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(continued story) She longed to fulfill their wish, but she didn't have time or the opportunity. She could get scolded for resting. And they would get off work soon anyway. "Hey, what's the matter?" Fusashi, her pretend boyfriend asked of her as he walked up. "Nothing, I'm just tired." Ryoko responded, brushing it off. Fusashi frowned, deeply concerned. "Ryoko, you just stumbled. You worked yourself too hard, you should sit down." "I'm fine; I'll be getting off soon anyway." Ryoko countered too lightly. Fusashi shook his head. "No, if you're flinching, I can see you are, you should be sitting down and staying there." He pulled out a chair and set in the middle of the room, next to one of the empty party rooms they'd just cleaned out. Ryoko fought his insistence. "I can't. The manager wants us to do our job, and until I finish mine, I can't sit down." "And what if your foot falls off before then??" Fusashi countered, as stubborn as she. "Now..sit down!" he grunted as he grasped her, not harshly though, and wrested her into the seat. Once nestled in the chair, Ryoko realized her body lost all its strength and just remanded rooted to the seat. Nonetheless, she glanced fearfully throughout the building for any sight of their employer. "He's working us too hard anyway." Fusashi announced firmly as he watched her. "And I don't think your mother would like you coming home and then collapsing and dying." He then squatted down and worked her shoes off her worn feet. "You don't need these on." he remarked, grunting. When the shoes came off, both teens stared at her feet, stunned and grim. Her feet were so chaffed, and so raw that it had produced blood, and it trickled down her ankles. Ryoko was shocked, though she figured she should've suspected it. Oh great, she could never get this past her mother! Fusashi scowled. "I knew it, you were working too hard." he muttered, rising up. "What-what're you doing?" she questioned. "I'm getting something. Stay there!" he commanded, staring sternly at her. (to be continued)

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