6/9/11 10:55 pm - nanakibh - Knight in Rusted Armor, Panda Hero/Miku, PG-13
Title: Knight in Rusted Armor (Chapter 1)
Author: Nanaki BH
Pairing: Panda Hero (Gumi)/Miku
Warnings: Attempted prostitution (lol)
Summary: An innocent girl, down on her luck in a dangerous town, meets the reclusive "hero" who may just change her life.
Notes: Written for the 'prostitution' square on my card at kink_bingo. I wasn't so into the prompt as a kink, but I think I made it into a pretty decent story somehow despite that. Also, in this, I'm assuming that Panda Hero = Gumi.
Disclaimer: Vocaloid and all related characters are property of Yamaha and their respective owners.
She was standing on the corner. That was, like, the universal invitation, right? She had made sure to dress cutely but now she was wondering if she should have chosen something a little shorter that showed a little more... uh...
Whatever, so she wasn’t busty at all.
Confidence failing her, she blew a strand of blue hair out of her face and shifted her weight from one foot to other, attempting to not look as conspicuous as she felt. Any minute, she expected a cop to roll up and bust her for this. Honestly, she’d be tempted to thank them if they did. This wasn’t exactly how she planned her life to go, but maybe somebody nice would come along and proposition her. That wasn’t unheard of, right? She’d read some manga like that before where the main girl was selling herself and then she got picked up by a very rich, loving man.
Right as the thought hit her, she spotted an expensive car rolling down the street. In this dirty neighborhood, that was a welcomed rarity. She edged closer to the sidewalk and stuck out her hip in what she hoped was an enticing-looking pose.
What do girls do when they want to attract attention?
Push hand through hair, shake it a little to let it float on the breeze, pout lips.
That probably didn’t look anywhere near as sexy as she wanted it to and she felt positively ridiculous, but hey, the car was stopping. The passenger-side window was rolling down. Curiosity, doubt, and a bit of cold fear went through her as she bent lower to get a peek at who was on the other side of the glass. If she got too freaked out she figured that she could just, like, turn around and run or something.
This was not her prince charming.
No, not at all. This wasn’t the fabulous, generous rich guy she had envisioned. This was some disgusting, fat mid-forties-something who clearly enjoyed throwing around his cash, who probably had a daughter and a wife, but still enjoyed picking up innocent girls like herself.
“Hey there, sweetheart. You need a ride?” The wink he gave her left no doubt to the way he meant it. Nervously, she shuffled her feet, not ready with a response yet. She hadn’t really thought this entire thing through. If she got stopped by a guy like this, aside from run, she didn’t know what to say. And it wasn’t like she really got to ‘pick’ who she ended up with in this kind of business, so she wasn’t sure if she could be so picky when the majority of the guys in this town looked like him, rich or not.
Who was she kidding? No one could even call this a ‘business’! It was prostitution! Prostitution! She was selling herself because she didn’t have enough cash anymore to afford bread. Oh, how far she had fallen. She was frankly ashamed. And this... was not looking good, because the guy was getting out of the car now.
She attempted to take a step back, but the man put a thick hand around one of her small arms. (Way to be romantic.) At his full height, he was even shorter than she was, but he was still intimidating. Maybe it was all the wealth he was radiating that made her feel overwhelmingly poor. In her thin white top and blue skirt, she suddenly felt really young next to him and the hand around her arm gave her all kinds of bad feelings.
She gave her arm a light tug and knew for sure that he was going to be tenacious about it when he didn’t let go.
“I’m not looking for any rides,” she said, emphasis on ‘rides’ and either of its implications. Instead of releasing her like any decent person would, he looked at her in the eyes and huffed a little, confident, highly-obnoxious laugh.
“Sweetheart, what else would you be doing on the corner looking like that?”
Like what? she thought. She thought her outfit made her look like a little girl. If anything, she probably looked lost. No doubt, this guy was a creep of the worst kind if he was looking to corrupt an innocent girl like herself. Now if he would just let go...
“Please let go of my arm, sir. I’m really not here to do any kind of thing you’re thinking of.” This time, she gave her arm a good wrench to the left and he still clung on, this time digging his fingernails into her delicate skin.
“My, my. If you had a little bit of patience, I could show you a nice night out.”
Sweet words weren’t going to help him any now that she knew he was a creeper. Talking her way out wasn’t really getting her out, though - and now to make the situation even worse, the driver was getting out of the car. Were they going to make her scream? She was totally going to start screaming in a second because this had gone beyond weird now and had reached into ‘oh shit these guys will do bad things to me’ territory.
“Just settle down and you’ll have a real good time,” he promised.
The driver’s easy pace suddenly got much faster as he approached her with something in his hand. A white cloth? She was familiar with this scenario.
She shut her eyes tightly, held her lips together and tried not to breathe. Suddenly around her, there was the sound of something being hit twice, then the sound of something hitting the ground and the pressure of the man’s hand on her arm disappeared. Still afraid of what might be going on, she peeked open an eye and realized with no small amount of shock that her would-be assailants were now slumped on the ground with their asses in the air. Cautiously, she opened both eyes and looked up farther.
A young woman in an outrageous outfit stood over the two with a sour expression, a baseball bat clasped loosely in one hand.
“You meant chloroform. And that’s definitely what it was.” The mysterious girl swung her bat over her shoulder, but still didn’t look up at her. “Be thankful. You won’t be getting group-raped tonight.”
Wow, what a polite, tasteful individual she was. Actually, if it weren’t for her unique, feminine voice, she wasn’t sure she would’ve known she was a girl at all. She had short, messy pink hair tucked under a white knit hat. The dark green coat she wore obscured her chest and clashed badly with her orange slacks. She felt better about her own girly appearance in the face of such a person. ‘Person’ in general felt like it was a very generous term when it looked as though she was trying to look like a panda with dark circles of makeup under her eyes.
“I suppose I would thank you,” she said, bowing her head, “but I don’t know what your name is.”
The girl looked at her with a vaguely displeased sneer, then turned her back to her.
“Call me whatever.”
“Okay, Whatever. I’m Miku. My many humblest thanks for saving me from imminent rape!”
The girl, ‘Whatever’ as Miku now dubbed her, turned around to glare at her. “Rape? More like questionable consent. I’m not sure what a court would think when any witness would say that you were on the corner selling yourself. You seem like a nice girl. Go back home to your parents now. I doubt you need money for shoes that desperately.”
Miku growled, balling her hands into fists. Whatever didn’t know jack about her situation so she had no room to talk. Who was she to say anything when it looked like she was wearing an outfit that was from a collection of garbage-dives?
“For one, I’m not as young as you apparently think I am. And for two, I really do need money. I’m broke as heck right now and there’s nobody hiring in this crappy town. There’re too many people, not enough work. So when you can’t get work, you just gotta make your own and there’s always one business you can always count on!”
Whatever sighed and plunked the end of her bat down on the ground. “You are a very cute, very innocent, very misguided young lady, let me tell you. I’m in no better situation myself. I’m honestly a little surprised that you don’t seem to know who I am and that you’re even talking to me, actually... I did just hit two suspicious men over their heads with a bat. Am I not suspicious?” She ended her rambling thoughts with a confused look in Miku’s direction.
Miku considered this with a thumb to her lower lip. She gave her another curious once-over.
“You hit the guys who were going to do bad things to me, so that makes you a good guy. Dare I say, you may be my knight in shining armor. But, like I said, I unfortunately don’t have anything. I’ve not a cent to thank you with.”
“When did I ever say I was expecting something?” Whatever asked, leaning into her bat. “Nobody thanks me around here for my fine work. Most folks don’t deserve my services, but some do pay me to leave them alone.”
That sounded like an interesting business she had going there. Was she like the town’s savior or something, swooping down to take out the trash of the streets? Miku felt pretty impressed - in a weird kind of way. She wasn’t sure how that could be a lucrative venture.
“Do you make money like that?”
“No,” Whatever said, once again returning the end of the bat to her shoulder. “Like I said, it’s only from the people who want me gone. They find it hard enough to get rid of me so they just pay me to get lost.” Getting lost seemed to be her current objective, as she began walking away from Miku mid-sentence.
Miku followed behind her, oblivious to the tenseness of the other girl’s shoulders and the uneasy air around her. “Can I join you then? I really need a job and if that works for you-”
“It doesn’t work for me,” she said, halting her stride. Miku narrowly avoided bumping into her from behind but still accidentally caught the back of the other girl’s boot with her own shoe.
Would the pouting act work for this girl? Did it work on girls at all? She was trying really hard to make it work, but Whatever was just staring at her with that frowny look on her face.
“Please? I... really am desperate here.” She hadn’t wanted to be telling any strangers anything personal about herself, but something felt different about this girl. Maybe she did understand. She looked so different, like a castaway from the normal world, and she obviously didn’t have any money either, but she was adapting somehow, wasn’t she? “I lost my apartment. I can’t go back unless I get enough for my rent,” she said quietly, lowering her eyes to the sidewalk.
After fixing her with an another authoritative stare, Whatever began walking away again.
“Please? I’ll do anything for you, Miss Whatever. I’ll wash your clothes. I’ll scrub your bathtub. I’d even give you massages!”
She stopped and this time Miku really did knock straight into her - except this time, she had turned around and Miku found herself chest-to-chest with the stranger.
“I have a name and it’s Gumi. People call me Panda Hero but don’t go calling me that, alright?”
Panda... Hero... Come to think of it, Miku did recall hearing that name before. She was sure popular, wasn’t she?
She glanced back to the street corner where the expensive car sat with its doors open, as if inviting scum to come steal it while the bad men still lay flat on the floor. Miku didn’t know anything about defending herself, but if she was with the one they called Panda Hero, then she would be A-OK. For some reason, she had always had the impression that Panda Hero was a boy, but this was good, too. Even if she carried a big baseball bat, Miku felt less intimidated by a girl.
“So does this mean that I can work for you?”
“You can live with me.”
Miku thought for a moment and then tilted her head, loose blue bangs falling in front of her face. “Are you going to pay me?”
Gumi shrugged and didn’t break her step once as she said over her shoulder, “Maybe, maybe not. I’ll find you something to do. Better than letting you get yourself used as a sex slave.”
“I was going to run.” Then Miku remembered the firm hand around her arm and realized that, no, she wouldn’t have been very good with that whole prostitution idea if she couldn’t even shake herself free from one guy. “Uh... Yeah. I’ll definitely come stay with you for a while.” She paused and nibbled her lower lip. “...Thank you.”
She didn’t get to hear Gumi respond when they suddenly stopped outside of a building. It looked like all the rest on the street; sort of worn down and unkempt-looking like no one cared to even maintain the image from the outside. Miku immediately assumed that this was going to be the home of the mysterious Panda Hero. The run-down atmosphere seemed to fit with her personality and appearance, even if it didn’t sound like much of a compliment. She imagined that the inside would be very cozy and cockroach-infested.
“Follow me,” the pink-haired one bit out as she pushed open the door. Instead of heading up the stairs, Gumi opened the next door they immediately came to at the entrance and started leading Miku down a flight of stairs into a rather dark part of the apartment building. Were they going to the basement? There was another cliché that Miku wasn’t interested in getting to experience personally; the one where she was led down to the basement and was introduced to a flimsy mattress, a camera, and cheap porn lighting. Was this how she would make her living now?!
At the bottom of the stairs, Gumi’s hand easily found and pulled a beaded cord that dangled from the ceiling. Expecting the overhead lights to come on, Miku squinted her eyes, but was surprised when only a few lamp lights around the room lit up along with strings of strategically placed Christmas lights. The lighting was indeed poor, but at least there weren’t any cameras and there weren’t any cockroaches scurrying like she had feared there would be. In the middle of the small room was a little round table that sat low to the ground with magazines and knickknacks piled up on it. As she suspected though, there was only one mattress that sat in the corner without any support beneath it. There wasn’t any carpeting, but at least she had a number of blankets.
“Looks cozy,” she said, admiring her makeshift home.
Gumi huffed and tossed her bat down next to the table with a clang. “Don’t lie. It’s just what the super promised me if I kept this place scum-free.”
“I’m not lying, though,” she said, taking a few more steps into the room. Not like there was really anywhere to go. The room was pretty small, after all. “It isn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting!”
“What kind of expectations did you have...?” Gumi wondered aloud. Sighing and shaking her head, she sat herself down on the bed and removed her jacket. After it was tossed to the foot of the bed, she laid back and linked her hands behind her head.
If there was any doubt left in little Miku’s head, now it was obvious that Panda Hero was a girl. Underneath her jacket, she only had on a tank top that showed off quite a lot once she reclined on top of the bed.
“Are you not wearing a bra?”
Shocked apparently, Gumi rolled over onto her side and put her arms defensively around her chest. “Problem?”
Miku laughed nervously and to avoid making anything more awkward, decided to say something else. “Where am I going to sleep?”
Glancing behind herself, Gumi eyed the rest of the tiny room and then shrugged a bare shoulder. “If you don’t like the floor, you can sleep in the bed.”
“But you’re in the bed already.” It sounded like the floor was going to be her only option. She would feel horrible to kick her new friend out of her own bed - she didn’t know if she would give it up for her even if she did want it anyway.
“There’s enough room for you, too. You’re small.”
She really wanted her to join her? Even though the bed barely had enough room for one person?
“I...” Miku’s fingers curled in the edge of her skirt, her shoulders drawing up. “You don’t have to be... so nice.”
Wordlessly, Gumi pulled herself up the bed and turned down the sheets. She shucked her boots and when her fingers met with the zipper of her pants, Miku yelped and hid her eyes until it was safe to look - except when she returned her eyes to Gumi, she was sitting there rather comfortably in her tank and panties, looking like this was totally normal for her.
“If you really feel obligated to repay me, then you could always pay me with your body,” she said, her eyelids lowered, expression serious.
Miku stammered pitifully in embarrassment until she finally managed to steel herself again... as much as she was going to be able to, at least. She had to find her resolve somewhere and decided that at least this situation could be worse. If it weren’t for Gumi, she might be in the backseat of that expensive car, getting touched in all the wrong places by those disgusting men. At least Gumi was some sort of good. She was a hero - a lousy one, but still a hero to her now.
“If that’s what it takes...” She moved her hands shakily to the top buttons on her blouse.
Gumi laughed, resting her cheek in her palm. Her elbows were resting on her bended knees, showing off... too much. Miku could feel herself blushing. “You know I was messing with you, right?” She moved aside and made room next to herself on the bed, wordlessly offering the spot to Miku.
She took off her shoes but left everything else on. Quietly, she crawled into the open spot and tried to unobtrusively find a place for her head against the pillow, which was sort of next to it and not exactly on it and even though she tried to put some distance between them, she could still feel the warmth radiating directly off of Gumi’s body. Her eyes were stuck staring at the fine hair at the nape of her neck.
There wasn’t a word for the way she felt. She was tired and... afraid. She had never thought she’d reach this point where she had nowhere to go and now there was this girl who had promised to not leave her alone. In this whole town, she didn’t even know there was a person who would care that much. It made her breath stick in her throat and made her mouth feel dry as she knew that tears were threatening to come. Because she wasn’t really alone. Miku didn’t like this tiny, uncomfortable bed, but she wasn’t alone.
It wasn’t hard to find the words for her, though.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
Gumi turned her head slightly and the black circles under her eyes accentuated how tired she looked. Without her hat and jacket, she looked more gentle and... normal.
The weight of one hand settled on top of Miku’s head and then she was forehead-to-forehead with Gumi.
Sighing, she murmured tiredly, “You’re a silly girl.”
Yeah, silly was what she had to be. In just the course of one day, she had been kicked from her apartment, cried outside the building, stood on the corner to sell herself, nearly got into the worst mess of her life, and was now laying in the same bed as the woman who had rescued her.
“Thank you,” she repeated. “You really are... a good hero.”
She honestly hadn’t ever heard anything very good about the Panda Hero. If anything, her brand of justice could be labeled as vigilantism and everyone thought of her as more of a bother than a help. Miku didn’t know her like that, though. She didn’t pay attention to the negativity that came from other people, so when they met, all Miku saw was someone a little odd - but someone who had come to her rescue nonetheless. Now, by letting her stay in her room, she was going out of her way for Miku.
Without anywhere else to go, Miku knew that it was in her best interest to stay with Gumi, but now she was more interested in staying to figure out why she wanted her there.
The girl falling asleep next to her was so strange.
So strange, but so nice. She wished that everyone else could see her like that and then maybe she wouldn’t have to live like this.
It looked as though Gumi were asleep, but Miku still felt the need to quietly whisper again, “Thank you.”