Disclaimer: I do not own To Love-Ru or To Love-Ru Darkness. They belong to Hasemi Saki and Yabuki Kentarou.
Yami had spent the entire day apologizing to the people that she had harmed in some way during her rampage as Darkness, even going so far as to collect milk for the shrunken Princess Lala. After running into Mikan and enjoying some taiyaki with her best friend, she felt that the whole incident was finally over. Now she had only one person to say anything to, and it had to be the hardest thing she could ever think of. Thanking Yuuki Rito, her target and eternal ecchi person, for saving her.
Spotting him walking towards her in the evening, she couldn't stop the embarrassed blush from crossing her face as she tried to summon the courage to say words she never thought she would ever say.
"Yuuki Rito, about yesterday…" Yami stated as calmly as she could. It made him flinch in what she guessed had to be an automatic reaction to her voice after all the beatings she had given him.
"Yami, I…" He started to say before his fear turned his words to mumbled gibberish. Giving Yami the opportunity to speak first.
"T-T-Th-Th-Th…" Yami struggled to get her mouth to say what she needed to express. "Than-"
"I'm sorry!" Rito shouted out, interrupting her attempted gratitude. "With what happened yesterday! I know you hate stuff like that, but please help me!" He bowed his head pleadingly, desperate for the chance to make things right.
Yami was stunned, to say the least. Not only had her target apologized for his indecent acts yesterday, but he was now asking for help. "Help you with what? Have you finally accepted your death?"
Rito's head rocketed back, a mask of fear crossing his face before shifting to slightly uncomfortable with what he considered a long running joke at this point. "No. I… I wanted you to teach me how to fix my balance. Walk without tripping over myself. Or at least learn how to avoid falling like a pervert." His face betrayed how ashamed of himself he was to Yami, who felt a sudden pang of sympathy for her target.
"So you are claiming that it was because you have no sense of balance that you have groped, fondled, or otherwise sexually assaulted every female you've come in contact with?" Yami's expressionless eyes pierced Rito to the core, crushing him with her accusations. Which only elicited more pangs within her.
"Yes!" He immediately answered, before thinking back to what he did to Darkness. A rampant blush crossed his face at the memories. Yami seemed to sense this and turned away from him, trying to forget the feeling of his hands on her body.
"If what you say is true, I will." Rito sighed with relief at the rational answer he received. It seemed that someone believed him. "Meet me in the park tomorrow after school. But if I hear you've done anything ecchi to someone before then, I will kill you." Rito sighed again, this time in disappointment and frustration. He just couldn't win.
Rito couldn't believe his good luck the next day. No Momo in his bed, no random tripping accidents, no being flung into girls by Oshizu, no wild inventions from Lala, not even a single strange incident all day. As he had left school, even Yui had mentioned he "wasn't shameless today." If only that were every day, he thought. Once he made it to the park, he sat on a bench waiting for Yami to arrive.
"I'm impressed Yuuki Rito." Yami stated from behind him, making him jump in fright at her sudden presence.
"Yami! Please don't sneak up on me." Rito pounded his chest in an attempt to slow his racing heart.
"You managed to not be ecchi. Thus your training will begin." Yami's hair twisted into fists, making Rito gulp.
But rather than receive a beating, Rito found himself pushed to the limits of his flexibility, reflexes, and overall endurance by rigorous, and in some cases forceful, exercises. After three hours, Yami had finished her inspection and first session.
"Yami, you want to come to our house for dinner? I bet Mikan would enjoy having you over again." Rito requested, hoping she would consider it.
"Not this time Yuuki Rito." She replied, starting to walk away from him.
"Do you have plans already?"
"I will not discuss such things with my target." With that said, Yami disappeared, leaving Rito alone and sweaty from his workout.
The next few days astounded both Yami and Rito, as he explosively grew under her relentless teaching style, often picking up things in the instant he was shown them. Combined with his inhumanly fast reflexes, the exercises strengthened his extended awareness of his surroundings, his core strength, and even his basic footwork and gait. Which tamed his spiky hair as if to show his growth. Each day in school, the amount of random accidents he had decreased, removing Yami's constant stigma of him as an ecchi person. Though it sparked rumors that he was developing a smaller group to focus his efforts on.
Rito, for the most part, found himself looking forward to his sessions with Yami after only a few days. He could feel himself changing for the better throughout each session. And after each session, Rito would invite Yami over only to have it turned down each time.
On Friday, Yami gave Rito his first assignment.
"Do these exercises each day of the weekend Yuuki Rito. That is all for this week." Yami turned to leave like always, only to be stopped by Rito's voice.
"You know you can just call me Rito, Yami. You're one of my best friends so I don't mind." His words made her halt, blushing at the fact that her had referred to her as such.
"Why would I want to be friends with my target?"
Rito sighed, a little disappointed by her. "You're the best friend of my sister, you're friends with Lala, and practically everyone else. But if you want to think of me as your target even now, that's fine. Just answer this: Why would you help your target like this?"
His question nearly floored Yami with its point. She considered her contract, everything she knew about Rito, and the current situation. She didn't have the desire to kill him, and he was even trying to stop his ecchiness. He simply wasn't the person she had been hired to kill.
"You might be correct….R-Rito." He smiled at the concession. "But if I find out that you're using the skills I'm teaching you for ecchi things, I will revise my current stance." His smile twisted into a slight grimace, but he knew he had just won an important battle.
"Wouldn't expect it to be any other way Yami."
Rito should have known his Monday was going to make up for the terrific week he had had.
He sat down in his seat, ready for class to start when he felt a dark aura behind him. A hand clamped down on his right shoulder, and he turned to see a dark Saruyama backed up by dozens of shadowy male figures. "Ritooooo…"
He gulped, realizing that this was the retribution being brought on him by some cruel god. "Y-yes, Saruyama?"
"You already have Haruna, Run, and Lala all over you; you live with four girls; you're related to Riko; and now you're spending time with that Yami girl? How long until you're satisfied?" The hand on his shoulder tightened its grip, promising him nothing but pain.
Rito quickly processed what his best friend, and current public executioner was saying. Someone had seen Yami and him meeting up in the park after school. Everyone apparently thought that meant he was secretly seeing Yami. Which he wasn't. But it wouldn't be worth it to try and argue with this crowd of hormonal teens waiting for his blood.
So Rito did the only thing he could do in this situation. He grabbed Saruyama's arm and pulled him into a shoulder throw that Yami used to teach him about tripping in crowds. In the confusion caused by his sudden attack he made it out the door of the classroom before Saryama and his minions recovered.
"After him!" The monkey king proclaimed to his fellow sexually frustrated classmates, leading the chase after Rito. Taking advantage of his lead, Rito made it to the stairs, intent on getting outside where he stood a better chance of not getting cornered and using his endurance to simply outlast the mob. He bounded down the first set, rounding the landing with his eyes directed towards his goal.
Only to find Haruna Sairenji about to start up the stairs towards him. Rito realized what was going to happen in the instant he tried to twist and avoid the collision that was waiting for him when his foot slipped on the top step. He saw Haruna's purple eyes widen as his foot slid out from underneath him and gravity pulled on him mercilessly.
But he countered his fall, putting a hand down to propel himself into a handspring and flip that carried him over Haruna, much to the amazement of his pursuers and bystanders. Only to find his intended landing zone beyond Haruna now occupied by the Devilukean twins, Momo and Nana.
"Really?" He barely had time to question his luck before he crashed into them, falling in what could only be described as lewd. His left hand had slipped into Momo's shirt and bra, resting in her cleavage. Meanwhile his right hand was currently inside Nana's panties groping her ass. And heaven forbid that it would end there. Nana was seated in his lap, bent awkwardly by Momo's body pressing her down, all while Momo's apparent seat was Rito's face. And somehow both of their tails had ended up in his mouth.
Rito heard Nana growl and Momo whimper at their current position. So he immediately bounced out of the tangle, fear of Nana clear on his face. Before he could even begin to apologize, he heard an indignant shout from further down the hall.
"You! How dare you touch our pure princess Momo!?" The leader of the VMC Fan club declared while the other members drew out all manners of school-based weaponry to assault him with. Rito didn't hesitate as he heard a stampede coming down the stairs. He took off at a full sprint, wondering who hated him this much to give him that hopeful week before this mess. He barely noticed that Mea was watching her senpai while he got chased for his increasingly rare ecchi moments.
The combined forces of Saruyama and the VMC chased him all around the school, eventually trapping Rito on the roof. But when they made it there and scoured the area, they couldn't find a trace of him. After searching for several minutes, they gave up, believing he had somehow managed to give them the slip. A few seconds after the last pursuer left, an arm scrabbled to try and claw its way back to the roof.
Spotting the oddity, Mea left her hiding spot to look over the edge. There, Rito dangled and tried to pull himself back up to safety. He had been hanging there for so long he no longer had the strength to pull himself back up.
"Mea!" He exclaimed, surprised that the red-headed Trans weapon was standing there. "Help me up."
"So Rito-senpai, why were they chasing you this time?" Mea asked, ignoring his current problem.
"They thought I was secretly dating Yami and when I tried to escape I tripped and fell on Momo while her fan club was following her. Now help me, my arms are getting really tired." He complained, focusing to keep all of his fading strength in his arms.
"Hmmm." Mea saw something near the spot directly below Rito, giving her a very naughty idea. "Don't worry, you'll land softly." She smiled while her braid snaked out from behind her, transforming into a large hand.
Rito didn't have time to react as Mea used her hair hand to push him down. Hard. He plummeted, screaming for his life.
Below, Yami heard the familiar sound of Rito screaming as he flew through the air and looked up to search for the inevitable impact, only to catch sight of something white before it struck her with all its force.
Rito winced, opening his eyes to see what he had landed on. After seeing what, or rather who, he landed on, he considered writing his will with his last few seconds. Yami was pinned underneath him, his right hand on her left breast, his left on her thigh and his knees pressing against the spot between her legs. And her red eyes matched by the redness of her cheeks.
"I'm sorry!" He exclaimed, jumping back in hopes of appeasing the assassin.
Yami stood up, glaring daggers at Rito. "You have five seconds to explain this, Rito. And remember, I hate your ecchi acts." Her hair began to transform into all manner of sharp and deadly objects, matching her gaze.
"IgotchasedtotheroofandfellwhenMeapushedme!" He shouted, dropping into a dogeza bow, with his face completely in the dirt to hopefully save his life.
Yami sighed and looked up, not surprised to see Mea still standing at the edge of the roof with a cheeky grin and a wave. She looked at Rito's groveling form before sighing again. "I'll excuse it this time." His head rose up in total shock. "But today's session will be that much more intense to atone for it." Rito sweatdropped, internally thanking whatever god had just spared him the beating that Yami normally gave him.
"Can you teach me how to fight?" Rito asked after that night's session, barely able to stand.
"Why?" Yami's red eyes bored into his soul. He gulped before steeling his resolve.
"Partly so I can deal with that former friend of mine and his crew of walking hormones when something goes wrong at school, and partly so I can stop being so useless whenever someone I care about gets attacked." He admitted, clenching his fists while holding back a few tears while he replayed his many failures in his mind: Lascopo, the assassin Black, Ghi Bree, Azenda, Bladix, even Darkness. All he could do was watch as everyone else fought, his own lack of skills proving his incapability.
Yami's eyes widened, surprised that Rito was again opening up to her and asking for her help. While she could no longer think of him as her target, she couldn't believe that he trusted her so much.
"Okay." The warmth of his smile at her answer brought a very different warmth to Yami's cheeks.
Once again, Rito's explosive growth and swift learning threw Yami for a loop. It was as though Rito's body, as weak as any human's, was only waiting for her instruction to become much stronger. Much, much stronger.
By Friday, Yami estimated that between everything she had taught Rito, he was already on the level of a professional dancer or gymnast in terms of acrobatics. And easily a red belt in her mix of martial arts, if not higher. She couldn't help but be amazed at the slight but still noticeable muscle definition that had appeared on Rito's body, turning his slim figure into a finely-toned man still reaching his prime.
On Friday, Rito decided to switch tactics from inviting Yami over for dinner. "Yami, how much manga have you read?"
"Plenty." She replied robotically, curious why Rito was trying to make small talk. She was fine with it during the sessions, as it helped the time pass. But she had gotten tired of his constant dinner invitations.
He smiled as he knew he could get her with his next suggestion. "Well, Mikan and I are going over to our dad's manga studio tomorrow to help. Why don't you come along?"
Yami felt a sudden flush cross her face, so she turned away. Every time a boy invited a non-familial female to meet his parents in romance novels, it was because he wanted approval to date her. Yami couldn't stop the thought of Rito confessing to her from crossing her mind, making her flush deeper. She turned away, not wanting him to see how much of an effect his words were having.
"I just thought you might enjoy the chance to get a look behind the curtain, so to speak. Plus Mikan and you haven't hung out because of our training sessions." Rito replied, an innocent smile on his face.
Yami managed to get the possibility of Rito's confession off of her mind by thinking about what he said. "Wait, you said your father's manga studio. Would he happen to be Saibai Yuuki?"
Rito's confusion was evident, but he managed to answer the question. "Yes."
"Very well then. Let Mikan know I wish to join." Rito's smile couldn't have gotten broader.
Monday arrived, and Rito found himself humming on the way to his classroom. He had been surprised to find out that Yami was a fan of his dad and had clearly enjoyed the opportunity to help him meet another deadline. His pleasant reverie was broken by the feeling of a pair of breasts pressing against his arm. Suppressing his instinct to jump away, he turned to find Mea pressing herself against him. However, he failed to stop a blush from appearing.
"M-Mea, please don't do that." She obliged his request, pulling back slightly but keeping a vice-like grip on his arm.
"Senpai is very bold. Taking Yami-oneechan to a private apartment." Mea teased, enjoying the deepening blush that she got as a response. Her braid started to swish from side to side, much like a dog's tail.
"I-I-I didn't! That was my dad's apartment, where he works on manga!" Rito replied, wary of any male students overhearing them.
"Hehhhh…" Mea skeptically answered. "Then that means you can do licky-licky things with me since you're not dating her."
Rito couldn't stop his face from becoming tomato red and incoherently stuttering as Mea skipped off, laughing at his predicament.
"Ritoo….." Saruyama's voice made him turn to find a shadowed mob waiting for him. "Not just Yami, but her little sister Mea too?" Rito gulped before taking the first step of his long sprint-marathon.
By Friday, Rito couldn't wait for the chance to hang out with Yami. She'd been steadily opening up to him long before they started training, but now she casually talked with him about whatever book she was reading before coming to his house for dinner with him, Mikan, Celine, and the Devilukean princesses.
When the last bell rung, Rito grabbed his backpack and made a dash for the school's shoe lockers. But as he made to hurry down the stairs, he felt both of his feet go out from underneath him. He barely registered it before he put himself through a series of acrobatic moves to try and recover, only to fail as his sense of balance went utterly haywire. Making him land on someone who walked by mid-fall.
They were brought to the ground, Rito pinning the unfortunate bystander. Who just so happened to be Yami. Rito quickly noticed that once again he had both his hands on her chest, and his knee was pressing against the space between her legs.
"I hate ecchi. Especially yours." Yami stated, not giving him mercy by punching him with her hair. He slammed into a nearby wall, painfully ending up stuck like a wall fixture. While he was recovering, Yami came over to inspect him to ensure she caused no lasting damage, since she knew he wasn't at fault. She had seen his attempt to recover and then watched as he nearly succeeded, only to fail when his balance decided to abandon him mid-air.
That didn't mean she was going to let him get away with being ecchi to her. Or anyone else, she extended the thought.
"Why does my sense of balance seem to hate me?" Rito questioned from the wall, slowly extracting himself while Yami was lost in thought. By the time he managed to free himself, Yami's stare had sufficiently unnerved him. "Yami?"
"Yes?" She returned from her deep thoughts. "Perhaps you have a problem physically? Doctor Mikado can take a look."
Rito managed to repress the thought of what the sexualized doctor would do if given the chance. "I kind of doubt that. It's been happening ever since Lala warped into my bathtub in front of me, and hasn't gotten better since."
Yami's red eyes widened, startled as she processed the information. "She warped into your bathtub? How close were you to the point where she warped?"
"Close enough to make contact with her while trying to not be blinded by the light." He half-lied. Though he was lying about the fact that he made contact instead of accidently grabbing her breast.
Yami seemed to sense him holding back on some information, so she volunteered her own. "When weaker species are too close to a warping individual, they can sometimes be affected by the transfer of particles. It can even cause spontaneous warping or loss of limbs."
Rito gulped, suddenly caught in a fantasy where he had been warped to the middle of nowhere instead of finding Lala standing naked in front of him. "Seriously?"
"Perhaps it really is a good idea to see Doctor Mikado." Yami suggested again.
"Lead the way." Was Rito's response, still questioning how much his life had changed since this had all started.
"This was a good call by Yami," Mikado confirmed after looking at her scanner, "Rito has Spontaneous Fluid Warping Syndrome. It keeps moving the fluid of his inner ears around at random intervals, leading to his… well-known accidents."
Rito was dumbfounded to find out that not only was Yami right, but he even had a medical reason why it always happened. "So is there a cure?"
Mikado looked over her glasses at the boy, considering her options for teasing him. "I can cure it. Which is good news for Yami." She winked at the assassin. "Now your boyfriend won't be falling over other women."
Rito immediately turned tomato red at the insinuation, while Yami couldn't stop the shock from appearing on her face. Mikado watched as steam started to pour off of Yami before her hair formed a fist that struck Rito, who was too busy stuttering to defend himself.
"I hate perverts!" She declared, while Rito found himself stuck in a wall for the second time today. She left the nurse's office, too embarrassed by Mikado's accusation to do much else.
Mikado took the opportunity to extract a now unconscious Rito from the wall. "You two have such cute reactions to my teasing."
Yami avoided both Rito and the Yuuki household for the entire weekend, trying to sort out her own actions in Mikado's office.
He might no longer be my target, but that doesn't mean I like him. He's ecchi! …But it's because he has a medical condition he couldn't control. But that doesn't mean he can touch everyone like he did. …But he's been trying to stop being ecchi, even coming to train with me, who hurts him the most for his accidents… This is Doctor Mikado's fault for saying that…!
Before Yami knew it, she was back in school on Monday, staring out the window of her classroom while Tearju sneaking worried looks at her. At lunch, she came to the conclusion she should apologize for unfairly attacking Rito.
She found him on the landing between staircases, clearly making his way down. She suspected he was on his way to apologize to her.
"Yami." He said, stepping back from the edge of the landing once he caught sight of her.
"Rito." She answered, looking at him.
"Thanks." Rito bowed at the waist, his sincere words overwhelming Yami's initially planned apology. "If you hadn't taught me, put up with my problem, and recommended that we visit Doctor Mikado, I don't know what I would be doing."
"Probably landing face first in some unfortunate girl's skirt." Yami deadpanned, making Rito straighten up with an awkward chuckle.
"Probably. But thanks to you, that won't happen anymore." He smiled at Yami, warming her insides in a way that she still didn't understand.
"I'm glad." Yami turned to head back down the stairs, but paused at the edge of the top stair. "And Rito… sorry about what happened, you didn't deserve it."
Rito had a flashback to the undeserved punch, but managed to smile since Yami had decided to apologize for it. "Don't worry. I wouldn't want my best friend to feel bad about something like that."
Yami had started to step down, only to falter at Rito's mention of their friendship. She felt herself slip and instinctively reached out for something to grab onto. That something being Rito, who couldn't stop their fall since Yami grabbed him by the arms. They fell down the stairs landing in a heap at the bottom.
In a twist of their usual problems, Yami found herself not being molested by Rito. Instead, it seemed that she was repaying him for all the previous times. She had landed slightly to the side of him, her legs pinning down his arms. Her left hand was under his shirt, pushing it back to reveal his recently-revealed abs. But her right hand had crossed the threshold, and she felt it wrapped around some piece of flesh that was rapidly growing harder in response to her reflexive squeezing. Yami felt her whole face turn red as she realized what she was currently grabbing.
"Hey, Yami…" Rito's voice brought her back to reality. "I know this is a little backwards, but could you please get off of me?"
His polite request made Yami snap, a hair-fist aimed directly at Rito's face. "I hate ecchi!"
So this is just a Yami/Rito fluffy one-shot AU set after Chapter 47 of To Love Ru Darkness as a request for a friend.
And yes, I recognize that Rito is very OOC in this because of his battle against Darkness. After having enough time to think about what it entailed, Rito realized that the bug in Darkness was directly caused by all of his accidents.
Explanation: The Darkness program is a system of brainwashing and computer-programming in Yami's nanomachines that were set to trigger under a certain set of conditions. Brainwashing is the act of inflicting trauma on its victim to achieve the desired response to stimuli. To create a bug in the system means that Rito caused Yami enough psychological trauma that it replaced the trauma of the brainwashing. Yeah… think about that.
And of course, Rito being himself, couldn't stand the idea that he hurt someone that he cared about. And thus his desire to change and apologize to Yami.
And to every other fan of this series, I'm sorry I couldn't really come up with a way to include the rest of the girls! I really tried to bring as many of them together as I could.
Update 3/14/2016: With TLR: Darkness chapter 65, the curing of Rito's strange falling syndrome have begun. Apparently I am psychic.