Toradora: Altered Destinies
Ryoko Takasu was mostly happy with her life, really. She had a loving mother, a nice house, and lived comfortably. Her only problem was her looks. She had inherited a great body from her mom, her hair was long and shimmery, and her face was reasonably attractive. But her eyes... they were her greatest problem.
No matter how she tried to disguise them, her eyes seemed to scare people. Ryoko had tried long bangs, only to be mistaken for a ghost, had worn sunglasses and was mistaken for a yakuza. It seemed she was doomed to misunderstandings because of the eyes she had inherited from her father.
On the plus side, her defeat by Taiga had actually improved her social standing a bit. Apparently discovering she could get her ass kicked by the tiny terror had actually made people realize she was a normal girl. Well, relatively normal at least.
"Oh, stop whining," Taiga noted, the smaller girl sitting at the table sharing breakfast with the family.
"Gee, thanks for the sympathy," Ryoko said dryly as she carried the plates of rice to the table, her long hair swishing around her.
"Good morning," her mother Yasuko yawned as she stumbled into the room, the lovely blond dressed in a filmy nightie.
"Morning," Taiga smiled warmly, a much softer expression than she normally showed.
"Hi hi," Yasuko messed her hair up with a tender rub. "Can you make me one of your nummy omelettes?" she asked Ryoko endearingly.
"Sure," Ryoko smiled.
"And remember to write my name on it in ketchup!" Yasuko added excitedly.
Taiga laughed quietly, sitting at the table eating her rice. She had really warmed up to Tasuko, and Ryoko's mother had warmed up to her. Occassionally Ryoko thought about what kind of messed up homelife Taiga came from, considering her family was letting her live in a apartment on her own. It was hard not to get angry at them, but she knew Taiga wouldn't want her sympathy.
"Here you go," Ryoko said as she brought the eggs over, then took a ketchup bottle and wrote names on two of them.
"You'll make a good housewife some day," Taiga noted as she ate her's with obvious pleasure.
"And you won't," Ryoko shot back dryly as she sat down. She remembered the disaster area in Taiga's apartment before she came along and shuddered.
"No fighting you two," Yasuko chided as she ate. Thoughtfully she added, "It's nice having you eat breakfast with us, Taiga. It feels very homey."
Taiga went beet red, and Ryoko had to work hard not to laugh. The girl could be incredibly bold, yet also incredibly shy at times. It was really cute.
"Thank you," Taiga managed.
Ryoko finished her mouthful of food and washed it down with some water. "Which brings me to something my mom wants to ask you, but she can't get up the courage."
"Oh?" Taiga looked at Ryoko curiously.
"Why not move in with us?" Ryoko asked calmly.
Taiga's mouth dropped open in surprise, a event rare enough that Ryoko wished she had a camera to capture it. But she recovered pretty fast, "You can't be serious."
"Why not?" Ryoko asked with a shrug of her shoulders, "You're not happy living over at that big place alone, right? And mom wouldn't charge you much rent."
"If any," Yasuko added.
Ryoko munched on some rice as she added, "She's chipping in to the food bill at least."
Tasuko nodded reluctantly, "Point."
Taiga looked between them, frowning slightly. "My father would never go for it," she said to them flatly.
"Your father's a ass," Ryoko said shrugging. "And if he tries to make trouble we can just talk about how he's treated you. He's not stupid."
Taiga grunted softly.
It was times like this that Ryoko was glad her father had just walked out on Mom. If he had still been around, how messed up would she have turned out? Certainly Taiga's father hadn't helped her much. A manipulative bastard who waltzed into and out of his daughter's life on a whim, seemingly not caring how she was? Ryoko and Taiga were better off without them.
"Please, Taiga?" Tasuko smiled at the younger girl warmly.
Taiga smiled back, then nodded. "All right," she gave in, "I spend more time here than at home anyway." She looked at Ryoko, "You do realize there'll be trouble, right?"
"If so we can handle it," Ryoko smiled as she finished her food. She looked at the time and cursed softly, "Crap, we're cutting it close."
"Right," Taiga scarfed down her food, then both girls got to their feet. "See you later!" she called to Tasuko.
"See you," Tasuko yawned, intending to go back to bed once the kids were gone.
"Lock up before you go to bed," Ryoko ordered as both of them hurried out. She and Taiga hurried down the stairs and were off as she asked, "Do you still want me to help you hook up with Kitamura?"
"Of course," Taiga grinned, "and I'll help you with Minori too."
To be continued...?
Notes: Some points of divergence include that Taiga told Ryoko about her dad sooner, or Ryoko figured it out on her own. Ryoko is a bit more badass than canon Ryuuji, and ran with girl-gangs when she was younger. Might follow up on that later.