in her eyes. “Per favore!” She shouted.
BANG BANG BANG!
Three more shots hit the wall right as she turned the corner.
“LASCIAMI VIVERE!” She screamed with all her might as the tears streamed down her face. Several more men rushed out from the direction she was running. The girl turned and ran down an adjoining hallway. “This thing can fucking run!” One of the men barked. “It wouldn’t be fun if we just put a bullet in its head. Try to hit its legs!”
“PER FAVORE! LASCIATEMI IN PACE!” She screamed as loud as she could.
BANG BANG BANG BANG
More bullets were fired in her direction, ricocheting off of the surfaces they made impact with.
It was then she spotted it. Just ahead of her was a window – now cracked from several bullets smashing off of their transparent surface. Through the damaged panel she could see it – her freedom.
Rather than slow down, the girl sped up, she held her arms in front of her and-
-right through the window she flew. Time slowed to a crawl as she realized only then what she had just done.
Gravity took over as she plummeted towards the earth below.
A pair of green eyes slowly opened. The sounds of a quietly babbling brook greeted them. The slightly fishy smell of the river before them. The owner of the green eyes sat against the tree they had fallen asleep against, just staring blankly at the river.
This boy of a mere nineteen years just wanted an escape from life. Not a life-ending one mind you; he just needed to escape modern civilization and the intrusive thoughts plaguing their mind. It was easy to do in his town, just head five miles out of the city limits and you were in the middle of nowhere.
Though the encroachment of modern humans meant that the signals of their cell-phones reached even out in the remote forests.
vvvnt vvvnt vvvnt
The sudden buzz of a smart phones motor snapped him out of his thoughts. Reaching into his black pants pocket, he pulled out the device in question.
“Aura” was displayed as the caller.
He blankly stared at the screen as the device vibrated desperately in his hand begging for him to answer the call. Finally, the device ceased its movement. Around thirty more seconds passed and the device gave two short buzzes to let him know there was now a voicemail.
A couple of taps through the interface brought him to the voicemail box. Against his better judgement he pressed the play button.
“Shouri I’m sorry for what I said please come home!”
Before he could hear anything further, he dropped the call and pocketed the device. Young Shouri closed his eyes and rested his head against the tree behind him, looking up at the sun through the safety of the foliage above him.
A helicopter passed just overhead. That seemed odd to the young adult; Helicopters typically didn’t come out this far - there was quite literally nothing out in the dense woods he was spending his afternoon.
“So much for peace and quiet.” He grumbled. Ruffling his brown hair made more of a mess of it than it already was. It was supposed to be styled, but he had really stopped caring. The birds nest he called his hair was in total contrast to the (relatively) nice clothes he decided to wear on his afternoon outing. This consisted of a slightly faded (but still in excellent condition) black fighter's jacket with a white collar made of faux fur. Typically, he would prefer this to be left open for breathability. The jacket itself was slightly loose on him even when zipped up.
Deciding he had enough of nature for one day, he turned to head back the way he had came when a noise hit his ears.
Normally he would just attribute such a sound to a fish or maybe some trash flowing down stream, but he decided to take a look at the source of the noise. He was near a small drop in the river, so there was an unspoken agreement between himself and mother nature that some noise would occur.
His eyes met an object slowly flowing downstream. A black lump of something. It looked like fabric almost? Did someone throw their clothes into the river? How awful.
Curiosity got the better of him however, and Shouri found himself stepping towards the river, the rocks near the edge crunching under his brown shoes. It was a big bundle of cloth from what he could see. A few more steps forward.
SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH
Shouri, disregarding getting his clothes soaked rushed into the river. A rush of emotions and adrenaline hit him like coals being thrown into a boiler. Dropping down into the water, he reached under the unmoving form and picked them up. He didn’t care how he was able to do this, he just had one thing in mind: getting this person out of the cold river.
Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, Shouri learned that first hand, having managed to pull this person onto shore and setting them near the tree he had previously been resting under in basically one motion. But now it was time to pay the price for that work. The boy held himself up on his hands and knees, struggling to catch his breath. He was totally soaked, water dripping off his body onto the rocks below him. He looked up at his accomplishment. A small tinge of pride in what he had managed to do despite the less than stellar care he took of his body.
Looking over the person’s form, most of their clothes were black, save for their white t-shirt. Based on the way their clothes stuck to their body, it was plain to see they were a girl; had to be around Shouri’s age too.
There were many thoughts running through the young adult’s head. Did he just stumble across a murder? Could he leave? No, it was obvious someone moved this body to its’ new resting place. Upon closer inspection though, this mystery girl was still breathing, albeit shallowly. Shouri briefly considered attempting CPR, he had learned it in school. This would be a situation that would call for it.
However, he wouldn’t have to make a decision after all, as the girl in question began to cough violently. They suddenly sat up, continuing their coughing fit, as their body tried to desperately expel the water that had managed to get into their lungs.
The young adult merely watched this girl attempt to catch her breath as she stared into her hands. Her blue eyes shone like sapphires despite barely registering her surroundings. This wasn’t what drew young Shouri’s attention. The enigmatic, black clad girl had additional features that drew his undivided attention; it wasn’t any feature a human possessed.
Or a normal one at least.
Fox ears. Black, fluffy fox ears, currently folded back poked out of her medium length black hair. And a tail; a big furry tail, black with a white tip to go with the ears
It was at that moment, the unlikely pair’s eyes met for the first time. They both stared at one another for a moment, before the girl shrieked.
“EIYAHH!” She scrambled to her feet, stumbling over herself before finally standing up straight, holding her hands in front of her body. She breathed hard, wide-eyed; tail puffed out in fright.
“Ch-ch-chi sei tu?!” She demanded in a foreign tongue, pointing at him almost accusatorily.
Shouri raised an eyebrow as he slowly rose to his feet. He knew only one language, and whatever this girl was speaking, it was definitely not what he was practiced in. “My name is Shouri. Who are you?” He spoke like an uneducated moron (or at least that’s how he felt asking this girl a question in English when she just shouted at him in some other language).
Her ears twitched as his voice reached her ears. The girl’s breathing began to calm slightly.
“I-” She gulped, eyes darting back and forth as she tried to figure out what to say. “I’m not sure I should tell you that…” She muttered, now speaking English just fine. Shouri looked her over again. The tail was moving of its own accord. Her ears were also twitching and moving just like a dog’s would when listening for noises. Something he had missed before was a collar around her neck. It looked tight and had a tag with some writing that he couldn’t read from the distance they were from each other.
He stepped forward. The mysterious girl jumped in fright. “Why's that?” He asked whilst maintaining eye contact.
“Well you know that’s because I’m-” The girl stepped backwards, to counter Shouri's advance.
“I'm-?” Shouri gestured for her to continue, as he stepped forward once more.
“I-I don’t want to say…” The fox-eared girl closed her eyes and shook her head as she continued her retreat.
"I just can't!"
She whimpered, continuing her counter-steps to avoid Shouri’s forward momentum. Suddenly something solid hit her back, she looked back in fright to see a tree had stopped her. Turning her attention back to her pursuer, she was greeted with Shouri standing in front of her. Fearfully, the girl lowered herself to the ground. Her ears were folded back and her tail was between her legs as if she was expecting to get struck
“Please don't hurt me.” The girl pleaded, holding her hands out, expecting the worst. She held her eyes shut tightly, not wanting to see what was about to happen. Rather than pain, a different sensation surprised the girl. She felt her ears get moved up, then hands running down the length of them. She quivered slightly. “A-ahh…. S-smetterla.… I’m sensitive…”
Shouri raised an eyebrow. He was merely confirming his suspicion. The large, velvety soft ears in his hands were warm. His digits ran up and down the soft protrusions at the top of the girl’s head. She trembled with each stroke. It didn’t seem to be hurting her, he couldn’t place the expression she was making.
“Those are part of you?” He asked. She looked up at him. “Mhm.” She nodded slowly. It seemed like the frightened girl was calming down as he played with her ears. Did she like this? Either way, they were pleasant to touch, and as long as she was calming down with this, he’d keep going.
"What are you?" He decided to ask as he ran his fingernails across the base of her ears. She stared at him a bit blankly, getting lost in the feeling. She did acknowledge his question though: “I don't remember; they kept referring to me as a thing.” The girl quivered once more.
That was a hell of a non-answer. His vision trained down at the collar she was wearing. Now that he was closer, he could read the text. Of course, it was a bunch of unreadable numbers and letters, the most prominent being “2572”.
“Where did you come from?” Shouri asked, finally releasing the girl’s ears.
She processed that question for a moment, deciding how best to answer. “I jumped.”
The pair remained silent for a moment. “From where? And why?” Shouri asked.
“They were going to kill me. So, I jumped out of the building.” Her vision trained towards the ground. She visibly trembled, wrapping her arms around herself as she recalled her escape.
Shouri processed this information, remaining silent. He pieced together the fragments of this girl’s story and came to a realization of what exactly he had in his possession at the moment. This boy had to act decisively - they were both in danger. He grabbed her hand. She didn't have time to look up as she was pulled to her feet.
“We need to get moving, it's not safe here.” He told her. She watched him look around, but mostly up towards the sky. His hand remained tightly wrapped around hers.
There was a word he said that the young girl picked out in particular.
“Yeah, we need to leave now.”
She tilted her head. There was that word again; “we” as in “him and her”.
“Come on.” Shouri began to walk, trying to bring the girl with him. However, she stayed firmly in place and yanked her hand back. He turned to her. She held her hand that he had previously had attempted to take with him.
“Uh-uh.” She shook her head, stepping away from the boy.
“What?” Shouri turned his attention to the girl who was now refusing to budge. He raised an eyebrow “Why?”
“I should be asking you that.” The girl stared at him cautiously. “Why do you have any interest in protecting me?” She bit her bottom lip, fighting to hold back her tears. “Why should I trust you? No, why should I trust anyone?!” She shouted, tears poured down her cheeks as she glared at Shouri, her tail swishing back and forth.
The silence between them was sliced in two by a low whirring sound that was rapidly approaching their position. The pair of strangers looked up, then back to each other. Time was not on their side. Gritting his teeth Shouri just spoke, not really thinking about what he was saying.
“We don't have time for this.” He stepped forward and grabbed her hand. “You can't trust me, but it's the only real option you have at the moment, now come on!” Once more he attempted to pull her along with him, this time she didn’t resist and followed him.
Staying hidden under the canopy of the woods the two young adults ran hand-in-hand. The sounds of the whirring flying machines seemingly omni-present. “What are we going to do?!” The girl shouted as they ran.
“I don't know, I've never had to run from a helicopter before!” Shouri snarked back.
“I-I’m sorry!” She cried out between gasps for air.
“That was SARCASM!”
“MI DISPIACE!” The girl shouted another apology. The pair came to a stop to catch their breath, Shouri releasing the girl's hand. They listened closely for the noise they heard earlier. It sounded like there were additional machines in the air now to join the one that they initially heard.
“Seriously? Who the fuck did you piss off?” He muttered under his breath. He turned his attention to the escapee he was now aiding. “Where did you come from again?” Shouri asked, he needed to clarify what exactly he was getting himself into (not that it really mattered at this point).
She pondered that thought, trying to recall what even happened to her. “I dunno... I woke up in this white room, they must have thought I was asleep or something because they just left the door open. When I heard they weren't close by anymore, I got up and ran.” The girl explained.
“And then?” The jump section of the story was missing, so Shouri knew there was more to this.
“They found out I was trying to escape. The alarms started going off and the next thing I knew is they were chasing me.” The girl stopped speaking at this point, choked up from her own recollection of her escape. After a moment to calm herself, she finished her story. “I was so scared... They shot at me. I threw myself out the window but I didn’t realize how high up I was and fell into the river below.” The girl just stared down at the forest floor, sniffling.
Shouri just stared at the girl. He didn’t have a reason to doubt what she had said. What she was, how he found her, her emotions, it was all genuine. For him it had been some time since he had felt a drive to do anything. This girl represented something he thought he had lost; the drive to do something outside of just maintaining himself. With that in mind he spoke. “Okay, I’ll keep you away from them - or at the very least, you won't die alone.” Shouri offered.
“Sh-sho…” The girl looked up. Their eyes met. His gaze was unwavering. He meant every word. This boy came out of nowhere, pulled her out of a river and helped her evade her pursuers. That was probably twenty minutes ago. “B-but why?” She had to know. Even with what little she knew this was madness to her.
“I ran away once…” She could hear him mutter that. Even with her fluffy fox ears giving her better than average hearing, what he spoke was barely a breath. What did he run away from?
The girl’s thoughts were interrupted by him grabbing her hand again. He began to pull her along once again. “We need to keep moving. Shouldn’t stay in one spot too long.” She just followed along. Whatever happened to this boy must have been terrible. He was willing to throw his life away for a total stranger.
They no longer ran, but made calculated movements through the underbrush, being sure to stay hidden from any aerial observers. The girl listened intently to the sounds of the machines that were scouting for them. It seemed they were sticking to one area. As they advanced through the woods the sound grew fainter, until the whirring of helicopter blades was replaced with less familiar urban noises.
Soon they could see the makings of a city. It seemed they had escaped. Coming to a stop Shouri pondered what to do. “Well look at that, we survived somehow.” He let out a held breath. “Didn’t plan this far in advance.” The boy hummed in thought.
His tagalong however was flabbergasted by this admittance. “Ma dai?! You didn't think we would lose them?!” He noted her ears and tail were sticking straight up. He smiled a bit at how her extra appendages showed her emotions as well.
With a shrug he offered up the truth: “To be totally honest, no. I was ready for them to send people on foot. Guess they were just scouting for a body.” He stared at her. She knew that she was the body in question.
“They’re not gonna find one.” She muttered quietly.
“Exactly.” He nodded. There wasn’t a point in dwelling on that topic though, as there were more pressing matters to address. “Hmm… Best to lay low.” He folded his arms across his chest, humming as he tilted his head back and forth. “Eh fuck it.” Dropping his arms to his side, he turned to the escapee in question. “You’re coming to my place. My sister totally won’t be cool with this, but I’m not leaving you out in the cold.” He told her.
The girl’s ears wilted; her tail drooping low as she looked away. “You don’t have to do all that, not for me.” She shook her head slowly, refusing to look Shouri in the eyes. She wasn’t worth this effort, or at least that’s how she felt.
Despite her protests, Shouri was thinking of how to engineer this. The fox ears and tail would be a dead giveaway, especially if the people after her were some kind of government organization. She had a jacket, and so did he. Maybe they could wing this with some careful planning. “Okay, take off your jacket.” He told her, while removing his own.
The girl did as she was instructed. Taking that from her, he wrapped it around her waist, tying it off. This hid her tail just barely. The boy slightly cursed that he didn’t wear a hoodie. A hat was in this girl’s future for sure. “Just use this to cover your ears.” He decided on.
She was good at following directions it seemed. The girl was now slightly hidden from immediate suspicion, though careful observation from the general public would make them stand out immediately. “This is a shit disguise.” Shouri nodded, acknowledging the shoddy job this did, but it’d have to do for now. “Good enough, let’s go into town.” The girl gulped as she was pulled out of the safety of the woods. There weren’t many people around, thanks due in part to it being a weekday. The fox girl immediately noticed the route they were taking was strange. She didn’t see many other people on the streets and alleyways they were traversing. He definitely must live here, as it seemed he knew where to go to avoid the public eye.
Walking a bit further, they reached a small park in the center of town. The pair crouched near some bushes, so again they weren’t immediately visible. Shouri pulled out his cell phone and flipped through his contacts. Finally pressing dial, he brought the device up to his ear. “Aura?” The boy asked. The fox-girl only heard yelling, screaming, and a bit of sobbing from the other end.
“Yes, yes. I'll come home. I'm at the edge of the forest. I'll be there. Yes. Love you too, bye.”
Ending the call, he looked to his new companion, who already understood the situation. “You won't be at the edge of the forest.” The girl said simply.
“Smart girl. I get my sister out of the apartment; we can go in at our leisure.” Shouri explained. He motioned for the girl to duck down. The pair watched the street carefully. Several cars passed by. One stuck out in particular. It was going probably twice the speed limit for the neighborhood. Once that car passed, they stood up. “Okay, see that silver car that just passed?” He asked, walking around the bushes they had been hiding behind.
“That was my sister. We have about thirty minutes. fifteen to get there, five to wait around and look for me, and ten for her to freak out and speed home.”
That was oddly specific and calculated. “You've done this before.” The girl stared at Shouri.
“She needs to leave me be sometimes, we’re not kids anymore.” The boy grumbled. Despite the apparent irritation, the girl could sense some pain to that comment.
The brunet haired boy waved his follower forward. “Come on, lets get going.”
The two walked another two minutes up the street to a small apartment complex. It wasn’t the best complex in the city, and in all honesty, it was a bit rundown. That being said, it also wasn’t the worst place in town. In addition, most people that lived here had day jobs, so the complex in question was relatively devoid of life during the weekdays, perfect given their current situation.
They walked up a flight of stairs to unit# 471. Shouri drew his key from his pocket and unlocked the door, opening it and motioning for the girl to walk in. She just stared at him for a moment before accepting his invitation. She looked around the apartment, removing the jacket that covered her head and allowing it to fall onto her shoulders. With this her ears were afforded their freedom and they immediately stood straight up. Her tail swished behind her in curiosity as she walked over to the dining room table and took in her new surroundings.
There were a mess of papers, envelopes, books. One of them had a name on it. Aureolin Tomoshibi. “Aureolin.” The girl read off. She saw a photo sitting on a shelf nearby. She picked it up and looked at it. It was a picture of a girl with long blonde hair tied up in a ponytail, she was holding a diploma and was in a gown with a strange looking cap.
“That's my sister, Aura for short.” Shouri commented.
The girl turned to look at him, he was sorting through a few envelopes he found on the table. She looked back down at the photo again. “Nothing for me, just more bills.” Shouri threw the pile onto the table. “Come on, I'll show you my room”
After everything they had been through, a place to relax sounded wonderful at this point in time. She followed her host into his bedroom, not really caring (or realizing) any subtext that could have been implied to that kind of invitation.
Given how small the rest of the apartment was, there wasn't much to the bedroom, a bed, dresser and computer desk. They even seemed to even have the luxury of an in-unit walk-in closet. It looked like the computer desk was where Shouri spent most of his time. Papers, books and envelopes, like the dining room table. The girl heard a click from behind her. “I locked the door. We're safe for now.”
“That's a relief.” The girl smiled, looking down at her hands. She then realized she was still wearing Shouri's jacket. “Oh! Sorry!” The girl quickly removed the jacket and handed it back to the boy. He merely put his jacket back on. As she untied her jacket from her waist and put her own jacket back on.
“Well, er-” He paused with his mouth hanging open. There was a vital piece of information he had yet to capture. “I never did get your name, what is your name?” Shouri asked.
She frowned. “I don’t really remember much about myself.” She fidgeted nervously. “In fact, I don’t remember anything except waking up in that building.” Her blue eyes stared at the ground as if they would have the answer written there.
“Except-” She looked up. “-I remember my name. I remember that as clear as day.” She drew in a deep breath and then exhaled, smiling before she spoke. “My name is Blakki, I guess I’m in your care!”