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Before My Body Is Dry is a Fanfic written by Girth Johnson, following his OC Akio Takahiro as he goes through the events of Kill La Kill, aiding Ryuko in her quest for revenge, while also overcoming his own personal demons.

A sequel, First Comes Love was also written by the same author, which follows the events after Kill La Kill, as everyone adapts to living a normal life.

BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS

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This Fanfic Contains Examples Of...

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While still hotheaded and impulsive, Ryuko becomes noticeably more pleasant, sweet and girly when Akio's around. Especially when they become a couple.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: While Ryuko (for the most part) was Ambiguously Gay, here, it's made clear that she's straight (or bisexual at most), given her relationship with Akio.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Somehow, Ragyo got a Villain upgrade from the original, chaining Akio up with Satsuki, attempting to use Ryuko to bribe him, letting Nui whip him and injecting an unknown chemical into him.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: How Akio and Ryuko bond most of the time: patching each other's physical injuries or overcoming emotional trauma.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: For all the horrible things she's done to ruin Akio's life, you can't help but feel disturbed when he begins to choke Nui out in grotesque detail.
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  • Big Brother Instinct: Aikuro is very protective and supportive towards his adopted brother, Akio.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Aikuro acts as this to Akio. He always keeps a close eye on Akio's actions and is usually the first person he reports to after any special events.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played both ways with Akio and Ryuko. While Ryuko by no means need any kind of protection, and the job tends to get Akio more beaten up then Ryuko, the two of them start to build a strong friendship that blossoms into something more.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: One of Akio's biggest concerns is Ryuko's safety, even though she is more than capable of defending herself. And whenever Ryuko is seriously hurt or injured, the first person Akio blames is himself for letting it happen.
  • Break the Cutie: Plenty of those moments for everyone, but Akio and his younger sister Akiko probably get it the worst when their parents are murdered.
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  • Cool Big Bro: Aikuro to Akio.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Downplayed and subverted with Mako. With their gratuitous amount of overt Ship Tease in the anime, you'd think Mako would get possessive or upset over Ryuko's budding relationship with Akio. While Mako is a bit hurt that Ryuko is more open to Akio than she is with her, she understands it's because of Ryuko's unspoken feelings for him. And when Ryuko and Akio finally come together, she goes complete Shipper on Deck for them.
  • Darker and Edgier: Up for debate but one can feel the mood go down a slippery slope on Akio's side. Especially when his parents are killed in the last chapter, having known them for about a month or so.
  • Defrosting Ice King / Defrosting Ice Queen: Ryuko and Akio's relationship to a T. Both of them start off as Headbutting Heroes, but soon start to become friends and become much more friendly towards one-another.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes a lot of Blood, Sweat and Tears, combined with the loss of his biological parents for Akio to finally defeat his enemies and settle down for a normal life with Akiko, Ryuko and the rest of his friends.
  • Everyone Can See It: Aikuro and the Mankanshoukos become very aware of Ryuko and Akio's Unresolved Sexual Tension and are pretty pleased when they finally come together.
  • Expy: If you thought Aikuro couldn't be this more to Kamina, he becomes an even bigger one given his relationship with Akio.
  • Friendly Enemy: Mainly Akio and Gamagoori, which is lampshaded by Ryuko. While the two of them are on opposing sides, they don't seem to harbor any ill-will towards each other outside school grounds and actually have casual conversations.
    • A little more downplayed and vitriolic with Sanageyama. The two of them have no problems beating the snot out of one another and their fight in Chapter 12 is brutal. Despite this, they share mutual respect for eachother's abilities and convictions.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Averted. While Akio has plenty of White-Knight moments of pulling Ryuko's fat out of the fire, Word of God has stated that Akio is simply not a White Knight. He's simply looking out for a friend who would do the same for him.
  • Love Confession: In a more indirect way and by COMPLETE accident by Akio. After Ryuko learns that Akio joined Satsuki's attack on Osaka to help his family get out of the city, the two have a much needed talk to sort everything out. When Ryuko asks why Akio has to be so selfless when it came to helping her, he replies, "If I can make the person I love happy, then that makes me happy." Ryuko manages to connect the dots, realizing Akio's hidden feelings for her. Even Akio is shocked by his own confession.
  • Mauve Shirt: Akio and Akiko's parents. The two are given enough characterization to make their deaths impactful enough.
  • Ship Tease: Mako and Gamagoori.
  • Shipper on Deck: Aikuro and the Mankanshoukos are very supportive of Akio and Ryuko's relationship. When Mako learns about their Relationship Upgrade, she starts fan-girling over them.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: While it retains the original's Idealistic undertones, the author does throw in some Realism by the end.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Ryuko, Mako and Akio. Even though the three of them make for an odd trio, they're the closest of friends and constantly care for and support one another.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Taking Ryuko's character into account, it's pretty obvious she becomes this for Akio.

     Akio Takahiro 

Akio Takahiro

An agent of Nudist Beach and Aikuro's younger adopted brother. He befriends Ryuko and aids her in her search for her father's killer.
  • Adorkable: When his feelings for Ryuko emerge, he definitely fits this trope, stumbling over his own words and acting like a complete doofus.
  • The Alcoholic: Despite being a minor, Akio enjoys a cold beer when he can and his favorite drink is Scotch.
  • Always Save the Girl: Akio has plenty of moments where he saves Ryuko from a tight spot.
  • Amazon Chaser: He falls in love with Ryuko. Ryuko.
  • Badass Normal: Probably the biggest in the entire cast. Akio is without a Goku Uniform for the first half of the story and manages to beat Sanageyama in a one-on-one match. (without transforming, but still.) Taken Up to Eleven during the final chapter where he fights Nui Harime without a Goku Uniform and still manages to outdo her.
  • Bash Brothers: With Akiuro, though they are actually adoptive siblings.
  • Battle Couple: With Ryuko.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Over the course of the story, Akio, much like Ryuko, gets dragged through seven circles of hell time-and-time-again. Unlike Ryuko, however, Akio usually leaves his fights with plenty of welts, bruises and cuts. His very first injury, which he got from his scuffle with Iori, left three big scars along the right side of his face and he hates them.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Ryuko, before turning into Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards his biological sister, Akiko. Justified, seeing how he never had the chance of being an older brother and would never want to squander the opportunity.
  • Blood Brothers: With Aikuro, seeing how Akio is actually adopted.
  • Break the Cutie: Let's count the number of times life's used Akio as it's personal punching bag.
    1. He was given up for adoption after birth.
    2. Is persistently unable to protect those close to him.
    3. Is constantly getting injured and maimed half of the time.
    4. He watches his biological parents get killed by Ragyo after promising his little sister he'd save them.
  • Broken Ace: Akio may be strong, smart, good-looking, and the biggest Badass Normal in the entire story, but his life is a parade of pain and missteps. He was given up for adoption the day he was born, has been working for Nudist Beach since he was a kid, has been put through the ringer more times than Ryuko ever has, and is littered with self-doubt and insecurities and anyone he tries to protect either gets hurt or killed.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Another part of the dynamic between Akio and Ryuko. Interestingly, the story plays around with both roles. While both have their fair share of brooding and angst, Ryuko does most of it while Akio offers kind words of encouragement while facing his own personal demons.
    • This trope is played more straight in the sequel, with Ryuko being a pillar of support for Akio and helps him raise Akiko. Although "gentle" isn't the first word that comes to mind when it comes to Ryuko...
  • Byronic Hero: Let's see... attractive? Check. Educated, cunning, and sophisticated? Check. Emotionally conflicted? Check. Extremely self-critical and introspective? Absolutely.
  • Child Soldier: He's been an operative at Nudist Beach longer than he cared to be.
  • Cool Big Bro: Akiko identifies him as this after only meeting him once.
  • Covert Pervert: He may not look it, but underneath his cynical, serious attitude, Akio's as much of a Hormone-Addled Teenager as the next.
    • This is further explored in the sequel, where Akio's feelings for Ryuko come full circle, turning him into a blushing, flustered mess.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Moments where Akio DOESN'T have something sarcastic or particularly snarky to say are few and far between.
  • Declaration of Protection: For Ryuko. Ever since the beginning of the story, Akio has been watching Ryuko's every move, ensuring her safety. This becomes more personal when Akio befriends Ryuko and later falls in love with her.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: To cement his badass status, after two weeks of being trapped in cage with Satsuki, Ragyo comes down with an offer: Pledge allegiance to her and he could have Ryuko, immortality and a dead Satsuki. What does he do? Calls her disgusting and that he would rather die. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
  • Fear of Thunder: Akio really hates thunderstorms. Probably more than Ryuko hates needles.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Akio has the classic three-gash claw mark scar on the right side of his face. They could most definitely be categorized as evil, but Akio's one of the good guys.
    • In "First Comes Love", his scars have healed some, but are still quite prominent. Ryuko seems to like them, but Akio can't stand them.
  • Guile Hero: A lot of Akio's success in his fights come from him outsmarting his opponents and shifting the playing field in his own favor. One example is his fight against Sanageyama
  • Hero of Another Story: In "Before My Body Is Dry", Akio is a Supporting Protagonist. In the sequel "First Comes Love", Akio is made into the main focus.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Even if he does prove to be an invaluable friend and ally to Ryuko, Akio can't stop himself from feeling useless at times.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Akio is usually a very selfless, civil, all around Nice Guy who is very close to his loved ones. However, his insecurities and self-loathing keep him from being a straight up nice guy.
  • Knife Nut: His main style of fighting usually involves knives but he can always rely on his fists.
  • Happily Adopted: Akio is quite happy with the family he was adopted into, especially with Aikuro as a big brother.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Since the beginning, Akio has wished his life could have been a normal one. He even laments this after visiting his parents's house.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Ryuko. Without his support, she's unresponsive and emotionally shut-down.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Akio knows how to cook, can dance ballet and is much more sensitive and understanding. On the other hand, Ryuko is... Ryuko; loud, hot-headed, boisterous and impulsive.
  • Martial Pacifist: Downplayed. Akio doesn't like the idea of using violence against No-Star students, seeing how they're just everyday kids trying their best to make it by. However, he's more than happy to open a can of whup-ass when dealing with The Elite Four and School Club Leaders, seeing how they're more capable of defending themselves and kind of have it coming.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Inverted. Chapter 6, which is one of the more light-hearted and comedic chapters of the story, has Akio doped up on sedatives, turning him into a giggling air-head.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Mako. Even if her antics annoy him more than they do Ryuko, Akio takes her safety very seriously and the two clearly think the world for each other. He's also on very good terms with the Mankanshoukos.
    • Especially with Ryuko. While the two initially butt heads and get on each others nerves, they soon learn more about each other and about themselves and evolve as characters.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Mako and Ryuko, although it becomes significantly less platonic as the story progresses.
  • Promoted to Parent: After his parents are killed, he becomes responsible for Akiko as her new guardian. (With a little help from Aikuro, Ryuko and the Mankanshoukos).
  • Sanity Slippage: After one too many Break the Cutie moments, Akio (understandably) starts losing it. Evident when he started to choke Nui because he thought she deserved to suffer. True, she's responsible for a lot of messed up stuff, but it's still rather unnerving.
  • Shout-Out: Akio's Goku Uniform is described as a mixture between DC's Deathstroke and Zero from Borderlands 2.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While the story is told mostly through Akio's Point of View, he doesn't take the spot light and spends most of the story on the sidelines, routing for Ryuko and aiding however he can.
    • This changes in the sequel, "First Comes Love", where Akio takes on responsibility as Akiko's guardian and adapts to having a normal life with Ryuko.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: In "First Comes Love", Akio is much more pleasant and carefree.
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