It was Monday morning and the students of Sakuran high were busy walking to the high school. Some of them were in groups, chattering about everything and anything. Others walked in couples and some stuck solo.
A girl walked alone on towards the school, she held her gaze fixed at the endless blue sky. The sun was warm on her skin, and the breeze was nice and cool. Blowing her auburn hair about gently behind her. "Today is gonna be a great day!" she said to herself.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that," came a deep voice behind her.
Glancing back, the young teen female saw a familiar face. "Jiro-senpai!" she said, smiling at him.
"Zephie-chan," he nodded, acknowledging her presence, he kept a steady pace as he crossed towards the entrance of the school.
"Why do you say that?" she asked, looking at him as she quickened her speed to keep up.
"Do you know what day it is today?" he asked, not looking at her.
"Hai, it's Monday!" she chirped.
He sighed, "I hate Mondays' things never go well for me," he said.
She beamed at him and suddenly crossed in front of him, he hesitated, staring at her.
"Then I'll make this day rock for you! What annoys you about today?" she asked. Eager to help him.
He gave her look that said, I really don't care. "Your face," he bluntly replied, then walked around her and continued on his way.
Zephie gasped, she was shocked and embarrassed. She knew that wasn't true. Once again Jiro was being a jerk.
"Baka! You're so dead!" she screamed, raising her messenger bag over her head, she ran after him.
He started to run off, away from her.
"Uh-oh, Jiro-kun pissed her off again," Chise another student whispered to her friend.
"Hai, let's go," her friend replied, they walked away.
It was Manami's first day of school at Sakuran High and she was super excited! For the first time, well, ever, her daddy had promised that they would stay in one place long enough for her to graduate. That meant this time she wouldn't be gone in two months before even making any real friends!
Of course, the problem was that she had a teeny tiny issue with talking to people. Not because she was shy or afraid... but because Manami's Japanese was terrible. It was a huge embarrassment for her Japanese Linguist Father. A double-disappointment that his own daughter could barely even speak half her native language.
This didn't stop Manami from trying.
"Hi! Do you bus over there in, uh... period pool?" she asked, a couple of students. What she was trying to ask for directions to her first period class. Speaking English might have been a safer idea, but she really needed to practice her Japanese if she was going to be living here the next couple years!
For Miss Akiko Kajiura, it was a normal day of getting up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM and forcing herself to get ready for work. She looked up at the mirror and saw that her hair was its normal tangled mess of dull red.
“Oh god, I look like shit!” She shouted to herself, “No matter, I WILL make it to work on time, I know I will…”
Rushing through her morning routine, Akiko brushed her long hair, while engulfing a pre-packaged fried egg sandwich. Within a hour, Akiko found herself running down several flights of stairs and more or less flying into her car.
“Keys…Keys.. I need my keys… Oh found them, whew.” She muttered to herself.
Upon starting her car up, Miss Akiko slammed on the accelerator and was soon speeding down the streets of the city, going well above the legal speed limit. For once this month she'd like to make it to work on time!
In less than fiftheen minutes she had made it. She then formed a sheepish grin until she looked up at the large clock on the main building of the campus. It read, 3:00 PM.
"GAH!!!! I how the hell did I miss the entire school day?!!?! I'm a professional educator... God, this sucks balls!!!!" Akiko then started to slam her head on her steering wheel.
She then heard a knock on the window, it was the janitor named Bruno. Just how a German became a Japanese high school janitor was beyond Akiko's concern at this point in time.
"Miss Kajiura? Are you alright?" He asked in a thick Austrian accent.
"OF COURSE, I'M FINE, BORIS," she snapped. "OF COURSE, I'M NOT ALRIGHT, I MISSED THE ENTIRE SCHOOL DAY AND I DIDN'T EVEN CALL IN SICK!"
"Was? Nien, nein. That clock over there is always stuck at 3 PM."
"Huh? Then why don't you fix it?" Akiko asked.
"It's a work of art, so I will not fix something so fine." Bruno then responded.
"Whatever; what time is it Boris?"
"Miss Kajiura, it is 6:59 AM."
"Hot damn! I made it here early for once." Akiko then shouted.
Nana pouted slightly as she looked up at the bright blue sky, her bag slung over her shoulder carelessly. A small puff of air escaped her lips and the hair across her eye fluttered up before falling down again... in exactly the same place. A turquoise barrette pinned her tell-tale pink hair in place and matched the bracelet on her slender wrist.
"Today... is gonna suck," she said softly, tilting her head to the side as she looked at the school building coming into view. The weather was too warm and not even her favorite butterfly barrette made her feel any more cheerful. To make matters wore, it was also a Monday, the worst day of the week. She knew for a fact she would rather be sleeping than this, but a good education was important. A slight breeze caught the hem of Nana's uniform and lifted it gently, exposing her pale leg covered mostly by knee-high white socks.
Disarmingly cute looking, Nana sucked on her lower lip as she passed a few of the female students she was acquaintances with. As if on cue, a girl cooed when they saw Nana.
"You're always so cute, Nana-chama!" one of the first years sighed, envy tainting her voice slightly. Nana smiled in her sweet, naive manner while hanging her head inwardly.
Evan flipped his hair out of his eyes and walked down the hallway smiling and winking at several different girls. He was used to this happening and enjoyed doing it while walking to class. He looked around and saw a new girl looking a little confused.
"Hey, are you new here?" He asked in Japanese.
"Hai! Uh...Do you...Bus..." She said, struggling a bit. Evan smiled, thinking it was a little cute.
"It's alright," He said in English. "What do you need? I'm Evan, by the way," He stuck out his hand to grab her books. "I'll take those."
"You speak English! ...and you're American!" Manami responded, surprised! Even more so because the guy was so cute that her heart had started thumping and her knees were going to give out. Wow, his hair was so fall trendy...!
Manami caught herself staring, and shook her head before putting on her best of brilliant smiles. "No, it's okay, I've got them. I'm Manami. I was trying to find my first period class, but uh... all the directions are written in kanji and katakana and it all pretty much looks like scribbles. My dad is like, completely embarrassed by me." Whoa, slowdown, we're rambling at the cute boy! Play it cool, play it cool.
"Could you help me find me it? I'll totally buy you lunch later!"
Evan smiled and chuckled. "Manami, huh? Yeah. My parents are American and moved to Japan when I was little," He said, taking a look at her sheet. "Oh, Hey. You're in my first two classes."
He gave back the paper and smiled. What a cute girl! She obviously got the best of both cultures in looks. "And I think I'm the one that's supposed to buy you lunch." He chuckled a bit. "I'll teach you some simple phrases and read a little. Okay?"
"Really?" Manami found herself a little flustered. She just found herself a Japanese tutor as cute as could be, as well as a lunch date (okay not a real date) all in the span of five minutes. Suddenly, starting a new school in a different country didn't seem so bad anymore!
"That would be awesome! My Japanese is so bad. I was trying to help my mom buy groceries last week and I called some lady a bloated squid. Mom thought it was hilarious, but the lady not so much." Nervously, she was twirling strands of her hair around her finger. "So, um, which way is the classes? I didn't know the building would be so huge."
In a nearby hallway, Kuribo poked his head out from the library - he had been the first one to school after the teachers, as was his little ritual in his previous schools. He was cautious here... from being in a new school, as well as his common misfortune with the local fauna.
"Hey. New kid." A deep voice stated from behind him.
"...Ah, here it is." Kuribo turned, looking towards the male with the deep voice... and his two friends! "Glorious."
The three were the stars of the kendo team, and for some reason, allowed to carry their weaponry on them. The leader of them sneered. "I've decided I don't like you, new kid."
"There's a surprise." Kuribo thought this in a sarcastic tone, not saying anything. As he opened his mouth to reply, he found a strong arm colliding with his shoulder, pushing him onto the ground. "Oomph!"
As he looked up, he found one of the wooden swords pointed towards his face. He glared up the practice sword to it's wielder.
"Hey, look at the little tough guy. Ahahaha!" The tall one and his buddies laughed, as Kuribo picked up his belongings and slunk away, turning the corner and walking, head-down, down the hallway.
Kuri shuffled in after his brother, into the school, hands in his pockets. "Okay, I know where your class is. If I need anything, I promise I'll stop by or give you a call or something--Can I go now?"
Seiryuu smiled, not at all put off by his brother's attitude. "Don't tell me I'm embarassing you already? I'd just like to make sure you feel comfortable about everything."
Kuri gave him a sideways glance that clearly said, "Do I look like I want to feel comfortable?"
Sei only laughed. "Okay, so I just like spending time with you and I know once you find your first class you're going to disappear."
They passed by a young girl hugging another student, a male. Sei waved. "Good morning, Zephie. Jiro." He pushed his eyeglasses further up his nose before they fell off his face entirely. "But before you go off, are you sure you have everything?"
Kurai was about to reply when Sei happened to look down the hall and saw another teacher.
"Miss Kajiura, hello! It's nice to see you so early in the morning. Have you met my brother, Kuri, yet?"
He was holding her hand! Manami followed along in a silent bliss, briefly imagining she was totally in one of those romantic anime, with all the floating cherry blossoms and glitter sparkles. As they arrived to class, she trying to shake those images out of her head (jeeze, she thought she was gonna try not to fall head over heels for the first cute boy she met?! this happened every time she started a new school!)...but he so made it worse when he leaned down to kiss her hand. It was just like a prince!
"Y-yeah. So, um. Yes. Class. Hee!" she couldn't help it, she had started giggling. At least she managed to retrieve her hand from him and was backing up to enter the class. Only to hit the doorframe, turn around quickly to run inside and hit the door frame again! Pausing and taking a deep breath, Manami stepped in to the classroom and slide herself in to a chair somewhere in the back. Oh man, she was looking like a total idiot today!
The young boy blinked at his odd 'savior', and as he's dragged by, takes the time to make a smug, cruel face at his former oppressors. When they were far enough away, the lad looked to Nana quietly. Shyly he turns from her, not saying a word.
He gives a nod of thanks, shuffling his feet shyly. He had never been one for talking, definitely not with girls besides his own mother and his mother's female friends. "Mmmrrgh." Is all he gets out, looking down at his own feet as is trying to pry out inspiration from them.
With an almost eerie giggle, Nana managed to lightly skip to be more or less at his side. She nodded as she examined him, eyeing him up and down, biting her lip as she examined.
"You can go back to being picked on by the club, if you want," she trilled sweetly. "But first, I need to know your name. I'd like to help you, you see," she was glowingly oblivious to his discomfiture. Nana had never known a male to be uneasy around her, with her well-disguised figure carefully flattened beneath her uniform with bandages.
Nana looked around conspiratorially and pulled out a small, pink lump of candy, licking it as she stared at him expectantly.
"Murrn..." He mumbles, looking away from her and rubbing behind his head. "...My name's Kuribo... I'm, uh... new." He rubs his arm now, his whole body shifting uncomfortably. "...Thanks for, um... your help." He shivered a bit at the sweetness in her voice, and he grows suspicious. "...So what do you want in return for this help...? Do your homework? Become your slave...? Or is this one of those soul-deals I've seen on television...?"
Again, a giggle burst from Nana's rosebud lips. A tiny beauty queen, all dressed up and completely unseen. She tilted her head and smiled again, trying to gauge if he was serious or not. When it seemed he might be, Nana shook her head.
"You're strange, Kuri-Kuri."
Taking his hand again, Nana continued walking. When she got to a classroom, she paused. Pointing at it and grinning.
"This will be your class, I think. You're used to people using you for work, so you're smart. You're a new student... this should be the room. If you want me to leave, just remember to hang out with me later so people will be nicer. My name's Nana."
Evan smiled and took his seat a few rows up from Manami. As class went on, every once in a while, he would turn back and catch a glance at her. This was super weird. He was used to girls falling all over him, and now he was focusing his attention on this girl? This new, kinda awkward, but exceptionally cute girl.
He doodled in his notebook thinking up ideas for the video game that was going to make him. It almost seemed complete, but...it was missing something. Evan just wasn't sure what it was.
Zephie found herself back in class. She was copying notes and hearing the lesson pour out from the sesei, but her mind couldn't pick up the words. She was frozen on the inside, her mind kept going back to the scene when she was hugging Jiro. The image of that moment burned in her head, it clogged her brain like a million cobwebs. Stuck.
Glancing behind her, a couple of rows down, sat Jiro. His head laid in the cradle of his arms. He was out.
A soft chuckle escaped her parted lips, which failed to suppress the smile that now appeared on her face.