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Fanfic / Concerning a Drifter

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Concerning a Drifter is a Kill la Kill fic.

Four years ago, Ryuuko leaves on a trip but doesn’t say when she’ll return. Satsuki (at first) doesn’t fret and just waits for her return, however, things take a turn for the worse when she loses contact. After searching, Satsuki comes up empty-handed, leaving more questions than there were answers. Four years later, Ryuuko returns but not the same, reopening her case and leading to mysteries surrounding her case and her disappearance.

Tropes for Concerning a Drifter:

  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: In this case, it's more that "Amnesiacs are Vulnerable", as, while she can't remember too much of anything (nor does she want to), Ryuuko's not completely amnesiac but, nevertheless, she's described as childlike and does act a like a child. An instance of this is, earlier, in the story, she asks Satsuki to tell her a story in much a way a child might. Her being traumatized with repressed memories drives Satsuki to want to protect her more.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While things don't go back to normal, Satsuki is, at least, able to find some strength to move on, along with that she'd be able to see Ryuuko outside of her room at the mental home.
  • Broken Bird: The fic actually plays with in Satsuki's case. Unlike a few other fics, this one actually references her past and we do get a few of the effects it might have had on her as she deals with the aftermath of what happened to Ryuuko. At one point, she calls her world "cruel and nasty" but, other than that (and being angry), she's more conflicted and numb.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The spirits of the other victims return as butterflies
  • Dark Secret: While it was not secret to anyone close that she was abused, Satsuki kept the worst of it a secret, the which she tells Mako.
  • Death of Personality: Ryuuko, as Satsuki and the others knew her, was lost to the trauma and mental illness of being held captive and raped for four years. When he says that her captors have "killed" her in some sense of the word and Satsuki asks how, Uzu puts it best:
    "They took away everything that made her Matoi and the thing of the matter is that we might not get her back. They stole more than her 'innocence', they took away everything, her personality, fighting spirit, memories, her sense of safety, her sanity, and, most of all, her voice."
  • Deconstruction Fic: What happened to Ryuuko had gotten her pregnant four times by rape, as her captors likely didn't give her birth control, left her mentally ill and severely traumatized to the extent that she can no longer care for herself (this could happen), and the fact that Satsuki is deeply affected. Likewise, while the perpetrator and many others were sentenced, things don't go back to normal, as Ryuuko still lives in a mental hospital and doesn't return to her normal self, along with Satsuki not feeling satisfied.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Played with, most of the girls Ryuuko's captors (an underground sex slavery ring) had kidnapped were, in some way or another, vagrants (being backpacking tourists, migrant workers, and drifters), making them easy targets, becoming the Disposable Sex Worker trope when the ring felt they outlived any usefulness.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ryuuko and her reasons were, to put them simply, “she loved Satsuki too much”. According to her note, she initially wanted to take Satsuki with her but couldn’t bring herself to ask, regardless, she attempts suicide to spare Satsuki any more duress.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: The issue is brought up subtly, however, for a neutral and honest reason, as a very traumatized and mentally ill Ryuuko was found to have become pregnant (four times) by rape and, thus, isn't fit to care for a child, as she cannot take care of herself, however, it’s also mentioned that, while she isn't mentally well enough to care for a child, neither is she mentally sound enough to make the choice of terminating, along with dealing with the outcomes of either option if she actually is pregnant. Naturally, her guardian and sister, Satsuki isn't sure of how to bring up the issue of pregnancy and the options to her.
  • Hates Being Touched: According to chapter 21, Satsuki is a downplayed version. She generally doesn't quite like but is tolerant to it.
  • Identity Amnesia: Ryuuko doesn't remember her name or too much of who she was prior to her disappearance.
  • It's All My Fault: Satsuki blames herself for why Ryuuko was kidnapped and she goes so far as to wonder if she was the original target but "Ryuuko had become the sacrifice".
  • Kick the Dog: According to what she's written in her notebook, Ryuuko's captors abused verbally and emotionally by telling her how no one was looking for her.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Chapter 18 implies Satsuki is physically unable to have children as a result of childhood abuse.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The “Boss’s” wife “Rin” (as she calls herself) is the one to rat out her husband.
  • No Ontological Inertia: A narrative and mundane version. Ryuuko's captors and many accomplices are imprisoned, however, while they're eliminated, life doesn't reset to the way it was, as Ryuuko's psyche is permanently damaged and, though she gets better, she can't live outside of the mental home, averting this trope.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: What happened to Ryuuko isn’t described in full detail but it’s obvious by implication.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Satsuki, for the most part, doesn’t usually call Ryuuko by her name (probably to symbolize how Ryuuko forgot it) and, instead, calls her “Kanna” but in chapter 24, Satsuki breaks this trend when she bids her goodnight, her sister's name being italicized.
  • Promoted to Parent: Essentially, Satsuki had become a "mother by circumstance", as Yayoi and Ruri are in her care
  • Rape as Backstory: Satsuki, true to canon, however, the fic expands a bit more on that with the horror that one would think it'd entail. This also drives some of her conflict, as she notes that she "had time to get used to it", while Ryuuko was forced into prostitution, raped, and impregnated four times was left mentally ill and traumatized, along with that, after the latter was hospitalized, she realizes that, while she did move past it (in a way), she hadn't quite confronted her past.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: This happens with Ryuuko, as her experiences traumatized her, leaving her with PTSD, Repressed Memories, Trauma-Induced Amnesia, and depression. Unfortunately, in part due to trauma being so great, she, at one point, attempts to kill herself, which leads to her being put in a mental home, where she stays. Later, Satsuki, reflecting on her own experiences, wonders as to how she didn't end up in a mental home.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • It was cited in the authoress note for Chapter 12 (where we find out Ryuuko is a mother) that she wanted know to know if one could find out if the mother had twins (or, rather, if the babies came from the same pregnancy) through via a DNA test, mentioning that she did some research that boiled down to it being "yes and no" with differing reasons, so, to make it more plausible, she changed it to where a mistake was made in during the testing. Also, in said note, she does mention how she did research on Japan's legal systems in regards to rape and sexual assault, mentioning a few outlines on what's considered resistance against the attacker (i.e fighting back physically vs saying "No") and what whether or not if the victim knew the attacker meant to the case and the police asking Satsuki questions about Ryuuko prior to what happened to her and after, even linking to her sources, one of which details someone else's experiences (which did involve similar questions that Satsuki was asked).
    • In terms of Ryuuko, being kidnapped, held captive, and raped (subsequently being four times impregnated, carrying two babies to term and miscarrying two) for four years can and, a good chunk of the time, do have near irreversible effects on the psyche, however, they might not be to the effect of Ryuuko's. Likewise, what her captors and accomplices did to her could have lasting physical repercussions, as well as psychological ones, as its mentioned that she might need a reconstruction of her private parts and female organs because of the damage she took, along with having her pelvis fractured many times.
    • From Chapter 18, this is played with. According to the note, she tried to do as much research as she could on the subject of adoption and child custody in Japan, however, she didn't turn up much anything, so she had to "wing it" for the plotline but, if she obtains more info, she'd update her note with her sources. In Satsuki's case, this is a bit more overt, as "takatsubo" is an actual condition, generally caused by a sudden shock of emotional stress.
    • Chapter 26, according to the note, was some part winging and some part research, as, while she did her best research on the Japanese judicial system, the info she got was vague and left to her interpretation, so some of the scenario might be inaccurate.
  • Shout-Out: Chapter 19 briefly references Amy (Animated Short) with Satsuki relating to the titular character. Later, The Fox and the Hound was described.
  • The Speechless: Mai, for some reason, can't talk.
    • Yayoi is this, somewhat, as she does vocalize but generally uses signs and gestures to communicate. Satsuki, narration wise, did speculate as to why she can't talk, concluding that she seemed to be either hearing or speech impaired. When she does say something clearly, it's "Mama".
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: In chapter 8, before she has a flashback, Ryuuko does this.
    Her eyes were fixed into a 1,000 yard stare into vast nothingness. She wasn't looking at things any more than she was looking through them, myself included.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: In chapter 19, Satsuki has something of an internal one, after Ryuuko attempts suicide, leaving her to wonder if she's been assisting with the investigation out of justice or revenge.
    Satsuki: "I owed it to her to find her justice but was I really participating in the investigation for her and previous victims' sake or was I doing it for what I wanted in a sense of revenge and misplaced atonement for past sins? Some half of me said I was doing it out of justice, while another part of me suggested I did it out of revenge. I knew not which side to agree with."
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Ryuuko has hard time remembering her life before and around the time of her captivity and rapes due to the resulting trauma and mental illness. Said amnesia in this case doesn't just happen with what had happened to her, it also extends to happy memories of before or her name. When she does recall anything, she either doesn't remember it too well or she mostly recalls anything that isn't specific about it. She mostly borders on Repressed Memories.
  • Touching Through Glass: Satsuki and Ryuuko, some time after the latter is moved into a residential facility.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Yayoi, as Satsuki mentions, looks much like her.
  • Vague Age: Yayoi and Ruri, besides being an infant and toddler.
  • Virtual Soundtrack: