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    Digimon: Liberation
    • 1 wrote:

      Ari sat in his chair for maybe two minutes before the class was dismissed for lunch. Ari's head had slowly started throbbing weirdly...it felt like his heart was beating against his skull, and Ari couldn't help but grimace. He started standing up to head to the nurse's office, but he saw Khaz standing up next to him. Ari furrowed his brow and tried to ignore the pulsating sensation. I'm fine!

      Walking out the door at a normal pace, he ended up in an unfamiliar hallway. He had seen Khaz pass him awhile before, but he didn't think the other boy had noticed him. He looked like he was trying to get somewhere, fast.

      Eventually Ari stopped and sat down in the hallway, head in his hands. He was rubbing his temples and tried to focus on anything but the building pain. I'M FINE!

      Ari glared at the ground, eventually turning his thoughts to Khaz. I felt fine before he started his whole...mind game thing. Slowly, Ari started wondering if maybe this was because of Khaz...what if the other boy had made him psychosomaticly start feeling pain just because he'd made Ari doubt himself?

      Groaning as another wave of pain hit him, all paranoid thoughts of Khaz were pushed to the side. Ari felt like his face had been hit by a baseball bat...several times.

      ...what the hell happened to me?
      ------------

      2 wrote:

      "Goddamn it, Taiga-san!" snarled Ren. "Watch the fuck where you are going, stupid cunt. It's bad enough all your little fan club has to linger around the fucking door. But you can't even watch where the hell you're going? Apparently breaking the track record doesn't mean you know how to use your fucking eyes."

      Tasuki sighed deeply next to Ren. Great. Shiki Taiga meets Ren. He doubted this would go well. "Ren, it's just a sandwich. You've had three of those already. Does it matter if you don't get another one?"

      Khaz turned when he heard Ren's voice come from the door way. He saw Taiga and Ren facing each other. Khaz cringed visibly. Oh no.
      --------------

      3 wrote:

      "Like I can see through doors stupid!" Shiki shot back. "I'm sorry about your sandwich, but don't go blaming me for what a bunch of brain dead idiots do! It's not my fault they are fucking stalkers! I don't like them either!"

      Shiki's adrenaline was running. She knew she was asking for a fight. She didn't care. She wanted to release her anger somehow. She had a feeling Ren would be more then willing to fight with her. It had totally slipped her mind that Ren had the ability to send her to the hospital very easily.
      -----------------

      4 wrote:

      "Oh really? Then why the fuck did I have to scare them off for you? Take care of your own goddamn problems. Now use those goddamn legs like you know how to, and get the fuck out of my face, before I make sure you don't have one left." Ren sneered. "Well, at least then maybe you wouldn't have a stalker problem."

      Khaz watched apprehensively. He really, really hoped Taiga would just walk away.
      --------------

      5 wrote:

      "Its hard dealing with masochists Snowy-kun," Shiki replied in a deadpan voice as she took a step to the side. She was honestly surprised in a way Ren hadn't punched her yet. Or made a move to harm her. His temper was rather famous.

      She wished violence would get rid of her problems, but it didn't seem she was that lucky. She didn't understand how they kept coming back to her, even how bad she treated them. She even got into a few physical altercations with a few of them, yet they still came back.
      ---------------

      6 wrote:

      As soon as the bell rang, Molly was up and out of the classroom. She had forgotten to pack lunch today, too absorbed in her books, so she had to get something from the kiosk. As she began heading down the hall towards where the kiosks were, or at least in that general direction, she stopped in her tracks as she saw him. Him. Utuaga. Sitting on the ground, holding his head with his hands. Even though she couldn't see his face from this angle, she knew it was him. She seized up, nerves gripping her like a boa constrictor choking the life out of its prey. She breathing became short and shallow. Oh God, oh God, he's right there. She flattened herself against the wall closest to her to avoid detection, but that didn't help, as she was now even closer to him. Keep cool, Molly; keep cool. Why is he holding his head? Maybe I can go talk to him about it. Shut up! All the while, she was staring at him, eyes wide and unblinking.
      -------------

      7 wrote:

      Ari felt a new sensation among the pulsing ache and pain, a sort of weird neck hair raising feeling. Almost like he was...being watched?

      Ari looked up, flinching in pain as the movement made his right shoulder and neck flash with more intense pain. Slowly turning so he could see to his right, he could see a girl staring bug eyed at him. Ari stared back, deeply unsettled by her presence. ...what the hell is she staring at me like that for? Ari thought to himself. It was scaring him, a lot.

      Ari tried to think of what to say. He was sure he'd seen her before, but the lingering dullness combined with his throbbing headache made it impossible for him to recognize her. Raising his left arm carefully, he waved hesitantly. "Uh...hi there?" Ari said, his voice rough and hoarse.
      -----------

      8 wrote:

      James started walking out of the classroom later than usual, as the teacher needed to talk to him about some assignments that she thought were missing, but were right there on her desk. Even in different countries, the teachers are incompetent. He thought pessimistically. His thoughts were distracted was the sight of the kid, Ari, who was almost unrecognizable due to the large bruises covering the side of his face. He hardly even noticed the girl that was standing there, staring.

      He moved up next to Ari, eyes wide, and exclaimed, "Holy shit man, what happened to you?"
      ----------------

      9 wrote:

      Snowy-kun? Ren's face wrinkled with ugly disgust again at Taiga's words. You know what? Fuck this bitch. He told her to shut up and walk.

      "I told you to walk, not talk," said Ren, pulling a fist back, gearing up to sock the bitch in the face. Ren had no problems with hitting girls.

      Khaz saw Ren tensing up and pulling his fist back. Shiiiiit. This wasn't what he had intended for. Sure, he liked messing with Taiga because she had to make such a big deal over nothing. It was just words at the end of the day. Why did she have to get so angry? But all the same, Khaz didn't want to send her on a collusion course into Ren.

      So Khaz felt his feet start to move before he knew it. He didn't know what else to do, but before he knew it he was slamming his shoulder into Ren Nevisu, after a good little running-start. Sure, he was no sprinter like Taiga, but he had plenty of training under his own belt.

      Ren hadn't been ready for it. His attention had been on Shiki, not Khaz. So Ren was sent stumbling back and to the side. There was a squeak as his shoes skidded on the tile floor of the hall. Ren's foot twisting as he found traction and his balance again. Khaz had only managed to knock Ren off a few feet to the side. Khaz rubbed his own shoulder. What the hell was he made of?

      "What the fuck?!" snarled Ren. "You tryin' to be a fuckin' hero or something?"

      "No, I'm just trying to get her to sleep with me," said Khaz, off-hand. It supposed it was just a knee-jerk reaction to tell a believable lie. But really, anyone with eyes and ears would know, if he was trying to get Taiga to sleep with him, he was doing a horrible job at it. "Heroes are supposed to have pure intentions."

      But then Ren drew back another fist that drove straight into Khaz's jaw. Khaz felt his jaw crunch, as the lower jaw was forced up into the upper jaw. The pain seemed to echo up his face. His vision went dark, but he felt himself be spin and then fall straight on the ground. Khaz saw the tile floor close-up when his sight came back. He felt the familiar tang of copper, the metallic taste of blood in his mouth. He felt some dribble down his chin from a split lip on his face. Khaz pushed himself up onto his knees, wiping his face on the black sleeve of his uniform. Well, it seemed like Khaz knew how to get himself from a rock to the hard place pretty damn fast.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      The students back in the class were standing up looking out the door as the commotion began. Terrin stood up and then looked to Kira. "I'm gonna go see if I can help."

      "Terrin, wait--" began Kira, but he was gone.

      Terrin slid out into the hall, gliding toward the ring of the crowd that had started to form around Taiga, Nevisu, and Serwen in the hall. He looked around quickly for something that would be of use ...
      -----------

      10 wrote:

      Utuaga turned and looked straight at Molly. Oh no, she had been spotted! He must have seen her staring at him. He probably thought she was some sort of stalker now. Well, she kinda was, but that was beside the point. She was taken aback at his appearance. The entire right side of his face was a mess of purple and blue bruises. He opened his mouth and spoke to her.

      "Uh...hi there?"

      Oh, God, he's talking to me! Molly thought frantically. What's wrong with his face? He's actually talking to me! Maybe he should go to the hospital. This is your chance, Molly! He looks horrifying. Say something. Like he's just been beaten up by a biker gang. What if he's into gambling and got in deep with the sharks? My parents wouldn't approve of my dating a gambler. Say something, Molly!

      Molly opened her mouth to speak, but a tall, black-haired boy cut her off, exclaiming.

      "Holy shit man, what happened to you?"

      Damn it! So close to a real, audible connection.
      ---------------

      11 wrote:

      Ari instinctively turned to his left to see who was had said something, sending another flash of pain through his shoulder. He could see the boy from the other day standing there, and Ari tried to say his name. "...J-James..." Ari tried to stand up, feeling all the blood rushing to his head, his vision blurring. "Hel-"

      Ari's entire body tensed as an arc of agony shot through his spine, his entire body shaking. He tried to steady himself against the wall, but his hands were shaking too much, and his little arm strength failed him

      Ari's leg slipped out from under him, sending him crashing to the floor of the hallway in a mess of skinny limbs. His vision was turning red now, and dark, and Ari's last thought before slipping under entirely were this:

      I am not fine.

      Then, darkness.
      -----------------

      12 wrote:

      As Ari fell to the floor, Molly let out a high-pitched squeak and rushed over to him, almost ignoring the black-haired boy completely. She kneeled down next to Ari.

      "Utuaga, are you okay?" She asked in concern, however he didn't answer. He must be unconscious, or dead. She quickly checked his pulse to assure he wasn't dead. He wasn't, thankfully. Molly looked up at the tall boy. "We need to get him to the nurse's place. I think he's fainted."

      She tried to lift Ari up, but he was too heavy. Or, more accurately, she was too weak to lift him.
      ----------------

      13 wrote:

      Ai Makata gave a sigh. She had heard Ren and Shiki begin to argue, but with those two, it was bound to happen. As long as they were arguing and not fighting, she had nothing to worry about. None the less, she kept an eye on the conflict which was just outside her door.

      However, it seemed that nothing wanted to go her way as of late. Ren drew back his hand for a punch, and Ai narrowed her eyes and began to stand up. She knew she wouldn't get there in time to save Taiga, but she could hopefully stop it from getting worse. She knew once Ren hit Shiki, she would no doubt hit back.

      What she wasn't expecting was Khaz Serwen, the boy who was harassing Taiga moments earlier, to fly up and tackle Ren to the ground. She stood in momentary shock. What was Serwen's deal? Ren apparently had the same thoughts.

      "What the fuck?!" snarled Ren. "You tryin' to be a fuckin' hero or something?"

      "No, I'm just trying to get her to sleep with me," replied Khaz, off-hand. "Heroes are supposed to have pure intentions."

      If Ai could bang her head on something, she would. He was doing a terrible job at getting her into bed with him if that was the case. She had a feeling he no doubt nixed any chances with that statement as well.

      And then Ren punched Khaz, and she could hear his body hit the floor. She needed to step in, now. Especially since there was a ring forming around the fighters. This was getting troublesome. Really troublesome. Especially since the Stone boy ran out of the room as well. God damn kids. She wondered idly if she could get Rontu to share his alcohol he somehow smuggled into the school. Brat reeked of it.

      "Oi!" she yelled as she left the classroom. "Break it up!" She doubted it would do anything, but it was worth a try.
      ------------------

      14 wrote:

      Shiki was only half expecting the punch, and when Ren pulled back his arm, she began to tense up, even though a slow grin was forming across her face. She had a feeling it was going to hurt. A lot. Yet all she was thinking about was how she was going to punch him back. Kick him perhaps. She had already shifted into her battle mode.

      So, she was completely shocked when Khaz came out of nowhere, slamming his shoulder into Ren.

      Ren apparently hadn't been expecting it as well since he stumbled backwards, skidding on the floor a bit as Khaz rubbed his shoulder. Shiki's mouth was open in shock. It was the last thing she had expected.

      What's his deal?

      "What the fuck?!" snarled Ren, evidently in the same mind set as her. "You tryin' to be a fuckin' hero or something?"

      "No, I'm just trying to get her to sleep with me," said Khaz. "Heroes are supposed to have pure intentions."

      Shiki snarled at this. She knew it. She knew he was no better then that bastard. Even if he was blunt about it, her hate for him dramatically rose in that single instant.

      But then Ren drew back another fist that drove straight into Khaz's jaw. Shiki could hear his jaw crunch, as the lower jaw was forced up into the upper jaw, making Khaz crumble to the ground as blood began to pour down his lips, staining them a darker red. Khaz pushed himself up onto his knee, wiping his face on the black sleeve of his uniform.

      Shiki glanced to Ren, a small grin on her face. Just in that moment, he made her like him.

      "Nice punch," she congratulated him.
      ----------------

      15 wrote:

      Ren drew his foot back to kick Khaz in the ribs while he was down. He was actually more pissed about the idiot catching him off guard than he was about Taiga giving him lip when he clearly told her to fuck off and shut up.

      Terrin saw a ball in a student's nearby hands, obviously from some game they had been playing outside. He ran up to them, grabbed it. "Needitthanksbye!" said Terrin in Japanese.

      And then he threw it at Ren. Terrin preferred projectiles rather than just coming up and trying to hit Ren. What if he hurt his hand doing something like that? It just seemed like the most logical thing to do at the time. The ball bounced audibly off the back of Ren's head, making his leg pause in mid-swing. He turned his head to glower over his sunglasses at Terrin, who just grinned and waved at him, like he was just a friend, playing a prank. The ball bounced on the floor and rolled away.

      Any voice of their teacher's apparently fell on deaf ears. Ren charged Terrin, slamming a punch into the boy's guy. Terrin crumpled to his knees, his hands going around his middle. Ren grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him up. Ren pulled back another fist to smash Terrin's face with.

      However, he felt a hand grab his shoulder. Ren turned to snarl. Who the fuck was it now? He looked over his shoulder to see Kira Stone's fist slam straight into his eye, knocking the sunglasses off his face, and making him stagger back. Kira had let out an enraged cry, throaty and pissed. She had thrown all of her weight into that punch. Kira shook out her hand, but it kept throbbing. Shit, maybe she broke it?
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Kira had ran after the teacher, shortly after Terrin had left.

      Leita soon followed. She had seen Khaz run off into the hall, where there was now a lot of noise. Leita pushed pass some people until she finally got out into the hall, where she found Khaz with a split and bloody lip, getting to his feet.

      "Nii-san!" cried Leita and she ran over to him.
      -----------------

      16 wrote:

      James moved to catch Ari as he fell, but was too late as the poor kid whacked his head against the ground. "Damnit!" He said, bending down and, dropping his book bag, and situated Ari in a fireman's carry. James could feel the adrenalin rushing through his body, and was very grateful for it, as it made the lifting part of it easier.

      As James stood to full height, he looked down at the girl that had been trying to lift Ari. "Come on! You seem to care enough about him to do something. Grab the bags!" He told her, and started rushing down the hall, trying to stay upright, as he was pretty top heavy at the moment.

      The only problems he came to was the group of people that seemed intent on watching something in the middle. Not caring about people feeling, he pushed through the edge of the group, knocking a few people away, as he moved to get to the nurse's office.

      When he reached it, he slid open the door with the toe of his shoe, and rushed inside, laying Ari on a cot gently. The nurse rushed over, asking what happened. "I have no idea, he just passed out. He already had the bruises beforehand, but I think that is probably what is causing the pain."
      ---------------

      17 wrote:

      "Holy shit!" Shiki yelped as more people dove into the fray in the fight against Ren. What the hell was going on? She didn't really mean for it to get others involved. Fuck, the fact others got involved blew her mind. This never happened before.

      But this was her fight. She was determined to keep it that way before anybody else got injured for whatever dumb ass reason was going through their head. Shiki didn't like necessary causalities, especially because of her.

      So, when Ren rounded on Kira, Shiki took that opportunity to strike his exposed back. Well kick. She doubted she would have enough strength to harm him with a punch. Hell she doubted she could harm him with a kick, but it was worth a try.

      "Oi asshole," she snarled as Ren's attention finally turned back to her as she slid into a more defensive stance which would hopefully allow to use her speed to her advantage. Keyword being hopefully. "Your fight is with me. Leave them out of it."
      -------------

      18 wrote:

      Ren snarled, rounding on Shiki now. What the fuck was all this about? He didn't really care. He was prepared to take them all at once if he had to. He didn't even really hear what Shiki said, and he didn't need to. He heard what her kick to his back said far more loudly than anything her mouth did.

      However, as he went to charge in, Tasuki hinged stepped in. However, he ended up right at Shiki's side. He was only a couple inches away from her. His blue eyes calm but stern as he smoothly grabbed her shoulder and slammed his knee up into her diaphragm. Tasuki hadn't thought it would escalate like this. Then again, Taiga didn't really have the best reputation either for being a calm and logical individual, but he hadn't thought all these other people would throw themselves into the middle of it. Needless to say, he wasn't going to stand by and watch Ren take on all of them.

      "Just think of it as you paying me back," said Tasuki, only loud enough for Shiki to hear.

      "GODDAMN IT, TASUKI!" snarled Ren, stomping over. "I don't fucking need your help."

      Kira was helping Terrin up to his feet and turned to see that Shiki was now down. This was really getting out of hand.
      -----------------

      19 wrote:

      Shiki coughed as her eyes went wide as she crumpled to the floor. She wasn't bleeding, but she was in some serious pain, her nerves crying out. She hadn't missed Tasuki's whisper though.

      Just think of it as you paying me back.

      What the hell was that supposed to mean? She didn't know, and she really wished the world was stop spinning so much. It was making her dizzy. She groaned as she tried to stand up, only to collapse again to her knees. She gritted her teeth as her world continued to spin like a Merry Go Round.

      Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

      She had to stand up. She wasn't done. One little punch. She wasn't done. She wasn't down. She could stand.

      Once again, she pushed herself off the ground and staggered to her feet, her hands on her knees as she breathed heavily.

      "ENOUGH." Makata-sensei's voice rang out clearly in the hallway, echoing even with the mass amounts of students who had formed around the fight. Her violet eyes were blazing in anger as she roughly shoved a few students aside.

      "Taiga, Serwen and Stone!" She pointed to Shiki, Khaz and Terrin in turn so it could be very clear who she was referring to. "You will go to the nurses, then the principle's office."

      "You two-" she rounded on Tatsuki and Ren, pointing angrily at them, "and you," as she pointed to Kira, "will go the principle's office. Nevisu and Stone, if you feel you need to go to the nurse's office beforehand, you may."

      She looked at the rest of the crowd, who was staring at her in wide eyed wonder and a bit of fear. Nobody had seen her this angry before. Actually, nobody had seen her angry before.

      "The rest of you get back in class or God help me-" Makata didn't have to finish the threat, as the students began to run back to their classrooms. They didn't know how she would finish her sentence, but they felt they didn't want to find out.
      --------------

      20 wrote:

      Khaz had seen Tasuki knee Taiga in the gut. Shit. Somehow, he felt like all this was his fault. He looked around at Terrin, Kira, and Taiga. Somehow they all got dragged into this mess. Leita's hands were clasped over her mouth, pressed close to Khaz. Her fingers curled over the edge of his sweater. Mataka-sensei had called order, but Khaz still focused on Tasuki. The boy turned away from Shiki, having let her fall to the ground. His face was calm. His blue eyes sort of still and lifeless in a way. Khaz really didn't like him for some reason. There was something about his face and his blue eyes that he didn't like.

      Then, without warning, there was pain in his head, like a sudden and sharp migraine.

      "If ... I give myself up ... do you promise to not hurt him?"

      "I swear it. All we came for today was you and your husband. The children can be spared. We're not complete monsters, Serwen-san. Despite what you may assume."


      The echo of the words themselves were not loud and yet Khaz felt like they were going to split his head open. He saw flashes of the gun on the floor. His mother's dark blue eyes, staring in grim defiance. She got hit.

      "Nii-san!" Khaz heard Leita cry next to him. He had started to sag over, so she had caught him, but was struggling. "Nii-san!" Her voice was shrill and panicked.

      "Shit ..." Khaz groaned, shaking his head. The flashes of images went away. Most of the pain was gone, but his head still throbbed. So did the lower part of his face too. "Sorry about that, Leita ..."

      He managed to regain his feet, but Leita did not leave his side. She stayed pressed to him, determined to catch him if he fell over again. Terrin slouched over to them, a grin still on his face even though his hands still pressed to his middle.

      "You okay?" he asked Khaz.

      "I'll live ..." Khaz looked over at Taiga to check on her status again.

      Tasuki, Ren, and Kira were all leaving, being escorted off to the principle's office.

      "Rontu, take Terrin to the nurse's office!" Kira called. She had spotted the giant American, leaning up against the classroom doorway, watching.

      He sighed heavily out his nose but nodded.
      --------------

      21 wrote:

      Shiki felt miserable as the Nevisu brothers and Kira got lead to the principle's office. She'd rather go there then to the nurse's office. She hated the nurse's office. She didn't want to be lectured. Again. She was a frequent in there from other fights she had been in throughout the semester. She rarely got hurt, but they insisted that a scratch demanded immediate medical attention.

      "I'm going to the principle's office," Shiki declared, breathing through her nose. Makata-sensei rounded on her, still furious. For the first time in awhile, Shiki felt a sudden wave of fear go down her spine. No. This wasn't right. She couldn't be afraid. Not here.

      "Oh no you aren't. You are going to the nurse's office first. Now march, or I will drag you down there," Makata-sensei growled, pointing her finger down the hall. Shiki subconsciously took a few steps back.

      "H-hai," She quickly agreed, hitting herself inside for stammering a bit.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Shrub ().

    • Rontu walked up to Terrin's side and looked down at him. Terrin looked up and grinned. Rontu snorted. "Stupid little imp. Stop getting into trouble."

      This only made Terrin's grin grow wider. He seemed visibly pleased at Rontu's reprimand. If he had a tail, it would have been whipping through the air.

      "Stop looking so happy about it," said Rontu dully.

      "Come on, Taiga-kun!" called Terrin, waiting for her to come with them.

      Meanwhile, Khaz was trying to detach Leita from his side. "Really, Leita, I'm okay."

      Even though his heart was once again that frightened bird, beating against his ribs, trying to escape. That little headache was unexpected. Khaz wasn't really sure what to make of it. Leita was still clinging to him in any case. Her green eyes were filled with tears as she looked up at him. Khaz looked down and felt his insides flood with hot shame.

      God, he felt like the worse person alive when she cried because of him. He put his arms around her, rubbing her shoulder. "Hey, come on. Don't cry like that. It's just a cut lip. It will heal in no time ... "

      His hands went up to her face and held it as his thumbs wiped away the tears that started to fall down her face. He felt so helpless when she cried. He smiled even though it hurt his face to do so. "I'm okay ..."

      ----

      Shiki smiled a bit at Terrin's enthusiasm. It wasn't her normal cocky smirk, challenging one, or the quick one second vague amused one. It was just a soft smile which hadn't been seen by anybody outside of her family since middle school. She really wasn't sure if he was brain dead or what, but his energy despite being hit was a bit contagious. Who was that happy after getting into a fight? Despite herself, she found herself beginning to like the energetic boy a bit.

      She turned to see Leita crying, practically attached to Khaz's hip. She frowned a bit, feeling guilty. Not that Khaz got hit (he deserved it-especially after what he said; if Ren didn't hit him, she would) but that Leita was crying over it. It made her feel awful, especially since it was her fault to begin with. She was the one who started the fight.

      "Hey," she called out, attracting the Serwen siblings attention. "Need any help?"

      -----

      Leita sniffled, trying to stop crying. But when Khaz smiled like that ... it just reminded her of old days. Two years ago. When he would smile and tell her he was okay, pulling his shirt back down over the cigarette burns and bruises all over his torso, after she had finished patching him up. He smiled just the same. So convincingly, like he was really okay, but Leita knew that was a lie. Khaz's smiles never made those wounds stop coming or the scars go away.

      Khaz looked up, surprised when Taiga called out over to them. His dark brow raised in surprise. Leita sniffled again and pressed her forehead into his chest. He put a hand on her head, stroking her hair. His other arm wrapped around her. He ... didn't really know what to make of Taiga offering help ... After all, he knew that she had to have taken his whole "trying to sleep with her" line way too seriously, like usual. She had to feel bad about Leita crying. It was the only thing that made sense to him. After all, who wouldn't feel bad about seeing Leita cry?

      Khaz just smiled back at Taiga, but it wasn't one of his condescending, ironic smirks he usually gave her. This time, that smile reached his eyes and for a moment he did look a little bit like the painting of his father. He was grateful that she would be kind for Leita. That was all he really cared about after all. "Thanks, but I think we'll be okay ... Are you alright?"

      -----

      Shiki blinked as he smiled. It reminded her of Leita's paining a bit. It was weird. Really weird. She looked away. He was making her feel uncomfortable. She hated how he made her feel. He was just like him after all.

      "I'm fine," she mumbled. "Nothing I haven't dealt with before."

      Well, usually she liked to think she typically won her fights. She was typically fighting against those who didn't have any training at all, and just waved their hands wildly hoping they would hit her. They were hardly a threat. Snowy-kun and his brother on the other hand....yeah...there was no way in a million years she could ever win a fight against them.

      Now that her mind was cleared, she wondered what the hell she was thinking. She wanted to stop getting into fights. She didn't like making her parents worry. She wanted to go to a good college, and help support her parents. She was really fucking up in that department.

      She was really fucking up a lot of departments today.

      "Right, so, I'll see you in the nurses office then," she said as she ran to catch up with Terrin and Rontu. She really wasn't close to either of them either, but at least they didn't make her feel weird. Besides, Terrin had called out to her, and she doubted Rontu really gave a flying fuck about anything besides his beer.

      -----

      Khaz chuckled as Taiga run off over to Stone and Nakai. Like there was some illusion that because she was walking with them like they weren't headed to the same place. They might as well all go together. Still, he thought of her words previously. Nothing she hasn't dealt with before, huh? She was a bit rough around the edges. Khaz supposed it was only natural for someone who was so angry all the time.

      He still felt a little bad. Like he had wound her up and spun her off into Ren's war path.

      Leita had stopped crying for the most part, so they started walking to the nurse's office as well. And like he thought, they ended up walking next to Stone and Nakai with Taiga. Khaz faintly could smell alcohol coming off of Nakai. His brow raised at the giant American.

      Rontu walked next to Terrin and Shiki. Leita, the shy Serwen sister, was making him feel uncomfortable with all the waterworks going on. As they walked, he pulled out his flask and took another burning gulp of whiskey, now that Kira wasn't around to watch him like a hawk.

      Khaz caught this action. Great. A high school boozer.

      When they got to the nurse's office, Khaz spotted Ari, unconscious on a bed. He let out a deep sigh and moved over to stand next to him. Well, at least the guy was still breathing. Leita followed shortly behind. Her hand curling over the edge of his sweater again. She peered over at Ari from behind Khaz.

      ----

      Shiki stared dumbly at the unconscious boy in the bed. Holy shit, what happened to him? It was like he was mauled by angry bears or something. Khaz seemed to know him by the way he moved to his side. A friend?

      "Whose here now?" A slightly annoyed voice called out from the adjoining office. Shiki gave a mental sigh. Here it comes. A blonde head poked out of the room. Her green eyes narrowed when she saw Shiki. She rolled out the rest of the way on her desk chair, a box of who the hell knows what on her lap.

      "Are you seriously back here again Shiki-san?" Rika Tatsumi, the school nurse asked irritably. Shiki had become one of her frequents in the last year, especially when school first started. It had gotten to the point where each just referred to each other by their first name. "And who are these people? Did you get in a fight with them?"

      "What?" Shiki was startled for a moment before getting defensive. "No! I was in a fight with Snowy-kun."

      Like that made things any better. Rika stared at her dumbly for a minute before realizing who she was talking about.

      "You got in a fight with Nevisu Ren?! What the hell is wrong with you?" Rika hollered at her, reaching into the box and throwing a wrap at gauze at her, which Shiki quickly ducked. Their relationship was never a peaceful one.

      "And you probably got all these other students involved! That's a new level of recklessness, even for you!"

      "It wasn't my int-ack watch what you are throwing! You are supposed to be the school nurse! Not a demon out of hell! Shit, watch it!"

      -----

      "Come on! You seem to care enough about him to do something. Grab the bags!" the tall, black-haired boy barked at her. Molly nodded and grabbed the book bags that he and Ari had dropped. The boy picked up Ari and began carrying him to the nurse's office, Molly following close behind, loyally carrying the book bags. She glanced tentatively from the nurse to the black-haired boy as they discussed Ari's condition. She wondered if Ari was going to be alright. What if this was the Plague or something? What if he didn't wake up?

      "Is he going to die?!" Molly blurted out, unintentionally, but still rudely, interrupting their conversation.

      Fortunately, she had no time for further embarrassment, as a few seconds later, Terrin, Taiga, the Serwen siblings, and Rontu walked into the nurse's office. Terrin looked like he had been punched. In fact, none of them looked particularly well. Looks like they got into some sort of fight. Molly thought. She listened as the nurse scolded Taiga. Molly had heard from people she didn't talk to that Taiga was a frequent citizen of Nurse's Office Land. However, she wondered what would compel Terrin to enter this speculative fight. Or Serwen-san, for that matter.

      -----

      James looked down at Ari laying on the bed with eyes that were a mixture of confusion and amazement. What would have caused him to come to school looking like that? As an afterthought, James tilted Ari's head sideways so he would not choke on whatever fluids might come out of him mouth.

      He went to answer the girls question of 'is he going to die', but was interrupted as a group of other students filed into the room. They did not look like they had had the best day, and, knowing only Shiki by reputation, assumed that they had all roughed up each other. But it seemed odd because, at least from what he had heard around the school, Taiga did not leave people in as good of a shape as they were in.

      Then she cleared it up by attempting to tell the nurse that she didn't fight them, it was Snowy-kun. It took James a moment to realize who that was, but the moment he did, he was amazed that she was still standing. Ren Nevisu was notorious for his fighting around the school. He had taken down Hitaka with his brother.

      Ignoring them for now, James tapped the girl that had grabbed the bags off of the ground. "I highly doubt that he will die. From my very limited knowledge, the bruises look like haven't healed and he is just in immense pain."

      ------

      Khaz turned from Ari's bed side to witness the spat between Taiga and the nurse. It seemed she frequented the nurse so often they were on a first name basis. Well ... wasn't that sweet? Khaz realized all he really knew about Taiga was that she was the track star who broke the school record and she had a fan club. Leita continued to hid behind him as the nurse violently threw gauze at Taiga.

      Rontu raised his eyebrows but other than this did not respond to the incident between the nurse and Taiga. Terrin stared with wide and curious eyes, but he wasn't as distressed as he was just content to watch.

      Khaz felt his inside burn with guilt as the nurse blamed Taiga for the incident. So he stepped forward, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. "Actually, miss, I think it was more of my fault. I riled Taiga-chan up and then she kind of ran into Nevisu-san."

      -----

      Rika paused for a moment, a wrap of gauze in her hand. There were a couple on the floor behind Shiki whose dodging skills had improved greatly since she came to this school. Both of them just looked at Khaz in a dumb muted surprise. Neither of them, each for their own reasons, thought Khaz would step forward and protect Shiki from Rika's wrath.

      Rika gave a tired sigh and just shook her head.

      "Don't blame yourself. Shiki is rather easily worked up," Rika said as she stood up from her chair, limping slightly over to Khaz, looking him over with a critical eye. "Looks like you got a busted lip for your trouble. Any other injuries I should know about?"

      Her eyes traveled to the girl clinging to him. She would have to ask her if the boy didn't answer. She half toyed with the idea of asking her what went down anyways. In her experience guys tended to play things off like it was no big deal, and Shiki was the same way in that regard. The girl was obviously worried, so she would want what was best, right?

      -----

      Khaz grinned. "No, just the one. Also, I know that Taiga-chan is easily worked up, that's also why I should know better, ne?"

      He supposed he did just find out that Taiga's anger issues went further into a record of violence at school, comparable to even if not as bad as Ren Nevisu's. Sure, Taiga had always threatened to hit Khaz. It was kind of the fun of the sport of bothering her. He kind of wanted to find out how far he would have to go before she would lose control and punch him in the face. Not a very healthy sport, but Khaz guessed he was a little too curious for his own good.

      "Stone-san got hit in the stomach and Taiga-chan got kneed," Khaz told the nurse. He figured he might as well. "Utugua-san over there is in my class. He didn't seem to be in any pain this morning, but I still tried to tell him to come see you. He didn't seem to know how he got so messed up."

      Rontu looked over at Ari on the cot. "Painkillers must have worn off."

      Khaz looked to Rontu, raising a brow. That had been Khaz's guess as well, but Rontu said it with much more certainty ... like he had personal experience. Rontu merely shrugged at Khaz's raised brow, not giving anymore explanation for his knowledge. Rontu had been given painkillers when his father shot him in the shoulder. That and other more ... recreational uses.

      -----

      ika looked over towards Ari and frowned. She had no idea what even made the boy think it was a good idea to come to school in this condition. She would have to call his home and have somebody pick him up, after which giving them a lecture about letting a boy in that condition go to school. She would also make him stay home for a couple of days; good thing the weekend was close. It was Wednesday, and missing class Thursday and Friday should be fine, plus he had Saturday and Sunday to rest as well.

      "Right, I'll take care of him. He needs some rest though," Rika said. She was worried though how he couldn't remember how he got messed up so bad. It was probably the pain medication though, or the fact he subconsciously repressed it. Or consciously. Either way, it wasn't a good sign.

      She limped over to the medicine cabinet and pulled out a small bag.

      "Not much I can do about Shiki and Stone besides give you brats Ibuprofen," Rika muttered as she limped over to the mini fridge, pulling out a tray of ice cubes and beginning to put them in the bag. "Of course, since Shiki is the idiot who much rather suffer then take any sort of pain medications, I guess I should be asking you Stone-kun if you want something."

      She stood up and walked over and gave Khaz the ice pack.

      "This will reduce your swelling. Lucky for you idiots, you got off pretty lucky all things considering. I'm assuming you are going to the principal's office after this?"

      Of course they were going to the principal's office. At least Shiki was for sure. She wasn't down there though as often as she was in here since she when she got into fights, it was usually a couple of students against her. Most students didn't seem to understand that facing against Shiki who had some training in fighting (Shiki had told her off hand one day that her father had taught her how to defend herself) plus a suspension on her record for sending somebody to the hospital was a good idea.

      Of course, the suspension wasn't a wide known fact. The principal wanted to keep the dirty laundry of his students that way to make the school look better. Right now the school seemed to be a second chance for students who had the capability to do better (or the money in Nevisu's case) to help further the school along.

      ----

      Khaz bobbed his head, taking the ice-pack. "I think so ..."

      It was then when the implications of the events reached his mind. They would probably have called Naomi. Shit. She was going to be upset. Mostly, because it was kind of important him to not get into a lot of violent out bursts ... considering his delicate history in that area. He was being closely monitored, aside from having to see a therapist bi-weekly.

      Terrin was taking an aspirin from the nurse, when it seemed as if she was called by Khaz's thoughts into the nurse's office.

      Naomi walked in. She was rather tall for a woman and her form was slender but athletic. She wore black jeans, a black t-shirt, and a dark red leather jacket, slimming fitting to her form. Her hair was up in its usual high ponytail. She wore large gold hoop earrings and some light make-up.

      She walked into the room, her heavy-lidded eyes falling on Khaz and narrowing further. Her hands went to her hips and she raised a single eyebrow at Khaz.

      Leita hid behind her brother.

      Khaz had been pressing the ice-pack to his lip. When Naomi walked in, the look she gave him was louder than any words. He grinned sheepishly at her in response.

      "Hey ... what are you doing here?"

      "I received a call from the school that you were in a fight. I was in the neighborhood, so I dropped in to see how bad the damage was ..." Her words trailed off when she saw the boy who was lying on the bed nearby Khaz. Her brow narrowed sharply in alarm and then she looked quickly back to Khaz after examining the heavily damaged boy.

      Khaz's brow hardened when he realized what she was thinking. "Hey! I didn't do anything to him. He was like this when I got here."

      Then he realized that sounded a little ... weird. Oh well, it wasn't like anyone around them understood exactly.

      Khaz showed Naomi the backs of his hands. There was no blood or bruising or signs of Khaz using them to hit anyone. He scowled at her with his evidence before him, proving his innocence. Naomi's expression relaxed at this. However, her eyes remained narrowed in slight suspicion. After all, Khaz could have used an object like a chair or something to hit someone with.

      "So what happened then?"

      ----

      Shiki turned her head when she heard footsteps and the blood in her veins froze like ice as her eyes widened in horror. A tall woman stood in the doorway. She was a light brown color with heavy eye lids and an athletic build. She wore black jeans, a black t-shirt, and a dark red leather jacket, slimming fitting to her form. Her hair was up in the same high ponytail Shiki had remembered. She wore large gold hoop earrings and some light make-up.

      It was the one of the officers Shiki had talked to when her parents had brought her to the police station after what had happened with Masahiko. She was a kind woman, and understanding. She even understood Shiki's decision, even if her parents never did.

      She looked down, and tried not to tremble. She didn't understand what she was doing here. She didn't understand at all.

      "Hey ... what are you doing here?"

      That voice. It was Khaz's. Her eyes stayed glued to the floor, but if she was freaking out now, she was freaking out even more now. Khaz knew her?

      "I received a call from the school that you were in a fight. I was in the neighborhood, so I dropped in to see how bad the damage was ..."

      Oh Kami. The way she spoke...they were close. Shiki wasn't 100 percent sure on their relationship, but they were close. Of all people, it had to be Khaz Serwen. Her day just turned into a hell hole. She prayed to whatever God answered her prayer that the cop wouldn't notice her.

      "Hey! I didn't do anything to him. He was like this when I got here."

      Him? Was like that when they got there? He must be talking about the beat up boy in the bed. But why would she think Khaz did it? Unless, he was an ex-delinquent. For some reason, Shiki really couldn't entertain the thought for long, but it did seem to make sense a bit. Khaz did throw himself pretty quickly into the fight. Maybe he wasn't just trying to screw her, but he missed the thrill of the fight as well?

      "So what happened then?"

      "Shiki got into a fight with Nevisu Ren, and everybody else seemed to think it was fun and joined in," Rika grumbled. "Lucky for everybody, Serwen-kun got the worst of it with a busted lip. Stone-kun just got punched in the stomach, and Shiki got kneed. So, if you want to blame anybody, you should look at the blonde idiot over there for having a short temper."

      Shiki looked away, doing her best to make sure not to come into eye contact with anybody, silently cursing Rika for drawing attention to her.

      Please don't say anything. Please don't say anything. Please don't say anything.

      ----

      James turned away from Ari when a young woman came in, wearing what seemed to look a lot like James' own outfit outside of school, a black t-shirt, black jeans, and a dark red jacket. From her entrance, the air in the room changed from violent to almost fear. James had no former experiences with this women, so he had no idea what would have caused this.

      One other thing that James found odd was the regularly outspoken Taiga was now staring at the floor, as if trying not to draw attention to herself. And, if James wasn't mistaken, there was a slight tremble in her shoulders. His face hardened, pondering the implications of what could cause Taiga to start shaking. Surreptitiously, James moved along the wall silently, to an area between Taiga and the women. If something about this woman had made Taiga afraid, James felt it would be a good idea to get in between the two of them just in case.

      From this angle, James could see several of the people in the fight a lot clearer. Serwen-san had a cut lip, as the nurse had said, but he also had a girl hiding behind him. Serwen-san himself had very messy black hair, a heart shaped face, and he looked very boyish. But there was an intelligent, mischievous light in his eyes, and seemed mature due to the fact that he stood up for Taiga.

      The girl behind him shared the black hair and the heart shaped face, but was small and petite, and looked very frightened. Not much else could be seen due to the fact that Serwen-san stood between them.

      The only other person mentioned that was in there was Stone-san, and James assumed it was the boy who was a little ways behind Serwen-san. He looked very American, as he had no slant to his eyes, or the trademark dark hair. In fact, he was almost the exact opposite. Long blond hair, lanky, and quite tall. Perhaps one of the exchange students James had heard about?

      There was one more kid in there, the one that had pointed out the fact of the painkillers wearing off on Ari. Not much to be told from him, his face being very passive, as James' was all the time. He was quite tall and muscular, and looked very Latino. Not someone that James would want to fight at all.

      All-in-all, it mostly didn't look like a group who fought a lot. Except for an obvious exception.

      -----

      Naomi, actually, had noticed Shiki and remembered the poor little girl from one of her cases. But if there was one thing Naomi knew, it was tact. It was all very personal, so she assumed the girl would be happier if she pretended like she didn't know her at all. So Naomi hardly even glanced her way, keeping her attention on Khaz, where it should be.

      When the nurse said Nevisu, Naomi's eyes flared open in alarm, and she looked over at Khaz. There was a certain level of shock and indignation in her stare that Khaz didn't quite understand.

      "Serwen Khaz, what on earth were you thinking?" demanded Naomi. She obviously ignored what the nurse said about blaming Shiki.

      Khaz sighed and shifted his weight, still holding the ice pack limply in his hand, instead of to his lip where it should be. "Nothing, obviously."

      "Do. Not. Tangle with the Nevisus," said Naomi. "You'll be biting off more than you can chew."

      "I knew that to start with," muttered Khaz.

      "We'll talk more when you get home tonight," concluded Naomi. She looked around Khaz to try to spot Leita. "You aren't hurt, are you, Leita-chan?"

      Khaz shook his head. "No, she wasn't involved really ..."

      -----

      Shiki glanced up slightly. She didn't seem to by saying anything. Perhaps she didn't even remember her. Either way, she was relieved. She didn't like people knowing about that. She would like to keep it that way if possible.

      However, it seemed she was their mother. Well, that was certainly awkward on Shiki's end. She was the mother of Khaz, the boy who reminded her of him in a way she didn't like. However, she was wondering why she was so adamant in her two children not getting involved in the Nevisu's. Perhaps it was because they were so violent even she knew about them? Perhaps they got into trouble with the cops before? With Ren's track record, she wouldn't be surprised. Still, even though she got into a fight with them, she still didn't feel any animosity towards the brothers. She liked Ren a lot better then she liked Khaz at least.

      "I can talk to you more if you want Shizuka-san," Rika said. "However, Serwen-kun, Stone-kun and Shiki-chan need to get to the principle's office before they go head hunting here. Shiki, you can show the other two boys where it is since you are so familiar with it."

      Shiki scowled at Rika. While it was hardly hidden news she was constant in the principle's office, she hated how Rika kept bringing it up. Seriously, what the hell.

      "Right," she grumbled none the less, as she picked up her bag where she left it near the door. Slinging it over her shoulder, she opened the door and gave once last glance to the cop, her eyes sliding once again downwards to the floor. She really felt bad now that she got Khaz involved. Shizuka (that was her name-Shiki had forgotten; she was determined though to forget anything which had to deal with the case) had been nothing but kind and understanding. She felt like she was being ungrateful by getting her children involved in her fights, even if Khaz was being a stupid ass and getting his own stupid self involved.

      "This way."

      ----

      "No, that's alright," said Naomi to Rika. "I know enough, but thank you, as well as for taking care of them."

      She left first, walking down the halls of the school, now away from the nurse's office, her brows knitted together on her face in tense thought. Nevisu. Here in this school. This was where Nevisu Nottuu's little brats went to school. How quaint, she was surprised they weren't privately tutored. It was ironic ... that they would end up here and get into a fight. She ... wanted to warn Khaz more but ... that would require a kind of explanation that was ... too difficult to hear. Especially right now ... so close to the anniversary. Khaz didn't know ... and it was better that he never did.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Khaz sighed and turned around to face Leita. "Go back to your classroom. I'm fine ..."

      Leita nodded, hair in her face. As they left, Leita split off in the same direction as Nakai, while Khaz, Taiga, and Stone went off towards the principle's office. It was utterly silent between Leita and Rontu as they walked back to their homeroom. The halls were empty because lunch had ended and classes had started. Leita peeked through her hair at Nakai, but he just stared forward except for when he would take a flask from a pocket and take a gulp. However, after swallowing, his eyes suddenly shifted, looking at her through the corner of his eyes, as if he had sensed her gaze through the black curtains of her hair.

      Leita flushed immediately, head bowing, and eyes staring down at her feet. The smell of alcohol, whiskey, drifted over to her in the air.

      ------

      The walk to the office wasn't long. It was almost as if they put the principle's office close to the nurse's on purpose. To make the walk for trouble makers like herself not as long after they got their wounds tended to.

      She was silent, really not bothering to say much. She wasn't in much of a mood to say much. Her day was pretty much crap, and she didn't want to tempt fate to make it worse. With her luck today, it was a very likely possibility.

      She paused in front of the door. She slid it open without pause and walked into the office. She had been there before countless times to the point of she didn't bother knocking to announce her presence. He was no doubt expecting her anyways.

      "There you are," Katashi-kouchou drawled a bit lazily. "I was wondering when you three would get here."

      Kira, Ren and Tasuki were still there, standing in the room. They obviously had been waiting for the rest of them to join in before punishment was dealt.

      Katashi-kouchou was a man in his late forties. He had a balding head which he tried to hide with a comb over using what little grey hairs he had left. It didn't work to say the least. He was also a bit portly, the buttons on his vest straining to keep his girth in.

      He folded his hands and rested his chin on them, studying them for a few minutes before leaning back sighing. He pulled open a drawer in his desk and brought out six manilla folders and dropped them on his desk. Shiki's eyes trained on them. She recognized what they were. Permanent records.

      "Stone-kun and Stone-chan, since you just transferred here from America, I don't have any records on you. However, I will tell you that contrary what you may have seen in anime if you have watched it, you will not get away scott free in getting into fights. Nevisu-kun and Taiga-chan will testify to that."

      He pulled two of the manilla folders and flipped through them bored.

      "Serwen-kun, you have a couple of fights on your record, but it has been marked it was because the other party was harassing your younger sister Leita, was it? Either way, you should know better then this by now. Let this be a warning to you. Next time it will be a suspension."

      "Nevisu-san, you have pretty much a spotless record up until yesterday when you got into that fight along side your brother. Like Serwen-kun, you obviously should know better. You are a smart student and have a bright future ahead of you. Don't ruin it. Next time, I will be forced to give you a suspension like Serwen-kun."

      He closed the two folders and regarded Ren and Shiki. He opened their folders after a minute, and it was harder to tell which one was bigger in documents. However, if one were to look closely, it can be seen Ren's folder was slightly larger.

      "Nevisu-kun and Taiga-chan," he started for a moment before giving a tired sigh. "Both of you have had suspensions for fighting before. You both have had warnings and detentions. I don't know what to do to keep either of you from fighting. You both are capable young students. Obviously the usual modes of punishments is simply not enough for you two. As a result, in addition to the punishment you six will receive, you two will have to go community service this Saturday. I have called both of your parents, and they have agreed to make sure you show up."

      He paused for a moment to let that sink in before he continued.

      "Now, you all will have detention next Friday right after school. Any questions?"

      ----

      Dr. Josenberg rubbed his temples and yawned as he left the hospital examining room, shaking his head slightly. He'd just arrived in Japan a week before to help care for this woman, and he still wasnt used to the change in timezone.

      Looking at his preliminary notes, he looked through the little information he had on the patient's family. The ex husband was at work, but he'd called and said he was coming shortly, a brother-in-law was in the hospital somewhere, the son...was in school.

      Josenberg pulled out his cellphone and dialed in the listed number for the boys school. After a few muted dial tones, he got an answer.

      "Hello there, this is Dr. Josenberg. I'm calling about...Utuaga Ari."

      "It's about his mother. She-"

      "Wait, what do you mean you thought it was about him?"

      "...."

      "WHAT."

      "Sorry. I just...augh. I'll call his father, he can pick him up on the way here."

      "Good day to you as well, ma'am."

      The doctor put his phone away and sighed. That Ryojin bastard's lucky he has such good insurance...seems like he needs it.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

    • James turned to the girl that had brought the bags with her to the hospital wing. "Thanks for the help
      " He said, picking up his bag and feeling the familiar weight of his bow. He walked out the door, and with the halls almost empty, started going down the hallway towards his class. He came to his door and opened it up, slipping inside as the rest of the class was getting ready for the teacher to come in, or just talking with friends until the time came they needed to listen.

      James moved towards his regular seat in the back, and sat down, setting his bag on the floor and loosening his tie. He was tired, and it showed in the way that he slumped in his chair. Hoping to catch a little rest, he folded his arms on the desk and laid his head down, closing his eyes to make the most of the last few minutes he had.
      -------------

      Most of these goings-on were lost on Molly, as she was staring awkwardly at the floor. In fact, she was counting floor tiles, a particular OCD thing she was privy to. She had counted 64 so far. Then, a voice interrupted her counting.

      "Thanks for the help."

      It came from the black-haired boy she had come in with. She looked up to find that the other denizens of the nurse's office were now mysteriously and unexplainedly gone, like they had been abducted by aliens of the anal persuasion. The black-haired boy turned and walked out of the room. She cast one last furtive glance Ari's way and, avoiding the gaze of the nurse, shuffled out of the nurse's office and back to class. The halls were almost empty and she sincerely hoped she wouldn't be late for class. As she entered the classroom, she noticed that Kira, Terrin, and Taiga were missing. As she made her way back to her seat, she received judgmental looks that confirmed that she had, in fact, come to class late. She hunched over slightly and continued to her seat as quickly and inconspicuously as possible.
      ----------------

      Kira, Terrin, and Khaz shook their heads.

      Khaz had raised a brow at Taiga's rap sheet of a file. Comparable to Ren's. He didn't realize she was that violent of a person. Somehow, it didn't dissuade him from bothering her whenever he could. Again, it was a kind of morbid fascination to see how much it would take for Taiga to lose control and smack him.

      Ren hadn't even been listening. In fact, his red headphones were back in his ears, and he was staring ahead with a vacant but bored expression.

      "No, sir," said Tasuki. He had been prepared for the guilt trip about his bright future.
      -----------------

      Katashi-kouchou sighed as he put away the folders away as he glanced at the clock. Well, that took longer then he was hoping it would.

      "Right then. I will see all of you next Friday after school. Nevisu and Taiga, I will see you this Saturday at the park. You will be picking up trash, and Makata-sensei will be in charge. You are dismissed."

      Just as he waved his hand, the bell rang singling lunch was over. Shiki groaned. She would have to eat before practice started in record time. It wasn't healthy, but it was better running around in the summer sun starving to death. Even she wasn't that stupid.

      The teens filed out of his classroom and began to head back to class.
      ----------------

      They walked in silence for a moment before Khaz spoke. He looked over at Kira and saw her knuckles were still red and swelling from hitting Ren in the face. "You should probably see the nurse about that ... you could have broken something."

      Kira looked up at him. "You have a thing for rescuing people, don't you?"

      Khaz blinked. "... That's a little off topic."

      "Not really," said Kira. "You could have just avoided this whole business, but you had to go rescuing Taiga-san. Not to mention, good old principal back there said you have a record of beating up your sister's bully."

      "And he was all concerned about this unconscious kid in the nurse's office," piped Terrin.

      "Yeah, and then my hand just now," agreed Kira, exchanging a glance with her brother.

      "Heh, wow," said Khaz, his dark brows knitting incredulously. "Is it a crime to care about people?"

      Between Naomi and Kira, he was starting to feel like it was one interrogation after another.

      "Didn't you deck Nevisu-san because he hit your brother?" asked Khaz, raising a brow. "Of course, I defended my sister. And if you saw the kid in the nurse's office, you would be concerned too."

      Kira raised her brows back with an unconvinced pout of her lips. "Yeah ... but you didn't have to bother with Taiga-san."

      Khaz grinned. "Well, it's because I'm in love with Taiga-chan, of course."

      Kira rolled her eyes. "Yeah, right ... if you really were, you wouldn't say it like that."
      -----------------

      Shiki was keeping quiet on the whole way back. She was walking slightly behind Ren, and slightly in front of Terrin. She didn't bother in hurrying back. They were late anyways. What is the teacher going to do? Send them back to the principals? Yeah, she didn't think so. Although, she was irked that she was missing some notes, but she wasn't too worried. She would be able to catch up in her text.

      However, she wasn't able to keep much to her thoughts since Khaz and Kira began to talk. About Khaz's supposed hero complex. She glanced back a bit as she listened. It was better then thinking about how shitty her day was at any rate.

      However, when Khaz said he was in love with her, her stomach dropped uncomfortably and her lips thinned.

      "I'm in love with you Taiga-chan! Please go out with me!"

      She turned her head forward again, her eyes staring straight at the back of Ren's snowy white head. She wasn't staring at him, but it gave her something to concentrate on. Ren's hair was like the snow. Like winter. She liked the winter. It was quiet in the winter and everything was muffled by the snow.

      "Then you should probably fall in love with somebody else if that's the case," Shiki answered stiffly as her fists punched up into a fist and turned white at the knuckles. "Perhaps one of your call girls? I'm sure they would love that."
      ---------------

      Khaz rolled his eyes when Taiga looked away and snapped her remark. Honestly, both she and Kira were so serious. Who the hell would take a statement said so casually and off-hand so seriously? At least Kira called that part out. It was partly because Taiga had to take everything he did or said so seriously, that he continued to bother her in particular. It wasn't his fault she couldn't take a joke.

      So he pouted and said, "But Taiga-chan, there is only you in my heart."

      Kira rolled her eyes again. "Don't you need to go back to your own class, Serwen-san?"

      "Oh, yeah," said Khaz, looking around. He was already late enough as it is. "Farewell, Taiga-chan, my heart fills with sorrow the longer we are apart."

      Khaz put his hand to his chest dramatically, like he was in pain as he turned and left.
      ----------------

      Shiki growled a bit, and was about to say more when Kira kindly told Khaz to go to his own class. With a dramatic farewell, Khaz complied. Tatsuki had left earlier, leaving the four of them to trek back to class alone.

      By the time they got there, they were about five minutes late. Mataka-sensei gave them a dirty glare as they walked in, but continued to teach. Each of them took the hint and took their seats quietly. Well, Snowy-kun just plopped down in his seat with a "I don't give a fuck look," but he wasn't fighting or causing trouble, so Makata-sensei didn't say anything.

      The rest of the day progressed slowly, and Shiki's stomach began to growl. She was hungry; she didn't have time to eat lunch at all. She was thankful though she was a quick eater, and would have time to scarf it down before practice started.

      Finally, finally the school day ended and Shiki pretty much threw her things in her bag. She needed to get to practice earlier then normal just to be on the safe side. However, as she stood up, she bumped into somebody and stumbled back a few steps. Kami, it seemed she was a physical magnet lately.

      However, when she looked up, she was surprised to see it was Leita. Her books were on the floor, and Leita was already bending down to pick them up. She couldn't see the look on her face due to her hair covering it.

      "Ah...gomen," she apologized as she bent down to help her. However, the first book she picked up was Leita's sketchpad. It had opened up in the fall, and there was a rough sketch of the alcoholic giant. Except...he was different. Instead of the dead feeling Shiki always got from him, there was a raw sort of energy. She tilted her head slightly curiously. Was this how Leita saw him? She had to say, she liked it.
      --------------

      Ari opened his eyes slowly, blinking suddenly as harsh light filtered through his eyelashes. Sitting up slowly he felt a tug on his arm. Looking down, he could see a monitor strapped onto his pointer finger, with a short cord attached to a machine by the bed. He looked around in a daze, taking in whitewashed walls and a dull tan carpet on the floor. Instruments and gray cupboards filled the room, and a bright light shone down like a beacon from the ceiling.


      After listening to the steady electronic chirps from the machine for what felt like half an hour, Ari could hear footsteps outside. The door opened backwards as a man walked in backwards, pushing the door with his back and flipping through papers on a clipboard. The man turned to Ari, and grinned a little.

      The man was dressed in a button down white shirt and slacks, a stethoscope around his neck. He didn't look terribly old, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties, except for bits of graying hair and the dark bags under his eyes. The man pulled a seat up next to Ari and took a pen out.

      "Hello, Mr. Utugua. I'm Dr. Josenberg, one of the doctors here at the hospital. The nurses noticed you'd woken up and called me. Tell me, are you feeling alright? Feel anything out if the ordinary?" His voice was an odd sounding dialect, sort of like the accents he'd heard when his dad watched NASCAR, but without the odd American words. Ari shrugged his shoulders, then thought back to earlier. "No...I don't feel any different, actually...but earlier, it was...really painful."

      Josenberg nodded and wrote something down. "Well, yes, that was expected. You've got severe bruising on your face and torso, and on your right arm. One of your ribs was out of place, and your right shoulder has damage we'd expect from a fall from a significant height. Of course, considering your family history of skeletal and muscular weakness, the fall may not have been from the usual height we start seeing these injuries at."

      Ari just nodded, his head starting to feel heavy. He lay back down, images of his tumbling fall down the cliff flashing through his head. Josenberg saw Ari lay back down and stood up. "That would be the medication taking effect. Sleep some more and we can talk later. I need to go check up on your mother."

      As Josenberg started to leave and Ari's eyelids fell, a panicked thought came foggily to him. Check up...on mom? Ari started to raise his hand, trying to stop the doctor, but the American flicked the light off and the door closed with a click.

      Once again, Ari was asleep, his slumber now filled with visions of his mother, Guilmon, and the drone of the bee monster's mechanical wings.
      ----------------

      The bell rang and Leita put her things into her bag and headed toward the exit. She stared at her feet like she always did, lost in her thoughts. Naomi always asked Leita how she never ran into anything or anyone if she didn't look up. Leita actually thought it was really easy. Her feet knew their way around, that aside, she could see fine enough out of her peripherals. Besides, everyone pretty much avoided her. It was strange how she could go unnoticed and yet no one ran into her either.

      So it was like this that she made her way toward the classroom door, her thoughts on Khaz and the fight earlier. It had been a while since Khaz had been in a fight. The only other times were for her ... After all, Leita knew Khaz didn't seek out violence unless ... for a reason he found ... valid. The fight had involved Taiga. He was even trying to take responsibility for the whole mess. Leita hoped that would make Khaz see the consequences of his actions and stirring up trouble with Taiga. Maybe he would stop his teasing finally and leave her alone.

      Her thoughts where interrupted, as someone bumped into her, knocking her bag from her hands, sending it clattering to the ground. Her books and notepads spilled out. Leita finally looked up to see it was Taiga who bumped into her. Leita's eyes went wide like a deer in the headlights. Oh, no. No doubt, Taiga would be upset. So Leita quickly scuttled about to quickly scoop up the mess, putting it all back.

      Leita heard Taiga apologize, to her surprise, so Leita looked up to see that Taiga had her sketchbook in her hands. It was open ... on a page full of Nakai's images. Leita's face drained of color, her eyes went wide as her pupils seemed to shrink back into her green eyes. Oh, no.

      Without thinking, Leita snatched the sketchbook away, closing it and hugging it to her chest, hair falling into her face, which once drained of color, was now flushing pink. Leita felt her eyes water.

      "G-gomen--!" and then she took off, bending her knees slightly to grab her bag, she bolted out the classroom door, weaving through people.

      She made it to the art studio in record time. No one was there yet. Panting, Leita looked around, then dropped her bag to the floor and hugged the sketchbook to her chest. Her cheeks burned again at the memory. How ... embarrassing. Now Taiga had to think she had some kind of crush on Nakai. But it wasn't a romantic crush ... it was an artist's crush, which was very different. She just wanted to draw Nakai. Not date him.
      ------------

      Shiki could only stare blankly as Leita ran off. She had seen that look on Leita's face. One of pure fear. Plus how quickly she snatched the sketch pad back. Had she seen something she shouldn't have, or perhaps Leita was afraid of her? Was she scowling? She didn't think she was. But then again, unless she was smirking, it was incredibly rare for a smile to be on her face in public anymore.

      Maybe she was afraid Shiki would have made fun of her. Did she really come off that type of person? Or perhaps Shiki had been mean to her in the past. She quickly racked her brain. No...she couldn't remember of a time she was ever mean to Leita. Actually, she couldn't think of a time they even interacted until recently.

      Maybe it was because of her brother. Maybe she didn't like her or thought Shiki didn't like her because it was evident Shiki didn't like Khaz. Shiki had made that more then clear. That coupled with her established violent personality (only further cemented today during lunch) it wouldn't really be that surprising the quiet and meek girl was afraid of her.

      Still...that made her feel terrible. Biting her lip, she clenched her hands and stood up.

      Damn it.

      She didn't know what she was expecting really. Or what her hopes were. That Leita would be friends with her? Yeah right. After that incident, she had all but pushed people away. She never had friends. She never would. She was used to it. Why would it be any different now? Why start now? Just because she liked Leita didn't mean that Leita liked her. She knew that.

      She picked up her bag wordlessly and slung it over her shoulder and walked out of the door.

      She paused for a moment and then began to run. Run from the classroom. Run from her troubles. Run from the day. Run from Leita.

      Everything went away when she ran.
      ------------

      James was out the door as soon as the bell rang, not willing to deal with the crowds. His bag struck against his leg with the weight of his bow, case, quiver, and a change of clothes. He stepped into the bathroom to change when he came to it, changing quickly. He stepped back out into the hallway, got his shoes from the cubby, changes into them, and walked towards the range.

      He breathed the cool air outside, grateful to be out of the classroom, but still worried about the boy, Ari. What happened to him?, he wondered. The kid had looked pretty beat up. James sighed. Not much he could do about it now. Ari was probably in the hospital by now, high as the sky on pain meds.

      James took out his bow and put it together easily. He had been doing this for years, Apo it wasn't any struggle to go against the tension of the bow. He slid the arrow cushioning into the collapsable quiver, both hold its shape and making it so the arrows wouldn't clank together.

      James slid said arrows into their holes, and made sure everything was secure on his bow. Satisfied, he took an arrow from his quiver and took the first shot of many. James relaxed while doing so, settling into a rhythm that wasn't going to change.
      ---------------

      Kira and Terrin did manage to see Taiga run into Serwen, and soon Leita was tearing out of the room faster than Kira realized the girl could run. Soon Taiga was gone, and besides, Kira didn't feel like bugging Shiki about it. The girl seemed worn out from the day as it was.

      Soon Terrin was beside Kira as she stood up with her bag in hand. "Archery club!"

      Kira sighed, eyes rolling, but she smiled. "Right, right ... You want to come, Rontu? Didn't your ancestors shoot the good old bow and arrow?"

      She smirked at Rontu, knowing she was making a vast generalization of his Native American heritage that was bordering racist and stereotypical. Of course, she was trying to sound like a ignorant white girl on purpose.

      Rontu rolled his eyes at her words. "Maybe they did. So did the Japanese ... No, I don't really care to."

      Kira pouted her lips critically. "Right ... now you shoot guns and bullets, eh?"

      Rontu got up from his seat. It was always ... a bit awkward, given the seats were always a bit too small for him. It was like watching a clown trying to get into a tiny car, and then get back out again. His legs were just too long and he seemed too wide.

      "On occasion," replied Rontu. Practicing his marksmanship with a gun in hand had been one of those other pass-times he no longer had, after all ... can't brings weapons across the country. Though he had managed to bring other useful things. Some of which he had mailed ahead of time. "Have fun watching people shoot things."

      And he left out the classroom door.

      Kira sighed. She wasn't sure if she would ever get him to do anything else.

      So she and Terrin went off in the direction of the archery range.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~`

      Of course, when Khaz got back to his classroom late, with a cut lip, he felt a little bad for his teacher. She looked like she was going to have a headache between him and Ari. He smiled sheepishly, assured her he had already seen a nurse, and sat down.

      By the time class was over, a couple of the girls in class had swarmed over to him, asking if it hurt, what happened, if he had seen the nurse (even though he already told the teacher he had), all the usual girls stuff. When they all flocked away, Akemi was right next to him as he stood up from his seat. He smiled and felt his cut lip sting. Akemi's eyes went to that lip. Unlike the other girls, her bright brown eyes did not look the slightest worried. Instead, a mischievous kind of smirk curved those small lips, shiny with pink lip glossy. She looked curiously amused.

      "I heard you got into a fight with Nevisu Ren ..." Khaz had dodged giving the other girls the exact details of his encounter. Mostly because it was just fun to mess with them like that.

      Khaz smirked back at Akemi. "Then ... I guess you heard right."

      "Mhmm," said Akemi, pressing her lips together briefly, her hands clasping together behind her back comfortably. "Really ... the only question I have is ... why? I mean, I know you've been in fights before, but that was for your sister ... I'm pretty sure she wasn't involved in this one ... After all, Nevisu might be a brute, but he doesn't go looking to pick on the weak ones ..."

      Khaz chuckled. He supposed he did like that about Akemi. She was smarter than the other girls. She liked to play these little guessing games with him. Unlike the other girls, she knew it was a game. The rest didn't know he was just messing with them for the most part. But he supposed that was the dangerous thing about Akemi. She wouldn't always believe the lies that poured out of his mouth. She would just smile, smirk in that delicious sort of way and giggle. Like his lies tickled her. But Khaz kinda liked that challenge about her.

      Khaz shrugged. "Obviously, this time I was the one being bullied, right?"

      Akemi giggled. "Serwen-kun is too smart for that. You know how to avoid Nevisu."

      Khaz smiled again. "Oh? ... So why don't you tell me your best guess?"

      "Hmmm," Akemi pressed her lips together briefly again. "I think ... you were trying to protect Taiga-san ... But that's stupid ... After all, she has her own reputation for violence just like Nevisu-san. There was no need to be her hero ..."

      Kira before and now Akemi ... Not that they were wrong. He had been trying to protect Taiga, because he felt responsible for sending her into Ren's path. He just didn't know her reputation for violence. Not that it mattered. The way those Nevisu brothers moved ... obviously, they actually knew martial arts, and they knew it very well. Khaz didn't care what kind of record Taiga had. Trying to square off against Nevisu Ren was stupid and suicidal. Adding Tasuki on top of it was just idiotic.

      "Oh, really?" said Khaz with a honest-looking curiosity. "I didn't know that about her actually ..."

      Akemi laughed again. "Honestly ... it's like you don't even go to the same school ... Do you pay attention at all to the news of the school?"

      "Well, if by news, you mean gossip, no," said Khaz.

      Akemi smiled. "Well ... I hope your injury doesn't ... impede any of your ... recreational activities this weekend ..."

      Khaz grinned back her. "Naw ... I'm not too worried about that ... But ... I gotta go now. I'll see you ... later."

      Akemi waved as he left off toward the art studio.

      OoC: Sorry, ran short of time. I'll get Kira and Terrin to the archery place soon.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ruki ().

    • When they got to the archery range, there weren't a lot of people there yet. Actually, just one guy. Terrin immediately recognized him as the guy who entered their classroom the other day. Kira recognized him too.

      "Hey, it's the guy!" said Terrin pointing, and bouncing off toward him. Kira sighed and followed after him.

      Terrin came to a stop when he reached James. "Hey, it's you, the guy from the other day. The other guy--what's his name? I forgot ... Anyway, he was looking for you. Oh yeah, what's your name? It isn't really Rinku, is it? Is that supposed to be a reference to Link from the Zelda series? I'm surprised a guy like him would even know--"

      Kira gave Terrin a gentle whack on the edge, which stopped him in his non-stop gabbering. Terrin rubbed his head.

      "Sorry, about that, he doesn't know when to take a breath sometimes ... most of the time, actually."
    • James was a little surprised when the blond lanky kid came bounding up next to him, so the shot went a little wide of it's mark, hitting two rings outside of the bullseye. James swore under his breath, then turned to face the one who had interrupted him, only to see someone else shut him up. Ah, the Gibb's slap. Works every time. A small smirk appeared on his face.

      "No problem. Happens more often than you would think, considering I set up the club. Anyways, what brings you here? And, just to satisfy my curiousity, are you the foreign exchange students I have heard about?"
    • "Just passing through," said Kira with a smile. "My brother is trying to see every club possible while we're here. And yeah ... since we don't exactly look particularly Japanese."

      "You missed," said Terrin, pointing at the arrow, which hadn't quite made it to the bull's eye.

      Kira lowered her brows in annoyance at her brother. "Terrin, he was just two rings away. Don't be rude."

      "I wasn't trying to be rude. I just thought he would hit the center, being in the archery club and all--Hey, can I try?" asked Terrin, his green eyes bright, pointing a finger at himself. If he had a tail, it would have been wagging expectantly and hopefully.

      “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
      [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

    • "No, you don't." He replied to the girl. I'm Akita James, and I'm from America as well. Nice to meet you." James said with a small bow.

      He turned to the expectant Terrin. "Why not?" He called over his shoulder to one of the other members of the club near the shed, "Hey, Sasati! Grab me a 10 pounder from the shed!"

      As soon as the other boy walked over with the bow, James gave it to Terrin and started laying the basics of shooting down. "The first thing you need to remember is not shoot when anybody is down range. You could easily kill somebody. Case is point;" He pointed to the scar on his neck.

      "Second thing, nock the arrow above this little bead right here. That keeps it from sliding down the string. Third, use the pads of your fingers, not the creases, that could knock the arrow off of it's flight path. When you draw, use your shoulder muscles, not your arms, and pull back smoothly. Bring it back all the way to the hinge of your jaw and keep it steady. Then, release."

      James grabbed an arrow from his own quiver hanging from his back, and handed it to Terrin. "What are your names, by the way? And would you like to try after?" He asked the girl.
    • Terrin nodded his head over and over as James gave him all the tips and saying "uh huh" after each nod. It wasn't two seconds after James finished giving Terrin the lesson that the arrow flew from the bow. However, it didn't even hit the target. The arrow thudded into the grass far behind it. Terrin pouted and immediately grabbed another arrow out of James's quiver without asking.

      "Sure," said Kira, responding to James' question. "Why not ... I'm Stone Kira."

      Terrin had just notched the arrow in place, turned his head and said, "I'm Stone Terrin."

      Just as he said these words and turned his head, he accidentally let the string go and the arrow flew and thudded into the target. Three rings away from the center.

      "Yatta!" cried Terrin in excitement. Kira smacked him upside the head shortly after.

      "Look where you're shootin', Terrin. You heard Akita-san. You can actually hurt people with these things." Kira grabbed the bow out of his hands as Terrin rubbed the back of his head again.

      Then she took an arrow from James' quiver, also not asking, and notched it. However, she kept her eyes dead-set on the target and held the arrow back with the string for a moment. The strain she felt in her shoulders. She let out a breath and released the arrow. It hit the target, also three rings from the center.

      “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
      [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

    • James was about ready to grab the bow from Terrin himself if Kira hadn't done it for him. "Always look where you are shooting. That is a cardinal rule in every range I have ever been to." As for them taking arrows from his quiver, well, he supposed it was only natural. There was no other source of ammo.

      After Kira had shot her arrow, James realized that the arrows were in the general area of top right and top left of the ring. Grabbing his own bow and an arrow and smiling a little, he drew the bow back. He released the shot, and was already reaching for another arrow. James fired four more shots consecutively, and ended up drawing a little smiley face with where the arrows hit, because none of them were spot on accurate.

      He shot one more arrow, and hit the bullseye dead center, causing the smiley face to look like it had a nose as well. "Sorry, I just had to do that. Sometimes, I can't resist showing off." He said with a smile.
    • Kira turned to James and smiled. "Heh, it's cute. Besides, just goes to show you really love archery, right? If you wanna see a show-off, you'll have to come see me swim when I join the swim team here. In fact, that's probably our next stop ... Unless you want to join the archery club, Terrin?"

      Terrin shook his head. "Nah, I was just curious really. But now I can say I shot a bow."

      "Well, see you around, Akita-san," said Kira, walking off with Terrin and giving the bow back to the student who brought it to them. "Try not to get into anymore trouble."
    • Molly had all intentions of hanging out with Kira and Terrin after school, but when she looked up from her doodling and note translations, she realized that everyone, even the teacher, was gone for the day. Aw, just my luck. Molly thought in exasperation. She gathered up her notebook and pencil and put them in her bag. Then, she slid open the classroom door and headed out into the hallway. Only a few people were lingering in the halls now, probably people getting ready for athletics or after school clubs. Eventually she would join some sort of after school club, but not today. She had an exciting book waiting for her at home. She had started it this morning and, from what she could divine, it was about a sexy teenage boy who had a crush on a girl with mystical powers. It was very absorbing, but would presumably devolve into a sappy high school romance, which Molly was completely okay with. Maybe it was a good thing she hadn’t hung out with Kira and Terrin today. It meant she could stay at home and read the book until she finished it at 3am and then started a new book, which she would fall asleep reading.

      Molly walked briskly along the sidewalk so she could get home to her precious Samandrial Chronicles (that was the book she was reading). However, she stopped in her tracks when the bushes directly to her left, and in between two brick buildings, began shaking. Oh yeah, I promised the bushes I would talk with them after school. Molly remembered. She cleared her throat and turned towards the bush.

      “Okay, I can talk now, mysterious shrubberies,” Molly informed the impatient shrub.

      “Follow me,” a scratchy voice from inside the bush commanded. Suddenly, the bush stood up on two massive, furry cream-colored feet and led Molly in between the two buildings and behind them. All the while, Molly was thinking that it was probably a bad idea to follow the walking bush, although the silliness of a walking shrubbery was lost on her. Finally, once they were out of sight of any peering eyes, the bush shed its bushness to reveal that it was a hunched over monster had been using it as a disguise. Molly yelped in astonishment. The creature straightened up and Molly found that it looked somewhat like a fat, furry velociraptor. It was almost as tall as her, perhaps only a hair shorter, and its back was covered in what looked like black armor inlaid with purple gems in four columns. It also had the black armor on top of its head, with a ponytail of dark red hair that crept out of the back of the armor. Its underside and face were covered in a cream colored fur and it had massive white claws on its hands and feet, which were more like paws than hands and feet. It had an amber colored gem-looking thing on the top of its head that is surrounded by what looks like a winged bronze crown. It had sharp green eyes and what looked like black and red bracelets on its hand-paws. After she took in the monster’s appearance, she stepped back.

      “Wha-what are you?” Molly asked, completely terrified at this point, but unable to run away.

      “I’m a Digimon. Ryudamon,” Ryudamon replied with a deep, intimidating voice. Molly’s eyes flashed with confused terror and Ryudamon saw this. “Don’t be afraid; I’m not here to hurt you.”

      Had Molly had any courage at all, she might have responded, but instead she let out a fearful squeak and fainted. Ryudamon’s face fell and he sighed. A few minutes later, Molly regained consciousness to find Ryudamon still very much there, as if fainting would somehow scare him off or erase him from existence. She sat up and scampered backwards.

      “What do you want with me? Are you going to eat me?” Molly squealed.

      Ryudamon couldn’t help but let out an amused chuckle.

      “If I was going to eat you, I would’ve done it when you fainted,” Ryudamon explained.

      Molly looked down at her body, but she was untouched. “Well, I don’t feel all that eaten,” She admitted. “So what do you want?”

      Ryudamon hesitated for a moment, as if thinking about how to phrase his proposition. Finally, he spoke.

      “I’m from this place called the Digital World. I was…traveling through my land and I got sucked through a portal and ended up here in the Human World. Now, in our culture, it is said that that whenever a good Digimon is sucked into the Human World, it means that the world needs us and we have human partners who are destined to save the world. Is any of this making sense?” Ryudamon explained quickly, barely stopping for breath.

      “Not really,” Molly shook her head.

      “Alright,” Ryudamon said and took a deep breath. “I want you to help me save my world and maybe even yours’.”

      “Oh my gosh, you mean like Supernatural?” Molly squealed in excitement.

      “Exactly like Supernatural,” Ryudamon confirmed. “What’s Supernatural?”

      “Uh, it’s a Tumblr thing,” Molly replied quickly. “So why are you coming to me for world saving things? I’m not good at that. I’m good at end-of-the-world surviving things.”

      “But if you save the world, you don’t have survive the end of it,” Ryudamon pointed out.

      This idea stumped Molly. She hadn’t actually thought about it that way before.

      “How am I going to save the world?” She wondered.

      “Bushidō,” Ryudamon answered simply.

      “Huh?”

      “Bushidō, it is the way of the warrior. Loyalty, honor, mastery of combat. These are all traits of bushidō. It is the time-honored moral code of my kind,” said Ryudamon, as though he had recited those words a thousand times before.

      “I’m not a warrior, Ryudamon. Actually, I’m the exact opposite of a warrior. I run away from warrior things whenever I can and sometimes even when I can’t,” Molly replied. “I’m very much un-bushidō.”

      “That doesn’t matter,” Ryudamon shook his head. “I can help you and, in turn, you can help me.”

      Molly was about to barrage him with a slew of new question, but she didn’t. Instead, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. It was time for her to do something with her life and this was a chance to do so.

      “Okay, I’ll be your partner."

      Suddenly, a light blue device materialized onto one of Molly’s belt loops (she wasn’t wearing a belt). It looked like it could fit into the palm of her hand and had a screen. It looked, on second look, like a tamagotchi. Molly retrieved it from her belt loop and stared down at it. Ryudamon was also staring at it, but not in confusion like Molly. In excitement. He was ecstatic really.

      “A Digivice,” Ryudamon said in awe. “You really must be my partner.”
      Naked serial arsonist Link is my new fave.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Sweater Bear ().

    • Dorumon was waiting after school for Shiki. He had managed to keep out of sight and pretty much kept to himself the entire day, taking quick naps in the school flora. He was content on doing that until his partner got out until he felt a nearby presence of another Digimon.

      It hadn't recently biomerged, he knew that. But he could feel it in his core.

      It wasn't in the school premise yet, but it was approaching, or so he assumed. So, he left his hiding spot and slinked over to the front gate to stand guard. Shiki was inside the school yard, and he was determined to make his stand here to protect her.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • "You should show me this Carthagie High place," Ryudamon suggested excitedly.

      Molly giggled "It's not a real place. It's in one of my books. They have aliens and vampires and things that don't actually exist."

      Ryudamon's face fell in disappointment.

      "That world seems so much better than this one," He pouted.

      "Can you read?" Molly asked. Ryudamon nodded and Molly let out a little squeal. "I could let you read some of my books! Oooh, there's the Darklite Island trilogy and the Fantom Cascade series and...oh!...you HAVE to read Cremli's Demise, ugh it's so good."

      Ryudamon chuckled at Molly's enthusiasm for her books.

      "Do you keep all these books in your hut?" He wondered.

      "Hut? Oh, no, I live in a house. It's like a hut, but not made of sticks," Molly said. "I could take you there, but..."

      "But...?" Ryudamon echoed questioningly.

      "But my parents wouldn't approve of a human sized Digimon living with us. We might have to find you a disguise," Molly concluded. "Where would we find you a disguise?" She thought aloud. Then, she remembered her tour of the theater club with Kira and Terrin the other day. "Our school's theater club has a wardrobe department with lots of costumes. We should be able to find a costume for you there."

      "Great!" Ryudamon exclaimed, and then started towards the street, but Molly held him back.

      "You need a temporary disguise so we can get to the school without drawing any attention..." She trailed off and ran across the street, where a large, red blanket had been discarded in a dumpster. She ran back to Ryudamon and threw it over him, covering his head and back. Only his tail stuck out. "There, now you can just say that you're sick and no one will want to investigate any further."

      With that, Molly and the blanketed Ryudamon headed off towards the high school. As they approached the school, they began moving more cautiously. Right before they got to school, however, Ryudamon suddenly became alert.

      "There's another Digimon nearby," He said.

      "Is that a bad thing?" Molly asked, although from his posture she should have guessed the answer.

      Ryudamon nodded. "Nine times out of ten." As they approached the front gate, Ryudamon growled. "It's very close."

      Molly looked around to find a furry, purple beast that looked like a cross between a dragon and a dog standing near the front gate. It had a determined look on its face, like it was there for a very specific purpose. It looked a little intimidating, but also oddly cute for such a wild, violent Digimon. Molly gasped and pointed at the Digimon.

      "There!" Molly exclaimed.

      Ryudamon snarled at the Digimon and hopped in front of Molly, so that he could be between Molly and the Digimon in case it decided to attack.
      Naked serial arsonist Link is my new fave.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sweater Bear ().

    • Dorumon could feel the Digimon coming closer until a loud screech made him find that which made the noise. Much to his surprise it was a dragonic beast, like him. He hadn't ever seen another one like him before, although this one was different.

      It had golden fur and was decked in some sort of armor. Yet, Dorumon could make out the same crystal which was on top of his forehead.

      Not only that, it was protecting a human. A girl. She looked the same age as Shiki, but instead of Shiki's blonde hair and blue eyes, she had red hair and green eyes. She was wearing the same clothing (uniform) as Shiki was, so they probably went to the same school. Well, it would make sense with them here. Were they partners? It would only make sense. It would also explain the Digimon's hostile behavior. Dorumon would act the same way if it meant to protect Shiki. He doubted he could be as fearsome as that though.

      But...what were they doing back here? Was it normal for humans to return here after they left? Dorumon tilted his head a bit and took a small step forward out of curosity.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • The Digimon tilted its head and stepped forward, causing Ryudamon to pounce instantly, his instincts taking over his judgement. He barreled towards the Digimon and tackled it to the ground, tearing into it with his claws. Molly squealed a little at Ryudamon's sudden movements. She was afraid at first, but then she realized that, now, she had a friendly monster to protect her. She watched the raw ferocity that Ryudamon exuded and found a sense of awe coming over her. She had a protector. And from the looks of it, he would protect her to the death. Either his or his attacker's. However, she began to notice something. The Digimon wasn't fighting back....
      Naked serial arsonist Link is my new fave.
    • Shiki pulled her baseball cap over her head as she shouldered her bag. Practice had let out earlier then usual since Ryoka had sprained his leg when he was jumping the hurtles. They had to call over Rika to look at his injuries, and they didn't want to move him in case they made anything worse.

      Walking through school, she could hear the clubs still going on. There wasn't much time left anyways, but getting out early then getting out late was a nice change of pace for this terrible day at any rate. However, as she approached the school gates, she could hear fighting.

      She didn't know why, but her heart beat uncomfortably in her chest. Especially how animistic the noises were. She ran out of the school gate and some yards away was this Digimon mauling Dorumon as the girl Shiki only vaguely remembered as Pippi Longstocking stood by watching. Horror clenched in her gut.

      Dorumon wasn't fighting back. What the fuck was that stupid idiot doing. Reaching into her bag she quickly brought out her D-arc and a few cards. She didn't know if they would work, but she didn't have time to second guess herself and just slid one of them through her D-arc as the Digimon leapt into Dorumon, opening its mouth for an attack Shiki was sure she didn't want it to finish.

      WarGreymon: Brave Shield activate

      Green letters typed itself across the screen of her D-arc as a flash of bright white light appeared and a yellow shield with an engraving of a white sun blocked a blade of iron from piercing through Dorumon at the last minute. He was safe. For the moment.

      "Dorumon!" She yelled, taking the moment to spring towards her fallen and hurt partner, scooping up the purple dragon into her arms. Dorumon opened one of his eyes weakly.

      "Hi...Shiki..." Shiki could barely contain her freak out as tears of rage began to build and she whipped around, ready to murder those who hurt him.

      "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Shiki snarled.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • As Shiki ran over to the Digimon and scooped it up in her arms, Molly's face went seafoam white as she realized that the Digimon wasn't bad, but was Shiki's partner. That's why it hadn't defended itself from Ryudamon's attack...

      "Ryudamon, stop," She whispered, barely above a whisper, but Ryudamon heard her and stood down. He shuffled to her side.

      "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Shiki snarled.

      Molly put her hand over her mouth to cover the horrified look on her face. "Shiki...oh God, Shiki....we thought...we didn't realize...I'm so...oh God..." She squeaked guiltily and tears welled up in her eyes.
      Naked serial arsonist Link is my new fave.
    • "What kind of person attacks somebody who isn't even fighting back!" Shiki yelled her voice rising, getting steadily upset. "I may be bad, but I'd never beat somebody half to death who didn't even raise a fist to defend themselves! And of course you didn't realize! Do you even think, or are you just that stupid?!"

      "Shiki...its...fine...I'm OK," Shiki looked down to Dorumon, trying to hold back tears. It wasn't working well at all.

      "Why didn't you fight back?! Why didn't you defend yourself?!" Shiki demanded. She had just picked up the little guy the other day, and he was already getting beat up. How was he supposed to defend his village like this? How could he even think about defending her like this? He was beat half to death!

      "Because...they were partners. I didn't want to separate them," Dorumon smiled up at her kindly. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. He was so damn stupid. That made it OK to pretty much throw his life away? What about his life? What about his feelings? What about her? Shiki had grown attached to him rather quickly. Not that it was unusual for a girl who had zero friends.

      Dorumon winced again and in a flash of light, he De-digivolved back to Dorimon and Shiki held him tighter in her arms. His blood was beginning to stain her shirt. She didn't care though. Not that she even knew Digimon had blood.

      He needed First Aid. Now. Rika should still be in school. She would help. Rika always helped. She didn't have time to yell at stupid idiots. She had to save Dorimon.

      Standing up, she cradled Dorimon in her arms, handling him gingerly. She walked back to the school building only to pause for a moment and give Molly the most scathing glare she could manage. Which was quite easy considering how easy it was.

      "Don't you dare call me Shiki."

      Her voice was low and dangerous. Shiki normally made her threats loud and for the world to hear so people could vouch they heard Shiki give her warning. However, this time, Pippi had crossed the line and went further then just making her angry or annoyed. Shiki was livid.

      With that being said, she broke into a jog and ran into the school building.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • "Don't you dare call me Shiki."

      Taiga ran into the building carrying her Digimon, she had called it Dorumon, into the school building. Molly stood in shocked silence and watched Taiga disappear into the building, tears streaming down her red cheeks. She barely had the motivation to breathe. Ryudamon looked up at her.

      "Molly...I was just trying to protect you," Ryudamon said. "I didn't mean to..."

      "I know." Molly whispered weakly, not even looking at Ryudamon. She could taste her tears now.
      Naked serial arsonist Link is my new fave.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sweater Bear ().

    • Leita got her act together and was busy painting away by the time Khaz got to the art studio. They said nothing about yesterday, when he fond her painting a portrait of father. She had the very same one out in front of her, but Khaz picked a place to sit where he wouldn't see the image she was painting. He played his 3DS again, cursing about how impossible it was to catch the fish at the fishing pond in Ocarina of Time. The time seemed to fly by, eventually, Khaz had a group of girls around him, encouraging him in his virtual fishing attempts. Soon Leita was packing up her stuff, but Khaz was still busy chatting up two girls, who had asked him to come over and see their paintings.

      Leita stepped outside the studio, waiting for Khaz outside once he was done indulging in the wishes of the girls. The anniversary of their parent's death was tomorrow ... Leita stared inside the studio at Khaz, who was smiling and laughing with the girls. Khaz treated the anniversary almost like it was any other day. Except he avoided coming back home until very late at night, exhausted from all the free-running he did with his buddies. Leita knew Khaz practiced parkour as a hobby, but she never really got to see him do it, since Khaz usually didn't want her to come with him. Thus, the anniversary Khaz treated like any other day, except with the added efforts in distracting himself from the very fact of what day it was.

      Leita sighed, looking down. She wondered if he would ever sit with her and light incense for their parents. Would he ever be able to look through old photos and laugh about the good times? Was it so bad to remember when life was easy? When their parents were still alive? When the world didn't seem like such a frightening place to be? Leita always wanted to remember those younger days. They were really the best memories she ever had. She didn't know when ... she would have more memories like that. She didn't know when she would ... stop being afraid of everything. When would the world stop seeming cruel and violent? Leita supposed things were certainly better than they were ... all things considered ... But she felt ... frozen. Stuck. Things weren't so bad, but it didn't feel like they were getting better. She wasn't really sure what "better" was supposed to look like ... what it felt like. All she knew was painting and drawing ... she sought what beauty and peace she could find in the world. It brought her some peace to get lost in that kind of dream world. She didn't really know what else to do with her time anyway. Other than study and be a good student and foster child to Naomi, and try to keep Khaz from worrying about her so much.

      The sound of running footsteps in the hall snapped Leita out of her thoughts, looking away from Khaz. Leita came face to face with Taiga Shiki. She seemed slightly out of breath like she had been running. Her eyes were vivid with emotion, brows tensed. She was definitely upset. It always seemed to Leita that Taiga was upset. Then she saw a small creature in her arms. It didn't look like any animal Leita knew of. It was purple, furry, and had short stubby legs. It seemed to be bleeding. There were red stains on what little white was on Taiga's black and white uniform.

      Leita's green eyes were wide. Mostly in shock. She heard Khaz laugh from within the art studio. Leita had whipped to look inside. He wasn't looking out. His face was still turned toward the girls, who were giggling with him. Then Leita's head snapped back to Taiga.

      Taiga was already upset enough. Leita was sure the last person she wanted to see right then was Khaz, much less get him involved in whatever was troubling her. Even though ... Leita knew Khaz would be concerned and he would genuinely try to help, especially when he saw someone hurt and in need ... Leita knew, Taiga didn't want that. She didn't really understand Khaz, not that Leita could blame her for that. Khaz was very good at keeping others from understanding him. It would be better if Khaz wasn't involved.

      So Leita reached out and took Taiga by the wrist, pulling her over to a near by door. It was marked as the girl's restroom. Leita set her bag outside so that Khaz would know she was in the bathroom and not worry.

      Once inside, Leita turned to Taiga and looked down at the poor creature in her arms. Leita felt her eyes burn. He looked like he was in pain.

      She grabbed some paper towels and wet them and reached forward but stopped, "Uh ... M-may I ...?"

      “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
      [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().